Startup drafts are arguably one of the most exciting parts of a dynasty, an opportunity to mold a team that you will hopefully be holding onto for a long time. As we enter dynasty summer and the rookie draft season begins to close, we all feel a strange itch for startups. Fantasy players love drafting, and if your rookie drafts have come to a close but redraft leagues haven’t begun population yet, that leaves a chance for new startups. In this series, we will examine a startup and discuss strategies to help us win in year one and the long term.
For this startup, we are doing a Superflex/Tight-End premium league. We will be drafting from the 1.01. This draft was 15 rounds long. Roster settings are QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, FLEX, FLEX, SUPERFLEX.
Draft Pick 1.07: Lamar Jackson, QB, BAL
Other Options: Justin Jefferson, Jamaar Chase
A quarterback is almost a lock with your first-round pick with Superflex drafts. We can select a QB that falls within my second tier with the seventh overall pick. I am more than happy to grab Lamar Jackson for my dynasty squad. I am confident he will reach a long-term deal with the Baltimore Ravens. This franchise has a long history of putting together contending teams, which will keep Lamar at the top of the fantasy leader boards.
Draft Pick 2.06: Jalen Hurts, QB, PHI
Other Options: CeeDee Lamb, Russell Wilson
We are going all-in on the mobile QBs with this startup strategy. They can be elite fantasy assets adding points on the ground, and we now have two of the best as our starters. With the roster around him, there is a genuine possibility that Hurts can remain the starter into the 2023 season. Suppose he were to take Philadelphia to the playoffs; that is all but a certainty. And with two more first-round picks in 2023, this team will only get better.
Draft Pick 3.07: Stefon Diggs, WR, BUF
Other Options: Dalvin Cook, Travis Kelce
Landing an elite wide receiver in the third round is a massive grab for this dynasty squad. Diggs is 28 years old. He will be playing alongside Josh Allen until at least 2025. This selection is a win-now contender.
Draft Pick 4.06: Saquon Barkley: RB, NYG
Other Options: Travis Etienne, DJ Moore
It was only two short years ago that Barkley was in the conversation of the top five dynasty startup pick, regardless of format. How the mighty have fallen. Two injury-riddled seasons later, we can pick him up in the fourth round of a startup. There are many questions with Saquon; health, the offense he plays on, and contract status this year. I am willing to bet on the talent we saw coming out of Penn State and have Barkley as my RB1.
Draft Pick 5.07: Darren Waller, TE, LVR
Other Options: David Montgomery, Mike Evans
Going all-in on a contender in a startup is turning out to be pretty fun. Ignoring age for the most part and optimizing fantasy points for this season makes the draft a relatively straightforward process. Waller was already an elite option for my dynasty team, but with the addition of the TE premium scoring, this selection is a no-brainer.
Draft Pick 6.06: Leonard Fournette, RB, TBB
Other Options: Josh Jacobs, Ezekiel Elliot
Fournette is going later in drafts and has RB1 upside. Despite having a reputation for being old, Fournette is only 27 years old. He is also under contract with the Buccaneers for the next three seasons. The only question would be how long Brady is leading this team. For a win-now team, Fournette is the perfect RB2.
Draft Pick 7.07: Rashod Bateman, WR, BAL
Other Options: Darnell Mooney, Courtland Sutton
We eventually have to inject some youth into this roster, and we can do that with our next two picks. Even though Bateman is young, he should produce for our team this year. With the departure of Marquise Brown, he and Mark Andrews will be the primary pass-catchers in this Baltimore offense. In addition, it is always nice to make a QB/WR stack work.
Draft Pick 8.06: Darnell Mooney, WR, CHI
Other Options: Courtland Sutton, Hunter Renfrow
Our second youth comes in the form of Mooney. Like Bateman, he is set up as the alpha WR in his offense. Unlike Bateman, Mooney has extreme question marks at the QB position. If Justin Fields has the breakout season that many hope for, we can assume Mooney will also.
Draft Pick 9.07: Allen Robinson, WR, LAR
Other Options: Gabe Davis, George Pickens
In the ninth round of a startup, Robinson is a great pick, no matter what type of team you are trying to build. For a contender, he will be perfect in your starting lineup week in and week out. Robinson can be easily flipped mid-season for future draft capital for a rebuilder. We will be riding Robinson as our WR2 to a championship for this team.
Draft Pick 10.06: Ryan Tannehill, QB, TEN
Other Options: Cole Kmet, Rachaad White
We must build solid depth at the QB position, with both of our starting QBs being of the mobile variety. Tannehill has finished as a QB1 in previous fantasy seasons. Without AJ Brown, it is unlikely he will reach that milestone again, but he will be serviceable enough to give us a couple of bye weeks or injury starts.
Draft Pick 11.07: Cordarrelle Patterson, RB/WR, ATL
Other Options: Melvin Gordon, Adam Thielen
Patterson lit the fantasy world on fire last season. After four teams and nine seasons, the 31-year-old finally broke out. The big issue was defining a position for him. While labeled as an RB, most of his production came in the receiving game. Will he be able to repeat that performance in 2022? We will take that gamble on our contending roster for an eleventh-round draft pick cost.
Draft Pick 12.06: Rashaad Penny, RB, SEA
Other Options: Alexander Mattison, Davis Mills
Early reports out of camp are that Penny is in the driver’s seat to win the starting RB job in Seattle. Now that may not be worth a ton considering the state of this offense, but he will still give us usable weeks. Ken Walker may be the future, but Penny is under contract this year and will have a workload.
Draft Pick 13.07: Russell Gage, WR, TB
Other Options: Tyrion Davis-Price, Kahlil Herbert
Chris Godwin will miss the season’s first six weeks, and Rob Gronkowski recently retired. Tom Brady threw over 700 times last season, but Mike Evans cannot be the only one receiving all those targets. This is where Gage steps in. Not only is he the number two option to begin the season, but the Buccaneers also signed him this past offseason knowing full well what the Godwin situation would look like heading into the 2022 season.
Draft Pick 14.06: Matt Ryan, QB, IND
Other Options: Jalen Tolbert, Marlon Mack
As mentioned earlier, we started our roster construction with two mobile QBs. The chances of one or even both of them being injured at any time are slightly higher than usual. That said, with this win-now roster, we must have backup plans ahead of time. Ryan as our QB4 gives me the flexibility of always having two starting QBs if our two mobile options were to be injured.
Draft Pick 15.07: Jarvis Landry, WR, NO
Other Options: Mecole Hardman, Laviska Shenault
With our final pick, we can grab a veteran WR who will be able to contribute immediately. There are many questions surrounding this Saints group. The front office spent a ton of draft capital to get rookie Chris Olave, but he is still a rookie. Michael Thomas has been injured for what seems like nearly two years already. Early news from training camp is that Jarvis is quickly learning the playbook and building a rapport with Jameis.
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