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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: David P. Woods, Dan Wilkins, Caitlyn Holroyd, Taylor Rohaly, Daniel Valente, Andrew Dixon, Justin Boone, Navin Vaswani, Brandon Wile, Caio Miari

Round 1

Pick Player Team
1 Justin Jefferson (WR1) Woods
2 Christian McCaffrey (RB1) Wilkins
3 Ja'Marr Chase (WR2) Holroyd
4 Travis Kelce (TE1) Rohaly
5 Tyreek Hill (WR3) Valente
6 Austin Ekeler (RB2) Dixon
7 Cooper Kupp (WR4) Boone
8 Stefon Diggs (WR5) Vaswani
9 Bijan Robinson (RB3) Wile
10 A.J. Brown (WR6) Miari

Round 1: While you could debate whether a player like Kelce went a spot or two higher than he should have, overall, there's very little to argue about here. As long as Kelce stays healthy, he offers an unfair advantage at tight end. Just remember, he turns 34 in October.

My pick: Kupp likely slipped to seventh due to the hamstring issue that's kept him out of practice. It's always risky drafting a player who's overcoming an injury before the season, but Kupp has been running and participating off to the side this week. The team is calling him day-to-day, and the expectation is that he'll be ready for Week 1. When he's been healthy, Kupp has led all receivers in fantasy points per game over the last two years. He averaged 21.6 FPPG in half PPR scoring in 2021 and 20.3 FPPG last year before his ankle injury.

Round 2

Pick Player Team
11 Nick Chubb (RB4) Miari
12 CeeDee Lamb (WR7) Wile
13 Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR8) Vaswani
14 Tony Pollard (RB5) Boone
15 Davante Adams (WR9) Dixon
16 Garrett Wilson (WR10) Valente
17 Saquon Barkley (RB6) Rohaly
18 Derrick Henry (RB7) Holroyd
19 Chris Olave (WR11) Wilkins
20 DeVonta Smith (WR12) Woods

Round 2: The chalky start to this draft continues with all the usual names you normally see being taken in the second round. The only surprise for some might be the disappearance of the running backs with contract issues like Jonathan Taylor and Josh Jacobs. While both players are worthy of second-round selections, the uncertainty around their disputes with ownership is causing them to fall in drafts. They'll be great values in Round 3.

My pick: Pollard is another player coming back from injury, which adds extra risk to my opening two picks. However, it's hard to deny both of their ceilings. Pollard was a top-seven fantasy back in points per game in 2022 while sharing the backfield with Ezekiel Elliott. Now that Zeke is gone, Pollard has an outside shot to compete for the top-scoring RB in fantasy this season.

Round 3

Pick Player Team
21 Jalen Hurts (QB1) Woods
22 Jonathan Taylor (RB8) Wilkins
23 Jaylen Waddle (WR13) Holroyd
24 DK Metcalf (WR14) Rohaly
25 Calvin Ridley (WR15) Valente
26 Patrick Mahomes (QB2) Dixon
27 Josh Allen (QB3) Boone
28 Josh Jacobs (RB9) Vaswani
29 Mark Andrews (TE2) Wile
30 Deebo Samuel (WR16) Miari

Round 3: If Taylor returns to the Colts before Week 1 and plays this season like most anticipate, Team Wilkins will have a very difficult backfield to overcome with two potential top-five options in McCaffrey and Taylor. Team Vaswani also capitalized on the falling RB value by getting last year's rushing king Jacobs as his RB1 on a roster that already has Diggs and St. Brown locking down the WR position. The ceilings of those picks far outweigh the possible downside.

My pick: The elite quarterbacks have consistently gone off the board in the third round of our mocks. Though you might think a 10-team league allows you to wait longer on QB, a shallower league actually requires you to find an edge at every position if you intend on winning it all. And it's easier to find a breakout RB or WR as the draft unfolds than it is to hit on the next superstar QB.

Round 4

Pick Player Team
31 Lamar Jackson (QB4) Miari
32 Tee Higgins (WR17) Wile
33 Rhamondre Stevenson (RB10) Vaswani
34 Breece Hall (RB11) Boone
35 Jahmyr Gibbs (RB12) Dixon
36 Travis Etienne (RB13) Valente
37 Amari Cooper (WR18) Rohaly
38 Najee Harris (RB14) Holroyd
39 Terry McLaurin (WR19) Wilkins
40 DJ Moore (WR20) Woods

Round 4: At this point in a 10-team league, every roster looks amazing, so don't get too overconfident about crushing the early rounds of your draft. Most managers have stayed pretty balanced so far, with Team Woods being the only one without a running back. We'll keep an eye on his progress.

