By Steven Van Tassell (@SteveVT33)
Week 2 got off to an exciting start last night with another game-winning field goal to end the Thursday night game. This time, it was by Dustin Hopkins (who gets an extra 3 clutch points for his Dynasty Owners with that kick). His 43 yard FG with no time remaining in regulation gave the Washington Football Team a 30-29 victory over the New York Giants. Two weeks and two game-winning FGs on Thursday night plus the wild ending to Monday Night Football. Quite the start to the 2021 season!
I doubt that anyone could have predicted those cliffhanger results and that our Dynasty Owner Match-up of the Week for Week 1 would come down to a clutch FG in the fourth quarter of the Monday Night Football game. That’s what makes the NFL and fantasy football so much fun (at least if your team wins). Unlike those games, I won’t make you wait until the end of this article to find out how my recommendations fared and who I’m recommending this week.
Thanks for reading my weekly preview article. Every week of the 14-game Dynasty Owner regular season and three-game playoffs, I’ll present a player at each position (QB, RB, WR, TE) who you should have as a Starter in your Dynasty Owner lineup. After that, I’ll name one player per position who should be on your Bench or Practice Squad. These won’t be the obvious choices for Starters either. No recommendations to go ahead and start Patrick Mahomes, Christian McCaffrey, Davante Adams, and Travis Kelce. Highly drafted players who may have had a bad Week 1 as a Starter likely won’t be mentioned either. Nope, I’m going to recommend you Start players who were drafted to be on your Bench or Practice Squad. For the Bench recommendations, I’ll suggest players drafted to be Starters or who had a great Week 1 performance, but who shouldn’t be in there for this week based on matchups, past performance against a team or something else.
Finally, I will look at one Dynasty Owner game, our Match-up of the Week. This week’s matchup was mentioned in the chat during the Thursday Dynasty Owner podcast with Tim and Seth and I was immediately intrigued because it has two teams in the Top 25 of the Chase for the Ring after Week 1. If you didn’t see Tim and Seth live, you can check it out on the Dynasty Owner YouTube anytime.
All stats cited 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.
For the purposes of this article, ADP and Dynasty Owner rostered percentage statistics were current as of the morning of September 17th.
These Guys Should be Starters This Week
The first thing in the preview article every week will be to take a quick look at how my recommendations from the previous week fared (Good, Bad or Just Ok). I went out on a cliff and predicted good performances by these four guys, so let’s see how I did. My Week 1 recommendations were as follows:
QB: Matthew Stafford – 34.5 (Good recommendation)
RB: Phillip Lindsay – 8.5 (Bad recommendation)
WR: Sammy Watkins – 13.6 (Just Ok recommendation)
TE: Anthony Firkser – 4.9 (Bad recommendation)
A slightly below average Week 1 with only one Good recommendation and one Just Ok plus two Bad recommendations. This is still better than my 2020 recommendation average, so I’ll take it. While 34.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points is a lot, it was only good enough to make Stafford the QB10, however the difference between QB10 and QB13 (the top Bench QB) was 7.4 points, so Stafford definitely should have been a Starter. Sammy Watkins was Just Ok because he was WR40 and would have been fine to have in your FLEX spot since the WR24 (Jaylen Waddle) only had 2.5 more Dynasty Owner fantasy points. Phillip Lindsay was well outside of the Top 24 RBs and Anthony Firkser shouldn’t have even been on your Bench with his 4.9 Dynasty Owner fantasy point output in Week 1. Both of those recommendations were bad. Let’s try to improve on this performance in Week 2 with these recommendations:
Ben Roethlisberger (QB – PIT): Big Ben and the Steelers had a tough matchup in Week 1 against the Buffalo Bills. As a team, it was great as they defeated Buffalo on the road, but for Big Ben, it was a pretty average performance as he scored only 14.9 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (188 passing yards, 1 passing TD, 5 rushing yards, 1 fumble). However, the Steelers are back at Heinz Field this week and Big Ben was better at home than on the road in 2020. He averaged 26.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per home game versus only 21.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per road game last year. The Raiders defense has to face the Steelers under a less than ideal situation. They had an overtime Monday Night Football game in Las Vegas and have to travel to the East Coast to play a Sunday 1 PM game. Not a great situation and they could be gassed before the game is over. Big Ben will have a solid game for this (and other reasons) and be worthy of inclusion in your Starting lineup this week.
James Conner (RB – ARI): If you looked at just Dynasty Owner fantasy points, Chase Edmonds was the Arizona RB to have on your roster in Week 1 as he scored 14.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points compared to only 5.3 for James Conner. However, both players had 16 touches in the Cardinals’ Week 1 victory over Tennessee. That’s good news for everyone who has Conner on their Dynasty Owner roster as they generally picked up Conner three rounds after Edmonds was drafted (ADP 110.2 for Conner vs. 75.9 for Edmonds). Part of that is the $1 million difference in salary, but more is because people thought Edmonds was the starter and Conner was his backup. It was a 50-50 split in Week 1, sparking hope that Conner could be a solid producer for his Dynasty Owners. Conner had more rushing attempts than Edmonds (16 to 12) and the Cardinals get to face the Minnesota defense that allowed Joe Mixon of the Cincinnati Bengals to rush for 127 yards on 29 carries plus a TD in Week 1. The over/under of 50.5 points suggests a lot of scoring and yardage in this game. That combined with his Week 1 usage are positives for Conner so get him into your Starting lineup this week.
Jarvis Landry (WR – CLE): No Odell Beckham Jr. (OBJ) again this week for the Browns, so expect plenty of work for the team’s real WR1 – Jarvis Landry. Last week without OBJ in the Browns’ lineup, Landry had 19.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points versus Kansas City. The Browns face the Houston Texans this week, a team that allowed Jacksonville to throw for 332 yards in Week 1. Beyond recommending that Dynasty Owners who have Landry rostered (52.7% of Dynasty Owner leagues), I’m also recommending if Jarvis Landry is available in your league, and you have OBJ on your Dynasty Owner roster (76.9% of Dynasty Owner leagues) you should use your Amnesty Provision (only $5 million Dynasty Dollars) to drop OBJ to pick up Landry. You’ll get a better and more durable player (Landry has missed only one game in seven full NFL seasons) plus save $2.9 million in salary cap room. OBJ’s salary is $18 million per year for three more years, while Landry will cost $15.1 million for two more years. When both of them were in the lineup, OBJ was slightly better in 2020 (14.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points for Beckham versus 11.9 points for Landry), but OBJ is out again this week and Landry averaged 13.9 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game in the nine games that he played in 2020 with OBJ out. I don’t have the percentage of Dynasty Owners who started Landry in Week 1, but on CBS Sports, Landry was rostered in 83% of leagues in Week 1, but only started in 18%. For Week 2, he’s starting in 55% which is still far too low. Same on Sleeper as he was rostered in 88% of leagues but only started in 42% last week. If you are spending $15.1 million to have Landry on your roster, you need to get him in your Starting lineup this week.
Jared Cook (TE – LAC): Cook was targeted eight times by Chargers’ QB Justin Herbert in Week 1. That puts him in a tie for third in TE targets behind only Darren Waller and T.J. Hockenson. One of the players he is tied with is Rob Gronkowski who was targeted eight times and scored 29.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (8 receptions, 90 receiving yards, 2 receiving TDs) for Tampa Bay against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1. The Chargers’ opponent this week is the Dallas Cowboys. I’m not saying Cook will have two TDs and 29.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points this week, but I think he can improve on the 10.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (5 receptions for 56 yards) that he had in Week 1. That put him into a tie for TE13 with David Njoku and since Cook was the 22nd TE off the board on average (ADP 182.8) in Dynasty Owner start-up drafts, I’m thinking most of his Dynasty Owners still consider him a Bench guy. Not against the Dallas Cowboys defense in a game that’s projected to be the highest scoring game of the week. Cook should be in your Starting lineup this week.
These Guys Should Be on the Bench (or Practice Squad) This Week
Now it’s the time to look at how my Bench recommendations from Week 1 worked out (Good, Bad or Just Ok). In 2019, my Starter and Bench recommendations were about as likely to be Good as Bad, while in 2020, my Bench recommendations were much better than my Starting ones, but not as good as in 2019. How did the guys I bet against and say you should have on your Bench fare in Week 1?
