Fortune favors the bold, right? If you follow the consensus and stick to fantasy football draft rankings, you’re probably going to have a good team. But in order to go from good to great, you have to take some chances. You have to go against the consensus or at least zig while everyone else zags. In short, you need to be bold.
Our analysts combed through the NFL rosters and came up with a bold prediction for every team. The results and accompanying justifications are below.
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Fantasy Football Bold Predictions for Each NFL Team
|Buffalo Bills||Erickson||Damien Harris leads the NFL in rushing touchdowns and finishes as a top-12 fantasy running back|
|Miami Dolphins||Fitz||Neither Tyreek Hill nor Jaylen Waddle finishes in WR1 range|
|New England Patriots||Erickson||Rhamondre Stevenson finishes as a top-5 fantasy RB|
|New York Jets||Fitz||Aaron Rodgers finishes QB18 or lower in fantasy scoring|
Damien Harris leads the NFL in rushing touchdowns and finishes as a top-12 fantasy running back
In 2021, Damien Harris finished tied for second in the NFL in rushing TDs (15). 18 of his 20 career TDs have come from inside the 20-yard line. If Harris can emerge as the primary goal-line rusher in Buffalo, he is going to score A LOT of TDs in 2023. – Erickson
Neither Tyreek Hill nor Jaylen Waddle finishes in WR1 range
Hill nd Waddle finished WR2 and WR8, respectively, in fantasy scoring last year. There were both freakishly efficient, with Hill averaging 10.1 yards per target and Waddle averaging 11.6 yards per target. What if the efficiency regresses for both? What if the Dolphins aren’t the seventh pass-heaviest team in the league again? And what if Tua Tagovailoa sustains yet another concussion and has to be shut down? – Fitz
New England Patriots
Rhamondre Stevenson finishes as a top-5 fantasy RB
The Patriots RB was the RB8 in expected fantasy points last season, on one of the worst offenses in the NFL. With positive TD regression coming his way, expect Rhamondre Stevenson to have a career year in Year 3. – Erickson
New York Jets
Aaron Rodgers finishes QB18 or lower in fantasy scoring
Rodgers finished QB13 last year but would have been much lower if QBs behind him hadn’t missed games. Rodgers averaged 14.8 fantasy points per game, which put him QB21 among quarterbacks who played at least 10 games. The Jets have a terrific defense, so Rodgers won’t be in a lot of shootouts. And with Rodgers at QB and Nathaniel Hackett calling plays, the Jets are destined to have one of the slowest-paced offenses in the league. It isn’t a recipe for abundant fantasy points. – Fitz
|Baltimore Ravens||DBro||Rashod Bateman is a top 24 WR|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Joe||Joe Burrow will throw for 45 TDs|
|Cleveland Browns||Joe||Elijah Moore will finish as a top 25 WR in PPR|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Erickson||Diontae Johnson finishes as a top-10 fantasy WR|
Rashod Bateman is a top 24 WR
Rashod Bateman was an elite prospect when he arrived in the NFL. Bateman got the first-round draft capital we covet, along with leaving Minnesota with an 83rd-percentile college dominator and 93rd-percentile breakout age. Sadly the talent profile has never been allowed to flourish because injuries have held him back. Bateman looked like a player ready for a full-on breakout last year before getting shelved. In Weeks 1-3, he was the WR34 in fantasy points per game with an 18.8% target share, a 30.3% air yard share, and 3.14 yards per route run. Yes, Bateman has more target competition in the Baltimore passing attack with the arrival of Zay Flowers, Odell Beckham Jr., and Nelson Agholor. Still, if we believe targets are earned, and his collegiate talent profile is real, then we should also believe a breakout of epic proportions is possible. Assuming his health is finally in order. With increased passing volume and a modernized offensive system incoming, Bateman can crush the haters in his wake with a WR2 season in 2023. – DBro
Joe Burrow will throw for 45 TDs
With Vonn Bell and Jesse Bates gone from this secondary, the Bengals will find themselves in more shootouts in 2023. That means Joe Burrow throwing the ball and when you increase the need and volume of a quality passer, big numbers will pile up fast. This may sound crazy, but he could even get to 50 if the run game sees injuries. – Joe
