The Things Most Owners Overlook When Rebuilding

By: Jay Pounds (@JayPoundsNFL)

In this article I want to touch on the 4 main things I feel owners will tend to overlook when rebuilding. When we as owners start a rebuild, we usually have a core plan set in place but sometimes it’s the small little details that can speed your rebuild up significantly. Today I’m here to help and make sure you factor these little things into your rebuilding process.

If the trade we just saw the Lions and Rams pull off is any sign on how this NFL offseason will be, then be prepared it should be a lot of fun with plenty of drama. The offseason in the NFL in recent years has become much more intriguing than say a decade ago, when stars just seemed to stay put, nor did they have much of a voice. Now days we are constantly seeing stars switch teams whether that be through demanding a trade, or free agency, just look at the blockbuster of 2 former number 1 overall draft picks mentioned above.

This offseason we could see numerous big-name players switch teams from Aaron Rodgers, JuJu, D. Adams, Conner, and so many more that the NFL could look so much different next season. I am a bit torn on which style NFL I enjoyed more between the old school stay where you are drafted, and the new way where the players have much more control leading to so many more players leaving the team that drafted them for new homes.

The players having more control definitely has its pros and cons with the cons being fairly easy to spot, just look at the Deshaun Watson situation. I mention all of this because it has made a huge impact in the way we handle our fantasy rosters. Just 8-10 years ago you could have drafted Hopkins and just forgot about it, instead fast forward a decade later you draft Hopkins, and he gets traded the very next season making his outlook a bit more unclear, even though its still Hopkins stability tends to put our minds at ease.

Another great example of this is Brandin Cooks who seemed to have finally found a permanent home where he would be able to produce gaudy numbers only for his star quarterback to demand a trade, something that was virtually unheard of a decade ago. All of this means you have to be much more vigilant in formats like Dynasty Owner on what type of players you target and the organization they play for (stay away from Jack Easterbay).

If you were to draft Antonio Brown a few years back you would be regretting it big time right now, but a little digging on what kind of person/teammate he is and that would have gone a long way helping you make the correct decision. Aside from the headache some of this movement can cause us fantasy owners I will say it does make the offseason so much more fun, especially when the league’s new year kicks in.

Different Ways to Prepare for the Rookie Draft

How does one go about preparing for the rookie draft when it feels like your roster needs help everywhere, don’t worry this is a common problem and can usually be handled with relative ease. The first step I will recommend is to realize you’re not going to fill your entire roster with studs in just one draft. The most common mistake I see in a rebuilding owners drafts are them going into the draft blind and taking the best available player with no plan, while this isn’t a horrible move all of the time it can be depending on the layout of your team.

If you are picking #1 overall and you have holes everywhere it doesn’t make much since to draft a running back, or even to just target one player per round during the draft. If there are no generational receivers. Tight ends (wouldn’t recommend drafting that high), or quarterbacks that you have fallen in love with as a permanent building block towards the future then find a way to trade down and acquire more picks in the range of players you need. If you have someone like Herbert paired with 2 top 25 receivers then a running back may be ok for your roster, but I always look to fill that position last when rebuilding.

Every draft there will be opportunities to trade down you just have to find the owners that want to pay to move up. If you have no solid players for the future on your roster having one draft pick in each round isn’t going to help much in the short term, which is where trading down comes into play. Let’s say you are picking first overall and have just one young stud on your roster the best choice you have is to look at the owners picking 3-7 and offer them trades.

The goal here would be to swap the first round picks this season, get the other owners 2nd rounder this season, and their 1st next year. The owners that will typically bite on these types of trades are ones that feel they are ready to compete or were hampered by injuries the season prior resulting in a high draft pick. The other route you could go with this is when no owner’s trade for your draft pick you take the best player on the board and look to trade him for more once he is producing.

While right now the 1st overall pick may net the 3rd pick, a 2nd rounder, and a 2022 1st in a few months when that player is balling out you can potentially ask for an extra 1st rounder or even more depending on who the player is. Another great way to look at it is to look at what Jonathon Taylor, Burrow, Herbert, or Jefferson would fetch in a trade right now vs. what their draft slot would have netted in a trade.

Do You Have Enough Quality Young Depth On Your Roster

Another vital piece of information I feel owners may overlook is how much quality young depth they have on their roster. The key word in the opening sentence is quality and without quality depth in Dynasty Owner your team can unravel fast. I tend to not be a fan of handcuffs in more traditional formats but here in Dynasty Owner I’m starting to believe that handcuffs may be the key to staying competitive for many of years.

If you have someone like Dalvin Cook on your roster it makes much more sense to stash Mattison than to let another owner have him. If you roster both you virtually own the entire Vikings running game for basically the same price you are paying for Cook, because of how cheap Mattison is. If you don’t have Mattison and Cook goes down with a significant injury you are now left trying to trade for another back (which will probably be expensive) instead of just plugging in in Mattison and forgetting about it.

If you can find a way to handcuff your top 3 or 4 players as well as your top quarterback, you should be able to withstand almost any injury while still being competitive and not killing your cap space. The other way to go about making sure you have enough quality talent is to just do some research, just because a player is 22 and on an NFL team doesn’t mean he’s a solid piece on your roster.

If you have a bunch of Malcom Perry’s on your roster instead of players like Eno Benjamin, Jeff Wilson, or Preston William’s (2 years ago) you will always have trouble with depth on your team. The other strategy I want to touch on here is to target backups for injury prone players around the NFL, for instance if you were carrying Chad Hanson, or Coutee deep on your practice squad this past season because of the injury concerns for Fuller you were probably wildly happy come playoff time. These types of moves will almost always go under the radar, but they are a great way to keep your team consistent over the years.

How Much Draft Capital Is Too Much?

One of the great dynasty debates of all time is how much draft capital is too much. I have seen numerous times where owners control almost the entire 1st round of a draft, and while this can work certain years it’s also extremely risky. Drafting 10 players in the 1st 12 picks of a rookie draft can be a great thing but it can also devastate your team if it happens to be a bad draft class, and as we all know nothing in the NFL is a guarantee especially with rookies.

