In the winding journey of a fantasy football dynasty league rookie draft, Round 3 serves as the realm of discovery, where astute owners seek to uncover hidden treasures amidst the depths of talent. As Round 1 laid the foundation and Round 2 unearthed potential gems, Round 3 presents a canvas for scouting prowess and strategic insight.

Let's embark on the analysis of Round 3 picks from the 2024 rookie draft, examining the rationale behind each selection and the potential impact on team rosters. As in previous rounds, at the end of every pick, I’ll add a “pick score” on a scale 1-5, with 1 indicating a terrible pick or a “reach”, 3 being within one pick of where most projections had the player going, and 5 being a steal. Hopefully this will help guide you during your drafts,  as there’s always value to be had. 

In case you missed Rounds 1 & 2, those can be found here: 

Dynasty Gems - Round 1: "The Foundation"

Dynasty Gems - Round 2: "Unearthing Jewels"


3.01 - MarShawn Lloyd - RB

With the first pick of Round 3, MarShawn Lloyd emerged as a tantalizing prospect for fantasy owners. A dynamic runner with a blend of power and agility, Lloyd has the potential to be a difference-maker at the next level. Despite facing some injury concerns, Lloyd's talent is undeniable, and landing with the Green Bay Packers presents him with an opportunity to make an immediate impact. While he may initially serve as a complementary back, Lloyd's upside makes him a worthy investment for fantasy owners. Expect him to carve out a role in the Packers’' backfield rotation and develop into a valuable fantasy asset as he gains experience. The owner who earlier drafted Caleb Williams, Marvin Harrison, and Trey Benson dipped once again into his enviable draft pick depth and got another potentially great piece with Lloyd. While he may not start initially, there are many who think Lloyd will usurp veteran A.J. Dillon for the top backup role behind Josh Jacobs sooner rather than later. A solid pick here. Pick Score: 3 (Close To Projection)


3.02 - Malachi Corley - WR

As Round 3 unfolds, Malachi Corley emerges as a potential steal for fantasy owners in need of wide receiver depth. Blessed with excellent size and athleticism, Corley has the ability to be a red-zone threat at the next level. Landing with the New York Jets, Corley joins an offense in transition, presenting him with ample opportunities to make an impact. While he may face some challenges adjusting to the speed of the NFL game, Corley's upside makes him a worthy investment for fantasy owners. Expect him to develop into a reliable target with the potential for even greater production as he refines his route running and develops chemistry with Aaron Rodgers. It has been rumored that Rodgers loves him, and it will be interesting to see what type of chemistry those two can develop in training camp. If the chemistry with Rodgers can happen quickly, Corley has the potential to be the next Randall Cobb, if not better. Another solid pick by this owner at the beginning of the 3rd round. Pick Score: 3 (Close To Projection)


3.03 - Ray Davis - RB

Selecting Ray Davis at 3.03 in the rookie draft offers a strategic gamble that could pay off significantly for the owner who also ended up with Keon Coleman in the 1st round. With the Buffalo Bills seeking to bolster their backfield after allowing Devin Singletary to depart in free agency, they've turned to a mix of veterans to support James Cook. However, none have firmly seized the role. Davis, a powerful back, stands out with his potential to thrive in goal-line situations, an area where Cook notably struggled last season. Additionally, Davis' prowess in pass protection, a weakness for Cook, further enhances his value. While Ty Johnson, a former sixth-round pick, could pose some competition, his limited activity last season suggests Davis might quickly ascend the depth chart. Given the Bills' need for a reliable power back and Davis' fit for this role, this pick is a solid one at this point in the draft, reflecting both its immediate utility and long-term potential. Pick Score: 4 (A Bit Of A Steal)


3.04 - Jermaine Burton - WR

Selecting Jermaine Burton at 3.04 in the rookie draft is a promising move with potential for high reward. The Cincinnati Bengals, facing uncertainty with Tyler Boyd's potential departure and contract issues with Tee Higgins, used their 80th pick in the 2024 NFL Draft to secure Burton. His collegiate career showcased his versatility and deep-threat capability, especially during his tenure at Alabama, where he averaged over 20 yards per reception in 2023. Burton's ability to line up both wide and in the slot, combined with his impressive contested catch rate, positions him as an immediate WR3 on the Bengals' depth chart. While there are some concerns about his discipline, his talent and potential role in Cincinnati's high-powered offense make this selection a strategic one. Given the Bengals' need to strengthen their receiving corps and Burton's promising skill set, this is a smart investment in Round 3 with the potential for upside. The owner who ended up with Burton took Michael Penix earlier in the draft, so he was in need of some WR help. Pick Score: 4 (A Bit Of A Steal)


