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Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Draft Strategy: A View from the 1.08

We take a look at our options from 1.08.

For many dynasty players, the highlight of the off-season is the annual rookie draft and we are now mere days 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. In addition, 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.

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.

Rookie Selection 1.08

The Pick: Isaiah Spiller, RB Texas A&M

When we began our 2022 rookie mock drafts in February, Spiller settled in as the fourth player drafted, behind only Treylon Burks, Breece Hall and Garrett Wilson. It’s been all downhill since for the Aggies back. Spiller failed to impress at the Combine, opting out of multiple events including the 40, and performing poorly in others with sub-20th percentile scores in both the vertical and broad jumps. All of this seemingly caused the dynasty and draft community to target Spiller, nitpicking his every flaw and resulted in his rookie ADP falling, along with his projected draft capital. It has since bounced back, somewhat, and Spiller is now projected to be drafted as the RB3 and 66th overall player, per Grinding the Mocks. There was once a concern Spiller could fall to Day Three, which would be terrible for his dynasty value.

We’ll wait on his exact draft capital and landing spot but there is still a lot to like about him and people shouldn’t overlook that. He’s a versatile back who showed off his pass-catching chops. A three-year starter in the SEC, Spiller racked up over 1,000 yards from scrimmage in all three seasons and displayed a tough and aggressive running style. He has been reliable as well, never missing a game in his college career, and is the youngest back in the class, something that should always appeal to dynasty managers.

Trade Value

Possible Pivots

Chris Olave, George Pickens, Jahan Dotson

Super-Flex Options

Chris Olave

Rookie Selection 2.08

The Pick: James Cook, RB Georgia

You might have heard Georgia’s Cook is the younger brother of Vikings running back Dalvin Cook. Now that we got that required mention out of the way, let’s talk about the younger Cook’s game. At 5’11” and weighing in just under 200 pounds, he will not be viewed as an every-down back in the league. The good news is Cook did get his weight up for the Combine, coming in at 199, but he also managed to run a faster than expected 40 (4.42, 85th percentile.) Cook shared the Georgia backfield with fellow 2022 prospect Zamir White but it was Cook who was often more effective and efficient, despite not having the game to run between the tackles.

Cook is basically the “best of the rest” after the presumed top-three backs in the rookie class. His rookie draft ADP has held steady in the back half of the second round, starting at 23 overall in February before settling at his current ADP of 20. Cook is also projected to be the fourth running back drafted in the NFL Draft and will likely sneak into the third round next weekend.

Trade Value

Possible Pivots

Trey McBride, Wan’Dale Robinson

Super-Flex Options

Zamir White

Rookie Selection 3.08

The Pick: Sam Howell, QB North Carolina

Are you interested in a quarterback prospect who has a huge arm and rushed for over 1,000 yards in his final college season? No, I’m not talking about presumed QB1 Malik Willis – that also describes North Carolina’s Sam Howell. A year ago, Howell was in the running to be the top quarterback drafted in this class of 2022, but a tough final season in Chapel Hill ended that dream. While there were plenty of reasons to be concerned about Howell’s game this past season, I was actually impressed. The Tar Heels lost Javonte Williams, Michael Carter, Dyami Brown and Dazz Newsome from their 2020 squad and the entire offense needed a quick revamp. Howell relied on his running game more than even and reminded everyone why he was ranked as the dual-threat QB3 coming out of high school.

Howell’s game has plenty of flaws, though. Despite that big arm, he often rushes the play, leading to a bad decision or scrambling out of the pocket too soon. While he has a sturdy build, his 6’0” is also not quite up to standards in the league.

Howell is almost certain to be drafted in the second round as Grinding the Mocks projects him to be the QB5 drafted around 44th overall. In this below-average draft class, Howell is just one of the rookie quarterbacks that will be available in the third round of 1QB rookie drafts.

Trade Value

Possible Pivots

Tyler Allgeier, Khalil Shakir

Super-Flex Options

Alec Pierce


Ryan McDowell
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Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Draft Strategy: A View from the 1.08
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