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The Nostradamus Draft: Can you see the future?

Care to spice up your league? @ReflipeWThenuz details the most unique rookie draft in Dynasty. Check it out & let us know what you think.

Nostradamus Overview:

For this article, I would like to detail one of the unique draft systems I have come across in dynasty fantasy football. Two of my very best friends, Nick Heim and Jason Winterling came up with a different way to conduct rookie drafts. I like to call it the Nostradamus System to honor the medi-eval prognosticator.

In this system, the first two rounds of the rookie draft are conducted BEFORE the NFL draft. The last three rounds of the draft occur in August at the end of the pre-season. The early third round picks hold considerably more value by conducting the draft than in a standard format. To make the fourth and fifth round picks worth something, they are the only players eligible for taxi spots in the league. We recently finished the first two rounds of our 2021 rookie draft. It is a 12 team Super-Flex, Tight End Premium league with a starting requirement of QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, SF, FLX, FLX, D.

I would like to detail the draft and the trades which took place in a series of articles. First, we will examine the picks and trades before the NFL draft. In follow-up articles, I would like to see how the values change after the NFL draft and then detail the last three rounds later in the summer. I will say that conducting the draft in this manner gives the NFL Draft a whole new level of excitement as you watch to see how well you did based on the landing spots of your first and second round picks. Without further ado, let us examine how the draft unfolded.

1st Round:

Image taken from draftwire.usatoday.com

1.01 – QB: Trevor Lawrence

(Trade Alert: The 1.01, Tom Brady, Denzel Mims, and a 2023 3rd were dealt for Kyler Murray) Our draft began with a bang as the first pick was traded at the start. The trade seemed like a nice haul for Murray, but we won’t know the true winner of this trade for some time. As you might expect, with a Super-Flex league, the talented Clemson QB went with the first pick in the draft. It seems a foregone conclusion that Lawrence will be the first pick in the NFL draft next week. I cannot see this pick changing, barring some unknown tragedy.

Image courtesy of buckeyeswire.usatoday.com

1.02 – QB: Justin Fields

Fields was the second consecutive QB to come off the board in the draft. The team that drafted him also owned the 1.04 and 1.05. He was beginning a total rebuild after literally selling off every piece of his playoff squad. Fields has the rushing upside to be the easy sight unseen No. 2 in this draft.

Image courtesy of jetswire.usatoday.com

1.03 – QB: Zach Wilson

It is a super-flex, so QB’s were flying quick and fast off the board. Zach Wilson seems destined to go to the Jets but will certainly not fall out of the top 5. With this format in particular, the QB is the safest pick early in drafts. There seems very little chance that Wilson is not in the league for a considerable amount of time.

Image courtesy of gatorswire.usatoday.com

1.04 – TE: Kyle Pitts

Our rebuilding squad threw the first curveball in the draft when he selected Kyle Pitts. The uber-talented Florida Gator is one of the best TE prospects to come out in quite some time. Dynasty Nerds founder Rich Dotson says that he is the best TE prospect he has ever scouted. When beginning a Super-flex, TE Premium rebuild, this was a nice and safe pick that should pay dividends down the line.

Image courtesy of draftwire.usatoday.com

1.05 – QB: Trey Lance

North Dakota State’s Trey Lance offered the most upside of the remaining QB prospects. As I mentioned before, the team that held this pick was undertaking a full-blow rebuild. To come away from the first round with Fields, Pitts, and Lance was a fantastic start to his rebuild efforts. He still had multiple later picks in this draft, including two seconds and the 3.1, which I will explain later.

Image courtesy of rolltide.usatoday.com

1.06 – RB: Najee Harris

Here’s where the draft began to change. There is only three top-level RB’s in the 2021 draft, and Naje Harris appears to be the cream of the crop. He has a three-down skill set. He has been mocked in the first round of the NFL draft by some well-respected analysts. In a league where you get .25 per carry bonus, Harris was an excellent pick.

Image courtesy of draftwire.usatoday.com

1.07 – RB: Javonte Williams

The same owner owned the six and seven picks. He needed some RB help and addressed the issue with the two bruisers in this class. Williams has a three-down workhorse build and only light usage on his legs to boot. He is as intelligent as he is talented and should be a force at the next level. Only time will tell if this owner missed the mark by going with Williams over Etienne, but it’s a gamble I would have made myself.

Image courtesy of draftwire.usatoday.com

1.08 – RB: Travis Etienne

The run on RB’s (pun intended) finished when the dynamic Clemson tailback went at the eight spot. He is lightning in a bottle and will surely land with a team who wants to use him at the next level. The owner who had this pick had already selected Zach Wilson earlier with the three pick, so he decided to go with the RB instead of choosing Mac Jones. Being the last truly elite RB prospect on the board, it was a pick I think we can all understand.

Image courtesy of bearswire.usatoday.com

1.09 – QB: Mac Jones

(Trade Alert: I dealt Cam Newton and two 2023 1st round picks for the 1.09) With this pick, I selected Alabama QB Mac Jones. I didn’t particularly need the QB position on my squad, but in a 12 team Superflex, my philosophy is to get as many young QB’s as possible. In a blind draft, there seems little doubt that Jones won’t be selected in the first round of the NFL draft. QB’s are gold, and I wanted to make a play for the last safe, top-end QB on the board.

Image courtesy of draftwire.usatoday.com

1.10 – WR: Ja’Marr Chase

Chase was the top WR taken in our draft and began a run on the position. He is big, fast, and dynamic, with the ball in his hands. In short, Chase has everything you want in a No. 1 WR in today’s NFL. Not knowing the landing spots of these WR’s makes it a little tricky, but as is most often the case, the best determinative factor is to go with talent over situation anyway.

Image courtesy of draftwire.usatoday.com

1.11 – WR: Devonte Smith

The Alabama Heisman Trophy winner was the next player to go off the board. Smith went to the same owner who landed Etienne just a few picks before. He had an excellent draft and bolstered his team for both the long-term and immediate future. Smith is a silky smooth route runner who routinely gets open with technique despite his slender frame. He should be an excellent weapon for both his NFL and Dynasty Squads.

Image courtesy of draftwire.usatoday.com

1.12 – WR: Rashod Bateman

The first round ended with yet another WR going off the board. Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman opened some eyes when he ran a blistering 40-time at his pro day. While it was discovered that his college fudged his actual size, he still showed well for himself. Bateman profiles as a No. 1 type weapon who should succeed at the next level. This owner was the same owner who traded the 1.09 and selected Chase at 1.10. He walked away from the draft with a pair of stud WR prospects.

2nd Round:

Image courtesy of rolltidewire.usatoday.com

2.01 – WR: Jaylen Waddle

(Trade Alert: I traded this pick along with Tevin Coleman and a 2023 4th for the 2.04 & 2.08)The second round picked right back up where the first left off with another WR going. The owner was the same who landed Naje and Williams in the first, and he felt strongly enough about Waddle to move up to get his guy. When I spoke with him, he felt a definite tier drop after this player, hence his willingness to move up for the burner from Bama.

Image courtesy of draftwire.usatoday.com

2.02 – WR: Rondale Moore

Mighty Mouse was the next player taken in the second. Aside from his height, there is nothing to dislike about Rondale Moore as a prospect. He has speed, quickness, and a flare for the dramatic. His freshman season was one of the best years ever by a true freshman in recent college memory. If he lands with the right team, he will be an excellent dynasty prospect for years to come.

Image courtesy of cardswire.usatoday.com

2.03 – RB: Kenneth Gainwell

The WR run ended when one of our owners selected Memphis RB Kenneth Gainwell. A truly hard to judge prospect, he hasn’t played football in over a year following his decision to sit out 2020 over Covid concerns. This owner had already selected two of the better prospects in the draft, snagging Etienne and Smith in the first. He had the luxury of betting on Gainwell despite the inherent danger of drafting RB’s without knowing where they land in the NFL draft.

Image courtesy of ftw.usatoday.com

2.04 – WR: Elijah Moore

Moore was my second pick of the draft, as he was my target at the beginning of the second round. I was able to trade back and get “My Guy” while at the same time picking up another second-round pick. Moore has some of the best moves in the class and will be an instant stud in the slot for an NFL team. His 4.32 40 time and moves off the line also suggest he can play some outside. I was giddy to get him at the 2.04.

Image courtesy of draftwire.usatoday.com

2.05 – RB: Chuba Hubbard 

(Trade Alert: I traded this pick along with Josh Jacobs & 5.12 for Miles Sanders, Tevin Coleman, a 2023 1st and 4th) With this pick, the owner swung for the fences and drafted the former 2,000 yard rusher out of Oklahoma State. Chuba was not as fast at his Pro Day as many expected, but he tested well in other areas and presents as an exciting draft prospect. The landing spot will determine if this was a savant move or a reach.

Image courtesy of chiefswire.usatoday.com

2.06 – WR: Terrace Marshall

The next two picks were by our rebuild extraordinaire. He had already addressed his QB and TE holes, so he took the dynamic playmaker out of LSU with his next selection. What’s not to like about Marshall? Aside from playing second fiddle to Chase, he did it all. He’s big, fast, and has a nose for the endzone. He was the best true No. 1 prospect still on the board and an excellent rebuild choice.

Image courtesy of trojanswire.usatoday.com

2.07 – WR: Amon-Ra St. Brown

I disagreed with this one a little, but our rebuild squad selected another WR with St. Brown. The son of former Mr. Universe John Brown, Amon-Ra was the next in a string of brothers to come through the college ranks. Despite playing the majority of his time in the slot, he has the size to play some outside. I would have taken a couple of WRs over him but nonetheless, a quality pick.

