Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Standard, 12-Team (2021)
Well, wouldn’t you know it, it’s August! This is the busiest month for fantasy football drafts and the best time for people to jump back into fantasy and start doing some research. One of the best places to start is with a mock draft. Whether you’re ready or not, it can be very helpful in figuring out where Average Draft Position (ADP) is at the moment and help shape your opinion of things.
I’ve written two other articles in May and July about drafting from the 10 spot, so to keep with tradition, we’ll do the same here. We’ll even use the same roster requirements with one twist: one QB, two RBs, three WRs, one TE, two FLEX, one DST, and eight bench players. I’m adding DST this time because a lot of redraft leagues still use them and because adding them can cause a little chaos in the later rounds. Also, this is a standard scoring format league. Let’s see how it goes this time around!
Standard Mock Draft from the 10 Pick
1.10 – Jonathan Taylor (RB – IND)
Just like the mock from July, the first nine picks are all running backs. However, given the latest news around the Indianapolis Colts, Jonathan Taylor has fallen from the 4th pick in July to be available for me at 10. I know he feels risky, but I’m not that worried. He’s still a terrific RB1 option for me. An easy pick.
2.03 – Stefon Diggs (WR – BUF)
How can I not take the WR3 yet again here in Stefon Diggs? I got him at this same spot both in May and July, meaning his value hasn’t changed much, if at all, making him the perfect WR1 for my team to pair with the riskier Taylor from Round 1. Another easy pick.
3.10 – Darren Waller (TE – LVR)
Another pick identical to my mock from May, Waller just feels like a slam dunk at this spot. In July, he went ahead of my pick, and my team definitely felt weaker because of it. Glad to see him available this time around as the TE3 option in the third round. Another easy pick!
4.03 – Mike Evans (WR – TB)
In both of my previous mocks, I was able to snag D’Andre Swift (RB – DET) here, but he goes at 4.02 and leaves me with a pivotal choice that will change my team dramatically from the last two mocks. Miles Sanders (RB – PHI) is the best RB available, but he has the same Week 14 bye as Taylor, which could be a problem given how hard good RBs are to find. So instead, I pivot and take my second WR in Mike Evans. He’s a great WR2 option with lots of TD upside to boot.
5.10 – Kareem Hunt (RB – CLE)
Well crap. Only 4 running backs went after I took Evans, but the options available here are significantly worse than I expected. I could go with Tyler Lockett (WR – SEA), who I selected at this pick back in May, but I notice that the two teams picking after me both only have a single RB as well. It hurts, but I select Kareem Hunt as my RB2. The simulator’s pick predictor confirms my suspicions and says there’s a 70% chance that he’s gone by my next pick, so I don’t want to risk it.
6.03 – Tyler Lockett (WR – SEA)
Well, wouldn’t you know it, both of the teams picking 11 and 12 selected running backs, so I’m glad I got Hunt when I did. Also, Lockett fell to me at 6.03! Even with guys like Brandon Aiyuk (WR – SF) and Dak Prescott (QB – DAL) on the board, Lockett is still the easy pick for me here. He’s a little risky, but as my WR3, I think he’s the perfect fit for my team even though he and Evans have the same Week 9 bye.
7.10 – Russell Wilson (QB – SEA)
I’ve really come around to the idea that stacking in redraft can be a winning strategy as long as you can do so without reaching too far in the draft. Seeing Wilson available after just taking Lockett last round feels like a sign. He’s a stud QB, and the other options available here aren’t exactly stellar. Welcome to the team Russ, now let’s get cooking!
8.03 – Michael Carter (RB – NYJ)
Looking at my roster, I see a lot of Week 9 byes and only two running backs through seven rounds. Time to hit that RB position again. One of the guys I’m targeting this year that might struggle out of the gate is rookie RB Michael Carter for the Jets. He might have to earn his role, but I am confident he can pull it off by the time I need him later in the season, so Carter is the obvious choice for me here.
9.10 – Jarvis Landry (WR – CLE)
I survey the board and make the same choice I made in May by selecting Browns receiver Jarvis Landry. He may not be flashy, but he gets the job done, and as my WR4/Flex option, that’s all I’m looking for here. With guys like Lockett and Evans, who have high ceilings and low floors, I like to balance that out with a high floor and low ceiling player like Landry.
