The 2022 draft class has an endless list of receivers set to make significant leaps in 2023. Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson has overall WR1 potential with new quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Chris Olave and Christian Watson stepped into the lead receiver role and will build on strong performances in 2022. Drake London, Treylon Burks, Jahan Dotson and George Pickens have top-24 potential, and Jameson Williams will play a significant role in Detroit’s offense , when he returns from suspension.
The upside for these receivers is clear, and their ADPs reflect their potential. But which second-year receivers could make the leap in 2023 and join that group of superstars?
2023 Sophomore WRs
Let’s discuss lesser-known receivers who could see an increase in production in year two and be strong value picks in your fantasy drafts.
Wan’Dale Robinson (WR – NYG)
Between the Giants signing Darren Waller, signing approximately 50 different free agent receivers and drafting Jaylin Hyatt, fantasy managers have completely forgotten that Robinson was the 43rd.rd the general election last year.
There isn’t a ton of analysis on Robinson because his rookie year was plagued by injuries, resulting in just six active games. But he had a couple of solid performances, including a 9-reception game for 100 yards in Week 11.
Robinson has the profile to be a target hog within this offense and, healthy permitting, could serve as a dart with an ADP currently in the 15th.th round.
John Metchie (WR – HOU)
Metchie’s rookie year was ended before the season even started when Metchie was diagnosed with cancer. This year will essentially serve as Metchie’s rookie season. Between the time away from football and the flashier names in the 2022 draft class, it’s easy to forget that Metchie was the 44th.th overall pick with strong production at Alabama – over 1,100 yards and 8 touchdowns in 2021, playing alongside Williams.
Metchie doesn’t have the explosive upside or true WR1 ceiling of the receivers lined up in front of him, but he could serve as a reliable WR2 in an offense that will increase pass volume with CJ Stroud at the helm.
Skyy Moore (WR – KC)
While all eyes are focused on whether Kadarius Toney can make the jump to the Chiefs’ WR1 in 2023, are we overlooking the potential upside for Moore? Feedback from the Chiefs’ minicamp is that Moore is making significant progress and could be in line to fill the gap left by JuJu Smith-Schuster.
While Smith-Schuster’s production was inconsistent late in the season, his typical production was that of a low-end WR2, and that type of value for Moore would be an absolute late-round steal. Moore’s snap rate never topped 46% in 2022, and he saw just 33 targets in 16 total games. But the production isn’t surprising considering Moore’s draft profile showed some developmental needs to become truly NFL-ready.
Maybe a year of adjusting to the NFL is all Moore needed. He’s a sneaky candidate for a year-two breakout.
Romeo Doubs (WR – GB)
Fantasy managers are weary of the Packers’ pass catchers, with Jordan Love taking over as QB1, but there is strong value in the Packers receiving corps and Doubs has true breakout potential. Love is unlikely to immediately fill Aaron Rodgers’ shoes, but the Packers’ quarterback situation is far less worrisome than other teams making changes to new quarterbacks — such as Tampa Bay, Washington, Indianapolis, Houston and Carolina.
Love has spent three years in the Packers’ system. There’s no adjustment period in terms of learning a new offense, and as the go-to QB1, Love spends the entire offseason developing chemistry with his top receivers, and there’s a clear connection between Love and Doubs.
Doubs struggled with injuries last year and was third in the rankings behind Christian Watson and Allen Lazard. But Doubs had several high upside plays, including an 8 for 8 game with 73 yards and 1 touchdown. If the Packers maintain an average passing attack, Doubs has upside with a low WR2.
Rashid Shaheed (WR – NO)
Shaheed is the only free agent on this list, but has one of the more promising options in year two. He earned a consistent role within the Saints offense and had an impressive yards per carry. route rate on par with some of the best receivers in the league.
Shaheed became a focal point of the offense midway through the season. In weeks 11-18, he averaged 9.8 fantasy points per game. match in PPR. He’s the WR3 on the Saints’ depth chart, but that’s assuming Michael Thomas stays healthy.
If Thomas continues to struggle, Shaheed can repeat and build on his performance at the end of the season. Options for the Saints will increase with Derek Carr providing a higher-volume offense in 2023, and Shaheed a big beneficiary.
Honorable Mentions: Khalil Shakir (WR – BUF), Alec Pierce (WR – IND)