By Steven Van Tassell (@SteveVT33)
With the start and finish of some Dynasty Owner rookie drafts, it’s time to have the potentially dreaded third draft article. This time, it’s a limited number of completed rookie drafts I have the complete results from (7 in total) and I can review and analyze.
Trilogies are tough – they can really reinvigorate a series, like Toy Story 3 did with the switch from Andy, who was heading off to college, to Bonnie who wasn’t even in kindergarten. It made sense, introduced new characters to the series and the old characters to new kids and overall didn’t feel too forced. On the other hand, a third movie can go completely off the rails and signal the end of the series (The Hangover, Part III and The Godfather Part III immediately come to mind). They make you long for the original movie and the sequel and mutter to yourself as you exit the theatre minus your money, turn off the DVD, or start searching Netflix for something else to watch. We will be talking about some of the same players discussed in the first and second startup draft articles, so it’s definitely not going to be like Home Alone 3, which pretty much only shared the name and copied the premise of the first two movies.
While it’s just interesting for some people to read and write about how the rookie drafts are going, the primary purpose is to attempt to help everyone who has an ongoing or upcoming rookie draft. This information can be useful in preparing and strategizing for those upcoming rookie drafts. Some Dynasty Owners are like me and have one starting on Friday or soon thereafter, but for others, it might be their first one.
Just like startup drafts, no two Dynasty Owner rookie drafts are the same. Even with just three rounds and 37 picks, the strategy differences between regular dynasty leagues and Dynasty Owner also make our rookie drafts different. In your regular dynasty league, you may have to drop a few players to make room for rookies, but in Dynasty Owner, you might have to drop players while still keeping your roster at the 25 spot minimum (players plus picks) and have enough salary cap room to draft who you want. If you don’t have $5.5 million in salary cap room, there’s no Bijan Robinson ($5,489,634) for you, even if you own the 1.01 rookie draft pick!
The beta leagues with Dynasty Owners who started in 2019 were the first Dynasty Owner leagues to get to do their rookie drafts and many of them (plus a few other 2020 startup leagues) are completed. After asking for some assistance, I was able to obtain the complete rookie draft results from seven different leagues. Shout outs and thank you to several Dynasty Owners (Billy – Out of Luck, Rollin Sommers – Bull Dawgs, Kevin LaLuzerne – Up Country Degens, Joshua Reilly – Jet Chip Wasp and Chris Wolf – Wolfpack21) for their assistance in sending me their completed rookie drafts. If you are in a Dynasty Owner league with any of them and use the information from this article to help you with your rookie draft, be sure to give them a shout out or Thank You for their assistance.
The player’s Average Draft Position (ADP) was updated by calculating the results from all seven of these completed rookie drafts and may differ from the rookie ADP that appears on the Dynasty Owner platform. The rookie ADP on the Dynasty Owner platform has the data from all rookie drafts, including those completed drafts not sent to me for analysis and rookie drafts that are still ongoing.
All statistics listed are from the 2022 Dynasty Owner season and based on the Standard Dynasty Owner scoring system as outlined in the updated Dynasty Owner Constitution. Standard Dynasty Owner scoring gives you .1 points for every yard rushing or receiving, .1 point for every 2 yards passing, 1 point per reception, 6 points for a rushing, receiving or passing touchdown and 2 points for a successful 2-point conversion (rushing, receiving, or passing). Interceptions or fumbles lost cost you 3 points, while a fumble that is recovered by the player’s team is a loss of only 1 point. Bonus points are available for 100-199 yards rushing (2 points), 200 yards rushing or receiving (6 points), 300-399 yards passing (1 point) and 400 yards passing (4 points). There is also a 3 point bonus for clutch scoring, which is a score that results in a lead change in the final two minutes of the 4th quarter or overtime. Kickoff and punt return touchdowns are worth 6 points for the player and kickoff and punt returns are worth 1 point for every 40 yards.
All salaries and roster percentages listed were current on the Dynasty Owner platform as of the afternoon of June 1st. Salary information for rookies who have not officially signed their rookie contract comes from the Spotrac NFL 2023 Draft Tracker page (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/draft/) and is subject to change and updating.
Did Anyone Not Draft Bijan with the First Pick?
Yes! In an upset of Buster Douglas beating Mike Tyson proportions, AB Boys in beta league #1 (League #27481) drafted Bryce Young ($9,488,768) with the first overall pick. Bijan Robinson was taken with the second pick. Admittedly, it was only seven completed drafts, but it did happen at least once. However, AB Boys also had the second pick in the rookie draft, so we don’t really know if they would have gone with Bijan first if they didn’t own the second pick.
So, while the answer is officially Yes, the real answer is a bit more nuanced. The bottom line is two-fold. First, if you really want Bijan Robinson on your established Dynasty Owner team, you need to have the #1 rookie draft pick or have the assets to acquire it. The #2 pick is highly unlikely to do the job, unlike the Dynasty Owner startup drafts where a consensus #1 pick has yet to emerge. Second, if you have the overall #1 rookie draft pick and aren’t planning on drafting Bijan, then let everyone in your league know and start accepting offers. Whatever your reason for not wanting Bijan is, it’s fine. Just trade the pick and get a lot for it. No sense in taking another player there who might be available if you just drop down a few spots in the first round.
This is not terribly surprising, even though Bijan was taken with the eighth overall pick in the NFL Draft and as a result, received a contract and Dynasty Owner salary higher than most people were anticipating.
First Round Draft Selections
The question that you might be wondering to yourself now is: Is Steve writing about the ten players in the Dynasty Owner player pool who were drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft, or is he talking about who has been taken in the first round of completed Dynasty Owner rookie drafts. The answer is an emphatic Yes!
That’s because eight out of the ten of the first round NFL Draft picks have also been first round Dynasty Owner rookie draft picks in all seven of these completed rookie drafts. It was ten out of ten until the results of League #27482 (aka Beta league #2) came in and to my astonishment, two of the first round NFL Draft picks were taken with the #14 and #15 overall picks (first two picks of the second round). For those of you wondering, Quentin Johnston ($3,547,195) was the #14 pick and Zay Flowers ($3,509,109) was the #15 pick. Up until that draft, none of the first round NFL Draft picks had even been selected with the 1.13 bonus pick.
Here is the complete list of rookies with first round rookie draft ADP (13.0 or lower) in these seven completed drafts.
Titans QB Will Levis ($2,385,542) was the first position player drafted on Day 2 of the NFL Draft and not surprisingly has a first round Dynasty Owner rookie draft ADP. Seahawks RB Zach Charbonnet ($1,719,020) was the 17th position player taken in the NFL Draft, with the overall #52 pick by Seattle, but he’s a first rounder for Dynasty Owners. Even though Charbonnet’s ADP is 12.9, he has only been taken once with the 1.13 bonus pick (by Kraft Yankaroni & Cheats in League #27483 – aka Beta League #3).
Overall, four other players were taken with the 1.13 bonus pick. Dolphins RB Devon Achane ($1,359,362) and Raiders TE Michael Mayer ($2,328,412) were both drafted twice with the 1.13 pick. Both Lions TE Sam LaPorta ($2,366,498) and Saints RB Kendre Miller ($1,413,580) were taken once with the bonus pick. Three out of these four players, all but Mayer, were taken in the first round in another rookie draft.
In addition to these players, we had two additional players drafted at least once in the first round of one of these seven completed Dynasty Owner rookie draft. Here are all six of the non-first round rookie draft picks (by ADP) who were taken in the first round of at least one completed Dynasty Owner rookie draft.
|Player||Position||Team||2023 Salary||ADP||First Round Pick Spot|
|Kendre Miller||RB||Saints||$1,413,580||13.1||9, 11, 13|
|Devon Achane||RB||Dolphins||$1,359,362||13.6||10, 13, 13|
|Michael Mayer||TE||Raiders||$2,328,412||16.0||13, 13|
|Sam LaPorta||TE||Lions||$2,366,498||17.7||9, 13|
Both Roschon Johnson ($1,152,172) and Tyjae Spears ($1,372,654) were drafted in the first round by one team (Johnson by PACKER-H8TER in League #27465 and Spears by Jazz in League #27482). Sorry to be the bearer of bad news to PACKER-H8TER, but Johnson was available at your next rookie draft pick in that league (#17 overall) in five out of the other six completed Dynasty Owner rookie draft available for analysis.
As Different As Night and Day or Two Peas in a Pod
Which unoriginal and uninspired slogan is true of Dynasty Owner initial startup drafts and completed rookie drafts to date? Have the completed rookie drafts had similar results as the initial startup drafts, or have they been completely different? As sportscaster Warner Wolf would say “Let’s go to the videotape!”
Actually, I don’t have any videotape since it’s 2023 and not the late 1990s. All I’ve got are a side-by-side look at the rankings of the top rookies from the initial first two weekends of startup drafts and these seven completed rookie drafts. Note that Jahmyr Gibbs ($4,461,283) was inadvertently left off the startup draft ADP rankings for rookies, but had an initial startup draft ADP of 15.0 to rank second among rookies.
|Player||Startup Draft Rank||Rookie Draft Rank|
The biggest differences of opinion are on Anthony Richardson, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Zay Flowers, Kendre Miller and Will Levis. Established Dynasty Owners participating in early rookie drafts are much more bullish on Richardson as he’s second player off the board in rookie drafts (rookie draft ADP of 3.0) and wasn’t drafted lower than fourth in any of these completed rookie drafts. He was the sixth rookie off the board, on average, in initial startup drafts with an ADP of 49.4. He wasn’t too far behind both Young Stroud in those initial startup drafts (ADP of 47.0 for Young and 48.6 for Stroud), but has been taking earlier than both of them in four out of these seven completed rookie drafts.
Flowers was the 11th rookie drafted on average in the initial Dynasty Owner startup drafts, but he’s three spots better (8th) in the seven completed rookie drafts. He’s got a better rookie ADP (9.3) than both Dalton Kincaid (9.6) and Quentin Johnston (10.3) who were taken at least a round earlier than he was in the initial startup drafts. Kendre Miller is also going three spots earlier in rookie drafts than in the initial startup drafts. Will Levis is a late first round Dynasty Owner rookie draft pick with an ADP of 11.7, but if the startup draft ADPs were ranked, he would have been drafted barely inside the top third of the second round on average.
For Smith-Njigba, it’s the opposite as Dynasty Owners who have participated in those initial startup drafts drafted him before the rookie draft Dynasty Owners. While his rookie draft ADP is 5.0, he was taken as low as the seventh pick in two completed rookie drafts already, compared with being the third rookie off the board on average in the initial startup drafts.
Third Round Lottery Tickets
Speaking of third, the third round is the place where lots of Dynasty Owners like to take shots in the dark with players who they may not be sure about, but hope will work out. Many times, it’s a later round RB or TE who shines after being a consensus third round rookie draft pick. The commonly used term is lottery ticket because there is a low cost, just a third round rookie draft pick, but also a low chance of a huge payoff, just like a Powerball or Mega Millions ticket.
Back in 2021, I summarized all of the Dynasty Owner rookie drafts and looked back at that data to see if there were any diamonds in the rough that year. Two players who have been winning lottery tickets for the Dynasty Owners who likely drafted them in the third round of 2021 rookie drafts are Rhamondre Stevenson ($1,057,264) who had a rookie draft ADP of 28.1. In comparison, his ADP in 2023 Dynasty Owner startup drafts is 25.9 right now. Dynasty Owners who took a chance on Evan McPherson ($955,928) in third round that year (2021 rookie draft ADP of 31.3) have also been happy with that selection as he’s finished as a top 10 kicker in both 2022 and 2021.
Last year, Brian Robinson ($1,261,227) had a rookie ADP of 26.2 after the first set of rookie drafts and now, he’s been drafted in the seventh round on average in 2023 startup drafts (ADP 85.0) after averaging 9.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game in 12 games played in 2022.
Dynasty Owners are picking Jets RB Israel Abanikanda ($1,044,944) as this year’s most likely winning lottery ticket. He has been picked in all seven of these completed rookie drafts, but always in the third round. He has a rookie draft ADP of 33.0 and has been picked as high as 28th overall (third pick of the third round) and as low as with the 37th and final overall rookie draft pick. The next closest player who has been taken in all seven completed rookie drafts and mostly drafted in the third round is Giants WR Jalin Hyatt ($1,406,328). His ADP of 29.0 says early third round rookie draft pick, but he has been taken in the second round three times and twice with the 21st pick (eighth pick of the second round).
Solitary Men are rookies who were only drafted in one league. The heading is a tip of the cap to Neil Diamond and his 1966 song Solitary Man. As a Boston Red Sox fan, I prefer Sweet Caroline myself, but Carolina is the closest the NFL is getting to Caroline so if I’m naming a section after a Neil Diamond song, this is the one.
So far, we only have three Solitary Men. Not sure if the number will go up or down as more rookie drafts are completed, but here are the three we have so far.
|Player||Position||NFL Team||2023 Salary||Pick|
Shout out to the Dynasty Owners who are the only ones who believed enough in each of those players to use a rookie draft pick on them.
- Darnell Washington: WANNABEES – League #27483
- Trey Palmer: Bull Dawgs – League #27481
- Charlie Jones: PACKER-H8TER – League #27465
However, just because only one Dynasty Owner drafted them doesn’t mean these players can’t and won’t eventually make their way on to other Dynasty Owner teams.
No Country for These Men
It wasn’t mentioned before, but a total of 29 rookies were drafted in all seven of these completed rookie drafts. Since there were eight players taken in every first round, 21 other players were also taken in every rookie draft at some other point. All ten first round NFL Draft picks were taken in every rookie draft along with everybody’s favorite lottery ticket, fifth round pick Israel Abanikanda. We had nine out of the 11 second round NFL Draft picks taken in every rookie draft along with seven third round picks, one fourth round pick (Roschon Johnson) and an additional fifth round pick in Bengals RB Chase Brown ($1,031,539). Brown was the lowest NFL Draft pick taken in all seven completed rookie drafts as he was selected with the 163rd pick in the NFL Draft, 20 spots later than Abanikanda.
On the flip side, we have a number of players who weren’t drafted in any of these seven completed Dynasty Owner rookie drafts. There’s no Dynasty Owner team for these men. At least not until they are picked up off the Free Agent Auction.
While two second round picks weren’t taken in all seven completed rookie drafts, at least Cowboys TE Luke Schoonmaker ($1,566,672) was taken in three with an ADP of 29.0 to prove it. In contrast, Jaguars TE Brenton Strange ($1,528,583) was drafted by Jacksonville only three picks after Schoonmaker and near the end of the second round of the NFL Draft with the 61st overall pick. He was the highest NFL Draft pick position player not taken in any of these seven completed Dynasty Owner rookie drafts.
Overall, there were 35 rookie position players drafted in the NFL Draft, but not in a completed Dynasty Owner rookie draft so far. Not surprising as there are only three rounds and 37 picks in a Dynasty Owner rookie draft versus seven rounds and 259 picks in the 2023 NFL Draft with 82 drafted rookies appearing in the Dynasty Owner player pool. Strange was the only second round pick, while compensatory third round picks TE Cameron Latu ($1,326,021) from the 49ers and WR Tre Tucker ($1,326,021) from the Raiders were the only third rounders undrafted by Dynasty Owners. From there, we had four undrafted fourth round NFL Draft picks, ten undrafted fifth round picks, eight undrafted sixth round picks and ten undrafted seventh round picks.
Nobody Loves an Undrafted Rookie Free Agent
The exact opposite of the hit CBS comedy Everybody Loves Raymond. So far, not a single undrafted rookie free agent has been taken in a completed Dynasty Owner rookie draft. That’s not to say that it hasn’t happened in one of the ongoing drafts or a draft that I have not been given to analyze, or that these players haven’t been bid on in the Free Agent Auction after the rookie draft is over. However, there’s a good reason for Dynasty Owners to avoid spending a draft pick on an undrafted rookie free agent. They don’t often pan out as NFL players despite some of them being taken in previous Dynasty Owner rookie drafts.
Out of the first five rookie drafts from 2022, Dynasty Owners had taken three undrafted rookie free agents. The most prominent was Chiefs WR Justyn Ross ($853,333) who was even taken in the second round in one 2022 rookie draft and remains rostered currently in 94.26% of Dynasty Owner leagues. Ross missed the entire 2022 season with a foot injury. Kicker Jonathan Garibay ($853,333) was the only kicker on the Cowboys’ roster for a while during the 2022 off-season, which prompted Dynasty Owners to grab him in a lot of Dynasty Owner rookie drafts, including two out of the first five of them. He was waived in early August by the team. Finally, a couple of Dynasty Owners had faith in QB Carson Strong ($853,333) who was unfortunately cut at the end of training camp by the Philadelphia Eagles. He latched on with the Arizona Cardinals at the end of the season, but like Ross and Garibay never played and scored zero Dynasty Owner fantasy points.
In 2021, a total of 68 rookies were drafted in at least one Dynasty Owner rookie draft, including eight undrafted rookie free agents. The most prominent was RB Javian Hawkins ($750,000). Hawkins was a trendy pick as an undrafted rookie free agent because he was signed by the Falcons who had failed to take a single RB in the NFL Draft and seemed to have an open backfield. As a result, Hawkins was drafted in 70% of Dynasty Owner rookie drafts in 2021 and taken eight times in the second round with a high pick of 17th overall. Hawkins was released by the Falcons during training camp, has been picked up by several teams for their practice squads, but still has yet to score a single Dynasty Owner fantasy point.
The most successful undrafted rookie free agent who was taken by at least one Dynasty Owner team in a 2021 rookie draft has to be Lions kicker Riley Patterson ($940,000). Patterson kicked in the last seven games of the 2021 season for the Lions after being signed by the Vikings after that year’s NFL Draft. He ended up scoring 48.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. Patterson was the kicker for Jacksonville all of the 2022 season and finished as the 11th ranked kicker in Dynasty Owner with 113.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. He was recently traded back to Detroit.
Things might change in 2023 and an undrafted rookie free agent could have a season like James Robinson ($2,000,000) did for Jacksonville back in 2020 when he racked up over 1,000 yards rushing and 258.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points to finish as RB7. That’s an outlier and unlikely to happen again soon. Dynasty Owners are better off leaving the undrafted rookie free agents undrafted and maybe picking one up off the Free Agent Auction with a cheap bid if they have roster and salary cap space.
Hopefully this article got you excited for your upcoming Dynasty Owner rookie draft or gave you some ideas of who you might be able to get if your draft is stuck in the first round and you don’t have another pick until the second or third round. Some Dynasty Owners might discover that the player they want is unlikely to get to their draft position and have to decide if they want to trade up to go “get their guy”. On the other hand, if you are flexible with the players you want, this information could provide you with what you need to feel comfortable trading down and still getting a rookie who can help your team.
If you don’t have one starting for a while and want to get in on the rookie draft excitement, then consider picking up an orphan team in the D.O. Store. They are all on sale for just $10 and there are many to choose from. The good news is that you can look around and find an orphan with draft picks that you like and might get you the player you really want on your Dynasty Owner team. Remember, if it’s Bijan Robinson, get looking for an orphan with the 1.01 pick because you’re going to need it.
Listen to me do an “orphan” version of the Dynasty Owner podcast without Jay Pounds that highlights a couple of available orphan teams. I give my assessment of each team’s roster and assets, and talk about how I would go about fixing each team up. Hopefully, it was only one week alone for me, and Jay will be back next week for another podcast.
If you want to do a Dynasty Owner startup draft this weekend, I’m seeing them available on Saturday and even one drafting on Monday night. If those don’t work, there are startup drafts coming throughout the entire summer until the start of the NFL season. Go to your D.O. Store, click on New Team for 2023, and find a time when you can draft this weekend. You can also reach out and ask for a specific date and time for a league.
While you’re waiting for your next rookie or startup draft, or just looking at your current teams and working on improvements, Dynasty Owner has plenty of content to help you out. Matt Morrison – The Jerk had his fourth and final Best Case, Worse Case article published earlier this week about a few players returning from being injured last season. If you have a startup draft soon, then you have to check out the article by Jay with the best players by ADP being selected in every round of a Dynasty Owner startup draft. June will feature more articles from the three of us and additional written content as well.
Tim and I took the week off from the Dynasty Owner Livestream because our 2022 Chase for the Ring Champion Rudy, aka Dynasty Trade School (D|T|S) was receiving his ring. We’ll be back on Friday and there are live mock drafts from previous weeks that you can check out on the Dynasty Owner YouTube channel if you missed them. Finally, don’t forget to follow Dynasty Owner on Twitter. Thanks for reading and have a great day!
Steven Van Tassell is the Head of Content for Dynasty Owner
Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner