Stars of Week 16

QB: Dak Prescott, DAL: 27-35, 347 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT

RB: Cam Akers, LAR: 23 carries, 118 yards, 3 TDs

WR: CeeDee Lamb, DAL: 10 catches, 120 yards, 2 TDs           

TE: TJ Hockenson, MIN: 13 catches, 109 yards, 2 TDs

The Dallas Cowboys rose to the occasion against the division leading Eagles this past Sunday, with quarterback Dak Prescott leading the way. Prescott tossed 3 TDs on his way to 347 passing yards, with the only ding being the one interception. Prescott sits as a mid-level fantasy QB1 – a good place to be. He gets the Titans in a nice matchup in week 17.

Sports gives you stories that you don’t find anywhere else. A few months ago, the Rams and running back Cam Akers appeared to be done with each other for good, with a trade or release of Akers appearing to be the next move. Fast forward two months, and Akers has not only solidified his way back onto the Rams’ roster, but has forced his way into the scouting report for 2023 fantasy drafts. Akers scorched the mail-it-in Broncos for 118 rushing yards and 3 TDs. The Rams’ resurgent RB needs to be started in all leagues for the final championship push.

Cowboys’ star WR CeeDee Lamb showed why he’s a fantasy WR1, hauling in 10 catches for 120 yards, including two of Prescott’s TD passes. With the Prescott – Lamb battery revving up, flanked by a 1-2 punch of Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott at RB, the Cowboys are set for a run at the Super Bowl.

Who knew that an intra-division trade would unlock a new level for tight end TJ Hockenson? The former Lions’ TE caught 13 passes for 109 yards and 2 TDs against the Giants. Hock fits like a glove in the Vikings’ offense, and he will push for top 3 TE draft status in 2023.

2023 Fantasy Football Mock Draft

Staying with our tradition at RealGM, with my final column of the 2022 season, I present to you my very early 2023 fantasy football mock draft. We’ll go through the first four rounds of a 12 team league with 0.5 PPR scoring. Alright, let’s get after it:

Round 1

Team 1: Justin Jefferson, WR – MIN

Team 2: Christian McCaffrey, RB – SF

Team 3: Tyreek Hill, WR – MIA

Team 4: Jonathan Taylor, RB - IND

Team 5: Saquon Barkley, RB – NYG

Team 6: Austin Ekeler, RB – LAC

Team 7: Cooper Kupp, WR – LAR

Team 8: Josh Jacobs, RB – LV

Team 9: Derrick Henry, RB – TEN

Team 10: Stefon Diggs, WR – Buf

Team 11: Ja’Marr Chase, WR – CIN

Team 12: Davante Adams, WR – LV


Justin Jefferson has emerged as such a force at WR, that no current RB displaces him at the top spot. Christian McCaffrey fits naturally in Kyle Shanahan’s offense, taking the top RB spot. Tyreek could go as high as second overall, while a bevy of RBs (Taylor, Barkley and Ekeler) fight to be the second player from the position off the board. Will be interesting to see where Jonathan Taylor ultimately goes…with the same being true for WR Cooper Kupp. Josh Jacobs has likely worked his way back into round 1, provided that the Raiders don’t muck things up and bring in someone to cut into his playing time. Derrick Henry will enter the 2023 season at age 29, which makes him a tad risky, given the position and his playing style. We end the round with three top level WRs in Diggs, Chase and Adams.

Round 2

Team 12: Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR – DET

Team 11: Dalvin Cook, RB – MIN

Team 10: Joe Mixon, RB – CIN

Team 9: Tony Pollard, RB – DAL?

Team 8: Bijan Robinson, RB - ?  *rookie

Team 7: Travis Kelce, TE – KC

Team 6: AJ Brown, WR – PHI

Team 5: CeeDee Lamb, WR – DAL

Team 4: Nick Chubb, RB - CLE

Team 3: Breece Hall, RB - NYJ

Team 2: Jaylen Waddle, WR – MIA

Team 1: Kenneth Walker, RB – SEA


Lions’ WR Amon-Ra St. Brown kicks off round 2, having established himself as a weekly high floor performer. Cook and Mixon follow as safe RB plays, with Tony Pollard sitting right behind them. Now if Zeke gets cut, or Pollard escapes to another team as the clear lead back, he could threaten round 1 status. Vaunted rookie Bijan Robinson enters the round 2 discussion prior to having an NFL team – he’s that good. Obviously he’s ripe to move up or down the board, depending on his landing spot. Tight end Travis Kelce will turn 34 years old midway through the 2023 season, so there’s some risk of a dropoff finally occurring next season. High end WRs in Brown and Lamb go next, with RBs Chubb and Breece Hall (health permitting) immediately behind them. We wrap up round 2 with the speedy Jaylen Waddle at WR, followed by the Seahawks’ Kenneth Walker, who we expect to be the unquestioned starter for the team in 2023.

Round 3

Team 1: Tee Higgins, WR – CIN

Team 2: Rhamondre Stevenson, RB – NE

Team 3: Dameon Pierce, RB – HOU

Team 4: Najee Harris, RB – PIT

Team 5: Aaron Jones, RB - GB

Team 6: Terry McLaurin, WR – WAS

Team 7: Mark Andrews, TE – BAL

Team 8: Travis Etienne, RB – JAC

Team 9: DK Metcalf, WR - SEA

Team 10: Deebo Samuel, WR – SF

Team 11: Garrett Wilson, WR – NYJ

Team 12: Chris Olave, WR – NO


The Bengals have put together a high octane offense, with Higgins becoming the team’s third skill player in the first 25 overall picks. RB Rhamondre Stevenson follows, with a higher ceiling available in the event that the Patriots move on from Damien Harris. Three more RBs follow, with the Texans’ Dameon Pierce leading the way, and Najee Harris and Aaron Jones next. WR Terry McLaurin’s value could move up if the Commanders finally improve at QB next season. TE Mark Andrews has had a down 2022 season, but he should still hover in round 3 of drafts as Lamar Jackson’s lead target. Now if the Ravens’ trade Jackson, we’ve got a different story. The Jaguars’ Travis Etienne became the guy this year, and his arrow points up as the team continues to ascend. We end round 3 with four WRs, with veterans DK Metcalf and Deebo Samuel followed by burgeoning up-and-comers Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave. The soon to be second year QBs could each push up a bit further if their respective teams have meaningful improvement at the QB position this offseason.

Round 4

Team 12: Amari Cooper, WR – CLE

Team 11: Javonte Williams, RB – DEN

Team 10: Miles Sanders, RB – PHI

Team 9: Alvin Kamara, RB – NO

Team 8: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB - ?  * rookie

Team 7: Josh Allen, QB – BUF

Team 6: Keenan Allen, WR – LAC

Team 5: Christian Kirk, WR – JAC

Team 4: Mike Evans, WR - TB

Team 3: Jalen Hurts, QB – PHI

Team 2: DJ Moore, WR – CAR

Team 1: TJ Hockenson, TE – MIN                       


You start to notice a lower ceiling for players in round 4. Amari Cooper leads off the round, with the expectation that he’ll build good chemistry with QB Deshaun Watson over the offseason. RB Javonte Williams had a high ceiling entering 2022, but his return from injury, coupled with all the problems in Broncos Country, makes his ultimate 2023 draft position a fascinating question. Fellow RBs Miles Sanders and Alvin Kamara provide high floor, lower ceiling options. Could we have a second rookie RB within the top 4 rounds? Alabama product Jahmyr Gibbs will likely be the second rusher to be selected in the NFL draft, and he’ll factor into the fantasy picture if he goes into the right situation. We move from Gibbs to the first QB to go in fantasy drafts, the Bills’ superstar Josh Allen. We see a run of solid WRs next with Allen, Kirk and Evans, with the latter’s value subject to who plays QB for the Bucs next season. Eagles’ QB Jalen Hurts becomes the second QB off the board, having established himself as a fantasy force in 2022. Don’t write off the Panthers’ DJ Moore, who despite a down 2022, has long produced strong numbers with weak QB options. We end the round with TE TJ Hockenson, who will continue to feast while opponents try to slow down Justin Jefferson.

So there you have it, a very early 2023 fantasy football mock draft. Would love to hear your thoughts!

Rapid Fire Pickups

Each week we’ll throw out potential free agent pickups from each position for deeper leagues, in each case a player 1) who has NOT been featured above, and 2) remains available in more than 50% of leagues.

QB: Brock Purdy, SF (@ LV)

RB: Tyler Allgeier, ATL (vs ARI)

RB: Zack Moss, IND (@ NYG)

WR: Jahan Dotson, WAS (vs CLE)

WR: Chris Moore, HOU (vs JAC)

TE: Tyler Conklin, NYJ (@ SEA)

Personal Note

Thank you for reading my articles on RealGM this season! This is my last writeup for the 2022 season, but I will continue to have rankings for you through week 18. I have a request of you – if you enjoy my work, I kindly ask that you consider following me on Twitter if you aren’t already. My Twitter handle is @NeemaHodjatNFL. Your support is very much appreciated.