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, 12th Pick
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.
2.01 - Najee Harris, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
The all-time career rushing leader in Alabama history, Harris rushed for 1,466 yards and 26 touchdowns and added 43 receptions for 425 yards and four more scores last season. With few holes in his game, Harris will step in as a Week 1 workhorse. Given the team's propensity to feature its lead back, Harris has the chance to outperform his ADP.
With a healthy Dak Prescott, Lamb began his NFL career with two 100-yard games and a minimum of 59 yards in each of his first five games. During that five-game span, Lamb scored the 11th-most fantasy points (Amari Cooper was 12th) and only five other receivers had more receiving yards (433). Based on his skill set, Lamb should eventually emerge as the 1(a) for the Cowboys to Cooper's 1(b) ... potentially as early this year. Prescott recently said that his "expectations are super-high" for Lamb, whom he described as "a special playmaker that we're privileged to have and he'll be big-time and definitely have a breakout season."
Few teams want to "establish the run" more than the Seahawks so returning to Seattle on a two-year deal was Carson's ideal landing spot. Even though the Seahawks let Russell Wilson "cook" in the first half of the year, Carson performed as a weekly fantasy RB13 or better in four of the team's five games before their Week 6 bye. In fact, he was a top-five performer from Weeks 1 to 5. Coming out of the bye, Carson sustained a foot injury in Week 7 that kept him out of several games. Carson's physical running style lends itself to a greater propensity to get banged up, but he will likely be undervalued in fantasy drafts this summer.
From Week 2 until Week 11 (Joe Burrow's knee injury), Higgins scored the 19th-most fantasy points (half-PPR scoring) amongst wide receivers. With the Bengals drafting Ja'Marr Chase over Penei Sewell, it took some steam out of Higgins' opportunity to build upon his strong rookie season. On the other hand, A.J. Green and his 104 targets (6.5/G) are no longer on the roster.
Claypool scored 11 touchdowns -- nine receiving and two rushing -- in the regular season and added two more receiving scores in the team's playoff loss to Cleveland. Re-signing JuJu Smith-Schuster to a one-year deal puts a dent into Mapletron's upside in year two, but it wouldn't surprise me if he was the team's top-producing wideout in 2021.
Year 1 in Carolina was generally a success for Anderson, who set career highs in targets (136), receptions (95) and yards (1,096). He has plenty of upside as a WR4 for this team.
Foot and hamstring injuries (plus the COVID-19 list) limited Samuel to only seven games in 2020. Samuel played only one snap (his final snap of 2020) against WFT in Week 14, but he had 65-plus yards in each of the final four games in which he appeared before that. Due to his physical playing style, he's always a threat to miss time, but he's a viable WR3 in the weeks that he's on the field.
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 Zack Moss over Singletary, he provides some depth for byes and in case of injuries.
Despite playing fewer than 50% of the team's offensive snaps every week except for the game Ezekiel Elliott missed (Week 15, 90%), Pollard had at least eight touches in 10 of the team's final 12 games. Excluding his one start, Pollard averaged nine touches over his final 11 games in which he was on the field for less than half of the team's offensive snaps. 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.
Thomas was the only tight end in the league to have a minimum of four targets in every game last season. While he was consistent throughout the season, he was especially productive down the stretch.
From Weeks 6 to 17, Thomas had 58 receptions (third-most among TEs), 564 yards (third-most) and five touchdowns (tied fifth-most).
12.01 - Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
Sustaining his season-ending knee injury in Week 11, the only quarterback to throw more pass attempts than Burrow (404, 40.4/G) through that point in the season was Tom Brady (433, 39.4/G). Burrow should rank near the top of the NFL in pass attempts in 2021. That volume makes last year's No. 1 overall pick a worthy back-end QB1 in drafts this summer.
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.
14.01 - Washington DST, Washington Football Team
15.12 - 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. Not only is Lance making a big jump from the FCS level to the NFL, but North Dakota State played only one game in 2020. Once Lance takes over, however, the dual-threat talent has the potential to be a weekly QB1 (top 12).
More of our content:
- 2022 NFL Mock Draft
- 2023 NFL Mock Draft
- Fantasy Football Mock Drafts
- Fantasy Football Rankings
- Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule
- Fantasy Football ADP
- NFL Power Rankings