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, 10th Pick
Not only did Adams miss two games in 2020, but he has missed multiple games in three of his past four seasons. Even so, the seven-year veteran led the NFL in receiving touchdowns (18) and yards per game (98.1) and also set a career high in receptions (115). With double-digit touchdowns in four of five seasons, Adams has a total of 58 scores in 71 games over that span. With Aaron Rodgers still playing at an MVP level, Adams moves back into the WR1 spot as a late-first round pick with the Rodgers drama behind us.
[Above images show probability player is selected before pick 2.03 and actual draft results from 1.10-2.02.]
As much as I considered Ekeler at 1.10 when I picked Adams, the likelihood of getting both players was much higher by selected Adams first. Even if Ekeler was selected within the four picks before 2.03, I would have been happy if Najee Harris (did not) or Joe Mixon (did) fell to me at that spot as well. With Joe Lombardi coming over from New Orleans to run the offense, Ekeler's immense upside as a receiver easily makes him a top-10 back.
Few teams want to "establish the run" more than the Seahawks so returning to Seattle on a two-year deal was Carson's ideal landing spot. Even though the Seahawks let Russell Wilson "cook" in the first half of the year, Carson performed as a weekly fantasy RB13 or better in four of the team's five games before their Week 6 bye. In fact, he was a top-five performer from Weeks 1 to 5. Coming out of the bye, Carson sustained a foot injury in Week 7 that kept him out of several games. Carson's physical running style lends itself to a greater propensity to get banged up, but he will likely be undervalued in fantasy drafts this summer.
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. Recovering from ankle surgery, Cooper is expected to return to practice after the Aug. 13th preseason game and play a few snaps before the regular season begins.
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. Given the thin depth chart, Gaskin has plenty of upside as my RB3 with better health in 2021.
Claypool scored 11 touchdowns -- nine receiving and two rushing -- in the regular season and added two more receiving scores in the team's playoff loss to Cleveland. Re-signing JuJu Smith-Schuster to a one-year deal puts a small dent into Mapletron's upside in year two, but it wouldn't surprise me if he finishes as the team's top-producing wideout in 2021.
While "his future [was] in Jeopardy," the offseason drama between Rodgers and the Packers front office is now fortunately behind us. The reigning and three-time MVP, Rodgers led the NFL in completion percentage (70.7%), passing touchdowns (48, 9.1%) and passer rating (121.5) last season. All of those were either career highs or the second-best of his Hall-of-Famer career.
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.
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 no running back in Round 9 or later is perfect.
While he's best in standard (non-PPR) formats, Edwards performed as fantasy's RB35 in half-PPR in 2020. Edwards has a minimum of 133 carries, 711 yards and 5.0 YPC in all three of his NFL seasons. While J.K. Dobbins will handle the bulk of touches, Edwards should approach double-digit touches per game and has stand-alone flex value, especially during the bye weeks.
For any weeks that Alvin Kamara may miss, however, Murray becomes a must-start play. In the two games that Kamara missed and Murray was active, Murray had a total of 62 touches, 307 scrimmage yards and four touchdowns.
Following his breakout season -- correction: breakout month (December 2019), the fifth-year tight end saw a year-over-year dip in targets (60), receptions (44) and yards (521). With Gerald Everett signing with Seattle and the team trading for Matthew Stafford, there is renewed optimism for improved numbers from Higbee.
A typical theme for me in these mocks has been to wait on tight end and then double up. The third-year tight end posted career highs across the board with 53 receptions, 703 yards and six touchdowns.
14.03 - Ravens DST, Baltimore Ravens
Shepard missed four games in 2020 and he has now missed four-plus games in three of the past four seasons. Adding Kenny 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.
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