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: 12 Teams, 10th Pick
This mock draft opened with eight running backs and Travis Kelce off the board within the first nine picks. One year after leading the NFL in touchdowns (19, 2019), Jones averaged a career-high 5.89 yards per touch for the league's top-scoring offense. Even though he missed two games and scored eight fewer touchdowns in 2020, he has finished as a top-five fantasy running back in consecutive seasons.
The only real concern with Jones is the tension between Aaron Rodgers and the Packers front office. If Rodgers isn't under center when the Packers open the season, Green Bay's offense will suffer overall with fewer scoring opportunities for Jones.
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.
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.
Missing four games in the first half of the season, Godwin finished a disappointing 2020 campaign with 65/840/7 as he averaged 25.2 fewer yards per game than in 2019. An assortment of injuries and the presence of Antonio Brown (7.75 targets per game) interfered with Godwin's consistency last season, but he's a strong WR3 for this squad.
Andrews missed a couple of games and Marquise Brown (58/769/8) outproduced Andrews (58/701/7) over the full season, but the third-year tight end led the team in YPG (50.1). Even though Baltimore's passing offense ranked last in the NFL last season, Andrews has a total of 17 touchdowns over the past two seasons combined.
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 2020. 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 viable RB2 and a relative bargain here.
The former fourth-round pick has averaged 4.4 yards per carry and 7.2 yards per reception over his first three NFL seasons. With Kenyan Drake out and James Conner in, Edmonds has an opportunity to perform as a back-end RB2 option in 2021.
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.
9.10 - Trey Sermon, RB, San Francisco 49ers
Speaking of Sermon, he has the highest draft pedigree (third round) among the team's running backs and the Niners traded up (gave up draft capital) to select him. Given his frame, balance and vision, the team could look to make him their featured back sooner than later (as much as Kyle Shanahan will feature an individual back, that is).
10.03 - A.J. Dillon, RB, Green Bay Packers
With 21/124/2 against the Titans in Week 16, fantasy managers got a glimpse of what Dillon could do in a lead-back role. With Aaron Jones re-upping with the Packers, however, that won't happen as long as Jones is on the field. For this team, Dillon provides insurance if Jones were to miss any time.
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.
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). Assuming Burrow remains healthy, he should rank near the top of the NFL in pass attempts in 2021. I don't typically draft two QBs in a single-QB league, but I like the value of Stafford and Burrow in Rounds 11/12.
I don't typically try to handcuff my backs, but Ahmed would likely become an RB2/flex option if Gaskin were to miss any time.
14.03 - Colts DST, Indianapolis Colts
Drafting three receivers earlier than usual (normally I don't have more than two through four rounds), I tried to load up on running backs through most of the draft (selected six from Rounds 6-13). With Larry Fitzgerald no longer on the roster, I expect Kirk to be Arizona's WR2 ahead of newcomer A.J. Green and rookie Rondale Moore. At some point, this team would need to add some receiver depth off the waiver wire, but that is easy to find throughout the year.
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