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2020 Dynasty Rookie Draft Strategy: Let’s Talk About Trading 2021/Future Picks

Air Date:
June 5, 2020

2020 Dynasty Rookie Draft Strategy: Let’s Talk About Trading 2021/Future Picks


You know how I’ve been saying that your top priority for the 2020 Dynasty Rookie Draft is to trade off it…to leverage it for all it is worth – getting real players discounted for the phantom rookie hype inflated value picks? If not, please go read my recent articles/reports on it – it’s a must for the 2020 DRD. I’m assuming you’ve already read it, so we push forward.

There’s another wrinkle to this ‘sell the 2020 DRD’ theory…

I caution you to NOT think you’re getting cute by dealing 2020 Dynasty Rookie Draft Picks away and acquiring 2021 Rookie Draft picks in their place. That’s potentially the wrong thinking. There is an urge (or reality) to see this draft class as overvalued and trade it, as we’ve been saying…but then you think a smart way out of it is to go trade those 2020 rookie picks for 2021 rookie picks as your way to get out of the 2020 Dynasty Rookie Draft craze.


If you think the 2020 Dynasty Rookie Draft is bad…what do you think 2021 will look like?

It’s not that the players/rookies in 2020 are bad. Quite the contrary – they’re great. Such talent, especially in the Edwards-Mims-Pittman-Claypool-Duvernay WR grouping – it’s just that they’re all landing ‘bad’ for fantasy. They’re joining a bad offense, or bad QB, or fighting a loaded depth chart and are low man on the totem pole for targets right away. It’s not a talent thing – it’s a landing spot thing causing the first 15-20 picks of the rookie draft to be highly overrated (plus, the world’s inherent over-love of all things ‘rookie’).

As I’ve been saying for two+ years – it is getting WAY too crowded in the NFL with talent. That’s why the 2020 rookie draft group feels so weak…they all landed onto ‘bad’ (for FF) situations. Outside of Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and maybe even not him, they’ve all landed in a confusing situation for 2020 touches.

It’s going to be worse for the 2021 rookies joining/piling on top of the problem, and so-on.

The advantage, in the NFL, typically goes to the players who are ‘there’ – the ones that ‘know’ the coveted playbook…who know the blocking schemes and/or who have established a rapport with the existing QB. The chances that a rookie is coming in and just blasting past all the existing options (especially at WR) – it’s low odds. 3-5+ years ago, depth charts were wide open and the NFL was desperate for talent. Now, it’s overstocked shelves. Rookies join the teams and go to the back of the line or are splitting/fighting with other very talented young players already established.

The first five WRs taken in the 2019 NFL Draft:

1) Marquise Brown

2) N’Keal Harry

3) Deebo Samuel

4) A.J. Brown

5) Mecole Hardman


The top five rookie WRs in rec. yards in 2019 season:

1) A.J. Brown

2) Terry McLaurin

3) D.K. Metcalf

4) Deebo Samuel

5) Darius Slayton


The top five WRs in receptions in 2019 season:

1) Diontae Johnson

2) Terry McLaurin

3) D.K. Metcalf

4) A.J. Brown

5) Hunter Renfrow

You will not find the first WR selected in the NFL Draft (Marquise Brown) on any top five list here, nor the second WR taken…N’Keal Harry. A year ago, you might have been totally enraptured with the possibilities on either…or Parris Campbell (not on any top five list among rookies), etc.

Among the 2019 rookie RBs, only Josh Jacobs was an on-purpose, wire-to-wire ‘the man’ in the backfield for his team.


Sure…eventually, a few of these rookies of 2020 will be the stars of the future…but it’s more like 2021-2022 before it will happen. For Dynasty strategy, in a year from now, you could buy almost all your 2020 rookie faves in 2021 for 10-50% off their rookie preseason price tag. Rare are you priced out of ever acquiring these rookies down the road…their peak pricing is at the rookie draft/in the preseason and then maybe gaining hot value 1-2 years into the league. Like a brand-new car, once you drive it off the lot…the value starts to decline.

You could’ve traded for Christian McCaffrey reasonably during/after his rookie season…he fell in value after he was good-but-human his rookie season.

A monetary example of what I’m trying to convey…

If the 1.05-06-06-08 etc. pick in the 2020 Dynasty Rookie Draft should be worth $100 dollars, you can probably sell the pick in a trade at a $125+ dollar valuation…and can acquire some of last year’s forgotten top rookies for $50-75.

You could sell the 1.06 for Parris Campbell and a 2nd-round pick, I bet, as an example…or something close to it.

You could sell a 1.08 for Devin Singletary.

You could sell the 1.03-04-05 for Leonard Fournette and maybe a 3rd/4th-round pick. Or 1.05 + trinket for Fournette.

You could sell 1.03 + trinket for Diontae and Higbee (maybe so in May, now in June not so easy -- the fantasy world all decided they just discovered Diontae Johnson)

…and that’s just a few examples.

So, sell those 2020 picks…but note that you’re going to run into the same value problem/opportunity with 2021 picks. It’s not getting any better for incoming rookies next year.

I wouldn’t just make a mad dash to now sell off your 2021 picks by the end of the week for existing players to help your title run today…although if the right deal comes along…

Just note, I will be pushing you to sell your 2021 1st-round pick all 2020 – but your best value to do such a thing is probably to wait until in-season, see/discover a need that arises and use your 2021 1st-rounder to close a deal on an established player/s for your title run in-progress.

For the foreseeable future, your smartest Dynasty Rookie planning will be to get out of the draft – round one for sure, round two is fine, and round 3-4-5 you can play around and pick lottery tickets if you’d like. The power is in selling 1st-round picks…cash in on everyone else’s rookie hysteria. It takes discipline to do so, because you’ll want to be in the rookie draft mania…you’re going to fall in love with a player/rookie and want him so badly…don’t do it.

If something changes. If I discover the David Johnson/2016 story ahead of everyone like I did, and we need to trade back into the back end of the 1st-round for a god…we’ll be able to. The odds are, going forward, these upcoming/future rookie picks are not going to yield the value they used to – and you should cash in on it without concern. Quasi-boycott the rookie draft. You should be picking late in rounds anyway, because you’re finishing highly in the leagues as it is.

Don’t worry, if you fall in love with…let’s say Jonathan Taylor or Chase Claypool – we’ll be able to get them, dipped in value, this time next year. A rookie’s market value always has a dip…even the best of them have something that happens combined with their ‘new car smell’ wearing off AND people falling in love with the new crop of rookies coming in that year.  

You are playing this game of fantasy for titles/cash…not virginal ownership of mythical rookies to love and hug as your own. Fall in love with last year’s rookies and hug them, at a nice discounted price.

Play to win the title now, and the best way to do it is to sell assets that are inflated for assets that are deflated for no good reason. 



About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics, and a football projections analyst and writer for Fantasy Football Metrics. 

Learn more about RC and the College Football Metrics system >>