By Steven Van Tassell (@SteveVT33)
Injuries are inevitable in football and especially in the NFL. With the reduction in practice time, fewer pre-season games and starters not playing much in pre-season games, it seems like there are more injuries during the NFL regular season. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence out there, but I actually did some quick research and found injury data by a malpractice attorney that showed an increase of almost 40% in player games missed and a 91% increase in players going on Injured Reserve from 2014 to 2018. That’s a while ago before the most recent reduction in pre-season games. I also found a scientific journal article from Science Direct that concluded the following:
The rate of injury in NFL players during weeks 1-4 of the 2020-2021 regular seasons was significantly higher than during 3 recent past NFL preseasons and regular seasons.
Don’t ask me detailed questions about those two studies as I honestly skimmed both to find the main points. They do back up that the increase in injuries should not be a surprise to anybody who follows the game. Last year, we had several season-ending injuries to top RBs such as Cam Akers ($1,543,258), J.K. Dobbins ($1,432,359) and Gus Edwards ($4,500,000) before the season started. There were the usual in-season injuries to prominent players including Lamar Jackson ($23,016,000), James Robinson ($763,333), Robert Tonyan ($3,750,000), Chris Godwin ($20,000,000), and Michael Gallup ($11,500,000). I’m sure that I missed a bunch of injured players, but everyone should get the point.
However, this season seemed different at first as the major training camp and pre-season injuries didn’t happen (outside of Carolina). Then, the games started, and the injuries began to pile up. First it was Dallas QB Dak Prescott ($40,000,000) who has missed the past two games, then Patriots QB Mac Jones ($3,896,588) got hurt and now seems likely to be out for this week and several more. Finally, it was reported early on Friday that Saints WR Michael Thomas ($19,250,000) will be out this week and Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown ($1,066,313) isn’t playing either.
Finally, the big one happened on Thursday night. Dolphins starting QB (and likely starting QB on many Dynasty Owner teams) Tua Tagovailoa ($7,568,859) was injured in the first half of the Dolphins 27-15 loss to the Bengals. While injuries are impossible to predict, this one was less random than most as Tua had gotten injured in last week’s game against Buffalo and returned to play despite looking like he had a concussion. Tua was questionable to play at all this week and has a history of injuries that has prevented him from playing a full season of football since 2018. He was sort of a ticking time bomb just waiting to explode and did after a sack late in the first half. Tua was reportedly well enough to travel back to Miami after getting injured, but prayers to him and his family after two apparent head injuries in consecutive games. You hate to see this happen to anyone and the whole situation seems like it hasn’t been handled properly by the Dolphins and the NFL medical staffs.
It’s a shame what happened to Tua, but inevitable. If you don’t like injuries, then football really isn’t the game for you. I suggest you go play ultimate (frisbee) and follow the AUDL (American Ultimate Disc League). Seriously, go check out a game. They mainly play during the college and pro football off-season (April through August), tickets are generally cheap (I paid $15 for a ticket to a July DC Breeze game), the games are fun, and these players are really good athletes.
If people still want to watch football and play fantasy football, then coaches, administrators, owners, trainers, doctors and everyone else associated with the game at all levels will need to do a better job protecting the players who actually play the game. If they don’t, our children and grandchildren will be playing ultimate and not football.
Even our Match-up of the Week was impacted by injury as one of the teams had Tua as their Bench QB. Their opponent has a player on Injured Reserve in a Bench spot as well, but hopefully they clean up that mistake before the Sunday games start.
Thanks for reading my weekly preview article and for being a Dynasty Owner. If this is your first time reading my preview article, here’s what to expect. Every week of the 14-game Dynasty Owner regular season and three game playoffs, I’ll present a player at each position (QB, RB, WR, TE) who you should have as a Starter in your Dynasty Owner lineup. These won’t be the obvious choices. No recommendations to go ahead and start Josh Allen, Jonathan Taylor, Cooper Kupp, or Mark Andrews. Those guys are cemented in your Starting lineup unless something bad happens, or they are on bye. Players who are rostered in 100% (or nearly 100%) of Dynasty Owner leagues with low ADPs and top rankings so far this season won’t be mentioned either. Nope, I’m going to recommend you Start players who were drafted to be on your Bench or Practice Squad or haven’t played well yet. Think about the players who aren’t on a roster in every Dynasty Owner league, or have high ADPs and could be found after the 15th round in a typical Dynasty Owner startup draft, but haven’t played well through the first three weeks of the season.
