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Playoff Finals Preview – Who’s Going to Win the Ring?

Playoff Finals Preview – Who’s Going to Win the Ring?

Author: Steven Van Tassell

It’s League Championship week and the end of the first Dynasty Owner Chase for the Ring. Everyone who made it this far still has a chance to win the Ring, but they first need to win their League to stake their claim. We have a favorite in our #1 team (New York’s Strongest), but will they be able to run the table with an undefeated season, League Championship and victory in the Chase for the Ring?

Who else are potential contenders for the Ring? What are their chances of winning? Which player or players can provide those teams with an advantage over the competition in the Chase or does everyone in the Top 10 in the Chase for the Ring have the same players?

We’ll answer those questions and more in our final Dynasty Owner preview article of the season. In a change from normal, we will be taking a quick look at the Top 10 teams in the Chase for the Ring and assessing their chances at winning it. We’ll also so our usual thing and pick some players who should be in your Active lineup for the League Championship games and some who you should Bench, as well as review last week’s recommendations.

All stats are based on the Standard Dynasty Owner scoring system as outlined in the updated Dynasty Owner Constitution. Standard Dynasty Owner scoring gives you .1 points for every yard rushing or receiving, .1 point for every 2 yards passing, 1 point per reception, 6 points for a rushing, receiving or passing touchdown and 2 points for a successful 2-point conversion (rushing, receiving, or passing). Interceptions or fumbles lost cost you 3 points, while a fumble that is recovered by the player’s team is a loss of only 1 point. Bonus points are available for 100-199 yards rushing (2 points), 200 yards rushing or receiving (6 points), 300-399 yards passing (1 point) and 400 yards passing (4 points). There is also a 3 point bonus for clutch scoring, which is a score that results in a lead change in the final two minutes of the 4th quarter or overtime. Kickoff and punt return touchdowns are worth 6 points for the player and kickoff and punt returns are worth .25 points for every 10 yards. Standard Dynasty Owner scoring for kickers gives you 1 point for every extra point, while a missed extra point will cost you 1 point. It’s 2 points for a field goal of between 0 and 39 yards, 4 points for a field goal between 40 and 49 yards and 5 points for a field goal of 50 yards or longer. A missed field goal of between 0 and 39 yards will cost you 3 points, while a miss of 40 yards or more is a loss of 2 points.

Activate These Guys

First, we’ll look at last week and see how my playoff semi-finals recommendations worked out (Good, Bad or Just Ok). I recommended having the following players Active last week:

  • QB: Tom Brady – 18.2 points (Just Ok recommendation)
  • RB: Kenyan Drake – 41.6 points (Good recommendation)
  • WR: Danny Amendola – 18.2 points (Good recommendation)
  • TE: Ian Thomas – 4.3 points (Bad recommendation)

Overall, a decent set of recommendations. Kenyan Drake was the Value Player of the Week and a match-up winner for his Dynasty Owners, while Amendola was a Top 20 WR. Brady had a similar number of points as a lot of QBs last week, while Thomas didn’t perform up to the level predicted. These predictions are critical for the Championship game in everyone’s league. Let’s see if we can have four good recommendations of players who should be Active this week.

Mitchell Trubisky (QB – CHI): Despite averaging 25.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in his past six games and 28.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in his past four games, Trubisky is still outside the Top 20 QBs for the season. He’s almost universally rostered (93%) so there have to be some Dynasty Owners in their League Championship game with him on the roster. Have you made it this far without the benefit of having Lamar Jackson on your team? If so and Trubisky is on your roster, consider making him Active for the Bears match-up against the Chiefs on Sunday Night Football.

Ronald Jones II (RB – TB): While Jones appears to be in a timeshare with Peyton Barber, Jones is the Tampa Bay RB who catches more passes. Injuries to the top two Tampa Bay WRs (Mike Evans and Chris Godwin) may lead Jameis Winston to throw more passes Jones’ way in the Buccaneers game against the Texans. The Texans defense has struggled since J.J. Watt got injured and has allowed an average of 21.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points to RBs over the past five weeks. If you need a replacement for Dalvin Cook or an underperforming RB, feel comfortable putting Jones in your Active lineup.

Tyler Boyd (WR – CIN): In three games against pass defenses in the bottom 10 in the NFL (Arizona, Oakland and Seattle), Boyd has averaged 14.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. If we take out the Oakland game when Ryan Finley, not Andy Dalton, was at QB, it rises to 21.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. The Dolphins are the 24th ranked pass defense in the NFL and Dalton is back at QB for the Bengals. The leading WR against the Dolphins in the past five weeks is averaging 28.9 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. That’s Boyd this week, so you should get him in your Active lineup.

