Underdog Fantasy Football Big Board Superflex Drafts are live and there isn’t a better place to be drafting this early in the off-season. These Best Ball tournaments are also outstanding ways to participate in low-stake mock drafts ahead of the 2023 fantasy football season. While the settings are slightly different, the drafters are savvy and provide a great early look at 2023 ADP. Compared to a typical mock filled with computer-drafted auto-selections this provides a much more accurate outlook. With that, here are the first five rounds of a recent Superflex fantasy football draft I participated in with analysis of my favorite and least favorite picks. This can serve as a fantasy football mock draft for 2023!
*Players in bold were my selections in this draft
Underdog Fantasy Football Big Board: Superflex Recap
Underdog Fantasy Football Big Board Round 1 (1-12)
- Patrick Mahomes – QB – Kansas City Chiefs
- Josh Allen – QB – Buffalo Bills
- Jalen Hurts – QB – Philadelphia Eagles
- Justin Fields – QB – Chicago Bears
- Joe Burrow – QB – Cincinnati Bengals
- Trevor Lawrence – QB – Jacksonville Jaguars
- Justin Herbert – QB – Los Angelas Chargers
- Justin Jefferson – WR – Minnesota Vikings
- Lamar Jackson – QB – Baltimore Ravens
- Dak Prescott – QB – Dallas Cowboys
- Tua Tagovailoa – QB – Miami Dolphins
- Ja’Marr Chase – WR – Cincinnati Bengals
Round 1 Takeaways
The Superflex setting clearly had a major effect with 10 quarterbacks going within the first 12 picks. These drafters were smart to lock up the position early as it tends to dry up quickly in most drafts. I would prefer to slightly overpay for a quarterback here in the first or second round rather than depend on a fringe stater later on.
Justin Fields was picked No. 4 overall which is a tad aggressive given his passing limitations last year. The rushing upside is tremendous, but he will have to improve on his No. 25 ranked Accuracy Rating (see above) for him to pay off at that ADP. Chicago also ranked dead last in pass plays per game when Fields was on the field as well (22.4). Check this article out as it breaks down why Justin Fields could make that leap and be fantasy football’s next superstar.
Lamar Jackson was my pick at No. 9, and I’m absolutely fine with his wide range of outcomes in a Best Ball tournament. The grand prize is $100,000 and finishing outside the top 2.7-percent of drafters will net you only $25. Given that most of the prize money is rewarded to those that finish in the top 1-percent, we are aiming for upside in these drafts. Lamar Jackson has QB1 overall potential with his rushing ability even if we don’t know where he is playing next year.
The worst value in this round was Tua Tagovailoa at the No. 11 spot. I understand the upside, but the end of the first round is way too early for a pocket passer with an injury history. Tagovailoa hasn’t put together a healthy season yet and was No. 9 in fantasy points per game in a perfect situation. Low-end QB1 is his absolute ceiling, and I would have preferred an elite wide receiver or running back.
Underdog Fantasy Football Big Board Round 2 (13-24)
- Christian McCaffrey – RB – San Fransisco 49ers
- Kirk Cousins – QB – Minnesota Vikings
- Travis Kelce – TE – Kansas City Chiefs
- Deshaun Watson – QB – Cleveland Browns
- Cooper Kupp – WR – Los Angelas Rams
- Tyreek Hill – WR – Miami Dolphins
- Daniel Jones – QB – New York Giants
- Stefon Diggs – WR – Buffalo Bills
- Bijan Robinson – RB – Texas (Rookie)
- A.J. Brown – WR – Philadelphia Eagles
- Saquon Barkley – RB – New York Giants
- Jonathan Taylor – RB – Indianapolis Colts
Round 2 Takeaways
The first running back off the board in this Underdog Best Ball draft was Christian McCaffrey at No. 13. This is a tremendous value, however, there are some small concerns about his fantasy outlook this season. After averaging a snap percentage over 85-percent with the Carolina Panthers, he only cleared 80-percent twice as a member of the 49ers. San Francisco boasts one of the best skill position groups in the NFL as well. Opportunity could be an issue, and McCaffrey will need to be very efficient in his opportunities to finish as the overall RB1.
49ers targets in five games with Brock Purdy + Deebo Samuel healthy:
Brandon Aiyuk: 26
Christian McCaffrey: 26
George Kittle: 21
Jauan Jennings: 15
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) April 2, 2023
My selection in the second round was Cleveland Browns’ quarterback Deshaun Watson. After a disastrous 2023 campaign where he finished with just a 72.2 Pure Passer Rating, I expect significant improvement this season. Cleveland has a talented offense, and Watson did finish as the QB5 in fantasy three years in a row from 2018-2020. Jackson and Watson pose a lot of risk but have ideal upside as back-end QB1s in a Best Ball tournament.
Underdog Fantasy Football Big Board Round 3 (25-36)
- CeeDee Lamb – WR – Dallas Cowboys
- Austin Ekeler – RB – Los Angeles Chargers
- Davante Adams – WR – Las Vegas Raiders
- Amon-Ra St. Brown – WR – Detroit Lions
- Garrett Wilson – WR – New York Jets
- Aaron Rodgers – QB – Green Bay Packers
- Geno Smith – QB – Seattle Seahawks
- Kenneth Walker – RB – Seattle Seahawks
- Jaylen Waddle – WR – Miami Dolphins
- Jared Goff – QB – Detroit Lions
- Breece Hall – RB – New York Jets
- Chris Olave – WR – New Orleans Saints
Round 3 Takeaways
CeeDee Lamb is being drafted at a bargain at WR7 (Pick No. 25). He was No. 6 in yards per reception on a 28.7-percent target share in 2023. After finally emerging from the shadow of Amari Cooper, Lamb thrived last season and was one of the best fantasy receivers in the NFL. While Brandin Cooks has been added to the receiver room this shouldn’t threaten his position in the offense.
Despite Jaylen Waddle finishing as the WR8 in 2022 he suffered from some boom and bust performances. He averaged 15.2 fantasy points per game, but that decreased to only 9.32 in games that Tua Tagovailoa didn’t play the majority of snaps. Furthermore, Waddle was only a top 25 fantasy receiver six times last season. He is certainly one of the best wide receivers in the game though as shown by his 2.81 yards per route run (No. 4 in NFL). Nonetheless, his fantasy season and this draft pick will be dependent on how healthy Tagovailoa can stay in 2023.
Breece Hall was on his way to producing one of the best rookie seasons in recent memory before tearing his ACL. He lived up to the hype finishing No. 1 in yards per touch, No. 1 in Juke Rate, and No. 2 in Breakaway Run Rate. He was one of the hardest running backs to tackle in the NFL as well, but this is too early for a back coming off an ACL injury. The Fantasy Footballers wrote an excellent article last year detailing the poor history running backs have the following season. Hall has a bright future ahead of him, however he likely won’t be himself till the latter half of the year.
Underdog Fantasy Football Big Board Round 4 (37-48)
- Derek Carr – QB – New Orleans Saints
- T.J. Hockenson – TE – Minnesota Vikings
- Rhamondre Stevenson – RB – New England Patriots
- Derrick Henry – RB – Tennessee Titans
- Russell Wilson – QB – Denver Broncos
- DK Metcalf – WR – Seattle Seahawks
- DeVonta Smith – WR – Philadelphia Eagles
- Tee Higgins – WR – Cincinnati Bengals
- Nick Chubb – RB – Cleveland Browns
- Tony Pollard – RB – Dallas Cowboys
- Mark Andrews – TE – Baltimore Ravens
- Kyler Murray – QB – Arizona Cardinals
Round 4 Takeaways
Although Rhamondre Stevenson was the RB7 in PPR leagues, he only finished in the top 15 fantasy football running backs once in his final six games. Damien Harris actually out-carried him in the final two weeks of the regular season, leaving the Patriots’ situation murky as usual. New England is also rumored to be potentially looking at a running back in the draft, leaving his RB8 price tag too rich for me.
Fantasy managers are notorious ageists, and Derrick Henry was too good a value for me to pass up in the fourth round. Nonetheless, he did show some signs of decline in the last couple of seasons. He only played in eight games in 2021 and has seen his True Yards Per Carry, yards per touch, and Juke Rate all decrease compared to 2020. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Henry finish as the overall RB1 this year, however, the wheels could fall off at any moment at 29 years old.
Metcalf is a fantastic value at pick No. 42 and could be a top 12 fantasy receiver in 2022. While he has been held back by Tyler Lockett the last few years, fantasy managers might have witnessed a changing of the guard. Metcalf out-targeted Lockett 141 to 117 on the year and saw 8.9 targets on average in his final 10 games of the season. This was capped off by an incredible effort in Seattle’s playoff loss where he had 10 receptions for 136 yards and two touchdowns as well.
Underdog Fantasy Football Big Board Round 5 (49-60)
- DeAndre Hopkins – WR – Arizona Cardinals
- Calvin Ridley – WR – Jacksonville Jaguars
- Bryce Young – QB – Alabama (Rookie)
- Josh Jacobs – RB – Las Vegas Raiders
- Travis Etienne – RB – Jacksonville Jaguars
- Deebo Samuel – WR – San Francisco 49ers
- Mike Williams – WR – Los Angeles Chargers
- Matthew Stafford – QB – Los Angeles Rams
- Amari Cooper – WR – Cleveland Browns
- DJ Moore – WR – Chicago Bears
- Christian Kirk – WR – Jacksonville Jaguars
- Trey Lance – QB – San Francisco 49ers
Round 5 Takeaways
Calvin Ridley could be a wonderful comeback story in 2023 but the fifth round is too early. He has just one top 20 PPR finish in his entire career and is being drafted again that way at 28 years old. A two year layoff is massive, and I expect Christian Kirk to continue to be the lead target in this offense.
Josh Jacobs is being criminally underrated with the No. 52 pick. He finished last season with over 2,000 all-purpose yards and nothing has changed about his role. With Jimmy Garoppolo as his quarterback and the same coaching staff, Jacobs should be one of the most heavily used backs in the league again (No. 1 in Opportunity Share in 2022).
Another player who has failed to live up to expectations, Mike Williams is being drafted at his absolute ceiling. Even though he struggled with injuries again in 2022 he was just 20th in fantasy points per game. Furthermore, Williams has ranked in the top 30 in yards per route run only once in his career. He’s more of a boom or bust WR3 than a consistent top 24 receiver this year.