Author: Steven Van Tassell
There has been a whirlwind of activity since Monday (and even before that) with many big names in the NFL re-signing with their current team, being traded or signing elsewhere in free agency. For “regular” dynasty fantasy football, these moves are important, but they don’t have the same impact as they do in Dynasty Owner. For example, a player who gets a new contract from his current team, like Austin Ekeler or Ryan Tannehill, is good to know, but isn’t likely to dramatically affect his status with your “regular” dynasty team.
However, that’s not the case in Dynasty Owner! Just last year, Ekeler owners got a huge amount of production for only $563,500 in salary, as did Tannehill owners for a mere $2 million. Now, Tannehill got $118 million over four years from the Titans and Ekeler just signed a 4-year, $24.5 million contract with the Chargers. Dynasty Owners need to figure out how to keep Tannehill and Ekeler at those increased salary levels, drop them and get nothing in return or trade them to another Dynasty Owner who has the room to fit them under the $110 million salary cap. So much more strategy than regular fantasy football as you’ve probably heard El Jefe Dynasty Owner Paul say on the podcast.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the most recent signings so far in the NFL off-season in which a player re-signed with his current team and their impact on Dynasty Owner. There have been more than enough of these signings to cover. Then, we’ll start to take a look at players who have moved teams. There has been a lot of movement, so we can’t cover everything. However, we’ll take a look at some key moves and the impact on the player and what their Dynasty Owners should do with them.
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.
A Quick Look at Five Players with New Contracts
Some players got a new contract that pays them a lot more money than last year to stay with their team. Not only are they now making more money, but they don’t even need to spend a lot of it hiring a moving company to take all of their stuff to a new city. Maybe they will buy a new home with all of the extra cash and move a few miles to a new house, but it won’t cost as much as going to a completely different city. In order of total contract size, we have:
- Ryan Tannehill (QB – TEN) – Tannehill’s new 4-year, $118 million contract with Tennessee makes him the ninth highest paid QB in the NFL according to Spotrac (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/quarterback/). They include Dak Prescott at the $31.5 million franchise tag amount in their calculations. Regardless of his position in the rankings, in Dynasty Owner salary terms, that’s $29.5 million a year for a QB who averaged 28.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game in his 10 starts in 2019. That’s a little over $1 million ($1.036 million to be exact) on an average point per game basis, for the former backup who is owned in 65% of Dynasty Owner leagues. Unless they have better, less expensive players on their roster, Dynasty Owners with Tannehill will probably take the $27.5 million increase and hope he’s as good in 2020 as he was in 2019. Of course, if you’re cap-strapped, like Super Bowl ticket winner Bruno, you might have to drop or trade Tannehill and find a cheaper QB for your team.
- Amari Cooper (WR – DAL) – Depending on who you believe, Cooper’s new contract with
the Cowboys is either for two years at $40 million with three team option years
or five years at $100 million. Either way, it’s $20 million for Dynasty Owner
salary cap purposes, or $14.3 million more than he was making in 2019. It makes
Cooper, who was #9 WR in Dynasty Owner in 2019, the second highest paid WR in
the NFL behind only Julio Jones (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/wide-receiver/). Overall, having Amari Cooper is a
good thing, correct? Not exactly. If you examine his stats with Dallas closer,
you’ll actually see that having Amari Cooper playing at home is worth his
salary, but Amari Cooper on the road is not. In 13 home games with the Cowboys
over the past two seasons, Cooper averages 23.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points
per game, while in 12 road games, he averages only 9.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy
points per game.
- At home, Cooper is worth his salary as if he played all 16 games at home last year at his career average as a Cowboy in Dallas, he would be the #1 WR in Dynasty Owner. His owners will pay $20 million for that!
- If Cooper played all 16 games on the road, he would have been the #46 WR in Dynasty Owner (in 2019, that would have put him just ahead Marquise Brown and Danny Amendola, for reference, Amendola just signed a one year, $5 million contract to stay in Detroit) and sitting on your Bench most weeks. Totally not worth the $20 million contract!
- Austin Ekeler (RB – LAC) – Ekeler’s new contract puts him barely in the top ten highest paid RBs according to Spotrac, just ahead of Duke Johnson (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/running-back/). It’s worth $24.5 million over 4 years ($6.125 million in Dynasty Owner salary terms), which is a $5.5 million increase over his $563,500 salary in 2019. Ekeler was the #4 RB in Dynasty Owner in 2019, which includes 12 games he played with Melvin Gordon. Even if the Chargers bring in another RB or draft a rookie to share time with Ekeler, he’s probably still going to be worth his new salary. He’s owned in 100% of Dynasty Owner leagues and that shouldn’t change at all, although Owners with a tight salary cap fit might consider trading him. Non-Ekeler Owners with salary cap room should make an offer and see if they can pry him away if the Ekeler Owner in your league is cap strapped.
- Mason Crosby (K – GB) – Yes, a kicker made this list. Why? Because he re-signed with the Packers for 3 years at a total of $12.9 million, or $4.3 million per year in Dynasty Owner, making him the fourth highest paid kicker based on average salary (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/kicker/). His production though doesn’t live up to his salary as he was just the #11 kicker in Dynasty Owner in 2019 and that was a good year for Crosby as he only missed three kicks all season (2 FGs of over 40+ yards and 1 PAT). However, he only attempted two 50+ yard FGs all season, making one and missing one, and averaged just 6.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game (102.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in total). In 2018, Crosby missed more kicks (9 overall – 7 FGs and 2 PATs), but had 124.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points to rank as the #8 kicker. While the Packers might value Crosby enough to pay him $4.3 million per year, his Dynasty Owners in the 80% of leagues in which he is owned shouldn’t do the same. Drop Crosby for no fee before the end of March and shed his $4.3 million salary from your team.
- Kenyan Drake (RB – ARI) – The Arizona Cardinals put the transition tag on Drake meaning he is guaranteed at least a one year, $8.48 million contract for the 2020 season. Since they traded David Johnson to the Houston Texans (for DeAndre Hopkins – can you believe that?!?), Drake will likely be the top running back in Arizona. In eight games with Arizona in 2019, Drake averaged 20.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. In contrast, in seven games with the Dolphins, he only averaged 7.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. And Drake was a League Championship winner for many of his Dynasty Owners, with games of 41.6 and 35.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in the 2019 Dynasty Owner playoffs. So, if his Dynasty Owners get the Arizona Drake again in 2020, they have the #2 RB behind only Christian McCaffrey. That’s worth the sixth highest RB contract in the NFL, according to Spotrac (see link to RB average salaries earlier in this article) and makes Drake worth keeping on your Dynasty Owner roster if you can afford the extra $7.64 million in salary.
Now that the new NFL league year has kicked in, free agents are officially signing new contracts. Some of these contract figures have already been posted on Dynasty Owner, while others will be coming starting on Monday, March 23rd. That will give Dynasty Owners a week to get their rosters up to at least 25 players, but not more than 30, and their team salaries under the $110 million salary cap.
On one hand, there are new contracts that Dynasty Owners are going to have to try and find room for on their roster unless they want to drop or trade the likes of Ryan Tannehill, Austin Ekeler or Kenyan Drake. Then, there is the one that might make some Dynasty Owners squeamish like Amari Cooper’s new $20 million contract that’s totally worth it for the home games, but not when Dallas is on the road. Finally, we have a contract that Dynasty Owners need to shed as soon as they can in Mason Crosby.
There’s lots more contract news to cover. An article about players who switched teams this off-season is coming soon to help summarize what’s happened so far in the NFL off-season. And don’t forget about all of the great Dynasty Owner specific podcasts, 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.