• Neil O'Donnell

2021 Way Too Early Fantasy Football First Round Mock Draft. Without Brees, Where Does Kamara Land?

Updated: Apr 18, 2021


Alvin Kamara running the football in a game at a Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Before I dive into this belligerently early mock draft—an introduction is in place:

My name is Neil O’Donnell, freshly graduated, soon-to-be loving uncle, 6’2”, never a

good football player, and last but of only importance a ®Fantasy Prodigy. This is the one bit of

information to note as you read through my first article and I will say I am not only a prodigy

because I am GREAT at fantasy football, but in Fantasy Footballers’ years I am an infant. This

would mean I have exceled at a young age relative to my forebears and there is ONLY room for

growth. The greatest thing about being a journeyman fantasy football player is that the lifespan

of our career is so much longer than actual-real-life football players, and seemingly we know

more than anyone in the professional football world. It’s a win-win.


When looking through round one prospects, you’re going to be tempted to take the 7th best

Running Back because you don’t have one and you were told RBs win leagues, or the guy who

has the big name and “is finally at 100%”, or my favorite the guy no one thought was a first

rounder but is going to be a league-winner solely because of a prophecy/gut feeling you had.

No bro, that was the Indian food. To avoid discrepancies between acid reflux and terrible fantasy decisions—I present you my, “If I was forced to queue players today for my draft in September because I was last place in my league, and this is the punishment” PPR MOCK DRAFT:


Who's going number: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12?


1. Christian McCaffery (Carolina Panthers, Running Back)


For anyone upset about this man being your first pick last year, I get it. I was in the same

boat, but you can’t let emotion get in the way of passing up on this beast of a human.


In 3 games McCaffery played, he rushed for 5 touchdowns, 225 yards, adding 17 CATCHES

with 148 yards RECEIVING!! Those stats strung out across 16 games are what RB1-pick 1 dreams

are made of. You can be weary of health, but the floor does not get lower than last year. This

floor is paired with a ceiling we may have never seen before.


2. Alvin Kamara (New Orleans Saints, Running Back)


With the departure of Drew Brees the sky is the limit with Kamara. Brees did his thing in this

league for years, but this last season version of Brees was not his best. Kamara is coming off of a

dominant 16-game stretch, one season removed from being banged up.


Finishing as RB1 by more than 40 points in PPR, Kamara has some serious upside with a new

QB in the mix. Taysom Hill, Jameis Winston, a rookie QB, it does not matter because they will be

able to throw past 20 yards (sorry Drew).


3. Derrick Henry (Tennessee Titans, Running Back)


The gift that keeps on giving… Whenever we think a regression is in store we are all proven

wrong by King Henry of Nashville. There is a gear that is turned on with Henry that only an

apocalypse could stop (or the Ravens defense in the playoffs).


Over the last 7 games of the regular season, Henry averaged 24.2 points. This is even

without being a receiving threat. He is proven to stay healthy *knock on wood* and deserves to

have some respecc put on his name.


4. Nick Chubb (Cleveland Browns, Running Back)


In the midst of finding his stride Chubb was sidelined for five weeks mid-season. Week 10

comes around and Nicholas Chubb decided to score 8 touchdowns in 7 weeks, only dropping

under 14 points one time.


With the Browns gaining confidence and building up swagger look for them to rely heavily

on Chubb to control game tempo.


KaReEm HuNt is there, I don’t care. Next.


5. Dalvin Cook (Minnesota Vikings, Running Back)


The sole reason Cook is 5 and not 4 or 3 is due to the back-to-back great seasons. I know,

shame the dude for being good, right??


The fantasy gods seem to be harshest on RB’s who: receive a big contract, or have two

career seasons back-to-back. (i.e. Gurley, Zeke, Melvin Gordon).


6. Davante Adams (Green Bay Packers, Wide Receiver)


A frustrated Aaron Rodgers and company burnt passed opposing defenses for 31.5 points a

game. This was in big part to Adams being a matchup nightmare.


Adams recorded 18 touchdowns and 115 receptions…while missing two games. I am a firm

believer that if I am not getting a top-five RB- I want the #1 wide receiver. PPR scoring is the

now and the future and we need to stop going for the 6 th best RB, and take a guy like this, who

will dominate at his position.


AND who knows, maybe the Packers management anger Rodgers into another MVP.


7. Ezekiel Elliot (Dallas Cowboys, Running Back)


This is a prime buy-low situation and not a terrible time to pick mid-first round. Zeke

struggled to live up to his usual self with QB’s not named Dak, and rightly so.


With that being said, he finished RB9. If this is his absolute basement, then do not

overthink. Draft Zeke here.


8. Tyreek Hill (Kansas City Chiefs, Wide Receiver)


The upside of Hill is so beyond comparison to any NFL player ever, that it is hard to even

wait this long to pick him. Running that fast should be illegal, scoring 57.9 points in a regulation

football game should be illegal, and having 203 yards going into the second quarter should be

ILLEGAL.


In PPR, his floor is not devastatingly low but a year similar to 2019 where he recorded only 58

receptions and 860 yards needs to be in the back of your mind to weather expectations.


9. Michael Thomas (New Orleans Saints, Wide Receiver)


Similar to Kamara benefitting from Brees leaving—so does Thomas. Injuries decimated

his season but coming off of 3 straight 100 reception-seasons, I will make an exception to my

“he’s finally 100% stigma”.


10. Travis Kelce (Kansas City Chiefs, Tight End)


It is time to appreciate Kelce for more than his boring fantasy position entails. He is above and

beyond the tight end group and offers a unique weekly scoring advantage.


Food for thought: Kelce would have been the QB11, RB4, and WR4. Doing so, while also

outscoring everyone but Darren Waller by over 136.14 points.


11. Stefon Diggs (Buffalo Bills, Wide Receiver)


At pick 11/12 you can get pretty creative. Being the earliest mock draft, I picked my two

favorites to boom.


Diggs finished WR3 by decimals. Some may argue this was his boom year, but Diggs only scored

5 touchdowns if you take away a dominating performance in week 16 against a depleted NE

team.


As Josh Allen and Diggs continue to grow chemistry, an uptick in TD’s is in store. Not to mention

he went through the traditional fantasy playoffs with yardage of 130, 147, and 145. If TD’s can

pair with those stat lines he may have even a little higher stock than 11.


12. Jonathon Taylor (Indianapolis Colts, Running Back)


Rounding out a first round Mock Draft that will be changed in a month—Mr. Taylor. Analysts

everywhere always throw a name like Jonathon Taylor in the mix for a first-round look (i.e.

Miles Sanders, Kenyan Drake).


Although his upside was waiting to activate all year—Taylor took until week 13 to really ignite.

Averaging 26.06 points on minimal receptions and 19.4 carries a game, this was what the hype

as about. Another year under his belt, a dominant O-Line and no more Philip Rivers holding back the

offensive momentum, Taylor’s season is aligning to be one of a #LeagueWinner.


Summary

  • Run CMC still reigns supreme

  • A tier 1 Wide Receiver has more upside than a tier 2 Running Back

  • No Drew Brees will open up the Saints offense