Dynasty Hot Routes: Rookie Draft Roll Back

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, PPR and everything in between. Try not to get burned by all the fiery YAC below! This is Dynasty Hot Routes!

Roll the clock back to the 2015 rookie draft, who are you taking at 1.01? Todd Gurley or Melvin Gordon?

Joshua Johnson – Kevin White anyone? I feared and doubted Gurley’s full recovery from that nasty knee injury in college. Back then I would have taken Gordon (who scored Zero TDs his rookie season) over Gurley. Flash forward, and its Gordon who has had issues with injuries and lingering repercussions are currently landing him on the injury report. Both Gurley and Gordon have had many shining moments.

Frankly, Gurley is in a better situation. The emergence of Jared Goff has been a godsend. Meanwhile, Philip Rivers struggles, and the Chargers depleted offensive line leave Gordon’s future very uncertain. I view Gordon as a solid option, and his pass-catching prowess has been very impressive. He deserves his hype although it took some time for him to get acclimated.

Gurley, on the other hand, is one of those truly special breakaway backs. These types of players are generational/transcending talents. Gurley will open more and more eyes as this progresses.

John Orr – I would grab Stefon Diggs and never look BACK! Guess that’s not answering the question though. I’m a Gurley guy  (that sounded a little funny) on this one. I believe we will continue to see him utilized to his fullest this year and beyond. He is in the right system and with the right coaching staff to make that happen.

John Hogue – I’m risking the appearance of recency bias; it’s awfully convenient to take Gurley right after he scores three touchdowns. But I’m taking Gurley, and it’s because he just scored three touchdowns. He’s a bigger part of the offense than Gordon, particularly at the stripe, and it’s an offense that is trending upwards. They have all the pieces in place to be an explosive offense for fantasy, and Gurley will continue to get the scoring chances inside the 5-yard line. Gordon has two tight ends and an army of receivers to contend with, in an offense that wants to spread the ball around. Based on his larger share of a younger, more explosive offense, I’d make Gurley the first overall pick.

Jason Waltner – I’m taking Gurley. He is still the best option from that draft. He was very productive as a rookie. He was extremely hampered by the JV offense that was run during the Fisher era. For some strange they did not involve him in the passing game,  which is now proven to had been a huge mistake. Gordon is extremely TD dependant. McVay will continue to get him in space, where he will thrive. Pair that with actual passing threats on the outside with Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins, it will help clear out the box for Gurley. Toss in a possible emergence of TE Gerald Everett and the possibilities are endless for Gurley.  

Roll the clock back to the 2016 rookie draft, who are you taking at 1.02? Michael Thomas or Derrick Henry?

Joshua Johnson – Michael Thomas has been nothing but impressive since the moment he joined the Saints. He has done far better than I would have ever imagined. Derrick Henry is still an enigma in waiting. I mean no disrespect but the bell cow trust and production have not been there just yet. At 1.02 you defined and definite production. So until Henry proves he was worth the wait I want Thomas, please.

John Orr – Going Derrick Henry. Perhaps I’m leaning running back because I have been burned so badly lately at this position. Going after my WRs has left me scrambling. I’m high on his upside and soon we shall see what he can do as THE MAN!

John Hogue – It’s tempting to say “none of the above,” and make a case for Corey Coleman, who only has to stay healthy and continue to gel with his equally young quarterback, while Thomas will soon face life without Drew Brees. ShaneSays thought the best time to buy Coleman was a few weeks ago, but now you can get him even cheaper. I’ll take Thomas over Coleman, and Thomas over Henry… and I’ll admit that it’s extremely close. It’s tempting to get caught up in the “what-ifs” for dynasty purposes here: what if Brees retires/leaves the Saints in the offseason?

What if the Titans move on from Demarco Murray? There are scenarios in the immediate futures of both of these young players that could alter their values, and they are difficult scenarios to ignore. Thomas without Brees could slip into mediocrity, and Henry as the bell cow in an explosive young offense with a very good offensive line could be lethal.

But that type of speculation is meant for a future Hot Route, so based on what we currently know, I’ll take the elite young WR every time. Thomas currently has the better situation with higher volume, at a position that scores higher with volume in PPR leagues, and at the position with a longer shelf life.

