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5 Teams Set to Decline in Fantasy in 2023

NFL Fantasy



The Atlanta Falcons went to the Super Bowl in the 2016 season. In what is unsurprisingly very related news, they were one of the top offenses for fantasy football that year, with only the Packers’ and Saints’ offensive players putting up more PPR points than the Falcons’ 1,745.2. It was a big jump over 2015, when they had put up 1,456.8 points. That’s a climb of 19.8%.


In 2017, with virtually the same cast of offensive weapons (unless you think switching from Jacob Tamme to Austin Hooper at tight end is an offense-shatteringly bad move), the Falcons’ fantasy output dropped by nearly 400 points to 1,360.1, a 22.1% drop.

They added rookie Calvin Ridley before 2018 but otherwise had the same core, and … it was back to the good, 1,678.2 points, back up 23.4%.

The point isn’t that the Falcons got markedly better or worse from 2015 to 2016 to 2017 to 2018. It’s that almost any time you see a team make a big jump or fall in production one year, you should expect that team to go the other way the next year. That’s true regardless of strategic changes, personnel additions or losses, or anything else. Regression is just powerful.

Since 2006 until last year, 85 teams have seen their fantasy scoring change by at least 20% (better or worse) from one season to the next. Of those, 65 have gone back the other way the next year. Not always as dramatically, but still, the trend is there.

Check it out, dividing year-over-year change into 10% chunks. This is how teams have changed in Year 3 based on what they did from Year 1 to 2 since 2006:

Year 1-2 change # of teams Average change,
Year 1-2
Average change,
Year 2-3
up 30% or more 17 39.1% -6.8%
up 20-30% 42 24.2% -6.6%
up 10-20% 69 14.7% -2.7%
up 0-10% 132 4.8% 0.9%
down 0-10% 136 -5.0% 3.9%
down 10-20% 58 -13.8% 7.7%
down 20-30% 21 -24.0% 17.3%
down 30% or more 5 -34.7% 25.3%

It’s intuitive, of course, but we still have a tendency for ignoring it every year. So I’m taking a look at the teams who changed the most in 2022 … which means the teams most likely to go the other way in 2023. We look at this in an all-offense context, because a team can change its general offensive approach (pass-heavy to run-heavy, for example) that might change a single position’s output, but the overall total still tells the story.

Teams most likely to decline today; teams most likely to increase Wednesday. (PPR scoring, QB/RB/WR/TE production only.)

5 Teams Set to Decline in Fantasy in 2022

Scoring was down around the league in 2022, down more than 600 points from 2021 and almost a thousand from 2020. Around the league, there were 108 fewer touchdowns scored in 2022 than 2021. Only nine teams scored more fantasy points in 2022 than they did in 2021. That makes the teams that did improve that much more impressive … and potentially that much more likely to fall off in 2023.

The five teams listed in this space last year were the Patriots, Bengals, Jets, Cowboys and Rams. All five did in fact decline in fantasy last year, ranging from the Bengals at -3.3% to the Rams at a whopping -29.8%. Combined, they averaged a dropoff of 14.3% from 2020. In other words, this method works.


1. Jacksonville Jaguars (+23.5%)

2021 fantasy points: 1,216.6
2022 fantasy points: 1,502.3

What went right

Urban Meyer wasn’t there. That’s not literally everything, but … it’s a lot of it. Trevor Lawrence took huge strides in Year 2, Travis Etienne got healthy after missing 2021, offseason additions Christian Kirk, Zay Jones and Evan Engram all produced. The Jags made a big ol’ turnaround.

Why they might fall off

Calvin Ridley is here now. There are plenty of hopes for him to look like the All-Pro he was early in his Atlanta career. But we haven’t seen that guy since 2020, and since then we’ve seen injuries, a voluntary stepping away and a yearlong suspension, from which he hasn’t actually been reinstated yet. Add in that the Jaguars had some incredible health from their top offensive weapons last year that would be hard to replicate — Lawrence, Etienne, Kirk, Jones and Engram missed a combined one game (Jones in Week 4) — and “misfortune” seems to be the most likely regression culprit here.

