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NFL Week 1 Preview – Here We Go!

NFL Week 1 Preview – Here We Go!

Author: Steven Van Tassel (@SteveVT33)

Football is back! Things were looking bleak a few months ago when all sports were shut down, but the NBA, NHL and MLB are all playing right now and here comes the NFL! There will be fewer fans in the stands (if any at all in certain places), but football will be on your TV starting with Thursday Night Football between the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans. And Dynasty Owner is back for its second season, the first one with 12-team leagues, but still with real NFL salaries and a hard $110 million salary cap. To all of the returning Dynasty Owners, welcome back and thanks for playing again and reading this preview. For the new Dynasty Owners, thanks for joining us and let’s go over how we do this weekly preview article.

Every week of the regular season and playoffs, we’ll present a set of players at each position (QB, RB, WR, TE) who you should have as a Starter in your Dynasty Owner lineup as well as one player per position who should be on your Bench or Practice Squad. We won’t recommend a kicker to Start or Bench though (you’re welcome to all of the people who hate kickers in fantasy football, particularly Kyle Webster). These won’t be the obvious choices for Starters, like go ahead and start Patrick Mahomes, Christian McCaffrey, Michael Thomas and Travis Kelce (as if you weren’t going to do that already if you have them), but guys who might not be highly owned or who were drafted to be a backup. For the Bench or Practice Squad choices, we’ll find typical Starters who shouldn’t be in your Starting lineup for the week based on matchups or past performance against a team. It’ll be a little bit harder without pre-season games to review, but we need to proceed without the benefit of that information.

Finally, we will look at one Dynasty Owner game, our Match-up of the Week. For the Match-up of the Week, we will look at the overall projected score and then each team’s Starters and Bench to see how their current lineups are projected to produce. For the first week of the season, we have a special Match-Up of the Week planned.

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.

For the purposes of this article, ADP and Dynasty Owner ownership statistics were current as of September 9th.

These Guys Should be Starters This Week

Usually, we look to see how my recommendations from the previous week worked out (Good, Bad or Just Ok), but seeing as this is Week 1, we don’t have a previous week to review. Instead, let’s take a look at how my 2019 season predictions at each position so everyone can judge whether or not to pay attention to these recommendations. There were no Week 1 or Week 17 predictions, so we just have 15 weeks of predictions.

  • QB: Good – 5 weeks (33%); Bad – 7 weeks (47%); Just Ok – 3 weeks (20%)
  • RB: Good – 7 weeks (47%); Bad – 6 weeks (40%); Just Ok – 2 weeks (13%)
  • WR: Good – 7 weeks (47%); Bad – 6 weeks (40%); Just Ok – 2 weeks (13%)
  • TE: Good – 5 weeks (33%); Bad – 7 weeks (47%); Just Ok – 3 weeks (20%)
  • All: Good – 24 weeks (40%); Bad – 26 weeks (43%); Just Ok – 10 weeks (17%)

Overall, an average performance in 2019 with two more Bad recommendations than Good ones. In addition to the overall stats, let the record show that there were two weeks with four Good recommendations (Week 3 with Jacoby Brissett, Frank Gore, Nelson Agholor and Greg Olsen and Week 13 with Mitchell Trubisky, Derrius Guice, Cole Beasley and Jack Doyle). Let’s get off to a good start in 2020 with four good recommendations of players who should be Starters this week.

Jimmy Garoppolo (QB – SF): In both games last year against Arizona, Jimmy G had over 40.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. In Week 9, he had 41.1 points and in Week 11, it was 46.9 points. It’s true that several 49ers WRs are banged up right now, but he had his best week of the 2019 season at home against Arizona in Week 11 with his #1 receiving option in George Kittle out injured. Please look at the numbers and don’t discount this recommendation based on my past presidency in the Jimmy Garoppolo Fan Club.

Tarik Cohen (RB – CHI): David Montgomery’s status for the season opening game versus Detroit is unknown, but he did suffer a groin injury back on August 26th and was expected to miss 2-4 weeks. If he is out or plays a limited number of snaps, that means more Tarik Cohen for the Bears. Cohen did well in two games against the Lions in 2019 (21.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points combined) with one receiving TD. However, Montgomery also caught a receiving TD in one of the games against the Lions last year and they allowed eight receiving TDs to RBs in total all season (tied with Houston for the most in the NFL in 2019). Cohen could even pick up more rushing attempts this week with Montgomery’s injury. Cohen is a definite starter this week in either one of your RB spots or at the FLEX position.

