One of the most frequent requests arriving in my Twitter "mentions" feed is updated Dynasty ranks for use in startup drafts this summer. While the Rotoworld Football Draft Guide has you covered on comparative trade values with a constantly updated Top-300 Dynasty players list, it can be a challenge to find free keeper-league cheat sheets online.
For a better read on Dynasty startup draft trends, I am revisiting an idea I arrived at two years ago: the one-man mock. The difference between this and other mocks is I will be drafting for all 12 teams. For Dynasty ADP (Average Draft Position), see Pro Football Focus' list.
A few things to keep in mind about this startup:
For purposes of my own amusement, I've named each team and broken them down into two divisions: Coaches' Corner and Writer's Block.
This draft is for a standard scoring league (no PPR) with a starting lineup consisting of the following: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 FL, 1 K, 1 D.
Training camps are not yet in session, and Dynasty rosters are starting from scratch. That means talented young players will gain even more value at the expense of veterans about to reach the decline stage. While contenders in established leagues can afford to mortgage part of their future for an in-season playoff run, no owner will benefit from loading up on aging veterans in a startup league.
Part of the fun of Dynasty leagues is watching teams take on unique personalities, much like NFL teams do (smashmouth Steelers, renegade Raiders, etc.). Where it was sensible and expedient, I tried to do the same here. Likewise, I drafted with each team's previous picks in mind. For instance, the Arian Foster owner may reach a round or two early for Ben Tate. The Michael Vick owner may view Ben Roethlisberger as handy insurance in the sixth round. The Robert Griffin III or Andrew Luck owner may want to seek greater 2012 production by targeting an undervalued aging quarterback such as Peyton Manning.
On to Part I -- the first 11 rounds. The next 12 rounds will run next Monday.
1. Mora's Playoff Pipe Dreams - Calvin Johnson, WR, Lions, 26.9
2. Denny Green's Arse Crowners - Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers, 28.8
3. Mini Ditka - LeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles, 24.1
4. Tuna's Big Cigars & Motorcars - Cam Newton, QB, Panthers, 23.3
5. Vermeil's Crocodile Tears - Arian Foster, RB, Texans, 26.0
6. Shula's Champagne Poppers - Ray Rice, RB, Ravens, 25.6
7. Jenkins' Semi-Tough Sumbitches - Julio Jones, WR, Falcons, 23.6
8. Plimpton's Paper Lions - Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions, 24.6
9. Exley's Self-Loathing Anti-Heroes - Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals, 29.0
10. Cosell's Cocksure Carnival Barkers - A.J. Green, WR, Bengals, 24.1
11. Blount's Three Bricks Shy - Ryan Mathews, RB, Chargers, 25.3
12. Gent's Depraved Boozers - Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots, 23.3
An unstoppable talent with a long-term contract and elite young quarterback in a pass-heavy offense, Megatron is Dynasty's most valuable asset. ... Rodgers has been the best player in the NFL for the past year and a half; his offense remains loaded with young talent. ... McCoy gets the slight edge on Foster because he's two years younger. ... Rice's heavy workloads (including playoffs, an average of 400+ touches over the past three years) are a slight concern.
As a rookie, Julio led all receivers in points during the fantasy playoffs. He's now a young megatalent with a franchise quarterback and a new coordinator shifting toward an emphasis on the pass. ... Stafford's Lions are following the franchise-building plans of the Colts and Saints over the past decade. ... Fitzgerald has another half-decade of dominance. ... Mathews is on the verge of a three-year run of first-round production. ... Gronk's age and demonstrated ability to find the end zone with regularity give him the edge over Jimmy Graham.
13. Gent's Depraved Boozers - Drew Brees, QB, Saints, 33.6
14. Blount's Three Bricks Shy - Jimmy Graham, TE, Saints, 25.7
15. Cosell's Cocksure Carnival Barkers - Trent Richardson, RB, Browns, 22.1
16. Exley's Self-Loathing Anti-Heroes - Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys, 23.8
17. Plimpton's Paper Lions - Hakeem Nicks, WR, Giants, 23.8
18. Jenkins' Semi-Tough Sumbitches - Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings, 27.4
19. Shula's Champagne Poppers - Robert Griffin III, QB, Redskins, 22.6
20. Vermeil's Crocodile Tears - Andrew Luck, QB, Colts, 23.0
21. Tuna's Big Cigars & Motorcars - Chris Johnson, RB, Titans, 26.9
22. Mini Ditka - Darren McFadden, RB, Raiders, 25.0
23. Denny Green's Arse Crowners - Greg Jennings, WR, Packers, 28.9
24. Mora's Playoff Pipe Dreams - Tom Brady, QB, Patriots, 35.1
Barring a health scare, Brees is guaranteed difference-making production for the next 3-4 years. ... Richardson is generally regarded as the best young every-down back to enter the league since Peterson. ... Nicks' ADP is well within the first round. Until he proves capable of surviving a 16-game season without lower-leg injuries, though, I prefer Bryant, who is a lock for a breakout season. ... I'm not going to doubt the ultra-driven Peterson, the best runner in the league since he stepped foot on an NFL field six years ago. He never finished lower than third in fantasy points before last year's shredded knee.