2. Detroit Lions (+18.7%)

2021 fantasy points: 1,375.2
2022 fantasy points: 1,631.8

Jamaal Williams Fantasy Football 5 Teams Set to Decline

What went right

Amon-Ra St. Brown proved his end-of-year run in 2021 was no fluke, putting up five top-12 fantasy weeks (11 top-30 weeks). D’Andre Swift struggled with health and efficiency, but Jamaal Williams picked up whatever slack there was, putting up one of 34 seasons ever with at least 17 rushing touchdowns (with the fewest rushing yards ever for such a season). Jared Goff went from 3,245 passing yards in his first Lions season to 4,438 in 2022. And that was all with Jameson Williams on a virtual redshirt season.

Why they might fall off

The running game (whether Jamaal Williams returns or if it’s someone else) almost can’t be as successful at the goal line next season. If those touchdowns turn into passing scores, it’ll be a break-even, but if they turn into field goals, that’s a lot fewer points. If Goff resembles his 2021 self more than his 2022 self, they’ll struggle. But … it’s hard to make a huge argument here other than the rushing touchdowns, especially with Jameson Williams ready to go.

3. New York Giants (+16.3%)

2021 fantasy points: 1,164.4
2022 fantasy points: 1,354.5

What went right

Brian Daboll arrived, helping Daniel Jones go from guy who couldn’t get his fifth-year option exercised to a guy who might get the franchise tag or a big-money extension. Saquon Barkley, another year removed from an ACL tear, virtually equaled his rushing as a rookie in 2018 (though he was less as a receiver). The team might as well have had my twin 5-year-olds at wide receiver, and it didn’t really matter.

Why they might fall off

Barkley and Jones were the only two Giants who topped 135 PPR points, and both are free agents now. The Nos. 3 and 4 scorers on the team, Richie James and Darius Slayton, are as well. The team almost certainly has to have a better receiver corps in 2023, but if Jones and/or Barkley are gone, it might be moot … and even if they return, Jones just put up a career year and Barkley is 26 now. It starts and ends there.

4. Philadelphia Eagles (+14.3%)

2021 fantasy points: 1,417.3
2022 fantasy points: 1,619.8

A.J. Brown Fantasy Football 5 Teams Set to Decline

What went right

The team traded for A.J. Brown, which unlocked a next level for Jalen Hurts, who this time a year ago wasn’t even guaranteed to be the starter in 2023. Brown, DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert turned into one of the best trio of receiving weapons in the league. Meanwhile, on the ground, Miles Sanders went from 0 touchdowns in 2021 to 11 in 2022.

Why they might fall off

Sanders is heading into free agency, which means this backfield could be in flux, and even if Sanders returns, his true level is probably somewhere between 2021’s 0 touchdowns and 2022’s 11. Meanwhile, Brown, Smith and Goedert are all great, but they could still be great and struggle to concurrently put up their respective WR6, WR9 and TE5 (per-game for Goedert) numbers, just because that’s a ridiculous level of shared success.

5. Miami Dolphins (+9.8%)

2021 fantasy points: 1,417.9
2022 fantasy points: 1,556.7

What went right

Tyreek Hill came over from Kansas City and not only thrived, he also took nothing at all away from Jaylen Waddle, who went from 1,015 yards and 6 touchdowns as a rookie to 1,356 and 8 in his second season. Tua Tagovailoa struggled with injury but played the same 13 games he played in 2021 and put up nearly 1,000 more yards (2,653 to 3,548) and 9 more touchdowns (16 to 25). Mike McDaniel made this offense click in a big way.

Why they might fall off

First off, a caveat: 2022 was only the second time in the last eight years where fewer than six teams increased their fantasy production by at least 10%. So the Dolphins are the fifth team here, but they aren’t as solidly qualified for this list as teams normally are. That said, the Dolphins really need to get a competent backup quarterback this year, because Tagovailoa’s health is always going to be a question mark. And what if the league figures out the McDaniel scheme even a little?

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