Washington Commanders 2023 Fantasy Football Rookie Roundup

The Washington Commanders definitely drafted some football players, but I think the only thing that anyone in Washington cares about is how quickly Dan Snyder can sell the team so that someone who actually cares can take over. At this point, we have to discuss the fantasy football impact the 2023 NFL draft had on Washington because they did draft fantasy football players. If you are drafting skill positions from Washington not named Jahan Dotson and Terry McLaurin, you probably have bigger problems. Washington is not an offense that can be trusted in 2023.

Rd. Pick Player Pos. College
1 16 Emmanuel Forbes CB Mississippi State
2 16 Jartavius Martin CB Illinois
3 34 Ricky Stromberg C Arkansas
4 16 Braeden Daniels G Utah
5 2 KJ Henry EDGE Clemson
6 16 Chris Rodriguez, Jr. RB Kentucky
7 16 Andre Jones Jr. EDGE Louisiana

 Round 6, Pick 193 Overall: Chris Rodriguez Jr., Running Back, Kentucky (6’0” 217 lbs)

Depth Chart:
RB1:       Brian Robinson, Jr.
RB2:       Antonio Gibson
RB3:       Chris Rodriguez, Jr.



Even though I just spent the intro to this article pooping all over the Washington franchise, I did find myself watching Chris Rodriguez, Jr. with interest. A lot of the people I talked to were not big fans of him, but I enjoyed watching his tape. For a sixth-round pick, I thought he had value. Rodriguez is not going to wow you with his athleticism. He doesn’t have top-end speed, but he accelerates quickly enough. Rodriguez has good feet and is a decisive runner, but if you need him to run away from someone, you will end up disappointed and he will end up tackled.

The real issue with Rodriguez is that he does not have the ability to create space on his own. If he doesn’t have good blocking in front of him, things fall apart very fast. And considering how terrible Kentucky’s offensive line was last year, things fell apart for him a lot in 2022. When the blocking is there, Chris Rodriguez showed very good vision. He follows his blockers and he runs hard.

Rodriguez is a long strider and runs a bit too upright for my tastes. This is something I hate in my running backs because it really puts you in a position to get blasted by a linebacker and injured. I think the main reason I liked watching Rodriguez so much was because his legs were always churning. The man would not go down easily. Arm tackles do not work. He also has good enough hands to be used in the screen game and is a solid blocker. Rodriguez has the traits to find himself with a long career just doing the little things that teams need running backs on the back of their depth chart to do. Rodriguez is boring, but he is not bad by any stretch. Teams need boring guys on their teams.


Compared to most of the rookie running backs in the NFL this year, Chris Rodriguez has a clear path to production. Brian Robinson was the third-round draft pick for Washington in 2022, but he hasn’t actually shown any real game-breaking ability. Behind Robinson is Antonio Gibson, who based on all the whispers last offseason, murdered Ron Rivera’s dog. Fantasy football players are begging the Commanders to find ways to use Gibson and the former Football Team is looking for reasons to bury him on the depth chart. If Rodriguez can show any sign of ability, he could find himself as the third down back for the Commanders. With injuries, Rodriguez could end up being a pure volume play.


As I mentioned at the top, I’m not sure what value the Washington Commanders will actually have in fantasy football. With Sam Howell starting at quarterback, it is hard for me to get excited if they commit to him. If they decide to actually try winning and start Jacoby Brissett, I feel a whole lot better about the team based on his performance in Cleveland. Brissett showed he could sustain fantasy production, which means that Rodriguez does have a path to relevance. If it were any other team, I’d just assume Brissett was going to start and they would be able to cobble together some sort of offense. But this is Washington we are talking about, where fantasy players go to die.




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