Rachaad White had an unusual path through college to get from a non-ranked high school player on 247 to NFL Draft hopeful. There was a stop at Mt. San Antonio College (JUCO) for two years before White created a strong enough resume to make the jump to Arizona State. From there he was able to push out some legitimate college talent and take over the Sun Devils’ backfield in year two. An NFL Combine invite later and White has an NFL career on the horizon.
After receiving zero FBS offers out of high school, White landed at a local JUCO school in California. After a redshirt year, he posted 1,264 rushing yards (6+ ypc) with 12 total touchdowns. This got him a chance at Arizona State (he had offers from Indiana and Tennessee as well), where after a year with a few chances, he took over the backfield for his senior year. This past season, White gained 1,006 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground, while also catching 43 passes for 456 yards. White showed out this season and despite being a “one-year wonder” has the attention of many scouts across the league.
Pass-Catching AbilityOver this past year White showed time and time again that he is a mismatch for linebackers when catching passes out of the backfield. His ability to not only be sure-handed at the catch point but also run legitimate routes at his size make him a weapon that can be used all over the offense. NFL teams loves versatility and White has that.
NFL FrameWhen a running back is 6 foot and boasts 210+ pounds on their frame, it checks a lot of boxes for a future NFL workload. Even with this larger frame, White shows off the ability to handle work on all three downs and that gives him a boost against other prospects who may lack the multi-faceted skillset that White brings to the table at his size.
Nose for the End ZoneIn 2021, White scored a touchdown in 9 out of the 11 games he played. His size and ability to get skinny between the tackles made him a great goal line and short-yardage back, adding to his already vast skillset. If White can maintain a similar ability in the NFL, there will always be a role for him.
Tight Hips and Lack of BurstWhile White boasts a lot of ability across the position, he is limited by his athleticism. While he’s certainly not a bad athlete, he can struggle to beat defenders to the corner and win consistently on his cutbacks. He has enough to win at the next level, but don’t expect him to run away from defenders or make too many defenders miss in the open field.
Pass ProtectionWhile he is an asset on passing downs, White will have to improve his pass protection if he wants to see those downs early in his rookie season. One area nearly all rookie running backs need to improve in is pass protection, and while White isn’t terrible at it, he does need to be more refined and consistent with his technique. This growth and opportunity could heavily depend on landing spot.
Things to Watch:
White impressed many with a 4.48 official 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine, squashing questions of if his burst was going to keep up with the NFL. I do believe he knew this going into the event and lost some weight and focused on these drills to test well, and that’s great because it shows a great level of work ethic. Maybe more impressive is his 38” vertical, if White can show that type of burst on the NFL field he may blow away many of our expectations.
White is likely an Early Day 3 pick at this point, but with his skillset a team could easily fall in love with what he brings to the table (plus the impressive testing numbers) and grab him in the 3rd round. If we give him a draft slot around the end of the 3rd/early-4th we could see him signing a 4-year deal for around $4 million total. If given a significant role in an offense he could be a huge value at around $1 million a year.
White is likely going to enter the league as a backup or the second part of a committee, and there are many teams that go that route in the current NFL. If the Bills wish to continue taking swings on mid-round running backs, White really fits the kind of running back they have targeted in the past. Zack Moss ($1,153,079) has worked his way out of the rotation, but White would give them the same goal line ability they were looking for with Moss, while still giving them plenty of pass-catching upside to back up Devin Singletary ($974,500) as he goes into his contract year.
Another team that has a role open for White could be the Atlanta Falcons. If they choose not to go with the position early, White would be a great complimentary piece to the versatility and explosiveness of Cordarrelle Patterson ($5,250,000). The Falcons are obviously in a rebuilding mode, and it seems like a good time to take a swing on some mid-round players with upside. Rachaad White fits that mold as he could be a true workhorse running back for an NFL team.
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).
Dynasty Owners, it is that time of the week again! Before we get into the important stuff, let’s hit a couple of public service announcements. As all of you know we are currently in the free agency period here on Dynasty Owner and for those of you who still have moves to make, like myself, you still have ample time to be patient. I would also like to touch on the fact that it is ok to make a bad trade vs cutting a player because you are over the cap.
As an example, let’s say you sat at $143,000,000 in salaries before Marquez Valdes-Scantling (MVS) signed his new $10,000,000 deal with the Chiefs, putting your team over the cap. In this scenario it is perfectly ok to take a third round pick in a trade even though you feel MVS is worth a second. All you need to do is look at the alternative option which is cutting him so one of your league mates can pick him up essentially for free.
In last week’s article, I covered my team from the Writer’s League (League #80545) and will be doing more of the same this week. The biggest difference in this week’s article vs last is the fact I am going to detail every trade made to get to where I am at right now along with why I made the choice to rebuild. I will warn you that you have probably seen a few of these trades in previous articles, but this article will give me a better opportunity to cover each trade in detail and hopefully get all of you headed in the right direction when it comes to rebuilding your rosters.
Why I Chose to Rebuild
When I go into a new Dynasty Owner league, I have two things on my mind, and they are polar opposites from each other. The first thing is what everyone wants, which is winning the league and having a Top 3 roster. The other thing I am thinking is, if I have a bad start, I am blowing this roster up. I do it this way because of one big reason and it can be applied to any dynasty league you find yourself in and that reason is your league mates are always filled with hope when the season starts. If you do not get what I mean by this just think about how many times you have seen people think terrible rosters have a shot at winning a championship. Almost every fantasy football player will carry bias towards their own roster and if you can avoid doing so yourself you will be one step ahead of the game.
The two trades I really want all of you to analyze are the trades I made sending out massive contracts and the reason I am asking you to do this is because I would have never gotten the value, I did had I decided to hold on and try to make a run at the playoffs. My rule of thumb when going into a new season is if I am not a serious contender or heading in that direction by Week 4-5, I go into rebuild mode right away by flipping my running backs. Always remember the longer you wait to rebuild, the less assets your league mates will have to make deals with you.
(All salaries shown will be the player’s current contract)
Sent – Daniel Jones ($6,416,014), Nick Chubb ($12,200,000)
Received – Michael Pittman ($2,153,212), Tutu Atwell ($1,477,175), 2022 1st round pick, 2022 2nd round pick, 2023 1st round pick
Trade Date: October 14, 2021 (Week 6)
The trade that started it all! Before diving into this trade, I would like to remind everyone that Nick Chubb was significantly cheaper ($1,845,774 salary in 2021) when this trade was made. When making this move, I knew Chubb had to be the first to go as he was going to be very expensive and heading into his 2nd contract come 2022. Before making the trade, I looked around the league and found someone who needed both quarterback and running back help and decided he would be my trade partner of choice. After a quick back and forth, we decided on the deal above and felt it was fair for both.
Anytime you are heading into a rebuild I strongly recommend trading away your running backs first as they tend to lose trade value if you do not have a competitive roster. The other reason you want to move on from your running backs first is because of their shelf life and the fact they likely won’t be anywhere near the player they are today when your team is ready to win championships.
Sent – DeAndre Hopkins ($27,250,000), Zack Moss ($1,153,079)
Received – Jacoby Brissett ($4,650,000), Robert Woods ($16,250,000), Gerald Everett ($6,000,000), Jacques Patrick ($660,000), 2023 2nd round pick 2024 1st round pick 2024 2ndround pick
Trade Date: November 3, 2021 (Week 9)
Trade Number 2 on the list is basically an add on to Trade Number 1 as we had trouble making that big of a deal work. The main thing I want all of you to focus on here is the fact I was able to move on from Hopkins and still managed to get solid value back on top of the cap relief. Still to this day, I genuinely believe this deal would not have been completed had I waited another week or two because of injury and cap space. As I mentioned in the trade above the earlier you start trading the better and I feel this trade is evidence of that as this was just the third trade in league history. Let’s be honest any time you can get good value for that type of contract, it’s a win as a rebuilding owner.
Sent – Amari Cooper ($20,000,000), 2023 2nd round pick
Jay Received – Julio Jones ($22,000,000), 2022 2nd round pick, 2023 1st round pick
Trade Date: November 4, 2021 (Week 9)
Out of all the trades I made with this team this one has to be my favorite looking back because it seems it will benefit both rosters for more than just last season, plus I was able to free up a ton of cap space. I know you may be wondering how I was able to get cap space out of this deal and it is because I used the Amnesty Provision on Julio Jones. I feel this trade shows an excellent strategy that not enough Dynasty Owners take advantage of. Anytime you are looking to move a big money player, it’s easiest to identify your trade partner’s worst contract and trade for it with the Amnesty Provision in mind. Before Cooper linked up with Deshaun Watson, he was on the free agent list in more than a few leagues which makes me even more satisfied knowing I was able to get a first round pick in return for a player with such a high salary.
Sent – Devonta Freeman ($1,075,000), Michael Pittman ($2,153,212), Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($2,705,393), 2024 3rd round pick
I have covered this trade already and will not spend much time covering it here. In this trade, I knew my trade partner was ready to make a push for a title along with wanting Michael Pittman in a bad way. One thing that helped me quite a bit in this deal was how open I was about my man love for Pittman and forced my trade partner to overpay for his services. While the trade did not pay off in a championship for this Dynasty Owner, they should make it again this year and hopefully one of these guys will put him over the top!
Sent – Teddy Bridgewater ($6,500,000), 2023 3rd round pick
Jay Received – Marvin Jones ($6,250,000), Matt Prater ($3,250,000), Mike Glennon ($1,375,000), 2023 2nd round pick
Trade Date: December 11, 2021 (Week 14)
A small trade here that I feel rebuilding owners overlook all of the time. When heading into this trade I knew I would have zero use for Bridgewater this past season or in 2022 and didn’t care what I got in return. If you look at this move now it’s easy to see, I would have cut Bridgewater this off-season but because I moved him for cheap, I was able to move up a round in the 2023 draft. Just another reason I always say if you aren’t certain a player will be producing when you are ready to win, take what you can get for them and move on.
