ESPN fantasy football mock draft: A zeroQB build in a SuperFlex yields surprisingly good results


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As the preseason marches on, so do we with our mock draft series. As the remaining free agents sign and blow up backfields, players get hurt, and rookies show what they can do, ADPs, they are a-changing. I gathered some incredible analysts from all across the industry for a SuperFlex PPR Mock draft on ESPN Fantasy Football. I’ll dissect the draft into three segments: Early (1-4), Middle (5-9), and Late Rounds (10-14), analyzing the draft and discussing my evolving strategy based on the draft board.


The roster settings

  • 1 QB
  • 2 RB
  • 3 WR
  • 1 TE
  • 1 Flex
  • 1 SuperFlex
  • 5 Bench

The draft

Note: There’s a possibly cleaner version below, before the roundtable, in table form (depending on your device) 

Early Rounds

52BA06E0 FBBA 4C63 8385 043133B4E59F 4 5005 c Analysis:

The first two rounds were pretty chalky overall for a SuperFlex league; 8 of the first 12 and 12 of the first 24 picks were quarterbacks. Ladarius, Justin, and Jake zigged when the rest of us zagged — LaDarius and Jake waited until the 3rd round to snag their first QB, and Justin didn’t take one in the first four rounds at all. Geno Smith (LaDarius) and Daniel Jones (Jake) are both back-end QB1s on improving offenses, so I don’t mind the move as they both loaded up elsewhere.

Ladarius is set at WR with Ja’Marr Chase, Davante Adams, and Keenan Allen, three guys who can all finish as WR1s and two favorites to finish as THE WR1. Jake loaded up at running back with CMC at the 1.10 and Rhamondre Stevenson at the 4.03. Oddly enough, that was Stevenson’s exact draft position in our first SuperFlex mock. It looks like Jake isn’t concerned with Ezekiel Elliott’s impact on Stevenson (and neither am I).

I’m interested to see how Justin’s team shakes out. He joked in the mock chat he was going #ZeroQB, and he kept his word. Loaded would be an understatement for his start; Cooper Kupp, Saquon Barkley, and Nick Chubb can all finish at the top of their positions with relative ease, and Tee Higgins in the fourth locks up a high-end WR2 with WR1 potential to pair with Kupp. Justin will be the instant favorite in this league if he can hit quarterback late.

My Strategy:

Being SuperFlex, I knew I wanted to land one of the top eight quarterbacks in the first, and I had my choice of two quarterbacks with luscious hair and tons of upside. Trevor Lawrence is headed for a big season, but I went with Justin Herbert. I’m excited to see what he can do fully healed from the rib injury he suffered last season and with Kellen Moore at OC. I am all in on Bijan Robinson. Jake has given me a lot of flack for this pick because I also took him as the RB2 off the board in the FLEX Leagues draft. He’s a lock for 300+ carries in the run-heaviest offense in the league, will be used in the passing game, and is the best running back prospect to come out of college since Barkley (who finished as the RB2 in points per game in his rookie season). He’s got a high floor based on the volume he’ll see and has the talent to finish as the RB1.

I was not happy with the wide receiver run that started in the late 2nd round and continued through the third. I wound up with DK Metcalf as my WR1, and I’m not too excited about that. He’s fine, but more likely to finish as a high-end WR2 than in the Top 5. Quarterback dried up faster than I had hoped, too. I wanted one of Anthony Richardson or Daniel Jones as my QB2, but I’m okay with Jared Goff. His upside is limited due to the lack of rushing, but he’s got the weapons and leads a Lions offense that was Top 5 in 2022. I too, went to Jared.

Middle Rounds

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I like what Kraig did in the middle rounds. Daren Waller looks like the go-to option for Daniel Jones, and if he’s able to stay healthy can challenge Travis Kelce for TE1 overall with the volume he’ll see. After not taking a running back in the first four rounds, he needs his middle-round picks of Rachaad White and David Montgomery to hit. Both are in the middling RB2 range, but Monty is someone I like at cost. He’s going to step into the Jamaal Williams role from last year. You know, the one that saw him lead the league with 17 rushing touchdowns?

Kevin landed a ton of value here. Mark Andrews in the fifth, Chris Godwin in the seventh, and Khalil Herbert in the eighth. He’s putting the puzzle together nicely and setting himself up to take any direction he wants in the late rounds. Jorge secured himself the best wide receiver corps of the draft going four straight with Calvin Ridley, Diontae Johnson, Drake London, and Tyler Lockett to go along with the Sun God himself, Amon-Ra St Brown. He’s going with a #HeroRB build, and I love how his team is coming together.

I love the wide receiver value I see in the middle rounds of SuperFlex leagues. Diontae Johnson and DJ Moore in the sixth. Terry McLaurin, Drake London, and my two man-crushes Brandon Aiyuk and Jahan Dotson in the seventh. Tons of value and tons of upside. League winners will be found in these rounds.

My Strategy:

I hoped Darren Waller would make it to me, but I’ll happily take TJ Hockenson. He was the TE2 once he was traded to the Vikings and became the second option behind Justin Jefferson. He also had the third most red zone targets for tight ends with 18. I wasn’t looking to go running back heavy, but I could not pass up the value of Breece Hall in the sixth and Cam Akers in the seventh. Before the Dalvin Cook signing, Hall was going around the third or fourth. I took him in our previous SuperFlex mock in the third round before the signing. While Cook limits Hall’s ceiling of a Top 5 RB this season, I expect both to produce as high-end RB2s and will gladly take him at this cost.

After ignoring wide receiver for most of the draft, I went back-to-back in the eighth and ninth with Mike Williams and Jordan Addison. I don’t go out of my way to get QB/WR stacks, but I got one in one of my favorite offenses this year with Herbie/Williams. I hesitated to take Jordan Addison because I already had Hockenson, but he’s one of my favorite mid-round targets. The Vikings lost Adam Thielen this offseason and had the third most pass attempts in 2022. There will be plenty to go around in Minnesota.

Late Rounds

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I don’t know if I have the grapefruits to attempt the #ZeroQB strategy like Justin did, but man he nailed it. He took Kenny Pickett in the middle rounds and just pounded quarterback in rounds 10 through 12 with Kyler Murray, Bryce Young, and Ryan Tannehill. He’s got serviceable starters until Kyler Murray is healthy, and once he is, Justin is set at QB. He gets the gold star this mock for my favorite team.

Troy and Joey had the best late rounds, however. They both got guys with high upside who have a chance to be very involved in their offenses. I love every single one of Troy’s picks here: Jeff Wilson Jr, Gabe Davis, Kadarius Toney, Rashod Bateman, and De’Von Achane can all be difference makers. Joey got a pair of running backs in Samaje Perine and Zach Charbonnet that will have stand alone value regardless of sharing their respective backfields, and potential to be studs if they end up with the lions share carries.

What a great segue to the pair of Lions Joey drafted with his last two picks, Jameson Williams and Sam LaPorta. Williams is someone I’m looking to stash on the end of my benches for that late season and fantasy playoff push. While traditionally rookie tight ends don’t produce for fantasy, LaPorta could be the exception to that rule. Especially while Jamo is out, LaPorta could see a lot of involvement in the Lions high powered offense early in his career.

My Strategy:

I continued to take what the board gave me in running back value, adding Antonio Gibson and Damien Harris to an already-loaded running back corps. I’m taking a third quarterback in SuperFlex 99% of the time. They are too important to risk not having a starter due to injury, on bye weeks, or ineffectiveness from one of your first two choices.

Here’s how my team shook out

QB – Justin Herbert, Jared Goff, CJ Stroud

RB – Bijan Robinson, Breece Hall, Cam Akers, Antonio Gibson, Damien Harris

WR – DK Metcalf, Mike Williams, Jordan Addison, Elijah Moore, Puka Nakua

TE – TJ Hockenson

I couldn’t be happier with how my team turned out at quarterback, running back, and tight end. I am concerned about my wide receivers but I wouldn’t have done anything differently. I took what the board gave me, and the value that kept dropping to me was running backs. This team is a contender if I can hit on one of my middle and late-round picks in Addison, Elijah Moore, and Puka Nakua. (Note: take Puka late in all your drafts, thank me later).

Tell me what you think in the comments. Who had the best draft? Who was the biggest reach? Sound off on the mock and drop any questions you may have. You can always hit me up on Twitter @GMenJay as well. See you on another time.

Full Draft Board

2023 ESPN SuperFlex mock draft

Round Troy King Kevin Coleman Auto Draft LaDarius Brown Kraig Reuth Jorge Martin Justin Henry Joshua Cho Joey Wright Jake Ciely Jay Felicio Pierre Wilson



Mahomes KC, QB

Josh Allen Buf, QB

Justin Jefferson Min, WR

Ja’Marr Chase Cin, WR

Jalen Hurts Phi, QB

Lamar Jackson Bal, QB

Cooper Kupp LAR, WR

Justin Fields Chi, QB

Joe Burrow Cin, QB

Christian McCaffrey SF, RB

Justin Herbert LAC, QB

Trevor Lawrence Jax, QB



Stefon Diggs Buf, WR

CeeDee Lamb Dal, WR

Kirk Cousins Min, QB

Davante Adams LV, WR

Tua Tagovailoa Mia, QB

Austin Ekeler LAC, RB

Saquon Barkley NYG, RB

Dak Prescott Dal, QB

Deshaun Watson Cle, QB

Travis Kelce KC, TE

Bijan Robinson Atl, RB

Tyreek Hill Mia, WR



Garrett Wilson NYJ, WR

Anthony Richardson Ind, QB

Derrick Henry Ten, RB

Geno Smith Sea, QB

A.J. Brown Phi, WR

Amon-Ra St. Brown Det, WR

Nick Chubb Cle, RB

Tony Pollard Dal, RB

Jaylen Waddle Mia, WR

Daniel Jones NYG, QB

DK Metcalf Sea, WR

Jonathan Taylor Ind, RB



Joe Mixon Cin, RB

Travis Etienne Jr. Jax, RB

Chris Olave NO, WR

Keenan Allen LAC, WR

DeVonta Smith Phi, WR

Matthew Stafford LAR, QB

Tee Higgins Cin, WR

Josh Jacobs LV, RB

Jahmyr Gibbs Det, RB

Rhamondre Stevenson NE, RB

Jared Goff Det, QB

Aaron Rodgers NYJ, QB



Najee Harris Pit, RB

Mark Andrews Bal, TE

Russell Wilson Den, QB

Aaron Jones GB, RB

Darren Waller NYG, TE

Calvin Ridley Jax, WR

Alvin Kamara NO, RB

Amari Cooper Cle, WR

Dameon Pierce Hou, RB

DeAndre Hopkins Ten, WR

T.J. Hockenson Min, TE

Christian Watson GB, WR



Marquise Brown Ari, WR

Kenneth Walker III Sea, RB

Miles Sanders Car, RB

Jerry Jeudy Den, WR

Rachaad White TB, RB

Diontae Johnson Pit, WR

Deebo Samuel SF, WR

James Conner Ari, RB

DJ Moore Chi, WR

Jordan Love GB, QB

Breece Hall NYJ, RB

Kyle Pitts Atl, TE



Derek Carr NO, QB

Chris Godwin TB, WR

Mike Evans TB, WR

Alexander Mattison Min, RB

