Prospect Preview: Kyle Pitts

Position: TEWeight: 246
College: FloridaAge: 20
Height: 6′ 6″247 Rating: 4 Stars (0.9334)

By Nate Christian (@NateNFL)

The Rundown:

There wasn’t much question who the 2020 John Mackey Award (awarded to the nation’s best tight end) would go to this year, Kyle Pitts ran away with the award. He now joins a pretty successful list of tight ends including, T.J. Hockenson ($4,955,306), Mark Andrews ($863,290), Hunter Henry ($10,607,000), and Tyler Eifert ($4,750,000). While the award does not guarantee success at the next level (ask Jake Butt ($675,235), Nick O’Leary ($1,047,500), and Austin Seferian-Jenkins) it adds to an already impressive resume that will assuredly make Pitts one of the top dynasty tight ends as soon as he finds a new home on April 29th.

College Production:

In 2019, with Kyle Trask the full starter for the first time, Pitts caught 54 balls for 649 yards and 5 touchdowns. These numbers, while not gaudy, put him near the top of the 2021 draft-eligible tight ends. Coming into 2020 it looked like a tight competition for TE1 in the draft class, but Pitts quickly made some headway to become the consensus leader of his position group. This past season Pitts caught less passes (43) but up his average to 17.9 yards per catch for a total of 770 receiving yards. This was to go with his 12 touchdown receptions, showing he was an all-around threat in the passing game, not just down the field but also in the red zone. After a successful college career Pitts is entering the NFL as an early declare and will only be 20 years old when the 2021 NFL season kicks off.

Strengths:

  • Seam-buster
    • Remember Vernon Davis and his 4.38 40-Yard Dash? Yeah, Kyle Pitts is fast but he ain’t that fast, and that’s okay. He’s still likely to be in the Top 5 at his position for most measurables and it shows on tape. Pitts is able to quickly move past linebackers and get into the middle of the field where he has space to catch the ball and run. A lot of times for tight ends to get open it doesn’t take much more than just running fast up the middle, Pitts offers that ability and more. A tight end with a strong arm should be able to take advantage of Pitts’ quick release and rack up 15-20 yard gains.
  • Soft Hands
    • The NFL has seen plenty of athletic tight ends come in and out of the league but Pitts has the hands of a big outside receiver to go along with his athleticism. His soft hands allow him to catch plenty of passes outside of his frame and bring them in while on the run. Trask may have been a Heisman finalist but he made Pitts work for a number of his catches.
  • Back Shoulders & Fades
    • At 6’ 6” and 243 pounds, Pitts has a great frame to be physical and consistently outplay defenders. This physicality, and a frame that isn’t all too different from Mike Evans ($16,500,000), allows him to be a weapon outside the numbers. Near the sideline matched up 1v1 against a cornerback, Pitts’ is able to dominate these smaller defenders with his size and speed combination, making him the perfect redzone threat. HIs ability to elevate and box out defenders let’s him move around and be used in many different ways to attack defenses. Some offensive coordinators out there is gonna be very happy to have Pitts in his repertoire.
Full video recap of article with Nate

Weaknesses:

  • Inconsistent Blocker
    • The will and determination is there, but the technique is a bit raw. Pitts is no slouch but he’s not going to be confused for Nick Boyle ($6,000,000) when it comes to blocking. He has a tendency to release his defender too early allowing opponents to get back into play. While he’s not likely to be asked to block very often, this is a small section of his game that could use some improvement to help him get on the field more.
  • Play Strength
    • While I wouldn’t consider this a “weakness” per-say, I’d say it’s just an area that he’s not prolific at and could build upon. Pitts doesn’t have much trouble when lined up against cornerbacks, but when facing a linebacker, he can get caught up off the line if the defender gets inside of him. Pitts will need to work on his initial punch at the line of scrimmage as well as working through contact in his routes. The middle of the field can be full of traffic, Pitts needs to make sure that the shoulder rubs don’t knock him off of his routes.
  • Lateral Ability in the Open Field
    • I’ve mentioned Pitts’ athleticism as a big plus for his prospect profile, but his lateral ability and agility in the open field isn’t going to create a ton of highlights. He’s more of a straight-line speedster than a shifty “make you miss” kind of guy. His burst is great and he’s strong enough to break multiple arm tackles, but in the open field he’s not going to break many tackles with his hips. Once again, it’s hard to find a true weakness in Pitts’ skillset.

Things to Watch:

Pitts is not a player I would say is landing spot dependent, I believe he can be a top weapon in just about any scheme and offense, but at the same time his Day 1 fantasy success will be quite landing spot dependent. As he gets into the draft process, I expect him to run and jump very well, but with a draft process that’s still very much up in the air I wouldn’t be surprised to see Pitts skip a lot of the testing. Pitts is the bonafide TE1 in this class and there’s not much he could do to look any better. There’s a sizable gap between him and the next tight end in this class so I expect Pitts to go about the offseason conservatively, prioritizing health and interviews over measurables.

Projected Round/Contract:  

Last year was the first year since 2016 that we didn’t see a tight end drafted in the first round. This year will assuredly feature at least one tight end on Day 1, Pitts. He’s been mocked as high as Top-5 and has only “dropped’ in early mocks into the late teens. NFL teams know that elite tight ends can be a game changer for an offense and a safety blanket for any young quarterbacks. Also, there is a lack of high quality tight end play around the league and outside of five or so tight ends, a lot of teams could use an upgrade.

With a projected draft slot around the start of the double digits, Pitts’ rookie contract will likely look similar to T.J. Hockenson’s ($4,955,306), who signed a 4-year deal worth $19,821,225 after being selected 8th overall by the Detroit Lions in 2019.

Team Fits:  

As stated earlier, just about any team could use Pitts on their roster. There are a couple teams however that are more likely to prioritize the position and be willing to spend a first round pick on the Florida prospect. Many people have tried to push Pitts to the New England Patriots at 15 but I don’t believe that landing spot makes too much sense. Bill Belichick just spent two 3rd round picks on the tight end position in the 2020 NFL Draft and going forward has too many holes to fill to afford such a luxury pick. So let’s go ahead and fade the noise there.

One of my favorite landing spots for Kyle Pitts is with the Los Angeles Chargers at the 13th overall pick. Hunter Henry is a UFA this year and has already played a season on the franchise tag. With a young stud like Justin Herbert ($6,644,689) leading the offense it makes too much sense to pair him up with a weapon like Pitts and locking up a dangerous combo for at least the next four years. If Pitts’ lands with the Chargers he likely becomes a top-5 dynasty TE from the get go and a near lock for a top-12 finish his rookie year.

If the Carolina Panthers decide against selecting a quarterback at the 8th overall pick, then there’s a chance they might look Pitts’ way. Ian Thomas ($801,999) was invisible for the 2020 season, and whether that is due to a lack of talent or the offensive scheme, the position could certainly use an upgrade. Fans are already drooling at the idea of Pitts and Joe Brady teaming up in Carolina, and I don’t blame them. While I think this landing spot is a bit more far-fetched than the Chargers, Pitts’ could be an extraordinary weapon in a creative offense like Brady’s.

One last possible landing spot for Pitt’s would be a little “sneaky”, and a bit of a fall from his usual projection, the Tennessee Titans. Going into the 2020 offseason Corey Davis, Jonnu Smith, Anthony Firsker, MyCole Pruitt, Geoff Swaim, and Kalif Raymond will all be free agents. This means that the Titans will be looking to retool their passing offense, and tight end will be a priority. Pitts’ would be a great replacement for Smith, and would continue the Titans’ current model of athletic pass catchers who can create big plays after the catch. Certainly one to keep in mind come draft day.

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More 2020 Dynasty Owner Regular Season Awards

By Steven Van Tassell (@SteveVT33)

Another Awards article? I know that’s what everyone who saw this title is thinking that, but these awards are slightly different than the ones announced yesterday by Jay (@JayPoundsNFL) in his weekly article and video. These awards will more closely follow the pattern of the weekly recap articles and won’t have any funny or creative names or titles.

First, we’ll name the Dynasty Owner Player of the Year and Value Player of the Year. In addition, we have plenty of other awards to give away, including Rookie of the Year, Free Agent of the Year and Position Player of the Year and Value Position Player of the Year at every position (QB, RB, WR, TE, K). We might have some honorable mention awards as well depending on how difficult the final decision was on picking a winner.

Why are we looking back at the 2020 season and giving out these awards? As the famous quote goes, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” By knowing the best players and performances from 2020, both current Dynasty Owners and new Dynasty Owners can assess the past season, learn from it and properly prepare for their 2021 Dynasty Owner season and drafts.

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, all statistics are from the 2020 Dynasty Owner regular season (Weeks 1 – 13). Salaries listed are from the 2020 Dynasty Owner season as well unless otherwise specified. With the boring caveats out of the way, let’s hand out some awards!

Dynasty Owner of the Year

This one is easy. It’s Viktor Kilgore, the owner of Barbee Kilgore and second winner of the Chase for the Ring. Not only did Viktor win his League Championship and the Ring with 2810.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points, but he also finished at the top of the regular season leaderboard with 2258.8 points. Congratulations Viktor!

Dynasty Owner Player of the Year

The 2020 Dynasty Owner Player of the Year is: Patrick Mahomes

The reigning Super Bowl MVP now has a Dynasty Owner Player of the Year award to go on his mantle. Mahomes had a tremendous follow up to his Super Bowl winning season by finishing the 2020 Dynasty Owner regular season with the most points of any player – 423.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. He played in every game and averaged a league high 35.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. Mahomes may only have won a single Player of the Week honor (back in Week 8), but he had the consistency you want in your #1 draft pick. Both Mahomes and Josh Allen had four games of over 40.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points, but what sets Mahomes apart was that he paired those great games with only one game with less than 20.0 points (a 16.0 point performance in Week 7). Dynasty Owners were able to draft him with an early first round pick (ADP 3.5) at his average rookie salary amount of just over $4.1 million. He may be cost-prohibitive in the future as he’ll cost his Dynasty Owners a whopping $45 million in 2021 and beyond, but for 2020, he was the best.

  • Regular Season Points: 423.1
  • Regular Season Salary: $4,106,447
  • Regular Season Cost per Point: $9,706

Dynasty Owner Value Player of the Year

Because this is Dynasty Owner and we’re all looking for value from the players on our roster, we also have the Value Player of the Year. The Dynasty Owner Value Player of the Year is: James Robinson

An undrafted rookie free agent with an annual salary of $763,333 isn’t supposed to be a three-down RB in today’s NFL and work nearly three-quarters (72%) of his team’s offensive snaps. Especially not in a season without any pre-season games, but that’s what James Robinson did during the 2020 Dynasty Owner regular season. And he did it with consistency. Robinson scored 232.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points during the regular season, an average of 19.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. He only had one game with less than 10.0 points (9.0 points in Week 5) and five games with over 20.0 points.

  • Regular Season Points: 232.8
  • Regular Season Salary: $763,333
  • Regular Season Cost per Point: $3,279

Honorable mention for Value Player of the Year goes to another RB, Aaron Jones. Jones’ salary is slightly lower than Robinson’s at $650,484 for 2020, but he also produced fewer Dynasty Owner fantasy points with 195.3. That was spread over 10 games, so his average was virtually identical to Robinson (19.5 for Jones versus 19.4 for Robinson). Those two games that he missed with injury likely cost Jones the Value Player of the Year award. Since his contract rookie ends and he’s going to sign a much bigger deal for the 2021 season and beyond, he won’t have the opportunity to win it again.

  • Regular Season Points: 195.3
  • Regular Season Salary: $650,484
  • Regular Season Cost per Point: $3,331

Rookie of the Year

Our Dynasty Owner Rookie of the Year is: Justin Herbert

Herbert was the third QB taken in the 2020 NFL draft with the #6 pick and didn’t even start the year as the Chargers’ starting QB. He took over for Tyrod Taylor with little notice in Week 2, put up 27.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in his first game and never came out of the lineup. He had an ADP of 98.8 in Dynasty Owner drafts, significantly behind the two QBs taken ahead of him (#1 pick Joe Burrow – ADP 26.1 and #5 pick Tua Tagovailoa – ADP 64.0), but out produced both of them considerably. Herbert had over 300 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (309.3) and averaged 28.1 points per game. In contrast, Burrow had 223.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in ten games, an average of 22.3 points per game, while Tua only scored 87.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in six games, or 14.6 points per game. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the three of them in 2021 Dynasty Owner start-up drafts after the year that Herbert had in 2020.

  • Regular Season Points: 309.3
  • Regular Season Salary: $6,644,688
  • Regular Season Cost per Point: $21,483

Free Agent of the Year

Our free agent of the year is a player who produced the most Dynasty Owner fantasy points over the course of the Dynasty Owner regular season but was not drafted by a single Dynasty Owners.

Our Dynasty Owner Free Agent of the Year is: Mike Davis

Carolina RB Mike Davis was far off the radar for Dynasty Owners at the beginning of the 2020 season. Not surprising with Christian McCaffrey taking a whopping 93% of the snaps at RB for Carolina in his record breaking 2019 season. At a salary of $3 million, Davis wasn’t even expected to be the backup after registering only 11.9 Dynasty Owner fantasy points during the 2019 season. Reggie Bonnafon and his low $585,000 salary was the handcuff choice for Dynasty Owners with an ADP of 237.7 while Davis went undrafted. However, after McCaffrey went out with an injury in Week 2 of the season, Davis stepped in and scored 15.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. He followed that up with three straight games with more than 20.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy point games to cement himself as the top RB in Carolina in McCaffrey’s absence. He faded somewhat after that hot start, but still scored 146.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points during the regular season, an average 14.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. He ranked 12th in overall regular season points among RBs and 15th in points per game, an amazing and potentially season saving Free Agent Auction pickup for his Dynasty Owners.

  • Regular Season Points: 162.3
  • Regular Season Salary: $3,000,000
  • Regular Season Cost per Point: $18,484
Video recap of article.

Position Players of the Year

In addition, we have other awards to give away for Position Players of the Year and Value Position Players of the Year at every position (QB, RB, WR, TE, K).

QB of the Year: Patrick Mahomes (KC) – 423.1 points

Since he won Player of the Year, it’s not a surprise that Patrick Mahomes was the QB of the Year. He outpaced the competition by averaging 35.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. Dak Prescott averaged 35.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game, but only played in five games. Overall, Aaron Rodgers was the #2 regular season QB with 386.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. However, that’s an average of 32.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game for Rodgers, or 3.1 fewer per game than Mahomes since both of them played in all 12 regular season games.

Value QB of the Year: No Winner

Last year, this was easily Dak Prescott’s award with a $1,846 cost per point ($525,000 annual salary divided by 193.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points). Nobody came close to that cost per point with Gardner Minshew costing $3,996 ($677,721 million annual salary divided by 169.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points). However, Minshew didn’t play a minute in the Dynasty Owner regular season after Week 7 so his Dynasty Owners only had him for half of the regular season. Cam Newton had more points (218.5), but his cost per point was $8,009 ($1.75 million annual salary divided by 218.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points). If not for his $1.75 million salary, Newton really wouldn’t have been worth owning.

RB of the Year: Dalvin Cook (MIN) – 287.4 points

When Dynasty Owner drafts were getting ready to start, Dalvin Cook was threatening to holdout and not report to training camp. Flash forward to the actual season and anyone who had a mid-to-late first round pick and avoided Cook in those early drafts (ADP 12.5) must be kicking themselves for missing out of his 287.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in the regular season. Despite missing a game, Cook had more points than any other RB this season and finished second to Christian McCaffrey in average Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game for a RB (30.1 points per game for McCaffrey in three games versus 26.1 points per game for Cook). Cook was a bargain at his 2020 salary of $1.59 million, which will increase by a little over $11 million to $12.6 million for the 2021 season.

  • Regular Season Points: 287.4
  • Regular Season Salary: $1,588,334
  • Regular Season Cost per Point: $5,527

Honorable mention to Alvin Kamara who had nearly as many Dynasty Owner fantasy points as Cook (280.9), but played in one additional game for even less in salary this season. Cook had more Dynasty Owner fantasy points and the higher average points per game (26.1 for Cook to 23.4 for Kamara) and was drafted a few picks later on average (12.5 ADP for Cook to 7.7 ADP for Kamara), while Kamara’s lower salary of just under $1 million made him a better value on a cost per point basis. Cook was the #1 RB this season, but Kamara wasn’t too far behind.

  • Regular Season Points: 280.9
  • Regular Season Salary: $964,443
  • Regular Season Cost per Point: $3,433
Value RB of the Year: James Robinson (JAX) – 232.8 points

As mentioned above in the Value Player of the Year recap, this was a very close contest, but James Robinson wins the Value RB of the Year, just as he won the Value Player of the Year award. Robinson had a $3,279 cost per point which was slightly better than both Aaron Jones ($3,331) and Alvin Kamara ($3,433). Robinson is also the frontrunner for this honor in 2021 unless he receives a new contract in the off-season as he is still on his rookie free agent deal, while Kamara has already signed a new contract worth $15 million per year starting in 2021 and Jones will be a free agent and looking to get paid much more as well.

WR of the Year: Davante Adams (GB) – 261.9 points

Despite not having the most Dynasty Owner fantasy points at his position, Davante Adams is our winner. Adams finished 18.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points behind Tyreek Hill, but played in two fewer games. As a result, Adams’ points per game average was higher (26.2 for Adams to 23.2 for Hill). Adams was also better on a cost per point basis with his $14.5 million salary being $3.5 million less than Hill’s salary. Adams has the highest cost per point of any of our position winners, but he  was worth it. He only had four out of ten games with less than 20.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points, so he provided a more steady source of points on a weekly basis than Hill did.

  • Regular Season Points: 261.9
  • Regular Season Salary: $14,500,000
  • Regular Season Cost per Point: $55,365

Honorable mention for the WR honor to Tyreek Hill. Hill’s ability to play in all 12 regular season games in 2020 along with having the single biggest week in Dynasty Owner history when he scored 63.9 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in Week 12 were good, but just not good enough to beat Adams. Hill averaged 23.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game and had only one game in the single digits (5.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in Week 6), but he had five additional games with less than 20.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points, or two more than Adams. Hill’s $18 million annual salary and $64,309 cost per point are high but well worth paying for his top level production.

  • Regular Season Points: 279.9
  • Regular Season Salary: $18,000,000
  • Regular Season Cost per Point: $64,309
Value WR of the Year: D.K. Metcalf (SEA) – 231.9 points

In looking for a Value WR of the Year, crunching the numbers for many of the lower paid, but mildly productive WRs in the league such as Jakobi Meyers ($588,333) and Greg Ward ($540,000) seemed like a good place to start the search. After that, there’s a set of more productive, but slightly higher paid WRs who made just under $1 million this season. Players such as Terry McLaurin, Cooper Kupp and last year’s winner Chris Godwin. Finally, at almost the top of the list sat D.K. Metcalf and his $1.146 million salary. Metcalf had far more Dynasty Owner fantasy points than those other WRs as the #3 WR in the Dynasty Owner regular season, but his $1 million plus salary seemed unlikely to win a Value award. It turns out that Metcalf was indeed the biggest Value at the WR position in Dynasty Owner as he was the only WR with a cost per point below $5,000 in 2020.

  • Regular Season Points: 231.9
  • Regular Season Salary: $1,146,513
  • Regular Season Cost per Point: $4,944
TE of the Year: Travis Kelce (KC) – 241.6 points

How dominant of a TE is Kelce? First, he is the only repeat winner of the Position Player of the Year award, winning for second consecutive year with more regular season Dynasty Owner fantasy points than last year (201.3). He had 45.5 more points than his nearest fellow TE (Darren Waller) and was the only TE to average over 20.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game (20.1). That was 3.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game more than George Kittle, who only played in six regular season games, and 3.8 more points per game than Waller. His $9.37 million salary is high, but not the highest at the position in 2020 and he nearly gives you top WR production at the TE spot. His salary is scheduled to go up by nearly $5 million to $14.3 million in 2021, but he’s the favorite to win this award for the third time.

  • Regular Season Points: 241.6
  • Regular Season Salary: $9,368,400
  • Regular Season Cost per Point: $38,776
Value TE of the Year: Robert Tonyan (GB) – 138.7 points

For the 11 Dynasty Owners per league who didn’t draft Kelce, there were plenty of TEs projected to do well in 2020 for under $1 million (George Kittle, Mark Andrews and Jonnu Smith). However, all of them finished with fewer Dynasty Owner fantasy points than a player (Robert Tonyan) who went undrafted in Dynasty Owner this season. Only Kelce, Waller and T.J. Hockenson outscored Tonyan over the Dynasty Owner regular season and he was 7th in average points per game (11.6), just behind Andrews and Dallas Goedert who both came in at 11.7 points per game. At only $750,000 in salary for 2020, Tonyan is the choice for Value TE of the Year.

  • Regular Season Points: 138.7
  • Regular Season Salary: $750,000
  • Regular Season Cost per Point: $5,407
K of the Year: Younghoe Koo (ATL) – 117.0 points

Only one kicker other than Koo received any consideration for this honor – Jason Sanders. Both were the only kickers to average over 10.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. Both were also the only kickers to score 10.0 or more Dynasty Owner fantasy points in half of the games that they played. And both were among the kickers with the lowest salaries in 2020. Koo missed one game and had just 6.0 fewer Dynasty Owner fantasy points than Sanders. This led Koo to have a better average (10.6 points per game versus 10.3 for Sanders), so Koo wins the honor by the slimmest of margins.

  • Regular Season Points: 117.0
  • Regular Season Salary: $660,000
  • Regular Season Cost per Point: $5,641
Value K of the Year: Jason Sanders (MIA) – 123.0 points

Truly the only reason that Sanders is the Value Kicker of the Year and not the Kicker of the Year is that he had a better cost per point ($5,185 for Sanders versus $5,641 for Koo). As mentioned above, Sanders had more points, but a slightly lower points per game average because he played in one more game.

  • Regular Season Points: 123.0
  • Regular Season Salary: $637,800
  • Regular Season Cost per Point: $5,185

Congratulations to all of our winners and honorable mentions. All of you were probably on plenty of teams that won their Dynasty Owner League Championship, and your Dynasty Owners appreciate your efforts in the 2020 season.

Now that we’ve looked back at the 2020 regular season, it’s time to really start preparations in earnest for the 2021 Dynasty Owner season. But what did our look at 2020 teach us? QBs are the high scorers, RB is the position that you look for value and don’t forget to be active in the Free Agent Auction during the season to find those undrafted guys who could help your Dynasty Owner team.

My articles and videos on getting you ready for your 2021 Dynasty Owner start-up league team will be out on Fridays throughout the off-season. Keep an eye out for new articles and videos from the rest of our team of Dynasty Owners writers as well. On Mondays, Nate Christian (@NateNFL) will break down rookies in his Prospect Preview. Matt Morrison – The Jerk (@Dynastyjerk) is back for another year and will do a deep dive into contracts on Wednesdays. Jay Pounds (@jaypoundsnfl) has his articles and videos on how to rebuild your Dynasty Owner roster on Thursdays. Read all of their articles, watch and like all of their videos on YouTube (and all of the other available formats, such as Spotify) and follow the four of us plus Dynasty Owner (@Dynasty_Owner) on Twitter.

Thanks for reading and good luck in your quest to be the 2021 Chase for the Ring winner!

Steven Van Tassell is a freelance writer for Dynasty Owner.

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

2020 Dynasty Owner Regular Season Awards

By: Jay Pounds (@JayPoundsNFL)

Do you remember back in June wondering if there would even be a 2020 NFL season? Well, the NFL did it with surprisingly minimal hiccups. We saw plenty of game time changes, game date changes, player and personnel changes, no preseason, and so many more little altercations from the norm, but all that said it was still a fantastic football season. The most extreme case we all witnessed in 2020 was the Denver Broncos quarterback situation, other than that the NFL must be thrilled with the way this season played out. While the NFL season is not finished yet, the Dynasty Owner season is and with that can only mean two things, the offseason, and the end of season awards.

With the offseason now upon us it is a very crucial time for our owners compared to other formats. In the coming months you will need to handle your roster, contracts, preparing for the rookie draft, and much more. If you would like to stay ahead of the field be sure to keep an eye out for future articles and videos by the Dynasty Owner team, but enough talk about the coming months, it is time for the awards.

These awards will have silly names just as the midseason awards did, with different winners of course. I take immense pride in being able to bring you all these awards as it is something, I always enjoy reading each year from all the different analysts around fantasy football. My favorite part about awards in sports are the great debates and opinions that come with them, so if any of you would like to debate some of these please feel free to message me on twitter.

The “Why Did I Draft Him” Award

  • Winner- Michael Thomas – 5 years – $19,250,000/ $229,439 ($DD/PT)
  • Runner Up – T.Y. Hilton – 1 year – $13,000,000/ $79,172 ($DD/PT)
  • Award Meaning – A player who was a headache for owners.

Thomas – The classic why did I draft this player dilemma is never a fun place to be. Michael Thomas is the winner here and while he was injured for a portion of the season, he also was punching his teammates at practice and causing issues according to reports. Talent will never be the question with a player of Thomas’ caliber but off the field issues may be, and while I am not saying it is a foregone conclusion that he is the next Antonio Brown, it is not a fantastic looking pattern of behavior either. Owners had to pay Thomas over $19 million this season and got virtually nothing in return aside from 3 decent games (by Thomas standards).

Hilton – Interestingly I decided to put the runner-up Hilton in 2 awards that contraindicate each other (as you will see later) but that is the beauty of Dynasty Owner, Hiltons contract is the sole reason he is the runner-up.

Midseason Winner – T.Y. Hilton

The “I Am So Glad I Drafted Him” Award

  • Winner – Josh Allen – 2 years, $5,295,760/ $10,261 ($DD/PT)
  • Runner Up – Calvin Ridley – 3 years, $2,725,178/ $9,715
  • Award Meaning – The most surprising player with a low $DD/PT.

Allen – This is one of the best awards to have one of your players win in my opinion. If you had Allen this season you drafted him extremely high, which let us face it, it was a risk at the time. Allen has tremendous rushing upside near the goal line which is one of the main reasons Owners drafted him so high. What owners did not expect is the level of top end consistency in the passing game that this kid was able to produce this season. Allen finished as the QB-2 overall with 2 games scoring 50 points or more and a total of 6 games with 40 points or more scored. He had over 4500 yards passing with 37 touchdowns in 2020 making the future in Buffalo brighter than it has been in decades.

Ridley – The runner-up Ridley finally had his breakout season we all expected. He finished with almost 1400 yards receiving and missing double digit touchdowns for the 2nd time in his career by just 1. Ridley was also able to display that he is more than capable of being the number one guy when Julio leaves town, which means great news for his owners.

