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Early Dynasty Startup Mock Draft - Round 2

This is the second installment in our way-too-early dynasty startup mock draft series.  The first round of any draft is crucial to get a player who can act as the foundation of your team, mess that up and you’ll be playing from behind the curve for the first year if not longer. If the first round is where you draft your cornerstone piece, the second is where people often draft young high up-side players that help turn your team from sustainable, to a team that can earn huge point bonuses on a week to week basis.  Players like Tyreek Hill, and Brandin Cooks often go in the second round because of their enormous potential, but comparatively low floor.

You’ll notice something out of place in this article, Alvin Kamara goes at the end of the round, and Saquon Barkley is nowhere to be seen.  The program we used to draft players didn’t have last year’s rookies as high as they should be given the 2017 season, and this year’s rookies were ranked very low in the system.  This ranking configuration impacted the first few rounds. Rest assured, we here at Rotoballer would most likely have drafted players like Kamara, or Barkely earlier if they were automatically ranked where common sense would have put them.

Enough with the caveats, let’s get into the rankings!

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Early 2018 Mock Dynasty Draft

Pick Writer Player
2.01 Mark Wemken Jordan Howard
2.02 Matt Wispe Keenan Allen
2.03 Nathan Powell Brandin Cooks
2.04 Wai Sallas Devonta Freeman
2.05 Adam Hall Davante Adams
2.06 Kyle Richardson Dalvin Cook
2.07 Martin Konstantinov Leonard Fournette
2.08 Aaron Schillinger Amari Cooper
2.09 Pierre Camus A.J. Green
2.10 Addison Hayes Tyreek Hill
2.11 Charlie Kleinheksel Rob Gronkowski
2.12 Steve Halupka Alvin Kamara


Pick 2.01, Mark Wemken selects Jordan Howard (RB, CHI)

Current Team: Melvin Gordon, Jordan Howard

Jordan Howard is a third-year running back who has put together two RB1 seasons in a row. Howard is part of a potent one-two punch with Tarik Cohen. Even with Howard’s  touches being eaten into by Cohen, he still amassed nearly 1,250 yards from scrimmage with nine touchdowns (two more than his rookie season) and nearly the same number of receptions. If Howard’s carries or receptions drastically decreased after the addition of Cohen, there would be cause for concern, but thankfully Howard carried the ball more often and had nearly the same number of receptions. Howard is a part of a very young Bears team with a solid offensive line and a quarterback with a substantial amount of potential. Howard is a solid second running back for any team, but I would have expected him to come off the board later in the round.

Pick 2.02, Matt Wispe selects Keenan Allen (WR, LAC)

Current Team: Michael Thomas, Keenan Allen.

Keenan Allen proved all of the doubters wrong last year with a career best 102 receptions for 1,393 yards and six touchdowns. This was good enough to finish as the third-best wide receiver overall according to ESPN. Even though this is his fourth season, Allen is only entering his age-26 season. Allen has the black mark of injury-prone pasted across his forehead, but after looking through his injury history it’s not as bad as one would think. Allen tore his ACL on a non-contact injury and had a lacerated kidney, these are not signs of a weak body, but exceedingly bad luck. We’re not talking about Arian Foster, whose body continually betrayed him. Allen has some competition to work against in Los Angeles, but he has cemented his position as the top target with the Chargers. There is some uncertainty attached to his future production with the looming retirement of Phillip Rivers, along with the needs of Hunter Henry, Melvin Gordon, and seventh overall pick Mike Williams.

Pick 2.03, Nathan Powell selects Brandin Cooks (WR, NE)

Current Team: Mike Evans, Brandin Cooks

Tom Brady has stated that he is going to play until he is 45. This gives us three full seasons of the GOAT on the Patriots. It’s very likely that Cooks will play with him for the rest of his career.  Cooks was the most targeted player on the patriots last year at 114.  This target share lead to over 1100 yards from scrimmage with seven touchdowns. Cooks is the downfield threat that completes the Patriots’ attack. Cooks can be utilized on nine and go routes unlike anyone on the team, his 4.3 speed also creates deadly comeback routes since corners have to sell out on off man coverage to stop the deep ball. Cooks is likely to be hurt by the return of Julian Edelman, but due to his unique speed and draft cost, it seems that Cooks will be a reliable WR1 for years to come.

Pick 2.04, Wai Sallas selects Devonta Freeman (RB, ATL)

Current Team: Kareem Hunt, Devonta Freeman

When some zig, other zag. This is what we have with the Freeman pick. This isn’t a sexy pick by any means, but Freeman represents the kind of dependability that helps teams win on a weekly basis. Freeman just completed his third year in a row with at least 1,100 yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns. Although last year was a down year for him, he was still a solid RB1 and will likely rebound as the Falcons enter the second year with their new offensive coordinator. Even with the emergence of Tevin Coleman, Freeman still caught nearly 40 balls last year. This means that he is a dependable RB that you can feel comfortable starting every week. Freeman is a solid second round pick, but I feel there were other players who are younger with more upside that Freeman left.

Pick 2.05, Adam Hall selects Davante Adams (WR, GB)

Current Team: Julio Jones, Davante Adams

Jordy Nelson has ceded his position as the top wide receiver on the Packers to Adams.  Even with a woefully underperforming Brett Hundley throwing his way, Adams was still able to finish just outside the top 12 at wide receiver. Adams is coming off two 75-reception, 10-touchdown seasons, while just being 25 years old. The top receiving target in Green Bay is incredibly valuable as long as Aaron Rodgers is their quarter back, and thankfully Adams has shown he can be successful even if Arod leaves. I fully expect Davante Adams to take the next step into top-five receiver status next year. I wouldn’t draft him much before this, but I think he has more upside than receiver left on the board.

I value receiver at the beginning of dynasty drafts, especially 3WR variants, because you can depend on them for a longer amount of time than running backs, dynasty is about the long term and in that long term there is far more turnover at the running back position and with it, more opportunity to pick up top end talent in subsequent rookie drafts.

Pick 2.06, Kyle Richardson selects Dalvin Cook (RB, MIN)

Current Team: Ezekiel Elliott, Dalvin Cook

Dalvin Cook was a Heisman finalist his final year at FSU and outplayed his draft status before going down with an ACL tear after four games in the NFL. Before he went down, Dalvin was averaging 110 yards and a touchdown per game. That would have put him in contention for the top overall running back last year if he would have held onto that trajectory. The Vikings have a legitimate passing attack that will keep eight-man boxes away, along with a steadily improving offensive line. There is risk with this pick as we only have four NFL games of production to go off of, but the second round can yield immense payoffs if you’re willing to take a risk.

Pick 2.07, Martin Konstantinov selects Leonard Fournette (RB, JAX)

Current Team: Antonio Brown, Leonard Fournette

Fournette was one of the highest touted running backs of the last decade. He landed on the Jaguars at fourth overall in the 2017 NFL draft and helped lead the team back to the playoffs for the first time in a decade. Fournette rushed for over 1000 yards and racked up another 300 through the air. Fournette is the largest chunk of a Jacksonville offense that has a defense necessary to control the game and firmly keep the ball in Leonard’s hands. Injury history is a problem for Fournette, but if his ankle doesn’t fail him, he will be a superstar in the coming years.

Pick 2.08, Aaron Schillinger selects Amari Cooper (WR, OAK)

Current Team: Le’veon Bell, Amari Cooper

Amari Cooper is coming off the worst year of his career. He failed to amass 700 yards in the entire season and was tied for ninth in the entire league in drops. Nearly a seventh of his yards came from one play and considering that recent news is pointing towards Michael Crabtree staying around in Oakland, it doesn’t look great for Cooper in the redzone. Cooper has to fight with Lynch, Cook, Crabtree and the other various scat-backs that are on the team for touches. I’m a harsh critic of Cooper, and I would like to see him perform better next year before I would be comfortable touching him in the second round.  With that being said, he is entering his age 24 season and has a lot of time to grow.

Pick 2.09, Pierre Camus selects A.J. Green (WR, CIN)

Current Team: Todd Gurley, A.J. Green

Green finished as a WR1 for the sixth-time last year, that level of consistency is remarkable for any player. Green is entering his age 30 season in 2018, so Pierre won’t get as many years of use out of him as Cooper or Hill, but he will still put up top-end numbers for the next couple of years. Andy Dalton and Green were drafted in the same year and is by far his favorite target. As long as Dalton and Green are together he will be a WR1.

Pick 2.10, Addison Hayes selects Tyreek Hill (WR, KC)

Current Team: Deandre Hopkins, Tyreek Hill

Tyreek the freak Hill runs in the mid-4.2s and has now been paired up with a young quarterback who throws a 60 mile an hour fast ball (for reference the only current quarterbacks that throw 60MPH are: Matt Stafford, Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck).  If Mahomes lives up the billing of a first round QB, Hill will be utilized to his fullest potential. Tyreek accumulated over 1200 yards last year and was wide receiver eight overall last year. In the coming years Hill has the potential to jump into top-five conversation. Currently Addison has the best receiving corps.

Pick 2.11, Charlie Kleinheksel selects Rob Gronkowski (TE, NE)

Current Team: David Johnson, Rob Gronkowski

Gronk is the best tight end in the NFL and it isn’t even close. The second best tight end in the NFL’s nickname is “Baby Gronk.” Kelce hates that, but it’s not a lie. Gronk is on a whole other level. When he’s in the game he’s a lock for at least 12 fantasy points. That’s the question though, will he be on the field next year, and will he be healthy. I believe that Gronk will be back in the NFL and not in the WWE next year, but that risk is a bit too expensive for me in the second round. If Gronk retires in the next year or two, this will be a hard loss to swallow. I would have suggested waiting until early round three to pick up Gronk.

Pick 2.12, Steve Halupka selects Alvin Kamara (RB, NO)

Current Team: Odell Beckham Jr., Alvin Kamara.

Kamara was insane last year.  He averaged over 6.0 yards per carry and was a top-four fantasy back, even though he didn’t even start to produce until week six.  There’s no way he lasts this long if he wasn’t hidden from us in the program.  Kamara is likely to go at the tail end of the first round in dynasty startups, so we’ll mark this down as a steal for Steve.  If Kamara is able to keep even 80 percent of this down to down production up, he’ll still be one of the best backs in the league.


More 2018 Dynasty League Strategy


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