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Ask the Experts

Who will be the Fantasy MVP?

Jefferson, Wilson, Walker et al

ASK THE EXPERTS appears weekly from training camp through the Super Bowl with answers to a new question being posted Thursday morning. How the guest experts responded when we asked them: Who will be the fantasy MVP?

SAM HENDRICKS

Do not overthink things. Justin Jefferson, your No. 1 pick in PPR formats. Let's review. First three seasons in NFL: No missed games, 26 TDs, 324 catches, 4,825 receiving yards. That is a season average of 108 receptions, 1,608 yards and 9 TDs. Or 322 Fantasy Points. Almost 20 points per game (19.24)! Sure there will be others who have a great year, but they still will not come near him. He is the closest we have to a sure thing. And is my fantasy MVP nominee.

Hendricks is the author of Fantasy Football Guidebook, Fantasy Football Tips and Fantasy Football Basics, all available at ExtraPointPress.com, at all major bookstores, and at Amazon and BN.com. He is a 30-year fantasy football veteran who participated in the National Fantasy Football Championship (NFFC) and finished 7th and 16th overall in the 2008 and 2009 Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC). He won the Fantasy Index Open in 2013 and 2018.

DAVID DOREY

It would be tempting to take the obvious path choosing either Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen. But I'm going out on a kinda short limb and say this is the final year you can draft Trevor Lawrence in later rounds. The best college QB in the 2021 NFL Draft had a nightmare rookie season that cloaked just how good he was. Last year, he passed for 4,113 yards and 25 touchdowns, plus ran for 291 yards and 5 more. This year he is in the same system for two straight years, has all the same weapons from last year when he was the No. 7 fantasy QB, and adds Calvin Ridley to the lineup. He is only getting started.

Dorey co-founded The Huddle.com in 1997. He's ranked every player and projected every game for the last 23 years and is the author of Fantasy Football: The Next Level. David has appeared on numerous radio, television, newspaper and magazines over the last two decades.

JASON WOOD

The fantasy MVP has to be someone who delivers first-round performance at a much lower cost. Jalen Hurts was elite last year, but he was MVP because he had a mid-round ADP. My pick this year is Justin Herbert. He’s routinely drafted seventh or eighth at the position yet could be the No. 1 player given his combination of skills, Kellen Moore’s play calling, and a deeply talented roster.

Wood is Senior Editor at Footballguys.com and has been with the company since its start in 2000. For more than 20 years, Footballguys has provided rankings, projections, and analysis to help fantasy managers dominate their leagues.

IAN ALLAN

I like Garrett Wilson a lot. I think he’s going to be the guy Aaron Rodgers looks for, and Rodgers to me looks motivated and ready to get back to playing some top ball. I think Wilson’s going to catch a lot of touchdowns — could be that guy everyone is looking at in a few weeks, saying “how did I skip that guy with both my late first-round pick and again early in the second?”

Allan is the senior writer for Fantasy Football Index magazine. He is a member of the FSGA’s Fantasy Sports Hall of Fame and the Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame. He is an avid runner, swimmer and cyclist.

LUKE WILSON

When I think "fantasy MVP" I invariably think running back, and while I desperately want to go with Nick Chubb here he's basically a consensus first rounder, so the value would get overshadowed a bit. Instead, I'm going with Kenneth Walker here. Walker's rookie body of work combined with the Seahawks' tendency away from committees would have all guaranteed him a top 25 ADP in drafts this year - if not for the addition of Zach Charbonnet, a dynamite youngster in his own right. But where others are walking backwards on Walker because of committee concerns I am all too happy to step in and scoop him up; maybe Pete Carroll changes his stripes and abruptly goes away from having a definitive No. 1 running back, but I'll believe it when I see it. After all, this is the same Pete Carroll who let a running back with first-round draft pedigree (Rashaad Penny) sit behind Chris Carson. I'm willing to bet he sticks with Walker to the tune of 270+ carries, which should be more than enough to get him north of 1,200 yards rushing. Add in 30 or so receptions and you have RB1 numbers out of a guy who was grabbed outside the top-40 in most August drafts, which is definitely the kind of value you want to find at fantasy's most vexing position.

Wilson is a Fantasy Index contributor who hosts the Fantasy Index Podcast.

KEN HOLIZNA

I am all in this year on Jalen Hurts. I have him ranked as my No. 1 QB for 2023 since, May. He has it all, O-Line, elite WRs, a diverse RB room and a coupe that can take screens and dumpoffs for long TDs. A tight end that is top-5 at his position and a defense that will not allow for more offensive plays per game. Not to mention a short yardage formation that features him that is virtually unstoppable. Short yardage formation aside he can run and will run. In the last two years he has run for 784 and 760 yards. He has progressed every year in the number of touchdowns he has thrown and should easily throw for 30-plus in 2023.

Holizna is a 29-year fantasy football enthusiast and founder of Faith-Family-Fantasy Football in 2019, a family-friendly, faith-based, G-rated fantasy football platform. Rankings contributor to the 2023 Fantasy Index magazine. Find him on Twitter @holihandicapper

COLT WILLIAMS

Being drafted as the WR43, my fantasy MVP is none other than Zay Flowers. There have been 21 receivers drafted in the first round of the NFL draft in the past 5 years; 15 of them have outperformed their ADP. The six that didn’t: Jameson Williams, Treylon Burks, Kadarius Toney, Henry Ruggs, Jalen Reagor, and N’Keal Harry. Most of them didn’t play half of the season. Some are just gadget or speed players. Flowers is a complete player, and has the opportunity to lead his team’s wide receiver room. During the offseason, the Ravens have only made moves to show that they want to pass more: adding OC Todd Monken (who in his tenure has never led an NFL offense with less than a 56% pass rate; for context, the Ravens have been below 50% in three of the last four seasons), signing Odell Beckham and Nelson Agholor, and of course, adding Flowers. Draft Flowers as your 4th or 5th receiver on your team, let him sit on your bench for a couple of weeks to start the season, and then watch him blossom into this year’s fantasy MVP.

Williams is working towards a degree in economics and statistics at Sonoma State. A United States Air Force veteran, he’s been playing fantasy football since 2012. Follow him on Twitter @_ColtWilliams.

SCOTT SACHS

Jalen Hurts has a great chance to be the fantasy MVP. In 2022, Hurts led all QBs in points per game (25.2) and was a top-6 scorer at the position in 8 consecutive weeks. Along with 22 TD passes, he led all QBs in carries and rushing TDs (13), plus his heavy goal-line role included 20 carries inside the opponent's 5-yard line, which ranked second in the NFL. It should be duly noted that the Philly running back room is a crowded one to start the 2023 campaign, with no clear-cut favorite for red zone duties, so it doesn't look like much of a drop-off for scoring opportunities for Hurts on the ground. His TD passing total should increase as well, as both wideouts along with Goedert and Swift are all ascending talents who should continue to thrive in concert with Hurts.

With 2 perfect seasons and multiple league championships to his credit, Scott Sachs runs Perfect Season Fantasy Football, featuring LIVE Talk & Text Advice. He is a 3-time Winner of the Fantasy Index Experts Auction League, as well as a previous Winner of the Fantasy Index Experts Poll.

ANDY RICHARDSON

I really like Trevor Lawrence this year. I'm kicking myself for a league where I took Justin Herbert ahead of him; not that I don't like Herbert, but I just feel like Lawrence seems more likely to take a big step up this season. The AFC South is a weak division, and Lawrence is set to dominate it. I think he's going to move up into the elite grouping of quarterbacks, without having cost a premium pick.

Richardson has been a contributing writer and editor to the Fantasy Football Index magazine and www.fantasyindex.com since 2002. His responsibilities include team defense and IDP projections and various site features, and he has run the magazine's annual experts draft and auction leagues since their inception. He previews all the NFL games on Saturdays and writes a wrap-up column on Mondays during the NFL season.

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