Head to Head PPR Mock Draft for 2021 NFL Season

Jason and Matt have decided to dual it out in a 12-team PPR mock draft. The two took the extremes of the draft with one pick 1.01 and the other picking 1.12. Due to this two extremely different strategies were adopted. Who ended up with the better roster?

Jason’s Draft

Matt and I decided to each take one end of the draft and go from there. Rarely do I go TE first in drafts, so this was something I figured I’d try in the first mock of the year. It also felt like the right time to get a feel for how running backs would be selected after a couple of teams clogged up their roster with a few more. At a deep wide receiver position, you can certainly address other needs and fill out wide receiver later. Going early puts a focus on the backs in hopes one of Carter or Davis can rise to the occasion and be a weekly PPR value.

1.12 Travis Kelce
TE – KC
Kansas City Chiefs
As mentioned above, I never really gravitate towards taking a TE in rounds one or two, even though they will give you a lift over the field at the position. This is someone who was top-five overall in PPR scoring last season, and only a few tight ends are even coming close to that before the big drop-off. With the depth at WR and the wrap-around pick, I could pair Kelce with an elite WR1 and move on from there.

2.1 A.J. Brown
WR – TEN
Tennessee Titans
AJ Brown missed a few games last year and really didn’t look healthy until the second half of the season. Despite all of that, he finished WR14 in PPR and saw 106 targets. With no real additions of impact receivers after letting Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith walk, Brown will see an unreal target share. He finished WR21 in his rookie year, and I am expecting him to take that next step and join the elite at the position. Brown deserves to be one of the first few off the board. The issue here was deciding between Stefon Diggs and DK Metcalf as well.

3.12 Chris Carson
RB – SEA
Seattle Seahawks
Running backs flew off the board as expected, and if you are not drafting a running back within the first two rounds, Chris Carson is likely going to be a name you land on often. Carson posted an RB12 season in 2019 and RB20 in 2020, where he missed four games and was banged up for a few more. Carson averaged 15.7 PPR points per game. He has been the guy in Seattle for a few years now, and we just need to hope the health can get him through a full season.

4.1 Allen Robinson
WR – CHI
Chicago Bears
This is still a great tier of wide receivers where you can even start with your WR1 here. For me, Allen Robinson strengthens a solid receiving core, and it is clear by now he is immune to bad quarterback play. Justin Fields should start at some point this season, but either way, Robinson is an alpha in this offense and should see 150+ targets and post over 1,100 yards again. If the quarterback play can take a step forward, his touchdown numbers could rise.

5.12 Ja’Marr Chase
WR – CIN
Cincinnati Bengals
Rookie expectations are certainly high for wide receivers. A lot of it stems from recent classes but also how deep this class was. Ja’Marr Chase is viewed as the WR1 in this class and gets to head to the best situation out of any of the wide receivers in the first round. Getting a WR1 on what was a solid fantasy offense last year is a big win at the end of round five. Chase is going to make an immediate impact in the fantasy world, and I wouldn’t be surprised to even see some jump on him earlier than this spot.

6.1 Myles Gaskin
RB – MIA
Miami Dolphins
Miami was a team to watch in the draft because there was a chance they’d add to shallow running back position. That didn’t end up being the case, making Myles Gaskin the big winner. Gaskin was used heavily in the games that he was healthy but did miss six games. In the ten he played, he averaged the 12th most PPR points per game. He had 41 receptions on 47 targets in those ten games, and I like to refer to him as Austin Ekeler-lite.

7.12 Jerry Jeudy
WR – DEN
Denver Broncos
This is probably the first pick I didn’t really love. The upside is there in Year 2, but it is a crowded offense with questionable quarterback play. Jeudy finished as WR46 on 113 targets, but half of those targets were below average coming from Drew Lock and company. Looking back, I would have made better use of this pick, given WR is very deep, and Jeudy deserves to go after many of the names that were still on the board. Nothing against Jeudy, who is a stud; there is just a lot against him at the moment. An Aaron Rodgers trade would change my tune, though.

8.1 Mike Davis
RB – ATL
Atlanta Falcons
I expect Mike Davis to go earlier in PPR formats. He changed scenery going from one NFC South team to another. Davis finished as RB12, basically filling in for Christian McCaffrey the entire year. Atlanta did not add enough to make me push Davis aside, and there is a connection between him and the coaching staff. Arthur Smith should have this Atlanta offense moving the ball with ease, and Davis is going to benefit, even if they mix in another back.

