2021 Fantasy Football Experts Mock Draft 1.0

by Nick Spencer
2021 Fantasy Football Experts Mock Draft May

Free agency is done! The NFL Draft over! With all that chaos out of the way we are finally free to start mock drafting to our heart’s content. We at Fantasy Six Pack decided to gather 12 of our experts to have our own 2021 Fantasy Football Experts Mock Draft 1.0

These picks are likely to change as we progress through training camp and pre-season, however it is useful to start getting a lay of the land as early as possible.

Throughout this article, I’ll break down some of the most interesting picks while inserting commentary from my fellow writers and drafters.

Without further ado, here’s the draft order and the final draft board. The draft was 12-team, 13-round, 0.5PPR, 1 QB/2RB/3WR/1TE/1FLEX. No kickers and defenses (the correct way to play). Critique away!

  1. Davis Peng - @PengsPicksFF
  2. Bob Van the IDP Man - @BobVan_IDP
  3. Joe Bond - @F6P_Joe
  4. John LaPresto - @TheJohnLaPresto
  5. Keith Lott - @WeTlkFntsySprts
  6. Dennis Sosic - @CALL_ME_SOS
  7. Kevin Huo - @KevinMHuo
  8. Jonathan Chan - @JChan_811
  9. Jon Witt - @JPW2542
  10. Nick Spencer - @NickBSpencer
  11. Kyle Williams - @betonthegame
  12. Michael Tomlin - @Tomlin3

Here are the full results: https://sleeper.app/draft/nfl/695771389721944064

2021 Fantasy Football Experts Mock Draft 1.0

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2021 Fantasy Football Experts Mock Draft 1.0

Complete a free five-minute mock draft against industry experts and custom analysis for your team with the FantasyPros Draft Wizard.

Round 1

  1. Davis Peng - Christian McCaffrey, RB1, CAR
  2. Bob Van the IDP Man - Dalvin Cook, RB2, MIN
  3. Joe Bond -Saquon Barkley, RB3, NYG
  4. John LaPresto - Alvin Kamara, RB4, NO
  5. Keith Lott - Nick Chubb, RB5, CLE
  6. Dennis Sosic - Derrick Henry, RB6, TEN
  7. Kevin Huo - Ezekiel Elliott, RB7, DAL
  8. Jonathan Chan - Jonathan Taylor, RB8, IND
  9. Jon Witt - Tyreek Hill, WR1, KC
  10. Nick Spencer - Travis Kelce, TE1, KC
  11. Kyle Williams - Davante Adams, WR2, GB
  12. Michael Tomlin - DeAndre Hopkins, WR3, ARI

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The first round saw a run of eight straight running backs to start off the draft. This isn’t surprising as year after year we see that workhorse running backs are true difference makers. They provide teams with an unmatched edge in both consistency and upside.

While Christian McCaffrey is locked into the one spot, it will be very interesting to see what order the other RBs in the first round will be drafted in as the offseason continues. Many of them have question marks: Barkley with his injury, Kamara with a new quarterback, and Taylor with still a lot to prove entering his second season. While it seems like none of the players in the top of the first round can bust, a few always do.

We closed out the round with a series of elite pass catchers. The one in particular that caught my eye was Davante Adams. At this point, we simply don’t know if Aaron Rodgers will be playing for Green Bay. This makes Adams a risky selection, but we know his upside is WR1 overall so I can’t fault Kyle Williams for the pick. His thoughts here:

“With the uncertainty of Aaron Rodgers' future in Green Bay, I feel like the value of Adams is at an all-time high. A guy who was far and away the number one fantasy receiver last year being drafted as the 3-5th WR off the board in most drafts is blasphemy. The value lies in the mystery and the ability to tune out the noise is huge. I’m in the camp that the MVP QB is staying put, making the selection of Adams a slam dunk.”

My pick

In general, when I am drafting close to the turn my strategy is to determine how many players are available that I would be happy to take, and as a result how likely it is for one of those players to make it back for me.

