Preseason Playbook: The NFL's 5 most fantasy-friendly teams to build around
Plus: RBs to target, training camp risers, and updated rankings
What is good? Hope you’re well and are starting to feel slightly more prepared for your first or next fantasy football draft. Hopefully, some of what I’m sharing today will help.
In this week’s edition, I have an exclusive first look at our yet-to-be-published article on 5th Down detailing the top 5 NFL offenses to build your fantasy team around. I’m also curating the top news items from camp to identify some risers and fallers to keep on your radar and highlighting a few smart picks to consider at the running back position.
And, of course, a fresh update on our re-draft player rankings for all of our loyal paying subscribers, whose support is invaluable!
Please remember that your paid support is what keeps 5thdownfantasy.com up and running. I’ve reinvested all of the proceeds from this newsletter into the website this summer, implementing a new website design and setting up a faster and more secure web server. I can’t thank you enough for your support.
If you’re a free subscriber to this newsletter, please consider upgrading to help out the cause and unlock all premium features that come with our complete Playbook emails, including complete award-winning player rankings, exclusive tools like our mock draft simulator, first-look access to select advice articles and more perks as I conceive them. I don’t ask for much, it only costs about 3 mocha lattes or 2 quarter-pounder value meals per year.
You’re all awesome, thanks again, and reach out if you have any feedback, questions, etc.
Best - Justin
Training camp risers
A few preseason happenings we’ve been tracking at 5thDownFantasy.com…
Sam Howell has officially been named the starting QB for the Washington Commanders. He showed promise in his one start against Dallas last year, and 5th Down’s Matt New is even throwing around the “B” word when it comes to Howell in 2023.
Colts WR Josh Downs has been impressing in camp and is becoming a favorite target of Anthony Richardson in practice. Downs may take time to get up to NFL speed, but his future is looking bright. He’s a solid pick in dynasty leagues and a late-round flier in redraft formats.
Packers TE Luke Musgrave has been receiving praise after praise from teammates and coaches. He has already developed a very good connection with Jordan Love and he is only going off as the TE35 in drafts. Expect him to finish as a top-15 even top-20 TE by the end of the year.
Chiefs WR Justyn Ross was back at practice this week after exiting practice Tuesday on a cart. Ross has been impressive in training camp and has a chance to carve out a role heading into the 2023 season.
In other news…
RB Dalvin Cook finally agreed on terms to a one-year deal with the New York Jets. Cook’s deal is worth $8.6 million, which is enough to expect he’ll have a genuine role in a team that’s hoping to contend, especially since he has averaged over 300 touches, 1,600 scrimmage yards, and 11 total touchdowns over the last four seasons.
The other former fantasy RB stud looking for work also landed a new home as Ezekiel Elliott agreed to a one-year, $6 million deal with the New England Patriots. His best days are behind him, but fantasy owners will likely see Elliott steal meaningful touches from starter Rhamondre Stevenson close to the goal line.
We’re pumping out several insider tidbits from training camp every day on 5thDownFantasy.com. Click here for the latest.
3 ‘must-have’ RBs for the upcoming season
No matter where you are considering drafting a running back this year, there’s someone to covet. Here’s who and why…
Bijan Robinson, Atlanta Falcons
Many, if not most, running backs that are drafted in the first round of the NFL draft have been tremendous fantasy producers in their rookie year — Najee Harris, Saquan Barkley, Ezekiel Elliott, just to name a few. Robinson has as much talent as these guys and is entering a Falcons running scheme primed for fantasy gold. Arthur Smith loves to run the ball, and last year, Atlanta rushed on 55% of their plays (2nd highest in NFL) and averaged 4.9 yards per carry as a team (4th highest in NFL).
J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens
Dobbins has had trouble staying healthy but when he’s been on the field, he’s been insanely efficient. He’s averaged 5.9 yards per carry OVER HIS CAREER. From Weeks 14-17 last season, Dobbins finished as the RB14, averaging 14.25 fantasy points per game. In a high-scoring offense, and with a full recovery of the torn ACL, Dobbins could be in the 18-20 carries per game range which would let him smash his current ADP.
Antonio Gibson, Washington Commanders
In 2020 and 2021, Gibson finished in half-PPR leagues as the RB12 and RB10. Last season, he finished as the RB31 despite missing the last game of the season. Each year, Gibson’s reception total has increased (36, 42, 46), and he certainly has a chance at 50 catches this upcoming season. Gibson could have a bounce-back year and is a great value in round 8. He’s also an ideal fantasy target for any zero/hero RB drafters in 2023.
More from 5th Down: 3 breakout fantasy quarterback candidates for 2023
2023 player rankings update
Our 2023 fantasy football re-draft and dynasty rankings for PPR, Half-PPR, and Standard scoring will update throughout the pre-season.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial