College Fantasy Football 2021: Mock Draft, Cheatsheet and More Strategy Tips

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistAugust 1, 2021

College Fantasy Football 2021: Mock Draft, Cheatsheet and More Strategy Tips

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    Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

    After a 2020 campaign of shortened schedules, opt-outs and uncertainty, college football should be mostly back to normal for 2021. Of course, normal doesn't mean that everything will be as it was before.

    With the NCAA now allowing athletes to profit from their names, images and likenesses, we may begin to see more players opting out toward the end of the season and/or in bowl games. This was already a budding trend for NFL first-round hopefuls, and it could become more commonplace among players already earning big money.

    The 2021 season will also begin a countdown for Texas and Oklahoma, who recently accepted invitations to join the SEC in 2025.

    "After thorough consideration and study, it became obvious that standing pat would be falling behind," Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione said, per Paul Weber of the Associated Press.

    While the move won't become official for four years, you can expect it to be a dominant storyline during the Longhorns' and Sooners' seasons.

    For fantasy football managers, though, it will largely be business as usual. Playing the best players in their best situations is still the quickest path to victory, and it all starts with drafting a powerful collegiate lineup.

    Here you will find the latest positional rankings, a two-round mock draft and some useful draft tips for college fantasy—based on points-per-reception (PPR) scoring.

Rankings Cheatsheet

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    Running Backs

    1. Breece Hall, Iowa State

    2. Tank Bigsby, Auburn

    3. Mohamed Ibrahim, Minnesota

    4. Bijan Robinson, Texas

    5. Kyren Williams, Notre Dame

    6. Deuce Vaughn, Kansas State

    7. Brian Robinson Jr., Alabama

    8. Leddie Brown, West Virginia

    9. Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M

    10. Kennedy Brooks, Oklahoma

                 

    Quarterbacks

    1. Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma

    2. Malik Willis, Liberty

    3. D.J. Uiagalelei, Clemson

    4. Bryce Young, Alabama

    5. C.J. Stroud, Ohio State

    6. Sam Howell, UNC

    7. Matt Corral, Mississippi

    8. Dillon Gabriel, UCF

    9. Dustin Crum, Kent State

    10. Kedon Slovis, USC

           

    Wide Receivers

    1. Chris Olave, Ohio State

    2. Treylon Burks, Arkansas

    3. Kayshon Boutte, LSU

    4. Justyn Ross, Clemson

    5. Marvin Mims, Oklahoma

    6. David Bell, Purdue

    7. Drake London, LSU

    8. Garrett Wilson, Ohio State

    9. Jaylon Robinson, UCF

    10. Khalil Shakir, Boise State

                

    Tight Ends

    1. Cole Turner, Nevada

    2. Trey McBride, Colorado State

    3. Charlie Kolar, Iowa State

    4. Sean Dykes, Memphis

    5. Austin Stogner, Oklahoma

    6. Michael Mayer, Notre Dame

    7. Jalen Wydermyer, Texas A&M

    8. Greg Dulcich, UCLA

    9. Cade Otton, Washington

    10. Grant Calcaterra, SMU

Mock Draft

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    Paul Vernon/Associated Press

    Round 1

    1. Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State

    2. Tank Bigsby, RB, Auburn

    3. Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma

    4. Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

    5. Mohamed Ibrahim, RB, Minnesota

    6.  Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

    7. Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU

    8. Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

    9. Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

    10. D.J. Uiagalelei, QB,  Clemson

                

    Round 2

    1. Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson

    2. Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

    3. Kyren Williams, RB, Notre Dame

    4. Deuce Vaughn, RB, Kansas State

    5. Marvin Mims, WR, Oklahoma

    6. Brian Robinson Jr., RB, Alabama

    7. Leddie Brown, RB, West Virginia

    8. David Bell, WR, Purdue

    9. C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State

    10. Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M

Strategies and Tips

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    Matt Stamey/Associated Press

    If you're a veteran of NFL fantasy football, you will be familiar with many of the strategies that apply to the collegiate version. Don't load up on a single position too much, make sure to keep projected roles in mind and focus on offensive skill players and quarterbacks early.

    In college fantasy, there are some key differences, however. One of the biggest is that running backs shouldn't necessarily be the focus in the early rounds. In the right offenses, receivers and quarterbacks can be far more valuable, and it's wise to look to projected overall production.

    Last season, for example, Alabama wideout DeVonta Smith dominated with 1,856 receiving yards, 23 receiving touchdowns and a rushing touchdown.

    Looking to big programs isn't necessarily the best course, either. Small-school players can be equally productive, if not more so. For example, Liberty quarterback Malik Willis is near the top of our rankings because of his proven production and dual-threat ability.

    Last season, Willis racked up 2,260 passing yards, 944 rushing yards and 34 combined touchdowns with only six interceptions.

    Yes, dual-threat quarterbacks are often more valuable than their pocket-passing brethren—depending on your scoring format, of course. And while proven production is attractive, don't be afraid to target relatively untested players and/or first-year starters. Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler was a first-year starter in 2020 and finished with 3,031 passing yards, 160 rushing yards, 34 combined touchdowns and only seven interceptions in 11 games.

    Pay attention to scheduling too, as early tune-up or pay-for-play games can lead to padded stats and easy fantasy wins. Alabama, for example, has a game scheduled against Mercer on September 11. This is the home opener for the Crimson Tide, and Alabama should win handily.

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