Top Five Fantasy Football Names to Watch Out For in the 2023 NFL Draft

Jason Zhu/Daily Bruin staff

Top Five Fantasy Football Names to Watch Out For in the 2023 NFL Draft

Fantasy Football

Top Five Fantasy Football Names to Watch Out For in the 2023 NFL Draft


Jason Zhu/Daily Bruin staff

The NFL Draft is the last connecting event to bring us right into the fantasy football time of year. Dynasty season is kicking into gear, so who are some names to keep an ear out for ahead of your rookie drafts? With the draft just one day away, let’s look at some intriguing offensive names to watch out for when they get their name called. 


Israel Abanikanda

Israel Abanikanda is a fantastic running back out of Pittsburgh, and he could surprise some people when he hears his name getting drafted to the NFL. He’s going to be a day three player, but he’s a name that a lot of teams have circled. Abanikanda is a very speedy player and ran for 1,400 yards in 11 games last season and, overall, doesn’t have much experience playing at the collegiate level. That doesn’t deter the fact that he can still be an NFL ready player. He has a 46.5 college dominator rating and his vision is among the best. He can make the most out of every hole he sees and is a big play waiting to happen. I see Abanikanda being a backup in the NFL to start his career, and he’ll have some big runs early in the NFL to get people to start keeping their eye on him. A situation similar to Tony Pollard, who was extremely productive even while backing up Ezekiel Elliott, waiting until he finally got his chance. Abanikanda is going to be a key player for any team with a lot of fantasy football value in his potential. 

Jonathan Mingo

Jonathan Mingo was falling under-the-radar early in draft season, but his value has started to pick up. So much so that he was always being considered as a day three guy, but he is now being hyped up enough to land in round three or even round two. Mingo is a huge receiver and is fantastic on the possession. He tore it up at the combine with his size and athleticism, and he was also very productive at the Senior Bowl. He won’t be a spectacular player, but he’ll be a productive guy that NFL teams will rely on. As for his value in fantasy football, no matter where Mingo ends up going, he’s going to be a starter and solid wide receiver two or three that will get less attention until defenders quickly take notice.


Jahmyr Gibbs

Everyone is saying that Jahmyr Gibbs is the next Alvin Kamara and it is hard to not believe it. Gibbs brings a lot of versatility to his game due to his rushing ability that led to him having 926 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground last season. His impact goes further as with his crisp route running as he had 444 yards and three touchdowns as a receiver over 44 receptions. He’s a passing back that can end up being so much more than that. He’s small but shifty and will be a shiny new toy for whatever team drafts him. He’s looking to be the second or third running back off the board, and although he doesn’t have much physicality, he’ll be a gem from the moment he hears his name called until he explodes on your fantasy football team. 


Zach Charbonnet

Zach Charbonnet has quickly become my favorite running back in the 2023 draft class. He’s an underrated three-down back that has the burst to make up for his lack in athleticism. I’m a fan of guys that can be plugged in any aspect of the game. He’s fantastic on the early downs, he can catch and break tackles on passing downs, and he excels in two minute drills. Charbonnet is a special player, but he doesn’t have a lot of volume. However, the lack of volume doesn’t matter as he kills it on the tape and the potential for more is there. Depending on where he goes, he could be a locked and loaded top five rookie pick. 


Zay Flowers

Zay Flowers has been getting a lot of hype lately, raising his stock to the second or third wide receiver on most draft boards. The main problem against him is his small size, as he’s only 5’9 and weighs 182 pounds. He’s very speedy and despite his size, he is very good after the catch by using his legs and shiftiness rather than pushing people with his size. Not many wide receivers can make a name for themselves, but Flowers can catch past people with his speed. Flowers was a gem on his team, as he was playing on a pretty bad offense, and yet he still excelled. He carried that Boston College team, and he can do the same with whatever team drafts him. I really like the New York Giants as a landing spot for him, and he can take their offense over the top. He’ll be a fantastic fantasy football asset and could be climbing rookie drafts.


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