Early Dynasty Startup Draft Observations

A look at the early trends in dynasty startup drafts. 

The early part of the Dynasty startup draft calendar is a great time to get value in drafts. Here are four early startup trends that should help you draft your teams.

Quarterbacks Early

The early theme of Dynasty Superflex startup drafts is the pace at which quarterbacks are flying off the board. Of the 12 players with median draft positions in the first round of Superflex startup drafts this offseason, eight are quarterbacks, three are running backs, and one is the 1.01 rookie pick. With Trevor Lawrence the projected 1.01 in rookie classes, that makes three-quarters of the first round of Superflex drafts dominated by quarterbacks. If you include Russell Wilson, who is currently the median 2.01 pick in startup drafts, there is a big tier at the top of the board, then a huge tier break to Aaron Rodgers at QB10 at 3.03.

There are strategies you can construct where you miss on the Top 10 quarterbacks and still put together a competent dynasty team. However, this will require planning, particularly in 2021. In prior seasons there have been great value opportunities from QB10 through QB25. With the amount of uncertainty at the position and potential trade movement still to come, there is less certainty in this range than in years past. For example, the young quarterbacks in the range including Jalen Hurts (QB12), Baker Mayfield (QB 13), Tua Tagovailoa (QB 15), Daniel Jones (QB19.5), and Sam Darnold (QB24) all have uncertainty in their job status. Similarly, some veterans have questionable longevity, including Carson Wentz (QB17), Matt Ryan (QB19), Derek Carr (QB20), and Jared Goff (QB21).

If you are going to miss out on the Top 10 at the quarterback position, a lot of planning is required, particularly around your comfort level of quarterback two, three, and four. If you miss one of the Top 10 quarterbacks, targeting two stable options in the next range like Matthew Stafford (QB14), Ryan Tannehill (QB12), and Kirk Cousins (QB17) becomes a must-do. Your strategy should then pivot to a combination of veterans and upside options.

Distressed Assets Aplenty

The early startup draft market is a prime opportunity to pounce on high performers that are being discounted because of recent events. Slow finishes for Russell Wilson (QB9), Ezekiel Elliott (RB12), Michael Thomas (WR10), and Adam Theilen (WR35) are all high performers who finished 2020 on down notes resulting in falling prices. Elliott, with five top-12 seasonal finishes to begin his career, is a particularly strong candidate to return value at his cost.

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