Terry McLaurin Wsh, WR

Drake London Atl, WR

Brandon Aiyuk SF, WR

George Kittle SF, TE

Jahan Dotson Wsh, WR

J.K. Dobbins Bal, RB

Cam Akers LAR, RB

James Cook Buf, RB



Evan Engram Jax, TE

Khalil Herbert Chi, RB

George Pickens Pit, WR

Dallas Goedert Phi, TE

David Montgomery Det, RB

Tyler Lockett Sea, WR

Kenny Pickett Pit, QB

Dalvin Cook NYJ, RB

Javonte Williams Den, RB

Michael Pittman Jr. Ind, WR

Mike Williams LAC, WR

Christian Kirk Jax, WR



Isiah Pacheco KC, RB

Treylon Burks Ten, WR

Pat Freiermuth Pit, TE

D’Andre Swift Phi, RB

Cole Kmet Chi, TE

Brian Robinson Jr. Wsh, RB

Michael Thomas NO, WR

Brandin Cooks Dal, WR

David Njoku Cle, TE

Courtland Sutton Den, WR

Jordan Addison Min, WR

Jaxon Smith-Njigba Sea, WR



Jeff Wilson Jr. Mia, RB

Zay Flowers Bal, WR

Jakobi Meyers LV, WR

Rondale Moore Ari, WR

Brock Purdy SF, QB

Rashaad Penny Phi, RB

Kyler Murray Ari, QB

JuJu Smith-Schuster NE, WR

Samaje Perine Den, RB

Skyy Moore KC, WR

Antonio Gibson Wsh, RB

AJ Dillon GB, RB



Gabe Davis Buf, WR

Quentin Johnston LAC, WR

Dalton Schultz Hou, TE

Jamaal Williams NO, RB

Jerick McKinnon KC, RB

Odell Beckham Jr. Bal, WR

Bryce Young Car, QB

Mac Jones NE, QB

Zach Charbonnet Sea, RB

Sam Howell Wsh, QB

C.J. Stroud Hou, QB

Jimmy Garoppolo LV, QB



Kadarius Toney KC, WR

Devin Singletary Hou, RB

Darnell Mooney Chi, WR

DJ Chark Jr. Car, WR

Adam Thielen Car, WR

Baker Mayfield TB, QB

Ryan Tannehill Ten, QB

Nico Collins Hou, WR

Desmond Ridder Atl, QB

Ezekiel Elliott NE, RB

Elijah Moore Cle, WR

Dalton Kincaid Buf, TE



Rashod Bateman Bal, WR

Parris Campbell NYG, WR

Michael Gallup Dal, WR

Greg Dulcich Den, TE

Elijah Mitchell SF, RB

Tyler Higbee LAR, TE

Gerald Everett LAC, TE

Jonathan Mingo Car, WR

Jameson Williams Det, WR

Allen Lazard NYJ, WR

Damien Harris Buf, RB

K.J. Osborn Min, WR



De’Von Achane Mia, RB

Gus Edwards Bal, RB

Tyler Boyd Cin, WR

M. Valdes-Scantling KC, WR

Jaylen Warren Pit, RB

Juwan Johnson NO, TE

Kenneth Gainwell Phi, RB

Chigoziem Okonkwo Ten, TE

Sam LaPorta Det, TE

Raheem Mostert Mia, RB

Puka Nacua LAR, WR

Romeo Doubs GB, WR

Link to DraftBoard

SuperFlex Mock Draft 8/17/23

Roundtable Questions

1. “If your draft was a dish or a type of cuisine, what would it be and why?”

Martin – Oh, it’s a taco with carne asada sizzling off the grill and a salsa that’s hot right off the bat, to match getting Lamar Jackson/Austin Ekeler at 1/2 picks. Caliente!

Brown – My draft was a nice pepperoni and sausage pizza because my team was built slice by slice with some quality meat on each slice.

Coleman – My draft can be categorized as a Soufflé. It has a solid base with standouts like Josh Allen, CeeDee Lamb, and Mark Andrews but there is a ton of risk at the top of the dish. If the pieces hit it’s a league winning team or a disaster.

