Last week in this very space I ran down the first six picks of rookie drafts, offering a veteran player to target in trade for each. I also listed a few recent trades involving said player and gave a suggested end point for negotiations. Due to popular demand, I’m back to finish out the first round.
I would highly recommend you check out part one before continuing, as it will help get you in the mode of what I’ve got going on here. I also recommend cherry Twizzlers Bites. They are better than strawberry and so much tastier than the busto licorice known as Red Vines. Also, tacos. I couldn’t recommend those enough.
1.07 – Isaiah Crowell, RB CLE
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The falloff after 1.06 is pretty intense. Looking at our April startup ADP, the sixth rookie was taken at 45. The seventh stayed on the board for another round and a half, with JuJu Smith-Schuster finally breaking the streak at pick 72.
Instead of John Ross or O.J. Howard, two commonly chosen players at 1.07, allow me to recommend the most criminally underrated player in all of dynasty, Isaiah Crowell. The RB14 last year on the strength of 944 yards, 4.8 YPC, seven touchdowns, and 40 receptions, this off-season has been marvelous for the Browns’ starter. Cleveland’s offensive line has been bolstered and there was no competition for touches added. Crowell is a sneaky bet to be a top-eight fantasy RB in 2017.
Suggested deal: 1.07 for Crowell and John Brown
1.08 – Willie Snead, WR NO
It is no secret Snead stands to gain the most from the departure of Brandin Cooks. Despite this, he is still being valued around the likes of Kevin White and the aforementioned John Ross and JuJu Smith-Schuster. Would you rather have a rookie receiver who is third, or lower, in line for targets, or the proven, reliable number two of one of the three best quarterbacks in the NFL?
24 year old receivers with a 70% catch rate, seven scores, 142 receptions, and 1900 yards in their first two seasons don’t grow on trees. They usually aren’t available for so cheap either.
Recent trades: Snead, 2018 first for 1.05, 3.05; Snead for 1.11, 2.11; Snead for 2018 second
Suggested deal: 1.08 for Snead and Drew Brees
1.09 – Zach Ertz, TE PHI
I am a little confused as to how Ertz is the TE11 in DLF’s composite rankings, behind both O.J. Howard and Evan Engram. For those who haven’t been paying attention, Ertz, who is only 26, has turned into a very effective tight end. He has topped 105 targets consecutive years, catching at least 75 of those annually for 800+ yards and six total touchdowns. For the 1.09 you can get a player who is what the rookie tight ends aspire to be, is producing now, has room to grow, plus some sauce on top.
Suggested deal: 1.09 for Ertz and Laquon Treadwell
1.10 – Marcus Mariota, QB TEN
To be fair, this one may be hard to pull off. The Titans have done everything in their power to give the third year QB the tools he needs, making him that much more difficult to acquire. Alas, Mariota is here for lack of other attractive options, as this portion of the board gets a bit murky when it comes to direct veteran comps.
In 15 games of action in 2016, Mariota managed 26 touchdowns versus only nine interceptions. With some help from 357 yards and two more scores on the ground, our subject clawed his way to 17.4 PPG and a QB9 finish. If he had finished Week 16 and played Week 17, there is every chance Mariota would have been the QB6 despite a run heavy offense. The upside is immense.
Suggested deal: 1.10, 2.10 for Mariota
1.11 – Kenneth Dixon, RB BAL
Assuming Kareem Hunt is off the board, and even if Samaje Perine and Alvin Kamara aren’t, Dixon is an interesting proposition at this point in the draft. Yes, the Ravens added Danny Woodhead to the fold, but other than that, they completely ignored the position and the offense in general. Dixon is the big winner in all of this, as he figures to take over the lion’s share of the work upon his return from suspension. The question is, what will he do with the opportunity?
From Weeks 10-17, when he finally got some run in the Baltimore backfield, Dixon averaged 4.92 YPC and 11.8 PPG over 98 touches. That calculates out to .96 points per touch, which is .15 more than rookie sensation Jordan Howard managed. The sample is painfully small, but it shows Dixon has the potential to be a very productive player in the NFL. The Ravens’ off-season actions seem to indicate they agree.
Suggested deal: 1.11 for Dixon and another favorite of mine, Bilal Powell
1.12 – DeSean Jackson, WR TB
If you are sitting at the 1.12, presumably your 2016 was a successful one. First place is fun, but if you want to stay there, you can’t sit on your hands. There may not be a better, easier, cheaper way to help reload for 2017 than to target Jackson.
Endlessly productive on minimal volume, Jackson has found himself in perhaps the best situation possible. Aside from having a stud in the making as his quarterback, Jackson has Mike Evans to draw away, leaving the best deep threat in the NFL room to run wild. Assuming good health, something Jackson has been largely able to live up to in his career, I can’t see a scenario where he isn’t a top-20 fantasy receiver with a couple years of production left in the tank.
Recent trades: Jackson, 3.05 for 2.04, 2018 second; Jackson for 2.12; Jackson for 2.08, 3.06
Suggested Deal: 1.12 for Jackson, 2.08
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