Roster Roundup

Taking A Dive Into The Rosters From Around The League

Author: Chris Wolf

This time of year is typically the time of year when teams, trainers and agents hype up their players. We know how the world has changed in recent months and the NFL is no different in its approach to returning to “normalcy”. With the news of NFL staff and players testing positive for the Coronavirus, fantasy news is taking a backseat. As a result, fantasy players are missing out on the typical hyperbole surrounding pre-season roster news and notes.

In this series we’ll take a look at who’s who on rosters and how that may help in your drafts and early waivers.

Each week we’ll examine a division’s skill position current roster and predictive depth chart heading into training camp to see how that relates to their fantasy outlook.

This week, we start in the AFC North and will follow with NFC North next week:

Baltimore Ravens

HC: John Harbaugh OC: Greg Roman

QB: Lamar Jackson, Robert Griffin III, Trace McSorley, Tyler Hunter

RB: Mark Ingram, JK Dobbins, Gus Edwards, Justice Hill, Bronson Rechsteiner

WR: Marquise Brown, Miles Boykin, Willie Snead, Chris Moore, Devin Duvernay, Jaleel Scott, De’Anthony Thomas, Antoine Wesley, James Proche, Michael Dereus, Jaylon Moore

TE: Mark Andrews, Nick Boyle, Charles Scarff, Eli Wolf, Jacob Breeland

This list appropriately begins with the reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson. The consensus knock on his scouting report was that he couldn’t keep his eyes downfield and relied on the run too much. His year two leap as a full-time starter resulted in 3,127 passing yards while dropping 36 TD’s. That was just passing; he also racked up an absurd 1,206 yards on the ground with 7 trips to the endzone.

RG III is a competent back-up that saw late game action last year without the Ravens having to adjust the playbook.

At running back, the incumbent 30-year-old Mark Ingram projects as the starter while Ohio State rookie JK Dobbins waits in the wings. Harbaugh recently stated that each of the top four runners all have a “designed role” on offense. This translates to Ingram and Dobbins in the heavy usage role, Edwards resuming the power back/clock-killer role and 2019 dynasty draft darling Justice Hill seeing his value in a satellite back role.

While Ingram is the present starter, Dobbins pedigree as the 2nd leading rusher in Ohio State history will be hard to keep off the field. Edwards won’t return enough fantasy value week to week and Jackson is an anti-checkdown QB that utilizes his own feet as his checkdown outlet instead of the unfortunate Justice Hill.

The wide receiver group is young and talented. Hollywood Brown made an early season splash last year before his injured foot caught up with him. He impressively posted a 46/584/7 line while playing at “Less than 100%” according to Harbaugh. Boykin and Moore figure to be the other two starters while veteran Willie Snead sees work in the 4 WR sets. Duvernay and Proche are the other names to watch here. 3rd round selection, Duvernay is built like a running back and has crazy speed. Proche is a scrappy route runner that plays above his size.

Boyle and Andrews are both considered starters. With the departure of Hayden Hurst to Atlanta, both figure to see more snaps. Andrews, the better receiver of the two, burst on to the fantasy scene last year rewarding those who drafted in round 10 and beyond. He has the rapport with Jackson and is a stud after the catch. He will be one of the first TE’s off the board in dynasty and redraft leagues this year.

Cincinnati Bengals

HC: Zac Taylor OC: Brian Callahan

QB: Joe Burrow, Ryan Finley, Jacob Dolegala

RB: Joe Mixon, Giovani Bernard, Traveyon Williams, Rodney Anderson, Jacques Patrick, Samaje Perine, Devwah Whaley

WR: AJ Green, Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, John Ross III, Auden Tate, Alex Erickson, Stanley Morgan, Mike Thomas, DaMarkus Lodge, Damion Willis, Trenton Irwin, Scotty Washington

TE: Drew Sample, CJ Uzomah, Cethan Carter, Mason Schreck, Mitchell Wilcox, Moritz Boehringer, Jordan Franks

The 2020 NFL Draft #1 overall pick and 2019 NCAA All-Everything, Joe Burrow leads this group of Cincinnati QB’s. Burrow steps into a nice situation with a fantastic receiving corps, an offensive minded coach with something to prove, a sound run game and he gets 2019 no.11 overall pick, Jonah Williams back from his redshirt medical rookie year from a torn labrum. Burrow could push for high-end QB2 numbers and conceivable sneak into low end QB1 territory in year one.

Mixon has been one of the most underutilized talents in the past few years. He is a solid, heady runner with very good hands that is ready to explode if given the chance. He is one of the few NFL running backs that could be first on a depth chart at: starting RB, Goal Line RB, and 3rd Down RB.

Bernard has been a very steady contributor as a Bengal but it seems that his best fantasy days are behind him. Williams is a 2019 6th pick that earns his pay on special teams and Rodney Anderson’s NCAA pedigree might not see the light of day on this roster. 6’4” 235lb rookie grinder Jacques Patrick is at the end of the bench and could carve out a role as a short yardage back.

This WR group has loads of talent. This could be one of the best WR rosters from top to bottom in the NFL. Injuries have certainly played their part from the squad putting it all together but a healthy 2020 is hopefully on the horizon. Green is the former fantasy stud that leads this group and has Tee Higgins waiting to claim his position as the Alpha. Boyd is a route technician that is undervalued yet again in early season mock drafts. Higgins will play early and often with Ross playing the situational field stretcher role that he was born for. Even Tate and Erickson were valuable mid-season fantasy role players last year. From WR1-WR6, this team is stocked for the rookie Burrow.

As for TE’s – nothing really to see here. Go back and look at the wide receivers.

Cleveland Browns

HC: Kevin Stefanski OC: Alex Van Pelt

QB: Baker Mayfield, Case Keenum, Garrett Gilbert, Kevin Davidson

RB: Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, Dontrell Hilliard, D’Ernest Johnson, Johnny Stanton, Brian Herrien, Benny LeMay, Andy Janovich

WR: Odell Beckham Jr, Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, KhaDarel Hodge, Damion Ratley, Taiwan Taylor, Donovan Peoples-Jones, J’Mon Moore, DJ Montgomery, Tony Brown, JoJo Natson, Ja’Marcus Bradley

TE: David Njoku, Austin Hooper, Harrison Bryant, Pharaoh Brown, Stephen Carlson, Nate Wieting

Former no.1 overall pick Baker Mayfield is poised to bounce back after an erratic year that can be blamed more on the coaching inadequacies than the actual player’s output. He has a new coach with a solid offensive resume, an upgraded offensive line and some new receiving targets to throw to.

On paper, the 2019 offensive weaknesses were addressed, and it should be a bounce back year for the talented Mayfield. The Browns are in more than good shape with their back-up QB Case Keenum. Keenum is familiar with Stefanski’s system and will be an apt tutor for Mayfield. He also brings sound NFL experience to the QB position if Mayfield were to ever miss time.

Both Chubb and Hunt could be no.1 RB’s on most NFL teams. Cleveland is in good shape with what turned into a formidable time-share at RB down the stretch last season. Chubb is teetering on elite running back status and Hunt would not be far behind is given the opportunity and volume again. Hilliard is a good-not-great weapon in the passing game while Johnson was a capable player at USF but won’t matter much in fantasy terms.

OBJ and Landry are the stars here. With enough talent to match their personalities, they will benefit from the extra time off to heal their bodies. The question is who will be the third WR in the rotation? Higgins is the underappreciated veteran whereas this new regime has been very vocal about Peoples-Jones. Expect an early season rotation of Higgins with 2018 6th rounder, Ratley sprinkled in. Peoples-Jones has a clear shot at playing time if he can outperform Higgins which last year’s staff never seemed to like.

The tight end group has some talent. Njoku can jump out of the stadium but hasn’t quite put it together on a consistent basis. Consistency and reliability are what a team wants from their tight end and Hooper gives you just that. Hooper’s price tag of $44 million/4yrs makes him the highest paid TE in the league. He will be hard pressed to see the 93 targets from last year with Atlanta, but he will certainly be a welcome addition for Mayfield. 2020 4th round Bryant is an athletic project out of FAU. He was one of the better TE’s in this year’s underwhelming TE class but will benefit from learning from these veterans.

