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.
Note: Our April super-flex rookie ADP is now available, so there is a possibility of seeing players already mentioned in previous editions of this series.
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The Pick: Kelvin Harmon, WR North Carolina State
Not so long ago, North Carolina wide receiver Kelvin Harmon was viewed as a contender to be the top player drafted in dynasty rookie drafts. In February, Harmon finished with an ADP placing him as the third rookie drafted. Since then, Harmon’s value has tumbled, mostly due to a poor Combine. In our latest data, Harmon came in as the 1.08 but by the time most dynasty leagues are holding their rookie drafts, it won’t be a surprise if he falls out of the first round.
- 1.08, Hunter Henry for JuJu Smith-Schuster
- 1.08, Cooper Kupp, Devontae Booker for Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, 2.06, 3.08
- 1.08 for AJ Green
Miles Sanders, RB Penn State
In our quarterback premium data, Penn State’s Miles Sanders falls to the eighth overall pick, which is two spots off his 1QB ADP. With Kyler Murray and possibly Dwayne Haskins coming in as top-five picks, this two-spot drop for other top backs and receivers is to be expected.
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 value of the 1.08 pick to give you an idea of what it might cost to acquire the pick, or who you could target if selling.
After losing most of his 2018 season to injuries, the dynasty value of Falcons running back Devonta Freeman has taken a major hit. With that said, I would even be hesitant to acquire Freeman at this reduced price of the 1.08 rookie pick.
The Pick: Justice Hill, RB Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State’s Justice Hill has seemingly been moving up draft boards and rookie ranks in recent weeks. Although Hill is undersized, he is not locked into a third-down role only. Hill has excellent athleticism, burst and speed and is a true big-play threat. He’s what we wanted Ronald Jones to be at a much cheaper price.
Andy Isabella, WR Massachusetts
Many fantasy analysts are sold on UMass receiver Andy Isabella as a sure-thing entering the league, but I am starting to think we might be overvaluing the presumed slot receiver. To earn this draft spot as a mid-second rounder, Isabella will need to come off the board on day two of the NFL Draft.
Dynasty Trade Analyzer
As previously mentioned, it can feel like a nearly impossible task to get value for quarterbacks in 1QB leagues. This trade example is another example of that as the 2.08 is a nearly perfect match with Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston. The former top overall pick has had his ups and downs in the league but has gained value since the arrival of new head coach Bruce Arians.
The Pick: Terry McLaurin, WR Ohio State
Lost in the shuffle with quarterback Dwayne Haskins, Parris Campbell and others, Ohio State receiver Terry McLaurin falls to the 3.08 pick. Projected to be a day two pick, McLaurin is a plus athlete with enough speed to serve as a vertical threat. He can also contribute on special teams. McLaurin may end up as a receiver who is more valuable to his NFL team than dynasty teams.
- 3.08 for Demaryius Thomas
- 3.08, David Njoku for 2.06, Elijah McGuire
- 3.08, Dion Lewis for 2.12, 4.12
Emanuel Hall, WR Missouri
Locked in as a deep-threat receiver, Emanuel Hall has great speed and at 6’1” and over 200 pounds, he’s bigger than the typical vertical receiver types. He’ll be a third-round target for me in all formats.
Dynasty Trade Analyzer
The dynasty value fell off quickly for running back Jay Ajayi. Not so long ago, he was a top running back option and being selected as early as the second round of startup dynasty drafts. Since then, he was dealt to the Eagles, suffered multiple injuries and hit free agency, evidently finding no interest from any team. He still carries slight name value, being matched closely with the 3.08 rookie pick. (Hint: keep the pick.)
The Pick: Jalen Hurd, WR Baylor
There is a lot to like about Baylor receiver Jalen Hurd, making it a surprise to see him falling to the mid-part of the fourth round of rookie drafts. There are also many reasons for concerns though, including a late-career position switch and Hurd’s history of quitting on his team, which he did both in high school and at the University of Tennessee. Hurd has the perfect size for a receiver but needs a lot of improvement as a route runner, which is to be expected given the switch he made from running back.
James Williams, RB Washington State
Washington State running back James Williams, the best pass-catching running back in this class, is an excellent late-round pick in PPR leagues and I am surprised he hasn’t drawn more buzz in the dynasty community.
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