Free Agent Market Values: High Salary QBs and RBs

By Steven Van Tassell (@SteveVT33)

The news that the Dynasty Owner salary cap for 2021 is likely to go up to $145.74 million (70% of the expected $208.2 million NFL salary cap) when the 2022 Dynasty Owner league year starts on March 18th means it’s time for Dynasty Owners to start thinking about how they are going to fit in all of the new and updated salaries. The amount won’t be confirmed until the NFL approves its 2022 salary cap, but Dynasty Owners can still start to plan ahead with this estimated amount.

The 2021 salary cap was $127.75 million, so this would an increase of just under $18 million ($17.99 million to be exact). For some Dynasty Owners, that increase isn’t enough to cover the new 2022 salary for certain players who have already signed an extension. For other Dynasty Owners, it’ll be plenty. Since the 2022 salary cap doesn’t go into effect for at least another six weeks and Dynasty Owners may get extra time to get their teams under the salary cap, it’s not imperative that your team’s salaries are there now. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t start planning for it.

Planning ahead can help Dynasty Owners think about trade offers or whether or not they’ll need to drop a player once he signs as a free agent. With a seven-day window to drop a free agent with a new contract, decisions on keeping, dropping or trading will have to be quick. Even if the window is extended to 30 days, Dynasty Owners will still have to maneuver the players on their roster like chess pieces to make sure they are under the salary cap and still have room for rookies. We’ll get to the rookies later, but based on last year’s calculations, it’s safe to budget between $5.7 million and $26.4 million, depending on how many rookie draft picks your team has at its disposal. The 2022 salary cap room for rookies’ article will come much later on, in the four-week window between the end of the NFL draft on April 30th and the start of Dynasty Owner rookie drafts on May 27th.

Dynasty Owner teams will have plenty of players who had one-year contracts that expired and won’t be re-signed. This will clear up some salary cap room. However, for other players, decisions on what to do will have to be made – hold on to the player, trade them away, or drop them for free when their new salary kicks in. Knowing in advance what salary a free agent is likely to get can be helpful for getting ahead of your fellow Dynasty Owners, clearing out roster space to fit in the players you want to keep, or maximizing the trade value of an impending free agent.

There is plenty of information about anticipated market value for free agents on Spotrac (https://www.spotrac.com/). Since not everyone has the time to go check out the market value for all of the impending NFL free agents, I’ll look at Spotrac for you, post their Market Value estimates, compare it to the player’s 2021 Dynasty Owner salary and give a recommendation for what to do with the player at that new salary. Sounds like fun, so let’s get started and look at our backfield players (QBs and RBs) who are projected to get contracts of $5 million or more per year. However, we first need to review the boring stuff about how players score Dynasty Owner fantasy points.

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, all statistics and 2021 position ranks were current as of the afternoon of January 31st. Spotrac has market values are available for select players at https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/free-agents/.

Players Who Are Going to Get Paid Around $10 Million Per Year

There aren’t many players hitting the free agent market in 2022 who are going to command a lot of money. Most of the biggest free agents at QBs and RBs who were eligible for free agency have already signed contract extensions for 2022. Josh Allen received a 6-year, $258.034 million extension to stay with Buffalo ($43,005,667 per year). The increase for Allen is around $37.7 million, so the increase in the salary cap isn’t enough to cover Allen’s new contract. The G.O.A.T. Tom Brady signed a one-year extension with Tampa Bay at the same salary as he played for in 2021 ($25 million). That will be his 2022 salary, if he doesn’t announce his retirement later today or in the next few days. Nick Chubb got a 3-year extension with Cleveland worth a total of $36.6 million ($12.2 million per year).

While these three players are already signed and their new contracts will kick in on March 18th for Dynasty Owners, there is one free agent RB who has a market value close to the $10 million range: Cordarrelle Patterson.

Position RankAge2021 SalaryMarket ValueSalary Increase
RB830$3,000,000$9,142,030$6,142,030

Patterson’s market value is projected at 2 years and $18,284,060, or $9,142,030 per year for Dynasty Owner salary purposes. Dynasty Owners with Patterson on their roster currently should expect to have to find an extra $6.124 million to keep him on their team. What should they do?

Current Recommendation: Hold for now. Value depends upon who signs him.

If Patterson re-signs with Atlanta, then he’s a player to Keep as Arthur Smith was the first coach to figure out how to use him effectively. His decline in production at the end of the season might worry some Dynasty Owners though. He averaged 18.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game over the first nine games of the season, then missed the Week 11 Thursday night game against New England with an ankle injury. Upon his return, his production slipped to 11.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game in the final seven weeks. He was particularly ineffective in the Dynasty Owner playoffs with just a total of 22.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in Weeks 15-17.

A change of teams probably makes Patterson a one-year, flash in the pan at the age of 30 and his value will decline with a move from Atlanta. A salary in the $9 million to $10 million range would put him in the top 10 in RB salary for 2022 and he’d be the only player in that salary range in his 30s. I’d move Patterson in a trade if he signs elsewhere this off-season.

Players Who Are Going to Get Around $5 Million per Year

There is a much larger number of free agents who are projected to receive contracts in the $5 million per year range. These players will join QB Mason Rudolph who signed a one-year extension for $5.08 million to stay with Pittsburgh and possibly be the Steelers’ starting QB in 2022 and a pair of RBs (Nyheim Hines and Gus Edwards). Hines signed a 3-year, $18.6 million extension ($6.2 million per year) with Indianapolis in early September that takes effect this season, while Edwards signed a two-year extension for $9 million ($4.5 million per year) with Baltimore in June, before his season-ending knee injury (ACL tear) right before the start of the 2021 season. All three of those contracts are signed and will kick in on March 18th for Dynasty Owners. A few others are projected to receive salaries in the $5 million range, as well as one player who currently makes that amount but doesn’t have a projected market value.

The player without a projected market value is Saints QB Jameis Winston.

Position RankAge2021 SalaryMarket ValueSalary Increase
QB3228$5,500,000Not ListedUnknown

Winston’s position ranking is low, but he only played in seven games in 2021 and accumulated 152.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (21.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game). His per game average projects to QB10 if he played in all 17 games and QB12 if he played in 16 games. However, he hasn’t played a full season since 2019 with Tampa Bay, the Saints already have Taysom Hill signed at QB and are significantly over the salary cap. With everything seemingly up in the air with Winston, what should his Dynasty Owners do?

Current Recommendation: Hold for now. Value depends upon who signs him and for how much.

Similar assessment to Cordarrelle Patterson, but with the added caveat about cost since we don’t have a market value for him. If Winston signs with a team that needs a starting QB, like Pittsburgh or Denver, at or around his 2021 salary, then he could be a huge bargain for his Dynasty Owners and his cost to acquire goes up significantly. Re-signing with the Saints is a strong possibility and with Sean Payton out as Head Coach, Winston could be the starter in New Orleans. It is unlikely that Winston signs with a team who has an established QB, but if so, then he could be a candidate to drop depending on the size of his new contract.

The RB projected for the highest average salary in this range is Leonard Fournette.

Position RankAge2021 SalaryMarket ValueSalary Increase
RB527$3,250,000$6,152,577$2,902,577

Fournette’s market value is projected at 2 years and $12,305,154, or $6,152,577 per year for Dynasty Owner salary purposes. Dynasty Owners with Fournette on their roster currently should expect to have to find an extra $2.9 million to keep him on their team. What should they do?

Current Recommendation: Keep him. Only trade if the offer is too good to pass up.

Productive RBs are hard to find and Dynasty Owners with Fournette would be wise to stick with him at that projected contract length and salary. Fournette was a top 10 RB in 2019 with Jacksonville and in 2021 with Tampa Bay, so he’s not likely to drop off if he’s on the move again.

Is he likely to be the RB5 in 2022 or 2023? Probably not. However, he doesn’t need to be that productive again to still be worth a little over $6 million per year and if the contract ends up being for only two years, it’s not a huge commitment should he struggle some, or his skills decline.

Any trade offers would have to be pretty overwhelming to recommend trading Fournette at that contract amount. Multiple draft picks or players with lower salaries who have breakout potential for starters. Those draft picks and salary savings can be used to stock up at the RB position, which is something that almost all Dynasty Owners will need to do.

The next RB in this average salary range is James Conner.

Position RankAge2021 SalaryMarket ValueSalary Increase
RB626$1,750,000$5,976,122$4,226,122

Conner’s market value is projected at 2 years and $11,952,244, or $5,976,122 per year for Dynasty Owner salary purposes. Pretty much the same as Leonard Fournette, however Dynasty Owners with Conner on their roster currently will have to find an extra $4.226 million to keep him on their team. What should they do?

Current Recommendation: Keep him. Trade if you get a good offer and have sufficient RB depth or can acquire additional RBs in the rookie draft.

The same recommendation and reasoning as for Fournette; productive RBs are hard to find. Conner didn’t have nearly as many yards or receptions as Fournette in 2021, but found the end zone 18 times and finished with only 5.8 fewer Dynasty Owner fantasy points (255.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points). Even if we remove half of those TDs (9 TDs for 54.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points), Conner would have still scored 201.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points and been the RB19 for the season (right between Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon).

Conner is due for a TD regression next season regardless of where he ends up. However, he is still only 26 years old and has performed well for two different NFL teams already. He also was able to be productive sharing carries in an offense with another RB in Arizona. As a result, moving to another team, even one with another high-quality RB, likely won’t impact him as much as other players.

Conner’s teammate in Arizona, Chase Edmonds, is the next RB in this salary range.

Position RankAge2021 SalaryMarket ValueSalary Increase
RB3325$728,090$5,274,149$4,546,059

Edmonds’ market value is projected at 3 years and $15,822,447, or $5,274,149 per year for Dynasty Owner salary purposes. That’s about $700,000 less per season than Conner, but Edmonds is projected to get an extra year. Dynasty Owners with Edmonds on their roster currently will have to find an extra $4.546 million to keep him on their team. What should they do?

Current Recommendation: Trade him.

Chase Edmonds at a salary of $728,090 is a bargain. At over $5.2 million, it’s more than I’d want to spend on a player who’s never been the RB1 on his own team. He only has 14 TDs in 57 career games and 461 touches over four seasons in Arizona. In two average seasons in Pittsburgh, James Conner had 13 TDs in 23 games and 354 touches. That earned Conner a one-year deal for only $1.75 million and Edmonds is projected to make three times as much per season. Maybe it was just the Cardinals didn’t trust Edmonds at the goal line as much as Conner, Kenyan Drake and David Johnson, and he’ll blossom on another team. I’d find another Dynasty Owner who believes and trade him sooner rather than later, that is before he signs his next contract.

The final RB in this salary range is Sony Michel from the Los Angeles Rams.

Position RankAge2021 SalaryMarket ValueSalary Increase
RB3126$2,406,674$5,042,830$2,636,156

Michel’s market value is projected at 2 years and $10,085,660, or $5,042,830 per year for Dynasty Owner salary purposes. That’s close to $1 million less per season than James Conner for the same number of years. Dynasty Owners with Michel on their roster currently will have to find an extra $2.636 million to keep him on their team. What should they do?

