This series will analyze every NFL team by division to forecast key fantasy football performances and overall team outlooks with futures bets in mind.
2022 Record: 14-3
Vegas Expected Win Total: 11.5 (Under)
Team Outlook: For the past 18 years, the NFC East has had a different winner. However, I do see the Eagles winning the NFC East this year and breaking that streak. The Eagles had a breakout year finishing 14-3, but sadly lost in the Super Bowl after a controversial holding call at the end of the game. Jalen Hurts broke out behind the league’s best offensive line with the addition of wide receiver AJ Brown. Hurts showed his tremendous rushing ability and his ability as a passer. While I do think Hurts benefits from such a tremendous roster, the roster on offense stays relatively intact so Hurts should dominate again. I just think 11.5 is a big number and there could be a slight Super Bowl hangover. The Eagles are another fantasy offense you want a piece of in 2023.
Jalen Hurts, Average Draft Position 21.7, QB3 (FantasyPros ADP)
My number-one quarterback in fantasy football this season. Hurts has the best offensive line in football, three great receiving options, elite rushing ability, and that weird QB sneak play that is unstoppable which should help him continue to rack up rushing touchdowns (He’s actually the favorite at +750 to lead the league in rushing touchdowns). The only concern I really have is a change in offensive coordinator, but this offense is too talented to see a massive falloff from Hurts. I like to grab the middle-round quarterbacks or wait completely, but if you want him in round 3, he’s a fine pick.
D’andre Swift, Average Draft Position 67.7, RB26 (FantasyPros ADP)
Miles Sanders finished as the RB13 last season, so there is totally a chance for a back to explode in Philadelphia. The offensive line is incredible and the team will score a ton of points. However, this may just be a backfield I pass on for 2023. This may just be a three-headed monster between Swift,
Gainwell, and Rashaad Penny. If I had to lean toward one, it would be Swift because of his probable role in the passing game and the fact that the Eagles went out and traded for him. However, Hurts does not really throw to running backs to begin with. One running back will emerge and be valuable for fantasy football, but I’m not going to act like I have the answers.
Rashaad Penny, Average Draft Position 98.7, RB36 (FantasyPros ADP)
I don’t know if people realize how talented Rashaad Penny is as a runner. According to Player Profiler, his true yards per carry last year was 5.4 (1st in NFL), and since 2018 he’s averaged 5.69 yards per carry which also is 1st in the NFL in that time. However, there have only been 337 carries through 5 seasons. Penny inherits the best offensive line in his career, but at this point, it’s hard to rely on his health. If you want to argue that Swift’s health is just as bad that’s a totally fair point, but I’m just not sure I want to take either this year in fantasy.
Kenneth Gainwell, Average Draft Position 156.7, RB50 (FantasyPros ADP)
Maybe the solution to the Eagles’ backfield is just taking the running back that goes last. Kenneth Gainwell has been getting a lot of hype coming out of Eagles camp and it’s been reported he will actually lead this backfield in 2023. For me, it’s hard to believe because the other two have been more efficient in their career. I think Swift will be the one who leads but I am
not very confident about it. Taking Gainwell, as the one that goes last, could be a good strategy to approach this backfield in 2023.
A.J. Brown, Average Draft Position 14.0, WR7 (FantasyPros ADP)
A.J. Brown is finally getting his flowers and being recognized as one of the best receivers in the NFL. As a Colts fan, I was exposed to seeing Brown torch the Colts twice a season and knew how good of a receiver he was. He is an elite route runner, catches 50/50 balls (see last year’s Steelers game), and is incredible after the catch. Jalen Hurts and Brown quickly established a connection and should be able to pick up where they left off. The return of Dallas Goedert from injury could impact Brown a little, but he’s still a fantastic WR1 for your fantasy team.
Devonta Smith, Average Draft Position 27.3, WR12 (FantasyPros ADP)
Devonta Smith broke out in his second season in the NFL and finished as the WR10 on the season. Smith is the second receiving option in his own offense but only finished 11 targets behind Brown. However, Smith averaged 13.3 fantasy points in games without Dallas Goedert playing, but with Goedert playing he averaged 11.71 fantasy points per game. It was only a 5-week sample size, but for me, it’s enough to put him behind Waddle, Wilson, Higgins, and Olave. I like Smith in round 3, but his ceiling is capped with Goedert and Brown in his offense.
Dallas Goedert, Average Draft Position 63.3, TE6 (FantasyPros ADP)
The Eagles tight end missed 5 games last year but finished as the TE5 on a points-per-game basis. He’s a very efficient tight end and perhaps a much better real-life football player than a fantasy football player. The fact of the matter is there are two receivers ahead of him that will limit his upside to be a difference-making tight end. For me, in fantasy football, I want to draft a difference-making tight end or I want to be the last person taking a tight end in the draft. At the beginning of round 6, I would rather keep building my running back and wide receiver depth than take Goedert as my middle-of-the-pack tight end.