This isn’t a strategy that’s a guaranteed failure, but I can’t imagine it has a great success rate either. If you are one of these owners with 10-20 draft picks in the upcoming draft, I would highly recommend trading around half of them and splitting your picks up between a few drafts. The scenario I see working much more often is targeting 4-7 players for each draft class and target them where they’ll go during the draft, while doing the same in the following seasons.

My personal opinion is that anything over 3 picks per round is probably too much and too risky, though having more picks does increase your chances of hitting on a player it also increases your chances of missing. If you have that many 1st round picks your team was more than likely in rough shape the season before which doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for error if you’re wanting to rebuild on the quicker end of things.

The last part I want to touch on here is how to handle the situation of having too much draft capital. If you happen to run into this problem, I suggest you look at the upcoming draft class and decide which players you think just can’t miss, and where you think they will get drafted. Once you have done this you will have an idea of what draft picks you need to keep and what positions you will have filled after drafting, you then take the picks you think you won’t use and trade them for players that you feel will complement the players you’re going to draft.

A great example would be this past season you fell in love with Taylor, Lamb, and Jefferson and you figured they’d be drafted 3rd, 5th, and 8th. Now that you know who you want and what you expect them to be moving forward you start finding owners who you feel would be willing to trade for some of your excess draft picks. In this scenario I would target a 2nd running back to pair with Taylor and a receiver like Woods who is very consistent to help when your rookies Lamb, and Jefferson have off weeks.

Always Try to Determine a Draft Pick’s Value

While this part of the article may seem fairly obvious it is something that gets overlooked in a couple different ways. Let’s start by talking about the value of your own draft picks when you are trying to deal them. When you have a team that is not going to do well then naturally your draft picks will go up in value because of where it is projected to land.

If you are going to attempt to deal your picks make sure you place said value on each draft pick. Another way to add a little extra value is to throw other owners draft picks (that you control) into your trades instead of your own, simply because you know that pick will be later in the round than yours. I know this seems like common sense but it’s also something that gets overlooked often.

The other scenario here is when you are acquiring draft picks you need to do your best at projecting where that pick could potentially fall, for instance if you are working out a deal with the clear cut number one team in your league then you should be treating their draft pick like it would be a very early 2nd in terms of value. It may not seem like it, but you can leave a potential star on another owner’s roster by valuing a draft pick wrong.

If you are trading with a middle of the road team that you are certain won’t win but is also too good to lose a lot, then you look at their picks as true first rounder’s where the value doesn’t change much at all. To sum all of this up in a short sense just be wary of who you’re trading with and the potential that their roster has on it for the year of the acquired pick.

I know I have said numerous times that if you’re really bad multiple 1st round picks will help much more than just one will, but you still don’t want to let picks go for a undervalue or overpay for them at the same time, meaning if you absolutely have to stay put and trade the player later to get a fair value.  Always remember just because you’re stuck today doesn’t mean something better won’t open up tomorrow.

Conclusion

In Dynasty Owner finding consistent production for cheap will be the key to winning year in and out. In order to be able to maintain a winning roster you must hit on your picks which is the easiest way to get great production for cheap. You also cannot afford to just trade every rookie pick away for veterans because you will run out of money at some point in time making rookie drafts all that more important.

As you can see there is a lot that goes into winning and losing here at Dynasty Owner. If you take anything away from this article its make sure you are looking at where teams will pick and prepare for your rookie draft. That’s all I have for you all today good luck on your 2021 Chase for the Ring!

Follow us on Twitter: @Dynasty_Owner

Contract Speculation and Breakdown: Atlanta Falcons

By: Matt “TheJerk” Morrison (@DynastyJerk)

Good afternoon Owners, and welcome to a new “Speculation and Breakdown” article.

I want to start off by talking about the Stafford/Goff trade that happened on Jan 30th.  Matthew Stafford ($27,000,000) was traded for Jared Goff ($33,500,000), a 2021 third-round pick, a 2022 first-round pick and a 2023 first-round pick.  Whichever side that you think won that trade, you have to admit that this is a monster deal and one that will hopefully foreshadow the rest of the offseason.  Now, how does this affect us as Dynasty Owners?  If you are a Goff owner, I wouldn’t expect much of a change.  As I mentioned last month, Goff is a perfect amnesty candidate if you were unlucky enough to draft or pick him up last year.  Goff’s recent trade does nothing to make me think anything different, and in fact, it could make his dynasty outlook worse.  Once again I repeat, cut ties with Goff if you still own an Amnesty Provision. 

Stafford may be a little different story however.  He is on a contract that has two less years remaining and $6.5 million less than Goff’s.  Stafford was more productive than Goff in both 2020 and 2019 on a per game basis.  I predict a decent uptick in fantasy production as Stafford moves to a better offence and one that will win more games than his last place Lions did in 2020.  All this is meant to say that I would seriously be considering picking up Stafford if he was available in my DO league.  He is only rostered in 72.16 percent of leagues and that needs to rise.

Well, as I said in my opening, welcome to a new article and also welcome to a new division.  We completed the NFC West in January, and now we turn our attention to the NFC South.  The NFC South is composed of the Falcons, Panthers, Saints and Buccaneers.  Here is a table of each team’s finish at the end of 2020…

 RecordSeason OutcomeNotable Free Agents
Saints12-4Eliminated, NFC Divisional3
Bucs11-5Super Bowl Bound5
Panthers5-11Eliminated, Regular Season2
Falcons4-12Eliminated, Regular Season3
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“Perfectly balanced, as all things should be.”  -Thanos

I apologize for the pop culture reference, but that quote has always hit home for me.  I am a man that likes symmetry, so to see a perfectly symmetrical division…well that’s just pleasing to my eye.  What isn’t pleasing to the eye (at least for Falcons’ fans) is their 2020 record.  Last season looked to bring hope to the Atlanta fanbase.

