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2021 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Picking 1.06

I mock a 12-team, .5PPR snake draft, picking No. 6 overall, and explain the thought process behind each pick.

As the calendar continues into July, I often enjoy running a few fantasy football mock drafts to see how things are playing out currently. It’s one thing to write and read a bunch of fantasy football content and rankings, it’s a whole other thing to actually get in the thick of a draft.

I plan on doing a few of these over the coming weeks using FantasyPros’ mock draft platform. This is a .5PPR, 12-team snake draft for those keeping track at home.

I started with the first pick of the draft and got myself a pretty darn good team. This time around, I’m picking dead center of the draft. This for me is one of the toughest positions to pick from because you don’t benefit from the snake at all. So without further ado, here’s how my draft played out.

Rounds 1-5

1.06 RB Ezekiel Elliott: Landing Zeke at the sixth overall pick is a dream scenario in my opinion. When Dak was healthy under center last year (Weeks 1-5), Zeke was the RB3 in .5PPR. I have lots of faith that he will finish a top 5 option this year easy if Prescott plays all 17 games this year.

2.07 RB Najee Harris: I was debating between Harris and Clyde Edwards-Helaire here but thought I might be able to sit on CEH until the third (spoiler alert: I couldn’t). Still, I’m more than thrilled to get Harris here who comes with 300+ touches guaranteed as the unquestioned lead back in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense.

3.06 TE Darren Waller: I’m coming around to the “get one of the top tight ends or stream the position” line of thinking so with Waller sitting there in the third, it was an easy choice for me. Waller has seen well over 100 targets in each of his last two seasons and that’ll remain true in 2021.

4.07 RB Chris Carson: The perpetually underrated Chris Carson finished as the RB13 in .5PPR points per game last year. Getting a possible RB1 in the fourth round as my RB3 is a splendid pick in my opinion.

5.06 QB Lamar Jackson: Stepped out of my comfort zone with this one taking a QB early, but I think Lamar is going to light the fantasy world on fire this year. From Week 14 onward, Lamar was the QB1 in fantasy last year averaging 27.9 points per game. With an improved passing attack, I think Lamar can finish QB1 this year.

Rounds 6-10

6.07 RB Javonte Williams: I like Williams and the noise coming out of camp is that he seems the favorite to start for the Denver Broncos in Week 1 but this pick was also about the lack of receivers on the board that I liked. I figured I’d stock pile on another potential RB stud and then spam WR in the final rounds.

7.06 WR Jerry Jeudy: Double dipping in the Broncos offense, I think everyone is sleeping on the Broncos’ pass catchers, particularly Jeudy. Jeudy is a master technician and with a more accurate quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater at the helm, I expect him to be a more reliable fantasy option. Even in an “underwhelming” rookie year, Jeudy still finished with 856 yards on 52 catches.

8.07 WR Brandin Cooks: I love me some Brandin Cooks. The man has been one of the most consistent fantasy wide receivers over the last six years despite playing for four different teams during that time. Yes there are question marks surrounding Deshaun Watson but who else is catching balls for the Houston Texans this year?

9.06 WR Antonio Brown: I’ve gone in-depth before about why I think Brown should be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver you roster but here’s the cliff notes version. Once Brown joined the Bucs last year, he led the team in receptions (45), was second in targets by just one (62 to Mike Evans’ 63), and saw the second-most receptions and targets per snap in the entire NFL on the season.

10.07 WR Mike Williams: The theme to all my WR picks is “guys who could be WR1s if you squint hard enough”. With Hunter Henry off in New England now, there are 93 targets and 14 red zone targets available in the Los Angeles Chargers offense. At 6-foot-4, Williams seems like a shoe-in for those red zone targets and with his 14.7 aDOT (average depth of target, 2nd in NFL min. 80 targets), added targets will go a long way yardage-wise. Williams might be one of my favorite targets in the 10th round.

Rounds 11-15

11.06 RB Jamaal Williams: Normally I don’t want anything to do with the Detroit Lions offense, but Williams offers sneaky upside at a cheap value. Williams proved in Green Bay to be a reliable contributor in the passing game and with OC Anthony Lynn already talking up the newly signed running back, I’m willing to take a flier on him.

12.07 QB Matt Ryan: I was rather pleased to draft Ryan here and then see Ben Roethlisberger, Carson Wentz, and Trevor Lawrence all go immediately after him. Happy to have snagged the best backup QB of the bunch. Ryan finished the QB12 last year and is now playing under Arthur Smith who made Ryan Tannehill a good quarterback.

13.06 WR Mecole Hardman: I’ll admit, this pick was swayed by recency bias with news coming today Hardman will enter camp as the Chiefs’ WR2. Hardman has game wrecking speed and if he’s about to see 90 targets (what Sammy Watkins saw in 2019), then I’ll happily draft him in the 13th round.

14.07 D/ST New England Patriots: The Patriots defense is back in full force and I think has a chance to be a top-5 unit this year without much difficulty.

15.06 K Rodrigo Blankenship: When you can get this man on your fantasy team, you do just that.

What did you think of this draft? My favorite picks were Zeke at 1.06, Waller at 3.06, Brown at 9.06, and Mike Williams at 10.07. Let me know in the comments and let me know what pick I should mock for next week.