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2023 Fantasy Football: Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft For Non-Superflex Leagues

Bijan Robinson - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Rookies, Draft Sleepers

With the NFL Draft in our rearview mirror, we have finally entered the Dynasty Rookie Draft season, and startup season is just around the corner. That means many of you are actively wondering what to do with this year's rookie class. It's a fair question in need of an answer, but that answer will largely depend on the format of your leagues.

In this mock, we will address non-Superflex dynasties, meaning leagues that start only one quarterback. In such formats, the 2023 NFL Draft class may be disappointing compared to other recent classes. Specifically, this rookie class is thin at the wide receiver position in terms of both high-end talent and depth. For most, wide receiver is the meta position in fantasy, so a thin class at that position is particularly painful. However, this rookie group is deep at two of the hardest positions to fill in fantasy.

It has been years since the running back position was treated at a premium. The last in recent memory was when Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, and Joe Mixon were all elite fantasy rookies. This year isn’t on par with that in terms of elite depth, but it does have a generational talent at the top in Bijan Robinson. It also has multiple RBs and TEs available in the second and third rounds, all of whom could eventually become solid fantasy starters.

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Round 1

Pick Player NFL Team Pos.
1 Bijan Robinson Falcons RB
2 Jahmyr Gibbs Lions RB
3 Jaxon Smith-Njigba Seahawks WR
4 Jordan Addison Vikings WR
5 Quentin Johnston Chargers WR
6 Dalton Kincaid Bills TE
7 Zay Flowers Ravens WR
8 Zach Charbonnet Seahawks RB
9 Jonathan Mingo Panthers WR
10 Devon Achane Dolphins RB
11 Anthony Richardson Colts QB
12 Kendre Miller Saints RB

WR Weakness Shows Up Early: As discussed above, this receiver group isn’t on par with the past few years. The players at the top of that tree lack both the physical upside and attractive landing spots. The depth isn’t what it has been, either. As a result, many will overdraft these receivers to fill a need. However, the top three (Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Jordan Addison, and Quentin Johnston) are stuck behind an established vet. Each also carries questions about either their size, athleticism, or hands.

A First-Round Pick on Kendre Miller?!: The hype on Miller is high after his GM publicly fawned over his potential, and it helps that he could see serious snaps if Alvin Kamara is suspended. While I question whether Miller can be a true three-down back, he is only 20 years old and has landed in a fantasy-friendly spot. Miller’s breakaway film, size, and age all offer hope that he could grow into a three-down back in a matter of time. Miller will sneak into the backend of many first rounds.

Quote the Raven Nevermore?: Zay Flowers was my rookie WR2 going into this draft. Then, he was selected by a Baltimore regime that has wasted two first-round receivers in the past five years. Marquise Brown had some production in Baltimore but never returned on the investment dynasty managers made in him. Then, Rashod Bateman went to even more waste when healthy. Now we have Flowers, arguably the best amongst those options, donning purple and black.

The upside here is that the Ravens are bringing in a new offensive coordinator, Todd Monken. Maybe it was Greg Roman's supernaturally conservative play-calling that caused the struggles of past Ravens receivers? Perhaps a pass-oriented offense was even part of Lamar Jackson's demands before re-signing? If that's true and the Ravens throw the ball 35-40 times per game, Flowers is a solid value at his current price. If John Harbaugh’s crew stays conservative, Flowers is being overdrafted.


Round 2

Pick Player NFL Team Pos.
13 Bryce Young Panthers QB
14 Roschon Johnson Bears RB
15 Tyjae Spears Titans RB
16 Rashee Rice Chiefs WR
17 Marvin Mims Broncos WR
18 Tank Bigsby Jaguars RB
19 Josh Downs Colts WR
20 Cedric Tillman Browns WR
21 Sam LaPorta Lions TE
22 C.J. Stroud Texans QB
23 Chase Brown Bengals RB
24 Tank Dell Texans WR

Rice Will Rise: As mentioned above, this class is thinner at wide receiver than usual. Therefore, fantasy managers will force picks at the position. I expect Rashee Rice to be pushed higher than his inconsistent film demands. Remember that recent Chiefs receivers Skyy Moore and Mecole Hardman have been dynasty darlings thanks to their home in KC, and they’ve disappointed. Rice is worth a second-round lottery ticket, but he will likely be taken in the first half of non-SF drafts instead of the second half where he belongs.

