There are going to be many tough decisions for Fantasy managers in a rookie-only draft for Dynasty leagues, especially in one-quarterback formats. Who is No. 3 overall after Bijan Robinson and Jahmyr Gibbs? When should Anthony Richardson come off the board? Is Zay Flowers better than Quentin Johnston? Should Dalton Kincaid be selected in the first round?
We held a 12-team, PPR, rookie-only mock draft on Tuesday to answer some of these questions. Now, this isn't exactly how most rookie-only drafts will go because this was a mock and not adding players to already established Dynasty rosters. But it can still be a guide for you to follow.
To no one's surprise, Robinson and Gibbs were the first two picks. After that is where things got interesting, and you can read the breakdown of each round below.
Our draft order is as follows:
1. Meron Berkson, CBS Sports HQ Producer
2. Jacob Gibbs, SportsLine Fantasy analyst
3. Heath Cummings, Senior Fantasy Writer
4. Zach Brook, FFT Social Media Coordinator
5. Jack Capotorto, FFT HQ Producer
6. Daniel Schneier, Fantasy Editor
7. Chris Towers, Senior Editor, Fantasy Sports
8. George Maselli, Fantasy Editor
9. R.J. White, Managing Editor, SportsLine and CBS Fantasy
10. Thomas Shafer, FFT Podcast Producer
11. Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer
12. Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer
1. Bijan Robinson, RB, Falcons
2. Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Lions
3. Jordan Addison, WR, Vikings
4. Anthony Richardson, QB, Colts
5. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Seahawks
6. Zach Charbonnet, RB, Seahawks
7. Zay Flowers, WR, Ravens
8. Bryce Young, QB, Panthers
9. Quentin Johnston, WR, Chargers
10. C.J. Stroud, QB, Texans
11. Dalton Kincaid, TE, Bills
12. Devon Achane, RB, Dolphins
Robinson and Gibbs should be the first two picks in all one-quarterback rookie drafts (Richardson will be No. 2 ahead of Gibbs in Superflex formats). At No. 3 overall, you can make a case for Addison, Smith-Njigba or Richardson, and I have no problem with this order. Addison should have a better rookie season than Smith-Njigba, but Smith-Njigba could be the better Fantasy option in 2024 and beyond if Tyler Lockett is no longer in Seattle. As for Richardson, he could be an absolute star with his rushing prowess, so don't pass on him with a top-five overall selection.
The biggest reach of Round 1 was Charbonnet at No. 6 overall. Prior to the NFL Draft, he was expected to go in this range in Dynasty leagues, but his landing spot in Seattle was awful because he's sharing a backfield with Kenneth Walker III. Maybe Charbonnet ends up as the better Fantasy running back for the Seahawks, but he should not be selected ahead of receivers like Flowers and Johnston in rookie-only drafts.
If it seems to you like the top-end Fantasy options are gone early in Round 1 you're not alone. Once Robinson, Gibbs, Richardson, Addison, Smith-Njigba, Flowers and Johnston are off the board, there is plenty of uncertainty with the rest of the player pool, which is terrifying. What happened to all of this talent we were waiting for in 2023?
You can pivot to Young and Stroud at this point in Round 1, which is what happened here with the quarterbacks. You can also look at a tight end, which is what I did with Kincaid at No. 11 overall. Kincaid and Sam LaPorta are my favorite rookie tight ends, but I expect Kincaid to have a higher ceiling given his role in Buffalo.
Round 1 ended with Achane, who could end up as the No. 1 running back in Miami, and he has plenty of sleeper appeal. You can also take Jonathan Mingo here, and he's the No. 5 receiver in this class.
1. Jonathan Mingo, WR, Panthers
2. Josh Downs, WR, Colts
3. Israel Abanikanda, RB, Jets
4. Marvin Mims, WR, Broncos
5. Kendre Miller, RB, Saints
6. Rashee Rice, WR, Chiefs
7. Tyjae Spears, RB, Titans
8. Jalin Hyatt, WR, Giants
9. Roschon Johnson, RB, Bears
10. Sam LaPorta, TE, Lions
11. Cedric Tillman, WR, Browns
12. Jayden Reed, WR, Packers
You should be pretty excited if you started your rookie-only draft with Robinson and Mingo (most rookie-only drafts do not snake), and Mingo could easily be the No. 1 receiver for the Panthers as early as this season. As stated above, Mingo could be a first-round pick in this format.
Downs was one of my favorite pre-draft sleepers, and I like his landing spot with the Colts. He could easily be No. 2 in targets as early as this season behind Michael Pittman, and hopefully Downs will establish a quick rapport with Richardson.
The receivers selected in Round 2 have plenty of promise with Mingo, Downs, Mims, Rice, Hyatt, Tillman and Reed. But it's hard to see them making a significant impact in 2023 aside from Mingo and Downs.
Mims has Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick ahead of him on the depth chart in Denver. Maybe the Broncos trade Jeudy or Sutton, or Patrick is still limited coming off last year's torn ACL. But if everyone is healthy, we likely won't see the best of Mims until 2024.
Rice could eventually replace Marquez Valdes-Scantling in Kansas City, but he still has to contend with Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore, as well as Travis Kelce. Rice is tied to Patrick Mahomes, which is great, but it could take time for Rice to help Fantasy managers in any capacity.
Hyatt has plenty of big-play ability for the Giants, who have a suspect receiving corps and guys coming off injury like Wan'Dale Robinson (ACL) and Sterling Shepard (ACL). It's likely that Hyatt eventually replaces Darius Slayton, but Hyatt is already dealing with a hamstring injury, which isn't encouraging.
Tillman could eventually replace Donovan Peoples-Jones in Cleveland, but Tillman also has to contend with Amari Cooper and Elijah Moore. The Browns used their first pick in the NFL Draft (74th overall) on Tillman, which could mean they have big plans for him right away.
Reed landed in a great spot with the Packers, who have plenty of holes in their receiving corps behind Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs. As a result, Reed could see instant targets, but we don't know yet if Jordan Love will rely on Reed -- or support three Fantasy receivers. Reed is definitely an intriguing rookie in Green Bay.
As for the running backs in Round 2, Miller and Johnson are my favorites. We don't know yet if Alvin Kamara will be suspended for the Saints, but if that happens then Miller could have a prominent role in tandem with Jamaal Williams. And Johnson could emerge as the best running back in Chicago while sharing touches with Khalil Herbert and D'Onta Foreman.
Abanikanda landed in a terrible spot with the Jets, but he might benefit if Breece Hall (ACL) is limited in his recovery. We also have to see if Abanikanda can beat out Michael Carter or Zonovan Knight for the No. 2 job in New York.
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1. Michael Mayer, TE, Raiders
2. Nathaniel Dell, WR, Texans
3. Michael Wilson, WR, Cardinals
4. Chase Brown, RB, Bengals
5. Will Levis, QB, Titans
6. Luke Musgrave, TE, Packers
7. Zach Evans, RB, Rams
8. Tank Bigsby, RB, Jaguars
9. Hendon Hooker, QB, Lions
10. DeWayne McBride, RB, Vikings
11. Deuce Vaughn, RB, Cowboys
12. Evan Hull, RB, Colts
I love the pick of Mayer in Round 3, and you can argue he's a mid-Round 2 selection. It's a crowded receiving corps in Las Vegas now, but Mayer could eventually emerge as a top Fantasy tight end as early as 2024.
Musgrave also landed in a great spot with the Packers, who need weapons in the passing game. He should be considered the No. 4 tight end in this class behind Kincaid, LaPorta and Mayer.
Dell and Wilson are interesting prospects because they could emerge as top-end targets with their respective teams. The Texans don't have a true No. 1 receiver, and Dell could easily become a go-to guy for Stroud ahead of Nico Collins, John Metchie III and Robert Woods. And Wilson could be a top-three receiver in Arizona once DeAndre Hopkins is traded, with only Marquise Brown and Rondale Moore guaranteed to be ahead of Wilson on the depth chart.
I like the landing spots for Brown, Evans and Bigsby. In Cincinnati, given the tenuous standing for Joe Mixon, Brown could be a steal in this spot. The Bengals also have little depth behind Mixon, so Brown could be the handcuff ahead of Trayveon Williams and Chris Evans.
For the Rams, Evans could emerge as the No. 2 running back behind Cam Akers. We know Akers has missed time in the past due to injury, and Evans might prove to be the handcuff in Los Angeles ahead of Kyren Williams.
As for Bigsby, he should be the No. 2 running back in Jacksonville behind Travis Etienne, who has already missed a season due to a foot injury. Bigsby should also provide a physical running style that should complement Etienne, which could get Bigsby more opportunities on the field.
Vaughn and Hull are also worth fliers in this spot. The Cowboys will likely give Vaughn a chance to compete for the No. 2 running back job behind Tony Pollard, and Hull could be the eventual handcuff for Jonathan Taylor.
Finally, you can see the dropoff after Richardson, Young and Stroud that Levis and Hooker fell to Round 3. Levis could be a steal in this spot because he could become the starting quarterback for the Titans as early as this season.