Pittsburgh Steelers

HC: Mike Tomlin OC: Randy Fichtner

QB: Ben Roethlisberger, Mason Rudolph, Devlin Hodges, Paxton Lynch, JT Barrett

RB: James Conner, Jaylen Samuels, Benny Snell Jr, Anthony McFarland Jr, Ralph Webb, Kerrith Whyte Jr, Derek Watt, Trey Edmunds, Spencer Nigh

WR: JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington, Diontae Johnson, Deon Cain, Chase Claypool, Ryan Switzer, Amara Darboh, Anthony Johnson, Quadree Henderson, Saeed Blacknall

TE: Vance McDonald, Eric Ebron, Zach Gentry, Kevin Rader, Christian Scotland-Willamson

This team could have gone places if not for the injury to Roethlisberger. The Steelers represent the model why analytics matter. Sporting PFF grades of 15th overall with the 32nd ranked offense and the no.1 defense while posting an 8-8 record, you will never see a more middle of the road finish than last season’s Pittsburgh Steelers.

With a healthy Big Ben practicing yoga-happy-hour while sporting a beard that would make Grizzly Adams jealous, this team could quickly rebound as an AFC contender. The back-up QB position play was abysmal last year with a once promising Mason Rudolph soiling the bed and a fowl performance from Devlin “Duck” Hodges.

James Conner leads this complicated backfield of misfit running backs with uncertain roles. When Conner went down last year, we were treated by promises of waiver disappointments of Jaylen Samuels, Benny Snell Jr and even fullbackish Trey Edmunds.

Enter Anthony McFarland; the fourth-round selection out of Maryland that could inject some juice into this quagmire of a backfield. McFarland doesn’t project as an every down back, but he could burden some of the load from Conner. Conner is probably grossly undervalued in drafts this year due to a spotty 2019 campaign, but he certainly has the running and receiving ability to return high end RB2 numbers.

This WR group has many familiar names but not much fantasy production. Smith-Schuster leads this group of young receivers that are sure to improve with steady QB play. JuJu shines in the slot but will rotate there with the ballistic Diontae Johnson. James Washington has shown promise but has been woefully inconsistent. Big-bodied rookie Chase Claypool will be a welcome target in the redzone for Roethlisberger. There has been talks of more four wide sets consisting of Smith-Schuster and Johnson on the inside while Washington and Claypool or Cain operate outside.

The TE’s are led by veterans Vance McDonald and Eric Ebron. McDonald is not exactly fleet-of-foot but has been a nice outlet for the Steelers QB’s. While Ebron’s arrival to a freshly signed four-year $12.25 million contract adds versatility to the TE group. Ebron has a knack for finding the soft spot in zones but has hard hands. Very athletic with his 6’4” 235lb frame, he is very unsure about catching the ball at times. He has corrected his body catching issue from his North Carolina days but still tends to struggle with corralling the fast ball.

Check back soon! We will continue with the NFC North next week.

Chris Wolf is a freelance writer for Dynasty Owner.

Follow us on Twitter: @CKWolf21 and @Dynasty_Owner

A History Making Afternoon

Author: Steven Van Tassell

It was exactly 3:20 PM (EDT) on Sunday, June 14th, 2020 when Belichick’s Hoodies (Sean Fournier) made the historical first pick in Dynasty Owner history by taking Lamar Jackson in the first all 12-team Dynasty Owner leagues. It ended about three hours and fifteen minutes later with the selection of Dante Pettis as the first Dynasty Owner Mr. Irrelevant with the last pick (#300 overall) by Hillbilly Trash Trucks (Matt Montgomery). I was honored to be a part of this historic event which will take its place in history between the first moon walk by Neil Armstrong in 1969 and the creation of toilet paper by Joseph Gayetty in 1857.

In addition to being the first league to draft, Beta League 3 is composed of some pretty heavy hitters from the 2019 Dynasty Owner beta season. The league is highlighted by New York’s Strongest (Eddie Driscoll), who finished the regular season at 14-0 and at the top of the Chase for the Ring leaderboard. For those of you new to Dynasty Owner, Eddie finished off his perfect season with two victories in his league playoffs to become the only player to finish the season undefeated (16-0) and win the Ring.

We also have Yorkshire Roses (Dan Clarke) who went 9-5 in his regular season, but had the most points in his league. Dan proceeded to win his league playoffs, had the most points of any team in the final week and finished in 4th place in the final Chase standings – moving up from 10th place after the semi-finals and 18th place after the regular season.

Overall, the league has eight owners who won 10 or more regular season games, five league Champions from 2019 (all of whom finished in the Top 25 in the final Chase for the Ring standings), and two owners who lost in their league finals (including myself – damn you Teddy MF’in Ruxpin). Everyone played in 2019 and all but one drafted last year. Not a lot of slouches in Beta League 3.

We will be citing mock draft ADP in this article. Please note that all mock draft ADPs listed were current as of Noon (Eastern) on Thursday, June 18, 2020.

An Early Run on Running Backs

How many times have you done a fantasy draft – either redraft or dynasty – and there’s been a pretty long run on one position? For me, it’s probably every draft when this happens where six or seven people in a row grab players at a certain position and the draft board starts lighting up with one color in a long row. Back in the day, it was colored stickers that CBS Sportsline sent the Commissioner of my redraft league. We would have one of the spouses of a league owner putting up stickers on the board like Vanna White turning the letters on Wheel of Fortune. Now, it’s on the Live Draft Board that will appear on your Dynasty Owner league draft page.

Well, this draft had probably the longest run that I’ve even seen at one position and possibly the longest run that any Dynasty Owner league will have in 2020. That’s because we saw 13 running backs taken in a row in the first and second round of this draft. Starting with Saquon Barkley with the 5th pick and ending with Dalvin Cook with the 17th pick, we had an epic early run on running backs. Congratulations to The Jerk (Matt Morrison) for stopping the madness by drafting Michael Thomas with his second round pick. As you can see from the draft board, there was a lot of green (RBs) selected in the first two rounds.

Not only was it 13 RBs in a row, but 15 out of 16 RBs selected by the last eight teams in the draft order. As we would say back in the redraft league, “Vanna’s putting up a lot of green stickers”.

The next longest runs on a single position were two separate runs of five WRs, one at the end of the fifth round and beginning of the sixth round and another near the end of the draft in the 24th round.  There was also a spot in the middle of the 12th round when seven out of nine picks were TEs.

The List of Firsts

Since this was the first 12-team Dynasty Owner draft, there were many firsts. Here’s a list of some of the most “important” ones:

  • First Pick: Lamar Jackson (QB – BAL)
  • First QB Taken – Lamar Jackson (#1 – Belichick’s Hoodies)
  • First RB Taken – Christian McCaffrey (#2 – Vantastics)
  • First WR Taken – Michael Thomas (#18 – The Jerk)
  • First TE Taken – Travis Kelce (#27 – VIP Club Dub)
  • First K Taken – Justin Tucker (#166 – VIP Club Dub)
  • First Comment about Someone Going Too Slow – Belichick’s Hoodies with the comment “Steve OTC” at 3:21:33 after selecting Lamar Jackson and it took a few seconds for my selection of Christian McCaffrey to register. It’s disputable if that was a comment to draft faster, so if not then it came less than four minutes later when Mafia Power 83 (Bruno Carina-Goncalves) posted “Come on Jerk really” at 3:25:29 while waiting for The Jerk to make his first pick. It was later discovered that he was drafting on his phone using the app, thus making him draft slower than everyone else who was on a desktop.
  • First Happy Dynasty Owner about a Player Slipping to His Selection – Eddie typed “God Bless You Yorkshire!!!!” after Yorkshire Roses picked Kyler Murray with the #4 pick, leaving Saquon Barkley available for Eddie to grab with the #5 pick. And for the record, Eddie really did use four exclamation points like a teenage girl chatting with her friend about some cute boy looking at her in algebra class.
  • First Mention of Regret for Picking Someone – After 13 RBs were drafted in a row, Yorkshire Roses typed in the chat “If I’d known every single running back would have been taken, I probably wouldn’t have had Kyler at #4”. For the record, he ended up picking his first RB (Devin Singletary) with the #21 pick.
  • First Compliment – These were few and far between with this group, but Bruno gave props to Eddie after he drafted J.K. Dobbins with the #20 pick in the draft. He also invited him to join him on his “boat”. Since I’m not from the New York area, I’m not sure if that’s code for something.
  • First Snipe – It may not have been first, but the first snipe comment in the chat was at 3:39 by Bruno when he commented about Kraft Yankaroni & Cheats (Patrick Wood) when Patrick selected David Montgomery in the 3rd round with the #30 pick. In case you aren’t seeing the pattern, Bruno was exceptionally chatty during the draft (not a criticism, I was pretty chatty too since I was drafting in the #2 spot and had lots of time between selections).

The Rise and the Fall of a Pair of TEs Playing in Florida

The ADP listed in the mock draft rooms is the live ADP from all of the mock drafts that have been taking place. Since a lot of the guys in this league have been doing a lot of mock drafts and I mean A LOT of mock drafts, it would stand to reason that this first draft would trend closely with the mock draft ADP. That didn’t happen. There were a few players who got drafted earlier than they have been going in the mock drafts and more who went later.

Here are some of the biggest risers in the first 2020 Dynasty Owner draft:

  • Melvin Gordon: On average, Gordon’s been a mid-4th round mock draft selection with an ADP of 43.2, but New York’s Strongest decided that he couldn’t wait and took him with the 5th pick in Round 3 (#29 overall).
  • Ke’Shawn Vaughn: The Tampa Bay rookie RB went two full rounds earlier than his ADP dictated. The Jerk must have really wanted him as he was the #31 overall selection, even though his mock draft ADP was 55.7.
  • Zack Moss: Dirty Hippy Farmer (Andrew Gilkin) must really like Moss. Why else would he take him with the #82 pick in the real draft when his mock draft ADP was 114.4?
  • Mike Gesicki: Gesicki was drafted with the #66 overall selection (5th TE – after Travis Kelce, George Kittle, Mark Andrews and Zach Ertz), but his ADP in mock drafts was 102.4, good for being the 11th TE in mocks. The Jerk must feel strongly about Gesicki getting a lot of throws from rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa as he was the one who made the early move on him.

There were more players who fell significantly than rose significantly. Here are some of the biggest fallers in the first 2020 Dynasty Owner draft:

  • Deshaun Watson: The Texans QB was the first victim of the wild 13 RB run and fell from ADP 7.2 in mock drafts to the #23 selection – a difference of 15.8 positions. The Vantastics, that’s me, were ecstatic to get him with their 2nd pick.
  • Dak Prescott: New York’s Strongest pulled the trigger on drafting Dak with the #77 pick in the seventh round. His mock draft ADP of 47.4 had him taken near the end of the 4th round on average.
  • The G.O.A.T.: His ADP of 94.7 in mock drafts seems high for a dynasty league, but his $25 million salary is lower than a lot of other QBs, so it’s understandable. However, in this first draft, Tom was the first selection of the 15th round by Belichick’s Hoodies, or six full rounds later than his average mock draft position.
  • James White: A favorite of the G.O.A.T. out of the backfield, White got a similar downgrade as Tom in the first Dynasty Owner draft. The Vantastics scooped him up with the #143 pick, three full rounds lower than his 107.1 mock draft ADP.
  • Lynn Bowden: One of the few rookies to fall. Drafted by the Vantastics with the #215 pick, Bowden has a mock draft ADP of 167.3.
  • DeAndre Hopkins: It took twice as long for someone (Mafia Power 83) to draft Hopkins in the real Dynasty Owner draft (#40 overall) than he usually went in mock drafts (ADP 19.4).
  • T.Y. Hilton: Did everyone but Yorkshire Roses forget about T.Y. or did salary cap restraints cause his plunge to the 18th round? Hilton was skipped in plenty of rounds before Dan took him with the #213 pick. His average ADP was almost nine full rounds earlier at 105.3.
  • Darren Waller: Waller was one of the three anti-Gesicki TEs. He was 5th TE taken in mock drafts on average with an ADP of 73.4, but in our draft, he fell sharply and was chosen with the #117 selection, the 12th TE taken overall. Yorkshire Roses was the beneficiary of this drop.
  • Hunter Henry: Henry also dropped pretty significantly – down to the #207 pick by Quaranteam (Nick Larmore) from his ADP of 113.9.
  • Rob Gronkowski: Another former Patriot turned Buccaneer who dropped in the first real Dynasty Owner draft. Gronk was being selected at the end of the 10th round in the average mock draft (ADP 119.6). However, Wannabees  (David Brady) grabbed him with the #233 pick in the 20th round in our draft.

Why Dynasty Owner is Different than a Regular Dynasty League?

For everyone new to Dynasty Owner, you will read and hear a lot about how Dynasty Owner is different than a “regular” dynasty league. At first, you may not believe it, but once you start mock drafting or get in your first live draft, you’ll soon discover that it’s impossible to fit all of the players you want under the $110 million salary cap. In a “regular” dynasty league, you can draft Ezekiel Elliott ($15 million), Julio Jones ($22 million), Travis Kelce ($9.4 million) and Russell Wilson ($35 million) in the first four rounds. Probably not so in Dynasty Owner as the rest of your team will be made up of low-cost players since you’ll only have around $28.6 million left under the salary cap for 21 more selections. Good luck with that!

As a result, players who would normally be high or middle round draft picks in a “regular” dynasty league might even go undrafted in Dynasty Owner. If you don’t believe me, here’s a list of undrafted players the first 12-team Dynasty Owner draft in history. They are ranked here by average ADP from the Fantasy Pros (https://www.fantasypros.com/nfl/rankings/dynasty-overall.php). Their Dynasty Owner salary is listed in parentheses.

  • WR Adam Thielen ($16,050,000) – ADP 67.5
  • WR Brandin Cooks ($16,200,000) – ADP 96.2
  • TE Austin Hooper ($10,500,000) – ADP 102.2
  • WR A.J. Green ($17,971,000) – ADP 104.3
  • QB Matt Ryan ($30,000,000) – ADP 115.4
  • QB Aaron Rodgers ($33,500,000) – ADP 123.6
  • QB Kirk Cousins ($33,000,000) – ADP 145.8
  • WR Julian Edelman ($7,750,000) – ADP 146.2
  • QB Ryan Tannehill ($29,500,000) – ADP152.8
  • WR Sammy Watkins ($9,000,000) – ADP 153.2
  • WR Golden Tate ($9,375,000) – ADP 160.2
  • TE Eric Ebron ($6,000,000) – ADP 186.1
  • RB Chris Thompson ($1,400,000) – ADP 267.1
  • RB Rex Burkhead ($3,250,000) – ADP 293.0
  • K Ka’imi Fairbairn ($4,412,500) – ADP 307.2 (sixth highest among kickers)
  • K Mason Crosby ($4,300,000) – ADP 310.6 (tenth highest among kickers)

Thielen is on average a mid-5th round pick in a 12-team “regular” dynasty league, but nobody had the salary cap room for him in the first 12-team Dynasty Owner draft, while Cooks is a late 8th round/early 9th round pick on average. However, because of their relative high salaries (over $16 million each), they went undrafted. Thielen was picked up in the Free Agent Auction after the draft, but VIP Club Dub (Anthony Huether) had to drop Robby Anderson and his $10 million salary to pick him up and fit him under the salary cap.

Not a terrible team of undrafted players. Ryan, Rodgers and Cousins make up a good trio of QBs and there are some quality starting WRs plus a fine TE in Hooper and a decent backup in Ebron. The only questionable spot is RB with Chris Thompson and Rex Burkhead as the best available. Remember, all of these players are still available in this Dynasty Owner league and will likely be so for most, if not all of the 2020 season even though all of them are easily worthy of a spot on your “regular” dynasty league roster.

Who Took My Advice?

In my 2020 draft tips article (https://dynastyowner.com/2020/05/draft-tips-2020/), two suggestions for Dynasty Owners were to draft three QBs and three kickers so you have a Starter and Bench QB and kicker for bye weeks. With 12-teams per Dynasty Owner league and only 32 starting QBs and kickers, a few teams would be left out and need to pick up a backup QB or kicker who surprisingly makes an NFL roster in training camp. To show you how much people in my own league value my “advice”, only two other teams drafted three kickers as recommended. Thanks to Dirty Hippy Farmer and VIP Club Dub for the vote of confidence!

Not only did three-quarters of the league not follow my draft three kickers advice, two teams – Wannabees and New York’s Strongest – only drafted one kicker. Wannabees only drafted Brandon McManus and has a mere $517,518 left in salary cap room to add another kicker in the Free Agent Auction. Unfortunately for him, the rookie salary minimum for 2020 is $610,000 so he can’t even pick up a second kicker without dropping another player. At least New York’s Strongest has enough cap room ($1,755,208 at the end of the draft) to pick up another kicker, or maybe two.

Three teams will be braving the 2020 Dynasty Owner season with only two QBs right now. Belichick’s Hoodies feels comfortable enough with the #1 overall pick in Lamar Jackson that he took the 42-year old G.O.A.T. Tom Brady as his only backup QB. Quaranteam has Sam Darnold as his starter and rookie Jordan Love as his backup. Fortunately for Nick, he drafted wisely and has almost $28.5 million in salary cap room available right now. That’s not enough to pick up Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan or even Kirk Cousins without dropping another player, but he could fit Derek Carr for $25 million on his roster as presently constructed. Either that, or he’ll have to clear some salary cap space via trade or by dropping a player.

Drafting Philosophy – Everyone’s Got One, Here’s Two of Them

In every 12-team fantasy football draft, regardless of the format, you are likely to have 12 people with 12 different draft strategies. Some are well crafted in advance with hours of thought and time spent pouring over mock draft data. Other strategies come up on the fly after a few rounds or with the selection of a specific player or players. For example, because I drafted Derrick Henry and he might sign a long-term deal before the season starts, I wanted to leave the draft with at least $5 million in salary cap room as a buffer. Henry and the Titans have until July 15th to sign a new long-term deal since he was franchise tagged early in the off-season (https://www.nfl.com/news/titans-gm-contract-talks-with-derrick-henry-have-been-positive). If that happens, I will need room to pay him this season and didn’t want to have to fit his new salary in under the Dynasty Owner salary cap without cutting anyone already on my roster. That wasn’t my plan initially, but when Henry was available in the 3rd round and I decided to take him, I figured that I needed some cap room available in case he gets a new contract.

My team, Vantastics, spent the just barely over $2 million ($2.01 million) on three kickers. Only three teams spent less on kickers than me and all three of them have just two kickers. My kicker spending was also below both teams who only drafted one kicker. My reasoning for this is that there was very little separation between kickers in 2019 Dynasty Owner season and probably will remain as so due to the Dynasty Owner scoring system. As a result, I didn’t want to spend millions on kickers when they appear to be pretty interchangeable and preferred to use the millions that I saved by getting three cheap kickers on other positions. The downside to this strategy is that I had to draft those kickers earlier than most people did. I spent picks in Rounds 15, 17 and 20 on kickers, which was earlier than most owners, including Bruno who drafted his first kicker after I had three of them.

We also had one team (Quaranteam) who “only” spent $81.55 million out of a $110 million salary cap on Draft Day. Some of you might be asking, “Why in the heck did he do that?” Well, I asked Nick and here’s what he had to say in response to my question:

  • At first I was calculating for next year with re-signing my RBs and Kittle as the draft was going on. By round 6, I figured I had the absolute highest salary even though the numbers didn’t show it. Then as the draft went on I was trying to pick players so at the end I can afford Aaron Rodgers. Then realized I didn’t need him and since it’s a 6 team playoff versus a 4, I can wait and go all in if I need to at positions when it’s playoff time. Whether it be WR or QB, I have time to determine that. Or take advantage of anyone else with salary cap issues as the year goes on.

There are other people who appear to have a strategy as well based on their draft. Hillbilly Trash Trucks only has one player (Adrian Peterson) playing on a one-year deal. The Jerk is apparently bullish on the return of Ben Roethlisberger since he drafted five Steelers, but not Big Ben himself. New York’s Strongest appears to like this year’s rookie class as he drafted 11 players from it – the most of any team and three more than anybody else. Yorkshire Roses must have a trip to Vegas planned or some quid bet on them (he’s British and can do that legally). Why else would he draft three Raiders pass catchers in a row (Henry Ruggs, Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow) and four overall when you add in Foster Moreau. Finally, I assuming that Bruno and Sean like WRs. How do I know that? Both drafted 11 of them!

Will any of these strategies pay dividends during the 2020 Dynasty Owner season?  That’s why we play the game, so check back in at the end of the season and see whose strategy was the best.

Conclusions

Being part of Dynasty Owner history on Sunday afternoon was great. We weren’t supposed to be the first newly constructed beta league to draft, but the four scheduled before us got postponed and we lucked into the spot. For me and hopefully others, it was a lot of fun with some good back and forth in the chat. I had my laptop and phone fully charges plus paper and pen ready to manually log all of the picks. Some guys reported using multiple devices and didn’t participate much in the chat. Others are old-school and mentioned using paper and pencil and even magazines. And one other league owner called it “the hardest draft I have ever been in. I was exhausted after it was done.” Hopefully, he got a nap afterwards.

There were a lot of firsts to go along with a lot of surprises. It’s doubtful that anyone would have predicted that 13 RBs would be drafted in a row or that Adam Thielen would go undrafted. For me, I didn’t think I had a chance at drafting my QB from last year (Deshaun Watson) since I had the #2 pick, but when the big run on RBs kept going and going, I was able to get him. Maybe Watson wasn’t part of anyone’s draft strategy but mine. That could be so since it appears most everyone in this league didn’t pay attention to my quality article “advice”. Most of you reading this probably haven’t drafted yet, so you still have time to get yourself into one of the mock drafts going on every 15 minutes. We will have new articles soon from the rest of the Dynasty Owner writing team – Milos Ljubic (@LjubicMilos on Twitter) and Chris Wolf (@ckwolf21 on Twitter) as well as the first of the monthly Dynasty Owner Top 300 coming very soon. 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.

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

Who Wants to Draft a Non-Millionaire Player? – Part 2

Author: Steven Van Tassell

It is time for Part 2 of our series on non-millionaire players who are likely to help you win your 2020 Dynasty Owner League Championship. There were so many WRs that we could have just written an article on them and there are enough TEs to warrant a separate article as well, but let’s throw in a few kickers for good measure.

While the first TE wasn’t drafted until the second round of the 2020 NFL draft (Cole Kmet by the Bears), there were four taken in the third round who might be productive in 2020 as well as the Broncos fourth round pick Albert Okwuegbunam who was taken with the 118th pick. However, none of these players are ranked here, as they all miss the cut. Each one of them will likely make over $1 million in salary (based on the rookie wage scale) with Albert O missing the cut by only $11,011.

We also won’t mention the second best TE in 2019, George Kittle, who earned that spot behind Travis Kelce despite missing two games. Kittle only costs $674,572 against your Dynasty Owner salary cap for 2020, which is a lot of talent for very little salary cap money. However, his deal has just one year left and it’s possible that the 49ers sign him to a new deal in the off-season to keep him off the free agent market. That’s not a guarantee as a few days ago, NFL Network reporter Mike Silver is saying that the 49ers and Kittle’s agent haven’t spoken since February and Kittle wants to be paid like a wide receiver  instead of a tight end (https://www.si.com/nfl/49ers/news/49ers-and-george-kittle-not-close-at-all-to-contract-extension).

We’ll also rank kickers since you need to have a couple of them on your Dynasty Owner roster. The top three kickers (Justin Tucker, Harrison Butker and Wil Lutz) in projected 2020 Dynasty Owner fantasy points are all signed long-term (4 or 5 years) with average salaries north of $4 million per year. None of them will be listed here, but four others will for those of you who don’t want to spend that much on a kicker.

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 1 point for every 40 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.

These Tight Ends Are Like Donuts

Why are tight ends like donuts? Because a good one is so good and wonderful, while a bad one makes the owner of the donut sad. The beauty of the donut is in the eye of the beholder, just ask Homer Simpson.  Also, donuts come in dozens and we’ve identified a dozen tight ends who meet our criteria and are worth taking a longer look at and rank. This list is pretty exhaustive and even includes an undrafted rookie free agent who might end up as the Opening Game starter for his team.

