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Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Draft Strategy: A View from the 1.01

We make it all the way to the top of the list.

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 1.01

The Pick: Breece Hall, RB Iowa State

Iowa State’s Breece Hall is not only the favorite to be the top pick in 1QB rookie drafts, he even tops the superflex list as well. Hall topped off an excellent collegiate career with over 1,700 total yards and his second straight year as a consensus First Team All-American. He was a late bloomer, but rushed for more than 2,000 yards in his final two seasons of high school before heading to Iowa State. He was the centerpiece of the Cyclone offense throughout his career. With so few bell-cow backs in the rookie class and not many in the league as a whole, Hall looks special. It is a difficult choice to identify which aspect of Hall’s game, running the ball vs. catching it out of the backfield, is the bigger strength.

Hall was a favorite of film scouts as the pre-Draft process began, and it is easy to see why. He runs with a perfect mix of speed and power, forces missed tackles at a high rate, protects the ball and is a willing pass blocker. Oh, and he can catch the ball, too. Hall caught 82 passes for over 700 yards and six scores in his Iowa State career.

Going into the Combine, the main question some dynasty managers seemed to have about Hall’s outlook centered around his speed. He more than answered those as he ran a 4.39 40, good for a 93rd percentile score and a 98th percentile Speed Score.

That was enough for Hall to jump over Treylon Burks as the top rookie in our monthly ADP data and I don’t expect that to change following the NFL Draft. Hall is projected to be the top back drafted and could possibly sneak into the first round. We’re talking rookie drafts here, but Hall is already being valued as a top-seven dynasty running back and a combination of strong draft capital and a nice landing spot could easily push him into the first round of startup dynasty drafts.

Trade Value

1.01 for 1.08/AJ Dillon
1.01 for Derrick Henry
1.01 for 1.04/1.08

Possible Pivots 

Kenneth Walker, Garrett Wilson

Super-Flex Options

Breece Hall

Rookie Selection 2.01

The Pick: Christian Watson, WR NDSU

Let’s be honest here. Most of you didn’t even know who Watson was six months ago. Sadly, I have to admit I didn’t. Watson was a two-star recruit out of Tampa, and with little production until his senior season, had very limited opportunities to further his education and football career. North Dakota State, an FCS powerhouse, offered Watson a scholarship and he accepted the difficult transition from Tampa to North Dakota.

After little playing time as a freshman, Watson began to make an impact in year two and eventually became an All-American and a multi-time national champion as part of the strong North Dakota State run. Following the 2021 season, Watson got a last-minute invite to the Senior Bowl and became the story of the week, dominating practices and putting himself on the map. A few weeks later, he impressed again at the Combine. His 4.36 40, 11’4” broad jump, 39” vertical jump and 18 reps on the bench were all good for top 15 percentile scores – that was all it took for the first-round buzz to start.

Big and athletic, it’s easy to start dreaming of Watson’s upside, but there are also reasons to pump the breaks, especially for dynasty managers. Some have called Watson a project wide receiver, yet he turns 23 in a couple of weeks. He also struggled with drops, sporting a double-digit drop rate, not to mention the level of competition he was facing.

Watson has been just on the outside looking in at the first-round of dynasty rookie drafts but if he is a Day One pick in the NFL, as some are projecting, that could change.

Trade Value

2.01 for 2.06/2.07
2.01 for Rondale Moore/KJ Hamler
2.01 for Leonard Fournette

Possible Pivots

Zamir White, George Pickens

Super-Flex Options

Sam Howell

Rookie Selection 3.01

The Pick: Matt Corral, QB Ole Miss

After a rocky recruiting process and a relatively slow start to his college career, Corral put together a pair of strong seasons to cap off his time at Mississippi. Passing for over 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns in consecutive seasons, Corral looked like a player who could be the first quarterback drafted – that idea didn’t last long as Corral’s game was put under the microscope over the past few months.

A very good athlete, Corral rushed for over 1,300 yards and 18 touchdowns during his college career – that rushing ability should be an asset to Corral and makes him appealing as a fantasy option, but there are many questions about his upside as a passer.

Corral is expected to be a second-round selection in the NFL and, barring the perfect landing spot, should be available in the third round of most 1QB rookie drafts. He’s not even a lock to be a first-round pick in superflex rookie drafts.

Trade Value

3.01 for KJ Hamler
3.01 for Logan Thomas

Possible Pivots

Dameon Pierce, Wan’Dale Robinson, Jalen Tolbert

Super-Flex Options

John Metchie

Ryan McDowell
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Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Draft Strategy: A View from the 1.01
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