9.12 Michael Carter
RB – NYJ
New York Jets
After solidifying a few other positions and seeing the rest of the names on the board, adding another back was the move here. Michael Carter is a talented athlete who jumps into a Jets team without many threatening pieces around him. I expect Carter to be involved on day one and see 15+ touches a game. The Jets offensive line and the overall team will be better moving forward, which is a major bump to everyone involved. The Post-Gase Era is upon us.

10.1 Deebo Samuel
WR – SF
San Francisco 49ers
Injuries plagued the 2020 season for Deebo Samuel, but I have already seen the impact he can make in fantasy football. The 49ers offense is certainly going to be frustrating, which is why I’d rather take Samuel a little bit later. He is someone who will see 6+ targets a game and also be in the mix for some rushing potential as well. They didn’t add much for receivers, so I expect Aiyuk and Samuel to be the key receivers, outside of George Kittle, of course.

11.12 Ryan Tannehill
QB – TEN
Tennessee Titans
There are some concerns with taking Ryan Tannehill as your starting QB. Arthur Smith is gone, and so are Jonnu Smith and Corey Davis. Tennessee didn’t exactly replace those names, which were key to a very efficient offense. Tannehill has actually posted pretty stable stats in his career. He topped 24 touchdowns in his first three seasons and has 55 over the last 28 games in Tennessee. I don’t expect a drop-off just because of the factors against him. He is someone who should finish in the 10-14 range again.

12.1 Tyler Higbee
TE – LAR
los angeles rams
Filling in some backup options, Tyler Higbee will get an upgrade at quarterback and also see Gerald Everett leave the team. The timeshare was not ideal, and he is worth taking a flyer on for this upcoming season. The tight end position hits a wall pretty quickly, and everybody is in the same boat.

13.12 Jalen Hurts
QB – PHI
Philadelphia Eagles
Jalen Hurts will be taken far sooner than this, so I wouldn’t bank on him being a backup option. His rushing upside is the only real appealing part of his game because the passing side needs a lot of work. He could certainly take a step forward with the added weapons around him, but there is a lot of unknown here.

– Jason Guilbault @JGuilbault11

Jason’s Roster

QB – Ryan Tannehill
RB – Chris Carson
RB – Myles Gaskin
WR – A.J. Brown
WR – Allen Robinson
TE – Travis Kelce
FLEX – Ja’Marr Chase
FLEX – Deebo Samuel
Bench – Mike Davis
Bench – Michael Carter
Bench – Tyler Higbee
Bench – Jalen Hurts
Bench – Jerry Jeudy

Matt’s Draft

Going into this draft battle with Jason, I was blessed with the 1.01. Let it be known that Jason asked for the 1.12 and gifted me first overall. With that in mind, you are never going with any kind of crazy QB or no-RB strategy. I had my eyes set on CMC and solidifying the RB position early. There are plenty of mid-round WRs, especially in PPR, for me to grab. With CMC heading your roster, you really can simply go BPA at each spot.

1.01 Christian McCaffrey
RB – CAR
Carolina Panthers
When you have the first overall pick in redraft, you get to draft a QB to play your RB spot when it comes to points per game. In limited games in 2020, CMC averaged 33 ppg in PPR formats. If you want a full season of that, you can go to 2019 when CMC averaged 29.3 ppg. These numbers rank him as a QB1 in both years, but you to play him as a running back. This is a ridiculous advantage over everyone else, especially in 12-team leagues. There is no better way to start off a draft than CMC.

2.12 Antonio Gibson
RB – WAS
washington football team 1
Re-draft this year is heavily leaning towards running back at the top; by the time my pick came around, I had to go running back if I wanted another solid starter. Luckily, Antonio Gibson, one of my favorite running backs for re-draft and dynasty, fell to me. Gibson was an RB1 last year on a terrible offense and while missing games due to injury. He will be a fantastic RB2 behind CMC, and now I really do not have to worry about the position.

3.1 George Kittle
TE – SF
San Francisco 49ers
While there were some very intriguing wide receivers on the board, I simply could not pass up George Kittle. Kittle is slightly underrated due to his injuries last year, but people are not properly taking into account the QB change. Lance is a massive upgrade on Jimmy G, and he will get Kittle the ball and get him the ball in space. I love George Kittle as a 3.01 selection to continue your positional advantage following the CMC pick.

4.12 David Montgomery
RB – CHI
Chicago Bears
While I thought I was done with running backs, more just kept going off the board, and I did not want to get stuck with no viable third option on the team. David Montgomery was the RB #4 in PPR last year. While most everyone predicts a drop-off from that production, he is still a fantastic mid-round running back. At the end of the fourth, this is the perfect time to grab him and truly move on to wide receivers.