  1. Mark Andrews (BAL – $863,290 thru 2021): Andrews is projected to be the third highest scoring TE in Dynasty Owner this year with 244.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. That’s just 11.9 points less than the projected points for Travis Kelce for $8.5 million less in salary. Think of the players you could draft with an extra $8.5 million! Andrews finished fifth among all TEs in Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 2019 with 205.2 points and he had to share some of the TE load with Hayden Hurst, who was traded to Atlanta in the off-season. Two more full seasons of Andrews at his salary with Lamar Jackson throwing him passes easily makes his the top TE on this list and maybe even a first round Dynasty Owner draft pick this year.
  2. Will Dissly (SEA – $777,658 thru 2021): Despite injuries and the Seahawks’ signing of veteran TE Greg Olsen this off-season, Dissly captures the number two spot on this list. He’s only played 10 games over two NFL seasons due to a torn patellar tendon in his right knee that ended his rookie season in 2018 after just four games. Then he followed that with a torn Achilles injury in Week 6 last year. In those 10 games, Dissly has scored six TDs and recorded 31 receptions for 418 receiving yards. In Dynasty Owner fantasy points, he has scored 108.5 points in just 10 games, or an average of 10.85 per game, which projects to 173.6 points if he could play in all 16 games. That would have made him the seventh overall TE in Dynasty Owner last year. Hopefully, he stays injury free and earns his high ranking on this list for Dynasty Owners who have faith in him.
  3. Ian Thomas (CAR – $801,999 thru 2021): Greg Olsen is gone from Carolina and has moved on to Seattle, leaving Thomas as the top TE for the Panthers. There are plenty of offensive players in Carolina to catch the ball from new QB Teddy Bridgewater – you may have heard of one of them, last name McCaffrey. Even with Kyle Allen and Will Grier at QB for Carolina for almost all of last season, Carolina TEs still produced 69 receptions for 744 yards and 3 TDs – good for 161.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. Thomas should get the bulk of the TE targets and receptions, especially since Carolina just released veteran TE Seth Devalve, and with better QB play from Bridgewater this year, he should either match or exceed the 2019 Carolina TE production.
  4. Jace Sternberger (GB – $966,832 thru 2022): Sternberger is in a similar position as Ian Thomas, so they are more like 3a and 3b. Both are the anointed starter at the TE position despite limited production in 2019 because of the departure of a veteran University of Miami graduate (Jimmy Graham for Green Bay). Limited probably isn’t the right word for Sternberger’s production in 2019 since he had a season long Blutarsky (0.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points all season). He did produce some in the playoffs for the Packers (3 receptions, 15 yards receiving and a receiving TD) so he’s got momentum coming into 2020. Thomas gets the nod ahead of Sternberger based on the fact that he actually has produced at the NFL level and is over $150,000 less expensive. Sternberger probably is in a better situation offensively to contribute and has an extra year on his non-millionaire contract, but that’s not enough to overtake Thomas.
  5. Kaden Smith (NYG – $680,002 thru 2022): As the main TE replacement for an injured Evan Engram in the final six games of the 2019 season, Smith had a good run. In those six games after the Giants’ bye week, Smith had 75.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points, or 12.6 points per game. However, don’t forget that Eli Manning started two of those games and in those games, Smith didn’t do so well. In the four games with Daniel Jones at QB, he had double-digit Dynasty Owner fantasy points and averaged 16.75 points per game. If Giants’ starter Evan Engram gets hurt, the Giants will likely just plug Smith in and keep moving on. Even if Engram is healthy, there should be room for Smith to carve out a role with the Giants and be worth owning at only $680,002 in Dynasty Owner salary.
  6. Thaddeus Moss (WAS – $768,333 thru 2022): How does an undrafted rookie free agent get to be the #6 guy on this list? Three reasons: 1. Opportunity; 2. College Production; and 3. Genetics. Let’s take them in order. First, the Washington TE situation is ripe for Moss to go out and be the starter in Week #1. Their top TE in 2015, 2016 and 2018 was Jordan Reed who was released, their top TE in 2017 was Vernon Davis who retired and their top TE from last year was Jeremy Sprinkle who only managed 55.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points despite playing all 16 games. Secondly, Moss produced for LSU last year with 44 receptions for 494 yards and 4 TDs in his last 10 games, including 9 receptions for 135 yards and 3 TDs in the two College Football Playoff games. Finally, he’s the son of Hall of Fame WR Randy Moss. What’s not to like here?
  7. Christopher Herndon (NYJ – $792,841 thru 2021): Herndon is projected as the #23 TE in Dynasty Owner in 2020, ahead of all the players on this list except Mark Andrews. It pains me to be not as high on a fellow Miami grad like Herndon as others are, but here are my reasons. Injuries – he missed the final two games of his senior season in college with a knee injury, then fractured a rib and pulled a hamstring last year, which limited him to one game played in 2019 (he also missed four games due to a violation of the NFL substance abuse policy). In his place, Jets TE Ryan Griffin played well and was rewarded with a three-year, $10.8 million contract. Even though Griffin is 30 years old, why give him so much money if you are convinced Herndon is your TE of the future? Seems curious. Finally, Adam Gase is a terrible head coach, so we need to downgrade Herndon for that this year.
  8. Dawson Knox (BUF – $880,400 thru 2022): As a rookie last year, Knox was a decent player for your Dynasty Owner practice squad. He had two productive games in which he had a TD and double-digit Dynasty Owner fantasy points, so he could have been a Starter or Bench player those weeks. On the other hand, the Bills added WR Stefon Diggs in the off-season, possibly meaning fewer targets for Knox. He also didn’t convert his targets into receptions last year, catching just 56% of his passes, although that was right in line with the overall Buffalo QB completion percentage of 58.3% and starter Josh Allen’s percentage of 58.8%. Knox is worth drafting late in your Dynasty Owner draft, but don’t count on using him in your lineup unless he proves himself early in the 2020 season.
  9. Jordan Akins (HOU – $831,271 thru 2021): One of three Houston Texans TEs to make this list is Jordan Akins. He’s a third-year, 28-year old who went to college at the University of Central Florida. Akins got the chance to shine in 2019 with the injury to his teammate Jordan Thomas (more on him later) and ended up the season with 89.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. He was consistently steady, but unspectacular all season with one big game (22.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in Week 3 versus the Chargers). He finished with 5.0 or fewer Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 8 out of the 15 games he played in, but that was still good enough to be the #25 ranked TE in Dynasty Owner in 2019. Still, there’s a lot of competition for receptions in Houston so Akins might not perform at his 2019 level in 2020.
  10. Foster Moreau (LV – $752,098 thru 2022): Being the backup to a top 5 TE (Darren Waller) probably isn’t the best place to find a good value, unless you’re a TE playing under Jon Gruden in Oakland (correction, Las Vegas – man is that going to take some getting used to). Even worse for Moreau is that he’s probably now the third string TE with the arrival of former Monday Night Football color commentator Jason Witten. So why does Moreau make this list? It’s all about the touchdowns, baby!  Raiders TEs have scored almost half of the team’s receiving TDs (19 of 41) since Gruden’s return to coaching in 2018 with backup TEs scoring over half (10 of 19) of those TDs. The Raiders also ran 52 pass plays in 2019 with three TEs on the field – the highest in the league according to the nice folks at Sharp Football Stats (https://www.sharpfootballstats.com/personnel-grouping-frequency.html). Dynasty Owners might not get a lot of production from Moreau in 2020 except in those situations barring injury, so he’s extremely doubtful to catch another 5 TDs this year. But be patient and wait for 2021 when Witten will likely be retired (again) and Moreau can get all of the backup TE work in Vegas.
  11. Jordan Thomas (HOU – $644,602 thru 2021): Don’t confuse him with Jordan Akins. This is Jordan Thomas, a third year, soon to be 24-year old who went to college at Mississippi and caught one pass in 2019 for 8 yards after spending most of the season on injured reserve. However, he did have 65.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 2018 with four TDs before his injury plagued 2019 season. Even though Thomas is over $185,000 cheaper and almost four years younger than Akins with the same number of years left on his contract, he’s behind his teammate because of how Akins’ produced in his absence in 2019.
  12. Kahale Warring (HOU – $910,114 thru 2022): The third and final Houston TE on this list is Kahale Warring. The only one missing is the team’s top TE (Darren Fells) who makes $3.15 million per year. Warring was a third-round pick by the Texans in the 2019 draft from San Diego State, so he has one more year left on his contract than the Jordans. However, he didn’t play a down in 2019 which is the main reason he’s last on this list and last on the depth chart among the four Texans TEs. Indications are that the Texans may keep all four TEs on their roster if all of them are healthy since Texans Head Coach Bill O’Brien ran 187 plays last year with at least two TEs on the field (ranked third behind Philadelphia and Minnesota and just ahead of Baltimore and Kansas City). Shout out again to Sharp Football Stats (https://www.sharpfootballstats.com/personnel-grouping-frequency.html) for the data. This will give Warring a chance to prove that he was worth his 2019 draft selection spot and higher salary than either of the Jordans.