RGIII and Luck are the most promising rookie duo since Peterson and Calvin Johnson entered the league together a half-decade ago. ... Nearly two years younger, there's an argument to be made for going with McFadden over CJ2K. ... Denny Green jumps on Jennings for the "double-shock power" points with Rodgers at QB. ... Any team drafting Brady late in the second round must be ready to embrace a win-now philosophy.
25. Mora's Playoff Pipe Dreams - Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jaguars, 27.4
26. Denny Green's Arse Crowners - Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs, 25.7
27. Mini Ditka - Percy Harvin, WR, Vikings, 24.3
28. Tuna's Big Cigars & Motorcars - Mike Wallace, WR, Steelers, 26.1
29. Vermeil's Crocodile Tears - Andre Johnson, WR, Texans, 31.1
30. Shula's Champagne Poppers - Matt Forte, RB, Bears, 26.7
31. Jenkins' Semi-Tough Sumbitches - Michael Vick, QB, Eagles, 32.2
32. Plimpton's Paper Lions - Aaron Hernandez, TE, Patriots, 22.8
33. Exley's Self-Loathing Anti-Heroes - Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons, 27.3
34. Cosell's Cocksure Carnival Barkers - Kenny Britt, WR, Titans, 24.0
35. Blount's Three Bricks Shy - Jeremy Maclin, WR, Eagles, 24.3
36. Gent's Depraved Boozers - Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers, 23.6
Mora is going for the year-one championship, adding the last few productive years of Jones-Drew's career to Brady and Calvin Johnson. ... One of the most elusive runners in NFL history, Charles has proclaimed himself 100 percent recovered from last year's ACL surgery. ... Extrapolated over a full season, Harvin's numbers with Christian Ponder at quarterback would have left him second in fantasy points behind only Johnson. ... At this point I'm more concerned with Andre's trio of surgeries over the past couple of seasons as opposed to his age. He remains a Hall of Fame talent.
With the infusion of talent at receiver, Forte may no longer be the offensive focal point in Chicago. ... Vick's Eagles still boast as much explosive talent as any offense in the league, starting with the quarterback. ... Hernandez won't turn 23 until November, and he already has a top-three fantasy finish under his belt. ... This is the year Ryan finally joins the fantasy elite in Dirk Koetter's pass-first offense with an emphasis on the no-huddle formation. ... Still younger than A.J. Green, Britt has top-five potential as long as his knee bounces back. ... The last of the talented young feature backs, Martin is a Ray Rice clone in Greg Schiano's run-heavy attack.
37. Gent's Depraved Boozers - Dwayne Bowe, WR, Chiefs, 27.9
38. Blount's Three Bricks Shy - Eli Manning, QB, Giants, 31.7
39. Cosell's Cocksure Carnival Barkers - Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers, 30.7
40. Exley's Self-Loathing Anti-Heroes - Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers, 25.5
41. Plimpton's Paper Lions - DeMarco Murray, RB, Cowboys, 24.6
42. Jenkins' Semi-Tough Sumbitches - Roddy White, WR, Falcons, 30.8
43. Shula's Champagne Poppers - Miles Austin, WR, Cowboys, 28.2
44. Vermeil's Crocodile Tears - Victor Cruz, WR, Giants, 25.8
45. Tuna's Big Cigars & Motorcars - Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos, 24.7
46. Mini Ditka - Brandon Marshall, WR, Bears, 28.4
47. Denny Green's Arse Crowners - Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seahawks, 26.4
48. Mora's Playoff Pipe Dreams - Jordy Nelson, WR, Packers, 27.3
Manning and Rivers are a coin-flip apart. I'm giving the edge to Eli considering his surrounding talent. ... Stewart is arguably the most effective per-play back in the NFL over the past three years. Taking over as the passing-down back, he now has RB2 value even in a timeshare. ... Murray must prove he can stay healthy while shouldering the load in Dallas. ... Now in his thirties, Roddy's days of fantasy dominance may be over with Julio Jones emerging as the team's dominant talent at the position.
Cruz's youth is a counterbalance to Andre's age on Vermeil's roster. ... Demaryius teams with Wallace to give Tuna two of the biggest game-breakers in the game at wide receiver. ... Marshall is a talented headcase without fantasy finish better than ninth. As always, I'd just assume he's on someone else's roster. ... Not a special talent, Lynch comes with red flags as a volume runner with an inflated 2011 touchdown total in a contract year. ... Nelson was a bargain pick in last year's startups. Not so much this summer.