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2023 Fantasy Football: Standard Mock Draft – From the #5 Slot

I’ll be continuing my mock draft series working from the middle out with pick 1.05 this time. It’s easy to come away with similar picks from an adjacent draft slot so I’ll try to make picks that are different from my selections from Drafting from the Six Slot. The result is certainly a safer draft but still one I walk away from confident it is a good squad.

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Mock Draft from the #5 Slot

For those of you who missed my first mock draft, this mock draft was for a hypothetical 10-team, standard-scoring league. The hypothetical roster consists of 1 quarterback, 2 running backs, 2 wide receivers, 1 tight end, and 1 RB/WR/TE Flex position. I drafted from the 6th overall pick in this mock draft.

I’ll break down the first 10 rounds in this mock draft as well as my thought processes behind those selections and any interesting developments between picks. The full roster excluding the kicker and defense can be found below.


1.01 Christian McCaffrey SF – RB

1.02 Austin Ekeler LAC – RB

1.03 Justin Jefferson MIN – WR

1.04 Derrick Henry TEN – RB

1.05 Jonathan Taylor IND – RB

1.06 Bijan Robinson ATL – RB

1.07 Nick Chubb CLE – RB

1.08 Ja’Marr Chase CIN – WR

1.09 Tony Pollard DAL – RB

1.10 Travis Kelce KC – TE

MY PICK: Jonathan Taylor

Taylor is someone who burned me, among many others, last season and was a factor in my flirting with doom in my punishment league. However, I still take him with this selection and after we discussed Taylor on the podcast I’m far more sold on him than I was a week ago. I took Chase off my board since I’m trying to make different selections than my first mock draft so Taylor was the natural selection. He’s healthy, he’s still a lead back in Indianapolis and a new coaching staff along with far improved QB play should boost the former consensus number-one overall pick to the top five picks of standard league draft boards. Landing myself a top-flight RB in round one also means I don’t have to seek them out later in the draft.


2.01 Cooper Kupp LAR – WR

2.01 Josh Jacobs LV – RB

2.03 Tyreek Hill MIA – WR

2.04 Saquon Barkley NYG – RB

2.05 Rhamondre Stevenson NE – RB

2.06 Stefon Diggs BUF – WR

2.07 Breece Hall NYJ – RB

2.08 CeeDee Lamb DAL – WR

2.09 Najee Harris PIT – RB

2.10 A.J. Brown PHI – WR

MY PICK: Stefon Diggs

Pollard and Stevenson coming off the board ahead of me was… interesting. Those are certainly nice players but considering the value at WR still on the board I was surprised to see them go in their draft slots. That opened up a huge opportunity for me to pick between Diggs, Lamb, and Brown for who I want to be my WR1

Stefan Diggs was my selection. To be honest I’m having a really hard time figuring out what all the pre-minicamp drama was about between Diggs and the Buffalo Bills. He gets the ball plenty and the Bills didn’t bring anybody on who appears to be a threat to Digg’s target share. He’s got a nice contract, in fact, he just inked a new one only a few months ago. For my fantasy team’s sake, I’ll hope to chalk it up as a simple misunderstanding. Hopefully, for owners of Digg’s, it’s nothing that rears its head during the season. He’s a fringe top 5 WR when healthy and a great addition to pair up with Taylor at the top of my roster.


3.01 Davante AdamsLV – WR

3.02 Miles Sanders CAR – RB

3.03 Josh Allen BUF – QB

3.04 J.K. Dobbins BAL – RB

3.05 Travis Etienne Jr. JAC – RB

3.06 Mark Andrews BAL – TE

3.07 Amon-Ra St. Brown DET – WR

3.08 Kenneth Walker III SEA – RB

3.09 Aaron Jones GB – RB

3.10 Patrick Mahomes II KC – QB

MY PICK: Travis Etienne Jr.

The beauty of going RB/WR in rounds 1 and 2 respectively is you head into round 3 with all the world in front of you. You can go in any direction and just let the board speak to you. With the way the board fell at 3.05, I had great options in any direction. Garrett Wilson was once again calling my name and so was Mark Andrews. I was tempted to take Patrick Mahomes, especially with Josh Allen gone. If this was a PPR mock draft instead of standard I would’ve absolutely taken Jammer Gibbs but instead, I decide to sure up my backfield by taking Travis Etienne.