So for my first two picks, I was looking at Aaron Jones, Austin Ekeler, Cam Akers, Davante Adams, Stefon Diggs, and Travis Kelce as players I would be happy to roster in the late first/early second. At this pick specifically, it is just between Jones, Adams, or Kelce.

I selected Kelce out of the three as he provides a huge advantage at a difficult-to-fill position. In fact, if Kelce was a wide receiver, he would’ve finished as the WR4 overall in 2020. With my TE slot taken care of, I had one less thing to worry about throughout the rest of the draft and even on the waiver wire. This left me free to prioritize other positions.

Round 2

  1. Michael Tomlin – Joe Mixon, RB9, CIN
  2. Kyle Williams - Aaron Jones, RB10, GB
  3. Nick Spencer - Austin Ekeler, RB11, LAC
  4. Jon Witt - D.K. Metcalf, WR4, SEA
  5. Jonathan Chan - A.J. Brown, WR5, TEN
  6. Kevin Huo - J.K. Dobbins, RB12, BAL
  7. Dennis Sosic - Josh Jacobs, RB13, LVR
  8. Keith Lott – Cam Akers, RB14, LAR
  9. John LaPresto - D'Andre Swift, RB15, DET
  10. Joe Bond - Antonio Gibson, RB16, WAS
  11. Bob Van the IDP Man - Najee Harris, RB17, PIT
  12. Davis Peng - Justin Jefferson, WR6, MIN

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Round two saw nine RBs and three WRs selected, bringing the total number of running backs selected to 17 in the first 24 picks. While the first round had mostly established veterans, in contrast, this round was dominated by young talent.

Everybody wants a share of the next rising stars. They’re new, flashy, and it feels like there is nowhere to go but up. In the midst of our excitement though we should be careful not to overlook the proven veterans. There are players that have shown us year after year that they are reliable fantasy producers.

For example, I think Stefon Diggs was a bit disrespected in this round. D.K. Metcalf, A.J. Brown, and Justin Jefferson are all fantastic players, but Diggs was the WR3 last year. And of the four of them, Diggs is the most proven and expected to be in the highest passing volume offense.

My pick

I was hoping Aaron Jones would make it back to me at this pick but wasn’t quite that lucky. I was between Ekeler and Diggs at this pick, and it was very close between them.

Diggs proved he is truly elite last year, and he is the last of my tier one WRs. However, Ekeler has massive upside with the improved offensive line, very little competition to take away touches, a high-end quarterback to increase scoring chances, and insane usage in the passing game.

This all amounts to him having a very safe floor at a very shallow position. It is quite rare that I leave the first two rounds without at least one RB due to their sheer importance in fantasy football, and I am not the only one who feels that way.

Eleven out of our twelve experts left the first two rounds with at least one running back, the sole exception is Jon Witt who didn’t select one until round five. His strategy highlights the importance of staying flexible in your drafts:

“I didn't think any of the running backs left were first-round talents so I went with Hill. Once Ekeler and Jones went, I decided to go WR again. The Cooper pick was too good to pass up now that Dak is back.”

Round 3

  1. Davis Peng - Stefon Diggs, WR7, BUF
  2. Bob Van the IDP Man - Allen Robinson, WR8, CHI
  3. Joe Bond - Calvin Ridley, WR9, ATL
  4. John LaPresto - Darren Waller, TE2, LVR
  5. Keith Lott - George Kittle, TE3, SF
  6. Dennis Sosic - Michael Thomas, WR10, NO
  7. Kevin Huo - Keenan Allen, WR11, LAC
  8. Jonathan Chan - Miles Sanders, RB18, PHI
  9. Jon Witt - Amari Cooper, WR12, DAL
  10. Nick Spencer - Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB19, KC
  11. Kyle Williams - Chris Carson, RB20, SEA
  12. Michael Tomlin – Julio Jones, WR13, ATL

