Pickard’s 2021 Fantasy Mock: 12-Team Full PPR

Fantasy Mock

Your annual fantasy football draft will be here before you know it. There is no better way to prepare for a draft than by going through a mock draft. Here, I will break down a 16-round mock from the 10th overall selection. This draft was a 12-team, non-superflex draft with full PPR scoring. The starting lineup features one quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, one FLEX, one defense, and one kicker.

This will be a series with a new mock draft every eight days leading up to the draft. You can find all of the other mocks at this link. The series will feature eight total mocks ranging by format (half-PPR, full PPR, 10-team, 12-team, superflex, and non-superflex).

Pick 1.10: Stefon Diggs (WR3)

Seven of the first eight picks were running backs, leaving me in a position to most likely take a wide receiver. While my two highest-ranked pass-catchers (Tyreek Hill and Davante Adams) were off the board, Diggs was my best player available. As such, I pulled the trigger and selected the Buffalo receiver. While I strayed from my normal approach of taking a running back in the first round, I felt comfortable taking Diggs considering he’s in the top tier of receivers and could realistically finish as the WR1.

Also Considered: Ezekiel Elliott, Austin Ekeler, Travis Kelce

Pick 2.03: Calvin Ridley (WR4)

Going receiver in the first round was rare for me. Snagging wideouts in Rounds 1 and 2? Not only is that rate, but it was somewhat frightening. Although Ridley is my WR4 and he’s coming off a 2020 season in which he proved he can produce incredible stats regardless of the weapons around him, this pick still hurt considering the three guys I was targeting (Elliott, Ekeler, and Kelce) were all taken moments before I landed Ridley. The Falcons’ young star should perform well this season, but this pick made it imperative that I find a strong running back with my next pick.

Also Considered: A.J. Brown, Antonio Gibson

Pick 3.10: David Montgomery (RB13)

In a season that is so top-heavy with running backs, I felt grateful to land Montgomery at the end of the third round. The Bears running back is heading into his third pro season and truly exploded last year. Tarik Cohen‘s return isn’t enough to kill Montgomery’s value, and the departure of Justin Fields gives me faith that this offense as a whole can be even better. Montgomery has also drawn immense praise from head coach Matt Nagy, which is great for his stock.

Also Considered: Chris Carson, Josh Allen

Pick 4.03: D.J. Moore (WR11)

After hitting a home run in the fourth round, this pick made me feel super uncomfortable. Once again, both of my top targets (Carson and Allen) were taken just before this selection and I was unwilling to reach for a running back or quarterback that I felt didn’t quite fit the current tier. Instead, I settled on taking a third receiver in Moore. The Panthers wideout has looked great throughout his young career, and the return of Christian McCaffrey should open up the offense. While I am not sure Sam Darnold is an upgrade over Teddy Bridgewater, Moore has proven that he can thrive even in the absence of elite quarterback play.

Also Considered: CeeDee Lamb, Travis Etienne

Pick 5.10: Myles Gaskin (RB23)

I knew I had to take a running back or quarterback with this pick. Considering how many backs had already gone off the board (23 over the course of 57 picks), taking Gaskin before the rapidly approaching tier drop-off was imperative. He has minimal competition in the Miami backfield and should see solid volume, espcially if Tua Tagovailoa is still showing the subpar performance he exhibited at the end of last season. As someone who feels the need to stack my team with running backs, getting Gaskin as my RB2 didn’t feel appealing. However, the depth I built at wide receiver helped to alleviate some of this uneasiness.

Also Considered: Damien Harris, Russell Wilson

Pick 6.02: Damien Harris (RB25)

Much of what I said about Gaskin can be echoed here with Harris. While he lacks pass-catching value, he should see solid volume and will also face a rise in goal-line work once New England turns from Mac Jones to Cam Newton. He’ll rotate in as a solid RB2 or FLEX option and should produce steady results every week. At 6.02, I don’t hate this pick by any means.

Also Considered: Russell Wilson

Pick 7.10: Aaron Rodgers (QB7)

Rodgers’s ADP doesn’t seem like it has quite adjusted to normal since his return to the Packers. I was able to take advantage of that here by taking him in the seventh round. Last season’s MVP will once again be throwing passes to Davante Adams and Robert Tonyan, and he also has Randall Cobb as a reliable veteran option. This strong group of playmakers coupled with Rodgers’s own ability to produce at an elite level should bode well for this upcoming season.

Also Considered: Dallas Goedert

Pick 8.03: Dallas Goedert (TE6)

This pick stung. I’ve sung Goedert’s praises for quite some time, but Zach Ertz looks like he is staying in Philadelphia and should have a large role in 2021. Looking at my ranking of Goedert (TE6), this is a good pick. However, considering I will likely fade him at least a couple of slots before the season begins makes this less appealing. Further, I tend to try to follow the “late or great” strategy with tight ends, which means that I try to avoid the middle tier (roughly TE3 through TE12) of tight ends. Selecting Goedert directly goes against that goal.

