2015 RotoViz Dynasty League Rookie Draft: Round 2
We looked at Round 1 of the 2015 Fleaflicker RotoViz dynasty rookie draft on Saturday. It’s time for Round 2.
A quick reminder that the RDL is a 14-team league, but I’m showing it as a 12-team so that it matches the most common reader format.1
No. 13 Marcus Mariota – @TheHumanHuman
RotoViz Rank: 13 Rookie ADP: 16
This looks like a crazy value as QBs are worth quite a bit more in 14-team leagues, especially in dynasty formats where you can essentially get locked out of the position for years.2 Mariota was selected by Justin Winn who appropriately penned our missive explaining why Mariota is one of the best prospects ever.
Had the Eagles succeeded in their quest for Mariota, you could make a case for the Oregon QB starting at No. 3 overall. Cleveland was the only destination that would have really dinged his value. Even in Tennessee the Oregon star becomes an immediate Top 5 dynasty quarterback, and the “Andrew Luck is an early first round startup pick” crowd should consider him even earlier.
No. 14 Jaelen Strong – @RyanLessard
RotoViz Rank: 12 Rookie ADP: 13
If there’s any question whether the NFL favored the analytics perspective or the scouting perspective on Strong, that question was answered pretty definitively during the NFL Draft.
The above chart from the globe-trotting Jon Moore helps explain why Strong is still generating strong rookie interest despite the indifference with which NFL teams viewed his prospects. Since Strong also sports plus athleticism in addition to his impressive production, his fall was bizarre to say the least.3
The Sun Devil star doesn’t represent the strongest 2015 outlook as the clear No. 2 behind DeAndre Hopkins and catching passes from Brian Hoyer or Ryan Mallett. But a scenario certainly exists in which Bill O’Brien eventually moves to a more pass-centric scheme with Hopkins and Strong as co-1s and lighting up overmatched secondaries.
No. 15 Duke Johnson – @FantasyGumshoe
RotoViz Rank: 15 Rookie ADP: 15
Duke’s landing spot has been panned from an opportunity perspective – and a more general organizational competency perspective – but the short term situation might be better than it looks.4 Isaiah Crowell is a former UDFA who was stealth-awful5 in 2015, and Terrance West failed to emerge when surrounded by Ben Tate and Crowell. Johnson’s metrics suggest he’ll easily win the starting job and be a tempting Zero RB candidate in redraft.
No. 16 David Johnson – @TheHumanHuman
RotoViz Rank: 16 Rookie ADP: 20
The Cardinals are saying David Johnson is a three-down back and that this doesn’t affect anything for Andre Ellington. Some analysts believe this is good news for Ellington because a strong early down runner – David Cobb, for instance – would be guaranteed to siphon touches, but it’s a problem for the incumbent that Johnson is basically a bigger, faster version of Ellington. The veteran doesn’t do anything better and might not have much of a role once Johnson is up to speed. The Northern Iowa prospect is this year’s version of Bishop Sankey, a super athletic, ultra-productive, high workload player who’s saddled with a negative scouting narrative.6
No. 17 Maxx Williams – @MattFtheOracle
RotoViz Rank: 17 Rookie ADP: 18
Williams is the Jarvis Landry of tight ends with monster age-adjusted market share production and very borderline NFL athleticism. Expect earlier production than offered from the 2014 class but possibly a lower long term ceiling.
No. 18 Tyler Lockett – @MattFtheOracle
RotoViz Rank: 21 Rookie ADP: 24
This was already the fifth pick in the 2015 Draft by Matthew Freedman as our czar has been targeting these festivities ever since he relentlessly traded down in the startup draft two years ago. As the Dissenting Costanzan, he’s also our foremost small receiver advocate and picks up Lockett here to go with Phillip Dorsett in the first. Matt and fellow RotoViz Radio receiver maven Jon Moore believe Lockett looks like the next Antonio Brown or T.Y. Hilton.
It’s worth noting that while RotoViz has a reputation for liking big receivers and young prospects, what many of us love the most is epic production. Production over traits. Lockett is small and Lockett is old, but the Kansas State mighty mite was the best Big 12 receiver by such a large margin that he couldn’t even see Kevin White in the rear view.
No. 19 Devin Funchess – @LucasC_FF
RotoViz Rank: 14 Rookie ADP: 17
Among projected Top 20 dynasty selections, perhaps none seemed as reliant on draft slot and fit. Had Funchess fallen into the third round, it would have been much more difficult to stay excited about his prospects. However, he not only went near the beginning of his realistic range, he went to a team that surrendered a ton of draft capital to get there. He also went to a team with a glaring hole at receiver. Funchess is a younger, more athletic version of Kelvin Benjamin complete with the ridiculous size and shaky hands.
