After following the 2023 rookie class through the most recent college season and the NFL Draft process, I’m ready to put together a few names for you to watch as you prepare for your fantasy football leagues. Based on my evaluation, landing spot, opportunity, and more, here are players to know as you get ready for fantasy football drafts. Here are my dynasty rookies running back rankings and player comps.
- Thor’s Dynasty Rookie Draft Advice: Sleepers | Target | Avoid
- More Dynasty Articles & Advice
- Dynasty Rookie Primers: QB | RB | WR | TE
- Dynasty Rookie Draft Simulator
Dynasty Rookie Draft Rankings: Wide Receivers
1. Quentin Johnston | Chargers | 6026/208 | RAS: 8.68
Player comparison: Taller Brandon Aiyuk
Johnston is a 6-foot-3 home-run hitter with a 40.5-inch vertical and a 6-foot-8 wingspan. He’s a raw route runner and isn’t a joystick mover. but Johnston takes advantage of the cushion he’s afforded by corners who have to play him back on their heels by exploding inside off the snap on slants. Johnston also adds gadget utility on end-arounds. Between this area and quick-outs, you can steal a small handful of yards every game in the short game.
Dynasty outlook: In standard-scoring dynasty, QJ’s my WR1 (JSN is WR1 in PPR). Johnston found a great landing spot in the Chargers – he’ll start immediately in an offense that will feature him. What Johnston needs to clean up to become a fantasy monster are his concentration drops. He has a bad habit of thinking about his YAC before securing the ball, leading to flubs on easy balls. This is correctable.
2. Jaxon Smith-Njigba | Seahawks | 6005/196 | RAS: 8.34
Player comparison: Adam Thielen
Smith-Njigba set a Big Ten record with 1,606 receiving yards in 2021. He finished last season with only five catches on 42 routes run while battling a nagging hamstring injury. Now healthy, JSN enters the NFL as one of the best pure slot prospects we’ve seen over the past decade. Smith-Njigba’s 3-cone and short shuttle times were both easily the best showings at the NFL Combine of any prospect, regardless of position. JSN isn’t the most explosive, but he’s a veritable efficiency monster due to his agility, route-running, and hands.
Dynasty outlook: Smith-Njigba has top-tier slot talent and will be a full-time starter immediately in an advantageous situation between two quality outside receivers. His drafting signaled Seattle’s move away from a base 12-personnel offense. Embrace the supposed risk and invest in Smith-Njigba in dynasty. He will be a PPR machine – JSN is my dynasty WR1 in that format. Fantasy owners in that format need to get especially aggressive to acquire him.
3. Jordan Addison | Vikings | 5111/173 | RAS: 5.93
Player comparison: Tyler Lockett
Proven winner in both the slot — where he won the Biletnikoff at Pitt — and the boundary, where he spent last season at USC. Addison won’t blow you away physically. He isn’t an elite athlete, and he’s on the smaller side. He’s a watch-maker type, a meticulous route-runner with an obsessive mind for details. He starts a third-quarter route exactly how he won a first-quarter route against the same defender – and then snaps the route-break off at the same location of the field in the opposite direction to send the defender flying the wrong way. Addison knows how to beat single-coverage – and that’s all he’s going to see playing across from Justin Jefferson.
Dynasty outlook: Addison is going to be the boundary “Robin” to Justin Jefferson’s “Batman” in the Vikings’ 12-personnel offense moving forward. He couldn’t have asked for a better landing spot. Addison is a buy on draft day.
4. Zay Flowers | Ravens | 5092/182 | RAS: 8.29
Player comparison: T.Y. Hilton
Nobody is staying with Flowers one-on-one in space. And while some believe he’s confined to the slot in the NFL, both the eye test and simple data suggest otherwise. Flowers played 65.9% of his snaps at Boston College on the outside. He has two skills you don’t typically associate with smaller receivers. He’s extremely difficult to jam off the line despite his size because of his lightning-quick feet, and he’s an awesome ball tracker downfield. Flowers consistently succeeded at BC despite a rancid offensive environment – in Baltimore, he won’t be the marked man every week.
Dynasty outlook: Coming out of the draft, Flowers was expected to take over Baltimore’s slot role. But with Nelson Agholor available to spell him, I think you’ll also see the Ravens use Flowers on the outside as well as a rookie. Luckily, we know he has the versatility for both roles. I had to rank Flowers dynasty WR4, though, because he had my least-favorite long-term landing spot of the first-round receivers.