Sent – Isaiah McKenzie ($2,200,000), 2022 2nd round pick
Received – Calvin Ridley ($2,725,178), 2022 3rd round pick
Trade Date: March 21, 2022 (Off-season)
The last trade on the list is one that I feel all rebuilding owners should be trying to make. As a rebuilding owner you realistically know that you have zero shot at a title this season which makes Calvin Ridley the perfect fit for your roster. While it’s obvious Ridley comes with significant risk, he also will not be winning you any games this season and we have all seen what he can do when he is on the field. If Ridley gets back to even 75% of his original self, this deal becomes a home run for me.
As you all can see there are many different ways to getting deals done and can even be two separate deals if needed. I hope these trades give you a good sense in value for the players you need to move on from on your rebuilding roster along with what you should get in return. I know I still have a ton of work to do before this team is winning but with all of the draft picks I have I am definitely heading in the right direction. The last thing I would like to touch on really quick is to explain yourself in most trades as a little context can go along way with your league mates.
Thank you all for reading and be sure to check our other content out from Matt, Steve, and Nate. Stay safe out there and good luck on your 2022 Chase for the Ring!
NFL free agency continues to chug along, but after quite a few big moves in the middle of last week, things have started to cool down. Fewer players are signing free agent contracts and it seems that the trade market has largely shut down. It’s been several days since the Tyreek Hill trade to Miami. The focus of NFL front offices is turning to the NFL draft which begins in a month (April 28 – 30).
Once Dynasty Owners get their salaries under the $145.74 million salary cap, they will also be able to focus more on the NFL draft and Dynasty Owner rookie drafts, which are scheduled to start on May 27th. Because of the unique nature of Dynasty Owner using real NFL contracts and salaries, rookie draft discussions are more speculative at this point than in other dynasty leagues.
First round draft position is not very important in a regular dynasty league, while for Dynasty Owners, the later a player goes in the first round, the better because his salary will be less. The difference between being drafted at the end of the first round versus the beginning of the second round doesn’t matter much in a regular dynasty league either.
The differences are more meaningful in Dynasty Owner as salaries go down as the first-round proceeds. Even the difference in salary between the final pick of Day 1 (pick #32) and the first pick of Day 2 (pick #33) is approximately $600,000 in salary.
Because of that, we have more time to review the end of possibly the most hectic and wildest NFL free agency in history. The contracts are bigger than ever with more guaranteed money, the trades are bigger, and the players being traded are more prominent.
As with most things in life, the tendency is to do an immediate reaction and declare Player X or Team Y as the “winner” of the off-season, while Player A or Team B is the “loser” is strong. We can do that here in Dynasty Owner as well but, will have to focus our attention on the contracts and salaries as just as much as the fit of the player’s new team or the value of draft picks that a team has given up obtaining someone via a trade.
Let’s start doing that, but before we can announce some winners and losers, we first need to review 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, roster percentages and 2021 position ranks were current as of the morning of March 28th. All 2022 contract information is currently listed on the Dynasty Owner platform (number of years and salaries) and has been taken from Spotrac (https://www.spotrac.com/).
With that in mind, here’s a few sets of winners and losers from the NFL off-season so far. No ties. Yet.
Winner – Deshaun Watson
The trade of Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans to the Cleveland Browns was one of the biggest of the off-season so far. In almost every other NFL off-season, it would have been the biggest trade by far. However, with the Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill trades, it still ranks as one of the biggest and maybe the biggest depending on your vantage point.
In the end, the big winner in this off-season move has to be Deshaun Watson. He went from not playing at all during the 2021 season, to not being criminally charged in the 22 sexual harassment and assault allegations brought against him, to forcing a trade to the team he wanted and being rewarded with a new, completely guaranteed 5-year, $230 million contract by that team. It’s a raise of $7 million per season for Watson after not playing a single down in 2021 and he got the largest guaranteed contract in NFL history. It’s the largest by around $80 million in a massive commitment to Watson by the Cleveland Browns. The Browns will join Watson as a winner if he leads them to a Super Bowl victory in the next five years, but for now, the big winner is Watson himself.
Loser – Dynasty Owners who kept Deshaun Watson on their roster for the entire 2021 season
If you were like me and one of the 20% of so of Dynasty Owners who held on to Watson for the entire 2021 Dynasty Owner season, this off-season has been a mixed bag. Speaking for all of those Dynasty Owners, my rationale for keeping Watson was that I thought he would continue playing in the NFL at some point. Because of that, it initially seemed like holding Watson was a good move.
First, he was not indicted by a grand jury, so teams were more willing to trade with the Texans for him. The next step was getting traded and that happened, but the landing spot was a surprise.
However, the biggest surprise and something that I did not anticipate was the new 5-year, $230 million contract ($46 million per year for Dynasty Owner) overtaking the old 4-year, $156 million contract ($39 million per year for Dynasty Owner). That’s an extra $7 million for a 26-year-old QB who sat out an entire year and is still likely to be suspended by the NFL for some portion of the 2022 season.
If you don’t believe me on that, then why is his 2021 base salary only $1.035 million. The base salary for the remaining years of his new contract is $46 million per season. That’s because any loss of game checks will come out of his 2021 base salary, so the lower 2021 base salary limits his financial losses from any NFL suspension.
At this point, his Dynasty Owners who kept him for all of the 2021 season were faced with paying him $7 million more, occupying nearly one-third of their 2022 salary cap ($46 million out of $145.74 million is 31.6%) and missing his services for another four or more games in 2022. For me, those were the straws that broke the camel’s back and with the ability to drop Watson for free in Dynasty Owner because of the contract change, I made the move and dropped him. I wasted a roster spot and over 30% of my 2021 salary cap on Watson and got nothing for it. That makes me (and every other Dynasty Owner who held him for the 2021 season) an off-season loser.
Winners – Dynasty Owners with JuJu Smith-Schuster
After the trade of Tyreek Hill to Miami, JuJu Smith-Schuster becomes the de facto WR1 for the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs had the second most receptions in the NFL in 2021, the fourth most receiving yards and the sixth most receiving TDs. Sure, he’s not the #1 receiver, that’s Travis Kelce, but there are a lot of targets, receptions, and yards out there in the Chiefs’ offense for Smith-Schuster.
On top of moving from Pittsburgh to Kansas City and upgrading his QB from Ben Roethlisberger to Patrick Mahomes, Dynasty Owners with Smith-Schuster saw his salary drop from $8 million in 2021 to only $3.25 million in 2022. Effectively, they are getting a player moving to a better passing offense, with a better QB and paying $4.75 million less in salary. Admittedly, Smith-Schuster can earn up to $10.75 million with incentives, but while the Chiefs will pay those incentives, his Dynasty Owners won’t.
Losers – Dynasty Owners with Christian Kirk
Dynasty Owners with Christian Kirk are the 2022 version of Dynasty Owners with Kenny Golladay in 2021. Both WRs signed identical 4-year, $72 million contracts and will cost their Dynasty Owners $18 million per season. Both contracts were easily the highest for free agent WRs and one more year than any other free agent WR received. Both were paid far more than anticipated by several million dollars per season.
In terms of market value, Kirk, Michael Gallup and D.J. Chark were all in the same ballpark with values in the 4-year, $48 million range ($12 million per season). Gallup got pretty much his market value by signing a 5-year, $57.5 million extension with Dallas and Chark only got a one-year, $10 million deal from Detroit. Jacksonville’s contract for Kirk blew both of them out of the water as the Jaguars will pay Kirk $6.5 million more a year than the Cowboys will pay Gallup and $8 million more than the Lions will pay Chark. It’s crazy money that Dynasty Owners with Kirk likely never saw coming and now they are trying to figure out whether or not to keep him at that contract amount or drop him for free.
Winners – Quarterbacks and Wide Receivers – The top salaries are going to the QBs and WRs. All of the players with annual salaries of over $30 million per season play one of those two positions. The top non-QB/WR is Pittsburgh linebacker T.J. Watt who has an average annual salary of $28,002,750. Watt is just barely ahead of another WR (Davante Adams at $28 million), a QB (Jimmy Garoppolo at $27.5 million) and another WR (DeAndre Hopkins at $27.25 million).
It’s been this way for QBs for a while as the highest paid position, but the WRs have been steadily moving up the ranks. Five years ago, Antonio Brown was the top WR in average annual salary at $17 million to rank in a tie for 22nd place in salary. By 2020, DeAndre Hopkins was making $27.25 million and was the top WR in 13th place. Right now, Tyreek Hill has an average annual salary of $30 million and in a tie for 11th place.
Losers – Running Backs – So far this off-season, no RB has signed a contract for more than $7 million per year and none have gotten a contract for over three years. Both James Conner and Leonard Fournette received 3-year, $21 million contracts to stay in Arizona and Tampa Bay. The highest paid RB on an average annual salary basis is Christian McCaffrey at $16,015,875 per season. That currently ranks him as the 81st highest paid NFL player.
The last RB to get a contract with an average salary of over $10 million was Nick Chubb who signed a 3-year, $36.6 million contract extension with Cleveland back at the end of July last year. There are eight RBs with contracts of $12 million or more per year (McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara, Ezekiel Elliott, Dalvin Cook, Derrick Henry, Chubb, Joe Mixon and Aaron Jones). Five of those contract extensions were signed in 2020, Elliott signed his back in 2019 and Jones and Chubb got theirs in 2021. Who’s going to be the next RB to get a contract of over $10 million per year and more than three years?
My bet would be on Jonathan Taylor, but he’s not a free agent until after the 2023 season, so we could go another year to year and a half without a contract of that size for a RB. Bottom line on all of this is that if your child grows up wanting to be a NFL player, steer them towards playing QB or WR. They get hit less, have longer careers on average and are paid more than RBs.
Winners – Carson Wentz, Marcus Mariota, Matt Ryan, and Mitch Trubisky: The QB game of musical chairs has all of them sitting in new places as likely 2022 starting QBs. Wentz was traded from Indianapolis to Washington, Trubisky signed with Pittsburgh to replace Ben Roethlisberger, Ryan was traded to Indianapolis to replace Wentz and Mariota signed with Atlanta to replace Ryan. Trubisky and Mariota move up from being backups in 2021 to likely starters in 2022. They may only be caretakers for their teams if those teams draft a rookie QB, but they are still expected to be starting NFL QBs in 2022 so they are having a good off-season.
Loser – Baker Mayfield (and maybe Sam Darnold): When you play musical chairs, there’s always someone who ends up without a seat. That’s how the game is played. In the NFL, there are only 32 starting QB positions and as Wentz, Mariota, Ryan, and Trubisky started to fill the empty chairs, Baker Mayfield ended up without one. He might take Sam Darnold’s seat in Carolina and if he does then that will put Darnold here.
For now, Darnold is still the starter in Carolina and Mayfield is asking for a trade from Cleveland, but he has very few options left. He could possibly go to Seattle as a starter, but not anywhere else without an injury. No long-term extension and no starting QB job right now for Baker (or potentially Sam in the future). Not a happy off-season so far.
Who’s Left in Free Agency?
While it may seem like every NFL free agent has already signed a new contract, that’s not true. There are plenty of players who haven’t signed yet and are still out there left waiting for a new team. Most of the most recent players to sign have been either offensive linemen or defensive players.
The Chiefs signing of Marquez Valdes-Scantling to a 3-year, $30 million contract on Thursday was the last big money deal for a player in the Dynasty Owner database. Ronald Jones was going to be on this list until he signed with Kansas City on Saturday, but we still have ten players remaining from the lists that I had put together in earlier articles this off-season.
Here are the most prominent remaining free agent players still left out there:
Odell Beckham Jr.
Five of these players are still on a roster in more than 90% of Dynasty Owner leagues and Marlon Mack is rostered in just over 85%. Melvin Gordon and Rob Gronkowski are the biggest name players, and those two are easily the most likely to be in your Dynasty Owner Starting lineup come Week 1 of the 2022 season. While Gronk is listed as a free agent, it’s just a matter of time before he re-signs with Tampa Bay. We just don’t know the contract details yet.
There have also been a few prominent players released this off-season who are still currently free agents.
Out of those seven players, Beasley had the most Dynasty Owner fantasy points with 158.3 for an average of 9.9 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. Booker was a close second with 144.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 16 games played for an average of 9.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. Julio Jones hasn’t been officially released yet, but the Titans have indicated that they will do so on June 1st. That’s good news for his Dynasty Owners as they will be off the hook for his $22 million annual salary. However, this list is not brimming with players who Dynasty Owners should be rushing to pick up off the Free Agent Auction or be crafting trade offers to acquire.
Finally, these are not even all of the available free agents who will eventually sign with a NFL team, participate in training camp and pre-season games, and likely contribute at some point during the 2022 NFL season. They are also not the only players who will be added to at least some Dynasty Owner rosters over the course of the next few months. However, none are likely to be starters or worth holding on to right now as anything more than a handcuff for a top player, or as a speculative add or hold.
The first phase of the NFL and Dynasty Owner off-season focused on free agency and in recent years, the trading of high-profile players, is winding down with another phase focused on rookies and the NFL draft starting soon. This is likely to be my last article on free agency, off-season player movement and the new contracts associated with both. There’s still plenty more to analyze and Matt is going to continue to dive into that on Fridays.
For me, it’s time to start to look forward to the 2022 Dynasty Owner season by taking a look back at what happened in the 2021 Dynasty Owner season. I’ll dig into some draft and salary cap usage data to examine trends and find patterns with all of the teams who won their League Championship and those that finished in the Top 25 in the Chase for the Ring. It will be interesting to see if the findings from 2020 continued into 2021 or if things changed slightly, or maybe even dramatically. With two years of Dynasty Owner in the books, I can also look into how Dynasty Owners did between the two seasons. After all, it’s a dynasty league and everyone should be building their dynasty, not changing the whole roster from one season to the next.
All of these topics could be part of the discussion between myself and Tim Peffer during the weekly Dynasty Owner livestream on Wednesday at 4 PM (Eastern). That’s right, we’re back to the usual time. 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 to it afterwards wherever you get your podcasts.
Please read all of the off-season articles from our Dynasty Owner team as well. On Mondays, I write about players, salaries, and contracts to help new and returning Dynasty Owners navigate how to play our unique game. Jay Pounds is writing about everything on rebuilding your Dynasty Owner roster and his articles appear on Tuesday. Nate Christian is back for 2022 and will do prospect previews every Thursday. Finally, Friday is Free Agent Friday with articles from Matt Morrison – The Jerk.
Thanks for reading and have a great day!
Steven Van Tassell is the Head of Content for Dynasty Owner
Welcome back all. What an opening to free agency. I’m not sure if I’m more excited about the signings or the trades that have occurred over the past two weeks. I’m not going to claim that this is the most trades I’ve seen surrounding free agency, but it’s definitely the most big name trades in a long time. Between the time that you and I last spoke we had more.
Today, I was planning to start my article series “New Contract Spotlight” where I breakdown a single player and the contract that he recently signed. I will be pushing the start date for that series back a week as we have just had too many signings and trades to ignore. Let’s get started because I have a lot of players to get through.
Free Agent Signings & Trades
D.J. Moore (Signed with Carolina at 3 years – $61,884,000)
Moore was a player who was not previously on my radar as he had signed a fifth-year extension with the Panthers. He was slated to play the 2022 season on that fifth-year option, but a long term deal was agreed upon. I’m indifferent about Moore with this contract. I have little doubt that he will be a Top 20 wide receiver for the next few years, but is that worth a $20,000,000 cap hit? I’m not sure it is. Moore has been dropped in one of my Dynasty Owner leagues, and I don’t blame the owner one bit.
Deshaun Watson (Traded to Cleveland)
(Signed with Cleveland at 5 years – $230,000,000)
Big news surrounding Watson broke on March 18th. First, he was traded to the Cleveland Browns. He was traded with a 2024 6th round pick for a 2022 1st round pick, a 2022 4th round pick, a 2023 1st round pick, a 2023 3rd round pick, a 2024 1st round pick, and a 2024 4th round pick. This is a lot to give up for one player especially since the question on whether Watson will be suspended has not been answered yet. My assumption is that he will be suspended for somewhere between 4 – 8 games. Is that risk/reward worth more than 31 percent of your Dynasty Owner cap? The answer is up for each of you to decide.
JuJu Smith-Schuster (Signed with Kansas City at 1 year – $3,250,000)
This is my steal of the off-season right here. I cannot believe that the Chiefs were able to procure JuJu Smith-Schuster’s talents for a little more than three million dollars. Yes, this contract is laced with incentives that can make JuJu’s contract closer to 11 million dollars, but as we know those are far from guaranteed, and they don’t affect our game. The Chiefs got a steal here. In turn, Dynasty Owners are going to have a steal as well. Rostering JuJu for less than four million dollars per year on the Chiefs is unreal. I can’t promise how efficient JuJu will be this season, but I do know that he will be the number two target (behind Travis Kelce) for Patrick Mahomes to start the season. If you don’t have JuJu on your roster, I think the window to buy has slammed shut.
Robert Woods (Traded to Tennessee for a 2023 6th round pick)
This is pretty disappointing compensation for Woods. A 6th round pick next year for a player who could be the #1 on a handful of NFL teams…
At any rate, Woods will join A.J. Brown and Ryan Tannehill as a Titan. Remember that Woods tore his ACL in November and missed the rest of the season. There is news that he won’t be ready for Organized Team Activities (OTA’s). However, it is likely he will be ready to go by Week 1 of the regular season. I was disappointed to see that his roster percentage has fallen below 80% in Dynasty Owner. I would not be dropping him quite yet.
Matt Ryan (Traded to Indianapolis for a 2022 3rd round pick)
Matt Ryan has been traded from the Atlanta Falcons to the Indianapolis Colts. This move came on the heels of the Carson Wentz trade from the Colts to the Commanders. I think a change of scenery will be great for the 36-year old quarterback. He will join a team with budding young talent (Jonathan Taylor, Michael Pittman, Parris Campbell). Ryan still has some fuel left in the tank, and I think he will return to a Top 12 quarterback this season. This still won’t be enough to justify a $30,000,000 salary.
Marcus Mariota (Signed with Atlanta at 2 years – $18,750,000)
Marcus Mariota signing with the Falcons came on the heels of Matt Ryan being traded to the Colts. It’s amazing how one move can influence another when it comes to professional sports. It’s especially true in the NFL as it seems like a very fluid process. Mariota will come into this season as the likely starter for the Falcons. At less than $10,000,000 per year, he is one of the cheaper starting options at quarterback right now.
Jameis Winston (Signed with New Orleans at 2 years – $28,000,000)
Speaking of cheaper quarterbacks, Jameis fits that description. He re-signed with the Saints for $14,000,000 per year. I don’t see a path for him to reach a Top 8 quarterback ranking, but even a Top 12-15 finish should give some value for you. Think of Jameis as a perfect QB2.
Leonard Fournette (Signed with Tampa Bay at 3 years – $21,000,000)
Uncle Lenny is back in Tampa! Unfortunately for Fournette owners, Ronald Jones is also still there. Expect a similar type of season for both backs as Tom Brady will be returning. Fournette would be a buy for me, even at $7,000,000 per year.
Tyreek Hill (Traded to Miami)
(Signed with Miami at 4 years – $120,000,000)
Tyreek Hill has been traded to the Miami Dolphins. This trade took place on Wednesday and is easily the biggest of the week. This trade has implications not only for Hill but for many other players. This negatively affects Mahomes and Jaylen Waddle while it positively affects Tua Tagovailoa. Hill has to be rostered in every Dynasty Owner league as it’s possible he finishes as the WR1 at the end of the season. However, a $30,000,000 salary is also tops in the league for wide receivers.
Cordarrelle Patterson (Signed with Atlanta at 2 years – $10,500,000)
Patterson has re-signed with the Falcons. The hybrid running back/wide receiver looks to pick up right where he left off last year. He will now be without last year’s quarterback and Atlanta’s top wide receiver, Calvin Ridley. I expect another Top 10 performance by Patterson especially if he keeps his eligibility as a running back.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling (Signed with Kansas City at 3 years – $30,000,000)
MVS signed with the Kansas City Chiefs who were in desperate need of a WR2. As we already talked about, Tyreek Hill has been traded and JuJu Smith-Schuster will likely step in as the WR1. While Valdes-Scantling is nowhere near the wide receiver that Hill is, he does possess some elite speed, and will be a nice fill-in. MVS should be rostered in most Dynasty Owner leagues even with a $10,000,000 salary.
Like last week, there are a number of notable free agents who signed new contracts, but they didn’t exactly qualify for a full write up. These are those players, and I call them “Quick Hitters”.
Ricky Seals-Jones (Signed with New York Giants at 1 year – $1,187,500)
Hayden Hurst (Signed with Cincinnati at 1 year – $3,500,000)
Austin Hooper (Signed with Tennessee at 1 year – $6,000,000)
All three of these three tight ends should be considered low end TE2s. Hooper’s contract doesn’t start until he is officially released by Cleveland, which is expected to happen after June 1st.
Boston Scott (Signed with Philadelphia at 1 year – $1,750,000)
James Washington (Signed with Dallas at 1 year – $1,187,500)
Jacoby Brissett (Signed with Cleveland at 1 year – $4,650,000) – Brissett will be the backup for Deshaun Watson.
Case Keenum (Traded to Buffalo) – Keenum will be the backup for Josh Allen.
Robert Tonyan Jr. (Signed with Green Bay at 1 year – $3,750,000)
Rashaad Penny (Signed with Seattle at 1 year – $5,750,000)
Gerald Everett (Signed with Los Angeles Chargers at 2 years – $12,000,000)
Matt Breida (Signed with New York Giants at 1 year – $1,187,500)
Duke Johnson (Signed with Buffalo at 1 year – $1,272,500)
Jamison Crowder (Signed with Buffalo at 1 year – $2,000,000)
Zach Pascal (Signed with Philadelphia at 1 year – $1,500,000)
Jeff Wilson Jr. (Signed with San Francisco: Details unknown)
That is all I have to talk about today. Next week, (as long as we don’t have many free agent signings) I will begin my article series “New Contract Spotlight” where I break down a single contract per week. These will all be big name players with big salary contracts. As always, thank you for reading. 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.
One of Trey Lance’s ($8,526,319) favorite targets in college, it’s easy to see why they were averaging over 20 yards per connection. Watson is an incredible size/speed combo that if coming out of the SEC or the Big 12, he would likely have been considered one of the top wideouts in this year’s class. Despite playing at the FCS level, his dominance of the lower-level competition combined with one of the best combines of all time have led to him becoming just about everyone’s favorite sleeper in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Here’s an interesting part about Watson’s production, not only was it in the FCS level, but North Dakota State steamrolled just about every team they went up against. So therefore, Watson’s numbers overall aren’t that impressive. But he was efficient with every touch he got, pulling in 95 receptions for nearly 2,000 yards over the past three years. When evaluating small school prospects, you want to see them show that they are above everyone else on the field, and Watson did that consistently.
10 RAS (Raw Athletic Score)- If you don’t follow @MathBomb on Twitter, you absolutely should. The combine and athletic testing don’t mean everything, but when a player like Watson pops up as the second best athlete at the WR position since 1987… you have to take notice.
High-Pointing- When you combine Watson’s frame and reach with his strong hands and physicality, it makes it hard not to believe that any ball thrown his way could be considered a 50/50 ball. But once again we have to remember he was playing against FCS competition; not to completely disregard it but we need to take into account the defenders at the next level are quite the step up. Watson has a knack for making the most of his length though, and no matter how good the defender is, it’s hard to stop someone at his size when he gets up in the air.
Home-run Threat- Watson was used in a variety of ways while at North Dakota State. He tested the defense deep quite often, but the coaches made sure to get him the ball as quickly as possible and gave him many opportunities on sweeps and screens. Watson took advantage of this and created plenty of chunk plays. Many times, he would split the closing defenders and gain extra yards down the sideline before being forced out of bounds. Even if it takes some time for Watson to polish his game at the pro level, he still brings big-play potential on every play that he is on the field.
FCS Level Competition I’ve mentioned it many times already, and I don’t want to discredit Watson’s achievements as you can only play who is in front of you, but I want to caution anyone who expects Watson to make a Day 1 impact. While it’s always possible, I would expect the transition could take up the majority of his rookie season. This makes him a possible “post-hype buy” midway through the season. Keep that in mind when you see him go early in your rookie drafts.
Route Running – Watson has dominated his opponents because he’s bigger, faster, and stronger. He should have been playing on the FBS level, and that much is very clear. At the pro level, he’s still an elite athlete, but the gap will be significantly closer between him and the defenders on the other side of the ball. Watson needs to become a better route runner to succeed at the next level, to get in and out of his breaks cleaner and create more deception with his body. This will likely be the biggest hurdle for him as he makes the transition to the NFL.
Things to Watch:
Watson had a combine for the ages, and he’ll go down as one of the most athletic wideouts to ever grace the field in Indianapolis. Now we wait for the draft, as he’s done everything he could possibly do in this pre-draft process to raise his draft stock. Starting from an exciting week down in Mobile at the Senior Bowl and ending with testing out of the building during the NFL Combine.
There will be some mocks that have Watson at the end of the first round, and while I appreciate the optimism, I think he is simply just a bit too raw of a prospect to go that early. I do think that he is locked into Day 2 draft capital and likely won’t see himself slide much farther than the Top-50 or so picks.
I’d expect him to come off the board around the middle of the second round which could see him sign a 4-year deal worth about $7 million total. This would put Watson’s cap hit around $1.75 million a year, an incredible value if he reaches half of his potential while on his rookie deal.
A lot of times with wide receivers, a specific landing spot isn’t as much of a big deal compared to running backs or quarterbacks, but in Watson’s case he needs some time to develop and grow into a role. A team can absolutely get him involved right away in the offense, it would just likely be limited and more so with manufactured touches. A team that fits the bill here would be the New York Jets. Zach Wilson ($8,787,670) has a huge arm, and the team wants to surround him with talent on the offense. Watson could be part of a great young duo with Elijah Moore ($2,235,107) and take some time to develop behind Corey Davis ($12,500,000), who many have forgotten about due to his injuries last year. The tide is turning for the Jets (hopefully), and Watson would fit the new look offense that Robert Saleh is looking to build.
With the recently acquired 50th overall pick, the Kansas City Chiefs seem like almost too perfect of a fit for our fantasy football hope. Sure, they probably need a more polished prospect to step into the Tyreek Hill ($18,000,000) size hole, but Watson would be most intriguing if they want to double-dip early at the position. There is nothing more exciting than seeing a QB with a big arm throwing to a big and fast wideout, and that’s exactly what this pairing could provide us. It might be a pipe dream, but there are already plenty of rumors swirling about.
Dynasty Owners, has your free agency been as crazy as the NFL’s thus far? While I am sure it hasn’t quite lived up to the hype of actual free agency, I do hope all of you are enjoying it, improving your roster, and getting plenty of deals done. If you are like me and have been unable to dig into your team/teams just yet don’t worry, you still have plenty of time, but it may cost you a free agent or two like it did me, cough cough Jamison Crowder ($4,000,000).
Before we get into the article for today, I am going to highlight two moves that have happened thus far and will have a massive impact on all Dynasty Owner leagues. The first move I want to touch on is the massive deal between the Raiders and the Packers who moved on from superstar Davante Adams. The Adams trade will change things quite a bit as many no longer see Adams as a great bet to finish as the WR1 in 2022, and at $28,000,000 per year against the Dynasty Owner salary cap he is no longer a must own in Dynasty Owner, though if you can afford him, he is still a great asset. The main thing that worries me with Adams is the fact I see his red zone production going down significantly. He and Aaron Rodgers had undeniable chemistry when it came time to score, and this trade obviously impacts that. The other move I would like to talk about is Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos which will have an impact on numerous players. All of Jerry Jeudy ($3,798,243), Courtland Sutton ($15,200,000), Tyler Lockett ($17,250,000), D.K. Metcalf ($1,146,513), and Noah Fant ($3,147,680) will be affected by this deal. While the trade is great for both Jeudy and Sutton, I feel the player that it will hurt most is Tyler Lockett who becomes borderline not rosterable after this move.
In today’s article I am going to be breaking down one of my personal rebuilds. If you recall back to some of my rebuild strategy articles, you know how I feel about deciding to rebuild early in the season vs waiting until the offseason. During the season, especially the early part of the season is when you will obtain the most value for the players you are looking to trade. When drafting this specific team, I did not have much care about the future in mind and it shows looking at the original roster, which is listed at the end of this article if you want to see it. Luckily, I was able to swing several trades moving big contracts and have set myself up for what I believe will be future success. This article will be the first part of a two-article series with Part 2 being all about every trade I have made to position this roster for the future.
Trevor Lawrence ($9,198,372)
D.J. Moore ($20,628,000)
Jerry Jeudy ($3,798,243)
Calvin Ridley ($2,725,178)
As most of you know by now, building blocks are the most important part of your rebuild as they are hopefully going to be your foundation for many years to come. If you look at the list above, you will see I have two questionable building blocks in Jerry Jeudy and Trevor Lawrence. I feel both of these players are too talented not to succeed and have no issue building around them. The third player I want to talk about is Calvin Ridley. While some may call him a questionable building block, I think he is one of the better players rebuilding owners should roster. The reasons for this is because he will be out a full season, meaning he will not win you any games, be healthy upon returning, and we have already seen the caliber player he can be when he is on the field. If Ridley can make a successful comeback and Jeudy plays up to his potential, I will be very happy with my wide receiver room in the future. D.J. Moore is the only player on this list I see as a sure thing, but it comes at a price tag of ($20,628,000), which is one of the many reasons why I am so big on rebuilding owners having ample cap space.