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Now with the running back talent fairly depleted, the focus started to shift to the pass catchers. The pick that immediately stuck out to me in this round was Darren Waller being taken over George Kittle. I found this fascinating as Kittle is currently ranked 16 spots ahead of Waller in FantasyPros Half PPR rankings. To gain some perspective I asked John LaPresto for his reasoning behind this pick:

“Agholor is now in New England, leaving Waller and John Brown as the only established members of the Las Vegas pass catchers (I suppose Hunter Renfrow counts as half of a good receiver). It's conceivable, maybe even probable, we see an improved Bryan Edwards, but Henry Ruggs proved his detractors right during his rookie season. Kittle on the other hand may have a rookie QB throwing him the ball and now has to compete with budding stars in Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel. How many targets are we willing to project for Trey Lance? Not enough.”

2019’s WR1 Michael Thomas has slipped into the third round in this mock draft. Oh, how the mighty have fallen! Want to know a crazy stat? In 40 receptions across seven games last year Thomas didn’t score once.

A combination of an injury-plagued 2020 and Drew Brees’ retirement has people very nervous about drafting the single-season reception record holder. I can't blame them. The lack of QB certainty is off-putting, however, if Jameis Winston ends up winning the job and performing like he did in Tampa Bay, this pick could be the steal of the draft.

My pick

Patrick Mahomes was still on the board but drafting a quarterback early has always left me unsatisfied in the long run. Looking at the running backs remaining, Clyde Edwards-Helaire was the last of a tier for me. Meanwhile, there were still about five wide receivers I really liked here in Terry McLaurin, Julio Jones, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Robert Woods.

This meant that I was able to take CEH here and still have a WR in the same tier come back to me in four picks. CEH is an extremely talented player in a top-three offense, and I simply cannot risk waiting on running back until the five-six turn.

Round 4

  1. Michael Tomlin – David Montgomery, RB21, CHI
  2. Kyle Williams - Patrick Mahomes, QB1, KC
  3. Nick Spencer - Terry McLaurin, WR14, WAS
  4. Jon Witt - D.J. Moore, WR15, CAR
  5. Jonathan Chan - Mike Evans, WR16, TB
  6. Kevin Huo - Chris Godwin, WR17, TB
  7. Dennis Sosic - Lamar Jackson, QB2, BAL
  8. Keith Lott – Adam Thielen, WR18, MIN
  9. John LaPresto - Cooper Kupp, WR19, LAR
  10. Joe Bond - Kenny Golladay, WR20, DET
  11. Bob Van the IDP Man - Robert Woods, WR21, LAR
  12. Davis Peng - Josh Allen, QB3, BUF

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With only one running back drafted in round four it is safe to say the wide receiver was completely underway. This round is a fantastic example of the kind of talent you can still grab at the WR position when you miss out on the top-tier guys.

Speaking of top-tier guys, we had our first three quarterbacks go off the board here with Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, and Josh Allen. The appeal of taking a top-tier quarterback is that they appear safer than the other players remaining, and they can give you week-winning performances with both their legs and their arm. However, the replaceability at the position cannot be understated, as in 2020 38 different quarterbacks notched at least one QB1 performance during the season.

I’m not saying don’t draft one of these elite guys but understand what you are giving up by not spending an early pick at other, harder-to-replace positions.

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Once again, fantasy managers are going to have to make a decision on who they like more, Evans or Godwin. The two players have very different play styles but have to share the ball, and thus the fantasy points. Jonathan Chan offers his perspective on why he chose Evans over Godwin:

“Choosing between Mike Evans and Chris Godwin was basically a coin flip, but I chose to go with Evans because of his higher touchdown upside. He can be inconsistent at times, but Evans has finished with 1,000 yards every year of his career and finished 2020 with 13 receiving touchdowns, fourth-most in the league. Last season, Evans averaged 6.8 targets per game, while Godwin averaged exactly 7.0 per game. If both remain healthy they'll both get plenty of opportunities but I think Evans is a better bet to find the endzone on a regular basis.”

My pick

Four of the five WRs I mentioned in the previous round came back to me so I had a nice selection to choose from in McLaurin, Evans, Godwin, or Woods. While I love all of these players, I ultimately selected Scary Terry.

Now I know you are saying ‘Nick didn’t you just tell us not to disrespect established veterans in favor of young talent!’. Yes, I did but hear me out. McLaurin is the unquestioned alpha on his team whereas Evans and Godwin have to deal with each other as well as Antonio Brown’s return, and Woods has to deal with Kupp. This gives McLaurin a safer floor on a week-to-week basis than the rest. And now with Ryan Fitzpatrick taking over, McLaurin has unlocked a new level of upside for the first time in his career.

Round 5

  1. Davis Peng - Melvin Gordon, RB22, DEN
  2. Bob Van the IDP Man - Travis Etienne, RB23, JAX
  3. Joe Bond - Myles Gaskin, RB24, MIA
  4. John LaPresto - Tyler Lockett, WR22, SEA
  5. Keith Lott - D.J. Chark, WR23, JAX
  6. Dennis Sosic - Mark Andrews, TE4, BAL
  7. Kevin Huo - J.J. Smith-Schuster, WR24, PIT
  8. Jonathan Chan - Kyler Murray, QB4, ARI
  9. Jon Witt - James Robinson, RB25, JAX
  10. Nick Spencer - CeeDee Lamb, WR25, DAL
  11. Kyle Williams - Odell Beckham Jr, WR26, CLE
  12. Michael Tomlin – Kareem Hunt, RB26, CLE

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Round five was a very balanced round with five RBs, five WRs, one QB, and one TE. Most of our experts in this round were rounding out the edges of their team and trying to create balanced rosters. It is important to pay attention to how other owners are constructing their teams as the draft goes on, as it will help you to predict when positional runs will occur.

One pick that stood out to me in this round was Travis Etienne. Etienne is a very talented running back with first-round NFL draft capital, but he is in a complicated backfield with James Robison who put up over 1,400 total yards last year. Bob Van also picked fellow rookie running backs Najee Harris and Trey Sermon in this draft, he explains his reasoning below:

“Personally I like loading up on running backs in Drafts. Snagging Harris feels like a good value seeing as he should receive the lion's share of the touches seeing that he has little to no competition. Etienne felt like more of a risk seeing as he has competition with James Robinson. However, the first round draft capital spent on rookie running backs typically leads to them being used early and often in their careers.”

My pick

At this pick, I had Kareem Hunt, Raheem Mostert, CeeDee Lamb, Diontae Johnson, Brandon Aiyuk, and Odell Beckham Jr. at the top of my rankings. I ruled out the running backs as I felt that I needed to shore up my WR position significantly more before looking at acquiring RB depth.

Lamb was my selection as we saw his incredible upside last year when he was the WR12 before dak went down. He had almost 1,000 yards in his rookie season despite losing his quarterback. The price I paid for him here comes with high expectations, but I believe he will deliver.

Round 6

  1. Michael Tomlin – Dak Prescott, QB5, DAL
  2. Kyle Williams - Brandin Cooks, WR27, HOU
  3. Nick Spencer - Brandon Aiyuk, WR28, SF
  4. Jon Witt - Javonte Williams, RB27, DEN
  5. Jonathan Chan - Leonard Fournette, RB28, TB
  6. Kevin Huo - Chase Edmonds, RB29, ARI
  7. Dennis Sosic - Ja'Marr Chase, WR29, CIN
  8. Keith Lott – Tee Higgins, WR30, CIN
  9. John LaPresto - Courtland Sutton, WR31, DEN
  10. Joe Bond - Chase Claypool, WR32, PIT
  11. Bob Van the IDP Man - Corey Davis, WR33, NYJ
  12. Davis Peng - DeVonta Smith, WR34, PHI

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Round six kicked off with Dak Prescott at 6.01. It will be interesting to see how fantasy managers deal with Dak this coming draft season as he is coming off of a significant ankle injury that ended his season. However, in the four games he played in 2020, he was the QB1 overall.

Round six also saw the first rookie wide receivers start to come off the board with Ja’Marr Chase and DeVonta Smith. Dennis Sosic selected Chase just one pick ahead of last year’s rookie sensation, Tee Higgins. I asked Dennis for his thoughts on why Chase will be the Bengals receiver to own this year:

"For my selection in the sixth round, I was focused on the WR position. With Michael Thomas already selected, my goal was to take another WR1 with this pick. The Cincinnati Bengals reunited the elite LSU combo of Joe Burrow with alpha wideout Ja'Marr Chase. When your franchise QB says I want my former teammate Chase, the Bengals front office listened and chose Chase with the fifth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The last guy to throw Chase a meaningful pass is Burrow, who was on pace to throw the ball 640 times last season before suffering a season-ending torn ACL in Week 11.

The Bengals already possess an explosive WR duo in elite slot target Tyler Boyd, and Tee Higgins, who had both of his 100-yard games and three of his four games with at least six catches with Burrow behind center. In 2021, the Bengals will expand their employment of 11 personnel that they utilized 82% of the time, which ranked second in the NFL. I  want a piece of this Bengals fantasy pie as I envision Burrow, Chase, Higgins, and Boyd each being fantasy gold in 2021. Last season, veteran wideout AJ Green amassed 104 targets, and now Chase will be taking over that role in 2021. Chase has the built-in chemistry with Burrow and will be the go-to wide receiver for Burrow, who is projected to throw 650-700 times this season. Chase will be the WR1 for the Bengals and fantasy stud as my second wide receiver in my lineup."

My pick

Normally around this range, I would be quite comfortable taking T.J. Hockenson as I believe he is going to be force-fed targets in that offense. But with Kelce already on the roster and my WRs in need of help, I was between Diontae Johnson and Brandon Aiyuk.

Diontae’s upside is capped with both JuJu Smith-Schuster and Chase Claypool in the wide receiver room, and rookie running back Najee Harris will likely demand significant touches as well. Not to mention Big Ben is rapidly approaching retirement.

This is why I went with Aiyuk. Similar to Lamb, he had a great rookie season playing with mostly backup quarterbacks. Plus, I love that Kyle Shanahan schemes ways to get him the ball.

Round 7

  1. Davis Peng - T.J. Hockenson, TE5, DET
  2. Bob Van the IDP Man - Trey Sermon, RB30, SF
  3. Joe Bond - Ronald Jones, RB31, TB
  4. John LaPresto - James Conner, RB32, ARI
  5. Keith Lott - Tyler Boyd, WR35, CIN
  6. Dennis Sosic - Jaylen Waddle, WR36, MIA
  7. Kevin Huo - Jerry Jeudy, WR37, DEN
  8. Jonathan Chan - Will Fuller V, WR38, HOU
  9. Jon Witt - Russel Wilson, QB6, SEA
  10. Nick Spencer - Diontae Johnson, WR39, PIT
  11. Kyle Williams - Raheem Mostert, RB33, SF
  12. Michael Tomlin – Noah Fant, TE6, DEN

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After I bypassed Hockenson he continued to fall all the way to pick 73 where Davis got a steal as our consensus rankings have him as the 49th overall player.

This round saw Trey Sermon go nine picks ahead of Raheem Mostert in the battle for the San Francisco backfield. It seems like no matter who runs the ball for the 49ers, they find success. The question for fantasy players is who, if anyone, will provide consistent fantasy production over the course of the year.

