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Since most of us are in the middle of rookie drafts or we have just completed them, I am continuing my three-part weekly series discussing the trends that are occurring in myfantasyleague.com fantasy football rookie drafts.  When a trend isn’t sankeyreally changing like Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans get drafted one and two in almost every single draft, then I will discuss other players unless their draft position is changing dramatically.  As always, my thoughts get based on dynasty PPR leagues with sacks being worth 2.5 times that a tackle is worth.

Although I did not mention this in my first article, newly minted Titans running back Bishop Sankey gets selected third overall in most fantasy rookie drafts.  While I do think he is a relatively safe rusher, this screams opportunity over talent.  There is little upside when an owner decides to go with Sankey over a more talented skill player like Saints Brandin Cooks.  Running backs are a dime a dozen in the NFL these days and I would rather have someone who could ascend, not just tread water.

Johnny Manziel is the only first round rookie quarterback according to average draft position (ADP) around the 9th pick overall, while fellow signal caller Teddy Bridgewater gets nabbed at the 16th spot.  It feels a bit early for Manziel, but I understand the excitement.  Without many targets in Cleveland, I expect the quarterback to have limited upside in 2014.  His long-term options with the strong offensive line and quality runners make him especially interesting in leagues that award more points to rushing quarterbacks.  Bridgewater has more weapons at his disposal and a strong offensive coaching staff , namely Norv Turner as his offensive coordinator,  which makes him better in the short-term.  On a contending team, I prefer Teddy because you know what you will get versus the huge upside or downside Johnny brings.

Another interesting trend is that St. Louis running back Tre Mason is creeping up the board to 12th overall in fantasy rookie drafts.  Reports that the young back has a chance to become the starter this year might have helped fuel his rise.  It’s his lack of pass blocking and playing with a dominate college offensive line that doesn’t convince me yet.  His alleged serious wrist injury is also concerning.  If I own Zach Stacy, Mason is a must handcuff, but I’m not sure that I would want him on my dynasty team otherwise.

The highest fantasy football drafted defensive player remains Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney.  Hopefully the scoring in those leagues gives more importance to sacks (more points per and awards yardage lost) and turnovers versus tackle based scoring.  His fantasy impact might be limited with the Texans anticipated poor offensive play aka horrible quarterback situation.

A huge value right now in rookie drafts is Dolphins wide out, Jarvis Landry.  He is the 34th player off the board and could excel in a similar offensive system to the one that Chip Kelly uses.  Landry is a great route runner with quickness and great hands.  It’s also looking more likely that Brian Hartline might be replaced next season.  Get in the ground floor now, while the prices are low.

Troubled tight end Colt Lyeria is climbing the rookie fantasy charts after signing with Green Bay after the NFL Draft to the 44th player selected.  If he was without a character concern, Lyeria might have gone before every rookie tight end other than Eric Ebron.  The substance abuse issues and legal concerns are too much to ignore, so he is going high for me.  I might still be reeling from the Aaron Hernandez blinking signs that many of us chose to ignore a few years ago.  So I will let someone else make this high risk/high reward investment in Lyeria.

The two best rookie safeties, Jets Calvin Pryor and Packers Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix, get drafted 39th and 40th in rookie fantasy IDP drafts.  I prefer Pryor because he will have more chances for tackle opportunities and gets defensive mastermind “Sexy Rexy” Ryan calling the shots.  Clinton-Dix will play more of a ball-hawking role and should be counted on more in pass deflection and turnover heavy scoring.

Suave fantasy owners are falling more in love with the Patriots selection of running back James White.  Last week he got picked around the 52nd spot in rookie drafts and now with the influx this week, White climbed to 45th overall.  He could be a huge value if Shane Vereen moves on next season.

One of the most surprising wide receiver values is the Eagles Josh Huff who is the 53rd player selected in rookie drafts.  Sure the Eagles drafted Jordan Matthews, but Jeremy Maclin can’t stay healthy and Riley Cooper flashed last season without a lot of consistency.  Huff played in Chip Kelly’s system before and I think he could play more of the Black Mamba role if Darren Sproles gets injured.

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