Players to Trade
Evan Engram ($9,000,000)
Logan Thomas ($8,021,667)
Robert Woods ($16,250,000)
Marvin Jones ($6,250,000)
Gus Edwards ($4,500,000)
Denzel Mims ($1,358,425)
Nick Westbrook Ikhine ($895,000)
The players to trade list is quite long and there is no better feeling for a rebuilding owner. More trades means more assets. While I do have a couple players on this list who may not return any value (Denzel Mims and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine), I do have plenty who will bring back something of value in a trade. The first player I want to touch on is Evan Engram who signed with Jacksonville. In Trevor Lawrence’s rookie season, he threw at his tight ends a ton, regardless of who they were and while it may change this upcoming season, I hope to use the narrative to my advantage. Another intriguing name on this list is Robert Woods, who was just traded to the Titans for a tie dye t-shirt that can’t be returned. Woods has been a fantastic player over the past few seasons and while he is coming off an injury, the trade to the Titans seemingly has his value on the rise. The last player I am going to touch on here is Logan Thomas. Thomas has shown flashes of being a Top 10 tight end but like Robert Woods, Thomas is also coming off of a season ending injury. It may benefit me to wait until Thomas hits the field to trade him but with the cost of tight ends continuously going up, I feel it’s safe to move on from him now.
Players to Hold
Ke’Shawn Vaughn ($1,188,999)
Gerald Everett ($6,000,000)
Curtis Samuel ($11,500,000)
D.J. Chark ($10,000,000)
Olamide Zaccheaus ($2,433,000)
Preston Williams ($1,490,000)
Tutu Atwell ($1,477,175)
Van Jefferson ($1,402,784)
Quintez Cephus ($899,822)
The players to hold list has some interesting names but none I am more excited about than D.J. Chark. While you can certainly get value from Chark now, I recommend waiting to see what he does with the Lions before deciding to make a move. The reason for this is because, if Chark comes back healthy and produces, his value will raise significantly, and he’ll bring back much better assets in a trade. The other name on the list I am holding no matter what is Ke’Shawn Vaughn. As it stands Vaughn is the clear-cut RB2 in Tampa behind Leonard Fournette ($7,000,000), who has been injured in each of the past two seasons. If or when a Fournette injury happens, I will likely strike gold when trading Vaughn. The rest of the players on the list can be moved now if needed, but I feel all of them have a chance to bring back much more value once the season starts, Gerald Everett especially.
Players to Cut
DeeJay Dallas ($947,350)
Godwin Igwebuike (Free Agent)
David Johnson (Free Agent)
Phillip Lindsay (Free Agent)
Cole Beasley (Free Agent)
As always, we all have players to cut on our roster. Like you have seen in earlier articles, I am not going to spend much time here as players who can be cut will receive minimal value in a trade and means it’s time to move on.
Finally, we have made it to the last category and one of the more important when it comes to rebuilding and that is your draft capital. Draft capital is, in my opinion, the easiest way to rebuild a roster on Dynasty Owner because of the rookie contract that comes attached to the pick. While draft capital is extremely important, it is also ok to trade some away if you have an abundance of picks. Be sure to tune in next week to see my first trade of the off-season which included a couple of my precious draft picks. The last thing I want to hit on here is to be sure that you clear out enough space to roster all of your draft picks. As you can see above, I have nine draft picks in the upcoming rookie draft that I need to make room for. Yeah I know, I have some work to do before it comes time to draft the rookies.
If you can’t tell by looking at my roster as constructed, I have a lot of work to do before contending. I mentioned earlier that you will get the best bang for your buck by deciding on a rebuild early in the season and you will see why in next week’s trade article. If you look below, you will see the original roster and how much it has changed in a short period of time. As I always say when it comes time to start a rebuild no player is off-limits. The last thing I want to bring up is building blocks. I know I stress how important building blocks are for your roster but remember every player has a price!
Thank you all for reading! if you enjoyed the article be sure to check back next week for Part 2! As always be sure to check out the work from our other analysts here at Dynasty Owner, Matt, Steve and Nate. Stay safe and good luck on your 2022 Chase for the Ring!
NFL free agency has officially started with a lot of changes, surprises and twists and turns that nobody saw coming. It really started well before the official start as contract extensions, free agent signings, trades and player releases have been on quite the pace for about two weeks now. It began in earnest when the franchise tag deadline was fast approaching. Davante Adams, Chris Godwin and the TE trio of Mike Gesicki, David Njoku and Dalton Schultz were tagged, and the moves and countermoves haven’t let up since. Even when things appear to start cooling down, we have another signing or two, or a trade that dramatically changes things again.
The NFL trading market is something that has really been evolving since Dynasty Owner started. Back in 2020, there were 22 trades from March through the NFL draft with the biggest names getting dealt being all non-QBs (Brandin Cooks, Stefon Diggs, Rob Gronkowski, DeAndre Hopkins, Hayden Hurst and David Johnson). The only two QB trades involved Nick Foles and Kyle Allen. Fast forward to the same time period in 2021 and there were fewer trades (19), but we started to see bigger name QBs on the move (Matthew Stafford for Jared Goff, Carson Wentz to Indianapolis, Sam Darnold to Carolina and Teddy Bridgewater to Denver). So far just 21 days into March, we have seen a baker’s dozen of trades with five involving QBs, including two huge names (Russell Wilson to Denver and Deshaun Watson to Cleveland). In addition, three big salary, big name WRs have been traded (Davante Adams, Amari Cooper and Robert Woods). All of them make at least $16 million per season. There are bound to be more trades as Cleveland needs to kick Baker and Emily Mayfield out of their home. Those Progressive commercials are true, aren’t they? The number of trades might be about the same or go up, but the quality of the players being traded, and the salaries have never been higher.
What does all of this mean for Dynasty Owners who have to navigate this new era of NFL free agency and trading? In this hyper speed frenzy of an off-season player movement market, do Dynasty Owners need to emulate their NFL GM counterparts and make immediate roster decisions, or should they be more patient and wait and see how things evolve? If you saw the title of the article, you might think you know my answer to that question, but read on and see that it’s more nuanced than just a simple Yes or No.
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, roster percentages and 2021 position ranks were current as of the afternoon of March 21st. All 2022 contract information is currently listed on the Dynasty Owner platform (number of years and salaries) and has been taken from Spotrac (https://www.spotrac.com/).
Weekend Update – Part II
Just like last week, there has been a significant amount of movement (free agent signings, contract extensions, trades and releases) since Friday through just this afternoon (so no Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota or Matt Ryan listed here. Let’s quickly review three major moves and give a quick assessment:
Probably the biggest and most surprising move was Deshaun Watson getting traded from Houston to Cleveland and signing a new 5-year, $230 million contract ($46 million per year) with the Browns.
Many things were surprising about this move, including but not limited to:
Watson basically dictating to Houston what teams he would consider being traded to and meeting with multiple potential teams. He did have a no-trade clause, but it seemed to me like a high school senior picking a college rather than a professional team trading one of its players.
After meeting with Cleveland, Watson announced on Thursday that the Browns were out of the running as a trade option, before to agreeing to be traded to them the very next day.
Cleveland giving Watson a new contract to replace the $39 million per year (4 year, $156 million) contract that he had signed on September 5th, 2020. Obviously this had a lot to do with Watson’s change of heart.
Cleveland trading three first round draft picks (one each in 2022, 2023 and 2024) to Houston in return for Watson. I think Tim disagrees, but this price seemed rather high to me.
In terms of a recommendation, I’m all over the place. I was a Hold on Watson for the entire 2021 season, keeping him in my Dynasty Owner beta league with an expectation that he’d end up playing again eventually. However, I didn’t anticipate that he’d get a new contract for $7 million per year more after sitting out an entire season. I waffled on that decision for a day or two, then actually dropped Watson for free and picked up Derek Carr off the Free Agent Auction and acquired D.J. Chark in a trade for a third round pick in the 2022 rookie draft. It’s a savings of $11 million dollars and I’m only attached to Carr and Chark for one year (barring any changes, after all it’s 2022) versus being tied to Watson for five years. Is it the right move? Talk to me after this season and again in a few years.
The Dynasty Owner community seems to be all over the place too based on his roster percentage. His Dynasty Owner roster percentage is 59.5% today, but yesterday it slightly lower, so more Dynasty Owners are picking up Watson than dropping him right now. Clearly some people are onboard with this move and taking on that contract. In two of my leagues, someone picked him up after a Texas grand jury declined to indict him on criminal charges and both have held him even after the trade to the Browns and the $7 million per year salary increase. Last year, Watson was rostered in roughly the 20% to 30% range for most of the season so interest in him has definitely increased, but he still isn’t at 99% or 100% like Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen.
JuJu Smith-Schuster finally made the move out of Pittsburgh and signed a one-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Dynasty Owners with Smith-Schuster on their roster received a salary savings of $4.75 million by keeping him on their team for the 2022 season. What should his Dynasty Owners do?
Current Recommendation: Hold him.
There is no doubt that Dynasty Owners with Smith-Schuster should hold on to him. The contract is small and short, the landing spot is really good, and he has value to your Dynasty Owner team regardless of your expectations for the 2022 season. There is zero reason to drop him for free due to the contract change and in fact, his roster percentage is at 99.4% now.
Finally, the Falcons retained the services of Cordarrelle Patterson for another two seasons.
Patterson signed a 2-year, $10.5 million contract, or $5.25 million per year for Dynasty Owner salary purposes. Dynasty Owners with Patterson on their roster currently will have to pay him $2.25 million more in salary to keep him on their team. What should his Dynasty Owners do?
Current Recommendation: Keep him
At the end of January, Patterson was listed as “Hold for now. Value depends upon who signs him” in my High Salary QBs and RBs article. His market value was estimated at $9.142 million per year, which is almost $3.9 million more per year than he finally re=signed for with the Falcons. Patterson was a keeper in my eyes if he re-signed with the Falcons and Coach Arthur Smith. The fact that he was signed for significantly less than expected solidifies that recommendation and makes it better for his Dynasty Owners. His decline in production at the end of the 2021 season is worrisome, but the price is better than anticipated so Patterson is worth keeping on your Dynasty Owner roster.
New League Year Tips
There are many tips that people are going to offer on what to do with certain players, like “Drop Player A” and “Pickup Player B now that Player C was traded to Team A”. This isn’t what I’m going to discuss here. Instead, these are going to be tips on how to handle the first Dynasty Owner off-season for many Dynasty Owners.
Tip #1 – Don’t Panic
The email that went out to Dynasty Owners on the Saturday before NFL Free Agency started said “Don’t panic” five times. For good reason, because inevitably somebody is going to panic and make a bad decision right at the start of the new Dynasty Owner league year.
