While many owners have been laying back and keeping track of player news in OTA's until their real draft comes up, Dynasty Fantasy Football owners have been preparing for this season since February. And with that preparation, comes the rookie-only drafts.
I've been in a Dynasty League for several years now. And every year around this time, we have our annual rookie-only draft where we select a number of rookies from this year's NFL Draft class. Much work comes into play when selecting just rookies. Just because a wide receiver or a running back was selected in the first round, doesn't necessarily mean that he will be that much better than someone who was drafted in the third or fourth.
It's also getting trickier if you hold the No. 1 overall pick because if that pick doesn't pan out like you'd hoped, it could send the rest of your draft in a tailspin. Just ask those owners who drafted Dolphins RB Daniel Thomas No. 1 overall back in 2011.
With all that said, here is what my dynasty league's rookie draft looked like in the first two rounds. While it's a tremendously small sample to look at, it will help you, as an owner, once your rookie draft rolls around.
To view the entire draft and each team's roster, make sure to check out our league info HERE. (My team is in RED).
1.01 1. Bozo's Mad Bombers Sammy Watkins, BUF WR
1.02 2. The Rotties Carlos Hyde, SFO RB
1.03 3. Bozo's Mad Bombers Mike Evans, TBB WR
1.04 4. Scrip Club Rebellion Bishop Sankey, TEN RB
1.05 5. Scrip Club Rebellion Jeremy Hill, CIN RB
1.06 6. Convicts Brandin Cooks, NOS WR
1.07 7. Palm Harbor Hurricanes Eric Ebron, DET TE
1.08 8. DESTINATION DOMINATION Kelvin Benjamin, CAR WR
1.09 9. The Birds of Prey Jordan Matthews, PHI WR
1.10 10. The Watchers Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TBB TE
1.11 11. C. Summit Wolverines Odell Beckham, NYG WR
1.12 12. Scrip Club Rebellion Devonta Freeman, ATL RB
Just like the regular NFL Draft, running backs are no longer the position on offense to draft No. 1 overall in these types of leagues. So it's not surprising to see Sammy Watkins take that spot. The Bills website reported he has been practicing like a "true No. 1" receiver, but I still question how well he'll look in his first year if E.J. Manuel doesn't progress. Regardless, he'll make an immediate impact and I doubt many would argue the pick.
The biggest surprise was Jeremy Hill going as high as No. 5 overall. But with these kinds of drafts, expect the unexpected. The Bengals plan on going run-heavy this year with new offensive coaching in place, so Hill might surprise even with Giovani Bernard ahead of him.
I was ecstatic that Odell Beckham lasted to my first pick. While he might not have a huge impact in Year One, I have enough depth at receiver that I can use him as a WR4 if I need to. 2015 is where Beckham will definitely come in handy.
2.01 13. Tampa Bay Hammer Headz Colt Lyerla, GBP TE
2.02 14. DESTINATION DOMINATION Ka'Deem Carey, CHI RB
2.03 15. DESTINATION DOMINATION Davante Adams, GBP WR
2.04 16. Cnefarious Cnidarians Terrance West, CLE RB
2.05 17. DESTINATION DOMINATION Tre Mason, STL RB
2.06 18. Convicts Charles Sims, TBB RB
2.07 19. Cnefarious Cnidarians Cody Latimer, DEN WR
2.08 20. C. Summit Wolverines Andre Williams, NYG RB
2.09 21. Scrip Club Rebellion Martavis Bryant, PIT WR
2.10 22. DESTINATION DOMINATION Johnny Manziel, CLE QB
2.11 23. C. Summit Wolverines Blake Bortles, JAC QB
2.12 24. LOS CHINGONES Marqise Lee, JAC WR
An undrafted free agent, Colt Lyerla has been picking up steam the last several weeks. While he is currently buried on Green Bay's depth chart, he'll either dig himself out or become a bust. Either way, he's one of our sleeper/impact rookie picks for 2014.
In my opinion, Cnefarious Cnidarians got the steal of the draft with Terrance West falling all the way to the mid-second round. With Ben Tate's injury history and the Browns wanting to run a committee in the backfield to make up for their lack of receiving personnel, West could see immediate flex value, if not more, as soon as this year.
Due to offseason trades, I was able to land three second-round picks. But having used one on Jets RB Chris Johnson, I was still able to land running back depth and, hopefully, the best quarterback of this draft. Andre Williams was the best available player left on my board, but I doubt I will ever use him this year. Rashad Jennings will be the "bellcow" of the Giants' backfield. Peyton Hillis and David Wilson are also in the mix. However, all three have question marks. How long can Jennings last without an injury? Hillis hasn't done anything in years and Wilson is coming off a major neck injury. Not to mention he's been a bust so far. I might be trying to talk up my Williams pick, but it's not that far fetched that he can eventually see the field. Even if he winds up sitting on the bench, I still have Adrian Peterson, Toby Gerhart and Johnson as my top three running backs.
One thing new dynasty owners have to remember is that, unlike redraft drafts, it's a crapshoot once you get past the mid-second round. A lot of luck is involved past that point.
With Tom Brady, Carson Palmer and Ryan Mallett as my three quarterbacks, I didn't even flinch when I took Blake Bortles. His landing spot on the Jaguars isn't exactly great, but I can sit on him for awhile. My hope here is that Mallett, in the last year of his deal, isn't re-signed by the Patriots and is given an opportunity to start elsewhere. Maybe the Texans, who were heavily rumored to be in trade talks with the Patriots regarding Mallett before the draft. That will give my quarterback spot a boost as both Brady and Palmer don't have many years left. To cover myself with the Bortles pick, I wound up taking Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater with my first pick in the third round.