Dynasty Stock Market: Podcast Mock Draft

Ryan McDowell


Editor’s Note: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

Earlier this week, I was fortunate enough to join Karl Safchick and Eric Hardter on the DFL Dynasty Podcast. With the fantasy season now over, we are already beginning to look towards the 2015 season and that starts with a mock draft. As I explained on the podcast, and you likely already know, I run a series of monthly mock drafts year round to identify player value through average draft position. It is imperative that, as dynasty owners, we are aware of the most current market value of all players. Factoring this in with our own personal value of players will allow us to transactions, including trades, waivers and draft picks.

On the podcast, the three of us participated in a three round dynasty startup mock draft. Alternating picks and without a focus on team building, but rather a “best player available” mindset, we honed in on the players that could help us the most as we applied our different strategies.

Here, I’ll take a look at all 36 picks one round at a time. As the guest, I was allowed me to kick things off, followed by Eric, then Karl. This order held true through all three rounds.

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1.01 Dez Bryant, WR DAL
1.02 Julio Jones, WR ATL
1.03 Rob Gronkowski, TE NE
1.04 AJ Green, WR CIN
1.05 Antonio Brown, WR PIT
1.06 Odell Beckham, Jr., WR NYG
1.07 Mike Evans, WR TB
1.08 Demaryius Thomas, WR DEN
1.09 Calvin Johnson, WR DET
1.10 Josh Gordon, WR CLE
1.11 Sammy Watkins, WR BUF
1.12 Le’Veon Bell, RB PIT

At this point, there is little surprise to see the early rounds dominated by wide receivers. Here, we have ten of the top twelve picks from the wide receiver position, with only one running back as Le’Veon Bell barely sneaks into round one.

The order of the receivers can be discussed to no end, but there may not be much of a point. The continued dominance of undersized Antonio Brown and a trio of impressive rookies have crashed the Big Six of last season. This leaves us with what most view as a top tier that is ten deep. An argument could be made for any of those ten as the top receiver or even the top player overall.

Brown is not the only veteran player to see a great rise in value. Patriots’ tight end Rob Gronkowski has proven to be elite throughout his NFL career. The only knock and him, and the only concern of dynasty owners, has been his lengthy injury history. He’s been healthy this year though and has reminded us all how dominant he can be. Combine that with the lack of elite options at the tight end position, and he becomes one of the most valuable players in all of fantasy football.

2.01 Randall Cobb, WR GB
2.02 Alshon Jeffery, WR CHI
2.03 DeAndre Hopkins, WR HOU
2.04 Jordy Nelson, WR GB
2.05 Jimmy Graham, TE NO
2.06 LeSean McCoy, RB PHI
2.07 Eddie Lacy, RB GB
2.08 Keenan Allen, WR SD
2.09 DeMarco Murray, RB DAL
2.10 Andrew Luck, QB IND
2.11 TY Hilton, WR IND
2.12 Jamaal Charles, RB KC

The wide receiver run continues into the second round as half of the players chosen are wideouts, though there is a pretty clear dropoff in value from the top group to this one, with the Bears’ Alshon Jeffery being the possible exception. Although I took my favorite NFL player, Randall Cobb, ahead of Jeffery, I think most would prefer to own the Bears’ receiver and could even make a case he belongs in the top tier, if not the first round.

We do finally see some running backs coming off the board, but all have their knocks. I could see any of these four; LeSean McCoy, Eddie Lacy, DeMarco Murray and Jamaal Charles, falling to the third round in actual startup drafts. There has been a great deal of discussion about the devaluation of the running back position, and that’s clearly on display in this mock as less than one-fourth of the picks came from the ball carrier position.

It wasn’t long ago that tight end Jimmy Graham was a lock as a first round startup pick, but after a subpar second half of the season, some owners are understandably not willing to use their top pick on a 28 year old tight end. Over the last four weeks, Graham is only the TE14, being outscored by players like Scott Chandler, Luke Willson and Mychal Rivera.

The second round also had the first quarterback coming off the board as Colts’ Andrew Luck was taken at the 2.10 pick. Waiting on selecting your quarterback, often referred to as the late round quarterback strategy, has become very popular, but there’s still a point where top quarterbacks offer good value. I do think the disappointing games posted by Luck and other top quarterbacks in the final weeks of the 2014 season could affect their value throughout the off-season, creating some reasonable value for Luck, Aaron Rodgers and others.

3.01 Brandin Cooks, WR NO
3.02 Kelvin Benjamin, WR CAR
3.03 Jeremy Maclin, WR PHI
3.04 Allen Robinson, WR JAX
3.05 Aaron Rodgers, QB GB
3.06 Jordan Matthews, WR PHI
3.07 Matt Forte, RB CHI
3.08 Jeremy Hill, RB CIN
3.09 Carlos Hyde, RB SF
3.10 Donte Moncrief, WR IND
3.11 Brandon Marshall, WR CHI
3.12 Davante Adams, WR GB

The first round included a trio of rookie wide receivers and it’s clear the third round will be a prime spot to grab the next tier of rookies as an amazing eight of the twelve players chosen in this round were rookies, including six wide receivers.

There is a great deal of unknown when it comes to these rookies. Both Brandin Cooks and Allen Robinson landed on the injured reserve list, cutting short their first season. While neither injury is considered serious in the long-term, it is still something that has to be considered when spending an early startup draft pick. Kelvin Benjamin has been the most successful of the receivers in this tier, but some of the same concerns he entered the league with remain, including his speed, route running and questionable hands. He’s also older than most of the other rookies in his class. Jordan Matthews, Donte Moncrief and Davante Adams have all flashed at times this season, but have failed to perform consistently. Running back Jeremy Hill has been on a tear over the last few weeks since Giovani Bernard missed some games with an injury. In fact, since Week Nine, the first game Bernard missed due to injury, Hill has been the RB7. He’s remained the primary ball carrier even when Bernard returned. Carlos Hyde might be the riskiest of the rookies taken this round, considering his lack of involvement as he’s played behind veteran Frank Gore this year. The pick could also pay off in a big way if Gore and the 49ers part ways and they hand the job to Hyde.

Aaron Rodgers was the second quarterback to be drafted overall, which should be no surprise. Just like Luck, Rodgers is an excellent value at this point, though taking a quarterback early places a great importance on building depth at the running back and wide receiver positions in the upcoming rounds. The big talents of the Chicago Bears are hanging onto their once elite value as both running back Matt Forte and Brandon Marshall were selected in the final round of our draft exercise.


ryan mcdowell
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