2023 fantasy football sleepers, busters – overrated, underrated players

Daniel DoppESPNJune 19, 2023, 6:44 AM ET5 minutes of reading

Why Daniel Dopp would ‘hate’ DeAndre Hopkins with the Titans

Daniel Dopp explains why DeAndre Hopkins wouldn’t be a good fantasy option if he signs with the Tennessee Titans.

Summer is upon us, and the the fantasy football grind is just heating up. Now listen: It’s way too early to be drafted in your re-draft leagues. This time of year is dedicated to top ball junkies (hey, I’m one) and dynasty nerds, but like you, we’re elbows deep in analytics to better prepare our fantasy drafts later this summer.

Most of the dust has settled regarding offseason player movement, so we have a clearer picture of the fantasy landscape. The only important fantasy position with some landing spots still undecided is running back, with Dalvin Cook, Leonard Fournette, Ezekiel Elliott and Kareem Hunt among the biggest names yet to find new homes. We will need to stay nimble as we gather news over the next few months to finalize our draft boards.

We can cross that bridge when we get there, but here are six players I think are overrated or underrated that I’ll be watching closely as the offseason progresses.


Kenneth Walker III, RB, Seattle Seahawks: This one knocks me out because I liked Walker last year. He finished the season with just over 1,000 yards rushing and nine TDs, finishing as RB17 in fantasy points per game. game as a rookie. Despite this production from Walker, the Seahawks used a second-round draft pick on pass-catching UCLA RB Zach Charbonnet, who has impressed early in the offseason. You don’t draft a RB this early to let him ride the pine, so they clearly expect Charbonnet to be a contributor in this offense. They also added a first-round wide receiver in Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who will also have a role. There are a lot of mouths to feed here, so I have Walker just inside my top 20 at RB.

Michael Pittman Jr., WR, Indianapolis Colts: After finishing as a WR16 in 2021, Pittman’s value took a hit due to inconsistent quarterback play, and that’s putting it politely because it was closer to disgusting than inconsistent, but I’m not here to get bogged down in semantics . This “overrated” designation has nothing to do with Pittman as a player; this is 100% about the situation he’s in, once again, with an inaccurate QB under center. This time, he gets this year’s No. 4 overall draft pick, Anthony Richardson, and throws him the ball — which is the one part of Richardson’s game that needs the most work. Pittman can overcome a lot of things with his size, but he’s going to need some serious help to get back to his days as a top-20 WR. Pittman is currently my WR30.

Evan Engram, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars: Engram is another victim of change within the offense. He fit in as a solid passcatcher for QB Trevor Lawrence last season en route to a TE7 finish with career highs in receptions (73) and receiving yards (766). However, there are two drawbacks here. First, he had just four TDs last season, the second-highest total of his career. He just doesn’t get into the end zone; he’s a chain-mover, not a touchdown-maker. Second, Calvin Ridley enters this offense with a proclamation of 1,400 receiving yards this season, plus there are Christian Kirk, Zay Jones and Travis Etienne Jr. all getting touches here. If Engram doesn’t get into the end zone, he needs volume, and that won’t be as prevalent this season, with Ridley joining this receiving corps as a true WR1. I have Engram as TE10.


Samaje Perine, RB, Denver Broncos: After spending the last 3½ seasons in Cincinnati, Perine finds himself in an interesting position in Denver. He’s technically the backup to 23-year-old Javonte Williams, who is returning from an ACL and LCL tear suffered in Week 4 last season. And while I appreciate coach Sean Payton’s relentless positivity, there’s a good chance Perine will have a pretty big role early in this process given how thin the RB room is. It’s a small sample size, but in his 13 career games with at least 15 touches, Perine has 13 TDs and scored at least 16 fantasy points in seven of those games. I currently have Perine at RB32 — a position that will certainly be fluid this summer with the potential for Dalvin Cook rumors or positive news surrounding Williams from training camp.

Diontae Johnson, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: Let’s start with this: I guarantee you Johnson will catch a touchdown pass in 2023. If you’ve watched or listened to “Fantasy Focus” this offseason, you’ve heard us talk about Johnson’s historic 2022 season, which became the first player in NFL history with 85-plus catches and no TDs. It will not happen again. Between the positive TD regression that analyst Mike Clay is preaching and Kenny Pickett making strides under center entering his second season, Johnson is poised to surpass what he did last season, and you can get him discount! I have him as a top-20(ish) WR, but his current average draft position is in WR3/flex territory.

Romeo Doubs, WR, Green Bay Packers: I know everyone loves Christian Watson. That’s all Mike Clay wants to talk about, and he’s probably right because he usually is, but let’s not forget Doubs. Early this offseason, there have been concerns about Jordan Love’s deep ball — I think “tight wobblers” was the phrase Love used when asked about it. This gives rise to the goodness that is Doubs and his slot role. While much of Watson’s value will be tied to Love’s deep ball, Doubs’ goals will be safer and more efficient. Yes, Doubs doesn’t have the edge that Watson has, but Watson costs you a fifth-rounder right now and Doubs is free. There is value in Doubs as a flexible floor game in this new Packers offense.

Leave a Comment