An offensive team run by Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Todd Gurley was set to impress.  Well, the Falcons did score.  They actually finished middle of the pack as far as total points scored goes.  **(Three teams that made the playoffs actually scored less than the Falcons: See if you can guess who they are, and I’ll reveal the answer at the end of the article)  Lack of scoring didn’t seem to be the problem.  The problem was actually more their team defence and the fact that they were abysmal at winning close games.  The Falcons were involved in 10 one score games.  Of those 10 games, they lost eight.  Take from that what you will, but the Falcons were competitive in the majority of their games.  At any rate, let’s stop talking about generalities and jump into contract specifics…

Contract Speculation

As noted in the table above, the Falcons have only three notable free agents.  I define “notable” as free agents who directly pertain to Dynasty Owner rosters.  Simply put, these are players who are rosterable in our format.  These players are…

  • Todd Gurley
  • Brian Hill
  • Younghoe Koo

Whoa?  We’re gonna get some kicker talk in this article?  Not exactly.  I’m merely mentioning Koo as he finished the season as the K2.  This is where his speculation ends.  Kickers need to be rostered in Dynasty Owner as they are a position, but the only thing harder than predicting a kicker’s fantasy outlook is predicting where a free agent kicker is going to sign.  I may do a short contract breakdown on him when he does sign or re-sign, but until then, let’s talk about the running backs.

Todd Gurley and Brian Hill…where do I start?  Let’s start with the facts.  Gurley finished the 2020 season as RB27 and Hill finished as RB52.  Both seasons were disappointing in the end, although I don’t think there were high expectations for Hill.  Gurley started the season very strong as he posted nine touchdowns in his first nine games.  Well, it turns out that his high touchdown percentage is all that was holding his fantasy season together.  After Week 9, he had only 27.9 fantasy points…total. 

Gurley was a suspect draft pick last preseason due to his lingering knee issues as well as his change of venue.  It’s hard to believe that he is only 26, but it’s very likely he is in the back half of his career.  While I don’t expect him to retire in the offseason, I think it’s possible.  Spotrac has his “Calculated Market Value” at 5.5 million dollars currently. 

I think that’s the absolute top number that he would receive.  I have him pegged for around 4 to 4.5 million dollars per year.  As always, wait and see where he lands before making a long term decision.  I own Gurley in my Dynasty Owner All Star League, and I passed on Gurley straight up for Robert Woods prior to the playoffs.  I’m regretting that now.  If anyone gives you a halfway decent offer for Gurley, I would take it especially if you have adequate running back depth.

Brian Hill is the second Falcons’ running back I’d like to talk about.  Hill (like Gurley) is an unrestricted free agent.  Hill is also 26 years old, and he has a healthy 4.7 yards per carry for his career.  The perception is that Hill was largely inefficient last year.  While that may be true, he was on par with the rest of his teammates.  Let me show you…

 CarriesYardsFantasy PointsFantasy Points/Carry
Gurley220842167.20.76
Hill12566493.40.75
Smith8134356.30.70
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So, we can see that all the Falcons’ rosterable running backs were close to the same efficiency, at least by this metric.  But how did they compare to similarly ranked running backs…

 CarriesYardsFantasy PointsFantasy Points/Carry
Williams150741127.60.85
Pollard129627139.91.08
Fournette1336001341.01
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As we can also see, Jamaal Williams, Tony Pollard and Leonard Fournette are all backups yet they were much more efficient and almost outscored every Falcons’ back.  This is a long winded way of saying that the Falcons’ backfield had a poor 2020 showing.  So what can we expect moving forward?  This is my honest read…

I think Gurley will not be re-signed.  He was actually named the backup running back towards the end of the 2020 season.  He’ll sign with a new team.  Hill will be re-signed by the Falcons for a similar contract that he just completed.  Look for Hill to make around 2 to 3 million per year.  There is also little doubt in my mind that Atlanta will draft a running back in the first half of the draft.  Time will tell if that draft pick will become the projected starter, but suffice it to say, there really is no Falcons’ running back that can be trusted going into 2021 at this point.

Contract Breakdown

Hayden Hurst

Today we are going to be talking about a highly sought after tight end coming into the 2020 season (at least I sought him).  The player is Hayden Hurst.  Hurst, a 2018 first round pick, was traded from the Baltimore Ravens to the Atlanta Falcons in March of 2020.  This trade looked to, essentially, slide Hurst into the vacated role of Austin Hooper.  In 2019, Hooper posted a sensational line of 75 receptions, nearly 800 yards and six touchdowns while missing three games.  This was not an easy ask for Hurst to complete, but it is one that he had the skills and athleticism to achieve.  The reality is that Hurst did not live up to his preseason hype.  That’s not to say he didn’t have a productive season, but he was unable to post a dominant tight end season.  Here is how 2020 shook out for him..

 SalaryRecYardsTouchdownsFantasy PointsDD/FP
Hurst$2,759,007565716149.1$18,504
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As I said, this isn’t an abysmal season, but just adequate.  These stats were able to provide Hurst with a TE 9 finish.  Again, not terrible, but not great when you think about how scarce the tight end field currently is.  So what do we do with him?

Hurst has a year remaining on his rookie contract.  After that, he will become an unrestricted free agent.  He is 27 years old and he remains one of the better values as far as tight ends go.  In 2020, Hurst was drafted around the 8th round in most Dynasty Owner Leagues.  He was a common player that Owners targeted due to his low salary mixed with a seemingly high target share and talent. 

I expect nothing much to change in this offseason.  Yes, Hurst has lost a year on his contract, but he will still have a year’s worth of that value before he signs a new one.  While the long term outlook for Hurst may not be the greatest, I expect him to meet and exceed his production from 2020 going into 2021.  As it is with every player, there is a chance that he signs an extension prior to the start of a new DO season, but I think that is unlikely.  Anyone currently rostering Hurst will not have a league winning tight end, but they will have a player that outscores their opponent’s tight end more times than not.

