The 2023 NFL Draft is less than seven weeks away. That means rookie drafts aren’t far behind. While dynasty leagues are fun all year, the best part is during the rookie draft. Yet, a rookie draft can be stressful, especially since a poor draft class can destroy your dynasty roster. However, you can have a successful draft class if you don't panic and make smart decisions.
Below I answer five questions that will help you ace your dynasty rookie draft.
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How Should I Prepare for the Rookie Draft?
The first thing you need to do is know the basic rules of your draft. How many rounds is it? Can you make trades? Is it a slow or fast draft? More importantly, you need to practice. Doing mock drafts is an excellent way to prepare. However, run through different scenarios. You can practice using a simulator or pen and paper. Either way, make sure you consider all possibilities. What happens if the team with the 1.01 pick trades it to the league champion? Who are your backup targets if you get sniped a pick or two before being on the clock? Most importantly, have a plan before the draft starts.
Should I Trade Up or Down?
Yes, you should trade up AND down during your rookie draft. Moving around is not only fun but also the best way to walk away with the most value possible. However, don't make a move just for the sake of making a trade. Instead, evaluate your roster. Are you a contender or a rebuilding project? Contenders should be more aggressive in trading up for the elite prospects or trading away their rookie picks for veterans. Meanwhile, rebuilding teams should trade away veterans for rookie picks during the draft. They should also consider trading their early first-round pick if they can get an elite return of draft capital and young players. Don't be afraid to make trades and move around the board.
When is the Best Time to Buy or Sell Rookie Picks?
There isn't a bad time to buy or sell rookie draft picks. However, the best time to buy picks is during the NFL season. Your league mates are focused on winning games and improving their roster. Therefore, they have a lesser opinion or value on rookie draft picks. Meanwhile, the best time to sell picks is during the rookie draft. Your league mates will overvalue the draft picks as they want the immediate satisfaction of making another pick. While it's smart to have trade talks with your league mates before you pick, the best time to make a deal is when you are on the clock.
Does Having a Taxi Squad Impact my Draft Plan?
Having a taxi squad doesn't impact your draft plan in the first two rounds. However, those third-round and later picks become more valuable. You want to target players who can help you sometime this upcoming season or trade the picks away for veterans or future draft capital if you don't have a taxi squad. The reason why is that your bench is only so deep, and you need every spot to matter. Meanwhile, you can target players with upside that might take a year or two to develop if you have a taxi squad. By not having them count against your bench, you can allow the rookie to sit for a year or two before having to move them up to your active roster.
Should I Add Future Rookie Picks During the Draft?
While you should never enter the rookie draft with the mindset of trading away all of your draft picks, don't be afraid to think about the future. Your league mates will have their focus on the current rookie draft. Therefore, they will be willing to part with future picks to get more picks this year, so take advantage of their aggressiveness in trade talks and acquire future draft capital at a discount. Remember, the best time to buy rookie draft picks is during the season, while the best time to sell them is during the rookie draft. That rule also applies to future draft capital. Ideally, you want to leave your rookie draft with at least one or two additional future picks.
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Mike Fanelli is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @Mike_NFL2.