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The Draft Sharks Rookie Model reveals the top fantasy football options among 2024 NFL Draft prospects.

2024 NFL Draft Prospects | Draft Sharks Rookie Model Reveals Top Targets

By Alex Korff | Updated on Thu, 16 May 2024 . 1:25 PM EDT

Find the Next Stars Before They Break Out

Rookies matter for every fantasy format. If you didn’t have Puka Nacua, Sam LaPorta, or C.J. Stroud this season … you probably envied the teams that did.

Bet you’d like to turn that around and become the envy of your league mates in 2024, right?

That’s exactly why we’ve developed the Draft Sharks Rookie Model.

 

How We Measure the NFL Draft Prospects

Are you a film person or an analytics supporter?

Your answer should be “both.” The more data you can collect, the more likely you are to make an informed decision.

The Draft Sharks Rookie Model accounts for analytics, film, and all-important draft capital to grade prospects – highlighting upside … as well as red flags.

The Draft Sharks Rookie Model breaks down NFL Draft prospects by three main evaluation buckets: Analytics, Film Score, and NFL Draft Capital.

Here’s how we break it down …

Analytics Combine Production and Athleticism

Your middle-aged uncle might hate “analytics,” but they’re not evil. And that word doesn’t always mean the same thing.

In this case, “analytics” just refers to our particular combo of production and athleticism metrics.

We could just roll with more familiar stat categories, but that would be lazy. And those numbers often lack important context.

Production Score

Our production score looks at a player’s total college output. That, of course, includes his yardage, TDs, and other traditional numbers.

But this score also customizes those measures to each position. Because the most important stats for assessing WRs don’t necessarily matter the same for projecting TEs. (And each differs even more vs. RBs and QBs, of course.)

We also account for each player’s competition level, as well as his situation. It’s important to note, for example, that Michigan’s low-volume pass offense limited stat upside for QB J.J. McCarthy and WR Roman Wilson.

Athleticism Score

You don’t necessarily need top-level college production or elite athleticism (vs. already elite athletic competition). But the more marks in your favor, the better you look as a prospect.

This score compares a player’s Combine measurements vs. historical numbers for his position.

If he doesn’t go to the Combine, we’ll instead apply the estimates from his pro day (or other event) – with the appropriate correction to account for traditionally more favorable testing in such settings.

The Draft Sharks Rookie Model rates NFL Draft prospects across categories and overall.

Film Grades Highlight How a Player Wins (or Doesn’t)

Film grades in the Draft Sharks Rookie Model combine the grades of multiple top film scouts to get an aggregate evaluation.

We started with analytics here, but that doesn’t mean we’re against film. You’ll find samples of our own film review in every NFL Draft prospect we break down on DraftSharks.com.

The film score in our Rookie Model, however, combines some outside sources.

Whose Film Grades Count?

We aggregate grades from Pro Football Focus, NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein, and a few other sources …

The result: Basically, an average of the film pros’ read on those NFL Draft prospects.

Why not just pick one source? Because even the best film grinder is bound to have some biases and positions they don’t judge as well as others.

NFL Draft Capital

Our initial model scores come out well before the draft.  So, we use aggregated mock draft data to approximate draft capital.

As soon as a player gets drafted, his model score changes.

Draft capital – where a player gets selected – tells us at least how his NFL team feels about him. And it likely signals his general league valuation as well.

The extra layer for fantasy purposes: Draft capital is a great signal for NFL opportunity.

Sure, you can point to plenty of exceptions (Hi, Puka). But in general, the earlier a player gets drafted, the more likely he is to get a chance to deliver.

How to Read the Results

The inputs above combine to produce a single model score for each player. You can find that in our prospect profile for the player. And it’s a good way to compare NFL Draft prospects, especially players at the same position.

Multiple inputs go into the Draft Sharks Rookie Model to produce a single model score. Caleb Williams comes out ahead of Jayden Daniels.

But we also continue to keep in mind the player’s scores in the separate categories – and how well those categories agree with each other.

Agreement Factor Can Raise Red Flags

The last aspect to discuss here is the agreement factor, which is basically how much agreement there is (or isn’t) across the categories that make up a player’s rookie model score.

The higher the number, the more the categories agree on the prospect. A low Agreement Factor, however, means at least one aspect of the player’s profile is out of whack.

That doesn’t necessarily mean we should discount his Model Score. But it does mean we should check the disagreeing variable and decide whether it’s reason to be more wary of the prospect.

 

The 2024 Model Scores

Now the part you've been waiting for: The model results for 2024 ...

You shouldn't be surprised to find Caleb Williams, Marvin Harrison Jr., Brock Bowers, and Malik Nabers sporting the highest scores.

You might be surprised to see where Michael Penix Jr.'s draft capital landed him. And note how unenthused the model remains with basically the entire RB class.

See the full results here.

 

Data is Awesome. Here's How We Apply it:

Rookie Scouting Reports 

Dive deep into the future of your fantasy roster with Draft Sharks' Rookie Prospect Reports.

Get the edge with our comprehensive breakdowns of incoming NFL rookies.

These in-depth analyses cover everything from speed and agility to on-field production, ensuring you have all the knowledge at your fingertips.

Whether you're strategizing for dynasty, keeper, or redraft leagues, our scout reports are your key to making informed, winning decisions.

Don't just draft; draft smart.

Rookie Rankings

You might notice that our rookie rankings don’t align exactly with the scores from our Rookie Model.

Why? Because no model is perfect. Some NFL Draft prospects will outperform their model scores; others will disappoint. So we continue to keep all aspects in mind in generating our dynasty rankings projections.

Check them out:

Other rankings are stale  before the 2nd round.

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