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2023 Fantasy Football: Standard Mock Draft from the #9 Slot

Only three mock drafts remain. It’s hard to believe that we’re almost done and yet over a week into August and here we are. In this mock, I draft from the #9 slot towards the back end of a ten-team draft.

Previous Mock Draft Analysis

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Mock Draft from the #9 Slot

Similar to the #3 and #8 slots, in the #2 and #9 slots you’re also right up against the beginning and the ends of each round. The major difference here is there is only one person next to you. It is paramount to know the room and know the person next to you when drafting. You’ll see a couple of times this draft I make the first of my two quick selections based on what his roster currently looks like.

As always we will be drafting for a hypothetical standard league where the 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 3rd overall pick in this mock draft.

Once again I will be breaking down the first 12 rounds of selections of this mock draft. The full roster excluding the kicker and defense can be found below.


1.01 Justin Jefferson MIN – WR

1.02 Christian McCaffrey SF – RB

1.03 Ja’Marr Chase CIN – WR

1.04 Bijan Robinson ATL – RB

1.05 Austin Ekeler LAC – RB

1.06 Travis Kelce KC – TE

1.07 Cooper Kupp LAR – WR

1.08 Nick Chubb CLE – RB

1.09 Saquon Barkley NYG – RB

1.10 Tyreek Hill MIA – WR

MY PICK: Saquon Barkley

The top 8 RBs have gone through quite the shuffle over the last few weeks. Barkley has risen back up the draft board by signing a one-year deal with the Giants, not just guaranteeing he’ll be there for Week 1 but also showing up to camp. On the other hand, the value of Jonathan Taylor and Josh Jacobs has sunk due to their lack of being at camp, contractually obligated or not.

Saquon however is signed, on the roster, and in camp participating. Expect much of the same from Saquon in year two under Brian Daboll. He might even be in for a bigger season with the Giant’s addition of Joh Michael Schmitz and if Evan Neal progresses in year two.


2.01 CeeDee Lamb DAL – WR 

2.02 Derrick Henry TEN – RB

2.03 Stefon Diggs BUF – WR 

2.04 Jonathan Taylor IND – RB 

2.05 A.J. Brown PHI – WR 

2.06 Tony Pollard DAL – RB 

2.07 Davante Adams LV – WR 

2.08 Amon-Ra St. Brown DET – WR 

2.09 Josh Jacobs LV – RB 

2.10 Garrett Wilson NYJ – WR

MY PICK: Derrick Henry

The team with picks 1.10 and 2.01 went WR back to back. That’s a bold strategy for a standard league but those moves will shape my selections later on in the draft. With the RB room unchanged since my last selection, I gladly go back to the well and select Mr. Reliable himself, Derrick Henry. Henry was expected by many to take a bit of a step back this season in large part to the Titans still not having any weapons in the passing game. That has changed now with the addition of DeAndre Hopkins.

Henry’s best three seasons in his career came when A.J. Brown was on the Titans. From 2019-2021 Henry averaged over 100 yards per game and more than a touchdown per game. The offense will run through Henry once again so the addition of Hopkins isn’t a detractor in any way.

Now while the offensive line for the Titans is certainly not on the same level as it was back in those peak years, this is still Derrick Henry we’re speaking of. He had 1,500 yards and 13 TDs in 16 games a year ago. Sign me up for that production again in 2023.


3.01 Najee Harris PIT – RB

3.02 Jaylen Waddle MIA – WR

3.03 Breece Hall NYJ – RB

3.04 Chris Olave NO – WR

3.05 Rhamondre Stevenson NE – RB

3.06 Amari Cooper CLE – WR

3.07 Patrick Mahomes II KC – QB

3.08 Josh Allen BUF – QB

3.09 Mark Andrews BAL – TE

3.10 Jalen Hurts PHI – QB

MY PICK: Mark Andrews

So here is where my team stands after two rounds of this mock draft. My top two RBs are set with Barkley and Henry, I could still use a top WR or I could go QB or TE. Now looking at the team next to me, they have their two WRs set. So why would I select the top WR on my board when it’s highly unlikely they would? That takes me to my selection.

Mark Andrews in any other universe where Travis Kelce remains a reality TV star, instead of a God Tier TE, is the top TE in fantasy. Andrews, even with the additions of OBJ and Zay Flowers, is still the top target of Lamar Jackson. I’d be worried he might lose a bit of his target share if Todd Monken wasn’t looking to ramp up the Ravens’ pass attack. In fact, Andrews might see a boost from OBJ and Flowers playing alongside him, taking the defense’s attention away from him. Expect Andrews to perform closer to his 2021 form than his 2022 form like when he last played alongside Marquise Brown.


4.01 Travis Etienne Jr. JAC – RB

4.02 Tee Higgins CIN – WR

4.03 Joe Mixon CIN – RB

4.04 DeVonta Smith PHI – WR

4.05 Aaron Jones GB – RB

4.06 Lamar Jackson BAL – QB

4.07 Miles Sanders CAR – RB

4.08 Kenneth Walker III SEA – RB

4.09 Christian Watson GB – WR

4.10 J.K. Dobbins BAL – RB

MY PICK: Tee Higgins

My strategy paid off. With their WR core solidified, I land the top WR on my board a couple of picks later and take my preferred second choice to avoid losing them to the team with the bookend picks. Knowing the room and the board is paramount in fantasy drafts, especially when drafting from the 1.02 or 1.09 slot.

One of my fantasy bold takes for a while now that hasn’t happened yet is that Tee Higgins, even with Ja’Marr Chase next to him for an entire season, can produce at a low-end WR1 level. I understand that Chase will command the lion’s share of targets and rightfully so but I think Higgins ceiling is higher than he gets credit for. Last season in games where Higgins played >30% of snaps he saw 7+ targets all but once. That’s a wildly high floor and I think if that ticks up just a tad more, Higgins could find himself as a fringe top-ten fantasy receiver.


5.01 Cam Akers LAR – RB

5.02 Jahmyr Gibbs DET – RB

5.03 Alexander Mattison MIN – RB

5.04 James Conner ARI – RB

5.05 DK Metcalf SEA – WR

5.06 Rachaad White TB – RB

5.07 Dameon Pierce HOU – RB

5.08 Deebo Samuel SF – WR

5.09 Isiah Pacheco KC – RB

5.10 Javonte Williams DEN – RB

MY PICK: Isiah Pacheco

My strategy to base the first of my two selections on who I believe is next to me with the bookend factors into my decision here again. If you paid attention last round, he took a QB and an RB. So there is still a need for an RB. I feel confident I can wait for another round to take a WR again since he is already rostering two still compared to one RB.

With that in mind, I take Isiah Pacheco to play the flex spot for me. As long as Jerrick McKinnon is on the roster I have a hard time liking Pacheco in PPR leagues. In standard leagues, however, Pacheco is a nice find to play the flex spot and backup Barkley or Henry in case either of them suffers an injury. He may get lost in a Chiefs offense that runs through Mahomes but he still provides enough upside to warrant a selection here.


6.01 D’Andre Swift PHI – RB

6.02 Calvin Ridley JAC – WR

6.03 David Montgomery DET – RB

6.04 Alvin Kamara NO – RB

6.05 T.J. Hockenson MIN – TE

6.06 Keenan Allen LAC – WR

6.07 George Kittle SF – TE

6.08 Joe Burrow CIN – QB

6.09 Kyle Pitts ATL – TE

6.10 Dallas Goedert PHI – TE

MY PICK: Calvin Ridley

This feels like an awesome find in round six. Calvin Ridley is back, hopefully, for his sake more than any of our fantasy team’s sake, his mental health struggles are behind him. Ridley has looked sharp in camp videos thus far (always consume them with a grain of salt), and having Trevor Lawrence throwing him passes should be a nice upgrade from past-his-prime Matt Ryan. Ridley was a stud one time in fantasy football. Seriously, it only happened one time. 2020 when he caught 90 passes for over 1,300 yards and nine scores. Ridley should fit in nicely with the Jaguars as the clear-cut number one receiver catching passes from Trevor Lawrence who made Christian Kirk and Zay Jones legitimate fantasy plays last season. Expect the same type of boost to Calvin Ridley. Think I’m heaping a ton of praise on Lawrence? just keep reading.


