Skip to main content

11 Scorching Hot Takes (2023 Fantasy Football)

11 Scorching Hot Takes (2023 Fantasy Football)

Hot takes are less about accuracy and more about staking your reputation on a particular player you feel is primed to exceed expectations far. Many of the following takes from our featured experts won’t materialize, but they all have a realistic chance of coming to fruition. However, the bigger component that we fantasy managers must take away from this is that all the players suggested by today’s pundits were chosen because they have a high chance of breaking out, regardless of whether they’re able to meet the author’s lofty goals for their season.

Scorching Hot Fantasy Football Takes

What is one fantasy football hot take (player related) you have for the upcoming season, and why could it happen?

Jaxon Smith-Njigba will be the WR1 in Seattle this season and finish in the Top 12 in PPR scoring. He is a target monster and more of a big-play threat than he is getting credit for. ”
Bo McBrayer (FantasyPros)

Travis Etienne will finish as a Top 5 Running Back. Last year, in just 9 full games as the starting Jaguars RB, Etienne ranked 8th amongst running backs in total rush yards (1,125) and 2nd in yards per carry (5.1) amongst those with 200+ carries. Etienne tied Derrick Henry for most runs of 40+ yards at the position and had more red zone rushes than each of Christian McCaffrey, Nick Chubb and Saquon Barkley. Etienne’s exceptional touchdown and reception production that made him an Elite+ college RB prospect will transfer to the NFL with time- aided by the JAX offense improving as a whole. A full season of Travis Etienne seeing the majority of opportunities in this backfield will propel him to an elite fantasy football RB finish in 2023.”
Joe Orrico (No Expert Fantasy Football)

Damien Harris will finish as a Top 15 RB. Harris was briefly pacing for a 200+ carry, 12 TD, and 30 REC season last year, before an injury opened up the window for a very good Rhamondre to come in and take over. Assuming each Buffalo RB carries out the role they’re best suited for, James Cook will play sparingly as the change of pace back he’s been since college, and Harris will take on as many touches as he can handle. Another double-digit TD season and high marks from PFF’s rushing metrics are not out of the question for the 26-year-old Harris.”
Seth Miller (Crossroads Fantasy Football)

Bijan Robinson finishes as the RB1. Arthur Smith wants to run the football and run the football a lot. Tyler Allgeier finished last season on an absolute tear, averaging 18 carries and just under 100 yards per contest from Week 13 onward. That is coming from a 5th-round pick, not one that was selected 8th overall. Robinson is a generational RB prospect, a true three-down running back, that should not be coming off the field for the Falcons. He finds holes with ease, has safe and secure hands (zero drops in 2022), and is a pain for defenders to bring down, as he forced 104 missed tackles in 2022. Eric Dickerson has the most fantasy points ever by a rookie running back set in 1983. If Bijan Robinson gets the 320+ carries and near 1800 total yards that I am currently projecting as his baseline, that Dickerson record could be in real jeopardy if he eclipses that projection. Robinson is currently my RB3 and 5th player overall in half and full PPR.”
Ed Birdsall (Talking Points Sports)

Calvin Ridley finishes as a Top 5 fantasy WR. Ridley hasn’t played at an elite level since 2020, but he was averaging 91.6 receiving yards per game. And he averaged 109 receiving yards per game when Julio Jones was out of the lineup. The Jaguars ranked sixth in early down pass rate in the second half of the season and boasted the 9th-most passes per game. There’s enough passing volume in this offense for Ridley to go nuclear as the Jags’ No. 1 with double-digit TD upside to boot if he can recapture his previous form. ”
Andrew Erickson (FantasyPros)

Calvin Ridley will finish as a Top 5 fantasy WR. Ridley has appeared in only five games over the past two seasons as he served a year-long gambling suspension (2022) and dealt with personal issues (2021), but he was fantasy’s WR4 (90/1,384/9) the last time he laced ’em up for a full season (2020). Both Christian Kirk (WR11) and Zay Jones (WR26) outperformed expectations in career seasons in 2022. That said, Ridley, who has generated some buzz early in OTAs, should quickly emerge as the team’s most productive receiver, and there is plenty of upside from his current ECR/ADP as Trevor Lawrence takes another step forward and builds upon his strong second half last season.”
Kevin Hanson (EDSFootball)

Juwan Johnson finishes as a Top 3 tight end. Outside of Travis Kelce being a near lock for TE1, we see lots of movement amidst the fantasy football tight end leaderboard on a yearly basis. Every season brings an opportunity for a new tight end to thrive, and this year’s league winner could be Johnson. Everything is falling into place for the Saints’ tight end, including Adam Trautman being traded away and Derek Carr joining the team. Don’t forget that from Weeks 7 to 17 last season, Johnson had the third-highest points per game among qualified tight ends, and that was with Andy Dalton under center. Carr worked wonders for Darren Waller‘s fantasy value, and it would come as no surprise to see Johnson emerge as Carr’s favorite weapon in New Orleans.”
Andersen Pickard (Prime Time Sports Talk)

Jared Goff will finish as a Top 10 fantasy QB, maybe Top 5. In 2022 he threw for over 4400 yards with 29 TDs. Is 5,000 yards and 35 TDs out of reach? I do not think it is. He will not give you anything on the ground which could keep him just outside of the top 5, but the addition of Montgomery, Gibbs, and LaPorta, and, hopefully, 10-plus games from Jameson Williams and a better defense will lead to more scoring opportunities.”
Ken Zalis (FantasyPros)

Lamar Jackson will be fantasy QB1 in 2023, and QB2 won’t even be particularly close. We’ve seen Lamar break fantasy scoring once before, in 2019, when he had the best weapons and offensive line of his career. Well, in 2023, he has even better skill position players surrounding him, and his offensive line finally looks like a top 5-10 unit again. More importantly, moving from Greg Roman to Todd Monken is the single biggest improvement any offense made this offseason, and Lamar is well-positioned to reap the benefits in another record-setting year. Injuries are a threat, as they are to every team and player in football, but there are no other marks against this offense heading into the season. If they stay healthy, expect a juggernaut that gets close to the historic highs of 2019 once more, with Lamar Jackson becoming a cheat code for whichever lucky fantasy managers draft him.”
Ryan Wormeli (FantasyPros)

Kenny Pickett is a top-8 QB. Pickett finished last season by throwing for 607 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions over his last three games. I expect him to take another step forward this season behind a sneaky-good offensive line and some underrated weapons on offense. Diontae Johnson and George Pickens pack a nice 1-2 punch at receiver, and Pat Freiermuth continues to improve in the passing game at tight end, giving Pickett plenty to work with. If he continues to evolve as a passer and adds in 15-20 yards rushing per game, he will blow past his current QB23 ADP. If everything clicks, he could finish as a top-8 fantasy quarterback.”
Jason Kamlowsky (FantasyPros)

Rashaad Penny finishes as the best Eagles running back and finishes as a Top 15 fantasy RB. Health is a big concern for Pennny to each have a shot of this hot take. As a career YAC average of 5.7, Penny could show excellent efficiency with 150 carries. Don’t forget that Penny is a purer runner than DeAndre Swift, and he showed it in 2021 when he produced 750 yards on 119 carries. It’s a hot take, but the sky is the limit if the stars line up for Penny. ”
Steven Pintado (The Fantasy Coaches)

Trey Lance will be viewed as a must-start fantasy quarterback by midseason. Obviously, he has to earn a starting job first. I think Lance will eventually displace Brock Purdy, who played well for the 49ers late last season but also benefitted from a soft schedule. (Purdy didn’t face a defense that ranked better than 13th in DVOA against the pass until the playoff game against the Cowboys, who shut him down.) I also think that in light of the immense draft capital the 49ers gave up in order to draft Lance, they’ll give him another shot before breaking the seal on Sam Darnold. Lance has difference-making running ability, and he has enough arm talent to leverage the abilities of a sensational supporting cast. It’s still too early to give up on the No. 3 overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft.”
Pat Fitzmaurice (FantasyPros)

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | SoundCloud | iHeartRadio

More Articles

Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Rankings & Pickups to Target (Week 14)

Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Rankings & Pickups to Target (Week 14)

fp-headshot by FantasyPros Staff | 2 min read
Dynasty Fantasy Football Risers & Fallers: Sam LaPorta, Jonathan Mingo, Tyler Lockett, Chuba Hubbard

Dynasty Fantasy Football Risers & Fallers: Sam LaPorta, Jonathan Mingo, Tyler Lockett, Chuba Hubbard

fp-headshot by Chad Workman | 3 min read
Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Advice: Pickups to Target, Stash & Drop (Week 14)

Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Advice: Pickups to Target, Stash & Drop (Week 14)

fp-headshot by Pat Fitzmaurice | 11 min read
Fantasy Football Week 13 Takeaways, Surprises & Disappointments (2023)

Fantasy Football Week 13 Takeaways, Surprises & Disappointments (2023)

fp-headshot by Josh Shepardson | 3 min read

About Author

Current Article

time 4 min read

Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Rankings & Pickups to Target (Week 14)

Next Up - Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Rankings & Pickups to Target (Week 14)

Next Article   arrow-image