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2023 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft 5.0 – Drafting from the #5 Slot

With training camp underway, there is already a ton of news impacting the Average Draft Position of our favorite fantasy football targets. If you missed anything from the first week, check out my training camp updates. I’ll recap the week prior so you don’t miss a thing. Given the outpouring of news, it’s no wonder this mock draft saw the rise and fall of certain players from the weeks prior.

Every Monday, I will continue completing a fantasy football mock draft on what I like to call “Mock Draft Monday.” This series is a favorite of mine and one of the articles I look forward to the most during fantasy football draft season. I encourage you to review these mock drafts and complete some of your own!

Each week, I will complete a mock draft selecting players from a different draft spot with an analysis as to why I picked each player where and when I did. As I break down the results of each mock draft, I guarantee my reasoning for every pick will help guide your own decision-making process when it comes time to select your teams for the upcoming fantasy football season. So, follow along all summer long!

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Picking Fifth Overall in the Fifth Mock Draft

The following mock draft was completed, simulating my strategy and results for a 10-team, 1 quarterback, Points Per Reception league. The hypothetical roster consists of 3 wide receivers, 2 running backs, 1 tight end, and 1 RB/WR/TE Flex position.  I drafted from the fifth overall pick in this mock draft and will make selections from different draft positions each week. For this mock draft, I will break down the first 12 of the total 16 rounds, as many Average Draft Positions, particularly for the later rounds, continuously change as NFL training camps ramp up. As always, I spend my final two picks on a Defense/Special Teams and Kicker so they won’t be included as we focus on individual player analysis.


1.01-         Justin Jefferson (MIN WR)

1.02-        Christian McCaffrey (CAR RB)

1.03-        Austin Ekeler (LAC RB)

1.04-        Ja’Marr Chase (CIN WR)

1.05-       Saquon Barkley (NYG RB)

1.06-        Cooper Kupp (LAR WR)

1.07-        Travis Kelce (KC TE)

1.08-        Tyreek Hill (MIA WR)

1.09-        Bijan Robinson (ATL RB)

1.10-         Stefon Diggs (BUF WR)

MY PICK: Saquon Barkley

Saquon Barkley is officially under contract and practicing for the New York Giants. Putting that pen to paper thankfully provides a lot of clarity for fantasy football managers. Saquon should now be a first round pick in every league.

Saquon has incentives in his contract that can earn him up to an additional $1 million on top of his $10.1 million in guarantees. In order to do so, Barkley must record 65 receptions, 1,350 rushing yards, and 11 touchdowns. He is the focal point of the Giants’ offense accounting for 27.7% of their 2022 scrimmage yards. These contract milestones are fully in the realm of possibilities. Saquon is one of the best pass-catching backs in the league boosting his value that much more in PPR leagues.


2.01 –      Ceedee Lamb (DAL WR)

2.02-      Derrick Henry (TEN RB)

2.03-      A.J. Brown (PHI WR)

2.04-      Davante Adams (LV WR)

2.05-      Nick Chubb (CLE RB)

2.06-    Amon-Ra St. Brown (DET WR)

2.07-      Garrett Wilson (NYJ WR)

2.08-      Jonathan Taylor (IND RB)

2.09-      Tony Pollard (DAL RB)

2.10-       Jaylen Waddle (MIA WR)

MY PICK: Amon-Ra St. Brown

The second round is full of tough decisions. I end up taking Amon-Ra St. Brown because I think he’s set up for a monster season. He is the eighth-most targeted wide receiver and ninth-most targeted player from the 2022 season. The Detroit Lions did not add any significant competition to St. Brown’s established elite target share. In fact, his wide receiver teammate, Jameson Williams, is suspended for the first six games of the season.

Letting Jonathan Taylor come and go in this round of the mock draft isn’t easy. The 2021 rushing yards and touchdown leader is currently holding out from Colts training camp. He even requested a trade over the weekend. If Taylor doesn’t play, he is going to start racking up fines. That said, I do expect him to play for Indy in 2023. However, it’s hard to select him in the second round with that much uncertainty.


