I have previously outlined some important college stats that help project NFL success here. In short, similar to wide receivers, a high market share is a good indicator of future fantasy relevance. However, tight ends do not have to reach the same level of market share dominance with 15% being a fine number.

Other things that are important are career yards over 1200, low forty times and weight adjusted speed scores over 107. Unfortunately at this stage in their development, we don’t know true forty times for these tight ends.

I have used age-adjusted production to identify promising candidates and will refine the rankings as we get more information leading up to the 2021 NFL draft. This is the initial devy list, but follow along as players rise and fall and new targets breakout during the 2020 season! 

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There are a handful of players I fell in love with combing through college production data that the NFL didn’t seem too keen on. My process is outlined here but breakout age, receptions per game and top 3 round NFL draft capital remain important pillars in my prospect evaluation.

The following 3 players met one or more of my thresholds but fell short of being a day 2 selection in the NFL draft. I wanted to dig deeper and watch some tape to see if the NFL missed something or if I did.

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I’ve been playing fantasy football for at least a decade, but I am only entering my third year of playing in dynasty leagues. Dynasty players know that it is a completely different world. If you are thin at a certain position, it can haunt your team for a couple of years, or it can cost you more than you want to pay on the trade market. This is especially true when it comes to the quarterback position.

For my first ever dynasty squad, I drafted Andrew Luck and Alex Smith and I was pretty excited for next half decade that we were going to spend together. As we know, neither of these panned out like I had planned. Last season, I got Tom Brady and Joe Flacco for super cheap and already had Jacoby Brissett as a handcuff and now I’m left with Tom Brady and on the market for one of these rookie QBs. One could argue that quarterback may not be the most important position in fantasy football, but it can be the most detrimental to your fantasy team because the volume of talent is more limited than other positions. So here is how I view this rookie class.

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The tight end position is similar to QB in fantasy, in the sense that only an elite player really turns tides for your team. Most TE production is replaceable week in and week out. In 2019 the top 7 tight ends ranged between 16.6 and 13.6 in PPR points per game before a 1.3PPG gap to TE 8. The elite tier was even more dramatic in 2018 when the top 2 TEs averaged 3 PPG more than TE3.

Because of this, in most leagues the TE position is an afterthought on draft day. In dynasty rookie drafts it is difficult to know how to value a TE because 1) they take a while to develop for fantasy and 2) they are so often replaceable compared to other positions. If you are going to take a rookie TE, it better be in an attempt to land a whale.

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What’s better than a dynasty football slow draft in February when there isn’t any football to watch anymore? I refuse to acknowledge the XFL, by the way. Okay, maybe a fantasy baseball draft would be a little more exciting than a football draft because the season is a lot closer. Some of us prefer football over baseball and there’s some of us that can do both. A fantasy sports Eiffel Tower, if you will. 

I was lucky enough to catch an industry friend’s tweet about a start up dynasty that was going to draft in February and I gave it about 0.2 seconds of thought before I came to the conclusion that I was all for it. I messaged Matt Williams and he gladly accepted me assuming that I don’t have a reputation of ghosting my teams (I don’t). It is a 12-team PPR superflex league with a TE premium. My opponents include: Scott Fish Bowl 8 champion Stompy, Matt Williams, John Hogue, Kane Fossell, Nick Faber, @DFSMich_5, Caleb Pierson, Steven Toroni, Jon Helmkamp, John Hesterman, @GOATDistrict and @EverydayFFB. Those are 12 names, but two of them co-own a team. 

I’ll mostly just be writing about my roster, but I will also point out some tidbits on how the draft board was shaking out. Most of the meat of the analysis will be in the first 10 or so rounds. First drafts of the season are rusty, and there will be plenty of trading in this league, but I’m hoping that a good portion of these picks shape out. I drafted from the 11 spot. 

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There were some hefty bids put on rookie sensation T.J. Hockenson last week, which was promptly followed by some reactionary drops this week.

When it comes to rookies, make your evaluation and believe in it. Be willing to accept changes in their skill set on the field, but we can only do so much to predict usage. Just ask Rudy. Trust the process even though we always need results. This is the rookie oath.

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2019 was not the most spectacular class of rookies to enter the NFL. In fact, multiple times, I’ve said that the running back class is the weakest we’ve seen in the last decade with the possible exception of 2010. As history shows us with rookies, it is not always the first ones drafted that make the biggest impact in fantasy. While Saquon obviously ran away with the 2018 rookie class MVP, the 2nd leading rusher of the group was the undrafted Phillip Lindsay.

When evaluating rookies, every analyst uses some combination of talent and opportunity, and I tend to lean more toward the talent side of those. Situation can change, and while players can improve, I tend to trust my evaluations in their skills.

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Hello and welcome back to another year of Dynasty Deep Dives! With it being mid-August I’m sure the majority of fantasy gamers have already completed their drafts, but all of us will be wrapping up our draft season in the next couple of weeks. Let’s’ dive in like Antonio Brown dove into his cryogenic therapy. Here are a few rookie running backs that you should not have cold feet about drafting this year.

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