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2023 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft 9.0 — Drafting from the #9 Slot

With preseason games finally behind us, we have just about all we need in preparation for 2023 fantasy football drafts. Each week, I 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.

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Picking Ninth Overall in the Ninth 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 ninth overall pick in this mock draft and will make selections from different draft positions each week. For this mock draft, I will break down 14 of the total 16 rounds. 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-        Ja’Marr Chase (CIN WR)

1.04-        Cooper Kupp (LAR WR)

1.05-        Austin Ekeler (LAC RB)

1.06-        Bijan Robinson (ATL RB)

1.07-        Tyreek Hill (MIA WR)

1.08-        Travis Kelce (KC TE)

1.09-       Saquon Barkley (NYG RB)

1.10-         Amon-Ra St. Brown (DET WR)

MY PICK: Saquon Barkley

Throughout my mock draft series, I’ve been consistently targeting Saquon Barkley if he ends up outside the top four or five. He has just as good of a chance to lead running backs in receptions as Christian McCaffrey, Austin Ekeler, and Bijan Robinson do. Barkley remains a focal point of the Giants’ offense in 2023.

At this point in draft season, you should have an idea of who your first-round targets are. I know with the ninth pick in this mock draft, I can still land a top wide receiver toward the top of the second round, too. Get your guy with your top pick no matter which draft slot.


2.01 –      Nick Chubb (CLE RB)

2.02-     Stefon Diggs (BUF WR)

2.03-      Tony Pollard (DAL RB)

2.04-      Garrett Wilson (NYJ WR)

2.05-      A.J. Brown (PHI WR)

2.06-      Derrick Henry (TEN RB)

2.07-      CeeDee Lamb (DAL WR)

2.08-     Davante Adams (LV WR)

2.09-     Josh Jacobs (LV RB)

2.10-     Jonathan Taylor (IND RB)

MY PICK: Stefon Diggs

Stefon Diggs may be the safest pick in fantasy football with a second-round Average Draft Position. There continues to be an off-season debate about “who will emerge as Josh Allen’s WR2” in the Bills passing game. In the midst of throwing names around, it seems some have forgotten that Stefon Diggs is far and away the top target. Maybe it’s the rumors that he’s unhappy in Buffalo. I don’t care. I’m happy to have him on any fantasy football roster I can for this season.


3.01-      Patrick Mahomes (KC QB)

3.02-     Jaylen Waddle (MIA WR)

3.03-     Josh Allen (BUF QB)

3.04-     Chris Olave (NO WR)

3.05-     Jalen Hurts (PHI QB)

3.06-     DeVonta Smith (PHI WR)

3.07-     Tee Higgins (CIN WR)

3.08-     D.K. Metcalf (SEA WR)

3.09-    Keenan Allen (LAC WR)

3.10-      Jahmyr Gibbs (DET RB)

MY PICK: Keenan Allen

With Kellen Moore taking over as the Chargers’ offensive coordinator, I think Keenan Allen can see close to a career-high in targets. Moore typically likes his quarterback to target the offensive’s top receiver. That’s much different than the Joe Lombardi offense in Los Angeles that favored peppering running back Austin Ekeler. Last season in Dallas, CeeDee Lamb drew 156 targets for the Cowboys in Kellen Moore’s offense. Allen has two seasons of 157 or more targets, as recently as 2021.


4.01-      Rhamondre Stevenson (NE RB)

4.02-    Joe Mixon (CIN RB)

4.03-     Najee Harris (PIT RB)

4.04-     Aaron Jones (GB RB)

4.05-     Mark Andrews (BAL TE)

4.06-    Travis Etienne (JAX RB)

4.07-     Calvin Ridley (JAX WR)

4.08-     Kenneth Walker III (SEA RB)

4.09-     Deebo Samuel (SF WR)

4.10-     Breece Hall (NYJ RB)

MY PICK: Joe Mixon

This is my first time selecting Joe Mixon in any 2023 draft, both real and mock drafts. He hasn’t been on my radar, but in the fourth round? As this mock draft team’s RB2 with plenty of other wide receivers on the board? How can I pass that up? I like all of the running backs available here. That’s why it’s important to group them and all positions in tiers, so you can get at least one with similar value as others from the tier you’re targeting.