3.01-      Chris Olave (NO WR)

3.02-     D.K. Metcalf (SEA WR)

3.03-     Patrick Mahomes (KC QB)

3.04-     Jahmyr Gibbs (DET RB)

3.05-    Josh Jacobs (LV RB)

3.06-     Josh Allen (BUF QB)

3.07-     Mark Andrews (BAL TE)

3.08-     Keenan Allen (LAC WR)

3.09-     Jalen Hurts (PHI QB)

3.10-      Rhamondre Stevenson (NE RB)

MY PICK: Josh Jacobs

I know I just passed up Jonathan Taylor in the second round of the mock draft due to his holdout. Let this be a lesson is value. The risk of spending my second round pick on Taylor who is holding out is much higher than selecting Josh Jacobs, who is also holding out, with my third-round pick. The further someone like Jacobs falls, the more valuable they become at ADP. I’m not letting anyone else take advantage of the Jacobs drop here.

In the middle of the third round, I realize I can still add quality receivers, quarterbacks, and tight ends with my next few picks. When it comes to running back, though, there isn’t anyone left that I feel is close to Jacobs’ ceiling, specifically in the fourth or fifth round. So, the choice is simple. I invest my third round pick into last year’s rushing leader despite his current contract holdout. I’m sure if he signs a Saquon Barkley type contract, Jacobs will come off the board more commonly in the second round of drafts.


4.01-       DeVonta Smith (PHI WR)

4.02-      Breece Hall (NYJ RB)

4.03-      Najee Harris (PIT RB)

4.04-      Tee Higgins (CIN WR)

4.05-      Travis Etienne (JAX RB)

4.06-    Amari Cooper (CLE WR)

4.07-      Calvin Ridley (JAX WR)

4.08-      Deebo Samuel (SF WR)

4.09-      Joe Mixon (CIN RB)

4.10-       Aaron Jones (GB RB)

MY PICK: Amari Cooper

This pick right here is why we mock draft. If I could do it all over again, I think Calvin Ridley would be my selection. After seeing videos and reading reports surrounding Ridley early on in training camp, I’m trying to get as much of him on my 2023 rosters as possible. In fact, I already made the claim he is going to have a career year.

Amari Cooper is still a fine pick. While rankings are important, grouping players into tiers is an effective draft strategy. Having players you value similarly into groups of three or more can make drafting easier. Selecting players from a tier higher than others is easy. However, deciding between players from the same tier becomes a gut call. Either way, you know you’re getting a player you like at that spot. That’s how I feel about Cooper, Ridley, and Deebo Samuel here. It’s no wonder they went back-to-back-to-back.


5.01-       Drake London (ATL WR)

5.02-      Chris Godwin (TB WR)

5.03-      Terry McLaurin (WSH WR)

5.04-      Jerry Jeudy (DEN WR)

5.05-     DeAndre Hopkins (TEN WR)

5.06-      Christian Watson (GB WR)

5.07-      Kenneth Walker III (SEA RB)

5.08-      Lamar Jackson (BAL QB)

5.09-      D.J. Moore (CHI WR)

5.10-       Joe Burrow (CIN QB)

MY PICK: DeAndre Hopkins

Speaking of tiers (see the explanation from pick 4.06), I have DeAndre Hopkins in the same tier as Amari Cooper, my pick from the last round. More specifically, Hopkins, for me, is in a tier above the four wide receivers selected before him in this mock draft round. That makes him a value to me with this pick.

In the first five picks of any draft, I’m not drafting for positions of need. I need everything! So, even though Lamar Jackson, Kenneth Walker, and T.J. Hockenson are still available, I see Hopkins as the best player available here coming off of the board as the WR24 in this mock draft. I think he has a top-20 floor with a top-12 ceiling.

Hopkins is going to be a target hog in Tennessee. Even if you are high on Treylon Burks, I don’t see a scenario he has a better season than Hopkins in the Titans’ offense. In fact, I think Burks is good enough to force defenses to leave Hopkins in single coverage. A lot of people are disappointed in Hopkins’ landing spot for fantasy football. Not me, especially as my WR3 on this mock draft team.


