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2023 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft 8.0 – Drafting from the #8 Slot

The last weekend in August is typically the most popular weekend for fantasy football drafts. It’s hard to believe that weekend is in just a few days. Whether you’ve been counting down the days until your draft, or cramming for it like a college exam, a mock draft is always a good idea. 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 Eighth Overall in the Eighth 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 eighth 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-         Christian McCaffrey (CAR RB)

1.02-        Justin Jefferson (MIN WR)

1.03-        Tyreek Hill (MIA WR)

1.04-        Ja’Marr Chase (CIN WR)

1.05-        Austin Ekeler (LAC RB)

1.06-        Saquon Barkley (NYG RB)

1.07-        Cooper Kupp (LAR WR)

1.08-      Bijan Robinson (ATL RB)

1.09-        Nick Chubb (CLE RB)

1.10-         Travis Kelce (KC TE)

MY PICK: Bijan Robinson

I’m finally taking the opportunity to draft Bijan Robinson in a mock draft. Better late than never, right? He’s not only a first-round value, but the argument can be made for him to be the top pick. If you happen to have the top pick and want Bijan on your team, then go for it!

In all but one season since 2016 a rookie running back has finished inside the top-10 on a points-per-game basis. As the eighth overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, there’s plenty about Bijan to feel good about his chances of doing the same. He enters the league with back-to-back seasons of at least 221 touches and 1,422 all-purpose yards at the University of Texas. He should see an even larger workload over a 17-game season.

Bijan Robinson is an RB1 based on volume alone, but his talent as a runner and pass catcher gives him overall RB1 upside.


2.01 –      Stefon Diggs (BUF WR)

2.02-      Derrick Henry (TEN RB)

2.03-     CeeDee Lamb (DAL WR)

2.04-      Amon-Ra St. Brown (DET WR)

2.05-      Tony Pollard (DAL RB)

2.06-      Patrick Mahomes (KC QB)

2.07-      Garrett Wilson (NYJ WR)

2.08-     Davante Adams (LV WR)

2.09-     Jonathan Taylor (IND RB)

2.10-      Rhamondre Stevenson (NE RB)

MY PICK: CeeDee Lamb

With my second pick in this mock draft, it’s a coin flip for me between Amon-Ra St. Brown and CeeDee Lamb. While Tony Pollard is tempting, starting this mock draft with two running backs is too risky, especially with strong wide receiver options available to me.

I think both Lamb and St. Brown are locks for close to, if not more than, 150 targets in their respective offenses. In fact, Lamb logged 156 in 2023. He is the fifth-most targeted player from last season. The Dallas Cowboys offense has a better shot of finishing inside the top five in points per game. That’s enough of a reason to be a tiebreaker for this mock draft pick decision.


3.01-      A.J. Brown (PHI WR)

3.02-     Josh Jacobs (LV RB)

3.03-     Jaylen Waddle (MIA WR)

3.04-     Josh Allen (BUF QB)

3.05-     D.K. Metcalf (SEA WR)

3.06-     Najee Harris (PIT RB)

3.07-     Tee Higgins (CIN WR)

3.08-   Chris Olave (NO WR)

3.09-     Travis Etienne (JAX RB)

3.10-      Jalen Hurts (PHI QB)

MY PICK: Chris Olave

I’m not sure I can be any higher on Chris Olave for the 2023 fantasy football season. His success as a rookie last season is somewhat overshadowed by New York Jets receiver, Garrett Wilson. Wilson, of course, won the 2022 Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Chris Olave, though, had just 11 fewer receptions and 61 fewer yards on a significant 28 fewer targets in two fewer games played. Had Olave not missed two games due to a concussion, there’s likely a stronger discussion in favor of him this year.

All things considered, I’m thrilled to get Olave steadily in the third round. As impressive as his rookie season is, his sophomore season should be even more special with Derek Carr under center in New Orleans. Love him or hate him, Carr throws a nice deep ball. His WR1 last season in Las Vegas, Davante Adams, scored 14 touchdowns, nine of which were distances of 30 yards or more. Olave is going to score more than the four times he did last season. I think a lot of his 2023 touchdowns will come off big-time throws from his new quarterback.


