Every year there are rookies that get drafted in mid to lower rounds that pop and provide extreme value for their owners. Last year it was Jordan Howard who was a consensus 2nd round rookie pick and this year he’s a top 15 RB. The 2017 prospect class is no different, in fact I would say it’s one of the deepest classes in quite a while. RB and TE are particularly deep so finding gems late will be a fruitful endeavor this year. The WR class is no slouch though either and there are some great mid-round picks there too. Let’s get right to my 2017 rookie draft dynasty gems. These are guys who are not elite prospects but have great potential to contribute and thrive in the NFL down the road. Their Dynasty MetriX (DMX) scores show deeper value than their ADP currently provides and picking them up in mid and late rounds will be a huge benefit to your dynasty team depth down the road. If you want to learn more about DMX Score read this.
All of these players are decile 1 or decile two players that you can easily claim in rounds two through five in your rookie drafts. All of them have great potential and all of them are in a position to have at least a chance at a starting role within their first three years. For rookies below the first round those are great prospects to choose. 99% of rookie produce very little in their first year so you have to find guys who are decent prospects and are in position to have an opportunity in the first few years to take advantage of these late round choices you get every year. Many owners just do no research and grab the first name they recognize…don’t be that person! Do your research, pick the gems that nobody is thinking about and build the depth of your team over time better than your peers.
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||Mahomes is the top DMX scoring QB in this class but Deshaun Watson is going before him due to the opportunity in Houston. Watson is good in his own right, so I don’t blame owners for taking him first, but Mahomes has a great body of work in college and while he’ll sit for at least a year, he will get his chance and there is a very good chance he could be a great QB in the future. To take a chance at him at or around the 30th pick is a no brainer.
||Golladay has been rising up the boards since he was drafted into a great situation of need in Detroit and seems likely to start at the WR3 in this offense. That’s a great place to start but at 6’4″ and 213 lbs. he very likely could be the WR1 in this offense in a few years.
||McNichols’ situation in Tampa Bay isn’t great with Doug Martin, Charles Sims and Jaquizz Rodgers all ahead of him and coming off of shoulder surgery after the draft. That said, the RBs being chosen around him at this ADP level are much worse prospects and to get a decile 2 back in the 4th round is nearly unheard of. don’t be afraid to take him and stash him. He’s got the size and skill to succeed in the NFL, a 4th round pick is worth finding out if he does.
||Shaheen is a decile 1 prospect that is being drafted in the 4th round. It’s just an easy choice when you view it through the lens of DMX score. Zach Miller will not be around for long and Shaheen has the size/speed combo to be a high upside standard TE. Usually there is 1 or maybe 2 decile 1 TEs in a given draft, this year there are 6. Take advantage of that and pick up great prospects at a low, low price.
|| Williams is a bit of a forgotten man in Arizona due to the shadow of Larry Fitzgerald, the ageless wonder. He also has John Brown, JJ Nelson and Jaron Brown to contend with for targets so there’s little chance Williams will carve out a big role his rookie year. That said, his decile 2 level DMX score is great for someone you can get in the low fourth or even fifth round. He’s a good-sized, fast prospect that will take some time to develop in the NFL coming from Grambling State but is in an offense where once he gets comfortable, the sky is the limit.
|| Jones is a forgotten man in Green Bay and his ADP shows it. The Packers really don’t have a true RB1 on their roster and I’m not convinced Ty Montgomery will eventually give them that. Ted Thompson smartly went low cost and added bunches of rookie RBs to replace Christine Michael and James Starks who were worthless. Jones has the best DMX score out of the three rookies brought in; Jamaal Williams (0.28 DMX) and Devante Mays(-0.65 DMX). There is no way to forsee who will break out of this pack so for my money, I’ll take Jones in the fifth with the best DMX score and see what happens.
|| Any time you can get a Decile 1 DMX score in the 5th round you take it, and that is the case with Jonnu Smith. As a TE from a small school (FIU down in Miami) and sitting behind Delanie Walker in Tennessee he’s pretty much a forgotten man. Smith is a great athlete and was the 100th pick in the draft, not too bad for a small school TE. He also produced well at FIU. My expectation is that he is used sparingly as a rookie in two TE sets where he is the move TE in the formation. Once he gets used to the level of competition, and if Tennessee wants to use him creatively, he can be a top 12 TE for you at a low, low price.