Dynasty Fantasy Football: 2023 Rookie RB Class

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On the most recent Fantasy Footballers Dynasty Podcast, Betz, Mike, and I reviewed the 2023 Rookie class.

I approached this review exercise like an annual dynasty-focused checkup with these questions in mind:

  • What did this player accomplish as a rookie?
  • What is the historical context of this player’s performance factoring in NFL Draft Capital?
  • What questions emerge about their dynasty value moving forward? 

These are essentially the “show notes” from our discussion from the podcast if you want to reference them later and bookmark this rookie review.

2023 Rookie RB Class Review

Round Pick Team Player Age College
1 8 ATL Bijan Robinson 21 Texas
1 12 DET Jahmyr Gibbs 21 Alabama
2 52 SEA Zach Charbonnet 22 UCLA
3 71 NOR Kendre Miller 21 TCU
3 81 TEN Tyjae Spears 22 Tulane
3 84 MIA De’Von Achane 21 Texas A&M
3 88 JAX Tank Bigsby 22 Auburn
4 115 CHI Roschon Johnson 22 Texas
5 143 NYJ Israel Abanikanda 20 Pittsburgh
5 163 CIN Chase Brown 23 Illinois
5 172 NYG Eric Gray 23 Oklahoma
5 176 IND Evan Hull 22 Northwestern
6 193 WAS Chris Rodriguez 22 Kentucky
6 212 DAL Deuce Vaughn 21 Kansas St.
6 215 LAR Zach Evans 22 Mississippi
7 222 MIN DeWayne McBride 22 Ala-Birmingham
7 235 GNB Lew Nichols 22
Central Michigan
7 237 SEA Kenny McIntosh 23 Georgia

The ADPs listed below reflect the average draft position before the season per RotoViz’s Dynasty ADP tool.

Bijan Robinson, Round 1 Overall 8, Atlanta Falcons

ADP: Rookie Drafts: RB1/1.01    ||    Dynasty Startups: RB1/10th overall   ||    Redraft: 1.08

Stats That Matter

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  • 17 games – 214/976/4 rushing + 86 targets for 58/487/4
  • Excelled as a receiver: 2nd most routes run among RBs, 4th in receiving yards
  • 30 runs of 10+ yards (tied for 4th most), 8th in forced missed tackles
  • ATL RB carries inside the 10-yard line: Bijan- 12, Allgeier- 10, Patterson- 5

Historical Context

His 86 targets is 7th most all-time for a rookie RB. He had the same yards per reception (8.4) as rookie Reggie Bush.

One of 8 rookie RBs with 270+ touches.

Future Dynasty Questions

  • What are the arguments against him being the RB1 in dynasty startups? Breece Hall? Jahmyr Gibbs?
  • Will managers be happy with several top-10 RB seasons but missing out on truly elite top-3 numbers?

Jahmyr Gibbs, Round 1 Overall 12, Detroit Lions

ADP: Rookie Drafts: RB2/1.02    ||    Dynasty Startups: RB5/26th Overall   ||    Redraft: 3.08

Stats That Matter

  • 15 games – 182/945/10 rushing + 71 targets for 52/316/1
  • Missed 2 games- Hamstring
  • Highly efficient– 7th among RBs in fantasy points per opportunity
  • From Week 7-16, he was the RB3 averaging 18.9 fantasy points per game. In that space, he averaged 18.2 opportunities, 6.0 yards per carry, 104.3 total yards and 1.1 TDs per game. With five finishes inside the top-3 in that span, he propelled a ton of teams to the fantasy playoffs.
  • In 3 games without David Montgomery, he averaged 18 rush attempts, five receptions and 22 PPR points per game. He showed he could handle a big workload.

Historical Context

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He is tied for the 3rd highest fantasy points per touch ever for a rookie RB.

Future Dynasty Questions

  • Is the best way to sum up Gibbs is that he met expectations?
  • Is there any window to acquire him or is he a dynasty untouchable?

De’Von Achane, Round 3 Overall 84, Miami Dolphins

ADP: Rookie Drafts: RB4/1.12    ||    Dynasty Startups: RB29/108th Overall   ||    Redraft: 11.04

Stats That Matter

  • 11 games – 103/800/8 rushing + 37 targets for 27/197/3
  • Missed Week 6-9 with MCL Sprain, Week 12 with Knee Injury
  • #1 in NextGenStats Rushing Yards over expected per attempt (2.87)… next closest was CMC at 1.32
  • 2nd among all RBs in yards after contact per attempt
  • Led all NFL RBs in Yards per Touch (7.7)
  • Nominated for Performance of the Year Footie Award– Week 3 vs DEN

Historical Context

One of 15 rookie Rookie RBs with 70+ rushing yards & 15+ Receiving Yards/game & Scored 10+ TDs.

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Future Dynasty Questions

  • Is he locked in as a top-10 dynasty RB?
  • What kinds of risk does he bring knowing his small frame?

Tyjae Spears, Round 3 Overall 81, Tennessee Titans

ADP: Rookie Drafts: RB7/2.09     ||    Dynasty Startups: RB41/139th   ||    Redraft: Undrafted

Stats That Matter

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  • 17 games – 100/453/2 rushing + 70 targets for 52/385/1
  • Saw 50+ % of snaps in 12 of 17 games
  • 4.5 ypc, 3.1 receptions per game

Historical Context

1 of 15 Rookie RBs since 2013 with 50+ Receptions

Future Dynasty Questions

  • How much of a run does he get next year? In redraft, is he a classic dead zone RB?
  • Is Tennessee a dumpster fire in 2024?

Zach Charbonnet, Round 2 Overall 52, Seattle Seahawks

ADP: Rookie Drafts: RB5/2.01     ||    Dynasty Startups: RB27/102nd   ||    Redraft: 9.03

Stats That Matter

  • 16 games – 108/462/1 rushing + 40 targets for 33/209/0
  • Missed Week 7- Hamstring
  • With Kenneth Walker III in the lineup, he averaged just 7.8 opportunities per game.
  • Charbonnet totaled just two top-24 performances

Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Historical Context

Among 2nd round rookie RBs over the last decade with 100+ touches, his 6.63 PPR points per game is near the bottom.

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Future Dynasty Questions

  • Is he just a hold right now? Is there still upside if you trade a late 2024 2nd round pick?

Other Rookie RBs of Note

Roschon Johnson, Round 4 Overall 115, Chicago Bears

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He looked like he had juice at times and was solid as a pass-catcher reeling in 85 % of his targets. Khalil Herbert is in the final year of his rookie deal and it looks like a similar situation to Rhamondre Stevenson‘s breakout sophomore year. A 4th year RB who had his moments as a rookie that eventually took over the reins from the presumed starter (Damien Harris) in a contract year.

Keaton Mitchell, Undrafted, Baltimore Ravens

He burned too bright! Mitchell led all NFL RBs in yards after contact per attempt and ranked 2nd in fantasy points per opportunity. According to Betz, the combination of him being undrafted + ACL injury is not a good forecast for his future. His surgical date (December 28th) says he will likely start the 2024 season on the PUP.

Kendre Miller, Round 3 Overall 71, New Orleans Saints

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He missed the 1st two weeks with a hamstring injury and Weeks 9-17 with an ankle injury so it felt like a lost season. In Week 18 versus Atlanta, he saw 36% of the snaps, 14 opportunities and finished with 73 rushing yards and a score. Alvin Kamara has two years left under contract but his cap hit balloons to $29(!) million in 2025 so the Saints will have to re-work that deal. With Kamara’s efficiency marks dropping across the board in 2023, Miller remains a high upside backup in dynasty with room to breakout next year.

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