The fantasy season is halfway done and some coaches are already looking forward to next season. With that in mind, we begin a series of articles that take a look at what a startup dynasty league draft could look like next Fall.
While many of the same players are still towards the top, we’ve seen some new stars clearly emerge and some other clearly decline.
This is essentially a one-man mock draft created for a PPR dynasty league, don’t get too caught up into what a team in an assigned slot would end up looking like.
With that in mind, let’s take a look into the future with the first three rounds!
1. Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN
It’s tough to knock AD off the block in most leagues as he’s simply as consistent as they come. The correction of his fumbling issues this year take the only worrisome issue away. The Vikings will continue to rely on him for at least the next four or five seasons.
2. Chris Johnson, RB, TEN
A bit of a letdown had to be expected, but there really isn’t a more explosive running back in the league.
3. Ray Rice, RB, BAL
He’s in the midst of a disappointing season, but Willis McGahee won’t always be around to steal those touchdowns. He’s still getting the yardage and will likely reclaim goal-line duties next season when McGahee finds work elsewhere.
4. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAX
MJD is also having a bit of a down year, but he’s still one of the few featured backs in the league. He’s shown an element of consistency you have to respect.
5. Arian Foster, RB, HOU
Yep, he’s that good. In fact, it’s quite possible he leapfrogs over MJD if he continues along the same path he’s on right now. He leads the NFL in rushing, yards from scrimmage, touchdowns, and 100-yard games. He’s legit here folks.
6. Calvin Johnson, WR, DET
After years of disappointment, Johnson has finally put it all together this season. His talent, youth, and raw ability make him the first receiver off the board.
7. Rashard Mendenhall, RB, PIT
He’s not flashy, but there’s something to be said about being the workhorse on a perennially good team.
8. Jamaal Charles, RB, KC
If Thomas Jones wasn’t in Kansas City, it’s possible Charles would be in the top five. There are lingering questions about his future workload, but no questions about his ability. Some even say he’s more talented than Chris Johnson. It’s a bold statement, but it could be the truth.
9. Andre Johnson, WR, HOU
Johnson is the best receiver in the game. He’s the best fantasy receiver in the game as well. Problem is, he’s getting a little older and it’s going to be tough to take him with a team’s initial pick in a dynasty league.
10. Darren McFadden, RB, OAK
Wow, where did this come from? McFadden has teased owners with flashes of ability, but this year has shown us he can be an elite fantasy back.
11. LeSean McCoy, RB PHI
McCoy is a notch below the backs ahead of him, but he looks to be a solid choice for years to come. He’d be a nice pickup late in round one.
12. Hakeem Nicks, WR, NYG
The 22-year old Nicks is on pace for 1,306 yards, and 18 touchdowns this season. Any questions?
13. Frank Gore, RB, SF
Gore is likely going to be more productive than a few backs ahead of him on this list for the next couple of years, but in a dynasty league, the tread on his tires drops him down a few notches.
14. Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB
You could make a case for A-Rod in round one if you so desired. Even with a depleted group of playmakers around him, he’s an elite signal caller in fantasy. You could build around him for a decade.
15. Roddy White, WR, ATL
We knew White was good, but this is getting ridiculous. He’s on pace for 1,660 yards and 12 scores. With a young Matt Ryan growing up fast, White looks like a great option for the next decade.
16. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI
His talent rivals anyone on this list, but lingering questions about the quarterback position in Arizona knock him down almost a full round.
17. Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, NYG
He’s taken full advantage of his opportunity this year and is a top-10 player in most leagues. He’d be a great No. 2 RB for a dynasty team.
18. Jahvid Best, RB DET
He’s shown some flashes of greatness, but a lingering toe injury has clouded his true ability this season. Is he the next great thing or just the next great injury risk?
19. Philip Rivers, QB, SD
You have to respect the job Rivers is doing this season. His receiving corps makes the Packers look like a team full of Jerry Rices. When can you still put up monster numbers throwing to Patrick Crayton and Seyi Ajirotutu, you’re pretty good.
20. DeSean Jackson, WR, PHI
The concussion issues (two in two years) are serious, but so is his speed. He gets behind defenders better than anyone in football. If Vick re-signs in Philly, the sky’s the limit.
21. Michael Turner, RB, ATL
His age and workload knock him down a few spots in a dynasty league. He’s a great asset for a competitive team, but not someone to build around for the future.
