In 2012, six rookies finished top 12 at their position. The future was looking very bright for this class. Then it quickly fell off a cliff. 2013 first-round start up pick, Trent Richardson, just played in the AAF. Robert Griffin III is a backup QB while his backup QB, Kirk Cousins, is starting in Minnesota. Doug Martin and Alfred Morris remain unsigned having largely been non-factors for the last several years. Not all draft classes are equal.
Here is the 2012 dynasty rookie class. If there’s blank space following a player’s name it means they didn’t finish inside the top-12 quarterbacks or tight ends or top-24 running backs or wide receivers in PPR that year. This table shows the first two rounds of 12-team dynasty ADP, plus any players drafted after Round 2 that finished top at their positions.
Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson are easily the best assets of this class. With Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning playing at a high level well into their late 30s, Luck and Wilson will probably do the same. Cousins is averaging 4,368 passing yards and 28 TDs per season as a starter. If this average continues, those numbers should keep him in top-12 finish range over the next several years.
Martin and Richardson set back many dynasty teams that drafted them in 2013. So few RBs truly have long careers. David Wilson, Ronnie Hillman and Isaiah Pead all failed expectations despite falling into seemingly good situations. Add Lamar Miller to the list of late bloomer RBs like Mark Ingram and DeMarco Murray.
Justin Blackmon, Michael Floyd, Kendall Wright, and A.J. Jenkins were first round picks. Floyd just missed being a hit with a top 25 finish but was always living in Larry Fitzgerald’s shadow. No one could have predicted the seventh drafted WR Alshon Jeffrey and 13th drafted WR T.Y. Hilton would be the best fantasy producers of 2012. Here is another example that draft capital is no guarantee to fantasy success.
Kendall Wright and Josh Gordon
Wright and Gordon were Baylor teammates in 2010. Statistically, Wright was the superior WR. Wright was drafted 20th overall in 2012 and Gordon went into the supplemental draft because of some off the field issues. A myriad of things contributed to neither continuing to produce (consistently) in fantasy past 2013. This example of college teammates is similar to 2019 Ole Miss prospects A.J. Brown and D.K. Metcalf. We’ve seen college WR teammates drafted highly in recent years; Cordarrelle Patterson/Justin Hunter and Odell Beckham Jr./Jarvis Landry. A.J. Brown also was statistically superior over his college career to D.K. Metcalf but it’s a strikingly comparable scenario to Wright and Gordon on paper. There’s a clear precedent to college teammate WRs that produced (even if briefly) in fantasy.
The 2012 Draft class was largely a bust. This is a stark reminder to Dynasty players that not all draft classes are packed with dynasty assets.