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: Damien Harris, RB Alabama
Although he has been overshadowed by his former teammate Josh Jacobs, running back Damien Harris is a strong prospect who dynasty owners should not overlook. Harris has the perfect frame for an early-down back at 5’10” and 216 pounds. Harris will not be a strong contributor in the passing game but does have more elusiveness than typically given credit for. Harris is currently being viewed as a “boring” prospect and that could cause him to fall even lower than this late-first-round range.
- 1.11, 2020 second for Sterling Shepard
- 1.11, Trey Burton for 3.01, 2020 first
- 1.11, Jarvis Landry for 1.07, Jerick McKinnon
TJ Hockenson, TE Iowa
Iowa product TJ Hockenson is looking like a top-ten pick in the NFL Draft and will be in play with rookie picks as early as the mid-first round, regardless of the format.
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.
With the Giants dealing superstar receiver Odell Beckham, the path to a major increase in targets for Sterling Shepard is very real. With that said, the Giants also signed Golden Tate and could use a day two pick on a wideout. I’d sell Shepard for any first-round pick and in this case, he aligns closely to the 1.11 selection.
The Pick: Trayveon Williams, RB Texas A&M
Texas A&M running back Trayveon Williams was a contributor early in his career for the Aggies, showing off his excellent athleticism and open field elusiveness. Williams does almost everything well as a runner, though he has no real elite traits we can point to. Williams’ size (5’8”, 206 pounds) could be a concern for some.
- 2.11, Phillip Lindsay for DJ Moore, 3.09
- 2.11, Tyreek Hill for TY Hilton, Tyler Lockett
- 2.11, Dante Pettis for 1.12
Will Grier, QB West Virginia
The NFL might not like former West Virginia quarterback Will Grier quite as much as fantasy players. While Daniel Jones and Drew Lock now seem set to be selected in the first round, Grier has little buzz around his name. As is the case with nearly every player in the class, landing spot will ultimately determine Grier’s worth. Barring a fall to day three, Grier would be an easy pick late in the second round.
Dynasty Trade Analyzer
Once the Denver Broncos lost both Demaryius Thomas (trade) and Emmanuel Sanders (injury) a season ago, rookie receiver DaeSean Hamilton got his shot. He played well but the Broncos are a team in transition and Hamilton looks like a prime “sell” to me, especially if the return is a second-round pick.
The Pick: Elijah Holyfield, RB Georgia
Not so long ago, Georgia’s Elijah Holyfield was a solid running back prospect, projected to be drafted in the second round of dynasty drafts. A nightmare of a Combine followed up by an even scarier Pro Day have demolished Holyfield’s value. I actually think even this late-third round range might be too high for Holyfield, who is no lock to even be drafted this weekend.
- 3.11, Jarvis Landry for 1.11, Ronald Jones
- 3.11, Mack Hollins for 3.07
- 3.11, Sony Michel for Hunter Henry, Nelson Agholor
Terry McLaurin, WR Ohio State
Another player being drafted in this late-third round range is Ohio State’s Terry McLaurin. The under-the-radar wideout turned heads at the Combine and dynasty owners took notice. McLaurin does come with questions, including his age and hands.
Dynasty Trade Analyzer
Obviously, late-third round picks don’t typically carry much trade value. While Joe Mixon is the back to own in Cincinnati, veteran backup Giovani Bernard is still well-worth a roster spot and could become a fantasy starter with an injury.
The Pick: Hunter Renfrow, WR Clemson
If you’ve watched the college football playoffs from the past couple of seasons, you are well aware of former Clemson receiver Hunter Renfrow. The knocks on Renfrow are numerous…he’s undersized, lacks longs speed and doesn’t possess the necessary play strength typically necessary for NFL wide receivers. All he’s done is produce when called upon. Renfrow has displayed quality attributes of a slot receiver, including change of direction, strong route running and separation ability.
Jalen Hurd, WR Baylor
Former Baylor wide receiver (and Tennessee running back) is best known for keeping Alvin Kamara on the bench during his time with the Volunteers but Hurd is a talented prospect in his own right. There are some off-field knocks, not to mention the position switch, that could push Hurd down this far in rookie drafts.
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