For example, when new 2022 contracts and salaries became active on the Dynasty Owner platform on Friday at Noon, many teams started dropping players for free right away. Not a problem if the player is Will Dissly (TE – SEA) who had his new 3-year, $24 million contract ($8 million per year) with Seattle take effect on Friday. In 2021, his salary was only $777,568 when he scored a mere 49.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points and finished the season as TE53. He is only rostered in 24.7% of Dynasty Owner leagues now, so it was unlikely that those remaining Dynasty Owners with Dissly will find a trade partner. Dropping Dissly for free right away to be able to make other roster moves is a wise decision, even if the salary savings are meager because that roster spot can be used in other ways. No reason to wait and hold Dissly to see if a market develops. It likely won’t happen for a backup TE on Seattle. There are dozens of other players out there who I could have used for this example, so hopefully you get the idea.
On the other hand, there was a league in which someone dropped Josh Allen. Not the Jaguars defensive end/linebacker who isn’t in the Dynasty Owner database, but the Bills QB who finished 2021 as the overall #2 player in Dynasty Owner with 503.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. Admittedly, his 6-year, $238.034 million contract ($43,005,667) kicked in on Friday, but dropping QB Josh Allen is a complete panic move when you have 30 days to try and move him if you don’t want him at that salary. If you can’t do it within that time frame, you still can drop him for free.
In that league, at least two teams put in Free Agent Auction bids for Allen. This means that there was a trade market for him. Both bids were over $1 million so both Dynasty Owners who bid anticipated competition from someone else. Why else would they bid more than $1 million Dynasty Dollars? It seems like a complete misread of the situation in this league and pretty much every other Dynasty Owner league out there.
The team also didn’t make any immediate moves to compliment the dropping of Allen, like picking up a couple of players for slightly less than Allen’s 2022 salary to reduce their salary cap. They did release a few additional players at the same time and made some trades over the next couple of days. Could they have made those moves and kept Josh Allen on their roster? Most likely Yes based on my analysis of the roster changes in the league.
Tip #2 – Wait for the Official Contract Signing
This tip is similar to “Don’t Panic” in that it’s advising Dynasty Owners to pump the brakes a little bit, take a moment to reflect and wait until the official contract figures are posted on Spotrac, then updated in Dynasty Owner before deciding what to do with a player. Even if the contract is updated, it can be revised after additional information is reported.
There have been too many initially reported contract figures that have been wrong this off-season already for anyone to take an initial contract report as the gospel truth. Even Spotrac has revised some contract figures originally posted later on. It’s not just the Aaron Rodgers contract, which changed at least three times, that I’m talking about here. Here are some players who had contract news reported, then the report changed before it was published on Spotrac (as well as afterwards) and updated in Dynasty Owner:
Aaron Rodgers (QB – GB): The initial reporting of a 4-year, $200 million contract was disputed by many, including Rodgers himself. The contract was briefly revised to a 2-year, $123,844,412 contract extension and finally settled in as a 3-year, $150,815,000 contract extension. The annual salary amount for Dynasty Owners bounced around from $50 million to almost $62 million back to the final amount of $50,271,667.
Christian Kirk (WR – JAC): It was a 4-year, $84 million contract for Christian Kirk in Jacksonville at first, but it ended up as a 4-year, $72 million contract. Dynasty Owners saved $3 million in annual salary with the final amount.
Michael Gallup (WR – DAL): Gallup’s 5-year, $62.5 million reported contract extension fell by $5 million from a 5-year, $57.5 million contract. That’s $1 million less in salary per season for his Dynasty Owners in the end.
JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR – KC): Most recently, JuJu Smith-Schuster’s contract started off as a one-year deal for $10.75 million. It was changed the next day to just a one-year deal for $3.25 million, saving Dynasty Owners with Smith-Schuster $7.5 million for the 2022 Dynasty Owner season.
Right now, Dynasty Owner is doing daily updates of contracts which can mean that an initial report might be revised. In the next few months, these updates will be coming every couple of days or even just once a week. This will give Dynasty Owners even more time to deal with a contract change and might prevent them from overreacting to an initial report that is later corrected. It might not, but you’ll always have enough time to at least wait for the official contract announcement from Spotrac to make a roster move.
Tip #3 – Don’t Drop Players Until You Win the Free Agent Auction Bid
This has probably happened to you or someone in your league. You bid on a player in the Free Agent Auction and get outbid. It sucks that you don’t get the player you wanted, but otherwise, nothing bad happened. If you had a roster spot and salary cap room, you didn’t need to do anything other than make the bid and see if you won it. If you lose, there’s always going to be someone else to try to acquire. As Bill Belichick would say, “On to Cincinnati”.
However, if you don’t have a free roster spot or enough room under the salary cap to fit the player you are bidding on, you have two options. First, you can drop a player (or two, or more) to create the roster and/or salary cap room you need, then make the Free Agent Auction bid. The second option is that you make the Free Agent Auction bid but set it up, so the player or players are only dropped if you win the bid. It’s kind of a way to “act fast”, but also hedge your bets.
This is particularly important in the off-season when you can bid on Free Agents as they become available. Especially in the current period we are in with teams allowed to be over the cap, it’s important to put in these “conditional” Free Agent Auction bids so you don’t lose a player unless you win the bid. As long as your team isn’t going up in salary after the transaction is completed, it’s ok.
Earlier in this article, I mentioned that I dropped Deshaun Watson for free and picked up Derek Carr off the Free Agent Auction. Because Carr is rostered in 88.6% of Dynasty Owner leagues, I was concerned that another team might put in a bid on Carr. Instead of dropping Watson and then bidding on Carr, I did it as a “conditional” bid. If I won the bid for Carr, then Watson would be dropped in a corresponding move. If I lost, I’d keep Watson and continue to have the flexibility to trade or drop him for another player. Finally, doing it this way also has the advantage of helping to conceal your bidding.
Tip #4 – Put Calvin Ridley on Injured Reserve Now
Calvin Ridley has been suspended for the 2022 NFL season. He is officially listed as Out. This designation means that he is eligible, right now, for the Dynasty Owner Injured Reserve. You can park him and his $2,725,178 salary for 2022 there for the entire season. This frees up an extra roster spot for your Dynasty Owner team if you need or want it. It’s an extra roster spot to use on a potential break out player who’s still sitting out there on the Free Agent Auction, or an extra player who you can hold and not drop just yet from your roster. Maybe you can work out a trade for that player now.
Ridley seems to still be a desirable player to have on your Dynasty Owner roster as his roster percentage is 99.4%. Yes, his salary will still count against your $145.74 million salary cap, but it’s less than 2% of the entire cap. Your team can also fill that spot with a rookie. That leads us to the next tip.
Tip #5 – Save Room for Rookies
Just a quick tip that you can’t forget to save room for rookies, or at least have a plan for those rookie draft picks. You’ll need both roster spots and salary cap room to fit in as many rookies as you have draft picks. Unless you plan on trading those draft picks away. I’ll have more on this tip sometime before the rookie drafts start just as I did last year.
If you had a rookie draft last year, you know what’s going to happen, but a refresher isn’t a bad thing. If this is your first rookie draft, check out the article from last year to start getting familiar with what’s going to happen. The salary amounts for draft slot are going to change, for the rookie picks, from last year’s amounts. However, those salaries by draft slot will still be set before the draft.
Based on mock drafts, it looks like there will be fewer position players drafted early in the 2022 NFL draft, so the salary amount you need should be less than last year. Don’t count on it yet though. The full details will be shared in an article either closer to the NFL draft (April 28th to April 30th) or in the month after the NFL draft, but before Dynasty Owner rookie drafts start on May 27th.
It’s been a whirlwind of activity for NFL General Managers and Dynasty Owners since the calendar turned to March. There is always activity ongoing, but it has ramped up over the past three weeks with the NFL combine, followed by franchise tags, early announcements of contract extensions and signings, then a flurry of big name players getting traded and then finally, the official start of NFL free agency. With everything going on, it can be difficult to keep up and potentially overwhelming.
As the article says, “Don’t Panic”. You have plenty of time to make roster moves now and don’t have to do everything at once. In some cases, you might need to act right away, but still do so in the proper way. For a few Dynasty Owners, these tips are unfortunately a couple of days late. Not really, as we have been discussing these tips and topics on the Livestream for a few weeks now and an email highlighting what to expect when the new league year starts was sent out to all Dynasty Owners almost a week before last Friday. Two follow up emails were also sent out to reinforce the message. Hopefully you were paying attention and didn’t panic.
We will cover these tips, analyze recent trades and free agent moves, plus discuss plenty of other things on the weekly Dynasty Owner livestream with myself and Tim Peffer on 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 to it afterwards wherever you get your podcasts.
Please read all of the off-season articles from our Dynasty Owner team as well. On Mondays, I write about players, salaries and contracts to help new and returning Dynasty Owners navigate how to play our unique game. Jay Pounds is writing about everything on rebuilding your Dynasty Owner roster and his articles usually appear on Tuesday. Nate Christian is back for 2022 and will do prospect previews every Thursday. Finally, Friday is Free Agent Friday with articles from Matt Morrison – The Jerk.
Hello Dynasty Owners and welcome to The Opening. Free Agency officially opened a couple of days ago. That means that in the time since last Friday, there have been an abundance of players who have been signed, re-signed, cut and traded. I’m not going to waste any time with an intro as we have a lot to talk about.
As I have been doing all off season, this article is going to be limited to players who I deem to be “rosterable” in Dynasty Owner leagues. This criteria is usually centered around the 50% ownership mark in Dynasty Owner, but I make exceptions one way or another sometimes. There are some players who I already talked about last week, and I will not repeat them today. Go and read last week’s article if you want a breakdown of the activity from last week that is not mentioned here.
Signings, Trades and Releases
Amari Cooper (Traded to Cleveland for a 5th round value)
I’m not surprised that a Cowboys player got traded, and I’m not even really shocked that it was Cooper, but I am surprised by the compensation. Cooper and a 2022 6th were traded to the Browns for a 2022 5th and 2022 6th. A 5th round value is much less than I expected Cooper to go for even though he is an aging wide receiver. I can’t expect anyone will be more optimistic about Cooper this year than they were last year. He’s not an Amnesty Provision candidate yet, but I could see him heading that way throughout the 2022 season.
Jakobi Meyers (Tendered by New England at 1 year – $3,986,000)
Jakobi Meyers was one of my most rostered players in Dynasty Owner last season. He wasn’t a player who lit up the box scores with fantasy goodness, but he was a very good value. Any above average wide receiver who makes less than $1,000,00 per year will usually be a good value. The Patriots have placed a tender on Meyers, and he will make nearly 4 million dollars in 2022. Obviously don’t expect the same efficiency from Meyers, but he will still be a hold for me.
Michael Gallup (Signed with Dallas at 5 years – $57,500,000)
Several weeks ago, I predicted that Gallup would make roughly 12 million dollars per year on his next contract. That ended up being nearly spot on. The final numbers work out to be 11.5 million dollars per year for the next five years. He goes from one of the biggest values in all of football to a middle-tier wide receiver value. While he should still be rostered in the majority of Dynasty Owner leagues, I also realize that a lot of Dynasty Owners who rostered him will not be able to afford this new contract. Do what you have to do, but I would be trying to hold Gallup myself. Gallup ranked 8th on my list of free agents who I was most excited about. We can officially cross him off the list.
Chase Edmonds (Signed with Miami at 2 years – $12,100,000)
I had a hard time containing my excitement when I heard that Edmonds was signing with the Dolphins. Selfishly, this had nothing to do with Edmonds, but I’ll get to that with the next player breakdown. As for Edmonds, he should immediately become the first string running back for the Dolphins. He also immediately becomes the most talented back on the team. This move essentially buries Duke Johnson and Phillip Lindsay on the depth chart, assuming they both are re-signed as well. The fact that Edmonds was signed makes me think that neither Johnson nor Lindsay will sign with Miami. After all, Myles Gaskin is still there, and he is a more than capable backup to Edmonds.
James Conner (Signed with Arizona at 3 years – $21,000,000)
Boy was I excited to hear this news. Not only does Conner re-sign with the team he scored 15 rushing touchdowns with the previous year, but he does so without the return of his teammate, Chase Edmonds. This, seemingly, puts Conner in line for an even bigger workload than he had in 2021. I can’t expect the touchdowns to increase, but I’m hopeful that his receptions will. This is about the best case scenario I could have imagined for both Conner and the Dynasty Owners with Conner on their roster. Scratch my #1 free agent off the list.
Jarvis Landry (Released from Cleveland)
Jarvis Landry has been released by the Cleveland Browns. This move came on the heels of Amari Cooper being traded to the Browns. There’s not much to speculate on for Landry. I’ll reserve my judgment on him until he signs with a new team (which I think will happen).
Zach Ertz (Signed with Arizona at 3 years – $31,650,000)
ach Ertz is the second large Cardinals’ free agent signing of this article. Ertz is poised to be a Top 5 tight end once again. Dynasty Owners who rostered him last year will not have to increase their cap expectations by much. At only $10,550,000, he costs less than a franchise tagged tight end (Mike Gesicki, David Njoku, Dalton Schultz). That’s kind of an odd occurrence, but it’s also sometimes better to give yourself a longer contract than just a single year.
D’Ernest Johnson (Tendered by Cleveland at 1 year – $2,443,000)
Here is one of those unique situations where a restricted free agent is offered a transition tag. Let me explain what this means…
D’Ernest Johnson has only accrued three years of service in the NFL. Because of that the Browns are able to offer him a conditional tender. If any other team gives him a better offer, the Browns are allowed to match this offer or refuse the tender. Essentially Johnson has very few choices and that was reflected in his tender of 1 year – $2,443,000. After this season, Johnson will be an unrestricted free agent, and he will have the full freedoms that come with it. Expect Johnson to be an extremely capable third string running back this season.
Mitchell Trubisky (Signed by Pittsburgh at 2 years – $14,200,000)
Here is a signing that I am surprisingly optimistic about. Of course, there are numerous ways that this could go wrong for Mitchell, but I prefer to be hopeful. Trubisky is far and away better than the other possible options for Pittsburgh this season. He won’t be a MVP contender. He probably won’t lead the league in any statistic. Here is what I think he will be…
Better than Ben Roethlisberger.
That’s right, I’m saying that Trubisky will overall be a better real life and fantasy quarterback than Ben was in 2021. Odds are that this signing will only be a single year bridge until Pittsburgh can find their “quarterback of the future”.
Christian Kirk (Signed by Jacksonville at 4 years – $72,000,000)
This signing received the biggest amount of backlash on Twitter (at least that I saw). I had Kirk projected at 8 million dollars per year and possibly up to 10 million per year. What I didn’t expect was a Top 10 wide receiver contract. Don’t get me wrong, I like Kirk as a player, but there is no way that I can see anyone rostering him with an 18 million dollar cap hit. He will be one of the most dropped players over the next few weeks, and I don’t blame any Dynasty Owner for doing that. He has the talent and opportunity to be a Top 20 wide receiver, but with his salary, he would need to break into the Top 5 for the value to be there. Pass on Kirk…
D.J. Chark (Signed by Detroit at 1 year – $10,000,000)
D.J. Chark signed a single year contract with the Detroit Lions. I don’t hate the signing or the dollar amount. I had him slotted at $11,000,000 per year, and that ended up being pretty spot on. Chark should immediately step into the WR1 spot for the Lions. I can’t promise that spot will be very valuable, but I would hold Chark for now if I currently had him on my Dynasty Owner roster.
J.D. McKissic (Committed to Buffalo at 2 years – $7,000,000)
(Changed his mind and signed with Washington at 2 years – $7,000,000)
News broke that McKissic intended to sign with the Buffalo Bills. Less than a day later, it was reported that he had changed his mind and would now remain with the Commanders for the 2022 season at least. The deal is 2 years – $7,000,000, and we will continue to see McKissic taking valuable touches away from Antonio Gibson.
James White (Signed by New England at 2 years – $5,000,000)
James White will return to the only NFL team that he has ever played for. Barring another catastrophic injury, White will once again be the most reliable check down running back for the Patriots.
Russell Gage (Signed by Tampa Bay at 3 years – $30,000,000)
I believed that Gage had the potential to be a top wide receiver free agent for quite a few teams. I can’t think of a better landing spot for Gage than Tampa Bay. He will get to work with the most accomplished quarterback in NFL history. Yes, he will be the third wide receiver for the Buccaneers on the depth chart, but we have seen that can still be a valuable position in Dynasty Owner.
Chris Godwin (Signed by Tampa Bay at 3 years – $60,000,000)
Godwin had previously been offered a franchise tag by the Buccaneers. This was offered exactly eight days before this long term deal was worked out. I had projected that this franchise tag was just a placeholder until a new deal could be worked out. In all, Godwin’s salary barely increases per year. Dynasty Owners should be prepared to pay 20 million dollars for him in 2022.
Allen Robinson (Signed by Los Angeles Rams at 3 years – $46,500,000)
The 28-year old pass catcher has finally found his new team. He also has found the most talented team he has ever played for. At this point, the Rams are starting to seem like an embarrassment of riches. This has to be good for Robinson, but I don’t see how he could be a high volume receiver with Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and possibly Odell Beckham, Jr. still on the team.
Davante Adams (Traded to Raiders and signed at 5 years – $141,250,000)
I was just about ready to call it a week with this article, but then news of Adams being traded to the Raiders broke Thursday night. This works out to be over 28 million dollars per year, and it makes Adams the highest-paid non quarterback player in the NFL. Adams will still be rostered in the majority of Dynasty Owner leagues, but I cannot say the same for his teammate Aaron Rodgers. This move by Adams makes dropping Rodgers one of the easiest decisions you could make.
There are several free agents who deserve to be talked about and mentioned here, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they need a full breakdown. These are those players. I call them…Quick Hitters.
Signed by New York Jets at 3 years – $24,000,000
Signed by Miami at 1 year – $6,500,000
Signed by Miami at 3 years – $22,050,000
Signed by Indianapolis at 3 years – $17,550,000
Signed by Jacksonville at 1 year – $9,000,000
Signed by Chicago at 1 year – $6,000,000
I can almost guarantee you that I missed someone in this article. If you noticed that I missed someone egregious, let me know on Twitter (@dynastyjerk) and I’ll talk about them in the next article. This was a lengthy article, but it was also a necessary one. I would appreciate it if you followed @Dynasty_Owner on Twitter as well as subscribed to Dynasty Owner on YouTube. Hopefully we have just as much to talk about next week. Until then, take care and be safe.
In a somewhat surprising move, Chris Olave decided to return to college football for the 2021 season. A return to Ohio State meant he would be competing with Garrett Wilson, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and many other highly rated recruits. It worked out decently well for Olave, who was viewed as a mid-day two pick last year and now has seen himself sneak into the back end of the first round in many mock drafts. He’s got the talent to make an impact in the NFL, but how high can he climb?
A very productive receiver over the past three years, Olave has consistently been good, but never truly great. Averaging 54 receptions, 835 yards, and about 10 touchdowns a year, Olave was a solid weapon for Justin Fields ($4,717,989) and C.J. Stroud, but never topped 1,000 yards or truly took over the Ohio State receiver room. In fact, his senior season he was out matched by both of his counterparts. It certainly is a talented corps that he had to compete with (similar to the Alabama wideouts we’ve seen over the past few years), but many are asking if he has what it takes to become a top option for an NFL offense.
Route Running Technician- One of the most refined route runners in the draft, he shows the ability to use his quick burst to catch defenders on their heels. His cuts are great as he is able to sink his hips when breaking down at the stem, or pace himself in the first five yards. He’s a great space finder, and while he’ll do well against man coverage, his ability to find holes in zone coverage could be his calling card in an offense. He also showed the ability in 2021 to play both inside and outside, with a deep understanding of route concepts.
Smooth Operator- Before the catch, Olave does well to get off the line and start developing his route. The transition from release to the first couple steps of his route are smooth and help him get an early step on defenders. After the catch, he offers the ability to make people miss on the first tackle and gain extra yardage down the sideline. He’s got great burst in and out of his cuts and enough wiggle to keep defenders on their toes.
