10. Dalvin Cook – RB, MIN
Dalvin Cook has passed the age of 27, also known as the dreaded breaking point for many elite running backs. Last offseason, many analysts insisted you shouldn’t overreact to the hiring of Kevin O’Connell, who launches a pass-heavy attack. They insisted it would actually increase Cook’s advantage as he would see more work in the passing game. However, Cook’s owners know only too well how contradictory its use in O’Connell’s offense was.
Last year, a big game or two often saved Cook from fielding duds. As Cook ages and his role in the Viking Offensive is mixed, he’s unlikely to recoup his predicted rank in the first two or three rounds of fantasy drafts. It’s also been a bad year at the RB position, so Cook’s status as RB1 may not last for another season.
9. Ezekiel Elliot – RB, DAL
Oh how the mighty have fallen. While I respect Ezekiel Elliot for stepping into a role where he does the dirty work as a blocker and short yard back, I can’t expect him to deliver a beginner-worthy production for fantasy. He will continue to be involved in the Cowboys’ attack while balancing the more cunning and smaller Tony Pollard.
It seems the tide has turned in this backfield, as Pollard becomes the star and Zeke the late-round handcuff. He can be counted on to produce RB3/flex, but not much else.
8. Derek Carr – QB, FA
With Derek Carr testing the free agent market, his sub-fantasy value will not change this offseason. With Carr likely to make a splash in free agency, fantasy speculation is likely to follow soon after. At the moment, he is expected to sign with the Jets and Saints.
Homers for the team he’s signing with, biased Carr supporters, and reactionary fantasy football players will likely try to spin a Carr-Olave or Carr-Wilson connection as fantasy gold. However, because Carr has almost no mobility and touchdown on the upside, he is limited in his effectiveness as a fantasy quarterback. He’s a mid-range QB2 at best – no matter where he signs.
7. AJ Dillon – RB, UK
Every year I’ve been told that AJ Dillon is coming in for Aaron Jones and that he’s going to be one of fantasy football’s biggest thieves when it happens. I’m here to tell you it’s time to end AJ Dillon’s dream. Aaron Jones recently restructured his contract to once again stay in Green Bay.
This duo will remain a duo and the touches will continue to tilt towards Aaron Jones. If Aaron Rodgers leaves, it will only diminish the value of these two players even more. Dillon is a versatile and talented defender, but he’s never been more than a handcuff in his career.
6. Kyler Murray – QB, AZ
Despite his inconsistent play on the field, Murray was a very solid fantasy asset before suffering a cruciate ligament rupture in 2022. He will miss a lot of time in the regular season and could spend the rest of the season trying to get his rhythm back. Murray is an electric athlete who relies heavily on his quick twitch agility to miss defenders.
However, Murray’s knee injury could limit his ability to do so even if he returns mid-season. To make matters worse, Murray must adjust to a new coaching staff and system, with a host of new teammates and possibly without his best weapon in DeAndre Hopkins. There are too many factors working against Murray in 2023, but that could turn him into a massive steal in 2024.
5. Taysom Hill – TE, NO
Taysom Hill may be the most unique player in NFL history, but that doesn’t make him a valuable fantasy asset. Hill is one of the most difficult players to predict, being listed as a tight end but playing more like a gadget quarterback/running back.
He makes plays in all sorts of ways, but rarely sees more than ten touches per game and rarely records more than one reception. If you start him up for his only massive game of the year, only to tell your league peers, “I told you so,” move on; but Hill is far from a reliable asset.
4. Evan Engram – TE, JAX
Evan Engram had an excellent four-game stretch in 2022, and with tight end position thrashing about, it was enough to make him a top-five tight end. If you take away Engram’s stellar performance from weeks 13-16 when he averaged 21.2 PPR points per game, the numbers aren’t pretty.
He averaged just over 7.0 PPR points per game in the Jaguars’ remaining games, and almost half of his total production came from that lone four-game stretch of absurd production. To make matters worse, Engram could see a drop in goals from Trevor Lawrence with the addition of Calvin Ridley.
3. Jamaal Williams – RB, DET
The fantasy community will no doubt see all the Jamaal Williams hype this offseason. His draft ranking is likely to keep climbing with each passing day this offseason. The fantasy community always tends to focus on volume and situation while forgetting the importance of skills.
Williams broke Barry Sanders’ franchise record for quick touchdowns that year to finish as the RB13 overall winner. He’s had a whopping six games with multiple quick touchdowns, and that production just isn’t sustainable. Williams also saw just 16 total goals in the passing game all year, making his relapse even more likely.
Two years ago James Conner led the league in rushing touchdowns and finished as RB1. Last year Conner was rated a top 30 asset in draft and only produced at that level in the final weeks of the season. Like Conner, Williams is due for regression on touchdowns, but he doesn’t have nearly the advantage of a three-down back like Conner can. Whether he becomes a three-down back or not, I wouldn’t bet Williams will do anywhere near as well next season.
2. Leonard Fournette – RB, TB
Leonard Fournette is likely to be cut by the Buccaneers this offseason as they are on the verge of a full rebuild. He might have finished as an RB12 last year but make no mistake, Fournette fell hard. He saw his job being overtaken by rookie Rachaad White and he will likely be forced to test his worth in the open market in his season aged 28.
Don’t let years of production fool you – Fournette may fall even further than Ezekiel Elliot. He finished last year with just 668 yards on the ground, and most of his accomplishment came from working in the receiving game, though he’s better known as a blue runner.
1. Alvin Kamara – RB, NO
Alvin Kamara had a difficult 2022 season, finishing as an RB16 while only scoring four touchdowns that year, three of which came in the same game. Kamara saw his touches, goals and receptions drop this year, but that’s not the only reason you should consider fading him.
Kamara also faces a legal battle as he faces a charge of assault that could earn him a lengthy suspension. With the preliminary hearing scheduled for March 1, who knows how long it will be before they come to a final decision and the NFL investigation to determine how long he will be suspended.