Dynasty SuperFlex Rookie Mock Draft (Fantasy Football)
If you need a quick dynasty fix, join the club.
This is the fifth time in the last week I’ve invited a group on Twitter to participate in one of these mock drafts. Is it a perfect science? No. Is it fun every single time? Yes.
Before the NFL Draft, getting the lay of the land is so important especially if you are maneuvering rookie draft picks and slotting in who you think could be there when you are on the clock. Obviously, draft capital is a massive part of the equation we are waiting to add to our analysis but consistently participating in mock drafts is another task offering us a data point.
Here is a recent SuperFlex Dynasty Rookie draft I participated in. I will highlight the selections of each round, offer some general takeaways, points of strategy, and some of my favorite values and picks.
For more on some of these players, we talked on the new Fantasy Footballers Dynasty Podcast about the following:
We also have our Rookie Profile series highlighting every top prospect leading into next week’s 2023 NFL Draft. Each of the picks below is linked to a full breakdown on each prospect’s production profile, film evaluation, and fantasy outlook. For in-depth analysis, check out Andy, Mike, and Jason’s exclusive rookie rankings and production profiles found only in the Dynasty Pass, part of the UDK+ for 2023.
1.01- Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
1.02- Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
1.03- Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
1.04- C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
1.05- Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
1.06- Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
1.07- Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama
1.08- Jordan Addison, WR, USC
1.09- Zach Charbonnet, RB, UCLA
1.10- Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
1.11- Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
1.12- Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina
- Four QBs in the first five picks is aggressive, to say the least. Much of this is dependent on the assumption that these four QBs are selected in the top-5 of the NFL Draft. The news cycle recently has soured on this notion. Jaxon Smith-Njigba is our clear WR1 in this class and while QBs are usually pushed up the board in SuperFlex, he is certainly deserving of being a top 3/4 pick for teams that are already set at the QB position.
- Anthony Richardson going ahead of the other QBs shouldn’t be a hot take. If he runs like we think he could as a goal-line specialist, you’re looking at fantasy gold. The accuracy concerns are certainly a major red flag along with only starting 13 games. I wrote his Rookie Profile giving Vince Young as a median comp: physical tools, insane rushing as a rookie, won Rookie of the Year, and quickly flamed out as a starter before seeing his 2nd contract. We discussed Richardson at length on Wednesday’s Fantasy Footballers Dynasty podcast.
- Jahmyr Gibbs and Zach Charbonnet are seen as a tier break from the rest of the RBs… but does the NFL feel that way? Gibbs has the highest odds (-2000) to be the 2nd RB selected and we took a recent long shot wager on his landing spot if you’re interested. Charbonnet is not a sure thing to be selected in the 2nd round. He did have team visits with CHI, BUF, TB, LAC, DAL, LV, and a private workout with SF. Some of those landing spots are better than others in terms of immediate contribution but this is a classic example of a player we liked pre-draft process but might need to adjust after the NFL Draft. I could see him fall into the late 1st/early 2nd of SuperFlex drafts as other players (Kendre Miller? Devon Achane?) potentially could be selected ahead of him in the NFL Draft.
- The end of the first round is going to be a logjam of WRs. The draft capital associated with these players is going to determine much of the order but my research on rookie drafts has revealed that managers tend to value immediate opportunity over talent/draft capital. Jaylen Waddle was recently pushed down the board in 2021 for players (both RBs & WRs) with seemingly better opportunities.
2.01- Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
2.02- Devon Achane, RB, Texas A&M
2.03- Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah
2.04- Kendre Miller, RB, TCU
2.05- Tank Bigsby, RB, Auburn
2.06- Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
2.07- Zach Evans, RB, Ole Miss
2.08- Tyjae Spears, RB, Tulane
2.09- Marvin Mims, WR, Oklahoma
2.10- Roschon Johnson, RB, Texas
2.11- Sean Tucker, RB, Syracuse
2.12- Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee
- Jason shared his advice on the recent Dynasty Podcast: don’t draft rookie TEs! Period. The advice may sound a bit dogmatic but he had the data to back it up. Over the last decade, 143 different TEs were taken in rookie drafts with only five real hits in rookie drafts. That is an abysmal rate. Often we find TEs with draft capital don’t necessarily match that within the first couple of years. It’s a slow burn with the position. Michael Mayer and Dalton Kincaid look like a tier above the rest but Jason’s advice was to let others make that mistake this early and instead swing for the fences late (4th round or free agent?) at the position. There is going to be a WR potentially fall beyond those TEs in the second round of a SuperFlex with a seemingly bad immediate opportunity. Follow the draft capital and the WR position.