QB: Justin Herbert – 17.7 (Good recommendation)
RB: Saquon Barkley – 3.7 (Good recommendation)
WR: Allen Robinson – 9.5 (Good recommendation)
TE: Mike Gesicki – 0.0 (Good recommendation)
To quote Larry David, “pretty, pretty, pretty good”. Actually, pretty outstanding as most of these guys should have been on your Practice Squad last week, especially Gesicki who put up a Blutarsky (0.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points) and Saquon Barkley who was the RB54. Herbert was QB25 so he could have been ok as your Bench QB, but not as your Starter, and Robinson was WR62, so he was about the same as Herbert.
This was my first week with four Good Bench recommendations since Week 12 of 2019 when I said to Bench Aaron Rodgers, Josh Jacobs, Amari Cooper and Gerald Everett. All of those guys are still active, maybe I should use them this week? Probably not, but let’s see who the recommended Bench players are for Week 2.
Jameis Winston (QB – NO): There is no reason for any Dynasty Owners to believe that Jameis Winston will throw five TDs on just 20 passing attempts again this week. I would also bet that it’ll never happen again in his NFL career. While Winston did just that in Week 1 and scored his Dynasty Owners 41.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points, it’s just not in Winston’s DNA. You know what is in his DNA, average performances against the Carolina Panthers. In nine career games against Carolina, Winston is averaging only 274.1 passing yards and 1 passing TD (along with 1.56 INTs) per game. If we round down to 1 INT this week, those averages translate into only 16.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. The Carolina defense, regardless of who was playing for it, seemed to have Winston’s number when he was on Tampa Bay as he hasn’t thrown more than 2 TDs against the Panthers in his career and only thrown two TD twice (the same number of times that he has thrown zero TDs against them). Don’t bet on New Orleans Jameis reversing those trends started by Tampa Bay Jameis and Bench him this week.
Josh Jacobs (RB – LV): After the introduction to this section, you probably weren’t expecting Jacobs to be here, but he is. It’s not just because of Week 12 in 2019 because I also recommended having Jacobs on the Bench two other times then and was incorrect both times. It’s the fact that twelve non-QBs had two TDs in Week 1 and the player with the fewest Dynasty Owner fantasy points out of those players was Jacobs (17.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points). Take away the two TDs and he’s at 5.0 points for the week. In addition, he had the same number of touches (11) as Kenyan Drake and missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday. If he doesn’t play on Sunday, then he’s obviously not in your Starting lineup or on your Bench, but what if he’s questionable again like last week? The Steelers defense held Devin Singletary to 9.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in Week 1 (72 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 8 receiving yards, 2 fumbles) and it seems likely that Jacobs will put up similar numbers this week. Scoring less than 10.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points would definitely make him a Bench RB option. That’s my prediction for Jacobs so make sure he’s there.
Corey Davis (WR – NYJ): Davis’ inclusion on this list is not his fault. Blame the fact that Bill Belichick defenses always seem to give rookie QBs fits in their first start. The Jets QB this week will be rookie Zach Wilson. After scoring 26.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (5 receptions, 97 receiving yards, 2 receiving TDs) in Week 1, Dynasty Owners with Davis on their roster are likely putting him in as a Starter, but because of Wilson, they should really have him on the Bench. In 2020, the Patriots faced two rookie QBs (Justin Herbert and Tua Tagavailoa) and in those games, Herbert had 209 passing yards and Tua had only 145 passing yards. The leading WR for each team in those games scored less than 11.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (9.8 for Keenan Allen and 10.6 points for Lynn Bowden). Davis is also probably the Jets best offensive weapon right now and Belichick focuses on stopping that player from the opposition team every week. Play it safe with Davis and leave him on your Bench.
Kyle Pitts (TE – ATL): Dynasty Owners didn’t draft Pitts as the second TE off the board (ADP 31.5) ahead of even Darren Waller (ADP 31.7) to have him on the Bench. Pitts was fine in Week 1 with 7.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (4 receptions for 31 yards) and a team leading eight targets (tied with Calvin Ridley). None of the WRs other than Ridley had a target in Week 1, and you have to think Falcons Coach Arthur Smith will try to rectify that in Week 2 against Tampa Bay. The Cowboys targeted their WRs 42 times in Week 1 against Tampa Bay and only threw 9 passes to TEs. The Falcons are extremely unlikely to target Ridley, Gage and Olamide Zaccheaus that much. However, if they try to get the ball more to Gage and Zaccheaus in Week 2 than they did in Week 1, the likely players to get reduced targets are probably the Falcons TEs. Will Pitts be a great TE in the long run? Much more likely than not. Should you have him in your Dynasty Owner Starting lineup this week? No – put him on your Bench.
