Raymond Summerlin

Dynasty Rankings

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Dynasty Rookie Rankings

Tuesday, May 1, 2018


Aside from the great best ball leagues over at Draft.com, there is not much fantasy football fun to be had in the spring. That makes the NFL Draft and the Dynasty rookie drafts which follow a welcome oasis in the desert.

Ranking those rookies is difficult, however. It is a complicated calculus which has to take into account talent, landing spot, and draft stock, an important factor which is far too often overlooked in these discussions. With all of those things considered, what follows is how I rank the Dynasty rookies by position followed by an overall top-50.

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Quarterback
Two-quarterback formats are the exception, but in most cases it is important not to overvalue rookie quarterbacks in Dynasty, especially in shallower leagues. While streaming is more difficult, the principles which make drafting quarterbacks late in redraft leagues still apply in Dynasty, and it is better to spend a roster spot at receiver or running back than on a dart throw at quarterback. Following that philosophy, it does not make sense to rank anyone except the top quarterbacks who have a real shot a seeing meaningful playing time in the next couple seasons.

1. Baker Mayfield, Browns (1st Round, Pick 1)
My top quarterback heading into the draft, odds are Mayfield is not going to start as early in his career as Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, or even Josh Rosen, and that certainly narrows the gap. Still, it is highly likely he starts at some point as a rookie, Cleveland has surrounded him with a quality supporting cast, and he is the best combination of accuracy, decision-making, and playmaking in this class. All of that keeps him atop the rankings.

2. Sam Darnold, Jets (1st Round, Pick 3)
Aside from Allen, Darnold probably has the clearest path to a starting job. He also comes with concerns, however, because of his turnover history and gun-slinging mentality. It is possible he turns into a high-end starter who tops fantasy lists for years, or it is possible he tops out as a solid but mistake-prone starter. Either way he would have fantasy value, but those concerns along with questionable talent around him on the Jets’ roster are enough to put him behind Mayfield on my board.

3. Josh Rosen, Cardinals (1st Round, Pick 10)
Rosen’s road to early starts could be blocked by Sam Bradford, who has been a quality starter at times when healthy. Unfortunately, staying healthy has proven to be the issue for Bradford, and Rosen is ready to go right now. In fact, it would not be surprising if Rosen pushes Bradford hard for the starting job even without an injury. Still, the somewhat blocked path hurts him, the Cardinals do not have a good supporting cast outside of David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and perhaps Christian Kirk, and his lack of mobility puts a cap on his fantasy upside.

4. Lamar Jackson, Ravens (1st Round, Pick 32)
Jackson has a game which should provide fantasy value as soon as he lands a starting job, but it might be a while before that happens. Baltimore trading up to grab Jackson in the second round certainly puts the clock on Joe Flacco, but it is not a given they move on after the season. Cutting Flacco next spring would free up some cap space, but it would leave $16 million in dead money. That move will be warranted if Flacco continues his downturn, but it is not crazy to imagine a 33-year-old quarterback bouncing back. Moreover, the Ravens seem content to take it slow with Jackson, confirming Flacco remains the starter and laying out a plan of how they want to develop the rookie. Circumstances can certainly change those plans, but there is a scenario in which Jackson does not make starts until his sophomore season and perhaps beyond. That makes it difficult to rank him ahead of the other options. 

5. Josh Allen, Bills (1st Round, Pick 7)
It is possible Allen should be higher based on his landing spot. He only has to beat out A.J. McCarron and Nathan Peterman to earn the starting job, making it likely he is under center Week 1 unless he completely falls on his face. Based on his profile, however, completely falling on his face seems like a real possibility, and I have zero faith in his ability to develop into a long-term quarterback. If I am right, he will be a wasted pick. If I am wrong, I have not missed out on much at fantasy’s least valuable position.

Honorable Mention
: Mason Rudolph would have earned a ranking if rumors about him coming off the board late in the first or early on Day 2 would have been correct, but quarterbacks who the NFL perceives to have real starting upside do not last until the third round no matter what the general manager says after the fact. Perhaps Ben Roethlisberger actually retires instead of threatening it in the next year – he reportedly has told teammates he plans to play for three more seasons – and Rudolph moves into the starting job, but it is also possible they just go get another quarterback at that point. Ultimately, drafting Rudolph in a standard Dynasty league means spending a roster spot on what can be at best considered a dart-throw at a low-value position, which is not a great way to construct a roster. Kyle Lauletta, who ended up with the Giants in the fourth round, also falls into that category.


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Raymond Summerlin is a football writer for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter at @RMSummerlin.
Email :Raymond Summerlin



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