With less than a week to go, it’s time to stop speculating and start getting ready to absorb, react to, and act on everything that happens in Kansas City next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. For a lot of us, a big part of that is our dynasty rookie drafts. For the 18th time, I’m bringing you my top 100 players for fantasy leagues (including IDPs!). As always, we'll be joined by Matt Waldman, Jason Wood, and a ton of guests to broadcast and react live to the first round on our YouTube channel, and I’ll be updating this for draft capital and destination by Tuesday after the draft.
The Bloom 100 is ranked with the following type of dynasty fantasy football league in mind:
- Full IDP lineups, including DT and CB
- PPR, start 3 WR
- Deep lineups and rosters
- The Bloom 100 Players - 1-20
- The Bloom 100 Players - 21-40
- The Bloom 100 Players - 41-60
- The Bloom 100 Players - 61-80
- The Bloom 100 Players - 81-100
How are the classes per position?
QB: Two safe but flawed prospects and three boom/bust prospects lead the way, with the best athlete we have ever seen at the position headlining.
RB: The albino tiger - a three-down back from day one - leads the way, with a strong player in the new paradigm of a fantasy stud who supplements 12-15 carries a game with a big passing game presence trailing just behind. After that, a huge amalgam of 3rd-5th round types will sort themselves out based on opportunity and draft capital.
WR: This class lacks the star power of the last two and doesn’t have a classic #1 outside receiver prospect, but there are lots of intriguing talents with holes in their game that will go in the first two rounds and a big group of players who can be solid role players whose fantasy value will depend on the quality of their offenses as much as it will depend on their development.
TE: Maybe the best class in my time doing this, and just in time as the league moves back to power running, which favors two tight end sets. There’s not a future Travis Kelce in this class, but there could be a Darren Waller, George Kittle, Mark Andrews, and more.
DT: Three prospects at the top of this class could become instant fantasy studs. If your league prioritizes this position, pay attention.
EDGE: With the new true position approach in IDP leagues that should eliminate the value fluctuation based on whether edge defenders land in 3-4 or 4-3 or line up more in a two-point or three-point stance, this group should be valuable, but then again, true position should make the available pool of players at EDGE larger, so the two seemingly cancel each other with a small boost to edge players this year because we don’t have to worry about their value being torpedoed by being designated as a linebacker.
LB: There are three strong prospects, a late bloomer who is ascending, and then not too much. This position is going to be a premium after being plentiful in years past.
CB: We should get 4-6 players who are startable from day one under the “rookie corner” rule.
S: There’s no elite prospect, but four or five who could be fantasy relevant, including a couple of whom will be disappointing if they aren’t.
IS THIS A GOOD ROOKIE CLASS FOR DYNASTY LEAGUES?
Well, it depends on your format.
Superflex: After the drought last year, the first half of the first-round picks in rookie drafts will be worth more because of the likelihood of 4-5 quarterbacks going in the first round, 2-3 of which will add a lot of value as runners.
Tight End Premium: A fantasy bonanza with prospects through the first 4-5 rounds who could be fantasy relevant, and at least 3-4 who could be top 6-8 at the position within 2-3 years (which isn’t exactly a high bar).
Traditional PPR: Subpar compared to previous classes lacking an elite wide receiver prospect and maybe even a wide receiver prospect who would be in last year’s top five. The running back class is stocked with players who should have short runs of fantasy value and sporadic hits as committee members. However, few will have lasting and consistent value.
Big Play IDP: The strength at EDGE should help boost the value of this class.
Tackle-heavy IDP: The lack of off-ball linebackers and box safety rack up the tackles types diminishes the value of this year’s crop.
Pre-draft Strategy Cheatsheet
- Be willing to overpay to trade up to #1. There’s a good argument that Bijan Robinson will be the #1 dynasty running back from the moment his name is announced, no matter where he lands. If someone is willing to give up the #1 pick, they are probably not getting enough for it.
- There’s a big gap between Anthony Richardson and the rest of the quarterback class in terms of fantasy upside. Be willing to trade up for him, especially if he falls in the draft, which triggers falls in fantasy drafts. Even if the NFL is unsure about him, that doesn’t change the fact that he has the potential to be as impactful as any fantasy quarterback since Michael Vick.
- The top three wideouts are closely packed. If you can recoup picks to move down a spot or two before any are taken, you’re almost getting the picks for free.
- Dalton Kincaid is the only tight end worth a first-round pick in rookie drafts. If you miss on him, be patient about getting a tight end (or two), as the next (large) tier is more tightly packed for fantasy than their spread of draft slots will indicate.
- The second and third tiers at wide receiver and running back are level, and the third tiers are especially deep. There will be a wide range of opinions and rankings. Because of this, there’s not a huge dropoff from the late first in non-Superflex leagues to the late second. There’s also not a huge dropoff from the early third to fourth or even fifth round. Be more willing than ever to trade down once your draft is past the first seven to eight picks.
- The premium IDPs are well above the rest of the class, and the offensive classes are deep at almost every position. Break ties in the early rounds in favor of IDPs.
- Remember to adjust rankings for your league’s scoring and lineup settings! This list will look very different after the draft, as this class has bigger and more tightly packed tiers than in recent years.
The Pre Draft Bloom 100: 1-20
1. Bijan Robinson (RB-Texas) - Robinson is a three-down back from day one, which is not something we get in every NFL draft. He is a highly advanced receiver and a runner that blends speed, power, quickness, vision, and toughness in a rare package. Not since 2018, when Saquon Barkley went #4 (Will he be the last running back ever to go in the top five of the draft?) and no other running back or wide receiver went in the top 20, will there be such a significant gap between the value of the #1 and #2 pick in 1QB league rookie drafts. Not that that means there will be a gap in three, four, or five years, as at least Gibbs and Richardson can easily attain first-round pick redraft value, but Robinson’s floor gives him a big edge right now. It’s hard to say exactly what it will take to move up to #1 in your rookie draft, but it never hurts to ask.
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