For many dynasty players, the off-season highlight is the annual rookie draft. For some, that date may be rapidly approaching. Once our respective dynasty teams are eliminated from contention (and sometimes even before), we turn our attention to the incoming rookie class, and delusions of grandeur take over.
Rebuilders are full of glee as they hoard their picks, while contenders are scheming how they can pry some of those picks away, and dynasty players everywhere are champing at the bit to draft their favorite prospect.
This twelve-part series will use the latest data available at Dynasty League Football: Superflex Rookie ADP from the past 30 days. We will mention the player or players you could soon add to your team via the rookie draft. We will also include options based on the 1QB rookie ADP from the same timeframe for those who play in that format.
The first round of rookie drafts includes the players we’ve been hearing about for months, if not years, but difference-makers can also be found in the second round and beyond. Each section will encompass four picks, and we will go four rounds deep to help you be as prepared as possible.
Kayshon Boutte, WR NE
Boutte had a blistering start to his college career, with an outstanding freshman season, replacing the production of recently graduated former LSU stars Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase. Boutte would go on to get caught up in a rumoured sex scandal and an underwhelming finish to a highly promising college career.
Once a devy darling and rumoured top ten potential selection in real life, Boutte fell to round six of the 2023 NFL Draft due to the above concerns and a lacklustre showing throughout the pre-draft process. He lands on a Patriots offense tied to Mac Jones and a history of low output fantasy performance. The receiving core is below average, where Boutte has the potential to stick around if reverting to his early college promise.
OPTIONS / STRATEGY
Straight up in terms of dynasty value at the market via Keep Trade Cut, Boutte is worth more than the relative 4.05 draft pick as a standalone asset. The strategy for this section of rookie drafts is to target players with upside and a path to a value increase. Whilst sixth round wide receivers are a poor bet to make overall, Boutte has relative upside and is a great option on a risk-reward basis.
As dynasty managers get deeper into rookie drafts the appetite to make trades reduces, as the demand for these types of assets is lower than earlier in the drafts. You could be able to pull of a straight swap for players such as Kene Nwangwu or Albert Okwuegbunam if a rookie asset falls to this spot or an infatuation with a particular deep asset.
Tyler Scott is the selection here: the full outlook on Scott is highlighted later on in this article at the superflex 4.08 selection.
Deuce Vaughn, RB DAL
Despite his extremely limited size (five feet and six inches), Vaughn was a mega producer at the collegiate level playing for Kansas State. Over 37 games he averaged 97.4 rushing yards per game, 3.1 receptions per game and 1.2 total touchdowns per game – highlighting a three down skill set, plus the durability to deliver a volume role in the offense.
Vaughn was a round six selection of the Dallas Cowboys, landing in a great opportunity behind Tony Pollard after the release of Cowboys stalwart Ezekiel Elliott. His current competition to secure the backup role behind Pollard is the unheralded duo of Malik Davis and Rico Dowdle, plus future journeyman Ronald Jones. The track record of running backs as small as Vaughn is limited at best, he would be a complete outlier to hit, but has strong college production and a great landing spot on his side.
OPTIONS / STRATEGY
As a one for one trade off, Vaughn is worth more than the rookie 4.06 draft pick straight up. It’s the area of rookie drafts where strategy tends to go out of the window and the focus is to target players you like at value. Personal preference is to target running backs heavily during the later rounds of rookie drafts – where the Vaughn selection would fit the bill.
Vaughn is an excellent choice here. Pivots will be limited, with options for spot starters at wide receiver like Robert Woods – however it’s a great area to roll the dice on an upside player with a chance to gain value in the future.
Evan Hull would be an ideal selection in 1QB leagues. The Jonathan Taylor trade situation and Zack Moss injury has opened the door for Hull to receive extended playing time in pre-season. He’s an excellent upside pick to make the Colts roster and therefore should be rostered in dynasty.
Tucker Kraft, TE GB
Kraft was a diamond in the dirt type tight end, who shone for South Dakota State in the FCS. It is common for tight end production to be sketchy in college, however Kraft put a 65 catch season on his college resumé – highlighting an intriguing skill set on the back of a solid blocking frame.
Kraft was taken in round three by the Green Bay Packers, doubling up on the selection of Luke Musgrave in the second round. It’s an interesting selection, with Kraft an arbitrage play to take a cheaper asset with a similar range of outcomes. Personally I prefer Musgrave, however to have Kraft available at the rookie 4.07 is a great value. Kraft has day two draft capital, an open depth chart all around, plus the unknown upside coming from a smaller, low-profile school.
OPTIONS / STRATEGY
Kraft is valued higher than the rookie 4.07 pick as stand alone assets. Taking a rookie tight end is always a waiting game due to the slower trajectory to fantasy relevance. Ideally you don’t want to waste a roster spot on a rookie tight end with limited production in year one. The flip side is that Kraft has a legitimate opportunity to be relevant and is appealing in leagues where he can be stashed on the taxi squad.
Probably the most intriguing pivot from the 2023 rookie 4.07 pick is Cordarrelle Patterson – a guy ticketed for a hybrid role of running back and wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons. At the age of 32 he is purely a pivot for a contender requiring depth and would fit the role moving off a long-term play like Kraft for a team requiring short-term impact.
In 1QB leagues a couple of running back dart throws that stand out are the aforementioned Evan Hull and a player I’ll be discussing as part of the 4.08 breakdown for 1QB leagues in former Kentucky alumni Chris Rodriguez.
Tyler Scott, WR CHI
Scott first caught the eye as a standout wide receiver whilst watching Desmond Ridder tape last offseason. The duo played together at Cincinnati in their epic 2021 season which saw a true breakout for Scott. Over his career he put up solid numbers, displaying a tantalising deep threat ability which resulted in ten receiving touchdowns of at least 30 yards.
Scott landed with the Bears after a round four draft selection – slotting in behind veteran trio DJ Moore, Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool. The day three draft capital was less than ideal, however Scott was well regarded by NFL draft film guru Lance Zierlein – who had him ranked WR8 at NFL.com. If Justin Fields can take a step forward as a passer, Scott can have value as someone with progression who could eventually fight for the WR2 role on the team.
OPTIONS / STRATEGY
Like the other draft selections highlighted in this article, Scott is also worth more than the respective draft pick at the 4.08. My strategy generally is to avoid day three wide receivers in rookie drafts or take on limited exposure due to the low probability of becoming a weekly starter in lineups. In deep leagues with a taxi squad or huge benches I would be good with taking Scott at value here.
Scott is a good value, however a couple of pivots who could intrigue are the current primary backup running back in Tampa: Ke’Shawn Vaughn or a player battling for the third string role for the 49ers: Jordan Mason. Lastly, an opportunity to pivot to a future fourth round pick should be considered.
Chris Rodriguez is the selection in 1QB leagues. Playing time as a rookie will be a struggle behind Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson, however there is intrigue in an Eric Bienemy offense, plus any running back on an active roster should also be on dynasty rosters.