Matt Ryan

Following our discussion of Jared Goff a few weeks ago, I’d like to use Matt Ryan as a comparison.  Yes, they are different players and are in different stages of their careers, but I think this comparison is valid.  Both players are in a limbo type contract situation, and he’s what I mean by that…

Both Goff and Ryan are on above average contracts, but are only providing average results.

(Full disclosure: I typed these first two paragraphs prior to the news of the Stafford/Goff trade.  Regardless, the statements still stand.)

Ryan finished 2020 as the QB12 while Goff finished 2020 as the QB18.  Now when you compare that to their salary rank among quarterbacks in 2020, the numbers begin to skew.  Ryan ($30,000,000) is the eighth highest paid quarterback per year, and Goff ($33,500,000) is the fourth highest paid quarterback per year.  We already know that even if either of these QBs had cracked the Top 10 last year, they still wouldn’t be a great value as their salaries are just too high.  It would take a yearly performance close to what Wilson and Rodgers did to return value for their cost.

There are many rumors flying around that Ryan may have played his final snap for the Falcons.  I don’t know if that will end up coming true, but what I do know is that unless he purposely takes less money next year, (which he won’t) he won’t be rostered by many teams.  Similar to Goff, Ryan is a prime amnesty candidate as there are several quarterbacks that make over $30,000,000 that I would rather own.  Like always, I will update the community as soon as I have any info on Ryan’s departure from Atlanta.  For now, don’t expect him to be your starting quarterback in 2021.

Thank you for reading, and be sure to watch the video that relates to this article.  Next week I’ll be writing about a Super Bowl contender, and the team that I actually hope wins the championship.  By the time we talk next week, maybe The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be crowned champions.  Please follow us on Twitter @DynastyOwner, and subscribe to Dynasty Owner on YouTube.  Take care and be safe.

**The Falcons outscored the Bears, Rams and Football Team in 2020

TheJerk

Prospect Preview: Jaylen Waddle

Position: WRWeight: 182
College: AlabamaAge: 22
Height: 5′ 10″247 Rating: 4 Stars (0.9791)

By Nate Christian (@NateNFL)

The Rundown:

Coming into the 2020 college football season, Jaylen Waddle was a somewhat popular pick for the classes’ top receiver. In his first four games of the season, Waddle amassed 557 yards and 4 touchdowns with only 25 catches. At an incredible average of 21.1 yards per catch, it was an incredible start to the season and Waddle was the most exciting player in the country. In his 5th game of the season, he went down with a severe ankle injury early in the first quarter and exited the game, looking like his season had prematurely ended. He showed incredible progression in his training and was able to play in the National Championship game (although looking a little hobbled by his injury). An incredible feat just to get back onto the field, Waddle proved to a lot of teams that day that he was a true competitor, ready for the NFL stage.

College Production:

It’s often that we hear fast and explosive players likened to Tyreek Hill ($15,850,500), but it’s not often a player actually deserves that comparison. Waddle may need to add a couple more pounds of muscle to show the same strength that Hill has, but his speed and overall ability to take it to the house are reminiscent. His Junior season stats were impressive, but Waddle has made an impact since he was a true freshman. In 2018 Waddle compiled 45 receptions, 848 yards, and 7 touchdowns. This on the same team as older teammates, Jerry Jeudy ($3,452,949), Henry Ruggs ($3,789,006), and DeVonta Smith. His ability to step into the top program in the nation and immediately compete on the field is incredible and speaks to his work ethic and athletic talent.

Strengths:

  • Lightning Speed
    • There’s a video out on Twitter, from last year, showing Waddle essentially tying Henry Ruggs ($3,789,006) in a 50-yard dash. Ruggs showed up at the 2020 NFL Combine later that year and posted a 4.27 second performance. One of the fastest attempts ever recorded, Waddle is likely to bring that again this year. Unfortunately, with no NFL Combine we may never really know how he’d stack up against Ruggs, John Ross, and Chris Johnson.
  • Offensive Weapon
    • Waddle isn’t just capable of being a team’s top wideout, but he also has the ability to be a playmaker in the return game as well as on the ground (whether out of the backfield or on sweeps). He’s a dream come true for a creative offensive coordinator, but independently talented enough to fit in nearly any offensive scheme. Any team that drafts Waddle isn’t just getting a deep threat, they’re getting a weapon to score touchdowns.
  • Eating Up Green Grass
    • It’s been said many times already in this article that Waddle has the special edge to his game, the ability to score on any play, but as a wide receiver he excels in getting into space (with or without the ball). Without the ball he’s able to speed past cornerbacks, zoom through zone coverage, and make himself an open target for the quarterback. Once the ball is in his hands, he has great vision to find running lanes and can make the first defender miss on his way to pay dirt.

Weaknesses:

  • Not Prototypical “Alpha” Size
    • At 5’ 10” and 182 pounds, he about mirrors Tyreek Hill’s ($15,850,500) measurables. And the reason that’s who I compare him to is because that’s the same role he can play for a team. Hill might not be a “big” receiver, but he still is the WR1 for his team and one of the main offensive outlets. I predict Waddle can be used in a similar fashion and with a team willing to commit to him, I wouldn’t expect any regret for his lack of height.
  • NFL, but not Fantasy
    • There’s a chance that Waddle ends up becoming a much better wide receiver for his NFL team than for your fantasy team. His ability to stretch the field and be used as a decoy in motion could open up space and time for other players on the offense and may be much more valuable to a team than getting his stats some padding. I think most speedsters can have this issue, where they are on the field but don’t make a consistent impact due to the nature of their role in the offense. Waddle brings a lot more to a team than just speed, but this is always something to keep in mind.
  • Dak Prescott ($$$)
    • No, Waddle isn’t going to end up in Jerry World, but the ankle injury he suffered is quite similar to Prescott’s. Teams will be spending as much time as possible weighing the pros and cons of Waddle’s ankle injury and if there is anything more to it. A decision that could prove quite costly if things go south for Waddle, he might be pushed down some teams’ boards depending on what their doctors say.

