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, 12th Pick
1.12 - Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
Missing a significant chunk of time due to injury and playing at less than 100 percent when returning to the field, Ekeler averaged 5.5 yards per touch and scored only three touchdowns, both of which were career lows. With Joe Lombardi coming over from New Orleans to run the offense, Ekeler's immense upside as a receiver makes him a top-10 back across all formats.
More: Los Angeles Chargers 2021 Fantasy Football Projections
2.01 - Stefon Diggs, WR, Buffalo Bills
Things could not have gone better for Diggs in his first season with the Bills. Buffalo's starters played fewer snaps than usual in Week 17, as Diggs played a season-low 48% of the team's offensive snaps in the regular-season finale. Even so, that Week 17 performance (7/76) was the only game over the final five weeks where Diggs had fewer than 128 receiving yards. A top-three performer across all scoring formats, Diggs led the league in targets (166), receptions (127) and yards (1,535) in 2020.
More: Buffalo Bills 2021 NFL Power Rankings Roundup
3.12 - Amari Cooper, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Cooper finished 2020 with a career-high 92 receptions for 1,114 yards and five touchdowns. It was his third consecutive 1,000-yard season and fifth of his career. In 41 games as a member of the Cowboys, Cooper has averaged 73.9 yards per game.
More: Dak Prescott 2021 Fantasy Football Outlook
4.01 - Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Falling short of preseason expectations, Sanders missed four games and averaged just 3.1 yards per target after his catch rate dropped from 79.4% as a rookie to 53.8% in 2020. Although he averaged an impressive 5.3 yards per carry for the season, Sanders failed to exceed 3.8 YPC in four of his final five games. That said, I'm willing to bet on his talent as my RB2 in the fourth round.
More: Philadelphia Eagles 2022 NFL Mock Draft Roundup
5.12 - Myles Gaskin, RB, Miami Dolphins
Gaskin was off to a strong start through Week 8, but he only appeared in three games (Weeks 13, 16 and 17) after that point. Even though he missed six games, he ranked 15th among running backs in receptions (41). In addition, only three running backs had more receptions in the 10 weeks that Gaskin played.
The former seventh-round pick out of Washington has shown the ability to be highly productive and the Dolphins were unable to draft one of the top three backs in the 2021 NFL Draft. While I currently project a first-round running back to the Dolphins in my early 2022 NFL Mock Draft, Gaskin is a nice value with upside here.
More: Miami Dolphins 2021 Fantasy Football Projections
6.01 - Tee Higgins, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
From Week 2 until Week 11 (Joe Burrow's knee injury), Higgins scored the 19th-most fantasy points 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.
More: Joe Mixon 2021 Fantasy Football Outlook
7.12 - Travis Etienne, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
A two-time ACC Offensive Player of the Year, Etienne surprised many by returning to school for another season. As impressive as James Robinson was as a rookie (UDFA), Etienne's talent and (first-round) draft pedigree make him the favorite to emerge as the team's primary back sooner than later even if Robinson gets more touches in Week 1.
More: 2023 NFL Mock Draft
8.01 - 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). Mostert has career averages of 5.6 YPC and 10.0 Y/R, but it's possible that Trey Sermon emerges as the team's top fantasy running back at some point this season.
More: San Francisco 49ers 2021 NFL Power Rankings Roundup
9.12 - Kenyan Drake, RB, Las Vegas Raiders
Regardless of how much the Raiders use Drake in the passing game, his volume will drop year over year. That said, I'd prefer Drake as my RB6 in Round 9 over Josh Jacobs in Round 4 (pick 4.05 in this mock).
More: Las Vegas Raiders 2022 NFL Mock Draft Roundup
10.01 - Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In his first season in Tampa, Brady scored the eighth-most fantasy points and only three quarterbacks had more top-five weekly finishes than the future Hall-of-Famer. Brady's 40 touchdowns thrown were the second-most of his career and his 4,633 passing yards were a five-year high. Brady will have all of the team's starters and top pass-catchers back as he enters his age-44 season.
11.12 - Tyler Higbee, TE, Los Angeles Rams
I'll punt on TE every time that I can get Higbee with the 132nd pick. With Gerald Everett signing with Seattle and the team trading for Matthew Stafford, there is optimism for improved numbers from Higbee (and L.A.'s passing offense overall).
12.01 - Tre'quan Smith, WR, New Orleans Saints
Posting career numbers in receptions (34) and yards (448) in 2020, Smith will almost certainly post better production in 2021 with Michael Thomas unlikely for Week 1 and Emmanuel Sanders now in Buffalo.
13.12 - Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants
Shepard missed four games in 2020 and he has now missed four-plus games in three of the past four seasons. Adding Golladay to the receiving corps pushes Shepard down a spot on the depth chart, but he'll likely see the second-most snaps among the team's receivers barring injury.
14.01 - Colts DST, Indianapolis Colts
15.12 - Jason Myers, K, Seattle Seahawks
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