Fantasy: 10-team mock draft with analysis after every round
theScore staff took part in a 10-team, 12-round mock draft to offer some insight on what to watch for in each round.
This is a half PPR scoring league with the following roster spots: QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, FLEX, BN, BN, BN, BN. We omitted defenders and kickers, as they're normally selected in the final two rounds.
Draft participants: Dane Belbeck, Navin Vaswani, Brandon Wile, Gianluca Nesci, Justin Boone, Caitlyn Holroyd, Alex Chippin, Daniel Valente, Caio Miari, Brenden Deeg.
|1||Justin Jefferson (WR1)||Belbeck|
|2||Ja'Marr Chase (WR2)||Vaswani|
|3||Christian McCaffrey (RB1)||Wile|
|4||Austin Ekeler (RB2)||Nesci|
|5||Cooper Kupp (WR3)||Boone|
|6||Bijan Robinson (RB3)||Holroyd|
|7||Tyreek Hill (WR4)||Chippin|
|8||Stefon Diggs (WR5)||Valente|
|9||Travis Kelce (TE1)||Miari|
|10||A.J. Brown (WR6)||Deeg|
Round 1: If you've been paying attention to ADPs this offseason, then you shouldn't be surprised by any of the picks in the opening round. For those who are just getting back into fantasy after the July 4 weekend, this year's drafts have been much more receiver-heavy at the top - so make sure you adjust.
My pick: The decision in the middle of the first round isn't an easy one, and it ultimately came down to Kupp, Robinson, and Hill. While Robinson and Hill might be more exciting selections, people seem to forget how dominant a healthy Kupp was the last two years. The Rams star led all WRs in fantasy points per game (21.6 in half PPR scoring) in 2021 and was sitting in the same spot, averaging 20.3 FPPG last year before an ankle injury ended his season in Week 10.
|11||CeeDee Lamb (WR7)||Deeg|
|12||Nick Chubb (RB4)||Miari|
|13||Garrett Wilson (WR8)||Valente|
|14||Tony Pollard (RB5)||Chippin|
|15||Davante Adams (WR9)||Holroyd|
|16||Jonathan Taylor (RB6)||Boone|
|17||Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR10)||Nesci|
|18||Jaylen Waddle (WR11)||Wile|
|19||Saquon Barkley (RB7)||Vaswani|
|20||Chris Olave (WR12)||Belbeck|
Round 2: The run on wideouts continued with 12 receivers chosen over the first two frames, compared to just seven running backs. Team Miari is the only squad without a receiver thus far - though tight end Kelce produces like an elite WR. Regardless, it'll be interesting to monitor how he fills out his receiving corps the rest of the way.
My pick: In the middle of the second round, we get a player valued as a late-first-round pick in my projections. Taylor is one year removed from posting over 2,000 yards from scrimmage and 20 total touchdowns. Don't let an injury-riddled 2022 campaign make you forget about his fantasy ceiling. Even with a rookie quarterback at the helm, the arrival of Anthony Richardson is a massive upgrade for the Colts' offense from the trio of Matt Ryan, Sam Ehlinger, and Nick Foles.
|21||Josh Jacobs (RB8)||Belbeck|
|22||DeVonta Smith (WR13)||Vaswani|
|23||Tee Higgins (WR14)||Wile|
|24||Derrick Henry (RB9)||Nesci|
|25||Rhamondre Stevenson (RB10)||Boone|
|26||Mark Andrews (TE2)||Holroyd|
|27||Patrick Mahomes (QB1)||Chippin|
|28||Deebo Samuel (WR15)||Valente|
|29||DK Metcalf (WR16)||Miari|
|30||Jalen Hurts (QB2)||Deeg|
Round 3: Our first quarterbacks go off the board in this round, with Mahomes and Hurts taken over Allen. That follows my rankings, which recently changed to account for the uncertainty of Diggs' situation in Buffalo. Allen is still a locked-in top-three fantasy QB, but Mahomes and Hurts have more comfortable outlooks entering the season.
