The fantasy football mock draft review for August is here, and we get a great comparison to July, with 11 of the 12 drafters being the same in each one.
We previously analyzed May and June with a different team of participants. For privacy of the upcoming publication that will include this draft, all team names and participants have been omitted.
Before getting into my individual picks, here are a few positional observations from this traditional 12-team, PPR draft.
- Like in the June and July drafts, Patrick Mahomes was a third-round pick. He went 31st last month and 33rd in this draft. Mahomes and Josh Allen were the only two quarterbacks to go in the first four rounds in consecutive months, although we witnessed a pair of QBs come off the board in the first three picks of Round 5 of August’s draft. Eleven passers went in the first 100 picks last month. This time around, 10 QBs were chosen.
- Nine of the Round 1 choices were running backs in both July and August. The position represented 14 of the first 24 chosen players — also the same as July. Among the first 100 picks, 38 running backs came off the board, down two from last month.
- Wide receiver claimed 43 of the first 100 selections, also two fewer from July. Once again, among the 24 choices in Rounds 2 and 3, half went to the position.
- Eight tight ends were chosen in the first 100 picks (Irv Smith Jr. was No. 101), and only two of them came off the board in the first 36 selections — a jump of seven spots for George Kittle (37th) in this draft.
Below is a snapshot of the first 10 rounds broken down by number of positional picks from both the July and August drafts, including the change by round and overall.
As you can see, the first two rounds were identical for positional distribution. The third round mostly was the same, but once we made our way into Round 4, running backs took a hit. It didn’t last long, though, with four more backs going in the fifth than the July version. Overall, the positional variation was negligible. Quarterbacks regressed slightly in favor of running backs — really nothing of consequence to glean on the whole. It suggests you can wait a little longer on QBs, if nothing else.
Results by position
1:04) RB Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans: At No. 4, I was fully expecting to take Ezekiel Elliott, so King Henry was a pleasant surprise. He will see a significant statistical decline from last year’s ridiculous numbers, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t fully worthy of the No. 4 selection. It is, though, a reason why I went deeper at RB than usual in a draft of this size.
2:09) RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs: CEH was a darling last year and didn’t quite get it clicking as most had hoped to see. In 2021, with another year of learning and a more practical offseason program to aid his maturation, Edwards-Helaire has low-end RB1 upside. Nice value here, if I do say so myself.
3:04) WR Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers: Basically a lock to near 100 receptions, Allen is a PPR powerhouse and should once again thrive. Quarterback Justin Herbert has benefited from more time to polish his skills and knowledge of the game, making his top receiver a safe buy as my lead guy.
4:09) TE T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions: While Hockenson may have been a touch on the early side here, I wasn’t enamored with any of the options at wide receiver and was already off to a strong start at RB. I pivoted in a way not normal to my drafting preferences and chose the tight end — effectively Detroit’s No. 1 receiver — and decided to punt on the position the rest of the way.
5:04) WR Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers: Landing Hock a round ago actually worked out pretty well. Johnson is an ascending talent in an offense that should keep him plenty busy underneath. He rarely will see double-teams, and I strongly believe we didn’t see his ceiling last year.
6:09) RB Trey Sermon, San Francisco 49ers: There is no running back I rather gamble on in 2021 drafts than the rookie. I’m not convinced Raheem Mostert will be even the “1a” of the backfield, and his durability concerns could make Sermon as close to a workhorse as possible in a Kyle Shanahan offense.
7:04) WR Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals: I’ve been lukewarm on Chase’s draft placement much of the offseason, so this choice was a slight gamble on his chemistry with Joe Burrow. I have stability with Allen as my WR1 and a player whose weekly returns may wildly fluctuate with Johnson as my second. Chase could bring that “wow” factor to my receiving corps, although it means wideout depth must remain a focus over the next few rounds.
8:09) QB Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams: The weaponry and system are in place for Stafford to be dominant. Even though Round 8 may be a hair on the early side for my usual QB-drafting tastes, I wasn’t going to miss out on him after nine other QBs had been chosen.
9:04) WR Antonio Brown, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Still not terribly satisfied with my receivers and seeing a reasonable number of remaining RB4 targets on the board, AB is an intriguing risk-reward option. There’s clearly a chemistry between he and Tom Brady, and the veteran receiver was on pace for 90 grabs a year ago after having to come in cold from a lengthy layoff. I tend to prefer him in best-ball formats, but Brown would be a strong starter if something were to happen to Mike Evans or Chris Godwin.
10:09) WR Laviska Shenault Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars: Shenault was debated when I took Brown in the last round, so even though I still felt the need to add running back depth, the calculated decision to wait on the position brought the second-year Jaguar onto my roster. I’m not crazy about DJ Chark Jr.’s durability at this point, and we saw enough from the versatile Shenault as a rookie to expect a notable leap in Year 2.
11:04) RB Kenyan Drake, Las Vegas Raiders: I was expecting one of Drake, Chuba Hubbard, J.D. McKissic and Latavius Murray to be available for me. All of them were waiting for me. While McKissic was ranked the highest on my board, Drake’s situation appealed more to me based on my roster composition. If (when?) Josh Jacobs gets hurt, I have a proven back in a run-heavy system getting thrust into a starting role. I love McKissic’s receiving chops, though he’s not going to be much more than that if Antonio Gibson were to miss time.
12:09) QB Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars: Tua Tagovailoa and Ben Roethlisberger were the other targets here. It really was a coin flip between Big Ben and Lawrence, though. I feel pretty good about betting Lawrence will safely finish inside the top 15, which is probably Roethlisberger’s ceiling.
13:04) RB Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings: Even though I didn’t draft Dalvin Cook, seeing Mattison here this late made me excited about my RB5 — not something that usually happens in a competitive draft. All it takes is one significant injury to Minnesota’s workhorse and I have a weekly RB2 or better ready for deployment.
14:09) RB Javian Hawkins, Atlanta Falcons: Just as the July mock draft saw me take Hawkins, yet again I couldn’t pass on his upside in PPR. This time, I snagged him two rounds later and as my RB6 instead of fifth. Hawkins has enjoyed a productive offseason and will be in the mix.