Current Recommendation: Trade him and take whatever you can get.

The New England Patriots declined to exercise Michel’s $4.52 million fifth year option last season, then traded him to the Rams. If Bill Belichick doesn’t think Michel is worth $4.52 million, then I’m not having him on my Dynasty Owner team at over $5 million. It’s that simple, even though I know Belichick would rather get rid of a player a season too soon than keep one a season too long.

For $5 million, Dynasty Owners are getting a RB who has averaged less than one reception per game in his career (47 receptions in 55 games). His career yards per carry is just 4.2, so he’s totally reliant on getting a high volume of rushing attempts to have value. He’s unlikely to return to the Rams and this past season was as good as he’s been in his career. Trading him now would be optimal as his value and profile are at a high with the Rams’ appearance in Super Bowl LVI.

Conclusion

Out of these six players expected to get a free agent contract of $5 million or more per year, it’s an even split. There are two who Dynasty Owners should hang onto at their anticipated market value, two who should be held then dealt with after their team and salary are determined, and two who are definite trade candidates since they are moving on from their rookie contract. There are more RBs with an anticipated market value of less than $5 million per year who I’ll tackle next week.

The weekly Dynasty Owner livestream with myself and Tim Peffer is back at its regular day and time – Wednesday at 4 PM (Eastern). Set the timer on YouTube so you don’t miss it live, or make sure to watch it afterwards. Either way, don’t forget to smash the Like button. You can also listen wherever you get your podcasts.

Please read all of the off-season articles and videos from our Dynasty Owner team as well. On Mondays, I’ll talk about players, salaries and contracts to help new and returning Dynasty Owners navigate how to play our unique game. Jay Pounds will talk everything about rebuilding your Dynasty Owner roster on Tuesday. Nate Christian is back for 2022 and will do prospect previews every Thursday. Finally, Friday is Free Agent Friday as Matt Morrison – The Jerk breaks down the free agents on every NFL team by division.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Steven Van Tassell is the Head of Content for Dynasty Owner

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

Free Agent Friday: AFC East

By: Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk)

Just when I thought there could have been no greater controversy than Wild Card weekend, the Divisional weekend looks like it may have outdone it. Last weekend’s controversy had nothing to do with an on-field mistake or injustice. Instead, many football fans (especially Bills fans) were upset that that current overtime rule worked against them. One of the greatest football games that I’ve ever seen came down to overtime. In overtime, the Chiefs won the coin toss and marched down the field for a game winning touchdown. The complaining about the rule came after Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills did not have a chance to possess the ball on offense. Pretty much my entire Twitter timeline was filled with the same complaint…

“It is unfair for one team to have an offensive possession and not the other.”

I’m not going to comment on whether I think the rule needs to be changed, and I truly believe the NFL has no plans to, but I will say this…If the Bills would have won, and the Chiefs had lost in the same fashion, obviously the outrage would be swapped. While many people may claim that the rules are unfair, every team accepts them and agrees to play by them. Both teams had ample time and opportunity to win the game in regular time. Neither was able to, and (as punishment) some of the outcome can be left to chance.

Let’s say for argument’s sake that the OT rule was to change. I think the best way to change it would be to allow both teams to possess the ball on offense once. That means that whether a team scores a field goal or a touchdown, the opposite team gets a chance for rebuttal. After both teams tie on their first possession, then it could go to sudden death. Although I’m sure there would still be some complaints as the team that won the initial coin flip would still have an offensive advantage. At any rate, let’s get talking about some free agents.

AFC East

Buffalo Bills

PlayerAgeStatusCurrent SalaryEstimated Value
Emmanuel Sanders34UFA$6,000,000$6,000,000
Matt Breida26UFA$1,055,000$1,000,000

Just a couple of notable Bills players to talk about today. First, we have Emmanuel Sanders. Sanders is 34 and clearly on the backside of his career. He was inconsistent in 2021, and it would be tough to trust him from a Dynasty Owner’s perspective. He will look for a salary close to what he currently has (1 year – $6,000,000). This is pretty much the going rate for aging wide receivers (think A.J. Green).

Matt Breida is kind of a fringe player to talk about, but he is rostered in 75% of Dynasty Owner leagues so here we are. He isn’t a startable asset in any Dynasty Owner league, but he should probably be rostered in most leagues. I honestly have no idea where Breida will end up. He’s been a journeyman running back his whole career. What I do know is that he will likely not make more than $2,000,000 per year, and it should be closer to $1,000,000. 

New England Patriots

PlayerAgeStatusCurrent SalaryEstimated Value
James White29UFA$2,462,500$2,000,000
Brandon Bolden32UFA$1,850,000$1,500,000
Jakobi Meyers25RFA$588,333$5,500,000

James White is an interesting player to talk about. He has almost always outperformed his fantasy projections. 2021 was looking to be much of the same for White until he suffered a season-ending hip injury in Week 3. Although it is a small sample size, White averaged 15.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points for Week 1 and 2. I have to believe that White will return to New England. He has played every game of his career with the Patriots, and I think he will have a role for himself in 2022. Given his age, it’s likely he will sign another 1 year contract, and it will likely be worth around 2 million dollars. Expect very little change from White’s contract.

Brandon Bolden is 32, but I would consider that a young 32. He has only 383 touches in his nine year career. If you remember, Bolden was one of the few players who decided to opt out of the 2020 NFL season. All of this is to say that he has very little wear on him, at least from a game standpoint. Bolden essentially took over for the injured James White in 2021. While he was likely not as effective or efficient as White would have been, Bolden provided Dynasty Owners a fine fantasy season. Believe it or not, Bolden finished inside the Top 50 running backs in terms of Dynasty Dollars per Fantasy Point (DD/FP). Top 50 isn’t necessarily the gold standard for efficiency, but if he was one of your Bench running backs last year, you could have done much worse.

Jakobi Meyers is my favorite Patriot player to speculate about. He had a very healthy season to the tune of 186.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. His salary was $588,333, and he finished as WR2 for DD/FP. He is a restricted free agent (RFA) which means that his free agency will be a little more complicated than if he was an unrestricted free agent. Here is what I wrote about RFAs last year…

“A restricted free agent includes any NFL player that has served for three years and that has an expiring contract. A RFA can receive a “qualifying” offer from his current team, but he is free to explore other teams as well. If another team gives him a better offer, his current team is allowed time to give a matching or better offer with the hopes of retaining that player. (This could be referred to as “first rights of refusal”). This is a very simplified way of explaining it, but for our purposes that’s the summary.”

Meyers fits that description, and he will look to make somewhere between 5 and 6 million dollars per year. He has earned that with a very solid past couple of years.

Miami Dolphins

PlayerAgeStatusCurrent SalaryEstimated Value
Will Fuller27UFA$10,625,011$8,000,000
Phillip Lindsay27UFA$3,250,000$3,000,000
Malcom Brown28UFA$1,750,000$2,500,000
Mike Gesicki26UFA$1,652,981$12,000,000
Salvon Ahmed23ERFA$695,000$1,500,000
Preston Williams24RFA$588,333$4,000,000

We have a six pack of free agents for the Dolphins. I’m not going to break down every one of them today mainly because I don’t think we need to, but I will talk about all of them in depth at a later time.

Will Fuller essentially had a lost season with the Dolphins. He had only four receptions in 2021 which means he made more than 2.5 million dollars per reception. I would have to think that Miami just wants to wash their hands from this deal and move on. Anyone who looks to pick up Fuller would be looking at an $8,000,000 market value.

Phillip Lindsay was largely forgotten about this season. At least I forgot about him. He was waived by the Texans in late November. The Dolphins claimed him and actually gave him three games with more than 10 carries. Unfortunately, he was unable to amass more than 42 yards in any of those games. I anticipate Lindsay will make around $3,000,000 next year, but I’m not sure the nearly 75% roster percentage in Dynasty Owner is going to last.

Finally, I want to mention Mike Gesicki. Gesicki has earned himself a top tier tight end contract.  That looks like somewhere between 11 and 13 million dollars per year. I also think there is a decent chance the Dolphins use a franchise tag on him. This would put him in the 11 million dollar range, but it would negate the need for a long term contract. This could push the long term money down the road for another year.

New York Jets

PlayerAgeStatusCurrent SalaryEstimated Value
Jamison Crowder28UFA$9,500,000$10,000,000
Tevin Coleman28UFA$1,100,000$1,000,000
Braxton Berrios26UFA$644,602$6,000,000

The Jets have three notable offensive free agents that I’m keeping my eye on. Jamison Crowder is one of them. Crowder finished as the WR68 in 2021. I would consider him a much more effective real life wide receiver as opposed to a fantasy wide receiver. It’s no wonder that he is only rostered in 35 percent of Dynasty Owner leagues. A previous salary of 9.5 million dollars mixed with barely over 100 Dynasty Owner fantasy points is just not a recipe for success. What’s worse is that I anticipate his contract will increase slightly for 2022. If I rostered him in any league, I would wait until he signs a new contract and then drop him for free.

Tevin Coleman was mostly a non-factor for fantasy football in 2021. He is still rostered in over 78 percent of Dynasty Owner leagues which is why I’m talking about him. This roster percentage is solely due to his 1.1 million dollar contract and not his performance on the field. I have no problem with anyone continuing to roster him over the off-season as I don’t anticipate he will make much more than $1,000,000 per year.

Finally, we come to Braxton Berrios.  Berrios is a seldom talked about player in any fantasy football format, but he actually had a pretty healthy 2021 season. He finished as the WR48 and also finished as WR6 in DD/FP. He was a very good value given his nearly league minimum salary ($644,602). I expect his salary to increase by about 10 times though. I’m not sure if he will still be rosterable in most leagues with that increase.

If there is any player that you want me to spend more time talking about, just message me on Twitter (@dynastyjerk) and let me know. 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.

TheJerk

Prospect Preview: Kenneth Walker III

Position: Kenneth Walker III

College: Michigan State

Height: 5’ 10″

Weight: 210

Age: 21

247 Rating: .08122 (3 Stars)

By: Nate Christian (@NateNFL)

The Rundown:

Kenneth Walker was a name that popped up a couple times a year ago for me. I noticed his production at Wake Forest and liked some of the tape I watched, but with the competition he was playing didn’t see him being a focus of the 2022 conversation. Once he transferred to Michigan State, I’d figure it would be a help, but I never imagined that he would jump onto the national stage like he did this past season. With his name being mentioned in the Heisman conversation, Kenneth Walker used the 2021 season to jump into the top tier of the running back class.

College Production:

At Wake Forest, Walker ran for exactly 579 yards in his both his Freshman and Sophomore seasons. But the film looked good, there were flashes of big play ability and explosiveness, but the literal agility to be elusive really stood out. Then the move to Michigan State for his Junior season. In the 2021 season, Walker amassed 1,636 yards on the ground, to go with 18 touchdowns. In addition, he also brought in 13 receptions, surpassing his previous season high of three. A truly incredible season, Walker was one of the best running backs in college football last year and comes into draft season with plenty of momentum.

