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, 8th Pick
Despite missing four games, Chubb still finished as fantasy's RB9 in 2020. Chubb has finished second and third in rushing yards per game in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Through his first three seasons, Chubb has never averaged fewer than five yards per carry in a season.
Even with the league's best No. 2 back (Kareem Hunt) on the roster, Chubb has averaged 18.05 touches per game since Hunt returned from his 2019 suspension. Only four teams in the league had a higher rushing play percentage than the Browns in Kevin Stefanski's first year as head coach.
Before suffering a turf toe injury early in his Week 13 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Gibson had a five-game stretch where he performed as fantasy's RB5, RB11, RB8, RB7 and RB2, respectively. Even without adjusting for Washington's Week 8 bye, only Dalvin Cook and Derrick Henry scored more fantasy points during that stretch. Gibson has tremendous upside in his second season.
Although he set a career low in yards per game (62.9), Evans exceeded the 1,000-yard mark -- now seven consecutive seasons to begin his career -- and set a career high with 13 scores. The Bucs have franchise tagged Chris Godwin and re-signed Antonio Brown, which could lead to more week-to-week inconsistency for all of the team's receivers, but Evans is his best in non-PPR scoring formats.
While I debated Cooper (and even his teammate CeeDee Lamb) and Evans when making the previous selection, I was able to get both Evans and Cooper. Cooper finished 2020 with a career-high 92 receptions for 1,114 yards, his third consecutive 1,000-yard season, and five touchdowns. If Dak Prescott is able to stay healthy, the Cowboys have a legitimate shot at being the top performing offense in the NFL in 2021.
With Cam Akers (Achilles) injured and Malcolm Brown now longer in L.A., the Rams will turn to Henderson, by default, for large workloads. It's possible that they add a veteran free agent before the start of the season as Henderson has dealt with his own share of injuries. That said, he has massive upside in what should be a much-improved offense with Matthew Stafford under center.
Tied with Davante Adams and Keenan Allen, no receiver had more games with double-digit targets than Johnson (10). The second-year receiver averaged only 10.5 Y/R, but he turned his 144 targets into 88 catches for 923 yards and five touchdowns. While he needs to cut down on the drops, Johnson should be one of the league's most-targeted wideouts in 2021 even though the team re-signed JuJu Smith-Schuster.
It was a tale of two seasons for Wilson. In his first eight games, Wilson averaged 29.52 fantasy points per game and scored no fewer than 21.9. In his final eight games, he averaged only 17.08 and scored more than 21.9 only once during that span.
Despite Pete Carroll's prioritization to establish the run, Wilson has never finished worse than the QB11 (2016) and has finished as a top-six fantasy quarterback in five of the past seven seasons.
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 (or better) in the weeks that he's on the field.
Many 2021 mock drafts linked the Bills to a first-round running back. Instead of adding an early-round running back, it's a positive for the outlook of Moss and Devin Singletary that the Bills only added Matt Breida in free agency. While I prefer Moss over Singletary, a concern for both is that Josh Allen has 25 rushing touchdowns over the past three seasons, but the price is right in Round 9 as my RB4.
Davis had a career-best season in 2020 (65/984/5, 15.1 Y/R). Transitioning to a new offense with a new coaching staff and rookie quarterback, Davis will be the team's WR1 by default and adds depth as my WR5.
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.
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 scored the third-most fantasy points with 58 receptions (third-most), 564 yards (third-most) and five touchdowns (tied fifth-most) amongst tight ends. Last year's breakout tight end will enter 2021 as a viable top-10 option even with the team bolstering its receiving corps via the draft and free agency.
There was a stretch (Weeks 3 to 8) last season where Gesicki had only zero or one catch in all but one game, but he was highly productive outside of that five-game span. The third-year tight end posted career highs across the board with 53 receptions, 703 yards and six touchdowns.
14.05 - 49ers DST, San Francisco 49ers
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