Editor’s Note: Make sure you’re ready for your dynasty league rookie draft by checking out our 2018 Rookie Draft Guide, our current Dynasty Rookie Rankings and our convenient Rookie Draft Cheat Sheet. There are simply no better resources out there for dynasty fantasy football draft preparation. Make sure you also check out our 2018 Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings: Consensus First Round and 2018 Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings: Consensus Second Round to get all caught up.
As we move into round three, owners are clearly going to start taking shots at their favorite sleepers or even some hometown players. After all, the obvious talent will be long gone after the top 24 selections. Solid dynasty owners who have been around the block a few times know better than to just waste these picks, though. There are bound to be some real steals at this point or later in rookie drafts and this is no time to stop researching players or trade these picks for little in return. The best dynasty owners value every selection and are mindful about every player they take, knowing that hitting on one of these players with a late round pick could swing the power of a league in their favor very quickly. As you read through this, make sure you read their initial rookie profiles, if available, to be fully informed about them before using your rookie selections.
3.01 = Dallas Goedert, TE PHI
This draft featured a ton of players (including many running backs) who landed in what are perceived as great locations for their fantasy value. Unfortunately, the tight end class didn’t fare as well. Goedert was widely regarded as the best tight end in the 2018 NFL Draft and the Eagles jumped in front of the Cowboys to grab him. If Dallas would have drafted him, he would have easily been a second round rookie draft pick. Instead, Goedert is stuck behind Zach Ertz, who is still just 27 years old and that pushed him down in our rankings. The good news is Philadelphia had two tight ends on the field for nearly 400 snaps last year and and also led the league in receptions by the position. All news from Eagles camp is stating they plan on using him early and often and the Eagles have also come out and said they would have likely taken Goedert in the first round had they not traded back and that simply can’t be ignored. While the presence of Ertz clearly diminishes his value, Goedert should eventually pay dividends – owners just may need to be more patient than they expected.
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3.02 = Hayden Hurst, TE BAL
Hurst was taken by Baltimore in the first round of the draft, despite only scoring three touchdowns in his three years at South Carolina. Still, he’s a great athlete and has real ability. The downside from a dynasty perspective comes with his age (he’s already 24 after taking time out to pursue baseball) and the fact the Ravens took Mark Andrews at the position as well, muddying the waters. Regardless, Hurst is a solid prospect and should give the Ravens a really good option at the position. He likely doesn’t have the dynasty ceiling of Goedert but he still has a high floor and should produce quicker results.
3.03 = Antonio Callaway, WR CLE
A sexual assault allegation? Check. Suspended for credit card fraud? Check. Multiple issues with marijuana, including a failed test at the NFL Draft Combine? Check. The laundry list of issues with Callaway is nearly unprecedented. Fortunately for him, so is his talent level. Had all these issues not come up, Callaway would have likely been a top 15 draft pick and the first receiver taken in the draft. The Browns are clearly rolling the dice here and even with their success in getting Josh Gordon seemingly on the straight and narrow, this seems like a huge risk. On the plus side, Antonio Brown has taken Callaway under his wing and is attempting to help him get his life off the field back on track. Callaway also recently had a child and is claiming he’s now ready to grow up. Time will tell on this and we’ve been doing this long enough to have our doubts this pick will pan out. However, if it does, a dynasty owner is going to have a player who will fairly easily beat out the likes of Corey Coleman to start opposite Gordon and Jarvis Landry. It’s not often you can draft a player in round three who has true WR1 potential but Callaway fits the bill – just make sure any selection you use on him is a luxury pick and not one you’re counting on to help build your team. I’d say there are some safer options out there but that’s not entirely true – every other player is a safer option.
3.04 = Nyheim Hines, RB IND
Hines is an exciting young player who landed in a good spot with the Colts. With Marlon Mack now the likely starter (I still expect the Colts to add someone like Adrian Peterson or CJ Anderson), Hines should work his way into some meaningful touches and he has the talent to take advantage of them. Hines is small but he’s extraordinarily fast, versatile and explosive. In fact, there’s talk the Colts may use him as a running back, slot receiver and return man. While I don’t see him as the next Alvin Kamara, there’s a real Tarik Cohen factor to him I like and he’s a worthy choice in round three. If I was a Mack owner, I’d be looking to get Hines and also take a good look at Jordan Wilkins (the Colts sixth round selection) as well.
