Giovani Bernard 450x304 The Gridiron Classic Rookie Draft   First Round Analysis

By Justin Myers – Founder / CEO – @Dynasty_DFW

DFW started The Gridiron Classic last off-season and invited some of the top sites for this 12-team industry dynasty league. After dominating the regular season we were unfortunately upset in the championship game by The Fake Football run by Jeff Brubach. Congrats to Jeff though! There are tons of drafts going on right now and we recently finished our 4-round rookie draft. DFW drafted from the 11-spot in all four rounds and came away with some pretty good talent, the full draft can be seen here. Greg from Fantasy Knuckleheads recently published a great piece on his site to highlight the first round of this rookie draft and he was kind enough to let us share this very article with our readers. Enjoy and check out Fantasy Knuckleheads if you haven’t done so already, Greg’s site has some great content.

Dynasty Fantasy Football: Rookie-Only Draft, Round One

By Greg Brosh on May 6, 2013 – Fantasy Knuckleheads

As we head closer to summer, the peak time for fantasy football redrafts, Dynasty Fantasy Football leagues and rookie-only drafts are in full swing. Many leagues have had their veterans-only draft months ago in anticipation for the 2013 NFL Draft. With news coming out on an almost daily basis on how guys like Eddie Lacy and Tavon Austin will be used, the rookie-only draft picks are slowly taking shape.

However, unlike past years, there really is no clear-cut No. 1 player to draft. Not that it’s a bad thing. But if you’re the holder of the No. 1 spot, you really have to do your homework and listen to your gut/advice on which player will give you immediate impact, and also be the cornerstone of your dynasty team for years to come.

Yours truly is currently in his second year of an industry Dynasty Fantasy Football league, with 2013 marking the first-ever rookies-only draft. As if it’s hard enough matching wits with fellow owners, I had to do a lot more homework to keep up with my fellow peers.

Below is Round One of our draft. What do you think of the No. 1 pick? Surprised? How about the rest of the round? Not all rookie drafts will be the same, which is what makes them more unique than regular redraft leagues. Listed are each pick and a summary of the entire round. My pick is in BOLD.

To get a better grasp of the first round, make sure to check out the draft as it happens, what trades were made and also see what everyone’s roster looks like.

Make sure to check out my second-round analysis coming soon!!!!!

1.01. Fantasy Football Xtreme – RB Giovani Bernard CIN
1.02. DraftCalc – RB Montee Ball DEN
1.03. DraftCalc – RB Le’Veon Bell PIT
1.04. Fantasytaz – RB Eddie Lacy GBP
1.05. Fantasytaz – WR Tavon Austin STL
1.06. DraftCalc – WR DeAndre Hopkins HOU
1.07. Second City Fanatics – WR Cordarrelle Patterson MIN
1.08. Pro Football Focus – RB Marcus Lattimore SFO
1.09. Pro Football Focus – WR Keenan Allen SDC
1.10. Fantasy Knuckleheads – RB Johnathan Franklin GBP
1.11. Dynasty Football Warehouse – TE Tyler Eifert CIN
1.12. The Fake Football – Zac Stacy STL

Even though Giovani Bernard was ranked 4th on my Top Five Rookie Running Backs list, I can’t bash Fantasy Football Xtreme for the pick as Bernard will have a big role as soon as this year. With plodder BenJarvus Green-Ellis in front of him, Bernard could put up consistent fantasy numbers every week in PPR leagues. As you can see, DraftCalc dominated the top 6 by trading up to get the 1.02, 1.03 and 1.06 picks. As with a lot of rookie drafts, this first round had trades galore. As for his picks; Montee Ball and Le’Veon Bell should wind up being excellent RB2′s, with the off chance one or both winds up being RB1′s by the end of this year or next year. Both don’t have much in the way of true competition, so expect both to consistently touch the rock a lot in 2013. Bypassing Cordarrelle Patterson for DeAndre Hopkins is a shrewd move, but one I can understand. Hopkins should be the No. 2 across from Andre Johnson. Not to mention he has a better quarterback in Matt Schaub.

FantasyTaz’s picks of Eddie Lacy and Tavon Austin are hard to argue against. Lacy plummeting to the Packers late in the second round could be just as much of a steal as when Aaron Rodgers lost momentum behind Alex Smith in the 2005 NFL Draft. Lacy comes with question marks, but he fell in a perfect situation. The Rams didn’t trade up in the top 10 for Austin to be nothing more than a bit player. The little guy can do everything. He could wind up having the most value of all the receivers taken in the first round of this draft. Second City Fanatics drafting Cordarrelle Patterson was the right move, but will he pan out this season? The jury is still out on whether or not Christian Ponder has what it takes to be a true NFL quarterback. And even though he had the most talent of all the rookie receivers, it could take Patterson a full year to get coached up. But since this is a Dynasty Fantasy Football league, sitting on Patterson until he shows he can grasp the NFL is worth it. Especially at the 1.7 pick.

It’s doubtful that Pro Football Focus gets much early value out of Marcus Lattimore and Keenan Allen. Both players are coming off an injury and will have competition. Lattimore will battle with Kendall Hunter for snaps behind an aging Frank Gore and Allen will compete with Malcom Floyd and Vincent Brown opposite Danario Alexander. Both have the potential to be something special at one point, I just don’t expect it to be this year or maybe not even 2014. In Dynasty Fantasy Football, he can afford to wait it out and see how the competition plays out within the next couple years. Gore isn’t getting any younger

I had debated for hours on which player to take at the 1.10 spot. But after much contemplating, I figured I would roll the dice and go with Johnathan Franklin, a player several draft experts ranked as the No. 1 running back coming out this year. Franklin is shifty, but also has power to run between the tackles. The fact that the Packers traded up for him reassures me that they do like what they see. Lacy could wind up being great, or he could take his injury history with him to Green Bay. If Franklin gets a shot at starting a game here and there, we could be seeing Ryan Grant all over again. While I’m still worried that Franklin will be nothing more than a change-of-pace guy behind Lacy, he was the best player available on my board. So I have to feel comfortable with the decision.

I think Dynasty Football Warehouse got tremendous value nabbing Tyler Eifert so late. I’ve seen him go as high as the No. 6 to No. 7 pick in other rookie drafts. Eifert figures to play behind/alongside Jermaine Gresham in 2013, but could take the starting job eventually. Bengals fans know Gresham’s value is all-but-gone, never living up to the hype after being drafted in 2010. If Gresham doesn’t get it together, he could be on the trade block or cut outright in 2014. Thus leaving Eifert as Andy Dalton’s, possibly, second favorite target behind AJ Green.

Not many know about Zac Stacy, but they should. With Steven Jackson now in Atlanta, the Rams were left with two scat backs in Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead. Stacy racked up 408 carries for 2,334 yards and 24 touchdowns as Vanderbilt’s featured back and could carve out a role as soon as this year. Tacklers have a hard time bringing him down and he excels at picking up the blitz. I had Stacy ranked as my No. 5 overall rookie running back. So The Fake Football nabbing him with the last pick could make this the steal of the first round.

Thanks again to Greg from Fantasy Knuckleheads for sharing his analysis of our our rookie draft.