One of the first questions people have when taking part in their first rookie draft in a dynasty IDP league is: “when do I select my first rookie?”
The answer, in 2015, is 16th overall.
OK, it’s not that simple and we all know it. IDP scoring systems are all over the board, ranging from on par with offensive players to minimal impact for IDP players (I’ll scold you for this some other day.) Regardless, you should check last year’s top 50 overall players on your scoring system, and if J.J. Watt wasn’t in your top 10, drop these IDP rookies down a round or even two.
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On to the rookie rankings. The following chart contains my top 50 IDP dynasty league rookies for 2015. I’ll include a few comments at the end if my rankings look a little wonky to you.
|10||Dorial Green Beckham||WR|
|23||Dante Fowler Jr.||DE|
|36||Javorius "Buck" Allen||RB|
I don’t think my first four picks will surprise anyone. So let’s start with the first “controversial” pick: Ameer Abdullah at 5. I have been high on the rookie for months — long before preseason week one. I think he’s going to be a weapon in that Detroit offense that does well when it diversifies away from Megatron. I expect good things both this year and beyond for Abdullah.
Yes, I dropped Kevin White down to number 7, despite drafting him at 1.04 or higher myself a few times already. I don’t like injuries, I don’t like secrecy, I don’t like rookies missing a ton of time for coaches who don’t reward that sort of thing.
I’ve seen Jaelen Strong (14) and Phillip Dorsett (15) drop really far in some rookie drafts, and it does take looking beyond 2015 to see value. I’m still high on both players, and see the arrow pointing up after 2015 (with decent contributions this year too.)
I’ve been pounding the table about Eric Kendricks since January and nothing has changed. I’m comfortable predicting he and Stephone Anthony will have very productive rookie years and beyond. If you want to see Kendricks in action, check out the second half (Zimmer is making him earn it) of the Vikings preseason game with the Bucks. Kendricks is everywhere. I like him even better long term than his brother, Michael, the inside linebacker for the Eagles.
I would be more comfortable taking Maxx Williams at 19 than I’ve been taking any rookie for a few years if I needed production sooner rather than later in a dynasty league. He’s in a great situation.
At 20, I kind of punted on whether Vic Beasley is a DE or LB, and kind of split the difference in the ranking because of it. (If he’s a DE in your league, bump him up a few spots. As a LB, bump him down a few.)
Jameis Winston is the first QB on my board, checking in at 21. Mariota (or Marioto, according to the commissioner) is 27. This is simply because of the risk/reward of drafting a rookie QB and because of a plethora of options in veteran QBs. I’d rather have Carson Palmer or Eli Manning and pick an upside prospect at another position in my rookie draft.
Dante Fowler Jr. was my favorite IDP defensive lineman until his injury. You’ll be putting him on IR this year, but this is still where I slot him with that in mind.
I loved Jay Ajayi before hearing about his injury. Fantasy football aside, I hope he has a long, healthy career, but it’s hard to see that.
Kwon Alexander is my third LB. Reports out of Bucs camp is he has surpassed Bruce Carter for the middle linebacker job. Alexander has great upside, but watch the snap counts to see if he gets subpackage duties, or if LaVonte David and Danny Lansanah man the second level on nickel.
Picks 34-37 are upside running backs. There’s also a mini-run on RBs at the tail end of my top 50. Why? I’ve always felt a RB who is given a starting nod for one week in the NFL can be traded for ridiculous bounties, whether it’s a series of injuries or bad play that lead to them getting there. When you’re talking the 4th or 5th round of a rookie draft, give me a guy who has the potential to be traded for a future year 1st or 2nd over a guy who if all of the pieces fall into place might be worth a 3rd or 4th, like a guy who works into a 3rd WR role or a nickel corner role on a team.
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