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Crystal Ball

Written By :: Mike Johnson

Published: 8/4/23

It is so easy to get caught up in the past (last year’s stats, results, injuries, and trends) and present (current “it” players/teams, contract situations, ADP’s), that we often forget that fantasy football is primarily a game of predicting the future. With that in mind, every year I try to think about what I think the fantasy football landscape will look like a year from now. I play in quite a few Dynasty leagues, so this thought process comes relatively naturally to me, but it is one that would be highly beneficial for all formats – Dynasty, Best Ball, season-long fantasy, and DFS. If we can wrap our heads around what the future may look like, we can work backwards to find some potential values in our current drafts and by being ahead of the market in various formats. Here are five strong beliefs I have for how things will look at this time next year that will be guiding some of my approaches over the next month of drafting and into the 2023 NFL DFS season.

1) Breece Hall and Jahmyr Gibbs will be top-15 picks in fantasy drafts.

If Breece Hall hadn’t torn his ACL last year, he might be a top-3 RB in fantasy drafts right now. Read my “Mike’s Guys” article for my thoughts on Gibbs. For both of these players, I believe they are as cheap now as they are going to be for quite some time.

2) Mingo, Mims, and Hyatt will be their team’s WR1’s

Adam Thielen and DJ Chark are solid veteran receivers, but neither is an alpha while Jonathan Mingo is a physical specimen. Playing with a great offensive minded head coach and one of the smartest QB’s ever to enter the league, Mingo’s talent should have ample opportunity to take over. Jerry Jeudy is very good and Courtland Sutton can win in certain situations, but Marvin Mims is an elite prospect who was brought in by the current regime. The Giants are loaded with wide receivers who can play, but Jalin Hyatt has special traits and a coach who schemes things very well. All three of these players should assert themselves by the end of 2023 and be riding high into 2024.

3) Dalton Kincaid will be a top-5 TE

There’s just too much smoke here. Kincaid may have a slow start and/or some rough patches in his rookie year, but there is no doubt he has a ton of talent and his elite offense wants him heavily involved. He’s the type of guy who could decide fantasy leagues in December and January.

4) Kendre Miller will be the Saints RB1

Alvin Kamara and Jamaal Williams will both be 29 at the start of the 2024 season, geriatric age for running backs. Kamara will almost certainly be out of town by then and Williams has always been more of an “above average backup” than the type of RB who can hold down the fort for an offense, so it’s unlikely he develops those traits as he approaches 30 years old. Miller had a terrific college career and has a complete skill set. If not for an MCL injury, he likely would have been the third RB taken in the 2023 draft and gone in the first 50 picks. I would be surprised if he doesn’t enter 2024 as “the guy” and expect him to be drafted in the 4th to 8th round range next year.

5) RB-Repeat

Joe Mixon, Alvin Kamara, and James Conner will be in the same spot at this time next year that Dalvin Cook, Ezekiel Elliott, Leonard Fournette, and Kareem Hunt are in now. Talented running backs who are slowing down just as more and more young and athletic RBs with less tread on their tires and cheap contracts enter the league. Kamara and Mixon will also have the cloud of player discipline in their past hanging over their heads, as well as already decreasing efficiency in 2022. This isn’t to say definitely that none of these guys will have jobs, but these guys are much closer to being put out to pasture than most people realize. Their true value is going to be a little over league minimum, but given their career arcs that is going to be very hard for them to accept.