🌶️ Spicy Rumors For Round 1 Tonight

It's finally here...

NFL Draft Show

I don’t root for a team. I root for max chaos...

In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter:

  • The Draft is here

  • Watercooler: How many QBs will go in Round 1

  • Does Draft Capital Matter?: Ian digs in…

  • It's 4/25. Take it away, Peter...

Call me Kevin Costner, baby, because it’s Draft Day.

Round 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft kicks off tonight, and it’s shaping up to be a wild one.

We’ve been covering it from all angles over the past month. Here’s everything you need to know before the Bears take Caleb Williams first overall tonight…

🌶️ The Latest Rumors

J.J. McCarthy is the biggest question mark in this entire draft. While long rumored to be the Vikings’ primary target, recent reports indicate that they don’t feel pressure to move up. In his latest mock draft, Peter Schrager has them staying put at 11 and using their 23rd overall pick on Bo Nix.

Another tipping point in the Top 10 picks is WR Rome Odunze. He’s been connected with the Bears at 9 throughout the draft process, but that seems less likely now. Jordan Schultz says they are interested in two other positions and are also open to trading down. In his latest mock, Matthew Freedman slotted Odunze to the Giants at 1.06.

🤑 Bets to Make

The draft is one of the most fun sporting events to wager on because of the constantly shifting dynamics.

It pains me to rubber stamp this bet from Freedman because I really want to see a WR Avalanche in Round 1, but the smart money is on Under 6.5 WRs in the first round.

With question marks popping up around Brian Thomas Jr. (injury-related?) and Adonai Mitchell (multiple concerns?), it seems less likely that teams like the Colts and Jaguars take a WR in the mid-rounds. If that’s the case, it will be very hard for 7 or more WRs to go in Round 1.

🔮 Bold Predictions

On Monday I gave my hunches for where Malik Nabers will land and what will happen with Nix and Michael Penix Jr..

I’ve also previously shared some of my bold predictions for the NFL Draft, including a depressing one about RBs.

But the prediction I am most confident about is Texas WR Xavier Worthy surprising everyone with how early he goes. With the aforementioned uncertainty around Thomas and Mitchell, I think a team like the Steelers, Rams, or Cowboys could sneakily be in the mix for the most electric pass catcher in the class.

🤓 In-depth Profiles on Every Rookie

If you need to cram before tonight, we’ve written up in-depth profiles on nearly every relevant player in this class.

You can also peruse Dwain’s Super Models for WR, TE, and RB, as well as check out his Top 20 rookies.

At that point, all you need to do is press mute on the TV tonight and fire up the Fantasy Life live stream as the ultimate companion to the draft…

NFL Draft Stream

🏈 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 tonight during the NFL Draft to give instant reactions, fantasy breakdowns and much more!

🚨 ICYMI: Join us LIVE for the 2024 NFL Draft. 7 pm ET sharp, see you there.

📝 One. Final. Update. Freedman’s final mock draft is here.

📺 Draft trends, best bets and more. Everything you need for the 2024 draft.

🔮 How many QBs will go in Round 1? Schefter weighs in.

🔎 How will tonight impact your dynasty leagues? Let’s look at the pass-catchers.

🏆️ Reggie Bush gets his trophy back. Nice.

📈 The position every team wants to move up for. And it’s not QB.

🥩 Move Drake Maye down the board. This ain’t right.

🏟️ Da Bears gonna have da nicest stadium. I’m there.

✒️ The Chargers sign an RBbut they still are a candidate to draft one.

Does Draft Capital Matter In Fantasy Football? by Ian Hartitz

The NFL Draft brings hope, excitement and best of all fantasy-relevant happenings to the grand world of football. Everything seems possible on draft night … until it’s not.

Today’s goal: Spoil any good vibes you are feeling toward specific later-round prospects by explaining that the HEAVY majority of high-end fantasy performers are selected within the first three rounds of the draft. Take it away, Ian

So … yeah, here’s a chart that shows just that! The percentage of top fantasy performers by draft round over the past 10 years; this denotes where the top-12 QB/TE and top-24 RB/WR performers in terms of PPR per game scoring were originally selected from 2014 to 2023.

While first-round prospects have generally been best (especially at QB), day-two players have managed to provide similar and sometimes even better fantasy production. We REALLY see a strong disparity when looking at the top 100 or so players vs. the best of the rest:

Percentage of top-performing players in Rounds 1-3 vs. Rounds 4+:

  • QB: 80% (in Rounds 1-3), 20% (in Rounds 4+)

  • RB: 70%, 30%

  • WR: 80%, 20%

  • TE: 73%, 28%

That’s right: At least 70% of the top-performing fantasy players at every position originally heard their name called on day one or two of the draft.

And that’s overall! Things get even tighter near the top of the draft when we look specifically at top-performing rookies. Now, there aren’t that many year-one players who post elite fantasy numbers in the first place, but the ones who do were drafted inside of the top three rounds far more times than not.

  • QB: Only four rookies have posted top-12 numbers at the position over the past 10 years, and three of them (Justin Herbert, C.J. Stroud, Kyler Murray) were drafted in Round 1. Dak Prescott (Round 4) is the exception, and he only got that opportunity because of a preseason back injury to Tony Romo.

  • RB: Just six rookie RBs have managed top-24 numbers without the benefit of day-one or day-two draft capital over the past 10 years: 2015 Karlos Williams (Round 5), 2016 Jordan Howard (Round 5), 2018 Phillip Lindsay (UDFA), 2020 James Robinson (UDFA), 2021 Elijah Mitchell (Round 6) and most recently 2022 Dameon Pierce (Round 4). There have been 30 such rookies total, meaning 80% of them were drafted inside the top three rounds.

  • WR: There have been just 13 total rookie WRs to post top-24 fantasy numbers since 2014. Of those dozen, 2016 Tyreek Hill (Round 5) and 2023 Puka Nacua (Round 5) were the only guys not selected inside of the top three rounds.

  • TE: A total of three first-year TEs have produced top-12 numbers over the past 10 years: 2017 Evan Engram (Round 1), 2021 Kyle Pitts (Round 1) and 2023 Sam LaPorta (Round 2).

Translation: Rookies don’t make a habit of putting up elite fantasy numbers in the first place, but the ones that do are almost exclusively early-round picks.

The Fantasy Life crew has been hard at work producing scouting reports on all the top prospects and also has some objectively dope Super Models for RBs, WRs and TEs. We have a pretty good idea of the pros and cons of all the fantasy-relevant prospects; now it’s time to see who manages to earn the sort of high-end draft capital that typically goes hand-in-hand with early-career production.

That said, potential upside scenarios for day three or undrafted players should revolve around who manages to land in the most fantasy-friendly environments. This is in terms of both the supporting cast and (more importantly) available opportunity.

The following landing spots aren’t guaranteed to make stars out of future day-three selections, but at a minimum, they do seem to offer the most barren depth charts with a heightened opportunity to compete for a day-one starting job.

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