6.01-      T.J. Hockenson (MIN TE)

6.02-      Mike Williams (LAC WR)

6.03-      Alexander Mattison (MIN RB)

6.04-      Dameon Pierce (HOU RB)

6.06-      D’Andre Swift (PHI RB)

6.06-    Miles Sanders (CAR RB)

6.07-      J.K. Dobbins (BAL RB)

6.08-      George Kittle (SF TE)

6.09-      Tyler Lockett (SEA WR)

6.10-       Justin Herbert (LAC QB)

MY PICK: Miles Sanders

I find myself drafting Miles Sanders on a consistent basis. This is my third mock draft in a row adding him to my roster. He is my RB3 on this mock draft team and likely serves as my FLEX player. With a rookie quarterback and lackluster receiving options, I think Sanders is extremely busy this season. What makes him a potential league winner is his receiving upside that we haven’t seen tapped into since his rookie season.


7.01-       Javonte Williams (DEN RB)

7.02-      Justin Fields (CHI QB)

7.03-      Mike Evans (TB WR)

7.04-      Deshaun Watson (CLE QB)

7.05-     Trevor Lawrence (JAX QB)

7.06-      Darren Waller (NYG TE)

7.07-      Michael Pittman (IND WR)

7.08-      Rachaad White (TB RB)

7.09-      Kyle Pitts (ATL TE)

7.10-       Cam Akers (LAR RB)

MY PICK: Joe Burrow

Don’t give in to peer pressure! That’s exactly what I did with this mock draft pick. After seeing three quarterbacks go in the five picks prior to mine, I caved and followed suit. Selecting Trevor Lawrence isn’t really the issue. I think he continues to ascend in his second season under head coach Doug Pederson. What I’m more upset about is missing out on seventh-round value for tight end Darren Waller.

I want to draft my quarterback and tight end earlier than usual for the 2023 fantasy football season. Waller is my TE4 and 54th overall player in my top-200 rankings. Rather than panic about missing out on a quarterback, I should’ve taken the best player available that also fills a position of need. That’s Darren Waller. Again, this is why we mock draft! Make your mistakes now and learn from them.


8.01-       Christian Kirk (JAX WR)

8.02-      Brandon Aiyuk (SF WR)

8.03-      Diontae Johnson (PIT WR)

8.04-      Dalvin Cook (Free Agent RB)

8.05-      Marquise Brown (ARI WR)

8.06-    Jordan Addison (MIN WR)

8.07-      James Cook (BUF RB)

8.08-      George Pickens (PIT WR)

8.09-      Brandin Cooks (DAL WR)

8.10-       Treylon Burks (TEN WR)

MY PICK: Jordan Addison

At this point in the draft, I feel good about my starting lineup. It’s time to start padding my bench with players that have a lot of potential. Vikings rookie receiver, Jordan Addison, is the team’s first-round selection from the 2023 NFL Draft. He lands on last year’s third pass-heaviest offense. After letting go of Dalvin Cook, I expect Minnesota to remain a pass-heavy team. Then consider long-time receiving threat, Adam Thielen, is no longer with the team. Assuming Addison commands most of, if not all, of Thielen’s vacant targets, he has top-20 potential. Dare I say more?


9.01-       Alvin Kamara (NO RB)

9.02-      James Conner (ARI RB)

9.03-      Isiah Pacheco (KC RB)

9.04-      Elijah Moore (CLE WR)

9.05-     Jahan Dotson (WSH WR)

9.06-      Kadarius Toney (KC WR)

9.07-      David Montgomery (DET RB)

9.08-      Jaxon Smith-Njigba (SEA WR)

9.09-      Quentin Johnston (LAC WR)

9.10-       Antonio Gibson (WAS RB)

My Pick: Jahan Dotson

Dotson is another player I’m happy falls to me in this mock draft because of his potential. Many forget he is the former 16th overall pick from the 2022 NFL Draft. In Dotson’s first four NFL games, he caught four touchdowns on just 22 total targets.

After dealing with injuries and cooling off quite a bit, Dotson’s season ended strong with four straight games of six or more targets. He also had a 100+ yard performance as well as a touchdown in three straight December games. With Eric Bieniemy as his new offensive coordinator, I’m excited to see what gets dialed up for the second-year player regardless of who is at quarterback.