7.01 James Cook BUF – RB

7.02 Christian Kirk JAC – WR

7.03 Brandon Aiyuk SF – WR

7.04 Justin Fields CHI – QB

7.05 Dalvin Cook FA – RB

7.06 Justin Herbert LAC – QB

7.07 DeAndre Hopkins TEN – WR

7.08 Diontae Johnson PIT – WR

7.09 Jerry Jeudy DEN – WR

7.10 Terry McLaurin WAS – WR

MY PICK: Jerry Jeudy

Jeudy’s a WR who I’ve been a huge fan of since his college days. I think he has all the ability to be one of the best route runners in football. So why haven’t I taken him in any of my prior mock draft articles? Simple. I think his success in 2023 has more to do with Russell Wilson and less to do with him. Russ hasn’t been cooking in either of the last two seasons. I’m hard-pressed to believe that he will find a resurgence and return to his old fringe MVP form at the age of 35. Even with Sean Payton as his new head coach, I see Wilson returning more to his 2021 Seahawks from when he threw 25 TDs and a Seahawks career-low of 3,113 yards.

Still, I think Jeudy has a high enough floor and an outside chance of Wilson hitting those 2021 numbers that could see Jeudy perform above his draft slot here in round seven. I think this is a nice value for him here in fact. It’s low enough that you aren’t fully relying on him week after week but still a respectable draft slot.


8.01 DJ Moore CHI – WR

8.02 Trevor Lawrence JAC – QB

8.03 George Pickens PIT – WR

8.04 Drake London ATL – WR

8.05 Brian Robinson Jr. WAS – RB

8.06 Chris Godwin TB – WR

8.07 Mike Williams LAC – WR

8.08 Tyler Lockett SEA – WR

8.09 Michael Pittman IND – WR

8.10 Mike Evans TB – WR

MY PICK: Trevor Lawrence

I waited an extra round after teasing Lawrence earlier in this mock draft and if you’ve been paying attention you know exactly why (check the draft board). Trevor Lawrence and Calvin Ridley could be a fun stack play in 2023. I think Ridley is head and shoulders above Christian Kirk in abilities and the gap between them and Zay Jones is only greater. Lawrence took a nice step in year two and in the second half of the season was a very reliable weekly starter. After week 9 last season, Lawrence completed a hair under 70% of his passes with a 15-2 TD to INT ratio. Finding him in round eight before the QB position begins to drop off a bit feels like a win this late in the draft.


9.01 Rashaad Penny PHI – RB

9.02 Khalil Herbert CHI – RB

9.03 Marquise Brown ARI – WR

9.04 AJ Dillon GB – RB

9.05 Jaxon Smith-Njigba SEA – WR

9.06 Kadarius Toney KC – WR

9.07 Treylon Burks TEN – WR

9.08 Jahan Dotson WAS – WR

9.09 Antonio Gibson WAS – RB

9.10 Jordan Addison MIN – WR

MY PICK: Antonio Gibson

Antonio Gibson is a risky pick here. There is a chance Brian Robinson Jr. runs away with the job and I’m regretting my decision in round nine. This is a bet that Gibson being in a contract year will see him breakout. We’ve seen pieces of it. His overall 2021 season was solid with over 1,000 yards on the ground and and his 4.7 yards per carry in 2020 were great. Still, Brian Robinson Jr. went from a great story to a solid RB in no time and that complicates things. Still it’s not impossible to imagine that Gibson regains the job and has a successful 2023. He’s my 4th string RB so I won’t be burned if he doesn’t.


10.01 Courtland Sutton DEN – WR

10.02 Darren Waller NYG – TE

10.03 Gabe Davis BUF – WR

10.04 Zach Charbonnet SEA – RB

10.05 Damien Harris BUF – RB

10.06 Brandin Cooks DAL – WR

10.07 Elijah Moore CLE – WR

10.08 Jamaal Williams NO – RB

10.09 Rashod Bateman BAL – WR

10.10 Deshaun Watson CLE – QB

MY PICK: Darren Waller

Yes for the second mock draft in a row, I have done it again. Mark Andrews has already solidified my TE spot so why do I need to take Darren Waller? I don’t, but it’s round 11 and Waller is the prettiest girl left without a dance partner. So while everyone sits on the side waiting, I go up and take my chance with Waller and come away with a steal or trade bait. Maybe I can get someone to give me a flex-level RB or WR who I like in exchange for Waller or maybe I keep Waller as insurance behind Andrews. Either way, don’t feed like you need to wait until everyone has a TE or QB to take a second one. Do yourself a favor and take one when the board tells you to.


