I participated in two dynasty rookie drafts last week. These are two similar but unique leagues. The first, called the Insanity Pool, is the brainchild of longtime Cheatsheet Compiler & Draft Buddy supporter and MOP member, akareckas. We’ll call him Andy (since it takes me 2-3 tries to type his last name correctly).
Andy wanted to create the most complicated fantasy football league he could think of, throwing everything into it as possible. It is a dynasty league with year-round activity. Veteran players are acquired via auction. All players are signed to contracts of varying lengths with required increases depending on the length of the contract. There is a rookie draft and requisite rookie pay scale. There are individual defensive players, holdouts, restricted free agents, franchise tags and the works. Heck, we even had a separate punt/kick returner position until recently.
The other league called FFA Dynasty, created by Kris, is similar to Insanity, but Kris wanted to break out and run his own league, including a larger starting lineup, expanded rosters and alternate scoring, most notably half a point per reception. There is some cross-over of ownership in both leagues, Andy, Kris, me, Dave and Jeff.
So, admittedly, I like to shut down my fantasy football brain to just a baseline level from post-Super Bowl through May, and with dropping out of another dynasty league that required me to be right on top of all the rookie prospects leading up to the NFL Draft, I wasn’t overly prepared for these drafts. However, with the rookie pay scale and limited roster space (at least in the Insanity Pool), one does question the actual value of these rookie picks. At only 3 rounds for Insanity, 4 rounds FFA and just 6 picks total for me, none higher than 6th overall, I figured I can get through these drafts. The draft results are shown below with my picks in bold.
|Insanity Pool||FFA Dynasty|
It would seem to me there is a clear top 4 prime rookie picks this year in Moreno, Wells, Crabtree and Brown. Moreno and Wells were highly touted going into the draft, and while it remains to be seen how well the Broncos and Cardinals running games can perform, each player went to a situation where there is little competition in front of them. Crabtree was going to be a top pick no matter what team he landed on as the consensus #1 WR and expected future stud.
In Brown’s case, he was less renowned but potentially landed in the best situation – potentially. Fantasy players are down on Joseph Addai as he limped through last year and finished with just 544 yards and 5 TD on 155 carries. Dominic Rhodes is gone so the depth chart there is thin. The Colts’ offense is showing some red flags they may be in transition from the once dominant offensive machine (loss of Marvin Harrison, coaching turnover), but still, Peyton Manning is at the helm so no one is expecting them to drop through the floor. The offense will perform above league average and therefore Brown will get a chance to put up some numbers.
After that, a value drop-off occurs as at least the current year prospects are not as solid as the above four names. So what happened in FFA with Mark Sanchez going first? Ah, Ted. Ted, Ted, Ted. Ted must be a Mark Sanchez fan. Or, not a Moreno-Wells-Crabtree-Brown fan? Ted now has to pay Sanchez $25 on a $500 cap this year. To give some perspective, the table to the right shows the highest paid players at QB last year. Pick 1.05 in FFA got a huge gift being able to select Brown.
As for the other picks, a lot of it is too early to tell much of anything. A real crapshoot picking these rookies before we have any news about how they are performing in real training camp. Of course people went RB heavy, like a lottery ticket trying to hit the next big thing. I try not to go too overboard on the late round drafted RB who is much more likely to be a career backup or cut outright than become anything fantasy worthy. Of course, the same could be said for any other position too, so, why not go for a backup RB?
I did pick a couple of them myself. I’ve heard good things about Cedric Peerman, so I selected him even though he is buried under a pretty deep Ravens backfield. Andre Brown had some good pub out of mini-camp with the Giants and based on recent history, the Giants do a good job drafting and developing RB and it is hard to say how much confidence they have in Ahmad Bradshaw. They haven’t asked him to do too much in his short career. Keep in mind Derrick Ward left as a free agent to sign with Tampa Bay, and he had over 1,400 yards last year. Those could be Brown’s before Bradshaw’s.
Hakeem Nicks and Kenny Britt both received good reviews in Matt Waldman’s Rookie Scouting Portfolio, a publication I rely on almost exclusively in terms of evaluating rookie prospects for fantasy football. Britt did get a “Boom-Bust” classification under “Potential” though. Shonn Greene, a RB drafted at the top of the 3rd round to a team with a new defensive minded coach, plus disgruntled and on the wrong side of 30 years old Thomas Jones as the primary back, and Leon Washington who doesn’t look like a primary ball carrier, seemed like a good call at 6th overall. Aaron Maybin is purely a homer pick. No shame in that as I try to keep a little of the “fan” in my fantasy football.
Do you have a rookie draft on the horizon? Hopefully this gives some idea where you can expect certain players to fall in your draft.