Two Backs Stand Out in the Second: If this mock didn’t factor in where you should expect most fantasy managers to go, Chase Brown would be near the top of this round for me. Fantasy managers are not as enamored with Brown as I am, though. His age and fumbling issues are concerns, as is the presence of Joe Mixon. However, the Bengals have multiple reasons to move on from Mixon soon, which could open a key role on a great offense for Brown. Even if Mixon stays in Cincy, the rookie should maintain value in Samaje Perine’s old role.

Roschon Johnson is another good value pick in this range, though he’s likely to be taken much earlier than Brown. The Texas product is a sturdy runner and easily the most effective pass blocker among Chicago's running backs. While I love Khalil Herbert’s explosiveness, the Bears invested a fourth-round pick in Johnson for a reason. The second round of this mock is filled with risk and capped upside, but Johnson is the best long-term bet in this Bears backfield right now.


Round 3

Pick Player NFL Team Pos.
25 Michael Mayer Raiders TE
26 Jalin Hyatt Giants WR
27 Israel Abanikanda Jets RB
28 Jayden Reed Packers WR
29 Michael Wilson Cardinals WR
30 Zach Evans Rams RB
31 Eric Gray Giants RB
32 Luke Schoonmaker Cowboys TE
33 Will Levis Titans QB
34 Luke Musgrave Packers TE
35 Kayshon Boutte Patriots WR
36 Darnell Washington Steelers TE

Insurance Backs Dominate the Third: Expect the third round of most non-Superflex drafts to involve a lot of managers chasing their insurance backs, or “handcuffs.” Players like Israel Abanikanda and Zach Evans should have far more value to you if you already have Breece Hall and Cam Akers, for example. Similarly, Eric Gray’s fantasy value is tied mainly to Saquon Barkley’s health and contract. Backup running backs with the potential to contribute during an injury should fly off the board in this round.

Lottery Ticket Receivers: Kayshon Boutte was projected to be a first-round pick last autumn, but it all fell apart for him. His season was incredibly disappointing, and his testing numbers were even worse. Why he chose to stand on his horrendous Combine numbers is beyond reason. That said, Boutte’s film from two years ago was exciting, and the Patriots need receivers. If Boutte makes this team, he should get a chance to win a fundamental role. That wasn’t the case with many other teams who could’ve selected him.

Meanwhile, DeAndre Hopkins and Michael Wilson’s health are the only things standing in the way of him becoming the Cardinals’ best possession receiver. Hopkins is aging and could still be traded this offseason, though. That means Wilson could earn a role in this offense early. I’m not saying he is Michael Thomas, but the Stanford product’s measurables and testing numbers are nearly identical to Thomas’ when he came out of Ohio State.


Round 4

Pick Player NFL Team Pos.
37 DeWayne McBride Vikings RB
38 Tucker Kraft Packers TE
39 Tyler Scott Bears WR
40 Hendon Hooker Lions QB
41 Deuce Vaughn Cowboys RB
42 Sean Tucker Buccaneers RB
43 A.T. Perry Saints WR
44 Chris Rodriguez Commanders RB
45 Xavier Hutchinson Texans WR
46 Rakim Jarrett Buccaneers WR
47 Parker Washington Jaguars WR
48 Dontayvion Wicks Packers WR

Depth Moves: The fourth round could be littered with productive RB4-style players this year. Deuce Vaughn is severely undersized but the most talented backup Tony Pollard currently has. Meanwhile, Sean Tucker and DeWayne McBride are both underrated backs who could secure the primary backup role with their teams if the offseason goes well for them. A.T. Perry is another intriguing name in this range, with the size and speed to become New Orleans’ WR2 once Michael Thomas is gone.

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