After that, I’ll name one player per position who should be on your Bench or Practice Squad. For these Bench recommendations, it’s just the opposite. I’ll suggest players drafted early in Dynasty Owner startup drafts to be Starters with the low ADP to prove it who have likely done well so far this season. However, they shouldn’t be in your Starting lineup for the week based on matchups, past performance against a team or something else.
All stats cited are based on the Standard Dynasty Owner scoring system as outlined in the 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, ADP and Dynasty Owner roster percentage statistics were current as of the afternoon of Friday, September 30th.
These Guys Should be Starters This Week
Now it’s time to find out how my Week 3 recommendations fared (Good, Bad or Just Ok). I predicted performances worthy of being in your Dynasty Owner Starting lineup for these four players and also said about my recommendations “unless none of my choices have double-digit Dynasty Owner fantasy points, I can’t do worse”. Did they do better than that?
QB: Mac Jones ($3,896,588) – 17.1 (Just Ok recommendation)
RB: Nyheim Hines ($6,200,000) – 8.3 (Bad recommendation)
WR: Scott Miller ($661,960) – 1.4 (Bad recommendation)
TE: Noah Fant ($3,147,680) – 6.7 (Bad recommendation)
It wasn’t worse than last week, but it was barely better. Only one out of my four recommendations was Just Ok and the other three were Bad. Mac Jones ended up as the QB16 for the week, so he was a high-end Bench QB, but not quite a starter. He only had 0.7 more points than Marcus Mariota ($9,375,000) did last week and 0.3 more points than Matt Ryan ($30,000,000) did in Week 1. However, the other QB performances this week weren’t as good as other weeks, so the Jones recommendation gets me the first Just Ok recommendation of the 2022 season. The rest of the recommended players scored single-digit fantasy points and weren’t close to being even Just Ok. Not even Noah Fant and his 6.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy point effort which made him a low-end Bench TE for the week.
All I can say is that I’m going to keep trying to do better and repeat what I wrote last week: Unless none of my choices have double-digit Dynasty Owner fantasy points, I can’t do worse. Here are the Week 4 recommendations which feature a player who should do well replacing an injured teammate and another player coming back from an injury that ended his 2021 season prematurely.
Mitchell Trubisky (PIT – $7,100,000): So far this season, Trubisky has been an average to below average Bench every week.
- Question: What’s the reason that I think Trubisky can turn from the QB21 into a Top 12 QB this week?
- Answer: The New York Jets
Pittsburgh plays the Jets this week and so far on this short season, the Jets have given up a total of 77.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points to the other three AFC North Starting QBs (Lamar Jackson, Jacoby Brissett – $4,650,000, and Joe Burrow – $9,047,534). Even after playing Jackson, those points allowed are almost exclusively from passing as the Jets have allowed only 60 rushing yards and zero rushing TDs to opposing QBs. They have allowed a total of 717 passing yards and 7 passing TDs with only 2 INTs in those games. They aren’t getting to the QB much either as they only have five sacks (sixth fewest sacks in the NFL). I think Trubisky will have time to pass and complete a lot of short passes to Diontae Johnson ($1,070,241) and will actually throw more than 1 TD pass in a game for the first time this season to go along with his second 200 yard passing game. That will mean over 20.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points which will be enough to make him a low-end Starter this week.
Rashaad Penny (SEA – $5,750,000): Last year, Rashaad Penny had 34.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (170 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 15 receiving yards, 2 TDs) in Week 17 against the Detroit Lions. He gets to face the Lions again this week, but that’s not the only reason to have Penny in your Starting lineup.
It’s not just the Lions who Penny has played well against in the past. When he had his excellent finish to the 2021 season with 125.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in the final six games (20.9 points per game). However, he did have two poor games in that stretch (7.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in Week 13 versus the 49ers and 6.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in Week 15 versus the Rams). Both of these teams were in the top 10 defenses against the run. The other four games were all against teams ranked 20th or worse and in those games, he averaged 27.95 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. That dramatic gap in performance is why I wasn’t a big fan of Penny even after his big finish to the 2021 season.
