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Dynasty Rookie Rankings: Mike Tagliere vs. ECR

by Mike Tagliere | @MikeTagliereNFL | Featured Writer
May 5, 2017

Despite being taken later in the draft, you should not be sleeping on Colts new running back Marlon Mack.

While I was convinced that we were never going to get here, we now know where every rookie has landed. Some were expected (Leonard Fournette to the Jaguars), while others were not (Mike Williams to the Chargers). Some will say that talent always wins, but I’m not one of those people.

Landing spot matters, especially to those who were already borderline difference-makers in fantasy football. Prior to the NFL Draft, we seemed to have a clear top-four dynasty draft picks, with the others clearly separated from the pack. But now, it’s a mess once you get outside of the top two or three players, with question marks surrounding all of them. Actually, Corey Davis may be the only one who doesn’t have any question marks.

It seems nobody can agree on the top six picks, so the purpose of today’s article is to compare my rankings to some of the other top analysts in the industry (Expert Consensus Rookie Rankings). We want to see who I’m higher than, as well as who I’m lower than. I’ll do my best to try and give you reasoning as to why I feel the way I do.

Round One

Player My Rank ECR Difference
Corey Davis 1 3 2
Leonard Fournette 2 1 -1
Joe Mixon 3 6 3
John Ross 4 8 4
Christian McCaffrey 5 2 -3
O.J. Howard 6 7 1
Dalvin Cook 7 5 -2
Mike Williams 8 4 -4
JuJu Smith Schuster 9 11 2
David Njoku 10 9 -1
Alvin Kamara 11 10 -1
Evan Engram 12 12 0

 

It’s odd to me that Davis isn’t the No. 1 choice, as he walked into an ideal situation as the No. 1 wide receiver for franchise quarterback Marcus Mariota. If he isn’t your No. 1 choice, you should probably reconsider playing dynasty. And keep in mind that’s coming from someone who loves Leonard Fournette and would gladly take him after Davis.

Now that we know Mixon’s landing spot (and that he has one at all), we can safely rank him inside our top-five, and although I’m likely alone on this, I’d take him ahead of Christian McCaffrey. I’ve said it multiple times – I just don’t know if McCaffrey is built to withstand the hits in between the tackles and he just joined an offense that has thrown to running backs just 202 times in the last three seasons combined. The Saints targeted their running backs 163 times in 2016 alone.

The landing spot for Mike Williams literally could not have been any worse, as he joins a team with Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams, Travis Benjamin, Hunter Henry, and Melvin Gordon. Did I mention that all those players are age-27 or younger? I’m very confident drafting John Ross before Williams.

Round Two

Player My Rank ECR Difference
D’Onta Foreman 13 14 1
Samaje Perine 14 13 -1
Kareem Hunt 15 18 3
Marlon Mack 16 32 16
Taywan Taylor 17 33 16
Carlos Henderson 18 19 1
Curtis Samuel 19 20 1
Zay Jones 20 16 -4
Wayne Gallman 21 25 4
Jamaal Williams 22 27 5
ArDarius Stewart 23 26 3
Cooper Kupp 24 21 -3

 

This area of the draft is where things get a little out of control. Not only has Frank Gore not been good since arriving in Indianapolis, but the only other running back who has really carried the ball is NFL team hitchhiker Robert Turbin. In comes Marlon Mack, who is everything that those two are not. He can break an 80-yard run at any time and is just what Andrew Luck needs to take the pressure off. Learn to run-block and the backfield is yours, Mr. Mack.

My love for Taywan Taylor has been noted on this site before, as he isn’t going to give you top-12 upside, but he’s a very safe second round pick that’ll give you solid, consistent production for years to come. Opposite of that is Zay Jones, a wide receiver who relied heavily on volume in college. Just one problem in Buffalo… He isn’t the No. 1 wide receiver there and the Bills may not throw it 500 times per game.

Snag Jamaal Williams at the end of the second, as he very well could be the next Jordan Howard. The quarterback situation in New York will have some concerned for ArDarius Stewart, but a lot of his work is done after the catch. If for some reason Paul Perkins doesn’t live up to expectations, Wayne Gallman will walk onto a team that should score 30 points per game.

Round Three

Player My Rank ECR Difference
Chris Godwin 25 24 -1
Aaron Jones 26 NR
James Connor 27 42 15
Joe Williams 28 28 0
Jake Butt 29 40 11
Jonnu Smith 30 50 20
Adam Shaheen 31 41 10
Gerald Everett 32 38 6
Pat Mahomes 33 17 -16
Mitch Trubisky 34 22 -12
Deshaun Watson 35 15 -20
Josh Reynolds 36 35 -1

 

Right at the top you can see that Chris Godwin is someone who fell down the rankings when he landed in Tampa Bay, buried on the depth chart behind Mike Evans, Desean Jackson, and even O.J. Howard for that matter. Aaron Jones is already becoming a name, and while some are claiming they’d take him over Jamaal Williams, I’m not one of them. Still, he’s a great value in the third round for the potential alone.

James Connor was someone going in the fourth or fifth round before the NFL Draft, but now slated to be Le’Veon Bell’s clear-cut backup, he’s a rock-solid third round pick. Jake Butt would be drafted so much higher if he hadn’t tore his ACL in the bowl game, but remember, this is dynasty. Butt may just be the future Jason Witten. Adam Shaheen has the body-type of Rob Gronkowski and has great hands, but he’s coming from a D-II school. In the third-round, you can gamble on him making that transition.

Quarterbacks are not valued very highly in dynasty, unless you’re in a 2-QB league. So to see their ECR up near the likes of D’Onta Foreman and Zay Jones, that’s an easy pass. If you’re going to take one in the third, go with the massive ceiling of Patrick Mahomes. Trust me, Deshaun Watson isn’t going to make your QB problems go away.

Round Four

Player My Rank ECR Difference
Kenny Golladay 37 51 14
Jeremy McNichols 38 23 -15
DeAngelo Yancey 39 NR
Chad Williams 40 NR
Dede Westbrook 41 29 -12
Chad Hansen 42 37 -5
DeShone Kizer 43 31 -12
Davis Webb 44 54 10
Malachi Dupre 45 47 2
Jehu Chesson 46 NR
Nathan Peterman 47 56 9
Chad Kelly 48 59 11

 

You see the massive difference in my ranking and the ECR of Kenny Golladay, but that’ll change soon, especially when you consider that they used a third-round pick to acquire him. He’s a bit raw, but his journey to the starting lineup will be a short one. All he has to do is pass up T.J. Jones, the fourth-year receiver who has caught just 15 passes in his three years with the Lions.

Jeremy McNichols seems to be a favorite among the Twitter crowd, similar to Keith Marshall last year, who is now without a team. McNichols is talented, but he’s now in a crowded Buccaneers backfield that is littered with pass-catchers. He’s literally fighting for a roster spot at this point. Dede Westbrook sure was something in college, but he’s undersized and will walk onto a Jaguars team that is somewhat deep at wide receiver. Meanwhile, Chad Hansen’s landing spot was a killer to his value. If you’re looking to snag a quarterback with one of your final picks, go with Davis Webb.

Summing It Up

When taking part in a rookie draft, have a gameplan in mind, but don’t let tremendous talent slide down the board. If you have a starting tight end, but O.J. Howard is there at the turn, draft him. I promise you that someone will pay up for him later. Oh, and similar to all of your other non-2-QB leagues, wait at quarterback.


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Mike Tagliere is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeTagliereNFL.