Under/Overvalued Rookies in Dynasty Leagues (Fantasy Football)
Heading into the NFL Draft season, the experts at DynastyLeagueFootball.com conduct a variety of rookie mock drafts, which can offer significant insight as to where you can expect players to fall in your DLF rookie drafts this season. They post their average draft position (ADP) results and average them out from each draft they have conducted.
Prior to the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine, DynastyLeagueFootball.com conducted five rookie drafts, posting the current ADP from those drafts. With the combine now over, and player’s ADPs being posted pre-combine, we can now assess potentially over and undervalued players are post combine.
This article highlight’s three overvalued and three undervalued rookies post-NFL combine and offers insight on where you should consider drafting them in your rookie drafts heading into the 2017 season.
Evan Engram (TE – Mississippi): ADP – 20.20
Engram was a four-year impact player for the Rebels and finished his career with 162 receptions for 2,320 yards and 15 touchdowns. The 6-foot-3, 234-pound tight end has the ability to lineup in the slot and on the line, and he will be a handful for NFL defenders at the next level.
Engram dominated the NFL combine, posting top times with a 4.42 40-yard dash, a 6.92 in the three-cone drill and a 36-inch vertical jump. Engram’s size and athleticism will most certainly give opposing linebackers trouble, and he could also prove to be a nightmare for some slot cornerbacks.
With his ability to line up at multiple positions on the field for a tight end, Engram, despite being a tight end, could carry value closer to some wide receivers. He outperformed over half of the receiver class in the 40-yard dash and displayed better agility than highly-touted wide receivers like Chris Godwin, Carlos Henderson, and Curtis Samuel.
Dalvin Cook (RB – Florida State): ADP – 1.40
Strictly speaking on tape and college production alone, taking Cook with the first-overall pick was a justifiable move. Cook left Florida State following his junior year of college and is regarded by many as the best running back in the class.
During his last year of college ball, Cook dominated to the tune of 1,765 yards on 288 carries, notching 19 rushing touchdowns while also accumulating 33 receptions for 488 yards and one receiving touchdown. Cook is a production machine, who finished his career with 5,399 yards from scrimmage and 48 total touchdowns while averaging 7.0 yards per touch.
Cook followed up years of college production with an underwhelming combine, looking like one of the least athletic players at the position. His 4.27 three-cone drill was the third slowest among running backs, and his 116.0 broad jump underwhelmed scouts and fantasy analysts alike. Cook’s 4.49 40-yard dash time, which ranked fifth among running backs, was encouraging, but he looked more like a running back with straight-line speed than agility.
Cooks is still going to end up being a first-round selection in dynasty leagues, but with questions surrounding his ball security, and now his athleticism, it would be surprising to see him continue his trend as a No. 1 overall pick. Fantasy gamers employing the Zero RB strategy were already certain to pass on him, and those considering him as their top pick may look to go with guys like Corey Davis or Leonard Fournette.
Chris Godwin (WR – Penn State): ADP – 30.20
Godwin posted a 4.42 40-yard dash time and a top bench press score with 19 reps. At 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds, Godwin has the size and hands to play outside. During his last two years at Penn State, Godwin notched 128 receptions for 2,083 yards and 16 touchdowns, averaging 16.3 yards per reception.
At just 21 years old, Godwin has the youth, size, athleticism, and hands to develop into a solid wide receiver. He could easily be one of the most undervalued rookies in pre-combine DLF drafts, and should easily eclipse the next overvalued wide receiver on this list.
Cooper Kupp (WR – Eastern Washington): ADP – 26.60
The story around Eastern Washington wide receiver Cooper Kupp is big numbers and absurd college production. A four-year stud with the Eagles, Kupp set FCS records in receptions (428), receiving yards (6,464), and receiving touchdowns (48).
As a senior, Kupp posted 117 receptions for 1,700 yards and 17 touchdowns. He never caught fewer than 97 passes in a season, and his career low in receiving yards in a season was 1,431. Let’s not forget he never scored fewer than 16 times in a given season.
Kupp is one of the oldest players in this years draft and will be 24 at the start of the NFL season. For the sake of dynasty league longevity alone, it’s hard to make a strong argument around taking a player like Kupp over somebody like Chris Godwin, who is nearly three years younger.
Once you start considering his age and paltry athletic profile, the argument for Kupp at a 26.60 ADP becomes that much harder. While he displayed strong hands during the receiving gauntlet drills, Kupp posted a dismal 4.62 40-yard dash time and came in at the bottom of the class in the vertical with a 31-inch leap.
It’s easy to fall in love with small-school guys who had high levels of production, but poor combines can make us fall out of love with them just as easily. Dynasty leaguers will be wise to find more athletic, younger talent than Krupp, who could find his ADP dropping into the 30s post combine.
Jeremy McNichols (RB – Boise State): ADP – 30.80
McNichols should be generating more pre-draft buzz in the weeks leading up to the NFL Draft.
He was a stud producer at Boise Stat and closed out his career posting 1,709 rush yards and 23 touchdowns on 314 carries, good for a 5.4 yards per carry average. McNichols was equally as impressive in the passing game, notching 37 receptions for 474 yards and four receiving touchdowns.
Standing 5-foot-9, McNichols is a small, shifty back who can create space with his elusiveness. He boasts some of the best hands of any running back in the draft, finishing his career with 103 career receptions for 1,089 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.
McNichols showed well at the scouting combine, posting a 4.49 40-yard dash time, and a 6.93 time in the three-cone drill. At 214 pounds, McNichols possess the size to be an every-down back between the tackles and is undoubtedly useful on third downs given his pass-catching ability. If he does continue to fall around pick 30 heading into dynasty league drafts, whoever picks him should see high return on his draft value.
Deshaun Watson (QB – Clemson): ADP – 15.0
Watson didn’t have a horrible combine, but there are tons of questions surrounding him, as well as just about every other quarterback in this year’s draft. With Watson, it’s his accuracy and ability to make throws at the NFL level. Couple that with the fact that he stands a good chance of falling to an awful team, and I just don’t know how you begin to justify Watson carrying a 15.0 ADP. The moment he falls to the Browns, regret will set in.
Watson was a National Champion at Clemson, and dominated Alabama in both National Championship Game appearances, proving his mettle against the best competition the collegiate level has to offer, but a change in scheme and uptick in opposing talent will prove challenging for him.
As a senior, Watson threw for 4,593 yards, 41 touchdowns and 17 interceptions, while running for 629 yards and nine touchdowns. He posted a 4.66 40-yard dash at the combine, and will no doubt be a dual-threat quarterback at the next level, but how effective he will be remains the question.
The folks at Dynasty League Football clearly value Watson far higher than other quarterbacks in this year’s draft, with the next highest ADP for a quarterback coming at 32.25 (Mitchell Trubisky).
I’m not anti-Watson, but I am anti top-15 pick Watson. He will likely be one of a handful of quarterbacks taken in the first round of the NFL Draft this year, but with those other future first rounders falling in drafts, I’ll take my chances on somebody other than the Clemson product.