Fantasy Football 2023: 0.5 PPR mock draft: New-look Jets, Patriots backfields come into focus

We had big running back news this week with Dalvin Cook signing with the Jets and Ezekiel Elliott signing with the Patriots. I wanted to see how those moves impacted all the players in their respective backfields in our latest 12-team, 0.5-PPR mock draft.

Let’s start with the Patriots, and Rhamondre Stevenson was considered a borderline second-round pick prior to Elliott’s signing. Here, he went in Round 3 at No. 32 overall, and that’s the perfect spot for him.

Even though Elliott will potentially limit the ceiling for Stevenson, he should still be the clear leader of the New England backfield. Elliott’s impact will come in short-yardage and goal-line situations, but Stevenson should still get the majority of carries and definitely dominate work in the passing game. And he’ll score his share of touchdowns as well.

Elliott was drafted in Round 10 here, and that’s a good time to take a flier on him – in the double digit rounds. I’m not planning to target Elliott in most drafts because his best days are clearly behind him.

For the Jets, Breece Hall was drafted in Round 5 here, and unfortunately that’s the right spot for him. I’m not opposed to reaching for him in Round 4, but I’m concerned he’s going to struggle this season. And it’s not completely because Cook joined the team.

The first year off an ACL tear has been difficult for running backs, and Hall was just activated off the PUP list this week. That’s a great sign, but the Jets now have the luxury to ease Hall back into action.

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Cook can help the Jets early in the season, and then Hall can hopefully be ready to dominate in the second half of the year like he did in his rookie campaign in 2022 before getting hurt. As for Cook, he was drafted in Round 7 here, which is a good time to gamble on him. Cook should have some flex appeal through the first few weeks of the season.

I didn’t draft any of these running backs, but I didn’t prioritize running back in this draft. My first four picks from the No. 12 spot were Stefon Diggs, A.J. Brown, Jerry Jeudy and Christian Watson. I wanted a heavy-receiver build, and I also wanted to see what running backs would fall to me at the Round 5-6 turn.

I was thrilled to end up with David Montgomery and Alvin Kamara, and then I drafted Khalil Herbert and Isiah Pacheco at the Round 7-8 turn. I then added three more running backs in Roschon Johnson, Zamir White and Kendre Miller, and I like the way this team came together.

I can start all four of my top receivers, and I just need two of those running backs to be quality starters. Dak Prescott is my quarterback, and Pat Freiermuth is my tight end. This should be a playoff-caliber team.

Two other teams of note worth mentioning here are JP Crichton and Jon Mount. As part of our upcoming Draft-A-Thon on Aug. 30 to raise money for St. Jude, both generously donated to take part in this mock draft. So let’s take a look at their teams.

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JP had the No. 1 overall pick and took Justin Jefferson. He then gambled on two potentially high-end running backs in Jonathan Taylor in Round 2 and Hall, and if both are right then JP could have an awesome roster.

He has Justin Herbert at quarterback and Mark Andrews at tight end, and his receiving corps is led by Jefferson, Tyler Lockett and JuJu Smith-Schuster. Along with Taylor and Hall, JP has D’Andre Swift, Antonio Gibson and Rashaad Penny at running back, so he should be OK if Taylor and Hall have any issues.

For Jon, he built his team with an incredible running back corps from the No. 2 spot with Christian McCaffrey, J.K. Dobbins, James Conner, Samaje Perine and Jamaal Williams. I love that group, and Jon still added Josh Allen at quarterback and Jaylen Waddle, Brandon Aiyuk, Marquise Brown and Brandin Cooks at receiver. Dalton Schultz is his tight end, and this should be a top-tier roster in this league.

In this league, all touchdowns are worth six points, and we award one point for every 10 yards rushing and receiving and one point for every 25 yards passing. We also award 0.5 points for every reception. We feature a starting lineup of QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE and FLEX (RB/WR/TE) with six reserves for a 14-round draft.

Our draft order is as follows:

1. JP Crichton, St. Jude donation entry 2. Jon Mount, St. Jude donation entry 3. Meron Berkson, CBS Sports HQ Producer 4. Thomas Shafer, FFT Podcast Producer 5. Heath Cummings, Senior Fantasy Writer 6. Frank Stampfl, FBT Podcast Host 7. Adam Aizer, FFT Podcast Host 8. R.J. White, Managing Editor, SportsLine and CBS Fantasy 9. Chris Towers, Senior Editor, Fantasy Sports 10. George Maselli, Fantasy Editor > 11. Daniel Schneier, Senior Fantasy Editor 12. Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer

See also  ESPN

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