It’s finally time to draft some rookies! It can be difficult early on to dive into the landing spots of the rookie to know if they are a good fit or if they will get an opportunity to play. As we do rookie drafts, owners have different needs than others, but it’s essential to grab value when you can. Below is a breakdown of 14 of my dynasty leagues and the ADP where rookies are going. I’ll explain the trends and deals in each round.
The Top Tier
It is the easiest trend to follow, as the top eight to nine picks are mostly the same. The clear 1.01 has been Bijan Robinson outside of one league that went to Bryce Young. You should expect Robinson to be the first pick off the board in your leagues. The following three picks, just like the NFL draft, are the three quarterbacks drafted within the top four picks. Young, Richardson, and Stroud have interchanged within, for the most part, 1.02 to 1.04. If you want to grab a quarterback in this class, you must trade up to at least the 1.04 to secure your quarterback.
Once Robinson and the top three quarterbacks are gone, it’s the Jahymr Gibbs pick at the 1.05 more times than not. He has jumped as high as the 1.03 depending on the owner’s needs, but you can likely secure him the fifth pick. The next three picks, the 1.06 to the 1.08, have favored Smith-Njigba, Johnston, and Addison. As a contender looking for an elite receiver moving to the 1.08 makes a lot of sense since you’ll get whichever receiver is left, and all three should make a 2023 impact.
The Back End
The final four picks in round one have been all over the place, and you’ll see in round 2 some of those players sneak into the back half of the first round. The back half becomes the value of the need for contending teams.
You see a receiver, tight end, quarterback, and running as each of the final four picks of the first round. It depends on what you are looking for. Flowers and Kincaird are most likely first-round picks over the other two players. They both deserve first-round consideration. Flowers only get as far as 2.02 but most stick in the top 12. While Kincaid has the worst pick of 18, most times, he is at the worst pick of 13. So expect him to go first. Levis and Charbonnet depend on the owners’ needs, but I’d prefer to get both in the early second round of the draft instead. You’ll also see many league owners asking to trade out of the 1.09 to 1.12 range of the draft, as I consider that the drop-off talent zone of the draft.
Round two is where things get a bit nuts for your drafts as folks start to take the players they prefer over others. Players like Achane, Miller, Mayer, and Mingo also flirt with first-round capital. Achane and Miller landed in great spots and ended up as first-rounder due to the need for running backs. They likely should be gone by the first four picks in round two. Mayer has been one of the last picks in round one selections, but you should be able to get him in round two, and sometimes it seems like a value. Mingo is an exciting player because folks are either high on him or not. He has been taken in a few first-round selections but often falls to the back half of round two. You should feel good if you can get any of these players in the draft’s second round.
Round 2 Outliers
Rashee Rice has just the one 10 top selection in this ADP, so he is a second-round player who you can select with upside in the Chiefs’ offense. The same can be said about Roschon Johnson, as he has just the one top-12 selection, but you’ll always find him in the middle of round two of drafts. While Rice is more of a front-end player, Johnson is more of a back-end player. Mims and Downs are solid round-two receivers that have gone everywhere in round two. These players get drafted based on need.
Hendon Hooker is mostly a round-two quarterback. While Hooker comes with the risk of being older and sitting in 2023, he likely won’t’ bring value to a contending team that needs his services immediately. Tyjae Spears has the broadest range of outcomes due to the landing spots and recent medical news about him. He has just the one first-round selection, but he seems to be dropping in drafts to where in a week or two, he could be more of an early third-round pick than someone you take in round two. It would be best to avoid that situation. Tank Bigsby’s value seems based on folks buying into his talent as he goes end of round two often but slips to round three too. Sam LaPorta is likely available to you in the late second-round or early third-round pick, as his selection is expected based on need.
In round three of rookie drafts, there seem to be some gems worth taking. You have the three early-round receivers in Hyatt, Reed, and Tillman, who you’ll be able to find here. Hyatt and Reed, at times, could go early than they should. Tillman is a great sleeper pick in the middle round, as he could be the WR 1 in 2024. Chase Brown has the backup job in Cincinnati for now, and it’s an excellent time to buy the value. If Mixon gets released, Brown’s value will skyrocket, so draft the value while you can. Vaughn and Boutte are bad round-three picks in the middle of drafts. Someone even took Vaughn at the twelve pick, which is wild.
For the Contenders in the back, three running back consistently fall there. Evans, Gray, and Abanikanda are all likely back up to some high-talent starters. All three could slip into the fourth round often as well. It’s common. Folks will take shots at Schoonmaker due to his landing spot, but he should be a fourth-round pick. Tank Dell has been rising since I started doing this article from the middle fourth to now being taken in the back half of round three. Everyone on this list above will be drafted one way or another.
The most consistent players I see in round four are Washington, McBride, Hull, Wilson, and, recently, Hutchinson. At the receiver, Wilson and Hutchinson are good fourth-round guys to grab who have a path to start on bad teams. McBride, Hull, and the recent rise of Sean Tukcer are back up who landed in a favorable situation if the starter gets hurt, could see playing time. Tucker Kraft is my favorite tight end to grab in the fourth round instead of taking shots on Washington and Strange here. League owners seem more willing to take the shot of Stetson Bennet, as he is the only fifth consistent quarterback to get drafted. At the end of the day, take the values and trust yourself when drafting.
Wavier Picks After Draft
- AT Perry
- Sean Tucker
- Tucker Kraft
- Puka Nacua
- Clayton Tune
- Tre Tucker
- Aidan O’Connell
- Charlie Jones