With the NFL season finally upon us, it’s time to revisit the Fantasy Football Power Rankings. Which teams offer the most juice? Which cadres are we staying away from? That’s today’s task as we compile Power Rankings version 3.0.
This list will be reviewed and revised quarterly throughout the season.
At least Bryce Young manages a soft landing as the Panthers have an unassuming schedule ahead of them. The NFC South is obviously the weakest division in the NFL, and this group also rivals the entire AFC South, a reasonable attribution.
New OC Bill O’Brien will feel like Bill Walsh after last season’s Matt Patricia/Joe Judge fiasco, but Rhamondre Stevenson is the only Patriots skill player you can draft with confidence.
Obviously, the Cardinals are the absolute bottom picks in all NFL-only rankings as they target the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft. These Caleb Williams highlights are too good to be true.
CJ Stroud is probably looking around and wondering where all these Ohio State receivers went. But Nico Collins has been an interesting fantasy darts player all summer.
Shane Steichen’s fingerprints are all over the Philly track record, making him the perfect man to coach Anthony Richardson. But it’s difficult to trust a team led by Jim Irsay. I don’t generally design wait and see fantasy pieces, so I avoided choosing Jonathan Taylor when his story went haywire.
Unless Cooper Kupp is right (and I’m not one to chase injury optimism), this offense has the potential to look down. Cam Akers earned a pass after the quick finish last year. Tyler Higbee is no threat downfield, but for this offense he could catch 80+ passes.
Is Baker Mayfield good enough to give Mike Evans and Chris Godwin a boost? Even if Mayfield is adequate, he won’t come close to matching the league record 733 passes that Tom Brady threw last year.
Derrick Henry is heading into his season as a 29-year-old, dangerous territory for any full-back, especially someone of Henry’s mileage. The Titans also have one of the weakest offensive lines in the league. I’ve avoided DeAndre Hopkins all draft season, but I have some speculative tickets with Treylon Burks and Downfield splasher Chig Okonkwo.
There’s likely a valuable receiver here, whether it’s veteran Courtland Sutton or newcomer Marvin Mims. All other important people were injured this summer. Of course we need Sean Payton to fix Russell Wilson and that got off to a rocky start in August.
We don’t need Jordan Love to star, we just want him to be good enough for Christian Watson and Aaron Jones to be Fantasy Stars Weekly. AJ Dillon’s yards per touch are trending the wrong way: 5.5, 5.0, 4.6.
Sam Howell brings an element of the unknown to this offense and Jahan Dotson looked like a breakthrough star all summer. Brian Robinson Jr. caught five passes last season, and while they only went for 15 yards, it’s an encouraging trend for someone who only caught nine passes as a rookie. He was underrated in the draft season.
Derek Carr’s poor 2022 season was a silent mess – Andy Dalton actually had better efficiency metrics. Alvin Kamara has been a polarizing choice all summer; The camp reports were effusive, but he was a declining player for two seasons.
The balloon begins to deflate when receivers hit their 30s, which is why Davante Adams was shockingly affordable in many leagues. Were the faders right or did many of us miss out on a giant discount?
I still think the Giants weren’t faring well for not adding more wideout firepower, but maybe having Darren Waller as the de facto No. 1 was a smart move. 1 because tight ends are less likely to have wideouts at the contract table.
Desmond Rider is a middle-class quarterback struggling with his own limitations in the harsh face of glory, but he’s surrounded by three alpha talents, so there are plausible advantages. Arthur Smith, there are no more excuses.
Nick Chubb is the most exciting back in the NFL, a joy of all joys, but I wanted to see Deshaun Watson shake off the griddle over the summer, and that never happened.
Khalil Herbert marked his territory with a good camp and at least Justin Fields has a shot at passing now that DJ Moore is around.
Everyone can’t wait to see what Breece Hall can pull off in a full season of hard work, but the Jets gave Dalvin Cook an entry fee that can’t be ignored. Aaron Rodgers and Garrett Wilson seem unstoppable, and Rodgers compared Wilson to superstar Davante Adams, huge compliment. Drafting the Jets DST was a dumb task The opening plan is a meat grinder.
Are the Lions now in the “So underrated they’re overrated” category? It felt like a chance for me to place them in the opening game. Every quarterback wants a clean pocket and time to throw, but that’s critical to Jared Goff’s success. Effective midseason trades are still rare in the NFL, but I’d love to see Mike Evans end up at Motown.
The Steelers won the preseason and the offense has a lot of exciting talent. It all depends on your opinion of Kenny Pickett. Jaylen Warren seems primed for a standalone role on opening day, and perhaps he could push Najee Harris into an even timeshare.
Is the glass half full or half empty with TJ Hockenson? He averaged just 8.7 yards per catch after trading with Minnesota, but when a tight end is scoring 8.6 goals per game, nothing else really matters. Jordan Addison has a chance to become instantly fantasy relevant.
We may never know how good Tua Tagovailoa really is, but when you’re throwing at Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, why worry? The bigger Tua question is related to its durability. Raheem Mostert isn’t cut out for full seasons, but he’s a September win guy.
If you think Calvin Ridley is the real No. 1 right off the bat, Trevor Lawrence looks interesting as a boutique MVP pick. Can Travis Etienne keep enough of the quality touches to justify his ADP?
Justin Herbert receives an injury pass for last year and OC Kellen Moore is the fresh coat of paint this offense needs. Is this the last LA dance for Keenan Allen and Mike Williams?
We’ve spent all summer exploring this intricate wide-receiver space, and it’s still not clear who, if anyone, will rise to fantasy value. Travis Kelce has been unstoppable throughout his career, but seasons at age 34 make one a little nervous (not to mention a possible setback this week).
I don’t expect Geno Smith to lose out, which is why I’ve been proactively drafting DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett all summer. Pete Carroll’s culture is always about internal competition, which explains why Zach picked Charbonnet a season after Kenneth Walker signed.
The Cowboys finally cleared the game for Tony Pollard, just in time for his 26-year season. He’ll never lead the NFL in contacts, but he doesn’t need as many to produce as a first-round pick. My draft slots didn’t pan out with Pollard’s ADP this summer, so he’s a FOMO player to me for the most part. It hurts.
Last summer, Gabe Davis was the most polarizing player in fantasy football. This year he’s just a useful but boring veteran settling into Yahoo WR36.
Ja’Marr Chase could be on every magazine cover next summer. Joe Mixon isn’t a phenomenal player, but he will fall into the end zone at least eight times. Location, location, location.
3. Baltimore Ravens (2)
The Ravens filled receiver space with four former first-round picks, although including Nelson Agholor is a stretch and Odell Beckham Jr. could be close. And of course, the team’s best receiver is still tight end Mark Andrews.
2. San Francisco 49ers (4)
George Kittle fought with Brock Purdy last season, but long touchdowns are rarely sticky year-over-year, especially at a tight end. Kittle is one of my current favorite players in real life, but I’ve been fading him for most of the summer.
1. Philadelphia Eagles (1)
The running game might be crowded. Rashaad Penny is an efficiency favourite (but no pass catcher), D’Andre Swift is a sprightly player, Kenneth Gainwell was a circle of trust in the playoffs and obviously Jalen Hurts will keep a lot of the ground stats to himself. Will the game prompt suffer after Shane Steichen leaves the building? Nonetheless, this is the best roster in the NFL. Prepare your popcorn.