Viewing a player’s stat line from previous seasons can be an excellent tool to create a baseline projection but it often does not tell the whole story. Every season, players are drafted at whatever time feels like a safe spot but some players do not live up to their draft position. This article will take a look at five players who could regress in 2023.
WR Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks
Lockett has been an extremely reliable target in Seattle’s offense over the last few seasons and has posted four straight 1,000-yard seasons. The 2023 season will be Lockett’s age-30 season and unfortunately, he is due for some regression. The Seahawks used their first-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft to select Wide Receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba who should start immediately in the slot. D.K. Metcalf should yet again have a solid season in 2023. Given the competitive target share, expect some regression for Lockett this season.
WR Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Evans has been extremely productive throughout his career including posting over 1,000 receiving yards in every season he has played to this point. Unfortunately for Evans, he finds himself on the list of potential regression candidates due to the Bucs’ Quarterback situation. With Tom Brady deciding to call it a career after the 2022 season, that leaves free agent acquisition Baker Mayfield to be next in line as the Bucs’ starting Quarterback. With the uncertainty around the Bucs’ Quarterback situation, it can be expected for Evans to take a step back in production in 2023.
RB Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans
For the last few seasons, one of the most popular preseason predictions is that Derrick Henry will regress. To this point, he has proved all the doubters wrong but I fear that 2023 will be the year that his extreme workload over the last few years begins to catch up to Henry. The Titans are also expected to take a step back as a team this season so they may manage Henry’s touches to see what they have in their other backs in order to plan for the seasons ahead.
RB Jamaal Williams, New Orleans Saints
Williams signed with the Saints this offseason after leading the league with 17 rushing touchdowns last season. While the touchdown total may be eye-popping, it is deceiving. Williams scored the majority of his touchdowns on goalline toches last season which unfortunately makes him a prime regression candidate in 2023. Expect Williams to compliment Alvin Kamara well but he should not be counted on to reproduce his 17 touchdown season.
WR Christian Kirk, Jacksonville Jaguars
In his first season with the Jaguars, Kirk easily produced the best season of his career as the team’s top Wide Receiver. While he will remain a go-to option for the team in 2023, the arrival of Calvin Ridley will reduce his targets. On top of that, the Jaguars’ offense has several skilled playmakers in Travis Etienne, Evan Engram and Zay Jones to feature as well. Given the competitive target share in Jacksonville, it should be expected for Kirk to see his production dip in 2023.