Fantasy Football 2021: Mock Draft Strategy, Cheatsheet Entering Preseason Week 1August 10, 2021
Fantasy Football 2021: Mock Draft Strategy, Cheatsheet Entering Preseason Week 1
Football is back.
The NFL's 2021 preseason is here, which means fantasy football drafts are rapidly approaching.
Hopefully, you've done some homework already, but let's be honest—that process is never finished. Between player rankings, strategy discussions and a host of sleepers-breakouts-and-busts breakdowns, you'll find no shortage of relevant, helpful information.
Like this article, for instance, which will discuss some mock draft dos and don'ts, before providing our top-50 cheatsheet to help guide you through your draft.
Mock Draft Dos
Because there are no season-long stakes attached, mock drafts allow for experimentation. You should take advantage.
This is especially helpful if you start the process at the top of your draft. Ever wondered how a team might look after opening a draft with three straight receivers, three straight running backs or that top-tier quarterback you can never talk yourself into adding? Here's a real-world answer to that question.
Make and Track Position Tiers
A player's individual ADP may not be too revealing, since it could differ greatly from one mock to the next. But it is worth knowing where a similarly valued group of players goes.
That does require some pre-draft preparation, since you'll need to compile the tiers before you can track them. Once you have them in hand, though, you can learn a lot by seeing the gap between the first and last players selected within that tier. If you'd be just as happy with both, that information might help you extract an extra round of value or two at your actual draft.
Mock Draft Don'ts
Lose Sight of Reality
While experimenting is encouraged, make sure it's the kind that can actually yield some worthwhile information. Picking a player well outside of his actual draft range tells you nothing, since that won't happen during the real thing.
Similarly, don't build rosters you'd never assemble in real life. If you're using a pair of top-five picks on quarterbacks or making early investments in kickers and defenses, you're wasting your own time and that of all the other players in the same mock draft.
Forget To Account for Personal Bias
Are you the world's biggest Justin Herbert fine? Is your interest so sky-high that you'd spend one of your first four picks to get him? We wouldn't advise it, but if you go that route, make sure you remember you did when assessing the mock draft results.
While mocks are just snapshots of various people's opinions, some of those opinions are more extreme—and likely less helpful—than others. If someone in your mock was only selecting players from their favorite team, favorite college or home state, remember to account for that inflation when going back over the results.
Top-50 PPR Rankings
1. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers
2. Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants
3. Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings
4. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints
5. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans
6. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts
7. Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers
8. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys
9. Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns
10. Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
11. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
12. Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
13. Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers
14. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Arizona Cardinals
15. DK Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks
16. Stefon Diggs, WR, Buffalo Bills
17. George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers
18. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
19. Najee Harris, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
20. Darren Waller, TE, Las Vegas Raiders
21. Antonio Gibson, RB, Washington Football Team
22. Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons
23. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
24. Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints
25. A.J. Brown, WR, Tennessee Titans
26. J.K. Dobbins, RB, Baltimore Ravens
27. David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears
28. Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
29. D'Andre Swift, RB, Detroit Lions
30. Justin Jefferson, WR, Minnesota Vikings
31. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
32. Allen Robinson II, WR, Chicago Bears
33. Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
34. Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks
35. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
36. Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders
37. Amari Cooper, WR, Dallas Cowboys
38. Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams
39. Darrell Henderson Jr., RB, Los Angeles Rams
40. Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings
41. Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams
42. CeeDee Lamb, WR, Dallas Cowboys
43. D.J. Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers
44. Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
45. Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills
46. Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks
47. Tee Higgins, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
48. Brandon Aiyuk, WR, San Francisco 49ers
49. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Cleveand Browns
50. Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals