15 future fantasy football stars to watch

A brand-new Super Bowl champ might have been crowned 2 weeks earlier, however the NFL is a 365-day proposal. Fans of the video game start expecting “next season” well prior to the confetti is dropped and the Lombardi is raised. Between hit trades, totally free firm and an infusion of novice skill, the magnificence of the stadium stays in continuous movement.

Staying ahead of the league’s calendar isn’t as frustrating as one may think, however. Not with pros such as Matt Bowen and the ESPN Fantasy group providing need-to-know nuggets throughout the offseason. Bowen, a seven-year NFL veterinarian, functions as among ESPN’s draft specialists. He has actually currently invested a week in Mobile, Alabama, for the Senior Bowl and will have his critical eye on all the action at the integrate.

I asked him which inbound novices he believed might make a splash in Indianapolis. After comparing notes, we put together a list of names and determined the occasions that might display their skills and, possibly, press them up draft boards.


The skill at signal-caller is deep in 2023. In truth, 4 QBs are anticipated to be chosen within the very first 10 choices in April’s draft. It’s not likely that any of them will publish top-12 dream numbers in their very first season. Given the landscape of the position, nevertheless, it’s crucial to end up being knowledgeable about their capability. There are a great deal of clingy groups and some intriguing possible fits.

Bryce Young, Alabama
Winner of the 2021 Heisman Trophy, the 21-year-old has the items to stand out at the next level. He’s a playmaker with grace and accuracy. In belongings of elite pocket movement and the arm skill to service every level of the field, Young has that battle in him.

What he does not have, nevertheless, is size. His measurements at the integrate will be a pointer to groups and coaches of what he’ll require to get rid of. With a handful of 6-foot-1-and-shorter, dual-threat QBs growing in the league over the last few years, nevertheless, Young’s stock should not suffer excessive if he were to peak at 5-foot-11.

C.J. Stroud, Ohio State
The reverse to Young in regards to develop, Stroud boasts prototypical size and is presently noted at 6-3, 218 pounds. A Heisman finalist in 2021 and ’22, the Buckeye is a precise passer with outstanding mechanics and decision-making abilities. Per Bowen, Stroud’s efficiency versus Georgia in the Peach Bowl on New Year’s Eve highlights the 21-year-old’s capability to endure pressure. He’s anticipated to ace the tossing drills in Indy.

Will Levis, Kentucky
Levis is a huge guy (6-4, 230 pounds) with an even larger arm. While he can cruise the ball downfield with ease and stays a precise passer in general, there are concerns about his touch and ball positioning. The tools exist, however subtlety (at this phase) may be doing not have. The tossing drills will be essential for the New England native. Scouts and coaches will wish to see if Levis can be a precise thrower in a rehearsed session. His capability to impress with a little bit of skill might identify whether he goes behind or ahead of Stroud.

Anthony Richardson, Florida
Richardson is everything about that upside, something NFL coaches and dream supervisors wish for. He has the size, arm strength, movement and general physical abilities to stun at the next level. With simply 13 profession begins under his belt, nevertheless, he does not have an excess of experience or tape. Some huge athletic screening numbers — especially in the broad and vertical dives — might display his speed and volatility, convincing groups to buy his amazing capacity.

Running backs

From top-of-the-draft skill such as Breece Hall to seventh-round choice Isiah Pacheco, novice running backs were, as soon as again, dream factors in 2022. The position has actually routinely produced dream manufacturers in gamers’ very first project. This year’s class is a mix of apparent and under-the-radar skill.

Bijan Robinson, Texas
There is absolutely nothing under the radar about Robinson. An instant manufacturer in his real freshman effort, the Longhorn rather actually break onto the scene … and never ever stopped churning. The 2022 Doak Walker Award winner liquidated his college profession with 3,410 hurrying backyards and 41 overall goals (fourth-most in UT history).

He furthermore required 201 missed out on takes on in the previous 3 seasons, without a doubt the most in the FBS because period. Robinson’s stop-and-start capability (specifically provided his 6-foot, 220-pound frame) is breathtaking. His velocity and short-area speed ought to be on complete screen in the 10-yard split (very first 10 backyards of the 40-yard dash).

Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama
A multisport professional athlete who lined up as a pass receiver in high school, Gibbs shines as a pass-catcher. He led the position in forced missed out on deals with on receptions (18) in 2022. The Georgia native is an electrical, dual-threat back who ought to fit quickly into any professional plan, and he made full marks from Bowen, who compared Gibbs to Dalvin Cook. He figures to squash the 20-yard shuttle bus and three-cone drill, leaning into his next-level suddenness and lateral dexterity.

