The early part of the middle rounds in fantasy football drafts create a lot of strategy separation in my experience. In some cases you have league mates that are itching to get their starting quarterbacks and tight ends. Other league mates are keeping an eye on their ESPN draft rankings sheets and taking the highest player available trying to grab value. There are fantasy players in the mid rounds that start making bold high upside reaches that might end up being dropped by week 5 when they don’t get the snaps or targets. And then there are those who wisely spend their 6th round pick on Raheem Mostert.

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B_Don and Donkey Teeth return to discuss their recent rookie mock drafts with a bunch of our industry amigos. Off the top, the guys discuss a Twitter poll from @FFReapers about dynasty RB values. Then, the guys discuss what their top 7 rookie rankings look like post draft. As they discuss their rankings, B_Don shares his surprising Clyde Edwards-Helaire take. 

B_Donkey start with a 1 QB mock draft review and the unexpected Antonio Gibson pick from @MichaelSalfino. After evaluating the pick, the duo come to an agreement that it’s not as bad as it appears on first glance. We then move on to some other RBs including our expectations for how the Jets situation could change in a hurry. 

QBs usually get pushed down in anything that involves industry people, but there are some interesting observations from both the 1 QB and super flex (2 QB) rookie mock drafts. Listen in for your dynasty football fix. We’ll be back next week with an early RB preview for 2020.

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And now after I have teased you with 2 days of WR rankings, it’s time for the pièce de résistance: rookie RBs! Nothing has the potential to shift a fantasy league like a freshman RB who finally gets hot come playoff time. We saw with David Johnson in 2015, Alvin Kamara in 2017, Nick Chubb in 2018 and Miles Sanders a year ago. 

If you’ve been following my offseason process, you know what I look for when ranking prospects. If you are a first timer please check out this article explaining my general rationale. 

Additionally, you can see the ascent and decline of various RBs since February with my pre-combine rankings and post-combine rankings

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Welcome to my first attempt at formal rookie rankings for the world to see! I have used a mix of metrics that seem to matter based on my research, mock draft projections and a sprinkling of film analysis (done by people better at it than me) to arrive at this list.  

I explain why I chose the stats I did in the linked article above. While career yards and dominator rating are solidified, we don’t have verified numbers on some metrics.  To rank these RBs pre-combine I had to make some assumptions on the 2 values below. 

Height-adjusted speed score (HaSS)

This is a metric that takes into account height, weight and forty time into a single number that can be compared across players. I landed on 92.6 as a cutoff but think of that as a general threshold. I don’t think 92.5 dooms a player who looks good elsewhere.

While official measurements will be taken at the combine I calculated whether I think each player will make that 92.6 cutoff based on listed ht/wt and a forty time of 4.59. The letter “P” means that player will probably hit the threshold and “M” stands for maybe. Since it is a subjective estimation at this point, I have put an asterisk by that metric.

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A few weeks ago, I sat down with the great Peter Howard’s (@pahowdy) college market share database and created a set of filters for college production that had a better hit rate than selecting just 1st round NFL WRs. This time I intend to do the same but with running backs. I have seen a lot of chatter on the Twitter site about characteristics shared by fantasy RB1s. For instance I saw that most of them run under a 4.6 forty. However, looking at just the successful players doesn’t make that a helpful nugget. You see, if ALL NFL RBs mostly run under a 4.6, then the fact that the best ones do still doesn’t help us when selecting from a giant pool of players.

Please, blog, may I have some more?