RotoUnderworld Junior Writer Draft Recap No. 3 – 2021 Dynasty 2 Flex Startup Mock

by Aditya Fuldeore · Dynasty Leagues

With the 2021 NFL season a few months away, the fantasy community’s draft season is in full swing. Dynasty startup leagues are particularly interesting to draft for during this time as fantasy gamers fluctuate player ADPs after the NFL draft (see: Kyle Pitts). Here, I participated in a 10-team dynasty startup snake mock draft with PPR scoring and help from PlayerProfiler’s advanced stats and metrics. I discuss my picks from the 1.03 spot with a peek into the decision-making process. SuperFlex, IDP, and Tight End Premium leagues are fun and all, but why not try a little 2-Flex, 1 QB league (albeit, with kicker and defense)?

Roster: 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 2 Flex (WR/RB/TE), 1 K, 1 DEF


1.03) Jonathan Taylor (RB3)

Jonathan Taylor is poised to be a top fantasy RB in his second year for the Colts after taking off in the second half of his rookie season. Taylor ranked No. 4 among qualified running backs with 12 total TDs, had 1,169 (No. 3) rushing yards, and 14 (No. 2) Breakaway Runs, while only seeing a 50.3-percent (No. 28) Snap Share. He was also productive as a receiver, with zero drops and 8.3 (No. 6) yards per reception. Taylor’s high usage began after Week 10. He became the team’s offensive focal point with 15-plus fantasy points in each game from Weeks 11-17. He fits the Colts’ gashing offensive identity, is only 22 years old, and ranks favorably in almost every workout metric, college production statistic, or intangible data point.

At this pick, I took Taylor ahead of the likes of Saquon Barkley, Alvin Kamara, and Derrick Henry because I like his potential to produce beside Carson Wentz more than Kamara beside Taysom Hill/Jameis Winston and Barkley beside Daniel Jones. He also has more receiving ability than Henry and is the youngest of the group. The bottom line is that he’s young, efficient, and productive at a high level. At pick No. 3, why not? He could even be a steal at this spot.

2.08) D.K. Metcalf (WR5)

D.K. Metcalf is now Russell Wilson’s top target and finished with a 17.0 (No. 9) Fantasy Points Per Game average in 2020. Metcalf is just 23 years old and has seen high usage in his young career, last year managing a 96.7-percent Snap Share and a 100.0-percent (No. 1) Route Participation rating. He can especially get chunk yards from large receptions, logging 1,783 (No. 2) Air Yards and 31 (No. 3) Deep Targets. He has the usage, opportunity, and physical profile to be Seattle’s WR1 for a long time.

At 2.08 (No. 18 overall), I felt lucky to get Metcalf. He was taken at WR5 behind Davante Adams, A.J. Brown, Tyreek Hill, and Stefon Diggs. I notably picked him over DeAndre Hopkins and Aaron Jones because of his age and clearer opportunity over the next few years.

3.03) J.K. Dobbins (RB13)

Despite only a 38.9-percent (No. 44) Opportunity Share in his rookie season, J.K. Dobbins displayed high efficiency and took Baltimore’s starting running back role late in the season. He had an 8.2-percent (No. 1) Breakaway Run Rate and averaged 6.1 (No. 3) yards per touch. Entering his second season at 22 years old and in a run-first Baltimore offense with the No. 1 Game Script mark in the league last year, he is in a fantastic situation for opportunity and production.

The fantasy football world seems to be torn on Dobbins’ valuation, with some thinking he’s being selected too high, while others believe he can be a top five back. Getting Dobbins at pick No. 23 overall in a dynasty startup, I am placing my faith in him to produce as an RB2/borderline RB1 long-term. Pairing Dobbins with Jonathan Taylor, I have a young RB tandem with plenty of opportunity and the advantage of having a few years left on their rookie deals.

4.08) Chris Godwin (WR17)

In an offense with Tom Brady at the helm, Chris Godwin will get his slice of the pie. While his usage decreased from 2019 with Tampa Bay’s addition of new targets, he still averaged 15.9 (No. 15) Fantasy Points Per Game. He also put together a 77.4-percent (No. 4) Catch Rate while playing 357 (No. 17) slot snaps. Godwin is a youthful 25 years old and already has a large role playing the slot in Tampa Bay’s pass-heavy offense.

If this mock was a real league, Godwin would enter the season as my WR2. With how much Brady likes using slot receivers, and the fact that Tampa used a franchise tag on him, I am highly optimistic on his outlook.

5.03) Brandon Aiyuk (WR18)

My love of Brandon Aiyuk began last season, as I explained in a Studs and Duds piece, when he produced 15.4 (No. 16) Fantasy Points Per Game. He was used in several different ways by San Francisco while catching passes from a variety of different quarterbacks. He had a 100.0-percent (No. 1) Route Participation rate and a 91.5-percent (No. 12) Snap Share, leading the 49ers in receptions, targets, and receiving yards. It’s hard to see his usage greatly decreasing in his second year and beyond being that he’s a 23-year-old swiss army knife now getting a franchise QB in Trey Lance.

Aiyuk adds to my young WR corps, all with the potential to be top 20 wide receivers.

6.08) Cooper Kupp (WR25)

With Jared Goff last season, Cooper Kupp saw 125 (No. 16) targets and played 443 (No. 11) slot snaps. This season, he goes from Goff’s 7.3 (No. 22) Accuracy Rating and 58.5 (No. 23) Total QBR to Matthew Stafford’s 7.5 (No. 11) Accuracy Rating and 68.8 (No. 15) Total QBR. With an upgrade at QB, Kupp will see higher quality targets and will make noise as a larger slot receiver.