4.01-      Breece Hall (NYJ RB)

4.02-     DeVonta Smith (PHI WR)

4.03-    Jahmyr Gibbs (DET RB)

4.04-     Joe Mixon (CIN RB)

4.05-     Mark Andrews (BAL TE)

4.06-     Aaron Jones (GB RB)

4.07-     Calvin Ridley (JAX WR)

4.08-     Keenan Allen (LAC WR)

4.09-     Joe Burrow (CIN QB)

4.10-     Miles Sanders (CAR RB)

MY PICK: Jahmyr Gibbs

With my fourth-round pick, I was eyeing up DeVonta Smith. Instead, I decided to solidify my mock draft team’s running back starters. Seventeen of the first 40 picks in this mock draft are running backs. I feel great having two with some of the highest receiving upside. Over 80% of the Detroit Lions’ 2022 backfield touches are up for grabs. Additionally, there isn’t a very strong receiving option behind Amon-Ra St. Brown, either. I love Gibbs, the 12th overall pick, to come in and make an immediate impact, especially as a pass catcher. He has a ceiling similar to Alvin Kamara’s rookie season of 80 or so receptions.


5.01-       D.J. Moore (CHI WR)

5.02-      Deebo Samuel (SF WR)

5.03-      Dameon Pierce (HOU RB)

5.04-      Kenneth Walker III (SEA RB)

5.05-      Amari Cooper (CLE WR)

5.06-      Terry McLaurin (WSH WR)

5.07-      Lamar Jackson (BAL QB)

5.08-     T.J. Hockenson (MIN TE)

5.09-      DeAndre Hopkins (TEN WR)

5.10-       Drake London (ATL WR)

MY PICK: T.J. Hockenson

While considering who to take with my fifth mock draft pick, I see a large handful of wide receivers I like, but my TE2 in T.J. Hockenson is still on the board. Knowing I’m back on the clock in five picks, I feel more confident in one of my wide receiver targets to be there than Hockenson. Looking ahead and evaluating the board can be beneficial, especially with picks near or at the turn.

T.J. Hockenson’s 18 red-zone targets ranked 13th in the league last season. Adam Thielen’s 21 red-zone targets ranked 10th. One of these players is still on the Minnesota Vikings, who passed at the third-highest rate last season. Hockenson has a great chance to be the second receiving option on his team which not many tight ends can say. His floor and ceiling combination is closer to that of Travis Kelce than most others at the position.


6.01-       Jerry Jeudy (DEN WR)

6.02-      Justin Fields (CHI QB)

6.03-    Chris Godwin (TB WR)

6.04-      Christian Watson (GB WR)

6.06-      Mike Williams (LAC WR)

6.06-      Darren Waller (NYG TE)

6.07-      J.K. Dobbins (BAL RB)

6.08-      Justin Herbert (LAC QB)

6.09-      George Kittle (SF TE)

6.10-      Diontae Johnson (PIT WR)

MY PICK: Chris Godwin

As predicted, Chris Godwin, one of the receivers I was considering in the fifth round, is still available in the sixth. In fact, he’s the last receiver of the group I was looking at that’s still available. Sometimes the draft can make decisions for you. While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ offense is expected to take a step back without Tom Brady, they should still throw quite a bit if they fall behind in games as often as most expect them to. Godwin has led the team in targets in three of the last four seasons. He is a solid WR3 for any team playing in PPR formats.


7.01-       Dallas Goedert (PHI TE)

7.02-      Tyler Lockett (SEA WR)

7.03-      James Conner (ARI RB)

7.04-      Brandon Aiyuk (SF WR)

7.05-      Alvin Kamara (NO RB)

7.06-      Trevor Lawrence (JAX QB)

7.07-      Cam Akers (LAR RB)

7.08-    Christian Kirk (JAX WR)

7.09-      Kyle Pitts (ATL TE)

7.10-       Alexander Mattison (MIN RB)

MY PICK: Christian Kirk

For PPR leagues, I prefer to flex a wide receiver than a running back. The upside in the form of targets is much more valuable amongst flex-type players. Christian Kirk is a great example. While running backs in this mock draft round, James Conner, Cam Akers, and Alexander Mattison, can rack up 80 scoreless yards on close to 20 carries in a game, a player like Christian Kirk just needs four receptions for 40 yards to score the same. He caught four or more passes in 12 games last season. Sure, Calvin Ridley has a good chance to lead the team in targets, but Kirk’s floor remains extremely high on an ascending offense.


