Dynasty Startup Mock Draft: 12
While the NFL is in offseason mode, fantasy football players never have an offseason. The 2023 NFL Draft is still a few months away. However, it’s never a bad time for a dynasty startup mock draft.
The league configuration for this mock draft is 12 teams and half-point PPR scoring. I drafted from the third slot in a snake draft. The league’s starting lineup is one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, one tight end, two regular flex spots, and one Superflex, with six bench spots and no kicker or team defense.
Expert Consensus 2023 Dynasty Superflex Rookie Draft Rankings: Top-50
Check out all of our 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Reports & Prospect Profiles
With this mock draft having a Superflex spot, my goal was to grab a quarterback in the first round. After watching Jefferson go with the 1.02 pick, I happily grabbed Allen at the 1.03 spot. The superstar quarterback would have been the 1.01 pick a year ago. Allen has been the overall QB1 or QB2 for three straight years. Furthermore, he has accounted for 42 or more total touchdowns in all three seasons.
Hoping Robinson would make it to my second-round pick was a pipe dream. Yet, I was only two picks away from grabbing Hall. Nothing is more frustrating than watching your target get drafted a pick or two before you’re on the clock. Before suffering a torn ACL, the New York running back was the RB6, averaging 15.1 fantasy points per game. However, Walker is an excellent consolation option. The former Michigan State star was outstanding once Rashaad Penny suffered a season-ending injury. From Week 6 on, Walker was the RB6, averaging 14.9 fantasy points per game. He should only get better with an entire offseason to prepare as the undisputed starter.
Four selections between my picks and three of my targets went off the board. However, Etienne is one of my favorite younger running backs to draft. The former first-round pick missed his rookie year because of a foot injury. Then he had a limited role at the start of the 2022 season with James Robinson on the roster. Yet, Etienne picked up his play starting in Week 5. From that game through the end of the season, the former Clemson star was the RB15, averaging 12.4 fantasy points per game. More importantly, he averaged 15.3 fantasy points per contest during the fantasy playoffs.
Whenever taking part in a Superflex draft, I always come away with two quarterbacks by the end of the fourth round. While Lance has barely played in his first two years in the NFL, I’m still a believer. The former first-round started two games as a rookie and played the entire second half of the Week 4 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. In those 2.5 games, he averaged 18 fantasy points per game. However, adjusting for only playing 10 quarters of football instead of 12, Lance would have averaged 21.6 fantasy points per game in those three contests. Short of Tom Brady coming out of retirement again, Lance will be the Week 1 starter for the 49ers.
I planned on drafting wide receivers or a tight end with this pick. However, I couldn’t pass up the chance to draft Stevenson. The New England star is one of my favorite running backs in the NFL. More importantly, he was the RB11 last year, averaging 12.6 fantasy points per game. Stevenson had the first 1,000-yard rushing season of his career in 2022. Furthermore, the star running back led the team with 69 receptions. With Damien Harris likely on his way out the door this offseason, Stevenson could be a top-15 pick three months from now.
With nine wide receivers getting drafted before I went back on the clock, Goedert became my pick. Despite missing five games last season, the veteran ended the year as the TE12, averaging 9.5 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, Goedert was the TE5 on a points-per-game basis. More importantly, he averaged 1.7 fantasy points per target in 2022. While the Philadelphia Eagles have two excellent wide receivers, Goedert might be the best value, given the draft capital cost.
Finally, I added a wide receiver to the team in the seventh round. You can wait to draft a wide receiver is the depth of the position. Aiyuk was the WR15 in 2022, averaging 11.1 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, he had career highs in receptions (78), targets (114), receiving yards (1,015), and touchdowns (eight). More importantly, the third-year star averaged 2.31 yards per separation last year, the third-most in the NFL among wide receivers. Whether he’s back with the 49ers or gets traded this offseason, Aiyuk is a No. 1 caliber wide receiver.
Despite having a down 2022 season, Williams was the WR22 on a points-per-game basis, averaging 11.2 fantasy points per contest. Furthermore, the former first-round pick averaged more fantasy points per game last season than DK Metcalf, Garrett Wilson, and DJ Moore. Yet, all three went multiple rounds before Williams in this mock draft. More importantly, he was the WR10 in 2021. Keenan Allen might be a cap casualty this offseason, making Williams the new No. 1 wide receiver for Justin Herbert.
