Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12-team Half-PPR, Early Pick (2021)
Summer is winding down, and training camps are open for business, so there is no time like the present to start preparing for your fantasy football draft. One of the best ways to get ready is by running mock drafts with the FantasyPros Draft Wizard. If you’re not familiar with it already, the Draft Wizard allows you to customize the parameters to match your league settings. It’s an awesome way to be prepared for any scenario come draft day.
For this iteration, I wanted to test an early-round pick in a fairly standard league. As such, I set the parameters as follows:
- 12 teams, Half-point PPR
- 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX (RB/WR/TE), 1 D/ST, 1 K, 6 Bench slots
I assigned myself the 3rd pick in a snake draft (re-draft league) and drafted against all experts using Consensus ADP and Yahoo pre-draft rankings. Below are the results by round, along with some thoughts/observations:
1.03 – Dalvin Cook (RB – MIN)
I was surprised that Cook was available to me at #3 as I expected him to go second after Christian McCaffrey. Instead, Alvin Kamara was taken second, which was fine by me. The only knock-on Cook in my book is that he tends to get banged up and miss time. To counter that, I was hoping to handcuff him with Alexander Mattison late in the draft. That didn’t end up happening, though, as Mattison ended up being drafted in the 9th round – much earlier than I expected.
2.10 – Darren Waller (TE – LV)
I wasn’t planning on going with a tight end this early, but there were many similarities between the RB’s and WR’s available to me at this point. So, I decided to grab my #2 ranked TE in Waller, who is basically a wide receiver anyway. I expect that he will lead the Raiders in targets by a wide margin once again this season.
3.03 – D’Andre Swift (RB – DET)
Since the wide receiver position is so deep this year, I was comfortable going with another running back with my 3rd pick and locked up Swift. Some people are down on him as they think Jamaal Williams will vulture some of his touches and that the Lions’ offense will just be plain bad. I think he’s a dynamic talent running and catching the ball, though, so I was happy to get him here.
4.10 – Darrell Henderson (RB – LAR)
Even though I still didn’t have a WR on my roster, I couldn’t help but grab Henderson here as he has tremendous upside. I prefer using RB’s in my flex position anyway, and there were still many quality wideouts on the board.
5.03 – Diontae Johnson (WR – PIT)
Johnson was simply the best WR still on the board at this point. He was a target monster when healthy last season, so Ben Roethlisberger clearly likes throwing to him. I am a bit concerned that the Steelers’ offense could become more run-heavy this season with Najee Harris’s addition.
6.10 – Ja’Marr Chase (WR – CIN)
Higher floor options were available to me here, but I decided to go for the upside with Chase. Rookie wide receivers don’t always work out, but the combination of talent and his familiarity with Joe Burrow made me feel he was worth the gamble.
7.03 – Jerry Jeudy (WR – DEN)
Making up for the lack of WR’s taken earlier, I grabbed another high upside guy in the 7th round in Jeudy. Like Dionte Johnson, Jeudy struggled with drops in 2020, but he has a ton of potential should Denver be able to find some consistency at Quarterback. Speaking of QB’s, I debated nabbing one here as a few good ones were still on the board but opted for the WR instead.
8.10 – Ryan Tannehill (QB – TEN)
I may have waited a bit too long to take a QB as Tannehill was the only one in my Top 10 left. I probably should have grabbed Aaron Rodgers in the last round. I’m not completely sold on Tannehill, but he did have the 7th most points for a QB last season, and you could argue his weapons are better this year with the addition of Julio Jones.
9.03 – Michael Carter (RB – NYJ)
With three solid RB’s already in place, I shot for the upside here with Carter. I’m not sure he’ll end up a consistent Fantasy option this season, but he definitely has the opportunity to break out.
11.03 – T.Y. Hilton (WR – IND)
Hilton didn’t seem to really connect with Philip Rivers until late in the season last year. Hopefully, he and Carson Wentz will develop some chemistry quickly. If so, he could end up being a real bargain here.
12.10 – J.D. Mckissic (RB – WAS)
I wanted one more RB, and McKissic had the clearest role of those remaining. His upside is fairly limited, but he catches many passes and could have starter value should something happen to Antonio Gibson.
13.03 – Kirk Cousins (QB – MIN)
I don’t always draft a backup QB, but I nabbed Cousins as a security blanket since I’m not totally sold on my starter. He’s not great but could be usable in plus matchups.
14.10 – Harrison Butker (K – KC)
The last 2 picks needed to be a Kicker and a D/ST. The best bet here was Butker, one of the top kickers whose bye week isn’t until Week 12.
15.03 – Saints (DST – NO)
With only a few picks remaining in the draft, I took the best D/ST left in the Saints. I was actually OK with this as I have them ranked higher than most.
Overall, I was pretty happy with the results of this mock. I love being strong at RB, especially in leagues where I can use the third one as a Flex. Even though I waited on WR, I ended up with several viable options and only need to use two per week. My only regret is perhaps waiting a little too long to take a QB, but I can get by with Tannehill & Cousins, and I like the depth I was able to get at RB & WR.
Draft Wizard Grade: 91 (A-)
Whether you’re new to fantasy football or a seasoned pro, our Fantasy Football 101: Strategy Tips & Advice page is for you. You can get started with Starting Your Own Fantasy Football League or head to a more advanced strategy – like What is the Right Amount of Risk to Absorb on Draft Day? – to learn more.