Fantasy review: 'There's basically zero chance you're gonna like' the results of this five-round dynasty rookie draft

Here's the thing that fantasy experts generally neglect to tell you about dynasty leagues: you can try to win them now - like this year.
Too often, dynasty managers neglect the current season in favor of a kind of dreamy futurism. We care about a hypothetical multi-year series of future championships (which will almost certainly never take place), far more than today's victory. But no league defies our attempts to make long-term plans like the NFL. The easiest way to get a head start in the dynasty is to focus entirely on the present.
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[Create or join a Yahoo Fantasy Football League for 2020 for free today]
I chose to carry this Play for Today message because I'm about to detail the results of a draft for the rookie dynasty in 2020 where I had no choice for the first round after I exchanged them in a win-now mode last season. Movement that didn't work. (However, I got Terry McLaurin on the deal with a crazy-cheap contract, so it wasn't a complete loss.)
Basically there is no chance that you will like my design, because I had no choice up to number 18. At this point everyone is an aviator.
Still, I mean ... hey, it's kind of a fantasy design. And we're a bit hungry for sports content these days. Feel free to tear this thing apart in the comments.
Here are my original post-draft rookie dynasty ranks that have not changed significantly. But in this special league I have a blatant need (return depth) and am currently very much in a championship window. I have Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, Alvin Kamara, D.J. Moore, McLaurin, and George Kittle have received good to good salaries and a few additional short-term contributions over several years. I am definitely in go-for-it mode, injecting after this year's trophy and do not think about 2025. I won this league in 2018, but planted it in my face last year. If the coming season really goes according to plan, I'm a candidate for the unaffordable favorites. So I entered the design to find one or more 2020 contributors.
Some of you know this league, La Liga Lebowski, recommended by Yahoo and ESPN alum Chris Harris. This thing has produced a shocking number of clone leagues. It's an almost perfect dynasty format with a set of rules that are arguably more detailed and complex than the NFL. We have transition tags, franchise tags, holdouts, taxi squads, contract extensions, a changing salary cap and various other quirks. Harris is a talented writer and analyst, a wonderful person and an occasionally happy fantasy player. But his greatest gift is Fantasy League Design. As a commish, he is unrivaled. Above all, this has nurtured his enormous wealth and enabled his nautical lifestyle.
But enough about Harris. Let's check this rookie design with my bold tips (because they're special):
Round one
1. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB
2. CeeDee Lamb, WR
3. Jonathan Taylor, RB
4. D'Andre Swift, RB
5. Jerry Jeudy, WR
6. Justin Jefferson, WR
7. J.K. Dobbins, RB
8. Henry Ruggs, WR
9. Cam Akers, RB
10. Jalen Reagor, WR
11. Tea Higgins, WR
12. Tua Tagovailoa, QB
This is largely the right set of names, if not in the exact order in which I would classify them. Taylor will not normally fall third in a rookie draft for obvious reasons. He is a huge talent, lightning fast (4.39 speed) and he will fall behind a dominant run-blocking line. If Taylor reaches his cap during his rookie contract, he can win a quick title.
Nevertheless, I don't hate the choice of Lamb in 2nd place, because this type has a clear star potential even in a crowded reception corps. He was practically unstoppable at OU last year. He caught 62 balls for 1,327 yards (21.4 Y / R) and 14 points and produced seven 100-yard games (10-171-3 against Texas, 4-119 against LSU). Just look at this nonsense:
Oklahoma football

Fifth game this season with more than 100 yards for @_CeeDeeThree ... and we're still in the first half. #OUDNA
02:16 a.m. - November 10, 2019
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My best case scenario at choice # 18 included a run with the RB third-party prospects - Vaughn, Moss, Dillon, and others - which caused a long fall for Tee Higgins. But it didn't quite work out that way. Higgins is basically an A.J. Green replicant, gifted with great hands, size (6-foot-4) and wingspan. I was so close to entering into a pre-draft trade for the # 11 selection, and I might have pulled the trigger if I had been certain Higgins would be there. Oh.
I don't officially support Tua towards Burrow, just for the record. Burrow's cast in Cincinnati is just unreasonably good. We would normally not expect a quarterback to be selected first to find themselves in a situation as talented as this. He has a chance of fantasy relevance in the first year. Tagovailoa is a lot of fun - inventive, aggressive, hyper-talented - but Burrow's short-term setup is just better. Also: Burrow is a kind of badass.
In any case, La Liga is a one-quarterback league, so the position in our draft is devalued. If this were a Superflex format, Burrow would have been a top 5 player for me, Tua not far behind.
Round two
13. Ke'Shawn Vaughn, RB
14. Zack Moss, RB
15. Michael Pittman, WR
16. Anthony McFarland, RB
17. Joe Burrow, QB
18. Denzel Mims, WR
19. Brandon Aiyuk, WR
20. Laviska Shenault, WR
21. K.J. Hamler, WR
22. A.J. Dillon, RB
23. Joshua Kelley, RB
24. Eno Benjamin, RB
Given my team's only urgent need, I might have simply deleted the pre-design ranks and selected a return. I was hoping Moss could fall because he got into a situation in Buffalo where a lot of goal line touches could be won. (Frank Gore received 18 transmissions within the 10-yard line last season.)
[Create or join a Yahoo Fantasy Football League for 2020 for free today]
But when Moss was off the board, Mims became a relatively easy call. It is widely regarded as a high ceiling / low floor refinement factor that needs to be refined, but it is an exceptional athlete even at NFL ratios (4.39 speed, 38.5 inch vertical, 6.66 3-cone). He was a 1000-yard recipient over several college seasons in Baylor, although he did so at a conference that was not known to defend much. Mims ended up on a Jets squad with a desperate need to retain talent, and therefore has an obvious path to fantasy value as a rookie. This team cannot afford to keep playmakers on the sidelines.
Round three
25. Justin Herbert, QB
26. Antonio Gibson, RB
27. Tyler Johnson, WR
28. Darrynton Evans, RB
29. Bryan Edwards, WR
30. Lynn Bowden, RB
31. Lamical Perine, RB
32. Devin Duvernay, WR
33. Van Jefferson, WR
34. Chase Claypool, WR
35. Quintez Cephus, WR
36. Jalen Hurts, QB
It kind of depressed me not to land Gibson. In fact, I had already typed his name into the chat window we were designing in. . He can share the pitch with Derrius Guice and Adrian Peterson, so his playing time in Washington doesn't depend on the health of another player. Ron Rivera compared Gibson's versatility to that of Christian McCaffrey, which is both ridiculous and promising. I'm interested.
In any case, I didn't understand him. So I chose my favorite player to stay on the board, even though he doesn't have a clear path to goals in his first professional season. Johnson was an irresistible force in Minnesota who caught 164 balls for 2,487 yards and 25 touchdowns in the past two seasons. He almost single-handedly beat Auburn in his last college game, getting 12 passes for 204 yards and two spikes, including this gem:
Minnesota football

