Our first 12-team, PPR mock draft of 2023 was certainly enlightening. Starting with the No. 1 overall pick -- Travis Kelce. Is that something we should expect to see next season?
Adam Aizer made the selection, and he wanted Kelce because he's the biggest difference maker of any player at his position. In 2022, Kelce averaged 18.6 PPR points per game. The No. 2 tight end, George Kittle, averaged 13.4 PPR points per game. You don't need a calculator to realize that's huge for Kelce.
I don't need to sell you on Kelce's positives. He's been the No. 1 Fantasy tight end for most of his career, and he's averaged at least 15.5 Fantasy points per game for six seasons in a row, including three years over 18.4 PPR points per game.
He's the No. 1 weapon for Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid, and that should continue in 2023. There's no disputing he will be drafted as the No. 1 Fantasy tight end, and he should be selected in the first round.
But the downside is he'll be 34 next season, and at some point, Father Time will come calling. He also wasn't the No. 1 Fantasy tight end in 2021 when Mark Andrews (17.7 PPR points per game) was slightly better (16.4). How will Adam feel if Kelce falls off his perch again? That's something to consider.
For me, it all comes down to drafting the player you want in Round 1 -- even if that means being unconventional at No. 1 overall. If Adam drafted Kelce at No. 7 overall, would I even bring this up? Probably not.
What we need to do is see how Adam built his roster after drafting Kelce. His starting lineup in this three-receiver league is Joe Burrow at quarterback, Nick Chubb and J.K. Dobbins at running back, Jaylen Waddle, Tyler Lockett and Jahan Dotson at receiver and Kelce. His flex options include Ezekiel Elliott, Darnell Mooney and Donovan Peoples-Jones, and he has sleepers in Alexander Mattison and Samaje Perine. He drafted Daniel Jones as a No. 2 quarterback and also took a second tight end in Juwan Johnson.
Now, I don't agree with all of his picks, but it's a solid roster. And if Kelce remains the stud tight end that he's always been -- and crushes the field -- then Adam got what he wanted with his No. 1 overall selection.
The rest of the first round, in order, was Justin Jefferson, Christian McCaffrey, Austin Ekeler, Jonathan Taylor, Ja'Marr Chase, Stefon Diggs, Cooper Kupp, Saquon Barkley, Derrick Henry, Tyreek Hill and Najee Harris. The only two picks I didn't like were Henry at No. 10 overall and Harris at No. 12.
This is the first mock draft of many for us in 2023. We wanted to see what a mock draft would look like right after the regular season ended, but so much will change between now and training camp, including free agency and the NFL Draft.
In full disclosure, we did this draft without rankings, so some players might have slipped further than expected. For example, Javonte Williams should be selected higher than Round 5, especially if he's on track to return in Week 1 from the ACL injury he suffered in Week 4 this past season.
It was also fun to see when the 2022 rookies came off the board. Kenneth Walker III and Breece Hall were drafted in Round 2, Garrett Wilson and Dameon Pierce in Round 3, Chris Olave in Round 4, Christian Watson and Drake London in Round 5 and Jameson Williams, George Pickens and Tyler Allgeier in Round 6.
I drafted Allgeier, along with Rachaad White (Round 7) and Wan'Dale Robinson (Round 8), and these are players with plenty of upside for 2023. Allgeier closed 2022 on a high note and should be considered a low-end starter/high-end flex in all formats next season. White could be the starting running back in Tampa Bay if the Buccaneers move on from Leonard Fournette. And Robinson could be a primary weapon for the Giants when he's healthy after suffering a torn ACL in Week 11.
Allgeier would be my flex if we started the season today. The rest of my lineup is Deshaun Watson at quarterback, McCaffrey and Cam Akers at running back, Tee Higgins, DeVonta Smith and Christian Kirk at receiver and David Njoku at tight end. Along with White and Robinson on my bench, I also have Brandin Cooks, Hunter Renfrow, Trey Lance and Cole Kmet.
I'm hopeful that Cooks, with a quarterback upgrade in Houston, can still be a starting Fantasy receiver in 2023, even though he'll turn 30 in September. And he closed 2022 with at least 13 PPR points in two of his final three games.
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I also could see Renfrow as a sleeper in 2023 if the Raiders get the right quarterback to replace Derek Carr -- say Tom Brady -- and that's something to monitor this offseason. And Lance could obviously be a star if he returns at 100 percent from the ankle injury he suffered in Week 2 and becomes the starting quarterback in San Francisco.
In this league, all touchdowns are worth six points, and we award one point for every 10 yards rushing and receiving and one point for every 25 yards passing. We also award one point for every reception. We feature a starting lineup of QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE and FLEX (RB/WR/TE) with six reserves for a 14-round draft.
Our draft order is as follows:
1. Adam Aizer, FFT Podcast Host
2. Heath Cummings, Senior Fantasy Writer
3. Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer
4. Chris Towers, Senior Editor, Fantasy Sports
5. Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer
6. Jacob Gibbs, SportsLine Fantasy Analyst
7. Thomas Shafer, FFT Podcast Producer
8. Frank Stampfl, FBT Podcast Host
9. Daniel Schneier, Fantasy Editor
10. Meron Berkson, CBS Sports HQ Producer
11. Jack Capotorto, FFT HQ Producer
12. Zach Brook, FFT Social Media Coordinator