Dynasty League Football


Dynasty Rookie Trade Value Chart


Editor’s Note: This particular article was submitted by Zach Bahner, a new Member Corner author.  He shared this project with us and we asked him to submit this article so the community could ask questions or get more details.  We thank Zach for his work on this article and the draft value chart.

This is the time every year where dynasty nuts begin looking towards the draft and this year’s crop of rookies. Draft pick values are all over the place with some owners looking to build through the draft and others trading their picks for proven veterans. It can be difficult to know what kind of value your picks have when you look to move picks or acquire more from other owners as this is a highly subjective matter.

I set out to try and quantify the value of rookie draft picks much like NFL teams quantify the value of their picks. No two owners place the same exact value on a pick, but having a baseline for a standard value can help when attempting to make trades involving picks.

In order to create my “Dynasty Rookie Trade Value Chart,” I first looked at the commonly used Jimmy Johnson Trade Value Chart. While not considered perfect, this is still a widely known and very common tool used by draftniks and NFL teams alike. I used this chart as the framework for my version and made alterations to make it fit fantasy football.

In order to accommodate offense only, IDP and drafts that include free agents along with rookies, I made it 120 picks long. This allows for a deep draft and easily covers 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16 team leagues. As one would expect, the earlier the pick, the higher the value placed on it.

Graphic 1

When looking at the chart, consider the “value” columns like you would “points.” When making a trade involving picks, you want the points to be fairly equal. For instance, if you own the first pick in your draft, it holds the same value as the pick #3 and #20 combined. Basically, if you are going to move back two spots, from pick #1 to pick #3, you should expect a package that includes roughly 800 additional points beyond just the third pick.

In order to more fully explain how the chart can function, let’s look at two examples from an established 16 team league with a rookie only draft.

Graphic 2

As you can see, both teams have a wealth of picks in the draft. The Falcons have a need at wide receiver and plan to use pick #2 on that position. However, they also have a huge need at quarterback having only Joe Flacco, Kirk Cousins and Nick Foles on their roster. The Cowboys (the team owning pick #4 in the draft) also have a huge need at the quarterback position.

The Falcons could attempt to move up from pick #8 into pick #3 to make sure they are able to secure their quarterback as the values match up very well. The Falcons could make an offer of picks #8 and #18 in order to acquire pick #3. The values match closely (2350-2200) with a fairly negligible 150 point difference to the benefit of the Raiders. This also would leave the Raiders with picks 17, 18 and 19. These could easily be packaged together to acquire veteran depth.

Graphic 3

Because the Falcons were able to trade up ahead of the Cowboys to select their new quarterback, the Cowboys could look to move back in the draft. The Bears have a need at the running back position and could look to move up to secure a top back.

The Bears can package picks #7 and #13 for picks #4 and #26 with an almost equal value on the trade value chart (2725-2600). This gives the Bears the ability to take their top remaining running back on the board and allows the Cowboys to either build depth at picks #7 and #13 or to flip them for veteran depth.

Another common occurrence in dynasty leagues is trading future picks in order to acquire veterans or move up in the current draft. However, future picks don’t have the same value as current picks since there is no way to know exactly where that pick will lie within its round in the future draft. Standard practice in the NFL is to take the total value of all the picks in that particular round, average them and then half that value. I have done that for 10, 12, 14 and 16 team leagues to help in having an accurate value of what the following year’s picks are worth. If the pick is two years away, half the value again, and continue to half the value for each year it may lie beyond the following draft.

Graphic 4

One thing neither of these trade value charts accounts for is the addition of a player into the trade scenario. Due to the difference between league types, scoring systems and the make-up of individual rosters, there is no (and can be no) standard way to score these types of trades. However, you can place that player into your rookie big board to see where exactly they would lie in value. For instance, if a player is offered to you that you would place #20 on your big board, you perceive a value of 800 on that player.

As always, relying on a singular strategy in fantasy football typically leads down the road to little success, but this can be a valuable tool in evaluating trades and making sound draft day decisions. Use these charts in conjunction with you big boards to ensure that you make the best of your draft picks and the trades that you make.

