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Startup Draft Weekend #2 Analysis

(aka The Sequel)

By Steven Van Tassell (@SteveVT33)

Whether we are talking about movies, TV shows, books, Broadway musicals, or video games, the sequel is never usually as good as the original. The Godfather was so good and won numerous Academy Awards, but The Godfather Part II was arguably better and won Best Picture and more awards than the original. That’s not typical and neither is the situation where the original is as great as Caddyshack and the sequel is as horrific as Caddyshack II. Sorry but Jackie Mason and Robert Stack aren’t anywhere close to as good as Rodney Dangerfield and Ted Knight.

We’ll see if this article is destined to be similar to Caddyshack II, unless you read the original startup draft article from last week and thought it wasn’t a very good original. If so, don’t worry because just like the Caddyshack movie franchise, this stops after the sequel.

Hopefully, everyone who drafted during the second weekend of Dynasty Owner startup drafts found the first article helpful to prepare for their startup draft and the same is true for this article. The third weekend of startup drafts is coming in just a couple of days along with the Thursday start of the first rookie drafts of 2023. Both of them will make for an exciting weekend for Dynasty Owners who are participating, and a weekend filled with jealousy for everyone waiting for their rookie draft to start.

The results of the additional second weekend of Dynasty Owner startup drafts (May 13th and May 14th) have been combined with the results from the first weekend of drafting on May 6th and May 7th. Some of the insights will be repeated from the last article, others won’t be mentioned again, and I’ll have an additional analysis of the startup draft data to look at the amount of the salary cap used in these startup drafts.

The player’s Average Draft Position (ADP) was updated by calculating the results from all of the available completed startup drafts and may differ from the ADP that appears on the Dynasty Owner platform. All position ranking data and stats listed are from the 2022 Dynasty Owner season and based on the Standard Dynasty Owner scoring system as outlined in the updated Dynasty Owner Constitution.

Standard Dynasty Owner scoring gives you .1 points for every yard rushing or receiving, .1 point for every 2 yards passing, 1 point per reception, 6 points for a rushing, receiving or passing touchdown and 2 points for a successful 2-point conversion (rushing, receiving, or passing). Interceptions or fumbles lost cost you 3 points, while a fumble that is recovered by the player’s team is a loss of only 1 point. Bonus points are available for 100-199 yards rushing (2 points), 200 yards rushing or receiving (6 points), 300-399 yards passing (1 point) and 400 yards passing (4 points). There is also a 3 point bonus for clutch scoring, which is a score that results in a lead change in the final two minutes of the 4th quarter or overtime. Kickoff and punt return touchdowns are worth 6 points for the player and kickoff and punt returns are worth 1 point for every 40 yards.

Any salaries and roster percentages listed were current as of the morning of May 17th. Salary information for rookies who have not officially signed their rookie contract comes from the Spotrac NFL 2023 Draft Tracker page ( and is subject to change and updating.

Who’s #1?

We have an updated list of players who have been taken with the first overall pick in a 2023 Dynasty Owner startup draft. The previous list had four players on it – Justin Jefferson ($3,280,710), Bijan Robinson ($5,489,634), Ja’Marr Chase ($7,704,910) and Patrick Mahomes ($45,000,000). We can now add in Christian McCaffrey ($16,015,875) who was drafted with the overall #1 pick in League #222562. It is interesting that Ja’Marr Chase continues to be the only veteran player selected with the overall #1 pick who has multiple years left on his contract (2 years) with a salary of less than $10 million.

First Round Draft Selections

The overall number of first round draft selections only increased by one player as Travis Kelce ($14,312,500) became the first TE selected in the first round of a Dynasty Owner startup draft this year when Allen and Company took him with the #8 pick in the League #222562 startup draft. Josh Allen ($43,005,667) went in that draft with the third pick, so we don’t know if Allen and Company would have drafted their namesake with their eighth pick.

The same five players who were taken in all of the startup drafts that I looked at from the first weekend were also taken in the additional startup drafts from the second weekend. Here’s the list again with their updated ADP, which may not match the ADP available on the Dynasty Owner platform.

PlayerPositionTeam2023 SalaryADP
Justin JeffersonWRVikings$3,280,7012.7
Bijan RobinsonRBFalcons$5,489,6343.3
Ja’Marr ChaseWRBengals$7,704,9103.9
Jonathan TaylorRBColts$1,957,2887.7
Garrett WilsonWRJets$5,138,5029.3

Only Ja’Marr Chase had his ADP improve, from 4.0 to 3.9, with the addition of more startup drafts. Even with an ADP of 9.3, Garrett Wilson continues to be selected in every first round. Admittedly, he has been selected as the #12 pick three times and never selected higher than fifth overall, but that still qualifies him as being a first round draft pick in all of these startup drafts.

Even though both Mahomes and McCaffrey have been drafted first overall, neither one has been taken in the first round in every startup draft. McCaffrey has been drafted as low as with the #17 overall pick in League #206158, while Mahomes has actually been drafted in the third round twice, once with the #27 pick in League #206158 and once with the #31 pick in League #219522.

Fan Club Presidents Second Meeting

The gap between being taken with the first overall pick and being selected in the middle of the second round (McCaffrey) or the third round (Mahomes) isn’t as great as the difference between the best draft position and the typical draft position for some players. As described in the first weekend startup draft article, people who overdraft a specific player are sometimes called the player’s Fan Club President. The winner of Fan Club President from the first weekend article was Lamar’s Brinks Truck from League #219525 who drafted Odell Beckham Jr. ($15,000,000) with the final pick in the second round (pick #24 overall) of their startup draft. At the time, Beckham’s ADP was 218.0 and that hasn’t moved much (ADP 212.2) as the second earliest selection is now in the 16th round (pick #183).

With more startup drafts in the books, will Lamar’s Brinks Truck continue to be the President of the Fan Club Presidents, or will another Dynasty Owner overthrow them? In addition, we may see a Dynasty Owner fall from the Fan Club Presidents list if another Dynasty Owner comes in and duplicates their love for a particular player.

Our first new Fan Club President is Hell Fighters in League #222562 who took Allen Lazard ($11,000,000) with the first pick of the fifth round (pick #49). No other Dynasty Owner has drafted Lazard this year before the 11th round (pick #130), and he went undrafted in League #219251.

While it’s not the same level of fandom as we had from Mighty Dragons in League #206160 who took Jaxon Smith-Njigba with the overall #9 pick, we do have a Dynasty Owner who is a huge Jordan Addison fan. That would be Tally Night Lights who drafted Addison in the second round with the overall #17 pick. This selection is pretty early as Addison has been available in Tally Night Lights draft spot in the fourth round in League #219521 (pick #41) in every other Dynasty Owner startup draft and has an ADP of 52.1.

After seeing Travis Kelce taken with the eighth overall pick and then George Kittle ($15,000,000) and Mark Andrews ($14,000,000) go with the first two picks in the third round, two other Dynasty Owners in League #222562 decided that they couldn’t wait on two top TEs on their rookie contracts, so Kreuz Control drafted Pat Freiermuth ($1,507,045) with the #34 pick and then Buffalo Wild Wombats grabbed new Bills TE Dalton Kincaid ($3,356,756) early in the fourth round with the #40 overall pick. Based on their sixth round ADPs (67.7 for Kincaid and 69.6 for Freiermuth), both of those teams could have waited at least one more round, and probably two more rounds, before they got their inexpensive starting TE.

While all of those Dynasty Owners can proudly claim the title of Fan Club President, none of them are as much of a fan as Lamar’s Brinks Truck who will retain their title as the biggest Fan Club President for at least another week. Congratulations again, wear that title proudly and remember that this is all in good fun. Our 2021 Fan Club President winner The Oracle ? finished in fourth place overall in the 2022 Chase for the Ring standings and was only one of three teams to go undefeated for the entire 2022 season.

I’ve Got a Fever and the Only Cure Is More Rookies

With apologies to Christopher Walken and the classic Saturday Night Live skit, it’s almost time for every Dynasty Owner’s rookie fever to be cured as rookie drafts start on Thursday and may be in progress depending on when you read this article. With more startup drafts in the books, we can also take an updated look at how rookies are being drafted so far.

The move in Bijan Robinson’s ADP move from 2.6 to 3.3 overall and Jordan Addison being drafted in the second round in a startup draft this past weekend have already been mentioned. Addison’s ADP is as0-azs-lower because of that one draft, but let’s see what happened to the rest of the 2023 rookies in these startup drafts that have taken place prior to the start of Dynasty Owner rookie drafts.

Please remember that while the order in which rookies are selected in startup drafts can be helpful in drawing insights into how the upcoming rookie drafts will go, they don’t give us a complete picture of what might happen. The teams in the startup drafts have the full salary cap of $157.36 million to use and acquire rookies, while teams in established leagues already have players and may not have enough salary cap room for certain high NFL Draft picks or all of the rookies who they want to draft. Teams in established leagues are able to cut down their roster, but still must have at least 25 players plus 2023 draft picks on their roster at all times. Those players may take up enough salary cap space that Dynasty Owners will have limitations on who they can draft.

Here’s the updated ADP for all of the rookies who still have a startup draft ADP of under 100.0. All drafted rookies have four years on their rookie contracts at the listed 2023 salary.

PlayerPositionTeam2023 SalaryADP
Bijan RobinsonRBFalcons$5,489,6343.3
Jaxon Smith-NjigbaWRSeahawks$3,604,32738.7
Bryce YoungQBPanthers$9,488,76847.0
C.J. StroudQBTexans$9,069,81148.6
Anthony RichardsonQBColts$8,498,50849.4
Jordan AddisonWRVikings$3,432,93452.1
Quentin JohnstonWRChargers$3,547,19562.6
Dalton KincaidTEBills$3,356,75667.7
Zach CharbonnetRBSeahawks$1,719,02075.0
Zay FlowersWRRavens$3,509,10979.1
Devon AchaneRBDolphins$1,359,36281.6
Michael MayerTERaiders$2,328,41291.3
Sam LaPortaTELions$2,366,49896.4
Jonathan MingoWRPanthers$2,214,14999.0

All of the 14 rookies who had an ADP of under 100.0 after the first batch of startup drafts are still under 100.0 after the second weekend. Jonathan Mingo is getting close to moving off this list though as he is just hanging on with an ADP of 99.0. Only three players (Anthony Richardson, Jordan Addison and Dalton Kincaid) are rising on Dynasty Owner draft boards and have a better ADP after two weekends of startup drafts than they did after the first weekend. Both Addison and Kincaid were helped by their Fan Club President drafting them higher than anyone else has done and each had their ADP move by more than five spots. Richardson has a pretty wide range of outcomes as he has gone as high as the beginning of the third round (#26 pick) and as late as the eighth round (#91 pick). However, his ADP changed only slightly from 50.2 to 49.4.

The biggest movers in the opposite direction were Michael Mayer (ADP went from 83.8 to 91.3) and Devon Achane (ADP changed from 76.6 to 81.6). With rookie drafts coming soon, we’ll see if these trends continue or if they are isolated incidences. The order of rookies being drafted based on their ADP was largely unchanged with the first two picks in the NFL Draft (Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud) flipping positions, Dalton Kincaid moving ahead of Zach Charbonnet, and Zay Flowers jumping a spot and swapping with Devon Achane.