Strengths:

  • Side-to-Side Elite- There are a lot of players over the years that have demonstrated the ability to get in and out of their cuts like Walker has this past year. But what sets Walker apart from the crowd is his tenacity to run North-South rather than trying to force it outside or to the sideline. Whether it’s behind the line of scrimmage or out in the second level, Walker is consistently making people miss and moving around the field as he makes his way closer to the end zone.
  • Stays Upright- Walker is able to get extremely low to the ground when breaking down in front of a defender or trying to evade a tackler. With what should be top-rated balance stats on Madden 23, the ability to stay on his feet no matter the situation helps him achieve plenty of yards after contact despite not being the biggest player on the field.
  • Yard Creation- What sets Walker apart from many of the running backs in this year’s class is his ability to create his own yards. He has the potential to outplay his offensive line. With the Next Gen stats from NFL, I’ll be very interested to see what Walker does in his rookie season. He has shown that he can take a broken play and make something big happen. That is an important trait.

Weaknesses:

  • One-Hit Wonder? As with many prospects that breakout their Junior year, we’re going to question whether or not the production is real. Did everything just break perfect for Walker to have one of the best seasons? Possibly, but despite the great situation, and things just working out, the talent that he showed this season was still there in the film from Wake Forest. The question will come up, but I won’t be too worried about this one.
  • Third-and-Long- Walker had only 19 receptions over his college career. Now we can’t always look at that raw number and jump to conclusions but there is usually some kind of context to explain. Walker seems like a decent enough pass catcher to me; the problem is with his pass protection. He does a decent job of getting in the way of defenders, but he isn’t consistently blocking them and taking them out of the situation. An area that needs to be improved if Walker wants to see all three downs at the next level.

Things to Watch:

As always we have to look forward to the NFL Combine and all the excitement that it will bring. I have a feeling that Walker will test well. He may not have elite long speed, but his short area burst is really great and that will likely show once we see his measurables. One thing to keep an eye on will be his height and weight, I don’t expect it to differ from what is listed but if he comes in a 5’ 9” rather than 5’ 10”, I promise you that we will hear about it much more than we should.

Projected Round/Contract:  

If any running back is going to sneak into the first round this year, I believe it will be Kenneth Walker. He’s got the momentum and has shown enough upside that a team could fall in love with his traits and potential fit into their scheme. Most likely though Walker is a Day 2 pick, somewhere in the second round. He’ll likely have a similar contract to what I projected the other running backs in the top tier this year (Breece Hall and Isaiah Spiller), somewhere between $2 million and $2.5 million a year over his 4-year rookie contract. If he does happen to sneak into the back end of the first, we could see something similar to Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($2,705,393) and his deal that has a fifth-year option at the end.

Team Fits:  

Kenneth Walker has the potential to be a full-load running back at the next level, but if you’re expecting him to be playing every snap his rookie year you’ll be pretty far off on his final snap count. He’ll get the opportunity (with the expected draft capital), but he’ll be limited to mostly run situations until he improves his pass protection and shows consistency catching the ball. This means he’ll likely find himself in a time share with a veteran back who excels on third and long situations, giving whatever team drafts him a pretty good 1-2 punch.

One team that currently fits this mold is the Miami Dolphins. Giving Tua Tagovailoa ($7,568,859) a top running back would allow him to do what he does best and work off of play action. Myles Gaskin ($651,694) would be able to handle the passing downs with enough skill to get the team heading in the right direction and then Gaskin will be a free agent after the 2022 season. The situation seems perfect for Walker to walk into and develop. The Dolphins currently have the 30th overall pick as well as the 50th, both spots that Walker could end up being selected.

Another team with a similar situation would be the Houston Texans. Running back might not be the top priority as the team has a lot of holes to fill, but they need to overhaul their backfield with some youth. David Johnson ($5,000,000) is a 30-year old free agent and 31-year old Rex Burkhead just signed a one-year extension with the Texans for $2,350,000. If Walker is the selection for them at pick 37, they could always sign another veteran free agent to pair with Walker and Burkhead, as there will be a bunch of them this year.

Make sure to follow Nate Christian over on Twitter at @NateNFL and check out all the work he is doing with the Dynasty Rewind (@DynastyRewind).

Six Players Rebuilding Owners Should Trade for this Off-season

By: Jay Pounds (@jaypoundsnfl)

Dynasty Owners! Welcome back to another weekly rebuild article. Before I jump into the normal stuff, I would like to reveal what I will be covering over the next few weeks. In next week’s article, I am going to be digging into one of Steve Van Tassell’s (@SteveVT33) teams that needs an old fashioned rebuild. I am not sure if this will be a one- or two-part series just yet and will really depend on what the team looks like and how many moves can be made. I feel this will be a fun way we can all help Steve during his rebuild as I will be asking for help from all of you on trades, cuts, and free agent pickups via Twitter. Once I get Steve’s rebuild finished up, I will be doing an article on the Dynasty Owner store as well as purchasing an orphan team to start rebuilding. When selecting the orphan team, I will cover different things about what you all should look for when purchasing an orphan team or a team from the Dynasty Owner store. The following week, I will discuss the strategy I will be using during the rebuild of my new orphan team. In today’s article, I will be covering six players who I feel rebuilding owners should target this off-season and no you won’t be seeing Ja’Marr Chase’s name on this list. He is just too expensive to acquire. The main thing I am looking for in all these players is that I do not have to give up many assets to get them and I want them to still have potential to be a staple on my roster soon. If you enjoyed last week’s video, please let me know on Twitter. Also, let me know if you would like another article of players that need to be traded in a rebuild.

As always, before we jump into these six players, let’s cover the amazing weekend of football we all just witnessed. All four divisional round games were decided in the final seconds of regulation or in overtime and it was unbelievable to watch and something we may never see again. Up first, we have the Bengals vs the Titans and while I chose the Titans to win, I did mention Henry would be the x-factor and needed to play well. Unfortunately for the Titans that did not happen, because of that Joe Cool and the Bengals are in the AFC Championship game. Up next, we have the Rams vs Buccaneers, and this was one of the most frustrating games I have ever watched as a football fan. Is it just me or does it seem like Tom Brady has always gotten the most ridiculously timed breaks throughout his career? I mean it seems like even in a loss like Sunday for Brady, the Football Gods are gracious. In the other NFC matchup, we had Evan Eckert’s dream become reality when Aaron Rodgers choked out of the playoffs once again. Personally, I am a fan of Rodgers but only 10 points at home is on the quarterback in today’s NFL. In what may very well be the game of the decade, we had the Chiefs narrowly squeak by the Bills in an overtime game. A game that featured 25 points in the last two minutes of regulation only to end in a tie game. Unfortunately for the Bills, the Chiefs won the coin toss and essentially won the game getting the ball first and forcing Josh Allen to watch helplessly from the sideline.

Enough about the past, let’s jump into the future with a quick preview of both championship games this weekend. The NFC matchup features two NFC West teams, the San Francisco 49ers vs the Los Angeles Rams. I have the Rams winning the matchup, but I am not all that confident in my pick with the 49ers winning their previous six games against the Rams. The playoffs are a much different story, and I can’t wait to see how it plays out. On the AFC side, we have the Cincinnati Bengals vs the reigning AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs in what should be another fantastic game. I bet against the Bengals last week and I clearly did not learn my lesson as I will do the same this week. The Chiefs’ experience will be a bit too much to handle for the Bengals on the road leaving us with a Super Bowl matchup of Rams vs Chiefs and a second straight team earning a home game in the Super Bowl.

Now that we have the Super Bowl matchup decided let’s move on to the article.

  1. Trevor Lawrence – (QB – JAX) – 3 years/$9,198,372

I really considered putting Trey Lance on this list but after the season Trevor Lawrence had in 2021, I feel he may be the easier asset to acquire. If the Jaguars hit on a coach, Lawrence’s development could move quickly in the right direction, but I am not sure many Dynasty Owners have much faith in that happening with the franchise he plays for. When rebuilding you should already have multiple picks from other members in your league and I would attempt to use those to acquire anyone on this list. The quarterback position is tough to play in the NFL and while some have taken off instantly, it’s perfectly reasonable to see a young player struggle, especially in the middle of so much dysfunction like Lawrence was. If Lawrence can turn it around, you will have a cheap franchise signal caller on a rookie deal for the next 3 years without mortgaging the future a ton. Let’s not forget Lawrence was potentially the best prospect to ever enter the NFL draft according to many scouts.

2. Rashod Bateman – (WR – BAL) – 3 years/$3,149,853

I know many people are worried about Lamar Jackson and his ability to throw the ball, but I feel he does it well enough to produce two solid fantasy assets with Bateman being one of them moving forward. When Bateman played in 2021, he showed real promise and the ability to play the X position. If Bateman can stay healthy and continue his upward trajectory you will have yourself a solid Number 1 receiver on his rookie deal for years to come. The best part is he won’t cost you a ton of draft capital to acquire in a trade. I am not sure why, but Bateman doesn’t get anywhere near the respect he should after showing promise in 2021. For me, the name of the game when rebuilding is to grab as many young guys with solid potential as possible allowing me to be picky when it comes time to renew contracts. When rebuilding you can never go wrong by finding great fantasy role players for cheap and pairing them with the big-time studs your high picks produce.

3. Darnell Mooney – (WR – CHI) – 2 years/$894,263

I initially did not have Darnell Mooney on this list, but I don’t think his value has risen enough that he is untouchable for rebuilding owners. While Fields has shown he loves throwing Mooney’s way, there will likely be two buying windows and it really comes down to which you prefer. Now the Bears are in the middle of a coaching search and a good, or bad hire, has the potential to swing Mooney’s value a little bit, but the real gamble is waiting to see if the Bears draft a receiver early. If they do, Mooney will see his value decrease but if they pass on the position, Mooney’s value could skyrocket big time. In my opinion, if I am trading for Mooney, I am doing it after the draft as I see the Bears taking a receiver in the first two rounds to help with the development of Justin Fields. Optics mean a lot when it comes to trading in Dynasty Owner.

4. James Robinson – (RB – JAX) – 1 year/$763,333

I personally stay away from running backs early on in rebuilds but with Robinson if you are already a year or two into your rebuild, he makes a ton of sense. Robinson has shown he is a talented player who can handle a lead back role in the NFL. Unfortunately for Robinson he suffered a torn Achilles at the end of 2021 and will be sidelined roughly 9-12 months. Now that Robinson is cheaper than he ever has been to acquire, the time is now to get a deal done. If Robinson can bounce back, in a year from now you will have a solid running back to either trade or help contribute to your rebuild that should have an end in sight. In a perfect world, Robinson comes back midway through next season, plays well and signs as the main guy outside of Jacksonville.

5. Pat Freiermuth – (TE – PIT) – 3 years/$1,507,045

At Number 5, we have the future Steelers great Pat Freiermuth. I wanted to make sure I included all four of the major positions in Dynasty Owner and I couldn’t find a young tight end I wanted to trade for more than Freiermuth. I know some will argue Pitts here, but I feel he will cost too much to get in a trade for most rebuilding owners to afford (we all know you can afford Pitts and Chase with your draft capital Bryce). Heading into 2022, the Steelers have a major question mark at the quarterback position making it a great time to trade for their young tight end. I generally like to start my rebuilds by acquiring a solid young tight end and Freiermuth fits the bill. Always remember, it’s ok to walk away from a trade if an owner wants too much in return.

6. Brandon Aiyuk – (WR – SF) – 2 years/$3,132,835

Brandon Aiyuk is probably the most interesting player on this list simply because we know what this kid can do for stretches on an NFL field, like when he had six games with 17.5 or more Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 2020 over an eight-game stretch, while missing two games to injury during that time. I am not sure Aiyuk passes Samuel on the depth chart like many thought would happen heading into 2021, but I do see him being a huge piece of this offense once Lance takes over. I feel at this point Aiyuk can be had for a second round pick plus a Bench player and he will likely be a solid WR2 on your roster for many years to come. Another thing to look at is if the streaky play continues his second contract will not come with a big price tag but he will likely still have that boom or bust potential.

Thank you all for reading and be sure to check out Matt, Steve, and Nate’s articles and videos as well. Stay safe out there and good luck on your 2022 Chase for the Ring!

Players You Can Pick Up Right Now

By Steven Van Tassell (@SteveVT33)

Usually, I don’t do a recap of the weekend’s NFL games in the article introduction, but the four games in the Divisional Round this weekend were so unbelievable and amazing that I can’t let the opportunity to pass without giving out some thoughts. First of all, congratulations to the teams who survived and won. The Bengals, 49ers, Rams and Chiefs all won their games on the last possession and had to produce some kind of game-winning drive in order to be victorious.

The Bengals intercepted Titans QB Ryan Tannehill three times and the third interception with just 20 seconds left on the clock gave them the field position to be able to throw one pass from Joe Burrow to Ja’Marr Chase then rely on rookie kicker Evan McPherson to nail a 52-yard FG to win. This ended up being the least exciting finish of the weekend. In the Saturday night game, the 49ers blocked a punt and scored a special teams TD late in the fourth quarter, followed by a three and out for the Green Bay offense that allowed the 49ers to have one of their best drives of the game (9 plays for 44 yards) to set up the 45-yard FG to win it as the snow fell down around them at Lambeau Field. Both Saturday games featured much better defense than offense and some shaky special teams play by Green Bay, a season-long weakness that came back to haunt them in the playoffs. After those Saturday games, it was going to be hard for the Sunday games to top that, but they did.

First, tentative play calling by the Rams after they jumped out to a 27-3 lead combined with turnovers gave the G.O.A.T. and the Buccaneers the opportunity to come back and tie the game 27-27 with 42 seconds left. For some unknown reason, the Buccaneers secondary left Cooper Kupp wide open to catch two passes for 64 yards and put the Rams in position to have former Buccaneers kicker Matt Gay hit the game-winning 30 yard FG as time expired. Finally, the Bills and Chiefs combined for an incredible 25 points in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter. It was a bad defense showcase as Tyreek Hill was allowed room to run and ran past the Bills defense for a 64-yard TD reception. That was followed immediately by a 75-yard TD drive by the Bills that took only 49 seconds. However, it was time for Game Mismanagement 101 class by Buffalo coach Sean McDermott who let his kicker kick the ball into the end zone on the kickoff with 13 seconds left to give the Chiefs offense the ball at the 25-yard line. If Buffalo had just kicked it in play so the Chiefs had to return the ball and spend precious seconds on a kickoff return, they might not have given up a 19-yard reception to Tyreek Hill then had their defense leave the entire middle of the field open for Travis Kelce so Mahomes could hit him with a 25-yard pass to put the Chiefs in FG range. Harrison Butker did the rest by hitting a 49-yard FG to send the game into overtime where the Chiefs drove the field and scored a TD to win it with Josh Allen sitting on the bench unable to do anything to stop it or even an opportunity to respond.

With the recap out of the way, let’s talk about some players who Dynasty Owners can pick up in the Free Agent Auction and add to their rosters right now. All of the players listed are available in at least 60% of Dynasty Owner leagues and are signed for the 2022 season with a salary of less than $2 million. This criteria excludes a significant portion of the available players in most Dynasty Owner leagues. Many players have no years left on their contracts and will be free agents in 2022, leaving their salary in question for the upcoming Dynasty Owner season. Many of the players with contracts have salaries that are too high for their level of production, which is why they are likely available in so many Dynasty Owner leagues. None of these players are likely to be in your Dynasty Owner Starting lineup for Week 1 of the 2022 season, but could possibly end up playing for your team (at least as a Bench option) during the upcoming season.

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, all statistics, ADP and Dynasty Owner rostered percentage statistics were current as of the morning of January 24th.

Quarterback

There are very few quarterbacks who fit the criteria for inclusion. There are some out there who are available in more than 60% of Dynasty Owner leagues, but almost all of them either have astronomically high salaries (Kirk Cousins, Matt Ryan, Carson Wentz, Jared Goff, etc.) or need multiple injuries to other QBs to have a chance at playing next year (Jarrett Stidham and Felipe Franks). However, there is one QB out there who does qualify and should be added to Dynasty Owner rosters

Sam Ehlinger (QB – IND) – 3 years/$902,677 – 39.1% Roster Percentage

Colts coach Frank Reich has declined to commit to QB Carson Wentz ($32 million) as the Colts starting QB in 2022. Rookie Sam Ehlinger finished the season as the Colts backup QB, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he will be under center in their 2022 season opener. However, it does mean that he has the best chance of any QB likely to be a starter who is available in the Free Agent Auction right now and doesn’t have a multi-million dollar salary.

The Colts clearly have faith in Ehlinger even though he was just a sixth round draft pick for them as they released Jacob Eason who they drafted in the fourth round in 2020 after they activated Ehlinger off Injured Reserve in mid-October. Eason was the backup at the start of the season and the only other Colts’ QB to throw a pass this season. Ehlinger played 18 snaps in three games during the regular season with zero pass attempts and nine yards rushing (0.9 Dynasty Owner fantasy points).  At a salary of only $902,677 per year, Ehlinger isn’t going to break your Dynasty Owner salary cap and with only 11 teams having their starting QB play all 17 games and just six more having a QB play in 16 games, it’s even money that the Colts will need to play at least two QBs during the 2022 season. Even if they keep Wentz and he’s the starter, he still missed 12 games over five previous seasons in Philadelphia. If they move on from Wentz and get a new QB, there’s no guarantee that the new starting QB will stay healthy for the entire year.  

Running Back

Running backs with a pulse and a spot on a NFL roster are likely to be on a Dynasty Owner roster. Injuries and the lack of traditional three-down back fueling the need for pass-catching RBs and backups to spell the starter mean that nearly every RB who has a chance to see the field are not available in your league’s Free Agent Auction. The pickings are slim as 65 RBs are rostered in 95% or more Dynasty Owner leagues right now and 111 are on a roster in 50% or more. Almost all of those RBs who aren’t on that list are free agents in 2022. One of the few who is signed for next year is:

Mike Boone (RB – DEN) – 1 year/$1.925 million – 34.3% Roster Percentage

Another player who missed the first half of the season then hardly played on offense was Denver RB Mike Boone. The Broncos were one of the few NFL teams without a major injury to either of their top two RBs (Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon). Williams played in all 17 games in his rookie season and Gordon played in 16 games. As a result, only four RBs had a carry in 2021 for the Broncos (Williams, Gordon, Boone and Demarea Crockett). Williams and Gordon dominated the backfield and had over 98% of the carries (406 out of 413) for Denver in 2021.

Gordon is a free agent and could be on the move, leaving Denver with Williams as the starter and Boone as the backup in 2022. Denver could sign additional veterans, a late-round rookie RB or some undrafted free agents to compete for roster spots as well. It’s also possible that the guy they gave a two-year, $3.85 million contract to on the first day of free agency last year is someone who they want to utilize more. With the way that injuries can destroy a team’s depth at RB in a hurry, it’s sensible for Dynasty Owners to have plenty of depth at the RB position. Adding Boone to your Dynasty Owner roster is a relatively cheap way to do that in the off-season for the cost of likely only $1 million Dynasty Dollars.

Wide Receiver and Tight End

If you thought the landscape was bleak for quarterbacks and running backs, then don’t look at wide receiver as the best candidate here might be Ben Skowronek from the Rams (3 years/$891,131) who is buried at fourth on the current Rams WR depth chart and could stay there next season after the return of Robert Woods and the likely departure of Odell Beckham Jr. Other than that, it’s players who are either too expensive (Jarvis Landry at $15.1 million and Jamal Agnew at $4.75 million) or didn’t do much in 2021 to make them seem worthy of having a role in 2022.

In contrast, there are actually three tight ends who fit the bill. With two of the best TEs (Mark Andrews and Dalton Schultz) in line for significant raises in 2022, it’s probably time for a lot of Dynasty Owners to find another affordable TE to add to their ranks.

Josiah Deguara (TE – GB) – 2 years/$1,136,941 – 38.5% Roster Percentage

Sneaking in just under the roster threshold is Green Bay TE Josiah Deguara. Deguara moved into a more prominent spot in the Packers’ offense after the injury to Robert Tonyan and played decently with 54.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in the final nine games of the season (6.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game). The Packers’ salary cap issues ($38.4 million over) makes it unlikely that the team will re-sign Tonyan or sign another prominent free agent TE with both Deguara and Marcedes Lewis (1 year/$2.96 million) under contract already. Deguara is much more affordable and younger than Lewis (24 years old vs. 37 years old) and had more Dynasty Owner fantasy points too (only 43.4 points in 17 games for Lewis).

Of course, Dynasty Owners with Deguara may have Jordan Love throwing him passes instead of Aaron Rodgers, which should negatively impact his value. Picking up Deguara isn’t a sure thing, but if Rodgers returns to Green Bay, then it’s possible Dynasty Owners would have the Packers’ top TE for only an off-season Free Agent Auction bid of $1 million. Tonyan was the TE5 in Dynasty Owner for 2020 and Deguara does have third round NFL draft capital, so the potential is there for Dynasty Owners willing to take a chance. Our 2021 Chase for the Ring Champion SKOL Vikings already did this off-season and he’s a Vikings fan. That should tell you something.

John Bates (TE – WAS) – 3 years/$1,050,604 – 29.6% Roster Percentage

Rookie John Bates ended up as the top TE in Washington in Week 18 after injuries to Logan Thomas and Ricky Seals-Jones saw both on Injured Reserve. Of course, he only had 1.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (1 reception for 5 receiving yards) in that game. However, he averaged 5.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game after the Football Team’s Week 9 bye (46.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 9 games. Thomas signed a 3-year/$24 million contract extension last July, but after his season ending ACL tear surgery, he’s not a lock to be ready for the start of the 2022 season. That opens up a role for Bates, the team’s 2021 fourth round draft pick, to get plenty of work in the off-season. Ricky Seals-Jones is an impeding free agent in 2022 leaving Bates, Thomas and Sammis Reyes, who was signed by the team as part of the International Pathway Program, as the only TEs with contracts for 2022.

The identity of the Washington QB in 2022 is unclear. Incumbent Taylor Heinicke was up and down last season, but is still signed for the 2022 season. The Football Team could sign a veteran QB to challenge Heinicke for the starting position next year, or serve as a capable backup. There is room for Bates to carve out a significant role with a dearth of offensive weapons for the team after WR Terry McLaurin and RB Antonio Gibson.

Zach Gentry (TE – PIT) – 1 year/$716,115 – 1.2% Roster Percentage

Despite being a 2019 fifth round draft pick, Gentry only had one reception in 2019 and didn’t play a snap on offense in 2020. He finally got an opportunity in 2021 as the third string TE behind veteran Eric Ebron and rookie Pat Freiermuth and ended up with 35.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 17 games played (2.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game). Most of those points came in two games. The first was Week 16 when he was the Steelers’ starter with both Freiermuth and Ebron out and produced 7.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (4 receptions for 31 receiving yards). The second was Week 18 when Freiermuth was back, but Gentry still had 7.9 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (4 receptions for 39 receiving yards). Ebron is a free agent in 2022, which could leave Gentry as the primary backup, or the Steelers could add a veteran free agent to complement Freiermuth and put Gentry back as the third TE.

The identity of the Pittsburgh starting QB in 2022 is unclear. Gentry is also highly unlikely to be a primary offensive weapon with the presence of Freiermuth, RB Najee Harris, and WRs Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool on the Steelers’ roster. Obviously this is clearly a highly speculative addition to your Dynasty Owner roster, but if you have Freiermuth on your team, then bidding $1 million Dynasty Dollars on Gentry and his $716,115 salary is a cheap handcuff option.

Kicker

Sorry, no kickers here for those Dynasty Owners who love themselves the kickers. None qualified as most don’t have multi-year contracts and if they do, they are either rostered in a high percentage of DO leagues, cost at least $4 million per year, or both.

Conclusion

Remember, all five of these players are likely available to pick up off the Free Agent Auction right now. However, none of them are going to singlehandedly lead you to be the 2022 Chase for the Ring Champion or even help your team win its League. Of course, few people thought that Cordarrelle Patterson ($3 million) would be the RB8 for the 2021 season as he was still available in over half (50.9%) of Dynasty Owner leagues before Week 2 of the season. Taking a chance with some speculative additions in the off-season might pay huge dividends and if they don’t pan out, the cost of dropping them is low (under $800,000 Dynasty Dollars each) to go pick up someone else.

The weekly Dynasty Owner livestream will return this Wednesday at 4 PM (Eastern) with myself and Tim Peffer. Not sure about this week, but we should have plenty of guests over the course of the off-season. Set the timer on YouTube so you don’t miss it live, or make sure to watch it afterwards. Either way, don’t forget to smash the Like button. You can also listen wherever you get your podcasts.

Please read all of the off-season articles and videos from our Dynasty Owner team as well. The schedule has changed slightly. On Mondays, I’ll talk about players, salaries and contracts to help new and returning Dynasty Owners navigate how to play our unique game. Jay Pounds will talk everything about rebuilding your Dynasty Owner roster on Tuesday. Nate Christian is back for 2022 and will do prospect previews every Thursday. Finally, Friday is Free Agent Friday as Matt Morrison – The Jerk breaks down the free agents on every NFL team by division.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Steven Van Tassell is the Head of Content for Dynasty Owner Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and

Free Agent Friday: NFC East

By: Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk)

Wild Card weekend has concluded, and we look forward to the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs. There was quite a bit of controversy this weekend. It’s actually the most I think I’ve seen since the 2019 NFC Championship Game between the Saints and Rams. That game involved the infamous no call on an egregious pass interference. Well, I think this week may have topped it with the sheer number of controversies.

First, we had the errant whistle in the Raiders/Bengals game. In case you missed it…A whistle was blown prior to a touchdown scoring play being completed. The refs (unprecedentedly) ruled that the touchdown would stand, and their explanation was that the play is unreviewable. That was seemingly the wrong decision as that referee crew will not enforce another game this postseason.

Second, we had the inexplicable finish to the 49ers/Cowboys game. The game ended with some combination of Mike McCarthy and Dak Prescott’s decision to run a QB draw with 14 seconds left and zero timeouts. The bulk of the controversy came from fans complaining that the refs were incompetent and/or “out of position” on that final play. I think the sole blame needs to be placed on the play call with zero blame on the refs. The referee in charge of spotting the ball looked like he was attempting to set the World Record 40 yard dash time as he came rushing into the offensive line. Not only did he hustle to the ball, he really didn’t even know where he was spotting the ball in an attempt to allow Dallas to spike the ball. Unfortunately, there was not enough time remaining for this to occur, but I don’t see how any blame should be put on the officiating crew.

The final thing I want to mention is more of an observation than a controversy, but the Los Angeles Rams absolutely embarrassed the Arizona Cardinals. There was poor play and poor play calling on the Arizona side. The Rams are a legitimate threat on offense and defense, and I look forward to watching a juicy Rams/Buccaneers matchup on Sunday. I can’t wait to recap those games, but for now, let’s talk about another free agent division.

NFC East

I’ll give you the same spiel that I gave in my first Free Agent article, and one that I will likely give in every article just as a reminder.

This will not be the only time I will talk about each of these players.  In all likelihood, I will talk about each of these players at least two more times before the start of the regular season.

Dallas Cowboys

PlayerAgeStatusCurrent SalaryEstimated Value
Cedrick Wilson26UFA$2,183,000$5,000,000
Michael Gallup25UFA$880,995$12,000,000
Dalton Schultz25UFA$728,090$12,500,000

The Cowboys have three notable offensive free agents this year. Two are wide receivers and one is a tight end. All three are unrestricted free agents (UFA) in line for a major pay increase. Let’s talk about them…

Cedrick Wilson is actually the oldest of these three players. He has filled in nicely over the second half of the regular season as Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup both missed multiple games. I anticipate a 5 – 6 million dollar salary per year, and I also think it’s likely the Cowboys bring Wilson back. Due to the cap hit, I think it’s more likely Wilson returns than Michael Gallup.

Speaking of Gallup, he had a very disappointing and emotional ending to his season. He tore his left ACL in Week 17, and that immediately ended his 2021 season. At first, it seemed to look hopeful that Gallup could return for the start of next season. It was a clean tear and one that was hoped to not have a large impact on his 2022 season. Since then, the news has become a little more grim. As of 1/19/22, Gallup has not had his knee surgery, presumably, because of the inflammation from the initial injury. I can’t help but think that this injury will somewhat affect his upcoming contract. There is little doubt that he will make over $8,000,000 per year, but teams will likely be wary of offering a long term, big contract to a player who is not guaranteed to start the 2022 season. I’ll keep monitoring and let you know if anything changes.

Dalton Schultz was one of the greatest values in Dynasty Owner last year. He finished as the TE3 with less than a $730,000 salary. Schultz is on track to receive a Hunter Henry type contract (3 years – $37,500,000). I’m not sure he’ll receive a three year guarantee, but he should be right on track for $12,500,000 per year.

Philadelphia Eagles

PlayerAgeStatusCurrent SalaryEstimated Value
Boston Scott26RFA$920,000$2,000,000

Boston Scott is the lone Eagle player who we will talk about for this segment. Boston Scott is definitely not the biggest name this off-season, but he will still be an interesting add for a team looking for a backup/receiving back. My gut tells me that Scott will re-sign with the Eagles especially since he is a restricted free agent (RFA) and if it would only cost them $2,000,000.  He will likely never become the number one back in Philly, but he is still worth rostering in all Dynasty Owner leagues.

Washington Football Team

PlayerAgeStatusCurrent SalaryEstimated Value
Ryan Fitzpatrick39UFA$10,000,000$5,000,000
J.D. McKissic28UFA$1,635,000$3,500,000

First up for the Football Team is Ryan Fitzpatrick. There are so many different paths that Fitz’s career could take in the next six months. Retirement is an option. Re-signing with Washington is an option. Finding a new team as a starter or a backup is also on the table. I have yet to hear any news or intentions from Fitzpatrick himself, but this is what I suspect. I think he will stay active in the league. I don’t think Washington will re-sign him, but that he will sign as a backup quarterback for a team that needs one. He won’t get a $10,000,000 contract again. Instead, he should be right around a $5,000,000 deal. The tough part with this prediction is that there really is not much precedent for a contract like this. Think about quarterbacks like Fitz and Andy Dalton. A one-year, $10,000,000 contract seems to be the going rate for aging, capable backup quarterbacks. However, I see his recent injury history and nearly 40 year old age making it tough for a team to pay north of 6 million dollars.

Much more interesting is J.D. McKissic. McKissic is two years removed from leading the entire NFL in running back targets. In 2020, he had a league leading 110 targets.

Trivia question:  Who led all running backs in 2021 in terms of targets?

The answers are Najee Harris and Austin Ekeler with 94 targets.

Anyway, returning to McKissic…He should easily see another contract in his career. Yes, 28 is a little old for a running back, but he has relatively low wear on his body, and was very efficient with his opportunities in 2021. Expect a contract increase to around 3.5 million dollars.

New York Giants

PlayerAgeStatusCurrent SalaryEstimated Value
Evan Engram27UFA$6,013,000$6,000,000

The only Giant worth talking about today is Evan Engram. Engram will likely make the same amount of money that he made in his last contract, at least per year. Given his relatively poor offensive performances over the past two years, it’s unlikely he will earn more than $8,000,000 in any year. I have to think the Giants will move on from Engram.

Conclusion

I promise you that I will speak on each of these players (in detail) as the off-season rolls on. In addition, I will be bringing you breaking contract news every time an important contract changes.

If there is any player that you want me to spend more time talking about, just message me on Twitter (@dynastyjerk) and let me know. 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.

TheJerk

Prospect Preview: Isaiah Spiller

Position: RB

College: Texas A&M

Height: 6’ 1”

Weight: 225

Age: 20

247 Rating: 0.9351 (4 Stars)

By: Nate Christian (@NateNFL)

The Rundown:

Coming into the season Isaiah Spiller and Breece Hall we’re the 1a and 1b at the top of the 2022 Draft-Eligible RBs. What’s happened since then? Has Isaiah Spiller done enough in 2021 to keep his name at the top of the list? Yes and no.

College Production:

Spiller’s production during his three years in college has been impressive since the start, with every year totaling over 1,000 yards from scrimmage. He’s collected at least 20 receptions each season and has over 1,000 yards on the ground alone in the past two seasons. But here is the hang up, his stats haven’t really improved over his career. His yards per carry has stayed at a consistent 5.4-5.6 over his three seasons, while also finding the end zone less and less with each passing season. He rushed for 946 yards his freshman season, 1,036 yards as a sophomore, and 1,011 as a junior. That spread is pretty narrow. Spiller is absolutely a solid running back prospect, but has he grown the ability to do anything at an elite level? Not really.

