Jacob Rickrode

By the Numbers

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Dynasty Rookie Pick Hit Rates

Sunday, April 16, 2017


Every year around midseason, a losing dynasty team will trade an aging veteran for rookie picks. It’s a common strategy in dynasty. A rebuilding team in one of my leagues has traded away Dez Bryant, Emmanuel Sanders, and T.Y. Hilton for picks in consecutive years. Rebuilder has made the playoffs once in the last five years. Rebuilder is probably unlucky, but the pursuit of drafting the next rookie Julio Jones or Odell Beckham Jr. is a familiar ambition for dynasty players.

 

This begs a few questions.

 

What are the historical odds of rookie draft picks hitting? Are there true dynasty assets in every draft class?

 

I researched the last seven seasons to find out how much value rookie picks have provided. It’s changed the way I draft and my perspective on how much value (risk) should be placed on each round and on young, unproven players in general.

 

Editor’s Note: Get our MLB Draft Guide + Season Pass ($39.99 value) for FREE with your first deposit on FanDuel! Click here to claim now.

 

 

2010-2017


Sample Size: 504 Rookie Picks in six-round, 12-team dynasty drafts with PPR scoring, non-IDP. All ADP data is from myfantasyleague.com.


91/504 (18%), or close to 1 out of every 5.5 players registered at least one season in top 12 QB/TE or top 24 RB/WR fantasy scorers.


30/504 (6%) of those did it during their rookie season.


Excluding 2016, 44 of the 432 rookies (10.2%) drafted had two or more such seasons.

 

 2010201120122013201420152016Total
At Least 1 Season 18 19 13 13 16 8 4 91
2 or More Seasons 13 9 7 6 7 2   44
Rookies 3 4 6 5 4 4 4 30
1st Round Hits 7 7 7 6 7 4 2 40
2nd Round Hits 6 4 3 4 6 3 1 27
3rd or Later 5 8 3 4 2 1 1 24

 

Round 1

 

The first round has delivered a 47.6% hit rate: Less than one out of two of these will have a top-12 QB/TE or top-24 RB/WR PPR scoring season. This has trended to seven of 12 hits over the examined time period, or 58% success.

 

If you remove ‘one-season only’ players (2010-2014) like Jahvid Best, C.J. Spiller, Trent Richardson, Robert Griffin III and the like, the round-one hit rate goes down to 30%. Basically 1 of 3 first-round rookie picks have become dynasty assets with more than one top season. 

 

Round 2

 

A significant drop from the first round, but still roughly one of three second-round picks, or 31% have produced at least one countable season since 2010. Keep in mind some took several years to get there. Lamar Miller, Eric Decker and Davante Adams did not hit until their 3rd year.  Golden Tate and Emmanuel Sanders did not hit until year five.

 

Round 3 or Later

 

The later rounds are very low percentage shots. Only 24 of 336 rookies, or 7% drafted in the third round or later actually hit. There have been some absolute superstars to come out of late-round picks, though; Antonio Brown and T.Y. Hilton and most recently Dak Prescott. Adding late-round picks to a trade shouldn’t be considered an easy deal maker if you’re on the receiving end based on the minimal hit rate. 

 

The following tables show rookie draft ADP going back seven seasons and how each round finished yearly. If there’s blank space following a player’s name, it means they never finished in the top-12 QB/TE or top-24 RB/WR in PPR scoring. This doesn’t mean certain players haven’t put up relevant production for several games. It just highlights the true dynasty assets.

 

2010

 

 201010'11'12'13'14'15'16'
1.01 Ryan Mathews   7   17      
1.02 Dez Bryant   19 4 7 4    
1.03 Jahvid Best 20            
1.04 C.J. Spiller     6        
1.05 Demaryius Thomas     5 1 2 9 15
1.06 Sam Bradford              
1.07 Ben Tate              
1.08 Montario Hardesty              
1.09 Golden Tate         12 24 17
1.10 Arrelious Benn              
1.11 Dexter McCluster              
1.12 Jermaine Gresham     10        
2.01 Jonathan Dwyer              
2.02 Jimmy Clausen              
2.03 Toby Gerhart              
2.04 Mike Williams 16   20        
2.05 Brandon LaFell         22    
2.06 Tim Tebow              
2.07 Aaron Hernandez   3          
2.08 Emmanuel Sanders         5 18 20
2.09 Eric Decker     9 9   13  
2.10 Colt McCoy              
2.11 James Starks              
2.12 Rob Gronkowski 11 1 5   1 1  
3.04 Jimmy Graham   2 1 1 2   4
4.09 Dennis Pitta     8       8
5.04 Joique Bell     23 14 13    
6.02 Antonio Brown   24   3 1 1 1
6.04 Victor Cruz   3 14        

 

2010 was an excellent class and yielded 13 multi-year top finishing players. After seven seasons, Demaryius Thomas, Dez Bryant, Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown and Jimmy Graham can boast four or more top finishes. Several mentioned earlier didn’t hit until after year three, which should give hope for players in later classes that haven’t broken out yet.

 

2011

 

 201111'12'13'14'15'16'
1.01 Mark Ingram       14 12 8
1.02 A.J. Green 17 3 4 24 8  
1.03 Julio Jones 21 11   6 2 6
1.04 Daniel Thomas            
1.05 Ryan Williams            
1.06 Greg Little            
1.07 Mikel Leshoure   18        
1.08 Jon Baldwin            
1.09 Cam Newton 4 4 6   1  
1.10 Roy Helu 24          
1.11 Shane Vereen       20    
1.12 Delone Carter            
2.01 DeMarco Murray     6 2 15 5
2.02 Randall Cobb   16   8    
2.03 Torrey Smith     23      
2.04 Leonard Hankerson            
2.05 Blaine Gabbert            
2.06 Kendall Hunter            
2.07 Jake Locker            
2.08 Titus Young            
2.09 Lance Kendricks            
2.10 Jacquizz Rodgers            
2.11 Andy Dalton   12 3      
2.12 Vincent Brown            
3.02 Kyle Rudolph     11     2
3.03 Colin Kaepernick       11    
3.05 Bilal Powell           23
3.09 Stevan Ridley     15      
4.03 Jordan Cameron       5    
4.12 Julius Thomas       2 10  
5.02 Terrelle Pryor           21
6.03 Charles Clay       8    

 

Four true dynasty studs came out of 2011: A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Cam Newton and DeMarco Murray. Mark Ingram could be classified as one also but likely disappointed those who spent a 1.01 pick on him. You’ll notice a large percentage of these players are no longer in the league, including several first-round picks. This happens with every class. *Doug Baldwin has two Top 24 finish years but went undrafted in rookie drafts in 2011.

 

2012

 

 201212'13'14'15'16'
1.01 Trent Richardson 8        
1.02 Andrew Luck 9 7 1   4
1.03 Doug Martin 2     4  
1.04 Robert Griffin III 9        
1.05 Justin Blackmon          
1.06 David Wilson          
1.07 Michael Floyd          
1.08 Coby Fleener     7    
1.09 Kendall Wright   20      
1.10 Ronnie Hillman          
1.11 Isaiah Pead          
1.12 Alshon Jeffery   8 10    
2.01 Brian Quick          
2.02 Stephen Hill          
2.03 Lamar Miller     9 5 19
2.04 Rueben Randle          
2.05 Ryan Tannehill     10    
2.06 LaMichael James          
2.07 Mohamed Sanu          
2.08 Ryan Broyles          
2.09 Brandon Weeden          
2.10 A.J. Jenkins          
2.11 Robert Turbin          
2.12 Josh Gordon   2      
3.08 Russell Wilson 11 9 6 3  
4.02 T.Y. Hilton   19 11 23 5
5.03 Alfred Morris 7 19 17    

 

Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson and T.Y. Hilton lead the pack here. Alfred Morris and Lamar Miller have been solid if unspectacular. Only two truly relevant WRs in Hilton and Alshon Jeffery. 2012 will likely go down as average for its small volume of fantasy producers.

 


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