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2021 Fantasy Football Mock Draft 1.0: Drafting From the Top

With only 10 more weeks until the start of the NFL season, fantasy football preparation is officially underway.  The 2021 FantraxHQ Fantasy Football Draft Kit is live and it’s time to start doing your research in preparation for a championship run this upcoming season.  For the next 10 weeks, every Monday, I will be completing a fantasy football mock draft on what I like to call “Mock Draft Monday.”  I’ll break down my results of who, when, and why I picked particular players to give you an idea of how your draft may go with some added advice along the way.  Failing to prepare is preparing to fail! So, let’s mock draft!

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Picking First Overall in the First Mock Draft

The following mock draft was completed, simulating my strategy and results for a 10-team, 1 quarterback, Points Per Reception league.  The hypothetical roster consists of 3 wide receivers, 2 running backs, 1 tight end, and 1 RB/WR/TE Flex position.  I drafted from the first overall pick in this mock draft and will make selections from different draft positions each week.  For this mock draft, I will break down just the first 10 of the total 16 rounds as many Average Draft Positions, particularly for the later rounds, are bound to change once NFL training camps begin.  Now, let’s get to it.


1.01-       Christian McCaffrey (CAR RB)

1.02-       Dalvin Cook (MIN RB)

1.03-       Alvin Kamara (NO RB)

1.04-       Saquon Barkley (NYG RB)

1.05-       Derrick Henry (TEN RB)

1.06-       Davante Adams (GB WR)

1.07-       Tyreek Hill (KC WR)

1.08-       Ezekiel Elliot (DAL RB)

1.09-       Jonathan Taylor (IND RB)

1.10-       Travis Kelce (KC TE)


MY PICK: Christian McCaffrey

He was the best player at every position in 2019.  In just 3 games in 2020, he averaged 30.1 points per game.  Mock draft or real draft, Run CMC is my choice in all formats for the first overall draft pick in the 2021 season.  He is the stud I want to build my team around this season.

Keep in mind that while Devante Adams was the 6th overall pick in this mock draft, he may fall in others as many fantasy football managers are hesitant to select him given Aaron Rodgers’ uncertainty to play in Green Bay in 2021.


2.01 –     Nick Chubb (CLE RB)

2.02-      Austin Ekeler (LAC RB)

2.03-      Joe Mixon (CIN RB)

2.04-      Deandre Hopkins (ARI WR)

2.05-      Stefon Diggs (BUF WR)

2.06-      Aaron Jones (GB RB)

2.07-      Najee Harris (PIT RB)

2.08-      Cam Akers (LAR RB)

2.09-      Calvin Ridley (ATL WR)

2.10-      AJ Brown (TEN WR)



The irony of this pick of the mock draft is that I wanted Ridley, Julio Jones’ former Atlanta teammate, but instead, selected Brown, Jones’ new teammate in Tennessee.  Brown has never recorded less than 1,000 receiving yards in his first two seasons.  He scored a career-high 11 touchdowns in just 14 games last year while battling season-long knee injuries.  I am confident in his ability to finish as a top-5 wide receiver in fantasy football in 2021.


3.01-      Justin Jefferson (MIN WR)

3.02-      Michael Thomas (NO WR)

3.03-      D.K. Metcalf (SEA WR)

3.04-      George Kittle (SF TE)

3.05-      Darren Waller (LV TE)

3.06-      Patrick Mahomes (KC QB)

3.07-      Keenan Allen (LAC WR)

3.08-      Kyler Murray (ARI QB)

3.09-      Allen Robinson (CHI WR)

3.10-      Antonio Gibson (WFT RB)


MY PICK: Justin Jefferson

It came down to “What have you done?” versus “What have you done for me lately?”  Jefferson’s 88 catch, 1,400-yard rookie campaign last year is hard to ignore.  Meanwhile, Michael Thomas’s injuries and off-the-field issues were such a letdown in 2020.  If Jefferson was gone, I would probably have taken Thomas, but the Saints’ quarterback situation gives me pause.

It was interesting only one running back went in this round of the mock draft.  I am glad to have McCaffrey as the running back position can dry up fast.


