Projected Futures: Week 4

The direction our teams take early on in the season will play a significant role in the type of trades we make throughout the year. As an owner it is hard to part with my future draft picks unless I know it is going to put me in contention for a championship run. One of the best things about dynasty football is the annual rookie drafts where we as owners use our knowledge to draft the best players possible.

If I am not going to make a run for a championship, I tend to trade off a few minor pieces that might better help another team this season so I can load up on future picks. This allows me to grab young assets or sell off my rookie picks in peak rookie season when their value is usually at its highest. The summer time hype on the next class is crucial for future rookie pick value as well as draft season.

If I decide to keep my rookie picks or trade for more just what exactly do I have to look forward to? Well, what I am going to do here is use a set of rankings, ADP, and value throughout the season to try and pinpoint who is valued where in future rookie drafts. Instead of blindly selling or buying draft picks, you will be able to put a name or group of names next to the pick you are trading away or acquiring. I know it is hard to pinpoint where exactly your picks will be slotted in future drafts, but a lot of times you hear someone say “this player or a later ’18 second?” and that is where this power rankings aspect comes into play.

I now have a visual of future picks for the first and second rounds of the 2018, 2019, and 2020 class. Players move up and down, and opinions constantly change so I will be updating these future projections weekly so owners can use it to gauge current value.

Legend: Risers will be coded with a green box and the number depicts how many spots they rose. A green box with NR highlights a player rising from being not ranked the previous week. Fallers will be coded with a red box and the number depicts how many spots they fell.

The value a top tier WR holds in dynasty far outweighs any other position, and that is my reasoning for moving Auden Tate up one spot ahead of Ronald Jones III. Tate caught 9 of his 11 targets for 138 yards and 1 touchdown against NC State. He is a threat on all parts of the field and more importantly his big body, physicality and ball skills help him win down in the red zone. Tate left the game with a shoulder injury after a deep catch down the middle of the field. The severity of Tate’s injury is unknown, but one thing that is certain is his rise throughout the WR ranks as the season progresses so long as he can stay healthy.

There wasn’t much movement in the middle parts of the projected futures for this class, but the backend definitely had some risers as well as a new face. First I want to highlight Akrum Wadley who led his team in rushing and receiving yards against Penn State while scoring 2 of their 3 touchdowns. Wadley continues to be an underrated RB in this class. He might be undersized, but he makes a huge impact contributing as a rusher and a receiver which bodes well for him when being scouted for the next level.

Myles Gaskin finally popped off and ran all over Colorado’s defense for 202 yards. The rushing offense was strictly on Gaskin as his teammate Lavon Coleman was out and Gaskin certainly produced showing a lot of what made him a national name last season. Through 4 games, Gaskin has accounted for 31% of Washington’s offense which ranks 22nd among all running backs.

I think Bryce Love has played his way onto this list as he has accounted for 34% of Stanford’s offense which ranks 13th among running backs and he’s done it at 10.8 yards per carry, which is absurd. Love is a player I was high on early last year then shied away from because of his lack of strength as a runner and glaring inability to pass protect, but that has changed. He has been very impressive this season and his ability to break tackles showed up in back to back weeks. The speed and elite burst make him even more intriguing, and he’s likely here to stay.

Dropped Out

Michigan State RB LJ Scott — This one pains me. I do believe Scott finds his way back on the list by year’s end, well at least I hope he does. He was one of my favorites coming into this season, but he has been severely outperformed by a number of players in this deep 2018 class. Scott is currently trending at a low mark for yards per carry in his career and a lot can be contributed to a crap offense, but that wasn’t a problem for him last season.

N’Keal Harry regains control of the number one spot for the 2019 class. He has managed to work his way to a 35% Dominator Rating despite underwhelming outings in his first two games of the season. Coach Graham seems to have realized the type of talent Harry is, and Harry has benefited. He has receiving touchdowns in each of his last 3 games and continues to develop into a true X wide receiver. Harry has shown very good speed throughout his routes and with the ball in his hands. His size gives him the ability to play physical and fight for extra yards. Kelvin Harmon has had two down weeks, and one came from facing the Florida State secondary which limited him to 2 targets, so I felt it was right to give Harry the nod as the number one player once again.

David Montgomery did not have a game this week, but that didn’t stop me from flipping him and Damarea Crockett. Montgomery has a chance to be the best running back in this class, and I like his overall skill set for the position more than the other backs. Crockett, on the other hand, has suffered from a very poor offense this season but he has still made the most of his opportunities when his offensive line has given him a chance.

It should be noted that Ahmmon Richards will likely see his first game play of the season this week as he returns from injury. It might take a game or two for Richards to knock the rust off but the time to buy low is right now before he begins his reign over the ACC secondaries.

Minnesota’s Tyler Johnson has also risen despite not playing a game this past week, but Miles Sanders and Sewo Olonilua haven’t seen the opportunities or production I had hoped for coming into this season. For Sanders, it is obvious why he hasn’t seen the field but not as much can be said for Olonilua who only has 145 rushing yards on the season as he plays second fiddle to another sophomore RB on his team in Darius Anderson. One more thing of note for Tyler Johnson is his 74% Dominator Rating on the season which is first among all wide receivers. He is in a low volume offense, but his explosive plays make him a very intriguing prospect. The last thing that I will say about this 2019 class is the disappointment of Michael Pittman Jr. I can personally say I have never been much of a fan of his, but he has been a complete non-factor for USC this year which is surprising to me. He started the year with an injury and once he finally saw the field he has only logged 1 target for 0 receptions. I will be monitoring him closely this week to see if there is a change when USC plays WSU.

The top 8 spots for the 2020 class are locked in for now. D’Andre Swift rose two spots as he continues to impress this season. He has been rated as high as the second RB in the class for some, and he currently sits as the second leading rusher for Georgia behind Nick Chubb. Another big riser is one of my personal favorites in Trey Sermon. Per PFF, Trey Sermon has the highest elusive rating among running backs in the BIG 12 and forced 12 missed tackles on 12 carries last week against Baylor. He leads Oklahoma with 3 rushing touchdowns and brings a nice blend of power to go with his elusiveness.

His teammate Ceedee Lamb continues to rise as well. Lamb currently ranks 3rd in receiving yards among true freshman and Baker Mayfield has made him his primary target behind TE Mark Andrews.

Last week, I wrote that Travis Etienne would make his way onto the projected futures list if he continues to perform. Etienne popped off for 113 yards and 2 touchdowns against Boston College and now takes his place as the leading rusher for Clemson. He does it with very good lateral movement, vision, and top tier burst as he accounts for a ton of explosive runs. Etienne has a very good athletic profile as he posted a 4.43 40 time and a 37.3” vertical jump via ESPN. This freshman class is absolutely loaded with talent, and they have taken this college season by storm. There are a number of players who have yet to see any opportunity but once they do we will be talking about this class as one of the deepest in recent memory.

Dropped Out

Michigan QB Dylan McCaffrey — The opportunity for McCaffrey to see the field likely won’t come this season so it will be hard for me to gauge his value even though I liked what I saw from his high school tape. Dropping McCaffrey off the projected futures list is more of a testament to Travis Etienne’s talent than anything.

Thank you for reading, and I hope this article is helpful for your future trades. Follow me on twitter @pacificscouting.

Originally published at on September 27, 2017.