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Tue May 24th 2022

Grading My "Good Times" Rookie Draft

I hope you're enjoying rookie draft season like I am! I had two more drafts last week and thought I'd use this article to share how the rookie draft went in my "Good Times" league. I'll share the players I selected and write about some of the more interesting selections and/or trades made in this rookie draft.

This "Good Times" league is seven years old. It's a ten-team, one-quarterback, half-PPR league. Starting line-ups include ten players: one quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, one tight end, one flex position, a kicker, and a DST. We have 35-man rosters and cut to 30 players the week before the NFL season.

Here's how this draft played out last week.

Round One

    1.    Breece Hall
    2.    Drake London

  • Right before the draft started, a huge trade was completed between the two rebuilding teams that finished last and second to last the previous season. If you want to know the price of Breece Hall and Nick Chubb, this trade makes it clear. Last year's worst team gave up the 1.1 and a 2023 first-round pick for Nick Chubb, Brandin Aiyuk, and 2.3 (pick #13) in this year's draft. I think that's too much to give up for a rebuilding team, but they both must have different rebuilding strategies. One manager wants points this season, while the other is willing to take a slower approach. The slow-building manager had pick #2 also, so he's started his rebuild with Hall, Drake London, and Jahan Dotson (his second-round pick) and a 2023 first-round pick. I like this slow approach and think his team made out well. I'll share more of my thoughts about the other manager's draft in a bit.

    3.    Kenneth Walker
    4.    Treylon Burks
    5.    Garrett Wilson
    6.    Chris Olave

  • Olave was my pick here. He's the player I assumed I would get, but I hoped that Treylon Burks might fall to me since I play in other leagues with these guys and know the two managers ahead of me liked Garrett Wilson and Jameson Williams a lot. I'm excited to have my first share of Olave, even if the Jarvis Landry signing took place after I made this pick. I shared last week that I have a distinct tier break in my rankings after Olave. Several managers tried to trade up for this pick before the rookie draft, and a two did during the draft, but I was not willing to move out of tier one. His collegiate pedigree, NFL draft capital (1.11), and the fact that the Saints traded up to select Olave make him a sure bet to hit.

    7.    Jameson Williams
    8.    Christian Watson
    9.    Skyy Moore

  • This was a fun part of this rookie draft. A manager with several second and third-round picks moved up twice to select Christian Watson and Skyy Moore. He moved up from 1.10 to 1.8 to select Christian Watson. He gave up 1.10, 3.5, and 5.5 to do so. That's a great deal in my eyes. He traded up again to select Skyy Moore, giving up 2.5 and 2.6 to do so. He found two teams who thought their team's interest was best served by collecting more picks and gave away five later picks to select Garrett Wilson (his own pick), Watson, and Brown. That's not a bad first round! I'll touch more on what the managers who traded back did later in the article.

    10.  James Cook

Round Two

    1.    George Pickens
    2.    Jahan Dotson
    3.    Isaiah Spiller

  • This is the first time I've seen Spiller go ahead of Rachaad White and Dameon Pierce. It was a surprise pick by the manager who gave up the 1.1 and a 2023 first-round pick for Nick Chubb, Brandon Ayuik, and this pick of Spiller. He blended in his start-now players with a player he'll have to be really patient with since he's playing behind Austin Ekeler. That's a good strategy sometimes, but I thought he would pick one of the players drafted next in this round that have a better chance to score points for him this season.

    4.    Rachaad White
    5.    Dameon Pierce
    6.    Alec Pierce

  • The manager that moved back from 1.8, where Skyy Moore was drafted, moved back to select both Pierces. While I have Dameon and Alec Pierce in my third tier and Skyy Moore in the second tier of rookies, two-for-one deals are not a bad idea, given that I have questions about all of the players in tiers two and three. This manager continued t move back in the draft and collect picks, giving him a collection of players in this year's class. The more rookies you have in this range, the better chance you have to hit on one or two. After trading out of the first round, his team added the following players: Dameon Pierce, Alec Pierce, Tyler Allgeier, Keaontay Ingram, Romeo Doubs, Danny Gray, Kyren Williams, and Abram Smith. It's not a bad crop of players if he can be patient, and he's a contending team, so he can afford to wait on this 2022 rookie crop.

