Is Kadarius Toney a WR1 in 2023? | Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast

In the Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast, Matt Harmon and JJ Zachariason explain why fantasy managers should temper expectations with Kansas City's third-year receiver.

Video Transcript


MATT HARMON: Where do you stand in the great Kadarius Toney wars in fantasy football? What do you think about this wide receiver corps for this year?

JJ ZACHARIASON: I mean, I think that if we're designating wide receiver one the way that people are, I think that's the wrong approach, especially with the Kansas City offense, where we're just likely not going to see something like that, like a Tyreek Hill emerge. I don't think that's in Kadarius Toney's range of outcomes if that's what people were sort of thinking with his vertical threat.

He does have marks since his rookie season where he's been unbelievably efficient when he's gotten the ball. I mean, his yards per route run during his rookie season was one that we really don't see very often. His targets per route run was pretty high too.

And so that gets signal. And that does matter to some degree. But he's still a very raw receiver. I mean, he gets a lot of manufactured touches. And that's not always what you want out of a guy who's going to see consistent volume in his offense.

The thing is, though whenever I see stuff like this, I see how the market reacts in fantasy football. And I see what the market is thinking about these players in fantasy football. And to me, there's not a significant opportunity cost for, really, any of these guys in Kansas City, considering the offense you're attaching them to, the quarterback you're attaching them to, et Cetera

And so I'm not really that concerned from a fantasy perspective if you want to buy into Kadarius Toney because I don't think that his ADP is going to rise to some insane level to where that opportunity cost is just way too high. So I think from that perspective, it's fine to buy into Kadarius Toney. I think from the perspective of is he a wide receiver one in real football, and is he--

You look at true wide receiver ones across the league, you look at Justin Jefferson, Stefon Diggs, that's not what Kadarius Toney is, I mean, at least to this point. I don't think that Kadarius Toney is going to be this 130-target type wide receiver. I would very shocked if that happens. But can he live up to ADP expectations? I think that's still very possible.

MATT HARMON: I have just always pushed back on the notion that Kadarius Toney's, like you mentioned, yards per route run or targets per route run should be weighted the same as some of these other guys because he runs those gadget-type routes, those designed touches, the Mickey Mouse type routes as Hayden Winks has called them. And I like to co-opt that phrase as well.

JJ ZACHARIASON: I like that.

MATT HARMON: He's not really doing big boy down the field wide receiver stuff. I just think this wide receiver corps-- we just did this last year, where the highest we got somebody to go was JuJu, who was about a 1,000-yard player, had he stayed healthy the full season, not a true week-to-week difference maker. And he was by far more of a proven commodity than anybody in this receiver room. So I just personally don't want to repeat the same mistakes from last year and get too excited about anyone here.