12-Team Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft: Middle Pick (2020 Fantasy Football)
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Summertime marks the beginning of what I like to call Mock Draft Mania. And while I’ll be doing a wide variety of mock drafts, I’m going to start with one that caters to the dynasty crowd. Using our intuitive Draft Wizard, I conducted a five-round rookie mock draft in a 12-team dynasty league with standard roster settings: 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, and a FLEX spot. I was randomly assigned the fifth pick and chose to do a linear draft order instead of a snake draft, which means I’ll hold the fifth pick in each round.
Here’s a round-by-round breakdown of this rookie mock draft.
J.K. Dobbins (RB – BAL)
I was thrown a curveball right off the top, as the first four picks were Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Tua Tagovailoa, Jonathan Taylor and D’Andre Swift. This left me with a tough choice between Dobbins, CeeDee Lamb and Joe Burrow.
In the end, my decision came down to positional value and scarcity. While I really like Burrow as a prospect, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take Dobbins, who was the last elite running back prospect on the board. And with so much depth in this year’s rookie receiver class, I felt comfortable passing on Lamb.
Dobbins’ versatile skillset makes him an ideal long-term fit in Baltimore’s backfield. He’s an explosive athlete who rushed for more than 2,000 yards while catching 23 passes for Ohio State last season. Dobbins is currently ranked third among rookies on our Expert Consensus Rankings, so I was thrilled to get him with the fifth pick.
Michael Pittman (WR – IND)
Boy, am I glad I stuck with Dobbins in Round 1, as I was left with some uninspiring options at running back in Round 2. The best running back on the board was Zack Moss, whom I wouldn’t even consider this early in a rookie draft.
On the flipside, I had two very exciting receivers to choose from in Michael Pittman and Denzel Mims. I took Pittman because he was someone I fell in love with in my pre-draft evaluations. The USC product doesn’t blow you away with his athleticism like Mims does, but he has incredible instincts, much more reliable hands and a knack for getting open.
Pittman can be a great possession receiver in the NFL and has No. 1 wideout potential. He serves as an excellent complement to T.Y. Hilton and has a better quarterback throwing to him in Philip Rivers.
Darrynton Evans (RB – TEN)
I’m being a pure opportunist with this pick and choosing Derrick Henry‘s understudy over Bryan Edwards. Evans isn’t just a Dion Lewis replacement, however. He possesses 4.41 40-yard dash speed and rushed for more than 2,600 yards and scored 25 times during his last two seasons at Appalachian State.
At worst, Evans has a great shot of starting his career as Tennessee’s passing down back. And in the event of an injury to Derrick Henry, his value skyrockets. I’d rather take a shot on him than Edwards, who was one of the many new weapons brought in by the Las Vegas Raiders this offseason.
Van Jefferson (WR – LAR)
Jefferson was by far the best player available on my board and the best player according to ECR, which has him ranked 30th overall among rookies. Jefferson makes up for his average athleticism with competitive ball skills and strong technique. While he played all three receiver positions in college, he’ll likely fit best as a slot receiver at the next level.
The Rams have a crowded receiver depth chart in 2020 featuring Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and Josh Reynolds. However, both Kupp and Reynolds become free agents after this season while Woods’ contract expires after the 2021 season. Chances are at least one of those guys will be gone after this upcoming season, which could open the door of opportunity to Jefferson. I’m happy to stash him in 2020 with the hope of a promising future.
Colby Parkinson (TE – SEA)
In the last round of a rookie draft, every pick is a flyer. The running back well had mostly dried up. And while I considered receivers Darnell Mooney and Quez Watkins as speedy, deep sleepers with some upside, I opted to take a shot on Parkinson.
Towering at 6-foot-7, 252 pounds, Parkinson has some intriguing upside as a pass-catching tight end who can also serve as a versatile matchup nightmare as a receiver. With some development, his profile screams red-zone threat at the next level.
What’s also intriguing about Parkinson is he could see plenty of opportunities early in his career. Greg Olsen, Will Dissly and Luke Willson aren’t viable long-term options for the Seahawks. Parkinson is a great stash candidate who’s worth a shot late in rookie drafts.
Round 1: J.K. Dobbins
Round 2: Michael Pittman Jr
Round 3: Darrynton Evan
Round 4: Van Jefferson
Round 5: Colby Parkinson