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Blind Player Comparisons: Over Owned Players

Blind Player Comparisons: Over Owned Players

By: Matt “TheJerk” Morrisson (@DynastyJerk)

Well, we have yet another odd occurrence that the 2020 NFL season has brought us. While Wednesday games are rare, this isn’t the first time the NFL has been played on a Wednesday. It’s actually far from the first time. Did you know that the first night game in NFL history occurred on a Wednesday night in 1929?  Oddly enough, the Pittsburgh Steelers inaugural game was played on a Wednesday. (They were called the Pittsburgh Pirates) So yes, while this is a strange day to play professional football, the move is not unprecedented. Of course, this game (like all games this year) still has conditions with it.

There is a very decent chance that you are reading this article while the final game of Week 12 is being played. For this obvious reason, if a Steelers’ player is included in any of these blind comparisons, their Week 12 game will not count towards their overall stats.

Before I jump into the meat of the article, I want to make it known that my goal is not to roast any Owner who still owns one of these “over owned players.”  I can honestly say that since joining Dynasty Owner, I’ve played with some of the smartest fantasy managers I’ve ever known. Don’t let my opinion be the only thing that sways you from keeping or cutting a player as every team is built differently. Maybe some of these players fit perfectly into your plan. My goal in this exercise is to once again show how big names and draft equity can start to form biases that we don’t necessarily even know we’ve accepted. Without further ado, let’s talk about some players that, in my opinion, should be owned in less leagues than they currently are.

Quarterbacks

Who would you rather have in Dynasty Owner?      

Player A (Alpha):

  • Between 25 – 32 years old
  • 20.8 fantasy points/game in 2020
  • 2,541 passing yards – 16 touchdowns – 15 INT – 10 fumbles
  • 258 rushing yards – 5 rushing touchdowns
  • Salary is over $30,000,000 per year

Player B (Bravo):

  • Between 35 – 42 years old
  • 25.9 fantasy points/game in 2020
  • 2,534 passing yards – 24 touchdowns – 5 INT – 3 fumbles
  • 14 rushing yards – 0 rushing touchdowns
  • Salary is over $30,000,000 per year

I’ll take Bravo. There’s no reason not to, right?  He is averaging more than five additional points/game compared to Alpha, and he is making roughly the same amount of money.

Alpha’s team is 25th in points per game. Bravo’s team is 4th in points per game. That’s a good sign that Bravo is on a “high power” offence and has no trouble putting themselves in scoring situations.

Let me tell you the ownership percentage of each player and you tell me if you think that is reasonable…

  • Alpha is owned in 51.6 percent of Dynasty Owner leagues.
  • Bravo is owned in 13.4 percent of Dynasty Owner leagues.

That doesn’t seem right, does it?  The clearly superior quarterback (making the same money) is owned far less than the inferior quarterback. You may say that this season is just too small of a sample size, and you could be right. Let’s take a look at Alpha and Bravo’s last full season prior to 2020.

Alpha’s Last Full Season:

  • 22.6 fantasy points/game
  • 4,039 passing yards – 27 touchdowns – 7 INT – 16 fumbles

Bravo’s Last Full Season:

  • 27.5 fantasy points/game
  • 5,129 passing yards – 34 touchdowns – 16 INT – 7 fumbles

Okay, maybe the answer isn’t that we are looking at too small a sample size. Alpha has been subpar to Bravo over the last (healthy) season and a half. So why the gap in ownership percentage?

The real question is why is Carson Wentz (Alpha) owned 38 percent more than Ben Roethlisberger (Bravo)?  I propose that the answer is a combination of two reasons. First, Wentz (27) is far younger than Big Ben (38). Wentz should be playing in this league longer than Ben, and that youth is valuable. Second, Wentz’ ADP was 124 coming into the season where Ben went undrafted in most leagues.

In other words, the majority of Wentz’ owners are still holding onto him despite better quarterback options available in the Free Agent Auction. I have been a strong advocate for saving your Amnesty Provisions and not using them frugally, but Wentz is the perfect amnesty candidate. It’s time to let go and pick up a more reliable quarterback even if that replacement also costs over 30 million dollars per year.