3.05 = Josh Allen, QB BUF
The last of the heralded quarterbacks is ranked here and could provide a nice value for dynasty owners. Allen has some fences to mend after all his social media rants were uncovered but I think that’s all going to blow over soon, if it hasn’t already. The Bills have themselves a strong armed quarterback of the future but also one who is really raw and needs some time to develop. The concern with Allen is accuracy and its a legitimate one as he completed just over 56% of his throws the past two years at Wyoming. If Allen proves he can improve in that area and show part of the issue was simply being surrounded by inferior talent, he should pay dividends for Buffalo and dynasty owners alike.
3.06 = Mark Andrews, TE BAL
Ugh. After catching 58 passes for 906 yards and eight touchdowns playing with Baker Mayfield last year, many dynasty owners were really excited to see where Andrews ended up. Unfortunately, he landed in Baltimore where he’ll find a new roommate in Hayden Hurst. The Ravens did well to add talent to a position they needed to but it’s not going to help much in dynasty leagues. You’d expect Baltimore to find ways to get both of them involved in the offense but this landing spot was disappointing for sure and Andrews is going to end up being a third or fourth round rookie pick as a result.
3.07 = Deon Cain, WR IND
Cain was one of the biggest fallers of the draft and lasted all the way into the sixth round before being taken by the Colts. Many draft experts had him listed in their top five receivers and virtually all of them had him in their top ten. Instead, Cain was the 21st receiver taken in the draft and that could represent a bargain for the Colts and dynasty owners. The silver lining for Cain is the fact he landed in great spot for receivers. Playing on turf will help as he has 4.43 speed and there really isn’t a ton of talent outside of TY Hilton on the Colts roster. Keep an eye on Daurice Fountain, who was also taken by the Colts and is clearly on this year’s draft sleeper lists as well. I’d bet at least one of them makes an impact this year – that’s more than enough to start looking at both of them in this area of a draft.
3.08 = Mark Walton, RB CIN
As I said before, this draft will be known over the Summer for producing great running back landing spots. Sadly, Walton was not as fortunate as many others ranked higher than him on our initial list. Cincinnati is tied to Joe Mixon and Gio Bernard under contract for the next two years as well. Anyone drafting Walton is doing so with the idea Mixon continues to look somewhat pedestrian and also banking on the Bengals moving away from Bernard eventually. Neither of those ideas is too far fetched and that likely makes Walton a bit of a sleeper. At this point in a draft, I personally love to take running backs who could hit and I’d have no problem investing in Walton right around this area.
3.09 = Jordan Lasley, WR BAL
Lasley has great deep speed and is known for his open field ability – something the Ravens really haven’t had in some time. There are some major inconsistencies to his game and he tends to get overpowered, however. He may end up being simply a one trick pony who gets deep once in a while but the Ravens are loaded with veterans at the position who they can easily move away from if they need to. It’s likely going to take Lasley some time to develop but if he can develop some consistency, he has some potential. There are some beat writers and draft analysts who believe the Ravens have a steal with him.
3.10 = Chase Edmonds, RB ARI
Much like Walton, Edmonds landed in an awful spot for production. The Cardinals will be welcoming back David Johnson with open arms and he’s going to be on the field the entire game, barring injury. If he was to go down, Edmonds would have immediate appeal. However, that makes him more of a handcuff for Johnson owners and a roster clogger for others. Edmonds is a late round flyer who was extremely productive but had some real unfortunate luck in terms of a landing spot. Still, we’re talking about pick #34 in a rookie draft and this is where you take some chances.
3.11 = Daesean Hamilton, WR DEN
One of the fast risers this year, Hamilton went from a player who was likely going to be undrafted to a player the Broncos reportedly love after taking him in the fourth round. Denver took a good look at him during Senior Bowl week and it’s clear he made a serious impression. A polished route runner and slot receiver, he should have a chance to carve out a role for the Broncos at some point. Denver could view Hamilton and Courtland Sutton as the future of the position but owners are going to have to be pretty patient here – Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are still going to take the lion’s share of the targets for the foreseeable future.
3.12 = Ian Thomas, TE CAR
Anyone drafting Thomas is doing so based clearly on his athletic potential. After all, this is a player who had a total of 28 catches in college. However, at 6’5″ and 248 pounds, Thomas has the size to go along with some truly special athletic ability. He’s a long-term project who will sit behind Greg Olsen for what will likely be multiple seasons. If you have a deep roster and have room for a high ceiling and low floor player, this is your guy. If you’re looking for someone who can help you soon, you need to keep looking.
Other considerations: Dalton Schultz, Jaylen Samuels, Keke Coutee, Equanimeous St. Brown, Ito Smith, Bo Scarbrough, John Kelly, Auden Tate, J’Mon Moore, Daurice Fountain, Justin Jackson, Allen Lazard, Mason Rudolph, Akrum Wadley
Ken is on Twitter at DLF_KenK