Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Drafts: Rookies Destined to be Underdrafted

Shane Hallam

Dynasty owners are often a fickle bunch. The months and months of lead-up to the NFL Draft have tons of scrutiny and evaluation of all of the rookie prospects without seeing what their draft capital is or what team they end up on. Often NFL teams are investing high draft picks in players the fantasy community has written off or team situations that are not overly thrilling draft talent that could be elite. This presents value opportunities in rookie drafts to go out and use the hivemind thinking against your other owners and get some absolute value picks that will help you win a championship.

Dalton Kincaid, TE BUF (Round 1, Pick 25)

A surprise riser this season, Kincaid was surprisingly the only tight end drafted in the first round. He certainly flashed the production and ball skills to be a true NFL receiving threat. It was obviously enough for the Bills to move up in the draft and select Kincaid at pick 25. Since he isn’t much of a blocker, Seemingly in line to step into the slot role, Kincaid could be a high-volume target for Josh Allen and a dynamic presence for the offense.

The upside for Kincaid as a fantasy weapon is there, but owners seem to be hesitant to invest highly in a TE again. The TE class as a whole was exceptionally talented and Kincaid was the best of the best. If there was a year to invest in TEs, it is this one in the rookie draft. It is easy to take the WRs fantasy sites have been talking about for ages (Quentin Johnston, Jordan Addison, etc) over Kincaid, but ultimately, Kincaid may end up the best fantasy receiving threat to come out of round one.

Jonathan Mingo, WR CAR (Round 2, Pick 8)

The Panthers gave up a ton of draft capital and WR DJ Moore to go up and get their franchise quarterback in Bryce Young. Now being bereft of weapons, most mock drafts had Scott Fitterer and company using the 39th pick on a receiver. While many predicted Josh Downs or Jalin Hyatt, Mingo was a mainstay at this spot in my final mock draft. So, while many viewed the pick as a reach and are downgrading Mingo because of it, the value was actually fairly appropriate. If that is holding you back from drafting him, don’t let it.

Frank Reich’s offense is heavily built upon the X WR. Think Michael Pittman on the Colts from Reich’s time as a head coach there. Going back further, this is the spot where Keenan Allen emerged on the Chargers when Reich was offensive coordinator. He even made Jordan Matthews a fantasy name on the Eagles in the spot. Essentially, the passing game will work through Mingo on this offense and he has a top QB in Young to get him the ball.

Mingo’s only real competition is holdover Terrace Marshall, so immediate production is very possible. If fantasy owners are worried about Mingo’s lack of college production or the lack of predraft hype, take advantage and snag him to give yourself elite upside.

Tucker Kraft, TE GB (Round 3, Pick 15)

Investing picks into this elite TE rookie class is a good idea, flat out. Considerations were made for almost every TE in the class t be on this list from Dallas’ Luke Schoonmaker to Jacksonville’s Brenton Strange, but Kraft’s situation may make him the prime candidate to be underdrafted as a TE.

Like new teammate Luke Musgrave, Kraft is an athletic TE whose injuries cut his season very short this season. It caused a slight fall in the draft, but also creates the potential to be a fantasy steal. Kraft can block, and will be used there, but his ball skills and after-the-catch ability give fantasy upside. The downside is being drafted onto a Packers team that selected Musgrave a round ahead of Kraft.

If fantasy owners pass on Kraft due to the fear of a crowded TE situation, scoop up the value late. He profiles similarly to Travis Kelce coming out of college. A third-round TE who fell due to injury but has complete upside. Fill those taxi squads with TEs to develop and reap the benefits down the line.

Devon Achane, RB MIA (Round 3, Pick 21)

Achane has already been a controversial prospect in the fantasy community. At 5’8.5 and 188 pounds, many cast him off completely due to size. Watching the film, he plays extremely tough between the tackles and carried a heavy workload for Texas A&M, a sign of his fantasy upside. Ultimately, the third round draft capital was a slight disappointment, but the Dolphins landing spot was an unreal fit in Mike McDaniel’s run scheme.

Despite the downsides, Achane is being drafted decently high in rookie drafts, often ranking in the first round of single QB leagues. Despite this, he may still be underdrafted. A perfect system fit and competing with oft-injured journeymen in Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr is exactly what fantasy owners should want. The dump-off receptions will be there too for Achane.

He should be going above WRs like Zay Flowers fairly consistently and certainly taken over Zach Charbonnet, Kendre Miller, etc. If Achane isn’t going as the third RB off the board, he is being underdrafted.

Roschon Johnson, RB CHI (Round 4, Pick 13)

The prevailing thought before the draft was that Johnson would get day two capital, but the RBs as a whole fell. Despite this, we should be learning as fantasy owners that early day three for RBs. Dameon Pierce, Rhamondre Stevenson, Jamaal Williams, and Samaje Perine are just a few who have emerged as legitimate fantasy options. Roschon’s size and explosiveness give him an advantage as a fourth-round pick who can make an immediate impact for the Bears.

The knocks will be the draft capital and never showing that he can be a lead workhorse back while behind Bijan Robinson at Texas. The positives are not only the traits, but a situation where he can overtake D’Onta Foreman and Khalil Herbert fairly quickly with a good camp. If Johnson does earn a consistent role, he checks many of the boxes needed to be a big-time fantasy contributor. If others pass due to the capital, scoop him up.

shane hallam
Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Drafts: Rookies Destined to be Underdrafted