Rookie Dynasty Mock (Offense-only)
The NFL draft is a little more than a week old but we’ve already put together a rookie dynasty mock draft with initial reactions for each pick. As dynasty players know, you aren’t drafting for 2014 alone but attempting to see in to the future. Sure, a player you draft might not start in 2014 but what are his long-term projections? What’s the contract status of the players in front of them? Do those same players fit a new coach’s scheme? There’s a ton of factors that go in to your dynasty picks.
To help, we had 12 of Pro Football Focus’ finest participate in a four round, PPR, offense-only draft using the linear format used in dynasty leagues. There weren’t any ‘can’t miss’ prospects this year (at least on the offensive side) so where a player ended up in the actual draft did have an effect on their fantasy status. Without further ado, here is the first PFF rookie dynasty mock draft:
1st Pick – @dynasty_ffc – Sammy Watkins, WR – Buffalo – I make the safe choice with Watkins who was the highest rated receiver coming out of the draft since Julio Jones. Either E.J. Manual will get better or they dump him for someone else – both work to Watkins’ advantage in the long run.
2nd Pick – @DanSchneier_NFL – Mike Evans, WR – Tampa Bay – Evans comes in as my highest rated dynasty league rookie. His unique size and speed are unmatched by most wide receivers in the league right now and go perfectly with the new rules in the NFL that restrict defensive contact. Evans has also shown a great ability to work back to the quarterback on broken plays. Very excited about getting him with the second pick.
3rd Pick – @NFLGary – Johnny Manziel, QB – Cleveland – This draft was deep with receivers, very few stud running backs, and only a few quarterbacks who will see the field. Johnny Football went to one of the two teams everyone had him pegged (Raiders), and will most likely get a shot very early. We’ve seen what mobile rookies like RGIII, Colin Kaepernick, and even Vince Young can do when they come into the league. If Josh Gordon is really done for the year, that will hurt but he has a talented tight end, a solid OL, and an OC who knows how to call plays for a guy with his skill set. Boom or bust here, but I’m going with the upside.
4th Pick – @RossMilesNFL – Odell Beckham, Jr., WR – New York Giants – It’s Watkins and Evans as #1 and #2 and then there is a gap between the rest of the class so I’d trade back if I had the option. I’d rather take two or three darts at this year’s class among the top 30. That being said, Beckham, Jr. is the #3 guy on my draft board so I like the value I get here. He has excellent hands, runs good routes for a college receiver and steps in to a situation where the current receiver corps has been depleted (Nicks) and is reportedly struggling (Randle). Will see playing time from Week 1 onwards.
5th Pick – @Pat_Thorman – Bishop Sankey, RB – Tennessee – A top five running back talent, at least. Great situation and wide receiver depth should be there later.
6th Pick – @PFF_ScottSpratt – Brandin Cooks, WR – New Orleans – Cooks is rising on rookie draft boards after landing in an attractive offense in New Orleans. His polish should help him contribute to fantasy rosters immediately this season.
7th Pick – @KevinGreenstein – Eric Ebron, TE – Detroit – Elite talent who landed in a great spot to make an immediate impact.
8th Pick – @JeffRatcliffe – Carlos Hyde, RB – San Francisco – Very surprised Hyde was still available. He’s a three-down back who steps into a run-heavy offense with an incumbent starter who is 31 years old and in the final year of his contract (Gore is also due $0 in guaranteed money). Hyde has a very similar fantasy profile to Eddie Lacy, though this is more of a pick for 2015 than for 2014.
9th Pick – @PFF_Joey – Devonta Freeman, RB – Atlanta – With plenty of receiving options sure to be available in the second round, I will take a chance on a prospect I like. Freeman couldn’t have landed in a better situation for his skill set as well as chances of being a feature back down the line.
10th Pick – @JohnnyBDavis – Marqise Lee, WR – Jacksonville – I’d say this is a bit of a risky pick considering Matthews, Adams, and Latimer are also available and are all in more prolific offenses but something intrigues me about Marqise Lee. A year ago at this time, he was considered a lock to go 1.01 in 2014 rookie drafts. Of course, a lot has changed in a year as he struggled with productivity and injuries last season at USC. His knee was red-flagged going into the NFL Draft and he ended up in Jacksonville, where the offense may or may not stink for the foreseeable future. Picking Lee here is casting a vote of confidence for Blake Bortles, which I do with much trepidation. Ultimately, I view Lee as an explosive athlete with a higher ceiling than the other receivers available, and I think he has a good shot at being the Jags’ No. 1 WR for a long time to come.
