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Dynasty | Head coach Arthur Smith expects Kyle Pitts (MCL) to be ready for the regular season Dynasty Analysis: Pitts fell to an MCL injury late in November, ending his season. To say that he hasn't performed to expectations would be an understatement, but the athletic tight end did produce 1,000 yards as a rookie. The bigger issue is his lack of touchdown production, scoring only three over his first two seasons. On top of his 2022 injury, the Falcons had significant quarterback inconsistency, eventually turning to rookie Desmond Ridder, who figures to be under center when the 2023 regular season kicks off in September. Pitts only turns 23 in October and to call his third year a make-or-break campaign would be inaccurate as tight ends can possess a long integration period in the NFL. But to unlock his potential, the Falcons will need to find their quarterback of the future. Should Ridder fail in his sophomore season, the team will likely be looking for a new face of the franchise in the 2024 rookie draft, less than ideal for Pitts' future production. Found as DLF's TE1, the dynasty community clearly expects Pitts to eventually produce as the top asset at the position.
Dynasty | Titans wide receiver coach Rob Moore said Treylon Burks looks like a "different player" this year Dynasty Analysis: Burks got off to a slow start in his rookie season, initially battling his conditioning before being diagnosed with asthma. Once in November, Burks began to look the part though he only produced a single 100-yard performance and scored only one touchdown. Now a year later and conditioning and asthma seemingly no longer an issue, reports out of OTAs on the sophomore have been nothing less than stellar. Burks is said to look leaner and in better shape while his confidence is also growing. The Titans traded away superstar A.J. Brown during the 2022 NFL Draft, so anything less than WR1 performance from their second-year wideout would be a disappointment. While pads aren't yet on, Burks, DLF's WR23, has big shoes to fill but is trending in the right direction for 2023.
Dynasty | Bengals rookie receiver Andrei Iosivas is developing quickly thanks to Tee Higgins Dynasty Analysis: Iosivas has a pocked of support from the dynasty community though the 2023 sixth-round rookie from Princeton is clearly flying well below the radar. Unranked on DLF's receiver rankings and gracing only the very bottom (WR25) of our rookie rankings, Iosivas is destined to be available in all but the deepest of deep-roster formats. The Bengals are certain to have turnover at the receiver position due to contract needs for superstars Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase, potentially leading to the loss of veteran receivers Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins beyond 2023. Higgins was an oft-mentioned trade candidate this offseason. Clearly a developmental prospect, Andrei Iosivas is a name to watch as the 2023 season plays out.
Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields topped NFL.com's Nick Shook's list of most explosive runners from last year. Only Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray has been more explosive on the ground in the last three seasons. The Bears lacked weapons offensively in 2022 and struggled because of it on offense, but Fields kept them afloat most of the time with his legs. His ability to create positive gains with his legs has already put him in the QB1 conversation heading into his second full season as the team's starter. The 24-year-old led the league with 1,143 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on the ground at his position on 160 attempts in 15 games. Fields also took 55 sacks and fumbled 16 times, though, so it wasn't all good. But if he can progress as a passer and decision-maker, Fields' fantasy ceiling is through the roof.
Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III provided the team with a reliable, powerful option in the backfield in 2022 in his rookie season, and he finished third in NFL.com's Nick Shook's explosive score thanks to a big-play resume. He led all rushers in top speed reached with the ball in his hands at 22.09 mph, tied for third in gains of 10-plus yards over expected (15) and hit 20 mph on four carries on the year (tied for fourth). Walker averaged 4.6 yards per carry and topped 1,000 yards rushing while scoring nine rushing TDs in his first NFL season. The addition of rookie Zach Charbonnet to Seattle's backfield this year could take some work away from Walker, mainly in the passing game, but the 22-year-old should still be their lead back after his performance last year. Consider Walker a low-end RB1/high-end RB2 in fantasy.
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne Jr. was sidelined his entire rookie year with a foot injury, but he made up for lost time in 2022 with his versatile skill set out of the backfield. He finished with 1,125 rushing yards (5.1 yards per carry) and five touchdowns while adding another 316 yards through the air. Etienne was one of the most explosive ball-carriers last year, mainly because of his ability to hit full speed with the ball in his hands. He tied for the second-most runs at 20-plus mph among qualified runners with six, trailing only Justin Fields. The 24-year-old also had 13 gains of 10-plus yards over expected. There's a chance that Etienne sees a bit of reduced workload in 2023, but even with that possibility, his playmaking abilities put him on the RB1/2 borderline in fantasy.
Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (ankle) remained absent from workouts at organized team activities on Friday after having offseason ankle surgery. Taylor had successful arthroscopic debridement surgery on his right ankle in January, but he's still not ready to get back onto the practice field after also missing the final three games of the regular season in 2022. It's not really a surprise that the 24-year-old isn't practicing yet, and the Colts are fully expected to take things slowly with their No. 1 running back this offseason. However, he's expected to be fully ready for training camp at the end of July, barring any setbacks. Taylor isn't going to be the No. 1 overall fantasy pick in drafts this fall, but he should still be considered a top-five fantasy RB.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson's injury issues have been well-documented over the last two years, as he's been limited to 12 games each year. He still managed to qualify for NFL.com's Nick Shook's list of most explosive ball-carriers last year with 112 rushing attempts. Jackson wasn't among the leaders in top speed reached, but he still recorded 15 gains of 10-plus yards over expected, and his ability to pick up chunks of yards saw him break 10 yards on 27.7 percent of his attempts. The Ravens plan to dial back some of Jackson's designed runs in 2023 in an attempt to keep him healthy, but part of the reason he's such a dynamic talent at the QB position is ability to pick up chunk gains with his legs when plays break down. There is injury risk, but the 26-year-old remains in play as a top-five fantasy QB.
The Minnesota Vikings seem all but certain to get rid of running back Dalvin Cook this offseason, and The Miami Herald's Barry Jackson writes that he is "a real possibility" for the Miami Dolphins if he's released. The Dolphins could also choose to trade for Cook, who is currently training in South Florida while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. The 27-year-old is coming off his fourth straight 1,000-yard rushing season, but injuries have been an issue in recent seasons and he also had a career-low 4.4 yards per carry in 2022. All signs point to Minnesota giving the reigns to Alexander Mattison as their featured back in 2023 and moving on from Cook, so he's becoming a very shaky RB2 in fantasy. If he were to land in Miami, Cook would be joining an already crowded backfield that includes Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr. and rookie De'Von Achane.
The Jacksonville Jaguars traded Riley Patterson to the Detroit Lions last week for a 2026 conditional seven-round draft pick. Patterson rejoins the Lions after kicking for them in 2021, hitting 13-of-14 field goals in seven games.He lost the starting job in Detroit the following season to Austin Seibert before landing with the Jaguars. He will now compete with Michael Badgley and John Parker Romo this offseason for the kicker spot in Detroit.Will he win the job? Is he a good fit with the Lions? Let's dive in. Will Riley Patterson Win the Starting Kicker Job?Patterson likely has the best shot to be the Lions' Week 1 kicker of the three kickers on the roster. Not only did Detroit trade a future draft pick for him, but the 23-year-old kicker has been a reliable kicker in his first two seasons. He's converted on 87.8% of his field goals (43-for-49) and 98.1% rate (52-for-53) on extra points in his career.Last season in Jacksonville, Patterson went 30-for-35 on field goals in the regular season and went 3-for-3 in the playoffs, including a game-winner against the Chargers in the Wild Card round.https://twitter.com/NFL/status/1614480033648906240?s=20Badgley, though, has a great shot to be the Lions' starting kicker as well. He appeared in 12 games for Detroit last season and went 20-for-24 on field goals and 33-for-33 on extra points. In his career, Money Badger is 59-for-94 (81.7%) on field goal attempts. Romo, on the other hand, has no NFL experience but went 17-for-19 with the San Antonio Brahmas in the XFL in 2023.It will likely come down to Patterson and Badley for the starting kicker job in Detroit. Both have an equal shot at winning the job and will depend on their performances in camp this summer. Is Riley Patterson A Good Fit With The Lions?The fit for Patterson in Detroit is a favorable one, considering the Lions' high-level offense. If he wins the starting kicker job, he can be a streamable fantasy kicker with the potential to be a weekly kicker option.Last season, the Lions averaged the fifth most points per game in the NFL (26.6), and that boosted Badgley's fantasy value in 2022. He averaged 8.4 fantasy points per game with three double-digit performances in the final six weeks. He was also the number two overall kicker in total points between Week 10 and Week 15.If Detroit continues to score points in 2023, that will help Patterson's fantasy outlook in 2023. The Lions only attempted 1.8 field goals per game -; which ranked toward the bottom of the league -; but if that number trends up this season, that would be a big boost for Patterson in fantasy.
According to Rams head coach Sean McVay, the team will continue to be smart with wide receiver Cooper Kupp (ankle). "I think we'll just take that a day at a time," McVay said. "Whenever he does come back, we'll be smart with how we kind of onboard him and get him back up to speed." McVay's stance is certainly understandable, as Kupp has been a productive wideout for years. He finished last season with 75 catches for 812 yards and six touchdowns in nine games before missing the remainder of the season because of a high-ankle sprain that required surgery. But assuming things turn out well, the 29-year-old should be one of the first receivers taken in fantasy drafts heading into Week 1.