Dynasty Owner Match-up of the Week – SKOL Vikings vs. Scubon1c Plagu3
It’s time for the second Dynasty Owner Match-up of the Week for the 2021 season. Week 1 is always easy as we profile the previous year Chase for the Ring winner, but who to highlight in Week 2 is more challenging. A rivalry game would be nice as would a match-up featuring two teams in the Chase for the Ring. Fortunately, due to a comment during Thursday’s livestream, I found out about a match-up that fits the latter criteria.
In League #31927, the top two teams in the Standings are Scubon1c Plague3 and SKOL Vikings with 199.5 and 198.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points respectively. This places both teams in the Top 25 of the Chase for the Ring after Week 1 with Scubon1c Plague3 in 19th place and SKOL Vikings in 21st place. Imagine being in 21st place in the Chase and in 2nd place in your own league. That’s the situation that SKOL Vikings are in. Let’s see who’s favored in this Chase for the Ring battle.
Fortunately for SKOL Vikings, they are favored to win by a score of 177.8 to 169.6. Both teams are supposed to score a lot of points this week, but only one of them is going to win. If they both score that many points, both teams will probably still be in the Top 50 of the Chase for the Ring and if they do as well as they did last week, both could even still be in the Top 25, even with one of them having a 1-1 record.
We got the Chase for the Ring part, but this is also a rivalry game. I looked closely at the Scubon1c Plague3 logo on Dynasty Owner and noticed that the people in the picture are wearing Green Bay Packers jerseys. Now it’s also Packers vs. Vikings for the top spot in League #31927.
The game might be another Match-up of the Week cliffhanger and come down to Monday Night Football. That’s what happened in Week 1 when Dan’s Dynasty upset Barbee Kilgore. Both Scubon1c Plague3 and SKOL Vikings have a player in their Starting lineup right now who plays on Monday night (D’Andre Swift for Scubon1c Plague3 and Davante Adams for SKOL Vikings), so we might have another close match-up that goes down to the wire. Check out the Tuesday recap article to see who won and if either team is still on the 2021 Chase for the Ring Leaderboard.
Please read my weekly preview article each and every week to see who should be in your Dynasty Owner Starting lineup and who should be on your Bench. If you have one of the players mentioned, hopefully it will assist you with your lineup decisions. While some Dynasty Owners may heed my advice, others might disagree, or not have a better option for their Starting lineup and choose to ignore a Bench recommendation. Other Dynasty Owners may not need Starting lineup help as they have a stud player at a position who isn’t moving to the Bench unless he’s injured or on bye. Hopefully, your choices are solid, and your Dynasty Owner game isn’t a cliffhanger this week.
In addition to this weekly preview article, Dynasty Owner has plenty of other great content to help you win your League Championship and maybe the Chase for the Ring. Our in-season publication schedule is as follows. On Monday, Jay Pounds (@jaypoundsnfl) will preview the Monday Night Football matchup from the Dynasty Owner perspective. Tuesday has a double shot of Dynasty Owner content with my Week 2 recap article and Jay’s Free Agent Auction targets article and video. Wednesdays is when Matt Morrison – The Jerk will dive into a topic of his choosing with an article and a video, while the next day, he’ll have an article previewing the Thursday Night Football game to start Week 3. Don’t forget about the Dynasty Owner livestream on Wednesday with myself and Tim Peffer as well as the free flowing fun that is Seth and Tim chatting together live on Thursdays at 1 PM. Set those timers so you don’t miss either one of those broadcasts.
Please read all of our articles, watch our videos on YouTube or listen to them wherever you get your podcasts. Don’t forget follow all three of the Dynasty Owner team of writers plus Dynasty Owner on Twitter as well. Thanks, and have a great day!
Steven Van Tassell is the Head of Content for Dynasty Owner