A View from the 1.12: Rookie Draft Strategy

Ryan McDowell

For many dynasty players, the highlight of the off-season is the annual rookie draft and we are now just moments 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, we used 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, 1QB 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: Parris Campbell, WR Ohio State

Ohio State receiver Parris Campbell has been gaining value almost as quickly as he ran the 40 at the NFL Combine. When Campbell showed off in Indianapolis, dynasty owners took notice and he’s been gaining value ever since, cracking the first round for the first time this off-season. Along with speed, Campbell is also a versatile player, having been used on jet sweeps and rushes. Unlike some of the players being drafted ahead of him, Campbell is getting some day one buzz in the NFL Draft, as well.

Possible Pivots:

Other players to target with the final pick in round one are Damien Harris, Noah Fant, TJ Hockenson and Marquise Brown.

Trade Value:

1.12, 1.09 for Tyreek Hill
1.12, Tyler Lockett, Phillip Lindsay for Mike Evans
1.12, 1.04, Chris Ivory for AJ Green

Super-Flex Options:

Noah Fant, TE Iowa

Tight end Noah Fant has the size, the speed and the athleticism to be a dominant option for fantasy players for years to come. While he might have lost a little value due to the ascension of TJ Hockenson, Fant remains a potential superstar and one that should be selected in the first round of rookie drafts.

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.

Although there is a bit of a gap here, the 1.12 rookie pick is a close match to Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake. This one should not be close. If you can sell Drake for any pick in the top 20, jump at that chance. With a new coaching staff and what is shaping up to be a “punt” season for Miami, Drake’s value could plummet.

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The Pick: Mike Weber, RB Ohio State

Ohio State running back Mike Weber has just enough speed, good enough size and solid athleticism. None of these qualifies as elite traits for Weber and that is part of the reason his production dropped and the reason why he lost carries during his college career. Weber is like many of the other backs in this range of the draft, completely dependent on a good landing spot to maintain dynasty value.

Possible Pivots:

If Weber worries you, you could instead opt for Miles Boykin, Trayveon Williams or Emanuel Hall late in the second round.

Trade Value:

2.12 for 3.07, 3.12, 4.12
2.12, Adam Shaheen for Gerald Everett, 2020 3rd
2.12, 1.08, 2020 2nd for 1.05, 3.05

Super-Flex Options:

Daniel Jones, QB Duke

With just moments remaining until the 2019 NFL Draft begins, it appears that Duke’s Daniel Jones will be selected in the opening round. That alone should place him higher than the end of the second round in super-flex leagues.

Dynasty Trade Analyzer

It seems that many have already forgotten how Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson performed as a rookie after taking over for Joe Flacco last season. Jackson was the QB9 from Week Eleven on, ranking as a QB1 each week. Yes, there are obvious questions about his passing ability and his weapons, but Jackson’s fantasy upside is undeniable. He can be acquired for a late-second rounder, according to the Dynasty Trade Analyzer.

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The Pick: Myles Gaskin, RB Washington

Washington’s Myles Gaskin is undersized, lacks strength saw a high amount of touches throughout his seemingly never-ending college career. Gaskin does possess great agility, helping his to avoid tacklers as he races towards the outside. He’s worthy of a pick at this late portion of the draft.

Possible Pivots:

Other late-third rounders that I would target instead include James Williams, Terry McLaurin and Devine Ozigbo.

Trade Value:

3.12, 3.02 for 3.04, Austin Ekeler
3.12, 3.03, 2020 2nd for 2.04
3.12 for 2020 3rd

Super-Flex Options:

Jace Sternberger, TE Texas A&M

There has been a lot of talk that Texas A&M tight end Jace Sternberger will be a day two pick. With many teams in need of help at the position, Sternberger is a player who could jump a full round following this weekend.

Dynasty Trade Analyzer

New Patriots receiver Demaryius Thomas still has some name value, though he probably shouldn’t. I am not convinced Thomas will even make the roster, so even flipping him for a late-third rounder would be a win.

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The Pick: Stanley Morgan, WR Nebraska

Nebraska receiver Stanley Morgan has made himself a lot of fans through this pre-draft process, most of which include “film grinders” impressed by Morgan’s route running, which is perhaps the best in the class. Morgan is still likely to fall to day three of the draft, but he could easily move up nearly a round in rookie drafts.

Possible Pivots:

Other late-fourth rounders include Travis Homer, DaMarkus Lodge and Dexter Williams.

Super-Flex Options:

Tyree Jackson, QB Buffalo

There are reasons to be excited about former Buffalo quarterback Tyree Jackson, who is expected to be a late-round pick. Jackson is a monster, standing 6’7” and weighing nearly 250 pounds. He also has elite arm strength and can make any deep throw with ease. There are some serious mechanics issues that must be addressed though. Jackson is the definition of a “project quarterback.”


ryan mcdowell