2021 Fantasy Football Mock Draft 2.0: Seven Running Backs in First Eight Picks

The SI Fantasy staff & Michael Fabiano teamed up once again for another 2021 fantasy football mock draft
Author:
Publish date:

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been crowned your Super Bowl LV champions, so the transition in the football world moves to a bevy of mock NFL drafts for 2021. Well, we in the fantasy world are into mocks too, albeit a different kind of draft.

This mock draft, the second we’ve held here at Sports Illustrated this offseason (here’s the first), is again 10 rounds and based on a 12-team, full PPR format. Each of our fantasy managers was required to draft at least one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, a flex starter (RB/WR/TE), and a tight end. Incoming rookies were eligible, though their value remains in question until they’re drafted.

So without further ado, here’s our second look at the 2021 fantasy campaign!

Note: * denotes an unrestricted free agent, ** denotes a restricted free agent

ROUND 1

  • 1.1. Shawn Childs: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers
  • 1.2. Scott Atkins: Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings
  • 1.3. Corey Parson: Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints
  • 1.4. Ben Heisler: Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants
  • 1.5. Roy Larking: Derrick Henry, RB, Titans
  • 1.6. Ian Ritchie: Davante Adams, WR, Packers
  • 1.7. Dennis Roy: Jonathan Taylor, RB, Colts
  • 1.8. Frankie Taddeo: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys
  • 1.9. Matt De Lima: Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs
  • 1.10. Ben Enright: Tyreek Hill, WR, Chiefs
  • 1.11. Michael Fabiano: Nick Chubb, RB, Browns
  • 1.12. Casey Olson: DK Metcalf, WR, Seahawks

Notes: A total of eight running backs came off the board (two more than in our initial mock), with McCaffrey once again leading the charge. While he missed most of last season due to injuries, McCaffrey still averaged over 30 fantasy points in his three games. Adams was again the first wideout chosen, and Hill was second, and Metcalf joined them in the first round. He was a mid-second rounder in our first mock. Elliott went from No. 10 in our first draft to No. 8 in this mock. He averaged more than 22 fantasy points a game before Dak Prescott went down the season. Kelce was also a first-rounder, which is a trend that will no doubt continue in offseason mocks.

READ MORE ARTICLES FROM MICHAEL FABIANO

ROUND 2

  • 2.13. Casey Olson: Aaron Jones, RB, Packers*
  • 2.14. Michael Fabiano: Austin Ekeler, RB, Chargers
  • 2.15. Bill Enright: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Cardinals
  • 2.16. Matthew De Lima: Stefon Diggs, WR, Bills
  • 2.17. Frankie Taddeo: James Robinson, RB, Jaguars
  • 2.18. Dennis Roy: Calvin Ridley, WR, Falcons
  • 2.19. Ian Ritchie: Justin Jefferson, WR, Vikings
  • 2.20. Roy Larking: George Kittle, TE, 49ers
  • 2.21. Ben Heisler: Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders
  • 2.22. Corey Parson: Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers
  • 2.23. Scott Atkins: D’Andre Swift, RB, Lions
  • 2.24. Shawn Childs: Michael Thomas, WR, Saints

Notes: Six of the 12 selections in this round were wide receivers, led by Hopkins and Diggs. Jefferson, a first-round pick in our initial mock, dropped into the second round. That's where he'll be picked in most 2021 drafts. Kittle was the second tight end off the board, 11 picks behind Kelce. Five runners were picked in the round, including Jones, Ekeler, Robinson, and Jacobs. Swift, whose stock seems to be on the rise with Anthony Lynn and Duce Staley now on the Lions coaching staff, was also selected. He was a mid-third round selection in our initial mock draft. Thomas, a top-five pick in most 2020 drafts, fell down to the final selection of this round.

ROUND 3

  • 3.25. Shawn Childs: David Montgomery, RB, Bears
  • 3.26. Scott Atkins: Cam Akers, RB, Rams
  • 3.27. Corey Parson: Allen Robinson, WR, Bears*
  • 3.28. Ben Heisler: Darren Waller, TE, Raiders
  • 3.29. Roy Larking: J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ravens
  • 3.30. Ian Ritchie: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Chiefs
  • 3.31. Dennis Roy: Miles Sanders, RB, Eagles
  • 3.32. Frankie Taddeo: A.J. Brown, WR, Titans
  • 3.33. Matthew De Lima Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals
  • 3.34. Bill Enright: Chris Godwin, WR, Buccaneers*
  • 3.35. Michael Fabiano: Julio Jones, WR, Falcons
  • 3.36. Casey Olson: Terry McLaurin, WR, Football Team

Notes: This round had a few potential bargains at the running back spot, with Akers, Dobbins, Edwards-Helaire, Sanders, and Mixon coming off the board. Montgomery, who busted out in the second half of last season, was the first back off the board. To the surprise of no one, Waller was the third tight end selected. He went behind Kelce in our initial mock. The round ended with three straight wideouts, including Godwin, Jones, and McLaurin. Jones, a top-five wideout in all 2020 drats, was the 13th wide receiver picked in this draft. He could be a great bargain, but Jones comes with risk.