Just like last week, we continue to see the top two rookie QBs going in similar spots in Dynasty Owner startup drafts. Last week, Stroud was being selected slightly ahead of Young (45.6 ADP vs. 46.4), but now Young is being selected slightly earlier on average (47.0 ADP vs. 48.6). Based on ADP, both of them are being selected ahead of Anthony Richardson, although each QB has been the first off the board and selected ahead of the other two QBs at least twice. Young and Stroud have been selected with the highest startup draft pick of any rookie QB (#18 pick). It will be interesting to see if these results are mirrored in the rookie drafts or if one of these three QBs is favored more by the already established Dynasty Owner teams. We might also see Will Levis ($2,385,542) or Hendon Hooker ($1,429,755) move in front of the higher paid QBs in rookie drafts due to salary considerations, even though both Levis and Hooker are being drafted on average outside of the top 100 picks in startup drafts.

Undrafted Players

There are a lot of undrafted rookie free agents who will be attending NFL training camps in a couple of months. We all love a good underdog story and in the NFL, those underdog stories come from the hundreds of players in training camps who are undrafted rookie free agents. While there are dozens of undrafted rookie free agents on each NFL roster, some teams won’t have any make the final roster and even fewer will take the field in Week 1. Among those who make it to the final roster, only a select handful will turn into Hall of Famers like Kurt Warner or Warren Moon, be an 8-time Pro Bowl TE like Antonio Gates, or even kick a Super Bowl game winning field goal like Adam Vinatieri. The vast majority of the undrafted rookie free agents populating NFL rosters during the off-season will also not be drafted in a Dynasty Owner startup draft. However, because of the salary cap that uses real NFL contracts and salaries, Dynasty Owner ends up mirroring the NFL more than regular dynasty fantasy football leagues in terms of roster construction. That means many Dynasty Owners will have a few lower salary players on their rosters to keep the team under the salary cap. At the same time, some higher salary players who would definitely be on a team in a regular dynasty fantasy football league end up being undrafted in Dynasty Owner startup drafts.

This phenomenon continues to be true this year so far. All five of the expensive QBs who went undrafted in all of the first weekend startup drafts continue to “wait in the green room” as none of them were taken for a second weekend in a row. Unless they were picked up off the Free Agent Auction since the startup drafts occurred, there are no startup Dynasty Owner teams with Aaron Rodgers ($50,271,667), Russell Wilson ($48,517,647). Kyler Murray ($46,100,000), Matthew Stafford ($40,000,000) or Ryan Tannehill ($29,500,000) on them. In fact, no Jets QB has been drafted in a startup draft yet since nobody selected Zach Wilson ($8,787,670) either. However, Wilson does remain rostered in over half of Dynasty Owner leagues (57.44%) despite his undrafted startup draft status compared to just 13.64% for the man (Aaron Rodgers) who took his starting QB job.

It’s not just the expensive QBs who are remaining undrafted in Dynasty Owner startup drafts. Both Matt Corral ($1,273,561) and Skylar Thompson ($935,554) haven’t been drafted yet despite being currently on a roster in a majority of Dynasty Owner leagues (79.75% for Corral and 51.65% for Thompson). I happen to have both of those QBs on at least one Dynasty Owner roster and will likely keep Corral in case he ends up getting pressed into action by Carolina this season just because of his inexpensive contract.

There are plenty of other players who are rostered in a significant majority of established Dynasty Owner leagues, but are going undrafted in this year’s startup drafts. Surprisingly, there are more RBs than any other position so far as there are six RBs who have not been drafted in a single startup draft, but who make less than $1 million so their contracts are salary cap friendly, are currently on a NFL roster and are rostered in over 80% of established Dynasty Owner leagues. Check out the surprising list of those players and see how many are on your Dynasty Owner roster (in roster percentage order):

PlayerTeam2023 SalaryRoster Percentage
DeeJay DallasSeahawks$947,35086.78%
Jordan Mason49ers$856,66783.88%
Eno BenjaminSaints$849,42883.88%
Deon JacksonColts$825,00083.06%
Chris EvansBengals$913,22281.82%
Ty ChandlerVikings$989,71081.40%

There are six additional undrafted RBs who are rostered in at least 30% of Dynasty Owner leagues and have a salary of under $1.5 million. Most, but not all of them are also on a NFL roster as well.