The pattern has continued into this season and because he has played the 4th (San Francisco), 10th (Denver) and 14th (Atlanta) ranked defenses in terms of rushing yards allowed to RBs per game. As a result, Penny only has a total of 17.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points this season (5.7 points per game) and is RB49 in Dynasty Owner right now. Fortunately for him and his Dynasty Owners, the Lions defense is ranked 20th in rushing yards allowed to RBs per game. It’s time for another big game for Penny so get him in your Starting lineup just as you planned when you drafted or traded for him.
DJ Chark (DET – $10,000,000): DJ Chark only started being considered and became the choice here with the news that Lions top WR and overall WR5 in Dynasty Owner Amon-Ra St. Brown has an ankle injury and is out for this week’s game versus Seattle. When I contemplated picking Chark, I looked at one of my favorite places to check out how defenses perform against opposition teams, Pro Football Reference pages detailing defense performance against players by position (see 2022 WR stats page). It shows that Seattle’s defense has only allowed a total of 25 receptions for 404 receiving yards and 2 TDs to WRs. However, a quick dive into those stats show that almost all of those receptions and yards have been accumulated by the top two WRs for Seattle’s three opponents (Denver, San Francisco, and Atlanta). And yes, I included Olamide Zaccheaus ($2,433,000) instead of coping out and ignoring him or changing it to TE Kyle Pitts ($8,227,624). In fact, over 90% of the receptions (92%, or 23 out of 25) and receiving yards (95%, 384 out of 404) and both TDs have been reeled in by the two top WRs on the opposing team. With St. Brown out for the Lions, Chark should be the de facto WR1 for QB Jared Goff ($33,500,000). That should enable Chark to get enough targets, receptions, receiving yards and a TD to make him worth putting in your Starting lineup, just as I did for my beta league team right before typing the end of this sentence.
Robert Tonyan (GB – $3,750,000): All off-season I touted Robert Tonyan’s teammate Josiah Deguara ($1,136,941) as a solid Dynasty Owner Free Agent Auction pickup or late round draft pick. A lot of you may have listened as Deguara had an ADP of 277.0 this year and is rostered in just under half (49.79%) of Dynasty Owner leagues. Since the Packers are playing a New England defense that has allowed 4 TDs already to TEs this season, it would seem logical to have a Green Bay TE here this week and for Deguara to be the pick.
I underestimated Tonyan’s ability to return from his torn ACL injury in my hype of Deguara. While Tonyan is the TE20 for the season so far, he hasn’t scored a TD. He has improved his performance and snap counts as the season has progressed though.
|Week||Snaps Played||Snap %||Receptions||Receiving Yards||DOFP|
Tonyan played more snaps and had more Dynasty Owner fantasy points in Week 3 than either of the first two weeks. All he needed last week was a TD to be a Top 12 TE and he’s likely to get that TD this week against the Patriots. Start Tonyan in Dynasty Owner this week, but keep Deguara on your Dynasty Owner roster in case Tonyan gets injured this season.
These Guys Should Be on the Bench (or Practice Squad) This Week
Now it’s the time to look at how my Bench recommendations from Week 3 worked out (Good, Bad or Just Ok). Overall, the Bench recommendations have been more Good than Bad and hopefully I can keep that going to balance out the poor Starting lineup recommendations. Let’s see how I did.
QB: Tua Tagovailoa ($7,568,859) – 15.3 (Good recommendation)
RB: Aaron Jones ($12,000,000) – 4.7 (Good recommendation)
WR: Terry McLaurin ($961,918) – 16.2 (Bad recommendation)
TE: Darren Waller ($7,450,000) – 5.2 (Good recommendation)
Two consecutive weeks with three Good recommendations. That makes it eight Good recommendations and only four Bad ones in 2022. At QB, it’s three for three on the Bench recommendations as Tua Tagovailoa was the QB24 in Dynasty Owner last week making him the lowest Bench QB and a Good recommendation. Aaron Jones got more touches than anticipated but did nothing with them and had a late lost fumble to make that recommendation Good. The second time selection of Darren Waller paid off as he only had 5.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points due to the emergence of WR Mack Hollins ($2,000,000) in the absence of Hunter Renfrow ($708,987). Finally, Terry McLaurin had a flurry of late game receptions and yards to salvage a low-end WR1 finish for Week 3 and prevent me from having a perfect week with four Good recommendations. Let’s see who I picked to try and make it three weeks in a row with more Good than Bad Bench recommendations.
