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Dynasty Startup Mock Draft: FantasyPros Writers (2023 Fantasy Football)

Some of the FantasyPros writers got involved in a dynasty mock draft. As part of this exercise, we wanted to bring you insight into some of the writers’ strategies in terms of how they approached the draft, did they need to pivot, and whether they would change anything after the fact.

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2023 Dynasty Mock Draft: FantasyPros Writers

Here’s a look at the board.
(To see it more clearly, click on the picture.)

Q1- What was your strategy going into the draft from a team-building experience?

The strategy for the first few rounds was to make sure that I had building blocks at RB/QB/WR that were both young and could help me compete currently. I did not plan on taking as many rookies as I did, just the way the draft board fell and where I felt the value was at each pick.
-Jesse Garcia (@jesse628) Draft Spot: 3rd

I wanted to go Hero RB in the 1st round and stack him with high-floor WRs with solid upside, a top-5 QB, and a solid TE with recent production. I also did not plan on drafting many rookies, focusing more on players currently in the NFL with a proven track record to build a team in win-now mode.
-Bobby Van Pelt (@bobbyvanpelt9) Draft Spot: 4th

I wanted to build a young team with players in their second or third year that showed promise. I avoided rookies and older veterans early in this draft. I usually take advantage of the value you get from older players, but this time I wanted to go young with high upside.
-Gary Zamarripa (@garyzamFF) Draft Spot: 9th

To build a young team that could both develop and contend (to some degree) simultaneously. The plan was to create the team around some sure-fire RBs and then fill the rest of the roster with young pass catchers.
-Seth Fisher (@sethfisher27): Draft Spot 6th

I went into the draft with an open game plan as I was picking 11th in the first round. After seeing six running backs get picked in the eight spots before my selection, I went with a Hero-WR strategy. Cooper Kupp was my first-round pick. I didn’t draft another wide receiver until the seventh round, instead loading up on running backs and other positions.
-Mike Fanelli (@Mike_NFL2): Draft Spot 11th

I normally like the balanced build, exiting the first several rounds with at least one stud RB and WR. I feel like I achieved that in KW3 and Diggs, and I have promising young talent in Drake London. Getting a young QB in a single QB format of Lawrence’s caliber settled QB for me until late, something I like. Getting QB out of the way frees me up to build out the rest of my roster.
-Garrett Ball (@GarrettBFF): Draft Spot 10th

I wanted to go with the best player available in the early rounds, focusing on players with youth and upside. I was expecting there to be WAY more veterans available later, so when there weren’t, I ended up with a build of players whose situations should improve in the next year or so.
-Kelly Kirby (@thewonkypenguin): Draft Spot 8th

I wanted to go with the best player available; however, my main goal was to draft at least two receivers in the first three rounds as I felt the drop off from the top tier of WRs to the middle tier is far more drastic than that of the RB tiers or TE tiers (other than Travis Kelce of course). I tried to build a team that had some young depth for the future while also ensuring I have the greatest chances of winning the league in the next few years before a potential trade of my top guys to enter a year’s rebuild.
-Josh Thiessen (@joshthiessen14): Draft Spot 1st

I wanted an anchor at each position and then build a deep receiver roster, and hope to get some value at RB later on.
-Adam Murfet (@murf_nfl): Draft Spot 2nd

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Q2- If you had to pivot from your strategy during the draft, what caused you to and why?

I think I ended up with more rookies than I would have initially liked, but overall I think I stuck to my strategy well. I think there was a quicker run on running backs than I expected, which left me reaching for some potential rookie RB lottery tickets.
-Jesse Garcia (@jesse628) Draft Spot: 3rd

I thought I was able to stick to my plan for the most part. I drafted Christian McCaffrey at 1.04 and surrounded him with Tee Higgins, Garrett Wilson, Michael Pittman, Brandon Aiyuk, and Christian Kirk – all WRs with proven QB play, enough talent to produce despite QB play, or on teams in position to improve their QB play over the off-season. I also drafted Lamar Jackson as the 7th QB off the board, nabbed Dalton Schultz in the 9th round, and took a flier on David Montgomery as my RB2, with his situation potentially changing due to him being a free agent.
-Bobby Van Pelt (@bobbyvanpelt9) Draft Spot: 4th