- Devon Achane feels a bit rich at the 2.02. I shared his comps on the Dynasty Podcast ranging from career outlier Darren Sproles at the high end to someone like PPR one-hit wonder Tarik Cohen or former Bucs RB Chris Rainey as small speed freaks. But the low end is not kind revealing players like former Oregon great LaMichael James, a production monster in college who didn’t have the size to hold up in the NFL. At 5’8″, 188 pounds, I’ll be betting against Achane being a fantasy asset for multiple years. This cost in a rookie draft is too high for a player who might max out at ten touches a game.
- Tank Bigsby is probably the RB here who could move up draft boards in a week. He was Jason’s RB4 in this class with an NFL-ready frame and solid production in the SEC. He checks a lot of boxes (6’0″, 210) for NFL teams while dynasty managers might be gazing in other directions (Tyjae Spears) for big play threats. Home-run ability and finding RBs with high rates of breakaway runs is one of the more sticky stats from college to pros. My money is on the NFL taking a tank over a tiny spear.
- Jalin Hyatt is one of the more extreme players in this draft. On film, he consistently got behind defenses with speed for days albeit stacked in formation. His 15 TDs in the SEC and 3.27 yards per route run are elite numbers but when you start to bring in comps of WRs 6’0″ or smaller weighing in sub 180 pounds, it gets tough. He needs to be an outlier ala Hollywood Brown or DeSean Jackson at his weight.
- This is where RBs go to die. RBs routinely taken in the second round BEFORE the NFL Draft usually get pushed up when the landing spot is connected. If you’re expecting greatness, good luck! Of the 40 RBs selected since 2015 in dynasty rookie drafts that were 3rd or later NFL draft picks, only five became RB1s in their 1st year. BUT 13 of those RBs with 3rd round or worse NFL draft capital ended up as top-8 rookie picks! These Royce Freeman types have the production and landing spot but the draft capital is the key part of the equation we tend to ignore.
- At 2.12, no chance Hendon Hooker lasts this long in a SuperFlex draft if he’s given 1st/2nd round draft capital on a team where we would see him compete from Day 1 for the job. His ACL injury probably factors in but the recovery timeline and history show that QBs aren’t nearly as affected.
- This is a good chance to remind everyone: Dynasty ADP can be a bit of a misnomer. ADP is how the collective group of dynasty players assess and assign value, not necessarily “this is actually how much a player is worth”. Right now, many of these players show up as “second round ADP” in systems like Sleeper but will be irrelevant in just a year. Use ADP as a piece of the puzzle but in rookie drafts, it needs to be your 4th or 5th resource, not #1.
3.01- Cedric Tillman, WR, Tennessee
3.02- Chase Brown, RB, Illinois
3.03- Tyler Scott, WR, Cincinnati
3.04- Israel Abanikanda, RB, Pittsburgh
3.05- DeWayne McBride, RB, UAB
3.06- Evan Hull, RB, Northwestern
3.07- Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU
3.08- Jayden Reed, WR, Michigan State
3.09- Luke Musgrave, TE, Oregon State
3.10- Dewayne Washington, TE, Georgia
3.11- Mohammed Ibrahim, RB, Minnesota
3.12- Kenny McIntosh, RB, Georgia
- I’m working on a piece entitled “What is a Third Round Rookie Draft Pick Worth?” just to give some hard data on how dynasty managers. As you inch closer to your rookie draft, your 3rd round pick gets more and more valuable solely on the merit of NFL Draft hype. But the hit rate of these players is downright abysmal, especially at the WR position. Consider trading these picks in package deals.
- Is this where the “big WRs” will end up? Cedric Tillman is the only true X receiver in this class aligning solely on the right side at Tennessee. Between Tillman and Ole Miss’ Jonathan Mingo, they might receive Day 2 draft capital that pushes them into Round 2 of rookie drafts.