We’re curious to see if you’ve used charts like these in the past.  What kind of modifications have you made to make them work?



  1. Jacob Feldman

    April 18, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Nice work with putting this together. I’ve put together several charts like this in the past. It is a ton of work, because every draft class is so different. Two years ago for example there was a major drop after the 3rd pick in my chart because of the players that were there. Last year the major drop was after the 4th pick. I don’t see any major drops in this chart to signify the end of a tier, which makes me think it is more of a general one instead of being tailored to this year’s class.

    I also think you need a bit steeper of a drop. According to the chart, three third round picks are equal to a mid-1st. Four 4th round picks will get you a late 1st or early second. It is a great conversation starter though and a very nice starting point.

    • Zach Bahner

      April 19, 2013 at 11:18 am

      I think the idea of having four 4th round picks valuing approximately the same as a 2nd is about right. I would never in a million years suggest accepting a trade offer like that, but that would be like getting Hightower, Manningham, Avery and Flacco for Jerome Simpson in 2008 or Earl Thomas, Spikes, Dickson and Hernandez for Sam Bradford in 2010. Granted, it’s just as easy to find an example where that kind of a trade wouldn’t have worked out.

      I would say that even if I was in a major rebuild and wanted to collect as many picks as possible, a trade like this still isn’t something I would accept.

  2. ManuManu

    April 18, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    I appreciate that you put this together, but I just don’t think it’s very accurate with how people perceive picks. For example, I have the ninth and 19th picks in my draft. According to your chart, I should be able to move up to the third pick. In most drafts, I can’t move up to six with that offer.

    And there’s no way anyone, even the best team in the league, would give me their next year’s No. 1 pick for the 15th pick in the present draft.

    I dunno, maybe my leaguemates are different…

    • Frank The Tank

      April 18, 2013 at 6:26 pm

      I would trade you my 1.6 for the 1.9/2.7 this year ManuManu. That’s just me tho.

      Great work on the chart btw Zach, I really enjoyed it.

      • ManuManu

        April 19, 2013 at 7:41 am

        Agreed that this year it could happen, but most years, it would be an instant reject.

    • Sensei John Kreese

      April 18, 2013 at 6:35 pm

      Agreed. The 1.01 for the 1.03 and the 2.08?

      Not happening.

      • Scott Peak

        April 19, 2013 at 1:14 pm

        I think 2.08 should be more than enough to move back two spots from 1.01 to 1.03 this year. Obviously, though, there is likely to be significant variability on a league-by-league basis. I like the chart because it gives me an idea on how to value picks, and that serves as a starting point for discussion in my leagues. Still, owners can have fluctuating opinion on the value of picks and players, and not always consistent with prevailing opinion from the dynasty community.

      • Doggie

        February 1, 2014 at 8:27 pm

        Glad you guys put this out.. However, I agree with Sensei John Kreese. I would not trade 1.01 for 1.03 & 2.08 .. nor would I ever trade the highly-valuable 1.01 pick for the 1.2 and 3.10. Based on the other point allocations, I would value the 1.01 more around 3,500 (than 3,000) .. closer to a thousand apart from the 1.02.

        It depends on the year, but just imagine when the next “greatest RB or WR prospect” comes out..
        It will take a second 1st to get that 1.01

    • Adam Franssen

      April 19, 2013 at 5:23 am

      I hear what you’re saying, but Zach’s done a great job of putting together a conversation starter.

      In most years the top 3-4 picks are gold, but this year, I actually think that you SHOULD be able to move up to #3 if you wanted to.

      I also think that the chart has more value in IDP leagues where early picks aren’t so certain. For example, in my league we’ll see some DEs and LBs going in the first round, which makes it possible to get better-than-expected offensive talent in the later rounds.

  3. sixshooter

    April 18, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    I have to say that the effort is appreciated but this is considerably off base from a non-IDP dynasty draft which makes sense but I guess it depends on how many IDP roster spots are considered! The IDP leagues I am in only involve 1 or 2 starters which there is no way this chart applies!

    As a generic 3 round format in non-IDP draft, most I have seen have the #1 pick overall worth 2500 to 3000 pts with the 36th overall at 35 to 50 pts which I consider fair value. I guess this helps explain why some are so far off when they consider trades involving draft picks!

    Sorry, I understand this changes depending on the draft class and the strengths at various positions but there is no way that I give up the last two picks in the 3rd round for the 7th pick in the 2nd round unless I am just willing to give up picks due to roster space as was the case this year.

    For example, last year, I traded my 11th pick in a 12 team league for the 4th and 8th pick in last years draft and don’t regret it for a minute! According to this chart, I should have gotten the same value for the 6th overall pick. But, at the same time, this chart values 3rd picks like they are a step behind a 2nd round pick which simply is not the case! The same charts I mentioned previously have the top pick in round 2 at about 400 pts and the last pick in round 2 at around 125 pts which is realistic as there is a significant drop off in talent no matter if it’s offens or defense in my opinion!

    Just my two (or three) cents!!!!

    Either way…..it’s all in the mind of the beholder!!!!

    • sixshooter

      April 18, 2013 at 7:45 pm

      Sorry…..meant to say there is no way that I give up the 7th pick in rd 2 for the last two picks in rd 3, in which case, I am actually losing roster spots! Confused yet? So am I…..LOL!

      Still doesn’t change my opinion on the value of a draft pick which I have lost after years of experience in a dynasty league. When I first started participating, I was told that draft picks were golden which is true if you are rebuilding an aging team but you should not need to stockpile picks after building your team and therefore, should not value picks as high as when you started in the league……in my opinion!

    • sixshooter

      April 18, 2013 at 9:20 pm

      Ok….I am confusing myself at this point but let me clarify…..last year….gave up my 11th pick for the 4th and 8th pick in the SECOND round last year!!! Sorry for the confusion, if any!

  4. sixshooter

    April 18, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    This does have me thinking though (which is scary)…..one thing I have never attempted to determine (out of the blue) is what is the value of a high (first round) pick worth as compared to a seasoned veteran (ie a player coming off injury…..Percy Harvin or, a consistent veteran such as……Roddy White). I understand that such things as offensive scheme/team, age, injury risk, etc are a concern but I am not sure there is a way to place a value on a specific player. Just another twist to the whole draft pick value I guess……Just goes to show that you cannot get a general consensus on the value of a draft pick, or two, or three……or six!

  5. BadgerYou

    April 18, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    I can only speak for my league in response to this post:

    The top 3-5 picks in our league would be double the values listed on the main chart. After that the points seem to be respectable. Also, the value of future picks in our league don’t diminish quite as far as posted in the above post. Granted we have a pretty good understanding of where the picks are going to fall +/- 1 spot for the given team swapping picks. Those are my two points.

    I do like your chart as a quick reference point.

    • Zach Bahner

      April 19, 2013 at 11:08 am

      Here is what I was thinking in regards to your two points:

      1. My valuation on the top picks in the draft was based on the fact that, in the last five years, there have been about as many misses (McFadden, Stewart, K. Smith, Moreno, Wells, D. Brown, Mathews, Best, McClain, D. Thomas, R. Williams) as hits (Forte, Mendenhall, McCoy, Harvin, Spiller depending on if he builds on 2012, Bryant, Ju. Jones, Green). There is more value, in my opinion, in having the 5th and 12th pick than the 1st. With the 5th pick you will still get one of the elite prospects most years and then still be able to take another high end prospect with the later pick. It gives you two shots at landing at least one good player since the bust rate of top rookie picks is roughly around 50% already.

      2. The future pick valuation would be more based on how the value of 2014 picks would be before this year’s rookie draft. At this point, there are likely 1-3 teams in most leagues that you can peg as teams that will fall in the top half of next year’s rookie draft, but are probably a little more difficult to figure out. That is why I have the values halved. During the season it is much easier to figure out where picks will likely fall in that upcoming draft. At that point, my future pick scale is thrown out the window since you can estimate within a few picks of where that draft slot will be. I wouldn’t consider a trade deadline deal with a 1-9 team for their 1st rounder to only yield 899 points on the trade value chart since it is pretty clear that you’ll be receiving the 1st pick in the draft.

