Dynasty Rookie Rankings 2023 | Top 5 Post-NFL Draft Fallers

It’s time to update our Dynasty Rookie Rankings for 2023 Post NFL Draft. More than 250 prospects fulfilled their ambition to be drafted into the NFL this past weekend. We should celebrate each and every one of them for doing so. They have overcome the odds. They have become the proud few, out of the thousands who aspire to reach the pinnacle every year. Well done, everyone. Well done.

BUT…While we can and shall celebrate them all, we can still be a tad upset about things. We would have preferred every player to land on a team where their fantasy destiny could be achieved. Or within a situation that could at least lead to early chances to make some noise in our game about a game. But this didn’t happen. It never happens, to be fair. But we still go on hoping, and dreaming.

Below are five players whose stock took a serious hit on our Dynasty Rookie Rankings for 2023 after the NFL Draft. I have not included players like Zach Charbonnet, Tyjae Spears, or Will Levis. They have all fallen in the rankings since last week, I admit. But they have dropped a couple of spots at best within their position group. We don’t have to worry about them too much. But for the three running backs and two tight ends you are about to read about? The concern levels are VERY real.

Israel Abanikanda

Israel Abanikanda went into the draft weekend as one of our favorite “next tier” running backs. He was never considered on par with Bijan Robinson or Jahmyr Gibbs, but he was a fully paid member of the next tier. Days after the draft, his fantasy stock is in tatters. Abanikanda produced at an elite level in college, with a 46.5 percent College Dominator Rating (97th percentile) and a 1,431 rushing yard season in 2022.

Israel Abanikanda Advanced Stats & Metrics

But the New York Jets drafted him and he is sitting behind Breece Hall. You could say we’re somewhat bullish on Hall around these parts, as evidenced by his No. 2 spot in our dynasty rankings among all running backs. So Abanikanda has quite the barrier to playing time, not to mention fantasy success, ahead of him. The presence of Aaron Rodgers and his ultra-slow approach to snapping plays off is another knock against Abanikanda should he ever see the field. It’s a terrible shame, but Abanikanda now sits at RB11 in our Rookie Rankings. He was RB5 before the draft.

Zach Evans

Zach Evans is another running back who we were looking at in a much more favorable light just one week ago. The former TCU/Ole Miss back was the No. 16 overall player on our rookie rankings last week. He was the No. 10 running back. His 11.14 Agility Score (80th percentile) and 6.8 Yards Per Carry (90th percentile) had us somewhat hopeful that he could be productive if he landed in the right spot at the right stage of the NFL Draft. Well, it looks like he didn’t. After being selected with the No. 38 pick in the sixth round by the Los Angeles Rams, he loses a lot of value. Evans doesn’t exactly have the most stellar workout metrics, other than his agility, and doesn’t have much to suggest he could chip in as a pass catcher.

These factors, added to the crummy draft capital, and the possibility of the Rams being crummy in the not-to-distant future, have seriously torpedoed Evans’s fantasy stock. He now sits behind 49 other rookies, and 229 players in total, in our rankings, as the RB15.

Keaton Mitchell

Keaton Mitchell was not a player we were completely in love with. I have to stress that straight out of the gate. He was 197th on our Big Board ahead of the Draft. He was no higher than RB16 in our predraft rookie rankings. However, there were things to like about Mitchell’s profile. He boasts exceptional speed, with a 4.37 40-yard dash time (99th percentile) and a 127.6 Burst Score (88th percentile). Mitchell also has a 7.2 Yards per Carry (94th percentile) average. This average helped him o 2,584 rushing yards and 25 rushing touchdowns over the last two seasons for East Carolina. Mitchell also picked up more than 500 receiving yards in 2021-2022.

But Mitchell went all the way through the draft without hearing his name called. He eventually signed with the Baltimore Ravens as a UDFA. Now, UDFA’s have had some success historically with the Ravens at running back and other positions. Indeed, safety Anthony Mitchell went undrafted in 1999 and played for the Ravens in their Super Bowl win a year later. His son could carve out a role for the team that has enjoyed production from undrafted backs like Priest Holmes and Gus Edwards. But is that role likely to be one that makes fantasy managers sit up and take note? The odds don’t look too good. Mitchell is down at RB22 in our Rookie Rankings and No. 310 overall.

Darnell Washington

We, like most of the football-watching world, were blown away by Darnell Washington and his athletic gifts ahead of the NFL Draft. People that big are not supposed to be that athletic. It’s not fair to the rest of us that one man should get so much while the rest of us get by with so few.

But we were somewhat realistic about his chances of developing into a true weapon as a receiver in the NFL.  There were stretches when it seemed that Washington could break into a first-round in a draft full of good tight ends! Alas, this didn’t happen, and Washington eventually fell to the No. 30 pick in the third round of the NFL Draft. The Pittsburgh Steelers were the team to break his fall.

This is far from the ideal landing spot for Washington, given a number of competing factors. One, the Steelers are not a “spread and shed” passing attack, with a neutral pass rate of 55 percent in 2022. They would dearly like to run the ball and play solid defense. This is a strategy anyone who has watched the Steelers play over the last 50 years can probably attest to. Washington, given his incredible frame and athleticism, may see plenty of playing time as a rookie, but it will likely be as a blocker. Indeed, there were some pre-draft rumblings that Washington’s ultimate NFL future may be as an offensive lineman.

Pat Freiermuth

The presence of Pat Freiermuth in the same offense is another ding to Washington and his hopes of fantasy relevance. Freiermuth was pretty good last season (given the circumstances), finishing No. 6 among all tight ends in receptions and receiving yards. Washington has ways to go before he can be viewed as anything more than a player who may see a single target in a game for the Steelers. He’s the TE10 in our rookie rankings. This is all the way down from TE5 just a short week ago.

Zack Kuntz

Speaking of freakishly athletic tight ends, Zack Kuntz is another player who we wanted different things for this past weekend. Kuntz posted absolutely eye-popping workout metrics at the NFL Scouting Combine. He is, quite simply, the most athletic tight end we have ever documented.

Zack Kuntz Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

We can love a player for his athleticism. But Kuntz is a seventh-round tight end on a roster with C.J. Uzomah, Tyler Conklin, and last year’s draft pick Jeremy Ruckert. The Jets also have a beastly running back and a host of talented wide receivers. Kuntz’s prototypical size may see him earn playing time as a run blocker. But an awful lot will have to happen for him to make any fantasy noise any time soon. Kuntz was the TE7 in our rookie rankings a week ago. Now? He’s down at TE14. Such a shame.