Kyler Murray (ARI – $8,914,504): Despite a lot of people, including LeSean McCoy for completely unknown reasons, saying how bad he has played and the Arizona offense is, Kyler Murray still ranks as the QB11 in Dynasty Owner with 72.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (24.2 points per game). Of course, he was the fourth QB in Dynasty Owner startup draft ADP (32.6) this year and a late first round startup draft pick in each of the two previous seasons (10.5 in 2021 and 10.8 in 2020), so QB11 isn’t as good as expected. Still, Murray is likely to be in your Dynasty Owner Starting lineup because you didn’t plan to need to another Starting QB. Unfortunately, with the way the Arizona offense is performing, Dynasty Owners with Murray on their roster should put him on their Bench this week when the Cardinals face the Carolina Panthers.
Derrick Henry (TEN – $12,500,000): After five out of eight games last year with 100 rushing yards or more, Derrick Henry has yet to have a 100 yard rushing game this season. His yards per carry has also declined from 4.3 yards per carry in 2021 to 3.6 yards per carry through the first three games of this year. He also had zero receptions in each of the first two games before having 5 receptions for 58 receiving yards in Week 3 against Las Vegas.
While Henry was running all over the rest of the NFL last season, Indianapolis was actually holding him to reasonable rushing games. He carried the ball 56 times in two games last year versus the Colts, but for “only” 181 yards (3.2 yards per carry) and zero TDs. The Colts’ run defense is good again this year with just 188 rushing yards to RBs and an average of 2.5 yards per carry by RBs.
These measures seem to be screaming for Dynasty Owners to leave Derrick Henry on their Bench. I’m going to listen to what those stats are saying and recommend that you Bench the current RB17 in Dynasty Owner this week.
Christian Kirk (JAC – $18,000,000): If I’m going to call a player the Bust of the Week on the Dynasty Owner podcast then I probably should back it up here and tell everyone to put the same player on their Bench. Therefore, Christian Kirk is a Bench recommendation this week. There are two main reasons for this recommendation.
First, the weather in Philadelphia is likely to be bad in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Ian. It may not be heading straight through Philly, but the effects of the storm will be felt with rain and wind, making it more likely that Jacksonville will attempt to run more than pass. With James Robinson as your lead RB averaging 4.5 yards per carry facing an Eagles defense allowing almost 5.0 yards per carry (50 carries for 249 yards) to RBs, I’d do it too if I were Doug Pederson.
Second, when Jacksonville does pass the ball, Trevor Lawrence ($9,198,372) will have to deal with the wind and rain, plus an Eagles pass rush that sacked Commanders QB Carson Wentz ($32,000,000) nine times last week. The Eagles pass defense is also ranked sixth in the NFL in yards allowed (186.7 yards per game). On top of that, Kirk will have to get open against one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL in Darius Slay. Slay faced Commanders WR Terry McLaurin last week and he did get open for 6 receptions and 102 receiving yards, but none of those receptions came in the first half. All came after the Commanders were down 24-0. The game should be closer, so Jacksonville won’t be passing most of the time in the second half, so Kirk won’t get any late game stat padding receptions and yards, and should be on your Bench.
Tyler Higbee (LAR – $7,250,000): Why not Darren Waller again this week? He’s playing Denver and they allowed TEs to both Will Dissly ($8,000,000) and Colby Parkinson ($991,360) in Week 1 so I’m not going there.
Instead, I’ll go with Tyler Higbee who is currently TE7 with 16 receptions and 171 receiving yards (33.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points). The next highest scoring TE without a TD is Evan Engram ($9,000,000) who is TE15 with 12 receptions for 83 receiving yards and a 2-point conversion (22.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points). Higbee has been very good without a TD, but has a very tough matchup this week on Monday Night Football against the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers defense has allowed only 5 receptions for 23 receiving yards (7.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points) all season. Repeat, all season. They held Bears TE Cole Kmet ($1,894,444) to a Blutarsky (0.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points) in Week 1, Dissly, Parkinson, and Noah Fant to 4 receptions for 11 receiving yards, and Albert Okwuegbunam ($1,011,011) to a single 12-yard reception.
Higbee is probably the best TE to play San Francisco so far this season, but the 49ers defense has been so dominant that it’s difficult to rely on Higbee this week, so leave him on your Bench.
