The best way to become good at something is to practice. So, what should you do if you want to draft a better fantasy football team?
Practice, of course!
Leading up to the start of the 2021 NFL season, we will use the 2021 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator (powered by FantasyPros) to complete fantasy football mock drafts.
We will use a variety of scoring formats -- PPR, half-PPR, standard scoring and even 2-QB leagues, league sizes and draft slots. The goal is to give you a good representation of the team that you may be able to construct given your league settings and the rationale of why we made the picks we did.
+ Our mocks will be tracked here: Fantasy Football Mock Drafts.
That said, nothing beats practicing yourself so (check out the simulator) and complete a mock in a matter of minutes.
Half-PPR Mock Draft: 14 Teams, 12th Pick
1.12 - Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
Missing a significant chunk of time due to injury and playing at less than 100 percent when returning to the field, Ekeler averaged 5.5 yards per touch and scored only three touchdowns, both of which were career lows. With Joe Lombardi coming over from New Orleans to run the offense, however, Ekeler's immense upside as a receiver makes him a top-10 back across all formats.
More: Los Angeles Chargers 2022 NFL Mock Draft Roundup
2.03 - Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Mixon appeared in only six games in 2020 and he has now missed multiple games in three of his four NFL seasons. That said, Mixon had a minimum of 19 touches in the six games in which he appeared in 2020. Through Week 6, Mixon had more carries (119) than all running backs not named Derrick Henry (123) and was top 10 among running backs in targets (26). With Giovani Bernard now in Tampa, Mixon should be even more involved as a receiver.
More: Joe Mixon 2021 Fantasy Football Outlook
3.12 - Amari Cooper, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Cooper finished 2020 with a career-high 92 receptions for 1,114 yards and five touchdowns. It was his third consecutive 1,000-yard season and fifth of his career. In 41 games as a member of the Cowboys, Cooper has averaged 73.9 yards per game. Recovering from ankle surgery, Cooper is expected to return to practice after the Aug. 13th preseason game and play a few snaps before the regular season begins.
More: Dak Prescott 2021 Fantasy Football Outlook
4.03 - Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams
It was a relatively disappointing season for Woods and the Rams offense in general. Woods tied a career high in receptions (90), but his receiving yardage (936) and yards from scrimmage (1,091) were three-year lows. Replacing Jared Goff with Matthew Stafford generates some optimism for all of the skill-position players.
More: 10 Undervalued Players in 2021 Fantasy Football Drafts
5.12 - Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
It was a tale of two seasons for Wilson. In his first eight games, Wilson averaged 29.52 fantasy points per game and scored no fewer than 21.9. In his final eight games, he averaged only 17.08 and scored more than 21.9 only once during that span.
Despite Pete Carroll's prioritization to establish the run, Wilson has never finished worse than the QB11 (2016) and has finished as a top-six fantasy quarterback in five of the past seven seasons.
6.03 - D.J. Chark, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
Chark missed three games in 2020 and averaged 12.9 yards per game less than in 2019, but improved quarterback play with Trevor Lawrence makes Chark a bounce-back candidate for 2021. Two seasons ago, Chark had 73 catches for 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns in his age-23 season.
7.12 - Laviska Shenault, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
Shenault Jr. played only 10 snaps in Week 9 and then missed the following two games. Outside of those three games, the rookie had a minimum of three receptions in every game. Over the final five games of the season, he had 25 catches (on 36 targets) for 246 yards and four touchdowns and added six carries for 31 yards and he was the WR16 (half-PPR) over that stretch.
More: Jacksonville Jaguars 2022 NFL Mock Draft Roundup
8.03 - Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
In 2018, Williams had 10 touchdowns. In 2019, he led the NFL with 20.4 Y/R and posted his first (and only) 1,000-yard season. Not only were overall numbers (48/756/5) disappointing, but he had only four top-36 performances (half-PPR) out of his 15 games last season. That said, Lombardi said that he'd "bet on nice numbers coming from [Williams] on the stat sheet, that's for sure."
9.12 - Kenyan Drake, RB, Las Vegas Raiders
Even though Drake moves into a secondary role with his new team, there is some profit potential here in Round 9.
More: Las Vegas Raiders 2021 Fantasy Football Projections
10.03 - Latavius Murray, RB, New Orleans Saints
When both Kamara and Murray are active, Murray could flirt with stand-alone flex value -- especially during bye weeks. For any weeks that Kamara may miss, however, Murray becomes a must-start play. In the two games that Kamara missed and Murray was active, Murray had a total of 62 touches, 307 scrimmage yards and four touchdowns.
11.12 - Irv Smith, TE, Minnesota Vikings
Smith missed three games last season, but the second-year tight end set career highs in YPG (28.1), Y/R (12.2) and touchdowns (five). With Kyle Rudolph no longer on the roster, the arrow is pointing up for the third-year tight end.
12.03 - Adam Trautman, TE, New Orleans Saints
A breakout candidate set for an expanded role in year two, Trautman will be a popular sleeper pick at tight end. Not only are Jared Cook and Josh Hill no longer on the roster, but Emmanuel Sanders (82 targets) is also gone and Michael Thomas is likely to miss the start of the season following recent ankle surgery.
13.12 - Salvon Ahmed, RB, Miami Dolphins
Gaskin's six missed games opened up opportunities for Ahmed to have a few high-volume games. The UDFA exceeded 20 carries twice and had three separate games with at least 17 touches. On a relatively thin depth chart, he or Malcolm Brown will become hot waiver-wire commodities if Gaskin struggles with durability again.
14.03 - Patriots DST, New England Patriots
15.12 - Wil Lutz, K, New Orleans Saints
16.03 - Samaje Perine, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Perine averaged 6.6 YPC last season for the Bengals and he slides in as the RB2 behind Mixon with Bernard now longer on the roster. Given Mixon's durability history, Perine provides me with some insurance.
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