At tight end, we have one of these players, Brevin Jordan ($958,046) from the Houston Texans who clocks in with a roster percentage of 86.36% but has yet to be drafted in a 2023 startup draft. A pair of mid-round draft picks (third and fourth round) over the past two seasons in Kylen Granson ($1,046,592) and Jeremy Ruckert ($1,261,227) are also on a majority of Dynasty Owner rosters (56.2% for Granson and 54.56% for Ruckert), but haven’t been taken in any of the 2023 startup drafts.

At WR, we have an inexpensive second round draft pick who didn’t produce in his rookie season and has seemingly fallen out of favor with Dynasty Owners because he is still waiting to be taken in a 2023 startup draft. Bears second year WR Velus Jones ($1,351,482) was not highly touted after the NFL Draft and drafted fairly late (220.9 ADP) on average by Dynasty Owners last year, but is still rostered in 79.34% of Dynasty Owner leagues despite not being drafted in any startup drafts yet this season.

While these players are currently in this situation, it would seem that sooner or later, at least one Dynasty Owner will take a chance on one of them in a 2023 startup draft. On the other hand, these players might be on the chopping block in established leagues once Dynasty Owners start drafting rookies in the upcoming rookie drafts and suddenly need a roster spot, salary cap room, or both to fit in those rookies.

Startup Draft Salaries and Salary Cap Usage

Speaking of the salary cap, the $157.36 million Dynasty Owner salary cap comes into effect in both startup drafts and rookie drafts. The salary cap in established leagues is important during the free agency period when Dynasty Owner teams have to get under the salary cap and again right before the rookie drafts as Dynasty Owners have to make decisions about which players to keep or drop if they want to draft a certain rookie.

In startup drafts, you’ll find plenty of Dynasty Owners who end up only able to select players with the NFL minimum salary of $750,000 at a certain point during a startup draft. That’s why free agent kickers Austin McGinnis ($750,000) and Dominik Eberle ($750,000) have been taken in multiple Dynasty Owner startup drafts. McGinnis has not kicked in a NFL game yet despite attending his first NFL training camp in 2018 and Eberle hasn’t kicked in a NFL game since early October of last year when he missed two out of four extra point attempts in his only appearance for the Detroit Lions. It’s unlikely that multiple Dynasty Owners believe so strongly in McGinnis and Eberle that they think they will be back as a starting kicker in 2023. Instead, it’s a product of the unique Dynasty Owner format that uses a salary cap and real NFL contracts and salaries.

Just because the salary cap is $157.36 million, Dynasty Owners are not obligated to use all of it. In fact, one thing that many Dynasty Owner seem to forget (or ignore) during their startup draft is that while the draft itself is 25 rounds, they can have up to 30 players on their Dynasty Owner roster. It’s important to remember this point and that you can add up to 5 more players to your roster immediately after the draft, but only if you have salary cap room. The teams that are at least $750,000 of space under the salary cap can add players, while those with less than $750,000 will have to drop a player if their Free Agent Auction bid is successful. In the 2023 startup drafts that have already taken place, there is a significant percentage of teams leaving themselves little to no salary cap space to bid on free agents after their startup draft is over.

Startup Draft Salary Ranges% of Teams
$156.61 million or higher24%
$157 million or higher18%

The one-quarter (24%) of Dynasty Owner draft teams who have salaries of $156.61 million or more after the startup draft is finished don’t have the salary cap room for even one NFL minimum salary player on the Dynasty Owner platform. Most of them got even closer to the salary cap limit as nearly one-fifth (18%) of startup teams drafted in excess of $157 million during their startup draft.

