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12-Team Half-PPR Mock Draft: Late Pick (2021 Fantasy Football)

by Matt Barbato | @realmattbarbato | Featured Writer
Jul 22, 2021


Can you smell it? No, I don’t mean the summertime smells of fresh-cut grass and smoked meats. I’m talking about draft season!

Okay, I don’t really know what draft season smells like. The point is it’s almost here. And that means mock draft season’s in full swing!

Whether you’re deciding where you want to pick in your upcoming draft, or already know your fate, I’ll give you a general idea of what to expect when picking at the end of your fantasy draft. Here’s how it played out! By the way, you can do this too using our amazing DraftWizard!

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Note: I assigned myself the 10th pick in this 12-team, half-PPR, 1 QB draft. 

Pick 1.10: Aaron Jones (RB – GB)

Positional scarcity helped with this decision. The top eight tailbacks were already off the board, and the dropoff between Jones and Austin Ekeler was higher than the dropoff from Tyreek Hill or Davante Adams to the rest of the receivers available. I’m nabbing a trusted featured back in Jones here.

Pick 2.03: Austin Ekeler (RB – LAC)

Ekeler carries even more value in a half-PPR format. When healthy, he could be in store for a big year as the lead back on a potentially explosive Chargers offense. I’m pretty happy with this tailback tandem.

Pick 3.10: D’Andre Swift (RB – DET)

I planned on going wide receiver here, but the value Swift offered in late Round 3 was simply too good to pass up. Yes, Detroit’s offense might struggle. But there have been plenty of running backs who have put up big numbers on bad offenses. And Swift’s talent as a three-down back gives him a chance of putting up great numbers, regardless of what goes on around him. Guess I’ll worry about receiver in Round 4.

Pick 4.3: Mike Evans (WR – TB)

The Mike Evans experience can be a bumpy one. Some weeks he’ll put up 200 yards and two scores; others, he’ll put up two catches for 20 yards. But in the end, Evans usually winds up as a low-end WR1, as he did in 2020. He’s Tom Brady‘s go-to target in the red zone, which means another double-digit touchdown season is definitely in the cards.

Pick 5.10: Brandon Aiyuk (WR – SF)

Aiyuk offers a ton of upside as my WR2. As a rookie, he finished 33rd among receivers despite inconsistent and occasionally awful QB play. The situation under center isn’t clear in San Francisco. But Aiyuk could be this team’s primary weapon in the passing game.

Pick 6.3: Mike Davis (RB – ATL)

Drafting Mike Davis feels like falling for a trick question on your college final exam. He put up a solid season in relief of Christian McCaffrey. He’s got no viable threat on the depth chart. And he’ll be part of what should be a high-scoring offense in Atlanta. But still, it feels too good to be true. Alas, I was surprised Davis lasted this long, as he’s one of the only likely starters left on the board. I’ll take a shot on him as my RB4.

Pick 7.10: Javonte Williams (RB – DEN)

Once again, I couldn’t pass up on the value at running back. Sometimes, you have to take what the draft gives you. In this case, I’ll take the flyer on Williams as my fifth running back and pretty much be finished with the position the rest of the way. Williams might not start the year as Denver’s starter, but he could finish the year leading the way. I’m banking on Williams ascending into a stronger role as the year goes on.

Okay, no more running backs, I promise!

Pick 8.3: Brandin Cooks (WR – HOU)

Desperation at receiver is setting in. I really like Cooks as a player, and he is the clear No. 1 weapon in Houston’s passing game. But the gigantic unknown is Deshaun Watson‘s status with the organization. If Watson returns, Cooks could deliver high-end WR2 value. If the Texans are starting Tyrod Taylor or rookie Davis Mills at QB, then the best-case scenario could be Cooks gets traded.

Pick 9.10: Jaylen Waddle (WR – MIA)

This is where the DraftWizard really shows its value. Thanks to Pick Insights, I knew I was the only manager in this mock who still needed a starting quarterback. And the DraftWizard’s Pick Predictor suggested there was a 65% chance that the top QB left, Tom Brady, would be available in the 10th round.

So I’m going back to wide receiver and taking an upside shot on Jaylen Waddle. The Alabama product reunites with his former college quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, and pairs blazing speed with more refined technique than last year’s Alabama speedster, Henry Ruggs.

Pick 10.3: Tom Brady (QB – TB)

The DraftWizard was correct, and Brady was indeed still on the board with this pick. There’s always the worry that this is the year father time catches up with Brady. But it just doesn’t seem to be happening. Pairing him with Evans is an added bonus.

Pick 11.10: Marvin Jones (WR – JAX)

Jones gives me the best shot of producing this late in drafts, and I like his fit in what could be a decent passing game. Jones isn’t a weekly fixture in my starting lineup, but he’s capable of putting up monstrous weeks in the right matchups.

Pick 12.3: Robert Tonyan (TE – GB)

Oh, yeah… I need a tight end. It’s such an easy position to forget about. Tonyan broke out with 11 touchdowns last season. Obviously, Tonyan’s value craters if Aaron Rodgers isn’t with Green Bay this season. But I’m banking on Rodgers being back and more touchdowns.

Pick 13.10: Tua Tagovailoa (QB – MIA)

I’m taking a stab on Tua here as a high upside backup to Brady. I think the fantasy community is overreacting to a rookie season that really wasn’t that bad. And did we forget that rookies tend to struggle? I’m willing to take a flyer on Tua showing signs in an offense better suited to his skillset. The firing of outdated offensive coordinator Chan Gailey and the decision to draft Waddle suggests this offense is headed in the right direction.

Final Draft Grade: 89/100 (B+) 

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Matt Barbato is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Matt, check out his archive and follow him @RealMattBarbato

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