Rebuilding with our Dynasty Owners

Team – The Black and Yellow

League – 111015

By: Jay Pounds (@jaypoundsnfl)

Dynasty Owners, welcome back to another week of rebuilding. As we count down the days until the start of the NFL season, I want to hammer away at some more of our Dynasty Owner’s teams at various stages of a rebuild. Over the next month or two, I will be pulling teams at random and breaking them down just as I did in the article below. In last week’s article, I broke down 11 trades made by one of our fellow Dynasty Owners who is now in the middle of a big time rebuild and today, I will break down the team’s current roster. I also included one bonus trade as Bryan made a deal after last week’s article was already published. As always, if you have any input or have a team you would like me to cover in an article feel free to reach out to me via Twitter.

New Trade

The Black and Yellow Receives – DJ Chark (1 year/$10,000,000), 2025 3rd

Columbus Clowns Receives – Michael Gallup (5 years/$11,500,000)

While I prefer to be nice and show praise, I just can’t with this trade. I have been on the record many times about the fact I love the contract of Gallup, now and in the future. With his fellow receivers now getting paid $30,000,000 a year, Gallup should be an extreme veteran value as soon as this season. I am a DJ Chark believer, but I would have asked for more for Gallup who is locked in long-term as the Number 2 guy in Big D.

Building Blocks

  1. (WR – CIN) – 3 years/$7,704,910
  2. (TE – PIT) – 3 years/$1,507,045

The good news here is that The Black and Yellow has one of, if not, the best Building Block in all of fantasy football in Ja’Marr Chase. The bad news is that I am not a huge fan of James Cook and Kyler Murray is set to get a massive payday come next season, though that can certainly be worked around. As far as James Cook goes, I could be completely wrong on him, which is why I have him on Bryan’s list of Building Blocks. I also happen to know Bryan is the President of the James Cook Fan Club, like Tim is for D.J. Moore, if you will. If Cook pans out the way Bryan is planning, I will surely be eating my words but that is a story for another day. While both of us are Steelers’ fans and may be a bit biased in our Pat Freiermuth belief, I do feel he is a solid Building Block for this platform. Outside of Dawson Knox, Freiermuth is the value tight end to target in Dynasty Owner.

Players to Trade

  1. Keenan Allen (WR – LAC) – 3 years/$20,025,000
    1. Samaje Perine (RB – CIN) – 1 year/$1,650,000

I have to say this is by far the smallest Players to Trade list I have ever covered. A list like this usually indicates one of two things. The first being the Dynasty Owner had a bad draft and has little talent to trade for draft capital, or it means the user is already deep into a rebuild and has already traded most of the team’s meaningful pieces. If you have read last week’s article, you already know the answer, which is that Bryan has been trading like a mad man since finishing his startup draft. He has already completed 12 trades up to this point.

Enough about all that, let’s talk about the Players to Trade. Keenan Allen is by far Bryan’s best available trade candidate and someone I would look to trade before the season. I think the best way to move Allen would be wait until Deshaun Watson’s suspension is announced and try to move Allen for Amari Cooper and a 1st round rookie draft pick. The second and last player on the list (Samaje Perine) is a small trade chip, but should bring back a 3rd round rookie draft pick in a trade.

Players to Hold

  1. Baker Mayfield (QB – CLE) – 1 year/$18,858,000
  2. Chris Carson (RB – SEA) – 1 year/$5,212,500
  3. Mark Ingram (RB – NO) – 1 year/$1,800,000
  4. Jashaun Corbin (RB – NYG) – 3 years/$856,667
  5. Kennedy Brooks (RB – PHI) – 3 years/$853,333
  6. Olamide Zaccheaus (WR – ATL) – 1 year/$2,433,000
  7. Mecole Hardman (WR – KC) – 1 year/$1,248,763
  8. Calvin Austin (WR – PIT) – 4 years/$1,041,085
  9. Tay Martin (WR – SF) – 3 years/$853,333
  10. O.J. Howard (TE – BUF) – 1 year/$3,500,000
  11. Jake Ferguson (TE – DAL) – 4 years/$1,091,221
  12. Connor Heyward (TE – PIT) – 4 years/$953,806
  13. Jalen Wydermyer (TE – BUF) – 3 years/$853,333

The Players to Hold list is a rather large one, but I feel that is because Bryan has already got rid of his big-name players and is now rostering a bunch of young dart throws. The big-name player on this list is Mecole Hardman who is facing a huge make it or break it year in Kansas City. If Hardman takes over the Tyreke Hill role like some are expecting, Bryan will have a tough decision on whether to trade or keep Hardman for the long run. Mark Ingram is another interesting one on this list with Alvin Kamara likely to be suspended for at least six games to start the year. If Ingram plays well over the first week or two, he becomes an instant trade candidate. The last player I want to touch on is Baker Mayfield. Mayfield is not a starter now, but I see no way he isn’t someone’s Number 1 option come the start of the season. If Mayfield plays well, Bryan can move him for draft capital or keep him and gamble that he does not sign a massive contract. If Mayfield struggles and becomes a backup, Bryan can move on free and clear in the off-season.

Players to Cut

  1. Rex Burkhead (RB – HOU) – 1 year/$2,350,000
  2. Matt Breida (RB – NYG) – 1 year/$1,187,500
  3. Marvin Jones (WR – JAC) – 1 year/$6,250,000
  4. Greg Ward (WR – PHI) – 1 year/$1,000,000
  5. Michael Woods (WR – CLE) – 4 years/$957,072
  6. Marquez Stevenson (WR – BUF) – 4 years/$913,136
  7. Thaddeus Moss (TE – CIN) – 1 year/$705,000

The Players to Cut list is a hair bigger than we are used to seeing but I just don’t see any of these players returning anything in a trade. When I am rebuilding, I do not want any players who I feel won’t return any value via trade and would much rather roster a young player who has a shot. I know Michael Woods fits the description I just gave, but with the Watson suspension looming I feel he may not get the shot he would with Jacoby Brissett under center in Cleveland. The last player on the list I want to touch on is Marvin Jones. I have Jones rostered in a couple of leagues and have not been able to trade him for the life of me. If you firmly believe Jones will be a factor in the Jaguars’ offense then a case can be made to have him as a Player to Hold.

My Thoughts

I think Bryan has this roster headed in the right direction for being in the middle of a rebuild. He has a few solid Building Blocks as well as some intriguing young talent at the bottom of his roster. I am also intrigued to see how a few of his Hold candidates pan out. Another great factor Bryan has going for him is that he has acquired a good amount of draft capital throughout the 12 trades he has made. If Bryan can hit on the higher draft picks, he should be able to turn this roster around within a few years.

I also want to touch on Chris Carson for a moment. Carson is a huge wild card heading into the 2022 season, but my theory is if I am already rostering him, I may as well keep him and see what happens.

Original Roster (in order drafted)

PickPlayerSalary
1Ja’Marr Chase$7,704,910
2Kyler Murray$8,914,504
3Aaron Jones$12,000,000
4Pat Freiermuth$1,507,045
5James Cook$1,458,014
6George Kittle$15,000,000
7Brandon Aiyuk$3,132,835
8Keenan Allen$20,025,000
9Matthew Stafford$27,000,000
10Melvin Gordon$2,500,000
11Brevin Jordan$958,046
12Jameis Winston$14,000,000
13Mecole Hardman$1,248,763
14Nico Collins$1,217,879
15Chris Boswell$4,201,500
16Calvin Ridley$2,725,178
17Samaje Perine$1,650,000
18Calvin Austin$1,041,085
19Mark Ingram$1,800,000
20Laviska Shenault$1,924,017
21Zane Gonzalez$2,250,000
22Matt Breida$1,187,500
23Greg Ward$1,000,000
24Marquez Stevenson$913,136
25Michael Woods$957,072
 TOTAL SALARY DRAFTED$136,316,484

Thank you all for reading and be sure to check out our other articles by Steve, Matt, and Nate. Stay safe out there and as always good luck on your 2022 Chase for the Ring!

How to Replace Gronk

Gronkowski and Otton

Is Cade Otton the answer?

By: Nate Christian (@NateNFL)

Rob Gronkowski is retired (for now), leaving a gap at tight end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This leaves Cameron Brate ($6,800,000) and Cade Otton ($1,123,486) as the current tight ends at the top of the depth chart. Whoever is catching passes from Tom Brady ($15,000,000) will certainly be a valuable fantasy asset, especially considering the question marks around the health of Chris Godwin ($20,000,000), Tampa Bay’s WR2, who is coming off an ACL injury.

Does Otton have a chance to start at tight end for the Buccaneers at some point this year? Is there a realistic chance that he’ll produce fantasy relevant numbers for your team this year and moving forward? While there’s always the chance that Tampa Bay brings in another veteran presence to compete for the position, the fact that Otton was their fourth-round pick means they envision him having the opportunity to make an impact for their offense.

College Stats

Otton was a 4-year starter at the University of Washington and during that time produced decent stats for the Huskies, including 18 receptions/258 receiving yards/3 TD stat line in 2020 over four games during a COVID-shortened season. In 2021, Otton’s season ended earlier than expected after suffering an ankle injury that would eventually keep him out of testing at the NFL Combine and his Pro Day. During his college career, Otton was not a hug down-the-field threat, but he was quite the chain mover at times. During his impressive 2020 season, he had two games with 7+ receptions, 100+ yards, and at least one touchdown. In these games, he showed that he could be funneled volume and produce big numbers as a chain mover for an offense. He did have a 31.8% dominator rating (represents a player’s “market share” or his percentage of his team’s receiving production), which for TEs in college is an elite number (92nd percentile).

Now moving into the NFL what could his role be? More of the same as he catches passes from one of the best ever?

NFL Outlook

After being selected in the fourth round, Otton hasn’t been able to join his new team on the field yet. He was held out of rookie minicamp as the team wanted to play it safe with his ankle. According to reports, he is expected to participate in mandatory training camp and should be able to start vying for a higher position on the depth chart then.

Otton is a natural route-runner who has a good feel for finding space and playing out his role in passing plays. He has safe hands and is a reliable option in the middle of the field. He also has enough speed to challenge linebackers up the seam and pick up a couple yards after the catch. At 6’ 5” and 247 pounds, Otton has a good frame and should be able to hold his own when running routes and while blocking as an in-line tight end. The Buccaneers could look for him to add on another 10 pounds or so to really anchor down, but that weight gain isn’t a necessity for him to succeed.

Competition

As we discussed earlier, Otton’s biggest competition currently is Cameron Brate. Brate is a NFL veteran with 8 years of playing experience, all with the Buccaneers. Over his career he has averaged about 32 receptions, 335 receiving yards, and four touchdowns a season with two Top-12 finishes in fantasy (2016 & 2017). While Brate may not be a flashy name, he is a solid veteran who will be able to step into a starting role and produce when called upon. He isn’t going to finish as a top-3 option at his position, but he’ll make it difficult for Otton to get on the field to start the season.

There’s also the chance that Tampa Bay brings in a veteran presence for training camp, and give them a chance to compete for the starting job. Some names that stand out to me, who are still unsigned:

  • Eric Ebron: The former Pittsburgh Steeler was not re-signed this off-season and at the age of 29, teams may still want to see what he has left in the tank. Unfortunately known for his drops, Ebron still is an athletic tight end and would bring a different style of play to the current depth chart in Tampa Bay. Ebron is also only one year removed from a TE13 finish in Dynasty Owner for the 2020 season.
  • Kyle Rudolph & Jimmy Graham: Rudolph had enjoyed a successful career with the Vikings, but has since struggled to stay on the field as his stint with the New York Giants was cut short this offseason. Meanwhile, Jimmy Graham may be ready to retire, but could seek out another year if given the chance to play with a legend like Brady. Both players have always been great red-zone threats and could still fulfill a small role for a team’s offense in obvious passing downs.
  • Jared Cook: Coming off a one-year deal with the Chargers, Cook at the age of 35 just played 644 snaps in 2021, the most for him since 2018 when he was with the Raiders. He seems to be a player that has aged well and could play another couple years in the NFL in a limited capacity for teams that just need a veteran presence. The situation in Tampa would fit well for Cook, who finished as the TE18 in Dynasty Owner last year with 132.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points and a solid stat line of 48 receptions/564 receiving yards/4 TDs.

All of these veterans are metaphorically over the hill, and while I wouldn’t be surprised for one of them to sign with Tampa, I wouldn’t consider any of them locks to see over 50% of snaps for the team. Otton and Brate will still have the best shot to see the majority of snaps at the position and we’ll have to keep an eye on how training camp progresses for the rookie. Whether it’s this year or next, Otton seems to have the clearest path to fantasy relevance for a team that is now without a firm option at the position. If you’re looking for a solid stash at the tight end position, Otton is available in the Free Agent Auction in 32% of Dynasty Owner leagues right now or available in a trade for a 2023 3rd round rookie draft pick.

Wide Receiver Top 5

Top 5

By: Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk)

Hello all, and welcome to another Free Agent Friday. Today, I will be bringing you some news that has happened over the past couple of weeks. We had a few signings as well as one big retirement that took place. After that, I’m going to break down my Top 5 Dynasty Owner wide receivers. I think most of you have a pretty good guess as to who the top two will be, but the order may surprise you. But first, let’s start with some news.

The News

Cooper Kupp (Extended by Los Angeles Rams at 3 years – $80,100,000)

Kupp received a massive extension a couple of weeks ago. This extension will not kick in until 2023 so Dynasty Owners with Kupp on their roster can breathe easy with his $15,750,000 contract this season.

Hunter Renfrow (Extended by Las Vegas at 2 years – $32,329,000)

Like Kupp, Renfrow’s contract of $708,987 will not change for the 2022 season.