DeSean Jackson (WR – PHI): With Alshon Jeffery and first round draft pick Jalen Reagor likely out for the Eagles Week 1 game against the Redskins, DeSean Jackson becomes the top WR in Philadelphia. And boy did Jackson love playing Week 1 versus his old football team last year. He had 35.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in Week 1 (8 receptions, 154 yards, 2 receiving TDs) against them and could be in line for similar production in the 2020 season opener. He is only owned in 36% of Dynasty Owner leagues, but if you took a chance on Jackson and his $9.3 million salary, this is the week to put him in your Starting lineup and see if he’s still worth it.

Jordan Reed (TE – SF): After 65 games over six seasons in Washington before missing the entire 2019 season with concussion issues, Jordan Reed is now George Kittle’s backup in San Francisco. Reed will be reunited with Coach Kyle Shanahan who was his offensive coordinator in his rookie season in Washington, one in which he had 45 receptions for 499 yards and 3 TDs in just 9 games. Still, he’s a backup and only owned in 17% of Dynasty Owner leagues, why should Dynasty Owners go out and pick Reed up off the Free Agent Auction and insert him into their Starting Lineup or Bench? Answer: It’s all about the matchup against the Arizona Cardinals who had the worst defense in the NFL in 2019 against TEs. They allowed an average of 19.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game to TEs last season. In Week 11, Kittle was out for the 49ers and Ross Dwelley scored 17.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (4 receptions, 14 yards, 2 TDs) against the Cardinals. Plus the 49ers receiving corps are banged up and Kittle has been promoting the idea of using all four 49ers TEs at once (https://www.nbcsports.com/bayarea/49ers/george-kittle-wants-49ers-run-four-tight-end-sets-jordan-reed). Even if they just run a lot of two TE sets, Reed will be on the field a lot in Week 1. Obviously, you start Kittle this week, but feel comfortable putting Reed in your lineup as well.

These Guys Should Be on the Bench (or Practice Squad) This Week

Now it’s time to look at how my Bench recommendations from the previous week worked out (Good, Bad or Just Ok), but again seeing as this is Week 1, we have to take a look at how my 2019 season predictions fared at each position. Everyone can judge whether or not to pay attention to these 2020 Bench recommendations based on my 2019 performance. There were no Week 1 or Week 17 predictions, so we just have 15 weeks of predictions.

  • QB: Good – 6 weeks (40%); Bad – 4 weeks (27%); Just Ok – 5 weeks (33%)
  • RB: Good – 5 weeks (33%); Bad – 6 weeks (40%); Just Ok – 4 weeks (27%)
  • WR: Good – 5 weeks (33%); Bad – 5 weeks (33%); Just Ok – 5 weeks (33%)
  • TE: Good – 9 weeks (60%); Bad – 4 weeks (27%); Just Ok – 2 weeks (13%)
  • All: Good – 25 weeks (42%); Bad – 19 weeks (32%); Just Ok – 16 weeks (27%)

My Bench predictions were a little better than my Starter predictions. Bench predictions for TEs were where I shined the most with 60% Good recommendations. Like my Starter recommendations, I also had two weeks with four Good Bench recommendations in 2019 (Week 7 with Kyler Murray, Kerryon Johnson, Terry McLaurin and Jared Cook and Week 12 with Aaron Rodgers, Josh Jacobs, Amari Cooper and Gerald Everett). Let’s see if we can get off to a good start in 2020 with four good recommendations of players who should be sitting on the Bench or hanging out with the Practice Squad this week.

Aaron Rodgers (QB – GB): Rodgers doesn’t really like playing at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. He’s played four games there since the stadium opened in 2016. In 2017, he broke his collarbone and the other three games haven’t been a whole lot better than that. He has averaged 14.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in the three games he played at the stadium (not including 2017) with no more than 216 yards passing in a single game. He’s also had 1 TD pass twice and zero TD passes once. He did rush for a TD in 2016 when he scored 17.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. In 2018, it was 15.9 points and by last year, he was down to 9.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. He is only rostered in 34% of Dynasty Owner leagues, but to those owners with him on their team, leave him on the Bench or Practice Squad this week.

Kareem Hunt (RB – CLE): With an ADP of 60.2, Dynasty Owners drafted Hunt to either start in one of their RB slots or at least in the FLEX position. Hunt only played in eight games and in only two of them did he score less than 10.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. Week 16 against the Ravens was one of them. Hunt got most of his Dynasty Owner fantasy points in the receiving game last year (71.5 of out 99.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points). The Ravens were one of the best teams in the NFL last year at stopping RBs from catching the football, allowing only 60 receptions for 454 yards and 1 receiving TD by a RB. Even though it’s a new coach and offensive coordinator in Cleveland, the Ravens defense should be tough again this year, so leave Hunt on your Bench this week on the road against Baltimore.

