We are all familiar with the Legend of the 2020 Rookie Class. Running backs D'Andre Swift, Jonathan Taylor, Travis Etienne, Cam Akers and JK Dobbins will put this group right on par with that loaded 2017 class of McCaffrey, Cook, Kamara, Mixon and Fournette. The wide receivers – Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, Henry Ruggs, etc. – will rival the 2014 crop that included Odell Beckham Jr., Mike Evans, Sammy Watkins and Brandin Cooks. And quarterbacks Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert will be deeper than 2017 (Watson and Mahomes) and more talented than 2018 (Mayfield, Darnold, Allen, Jackson).
These are foregone conclusions; we’ve known it for over a year. We have been stockpiling rookie picks accordingly, missing out on 2019 rookies like AJ Brown and Terry McLaurin as we traded out of the 2019 rookie drafts for golden tickets to the 2020 first round.
The 2019 season came and went, and now – for those who waited patiently on the sidelines for an entire year, telling themselves that 2020 will be worth the year-long sabbatical – your time has finally come. There are no more fantasy football weeks without Swift, Jeudy, or Tua burying opponents in fantasy points. The 2020 rookie picks reach peak value as they become the main attraction of the dynasty cycle.
So the question becomes: how high will their values rise?
Dynasty superflex leagues prepare for startup drafts, which will include 2020 rookie picks as draftable assets. When mock drafters began building the Average Draft Position data through four superflex startup mock drafts, we included rookie picks in all four mocks to gauge their values as they begin to ripen. The rookie picks do not appear in the latest DLF Superflex ADP, so this Superflex ADP Round-Up will focus on the rookie picks and their comparable player values.
Don’t forget to sign up for Superflex ADP Startup Mocks in January! I will tweet the call-to-action on Sunday, Jan. 12th, so keep an eye on my Twitter timeline if you want to help build the latest ADP and get some early reps for an edge in your superflex league startup drafts!
None of the 2020 picks went in the first round of any of the mock drafts, so don’t reach for 1.01. Drafters recognized the safety of taking established superstars in the first round. Following back-to-back top-2 fantasy RB seasons, Christian McCaffrey jumped to the consensus 1.01 in startups, going first overall in all but one mock draft (in which he went third overall, behind Pat Mahomes and Michael Thomas). Saquon Barkley was the consensus 1.03, falling as low as 1.05 in one draft, behind both McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara at RB. Ezekiel Elliott (1.06), Dalvin Cook (1.08) and Kamara (1.09) all went in the first as the RB position continued to dominate the first round.
Mahomes went first overall in one draft and fell as low as 1.06 in another (two spots behind Lamar Jackson), but still finished as the consensus 1.02 in superflex. Coming off his monster MVP season, Jackson went as high as 1.04 and as low as 1.06, with a consensus ADP of 1.05. Deshaun Watson (1.10) was the only other QB – the most valuable position in superflex – with a first round ADP, though Russell Wilson (2.02) was drafted 12th overall in one mock.
None of the tight ends were drafted in the first round in this non-TE Premium scoring system, so the four pass-catchers were all wide receivers. Michael Thomas’ record-breaking season earned him the consensus 1.04, and he was even drafted second overall in one draft. He was also the only WR in this dynasty format to be taken in the top half of the first round. DeAndre Hopkins (1.07) went ahead of his quarterback (Watson), while Tyreek Hill (1.11) and Davante Adams (1.12) just snuck into the first round ahead of Nick Chubb (2.01) and Russell Wilson.
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John, nice article, very interesting. When did this particular mock draft actually take place? Late December? Just curious…