Dynasty Owner Match-up of the Week – Senior AAA Whale Sh!t vs. DynastyTradeSchool (Rooster V)
As mentioned in the introduction, an injury has already impacted our Match-up of the Week and it’s an injury for the Dynasty Owner who offered up his game this week. Thanks to Twitter follower (@nvwiscompton) for the Match-up of the Week suggestion before I even had to put out a call for one. That’s an easy way to get me to feature your match-up in a future week, so if you want it, then send me a tweet via Twitter (@SteveVT33).
It didn’t hurt that his only Dynasty Owner team (Senior AAA Whale Sh!t in League #28281) is 3-0 and was ranked 42nd in the Chase for the Ring standings after Week 3. This team also finished with a 10-4 record last season and was in 130th place in the Regular Season Chase for the Ring Leaderboard. They lost in the playoff semi-finals though to end their time on the Leaderboard. This week, they are playing two-time Chase for the Ring third place finisher DynastyTradeSchool (Rooster V). This isn’t the league that DynastyTradeSchool has had those finishes in, but it’s still a battle of two great Dynasty Owners.
Based on projections, Senior AAA Whale Sh!t is going to be 4-0 after this week with a 152.25 to 129.63 victory. This is even after they had Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa play on Thursday night and score just 2.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points on their Bench. His performance in the game prior to the injury leaves Senior AAA Whale Sh!t below original expectations already this week and dropping in the Chase for the Ring standings to 78th place.
DynastyTradeSchool (Rooster V) is counting on a lot of scoring by the Buffalo Bills as they have three Bills’ players, Josh Allen ($43,005,667), Stefon Diggs ($14,400,000) and Tyler Bass ($869,804), in their Starting lineup. They also have James Cook ($1,458,014) and Dawson Knox ($880,400) on their Bench. The Bench needs a little tidying up as they still have injured Chargers WR Jalen Guyton ($965,000) in one of their Bench WR spots.
When all is said and done with Week 4, one of these teams will likely sit on top of the League #28281 standings. There is a third undefeated team in the League (London City Chiefs), but they are over 50.0 points behind DynastyTradeSchool (Rooster V) and over 130.0 points behind Senior AAA Whale Sh!t and unlikely to pass either team. Check back on Tuesday and find out who wins this match-up of undefeated teams.
I’m hoping that there won’t be many new injuries in the rest of this week’s games. I purposely said “many” because there will be some injuries. Hopefully not as bad as Tua’s and none that require the medical cart, have the fans clap for the injured player when he gets on the cart and end up having players from both teams huddle around and hold hands in solidarity. If you win your Dynasty Owner game, it’s hopefully not because of an injury to one of your opponents’ players.
Please read this weekly preview article each and every week to see my recommendations for who should be in your Dynasty Owner Starting lineup, who should be on your Bench, and to find out which teams are featured in the Match-up of the Week. In addition to this weekly recap article, Dynasty Owner has plenty of other great content to help you win your League Championship and maybe become our 2022 Chase for the Ring Champion. While this article came out a day late, our 2022 in-season publication schedule is pretty set as follows:
- Mondays: Jay Pounds will preview the Monday Night Football matchup from the Dynasty Owner perspective. Monday is also when the Champions podcast will be released on YouTube and wherever you get your podcasts.
- Tuesdays: Jay Pounds is back with his weekly Free Agent Auction targets article to help you figure out what players to bid on before the first Free Agent Auction run of the week is processed on Wednesday at 5 AM (Eastern).
- Wednesday: Matt Morrison – The Jerk writes about a topic of his choosing and his weekly rankings will also pop up on Wednesdays as well.
- Thursday: Matt Morrison – The Jerk will preview the Thursday Night Football game, which will include his selection for “Value of the Game”.
- Friday: Listen to the Dynasty Owner podcast with me and Jay or watch it on YouTube on Friday morning. Usually in the afternoon, it’s time for me to preview the Sunday and Monday games and look into one Dynasty Owner Match-up of the Week in my weekly preview article. On select Fridays, we will also have articles from Nate Christian highlighting players who he’s watching for the 2023 NFL Draft.
Please read all of our articles, listen to the podcasts and watch the Livestream on Wednesdays at 4 PM or afterwards if you can’t catch us live. Don’t forget to follow Dynasty Owner on Twitter as well. Thanks, and have a great day!
Steven Van Tassell is the Head of Content for Dynasty Owner