Dynasty League Football

Dynasty

Monday Mocks: Cornerstone Players

We cover the latest mock featuring an important window of players.

Welcome to Monday Mocks, where I’ll bring you…you guessed it, a new mock draft every Monday during the offseason. In my opinion, drafting is the best part of fantasy football, so I do as much of that as I can. This series will be filled with all types of mocks. We’ll draft startups, rookies, devys and more.

One of my favorite features of our site are the Cornerstone Rankings. Years ago, I wrote a series entitled Rookies, and Sophomores, and Devys (Oh My!) In this periodic article, I would rank past, current and upcoming rookie classes. The idea was that this trio of classes serve as the cornerstone of a strong dynasty roster. Ultimately, we opted to turn this article into a full set of continuously updated rankings and Cornerstone Rankings were born.

While there are mixed feelings about the incoming rookie class, there is no doubt that the rookie class of 2021 was a total game-changing group for dynasty leagues. We’re still over a year away from welcoming the much-hyped 2023 rookie class to the league and our dynasty rosters, but the value these players and picks already carry is obvious to anyone who has attempted to trade for extra rookie picks.

This mock draft should give dynasty managers an idea of how to value the top players from class to class. At this time of year, these can be especially valuable to determine the trade value of current and future rookie picks compared to last year’s rookie class. Just as our Cornerstone Rankings are, this mock is based on a 12-team superflex league.

ROUND ONE

1.01 Ja’Marr Chase, WR CIN
1.02 Kyle Pitts, TE ATL
1.03 Jaylen Waddle, WR MIA
1.04 Trevor Lawrence, QB JAC
1.05 Trey Lance, QB SF
1.06 Justin Fields, QB CHI
1.07 Bijan Robinson, RB Texas
1.08 Elijah Moore, WR NYJ
1.09 Javonte Williams, RB DEN
1.10 Najee Harris, RB PIT
1.11 Mac Jones, QB NE
1.12 Zach Wilson, QB NYJ

  • Following impressive rookie seasons, three pass catchers in the form of Chase, Pitts and Waddle sit atop this list instead of any quarterbacks. All three are elite dynasty assets at their position. Chase is currently our dynasty WR1 while Pitts is the consensus top tight end.
  • The trio of Lawrence, Lance and Fields each disappointed as rookies and carry questions into their second seasons. If any of the group can turn things around in 2022, they likely leapfrog the competition and rise to the top of these ranks. Another disappointing season leaves dynasty managers (and possibly their own NFL teams) questioning their future.
  • We find the first 2023 prospect midway through round one as Texas running back Bijan Robinson shows up. One of the most-hyped players in years, many would already admit they value Robinson as the dynasty RB2, behind only Jonathan Taylor. That lofty ranking in on display here as Robinson is selected before Williams and Harris, a pair of top-five dynasty backs.
  • The round concludes with the second-tier of 2021 rookie quarterbacks. While Wilson was another disappointing rookie signal caller last year, Jones impressed, but also made it clear there is a ceiling for his fantasy production in the process.
  • Ultimately, the top twelve is made up of eleven players from the 2021 rookie class along with Robinson. You’ve heard the 2022 rookie class doesn’t match up well to other recent classes and that is shown here.

ROUND TWO

2.01 CJ Stroud, QB Ohio State
2.02 Malik Willis, QB ROOKIE
2.03 Breece Hall, RB ROOKIE
2.04 Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR Ohio State
2.05 Jahmyr Gibbs, RB Alabama
2.06 Bryce Young, QB Alabama
2.07 Drake London, WR ROOKIE
2.08 DeVonta Smith, WR PHI
2.09 Treylon Burks, WR ROOKIE
2.10 Garrett Wilson, WR ROOKIE
2.11 Kayshon Boutte, WR LSU
2.12 Zach Evans, RB Mississippi