My pick: Outside of Allen, this has been a riskier build than usual for me due to the injury situations surrounding Kupp, Pollard, and now Hall. The Jets' sophomore back has first-round fantasy upside if he can recover quickly from the ACL tear that ended his rookie campaign. Reports on his rehab have been positive, and we also tend to see younger players who are elite athletes bounce back faster than most. With a 9.96 Relative Athletic Score (out of 10), Hall fits that description.

Round 5

Pick Player Team
41 Joe Mixon (RB15) Woods
42 Mike Williams (WR21) Wilkins
43 Jerry Jeudy (WR22) Holroyd
44 Joe Burrow (QB5) Rohaly
45 Aaron Jones (RB16) Valente
46 Drake London (WR23) Dixon
47 Keenan Allen (WR24) Boone
48 Christian Watson (WR25) Vaswani
49 Alexander Mattison (RB17) Wile
50 DeAndre Hopkins (WR26) Miari

Round 5: Unlike the four quarterbacks chosen before him, Burrow is more of a reach considering the calf injury that's expected to sideline him for several weeks. He already wasn't on the same level as a fantasy producer, averaging 2.5-to-3.9 fewer fantasy points per game than the elite trio of Hurts, Mahomes, and Allen last year. Now there's a chance he could miss time at the start of the season to ensure he's back to 100%. If you're targeting Burrow at this point, you might as well wait a round or two and take Justin Herbert instead.

My pick: Allen was the WR12 in fantasy points per game last season, averaging 13.1 FPPG in half PPR formats. Getting him as the 25th receiver off the board might go down as one of the biggest steals in this draft. Even at 31 years old, Allen is an outstanding route-runner and a focal point of the Chargers' passing attack.

Round 6

Pick Player Team
51 Christian Kirk (WR27) Miari
52 Justin Fields (QB6) Wile
53 T.J. Hockenson (TE3) Vaswani
54 Brandon Aiyuk (WR28) Boone
55 Jaxon Smith-Njigba (WR29) Dixon
56 Diontae Johnson (WR30) Valente
57 Kenneth Walker (RB18) Rohaly
58 George Kittle (TE4) Holroyd
59 Kyle Pitts (TE5) Wilkins
60 Cam Akers (RB19) Woods

Round 6: If you're searching for a tight end who could have a monster year and challenge for a spot close to Kelce and Andrews, this is the range to do it. Hockenson exploded after being traded to the Vikings, Kittle has been there before, and Pitts is the heir apparent to the tight end throne if Kelce ever gives up.

My pick: My love for Aiyuk is on display once again as he finds his way onto another one of my rosters. He earned a spot in my seven players who will lead you to a title, and we discussed him during our recent WR preview show. As an ascending talent in a quality offense, he's an ideal WR3 in your fantasy lineup.

Round 7

Pick Player Team
61 Dameon Pierce (RB20) Woods
62 Darren Waller (TE6) Wilkins
63 Chris Godwin (WR31) Holroyd
64 David Montgomery (RB21) Rohaly
65 Justin Herbert (QB7) Valente
66 George Pickens (WR32) Dixon
67 Miles Sanders (RB22) Boone
68 Marquise Brown (WR33) Vaswani
69 Mike Evans (WR34) Wile
70 D'Andre Swift (RB23) Miari

Round 7: After taking Pitts in the sixth round, Team Wilkins doubles up at the position and selects Waller a round later. Though both players have extremely high upside, it's a bizarre move that we wouldn't recommend. In my research, unless you're playing in a TE-premium or start-two-TE format, you don't want to use a tight end in your flex.

My pick: This was my least favorite pick to make in this draft since there weren't any players standing out to me in this area. In the end, I settled on a value pick in Sanders, who the Panthers signed to a decent contract to be their lead back. Part of their recruiting pitch also involved the possibility of Sanders earning a bigger role in the passing game, which would be a welcome development for fantasy.

Round 8

Pick Player Team
71 Alvin Kamara (RB24) Miari
72 Tyler Lockett (WR35) Wile
73 Trevor Lawrence (QB8) Vaswani
74 James Conner (RB25) Boone
75 Javonte Williams (RB26) Dixon
76 Rachaad White (RB27) Valente
77 Zay Flowers (WR36) Rohaly
78 Deshaun Watson (QB9) Holroyd
79 Isiah Pacheco (RB28) Wilkins
80 Michael Pittman (WR37) Woods

Round 8: When you see the type of running backs who are still available in the eighth round, it should make you feel more comfortable about spending early picks on WR, QB, or TE. Kamara is only down in this range because of his three-game suspension, Conner is a top-15 back when healthy, White is a volume play as the Bucs' new starter, and Williams and Pacheco are injury discounts. All five of those backs have a chance to be strong RB2s or better in your lineup this season.