The Four Horsemen of the Kicking Game

First, the Four Horsemen were the 1924 Notre Dame backfield under Coach Knute Rockne, then it was the wrestling group consisting of Nature Boy Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard and the Minnesota Wrecking Crew tag team of Ole and Arn Anderson (this is the original group and the only one that matters; no apologies to future “Horsemen” like Steve “Mongo” McMichael – who didn’t deserve the honor). Now, the most recent group are the four kickers who have more than one year left on their contracts for less than $1 million in Dynasty Owner salary. Even though the Four Horsemen travel as a group, let’s rank the four of these kickers individually:

  1. Matt Gay (TB – $711,443 thru 2022): Even though he has the highest salary of the group, although by a small margin, Gay ranks first here for a couple of reasons. First, he projected to score the most points of the group in 2020 (106.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points). Second, he has produced before for his Dynasty Owners as he scored the most Dynasty Owner fantasy points among the four in 2019 (114.0). Third, the Tampa Bay offense is the best of the four teams represented so Gay should have more chances than the others. And finally, his Dynasty Owners will have him on contract for three years, unless he gets a new contract sometime soon.
  2. Austin Seibert (CLE – $695,114 thru 2022): It’s a bit of a drop-off after Gay on this list. Gay is projected to score 106.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points compared to just 93.0 points for Browns kicker Austin Seibert, or nearly a full point less per game. Not a lot, but every point counts in Dynasty Owner! With two new offensive linemen and a new Head Coach Kevin Stefanski replacing the clearly over his head Freddie Kitchens in Cleveland, the Browns offense should be better in 2020. This will give Seibert more extra point chances and likely more FG chances and maybe more than the two chances from 50+ yards that he had last season.
  3. Jason Sanders (MIA – $637,800 thru 2021): Even though Sanders scored more Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 2019 than Austin Seibert (91.1 vs. 88.0 for Seibert), savvy Dynasty Owners recall that Sanders caught a one-yard TD pass in Week 13 versus the Eagles to give him 7.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. Without that TD reception, he would have finished the year behind Seibert with only 84.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. He is also projected to score fewer Dynasty Owner fantasy points than Seibert this year, only 88.0 points. And it’s unlikely that he’ll catch another TD pass this year since his catch last year was the first one by a kicker since 1977. Those factors plus the one year less year left on his contract weigh more heavily than the $57,314 in salary cap savings, so Sanders ranks third.
  4. Greg Joseph (TEN – $660,000 thru 2021): Joseph is fourth simply because he is in no way guaranteed to be the Titans kicker in 2020. The team has already signed undrafted rookie free agent Tucker McCann (who will actually cost you more in Dynasty Owner at $763,333) and rumors are out there that they are interested in bringing a veteran kicker to training camp to compete. Hopefully, you’re not diving this deep for a backup kicker in your Dynasty Owner draft or you might spend $660,000 on Joseph and still need to pick up a kicker in the Free Agent Auction during the season if he’s released.

Conclusions

Just like at WR, there are plenty of lower paid TEs with multiple seasons left on their rookie contract who could make their way on to Dynasty Owner rosters in 2020. As mentioned in the first part of our series, mixing in some of these non-millionaire players is necessary to be able to afford the talent that can help you win your League Championship this year. And isn’t that what it’s all about.

Even if you have Travis Kelce, grabbing one of the guys on this list will be necessary to offset his $9.37 million salary. Dynasty Owners can’t afford to have two high-priced TEs on their roster unless they are willing to sacrifice at other positions, since everyone has to stay below the $110 million hard salary cap. Having one (or more) of these players will help out with that problem.

There has been plenty of activity in the Dynasty Owner universe over the past two weeks and more to come soon. Beta users have signed up for spots in the new 12-team leagues and live drafts start this coming weekend.

If you missed Part 1 on QBs, RBs and WRs, here’s the link to the article (https://dynastyowner.com/2020/06/draft-a-non-millionaire-player-part-1/). And if you didn’t watch it already, everyone should check out the live mock draft on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6m6ELEZQcQE).

There are also mock drafts going on constantly with some beta users setting up specific times to join that are helping to calculate ADP for the 2020 early drafts. We also had recent articles from the rest of the Dynasty Owner writing team – Milos Ljubic (@LjubicMilos on Twitter) and Chris Wolf (@ckwolf21 on Twitter). 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

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

Who Wants to Draft a Non-Millionaire Player? – Part 1

Author: Steven Van Tassell

In the draft tips article from last week, finding value was the top recommendation. So, the next question is what players are going to give you enough value and help you win your Dynasty Owner league championship in 2020 and beyond. If you’re like Ricky Bobby and just focus on 2020 (“If you’re not first, you’re last”), then there are a lot of players who you can draft this year who have low salaries and will likely produce enough Dynasty Owner fantasy points to help you win now.

If you want to be competitive in both 2020 and beyond, there are still plenty of  players with contracts of under $1 million per year who are signed now for more than just the 2020 season. In fact, there are too many players to include in just one article. We’ll look at QBs, RBs and WRs first, then focus on TEs and kickers in the next article.

At RB, Phillip Lindsay only earns $575,000 and both Aaron Jones and Chris Carson make less than $651,000 per year, but all three of them only have one year left on their rookie deals. Alvin Kamara is a first round pick who also just fits under the $1 million figure with his 2020 salary of $964,443. Chris Godwin ($821,041 salary) was the #3 overall WR in Dynasty Owner in 2019 and a legitimate first round 2020 pick, but he’s only under contract for that salary for one more year. Cooper Kupp and Kenny Golladay are expected to be early round selections as well and also make less than $1 million, but both are only signed for 2020.

We won’t mention any of those players in this article, or players who just miss the $1 million cutoff, such as Bears RB David Montgomery who was picked in the third round of the 2019 draft and has a Dynasty Owner salary of just north of $1 million ($1,003,845 to be exact). Same with two Pittsburgh WRs (Diontae Johnson and James Washington) who should benefit from the return of Ben Roethlisberger both of whom make slightly over $1 million per year.

These non-millionaire guys with multiple years left on their rookie contracts may not be the ones who, by themselves, win you your 2020 Dynasty Owner league championship. To win, you’ll need them to contribute enough to provide some help at the minimum from your Bench or as a Bye Week Starter. Their contribution could also be more subtle as a guy who provides depth, but more importantly, saves your Dynasty Owner team some salary cap room to be able to afford those expensive, impact players who will help you win.

All stats are based on the Standard Dynasty Owner scoring system as outlined in the updated Dynasty Owner Constitution.

