2023 Fantasy Football Post-Draft Rookie Deep Sleepers

by Mike Bonni
2024 NFL Draft Big Board

Welcome back, fantasy friends. You are reading the 2023 Fantasy Football Post-Draft Rookie Deep Sleepers article.

One of the highlights of the fantasy season just occurred, that being the NFL Draft. Every year the football community waits on pins and needles to see where these rookies get drafted. For many, there are cheers. For others, there are tears flowing.

With that being said, there is another highlight of the fantasy season that is in full swing. For you Dynasty players, the rookie draft is an exciting time. This is where you can make or break your team. Every year, there are hidden gems that can/will make an impact on their drafted teams.

Just in 2022, we saw three RBs that went in the fourth round or later make a significant impact on their teams. Dameon Pierce (Rd. 4, P. 107) started 13 games and ran for 939 yards, Tyler Allgeier (Rd. 5, P. 151) ran for 1035 yards, and Isiah Pacheco (Rd. 7, P. 251) started 11 games (including the Super Bowl) and is a champion.

Let's not forget about Brock Purdy (Rd. 7, P. 262). Mr. Irrelevant started five games (5-0) and led his team to the playoffs.

I mention/recapped all those players because I'm about to highlight a few players that have the chance of becoming any one of those players mentioned above. These are players you should be snatching up late in your rookie drafts.

Welcome to the 2023 Post-Draft Rookie Deep Sleepers article.

2023 Fantasy Football Post-Draft Rookie Deep Sleepers

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The 2023 NFL Draft was bananas, to say the least.

Just to name a few things: there were trades galore, the free-fall of Will Levis, the Lions drafting Gibbs with pick 12 and then trading Swift (to the Eagles), and then the Eagles proceeded to mess around and create a super-team.

Alright, I'm done with that little recap. Let's jump into the 2023 Post-Draft Rookie Deep Sleepers article.

Wide Receivers

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Kayshon Boutte, WR, New England Patriots (Rd. 6, P. 187)

Kayshon Boutte landed in a decent spot, but he has work to do to move up the depth chart. He will be sitting behind Juju, Parker, Bourne, and Thornton. Not great, obviously.

The good news for Boutte, though, is that he is going super late in rookie drafts. That is a steal in my eyes and I will tell you why.

First off, he is a former five-star recruit (number-two WR in class, 247 sports). Let's also mention that he broke out as a freshman (according to playerprofiler.com), where he played in ten games (45-735-5). Playing through the whole covid mess stunted his progress, same with the QB play he was dealing with.

We would be looking at Boutte in a different light if he didn't test so poorly (29" vertical), the talent is there and I hope the Patriots can recognize this. Snatch him up late in your rookie drafts. It's worth it.

Xavier Hutchinson, WR, Houston Texans (Rd. 6, P. 205)

I'm over the moon about this landing spot. Xavier Hutchinson finds himself on a team that has a brutal WR group in Houston. The 2022 first-team AP All-American WR caught 107 balls for 1171 yards and six touchdowns for Iowa State. He is the perfect size for an NFL WR (6-3 210) and posts an elite target share (24.7%, 24.2%, and 34.1% in 2022).

With the WR group being weak (Nico Collins, Robert Woods, John Metchie, and Noah Brown), Xavier Hutchinson can thrust himself into a starting role by the end of the season.

Draft him late, and draft him often if you do a bunch of rookie drafts.

Running Backs

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Zach Evans, RB, Los Angeles Rams (Rd. 6, P. 215)

This is a personal pick for me, so you guys will just have to deal with seeing Zach Evans on here.

Zach Evans falling to the sixth round is a shame (shouldn't have happened), but I'm thankful he landed in a decent spot. I'm not saying he is going to be the starter—that's silly. I do think he can cruise right past Kyren Williams and the other guy (Ronnie Rivers) though. If something were to happen to Akers (injury history), we could see another RB make a huge impact on their team.

Other than (maybe)Rochon Johnson, Zach Evans has the freshest legs of the RB draft class. He only has 290 career carries (6.9 YPC), which could be a blessing for him. The former five-star recruit (#2 RB, 247sports) flashed as a freshman. He played in nine games and ran for 415 yards (7.7 YPC). An injury knocked him out of the 2021 season, which led to him transferring to Ole Miss. He played in 12 games in 2022, rushing for 936 yards with nine touchdowns. As you can see he shows flashes in the run game, and he can also be serviceable in the passing game (30 catches in 27 games).

Yes—Evans does have some character issues and he needs to work on his running a bit more (vision is lacking), but he could end up being a steal for the Rams. Think about drafting him late, he could end up being a steal for you too.

Quarterbacks

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Stetson Bennett, QB, Los Angeles Rams (Rd. 4, P. 128)

What a landing spot for Stetson Bennett. I love this for him, as he will become Matthew Stafford's backup. As we know, Stafford(35) is dealing with some injury problems. Couple that with the fact that the Rams are going to be a bad team, we can see Bennett play in 2023. Other than the main QBs that went, this is hands down the best landing spot for a rookie QB.

In 2022, Stetson Bennett had himself a year. He won his second championship and this time he was more than just a "game manager"(4,128 yards and 27 TDs). Leaving Georgia with a career 9.1 YPA is encouraging, same with the 66% completion percentage as a starter. Bennett also has some running ability (464 yards in his last two years), so that could bring a new dynamic to the Rams.

Honorable Mentions

Be on the lookout for these rookies as well.

  • Chase Brown, RB, Cincinnati Bengals (Rd. 5 P. 163)
    Chase Brown ran wild for Illinois in 2022 (1643 yards with 10 Touchdowns). He also is a sneaky weapon in the passing game (27 receptions for 240 yards and three touchdowns). Landing with the Bengals is great for Brown's draft stock, as he should be able to surpass Chris Evans and Trayveon Williams. Let's not forget that Mixon could be leaving as well, that is to be continued.
  • Eric Gray, RB, New York Giants (Rd. 5 P. 172)
    Eric Gray had himself a breakout season for the Oklahoma Sooners. He rushed for 1366 yards with 11 touchdowns. He also added 33 catches for 229 yards. Gray will be joining the Giants, to eventually be Barkley's backup. He should fly right by Gary Brightwell on the depth chart. Eric Gray is an absolute weapon in the passing game (99 catches in 47 games), which should alleviate some pressure from Barkley.
  • Zack Kuntz, TE, New York Jets ()
    Zack Kuntz has a steep mountain to climb on this Jets' depth chart. He currently sits behind Conklin, Uzomah, and Ruckert. That's not the best news for him, but let's not forget that Kuntz is an athletic freak (6'7 250+ pounds that ran a 4.55 40). In 2021 (his only full season), Kuntz caught 73 balls for 692 yards with five touchdowns. He is more of a stash player, but you won't regret taking him late in your rookie drafts.

Well, it's good to back writing for you guys. I hope you enjoyed the 2023 Fantasy Football Post-Draft Rookie Deep Sleepers article.


Check out our 2023 NFL Draft Player Profiles, and keep an eye out in the coming days for more post-draft content from all your favorite F6P writers.

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