Elijah Moore will finish as a top 25 WR in PPR
It’s hard to look at the Browns offense and not see a path for Elijah Moore to be excellent. Moore flashed some serious upside and has never played with anything close to a good NFL QB. Nick Chubb stands alone in the backfield, and with Kareem Hunt gone, there are short yardage targets available that Moore can take over in the slot and really give Deshaun Watson a viable quick outlet option to improve on his slowest release in the NFL in 2022. – Joe
Diontae Johnson finishes as a top-10 fantasy WR
BUT HOW. He can’t score TDs. First off, no. DJ averaged seven receiving TDs per year over the first three seasons. And over the past three seasons, Johnson ranks 5th in total targets (460), 7th in receptions (281) and 9th in target share (25%). As the greatest regression candidate of all time, Johnson can EASILY finish top-10 as he did so in 2021. This doesn’t even feel bold. – Erickson
|Houston Texans||Joe||John Metchie will lead the Texans in targets and receptions in ’23|
|Indianapolis Colts||Erickson||Anthony Richardson finishes as a top-10 fantasy QB.|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Fitz||Neither Calvin Ridley nor Christian Kirk finish as top-25 fantasy receivers|
|Tennessee Titans||Fitz||Kyle Philips has 75+ catches for 800+ yards|
John Metchie will lead the Texans in targets and receptions in ’23
John Metchie is healthy after beating cancer and I am old enough to remember how he moved the chains for Alabama two year ago. Metchie was the “go to guy” in that juggernaut offense, while Jameson Williams was the play maker. C.J. Stroud will learn very quickly where he can go with the ball safely and I think despite all the Nico Collins and Dalton Schultz hype, Metchie will emerge as the most reliable target. – Joe
Anthony Richardson finishes as a top-10 fantasy QB.
Kyler Murray was the last top-5 mobile rookie QB to start 16 games in his first year. Despite finishing 23rd in passing yards per game (232.6) he finished as the QB7 overall on the back of 544 rushing yards. If Richardson’s rushing carries over to the pros – averaged 60 rushing yards per game in college – nobody will be shocked when he finishes top-10. In Jalen Hurts‘ first-year with current Colts HC Shane Steichen, the Eagles QB averaged 58 rushing yards and 10-plus carries per game. – Erickson
Neither Calvin Ridley nor Christian Kirk finish as top-25 fantasy receivers
“Too many mounths to feed” is a tired fantasy football cliche, but it may apply here. Ridley and Kirk are fine receivers, but they’ll eat into each other’s target totals. WR Zay Jones and Evan Engram will get their share of targets as well, and maybe Travis Etienne gets more involved in the passing game in 2023. It’s a recipe for fantasy disappointment. – Fitz
Kyle Philips has 75+ catches for 800+ yards
Someone in Tennessee other than Treylon Burks and Chig Okonkwo has to catch passes for the Titans. Philips drew nine targets in the Titans’ 2022 season opener and had six catches for 66 yards. With Philips a fixture in three-receiver sets, he’ll get plenty of targets and establish himself as a trusted possession receiver for Ryan Tannehill. – Fitz
|Denver Broncos||DBro||Jerry Jeudy & Courtland Sutton are top 30 WRs|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Joe||All KC wide receivers will disapoint us in 2023.|
|Las Vegas Raiders||Erickson||Josh Jacobs finishes outside the top-12 fantasy RBs in 2023.|
|Los Angeles Chargers||DBro||Justin Herbert is the QB1 overall in fantasy.|
Jerry Jeudy & Courtland Sutton are top 30 WRs
The deterrent to monster seasons for Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton last year was the abysmal play of Russell Wilson. Jeudy and Sutton did everything in their power to facilitate a stellar offense. Last year Jeudy and Sutton were back-to-back in open score, ranking 11th and 12th among 82 qualifying wide receivers. With Sean Payton in town, a Russell Wilson revival is possible. If Wilson plays better in 2023, Jeudy and Sutton still have the talent and opportunity to each finish inside the top 30 fantasy wide receivers. – DBro
Kansas City Chiefs
All KC wide receivers will disapoint us in 2023.
