It's one thing to say, "I like Josh Jacobs in Fantasy Football for the 2023 season." It's another thing to draft him on more than half of your leagues. I've been higher on Jacobs than the consensus all draft season, but I didn't realize exactly how much higher I was until I took stock of all of my leagues for 2023 and realized he's on 10 of them.
With draft season over, I took a look back at my drafts to see which players I actually drafted the most this season, and Jacobs being my most-drafted player ended up being no surprise:
I took a look at my 14 teams I'm playing out plus our five most-recent mock drafts for CBS Fantasy to figure out who My Guys are for this season, and while Jacobs' inclusion was no surprise, I was surprised to see which players ended up on my teams most often. Here are the 15 players I ended up drafting on at least four of those 19 teams:
Josh Jacobs – Times drafted: 10
I ranked Jacobs as a first-round pick before he signed his contract and reported to the Raiders, and I've still got him as a first-rounder now. Actually, that's not entirely true – I took him in the second round of a draft Tuesday, after snagging Amon-Ra St. Brown with the No. 10 pick – I have Jacobs ranked higher, but it was a calculated bet that Jacobs would still be there at 15th overall, and it was a bet that paid off. I probably ended up taking Jacobs more often in the second round than the first, which is just fine in my eyes. Josh McDaniels' offense has been top-five in PPR points by running backs in eight of the past 11 seasons, so there is room for Jacobs to dominate touches less than he did last season and still be an elite Fantasy option. I am, quite literally, counting on it.
Nathaniel Dell – Times drafted: 9
Dell was a very productive player at Houston, racking up over 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns in each of the past two seasons, and he landed in a spot with the Texans where he could play a pretty significant role pretty early on. He'll likely open the season as the No. 4 wide receiver here, but given that Robert Woods and Noah Brown are two of the three WR ahead of him on the depth chart, it probably won't take much to move up quickly. Dell had a strong preseason and training camp, and I loved making a bet that he can emerge as a viable Fantasy option outside of the first 10 rounds in most drafts.
Lockett is the only one of this trio I actively targeted in most of my drafts, though even he was someone I ended up settling for after he fell farther than I thought he should. He's been a top-50 pick in my rankings, but I usually ended up taking him outside of the top 60. Lockett gets dinged for perceived inconsistency, as well as concerns about the Seahawks adding Jaxon Smith-Njigba in the first round of this year's NFL Draft, but I still think he's going to be a big part of this offense. As a No. 3 WR, it's hard to do any better.
I'm surprised I ended up with Thomas as often as I did. I have him ranked somewhat aggressively, as No. 82 overall, compared to a CBS Fantasy ADP of 99.2, but his consensus ranking between Jamey Eisenberg, Dave Richard, and Heath Cummings' rankings is 80th overall, so I don't really stand out among my colleagues. I'm skeptical Thomas is going to be a useful Fantasy option, and I'm definitely not expecting a return to his WR1 days. But I found myself drawn to him when I was searching for upside when I went RB-heavy or took a QB and TE early and needed to make up ground at wide receiver. If Thomas can stay healthy and emerge as a useful WR2, I'll feel a lot better about those teams where I took him as my WR3 or WR4.
Moore is someone nobody was excited about even before we found out Kyler Murray would miss at least the first four weeks of the season, but he did have a six-game stretch when healthy last season where he averaged 14.1 PPR points per game, and he isn't playing with anyone who should demand a significant target share outside of maybe Marquise Brown. It's not the highest upside bet, but if Moore ends up as a fringe starting option as a late-round pick, I wouldn't be particularly surprised at all.
Edwards-Helaire and Penny are just late-round dart throws at this point, but I think there's a path to both of them becoming decent RB2s in Fantasy fairly early on – Edwards-Helaire is probably the Chiefs most well-rounded running back, while I think Penny will eventually establish himself as the Eagles best pure runner. Both came basically free by the end of draft season, so this shouldn't be taken as a flag-plant.
Richardson and Mims are kind of flag-plant takes, though. I started drafting Mims pretty aggressively toward the end of draft season, when Jerry Jeudy's injury occurred and Mims' price just didn't really increase as much as I thought it should – Mims was WR73 with an ADP of 197.71 in NFFC drafts when Jeudy's injury happened, and he's been WR59 with an ADP of 136.1 since. That's not nothing, but when a talented, early-round rookie wide receiver has a path to immediate relevance, I'm going to take advantage. It may end up being a wasted pick, but guess what: Most of your 10th and 11th-round picks are going to be dropped before long anyway. Might as well take a flier on someone with upside there.
As for Richardson, while I have some concerns about his chances of being an immediate Fantasy contributor, the upside here was too much to pass up. Basically, if I didn't draft a QB in the first three or four rounds, there was a pretty good chance I was going to be taking Richardson in like the eighth or ninth rounds. I always paired him with a high-floor pick like Geno Smith or Dak Prescott later on, and I'll probably start those guys ahead of Richardson. But if Richardson can manage to throw for even 160 yards per game, he might be a top-12 QB based on his rushing upside alone.
I'm not sure if St. Brown necessarily belongs in the elite tier at wide receiver, but he's my most-drafted among the first-round caliber options at the position. For context, I drafted Ja'Marr Chase twice, Justin Jefferson once, and didn't end up with Tyreek Hill at all – mostly because I ranked Cooper Kupp ahead of Hill and ended up with Kupp three times before his latest hamstring setback has his status for Week 1 up in the air.
I bought the dip on Evans and McLaurin, with McLaurin more likely to end up on my team after the toe injury that has him in question for Week 1 as well. He was a solid WR2 before the injury, and I was able to snag him as a WR4 at least once; Evans was my WR5 in a 3WR league at one point. There's so much skepticism about that Buccaneers offense, and I think it could end up being closer to decent than people expect.