Travis Etienne was a roller coaster for owners last season. It appeared early in the season like a swing and a miss type pick after James Robinson’s early season success. That all changed in week 4 when after three weeks of Robinson dominating the workload the backfield became a 50/50 timeshare. That timeshare only ended when Robinson was surprisingly traded to the New York Jets. After that Etienne went on a tear before hitting a wall. Fortunately for those who draft Etienne, he overcame that wall in time for a playoff push. I think another year in Doug Peterson’s offense and another year removed from the Lisfranc injury that prematurely ended his rookie season will help him be more consistent through 2023.


4.01 Garrett Wilson NYJ – WR

4.02 Jaylen Waddle MIA – WR

4.03 Jahmyr Gibbs DET – RB

4.04 Tee Higgins CIN – WR

4.05 Joe Mixon CIN – RB

4.06 T.J. Hockenson MIN – TE

4.07 Keenan Allen LAC – WR

4.08 Dameon Pierce HOU – RB

4.09 George Kittle SF – TE

4.10 Cam Akers LAR – RB

MY PICK: TJ Hockenson

I’m trying to avoid a groundhogs day draft and take the same players I did last week and that continues by passing on Jalen Hurts and instead taking TJ Hockenson. Hockenson really soared to new heights last season when he was acquired but Minnesota. He had a lackluster start to the 2023 season in Detroit outside of a near 180-yard game in week 4 which accounted for almost half of his Detroit receiving yards. His time in Minnesota however was highlighted by an amazing level of consistency from a TE on a team with the best receiver in football. If you exclude week 18 when he only played half the game. Hockenson had fewer than eight targets only twice. That’s exactly the kind of thing I’m looking for in this middle tier of TEs. Someone who is going to get the ball a lot week after week. Sign me up for Hockenson in 2023.


5.01 Jalen Hurts PHI – QB

5.02 Deebo Samuel SF – WR

5.03 DeVonta Smith PHI – WR

5.04 Darren Waller NYG – TE

5.05 Lamar Jackson BAL – QB

5.06 Amari Cooper CLE – WR

5.07 Alexander Mattison MIN – RB

5.08 D’Andre Swift PHI – RB

5.09 Chris Olave NO – WR

5.10 Rachaad White TB – RB

MY PICK: Lamar Jackson

Lamar Jackson has been one of my favorite players to watch since he was in college. Electric with the ball in his hands and now in 2023 we may truly see what he’s capable of as a passer. A new offensive coordinator in ____ plans to let Lamar Jackson let loose with his arm and with the additions of OBJ and Zay Flowers, Jackson finds himself surrounded by a deep and talented WR core for the first time in his college or pro career. Yes, I am saying that the 2023 version of Lamar Jackson could be better than his MVP version. His rushing ability puts him on a higher plane than other QBs available and his upside lands him on my team in round five.


6.01 DK Metcalf SEA – WR

6.02 Kyle Pitts ATL – TE

6.03 Dallas Goedert PHI – TE

6.04 Joe Burrow CIN – QB

6.05 DJ Moore CHI – WR

6.06 DeAndre Hopkins FA – WR

6.07 Christian Watson GB – WR

6.08 Dalvin CookFA – RB

6.09 Terry McLaurin WAS – WR

6.10 James Conner ARI – RB

MY PICK: DeAndre Hopkins

My favorite pick of the draft is this one here, DeAndrew Hopkins. Hopkins ADP is currently being held back by the fact that he isn’t on a roster but that won’t be the case in week 1. Hopkins when on a roster is a top-ten WR in fantasy. Landing him as my second WR in round six is a steal. Keep in mind when your draft rolls around, even if he is still unsigned by draft day, he may not be here. Know the room, how savvy your fellow drafters are and how if they do their own research or just take the top guy on the positional rankings they printed off five minutes before leaving the house. They might not let Hopkins last this long and if he’s someone you want keep in mind you may have to go up a few rounds to land him.


7.01 Isiah Pacheco KC – RB

7.02 Justin Fields CHI – QB

7.03 Calvin Ridley JAC – WR

7.04 Justin Herbert LAC – QB

7.05 Drake London ATL – WR

7.06 Trevor Lawrence JAC – QB

7.07 David Montgomery DET – RB

7.08 Javonte Williams DEN – RB

7.09 Dak Prescott DAL – QB

7.10 James Cook BUF – RB

MY PICK: Drake London

My roster has naturally filled itself out by just drafting what the board has available to me and now I sit 6 rounds in with every positional spot filled except the flex. With that in mind I take Drake London. I’m banking on a year-two leap from not just London but also Desmond Ridder. It’s far from a sure pick but again as my flex pick I have room to breathe if it flops since I won’t be relying on him each and every week.


