It’s time for the second entry into my “Draft Diaries” series chronicling my SuperFlex, TE-Premium Dynasty Start-up Draft. Be sure to check out yesterday’s article for an introduction on the format of this league and a recap of the first 24 players taken in Rounds 1 & 2. While a lot of the elite studs are already off the board, there is still plenty of young & quality talent available to continue building a strong core.
Before I get into the rest of the early rounds, I wanted to dive a little bit deeper into trades. It is pretty common (especially with a slow draft) to have a lot of trade offers flying around in the first couple rounds. I would highly recommend downloading a “Trade Calculator” (there are quite a few out there), to help you negotiate the somewhat muddy waters here. The trade calculator will assign a value to each pick of the draft and when you plug in the details of the proposed trade, it will let you know who won the trade or what additional picks would help make it more fair. After you arm yourself with a trade calculator, it is important to determine what your stance is on next year’s draft. Keep in mind that all drafts moving forward will only consist of rookie and free agents, so inevitably the value of these future picks will be lower than some of the early picks in the startup draft. If you really like some of the rookie prospects next year, an alternative strategy could be to load up on more 2021 picks and trade away some of your startups.
Coming into this draft, I felt that it was important to obtain an extra pick somewhere between Rounds 1 through 5. I felt confident that if I took 6 players in the Top 60, I would walk away with a very strong core roster. At the beginning of Round 3, I put a feeler out for who would be willing to trade back their 3rd rounder. A couple of guys wanted a 4th rounder plus others, but the guy who had 3.10 was more interested in getting 2021 picks. I went back and forth with him a couple times and ultimately decided on the following: I received pick 3.10 and I gave up 7.06 & 2021 1st & 2021 3rd. It seems like a bit of an overextension on the 2021 picks, but I was dead set on this year’s draft taking top priority over next years. With my first successful trade out of the way, let’s get on to the results from Rounds 3 through 6!
Rounds 1-2 Recap
1.06 – Michael Thomas
2.07 – Jonathan Taylor
3.01 – Derrick Henry – It’s hard not to love Henry after how he finished the last 2 seasons, including a dominant showing in the 2019 Playoffs, but I am a little nervous with how long his dynasty window will be. For redraft purposes, I am very high on Henry this year, but I don’t love the pick for Dynasty.
3.02 – Joe Burrow – The rookie phenom coming off an unprecedented college season gets taken as the QB8 here. I believe in Burrow, and I think he is going to be a stud, but spending 3rd round draft capital on a guy who hasn’t played an NFL snap yet seems like a stretch.
3.03 – DeAndre Hopkins – Hopkins is the 6th WR taken here and I think there is a real argument for him to have gone in the Top 3. He is getting up there in age, however he is coming into a great situation in Arizona and he was the epitome of consistency during his tenure in Houston.
3.04 – JK Dobbins – This is clearly the reach of the draft so far. Dobbins was an impressive talent at Ohio State, however I don’t feel very confident about his upcoming role in the Ravens offense. They have a ton of different weapons, so it feels like he has a slower path to taking over the lead role than JT & CEH.
3.05 – AJ Brown – This is tough to swallow as Brown was in my queue ready to take with the next pick. There is no doubt in my mind that Brown is going to be a Top 10 WR for the next 4-6 years. I really love what the Titans have going on, and Brown is an integral centerpiece.
3.06 – Mark Andrews – MY PICK: After Brown was taken, I tried to work all angles to trade back out of this spot. I didn’t really love some of the players remaining in the middle of the 3rd and really liked a lot of the guys who were projected to be available at the Round 3/Round 4 turn. Ultimately I couldn’t find a suitor, so I decided to reach a little bit for Andrews because I wasn’t confident that he would still be there at 3.10. Why not take Travis Kelce here? Well, Mark Andrews is SEVEN years younger than Kelce, that’s big for dynasty.
3.07 – D’Andre Swift – Everything I have read about the Lions makes it seem like Kerryon Johnson is still in the driver seat to start the season. Johnson is only 23 years old, which makes me think the Lions drafted Swift as more of a security blanket rather than a plug-and-play guy. This is a reach to me.
3.08 – Austin Ekeler
3.09 – Cam Akers
The projected lead running backs for the Los Angeles football teams go back to back here towards the end of the third round. I was really hoping to get a WR at 3.10 so I was ecstatic to see both of these guys come off the board. Ekeler is an animal, but with the Chargers drafting Josh Kelley, it seems like he just can’t catch a break on securing a workhorse load in an offense. Cam Akers has immediate starter upside and should have been the 3rd rookie RB to get selected.
3.10 – Mike Evans – MY PICK: Evans is still only 27 years old and has produced at an elite level for the past two seasons. Regardless of the Bucs quarterback situation, it felt pretty easy for me to take Evans here. He has 60 yard TD potential every weekend and has posted some absolute monster weeks. I am surprised he went a full round after his counterpart Godwin.
3.11 – Aaron Jones – Clearly there will be some TD regression this season. On top of that, the Packers seem deadset on letting Jones walk at the end of this season after drafting AJ Dillon in the 2nd round. He should still have Top 5 potential this season, however the question marks surrounding 2021 and beyond were enough for him to fall to the end of the 3rd.
3.12 – Carson Wentz – Wentz has a far lower floor than some of the remaining young QBs left. He has shown impressive flashes during his career, but the injury and consistency problems contribute to him not being a higher pick. Eagles need a few more weapons to add to Wentz’ arsenal before I get too excited about him.
Mapping out the Competition
With the first three rounds in the rearview mirror, I think its important to scout out your opponents to help influence the positional importance of your next few picks. For example, there are currently three teams who still need a QB & who all pick before me in Round 4, however there is only 1 team between my 4th and 5th round picks who needs one. Since I love three of the QBs left (Daniel Jones, Baker, and Tua) I will keep an eye on how the start of the 4th goes to determine if I need to pick one at 4.07 or if I can wait until 5.06.
4.01 – JuJu Smith-Schuster
4.02 – Travis Kelce
4.03 – Amari Cooper
4.04 – Allen Robinson
4.05 – Courtland Sutton
4.06 – Kenny Golladay
Travis Kelce gets taken at the beginning of the 4th and could be a real steal for that team in the short-term. It is almost unheard of in most FFPC formats to see Kelce stick around until this late. The remainder of the top of the fourth round is cluttered with young stud WRs. Allen Robinson sticks out a little bit here as I believe he would have been available in the 5th round. I don’t knock his talent at all, however he has still yet to play with a good QB and in my opinion that hurts his value. The rest of the guys are all young studs. I view all four of them on a very similar pedestal and would have been happy with any one of them falling to me at 4.07.
4.07 – Odell Beckham Jr. – MY PICK: Since no QBs got taken in the early 4th, then I am really confident that I will be able to get one of my three guys in the 5th. For that reason, I am taking my 3rd receiver here and snagging OBJ! As I touched on yesterday, I am a big believer in the Browns this year under Stefanski. After a down year in 2019, where he just could never seem to pick up any momentum, I am hoping we see the OBJ of 2017 & 2018. If so, this could be an absolute steal! Now that I have 3 WRs I have solidified my non-QB Flex position and feel pretty safe holding off on WR for the next few rounds.
4.08 – Todd Gurley – Not going to draft Gurley in any fantasy format until he proves that his knee injury is a non-issue.
4.09 – Julio Jones – We all know how much a physical specimen Julio is, and because of that his old age (31) seems to not be a huge concern. All this guy does is produce Top 5 fantasy seasons. I have absolutely no issues with him being drafted here, this seems like a great pick.
4.10 – DK Metcalf
4.11 – Calvin Ridley
I am a little bit surprised that both of these players aren’t mentioned more often in the tier of WRs who were just taken at the beginning of the 4th round. These guys are younger than them all and have proven that their ceiling is the sky. I am a HUGE fan of both players. If you can draft them at the end of the 4th round I would do it.
4.12 – Leonard Fournette – Nope Nope Nope. Just like Gurley, this is a guy who I will not be touching in any fantasy format this year. His injury history coupled with his off-the-field issues and his newly found questionable role on the team all add up to equal a horrible dynasty pick.
5.01 – Jalen Reagor – When I saw Reagor get taken as the 4th WR in the NFL Draft a few weeks ago I was a little bit surprised, however I am absolutely shocked to see him get drafted as the first rookie WR here. I really like him and I feel that he is a great fit for the Eagles, but this is definitely a guy who would have been available in the 6th round.
5.02 – Kenyan Drake – Drake (26) is older than I assumed, however he had some monster numbers after getting traded to Arizona last season. Seems like the right pick here.
5.03 – CeeDee Lamb – This pick locks me in to one of my 3 QBs, so I am excited about it. It will be interesting to see how Lamb fits into the Cowboys offense next year. I like the pick, but am nervous about his potential to play a WR3 role.
