The final weeks before the NFL Draft is a critical period for dynasty fantasy footballers. Positioning oneself to take full advantage of the incoming draft class -- or maybe next year's class -- is never an easy exercise. Maneuvering, trading picks, moving up or down in a draft without giving up too much -- it can be tricky.
Below are thoughts and insight from Draft Day Consultants' dynasty analysts on how you might be able to improve your chances for a dynasty title in the days and weeks before the NFL Draft changes the dynasty landscape. Click here for one-on-one consultation with these DDC consultants and more. Improve your dynasty squad for the 2017 NFL season and beyond.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re aware that the 2017 draft class is loaded with depth at the running back position. There are a handful of backs who, if the class was not so top heavy with talent, would probably be projected to be selected a round or two higher. They each possess NFL starting caliber skill sets. That's why I’m going to wait on a running back and try to lock up one of the top wideouts or tight ends in the first round while others hone in on the elite tier of running backs. It’s the classic zig-when-others-zag strategy. This is an ideal crop of prospects for that kind of approach.
If I have a win-now dynasty team, I’d look to buy a top-five pick this year. That would guarantee me at least one of the elite prospects at either running back, wideout, or tight end. So whatever position I’m looking to fill, I’ll be certain to lock up a top option with this strategy. On the flip-side, I’m in rebuild mode in one of my salary cap dynasty leagues. I’m going to cut bait with a few guys I’m overpaying for and clear enough cap space so I can win some bids on the value picks (especially at RB) in the rookie auction after others pays up for the top tier players.
I think there will be a ton of value in this draft class. That means that I'm trying to move back in the draft if I own a high pick. It means I am not trying to unload my aging studs as the draft approaches. Rookie picks, especially high ones, tend to have more value than the player selected with them. This is not the class to pay a premium for those picks. Instead, I'm trying to unload excess bench depth for third round selections.
I'm definitely selling my 2017 picks if I have a win-now team. People are always willing to overpay for rookie draft capital. Those picks will sound a lot better before the draft and people start associating names with them. If I'm rebuilding, I'm more willing to buy, but I'm trying to do it at the lower rounds. This is a great class to accumulate picks.
I try and treat every dynasty season the same. There will be a few high spots where I'll want to pick special players. Generally I avoid tight ends until very late in rookie drafts or sometimes not at all, but I think this year could be the exception.
The RB and WR position seems to have some talented prospects, but also some looming off the field issues and some doubts about scheme flexibility and impact out of the gate. On the flip side, the tight end position sports at least three prospects would could crack the first round or in the very least, the top 40 picks. The talent and opportunity is there to make this an outlier year for tight ends, and perhaps a position you might want to pay up for.
Even though the draft class hasn't provided the volume of potential superstars many predicted a year ago, there are six very good players at the top and another dozen or more who have a higher than usual chance of being valuable dynasty assets. Considering the 2016 draft ran out of steam in the late first round, I'd say we are looking at a pretty solid group. Because of that depth, there are a few different ways to find value. Many are doing what they can to move back from the 1.01-1.02 to the 1.04-1.06 range. Doing so while nabbing extra assets is a viable strategy, but so is trading up into those top couple spots, as it is cheaper to do so than in recent years. If you are looking for a lower stakes option, accumulating picks in the 2.01-2.08 range is a cheaper alternative that gives you a great shot and landing a good player or three.
Regardless of where my roster composition is, I always shop my first round picks. Very often someone is willing to overpay in a fashion that can help either a win-now or a rebuilding team. I'd say this class has a greater chance of providing a quick return than most. Highly drafted running backs, of which this draft has the potential to produce five or six, tend to get on the field right away. There are four receivers who should go in your rookie draft's first round who are ready to produce from the word go. Dig a bit deeper and players like Connor Kupp are likely to be available into the latter part of the second round. With the right landing spot, he could become an immediate WR3. It isn't often you can find that more than 20 picks in.