As a child in the 1970s, I loathed March. As an adult, I love the month. Winter comes to an end, spring arrives, and the first pitch of the MLB season lurks around the corner. Across the country on college campuses, football practices are kicking off, and now is the time to look at the early 2023 College Fantasy Football rankings.
In my opinion, this month is even more noteworthy than ever before. Eric Froton, @CFFroton, of NBC Sports has been working behind the scenes at the FSGA, and has organized the first ever College Fantasy Football Draft at the Summer Conference in Cleveland, Ohio on June 12-13. He has reached out to me, and I can’t wait to participate in the first ever FSGA CFF Draft…Our hobby is poised to blast off.
Of course, I will also be hosting the third-annual CFF King’s Classic event at the Fantasy Expo in Canton, Ohio this summer. I hope to meet as many friends, colleagues and CFF diehards as possible. Please come by the Expo, watch the draft live and say hello.
Meet the Panel
In order to get a jump start for the upcoming campaign, I gathered an All-American team to take a peek inside the Top 12 Quarterbacks, Running Backs, and Wide Receivers, as well as Top 5 Tight Ends, Transfers, and Freshmen as spring practices commence. Kick off the crusade with a look at the way-to-early 2023 College Fantasy Football rankings with me and four of the foremost player rankers in the hobby.
The First Down Panel:
Chris Kay, @RealestChrisKay, @BTR_Pod
College Fantasy Football Lists, @CFFLists
Jared Palmgren, @CFF_Jared, @chasingthenatty, campus2canton.com
John Laub, @GridironSchol91, Fantrax.com
After tallying the votes of all five members of the panel, I constructed a composite ranking at all the positions. The prognosticators also chose a player as the top Heisman candidate, sensational sleeper, and best new coach hire for the upcoming season,
Enjoy my fellow CFF diehards!
2023 College Fantasy Football Rankings
Sitting down to rank the CFF quarterbacks this year, I centered on two aspects of a player’s profile: previous college production and dual-threat ability. Looking at the Top 12 CFF signal callers, it is clear that the panel valued players in a similar fashion.
The top six quarterbacks (Caleb Williams, USC, Bo Nix, Oregon, Austin Reed, WKU, Frank Harris, UTSA, and Michael Penix, Jr., Washington) have all produced prodigious fantasy campaigns. Among the next six QBs (KJ Jefferson, Arkansas, Jordan Travis, Florida State, Riley Leonard, Duke, and Jayden Daniels, LSU all score a plethora of fantasy points with their legs. Only Joe Milton, Michigan, and Kyle McCord, Ohio State make the CFF rankings without having fulfilled either requirement.
|1||C. Williams, USC||C. Williams, USC||C. Williams, USC||A. Reed, WKU||C. Williams, USC||C. Williams, USC|
|2||B. Nix, ORE||B. Nix, ORE||B. Nix, ORE||C. Williams, USC||F. Harris, UTSA||B. Nix, ORE|
|3||A. Reed, WKU||F. Harris, UTSA||D. Maye, UNC||F. Harris, UTSA||A. Reed, WKU||M. Penix Jr., WASH|
|4||F. Harris, UTSA||A. Reed, WKU||A. Reed, WKU||M. Penix Jr., WASH||B. Nix, ORE||F. Harris, UTSA|
|5||M. Penix Jr., WASH||M. Penix Jr., WASH||M. Penix Jr., WASH||B. Nix, ORE||D. Maye, UNC||A. Reed, WKU|
|6||D. Maye, UNC||D. Maye, UNC||F. Harris, UTSA||J. Milton, TEN||M. Penix Jr., WASH||D. Maye, UNC|
|7||KJ Jefferson, ARK||D. Finn, TOL||K. McCord, OSU||D. Maye, UNC||KJ Jefferson, ARK||KJ Jefferson, ARK|
|8||J. Milton, TEN||K. Rourke, Ohio||J. Travis, FSU||KJ Jefferson, ARK||R. Leonard, DUKE||R. Leonard, DUKE|
|9||J. Travis, FSU||T. Shough, TTX||J. Milton, TEN||J.R. Plumlee, UCF||B. Armstrong, NCSU||J. Travis, FSU|
|10||R. Leonard, DUKE||J. Milton, TEN||C. Klubnik, CLEM||J. Daniels, LSU||J. Travis, FSU||J. Daniels, LSU|
|11||J. Daniels, LSU||J. Daniels, LSU||KJ Jefferson, ARK||D. Gabriel, OKA||J. Daniels, KSU||K. McCord, OSU|
|12||K. McCord, OSU||KJ Jefferson, ARK||T. Shough, TTU||R. Leonard, Duke||T. Shough, TTU||K. Rourke, Ohio|
Running Back Rankings
In 15 years of playing College Fantasy Football, I have always preferred to acquire two of the Top 10 running backs in drafts. I do not foresee differentiating from my strategy in 2023. Luckily, despite an amazing group of running backs leaving campus to pursue their NFL careers, the College Fantasy Football universe is still loaded at the position in 2023.
