For many dynasty players, the highlight of the off-season is the annual rookie draft and we are now less than three weeks away from many of those drafts kicking off. Once our respective dynasty teams are eliminated from contention, and sometimes even before, we tend to turn our attention to the incoming rookie class and delusions of grandeur take over. In fact, dynasty players spend nearly the entire off-season preparing for how they will use their draft picks, or if they will use them at all.
In this twelve-part series, I’ll use the latest data available here at Dynasty League Football, namely our April Rookie ADP and the Dynasty Trade Finder, to ensure you are as prepared as possible when your draft begins. Based on our most recent ADP data, I’ll suggest the player you could be soon adding to your team, and if you don’t like that, I’ll also include a potential pivot option.
Also, I’ll include options based on the updated 2QB rookie ADP for those who play in that format. Finally, using the Dynasty Trade Finder, I will examine some recent trades that have taken place with each specific draft pick. Each trade is based on 12 team PPR, one QB leagues.
We all know the first round of rookie drafts includes the players we’ve been hearing about for months, if not years, but difference makers can be found in the second round and beyond, as well. Because of that, I’ll also address the other picks that accompany each respective first-round draft slot.
The Pick: DK Metcalf, WR Mississippi
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Ole Miss receiver Metcalf has already proven to be one of the most divisive prospects of this class. We’ve seen his impressive physique and were blown away by his 40 time at the NFL Combine, but many questions linger around Metcalf.
He was bothered by multiple injuries in college and even when he was on the field, he didn’t come close to matching his teammate AJ Brown’s production. Oh, and we haven’t even mentioned the atrocious agility drills. Regardless, Metcalf seems certain to come off the board in round one of the NFL Draft, meaning he will be a strong contender to be selected with the third pick in rookie drafts, if not higher.
As mentioned in earlier editions of this series, the top of the draft will be crowded and there could be little value difference in the top player chosen and the options selected with this third pick. Potential players who could fall here include Hakeem Butler, AJ Brown and Josh Jacobs.
- 1.03, 2.05, Trey Burton for 1.01, 2.03, Pierre Garcon
- 1.03, 1.12, 2.03, 3.03 for Tyreek Hill
- 1.03, Alshon Jeffery for 1.04, 2020 second, Lamar Miller
Each of these are actual trades from dynasty leagues and show the varying value of draft picks in general, but especially the 1.03 pick.
Dynasty Trade Analyzer
You might have missed the release of the DLF Dynasty Trade Analyzer. If so, you’ll want to check that out immediately. Among its many uses is identifying the value of incoming rookie picks when compared to veteran players. I searched for the closest match among current NFL players in an effort to match the lofty value of the 1.03 pick to give you an idea of what it might cost to acquire the pick, or who you could target if selling.
Rams receiver Cooper Kupp is nearly a perfect match to the 1.03 pick. Even after his season-ending injury, Kupp is still being valued very highly in dynasty leagues. This is understandable given the difference in the Rams’ offense once Kupp was out of the lineup.
The Pick: Rodney Anderson, RB Oklahoma
There is much to like about running back Rodney Anderson, who many considered the most talented runner in the class. Unfortunately, there are also as many, if not more, reasons to be concerned about the former Oklahoma back. Anderson has ideal size and a great combination of speed and power. He’s also displayed ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Anderson missed much of his final college year with an injury and this was on top of previous injuries in his career. Anderson is the ultimate boom/bust running back in this class.
I am very excited about most of the players who are likely to be available early in the third round and, if given the choice of Anderson or these players, I’d be siding with one of this group. Other options include Deebo Samuel, Marquise Brown and Parris Campbell.
- 2.03, 2.09, Nick Foles for Christian Kirk, Jamison Crowder, 2020 second
- 2.03, 3.09, 2020 second for 2020 first, 2020 third
- 2.03, Mike Davis for James White, 2.06
In the most recent trades involving the 2.03 pick, teams acquired Christian Kirk, a 2020 first-round pick and James White along with a mid-second rounder. Maybe my idea of buying picks in this range were misguided. With these types of returns, I’d instead be selling.
TJ Hockenson, TE Iowa
It is hard to imagine do-it-all Iowa tight end TJ Hockenson falling out of the first round of dynasty rookie drafts, even in the crowded super-flex format. If he’s available early in the second round, smash that button!
Dynasty Trade Analyzer
49ers back Jerick McKinnon is a tough player to value as many dynasty owners still believe in him after missing last season with an injury, along with the addition of Tevin Coleman. Based on our Trade Analyzer, McKinnon could be bought with the 2.03 draft pick.
The Pick: Dwayne Haskins, QB Ohio State
There was a small window early this off-season in which Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins was viewed as the top quarterback available, both for the NFL Draft and in dynasty leagues. That window was slammed shut when reigning Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray chose football over baseball and since then, Haskins has reportedly been sliding down draft boards. This early-third round range could eventually prove to be too early to take a chance on Haskins.
I love the idea of adding a potential short-term TE1 at the expense of the 3.03 pick. Grabbing new Saints tight end Jared Cook was a great move!
Riley Ridley, WR Georgia
Although he had relatively little college production at Georgia, wide receiver Riley Ridley has become a hot topic and this year’s poster boy for the analytics versus film debate. Ridley looks like he should be a good receiver, but he has yet to actually prove that, which is why he’s in the conversation early in the third round, while others consider him a potential first-round pick for others. For the record, I am in the crowd that will likely be avoiding Ridley altogether.
Dynasty Trade Analyzer
Speedy wide receiver John Brown has had some ups and downs through his career but has flashed playmaking upside that could make him a perfect fit for the big arm of quarterback Josh Allen in Buffalo. He could be yours in exchange for the 3.03 pick.
The Pick: Devine Ozigbo, RB Nebraska
In his final college season at Nebraska, running back Devine Ozigbo enjoyed a breakout season. He displayed good athleticism for his 5’10” and 222-pound frame and, as you might expect, a high level of toughness and power. Ozigbo’s profile took a ding when he failed to receive invitations to the Senior Bowl or NFL Combine, yet he remains a favorite of many analysts in the fantasy community.
KeeSean Johnson, WR Fresno State
After a disappointing Combine performance, Fresno State’s KeeSean Johnson is a sure-fire late-round draft pick and will likely only be worthy of a fourth-round rookie draft pick, as he is here. Johnson does have nice size at 6’1” and over 200 pounds and his market share was quite impressive.
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