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.
The Pick: Darrell Henderson, RB Memphis
During his time at Memphis, running back Darrell Henderson was a big play waiting to happen. He averaged nearly ten yards per carry despite questions about his 5’8” and 208-pound size. Don’t let that size or his speed fool you, he can serve as a tough-nosed inside runner, as well. Henderson has been locked in to this later portion of the first round throughout the off-season but a prime landing spot could cause him to rise.
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- 1.09 for 3.08, 2020 first, 2020 third
- 1.09, 4.09, 5.09, Kyle Rudolph for Aaron Jones, 3.05
- 1.09, Allen Robinson, Peyton Barber for 1.12, Jordan Howard, DeVante Parker
David Montgomery, RB Iowa State
Iowa State running back David Montgomery was the projected top running back in this class for much of the past year. Now, he’s been bypassed by Josh Jacobs and is getting pushed by others. While there are legitimate questions about Montgomery, specifically about his long speed, he is becoming an excellent value as he falls down the draft board.
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 1.09 pick to give you an idea of what it might cost to acquire the pick, or who you could target if selling.
The ninth pick is the range in which you might see Iowa tight ends Hockenson and Fant coming off the board. If you don’t feel comfortable relying on a rookie tight end, our Trade Analyzer suggests you could instead just flip this pick for Giants tight end Evan Engram, who is expected to see a production increase with Odell Beckham out of town.
The Pick: Irv Smith Jr., TE Alabama
While the Iowa tight ends are getting all of the attention, Alabama’s Irv Smith is locked into the TE3 spot and offers huge upside in his own right. Smith is a solid athlete and an all-around tight end, offering adequate blocking and a vertical threat as a receiver. If he lands with the Patriots late in the first round as many have projected, Smith would obviously vault up the boards.
Here’s another rare case in which the player has the same ADP in both rookie draft formats. For the record, since we collect our super-flex rookie ADP data later in the month, this could also show that Smith is gaining value.
Dynasty Trade Analyzer
According to our Dynasty Trade Analyzer, the 2.09 rookie pick could get you Browns receiver Antonio Callaway in a trade. While Callaway showed promise as a rookie last season, Cleveland brought in multiple pass-catchers, including Odell Beckham, which will limit Callaway’s opportunities.
The Pick: James Williams, RB Washington State
Often drawing comparisons to Patriots running back James White, Washington State’s James Williams is considered the best pass-catching back in the class and it’s not all that close. Williams can even line up in the slot and will rarely be asked to carry the ball. If he lands in an ideal spot, I’m excited to see his upside, especially in PPR leagues.
- 3.09, Philip Rivers, CJ Anderson, 2020 third for Drew Brees
- 3.09, Geronimo Allison for Austin Ekeler
- 3.09, 2020 first for Amari Cooper
Riley Ridley, WR Georgia
Although I have some serious concerns about Georgia’s Riley Ridley as a prospect, it is unlikely he is available in most leagues with this pick. Ridley has his fans throughout the dynasty community and Ridley is expected to be a day two pick in the NFL Draft.
Dynasty Trade Analyzer
Veteran receiver Albert Wilson started well in 2018 before dealing with injuries that cut his year short. The Dolphins have done very little to upgrade their receiving corps and Wilson should still play a major role for the offense.
The Pick: David Sills, WR West Virginia
Over the past two seasons, paired with quarterback Will Grier at West Virginia, receiver David Sills was a touchdown-scoring machine. Sills is 6’3” and weighs over 210 pounds, showing why he was such a popular red zone target. Sills will need to improve his route running to earn a consistent role in the league.
Stanley Morgan, WR Nebraska
Nebraska’s Stanley Morgan has earned a reputation as one of the top route runners in the class, making him a favorite of analysts like Matt Waldman and Matt Harmon.
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