Ah, free agency. The first major domino to fall during the non-points scoring season; the first big Average Draft Position re-shuffle. The beginning of the league year marked the end of several fantasy-relevant contracts around the NFL, and players on the move impact not only their own dynasty superflex value, but that of the players on their new team… and even their former team.
The team at DLF and the amazing readers worked together to run four superflex mock drafts to compile the most up-to-date superflex ADP, as a guiding tool for early startup drafts. Check out the full mock results and ADP here, and join a mock in the coming months by following coordinators John Hogue (@SuperFlexDude) and Ryan McDowell (@RyanMc23) on Twitter; watch for their tweets for mock draft participants in the coming months. In the meantime, let us reflect on the mocks that gathered this 2019 pre-Combine, pre-Free Agency ADP data.
Full disclosure: the mock drafts began before the news of Odell Beckham Jr being traded to the Cleveland Browns, Le’Veon Bell signing with the New York Jets, and news of domestic abuse allegations against Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill was fresh and begging for overreactions from the dynasty community.
Mock draft results are slightly skewed by incomplete information; Beckham jumps into the late first round, with an uptick from 14th overall in February to 10th overall in March following the news that he may be traded. The actual trade would likely vault him into the early first round, possibly into the top five along with fellow WR DeAndre Hopkins. Baker Mayfield continued to climb, moving from 20th overall in February to 14th overall in March, but his rise would’ve been meteoric if drafters knew that he would be throwing passes to arguably the best receiver in the game in Beckham.
The Beckham trade may have impacted the entire first round; Saquon Barkley holds steady as the unanimous first overall pick, but without OBJ distracting defenders, Barkley owners prepare for a season full of stacked defensive fronts, loaded up to stop the dynamic young back and the only credible threat remaining on the Giants’ offense. That, coupled with the early onset Baker-mania very well may have created a shift at the very top of mock drafts, with Mayfield and reigning QB1 Patrick Mahomes battling for the top two spots.
Speaking of Mahomes, he jumps back to the second overall pick after a month behind RBs Ezekiel Elliott and Christian McCaffrey. Hopkins makes a huge leap from seventh overall in February to third overall in March. Running backs take over from there, but the position slides to a more reasonable range as Todd Gurley’s arthritic knee serves as a warning of how quickly injury concerns can creep into a back’s dynasty profile. Watch for a continued shift in April’s mocks, as the long-term value of quarterbacks and receivers appeal more and more to drafters looking for dynasty stability.
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Beckham jumping back into the first round pushes Davante Adams to the first pick of the second round, a four-spot drop from February to March. Tyreek Hill (16th overall) falls further into the second round, driven partly by the news of possible legal issues (which could lead to a suspension), partly by the resurgence of Beckham, and partly by an overall shift from early WRs to QBs.
Mayfield (14th) and Deshaun Watson (18th) remain in the second round, but in March they are joined by fellow QBs Russell Wilson (22) and Carson Wentz (23). Melvin Gordon drops from 15th to 19th and James Conner (24) replaces Dalvin Cook in the second round, but the RBs hold strong otherwise. The name changes at RB in the second round indicate a volatility that still warrants sell windows, as dynasty owners waiver on their respective RB rankings.
Antonio Brown’s (26) relocation from Pittsburgh to Oakland drops him out of the second round and into the third. RBs David Johnson (25) and Cook (27) also slip to the third round to make room for the QBs and Conner. The hype trains on Derrius Guice and Kenny Golladay lose some steam in the third round, however, as both players drop out of the third. They clear the path for the tight end position to rise, as the top three all come off the board in the same round for the first time: Travis Kelce jumps two spots, from 28 to 30, Zach Ertz makes a big leap from 41 to 35, jumping over George Kittle, who climbs from 38 to 36.
The quarterback position inches further away from viability in the third round, with Jared Goff and Cam Newton coming off the board. Nine signal-callers are on rosters at this point, with number 10 – Matt Ryan – going with the first pick in the fourth round. Value-over-replacement begins to give way to positional scarcity, as teams trying to solidify their running backs now prepare to battle over mid-tier passers. The wide receiver value also begins to drop off noticeably, with the last true stud WR1 – Stefon Diggs – going in the middle of the third round, and drafters substituting them with top tier TEs.
Meanwhile, the running back position remains stocked through the third and into the fourth rounds. Running backs continue to be overvalued under the fear of missing out, while the actual opportunity cost at QB and WR takes a massive hit with the tier breaks in round three.
The big QB run hits in round four, starting with Matt Ryan with the first pick of the round, followed by Jimmy Garoppolo (42), Dak Prescott (46) and Kirk Cousins (47). Garoppolo and Cousins both jump from the fifth to the fourth round in March, and Mitchell Trubisky drops out of the fourth.
The tier break is obvious at QB, as well as WR, where Adam Thielen (38), Brandin Cooks (39), Kenny Golladay (44) and AJ Green (45) all come off the board in the final run of players with WR1 upside. The running backs still provide high-end RB1 ceilings in this range, as Kerryon Johnson (40), Sony Michel (41), and Aaron Jones (48) remain in the fourth round, and Derrius Guice (43) falls from the third to the fourth.