Speaking of questionable backfields, James Conner goes about eight picks after Chase Edmonds. It’s hard to know what to expect from the Arizona backs, Kevin Huo offers his opinion on why Edmonds is the better bet:

“Conner was the lead back in Pittsburgh last season and turned in a mediocre season (721 yards, 6 TDs, 4.3 YPC in 13 games) behind an offensive line dead last in run blocking efficiency according to DVOA. It’s not a stretch to assume he’ll be similarly mediocre behind a Cardinals offensive line that finished 30th in the same metric. Meanwhile, Edmonds brings juice to an offense that wants to make big splash plays. He averaged 4.6 YPC and 7.6 Yards per Reception compared to Conner’s 4.3 and 6.1 respectively. Most importantly though, the Cardinals signed Conner to a 1 year, $1.75 million contract. That is a clear signifier that he will be the backup or at most a piece of the puzzle.”

My pick

This was an easy one, when I was considering Diontae Johnson with my last pick I didn’t think there was any way he would fall all the way to me at the end of the seventh round. Will the risks I pointed out in the previous round still hold true? Yes, of course. But Johnson was a low-end WR2 last year and was simply a value pick as my WR4.

Round 8

  1. Michael Tomlin – Jarvis Landry, WR40, CLE
  2. Kyle Williams - Robby Anderson, WR41, CAR
  3. Nick Spencer - Mike Davis, RB34, ATL
  4. Jon Witt - Kyle Pitts, TE7, ATL
  5. Jonathan Chan - Marquise Brown, WR42, BAL
  6. Kevin Huo - Damien Harris, RB35, NE
  7. Dennis Sosic - Michael Carter, RB36, NYJ
  8. Keith Lott – Zach Moss, RB37, BUF
  9. John LaPresto - Laviska Shenault, WR43, JAX
  10. Joe Bond - Deebo Samuel, WR44, SF
  11. Bob Van the IDP Man - T.Y. Hilton, WR45, IND
  12. Davis Peng - Aaron Rodgers, QB7, GB

Kyle Pitts is perhaps going to be one of the most widely divisive picks in the fantasy drafts this August. He is easily one of the most hyped tight end prospects the league has ever seen. After becoming selected as the highest-drafted TE in history, expectations are through the roof.

However, history is not on his side. In Gronk’s rookie season he recorded 546 yards. George Kittle recorded 515. In fact, one of the best rookie seasons by a tight end was Evan Engram’s, where he recorded 722 yards and was just the TE5. However, the NFL is changing, and tight ends are more involved than ever before, so the question is, can Kyle Pitts break the mold?

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The other pick that jumps out in this round is Davis Peng’s selection of Aaron Rodgers despite the drama in Green Bay and having Josh Allen already on the roster. Davis explains his reasoning below:

“I took Aaron Rodgers in the 9th because there wasn’t another player on the board that I felt was the equivalent value of Aaron Rodgers.

My team was filled out at all positions up to that point and I wanted to take a player/trade depth without giving value to my opponents. Aaron Rodgers in the 9th is a value play in case Allen has bad matchups or suffers some setbacks like he did midseason in 2020”

My pick

I was hoping Mostert would fall to me here, but he went off the board right after I took Johnson. I put off taking a third RB for longer than I usually would, but I was very comfortable with my first two RBs and I couldn’t pass up the WR value that had fallen.

Of the remaining backs, Mike Davis was my favorite. At times last year, he looked electric, and he produced serviceable numbers in McCaffrey’s absence (RB12 in his 14 games). The Falcons offense is poised to be near the top of the league and Davis survived free agency and the draft without another significant running back being added to challenge him.

Rounds 9-13

These last few rounds are not quite as interesting as the earlier ones, so rather than go through every round individually I’ve hand-picked a couple of selections that caught my eye.

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Round 9, Pick 3: Joe Bond - Justin Herbert, QB8, LAC

Herbert was the QB9 last year, quite a feat for a rookie QB. With an improved offensive line and a full season under his belt, you’ve got to wonder if there is potential for Herbert to take a year-two leap into the top 5 quarterbacks.