Strengths:

  • Pro-Ready Size- With nearly identical size as Breece Hall, Spiller seems to carry it a bit lighter. I’ll be interested to see what his weight is come the NFL Combine, but nonetheless his size at the next level makes him a candidate for a volume-heavy workload. I think this is one of the most important traits for Spiller as to be a top fantasy asset, he is going to need plenty of volume at the next level.
  • Receiving Threat- While one could certainly label Spiller as a “receiving back”, he’s not the stereotypical scatback that you would usually imagine with that role. Spiller is a physical route runner and able to make contested catches down the field. He’s strong enough in pass protection to get on the field as a rookie on third and long situations, and should be able to offer some fantasy upside if put into the role early.
  • Keeps Moving- After the catch and in the second level, Spiller shows good contact balance to run through arm tackles and gain the extra yards after contact that we expect of someone 6’1” and 225 lbs. While he’s not a bruiser and won’t be running over NFL defenders on a consistent basis, he did enough in the SEC for me to believe he will continue to be a hard RB to tackle at the pro level.

Weaknesses:

  • What is Elite?As I mentioned before, Spiller lacks one true elite trait as a running back. His receiving ability is certainly a strength, but compared to some of the other backs in this class, I’m hesitant to call it elite. Spiller can do it all at the next level, but will he be able to keep other players at bay and hold down a volume-heavy role? That is the biggest question, and one I’m not confident in.
  • Space CreationIsaiah Spiller can get the job done. Spiller can break open some big runs into the secondary. Spiller can get around the corner before the linebacker. But can Spiller be a difference-maker on every touch? I’m doubtful. He lacks the home run speed and agility to break off the big plays consistently. He will be plenty fine at the next level, but don’t expect him to consistently create his own yards.
  • Short-Yardage Tunnel-Vision This is a hard one to really sell as a weakness, because this is a common issue with most running backs, but when we’re searching for the top prospects in the class this matters. This is what made Najee Harris ($3,261,862) such a great runner along the goal line, his ability to manipulate the defense in short-yardage situations. This can be a huge difference maker at the next level, as goal line vision is certainly a skill, and if you can’t produce, you’re gonna get vultured.

Things to Watch:

Oftentimes, we are all about watching the 40-yard dash, especially for the offensive skill positions. Spiller’s will definitely be one to watch, but it’s not the measurable I’m super interested in this time around. Spiller seems like a good enough athlete, but I do wonder a bit about his stop-start ability and for that I’m going to be looking at his shuttle and 3-cone drill numbers to see how they compare to some of the other players in this draft class. If those numbers look good, I’m not going to really be too worried about whatever his 40-yard dash time ends up clocking in as.

Projected Round/Contract:  

Come draft day, Spiller is going to be lumped in with the other top running backs in the draft class somewhere in the 2nd round (35th pick). His upside as a receiver is going to make sure he doesn’t slip much farther than that. I don’t believe Spiller offers enough upside to jump into the back end of the first round, but you never know what could happen on draft day.

As far as a contract goes I think it could look pretty similar to Javonte Williams’ ($2,216,438) 4-year deal that he received after being selected early in the 2nd round. As always, running backs on rookie deals are nearly essential to a championship team build on the Dynasty Owner platform, making Isaiah Spiller a likely Top-5 pick in rookie drafts.

Team Fits:

Isaiah Spiller is relatively “landing spot proof”. He’s not a one-dimensional back who needs a certain offense to thrive and his receiving chops would give him a role on just about every NFL team. But there are certainly some teams that would be ideal situations. One of those situations, as with Breece Hall, is the Atlanta Falcons. A team that looks to be screaming for a lead back, Isaiah Spiller fits the Arthur Smith mold of a thick running back. After seeing the Cordarrelle Patterson ($3,000,000) experiment work so well, Spiller would also be able to take on a large volume of receiving work out of the backfield. The Falcons have the 43rd pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and I think that would be a realistic spot for Spiller to end up.

Kliff Kingsbury is probably going through charts and film trying to figure out how to improve his offense in 2022, and he’s going to have a tough time with all of the impending free agents surrounding his quarterback. Spiller would be a great piece to build around in the backfield. Both James Conner ($1,750,000) and Chase Edmonds ($728,090) could be out of the desert in 2022 and Spiller could carve out a very nice lead role with the high-power offense of the Cardinals. With the team holding the 55th pick in the NFL Draft, I would not be surprised to see Spiller moving out West to hook up with the former Texas A&M Offensive Coordinator.

Make sure to follow Nate Christian over on Twitter at @NateNFL and check out all the work he is doing with the Dynasty Rewind (@DynastyRewind).

7 Players Rebuilding Owners Need to Trade

By: Jay Pounds (@jaypoundsnfl)

Dynasty Owners! Welcome back to another article in my off-season series of helping each of you rebuild your rosters. As we head into the off-season, the first couple of articles will be about cleaning up your rosters before the free agency period hits. Yesterday, Steve Van Tassell let you know what players to amnesty and while only one of the players in today’s article have fallen that low, I do feel it’s time to move on from all of these players if you are not a serious contender.

In today’s article, I will cover seven of the bigger names in all of fantasy football who I feel it’s time for rebuilding owners to move on from before it’s too late. Each year I see rebuilding owners hold on to, or trade for older players who will likely only cost them positioning in their upcoming draft by winning weeks for them. I don’t want any of you to be in that predicament when we kick off 2022. I always say it’s better to move the player a year early vs a year too late. 

Before we jump into today’s article, I will continue my little tradition of covering this past week’s NFL games as well as a look into the divisional round matchups. In last week’s AFC Wild Card match-ups, I hit on all three games selecting the Bengals, Bills, and Chiefs all to come away victorious which ultimately happened. The only real shocker on the AFC side was the fact Josh Allen’s team did not have to punt the ball once the entire game against a Bill Belichick coached defense. If the same Bills team we saw Sunday shows up against Kansas City, we could see the Bills in the Super Bowl in February. On the NFC side of the ball, I had the Rams, Cowboys, and Buccaneers winning with the Cowboys being the only blemish for the week. In all fairness to myself, I chose the 49ers when I had money on the game in a football pool that I play with some of my buddies. I don’t think I could put money on the Cowboys in the playoffs as it seems whatever can go wrong will go wrong in Big D.

In this week’s matchups we will start on the NFC side with the Packers taking on the 49ers and the Rams heading to Tampa Bay. In the first matchup, I feel the Packers have a decided advantage simply because of Aaron Rodgers. The 49ers will be able to run the ball, but Rodgers will be too much to handle in the end. In the second game. I feel we will see somewhat of an upset with the Rams getting past the defending champion Buccaneers and Tom Brady, leaving an NFC Championship matchup of the Green Bay Packers vs the Los Angeles Rams. The one way to truly affect Tom Brady is by getting pressure with the front four and no team does that better than the Rams. On the AFC side, we have the Number 1 seed Tennessee Titans taking on the Cincinnati Bengals, followed by the matchup of the season with the Bills traveling to Arrowhead to take on the Chiefs. In the Bengals vs Titans game, I feel it will come down to one thing and one thing only which is how well Derrick Henry plays after missing the back half of the season. At the end of the day, I think the Titans are just a bit too much for the Bengals to overcome and will pull out a win by the slimmest of margins. In what has the potential to be one of the best games we have seen in recent memory, we have the defending AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs vs the Buffalo Bills. In this matchup both teams have fantastic rosters with top tier quarterbacks who should produce a ton of fireworks. Even after thinking on this for a couple of days, I am still torn but am going with the Bills on the road after dominating a very good Patriots defense last week.

Now for the moment you have all been waiting for, the seven players rebuilding owners need to move on from this offseason. Players listed are in no order.

  1. Jalen Hurts – (QB – PHI) – 3 years/$1,506,292

Jalen Hurts is the first player on a list I am sure not many want to be on. I know you have all heard me say that quarterbacks on cheap contracts are Dynasty Owner gold, but I feel Hurts is an outlier when it comes to that statement. Hurts struggled in 2021 with his accuracy and if we are being honest, it doesn’t seem like he is going to be a long-term answer at the quarterback position barring a fantastic 2022 season. While there is a shot Hurts is no longer the starter in Philly next season, it is not likely leaving you a window of this off-season to move on from him. If you are rebuilding and keep Jalen Hurts, he will likely win you games which is only something you want from a true building block when rebuilding your roster not someone who may lose their job in a year.

2. Travis Kelce – (TE – KC) – 5 years/$14,312,500

In the Number 2 spot we have the living legend and possibly the best tight end to ever play himself, Travis Kelce. Kelce is now 32 years old and while he had a fantastic 2021 season, he showed small signs of decline. The main key to expedite a rebuild is to trade away stars for good value at the right time in their career. What I mean by this is you wouldn’t want to move on from a player like Kelce if he is just 25 or 26 years old because he becomes a building block for your team at that point. With him being over 30, it’s unlikely he will be producing at a high level when your team is ready to win in a couple of years. In 2021, Kelce finished as the TE2 in Dynasty Owner and will likely be the favorite to finish as the TE1 in 2022, meaning there will be no shortage of suitors when moving Kelce. Be sure to hold Kelce to a higher standard in a trade as it’s nearly impossible for a contender to find a sure thing like Kelce at the tight end position.

3. Derrick Henry – (RB – TEN) – 3 years/$12,500,000

King Henry! Yes, this one pains me quite a bit, but I do feel it is time for any rebuilding owner to move on from Derrick Henry. As almost all of us know, running backs do not last long in the NFL and while there are certainly outliers, I am not betting my rebuild on it. At this point in Henry’s career, you aren’t going to get insane value for him, but any contender will certainly be interested in his services. At the current moment, Henry is 28, on a huge deal for a running back, has a ton of mileage on his body, and just missed half of the season due to injury which is a glaring sign it’s time to move on. One thing I will say is that I would wait until after the playoffs to trade Henry because if he does what we are used to his trade value will go up some. Optics mean a lot in fantasy football trades.

4. Davante Adams – (WR – GB) – 1 year/$14,500,000

I honestly think this is the player that will draw the most criticism for being on the list but hear me out. In a rebuild, the main thing you want to target is young or cheap talent and Davante Adams is neither. At the time of writing, Adams is 29 years old, heading for a new contract, and possibly a new team this off-season. As many of us know, switching teams or getting paid is not always a good thing. No, I am not saying Adams is going to fall off next season as he will likely be dominant again but there are a lot of variables for a 29-year-old receiver on a rebuilding roster. I think there are two ways to go about moving Adams. The first is being patient and waiting to see if he lands in a good place (with Aaron Rodgers) on a decent contract. If he does Adams should provide a haul that can jump start your rebuild in a hurry. On the other hand, I understand wanting to take a little less and trade him now to avoid the potential loss of value if he ends up without Rodgers on a massive deal.

5. Alvin Kamara – (RB – NO) – 5 years/$15,000,000

Honestly, it may just be me, but Alvin Kamara seemed off in 2021 especially when it came time for the  Dynasty Owner playoffs as he scored in the single digits in Weeks 15 and 16. Kamara is still somewhat young at age 26 but he has had a massive workload throughout his career and I do not see him being anywhere near the same player he is now in a couple of years you’re your rebuilding team is ready to compete. At $15,000,000 per year, it’s hard to justify keeping Kamara on a rebuilding roster and we will get into the strategy of it later in the off-season but for now just remember running backs that are expensive and on a second contract are running backs who rebuilding owners should stay away from. Leave the aging big money running backs for championship runs and out of the loser’s bracket.

