It’s dynasty startup season! Who are some players to target, and who are some to avoid? We will help you find the best value using our new Dynasty Nerds ADP. We will look at a few players to shy away from and, more importantly, help you pinpoint players who are undervalued to dominate your draft.
Note – the ADP used below is for Superflex format only
Overvalued – Jonathan Taylor (RB Indianapolis Colts)
Current Dynasty Nerds ADP — Overall – 20, Running Back – 3
Jonathan Taylor was the highest-scoring running back in the 2021 season and entered last year as the top overall running back in dynasty startups. Last year, he finished as RB30 overall, scoring only 13.3 points per game, partially due to injury. A year older and going into the final year of his contract, why is Taylor ahead of Breece Hall in our ADP? Hall is three years younger, produced three points per game more than Taylor last year, and has three years remaining on his contract with the Jets. Let’s forget running backs for a moment. Why is Taylor being drafted before the likes of Amon-Ra St. Brown, Kyle Pitts, and Tee Higgins? Taylor is also being drafted ahead of several talented young quarterbacks. Why?
Add Anthony Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts offense. Counter to the narrative, rushing quarterbacks are not a benefit for that team’s running backs. There are too many red flags for me to draft Jonathan Taylor with a second-round startup pick. There are better options at running back and other positions to warrant such a high selection. If you genuinely want to get a running back in that area, I would rather pivot the value to a player like Breece Hall for the youth or either Saquon Barkley or Christian McCaffrey for better short-term production.
Overvalued – Chris Olave (WR New Orleans Saints)
Current Dynasty Nerds ADP — Overall – 28, Wide Receiver – 9
Pop quiz, hotshot. Would you rather draft a 23-year-old wide receiver who scored 13 points per game or a 24-year-old who scored 15 points per game? The latter is my obvious choice, so why are we drafting Chris Olave before Devonta Smith?
It does not stop there. DK Metcalf (WR12), Devonta Smith (WR14), Brandon Aiyuk (WR28), and Marquise Brown (WR34) are all wide receivers age 25-and-under with better production currently being drafted after Chris Olave.
Olave is a good receiver with the potential to be great, but I cannot get behind him at his current value. I also don’t see room for him to grow in value. He isn’t Justin Jefferson, and he isn’t Ja’marr Chase. Olave seems to be at the top of a tier of “very good” wide receivers, and you never want to make a pick at the top of a tier. Trade down or pivot somewhere else and get similar production later. In addition to the wide receivers I mentioned, other players being drafted after Olave include Tua Tagovailoa and Daniel Jones. I would easily take those quarterbacks over Olave in Superflex formats. If you are in a tight-end premium league, I’d rather have Mark Andrews and T.J. Hockenson, especially given the positional scarcity.
Overvalued – George Pickens (WR Pittsburgh Steelers)
Current Dynasty Nerds ADP — Overall – 76, Wide Receiver 30
I get it. Pickens is an intoxicating talent. His catches are the stuff of highlight reels. The production, though? 9.3 points per game. That puts George Pickens down at WR55 in points per game, on par with players such as Mack Hollins and Russell Gage..
For value, I would rather have a player like Jahan Dotson or Pickens’s teammate Diontae Johnson, both of whom are being drafted later. Additionally, I would rather have several of the running backs being drafted in that range. Miles Sanders, Rachaad White, and Devon Achane should all outproduce Pickens, even given just modest backfield workloads.
Pickens may have the talent to step up in his second year, but how high can his value or production possibly climb? Given the Steelers’ offense under offensive coordinator Matt Canada with Kenny Pickett at quarterback, not to mention the presence of several other talented receiving options, I don’t see Pickens ever climbing to the heights some hope he attains.
Undervalued – Devonta Smith (WR Philadelphia Eagles)
Current Dynasty Nerds ADP — Overall – 37, Wide Receiver – 14
This entry should not surprise you if you have read the blurbs above. Devonta Smith is one of the best values in startup drafts. Take out his oddball Week 1 goose egg, and Smith finished with just over 16 points per game. That’s better than Jaylen Waddle. Better than Tee Higgins. Better than DK Metcalf. Devonta Smith is drafted after each of them. It can’t simply be that he’s the WR2 on his own team, behind a talented pass catcher, because how then to explain Waddle and Higgins?
Smith is a great value in startup drafts. Even with his week one aberration, Devonta Smith finished as WR9 overall in 2022, above contemporaries like the aforementioned DK Metcalf and Tee Higgins. He finished just eight total points behind Jaylen Waddle. Imagine the value of getting Jaylen Waddle but nearly two full rounds later in your startup! That’s Devonta Smith.
Undervalued – Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR Detroit Lions)
Current Dynasty Nerds ADP — Overall – 21, Wide Receiver – 7
How can a wide receiver drafted in the second round of startups be undervalued, you ask? When that player is a 23-year-old wide receiver coming off of an overall WR7 finish under his belt. Amon-Ra St. Brown is criminally underrated in Superflex startups. He should be drafted closer to the likes of CeeDee Lamb and A.J. Brown than he should be to players like Tee Higgins. As much as I like Garrett Wilson and Jaylen Waddle, two players going before him in our ADP, I’d draft St. Brown before both. He is a year younger than Waddle and has proven production in a way that neither has.
Your dynasty startup is also about building a foundation. I’d rather invest in the longevity of ARSB than running backs like Christian McCaffrey and Jonathan Taylor, who are each being drafted before him. If you’re taking one of these players, you’re likely taking them in the second round of your startup. I find that to be a very risky strategy to not begin with two solid quarterbacks. If you decide to go that route, at least make your second-round startup pick a player you can count on for years to come. In short, why pass on the value of drafting one of the only three wide receivers in NFL history to open his career with back-to-back 90-catch seasons?
Undervalued – Daniel Jones (QB New York Giants), Geno Smith (QB Seattle Seahawks), and Jordan Love (QB Green Bay Packers)
Jones’s Current Dynasty Nerds ADP — Overall – 44, Quarterback – 16
Smith’s Current Dynasty Nerds ADP — Overall – 79, Quarterback – 22
Love’s Current Dynasty Nerds ADP — Overall – 79, Quarterback – 22
For the sake of simplicity, I have combined these three quarterbacks into one entry. What is everyone afraid of? Why draft players who score 18 points per game so relatively late in startups? Why not take the value at the most important position in the Superflex format?
Do longevity issues scare you? Daniel Jones, who finished last year as QB7, received a contract extension. Geno Smith? QB6, boom. Contract extension. Jordan Love? First-round draft pick, the clear starter in 2023, contract extension. Would you like more numbers? Daniel Jones finished as the 16th player in overall scoring in 2022. Geno Smith finished as the 14th! Even if they regress a bit, they’re still more valuable than a mere RB2-level player, right?
Jordan Love lacks the production of Jones and Smith, but with an ADP in the 90s, he should be impossible to pass up in your startup draft. He has the draft pedigree and the supporting cast for a 2023 breakout season. Perhaps more than any other veteran player in current startups, Love’s value stands to rise the most should he hit. Love looked great last preseason and looked fantastic in limited action against the Eagles, going 6-9-113 with a touchdown. Yes, it is an extremely small sample size, but having a QBR of 92.9 against the vaunted Eagles’ defense is eye-opening.
Green Bay put pieces around Love. They drafted Jayden Reed, Luke Musgrave, and Tucker Kraft. They will join the returning 2022 picks of Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs. Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon are still in the backfield. Matt LaFleur is still the head coach, and I trust he and his coaching staff to develop Love. I have been drafting and trading for Love often this offseason. He and Christian Watson have been my favorite “cheap” stacks to get on my teams.
The Value Advantage – “Draft for Value, Trade for Need!”
We use this phrase often. You’ve probably heard it more than once on our podcast. In summary, don’t go into your startup draft feeling like you need to complete a starting lineup. It’s only May. You will have time to fill in the gaps later through trades. Remember, it’s Superflex, so above all else, grab the quarterbacks early and often!
For other startup strategies and finding good values, check out these articles from our other talented writers on the Dynasty Nerds staff.
8 STARTUP STRATEGIES TO CRUSH YOUR DRAFT – by Justin Lad
DYNASTY START-UP STRATEGIES – WIN NOW MODE – by Steven Pintado
THE NOSTRADAMUS DRAFT – by Matthew Mitchell
FRUSTRATING START TO 2022 SEASON MAKES SEVERAL PREMIER PLAYERS EXCEPTIONAL TRADE TARGETS – by Tim Martens
We will continue to collect ADP throughout the year.
Appreciate you coming to the Dynasty Nerds site and for taking the time to read the article, thank you!
In a league that gives .25 points per carry, I traded my only Jonathan Taylor yesterday and received Najee Harris and Devon Achane in return. JT and Najee are less than a year apart in age, and I think they have a similar range of scoring outcomes, especially in a format like that. To get a RB I love like Achane as the difference in value is the primary point of the article – tiering down from JT to another similar RB and getting a decent “plus” on top of it.
good dig into the ADP – i agree with a lot of this, but i’m definitely taking JT over the WRs & QBs you reference, and don’t agree with the over/undervalue in general on Olave, ARSB, and Daniel Jones – but good points made all-around – great work!