Dynasty Hot Routes: Pre-Draft Think Tank

The mission of this article is to make our in-house experts sizzle and bristle over the hot-button issues that face Dynasty owners. Our experts make the entire route tree HOT as they address topics from the world of IDP, Devy, Start/Sit, Non-PPR (standard), PPR, and everything in between. Try not to get burned by all the fiery YAC below! This is Dynasty Hot Routes!

Who are you most hoping for in Round 2 of your rookie drafts?

Joshua Johnson – Obviously landing spot is huge, but in my Superflex leagues, I am prepared to take any QB that slips through the first round! I will even draft Baker Mayfield if I must!

For my IDP leagues I’m hoping to NOT spend a 1st round pick on Roquan Smith. I will also be extremely willing to trade up in the second if he slides down.

In RB circumstances, I will reach on Mark Walton because his traits appear to be very translatable in today’s NFL.

I will not be taking any Rookie TEs in round 2.

For WRs, I know I dogged James Washington in the last Hot Routes, but in the late 2nd, I am willing to give him some love. I also think Christian Kirk could be the chef that stirs the rookie WR pot in 2018.

Kyle FrancisMichael Gallup at WR, Lamar Jackson at QB, and John Kelly at RB. I’m thrilled that I can get two of my top three players at their respective positions at the back end of the second round. I still believe the best strategy is to sell 2018 1sts for 2019 1sts and look for an extra 2018 2nd where you can pick up a couple of the guys that I listed above.

John Hogue – Three letters: ESB. That is, Equanimeous Tristan Imhotep J. St. Brown, which is a letter salad that makes up the coolest name in the NFL… until his brothers Osiris and Amon-Ra join him, anyway. Equanimeous is still going in the second round of most rookie mocks somehow, which tells me that we’re valuing Combine results (ESB wasn’t bad at the Combine, but he wasn’t D.J. Moore) over undefinable star power. Besides being a freak athlete at 6’5”, 214 lbs. who ran a 4.48 forty-yard dash, he’s got the look and the swagger of the next young star at a position composed of the biggest stars in the sport. Last year, Juju Smith-Schuster was a second-round pick in rookie drafts, and after one season he is already one of the most coveted players from the star-studded 2017 draft class. Get ready for the same thing with ESB. I’ll be thrilled if I continue to get him in the second round.

Eric Iannaccone – I agree with John and would be looking to get Equanimeous if I can. I’m also going to be keeping an eye on the QBs as we get into the 2nd round (not Superflex) as I would be happy to end up with Baker or Lamar Jackson. Landing spot obviously matters a ton, though. If Baker ends up with the Jets I’ll probably pass on him, as that offense doesn’t have much talent. At running back, the hype has died down on John Kelly a bit. I’d love to grab him at the end of the 2nd round. He can be a solid complement and contributor in any backfield.

What 2018 Prospect have you downgraded the most since the college football season ended?

Joshua Johnson – As a South Dakota native, I am very familiar with South Dakota State WR Jake Wieneke (Minnesota born/South Dakota educated). I truly thought he would impress with some respectable testing numbers. He did not. So, we are left with an ideally sized talent (6’4” 221 pounds) who’s closest NFL comp is Laquon Treadwell and some nobody named Brandon Kaufman. Wieneke started the off-season inside my top-75 draft-eligible fantasy players (IDP included) and now he is on the outside of the top 100.

For you IDP heads out there, I am currently lower on Tremaine Edmunds. This might be hard to hear, but I place a large emphasis on potential rookie production when I do my rankings. I really like Edmunds and I strongly believe he will be an impact player. However, his rookie ceiling is not very high for me. His talent is unrefined, and he needs to land in a strong LB room. He should not be on a team where he is given the green dot immediately and expected to carry the defense. Back in December, I had Edmunds inside my top-10 draft-eligible fantasy players. Now he currently sits #17 between Lamar Jackson and Leighton Vander Esch.

Kyle Francis – I can’t think of anyone that I have significantly downgraded. What happens on the football field is far more important to me than what happens at the NFL Scouting Combine, so I really don’t move players around too much once real football is over.