Quinshon Judkins and Raheim Sanders, two SEC studs, decorate the top of the rankings, and both are quickly plucked in early CFF Best Ball drafts. Blake Corum, Michigan, Braelon Allen, Wisconsin, Will Shipley, Clemson, and Damien Martinez, Oregon State are tantalizing options in the second rounds of drafts. Among the top CFF ball carriers, Rasheen Ali, Marshall, La’Damian Webb, South Alabama, Kevorian Barnes, UTSA, and Marquez Cooper, Ball State are from the Group of 5 programs and provide massive fantasy ceilings for CFF managers.
|1||Q. Judkins, MISS||Q. Judkins, MISS||Q. Judkins, MISS||R. Sanders, ARK||Q. Judkins, MISS||Q. Judkins, MISS|
|2||R. Sanders, ARK||B. Allen, WIS||R. Ali, MAR||B. Corum, MI||R. Sanders, ARK||R. Sanders, ARK|
|3||R. Ali, MAR||R. Ali, MAR||R. Sanders, ARK||R. Ali, MAR||R. Ali, MAR||W. Shipley, CLEM|
|4||B. Corum, MI||R. Sanders, ARK||B. Corum, MI||M. Cooper, BALL||B. Corum, MI||K. Barnes, UTSA|
|5||B. Allen, WIS||B. Corum, MI||D. Martinez, ORST||Q. Judkins, MISS||L. Webb, USA||D. Martinez, ORST|
|6||W. Shipley, CLEM||W. Shipley, CLEM||W. Shipley, CLEM||C. Steele, UCLA||B. Allen, WIS||B. Allen, WIS|
|7||K. Barnes, UTSA||K. Barnes, UTSA||B. Allen, WIS||W. Shipley, CLEM||K. Barnes, UTSA||B. Corum, MI|
|8||D. Martinez, ORST||L. Webb, USA||R. Davis, KEY||F. Gore, USM||W. Shipley, CLEM||L. Webb, USA|
|9||L. Webb, USA||T. Benson, FSU||C. Steele, UCLA||B. Allen, WIS||F. Gore, USM||R. Ali, MAR|
|10||C. Steele, UCLA||D. Martinez, ORST||T. Henderson, OSU||S. Bangura, Ohio||S. Bangura, Ohio||S. Bangura, Ohio|
|11||M. Cooper, BALL||M. Cooper, BALL||K. Barnes, UTSA||N. Singleton, PSU||D. Martinez, ORST||T. Benson, FSU|
|12||F. Gore, USM||M. Lloyd, USC||L. Webb, USA||T. Henderson, OSU||J. Jackson, UTAH||F. Gore, USM|
Wide Receiver Rankings
Last year, selecting a wide receiver early in CFF drafts ended up dismantling many season-long teams; Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Cedric Tillman, Xavier Worthy, Myles Price, A.T. Perry and Jermain Burton all failed to even come close to expectations. Will CFF diehards be reluctant to select a receiver at the top of their drafts in 2023?
The Ohio State Buckeyes have a new quarterback this season. Yet, the CFF panel is not concerned about the change. Both Marvin Harrison, Jr. and Emeka Egbuka are ranked among the top six game-breakers and selected in the first two rounds of early drafts. Rounding out the preeminent playmakers from P5 conferences are five home run hitters (Rome Odunze, Washington, Jacob Crowning, Arizona, Jalen McMillan, Washington, Malik Nabers, LSU, and Devontez Walker, North Carolina) for CFF managers to choose from this season.
Among the gentry of 12 CFF receivers, five playmakers–Malachi Corley, WKU, Zakhari Franklin, UTSA, Tory Horton, Colorado State, Derwin Burgess, Georgia Southern and Joshua Cephus, UTSA–from the Group of 5 schools. All provide tremendous options in drafts. The cadre of receivers averaged 82 receptions for 1,052 yards and nine touchdowns, which provides a high floor in 2023.
