Dynasty fantasy football rookie drafts are right around the corner, and TWSN has you fully covered ahead of the NFL Draft. After breaking down my superflex rankings over the last couple of weeks, I’ll be diving into 1QB rookie drafts. With a strong quarterback class, these rankings will provide a much better look at the depth of the running back and wide receiver positions. Check out the top 12 below and be on the lookout for players 13 through 24 later this week.
1- Bijan Robinson – Running Back – Texas
There isn’t any reason to get cute with the first pick in dynasty fantasy football rookie drafts. Bijan Robinson is one of the best running back prospects of this past decade and is coming off a 1,900 all-purpose yard season in 2022. His 104 forced tackles missed were the most since the stat began being recorded as well. He isn’t quite the athlete Saquon Barkley is, but his age and talent profile make him my RB1 overall in dynasty fantasy football leagues.
2- Jaxon Smith-Njigba – Wide Receiver – Ohio State
Jaxon Smith-Njigba absolutely silenced any questions about his athleticism at the Ohio State Pro Day, running a 4.53 40-yard dash. Combined with the fastest shuttle time since 2013 for a wide receiver, fantasy managers shouldn’t be concerned about his speed at the next level. This is a player who outproduced Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave as a sophomore, too. The concern is that he only had 23 combined targets in his other two seasons. Nonetheless, Smith-Njigba cemented himself as the second-best prospect in this class with top 15 wide receiver upside.
3- Jahmyr Gibbs – Running Back – Alabama
Jahmyr Gibbs is one of the premier athletes in this class, with a strong pass-catching profile. In his final collegiate season at Alabama, he had 44 receptions for 444 receiving yards. However, at 199 pounds, there will be questions about how many opportunities he will get in the NFL. Although he never took on a strong rushing workload in college, that did begin to change in the second half of 2022. Gibbs has the skill to be a very productive fantasy running back, but his size will cap his upside.
4- Zach Charbonnet – Running Back – UCLA
On the other side of the spectrum, there is UCLA running back Zach Charbonnet. While nowhere near as gifted athletically as Gibbs, Charbonnet does have size at 6’0 and 220 pounds. Charbonnet has a strong pass-catching profile as well, with 37 receptions for 321 yards in 2022. He doesn’t have near the upside of Gibbs, but should have a safer floor with his ability to shoulder a three-down workload.
5- Quentin Johnston – Wide Receiver – TCU
Quentin Johnston is one of the more athletically gifted receivers in this class and has a prototypical size. He is also coming off a strong junior season at TCU, where he accumulated 1,069 yards and six touchdowns with a 21-percent target share. Criticisms are that he doesn’t necessarily play to his size though and went up against weak competition in the Big 12. Regardless, his athletic tools will give him a chance to be the first wide receiver selected in the NFL Draft this month.
6- Jordan Addison – Wide Receiver – USC
Jordan Addison was arguably the most productive collegiate wide receiver in this class and had 1,593 receiving yards as a sophomore. In addition, he had over a 20-percent target share in each of his first two seasons before struggling with injuries in 2022. Addison ultimately tested very poorly at the NFL Combine, though with a first-percentile size-adjusted athletic score. He is slight in stature and isn’t overly fast; however, he is a great football player in the mold of DeVonta Smith.
7- Zay Flowers – Wide Receiver – Boston College
Similar to many wide receivers in this class, Zay Flowers is smaller in stature. He makes up for it though with his athleticism and playmaking ability with the ball in his hands. Despite poor quarterback play at Boston College, he managed to stay extremely productive as well. Flowers is a riser in the pre-draft process and has a great chance of hearing his name called in the first round of the NFL Draft.
8- Kendre Miller – Running Back – TCU
Kendre Miller is recovering from a knee injury that prevented him from participating in any athletic testing this offseason. This is very concerning because we have seen in the past this dramatically affect a player’s draft stock. Nonetheless, Miller is one of the best pure rushers in this class, with 1,399 yards on the ground in 2022. He boasts solid agility and balance too, but isn’t a strong pass catcher at this point in his career.
9- Devon Achane – Running Back – Texas A&M
There isn’t a player that I am more excited about in this draft class than Texas A&M running back Devon Achane. Despite his small stature (5’9, 188 pounds), he is physical and is surprisingly productive in between the tackles. He is a former track star (4.32 40-yard dash) and he is incredible in open space too. I love watching his film and the only significant downside is his size. There aren’t many consistent fantasy producers at 188 pounds, however, Achane could excel as a flex option in a 10-15 touch per game role.
10- Josh Downs – Wide Receiver – North Carolina
Josh Downs is the best contested catch wide receiver in this class and stands only 5’9. He plays much bigger than his size, has great hands, and is a terrific athlete. Receivers of his stature generally have a poor track record of fantasy success in the NFL, but that is a theme in this class. Downs should hear his name called within the first 50 picks of the NFL Draft this month, solidifying him as a first round rookie pick.
11- Jalin Hyatt – Wide Receiver – Tennessee
Rumors are that some scouts have Jalin Hyatt as the top receiver on their NFL Draft Board. While he didn’t have much production during his first two seasons at Tennessee, he finished strong with 1,267 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. Furthermore, Hyatt is another very athletic receiver with a 4.40 40-yard dash and 97th-percentile burst score. He has a slighter frame as well, but is one of the best deep threats in the 2023 NFL Draft class.
12- Israel Abanikanda – Running Back – Pittsburgh
Israel Abanikanda should see a huge spike in his pre-draft rankings after his incredible Pittsburgh Pro-Day performance this past week. He ran a 40-yard dash between 4.27-4.32 and boasts the size to shoulder a significant workload. Abanikanda is an explosive playmaker too, who had 1,431 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns as a junior. He doesn’t have a strong pass-catching skill set yet, but that could grow in time for one of the youngest players in the class.