Things to Watch:

With his continued rehab it will be really interesting to see how he feels at the Alabama Pro Day. With every millisecond counting on some the drills, Waddle will want to be at full health before he starts giving NFL teams a number to study. If Waddle is fully healthy, he’s going to blow up the underwear Olympic activities, but if he’s not 100% I wouldn’t expect him to participate in much. Waddle is constantly talked about as one of the top receivers, but not quite in the top 2 or 3 of the class, I think as the NFL Draft gets closer Waddle will become more and more popular as media outlets realize that NFL teams are interested early. We’ve seen enough teams “ooh” and “ahh” over many other speedsters in the draft.

Projected Round/Contract:  

Without the injury this season, Waddle would have been a lock for the middle of the first round. While the injury may scare a couple teams off, Waddle was able to get back on the field and show he’s made progress in recovery. If teams aren’t worried about the long-term repercussions of the ankle injury, then I’d expect Waddle to still find himself in the early/middle slots of the 1st round. In the scenario that Waddle falls into Day 2, one lucky team would be getting a steal. If drafted in the 1st I would expect Waddle contract to look similar to CeeDee Lamb’s ($3,184,094). Lamb signed a 4-year deal (with 5th year option) worth $14,010,012, counting for $2,547,275 in his rookie year.

Team Fits:  

Perhaps the most popular fit in mock drafts is currently the New York Giants, a team that has a lot of young offensive players but has been lacking high-quality receiver play. Sterling Shepherd ($9,000,000) is good but struggles to stay on the field, Darius Slayton ($908,497) had a sophomore slump, and Golden Tate ($10,852,942) has been in and out of the doghouse all season. The Giants, if willing to give Daniel Jones ($7,189,288) one more year to prove himself a franchise quarterback, could do worse than selecting Waddle to give the offense an extra spark.

A second team that could end up selecting Waddle is the Detroit Lions, the now Matthew Stafford ($20,000,000)-less Detroit Lions. With Jared Goff ($27,825,000) coming into Detroit, and Matthew Stafford ($20,000,000) leaving to LA, I don’t expect Kenny Golladay to re-sign with the Lions. That leaves a huge gap on the depth chart as Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola are both moving on as well. Insert Jaylen Waddle and let him take over that offense an either provide a outlet for Goff ($27,825,000) or a safety blanket for the next quarterback in Honolulu Blue.

Follow us on Twitter: @Dynasty_Owner

Prospect Preview: Najee Harris

Position: RBWeight: 230
College: AlabamaAge: 22
Height: 6′ 2″247 Rating: 5 Stars (0.9984)

By Nate Christian (@NateNFL)

The Rundown:

Coming into the 2020 season, most draftniks were caught between Travis Etienne and Najee Harris for the best running back in the class. By the end of the 2020 season, Harris has distanced himself enough from Etienne to be the consensus top runner. Eligible for the 2020 NFL Draft, Harris decided to go back to Alabama for one more shot at a National Championship, and it worked out. Not only did he win the 2020 National Championship, but he was also able to boost his draft stock enough to now be considered a possible first rounder, rather than the likely third rounder he would have been last year.

College Production:

Harris finishes his Alabama career as the Crimson Tide’s all-time career touchdown leader, with 57 (46 rushing, 11 receiving), and his 3,843 career rushing yards place him at the top of the school’s history as well. His senior year production was quite impressive as he rushed for nearly 1,500 yards, at 5.8 yards per carry, while scoring 26 touchdowns on the ground. He showed off his ability to be more than just a runner though with 43 receptions for 425 yards and 4 touchdowns. With 30 total touchdowns in his final season, Harris cemented himself as a playmaker ready for the next level.

Strengths:

  • Great Runner
    • It’s hard to rack up 26 touchdowns on the ground without being a great pure runner. Harris has great vision and patience behind the line of scrimmage, and that combined with the Alabama offensive line, meant constant positive gains. While he’s not likely to have such a dominate OL in the pros, Harris’ ability to see gaps develop and dictate linebackers, gives him the edge to quickly transition to the next level.
  • Bulldozer
    • Harris has an impressive highlight reel, but not many of them are long runs with him leaving defenders in the dust. That’s not his game. Most of them are him stiff arming, hurdling, and trucking his way down the field in a methodical bulldozer kinda way. Nearly impossible to bring down at first contact, Harris is going to sit atop the list of Yards after Contact week-in and week-out.
  • NFL-Ready Size
    • There’s really no way to complain about 6’ 2” and 230 pounds. And while he’s not a burner out there, Harris shows off plenty of burst and athleticism to go along with his incredible size. Some players have to gain some more weight to their frame to prepare for the NFL grind, but Harris is going to be just fine and will likely make his opponents consider eating a couple extra cheeseburgers before their matchup.

Weaknesses:

  • Alabama Senior-itis
    • While I wouldn’t call Harris a “generational prospect” (that gets thrown around all to easily, he’s pretty darn close. There aren’t really too many weaknesses that he shows on tape, and receiving concerns have been settled in 2020 and he’s shown up on every stage. The biggest question mark surrounding Harris is what will he look like without Alabama’s talent? Recent Alabama running backs have been just fine, so I don’t think this will be too much of an issue.

Things to Watch:

In a slight surprise, Harris accepted an invite to the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. Without a formal NFL Combine though it makes sense. Harris wants to get in front of scouts as much as possible and show teams that he’s worth a 1st round selection this year. He will want to show off that he can still dominate outside of the Alabama offense. This year’s Senior Bowl should be one of the most exciting, and Harris will be in the spotlight.

Projected Round/Contract:  

When it comes to projecting NFL Draft capital, running backs are always hard to predict. Harris could go as early as the late-teens or fall as far as the second round, simply because running backs don’t get drafted as high as they used to. But to at least give you a sense of what Harris’ contract could look like we’ll use Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s ($2,705,393) contract. That contract was signed for $10,821,570 over 4 years, and of course as 1st round selection would add in the 5th year option for a team to use. But will he go in the first round? Let’s look at some teams that could really use him.

