First NFL Best Ball Mock Draft of the 2021 Season

Recently, Underdog Fantasy has opened the best ball drafts for the 2021 NFL season. After participating in a few tournament lineups I went ahead and joined my first 12-team league for a $5 buy-in. I was sat in the 6th spot, which I always hate but especially hate this year.

I wanted to try something new out, and I went ahead and grabbed Kelce with my first pick. This draft should give you a decent idea of how your team could look with that elite TE slotted in with your first pick. While I am not in love with this draft, I did get a lot of my favorite best ball targets.

For those unfamiliar, Underdog has an 18 man roster, and the starting lineup each week is 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 FLEX, 1 TE. The scoring is standard .5 PPR.


1.6 Travis Kelce (KC – TE)

My thought process with drafting Kelce revolved around the fact that all the elite RBs I want for best ball, Cook, CMC, Barkley, Henry, and Kamara, were gone. It was between Kelce and Devante Adams. I figured since Kelce finished as the WR #4 last year, but as a tight end, I could not pass him up. This is a massive point advantage throughout the season.

2.7 A.J. Brown (TEN – WR)

There was a massive run on running backs, and I was left with nobody I was excited about. So I went with a #1 WR, who is on a team with 192 vacated targets, AJ Brown. There is a world where Brown sees a 50% increase in his targets this year and turns himself into the number one guy for fantasy.

3.6 Chris Carson (SEA – RB)

I was really hoping James Robinson would fall to me here, but he did not. I was able to grab Chris Carson, who still is in a plus situation with Wilson at QB and in an offense that feeds the RB, both on the ground and through the air, as we saw last year.

4.7 Melvin Gordon (DEN – RB)

For me, this year, Melvin Gordon is a “my guy” similar to AJ Brown. Gordon no longer has to split carries with Lindsay, and he will be a fantastic three-down running back. The fact that you are getting this in the 4th round is an easy steal at the moment.

5.6 Raheem Mostert (SF – RB)

The 49ers are always going to be top of the league in running back fantasy points. The confusing and scary part is how these points are distributed. I made this pick knowing full well that I was going to target Jeffery Wilson later. Now that McKinnon and Coleman are gone, that backfield is a bit more clear for predictions.

6.7 Justin Herbert (LAC – QB)

The Chargers have addressed the offensive line in free agency and should address it again in the draft. If you give Herbert more time to throw and maybe another weapon with this stacked WR draft class, then I can see him easily scoring 40 total touchdowns. I love him for best ball this year.

7.6 Curtis Samuel (WAS – WR)

Samuel is going to be playing with Rivera again, which is a massive plus. Then, he gets the benefit of the fantasy QB king in Ryan Fitzpatrick. Samuel should easily slide back into the top-24 at WR and be even more explosive and more consistent in the Washington offense.

8.7 Jeffery Wilson (SF – RB)

Wilson was always going to be a pick after Mostert, simply to assure the 49er backfield when it comes to carries and injuries. I want the RBs on whatever team Shanahan is coaching, and I got them. Between the 49er backfield, Carson, and Gordon, I am confident in my RBs to do enough for best ball.

9.6 Marquise Brown (BAL – WR)

This begins my run on boom or bust WRs. I like AJ Brown and Curtis Samuel to supply major points every week. Now, I really need two guys to fill my WR and flex slots with boom weeks. Hollywood Brown fits this definition perfectly with his TD and big-play upside.

10.7 Gabriel Davis (BUF – WR)

The man who will be filling John Brown’s shoes is Gabriel Davis. He has an elite QB, and Davis himself is a great talent. Davis was one of the most underrated rookie wide receivers last year, and he is only going to get better.

11.6 Henry Ruggs (LV – WR)

I am not sure how Ruggs is going so late behind the likes of Hardman and others. I believe that Ruggs is only going to get more targets and more chances to hit those 50-yard bombs in his second year at the professional level.

12.7 Denzel Mims (NYJ – WR)

My third “my guy” on this team is Mims. Nothing gets me more excited than the Mims and Wilson stack this year in best ball. Yes, it is a risk. However, Mims showed incredible ability and flashes of what draft scouts thought he could be last year. Now, he will get an elite QB in Zach Wilson to help harness those skills and actually produce for fantasy.

13.6 Zach Wilson (N/a – QB)

Wilson is a steal late in drafts. He is a prospect that is almost as good as Lawrence, and if you just use 2020 tape, he might be as good of a prospect. He is most likely going into a good system with the 49er coaches that were brought over to New York. He will also have good weapons in Mims, Davis, and Crowder. He can quickly get close to Herbert’s rookie-TD record this year.

14.7 Ben Roethlisberger (PIT – QB)

Pittsburgh passed the ball the most last year, and Ben Roethlisberger is going to most likely continue to pass the ball a ton. I think he is a best ball value in the 14th round of these drafts at the moment.

15.6 Terrace Marshall Jr (N/a – WR)

Terrace Marshall Jr can be the next Tee Higgins. He has a similar skillset and is simply a fantastic WR with great speed, routes, and hands. If he falls to the right team, he will be a guy who produces in year one, and he is a great asset for a late best-ball pick.

16.7 Ke’Shawn Vaughn (TB – RB)

Vaughn is a shot in the dark. Fournette and Jones will still be there, but Arians is hyping up Vaughn. We know not to listen to too much of what Arians says, but he did spend quite a bit of capital on this RB. Hopefully, he can have a couple of breakout games and put up some points for this roster.

17.6 Tyrell Williams (DET – WR)

A best balls steal in round 17, Tyrell Williams is going to be fantasy relevant this year. The Lions literally have no other receiving threats besides Perriman. Williams is an elite down-field guy, and Jared Goff is competent enough to hit him on a few big plays. For a 17th round pick, you are going to get a few weeks of best ball production out of Williams, and that is a great value.

18.7 Chris Herndon (NYJ – TE)

I love Herndon paired up with Zach Wilson, and I think that he was the best target to back up Kelce if Travis were to get injured. He may even score enough to get into the flex spot with a big 2-TD game every now and then.


Justin Herbert (LAC – QB)
Zach Wilson (N/a – QB)
Ben Roethlisberger (PIT – QB)

Chris Carson (SEA – RB)
Melvin Gordon (DEN – RB)
Raheem Moster (SF – RB)
Jeffery Wilson (SF – RB)
Ke’Shawn Vaughn (TB – RB)

A.J. Brown (TEN – WR)
Curtis Samuel (WAS – WR)
Marquise Brown (BAL – WR)
Gabriel Davis (BUF – WR)
Henry Ruggs (LV – WR)
Denzel Mims (NYJ – WR)
Terrace Marshall Jr (N/a – WR)
Tyrell Williams (DET – WR)

Travis Kelce (KC – TE)
Chris Herndon (NYJ – TE)