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Last Updated: May 5th at 6:35pm ET

 

Below are my 2021 Dynasty Rankings, including rookies. For my Rookie Only Draft rankings, CLICK HERE.

The “Value” column represents a league-generic trade value score for each player. One key consideration with these values is that it’s important to factor in the value of a roster spot in 2-1, 3-1, etc. trades. In shallower leagues a roster spot might be worth 50-80 points of value. In deeper leagues a roster spot could be worth more like 10.

To use these as rookie rankings, sort by the Rookie Rank column and the rookies will appear in order together at the bottom of the ranks.

Ranking Philosophy:

  • As much as possible, I avoid projecting production beyond the upcoming season. The NFL is simply too unpredictable to make a “3-year window” or any other bets on long-term production worthwhile.
  • Dynasty, like redraft, is best played year to year.
  • However, I’m still able to play a long-term game while only looking at short-term projections by considering the following:
    • Dynasty is about maximizing your team’s production while also maintaining a high team Trade Value (as measured by startup ADP).
      • By keeping your team trade value high, you preserve the ability to adjust your team year to year, and will prevent your team from becoming old and unproductive.
    • Understanding Trade Value trends
      • Not all production is valued the same way by dynasty owners. Understanding how the market has historically treated positions and age groups can give us an edge.
    • Contract situations (info comes from Spotrac)
      • Understanding contract ramifications is an under-rated aspect of playing dynasty. I’ve included 2020 & 2021 contract status for each of the 150 players below.
      • This gives us an edge by allowing us to better predict how these players will be viewed after the 2020 season is over.
    • Breakout profiles
      • Not all players are equally likely to exceed expectations. There are specific types of players at each position more likely to increase in value (more to come on this topic).
  • RBs are risky holds early in the off-season.
    • Many of the RBs below will lose considerable value during Free Agency and the NFL draft. As a result, I tend to rank RBs (particularly for RBs with weak holds on their roles) lower in the early off-season than post-NFL draft.
  • QBs valuation is partially format dependent.
    • If you play in deep leagues, you’ll likely find that I’ve under-rated QB relative to other positions, and vice-versa if you prefer shallow leagues.
  • These rankings are best used in conjunction with ADP data or rankings that better represent the general market consensus.
      • While I don’t recommend send low ball trade offers, there’s no reason to not get as much value as you can using the market as a guide.

Rookie Evaluation Philosophy:

  • The most important thing to know about a rookie is where they were drafted.
    • In addition to draft position, we’re looking for additional information that is not fully baked into draft position.
      • At WR for example, I tend not to put a lot of stock into 40 times, raw production stats, level of competition, and other variables that don’t appear to be very predictive once draft position is accounted for.
      • This also means that I don’t study film. While traditional scouting is highly valuable, it remains the primary focus of the NFL draft selection process. Therefore simply using draft position mostly captures what could be gained through my own film analysis.
        • I do find that film and scouting reports can be invaluable for helping to understand the type of player I’m analyzing, but I rely on the NFL draft as my starting point for evaluating talent level.
      • Conversely, I tend to be interested in information that may seem at first glance to be less important to success than what draftniks typically focus on.
        •  eg. career market share of yards; whether a player declared early; whether a player will begin their NFL career at 21; kick and punt return efficiency.
        • …because I’m looking for information that we can add to draft position and improve our hit rate, rather than simply predict draft position in the first place.
        • In other words, I’m looking for information that the NFL is, to some degree, ignoring.
  • Situation and landing spot matters a lot more for RBs than WRs. Anyone who talked themselves out of A.J. Brown because there weren’t enough targets in Tennessee or Juju Smith-Schuster and Chris Godwin because they were “blocked” by a superstar WR, or thought that Courtland Sutton and D.J. Chark were doomed by bad QB play knows what I mean.
  • RB talent still matters, and I particularly like to see pass catching ability, youth, agility, and weight adjusted speed.
  • Rookie TEs tend to take a long time to develop into productive fantasy assets, and very few TEs ever return difference making production. And roster spots–especially in shallow leagues–tend to better spent on the other skill positions. As a result I’m usually only interested in premium TE rookie prospects.

 

 

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