      Thanks for the input. I definitely understand that in some leagues, and with some owners, a top pick is a premium. I would use this more as a reference point rather than absolute gospel, but it is a good way to gauge if you’re getting good value in a trade.

      • Zach Bahner

        April 19, 2013 at 11:09 am

        Also, I should add that most of the “busts” I listed have put up a year or two of good fantasy production, but that isn’t typically what we look for in a top pick.

        • BadgerYou

          April 19, 2013 at 3:19 pm

          Yeah, I see where you are coming from. I was just pointing out how my league operates. I just know for a fact that some of the combinations of draft picks that the chart shows equal value would hold no water in our league. Again, I still think its a great reference.

  6. Richard Hellewell

    April 19, 2013 at 7:26 am

    I am interested to know what kind of calculations/assumptions go into making a chart like this? You said you took an existing tool used in the NFL but what thinking process occured when you adjusted the numbers up or down?

    • Zach Bahner

      April 19, 2013 at 11:27 am

      I went through at least three versions of the chart and had about a dozen dynasty gurus review different versions to make sure it seemed like a feasible tool.

      I used the Jimmy Johnson chart as a baseline for where to start, but I deviated from it quite a bit. My thinking there is that it’s based on drafting every position in the NFL, and fantasy just isn’t built like that.

      I used some existing 12 and 16 team leagues to run tons and tons of trade scenarios to make sure that pick values seemed accurate. Since this is still a subjective matter I tried to ignore roster needs, other than the examples I used above. I wanted to make sure that it would make sense to trade pick A for picks B and C. I also wanted to make sure that the value of picks decreased appropriately between rounds. For instance, it wouldn’t make sense for a late 2nd to be roughly 50% of the value of a late 1st, and a late 3rd be roughly 75% of the value as that same late 2nd.

      I don’t think there is a way to make something like this that is perfect for every situation, but it can be used to get a good baseline for value. In every situation every owner is going to try to maximize the value of every player and pick involved in a trade.

  7. Jacob Feldman

    April 19, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    I found my old chart for the 2011 rookie draft (Ingram, Julio, AJ Green). I only did 5 rounds since that was what my leagues had at the time.

    My first round went: 350, 325, 300, 250, 230, 210, 190, 170, 145, 135, 125, 115

    You can see where I had my tier divisions. I had three in the first tier, then a bigger gap between the 3rd and 4th pick. My next tier went from 4th to 8th, then another bigger gap. The changes within the tier are smaller than the drops from one tier to the next. I think it helps give a little bit better picture of true value. The problem is that it needs to be redone every year since the tiers change. People can definitely take Zach’s chart and adjust as needed to get their tier divisions in there where they feel they should be.

    • Zach Bahner

      April 19, 2013 at 12:08 pm

      Thanks, Jacob. I have to agree with you that there are definite breaks in tiers that have to be accounted for from year to year. Take last year’s trade for RG3. The picks traded to move up to draft him far outweighed what the 2nd pick’s value was, but sometimes you aren’t trading for a pick, you’re trading for a player. Breaking players into tiers is a perfect example of that.

  8. Cyrus

    April 19, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Quick note about the value of future firsts.

    In my league, after the 1.07, owners will typically trade the current 1st round pick (1.07 on) for a future 1st round pick and a 3rd round pick (either year).

    That means 1200-1600 points (1st round pick this year) for a 3rd (~500 points?) and a future first (900 points). That works out to be equal, but I think it should be something like this instead:
    Future 1st = 1300 points
    Current 3rd (which is 675 – 400 points) = 275 – 200 points

    There isn’t much difference between the 3.01 and 3.12 IMO, so having it have a swing of 275 is steep. Moreover, I don’t know of anyone that would trade a 1st round pick for 3 3rds, but the chart has the 3.01/3.02/3.03 being worth the #4 overall pick.