    7.    David Bell

  • This was my pick, and I was finally able to make a trade after trying to move up in the draft since 2.4 to select Bell. I was pleasantly surprised each time a pick came in, and it was not Bell. I finally got a trade done, giving up 2.10 and Laviska Shenault to move up to 2.7 for Bell, who is my 12th ranked rookie. I've had him ranked higher than most analysts and dynasty managers before the NFL draft and only moved him back a few spots after his poor athletic testing and third-round draft capital. His college production is too much to overlook. While drafted later than many receivers, he landed on a team with much opportunity and a fantastic quarterback, assuming DeShaun Watson plays again. I was very excited about this trade and was happy to get rid of Laviska after several seasons of underperformance and coaching changes.

    8.    Trey McBride

  • I mentioned last week that Trey McBride fell too far in my "Diehards" rookie draft. In this draft, I think the opposite happened. This team reached to draft for team need. The only tight ends on his roster were Gerald Everett and Dan Arnold before the draft, though he's now added McBride and Cade Otton. In a non-tight end premium league, I think he would have been better-suited trading with a team for at least one top 10-20 dynasty tight end. I made offers to him throughout the offseason but would not bite. I like McBride long-term, but he will take a while to produce behind Zach Ertz. I prefer to draft several of the players drafted after McBride with this pick, even if I was hurting at tight end.

    9.    Tyler Allgeier
    10.  Jalen Tolbert

Round Three

    1.    Wan'Dale Robinson
    2.    Kenny Pickett
    3.    John Metchie
    4.    Brian Robinson

  • Even though Robinson was drafted to a team with a crowded backfield, I am surprised to see him constantly drafted after guys with worse NFL draft capital. I've never been a fan of Antonio Gibson, and while he's proved me wrong in spurts, his inability to stay healthy has proven me right overall. There's a reason Robinson was drafted by Washington in the third round and convinced McKissic to come back to the team after agreeing to terms with Buffalo. They intend to divide up the backfield, and Robinson will be a big part of it.

    5.    Zamir White
    6.    Tyrion Davis-Price

    7.    Jelani Woods
    8.    Keaontay Ingram
    9.    Romeo Doubs
    10.  Tyquan Thorton

Round Four

    1.    Malik Willis
    2.    Hasaan Haskins
    3.    Pierre Strong
    4.    Velus Jones
    5.    Greg Dulcich

  • This was my pick, and I consider it a great value even though I have a lot of depth at tight end. My depth allows me to be patient with Dulcich, though. I have Dulcich ranked as my 25th rookie but was able to draft him here at pick #35. I hoped that Willis, Haskins, or Pierre Strong would have fallen to me given my strength at tight end, but when they did not, I was glad to stash Dulcich. He's got the athleticism to become part of this offense immediately and can play as the move tight end even if Albert Okwuegbunam is on the find at the same time. I'm excited to have a small share in the new Russell Wilson offense.

    6.    Calvin Austin

  • I had back-to-back picks and was surprised to select Austin here. I'm surprised that I picked Austin, given that I'm so concerned about his size and the Steelers' wide receiver depth chart. I decided to be true to my draft board, and he was the top-ranked rookie when I made this pick. I have a lot of wide receiver depth in this league, so he's a player I can wait a year or two on to see how Kenny Pickett develops and what the Steelers do with Diontae Johnson next season after his contract expires. I am sure he'll make some explosive plays this season and have a few great fantasy days, but I am also sure he'll be on my bench all season, too. I'm happy to wait a year to see what happens in Pittsburgh.

    7.    Khalil Shakir
    8.    Desmond Ridder
    9.    Danny Gray
    10.  Tyler Badie

Round Five

    1.    Kyle Phillips
    2.    Kyren Williams
    3.    Charlie Kolar
    4.    Matt Corral

  • One manager in this one-quarterback league made a pretty aggressive trade to select Corral. He traded J.D. McKissick straight up for this pick. He has solid running back depth on his team, but this felt like too much to give. In my opinion, any player like McKissick, who has been a startable fantasy player for stretches, should not go straight up for a fifth-round rookie pick. Rookie fever is real, however, even in the fifth round of rookie drafts.