ROUND 4

  • 4.37. Casey Olson: Kenny Golladay, WR, Lions*
  • 4.38. Michael Fabiano: Robert Woods, WR, Rams
  • 4.39. Bill Enright: Antonio Gibson, RB, Football Team
  • 4.40. Matthew De Lima: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs
  • 4.41. Frankie Taddeo: Kareem Hunt, RB, Browns
  • 4.42. Dennis Roy: Amari Cooper, WR, Cowboys
  • 4.43. Ian Ritchie: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
  • 4.44. Roy Larking: Diontae Johnson, WR, Steelers
  • 4.45. Ben Heisler: Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers
  • 4.46. Corey Parson: Melvin Gordon, RB, Broncos
  • 4.47. Scott Atkins: D.J. Moore, WR, Panthers
  • 4.48. Shawn Childs: Adam Thielen, WR, Vikings

Notes: This was a wide receiver heavy round, with seven such players coming off the board. Golladay could be a steal at the top of the round, and Woods went from being a fifth-rounder in our previous mock to a fourth-rounder here. That has a lot to do with the addition of Matthew Stafford in Los Angeles. Mahomes, the first quarterback selected, went a round later than in our previous mock. The first rookie picked was Etienne, who figures to be a lead back wherever he lands in the actual NFL draft. Gordon was a big mover in this draft, as he went 46th overall. The veteran didn’t come off the board until the sixth round (63rd overall) in our first mock draft.

ROUND 5

  • 5.49. Shawn Childs: Cooper Kupp, WR, Rams
  • 5.50. Scott Atkins: Tyler Lockett, WR, Seahawks
  • 5.51. Corey Parson: Tyler Boyd, WR, Bengals
  • 5.52. Ben Heisler: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, 49ers
  • 5.53. Roy Larking: Josh Allen, QB, Bills
  • 5.54. Ian Ritchie: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Cowboys
  • 5.55. Dennis Roy: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
  • 5.56. Frankie Taddeo: Tee Higgins, WR, Bengals
  • 5.57. Matthew De Lima: Chris Carson, RB, Seahawks*
  • 5.58. Bill Enright: Raheem Mostert, RB, 49ers
  • 5.59. Michael Fabiano: Mark Andrews, TE, Ravens
  • 5.60. Casey Olson: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Lions

Notes: This round started with four wide receivers, the most notable being Aiyuk. He averaged 18.4 fantasy points in Week 7-17, which ranked fourth among wideouts in that time. He’s a potential breakout candidate in 2021. The same goes for Lamb and Higgins, who were taken soon after Aiyuk. Allen, the top fantasy quarterback in 2020, went second at the position behind Mahomes. Harris was the second rookie chosen in the mock, but he could be first when the smoke clears if he lands in a great spot to succeed. The round ended with a pair of tight ends, Andrews and Hockenson. What’s notable is that neither was picked in the top 75 in our initial draft.

ROUND 6

  • 6.61. Casey Olson: Kenyan Drake, RB, Cardinals
  • 6.62. Michael Fabiano: JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Steelers*
  • 6.63. Bill Enright: Myles Gaskin, RB, Dolphins
  • 6.64. Matthew De Lima: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Browns
  • 6.65. Frankie Taddeo: James Conner, RB, Steelers*
  • 6.66. Dennis Roy: Kyler Murray, QB, Cardinals
  • 6.67. Ian Ritchie: Courtland Sutton, WR, Broncos
  • 6.68. Roy Larking: Ronald Jones, RB, Buccaneers
  • 6.69. Ben Heisler: A.J. Dillon, RB, Packers
  • 6.70. Corey Parson: Chase Claypool, WR, Steelers
  • 6.71. Scott Atkins: Deebo Samuel, WR, 49ers
  • 6.72. Shawn Childs: Deshaun Watson, QB, Texans

Notes: This round was a mish-mash, as five running backs and five wideouts were selected. You could call this the risk-reward round at those positions, as the likes of Beckham Jr., Conner, RoJo, and Dillon were selected. Dillon is the biggest mover, as he was picked in the ninth round in our previous mock. If the Packers decide to let Aaron Jones walk as a free agent, Dillon's stock will skyrocket. He could push into the top 50 overall picks. Stay tuned. Murray, who fell a round compared to our previous mock, was the third quarterback chosen. Watson was the fourth.