6. Mike Williams – (WR – LAC) – 1 year/$15,680,000

Let me take a quick half of a victory lap as I have been a Mike Williams truther for a long time now. Maybe the years and years of heartbreak is why he finds himself on this list! In 2021, Mike Williams finished as a WR1 for the first time in his career finishing 12thoverall on the season at the receiver position, only for the incoming off-season to bring many question marks. Williams heads into the off-season in the same situation as Davante Adams with both getting new contracts and potentially new teams away from their current superstar quarterbacks. I personally feel you should capitalize on Williams’ 2021 season quickly, but I also understand being patient. The one scenario that would scare me away from being patient is a contract north of his current $15,680,000 salary.  

7. Ezekiel Elliott – (RB – DAL) – 6 years/$15,000,000

In the lucky number 7 spot we have Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott finished as the 7th ranked running back in Dynasty Owner in 2021, but if were being honest his future looks murky, especially for rebuilding fantasy owners. Elliot was hurt in the second half of the season and his production fell along with it which will hurt his trade value some, but I feel now is the time to move on. As applies for both Alvin Kamara and Derrick Henry, as well as Elliott, running backs heading into their second contract belong on contending rosters. If you are a rebuilding owner at any stage, you should be looking to move Zeke even if it requires taking on a bad contract of similar value. Let’s not forget Zeke also has Tony Pollard (2 years/$766,945) to deal with.

Thank you all for reading and be sure to check back for more rebuilding content throughout the off-season. My fellow analysts here at Dynasty Owner will also be releasing content every week with Steve handling many different, mostly contract-related topics, Matt covering players who will be free agents in 2022 right now, and Nate who covers the incoming rookies. I hope you enjoyed this week’s article and good luck on your 2022 Chase for the Ring!

Players to Amnesty Before the New League Year

By Steven Van Tassell (@SteveVT33)

The Amnesty Provision is a unique feature on Dynasty Owner and is something that NFL teams don’t have available to them. They probably wish they did as it gives Dynasty Owners the ability to drop a player free of charge from their roster and avoid paying the 25% drop fee of that player’s remaining contract. Imagine what new General Managers taking over rosters assembled by their predecessor would do with an Amnesty Provision.

New Dynasty Owners get one Amnesty Provision when they pay their $39 entry fee for their first season. Additional Amnesty Provisions can be purchased for $5 million Dynasty Dollars. Dynasty Owners cannot purchase additional Amnesty Provisions in their first year and can only buy one per season. Extra Amnesty Provisions can be won as a prize, gifted by Dynasty Owner or obtained by trading with another member in your league. The final two teams in the Loser’s bracket tournament each win an Amnesty Provision. Dynasty Owners can trade Amnesty Provisions for draft picks, players or Dynasty Dollars.

Since they generally cost Dynasty Dollars to acquire, an Amnesty Provision must be used wisely. Because they cost $5 million Dynasty Dollars, using an Amnesty Provision on a player with less than $20 million left on his contract is not advisable as it is cheaper to just pay the 25% drop fee. It’s not required to use an Amnesty Provision in the year it was acquired, but if you have a high-salary player who’s not worth his contract, it is a valid option to use before the 2022 Dynasty Owner league year starts on March 18th. Obviously, Dynasty Owners should try to trade a player first and see what they can get in return. If no one wants to trade, it might be better to use an Amnesty Provision than keep a high salary player who is hogging up valuable salary cap space.

Here are some players who Dynasty Owners should consider using an Amnesty Provision on before the start of the 2022 Dynasty Owner league year. We have three categories of players: widely-owned (rostered in 80% or more of Dynasty Owner leagues), marginally-owned (rostered in over 30%, but less than 80% of Dynasty Owner leagues), and lesser-owned (rostered in less than 30% of Dynasty Owner leagues).

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, all statistics, ADP and Dynasty Owner rostered percentage statistics were current as of the afternoon of January 18th.

Widely-Owned Players

Here are three well-known, highly-paid players who are on a high percentage of Dynasty Owner rosters (80% or more) who Dynasty Owners could use their Amnesty Provision on before the new Dynasty Owner league year kicks in on March 18th.

Russell Wilson (QB – SEA) – 3 years/$35 million – 83.4% Roster Percentage

Formerly the high-paid player in the NFL before extensions were signed by Patrick Mahomes, Dak Prescott and Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson is now sadly overpriced for his current level of production. Wilson missed the first three games of his career in 2021 and also averaged fewer Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game than in any prior Dynasty Owner season (22.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points). He finished as the QB15 for the season, but obviously that ranking is skewed by missing three games. However, Wilson would have been the QB12 if he played in 16 games (357.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points) and QB10 if he played in all 17 games (379.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points).

Getting rid of Wilson could seem harsh as he is just one year removed from being the QB5 in Dynasty Owner (2020) and two years since being the QB3 (2019). His poor play in 2021 could be attributed to the finger injury that he suffered in Week 5, or something else with the Seattle offense. After all, he did finish the second half of 2020 with much poorer stats (20.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game) than the first half (38.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game).

If he stays in Seattle, it could be more of the same thing in 2022. If he gets moved to another team, there’s the possibility that he is revitalized like Matthew Stafford was this year. It’s also possible that he struggles with a new team, similar to how Cam Newton did. Sorry, but if you’re spending $35 million of your Dynasty Owner salary cap for the next two seasons on a QB, that QB has to start every week and perform better than Wilson did in 2021.

Ezekiel Elliott (RB – DAL) – 6 years/$15 million – 100% Roster Percentage

Based on his 100% roster percentage, Dynasty Owners with Elliott who want to rid themselves of his salary can probably find a trade partner. However, if the trade market is dry and your team needs salary cap room to re-sign players who have already gotten new contracts that will take effect in 2022, or are free agents and likely to sign a new deal, then using that Amnesty Provision on Elliott is a way to do it. Elliott was the RB7 on the 2021 season with over 1,000 yards rushing and a dozen TDs. Why would anyone get rid of him? Several reasons:

This is not to say that Elliott is terrible as a football player or even in a non-Dynasty Owner fantasy league, however he appears to need high volume and TDs to maintain his standing over the next couple of years and justify his $15 million per year contract. His contract runs until he’s 31 years old and there’s very little chance that he will be getting that level of volume as a 31-year old RB. Even the news following the Cowboys playoff loss that he was playing in 2021 through a knee injury (partially torn PCL) doesn’t change this opinion.

Michael Thomas (WR – NO) – 4 years/$19.25 million – 79.9% Roster Percentage

His roster percentage rounds up to 80% so he is listed here. It is shocking to me that there is a Dynasty Owner in four out of every five leagues with Thomas still on their roster. Back in early November when he announced that he was going to be out for the year, I advocated using an Amnesty provision on Thomas and there was even a contest to guess what percentage of Dynasty Owners would take that option. I was completely wrong with my prediction as few Dynasty Owners utilized their Amnesty Provision at that time and only a small percentage did so in the past few months as well. His roster percentage at the time of the announcement was 89.35% and dropped to only 81.1% by the following week. It has fallen only slightly more in the past two months.

Even though few Dynasty Owners have done it, the case for using an Amnesty Provision on Thomas remains strong. If he suits up in Week 1 of the 2022 season in early September, it will be his first game in almost twenty months (January 17, 2021). He’s coming off ankle surgery in June that put him on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list for the first six weeks of the 2021 season. He suffered a new and different injury to the same ankle that was announced in November and kept him out for the entire 2021 season. His QB is likely to be either Taysom Hill, or someone else not named Drew Brees who is the only QB he caught passes from for most of his NFL career. That’s worth a flyer in a redraft or regular dynasty league, but not $19.25 million per season in Dynasty Owner.

Marginally-Owned Players

Here are five players, all WRs and TEs, on a lower percentage of Dynasty Owner rosters (between 30% and 80%) who Dynasty Owners should use their Amnesty Provision on this off-season.

Kenny Golladay (WR – NYG) – 4 years/$18 million – 53.85% Roster Percentage

This was a bad contract the moment it was signed and Dynasty Owners who had Golladay should have dropped him for free last March after it was signed. If you didn’t and picked him up or drafted him in 2021 then it’s time to cut ties. While firing coach Joe Judge and possibly replacing Daniel Jones at QB is a good start towards helping Golladay, it’s probably not enough to make him worth $18 million per season. Even when he and Jones were working well together at the beginning of the year, Golladay only had 45.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in the first four games (11.3 points per game). That may be the high point in his Giants career, then he’s really not worth his salary.

Julio Jones (WR – TEN) – 3 years/$22 million – 49.1% Roster Percentage

Julio Jones is currently the second highest paid non-QB in Dynasty Owner and not worth it at all. At his price ($22 million per year), his production needs to be a lot better than just the 80.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points he scored in 2021. He was injured for a little under half of the season, but still played in 10 games, so his per game average was just over 8.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. He only had two games with more than 10.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points, only one 100 receiving yard game and a single receiving TD for the 2021 season. Jones also only played in nine games in the 2020 season and will be 33 years old at the start of the 2022 season. While NFL WRs can still be productive at that age, getting $22 million worth of production out of Jones seems unlikely next year and in 2023 as well.

Jonnu Smith (TE – NE) – 4 years/$12.5 million – 40.8% Roster Percentage

Smith was one of the highest profile NFL free agents last season and expected to combine with fellow TE Hunter Henry to offer New England a solid 1-2 punch at the TE position. Henry also received a $12.5 million salary, but for one fewer year, and proved his worth by finishing as the TE9 with 164.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. On the other hand, Smith finished as the TE35 with 66.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 16 games played (4.15 points per game). He ended up with only one Blutarsky (0.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points) on the season, but had seven games with less than 3.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points and only one game with more than 10.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. He finished sixth on the Patriots in targets, receptions and receiving yards, but was not targeted in the Patriots’ playoff loss. It’s possible that he comes back strong in 2022 with QB Mac Jones at the helm, but $12.5 million is a lot to pay for a potentially unproductive TE.

Austin Hooper (TE – CLE) – 3 years/$10.5 million – 31.4% Roster Percentage

Hooper is currently the fifth highest paid TE in Dynasty Owner, although that will change in 2022. Regardless of his salary ranking, he hasn’t been worth $10.5 million as a member of the Browns. He did have a couple of useful weeks with favorable match-ups and injuries to the other members of the Browns’ receiving corps, but not enough to make him worth his salary. Hooper finished the 2021 season as TE24 and was TE21 in 2020. That’s more than enough of a sample size to declare him worthy of using an Amnesty Provision on. Even waiting until the next league year won’t matter as his deal will still have $21 million left on it and he’ll cost $5.25 million to drop.