In two full seasons with Joe Burrow as the quarterback in Cincinnati, the offense has ascended from the ninth-highest-scoring offense to the seventh last season. After a career season in rushing in 2021, Mixon definitely took a step back in 2022. However, he had career-high receiving numbers last year drawing 75 targets, 20 more than his previous high. He still finished as RB9 in PPR scoring in 2022 but comes off of the board as RB12 in the fourth round of this mock draft. Steal!


5.01-       D.J. Moore (CHI WR)

5.02-      Amari Cooper (CLE WR)

5.03-      Dameon Pierce (HOU RB)

5.04-      Miles Sanders (CAR RB)

5.05-      DeAndre Hopkins (TEN WR)

5.06-      Lamar Jackson (BAL QB)

5.07-      Terry McLaurin (WSH WR)

5.08-      Mike Williams (LAC WR)

5.09-     Chris Godwin (TB WR)

5.10-       George Pickens (PIT WR)

MY PICK: Chris Godwin

Chris Godwin remains a high-floor WR3 target of mine. Baker Mayfield isn’t going to come close to Tom Brady’s 733 pass attempts in 2022, but he should still look for Godwin when he does drop back to pass. Godwin has led the Buccaneers in targets and logged 1,000 or more yards in three of the last four seasons.


6.01-       T.J. Hockenson (MIN TE)

6.02-     Darren Waller (NYG TE)

6.03-      Diontae Johnson (PIT WR)

6.04-      Justin Fields (CHI QB)

6.06-      Christian Watson (GB WR)

6.06-      Jerry Jeudy (DEN WR)

6.07-      Joe Burrow (CIN QB)

6.08-     Christian Kirk (JAX WR)

6.09-      George Kittle (SF TE)

6.10-      Drake London (ATL WR)

MY PICK: Darren Waller

I know I have Saquon Barkley already, but locking up Darren Waller all but guarantees having the top two targets in the New York Giants’ passing game. I’m betting big that this offense takes a step forward in 2023. After tying for the 17th-most points per game in 2022, the Giants trading for Waller is a clear move to improve their passing attack. Daniel Jones threw just 15 touchdown passes last season.

It’s been a few years, but Waller had back-to-back 1,100-yard seasons in 2019 and 2020. He has a chance to challenge Travis Kelce for the overall TE1 title if he stays healthy for a full 17 games.


7.01-       Tyler Lockett (SEA WR)

7.02-      Brandon Aiyuk (SF WR)

7.03-      Javonte Williams (DEN RB)

7.04-      Alexander Mattison (MIN RB)

7.05-      Kyle Pitts (ATL TE)

7.06-      J.K. Dobbins (BAL RB)

7.07-      Rachaad White (TB RB)

7.08-      Justin Herbert (LAC QB)

7.09-    Marquise Brown (ARI WR)

7.10-      Jordan Addison (MIN WR)

MY PICK: Marquise Brown

I can’t pass up on the chance to grab a team’s top wide receiver this late in the mock draft. In the Arizona Cardinals’ first six games last season, Brown drew a whopping 64 targets. That’s 10.6 per game. Over a full season, on a per-game basis, that’s top-five volume at the wide receiver position.

DeAndre Hopkins is no longer on the Cardinals, nor was he active for the aforementioned six games Brown saw his 64 targets. Unfortunately, though, the Cardinals’ quarterback situation is extremely shaky. There isn’t much confidence for a quick return for Kyler Murray after a season-ending knee injury last December. So, it’s up to Colt McCoy, rookie Clayton Tune, or recently acquired Joshua Dobbs to feed Brown the volume we’re hoping for this season.


