(Image Credit: Jack White/USA Today Sports)
By: Austin Geller
Welcome back to "Mock Draft Monday!" Today I will be simulating a 12 person PPR draft out of the #2 draft slot. I will be filling out a roster that is made up of 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 R/W/T, 1 D/ST, 1 K, and 6 BN. In addition, I will be providing a brief overview of my first 7 selections. After that, I will just provide the names of the players I pick for the remainder of the draft. Let’s get started!
Also, do not forget to scroll down to the bottom to check out my overall draft grade and projected league standings!
Round 1, Pick 2: Dalvin Cook (RB - MIN)
Dalvin Cook is one of the most dangerous weapons in the NFL. Cook ended the 2020 season as fantasy’s #2 running back and for good reason. Cook was a stat sheet stuffer last season, having finished 2nd in total carries, rushing yards, and touchdowns among all running backs. He is the definition of volume-driven. There is no reason to believe he will not get the same volume this season. This was a no-brainer at the #2 slot.
Round 2, Pick 11: Antonio Gibson (RB - WAS)
Antonio Gibson had an excellent rookie season in 2020. Having finished the season as RB13, he looks to build on his success in 2021. Gibson ranked in the top 20 in total carries and rushing yards. In addition, Gibson had the 7th most rushing touchdowns among running backs. The sky’s the limit for Gibson and with a quarterback upgrade this season, Gibson’s numbers should inflate in 2021. I have him finishing as a Top 10 RB this season. Now that I have two RB1s, I do not have to worry about my RB position for a little while.
Round 3, Pick 2: Keenan Allen (WR - LAC)
Keenan Allen put on a show in 2020. He developed quite a rapport with stud QB Justin Herbert, who looked for Keenan all season long. Had Keenan not been dealing with injury half the season, he most likely would have finished as a Top 10 wide receiver. Having started only 13 games, Keenan ranked 5th in target share, 5th in receptions, and 9th in red-zone targets. He is an extremely valuable receiver, especially in PPR formatted leagues. The volume was there for Keenan Allen and I expect his volume to grow in Year 2 of the Justin Herbert era. Additionally, I expect Keenan to finish the year as a Top 5 wide receiver, which is a tremendous value for a 3rd round pick.
Round 4, Pick 11: Tyler Lockett (WR - SEA)
What a year for Tyler Lockett. He concluded the 2020 season as WR8; on an explosive offense like the Seahawks, Lockett is going to have the volume once again. Last season, he ranked 11th in targets, 11th in red-zone targets, 5th in receptions, and 7th in touchdowns. Lockett is a PPR machine and is an integral part of the Seattle offense. Wilson is always looking for his high-flying receiver; that trend should continue in 2021. Lockett should end the year as a Top 12 wide receiver with major upside to finish in the top 10 again.
Round 5, Pick 2: Lamar Jackson (QB - BAL)
Last season was a disappointment for fantasy owners. After a dominating 2019 season in which he ended as QB1, Lamar was only able to finish as QB10 in 2020. For most quarterbacks, that would be a good season. Lamar Jackson, however, is not most quarterbacks. Jackson really struggled to throw the ball, which hurt his fantasy value. Regardless of his down year, Among all quarterbacks, Lamar still ranked 1st in rushing yards and carries. Additionally, he ranked 4th in rushing touchdowns and 2nd in red zone carries. There is never a doubt that he will get his opportunities on the ground. However, with rookie Rashod Bateman joining the team, his presence should open up the field for Lamar. This is going to be a bounce-back year for the 4th year QB.
Round 6, Pick 11: Courtland Sutton (WR - DEN)
Courtland Sutton had a very good 2019 season. He finished as WR19 in his sophomore year with 1112 yards on 72 receptions. Unfortunately, Sutton’s 2020 was cut short in Week 2 with a torn ACL. He returns in 2021 healthy and ready to go. The only question with Sutton is who will be throwing to him on the field. Will it be Drew Lock or NFL vet Teddy Bridgewater? Regardless of who it is, Sutton’s 6’4, 216-pound frame should get him plenty of targets. In 2019, Sutton ranked 8th in target share and 15th in targets. In addition, he ranked in the Top 10 in red zone receptions. Jerry Jeudy enters his second year and the Broncos also added rookie Javonte Williams; the field should open up for Sutton, regardless of who is starting under center.
Round 7, Pick 2: Mike Davis (RB - ATL)
Mike Davis gives me some great depth at the RB position. Having taken the injured CMC's spot as RB1 all year, Mike Davis certainly did not disappoint. The stocky 217 pound running back plowed his way through defenses all season through the air and with his legs. In 2020, Davis was a pure workhorse. He ranked 5th in targets, 4th in receptions, and 10th in red-zone touches. The volume was there for the 29-year-old. This year Mike Davis will be suiting up as the RB1 for the Atlanta Falcons. With the departure of Julio Jones, Davis should expect to see a full workload. On a high-scoring offense like Atlanta, Davis will be an RB2 with upside.
Round 8, Pick 11: Logan Thomas (TE - WAS)
Round 9, Pick 2: Jarvis Landry (WR - CLE)
Round 10, Pick 11: Joe Burrow (QB - CIN)
Round 11, Pick 2: Tyler Higbee (TE - LAR)
Round 12, Pick 11: Tarik Cohen (RB - CHI)
Round 13: Pick 2: Alexander Mattison (RB - MIN)
Round 14, Pick 11: New Orleans Saints D/ST
Round 15, Pick 2: Greg Zuerlein (K - DAL)
Final Draft Grade: A (95 out of 100)
Projected League Standings: