Three Rookie Wide Receivers To Target In Fantasy Football Drafts

These guys will waste little time making an impact


Jul 28, 2023

After breaking down three rookie running backs to keep an eye on for the 2023 NFL fantasy football season, it?s time to target some of the newest receivers in the league.

It’s important to remember that fantasy drafting is not just about a player’s skill. Their role on the team is just as important. Projected targets, quarterback play and the right offensive scheme are all important variables when determining a player’s fantasy value.

This trio of wideouts should check those boxes as you prep for your fantasy football drafts.

Quentin Johnston, Los Angeles Chargers
Johnston is already making noise in Los Angeles. His speed and route-running have made him stand out among a very talented receiver room — and that’s saying something.

Not only did the Chargers get a playmaker in their new receiver, but Johnston hit the jackpot with his new team getting to call Justin Herbert his quarterback. The Chargers had the second-highest passing play percentage at 65% last season and not much should change in 2023. Herbert has dominated the league the last two seasons, trailing only Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady in production in that stretch.

Herbert does have a plethora of weapons, which is always concerning when it comes to target share. However, it wasn’t much of an issue for any of the Chargers’ receivers last season. Both Mike Williams and Keenan Allen missed time with injury, which led to plenty of action for Joshua Palmer. If injuries come into play again, then Johnston will definitely be capable to step into a role similar to Palmer’s.

Even without injuries, Johnston should see a decent amount of playing time. The first-round pick led all TCU receivers in catches, yards, and touchdowns by a wide margin.

Jordan Addison, Minnesota Vikings
Be cautious here as Addison is currently dealing with some legal issues for speeding and reckless driving. However, if Addison is available, he will make an immediate fantasy football impact. He will benefit from playing with the best receiver in the league, Justin Jefferson. All defenses will focus on covering the star weapon and it should open up the game for Addison.

Kirk Cousins should feel confidence in his newest option as Addison is coming off a season where he dropped just 3.3% of catchable passes thrown his way at USC. Cousins also should be happy to welcome Addison as his second most targeted receiver in Adam Thielen, has been traded to the Panthers, which vacates 107 targets.

Coming from a high-powered offense with the Trojans, Addison’s transition to the Vikings should be easy enough with the Minnesota squad having the third-highest pass rate and a top-five offense last season.

Josh Downs, Indianapolis Colts
While Downs’ new team will certainly be leaning on their star back in Jonathan Taylor from game to game, Downs could see a ton of production without much competition in the wide receiver room. Parris Campbell dominated as the slot receiver last season with the second most catches and yards behind Michael Pittman Jr., but Campbell’s trade to the Giants now vacates 91 targets in Indy.

Downs is currently in a battle with veteran Isaiah McKenzie for replacing that production and if he takes on the role, he should be a safety valve for Anthony Richardson early and often. The UNC stud dominated the ACC at this position over the last two seasons with 195 catches for 2,364 yards and 19 touchdowns in that stretch.

Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images

Picked For You