11th Pick – @MikeClayNFL – Jordan Matthews, WR – Philadelphia – The SEC’s all-time leader in catches and yards, Matthews lands in an ideal offense and could start off in the slot right away.
12th Pick – @unSOPable23 – Kelvin Benjamin, WR – Carolina – He’s not a perfect receiver and he doesn’t have a quarterback that I would call an established pocket passer but he’s a 6’5″ option on a team that lacks weapons. Steve Smith was responsible for 30% of Cam Newton’s deep completions last season…he’s now in Baltimore. He comes with downside but I’m paying for a high ceiling here as he might already be the Panthers most talented receiver.
1st Round Summary – Watkins and Evans go where you would expect while receivers make up more than half of the first round. The most polarizing pick, not surprisingly, would be Manziel at three. Depending on a team’s needs, he could go as high as he did here or last until the second round.
1st Pick – @dynasty_ffc – Jace Amaro, TE – New York Jets – Amaro is still pretty raw but his athleticism can’t be denied. He’s entering a decent situation with little competition at the position and should make an impact immediately.
2nd Pick – @DanSchneier_NFL – Davante Adams, WR – Green Bay – I wasn’t as impressed with Adams as some during my pre-draft evaluation process, but situation rules all, even in Dynasty leagues. To me, Adams lacks a second gear and post-catch explosion, but in every other way he is exactly as billed. He presents a huge catch radius, he has excellent hands, and he’s great at adjusting to the ball in the air. He is an immediate red zone threat, and I honestly believe he has a chance to immediately be the Packers’ top red-zone guy. Long-term he will get to play with Aaron Rodgers and you can’t beat that.
3rd Pick – @NFLGary – Tre Mason, RB – St. Louis – While the Rams look like they have a young back for the future, the competition is obviously open. Mason has quick feet and good vision, and even if he doesn’t beat Zac Stacy out for the starting spot, he should get plenty of chances.
4th Pick – @RossMilesNFL – Cody Latimer, WR – Denver – Latimer is exactly the kind of player I was talking about at 1.04 when I talked about trading back into the second. He’s got the speed and size to be a WR1, he’s got Peyton Manning as QB for 2-3 years, and is a natural replacement for Decker in that offense. Add in that Thomas and Welker are in contract years giving him further upside in 2015.
5th Pick – @Pat_Thorman – Allen Robinson, WR – Jacksonville – Robinson almost snuck in to the first round of the NFL draft based on his leaping ability alone. He needs some polish but could be a WR1.
6th Pick – @PFF_ScottSpratt – Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE – Tampa Bay – I think some owners may be scared of him because of off-the-field concerns but at 6’5″ and 262 lbs. and with a productive college career, I’ll take my chances on him. He should start immediately in Tampa and, unlike Eric Ebron, Seferian-Jenkins can actually catch.
7th Pick – @KevinGreenstein – Blake Bortles, QB – Jacksonville – I take the quarterback with the best chance for long-term success. With Henne the starter, he won’t be rushed, and the supporting cast looks promising (even if Blackmon’s days in Jacksonville are over).
8th Pick – @JeffRatcliffe – Donte Moncrief, WR – Indianapolis – One of the better draft and stash players in this draft, Moncrief has the physical traits to be successful but is still learning. Having Andrew Luck will help as will Reggie Wayne and Hakeem Nicks likely not being around in a year or two.
9th Pick – @PFF_Joey – Paul Richardson, WR – Seattle – The world champions apparently view Richardson as a Golden Tate replacement. He is tied to a great young quarterback and should see plenty of snaps early.
10th Pick – @JohnnyBDavis – Jeremy Hill, RB – Cincinnati – Hill’s upside is limited with Giovani Bernard around but Hill will see a ton of action right away. If he can impress, he just might turn into Hue Jackson’s workhorse.