Funchess looks like a value here as he goes below both his RotoViz Rank and his ADP.
No. 20 Jameis Winston – @REags11
RotoViz Rank: 18 Rookie ADP: 12
Jameis DGAF on Cutler levels pic.twitter.com/Ew7vtOWazf
— Davis Mattek (@DavisMattek) May 1, 2015
Royal: I’ve always been considered an asshole for about as long as I can remember. That’s just my style. But I’d really feel blue if I didn’t think you were going to forgive me.
Henry Sherman: I don’t think you’re an asshole, Royal. I just think you’re kind of a son of a bitch.
Football Outsiders’ updated quarterback projection model gives Winston a 60 percent chance to bust, which dovetails with all the work we’ve done on him here at RotoViz. Strictly from a fantasy perspective, I like the value pick for Ross Eagles who gets Winston below both his staff rank and his rookie ADP.
No. 21 Eric Kendricks – @PKerrane and @MikeKerrane
With the ability to start up to four LBs in a format that is both IDP-centric and LB-favorable in its scoring, this was the area you’d expect the impact defenders to start flying off the board. Kendricks is a SPARQ-y athlete with a strong draft pedigree and immediate opportunity in Minnesota.
No. 22 Devin Smith – @TheCFX
RotoViz Rank: 19 Rookie ADP: 22
Smith looks like one of draft’s biggest reaches or a modern day Reggie Wayne. Either way, he gives the Jets three-headed quarterback monster an elite field-stretcher. Buried behind Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker in the short term, Smith could emerge as a 2016 or 2017 star in Chan Gailey’s spread. The Ohio State product is almost certainly a better prospect than Dorsett, and since neither receiver falls into immediate opportunity, we’re seeing the value – or perceived value – of quarterback play to fantasy scoring. In fact, Kevin Cole makes a strong case that Smith is significantly undervalued based on reality draft slot.
No. 23 Jay Ajayi – @FF_Contrarian
RotoViz Rank: 22 Rookie ADP: 14
I traded in here for Ajayi, a player with a tremendous RB Prospect Lab projection that placed him in the same fantasy tier as Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon pre-draft. Since I recently argued for a scenario in which he could eclipse both stars as the top dynasty running back, this seemed like good value even after his reality fall. Dr. Jeffrey Budoff does confirm that Ajayi’s knee condition could significantly affect his prospects, especially three years down the line.
No. 24 David Cobb – @AThousandGrams
RotoViz Rank: 24 Rookie ADP: 21
Cobb has been one of my targets since the beginning of the offseason when he started showing up in the same range as Melvin Gordon and Tevin Coleman in the RB Prospect Lab Rankings. Unfortunately, if you buy his 4.72 forty time, his projection falls to 46, a score which would be consistent with his reality draft plunge.
The upside of being selected late by Tennessee is still considerable. His low draft slot should keep his ADP in check . . . Actually, we need to pause here for a second. His draft slot should be keeping his ADP in check, but it isn’t. As FD explained in a tremendous piece looking at the rookie draft ADP implied by reality draft position, Cobb should be going 40th but is going in the early twenties instead.
While Cobb may be slightly overvalued in rookie drafts, his low redraft ADP makes the Titans RB stack a no-brainer.
Need to find a cheap player to add punch to the bottom of your dynasty roster? Try the Top 10 Sleepers for 2015.
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- A more detailed look at the league itself can be found in the first installment. (back)
- To be clear, quarterbacks are usually worth even less is dynasty than redraft, but that’s an area where 12-team and 14-team can be very different. The extra two teams lead to far greater scarcity. Also, this is a 6-point passing touchdown league, as all leagues should be. I realize it’s called fantasy for a reason, but touchdowns are worth six points. (back)
- For what it’s worth, I firmly believe the Cleveland Browns spent the last two drafts intending to take an impact wide receiver but couldn’t figure out where to click to turn off autopick. I think we can all sympathize with the feelings of panic and impotency that engenders. (back)
- It looks really bad. Kevin Cole has Cleveland as No. 32 in RB opportunity post-draft. (back)
- as discussed on RotoViz Radio (back)
- It may seem that the narrative, while temporarily correct, might also have been predictive . . . until you consider all of the counterexamples, including players like Mark Ingram who were overdrafted due to a positive narrative and have been awful. It’s great to target players like Johnson and Sankey because any negative blip in production torpedoes their ADPs far beyond any realistic level. That makes them much cheaper to own and reduces your risk. You can still be wrong. Either or both players could bust. But you want it to be as inexpensive as possible when they do. (back)