Fantasy Football Mock Draft 1.0

Fantasy Football Mock Draft
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Free agency is over, the NFL Draft is done, and that means it’s time for the fantasy football mock draft season to begin. While the start of the regular season is still a long way away, it’s never too early to get ready to dominate your league. Winning in fantasy football is a year-long process, so it’s never too early to look at ADP trends and test out different draft strategies.

Note that this fantasy football mock draft was performed using the FantasyPros Mock Draft Simulator. I’ve listed every single pick in the draft, with my selections in bold. Also note that this was a one-quarterback, PPR draft. Obviously, if your league uses a different scoring or lineup setting, then you’ll want to switch up your strategy accordingly.

Fantasy Football Mock Draft 1.0 – Getting Ahead of the Competition

First Round

1.01: Christian McCaffrey
1.02: Alvin Kamara
1.03: Saquon Barkley
1.04: A.J. Brown
1.05: Derrick Henry
1.06: Davante Adams
1.07: Jonathan Taylor
1.08: Dalvin Cook
1.09: Ezekiel Elliott
1.10: Aaron Jones
1.11: Tyreek Hill
1.12: Stefon Diggs

I have no idea how Dalvin Cook fell to the 1.08 spot. The Minnesota Vikings running back does have a bit of an injury history, but that is no excuse for a player of this talent falling to the back half of the first round. Cook is absolutely dominant as both a runner and a receiver plays in a good offense, and has a head coach that absolutely loves the running game. He’s currently my RB2 and has RB1-overall potential.

Second Round

2.01: D.K. Metcalf
2.02: Nick Chubb
2.03: DeAndre Hopkins
2.04: Austin Ekeler
2.05: Keenan Allen
2.06: Cam Akers
2.07: Michael Thomas
2.08: Calvin Ridley
2.09: Justin Jefferson
2.10: Joe Mixon
2.11: Travis Kelce
2.12: George Kittle

Taking Keenan Allen over somebody like Calvin Ridley might seem questionable at first, but a deeper dive shows that this is the right move. Justin Herbert targeted Allen at a breakneck pace last year, as the former third-round pick was the WR4 in expected fantasy points per game, according to my fantasy model. He was remarkably consistent, and he should only be better with Hunter Henry out of the picture and Justin Herbert getting another year of experience. Philip Rivers was a very good quarterback in his day, but Justin Herbert has the potential to make Allen a fantasy superstar in 2021.

Third Round

3.01: Patrick Mahomes
3.02: J.K. Dobbins
3.03: Clyde Edwards-Helaire
3.04: Darren Waller
3.05: Allen Robinson
3.06: Josh Allen
3.07: Terry McLaurin
3.08: D’Andre Swift
3.09: Antonio Gibson
3.10: Chris Carson
3.11: Miles Sanders
3.12: Robert Woods

The Detroit Lions are going to be a terrible team, and that will put a ceiling on just how good Swift can be. However, the running back has everything else going in his favor, and that makes him an easy choice in the back of the third. Head coach Dan Campbell wants to run the crap out of the football, and offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn has a long history of executing that vision. Even if the Lions are losing and have to abandon the run, Swift should still be productive. Detroit has no other reliable receiving weapons, so Swift should be able to feast with garbage time receptions. I wouldn’t want him as my RB1, but he’s a perfect complement to Dalvin Cook.

Fourth Round

4.01: Julio Jones
4.02: Mike Evans
4.03: Noah Fant
4.04: Chris Godwin

4.05: Diontae Johnson
4.06: Najee Harris
4.07: Adam Thielen
4.08: David Montgomery
4.09: D.J. Moore
4.10: Amari Cooper
4.11: CeeDee Lamb
4.12: Kenny Golladay

Fantasy football is all about chasing volume and hoping efficiency comes later. Based on his 2020 workload, Diontae Johnson should have been one of the best wide receivers in football. By my data, he was the WR8 in expected fantasy points per game and should have been a weekly top-12 receiver in 54% of his games. Keep in mind that he left three games early due to injury, and this is an absurd amount of expected production. While he wasn’t able to make the most of his opportunities, he still has the same quarterback and supporting receivers. Continuity is key in fantasy football, and those opportunities aren’t going anywhere. Now at full health, Johnson could turn out to be a massive steal.

Fifth Round

5.01: Courtland Sutton
5.02: Brandon Aiyuk
5.03: Ja’Marr Chase
5.04: Kyler Murray
5.05: Juju Smith-Schuster
5.06: Brandin Cooks
5.07: Cooper Kupp

5.08: Lamar Jackson
5.09: Tyler Lockett
5.10: Robby Anderson
5.11: James Robinson
5.12: T.J. Hockenson

Normally, I am not a fan of taking a quarterback in the middle rounds. However, winning your league is all about adjusting to the board, and Lamar Jackson was clearly the best value in this fantasy football mock draft. The 2019 MVP absolutely broke fantasy football two seasons ago and was still a great option down the stretch last year. Now armed with more weapons than ever, Jackson should return to being one of the best fantasy cheat codes.

Also, in the interest of clarity, note that I probably would have drafted either Chase Claypool or T.J. Hockenson in this spot if I didn’t already have members of the Steelers and Lions on my team.

Sixth Round

6.01: Mike Davis
6.02: Mark Andrews
6.03: Jarvis Landry
6.04: Tee Higgins
6.05: Tyler Boyd
6.06: Kyle Pitts
6.07: Chase Edmonds
6.08: Antonio Brown
6.09: Josh Jacobs
6.10: Odell Beckham
6.11: Chase Claypool
6.12: Kareem Hunt

Tyler Boyd is one of the most underappreciated players in all of fantasy football. While he doesn’t possess game-breaking potential, he’s a very solid receiver that thrives in PPR scoring. Joe Burrow struggles to throw deep at the best of times, and he’ll probably look towards his security blanket now more than ever while coming back from an ACL injury. Boyd was the WR16 on a per-game basis at the time of Burrow’s injury last year, and he should produce similar results in 2021. And if you’re worried about Ja’Marr Chase stealing targets, don’t be. A.J. Green left over 100 vacated targets, meaning that there is plenty of targets to go around.

Seventh Round

7.01: Curtis Samuel
7.02: DJ Chark
7.03: Ronald Jones
7.04: Travis Etienne
7.05: Will Fuller
7.06: Logan Thomas
7.07: Myles Gaskin
7.08: Corey Davis
7.09: Aaron Rodgers
7.10: Melvin Gordon
7.11: Dak Prescott
7.12: Deebo Samuel

Corey Davis might not ever live up to his pre-draft billing, but he proved to be a pretty solid wide receiver over the past few years with the Tennessee Titans. Davis was quietly one of the NFL’s most efficient receivers last year, but Tennessee’s run-heavy style of play didn’t allow him to dominate the box score. The New York Jets will probably throw the ball more than Tennessee, and now Davis won’t have to fight A.J. Brown for targets. Ultimately, this is a good recipe for a solid flex play, which is all you can ask at this point in the draft.

Eighth Round

8.01: Russell Wilson
8.02: Dallas Goedert
8.03: Jerry Jeudy
8.04: Robert Tonyan
8.05: James Conner
8.06: Devonta Smith
8.07: David Johnson
8.08: Justin Herbert
8.09: Cole Beasley
8.10: Irv Smith
8.11: DeVante Parker
8.12: Laviska Shenault

Chase Edmonds has the higher ADP, but I actually think James Conner is the Arizona running back you want to roster. Granted, I didn’t always think that, but my opinion has changed over the past few weeks. Edmonds only has one career carry from within the five-yard line, which means that Conner will almost certainly be the goal-line back in this offense. Additionally, he’s a proven commodity as a pass-catcher and should do well in a friendly offense for running backs.

Ninth Round

9.01: Michael Gallup
9.02: Tom Brady
9.03: Carson Wentz
9.04: Josh Reynolds
9.05: Leonard Fournette
9.06: Nyheim Hines
9.07: Deshaun Watson
9.08: Damien Harris
9.09: A.J. Dillon
9.10: Jalen Hurts
9.11: Marquise Brown
9.12: Javonte Williams

Damien Harris isn’t going to do much of anything in the passing game, but he should have plenty of value as a runner. With rumors swirling that Sony Michel might be on the way out, Harris has the chance to control the early-down work behind one of the best offensive lines in football. Cam Newton vultured most of the rushing touchdowns last season, but it’s only a matter of time before Mac Jones takes over under center. Once that happens, Harris should be the goal-line back and could finish with double-digit touchdowns, if everything breaks right.

10th Round

10.01: Michael Carter
10.02: Michael Pittman
10.03: Raheem Mostert
10.04: Marvin Jones
10.05: Zack Moss
10.06: Mike Williams
10.07: J.D. McKissic
10.08: Kenyan Drake
10.09: Devin Singletary
10.10: Sterling Shepard
10.11: Tony Pollard
10.12: Tarik Cohen

The Buffalo Bills didn’t add a running back in the NFL Draft, which means that Devin Singletary and Zack Moss will see the vast majority of the work in Buffalo’s backfield. This team is going to score a lot, but the pass-heavy nature of Buffalo’s offense combined with Josh Allen’s legs puts a ceiling on both Singletary and Moss. However, getting a running back with this clear of a path to the field in the 10th round is an absolute no-brainer. Singletary is the better early-down runner, but Moss is the better receiver and short-yardage back. Those are the valuable touches, which means that Zack Moss is the clear choice of the two.

