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Monday Mocks: Dynasty Cornerstone Rankings

We rank the building blocks managers want on dynasty rosters from the 2022, 2023, and 2024 rookie classes.

Welcome to Monday Mocks, where I’ll bring you (you guessed it), a new mock draft every Monday during the off-season. 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. Obviously, I love mock drafts but not all mocks are built the same. There are varying purposes for mocks, whether you are a participant or simply an observer.

Years ago, I wrote an article here at DLF called “Rookies and Sophomores and Devys (Oh My!)” That mini-series would eventually become known as our Cornerstone Rankings, an idea that was so popular it has been accepted and repeated by multiple other sites and content creators.

The idea behind our Cornerstone Rankings is to combine the most recent rookie class, the current rookie class, and the players eligible for next year’s rookie class. That means the players eligible for these rankings are adjusted every year, around this time. Recently, we’ve removed the rookie class of 2021 and added players likely to be drafted in 2024.

As the name suggests, these young players can often serve as the cornerstone for a dynasty team. Build teams around these players and set your team up to compete for league titles for years to come. The Cornerstone Rankings can be very valuable as they offer perspective as to how we should value next year’s picks, seeking to weed through the ongoing rookie hype that engulfs dynasty players on an annual basis.

This week, I’ll share a one-man mock, my view of how the players in the 2022, 2023, and 2024 rookie classes should be ranked compared to one another. To match our Cornerstone Rankings, I’ve used the superflex format for this mock.

ROUND ONE:

1.01 Bijan Robinson, RB Texas

As impressive as the rookie crop from last season was, the top-valued player in this group still has to be the incoming rookie back Robinson. After a dominant college career, displaying all the traits you’d want from a workhorse runner, Robinson is expected to be the first-round pick in the NFL Draft, likely the consensus 1.01 rookie pick in all formats and he has a very good chance to enter the league as the dynasty RB1 already.

1.02 Garrett Wilson, WR NYJ

After a bit of a rocky start, Jets rookie receiver Wilson reminded dynasty managers why he was a first-rounder a year ago, easily overtaking Elijah Moore and everyone else as the top receiving option in New York. Wilson is being valued as a dynasty WR1 in both our recent ADP as well as current rankings.

1.03 Chris Olave, WR NO

Much like Wilson, his former college teammate Olave quickly became his team’s top option. With Michael Thomas a certainty to be moving on, Olave will be locked in as the team’s top target for the next couple of years, at least. There are still some concerns about Olave’s ceiling from a fantasy standpoint, but he’s among the safest bets in dynasty leagues right now.

1.04 Breece Hall, RB NYJ

For most, Hall would be the second-ranked player among this group. After an impressive start to his career, dynasty players were questioning if he should be the new dynasty RB1. Instead, he suffered a season-ending ACL injury. While that temporarily derailed his value climb, that didn’t last long. With many tops backs dropping off in production and value, Hall is now a top-three option coming off his injury.

1.05 Drake London, WR ATL

It was a bit of a frustrating rookie campaign for London, who struggled through the Falcons lack of a passing game. Assuming Atlanta can find a solid quarterback upgrade for the 2023 season, London could rejoin Olave and Wilson as the top wideouts in his rookie class.

1.06 CJ Stroud, QB Ohio State

After the rookie quarterback class of 2022, the position has been devalued, even in superflex leagues. That could result in this year’s signal callers, including Stroud, to fall down rookie boards. The default 1.01 is no longer a quarterback. Stroud did flash some rushing upside late in the season that could boost his stock both among NFL teams and especially with dynasty managers. I expect him to be the first player drafted in the NFL Draft.

1.07 Bryce Young, QB Alabama

If not Stroud, the other favorite for the top spot is former Heisman Trophy winner Young. It was a disappointing season for the Crimson Tide and now Young will have to answer questions and concerns about his size. His playmaking ability cannot be questioned though, and that’s enough to keep him high on this list.

1.08 Caleb Williams, QB USC

The reigning Heisman winner is the first from the class of 2024 selected. That is largely due to the full year or more dynasty managers must wait until he is on an active roster. Williams has everything NFL teams are looking for in a “modern” quarterback complete with both rushing ability and a strong arm. He’s the strong favorite to be the top pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

1.09 Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR Ohio State

A year ago, dynasty managers couldn’t wait to get Smith-Njigba on their rosters. After all, he had just been part of one of the best college receiver trios (along with Wilson and Olave) in years and had both of the veterans calling him the most talented. This season was mostly one to forget for Smith-Njigba, who just could stay healthy. Still, what he showed as a sophomore has him in the running to be the first receiver drafted in the NFL and dynasty leagues.

1.10 Marvin Harrison Jr, WR Ohio State

In many ways, this year was a repeat of the previous season for the Buckeyes. While dynasty managers are eager to draft Smith-Njigba, it’s Harrison who really has created a buzz. The sophomore and son of former Colts great by the same name, enjoyed a breakout season. It is surprising, but there’s actually more confidence about the 2024 rookie WR1 right now than this current season.

1.11 Jordan Addison, WR USC

There are some reasons to be concerned about Addison’s transition to the NFL, mainly related to his size and play strength. Still, Addison is projected to be the top receiver drafted in recent NFL mock drafts from Dane Brugler and Daniel Jeremiah. That early draft capital would keep Addison locked into the top receiver tier and make him a top-six pick in dynasty rookie drafts.

1.12 Quentin Johnston, WR TCU

While Addison is rising, it’s TCU’s beast of a receiver Johnston who is drawing early doubts from the scouting community. This is mainly due to Johnston’s struggles as a route runner. Jeremiah projected Johnston to fall out of Round One in his recent mock draft. Fortunately, we have plenty of time to see how each player’s projections and values change. Johnston’s athletic profile is enough on its own to keep him among the top twelve of this group.

ROUND TWO:

2.01 Kenneth Walker, RB SEA

2.02 Jahmyr Gibbs, RB Alabama

2.03 Will Levis, QB Kentucky

2.04 Treylon Burks, WR TEN

2.05 Jameson Williams, WR DET

2.06 Christian Watson, WR GB

2.07 Drake Maye, QB North Carolina

2.08 George Pickens, WR PIT

2.09 Jahan Dotson, WR WAS

2.10 Anthony Richardson, QB Florida

2.11 Braelon Allen, RB Wisconsin

2.12 TreVeyon Henderson, RB Ohio State

We’ll be back next week with another mock draft!

Ryan McDowell
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Monday Mocks: Dynasty Cornerstone Rankings
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Tyler Tindall
3 days ago

Walker is way to low

Gregory Massa
Reply to  Ryan McDowell
3 days ago

Im a little surprised to see TreVeyon Henderson ranked outside the top 20. Glad he made the list tho!

qwengler
3 days ago

While Bijan is rightfully ranked very highly, I’m curious about your take on having him ranked higher than any of the wideouts. This past season especially, it seems that the RB position’s shortcomings were really exposed. There seems to be a large upwards movement of wideouts compared to top RBs. What WRs would you take over Bijan currently?

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