8.01 AJ Dillon GB – RB

8.02 Mike Evans TB – WR

8.03 Michael Pittman IND – WR

8.04 Jerry Jeudy DEN – WR

8.05 Mike Williams LAC – WR

8.06 Brian Robinson Jr. WAS – RB

8.07 Christian Kirk JAC – WR

8.08 Chris Godwin TB – WR

8.09 Brandon Aiyuk SF – WR

8.10 Tyler Lockett SEA – WR

MY PICK: Brian Robinson Jr.

For the first time in the draft, I felt the pressure to go a certain direction. Normally I’d take Aiyuk here in a heartbeat but with Taylor facing injuries last season and Etienne missing his rookie season due to injury I feel the need to get some form of insurance instead of continuing to load up my WR core. That lead me to take Brian Robinson Jr. A feel-good story in the beginning of 2022 turned into a great stash play very quickly. After coming back in week 5 he saw 4 games with 20+ carries. He’ll need that kind of volume to find success again in 2023 if he puts up a sub 4 YPC once again but the additions of Nick Gates and Andrew Wylie should help that number improve.


9.01 Diontae Johnson PIT – WR

9.02 Jahan Dotson WAS – WR

9.03 George Pickens PIT – WR

9.04 Quentin Johnston LAC – WR

9.05 Marquise Brown ARI – WR

9.06 Treylon Burks TEN – WR

9.07 Alvin Kamara NO – RB

9.08 Deshaun Watson CLE – QB

9.09 Jordan Addison MIN – WR

9.10 Jamaal Williams NO – RB

MY PICK: Marquise Brown

With the core of my team filled out and backup RBs and a WR in my flex I can start to get aggressive and take high-upside picks here in the draft. That begins with Marquise Brown. Brown was a stud last season before the return of DeAndre Hopkins, putting up 60+ yards in all but one game. The issue in 2023 is when will Brown get his old college friend and former #1 overall pick Kyler Murray back under center. Will that even happen this season? The Cardinals seem poised to have a pretty poor season in 2023, who’s to say that Murray will play at all if the team is sitting in November with one of the worst records in football and a chance a the top pick in April of 2024? It’s risky but I can afford to be by taking Brown when I already have Diggs, Hopkins and London on my roster.


10.01 Khalil Herbert CHI – RB

10.01 Tyler Allgeier ATL – RB

10.03 Antonio Gibson WAS – RB

10.04 Gabe Davis BUF – WR

10.05 Rashaad Penny PHI – RB

10.06 Jaxon Smith-Njigba SEA – WR

10.07 Zach Charbonnet SEA – RB

10.08 Kadarius Toney KC – WR

10.09 Samaje Perine DEN – RB

10.10 Courtland Sutton DEN – WR

MY PICK: Jaxon Smith-Njigba

JSN is another pure upside pick but also somewhat of a stash play. The Seahawks under Pete Carroll more often than not seem to be a team that get their ducks in a row at just the right time to replace players. Tyler Locket seems to be next on that list. It may not happen in the first few weeks of the season but Smith-Njigba was arguably the most talented WR in the draft this season. He will be a fun fit in the slot next to DK Metcalf and should see plenty of open looks in Seattle. If he can turn into 2023’s Chris Olave he is a nice pickup late in the draft.


QB – Lamar Jackson

RB – Jonathan Taylor, Travis Etienne Jr.

WR – Stefan Diggs, DeAndre Hopkins

TE – TJ Hockinson

FLEX – Drake London

Bench: Brian Robinson Jr., Marquise Brown, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Michael Thomas (12.05), Jeff Wilson Jr. (13.06) Jared Goff (14.06)

Mock Draft 2.0 CONCLUSION

I like this team, I like it a lot.

Lots of talent at the top of the roster and with high upside picks behind them.

A young but talented tandem of Taylor and Etienne give me confidence at the running back position but my strength still lies in my receivers with Diggs and Hopkins. Lamar Jackson could be playing for another MVP award if he can stay healthy but I made sure to land the steady Jared Goff as a backup.

Hockenson also gives me a steady presence at TE and after Kielce and Andrews, that’s all you can ask for.

I got lots of upside picks late in the draft in Brown, JSN, and even Michael Thomas. Nothing to lose with those guys and a lot can certainly be gained.

Bold moves early complimented with numerous late-round bets give me a lot of confidence with this roster.

This could be one of those teams that you draft and don’t have to make too many moves during the season to try to find players. For those of you who are savvy, maybe you package a few together to get another star player. Still plenty of time between now and week 1 of the season but we are now one Mock Draft Monday closer.

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

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