2023 Dynasty Mock Draft: How High Does Bijan Robinson Go?

    With player values shifting following the NFL Draft, let's take a look at the first few rounds of a new 2023 dynasty mock draft.

    2023 Dynasty Mock Draft: How High Does Bijan Robinson Go?

    The 2023 NFL Draft is now behind us. A whole new crop of rookies have entered the league, shifting the fantasy football landscape once again. Just like after the initial free agency flurry, this is a great time to conduct another dynasty mock draft.

    This mock will be for a 1QB, non-TE premium PPR dynasty startup. For those interested in Superflex, don’t worry, more mocks are coming. For now, you can head on over to our dynasty Superflex rankings.

    2023 Dynasty Mock Draft | Round 1

    1.01) Justin Jefferson, WR, Minnesota Vikings

    Redraft and dynasty aren’t always aligned. But in 2023, I feel they might be.

    While running backs’ time at the top is often limited, we’ve seen the truly elite receivers maintain top-five status for several years in a row.

    Justin Jefferson averaged 22.6 fantasy points per game last season, finishing as the overall WR1. He has both the highest floor and the highest ceiling. At just 24 years old, Jefferson has another 7-10 years of sheer dominance ahead of him and is my choice for the first overall pick in dynasty startup drafts.

    1.02) Ja’Marr Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

    Right up there with Jefferson is Ja’Marr Chase. The Bengal is a year younger, but we have yet to see Chase’s ceiling. As good as he is, he’s still getting better.

    Chase just averaged 20 ppg last season, and he’s tethered to Joe Burrow for almost certainly the duration of his relevant career. If you want to go Chase over Jefferson, I wouldn’t argue.

    1.03) Bijan Robinson, RB, Atlanta Falcons

    It would’ve been very difficult for Bijan Robinson to not land somewhere he would instantly become my dynasty RB1. I still endorse building dynasty rosters around wide receivers. Look no further than D’Andre Swift for an example of how quickly RB values can plummet. But the rest of the elite wideouts are in their late 20s or early 30s.

    In a rookie class with no sure things, Robinson is a sure thing. He’s the best running back prospect since Saquon Barkley and the only one in this class destined for a three-down role.

    MORE: 2023 Dynasty Rookie Rankings 

    Atlanta coaches can posture all they want about Tyler Allgeier remaining an important part of this offense. If they thought Allgeier was good enough, they wouldn’t have spent a top-10 pick on Robinson.

    At 21 years old, Robinson is poised to be an elite RB1 from the moment he steps on the field in September. He should be the first running back off the board in dynasty startup drafts.

    1.04) CeeDee Lamb, WR, Dallas Cowboys

    After a brief respite, we now return to our regularly scheduled programming of building around wide receivers. If you want to go RB here, I get it. I’m just far more confident in CeeDee Lamb than any of the running backs. He’s also significantly younger than his redraft contemporaries at wide receiver. Lamb may not be the best WR available, but he’s the best combination of age and production available.

    At 24 years old, Lamb will be a WR1 for the next half-decade. He’s tethered to a top-10 quarterback in Dak Prescott on one of the best offenses in football. He also is the clear target leader, coming off a season where he saw a 28.7% target share.

    Lamb may not give you the best production this season, but he gets the edge due to his age.

    1.05) Breece Hall, RB, New York Jets

    The closer we get to the season without any bad news on Breece Hall‘s knee, the more confident dynasty managers should be about him. Hall was going to finish as a top-12 running back on a bad Jets offense en route to winning Offensive Rookie of the Year.

    The more I thought about it, the less sense it made to downgrade Hall in dynasty based on the possibility he struggles a bit over the first half of his age-22 season. Even if we don’t get elite RB1 Hall until 2024, he’ll still be just 23 years old.

    Ultimately, I fully trust in his body’s ability to heal itself back to 100% rather quickly. Hall is poised to be a top-five running back for the rest of the decade.