Last year, I thought Skyy Moore would emerge, but that ddin’t happen. Kadarius Toney is explosove, but often injured. MVS is limited. Justyn Ross is a long shot and Travis Kelce is still “the man” in this offense. As a late round flier I really like Rashee Rice, but I have to be honest with myself and realize Patrick Mahomes will spread it around much like Drew Brees of old. This will make stars for a week out of this bunch, who do little the next week and I will be depressed having never guessed right. – Joe
Las Vegas Raiders
Josh Jacobs finishes outside the top-12 fantasy RBs in 2023.
Jacobs led the NFL in touches last season. Only 2 RBs have finished as RB1s the following year after leading the NFL in touches since 2013. – Erickson
Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert is the QB1 overall in fantasy.
Justin Herbert is a glaringly obvious regression candidate at the quarterback position for 2023. After logging a QB2 season in fantasy points per game in 2021, Herbert fell to QB15 last year as injuries to Herbert and his skill players sunk his season. With Kellen Moore’s fast-paced offense and propensity to push the ball downfield, Herbert will set the league on fire. Injuries also kept Herbert from running last year. After at least three rushing touchdowns and 234 rushing yards in each of his first two seasons, Herbert fell to 147 rushing yards with zero rushing touchdowns last year. The regression pendulum will swing back heavily in his favor this year and carry him to the top of the fantasy quarterback heap. – DBro
|Dallas Cowboys||DBro||Tony Pollard is the RB1 overall.|
|New York Giants||Erickson||Darren Waller outscores Travis Kelce as TE1|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Erickson||Kenneth Gainwell finishes as the Eagles RB1|
|Washington Commanders||Fitz||Antonio Gibson finishes as a top-10 running back|
Tony Pollard is the RB1 overall.
Tony Pollard has the talent and three-down skillset to become Austin Ekeler 2.0. The fantasy industry has CLAMORED for Pollard to own the backfield for two years, and FINALLY, when it comes to fruition, everyone is tepid regarding his upside. Well, not me. This isn’t bold, as I have Pollard as my RB1 overall, but it is a bold stance compared to the rest of the industry. Last year Pollard was top-five in breakaway run rate, yards created per touch, yards per route run, and yards per touch. As the unquestioned lead back in Dallas in 2023, Pollard is ready to steamroll your fantasy opponents. – DBro
New York Giants
Darren Waller outscores Travis Kelce as TE1
Travis Kelce‘s reign of TE1 comes to a close in 2023. Waller was the only tight end to come close to dethroning Kelce in 2019 and 2020 after being derailed by injuires the last 2 seasons. But as the clear alpa in the Giants offense, Waller has the chance get back to his 2020 form, when he was averaging more than 14 fantasy points per game in half-PPR. Waller’s 11.1 points per game over the past 3 season rank 4th among all tight ends.He will be 31 in September. – Erickson
Kenneth Gainwell finishes as the Eagles RB1
2020 gave us Playoff Lenny. 2021 gave us Playoff Jerick McKinnon. And 2022 has given us Playoff Kenny, although nobody seems to care. But how teams use their running backs in the postseason should not be overlooked. His usage increased towards the end of the season, and he out-targeted Miles Sanders 18-5 from Week 15 into the postseason. Sanders played fewer than 40% of snaps in his last five games, after never playing fewer than 50% of snaps from Weeks 1-16. Gainwell played a season-high 51% snap share in the Super Bowl. Gainwell also finished the 2022 season sixth in fantasy points per touch (1.0). He was 8th in that category in 2021. Only other RB to finish inside the top-8 over the same time span….Austin Ekeler. – Erickson
Antonio Gibson finishes as a top-10 running back
Gibson had a career-low 195 touches last season, relinquishing plenty of work to Brian Robinson. But Gibson is faster and more explosive than Robinson and is a much better pass catcher. (He’s a former college WR after all.) After being marginalized under former Washington play caller Scott Turner, maybe Gibson will get a fresh start and bigger role with new Commanders OC Eric Bieniemy. Gibson scored double-digit touchdowns in each of his first two seasons, and his usage in the passing game could skyrocket if Bienemy deploys Gibson in much the same way he deployed Jerick McKinnon last year. – Fitz
