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One of the biggest traps Dynasty drafters can fall into is overvaluing mediocre talents in strong situations. Opportunity, in the form of targets and carries, is the key to fantasy success. However, the saying "talent creates opportunity” typically bears out in the longer run. In the shorter term, we often see that situation based value quickly evaporates when a player cannot take advantage of the opportunity and loses his favorable spot on the depth chart.
In this article, we will highlight two of the most common situational traps to avoid and give you some general guidelines to help you avoid making a common beginner Dynasty mistake.
While we generally want to avoid chasing players due to situation, there are some exceptions (including a 2022 league winner) where it makes sense to take some swings on less talented players due to their situation. We will look at what those situations to target are and highlight five players who currently stand out as solid late-round Dynasty targets due primarily to their situation.
Rookie Draft Situation Traps
The most common mistake new Dynasty players make is reaching for running backs drafted into a situation with a perceived opportunity to start as a rookie. While talent is difficult to define and often seems obvious only in hindsight, we can use draft capital as a rough estimate of talent. The rookie draft trap is running backs who fall into Day 3 of the NFL Draft (fourth round or later) but are still drafted in Dynasty drafts well before other skill position players who were taken earlier in the NFL draft. This is typically due to overvaluing their immediate opportunity.
Recent rookie drafts are littered with examples of running backs who were taken in the fourth round of the NFL Draft but were regularly drafted as early as the first round of Dynasty rookie drafts due to their situation:
- Michael Carter
- La’Mical Perine
- Isaiah Spiller
- Kalen Ballage
- Samaje Perine
- Joe Williams
- Kenneth Dixon
- Mike Davis
- Jay Ajayi
- Devontae Booker
- Jeremy Langford
Overall, drafting a rookie running back due to loving his landing spot has not paid off. Situations can change quickly. Michael Carter arguably outperformed his fourth-round draft capital as a rookie, but the minimal investment the Jets made in drafting him did not stop them from using actual draft capital on Breece Hall the very next year. The Dynasty GMs who needed a running back and reached for Carter ahead of DeVonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle fell into one of the biggest Dynasty traps there is. Generally, do not draft Day 3 running backs over first-round wide receivers. It may work out once in a blue moon, but the odds are very much against you when you put situation over talent.
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