Team Fits:  

My preferred dream landing spot? The Pittsburgh Steelers at pick 24. Now coming from a Baltimore Ravens fan that hurts to say, but as far as a product on the field and in fantasy, you couldn’t ask for much better. James Conner is a free agent and the Steelers have made no attempt to re-sign him, and Benny Snell ($805,517) and Anthony McFarland ($1,004,357) have done nothing to prove that they could lead a playoff team on the ground. The Steelers offense became one-dimensional this season as they struggled to establish the run.

Yes, the offensive line was a factor in that, but also Conner has struggled to stay healthy and isn’t a difference maker when less than 100%. Harris fits this scheme so well, a bigger back who can be used as a power runner, but also hit outside zone and catch the ball out of the backfield. This match could give Big Ben Roethlisberger ($41,250,000) his championship window for another year or two.

Trying to find other landing spots pre-free agency can be difficult as running back is such an easy position to plug-and-play, but another spot for Najee Harris that I quite like is the Buffalo Bills. Yes I know they drafted Zack Moss ($1,048,255) last year, and Devin Singletary ($1,108,956) the year before that, but in the AFC Championship game against the Kansas City Chiefs they were rolling out T.J. Yeldon (a free agent in 2021).

That is unacceptable for a team with Super Bowl hopes. The Bills have a pretty strong team all-around and grabbing the best running back in the class would help them go ahead and have the position set for the future. Harris can fit into just about any offense and make it better, and the Bills would be more than lucky to have him.

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Does Your Team Need to Rebuild

 By: Jay Pounds (@JayPoundsNFL

I am still in so much disbelief that the NFL season has seemed to come and go so much faster than normal. While the season was 17 weeks long, just as any other in recent years, it sure did not feel like it. I have to say I hate this time of year more than any unless the Steelers are still playing of course. The thought of only having 3 more football games left is dreadful to think about as a fantasy football lover.

Last weekend my son, old man, and myself (all die hard Buckeye fans) ordered pizza and sat down to watch the National Championship, we were all overly excited to watch the Buckeyes battle the Crimson Tide. The first quarter started with the two powerhouses matching each other touchdown for touchdown, until suddenly they did not. By halftime, the game was out of hand with the Buckeyes trailing the Tide big time and that’s when it really hit me that the best season of the year was almost over, and that’s football season.

It had me thinking back to when Covid blatantly ruined 2020 caused a worldwide sports cancellation that left me salivating to watch Korean Baseball by the time it was all said and done, which I pray never happens again. I bring this story up because here at Dynasty Owner football never really ends, even after football ends.

We as owners have so many things we can be doing to keep the offseason interesting from, deciding who to keep, trying to predict contracts, watching rookie tape, trading, free agency, and much more. Each of these things mentioned will give you advantages as an owner along with keeping football in our lives. While it’s extremely sad to see football come and go, it’s also exciting to see what fun the Dynasty Owner offseason will bring us as owners.

With the college season wrapping up last week I highly suggest checking out Nate’s articles on the incoming rookies to better prepare yourself for the upcoming draft. My last piece of advice is enjoy these last 3 games even if your team is at home watching with the rest of us. As we have already seen anything can happen and sports are a privilege that can be taken away in a second, and that alone should be enough to thoroughly enjoy these last few games as football fans. 

In today’s article we will touch on a few more rebuild topics such as, where you should start when rebuilding, when the right time is to rebuild, why to rebuild, should you rebuild or retool, and why it’s important to be real with yourself about your teams outlook. At some point I will either have this entrenched in your head or you’ll get tired of reading it, but make sure you’re following the offseason content as much as you can these short articles and videos can make a world of difference for owners giving them an advantage.

The advantages may not be enough to win your league but in certain situations it could certainly happen, and they will always put you in better positions with a better understanding of what’s going on. Dynasty Owner can be a lot to take in at first but that’s ok and why Steve, The Jerk, Nate, and I are here to help anyway we can. I want to remind everyone as well please feel free to reach out with any comments, questions, or concerns to any of the Dynasty Owner team. We had one rebuilding owner reach out last week with a trade, which I will include below, check it out! 

Breakdown of A Dynasty Owner’s Trade 

Trade sent in by Taylor Bastedo 

  • Bastedo’s receives- Saquon Barkley, Jarvis Landry 
  • Owner #2 receives- Ronald Jones, Michael Gallup, Courtland Sutton, 2nd round pick 

I do not have any insight on this trade outside of what you see here in front of us. My initial thoughts on this trade is that I feel both owners won. I would imagine that Bastedo’s is ready to make a run next year buying Barkley, and Landry. Landry is not a pretty name by any means but it is a consistent name and has been for many years. While Landry had a down year (by his standards) he looks to be the go to guy in 2021 for the Browns.

After OBJ went out Landry, and Baker took off and having that kind of stability is an especially important part when it comes to winning in the playoffs in fantasy football. He was also able to get the potential rb1 next season in Barkley, on top of Landry. Owner #2 is in a full on rebuild and trying to gain as much young cheap talent and cap space as possible.

The trio of Jones, Gallup, and Sutton all have solid potential moving forward, with Sutton being the key piece in the trade. Overall, both owners should feel they got the better end with Owner #2 getting out of an aging Landry’s contract for value in return, when it could be hard to trade this time next season.

Bastedo’s should also be thrilled about adding Barkley and such a solid Wr to his roster. At the end of the day I think owner #2 did well for a rebuilding team giving himself young assets to either trade, or keep as well as plenty of cap room moving forward, while Bastedo’s should be competing for a championship next season. It’s a rare trade where everyone win.

1. When is it time for a rebuild? 

Owners who know when the time is right for a rebuild are owners who will always be one step ahead of the game. In Dynasty Owner you will need to look at things a little different because of the salary cap. What I mean by that is in regular dynasty leagues you can afford to wait a year for a player that gets injured and run at it again next year, but in Dynasty Owner you don’t have that luxury.

Imagine you had CMC this season and were hard up against the cap, when you lost CMC you pretty much lost your championship window. Next season CMC will cost roughly $12 million more in salary, so unless you drafted extremely smart you will lose some type of important piece because of that contract. I feel this is something that will get overlooked way too often in this format. Always pay attention to your studs and how long they have left on their deal as that will help greatly when deciding if you need to rebuild or not.