8.01-      Trevor Lawrence (JAX QB)

8.02-    James Cook (BUF RB)

8.03-     Cam Akers (LAR RB)

8.04-     Michael Pittman (IND WR)

8.05-     James Conner (ARI RB)

8.06-     Mike Evans (TB WR)

8.07-     David Montgomery (DET RB)

8.08-     Dalvin Cook (NYJ RB)

8.09-     Alvin Kamara (NO RB)

8.10-      Kadarius Toney (KC WR)

MY PICK: James Cook

I’m more than willing to stash James Cook on my mock draft bench until I see what type of role he will have for the 2023 season. On this team, he’s behind Saquon Barkley and Joe Mixon. If I want to play him as Flex, he would get the nod over Marquise Brown. Hopefully there aren’t any injuries to my starting running backs, but if so, I feel good about Cook filling in on one of the best offenses in the league.

The bottom line with James Cook for me is that he played just 13.8 snaps per game as a rookie. He’s never had more than 140 touches in a collegiate or NFL season. We’re asking a lot in his second season. He needs to see a significant jump in usage to warrant the start each week in fantasy football. It’s worth betting on here in the eighth round.


9.01-       Isiah Pacheco (KC RB)

9.02-      D’Andre Swift (PHI RB)

9.03-      Jahan Dotson (WSH WR)

9.04-      Brandin Cooks (DAL WR)

9.05-      Courtland Sutton (DEN WR)

9.06-      Gabe Davis (BUF WR)

9.07-      Antonio Gibson (WAS RB)

9.08-      Zay Flowers (BAL WR)

9.09-    Khalil Herbert (CHI RB)

9.10-       Jaxon Smith-Njigba (SEA WR)

MY PICK: Khalil Herbert

Earlier this off-season in my mock draft series, I was consistently drafting Khalil Herbert in the 12th round. After a few strong preseason games, he’s now a top-100 player. Though quarterback Justin Fields is going to see his fair share of rushing production, Herbert should still line up as the top running back. In five drives of the preseason in which Fields took snaps, Herbert handled 67% of the carries.


10.01-      Zach Charbonnet (SEA RB)

10.02-   Jaylen Warren (PIT RB)

10.03-     A.J. Dillon (GB RB)

10.04-     Treylon Burks (TEN WR)

10.05-     Samaje Perine (DEN RB)

10.06-     Odell Beckham Jr. (BAL WR)

10.07-     Juju Smith-Schuster (NE WR)

10.08-    Michael Thomas (NO WR)

10.09-    Deshaun Watson (CLE QB)

10.10-     Rashod Bateman (BAL WR)

MY PICK: Jaylen Warren

At this point in the mock draft, I’m starting to target upside. My starting lineup is locked in other than figuring out the quarterback position. I still feel there are plenty of options on the board, especially for a 10-team 1QB league.

That said, I’m going to continue grabbing players I think can take a huge step forward this season, regardless of position. If I didn’t have Darren Waller, drafting Dallas Goedert here is highway robbery!

Instead, I’m taking second-year running back, Jaylen Warren. A lot of people are beginning to come around to the idea that he is “this year’s Tony Pollard” to the “Ezekiel Elliott” that is Najee Harris.

Whatever comparisons you want to make, the idea is that Warren will have a significant role for the Pittsburgh Steelers this season. He looks incredibly explosive and can catch passes. In the event Harris misses any time, Warren can produce RB1 numbers for fantasy football and would be considered a top-10 option.


11.01-    Dallas Goedert (PHI TE)

11.02-    Quentin Johnston (LAC WR)

11.03-    Evan Engram (JAX TE)

11.04-    Pat Freiermuth (PIT TE)

11.05-    Brian Robinson Jr. (WAS RB)

11.06-    Romeo Doubs (GB WR)

11.07-    Chigoziem Okonkwo (TEN TE)

11.08-    Allen Lazard (NYJ WR)

11.09-  Daniel Jones (NYG QB)

11.10-    Elijah Moore (CLE WR)

MY PICK: Daniel Jones

After missing out on the top options at the quarterback position, I ended up waiting a bit and grabbing Daniel Jones. As a Philadelphia Eagles fan, it feels wrong to be so heavily invested in the Giants’ offense, even for a mock draft. However, stacking Jones with Waller is a cheap duo that can put up big points in 2023.

