We are one preseason game down with two to go for every NFL team. Many of the values in fantasy football this week are reflective of the performances from over the weekend. There is a lot to unpack from each game. Now that we have training camp news, injury updates, and fresh stats from actual games, it’s time to apply all of it to our drafts. See below how all of the up to date information impacts this week’s mock draft.
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Picking Seventh Overall in the Seventh Mock Draft
The following mock draft was completed, simulating my strategy and results for a 10-team, one quarterback, Points Per Reception league. The hypothetical roster consists of three wide receivers, two running backs, one tight end, and one RB/WR/TE Flex position. I drafted from the seventh overall pick in this mock draft and make selections from different draft positions each week. For this mock draft, I will break down 14 of the total 16 rounds to analyze as many players as possible. It’s important, with just a few weeks until the start of the season, to consider how to build the bench in fantasy football beyond the construction of a starting lineup. The last two rounds will always be my kicker and defense selections. 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- Derrick Henry (TEN RB)
1.05- Ezekiel Elliott (DAL RB)
1.06- Davante Adams (GB WR)
1.07- Aaron Jones (GB RB)
1.08- Austin Ekeler (LAC RB)
1.09- Saquon Barkley (NYG RB)
1.10- Jonathan Taylor (IND RB)
MY PICK: Aaron Jones
With Davante Adams off the board in the first six picks, I turn my attention to his teammate, Aaron Jones. Jones carries a stigma that he’s underutilized. At some point you’ve probably seen the “#FreeAaronJones” hashtag trending on Twitter during fantasy football season.
The reality is that Jones was the RB2 in 2019 with 285 touches over a full 16-game season. Last season, in 14 games, he still managed 248 touches with an RB5 finish.
He may not have the household name value that of “CMC”, “Zeke”, or “King Henry”, but Jones is right there in talent, volume, and production with the top-tier running backs. Being able to select him seventh overall in this mock draft provides a safe-floor and potential overall running back ceiling in the Green Bay offense.
2.01 – Travis Kelce (KC TE)
2.02- Nick Chubb (CLE RB)
2.03- Joe Mixon (CIN RB)
2.04- Tyreek Hill (KC WR)
2.05- Stefon Diggs (BUF WR)
2.06- Najee Harris (PIT RB)
2.07- Antonio Gibson (WFT RB)
2.08- Patrick Mahomes (KC QB)
2.09- DeAndre Hopkins (ARI WR)
2.10- Clyde Edwards-Helaire (KC RB)
MY PICK: Tyreek Hill
You may hear your friends claim RB/RB is the way to go in the first two rounds because “wide receiver is so deep.” Sure, the wide receiver position is deeper than the running back position. However, that does not mean you have to commit to taking two running backs at the start of the draft.
In this mock draft, for instance, I obviously enter the second round with Aaron Jones. Now, if I told myself I needed another running back, I would have my choice here of rookie, Najee Harris, or my pick of second-year backs, Gibson or CEH.
Instead of committing to a positional strategy, I am committing to value. It would be nice to have two running backs, but then I’d miss out on my second ranked wide receiver in Tyreek Hill. Since Patrick Mahomes took over as the Chiefs’ quarterback in 2018, Hill has finished as either the WR1 or WR2 overall in two of the last three seasons. Why would I pass on that potential here?
There is a reason four Chiefs are off the board in this round. That team is a Super Bowl contender and fantasy football goldmine. It should go without saying that successful NFL teams are a good bet to roster top-tier fantasy football players.
3.01- Calvin Ridley (ATL WR)
3.02- DK Metcalf (SEA WR)
3.03- Darren Waller (LV TE)
3.04- Justin Jefferson (MIN WR)
3.05- A.J. Brown (TEN WR)
3.06- Keenan Allen (LAC WR)
3.07- Allen Robinson (CHI WR)
3.08- T.J. Hockenson (DET TE)
3.09- George Kittle (SF TE)
3.10- David Montgomery (CHI RB)
MY PICK: Allen Robinson
Selecting Allen Robinson in the third round is starting to feel like a steal. I know he’s only played in one preseason game, but Bears rookie quarterback, Justin Fields, looks the part. That said, when he is named the starter, I want his top receiving target in Allen Robinson.
