Author: Steven Van Tassell
We’re a moving on up! Moving on up! To the East Side! To a De-Luxe apartment in the sky! This first of two articles on players who have moved teams since free agency started will focus on players who received a salary increase. That’s why the title has the Jeffersons in it (look it up if you don’t get it).
While they all may have gotten a salary increase, some of them will be worth the extra money, some won’t be, and others are in the middle. There are a lot of players who left one team in free agency for more money with another team, so we can’t cover everyone (sorry if you are looking for analysis of Robby Anderson, Tajae Sharpe or Case Keenum). Instead, let’s take a look in depth in this article at a few other players.
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.
I’ll Take Veteran QBs for $25 Million, Alex
This off-season, we had two veteran QBs sign $25 million contracts with new teams – Philip Rivers and the G.O.A.T. (Tom Brady). While Brady is older (43 when the 2020 NFL season starts vs. 38 for Rivers), he was the one who got a two-year deal, while Rivers settled for just one year. That’s just not fair, Rivers has nine kids to support!
Regardless of how many kids they have or age, both Rivers and Brady are tied together this off-season because they are playing for a new team for the first time in the twilight of their careers. Their $25 million contracts, on average, put them into a tie with Drew Brees and Derek Carr for 12th on the list of highest paid QBs (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/quarterback/). Both are making slightly more than in 2019, $2 million for Brady and almost $4.2 million for Rivers. However, which one (if either) is a better fit for your Dynasty Owner team, or should you drop Rivers or Brady if you have them on your roster currently. We’ll break down Brady first, because he’s the G.O.A.T. then Rivers.
Brady finished the 2019 season as the #11 QB in Dynasty Owner (for the second consecutive year) with an average of 21.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. He was fairly consistent as he really only put up one very bad game (4.2 points in Week 4 versus Buffalo) versus four games with 30.0+ Dynasty Owner fantasy points (three in the first five weeks, then one thereafter). He’ll be another year older in 2020, but has better WRs in Tampa Bay (Mike Evans and Chris Godwin) than he did in New England (Julian Edelman), but a worse running game (Ronald Jones in Tampa Bay versus Sony Michel, James White and Rex Burkhead in New England) to help take the load off.
So, the question of the day is – Is Brady going to improve in 2020? Honestly, probably not, but he could stay in the same range as the past two seasons and finish as the #11 QB again, which is fine based on his salary ranking. For the Dynasty Owners who have him on their roster (he’s owned in 89% of Dynasty Owner leagues), hold him unless you really need the salary cap room or have a younger, better QB (or better yet, two) on your roster. Trading is dicey as what are you going to get in dynasty for a 43-year old QB?
Rivers is owned in fewer Dynasty Owner leagues (48%) than Brady and finished the 2019 season as the #18 QB in Dynasty Owner, a decline from #12 in 2018. His weapons in Indianapolis (T.Y. Hilton, Marlon Mack and Jack Doyle plus a rookie/free agent WR) aren’t as good as they were on the Chargers (Keenan Allen, Austin Ekeler and Hunter Henry), so expect that he’s not going to be better in 2020. Maybe having an actual home crowd to play in front of will make him perform better, but don’t count on it. Drop Rivers if you need salary cap room or if a cheaper, younger QB such as Teddy Bridgewater ($21 million contract, owned in 43% of Dynasty Owner leagues) or just a younger QB who costs the same (Derek Carr – owned in 41% of Dynasty Owner leagues) is available.
Are These Receivers Worth Four Million More?
In another coincidence, we have three receivers (two WRs and one TE) who got new contracts with new teams that will pay them $4 million more than they were paid in 2019 (technically, it’s “only” $3.75 million more for Tyler Eifert, but that’s close enough). All of them were not highly owned in Dynasty Owner in 2019 at their old salaries, but are expected to have expanded roles with their new teams, thus justifying the higher salary to their new team. The question for Dynasty Owners is – Are they worth their new 2020 salary or not? Let’s take a look and see.
- Former Packers and Cowboys WR Randall Cobb signed a 3-year, $27 million contract ($9 million per year for Dynasty Owner purposes) with the Houston Texans to replace the traded DeAndre Hopkins. At least, that’s the assumption and what the Texans hope happens. He was only owned in 4% of Dynasty Owner leagues at $5 million in 2019 when he was on the Cowboys and finished the season as the #44 WR in Dynasty Owner with 153.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. He did miss one game, so his average was just over 10.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game (10.2). Unless he improves greatly on that performance in 2020, he’s unlikely to be worth $9 million, which puts him right now as the 28th highest paid WR in 2020 (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/wide-receiver/). If you have $9 million in salary cap room and think Cobb will improve in the Houston offense over what he did for Dallas and become someone you can put in your Active lineup as a WR or FLEX on a weekly basis, then he’s almost certainly available in your league and you should go pick him up. I don’t support that move and think you can find better ways to spend that salary cap space.