|Chicago Bears||Fitz||Justin Fields is the QB1 overall|
|Detroit Lions||Joe||Jahmyr Gibbs will finish as an RB1 in PPR|
|Green Bay Packers||DBro||Christian Watson is a top 10 WR.|
|Minnesota Vikings||Erickson||Alexander Mattison finishes outside the top-30 RBs.|
Justin Fields is the QB1 overall
Fields finished QB6 in fantasy scoring last year despite missing two games, never throwing more than 28 passes in any game, and throwing for more than 200 yards only twice. Fields had 160 rushing attempts, and while the Bears probably don’t want him to run quite than much in 2023, he’ll still be one of the most prolific running QBs in the game. And the Bears will have muh more pass-catching firepower with three-time 1,100-yard receiver D.J. Moore joining the team, Darnell Mooney coming back healthy, and Chase Claypool playing a full season in Chicago. Expect a healthy boost in Fields’ passing numbers and a barrage of fantasy points. – Fitz
Jahmyr Gibbs will finish as an RB1 in PPR
The Lions will be short staffed in teh WR Room with Jameson Williams missing 6 games. Gibbs my be a rookie, but he played at Alabama, so I don’t expect much of a learning curve as their offense was more complex than Detroit’s. The fact the Lions moved up to take Gobbs tells you how high they are on him, and with that draft capital spent, Gibbs is going to be a central part of the offense. He’s incredibly smooth as a pass catcher and has big play making ability. – Joe
Green Bay Packers
Christian Watson is a top 10 WR.
This is bold only because we have yet to see Christian Watson produce across an entire NFL season, but we have already witnessed him perform as a top-ten fantasy wide receiver. In Weeks 10-18 last year, Watson was the WR8 in fantasy points per game. In this stretch, he garnered a 23.4% target share, 42.9% end zone target share, and a 26% target per route run rate while rattling off 3.07 yards per route run. With an entire offseason to build rapport with his new quarterback, Watson is ready to take his place among the top 12 receivers this year. – DBro
Alexander Mattison finishes outside the top-30 RBs.
How many times do we need to be taught this lesson? Drafting unproven low-end RB2s in the middle rounds, just to watch them entirely flame out. Last year it was Chase Edmonds. The year before that it was Mike Davis. This year it’s going to be Alexander Mattison. This current coaching staff has never feature Mattison in any capacity, and he’s never played 50% of the team’s offensive snaps in back-to-back games. But let’s draft him ahead of Cam Akers, Rachaad White and James Conner. – Erickson
|Atlanta Falcons||DBro||Drake London has at least 90 receptions in year 2.|
|Carolina Panthers||Fitz||Bryce Young finishes in QB1 range as a rookie|
|New Orleans Saints||Joe||Chris Olave will finish as a Top 5 WR in 2023.|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Fitz||Rachaad White finishes as a top-10 RB.|
Drake London has at least 90 receptions in year 2.
Over the last 13 years, only three NFL teams have thrown the ball less in an NFL season than the Atlanta Falcons did in 2022, so yeah, the Falcons will pass more in 2023. That’s not outlandish. It’s crazier to think they will continue to pass at a historically low rate this year. Even if Desmond Ridder sucks, Taylor Heinicke can be a small upgrade that can facilitate Arthur Smith to call more pass plays. All Drake London needs is more volume to make this prediction a reality. Last season London posted alpha-level target commanding metrics ranking fifth in target share (29.4%) and second in target per route run rate (32.4%) among wide receivers. He was also 11th in yards per route run and 16th in open score (per ESPN analytics). London is a baller who will crush souls this year. – DBro
Bryce Young finishes in QB1 range as a rookie
The typical rookie QB learning curve probably won’t apply to Young, a savant with extraordinary processing ability. Young is going to reach his ceiling quickly and could post respectable passing numbers right off the bate. Young isn’t a running quarterback per se, but he has above-average mobility, and if he runs more aggressively than he did at Alabama, he could further boost his fantasy value. – Fitz
New Orleans Saints
Chris Olave will finish as a Top 5 WR in 2023.