Also Considered: Deebo Samuel, Nyheim Hines

Pick 9.10: Nyheim Hines (RB33)

Hines has been a valuable member of the Colts’ offense and showed last year that he can handle a heavy volume of work. While he is a handcuff for Jonathan Taylor, I view him as more than that. Hines is more than capable of producing big fantasy weeks and adding value both as a runner and pass-catcher. His boom-or-bust factor is the biggest concern here, but that’s to be expected with a running back in the ninth round.

Also Considered: Zack Moss, Mike Williams

Pick 10.03: Mike Williams (WR38)

I’m all aboard the Mike Williams hype train, which is engineered by FantasyPros’ Mike Tagliere. He’s one of the best No. 2 wide receivers in all of football and has the capability of finishing the year with 1,000-plus yards and 10 touchdowns. If the physical playmaker can stay healthy, he will be a low-end WR2 option every week. I am quite pleased that I could select him as my fourth receiver in this mock.

Also Considered: Tony Pollard

Pick 11.10: Tony Pollard (RB37)

Selecting Pollard is merely an upside pick. He has proven that he can produce big results when Ezekiel Elliott is out, but now he just needs that opportunity. If you’re drafting Pollard, ideally he becomes your RB4 or lower and you feel comfortable playing the waiting game with him. That’s a fine approach, too, considering your patience could pay off in a huge way.

Also Considered: Jamaal Williams, Jonnu Smith, Baker Mayfield

Pick 12.03: Jamaal Williams (RB38)

I didn’t feel comfortable with this pick, but I also didn’t want to reach for one of my other targets. Williams vultured touches from Aaron Jones in Green Bay last season and should do the same behind D’Andre Swift with the Lions. The reason I don’t like picking Williams? I’ll never know when to start him. He doesn’t see a super consistent workload week in and week out, instead producing up-and-down numbers. This can be frustrating as a fantasy manager; benching someone who breaks out can be as angering as starting a dud. Still, I took Williams here because volume is key and he’d be in line for a huge workload if Swift goes down.

Also Considered: Anthony Firkser, Jakobi Meyers, Adam Trautman

Pick 13.10: Anthony Firkser (TE18)

I’ve been super high on Firkser, much like I was high on Jonnu Smith last year. I think Firkser can be a top-12 tight end this coming season. He performed incredibly when Smith was on the team, so he should have no problem fulfilling an even larger role in 2022. My biggest concern with him is that Julio Jones‘s presence will push Firkser out. With Jones, A.J. Brown, and Derrick Henry all commanding drastic attention, it’s fair to wonder if Firkser can see enough volume in order to allow him to produce at the level of a top tight end. Still, the upside is bountiful. I have no problem taking him as my No. 2 tight end.

Also Considered: Jakobi Meyers, Adam Trautman

Pick 14.03: Jakobi Meyers (WR57)

Heading into the offseason, Tre’Quan Smith was “my guy” at wide receiver. He had a clear starting role and incredible value considering his ADP. However, I’ve been adamant that he will produce best while in the No. 2 role alongside Michael Thomas. With Thomas set to miss a decent amount of time, Smith’s ADP is bound to rise and he won’t have Thomas there to pull away top cornerbacks. Instead, I have pivoted to pounding the table for Meyers. The Patriots wideout looked incredible while catching passes from Cam Newton, and there’s no reason to believe that this was a fluke. Regardless of who lines up under center in 2021, Meyers, who posted top fantasy numbers in the back half of last season despite not catching a touchdown pass, should thrive. He’s someone who I want rostership of in almost every league.

Also Considered: Derek Carr, J.D. McKissic

Pick 15.10: New England Patriots (D/ST7)

I won’t go too in-depth on defense and kicker, but I like the Patriots’ defense with interception machines Stephon Gilmore and J.C. Jackson. The return of Dont’a Hightower and solidification of the defensive line surely can’t hurt, either. I also considered the Broncos here; Denver has put together a really strong unit that has the potential to be competitive and save its team in 2021.

Also Considered: Denver Broncos

Pick 16.03: Daniel Carlson (K4)

This is really just a matter of preference. Some people would have preferred Ryan Succop or Wil Lutz here, and justifiably so. However, I rostered Carlson in a dynasty league last year and was really impressed with his consistency every week. Further, he’s especially valuable when the Las Vegas offense stalls in scoring position.

Also Considered: Ryan Succop

Parting Thoughts

As I was drafting, I was really frustrated with how the board fell. A lot of players who I liked (and, quite frankly, thought would surely fall to me) were selected just one or two picks before I was on the clock. This forced me to snag a few players who I didn’t necessarily love drafting, such as Goedert and Williams. However, as I wrote the descriptions for each one of them, I was able to truly view my roster as a whole and recognize that it is a solid squad. For a 12-teamer, I really don’t have too many complaints. The board fell opposite how I hoped it would, yet I was able to adapt and make some strong selections at wide receiver and quarterback. I’m curious to see if the rest of my 12-team mocks fall similarly in terms of running back pandemonium.

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