Jerick McKinnon (Signed by Kansas City at 1 year – $1,272,500)

McKinnon signing with the Chiefs is a depth addition. He is a more than capable backup/third string running back. This deal makes sense for the Chiefs to pull off especially since the contract is only $1,272.500.

Rob Gronkowski (Announced his retirement from professional football)

Gronk has announced his retirement. This hasn’t been made official, but it should be believed that he will stick to his word. The retirement of possibly the greatest tight end to ever play in the NFL will affect many players other than Gronk himself.

This bumps Brady down a tad. It’s not that I think Brady will all of a sudden lose more than 10% of his production, but I don’t see a scenario where this is good for Brady. He is losing his most trusted remaining weapon in the NFL.

However, this is good news for Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and even Leonard Fournette to a certain extent. It’s good for these players from a volume standpoint. I expect Evans to be highly targeted as well as Godwin when he returns from injury. I also expect that Evans will be the primary red zone target for Brady in 2022.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that nothing is set in stone here. We have seen our fair share of retirements and un-retirements in the NFL. While I don’t expect Gronk to play this year, I suppose nothing is impossible. Regardless, feel free to drop him if you are still hanging onto him. Holding an $8,000,000 tight end on the hope that he comes out of retirement is not a sound strategy. Drop him at your leisure while you can for free.

Wide Receiver Top 5

Last year around this time, I did a sneak peek of some of my rankings. Over the next couple of weeks, I will present the Top 5 from each major position. I talked about QBs and RBs in my previous two articles.  These rankings are subject to change, and they will likely do so many times between now and the start of the regular season.

PlayerTeamAgeSalaryYears Left on Contract
Justin JeffersonMIN23$3,280,7012
Ja’Marr ChaseCIN22$7,704,9103
CeeDee LambDAL23$3,502,5032
Cooper KuppLAR29$15,750,0001
Deebo SamuelSF26$1,811,8691

The top two shouldn’t surprise you at all. Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase are two of the best and youngest wide receivers in the NFL. As you know, young means cheap. Here is the rationale I used for putting Jefferson over Chase…

  1. Jefferson’s salary is less than half the salary of Chase.
  2. Jefferson has proven himself a top production wide receiver for two consecutive years. It’s not that I don’t think Chase can or will continue his dominance, but I trust a two-year sample over a single year.
  3. Jefferson received 25 percent more volume in 2021 than Chase did. You could technically take this as a positive for Chase as he was very close to Jefferson’s production with less opportunities. I like to see it as Jefferson is getting more guaranteed targets, therefore his production is less prone to fluky, big plays.

In the end, I would not argue with you for long if you chose Chase over Jefferson especially considering their ages and contract lengths.

I like CeeDee Lamb a lot at the #3 spot. He still has two years remaining on his rookie contract, and he has just become the (for sure) Number one wide receiver on his team. There is a realistic scenario where Lamb finishes as the WR1 in total points at the end of this season. I’m not predicting that to happen, but it is not impossible. Barring injury, I think he gives you a floor of WR10. That high floor and high ceiling is exactly what I look for in a Top 5 wide receiver. His salary is more than affordable for the next two years. If I was in a Dynasty Owner startup draft this year, I would be taking Lamb as the third wide receiver off the board.

As I’ve said in previous ranking articles, the value a player’s salary gives you only goes so far. What this means is that at some point, production will trump salary (even the highest or lowest salary). In this case, Cooper Kupp jumps a whole lot of players who have a lower salary but also lower fantasy production. Kupp makes this list as the only player with a salary over 10 million dollars. Hell, he’s the only player on this list who makes more than 8 million dollars.

Yes, I truly believe that drafting Kupp over players like Deebo Samuel or Jaylen Waddle will be more beneficial for Dynasty Owners in the long run. Let’s say you get three more years of elite play from Kupp before his career is over…Those years are likely to put you in contention for at least one championship. That makes him worth it for me.

Finally, we have the aforementioned Deebo Samuel. Deebo would be at least one spot higher if his contract situation was determined. The uncertainty with him and the 49ers makes me pause when I include him in even the Top 5. The reality is that Deebo is such a unique and dominant player, that as long as he doesn’t hold out, he should easily finish as a Top 10 wide receiver for the next couple of seasons. His salary will increase next year, and that is concerning, but I go back to my previous comment.

That pretty much wraps up this article. If you have any comments about my current Top 5, message me on Twitter (@dynastyjerk) and let me know. I would appreciate it if you followed @Dynasty_Owner on Twitter as well as subscribed to Dynasty Owner on YouTube. Take care everyone and be safe.

TheJerk

Building Blocks

Explosion over water

Blowing Up a Dynasty Owner Roster in 11 Trades

By: Jay Pounds (@jaypoundsnfl)

Dynasty Owners, it feels like it has been forever, but I am finally back. In all reality, it was only a few weeks, but they were much needed, and I am recharged and ready to pump out some content. I wanted to be sure to have a fun article in store upon my return and I believe I have just that. As some of you already know, I try to stay in contact with all of you on Twitter and over the past month or so, I have been talking to a good friend, Bryan Peck (@bbpckdancer). Bryan had a startup draft at the end of May, and he just didn’t see his team winning so he decided to blow it up. Upon doing so Bryan let me know what was going on and I must say he has flipped his roster on its head and acquired some nice draft capital while doing so. Below I will list each of the 11 trades he has made as well as what I think of the moves. I will also withhold all roster judgement as next week I will add this team to my Rebuilding with our Dynasty Owners series. If you have a Dynasty Owner team that you are rebuilding and would like me to cover it, feel free to reach out via Twitter.

All picks traded are Dynasty Owner rookie draft picks.

  1. The Black and Yellow Receives – Tyler Lockett (4 years/$17,250,000), 2023 1st

MR.FRANCHISE.2U Receives – Aaron Jones (3 years/$12,000,000)

Overall, I must say I am pleased with this move. Over the past couple of off-seasons, I have preached that rebuilding owners need to move on from running backs near, or in their second contract and Bryan did just that and found a way to get a 1st round rookie draft pick in return. Anytime you are in a rebuild and you can snag a 1st round pick for an aging $12,000,000 running back, it should be seen as a win.

  • The Black and Yellow Receives – Jarvis Landry (1 year/$3,000,000), 2023 3rd, 2024 1st

The Nice Guys Receive – George Kittle (4 years/$15,000,000)

While I do not care for this trade as much as the first trade, I do not hate it either. I do believe in securing a top tier tight end early in the rebuilding process is critical, but if I had to trade one at this price, it would be George Kittle. Kittle is an excellent tight end when healthy, but he has been banged up the past two seasons and comes with a hefty price tag of $15,000,000 per year. Had Bryan not been able to secure a 1st round rookie draft pick in this deal, I would not have made the move but since he did, I will give it my stamp of approval. As part of the deal, Bryan also received a potential trade chip in Jarvis Landry as a throw in.

  • The Black and Yellow Receives – 2023 3rd

Orange Crush Receives – Melvin Gordon (1 year/$2,500,000)

Ahh the first trade I am not a fan of. It was only a matter if time, right? While I agree it was necessary to move on from Melvin Gordon, I do feel more value could have been had. While Bryan didn’t do terrible, I would have liked to see him get a 2nd round rookie draft pick in return here.

  • The Black and Yellow Receives – 2024 3rd

Jersey Strong Receives – Calvin Ridley (1 year/$2,725,178)

Up next, we have another trade I do not care much for as I have gone to bat several times for rebuilding owners to acquire and/or hold Calvin Ridley. I know it stinks Ridley won’t touch the field in 2022, but he is a cheap hold and a top echelon receiver when playing. While I wouldn’t trade Ridley at all I feel Bryan could have grabbed at least a 2nd round rookie draft pick in return.

  • The Black and Yellow Receives – 2025 1st

MR.FRANCHISE.2U Receives – Brandon Aiyuk (2 years/$3,132,835)

Here we have what may be my favorite trade of the entire bunch. If this were the 2021 off-season, I would expect this trade but after the season Brandon Aiyuk had, I am shocked to see someone spending a 1st round rookie draft pick to acquire him. I feel Bryan did an excellent job of using the Deebo Samuel trade talks to his advantage. While yes, it is still a possibility Samuel gets traded, I don’t see Aiyuk as the long-term top option in San Francisco even if it happens.

  • The Black and Yellow Receives – Rex Burkhead (1 year/$2,350,000), 2025 2nd

MR.FRANCHISE.2U Receives – Jarvis Landry (1 year/$3,000,000)

Remember earlier when I said Bryan had a potential trade chip thrown in a deal named Jarvis Landry? Well, this is exactly why you grab little pieces like Landry in deals. Had Landry not been included in the earlier deal, Bryan would have never received this 2nd round rookie draft pick in 2025.

  • The Black and Yellow Receives – Tyler Boyd (2 years/$10,750,000), Cameron Brate (2 years/$6,800,000), 2024 3rd, 2025 3rd

MR.FRANCHISE.2U Receives – Jameis Winston (2 years/$14,000,000)

Here is another trade I didn’t care much for. The reason for this is because Jameis Winston is a cheap option at quarterback and those are hard to come by in Dynasty Owner. I tend to make people overpay if they want a cheap quarterback off my roster and I feel the same should have been done here. I also feel Winston is primed for a big year so I may be a little biased here.

  • The Black and Yellow Receives – 2025 3rd

Jersey Strong Receives – Nico Collins (3 years/$1,217,879)

Overall, not a bad deal here but being a Nico Collins truther, I would have asked for a little more or held onto Collins. The Texans didn’t add any notable free agent receivers in the off-season, so that tells me they believe in Collins for at least another season.

  • The Black and Yellow Receives – Marcus Mariota (2 years/$9,375,000), Kenyan Drake (1 year/$5,500,000), Michael Gallup (5 years/$11,500,000), 2023 2nd

Jersey Strong Receives – Matthew Stafford (1 year/$27,000,000), Brevin Jordan (3 years/$958,046)

In the #9 spot we have by far the biggest trade of the bunch, and I feel it’s a fair deal for both sides. As far as Bryan’s team goes, I love the addition of Michael Gallup as I feel he will become a bargain as soon as this season at just $11,500,000 a year. I also like getting another starting quarterback (Marcus Mariota) who can be moved later.

  1. The Black and Yellow Receives – Chris Carson (1 year/$5,212,500), 2023 3rd

The Nice Guys Receive – Marcus Mariota (2 years/$9,375,000)

Well moving Marcus Mariota for additional assets did not take long, though I would have asked for a little more in return. If the injury and future of Chris Carson were clearer this may have been enough value. Because of the uncertainty, I would have asked for more with Mariota currently locked in as the starting quarterback in Atlanta.

  1. The Black and Yellow Receives – Baker Mayfield (1 year/$18,858,000), 2024 2nd

The Nice Guys Receive – Tyler Lockett (4 years/$17,250,000), Laviska Shenault (2 years/$1,924,017)

At last, we have made it to the 11th and final trade of Bryan’s goal to blow his roster up. The fact that Lockett is rostered in just over 50% of Dynasty Owner leagues (54.7%) makes this trade a win for Bryan in my eyes. Moving Lockett in his current situation is a tough ask and Bryan not only did it, but received a 2nd round rookie draft pick and a probable starting quarterback as well in Baker Mayfield. The worst-case scenario here is Bryan must cut Mayfield, but he still has a 2024 2nd round rookie draft pick at his disposal.

Thank you all for reading and be sure to check out our other content from Steve, Nate, and Matt! Stay safe out there and good luck on your 2022 Chase for the Ring!

New Contract Spotlight

Allen Robinson Contract

Allen Robinson

By: Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk)

Today’s article may be a little shorter than most and that is by design. If you’ve been reading my articles over the past few months, you know that I usually include a News section. The big news stories have been dwindling ever since the NFL Draft has concluded. Therefore, I’m going to start including my news section in every other article instead of every article. That being said, let me continue with my pre-season Top 5 rankings. Today, I will be talking about the running backs.

Top 5 Running Back Rankings

Last year around this time I did a sneak peek of some of my rankings. Over the next three weeks I will present the Top 5 from each major position. I talked about QBs in my article last week. These rankings are subject to change, and they will likely do so many times between now and the start of the regular season.

PlayerTeamAgeSalaryYears Left on Contract
Jonathan TaylorIND23$1,957,2872
Najee HarrisPIT24$3,261,5623
D’Andre SwiftDET23$2,134,7282
Austin EkelerLAC27$6,125,0002
Christian McCaffreyCAR26$16,015,8754

We have quite an assortment of ages and salaries on this list. Let’s start with the Number one RB, Jonathan Taylor. Taylor is a no-brainer pick for the top spot in running backs. Many dynasty and redraft experts are picking Taylor #1 overall, and that isn’t even taking salary into account.  When you factor in salary, there isn’t another player I would consider as my first running back.  It really isn’t even close either. He finished as RB1 last year, and the next closest RB was more than 40 points behind him (Ekeler). I have made a few trade attempts at Taylor. One included giving up two 1st round rookie draft picks, one 2nd round rookie draft pick and a Top 5 running back. The offer was declined. I was overpaying, but I still don’t blame the Taylor owner for declining it.  It seems that unless you draft Taylor you will be unlikely to ever own him.

Second is Najee Harris. Harris was the RB3 last year. He was sandwiched between Ekeler and Joe Mixon ($12,000,000). Harris had 381 touches in 2021 including 74 receptions. This led all running backs in total touches. I do think Harris’ role as the lead running back for the Steelers is more than secure. However, I do believe the news that Harris’ workload will be somewhat dialed back this year. Most coaches (if not all) realize that nearly 400 touches per season is not sustainable for any running back. I expect Harris’ workload to decrease by roughly 12%. This translates to 335 total touches. Even with this decrease, Harris should easily slide in as a Top 8 running back. With a slight increase in efficiency, he could also find his way into the Top 5 for the second year in a row.

The third and fourth spots were the hardest ones for me to evaluate, and I wouldn’t complain if you wanted to switch them. Swift and Ekeler come in at 3 and 4 respectively. Swift is a little scary for me as he is still on a well below average team. His opportunity and volume should be guaranteed, but his scoring opportunities and high value touches may be lacking. Regardless, I would take Swift as my third running back off the board.

Ekeler is fourth. Yes, his salary is nearly three times that of Swift, but I have Ekeler outscoring Swift for at least the next three seasons. Remember, these rankings aren’t just for one season, they are looking at around 3 – 5 years out. Ekeler is the oldest running back in my Top 5. That is concerning for sure, but as I stated above, I think he’ll have Top 6 production for the next three years.

Finally, we have a player who was once the Number one running back in Dynasty Owner. He was Number one in overall production and value.  It’s Christian McCaffrey (CMC). McCaffrey could very easily outperform this ranking. If he stays healthy for an entire season, he will likely rank as the RB1 at the end of 2022. That is a big “if” though. When you take his league leading running back salary into account, he looks like even more of a risky pick. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to own CMC, but I would be hesitant to take him any higher than the fifth running back off the board.

New Contract Spotlight

Allen Robinson

Robinson was one of the worst picks that you could have made in a 2021 startup draft. This includes redraft, dynasty and Dynasty Owner. He was flat out disappointing and borderline terrible. So, I ask you, why is he rostered in nearly 100 percent of Dynasty Owner leagues? The answer has many layers.

First, his salary slightly dropped this year. Robinson was on a franchise tag in 2021. He cost his Dynasty Owners $17,880,000 for a single year. As I stated above, this was one of the worst values that you could have had last year. Well, this year his salary has dropped to $15,500,000 for three years. I understand that a decline of $2,380,000 in salary alone does not warrant a huge jump in ownership, but it does help.

Second, he received a long-term contract which was seemingly what he was looking for prior to being franchised last season. I’m not going to speculate on whether his contract disappointment is what solely led to his poor play, but I think that played some role.

Finally, and most importantly, he joins a team that is an offensive powerhouse…the Los Angeles Rams. Will Robinson make an immediate impact with the Rams? It remains to be seen, but my prediction is “yes”. The Rams have lost Robert Woods ($16,250,000). Woods was lost first to injury, then to a trade with Tennessee. They are also likely to lose Odell Beckham Jr. ($1,250,000). For Beckham, it was first to injury, then likely to free agency. This means that the only competition Robinson will have for the WR2 spot is Van Jefferson ($1,402,784). I like Jefferson as a young WR3, but I don’t see him being the second leading wide receiver behind Cooper Kupp ($15,750,000).

Conclusion

I understand why Robinson’s roster percentage in Dynasty Owner shot up after the signing with the Rams. He will likely be the second option for Stafford after Kupp. This is a valuable position to be in, and it’s one that I recommend taking a shot on. I have two Dynasty Owner leagues where I have Robinson on my roster. I rostered him throughout the entire off-season, so far, despite being up against the cap. Much like I mentioned with MVS in my last article, I would be a holder of Robinson at least through the first month of the 2022 season.

Thank you for reading.  If there is any player that you want me to Spotlight, just message me on Twitter (@dynastyjerk) and let me know. I would appreciate it if you followed @Dynasty_Owner on Twitter as well as subscribed to Dynasty Owner on YouTube.  Take care everyone and be safe.

TheJerk

Second Contract Steals

Dynasty Owner Second Contract Steals

By: Nate Christian (@NateNFL)

Usually when a player moves on from their rookie contract, they get expensive. It’s harder to keep players who have found their payday and are eating up a substantial percent of your Dynasty Owner salary cap ($145.74 million for the 2022 season). Players like Christian Kirk ($18,000,000) and Alvin Kamara ($15,000,000) get paid big money and then end up either on the trade block without any great return or in the Free Agent Auction.

How do you manage players who are about to get paid? We can look at projected Dynasty Dollars per Point (DD/PT) as a good indicator of value. Of course, the players who come out of nowhere will lead this statistic, but we can still figure out those players who, even with their payday already past, are worth rostering and paying up for in your league.

Austin Ekeler ($6,125,000)

One of the top running backs in the league the past three years, Ekeler is set up once again for another Top-12 finish in Dynasty Owner and at this price point, he’s an easy buy. While other running backs at this level are on contracts over $10,000,000, Ekeler signed his extension before truly breaking out and is now a steal. He’s under contract for two more years and the Chargers will surely continue to use him in the passing game extensively.

Ekeler has RB1 upside every week and averaged 21.55 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game (344.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 16 games). That was the 2nd most Dynasty Owner fantasy points among RBs last year. Pass-catching running backs are all the rage in fantasy and Ekeler embodies that better than any other player. His efficiency is up with the best in the league with 1.15 fantasy points per opportunity and 940 yards created in 2021 (#3 in the NFL for both statistics). He may be 27, but his play style limits contact, and the tread on his tires still should give him another productive 2-3 years in the NFL.

Chase Edmonds ($6,050,000)

A second contract running back who is under $10,000,000, my eyes are looking for any production from a guy like Edmonds. He finds his new home with Mike McDaniel, who comes over from Kyle Shanahan’s run-heavy 49ers offense.

Will McDaniel continue to ride the hot hand and rotate running backs like Shanahan did? Possibly with the group of running backs they have in Miami that includes former-49er Raheem Mostert ($2,125,000), but if you follow the money (and the talent), Edmonds should be the main back for his new head coach. Edmonds has talked extensively about choosing Miami for the way they would use him out of the backfield, which means not only will he get his carries, but he’ll likely see a good amount of work in the passing game. Edmonds was #9 in the NFL last year for running backs with 1.65 yards per route run, and with that efficiency, he could be set up for a huge year with his new team.

Michael Gallup ($11,500,000)

While Gallup may not provide an immediate impact for your team, as he is coming off an ACL tear, the 5-year contract he just signed will give you an easy cap number for years to come. On the Dallas Cowboys offense, now without Amari Cooper ($20,000,000), CeeDee Lamb ($3,502,503) is locked into the WR1 role but after that, there is no clear WR2. Now Jalen Tolbert ($1,283,930) is a popular sleeper, but he is still a rookie coming from South Alabama and may not be able to outplay a healthy Gallup in 2023. We know that the Cowboys are going to throw the ball and Dak Prescott ($40,000,000) has shown the ability to support multiple players for fantasy relevance. Gallup has shown the ability to win downfield as well as move the chains underneath when needed. A versatile and physical receiver, he should be able to find a nice role as a complement to Lamb moving forward.

