Dynasty Football: Superflex Rookie Mock Draft
The first few days after the NFL Draft can be a wild time in dynasty fantasy football circles.
Rookie rankings and ADP are in a state of flux as the market adjusts to draft capital and landing spots. That makes now a great time to hold a mock rookie draft, so that's exactly what a bunch of us at numberFire did this week.
It's a fairly normal rookie draft -- 12 teams, three rounds and half-PPR -- but the important thing to note is it's a superflex format.
Here's the draft order as well as the 12 participants.
1. Ian Goldsmith (@Ian__Goldsmith)
2. JJ Zachariason (@LateRoundQB)
3. Elisha Twerski (@ElishaTwerski)
4. Brandon Gdula (@gdula13)
5. Tom Vecchio (@DFS_Tom)
6. Erik Smith (@ErikSmithQBL)
7. Neil Dutton (@ndutton13)
8. Jim Sannes (@JimSannes)
9. Austan Kas (@AustanKas)
10. Sam Hoppen (@SamHoppen)
11. Ryan Kirksey (@ryankirksey)
12. Chris Allen (@ChrisAllenFFWX)
And we're off.
|1.01||Ian Goldsmith||Joe Burrow, CIN||QB1|
|1.02||JJ Zachariason||Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC||RB1|
|1.03||Elisha Twerski||Jonathan Taylor, IND||RB2|
|1.04||Brandon Gdula||J.K. Dobbins, BAL||RB3|
|1.05||Tom Vecchio||Cam Akers, LAR||RB4|
|1.06||Erik Smith||Tua Tagovailoa, MIA||QB2|
|1.07||Neil Dutton||D'Andre Swift, DET||RB5|
|1.08||Jim Sannes||Jerry Jeudy, DEN||WR1|
|1.09||Austan Kas||Justin Herbert, LAC||QB3|
|1.10||Sam Hoppen||Ke'Shawn Vaughn, TB||RB6|
|1.11||Ryan Kirksey||Henry Ruggs, OAK||WR2|
|1.12||Chris Allen||CeeDee Lamb, DAL||WR3|
Quick Hits -- I was surprised to see Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert fall as much as they did. As top-six picks in the NFL Draft, these two are likely going to get a shot to play a lot in 2020, and quarterbacks are such a valuable currency in superflex formats. In particular, Tua dropping outside the top five probably won't happen in many rookie drafts. ... If you're among the many who think it'll be J.K. Dobbins' backfield in Baltimore sooner rather than later, his upside is immense in that offense. ... The immediate fantasy outlooks for both Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb took a big hit in the NFL Draft. Prior to the draft, when a lot of mocks had them going to the Raiders, 49ers or Jets, these two were being taken in the early-to-middle part of the first. It seemed like they'd both have a chance to be the top wideout on their team from Day 1, but that probably won't be the case in Denver or Dallas. Lamb nearly fell out of the first, so his stock took a major thumping.
My Pick -- When Jim was on the clock, I was very torn on whether to take Jeudy or Herbert. Jim made the choice for me, and I think I would've taken Herbert over Jeudy anyway (sorry, Jim!). I love Jeudy as a prospect, but I'm just not sure how good he can be for fantasy in Denver with all the mouths Drew Lock has to feed -- mostly because I'm not sure if Lock is any good. Jim likes Lock, so the pick makes perfect sense for him. As for Herbert, I have questions about him as a prospect, but it's hard to deny how good the situation is with the Chargers as Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Austin Ekeler and Hunter Henry give Herbert a great supporting cast. Getting a quarterback who was taken sixth overall at 1.09 in superflex is something I won't complain about, even if I'm not head over house slippers for Herbert.
