Rookie Roundup 5: Dynasty Draft - Footballguys

A look inside a Footballguys rookie draft.

Today, let's go through a real dynasty draft that took place among the Footballguys. It's one thing to mock draft. It's quite another to put your money where your mouth is and take a guy in a league where the stakes are real. Taking a look at our draft may give you insight into which players are gaining momentum in early rookie drafts and which ones are falling. My plan is to cover the first two rounds in this article and cover rounds 3-5 in a near future installment.

Here are the scoring and settings highlights from this league:

  • 24-man rosters
  • Team defenses
  • One point per reception for all positions except tight end
  • Tight end gets one and a half points per reception
  • Rookies or free agents in the pool are draftable
  • Five rounds

My team is an orphan that I took over last season and am working to rebuild. Here was my roster before the draft started:

Quarterbacks Running Backs Wide Receivers Tight Ends
Teddy Bridgewater - NYJ Malcolm Brown - LAR Corey Davis - Ten Jack Doyle - Ind
Joe Flacco - Bal Tevin Coleman - Atl Mike Evans - TB Gerald Everett - LAR
Brett Hundley - GB James Conner - Pit Chris Godwin - TB Rico Gathers - DAl
Patrick Mahomes II II - KC Peyton Barber -TB Malcolm Mitchell - NE Adam Shaheen - Chi
Team Defense Frank Gore - Mia Donte Moncrief - Jac Jonnu Smith - Ten
Denver Broncos Todd Gurley - LAR Josh Reynolds - LAR  
  C.J. Prosise - Sea Allen Robinson - Chi  
    Mike Williams - LAC  

I take a best-player-available approach to my drafts. I figure that I can always trade from a position of strength to address a need later. I’ve also found over the years of playing dynasty that drafting for need is very dangerous and can really blow up in your face. If need and talent intersect, I use it as a tiebreaker for my pick.

I came into this draft with the following rookie picks: 1.02, 1.05, 1.10, 2.04, 2.12, and 5.08.

I completed two trades right before the draft happened:

Austin Eckler’s value was tenuous to begin with, but now his job will be threatened by rookie Justin Jackson. I like Jackson to win that battle, so I was looking to get out. I decided a trade for bridge quarterback Joe Flacco would be better than dumping Eckler for nothing. If things didn’t bounce my way with getting one in the draft, I would at least have someone to fill Mahomes’ bye week. I didn’t have that same assurance with only Teddy Bridgewater and Brett Hundley on the roster.

The rationale for this trade was that I don’t fully trust Davante Adams’ health. The multiple concussion issues disturb me. Though Adams’ situation is arguably better, I don’t think Adams holds a candle to Mike Evans in terms of talent. Those two factors led me to make this upgrade for what I perceived to be a relatively cheap cost.

With these trades in the books, let’s take a look at how the first round unfolded:

Pick Pos Player Team Owner
1.01 RB Saquon Barkley NYG Justin Howe
1.02 RB Nick Chubb Cle Daniel Simpkins
1.03 RB Derrius Guice Was Jason Wood
1.04 RB Ronald Jones II II TB James Brimacombe
1.05 WR D.J. Moore Car Daniel Simpkins
1.06 RB Rashaad Penny Sea Chase Stuart
1.07 RB Kerryon Johnson Det Clayton Gray
1.08 RB Sony Michel NE Sigmund Bloom
1.09 RB Royce Freeman Den William Grant
1.10 WR Christian Kirk Ari Sigmund Bloom
1.11 WR Michael Gallup Dal Stephen Holloway
1.12 WR Calvin Ridley Atl Adam Harstad

I worked on a trade-up with Justin Howe, but Justin understandably wanted a king’s ransom for the move up. I also explored a trade down with Jason Wood but wasn’t getting enough capital to make the move down worth it to me over my intended target. I ultimately selected Nick Chubb, whom I view as a superior prospect over Guice. I also believe Chubb got the better landing spot with an organization that has more surrounding talent and direction than Washington at present.

At 1.05, I was hoping Ronald Jones II would fall to me, but it didn’t happen. I worked tirelessly to trade back to the 1.07-1.10 range to gain extra draft capital and either grab Royce Freeman or Christian Kirk, both of whom I really like. However, there were no takers, even on a cheap deal. I ultimately settled on D.J. Moore, whom I view to be the best wide receiver in the class. The landing spot is also ideal, with a team that really needed a complimentary option to Devin Funchess. I could see this becoming a Stefon Diggs/Adam Thielen type of arrangement in terms of fantasy impact.