Running Back

Due to the scarcity of the position, it was challenging to find a good running back comparison. In the end, I had to settle on one, but hopefully you enjoy trying to guess the players.

Who would you rather have in Dynasty Owner?

Player C (Charlie):

  • 26 years old
  • 10.6 fantasy points/game in 2020
  • 16.3 fantasy points/game over the past five games (since he was named the starting RB)
  • 93 rushes – 369 yards – 6 touchdowns
  • 16 receptions – 72 yards – 0 touchdowns
  • All six touchdowns came in the last five games

Player D (Delta):

  • 23 years old
  • 5.6 fantasy points/game in 2020
  • 47 rushes – 175 yards – 1 touchdown
  • 14 receptions – 152 yards – 1 touchdown

There is pretty good evidence that Charlie should be your choice at least for this year. There are however a couple of questions I’d like answered prior to picking for sure.

First, are Charlie and Delta currently both the lead backs on their team?

  • Charlie is currently the lead back on his team, but he has a veteran running back (possibly) returning in Week 13. Even with the possible return, Charlie has been playing well enough over the past five games that the backfield may be his for the rest of the season.
  • Delta is not the lead back on his team. In fact, he is currently third on his team in fantasy points, and overall touches. Delta’s usage this year has been disappointing, but it’s understandable with a couple of more talented running backs also on the team.

Second, what are the salaries for Charlie and Delta?

  • Charlie’s salary is a little over $700,000 for one more year.
  • Delta’s salary is a little over $1,600,000 for two more years.

Have you made up your mind?  Do you have a final answer?  Well, I’ll give you one more piece of information before you decide…

  • Charlie’s ADP coming into this season was 244, and the only reason that he rose to the ranks of “weekly starter” is because two running backs above him on the depth chart are both on IR. This isn’t to take anything away from Charlie. He has produced when called upon, but it’s hard to see this amount of volume and production continuing past 2020.
  • Delta is firmly entrenched as the third running back on his team. There is a chance one of the backs ahead of him retires or changes teams next year, but even still, he would not be the most talented or athletic running back for the team.

My final answer is Charlie. I would prefer to take the volume and touchdown upside this year as opposed to a possible dynasty sleeper.

Charlie is Wayne Gallman and Delta is Kerryon Johnson. I know. These aren’t big names or players who will lead anyone to a championship, but it is interesting to compare them. The most interesting part of the comp is the fact that Gallman is 95.9 percent owned in DO while Kerryon is 99 percent owned. (I told you it wasn’t going to be the most dramatic comparison.) 

The point remains though. Why is Kerryon rostered in 3 percent more leagues than Gallman?  The answer I’m sure has something to do with the fact that Kerryon began the year rostered in 100 percent of leagues, and Gallman was rostered in very few. Simply put, they haven’t caught up to each other yet. I wouldn’t say that Kerryon is over owned, because most running backs with his salary and play time should always be owned. I would say that if you happen to be in one of the leagues in which Gallman is unowned then you need to pick him up immediately.

Wide Receiver

This next set of players involves a player that I had in a DO league. I dropped him three weeks ago in my league, and I honestly think I held onto him too long. Here we go…

Who would you rather have in Dynasty Owner?

Player E (Echo):

  • 31 years old
  • 7.9 fantasy points/game in 2020
  • 33 receptions – 408 yards – 1 touchdown
  • Preseason ADP: 136.2

Player F (Foxtrot):

  • 26 years old
  • 7.9 fantasy points/game in 2020
  • 32 receptions – 300 yards – 2 touchdowns
  • Preseason ADP: 268.2

There is half a decade age difference between Echo and Foxtrot, but that seems to be the only real difference. Both receivers are obviously low tier options as less than eight fantasy points/game is not desirable. In fact, Echo and Foxtrot are WR 70 and WR 81, respectively, on the season. The draft equity spent on Echo is obviously much more than Foxtrot as, on average, he was drafted 11 rounds earlier.

How about we add the fact that Echo costs $13,000,000 per year for one more year, and Foxtrot costs less than $2,500,000 per year for one more year. Wow, that makes a big difference. I bet you’re asking yourself, “there’s a wide receiver in the NFL that makes 14 million dollars per year and only has 7.9 fantasy points/game?  That player must be barely owned.”  Well, you would be incorrect. T.Y. Hilton is owned in 61.9 percent of DO leagues. 61.9 PERCENT? 