Jacob Hollister (TE – SEA): Hollister was a trendy pick-up back a few weeks ago after he put up consecutive 20.0+ Dynasty Owner fantasy point performances against the Buccaneers and 49ers. However, he has faded in the past couple of weeks since Seattle’s bye and averaged only 6.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points the past four weeks. Now, he gets to play against the worst defense in the NFL against TEs in the Arizona Cardinals. Back in Week 4, Seattle TE Will Dissly scored 17.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points against the Cardinals. He’s injured now and Hollister will be the beneficiary of the Cardinals’ inability to cover TEs. Hollister is rostered in over half (52%) of Dynasty Owner leagues and his Owners should feel comfortable having him Active this week.

Bench These Guys

Now, let’s look at last week and see how my Bench recommendations worked out (Good, Bad or Just Ok) in the playoff semi-finals when I recommended having the following players on the Bench:

  • QB: Aaron Rodgers – 18.5 points (Just Ok recommendation)
  • RB: Dalvin Cook – 7.3 points (Good recommendation)
  • WR: John Brown – 16.9 points (Bad recommendation)
  • TE: Austin Hooper – 5.0 points (Good recommendation)

Same record for my Bench recommendations as the Active ones – two Good, one Just Ok and one Bad. It’s critical for everyone in their League Championship and the Chase for the Ring to Bench those guys who aren’t going to perform well this week. Hopefully all four of this week’s Bench recommendations are Good ones.  Here are some players who Dynasty Owners drafted to use or have been using in their Active lineup, but would be better if they sat on the Bench during the playoff finals.

Kyler Murray (QB – ARI): Murray has struggled in the three games since the Cardinals Week 12 bye – averaging just 15.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. Even with those struggles, he’s still the #8 QB in Dynasty Owner. All of the past three games were at home and this week, he faces Seattle on the road in a tough environment. Seattle has something to play for as they need a victory to stay in first place in the NFC West. In the Cardinals first game against the Seahawks, Murray didn’t throw a TD pass and only had 17.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. He’ll struggle again this week so leave him on your Bench.

Le’Veon Bell (RB – NYJ): Some analysts might pick Bell as a player to be Active since he’s back playing against the Steelers in a “revenge” game. Those analysts are ignoring the reality of Bell’s performance all season long and recently against much weaker competition than Pittsburgh. Bell has averaged a solid, but not spectacular 14.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game this season. However, he hasn’t taken advantage of playing against some really poor run defenses (Cincinnati, Miami, New York Giants, Washington) in the past couple of weeks with only a slight improvement in points – 16.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. Pittsburgh is a lot better than all of those teams, so if you have better options, then Bench Bell in your League Championship game.

Julian Edelman (WR – NE): Edelman had his worst week of the season in the playoff semi-finals putting up only 2.9 Dynasty Owner fantasy points against the Bengals. His second worst week was way back in Week 4 when he was limited to just 6.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points by the Bills. The Patriots are playing the Bills once again this week. Edelman is dealing with an injury, definitely played hurt last week and has been limited in practice this week. Edelman helped get you to the Dynasty Owner playoffs as the #5 WR for only $5.5 million in annual salary, but since he is injured and playing the Bills, you should keep him on your Bench.

Tyler Higbee (TE – LAR): Higbee just climbed into the Top 10 TEs after his performance the past three weeks and is rostered in 37% of Dynasty Owner leagues – up from 11% back in Week 13 when he started on his roll of great games. If you’re one of those Owners who has been rolling with Higbee the past couple of weeks – Congratulations! However, having him Active this week based on his prior three weeks would be a mistake. First, he’s not playing the Cardinals or Seattle this week, he’s facing the 49ers who rank second in fantasy points allowed to TEs according to Pro Football Reference. Second, the 49ers held Higbee and Gerald Everett to only 8.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points combined back in Week 6. Finally, Higbee has had the TE position pretty much to himself as Everett was out the past three weeks. Everett is back this week and the two might split time and receptions so sitting Higbee on the Bench is the right move.

Chase for the Ring – Top 10 Contenders

For the Finals, we are changing things up and looking at the Top 10 Contenders in the Chase for the Ring. We’ll go in reverse order and look at the exclusive Dynasty Owner score projections for their League Championship game, highlight a key player or players they need to win their game and keep their Ring hopes alive and rate their chances of winning the Chase for the Ring.