On the clock, I was able to make the following deal to get into the second round later in the round in addition to the early pick I already had.

Andy owns Kenyan Drake, so Gore offers a hedge in case of injury. Gore is doing this rebuilding team little-to-no good. I view Mitchell as a very boom-bust prospect, one who has so far failed to live up to expectations. I picked up Mitchell off the waiver wire late last year, hoping to flip him in a deal like this one. I am glad to see that forward-thinking pay off today.

Here’s how the second round played out:

Pick Pos Player Team Owner
2.01 WR Anthony Miller Chi James Brimacombe
2.02 WR Courtland Sutton Den Stephen Holloway
2.03 WR Dante Pettis SF Jason Wood
2.04 QB Lamar Jackson Bal Daniel Simpkins
2.05 WR James Washington Pit Justin Howe
2.06 TE Hayden Hurst Bal Chase Stuart
2.07 TE Mike Gesicki Mia James Brimacombe
2.08 QB Sam Darnold NYJ James Brimcacombe
2.09 TE Dallas Goedert Phi William Grant
2.10 QB Josh Rosen Ari Daniel Simpkins
2.11 RB Nyheim Hines Ind Sigmund Bloom
2.12 QB Baker Mayfield Cle Adam Harstad

At 2.04, I was hoping some first-round talent would fall to me, but the Footballguys did a good job of mopping all my guys with a first-round grade. I strongly thought about taking James Washington, who went right after my pick to Justin at 2.05. I thought Washington was the second best receiver in this class, but the landing spot in a crowded Pittsburgh situation ultimately was enough to send me in another direction. Anticipating a quarterback run was coming and unsure if I would be able to trade into the middle or back of the round, I took the guy that I think has the highest fantasy ceiling of any of the quarterbacks this year. It’s probably going to be a bit of a wait to see Jackson in action with Flacco ahead of him, but I actually love the fact he’ll get to sit back and learn - something most quarterbacks aren’t afforded. While I would have been more excited for Jackson to land in New Orleans or New England, the fit with Baltimore is pretty good.

With the pick I got from Andy, I decided to also go quarterback. I couldn’t believe Rosen was still there and even though this is a start one league, these quarterbacks will be flippable for much more if they hit big. Think about what owners have been able to cash out for on Watson, Wentz, and Goff in recent years. That’s what I’m aiming for here. While he’s not got quite the fantasy ceiling of Jackson, Rosen’s upside is also none too shabby. I like that he’ll eventually have David Johnson and Christian Kirk with whom to work, with the potential for Arizona to add more in years to come. I also like that with Bradford there, he’ll likely have some time to stew behind him, just like Jackson will have with Flacco.

Here’s my roster after two rounds:

Quarterbacks Running Backs Wide Receivers Tight Ends
Teddy Bridgewater - NYJ Malcolm Brown - LAR Corey Davis - Ten Jack Doyle - Ind
Joe Flacco - Bal Nick Chubb - Cle Mike Evans - TB Gerald Everett - LAR
Brett Hundley - GB Tevin Coleman - Atl Donte Moncrief - Jac Rico Gathers - Dal
Lamar Jackson - Bal James Conner - Pit D.J. Moore - Car Adam Shaheen - Chi
Patrick Mahomes II II - KC Todd Gurley - LAR Josh Reynolds - LAR Jonnu Smith - Ten
Josh Rosen - Ari C.J. Prosise - Sea Allen Robinson - Chi  
Team Defense   Mike Williams - LAC  
Denver Broncos      

Biggest surprises so far: I would say that I was most surprised to see Michael Gallup made it into the first round and Courtland Sutton dropped out of it. I know Jason Wood is a big fan of Gallup, so that and the landing spot probably explain him taking Gallup there. Sutton clearly needs time for development, but he’s one of the few big, but metrically sound wideouts who got an ideal landing spot and high draft pedigree.

Steal of the draft so far: I think it’s a tie between William Grant getting Royce Freeman at 1.09 and Sigmund getting Christian Kirk at 1.10. Both are prospects I expect to creep up boards in rookie drafts that occur later in the year.

Second-rounder most likely to be worth a first-round rookie pick next year: Dante Pettis would be my pick of this group. A relatively wide open depth chart could vault the electric Pettis into fantasy relevance sooner rather than later, which is certainly what Jason Wood had in mind at this pick.

Most surprised to see in the second round: I was mildly surprised to see Nyheim Hines sneak into the second. I think Sigmund Bloom is probably banking on Hines earning a pass-catching role in a wide-open Indianapolis backfield. If that happens, a late second-round pick is certainly justifiable.