Mark Andrews ($14,000,000)

I don’t mind paying up for one of the best tight ends in fantasy. It’s true that $14,000,000 is a lot of money. However, when you’re getting a Top-3 TE for the foreseeable future, it’s actually a deal. Also, as a comparison, Browns’ tight end David Njoku just signed a 4-year deal for nearly same amount of money per year ($13,687,500).

Andrews is once again going to be the top target for Lamar Jackson ($23,016,000), especially now that Marquise Brown ($2,946,835) has made his way out of town and to Arizona. Don’t sleep on sophomore receiver Rashod Bateman ($3,149,853), but even with a second-year breakout incoming, Andrews is slated for 120+ targets (he saw 153 last year) and will probably break double-digits in receiving touchdowns now that Jackson will be back and healthy. Andrews in 2021 led NFL tight ends in most categories and that was with backup quarterback Tyler Huntley ($895,000) taking the majority of snaps throughout the second half of the season. Don’t worry about paying up for talent when it gives you such an advantage. The gap in production beyond the first four or five tight ends is so vast that you want to make sure you have a top-tier player locked in for many years.

That wraps it up for Second Contract Steals. Thank you for reading. If you have any questions feel free to shoot me a DM over on Twitter (@NateNFL). 

Bargain Tight Ends

By: Nate Christian (@NateNFL) 

You likely don’t really care about tight ends. They may be the last priority when building your best lineup, but they matter. Finding a tight end that outperforms their current value or ADP can help make the extra difference that leads to championships. In Dynasty Owner, many of the top tight ends are on second contracts and can weigh down your finances, but by going after some of the players listed below, you can still find production without having to pay the premium salary! 

Cole Kmet ($1,894,445) 

Entering his third NFL season, Kmet is in line to see a career high in volume as well as likely have the best quarterback of his young career. All of this screams that he’s set up for success, but in the Dynasty Owner platform, his salary of just under $1.9 million makes him an easy addition to your team. Don’t get it wrong and think that Kmet is another lumbering safety-blanket. His 4.7 40-yard dash at 6’ 5” & 262lbs, put him in the top 20% of tight ends in both speed score and burst score (both formulas take into account the size of a player to level the playing field when discussing true athleticism). Combine that with the fact that he also got unlucky last year with zero touchdowns, and you have a player ready to explode. He’ll likely be the #2 target for the Bears offense this year behind Darnell Mooney ($894,263) and the production should follow with the number of opportunities headed his way. 

Brevin Jordan ($958,046) 

A favorite for many draftniks during the build-up of last year’s NFL draft, Jordan’s fall during the draft to the 5th round surprised many. He did come in undersized at 6’3” and 245 lbs., but he was one of the best tight ends in all of college during his three years at Miami. At one time, he was in the same conversation as Kyle Pitts ($8,227,624), but coming into the NFL he was an under the radar Day 3 tight end. By the end of his rookie season he was seeing more snaps (40%+ in four of last six games played) and getting in on the action (19 targets in his final 6 games). Now with most of the off-season over, Jordan looks to be the TE1 for the Houston Texans. Davis Mills ($1,304,383) showed off enough talent to get another chance and looked to have a good connection starting with Jordan. Now Jordan will be a part of the passing game, as last year 40% of his snaps came from the slot. The talent is there, and it looks as if Jordan will get his chance in 2022. 

Hayden Hurst ($3,500,000) 

After a couple years in Atlanta, Hurst now finds himself with the Cincinnati Bengals on a “prove-it deal”. A one-year contract to see if he can make an impact and there’s no better offense for him to join than the one headed up by Joe Burrow ($9,047,534). Hurst has been known as an athletic pass-catching tight end after a productive college career at South Carolina and a first round selection in 2018, but has never truly lived up to expectations. In Atlanta, he had flashes but was unable to find consistency in his first year there. When his second year came around with Falcons, he was pushed to the wayside after they drafted Pitts in the first round. Now as the TE1 in Cincinnati, he will need to find his form from 2020 where he brought in 56 receptions for 571 receiving yards and 6 TDs and finished as the 9th overall tight end in Dynasty Owner fantasy points. 

Daniel Bellinger ($1,113,276) 

If you want to take a swing on a rookie who could be on your waiver wire, this is the guy. He may not have the potential that some of the other tight ends in the 2022 draft class possess, but he may have the best chance to make an immediate impact for your team in his rookie year. Drafted in the 4th round out of San Diego State, his current competition is Ricky Seals-Jones ($1,187,500) and Jordan Akins ($1,085,000). Both of whom I do not expect to have a firm grip on the Giants starting TE job. Bellinger boasted a 4.63 40-yard dash at 6’ 5” and 250 lbs., but had very little production during his four years in college (68 receptions for 771 receiving yards in 30 college games). He has a chance to show that the blame was more on the Aztec offense than him. With the Giants’ offense full of unknowns, at his price Bellinger is worth a swing. 

That wraps it up for a few choice Bargain Tight Ends. Thank you for reading. If you have any questions feel free to shoot me a DM over on Twitter (@NateNFL). 

New Contract Spotlight

Marques Valdes-Scantling

Marquez Valdes-Scantling

By: Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk

The majority of you have wrapped up your rookie drafts as you are reading this. At a minimum, you are getting close to the end of the draft. All except two of my rookie drafts have concluded. Now, we seemingly get a lull in the off-season. Yes, there is still work to be done with trades and free agent acquisitions, but there isn’t much on the horizon for at least several weeks. 

  • Remember to stay sharp. 
  • Continue to check what players have been dropped daily. 
  • Make sure to respond to or counter every trade proposal you receive. 
  • Even put together some of your own trades. 

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, “Owning a Dynasty Owner team is a year-long endeavor.”  There is a correlation between activity and success.  Keep grinding. 

The News 

As was the case with the last article, this article has very little important news.  I will touch on some of the real life football news, however. 

Frank Gore 

Gore has retired from the NFL. This news is a little sentimental to me. One of my first serious years in fantasy football was Gore’s rookie season (2005). It’s weird when a player has been with you for your entire fantasy career, and then they are gone. This is the same for Ben Roethlisberger. His rookie season was the first year that I ever owned a fantasy team. One of the best “iron man” in the game will leave this game. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick 

Fitzpatrick has also retired from the NFL. We welcome one of the smartest quarterbacks in my lifetime into retirement. 

That’s really the only news I have for today. Don’t worry, it’s common for slow news weeks in the middle of the off-season. 

Top 5 Quarterback Rankings 

Last year around this time I did a sneak peek of some of my rankings.  Over the next four weeks I will present the Top 5 from each major position.  These rankings are subject to change, and they will likely do so many times between now and the start of the regular season. 

Player Team Age Salary Years Left on Contract 
Justin Herbert LAC 24 $6,644,688 
Jalen Hurts PHI 23 $1,506,292 
Joe Burrow CIN 25 $9,047,534 
Josh Allen BUF 26 $43,005,667 
Kyler Murray ARI 24 $8,914,504 

I don’t think there should be too many surprises for you here. Keep in mind that these rankings reflect many years out. They take age, production and salary into account. 

