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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 (heck if it gets even more reads, I might add a fourth part) discussing the trends that are occurring in fantasy football rookie drafts.  The first article got based on 75 rookie drafts completed, and now we are over 400 rookie-only drafts!  When a trend isn’t really 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.

Some of these next selections may not be exciting per se, but these trends are important to note.  WR Odell Beckham, Jr, who got drafted by the Giants, has on average been selected sixth overall in fantasy rookie drafts.  Some people feel he is too much of a Victor Cruz clone and he will struggle to play on the outside.  One assumes risk with this pick because of the way the New York offense struggled last season.  Beckham is a safe, but unspectacular pick in the middle of the first round of dynasty fantasy rookie drafts.  I envision him to hold WR3-4 value this season.

Patience is a must with the average twelfth overall pick, new Packers WR Davante Adams.  He might see some time on three and four wide sets, but will be solidly behind Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb to begin the season.  With both Nelson and Cobb as unrestricted free agents in 2015, it is expected that one or both wide outs will move on.  This could open up the door for Adams to become a starter in 2015.  Considering most teams that pick in this slot have just won their league or in larger leagues at least made the playoffs, this gives those contending teams a chance at great long-term depth.

Running back talent is not at the forefront in this year’s rookie drafts, but there is value to be found.  Cincinnati rookie runner, Jeremy Hill, gets picked usually as the 19th player in rookie dynasty drafts on average.  The Bengals, according to reports, might be moving on from Green-Elis, but they plan to run the ball even more than last year with their change at offensive coordinator.  This would put the ball in Hill’s hands quite a bit, even with Gio Bernard getting a lot of work.  Think of Hill’s skill set like you would Alfred Morris’ and consider Bernard to be similar to a lesser talented  LeSean McCoy.  I think Hill can be a strong dynasty RB3 to be used in bye weeks or injury fill-in.

The tight end class starts strong with Eric Ebron, but slides quickly after that.  New Tampa Bay Buccaneer Austin Seferian-Jenkins is going off the board around the 23rd overall pick in most dynasty rookie drafts. I like his value here, but there is certainly risk with his selection.  Offensive coordinator Tedford does not usually run a wide open offense.  ASF can run block and HC Lovie Smith appears to want a run-first offense.  Now this doesn’t make a lot of sense with the strong Tampa passing personnel: Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson, and Josh McCown.   Seferian-Jenkins could become a top twelve dynasty tight end, so invest in him if you need a dynasty TE2.

While the Oakland selection of Derek Carr doesn’t inspire much excitement on an NFL level, it’s encouraging to see that he might get some time to develop before Carr is thrust into the starting role.  The signal caller has some happy feet, but has a strong-arm combined with decent mobility.  If you get draft him around the 35th slot overall in your rookie drafts, which is where he averages, then Carr could be a strong developing QB3 for your dynasty team.

For you IDP guys, former Hawkeye ILB Christian Kirksey is finding himself selected around the 47th pick in rookie drafts.  He might be a little miscast because he played a hybrid outside linebacker/strong safety in college.  Kirksey is athletic enough to play on the inside, but he never really played with the physicality needed to play at that spot.  Regardless of where the young defender plays, I’d expect him to be impactful, especially in tackle heavy leagues.  He should be a LB4 this season with a chance to become a LB3 in time.

Thanks to the linebacker turmoil in Arizona, an unlikely beneficiary might be safety Deone Bucannon.  He is a strong tackler and has a nose for making plays.  His role should be more of a strong safety that plays closer to the line and inflict pain to opposing backs and tight ends.  I plan on doing a more in-depth scouting report on him later this month, but Bucannon is a huge value getting selected a round later than Pryor or Clinton-Dix as the 51st rookie off the board.  I think he can become a DB2 this season and not look back.

It might be his concussion issues or his current spot on the depth chart, but Jared Abbrederis is a huge value going off the board 60th overall.  This is another selection that stronger teams can afford to wait on.  Is he is the fourth, fifth, or sixth best receiver on the Packers?  At the time of this writing, Abbrederis might be the fifth or sixth, but come this time next season and beyond, it could be second or third with the Green Bay impending free agent receivers.

Another exciting flier to take a chance on is the Cardinals new rookie quarterback, Logan Thomas, who gets selected on average 62nd or later.  He is a big, athletic quarterback who gets HC Bruce Arians in his ear.  Arians specializes in getting the most out of his quarterbacks.  If you have room for a developmental quarterback, I would take the chance on Thomas.

Speaking of Arizona skill players to take a chance on, rookie receiver John Brown is flying up the draft boards.  He is a quick-twitch athlete that will never see more than one on one coverage from the slot with Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd taking the defense’s attention.  Brown can also return punts and kickoffs and is more than worth the 64th rookie pick.  He appears to have already sewn up the third receiver spot so he might be a good WR5 this season and grow into a WR3 once Fitzy retires.

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One Comment

  1. All ya’ll should have just not even said John Brown’s name!!! Damn ya’ll! I was able to snag him in a couple leagues late, great value. Not anymore.

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