12-Team, 10-Round PPR Mock Draft - 2021 Fantasy Football

SI Fantasy analyst Michael Fabiano flies solo to mock draft the first 10 rounds of a 12-team PPR league
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NFL mock draft season might be in the rearview mirror, but fantasy mock season is now in full swing. With NFL rosters almost complete and depth charts coming into clear view, it's easier to compile an in-depth look at how drafts will look this summer. 

In the half-dozen best-ball drafts I've done, one thing is becoming abundantly clear: the running back position is going to be even more prominent than ever in the first round and into the second. What's more, waiting on the position will undoubtedly end in a lot of headaches as more and more backfield committees emerge. On the flip side, the depth at the wide receiver continues to grow as teams lean heavily on the pass attack. We've also seen an influx of young talent at the position in recent NFL drafts.

Now, let's get to the nuts and bolts of my first post-draft 2021 fantasy mock draft.

This 10-round mock includes 12 teams and is based on PPR scoring. These teams used different "strategies" with their first three overall picks, so you can see how the roster is built at the top. Notice that no team took a quarterback in the first three rounds.

  • Team 1: Running back, wide receiver, running back
  • Team 2: Running back, running back, wide receiver
  • Teams 3, 12: Running back, running back, wide receiver
  • Team 4: Running back, running back, tight end
  • Teams 5, 7, 9: Running back, wide receiver, wide receiver
  • Team 6: Running back, wide receiver, tight end
  • Team 8: Wide receiver, running back, wide receiver
  • Team 10: Wide receiver, wide receiver, running back
  • Team 11: Tight end, running back, wide receiver

ROUND 1

christian-mccaffrey-new-contract
  • 1.1. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers
  • 1.2. Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings
  • 1.3. Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints
  • 1.4. Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants  
  • 1.5. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys 
  • 1.6. Derrick Henry, RB, Titans 
  • 1.7. Nick Chubb, RB, Browns 
  • 1.8. Davante Adams, WR, Packers 
  • 1.9. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Colts 
  • 1.10. Tyreek Hill, WR, Chiefs
  • 1.11. Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs
  • 1.12. Aaron Jones, RB, Packers 

A total of nine running backs came off the board, 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. I've moved Elliott up to No. 5 among running backs with Dak Prescott's return. He averaged more than 22 fantasy points a game before Prescott when down the season. Adams was the first wideout chosen with the assumption that Aaron Rodgers remains in Green Bay, and Hill was second as the only first-round receivers. Kelce was also a first-rounder, which is a trend that will no doubt continue in offseason fantasy football mock drafts.


ROUND 2

austin-ekeler-breakout-fantasy
  • 2.13. Austin Ekeler, RB, Chargers
  • 2.14. Cam Akers, RB, Rams
  • 2.15. Stefon Diggs, WR, Bills 
  • 2.16. D.K. Metcalf, WR, Seahawks 
  • 2.17. Najee Harris, RB, Steelers 
  • 2.18. A.J. Brown, WR, Titans 
  • 2.19. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Cardinals 
  • 2.20. Calvin Ridley, WR, Falcons 
  • 2.21. Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals 
  • 2.22. Antonio Gibson, RB, Football Team 
  • 2.23. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Chiefs 
  • 2.24. Justin Jefferson, WR, Vikings 

Six of the 12 selections in this round were wideouts, led by Diggs, Metcalf, and Brown. Ridley's stock could rise if the Falcons trade Julio Jones in the coming weeks. Akers is moving up draft boards and is now being picked as a low-end No. 1 running back. Harris, the top rookie in fantasy football, snuck into the top-20 overall selections despite questions about Pittsburgh's offensive line. Mixon was a disappointment a season ago, but a projected featured role in the Bengals offense makes him worth a top-25 selection. With Le'Veon Bell and Damian Williams both off the Kansas City roster, Edwards-Helaire should be seen as a viable second-round choice.


ROUND 3

JK Dobbins
  • 3.25. J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ravens 
  • 3.26. Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers
  • 3.27. Michael Thomas, WR, Saints 
  • 3.28. George Kittle, TE, 49ers 
  • 3.29. Allen Robinson, WR, Bears
  • 3.30. Darren Waller, TE, Raiders
  • 3.31. Julio Jones, WR, Falcons 
  • 3.32. Terry McLaurin, WR, Football Team
  • 3.33. Amari Cooper, WR, Cowboys
  • 3.34. D'Andre Swift, RB, Lions 
  • 3.35. Robert Woods, WR, Rams
  • 3.36. CeeDee Lamb, WR, Cowboys

This round was dominated by wide receivers, with eight coming off the board. Thomas, a first-round pick last season, has fallen out of the top 25 after a disappointing campaign and the loss of Drew Brees (retirement). He's still a No. 1 fantasy wideout, but he comes with some risk. Jones could see his stock change if he's traded, so keep tabs on that situation. The top two Cowboys wideouts, Cooper and Lamb, both came off the board within four picks of each other. Kittle and Waller, the consensus No. 2 and No. 3 tight ends, were also picked in the round. Dobbins is a breakout candidate. Swift lost some of his luster when Lions OC Anthony Lynn called Jamaal Williams a classic "A" running back. One has to wonder how much he'll eat into Swift's touch share.