2022 Record: 12-5
Vegas Expected Win Total: 9.5 Wins (Over)
Team Outlook: I see the Cowboys finishing with 10 wins. I really did not understand the release of offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, and I think it will come back to bite this team. The Dallas Cowboys had a top-scoring offense in 3 of the last 4 seasons with Moore calling plays. Moore is now gone and I think this offense will regress in efficiency and also begin to run the ball more. The Cowboys’ defense is the strength of this team and maybe less passing will help Dak turn the ball over less and will lead to the Cowboys being better this season. From a fantasy perspective, there are definitely valuable options to have.
Dak Prescott, Average Draft Position 78.7, QB9 (FantasyPros ADP)
Dak Prescott greatly benefitted from having Kellen Moore running this offense. Prescott’s fantasy finishes before Kellen Moore were QB9, QB14, and QB13 on a points-per-game basis (2016-2018). With Kellen Moore he was the QB3, QB1 (5 games played), QB9, and QB12. You could argue that Prescott still was around the top 12 in the years without Moore, but that came with Prescott averaging 314 rushing yards a season and 6 touchdowns. If Prescott returns to rushing more often and the Cowboys use him around the endzone, he could maybe return to his current ADP. I am not a believer in Prescott this year with Moore gone as he currently stands as my QB15.
Tony Pollard, Average Draft Position 17.3, RB8 (FantasyPros ADP)
This is one of the hardest players for me to evaluate in 2023. Usually, I love running backs who are young, efficient, and on good offenses. Check, check, check. My concern is projecting Pollard for a much bigger workload and if he can maintain that efficiency and stay healthy with a bigger workload. Pollard averaged 14.5 touches per game (26th in NFL), and still finished as the RB8 in fantasy football. With a bigger workload, I can see the efficiency coming down similarly to Lamar Miller when he left the Dolphins for the Texans. I don’t think the volume goes up too much and I think the offense is less efficient with Moore gone. Still, I believe in Pollard the player and currently have him ranked with ADP as the RB8.
Deuce Vaughn, Average Draft Position 171.3, RB55 (FantasyPros ADP)
A super late-round pick in fantasy football, Deuce Vaughn has been lightning in a bottle in preseason so far. 13 attempts, 64 rushing yards, 4.9 yards per carry, and 2 TDs. He’s looked quick, fast, and dynamic in these games. He’s super slight in stature 5’5” 176lbs, but could see 10-12 touches per game in this offense if he is as efficient as he is. He may go undrafted in your league, but he is someone to keep an eye on early in the season.
Ceedee Lamb, Average Draft Position 13.3, WR6 (FantasyPros ADP)
Ceedee Lamb was incredible last season finishing as the WR6 and not much has really changed around him other than Kellen Moore leaving. It worries me, but Lamb is an excellent receiver and does not have much around him to take away targets. Lamb’s ceiling could still be the WR1 and his 28% target share which ranked 4th last season. Cooks should come in to help stretch the field and take some of the defensive focus off of him. Taking Lamb as high as the WR5 is perfectly reasonable in my book.
Brandin Cooks, Average Draft Position 101.3, WR39 (FantasyPros ADP)
Brandin Cooks has found a way to be productive in every place that he has played during his NFL career. He’s had two 1,000-yard seasons with the Saints, one with the Patriots, one with the Rams, and one with the and two with the Texans. However, on all those teams Cooks was the number one option. In Dallas, he’ll be the number two which I believe will allow him to be more efficient as a 29-year-old NFL player, but fewer targets will hurt him in fantasy.
Michael Gallup, Average Draft Position 177.3, WR62 (FantasyPros ADP)
Gallup showed promise as a receiver before tearing his ACL. Now, however, he’s the third target on his own team. He’s a late-round flier or waiver wire add at best during the season.
Jake Ferguson, Average Draft Position 208.7, TE28 (FantasyPros ADP) Not drafting him this season.
New York Giants
2022 Record: 9-7-1
Vegas Expected Win Total: 7.5 Wins (Under)
Team Outlook: The Giants had a great season under Brain Daboll last year and a lot of that was because Daboll was able to fix Daniel Jones. He used him a ton as a rusher and schemed up plays for Jones to hit easy targets. The Giants have pieces in place with stud left tackle Andrew Thomas, stud defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, and of course Saquon Barkley. The team also added Jaylen Hyatt and Parris Cambell which adds a needed element of speed and playmaking. The problem is the schedule for the Giants is absolutely brutal. They have to play both the AFC East and NFC West, which could turn out to be two of the best divisions in football. The Giants are better on paper but could finish with a worse record despite great coaching.
Daniel Jones, Average Draft Position 112.7, QB14 (FantasyPros ADP)
Quarterbacks who run the football, are a massive advantage in fantasy football. Last season, Daniel Jones finished as the QB9 in four points per passing touchdown leagues despite only throwing 15 touchdowns. The reason he was able to score so high was because he rushed for 708 yards and 7 rushing touchdowns. Brian Daboll will continue to put his quarterback in the best position to succeed and that is having him run the football. Jones has added weapons and could be a nice value this year in fantasy for those that want to wait on quarterback. He’s my QB12.