Midseason Winner – Gardner Minshew

The “I Really Want Him Moving Forward” Award

  • Winner – Justin Jefferson – 4 years, $3,280,071/ $12,008 ($DD/PT)
  • Runner Up – Jonathan Taylor – 4 years, $1,957,287/ $7,476 ($DD/PT)
  • Award Meaning – The best dynasty asset moving forward.

Jefferson – I am not sure there is much I can tell you about the winner of this award that you have not already seen or heard. The LSU product undeniably exploded onto the scene in week 3 and then never looked back, shattering records along the way. As a rookie he was able to amass 85 catches for 1400 yards and 7 touchdowns, finishing as the number 7 wide receiver for the year. The fact Jefferson was able to do all of this with extremely limited mini camps, OTA’S, and zero preseason makes what he accomplished even scarier than it originally looked. If you were one of the lucky owners who drafted or acquired Jefferson consider yourself blessed, because you should have a starting slot on your roster filled for quite some time.

Taylor – The runner up Taylor started the year off in a bad way and looked horrible while doing it. He was constantly missing holes, running into blockers, and getting outperformed by teammates on a weekly basis, until week 10 that is. Taylor finished as strong as I can ever remember a rookie finishing and looks poised to be the next great back in fantasy.

Midseason Winner – DK Metcalf

The “Juggler” Award

  • Winner – D.J. Chark, 2 years – $1,111,807/ $7,238 ($DD/PT)
  • Runner Up – Leonard Fournette – 1 year, $2,000,000/ $14,925 ($DD/PT)
  • Award Meaning – A player who was very inconsistent.

Chark – One of my favorite overall awards in this entire article is this award, and that is because drafting a talented player who you never want to play due to inconsistency happens to every owner at some point, no matter how good you are. What I mean by that is every owner that plays not just dynasty owner, but fantasy football has drafted a headache at some point. While Chark did not have a horrible season, he also did not get anywhere close to what was expected of him from fantasy owners. After starting the 2020 season on fire Chark fell off dramatically after week 4 posting just one week over 20 points and just 3 games with 10 points or more after week 6.

Fournette – Fournette, the runner up was chosen for many of the same reasons as Chark. Fournette was drafted high in all leagues only to be cut from the Jaguars shortly after. He then showed signs of promise in week 2 with a massive game leading to false hope for his owners.

Midseason Winner – Dionte Johnson

The “Best Jay Suggestion” Award

  • Winner – Mike Davis – 1 year – $3,000,000/ $14,599 ($DD/PT)
  • Runner Up – Nelson Agholor – $1,047,500/ $5,644 ($DD/PT)
  • Award Meaning – The best free agent of 2020.

Davis – The best free agent in 2020 is hands down Mike Davis. The way Davis was able to step in and give you close to 3/4ths the production of CMC is superhuman if you think of the context behind it. CMC is the greatest fantasy player since Tomlinson, and Davis is a journeyman back who has never stuck with a team. Davis was able to manage 642 yards rushing on just 165 carries, while adding an additional 373 yards receiving and 8 touchdowns. We will see if this turns into a shot somewhere for Davis or another backup role, but either way he played well enough to win this award in 2020.

Agholor – The runner up Agholor is another veteran no one expected to have a good season yet here we are talking about him. Agholor had a great connection with Derek Carr and that paid off to the tune of just under 900 yards and 8 touchdowns. If Agholor ends up back in Vegas, he may be a sneaky weapon next season.

Midseason Winner – Travis Fulgham

The “Best Young Gun” Award

  • Winner – Justin Herbert – 4 years $6,644,688/ $15,392 ($DD/PT)
  • Runner Up – Joe Burrow – 4 years $9,047,534/ $40,517 ($DD/PT)
  • Award Meaning – The best rookie quarterback.

Herbert – The fact that Burrow was injured really stinks for the sake of this award, and for Burrow himself as well. These two rookie signal callers did nothing but put on a clinic this past season. Herbert broke the rookie record for touchdowns finishing with 31 passing, and 5 rushing. 36 total touchdowns for a kid few seemed sold on back in April/May. It is safe to say the Herbert owners should have a significant advantage moving forward with Herbert gaining more experience at such a cheap salary. Herbert was the quarterback 9 for the season with a low salary that is locked in for years to come.

Burrow – The runner-up was having a record-breaking season himself before a season ending injury ruined those plans. He has great leadership as well as a Jordan type drive, so he should be back fully healthy in no time. The fact he was able to put those types of numbers up while having one of the worst offensive lines in the league is impressive.

Midseason Winner – Joe Burrow

The “Kitchens to Stefanski” Award

  • Winner – Jonathon Taylor – 4 years, $1,957,287/ $7,476 ($DD/PT)
  • Runner Up – T.Y. Hilton – 1 year, $13,000,000/ $79,172 ($DD/PT)
  • Award Meaning – Trash to treasure, or most improved.

Taylor – The midseason award I did for this I chose the player most improved from the previous season. The end of season award will go to a player everyone wrote off during the season but turned it around. Taylor is the most deserving of this award with such a frustrating start to his season. As I mentioned above it was not pretty for Taylor but in week 10, he finally got enough carries to get going and then he never looked back. Taylor capped his run with a 253-yard performance against Jacksonville in week 17, along with 2 touchdowns.

Hilton – The runner up is oddly enough Taylor’s teammate T.Y. Hilton whom started terribly slow as well turning it around shortly after Taylor did, yet oddly enough the offense ran ok before and after.

Midseason Winner – Corey Davis

The “Reminds Me of Watching the Jets” Award

  • Winner – Todd Gurley – 1 year, $6,000,000/ $35,885 ($DD/PT)
  • Runner Up – Ezekiel Elliott – 6 years $15,000,000/ $ 67,658 ($DD/PT)
  • Award meaning – The player you drafted that you cannot stand to watch.

Gurley – Was there a stranger story in football this season than Todd Gurley? The guy started out as an absolute touchdown machine with 9 in the first 9 games, only to not find the endzone the rest of the season, finishing with 9 total touchdowns. When you just look at the paper aspect of Gurley’s outlandish season it makes no sense, the fact that he was so efficient in the RedZone, yet the team was so bad and as soon as the team starts winning, he falls of a cliff.

Elliott – The runner-up Zeke did have a productive season finishing as the Rb9 overall, but when watching him he did not look like Zeke. In 2020 Elliot was flat out bad in the RedZone, had minimal explosive plays, had one game above 25 points, and had 6 games with 10 points or fewer. I am not saying he was not startable it just was not like watching the Zeke we are used too.

