The Three Seasons of Rookie Drafting

Rookie drafts are happening all around, and like the weather there are just about three seasons of rookie drafting. There are some leagues that started on the Sunday right after the draft had concluded, while most begin a week after all the rookies knew who hired them. Still, there are those who prefer to push the draft to June or July, thereby helping to fill the “dead period” with dynasty activities. Finally, there are those “dynasty” owners who decides that fantasy football starts in August…

Whether you’re in an early, mid, or late draft, this article hopes to increase your awareness about the changes that inevitably happens in every draft season. So why do these changes happen? You would think that after months of preparation and no real football that the rankings are mostly static. The answer lies in circumstances both outside the control of the drafters and inside. The circumstances beyond owners control are non-football related injuries, rookie camp/OTA injuries, DUIs/Suspensions, and pre-season game injuries. These are pretty much things that cannot be predicted, but has real impact on the draft order of rookies.

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For the circumstances within our control (and I’m about to go on a rant), it is usually the influences of dynasty analysts, opinions, and writings/podcasts. Inevitably, dynasty writers will give their hard analysis of the rookie ADPs. They’ll make fun of owners who took player X too early, they’ll give you their “under-the-radar prospects”, they’ll belittle people for overrating/underrating rookie X.

As a fantasy writer myself, I have been guilty of doing this. If I have ever belittled your point of view, I truly apologize. As writers, I realize sometimes our words carry some weight, and that people would like understanding and engage in a debate with opposing views (not trolls though). Too many writers have the arrogance to believe that what they say/tweet/write has the ability to teach others the “correct way” to play fantasy football. And too often they take a “it’s just an opinion take it or leave it” attitude towards others. To do better as a human being and writer, we need to begin connecting with our fellow fantasy players. Understand that it’s not a teachers mentality we should carry, instead we need a learner’s. Learns have critical thinking abilities, and we need to tap into that for our audience, who in turn can challenge our ways, so that we can become better in forming words and opinions.

But I digress. So maybe analysts don’t influence the way you draft, but the other 10+ owners in your league are sure to agree with some of the sentiments. Therefore, ADPs will shift. In the early parts of the rookie draft season, we see the ADP reflecting immediate talent and situations as priorities. The first shift in ADP (when writers do their hardcore analysis) happens about 2-3 weeks after the draft. Using DLF’s ADP, I will attempt to crystal ball a little. I am open to be super wrong, but this will be fun as I’m about to make a guess who these so called “experts” will think are overrated and underrated.

I will predict that writers are going to say that the following players are underrated and they should be drafted earlier:

Leonte Carroo (11th pick): I think some owners will begin to formulate this narrative where DeVante Parker or Landry will be the odd man out, and that Carroo should go back to his top 6 status

Jonathan Williams (23rd pick): The narrative I predict here is that people will think point out McCoy’s injury proneness and Karlos’ concussion concerns

Both QBs: Meaning Wentz (30th pick) and Goff (19th pick). With such a weak class, I think dynasty analyst will state that both QBs provide a solid floor

Hunter Henry (22nd pick)/Austin Hooper (43rd pick): See reasons for QB

Here are the following players I predict writers will call overrated:

Sterling Shephard (5th pick): This one might be a stretch, but certainly I know one or two prominent analysts who will cite that Cruz’s return and Eli never being able to elevate two WR at the same time as reasons to ding Sterling’s ADP

Will Fuller (9th pick): I am already hearing some say that Fuller’s drop issues will make people sour on him, and that a 1st rounder is too much to give up for a player who has big bust potential written all over him.

 Pharoh Cooper (14th pick): Trust me when I say the hate for Fisher and the Rams is real

Braxton Miller (17th pick): 24 year old WR convert, can he beat out Fuller, Strong…or Mumphrey?

Now I’m not saying I agree or disagree with these opinions, but I am prediciting that these are the reasons that analyst and writers will use to manipulate the rookie ADPs.

Hope this helps you be prepare yourself whichever draft season you find yourself in.

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