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Early Dynasty Football Mock Draft - Rounds 2-3

As we await the Super Bowl, the Rotoballer staff has already started preparing for the 2019 season with a Way Too Early Dynasty League Startup Mock Draft. Any avid dynasty owner knows that the startup draft is one of the most enjoyable parts of being in a dynasty league. Everyone has their own strategies for conducting a startup draft, with some drafters opting to win-now with older veterans while others look to build for the future by focusing on youth and perhaps punt the first season or two.

This will be a 12-team, one-quarterback, PPR dynasty league. To add some more context, we were unable to trade startup picks and the incoming 2019 rookie class was not made available since draft declarations were not yet finished, so keep that in mind when looking over the picks. Rookies being added will change where some players go in the next mock draft we conduct.

Let's take a look at the picks from the second and third rounds along with my thoughts about the strategies of the drafters. If you haven't already, be sure to check out Gage Bridgford's analysis of the first round here. To view the full draft board, simply click here.

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Dynasty Mock Results


Rounds 2-3 Analysis

Cliff Clinton - Pick 2.01: Nick Chubb (RB, CLE) and Pick 3.12: D.J. Moore (WR, CAR)

Cliff added to his running back stable by selecting Nick Chubb in the second round, giving him a formidable 1-2 punch with Chubb and Melvin Gordon. Chubb won't be 24 until the end of December and flashed several elite traits in his rookie season, including excellent speed for his size and strong tackle-breaking abilities. Furthermore, Chubb wound up being a much better pass-catcher than many believed he would be in the NFL.

That being said, I probably would have selected Tyreek Hill ahead of him if it were my pick. Cliff came back at the end of the third round and added one of my favorite young receivers in D.J. Moore. Moore didn't truly get a chance in Carolina until Torrey Smith went down with a mid-season injury, but he certainly showed his upside once he was elevated to a full-time role. Moore will turn 22 in April and is a cornerstone receiver to build a dynasty team around.

Dominick Petrillo - Pick 2.02: Keenan Allen (WR, LAC) and Pick 3.11: Patrick Mahomes (QB, KC)

Dominick snagged Allen toward the beginning of the second round, giving him an elite WR1 to pair with his first-round star running back in Joe Mixon. Allen got off to a slow start last season but rounded into shape as the season wore on. He remains the No. 1 receiver in an excellent Chargers offense, and while he doesn't have the touchdown upside of some other pass-catchers, he makes up for that with high reception and yardage totals. Allen is 26 and has at least four more near-elite seasons left in the tank.

In the third round, Dominick made Patrick Mahomes the first quarterback selected in the startup draft. Mahomes put together one of the best fantasy seasons from a quarterback in recent memory, tossing 50 touchdowns and passing for 5,097 yards. The second-year quarterback was a massive advantage in fantasy this season, outscoring the second overall quarterback (Matt Ryan) by 4.0 points per game. I usually prefer to wait on quarterback in startups but if you want Mahomes on your team, the third round is where you will probably have to take him. There's something to be said about locking in high-end QB1 production for the next 10 years in your dynasty league and Mahomes does just that.

Kyle Richardson - Pick 2.03: Tyreek Hill (WR, KC) and Pick 3.10: Derrius Guice (RB, WAS)

Kyle was thrilled to get Hill at pick 2.03. The speedy wideout finished as the WR3 in PPR scoring in 2018 while reaching double-digit touchdowns for the first time in his career. Set to turn 25 on March 1, Hill is tethered to a young star quarterback in Mahomes and should string together another five or six WR1 seasons if he remains healthy.

With his third-round pick, Kyle took a bit of a risk in selecting Washington running back Derrius Guice, although it is a risk I am in favor of taking as I loved Guice predraft last season. Guice tore his ACL during the preseason last summer and reports surfaced last month that he had experienced some setbacks along the way. That being said, there is no indication that Guice won't be ready for the start of the 2019 season. One of the most explosive backs from the 2018 class, Guice has RB1 written all over him if he can put his knee injury behind him.

Matt Terelle - Pick 2.04: Mike Evans (WR, TB) and Pick 3.09: Kenny Golladay (WR, DET)

I started off my draft by taking wide receivers in each of the first three rounds. Normally in startups, I prefer to lock down a stud, every-down running back in the first round and then start attacking the wide receiver position starting in Round 2, but there weren't any running backs left in Round 1 who I felt comfortable taking. I feel good about grabbing Evans, a first-round startup pick not that long ago, in the second round. As the Twitter joke last month went, everyone was talking about how no one was talking about how good Evans was in 2018. The star wideout has posted 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first five seasons while finding the end zone 40 times in 77 games.

I came back and took Detroit's WR1 in the third round, although this was before the Lions hired Darrell Bevell as their new offensive coordinator. There are some concerns that the Detroit offense will not be friendly to pass-catchers, but Golladay and Marvin Jones are the only players of consequence in their receiving corps. At the very worst, Golladay should be a solid WR2 in fantasy for the next several seasons.

Justin Carter - Pick 2.05: Dalvin Cook (RB, MIN) and Pick 3.08: Kerryon Johnson (RB, DET)

Justin took two running backs after snagging Michael Thomas in the first round. Cook missed part of the season with a hamstring issue, perhaps a compensation injury after his ACL reconstruction in 2017. He was excellent once he got healthy in Week 9 as he dipped below 13.8 PPR points just twice over his final eight games, with both of those coming against a tough Chicago defense.

Justin is certainly hoping the Lions commit to Johnson after they wasted 154 carries on washed-up plodder LeGarrette Blount in 2018. Johnson showed well in his rookie season, averaging 5.4 yards per carry and catching 32 passes in 10 games before a knee injury sent him to injured reserve. Johnson has the potential to be a solid RB1 in a Detroit offense that clearly wants to be run-first in 2019.

Keith Hernandez - Pick 2.06: Le'Veon Bell (RB, FA) and Pick 3.07: Zach Ertz (TE, PHI)

Keith swiped impending free agent Le'Veon Bell in the second round. While his landing spot remains a mystery, Bell has a three-down skill set and is still just 26 years old, despite the fact it seems like he's been around forever. Of Bell's rumored landing spots, Keith is surely hoping he finds a prime landing spot like Tampa Bay or Indianapolis.

Zach Ertz capped off a tight end run which saw him, Travis Kelce, and George Kittle all go within seven picks of each other. Ertz's 116 receptions in 2018 set a new regular season record for the tight end position. Not set to turn 29 until November, Ertz is still in the middle of his prime and plays for an excellent offense in Philly.

Frankie Soler - Pick 2.07: James Conner (RB, PIT) and Pick 3.06: Stefon Diggs (WR, MIN)

Conner sure made forward-thinking dynasty owners look smart this season. Available for a song at this time last year, the second-year back made everyone in Pittsburgh forget about Le'Veon Bell by racking up 1,470 all-purpose yards and 13 touchdowns. Locked in as the Steelers' RB1, Conner could become the focal point of the offense if Antonio Brown moves on this offseason.

Frankie got a steal when he pressed the button on Diggs in the middle of the third round. Normally a second-round startup pick, Diggs put together a low-end WR1 season in 2018 and still hasn't hit his ceiling. As Adam Thielen nears the end of his prime, Diggs should overtake him as the clear-cut WR1 in Minnesota in the next two years.

Pierre Camus - Pick 2.08: David Johnson (RB, ARI) and Pick 3.05: Sony Michel (RB, NE)

David Johnson was regularly a mid-first round startup pick last year but a tough season (by his standards) cut into his value a bit. That being said, Johnson finished as the overall RB9 in what was considered a down year for him. The Cardinals moved on from the failed Steve Wilks experiment after just one season, bringing in the offensive-minded Kliff Kingsbury. It remains unknown just how Kingsbury plans to deploy Johnson, but it can't be any worse than it was in 2018 for DJ.

Pierre doubled up on backs, taking New England runner Sony Michel in the third round. Michel has shown why the Pats used a first-round pick on him in last year's draft, scoring five touchdowns in two playoff games. While there is some long-term concern over Michel's knee and it would be nice to see the Pats use him more in the passing game, there is no denying his touchdown upside playing on one of the top offenses in the NFL.