8.01-      Michael Pittman (IND WR)

8.02-     Mike Evans (TB WR)

8.03-    James Cook (BUF RB)

8.04-     Marquise Brown (ARI WR)

8.05-     George Pickens (PIT WR)

8.06-     Brandin Cooks (DAL WR)

8.07-      Javonte Williams (DEN RB)

8.08-     Rachaad White (TB RB)

8.09-     Dalvin Cook (NYJ RB)

8.10-      Geno Smith (SEA QB)

MY PICK: James Cook

I’ll be the first to admit my hesitation with drafting James Cook this fantasy football season. However, as the preseason progresses, he is looking like a league-winner here in the eighth round of this mock draft. While Damien Harris works his way back from a knee injury, Cook continues to showcase his ability to handle a three-down role. I like the other running backs available here, but the Buffalo offense has far more upside than any of the respective teams whose running back is still on the board here.


9.01-      Jahan Dotson (WSH WR)

9.02-      Kadarius Toney (KC WR)

9.03-      Gabe Davis (BUF WR)

9.04-      Isiah Pacheco (KC RB)

9.05-      Michael Thomas (NO WR)

9.06-      Jordan Addison (MIN WR)

9.07-      David Montgomery (DET RB)

9.08-     D’Andre Swift (PHI RB)

9.09-      Jaxon Smith-Njigba (SEA WR)

9.10-       A.J. Dillon (GB RB)

MY PICK: D’Andre Swift

In hindsight, Jaxon Smith-Njigba is a much more fun pick to be made here. The 20th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft should feast in the middle of the field this season. Geno Smith threw for the fourth-most passing touchdowns on the eighth-highest scoring offense. It’s hard to imagine them taking a step back after selecting JSN as high as they did.

Call it a homer pick, but throwing a dart at the likeliest option to lead the Eagles’ backfield in touches feels like a wise decision. Swift is a dual-threat back that should thrive behind the Eagles’ stout offensive line. He finished just ahead of former Eagles back, Miles Sanders, in points per game last season. Swift, though, has more receiving upside.


10.01-     Antonio Gibson (WAS RB)

10.02-    Treylon Burks (TEN WR)

10.03-   Courtland Sutton (DEN WR)

10.04-     Zay Flowers (BAL WR)

10.05-     Juju Smith-Schuster (NE WR)

10.06-     Khalil Herbert (CHI RB)

10.07-     Elijah Moore (CLE WR)

10.08-    Skyy Moore (KC WR)

10.09-    Jamaal Williams (NO RB)

10.10-     Nico Collins (HOU WR)

MY PICK: Courtland Sutton

Courtland Sutton is one of a few top wide receivers for NFL teams still available for fantasy football at this point in the mock draft. Considering the players available that fit that description, I’m still willing to bet on Sutton as a post-hype sleeper. He is only 27 years old and a year further removed from a 2021 torn ACL. He drew 10 or more targets in four games last season. All of which, though, were Week 10 or prior. Having a player like Sutton as a backup wide receiver feels like a waste of his talent. However, others may need him in their starting lineup which could present some interesting trade scenarios.


11.01-     Samaje Perine (DEN RB)

11.02-    Odell Beckham Jr. (BAL WR)

11.03-    David Njoku (CLE TE)

11.04-    Pat Freiermuth (PIT TE)

11.05-    Jakobi Meyers (LV WR)

11.06-    Brian Robinson Jr. (WAS RB)

11.07-    Evan Engram (JAX TE)

11.08-  Quentin Johnston (LAC WR)

11.09-    Zach Charbonnet (SEA RB)

11.10-    Rashaad Penny (PHI RB)

MY PICK: Quentin Johnston

From this point forward, I’m specifically targeting upside players in the mock draft. Quentin Johnston may have the most upside of the wide receivers still available. We know Keenan Allen and Mike Williams have issues with staying healthy. Johnston, the 21st overall pick, is one of the best options they’ve had behind Allen and Williams. It’s unclear how much of a role Johnston will have to start the season. He’s worth stashing on your bench while we figure that out.


12.01-     Allen Lazard (NYJ WR)

12.02-    Jerick McKinnon (KC RB)

12.03-  Dak Prescott (DAL QB)

12.04-    De’Von Achane (MIA RB)

12.05-    Elijah Mitchell (SF RB)

12.06-    Jeff Wilson Jr. (MIA RB)

12.07-    Damien Harris (BUF RB)

12.08-    Jaylen Warren (PIT RB)

12.09-    Kendre Miller (NO RB)

12.10-    Kenneth Gainwell (PHI RB)

MY PICK: Dak Prescott

I am the last of the 10 mock draft managers to select a starting quarterback. Don’t be surprised if your top-10 or top-12 aren’t the top-10 or top-12 drafted depending on your league size. In this mock draft, Deshaun Watson is the quarterback I was surprised to see miss that cut. He ends up as another team’s backup with a 14th-round pick. If I end up with one of my top-eight quarterbacks, I’m not likely to draft a backup in a 1QB league. There are still plenty of options available on the waiver wire to choose from if Dak Prescott doesn’t look like a viable option. He’s worth investing in given the CeeDee Lamb stack on this mock draft team.


13.01-     Tyler Higbee (LAR TE)

13.02-    Juwan Johnson (NO TE)

13.03-    Tank Bigsby (JAX RB)

13.04-    Dalton Kincaid (BUF TE)

13.05-    Rondale Moore (ARI WR)

13.06-    Adam Thielen (CAR WR)

13.07-    Devin Singletary (HOU RB)

13.08-  Tyler Allgeier (ATL RB)

13.09-    Jameson Williams (DET WR))

13.10-     Ezekiel Elliott (NE RB)

MY PICK: Tyler Allgeier

In Round 13, I see Bijan Robinson’s handcuff, Tyler Allgeier, is still available. That is the only motive for this selection. If targeting running back handcuffs, I do like grabbing players from a variety of teams, not just the handcuffs to the players on your team. Allgeier did rush for over 1,000 yards as a rookie, with a somewhat limited full-season role in Atlanta, so he’s a bit more proven if called upon.


14.01-     Rashod Bateman (BAL WR)

14.02-    Dalton Schultz (HOU TE)

14.03-   Tyler Boyd (CIN WR)

14.04-    Greg Dulcich (DEN TE)

14.05-    Deshaun Watson (CLE QB)

14.06-    Rondale Moore (ARI WR)

14.07-    Raheem Mostert (MIA RB)

14.08-   Chigoziem Okonkwo (TEN TE)

14.09-    Jalin Hyatt (NYG WR)

14.10-     Tua Tagovailoa (MIA QB)

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 – Dak Prescott

RB – Bijan Robinson, Jahmyr Gibbs

WR – CeeDee Lamb, Chris Olave, Chris Godwin

TE – T.J. Hockenson

FLEX – Christian Kirk

Bench: James Cook, D’Andre Swift, Courtland Sutton, Quentin Johnston, Tyler Allgeier, Tyler Boyd

Mock Draft 8.0 CONCLUSION

There is a much heavier emphasis on drafting running backs in this mock draft than I remember there being in those prior. In fact, 80% of the Round 12 picks are running backs, including the last seven. The quest to find one with upside in later rounds reaffirms my decisions to draft both Bijan Robinson and Jahmyr Gibbs when I did.

Waiting on a quarterback in 2023 continues to make me nervous. Dak Prescott is a fine option though, with players like Daniel Jones, Kirk Cousins, and even Anthony Richardson going undrafted. One more thing to look at with quarterbacks is bye weeks. Prescott and the Cowboys have a Week 7 bye. Therefore, I’ll need to either cut Dak or another player for a replacement that week. It’s worth noting that Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, and Justin Fields have Week 13 byes. You can start them for 12 weeks with a good idea if you’re making the fantasy football playoffs at that point.

This mock draft team feels like it could explode if a few things fall into place. Targeting high-upside players later on is the name of the game. There will always be high-floor options on the waiver wire to choose from so stash some potential breakouts and see how they do early on!

Overall, I think this is a really solid PPR team. My running backs catch passes and my wide receivers as well as tight end are high-volume players each with a high probability of scoring plenty of touchdowns.

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

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