ROUND 4

chris-godwin-maqb
  • 4.37. Chris Godwin, WR, Buccaneers  
  • 4.38. Chris Carson, RB, Seahawks 
  • 4.39. David Montgomery, RB, Bears 
  • 4.40. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs 
  • 4.41. Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders 
  • 4.42. Miles Sanders, RB, Eagles
  • 4.43. Myles Gaskin, RB, Dolphins 
  • 4.44. Mike Davis, RB, Falcons 
  • 4.45. Ja'Marr Chase, WR, Bengals 
  • 4.46. Tyler Lockett, WR, Seahawks
  • 4.47. Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers 
  • 4.48. Diontae Johnson, WR, Steelers

This was a very running back heavy round, with six coming off the board. Carson is a potential bargain in the round, and the same can be said for Montgomery. However, the return of Tarik Cohen and additions of Damien Williams and Khalil Herbert are cause for concern. I'd expect his touch share to decline from last season. Jacobs and Sanders have both lost draft value after offseason additions, while Gaskin and Davis are on the rise due to a lack of backfield additions on each of their respective teams. Mahomes was the first quarterback off the board (of course), but he'll go higher in home leagues. Chase, the second rookie drafted, has moved into my top-20 among wide receivers. He likely won't be Justin Jefferson, but Chase could make waves.


ROUND 5

Fantasy Football: Week 12 WR PPR Rankings From FullTime Fantasy - D.J. Moore
  • 5.49. D.J. Moore, WR, Panthers 
  • 5.50. Adam Thielen, WR, Vikings 
  • 5.51. Kareem Hunt, RB, Browns
  • 5.52. Cooper Kupp, WR, Rams
  • 5.53. Mark Andrews, TE, Ravens 
  • 5.54. Kenny Golladay, WR, Giants 
  • 5.55. T.J. Hockenson, TE, Lions 
  • 5.56. Josh Allen, QB, Bills
  • 5.57. Travis Etienne, RB, Jaguars
  • 5.58. Melvin Gordon, RB, Broncos
  • 5.59. Brandon Aiyuk, WR, 49ers
  • 5.60. James Robinson, RB, Jaguars

Three of the top four picks in the round were wide receivers, and a pair of tight ends (Andrews, Hockenson) also came off the board. Hunt, the RB10 a season ago, should be a strong flex starter in PPR formats as a fifth-round choice. Allen was the second quarterback off the board, and Etienne was the second rookie running back. While he'll lose work to Robinson, a potentially prominent role in the Jaguars pass attack makes him the more attractive of the team's running backs. At least for right now. It'll be difficult to choose between the two until the summer months definitively, so don't expect either back to be more than a fifth-rounder. I have Gordon ranked higher than Javonte Williams at this point, but that could change as we get closer to the season.


ROUND 6

Bengals Tee Higgins
  • 6.61. Tee Higgins, WR, Bengals 
  • 6.62. Javonte Williams, RB, Broncos 
  • 6.63. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Steelers
  • 6.64. Chase Edmonds, RB, Cardinals 
  • 6.65. Brandin Cooks, WR, Texans 
  • 6.66. Michael Carter, RB, Jets
  • 6.67. Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens 
  • 6.68. Raheem Mostert, RB, 49ers
  • 6.69. Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys 
  • 6.70. Kyle Pitts, TE, Falcons 
  • 6.71. Kyler Murray, QB, Cardinals 
  • 6.72. Dallas Goedert, TE, Eagles 

Williams will be picked ahead of Gordon among Broncos running backs in countless redrafts, but for now, he's behind the veteran runner in this initial mock. Carter, another rookie back, was also selected. While Tevin Coleman could be the favorite to open the season as the starter in New York, Carter has far more statistical upside. This round also saw a run at the quarterback position with Jackson, Prescott, and Murray all coming off the board. We also saw Pitts as the sixth tight end picked, and he could push Hockenson as the No. 5 fantasy tight end if the Falcons trade Jones. 


