As the dust settles from the festivities of the NFL draft, team rosters are starting to come into focus as we head into the longest part of the offseason. It’s never too early to take a look at some players to target and avoid in fantasy football for 2023 – I do just that in the first part of an eight-part series covering one player to target and one player to avoid in redraft for the upcoming season.
One player to target: TE Luke Schoonmaker
Target him as your: TE2 with upside
The Cowboys and HC Mike McCarthy appear to be shifting from a pass-first to a run-first philosophy on offense, which means more tight ends on the field and less wide receivers. Schoonmaker was a second round pick drafted for his chops in run blocking, but that ability will earn him valuable snaps ahead of tight ends already on the roster. Dallas loves to run two and three tight end sets, especially in the red zone – if Schoonmaker can capitalize simply by being on the field in money situations, we could see him slide right into the role that Dalton Schultz vacated. Dak Prescott has also been very fantasy friendly for Cowboys tight ends throughout his career. Schoonmaker is currently coming off the board as the TE35, six spots behind his teammate Jake Ferguson (TE29). Scoop him up late with no risk and reap the rewards later.
One player to avoid: WR Michael Gallup
With the aforementioned shift in offensive philosophy, the odd man out on the Cowboys’ offense is Michael Gallup. While he’ll be back in a familiar role as the WR3, opportunities may be few and far between with the addition of Brandin Cooks and the continued development of Ceedee Lamb as a target-demanding WR1. Gallup will be healthier and can benefit from a full offseason program, but that won’t be enough to net him the targets he needs to be trusted as a dependable fantasy asset in 2023. He’s never been a consistent producer in his career, and while there’s weekly upside as the deep threat on a good Cowboys offense, he’ll be a liability in your lineup more often than he is a difference maker.
New York Giants
One player to target: Daniel Jones
Target him as your: QB2
The Giants committed to Daniel Jones long term this offseason, and it seems like the Brain Daboll magic has rubbed off onto the Giants QB. Jones finished fifth in rushing yards (703) last year among QBs and tied for third in rushing touchdowns (7) with Josh Allen en route to an overall QB9 finish. He’s proven the rushing upside is enough to buoy his fantasy value, and with significant reinforcements on the way in the shape of Darren Waller in the passing game, Jones shouldn’t have trouble matching last year’s production in 2023. He’s an excellent target in 2QB and superflex leagues, and you can probably get by with him as your QB1 if the other best options are off the board.
One player to avoid: Parris Campbell
Campbell enters an inexperienced WR room in New York, but it’s also a crowded one. Isaiah Hodgins will likely be a significant piece of the puzzle in 2023, with Darius Slayton and Darren Waller contributing in the passing game, as well. New York also invested high draft capital in the WR position in each of the past two years: Wan’Dale Robinson was drafted in the second round last year, while Jalin Hyatt joined the team as a third round pick this year. With Daniel Jones at QB, the passing volume won’t be enough to support more than two fantasy-relevant wide receivers – and even then, Jones has yet to produce a Top-36 fantasy WR in his career.
One player to target: RB D’Andre Swift
Target him as your: RB2
No player needed a change of scenery more than Swift, and he now finds himself in arguably the best situation for a running back in the NFL. Rashaad Penny was added on a cheap deal as the early down back, and while he’s talented, Swift can be the home-run hitter in the Eagles RB room. There’s injury concern with the former Lion, but most of the issues for Swift last year stemmed from the Lions just neglecting to feature him at all in the offense. With that remedied, Swift has the opportunity to recapture the elite productivity he’s flashed throughout his career behind one of the best offensive lines in the NFL.
One player to avoid: RB Rashaad Penny
Rashaad Penny just can’t get into a backfield where there isn’t competition. He’ll have the early down role for the Eagles, which should be enough to keep him in RB2 consideration throughout the year, but his upside is limited with D’Andre Swift likely slated to take on the bulk of the receiving load. He’ll have his games, but Penny won’t be a consistent-enough producer in PPR formats to start over most other RBs, especially in smaller 10-man leagues.
One player to target: Jahan Dotson
Target him as your: WR3
Before getting injured last season, Dotson was a touchdown machine in the early going, logging four touchdowns in four games played. When he came back from that injury, inconsistent QB play muddled the back half of his rookie campaign. Sam Howell is still a big question mark, but his play in the Commanders’ final regular season game last year was promising enough to project the former first round pick to have a bounce-back season. He’ll operate alongside Terry McLaurin as the two head-and-shoulders top wideouts in Washington, with the opportunity to get back to his touchdown scoring ways with Howell at the helm to begin the season.
One player to avoid: Curtis Samuel
Samuel’s time with Washington has been marred from the start by injuries, making it difficult for him to ascend from his role as a gadget player. That won’t change in 2023, especially with Jahan Dotson developing as a quality WR2 in his sophomore campaign. Samuel has yet to get his feet under him, and outside of a few outlier games with Carson Wentz under center in 2022, Samuel has been a fantasy non-factor since he joined the Commanders in 2021.