11th Round

11.01: Jamaal Williams
11.02: James White
11.03: Jalen Reagor
11.04: Phillip Lindsay
11.05: Jaylen Waddle
11.06: Trey Sermon
11.07: Darnell Mooney
11.08: Nelson Agholor
11.09: T.Y. Hilton
11.10: Jamison Crowder
11.11: Tevin Coleman
11.12: Gus Edwards

Bill Belichick went crazy in free agency, and Nelson Agholor was one of the biggest beneficiaries of the massive spending spree. Even with Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry in town, the former Las Vegas Raider still has a very clear path to targets. Outside of (debatably) Jakobi Meyers, there is no other receiver on this roster that ever proved themselves to be anything more than a replacement-level weapon. Agholor should have an opportunity and could be a nice bench piece if Cam Newton can play better with an NFL-caliber supporting cast.

12th Round

12.01: Latavius Murray
12.02: Rashod Bateman
12.03: Darrel Williams
12.04: Mike Gesicki
12.05: Giovani Bernard
12.06: John Brown
12.07: Alexander Mattison
12.08: Jonnu Smith
12.09: Salvon Ahmed
12.10: Blake Jarwin
12.11: Darrell Henderson
12.12: Marlon Mack

Even with Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, Rob Gronkowski, and Antonio Brown, Tom Brady still loved throwing to running backs last year. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, but the duo of Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette might have been the worst receiving backs in all of football. Giovani Bernard is easily the best pass-catching back on this roster and should see plenty of targets when on the field. If nothing else, he’s a solid emergency play in PPR leagues.

13th Round

13.01: Jeffery Wilson
13.02: Benny Snell
13.03: Mike Boone
13.04: La’Mical Perine
13.05: Ke’Shawn Vaughn
13.06: Rob Gronkowski
13.07: Carlos Hyde
13.08: Mecole Hardman
13.09: Rashaad Penny
13.10: Kerryon Johnson
13.11: Mark Ingram
13.12: Kenneth Gainwell

This point of the draft is all about shooting for upside, and nobody left on the board has a higher ceiling than Mecole Hardman. The Kansas City Chiefs have the best offense in football, and they need to find another weapon to complement Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. Mecole Hardman is special with the ball in his hands, but he hasn’t been able to develop into anything more than a gimmick player. That probably won’t change in 2021, but there is a chance he puts it all together this year. If he does, he’ll be the biggest steal in this fantasy football mock draft.

14th Round

14.01: Matthew Stafford
14.02: Joshua Kelley
14.03: Ryan Tannehill
14.04: Sony Michel
14.05: Gerrid Doaks
14.06: Todd Gurley
14.07: Allen Lazard
14.08: Matt Breida
14.09: Le’Veon Bell
14.10: Duke Johnson
14.11: Darius Slayton
14.12: Gabriel Davis

Speaking of shooting for upside, my penultimate pick in this fantasy football mock draft is undrafted free agent Gerrid Doaks. Doaks isn’t anything that impressive as a talent, but he landed in a near-perfect situation. The Miami Dolphins are one of the few teams left that still implement a workhorse running back, and the team clearly wants an upgrade on Myles Gaskin. If Doaks can prove that he’s better than the former seventh-round pick – not the hardest task in the world – then he will be 2021’s James Robinson.

15th Round

15.01: Terrace Marshall
15.02: Matt Ryan
15.03: Rondale Moore
15.04: Randall Cobb
15.05: Cole Kmet
15.06: Justin Jackson
15.07: Joe Burrow
15.08: Gerald Everett
15.09: Christian Kirk
15.10: Breshad Perriman
15.11: Henry Ruggs
15.12: Adam Trautman

I missed out on the top-three tight ends, which means it’s time to throw a late-round dart and hope something sticks. Gerald Everett had his moments with the Los Angeles Rams, and he might be a more consistent weapon in Seattle. The Seahawks use tight ends far more frequently than the Rams do, and Everett is easily the most athletic tight end Russell Wilson has ever thrown to. This passing attack turned guys like Will Dissly and Jacob Hollister into fantasy-relevant options, so it should be able to do the same for somebody with a 94th percentile burst score and an 86th percentile SPARQ-x score.

Final Team

QB: Lamar Jackson
RB: Dalvin Cook
RB: D’Andre Swift
WR: Keenan Allen
WR: Diontae Johnson
WR: Tyler Boyd
TE: Gerald Everett
FLEX: Corey Davis
FLEX: James Conner
BENCH: Damien Harris
BENCH: Zack Moss
BENCH: Nelson Agholor
BENCH: Giovani Bernard
BENCH: Mecole Hardman
BENCH: Gerrid Doaks

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