Fantasy Football 2021: Breaking Down Updated Mock Draft and Mobile Cheat Sheet

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIAugust 18, 2021

Fantasy Football 2021: Breaking Down Updated Mock Draft and Mobile Cheat Sheet

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    Derick Hingle/Associated Press

    It's been great having football back on our televisions in recent weeks, but things aren't quite as exciting as they could be. Training camp highlights and preseason games may whet fans' appetites, but they're nowhere near as thrilling to watch as NFL regular-season action.

    Plus, you're not earning fantasy points during these preseason contests. You may not even have your team drafted yet. And if that's the case, your league's draft is likely coming up soon, with teams needing to be picked before the season opener on Sept. 9.

    Before selecting your players, it's always important to prepare. And that includes participating in mock drafts.

    Here's a look at a three-round fantasy mock draft (generated by FantasyPros' simulator), along with tips to keep in mind when you're selecting players during these early rounds.

First Round

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    1. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers

    2. Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings

    3. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints

    4. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans

    5. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys

    6. Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns

    7. Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers

    8. Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers

    9. Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants

    10. Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers

    11. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

    12. Stefon Diggs, WR, Buffalo Bills


    If you have a top-four pick, you have to take one of the first four running backs who came off the board in this mock. McCaffrey, Cook, Kamara and Henry are in a class of their own, and they're players who should carry your team for the entire season.

    Fantasy managers who pick at No. 5 or later have more options. Take a second-tier running back? Add one of the top wide receivers? Even Kelce is a smart first-round selection this year, despite tight ends not usually getting picked this early.

    In fact, the Kansas City Chiefs star has been so much better than every other tight end in the NFL of late, he shouldn't be falling below the Nos. 5-7 range. In this mock, the manager at No. 11 got a steal by landing him at that point.

    It's always safe to get a strong running back in the first round, though, considering how valuable they are and how rare it can be to find ones who will get consistent touches in later rounds. And that's why nine went in the first 10 picks in this simulation.

Second Round

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    Aaron Doster/Associated Press

    13. Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

    14. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts

    15. Antonio Gibson, RB, Washington Football Team

    16. Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons

    17. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Arizona Cardinals

    18. Najee Harris, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

    19. Patrick Mahomes II, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

    20. DK Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks

    21. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

    22. J.K. Dobbins, RB, Baltimore Ravens

    23. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

    24. Justin Jefferson, WR, Minnesota Vikings


    While some fantasy drafts will have even more than five wide receivers getting picked in the second round, it's not a bad idea to go running back, especially if you already got one in the first round. There's a ton of depth at wide receiver this year, so if you can get two strong RBs with your first two picks, that's a win.

    In this simulation, the managers who had the Nos. 2-4 picks in the first round all went with a running back again in the second. Now, they each have an impressive duo (Cook/Edwards-Helaire, Kamara/Dobbins and Henry/Mixon).

    Taylor was also a steal at the No. 14 pick. After an impressive rookie season with the Colts, he should be getting selected in the first round, because he could put up even bigger numbers in 2021.

    Mahomes is the first quarterback off the board here at No. 19, and you shouldn't be picking him much earlier than this, even though he's been a consistent top fantasy performer. Still, it's not a reach to add him in the second round, as he'll likely be among the top fantasy quarterbacks again in 2021.

Third Round

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    25. Darren Waller, TE, Las Vegas Raiders

    26. A.J. Brown, WR, Tennessee Titans

    27. Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

    28. George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers

    29. Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills

    30. D'Andre Swift, RB, Detroit Lions

    31. David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears

    32. Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals

    33. Allen Robinson II, WR, Chicago Bears

    34. Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington Football Team

    35. CeeDee Lamb, WR, Dallas Cowboys

    36. Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams


    With Mahomes and Kelce both off the board by this point, fantasy managers are going to be looking at the other top two quarterbacks (Allen and Murray) and the other top two tight ends (Waller and Kittle) in the third. And it makes sense, considering these are top-tier players well above the rest at their position.

    Allen and Murray are both smart players to target in the third round. They're mobile quarterbacks who are going to get you points with their feet as well, so it's better to have one of them than to wait for somebody like Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady in a round to follow. So try to get Allen or Murray here.

    In this simulation, Waller and Kittle were among the first four players off the board in the third. They're both likely to put up strong numbers, possibly lower than Kelce's and higher than everybody else's. If you don't get one of those three, you might as well wait to take a tight end much later and potentially stream the position this season.

    The quality of running backs by this point is much lower (hopefully you got one, if not two, earlier than this), but it's not a bad idea to get a strong receiver or one of those quarterbacks/tight ends here.