22. Steven Jackson, RB, STL
See Turner, Michael
23. Reggie Wayne, WR, IND
Death. Taxes. Manning to Wayne.
24. Brandon Marshall, WR MIA
His quarterbacks are killing him right now, so it’s tough to put him much higher on the list. It’s probably going to be a couple of years before Marshall hits the 100-catch, 10 TD plateau again.
25. Miles Austin, WR, DAL
Austin was last year’s fantasy darling, but he’s a little too inconsistent to take in the first two rounds.
26. Ryan Mathews, RB, SD
Mathews has been a huge disappointment so far. Injuries are crippling his rookie season, but he could still emerge later this year or early next as a workhorse runner in a dynamic offense.
27. Drew Brees, QB, NO
Brees is getting a little older, but you have to love his production. If I had a solid RB and WR, I’d jump on him in round three.
28. Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR
Stewart is probably the toughest guy to place on this list. If you take his last few games of 2008 and plug him in as a future featured back, he’s easily in the top 10. If you take a look at his production this year, you’d want no part of him. Will the real Daily Show please stand up!
29. Dez Bryant, WR, DAL
You can just see it, can’t you?
30. Mark Ingram (R)
I’m not as high on Ingram as most, but he’ll likely be a pretty good risk/reward pick here in round three.
31. Peyton Manning, QB, IND
If he was a little younger, he’d be significantly higher. If you’re drafting for the future, let someone else take him. If you’re playing to win now, there’s probably nobody better.
32. Greg Jennings, WR, GB
He’s started off slowly this year, but you can’t argue being A-Rod’s best option for the next five or six years.
33. Shonn Greene, RB, NYJ
Greene is the perfect buy low prospect in dynasty leagues right now. LT has stolen much of his thunder, but he seems to be coming on as of late. He’s easily the future on a team with a solid offensive line.
34. Vincent Jackson, WR, SD
It will be interesting to see where he ends up next year. My money would be on him going to St. Louis and being Bradford’s new BFF. Regardless, his talent gets him in the top three. He’s another great buy low right now.
35. DeAngelo Williams, RB, CAR
We’ll have to see where he ends up, but he still has a few years of nice production left in him.
36. Knowshon Moreno, RB, DEN
Moreno has been a massive disappointment thus far, but he could easily pull a McFadden on us.
37. Antonio Gates, TE, SD
His injuries and age are always a concern, but his consistency is unmatched at the position. He could set multiple records this season if he can gut it out.
38. Peyton Hillis, RB, CLE
Uhh, they seem to be getting the better of the Brady Quinn trade. His emergence has been fun to watch this season. The Browns never expected Hillis to be a featured back after drafting Montario Hardesty, but his spurt this season seems to have more validity than Jerome Harrison’s last season. If he can continue the pace, he’ll be higher on the list after the year.
39. Vernon Davis, TE, SF
Questions at quarterback drop his stock a bit. No doubting his ability, though.
40. Mike Williams, WR, TB
He’s on pace for around 1,100 yards and double digit touchdowns as a rookie. Not bad, eh?
41. CJ Spiller, RB, BUF
His rookie season has been an absolute disaster, but he still has a bright future in the league. The Bills may give him more chances later this season.
42. Matt Ryan, QB, ATL
Ryan’s age and maturation move him up on the list for next year. He’s a great young quarterback to build a team around.
43. Tom Brady, QB NE
The loss of Randy Moss hurts his long term future, but he’s a guy you plug in and don’t worry about too much. You can’t expect another 50 touchdown season, but he’s at the helm of a perennially great team.
44. Matt Forte, RB, CHI
His stellar rookie season seems like ages ago. Mike Martz seems to be sapping some of the potential from him, but does anyone see Martz and Cutler lasting forever?
45. Jeremy Maclin, WR, PHI
Maclin is always going to be a little inconsistent with DeSean Jackson being the No. 1 option. You have to love his ability, though.
46. Mike Wallace, WR, PIT
Wallace is emerging as one of the league’s best deep threats and is only going to get better in time.
47. Cedric Benson, RB, CIN
Benson is a tough one to rank. His production is dipping this season, but he still has some good years left in him.
48. Marques Colston, WR, NO
Colston waited until week seven to get his first touchdown and 100-yard game. Don’t expect that to happen in future seasons. He’s much too talented to contain.
Ken is on Twitter at DLF_KenK