Christmas has arrived for fantasy football players! Veterans and newbies all come together for draft day. This is the time of year where you can never have enough printer paper and carpel tunnel strikes as you constantly fill out and update your rankings. There is no bigger rush in dynasty leagues than landing the next big thing.
In 2016, Ezekiel Elliot was the first name off the board in almost all rookie drafts and for good reason. Coming off a junior campaign at The Ohio State University in which he totaled 23 rushing touchdowns and over 1800 yards, he really was the total package. When you paired his abilities with arguably the top offensive line in the league in the Dallas Cowboys, there really was no other choice for first overall. Michael Thomas and Jordan Howard were other big names that may have made big impacts on your teams last year.
That being said, the hype for rookies in keeper dynasty leagues has been massively overblown. In one of my dynasty leagues, I recently traded Kareem Hunt for Allen Robinson. This is a trade that should never occur but I often hear about similar types of deals going down this time of year. For veteran fantasy football players, the off-season right around the rookie draft is like a gold mine if excavated properly.
However, all of this needs to be taken with a grain of salt. If you own one of the top rookie picks, (1.01-1.05) do not just give them away!! I have seen both ends of the spectrum where the 1.02 (2nd overall) pick was traded for Mike Gillislee and Rob Kelley. Guys like Fournette, Mixon, McCaffrey, Cook and Davis are all guys that are going to be forces in this league for years to come. If for some reason you are not as high on a particular player as someone else is at your selection, throw out a feeler and see if you can reel in a big fish. Do some research and see what kind of value you can get for these picks. Aim for a guy that some may be down on because of recent injuries or had an off year. I owned the first and second overall rookie pick and was able to land Todd Gurley for the 1.02. Other guys like Sammy Watkins or Keenan Allen come to mind as players to target.
Things will start to gear up soon and week 1 is only 4 weeks away! The biggest piece of advice I have for new fantasy football players is to take in all the information you can from more experienced players and take your time with your decisions. Do not get bullied into accepting trades or being hurried into making your picks. And of course, do not forget to have fun and enjoy the fantasy football season while it lasts because before you know it Christmas has come and gone!
Photo Credits: Panthers.com