4.01-      Terry McLaurin (WFT WR)

4.02-      Julio Jones (TEN WR)

4.03-      Robert Woods (LAR WR)

4.04-      Clyde Edwards-Helaire (KC RB)

4.05-      David Montgomery (CHI RB)

4.06-      Ceedee Lamb (DAL WR)

4.07-      Mike Evans (TB WR)

4.08-      Amari Cooper (DAL WR)

4.09-      Chris Carson (SEA RB)

4.10-      D’Andre Swift (DET RB)


MY PICK: D’Andre Swift

I was thrilled to get Swift here as my second running back to pair with McCaffrey.  Lions offensive coordinator, Anthony Lynn, and top rookie lineman, Penei Sewell, should boost Swift’s value in 2021.  Quarterback Jared Goff, who supported running back Todd Gurley’s top fantasy football seasons in Los Angeles, is now under center for Detroit, as well.  I was not leaving this round of the mock draft without a second running back.  I chose Swift over J.K. Dobbins, Miles Sanders, and Josh Jacobs.


5.01-      Chris Godwin (TB WR)

5.02-      Josh Allen (BUF QB)

5.03-      Adam Thielen (MIN WR)

5.04-      Dionte Johnson (PIT WR)

5.05-      Cooper Kupp (LAR WR)

5.06-      Tee Higgins (CIN WR)

5.07-      J.K. Dobbins (BAL RB)

5.08-      D.J. Moore (CAR WR)

5.09-      Brandon Aiyuk (SF WR)

5.10-      Kenny Golladay (NYG WR)


MY PICK: Chris Godwin

He completes my starting wide receiver corps.  I was shocked to see him available in the 5th round of this mock draft.  Having signed the one-year franchise tag in Tampa Bay, I expect Godwin to show out, yet again, as he’s playing for a long-term deal with the Bucs, or elsewhere, in 2022.

Josh Allen was tempting, but there are plenty of quarterbacks still available, and this league only starts one.


6.01-      Tyler Lockett (SEA WR)

6.02-      Chase Claypool (PIT WR)

6.03-      Ja’Marr Chase (CIN WR)

6.04-      JuJu Smith-Schuster (PIT WR)

6.05-      Travis Etienne (JAX RB)

6.06-      Odell Beckham, Jr. (CLE WR)

6.07-      Josh Jacobs (LV RB)

6.08-      Miles Sanders (PHI RB)

6.09-      Robby Anderson (CAR WR)

6.10-      Kareem Hunt (CLE RB)


MY PICK: Kareem Hunt

Some would say he is the top running back handcuff in 2021 to Nick Chubb, but Hunt has value on his own, especially as a pass-catcher.  Of course, if Chubb were to ever miss time, Hunt would offer top-10 potential that many backups do not at the position.  Behind the Cleveland Browns’ top offensive line, Hunt should carry his 2020 success into this season.

I would have loved Miles Sanders this late in the mock draft as I think he is due for a bounce-back year in Philly as the bell cow back.


7.01-      Mike Davis (ATL RB)

7.02-      D.J. Chark (JAX WR)

7.03-      Kyle Pitts (ATL TE)

7.04-      Lamar Jackson (BAL QB)

7.05-      Mark Andrews (BAL TE)

7.06-      Jerry Jeudy (DEN WR)

7.07-      T.J. Hockenson (DET TE)

7.08-      Devonta Smith (PHI WR)

7.09-      Dak Prescott (DAL QB)

7.10-      Courtland Sutton (DEN WR)


MY PICK: Mike Davis

Ah, my first regret of this mock draft.  That is why we mock draft, though! Make your mistakes now, not when it counts later in the summer! I should have taken Lamar Jackson here.  His ability to rack up points running the ball would have been a valuable asset to my starting lineup, especially in the 7th round.

Instead, I added Davis, under the assumption he is the lead back in Atlanta at the start of the season.  His new coach, Arthur Smith, had wild success with Derrick Henry the last two seasons with the Titans.  I was hoping to get a potential piece of that pie.  Still, Lamar would have been better than my fourth running back at this point.

Side note: Notice the mini-run of tight ends off the board here.


