Fantasy Football

2021 Fantasy Football Way Too Early Mock Draft

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With two weeks in between this past weekend’s conference championship games and Super Bowl LV on February 7th, we at Fantasy Six Pack decided to have our own 2021 Fantasy Football Way Too Early Mock Draft to fill the void. If you’re a fantasy player of any experience, you know the drill, and you can get started with your Super Bowl spread betting. Twelve of our best and brightest took turns picking players in snake style to get an idea of how fantasy football drafts may look like before the real draft.

While these results are sure to change with the upcoming free agency period and NFL draft, it will be interesting to see which players’ stocks have moved up or down since the beginning of the 2020 season. We can also get a general idea of early tiers, as well as draft strategies.

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, 10-round, 0.5PPR, 1 QB/2RB/3WR/1TE/1FLEX. No kickers and defenses (the correct way to play). Critique away!

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

Here are the full results: https://sleeper.app/draft/nfl/656215121068146688

2021 Fantasy Football Way Too Early Mock Draft

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2021 Fantasy Football Way Too Early Mock Draft

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

Round 1

  1. Joe Bond – Christian McCaffrey, RB1, CAR
  2. Kevin Huo – Derrick Henry, RB2, TEN
  3. Jonathan Chan –Alvin Kamara, RB3, NO
  4. Nick Spencer – Dalvin Cook, RB4, MIN
  5. Michael Tomlin – Davante Adams, WR1, GB
  6. Jon Witt – Jonathan Taylor, RB5, IND
  7. Davis Peng – Nick Chubb, RB6, CLE
  8. Keith Lott – Saquon Barkley, RB7, NYG
  9. Bob Van the IDP Man – Stefon Diggs, WR2, BUF
  10. Kyle Williams – Ezekiel Elliott, RB8, DAL
  11. Dennis Sosic – Travis Kelce, TE1, KC
  12. John LaPresto – Josh Jacobs, RB9, LVR

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For the second year in the row, and even after missing 13 games in 2020, running back Christian McCaffery sits atop the leaderboard. It’s hard to argue with this pick though. McCaffery is still 24 years old and averaged 30.13 full PPR points in his three healthy games. His shoulder injury shouldn’t linger into the 2021 season, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t reclaim his crown as fantasy football’s best player.

In 2020 drafts, the first receiver off the board was Michael Thomas. But with Drew Brees‘ retirement – and a generally unproductive 2020 season – a new clear-cut WR1 has emerged: Davante Adams. After the Big Four running backs, he’s as good of a pick as any explains Michael Tomlin:

“To me, Davante Adams is the safest top-10 pick, providing Aaron Rodgers comes back. Will he miss a game or two? Yeah, probably. But when he’s in, you get elite production every week.”

The first major eyebrow-raiser comes off the board at pick number six, where Jon Witt selects sophomore running back Jonathan Taylor. After a disappointing start, Taylor more than lived up to the hype down the stretch, carrying many patient fantasy owners with 23 fantasy points per game over the last four weeks of the season. He finished as the RB4 in standard and RB6 in PPR leagues. With Marlon Mack unlikely to return to the Colts and a fantastic offensive line still in place, get used to seeing Taylor’s name listed in the first round.

Keith takes Saquon Barkley at 8, our first homer pick. If Barkley comes back healthy, he could be a steal there.

My pick

I went with Derrick Henry here although I was considering Alvin Kamara and Dalvin Cook as well. At the end of the day, I liked Henry’s safety due to his heavy volume and dominant role as well as the massive week-to-week upside. I’d have gone with Cook over Kamara, as I’m just not 100% sure what the Saints‘ offense will look like in 2021.