Justin Herbert starts our list off. If I wanted to draft the first quarterback in a Dynasty Owner start-up draft, Herbert would be my choice. His combination of top five production mixed with his cheap salary for a quarterback ($6,644,688) makes him a rock solid candidate for a league winner this year. Oh yeah…and consider the fact he is only 24 years old. In only two years, Herbert has risen to the top spot in my quarterback rankings. It seems that most of you agree with me as his current ADP is 3.0 (the first quarterback taken off the board). 

Jalen Hurts comes in at Number two. To be honest, he would probably rank Number one if I was guaranteed that he will remain the Eagles starter for the next five years. His salary is so low that he sits at less than a quarter of Herbert’s salary. Hurts has the upside to be a top three quarterback production wise. 

Joe Burrow is Number three. He had a fantastic 2021 season where he finished as QB8. I think the image burned into most of our minds is how he performed in Weeks 16 and 17. In those two weeks, he totaled more than 100 Dynasty Owner fantasy points combined (106.6 to be exact), and he easily guided most of his Dynasty Owners to a championship. I was playing for a League Championship against the Burrow / Ja’Marr Chase stack in Week 17 and got decimated. 

Josh Allen is our only “high salary” quarterback to make it on to this list. Here is my rationale…At some point, production overcomes salary. Even if Allen will never win any salary efficiency metrics around here, he should be one of the first five quarterbacks drafted in each start-up draft. The statistical advantage that he will give you over your opponent’s quarterback each week is more valuable than trying to save on his $43,000,000 salary. Draft Allen at the back of your first round and save money elsewhere. 

Finally, we have Kyler Murray. I debated whether to put Murray at five or Patrick Mahomes ($45,000,000). In the end, I went with the cheaper salary (even if it is for only one more year). 

New Contract Spotlight 

Marquez Valdes-Scantling 

There are few players that have been tougher to rank or evaluate this year than Marquez Valdes-Scantling (MVS). Here are some quick hitting facts and opinions that have helped me come to my final conclusion about Valdes-Scantling. 

  • He underperformed in Green Bay even when the top receiving option was up for grabs. 
  • He was a boom or bust type player with two games in 2021 of at least 4 receptions, 90 receiving yards and a TD. 
  • He has changed teams and will be paired with a top five quarterback in Patrick Mahomes. 
  • The Number one and/or two wide receiver option in Kansas City is available for the taking this year. 
  • He joins a crowded receiving room in KC with Travis Kelce, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Mecole Hardman, and Skyy Moore. 

So, what else do we know about MVS? Well, he signed a 3 year – $30,000,000 contract this off-season. I had him slotted for around $6,000,000 a year so I think he overachieved a little. What this also means is that Dynasty Owners had/have a tough decision to make. Do you hold onto MVS, even with a $10,000,000 price tag and hope that he shows above average upside early in the year or do you drop him? 

The majority of Dynasty Owners have decided to take a chance and hold him as he is currently rostered in 77.8 percent of Dynasty Owner leagues.  I agree with that decision. I have two leagues in which I roster MVS, and I have managed to avoid dropping or trading him despite the fact that I am pushed up against the cap. I was able to drop ancillary pieces in order to draft the rookies I wanted while still holding him. 

I think that it is the right decision at the moment because the potential upside for a lightning quick receiver in Patrick Mahomes’ offense is massive. The leash on MVS is likely pretty short though. I will give him at least four to six games to show some sort of production. If I don’t see it, he will likely be an Amnesty Provision candidate. 

Conclusion 

The bottom line is that MVS is a high risk/high reward type player. It’s unlikely he will ever be a 100 reception receiver. He may not even ever get close to 80. He is not a 1:1 replacement for Tyreek Hill. He is an average receiver with above average speed. 

Thank you for reading.  If there is any player that you want me to Spotlight, just message me on Twitter (@dynastyjerk) and let me know. I would appreciate it if you followed @Dynasty_Owner on Twitter as well as subscribed to Dynasty Owner on YouTube.  Take care everyone and be safe. 

TheJerk 

New Contract Spotlight 

J.D. McKissic

J.D. McKissic 

By: Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk

As May ends, we get one month closer to the start of the 2022 NFL season. At the time of this article release, there are a little over three months remaining. There is a lot that still has to happen this off-season. There are also quite a few free agents that will be signed between now and September 8th. There will even be a few notable free agents that sign after the regular season begins. Today I’m going to continue my “New Contract Spotlight” article series while also bringing back the “News” section. 

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve talked about some news so let’s see what’s happened in the meantime… 

The News 

There were two players with extremely low ownership percentages who were signed recently. They are Marquise Goodwin and Nick Foles. You may be asking, “Jerk, why are you talking about them if they are literally owned in less than 1 percent of leagues?”  The answer is simple… 

They shouldn’t be. 

Marquise Goodwin (Signed with Seattle: Details unknown) 

The 31 year old wide receiver has signed with the Seattle Seahawks. Now, I’m not saying that Goodwin is likely to become fantasy relevant this year, but it’s also not impossible either. He will no doubt be buried behind DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett on the depth chart. It’s also likely that he will not even be the third wide receiver on the team in terms of targets and production. What I’m claiming is this…His salary is likely to be so low, that there’s little downside in picking him up and storing him especially if you are up against the cap and are also at the minimum player limit. 

Nick Foles (Signed with Indianapolis: 2 years/$3,100,000 per year) 

Foles is by far the more exciting signing in my opinion. Yes, it is likely that he will not become fantasy relevant this year, but I think he has a much higher chance than Goodwin does.  Let me explain… 

Foles is an average quarterback, and he will immediately step in as the backup to Matt Ryan. His contract ended up being for two years at $6,200,000, or $3,100,000 per year. That is a steal for any backup quarterback, especially one who could come in and be serviceable in case of an injury. As I’ve said before, we don’t predict or hope for injuries here at Dynasty Owner, but we know they happen every year. If Matt Ryan does miss any time this year due to injury, I estimate that Foles will step in and produce about 75% of what Ryan was doing. That is worth taking a risk on. 

There were two additional signings that I’d like to touch on as well. 

Ty’Son Williams (Signed with Indianapolis: 1 year/$825,000) 

Speaking of signing with the Colts…This is exactly what Williams has done. He was released by Baltimore and joins the Colts backfield. Think of this as nothing more than a depth signing. We all know who The Man is in Indy. I have little confidence that Ty’Son would command meaningful touches even if Jonathan Taylor ($1,957,287) misses time this year. Williams’ salary is small enough that he is worth holding onto, but don’t expect much dynasty value anytime soon. 

Darrel Williams (Signed with Arizona: Details unknown) 

Darrel Williams was actually starting to become one of the players I was most excited to see signed. This excitement hinged on the thought that he was going to play for New Orleans. I think that would have been a rock solid landing spot especially given the possibility Alvin Kamara will face an early season suspension. In the end, he signs with Arizona and will likely be the primary backup to James Conner ($7,000,000). 