5. Rashee Rice | Chiefs | 6005/204 | RAS: 9.68
Player comparison: Nate Burleson
The Mustangs peppered Rice with 352 targets the last four seasons – nearly 20 percent came 20-plus yards downfield. Rice knows his limitations – he isn’t going to shake anyone out of a route break, and he doesn’t try. He skipped the agility drills during the pre-draft process. His special sauce is that he’s like a basketball rebounder in that contact through the back doesn’t affect his concentration, and he has a deceptively large catch radius (a shade over 6-foot-4). Everything else in his game flowers out off of that.
Dynasty outlook: Rice isn’t a perfect prospect. But the upside is real, and the opportunity is enormous in Kansas City’s high-octane offense. I’m hitting the buy sign like Jim Cramer.
6. Marvin Mims | Broncos | 5112/183 | RAS: 9.4
Player comparison: Santonio Holmes
Mims broke the all-time Texas high school record for receiving yards and then posted a ridiculous 88.8 PFF grade as a true freshman at Oklahoma. He can win from anywhere in the alignment (45.5% slot, 53.8% outside in college), and he is a deep-ball assassin despite his size. Mims’ highlight reel of catches might be the best in this entire class. His body control is incredible, and his hands are ultra-reliable. The big question in his translation to the NFL: Can Mims consistently release clean off the line?
Dynasty outlook: I don’t believe Mims will be an NFL star. But it would be a surprise if he isn’t a long-time starter and a solid one at that.
7. Nathaniel Dell | Texans | 5083/163 | RAS: 5.82
Player comparison: Hollywood Brown
Dell lit up the AAC for 228 receptions over the past three years. Dell is a proven assassin at every sector of the field. In 2021, Dell posted a PFF receiving grade of 90+ at all four receiving depths. Last season, the only one he failed to do so was behind the line of scrimmage.
Dynasty outlook: CJ Stroud advocated for Houston to keep Dell home, and they obliged. Interestingly enough, it came out that the Texans’ internal comp for Dell was the same as mine – Hollywood Brown. Houston apparently intends to play Dell on the boundary initially. He’s a buy in fantasy – I like Dell more as a prospect than I liked John Metchie.
8. Josh Downs | Colts | 5091/171 | RAS: 8.99
Player comparison: Sterling Shepard
Downs was an uber-productive college receiver who posted 195 receptions over the past two seasons. He wins with movement and catch-point competitiveness. Consistent and reliable, Downs has a real knack for timing his break with the quarterback’s drop. Last year, Downs dropped only three catchable balls on 116 targets.
Dynasty outlook: He’s being undervalued in post-draft fantasy exercises. Long-term starter who’ll greatly help out Anthony Richardson initially with his ability to win over the middle within 10 yards of the LOS.
9. Cedric Tillman | Browns | 6030/213 | RAS: 8.67
Player comparison: Courtland Sutton
Tillman comes with north-south explosion and solid speed for his size (4.54). He’s not overly agile but makes up for some of that with strong footwork. Tillman was dominant over a nine-game stretch spanning the final seven of 2021 and the first two of 2022, posting an aggregate 63-1101-11 receiving line. During his breakout 2021 campaign, he posted a mind-melting 155.8 QB rating on 86 targets.
Dynasty outlook: The Browns got Tillman on a discount in April because of last year’s circumstantial high-ankle sprain. You’re going to get the same opportunity in your draft – take it.
10. Jonathan Mingo | Panthers | 6013/226 | RAS: 9.87
Player comparison: Chase Claypool
Mingo soared up boards after testing like a freak during pre-draft testing. But he doesn’t move around on the field like that, and he was wildly inconsistent in college, disappearing for vast periods of time. Mingo was a better route-runner at the Senior Bowl than I expected him to be. And I realize that Jaxson Dart left a metric ton of unrealized Mingo yards on the field last year. But I’m still uneasy about his profile.
Dynasty outlook: With better quarterback play at the next level, I do believe that Mingo’s game will play up. Mingo’s versatility – he played both inside and outside with the Rebels – could be key to staying on the field amid Carolina’s unsettled receiving corps going forward.
11. Michael Wilson | Cardinals | 6015/216 | RAS: 9.55
Player comparison: Braylon Edwards
Of all the players at the Senior Bowl, regardless of position, only two finished top-15 in max-speed and top-5 in max-deceleration: Trey Palmer and Michael Wilson. This helps explain Wilson’s disregard for human life in route breaks – and how he creates more separation than you would assume for a receiver his size. Wilson posted a 9.37 RAS during the pre-draft process, albeit with a modest long-striding 4.58.
