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Rebuilding an Orphan Team

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League #36356 (Nerd Herd League) – Laxbro

By: Jay Pounds (@jaypoundsnfl)

Dynasty Owners! Welcome back to another week of rebuilding with Jay. Before we jump into another orphan team, let’s talk some football. We officially have just one month until we have regular season football games on our boob tubes for 17 weeks straight and as I say every year, I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas! Up to this point it has been a relatively quiet off-season and I think that has only made me more anxious as I await the start of the 2022 season.

A few quick training camp notes that can also be found by listening to the Dynasty Owner Podcast that Steve Van Tassell and I release every week. The highlights are:

  • Kareem Hunt ($6,000,000) asking to be traded
  • The Deshaun Watson ($46,000,000) suspension appeal
  • J.K. Dobbins ($1,432,359) possibly coming off the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, and
  • The devastating Tim Patrick ($11,333,333) injury.

The Hunt situation is the one that could potentially change the fantasy landscape by adding another desperately needed bell cow do-it-all running back to the fantasy world. If you would like to hear more in-depth thoughts on each of these situations, please check out the Dynasty Owner Podcast. It’s available wherever you get your podcasts. Enough of the small talk, let’s check out this orphan team!

Building Blocks

  1. Lamar Jackson (QB – BAL) – 1 year/$23,016,000
  2. D.J. Moore (WR – CAR) – 4 years/$20,628,000
  3. Tee Higgins (WR – CIN) – 2 years/$2,171,696
  4. Rob Gronkowski (TE – TB) Free Agent (for training camp)

As you can see, I laid a monster surprise on you with this one and it is only because I have a trusted inside source (my brain) that helped me understand Rob Gronkowski’s master 10-year plan. Gronk’s master plan is to play another 10 years with Tom Brady and to keep his body fresh, he has decided he has had enough with the amateur hour some call training camp and pre-season. With a fresh Gronk every season you can count on one thing “Gronk see ball, Gronk catch ball, Gronk run”.  Obviously, I am joking and Gronk belongs in the Players to Hold category until we know if he is coming back…. after he skips training camp.

Enough messing around, this category has two real question marks, and it has nothing to do with talent and everything to do with salary. D.J. Moore and Lamar Jackson are both $20 million plus in salary in 2022 and beyond with Jackson expected to possibly double his Dynasty Owner salary come 2023. Either way this roster is slim pickings, and I would keep both long term as of now.

My favorite player on this roster and the player I would build around is Tee Higgins but even as great as Higgins was in 2021, he comes with some doubt too. The fact Higgins is not the Number 1 receiver on his team worries me long-term, but I am more than happy placing him in this category and seeing what happens. The real issue building around these three players is that in just two years this group will cost you roughly $80,000,000 in salary which will probably be about half of your cap space.

Long-Term Hold

  1. Kyle Trask (QB – TB) – 3 years/$1,383,834
  2. Pierre Strong (RB – NE) – 4 years/$1,093,358
  3. Zamir White (RB – LV) – 4 years/$1,100,983
  4. Tommy Tremble (TE – CAR) – 3 years/$1,231,608

For once we have more than a player or two in this category! My favorite player on this list is Tommy Tremble. Tremble is an absolute freak when it comes to his athletic ability and the Panthers seem to like him quite a bit. If the Panthers figure out how to use Tremble, he could be a gold mine in Dynasty Owner in a year or two. If Tremble develops into his full potential, I think he could end up in the realm of what we all hoped Jonnu Smith ($12,500,000) would be, but he still has a long way to go.

The two running backs (Zamir White and Pierre Strong) are both players I don’t see having huge years in 2022 but come 2023, both could have big roles with their current franchise. The last player here is Kyle Trask and while I am not excited about him in the least bit, I also don’t see much reason to let him go just yet. With Brady nearing his death bed, an injury is not out of the question in 2022 which would make Trask excellent trade bait.

Players to Trade

  1. Tom Brady (QB – TB) – 1 year/$15,000,000
  2. Chris Godwin (WR – TB) – 3 years/$20,000,000
  3. Dawson Knox (TE – BUF) – 1 year/$880,400

I believe this is the smallest Players to Trade list I have ever done, and it means a long road for the next owner. The most obvious trade candidate for me on this roster was the G.O.A.T. himself, Tom Brady. With Brady sitting at just $15,000,000 in salary for the 2022 season, he will be very enticing for any hopeful contender. My best advice for whoever takes this roster over is to do your best at starting a bidding war for Brady and hope someone will trade a massive haul for a championship run. Also, when doing this ask for their picks after the 2023 rookie draft, in hopes Brady hangs it up.