Fifth and Sixth Rounds
Question-mark QBs and ‘tweener WR1-WR2s dominate the fifth and sixth rounds, with names like Jameis Winston (50), Mitchell Trubisky (57), Philip Rivers (70), Robert Woods (51), Corey Davis (53), and Allen Robinson (69). The RBs remain solid yet again, as Leonard Fournette (55), Marlon Mack (61) and Devonta Freeman (64) all go in this range. The next tier of TEs also emerges, with Evan Engram (56) and OJ Howard (67) standing alone in the 49-72 range.
The 2019 rookie class makes its first appearance in the March ADP, as QB Kyler Murray sneaks in at 66th overall, ahead of Rivers and Drew Brees (72). This provides us with not only a glimpse at the likely 1.01 in superflex rookie drafts, but also puts a rudimentary value to the first overall pick: among the players going ahead of Murray and, thus, with greater theoretical value than the 1.01 include Sam Darnold (63), Damien Williams (62) and DJ Moore (58).
The bottom of the QB barrel is in sight, as older players Ben Roethlisberger (77) and Tom Brady (87) come off the board, as well as question-mark guys like Derek Carr (88), Marcus Mariota (92) and Josh Rosen (104). The WRs get a slight upturn, however, with Tyler Boyd (73), Courtland Sutton (82), Dante Pettis (97) and Alshon Jeffery (102) providing excellent value as we approach the mid-point in the draft. The RBs still provide value, with starting backs like Derrick Henry (74), Phillip Lindsay (78) and Chris Carson (103), as well as sneaky producers like Tarik Cohen (83), Mark Ingram (89) and new 49er Tevin Coleman (107).
The Murray pick in the middle of the sixth round opened the floodgates on rookies, and they flooded the middle rounds. N’Keal Harry (75), Josh Jacobs (76), DK Metcalf (85), David Montgomery (90), and Dwayne Haskins (105) – among others – go in the 7th-9th rounds, again giving us an indication of the likely values of both the picks and the players when looking ahead to our superflex rookie drafts. Drafters choose upside of the incoming class over proven production of players like Andy Dalton, Sammy Watkins and Lamar Miller. Right or wrong, a market is being established for rookie picks and their corresponding players.
Hunter Henry (93) returning from injury, Ingram with his newfound lead role in Baltimore, Pettis as the de facto top option in San Francisco, and Mariota with a clean bill of health and a new safety blanket in slot receiver Adam Humphries, all provide excellent value this late in the draft, while rookies like Hakeem Butler (91) and both RBs – Montgomery and Jacobs – are drafted a little too early, considering they aren’t on NFL rosters yet.
Andy Dalton (109), Nick Foles (115) and Joe Flacco (123) are the last quarterbacks you want anything to do with in superflex, and they’re all off the board by the middle of the 11th round. Halfway through the draft, all that’s left at quarterback are crumbs by the names of Drew Lock, Eli Manning, Daniel Jones, Case Keenum and a bunch of handcuffs.
Meanwhile, the other positions are still going strong, with new Steelers starting WR James Washington and Patriots pass-catching back James White going immediately after Dalton. Watkins, Miller, Dede Westbrook, TJ Yeldon, Austin Hooper, Rob Gronkowski, and some of my personal favorite sleepers – Albert Wilson, Chris Herndon, Robert Foster and Ian Thomas – all go in this range, as well as rookies Kelvin Harmon, Marquise Brown and Rodney Anderson. The value is at every position except QB, so looking for another passer in this range is a less than enviable position to be in.
It’s “get-your-guy season” in the middle of the draft, as draft positions fluctuate dramatically from February to March and from one mock to the next. There’s no such thing as a “reach” once the tenth round hits!
Bridge QBs Case Keenum and Ryan Fitzpatrick fall to this range, though the news of Fitzpatrick signing with the Miami Dolphins broke as the mock drafts entered the later rounds. Expect to see his ADP rise a little in April. Teddy Bridgewater is also available in the later rounds, as the heir apparent in New Orleans.
RBs with significant risk but immense upside – Carlos Hyde, D’Onta Foreman, Kenneth Dixon, Mike Davis, Jay Ajayi, Chris Warren, etc. – also make it into the later rounds as drafters who loaded up on backs early scramble to build QB and WR depth late. The rookie backs are particularly impressive, with Bennie Snell, Trayveon Williams and Bryce Love all falling to the later rounds.
The wide receivers have almost completely dried up, with guys like Quincy Enunwa, Jamison Crowder, Zay Jones and John Brown becoming hot commodities and flying off the board early in the 15th and 16th rounds. Andy Isabella is interesting at the end of the 16th round, going after 32-year-old Emmanuel Sanders and his torn Achilles. The next WR off the board – in the 17th round – is Adam Humphries, who could be the steal of the draft as Marcus Mariota’s new safety blanket.
The tight end position still holds the most value at the end of the draft, reinforcing a late round approach to the position. New Drew Brees weapon Jared Cook falls to the 15th round, despite spending most of the 2018 season as a top five TE in an inferior offense. Jesse James is barely drafted inside the top 250, though he’ll become a primary target for Matthew Stafford in a TE-friendly offense. Jack Doyle, Jonnu Smith, Jordan Reed and CJ Uzomah also provide significant value in this range.