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.
Non-PPR Mock Draft: 12 Teams, 6th Pick
One year after leading the NFL in touchdowns (19, 2019), Jones averaged a career-high 5.89 yards per touch for the league's top-scoring offense. Through four NFL seasons, Jones has averaged at least 5.5 yards per carry in three of them. Even though he missed two games and scored eight fewer touchdowns in 2020, he has finished as a top-five fantasy running back in consecutive seasons.
Kelce extended his 1,000-yard streak to five seasons and broke the single-season receiving yardage record (1,416) for tight ends in the process. In fact, he set career highs across the board (105/1,416/11) in his age-31 campaign. Kelce ended the regular season with eight consecutive games with at least seven catches. Based on non-ppr scoring (like in this mock), only two wide receivers (Davante Adams and teammate Tyreek Hill) scored more fantasy points than Kelce in 2020.
While the team's quarterback play hasn't done him many favors, McLaurin managed to set career highs with 87 catches and 1,118 yards in his second season. While his Y/R dipped to 12.9 from 15.8, he set career highs in YPG (74.5) and catch rate (64.9%). Even though WFT didn't draft a QB in April, signing Ryan Fitzpatrick in free agency boosts McLaurin's outlook and puts him squarely in the WR1 (top 12) mix.
Jones missed nearly half of the season, but he finished with at least 94 yards in five of his nine games played in 2020. Averaging 85.7 YPG last year, Jones was still on a full-season pace of 1,371 yards. Before last season, he had a minimum of 1,394 yards in six consecutive seasons. As Jones transitions to Tennessee's run-first, Derrick Henry-centric offense, his per-game numbers are certain to drop. That said, he's still a high-end WR2.
It's not a surprise that Jackson's year-over-year numbers dipped following his elite 2019 MVP season. Jackson threw 10 fewer touchdowns in 2020 and threw for 208 yards or less in 12 of 15 games. Even so, his real fantasy success comes from his rushing ability and he has now rushed for 1,000-plus yards in back-to-back seasons.
Over the final five weeks of the season, Jackson averaged only 161.8 passing yards per game, but he threw 11 touchdowns and rushed for 430 yards and four more scores. During that span, he averaged a massive 27.67 fantasy points per game.
6.07 - Javonte Williams, RB, Denver Broncos
Even though he was the third back off the board in the 2021 NFL Draft, some teams viewed Williams as "best back in the draft." With the Broncos moving up to get in front of the Dolphins to select Williams, it's likely that he emerges as the team's lead back sooner rather than later. The 20-year-old back is a tackle-breaking machine.
Year 1 in Carolina was generally a success for Anderson, who set career highs in targets (136), receptions (95) and yards (1,096). On the other hand, he set a career low in Y/R (11.5) and his three touchdowns were a career low outside of his rookie season. Getting off to a great start, Anderson had 74-plus yards in six of his first seven games with all three of his 100-yard games during that span. Beyond that point, however, he reached 74 yards in only two of nine games and averaged nearly 40 YPG less over the final nine-game span (91.4 YPG in first 7G vs. 50.7 in final 9G). The free-agency departure of Curtis Samuel could help Anderson improve upon his 2020 numbers.
Joining the Cardinals on a one-year deal, Conner will steal some early-down carries from Chase Edmonds and could potentially be in a fairly even split. If he can stay healthy and earn a larger role, there is plenty of upside for Conner as well (as Edmonds).
In his four NFL seasons, Williams has averaged 736.5 scrimmage yards, 155.5 touches and 30.5 receptions per season with the Packers. While he remains his team's RB2 (to D'Andre Swift instead of Aaron Jones), Williams should get 8-10 touches per game even with both Swift and Williams healthy. And there is some concern about Swift's Week 1 availability based on comments from Dan Campbell.
Since he played a full 16-game season, his overall numbers (58/769/8) improved last season. Brown's catch rate (58.0%) and yards per target (7.7) dropped in 2020 from his rookie season of 64.8% and 8.2 Y/T, respectively. With Baltimore bolstering its receiving corps with Sammy Watkins and Rashod Bateman, that adds another threat to his consistency, but I'll still have him ranked as the team's WR1.
11.06 - Elijah Moore, WR, New York Jets
Mostly aligning in the slot at Mississippi, Moore, the 34th-overall pick this year, broke A.J. Brown's single-season reception record last season. It would make sense for the Jets to part ways with Jamison Crowder, but Moore has the potential to excel both inside and out.
Callaway has generated some training camp buzz and has the potential to be the team's most productive receiver for as long as Michael Thomas (ankle) is out. Either way, he's an upside sleeper pick in the double-digit rounds.
Fun watching Marquez Callaway really take ownership of being the top dog at receiver right now. Playing with so much confidence.— Luke Johnson (@ByLukeJohnson) August 6, 2021
Williams is a high-upside handcuff for Clyde Edwards-Helaire. If CEH were to miss any time, Williams would immediately become an RB2 in Kansas City's high-powered offense.
15.06 - Colts DST, Indianapolis Colts
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