Brady’s teammate, Chris Godwin, is another player on this list and one who may be a little tougher to move. I initially had Godwin as a Building Block but with him coming off an injury, being a year older than D.J. Moore, and hitting free agency sooner I elected to stay with Moore long-term over Godwin.

The last player on the list is emerging Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox but only for the right price. I know this contradicts everything I usually say about keeping young tight ends, but I just don’t like the fact Knox is set for a new deal around at the beginning of Josh Allen’s mega-extension and around the same time as Stefon Diggs’ new deal kicks in. If Knox isn’t in Buffalo, I don’t want to pay him as I am not so sure Knox can turn into a top tier tight end outside of Buffalo. I would sell him while he still has a very small contract on the best offense in football as opposed to when he gets paid.

Players to Hold

  1. Chuba Hubbard (RB – CAR) – 3 years/$1,048,294
  2. Kenneth Gainwell (RB – PHI) – 3  years/$953,882
  3. Kenyan Drake (RB – LV) – 1 year/$5,500,000
  4. Justin Jackson (RB – DET) – Listed as Free Agent, but signed for 1 year/$1,035,000
  5. Darius Slayton (WR – NYG) 1 year/$688,497
  6. Dyami Brown (WR – WAS) 3 years/$1,236,000
  7. Laviska Shenault (WR – JAX) 2 years/$1,924,017
  8. Terrace Marshall (WR – CAR) 3 years/$1,432,372

The Players to Hold list is rather bland if I am being honest, but there are a few intriguing pieces. My favorite player here is Kenneth Gainwell and while he won’t net much in a trade right now that could change come a few weeks into the season. The Eagles don’t seem to have a clear-cut top running back, despite the presence of Miles Sanders and if Gainwell can ball out during camp and pre-season, he could lock up the top spot and be worth a ton in trade value.

Terrace Marshall is another player who intrigues me as I can see a clear path to him getting playing time. Marshall should already be locked in as the Number 3 receiver in Carolina but if Robbie Anderson still hates Baker Mayfield (or vice versa), there is a real possibility that Marshall moves into the Number 2 slot. Marshall struggled his rookie year, but he does have the talent to succeed in the NFL.

The last player I want to talk about is Laviska Shenault. Shenault is going for next to nothing right now in trades, but with a new capable coach in town, I am excited to see how Shenault is involved. If Shenault were to come out and play well the first few weeks, I would try to move him then.

Players to Cut

  1. Chris Carson (RB – Free Agent)
  2. Malcom Brown (RB – NO) – Listed as Free Agent, but signed for 1 year/$1,188,000
  3. La’Mical Perine (RB – NYJ) 2 years/$1,010,086
  4. Mike Boone (RB – DEN) 1 year/$1,925,000
  5. Kylen Granson (TE – IND) 3 years/$1,046,592
  6. Mo Alie-Cox (TE – IND) 3 years/$5,850,000

The Players to Cut list finally has some big names and unfortunately for one, his career was cut short because of an injury. Chris Carson was a lot of fun for many years, but as fantasy managers sometimes we must let go. The huge disappointment on this list is Dynasty Owner darling Kylen Granson who unfortunately has not panned out.

Current Draft Picks

2023 – 1st, 2nd, 3rd

2024 – 1st, 2nd, 3rd

2025 – 1st, 2nd, 3rd

2026 – 1st, 2nd, 3rd

Dynasty Dollars and Amnesty Provisions

Dynasty Dollars = $10 million

Amnesty Provisions = 2

My Thoughts

As I said earlier in the article whoever purchases this team has their work cut out for them. I can honestly see this being one of the longer, yet more rewarding teams to buy as an orphan and rebuild to Championship glory. The last thing I want to talk about today is that I can see a few different ways to go about rebuilding this team and the best one may be to trade everyone including the Building Blocks and try to build it back up the right way. What do I mean by the right way you ask? What I mean by this is the fact that you won’t have to build around several expensive players eating up most of your cap space. If you do buy this team, I would love to hear about it and cover the future moves you make.

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

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