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: 14 Teams, 3rd Pick
If there's a concern with Henry, it's his relative lack of involvement in the passing game. That said, Henry more than compensates for his smaller role as a receiver with his dominant rushing production. Not only is he the back-to-back rushing champion coming off a 2,000-yard campaign, but Henry has led the league in rushing touchdowns in each of the past two seasons with 33 rushing scores in 31 games.
No running back scored more fantasy points in non-PPR formats, but Henry also finished second in half-PPR and third in (full) PPR as well.
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 mix.
Swift was much more involved in the second half of the season as he finished his rookie campaign with 114/521/8 (4.6 YPC) rushing and 46/357/2 (7.8 Y/R) receiving. Swift had three-plus catches in 12 of 13 games and his ability as a receiver gives him the upside to crack the top-10 fantasy running backs in 2021.
The Ravens have had a 1,000-yard rusher in back-to-back seasons. Unfortunately (for the team's running backs), that player is quarterback Lamar Jackson. For a team that loves to run the ball, however, Dobbins offers plenty of profit potential as a mid-RB2 type. Dobbins could potentially be a steal if Harbaugh follows through on a "main offensive point of emphasis" this offseason, which is to get the RBs more involved in the passing game.
5.03 - 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.
Averaging a career-high 76.7 YPG, Cooks finished his first season in Houston with 81 catches for 1,150 yards and six touchdowns. From Week 5 on, Cooks had at least 59 yards in 10 of 11 games. During that 11-game span, he averaged 6.5 catches and 92 yards per game.
Given Deshaun Watson's uncertain status as we approach the 2021 season, it's reasonable to project lower year-over-year numbers for Cooks, even with Will Fuller now in Miami. At the same time, he should be the recipient of as many targets as he can handle.
The reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, Herbert had at least 300 passing yards and/or multiple touchdowns in 13 of his 15 starts as a rookie. Even with a new coaching staff in place for the upcoming season, the second-year quarterback should benefit from a more normal offseason as he enters the season already entrenched as the starter. Not to mention, the offense should be more QB-friendly in 2021. It wouldn't surprise me if he makes a sophomore leap that catapults him into the top five or so QBs.
It was a down year (59/843/5) for Gallup, who averaged 26.4 fewer yards per game than he did in 2019. Of course, the offense as a whole struggled without Dak Prescott and Gallup had 50-plus yards in four of five games with Prescott and in only three-of-11 games without him.
The Raiders plan to use Drake in a variety of ways including at receiver. As my RB4 in Round 9, Drake is worth the risk this late.
The third-year tight end posted career highs across the board with 53 receptions, 703 yards and six touchdowns. Miami's pass-catching additions put a damper on Gesicki's 2021 outlook, but there is value at the 138th pick (TE13).
Given that I waited so long to draft a tight end, I decided to double-up with Smith here. Smith missed three games last season, but he 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.
As a rookie, Ruggs was used more as a decoy than a focal point of the offense and finished with a 26/452/2 line (17.4 Y/R). Ruggs added some weight in the offseason and the coaching staff has talked him up. He's worth a flier in Round 12.
Sustaining his season-ending knee injury in Week 11, the only quarterback to throw more pass attempts than Burrow (404, 36.7/G) through that point in the season was Tom Brady (433, 36.1/G). Burrow should rank near the top of the NFL in pass attempts in 2021. That volume gives Burrow plenty of upside as the QB15 in this mock.
14.12 - Colts DST, Indianapolis Colts
After an injury-plagued rookie season, Campbell, a second-round pick in 2019, played only two snaps in Week 2 prior to a PCL injury that ended his 2020 season. Before the injury, he had 6/71 on nine targets and a nine-yard rush attempt in Week 1 last season. If he can stay healthy, he should challenge T.Y. Hilton and Michael Pittman as the team's most productive fantasy receiver.
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