With the NFL season right around the corner, let’s talk fantasy football! I won the Week 13 Milly Maker on DraftKings last year, and I want to help you win also. This season, I will do my best to give you picks based on data and my gut. I always say you have to trust your gut to get different and win big, because if you pick players based on data alone, you won’t stand out. Don’t be afraid to go with your gut and your first instincts. We will dive deeper into my strategies in future articles; I just wanted to get your wheels turning with some players I think will be productive this season, including both some familiar top faces and some later-round picks I’m feeling good about.
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Mahomes was the QB1 last year and led all fantasy players with 428.4 points. I see no reason to think he can’t do it again.
Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles
Hurts can run and pass. He ran for 13 touchdowns and 750 yards in 2022 and threw for 3,700 and yards and 22 TDs. He also plays behind one of the best offensive lines in football.
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bangles
Burrow threw 35 TD passes last year and has two very talented wide receivers in Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. He has also started using his legs to get TDs, grabbing five last year.
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
Josh finished second to only Mahomes in total points last year. He’s thrown for over 4,000 yards in three seasons straight and has run for over 700 yards in his last two seasons.
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
Lamar has been sidelined with injury a lot recently, but his potential is definitely there, and we have seen it. He gets a new offensive coordinator this year in Todd Monken, and the focus will be on passing. He will still have his legs that have averaged 60+ yards a game, making him a dual threat and a great fantasy option.
Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers
Herbert was nothing special last year, and we can attribute that to the injury he sustained against the Chiefs and the injuries that plagued two of his best weapons in Mike Williams and Keenan Allen. The Chargers want a more consistent run game and more explosive plays, which new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore has a proven track record to bring.
Justin Fields, Chicago Bears
We all know what Fields can do with his legs. If he can get going on the passing game, we may finally see happy people here in Illinois. He gained a very dangerous weapon in DJ Moore over the offseason, let’s just hope he is able to capitalize.
Aaron Rodgers, New York Jets
I am originally from Milwaukee, so the Packers have always been special to me. Rodgers is an all-time QB and, honestly, I think he will do much better in New York than he did in Green Bay last season.
Daniel Jones, New York Giants
Jones was not great through his first few years in the league, but last year he started to get it together. The issue is he didn’t really have much to pass to, but he has a new shiny toy named Darren Waller to play with.
Anthony Richardson, Indianapolis Colts
This guy is my favorite QB from the draft, and I think he is special. He may have only shown glimpses of potential in college, but he is ridiculously athletic and has a strong arm. This is one of those gut feelings I was talking about.
Christian McCaffrey, San Fransisco 49ers
McCaffery is just good! He can run, catch and even throw the ball well. He has brought great value to a great team and is a fantasy superstar.
Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers
Ekeler has scored more TDs than any other player over the last two years. He can rush the ball and is a great pass catcher. With the addition of Kellen Moore as the offensive coordinator, I expect good things again for Austin.
Bijan Robinson, Atlanta Falcons
A top-1o pick from this year’s NFL Draft, Robinson reminds me of Saquon Barkley with his lower body power. The Falcons’ line should do great things for this kid, and he should excel.
Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams
Akers had to work his way from being benched and back to the field. He ended the year as the Rams’ RB1 and showed some true upside. He is the clear RB1 again this year as the Rams are rebuilding and did not bring anyone on that should threaten Akers.
Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
White flew his personal trainer into Tampa Bay and has been working on training sessions twice a day. He has gained five pounds of muscle and is ready! White is a proficient receiver, and we should see a lot more balls coming his way from Baker Mayfield.
David Montgomery, Detroit Lions
I find value in Montgomery’s red zone upside. He will be taking over the role of Jamaal Williams, who led the league in rushing TDs last year. Detroit also drafted Jahmyr Gibbs, but I see a good mix of plays going to both backs.
Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings
Mattison has killed it in the psat whenever Dalvin Cook was out with injury. Now Cook has been released, opening the door for Mattison to shine.
Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys
How can you not be excited about Pollard being the RB1 on the Cowboys? The guy is a beast!
Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears
Herbert was better than Montgomery when he was given the ball last season in Chicago. He may be risky with the running upside of Justin Fields, but with the addition of DJ Moore, they want to get the passing game going to really see what Fields has to offer, which should open lanes for Herbert.
Tank Bigsby, Jacksonville Jaguars
Tank was Auburn’s RB1 starting his freshman year, and was drafted by the Jaguars in the third round of this year’s draft. Doug Pederson wants to build a deep RB room, so look to Tank to share time with Travis Etienne.
Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings
Jefferson only caught eight TDs last year, but he caught 128 passes for 1,809 yards. The absence of Adam Thielen should only increase his target count and TDs for this season.
Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins
We were all wondering how Hill could do without Patrick Mahomes, and he did very well. He went for 1,710 yards and seven TDs. Imagine what those number could be without the injuries that sidelined Tua Tagovailoa.
Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals
Chase has Burrow, and Burrow has Chase. They are a dynamic team, and Chase led WRs in red-zone targets last year.
Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders WR corps is not stacked, and even if it was, Adams would outshine them all for target share. If Jimmy Garoppolo can stay healthy, they should make a great team.
Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions
St Brown is Jared Goff’s favorite target. He went for 1,161 yards and six TDs last season. The Lions have a very strong schedule and no Jameson Williams for the first six weeks, so he should be a target-monster again.
Garrett Wilson, New York Jets
Garrett Wilson is another gut feeling I had last year, and I played him almost every week. He was in my Milly Maker lineup, and he will be in many lineups again for me this year. He gets a huge QB upgrade in Aaron Rodgers.
Drake London, Atlanta Falcons
London had a rough start last year and didn’t really show signs of greatness until Desmond Ridder took the field. Ridder has been named the starter heading into 2023, and that bodes very well for Drake in his sophomore season.
Kadarius Toney, Kansas City Chiefs
Toney has been riddled with injury, holding him back from shining like the star he is. But Patrick Mahomes thinks he can be one of the best WRs in football, and I agree with that.
DJ Moore, Chicago Bears
Moore finished with 888 yards and seven TDs last season, and that was with not-so-great QBs. Fields may be the best QB he has ever been on a field with, and although he may have to fight for target share, I can’t see why Moore wouldn’t be the clear WR1 for the Bears.
Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints
Olave had a good rookie year, going for 1,042 yards and four TDs. Now he gets a new quarterback in Derek Carr, who should be a good fit for his skill set.
Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
Kelce is a TE God! He has finished as the overall TE1 in six of the last seven years. He went for 1,338 yards and 12 TDs last season.
T.J. Hockenson, Minnesota Vikings
Hockenson was traded to the Vikings halfway through the season last year and averaged over 55 yards per game in Minnesotta. He will be a clear go-to if Jefferson is not open.
Darren Waller, New York Giants
Waller is the shiny new toy for Daniel Jones in New York. If he can stay healthy, his ceiling will be crazy high as Jones’ favorite target.
Chigoziem Okonkwo, Tennessee Titans
Okonkwo caught 32 passes for 450 yards and four TDs during his rookie season. He is quick and has the ability to break tackles down the field.
Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens
Andrews had an awesome 2021 season, leading all TEs in fantasy, but things didn’t go so well in 2022. He was dealing with injuries, and he wasn’t targeted as heavily when Lamar Jackson was injured. With Jackson back at the wheel, Andrews should climb back up the stat board.
George Kittle, San Fransisco 49ers
The 49ers QB situation is tricky, but Kittle is by far one of the best TEs in football and can produce no matter who is behind center.
Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons
Pitts came out swinging his rookie year; but between his QB situation and injury, it wasn’t so cute last year, leaving many frustrated. Now Ridder is locked-in behind the wheel, and Pitts should benefit.
Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars
Engram was good in his 2017 rookie season with the Giants, and then struggled for the rest of his tenure in New York. He seemed to be born again when he joined the Jags, and he did well last year, finishing with 766 yards and four TDs. Some are concerned about his target share with Calvin Ridley joining the team, but I think he gets more targets.
Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers
Last year’s stats of 732 yards and two TDs don’t scream fantasy production, but Freiermuth is a great pass catcher and he is a key part of the Steelers’ offense.
David Njoku, Cleveland Browns
Njoku is super talented and very athletic. He gets Deshaun Watson full-time this season, and I foresee great things.
San Fransisco 49ers
They were the top-scoring fantasy defense last year, and I don’t foresee that changing much, if at all, this season.
The Eagles have added weapons and should come in as one of the top-five defenses this season.
New York Jets
Can you say Sauce Gardner? The Jets also finally have an elite QB on offense, so they won’t live on the field like they have in the past.
I have a special place for Dan Quinn and how he runs his defense. Micah Parsons is an amazing talent, and they added more this year. If any team can take over the #1 spot, it’s Dallas.
Miami has added cornerback Jalen Ramsey and new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. That, paired with an already fantastic D-line, seems like a win.
New England Patriots
Bill Belichick runs a great defense and has proved it for years. With the addition of Christian Gonzalez, they should be another consistent choice.
The Steelers will be an elite defense this season. They should get TJ Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick back healthy and have added many new toys.
The Ravens were great in the second half of the season last year. They start off this season with a favorable schedule, and if they continue from last year, they will be great.
Chase Young will be back healthy, and the Commanders already had one of the best third-down defenses in the NFL last season.
The Bills are a better defense with Von Miller on the field. If he can’t go, they may have some struggles, but if he’s healthy they should produce.
Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens
Tucker is simply the best and most accurate kicker in NFL history.
Daniel Carlson, Las Vegas Raiders
Carlson led the NFL last season with 11 field goals of 50 yards or more.
Harrison Butker, Kansas City Chiefs
Butker gets a lot of attempts with the high-scoring Chiefs and is a good fantasy play.
Jason Myers, Seattle Seahawks
Myers converted 91.9% of his FG attempts last year, making 34 of 37.
Evan McPherson, Cincinnati Bengals
Evan has converted 14 of his 16 career attempts of 50 yards or longer. He needs to work on his shorter attempts but is still a very solid play.
Tyler Bass, Buffalo Bills
Bass has a very powerful leg and holds the NFL record for the most 50+ yard field goals made in a single game.
Younghoe Koo, Atlanta Falcons
Koo has converted 90.8% of his FG attempts since joining the Falcons in 2019. He has gone 20 for 25 from 50 yards or longer and he finished fifth overall among fantasy kickers last year.
Jason Sanders, Miami Dolphins
Sanders has slipped the last couple of years, so he will need to pick up the pace or he will be replaced.
Jake Elliott, Philadelphia Eagles
Elliott led the NFL in extra points made last season at 51, and should continue to see opportunities on a high-flying Eagles offense.
Brandon McManus, Jacksonville Jaguars
Brandon struggled a little last year, but should get plenty of attempts to bring his stats back up.