3.05 - Kimani Vidal - RB

This was my only pick in the 3rd Round, having traded multiple times during the draft. At this point, I had already secured Brian Thomas and Jayden Daniels, and was looking for a potential sleeper with upside. Selecting Kimani Vidal at 3.05 in the rookie draft presents an intriguing opportunity given the Los Angeles Chargers' shift towards a run-heavy offense under Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman. With former Ravens Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins in the backfield, Vidal, a sixth-round selection, benefits from the veterans' declining efficiency and Dobbins' recovery from an Achilles tear. The Chargers' expected rotational philosophy and high run volume mean Vidal has a clear path to significant playing time. This potential mid-season rise makes Vidal a highly valuable asset for his substantial upside in a run-centric offense. Pick Score: 4 (A Bit Of A Steal)


3.06 - Roman Wilson - WR

Selecting Roman Wilson at 3.06 in the rookie draft is a strategic pick with considerable potential. The Pittsburgh Steelers, aiming to fill the gap left by Diontae Johnson's trade to the Panthers, secured Wilson with their 84th pick. Despite his third-round draft status, Wilson is one of the more NFL-ready receivers in this class, poised to contribute from Day 1. His college career at Michigan showcased his versatility, speed, and ability to excel in intermediate routes, leading his team in receiving metrics during their National Championship-winning season. With the Steelers' need for a reliable slot receiver, Wilson's skill set makes him an immediate asset, though his small stature and issues against press coverage pose challenges. Given the opportunity to integrate into Arthur Smith's offense, Wilson has potential to significantly impact the Steelers' receiving corps and possesses long-term upside. The owner who took Wilson had secured Rome Odunze, Bo Nix, and Jaylen Wright earlier in the draft, and Wilson also gave him additional WR help. Pick Score: 4 (A Bit Of A Steal)


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3.07 - Jalen McMillan - WR

Selecting Jalen McMillan at 3.07 in the rookie draft is a potential steal. The Washington wide receiver, picked 82nd overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, boasts a mix of size, athleticism, and route-running prowess that makes him a pro-ready prospect. Despite a tumultuous college career marked by coaching changes and injuries, McMillan shined under head coach Kalen DeBoer and quarterback Michael Penix, culminating in a standout 2022 season with 79 catches for 1,098 yards and nine touchdowns. His impressive performance in the 2023 season, despite missing games due to injury, further showcased his ability to excel both in the screen game and downfield. At 6'1" and 190 pounds, McMillan's combine results were solid, with a 4.47-second 40-yard dash and a 37" vertical jump. His ability to create separation and make plays with the ball in his hands will be highly valued by the Buccaneers, who are looking to fill a slot receiver role. McMillan's third-round draft capital and his potential to contribute immediately make him an attractive pick with significant upside in dynasty leagues. The owner who drafted McMillan was able to pair him with the 2nd Round selection of Ja’Lynn Polk, giving him some solid upside at the WR position. Pick Score: 4 (A Bit Of A Steal)


3.08 - Audric Estime - RB

Selecting Audric Estimé at 3.08 is a solid pick for this owner, who happens to be a big Denver Broncos fan. Despite a slower 40-yard dash, Estimé’s game is built on power, vision, and exceptional contact balance, making him ideal for early-down and short-yardage work. His impressive college production, including 1,483 total yards and 18 touchdowns in his junior year, showcases his potential. With Sean Payton's history of utilizing multiple backs effectively, Estimé could see significant action, especially if Javonte Williams struggles. The owner in this league who drafted Estimé at 3.08 is investing in a versatile and powerful back with a clear path to a meaningful role in Denver's offense. He was also able to acquire Drake Maye and Troy Franklin earlier in the draft, and Estime provides him with another high upside RB. That said, many fantasy analysts projected Estime to go in the third round of most rookie drafts, and while he did go a bit late in this one, it was still close to projection. Pick Score: 3 (Close To Projection)


3.09 - Javon Baker - WR

As Round 3 unfolds, Javon Baker emerges as a potential sleeper pick for fantasy owners in need of wide receiver depth. The owner who selected Baker at 3.09 in this draft made a smart move, as there are many who believe Baker will be the new #1 in New England when all is said and done. Baker’s impressive college production, with over 18 yards per reception on 111 catches over the past two seasons at UCF, highlights his big-play ability. His versatility to play both inside and outside, combined with his body control and field-stretching capability, make him a valuable asset. Given the Patriots' relatively thin receiving corps, Baker has a clear path to significant playing time and could quickly become a favorite target for quarterback Drake Maye. The owner who drafted Baker was able to add him to an already solid draft that includes Rome Odunze, Bo Nix, Jaylen Wright, and Roman Wilson. Now he has added Baker, who easily could outperform this draft capital. Pick Score: 4 (A Bit Of A Steal)