Jason Waltner – I’m taking Michael Thomas. He has been very productive since entering the league. That’s quite difficult for a rookie WR to do.   With 92 receptions, 1137 yards,  and 9 TDs, Thomas burst onto the scene. Sure, having Brees helps but it’s all about production in fantasy. He already has 21 receptions, 221 yards, and 1 TD this season. The TDs are lacking a little bit, but he has the rest of the season to make up for it.  

Roll the clock back to the 2017 rookie draft, who are you taking at 1.01? Corey Davis, Kareem Hunt, Dalvin Cook or Leonard Fournette?

Joshua Johnson – As much as I would like to contradict myself and take Corey Davis I will take Dalvin Cook (even though I own Zero Dynasty shares of Davis). Jason Dirienzo told you Cook could be a league winner this seasonLike I said before with Thomas vs. Henry you want definite production in those early rookie picks. Davis’s health issues have been a constant for nearly nine months. I am not trying to make enemies here, but as a Kevin White, Breshad Perriman and Mike Williams owner, I can tell you the Davis situation has an all too familiar ring. Not hitting on those top 6 rookie picks can sink your team further into obscurity. With that comes the unfortunate and insistent need to hold on to said players because where you drafted them.

Fournette is plunking down solid production right now. However, his bruising style reeks of a very short shelf life. Injuries will lead to confidence issues and timid tendencies. Come the year 2020 Fournette could be an Alfred Morris like an afterthought. Also because I truly value my health I did not say Trent Richardson in the prior sentence.

Kareem Hunt is all the rage currently, and the bravest of sickos will always pay top dollar for the hottest of hands. Hunt has been amazing, and I am owner myself. However, I drafted him in a startup at 10.04. Had I drafted him earlier my team might not be so strong. If you are taking Hunt 1.01 in a rookie draft you likely have far more needs than a solid RB. I also believe Hunt is in the perfect system for his skill set. Head Coach Andy Reid knows how to keep his feature back successful. We have seen this for years now with the likes of Jamaal Charles, Charcandrick West (at times) and Spencer Ware.

Dalvin Cook
 is the key cog to an emerging offensive scheme. He might have the safest pair of dynamic WRs in the league. With Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen constantly straining their opponents secondary, Cook has open channels to thwart. He is more complete than Hunt, Christian McCaffery, and Joe Mixon in the dual-threat sense.

John Orr – I love Hunt and Cook. Drafted them in a lot of leagues in the 1.5, 1.6 range. I was the guy who took Davis at 1.1 in the only league I held that top pick. Elite talent and I am glad I have him. For me, I would be happy with any of those 3. If I was drafting at the 1.1 right now, at this moment, I’m staying with my guy, Corey Davis. It will be fun to see five years from now where these players all rank.

John Hogue – After the NFL Draft, Corey Davis was the slam-dunk first-overall pick for me, and nothing has changed. In fact, I’m even more confident in that right now than I was in April. What we’ve learned – yet again – from these rookie running backs is that it is a position in constant flux. Leonard Fournette has been stable, but Kareem Hunt has stolen the spotlight; Christian McCaffery is coming on and getting volume, but Alvin Kamara has been much more involved in his respective offense; and where the heck did Tarik Cohen come from!?

And you know what? It’s all going to change again by the end of this season. Meanwhile, there aren’t any rookie receivers challenging Davis for Head of the Class (with all due respect to Kenny Golladay). Receivers have a longer shelf life, as Addison Hayes reminded us, there’s very little variance at the position, and Davis has elite talent in an elite situation, so I’ll take that known quantity for the long term.

Jason Waltner – Two words. Kareem Hunt. I took Mixon at 1.03 in my dynasty. While that still looks like a good call,  I don’t know how anyone can argue against Hunt.  He has been phenomenal in his very short career.  He has been a perfect fit for the Andy Reid offense and should only get better as he refines his role in the offense.   Andy Reid has churned out fantasy studs wherever he is. Hunt is averaging an insane 8.5 YPC. He already has 401 rushing yards and 4 TDs on only 47 attempts.  To add to his dominance thus far,  Hunt has 9 receptions and averaging a crazy 15.2 yards per catch, for a total of 137 yards and 2 TDs.  That’s a total of 6 TDs in a mere 3 games. Our very own Jake Anderson was all over Hunt before the NFL draft. 


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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