Dynasty outlook: Wilson only played in 14 games over the last three seasons. If Wilson stays healthy at the next level, he’s going to surprise.
12. Jayden Reed | Packers | 5106/191 | RAS: 6.15
Player comparison: Russell Gage
Reed is an odd receiver in the Skyy Moore ilk, stuck between the boundary and slot as far as body type and game. Reed plays like a pure boundary – a feisty, my-ball sort of guy. But for a smaller receiver, Reed has iffy hands, and he’s a mediocre YAC guy.
Dynasty outlook: At the price point he’s going to cost on Draft Day, I’d let someone else buy Reed.
13. Puka Nacua | Rams | 6012/206 | RAS: 5.18
Player comparison: Discount Deebo
Nacua’s college career was dogged by nagging injuries. He has a full-go all the time ethos on the field. Nacua isn’t a special athlete, but he’s a very fluid one with good body control. And he both runs strong routes without the ball in his hands and understands where defenders are around him when it is.
Dynasty outlook: I think there’s a real shot he starts as a rookie. If he doesn’t, he’ll still see the field plenty, with an eye on crashing the lineup in 2024. Prioritize him in drafts – big-time sleeper.
14. A.T. Perry | Saints | 6033/195 | RAS: 9.24
Player comparison: DeVante Parker
Perry was ridiculously productive in college, with a 152-2396-26 receiving line the past two seasons. He also tested better than expected, including a 4.47 forty. He’s a long, lanky, gifted downfield receiver. But he needs to flesh out his route tree. Perry also needs to slash his career 10.4 percent drop rate into the single-digits.
Dynasty outlook: The Saints could use another long-term starting boundary across from Chris Olave. I think Perry could ultimately be a good fit as exactly that.
15. Charlie Jones | Bengals | 5112/175 | RAS: 8.54
Player comparison: Hunter Renfrow
Jones exploded after transferring over from Iowa. He was money-in-the-bank reliable at all three sectors of the field in 2022, dropping only three balls across 154 targets. While he doesn’t have the play strength for the outside, Jones should be a smooth-operating NFL slot.
Dynasty outlook: Jones is an ideal one-year stash in dynasty formats. Tyler Boyd is an unrestricted free agent following the 2023 season.
16. Jalin Hyatt | Giants | 6001/176 | RAS: 9.46
Player comparison: John Ross
One-trick pony, one-year wonder. Hyatt’s trick is speed, and he ran a tenth of a second slower at the NFL Combine than his prop line at sportsbooks. Most of his wins in college came off free releases where he toasted a mediocre athlete HC Josh Heupel schemed him into isolation against. Hyatt has the explosiveness and ability to win downfield to provide NFL utility, but basically, everything else is a question mark.
Dynasty outlook: Not worth the capital.
17. Dontayvion Wicks | Packers | 6015/212 | RAS: 7.59
Player comparison: Van Jefferson
Wicks was a revelation in 2021 – posting a 57-1203-9 receiving line – before regressing under a new coaching staff and trying circumstances in 2022. He’s a super-slick route-runner. At the Senior Bowl, Wicks’ deceptions stuck multiple defenders’ cleats in the turf at the route-break, allowing him to run free by them.
Dynasty outlook: Wicks is a potential sleeper due to his route-running machinations. I could see him starting for several years.
18. Kayshon Boutte | Patriots | 5111/195 | RAS: 4.77
Player comparison: Robert Woods
As much a thought experiment as anything else heading into training camp. Are you getting the Freshman All-American potential? Or the sluggish, mentally checked-out guy we saw last year who posted an XFL-like athletic testing profile in the spring?
Dynasty outlook: If the Patriots can find Boutte’s light switch, the opportunity is there to get on the field as a rookie. That’s one possibility. Another is that he’s out of the league quickly. Only take Boutte if the price is right.
19. Tyler Scott | Bears | 5095/177 | RAS: 8.3
Player comparison: Corey Coleman
Scott’s routes could use more craftsmanship. But between the threat of his downtown speed and his sudden movement, he tended to create separation in the AAC. He’s a home run hitter who can win downfield.
Dynasty outlook: Worth a look as a long-term flier if the price is right. If Scott impresses as the WR4 next year, he could make an argument for a starting gig in 2024.
