Author: Steven Van Tassell
With the NFL draft coming up tonight, it seems like the current players are being somewhat forgotten by many dynasty players and analysts alike as everyone salivates over potential future studs like Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb. Everyone is also looking for affordable players they can add to their roster who might match the 2019 production of second and third round picks like D.K. Metcalf, A.J. Brown and Devin Singletary. Still others are focused on late rounders who might turn into the next Dak Prescott or George Kittle. For some possible future Prescott’s and Kittle’s, everyone should check out the article by our new writer Chris Wolf (https://dynastyowner.com/2020/04/late-round-dart-throws/).
It’s like people are forgetting about established young (and old) stars who are likely to be high draft picks in the new 12-man Dynasty Owner leagues coming soon. To give those established players the recognition they deserve, let’s look at the results of three mock drafts conducted last week to see what your fellow Dynasty Owners think of the current crop of players before the rookies are available to draft. We’ll also look at some interesting observations from those three drafts that may help you with your real Dynasty Owner draft later on this year.
All three of these mock drafts consisted of 25 rounds and had at least a majority of actual Dynasty Owners making their selections, including one draft that had 11 out of 12 slots filled by real Dynasty Owners. The names of the Dynasty Owners are not included to protect them from potential ridicule for poor selections and to also not give away any of their draft secrets in case you get matched up in the same league as 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.
First Round Consensus
There was a consensus of eight first round draft picks in all three mock drafts. Five out of the eight players were RBs (Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, Alvin Kamara, Nick Chubb and Dalvin Cook) and two were WRs (Michael Thomas and Chris Godwin). Finally, we had the top scorer in Dynasty Owner from 2019 and consensus #1 pick – QB Lamar Jackson.
This finding is right in line with traditional year-to-year redraft leagues where most owners take a RB in the first round, but it might be somewhat surprising to Dynasty Owners since 10 of the 12 top scoring players in Dynasty Owner last year were QBs. The only exceptions were the top #1 players at their respective positions in 2019: RB Christian McCaffrey (#2 overall) and WR Michael Thomas (#8 overall).
Even though he carries a salary of only $4.1 million annually for 2020 right now, won the Super Bowl and finished the 2019 season as the #7 overall scorer in Dynasty Owner despite missing two games, Patrick Mahomes was only taken in the first round once. In the other two drafts, he was taken in the second round. This is after having the best ADP in 2018 (ADP 4). It appears that some owners are scared off drafting Mahomes first because of the potential of a big contract that he’s likely getting sometime soon.
With seemingly all of the commonality in these three mock drafts, it was also surprising that only one other player was drafted in the same spot in the first round in two out of the three mock drafts (Alvin Kamara with the #6 pick). This shows that Dynasty Owners who don’t get one of the top two picks in their 2020 drafts may be able to get their favorite player not named Lamar Jackson or Christian McCaffrey.
The Draft Status of the High Priced QBs Varies Widely
Out of the eight high-priced QBs making $30 million or more, only three of them (Russell Wilson, Dak Prescott and Aaron Rodgers) were selected in all three Dynasty Owner mock drafts. And it was Seattle QB Russell Wilson, the $35 million man and the highest paid player in Dynasty Owner right now, who was picked first in all three mock drafts.
It’s understandable since Wilson finished the 2019 season as the #3 QB in Dynasty Owner with 428.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. However, he did finish behind another $30 million plus QB in Dak Prescott (445.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points). Wilson was selected ahead of Prescott in all three drafts despite costing $4.856 million more ($35 million versus $30.114 million). Wilson’s ADP in the three mock drafts was 57, while Prescott’s was selected almost two full rounds later on average with an ADP of 79. Rodgers was the last of the three QBs picked in each of the three mock drafts and his ADP was significantly behind both Wilson and Prescott at 135.
Maybe Dynasty Owners are worried about Prescott because he’s playing under the franchise tag in 2020 and is bound to earn more in 2021 while Wilson’s salary is high, but stable for the next four years. Either way, it appears if you prefer Prescott over Wilson, you shouldn’t panic when Wilson gets drafted because you’ll likely be able to get Prescott before your next pick.
One interesting strategy employed in two of the three mock drafts was the stacking of the Arizona Cardinals new dynamic duo of Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins with a team’s first two picks. In one draft, the Dynasty Owner was drafting in the #11 spot and took Murray with his first pick, then drafted Hopkins with the 14th pick in the second round. In the other draft, the Dynasty Owner took Hopkins with the 5th pick and was lucky to have Murray available with the 20th pick when his turn came up again. Two stacks, but two completely different methods to obtain the same result.
The cost for this stack is a shade under $25 million. Not a bad strategy if you have a late draft slot and believe the hype about the Cardinals offense in 2020 and beyond. It’s unlikely that Murray makes it to the 20th pick in too many drafts so I wouldn’t advocate this stack if you have an early first round pick. If you wanted to employ this strategy but don’t have the right draft slot and can’t deal your way into a position to do it, there are a few other stacks that might be worth investing your top two picks in for 2020.
Dynasty Owners could draft the Kansas City duo of Patrick Mahomes and either Travis Kelce or Tyreek Hill for less than the Murray-Hopkins duo. The Mahomes-Kelce stack would cost less than $13.5 million in salary ($4.11 million for Mahomes and $9.37 million for Kelce), while the Mahomes-Hill stack would be slightly more expensive at just over $22.1 million due to Hill’s $18 million annual salary. Bear in mind that you’ll only likely have either one of these duos at those salaries for one year before Mahomes gets paid a lot more money. You’ll also be drafting Hill and Kelce a bit early as they went in the third or fourth round on average (Hill was ADP 35 and Kelce was ADP 39).
Another interesting stack and very cost efficient stack could be selecting Lamar Jackson with the first pick and then reach for Mark Andrews in the third round (#25 pick) or hope that he falls to the end of the fourth round (#48 pick). With an ADP of 37 in the three mock drafts being analyzed and salary of just $863,290, Andrews doesn’t appear likely to fall down to the fourth round too often so if you get Jackson with the first pick and want Andrews, you’ll need to reach and take him in the third round. This stack will only cost Dynasty Owners a total of $3.23 million and you might get one more year out of both of them at these salary figures.
Two Brown Tigers
Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry have a lot in common. Both are WRs, played in every game in 2019 as members of the Cleveland Browns, attended college at LSU, were born in November of 1992 and make over $15 million per season in salary. They are different in that one of these two players has never missed a game in his NFL career, outscored the other player by 38.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 2019 (an average of 2.4 more points per game) and costs $2.9 million less in salary for one less year.
Those of you in the know are aware that player is Jarvis Landry. However, if you were to guess which player was selected first in all three mock drafts and had a higher ADP (52 vs. 68), would you guess Landry or OBJ? Believe it or not, the correct answer is OBJ. So, if you want Landry over Beckham, it appears you can wait to draft Landry until Beckham is off your draft board.
Kicking It with an Early Draft Pick (or Maybe Not)
There are only three kickers who are being taken inside the Top 200 players in the three Dynasty Owner mock drafts. Three more were taken just outside of that range. This means that almost all Dynasty Owners are drafting players to stash on their Practice Squad before picking up their starting kicker.
The top kicker off the board in mock drafts was Matt Gay of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Gay was only the fourth best kicker in 2019 with a total of 114 Dynasty Owner fantasy points for the season, but has a low salary of $711,443 for each of the next three seasons. In the three mock drafts available for analysis, Gay was ADP 160, making him a middle 13th round draft pick on average.
In the mock draft with 11 real Dynasty Owners, only three out of the 11 Owners selected three kickers, 7 selected two and one Owner drafted only one, the minimum required. We see two different kicker strategies emerging as out of the 24 kickers selected in that mock draft, half were taken before Round 20, while the other half were taken in Rounds 20-25 (including 7 chosen in the final two rounds alone). Two teams decided to only draft kickers as a last resort by taking them in the last two rounds, while five had the opposite strategy and took two kickers before the onset of Round 20.
What have we learned from looking at these three mock drafts? First, if you want either Lamar Jackson or Christian McCaffrey, you’ll need to have one of the top two draft picks. After that, only Alvin Kamara with the #6 pick was selected in the same spot in the first round in more than one draft, so you might be able to get a player you really want at any other spot in the draft. Second, Russell Wilson is more desirable at $35 million per year for four years than Dak Prescott is at $30.1 million for 2020 and a to be determined salary for 2021 and beyond. Third, if you fancy a stack of Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins, then get yourself a late first round draft pick and see if it falls into your lap. Fourth, Jarvis Landry is criminally underrated compared to his teammate OBJ. And last, but certainly not least, is that there is no consensus strategy when it comes to picking your Dynasty Owner kickers.
There is lots of activity coming up in the Dynasty Owner universe. The NFL draft is coming later today, and the next Dynasty Owner live stream is on Friday at 10 AM (Eastern). If you haven’t seen them yet, don’t forget about all of the great podcasts from the past couple of months, including two highly recommended archived YouTube Live podcasts.
We also have message board debates, a couple of articles by our new writer Chris Wolf (follow him on Twitter – @ckwolf21) and Twitter posts that you can check out. 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.