Five Takeaways From Early February Drafts

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For most of us, the dynasty season doesn’t stop. Between mock drafts and startups, now is a good time to gather data on draft trends. I wanted to share my thoughts and give some actionable advice based on what I’ve seen.


1. Running Backs Are Flying Off The Board

So far, most of the drafts I’ve been a part of have seen a dozen or more running backs selected in the first 20 picks. Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley are the consensus top-2 but there is plenty of depth at the position. Even when I have been towards the back of the first round I have been able to get Joe Mixon, Leonard Fournette, or Aaron Jones. Mixon, in particular, has been a favorite target of mine because I think there is a very good chance he is the RB1 next year in PPR. Generally speaking, my strategy has been to come away with at least one running back with my first two picks. If you don’t, you run the risk of having someone like Miles Sanders or James Conner as your RB1.

2. Rookie Picks Are (Predictably) Over-Valued…

Unless a guy like Saquon or Ezekiel Elliott is available, it is my belief that rookie picks are wasted capital in the early rounds. As good as Joe Burrow might be, I have seen him picked before Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, and even Russell Wilson. While I get the idea behind the strategy, it is risky but one that I like taking advantage of. Overzealous owners who have new product envy go crazy over rookies and, consequently, drive the price up. Rather than invest in a more known commodity with plenty of treads left (Ryan is the perfect example), they overpay for a guy like Burrow who has yet to take a snap. My advice is to stay the course with players you have a baseline of data for. Trust me, your dynasty team will be just fine.

 

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3. … but Joe Burrow Is My #1 SuperFlex Rookie (Right Now)

This isn’t really going out on a limb, but Burrow is my top overall rookie selection in SuperFlex Leagues. The only player that I would put near him is Jerry Jeudy (and by the time May rolls around I may change my tune) but Burrow checks a lot of boxes. He directed one of the most prolific offenses in the history of college football and even against some of the nation’s best defenses, Burrow made it look easy. He will give fantasy owners some rushing upside and his arm is better than casual observers give him credit for. The Bengals offense has some weapons and working with Zac Taylor should be a major benefit. The thing with rookie quarterbacks is that they are rarely ready to play right away so drafting Burrow will be an exercise in patience. Still, he has the upside of a top-5 commodity in SuperFlex Leagues.

4. All 10 and 12 Team Leagues Should Be SuperFlex

Differentiation among the leagues I play in is important to me but I will be on a crusade in 2020 to transition all my smaller leagues to the SuperFlex format. The traditional one-QB league is, for lack of a better way of putting it, boring. Moving to add a SuperFlex position gives owners the chance to be more creative with roster construction and also places greater emphasis on the quarterback position. This also aligns much more closely with what real football looks like since the quarterback position is the most important one of the field. The player pool organically gets deeper and owners are forced to make decisions with regards to their draft strategy. Should you draft three quarterbacks? Do you roll the dice with two? Do you handcuff your QB1? It adds to the fun and the uncertainty on draft day.

5. Cam Newton Is Getting No Respect

Newton has a ton of questions to answer. Yes, he will be 31 in May. Yes, he is coming off a season lost to injury. No, we aren’t sure if he will play in 2020. But should he really be drafted behind Drew Lock and Sam Darnold? He is just a year removed from a 3800 combined yard, 28 combined touchdown season and he’s averaged 5.1 YPC in his career. Here are some QB-needy teams that could present Newton with the opportunity for a major comeback: New England, Tampa Bay, Indianapolis, or even Chicago. Imagine Newton in New England under Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels. Or in Tampa with Bruce Arians. Once we know where he will play next year, his stock will likely rise but he is currently being drafted outside of the top-20 at the position. That shouldn’t happen.

Bonus: Dynasty Leagues Are The Best 

Drafting – real or in a mock – in January in February is great. It keeps us involved and allows us the chance to adjust our own rankings, even for redraft formats in July and August. If you haven’t jumped into one yet, be sure to follow our content managers on Twitter as they post weekly mock drafts on Sleeper.


You can follow me on Twitter @JasonKamlowsky to talk about anything with fantasy football or fantasy baseball. Also, be sure to follow @DynastyFBDigest and @IDPGuys  for everything fantasy football related. Find more of my articles here.

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