11th Pick – @MikeClayNFL – Terrance West, RB – Cleveland – West should step in immediately as the backup to the fragile Ben Tate. With Kyle Shanahan running the offense, the run game will be featured heavily.
12th Pick – @unSOPable23 – Teddy Bridgewater, QB – Minnesota – Hey, he was considered a prime prospect coming into this year and will have an elite run game to rely on. Sure, the receiver depth isn’t good but a rookie quarterback could be put in a worse situation. I like the chip on his shoulder and two upside play-makers in Patterson/Rudolph.
2nd Round Summary – A couple of instant starters were still available in Amaro and Seferian-Jenkins along with the remaining top-tier quarterbacks of this rookie class. Several players have top-end talent but will need a year or two to fully mature, including Moncrief, Robinson, and Latimer.
1st Pick – @dynasty_ffc – Ka’Deem Carey – RB – Chicago – After passing on a running back the first two rounds, I take the best one available in Carey. There was some thought that he could be a feature back early in the draft process but his size raises some questions. Still, he enters one of the better situations as a rookie running back in backing up an aging Matt Forte.
2nd Pick – @DanSchneier_NFL – Martavis Bryant, WR – Pittsburgh – Wasn’t thrilled going receiver again, but I had to choose the BPA and Bryant edged out any other position by a considerable amount. I have to stick to what I saw with Bryant – a long and lengthy 6’4″ burner who did all the things you would expect for someone his size and speed. He was great at making leaping plays which stood out the most. He is inconsistent in winning on vertical routes that should come easy to him but makes up for it by showing an underrated ability to accelerate after the catch. I saw that post-catch acceleration on every game cut-up at least once which is exciting.
3rd Pick – @NFLGary – Charles Sims, RB – Tampa Bay – Much like the Rams, the Bucs have a young running back with a bright future. The thing about Jeff Tedford is that he likes a speed guy who can catch the ball in space. It’s most likely that Sims will come in on third down, or obvious passing downs, and do just that: catch the ball in space and be relied upon to move the chains. This is a PPR league, so he could be a value in such leagues.
4th Pick – @RossMilesNFL – Isaiah Crowell, RB – Cleveland – From a pure talent perspective, Crowell belongs in the conversation with the most talented running backs in the class. He went undrafted in the NFL, and lasted here in fantasy drafts because of his character issues. I’m willing to take a risk and see how it pans out as the upside is so great.
5th Pick – @Pat_Thorman – Jerick McKinnon, RB – Minnesota – High upside back in an ascending offense but might be stuck behind the bionic man forever.
6th Pick – @PFF_ScottSpratt – Andre Williams, RB – New York Giants – Depending on team need, I might prefer Jarvis Landry here. Williams lands in a good spot with the Giants, who do not know what they’ll get from David Wilson after his neck surgery and where Rashad Jennings is signed for backup money. Williams made it through a Herculian workload in college, so perhaps he can hold up with a heavy workload in the pros.
7th Pick – @KevinGreenstein – Lache Seastrunk, RB – Washington – Seastrunk should top out as a change-of-pace back in a revamped Washington offense. He’s in a crowded backfield but no one is insurmountable on that depth chart.
8th Pick – @JeffRatcliffe – Storm Johnson, RB – Jacksonville – Johnson’s college career started out with a ton of promise but fizzled out before being drafted with fellow UCF teammate Blake Bortles by Jacksonville. Johnson will never be a three-down back but could be a pounder in a two-back system. The depth chart at running back is nothing to write home about so Johnson could be there sooner rather than later.
9th Pick – @PFF_Joey – Jarvis Landry, WR – Miami – Landry could step in as the Dolphins slot receiver from day one after a disastrous combine. People forget he had better production at LSU than Odell Beckham and could move up a weak Dolphins receiving depth chart quickly.
10th Pick – @JohnnyBDavis – James White, RB – New England – Anything can happen in New England’s backfield. Runners don’t have to have pedigree but must abide by the Patriot Way. If James White figures that out, he could fill the LeGarrette Blount role as soon as 2014. He could also find himself with very little competition at the position when Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley go looking for bigger paydays in free agency.
11th Pick – @MikeClayNFL – Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB – Baltimore – Taliaferro doesn’t have first round talent but was highly productive in college. He enters a backfield in flux with Ray Rice facing a suspension and Bernard Pierce recovering from surgery.
12th Pick – @unSOPable23 – De’Anthony Thomas, RB – Kansas City – Thomas will see action all over the place, which is his gift and curse. He was drafted as a running back but could see time in the slot after catching over 100 balls in college. He should also step in to the return game immediately but it could be the only position that sticks.
3rd Round Summary – The round of the running back with 10 of the 12 picks being runners. Some will step in as backups immediately and are only one injury away from being a starter. Several project as eventual pounders in a 1-2 punch such as Williams or White.
1st Pick – @dynasty_ffc – C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE – Houston – Fiedorowicz can block and catch and joins an unproven tight end corps in Houston. New coach Bill O’ Brien also loves playing with two tight ends which could lead to Fiedorowicz seeing playing time soon.
2nd Pick – @DanSchneier_NFL – Bruce Ellington, WR – San Francisco – Didn’t want to end up with four wide receivers but the beauty of a Dynasty, in theory, is that you can trade. Ellington is by far and away the best overall prospect on the board, from those that I have evaluated. He can win the job in the slot immediately also.
3rd Pick – @NFLGary – Shaq Evans, WR – New York Jets – It’s doubtful the Jets will be a great passing team but this is a team where there are opportunities for a rookie to step up. Decker is the clear-cut guy for Gang Green, but beyond him the No. 2 spot is open for competition. If anything, Evans could become a possession receiver that sees an increase in targets as the season goes on.
4th Pick – @RossMilesNFL – Derek Carr, QB – Oakland – As far as “arm talent” goes, Carr might be the most talented passer in the class. However, he struggles with his accuracy under pressure and he is expected to ride the bench for most of his first year in the league. This is a stash ’em and see selection.
5th Pick – @Pat_Thorman – John Brown, WR – Arizona – With 4.3 speed, Brown draws comparisons to T.Y. Hilton and should find a place in Bruce Arians offense to make some plays.
6th Pick – @PFF_ScottSpratt – Tyler Gaffney, RB – Carolina – Gaffney enters a bad situation in Carolina where they seem dedicated to a distributed workload. The good news for Gaffney is that some restructurings make it more likely that DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart can be released over the next couple of seasons. Gaffney, himself, is the ideal size to some day become a feature back.
7th Pick – @KevinGreenstein – Jimmy Garoppolo, QB – New England – I have a sneaking suspicion that the Pats see JG as Brady’s successor. At this stage, that makes him a nice value pick.
8th Pick – @JeffRatcliffe – Jared Abbrederis, WR – Green Bay – Alright, I’ll bite. The concussion issue is scary, and I could be winding up with the next Ryan Swope. But at this point, it’s worth the risk to take a flyer on him. Abbrederis has good size/speed and can play outside the numbers. His landing spot certainly doesn’t hurt the cause.
9th Pick – @PFF_Joey – Jeremy Gallon, WR – New England – Gallon will mold his game after Julian Edelman in New England and could even see action in the return game right away.
10th Pick – @JohnnyBDavis – Colt Lyerla, TE – Free Agent – Lyerla has first-round talent, and it’s possible he lands in Green Bay where the tight end depth chart is thin. There’s a good chance he’s too much of a knucklehead to take advantage of even that golden opportunity, but it’s worth a shot.
11th Pick – @MikeClayNFL – Josh Huff, WR – Philadelphia – Huff’s natural position is in the slot where he could end up one day. He’s buried on the depth chart but has good hands and can run block well which gives him a shot to move up.
12th Pick – @unSOPable23 – Henry Josey, RB – Philadelphia – If you’re asking me to take a flier, why not make it a back in one of the more run-oriented offenses? Should McCoy get hurt, Darren Sproles isn’t a three-down back and Bryce Brown is now in Buffalo. Not expecting much, but should he get playing time, he has as good a chance to produce fantasy numbers as anyone left on the board.
4th Round Summary – The later rounds are where you pick your lottery tickets and hope you hit. Players like Brown or Lyerla have some serious talent but need certain things to break the right way. The quarterbacks drafted, Carr and Garoppolo, are strict draft and stash players that won’t see much playing time in 2014.