June 12, 2024

2024 Rookie Dynasty Impact: Rome Odunze

6 min read

The dust has settled, and we can finally dig deeper into our Rookie Drafts. Some of your die-hard fantasy managers have already conducted them, while others are about to start. I have recently started a few and I am perplexed about what to do with Rome Odunze. So, I decided to dig deeper and advise my fellow fantasy managers on the Dynasty impact of Rome Odunze.

 

2024 Rookie Dynasty Impact: Rome Odunze

How Does Rome Odunze Impact the Chicago Bears?

I am adamant about not over-drafting him in rookie drafts this year. The Chicago Bears handed Caleb Williams the house keys and ensured playmakers surround him to provide him with the necessary tools to succeed. D.J. Moore and Cole Kmet are holdovers on the roster, while the Bears traded for Keenan Allen and signed D’Andre Swift in free agency.

Unlike other rookie receivers, Keon Coleman, Xavier Worthy, and Xavier Legette, Odunze will not immediately impact his new team. With veteran receivers Moore and Allen, Odunze will probably see a similar snap share to Jaxon Smith-Njigba had last year for the Seahawks.

For the Seahawks, JSN averaged 39.7 snaps per game. D.K. Metcalf (51.9) and Tyler Lockett (49.4) averaged more than ten snaps per game. It is hard to incorporate three productive receivers into an offense and keep all of them happy.

In 2023, D.J. Moore (60.5) and Keenan Allen (59.9) were ranked seventh and eighth in snaps per game. They are both players used to being on the field for most snaps. Rome Odunze, as a rookie, will not be supplanting either of them for the foreseeable future.

Where Can You Select Rome Odunze in Rookie Drafts?

Is Rome Odunze a talented receiver? Yes, he is. To be honest, he is very gifted. However, I don’t think he will immediately impact a fantasy roster. For a team drafting in the Top six of your Rookie Draft, your roster probably needs help fast, and Odunze will not provide that immediate help.

Currently, the following players are being drafted at the top of superflex drafts: Caleb Williams, Marvin Harrison Jr., Jayden Daniels, and Malik Nabers. At that point, most drafts start to get interesting. Rome Odunze, Drake Maye, J.J. McCarthy, and Brock Bowers are generally in the next tier of players.

However, Xavier Worthy, Keon Coleman, Brian Thomas, Jonathon Brooks (click here to see my thoughts on Brooks in Carolina), and Ladd McConkey have legitimate reasons to be considered after the top four are selected.

Have I seen anyone take the bold step to draft any of those other players before Odunze? Nope, I have not. And to be honest, I think the Bears took Odunze because they were expected to take Odunze. And that’s what fantasy managers are also doing. They see the ADP and take him in the five-to-seven range because they are supposed to.

I challenge fantasy managers to avoid following suit! Don’t just take Odunze because he was drafted earlier. If you select 6th in your rookie draft, chances are good that you need talent in multiple places. By taking Odunze, you are not improving your team for 2024.

Yes, we are talking about Dynasty, but most managers are not looking to finish out of the playoffs every year. Unless you are taking a quarterback, I expect my first-round pick to have some impact on my fantasy roster in year one.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba is our perfect case study. Does anyone think he will out-snap Metcalf or Lockett in 2024? In all likelihood, unless an injury occurs, JSN will still be third in the pecking order of the Seahawks’ offense. Often, draft location matters. And when it comes to Rome Odunze, the Bears were not an ideal fit, as they already had two accomplished receivers on their roster. And I’m not a fan of “rooting” for an injury; it just seems wrong.

Some may question whether Smith-Njigba has only been under his belt for one year and that it’s too soon to use him as a comparison. So, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I present Rashod Bateman as evidence. In 2021, when the Baltimore Ravens drafted him, he was behind Sammy Watkins and Marquise Brown on the depth chart.

I’m saying this: when a player is drafted as a receiver and behind established players, growth and accomplishments need to be tempered. I would prefer to take a risk on a player who has the opportunity to shine than a player getting sparse reps in an offense that may only see him as a third or fourth option. And if one year turns into two, then three, that player may never fully develop into a star their draft capital would suggest.

During his rookie season, Bateman had 46 receptions for 515 yards and one touchdown. For his career to date, he has only caught 94 passes for 1,167 yards and four touchdowns. Yes, injuries have slowed him down, but I am also attributing his lack of development to the fact that he wasn’t given the room to produce early in his career.

My whole argument would be moot if the Bears had drafted a defensive lineman (which they should have done), and Odunze would have fallen to the Jets. Paired alongside Garrett Wilson, Rome Odunze would have feasted in New York as he did alongside Jalen McMillan and Ja’Lynn Polk in college. I would wholeheartedly endorse Odunze as the fifth to seventh player selected in drafts if he was in an offense that would allow him the chance to feast.

I would draft Odunze after Bowers, Coleman, and Worthy. Then, I would have to look at my roster before truly deciding between Odunze and McConkey, Brooks, and Legette. Odunze is a first-round talent in rookie drafts; I am just not as quick to hit the draft button as others are at the 5th or 6th pick.

How to Best Acquire or Trade for Rome Odunze

Trading for Odunze will be interesting. In many ways, you can already figure out that I would not encourage anyone to trade FOR him at this point unless you are getting a discount. A manager may have ended up with Odunze and Allen and wants to diversify. 

If you were in that situation, you could always look to trade for a veteran. I traded Rome Odunze for DeVonta Smith in one trade I created on our own Dynasty Pros Dynasty Trade Calculator. I love this! If you could return a young, more established player for Odunze, I would support it 100%. I was also encouraged to see if I could get Tee Higgins for Odunze.

 

 

Another exciting thought was to take a player some are down on but could elevate their game and follow a similar path as DeVonta Smith.

In this trade, I can receive Jordan Addison (paired with Justin Jefferson) and a 2025 third-round pick in exchange for Odunze. I may hold out and try to get a projected late second-round pick, but I can’t quibble over a few spots.

 

Anyway you slice it, you have to be comfortable with the trade you make if you are giving up a player who required your first-round pick in the rookie draft. Although to be fair, Addison was a first-round pick in last year’s draft. So, it just goes to show that the recency bias is real.

I’ll repeat it: losing a trade on paper does not mean you lose the trade in real life. After the chips fall, see where you’re at and decide how the trade turned out for you. Taking a calculated risk is just that, a risk. However, fantasy championships are rarely won by the team that was conservative and did what was expected. Be Bold!


Thank you for reading my thoughts. I know I’m going against the grain on this take, but I am comfortable with my stance. I felt the same way about Chris Olave and, so far, have been justified. If you want more content from me, follow me in the “X” World @JGoody77 or look for my articles here on Dynasty Pros Football.

If you want to see more on some of these players and their fantasy impact, you can find their Dynasty Rookie Impact articles here:

[one-fourth-first]Jayden Daniels
Xavier Worthy[/one-fourth-first]
[one-fourth]Drake Maye
Brock Bowers[/one-fourth]
[one-fourth]Xavier Legette
Jonathon Brooks[/one-fourth]
[one-fourth]Ladd McConkey
MarShawn Lloyd[/one-fourth]