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Following up on my three recent draft prep articles, today we are using the @Razzball average draft position (ADP) as of August 6th, 2023, to complete a 12-round draft from the pole position or 1.01.  I will be back next week with a look at a different team drafted from another slot. 

Since nobody should use ADP as their end, all do all, and I will give myself a little latitude to move up/down if the ADP slated pick simply does not make sense.  The last thing I want to do is provide you, the reader, with a mock line-up with four TEs just because that is how the names fell to me in my draft slot. 

Scoring for this mock will be relatively standard with a 12-team league consisting of 1QB, 2 RB, 2WR, 1TE, and 1 FLEX (plus five bench players), and I will do the smart thing and avoid K and DST as none of you really care about those during this exercise, and we will certainly cover those two positions during our Sunday morning Start or Sit podcast which will be back during the season.

I will assume four points per TD pass and six points for all other TDs.  One point per 20 points passing and one point per 10 yards rushing/receiving.  I will also use full PPR for this draft.  I will ignore bye weeks for this draft.  During our Sunday morning podcast, we will address questions for all kinds of league scoring systems, including dynasty, Superflex, etc., so tune in and fire off some questions. 

Alas, that is still a couple of months away, but we are all getting excited about getting the band back together as @BobbyLaMarco, @SkyGuasco, @Derek_Favret and myself, @Stiles08, will do our best to help you win each week.

Round 1, Pick 1.01 – Justin Jefferson, WR, MIN:  Not sure what else to say here other than ‘look at 2022’ and love that you are able to land Jetta here.  Jefferson absolutely tore up the NFL in 2022, and I fully expect him to repeat many of his stats in 2023.  Defenses will be keen on marking him, probably even double-teaming him, but we saw some of that last season, and it just did not matter.  Some of JJ’s success will come down to the Alexander Mattison as RB1 plan. 

If Mattison can command attention in the running game the way Dalvin Cook did last season, then look for Jefferson to repeat as the top-skill position player.  If Mattison or the O-Line struggle, look for Kirk Cousins to find it more challenging to get the ball to Jefferson.  I expect a minimum of 150 targets, and that number could jump to 170+, and I would not be surprised.  After Jefferson is on board, we wait 22 picks.  Go grab a snack and drink, and we will be back shortly.

Round 2, Pick 2.12 – Josh Jacobs, RB, LV:  The NFL’s leading rusher from 2022 just dropped in our lap at the end of Round 2, and though I am normally a WR/WR drafter, I will happily take the Raiders bell cow RB here and lock up one of my two RB slots early.  Will Jacobs repeat as the rushing leader?  I doubt it, but he is undoubtedly the RB1 with very little chance of being usurped anytime soon.  His age is not a concern yet, so in a redraft league, I am pleased to add him here.  We will need another RB to complete our starting tandem, but that will have to wait until the 4th round at the earliest.

Round 3, Pick 3.01 – DeVonta Smith, WR, PHI:  Am I interested in rostering a key piece of the NFC version of the Bills/Chiefs offense?  You bet I am!  With the addition of Slim Reaper here, our team is poised to win the WR crown in 2023, but we will get greedy and look for more as the draft moves forward.  Smith can stretch the field, and though he is not the biggest WR on the board, he has more than proven his ability to contest for the football and bring significant results.  Smith is one of the best, if not the best, WR2, not named Jaylen Waddle.

Round 4, Pick 4.12 – Jerry Jeudy, WR, DEN: Well, I have locked up my three WR set or checked the blocks for my two WR and one FLEX with the addition of Jeudy.  I love this start considering I like to load up on WR, and the draft board has helped me out with three excellent WRs while still being able to land a top-seven RB.  Great start for Mitch in this draft.  The issue, as I see it, is now RB depth, and we will discuss that further in the fifth round.

Round 5, Pick 5.01 – D.J. Moore, WR, CHI:  Well, we just added another FLEX player in D.J. Moore mainly because I stay true to the ADP list and did not reach for another position here.  I am not sold on the Bears’ offense from a passing standpoint, with Justin Fields still needing to prove he can effectively pass from th

The next non-WR available based on current ADP is TE George Kittle (two picks away) and RBs Miles Sanders (four picks away), and Dameon Pierce (five picks away). If this was an actual league vice a mock, I may reach for my RB2 here, but for now, let’s see how this thing shakes out from here.  A quick recap shows us with one RB and four WR through five rounds.  We have some work to do.