According to Falcons head coach Arthur Smith, tight end Kyle Pitts (knee) is expected to be ready for Week 1. However, Smith declined to provide further details. The 22-year-old began his career by catching 68 passes for 1,026 yards and a touchdown as a rookie. He also made the Pro Bowl. As a result, many had assumed Pitts would progress in 2022. Yet, he had only 28 receptions for 356 yards and two touchdowns before going down in Week 11 with a knee injury that resulted in surgery. That said, the 2021 first-round pick is an excellent bounce-back candidate, even more so if quarterback Desmond Ridder improves under center.
Denver Broncos running back Javonte Williams (knee) was a limited participant at OTAs, as expected. Fortunately, things appear to be moving in the right direction. "It's been a long process, but everything is going good," Williams said. "I'm ready to get back out there." Of course, his optimism doesn't mean he'll be cleared to suit up for Week 1. But considering Williams displayed flashes of potential in his first two years in the league, he's still worth drafting heading into the 2023-24 campaign. However, anyone who picks him up should also entertain adding Samaje Perine, who may be in line for an expanded role early in the season.
Buffalo Bills linebacker Von Miller (knee) feels that he'll be ready to play by the season opener. The veteran linebacker is recovering from an ACL tear that he suffered on Thanksgiving of last year. Despite the long road to recovery involving an ACL tear, Miller believes he'll be ready for the beginning of next season. Last season, Miller recorded 21 tackles, 12 quarterback hits, and eight sacks in 11 games during his first season in Buffalo. It'll obviously be a huge boost for the Bills defense if Miller is ready to go for Week 1 versus the New York Jets.
Free-agent defensive end Yannick Ngakoue is still searching for a new home, but has made it clear he's not going to play for a sub-par team. Ngakoue said that he wants stability and a legitimate chance to pursue a title. That's fair to say considering Ngakoue has bounced around a bit since being drafted in the third round by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2016. He spent his first four seasons of his career in Jacksonville. Since then, Ngakoue has played for four teams in three seasons. Last season, Ngakoue recorded 29 tackles, 16 quarterback hits, and 9.5 sacks in 15 games for the Indianapolis Colts. The 28-year-old still has plenty left in the tank and could be a legitimate boost to a contending defense.
Carolina Panthers tight end Hayden Hurst (hernia) will resume running routes on Friday. The 29-year-old is coming off sports-hernia surgery this offseason. Although, he does have plenty of time to get back up to full speed before training camp begins. Hurst will look to build upon his surprisingly solid season with the Cincinnati Bengals last season. He finished with 52 receptions, 414 yards, and two touchdowns in 13 games. The Panthers added multiple weapons over the offseason, including Hurst. He should have a significant role in the offense, so there's some TE2 appeal here.
The Indianapolis Colts are hosting free-agent wide receiver Breshad Perriman for a visit on Friday. The organization is having discussing about signing the 29-year-old wideout. Perriman has spent the two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, he hasn't played a very big role on the team due to injuries. In fact, Perriman has totaled 20 receptions, 267 yards, and two touchdowns in 17 games over the last two seasons. Despite that, Perriman is a decent depth option for the Colts. He likely won't have a big enough role to carve out fantasy value, but he could be a nice fourth or fifth receiver.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (hip) is being held out of practice, according to head coach Shane Steichen. It sounds like the 25-year-old is dealing with a minor hip issue. The Colts are obvious going to be cautious this early into camp. Although, this sounds like a minor issue that should be gone long before training camp begins. It'll be interesting to see what kind of value Pittman has next season. He'll likely have Anthony Richardson under center, which probably means a lot of scrambles. Also, the Colts are likely to go run-heavy with Jonathan Taylor in the backfield. The targets should be there for Pittman, but he might turn into a WR3 in fantasy leagues depending on his role.
Denver Broncos tight end Greg Dulcich could have an expanded role in the offense this upcoming season. His rookie campaign didn't go according to plan as Dulcich was only able to play in 10 games due to injury. He finished with 33 receptions, 411 yards, and two touchdowns in that span. Despite that, the Broncos do have big plans for Dulcich going forward. Head coach Sean Payton mentioned he sees Dulcich playing a "joker" role for the team next season. He said that role is basically a running back or a tight end with exceptional ball skills and then you can work matchups. This seems like it could be a Taysom Hill type of situation. That means, Dulcich could have increased value heading into next season, so fantasy managers should tuned for more updates as camp gets closer.
Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons is looking to become more versatile and more of a complete player that can make an impact all over the field in 2023. The 24-year-old former 12th overall pick in 2021 has been a Pro Bowler and first-team All-Pro in each of his first two NFL seasons while racking up an astounding 26.5 sacks, but he wants to make plays all over the field this year instead of being obsessed with chasing the sack title. "I'm probably going to play like eight positions this year," Parsons said. He will continue to get his fair share of sacks, and moving around the formation this year could also increase his overall tackle total. Parsons' versatility will continue to make the Cowboys defense a coveted fantasy pick as well, and he should once again be one of the first defensive players taken in IDP drafts.
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