2023 NFL Draft: Top Day 3 Fantasy Football Options
Day 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft was filled with intriguing fantasy options for both redraft and dynasty owners. These are the top guys you should be keeping an eye on while you pick your rookie and fantasy drafts this season.
Stetson Bennett, Los Angeles Rams
On Day 3, there aren't many hits at the quarterback position. Bennett draws attention because of his National Championship experience at Georgia. He has plenty of weaknesses in his game including his noodle and the fact that he'll be a 26-year-old rookie this season. In his sixth season this year, Lamar Jackson will also be 26. However, many teams like his athleticism and the fact that he's a winner. This lets them overlook that he just applied for an AARP card and drinks warm milk before going to bed at 7 PM. The landing spot could be ideal as well. He will be playing in LA behind a quarterback with a chronic back injury, has arguably the most productive wideout in the league on his team, and his head coach is one of the brightest offensive minds in football. It's a long shot, but not out of the realm of possibilities he could be a productive NFL starter at some point as soon as this year.
Aidan O'Connell, Las Vegas Raiders
The second QB taken on Day 3 was O'Connell. It looks like he could become the clear QB2 for Vegas and will be behind the oft-injured Jimmy Garroppolo. If you watch his college film you can make an easy connection that the Raiders drafted him because he can slot into their system without them having to change much. The two are similar quarterbacks. It also doesn't hurt that if Jimmy G was to get hurt, O'Connell would be throwing the ball to Davante Adams.
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Chase Brown, Cincinnati Bengals
Brown was a good player at Illinois and landed in an interesting backfield. The loss of Samaje Perine and the uncertainty surrounding Joe Mixon's future makes Brown a very interesting fantasy prospect. He would also step in with little to no pressure. The Bengals' explosive passing attack forces defenses to limit the attention they pay to the running game. If he were to land a significant role, which is more likely than not if he performs well in camp, we could see him pile up easy yards as he will be the lesser of two evils for the defense to deal with.
Eric Gray, New York Giants
Gray could step in as the third-down back in New York immediately. He is a smart runner who can find the hole and follow his blockers and is a solid pass-catcher. Saquon Barkley doesn't generally leave a ton of work for other backs, but his contract issues could become a concern for the team leading to a potential holdout or even an outside chance at a trade. Barkley also hasn't been the picture of health. Gray projects as a sleeper in dynasty leagues with a shot to get reps this year if things go sideways with Saquon.
Deuce Vaughn, Dallas Cowboys
This could be a sneaky good pick for Dallas and surely it didn't hurt that his dad is the team's assistant scouting director. Still, he was highly productive at Kansas State. Over the past two seasons, he has rushed for 2,962 yards with 846 receiving yards and scored 34 TDs. Those are massive numbers. He could immediately slot in as the Zeke replacement as the RB2 behind Tony Pollard. Let's be honest, it's not impossible that he can be as good as Zeke has been in the past two seasons. In that rushing attack, Vaughn could become a stud if given the snaps and touches.
Tyler Scott, Chicago Bears
The landing spot isn't ideal with a quarterback who isn't a great passer on a team that already had Darnell Mooney and has recently traded for DJ Moore and Chase Claypool. So this is definitely a dynasty option with no redraft value. Nevertheless, Scott has a late Day 2 grade and has the potential to be a solid deep threat in the NFL. It's not clear how he will earn an opportunity, but the talent appears to be there. In dynasty, it's almost always talent over situation.
Kayshon Bouttee, New England Patriots
Bouttee is one of the most polarizing players in this entire draft. Once projected as a sure-fire first-round pick, he is now a Day 3 long shot. Poor play, attitude issues, and a historically bad combine have sunk his draft value. Now Bill Belichick will look to turn him around with the Patriots' way. This hasn't worked out great with receivers for a while, but we have seen it work in the past with guys like Randy Moss and Aaron Hernandez. We have little faith in him based on his film, measurables, and what his own coaches have said about him, but he has to be mentioned here. Especially on a team that desperately needs playmakers and has plenty of targets up for grabs.
Will Mallory, Indianapolis Colts
Mallory was an excellent tight end at The U who played with toughness and displayed impressive athletic traits. Miami has pumped out outstanding NFL TEs and no one should be surprised if he becomes the next strong starter the school puts out at the position. He is a high-upside sleeper in dynasty leagues. While he only showed flashes in college, you can see on film the potential is there after being a highly touted high school prospect.
Elijah Higgins, Miami Dolphins
Higgins is an interesting prospect because he's a converted wideout turned TE in the NFL. This could lead to him being a mismatch on the next level. He reminds us a lot of former Dolphins' TE Charles Clay who was very productive and versatile before his career was derailed by injuries. There is a chance he can make some noise in an explosive offense in a year or two. The only guy he is competing with is Durham Smythe who is on the field for his blocking abilities.
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