With Week 12 of the NFL season in the books, we’re continuing to focus on the best rookie playmakers leaguewide. The 2023 rookie wide receiver group is putting up big numbers early on. Week 13 is right around the corner, so here are our best rookie receivers in fantasy football for the upcoming slate.
Who Are the Best Rookie WRs for Fantasy This Week?
Our NFL Week 13 dynasty wide receiver rankings are courtesy of the PFN Consensus Fantasy Rankings.
1) Tank Dell, Houston Texans
Slowly but surely, we’re seeing Tank Dell’s floor start to inch upward toward his immense ceiling. Dell is in the best situation of any rookie receiver, with his quarterback feeding him high-quality targets while being in an offense that isolates him against corners that can’t match his quickness. Over the last month, he’s peaked as the WR1 and bottomed out as WR23 in PPR leagues.
Dell has a tougher matchup in Week 13 as Patrick Surtain II lurks in Denver’s improved secondary. However, Nico Collins might draw the star corner instead, and Dell can maximize the opportunity. It’s incredibly impressive Houston has produced two starting-level receivers for managers.
2) Puka Nacua, Los Angeles Rams
The days of Puka Nacua’s absurd pace of production have disappeared as Kyren Williams has taken over the offense. Matthew Stafford is back, throwing four touchdowns against Arizona, but Nacua and Cooper Kupp combined for only seven receptions for 45 yards. Nacua’s ranked as the WR54 or worse in four of his last six weeks.
It’s still worth starting Nacua because his good games are fantastic. However, it’s more of a dice roll, and with Cleveland coming to town, Nacua has a tough matchup.
3) Rashee Rice, Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City is slowly figuring out that Rashee Rice must solve this offense’s struggles. The 6’2″, 203-pound speedster is more reliable than his peers outside of Travis Kelce, and his explosiveness far exceeds what Justin Watson, Skyy Moore, and Co. bring to the unit. Expecting Rice to carry the unit in Week 1 would’ve been unfair, but it’s natural for a rookie to take on more responsibility after the bye.
Rice peaked as WR3 against Las Vegas last week. He caught a career-high eight passes on 10 targets, notching his first 100-yard game with a touchdown. Rice will be a major factor in league races this winter if he earns double-digit targets each week.
4) Josh Downs, Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Josh Downs was establishing himself as a starter with a great Week 5 through Week 8 stretch, but then he came crashing back down to Earth. After catching 23 passes over those four games, Downs had three catches on four targets in his next two outings. He grabbed five receptions on 13 targets in Week 12 after the bye.
With the knee injury in his rearview mirror, Downs is a more playable option against vulnerable defenses. The Tennessee Titans have a mediocre passing defense, so Downs isn’t a bad option if you need a spot starter.
5) Jayden Reed, Green Bay Packers
Quietly, Jayden Reed has been a low-level WR1 over the last three weeks. His explosion coincides with Jordan Love’s steady growth. Even with Christian Watson back from injury, Reed might be an undervalued play each week.
Kansas City has a tough, physical defense that will get in Love’s personal space and make Reed work for production. However, with two WR11 finishes and then a WR25 placing in Week 12, Reed is getting valuable red-zone targets and rushing attempts to warrant a start consideration.
6) Demario Douglas, New England Patriots
Although Demario Douglas is only on about 36% of rosters in dynasty leagues, he’s trending upward. Douglas has been the safety valve for the woeful New England offense over the last five weeks. He’s had no fewer than six targets since Week 7.
There’s no question his lack of touchdowns has been a tough pill for managers to swallow. But Douglas is a great stash option for when the Patriots upgrade their offense this offseason.
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