With the 2023 NFL Draft now in the books, it’s time for the fantasy heads to turn their attention to a slew of upcoming Dynasty rookie and Re-drafts. With that in mind, let’s take a look at 21-year-old USC Wide Receiver, Jordan Addison – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Jordan Addison Fantasy Preview
In 2021, while Addison was still playing in Pittsburgh, he broke out in a big way, compiling 1593 receiving yards and tied first for an FBS-leading 17 touchdowns. All that production culminated in him winning the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver. His 2022 year was a little less impressive, which is why he dropped on some big boards; after transferring to USC he put together 875 yards over 11 games with 8 receiving touchdowns. It’s easy to point at 2022 and justify a negative view on Addison, or 2021 to justify a positive view on him. But what is undeniable, he absolutely has the potential to become an explosive weapon in the NFL. The Minnesota Vikings at pick 23, were the first team to bank on that potential.
The Good – Skill Set and Team Fit
Watching Jordan Addison’s tape, you wouldn’t be faulted for stopping to question if you had accidentally put on Tyler Lockett’s college reel. Addison has an innate route-running ability, that translates into NFL production, he can stop on dime and change pace leaving defenders in his dust. He is always going to destroy in the slot, but just like Lockett he can line up on the outside and stretch the field. Add to that speed, a pair of strong hands with contested catch rates of 53.8% and 55.6% in 2023 and 2022 respectively.
Aside from his skill set, Addison fits like a glove in Minnesota. He slots right into the Adam Thielen-sized hole at the WR2 position. Justin Jefferson will always be WR1 because he does Justin Jefferson things, which consequently means he will always draw double coverage. This leaves Addison likely to enjoy exclusive single coverage. He’s playing in a Vikings offense that ranked 3rd for pass attempts in 2022 (64.38%), and that’s all before we mention the rumblings of Dalvin Cook out the door, giving Cousins more reason to sling it in a year that likely ends with him as a free agent.
The Bad – Size
Like many of his wideout colleagues entering the 2023 draft, Addison is lacking in the size department. At 5’ 11” and 175 pounds he isn’t a particularly physical presence on the field, and this can translate to being outmuscled by larger defenders. Some scouts have also noted that he struggles to engage with, and more importantly, sustain blocks. This is the unfortunate trade-off for someone with Addison’s agility.
That’s about all for ‘The Bad’ when it comes to Addison, which is why many draft knicks had him ranked as the top receiver in this year’s draft.
The Ugly – Justin Jefferson
As mentioned above, Justin Jefferson proves to be an advantage for Addison, but like most swords this one is double-edged. Jefferson has the production, skills and rapport with Kirk Cousins to take the majority share of pass attempts. In fact, he was targeted a massive 184 times last year. Unfortunately for Addison, an elite WR1 taking a defense’s attention, also means they take the QBs. It’s a pairing as old as time, like salt and pepper, peanut butter and jelly, or trying to sleep and an overwhelming feeling of existential dread… you know, a combination deal!
Of all the Wide Receivers drafted in 2023, Addison looks to be the only one poised to hit the WR2 position, with every other prospect going in at WR3 at best. His long-term value has bigger question marks, but for redraft value, I’d put him above any other rookie wideout.
I’d expect Addison will be racking up fantasy points from week 1, and so when poised with the question Jaxon Smith-Njigba or Jordan Addison, I’d be leaning to the latter in a redraft league.
I haven’t mentioned T.J. Hockenson yet but, I think T.J.’s numbers will suffer because of Addison, not the other way around.
One final note for 2023 that doesn’t get nearly enough pop when talking redraft value, the strength of schedule. The Vikings are ranked 18th in strength of schedule – their opponents averaged a win record of .497 in 2022; that’s a very nice place to live for a talented player like Addison.
In terms of rookie drafts, I still say Addison is a solid pick up and have seen mock drafts for super flex taking him as high as 1.07. But Addison’s ceiling will always be subject to Justin Jefferson. The WR2 position has his name written all over it, but the WR1 position isn’t even learning to spell his name. Like many dynasty owners, I’d tend to lean towards a Jaxon Smith-Njigba or Zay Flowers – purely because I can envision a world where 2023 or 2024 draws to an end with either of those prospects sitting firmly in the WR1 position on their respective teams. This isn’t the case for Jordan Addison.
Adrian was born, raised, and lives across the other side of the planet in Australia – but that hasn’t stopped him from being a lifelong Packers fan and sports betting enthusiast. A podcast host, writer, and all-round attention-seeking NFL analyst, Adrian is always looking to bring deep-dive analysis to the fantasy world. This soon-to-be father is looking to make his mark in the world of NFL media so that he has the connections to eventually force the sport onto his son willingly or otherwise (we wish he were kidding about this)