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DYNASTY: Rookie Analysis Draft

The Fantasy Sharks Writers Dynasty Rookie Analysis Draft is complete.  It is a 12-team, 4-round, offense only, PPR draft. Drafting are:

  1. Will Weiler
  2. David Olivarez
  3. David Grey
  4. Dish Adams
  5. Mark Chamberlin
  6. Lisa London
  7. Tony Holm
  8. Jay Devineni
  9. Michael Carline
  10. Chase Crampton
  11. Gary Davenport
  12. Jordan Gingery


1.01 Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants (1.02)

Will Weiler: The crown jewel of the 2018 rookie class, Saquon Barkley was chosen second overall by the New York Giants, and joins the likes of Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliott, and Leonard Fournette as one of the most highly coveted running back assets of the last decade. As a three-year starter at Penn State (Big Ten Conference) Barkley averaged 132.6 total scrimmage yards per game and scored 51 times. Barkley immediately slots into the Giants offense at the top of their Running Back depth chart, and should see little in the way of competition from aging veteran Jonathan Stewart and 2017 fourth-round draft pick Wayne Gallman. At 37-years old, Giants quarterback Eli Manning isn’t getting any younger either, so the team has every incentive to let their offense flow through their new young stud at tail back. Additionally, the Giants made some substantial investments to bolster their offensive line this off-season, with the additions of OT Nate Solder (who made his bones blocking for some guy named Tom Brady the past seven seasons) and OG Will Hernandez (drafted 32 spots after Barkley) which shows the team is committed to improving their seventh-worst rushing attack from a season ago. With Barkley already in consideration as a Top-10 running back in redraft leagues, this pick was a no-brainer.

1.02 Derrius Guice, RB, Washington Redskins (2.27)

David Olivarez: There were a number of good running backs in good situations for me to choose from here but Guice gets the nod in this Dynasty format. There is no doubt about his ability given his collegiate output in the ever challenging SEC and his measurables are right where you would expect them to be. Some are ready to crown him as the bell cow in Washington but I’m tempering expectations until we see how things shake out in year one. Samaje Perine was nothing special last year but he’s still there as is Chris Thompson – who should continue to dominate passing down work. This feels a lot like Joe Mixon landing in Cincinnati last season. He arrived to a welcoming party consisting of a lack luster two down back and solid 3rd down back in Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard. Much like Mixon, Guice’s best days may be a season away. I’d love to think he steps into a huge workload on Day 1, but we all know its tough to predict usage at this juncture. Either way, for dynasty purposes – he’s the guy at 1.02 for me.

1.03 Rashaad Penny, RB, Seattle Seahawks (1.27)

David Grey: I considered Penny, Sony Michel, Ronald Jones and Nick Chubb with this pick. I don’t think Penny is the most talented back of the bunch (don’t get me wrong, he is a good back) but his landing spot in Seattle could be ideal and he has the most upside because of it. He is a big back with some deceptive speed and should be a perfect fit in the Seahawks offense and he doesn’t have a ton of competition. If the Seahawks spent a first round pick on a running back, you can bet the goal is to run the ball early and often. Michel is another running back in the Patriots stable and like many fantasy owners, I hate Bill Belichick’s handling of running backs, so that adds risk to him. Does Jones have the size to hold up to being a feature runner? I’m not sure, as I think he might be more of a first-option in a committee, but he is an intriguing option with the Bucs and the Muscle Hamster gone. Chubb is a Brown and while I think they are headed in the right direction and I do like Chubb, he is still a Brown and there are other backs in the mix in Cleveland.

1.04 Sony Michel, RB, New England Patriots (1.31)

Dish Adams: Bill Belichick simply does not choose running backs in the first round of the NFL draft which should point to Sony Michel seeing a lot of snaps. When healthy, Dion Lewis was one of the most productive backs in fantasy on a weekly basis. Michel is the new Dion Lewis but remains healthy. There is no competition for touches in New England with Lewis gone, James White will never be a featured player and Michel can also handle some between the tackles work. This is more of a statement on Belichick getting this piece with something seriously in mind for him.

1.05 Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns (2.03)

Mark Chamberlin: Nick Chubb is the no-brainer #2 player on my rookie draft board, so I was ecstatic to see him fall to pick #5. His pure talent rivals Derrius Guice, only he comes without the neck-up baggage. He showed in 2017 that he was (finally) recovered from a major knee injury and if all goes to plan, this job is all his come 2019 with a chance to make an impact in 2018.

1.06 Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons (1.26)

Lisa London: Calvin Ridley is an excellent route runner with quick moves and on the field speed that makes him elusive. The concerns about him are his age and size. A 23 year-old receiver coming into the league already able to run a full NFL route tree isn’t an age concern to me. His skills should translate to him being on the field sooner than later and I expect him to climb up that depth chart quickly. Ridley is 6’1 and 190 pounds and has had some issues with physicality but I am willing to gamble on him (as were the Falcons.) I think he can put on a little weight and even Ted Ginn, Jr. learned how to stop going fetal at contact. Ridley’s landing spot is ideal. Yes, he will most likely be playing second-fiddle to Julio Jones but I don’t see that as a bad thing. He is (finally) going to have a quarterback who can get him the ball. Julio Jones will be pulling the toughest coverage which means Ridley should be able learn the ropes playing against single coverage. He will be able to watch and learn from one of the NFL’s greatest receivers truly transition into the NFL.

1.07 Ronald Jones, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2.06)

Tony Holm: In dynasty rookie drafts I have but one rule, draft running backs and quarterbacks. If a stud tight end falls (in tight end required leagues) then that’s acceptable too but unless a freak of nature wide receiver with size is available, I prefer to build my receiving group from free agency and trading. If you play in a dynasty league with me, easily half of my roster will be devoted to quarterback and running back development as I consider those the two positions that have the most value in dynasty.

Ronald Jones was electrifying at USC and was the second best running back in the draft for yards after contact. Once he gets the edge, say goodbye. Sometimes you have to play the “opportunity card” and Jones has it in spades in a Tampa backfield that woefully under-achieved last year. The knock on Ronald Jones is whether he has the size to be a bell cow running back at 5’11” and 205 pounds.  It’s not the 5’11” stat, as many runners including Hall-of-Famer Emmitt Smith were shorter, it’s the 205 pounds stat that has some concerned (Emmitt played 15-20 pounds heavier.)  If there’s one thing I know though, it’s that I can’t make myself any taller but boy can I put on weight just by looking at a cookie.  Once Jones gets into the conditioning program, they’ll add some weight to his frame.  You can’t coach his elusiveness and I think we’re seeing a shift in the NFL to running backs like Alvin Kamara, Chris Thompson maybe even add Sony Michel to that list; every team now wants an elusive break away running back that can catch and Ronald Jones fits the bill.  In a PPR league, his value goes up that much more.

1.08 D.J. Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers (1.24)

Jay Devineni: Moore turned heads at the NFL Combine with a 4.42 40-yard dash and a nearly 40-inch vertical, so it’s little surprise that the Panthers made him the first receiver taken in the draft. With a strong frame, great instincts, and dangerous run-after-catch ability, he’s the most well-rounded receiver in this year’s class. The Maryland product is also the only rookie receiver who has any chance of stepping into a No. 1 role this season. Devin Funchess led the team in 2017 with 63 catches for 840 yards, but it’s not hard to imagine Moore equaling or surpassing those numbers in an offense that figures to be more dynamic under new OC Norv Turner. Moore’s long-term outlook is also good, with three of Carolina’s best receivers (Devin Funchess, Torrey Smith, Russell Shepard) slated to become free agents over the next two years. He’s a bargain with the 8th pick.

1.09 Kerryon Johnson, RB, Detroit Lions (2.11)

Michael Carline: Going into this draft I was hoping for one of three running backs to fall to me. I was sure that Barkley was going first and I knew after that, things were going to get interesting. The three running backs I was targeting were Ronald Jones, Rashaad Penny, and lastly Kerryon Johnson. The reason I had all three of these backs ranked so high is because of the situations they landed in. There is not much competition for carries in the Detroit backfield. Blount will take some goal-line and short-yardage carries away from him but there is no reason to believe Johnson will not be the starter at the start of the season. At 6’0″ tall and 213 pounds he is a big back who proved he can be a tough every down back while at Auburn. He played against the best teams in college football and was able to produce good numbers. He has a nice burst of speed and will break a few runs for big gains. The one problem he has is that because he is so tall, he can run a little too tall but that is something he can easily overcome. The other concern is that he has had a few shoulder surgeries already so that adds an injury risk flag to him. At this point in a rookie draft though, everyone will have some issues and these are all minor ones when you consider you are drafting a starting rookie running back with the 9th pick.

1.10 Royce Freeman, RB, Denver Broncos (3.07)

Chase Crampton: I honestly don’t know how Freeman fell this far. With the exodus of C.J. Anderson this off season there is a huge void of carries that are up for grabs that ARE NOT going to filled by Devontae Booker. Freeman has a legitimate chance to not only take those vacated carries but to become the bell cow. Freeman is a bruiser running back that saw over 900 carries for over 5,000 yards in Oregon. I compare Freeman to this year’s Kareem Hunt, overlooked because of how far he fell in the draft, but falling into a great system with lesser backs in play.

1.11 Christian Kirk, WR, Arizona Cardinals (2.15)

Gary Davenport: Were this a real draft I’d be HOT after just missing on Freeman and Johnson (you guys suck), but in any event dem’s the breaks. Kirk’s a talented young wide receiver on a depth chart that features an aging Larry Fitzgerald and….that’s about it. In a PPR league like this, he’ll get a bump thanks to his sure hands and ability underneath and I wouldn’t be all that surprised if he leads all rookies in receiving yards in 2018.

1.12 James Washington, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (2.28)

Jordan Gingery: Pittsburgh’s ability to draft successful wide receivers is second to none. Washington doesn’t blow anyone away with elite size or speed, but he proved himself as a well-rounded player by being one of the most productive wide receivers in his collegiate years. Big Ben isn’t afraid to throw the deep bombs and Washington has shown that he can track and complete those low probability catches. Better yet, Pittsburgh drafted Washington’s college quarterback, Mason Rudolph, as a possible successor to Big Ben.


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