If Fields wins the job in the next two weeks, amidst the bulk of fantasy football drafts, Robinson’s ADP could climb into the second round. I would still be hard-pressed to find someone willing to take him over Calvin Ridley or DeAndre Hopkins. It’s just not out of the question that he finishes ahead of them by the end of the season.
Robinson is one of the best receivers in the league with a history of mediocre quarterbacks. Still, he’s produced top-12 fantasy football seasons in each of the last two. This mock draft pick is me betting on Fields knowing he can’t be any worse than anyone who’s thrown the ball to Robinson in the past.
If all goes well, Hill and Robinson should be two of the top receivers this season anchoring this mock draft team.
4.01- Terry McLaurin (WFT WR)
4.02- Josh Allen (BUF QB)
4.03- Amari Cooper (DAL WR)
4.04- Ceedee Lamb (DAL WR)
4.05- D’Andre Swift (DET RB)
4.06- Mike Evans (TB WR)
4.07- Robert Woods (LAR WR)
4.08- J.K. Dobbins (BAL RB)
4.09- Josh Jacobs (LV RB)
4.10- Cooper Kupp (LAR WR)
MY PICK: Ceedee Lamb
I am shocked to see Amari Cooper taken ahead of Ceedee Lamb in this mock draft. Having just come off the Physically Unable to Perform list, Cooper is finally back on the practice field. I think Cooper has the higher floor, but it’s hard to ignore the training camp highlight reel Lamb continues to put together each week.
With a bit of uncertainty surrounding Dak Prescott’s recent shoulder injury, Mike Evans is the safer pick here. The Buccaneers are returning 22 out of a possible 22 starters from their Super Bowl LV roster. Scroll back up if you need reminding about successful teams producing successful fantasy football players.
Round four is where value becomes crucial. Roster construction starts to come into play, as well. There are a lot of names here in the mock draft that I want on my roster. Furthermore, I have to decide if I want to enter the fifth round with at least two running backs or two wide receivers.
I chose to chase the high ceiling of a wide receiver trio consisting of Hill, Robinson, Lamb. With the confidence I have in Aaron Jones as my RB1, I feel comfortable with the running backs still on the board to go after one soon as my RB2.
5.01- Julio Jones (TEN WR)
5.02- Chris Godwin (TB WR)
5.03- D.J. Moore (CAR WR)
5.04- Dionte Johnson (PIT WR)
5.05- Adam Thielen (MIN WR)
5.06- Chris Carson (SEA RB)
5.07- Miles Sanders (PHI RB)
5.08- Tyler Lockett (SEA WR)
5.09- Michael Thomas (NO WR)
5.10- Brandon Aiyuk (SF WR)
MY PICK: Miles Sanders
What a fall from grace for Miles Sanders. In 2020, he was arguably a first round pick in fantasy football. He finished as RB20 in PPR on a points per game basis in just 12 games.
While Sanders left many disappointed last year, he is more appropriately valued ahead of 2021 and still offers high upside, especially as a fifth-round pick in this mock draft.
The Eagles offensive line is much healthier this year. In addition, Sanders touches the ball more when Jalen Hurts is under center in comparison to Carson Wentz. With new head coach, Nick Sirianni, emphasizing getting the running backs involved in the passing game, Sanders will hopefully get more work as a receiver.
I would have loved Chris Carson with this pick in the mock draft. You have to be ready to adjust if a player who want is no longer available. There is no need to panic. It’s a strong recommendation to target a small handful of players as your pick gets closer. That way if the guy you want is gone, you won’t waste time, under pressure, figuring out what to do.
6.01- Kenny Golladay (NYG WR)
6.02- Chase Claypool (PIT WR)
6.03- Dak Prescott (DAL QB)
6.04- Darrell Henderson (LAR RB)
6.05- Kyler Murray (ARI QB)
6.06- Lamar Jackson (BAL QB)
6.07- Ja’Marr Chase (CIN WR)
6.08- Tee Higgins (CIN WR)
6.09- Odell Beckham, Jr. (CLE WR)
6.10- JuJu Smith-Schuster (PIT WR)
MY PICK: Darrell Henderson
This mock draft pick is all about roster construction. Admittedly, it’s a bit of RB2 insurance, as well. There is a small chance both Sanders and Henderson are the top running backs in running back committees on their respective offenses. Both players sat out their first preseason games as to not risk injury. That’s a good sign right now that they’ll get the most work when the regular season kicks off.
They are both fantasy football starters and the depth at running back seems important to address now rather than target additional wide receivers. Henderson, as the lead back for the Rams, has a good chance to outscore Sanders. I am happy to have both players, especially in the order of selection.
This seems like the sweet spot for the remainder of the top-tier quarterbacks. For this mock draft, having a balance and depth of wide receivers and running backs is more important than a top-tier quarterback. With five mock draft teams now with a quarterback, I feel confident I can secure a starter a few rounds from now.
7.01- Mark Andrews (BAL TE)
7.02- Kyle Pitts (ATL TE)
7.03- Courtland Sutton (DEN WR)
7.04- Justin Herbert (LAC QB)
7.05- Devonta Smith (PHI WR)
7.06- Robby Anderson (CAR WR)
7.07- Mike Davis (ATL RB)
7.08- Tyler Boyd (CIN WR)
7.09- Michael Pittman (IND WR)
7.10- Laviska Shenault (JAX WR)
MY PICK: Mike Davis
With Andrews and Pitts gone, six mock draft teams now have their starting tight ends. Since that position can be a bit of a guessing game, there’s no rush to add one to my roster just yet.
With that said, I love the idea of adding another starting running back in Mike Davis here. The Falcons signed Davis to a contract this offseason and haven’t added any credible threats to his workload since.
Atlanta’s head coach, Arthur Smith spent the last two seasons in Tennessee, where Derrick Henry finished as the back-to-back rushing leader. If Davis sees an increase in volume with the Falcons, compared to that of which he had in Carolina last season, he has an extremely safe RB2 floor. I now have four solid running backs in this mock draft to choose from any given week.
8.01- Aaron Rodgers (GB QB)
8.02- Brandin Cooks (HOU WR)
8.03- Will Fuller (MIA WR)
8.04- Jerry Jeudy (DEN WR)
8.05- Michael Carter (NYJ RB)
8.06- Myles Gaskin (MIA RB)
8.07- Antonio Brown (TB WR)
8.08- Travis Etienne (JAX RB)
8.09- Kareem Hunt (CLE RB)
8.10- Russell Wilson (SEA QB)
MY PICK: Jerry Jeudy
Jerry Jeudy’s numbers as a rookie aren’t quite what fantasy football managers were hoping for. On paper, a 52/856/3 stat line is solid for a rookie wide receiver. However, there is a lot of meat left on the bone considering Jeudy saw 113 targets.
Most of Jeudy’s potential is limited by the Denver Broncos’ quarterback. Not only was Drew Lock below average, but the Broncos even had to starter practice squad wide receiver, Kendall Hinton, at quarterback for one game last year due to a Covid-19 outbreak. Jeudy did not record a catch in that game.
It’s yet to be seen if Lock, or offseason trade acquisition, Teddy Bridgewater, will win the starting job. Regardless, if Jeudy sees 113 targets again, or more, he’s worth an eighth-round pick in hopes of better production.
9.01- Chase Edmonds (ARI RB)
9.02- Javontae Williams (DEN RB)
9.03- Deebo Samuel (SF WR)
9.04- D.J. Chark (JAX WR)
9.05- James Robinson (JAX RB)
9.06- Jarvis Landry (CLE WR)
9.07- Ryan Tannehill (TEN QB)
9.08- Trey Sermon (SF RB)
9.09- Leonard Fournette (TB RB)
9.10- Melvin Gordon (DEN RB)
My Pick: Ryan Tannehill
I really like my running back and wide receiver depth through eight rounds of this mock draft. So, before it gets to be slim pickings at quarterback, I snagged Tannehill as the ninth quarterback off the board.