My pick: Stevenson is coming off a breakout season as a low-end RB1 in fantasy, propelled by the third-most receptions among running backs. The result is even more impressive when you factor in a slow start where he only took the field on 25% of the snaps in Week 1 and a final month derailed by an ankle issue. The addition of a qualified offensive coordinator in Bill O'Brien should help inject life into the Patriots' offense, leading to more scoring opportunities for Stevenson, who's positioned for another top-12 fantasy finish.
|31||Jahmyr Gibbs (RB11)||Deeg|
|32||Amari Cooper (WR17)||Miari|
|33||Breece Hall (RB12)||Valente|
|34||Travis Etienne (RB13)||Chippin|
|35||Calvin Ridley (WR18)||Holroyd|
|36||Josh Allen (QB3)||Boone|
|37||Keenan Allen (WR19)||Nesci|
|38||Najee Harris (RB14)||Wile|
|39||Christian Watson (WR20)||Vaswani|
|40||Aaron Jones (RB15)||Belbeck|
Round 4: Team Valente went with three straight wideouts to start the draft and gets rewarded by having a potential top-12 RB in Hall fall to him. Had it not been for the ACL tear last season, Hall would likely be a first-round fantasy pick in 2023. Most of the reports from beat writers and injury analysts concerning his recovery are leaning on the favorable side, with Hall expected to be back to form in September. He's an excellent value in the third round.
My pick: Coming out of the first four rounds with just one receiver is risky, but there wasn't a WR or TE in this range that enticed me enough to pull the trigger. Instead, we'll take an elite QB in Allen, who was likely passed up by other managers for the reasons we mentioned in Round 3.
|41||Lamar Jackson (QB4)||Belbeck|
|42||Joe Burrow (QB5)||Vaswani|
|43||Terry McLaurin (WR21)||Wile|
|44||Jerry Jeudy (WR22)||Nesci|
|45||D.J. Moore (WR23)||Boone|
|46||Joe Mixon (RB16)||Holroyd|
|47||Drake London (WR24)||Chippin|
|48||Justin Fields (QB6)||Valente|
|49||Christian Kirk (WR25)||Miari|
|50||J.K. Dobbins (RB17)||Deeg|
Round 5: My Allen pick looks even better when you see Jackson, Burrow, and Fields all selected one round later. Jackson has a strong chance to challenge the top fantasy QBs this year, thanks to a new offensive coordinator in Todd Monken and the Ravens finally investing in their receiver room. Fields and Burrow are a tier behind Jackson, making them a little pricey for the fifth round.
My pick: The Bears' pass volume is a concern for fantasy after they put up a league-worst 377 passing attempts - the lowest total we've seen from an NFL offense since 2004. However, their roster also got an influx of talent from first-round tackle Darnell Wright, to depth pieces like Tyler Scott and Robert Tonyan, to a true No. 1 option in Moore. The 26-year-old is an underrated star and will help Fields take a gigantic step forward in his career, just like we saw when Allen got Diggs and Hurts got A.J. Brown. Expect the volume to increase and Moore to dominate targets.
|51||Mike Williams (WR26)||Deeg|
|52||Kenneth Walker (RB18)||Miari|
|53||Alexander Mattison (RB19)||Valente|
|54||T.J. Hockenson (TE3)||Chippin|
|55||Justin Herbert (QB7)||Holroyd|
|56||Brandon Aiyuk (WR27)||Boone|
|57||George Kittle (TE4)||Nesci|
|58||Miles Sanders (RB20)||Wile|
|59||Dameon Pierce (RB21)||Vaswani|
|60||DeAndre Hopkins (WR28)||Belbeck|
Round 6: With receivers flying off the board in the early rounds, you'll see some quality running backs still available in this stretch. Mattison is taking over for Dalvin Cook in Minnesota and has a shot to produce similar top-15-type fantasy numbers. Sanders signed a long-term deal to be the focal point of the Panthers' backfield, where it's been suggested he'll see more pass-catching opportunities. Meanwhile, Walker and Pierce are coming off solid rookie seasons and should be decent RB2s in fantasy if they can hold off challenges from Zach Charbonnet and Devin Singletary, respectively.