Cho – A medium-rare ribeye steak – My team is beefed up with RBs and Cook(s)ed to perfection.

Wright – A good chicken pot pie. Safe. I know what I am getting and just dripping with gravy.

Ciely – Chicken and waffles — we know they’re individually great, but sound a bit strange combined. However, once you try it, you discover how delicious they are together — though, it’s not something you would want to order every time.

King – My team is like a a spicy burrito because my team is consistent, hardy, and explosive.

2. What’s your take on rostering three quarterbacks in a Superflex league? How does it affect your bench depth?

Coleman – This depends entirely on roster size. I don’t think the third quarterback is necessary in this league with only five bench spots. While others are grabbing their third quarterback, you can add some quality depth pieces at the running back and wide receiver positions.

Wright – If I have two of my top twelve QBs, which I do have in this league, I’m reluctant to use another pick on anyone inside of my top 24 unless the value is too good to pass up.

Cho – Rostering three QBs in SuperFlex is a MUST for me as it increases the value of the position. I like to start by securing two top QBs if I can and grab a third serviceable starting QB later in the draft. Make sure to check bye weeks. The whole point is to have two QBs starting every week for your team! For depth, I’d rather have three QBs than two TEs. I’ve even taken four QBs in leagues with deeper benches.

Ciely – If possible, I aim to come away with three to cover the byes and especially, if there is an injury. It won’t be 100% of the time due to drafts differing, value and that four teams won’t have a guaranteed starter after the draft (in 12-team leagues).

King – I feel that having three quarterbacks is a necessity due to the fact that injuries are unpredictable and it’s important to have that insurance. I feel comfortable sacrificing a bench spot for another QB, same as in a standard 1 QB league you would want to roster multiple running backs and wide receivers.

3. Looking back at your draft, what’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone looking to optimize their strategy?

Martin – Don’t wait on QB in SuperFlex. If you can get an elite one, do it. You need to grab at least 1 QB with the first 2 picks, because if you’re chasing QB at the draft, you’ll be doing it all season. Not fun.

Brown – The best piece of advice would be is flexibility. We all have a strategy entering a draft but be willing to shift away as a quality player could fall to you at a spot that goes against said strategy. Don’t avoid a player just because it’s not in your strategy. It could make a difference between winning and losing your division.

Coleman – There is value in the running back position this season. With so many managers targeting wide receivers early and often, you can wait on the running back position until the 4th and get a potential RB1. In this draft, I was able to draft Travis Eitenne Jr. in the late 1st as my first running back off the board.

4. What’s the best movie you’ve seen this year?

Martin – AIR was awesome. I lived that Jordan era, and it was so cool to see behind the curtain as to how it all came together. Viola Davis, wow!

Wright – My favorite film of the year remains Ari Aster’s comedic horror thriller, Beau Is Afraid.

Brown – I haven’t been to the theaters this year but really wanna see what this Barbieheimer is all about.

Coleman – Oppenheimer. As a former history teacher and as someone who loves all things involving the subject, it was the perfect movie. Christopher Nolan did a fantastic job turning the movie into a cinematic masterpiece.

Cho – I watched The Super Mario Bros. Movie with my wife and two young children. It was a great mix of nostalgia for me and so much fun seeing my kids enjoy it, too!

Ciely – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mutant Mayhem. They nailed the perfect TMNT movie with an interesting twist and some surprises (don’t want to give too much away). And, this is coming from someone who saw all the big movies from GotG3 to Spider-Man to Indiana Jones to Oppenheimer. TMNT was a perfect movie.

King – Spider-Man Across the Spiderverse. The storyline and animation in that movie was amazing. Highly recommended

Felicio – TMNT: Mutant Mayhem. It’s the first movie my son and I have gone to just us, and it was phenomenal. The callbacks and easter eggs didn’t just feel like fan service. A fresh take on the turtles for a new generation of fans with a great story. You can tell Seth Rogen grew up watching and playing TMNT shows and games.

(Top photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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