ROUND 7

  • 7.73. Shawn Childs: David Johnson, RB, Texans
  • 7.74. Scott Atkins: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
  • 7.75. Corey Parson: Noah Fant, TE, Broncos
  • 7.76. Ben Heisler: DeVante Parker, WR, Dolphins
  • 7.77. Roy Larking: Brandin Cooks, WR, Texans
  • 7.78. Ian Ritchie: Justin Herbert, QB, Chargers
  • 7.79. Dennis Roy: D.J. Chark, WR, Jaguars
  • 7.80. Frankie Taddeo: Will Fuller, WR, Texans*
  • 7.81. Matthew De Lima: Robby Anderson, WR, Panthers
  • 7.82. Bill Enright: Chase Edmonds, RB, Cardinals
  • 7.83. Michael Fabiano: Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina
  • 7.84. Casey Olson: Hunter Henry, TE, Chargers

Notes: Chase was the first rookie wide receiver to come off the board. An absolute star in college, he could be an impact maker if he lands with the Dolphins or Eagles. He was one of six receivers off the board, with Fuller being the most notable. He was a fourth-round pick in our previous mock, and I’m not sure he'll last this long in future drafts. Of course, that all depends on Watson's status in Houston and whether the Texans retain Fuller for 2021. Herbert was the fifth quarterback selected, which is notable considering players like Russell Wilson, Dak Prescott, and Aaron Rodgers were still on the board. His stock is obviously on the rise after a historic season.

ROUND 8

  • 8.85. Casey Olson: Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens
  • 8.86. Michael Fabiano: Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys*
  • 8.87. Bill Enright: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
  • 8.88. Matthew De Lima: Dallas Goedert, TE, Eagles
  • 8.89. Frankie Taddeo: Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
  • 8.90. Dennis Roy: Marquise Brown, WR, Ravens
  • 8.91. Ian Ritchie: Robert Tonyan, TE, Packers**
  • 8.92. Roy Larking: Jarvis Landry, WR, Browns
  • 8.93. Ben Heisler: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Broncos
  • 8.94. Corey Parson: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Titans
  • 8.95. Scott Atkins: Mike Gesicki, TE, Dolphins
  • 8.96. Shawn Childs: T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts

Notes: Jackson, who was a second-round selection in many 2020 drafts, has seen his stock decline after an uneven statistical season. Still, he could be a steal in the eighth round. The same could be said of Prescott, who was on pace to put up huge totals before a gruesome leg injury put him on the sidelines. In all, a total of five field generals were selected in the round. Three tight ends were picked as well, a group led by Goedert. With Zach Ertz likely to be out of Philadelphia, Goedert could be on the verge of his best fantasy season. Tonyan and Gesicki were also selected.

ROUND 9

  • 9.97. Shawn Childs: Tony Pollard, RB, Cowboys
  • 9.98. Scott Atkins: Laviska Shenault, WR, Jaguars
  • 9.99. Corey Parson: Devin Singletary, RB, Bills
  • 9.100. Ben Heisler: Zack Moss, RB, Bills
  • 9.101. Roy Larking: Sterling Shepard, WR, Giants
  • 9.102. Ian Ritchie: Jeff Wilson, Jr., RB, 49ers
  • 9.103. Dennis Roy: Logan Thomas, TE, Football Team
  • 9.104. Frankie Taddeo: Evan Engram, TE, Giants
  • 9.105. Matthew De Lima: Leonard Fournette, RB, Buccaneers*
  • 9.106. Bill Enright: Jonnu Smith, TE, Titans
  • 9.107. Michael Fabiano: Damien Harris, RB, Patriots
  • 9.108. Casey Olson: Michael Gallup, WR, Cowboys

Notes: It’s notable that Fournette, a pending free agent, went more than three full rounds after his current backfield mate, Ronald Jones. Other runners with question marks like Singletary, Moss, Wilson, and Harris were also selected. There were also some potential values at tight end, with Thomas, Engram, and Smith all off the board.

ROUND 10

  • 10.109. Casey Olson: Corey Davis, WR, Titans*
  • 10.110. Michael Fabiano: Curtis Samuel, WR, Panthers*
  • 10.111. Bill Enright: Hayden Hurst, TE, Falcons
  • 10.112. Matthew De Lima: Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama
  • 10.113. Frankie Taddeo: Marvin Jones, Jr., WR, Lions*
  • 10.114. Dennis Roy: Christian Kirk, WR, Cardinals
  • 10.115. Ian Ritchie: Mike Williams, WR, Chargers
  • 10.116. Roy Larking: Nelson Agholor, WR, Raiders
  • 10.117. Ben Heisler: Tom Brady, QB, Buccaneers
  • 10.118. Corey Parson: Tarik Cohen, RB, Bears
  • 10.119. Scott Atkins: Matthew Stafford, QB, Rams
  • 10.120. Shawn Childs: Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles

Notes: Stafford, who wasn’t selected in our previous mock, went ahead of guys like Joe Burrow and Jalen Hurts among quarterbacks. Again, this is proof that his value is on the rise after being dealt to Los Angeles. I'd project Smith to go a bit higher if he lands with a team that puts him in a position to succeed as a rookie. If the Eagles do trade Ertz, which is expected, he could be a steal with the 120th overall choice.

DRAFT BOARD

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for all of the latest breaking fantasy football news and the best analysis in the business!

Take your game to the next level with a SI Fantasy+ subscription. Get insights from Michael Fabiano, Shawn Childs, Corey Parson and the entire fantasy team all year-round.

Take your game to the next level with a SI Fantasy+ subscription. Get insights from Michael Fabiano, Shawn Childs, Corey Parson and the entire fantasy team all year-round.