Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12-Team Standard Superflex (2021)
I recently completed a mock draft in which I had a back-end pick in a 12-team standard-scoring league. In that article, I went into my draft targeting running backs, but I pivoted to a zero-RB strategy due to a run on the position.
In this iteration, I’m going to add another layer of complexity to my mock draft practice: Superflex. If you’re unfamiliar, Superflex is a fantasy football position that allows the manager to input any position (i.e., QB, RB, WR, or TE) as a flex, oftentimes a second quarterback since they’re generally the highest scorers. As such, when drafting in a Superflex league, my normal strategy of waiting on quarterbacks doesn’t apply; there is no longer an abundance at the position because every team usually starts two.
Just like last time, I’ll be utilizing FantasyPros’ Mock Draft Simulator to quickly test a Superflex draft strategy to gain a better idea of average draft positions (ADPs) and trends. Since I had a late-round pick in my last mock, I decided to attack this one with an early pick.
In a standard-scoring Superflex league, quarterbacks and running backs have the most value. With the updated Mock Draft Simulator, I set the positional values to reflect a higher demand on quarterbacks and normal for other positions. With an early-round pick, I will target an elite signal-caller early and then construct my team through running back depth. My team should be drastically different than my last mock’s team (centered around superiority at wide receiver and tight end). However, if there’s another run on running backs after my first pick — which I’m planning to use to get a top quarterback — I will pivot and go either QB-QB-RB or QB-WR-QB to start my draft.
The Mock Draft
12-Team, Zero PPR, Snake Format, 4th Position
Round 1.04 – Josh Allen (QB – BUF)
With my first pick of the draft, I knew I was most likely going with a quarterback because you usually start two. However, there were two running backs (Christian McCaffrey and Dalvin Cook) drafted within the first three picks. I wasn’t surprised with CMC getting drafted, but due to Cook going third, Josh Allen — last year’s top fantasy quarterback — fell to me at the 1.04. With CMC gone, this was a relatively easy pick to make, as I knew I was picking one of the premier dual-threat QBs in the league: Allen, Kyler Murray, or Lamar Jackson. I went with the best passer — at least last season — of the three, who also happens to be on the best offense. I don’t think any of the three would be a bad pick here.
Other Players Considered: Kyler Murray, Lamar Jackson
Round 2.09 – Travis Kelce (TE – KC)
Like my last mock, I took the top tight end with my second-round pick. However, this selection came much later due to the prevalence of quarterbacks who had already gone. I was torn with this pick, as there wasn’t an elite running back on the board, and there were some options at quarterback. However, I ultimately chose Kelce over the quarterbacks, as I hope that one of Aaron Rodgers, Justin Herbert, or Jalen Hurts will fall to me in the third. Worst case scenario, I get the top tight end and then can take a running back with some upside in the third. Let’s see if my gamble pays off.
Other Players Considered: Aaron Rodgers, Justin Herbert, Jalen Hurts
Round 3.04 – Aaron Rodgers (QB – GB)
My strategy worked, as just one signal-caller went in the six picks following my second-round choice. With this pick, I had several options: take one of the two elite fantasy quarterbacks remaining (i.e., Rodgers and Hurts) to gain a competitive advantage in the most important position in a Superflex league or diversify my team by taking a potentially great running back. I opted for the former, as there’s a major drop-off after these two in terms of fantasy production. I want to be elite at the QB/SF positions. I’m hoping to get a solid rusher within my next few picks and focus heavily on that position group in the coming rounds.
Round 4.09 – D’Andre Swift (RB – DET)
Luckily, not too many running backs went after my third-round pick, so I had the choice between James Robinson or D’Andre Swift as my RB1. Both had solid — exceptional in Robinson’s case — rookie campaigns, but I think Swift has the great upside and outlook for 2021. Furthermore, some solid receivers were available, namely Julio Jones, Mike Evans, and Terry McLaurin. But because wide receiver is a deeper position group, and because this is a zero PPR league, I opted for Swift.
Other Players Considered: James Robinson, Julio Jones, Terry McLaurin
Round 5.04 – Julio Jones (WR – ATL)
With my quarterback and tight end positions filled with top-tier players, I can exclusively focus every pick in the coming rounds on running backs and wide receivers. Since I just took a running back, I slightly favored a receiver here, but I would have pivoted if Robinson or another solid running back had fallen. Unfortunately, Robinson didn’t fall, and David Montgomery and Melvin Gordon didn’t, either. As such, I went with a receiver. Both Jones and McLaurin lasted to this pick. I’m a huge fan of McLaurin as a Washington native, but I adamantly believe Jones was the best wideout of the 2010s, and he remains the best receiver in the league when healthy. That last part — when healthy — is key, but with a fifth-round ADP, I can’t turn down his on-field consistency and elite production.
Other Players Considered: Terry McLaurin
Round 6.09 – CeeDee Lamb (WR – DAL)
After going running back-wide receiver in the last two rounds, I was open to taking the best player available from either of these positions. Although a ton of wideouts (and quarterbacks) went after my fifth-round pick, the talent available at receiver was certainly better than at running back. Specifically, I was between hyped sophomore wideouts CeeDee Lamb and Chase Claypool with this pick. Ultimately, I went with Lamb, as I think he — with Dak Prescott returning at quarterback — easily offers WR1 upside and consistency with a top quarterback, while Claypool may be relegated to hauling in off-target passes from aging Ben Roethlisberger.
Round 7.04 – Chase Claypool (WR – PIT)
I wanted to go running back here after going wide receiver-wide receiver in the fifth and sixth rounds. However, Kareem Hunt and Travis Etienne both went after my last pick, so there wasn’t much talent remaining at the top of the running back pool. However, Claypool did fall to me here, and although I’d rather build up my running back corps, taking a young, potential stud receiver with my seventh pick is hard to turn down.