I even love stacking Daniel Jones with Saquon Barkley. Together, they accounted for a whopping 80% of the Giants’ rushing production in 2022. The addition of Waller should bring balance to their offense and encourage more passing. Either way, I have it all locked up with Jones, Saquon, and Waller. If Jones isn’t producing enough, I can easily find other options at quarterback on the waiver wire in a 10-team league.


12.01-     Jamaal Williams (NO RB)

12.02-   Skyy Moore (KC WR)

12.03-    Jeff Wilson Jr. (MIA RB)

12.04-    Damien Harris (BUF RB)

12.05-    Tank Bigsby (JAX RB)

12.06-    Jerick McKinnon (KC RB)

12.07-    Rashaad Penny (PHI RB)

12.08-    De’Von Achane (MIA RB)

12.09-    Ezekiel Elliott (NE RB)

12.10-     Elijah Mitchell (SF RB)

MY PICK: Skyy Moore

As the WR5 on this mock draft team, Skyy Moore is a screaming buy, especially in the 12th round. He should take a step forward after a full, non-rookie off-season with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Moore saw a ton of snaps with the Chiefs’ first-team offense this preseason. There are 135 of last year’s 301 targets available amongst Kansas City wide receivers with the departure of Juju Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman. Oh yeah, Moore’s quarterback is pretty good, too.


13.01-     David Njoku (CLE TE)

13.02-    Dak Prescott (DAL QB)

13.03-    Dalton Kincaid (BUF TE)

13.04-    Raheem Mostert (MIA RB)

13.05-    Jakobi Meyers (LV WR)

13.06-    Nico Collins (HOU WR)

13.07-    Kenneth Gainwell (PHI RB)

13.08-    Rondale Moore (ARI WR)

13.09-  Zay Jones (JAX WR)

13.10-    Kirk Cousins (MIN QB)

MY PICK: Zay Jones

Zay Jones set career-highs in receiving, other than touchdowns, across the board last season. His 121 targets rank 18th amongst wide receivers. He had just 12 total targets less than teammate Christian Kirk. Additionally, Jones’ 18 red zone targets rank 13th amongst all players from last season.

Obviously adding Calvin Ridley to the receiver room complicates things. I’m just not ready to expect Zay Jones to fade into nothingness as a result. He’s worth stashing on the bench for now, especially this late in drafts. If Ridley or Christian Kirk misses time, Zay Jones becomes much more trustworthy to start consistently this fantasy football season.


14.01-     Cole Kmet (CHI TE)

14.02-   Tyler Boyd (CIN WR)

14.03-     Tua Tagovailoa (MIA QB)

14.04-     Dalton Schultz (HOU TE)

14.05-     Anthony Richardson (IND QB)

14.06-    Tyler Higbee (LAR TE)

14.07-    Sam LaPorta (DET TE)

14.08-    D’Onta Foreman (CHI RB)

14.09-    Juwan Johnson (NO TE)

14.10-    Kendre Miller (NO RB)

MY PICK: Tyler Boyd

Tyler Boyd is a rare wide receiver handcuff option. In the event Ja’Marr Chase or Tee Higgins is to miss time, Boyd has a proven track record of fantasy success in their place. He should not be available this late in any draft.


QB – Daniel Jones

RB – Saquon Barkley, Joe Mixon

WR – Stefon Diggs, Keenan Allen, Chris Godwin

TE – Darren Waller

FLEX – Marquise Brown

Bench: James Cook, Khalil Herbert, Jaylen Warren, Skyy Moore, Zay Jones, Tyler Boyd

Mock Draft 9.0 CONCLUSION

I’m rolling with the New York Giants “super stack” on this mock draft team. While it’s not something I typically advise, the combination of Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, and Darren Waller are three players who can all finish inside the top 10, or higher, at their respective positions. After selecting Barkley with my top pick, it costs just a sixth and 11th-round pick to make this happen.

Once you complete your starting lineup, build your benches with upside players. Some managers may not look to target three running backs in a row, but Cook, Herbert, and Warren are worth doing so. They each have a path toward significant touches this fantasy football season. I’m not drafting for need at the point at which they come off of the board.

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

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