Dynasty Hot Routes – Rookie Draft Value Check



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!


Who has been the biggest first-round surprise in your dynasty rookie drafts?

Josh Johnson – In one of my Pros vs. Joes leagues, Christian McCaffrey went 1.01 and while that isn’t entirely shocking it effectively pushed Corey Davis to 1.03 behind Leonard Fournette (1.02). But wait there’s more, Joe Mixon went 1.04, so I scored Dalvin Cook 1.05! Then the wheels came off as some “Joe” went and took O.J. Howard at 1.06. I love Howard he is 1.09 safe not 1.06 sexy. You may disagree and that’s okay. By the way you are also welcome to play in any of my leagues. This saga is far from over. Mike Williams was still on the board but not for long as some lucky duck was gifted him 1.07 style. Turn the page but don’t forget the can of worms spilling out because of the Howard reach. That’s right then came David Njoku riding into round one (like Napoleon Dynamite on a horse during that movie’s final scene) at 1.08. That of course meant another lucky ducky would emerge with John Ross at 1.09 #evillaughter. Kareem Hunt was then scooped up (1.10) like a fresh animal turd on a lawn that was fertilized by Spencer Ware last season. Alvin Kamara went 1.11 and I was like “meh?” I am not currently aboard the “Kamara train, ” but at that price I would willingly have a drink in the dining car. AND THEN…. it happened… like a polar bear savagely slaughtering an island of penguins came Jamaal Williams at 1.12 baby. I laughed, I cried, I encouraged that “Joe” to keep hitting his bong. I like Williams and said owner was 10-2 last year so he could afford to reach. But you have to know your crowd to master your craft. And I may just be speculating here but I would venture to guess that this draft will not be part of the DFF ADP algorithm. This is a 14 team league so last year’s runner-up received Evan Engram (yes that’s three first round TEs) and the championship squad gained Samaje “Beast Mode Jr” Perine. Now does anybody care to vote on the Pros to Joes ratio that is present in this league?

John Orr – The top of the rookie drafts have been mostly the same from league to league. Mike Williams has been falling into my arms in a couple of drafts. The running backs move around but it’s the same guys going in the top 4. My biggest surprise to this point would be in a two QB league. It’s a 14 team league, and I figured Watson and Mahomes would be gone early. Watson went 1.9 and I started working my war room phone to move up. This is a league that’s traditionally seen the QBs go quickly. Mahomes went at 1.11 and then the world seemed to be back to normal.

Greg Brandt – The biggest surprise/shock was seeing Jamaal Williams go 1.09. Williams is a guy, in my opinion, that shouldn’t go any sooner than the middle of the second round and that’s stretching it for me.I was sitting at 1.10 and was able to swoop in and take John Ross at 1.10, so this overdraft made me quite happy. I’m not the world’s biggest Ross fan but getting him at 1.10 was a decent value.

Shaun Laibe – I was shocked to see Marlon Mack go at pick 1.11 in one of my rookie drafts. Granted, this owner lives in Indianapolis, so maybe I shouldn’t have been so surprised. His rationale was the same as we hear every year… “Frank Gore is old.” I’m a realist, so I’m not planning on Gore being around for more than another year or two at most. My reasoning for the surprise is more based on the fact that I’m just not sold that Mack can be the back of the future in Indy. In this draft, Mack was taken ahead of both Samaje Perine and Kareem Hunt, both of whom have more upside in my opinion.

Shane Manila – Looking through the leagues where we’ve held rookie drafts I can say there have been no absolute shocking reaches in any of them. Proud of all my league-mates for that! So I’ll choose two of my worst picks in the 1st round. One league where we held the draft before the NFL Draft, I selected Carlos Henderson at 1.12. Unless the Bronco’s start using the 3rd wide receiver as more of a passing option than they have historically then I’ll be S.O.L. It is a new day in Denver with a new Head Coach with Thomas and Sanders getting older, so there is still hope. In another draft, post-NFL Draft, I took Kareem Hunt at 1.10. For lack of better phrasing, that was just stupid. I reached for an RB, even though I regularly preach against doing so in rookie drafts. Any justification I try to give you to defend the pick is me just making excuses so I won’t bother. Just a terrible pick.

Report on an interesting trade that happened during your dynasty rookie drafts.