Midseason Winner – Ezekiel Elliott

The “JaMarcus Russel to David Blaine” Award

  • Winner – Jalen Reagor – 4 years, $3,317,669/ $37,872 ($DD/PT)
  • Runner Up – Michael Pittman – 4 years $2,153,212/ $21,771 ($DD/PT)
  • Award Meaning – The rookie that tends to disappear from games

Reagor – While this award pains me to the fullest extent for personal reasons, I still must write about it. I have both Reagor and Pittman on my team and am really counting on both in the coming years. The winner, Reagor has had a monumentally bad season compared to who the Eagles could have had in Justin Jefferson who went shortly after Reagor in the NFL draft. Reagor was hurt early in the season but even when healthy he failed to produce with his highest yardage total for a game being 55 yards, and that came on one catch. The TCU product also failed to catch more than 5 passes in any game this season, while some of that may have been on his quarterbacks, he is going to need to make a significant jump next season or Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson may be out the door.

Pittman – The runner up had a remarkably similar season to our winner except for Pittman’s big game against the Titans where he had 7 catches for 101 yards and a touchdown. Pittman is a promising prospect who was drafted early in the 2nd round so I expect him to bounce back.

Midseason Winner – Cam Akers

The “Atlanta Falcons” Award

  • Winner – Curtis Samuel – 1 year, $1,613,421/ $7,642 ($DD/PT)
  • Runner Up – Jonathon Taylor – 4 years, $1,957,287/ $7,476 ($DD/PT)
  • Award Meaning – A player who finished the season strong.

Samuel – You will find I have made a slight twist in this award from when it was the midseason award due to the Falcon’s recent play, in return the midseason winner will be left off. Curtis Samuel was quietly one of the most reliable fantasy receivers from week 7 on with 6 games over 17 points scored and only failing to score double digits twice. The most impressive part about Samuel’s run is that he was able to do it while only scoring 3 touchdowns meaning he was extremely involved in the game plan. If Samuel ends up leaving Carolina next season he could end up as a great dynasty asset for the future, as well as a great off season trade chip. I am not as high on Samuel returning to the Panthers with the team set to welcome fantasy superstar CMC back into the mix.

Taylor – The runner-up here got a lot of consideration to win the award for his strong finish, but Samuel was able to do it a few extra weeks as well as Samuel was not expected to be a every week starter this season as Taylor was.

The “2020 G.O.A.T.” Award

  • Winner – Davante Adams – 2 years – $14,500,000/ $40,570 ($DD/PT)
  • Runner Up – Alvin Kamara- 1 year – $964,443/ $2,538 ($DD/PT)
  • Award Meaning – The M.V.P.

Kamara – The runner-up Kamara had himself a season to brag about as well with 932 rushing yards 756 receiving yards and a massive 21 total touchdowns. Kamra popped off with a 6-touchdown performance for owners in the championship game which single handedly won him the 2020 G.O.A.T. award. Owners of Kamara also found themselves with an extreme bargain because of his cheap contract.

Adams – I do not know if there is enough time in the day to write about how dominant Adams truly is, even with an all-time great at quarterback. The teams Adams face know he is getting the ball especially in the red zone, yet no one has been able to stop him. Adams put together some extravagant numbers this season with 115 catches almost 1400 yards and 18 touchdowns and I will say it again teams knew he was the only receiver getting the ball. I really hope as football fans we get to see Adams and Rodgers for at least a few more seasons together they just keep getting better.

Midseason Winner – Russell Wilson

The “Butt Fumble” Award

  • Winner – Daniel Jones tripping himself instead of scoring
  • Runner Up – There can only be one!
  • Award Meaning – See 2020 Dynasty Owner Awards video.
Full video breakdown to article

Conclusion I hope everyone enjoys reading/watching these awards as much as I do enjoy writing them, it really is a lot of fun. I want to touch on something briefly before finishing and that is If you had fun with Dynasty Owner this season or the season before and you know people who would enjoy this format too please invite them and if you do not have the time to teach whoever it is please send them our way and we will be glad to help. The more Dynasty Owner grows the better it can become for all of us. I hope you all stay safe and good luck on your 2021 Chase for the Ring!

Follow us on Twitter: @Dynasty_Owner

Contract Speculation and Breakdown: Arizona Cardinals

By: Matt TheJerk (@dynastyjerk)

Good afternoon Dynasty Owners and Happy New Year. I can honestly say that the 2020 season is the most fun I’ve ever had playing fantasy football. I’m not sure if it was the large void that other professional sports left in my soul after shortened seasons, or if it was the constant fear that the season could be postponed or cancelled. The NFL persevered, though, with only minor setbacks.

Throughout last season, I thought of myself as a “float writer.”  When I say float writer, I mean to say that I didn’t necessarily have a structured format to what I was going to write from week to week. Well, I and the rest of the Dynasty Owner team, have decided to settle down and focus on specific topics for this offseason. I’ll let my co writers explain their assignments, but I can tell you that I will mainly be writing about contracts. Now, I know that’s a broad topic so I will try to keep the content centered around future contract speculation and also breaking down current contracts in order to find value that otherwise may be missed.

In order to accomplish this in an efficient way, I am going to write each week about one team. In each article, I will lead off by recapping any breaking news about updated or new contracts. After that, I will discuss all the (rosterable) players on that NFL team that have expiring contracts. As many of you know, free agency is a very nuanced process and the number of free agents a team will have in any given year is variable. I am not an expert about all the rules of free agency (for that I would turn to Spotrac), but I do my research, and I feel like these articles will be a great place to provide help for difficult contracts.

In addition to a weekly article, I will be releasing a short video each week that will heavily relate to the write-up. These videos will allow me to better explain my more important points. Text just seems so impersonal sometimes, and I think putting a face with an article is a great way to convey a message.

Well, I think I’ve gotten all the info out that I needed to. How about we jump into our first official contract speculation and breakdown…

Contract Speculation

My first month of articles will be about the NFC West, and up first we have the Arizona Cardinals. Arizona has three noteworthy players that will be free agents in 2021. The process that I’m using to select free agents is subjective, but I feel like these three players will be the most asked about.

Larry Fitzgerald

First up we have the legend, Larry Fitzgerald. Fitz has been in the league since 2004, and it’s very possible he is about to complete his final contract and retire in the offseason. I’m not going to speculate on Fitzgerald’s chances of retiring, but rather, I’ll speculate on what a new contract could mean. I believe the 2004 #3 overall pick would have a tough time signing in a new city. We know that Larry was drafted by the Cardinals and has played his entire career with them. That is a special accomplishment and one that doesn’t happen often. There is, however, no doubt in my mind that he will command much less money than he currently makes. A one year $11,500,000 salary is just too much to pay a 37-year-old wide receiver, even one that leads a locker room as well as Fitz does. I’ll keep an eye on contract discussions, but I can’t imagine many Owners will roster Larry in 2021 given that he is currently owned in only 7.22 percent of DO leagues.

Kenyan Drake

Next, we have a much more interesting free agent:  Kenyan Drake. Drake is finishing up a single year contract that is worth a little less than 8.5 million dollars. (More accurately, Drake is finishing up a one-year transition tag) Drake has completed four years of service in the NFL so he will be an unrestricted free agent. There are quite a few possibilities for Drake in the offseason. First, he could be slapped with a franchise tag. A franchise tag would place him somewhere in the ballpark of $11,000,000 for one year. Drake could also sign a new contract with Arizona or a new team. I would anticipate a new contract to be worth around the same price point as a franchise tag (possibly a little bit less). If I had to commit to a number right now, I’d say Drake will sign something like a three-year contract worth 24 million dollars. This would put his Dynasty Owner salary at 8 million dollars per year. Once again this is just speculation, but Drake owners need to start thinking ahead.

Dan Arnold

The final Cardinals’ free agent I want to mention is Dan Arnold. Arnold is about to wrap up a two year – 1.23-million-dollar contract. Arnold has not completed four years in the NFL, so he hasn’t reached the benchmark in order to become an unrestricted free agent. There isn’t much else to say about him at this point. Again, I’ll keep you updated when Arnold is extended or signed.

Contract Breakdowns

Kyler Murray

I’m going to delve into two more contracts, and this breakdown will hopefully help you make a decision on what value these players have in the offseason. The first player I’m going to discuss has a contract that is top three in terms of value in all of Dynasty Owner. The player is, of course, Kyler Murray. Kyler is 23 years old, and he comes into the 2021 offseason with two years remaining on his rookie contract. In 2019, he signed a four-year contract that was worth $35,158,645 or $8,789,661 per year. That contract (per year) ranks 21st among active quarterbacks in terms of dollars per year. Let’s look at the numbers a little closer and see why Murray is such a steal. Over the past two seasons, he has put up a total of 814.6 fantasy points.

He produced 353.5 points in 2019 and 461.1 points in 2020. I’m first going to look at dynasty dollars per fantasy point (DD/FP). As I’ve mentioned in the past, Dynasty Owner did a great job of creating this statistic, and it’s something that I will be using quite a bit this offseason to look at contracts. First, I’m going to compare Kyler to every other top tier DD/FP quarterback that played the entire season. ***(Minshew, Mullens, and Glennon all have better DD/FP than Murray, but I won’t compare them as they are not the current starters on their teams).

Player2020 SalaryYears Remaining2021 Salary2020 DD/FP
L. Jackson$2,367,9121$2,367,912$5,921
D. Watson$3,463,570Resigned$39,000,000$7,246
D. Lock$1,752,7042$1,752,704$7,811
P. Mahomes$4,106,447Resigned$45,000,000$8,148
J. Allen$5,295,7601$5,295,760$10,261
J. Herbert$6,644,6883$6,644,688$15,392
K. Murray$8,789,6612$8,789,661$19,062
Swipe for more on mobile

This is a long list, and it is pretty loaded so I’m going to break it down. As I said, this is a list of quarterbacks with the best DD/FP for the 2020 season. The way the quarterbacks qualify is if they were the starter in 2020 and project to be their team’s starter in 2021 as well. It’s obviously not surprising that the players with the best DD/FP rating are all low salary players. You may also be concerned that Kyler Murray is so far down. Well, don’t be. Kyler is the most expensive quarterback on this list which will skew his DD/FP when compared to players like Lamar or Lock. We already know that a high salary quarterback will never lead the league in DD/FP. It’s just not possible for Russell Wilson to be productive enough to lead DO in DD/FP.

Let’s do a what if. What if each one of these quarterbacks kept the exact same fantasy production over the next two years?  What would happen to their DD/FP?  I’ll show you…

Using these quarterbacks’ 2020 season as a benchmark, this is how their DD/FP would finish over the next two seasons with projected salaries.

Player2021 Salary2022 Projected Salary2021 Proj DD/FP2022 Proj DD/FP
L. Jackson$2,367,912$37,000,000$5,920$92,500
D. Watson$39,000,000$39,000,000$81,590$81,590
D. Lock$1,752,704$1,752,704$7,825$7,825
P. Mahomes$45,000,000$45,000,000$89,286$89,286
J. Allen$5,295,760$40,000,000$10,263$77,519
J. Herbert$6,644,688$6,644,688$15,381$15,381
K. Murray$8,789,661$8,789,661$19,067$19,067
Swipe for more on mobile.

We can project/know that between the 2020 season and the 2022 season four of these quarterbacks will receive large contract increases. For this reason, Kyler becomes much more valuable over that time frame. In 2021, Kyler is expected to finish 5th among these seven players. In 2022, Kyler is expected to finish 3rd among these seven players. This is a long way of saying that Kyler is and will continue to be a value.

I did learn something else while doing this exercise. Maybe there is another way to determine value using DD/FP. What if we could make educated guesses on what we expect a player’s contract will be in the next three seasons and combine that with the player’s fantasy point projections over the next three seasons?  We would have a better gauge on a player’s long term value and not just season long value.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to start projecting players DD/FP through the 2023 season. This should help us get closer to a standardized formula for comparing players. (Something I’ve been working on for over a year.)

Christian Kirk

The second player I want to break down today is Christian Kirk. Kirk finished the season as WR44. He missed two games in 2020. The first was in Week 3 with a groin injury, and the second was Week 17 when he was placed on the COVID-19 list. Kirk had a disappointing year. There’s no sugar coating it. If you drafted him, you had to (on average) take him in the 8th round. So, the question I ask is…what do we do with Kirk for next year?  He comes into the 2021 season on the final year of his rookie deal that is worth a little less than 1.5 million dollars. There is no doubt that Kirk will be 100 percent owned in 2021 as his salary is very cheap, but the trust to start him each week is just not going to be there. The possible retirement of Larry Fitzgerald could open the door for more touches, but the acquisition of DeAndre Hopkins last year really put a damper on Kirk’s career outlook. Let’s break down his DD/FP and see where he ranks among his peers…

Kirk is 40th in DD/FP for wide receivers, and he sits at $9,871. This seems like a fairly decent value on paper, and in some ways it is. However, when you look at some of the players around him, the value starts to fade.

Sitting just two spots ahead of Kirk is Calvin Ridley. Is this surprising to you?  Ridley at 38th in DD/FP?  I’ll be honest, it’s surprising to me, but let me explain why it actually makes sense. Ridley has the highest salary of any wide receiver inside of the top 50 for DD/FP. In fact, the only players close to him in terms of contract are Justin Jefferson ($3,280,701) at 51st and D.J. Moore ($2,792,829) at 58th. So that means the 6th (Ridley), 8th (Jefferson) and 23rd (Moore) ranked wide receivers in 2020 are all outside the top 38th in DD/FP?  The truth of the matter is that if a receiver has a salary over $1,000,000, it is very difficult for them to crack the top tier of DD/FP. Of all the wide receivers in the top 20 for DD/FP, only five of them have contracts over $1,000,000, and the highest salary of any of them is A.J. Brown at $1,413,092. This is obviously one of the limitations for the statistic itself. The fact that Russell Gage, Greg Ward and Jacoby Meyers lead this statistic should tell you everything you need to know.