Backfield Limitations

If you are looking for one of these non-millionaire guys at either QB or RB, you’ll need to grab him earlier in your Dynasty Owner draft than you might think he’s worthy of being drafted as there are only four of them. Here’s how they rank in order (with salary figures):

  1. Devin Singletary (RB – BUF – $974,500 thru 2022): Now that Frank Gore has moved on to the Jets (why Frank?!? – just retire gracefully instead of as a backup for the Jets), Singletary is the starter in Buffalo for a team that ranked seventh overall in rushing yards in 2019. Sure, the Bills might pass more this year after adding Stefon Diggs or rookie Zack Moss might vulture some yards and TDs. However, unless you think Moss will overtake Singletary sometime this year, Singletary’s the first non-millionaire backfield guy to grab.
  2. Gardner Minshew II (QB – JAX – $677,721 thru 2022): Minshew is the Man in Jacksonville after being the backup last year and taking over when Nick Foles got injured. The Jaguars traded Foles and his $22 million per year contract to Chicago, so Mike Glennon is the backup to Minshew and unlikely to overtake him in training camp. Maybe the Jaguars sign Cam Newton, but if not, Minshew’s the starter and could be a valuable Bench QB or bye week starter. That’s really good for under $700,000.
  3. Tony Pollard (RB – DAL – $796,945 thru 2022): Pollard might be the backup to Ezekiel Elliott, but he’ll get the ball enough to keep on your Bench weekly in the hopes that he has a great game or two when the Cowboys are leading (or losing) by a lot and want to save Elliott. He had three of those games in 2019 in which he averaged 22.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. And if Elliott does get injured, Pollard becomes the starter in Dallas and gets inserted into a lot of Dynasty Owner lineups as either a RB or FLEX. He’s worth a spot on your roster even if you don’t own Elliott.
  4. Jarrett Stidham (QB – NE – $788,423 thru 2022): The G.O.A.T. is gone from New England and Bill Belichick appears committed to Stidham since he didn’t take a QB at all in the 2020 draft. The Patriots come into the 2020 season with Stidham, Brian Hoyer (only $1.05 million in Dynasty Owner salary) and two undrafted rookie free agents fighting for the third string spot. That’s it unless the Patriots suddenly have a change of heart and sign Cam Newton. Here’s hoping Stidham is the Steve Young of the Patriots (a Hall of Fame QB replacing another Hall of Fame QB) and not Hugh Millen, Tommy Hodson, or Marc Wilson (yes, those are the names of actual Patriots starting QBs in the early 1990s before they drafted Drew Bledsoe).

The rest of the non-millionaire QBs are expected to be backups in 2020, barring an injury, so we aren’t going to rank them. However, there are a few additional RBs who are lower-ranked backups or maybe third down, pass catching RBs who might be worth a Practice Squad spot as they are unlikely to contribute as a Starter or Bench player in 2020 unless the starting RB or RBs for their team gets injured. Several of them (Ito Smith in Atlanta, Alexander Mattison in Minnesota to name two) will find their way onto Dynasty Owner rosters as a handcuff to the starter, but they likely have limited value in 2020 barring injuries.

Receivers

There is a lot more value available at WR than QB and RB combined as 20 players meet our qualifications for inclusion on this list and we could have added more if we wanted. Let’s just limit ourselves to analyzing the top 12 of them (and list the other 8 in order) who should help your Dynasty Owner team in 2020 and beyond.

  1. Darius Slayton (NYG – $688,497 thru 2022): Finished the 2019 Dynasty Owner season as the #36 WR, which would make him a fringe starter in 12-team Dynasty Owner leagues for less than $700,000. Grabbing Slayton early will give you salary cap room to get productive veterans later on in the draft. Slayton had three games with 2 TDs in 2019 and more than 20.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. He might be the Giants #1 WR this year and if so, could be in for a bigger year than projected (216.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points).
  2. Michael Gallup (DAL – $880,995 thru 2021): Despite the presence of rookie first round pick CeeDee Lamb, Gallup is projected to have more Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 2020 than 2019 (238.1 vs. 212.7). He had nine games with 10.0 or more Dynasty Owner fantasy points last season, up from three in 2018, and two more 2019 games that just fell short (9.5 and 9.3 respectively). Gallup takes a hit here down to the #2 slot because of the presence of Lamb and Amari Cooper, but he’s still worthy of a high Dynasty Owner draft pick in 2020.
  3. Terry McLaurin (WAS – $961,918 thru 2022): McLaurin just comes in under the $1 million salary necessary to be included here. He may be the top WR and is projected to be the #15 WR overall in Dynasty Owner, but costs a little bit over $80,000 more than Gallup and nearly $275,000 more than Slayton. Plus, he has the worst QB situation of the top three with second year QB Dwayne Haskins likely under center in Washington, or Kyle Allen if Coach Ron Rivera wants to go with a guy he coached last year in Carolina. McLaurin averaged 12.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game in seven games with Haskins at QB, lower than the 14.8 points per game in seven games with the other Redskins starting QBs (Case Keenum and Colt McCoy).
  4. Preston Williams (MIA – $588,333 thru 2021): Williams averaged 11.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game before a season-ending ACL tear in Week 9 versus the Jets. Did you know he had 24.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in that game and four other games with 10.0+ points in just eight games as an undrafted rookie free agent? He’s projected as the #66 WR in 2020 so he’s a fifth or sixth WR on your Dynasty Owner team, but one who could produce if needed for a couple of weeks based on what he did in half a season in 2019. All that production for just $583,333. Don’t wait too long to draft him or he’ll be gone.
  5. Russell Gage (ATL – $654,049 thru 2021): After the Falcons traded Mohamed Sanu to the Patriots, Gage became a bigger part of the Falcons offense. He averaged 10.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game in the last nine games of the season, flashing his potential for 2020. The Falcons appear to be happy with their WRs as they didn’t draft any, so Gage should be locked in as the #3 WR in Atlanta behind Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. The Falcons did pick up Hayden Hurst to replace Austin Hooper at TE, but there should be plenty of receptions to go around with the passing offense ranked first in completions and third in yards in 2019.
  6. Steven Sims Jr. (WAS – $590,000 thru 2021): If you’ve read any of my off-season articles such as (https://dynastyowner.com/2020/02/available-players-2020/), then you know that I’m a big fan of Steven Sims Jr. It started when I saw him take a reverse 65 yards for a TD against the stout New England defense in Week 5 (a 33-7 New England victory in Washington that I attended. The Patriots defense held the Redskins to 223 yards of total offense). He also averaged 20.8 in the final three games of the 2019 season. Sims would be higher on this list if the Redskins hadn’t drafted both Antonio Gibson and Antonio Gandy-Golden in the 2020 NFL draft to compete with him for targets. Dirt cheap at just $590,000 for two more years.
  7. Hunter Renfrow (LV – $708,987 thru 2022): Another guy who emerged at the end of the 2019 season and would be ranked higher except for the fact that the Raiders took three WRs in the first three rounds of the NFL draft. He had 45.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in Weeks 16 and 17 combined, but also had three other games with 10.0 or more points. Projected as the #45 WR in Dynasty Owner 2020 even after the Raiders drafted Henry Ruggs, Lynn Bowden and Bryan Edwards and will cost you less than each one of them, so he still has some value for Dynasty Owners.
  8. Tre’Quan Smith (NO – $855,131 thru 2021): The Saints passing offense had the second most completions and seventh most yards in 2019 despite having QB Drew Brees miss five complete games and most of a sixth game. Smith didn’t have great overall stats in 2019, but produced five receiving TDs (all from Brees) and almost all of his 74.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points with Brees at QB, so it appears that he has his QB’s trust. He’s listed as a starting WR on the current Saints depth chart along with Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. If Smith can step up and be a reliable #3 WR for the high-powered Saints passing offense, his Dynasty Owners will gladly pay $855,131 for his services in 2020 and 2021.
  9. Scott Miller (TB – $661,960 thru 2022): Miller is one of the three leading candidates for the third receiver spot in Tampa Bay, along with Justin Watson and rookie fifth round draft pick Tyler Johnson. Miller had two double digit Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 2019 and could have had two more but he wasn’t able to play in the final two games of the season. Both Tampa Bay starting WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin were out for the final two games as well, so big performances from Miller were possible in those games if he hadn’t gotten injured.
  10. Justin Watson (TB – $690,435 thru 2021): Watson is really the 9B to Miller’s 9A as Dynasty Owners who are bullish on the Tampa Bay passing game in 2020 with the G.O.A.T. under center might want to own both of these candidates for the #3 WR position in Tampa. Watson had two games with 15.0+ Dynasty Owner fantasy points at the end of the season when Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Scott Miller were all out with injuries. However, he loses out to Miller for the 9 spot here simply because he has one less year on his contract and is almost $30,000 more in salary. That’s not a lot, but every dollar matters in Dynasty Owner.
  11. Olabisi Johnson (MIN – $648,572 thru 2022): No Stefon Diggs in Minnesota means the Vikings passing offense needs to replace a player who had 63 receptions, 1,130 receiving yards and 6 receiving TDs in 2019. They did pick up Tajae Sharpe in free agency and drafted Justin Jefferson in the first round of the 2020 draft and K.J. Osborn in the fifth round (it’s all about the U), so there’s plenty of competition for Johnson to replace Diggs. Johnson isn’t a dart throw, but for under $650,000 a year, he might be worth adding to your Dynasty Owner draft queue as a late round selection.
  12. Jakobi Meyers (NE – $588,333 thru 2021): There’s not a lot of depth at WR in New England after Julian Edelman and N’Keal Harry, so Meyers could be in for a big role in 2020. He scored Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 11 of 16 regular season games in 2019. In addition, Meyers had a great connection with new Patriots QB Jarrett Stidham during the 2019 pre-season with 16 receptions for 216 receiving yards and a touchdown. Hopes are high in New England that this carries over into the 2020 regular season.

