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Fantasy football mock draft for 10-team online auction PPR league in 2023 NFL season

Here are the results of one mock draft in a 10-team PPR auction league.

Los Angeles Chargers Training Camp
Keenan Allen of the Los Angeles Chargers catches a pass and runs during training camp at Jack Hammett Sports Complex on August 5, 2023 in Costa Mesa, California.
Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Auction drafts have started to gain popularity over the last few years, as the salary cap structure allows managers to target any player they like without being hindered by draft order. The auction format can be seen as a more accurate representation of skill, although that might not always be the case.

As fantasy football draft season really starts to heat up, here’s a look at how a 10-team auction PPR mock draft played out.

2023 Fantasy football mock draft review: Auction 10-team PPR

Auction rules

The salary cap is $200. This league has 16 roster spots and starts 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX, 1 D/ST and 1 K. ESPN, and most online auction formats, automatically slot at least $1 for each position and adjust your maximum bid based on that. This means that while you may have enough money to bid on a player, you wouldn’t be able to fill out a roster if you bid that high. In offline auctions, you can blow your entire $200 purse on one, seven or 12 players but in online auctions, you must select a full 16-player roster.

You can roster up to four quarterbacks, eight running backs, eight receivers, three tight ends, three D/ST and three kickers.

Strategy

While there’s no ideal strategy when going into an auction draft, you generally want to spend some decent money early while leaving enough in the later rounds to round out your roster with solid players. After blowing most of my cash in the first four picks of the 12-team PPR auction mock draft, I decided to play it a bit safer this time around and not completely break the bank early.

How the auction played out

Christian McCaffrey was the first player nominated and he went for $75. Ja’Marr Chase was second, and went to the same manager who snagged McCaffrey for $69. Josh Allen was the first quarterback nominated and went for a whopping $58, although I suspect this manager had something come up and couldn’t complete the draft. Justin Fields was the second quarterback nominated overall.

Jonathan Taylor and Josh Jacobs were nominated quite early. Taylor went for $38 and Jacobs went for $30, which is about where they have been priced given their current situations.

After holding out for 12 picks, I paid for Stefon Diggs and Derrick Henry with back-to-back selections. I picked up three players from picks 13-18 and didn’t spend more than $48 for any of them. After 25 overall picks, I had four players and still had $39 left over for a max bid of $28. After adding a fifth player, my max bid was $7. This allowed me to grab some value plays later on which I couldn’t do in the 12-team mock.

One manager had the full $200 purse until picks 32 and 33 (Travis Etienne and Joe Mixon). Both went in the $30-35 range. I waited on tight end in this draft since there are only 10 teams, and that helped me on price point. Travis Kelce went for $60, while Mark Andrews was the second tight end off the board for $20. I grabbed Dalton Schultz for $1 late.

While it may seem like a good idea to wait to spend your money, it’s important to not wait too long. One manager was left with $51 at the end of the auction. This person ended up with Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow, while the top running backs were Rachaad White, Cam Akers, James Cook and Alexander Mattison. Trading one of Mahomes or Burrow to upgrade the running back group is a given here, but now you need to get someone else to play ball and part with a top running back. That’s always a risky proposition in a 10-team league.

Best picks

Keenan Allen ($22) - The health concerns surrounding Allen are overblown. Out of 98 possible contests in the last six season, he has played in 88. Last season’s hamstring injury was frustrating, but Allen is a target monster. He was eight yards shy of having five straight 1,000-yard seasons, and three receptions shy of having five straight 100-reception seasons. At this price, he’s an excellent value.

Aaron Jones ($23) - This was an absolute steal. Jones has some health risk and AJ Dillon is getting more touches, but the veteran has topped 50 receptions in each of the last two seasons. The touchdown numbers are not fun, but the overall volume is encouraging. The Packers are surely going to run the ball more to ease Jordan Love into the game, which means more opportunities for Jones to rack up fantasy points.

Khalil Herbert ($5) - There were flashes from Herbert last season as the No. 2 running back in Chicago’s offense. Now, he’s the unquestioned lead at the position and should have plenty of touches in what figures to be a solid offense. An injury in the middle of last season stifled his numbers but Herbert is one of the players primed to break out this year. Saving some money early allowed me to grab him late.

CeeDee Lamb ($44) - Lamb was never an afterthought in the Cowboys offense, and he’s been steadily developing as a player. However, last season was a glimpse of what we should expect from him as the true No. 1 target. Lamb had 107 receptions as a direct result of his increase in targets, and that ratio is unlikely to change even as Dallas changes offensive coordinators.

Worst picks

Gabe Davis ($1) - It’s only a dollar, so it’s not a big mistake. And having some insurance for Diggs is not the worst thing in the world. However, this is a case of not being locked in late in the draft. I kind of just let the computer pick whoever was queued up as the best available player instead of actually looking through and picking a player I wanted. Everyone was left with $1 max bids, so I could’ve taken anyone. This is your reminder to stay present when you go through the real thing.

Derrick Henry ($46) - Henry does lose some value in PPR formats, although he did start catching some passes last year. However, his insane rushing volume makes up for it. Henry was the No. 3 running back in standard leagues last year, and he finished No. 4 in PPR leagues. I could’ve spent more to grab a more PPR-friendly running back like Austin Ekeler and downgraded at receiver, but getting Jones at excellent value does mitigate this a bit.

Final thoughts

It’s a 10-team league, so there’s not really going to be any awful team. There are places I can upgrade later in the season, most notably at tight end. Dak Prescott was selected to create a stack with Lamb, although the changes in Dallas’ offense could mean a quarterback switch is needed. I have plenty of depth at running back and receiver with some good upside plays, although I could’ve diversified more instead of latching onto the same teams.

Full mock draft results

QB - Dak Prescott ($1)

RB1- Derrick Henry ($46)

RB2 - Aaron Jones ($23)

WR1 - Stefon Diggs ($48)

WR2- CeeDee Lamb ($44)

TE - Dalton Schultz ($1)

FLEX - Keenan Allen ($22)

D/ST - Packers ($1)

K - Harrison Butker ($1)

Bench

RB Khalil Herbert ($5)

WR Brandon Aiyuk ($3)

RB D’Andre Swift ($1)

RB Kenneth Gainwell ($1)

WR Gabe Davis ($1)

RB Zach Charbonnet ($1)

WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($1)