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3 Overvalued Dynasty Rookie Draft Picks to Avoid (2024 Fantasy Football)

3 Overvalued Dynasty Rookie Draft Picks to Avoid (2024 Fantasy Football)

Hitting on your rookie draft selections can be the difference between turning around your struggling dynasty team and spending another season in the toilet bowl. In leagues that aren’t as active with trades, rookie drafts are often the only avenue for adding talent to dynasty rosters.

Whether you’re a “film bro” or a “spreadsheet socialist,” most of us would agree there’s no exact science to evaluating incoming rookies. I’m somewhere in the middle of this ongoing battle between film vs. data, so I tend to merge the two in my process.

2024 Dynasty Fantasy Football Guide

Ignoring data and analytics is just silly at this point, but I also think some have lost the plot a bit there. Spreadsheets shouldn’t be ignored but also shouldn’t be treated as the gospel. Don’t be afraid to watch some film, identify what translates and evaluate each prospect as individuals instead of data points.

With the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine, College Pro Days and plenty of data/film to still dig through, we’re still in the early stages of the evaluation process. However, here are three overvalued 2024 rookies to avoid based on initial Sleeper average draft position (ADP).

Overvalued Rookies to Avoid

Bo Nix (QB – Oregon)

After an up-and-down performance in Senior Bowl practices, the hype around Oregon quarterback Bo Nix has mostly simmered down. Though still considered a Day Two QB prospect, Nix has work to do to get back into the first round conversation.

In Mobile, Nix struggled with deep-ball accuracy and found most of his success on check-downs near the line of scrimmage. The latter matches what we witnessed in his Oregon tenure. As noted by our very own Matthew Jones:

“Over twenty percent of his throws in each of the past two years have been screens, and about two-thirds have come within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage.”

Despite those issues, someone will talk themselves into Nix’s potential. The Oregon quarterback has a strong arm when asked to throw downfield and is a legitimate threat in the rushing game. I’m not against adding Nix to dynasty rosters, I’m just not buying at his current Sleeper ADP in the late first round.

Devontez Walker (WR – North Carolina)

As an early proponent of the #FreeTezWalker movement, this one pains me to write, but I have to separate the art from the artist. North Carolina wide receiver Devontez Walker can easily carve out a role in the NFL but he’s currently being overvalued at No. 21 in Sleeper’s initial rookie Superflex ADP.

Walker is a rangy deep-ball specialist but his shaky hands and condensed route tree could limit his upside on the next level. I know this mid-February ADP doesn’t matter but it’s hard to imagine Walker keeping this spot throughout the draft process.

The lower-ranked rookies I’d consider drafting above Walker right now include Oregon RB Bucky Irving, Washington WR Ja’Lynn Polk, South Carolina WR Xavier Legette, Georgia WR Ladd McConkey and Michigan WR Roman Wilson. If you already roster Walker in a devy league, maybe consider trading him for your favorite of the aforementioned players.

AJ Barner (TE – Michigan)

Michigan tight end AJ Barner is a terrific in-line blocker who isn’t afraid of doing the dirty work. I can’t get on board with his early Sleeper ADP, however. Despite never having more than 250 receiving yards in any single season, Barner is currently the TE4 behind only Georgia’s Brock Bowers, Texas’ Ja’Tavion Sanders and Ohio State’s Cade Stover.

Unless you play in a point-per-block league, you might be wasting your pick on someone with Barner’s skillset. Even if the Michigan tight end gets better-than-expected draft capital and carves out an early role as someone’s TE2, betting on consistent production from a blocking specialist is a massive gamble.

If I’m shooting for the stars at the tight end position, I’m much more comfortable investing in the pass-catching specialists. Some tight ends I currently rank above Barner in fantasy football include Penn State’s Theo Johnson, Kansas State’s Ben Sinnott and Florida State’s Jaheim Bell.

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