2023 FGT Fantasy Football Mock Draft – Rounds 1 & 2

By the Football Garbage Time Staff

As I mention every year, we here at Football Garbage Time are all about helping out our readers.  And the 2023 season is just around the corner in September, so we all know what that means…the FANTASY FOOTBALL season is ALSO around the corner in September!

So as everyone gets ready to root for their favorite NFL team and commit entire Sunday afternoons to eating tons of junk food and yelling at the TV screen when refs inevitably make yet another bad call on the field, some of us, including you I suspect, will be furiously tinkering with our fantasy football lineups and eventually wondering why the fantasy gods hate us when we end up losing by 0.01 fantasy points because Jalen Hurts took one too many knees at the end of the game.  Phew, that was a ridiculously long sentence.

Say what you will about whether Fantasy Football is “good” for the NFL or not.  One thing we all agree on here is that playing Fantasy Football is a lot of fun…but much more so if you’re winning.😎

So, as we do every year, we’re conducting a live Mock Fantasy Football Draft on Twitter (just check out #FGTMockDraft) for a mock PPR standard scoring Yahoo 10-team league (1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, 1 TE, 1 Non-QB FLEX, 1 K & 1 DEF) so that all of you can get some insight as to who we like for the upcoming 2023 season, and hopefully help all of you with your drafts.

This year, ten different writers & podcasters from five different sites participated, including:

Each one is taking part in a mock draft live over several weeks on Twitter, so follow along on Twitter by searching for #FGTMockDraft!  What trends and surprises did we see?

Below are the results of the first two rounds along with some comments from those who made the picks.  We also include the Expert Consensus Ranking (ECR) for PPR leagues as of July 16, 2023 as per Fantasy Pros so you can see how we differ from how other experts have ranked them for PPR leagues.

Don’t forget to also check back for our Rounds 3 & 4 Picks and our Rounds 5 & 6 Picks!

Don’t agree?  Well, it’s a free country, so sound off in the comments!

– Ha Kung Wong, Editor-In-Chief

Joanne Kong

1st Round – Pick 1 – Christian McCaffrey (RB) [Current ECR: 1]

2nd Round – Pick 20 – Tyreek Hill (WR) [Current ECR: 12]

This is what Joanne had to say about her picks:

After being traded to the 49ers mid-last year, Christian McCaffrey had one of his best seasons since 2019. Riddled with injury and averaging 353 rushing yards between 2020-2022 season on the Carolina Panthers, a healthy McCaffrey had 746 rushing yards and 6 rushing touchdowns, which doesn’t include 464 receiving yards and 4 receiving touchdowns. He finished the season with the 2nd most fantasy points, behind Austin Ekeler, with 356.36 points as a running back. Between weeks 8-17, McCaffrey averaged 20.5 fantasy points. Lost in Carolina, McCaffrey seems to have found his footing in San Francisco. If healthy, McCaffrey should see similar numbers, even with a crowded offense.

Tyreek Hill showed no decline from his move from Kansas City to Miami. Although he wasn’t missed in Kansas City, winning the Super Bowl, Hill was an integral addition to the Dolphins. Hill had the most receiving yards (1710) in his career with the Dolphins. Not to mention, setting career highs in receptions (119), and targets (170), as well as having 32 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.

According to ESPN, Hill had the second highest wide receiver fantasy points, behind Justin Jefferson, with 347.2 points.

Hill has proven himself a playmaker, with or without Patrick Mahomes and Tua Tagovailoa, making him a steal and solid pick at the end of the 2nd round.

Scott King

1st Round – Pick 2 – Patrick Mahomes (QB) [Current ECR: 36]

2nd Round – Pick 19 – Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR) [Current ECR: 22]

This is what Scott had to say about his picks:

I sat in the 2 slot for the draft, which can always be interesting because the turn is a long way away. I’ve had challenges with QB in recent years and didn’t want to take any chances. I grabbed Mahomes. I don’t see him slowing down with those weapons and Reid at the helm.

For the second round I watched a lot of targets get picked but wanted to grab a WR. I went with Amon-Ra St. Brown from the Lions. I’m a Lions fan and very hard on their players, I usually don’t draft them at all. ARSB has established himself as a very productive WR in the league. I expect the passing yards to drop this year with the lions (hopefully) not trailing as much. He’s a target monster and will get the third down looks.

Dan Thury

1st Round – Pick 3 – Justin Jefferson (WR) [Current ECR: 4]

2nd Round – Pick 18 – CeeDee Lamb (WR) [Current ECR: 17]

This is what Dan had to say about his picks:

If there’s a safe pick in fantasy football, Justin Jefferson would be in high contention for it. The NFL leader in 2022 in targets, catches, receiving yards, routes run, and red zone tgts, I’ll never have an issue adding him to my fantasy roster.