Five of the next picks in this mock draft are all running backs with question marks. So, I feel justified in my decision to grab the four backs I did earlier and wait at quarterback. With the addition of Julio Jones, to an offense that finished 4th in scoring last season, Tannehill is cheap quarterback with top-five potential any given week at the position.
10.01- Damien Harris (NE RB)
10.02- Raheem Mostert (SF RB)
10.03- Marquis Brown (BAL WR)
10.04- Michael Gallup (DAL WR)
10.05- Corey Davis (NYJ WR)
10.06- Jaylen Waddle (MIA WR)
10.07- Mike Williams (LAC WR)
10.08- Curtis Samuel (WFT WR)
10.09- Devante Parker (MIA WR)
10.10– Ronald Jones (TB RB)
MY PICK: Michael Gallup
We always hear discussions about handcuffing your stud running backs in fantasy football. For those unfamiliar with the term, handcuffing is to draft your star player’s backup to plug in to your lineup in the event that they have to miss time.
In this round of the mock draft, I chose to handcuff my fourth-round wide receiver pick, Ceedee Lamb. I expect the Cowboys offense to return to elite production with Dak Prescott back under center.
Amari Cooper is working his way back from injury, and if Lamb is to miss time for whatever reason, Gallup immediately steps in as a fantasy football starter. He already holds weekly flex value.
11.01- Marvin Jones (JAX WR)
11.02- Mecole Hardman (KC WR)
11.03- David Johnson (HOU RB)
11.04- Darnell Mooney (CHI WR)
11.05- Nyheim Hines (IND RB)
11.06- Noah Fant (DEN TE)
11.07- Dallas Goedert (PHI TE)
11.08- Kenyan Drake (LV RB)
11.09- Henry Ruggs (LV WR)
11.10– Russell Gage (ATL WR)
MY PICK: Dallas Goedert
Now is the best time to draft a tight end for this mock draft team. I have five running backs, five wide receivers, and a starting quarterback. On top of that, players like Fant, Goedert, and Logan Thomas are still available and are fine options as weekly starters.
With most leagues allowing one tight end roster spot, and sometimes a flex, I either want one of the top-tier guys like Kelce, Waller or Kittle, or I’m waiting until later to make a selection. I’d rather secure running backs and wide receivers, positions that I start more than one of, earlier on than take a guess as to who I think is the next best tight end.
This should be the year Dallas Goedert takes over as the clear-cut pass catching tight end in the Eagles’ offense. He’s four years younger than Zach Ertz, who could still get traded before the start of the regular season. So far, reports out of training camp indicate that tight end utilization in the passing game seems to be a key factor in Jalen Hurts’ potential success as a starter in Philly.
12.01- Tom Brady (TB QB)
12.02- Zach Moss (BUF RB)
12.03- Jalen Reagor (PHI WR)
12.04- AJ Dillon (GB RB)
12.05- James Conner (ARI RB)
12.06- Jamaal Williams (DET RB)
12.07- Elijah Moore (NYJ WR)
12.08- Rashod Bateman (BAL WR)
12.09- Logan Thomas (WFT TE)
12.10– Robert Tonyan (GB TE)
MY PICK: AJ Dillon
This pick is one of the easier decisions of the mock draft. With Aaron Jones as my top pick, selecting his backup in Dillon this late in the draft is a no-brainer. I don’t always try to handcuff my star running backs, but Dillon is a priority. Arguably, I should have taken him sooner.
With the departure of Jamaal Williams from Green Bay to Detroit, Dillon slides in as the 1B to Jones’ 1A. The Packers have interchanged Jones and Williams for the last few seasons, with Jones getting most of the workload.
If that continues, with Dillon, it will be great to have both. If not, that means Jones is far and away the starter and a great value as the seventh overall pick. Furthermore, if he gets banged up at any point, Dillon has shown he can produce RB1 numbers in this offense.
He is a top running back handcuff for the 2021 season. Even if you don’t roster Jones, Dillon is worth selecting this late in the draft especially for depth at the position.
