Sunday, July 30, 2023

2023 Fantasy Football Half-PPR Mock Draft: 12 Teams, 9th Pick

The best way to become good at something is to practice. So, what should you do if you want to draft a better fantasy football team?

Practice, of course!

Leading up to the start of the 2023 NFL season, we will use the Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator to complete fantasy football mock drafts.

We will use a variety of scoring formats — point per reception (PPR), half-PPR, standard scoring and even 2-QB leagues — and league sizes. The goal is to provide you with a good representation of the team that you may be able to construct given your league settings and the rationale of why we made the picks we did.

> Our mocks will be tracked here: Fantasy Football Mock Drafts.

That said, nothing beats practicing yourself so (check out the simulator) and complete a mock in a matter of minutes.

Half-PPR Mock Draft: 12 Teams, 9th Pick

1.09 - Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams

Kupp pulled off the rare triple crown of receiving in 2021, finishing with 145 catches for 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns. While he missed roughly half of his follow-up season, the 2021 NFL Offensive Player of the Year led ALL receivers in half-PPR fantasy points scored in 2022 on a per-game basis.

2.04 - Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans

Henry has led the NFL in rush attempts in three of the past four seasons (including 349 in 2022) and he's guaranteed a massive workload, as long as he remains healthy. While he set a career high in receptions (33) in 2022, he actually averaged more receptions per game in 2021 (2.3) than 2022 (2.1). Being more involved as a receiver would obviously be better, but here is where Henry has finished on a points-per-game basis in half-PPR scoring over the past four years (min. 8G played): third in 2022 (17.9), first in 2021 (23.0), third in 2020 (20.2) and second (tied) in 2019 (19.0), respectively.

3.09 - Tee Higgins, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

Other than perhaps the Dolphins with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, no team has a better WR duo than the Bengals have with Ja'Marr Chase and Higgins. As he enters his age-24 season, the former Clemson Tiger already has three seasons of consistent production with a total of 215 catches for 3,028 yards and 19 touchdowns. Higgins has a minimum of three catches in 38 of the 41 games in which he played at least 50% of the offensive snaps.

4.04 - Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers

There are two main risks with Samuel — durability concerns due to his physical play style and the number of mouths to feed in San Francisco's talented offense. A motivated Samuel should be better on a per-touch basis in 2023 than he was last year.

5.09 - Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles Rams

Much of Akers' 2022 production came in the final six weeks of the season when he finished with 104 carries for 512 yards (4.92 YPC) and six touchdowns and 11 receptions for 99 yards on 12 targets. If he maintains a workhorse role throughout the whole season, there is plenty of upside with him here in the fifth round.

6.04 - Rachaad White, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

White sits atop the team's depth chart and should dominate touches in 2023. As a 2022 rookie, he had 129 carries for 481 yards (only 3.7 YPC) and a touchdown in addition to 50 receptions for 290 yards and two touchdowns. The biggest concern for White (and all of Tampa's skill-position players) remains how much the offense struggles in a post-Tom Brady world.

7.09 - Darren Waller, TE, New York Giants

A couple of seasons removed from back-to-back 1,100-yard campaigns, Waller is clearly the top weapon in New York's passing attack. While he has been limited to only 20 games over the past two seasons, his 17-game pace is 71/895/4 during that stretch.

8.04 - Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars

What a difference a year (and a new coaching staff) made for Lawrence! The 2021 NFL Draft's top overall pick completed 66.3% of his pass attempts for 7.0 yards per attempt, while throwing 25 touchdowns and only seven interceptions in 2022. (That compares to 59.6%, 6.0 Y/A and 12:17 TD-INT ratio in 2021.) In fact, Lawrence improved considerably as the season progressed — 69.7% completion rate, 7.4 Y/A and a 15-to-two TD-INT ratio from Weeks 9-18. Bigger things could/should be in store for Lawrence in 2023, as Calvin Ridley joins Christian Kirk, coming off career numbers (84/1108/8 in 2022), Evan Engram, and Travis Etienne.

9.09 - Rashaad Penny, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

Through five NFL seasons, Penny has missed nearly as many games (40) as he has played (42). When healthy, however, he has averaged 5.7 yards per carry over his career and an even-better 6.2 YPC over the past two seasons (176/1095/8). As long as he's healthy, however, Penny would be a great fit for the Miles Sanders role within the backfield.

10.04 - Elijah Moore, WR, Cleveland Browns

Before an injury ended his rookie season prematurely, Moore had 34 catches for 459 yards and five touchdowns over his final six games in 2021. (Moore was so good during that span that only Justin Jefferson had more fantasy points over that stretch.) When he was on the field in 2022, things didn't go as well, but he'll get an opportunity to reset with the Browns in 2023.

11.09 - Tyler Allgeier, RB, Atlanta Falcons

Allgeier was a player I liked as a sleeper last year, and the fifth-rounder out of BYU eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark as a rookie. With the Falcons drafting Robinson at No. 8 overall, it obviously delivers a huge blow to Allgeier's fantasy stock, but he is worth a stash as my RB5 on this roster.

12.04 - Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas Cowboys

Gallup missed only the first three games of 2022, but his production was abysmal (39/424/4 in the regular season). Including two playoff games, he had less than 50 receiving yards in 15 of 16 games. Getting back to an 1,100-yard season (2019) is highly unlikely, but he should be better in 2023 now that he's another year removed from his torn ACL.

13.09 - Anthony Richardson, QB, Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis was arguably the most ideal landing spot for Richardson. After all, new coach Shane Steichen tailored Philadelphia's offense to best suit the skill set of Jalen Hurts. Ups and downs should be expected for Richardson, but his elite athletic profile gives him enormous rushing upside from the point he becomes the starter (presumably Week 1).

14.04 - Buffalo Bills DST

15.09 - Tyler Higbee, TE, Los Angeles Rams

Unintentionally adding my third Ram here, Higbee set career highs in targets (108, fourth-most among TEs) and receptions (72, fifth) in 2022. While Kupp missed nearly half of the season, Higbee's per-game numbers were actually better with Kupp (4.9/43 on 7.2 targets) than without Kupp (3.5/29 on 5.4 targets). At a position where volume is inconsistent outside of the elite options, there is value in the consistency of Higbee's volume, especially given Waller's recent injury history.

16.04 - Younghoe Koo, K, Atlanta Falcons

- View Full Mock Draft Results

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