Being able to add the top WR on one of the league’s best offenses in the 2nd RD is fantastic. Lamb finished top 5 in targets last season, and Dallas just got rid of Zeke, opening up this offense to pass even more.

Dave Earl

1st Round – Pick 4 – Austin Ekeler (RB) [Current ECR: 2]

2nd Round – Pick 17 – A.J. Brown (WR) [Current ECR: 20]

This is what Dave had to say about his picks:

The Austin Eckler pick at 1.4 was truly a no-brainer as he’s been one of the top non-QB fantasy players over the last few years in PPR formats and actually surprised he made it to this pick. The running back position is typically void of top-end talent compared to the other positions and is the perfect start to this draft.

AJ Brown at pick 2.7 over players like CeeDee Lamb, who I considered here too, or Tyreek Hill was based on chemistry with Jalen Hurts and the Eagles addition of D’Andre Swift. The Eagles have a balanced offense, passing the ball 51% of the time, so the addition of Swift doesn’t scare me too much especially since he doesn’t ever play a full healthy season. In fact, having Swift on the field loosens the coverage down field for AJ Brown not that he needed anymore help to catch passes. With the potential legal issues of Tyreek Hill, Brown just made the most sense. Selecting a quarterback in the 3rd round always dependent on if a run appears to be happening at this position and seeing Justin Field go at 3.1 with the 3 top QBs already gone, Lamar Jackson or Jalen Hurts made the most sense at this pick. With the new offense being instilled that seems to be placing Lamar into a similar position as his MVP season a couple years back, he got that slight edge over Hurts at this pick.

Ryan Whitfield

1st Round – Pick 5 – Saquon Barkley (RB) [Current ECR: 3]

2nd Round – Pick 16 – Rhamondre Stevenson (RB) [Current ECR: 13]

Kaiden King

1st Round – Pick 6 – Bijan Robinson (RB) [Current ECR: 5]

2nd Round – Pick 15 – Joe Burrow (QB) [Current ECR: 59]

Will Gentile

1st Round – Pick 7 – Jonathan Taylor (RB) [Current ECR: 6]

2nd Round – Pick 14 – Cooper Kupp (WR) [Current ECR: 10]

This is what Will had to say about his picks:

I’m gambling on injury comebacks for the top two fantasy players the year before with Taylor and Kupp.

Wole Akinso

1st Round – Pick 8 – Ja’Marr Chase (WR) [Current ECR: 8]

2nd Round – Pick 13 – Nick Chubb (RB) [Current ECR: 14]

Ha Kung Wong

1st Round – Pick 9 – Travis Kelce (TE) [Current ECR: 7]

2nd Round – Pick 12 – Tony Pollard (RB) [Current ECR: 9]

This is what Ha Kung had to say about his picks:

Remember those days when drafting Antonio Gates in the 1st round of a fantasy football draft was a no brainer because he gave such a huge advantage in a really shallow position?  No because you’re not old?  That’s OK, because that’s Travis Kelce today.  Kelce finished TE1 in PPR fantasy scoring in 6 of the last 7 seasons, being TE2 in the only season he missed TE1.  Can you ask for a surer thing?  Kelce has 7 consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, and he’s averaged 8.4 touchdowns per year over that time. In 2022, he had a career-high 110 catches for 1,338 yards and 12 touchdowns.  No other TE comes close in terms of consistency or upside, so I’ll take him in the first round and laugh all the way to the bank.

Tony Pollard is one of those guys I just have a huge gut feeling about.  Playing behind an aging Zeke Elliott, Pollard still managed to finish the season as the fantasy RB7 in PPR scoring despite being outside the top 25 in touches per game.  Imagine what Pollard will be able to do with Elliott finally out of the way.  The Cowboys added Ronald Jones in free agency and drafted Deuce Vaughn, but no one will challenge Pollard for touches this season, and I predict a huge breakout.  He’s well worth a 2nd round pick, and probably a late 1st round pick as well in PPR leagues.

Adam Aniba

1st Round – Pick 10 – Josh Allen (QB) [Current ECR: 38]

2nd Round – Pick 11 – Terry McLaurin (WR) [Current ECR: 52]

This is what Adam had to say about his picks:

Josh Allen is in line to have a huge year and the Bills added another weapon to their arsenal with 1st round rookie TE Dalton Kincaid. Allen has thrown for over 4,200 yards and at least 35 TDs in each of the last three seasons. He’s also rushed for 3,087 yards and 38 TDs in his five-year career.

Terry McLaurin has recorded at least 1,000 yards receiving over the last three seasons with multiple different starting QB’s during that span. Hopes are high for ’23 with second year signal caller Sam Howell and new OC Eric Bienemy calling the plays.