Chris Mangano - Pick 2.09: Antonio Brown (WR, PIT) and Pick 3.04: George Kittle (TE, SF)

Chris took a chance on Antonio Brown, who is almost certain to be playing for a different team by the start of the 2019 season. Brown is reportedly refusing to take calls from Mike Tomlin or the team owner after he basically quit on the team in a must-win Week 17 contest. All that aside, Brown is the WR1 of his generation and didn't appear to have lost a step in 2018. His new team does remain a mystery and it is hard to see him landing in a spot better than what he had with the Steelers. His value is also on the way down but he is an excellent addition for anyone drafting a win-now team.

Kittle ended up being the second tight end drafted, just four spots after Travis Kelce. Kittle exploded for 88 receptions, 1,377 yards, and five touchdowns in his sophomore season. Still just 25, he has plenty of top-three tight end seasons left.

Gage Bridgford - Pick 2.10: Brandin Cooks (WR, LAR) and Pick 3.03: Aaron Jones (RB, GB)

Gage took perpetually undervalued Brandin Cooks at the end of the second round. All Cooks does is produce, despite playing on three different teams over the past three seasons. The 25-year-old has four straight 1,000-yard seasons under his belt. While he isn't quite as consistent as the first-round receivers, Cooks is a rock-solid low-end WR1 and even better as a WR2 on a dynasty team.

Much to most of the dynasty community's delight, the Packers finally committed to using Aaron Jones in Week 8. He went on to score eight touchdowns in seven games down the stretch before a knee injury in Week 15 cut his season short. Heading in the 2019 season as the clear starting running back in an Aaron Rodgers offense, Jones has low-end RB1 potential if he can stay healthy.

Richard King - Pick 2.11: Julio Jones (WR, ATL) and Pick 3.02: Adam Thielen (WR, MIN)

Richard went with two aging, although still mega-productive, wide receivers in the second and third rounds. Jones will be 30 in February and is seeing his dynasty value slowly draining. That being said, he is a perfect option for a win-now team and is a locked-in WR1 at least for the next two seasons.

Thielen is in a similar situation as Jones, although he's a year younger and doesn't have nearly the mileage on his legs thanks to a late-career breakout. Thielen set an NFL record with eight straight 100-yard games to start the year. Slightly concerning, however, was his second-half performance as he topped 100 yards just once after Week 8 and averaged just 56.0 receiving yards over that eight-game span. Treat Thielen more as a high-end WR2 in dynasty instead of a WR1 and you won't be disappointed.

Steve Rebeiro - Pick 2.12: Travis Kelce (TE, KC) and Pick 3.01: Amari Cooper (WR, DAL)

To wrap up the second round, Steve broke the seal on tight ends, taking All-Pro stud Travis Kelce. Kelce enjoyed his first season catching passes from Patrick Mahomes, setting career highs across the board. A true fantasy difference-maker at the tight end position, Kelce is just 29 and should produce at least three-to-four more elite seasons at the position.

Just when it seemed like his value was going to bottom out in Oakland, Cooper was traded to Dallas mid-season. The Cowboys made it a point to feature Cooper in their offense, perhaps to justify spending a first-round pick on him. While he still flashed some of the inconsistency that has dogged him throughout his career, he absolutely showed that he belongs as a high-end WR2 on dynasty teams. With the entire offseason to work with Dak Prescott, look for an even better 2019 season out of Cooper.


Round 2 Summary

There were no real surprises in Round 2. Overall, we saw five running backs, six wide receivers, and one tight end come off the board. All of the players selected are elite fantasy assets worth building a dynasty team around.

The landing spots of two (soon to be) former Steelers, Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell, could see their values shift drastically over the next few months. But, for now, if you want to roster either of them, you will need to use a second-round pick to do so.


Round 3 Recap

In the third round, we saw one quarterback, four running backs, wide receivers, and two tight ends drafted. Keith put a cap on the mini-tight end run when he made Zach Ertz pick 3.07. We saw this past season that having one of the top tight ends in fantasy is a huge weekly advantage.

If you come to the third round and aren't sold on any of the running backs or wideouts on the board, taking one of Kelce, Kittle, or Ertz is a fine strategy as they have shown elite weekly upside.


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