By Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk)
The first round of the Dynasty Owner playoffs are almost officially over. So far, Week 15 has been disappointing on many levels, but despite that overall disappointment, there will be 33 percent of you remaining in the hunt for a championship after it is over. That’s right, our 12-team leagues will have shrunk down to four remaining by after the Tuesday games. This also may have been the best week imaginable to have a first round bye. Between COVID, injuries and just overall poor performances, it would have been a nice week to have zero stress.
For those of you who survive, today we are going to talk about some pass catchers that a lot of you probably have on your Dynasty Owner roster. The players I’m about to list are the most “valuable” of the 2021 season. Here is what I wrote in last week’s article when I talked about some quarterback and running back Value of the Year (VOTY) nominees.
Throughout the Thursday Night Article series, I have presented a Value of the Game prediction. Today and next week, I will present three to five nominees for a Value of the Year (VOTY) at each position. This will lead me into the Week 17 article where I will crown a Value of the Year winner for each position as well as an overall Value of the Year.
In order to be eligible for the VOTY, each player will have to be around the Top 20 or better for their position. In addition, they will have to be in the Top 10 in terms of value (DD/FP). Okay, let’s do it…
The first thing I want to mention about the wide receiver list is that it leaves off quite a few players who I thought would have been guaranteed to make it. Those players include DK Metcalf, A.J. Brown and Terry McLaurin. All three of these great talents would have made this article last year, but unfortunately, they have not been productive enough on the season to qualify. It goes without saying, but it has been a disappointing season for each of them.
Renfrow has been a very pleasant and unexpected surprise this year. Last year he finished as WR57 with 136.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. Believe it or not, this number of fantasy points combined with his cheap salary of $708,987 put him as a Top 10 wide receiver in terms of Dynasty Dollars per Fantasy Point (DD/FP).
Well, this season has been even more impressive for him. He has scored north of 200.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points and still has the same salary as last season. This puts him as the number one wide receiver for DD/FP this season. That number is $3,396. The Dynasty Owners who roster him know that it goes without saying…he has been an extreme value this year and that should continue.
The one other thing I want to mention is the fact that Darren Waller is currently dealing with both a knee and a back injury. Renfrow has been a target machine in the games that Waller misses.
Johnson has been a staple of efficiency since he entered the league. The reason for this is the fact that he was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2019 NFL Draft. This draft capital earned him a $1,070,241 salary. Excluding last week, 20 of his last 21 games played have ended with more than 10.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. He has been not only a model of efficiency but also a model of consistency. With three games left in the regular season, he looks to easily cruise past 100 receptions. He has already surpassed 1,000 receiving yards. Let me give you a real life trade that I pulled off involving Johnson…
Thirty-two days ago, I traded Michael Pittman and a 2022 2nd round pick for Diontae Johnson. As I made the trade, I realized that I was probably overpaying, but I was okay with that. I was, and still am, in win now mode for this league. I shed a little over $1,000,000 worth of salary cap and acquired an upgrade at receiver. Yes, this move will look much worse over the off-season, but my goal is to win a championship now and worry about the consequences later.
To sum up my thoughts: Diontae is currently the third ranked wide receiver when it comes to DD/FP. He sits at $4,611 and is one of the front runners to win the Value of the Year award from the wide receiver category.
There is literally no player I have enjoyed watching more this season than Deebo. I don’t own him in either of my Dynasty Owner leagues, but it’s not for a lack of trying. I have composed several trades for Deebo over the past few months with no luck stealing him. I was prepared to greatly overpay for him too.
Regardless, Deebo has been one of the greatest values this year. That value applies to both salary and draft capital. His salary is a cool $1,811,869, and he was regularly being drafted in the 5th/6th round in start-up drafts (ADP 69.0).
The most exciting part of Deebo’s season lies in the fact that he has been effectively used as a gadget running back for the last month. He has 12 total touchdowns on the season (7 rushing, 5 receiving). Over the past four games, he has four touchdowns, and all of them have come on the ground. He is one of the most versatile players in the game, and has a WR5 ranking to show for it. Deebo will likely not win the wide receiver Value of the Year, but he deserves the mention. Unfortunately, his salary is just a little too high to justify a crown.
I’m just gonna say it right now…Andrews is going to win the VOTY for the tight end class. There is virtually no chance he loses. The next closest player is Dalton Schultz, but it would take a historic and unprecedented end to the season for him to pass Andrews. Andrews is not only the greatest value this year. He also is currently the TE1 on the season. He was always the frontrunner for most efficient tight end in terms of salary, but now he’s also contending for the title of the greatest tight end in the NFL. Sorry to spoil the ending a week early, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you at this point.
The aforementioned Schultz is having a career year himself. He has already surpassed his 2020 fantasy point finish, and he still has three weeks to go in the regular season. My assumption coming into the 2021 season was that Schultz would relinquish some of his target share back to Blake Jarwin. If you remember, Jarwin missed nearly the entire 2020 season due to injury. Well, even before Jarwin went on IR for the majority of this season, Schultz was the Cowboys’ TE1 in terms of fantasy production. He still sits as TE4 overall in what has been a real breakout season for the 25-year old pass catcher.
Speaking of career years, here is another tight end having exactly that. Knox is on pace for over 50 receptions, over 600 yards and 10 touchdowns. What else can you ask for from a tight end that makes less than $1,000,000 per year? My answer is…”nothing.” Knox has been better than I expected, and he is in a dog fight for the TE5 spot. He is currently competing against Kyle Pitts and Mike Gesicki.
I’ve said this many times this year, but I’ll say it again today. The tight end position is extremely scarce these days. It’s rare to find one that will clear 170.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points, let alone do it with a sub $1,000,000 salary. Cherish these players. This type of value is not found often, and the benefactors of it will likely be competing for a championship over the next two weeks.
Thank you for reading everyone. Next week will be a great article to catch. I am going to have a lot of fun breaking down the five Value of the Year award winners as I recap the 2021 Dynasty Owner season. Message me on Twitter (@dynastyjerk) and let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I would appreciate it if you followed @Dynasty_Owner on Twitter as well as subscribed to Dynasty Owner on YouTube. Take care everyone and be safe.