When preparing for this article, I would have guessed Hilton was less than 15 percent owned. Other players that slide into this “high salary, over owned” group include AJ Green (50 percent), Sammy Watkins (67 percent) and Odell Beckham (80 percent). It is understandable why all of these players continue to be over 50 percent owned. They are big names that all were drafted for a reason, and Owners continue to hang on to the idea they may return to past glory. Well, here is my hard truth. With the exception of Odell, all of these players should be dropped from most rosters. The large contracts are weighing down your team’s options, and you are losing valuable value along the way. Like I said, I haven’t lost all hope in OBJ, and I would consider holding him for next year.

Regardless, Echo is T.Y. Hilton and Foxtrot is Demarcus Robinson. I included Robinson in this comp for the fact that his salary is six times less than Hilton’s, yet he has averaged the same number of fantasy points per game. If that wasn’t bad enough, Robinson is only owned in 48 percent of leagues compared to Hilton’s 61.9 percent. Unreal.

This isn’t me showing my love for Demarcus Robinson. I don’t own him in any league, and I honestly don’t care to. However, I would own him well before I owned Hilton, especially in Dynasty Owner.

Tight End

The tight end position has been an absolute wasteland this year with Kelce, Waller and Hockenson being the exceptions. If you can own a cheap tight end that has an above average chance to score in any given game, then you are probably pretty happy. That being said, here is a decent comparison involving an over-owned tight end.

Who would you rather have in Dynasty Owner?

Player G (Golf):

  • 27 years old
  • 8 fantasy points/game in 2020
  • 28 receptions – 322 yards – 3 touchdowns

Player H (Hotel):

  • 27 years old
  • 9.2 fantasy points/game in 2020
  • 35 receptions – 359 yards – 4 touchdowns

Both tight ends are the same age and their production this season is roughly equal. I would consider both of these players “touchdown dependent”. If you take away their touchdowns, they would be averaging 6.2 (Golf) and 6.8 (Hotel) fantasy points/game. By comparison, if you took away Kelce, Waller and Hockenson’s touchdowns, they would be averaging 15.6, 10.5, and 9.8 fantasy points per game. I know it’s unfair to compare Golf and Hotel to the top three tight ends in fantasy, but it proves the point that without a touchdown in any given week, Golf and Hotel are giving you un-startable performances. As I said earlier, there really is no stability with the tight end position.

What’s worse is the fact that Golf and Hotel both cost at least $6,000,000 per year. Six million or more for a tight end that will get you eight to nine points on average. That’s rough, but it’s also the reality of the position.

Getting back to the over owned portion of the comp…What would you guess is the ownership percentage of Golf and Hotel?  Expensive contracts and middle of the road production.

I know that I know the answers, but I would have given an honest guess around 30 – 40 percent owned. The correct answer is 91.8 percent (Golf) and 82.5 percent (Hotel). That’s right, Tyler Higbee is nearly 92 percent owned, and Eric Ebron is nearly 83 percent owned. Now, I’m not saying these players shouldn’t be owned. If they fit your team construction and you can afford them, then they are certainly keeping your head above water for their position. What I am saying is that they are over owned compared to tight ends with similar production and a fraction of the salary. Here is a non-comprehensive list of cheap tight ends that have similar ownership percentages that I would love to own over Higbee and Ebron…

  • Logan Thomas ($3,072,500, 93.8%)
  • Richard Rodgers ($910,000, 44.3%)
  • Jordan Reed ($1,050,000, 82.5%)

It’s also worth noting that Ebron is owned in less leagues than Higbee which is most likely (once again) due to the fact that Higbee was drafted well ahead of Ebron, and Hibgee’s owners have not yet jumped ship for a different tight end.

Thank you for reading my articles and for the overall interest and support in Dynasty Owner. I’ve said it before, but Dynasty Owner is the most unique fantasy platform I’ve ever participated in, and I truly believe it will become the number one fantasy site in the world. Thanks again to everyone. Stay safe and Happy Holidays.

TheJerk

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