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Rookie Draft Average Draft Position (ADP)

Rookie Draft Average Draft Position (ADP)

By Steven Van Tassell

It’s official! Rookie drafts are here! Rookie drafts for existing Dynasty Owner leagues started on Friday, June 4th at Noon. It’s a slow draft with a 24-hour clock, so maybe you’re on the clock now or in a couple of days. Lucky Dynasty Owners might even be a few picks in if the Dynasty Owners in your league were ready to go on Friday afternoon or you’re reading this a few days after it was published.
How’s it going so far? Lots of trading and surprise picks, or pretty boring with the expected guys going off the board and nobody trading up for one of the top picks? Have you gotten through a couple of picks or is the first or second team still on the clock? Regardless of how it’s going, it’s great that they are going on.
Just like no two drafts are alike, no two rookie drafts will be the same either, even though they are only three rounds and 37 picks. Because of salary cap restrictions, the “best” players might not be the first players drafted. If the team with the #1 pick in your Dynasty Owner rookie draft only has the low end recommended amount of salary cap room of $5.7 million, then the first six picks in the NFL draft are off-limits to them unless they make a trade or drop a player. We always talk about it, but that’s a huge difference between Dynasty Owner and your “regular” dynasty league. In Dynasty Owner, you might not be able to afford to draft the player you really want. As a result, Dynasty Owners need to really look at their own team and salary cap situation, but also the rosters and salary cap room of the other teams in your league. That’s a huge difference!
How else are you going to know that the teams in front of you can’t afford Trevor Lawrence and you should hold tight with your mid-round pick and see if he falls? Or maybe there’s a team without much cap room but with a high draft pick. Maybe they’ll take an offer to trade down so you can grab that rookie who will fit nicely into your starting lineup. The possibilities are endless in Dynasty Owner and more realistic and exciting because of how Dynasty Owner mirrors the NFL GM experience.
Unfortunately, we haven’t had anything that can truly simulate the salary cap situation for real Dynasty Owners until now. The rookie-only mock drafts didn’t have salary cap restrictions, while the start-up drafts weren’t limited to just rookies so while it’s a decent proxy, it’s not exactly the same. Basically, we are breaking new ground now my fellow Dynasty Owners!
All ADP listed (both rookie-only and start-up draft) are based on the information available on Dynasty Owner just before rookie drafts started on June 4th at Noon. Salary information listed are based on the salaries listed on www.spotrac.com and posted on the Dynasty Owner platform.

First Round
Drafts have started and it’s time to start looking at who Dynasty Owners should expect to be flying off the draft board early on. Depending on how quickly your rookie draft is going, some of these guys may already be gone. Here are the first 13 picks (remember that there are 13 first-round picks because the Loser Bracket tournament winner gets the 1.13 pick), ranked by rookie mock draft ADP.

PlayerPositionTeamSalaryRookie Mock ADPStart-up Draft ADP
Najee HarrisRBPIT$3,261,8621.412.0
Trevor LawrenceQBJAC$9,198,3722.125.8
Kyle PittsTEATL$8,227,6233.532.6
Ja’Marr ChaseWRCIN$7,547,4104.848.7
Travis EtienneRBJAC$3,224,5265.239.2
Justin FieldsQBCHI$4,717,9886.962.5
Javonte WilliamsRBDEN$2,216,4387.053.7
Trey LanceQBSF$8,526,3197.572.4
DeVonta SmithWRPHI$5,035,3489.473.0
Jaylen WaddleWRMIA$6,771,49810.188.4
Zach WilsonQBNYJ$8,787,67010.486.4
Michael CarterRBNYJ$1,071,84211.678.2
Trey SermonRBSF$1,218,23311.788.1

The first thing that I noticed is how the rookie mock draft ADP is tracking pretty closely to the start-up draft ADP. The differences are mostly that RBs are going even higher in start-up drafts than the rookie-only drafts. Travis Etienne is the fourth rookie off the board in start-up drafts, but fifth in rookie-only ones. Javonte Williams is neck and neck with Justin Fields for sixth in rookie-only drafts, but several spots ahead of him in start-up drafts. Finally, Michael Carter moves up to 10th in the start-up drafts while going 12th in the rookie-only drafts.
Based on this data, Dynasty Owners should expect to have 4 QBs, 5 RBs, 3 WRs and 1 TE taken in the average rookie draft first round. All of these players were also first round NFL draft picks, except for three RBs – Javonte Williams (second), Trey Sermon (third) and Michael Carter (fourth).
In addition, while Najee Harris was the first RB taken in the NFL draft, he didn’t get taken until the 24th pick. He has an ADP of 12.0 in start-up drafts so he’s going a lot higher than his NFL draft position in Dynasty Owner. Not surprising since RBs are always drafted early in fantasy football, regardless of format. Remember that Clyde Edwards-Helaire was a first round Dynasty Owner draft pick last year after being the last first round pick (#32 overall).
Finally, it really looks like if you want one of the top six picks in the NFL draft and have the salary cap room to fit him on your Dynasty Owner roster, your team needs to be in the top 10 of the first round. Otherwise, all of those guys are likely to be gone.

Second Round
The second round is the WR round and looks very different than the first round. Eight out of twelve draft picks are WRs with three RBs and Mac Jones as the only QB. There are also no TEs being drafted, on average, in the second round.

PlayerPositionTeamSalaryRookie Mock ADPStart-up Draft ADP
Elijah MooreWRNYJ$2,235,10714.2106.1
Mac JonesQBNE$3,896,58814.7108.9
Rondale MooreWRARI$1,731,06014.996.1
Terrace MarshallWRCAR$1,432,37216.2110.4
Rashod BatemanWRBAL$3,149,85316.2126.4
Kenneth GainwellRBPHI$953,88217.6116.1
Chuba HubbardRBCAR$1,048,29418.4116.3
Kadarius ToneyWRNYG$3,429,87720.4155.8
Amari RodgersWRGB$1,224,97421.4128.8
Amon-Ra St. BrownWRDET$1,066,31322.1124.4
Nico CollinsWRHOU$1,217,87922.5170.6
Javian HawkinsRBATL$810,00023.6217.3

We have our first undrafted rookie free agent with Javian Hawkins jumping into the end of the second round with the 25th pick. In contrast, Kadarius Toney is the 21st rookie drafted in rookie drafts and 23rd in start-up drafts after being the 20th overall pick in the NFL draft.
There is definitely more variation in the order as the draft moves along deeper into the second round and later. Javian Hawkins may be going at the end of the second round in rookie-only mock drafts, but in the start-up drafts, there are many players with better ADPs.
This round features both affordable players (Hawkins, St. Brown, Kenneth Gainwell, Chuba Hubbard) along with first round NFL draft picks who are going to cost you more than $3 million per year (Mac Jones, Rashod Bateman and Toney). It’s exciting because Dynasty Owners can go a lot of different ways here in the middle of the rookie-only draft if they have salary cap room, but the board is still filled with good options for cap strapped teams too.

Third Round
The universe of third round rookie draft picks is larger as there are lots of players being taken late in some rookie-only drafts, but not others. All total, we have 22 players with a rookie-only draft ADP, but only 12 picks in the third round. That’s good news!
Some of these guys will be available in your Free Agent Auction after the rookie draft is over if you have extra space on your roster after the draft is over. It also means that you shouldn’t panic if you don’t have a third round pick as somebody will be there for you in the Free Agent Auction after the rookie draft is done.

PlayerPositionTeamSalaryRookie Mock ADPStart-up Draft ADP
Kyle TraskQBTB$1,383,83423.8187.0
Dyami BrownWRWAS$1,236,00023.9167.4
Tutu AtwellWRLAR$1,477,17526.0212.6
D’Wayne EskridgeWRSEA$1,488,37626.5191.6
Rhamondre StevensonRBNE$1,057,26426.6185.6
Tylan WallaceWRBAL$1,041,34127.3248.3
Kellen MondQBMIN$1,305,85428.0224.4
Pat FreiermuthTEPIT$1,507,04529.5116.9
Josh PalmerWRLAC$1,258,36529.8233.6
Jermar JeffersonRBDET$889,58129.9203.0
Ian BookQBNO$1,038,39630.8234.2
Khalil HerbertRBCHI$902,67730.8211.9
Demetric FeltonRBCLE$910,28531.3231.2
Davis MillsQBHOU$1,304,38331.3210.5
Anthony SchwartzWRCLE$1,215,75531.5255.7
Chris EvansRBCIN$913,22231.8251.7
Dez FitzpatrickWRTEN$1,069,95131.8242.6
Brevin JordanTEHOU$958,04632.3195.5
Evan McPhersonKCIN$955,92832.6236.1
Kylin HillRBGB$889,76633.0242.3
Shi SmithWRCAR$913,10533.8264.4

The third round is fun because it’s not really about salary cap room at this point. Sure, a few teams may be hamstrung and have $1 million or less, but all of the players listed here cost less than $1.51 million in annual salary. At this point, it’s all about figuring out who the “best” player of the bunch of similar-priced options is going to be. For those Dynasty Owners with multiple third round picks, you have two (or more) shots to find players who might help your Dynasty Owner team and maybe even be a cheap building block for years to come.
While the second round had Javian Hawkins, no undrafted rookie free agent appears here in the third round. There may be one or two taken in your Dynasty Owner league, but nobody stands out.
With the clearest path to playing time in 2020 (barring injury), it’s surprising to see Davis Mills being drafted after fellow rookie QBs Kyle Trask, Kellen Mond and Ian Book in the rookie-only drafts. He moves up in the start-up drafts, but is still going almost two full rounds (23.5 spaces) after Kyle Trask who isn’t supplanting the G.O.A.T. in Tampa Bay until the G.O.A.T. is ready to retire.
The final interesting point to note here is that the two TEs listed (Pat Freiermuth and Brevin Jordan) are much more popular in start-up drafts than the rookie-only mock drafts. If you want one of them, you have to decide which ADP is more accurate and whether you might need to draft them in a spot more in line with their start-up or rookie-only draft ADP. If you’re not looking at either one, then you might be able to get something pretty valuable for a late second/early third round pick from another Dynasty Owner who is looking for a low cost TE.

The Best of the Free Agent Auction
In addition to the guys listed above who aren’t going to get drafted, you may find a rookie in the Free Agent Auction after the rookie draft who fills a need on your Dynasty Owner roster for minimal cost. These players don’t have a rookie-only mock draft ADP, but are being taken in most of the start-up drafts that have already taken place. Here are a few of them:
Elijah Mitchell (RB – SF): The 49ers sixth round draft choice is being drafted in almost 90% of start-up drafts with an ADP of 238.1. With the recent injury to Jeffrey Wilson and Kyle Shanahan’s usage of many RBs, he could work his way into playing time in 2021. Beyond 2021, none of the 49ers veteran RBs are signed for 2022 so it could be him and Trey Sermon next year.

Hunter Long (TE – MIA): He was the #81 overall NFL pick and is being taken in about 80% of Dynasty Owner start-up drafts with an ADP of 247.5. There are a lot of WRs and TEs in Miami, but most will cost more than $1.242 million in salary that you’ll have to pay Long.

Tommy Tremble (TE – CAR): Very similar to Hunter Long as he was the #83 overall NFL pick, costs only $1.23 million, is being taken in about 80% of Dynasty Owner start-up drafts and his ADP is 242.3. Might have a clearer path to playing time in Carolina with only Dan Arnold and Ian Thomas ahead of him on the depth chart.

Jaret Patterson (RB – WAS): The undrafted rookie free agent from Buffalo has been taken in 67% of start-up drafts with an ADP of 258.6. Whether he earns playing time with the Football Team is up in the air, but plenty of Dynasty Owners are betting on it.

Larry Rountree (RB – LAC): Another sixth round rookie RB with a salary of under $1 million ($913,940) who is more popular in start-up drafts than in the rookie-only mock drafts. He has been taken in all but one start-up draft so far with an ADP of 232.3 – very similar to Elijah Mitchell.

Jaelon Darden (WR – TB): Darden has been taken in over 60% of start-up drafts with an ADP of 261.7. This is despite the fact that he was drafted by Tampa Bay and the Buccaneers are returning all of their offensive starters and key backups.

There are plenty of other guys who we could review, but we’ve already listed 60+ players. Everyone can just go to Dynasty Owner and do their own research at this point about the other 100+ rookies available to draft. It’s fun and easy to do if you haven’t already done so.

Conclusions
The time has come for Dynasty Owners to start drafting rookies. This is not a drill or a mock, it’s for real! If you haven’t gotten your roster ready and cleared out the dead weight, it’s time to get moving. Your team could be on the clock soon!
All of the debates between who to draft #1, whether your “guy” will be there at your pick, which of the top WRs to take if you have the option for all of them, etc. will end and then it’s time to look forward to training camp position battles and pre-season games.
With both rookie drafts and 2021 start-up drafts ongoing, it’s time for all Dynasty Owners to get working on their teams. Dynasty Owner has great content coming to help you win your league. My articles and videos to get you ready for your 2021 Dynasty Owner start-up league team will be released now on Wednesdays. Keep an eye out for new articles from the rest of our team of Dynasty Owner writers as well. Matt Morrison – The Jerk (@Dynastyjerk) is doing a deep dive on individual teams that you can check out earlier on in the week now as they will appear on Mondays. Jay Pounds (@jaypoundsnfl) looks at how to rebuild your Dynasty Owner roster and everyone will still get his insights on Fridays. All of the articles and videos will be released at 1 PM (Eastern).
Please read all of their articles and follow all three of us plus Dynasty Owner (@Dynasty_Owner) on Twitter. Hopefully this article is helpful as you work through the first-ever Dynasty Owner rookie drafts. Thanks, and have a great day!

Steven Van Tassell is the Head of Content for Dynasty Owner
Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

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