Top 15 Dynasty Picks - 2010
By Will Grant
May 19th, 2010

As we head deeper into May, many of the hardcore dynasty leagues have already completed their rookie drafts. While we always like to evaluate the talent level of the players that are taken, it is also helpful to understand who is being drafted and when.

Here's quick summary of how the first 15 picks seem to be shaking out.

Note: Obviously many league drafts vary based on scoring system, starting lineup requirements and team needs. Use this information as a guide and modify your draft based on your league and team requirements.

2010 Rookie Picks 1-5

The first few picks in most dynasty leagues are usually focused on impact rookie running backs. Owners are looking to land the next Adrian Peterson or LaDainian Tomlinson and the top five picks are usually where those types of RBS will be found.

  • Ryan Mathews, RB, SD - Speaking of the next LaDainian Tomlinson, Ryan Mathews seems to be the guy. In many leagues, he's going No. 1 overall. In a large majority of dynasty leagues, Mathews won't make it past the third pick. If you want him on your team, you need to have one of the top slots.

  • C.J. Spiller, RB, BUF - While there is a lot of competition in the Buffalo backfield; dynasty owners are hoping that Spiller's talent lands him the starting job. Some folks may shy away from him because of the uncertainty, but after the first two or three picks, someone will take a chance on him.

  • Dez Bryant, WR, DAL - Rookie WRs do not usually have an impact until their second or third season. Even big name rookies wideouts like Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson were not fantasy studs their first year. However, a talented WR like Bryant going to a playoff caliber team tends to attract attention. Bryant will be an instant starter in Dallas, and although he probably won't be big for your fantasy team, you're going to have to spend a high pick to get him.

  • Jahvid Best, RB, DET - Being in Detroit probably knocks him down a peg or two but with Kevin Smith recovering from a serious injury, you can expect that Best will probably be the Lions' No. 1 back by the start of the season. With limited competition from the other Detroit backs, Best is going very high in most fantasy drafts.

  • Sam Bradford, QB, STL - There aren't many dynasty teams with a top five draft pick that couldn't use a good QB. While you probably won't see Bradford going 1 or 2 overall unless your league favors QB scoring, but after the top tier RBs, Bradford is a safer pick. If you're holding the 7 or 8 pick in the first round, you might want to trade up a bit to get him.

2010 Rookie Picks 6-10

While you might see people reach a little in this space, there are still a lot of solid, young WRs and second-tier RBs that people like to focus on in this space. Again, value really depends on your draft, but you can expect these guys to go 6-10 in 80% of the rookie drafts.

  • Ben Tate, RB, HOU - While the talent level might not justify picking him this high, if you are a fan of Tate, you're going to have to spend this kind of pick to get him. He might fall a couple spots but unless you're really lucky, you won't land him after No. 10 overall.

  • Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver - People see that Brandon Marshall and Tony Scheffler are gone from Denver. That give Thomas a solid chance to make an impact his rookie season. At the minimum, he should be putting up good fantasy numbers by his second season and that makes him attractive at this point in the draft.

  • Arrelious Benn, WR, TB - Another guy who should see the starting lineup right out of the gate. He might fall a place or two because people see how much love that Tampa is throwing at Mike Williams, but if you're going to take one of the two, Benn is your guy.

  • Golden Tate, RB, SEA - In IDP leagues, he might fall a little lower or even into the next tier, but Golden Tate is definitely going in the 8-12 range, because of his situation in Seattle. Given the choice of taking him or reaching on a RB, many folks are taking Tate here.

  • Montario Hardesty, RB, CLE - While many folks are staying away from the Cleveland backfield, Hardesty is still getting a lot of love in the early dynasty drafts. By this point in the draft, someone has another Cleveland running back on their roster, and this is as much a handcuff draft pick as anything else.

2010 Rookie Picks 11-15

You start to see some variation in these next five picks as leagues roll over into the second round and IDP leagues start looking at the defensive side of the ball. However, all of these guys will be gone by the middle of the second round in most dynasty leagues.

  • Toby Gerhart, RB, MIN - By the end of the first round, the owner of Adrian Peterson will be looking to handcuff their pick with Gerhart. With Chester Taylor in Chicago, Gerhart will certainly see some time on the field this year.

  • Dexter McCluster, WR, KC - McCluster is moving up in most drafts and in non-IDP leagues, he's starting to creep into the first round. People are making comparisons to Percy Harvin and DeSean Jackson with this pick, and it's not as far fetched as you might initially guess.

  • Jimmy Clausen, QB, CAR - Matt Moore hasn't blown up the stat sheet in Carolina and a guy like Clausen could crack the starting lineup before the end of the season. By the second round, Clausen is more attractive than a project WR or RB.

  • James Starks, RB, GB - He's not going to steal many carries from Ryan Grant this season, but Starks could be pushing for the starting job by 2011. Again, by this point in the draft, the Ryan Grant owners are probably looking for a handcuff pick as well.

  • Jonathan Dwyer, RB, PIT - As we get to the tail end of the Top 15, league variation really starts to have an impact. Dwyer isn't going to be a starter, but he's attracting the attention of dynasty owners by this point. He is definitely a second round pick though, and if you have #15 overall pick, you are probably not going to get another shot at him.

League Variation

Point Per Reception Leagues: In PPR leagues, you might see a TE or two creep into the 12-15 range. Jermaine Gresham seems to be the No. 1 TE in a majority of leagues, with Aaron Hernandez falling a bit lower.

IDP Leagues: Linebackers are the only IDP guys who are worth drafting in the Top 15 of most dynasty leagues because they are tackling machines. If you play in an IDP dynasty league, you can expect that Rolando McClain will be drafted in the Top 10 - probably around the 7 or 8 position. Both Daryl Washington and Sean Weatherspoon could creep into the Top 15 in some dynasty IDP leagues, but it's not uncommon to see them fall late into the second round or even the top of the third. These guys have great fantasy potential and are excellent value picks in the 16-20 range.

Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to grant@footballguys.com.