5.04 – Baker Mayfield – While the consistency questions are out there, I think some of those will go away with the departure of Freddie Kitchens. With the amount of weapons on this Cleveland roster, Baker has the potential to blow up for 4 to 6 weeks at a time and could prove to be a real league winner this season. Great pick.
5.05 – Melvin Gordon – I was halfway banking on Melvin being available for my 6th round pick, so I am a little bit bummed out. He missed almost all of last season, and gets a chance to start fresh in this new-look Broncos offense.
5.06 – Daniel Jones – MY PICK: Before the draft started I was eyeing Daniel Jones in the 5th round. When the QBs started to fly off the board in Round 2, I was starting to think that he wasn’t going to make it to this round. He is only entering his 2nd season, he has a slew of weapons on offense, and he has some real rushing upside. I have no issues tabbing him as my QB1 for the near distant future. It’s important to note that since none of the 3 teams who needed a QB took one at the beginning of the 4th round, it’s almost a lock that QBs will be taken by those three players before it gets back to me in the 6th round. This is why I felt it important to draft a QB here after scouting out the rest of the competition.
5.07 – DJ Chark
5.08 – Devin Singletary
5.09 – Cooper Kupp
5.10 – Darren Waller
5.11 – Keenan Allen
The rest of the 5th round finishes out with a group of guys that I really don’t feel very strongly about. Chark was great last year, but I think the Jags offense still has a lot to prove. Singletary’s role just got muddier as the Bills drafted a Rookie RB. Kupp is the model of consistency and a target machine; but the Rams offense also has a lot of questions to answer this season. Waller blew up on the fantasy season last year, but don’t forget that he is 27 years old already. Keenan Allen started the season last year looking like he would finish up as a Top 3 WR, however he fell off a cliff towards the end of the season. Will the new Chargers QB situation help him? Tough to know.
5.12 – Le’Veon Bell
6.01 – Aaron Rodgers
I chose to group Bell in with the 6th round pick, just to highlight how crazy these back-to-back picks were by THE SAME guy. I am convinced that this guy is stuck in a time machine from 2016 and thinks he just got a couple of absolute steals. I’m not sure I would touch either of these guys before the 8th round.
6.02 – Stefon Diggs – I don’t love the Bills passing offense this season, however I think Diggs was due for a change of scenery so this could prove to be a great pick.
6.03 – Chris Carson – In my opinion the time bomb is ticking until Rashad Penny takes over this Seattle backfield.
6.04 – Derrius Guice – One of the most promising young RBs when healthy, however the problem is he is never healthy. Couldn’t personally see myself drafting him.
6.05 – Tua Tagovailoa – Love this pick. This is a guy who was the unanimous first overall pick in the draft 9 months ago and now just dropped a full 3 rounds behind the actual first overall pick Joe Burrow. There are questions relating to how slowly they are going to ease him in, so if you draft Tua, I would think about taking another QB relatively quickly after.
6.06 – Matthew Stafford – Feels like a guy who has plenty of gunslinging years left in him, however in a dynasty format I don’t think he qualifies as the 14th QB. There are quite a few younger QBs who I would rather have.
6.07 – David Montgomery – MY PICK: This pick seemed like an easy one for me. Montgomery is the clear cut starter in Chicago and he is only entering his 2nd season in the league. There are no other RBs left who present this upside and for that reason alone he seemed like slam dunk for me here.
6.08 – Ke’Shawn Vaughn – After the way that Bruce Arians treated Ronald Jones last year, I don’t think I can ever trust another Buccaneers Running Back. Too many heartbreaking weeks in a row for me at the end of the season.
6.09 – Jerry Jeudy
6.10 – Zach Ertz
6.11 – Terry McLaurin
6.12 – David Johnson
Interesting end to the 6th round here. Jeudy & McLaurin are probably both going to be studs for quite a while. On the other hand, it feels like the shot clock is winding down for both Ertz and Johnson, and I’m not a huge fan of these picks.
Well that rounds out the first 72 picks of this dynasty startup draft. I will be back to break down Rounds 7-15 tomorrow
Here is my projected starting lineup after 6 rounds. Hint: they are all young guns!
QB: Daniel Jones (22 years)
RB: Jonathan Taylor (21 years)
RB: David Montgomery (22 years)
WR: Michael Thomas (27 years)
WR: Mike Evans (27 years)
TE: Mark Andrews (24 years)
Flex: Odell Beckham Jr. (27 years)