Round 2

  1. John LaPresto – J.K. Dobbins, RB10, BAL
  2. Dennis Sosic – Austin Ekeler, RB11, LAC
  3. Kyle Williams – Aaron Jones, RB12, GB
  4. Bob Van the IDP Man – Miles Sanders, RB13, PHI
  5. Keith Lott – Tyreek Hill, WR3, KC
  6. Davis Peng – DeAndre Hopkins, WR4, ARI
  7. Jon Witt – Michael Thomas, WR5, NO
  8. Michael Tomlin – George Kittle, TE2, SF
  9. Nick Spencer – Calvin Ridley, WR6, ATL
  10. Jonathan Chan – D.K. Metcalf, WR7, SEA
  11. Kevin Huo – Julio Jones, WR8, ATL
  12. Joe Bond – Antonio Gibson, RB14, WAS

Round 2 was a very balanced round, with five running backs, six receivers, and one tight end being drafted. The most interesting thing from this round wasn’t necessarily the order of the players that were drafted, but the pattern. Four running backs were selected at the beginning of the round, followed by receivers in six of the next seven draft slots, before Gibson brings up the rear of round 2.

This signals to me that there is a clear cut tier of running backs that ends at Miles Sanders that drafters may generally value over the majority of wide receivers. If I’m picking in the top half of the draft, I can almost certainly count on none of these running backs making it back to me for my second pick.

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Calvin Ridley may have put together the quietest top-5 fantasy season I’ve ever seen. He doesn’t get the recognition that other young stud receivers get, but he puts up tremendous numbers. Maybe it’s because he plays for a losing team or maybe it’s because he plays across from Julio Jones, but Ridley is legit. Nick Spencer sees him emerging as the WR1 in Atlanta this season:

“Calling my shot by taking Calvin Ridley over Julio Jones in the second. Julio is on the decline and Ridley is just entering his prime so I’m betting on him to take over as the #1 this year.”

Joe takes Gibson to round out the second round. Homer pick count: 2.

My pick

Julio Jones at WR8 seems blasphemous, but it’s probably about right given his injury history and (somewhat) declining production. Still, if he’s healthy, he’s an absolute machine in an offense and with a quarterback, I have no questions about. I won’t say I disagree with Nick’s proclamation above that Ridley will usurp Jones, but I figure there’s enough to go around for the both of them with Matt Ryan slinging it.

Round 3

  1. Joe Bond – Justin Jefferson, WR9, MIN
  2. Kevin Huo – Allen Robinson, WR10, CHI
  3. Jonathan Chan – A.J. Brown, WR11, TEN
  4. Nick Spencer – D’Andre Swift, RB15, DET
  5. Michael Tomlin – David Montgomery, RB16, CHI
  6. Jon Witt – Chris Godwin, WR12, TB
  7. Davis Peng – Joe Mixon, RB17, CIN
  8. Keith Lott – Cam Akers, RB18, LAR
  9. Bob Van the IDP Man – Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB19, KC
  10. Kyle Williams – Patrick Mahomes, QB1, KC
  11. Dennis Sosic – James Robinson, RB19, JAX
  12. John LaPresto – Mike Evans, WR13, TB

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Joe immediately makes me feel dumb by snagging Justin Jefferson as his WR1. In hindsight, Jefferson would’ve been a better pick than Jones and Joe was happy to snag him there:

“I was so happy to get Justin Jefferson as WR9 and on the round 2/3 turn. Did you know that Jefferson was WR6 on the season and WR4 in half-PPR leagues from Week 3 forward? That was the week the Vikings finally decided to play him over Olabisi Johnson and he proved to them that decision was the correct one. Jefferson is a stud and a great WR to start out my team with.

Remember that tier of running backs I mentioned earlier? Here’s where it really shows itself. One or more of Swift, Montgomery, Mixon, Akers, Edwards-Helaire, or Robinson will likely be a huge steal in the third round, it’s just hard to pick exactly which one. They’re certainly all worthy picks at this point, but they all straddle the line between a sure thing and potential disappointment.

Speaking of Robinson, I was surprised to see him go so low (RB19). He had 1,414 all-purpose yards and 10 touchdowns last year on a Jaguars‘ offense that struggled. With Trevor Lawrence likely under center and assuming no notable addition to the backfield, the end of the third round is far too low for him.



My pick

There was nobody I really loved here, so I played it safe and took Allen Robinson. Year after year, the man puts up fantasy numbers no matter who is throwing him the ball. And since he’s a free agent this season, I’m hoping he finds himself an offense and a quarterback that really lets him shine. His draft spot could fluctuate greatly depending on what team he ends up with.

Round 4

  1. John LaPresto –Darren Waller, TE2, LVR
  2. Dennis Sosic – Keenan Allen, WR14, LAC
  3. Kyle Williams – Kenny Golladay, WR15, DET
  4. Bob Van the IDP Man – Terry McLaurin, WR16, WAS
  5. Keith Lott – Adam Thielen, WR17, MIN
  6. Davis Peng – Amari Cooper, WR18, DAL
  7. Jon Witt – JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR19, PIT
  8. Michael Tomlin – Robert Woods, WR20, LAR
  9. Nick Spencer – D.J. Moore, WR21, CAR
  10. Jonathan Chan – Chris Carson, RB20, SEA
  11. Kevin Huo – Cooper Kupp, WR22, LAR
  12. Joe Bond – Diontae Johnson, WR23, PIT

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In round 4 we’re moving on from young running backs to showcasing the league’s young wide receiver talent. A massive run of 10 wide receivers are picked within this round and there’s not really too big of a difference between the majority of them. This shows me that it might be best to get my hands on as many running backs as I can, as I can still get receivers who are capable of putting up top-12 scoring numbers each week in the middle rounds.

My favorite of this bunch is Terry McLaurin. He’s a stud and with more stable play (hopefully) at the quarterback position in Washington, he could explode in 2021.

My pick

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to select him and had to settle for Cooper Kupp. Kupp is perennially underrated and attached to a decent-to-good offense. There are rumors Jared Goff may get traded, and I wouldn’t necessarily look at that as a bad thing.

Round 5

  1. Joe Bond – Brandon Aiyuk, WR24, SF
  2. Kevin Huo – Kenyan Drake, RB21, ARI
  3. Jonathan Chan – Josh Allen, QB2, BUF
  4. Nick Spencer – Melvin Gordon, RB22, DEN
  5. Michael Tomlin – Tyler Lockett, WR25, SEA
  6. Jon Witt – D.J. Chark, WR26, JAX
  7. Davis Peng – Ronald Jones, RB23, TB
  8. Keith Lott – Kareem Hunt, RB24, CLE
  9. Bob Van the IDP Man – CeeDee Lamb, WR27, DAL
  10. Kyle Williams – Odell Beckham Jr, WR28, CLE
  11. Dennis Sosic – Tyler Boyd, WR29, CIN
  12. John LaPresto – Chase Claypool, WR30, PIT

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Nothing too surprising in this round, outside of Josh Allen ascending to QB2. The question is will Allen have a Lamar Jackson-esque fall to earth in his second-year post-breakout or is this just who he is now?

We also see three second-year wide receivers go in this round who could ascend to the top of the fantasy ranks in 2021. They all find themselves in interesting situations though, as they all could have new quarterbacks throwing them the ball for the majority of the new season.

My pick

Kenyan Drake was incredibly frustrating to own in 2020, but he’s worth taking a shot on here. He was widely inefficient and limited by injury in his first year as the primary ball-carrier in Arizona, but still finished as RB13 in standard leagues and R16 in PPR leagues. He’s a free agent this year, but if he returns to the Cardinals, he’s got some upside.