There is no perfect time for a rebuild but if you pay attention and realize you have 3 players heading for major deals at the same time it’s time to shake thing up and get your cap back in order. There are also other ways of realizing a rebuild is right for you but most are a bit more obvious (horrible team, zero cap space and a middle of the road team) than planning out how many players get raises at the same time.

2. Where should you start when rebuilding? 

This is another question that has no perfect answer to it. While there is no perfect answer to the question most will have their own preference. In rebuilds that I plan to take longer than 2 years I start by trading every running back of value I have and the reason for that is because of the shelf life most running backs have, in essence move them before you can’t.

In football a running back is at their highest value the moment they are drafted until roughly 27 years old (if they’re lucky). The other 3 positions tend to age much better, which makes them the positions I always start with in a rebuild. The best way I have come up with (depending on your league) is to go in this order tight end, wide receiver, quarterback, and then running back.

I say start at tight end because they generally take at least 3 years to become productive fantasy options. Wide receiver is the next spot you look for because they generally produce early in their career and last much longer than the running back position.

The quarterback position is what I look to handle 3rd because you don’t want them to get a contract extension before you’re ready to compete, so take them after your tight end and receivers to try and keep your cap potential maximized. I like to look for running backs last barring a deal I can’t refuse and that is due to their shelf life and availability.

Most productive backs you find will come from the draft or trades (not many James Robinson type guys each year) and you rarely want to trade assets for running backs in a rebuild. Remember this is not a plan you need to live and die by, don’t turn down a great running back trade because you’re horrid at wide receiver.

3. Do you need to rebuild or retool? 

This is one of the great questions most owners face and that’s should I really rebuild or can I just retool my roster. Again, this is another question without a perfect answer but there are plenty of things you can use to decide this.

The first thing I look at is the Quarterback position to figure out which route to go. Let’s say you went the route I did and did not place enough value on quarterbacks before you drafted. By doing so you leave yourself with Darnold, and Jones as your starters of the future at quarterback. In this situation even if you have a good supporting team it still may not be enough to win when all is said and done, and no one wants to be stuck in the middle of the pack.

At this point you have 2 options to retool and that’s trade for a top 10 quarterback or get lucky and find one in free agency. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but owners don’t trade their young star quarterbacks in this format, they are just too important. If you are able to trade for a young star quarterback you will more than likely destroy your team’s future, which no owner wants to do.

In this situation your best bet is trade those valuable position players while keeping any young receiver’s , or tight ends on your roster and load up on young talent and tons of draft capital. I always try to remind myself that retools are almost always caused by injuries to multiple players, or a player or two (who are replaceable)starting to show their age. 

Full video breakdown on YouTube

4. Be real with yourself about your team! 

The expression be real with yourself about your team is something I heard a ton of as a new dynasty player and for years it didn’t make sense, until one day it just clicked. As owners we have what I like to call a “my team bias”, meaning you look at your team and think everyone is a superstar or is going to bounce back next season, when in all reality you know it’s a longshot.

This doesn’t tend to happen to owners who are finishing in the bottom 3 of their league, it tends to happen to the teams that just make/miss the playoffs. Having a “my team bias” is one of the worst things any regular dynasty manager can do, and it only gets worse here on Dynasty Owner. If you are not honest with yourself about the future outlook of your team it may set you back years.

If you are constantly picking 5-8 in the draft I can assure you 2 things, one being you will always pay a premium for your starting quarterback (or start a Darnold), and your team will never be elite. If you find yourself picking 6th 2 years in a row yet look at your team and say these guys are about to break out, you probably have a bad case of the “my team bias”.

Owners that do realize their team is not what they hoped when drafting tend to turn their team around much quicker because they were real with themselves about their team and went into rebuild mode at the right time. It’s never too late for a rebuild but you can make it take much longer than you’d originally hoped. 

5. Why do owners rebuild? 

I’m sure some are wondering why I would take the time to write about something obvious like why do owners rebuild. To be honest this wasn’t something I had planned on writing about, but I showed a buddy of mine what I’ve done so far to rebuild my team and his response was “why would you ever trade away CMC”.

His comments were obviously geared towards a regular fantasy setting but I’m sure there are plenty of Dynasty Owners wondering the same. As mentioned above picking 5-8 in your rookie draft every year is not good for the future of your team, this is no different than NFL teams picking in the middle of the draft, meaning they were not good, but they also weren’t bad enough to get a can’t miss prospect either. You either want to be successful making real runs at championships or picking in the top 3 where you can get a player that should turn into an absolute stud that will help you make runs at championships.

Go back and look through some recent rookie only drafts and you will see that the top picks tend to work out much better than the middle of the road picks, this is especially critical in the 2nd round where talent runs out fairly quick most seasons. My best advice is either be really good, or be really bad because the middle is worse than bad. 

Conclusion 

I just want to take a second and thank all of you who read these articles and/or watch the videos. The support you guys give Dynasty Owner is absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to watch everyone grow as owners, writers, and friends. Getting to play in Dynasty Owner has been one of the most enjoyable fantasy experiences I have ever had and I hope that is able to continue for many years to come.

As I always say please feel free to message any of us writers on Twitter with any questions, comments, or concerns. I would also like to encourage everyone again to tell a few friends about the format, giving them a chance to enjoy this game with all of us. I hope everyone enjoys the article and as always good luck on your 2021 Chase for the Ring! 

Follow us on Twitter: @Dynasty_Owner

Contract Speculation and Breakdown: San Francisco 49ers

By: Matt “TheJerk” Morrison (@DynastyJerk)

Welcome back and thank you for reading. Another fantastic Wednesday has brought us another Dynasty Owner Contract article. Before I start with the contract talk, I want to briefly address the trade rumors that have come to light over the past couple of days. Word on the street is that Deshaun Watson is unhappy in his current situation. Actually, at this point I think they are more than rumors. Chris Mortenson sent out a series of Tweets on 1/10/21 that essentially stated Watson is unhappy with his current team, it’s stance on social justice issues and it’s hiring practices. Watson also has a no trade clause so he would be able to “control” his fate if it came down to a trade.

