As you prepare for the 2023 fantasy football season, it's always important to keep an eye on those incoming NFL rookies who could emerge as stars for our fantasy football lineups. The 2023 NFL Draft brought us plenty of big-name players out of the college football ranks and they might quickly rise up fantasy football rankings as the season rolls along. Atlanta Falcons running back Bijan Robinson headlines the top fantasy football rookies for the 2023 season as he's going among the top-5 picks in current fantasy football drafts. We have other NFL rookies who are worth targeting at their fantasy football ADP, like Jordan Addison of the Minnesota Vikings and Jaxon Smith-Njigba of the Seattle Seahawks. Meanwhile, rookie quarterbacks like Bryce Young of the Carolina Panthers and Anthony Richardson of the Indianapolis Colts could be fantasy football sleepers this year. Let's now take a closer look at the top 10 fantasy football rookies for the 2023 season as you partake in fantasy football mock drafts and fine-tune your 2023 fantasy football draft rankings.


2023 Top 10 NFL Rookies for Fantasy Football

Bijan Robinson, RB, Atlanta Falcons

Bijan Robinson was the clear top rookie running back heading into the NFL Draft and he’s now the first rookie taken in fantasy football drafts. The Atlanta Falcons selected Robinson with the 8th overall pick in this year’s draft. Fantasy football managers are following suit as the Atlanta RB is going off the board as a fringe first-round pick and the third running back overall. We know Falcons head coach Arthur Smith loves to run the ball and Robinson should slot into a heavy workload as a rookie. Tyler Allgeier is still in the backfield, but teams don’t take RBs as early as the Falcons did without the intention of using him a lot. Robinson ran for 1,580 yards and 18 TDs last year for the Texas Longhorns and was a 1,000-yard rusher the season before. 

Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Detroit Lions

Jahmyr Gibbs is yet another Alabama running back who will be starring in fantasy football lineups. After flashing onto the scene at Pitt in college, Gibbs solidified himself as a top RB prospect last season in Bama’s loaded offense. The Detroit Lions saw enough to make him the 12th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft before shipping out D’Andre Swift in a trade. David Montgomery is also in Detroit now, so it remains to be seen what Gibbs’ role will be in the early part of the season. Montgomery could be the early-down back while Gibbs is the third-down guy and main pass-catcher in the backfield. When you watch him on tape, Gibbs brings Alvin Kamara vibes as a smaller-body RB who has the shiftiness and speed to present mismatches on defense. He may not be a true three-down back for the Lions, but the PPR upside is definitely there. 

Jordan Addison, WR, Minnesota Vikings

Despite being the fourth of four first-round wideouts in the NFL Draft, Jordan Addison may very well wind up being the top fantasy football rookie WR this year. Why? Well, Addison joins a Minnesota Vikings offense that will look for him to be a key contributor right away. The Vikings parted ways with Adam Thielen in the offseason and Addison is expected to start alongside Justin Jefferson in the WR corps from Day 1. While Jefferson sees more double-teams and tougher coverages, the door is open for Addison to gain the trust of Kirk Cousins and become a legit fantasy football starter for us. The former USC and Pitt standout is a smooth route-runner with the speed and acceleration to operate out of the slot or as a downfield threat. The learning curve for rookie receivers always brings along risk, but Addison should be the first rookie WR off the board in fantasy football drafts. 

Quentin Johnston, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

After breaking onto the national radar last year at TCU, Quentin Johnston now joins another prolific offense with the Los Angeles Chargers. It’s encouraging to see Johnston get first-round draft capital for a team that has two injury-prone wideouts in Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. Of course, those two guys will be top targets for Justin Herbert in the Chargers attack this season. However, Johnston is a very solid WR3 in the offense and he can be an actual fantasy football starting WR at times if Allen or Williams miss time again. He should supplant Joshua Palmer as the team’s third wideout if all are healthy, which was a valuable role in fantasy last year. 

