Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Draft Strategy

Jun 24, 2021
Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Draft Strategy

A dynasty rookie draft serves many purposes for teams in a league. Rebuilding teams are on the hunt for a young, foundational piece or perhaps, a trade asset to expand a shallow roster. Middling teams have a key decision point on whether to reset their roster or make a push for the playoffs. As for contending teams, this is a chance to build depth or use the pick as trade bait to find a veteran upgrade.

For those using their draft picks to select a rookie, there are two general approaches that dynasty players leverage and it’s not much different than the NFL Draft. The first is to look at the rookie crop on a need basis, focusing on the existing dynasty team roster to boost players who meet a specific need. The second ignores team roster construction and any needs, focusing instead on the best player available.

Ultimately, the goal, regardless of strategy, is hitting with draft picks and improving a dynasty team. This article will go position-by-position and break down the rookie class with a focus on current positioning, short and long-term potential, and the overall positional strategy in rookie drafts.

Quarterbacks

Traditional one quarterback leagues devalue the position due to a glut of startable options and with few exceptions, little difference in overall fantasy performance. That doesn’t mean there aren’t benefits to a reliable weekly starter at quarterback. Their shelf life, particularly peak performance, tends to be longer and injury rates are lower than other positions. These leagues tend to make the top rookies second round picks at best with the rare instance of a bad rookie class or a truly special prospect sneaking into the back end of Round 1. In superflex and two quarterback leagues, top rookie signal callers generally rise to the top of the draft board. In 2021, that’s no exception as it’s likely that most drafts see at least three of the top five picks come from the quarterback position.

Rookie QB Rankings, 2021
Position Rank Name Team QB Rookie Tier Rookie Draft Slot
1 Trevor Lawrence Jaguars 1 2.01
2 Justin Fields Bears 2 2.06
3 Trey Lance 49ers 2 2.07
4 Zach Wilson Jets 2 3.02
5 Mac Jones Patriots 3 3.12
6 Kyle Trask Buccaneers 4 Round 4
7 Kellen Mond Vikings 4 Round 4
8 Davis Mills Texans 4 Round 5
9 Ian Book Saints 5 Undrafted

Mac Jones is a bit of a loner, like Lawrence, in his own tier. He doesn’t have the athleticism of the others and the Patriots are still searching for an offensive identity. After that, we have some good depth with a few projects in Kyle Trask, Kellen Mond, and Davis Mills. None of them are likely to start in 2021 but all three were Day 2 NFL Draft picks who could become the lead option in a year or two. It’s hard to advocate for anyone after that with Ian Book the only person worth even keeping an eye on.Trey Lance and Justin Fields are the clear next two options, in whichever order you prefer, given their dual threat abilities and supporting casts that have some proven weapons that will aid their development. That can’t quite be said for Zach Wilson, who has fewer certain options to throw to, but has a plethora of talent who, like Wilson, will need time to develop.Trevor Lawrence is in a tier of his own as a generational prospect. That’s not to say though that the cupboard is bare or the gulf between him and the rest of this class is insanely wide. However, he is a foundational NFL quarterback, the Jaguars are all-in to build the offense around him and that can’t necessarily be said for all the other rookie quarterbacks.

Running Back

Running back has had a resurgence in dynasty with a higher importance placed on those who can truly be three down options as committees have narrowed that list recently. This class has several top-end options who could fit that mold, but it's a question of if their teams will allow them to take on that workload.

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