The Dynasty Owner who came closest to hitting the $157.36 million salary cap during their 2023 startup draft was Haitian Freedom in League #219525 as they drafted players making a total of $157,359,203 in salaries. That’s only $797 under the salary cap. If this was the Price Is Right Showcase Showdown, Drew Carey (or Bob Barker for those of us old enough to remember) would have awarded Haitian Freedom both showcases for getting their guess so close to the correct amount without going over. Unfortunately, while I wear glasses like Drew and have gotten my cat spayed like Bob recommended at the end of every episode, I can’t award any prizes to Haitian Freedom for their successful use of almost the entire salary cap.

Not every startup draft Dynasty Owner is like Haitian Freedom. Three-quarters (76%) have enough salary cap room left for at least one free agent, while over two-fifths (43%) had $7.36 million or more in salary cap room, an amount that can easily net them the maximum of five extra players if their salaries are low enough. Just a handful of teams (6%) spent less than $100 million and have enough salary cap room to afford any of the expensive undrafted QBs mentioned earlier such as Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson. Those teams may not bid on these expensive QBs or other expensive players in the Free Agent Auction, but they do have that option by staying so far under the salary cap.

Startup Draft Salary Ranges% of Teams
Under $100 million6%
$100 million – $130 million2%
$130 million – $140 million12%
$140 million – $150 million23%
$150 million – $156 million26%
$156 million or higher31%

The mean salary of all Dynasty Owner startup teams is just over $145.766 million, meaning that the average amount a Dynasty Owner startup team had when they left the draft was just under $11.594 million. However, the median was much higher at just a few dollars under $152.3 million. That means half of the startup teams spent under that amount and half spent more. It remains to be seen which strategy from these startup drafts will be the more successful one in 2023 and beyond.

Some Random Player and ADP Facts

Last week, we closed with some information about the last picks in the first Dynasty Owner startup drafts, aka the Mr. Irrelevant of each Dynasty Owner league. In lieu of repeating all of those draft selections and listing the new players, we have some random facts about players and their ADP from all of the 2023 startup drafts.

  • Player with highest ADP drafted in every startup draft so far – Arizona WR Greg Dortch ($1,010,000) with a 265.1 ADP
  • Player with the lowest ADP drafted in only one startup draft – Jaguars kicker James McCourt ($750,000) who was drafted with the first pick in the 15th round (169th overall pick) by Hell Fighters in League #222562
  • Total number of players drafted in at least one 2023 start-up draft – 404
  • Number of players drafted in every 2023 start-up draft – 217


With rookie drafts on the horizon later on this week, startup drafts will likely drop back to the back burner for many Dynasty Owners, at least until the rookie drafts are over. We know that no two Dynasty Owner startup drafts are the same, but with only rookies, we’ll find out if the same is true about the rookie drafts very soon.

If you didn’t get into a Dynasty Owner startup draft on either the first or second weekend and don’t have your rookie draft scheduled yet, don’t worry! You can scratch your draft itch by joining a Dynasty Owner startup draft this coming weekend (May 20th and 21st). There are startup drafts coming all throughout the rest of May and the entire summer until the start of the NFL season. Go to your D.O. Store, click on New Team for 2023, and find a time when you can draft this weekend, or a weekend in the future.

Dynasty Owner has plenty of content to help you with your Dynasty Owner startup team or any of your established teams. Jay Pounds took a different look at the initial Dynasty Owner startup drafts in his most recent article by highlighting ten veteran players who he feels should be targeted in the later rounds of future Dynasty Owner startup drafts based on their ADP from the initial startup drafts. Matt Morrison – The Jerk had his second Best Case, Worse Case article published last week, and he’ll be back next week with another new article, while I’ll take next week off. There will be plenty of articles for the rest of the off-season from the three of us.

Jay and I also do a weekly Dynasty Owner podcast and I also get to join Dynasty Owner CEO Tim Peffer on the weekly Friday Livestream. We did live mock drafts over the past two weeks, and you can how those mock drafts unfolded by checking out the Dynasty Owner YouTube channel. Finally, don’t forget to follow Dynasty Owner on Twitter. Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Steven Van Tassell is the Head of Content for Dynasty Owner

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

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