Tyjae Spears, Tulane
Spears’ stock is on the increase, after a remarkable proving at the Senior Bowl. In belongings of what Bowen describes as “big-play juice,” Spears is explosive as both a runner and a receiver. He has the possible to contribute instantly on 3rd downs. He figures to wow in the 40-yard dash and 20-yard shuttle bus.

Kenny McIntosh, Georgia
A possible late-round gem, McIntosh has the qualities to become a strong gamer in the pros. He’s a natural hands-catcher who taped absolutely no drops on 90 targets throughout his profession at Georgia. A marvel outdoors field, McIntosh’s lateral dexterity and vision command regard. A sub-7.0-2nd time in the 20-yard shuttle bus might produce severe buzz.

Wide receivers

The previous couple of years have actually ruined us with an abundance of blue-chip skill at the receiver position. This year’s class isn’t as deep, however there’s still a lot of main-character energy to keep tabs on.

Quentin Johnston, TCU
Size. Speed. Leaping capability. Johnston is, probably, the most well-rounded possibility in the 2023 class. In belongings of an unusual physical profile, Johnston is explosive out of his breaks and hazardous after the catch. At 6-foot-4, he figures to squash the vertical dive (that catch radius, though). He ought to likewise publish a strong 40 time (believe mid-4.4s).

Jordan Addison, USC
Addison’s video game exudes savvy. Before moving to USC in 2022, he made leading honors as the country’s finest college pass receiver, winning the Biletnikoff Award in 2021 after publishing a 100 receptions-1,593 yards-17 goals stat line at Pittsburgh. What the 21-year-old does not have in size (6-foot, 175 pounds) he offsets in method. His route-running expertise figures to shine in the pass receiver drills. From an exercise point of view, the 40-yard dash will be essential for Addison. Expect (and root for) a sub-4.5 time.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State
Despite sharing the field with Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, Smith-Njigba handled to tape-record a historical 1,606 getting backyards and 9 TDs on 95 grabs in 2021. Unfortunately, the follow-up wasn’t almost as outstanding, as the Buckeye was restricted to simply 3 video games since of a hamstring injury this previous season.

However, his general skill — elite ball abilities, outstanding footwork and soft hands — has actually kept NFL groups equivalent parts interested and captivated. Scouts and coaches will likely wish to examine Smith-Njigba’s volatility in addition to his catch-and-run speed. Keep an eye on his numbers in the 10-yard split and three-cone drill.

Zay Flowers, Boston College
A smooth path runner with outstanding balance and body control, Flowers gets open with ease. The 22-year-old was efficient in college in spite of using a substandard offense and took most of his snaps on the exterior. That’s unexpected provided his small stature (5-9, 182 pounds). While he’s most likely to be relegated to the slot in the NFL (a minimum of at the start of his profession), his general qualities figure to make him a constant manufacturer. He’s anticipated to fly in the 40-yard-dash.

Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee
After capturing less than 25 balls and taping less than 280 backyards for 2 straight seasons, Hyatt struck the health club, expanded and broke out in his junior effort. The 2022 Biletnikoff Award winner led the position in slot TDs (12) last season. He’s a vertical stretch target who can produce dispute with his speed. His 40-yard dash time ought to be fire.

Tight ends

Everyone understands the “first-year tight ends don’t produce in fantasy” trope. And, for the a lot of part, it’s a precise expression. Still, the 2023 class is flush with young skill. Streamers and dynasty lovers will wish to remember.

Michael Mayer, Notre Dame
Widely thought about the most refined TE in this year’s draft, Mayer has an unusual mix of superior getting and obstructing abilities. He can truck after the catch, while likewise controling as a run-blocker. The latter part of his video game does not flash for dream fans, however it does keep him on the field and make him important pass-catching chances. While a mid-4.6 time in the 40-yard dash would buoy his stock, what he performs in the route-running drills will be especially exposing.

Sam LaPorta, Iowa
LaPorta has the tools to become a constant middle-of-the-field manufacturer in the NFL. He might not be the buzziest possibility (in spite of coming from Tight End U), however his dependable hands and substantial path tree might enable him a Heath Miller-esque profession at the next level. The Iowa item might hear his name called as early as Day 2 … however it will need a strong proving in the 40-yard dash (mid-4.6 variety).

Follow Liz on social @LizLoza_FF.

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