I went with another WR here because the RB group in this mock dried up quickly and Kupp is a low risk, high reward player with a new QB to insert into the lineup as a second FLEX option. I got him at WR25 in the mock, a value I believe will hold true.

7.03) Myles Gaskin (RB24)

Myles Gaskin came out of the 2021 NFL Draft a winner after Miami did not pick a running back until Gerrid Doaks in Round 7. After averaging 16.4 (No. 10) Fantasy Points Per Game, a 67.5-percent (No. 10) Opportunity Share, and 9.5 (No. 1) yards per reception last season, Gaskin has built PPR value. With minimal change in the Miami backfield, he’s in line to be top dog.

Throughout my dynasty drafts, I will be looking for Miami offensive players to invest in because I believe in GM Chris Grier’s moves for the young Dolphins offense. So, I take Gaskin here with faith in not just his upside, but Miami’s as a whole.

8.08) Chase Edmonds (RB29)

Some may say this was a reach, but I am a Chase Edmonds truther! The Cardinals added James Conner into their backfield, but Edmonds is still “the guy” after Kenyan Drakes departure. Last season, he totaled 53 (No. 7) receptions on 68 (No. 6) targets with a 45.1-percent (No. 40) Snap Share.

Edmonds is only 25 years old and joins my other young RBs with upside here. A better receiver than Conner, I like him on my team for this PPR mock.

9.03) Trevor Lawrence (QB9)

Scored 2021’s top rookie QB here. A few of my mock draft mates may have been scared by the Jacksonville landing spot, opting for Joe Burrow and Russell Wilson over Lawrence, but the talent is too good to pass up here.–V4qc

Seen by much of the football community as one of the best QBs to come out of college in recent years, Lawrence had an 87.3-percent (91st-percentile) College QBR and ran for at least 170 yards all three years of his college seasons. I love nabbing him here, but might still look to add another veteran QB.

10.08) Tyler Boyd (WR42)

Tyler Boyd provides more immediate wide receiver relief with late round draft capital. The Bengals offense can support three WRs, especially considering they had three (Boyd, A.J. Green, and Tee Higgins) receive 100 targets last season. A full season from Joe Burrow would also help Boyd, as long as Cincinnati’s offensive line doesn’t get him injured again first.

11.03) Mike Gesicki (TE9)

Tight ends flew off the board early in this mock, with the top five going in the top 51 picks. I waited past the initial wave and took Mike Gesicki, who has heavy pass usage and ranks favorably in every Player Profiler workout metric.

Last season, Gesicki had an 11.9 (No. 2) Average Target Distance mark, 16 (No. 3) Deep Targets, and 298 (No. 2) slot snaps. The Dolphins get him involved, and he provides great dynasty value as a 25 year old in an offense growing around Tua Tagovailoa. He is my TE flag plant for the 2021 season. I love his outlook in Miami. Again, like I said for Myles Gaskin, I’m in on the Dolphins team as a whole and will actively invest in Miami players in dynasty.

12.08) DeVante Parker (WR53)

See the above Miami players. My third Dolphin here, DeVante Parker is not as long-term a solution as Mike Gesicki or Myles Gaskin, but offers receiver depth here. Jaylen Waddle’s addition likely takes away volume from last year’s 103 (No. 33) targets, but Parker is still a top two WR for Miami. He had a 100.0-percent (No. 1) Route Participation rate last season, so expect him to stay involved.

13.03) J.D. McKissic (RB43)

J.D. McKissic’s value is almost purely as a receiving back for Washington. He received 110 (No. 1) targets and had 75 (No. 1) slot snaps last season.

I expect McKissic to continue to get receiving opportunity, providing depth at RB in this mock.

14.08) Washington (DEF2)

Washington is led by Chase Young, who had 5.5 (No. 22) sacks and three (No. 4) forced fumbles last season. Additionally, Da’Ron Payne and Tim Settle combined for seven sacks, while Payne had a league-leading three (No. 1) forced fumbles among defensive linemen. Drafting defense is not a big deal for dynasty, but I’m playing along with the youth and upside theme of dynasty startups, Washington is a good defense with a young defensive line to target (keep this in mind for IDP leagues as well).

15.03) Michael Badgley (K9)

Like defense, drafting a kicker is not a huge deal. Michael Badgley kicks for the Chargers, an offense set up for opportunity with Justin Herbert entering Year 2. It’s round 15, needed a kicker. Simple.

Concluding Thoughts and Advice

Overall, I liked but didn’t love this draft. I could have added another rookie and I would have liked to at least add another QB or TE late. However, that’s not how the board fell, and is fine considering this mock isn’t SuperFlex or TE Premium. Waivers can fulfill those needs later, no need to reach for a player for the sake of personal roster construction.

I like the young core guys and overall youthfulness of this team. Upside is the name of the game at the top of a dynasty draft. Where do this player’s touches come from? Will he continue to get these touches in the future? Can the pieces around him support him enough to provide sustained long-term production? In my case, I have faith in top pick Jonathan Taylor’s ability to get and hold onto touches based on his rookie season and a quality offensive line in Indianapolis.

Additionally, in a startup like this, don’t be afraid to take players that will provide immediate production more so than long-term, like Tyler Boyd, DeVante Parker, and even J.D. McKissic. Vets like these may not stick around on dynasty teams for long, but would be useful in the current season, or make for good trade bait. I also liked all the pass-catching running backs accumulated. Most fantasy players play with PPR scoring these days, so stacking on several pass-catching backs is nice here. Building a well-rounded team with a young core and productive veterans with high floors is key for any dynasty startup, and this mock can be the start of a good team in a real league.