|1||M. Harrison, OSU||M. Harrison, OSU||M. Harrison, OSU||M. Corley, WKU||M. Harrison, OSU||M. Harrison, OSU|
|2||M. Corley, WKU||M. Corley, WKU||M. Corley, WKU||M. Harrison, OSU||M. Corley, WKU||R. Odunze, WASH|
|3||Z. Franklin, UTSA||Z. Franklin, UTSA||E. Egbuka, OSU||Z. Franklin, UTSA||T. Horton, CSU||Z. Franklin, UTSA|
|4||T. Horton, CSU||R. Odunze, WASH||T. Horton, CSU||J. Cowing, ARI||E. Egbuka, OSU||E. Egbuka, OSU|
|5||E. Egbuka, OSU||T. Horton, CSU||Z. Franklin, UTSA||T. Horton, CSU||Z. Franklin, UTSA||M. Corley, WKU|
|6||R. Odunze, WASH||E. Egbuka, OSU||D. Walker, UNC||R. Odunze, WASH||J. Cowing, ARI||T. Horton, CSU|
|7||J. Cowing, ARI||J. Cowing, ARI||J. McMillan, WASH||M. Nabers, LSU||J. McMillan, WASH||J. Cowing, ARI|
|8||J. McMillan, WASH||S. White, TEN||R. Odunze, WASH||K. Thorton, JMU||R. Odunze, WASH||J. McMillan, WASH|
|9||M. Nabers, LSU||J. McMillan, WASH||D. Singer, USC||J. Thrash, LOU||D. Burgess, GASO||M. Nabers, LSU|
|10||D. Walker, UNC||S. Wiglusz, OHIO||X. Worthy, TEX||E. Egbuka, OSU||J. Cephus, UTSA||T. Franklin, ORE|
|11||D. Burgess, GASO||D. Walker, UNC||D. Burgess, GASO||S. Wiglusz, OHIO||M. Nabers, LSU||J. Cephus, UTSA|
|12||J. Cephus, UTSA||J. Cephus, UTSA||J. Cowing, ARI||K. Hood, GASO||S. Wiglusz, OHIO||D. Walker, UNC|
Tight End Rankings
|1||B. Bowers, UGA||B. Bowers, UGA||B. Bowers, UGA||B. Bowers, UGA||B. Bowers, UGA||B. Bowers, UGA|
|2||B. Kuite, Utah||B. Kuite, Utah||B. Kuite, Utah||B. Kuite, Utah||B. Kuite, Utah||J. Sanders, TEX|
|3||J. Sanders, TEX||J. Sanders, TEX||J. Sanders, TEX||J. Sanders, TEX||J. Sanders, TEX||B. Yurosek, STAN|
|4||B. Yurosek, STAN||R.J. Maryland, SMU||CJ Dippre, ALA||B. Yurosek, STAN||L. Lachey, IOWA||B. Kuite, Utah|
|5||R.J. Maryland, SMU||B. Yurosek, STAN||B. Nesbit, UNC||B. Nesbit, UNC||R.J. Maryland, SMU||R.J. Maryland, SMU|
|1||B. Armstrong, NCST||M. Lloyd, USC||T. Mordecai, WIS||B. Armstrong, NCST||B. Armstrong, NCST||B. Armstrong, NCST|
|2||R. Davis, KEY||D. Walker, UNC||R. Davis, KEY||M. Cooper, BALL||M. Cooper, BALL||S. Sanders, COL|
|3||M. Cooper, BALL||D. Singer, USC||D. Singer, USC||D. Brin, GASO||R. Davis, KEY||R. Davis, KEY|
|4||D. Walker, UNC||A. Robbins, BYU||S. Sanders, COL||J. Thrash, LOU||C. Steele, UCLA||D. Walker, UNC|
|5||D. Singer, USC||B. Armstrong, NCST||B. Armstrong, NCST||C. Steele, UCLA||D. Smith, HOU||M. Cooper, BALL|
|1||C. Baxter, TEX||C. Baxter, TEX||A. Manning, TEX||C. Baxter, TEX||M. Nelson, USC||C. Baxter, TEX|
|2||R. Owens, TA&M||R. Owens, TA&M||N. Iamaleava, TEN||H. Williams, FSU||C. Baxter, TEX||R. Owens, TA&M|
|3||A. Manning, TEX||B. Inniss, OSU||M. Nelson, USC||R. Owens, TA&M||D. Moore, UCLA||H. Williams, FSU|
|4||M. Nelson, USC||A. Manning, TEX||Z. Branch, USC||D. Moore, UCLA||B. Inniss, OSU||J. Dickey, ORE|
|5||H. Williams, FSU||J. Greathouse, ND||D. Moore, UCLA||A. Manning, TEX||J. Arnold, OKA||B. Inniss, OSU|
Year-End Award Predictions
|Heisman||B. Nix, ORE||B. Nix, ORE||C. Williams, USC||C. Williams, USC||M. Penix Jr., WASH|
|Sleeper||R. Ashford, AUB||T. Robinson, KEN||D. Brin GASO||T. Vaughn, Utah St.||J. Hunter, AUB|
|New Coach Hire||Matt Rhule, NEB||Luke Fickell, WIS||Luke Fickell, WIS||Phil Longo, WIS||Jeff Brohm, LOU|
|M. Nelson, USC||A. Manning, TEX||Z. Branch, USC||D. Moore, UCLA||B. Inniss, OSU||J. Dickey, ORE|
|H. Williams, FSU||J. Greathouse, ND||D. Moore, UCLA||A. Manning, TEX||J. Arnold, OKA||B. Inniss, OSU|
What’s your take on these 2023 college fantasy football rankings? Let us know in the comments below. Also, make sure to check out the Running Back Profiles for the upcoming NFL Draft!