ROUND 7

aaron-rodgers
  • 7.73. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers 
  • 7.74. James Conner, RB, Cardinals
  • 7.75. Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
  • 7.76. Courtland Sutton, WR, Broncos 
  • 7.77. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Browns 
  • 7.78. Will Fuller, WR, Dolphins 
  • 7.79. D.J. Chark, WR, Jaguars 
  • 7.80. Robby Anderson, WR, Panthers 
  • 7.81. Curtis Samuel, WR, Football Team 
  • 7.82. Justin Herbert, QB, Chargers
  • 7.83. Tyler Boyd, WR, Bengals 
  • 7.84. Chase Claypool, WR, Steelers 

Rodgers was the first player picked in the round, though his time in Green Bay remains in question. Whether or not he remains with the Packers will have big-time fantasy implications cross the entire offense. Two other quarterbacks, Wilson and Herbert, were also selected in the round. Eight wide receivers were picked, including two (Sutton, OBJ) coming back from ACL injuries. The values of both Chark and Samuel are on the rise in redrafts due to quarterback changes and being in new offenses. 


ROUND 8

Noah Fant Fantasy Football
  • 8.85. Noah Fant, TE, Broncos 
  • 8.86. Jalen Hurts, QB, Eagles
  • 8.87. David Johnson, RB, Texans
  • 8.88. Deebo Samuel, WR, 49ers 
  • 8.89. Ronald Jones, RB, Buccaneers 
  • 8.90. Nyheim Hines, RB, Colts
  • 8.91. Leonard Fournette, RB, Buccaneers 
  • 8.92. Jarvis Landry, WR, Browns 
  • 8.93. Devin Singletary, RB, Bills
  • 8.94. Devonta Smith, WR, Eagles 
  • 8.95. Logan Thomas, TE, Football Team 
  • 8.96. Jamaal Williams, RB, Lions

Hurts, a potential breakout candidate, could be a steal in the eighth round. A total of six running backs were selected, but none of them are projected to see true featured roles. The position will be tough to fill with reliable backs at this point in most redrafts. Johnson figures to be in a committee in Houston, Jones will share time with Fournette and Gio Bernard in Tampa Bay, and Singletary will split time with Zack Moss in Buffalo. Williams could be the best value in the round if he earns a bigger workload than we're projecting in Detroit. That backfield situation with Swift is one to watch.


ROUND 9

Corey Davis
  • 9.97. Corey Davis, WR, Jets 
  • 9.98. Jerry Jeudy, WR, Broncos 
  • 9.99. A.J. Dillon, RB, Packers
  • 9.100. Damien Harris, RB, Patriots 
  • 9.101. Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Jaguars 
  • 9.102. Antonio Brown, WR, Buccaneers 
  • 9.103. Darrell Henderson, RB, Rams 
  • 9.104. Kenyan Drake, RB, Raiders 
  • 9.105. DeVante Parker, WR, Dolphins 
  • 9.106. Trey Sermon, RB, 49ers 
  • 9.107. Cole Beasley, WR, Bills
  • 9.108. Tom Brady, QB, Buccaneers

Fantasy managers will be looking to add depth at running back and wideout at this point in redrafts. Dillon should see more work behind Aaron Jones in Green Bay, and Sermon could push for more work as a rookie with Jeff Wilson Jr. now slated to miss the first few months of the season. Shenault and Beasley could be steals, and Brady is a nice choice in his age-45 season after throwing 40 touchdown passes in 2020.


ROUND 10

  • 10.109. Zack Moss, RB, Bills 
  • 10.110. Marvin Jones Jr., WR, Jaguars
  • 10.111. Robert Tonyan, TE, Packers
  • 10.112. Marquise Brown, WR, Ravens 
  • 10.113. Mike Gesicki, TE, Dolphins 
  • 10.114. Matthew Stafford, QB, Rams 
  • 10.115. Gus Edwards, RB, Ravens 
  • 10.116. Joe Burrow, QB, Bengals
  • 10.117. Michael Pittman Jr., WR, Colts 
  • 10.118. Mecole Hardman, WR, Chiefs
  • 10.119. Alexander Mattison, RB, Vikings
  • 10.120. Jaylen Waddle, WR, Dolphins

If you're looking to wait on a No. 1 fantasy quarterback as part of your draft strategy, options like Stafford and Burrow should still be available at this later stage. Tonyan is coming off a top-five fantasy season at tight end but is guaranteed to see touchdown regression even if Rodgers returns. Young wideouts with upside like Pittman Jr., Hardman, and Waddle were among the final selections in the round.

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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. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram for your late-breaking fantasy news and the best analysis in the business!