Other Players Considered: Raheem Mostert, Tyler Lockett, Ronald Jones II
Round 8.09 – Myles Gaskin (RB – MIA)
Many of the remaining “top” running backs went between my picks, which was not surprising. However, with my current roster being a little thin at the position, I knew I had to go that route with this pick. There were two targets on the board: Myles Gaskin and Chase Edmonds. Gaskin came out of nowhere last year to consistently produce RB2 numbers when healthy. Gaskin received a ton of touches, despite a bit of inefficiency, despite his small frame. Edmonds, alternatively, largely took a back seat to Kenyan Drake, who departed this offseason for Las Vegas. The Arizona Cardinals did bring in James Conner, but few believe that he’ll truly control this backfield throughout the season. With my RB2 slot open, I went with the safer option — at least until draft day, when Miami may select a running back in the first several rounds. Gaskin should be a solid RB2 next season if Miami leaves the backfield largely untouched.
Other Players Considered: Chase Edmonds
Round 9.04 – Chase Edmonds (RB – ARI)
This pick was quick and easy. I took Edmonds, a player I heavily considered last round. With my current roster construction, I need to start loading up on high-upside rushers who could win their respective backfields and carry my squad to the championship. I don’t expect or need RB1s at this point in the draft, but throwing darts and hoping to hit on one or two solid RB2s would pay dividends for my team. I could also go wide receiver, but my lack of depth at running back made it my choice.
Round 10.09 – Darrell Henderson (RB – LAR)
At this point in the draft, you begin selecting depth pieces to bolster your bench. Unfortunately, none of the top receivers from the last round remained, so I opted to go running back again here. However, the remaining options were quite underwhelming. They were primarily backups without much chance of taking over. But they would be draft-day steals if they ever had a chance to start in their respective backfields. As such, I went with the player I think has the higher upside in this scenario: Darrell Henderson.
Round 11.04 – Robby Anderson (WR – CAR)
With this pick, I was open to taking another quarterback if a high-upside option were available. Let’s not forgot we’re in a Superflex league, so getting a quality QB3 matters. However, with my premier starting options, I didn’t feel the need to draft a signal-caller here if there were better options at other positions, as I would be open to taking a high-upside rookie later (i.e., Justin Fields). Since I didn’t like my options at quarterback, I wanted to beef up my receiving corps a bit after pivoting away over the past few rounds. I thought about taking Penny here, but I felt that Anderson could be a solid option if he produces similarly to last year. I don’t think this is a league-winning pick, but it should provide me with a solid backup receiver if one of my top three were to get injured or underperform.
Round 12.09 – Mike Davis (RB – ATL)
Toward the end of your drafts, I highly recommend taking players with relatively high upside but can be easily cut from your rosters if they underproduce in the first few weeks. Mike Davis fits this description very well, as he has been serviceable throughout his career. He filled in nicely for Carolina last year when CMC went down, but it’s unclear if he’ll start in Atlanta. If he wins the job by Week 1, this could be a league-winning pick, especially considering my relatively weak running back corps. If not, I can easily drop him without much regret. I also considered Benny Snell with this pick, but Davis offers more upside in a high-octane offense. He also has a better chance to start for his team.
Other Players Considered: Benny Snell, Laviska Shenault, Jr.
Round 13.04 – Benny Snell (RB – PIT)
Considering my strategy for my last pick, this one was relatively easy for me. Both Snell and Shenault, Jr. fell to me, but I went with the one at the more valuable position: Snell. With this pick, I am okay not drafting another rusher with my remaining picks. I’ll focus more heavily on a third quarterback and on stockpiling receivers to fill out my roster.
Other Players Considered: Laviska Shenault, Jr., Michael Pittman, Jr.
Round 14.09 – Taysom Hill (QB – NO)
With only two picks left, I knew I had to take a quarterback and a wideout to finish my draft. With these remaining picks, I wanted to take players that could outperform their ADPs and be solid contributors to my team, but ones who I could easily waive if they underwhelmed. Basically, my strategy hasn’t changed from the recent rounds, but I focused on different positions. As such, I took a player with more scarcity at his position: Taysom Hill. Although we don’t know the starter in New Orleans yet, Hill filled in well (at least in fantasy) last year when Drew Brees got injured. If Hill is named the starter in 2021, this could be a great pick. If not, I can easily drop him for a high-upside player off waivers.
Round 15.04 – Jalen Reagor (WR – PHI)
With my final pick, I took the top receiver remaining: Jalen Reagor. The Eagles’ 2020 first-round selection, infamously remembered as going one slot before young phenom wideout Justin Jefferson, Reagor underwhelmed in his rookie season. He got hurt and missed several games, and inconsistent quarterback play led to a disappointing start to his career. However, with that high draft capital and neither Alshon Jeffrey nor DeSean Jackson on the roster, Reagor could take control of this receiving corps and command a potentially high target share. There’s a lot of uncertainty with Reagor, but considering that this is the last pick in my draft, it’s surely worth it.
Other Players Considered: Sterling Shepard
I received a solid draft grade (B – 85/100) primarily due to my elite starters. Although I normally draft for high-upside depth pieces, this draft offered me the opportunity to gain a huge advantage on starters before focusing on my bench. With a top quarterback group and the most dominant tight end since prime Rob Gronkowski, I believe my team has championship-winning potential. If a few of my running back picks prove their worth, and if one of my sophomore wideouts takes the next step toward stardom, my team could dominate the rest of the league.
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