If this were college football or college basketball rankings, we’d have a section called “Others Receiving Votes”. Here are a few additional names to round out a Top 20 of WRs, who just missed out on making it into our Top 12:

13. Miles Boykin (BAL – $893,732 thru 2022)

14. DeSean Hamilton (DEN – $785,660 thru 2021)

15. Kelvin Harmon (WAS – $661,960 thru 2022)

16. Keke Coutee (HOU – $797,257 thru 2021)

17. KeeSean Johnson (ARI – $682,328 thru 2022)

18. Javon Wims (CHI – $638,978 thru 2021)

19. Damion Ratley (CLE – $663,467 thru 2021)

20. John Ursua (SEA – $650,668 thru 2022)

Conclusions

There are plenty of lower paid, productive WRs with multiple seasons left on their rookie contract, more than QBs and RBs. With 12 team leagues and 30-man rosters, all of these players should find their way into a Dynasty Owner roster this season. Every Dynasty Owner will have to mix in some of these players to be able to afford higher priced talent. The key is getting value out of these non-millionaire players, not just filling out roster space with minimum salary players who aren’t playing and are just occupying space on your Practice Squad.

In a “regular” dynasty league, these young players are important to own, but their importance is amplified in Dynasty Owner because of the $110 million salary cap. You can’t just have Russell Wilson ($35 million), Ezekiel Elliott ($15 million), Julio Jones ($22 million) and Travis Kelce ($9.4 million) on your Dynasty Owner roster and win unless you find some value players to fill out your starting lineup and Bench.

There was plenty of activity in the Dynasty Owner universe last week. If you didn’t watch it already, everyone should check out the YouTube Livestream mock draft from Friday morning (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6m6ELEZQcQE). There are mock drafts going on constantly with some beta users setting up specific times to join and help calculate ADP for the 2020 drafts. We also two new articles recently from Milos Ljubic (@LjubicMilos on Twitter) and one from Chris Wolf (@ckwolf21 on Twitter) on Friday. 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

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

2020 Wide Receivers Draft Class – Day Two Picks

Author: Milos Ljubic

As mentioned in the title, this will be an article about wide receivers selected on day two of this year’s draft.

The very first WR selected on day two was Tee Higgins by the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals were the worst team last season by the record. They were a little better by statistics, but that is minor. In this season they will enter with new QB Joe Burrow. RBs, WRs, and TEs will be the same as the previous year. The biggest difference is A.J. Green, who is franchise tagged, and everyone in the organization expects he will remain healthy throughout the season. He missed a season and a half due to injury. Green and Tyler Boyd will be starting duo of WR’s for the Bengals. The last season Boyd had over 1,000 yards caught. Higgins is expected to be 3rd WR on the Bengals depth chart, but he will have strong competitors. Auden Tate, Alex Erickson, and John Ross, all of them having over 500 caught yards last season, and they will try to repeat that success. That won’t be an easy job for a rookie probably. His salary for the next four years will be $2,171,696 per year.

Michael Pittman Jr. was the second player selected on day two of the draft. He was picked up by the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts were an average team last season with a great offensive line. They selected an RB in the second round, so they further improve their RBs’ depth. The worst part of the team was attacking through the air. The Colts signed Philip Rivers to be QB for the next year. The Colts will have over 20 interceptions next year, probably, but they will also have near 4,000 passing yards. How will those yards be distributed? The undrafted Zach Pascal was the most productive Colts’ WR last season. T.Y. Hilton will be WR no.1. There are some concerns about Hilton however. He has eight seasons behind him, and he was having problems with injuries this past season. Parris Campbell, second-rounder from the previous draft, was having problems with injuries almost the whole season. He played less than 20% of the Colts snaps. If everything goes regularly, Pittman is expected to be WR no.2 and to catch over 600 yards. His annual salary will be $2,153,212.

The Jacksonville Jaguars were the third team that selected WR on day two of the draft. From the 42nd position, the Jaguars selected Laviska Shenault. By all projections, Jacksonville will be the worst team in NFL this season. The Jaguars weren’t bad last year. In fact, they were average on offense and below average on defense, but now they are in rebuilding mode. They will have a similar attack, but their defense will be worse than last year, sure. What we can expect from Shenault? The Jaguars traded Nick Foles to the Bears, but there are a lot of doubts in Gardner Minshew as a capable QB who will run one team. The four best WRs will be back, and as I already said, they are solid. Laviska Shenault will be 3rd WR probably, in a team that was projected for tanking. His annual salary will be $1,924,017 for the next four years.

K.J. Hamler was selected from the 46th position by the Denver Broncos. I wrote in a previous article about the Broncos. Hamler will be the third WR in a run-first team, and unlike Shenault, he can’t move nither up nither down on a depth chart. His salary will be $1,784,282 per year.

The Pittsburgh Steelers from the 49th position selected Chase Claypool. The Steelers were one of the best defenses last year, but post-Le’Veon Bell-Antonio Brown Steelers aren’t even close to what they should be on offense. In fact, they were awful last year. The only good part of the offense was O-line. We don’t know what to expect from Big Ben as he missed almost the whole season last year. Their receiving corps isn’t so bad, but it isn’t great either. They have three solid young WRs on the depth chart and all of them are still on rookie deals. That is the main reason why receiving corps were 31st last season and is projected to have two WRs among first 16, and third as a 38th WR on fantasy draft. What can we expect from Chase Claypool? With his big body, he brings strength to the Steelers. Three mentioned WRs are all below 220 pounds. And only JuJu is barely over 6 feet high. If we compare Claypool with the 2014 draft class, we can say that he is very similar to Kelvin Benjamin. He is projected to be the 4th WR on the depth chart, but in these circumstances, he can easily be the best Steelers’ WR next season. His annual salary will be $1,654,156.

Los Angeles Rams selected Van Jefferson from the 57th position. What can we expect from the Rams this season? They had been built in the win-now mode in the previous two seasons. They lost in the Super Bowl a year ago, and they missed playoffs last season, as the 7th team in the conference. Their division is getting stronger now. We can say that they are in some light variant of a rebuild. In this team, Jefferson is projected to be 4th WR on the depth chart, and no-one expects from him, to make big numbers in a season in front of us. His annual salary will be $1,402,784.

Denzel Mims was the last WR selected in the second round of the draft. The New York Jets picked up Mims from the 59th position. The Jets had above-average defense last season, but their offense was in dead-last. From last season’s WR corps, they only kept Jamison Crowder and he is expected to be their best WR. Crowder will take the most number of snaps, from the slot. The outside WRs will be Mims and newcomer Breshad Perriman. Perriman is a former first-rounder, who is on his way to avoid the bust tag. What we can expect from the Jets and Mims? The good thing is that the AFC East will be soft, but the Jets are projected to be the worst team in the division, again. Those facts are actually not so bad for one rookie WR. The Jets invested the first-round pick in a left tackle, and Sam Darnold is probably the best passing QB in the division, as weird as it may sound. They also expect Le’Veon Bell to play a much better this season than last season. They don’t have some reliable TEs on the roster, and that means more targets for Mims. He will play the next four seasons for $1,358,425 per year.

Two wide receivers were selected in the third round of the draft. Bryan Edwards was picked up from the 81st position. We already discussed the situation in the Raiders. Expectations are low for Edwards to be a big impact in his rookie season. His salary will be $1,065,358 per year.

The last WR selected on day three of the draft was Devin Duvernay. The Baltimore Ravens picked up him from the 92nd position. The Ravens are run-first team, with great defense, and they further improved in both of those segments. Besides that, they have a very good TEs group. Duvernay is projected to be the 4th WR on the depth chart with an annual salary will be $1,064,084.

Milos Ljubic is a freelance writer for Dynasty Owner

Follow us on Twitter: @LjubicMilos and @Dynasty_Owner