8.01-      Justin Herbert (LAC QB)

8.02-      Michael Pittman (IND WR)

8.03-      Myles Gaskin (MIA RB)

8.04-      Russell Wilson (SEA QB)

8.05-      Will Fuller (MIA WR)

8.06-      Aaron Rodgers (GB QB)

8.07-      Tyler Boyd (CIN WR)

8.08-      Deebo Samuel (SF WR)

8.09-      Brandin Cooks (HOU WR)

8.10-      Ryan Tannehill (TEN QB)


MY PICK: Ryan Tannehill

Well, it’s not Lamar, but I got my quarterback.  Last season, Tannehill finished 7th in overall points among quarterbacks and 11th on a points per game basis.  In 2021, he adds wide receiver Julio Jones to the passing game.  There isn’t another quarterback off the board for a few rounds in this mock draft after my pick here.  While I don’t emphasize it often, “stacking” Tannehill with my top wide receiver, A.J. Brown, should pay off in a big way when the two connect for major fantasy points.  I did not want to wait for a riskier option as a Week 1 starter, such as Joe Burrow or Trevor Lawrence.


9.01-      Raheem Mostert (SF RB)

9.02-      Antonio Brown (TB WR)

9.03-      James Robinson (JAX RB)

9.04-      Jarvis Landry (CLE WR)

9.05-      Javontae Williams (DEN RB)

9.06-      Leonard Fournette (TB RB)

9.07-      Chase Edmonds (ARI RB)

9.08-      Laviska Shenault (JAX WR)

9.09-      Curtis Samuel (WFT WR)

9.10-      Melvin Gordon (DEN RB)


My Pick: Raheem Mostert

The 2021 fantasy football season will be a bit different as the NFL adds an extra game to the regular-season schedule.  That being said, I would like to have solid running back depth when I leave my 2021 fantasy football drafts.  Mostert is the projected Week 1 starter for the 49ers but has not been reliable on a week-by-week basis in the past.

Aside from my mock draft pick, I find it worthwhile to monitor the Denver running back situation during training camp.  Rookie back Javonte Williams was selected here ahead of Melvin Gordon and it will be interesting to see where each are being drafted by late-August.


10.01-    Michael Carter (NYJ RB)

10.02-    Darnell Mooney (CHI WR)

10.03-    Russell Gage (ATL WR)

10.04-    Zack Moss (BUF RB)

10.05-    Jaylen Waddle (MIA WR)

10.06-    Marquis Brown (BAL WR)

10.07-    Devante Parker (MIA WR)

10.08-    Damien Harris (NE RB)

10.09-    Ronald Jones (TB RB)

10.10-    Dallas Goedert (PHI TE)


MY PICK: Dallas Goedert

At this point, most of the mock draft simulated teams are grabbing bench running backs and receivers.  So, I was happy to have waited at tight end and still secure a starter in Goedert.  Truthfully, I got caught up in depth elsewhere and forgot about tight end until now.  It proved to be okay as I believe Goedert will fall anywhere in the top-5 to top-10 range on a points-per-game basis in the 2021 fantasy football season.  Assuming tight end Zach Ertz gets traded before September, Goedert should be a top target for up-and-coming quarterback, Jalen Hurts.


QB-       Ryan Tannehill

RB-       Christian McCaffrey, D’Andre Swift

WR-      AJ Brown, Justin Jefferson, Chris Godwin

TE-       Dallas Goedert

FLEX-  Kareem Hunt

Bench: Mike Davis, Raheem Mostert

Mock Draft 1.0 CONCLUSION

It’s never a bad thing to start your draft with Christian McCaffrey, but I feel good about how I filled out the remainder of the roster.  This mock draft presented a few trends that caught my attention already.

The wide receiver position is very deep in talent.  It may be beneficial to emphasize other positions because of the ability to get good quality receivers later on.  However, it was extremely valuable, and more importantly, it was possible to add three of my top-12 receivers in this draft.  I really like my corps of AJ Brown, Justin Jefferson, and Chris Godwin.

On the other hand, running backs are scarce so adding two in the first four rounds gave me peace of mind. I noticed quarterbacks and tight ends fly off the board in small groups so it is important to monitor when that occurs and not to settle for the scraps too much later.

For Mock Draft Monday 1.0, I am happy with the team and happy to be back in pre-draft analysis mode! Follow along each week to see further results, analysis, and how drafting from different positions changes things.  Now it’s your turn! Get after it!

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