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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.

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ROUND 6

  • 6.61. Brandon Aiyuk, WR, 49ers
  • 6.62. Kyle Pitts, TE, Falcons
  • 6.63. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Steelers
  • 6.64. Raheem Mostert, RB, 49ers
  • 6.65. Brandin Cooks, WR, Texans
  • 6.66. Robby Anderson, WR, Panthers
  • 6.67. Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys
  • 6.68. James Robinson, RB, Jaguars
  • 6.69. Kyler Murray, QB, Cardinals
  • 6.70. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Browns
  • 6.71. Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens
  • 6.72. Courtland Sutton, WR, Broncos

This round opened with Aiyuk and a potential breakout player in Pitts, who will be the most coveted rookie tight end maybe ever in fantasy drafts. JuJu, Cooks, Anderson, and Sutton were all selected as No. 3 wideouts by their respective teams. Robinson went around behind Etienne. There was also a slight run on quarterbacks with the trio of Prescott, Murray, and Jackson all coming off the board. I'd expect this to be the norm once we get into the sixth or seventh rounds of many redrafts. Once an elite fantasy wideout, OBJ is now viewed as more of a No. 3 fantasy receiver in 2021.

ROUND 7

  • 7.73. Melvin Gordon, RB, Broncos
  • 7.74. Damien Harris, RB, Patriots
  • 7.75. Dallas Goedert, TE, Eagles
  • 7.76. Michael Thomas, WR, Saints
  • 7.77. Chase Claypool, WR, Steelers
  • 7.78. Curtis Samuel, WR, Football Team
  • 7.79. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
  • 7.80. Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
  • 7.81. Tyler Boyd, WR, Bengals
  • 7.82. Justin Herbert, QB, Chargers
  • 7.83. James Conner, RB, Cardinals
  • 7.84. Antonio Brown, WR, Buccaneers

Gordon could very well end up being a nice bargain here, as he won’t hand the top spot on the depth chart to Williams. In recent weeks, Harris is seeing more love in the fantasy world, making him a more attractive flex starter. Notably, Thomas went in this round. He'll miss the first several weeks of the season, but the veteran remains worth a draft and stash at this point. Rodgers was the first field general picked in the round. Two other quarterbacks, Wilson and Herbert, were also selected in the round. Conner, who will battle Edmonds for touches in the Cardinals backfield, went nearly 30 spots behind his teammate. Edmonds has more value, but could Conner be a bargain?

ROUND 8

  • 8.85. David Johnson, RB, Texans
  • 8.86. Devonta Smith, WR, Eagles
  • 8.87. Noah Fant, TE, Broncos
  • 8.88. Jerry Jeudy, WR, Broncos
  • 8.89. Nyheim Hines, RB, Colts
  • 8.90. D.J. Chark, WR, Jaguars
  • 8.91. Jaylen Waddle, WR, Dolphins
  • 8.92. Russell Gage, WR, Falcons
  • 8.93. Ronald Jones, RB, Buccaneers
  • 8.94. Ryan Tannehill, QB, Titans
  • 8.95. Jarvis Landry, WR, Browns
  • 8.96. Jalen Hurts, QB, Eagles

Hurts, a potential breakout candidate, could be a steal in the eighth round. A total of four 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, and Jones will share time with Leonard Fournette in Tampa Bay. The round also saw a pair of rookie wideouts, Smith and Waddle, selected as third or fourth options. For those fantasy fans who want to wait on a tight end, a top-8 players like Fant should still be on the board here.

ROUND 9

  • 9.97. Deebo Samuel, WR, 49ers
  • 9.98. Leonard Fournette, RB, Buccaneers
  • 9.99. Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Jaguars
  • 9.100. Will Fuller, WR, Dolphins
  • 9.101. Logan Thomas, TE, Football Team
  • 9.102. Jamaal Williams, RB, Lions
  • 9.103. Zack Moss, RB, Bills
  • 9.104. Corey Davis, WR, Jets
  • 9.105. Tom Brady, QB, Buccaneers
  • 9.106. Gus Edwards, RB, Ravens
  • 9.107. Trey Sermon, RB, 49ers
  • 9.108. A.J. Dillon, RB, Packers
offseason-outlook-jacksonville-jaguars-laviska-shenault-keelan-cole

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 behind Raheem Mostert as a rookie with Jeff Wilson Jr. slated to miss the first few months of the season. Both Samuel and Shenault are steals, and Brady is a nice choice after throwing 40 touchdowns in 2020. Amazingly, he’ll be entering his age-44 season and 22nd in the National Football League.

ROUND 10

  • 10.109. DeVante Parker, WR, Dolphins
  • 10.110. Matthew Stafford, QB, Rams
  • 10.111. Marvin Jones Jr., WR, Jaguars
  • 10.112. Devin Singletary, RB, Bills
  • 10.113. Tyler Higbee, TE, Rams
  • 10.114. Kenyan Drake, RB, Raiders
  • 10.115. Robert Tonyan, TE, Packers
  • 10.116. James White, RB, Patriots
  • 10.117. Tony Pollard, RB, Cowboys
  • 10.118. Latavius Murray, RB, Saints
  • 10.119. Alexander Mattison, RB, Vikings
  • 10.120. J.D. McKissic, RB, Football Team

If you’re looking to wait on a No. 1 quarterback as part of your draft strategy, options like Stafford and Joe Burrow should still be available at this later stage. At tight end, Tonyan is coming off a top-five fantasy season but is guaranteed to see touchdown regression. Now that Gerald Everett is in Seattle, Higbee could be a steal as a No. 1 tight end in Los Angeles. This round also saw a run on handcuffs, as Pollard, Murray, and Mattison came off the board as insurance for stud runners drafted in Round 1.


Michael Fabiano's PPR Redraft Rankings

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"The Fantasy Case Against" Series

Justin Herbert | Jalen Hurts | Zach Wilson (Dynasty) | Alvin Kamara | Darrell Henderson | Derrick Henry | Michael Carter | David Montgomery | Saquon Barkley | D’Andre Swift | Brandon Aiyuk | Ja'Marr Chase | Julio Jones | Justin Jefferson | Kenny Golladay | Kyle Pitts | Travis Kelce

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!