Surprisingly, the current Active lineups (minus kickers) for the Top 10 Contenders very considerably and feature 34 separate players. The most owned players are Christian McCaffrey and Michael Thomas (6 teams each), followed by Travis Kelce (4 teams). Nobody else, including #1 overall Dynasty Owner player Lamar Jackson, is Active for more than three teams in the Top 10. The updated Chase for the Ring standings are as follows:

Number 10 – Yorkshire Roses (2012 Dynasty Owner fantasy points)

The European-based Yorkshire Roses hold the #10 spot in the Chase after finishing with a 9-5 record and in 18th place in the Chase regular season. They have made quite a move in just one week to crack the Top 10. They are 219 Dynasty Owner fantasy points out of first place, 34 points out of ninth place and need pretty much all of the Contenders ahead of them to lose to be fitted for the Ring. They have a match-up against Whodey & the Blowfish that they are expected to win by a tight margin of 133.5-126.1.

  • The good news is that they have three players (Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay and Carlos Hyde) who aren’t Active for any other Top 10 team. Hyde, in particular, will be critical for Yorkshire Roses hopes to win their League Championship and stay in the Chase for the Ring. Hyde will need to better his best game of the season (18.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points last week) for the Roses to move up the Chase standings.

Number 10 – Yorkshire Roses (2012 Dynasty Owner fantasy points)

The European-based Yorkshire Roses hold the #10 spot in the Chase after finishing with a 9-5 record and in 18th place in the Chase regular season. They have made quite a move in just one week to crack the Top 10. They are 219 Dynasty Owner fantasy points out of first place, 34 points out of ninth place and need pretty much all of the Contenders ahead of them to lose to be fitted for the Ring. They have a match-up against Whodey & the Blowfish that they are expected to win by a tight margin of 133.5-126.1.

  • The good news is that they have three players (Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay and Carlos Hyde) who aren’t Active for any other Top 10 team. Hyde, in particular, will be critical for Yorkshire Roses hopes to win their League Championship and stay in the Chase for the Ring. Hyde will need to better his best game of the season (18.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points last week) for the Roses to move up the Chase standings.

Number 8 – Up Country Degens (2049 Dynasty Owner fantasy points)

Up Country Degens hold the #8 spot in the Chase, just as they did at the end of the regular season, in which they finished with a 12-2 record. They are 182 Dynasty Owner fantasy points out of first place, but just 13 points out of seventh place. Up Country Degens also need most (if not all) of the Contenders ahead of them to lose plus roll up some points. They face Alex’s Team in their League Championship and are projected to win by single digits – 138.5-130.3.

  • Carson Wentz is the Up Country Degens’ QB right now over Kyler Murray. A good game by Wentz will help the Degens win and move up in the Chase standings as no other Contenders have him as their Active QB. They are also the only Contenders with Stefon Diggs Active.

Number 7 – Puck Fittsburgh (2062 Dynasty Owner fantasy points)

Podcast regular Puck Fittsburgh holds down the #7 spot in the Chase, moving up from 9th in the regular season. They finished the regular season with a 10-4 record, but have to face their League regular season champ, the Day Drinkers who are #13 in the Chase for the Ring, to keep their Ring hopes alive. They are 169 Dynasty Owner fantasy points out of first place and 25 points behind the #6 team, so plenty of help is needed for them to win the Ring. However, it’s not outside the realm of possibility. In their League Championship game, Puck Fittsburgh is expected to handle the Day Drinkers pretty handily by a 137.1-119.6 margin.

  • They are the only Contender with both Drew Brees and Leonard Fournette Active. When the season started, I doubt Puck Fittsburgh planned on having Breshard Perriman Active over Julian Edelman at WR in the Championship game. That’s what he’s going with right now. Good performances by Brees, Fournette and Perriman will help Puck Fittsburgh win their League Championship and maybe the Ring.

Number 6 – Run CMC (2087 Dynasty Owner fantasy points)

The only team to move down in the Chase for the Ring standings after the semi-finals was Run CMC. They are in the #6 spot in the Chase after finishing in 5th in the regular season with a 13-1 record. They are 144 Dynasty Owner fantasy points out of first place in the Chase for the Ring and get to face K-Hunta’z Gunna’z in their League Championship game. They need a better performance this week and losses by the top five teams in the Chase to win the Ring. Run CMC is supposed to win a close game versus K-Hunta’z Gunna’z by a 141.8-133.6 margin.

  • Run CMC obviously has Christian McCaffrey at RB, but is trotting out an interesting WR corps of Robert Woods and Breshard Perriman for their League Championship. Only Run CMC has Woods in their Active lineup among Top 10 Chase teams and he could be a difference maker.