    1.06) Christian McCaffrey, RB, San Francisco 49ers

    It’s dangerous taking a 27-year-old running back with a checkered injury history this early in a dynasty draft. But Christian McCaffrey remains the surest thing in fantasy at the RB position when healthy.

    As we saw last season, we can’t predict injury. Of course, McCaffrey is probably going to miss games. But given his skill set, he can remain an elite running back for two or three more years, and then continue to be moderately effective at age 30 or 31.

    McCaffrey was the overall RB2 last year, averaging 22.2 ppg with the San Francisco 49ers against 19.7 with the Carolina Panthers. There’s plenty left in the tank.

    If the elite wide receivers were younger, I would be championing them. But with the top remaining WRs all at least two years older than McCaffrey, just give me McCaffrey.

    1.07) Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts

    Jonathan Taylor averaged 13.3 ppg as one of the biggest first-overall pick busts in fantasy history last season. But he’s too talented, has too good of a role, and is too young to pass up here.

    At 24 years old and just a year removed from an overall RB1 season, there’s no reason to think Taylor can’t bounce back. Anthony Richardson may open the season behind Gardner Minshew, but history has shown us that won’t last long.

    While Minshew is a massive upgrade over the QB play the Colts got last season, Richardson would add a whole new element of dynamism to this offense. JT should return to the ranks of the elite in short order.

    1.08) Tyreek Hill, WR, Miami Dolphins

    Many dynasty managers preach “youth, youth, youth” when it comes to startups. I’m not one of those guys. I want elite production.

    At 29 years old, Tyreek Hill has shown no signs of slowing down. The age at which wide receivers typically fall off is 32. In fact, Hill said he intends to retire after his contract expires following his age-32 season.

    MORE: FREE NFL Mock Draft Simulator With Trades

    Hill averaged 21.4 ppg last season, just 0.5 ppg short of the best season of his career. He was the overall WR2. I would much prefer three years of 20+ ppg over eight years of 15-17 ppg.

    1.09) Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers

    Hill started the run of what will be a series of older but still elite players. Austin Ekeler is going to be 28 years old this season but hasn’t shown a single sign of decline.

    Similar to McCaffrey, Ekeler’s skill set is one that ages well. He’s tethered to Justin Herbert and just got an offensive coordinator upgrade in Kellen Moore.

    As long as you, like me, believe Ekeler can average 20 ppg for another 2-3 seasons, the logic behind the Hill pick applies. Two or three more seasons of elite RB1 production vs. lower production for a longer period of time? Once again, I’ll always side with the elite production.

    1.10) Stefon Diggs, WR, Buffalo Bills

    There’s not much of a difference between Hill and Stefon Diggs. In fact, you can probably shuffle the last three players in this mock in any order you’d like. The entire process behind drafting Hill applies to Diggs — I just happen to think Hill is a little bit better of a player.

    Diggs is also 29 years old and has shown no signs of decline. The primary difference between him and Hill is we could get more years of production out of Diggs, as he has a skill set that should enable him to play well into his early 30s — but it likely won’t be quite as good.

    Now, that’s not to say Diggs will be far off from Hill. It’s just that Hill can be at 20 ppg, and Diggs is probably more in the 18-19 ppg range. In 2022, Diggs averaged 18.6 ppg and remains the WR1 for the second-best QB in football.

    No need to overthink it. Diggs is a sure thing.

    1.11) Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

    We’re going to see the elite quarterbacks come off the board earlier in redraft this season. In dynasty, there’s even more incentive to lock up a guy like Patrick Mahomes.

    While the opportunity cost of taking a quarterback is a wide receiver or a running back, once you get someone like Mahomes, you never have to think about it again. That’s over a decade of the QB position not being a concern.

    What’s more likely? You find WR1s or RB1s over the next 3-5 years, or you find an every-year guaranteed top-five QB? Mahomes has never averaged lower than 20.7 ppg nor finished lower than QB6.

