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Ranking the Top Fantasy Rookies Ahead of the NFL Draft

Four quarterbacks make the list but none are in the top 10.

Earlier this week, we gave you the top 10 incoming rookies for dynasty leagues. Now it’s time to expand on that list to cover the majority of your upcoming drafts.

Rookies have become a much bigger part of the fantasy football landscape in recent seasons. In years past, it was the first-year running backs who typically made the most significant statistical impacts among rookies. But nowadays, we’re seeing far more quarterbacks and wide receivers come right in and produce.

In 2020, rookie wideouts Justin JeffersonCeeDee Lamb and Chase Claypool all made an instant impact. Justin HerbertJonathan Taylor and James Robinson were also nice assets. We saw the same thing in 2021, as Ja’Marr ChaseNajee HarrisJaylen Waddle and Amon-Ra St. Brown all shined during their first year.

Last season, we once again saw a number of rookies make some noise. Garrett Wilson, the Offensive Rookie of the Year, and Chris Olave both scored 198-plus points. Kenneth Walker scored over 200 fantasy points in Seattle’s backfield, and both Dameon Pierce and Tyler Allgeier rushed for over 900 yards. We also saw Christian Watson make a huge second-half impact, and others like George PickensDrake LondonTreylon Burks and Jahan Dotson showed off some upside.

With that in mind, here are my top 30 rookies heading into the 2023 NFL draft. The landing spots of these players will play a huge role in their ultimate short- and long-term value, but here’s how the first-year players stack up talent wise.

1. Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
2. Jaymyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama
3. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
4.  Jordan Addison, WR, USC
5. Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
6. Quentin Johnson, WR, Texas Christian
7. Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
8. Zach Charbonnet, RB, UCLA
9. Devon Achane, RB, Texas A&M
10. Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina
11. Tyjae Spears, RB, Tulane
12. Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
13. C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
14. Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
15. Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
16. Sean Tucker, RB, Syracuse
17. Kendre Miller, RB, Texas Christian
18. Zach Evans, RB, Mississippi
19. Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah
20. Rashee Rice, WR, SMU
21. Marvin Mims, WR, Oklahoma
22. Tank Bigsby, RB, Auburn
23. Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU
24. Rochon Johnson, RB, Texas
25. Israel Abanikanda, RB, Pittsburgh
26. Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia
27. Cedric Tillman, WR, Tennessee
28. Luke Musgrave, TE, Oregon State
29. Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
30. Chase Brown, RB, Illinois

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for your late-breaking fantasy news and the best analysis in the business to help you win a fantasy championship!