5.1 Adam Thielen
WR – MIN
Minnesota Vikings
I think that Adam Thielen is a decently solid WR #1 for our team, and we got him in the 5th round. Thielen should have some touchdown regression this year, but I also believe that his receptions and yards will go back up with a better offensive line. A 1,000-yard season with 7 or 8 touchdowns would be perfectly fine with the value I am getting drafting him here.

6.12 Courtland Sutton
WR – DEN
Denver Broncos
This pick is a bit of a home run swing. I think that with Drew Lock as his quarterback, this is still a fine place to draft Sutton. However, if Aaron Rodgers does get traded to Denver, then I just got a 2nd round wide receiver at the backend of the 6th. Sutton is going to be a great WR #2, but he could be one of the very best at the position with a Hall of Fame quarterback, like Aaron Rodgers, throwing him the football.

7.1 CeeDee Lamb
WR – DAL
Dallas Cowboys
With the next pick, I was mulling over who to go with. It was between CeeDee Lamb and Diontae Johnson. While Johnson had more targets in 2020, I went with my gut and the clear-cut better offense. The Cowboys should once again be fantasy gold with a horrible defense and a superbly efficient offense. Dak Prescott coming back will only help Lamb get better quality of targets. I also project Lamb to find the endzone much more in this coming year.

8.12 Jarvis Landry
WR – CLE
Cleveland Browns
I have been off Jarvis Landry for some time now. However, I think that this is the first year in a while where his value matches his ADP, specifically for PPR. Landry is an awesome wide receiver, but Odell is the clear number one guy, and this team runs the ball so much. I am hoping that Landry improves on his 101 targets last season and gets back up to the 120-130 range that you came to expect from him during his first six years in the league.

9.1 Denzel Mims
WR – NYJ
New York Jets
This is a reach, but I simply did not want Mims to be sniped at this point in the draft. I am on the Zach Wilson train, and I believe that the Jets’ offense is going to be good. With that belief comes a major upgrade to Mims’ numbers as the #1 or #2 option on the offense. Mims showed elite receiving ability in his first season, but he just did not have any kind of NFL-caliber QB play to go along with his ability. Mims has tremendous upside with Wilson at quarterback.

10.12 Damien Harris
RB – NE
New England Patriots
I finally decided to revisit running back with a player that I believe could be a high-upside play. There are some rumors milling about that Sony Michel may be cut before the season starts. I would not be surprised at this move, especially with how well Harris played last year. If Harris can get 3-4 targets a game alongside his 11-14 carries, he could be a great flex and RB2 option.

11.1 Marvin Jones
WR – JAX
Jacksonville Jaguars
Trevor Lawrence’s number two wide receiver this year is going to be Marvin Jones, and I have no clue how that value fell to me in the 11th. The Jaguars offense should be, at the very worst, decent. The defense is still going to struggle a bit which means a lot of passes and a lot of opportunity for the man who just got paid $12.5 million in free agency. I am projecting similar numbers for Jones in Jacksonville as we saw in Detroit with Stafford.

12.12 Matt Ryan
QB – ATL
Atlanta Falcons
Until the season schedule is released, my quarterback choice will not really matter as I am always going late-round QB in redraft PPR formats. This may change in a 6 point passing TD league if someone great falls, but it is doubtful. Regardless Matt Ryan is in a great situation with tons of weapons on offense and a slightly improved line. He should do well with Arthur Smith in this new offense.

13.1 Chuba Hubbard
RB – CAR
Carolina Panthers
I think that the CMC handcuff is a must grab, but you get the indirect benefit of an awesome fantasy team name in Hubba Chubba Max. You cannot go wrong with this pick as the CMC owner, we saw how well Mike Davis did in that offense last year, and Hubbard is even more talented. If CMC goes down, you are now covered with a borderline RB1 to take his spot.

– Matthew Amato @MattAmatoSF

Matt’s Roster

QB – Matt Ryan
RB – Christian McCaffrey
RB – Antonio Gibson
WR – Adam Thielen
WR – Courtland Sutton
TE – George Kittle
FLEX – CeeDee Lamb
FLEX – David Montgomery
BN – Denzel Mims
BN – Marvin Jones
BN – Jarvis Landry
BN – Damien Harris
BN – Chuba Hubbard

  
Matthew has been playing fantasy football for over ten years now. He is experienced in playing and writing about both daily and season-long fantasy. He is both commissioner and former champion of several different types of high stakes money leagues.

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