Sam Hoppen on Ke'Shawn Vaughn at 1.10 -- Vaughn has been shooting up rankings after being drafted by Tampa Bay in the third round of the NFL Draft. Following the draft, Bruce Arians was quoted as saying "Vaughn is a guy that can play every down," something Arians clearly doesn't see in Ronald Jones. Vaughn certainly brings a pass-catching element to the Bucs, as he recorded 66 receptions for 648 yards and three touchdowns in his college career. Tom Brady likes throwing to his running backs (see: James White). Vaughn is no slouch running the ball, either, as he averaged 5.8 yards per carry and scored 30 rushing touchdowns in college. If Vaughn can truly take over as an every-down back, I'm excited about his potential in the Bucs' offense and would be thrilled to get him this late in a rookie draft.
|2.01||Ian Goldsmith||Tee Higgins, CIN||WR4|
|2.02||JJ Zachariason||Jalen Reagor, PHI||WR5|
|2.03||Elisha Twerski||Justin Jefferson, MIN||WR6|
|2.04||Brandon Gdula||Michael Pittmann, IND||WR7|
|2.05||Tom Vecchio||Zack Moss, BUF||RB7|
|2.06||Erik Smith||Denzel Mims, NYJ||WR8|
|2.07||Neil Dutton||Darrynton Evans, TEN||RB8|
|2.08||Jim Sannes||Brandon Aiyuk, SF||WR9|
|2.09||Austan Kas||Laviska Shenault, JAX||WR10|
|2.10||Sam Hoppen||Chase Claypool, PIT||WR11|
|2.11||Ryan Kirksey||Van Jefferson, LAR||WR12|
|2.12||Chris Allen||Bryan Edwards, OAK||WR13|
Quick Hits -- The first two rounds are playing out how I anticipate a lot of rookie drafts to play out this year. People are going to get the top-shelf running backs early, and then everyone is going to peck away at the insane receiver depth this 2020 class offers. Round 2 opened with four straight wideouts, giving us six receivers in a row dating back to the end of Round 1. In all, we saw 10 receivers come off the board this round. Ten! ... Justin Jefferson is going to be such a nice second-round pick this year. A big-time college producer in an elite LSU offense, Jefferson profiles as a solid prospect, and the landing spot in Minnesota is pretty darn nice as he should see the field plenty right away. ... For me, Denzel Mims was one of the draft's biggest winners. We all knew the Jets were going to take a wideout or two, and they snagged Mims in the second round. Given Gang Green's receiver depth chart, Mims has a chance to make a meaningful impact in 2020 and should have a higher floor than most players taken at this point in rookie drafts.
My Pick -- I was torn between Laviska Shenault and Bryan Edwards. I opted for Shenault. I think if Shenault had a healthier pre-draft process, there's a very good chance he would've been a Day 1 selection, and if he went in the first round last week, he wouldn't be available as this point in rookie drafts. As is, he went 42nd overall to Jacksonville. I have plenty of questions about Gardner Minshew, and Shenault is far from a sure thing. But I see some -- emphasis on some -- A.J. Brown in him, especially after the catch. Dede Westbrook and Chris Conley are in the final year of their deals, so Shenault could be a key piece for the Jags as soon as 2021. You're telling yourself a tale with most late second-round rookie picks, and that's what I'm telling myself about Shenault.
Neil Dutton on Darrynton Evans at 2.07 -- My selection of Evans may raise a few eyebrows, especially in the second round, when it seems an ideal time to pick up a wide receiver. But Evans is a fascinating prospect, and his landing spot could be better than most think. Evans had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons for Appalachian State, scoring 23 total touchdowns in 2019. He’s got some receiving chops, with 21 receptions for 198 yards last season. He also showed genuine speed and explosiveness at the Combine, posting a 4.41 40-yard dash. The Titans' offense relies a bunch on wide-zone running, and NFL Films guru Greg Cosell believes Evans “is a strong prospect for a team that features outside zone as its foundation run-game concept.” So from a scheme fit, this looks strong. Granted, it would appear that Evans is stuck behind Derrick Henry. But Henry is playing out 2020 on the franchise tag, and there is no guarantee that he’ll be back with the Titans in 2021. The Titans reluctance to use Henry as a pass catcher could open up some early opportunities for Evans to get on the field as a rookie. This is a selection for 2021 and beyond, I suppose. But if things fall right, Evans could be more useful as a rookie than the likes of Brandon Aiyuk (who I love) or Van Jefferson (who I don’t) -- two others in this range.