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Seattle Seahawks

Jaxon Smith-Njigba is one of a few fantasy football rookies where the NFL landing spot isn’t totally ideal. The Seattle Seahawks have DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett entrenched as the top two receiving weapons for QB Geno Smith. We’ll likely see JSN end up third on the team in targets by default, which limits his fantasy football appeal. Still, the former Ohio State standout could carve out a promising role as the Seahawks’ slot WR and can possibly finish with the most receptions on the team. In fact, that’s exactly what Smith-Njigba did two seasons ago at Ohio State as he was the top WR on a team that included future first-round picks Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave


Anthony Richardson, QB, Indianapolis Colts

Although he was selected after Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud in the 2023 NFL Draft, Anthony Richardson has a chance to be the best rookie QB in fantasy football and in real life. Richardson has plenty of upside with a powerful arm, athletic frame, and dual-threat ability that can make him a star in the NFL. The big concern, though, is his lack of starting experience at Florida (only 13 starts over three seasons) with an average completion rate and TD:INT ratio in college. Either way, the Indianapolis Colts drafted Richardson to be their starter as a rookie with Gardner Minshew as the veteran backup. Fantasy football folks are hoping Colts new head coach Shane Steichen can unlock the star potential in Richardson after doing something similar with Jalen Hurts last year with the Philadelphia Eagles

Bryce Young, QB, Carolina Panthers

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft unfortunately joins a rebuilding team in the Carolina Panthers. Young has plenty of boom-or-bust aspects to his profile and the Panthers are banking on new head coach Frank Reich to keep the arrow pointing up. Young, a Heisman winner at Alabama, has the skills and playmaking upside to become an NFL star – but we may see some growing pains in his rookie season. The lack of size is the biggest concern as it’s worth wondering whether or not Young can avoid injuries as a rookie and beyond. Even so, the potential to be a solid QB2 in fantasy football is there right away. 

Dalton Kincaid, TE, Buffalo Bills

Any time a tight end gets drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft, we have to take notice. Last year, Kyle Pitts received plenty of hype in fantasy football and didn’t totally live up to expectations. We’re not saying Dalton Kincaid is in the same conversation as Pitts last season, but he was still the only TE to be selected in the first round. It appears the Buffalo Bills see Kincaid being a difference-making receiving threat for Josh Allen in an offense that needs more pass-catching chops outside of Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis. The Bills still have Dawson Knox on the roster, but Kincaid could see the field plenty on two-tight end sets. At Utah, Kincaid showed off his playmaking skills as a receiver and operated in the slot and out wide at times as a bigger-bodied pass-catcher. The Bills may use him in a similar way as the third-best receiving option behind Diggs and Davis while being a dangerous red-zone weapon. 

Zay Flowers, WR, Baltimore Ravens

If Zay Flowers got a better landing spot in the 2023 NFL Draft, he’d be much higher on this list. Unfortunately, though, the Boston College standout joins a run-oriented Baltimore Ravens offense with plenty of competition for targets. Mark Andrews and Rashod Bateman are back as two of Lamar Jackson’s go-to receivers, while Devin Duvernay and Isaiah Likely are still in town vying for receptions. Oh, and then there’s Odell Beckham and Nelson Agholor joining in the offseason. As for Flowers, the talent is undeniable after he put up weekly big numbers on a poor BC offense last year. Despite being a tad undersized at 5-foot-9, Flowers is an explosive athlete from the slot and it’s encouraging to see the Ravens use first-round draft capital on him. The competition in Baltimore is hard to ignore, but Flowers could easily outperform his current ADP if he gains early trust from the coaching staff. 

Devon Achane, RB, Miami Dolphins

Speaking of interesting landing spots, Devon Achane is in a unique spot as a rookie running back in the Miami Dolphins offense. On the one hand, the Dolphins have Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson presumably ahead of Achane in the backfield pecking order. Meanwhile, the Dolphins offense has proved to be a valuable one for fantasy football running backs as Mike McDaniel gets the most out of whoever is back there. Achane has the talent and skillset to possibly take over as the Dolphins’ lead back at times this season, especially if Mostert and Wilson miss time with injuries. At Texas A&M, Achane was a dynamic playmaker as both a rusher and pass-catcher. His breakaway speed and elusiveness fit the mold of the type of RBs that McDaniel likes in his offense. 

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