- For $1 million less, Dynasty Owners can pick up Breshard Perriman of the New York Jets. Like Cobb, the former first round pick of the Baltimore Ravens is making $4 million more in 2020 than 2019 ($8 million in 2020, up from $4 million in 2019), but he’s three years younger than Cobb (27 at the start of the 2020 NFL season versus 30 for Cobb). Perriman projects as the top outside WR threat for the Jets, which was Robby Anderson last year. Anderson finished #41 WR, but had to play several games without Sam Darnold at QB with mostly Luke Falk in his place (0 TDs in three games and released as soon as Darnold was healthy and back ready to play QB). Perriman had flashes of brilliance at the end of the 2019 season with Tampa Bay and averaged 21.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in the final five games of the season (helping many fantasy players at the end of the season and in the playoffs). He probably can’t sustain the success he had at the end of last season, but I’d take him over Cobb if I needed a WR and had the salary cap room. He’s available in 70% of Dynasty Owner leagues, so take a look if you have roster space and $8 million available.
- Finally, we have new Jacksonville TE Tyler Eifert. Eifert technically didn’t get a $4 million increase (it was only $3.75 million), but still raised his salary from $4 million in 2019 to $7.75 million in 2020 when he signed his new 2-year, $15.5 million contract. If Eifert is the 2015 version of himself, then he’s well worth this new contract (52 receptions, 615 yards receiving, 13 receiving TDs in 13 games). However, if he’s the Eifert who played only 14 games over the next three seasons from 2016 to 2018, or the 2019 version who played all 16 games but only had 106.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points, then he’s definitely not worth it. Eifert averaged just 6.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game in 2019 and finished as the #19 TE. According to Spotrac, he’s the eighth highest paid TE (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/tight-end/). I just don’t see him as being worth that contract, even with Gardner Minshew II throwing him the ball, so his Dynasty Owner ownership of 20% should go down, not up during this free drop period.
Greg the Leg Moves from LA to Dallas
Finally, we have another kicker, in addition to Mason Crosby who was highlighted in a previous article (https://dynastyowner.com/2020/03/afford-new-home/), who got a new contract worth more than he made in 2019. Greg Zuerlein, aka Greg the Leg, received a three year, $7.5 million contract from the Dallas Cowboys and will no longer be kicking for the Rams. Greg the Leg was with the Rams so long that he played with them when they were still in St. Louis.
His new contract is worth only $250,000 more per year than his old one, but is he really worth $2.5 million in Dynasty Owner salary cap room? Should his Dynasty Owner drop him or keep him (you can’t pick him up because he’s owned in 98% of leagues right now)?
Even though $2.5 million seems like a lot of your $110 million salary cap for a kicker, Zuerlein will only be the 18th highest paid kicker in the NFL in 2020 (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/kicker/). He finished as the #13 kicker in Dynasty Owner in what was a poor season for him. He missed nine FGs in 2019 (1 FG under 40 yards and 8 of 40+ yards), but was perfect in PAT attempts (42 for 42). He missed as many FGs in 2019 as he did in the prior three seasons combined. As a Zuerlein Dynasty Owner, I’m sticking with Greg the Leg and predicting that he bounces back in 2020. I have two other, cheaper kickers as well and recommend everyone try and have the same on their roster.
Not everyone who got a new contract in 2020 is going to be worth the higher salary in Dynasty Owner. Breshard Perriman is one player who Dynasty Owners should look at getting if he’s available in your league, the G.O.A.T. and Greg the Leg are two guys to hold. Dynasty Owners can probably even try to work a trade for Zuerlein as well. In contrast, Randall Cobb, Tyler Eifert and Phillip Rivers can be dropped if you need salary cap room or left in the Free Agent Auction.
There’s more contract news to cover before Dynasty Owners have to pay the drop fee to release a player. A second article about players who switched teams this off-season, but are getting paid less than they did in 2019, is coming tomorrow. And don’t forget about all of the great Dynasty Owner specific podcasts (particularly the Live podcast from Friday – which was a lot of fun), message board debates and Twitter posts. All of this great content is available to help you win your Dynasty Owner league and maybe become the winner of the 2020 Chase for the Ring!
Steven Van Tassell is a freelance writer for Dynasty Owner.