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, 6th Pick
If there's a concern with Henry, it's his relative lack of involvement in the passing game. That said, Henry more than compensates for his smaller role as a receiver with his dominant rushing production. Not only is he the back-to-back rushing champion coming off a 2,000-yard campaign, but Henry has led the league in rushing touchdowns in each of the past two seasons with 33 rushing scores in 31 games.
It's true that no running back scored more fantasy points in non-PPR formats, but Henry also finished third in (full) PPR as well. In other words, the limited passing-game role hasn't hurt his value much and Henry is a top-three option for me in 2021.
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.
With a healthy Dak Prescott, Lamb began his NFL career with two 100-yard games and a minimum of 59 yards in each of his first five games. During that five-game span, Lamb scored the 11th-most fantasy points (Amari Cooper was 12th) and only five other receivers had more receiving yards (433). Based on his skill set, Lamb should eventually emerge as the 1(a) for the Cowboys to Cooper's 1(b) ... potentially as early as 2021. Prescott recently said of that his "expectations are super-high" for Lamb, whom he described as "a special playmaker that we're privileged to have and he'll be big-time and definitely have a breakout season." Unfortunately, Lamb's draft-day cost has continued to rise all offseason, but he's poised to take that next big step forward.
Swift was much more involved in the second half of the season as he finished his rookie campaign with 114/521/8 (4.6 YPC) rushing and 46/357/2 (7.8 Y/R) receiving. Swift had three-plus catches in 12 of 13 games and his ability as a receiver gives him the upside to crack the top-10 fantasy running backs in 2021. I'd gladly take Swift in Round 4 of PPR leagues every day of the week.
The full-season numbers (100/1,054/10) look great and Lockett now has back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns and three consecutive seasons with at least eight touchdowns. That said, there were three spike games (9/100/3, 15/200/3 and 12/90/2) and mostly modest performances the rest of the season. Given that, he's a high-upside WR3 for this team, especially with two studs (Ridley/Lamb) on the roster.
Filling in for a mostly-injured Christian McCaffrey in 2020, Davis performed as a top-12 (PPR) fantasy running back last season. With limited competition for running back touches, Davis will have at least flex appeal, especially with Arthur Smith (most recently OC in Tennessee) taking over as Atlanta's head coach.
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.
Across scoring formats, Samuel was a top-25 receiver in 2020 despite playing with D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson, both of whom outscored Samuel in half-PPR formats. Samuel set career highs in receptions (77), receiving yards (851) and rushing yards (200) in 2020. Immediately slotting in as WFT's WR2 behind Terry McLaurin, Samuel's path to touches has improved.
It was a down year (59/843/5) for Gallup, who averaged 26.4 fewer yards per game than he did in 2019. Of course, the offense as a whole struggled without Dak Prescott and Gallup had 50-plus yards in four of five games with Prescott and in only three-of-11 games without him. Assuming Prescott can stay healthy (current shoulder injury aside), Gallup has tremendous upside as a WR5 for this team.
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.
Goedert missed five games including Week 17 last season, but he was a consistent producer following the team's Week 9 bye through Week 16. Over that stretch, Goedert scored the sixth-most fantasy points among tight ends and ranked top five in both receptions (32) and yards (371). Earlier this offseason, expectations were that the Eagles would part ways with Zach Ertz, but that no longer appears to be the case.
With Tom Brady in Tampa, White set five-year lows in targets (62), touches (84), yards from scrimmage (496) and touchdowns (three). White would likely benefit from a quarterback shift from Cam Newton to Mac Jones as it would likely translate into more running back targets and fewer QB rush attempts.
Gaskin's six missed games opened up opportunities for Ahmed to have a few high-volume games. The UDFA exceeded 20 carries twice and had three separate games with at least 17 touches. On a relatively thin depth chart, he or Malcolm Brown will become hot waiver-wire commodities if Gaskin struggles with durability again. Ahmed is a late-round target with the potential to pay huge dividends.
14.07 - Colts DST, DST, Indianapolis Colts
16.07 - Trey Lance, QB, San Francisco 49ers
If Lance isn't named the Week 1 starter, fantasy managers will look to the team's bye (Week 6) as the next logical point to potentially hand the reigns over to the rookie signal-caller. Once Lance takes over, however, the dual-threat talent has immense upside and likely a top-12 weekly play from that point forward.
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