Round 6, Pick 6.12 – Alvin Kamara, RB, NO:  Right on queue, Kamara and his three-game suspension fall to us in Round 6.  I like this selection in the full-PPR format and think we can survive the three games missed, especially if (when) we add RB depth.  Kamara will be an excellent dump-off option for Derek Carr and will certainly see his share of carries from the backfield.  Who knows…maybe the three games off will prove to keep Kamara healthier, longer in 2023, thus bringing fantastic value as our RB2.

Round 7, Pick 7.01 – D’Andre Swift, RB, PHI:  I am passing on the overall ADP #73 name right here.  At the time this pick is being made, Cook is still a FA being courted by a few teams.  The latest rumors have him linked to both the Jets and Dolphins.  I am not sure either is an ideal fit but think he could provide value to either if the price is right.  With that being

Swift will not have to carry the load in Philly, which should keep him rested and healthy.  Seriously, we are less than a year removed from this guy being talked about as a low 1st, high 2nd round target and then something went amiss in Detroit.  The Lions’ loss will be the Eagles’ gain…a big one…in 2023.  I am jumping three picks to grab Swift as I pass on Cook (and even Javonte Williams).  Another recap shows we are loaded at WR and in a very good position at RB.  Now, we need to focus on QB/TE moving forward.  Let’s see what names are available next.

Round 8, Pick 8.12 – David Njoku, TE, CLE:  Our guy Njoku slates as the #95 overall name, but we are going to take small liberties with this draft and plan on him dropping at least one spot to us at #96.  We have now locked up one of the more athletic, third-tier Tes, that I think will outperform his draft slot.  Passing on George Kittle in Round 5 for D.J. Moore looks and feels like a great move in hindsight with the addition of Njoku.  A freak athlete now with a partial NFL season and full training camp with Deshaun Watson, should make for a much better passing offense from the Brownies. 

Round 9, Pick 9.01 – Kirk Cousins, QB, MIN:  Just as I did in my 2022 home league, I am pairing Kirk Cousins with Justin Jefferson and doing so with a sly grin on my face.  My league mates chuckled at this Vikings stack in 2022, where I selected Jefferson 1.02 and Cousins as the 14th QB off the board.  I was the one smiling all the way to the championship game.  Though I did not win the final game, I came away knowing I can be at the top of the leaderboard, going WR early and waiting on QB.  Look for this tandem to light up the NFC North again in 2023, except possibly for the snaps where my guy Jaire Alexander is matched up with JJ.

Round 10, Pick 10.12 – Allen Lazard, WR, NYJ:  In my prior ADP drafts, I have landed Zay Flowers here twice.  I prefer Flowers over Bateman, who is the ADP slated name and am not sold on Bateman getting enough attention in the Ravens’ offense, so I am going to pass on him and select Allen Lazard.  We all know Aaron Rodgers loves his guys, and as much as I think he will make Garrett Wilson a star, I think there is plenty of meat left on the bone for Lazard to eat.  Full transparency here…I not only passed on Bateman but also passed on Jakobi Meyers, too.

Round 11, Pick 11.01 – Devon Achane, RB, MIA:  Shot in the dark here, but with Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. not being able to stay healthy and Achane being a relatively high draft capital selection for the Phins, I am willing to take a chance on the rookie RB out of Texas A&M.  Round 11 is a nice spot to grab an upside RB, and I have Achane ranked just behind Charbonnet (#115 overall).  The youngster should have plenty of opportunities to shine in South Florida.

Round 12, Pick 12.12 – Sam LaPorta, TE, DET: The pick, per ADP, is supposed to be Raheem Mostert, but I do not love doubling up on the MIA RBs with Achane rostered a round earlier.  So, how do I pivot?  Looking a little earlier, I would love to see Tank Bigsby fall four spots, at which point I would eagerly scoop him up.  The likelihood of Nico Collins slipping by eight slots is unlikely, but I would take him over both Mostert and Bigsby.  If I were to reach, I would probably look at Sam LaPorta at TE for DET.  Assuming Tank/Nico do not drop that far, I will move down a little, skipping Mostert, and select LaPorta, who is currently a darling in Lions camp and another solid option for Jared Goff.  I expect the Lions to put up a lot of points in 2023, and am happy to add depth at TE here.

What do we think of this lineup?  Are there any reaches you do not like?  Is the roster construction one you can live with?  Send your thoughts below, and let’s have a discussion.

Thank you for coming back to read our stuff and be a part of the podcast by listening and commenting.  We are here for you!  For more from Mitch and his Razzball content, find him on Twitter @stiles08

-Mitch-