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.
2-QB, PPR Mock Draft: 12 Teams, 10th Pick
When making this pick, only Patrick Mahomes (1.01) and Josh Allen (1.03) were off the board, so the thought process was I could go Ekeler-QB and be happy with that start if I went in that direction. Especially given his ability as a receiver and that this 2-QB mock draft utilizes full PPR scoring, Ekeler has immense upside if he can stay healthy in 2021.
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 question is the status of Aaron Rodgers and how much Jones and the offense will suffer if he actually sits out the 2021 season.
Allen missed a couple of games and was limited in others, but he finished with 100 catches for the third time in four seasons despite playing with a rookie quarterback. Although just shy of the 1,000-yard mark and averaging a career-low 9.92 Y/R, Allen tied his career high (set as a rookie in 2013) with eight touchdowns. Along with Davante Adams and Diontae Johnson, Allen was just one of three receivers to get double-digit targets in 10 games in 2020.
With three (most likely) first-round picks next year, the Eagles have positioned themselves to potentially draft a quarterback early in the 2022 NFL Draft. In addition, ESPN's Adam Schefter recently said to "watch Philadelphia" when it comes to a potential Deshaun Watson trade.
That said, Hurts is squarely in the top-10 mix in fantasy (barring a Watson trade). After the Eagles benched Carson Wentz, Hurts scored more than 17 fantasy points in all four of his starts and averaged 23.74 per game over that stretch. While he threw for 300-plus yards in two of his four starts, his rushing stats (46/272/3) over that span put him on a Lamar Jackson-esque full-season pace of 184/1,088/12 rushing.
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 Justin Jefferson has moved ahead of him in the wide receiver pecking order, Thielen remains a strong WR2.
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. Despite last year's struggles and a relatively crowded running backs room, what's not to love about getting Sanders as my RB3 in Round 6?
Throwing 35 touchdowns and 13 interceptions (both career highs) in 2020, Cousins was especially good down the stretch. Cousins scored a minimum of 20 fantasy points in seven of his final nine games last season. Even though Stefon Diggs led the NFL in receiving, rookie Justin Jefferson (88/1,400/7) more than compensated for the 2019 version of Diggs (63/1,130/6).
Once again, Fuller missed five games, but this time it was due to suspension and he'll finish serving his suspension in Week 1. Fuller set career highs in receptions (53), yards (879), YPG (79.9), Y/R (16.6) and touchdowns (eight) in 2020. Before the suspension, he was on a 77/1,279/12 pace. The change of scenery almost certainly means lower per-game production in 2021, but this and my next pick give me a high-upside WR3.
Shenault Jr. played only 10 snaps in Week 9 and then missed the following two games. Outside of those three games, the rookie had a minimum of three receptions in every game. Over the final five games of the season, he had 25 catches (on 36 targets) for 246 yards and four touchdowns and added six carries for 31 yards and he was the WR16 (half-PPR) over that stretch.
While I project WFT to draft a QB in the first round of my 2022 NFL Mock Draft, the fact that they didn't add any competition in this year's draft for Fitzpatrick makes him one of my favorite late-round streamers at the position. Meanwhile, Washington upgraded their receiving corps by signing Curtis Samuel and Adam Humphries and drafting Dyami Brown in the third round. I'd be comfortable with him as my QB2 and especially like him as my QB3.
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. I expect Fournette to continue his role as the team's 1(a) going into 2021, but the workload split will include Ronald Jones as the 1(b) and Giovani Bernard as 1(c).
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.
Selected one pick before Justin Jefferson (88/1,400/7) in the 2020 NFL Draft, Reagor's disappointing 2020 campaign (31/391/1) becomes even more pronounced. Durability (five missed games) and sub-par quarterback play didn't help, but Reagor's breakout potential makes him a high-upside late-round pick.
Smith missed three games last season, but the second-year tight end set career highs in YPG (28.1), Y/R (12.2) and touchdowns (five). With Kyle Rudolph no longer on the roster, the arrow is pointing up for the third-year tight end.
15.10 - Washington Football Team DST
Two seasons removed from a 1,000-yard campaign, it wouldn't be far-fetched for Brown to lead the wide receivers in production. That said, consistent weekly production is likely to elude the position group with Darren Waller dominating targets.
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