While he isn’t a superstar, Carr is an underrated quarterback. The veteran has thrown at least 21 touchdowns in all but one year in his career. Furthermore, he was on pace for his fifth straight 4,000-yard passing season before the Las Vegas Raiders decided to bench him. More importantly, Carr was a top-14 quarterback in 2021 and 2020 despite a lack of weapons. Depending on where he lands this offseason, the veteran quarterback could have a career year in 2023.
Despite splitting the backfield work with David Montgomery, Herbert ended the year as the RB39, averaging 8.7 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, he was a top-40 running back despite missing four games in 2022. The former Virginia Tech star averaged a career-high 5.7 yards per rushing attempt and had five touchdowns last season. More importantly, Herbert showed tremendous potential when Montgomery missed time. He averaged 12 fantasy points per game in the five career contests without Montgomery, scoring 15 or more fantasy points twice. Herbert could have a featured role next year if the Bears led the veteran walk this offseason.
Somehow I manage to steal Lockett in the 11th round. While the veteran turns 31 years old this season, Lockett had totaled at least 965 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in five straight years. Furthermore, the star receiver has four consecutive seasons with 1,000 receiving yards. More importantly, Lockett has been a top-15 wide receiver in the past five years. After seeing how he played with Geno Smith last year, there is no reason to think Lockett will regress next season.
Last year’s rookie draft class didn’t have a star prospect. However, Okonkwo was the best of the bunch. The fourth-round pick was the TE23, averaging 4.8 fantasy points per game. More importantly, he played better as the season progressed. Okonkwo was the TE8 over the last six games of the season, averaging nearly two fantasy points per target. Tennessee’s passing attack should take a massive step forward next year, with Tim Kelly taking over as the offensive coordinator. Despite having Goedert on my roster, Okonkwo is too good of a value to pass up in the 12th round.
The rookie receiver was one of the most talked about players during training camp. Doubs started the year strong, averaging 9.8 fantasy points per contest over the first four games. He cooled off after that before suffering an ankle injury in Week 9. When Doubs returned, Christian Watson was in the middle of his hot streak. Despite the up-and-down rookie season, fantasy players should feel optimistic about the former Nevada star. Allen Lazard is a free agent this offseason and likely won’t be back in Green Bay. More importantly, Doubs had a 7% touchdown rate as a rookie. Whether Aaron Rodgers or Jordan Love is under center next season, Watson and Doubs should become more consistent fantasy players.
Collins had 33 receptions on 61 targets for 446 receiving yards and a touchdown as a rookie. While his numbers were only slightly better in 2022, he put up those numbers in four fewer games. More importantly, Collins showed potential when given enough workload. The former Michigan star averaged 9.3 half-point PPR fantasy points per game and 1.2 fantasy points per target in the seven contests with five or more targets last season. Meanwhile, Brandin Cooks will almost certainly get traded this offseason, opening up the No. 1 role for Collins. Assuming the Houston Texans upgrade the quarterback position this offseason, the third-round receiver could have a breakout year in 2023.
While Bijan Robinson was the star of the Longhorns’ backfield, Johnson is an underrated rookie prospect. After playing quarterback in high school, Johnson became a running back during his freshman season. Despite learning the position on the fly, the star running back averaged over 5.5 yards per rushing attempt in his college career. Furthermore, he played a meaningful role in the passing game. Johnson isn’t an elite talent like Robinson. However, he has the skills needed to make an impact as a rookie. With my last pick in this mock draft, I aimed for the most upside possible.
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Mike Fanelli is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @Mike_NFL2.
Mike Fanelli is a featured contributor for FantasyPros. He is also a featured contributor for BettingPros, RotoBaller, Pro Football Network, and the Faceoff Sports Network. Mike is also the former Editor in Chief and fantasy football expert for Prime Time Sports Talk. Follow him on Twitter @Mike_NFL2 and reach out anytime for fantasy football help.Expert Consensus 2023 Dynasty Superflex Rookie Draft Rankings: Top-50 Check out all of our 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Reports & Prospect Profiles SubscribeApple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsStitcherSoundCloudiHeartRadioarchive @Mike_NFL2.Mike FanelliDerek BrownMatt BarbatoEric Hund PT, DPT