Round 6

  1. John LaPresto –Tee Higgins, WR31, CIN
  2. Dennis Sosic – DeVante Parker, WR32, MIA
  3. Kyle Williams – Mark Andrews, TE3, BAL
  4. Bob Van the IDP Man – T.J. Hockenson, TE4, DET
  5. Keith Lott – Will Fuller V, WR33, HOU
  6. Davis Peng – Courtland Sutton, WR34, DEN
  7. Jon Witt – Dak Prescott, QB3, DAL
  8. Michael Tomlin – Kyler Murray, QB4, ARI
  9. Nick Spencer – Deshaun Watson, QB5, HOU
  10. Jonathan Chan – Damien Harris, RB25, NE
  11. Kevin Huo – Lamar Jackson, QB6, BAL
  12. Joe Bond – Aaron Rodgers, QB7, GB

There was a surprising run on quarterbacks in Round 6 with five going in the bottom half of the round, started off by Dak Prescott going off the board as QB3 to Jon Witt. A bit surprising given that he is coming off major surgery, but you can’t argue with his weaponry and the production we saw from him before he got hurt.

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We also can see that the running back options are starting to thin out. Only one running back is taken in this round, and it’s homer pick #3 by (surprise) Jonathan Chan:

“Despite an unnecessary and hurtful callout from Kevin, I am not unhappy taking Damien Harris in the sixth round. Yes, Patriots running backs are essentially a dart throw but Harris played well when he was on the field in 2020. The Pats’ 2019 third-round pick averaged 5.0 yards-per-carry on 137 attempts and was an RB2 in the 10 games he played this season. With Cam Newton unlikely to be the starting QB next season, there are double-digit (Newton had 12 in 2020) rushing touchdowns up for grabs in the New England backfield. Even if he splits those evenly with Sony Michel AND James White, an extra four touchdowns would put Harris solidly in RB2 territory.”

My pick

I’m usually a proponent of the late-round quarterback strategy, but how could I pass up Lamar Jackson (our fourth homer pick) as QB6? While his passing numbers suffered significantly in 2020, as a Ravens fan I can only hope he will develop further and get back to what he was doing through the air in 2019. The rushing is almost guaranteed as he hit 1,000 rushing yards and seven touchdowns for the second straight season.

Rounds 7-10

Even during quarantine, I don’t have the time to go round-by-round through all these picks, so I’ve singled out a few that caught my eye. If you need a refresher on how our draft board shook out, feel free to check the link at the top of the page.

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Round 7, Pick 1: Joe Bond – Marquise Brown, WR35, BAL

The breakout didn’t happen as we thought it might in 2020, but Hollywood is a decent gamble at this point. He’s scored 15 touchdowns over two seasons and has shown great chemistry with Lamar Jackson. Maybe we’re fooling ourselves again, but hopefully, he can build on his last six games when he averaged 15 PPR points per game.

Round 7, Pick 4: Nick Spencer – Noah Fant, TE6, DEN

I’m not really against this pick as I really like Fant’s talent. But this does show the dire straits that the tight end position is in. Fant is a decent player but TE6 is a little rich for my blood. Outside of the top five tight ends, tight end is really, really weak once again.

Round 8, Pick 7: Jon Witt – Zack Moss, RB31, BUF

Moss could be a steal here in Round 8. I, and the Buffalo staff, have no faith in Devin Singletary as an impactful player. The Bills have seemingly become a pass-first offense, but at the rate they score points, the RB1 in that offense will be valuable – and it could be Moss in 2021.

Round 9, Pick 7: Davis Peng – Myles Gaskin, RB36, MIA

I’ll let Davis handle this one:

“I am not the biggest fan of Gaskin and it’s likely that he is a one-hit-wonder but getting him in the 9th round as a 4th RB might be the biggest steal of the draft.”

Round 10, Pick 1: John LaPresto – Antonio Brown, WR51, TB

…sure, why not? Who knows who Brown will suit up for in 2021, but he showed that he still has the juice as he averaged the 28th most points per game among wide receivers in 2020.




And that wraps it up! Thanks for joining us! Check out each of our teams in the link up top. And if you could take time to vote for who had the best team (obviously me), Joe has promised that the winner will be allowed out of his basement. Cheers!

Who had the best draft?

 

About Kevin Huo

Kevin is a fantasy football writer for Fantasy Six Pack. He considers every angle - whether statistical or theoretical - when weighing his options and isn't afraid to be a contrarian. You can follow him on Twitter: @KevinMHuo

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