One area, that hinders me as a Dynasty Owner, is valuing rookie draft picks quite simply, it is not my strength. I can typically determine which players in the draft class that I like, but how do I go about measuring these rookies to the players that are already in the NFL.
Every season I have myself questioning the value of my draft picks. Perhaps I am a Builder and I am hoarding these picks, or conversely, I am an All-In owner looking to turn those picks into assets that are usable now.
In an attempt to increase my knowledge, I decided to review all players drafted from 2010-2018. I recorded their results each season and determined what percentage of these players were a success, or as I will refer to them as a hit. So what does success look like and how do we determine if these players are a hit?
I have based the results on 12 team leagues with PPR scoring, 4 points per passing TD. Typically, the leagues I play in the most are 12 teams PPR 1 QB leagues, in those leagues we usually start 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, and some flex positions.
With that in mind, I identified the hit rate as any player that has achieved a top 12 QB, top 24 RB, top 36 WR, or top 12 TE at any point in their career. The data also allows us to see how many players have accomplished this feat more than once and it also identifies player break out seasons. In addition, the data identifies the impact of draft capital.
Since 2010 there has been a total of 703 skill positional players drafted; 107 QB, 191 RB, 278 WR, and 127 TE.
Typically, the best players go off the board early in the NFL draft but does that translate to fantasy success. In a heavy defensive draft, like we recently witnessed, it pushes these skilled players down the board. Some years the top 3 QB’s are drafted in the first round, some they are not drafted until the 2nd or later.
How do QB’s drafted in the first round measure up vs, QB’s drafted in the later rounds? Well, we are about to find out!
18 of the 107 drafted Quarterbacks record at least 1 hit season, 17% of all QB’s drafted, and only 8 have done it in more than one season. 6 achieved it in their rookie season; Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Andrew Luck, RG3, Russell Wilson, and Dak Prescott.
When we dig a little deeper into these numbers and consider draft capital, we see the odds of hit QB’s become a little clearer, depending on where they were selected in the NFL draft.
24 of the 107 QB’s selected between 2010 & 2018 were first-round selections.
Of those 24, 9 have recorded a hit season (38%). 4 of the 24 have done in more than one season (Cam, Luck, Blake Bortles, and Jared Goff), and 3 achieved a hit season as a rookie; Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, and RG3).
For those in Super-Flex leagues, there were an additional 8 QB’s that have recorded a top 24 season. The hit rate when considering the top 24 increases from 38% to 67%.
The 2nd round provides a smaller sample size than the first round as only 8 of the 107 quarterbacks selected, we taken in round 2. The hit percentage is similar to round 1 QB’s. 3 of the 8 recorded a hit season (Andy Dalton, Colin Kaepernick, and Derek Carr). 1 QB has had multiple hit seasons and he did it in his rookie year (Andy Dalton). There was only 1 additional hit when factoring in the top 24 and that was Geno Smith. The hit rate when considering the top 24 increases from 38% to 50%.
In round 3 we start to see the impact of draft capital on the players potential for a hit season. The hit percentage drops from 38% in the previous 2 rounds down to 17%.
12 of the 107 drafted quarterbacks were 3rd round selections, and only 1 has recorded a hit season. He also accomplished this in his rookie season as well as all 7 of his seasons, that QB is Russell Wilson. When adding in the top 24 we see the hit rate climb to 25% thanks to Colt McCoy and Jacoby Brissett.
The remaining 58 quarterbacks selected were taken in rounds 4 through 7. We have 3 that recorded a hit season, 2 that have multiple and 1 that did this in his rookie season.
The 6th round drafted Tyrod Taylor, 4th round selected Kirk Cousins and 6th rounder Dak Prescott recorded hit seasons. Cousins and Dak have done it in multiple seasons and Dak accomplished this as a rookie as well.
Dak Prescott and Russell Wilson are the only 2 quarterbacks drafted since 2010 that have recorded a hit season in every season in which they have played. Of the 107 Quarterbacks selected between 2010 & 2018; Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, and Dak Prescott are the only 4 quarterbacks that have averaged a hit season over the course of their careers.
When we look at this years’ recent NFL draft, there were 11 quarterbacks selected.
Prior to Kyler Murray being selected 1st overall, there have been 6 quarterbacks selected 1st overall between 2010 and 2018; Sam Bradford, Andrew Luck, Cam Newton, Jameis Winston, Jarred Goff, and Baker Mayfield.
Of those 6, 3 have had hit seasons and the other 3 have recorded top 24 seasons.
All three of those hit QB have done it multiple times and 2 of them Cam and Luck achieved a hit rookie season.
Kyler enters 2019 with a 50% chance of recording a hit season in his career, 50% chance he will do it more than once and a 33% of doing it in 2019. Those odds more than justify his 1st overall SF draft results if you ask me.
The remainder of the 2019 draft class;
1st round selected Daniel Jones and Dwayne Haskins have a 38% likelihood to record a hit season, 7% of chance of multiple hit seasons and a 6% chance in their rookie season.
2nd rounder Drew Lock has a 38% of recording a hit season in his career, 13% chance he has multiples and also a 13% chance of accomplishing it in his rookie campaign.
3rd rounder Will Grier enters 2019 with a 17% chance of a hit season in his career and an 8% chance of accomplishing this multiple times and as a rookie.
The remainder of those selected in rounds 4th-7th round; Ryan Finley, Jarred Stidham, Easton Stick, Clayton Thorson, Gardner Minshew, and Trace McSorley see the odds drop to a hit in their careers at 5%, multiple hit seasons at 3%, and a rookie hit season a 2%.
To sum it all up, a quarterback that is selected in the first round of the NFL Entry Draft, is somewhat safe but not a guarantee. Where you really want to make sure you have them on your rosters is in Super-Flex or 2QB leagues.