See you tomorrow, #Gophers.

Dream Sweet Dreams by @ T_muhneyy10s # SCTop10 Touchdown.
5:24 a.m. - January 2, 2020
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As a fan of a competing Big Ten program, I'm happy to have excluded him from the conference and to be available for fantasy designs. He is not a burner, but there is no question that he can play. Of course, he's buried on the depth-of-field map in Tampa Bay, so he's unlikely to help us in the coming season.
Like Gibson, Bowden is a gadget hybrid player who has RB eligibility for fantasy purposes. In his last Kentucky season, he carried the ball 185 times for 1,468 yards (7.9 YPC), caught 30 balls for 348 yards and completed 35 passes for 403. He scored 14 touchdowns and threw three. He was also a fairly fair kick-back.
So it's fun. Coach Gruden can certainly find some interesting ways to use Bowden's loaded skills. Enjoy some highlights:
SEC network

The @Raiders just got a PLAYMAKER @ LynnBowden_1 can do everything
2:48 a.m. - April 25, 2020
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Round four
37. Adam Trautman, TE
38. DeeJay Dallas, RB
39. Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR
40. Cole Kmet, TE
41. Devin Asiasi, TE
42. K.J. Hill, WR
43. Gabriel Davis, WR
44. Jordan Love, QB
45. Michael Warren, RB
46. ​​Albert Okwuegbunam, TE
47. Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR
48. Collin Johnson, WR
Realistically speaking, there is no clear way for any player selected in this round to cause a stir in 2020 except by injuring an established starter. Fittingly, the tight ends all fell outside of the top 35 picks. It is not a position where we expect newcomers to thrive. However, Trautman was tremendously productive at the FCS level and could become interesting for New Orleans as early as 2021.
None of the top tight ends fell on pick # 42, so I grabbed another personal favorite in Hill, the head of all-time receptions in the state of Ohio (201). It profiles itself strictly as a chain-moving slot receiver, which may later be useful as a deep-league PPR option. Nothing really too exciting. But at a late stage in a rookie draft, we're looking for someone who could eventually become playable. Hill is unlikely to make much noise to the chargers in 2020.
I had thought of Eagle's UDFA Michael Warren as a final choice, so his 45th choice was a disappointment. In the past two seasons, he has won nearly 3,000 scrimmage yards in Cincinnati and found the end zone 36 times. He is a 220-pound Bruiser tied to a team with a wide-open backfield depth map behind Miles Sanders and Boston Scott. Stylistically, it seems to be an ideal addition to Sanders.
Fifth round
49. John Hightower, WR
50. Joe Reed, WR
51. Isaiah Coulter, WR
52. Darnell Mooney, WR
53. James Proche, WR
54. Jason Huntley, RB
55. Salvon Ahmed, RB
56. Dalton Keene, TE
57. Jacob Eason, QB
58. Isaiah Hodgins, WR
59. Harrison Bryant, TE
60. Ty'son Williams, RB
These players are pure darts, most of them struggle to create rosters in real life. Huntley is a small back who produced large numbers in his last year in the state of New Mexico (1,090 rush, 7.1 YPC) and caught at least 40 balls in two consecutive seasons. But it was adopted by Detroit in the fifth round of a draft, in which the team also selected a potential future centerpiece, D'Andre Swift. So I'm not counting on Huntley to make a meaningful fantasy contribution at some point.
But hey, maybe he'll get a ring as a member of the taxi league for the La Liga Champions 2020. If you have Mahomes, you clearly have hope.
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