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.
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.
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.
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.
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.