By: Jay Pounds (@jaypoundsnfl)
Dynasty Owners, football is back! I am typically one who overreacts to Week 1 football but it’s hard not to do after seeing real game action for the first time since the Super Bowl. Are you a Week 1 overreactor, or do you stay cool, calm, and collected until a few weeks have passed? Let me know on X (formerly known as Twitter) what side you fall under. While were waiting on you to @ me, let’s cover the crazy Week 1 that just happened.
Injuries! Injuries were a huge part of Week 1 after not seeing many during the off-season. It’s football, injuries are always going to happen, but watching Aaron Rodgers ($37,500,000) go down to a season ending injury just four snaps into the season felt like some sort of cruel joke that made me not even want to watch the game. All the excitement of Rodgers to the Jets was over before it even began. While injuries were a huge part of Week 1, my biggest takeaway was the horrible starting quarterback play we witnessed to start the season. After seeing so many big-name starters have rough outings, I am now advocating that we see more starters play in the pre-season, so we don’t have to feel as if we are watching pre-season football in Week 1. Heck, it really looked like the Tampa version of Jameis Winston ($4,000,000) was out there starting for every team as most were scoring a bunch of points, while also throwing a bunch of interceptions. I don’t know what the weekly average is in the NFL for interceptions thrown, but I would be willing to bet my savings that’s it’s a lot less than the 25 we saw to start the season. I know I am not talking like a man with much hope, but I assure you there are still some diamonds in the rough to be had!
Hello folks, I will be bringing all of you a free agent article every week this season just as I have done the past few seasons. If you are new to this series of articles there is a small list of requirements with the main one being the player must be 75% rostered or below in Dynasty Owner. The only other requirement I have is that I would like the player to have a salary of $8,000,000 or less, but I will put a higher salary player on the list if I feel they are worth it. Free Agent Auction bids will process on Wednesday at 5 AM (Eastern) for this upcoming week, so there’s still time to get your bids in for Week 2. The Bid listed below is my recommended amount to secure the player for your Dynasty Owner team in the Wednesday Free Agent Auction run in a typical Dynasty Owner league.
- Tutu Atwell (WR – LAR) – 2 years/$1,477,175 – 64.37% Rostered
Did anyone see this coming? I know I sure didn’t. Tutu Atwell was a second round draft pick that many of us expected the Rams to use quite a bit, but it just never happened for the Louisville product. Cue the start of the youngster’s third NFL season with superstar teammate Cooper Kupp ($26,700,000) getting placed on IR and Van Jefferson ($1,402,784) failing to take a step forward, it ended up being the perfect storm for Atwell to shine. Atwell seized the moment and produced a stat line of 6 catches for 119 yards (17.9 Dynasty Owner fantasy points). Atwell will take a step back whenever Kupp returns but for now it seems as if the passing game is going to run through Atwell and rookie Puka Nacua ($1,021,244). Nacua had an excellent debut, but rookies are almost always up and down in terms of fantasy production which leads me to believe Atwell is the player you want in the Rams offense until Kupp is back. Nacua is also rostered in 98.47% of Dynasty Owner leagues, so few Dynasty Owners can get him in the Free Agent Auction anyways. Matthew Stafford ($40,000,000) seemed to be healthy and if that is the case you will definitely want pieces of this Rams offense on your Dynasty Owner roster, especially cheap ones.
Bid – $4,000,000
- Zach Wilson (QB – NYJ) – 2 years/$8,787,670 – 36.02% Rostered
Alright let me be clear, I am no Aaron Rodgers fan but the injury he suffered last night sucked and was bad for football fans in general. As I mentioned above, this Jets team had so much excitement surrounding them, and it was gone after just four snaps. Yes, they won and the man this section is about was a part of that, but the Super Bowl hopes this team had are now Wild Card hopes. Now to what we are here for, a cheap quarterback in Dynasty Owner. Top 10 draft pick quarterbacks that are going to start basically the entire season on rookie deals almost never come available on the Free Agent Auction, but today that scenario has happened. Zach Wilson didn’t look like a top 10 quarterback by any means, but he will get you points as a Bench option, or he can be quality depth for your roster. Either way, this is a player almost everyone should be bidding on.
Bid – $9,000,000
- Kendrick Bourne (WR – NE) – 1 year/$5,000,000 – 21.84% Rostered
Alright this one feels like Déjà Vu! It seems like every season the Patriots have an offensive coordinator; I end up putting Kendrick Bourne on this list. Bourne has been and still is a very underrated player and could easily end up as the number 1 receiver in this offense when all is said and done. In Week 1, Bourne posted a stat line of 6 catches for 64 yards and 2 touchdowns (24.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points) with a team high 11 targets, four more than any other Patriot. I am not a huge Mac Jones ($3,896,588) believer, but he did play very well and should only get better as the season goes and he gets more familiar with coach Bill O’Brien’s offense. The good part about targeting Bourne is the fact he is a little more expensive than the average Dynasty Owner can afford so, you shouldn’t have a ton of competition bidding against you.
Bid – $3,000,000
- Melvin Gordon (RB – BAL) – 1 year/$1,165,000 – 23.75% Rostered
I am certain this take will be met with debate, but I feel I will be on the right side of things by the end of Week 2 with Gordon leading the Ravens’ running backs in carries. Gordon’s teammate J.K. Dobbins ($1,432,359) suffered another season ending injury this past week and the Ravens are now left with question marks at the running back position once again. Gus Edwards ($4,500,000) is a candidate to lead the way, but he did not see a huge role after Dobbins went down and finished tied with Justice Hill ($2,255,000) as each got 8 carries. Heading into Week 2, Gordon will be the most experienced back on the Ravens roster while also being the best pass catcher/blocker. If I am right and Gordon sees a significant role in this offense, he could easily end up as a top 24 running back this season. Picking up Gordon is definitely a gamble, but with such a low salary it’s one I am more than willing to take.
Bid – $2,000,000
- Kylen Granson (TE – IND) – 2 years/$1,046,592 – 45.21% Rostered
In all honesty, I did not love any of the most available tight ends in Week 1, but someone has to make this list. Right? The tight end position has become such a wasteland that I am stuck between recommending Adam Trautman ($1,124,851) once again or the player I chose, Kylen Granson. Neither player scored a touchdown nor finished the week with double digit Dynasty Owner fantasy points (8.4 for Trautman and 7.9 for Granson), but that pretty much sums up the tight end position in 2023. I ended up going with Granson here simply because I think we all know what Adam Trautman is at this point in his career whereas Granson is still very young and might finally be getting his chance. Another factor working in Granson’s favor is the fact that he could end up as the Colts number 2 receiving option this season behind teammate Michael Pittman ($2,153,213). If this is the case and rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson ($8,498,508) improves on his Week 1 start, Granson could sneak into the top 12 tight ends this season.
Bid – $2,000,000
Thank you all for reading! Be sure to check out all of the upcoming article from me and Steve plus the Dynasty Owner Livestream every Wednesday afternoon. Stay safe out there and good luck on your 2023 Chase for the Ring!