New Contract Spotlight 

If you remember, there was an odd occurrence with McKissic earlier this off-season. He agreed to the terms of a two-year deal with Buffalo. The deal was agreed upon, but the contract was not signed. Less than a day later, the Commanders offered the exact same deal, and McKissic decided to stay with his old team. It doesn’t happen often where a player verbally agrees to terms with one team and then quickly signs with another. Regardless, McKissic stays with the Commanders for 2 years and $7,000,000. This means he will make $3,500,000 this year. 

Much like the Melvin Gordon signing, McKissic re-signing with his original team has deep implications for another running back. That player is Antonio Gibson. 

I have Gibson on my roster in one Dynasty Owner league. If you have him on your roster, you can appreciate my excitement as I heard that McKissic was going to sign with the Bills. It was quite a roller coaster of emotions on that day. 

What I have to say about McKissic is this…I think he will have more of a fantasy impact on the Commanders when compared to the Bills. McKissic has carved out a nice role for himself in Washington. I don’t expect that he will or even could become the lead back, but he will likely see the majority of the running back targets for the team. 

Comparisons 

The best three comparisons I have for McKissic (at least based on this year’s projections) are Kareem Hunt ($6,000,000), Jamaal Williams ($3,000,000) and Chase Edmonds ($6,050,000). 

All three of these players finished close to where McKissic is projected to finish in 2022. They are also close in salary. Obviously, some of these players are productive in different ways, but I think the value of McKissic this year will be comparable to the value of all three of these players last year. 

Thank you for reading. If there is any player that you want me to Spotlight, just message me on Twitter (@dynastyjerk) and let me know. I would appreciate it if you followed @Dynasty_Owner on Twitter as well as subscribed to Dynasty Owner on YouTube. Take care everyone and be safe. 

TheJerk 

Sophomore Gambles 

SOPHOMORE GAMBLES_png

By: Nate Christian (@NateNFL) 

Everyone is itching for the 2022 NFL season to start. The NFL Draft has concluded, and Organized Team Activities (OTAs) are underway. Within the next week or two, most teams are going to be in training camp mode and depth charts will start coming together. All the hype right now surrounds the “new” toys, the unknown rookies. Full of potential, and hardly dangerous to bust, everyone is clamoring to get their hands on the next big thing, before it’s even a thing. While it’s true, some of these players will never be cheaper than they are right now, there is always a fair share of misses throughout the rookie class. We’ve never seen these players on an NFL field before, will the pressure be too much to handle?  

What if we took a chance on players who have already been on the NFL field, but maybe didn’t live up to the original hype? Some analysts may call these players “post-hype sleepers”, and it’s fitting. We get so excited about the next Justin Jefferson ($3,280,701) or the next Jonathan Taylor ($1,957,287) that we forget about the next Michael Pittman Jr. ($2,153,212) or Damien Harris ($907,784). Players who don’t explode their rookie year, but are still set up for success. It used to be common to give rookies three years to get comfortable in the NFL, now we’re throwing these players to the side if they don’t breakout within their first six games. Let’s try to take advantage of this new thought process and take a chance on some of the following sophomore players. 

Kenneth Gainwell ($953,882) 

A true “post-hype sleeper”, Gainwell was being looked at as one of the top running backs in last year’s draft class by many, but a slide during the NFL Draft to the Philadelphia Eagles in the 5th round cooled many excited dynasty players. Now a year later he sits as the RB2 on the team and Miles Sanders ($1,337,544) is in a contract year. Gainwell is a similar player to Nyheim Hines ($6,200,000) with his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, and showed it with 33 catches and 6 total touchdowns in limited snaps last year. The Eagles are one of the heaviest running teams in the league and are obviously looking for a committee approach from their backfield. Gainwell may never be an RB1 for your team, but he should provide many weeks as an impressive FLEX play. Gainwell will likely be available for a late 2nd round rookie draft pick in most leagues. 

Khalil Herbert ($902,677) 

Not an impressive athlete, didn’t have great college production, 6th round draft capital, is Herbert worth adding to your team? He’s likely pretty cheap and seems to be carving out a role for himself, not just as David Montgomery’s ($1,003,845) backup, but also as a part of the offense. Bears’ beat reporters are saying Herbert will still be able to see volume with a healthy Montgomery and may even be in the running to be the starter next year if Montgomery isn’t re-signed. Herbert looked good as the RB1 for the Bears last year and if he gets worked into the offense this year, he could be worth keeping on your Bench. Especially for what essentially could be a throw-in piece in any trade. Keep an eye on Herbert this year. 

Terrace Marshall Jr. ($1,432,372) 

Starting off with a pretty big gamble. Marshall looks more Denzel Mims ($1,358,425) than DJ Chark ($10,000,000), but with the profile he had coming into the league and his current price he is more than worth a gamble. He’s a size-speed player at 6’ 2”, 205 lbs., and a 4.45 40-yard dash, with the ability to play both inside and outside. He struggled to get on the field last year during the regular season, after an impressive pre-season, but the coaching staff has said he struggled with illness throughout the beginning of the season. D.J. Moore ($20,628,000) and Robby Anderson ($14,750,000) are still ahead of him, but he should be able to take hold of the WR3 spot in the Panthers offense. Over half of his routes last year came from the slot, making him a plus matchup against smaller corners and slower safeties. Anderson also just restructured his contract after a mostly inefficient year and will likely no longer be on the team after this season. Marshall can likely be acquired with a 2022 3rd round rookie draft pick from Dynasty Owners who are ready to cut bait. 

Kadarius Toney ($3,429,877) 

Toney is the most exciting receiver on the Giants at the moment and in a room full of unknown, he has the best shot to take over the WR1 role for Daniel Jones ($6,416,014). There are some injury concerns here, but there are the same concerns for every other receiver on that depth chart. Toney had incredible efficiency when on the field with 2.13 yards per route run (17th in the league), which is a great number especially for Toney’s rookie year and the injuries he was dealing with. A combination of volume (28.9% of targets, 7th in the league, when he ran a route) as well as his ability after the catch, make him a player worth taking a chance on. You should still be able to acquire Toney for a 2022 2nd round rookie draft pick. 

Nico Collins ($1,217,879) 

Another size-speed freak, Collins (6’ 4”, 215 lbs.) ran a 4.5 flat putting him in the 90th percentile for speed score (a formula that tries to level the playing field between different sized receivers). While Davis Mills ($1,304,383) may not be the best quarterback in the league, he was impressive last year and certainly should be able to provide the Texans offense solid opportunities in the passing game. While the Texans did add John Metchie ($2,017,543) in the second round, he is coming off a torn ACL and Collins should have the opportunity to make the WR2 position his during training camp. You can’t teach size and you can’t teach speed. Collins has both and has the opportunity to be a worthwhile Bench piece for your roster. He should be available for an early 3rd round rookie draft pick in most of your Dynasty Owner leagues.