Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Draft Strategy

May 26, 2020
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 2020, that’s no exception as two of the top three picks should come from the quarterback position.

Rookie QB Overview, 2020
Position Rank Name Team NFL Draft Round QB Rookie Tier Rookie Draft Slot
1 Tua Tagovailoa Dolphins 1 1 2.10
2 Joe Burrow Bengals 1 1 3.04
3 Justin Herbert Chargers 1 2 3.09
4 Jalen Hurts Eagles 2 2 Round 4
5 Jordan Love Packers 1 2 Round 4
6 Jacob Eason Colts 4 3 Round 5
7 Jake Fromm Bills 5 3 Round 5
8 James Morgan Jets 4 3 Undrafted

Tua Tagovailoa and Joe Burrow are the clear front runners in this class. The preference between the two could come down to short-term versus long-term strategy as Tua’s injury recovery and presence of Ryan Fitzpatrick tempers 2020 expectations. Burrow gets the offense from Day 1 and has enough weapons to be a starter in two-quarterback leagues right away, and the Bengals threw the sixth most of any team in 2019, but shouldn’t be relied on outside of a bye week or prime matchup in traditional one quarterback environments. Both should be mid to late second-round picks in one quarterback and top three overall picks in superflex and two quarterback configurations.

The next group is comprised of less talented players and those who don’t have any clear path to a starting role in the next few seasons. Justin Herbert has the NFL draft capital and roadmap to a starting spot, but he struggled to progress in the latter part of his college career, particularly with accuracy and finding his secondary reads. Luckily, a good supporting cast will help his ascension as a reasonable fantasy option and the team finished as top 10 in pass attempts last season. Jordan Love and Jalen Hurts are both behind established starters with cumbersome contracts, but spotty injury histories. Eventually, both teams will move on to their new drafted quarterbacks, but be prepared to wait multiple seasons. All three are no better than third to fourth-round picks in regular dynasty leagues with Herbert a mid to late first-round pick in two quarterbacks and the others are good options in the second.

After that, everyone else is largely forgettable with this class. Jacob Eason could get a chance in a few years but he has plenty of warts while Jake Fromm will need a Josh Allen injury to ever see the field. They are both third-round picks in two-quarterback leagues and unrosterable in anything but the largest roster leagues in the one quarterback format.

Running Back

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