For many dynasty players, the highlight of the off-season is the annual rookie draft and we are now less than two weeks 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 include a potential pivot option.
Also, 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. Each trade is based on 12 team PPR, one QB leagues.
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.
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The Pick: AJ Brown, WR Mississippi
Although he was the more consistent and robust producer in college, wide receiver AJ Brown has taken a backseat to his college teammate DK Metcalf through most of this pre-draft process. Brown looks is a sturdy receiver, drawing comparisons to Juju Smith-Schuster. He’s shown toughness and excellent hands. While he’s been labeled a “big slot” (hence the Smith-Schuster mentions) Brown was productive on the outside when Metcalf missed time with injuries.
A poor landing spot for N’Keal Harry, Hakeem Butler or Metcalf could push them down to this spot, which would obviously represent excellent value. The trio of projected top running backs, David Montgomery, Josh Jacobs and Miles Sanders could each be an option here as well.
- 1.04 for Evan Engram, 2.05, 5.05
- 1.04, George Kittle, Lamar Jackson for 1.01, Hunter Henry, Sam Darnold
- 1.04, Deon Cain for 1.02, 2.03, 3.05
Josh Jacobs, RB Alabama
This is an example of how closely this class is being viewed. Alabama running back Josh Jacobs has yet to show up on our single quarterback rookie ADP but here he is as an option in the super-flex format. We’re likely to see this play out in our leagues as well. For those of us in multiple dynasty leagues, a player could be drafted with the 1.02 in one league and fall out of the top five picks in another.
Dynasty Trade Analyzer
You might have missed the release of the DLF Dynasty Trade Analyzer. If so, you’ll want to check that out immediately. Among its many uses is identifying the value of incoming rookie picks when compared to veteran players. I searched for the closest match among current NFL players in an effort to match the value of the 1.04 pick to give you an idea of what it might cost to acquire the pick, or who you could target if selling.
Based on our Trade Analyzer, the 1.04 pick could be swapped for Colts running back Marlon Mack, who was among the closest matches to the pick. I still see this deal as a bit risky as the loaded Colts could make a luxury pick if a back they like falls to round three or later.
The Pick: Marquise Brown, WR Oklahoma
It has been a wild ride this off-season for former Sooners wide receiver Marquise Brown, who began the pre-draft period as a clear first-round pick. Things took a turn for Brown after a Lisfranc foot injury sidelined him for the NFL Combine and the worries about his size became more widespread. Brown has seemingly survived that period and is now back in contention to not only be a first-round pick, but potentially the top receiver drafted in the NFL. If that’s the case, he won’t be falling to the 2.04 pick.
Other players who could be available in this draft pick range include JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Rodney Anderson and Deebo Samuel. This is also the spot we should see the presumed QB1, Kyler Murray, being selected.
- 2.04 for Demaryius Thomas
- 1.08, 2,04, Corey Clement for Kareem Hunt
- 2.04, Tom Brady, Royce Freeman for Jameis Winston, Sammy Watkins
Parris Campbell, WR Ohio State
Ohio State speedster Parris Campbell is among the most polarizing players in the draft with some projecting him as a first-round pick in dynasty drafts as well as the NFL and others shying away due to his relatively limited production and his role. The majority of Campbell’s receiving production came within ten yards of the line of scrimmage, leading to questions about his roles in the NFL.
Dynasty Trade Analyzer
The 2.04 pick is still one I would be aggressively pursuing in trade but we also start to see a gap in what our Trade Analyzer identifies as equivalent value. Sophomore wideout Keke Coutee is almost a perfect match for the 2.04 pick and with some of the rookies mentioned above falling this far, I’d prefer the pick in this one-for-one deal.
The Pick: Benny Snell, RB Kentucky
A personal favorite of mine, Kentucky’s Benny Snell ends his college career as one of the most productive backs in SEC history. As impressive as that is, Snell is likely just a one-dimensional back in the NFL, pushing down his dynasty value as a result. He’d be worth a shot as a third-round pick if he lands in a favorable location.
Mike Weber, RB Ohio State
Obviously, Ohio State’s Mike Weber is another back in the same range as Snell, Barnes and others. Of course, there is a good chance that landing spot and draft capital greatly impacts these players’ ultimate ADP.
Dynasty Trade Analyzer
We don’t typically think about third round rookie picks carrying much trade value but the depth of this class is making an impact. One of my top trade targets of the off-season, Panthers tight end Ian Thomas, is valued similarly to the 3.04. Buy Thomas for this pick every chance you get.
The Pick: Greg Dortch, WR Wake Forest
Wake Forest receiver Greg Dortch drew a heavy amount of praise early in the process as a potential “sleeper” but that talk has since died down. Dortch was highly productive but is undersized and isn’t the strongest route runner. Considering he’s likely to be a day three pick, Dortch will almost certainly be a fourth-round rookie pick, as he is here.
Terry McLaurin, WR Ohio State
Surrounded by teammates like Dwayne Haskins, Mike Weber and Parris Campbell, among others, receiver Terry McLaurin is often a forgotten part of the Ohio State offense. While McLaurin is an older prospect, he has a solid all-around game and can also contribute on special teams. He should be well-worth a fourth-round rookie pick.