Monday, August 23, 2021

2021 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: 12 Teams, 5th Pick

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.

PPR Mock Draft: 12 Teams, 5th Pick

1.08 - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys

The offense went off the tracks when Dak Prescott sustained his season-ending injury and the offensive line injuries further impacted Elliott's production. From Weeks 6 to 17, Zeke finished as a top-12 fantasy running only twice in 10 games after doing so three times in the team's first five games. Even if Tony Pollard earns a few more touches in 2021, Elliott should rank near the top of the league in workload. In fact, only three backs had more than six games last season with at least 20 touches -- Derrick Henry (14), Dalvin Cook (11) and Elliott (11).

More: Dallas Cowboys 2021 Fantasy Football Projections

2.03 - Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons

Ridley closed the season the same way he started it -- with 100-plus yards in four of five games. Along with Davante Adams (six) and Stefon Diggs (three), Ridley was one of three receivers to finish as a top-two weekly fantasy receiver at least three times in 2020. Ridley finished last season with 90 catches on 143 targets for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns and is a top-four fantasy wide receiver in 2021 with Julio Jones in Tennessee.

3.08 - Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

Allen missed a couple of games and was limited in others, but he finished with 100 catches for the third time in four seasons despite playing with a rookie quarterback. Although just shy of the 1,000-yard mark and averaging a career-low 9.92 Y/R, Allen tied his career high (set as a rookie in 2013) with eight touchdowns. Along with Davante Adams and Diontae Johnson, Allen was just one of three receivers to get double-digit targets in 10 games in 2020.

4.03 - Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings

Thielen averaged only 61.7 YPG, but he scored 14 touchdowns in 2020. Only three receivers were targeted more often in the red zone than Thielen (19). While Justin Jefferson has moved ahead of him in the wide receiver pecking order, Thielen is a strong WR3 for this team.

5.08 - Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

It was a disappointing season for Sanders and his fantasy managers in 2020. That said,it's an easy decision to take him as my RB2 in Round 5 as I considered taking him a round earlier. I'm liking how this squad is shaping up with Elliott/Sanders at RB and the trio of Ridley/Allen/Thielen at WR.

6.03 - T.J. Hockenson, TE, Detroit Lions

Hockenson basically doubled up his rookie production with 67 catches for 723 yards and six touchdowns. Given the turnover of the wide receiver corps, Hockenson could be forced into an even higher-volume role in 2021.

7.08 - Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys

From Weeks 2 to 4 last season, Prescott threw for a minimum (yes, minimum) of 450 yards in three consecutive games with a total of 11 touchdowns (eight passing and three rushing). As noted in our Dak Prescott 2021 Fantasy Football Profile, Prescott (three) had more 450-yard passing games than the rest of the league combined (two) in 2020. During that three-game stretch before getting injured, Prescott performed as the weekly QB1, QB4 and QB1, respectively. With a talented trio of wide receivers, Prescott has tremendous upside if he can stay healthy.

8.03 - Raheem Mostert, RB, San Francisco 49ers

Missing half of the season, Mostert finished the year with 677 scrimmage yards (84.6/G) and only three touchdowns on 120 touches (15/G). While it's possible that Trey Sermon emerges as the team's top fantasy running back at some point this season, Mostert has been highly efficient with his opportunities by posting career averages of 5.6 YPC and 10.0 Y/R.

9.08 - Michael Carter, RB, New York Jets

Carter should be the 1(a) option in the backfield even if the offense deploys a committee approach this season. The rookie out of UNC averaged 8.0 YPC as a senior and finished his collegiate career with 82 receptions.

10.03 - Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo Bills

Singletary followed up his rookie season with 687 rushing yards (4.4 YPC) and two touchdowns to go along with 38 catches for 269 yards. While I would prefer Moss over Singletary, neither is much more than a flex option heading into 2021. On a positive note, however, coach Sean McDermott has praised Singletary for "really trying to master the small things that come up down in and down out. ... I've really been impressed with his attention to detail over the past few days."

More: NFL Predictions 2021: AFC East

11.08 - Tony Pollard, RB, Dallas Cowboys

Even though he played fewer than 50% of the team's offensive snaps in all but one game (Week 15, 90%), Pollard had at least eight touches in 10 of the team's final 12 games. Assuming good health for Dak Prescott and the offensive line, 8-10 weekly touches in this offense could lead to stand-alone flex value for Pollard on a weekly basis. As my RB6, Pollard would become a weekly starter if Elliott were to miss any time.

12.03 - Jalen Reagor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Selected one pick before Justin Jefferson (88/1,400/7) in the 2020 NFL Draft, Reagor's disappointing 2020 campaign (31/391/1) became even more pronounced in comparison to Jefferson's success. Durability (five missed games) and sub-par quarterback play didn't help, but Reagor's breakout potential makes him a late-round pick to target.

13.08 - Tre'quan Smith, WR, New Orleans Saints

Smith posted career numbers in receptions (34) and yards (448) in 2020. Even with Drew Brees retiring, Smith should set new career highs with Emmanuel Sanders leaving for Buffalo and Michael Thomas likely to miss the start of the season.

14.03 - 49ers DST, San Francisco 49ers

15.08 - Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens

16.03 - Trey Lance, QB, San Francisco 49ers

If Lance isn't named the Week 1 starter, fantasy managers will look to the team's bye (Week 6) as the next logical point to potentially hand the reigns over to the rookie signal-caller. Once Lance takes over, the dual-threat talent has the potential to become a weekly top-10 play and he provides some insurance for Prescott as he heads into 2021 coming off shoulder and ankle injuries.

- View Full Mock Draft Results

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