Fantasy Football Draft Guide: 5 league-winning players for 2023

With the NFL preseason well under way, hardcore fantasy football players are already getting their draft on. Every year, players emerge out of nowhere and post a league-winning campaign, so finding the next hidden star is imperative.
Skyy Moore of the Kansas City Chiefs scores in Super Bowl LVII  versus the Philadelphia Eagles.
Skyy Moore of the Kansas City Chiefs scores in Super Bowl LVII versus the Philadelphia Eagles. / Focus On Sport/GettyImages
1 of 5

Once upon a time, someone drafted Patrick Mahomes as their backup quarterback with one of their last picks in the draft. Maybe names like Kareem Hunt, Spencer Ware, and Charcandrick West got claimed off of your waiver wire. Remember when Justin Jefferson and AJ Brown were available outside of the first three rounds? Picking up multiple steals along the way is almost always the key to victory.

#5. Alexander Mattison (PPR ADP - 73.7, RB23)

Alexander Mattison faces the crowd against the Chicago Bears.
Alexander Mattison during a game against the Chicago Bears. / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Alexander Mattison is best known, right now, as Dalvin Cook's former backup. Cook has now left the Minnesota Vikings for the New York Jets, leaving Mattison as the top dog in the Vikings' backfield. The 25-year old was unable to get on the field in 2022 with Cook staying healthy, but had previously established himself as a must-have handcuff for any and all emergency situations.

Alone atop Minnesota's running back depth chart, Mattison is now poised for a top-20 campaign, at a minimum, with plenty of room for more. The Vikings also lost Adam Thielen this offseason, which presumably leaves only Jefferson and TJ Hockenson ahead of Mattison in terms of potential touches. KJ Osborn and 2023 first-round pick Jordan Addison will be major factors in Minnesota's high-flying offense, but not enough to sway their starting RB from a potential top-10 campaign.

Mattison is currently ESPN's 66th-ranked player (PPR), which sees him fall below the likes of Breece Hall, Rachaad White, James Conner, and Dameon Pierce. Hall is still making his way back from a torn ACL, whilst the other three figure to play on some of the worst offenses in the NFL this year. According to ESPN's live draft trends, Mattison has been falling ever so slightly over the last seven days, so it's important to take advantage before everyone else realizes what they will potentially miss out on.