My pick: My love for Aiyuk has been well-documented in my articles and on theScore Fantasy Football Podcast. While he officially broke out with a 1,000-yard effort last year, the offseason hype around him has been deafening. Many people close to the 49ers, including teammate Deebo Samuel, have suggested that Aiyuk could emerge as a superstar this season. After waiting a bit to address my receiving corps following my first-round pick of Kupp, I'm happy to chase potential career years from Moore and Aiyuk.
|61||Chris Godwin (WR29)||Belbeck|
|62||Cam Akers (RB22)||Vaswani|
|63||Marquise Brown (WR30)||Wile|
|64||Michael Pittman (WR31)||Nesci|
|65||Treylon Burks (WR32)||Boone|
|66||Diontae Johnson (WR33)||Holroyd|
|67||Tyler Lockett (WR34)||Chippin|
|68||Jaxon Smith-Njigba (WR35)||Valente|
|69||Mike Evans (WR36)||Miari|
|70||Kyle Pitts (TE5)||Deeg|
Round 7: Checking back on Team Miari after they were the only roster without a receiver through two rounds, and things have turned out just fine. Metcalf, Cooper, Kirk, and now Evans provide him with four quality options at the position. While you shouldn't feel forced into a single strategy in your drafts, keep in mind it's easier to come away with a star-studded lineup in a 10-team league.
My pick: Receivers remain in sight, and there are still plenty of good ones available in Round 7. Burks might be my most drafted player so far in 2023, and if you're curious why, just check out my breakout candidates column, which has his picture at the top.
|71||Kadarius Toney (WR37)||Deeg|
|72||D'Andre Swift (RB23)||Miari|
|73||Darren Waller (TE6)||Valente|
|74||James Conner (RB24)||Chippin|
|75||Jahan Dotson (WR38)||Holroyd|
|76||George Pickens (WR39)||Boone|
|77||Trevor Lawrence (QB8)||Nesci|
|78||Dallas Goedert (TE7)||Wile|
|79||Jordan Addison (WR40)||Vaswani|
|80||David Montgomery (RB25)||Belbeck|
Round 8: This round was loaded with possible league-winning picks. Toney could turn into Mahomes' No. 1 wideout. Swift has the best chance to start in Philly's backfield. Waller is likely to be the most targeted pass-catcher for the Giants. Conner has consistently put up top-15 fantasy RB numbers when healthy. Lawrence is on the verge of joining the elite producers at his position. Dotson, Pickens, and Addison are all promising young WRs with very high ceilings.
My pick: My hope in this round was to secure a tight end, but Pitts and Waller went before my pick. While Goedert was an option, a receiver like Pickens possesses far more upside if he can continue his development from Year 1 to Year 2. Despite being a polarizing fantasy asset, it doesn't take much to envision Pickens building off his 52-801-4 rookie stat line and becoming an impact starter.
|81||Isiah Pacheco (RB26)||Belbeck|
|82||Gabe Davis (WR41)||Vaswani|
|83||Quentin Johnston (WR42)||Wile|
|84||Rachaad White (RB27)||Nesci|
|85||Dalvin Cook (RB28)||Boone|
|86||Brandin Cooks (WR43)||Holroyd|
|87||Michael Thomas (WR44)||Chippin|
|88||James Cook (RB29)||Valente|
|89||Alvin Kamara (RB30)||Miari|
|90||Zay Flowers (WR45)||Deeg|
Round 9: While the running backs in this round have some question marks, they represent nice value at this stage of the draft. Pacheco needs to prove he's healthy. White needs to avoid the Buccaneers adding a veteran before the season. Kamara has a court case and possible suspension to sort out. Dalvin Cook needs to find a new team, and his brother James needs to overcome a budding committee with Damien Harris and Latavius Murray. Even so, every back taken in this round has top-24 fantasy potential this year.