Sterling Shepard (WR – NYG) – 3 years/$10.25 million – 42.6% Roster Percentage

Similar to Kenny Golladay, but Shepard also brings along a torn Achilles that forced him on Injured Reserve, will cost him the entire off-season, and possibly impact his availability for the start of the 2022 season. He has been fairly productive when available, but has only played in 29 out of the 49 regular season games for the Giants over the past three seasons. He did have two tremendous games at the end of the 2020 season and two good ones to start the 2021 season – each game with more than 17.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. However, that’s probably not enough to overcome the potential lack of availability and question marks surrounding the Giants coaching and QB situation.

Lesser-Owned Players

Here are five players, four QBs along with one RB, who are on less than 30% of Dynasty Owner rosters, but should be removed from those rosters using an Amnesty Provision.

Deshaun Watson (QB – HOU) – 5 years/$39 million – 28.4% Roster Percentage

The fact that he didn’t play at all in 2021 and still has all of the same legal problems as he did at the start of the season aren’t good signs about his potential for playing in 2022 or beyond. If you kept him on your Dynasty Owner roster for the entire 2021 season though, you might be in it for the long haul and reject the idea of getting rid of him.

Jared Goff (QB – DET) – 4 years/$33.5 million – 1.2% Roster Percentage

There aren’t too many Dynasty Owners with Goff on their roster, but for those few and proud, it’s time to move on. He was QB20 in 2020 with the Rams and QB23 this past season with Detroit. That’s what he is and it’s not worth $33.5 million per year to keep him on your Dynasty Owner roster.

Carson Wentz (QB – IND) – 4 years/$32 million – 11.8% Roster Percentage

It’s never a good sign for your long-term prospects if the team that traded a first round pick to acquire you isn’t ready to commit to you as their starting QB. That’s the situation facing Carson Wentz in Indianapolis. If the Frank Reich and the Colts are shopping around for cheaper, better options, then Dynasty Owners should take a cue and do the same thing. Sure, Wentz was the QB12 in Dynasty Owner in 2021, but does he project more as a Top 10 QB in 2022, or someone who drops out of the Top 20?

Matt Ryan (QB – ATL) – 3 years/$30 million – 10.1% Roster Percentage

Ryan is looking like he’s at the end of his career at 36 years of age. He finished as QB19, but was only 0.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points ahead of Ben Roethlisberger for that spot. Roethlisberger was seen as a shell of his former self this season and took a pay cut to $14 million for his final season, which is probably a more realistic salary figure for Ryan at this point. Ryan costs more than twice that amount now and for the 2023 season as well and has gone from QB9 in 2019 to QB12 in 2020 to QB19 in 2021. The Falcons might hold on for one more season, but Dynasty Owners shouldn’t.

Kyle Juszczyk (RB – SF) – 5 years/$5.4 million – 10.1% Roster Percentage

His roster percentage is a lot higher than I would have guessed with his contract. He is durable and has played all 33 games over the past two seasons, but only averaged 4.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game in that time. That average is not surprising when you see that he only got 38 touches in 2021 and 36 touches in 2020. Juszczyk is a perfect player for a NFL team, but not a Dynasty Owner team.

Conclusion

There are quite a few players who Dynasty Owners can use an Amnesty Provision on. The decision to use it shouldn’t be taken lightly as there are limits on them and they do cost $5 million Dynasty Dollars. However, if you have one, the time might be right to use it before the 2022 Dynasty Owner league year kicks in.

The weekly Dynasty Owner livestream will return this Wednesday at 4 PM (Eastern) with myself and Tim Peffer. Not sure about this week, but we should have plenty of guests over the course of the off-season. Set the timer on YouTube so you don’t miss it live, or make sure to watch it afterwards. Either way, don’t forget to smash the Like button. You can also listen wherever you get your podcasts.

Please read all of the off-season articles and videos from our Dynasty Owner team as well. On Tuesdays, I’ll talk about players, salaries and contracts to help new and returning Dynasty Owners navigate how to play our unique game. Jay Pounds will talk about rebuilding your Dynasty Owner roster on Wednesday. Nate Christian is back for 2022 and will do prospect previews every Thursday. Finally, Friday is Free Agent Friday as Matt Morrison – The Jerk breaks down the free agents on every NFL team by division.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Steven Van Tassell is the Head of Content for Dynasty Owner

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

Free Agent Friday: NFC West

By: Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk)

Hello Dynasty Owners, and welcome to the off-season. Like last year, this year I will be reporting on notable offensive free agents. The method I use to judge which players I want to include is subjective, but I will do my best to bring you news on every free agent that I can. Additionally, I will be doing a little bit of a different format this year. Last year I used one week to talk about a single team. This was a useful plan, but it also had one major flaw. The flaw was that the teams I talked about earlier in the off-season didn’t get much, if any, attention after free agency. To remedy this, I will be writing about every team once before free agency and once after free agency.

I will be breaking all the free agents into divisions before free agency starts, and then I will be doing more of an individual article post-free agency. I still have to work out some of the details, but the main takeaway is that free agent talk is back! This is truly one of my favorite aspects of fantasy football to write about, and what better format to talk about it in than Dynasty Owner! Without further discussion, let’s talk about the first division…

NFC West

I will list every notable offensive free agent for each team in my weekly articles, and for brevity’s sake, I will only talk about a select few of those players. Don’t worry, I will eventually talk about every player throughout the off-season as I will be bringing back my “News” segment where I tell you about the latest free agency news.

Seattle Seahawks

PlayerAgeStatusCurrent SalaryEstimated Value
Gerard Everett27UFA$6,000,000$8,000,000
Rashaad Penny25UFA$2,691,360$5,000,000
Alex Collins27UFA$990,000$2,000,000

Not too much to talk about here with the Seahawks free agents. All three are unrestricted free agents (UFA). Alex Collins and Gerald Everett are both aging for their positions. At 27, they are likely to make more money than their previous contracts, but I don’t anticipate either of them to make a large fantasy impact in 2022. I will say that Everett had a better season than I expected, but a sub-50 receptions, sub-500 receiving yards and sub-5 touchdowns season is not what Dynasty Owners are looking for in a 6-8 million dollar tight end.

No…the player I’m most interested in is Rashaad Penny. Penny’s final month of the 2021 fantasy season has greatly increased his career outlook. I don’t like to look too much into small samples, but the explosiveness and dominance that he showed cannot be ignored. The Seahawks already declined to pick up Penny’s fifth year option back in May. All signs point to Penny entering free agency, and he comes in as one of my Top 10 players to watch this off-season. I expect him to earn a contract somewhere close to 2 years – $ 10,000,000. The top landing spot for Penny at the moment is Miami.

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers have even less notable free agents than the Seahawks, but I think both of these players could be interesting additions to several teams.

PlayerAgeStatusCurrent SalaryEstimated Value
Raheem Mostert29UFA$2,900,000$3,000,000
Jeff Wilson26UFA$2,050,000$2,000,000

Here we have two running backs. Both have had decent success although it has been sporadic.  Jeff Wilson filled in nicely for San Francisco in Weeks 15 and 16. In those two weeks, he had over 160 total yards and two touchdowns. I would be willing to bet that the 49ers re-sign Wilson to a contract similar to his current one. Jeff has kind of locked himself into the 2 – 3 million dollar range given his limited production as a backup running back.

Mostert is a little more interesting mainly because of his explosiveness and previous success in the 2019 season. With that being said, Mostert is often injured. He missed half of his games in 2020, and he had only 2 carries in 2021 before suffering a season ending knee injury. As many of you know, I hate labeling players as “injury prone”. I think it’s an unfair term a lot of the time.  Unfortunately, his age is not going to do him any favors when it comes to that designation though. Look for Mostert to receive a single year contract worth around 3 million dollars. I think it’s likely he moves on from the 49ers.

Los Angeles Rams

PlayerAgeStatusCurrent SalaryEstimated Value
Sony Michel26UFA$2,406,674$6,000,000
Odell Beckham Jr.29UFA$1,250,000$12,000,000

There are only a couple of Rams worth talking about, at least today. They are Sony Michel and Odell Beckham Jr. (OBJ). Ironically, both players were late additions to the Rams in 2021. Michel was traded from New England and Odell was claimed after being waived by Cleveland.  I find it hard to believe that either player would return to LA, even for one more season. Sony carved out a nice workload for himself this season, especially late in the season. I expect that role to mostly disappear though given the heroic return of Cam Akers. I expect Cam to, unquestionably, lead the Rams’ backfield next year, and I don’t think signing Michel to a 6 million dollar contract is great value (at least for the Rams).

OBJ is kind of in the same boat, but he is significantly older than Michel. Depending how the post-season goes for the Rams, I think they will let Odell “walk” in the off-season. They have a fantastic trio of receivers (Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Van Jefferson) without OBJ, and I just don’t see the monetary value of paying Odell between 10 million to 12 million dollars per year.

Arizona Cardinals

PlayerAgeStatusCurrent SalaryEstimated Value
Zach Ertz31UFA$8,500,000$6 – $8 million
A.J. Green33UFA$6,000,000$6,000,000
James Conner26UFA$1,750,000$6,500,000
Christian Kirk25UFA$1,473,717$8,000,000
Chase Edmonds25UFA$728,090$4,000,000

As you can see, the Cardinals are the team with the most notable free agents from the NFC West. I’m going to skim through these players fairly quickly, but don’t worry. I will give a full update on them at a later time and will always update you with any signing news.

First up is Zach Ertz. Ertz found a second wind in his career after several disappointing years with the Eagles. He finished the 2021 season as the TE5 in Dynasty Owner, and he looks to make close to the same amount of money he made on his last contract. I think a safe range to predict for Ertz is somewhere between 6 to 8 million dollars. I anticipate he will re-sign with the Cardinals, but their post-season success can also factor into the decision.

A.J. Green is another player that has found new life with the Cardinals. He wasn’t necessarily useful to many fantasy managers (especially Dynasty Owners), but he was a very good “real life” wide receiver. At 33, I expect that Green will not make any more money than his previous contracts. If you own him (and it looks like 85.8% of you do), you shouldn’t have to plan for many changes to his current salary.

The same cannot be said for the next three players on this list though…

James Conner is coming off of his highest touchdown total ever. He finished with 18 total touchdowns, and he was only 13 carries short of his career high from 2018. Conner’s relatively healthy season has likely earned him the highest contract of his life. I’m projecting that his new contract will be roughly 6.5 million dollars. I’m on the fence on whether he re-signs with Arizona.

A lot of the decisions around Conner will depend on what the team wants to do with Chase Edmonds. Edmonds had a statistically weaker season than Conner, but that’s mainly because of his usage. Conner was utilized more throughout the season, and he also received the majority of the “goal to go” carries. Edmonds should be a little cheaper to acquire this off-season despite being younger.

My favorite player to speculate on for this division is Christian Kirk. Kirk had a very efficient 2021 season, to the tune of 77 receptions, 982 receiving yards and five touchdowns. Given the wide receiver landscape, it would be very reasonable for Kirk to make north of 8 million dollars per year.

Conclusion

As I mentioned in my opening, I am rolling through these players and teams quickly. I promise you that I will speak on each of them (in detail) as the off-season rolls on. In addition, I will be bringing you breaking contract news every time an important contract changes.

If there is any player that you want me to spend more time talking about, just message me on Twitter (@dynastyjerk) and let me know. 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.

TheJerk