⏰ QB-Heavy Yet Again?

The countdown begins...

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Hindsight is Blue 42 / Blue 42...

In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter:

  • Hindsight: A look back at the 2023 draft

  • Chiefs WR corps: Down Bad?

  • RB Super Model: One man stands alone in Tier 1.

  • It's 4/24. Take it away, Cooterdoodle...

Boy oh boy! We’ve all been waiting on bated breath for Thursday to roll around so that the NFL draft can officially kick off. Ugh, I miss kick-offs.

But while we’ve been sitting on pins and needles, we’ve worked ourselves up into a dopamine-filled frenzy of hopeful draft outcomes. Our team’s picks will surely save us from another ugly season! Right? After all, one great draft pick can fix it (no really, it can)…

But let’s not put the carriage before the horse. We’ve been here before.

Get in the DeLorean, Marty! We’re traveling back to the 2023 NFL draft, where everything is much clearer in hindsight…

🎭 2023: Rd 1 QB Selections & Whiffs

With the first four picks in the 2023 NFL draft, the franchises select… QBs.

  • 1.01: CAR - Bryce Young

  • 1.02: HOU - CJ Stroud

  • 1.04: IND - Anthony Richardson

Right away, three QBs went off the board. And at the time, it wasn’t so hard to believe that Young might join the ranks of some other fun, first-round signal-callers. But “only time can tell”, and boy did it end up telling.

Not surprisingly, many 2024 mock drafts are yet again predicting another QB-heavy front 5:

Live, Laugh, Love QBs amirite? But remember, these won’t all be first-year fantasy-relevant winners. We’ve got to temper our expectations right out of the gate. Some franchises are still shaking off the rust of old HCs and bandaging up old wounds. It can take time to build a juggernaut.

But damn. In hindsight, the Texans really nailed it in 2023, didn’t they…

🦸‍♂️ 2023: Late Round Heroes

Who’s afraid of little old late-rounders?

Don’t let the Ricky Bobby Blues get you down. The age-old adage “if you’re not first, you’re last,” just doesn’t seem to hold up in the big leagues.

So don’t tune out after Thursday’s festivities conclude. There’s still plenty of dawgs to go around. Seriously. Check out these Day 2 & Day 3 fantasy league winners from last year.

  • Round 2 / Pick 34: Sam LaPorta

  • Round 3 / Pick 84: De’Von Achane

  • Round 5 / Pick 177: Puka Nacua

Pardon my drooling…

Thursday can’t come soon enough. But remember, despite all of our best guesses, we ultimately don’t know what any team will do once they’re on the clock.

But we do know that as of right now, there are three teams that won’t be doing a damn thing.

Zero 1st round picks? Yikes. See you on Friday, CAR (2.33), HOU (2.42), and CLE (2.54).

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🏈 Draft Week on Fantasy Life

Don't miss Fantasy Life's LIVE NFL Draft Show!

Join us as we go LIVE on our YouTube channel Thursday during the NFL Draft to give instant reactions, fantasy breakdowns and much more!

📺 Potential fantasy football sleepers in the NFL draft…late-round gems?

🤔 How much does draft capital actually matter for fantasy football? Let’s dive in.

🤯 Sure, he’s a Super Bowl champ. But he’s the Chiefs’ WHAT NOW?

🙅‍♂️ Peter Overzet takes a stance. He’s boycotting the NFL draft.

📰 Remember those illegal tampering allegations? There’s an “update”…

🥵 The Texans’ Super Bowl odds aren’t the only thing getting an upgrade. HOT.

😬 We all know that Diontae Johnson is a Panther. But does he know?

RB super model tier 1\

We sent Dwain McFarland back inside the lab to evaluate the incoming class of rookie RBs. Of course, he came up with a model so great it couldn’t just be called a ‘RB model.’

Presenting: Fantasy Life’s new Rookie RB Super Model. 

🥇 Tier 1 – Every-Down Traits With Top-12 Upside

🥇 Jonathon Brooks | Texas

  • RB Super Model: 45th percentile

  • Age: 21.1

  • Height: 6-foot

  • Weight: 216

📝 Prospect Summary

Brooks is the most complete back in the draft, which gives him a ton of outs. He is coming off a late-season ACL injury, so patience might be required from fantasy managers in Year 1. Still, historically, this type of profile has a great hit rate. He is the hands-down RB1 of the 2024 class for dynasty and rookie drafts.

💪 Pedigree

  • Program Quality Index: 58th percentile

  • NFL Mock Drafts: Pick 47, Round 2

  • 247 Recruit Player Rating: 4 of 5 stars (354 overall, RB24)

  • Speed Score: N/A

While the Longhorns haven’t been an overall skill position factory, they have produced three NFL-draft-worthy RB prospects since 2017.

Despite tearing his ACL last November, Brooks remains the top RB in the majority of mock drafts. He grades out in a range of the RB Super Model where we have seen far more RBs provide fantasy value than disappoint.

Super Model Note: Because draft capital isn’t linear, the most significant deterioration occurs in the first two rounds. As a byproduct of that, the scores in the model drop off quickly and then begin to flatten toward the end of Round 2. That means the 45th percentile isn’t a bad score – it ranks 20th out of 215 prospects in the database.

🎥 Production and Film

  • Adjusted Career YPTA Index: 50th percentile

  • Career Total TDs Per Game Index: 48th percentile

  • Career Composite PFF Grade Index: 80th percentile

  • NFL.com Prospect Grade: 54th percentile

Brooks played sparingly during his first two years in Austin, thanks to Robinson's presence. However, he delivered a 2.22 YPTA as a redshirt sophomore—the second-best age-20 mark of any Power 5 back in the class.

Brooks wasn’t a high-end target earner in the passing game, but his 1.50 career YPRR ranked as the class's No. 3 Power 5 RB.

In the Rookie Scouting Portfolio, Matt Waldman noted Brooks is the best pass protector in the class, which could help him find his way into an every-down role sooner rather than later once the ACL heals. Waldman also believes Brooks has room to grow as a receiver.

“Brooks’ route game won’t remind you of Austin Ekeler at this stage of his career, but he’s an effective receiver from the backfield who should become a reliable component of screens, swing passes, and wide routes who could deliver more if called upon. Brooks catches the ball effortlessly and has strong hand-eye coordination.”

His Career Composite PFF Grade Index, which combines rushing and passing grades, is the 10th-best mark in the Super Model's history. Across 183 prospects since 2017, the composite score correlated more strongly to future fantasy success than Adjusted Career YPTA–one of our industry’s favorite production metrics for RBs.

Lance Zierlein of NFL.com compared Brooks to another former Texas back–Jamaal Charles, calling out Brooks’ “NFL-caliber accelerator” and ability to stack cuts and moves as strengths. Brooks received a 6.38 prospect grade as the top option in the 2024 class.

Since 2017, Zierlein’s RB prospect grades have a 0.597 correlation to Year 1 and 2 fantasy production, making them a valuable input into the RB Super Model.

🎯 Fantasy Outlook: Hit Rates

  • Underdog ADP: RB37, Round 10

  • Rookie Dynasty ADP: RB2, Pick 13

Nothing is ever a lock, but Brooks has an excellent chance to deliver top-24 results by year two, and a visit to the top 12 is within reach. His outlook requires patience, especially in Year 1, thanks to a November ACL injury, but he could still provide fireworks by the time the fantasy playoffs arrive.

Travis Etienne, Javonte Williams and Samaje Perine are the closest comps to Brooks in the Super Model.

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