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RBs rule, QBs fall in fantasy dynasty rookie draft

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Out of the tens of millions of people who participate in fantasy football leagues, most play in what are called re-draft leagues. That's where you select a completely new roster before each season. Many of the diehards (or fantasy nerds like me) also participate in leagues that are more like the actual NFL, where you have one "traditional" draft followed by yearly rookie drafts. That's what we call a "dynasty" league.

To give you an idea of what such a draft will look like for 2018, here are the results of our in-house draft at NFL.com. The league is comprised of 12 teams and uses a PPR scoring system that rewards players for return yards and touchdowns. Each team rosters 24 players (10 starters) along with two reserve spots. Remember, these players were all drafted with the intent of being retained on an unlimited basis. So unlike traditional fantasy drafts, choosing poorly can have serious long-term repercussions ... think Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Enjoy!

Round 1

1. Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants
2. Derrius Guice, RB, Washington Redskins
3. Rashaad Penny, RB, Seattle Seahawks
4. Sony Michel, RB, New England Patriots
5. Royce Freeman, RB, Denver Broncos
6. D.J. Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers
7. Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons
8. Ronald Jones II, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
9. Kerryon Johnson, RB, Detroit Lions
10. Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos
11. Christian Kirk, WR, Arizona Cardinals
12. Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns

Notes: This round went as expected, at least as far as the players who were picked. Barkley is going to be the top selection in 99.9 percent of dynasty drafts, and it was no surprise to see five running backs selected with the first five picks (and seven of the first nine). Barkley, Guice, Penny, Freeman and Jones all have a shot to be featured backs as soon as this season, and Michel and Johnson will no doubt have that same shot sooner rather than later. I was surprised to see Moore and Ridley picked ahead of Jones, but I'm also a running backs truther. Moore, the first wideout picked, has the most long-term value at the position. Sutton and Kirk are also in great spots to become their team's top wideout in the near future. Overall, we saw eight runners and four wide receivers selected and not a single quarterback. That's where fantasy football drafts and reality drafts differ.

Round 2

13. Anthony Miller, WR, Chicago Bears
14. Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas Cowboys
15. Josh Rosen, QB, Arizona Cardinals
16. Mike Gesicki, TE, Miami Dolphins
17. James Washington, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
18. Sam Darnold, QB, New York Jets
19. Nyheim Hines, RB, Indianapolis Colts
20. Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns
21. D.J. Chark, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
22. Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens
23. Dante Pettis, WR, San Francisco 49ers
24. Kalen Ballage, RB, Miami Dolphins

Notes: Unlike the first round, which was littered with running backs, the second stanza was a mixed bag that included our first quarterback (Rosen) and tight end (Gesicki). While I like Jackson the most as a fantasy quarterback, Rosen does fit the mold of a potential franchise pocket passer. Mayfield, the top overall pick in the actual draft, went 20th and was the third quarterback picked behind Rosen and Darnold. Gesicki has a clear path to a starting job in Miami, so it's no surprise he was a second rounder and the lone tight end selected. Miller and Gallup were the first players to come off the board, as the duo landed with teams that should allow them opportunities to become big parts of their respective pass attacks in the very near future. Hines and Ballage have more sleeper appeal, though the former has a better shot to emerge considering his situation in Indianapolis.

Round 3

25. Dallas Goedert, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
26. Hayden Hurst, TE, Baltimore Ravens
27. Tre'Quan Smith, WR, New Orleans Saints
28. Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Green Bay Packers
29. Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills
30. Dalton Schultz, TE, Dallas Cowboys
31. Daesean Hamilton, WR, Denver Broncos
32. Jordan Wilkins, RB, Indianapolis Colts
33. Deon Cain, WR, Indianapolis Colts
34. Mark Andrews, TE, Baltimore Ravens
35. Jordan Akins, TE, Houston Texans
36. Antonio Callaway, WR, Cleveland Browns

Notes: Tight ends, anyone? With the top runners and wideouts already off the board, we saw a total of five tight ends drafted in this round. I was surprised to see Goedert go ahead of Hurst, as the former has a far more difficult path to targets with Zach Ertz ahead of him on the depth chart in Philadelphia. In fact, Hurst could be the starter in Baltimore as soon as this season. Allen, the new franchise quarterback in Buffalo, was the fifth player selected at the position in this draft. The rest of the picks in the round were sleepers or deep sleepers, including Smith and Wilkins.

Round 4

37. Mark Walton, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
38. Ito Smith, RB, Atlanta Falcons
39. Troy Fumagalli, TE, Denver Broncos
40. Keke Coutee, WR, Houston Texans
41. J'Mon Moore, WR, Green Bay Packers
42. Jordan Lasley, WR, Baltimore Ravens
43. Jaylen Samuels, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
44. Marcell Ateman, WR, Oakland Raiders
45. Daniel Carlson, K, Minnesota Vikings
46. Bo Scarbrough, RB, Dallas Cowboys
47. John Kelly, RB, Los Angeles Rams
48. Boston Scott, RB, New Orleans Saints

Notes: Welcome to the "dart throw" round. All or most of these rookies have long paths to big roles in the NFL, sans Carlson who should be the top kicker in Minnesota in 2018. Runners Walton, Smith, Samuels, Scarbrough, Kelly, and Scott are all longshots to be more than third on their team's depth charts as rookies, but you never know when the next Alvin Kamara might emerge, right? Moore is a sneaky deep sleeper simply because he'll be playing in an offense without an established No. 3 wide receiver. It also doesn't hurt that he'll be catching passes from Aaron Rodgers, either. Coutee, who could come right in and see targets behind DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller, is also a deep sleeper.


Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Do you want the most up-to-date fantasy news and analysis? You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

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