    5.    Ty Chandler
    6.    Jerome Ford

  • Ford was a top-twelve-ranked rookie in my pre-draft rankings. I moved him down considerably after falling in the NFL draft and getting drafted by Cleveland, the team with arguably the best tandem of running backs in the league. Still, I was excited to draft one of "my guys in the fifth round." Like any fifth-round rookie pick, he'll have a hard time making my roster after the cut date, but I may decide to keep him just because I loved his college film so much. He's a big play waiting to happen and could prove too good to keep off the field if given the opportunity this year. I never root for injuries, but I'd be curious to see if Kareem Hunt gets traded this offseason to a team that loses a lead running back before the season starts. If so, I'll be even happier to have selected Ford this late in the draft.

    7.    Tristan Ebner
    8.    Cade Otton
    9.    Abram Smith
    10.  Justyn Ross

  • Ross was picked 33rd in the draft I reported on last week, but he fell to the 50th pick here. We have a waiver run right after the rookie draft, and everyone lamented that our 2021 champ selected Ross with this last pick. I was one of the managers upset with this pick too, but at least I was able to pick up Kennedy Brooks in the first waiver wire run. Brooks was my next highest-ranked UDFA.

My Roster

  • I'm a top-tier team in this league. I won the championship two years ago and had terrible luck in the playoffs last year. Rosters in 10-man leagues look much stronger than they do in 12-team leagues. I have a top-four roster in this league and like the balance I have at each position. This year I plan to compete for a championship again, but I also want to be open to selling high-performing players that are on my bench most weeks for 2023 draft picks, especially if they are older players.

Quarterbacks

Justin Herbert, Russell Wilson, Jameis Winston

  • I'm in great shape with my quarterback room in this start-one league. Herbert will be my every-week starter, and I'll look to trade Russell Wilson if he comes out of the gate on fire, especially if Winston is playing well too.

Running Backs

Jonathan Taylor, Saquan Barkley, Miles Sanders, Damian Harris, Devin Singletary, D'Onta Foreman, Boston Scott, Phillip Lindsay, Kalen Ballage, Jerome Ford, Kennedy Brooks

  • My running back room can't look too bad with Taylor in my line-up, but my RB-2 is a little questionable. I'm banking on a bounce-back season from Barkley or Sanders and think one or both of them can become my every-week starter alongside Taylor. If not, Harris and Singletary are not bad options for me, given the strength of the rest of my team. The rest of my running backs need injuries from starters ahead of them to bring value to my team, but handcuffs are always important players to roster and become tradable when injuries happen.

Wide Receivers

Deebo Samuel, Stephon Diggs, Tee Higgins, Mike Evans, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Josh Palmer, Nico Collins, Dyami Brown, James Washington, Ashton Dulin, Chris Olave, David Bell, Calvin Austin

  • I have four every-week starters with Samuel, Diggs, Higgins, and Evans. That's the strongest wide receiver line-up in this league. The rookies I drafted in the first and second rounds of this draft, Chris Olave and David Bell, and last year's draft pick, Amon-Ra St. Brown, give me quality depth and future upside. I'm also hopeful that one or two of the guys I'm continuing to hold on my roster, like Palmer, Brown, Collins, and Dulin, will also break out. If just one of them did, I'd be in even better shape in this league.

Tight Ends

Dallas Goedert, Zach Ertz, Logan Thomas, Brevin Jordan, Mo Alie-Cox, Geg Dulcich

  • I don't have a top-tier tight end, but I have a few players in my second tier and a lot of youth and upside opportunities behind them. I can stream Goedert and Ertz this season while hoping for breakout seasons from Jordan, Alie-Cox, and Dulcich. I'd consider trading Ertz if he starts the season hot and my younger players do well.

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