What I propose (and plan on doing over the offseason) is to create more of a tiered approach to DD/FP as opposed to a strict salary compared to fantasy points. For example, I could take every wide receiver under $2,000,000 per year and assign them the same, fixed value. Doing this will eliminate the skewed data that would have given twice as much value to a player that makes $600,000 compared to a player that makes $1,200,000. We would obviously rather own the $600,000 salary, but is it worth assigning double value for that contract given that they are both “cheap” salaries?  In the same way, I could make a tier of $2,000,000 – $5,000,000.

Regardless, I will get all of my data together and begin to work in this new tiered approach to value in the upcoming articles.

As always, thank you for reading and look out for my video that pairs with this article. I know I can get a little long winded so hopefully the video series we’re doing will help give a more personal touch to the content. Take care and be safe.

TheJerk

Follow us on Twitter: @Dynasty_Owner

Prospect Preview: Ja’Marr Chase

Position: WRWeight: 200
College: LSUAge: 20
Height: 6′ 1″247 Rating: 4 Stars (0.9589)

By Nate Christian (@NateNFL)

The Rundown:

After a record season as Joe Burrow’s ($9,047,534) favorite target in 2019, Ja’Marr Chase decided to opt-out of the 2020 college football season to start his preparation for the NFL Draft. Some mysteries linger about his game after only a single breakout year, but the tape doesn’t lie, and Chase is arguably the best receiver in a talented and deep draft class.

College Production:

2019 was an incredible one year showing for Chase as a true sophomore. Next to future-first rounder Justin Jefferson ($$3,280,701) and another intriguing 2021 receiving prospect, Terrence Marshall Jr, Chase put up some absurd numbers. He caught 84 passes for 1780 yards, an impressive 21.2 yards per reception, and found the endzone 20 times! His statistics and impact for the LSU offense earned him the 2019 Fred Biletnikoff Award (awarded to the best receiver in the nation) as well as a consensus spot on the All-American team.

Strengths:

  • Strong Hands
    • When Chase gets his hands on the ball it is not often that it gets knocked out or dropped. A player who attacks the ball in the air, he’s constantly working back to the ball and not waiting for it to hit his chest before securing it. He’s adept at the back shoulder catch, reaching outside of his body, and bringing it in over his shoulder while running down the sideline. 
  • Consistently Wins 50/50 Balls
    • Perhaps the thing that sets Chase apart from most of the other receiver prospects in this class is his ability to consistently win down the field. When he gets moving down the field, he’s able to leverage his defender and get into position to have the first crack at the football. His vertical jump projects to measure at the top of the class and its obvious when you see him work above his defender and snatch the ball out of the air.
  • Physical at the Point of Attack
    • When facing press coverage Chase is not scared to attack the cornerback and push him back like a defensive lineman before disengaging and getting into his route. This makes him difficult to slow down and neutralize. Of course, NFL defenders are a bit stronger, but the SEC is full of NFL talent, and Chase showed us in 2019 that he was nearly unstoppable when full of confidence.

Weaknesses:

  • Not a Burner
    • Do not get me wrong, Chase can get down the field and make you pay, but he’s no Tyreek Hill ($18,000,000). His burst is solid coming out of the gate and his speed is enough to keep defenses honest, but in the NFL, he’s not going to be able to win consistently on Go routes on his own athleticism. To keep the defense guessing Chase will have to efficiently utilize more intermediate routes, such as Curls and Outs.
  • Inconsistent Route Running
    • The last point brings up the biggest question mark surrounding Chase, the consistency (and variety) of his route running. With the 2019 LSU team, Chase spent most of his time running down the field looking for the deep ball, but in the NFL, he will need to utilize the whole route tree to be a top wideout. I also noticed that sometimes you could tell when Chase was not one of the first reads on a play, he would come out of the gate without much determination, effectively taking himself out of the play.
  • One-Year of Production
    • As impressive as 2019 was for Chase it was still only one season. Many analysts would have liked to see him comeback and show another season of production and improvement, but the 2020 LSU team was a ghost of the 2019 champions and the choice to opt-out was likely the best decision for Chase, who has been a locked in first rounder for over a year now. As long as Chase has been working hard in training while missing the CFB season, there shouldn’t be too much worry about this issue though.

Things to Watch:

With Chase sitting out the entirety of the 2020 CFB season, it will be interesting to see how he starts marketing himself when draft season starts to kick into gear. In today’s age, a player’s media value can be a factor in their value to a franchise and Chase and his agent know that. The hype around Chase has certainly died down a bit since last year when he was an integral part of the National Champions, but with a couple workout videos and well-edited cuts to epic music, Chase can be back in the national spotlight.

The combine will be his big chance to show that he was making the most of his opt-out and he will be expected to come into the weekend at peak physical condition. On tape I see a 4.5 40-Yard Dash, so if he can get down into the 4.4’s that would be a sign of his hard work over the past year. His height will also be something to keep an eye on as he could measure anywhere from 5’ 11” to 6’ 1”, and he should weigh in somewhere between 200-210 pounds.

Projected Round/Contract:  

At this point we can project that Chase is nearly a lock to be a Top-20 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, pending an injury or a meltdown at the NFL Combine. Financially that means his rookie contract could look similar to Jerry Jeudy’s ($3,798,244). Jeudy signed a 4-year deal worth $15,192,974 after being selected 15th overall by the Denver Broncos. Also, as with all first-round picks, Chase’s contract will include a 5th-year club option for whatever team drafts him.

Team Fits:  

At the end of the day Chase is a player that could fit in any team’s offense and make an impact. At only six-foot he may seem a little small to be a prototypical X-receiver, but he plays bigger than his frame and can be a chain-mover for any team willing to throw the ball down the field. With his projected draft slot being early-mid 1st round, we can narrow down his landing spot to a couple different teams that will be looking for a new playmaker out wide.

One popular landing spot for Chase is the Miami Dolphins (who have two first rounders this year). Pairing Chase with Devante Parker ($7,625,000) and Preston Williams ($588,333) would give Tua Tagovailoa ($7,568,860) plenty of talent to help push the ball down the field.

Another popular team fit is the Detroit Lions who currently only have Quintez Cephus ($899,822) under contract for 2021. Kenny Golladay ($799,081) is set to become a free agent and with a new front office coming in, nobody knows what to expect. Chase could be given the chance to slot into a high-volume role if he finds himself in Detroit.

One more landing spot I’ll mention is the New England Patriots, a team that has a lot of questions moving forward. The quarterback situation is certainly a mystery, but if Bill Belichick looks to bring in a veteran such as Andy Dalton ($3,000,000) or even Sam Darnold ($7,561,929), grabbing a receiver with their first-round pick could be a great move to get them back in the playoff hunt. The Patriots offense has been hurting for a young weapon for a while and Chase would help any quarterback that ends up taking the snaps in Foxboro.

Follow us on Twitter: @Dynasty_Owner