John HogueSam Darnold has probably seen the biggest drop in my personal rankings, which I try not to adjust dramatically when these players 1) haven’t played a game in several months, and 2) aren’t on NFL rosters yet. However, Darnold was a coin-toss with Josh Rosen for best quarterback in the draft class when the season ended, and since then, I believe that Rosen has distanced himself. Additionally, Baker Mayfield has surpassed Darnold, and Lamar Jackson is creeping up into a tie for third-best. A lot has been made of Darnold’s throwing mechanics, which makes it sound like this could be a long-term project where Darnold doesn’t see the field for at least his first year. It’s an antiquated strategy that doesn’t seem to work out anymore; either he’s ready for live action or he’s never going to be ready. So, while Rosen, Mayfield, and even Jackson get on the field as rookies, Darnold would miss out on crucial experience. Couple that with the possibility that he lands in Cleveland, where head coach Hue Jackson takes sadistic pleasure in stripping young quarterbacks of their confidence and crushing it into dog food for that shirtless season-ticket-holder in section 103 to eat and, yeah, Darnold’s stock is dropping hard and fast.

Eric Iannaccone – I’ve downgraded Courtland Sutton quite a bit since the end of the season. I was high on him – was thinking he’d be a top 5 rookie pick – and have moved him down to a late 1st round pick. The first thing that moved me off him was his combine, which was largely unimpressive, particularly his 4.54-second 40-yard dash. Then, his Reception Perception scores came out. Sutton ranked in the 56th percentile against man coverage and in the 66th against zone coverage. These numbers are really underwhelming and have me questioning his ability to get open in the NFL.

In your opinion where would be the worst landing spot for Saquon Barkley’s Dynasty value?

Joshua Johnson – Any team with either a subpar QB or a rookie QB would be terrible. Tampa, San Francisco, and the New York Giants would become instant contenders. On any other team in the top 10 picks, Barkley would get beat to a pulp and be out of the league when the team is ready to truly compete. Am I being too critical? Sure. Is reality harsh? Absolutely!

Kyle Francis – I don’t like him in Cleveland. Not only because I think it would be silly to take a back that high, but much of his value comes as a pass catcher and they already have a boat-load of those, including Duke Johnson, with too much potential overlap in their roles.

John Hogue – I don’t think there’s really a bad landing spot for Barkley, although New England or Seattle would certainly give Barkley owners diarrhea. I don’t think he’ll be available to either of those teams, though, much less tempt them into picking him as a glorified hood ornament for their bench. Beyond the teams that are deeply committed to the committee approach, I think Barkley becomes the focal point of the offense wherever he goes. He catches the ball well, so you don’t even have to be especially good at blocking for him. He’ll create his own work-space, thank you very much. I won’t be as excited to see him in either a Giants’ or a Browns’ uniform as most of the other teams he’s being linked to. The ideal situation for Barkley would be a proficient offense where he is the focal point. Competing with Odell Beckham Jr./Evan Engram or Jarvis Landry/Josh Gordon for work isn’t ideal. It doesn’t change his fantasy value much, but I’d rather see him on a team with complementary pieces, the way Dez and Dak were for Ezekiel Elliott when Dallas drafted him. Denver, Indianapolis, San Francisco, and Tampa Bay can all support Barkley’s talent as needed.

Eric Iannaccone – I think the Giants would be a bad landing spot for Barkley. Their OL hasn’t been good in years and they didn’t do much to address the position. They lost Pugh and DJ Fluker while bringing in Nate Solder and Patrick Omameh. This is a net positive as Solder is a solid player, but the Giants are still really hurting at this position. PFF ranked the Giants OL 26th in the NFL for the 2017 season and it this point it doesn’t look like they’ve gotten any better. Additionally, we have no idea what the future holds for this offense. Eli’s time could be up seemingly at any moment, and with all the media coverage of their feelings on OBJ, it’s certainly up in the air as to whether they’ll sign him to a long-term deal. With no Eli and a decent chance of no OBJ, this offense could be bad for years to come. This is not exactly what you want for Barkley.


I am searching for the meaning of every bump on the pigskin. From leather helmets to a league with no point after attempts, I am researching with a wide shovel. -married/father/music fan/Raider Nation baby/deli meat enthusiast/three-cone extremist

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