Amari Cooper (WR – DAL): The Cowboys face the Rams on the road in their first game of the 2020 season with Cooper having missed four straight practices before practicing in full on Wednesday. That’s a series of bad things for Amari Cooper’s Dynasty Owners. As I’ve noted before, Cooper has been a Bench option playing on the road in his career as a Cowboy – averaging only 9.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in eight road games in 2019 and 8.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per road game in four road games for the Cowboys in 2018. He’s also playing against a top cornerback in Jalen Ramsey and back in Week 12 of the 2019 when he played against another top CB on the road (Stephen Gilmore of the Patriots), he was on the Bench These Guys list and got a Blutarsky (0.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points). Ramsey also held him to 2.9 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (1 reception for 19 yards) in Week 15 last year. All of that means Cooper should be on your Dynasty Owner Bench (or Practice Squad if you’re stacked at WR) to start the 2020 season.

Evan Engram (TE – NYG): As the sixth TE off the board on average in Dynasty Owner drafts (ADP 84.3), you didn’t draft Engram to have him on your Bench. However, he’s also not going to be playing the Pittsburgh Steelers defense every week like he is in Week 1. Last year, the Steelers defense was tied for 24th place in receptions allowed to TEs and 29th in yards allowed. They did allow 8 receiving TDs to TEs, but two of them came in Week 2 against Seattle before they acquired safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. In general, it’s probably a good idea to sit players going up against the Steelers defense, so get Engram out of your Starting lineup and on your Bench.

Dynasty Owner Matchup of the Week – New York’s Strongest vs. VIP Club Dub

It’s time for our first Dynasty Owner Match-up of the Week for the 2020 season. While all of the Week 1 Match-ups are compelling and worthy of previewing, there’s really only one team that has to be mentioned here and that’s 2019 Chase for the Ring winner Eddie Driscoll and New York’s Strongest. He’s still the only undefeated player in Dynasty Owner history (if you didn’t play in 2019, you don’t qualify for that honor) and while Eddie has more than one team, he helped put together a league of beta users from 2019 to see if he could knock off the “best of the best” in Dynasty Owner. Will Eddie continue his winning streak, or will Anthony Heuther and his VIP Club Dub squad be the first Dynasty Owner team to defeat New York’s Strongest? At first glance, based on the exclusive Dynasty Owner scoring projections for each team’s current lineup, we see that VIP Club Dub is favored to win by 15.1 points (143.8 to 128.7).

So how is VIP Club Dub predicted to take down the Champ so decisively?  Let’s look each team’s Starters:

New York’s Strongest has the advantage at RB with Barkley and Gordon over Ingram and David Johnson, but VIP Club Dub overwhelms Eddie at TE by having Travis Kelce over T.J. Hockenson. That advantage gives VIP Club Dub an overall 8.9 point lead from his Starters.

On to the Bench where, as a reminder for new players, Dynasty Owners get 20% of their Bench scoring added to their overall point total. Each team has the following players on their Bench right now.

VIP Club Dub has a significant advantage right now with the Bench scoring and is projected to outscore New York’s Strongest at every position. The 31.5 point margin equals an extra 6.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points for VIP Club Dub.

The projections have VIP Club Dub as the winner of this week’s Match-up of the Week, but nothing is official until Monday Night Football is over. Check out the Tuesday recap article to see who actually won and if your team was good enough to make it on to the first Chase for the Ring Leaderboard of 2020.

Conclusion

Please read the preview article each week, maybe your team will be featured in the Matchup of the Week. Remember that there will be a recap article coming out every Tuesday and a preview article posted every Friday throughout the Dynasty Owner season. We will also have articles from Chris Wolf (@ckwolf21), Matt Morrison – The Jerk (@Dynastyjerk) and Jay Poundsee (@jaypoundsnfl) during the season as well. Follow all four of us plus Dynasty Owner (@Dynasty_Owner) on Twitter.

There will also be a weekly Tuesday Live YouTube podcast with the creator of Dynasty Owner and Dynasty Owner O.G. Paul Gabrail, Dynasty Owner CEO Tim Peffer and Seth Kerechanin, the voice of Dynasty Owner. The podcast series with myself and Dynasty Owner CEO Tim Peffer will continue with weekly videos that will be posted on the Dynasty Owner channel on YouTube and other places (iTunes, Spotify, Spreaker). You can catch up with older videos and tutorials there as well. Tune in to learn more about Dynasty Owner, see how our predictions did and help you set your weekly lineup. Subscribe to the YouTube channel and make sure to “Like” all of the videos to help promote them. Dynasty Owner is rapidly closing in on 500 subscribers on YouTube and thank you all for watching and listening. 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!

Follow us on Twitter: @Dynasty_Owner

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