Number 5 – Young Gunz (2112 Dynasty Owner fantasy points)

The Young Gunz finished the regular season with a 12-2 record and were the team that moved ahead of Run CMC after the playoff semi-finals. Currently, they occupy the #5 spot and are 119 Dynasty Owner fantasy points out of first place in the Chase for the Ring. They face Bye Week in their League Championship game, but are a slight underdog and expected to lose 130.6-126.4. They will need to win their League first if they want to keep their slim chances alive to win the Ring.

  • The loss of Chris Godwin leaves the Young Gunz relying on either Terry McLaurin or Dede Westbrook as their second Active WR. Whoever they choice to make Active could be the difference maker in the Chase for the Young Gunz since no other Contenders has either in their Active lineup.

Number 4 – Recyclers (2139 Dynasty Owner fantasy points)

Recyclers are the #4 seed in the Chase for the Ring and only 92 points behind the top seed, but just two points out of third place.  Jumping over one team and hoping the Top 2 teams lose doesn’t seem too unlikely so the Recyclers appear to have a slight chance at the Ring. They breezed through the regular season with a 13-1 record and face a slightly depleted TE Ertz When Eifert team in their League Championship game. Recyclers are projected to win by a 141.0-130.8 margin, but could face a closer game if TE Ertz When Eifert can find an adequate replacement RB for Josh Jacobs.

  • Amari Cooper and Tyler Higbee are two players who are Active for Recyclers but nobody else in the Top 10 of the Chase for the Ring. Solid performances by both of them would go a long way towards a League Championship victory and then seeing what happens to the teams above them in the Chase.

Number 3 – Haddonfield Shapes (2141 Dynasty Owner fantasy points)

Haddonfield Shapes are the team holding the #3 spot in the Chase for the Ring. They are 90 points behind the top seed, but just two points ahead of Recyclers. They finished the regular season 12-2 and get to face Ambassador Millerr in their League Championship game. They are expected to win 133.7-123.5 but if the projections are correct, they will fall behind the Recyclers and reduce their chances to win the Ring.

  • Julian Edelman currently occupies one of the Active WR spots for Haddonfield Shapes and will be a key player for them this week. They are the only Contender with Edelman Active and a more typical Edelman performance than what we saw last week could keep them ahead of the Recyclers in the Chase. They also have Aaron Jones in their Active lineup – the only Top 10 team with him Active at RB.

Number 2 – Florida Storm (2170 Dynasty Owner fantasy points)

Florida Storm only finished the regular season with a 11-3 record, but are the #2 seed in the Chase for the Ring. They are 61 points behind the top seed and 29 points ahead of Haddonfield Shapes, so they likely need a loss by the top team to be fitted for the Ring. They match up against the Flying Pigs in their League Championship game and are expected to win handily by a 150.2-114.6 margin.

  • They have both Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins Active and is one of only two teams in the Top 10 with a QB-WR stack (Puck Fittsburgh is the other one with Drew Brees and Michael Thomas). Zach Ertz is the Active TE for the Florida Storm and no other Top 10 team. As a result, a 30.0+ Dynasty Owner fantasy point game by Ertz like he has done twice this season could be what Florida Storm needs to win the Ring. Of course, a game like his last one versus Dallas (5.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points) would hurt those chances tremendously.

Number 1 – New York’s Strongest (2231 Dynasty Owner fantasy points)

New York’s Strongest is certainly the favorite in the Chase for the Ring after an undefeated regular season and with a 60 point lead over Florida Storm. Their opponent is Budney who has suffered several injuries in the past few weeks (Chris Godwin, Josh Jacobs, Ryan Griffin) and is operating at less than full strength. As a result, New York’s Strongest are expected to win 151.2-115.2 over Budney to clinch their League Championship and a likely Ring ceremony with visits to Chipotle and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton sometime next year.

  • Nothing fancy here. New York’s Strongest has relied on the top QB, RB, WR and TE (Lamar Jackson, Christian McCaffrey, Michael Thomas and Travis Kelce) to lead them to the top spot in the Chase and just need them to perform at their usual level to win the Ring. They are the only Contender with all four of them on their team.

New York’s Strongest should hold on and win the Ring. They have one of the least competitive League Championship games and a 60 point advantage in the Chase. I fully expect Eddie to complete his perfect season and earn the Ring and everything that goes along with it. We’ll find out on Tuesday in our recap article.

Don’t miss the last recap article of the Dynasty Owner season to find out who wins the Ring and is named the best Dynasty Owner!

Steven Van Tassell is a freelance writer for Dynasty Owner.

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

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