a Rookie Draft Strategy: 2018 - Dynasty Football Factory

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Rookie Draft Strategy: 2018

As college football has officially wrapped up, draft season is in full swing. While many fantasy players begin to study the player pool that makes up the rookie draft, I believe there is an opportunity to stay ahead of the curve and maximize this year’s draft picks. The best way that I would describe the 2018 draft class is “Quality Depth.” While the running back and wide receiver class may lack some of the traditional star power of previous years, it does boast a plethora of quality. Many organizations have been running mock drafts and the first round has remained relatively unchanged. While I like most of the prospects that are being mocked in the first round, I believe there is an opportunity to take an alternative route to bolster dynasty squads.

Below is the most recent first round of a SuperFlex rookie mock draft conducted on Dynasty Football Factory: (December 2017)

1.01 Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

1.02 Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

1.03 Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

1.04 Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia

1.05 Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

1.06 Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

1.07 Sam Darnold, QB, Southern Cal

1.08 James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State

1.09 Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

1.10 Ronald Jones II, RB, USC

1.11 Bryce Love, RB, Stanford

1.12 Damien Harris, RB, Alabama

There is plenty talent in this group, but there are also legitimate concerns about every player on the list. My aim is to propose alternative players that can be obtained at discount and provide similar floors or ceilings to this group. Here are several trades that have been made in the past year that have involved rookie picks and will be our baseline for this exercise.

Example #1

Gives:  2017 1.08

Gets: 2017 2.03 & 2018 1st

Example #2

Gives: 2017 1.05

Gets: 2017 1.13 & 2017 3.08 & 2018 1st

Example #3

Gives: 2018 1.05

Gets: 2018 1.11 & 2019 1st

Let’s assume that I could deal the same 2018 first-round picks and move to the back-end of Round-1 or early Round-2, while also gaining a 2019 1st. I’m 100% in. Instant accept this year if I’m offered anything remotely resembling the above “Gets.” I previously mentioned that I have some concerns with the projected first round and when you combine that with the quality depth that I believe makes up this 2018 draft class, it’s an invitation to move.

What really makes this opportunity most appealing to me is the potential I see in the 2019 draft class. Similar to the 2014 class, there are some elite wide receiver prospects that could come out. I would contend that next year’s WR class looks even better than the 2014 class. I know many NFL dynasty players are casual college football fans, and this is an opportunity to capitalize on information that may not be widely known by others in your leagues. There is an immense number of challenges in attempting to get a leg up on the competition through players that have already been in the league. There is simply too much information and data widely available to leave any secrets or glaring market inefficiencies. That is far from the case as it pertains to players that are currently in college or entering the league for the first time.

I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention some of the options for mid-late 2018 RBs and WRs as well as early 2019 WRs that I would target if I made the aforementioned trades.

2018 RBs

Sony Michel, RB, Georgia

John Kelly, RB, Tennessee

Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State

Mark Walton, RB, Miami

Myles Gaskin, RB, Washington

Jordan Wilkins, RB, Ole Miss

Kerryon Johnson, RB, Auburn

Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon

Josh Adams, RB, Notre Dame

Akrum Wadley, RB, Iowa

2018 WRs

Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State

Cedrick Wilson, WR, Boise State

Jaleel Scott, WR, New Mexico State

Auden Tate, WR, Florida State

Marcell Ateman, WR, Oklahoma State

Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis

DJ Moore, WR, Maryland

Richie James, WR, Middle Tennessee State

Tre’Quan Smith, WR, UCF

Dante Pettis, WR, Washington

(I elected to stop at 10, but could name 10 additional quality options that will be available in the late rounds.)

2019 WRs

N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

Kelvin Harmon, WR, North Carolina State

Bryan Edwards, WR, South Carolina

AJ Brown, WR, Ole Miss

DK Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

Ahmmon Richards, WR, Miami

Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina

Collin Johnson, WR, Texas

Anthony Johnson, WR, Buffalo

Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State

(Again, I elected to stop at 10, but could easily name 10 additional quality options that will be available in the late rounds. This WR class is stacked.)

These lists are not intended to be all-inclusive but simply an illustration to help provide context for my position. As someone who follows college football closely, I firmly believe it is advantageous to be looking forward to future draft classes to construct the strongest dynasty roster available through rookie drafts. In summary, sell your early 2018 first-round picks to move back a bit and secure a 2019 1st which appears destined to re-populate a bevy of NFL WR1s.

You can follow Kyle Francis on Twitter: @FranchiseKF 

 

kfrancis

Senior Director of College Fantasy Football. Watch and absorb football year round and apply what I learn to CFF. Fan of the one true dynasty - Roll Tide.

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