Saquon Barkley, Average Draft Position 8.7, RB3 (FantasyPros ADP)
There’s not much to say when talking about Saquon Barkley. He had an incredible bounce-back season finishing as the RB6 with 352 touches. The Giants have brought Barkley back on a one-year deal and will want to get the most out of him in 2022 to support Daniel Jones. Barkley is in line for another 300 touch season and at age 26, Barkley still has a couple years left before a real decline comes.
Right now, the Giants wide receiver with the highest ADP is rookie Jalen Hyatt with an ADP of 161.3 and WR57. This offense should be incredibly concentrated through Darren Waller and Saquon Barkley. However, one wide receiver should be relevant and it would make sense for it to be the rookie. The other receivers in New York have had a chance in their careers to emerge as a number-one wide receiver and haven’t. The Giant receiver that emerges has WR3 upside and could be a WR2 if Waller got injured.
Darren Waller, Average Draft Position 62.3, TE5 (FantasyPros ADP)
The Giants TE is my TE4 for the upcoming fantasy season. While the Giants offense will not be incredibly prosperous through the air, Brian Daboll will have a functional offense that can support a player with the talent of Darren Waller. More importantly, Darren Waller is the number one target in his offense which in the tight-end landscape, is something that is only shared with Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews. If Darren Waller can stay healthy, he is one of the few that can emerge as a difference-making tight end.
2022 Record: 8-8-1
Vegas Expected Win Total: 6.5 (over)
Team Outlook: I have not actually bet it yet, but I really like the over 6.5 wins for the Washington Commanders. Dan Snyder is also gone to the joy of Commanders fans, which gives this team a lot of momentum. I was very worried about Sam Howell in this team to start the season, but The Commanders have looked solid this preseason and have more weapons than you think on the offensive side of the football with Terry McLaurin, Antonio Gibson, Brian Robinson, and my favorite, Jahan Dotson. However, one of the reasons I think Sam Howell will be successful is because of the addition of Eric Bieniemy. I’ve always thought Patrick Mahomes is an incredibly talented quarterback, but I also think he wouldn’t be the same player without Andy Reid and the insane offensive play-calling he has. Bieniemy brings over a lot of what Andy Reid did for Mahomes and should have this offense functioning way better than last season.
Sam Howell, Average Draft Position 197.3, QB29 (FantasyPros ADP)
In 2 games this preseason, Sam Howell posted a 75% completion percentage, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Howell looks sharp and looks like can support an adequate offense this season. In two-quarterback leagues, Howell is worth a look because of his rushing ability and because of Jahan Dotson and Terry McLaurin surrounding him.
Brian Robinson, Average Draft Position 95.0, RB33 (FantasyPros ADP)
Last season, Brian Robinson was an incredible story. Robinson was shot during the season and was able to come back weeks later and perform for the Commanders. Robinson had 214 touches averaging 3.9 yards per carry and 6.8 yards per reception. The Washington running backs are going back-to-back in drafts and while Robinson will have a role, I’d much rather have Antonio Gibson in this backfield.
Antonio Gibson, Average Draft Position 96.0, RB34 (FantasyPros ADP)
Antonio Gibson made my “Must Have” running back series and is a great target this year for fantasy football. In 2020 and 2021, Antonio Gibson finished in half ppr as the RB12 and RB10. Last season, Antonio Gibson finished as the RB31 and received 56 fewer carries than Robinson. This preseason, however, Gibson has played more snaps and has only had 3 fewer touches. Gibson will be the pass-catching back after having his catches increase in his first 3 seasons(36, 42, 46) and no JD Mckissic. On an upgraded offense for last year, RB34 feels like he’s being drafted at his floor.
Terry McLaurin, Average Draft Position 50.7, WR20 (FantasyPros ADP)
Similar to DJ Moore, McLaurin is a really good receiver who’s never had great or even good quarterback play. This year, he actually could have his best with Sam Howell, but still it’s not proven great Qb play. McLaurin will start to fall from his current ADP after suffering what looks like a turf toe injury. As a former athlete and someone who has had turf toe, it’s brutal. You can’t change direction and it took me 6-7 weeks to recover. I’m not Terry McLaurin, but I do think it will impact him early in the year. I’ll pass on McLaurin and be all in on his teammate, Jahan Dotson.
Jahan Dotson, Average Draft Position 95.0, WR38 (FantasyPros ADP)
In 12 games played last season, Jahan Dotson had two finishes in the top 12, three finishes in the top 24, and one in the top 35. Dotson was in and out of the lineup with injuries but passed the advanced analytics test with an average depth of target of 13.5 (14th in NFL), and 14.9 yards per reception (16th in NFL). Dotson scored 7 touchdowns in those 12 games proving he can continue to improve on where he left off last season. As I mentioned, Terry McLaurin is dealing with a turf toe injury which could give Dotson to develop as Howell’s number one target early in the season. Unfortunately, I am not the only one who loves Dotson this year, the whole entire fantasy community is on board. His ADP is WR38 right now, but that will continue to climb with the McLaurin news. He’s my WR25.