|3.01||Ian Goldsmith||Antonio Gibson, WAS||RB9|
|3.02||JJ Zachariason||A.J. Dillon, GB||RB10|
|3.03||Elisha Twerski||Anthony McFarland, PIT||RB11|
|3.04||Brandon Gdula||Jalen Hurts, PHI||QB4|
|3.05||Tom Vecchio||Tyler Johnson, TB||WR14|
|3.06||Erik Smith||Joshua Kelley, LAC||RB12|
|3.07||Neil Dutton||Devin Duvernay, BAL||WR15|
|3.08||Jim Sannes||K.J. Hamler, DEN||WR16|
|3.09||Austan Kas||Jacob Eason, IND||QB5|
|3.10||Sam Hoppen||DeeJay Dallas, SEA||RB13|
|3.11||Ryan Kirksey||Antonio Gandy-Golden, WAS||WR17|
|3.12||Chris Allen||Cole Kmet, CHI||TE1|
Quick Hits -- Most years, the third round is full of shots in the dark. While that's still somewhat true this year, the first part of the third round has some viable players. Anthony McFarland, A.J. Dillon and Joshua Kelley are three running backs in this round who have not-all-that-crazy paths to production in the foreseeable future. ... Jalen Hurts is a really intriguing third-round pick in superflex this season. Obviously, his odds of being the long-term starter aren't good, but if Carson Wentz gets injured, Hurts would immediately be a big fantasy factor as a mobile quarterback. He's well worth stashing in any two-quarterback format. ... Wideout Devin Duvernay checks some boxes, too. He's a 4.39 40 guy on a Baltimore offense that has a comical amount of speed. He could see slot snaps right away after thriving there in his final college season. ... The last pick of the draft gave us our only tight end. It's not really a knock on Cole Kmet that he fell this far; it's more a testament to the crazy receiver and running back depth in this class, as well as Kmet landing in what looks like a blah spot with the Bears.
My Pick -- I couldn't really sell myself on anyone here, to be honest, so I took a shot on Jacob Eason. The dream scenario for Eason is that he fares well enough in practice this coming year that the Colts give him the starting job in 2021 rather than re-sign Philip Rivers or Jacoby Brissett, both of whom are scheduled to enter free agency after this year. Is that super likely? No. Is it impossible? Also no. Indy's offseason moves -- signing Rivers and taking Eason in the fourth -- tell me the Colts' brass has pretty much bailed on Brissett, and Rivers is coming off a 20-pick campaign in which he posted his worst quarterback rating since 2007. Taking Eason in the late third is like picking up Jarrett Stidham off the wire at the end of last year -- a move you make just in case the dominoes fall a certain way. You never know, and whiffing at 3.10 isn't going to hurt me too much.
Erik Smith on Joshua Kelley at 3.06 -- Kelley is a 5-foot-11, 212-pound running back out of UCLA who surprised at the combine with a 4.49 40-yard dash. Kelley was productive in college, but his opportunity with the Chargers is what has me the most interested in his dynasty potential. Austin Ekeler recently signed a four-year deal and is just 24 years old. While Ekeler has the lead role locked down, there’s still room for fantasy relevance backing him up, especially considering that Ekeler has never rushed for 600 yards in his three-year career. Outside of 2020 undrafted free agent Darius Bradwell, the only other running back on the roster is Justin Jackson. The Chargers reportedly like Jackson, but he is a former seventh-round pick who has battled injuries throughout his career and will be a restricted free agent after 2020. There’s an opportunity for Kelley, a fourth-round pick, to compete for the backup job, which could make him the 1B to Ekeler’s 1A if the Bolts wish to keep Ekeler fresh. And in the event of an Ekeler injury, Kelley could be the starting running back. In the end, Kelley still has to impress the coaches, but there is a pretty clear path to fantasy significance as early as this season -- not bad for a pick at this point in the draft.