2024 Rookies in Dynasty Startup Drafts | Targets and Fades

by Matt Babich · Draft Strategy

PlayerProfiler is home to award winning dynasty rankings and tools. Our Dynasty Deluxe package includes complete Dynasty Rankings, Rookie Rankings, Trade Analyzer, Draft Planner, Mock Drafts, and more. Check it out. Below, Matt Babich identifies how to go about drafting rookies for value in Dynasty startup drafts in 2024. 

Target Value

A pivotal goal in Dynasty fantasy football, aside from scoring fantasy points, is acquiring players that accrue value over time. Fantasy gamers can accomplish this is by drafting players in startup drafts who the market believes are more valuable than their current startup ADP.

Utilizing KeepTradeCut’s crowdsourced dynasty ranks, we can identify value pockets in rookie drafts. This is to say we can compare where dynasty gamers believe players should be drafted versus where they are being drafted.

Here, we’ll discuss the value pockets in the current 2024 rookie class and give you actionable advice going into your startup drafts this summer.

The Takeaway

Many consider this rookie class to be one of the most impressive and anticipated classes that we’ve seen in recent years. This notion, however, hasn’t made its way to startup ADP’s. The big takeaway from this data (the entirety of which can be found here), is that 26 of the top 36 rookies in this class (72-percent) are currently values in dynasty startup drafts.

Overall, we can label 29 of the top-50 rookies as “values”. These values have a lower ADP than overall player rank and/or a lower ADP position rank than overall position rank. Below is a snapshot of the biggest values based off of my newly created Market Index (Sleeper ADP’s per Draftsharks.com).

2024 Rookie Dynasty Market Index Using Differences Between KTC Ranks and Sleeper ADP (Market Index = ADP Diff + Rank Diff)

Interestingly, the biggest value pockets are among players being drafted in the third round or earlier in rookie drafts. These are coveted rookie picks that are going overlooked when the player pool expands beyond just incoming rookies.

Now, let’s discuss the biggest values and pitfalls in the class.

Biggest Values

Michael Penix Jr.

Michael Penix Jr. is one of the most insulated assets in dynasty fantasy football. He’s the equivalent of drafting a 2025 first round pick. The Falcons made it a point to draft their Kirk Cousins succession plan, and this move ensures they can keep around their core skill players and still have a shot at their franchise QB. Despite struggling until late in his collegiate career, Penix has the tools to succeed. His 90th percentile College QBR and 83rd percentile College Yards per Attempt show he has the arm talent to make it in the NFL.

He joins a Falcons roster that is loaded with talent, is set to be the starter as early as this season, yet is drafted in the 10th round of Superflex startup drafts. At QB27, he  is being drafted alongside Justin Fields and Aidan O’Connell. However, KeepTradeCut has him ranked at QB24 with an eighth round Superflex startup evaluation. This is the best value pocket to attack in startup drafts. Your plebeian league-mates may think you “reached”, but in the eighth round, you’re drafting Penix at value

Javon Baker

Javon Baker is being buried in Dynasty startup drafts due to the perception of him being buried in the depth chart. Currently, he projects to be the WR5 in this offense. However, his draft capital under a new regime suggests that there’s a plan for the rookie out of UCF. According to Ourlads.com, Baker is slotted behind Kendrick Bourne as the backup Z receiver. While Bourne is highly efficient on a per-target basis, he’s historically been more of a gadget player who’s more effective in certain situations. 

With Baker’s route running and contested catch skills, there’s a real path to him contributing this season. Next season, he’ll probably be a starter. This is why the community values him at WR62, despite his WR72 ADP. Pass on guys like Quentin Johnston, and take Javon Baker instead.

Jermaine Burton

Jermaine Burton is one of my unsung heroes of this entire draft. Character concerns hurt his draft stock, yet he was still a day two pick for one of the pass-heaviest teams in the league. WR whisperer Matt Harmon charted his crisp route running at Alabama, skills that historically translate into the NFL. His box score stats suffered with Alabama’s sluggish offense. However, his 71st-percentile College Dominator Rating and 91st-percentile Burst Score are two signals that he’s capable of excelling at the next level.

Burton projects to be a starter in three-receiver sets this season. Despite this, he’s drafted in the 14th round as WR65. The “average” dynasty gamer, however, values him as a 13th round pick as WR58. Don’t wait until ADP to get a potential 2024 league winner. Draft him at his true value and watch your league-mates tilt.

Blake Corum

Blake Corum may be an exception, as his ADP is slowly rising. That being said, as of now Corum is still a value in drafts. The Michigan alum enters the league with a 79th-percentile College Dominator Rating, 60th-percentile Target Share, and third round draft capital. One of the purest runners in this class joins a Rams backfield where the incumbent touch leader (Kyren Williams) is already nursing a lower body injury. 

Corum possesses immediate league winning upside, which is why he’s drafted in the 10th round as the RB31. Most dynasty gamers, though, value him closer to the RB21. Rebuilding teams especially would benefit from selecting Corum over backs like Zamir White, Aaron Jones, and Nick Chubb going before him. 

MarShawn Lloyd

The MarShawn Lloyd hype-train is picking up steam. Packers coach Matt LeFleur has already gone on record stating how they want to get Lloyd involved in all phases of the game, underscoring his preference to have a multi-back system. Lloyd was a hyper-efficient rusher at USC, and possesses desirable 93rd-percentile size-adjusted speed. He also put his receiving chops on display, earning a 60th-percentile Target Share in a Caleb Williams offense.

After Josh Jacobs‘ poor performance last season, he may not be the bell cow back he once was. This would give Lloyd the opportunity to massively out-earn his ADP and be a league-winning asset. Despite being ranked as RB34 in the dynasty community, Lloyd is being drafted closer to RB43. This value pocket won’t last long, as rookie ADP’s tend to correct in the summer.

Honorable Mentions: Jaylen Wright, Jonathon Brooks, Drake Maye, Rome Odunze, Trey Benson

Biggest Fades

For brevity’s sake, the biggest fades are players who are being overdrafted due to rookie fever. These players have more solidified assets – many with just as much upside – going near them in drafts. Don’t draft the following players at ADP just because they’re rookies, take the surrounding value that’s been given to you.

  1. Brenden Rice
  2. Ja’Tavion Sanders
  3. Devontez Walker
  4. Cade Stover
  5. Isaac Guerendo

Wrap Up

These value discrepancies are by no means a Draft Bible. It is, however, an interesting way to identify rookies that are mis-priced in dynasty startup drafts. Understanding where the community values a player versus his respective cost in an actual draft can help you shape your draft plan and have an edge over your league-mates. Add this method, which can be applied to rookies and veterans alike, to your dynasty tool belt and dominate your drafts!

See Seth Diewold’s RBs to target in startups here: Top Dynasty RBs to Target in 2024 Startups