The Home of Fantasy Sports Analysis

2023 Fantasy Football Breakouts at Every Position

We all know who the obvious studs are at each position this year in fantasy football. Drafting them with a high pick comes with expectations that they can finish at the top of their position or at least come close. Whether it’s your first time or you’re an experienced fantasy football manager, you should know the game is never that chalky. There are always fantasy football breakouts that exceed their draft capital. The purpose of this piece is to identify one player at each position, outside the first round of 2023 fantasy football drafts, that can finish inside the top-five or even as the positional leader.

What!? Your fantasy football league wasn’t hosted on Fantrax last season!? Once you see how Fantrax stacks up to the competition, we think you’ll be singing a different tune this season.

Fantasy Football Breakouts to Target in 2023

Quarterback: Justin Fields, Chicago Bears

In his third NFL season and second as a starter, Jalen Hurts finished as the positional leader last season in fantasy football. His rushing upside makes him an elite option. In 2021, his first full season as the Philadelphia Eagles’ starter, 43% of Hurts’ fantasy points were a result of his rushing production. There were questions regarding his ability as a passer before last season. However, the Eagles improved their offensive line and provided him with a talented receiver in A.J. Brown.

In his third NFL season and second as a starter, Justin Fields can finish as the position leader this season in fantasy football. His rushing upside makes him an elite option. In 2022, his first full season as the Chicago Bears’ starter, 52.8% of Fields’ fantasy points were a result of his rushing production. There are questions regarding his ability as a passer ahead of this season. However, the Bears improved their offensive line and provided him with a talented receiver in D.J. Moore.

Justin Fields remains in the tier of fantasy quarterbacks below the obvious elite options, including Jalen Hurts. I do think he takes a massive step forward in 2023 with the potential to finish at the top. Last season, the Bears passed at a historically low rate of just 22.2 times per game. Fields still finished as the QB5. His 160 rush attempts in 15 games were second to only Jalen Hurts (165). Fields’ 1,143 rushing yards from last season, though, rank seventh amongst all positions.

Fields now enters training camp with the best receiving corps of his career. While Fields may not run 10+ times per game in 2023, the Bears should run more plays and have a more efficient passing offense. Fields is still a good bet to run 120 or more times, as well. He is the best value at quarterback in drafts, with lower draft capital than most of the elite options but with just as good of a chance to be one of the biggest fantasy football breakouts of the 2023 NFL season.

Running Back: Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots

The biggest concern with Rhamondre Stevenson in 2023 has more to do with the New England Patriots offense as a whole. While they did miss the 2022 playoffs, eight of the top-15 fantasy running backs played on non-playoff NFL teams last season. That includes the RB3, Josh Jacobs, who averaged 20.1  PPR points per game on the 6-11 Las Vegas Raiders.

The Patriots’ 39 offensive touchdowns in 2022 ranked 17th in the league. Stevenson accounts for just six (15%) of those, though he is responsible for 1,461 (27.7%) of their total yards on offense. Just 14.4% of his fantasy production in 2022 is from scoring touchdowns. That is the lowest amongst the top-15 highest-scoring fantasy running backs from last season. Positive touchdown regression is coming.

New England did not add significant running backs through the draft or free agency. That leaves Rhamondre Stevenson as a top candidate to finish as the positional leader at the running back position. His biggest competition for touches in the Patriots’ backfield in his first two seasons, Damien Harris, is now on the Buffalo Bills. That leaves James Robinson, Ty Montgomery, Kevin Harris, J.J. Taylor, and Pierre Strong to battle Stevenson for touches in 2023.

James Robinson is on his third team in less than one year. That’s after tearing his Achilles in December of 2021. Harris, Taylor, and Strong have a combined 93 touches in a collective 32 career games. Ty Montgomery is 30 years old and doesn’t carry any significant financial impact whether he’s on the roster or not. Odds are he won’t be.

Stevenson will play the majority of snaps and record the majority of touches in New England’s backfield. His 88 targets and 69 receptions are third and fourth respectively amongst 2022 running backs in each statistic. As a volume-based back with pass-catching upside, Rhamondre Stevenson could be in for a major breakout and is a positional leader candidate to be an absolute stud at running back.

Are you buying in on these fantasy football breakouts? For more great rankings and analysis, make sure to check out our 2023 Fantasy Football Draft Kit!

Wide Receiver: Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions

As the eighth-most targeted wide receiver in 2022, Amon-Ra St. Brown is already in a good place to be the positional leader in 2023. There are 25.4% of Detroit’s targets from last season vacated ahead of this season. This is with St. Brown commanding 26% of his own last year. While Jahmyr Gibbs, one of the best pass-catching rookie running backs, is joining the offense, there are 100 running back targets from last year for him to get ahold of.

What helps Amon-Ra St. Brown the most is the six-game suspension of teammate Jameson Williams. Without Williams on the field, St. Brown is far and away the most talented receiver on the Lions’ offense. With partial seasons from D’Andre Swift, T.J. Hockenson, and Williams last year, St. Brown still managed 146 targets. As Jared Goff’s most reliable target, he should have no problem reaching that number again, if not more in 2023.

Amon-Ra St. Brown ranks ninth in the league in red zone targets from last season. St. Brown caught a touchdown on 28.5% of his red zone targets, as well. Last season, Detroit scored the fifth-most points per game but allowed the fourth-most points per game. There are now 61.5% of the Lions’ offensive touchdowns scored in 2022 available to this year’s offense. St. Brown has the volume, but scoring more touchdowns can earn him the wide receiver positional leader accolade.

Tight End: Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons

It’s going to be tough to dethrone Travis Kelce. He has four positional leader finishes over the last five seasons. In the one season he didn’t finish at the top, he finished second. Tight end is a bit of a crapshoot anyway with an incredible amount of turnover inside the top-12 each season. However, three of last season’s top-five, Kelce, Mark Andrews, and George Kittle, have finished inside the top-five in each of the last four seasons.

That said, giving Kyle Pitts the nod to finish as the tight end positional leader in 2023 is already a bold choice. Historically speaking, there’s not a ton of room at the top for him to wedge himself in. Pitts also has fantasy finishes of TE10 and TE23 on a points-per-game basis through two seasons so far with no more than 10.9 points per game in either.

Despite the disappointment, there’s reason to be optimistic about Pitts. First, he ranks inside the top-nine in targets per game amongst tight ends in both 2021 and 2022. His 5.9 targets per game last year put him on pace for over 100 after logging 110 as a rookie. More importantly, his 816 air yards rank fourth amongst tight ends over the last two seasons. He is still that same physical specimen he was when drafted fourth-overall two seasons ago. Pitts is a big play waiting to happen.

After burning so many managers in fantasy football last season, I think Pitts is in for a big bounceback this year at a better cost. The value on Pitts is much more accurate this season after coming off of the board as high as the third round last year. Pitts is only 22 years old with plenty still to show. He’ll open the 2023 season with his third starting quarterback in as many years, as well. Again, Pitts may not overtake Kelce as the positional leader, but I think he can get close and land inside the top five.

Fantrax was one of the fastest-growing fantasy sites over the last few years, and we’re not stopping now. We are the most customizable, easy-to-use, and feature-rich platform in the industry, offering the greatest fantasy experience for your dynasty, keeper, redraft, and best ball leagues. Fantasy sports doesn’t sleep, and neither does Fantrax, with seasons running 365 days a year. Take your fantasy leagues to the next level now at!
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.