Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft (2019 Fantasy Football)

by Raju Byfield | @FantasyContext | Featured Writer
Jun 25, 2019

Marquise Brown is getting overlooked in rookie dynasty drafts because of his landing spot.

With fantasy football draft season already kicking off, it is a good time to start strategizing through mock drafts. Live drafts are the preferred method, but our Draft Simulator lets you mock in 10 minutes or less. In fact, you can complete a rookie mock in under five minutes. With this being the case, I decided to mock from six random draft positions. This approach can help identify potential values who may slip during drafts. It also helps clue us into where certain targeted players may go relative to ADP. This, in turn, allows us to adjust how aggressive we may be in pursuing said player.  

Round 1st pick 2nd pick 5th pick 6th pick 7th pick 11th pick
1 Josh Jacobs David Montgomery N’Keal Harry A.J. Brown Marquise Brown Marquise Brown
2 Darrell Henderson Marquise Brown Justice Hill Justice Hill Noah Fant Benny Snell
3 Benny Snell Benny Snell Irv Smith Jr. Darwin Thompson Preston Williams Preston Williams
4 Preston Williams Preston Williams Preston Williams Preston Williams Emanuel Hall Karan Higdon
5 Emanuel Hall Karan Higdon Emanuel Hall Emanuel Hall Jakobi Meyers Emanuel Hall

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Rookie drafts are much simpler than start-ups as far as strategizing is concerned. With start-ups, you have a plethora of strategies to choose from. Not only that, but each one has different iterations and variations. When it comes to rookie drafts, it’s likely drafters are following one of two approaches. The most common is the best player available method. However, there are also some cases where it may be best to draft based on roster need.

Best Player Available
The name of this strategy is also its description. You are simply following your rankings and selecting the best player available regardless of team needs. This is the strategy I typically employ. Reaching for a position of need is never a smart approach in fantasy football. There is no problem giving weight to positional need when comparing two talents with similar upside at different positions, but there is no way anyone should pass up a clearly superior player for an inferior one just based on roster holes.

Needs-Based Drafting
Drafting based on need is often not the recommended strategy. However, there are times when your roster holes necessitate it. An example of a scenario where one may want to utilize this strategy over the BPA approach is when your best receiver is no more than a WR3. If Keelan Cole is your roster’s top receiver, you may want to think extra hard about drafting D.K. Metcalf, Marquise Brown, or A.J. Brown over Miles Sanders. This is the case even if you have Sanders ranked quite a bit higher.

Mock Specific Strategy

As we all know, mock drafts are practice runs used to fine-tune your draft strategy. It is sometimes helpful to go vanilla to see how a draft may play out if you make a different selection than you would actually make on draft day. I did that twice in these drafts. I decided to go this route when mocking with the first overall pick. I wanted David Montgomery, but I also wanted to see where he would land if I opted for the consensus number one overall pick in Josh Jacobs. Since I already followed this strategy earlier in the draft, I opted to do the same with my second round pick and chose Darrell Henderson over Justice Hill.

Draft Wizard Tools Utilized

The main tool I utilize when using the Draft Simulator is the Cheat Sheet Creator. I always opt for customized rankings based on a few analysts (including myself) I select. This helps not only in giving me a unique perspective when it comes to player recommendations, but it allows me to tailor my sheet’s ECR based on the opinions of analysts I value the most.

Pick Breakdown

Let’s take a look at the draft where I started with the second overall pick. This looks to be the strongest draft and is also the one I would be comfortable with. Since rookie drafts do not snake, it is no surprise that the most appealing roster is one where I picked early.

1.02 – David Montgomery (RB – CHI)
Montgomery is in a position to generate a workhorse number of touches in Chicago. Largely due to the departure of Jordan Howard, there are 261 available carries in the Windy City. Montgomery only has Mike Davis to beat out for the lead back role, and he should have little trouble doing just that. He has elite contact balance and elusiveness, forcing 100 missed tackles in his final college season. A yards-after-contact monster who also has soft hands, we would all be discussing him as an RB1 in the making if not for the presence of Tarik Cohen.

Cohen limits his upside, but let’s remember that Howard had 250 carries and 27 targets last season. The presence of a talent like Montgomery promises to help the Bears sustain drives, so there are scenarios where he exceeds Howard’s touches in 2018. Long term, Montgomery is in an extremely stable depth-chart situation, something Jacobs cannot claim.

2.02 – Marquise Brown (WR – BAL)
As you can see from the mocks I posted above, I was extremely thrilled to land Marquise Brown at this point of the draft. I am perfectly willing to take him as early as seventh overall, so landing him at 14th can only be considered a win. The fantasy community is down on him due to his landing spot. While his upside has indeed been capped, that does not mean he cannot work his way into the top-15 conversation. Arguably the most talented receiver in this draft class, Brown will run many of the same routes Lamar Jackson’s top receiver did at Louisville. Brown should be considered as soon as fifth overall in dynasty rookie drafts.

3.02 – Benny Snell (RB – PIT)
Snell continues to fly under the radar. James Conner said he expects to be in a timeshare this season. Conner was excellent as a volume back, but the Steelers learned late last season that Jaylen Samuels is the superior receiver. Conner also struggled on the ground against playoff-bound teams, averaging under 4.0 four yards per carry. This may have caused the Steelers to spend a fourth-round pick on an early-down thumper. Snell has the talent to win a lead-back role in Pittsburgh, so consider Pittsburgh’s backfield depth chart fluid. Conner and Samuels both proved Le’Veon Bell isn’t the only one who can succeed behind the Steelers’ offensive line. Perhaps Snell will as well.

4.02 – Preston Williams (WR – MIA)
Williams ended up on my team in every mock draft regardless of pick. As expected, the Colorado State standout has impressed the Dolphins early in the offseason. He has even enlisted six-time Pro Bowler and former Miami Dolphin Brandon Marshall as a workout partner. A contested-catch winner with great hands, Williams is a zone-beater who has the ability to thrive with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center. Josh Rosen starting would give Williams a lower floor, but in a sink-or-swim season, he is assured of Rosen taking a major leap or welcoming an upgrade at quarterback in 2020.

While he is not an ideal number one receiver, Williams will likely never function in that role. Instead, he will feast in single coverage for the majority of his career. He has an outfielder-like nose for the ball and can win both downfield and in the red zone. While he has top-15 upside, it is more likely he ends up as a steady upside WR3.

5.02 – Karan Higdon (RB – HOU)
Higdon is one of my top targets late in rookie drafts. With only D’Onta Foreman and Lamar Miller to pass on the depth chart, he could very well surprise and end up as the starter out of the preseason. The more likely scenario is that he takes over the lead-back role in a committee by midseason. Miller’s days as an effective starter are over, and the Texans know it. Foreman has a ton of talent, but he is not the most physical back despite his size. Higdon actually projects as the Texans’ toughest runner between the tackles and could thrive after posting 719 yards after contact in 2018.

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Raju Byfield is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Raju, check out his profile and follow him @FantasyContext.

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