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2020 Rookie Drafts - Where Does the Value Lie?

With the 2020 NFL Draft in the books, dynasty rookie rankings are finally starting to come together. A consensus rookie ADP is beginning to develop as more analysts and fantasy football fans have their dynasty rookie drafts.

For the most part, you'll see the top rookie running backs leading the way with landing spots for guys like Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jonathan Taylor. While Edwards-Helaire is looking to be the popular pick due to his landing spot, this is still going to be a year where there isn't a clear-cut choice as the first overall pick.

In this space, I'll be taking a look at where the best values are and include some suggestions on how to approach your dynasty rookie draft regardless of where you pick.

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The 1.01

This year, if you've got the 1.01 in your dynasty rookie draft, you're set up nicely. Many fantasy owners are leaning towards Edwards-Helaire as the top pick, while some are looking at Taylor. Our own FSWA Hall of Famer, Scott "The King" Engel, weighed in on this already, as did Pierre Camus and Chris Mangano on the Fantasy Bomb podcast.

If you participate in rookie mock drafts or follow along with general dynasty ADP, there's a good chance you've seen Edwards-Helaire ranked insanely high. According to DynastyFootballLeague.com, Edwards-Helaire recently had an ADP of 1.12 in dynasty startup drafts. While this might be a bit overboard, it just shows how high the general public is on him, and the upside that he brings from a fantasy perspective in that Chiefs offense.

If you do own the 1.01, it wouldn't be a bad idea to consider shopping am perspective. While I do believe that Edwards-Helaire has the most immediate upside and potential for fantasy production, Taylor does offer similar upside in the Colts offense behind one of the best offensive lines in the NFL.

From a long-term perspective, I wouldn't be too shocked to see him as a top-five running back for fantasy purposes, similar to someone like Melvin Gordon in recent years. However, the upside that a versatile back like Edwards-Helaire brings in a high-powered offense like Kansas City, that cannot be overlooked.

If you can move back from the 1.01 to the 1.02 to gather extra picks or players, do so in a heartbeat. It's definitely easier said than done, and many owners might feel the same way about Edwards-Helaire and Taylor as you head into your rookie drafts. If there is an owner who is clearly in love with one or the other, I'd do what you can to capitalize and gain some additional value by moving back. Past moving back from the 1.02, the value definitely drops significantly, as I believe Edwards-Helaire and Taylor are in a tier by themselves this year in 1QB dynasty rookie drafts.

If your upcoming dynasty rookie drafts are Superflex or 2QB leagues, you'll be looking at a totally different draft, especially with the first pick. Personally, I like to take the value that quarterbacks offer, but if you're desperate for a running back or loaded at quarterback, I don't mind grabbing Edwards-Helaire or Taylor. Many owners won't even consider taking a quarterback with the first or second pick, but there will be others happy to grab Justin Herbert as a top-four or five pick this year.

It's all personal preference on how you like to construct your rosters, but with all of the talent in this class, the top picks in Superflex and 2QB leagues will be extremely valuable and the best way to prepare is to take a look at your league-mates rosters or just making sure you know how the rest of your league tends to draft.

 

Eight Is Enough 

If you're heading into your dynasty rookie draft with any pick inside the top eight, you should be happy. Edwards-Helaire, Taylor, J.K. Dobbins, D'Andre Swift, Cam Akers, CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, and Jalen Reagor are eight players that I'd be extremely happy with grabbing in my rookie drafts, but there's a bit of a drop-off after that. If you have a pick within the top eight, it's worth taking a look at your roster, evaluating your team needs, and potentially moving back or up a spot or two in order to get your guy.

It's also important to recognize the tendencies of your league mates and try to do your best at guessing who they may or may not be taking. If you're in need of a running back and find your league taking them early on, do what you can to move up and grab one of the top five running backs that I mentioned above. More than likely, the wide receivers will fall a bit past the running backs. Based on current ADP and drafts I've done personally, don't be surprised if one of these top wide receivers falls out of the top eight as well.

Regardless of what pick you have inside the top eight this year, you can be content. However, don't be afraid to move up or back a few spots if there's one of these players that you're crazy about. If you're sitting at the end of the first-round waiting to get your first pick in, there's a chance one of these top eight players might fall to you.

If your team is fairly loaded and you can move back a spot or two, don't be afraid to do so. There will always be an owner or two in your leagues that wants to move up to grab a certain player they're in love with. Getting a feel for who your teammates like or dislike prior to heading into your draft is always a good idea as well.

 

Second-Round Picks

The second round is really where the value starts to show in this deep class. All of your drafts are going to go a bit different for the most part. The depth at the wide receiver position is the most interesting part of this class and ultimately where the most value lies.

Recently, I've been able to draft wide receivers like Denzel Mims, Henry Ruggs III, or Michael Pittman Jr. with second-round draft picks. Depending on how your league drafts or how your league mates value players, you may also see some interesting running backs like KeShawn Vaughn and Zack Moss fall into the second-round as well.

One thing that I've been preaching over this past offseason is acquiring second-round rookie draft picks rather than paying up for first-round picks. This year, there's just so much depth and talent in this class that you'll really be able to capitalize if you head into your rookie drafts with multiple second-round picks. First-round picks are obviously great and offer more upside for the most part, but the price tag is just too high when you've got a class as hyped up as this one has been.

If you still haven't had your dynasty rookie drafts, there's still time to get out there and acquire some additional second-round picks. Whether it be from moving back or not, the window is still open to go out and acquire those picks.

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