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The New Reality No.62 - Rookie Draft Strategy: The Early Rounds

Navigating the ever-changing landscape of dynasty fantasy football.

The post-NFL Draft dynasty calendar is divided into two camps: early and late rookie drafts. The early drafts, during the months of May and June, provide valuable data points for the latter half of owners yet-to-draft. Here is a look at key strategies in the first two rounds of offense-only rookie drafts in July and August:

The Price of 1.01

Before the NFL Draft, Ezekiel Elliott was already the clear 1.01 in rookie draft circles. Since affirming his projected top draft position and landing in a choice situation (Dallas), Elliott has vaulted even higher. In startup drafts, Elliott is commonly going in Round 1 and even in the top-half of the round on occasion. In rookie-only drafts, the 1.01 has fetched the equivalent of three, or even four, first round selections in a package deal. Offering 1.02 and 1.03 for the 1.01 this year may get declined. Top-5 NFL drafted running backs with strong metrics (Elliott qualifies) are as close to 'can't miss' dynasty bets as they come, however, Elliott's value before setting foot on a regular season field is pushing the limits of topping out. A dynasty team who 'earned' the 1.01 this offseason with a depleted roster has a golden opportunity to parlay the selection into a collection of quality assets to accelerate the rebuilding process.

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