10.03 – Michael Thomas (WR – NO)
Now that my starting roster is basically ready to roll, I’m starting to fill my bench. This is the perfect spot to consider Michael Thomas, who is my pick at 10.03. He went at 3.11 in May and 3.06 in July, but now that he’s likely to miss some time, a lot of fantasy managers are avoiding him. As a bench player, I could care less. He’s the best talent on the board by a mile, and I don’t need him to start right away anyway. Easiest pick of the draft.
11.10 – Nyheim Hines (RB – IND)
The options at running back are getting thin. Generally, I don’t draft running back handcuffs, especially this early, but I think that Hines has some standalone value for the Colts. It’s a weird stack, but given my options, I don’t see much else that makes me excited, so why not go for Hines here in the case that Taylor struggles anyway, right?
12.03 – Noah Fant (TE – DEN)
Well, there we have it, the first two defenses are off the board, with the Steelers at 11.12 and the Rams at 12.02. This is waaaay too early for me, but again, I’m fine with it because it lets other players fall further in the draft. Players like Noah Fant, who I select here. I took Higbee as my TE back in July but I think Fant is an entire tier above him. Fant could also be a terrific flex play based on the matchups during the year as well. Love it!
13.10 – Joe Burrow (QB – CIN)
Two more defenses are taken between my last pick and this one, so the simulator is helping me out a bit here. I opt for my second QB in Joe Burrow. I selected him in the 14th round in May, but he went at 11.11 in July. Now that he’s back at practice and people can see how nervous he looks, his ADP is starting to fall again. Fine by me as I’m happy to grab him here at 13.10. If Russ struggles or is inconsistent and Burrow is back to his old self, he could be a perfect replacement.
14.03 – Darrel Williams (RB – KC)
I look at my roster and see two QBs, four RBs, five WRs, and my single TE. RBs fall off a cliff here, but I still think Darrel Williams will see some playing time along with Clyde Edwards-Helaire for the Chiefs. He’s not ideal, but I want to have a little more RB depth heading into the season.
15.10 – Sterling Shepard (WR – NYG)
I am lucky enough to get my 14.03 pick from July to fall to me at 15.10 this time in Sterling Shepard. News recently came out that Kenny Golladay (WR – NYG) might miss some of the preseason due to injury, which could help Shepard rise in ADP between now and the start of the season. As my WR6, I think he’s an okay bye week player with some tremendous upside if Golladay misses any regular-season games as well.
16.03 – San Francisco 49ers DST
The simulator has been suggesting the 49ers’ defense for at least two rounds now, and they’re still there. I know the grade looks at your defense, and the other options here are all pretty ugly, so why not. Since the long gap in my picks is coming up, I’ll take my DST here a couple of rounds before the end and see how it shakes out.
17.10 – Adam Trautman (TE – NO)
Four more defenses go in that long gap, so I’m glad I made the pick when I did. These last picks are purely looking for upside, so I grab my third TE in Adam Trautman. If Thomas takes a while to see the field, it’s entirely possible that Trautman is the benefactor of that. This way, I’ve got the top two Saints passing game options outside of Alvin Kamara (RB – NO), and we can see how it goes in Week 1.
18.03 – Javian Hawkins (RB – ATL)
This one is kind of a reach, but there’s a small chance that the Falcons end up needing to rely on someone other than Mike Davis (RB – ATL) in their backfield. We should know pretty quickly if it’s Javian Hawkins or not, so as a final pick, I love getting him here as someone I can drop if he doesn’t pan out at all.
Conclusion and Draft Grades
I’m fine with getting an 86/100 here. It’s the same grade I got in May, but I’m much happier with my results this time around. My RBs are solid but not great with Taylor and Hunt and deep enough to get me through the year. My WRs are loaded with Michael Thomas on my bench and a stellar threesome in my WR slots. Waller, Fant, and Trautman are all terrific options at TE in a deep league like this as well.
I’m very happy with this team overall and think it’s a definite contender for the title. Once again, my favorite thing about the FantasyPros Mock Draft Simulator is that you can do dozens of these throughout the course of a day. Take a quick five-minute break and do one yourself. Share the results with me on Twitter, @AndrewHallFF, and stick with FantasyPros through the rest of the offseason leading up to Week 1. There is plenty of analysis, rankings, and ADP data to check out, and it’s always updated with the latest to help you win your title and dominate your own league!
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 more advanced strategy – like What is the Right Amount of Risk to Absorb on Draft Day? – to learn more.