My pick: Conner's ADP has been stunning this year, given he's been a top-10 fantasy back in points per game each of the last two years. With Hall coming back from the torn ACL, we now have Sanders and Conner to help provide depth at our RB2 spot.

Round 9

Pick Player Team
81 Gabe Davis (WR38) Woods
82 Dalvin Cook (RB29) Wilkins
83 J.K. Dobbins (RB30) Holroyd
84 Elijah Moore (WR39) Rohaly
85 Kadarius Toney (WR40) Valente
86 Courtland Sutton (WR41) Dixon
87 Jahan Dotson (WR42) Boone
88 James Cook (RB31) Vaswani
89 Treylon Burks (WR43) Wile
90 Dallas Goedert (TE7) Miari

Round 9: There isn't a single bad pick in this round. Almost all these players are generating positive buzz in training camp. The exceptions are the always-enticing Toney, who's working his way back from a knee injury, Dalvin Cook, who's yet to sign with a new club, and Dobbins, who seems to be getting punished more than others for his contract standoff.

My pick: Dotson is one of my favorite breakout candidates for 2023. He produced whenever he was on the field as a rookie, and beat writers have continuously commented on his growing chemistry with new QB Sam Howell. A big season is on the way for last year's first-round pick.

Round 10

Pick Player Team
91 Quentin Johnston (WR44) Miari
92 Rashaad Penny (RB32) Wile
93 Jordan Addison (WR45) Vaswani
94 Devon Achane (RB33) Boone
95 Samaje Perine (RB34) Dixon
96 Evan Engram (TE8) Valente
97 Zach Charbonnet (RB35) Rohaly
98 Antonio Gibson (RB36) Holroyd
99 Rashod Bateman (WR46) Wilkins
100 Brian Robinson (RB37) Woods

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. Johnston, Penny, Addison, Achane, Perine, Charbonnet, Gibson, Bateman, and Robinson all fit that mold.

My pick: Achane has the potential to be a game-breaker in a Dolphins offense built around speed. With beat writers projecting a significant role and teammates routinely impressed by his abilities, it might only be a matter of time before Achane is winning fantasy weeks.

Round 11

Pick Player Team
101 Khalil Herbert (RB38) Woods
102 Odell Beckham (WR47) Wilkins
103 Brandin Cooks (WR48) Holroyd
104 Skyy Moore (WR49) Rohaly
105 JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR50) Valente
106 Jameson Williams (WR51) Dixon
107 AJ Dillon (RB39) Boone
108 Damien Harris (RB40) Vaswani
109 Jerick McKinnon (RB41) Wile
110 Michael Thomas (WR52) Miari

Round 11: Checking in on Team Woods after he passed on running backs in the first four rounds, and he's done an excellent job filling out his RB depth chart. Mixon can be a top-12 back if he avoids suspension. Akers and Pierce are both intriguing breakout candidates for 2023. Robinson and Herbert have a chance to emerge as the lead backs in their committees.

My pick: Skyy Moore was my target in this round, but he was selected a few picks before me. Instead, I pivoted to a high-upside backup RB in Dillon. The 25-year-old can provide flex value while being an Aaron Jones injury away from fantasy stardom.

Round 12

Pick Player Team
111 Jamaal Williams (RB42) Miari
112 Nico Collins (WR53) Wile
113 Tank Bigsby (RB43) Vaswani
114 Dalton Kincaid (TE9) Boone
115 Chigoziem Okonkwo (TE10) Dixon
116 Darnell Mooney (WR54) Valente
117 Jaylen Warren (RB44) Rohaly
118 Jakobi Meyers (WR55) Holroyd
119 Anthony Richardson (QB10) Wilkins
120 Pat Freiermuth (TE11) Woods

Round 12: Team Wilkins was the last manager to select a quarterback, and he made the right call to chase the ceiling of a dual-threat rookie in Richardson. Even if it takes Richardson time to get comfortable in the pros, his rushing ability will make him a fantasy factor right away. And Team Wilkins can easily add a competent backup like Geno Smith, Kirk Cousins, or Dak Prescott with a late-round pick.

My pick: The positive drumbeat about Kincaid coming out of Bills camp continues to grow, making it hard to ignore the pass-catching rookie tight end. When you don't find the right TE value along the way, Kincaid should be at the top of your late-round target list. Pairing him with Allen was just an added bonus.

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