    There’s definitely a ton of promise in this year’s trio of rookies — Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, and Richardson — but do you see perennial top-five fantasy quarterback in any of them? I don’t. The gap between the haves and the have-not quarterbacks is only widening, making a guy like Mahomes more valuable than in years past.

    1.12) Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills

    Ditto for Josh Allen. There’s really not much of a difference between Allen and Mahomes in terms of process. In fact, Allen has actually been the better fantasy asset.

    Over the past three seasons, he’s been the best quarterback in fantasy. Last season, his 24.3 ppg was good for a QB3 finish. But make no mistake about it — Allen’s combination of prolific passing and power running gives him upside like no QB we’ve ever seen.

    The process behind taking Mahomes applies here. Take whichever guy you prefer. It’s splitting hairs. Either way, your quarterback position is solved for many, many years.

    2023 Dynasty Mock Draft | Round 2

    2.01) Garrett Wilson, WR, New York Jets

    Garrett Wilson averaged 12.7 ppg last season, but he averaged 17.3 ppg with quarterbacks not named Zach Wilson. Essentially, give Wilson anyone with a different last name than him, and he’ll be a WR1.

    In my previous mocks, I had Wilson behind the older, still elite receivers on the theory they’d be better than him for the next few years. Well, Wilson now has Aaron Rodgers for the next year or two. That’s more than enough to bridge the gap.

    By the time Rodgers is done, even if Wilson’s production regresses with a worse quarterback, the older receivers will also be done. That vaults the 23-year-old Wilson ahead of them in dynasty startup drafts.

    2.02) Chris Olave, WR, New Orleans Saints

    I’m all in. All in! Chris Olave has become my dude, and I fully believe in him ascending to the ranks of the elite within the next two seasons.

    Previously, I had Olave ahead of Wilson. As you can see, I’ve since flipped them. It may happen again in the future. The point is, you want one of these guys anchoring your dynasty WR corps.

    MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Fantasy Football Winners and Losers

    Olave actually has a bit more QB certainty than Wilson. Rodgers is definitely done after the 2024 season, at the latest. Meanwhile, Derek Carr is just 32 years old. It’s entirely plausible Carr is good enough to be Olave’s quarterback for pretty much the entirety of Olave’s career.

    Olave averaged 13.2 ppg and produced a 1,000-yard season with Andy Dalton and Jameis Winston at quarterback. Carr has proven capable of producing an elite WR1. It’s only a matter of time before Olave gets there.

    2.03) Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, Detroit Lions

    Entering the 2022 season, the consensus wasn’t sure whether Amon-Ra St. Brown was for real. Was his scorching close to his rookie season due to his talent? Or was it a product of everyone else falling apart around him?

    Being the only game in town helped, but 2022 proved St. Brown is an elite talent. He looks like Cooper Kupp lite. And that is why I’ve since vaulted him ahead of Kupp.

    Even with Jared Goff, St. Brown having a Kupp-esque season is within his range of outcomes. This Lions’ offense is going to score a lot of points, and St. Brown is the unquestioned top target.

    Goff may very well be Detroit’s answer at quarterback. He’s better than he gets credit for and certainly capable of sustaining St. Brown’s production. And if he’s not, the Lions have Hendon Hooker waiting in the wings.

    I’m not sure why anyone would prefer A.J. Brown or Jaylen Waddle to St. Brown. The Lions receiver is two years younger than Brown with similar production and a year younger than Waddle with better production. There’s a pretty sizable gap for me.

    2.04) Jalen Hurts, QB, Philadelphia Eagles

    The only reason Jalen Hurts is lagging a bit behind Mahomes and Allen is because they’re more established. That’s it.

    It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if, at this point next year, Hurts is right there with them as the big three of dynasty.