Image courtesy of draftwire.usatoday.com

2.08 – QB: Kyle Trask

(Trade Alert: I traded this pick along with Lynn Bowden, a 2022 4th and a 2023 3rd for the 2.10 and Zach Ertz.) (Trade Alert: The pick was immediately moved again with the 3.12 and a 2023 1st for Derrick Carr) With the most traded pick in the draft, one of our owners selected the former Florida QB. Trask was considered as a first-round prospect before a disastrous Bowl Game. Without his top two weapons in the game, he suffered through an ugly game and saw his draft stock plummet. Despite this, he still has that typical drop-back size and arm strength that traditional coaches love. He could be a sneaky selection at this point of the draft or a massive reach.

Image courtesy of bearswire.usatoday.com

2.09 – RB: Michael Carter

(Trade Alert: The same team that moved up the pick before also traded for this one giving up 3.12 along with a 2022 & 2023 2nd.) He snagged the second half of the UNC dynamic duo with the pick. Carter profiles as more of a third down RB in the NFL for me but, that doesn’t mean he can’t be productive. Given the right landing spot, he could provide years of fantasy relevance, ala Gio Bernard or James White. It was a steep price to pay, but you can never fault an owner for getting their guy.

Image courtesy of ninerswire.usatoday.com

2.10 – RB: Jermar Jefferson

Jefferson was my last pick of the draft. Having already selected Mac Jones and Elijah Moore, I wanted to come away from this draft with a RB prospect. To that end, I passed on the safer WR & TE prospects still on the board and selected the former Beaver RB. He tested poorly at his Pro Day but has some nice production and a three-down skill set. Given the right landing spot, he could be a decent back at the next level.

Image courtesy of bearswire.usatoday.com

2.11 – WR: Tylan Wallace

A true outside WR, Tylan Wallace, is a different prospect in a room full of slot machines. He has some excellent production and physical tools for his game. He should be no worse than a Day 2 selection in the coming NFL draft and could provide some incredible bang for the buck on this owner’s selection this late in the draft. 

Image courtesy of gatorswire.usatoday.com

2.12 – WR: Kadarius Toney

(Trade Alert: This pick along with N’Keal Harry, and a 2022 5th were traded for Nelson Agholar, 5.1, & a 2023 2nd) With the pick, our owner took the dynamic slot WR out of Florida. He could turn out to be an absolute steal. Toney has been mocked in the first round by noted draft analysts. He underwent a transformation heading into his final year of college and has put himself in the first-round conversation. Given the nature of this blind draft format, Toney could be the best pick of the entire round. We will have to wait and see.

Trades:

  • Team A: Kyler Murray for Team B: Tom Brady, Denzel Mims, 1.01, 2023 3rd
  • Team A: Miles Sanders, Tevin Coleman, 2023 1st, 2023 4th  for Team B: Josh Jacobs, 2.05, 5.12
  • Team A: Cam Newton, 2023 1st, 2023 1st for Team B: 1.09
  • Team A: 2.04, 2.08 for Team B: 2.01, Tevin Coleman, 2023 4th
  • Team A: Lynn Bowden, 2.08, 2022 4th, 2023 3rd for Team B: 2.10, Zach Ertz
  • Team A: 2.08, 3.12, 2023 1st for Team B: Derrick Carr
  • Team A: 3.12, 2022 2nd, 2023 2nd for Team B: 2.09
  • Team A: 2.12, N’Keal Harry, 2022 5th for Team B: Nelson Agholar, 5.01, 2023 2nd

Final Thoughts:

We will not know who the true winner and losers of this rookie draft are until after the NFL draft with this unique draft format. Players like Kyle Trask, Chuba Hubbard, Jermar Jefferson, and others could be either home run selections or total busts. Landing spots will alter how we see these players once their final destinations are revealed. As I stated earlier in this article, we will not be doing the last three rounds of the draft until later this summer.

The first picks in the third round hold a significant amount of value compared to other leagues. There could very well be several high NFL draft picks left on the board. I will provide you updates as to the effect of the NFL draft on our selections and the last three rounds later this summer, which owners could see into the future and determine the right player to select sight unseen. Hopefully, you find this format interesting. If so, why not give it a try? It certainly gives a new flavor to watching the NFL Draft to see where your rookies land. I will check back in later. Until then, happy drafting my friends.

Thank you for reading this article! Please be sure to join the #Nerdherd so you don’t miss out on any of the amazing things we have to offer Dynastynerds.com. You will get rankings, extra podcasts, and access to our rookie film room. For just a couple bucks more you can get access to our revolutionary DynastyGM tool. So much for so little, why miss out on all the fun. Follow me @ReflipeWThenuz for more dynasty content and other musings.

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