Navigating Your Dynasty Rookie Draft: Late 4th

Richard Cooling

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.

Superflex 4.09 and One Quarterback 4.09

Charlie Jones, WR CIN

Many players change colleges in the modern world of the transfer portal. However, few players play for three teams in five years. Charlie Jones was that player, and despite flashing in Buffalo and Iowa, it wasn’t until he landed with Purdue that he truly broke out. A sneaky athlete, Jones profiles almost exclusively as a pure slot in the NFL.

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Data Courtesy of Sports Reference.

Landing with the Bengals is not an ideal landing spot for 2023, as he will be buried behind Tyler Boyd. However, Boyd is likely playing his final season with the Bengals, and Jones could be stepping into a significant role in one of the league’s most electric offenses.

STRATEGY/OTHER OPTIONS

At this point, the difficulty with drafting Jones is that you probably have to wait at least a year and maybe two before you get any chance at fantasy relevancy. It’s tough to roster a fourth-round pick for that long. This is why I usually preach drafting volume-based positions late in rookie drafts. However, in the fourth round, there is a chance he could produce eventually.

Superflex 4.10

Eric Gray, RB NYG

The 46th player off the board is Gray, who profiles as a satellite back at the next level. A solid and reliable runner but a fantastic receiving back, he has a chance to carve out a fantasy-relevant role given his natural receiving and route-running ability.

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Data Courtesy of Sports Reference.

Landing with the Giants is an intriguing situation. Saquon Barkley is the clear three-down back with the Giants and will handle more than 70% of the backfield work. However, behind Barkley, there is not much to speak of. Matt Breida is a journeyman backup who will likely not provide much value. Enter Gray, who is a Barkley injury away from being the receiving back with some rushing upside. It’s a big if, but there is some upside there.

STRATEGY/OTHER OPTIONS

Gray is the exact type of player I’m taking a flyer on in the fourth round. If he carves out a relevant role, he will likely see the receiving work we all dream of for running backs. Yes, the high likelihood is that Gray never carved out a role in the NFL, but he is worth the late-round flyer.

One-Quarterback 4.10

Dontayvion Wicks, WR GB

At the 4.10 in one quarterback league, Wicks is the next player off the board. He was somewhat of a one-year wonder in school, but what a year that was! Profiling as a deep threat in the NFL, given his aDOT over 20 yards in college.

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Data Courtesy of Sports Reference.

The challenge with Wicks is that he lands in a congested and young receiving room and despite profiling as a deep threat, he lacks the top-end speed to get open deep consistently.

STRATEGY/OTHER OPTIONS

The chances of Wicks carving out any fantasy relevant are slim to none. Personally, I would not draft Wicks and instead opt for another player, preferably one of the backup running backs in this range.

Superflex 4.11

Dorian Thompson-Robinson, QB CLE

With the penultimate pick in superflex drafts, we find another quarterback comes off the board. Thompson-Robinson was a five-year starter with UCLA and had some highs and lows during that career. He is unlikely to be a starter early in his career, but he has the rushing upside we all crave in our fantasy quarterbacks.

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Data Courtesy of Sports Reference.

Landing with the Browns is a unique situation. On the face of it, given the contract situation of Deshaun Watson, he has absolutely no chance of ever seeing the field. However, if he continues to play as badly as he was last year, Thompson-Robinson has shown in preseason that there is enough talent there to be a placeholder at quarterback.

STRATEGY/OTHER OPTIONS

For this pick to work out, there needs to be an injury to Watson. It’s not a bad pick, given the very little capital you’re having to pay, but it is likely that you will drop him before he sees the field.

One-Quarterback 4.11

Chris Rodriguez, RB, WAS

Rodriguez is a solid but uninspiring player and a pick for fantasy. He is a player who will get what is blocked for him and not add much more. Furthermore, he is not a player who will add anything to the receiving game.

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Data Courtesy of Sports Reference.

The good news is that Rodriguez landed with the commanders who lack a clear lead back. The bad news is that they have Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson ahead of him, clouding his path to relevancy.

STRATEGY/OTHER OPTIONS

Rodriguez is essentially a poor man’s Robinson and now finds himself backing him up. He is two injuries away from seeing playing time, and that is a tough player to draft even this late in rookie drafts.

Superflex 4.12

Dontayvion Wicks, WR GB

As mentioned earlier, Wicks is a deep play threat without the speed. Targeting a different player at this point in the draft may be better.

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Data Courtesy of Sports Reference.

One-Quarterback 4.12

Lew Nichols, RB GB

The final pick in a one-quarterback league is the hyperproductive back out of central Michigan. Nichols is a big guy who likes to run over people. He doesn’t add much in the receiving game and likely profiles as a two-down back in the NFL.

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Data Courtesy of Sports Reference.

Nichols is a player who could carve out a more prominent role down the line. Currently, he is sitting behind Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. However, both players could be on new teams next year. Dillon is a free agent, and Jones could be released for a significant cap saving.

STRATEGY/OTHER OPTIONS

There is a lot to like about Nichols and the situation he finds himself in. However, the lack of receiving upside limits his ceiling for fantasy. However, given you’re having to spend a late fourth-round pick on him, I believe he is worth the gamble at this point in the draft.

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Navigating Your Dynasty Rookie Draft: Late 4th