    Hurts was the overall QB1 last season, averaging 26.8 ppg. He was always an elite rusher, but his massive leap forward as a passer truly elevated him to new heights. We have every reason to believe this is sustainable. One more year of it, and any concerns about Hurts not being a truly elite QB will be firmly put to bed. For me, they already have.

    2.05) Davante Adams, WR, Las Vegas Raiders

    After what Davante Adams did against the San Francisco 49ers’ elite defense with Jarrett Stidham, I’m confident in calling him QB-proof. Going from Derek Carr to Jimmy Garoppolo is a lateral move. Adams will be just fine.

    Last year, he finished as the overall WR3, averaging 20.2 ppg. Adams may be 30 years old but has shown exactly zero signs of decline. I think he’s got at least two more elite seasons in him.

    Additionally, the more I think about it, the more confident I am in Adams’ QB situation than Kupp’s. Even though a healthy Kupp with a healthy Matthew Stafford is the best fantasy asset in existence, I’m not so sure we have more than a single year left of that. And I’m very worried about Kupp without Stafford.

    I’m sure some people are also wondering where A.J. Brown is. Well, I’d rather have 2-3 years of 20 ppg from Adams over 4-5 years of 16-18 ppg from Brown.

    2.06) Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants

    This has been very wide receiver and even quarterback-heavy so far. But the running backs are coming.

    Last season, Saquon Barkley averaged 17.8 ppg and finished as the overall RB2. But he was the worst-scoring overall RB2 in the history of fantasy football. (Okay, I actually only checked back to 2000, but did anything really exist before 2000?)

    Nevertheless, Barkley’s explosiveness returned last season, and the Giants’ offense is improving. At 26 years old, Barkley should remain an RB1 for three or four more years. You don’t need to think beyond that anyway.

    2.07) Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams

    Cooper Kupp is easily the most challenging player to figure out for dynasty. He’ll be 30 years old this season and coming off a serious ankle injury. As I alluded to above, I’m also concerned about how reliant he is on quality QB play.

    The theory behind Kupp is simple. If he and Stafford are healthy (and not retiring), Kupp is the best WR in fantasy. In nine games last season, he averaged 22.4 ppg, which included a game without Stafford, where he scored 2.9 points before getting hurt.

    If you could guarantee me three more years of Kupp with Stafford, I’d have Kupp in the middle of the first round. But part of dynasty is making predictions about player longevity. And I don’t see Stafford hanging around for that long. Thus, Kupp takes a bit of a dip to the middle of Round 2.

    2.08) Travis Etienne Jr., RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

    Don’t let the 12.3 ppg fool you, Travis Etienne Jr. was a monster in his first full NFL season. Etienne recorded four weeks with RB1 finishes, and he was used as a three-down back in every game from Week 7 onward.

    Trevor Lawrence is on his way to becoming an elite quarterback, and the Jaguars’ offense is still improving. At just 24 years old, Etienne should be an RB1 for the next half-decade.

    The only real addition the Jaguars made to their backfield was third-rounder Tank Bigsby. That moves the needle on Etienne downward exactly zero. Sign me up.

    2.09) Tony Pollard, RB, Dallas Cowboys

    The Cowboys were never going to enter the season with just Tony Pollard and Malik Davis at running back. But the team cut Ezekiel Elliott, didn’t immediately sign a veteran, and didn’t draft a running back on either of the first two days of the draft.

    So far, they’ve signed Ronald Jones and drafted Deuce Vaughn in the sixth round. What more does the team need to do to prove its commitment to Pollard?

    Pollard is 26 years old and just averaged 16 ppg last season, finishing as the overall RB8. He did that on a 51% snap share.

    I fully expect the Cowboys to lock Pollard up as their RB of the future, giving him at least another three years of this type of production. And the thing is, 2022 feels like Pollard’s floor. His snap share may not increase by much, but as the lead back, he should be able to get to at least 60%.

    Dynamic in both the run and the pass, Pollard has legitimate overall RB1 upside in his range of outcomes. In fact, this selection may end up looking too low.

    2.10) A.J. Brown, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

    Okay, fine. It’s time to draft A.J. Brown. Can you tell I’m not really enamored with him as a fantasy asset?

    I like Brown. Don’t get me wrong. He’s just not as good as the elite guys, and I don’t think he’ll ever get there. How much better can Brown do than a 29% target share and 11 touchdowns? Yet, he only averaged 17.6 ppg.

    I’m not trying to dismiss 17.6 ppg as anything other than impressive. Those are WR1 numbers. I just don’t see 20 points per game in Brown’s realistic range of outcomes — at least not consistently. He may get there for a season, maybe two, but Brown won’t be there every season like Jefferson, Hill, and Adams. And I think the perception is that Brown’s on the precipice of becoming that type of guy.

    DeVonta Smith is really good at football. If he flat-out outscored AJB one of these years, I wouldn’t be shocked.

    At 26 years old and tethered to Hurts, I’d love to have Brown. The price just has to be right, and this is where I’m willing to pay.

    2.11) Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

    I get the concerns. He’s 34 years old. How much longer can this keep going?

    But we’ve seen elite tight ends play at a high level into their mid-30s. So even if Travis Kelce only has two years left, is that not worth a top-24 dynasty pick?

    Kelce is a cheat code at the TE position. Sure, his snap share may be declining, but his production isn’t.

    MORE: Dynasty Rankings 2023 — Top Fantasy Options at Tight End

    The Chiefs don’t have a wide receiver of consequence on the roster. Somehow, their wide receiver corps projects to be even worse than last season. JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman are gone. And Kansas City merely drafted the very suspect Rashee Rice in the third round.

    Kelce is once again going to lead this team in targets. He’s an elite WR1 eligible at tight end and the biggest edge in fantasy football. I will take two more years of that and chase a championship right out of the gate.

    2.12) Jaylen Waddle, WR, Miami Dolphins

    The reason I waited so long to say Jaylen Waddle‘s name is the production. I feel like the entirety of his lofty dynasty value stems from his age.

    Waddle is just 24 years old and has a lot of football ahead of him. He’s also the clear WR2 on his team, and that likely won’t change for another couple of years.

    Waddle averaged 15.4 and 15.2 ppg, respectively, in his first two seasons. How much better is that going to get while Hill is still around? My answer: not much.

    Perhaps Waddle has 18-points-per-game upside, but I’m not sure he does. If he does, I don’t think Waddle can reach it absent an outlier touchdown total or Hill falling off. And I don’t think Hill falls off until at least 2026.

    This is where Waddle has to go, but I’m not taking him over older, more productive players.

    Round 3

    3.01) DeVonta Smith, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
    3.02) Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
    3.03) DK Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks
    3.04) Tee Higgins, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
    3.05) Mark Andrews, TE, Baltimore Ravens
    3.06) Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders
    3.07) Najee Harris, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
    3.08) Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Detroit Lions
    3.10) D’Andre Swift, RB Philadelphia Eagles
    3.11) Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, New England Patriots
    3.12) Kenneth Walker III, RB, Seattle Seahawks
    3.12) Drake London, WR, Atlanta Falcons

    Round 4

    4.01) Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns
    4.02) Kyle Pitts, TE, Atlanta Falcons
    4.03) Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers
    4.04) Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens
    4.05) Justin Fields, QB, Chicago Bears
    4.06) Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Seattle Seahawks
    4.07) Jerry Jeudy, WR, Denver Broncos
    4.08) Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings
    4.09) Michael Pittman Jr., WR, Indianapolis Colts
    4.10) Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    4.11) Justin Herbert, QB, Los Angeles Chargers
    4.12) Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars

    Jason Katz is a fantasy football analyst for Pro Football Network. You can read all of Jason’s work here and follow him on Twitter: @jasonkatz13.

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