Round 9, Pick 7: Kevin Huo - Robert Tonyan, TE8, GB

Incredible value at this pick, Tonyan was the TE3 last season after scoring 11 touchdowns and he goes off the board here as the TE8. With just 11 red-zone targets he managed to score seven touchdowns. While this level of efficiency is unlikely to continue it shows that Rodgers trusts him around the goal line, making him valuable in the current tight end landscape.

Round 11, Pick 2: Bov Van the IDP Man - Justin Fields, QB12, CHI

Taking a rookie quarterback in fantasy football is usually a bad idea as they often struggle to adapt to the NFL passing game early in their careers. That being said, this is a very interesting pick because even if Fields struggles early on, he possesses elite speed that could result in the high rushing totals we want for high upside QBs. I wouldn’t want to start him Week 1 against the Rams D though.

Round 11, Pick 3: Joe Bond - Curtis Samuel, WR55, WAS

Being reunited with Ron Rivera in Washington where he is the clear number two wide receiver makes me very interested in Samuel. Yet people are treating him like an afterthought in drafts. I believe we could see a couple of touches per game manufactured for Samuel, providing him with a nice floor each week if you need a bye week fill-in.

Round 12, Pick 4: Jon Witt - Tyler Higbee, TE13, LAR

Gerald Everett is gone. But will anybody be able to step up and replace him? If not, Higbee could have sneaky value as we know Matt Stafford has the ability to support an upper echelon tight end after seeing him with Hockenson in Detroit.

Round 12/13: Keith Lott - Tom Brady/Ryan Tannehill, QB13/14

I am grouping these two together as Keith stacked two of my favorite late-round quarterback targets. Bruce Arians' system is notoriously hard for QBs to learn, and they tend to thrive in their second season. We already saw Brady start to catch fire towards the end of last season as the QB6 from Week 7 onwards. I’m not betting against the G.O.A.T.

Meanwhile, Ryan Tannehill has quietly been a fantasy goldmine since joining the Titans. From the time he took over in Week 7 in 2019 he was the QB3, and last year he was the QB7 over the full season. He lost some pass-catchers to free agency, but it’s time to stop sleeping on him.

My picks

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My final five picks in the draft were: Antonio Brown, Jalen Hurts, Mike Williams, Alexander Mattison, and Latavius Murray.  At this point in the draft, I was just looking for upside, as the odds that most of these players will remain on my team past the first few weeks of the season is low. I might as well take the shot on players who have starting-caliber upside.

Antonio Brown is about as high of an upside as they come as he dominated for six straight years in his prime. Now, after joining Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in Week 9, he seemed to improve every week as he got back into football shape. Brady clearly has an affinity for him, and if either of Godwin or Evans were to miss time Brown ends up being a steal here.

With the Mike Williams pick, I am just hoping for a rare Devante Parker-esque late breakout. Williams isn’t a bad player, just inconsistent. Perhaps after another off-season working with Herbert, Williams can grow into a useful fantasy piece that offers high-TD upside on every snap.

Jalen Hurts was my pick at quarterback. If you’re looking for Lamar Jackson upside without the corresponding price tag, take a chance on Hurts. In his four full games as a starter, he was the QB7. The Eagles traded away Carson Wentz, didn’t draft a QB, and instead took the Heisman-winning wide receiver DeVonta Smith. This is Hurts’ one chance, and I want to be along for the ride.

Finally, the two RBs I closed out my draft with are textbook high-end handcuff picks. In the last rounds of the draft, I always want to take players who have a path to having high upside before Week 1 even begins. If either Dalvin Cook or Alvin Kamara gets hurt, I got a free RB2 at the end of my draft. If not, I’ll drop them after Week 1.

And that concludes our 2021 Fantasy Football Expert Way Too Early Mock Draft. Thank you for reading! You can see our full rosters in the link at the top, and feel free to vote for who you think drafted the best team


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