Currently, Olave is going off the board as the WR13, which is frankly a value. Derek Carr is far more capable than any other QB Olave has played with over his young career. The in-dovision corners he’ll be facing are not “elite” and with Alvin Kamara slated to miss time, there will be more potential targets available on a weekly basis. – Joe
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Rachaad White finishes as a top-10 RB.
As it now stands, White is the lead RB in Tampa, and he could potentially serve as a workhorse since he’s currently being backed up by the underachieving Chase Edmonds, undrafted rookie free agent Sean Tucker, and perpetual bench warmer Ke’Shawn Vaughn. White has good size (6-0, 214) and speed (4.48), and he’s an advanced pass catcher. White had 50 catches last year and wasn’t even close to be the top pass-catching RB on his own team. Some of Leonard Fournette‘s 78 vacated targets are heading White’s way, and White could easily finish among the reception leaders at RB. Throw in 200-250 carries, and there’s a clear path to an RB1 finish. – Fitz
|Arizona Cardinals||Erickson||Kyler Murray doesn’t play for the Arizona Cardinals in 2023.|
|Los Angeles Rams||DBro||Cam Akers finishes with ten-plus rushing touchdowns as an RB1.|
|San Francisco 49ers||Fitz||Christian McCaffrey scores 20 or more touchdowns|
|Seattle Seahawks||DBro||Jaxon Smith-Njigba leads SEA in targets.|
Kyler Murray doesn’t play for the Arizona Cardinals in 2023.
Coming off a season-ending injury, there’s no need for the Cardinals to rush Kyler Murray back to play. With the No. 1 overall pick and QB prospect Caleb Williams on their radar, Arizona goes full tank mode to ensure they acquire a new younger franchise quarterback for 2024 and beyond. – Erickson
Los Angeles Rams
Cam Akers finishes with ten-plus rushing touchdowns as an RB1.
We’ve already seen Cam Akers produce as a top-ten fantasy back last year inside a broken offense. With Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp back in 2023, it’s wheels up for Akers. Last season in Weeks 13-18, Akers was the RB6 in fantasy points per game, handling 100% of the team’s carries inside the ten-yard line. If we rewind to 2021 with a fully healthy Stafford under center, the Rams had the eighth-most rushing attempts per game inside the red zone. Akers can be a goalline monster and RB1 this season. – DBro
San Francisco 49ers
Christian McCaffrey scores 20 or more touchdowns
It’s not that far-fetched. Since becoming a lead running back in 2018, his second NFL season, CMC has scored 53 touchdowns in 59 regular-season games. Four of those five seasons were spent with the Panthers, who had a losing record in each of those seasons. McCaffrey scored 10 TDs in 11 games after joining the 49ers last year, and we know San Francisco will put plenty of points on the scoreboard in 2023. – Fitz
Jaxon Smith-Njigba leads SEA in targets.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba is that dude. I just had to get that out of the way early. The last time we saw Smith-Njigba operating a full capacity, he led all FBS wide receivers in yards per route run and receiving grade (per PFF). He commanded a 22.7% target share alongside future NFL stars Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. Asking him to earn targets at a high rate with Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf flanking him isn’t an overwhelming task. With the arrival of Smith-Njigba, Lockett can return to the field stretching role he has thrived in during his NFL career, which means Smith-Njigba can gobble up layup YAC opportunities over the middle from Geno Smith. In recent memory, we have seen too many talented wide receivers break out immediately in their first season to discount Smith-Njigba from doing the same thing in 2023. – DBro
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