  • With so many from last year’s rookie class making up round one, the second round is dominated by incoming rookie and 2023 eligible players. It begins with the presumed dynasty QB1 from next year’s class. Stroud was fantastic in his first year starting for the Buckeyes and even after losing top playmakers, is expected to put up another strong year, which would put him in the conversation to be the Heisman Trophy winner and top pick in next year’s NFL Draft.
  • It is a fair argument as to who should be the 1.01 in superflex rookie drafts this year. The top two options are Willis and Hall and they are next in this mock, with the 2022 class finally represented.
  • One reason dynasty managers are looking forward to next year’s class is the high-end targets at all positions. We see that here with a wide receiver (Smith-Njigba), running back (Gibbs) and quarterback (Young) among the top 18 players in this combined mock draft.
  • Now just over a month from the NFL Draft, it is still difficult to parse out the incoming receiver class, so they’ve been grouped together and fall in the back-half of this mock draft. Any of London, Wilson or Burks could end up being the consensus WR1 in this class based on draft capital and landing spot. My current bet is on London.
  • Through two rounds, here are the current tallies…
    • 2021- 12 players
    • 2022- 5
    • 2023- 7
    • QBs- 8
    • RBs- 6
    • WRs- 9
    • TEs- 1

ROUND THREE

3.01 Kenneth Walker III, RB ROOKIE
3.02 Chris Olave, WR ROOKIE
3.03 Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR DET
3.04 Travis Etienne, RB JAX
3.05 Matt Corral, QB ROOKIE
3.06 Rashod Bateman, WR BAL
3.07 Kadarius Toney, WR NYG
3.08 Jameson Williams, WR ROOKIE
3.09 Sam Howell, QB ROOKIE
3.10 Kenny Pickett, QB ROOKIE
3.11 Jordan Addison, WR Pittsburgh
3.12 Quentin Johnston, WR TCU

  • This is the round dominated by the 2022 rookie class, with half of the round set to enter the league. Obviously, primo landing spots could improve the value of players that currently look like mid-first round rookie picks, including Olave, Corral and Williams.
  • As a rookie, St. Brown saw his dynasty value soar as a result of his play and he’s been a hotly debated player this offseason. He’s been steadily moving up my rankings, with the Lions making relatively few changes to the offense so far.
  • Bateman and Toney each showed flashes as rookies and their respective ceilings are still high, but questions about their offenses are limiting their value.

ROUND FOUR

4.01 Tank Bigsby, RB Auburn
4.02 Sean Tucker, RB Syracuse
4.03 Elijah Mitchell, RB SF
4.04 George Pickens, WR ROOKIE
4.05 Jahan Dotson, WR ROOKIE
4.06 Pat Freiermuth, TE PIT
4.07 Michael Carter, RB NYJ
4.08 Isaiah Spiller, RB ROOKIE
4.09 David Bell, WR ROOKIE
4.10 Skyy Moore, WR ROOKIE
4.11 Rondale Moore, WR ARI
4.12 Josh Downs, WR North Carolina

  • Final tallies through four rounds…
    • 2021- 20 players
    • 2022- 16
    • 2023- 12
    • QBs- 11
    • RBs- 13
    • WRs- 22
    • TEs- 2

Ryan McDowell
Monday Mocks: Cornerstone Players
12 Comments
5 3 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
12 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Alexander Scott
3 months ago

Are people really taking Elijah Moore before DeVonta Smith? This blows my mind. Good list though!

Andy Cook
Reply to  Alexander Scott
3 months ago

Eli > Smith imo

alberta howard
Reply to  Alexander Scott
3 months ago

I certainly would.

neil chester
3 months ago

Have you missed off Justin Jefferson?

sean ouellette
Reply to  neil chester
3 months ago

Jefferson wasn’t in these classes. He was the 2020 class.

Henry Dematteis
3 months ago

So you would trade the 1.02 in your 2023 rookie draft for Max Jones or Zach Wilson?? This mock draft/rankings doesn’t make sense to me 🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️

Andy Cook
Reply to  Henry Dematteis
3 months ago

I somewhat share your sentiment, but beyond Bijan who knows how the other guys fare in 22 plus injuries etc. But I would prefer the 23 high 1st over Wilson for sure. It’s not an ADP, it’s the writers ranking which is still pretty close if you break it into tiers and focus solely on actual draft spot.

Andy Cook
Reply to  Andy Cook
3 months ago

*and don’t focus

alberta howard
3 months ago

Great to see the cornerstone ranking by round, Ryan. . I was never sure exactly how to interpret “cornerstone”. I had an idea but this helps tremendously. Thank you

James Spaulding
3 months ago

Can you please make 1 QB cornerstone rankings an option going forward? I have 5 of the top 9, 9 of the top 24 & 10 of top 28, but I fall off the table after that, but I’m in a 1 QB league.

To Top
Skip to toolbar