My pick: Dalvin Cook doesn't come without risk, but he has far more left in the tank than some of the other free-agent running backs like Ezekiel Elliott and Leonard Fournette. If Cook lands on the Dolphins or another team with a starting job available, his value will skyrocket back into the top-five rounds. He's an intriguing redraft pick in this range and a sneaky dynasty buy.
|91||Javonte Williams (RB31)||Deeg|
|92||Deshaun Watson (QB9)||Miari|
|93||Elijah Moore (WR46)||Valente|
|94||Brian Robinson (RB32)||Chippin|
|95||AJ Dillon (RB33)||Holroyd|
|96||Devon Achane (RB34)||Boone|
|97||Zach Charbonnet (RB35)||Nesci|
|98||Anthony Richardson (QB10)||Wile|
|99||Evan Engram (TE8)||Vaswani|
|100||David Njoku (TE9)||Belbeck|
Round 10: As we preach every year, the later rounds should be dedicated to pure upside as you attempt to unearth the next fantasy diamond. Williams, Watson, Moore, Dillon, Achane, Charbonnet, and Richardson all fit that description here.
My pick: Scooping up Achane a round after Dalvin Cook gives me an excellent path toward locking down the Dolphins' starter one way or another. Even if Cook signs in Miami, Achane could offer weekly flex production as a game-breaking change-of-pace weapon.
|101||Rashod Bateman (WR47)||Belbeck|
|102||Samaje Perine (RB36)||Vaswani|
|103||Antonio Gibson (RB37)||Wile|
|104||Odell Beckham (WR48)||Nesci|
|105||Dalton Kincaid (TE10)||Boone|
|106||Khalil Herbert (RB38)||Holroyd|
|107||Courtland Sutton (WR49)||Chippin|
|108||Jamaal Williams (RB39)||Valente|
|109||Tyler Boyd (WR50)||Miari|
|110||Romeo Doubs (WR51)||Deeg|
Round 11: Team Valente, Team Miari, and Team Vaswani began the draft by taking just one running back in the first five rounds - and all three managers have filled out their RB depth charts nicely. Team Valente has two strong starters, a breakout candidate, and a reliable veteran in line for added touches in the opening weeks (Hall, Mattison, James Cook, Jamaal Williams). Team Miari's lineup features four incredible talents that could carry his team to a title if they hit (Chubb, Walker, Swift, Kamara). And Team Vaswani has one elite back paired with two young breakout candidates and an underrated veteran poised for a bigger opportunity on his new team (Barkley, Pierce, Akers, Perine).
My pick: My failure to find the right value at tight end has forced me into the late-round approach at the position. Thankfully, there are multiple TEs with big-time ceilings going outside the first 10 rounds. Kincaid is an obvious choice here as a first-round rookie with high-end pass-catching skills who stacks with my starting QB, Allen. His volatility will likely cause me to grab another upside tight end before the draft is done.
|111||Damien Harris (RB40)||Deeg|
|112||Jameson Williams (WR52)||Miari|
|113||JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR53)||Valente|
|114||Pat Freiermuth (TE11)||Chippin|
|115||Allen Lazard (WR54)||Holroyd|
|116||Greg Dulcich (TE12)||Boone|
|117||Skyy Moore (WR55)||Nesci|
|118||Elijah Mitchell (RB41)||Wile|
|119||Rashaad Penny (RB42)||Vaswani|
|120||Jerick McKinnon (RB43)||Belbeck|
Round 12: Running backs are normally the best targets in the final rounds because they're one injury away from achieving fantasy starter status. While all four backs taken in this round are great picks, Chiefs wideout Skyy Moore might be my favorite choice in this frame. The drumbeat about Moore's increased involvement in the offense has been non-stop this offseason, and Kansas City's pecking order behind Kelce is wide-open. Make sure you get Moore on at least one of your teams this year.
My pick: Entering the season with Kincaid as my sole option at tight end would be foolish. Fortunately, Dulcich is there to give me another shot at finding a TE1. As a rookie, Dulcich finished with the 18th-most fantasy points per game at his position. Now he's getting talked up by his new head coach Sean Payton, who has a history of producing quality fantasy tight ends. Dulcich might be THE breakout tight end in 2023.
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