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, 11th Pick
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. Through four NFL seasons, Jones has averaged at least 5.5 yards per carry in three of them. 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.
Ridley closed the season the same way he started it -- with 100-plus yards in four of five games. Along with Davante Adams (six) and Stefon Diggs (three), Ridley was one of three receivers to finish as a top-two weekly fantasy receiver at least three times in 2020. Ridley finished last season with 90 catches on 143 targets for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns and is a top-four fantasy wide receiver in 2021 with Julio Jones in Tennessee.
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.
Godwin finished a disappointing 2020 campaign with a receiving line of 65/840/7 as he averaged 25.2 fewer yards per game than in 2019. An assortment of injuries (four missed games) and the presence of Antonio Brown (7.75 targets per game) interfered with Godwin's consistency last season. That could be frustrating again in 2021, but he gives me three receivers inside my top-16 PPR fantasy football wide receivers as starters for this roster.
Andrews missed a couple of games, but the third-year tight end led the team in YPG (50.1). The main concern with Andrews' outlook is that even if he gets the biggest slice of the pie, the team's passing offense averaged a league-low 171.2 yards per game in 2020.
Jacobs played 15 of 16 games, scored 12 touchdowns (compared to seven in 2019) and only Derrick Henry and Dalvin Cook had more touches than Jacobs (306) in 2020. The addition of Kenyan Drake to the backfield, however, should lead to fewer touches and especially fewer targets in 2021. While I'm not proactively targeting him in drafts, I think he's at least fairly valued here.
The former fourth-round pick out of Fordham 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' workload will almost certainly exceed the 150 touches he had in 2020. Given Edmonds' RB3/flex ADP, his draft-day cost seems priced fairly close to his floor, but there is plenty of upside as well.
The reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, Herbert had at least 300 passing yards and/or multiple touchdowns in 13 of his 15 starts as a rookie. Even with a new coaching staff in place for the upcoming season, the second-year quarterback should benefit from a more normal offseason as he enters the season already entrenched as the starter. Not to mention, the offense should be more QB-friendly in 2021.
9.11 - James Conner, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Joining the Cardinals on a one-year deal, Conner will steal some early-down carries from Edmonds and could potentially be in a fairly even split. If he can stay healthy and earn a larger role, there is plenty of upside for Conner as well (as Edmonds).
A fifth-round pick out of Tulane, Mooney had a highly productive rookie campaign (61/631/4). Earlier this offseason, coach Matt Nagy talked up Mooney by saying that he "has a rare element of speed, combined with route-running, hands and passion. And commitment." With the Bears trading Anthony Miller to the Texans, it only further boosts Mooney's outlook for 2021.
With the Falcons trading Julio Jones to Tennessee, Gage should rank second or third on the team in receiving behind Calvin Ridley and possibly rookie Kyle Pitts in 2021. Gage set career highs across the board in 2020 with 72 catches, 110 targets, 786 yards and four touchdowns.
McKissic ranked top three on the team in receptions (80), targets (110) and receiving yards (589) in 2020 and only Alvin Kamara (83) had more receptions among running backs. With a quarterback less likely to check down and Gibson's ability as a receiver (and potentially increased target share), there could be much fewer opportunities for McKissic in 2021.
A surprise first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Penny has failed to live up to his draft pedigree. On relatively limited touches, however, Penny has been efficient -- 5.1 YPC and 9.3 Y/R -- and Carson's violent running style could lead to a missed game (or several). While it's become a cliche, Penny enters 2021 in the best shape of his life.
14.02 - Ravens DST, Baltimore Ravens
15.11 - Terrace Marshall, WR, Carolina Panthers
Over the past two seasons at LSU (including 2019 with Panthers OC Joe Brady), Marshall scored a total of 23 touchdowns. Injury concerns led to his slide to the bottom of Round 2, but he should start immediately in three-wide sets with D.J. Moore and Anderson and all three of Moore, Anderson and Curtis Samuel finished as top-25 PPR receivers in 2020.
More of our content:
- 2022 NFL Mock Draft
- 2023 NFL Mock Draft
- Fantasy Football Mock Drafts
- Fantasy Football Rankings
- Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule
- Fantasy Football ADP
- NFL Power Rankings