Author: Steven Van Tassell
It’s finally time for the first Dynasty Owner playoffs! Congratulations to all of the Dynasty Owners who made it this far. Half of you will be eliminated from the playoffs as well as the Chase for the Ring, while the other half will move on to the Finals and remain in contention for the Ring and a lot of Dynasty Dollars. No more facing off against inactive teams who aren’t setting their best lineup. It’s the best versus the best in every league facing off to see who’s really the Best. And to illustrate that, we have a great Match-up of the Week on tap. Two teams with legitimate aspirations to win the Chase for the Ring will square off in a playoff Elimination game.
This is our fifteenth Dynasty Owner game preview article and the first one for the playoffs. As usual, we’ll take a look at our Match-up of the Week, highlight some interesting lineup decisions for each team and make a prediction on the winner and final score. We’ll also pick some players who should be in your Active lineup for the first week of the playoffs 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 recommendations worked out (Good, Bad or Just Ok). I recommended having the following players Active in Week 14:
- QB: Jacoby Brissett – 29.2 points (Good recommendation)
- RB: Devonta Freeman – 19.4 points (Good recommendation)
- WR: Dede Westbrook – 8.5 points (Bad recommendation)
- TE: Mike Gesicki – 1.6 points (Bad recommendation)
Back to normal with two Good and two Bad recommendations after last week’s perfect set. These predictions are more important now. Let’s see if we can have a repeat performance of Week 13 with my recommendations of players who should be Active in the semi-finals of the Dynasty Owner playoffs.
Tom Brady (QB – NE)
Even though he’s the G.O.A.T., Brady is just the #14 ranked QB in Dynasty Owner this season, meaning that he’s not an automatic Active player. With the Patriots offense not clicking on all cylinders the past few weeks, Brady has been mediocre and averaging only 18.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points since the Patriots Week 10 bye. However, Brady and the Patriots are mad that they lost to the Chiefs last week and get a break this week as they are facing the Cincinnati Bengals. Brady has thrown an average of 40 passes per game this year and even though the Bengals run defense is the worst in the NFL, Brady will probably still pass a lot. And probably throw for at least 2 TDs. And stay in and play the entire game and continue to rack up fantasy points, even if the game is out of reach. Put Brady in your Active lineup this week.
Kenyan Drake (RB – ARI)
In five games with the Cardinals, Drake has averaged 17.2 touches per game. Even with both David Johnson and Chase Edmond back in action last week, he got 14 touches. He plays this week against a Browns defense fresh off allowing Joe Mixon to get a season-high 29.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (146 yards rushing, 3 receptions, 40 yards receiving, 1 rushing TD). Drake won’t do as well as Mixon did, but should still have a good enough day that he should be in your Active lineup.
Danny Amendola (WR – DET)
Detroit is down to only three WRs on their roster right now after placing Marvin Jones on IR. Last week, they put TE T.J. Hockenson on IR. Somebody besides Kenny Golladay has to catch passes for the Lions this week, right? So, why not Amendola? Their depleted receiving corps also gets to play against one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who are allowing an average of 278.8 yards passing per game. Amendola has eight targets in each of the past two games from rookie QB David Blough. Amendola should be Active this week, even though he is currently rostered in only one Dynasty Owner league (2% ownership).
Ian Thomas (TE – CAR)
Ever since Greg Olsen left the Panthers game with Washington in Week 13; Thomas has caught 9 passes for 81 yards and a TD (23.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points). Olsen needs to pass the NFL concussion protocol to play, leaving the opportunity for Thomas to step up once again against Seattle. Seattle has been pretty bad against TEs all season and given up an average of 21.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points to TEs since their bye week. Thomas probably won’t get that many points, but he’ll get enough to warrant being Active.
Bench These Guys
Now, let’s look at last week and see how my Bench recommendations worked out (Good, Bad or Just Ok) for Week 14 when I recommended having the following players on the Bench:
- QB: Kyler Murray – 11.9 points (Good recommendation)
- RB: Todd Gurley – 21.3 points (Bad recommendation)
- WR: Tyler Lockett – 8.3 points (Good recommendation)
- TE: Mark Andrews – 2.4 points (Good recommendation)
Another week in which I did better with my Bench recommendations as three of them were Good and only recommending Todd Gurley be benched was bad. Hopefully this week’s Bench recommendations are just as good or even better since it’s the playoffs. 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 semi-finals.
Aaron Rodgers (QB – GB)
Just looking at the overall picture, Rodgers should be Active as he’s the #6 rated QB in Dynasty Owner, averaging 24.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. However, a look at his week-by-week performance shows that he’s more likely to score less than 20 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (8 times) than over that (5 times). He’s scored less than 20 points in four out of the last five weeks and only averaged 18.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points during that time. Bench Rodgers this week.
Dalvin Cook (RB – MIN)
This is a tough one to pick, but here goes. Cook has been good, but not great recently. He’s averaging 14.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game over the past three weeks after averaging 24.8 per game in the first ten weeks. The Chargers have held opposing RBs to less than 10.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in each of the past two games. As the #2 RB in Dynasty Owner, it would be extremely difficult for his Owners who are in the playoffs to Bench Cook this week. However, he’s likely to not reach his projection of 20.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points and may be worth sitting on the Bench if his Dynasty Owners have better options.
John Brown (WR – BUF)
Brown was doing well in the first ten games of the regular season, averaging 16.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. His production has slipped in the past three games to an average of just 10.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. However, he got 8.8 of those points from a trick play TD pass on Thanksgiving against the Cowboys and only has caught 8 passes for 91 yards the past three weeks. This week, he has to face the Pittsburgh Steelers defense that has held opponents to under 200 yards passing in eight of the past ten games. It’ll be tough for Brown to put up too many points this week, so leave him on your Bench.
Austin Hooper (TE – ATL)
We are dealing with a limited number of healthy Top 10 TEs this week with Jared Cook and Greg Olsen both hurt and unclear on whether or not they are going to play. Therefore, the only logical choice is to pick Hooper since he’s facing the defense that has allowed the fewest yards to TEs this season (San Francisco). Hooper is also still working his way back from a sprained MCL and didn’t have a great game last week with only 5.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (2 receptions, 32 yards). Bench Hooper this week.
Dynasty Owner Match-Up of the Week
Day Drinkers vs. The Replacements
It’s time for our Dynasty Owner Match-up of the Week and it’s a good one. We have the only playoff semi-final elimination match-up featuring two teams in the Chase for the Ring. In one corner, we have Day Drinkers who finished in first place in their league with a 12-2 record and are in 17th place in the Chase. They are matched up against The Replacements who finished in fourth place in their league with an 8-6 record, but scored more points than the Day Drinkers and sit in 12th place in the Chase. For one of them, their league title hopes and quest for the Ring ends this week.
Some quick thoughts about this match-up:
- The Day Drinkers have a big decision to make at WR. Right now, they are starting Tyler Lockett over Anthony Miller. Lockett is projected to score more points than Miller (14.0 vs. 10.6), but Miller has been playing better than Lockett recently. Lockett has averaged just 4.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in his past three games, while Miller is averaging 16.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points during that time. However, Miller put up a Blutarsky (0.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points) back in Week 1 against Green Bay at home and just 3.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points last year in his only appearance against the Packers. One benefit of playing Lockett for the Day Drinkers is that Russell Wilson is The Replacements’ starting QB and any Wilson to Lockett completions will be an advantage in points for the Day Drinkers. We’ll find out if the Day Drinkers make the correct decision on Sunday.
- Both teams have a vested interest in the Thursday Night Football game with Lamar Jackson at QB for the Day Drinkers and Mark Ingram at RB for The Replacements. There’s always a chance that The Replacements go with Josh Jacobs in place of Ingram now that Jacobs is healthy and supposed to play this week. The Jets allow the second fewest yards per game rushing, but if Baltimore gets out to an early lead, they could use Ingram and the running game a lot. A tough decision for The Replacements.
- It should be all over by Sunday night as only The Replacements have a player going on Monday night and it’s his Bench TE (Jared Cook). Unless the margin is really close, we should have a winner before Monday Night Football.
The exclusive Dynasty Owner scoring projections based on the current lineup for each team has The Replacements winning by a 139.4-128.7 margin. These playoff match-ups are tough to predict as both teams have plenty of really good players in their Active lineup and on the Bench. Even though The Replacements are the fourth seed in the playoffs, this isn’t an upset.
Final Score Prediction: The Replacements 145.8 vs. Day Drinkers 135.3
My regular season prediction record was 10-6 after a sweep of the three Match-ups last week. Check out the Playoffs Semi-Finals Recap article next week to find out which team advances to their league title game and kept their Chase for the Ring chances alive.
Steven Van Tassell is a freelance writer for Dynasty Owner.