Soft Hands- Doesn’t have many drops on the tape and has made his fair share of impressive catches all around the field. A good hands catcher who is comfortable with the ball away from his body, he can be a reliable option for any quarterback who needs a quick throw-and-catch.
Upside?- Olave is viewed as one of the safest prospects in the class, he does everything you need a wideout to do, and honestly does it pretty well. Despite this, he seems to lack a truly elite trait to stand out from the crowd. While this certainly does not mean he is doomed to fail at the next level, it brings caution when teams are trying to select the elite talent at the top of the draft. Olave could be a great WR2 on a team across from a strong X receiver, but if he is left with handling the majority of an offense’s volume, he may struggle to keep up his efficiency.
Lack of Physicality- With a slender frame, Olave does not play up to his height and he certainly doesn’t play like a player 10 or 20 pounds heavier. He gets pushed around by bigger defenders and is more sneaky and quick than thick and strong. Not every player can be A.J. Brown ($1,413,092), but you’d like to see him offer a bit more in contested catch situation and prove that he can hold his own once the defenders become even stronger and more athletic.
Things to Watch:
Olave had a great combine, posting a 4.39 40-Yard Dash. The burst shows up in the tape, he does have the ability to pick up yards quickly and can stretch the defense at times, but I think his play speed is a bit slower than his testing numbers. He certainly isn’t slow, but I wouldn’t be so quick to label him as a true down-the-field threat. Overall, the combine showed that he has been training and is putting in the work to maximize his talents. You like to see that in a player like Olave.
The rumors are he could find himself drafted in the back end of the first round next month, but I still have him projected as a second rounder myself. Teams are going to swing for upside in players like George Pickens and Jameson Williams before they “settle” for Olave. I would expect a contract around $2.2 million a year for Olave, similar to Elijah Moore ($2,235,107) who was selected at the 34th overall pick in 2021. But don’t be surprised to see him in the first round, the vast majority of mock drafts have him there at the moment.
Going off of what I said earlier, Olave would do well across from a strong X receiver, it helps narrow it down to a couple teams that would be able to use the strengths that Olave brings to the table. One of the easiest fits to hope for is the Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rodgers ($33,500,000) is back and apparently happy, so the front office really needs to bring in some receiver help if they want that to continue. Olave should be available at the 28th pick and would be a solid option in that offense across from Davante Adams ($20,145,000), assuming Adams and the Packers work out a contract.
Another team in a similar situation, pushing for a Super Bowl and needing a crafty WR2, is the Tennessee Titans. With the recent announcement that they will release Julio Jones on June 1st, the depth chart is shallow behind A.J. Brown ($1,413,092) and the team could use a good Z receiver for the ball to go to on a more consistent basis. This is the role that Olave would thrive in, and with a run-first team and a physical receiver across the field from him, he would likely post great efficiency numbers. Olave does some of his best work when given some freedom, and with heavy play action usage, the connection between Olave and Ryan Tannehill ($29,500,000) could lead to taking the pressure off the rest of the offense.
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).
Dynasty Owners it is that time of the week again. I finally have some football news to talk about with a few players having already signed new deals. Of course, we also saw the modern day Brett Favre start his crap by coming out of retirement after announcing it just two months ago. As I am sure all of you have heard, Tom Brady will be back for another season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While I don’t like it, this is excellent news for many fans, it is also great news here on Dynasty Owner as Brady has an affordable $25,000,000 contract. The Brady news will influence many of our Dynasty Owners as Chris Godwin ($19,179,600 contract for 2023) and Mike Evans ($16,500,000) lose zero value and it will also improve the value of any free agents who sign with Tampa. I do have two players I would like all of you rebuilders to keep an eye on and they are Jalen Darden ($1,044,476) and Tyler Johnson ($902,355). I believe one of these two players will secure the WR3 role during the pre-season and both can be had extremely cheap right now.
Let’s move on to the contract I hate for Dynasty Owner and if I am being honest a contract that highlights why Dynasty Owner is so great. One of the bigger moves that was made on Monday was Christian Kirk signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars for a reported $18,000,000 a season. In my opinion this makes Kirk virtually untouchable in Dynasty Owner. If I had to put a number on it, I am guessing Kirk will be owned in roughly 10-20% of leagues, which is way too high unless he puts up numbers we have never seen from him before. In your average dynasty league, Christian Kirk is someone most will target in the middle rounds in hopes he can be a high end WR3, but how many real teams were willing to pay Kirk the price tag he received? The answer is probably around 10% and you will see similar numbers here on our platform. If you are a first-time reader, these are just a few examples of what makes Dynasty Owner so much fun for fantasy football fanatics.
In honor of my favorite time of the Dynasty Owner year – free agency – I wanted to put together a quick guide on what to expect out of the free agency process as a rebuilding user. Dynasty Owner’s off-season is like nothing you have seen before as our users will need to make tough roster decisions based on the player’s actual contract. Dynasty Owner’s free agency closely mimics the decisions the 32 NFL GMs must make, giving you a small taste of what these guys go through and the decisions they are faced with daily. In today’s article I will be covering three things I feel are important for all newer rebuilding Dynasty Owners in the hope of helping you be better prepared for later this week.
Contracts to Target
In Dynasty Owner, there are two things that stand out above all else, a player’s production and the contract that he signs. In the off-season last year, I was shocked by the movement in Dynasty Owner’s free agency and the price some players can be had for. I know these are not the best names to bring up but last off-season I was able to target Keelan Cole ($5,500,000) for a third round pick and saw Kenny Golladay get moved for the same. On top of Golladay being flat out cut in another league because of his $18,000,000 contract paired with the fact he signed with the Giants. As a rebuilding owner you should not be targeting contracts like this, but it is ok to move them for less than you feel they are worth, after all contract price matters a ton. You will see many tempting big name players available and my best advice to you is hold off on these players if they are not extremely young. As of now there is one bigger contract, I feel all rebuilding owners should have interest in and that is Michael Gallup who just signed a 5-year deal at $11,500,000 per season. While the Gallup contract looks like a lot to take on, he will be an absolute steal as soon as this year and should be an incredible value for the life of the deal if he is able to overcome his knee injury from last season.
Now that we have covered contracts you should target, let’s cover those you should not. The types of contract situations rebuilding owners should avoid are that of Davante Adams ($20,145,000), who is on the franchise tag this season and will be signing a huge new deal come 2023 at an age that doesn’t fit on a rebuilding timeline. Overall, this comes down to finding young players who are getting paid below market value on long-term deals while sending away older expensive players who can help a contender. If you can pull this off, it will help your team become cap flexible, allowing you to take on a bad contract in exchange for extra draft picks.
What to Do with Your Rostered Players
The most obvious answer in this segment is to keep your players but I assure you there are plenty of different routes you can go. The best way to break this down quickly is to refer you back to articles I have previously wrote on how to rebuild some of our users’ teams (The Black and Yellow – League #27451 and Vantastics – League #30326). In these articles, I break each team down into four separate categories which are: Building Blocks, Players to Trade, Players to Cut, and Players to Hold.
If you look back, you should get a great feel of what players fit into each category but be sure you do not use the article on Eli’s Team unless you are contending. As much as I want to believe you will all go look for the old articles, I know it’s a pain so I will give you a brief description of each category before we move on to the next segment.
Building Blocks – Building blocks will be the most important category for your team as they will be the foundation for your team moving forward. In most situations your building blocks will stand out as they will be highly productive on rookie contracts. There happens to be an outlier if you are just starting a rebuild and that is trade your running backs who are a year closer to a second contract. Yes, even Jonathan Taylor ($1,957,287). A building block is a player who you are certain will be producing at a high level when it comes time for your team to win. Players like Justin Jefferson ($3,280,701), Kyle Pitts ($8,227,624), and Joe Burrow ($9,047,534) are excellent building blocks to have.
Players to Trade – Players to trade seems self-explanatory right? It is but I will break it down a bit further. Players in this category should be running backs who have finished a year in the league, unless you plan on winning within the next year or two. The other types of players you’ll want to include here are players who do not fit your rebuilding timeline. A great example of this would be DeAndre Hopkins who is 29 years old on a $27,250,000 contract. The average rebuild takes three years and that’s what you should plan for.
Players to cut –I will not spend much time on this as these players are obvious. A player who does not offer any value in a trade is a player who can be cut.
Players to Hold –The players to hold category happens to be my favorite because of the many differing opinions on players. Typically, a player to hold is a player who you believe has future value and has not broken out just yet. The other type of players you will want to hold are players whose trade value may be down. Never trade a slumping player on a discount unless you are sure they are on the way down permanently.
Getting Prepared for the Rookie Draft
The rules of getting prepared for the rookie draft are similar for all teams but there are a few things I try to do if I am rebuilding my team.
Identify your Needs – Now is the time to start thinking about the upcoming rookie draft and filling out your roster. After the huge free agency surge, your needs should be obvious, and you can start building a sound plan towards the future.
Identify your Targets in the Draft – After the NFL’s free agency, all eyes will be solely focused on the draft and getting to know the incoming rookies. You should be doing the same. The reason you will want to identify your targets beforehand is so that you can make trades, accordingly, meaning if you love the fit of Garrett Wilson and he is projected to go fifth overall, you need to trade back to the third or fourth spot and grab more value. A mistake I see a lot is, I didn’t trade back because the offer wasn’t good enough when they could have picked up a late second round pick to draft the same player. Lots and lots of mock drafts will help this process a ton!
Don’t be Afraid to Trade on Draft Day – After you have the two things above handled it is time to start making trades. A lot of these trades will get rejected but don’t feel discouraged, just send it again on Draft Day. The time to take less in a trade is not now as your picks tend to hold the most value when you are on the clock. Rookie fever is real!
Free agency will be upon us in just a few days and as a rebuilding Dynasty Owner you better be prepared. Each of these categories will be crucial steps in your rebuilding journey and I encourage you to reach out on Twitter (@jaypoundsnfl) if you need any help. As I mentioned earlier be sure to check back to earlier articles of my Rebuilding with our Dynasty Owners series.
Thank you all for reading and be sure to check out content from my fellow analysts, Steve, Matt, and Nate. Stay safe out there and good luck on your 2022 Chase for the Ring!