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: 12 Teams, 2nd Pick
Once again, Cook has missed multiple games, but he set career highs in touches (356), yards from scrimmage (1,918) and touchdowns (17) and scored the third-most fantasy points (half-PPR) among running backs. The clear lead back in one of the league's most run-heavy offenses, Cook averaged a career-high 5.0 YPC and has a minimum of 40 catches in each of the past three seasons.
Jefferson exceeded all expectations in his inaugural season with 88 catches for a rookie-record 1,400 yards and seven touchdowns. Not only did the former LSU Tiger have seven 100-yard games, but he had double-digit targets in five of his final six games after doing so in only two of his first 10 games. Going forward, Jefferson should be the 1(a) to Adam Thielen's 1(b) in Minnesota's passing offense.
The only thing that can slow Kittle down is injury. Missing exactly half of the 2020 season, Kittle had 48/634/2 in eight games, which is comparable to a 96/1,268/4 (16-game) pace. Meanwhile, Kittle had 85/1,053/5 in 2019 and 88/1,377/5 in 2018.
4.11 - Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings
With Cook and Jefferson already on this roster, I'd generally prefer to not start with three of my first four picks being on the same NFL team. Even so, Thielen was my top-rated player available and I don't intentionally go out of my way to avoid players from the same franchise. 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 Kupp averaged a career-high 6.1 receptions per game, he set career lows with 10.6 Y/R and only three touchdowns. The upgrade at quarterback to Matthew Stafford should provide a boost to Kupp and the offense overall.
The former fourth-round pick has averaged 4.4 yards per carry and 7.2 yards per reception over his first three NFL seasons. Meanwhile, coach Kliff Kingsbury has said that Edmonds has "played at a starting running back level" when given the opportunity. With Kenyan Drake out and James Conner in, Edmonds has an opportunity to perform as a back-end RB2 in 2021.
Down the stretch in their Super Bowl run, the Buccaneers relied on Fournette as their lead back. In four playoff games, Fournette totalled 448 scrimmage yards and four total touchdowns on his 82 touches including 18 receptions. Going into 2021, Fournette should continue his role as the team's RB1.
Following up his breakout 2019 campaign, Parker disappointed fantasy managers with nearly 20 fewer yards per game and less than half as many touchdowns compared to the previous season. While Tua Tagovailoa should improve in his second season, the addition of Will Fuller V and Jaylen Waddle, the sixth overall pick in 2021, to a defensive-minded team means that Parker's 2020 numbers (63/793/4) should be considered more of his baseline than his 2019 numbers (72/1,202/9).
9.02 - Kenyan Drake, RB, Las Vegas Raiders
Josh Jacobs and Drake combined for a total of 570 touches last season as lead backs of their respective teams and that combined number will (obviously!) drop significantly. The Raiders plan to use Drake in a variety of ways including at receiver, so I'm comfortable taking Drake in Round 9 as my RB4.
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 appeared in 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.
Given that Malcolm Brown signed with the Dolphins, it's Cam Akers-Henderson as the team's 1-2 punch. As opposed to last year's three-headed attack for parts of the season, Henderson will have some stand-alone value even with Akers as the primary back as I noted in our Darrell Henderson fantasy football outlook.
12.11 - Matthew Stafford, QB, Los Angeles Rams
Battling a laundry list of injuries, Stafford still managed to play a full 16-game slate. Without his No. 1 target (Kenny Golladay) for most of the season, Stafford's per-game numbers dropped considerably year over year from 312.4 yards and 2.4 touchdowns per game in 2019 to 255.3/1.6 in 2020. Traded to L.A. to play for a more creative offensive mind, Stafford is poised to bounce back with good health in 2021.
While I have rookie Michael Carter ranked the highest among the team's running backs, Coleman brings familiarity with the offense and could end up leading the backfield. At this point, he's at least worth a dart throw this late. (Carter was off the board at 9.09.)
14.11 - Indianapolis Colts DST
After two injury-plagued seasons, Engram was able to play a full 16-game slate and finished with 63 catches for 654 yards and only one touchdown. Not only was the single touchdown disappointing for fantasy managers, but Engram's YPG (40.9) and Y/R (10.4) were both career lows. While Engram led NYG in targets (109) last season, the addition of Kenny Golladay as the team's top pass-catching option and selection of Kadarius Toney in the first round could lead to less week-to-week consistency in targets for Engram.
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