    I like the article and will tweak it based on my own opinion, but I think that the later round picks have way too much value.

    • Scott Peak

      April 19, 2013 at 1:21 pm

      I see your point, but there is a certain element to these charts that are subjective. Even if a third round pick is given a value of 200, would anyone trade accept 9 third round picks for 1.04? I doubt it. The value is in the combination of picks discussed in a deal. But, it’s always going to be hard to trade thirds for firsts, no matter how many points are estimated per pick. The value drop from 1st to 3rd rounds or greater is too steep (rookie drafts only) to do one first for more than one third.

      • Cyrus

        April 19, 2013 at 2:10 pm

        I did my own little draft value chart, and I think a future 1st is worth around 1200 points (I deflated the value of picks 1.06-1.1 to make the higher picks more expensive. The 1.09 is worth 1200 points in my chart)

        I have the 3rd round being between 300 and 200 points.

        2nd round is where there is a big skew in value, with it going from 900 to 400 points (from 2.01 to 2.12). I’m not really sure if this is right, but I rolled with it. (Original went from 1125 to 700)

        I have future picks being worth 80% of the average of that round, but excluding picks #1 and #2 for the first round only. (Arbitrary, but it dropped it from 1360 to 1200).

    • Scott Peak

      April 19, 2013 at 1:24 pm

      It’s kind of like trading Joe Flacco, Jon Baldwin, Golden Tate, Anquan Boldin, Rashad Jennings, Alex Smith, Mike Goodson, Terrelle Pryor and Malcom Floyd for Victor Cruz. If we assigned a point value for the first 9 players, we could easily get the total value as much or more than Cruz. But, we all know Cruz is the most desirable player in that deal, and that trade could never happen. Plus, given roster restrictions, a trade like that probably could never happen anyway, unless a league had 40+ rosters. In the end, assigning point values is helpful for gauging relative value of picks, but still won’t change subjective opinion on value of players in each round.

  9. sixshooter

    April 19, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Well Zach…..your article has definitely received some interest and created a conversation well worth having!

    I don’t believe you can write an article such as this one without having a ton of debate which, in my opinion, is not a bad thing as long as we all keep it “friendly fire” because I always appreciate hearing other owner’s opinion’s on how they value draft picks because it has always been a mystery to me and likely always will be.

    And…..I really don’t think it is much different in the real world (the NFL) as some owners/coaches/GM’s value draft picks moreso than others and I am confident there is a ton of debate behind closed doors prior to the draft and in war rooms during the draft because I think it is impossible to expect everyone to agree on the value no matter if it’s a player being considered in a trade for picks, a pick being discussed in a trade for another or in general……the value of the pick overall!

    I would love to be a fly on the wall in any war room on draft day………..especially day one!

    • Zach Bahner

      April 19, 2013 at 6:52 pm

      I totally agree with everything you just said. I knew there would be some controversy and difference of opinion with something like this, but I also knew that the DLF readers are smart and always willing to look at things from different perspectives. I embrace the discussion and I think everyone has made valid points. The value of draft picks is extremely subjective, so I can’t expect everyone to look at them the same why that I do.

  10. Kyle

    April 30, 2013 at 1:17 am

    I am in a 10 team league doing my initial draft for my dynasty league over the summer this year. I know that a lot of my league mates already have the rookie fever just by talking to them. I really would like to ploy the strategy of trading away one of my picks in the initial draft for somebody’s future first round rookie draft pick (or second round if it calls for it). I want to get another future first round rookie draft pick and watch it appreciate in value as the 2014 rookie draft approaches. Then I would like to use it as trade bait to my other league mates who will be hungry for a pick.

    So basically it would be great help if I could get some opinions on what round pick in the initial draft holds the same value as a future first round rookie draft pick. (or second too if you want to be extra helpful)

  11. luke

    May 6, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Thank you for some other excellent article. Where else may just anybody get that type of information in such a perfect manner of writing? I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I’m on the search for such info.

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