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Fantasy Football Mock Draft 10-Team PPR: Roster Construction Strategies

Implementing an early-round fantasy football draft strategy can help you better understand your roster's end-result

Fantasy football draft season is in full swing, as managers are getting ready for upcoming drafts to achieve the ultimate goal—a 2021 fantasy championship.

In the countless best-ball and mock 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 and second round. What's more, waiting on the position will undoubtedly end in many headaches and confusion as more and more backfield committees emerge. On the flip side, the depth at the wide receiver continues to grow as teams lean on the passing attack. We've also seen an influx of young talent at the position in recent drafts.

Now, let’s get to the real nuts and bolts of my latest solo 10-round mock draft.

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

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

ROUND 1

  • 1.1. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers
  • 1.2. Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings
  • 1.3. Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints
  • 1.4. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys
  • 1.5. Derrick Henry, RB, Titans
  • 1.6. Nick Chubb, RB, Browns
  • 1.7. Austin Ekeler, RB, Chargers
  • 1.8. Davante Adams, WR, Packers
  • 1.9. Aaron Jones, RB, Packers
  • 1.10. Tyreek Hill, WR, Chiefs
  • 1.11. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Colts
  • 1.12. Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook

A total of 10 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. 4 among running backs with Dak Prescott’s return. He averaged more than 22 fantasy points a game before Prescott went down the season. Adams was the first wideout chosen with the return of Aaron Rodgers to the Packers, and Hill was second as the lone first-round receiver. Taylor fell a few spots with Carson Wentz and OG Quenton Nelson, both expected to miss significant time due to foot injuries. Barkley (knee) took the biggest fall because we're not sure if he'll be 100 percent in time for Week 1. He could be brought along slowly to start.

ROUND 2

  • 2.13. Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs
  • 2.14. Stefon Diggs, WR, Bills
  • 2.15. Najee Harris, RB, Steelers
  • 2.16. Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals
  • 2.17. D.K. Metcalf, WR, Seahawks
  • 2.18. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Cardinals
  • 2.19. Calvin Ridley, WR, Falcons
  • 2.20. Antonio Gibson, RB, Football Team
  • 2.21. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Chiefs
  • 2.22. Justin Jefferson, WR, Vikings
  • 2.23. Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers
  • 2.24. Darren Waller, TE, Raiders

Kelce will be a first-round pick on draft day, but I have him going at the top of Round 2. Waller, the consensus No. 2 tight end in fantasy football, was the final pick of the round. Six of the 12 choices in this round were wideouts, led by Diggs, Metcalf, and Hopkins. Ridley’s stock has risen after the trade of Julio Jones. 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 Damien Williams no longer on the Chiefs roster, Edwards-Helaire should be a viable second-round choice in drafts. He's one of my favorite breakout candidates.

ROUND 3

  • 3.25. A.J. Brown, WR, Titans
  • 3.26. Chris Carson, RB, Seahawks
  • 3.27. J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ravens
  • 3.28. George Kittle, TE, 49ers
  • 3.29. Allen Robinson, WR, Bears
  • 3.30. D’Andre Swift, RB, Lions
  • 3.31. David Montgomery, RB, Bears
  • 3.32. Terry McLaurin, WR, Football Team
  • 3.33. Robert Woods, WR, Rams
  • 3.34. CeeDee Lamb, WR, Cowboys
  • 3.35. Amari Cooper, WR, Cowboys
  • 3.36. Tyler Lockett, WR, Seahawks

This round was dominated by wide receivers, with a total of seven coming off the board, including each of the last five picks. Brown dropped around for me with the addition of Jones in Tennessee, but he's still a No. 1 fantasy wideout. The top two Cowboys wideouts, Lamb and Cooper, came off the board with back-to-back picks, but I now value the former slightly more. At running back, I like Carson as a solid No. 2, while Dobbins is a breakout candidate in Baltimore. 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's eating into Swift's touch share during the course of this season.

ROUND 4

  • 4.37. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs
  • 4.38. Mike Davis, RB, Falcons
  • 4.39. Darrell Henderson, RB, Rams
  • 4.40. Myles Gaskin, RB, Dolphins
  • 4.41. Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders
  • 4.42. Diontae Johnson, WR, Steelers
  • 4.43. Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers
  • 4.44. Julio Jones, WR, Titans
  • 4.45. Ja’Marr Chase, WR, Bengals
  • 4.46. Chris Godwin, WR, Buccaneers
  • 4.47. D.J. Moore, WR, Panthers
  • 4.48. Miles Sanders, RB, Eagles

This round started with the first quarterback, Mahomes, as Team 12 went with a Mahomes/Kelce stack. He could go much sooner in your home league, but don't feel rushed to draft a quarterback. The rest of the round was split with runners and wide receivers. Davis and Henderson continue to see their stocks rise due to clear paths to workload. The same holds for Gaskin in Miami. Jones, who is already dealing with a leg injury in camp, has fallen to Round 4. The first rookie wideout, Chase, was also selected in the stanza as the No. 1 wideout for Team 4. That's what happens when you select two running backs and a tight end in the first three rounds. I do have Chase ranked higher (WR20) than many other folks in the fantasy football industry, however.

ROUND 5

  • 5.49. Cooper Kupp, WR, Rams
  • 5.50. Adam Thielen, WR, Vikings
  • 5.51. Kareem Hunt, RB, Browns
  • 5.52. Kenny Golladay, WR, Giants
  • 5.53. Josh Allen, QB, Bills
  • 5.54. Michael Carter, RB, Jets
  • 5.55. Mark Andrews, TE, Ravens
  • 5.56. Chase Edmonds, RB, Cardinals
  • 5.57. T.J. Hockenson, TE, Lions
  • 5.58. Travis Etienne, RB, Jaguars
  • 5.59. Tee Higgins, WR, Bengals
  • 5.60. Javonte Williams, RB, Broncos
Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns

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, who was the RB10 a season ago, should be a strong flex starter in PPR formats. Allen was the second quarterback off the board, and Carter was the second rookie running back. He’s been running with the first-team offense at Jet camp. Etienne will lose work to James Robinson, but he could play a potentially prominent role in the Jaguars' passing attack. It'll be difficult to choose between the two until the preseason definitively, so don't expect either back to be worth more than a fifth-rounder. Other backs with real upside, including Edmonds, were picked as No. 3 runners here. Williams went to the team that drafted Kelce and Mahomes, leaving him as its No. 2 runner. The rookie has talent, but he'll be selected as more of a flex starter in most fantasy formats.