- Cincinnati WR Tyler Scott is slowly moving up draft boards and my personal ranks over the last month. He doesn’t have nearly the production profile of other supposed tiny slot WRs but he might be more of a complete WR. He was a productive RB in high school (45 rushing TDs his final two years) so he’s still relatively new to the position. I could see him receive Day 2 draft capital and compete for a starting spot with a very T.Y. Hilton-esque game.
- The RBs in this range is a complete guessing game. DeWayne McBride has FIVE receptions to his college resume but the dude can spring big plays. Jason gave Israel Abanikanda some love on the main show a couple of weeks ago and Evan Hull‘s receiving production at Northwestern was elite. His 54 receptions was a 98th percentile mark tied with Saquon Barkley‘s 2017 season in our production metrics. I’m labeling this position as a surprise because I genuinely don’t know how the NFL feels about these players. They could be early Day 3 or end up undrafted.
- How the mighty have fallen… Kayshon Boutte looked like the next great LSU WR. He had nine TDs in six games in 2021 and then fractured his right ankle. He had a 2nd surgery because his ankle didn’t heal properly. Coming into the 2022 season, he was a preseason 1st team All-American but finished with only 538 receiving yards in 11 games. Still, he was given a pass by many. Before the Combine, he was being looked at as a top-50 pick, Early Day 2, the 5th or 6th WR. But his 29″ vertical was atrocious. For reference, the average for offensive linemen over the last ten years was 29.4″. He put up a 2nd percentile “burst score”… 2nd percentile! We’ll see how the NFL feels about him but he’s another wildcard in a rookie draft.
- Dewayne Washington is an enigma to me. The size (6’7″) is tantalizing as a “blot-out-the-sun” type of vertical passing threat and a bully in the red zone. But the production at Georgia was concerning with three total TDs in college on a team that won the National Championship in back-to-back years. Teammate Brock Bowers was the Mackey Award winner for the best TE in college so it’s rare to see a backup TE getting first-round buzz. The comps are few and far between with O.J. Howard and Jelani Woods are the most recent behemoths to offer his combo of speed and size. A TE that couldn’t command targets in college could find it hard to do so regularly in the NFL. If he goes to a team like the Bengals or Chargers, he definitely becomes more intriguing.
4.01- Dorian Thompson-Robinson, QB, UCLA
4.02- Deuce Vaughn, RB, Kansas State
4.03- Parker Washington, WR, Penn State
4.04- Stetson Bennett, QB, Georgia
4.05- A.T. Perry, WR, Wake Forest
4.06- Jonathan Mingo, WR, Ole Miss
4.07- Rashee Rice, WR, SMU
4.08- Chris Rodriguez, RB, Kentucky
4.09- Nathaniel Dell, WR, Houston
4.10- Bryce Ford-Wheaton, WR, West Virginia
4.11- Sam LaPorta, TE, Iowa
4.12- Will Mallory, TE, Miami
- Close your eyes and throw a dart… but make sure you are aiming in the right direction. If anyone has real advice on the 4th round of a rookie draft, they’re crazy. Players fall through the cracks all the time (hello Chig Okonkwo!) to this spot but generally speaking, players get punted to this wasteland because the NFL dictates it. You’re rolling the dice on players drafted on Day 3 with the smallest window of opportunity to even compete for an NFL roster spot. Have fun!
- The late third/early fourth round is a great spot to take a shot on a QB. Tanner McKee is a bean pole whose recent comp from someone made me laugh out loud: Mike Glennon. UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson is interesting if you want to swing for the fences. Let the NFL Draft dictate who has a shot and use your late 3rd/4th in a SuperFlex knowing this pick is synonymous with free agents on your dynasty waiver wire.
- Rashee Rice is the type of high-upside pick I love in this area of a rookie draft. He was a big play threat at SMU leading the nation in yards per reception. He could easily fall to the fifth round in the NFL Draft so file away the name.
- No chance Sam LaPorta lasts this long. He’s been getting buzz as a Day 2 pick and some people prefer him to Dalton Kincaid, Luke Musgrave, and Darnell Washington. He’s tough after the catch and he went to TEU.
- Stetson Bennett basically owns the town of Athens. Free beer for life for Stetson! But the NFL is going to respond: this guy is not going to be in the league very long. Winning back-to-back national championships, selling life insurance, being on local TV commercials and making public appearances in Athens isn’t so bad.