Three Under-the-Radar Rookies for Dynasty Drafts

Donovan Peoples-Jones


Donovan Peoples-Jones was a three year starter for Michigan prior to committing to the NFL draft. His ADP in rookie dynasty drafts is anywhere from picks 27-33. He could very well be a steal there. In college, DPJ displayed some great burst off the line of scrimmage and showed great strength to get off jams. He runs some crisp routes and has the ability to win jump balls. He has great body control on sideline catches and showed great footwork off the line and in and out of his routes. At the combine, Peoples-Jones ran a 4.48 forty time and had a burst score of 145.2 which was in the 99th percentile. At 6 feet 2 inches and 212 pounds those are some impressive numbers. If the combine did anything for DPJ, it showcased at the minimum he is an elite athlete. As an NFL rookie he should see the field relativity early on due to his special teams and punt return abilities.

Donovan Peoples-Jones college stats (Credit: sports-reference.com)


Why is he under the radar?

Peoples-Jones isn't a super flashy receiver like CeeDee Lamb or Jerry Jeudy, and he lacks that quick twitch ability or game breaking speed. Michigan is also a school that doesn't often produce big name receivers. His numbers in college were a bit erratic due to poor quarterback play: he managed only 1050 yards in his final two seasons, and he struggled with some poor decision-making as a returner. He tested extremely well at the combine, but the 2020 class of wide receivers is massive and loaded in talent compared to previous years.

Donovan Peoples-Jones (Credit: Michigan Athletics)


Expectations

With an ADP in the middle of the third round for dynasty drafts (27-33), DPJ is someone who could easily surpass that value. Situation is key to a lot of these rookies, but with his skill set he should be able to see the field early on as a rookie even if it's with special teams. For fantasy football he may start off as a great compliment to an already big name player, but it wouldn't be surprising to see him work his way to eventually being a team's number one. Regardless of where he is drafted, with his combination of size/speed/athleticism he should put up some points and contribute to fantasy teams his rookie year.


Tyler Johnson


Tyler Johnson, a senior coming out of Minnesota, is currently going as the 26-31 draft pick in dynasty drafts. Johnson is another player who can outproduce his ADP. In college, Tyler showed he was a dynamic route runner who could be lethal after the catch. He’s also a great deep ball tracker as he would use his strength and athleticism to pry the ball from the air on contested catches. Although he does not have elite or game breaking speed, many of his skills do translate to the NFL level.

Tyler Johnson College Stats (Credit: sports-reference.com)


Why is he under the radar?

Tyler Johnson went to Minnesota, another school not known for producing solid NFL receivers. While Johnson could be the exception, he struggled with some drops in college. Unfortunately he did not participate in the combine, and due to the COVID-19 outbreak he wasn't able to have a pro day. This is a major killer for Johnson’s draft stock and certainly helps him fly under the radar for dynasty drafts.

Tyler Johnson (Credit: draftwire.usatoday.com)


Expectations

Tyler will likely have to work his way up on the depth chart to earn a role for his team. He is a great stash in dynasty leagues at his current ADP. During Johnson's last two seasons in college he tallied up 2,487 receiving yards and 25 touchdowns. Johnson is also a great red zone threat. If he can see the field regularly as a rookie he could be a major steal.


Van Jefferson


Van Jefferson, a two year starter at Florida and transfer from Ole Miss, has a current ADP in the 4th round of rookie mocks and dynasty drafts. Van is the son of former NFL wide receiver Shawn Jefferson. At Florida, Van was known for being a route running technician. He would routinely make defensive backs look silly and create easy separation. Jefferson has some great hands and can be dangerous after the catch. He already has an advanced route tree and can play on both the outside and the slot.


Why is he under the radar?

Van is flying under the radar for many reasons. His stats suffered at Florida due to poor quarterback play. He also wasn’t able to participate in the NFL combine due to a Jones fracture in his right foot. This was a huge blow to Jefferson’s NFL draft stock and fantasy ADP.

Van Jefferson (Credit: FloridaGators.com)

Expectations

You do not need the combine to see that Jefferson is one of the best route runners in the class. Drawing comparisons to Stefon Diggs because of his size, athletic ability, and route running, he has the chance to be a steal at his current draft position. Whichever team drafts him will get a competitor with some great tools to immediately contribute to both an NFL team and fantasy teams.



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