3.10 - Devontez Walker - WR

The owner who drafted WR Devontez Walker could have found himself a solid WR#3 with upside. Walker, a Baltimore Ravens pick, demonstrated significant potential with his 4.36 speed, impressive athleticism, and knack for vertical plays, highlighted by his 41 catches for 699 yards and seven touchdowns in just eight games at North Carolina. Despite his raw skill set and limited experience, Walker’s ability to make contested catches and stretch the field offers promising upside. Given the Ravens' current WR depth chart, Walker could quickly ascend and complement No. 1 WR Zay Flowers. For the dynasty manager who drafted him, Walker's blend of size, speed, and potential makes him a worthwhile pick at 3.10, particularly as a developmental prospect with high upside. This owner had only three picks in this year’s rookie draft, and Walker was his last. He was able to add Walker to a high potential WR core that included Ja’Lynn Polk and Jalen McMillan. Walker was also projected to go in the early to mid 3rd round of many fantasy drafts, and the fact that he lasted until the 3.10 here shows this pick was a bit of a steal. Pick Score: 4 (A Bit Of A Steal)


3.11 - Ja’Tavion Sanders - TE

As Round 3 progressed, TE Ja'Tavion Sanders emerged as a potential steal for an owner in need of tight end help. Blessed with excellent size and athleticism, Sanders has the ability to be a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses at the next level. Picked by the Carolina Panthers with the 101st overall selection, Sanders brings versatility and significant pass-catching potential to the tight end position. Averaging 49.5 catches, 648 yards, and 3.5 touchdowns per year at Texas, Sanders could quickly become the Panthers' top pass-catching tight end over Tommy Tremble and Ian Thomas. Head coach Dave Canales envisions using Sanders in various roles, enhancing his potential value. While his immediate fantasy impact may be limited in a rebuilding offense, Sanders’ long-term upside and potential to emulate former All-Pro Greg Olsen make him a worthwhile investment in dynasty formats. Many analysts projected Sanders to be the #2 TE in this class behind Brock Bowers (although some argue Ben Sinnott is better), and the fact that he lasted until the end of the 3rd round speaks to the value of the TE position in this league. That said, the owner who drafted Sanders also had two other picks earlier in this round (see Corley, Malachi, and Estime, Audric), and may have gotten himself the steal of the round. Pick Score: 4 (A Bit Of A Steal)


3.12 - Isaac Guerendo - RB

Rounding out round 3 involved the drafting of rookie RB Isaac Guerendo. Guerendo’s 4.33 speed and exceptional explosiveness make him an ideal fit for the 49ers’ outside zone rushing scheme under Kyle Shanahan. Although starting behind Christian McCaffrey, Guerendo has a realistic chance to surpass Elijah Mitchell and Jordan Mason as the team’s No. 2 running back. His combination of speed, power, and game-breaking ability aligns with the 49ers’ needs, making him a potential high-end handcuff to McCaffrey. This owner’s draft strategy ended up being quite well-rounded, addressing multiple positions with high-upside players. Bo Nix offers potential as a reliable quarterback, especially valuable in this superflex format. Jaylen Wright adds versatility to his backfield, while Rome Odunze and Roman Wilson bring dynamic playmaking abilities at wide receiver. Javon Baker provides inside-outside versatility and could become a favorite target in the Patriots’ offense. Overall, this owner has assembled a promising draft class with immediate upside and long-term potential. Many analysts look at Guerendo’s combine and RAS score and see a VERY good RB. To that end, there is the possibility Guerendo is the de-facto #2 RB in San Fran by the end of the year. Pick Score: 4 (A Bit Of A Steal)


In the enthralling voyage of this fantasy football dynasty league rookie draft, Round 3 emerged as a treasure trove where shrewd owners ventured to uncover hidden talent amidst a sea of potential upside. As Rounds 1 and 2 set the stage and revealed budding stars, Round 3 served as a canvas for astute scouting and strategic insight, offering a glimpse into the potential impact on team rosters. With each pick, a “pick score” ranging from 1 to 5 provided a roadmap, distinguishing between reaches, projections, and steals, aiding in navigating the draft landscape. In essence, Round 3 of the 2024 rookie draft unveils the depth and expertise of these fantasy managers, highlighting picks poised to surpass expectations and significantly elevate their teams. Now it's onto the potential diamonds of Round 4!