Rookie Roundup 7: Dynasty Rookie Draft, Part 1

A look inside a Footballguys rookie draft.

Last year, you may recall that I documented a staff dynasty league rookie draft in a two-part series that you can find here and here. It is fun to read that article a year later and see how thoughts and perceptions of the players covered in those installments have changed.

This year, our staff league is back at it again a week after the NFL Draft! Hopefully, seeing a real dynasty draft play out where the stakes are real will be insightful to those of you who are getting ready to participate in your own rookie drafts. It may help you to get a feel for what players are going in what zones and where you need to make a move to get your target players.

I am happy to say that I am the reigning champion of the league, which I did not expect to happen in year two of rebuilding this 2017 orphan team. My championship title was in part thanks to huge in-season contributions from Patrick Mahomes, Todd Gurley, James Conner, and Nick Chubb. I acquired Damien Williams and C.J. Anderson off the waiver wire and played them during the championship match-up due to Todd Gurley and James Conner being sidelined. I was fortunate to have big performances from them when it was most needed. I was also able to trade for George Kittle for a 2019 3rd and 2019 4th-round pick before the season started, which ended up being enough to hold down my tight end position. An 11th-hour trade deadline dealing away of Lamar Jackson, Chris Godwin, and my 2019 2nd-round pick netted me Adam Thielen and Larry Fitzgerald, who helped my weaker receiving group limp across the finish line.

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.

Here is a look at my roster and picks pre-draft:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Patrick Mahomes - KC
Todd Gurley - LAR
Corey Davis - Ten
Jack Doyle - Ind
Josh Rosen - Mia
Nick Chubb - Cle
Mike Evans - TB
Gerald Everett - LAR
Team Defenses
James Conner - Pit
Adam Thielen - Min
George Kittle - SF
Houston Texans
Damien Williams - KC
D.J. Moore - Car
Adam Shaheen - Chi
Baltimore Ravens
C.J. Anderson - Det
Larry Fitzgerald - Ari
Jonnu Smith - Ten
Picks
Mike Williams - LAC
Ian Thomas - Car
1.12, 3.09, 5.12
Allen Robinson - Chi

A couple of weeks before the draft, I made a sizeable trade with Sigmund Bloom:

My trading Robinson is not an indictment of his talent or situation. Previous to this trade, I owned him 100% across my leagues. Even when I love a player, I like to diversify my assets. Even great players are subject to career-ending injuries, and I would hate to take a hit across my complete dynasty portfolio. This trade was also an attempt to get the 1.01 locked up before it became more expensive. My idea is that if I liked the consensus 1.01 player or there was a player I didn't want to risk not getting, I would take him with this pick. If I didn't, I would seek a trade out of the pick.

Let's see how the first round played out!

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