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2023 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft 6.0 – Drafting from the #6 Slot

We’re in the back half of my mock draft series. This is the first mock draft of August with our real drafts taking place any day now. 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 Sixth Overall in the Sixth 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 sixth 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-        Austin Ekeler (LAC RB)

1.03-        Ja’Marr Chase (CIN WR)

1.04-        Christian McCaffrey (CAR RB)

1.05-        Cooper Kupp (LAR WR)

1.06-      Travis Kelce (KC TE)

1.07-        Tyreek Hill (MIA WR)

1.08-        Bijan Robinson (ATL RB)

1.09-        Saquon Barkley (NYG RB)

1.10-         Garrett Wilson (NYJ WR)

MY PICK: Travis Kelce

I have Travis Kelce as my sixth-ranked player in my (fluid) Top-2oo PPR Rankings for this season. Yes, Saquon Barkley is ranked higher for me, but for the purpose of this mock draft, I wanted to see what a team looks like spending my first pick on Kelce.

I’m extremely comfortable using a first-round pick on Travis Kelce. Not only does he have Patrick Mahomes as his quarterback, but he is, once again, set up as the top target on the Kansas City Chiefs’ offense. In four of five seasons with Mahomes, Kelce has finished as the overall TE1. The one time he didn’t, he scored just 1.2 points per game less than Mark Andrews.

As the TE1, Kelce has averaged 52.1 total points more than the TE2 each season. He provides an extreme advantage to any lineup. If you take Kelce’s numbers over the last five seasons and apply them to the wide receiver position, he would have finished as WR9, WR8, WR3, WR11, and WR5 respectively from 2018 through 2022. Kelce averages 8.96 targets per game with Mahomes and should continue to locking him in for close to another 150 targets in 2023.


2.01 –      Ceedee Lamb (DAL WR)

2.02-      Stefon Diggs (BUF WR)

2.03-      Davante Adams (LV WR)

2.04-      Amon-Ra St. Brown (DET WR)

2.05-     A.J. Brown (PHI WR)

2.06-      Jonathan Taylor (IND RB)

2.07-      Nick Chubb (CLE RB)

2.08-      D.K. Metcalf (SEA WR)

2.09-      Derrick Henry (TEN RB)

2.10-       Patrick Mahomes (KC QB)

MY PICK: A.J. Brown

As tempting as stacking Kelce with Mahomes is, and staying true to my belief of drafting a quarterback early this season, using the 15th overall pick on him in a 1QB league is simply too high. Unfortunately, he comes off the board a short while later at pick 2.10 in this mock draft. I was planning on drafting Mahomes with my third-round pick.

For this mock draft, I made the decision to take a “Zero RB” approach. That doesn’t mean I’m not drafting a running back but rather waiting longer than usual before taking my first player at the position.

Passing up Jonathan Taylor, Nick Chubb, Derrick Henry, and Josh Jacobs here is tough, but in PPR leagues, it’s certainly not out of the question, especially when I’m selecting the Philadelphia Eagles’ WR1.

A.J. Brown is coming off of a career season. His 145 targets, 88 receptions, 1,496 yards, and 11 receiving touchdowns in 2022 are all career bests. The Eagles’ schedule is undoubtedly tougher this season. All things considered, especially Jalen Hurts’ massive contract extension, I think Philly airs it out more in 2023. Brown could build upon an already stellar 2022 stat line.


3.01-      Josh Jacobs (LV RB)

3.02-     Josh Allen (BUF QB)

3.03-     Tony Pollard (DAL RB)

3.04-     Mark Andrews (BAL TE)

3.05-     Jaylen Waddle (MIA WR)

3.06-   Chris Olave (NO WR)

3.07-     Tee Higgins (CIN WR)

3.08-     Rhamondre Stevenson (NE RB)

3.09-     Jalen Hurts (PHI QB)

3.10-      Calvin Ridley (JAX WR)

MY PICK: Chris Olave

I wish I selected Jalen Hurts here to stack with A.J. Brown. Stacking is more of a Best Ball strategy, but it’s something I like to keep in mind for redraft leagues, as well. There are still plenty of solid wide receiver options to choose from in the next few rounds. Elite quarterbacks are much more scarce so securing one early remains a goal of mine.

As far as choosing between Chris Olave, Tee Higgins, and Calvin Ridley, I would have been fine with either. Higgins’ quarterback, Joe Burrow, is dealing with a calf injury. Calvin Ridley looks great in training camp but hasn’t played football since October of 2021. These aren’t dealbreakers, but factors to consider when deciding between players in the same tier.


4.01-       Breece Hall (NYJ RB)

4.02-      DeVonta Smith (PHI WR)

4.03-      Keenan Allen (LAC WR)

4.04-      Amari Cooper (CLE WR)

4.05-     Deebo Samuel (SF WR)

4.06-      Najee Harris (PIT RB)

4.07-      Travis Etienne (JAX RB)

4.08-      Joe Mixon (CIN RB)

4.09-      Aaron Jones (GB RB)

4.10-      Jahmyr Gibbs (DET RB)

MY PICK: Deebo Samuel

Deebo Samuel is one of “my guys” for the 2023 season. It seems a lot of fantasy managers are hoping to wait a few rounds later to draft his teammate Brandon Aiyuk. That’s likely because Deebo failed to live up to his inflated Average Draft Position from last season.

