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Fantasy: 10-team mock draft with analysis after every round


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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.

Round 1

Pick Player Team
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.

Round 2

Pick Player Team
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.

Round 3

Pick Player Team
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.

Round 4

Pick Player Team
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.

Round 5

Pick Player Team
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.

Round 6

Pick Player Team
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.

Round 7

Pick Player Team
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.

Round 8

Pick Player Team
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.

Round 9

Pick Player Team
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.

Round 10

Pick Player Team
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.

Round 11

Pick Player Team
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.

Round 12

Pick Player Team
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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