10.01-     A.J. Dillon (GB RB)

10.02-    Michael Thomas (NO WR)

10.03-    Dallas Goedert (PHI TE)

10.04-    Gabe Davis (BUF WR)

10.05-    Odell Beckham Jr. (BAL WR)

10.06-  Evan Engram (JAX TE)

10.07-    Courtland Sutton (DEN WR)

10.08-    Zay Flowers (BAL WR)

10.09-    Juju Smith-Schuster (NE WR)

10.10-    Skyy Moore (KC WR)

MY PICK: Evan Engram

Well, if I’m going to have Trevor Lawrence on my mock draft roster, it would be wise to stack him with one of his many pass-catchers. Locking up Evan Engram with this pick does just that. Engram just signed a long-term contract extension with Jacksonville after a career season in 2022. While adding Calvin Ridley into the mix could decrease Engram’s looks, there are still a lot of targets to go around as the Jaguars could be one of the pass-heaviest and highest-scoring offenses in the league this season, especially playing in the AFC South. That upside is worth targeting amongst a shaky group of tight end options for fantasy football.


11.01-     Adam Thielen (CAR WR)

11.02-    Jameson Williams (DET WR)

11.03-    Jamaal Williams (NO RB)

11.04-    Rashod Bateman (BAL WR)

11.05-   Khalil Herbert (CHI RB)

11.06-    Samaje Perine (DEN RB)

11.07-    Dak Prescott (DAL QB)

11.08-    Brian Robinson Jr. (WAS RB)

11.09-    Nico Collins (HOU WR)

11.10-     Rashaad Penny (PHI RB)

MY PICK: Khalil Herbert

I know Justin Fields is a mobile quarterback, but Khalil Herbert is still the presumed starting running back on the Chicago Bears. Snagging him in the 11th round of this mock draft feels like a huge steal. Ahead of the 2023 season, there are 240 running back touches up for grabs from last year’s Bears offense. When Herbert logs double-digit touches, he finishes inside the top 10 in points per game every time. He is absolutely worth the bench stash this late in any draft but might not be on your bench for long.


12.01-     Jakobi Meyers (LV WR)

12.02-    Zach Charbonnet (SEA RB)

12.03-    Jerick McKinnon (KC RB)

12.04-   De’Von Achane (MIA RB)

12.05-    Romeo Doubs (GB WR)

12.06-  Damien Harris (BUF RB)

12.07-    Elijah Mitchell (SF RB)

12.08-    D.J. Chark (CAR WR)

12.09-    K.J. Osborn (MIN WR)

12.10-    Rondale Moore (ARI WR)

MY PICK: Damien Harris

James Cook figures to be the lead back in Buffalo’s backfield. However, I think Harris can carve out a significant role, especially in the red zone. Rather than continuing to watch quarterback Josh Allen sacrifice his body in the area of the field, Harris is fully capable of assuming that role. This is a player that scored 15 rushing touchdowns in 2021, 11 of which he scored inside the 10-yard line for the New England Patriots. Harris also ranked ninth in red zone rush attempts that season. At worst, he’s a touchdown-dependent FLEX option on a high-scoring offense.


QB – Trevor Lawrence

RB – Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs

WR – Amon-Ra St. Brown, Amari Cooper, DeAndre Hopkins

TE – Evan Engram

FLEX – Miles Sanders

Bench: Jordan Addison, Jahan Dotson, Khalil Herbert, Damien Harris, Darnell Mooney (13.5), Tyler Allgeier (14.6)

Mock Draft 5.0 CONCLUSION

I’m happy to select Saquon Barkley with the fifth overall pick in this mock draft now that he is under contract. The first four picks went as expected. Saquon’s upside at the running back position tips the scale in his favor over the wide receivers on the board. Travis Kelce was the other player I considered here.

While I do want to draft my quarterback earlier than usual this fantasy football season, I succumbed to peer pressure by selecting Trevor Lawrence in the seventh round of this mock draft. The quarterbacks I typically target were already off the board. In a 1QB league, there are still plenty of options to select, even in the later rounds! Passing up Darren Waller’s upside at tight end for Trevor Lawrence stings. I won’t be making that mistake again.

I really like this mock draft bench. Jordan Addison and Jahan Dotson are two wide receivers that should have significant roles in their respective offenses. Adding Khalil Herbert as my RB4, when he could very well be the Bears’ RB1, is a steal. Lastly, check out the value on Tyler Allgeier in the 14th round! The second-year back rushed for 1,000 yards last season and is the handcuff to Bijan Robinson. There’s no reason he should have been available that late. As always, the name of the game is value in fantasy football drafts. This mock draft is no different.

For more great rankings and analysis, make sure to check out our 2023 Fantasy Football Draft Kit!

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