Deebo is still one of, if not the, most electric player in the league after the catch. In fact, 2,132 of his 3,230 (66%) career regular-season yards are yards after the catch. He will look to keep his three-year streak of leading all wide receivers in yards after the catch per reception alive in 2023, as well. The San Francisco 49ers offense should remain inside the top 10 in points per game. Deebo will be a big reason why.


5.01-       DeAndre Hopkins (TEN WR)

5.02-      Jerry Jeudy (DEN WR)

5.03-      Drake London (ATL WR)

5.04-      Terry McLaurin (WSH WR)

5.05-      Joe Burrow (CIN QB)

5.06-    Lamar Jackson (BAL QB)

5.07-      Alexander Mattison (MIN RB)

5.08-      D.J. Moore (CHI WR)

5.09-      Miles Sanders (CAR RB)

5.10-       Chris Godwin (TB WR)

MY PICK: Lamar Jackson

After missing out on Jalen Hurts in the third, I’m happy to land Lamar Jackson in the fifth round of this mock draft. He is the fifth quarterback off the board. Jackson’s rushing upside remains an elite advantage against most others at the position. Every report out of the Ravens training camp is a more up-tempo and pass-heavy offense this season. More plays, specifically in the passing game, with an upgraded receiving corps, on top of his rushing value, makes Lamar a huge value this season.


6.01-       Trevor Lawrence (JAX QB)

6.02-      George Kittle (SF TE)

6.03-      James Conner (ARI RB)

6.04-      Justin Fields (CHI QB)

6.06-    Dameon Pierce (HOU RB)

6.06-      Kenneth Walker III (SEA RB)

6.07-      Christian Watson (GB WR)

6.08-      J.K. Dobbins (BAL RB)

6.09-      Mike Evans (TB WR)

6.10-      Alvin Kamara (NO RB)

MY PICK: Dameon Pierce

After five rounds, it’s time to select my first running back for this mock draft team. Dameon Pierce has the highest floor of those left on the board. Pierce has a stronghold on the Houston Texans’ backfield. He’s also running behind a solid offensive line. With a rookie quarterback in C.J. Stroud under center, the Texans may lean on the run as much as possible this season. If you take a Zero RB approach, Pierce should be near the top, if not at the top, of a short list of running backs to serve as your team’s RB1 for the 2023 season.


7.01-       T.J. Hockenson (MIN TE)

7.02-      Darren Waller (NYG TE)

7.03-      Justin Herbert (LAC QB)

7.04-      Mike Williams (LAC WR)

7.05-      Kyle Pitts (ATL TE)

7.06-    Rachaad White (TB RB)

7.07-      Javonte Williams (DEN RB)

7.08-      Dallas Goedert (PHI TE)

7.09-      Dalvin Cook (Free Agent RB)

7.10-       D’Andre Swift (PHI RB)

MY PICK: Rachaad White

There are still plenty of wide receivers available on the board at this point in the mock draft. Not only do I have my starting three, but it’s extremely comforting to know I have Travis Kelce as my tight end. Continuing to prioritize the running back position here makes sense with just one on my roster through the first six picks.

As far as choosing who, it comes down to risk versus reward. Javonte Williams is progressing from last year’s season-ending knee injury, but returning from an injury nonetheless. Dalvin Cook remains a free agent and D’Andre Swift is sharing the Eagles’ backfield while battling Hurts for carries, as well.

Rachaad White has a chance at 250 or more touches in 2023 with his receiving upside. His 50 receptions last season rank 11th amongst running backs. That’s even behind former teammate Leonard Fournette (73) who ranked third. If White sees the majority of the carries out of the Bucs’ backfield and catches another 50 or more balls, he can post high-end RB2 numbers at a minimum.


8.01-       Christian Kirk (JAX WR)

8.02-      Tyler Lockett (SEA WR)

8.03-      Deshaun Watson (CLE QB)

8.04-      Brandon Aiyuk (SF WR)

8.05-     Diontae Johnson (PIT WR)

8.06-      Michael Pittman (IND WR)

8.07-      Dak Prescott (DAL QB)

8.08-      Cam Akers (LAR RB)

8.09-      Marquise Brown (ARI WR)

8.10-       Jaxon Smith-Njigba (SEA WR)

MY PICK: Diontae Johnson

With my mock draft starting lineup mostly set, the draft becomes all about taking the best players available from here on out. Diontae Johnson is the eighth-most targeted player amongst all positions from last season. Failing to score a single touchdown in 2022 has caused his Average Draft Position to plummet. Compared to the other players on the board, Johnson has the best shot to lead his respective team in targets again this season.


9.01-       Isiah Pacheco (KC RB)

9.02-      George Pickens (PIT WR)

9.03-      Elijah Moore (CLE WR)

9.04-      Jordan Addison (MIN WR)

9.05-      James Cook (BUF RB)

9.06-    David Montgomery (DET RB)

9.07-      Brandin Cooks (DAL WR)

9.08-      Jahan Dotson (WSH WR)

9.09-      Treylon Burks (TEN WR)

9.10-       Odell Beckham Jr. (BAL WR)

My Pick: David Montgomery

For a “Zero RB” team, it doesn’t get much better than David Montgomery as an RB3 on this mock draft roster. The Detroit Lions have done a complete overhaul of their backfield. With both Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift playing elsewhere in 2023, there are 361 carries from last year’s backfield available from their departures alone.

More specifically, Williams leaves behind a league-leading 57 red zone rushing attempts, as well. Even if David Montgomery doesn’t take on the entirety of these vacant touches, he will see a significant amount. That makes him a steal in the ninth round. It’s worth mentioning the Detroit Lions scored the fifth-most points per game last season.


10.01-     Evan Engram (JAX TE)

10.02-    A.J. Dillon (GB RB)

10.03-    Brian Robinson Jr. (WAS RB)

10.04-    Michael Thomas (NO WR)

10.05-   Antonio Gibson (WAS RB)

10.06-    Courtland Sutton (DEN WR)

10.07-    Gabe Davis (BUF WR)

10.08-    Juju Smith-Schuster (NE WR)

10.09-    Zay Flowers (BAL WR)

10.10-    Quentin Johnston (LAC WR)

MY PICK: Antonio Gibson

Antonio Gibson is one of my biggest post-hype sleepers for the 2023 fantasy football season. Gibson logged 300 touches in 2021. He has upside as a pass catcher and finds himself in an offense run by former Chiefs offensive coordinator, Eric Bieniemy. There’s reason to believe Gibson could assume the “Jerick McKinnon role” from last year’s Chiefs offense. This sort of upside, especially at running back, is too good to pass up on in the 10th round of any draft.


11.01-     Justyn Ross (KC WR)

11.02-    Jamaal Williams (NO RB)

11.03-    Pat Freiermuth (PIT TE)

11.04-    De’Von Achane (MIA RB)

11.05-    Jameson Williams (DET WR)

11.06-  Khalil Herbert (CHI RB)

11.07-    Tyler Higbee (LAR TE)

11.08-    Rashod Bateman (BAL WR)

11.09-    Nico Collins (HOU WR)

11.10-     Jerick McKinnon (KC RB)

MY PICK: Khalil Herbert

Khalil Herbert remains a consistent target for my mock draft rosters. He is the presumed RB1 in Chicago’s backfield. He’s also the first Bears back to come off of the board. Justin Fields rushed 160 times in 2022 and the Bears ran the least amount of pass plays, as well. I expect Fields to run less and pass more this season. As a result, the backfield should be asked to do more this season, as well. There aren’t many running backs this late in the mock draft with a shot at 200 or more touches without an injury to someone else in their backfield.


12.01-     Samaje Perine (DEN RB)

12.02-    Zach Charbonnet (SEA RB)

12.03-    Rashaad Penny (PHI RB)

12.04-    Devin Singletary (HOU RB)

12.05-   Jakobi Meyers (LV WR)

12.06-    Elijah Mitchell (SF RB)

12.07-    Damien Harris (BUF RB)

12.08-    Tyler Allgeier (ATL RB)

12.09-    Jeff Wilson Jr. (MIA RB)

12.10-    D’Onta Foreman (CHI RB)

MY PICK: Jakobi Meyers

Ironically, my “Zero RB” team is the only one to draft a wide receiver in this round of the mock draft. Let this be a good reminder to keep an eye on what others are doing, but don’t base your draft around their decisions. Even with nine other running backs coming off of the board here, I’m confident in the backs on my roster at this point. As for the Jakobi Meyers pick, he should be the second target on the Las Vegas Raiders’ 2023 offense. In the event Davante Adams misses time or even draws double coverage, Meyers could feast especially in PPR formatting.


QB – Lamar Jackson

RB – Dameon Pierce, Rachaad White

WR – A.J. Brown, Chris Olave, Deebo Samuel

TE – Travis Kelce

FLEX – Diontae Johnson

Bench: David Montgomery, Antonio Gibson, Jakobi Meyers, Rondale Moore (13.06), Kendre Miller (14.05)

Mock Draft 6.0 CONCLUSION

Travis Kelce is worth spending a first-round draft pick on!

Taking on this mock draft with a “Zero RB” approach can be done, but it’s risky business. If you look back throughout the draft, there are multiple, lengthy stretches in which teams drafted players at the same position one after another. Waiting to draft a running back, or even quarterbacks and tight ends, can completely backfire if the rest of your league go on a spree selecting players at those positions just before you’re about to take one.

Overall, I think I handled waiting on running backs well. I do wonder what a team with Travis Kelce, Nick Chubb, and Jalen Hurts would look like had I made slightly different decisions at the top. Wide receiver does feel deep again this year. However, leaving drafts without at least one elite wide receiver could be a fatal flaw to your team if the players with upside you wait to draft instead flop this season. At least with running backs, players taken in later rounds, especially rookies, can sometimes find themselves starting for a team, especially later in the season.

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

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