(image credit: Ken Lay/USA Today)
By: Jett Rosenstein
Welcome back to “Mock Draft Monday.” This week we are picking from the #4 slot in the draft order. As always, this is a 10-team PPR league. I need to fill out a roster of 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 W/R/T, 1 K, 1 D/ST, and 6 BN. This draft was completed via FantasyPros’ Draft Wizard. So, without further ado, let's get this draft started.
Pick 1.4: Alvin Kamara (RB-NO)
As expected, the first 3 players picked were CMC, Cook, and Henry in that order. It came down to which RB I preferred the most: Saquon, Zeke, or Kamara. It is Kamara for me despite all the questions surrounding the Saints' offense in 2021. I look for proven production in round 1 and Kamara has shown us what he is capable of doing. Kamara has never finished outside the top 10 among RBs and the Saints will do everything they can to make sure he gets fed the ball.
Picks 2.7 & 3.4: DeAndre Hopkins (WR-ARI) and Darren Waller (TE-LV)
There were some great high-volume pass catchers available with this pick (Metcalf, Ridley, etc.). I feel very confident in DeAndre Hopkins this year. He seemed to establish a great rapport with Kyler Murray in year 1 together and that will continue to blossom in year 2. Hopkins has been a very consistent fantasy WR over the years, finishing in the top 5 in each of the last 3 seasons. Hopkins is a surefire WR1 in 2021 once again.
For this pick, it came down to adding another WR or solidifying my TE position. Darren Waller (2nd TE off the board) was the pick for me. Having a top 3 TE is a huge advantage in fantasy considering the big drop-off from the premier guys. It is very possible Waller could be knocking on the door for the #1 overall TE slot in 2021.
Picks 4.7 & 5.4: Amari Cooper (WR-DAL) and Chris Carson (RB-SEA)
I probably sound like a broken record, but I am as high on the Dallas Cowboys offense as anyone I know. Amari Cooper is going to be one of those beneficiaries in 2021. I was able to solidify my starting WRs with a guy in Cooper who will continue to produce. Even if CeeDee Lamb were to receive a bigger role, Dak and Amari have a strong connection and there is no reason to move away from that.
Here we have a guy that has been consistent as they come, finishing no worse than an RB2 in each of the past 3 seasons. The biggest concern with Chris Carson is his health, but that's the biggest concern with every NFL RB. He plays in a great offense for fantasy production and the Seahawks live off of their rushing attack. Not many workhorse RBs left at this point in the draft, so it's an easy pick for me.
Picks 6.7 & 7.4: Josh Jacobs (RB-LV) and Dak Prescott (QB-DAL) WHAT A STEAL! There is no reason Josh Jacobs should be falling this far. His ADP has fallen in recent months and is currently around round 4. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to build upon my RB depth with a guy who receives a ton of volume. Yes, this is a PPR league and Jacobs will not catch a lot of passes, but he still finished as an RB1 in 2020. Don’t let the signing of Kenyan Drake scare you off from drafting Jacobs who will still receive the majority of the work.
Another Cowboy joins the squad. I was able to stack Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper together and I am pleased to do so. Everyone who has read my previous articles knows how I feel about Dak, so I was not going to let someone else snatch him up. Sure, this pick could end up haunting me, but Dak has a ton of upside going into 2021 and he is determined to return to his 2020 form.
Picks 8.7 & 9.4: Chase Edmonds (RB-ARI) and Michael Carter (RB-NYJ)
I was in the market for another WR as I hadn’t drafted one since round 5, but I didn’t like any of the available options (Fuller, Shenault, Cooks). Therefore, I took a stab at another RB who should be leading his backfield for the start of 2021. Edmonds will have to fend off newly-acquired James Conner, who has had a lengthy injury history. Edmonds is in a fantasy-friendly offense and should have a good amount of opportunities to provide value.
Michael Carter is a bargain in all drafts right now, sitting in the 8th round. However, as more people become aware of what he brings to the table, his ADP may start to rise a little. For now, Carter will look to dethrone Tevin Coleman from the top spot on the depth chart and receive the bulk of the Jets rushing attack.
Picks 10.7 & 11.4: Marvin Jones Jr. (WR-JAC) and Damien Harris (RB-NE) Marvin Jones Jr. by all means is not a sexy pick, but we know what he is capable of. Trevor Lawrence will be looking for a WR to cling onto early on in the season and someone like Jones Jr. who has been there, done that might be the perfect option. He finished as the WR15 last season, so maybe this pick will turn out to be a steal.
Shifting back to the RB position, my next pick was Damien Harris. The 6th RB selected to my team to make sure I have an ample amount of depth at a fragile position. The Patriots RB situation is always an enigma that leaves fantasy owners in an unsettling position. However, Harris should receive a majority of the work on the ground, despite not being involved in the passing game. Whoever is quarterbacking this Patriots offense will have a big say in Harris’ fantasy value for 2021.
Picks 12.7 & 13.4: Latavius Murray (RB-NO) and Mecole Hardman (WR-KC)
Besides acting as a high-end handcuff for my top pick Alvin Kamara, Latavius Murray may be able to provide some FLEX value at points during the season. The Saints are going to rely on their run game once again and there are still questions surrounding their passing game. Murray is never going to unseat Alvin Kamara, but he should have a solid floor, with upside if Kamara were to miss time.
Third-year WRs have fared well in fantasy in years past and maybe that's a positive development for Mecole Hardman. He does have the QB and the talent to make it happen. Yes, he has to compete with Hill and Kelce for targets, but he is a part of an offense that will be efficient once again in 2021. This is purely a dart throw at the end of the draft with the hope that Hardman will receive a few more targets and sprinkle in several big games throughout the season.
Picks 14.7 & 15.4: Buccaneers D/ST and Jason Sanders (K-MIA)
RECAP: It is said in fantasy that your 1st round pick will never win you your league, but you can definitely lose it. I am confident that the Saints will find ways to keep Alvin Kamara productive, but there is definitely within the realm of possibilities that the Saints' offense takes a turn for the worse. As for the rest of my starting lineup, I am very pleased with how it turned out. I gain a significant advantage by having a top 3 TE and have 2 high-volume WRs. In a PPR league, Josh Jacobs may not be the best FLEX option, but he should receive enough volume to mask any deficiencies. Based on where the chips fell in this draft, I leaned on more RB depth which is not the worst thing, but I would have preferred to have 1 or 2 more high-upside WRs to potentially insert into my starting lineup as needed. My full roster is definitely headed by a strong starting lineup, with plenty of questions on my bench that could lead to some inconsistencies in performance. Would you have done anything differently? Let me know on Twitter! (@rosey_jett)
FINAL GRADE: A- (90 out of 100)