The flow of the draft went with my strategy pretty well. A lot of the veterans were selected before my pick, so I was able to snag Olave and Waddle over established by older players. My plan was to wait on QB and then draft a few options and play the odds one works out and has a big season.
-Gary Zamarripa (@garyzamFF) Draft Spot: 9th

I think I stuck to my strategy pretty well. I was lucky to have players fall to me that were both productive and timeline fits.
-Seth Fisher (@sethfisher27): Draft Spot 6th

I planned to draft my second wide receiver in the sixth round after grabbing three running backs and Joe Burrow. However, I couldn’t pass up the chance to draft George Kittle. The star tight end had 11 receiving touchdowns in 15 games last year, a career-high.
-Mike Fanelli (@Mike_NFL2): Draft Spot 11th

When the seventh round came, I wanted to go running back, but Rachaad White and Isiah Pacheco went just before my pick. I thought I needed a running back, I didn’t want to reach for one. I looked at WR, and Mike Williams stood out to me. He’s tied to Herbert and could be the top target in LA if Keenan Allen is cut. Even if he keeps his boom/bust ways, he is my WR4, and I can live with that.
-Garrett Ball (@GarrettBFF): Draft Spot 10th

I had considered pairing Hurts with Brown in the third and then had to move to Herbert instead. Other than that, I ended up with a ton of youth because there were very few veterans I wanted to reach for at their ADP. A lot of RBs that I wasn’t interested in were drafted in rounds 3-6, and instead of just forcing one of them into my lineup, I nabbed three WR and Hockenson (who is only 25).
-Kelly Kirby (@thewonkypenguin): Draft Spot 8th

My strategy entering the draft was not to grab a QB so early, but when Mahomes fell into my lap at the 2-3 turn, I couldn’t resist, especially with the massive falloff there is in the QB market after what I consider to be the top 5 QBs. I was also looking to grab one of Shultz or Goedert in the middle of the draft, but the players that made it back to me were enticing, such as Sanders and James Connor as my RB3 and RB4. My team is very deep now, and I would be less worried than other teams about bye weeks and injuries with much depth at each position.
-Josh Thiessen (@joshthiessen14): Draft Spot 1st

I actually stuck to my strategy to a tee. I feel I am an RB short, but on the whole, I’m happy with the results.
-Adam Murfet (@murf_nfl): Draft Spot 2nd

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Q3- What is your overall assessment of the team you have built and your chances to win in the next couple of years with it?

I believe the team could contend in the second year of a hypothetical league. I believe there are some assets that could be packaged together in trades to benefit the team down the line and keep the team competitive. There are definitely some wildcards and potential future player movement that could impact the value of players like Michael Thomas or Antonio Gibson, which could drastically change the bench and depth of the team.
-Jesse Garcia (@jesse628) Draft Spot: 3rd

I believe my team would definitely be a current contender in the hypothetical league. I drafted a mix of young players with high potential and veterans that have been fantasy football staples for years and got some values late in the draft, such as Darius Slayton in the 17th round and Derek Carr in the 19th round. One glaring need on my team is the resulting RB situation after CMC, with the rest of my group being David Montgomery, Elijah Mitchell, Jamaal Williams, Chuba Hubbard, and Tyjae Spears. With the team being in win-now mode in my eyes, I could use my future 1st/2nd round picks to increase my chances of success in the present.
-Bobby Van Pelt (@bobbyvanpelt9) Draft Spot: 4th

I like the overall build, but I would need some luck for some things to fall into place to make this work. An overall young team with upside. Not as much of a win now, but could play out well in long term.
-Gary Zamarripa (@garyzamFF) Draft Spot: 9th

I think this is a team that’s about a year away from being a playoff staple. It’s appealing in both the short and long terms with some exciting players and prospects. I’d bank on the squad being a contender in just a couple of years’ time. The chances of a championship would only increase season after season.
-Seth Fisher (@sethfisher27): Draft Spot 6th

Overall, I’m happy with my team. I believe it has a balanced combination of win-now players and guys with upside for the future. The only player I drafted that is 30 years or older was Tyler Lockett in the late ninth round. Despite his age, the veteran has finished the year as a top-15 wide receiver in four straight seasons.
-Mike Fanelli (@Mike_NFL2): Draft Spot 11th

I’m set at QB and WR, both are solid. But I need help at RB for sure. That would be my main focus for improvement. Use my WR depth to trade for an RB and build up some depth. It has the potential to compete if the chips fall right, but the team could use some pieces.
-Garrett Ball (@GarrettBFF): Draft Spot 10th

I don’t anticipate contending for a couple of years unless all the rookies hit right and Cook/Dillon/Mattison do what I think they might. I love my WR corps but will definitely have to move pieces to contend sooner. I did not want to miss out on the top of the current QB group, so I was very happy to have Herbert heading into the future.
-Kelly Kirby (@thewonkypenguin): Draft Spot 8th

I believe I will have the best team for at least the next five years with a core of Mahomes, Pierce, Jefferson, and Adams. My team is so loaded depth-wise, with Russell Wilson as my QB2 and guys like Ertz as my TE2, that if my team were to be middle of the pack or on the outside looking in, I would have enough trade value in my depth to get me into the championship regardless.
-Josh Thiessen (@joshthiessen14): Draft Spot 1st

I believe with some RB luck off the waiver wire, this is a playoff contender year one. It might need some trades to strengthen some parts, but if Pitts lives up to his potential, we are in a good foundation spot to take a run at a title.
-Adam Murfet (@murf_nfl): Draft Spot 2nd

2023 Fantasy Football Best Ball Draft Advice

Q4- What would you have done differently if you got to start all over again and why?

If I could restart the draft, I would likely avoid drafting a quarterback as early as I did. Although Jalen Hurts will provide me a lot of value, it really put me behind when the running backs started flying off the board. I think I have a lot of potential with a few of the rookies on the roster, but their immediate success determines the fate of the entire roster.
-Jesse Garcia (@jesse628) Draft Spot: 3rd

If I could restart the draft, one thing I would potentially do differently is increase the number of rookies on my team. I passed up players such as Jordan Addison, Devon Achane, Zach Evans, and Tank Bigsby for the likes of Brandon Aiyuk and David Montgomery. Although Aiyuk and Montgomery are solid players, taking risks on high-level rookies can increase the ceiling of your team if they hit in their rookie or sophomore year – rather than take the proven floor players that you know don’t have much potential to grow more at this point in their careers.
-Bobby Van Pelt (@bobbyvanpelt9) Draft Spot: 4th

In hindsight, I didn’t end up with enough RBs, and I’m counting on Kareem Hunt to land somewhere productive in free agency and for Isiah Pacheco to keep the starting RB job in KC. Also counting on Dobbins to stay healthy. A lot of ifs. There was a big group of reliable RBs I could have taken instead of Mark Andrews in the fourth round.
-Gary Zamarripa (@garyzamFF) Draft Spot: 9th

As talented as he is, I would’ve avoided drafting Kyler. While he fits the timeline, it’s unknown how he’ll recover from his injury. I absolutely should have opted for Tua instead of Toney in the 10th as a more secure backup plan. Three young QBs in a 1QB league is a bit extreme, but the uncertainty surrounding Kyler makes that strategy somewhat acceptable.
-Seth Fisher (@sethfisher27): Draft Spot 6th

There isn’t any one thing I would want to change about my team. Unfortunately, I got sniped a few times throughout the draft. However, that’s how it goes sometimes.
-Mike Fanelli (@Mike_NFL2): Draft Spot 11th

Though I love the long-term prospects of Lawrence and think he’s in for a long successful career, if I had to do it over, I would have seen if I could wait a round to draft him. Picking up a solid RB2 (or projected RB2) in Jacobs, Gibbs, or Pollard and then drafting Lawrence or a similar QB would have helped fill the RB need I have with the current roster while still giving me a young, promising QB.
-Garrett Ball (@GarrettBFF): Draft Spot 10th

I would have taken Pacheco over Cook in Round 7, but otherwise, I like the potential of the group I ended up with.
-Kelly Kirby (@thewonkypenguin): Draft Spot 8th

The only potential switch-up looking back is the fact I don’t have a star RB other than some extremely consistent backs. So maybe taking a guy like Mixon or Chubb or Harris instead of Adams; however, I still think them going at the beginning of the 3rd round would have been too early for me to take them.
-Josh Thiessen (@joshthiessen14): Draft Spot 1st

Gone RB maybe 1 round earlier.
-Adam Murfet (@murf_nfl): Draft Spot 2nd

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