20. Andrei Iosivas | Bengals | 6027/212 | 9.92
Player comparison: Breshad Perriman
A 6’3/205 lottery ticket with 4.43 wheels and a 9.96 RAS. On tape, Iosivas shows soft hands and a my-ball ethos downfield. There are skills to work with here. But there’s a long way to go. NFL corners will bully him off the line until his Iosivas’ feet get better and his play strength improves.
Dynasty outlook: Let Iosivas occupy a back-end roster spot in deep dynasty leagues for two years. You’ll know by then if your investment has multiplied or if it’s time to use the slot on your newest pet developmental project.
21. Trey Palmer | Bucs | 6000/193 | RAS: 6.18
Player comparison: Jalen Reagor
I went back and forth on Palmer all spring, which was more about me than it was about Palmer. He’s Jalen Reagor. Both are explosive athletes with long speed who posted identical 6.18 RAS. Both are dangerous with the balls in their hands. Both lack ball skills.
Dynasty outlook: Can Palmer fix what Reagor couldn’t to eventually get onto the field as a receiver? Don’t overpay to find out.
22. Xavier Hutchinson | Texans | 6017/203 | RAS: 7.27
Player comparison: Jakobi Meyers
Hutchinson is an above-average athlete (7.27) with good size (6’2/203) who is coming off an enormous season (107-1171-6). He is a north-south athlete who lacks agility. His touches were manufactured – he broke tackles from there. He isn’t shaking anyone out of a route break.
Dynasty outlook: It’s my supposition that Hutch’s downfield utility in the NFL will be mediocre. If that’s true, Hutchinson is basically a manufactured-touch slot who needs to break tackles to earn his keep. I’d let someone else buy Hutch’s sleeper propaganda.
23. Parker Washington | Jaguars| 5095/204 | RAS: N/A
Player comparison: Amari Rodgers
Washington reminds me so much of Amari Rodgers, another manufactured-touch slot I railed against during his draft process. Perhaps the NFL has learned its lesson after Rodgers has provided a mere 20 catches in his first three seasons after getting picked in Round 3.
Dynasty outlook: Even if Christian Kirk didn’t exist, I’d still pass.
24. Tre Tucker | Raiders | 5087/182 | 7.17
Player comparison: Calvin Austin III
Tucker is explosive and creative with the ball in his hands. The issue is getting it there. His tiny catch radius was already problematic in college, and even catchable balls in his kitchen weren’t sure-things – with a nearly double-digit drop rate.
Dynasty outlook: He ain’t displacing Hunter Renfrow in the slot, and he ain’t playing on the outside. Tucker looks to be a situational, manufactured-touch gadget guy who was drafted for his special teams utility. Stay-away.
25. Justin Shorter | Bills | 6036/229 | RAS: 7.94
Player comparison: Equanimous St. Brown
A former five-star recruit, Shorter transferred to Florida after struggling to get on the field at Penn State. Shorter has solid speed (4.55) and uses his length to win downfield. But he doesn’t change directions crisply – he ducked agility tests this spring – and doesn’t run a full route tree.
Dynasty outlook: Buffalo needed to take a receiver, and because of circumstances, they didn’t get around to it until the well had dried up. Shorter isn’t a shot on upside. He’s Gabe Davis insurance.
26. Derius Davis | Chargers | 5083/165 | RAS: 4.3
Player comparison: KaVontae Turpin
Davis boasts sudden footwork and good body control. But he categorically lacks play strength. He’s also a body-catcher and a one-note route-runner who isn’t fooling anyone.
Dynasty outlook: Davis was picked where he was because he’s a skilled returner with five career punt-return TD in college. But he doesn’t have much fantasy utility.
28. Ronnie Bell | 49ers | 5115/191 | RAS: 8.2
Player comparison: Freddie Mitchell
30. Grant DuBose | Packers | 6023/201 | RAS: 8.79
Player comparison: Cody Latimer
37. Jason Brownlee | Jets | 6020/198 | RAS: 8.96
Player comparison: Mohamed Massaquoi
38. Antoine Green | Lions | 6016/199 | RAS: 8.68
Player comparison: Steve Breaston
40. Dontay Demus Jr. | Ravens | 6025/212 | RAS: 7.85
Player comparison: Arrelious Benn
41. Matt Landers | Seahawks | 6043/200 | RAS: 9.85
Player comparison: Jeff Janis
42. Jadon Haselwood | Eagles | 6021/215 | RAS: 7.79
Player comparison: Jerricho Cotchery
45. C.J. Johnson | Seahawks | 6015/224 | RAS: 3.82
Player comparison: Vince Mayle