Josh Johnson – In a Superflex Offense Only Bestball league, a blockbuster was struck. While pick 2.05 was OTC Team A gave up Dak Prescott, Kenneth Dixon, Danny Woodhead and 2.05. Team B gave Jay Ajayi and a 2018 1st. The 2.05 was used by Team B to pick Curtis Samuel. Team A had pick 1.01(Leonard Fournette),1.02 (Corey Davis) & 1.03 (Christian McCaffery) so he did not have much need for two parts of the Ravens RBBC. He also has Carson Wentz and Russell Wilson as his two top QBs as well as Sam Bradford as an emergency option. Ajayi, Fournette, and McCaffery joined Spencer Ware, Rex Burkhead and Gio Bernard in his RB stable and Marlon Mack was added for insurance later. Davis joined DeAndre Hopkins, Corey Coleman, Tajae Sharpe and JJ Nelson in his top 5 WR battle. With two 2018 1sts he should be able to add some solid talent to make himself a true contender next year. Team B will file Dixon and Woodhead in their RB stable with Derrick Henry, Lamar Miller, LeSean McCoy, Theo Riddick, Joe Williams and Aaron Jones. Samuel joined Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, Chris Godwin, Devante Parker, Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders, Taywan Taylor and ArDarius Stewart in his WR Fleet. Prescott joins Kirk Cousins, Matthew Stafford and Jimmy Garoppolo in his QB room. All in all it seems like a pretty even deal.

Shaun Laibe – While I was on the clock at pick 2.01 with Samaje Perine on the board, I was approached with an offer I couldn’t refuse. The offer was my 2.01 pick (Perine), Terrelle Pryor, Kevin White and a 2018 devy 2nd round pick for Allen Robinson and a 2018 devy 1st round pick. Needless to say, I didn’t hesitate at a chance to get Robinson! Though he had a down year in 2016, Robinson is still widely viewed as a top 10 dynasty WR. He alone was enough for me to say yes to this deal, but with the 2018 devy 1st rounder was just icing on the cake. Pryor is coming off a career year but is changing teams and is also four years older than Robinson. I just don’t trust Pryor long term. White and Perine are both talented and in what seem to be good situations, but at this point remain completely unproven. I’ll take the top tier talent every single time.

Who has been your favorite “value” pick so far from your dynasty rookie drafts?

Josh Johnson – I scored Jeremy McNichols at 3.04 in Super Flex Offense Only Bestball league. This was thanks to a massive TE run. I also traded Trevor Siemian a month ago for the 3.04 pick. I already had 3 starting QBs so moving Siemian who is in a QB battle was a no brainer (remember this was before Chad Kelly’s arrival and after Tony Romo turned the Broncos down). Also considering I paid $1 for Siemian on waivers in mid-July 2016 I think I made good on that investment. As far as McNichols goes the Bucs have already been heard whispering “3-down back potential.” He will likely be on a rookie touch count but that is just part of the grooming process. He must accept that he is a compliment to the Bucs RBBC to benefit from future rewards.

John Orr – Jalen Reeves-Maybin I drafted in the early 7th round just a few days ago. He will be starting at OLB on opening day. I’ve got him more locked in the 5th round, which makes him a great value. My favorite though was Zach Cunningham. I’ve been targeting him as he is my top ranked LB. More than pleased landing him in the late third behind Foster and Reddick.

Greg Brandt –  Being able to get Jeremy McNichols at 3.01 in a 14 team bestball league was a delight and I was able to top that off by getting Wayne Gallman at 3.08 in the same league. Gallman is a guy that I could see starting in 2018 not necessarily due to his talent but due to the lack of depth in New York. Neither back has a concrete starter in front of them. Doug Martin has had issues off the field and spotty performances on the field. McNichols and Gallman both could be in a good spot for 2018. Both players were an excellent value in the third round especially once you account for it being a 14 team league.

Shaun Laibe – I was pretty happy to get Taywan Taylor with pick 3.04 in a recent rookie draft. Taylor has found himself in Tennessee, and I love his long term value there, especially when I can get him in the middle of the 3rd round. Oddly enough, Taylor was a 3rd round pick in the real NFL Draft. That 3rd round pedigree gives the impression that Titans ownership values him as a long term asset, capable of having a long career with the franchise. While Corey Davis is the clear WR1 in Tennessee, the other competition mainly consists of Tajae Sharpe and Rishard Mathews. These guys are not exactly gangbusters here. Then again, Sharpe allegedly beat up a guy at a bar on draft night, so maybe he’s someone not to mess with! Either way, I thought Taylor was a steal at 3.04.

Shane Manila – Every time I have been able to draft either Jeremy McNichol’s or Marlon Mack in the late 2nd to early 3rd round range I’ve been over the moon. Both backs step into backfields ripe for the taking. McNichol’s can do by himself what Doug Martin and Charles Sims do separately. Both Martin and Sims might leave after the 2017 season as Sims will be an unrestricted free agent and Martin can be cut with no cap hit due to his drug suspension. The suddenly deep Bucs offense is a great spot for a running back now that defenses can’t ever stack the box having to contend with Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, OJ Howard and Curtis Samuel.

Marlon Mack will get his chance to learn from one of the all-time greats in Frank Gore in 2017. Even if Mack can’t take Gore’s job outright, he’ll receive some usage to spell Gore at a minimum. Mack has the receiving chops to be a three-down back. If Mack can learn to run between the tackles and secure the football he could turn into late round gem.



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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