11.01 Dak Prescott DAL – QB

11.02 Elijah Mitchell SF – RB

11.03 Quentin Johnston LAC – WR

11.04 D’Onta Foreman CHI – RB

11.05 Michael Thomas NO – WR

11.06 Samaje Perine DEN – RB

11.07 JuJu Smith-Schuster NE – WR

11.08 Pat Freiermuth PIT – TE

11.09 Zay Flowers BAL – WR

11.10 De’Von Achane MIA – RB

MY PICK: Zay Flowers

Sign me up for this pick in every mock draft and real draft I’m in I do not care what format. Zay Flowers was one of my favorite players coming into the draft and is one of my favorite fits coming out of it. If OBJ doesn’t regain his old form Zay Flowers could have a huge season for Baltimore. He’s explosive in and out of his breaks and runs routes like he’s angry with every time he sticks his foot in the ground. It reminds me very much of Antonio Brown. His cousin Marquis and Lamar Jackson were a nice tandem and Brown could fill the void that Brown left when he was traded away prior to last season. This late in the draft I can afford to hold Flowers for a couple of weeks in case he doesn’t hit the ground running.


12.01 Odell Beckham BAL – WR

12.02 Skyy Moore KC – WR

12.03 Jaylen Warren PIT – RB

12.04 Jameson Williams DET – WR

12.05 Nico Collins HOU – WR

12.06 Allen Lazard NYJ – WR

12.07 Aaron Rodgers NYJ – QB

12.08 Tyler Allgeier ATL – RB

12.09 Dalton Schultz HOU – TE

12.10 Jakobi Meyers LV – WR

MY PICK: Skyy Moore

Here’s another pick I really love to end this draft. Skyy Moore has been making the case in Chiefs camp thus far that he’s could be WR1 on that team. After a quiet rookie campaign, it appears that he is in line for a far bigger role in 2023. With Kadarius Toney succumbing to his annual training camp injury the door is open for Moore. Keep in mind that Justyn Ross has also looked great in Chiefs camp but I think Moore has the inside track to be the top dog amongst a WR core missing one. With Mahomes throwing the ball, Moore could have a big 2023 on the horizon.


QB – Trevor Lawrence

RB – Saquon Barkley, Derrick Henry

WR – Tee Higgins, Calvin Ridley

TE – Mark Andrews

FLEX – Isaiah Pacheco

Bench: Jerry Jeudy, Antonio Gibson, Darren Waller, Zay Flowers, Skyy Moore, Raheem Mostert (14.02), Ezekiel Elliott (15.09).

Mock Draft 7.0 CONCLUSION

This mock draft was fun. I was able to maneuver my selections based on who the guy with the bookends had on his roster to land many of the players I liked and wanted.

Saquon and Henry are a lethal 1-2 punch at RB. Behind them, Pacheco is a nice find in standard leagues and you add Gibson, Mostert and Elliott too and that turns out to be a pretty deep bench once Elliott signs.

The WR core is stacked in spite of waiting so long to fill it out. Higgins and Ridley provide a high floor and high upside and with Jeudy, Flowers and Moore behind them, there is a ton of high upside. So much upside that you could say it’s not unimaginable it ends up as my deepest positional group.

It might be easier to make that case if I didn’t have another great TE duo of Andrews and Waller. If your league is being incredibly passive on TEs or QBs and one of the last in the reliable tier is out there, don’t be sheepish and afraid to take one before they do.

Lastly, at the QB spot, Lawrence was a great value find. If he can maintain his success in the back half of 2022 he’s a steal. He could even be better with Ridley in the mix and that tandem could make for a fun stack if the chemistry is there.

I wish a few players had fallen to me in the middle rounds of the draft but the beginning and the end of the draft give me a ton of confidence in this group.

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

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