With the 2023 NFL Draft behind us, fantasy managers are now right in the middle of dynasty rookie draft season. Despite a vast amount of research being put into prospect profiles, fantasy managers are surprised every year. The NFL Draft always creates massive risers and fallers based on landing spots and draft capital.
Amid all the chaos, fantasy players can still stick to guiding principles every year to have success in their rookie drafts. Identifying tier breaks and recognizing positional value is essential in this process. Check out the article below for the best dynasty rookie draft strategies to improve your team.
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Fantasy Football Dynasty Rookie Draft Strategies
1.) Draft the Best Player Available
Building roster capital is the best and most consistent way to improve a dynasty team. Fantasy teams are only scoring points 17 weeks out of the year. In the remaining time, fantasy managers should be focused on building roster value. A trade can always be made later on, and every decision outside of points scoring season should be made with this in mind.
Taking this idea to dynasty rookie drafts, managers don’t have the luxury of picking based on positional need. An example this season is whether to take Bijan Robinson or a quarterback prospect in superflex leagues. A dynasty player is doing their team a disservice by taking anyone besides Robinson with the first pick in a rookie draft.
Even if a roster is in dire need of a quarterback, they would be losing the opportunity to build capital. Despite the upside of some of the quarterback prospects, Robinson still holds significantly more value, particularly in the near term. Instead, a fantasy manager should draft Robinson and explore trading him this Summer for a quarterback. Then he can be used to acquire a more coveted quarterback.
Dynasty Risers and Fallers + Rookie Draft Strategies per @DynastyDorks + @FFBourbonDude
The Market is Moving – Don’t Miss Out!!https://t.co/FRkeQCNKIh
— SGPN Fantasy Football (@SGPNfantasy) May 2, 2023
2.) Identifying Tier Breaks
Identifying tier breaks is another massive part of improving a dynasty team during a rookie draft. As previously discussed, these drafts’ talent pool can be limited. There will be multiple points in each draft where one selection can mark a huge drop off in value to the next available player. Finding these places in the draft can give someone a huge advantage and an opportunity to make a trade.
If a fantasy manager is three picks away from making a selection, and there are two players available above the rest, they should approach other managers about trading up. Of course, some managers will see the draft differently, and others won’t appreciate the value of moving down just a spot or two. Nevertheless, this is an opportunity to add value to a dynasty team simply by moving up one or two spots in the draft.
3.) Avoid Rookie Tight Ends Early in Drafts
Tight end is the most frustrating position in fantasy football, with most being touchdown dependent. Although there aren’t very many consistent fantasy contributors, that doesn’t mean the NFL hasn’t invested a lot of capital in the position. Recent first-round picks include Noah Fant, T.J. Hockenson, O.J. Howard, Evan Engram, Hayden Hurst, and Kyle Pitts. These were actually the last six tight ends drafted in the first round.
In 27 total seasons played between these players, they produced only seven top 10 finishes for fantasy. The best tight ends weren’t selected in the first round, and it’s a very hard position to evaluate. In addition, these young players have to learn both blocking and route assignments. This makes it very tough to get on the field early. There is always a buy low point on rookie tight ends, and fantasy managers should look to acquire them after a slow start.
?DYNASTY RULES TO REMEMBER GOING INTO THE OFF-SEASON?
1: It’s a long off-season and values will change every week sometimes. Don’t feel pressured to do anything based on that.
2: Dynasty Rookie Picks only increase in value the closer you get to rookie drafts.#FantasyFootball
— Daily Dynasty Show (@TheDDShow3) January 26, 2023
4.) Select HandCuff Running Backs Deep in Drafts
Dynasty fantasy football managers love wide receivers because they have longer careers and are more consistent from season to season. Because of this, though, it is by far and away the most saturated position in dynasty leagues. For example, players like Quentin Johnston and Zay Flowers are only borderline top 36 wide receivers. Given how deep the position is, it will be hard for either to make a meaningful difference in the football landscape.
If a safe floor and 10 PPR points are a fantasy manager’s goal, then players like Cedric Tillman in the third round of rookie drafts are fine. However, I prefer to take home run swings. There are plenty of handcuff running backs that are only an injury away from fantasy relevance.
Isiah Pacheco, Rhamondre Stevenson, and Tony Pollard are recent running backs selected on day three who have had fantasy success. Rather than drafting a player with low-end flex upside, instead, select players who could give you a top-24 running back performance when injuries arise.
5.) Disregard Platform Rankings
Every fantasy football website has rankings sets or ADP (Average Draft Position) lists, which managers will make their selections from. This includes rookie drafts as well, and they can give fantasy players a big advantage if they are well-researched. Particularly right after the NFL Draft, these ADP lists aren’t updated quickly. With most rookie drafts starting within a couple of weeks afterward, fantasy players are being guided by inaccurate data.
Landing spots and draft capital haven’t been factored in enough, which can put fantasy managers in a tough spot. With pre-draft analysis driving these lists, someone who is up to date on the latest information has a huge advantage. Players who were darlings in March could be behind players with superior draft capital and situation.
Rule #1 when playing dynasty fantasy football. Research everything you do from the startup, trading, rookie draft, and player acquisitions. pic.twitter.com/0vse7ym3Rz
— Chase Gardner (@CoachChaseG) December 31, 2019