13.01- Matthew Stafford (DET QB)
13.02- Jalen Hurts (PHI QB)
13.03- Tony Pollard (DAL RB)
13.04- Adam Trautman (NO TE)
13.05- Irv Smith (MIN TE)
13.06- Gus Edwards (BAL RB)
13.07- Latavius Murray (NO RB)
13.08- Devin Singletary (BUF RB)
13.09- T.Y. Hilton (IND WR)
13.10– Cole Beasley (BUF WR)
MY PICK: Latavius Murray
On the tails of my sentiment about Dillon, Latavius Murray is another top handcuff for the 2021 season. While I don’t have Alvin Kamara on my roster, Murray is a fantasy starter if Kamara misses time.
Alvin Kamara has never carried the ball more than 194 times in a season. Murray is often mixed into this offense as a ball carrier throughout the season. In the event Kamara misses time, Murray would undoubtedly carry the load, as he has before, and is a good bet to produce RB1 numbers.
This is the lowest I have seen Jalen Hurts go in a mock draft yet. There is some risk to his unpolished play as a starter. However, taking his potential, especially as a runner, in the 13th round, has tremendous upside. With 32 starting quarterbacks each week, and only 10 fantasy teams in this mock draft league, if Hurts isn’t working out, there will be someone worth starting on the waiver wire.
14.01- J.D. McKissic (WFT RB)
14.02- Giovani Bernard (TB RB)
14.03- Joe Burrow (CIN QB)
14.04- Justin Fields (CHI QB)
14.05- Mike Gesicki (MIA TE)
14.06- Tyler Higbee (LAR TE)
14.07- James White (NE RB)
14.08- Randall Cobb (GB WR)
14.09- Alexander Mattison (MIN RB)
14.10– Marquez Callaway (NO WR)
MY PICK: Justin Fields
Oops, I did it again. This may be the last time Justin Fields is available this late in the mock draft. This doesn’t mean I don’t believe in Tannehill as my starter. I just want the upside Fields has and none of my league opponents to have him.
This pick would probably have been better spent on Gesicki or Higbee to back up Goedert. However, if Fields is the starter for the Bears sooner than later, his production far outscores anyone I plug in at tight end this season.
I never meant to target Fields, but when I took Robinson in the third, it became a consideration. It would be a regret if I left this mock draft without the potential for a Fields/Robinson stack.
Don’t leave your fantasy football drafts with any regrets.
QB- Ryan Tannehill
RB- Aaron Jones, Miles Sanders
WR- Tyreek Hill, Allen Robinson, Ceedee Lamb
TE- Dallas Goedert
FLEX- Darrell Henderson
BENCH: Mike Davis, Jerry Jeudy, Michael Gallup, AJ Dillon, Latavius Murray, Justin Fields
Mock Draft 7.0 CONCLUSION
As expected, there is a fluid change in value of these players, especially after the first preseason game. Players I once selected in the middle to late rounds were off the board a bit earlier in this mock draft and vice versa.
It’s now more than ever important to keep tabs on the ADP of your top targets. You don’t want to get caught reaching for a player if their value is slipping a bit. On the flip side, you will be disappointed if you miss out on a player because their value has crept up recently.
I think this mock draft team is all about balance. There isn’t a player at any position that is ranked as the top player at their position. That’s hard to come by with the seventh pick unless you decide to grab tight end, Travis Kelce, that early.
There is, however, a very solid floor amongst the starters with a promising ceiling. My first two picks in Aaron Jones and Tyreek Hill have, and can, finish in the top-three at their positions. They’re also both on conference championship, or better, caliber teams. That’s the foundation for a fantasy football team you want to start a draft with.
This mock draft team seems prepared for anything as far as depth is concerned. I have four starting NFL running backs to plug and play each week. In addition, there are two handcuffs that can both produce flex numbers, but are also immediate starters if the running back in front of them on the depth chart goes down.
It may seem like a waste right now to have both Tannehill and Fields on this mock draft roster. One of those spots could be spent on additional wide receiver depth or a backup tight end. There should be some clarity surrounding quarterback competitions soon, including the Bears’ with Fields and Andy Dalton.
The closer to the season a fantasy draft is, the more information there is to work off of. Use everything you have available and apply it to a mock draft today!
For more Rankings and Analysis please check out our full 2021 Fantasy Football Draft Kit.
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