Now, I don’t like to speculate on rumors and gossip, but this seems to be something more than that. Watson was reportedly upset following the DeAndre Hopkins trade in early 2020, and that anger, apparently, has grown. I’m going to leave this conversation right here because we really don’t have any facts to react on. What I will say is that Watson (4 years, $39,000,000 per year) owners should keep a close eye on this situation and be prepared that he may not play for the Texans in 2021.

Contract Speculation

Today we will discuss the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers have a plethora of expiring contracts. In all, they will have to make decisions about 38 free agents, but for our purposes at DO they have four unrestricted free agents (UFA), three restricted free agents (RFA) and one exclusive-rights free agent (ERFA). The 49ers actually have the most Dynasty Owner “rosterable” free agents of any team in the NFL. I’m going to work through a few of these players one at a time…

Tevin Coleman

First up, we have veteran running back Tevin Coleman. Coleman is 27 years old, and he just finished a two-year contract worth $4,250,000 per year. This contract once looked like a steal for the 49ers in 2019, but it has derailed over last season. Coleman injured his knee in a Week 2 win against the Jets, and after that injury, he only received 11 touches for the rest of the season. Coleman re-injured the same knee in Week 8, and he was unable to see the field much after that. I don’t expect Coleman back in San Francisco given the emergence of Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr.  There is no doubt in my mind that Coleman will demand a lower salary than his previous one. Spotrac currently has his “Calculated Market Value” at $3.3 million per year. I can’t disagree with this assessment, and it would be tough to trust Coleman given his lackluster 2021 season.

Kendrick Bourne

Kendrick Bourne is an UFA that I could actually see sticking around for the 49ers. He is 25 years old and finished a single year contract worth 3.26 million dollars. It is unlikely he will make more than that amount moving forward. While he has been a reliable red zone target and possession receiver, he has not shown the top-level volume or skill to be a high paid guy. Look for Bourne to receive a deal around 2 years – $3,000,000 per year.

Jerick McKinnon, Jeff Wilson Jr. and JaMychal Hasty

The final three players I’d like to talk about are all running backs. They are: Jerick McKinnon, Jeff Wilson Jr, and JaMychal Hasty. The career for McKinnon has been a disappointing one. He came out of Georgia Southern in 2014 as one of the most athletic and talented running backs for the class. (That actually may not be saying much as these are the running backs taken ahead of McKinnon); Bishop Sankey, Jeremy Hill, Carlos Hyde, Charles Sims, Tre Mason and Terrance West.

None of these backs (barring Hyde) has had a particularly good career. The fact remains:  McKinnon has been injury plagued especially over the past three seasons. As an UFA, look for McKinnon to find a new home this offseason and to receive a contract comparable to his current ($1,160,000 per year).

I think the path for Jeff Wilson and JaMychal Hasty to make the team are much easier and let me explain why. Jeff Wilson is a restricted free agent coming into 2021. JaMychal Hasty is an exclusive rights free agent. Let me first breakdown what these designations mean. A restricted free agent includes any NFL player that had served for three years and that has an expiring contract. A RFA has received a “qualifying” offer from his current team, but he is free to explore other teams as well. If another team gives him a better offer, his current team is allowed time to give a matching or better offer with the hopes of retaining that player. (This could be referred to as “first rights of refusal”).

This is a very simplified way of explaining it, but for our purposes that’s the summary. Wilson is an RFA. My anticipation is that the 49ers will retain him at least for next year. He will still post a low contract and hopefully, for his owners, carry a productive 2020 season over into 2021. JaMychal Hasty is a little more complicated. Hasty is an ERFA. An ERFA is any player that has not accrued two years of service in the NFL and has an expiring contract. These types of free agents are almost always undrafted rookies. Hasty fits that description, and being an ERFA, he really has no options. The 49ers are able to sign him to a one-year tender for slightly more than their original contract. ERFA have no leverage to meet or sign with other teams. Essentially, expect Hasty to be back in SF next year with a very similar contract.

Contract Breakdown

You know the drill. I’m going to break down two current 49ers contracts and give you some player comparisons as well. Before I tell you, which player this is about, let me give you a blind contract comparison…

Who would you rather own in Dynasty Owner?

 AgePer YearYears Remaining2020 Fantasy Points
Player A22$3,132,8353185
Player B23$2,792,8292212
Swipe for more on mobile.

All things considered; these are two very comparable players. I’ll tell you that they are both wide receivers if you haven’t guessed that yet. (It may have been obvious from their contracts.). As you can also see, Player A (Alpha) seems to have been a rookie last year while it’s safe to assume Player B (Bravo) was a rookie in 2019. Maybe you’d like to take a look at their raw stats in 2020 to decide who you want…

 TargetsReceptionsYardsYds/RecTotal Touchdowns
Player A966074712.47
Player B118661,19318.14
Swipe for more on mobile.

Okay, this isn’t looking much better for Alpha, is it?  Bravo outperformed Alpha in every statistic except touchdowns and what looks to be catch percentage. However, the question remains…which player would you rather own knowing that Bravo has one less year on his very favorable contract? 

My answer would still be Bravo. I’ll take (what seems to be) the better player for one less year. Let me drop one final statistic on you and see if it changes your mind. Bravo missed one game last season. It’s looking better and better for him isn’t it?  Well, Alpha missed four games last season. In fact, this is what each of their full season stats would have been…

 TargetsReceptionsYardsYds/RecTotal Touchdowns
Player A1288099612.49
Player B125701,27218.14
Swipe for more on mobile.

Quite a bit closer than we originally thought, right?  In the end, I would still take Bravo due to the high yardage and yards per reception, but I wouldn’t blame you if you chose Alpha.

Well, Alpha is Brandon Aiyuk and Bravo is D.J. Moore. Again, I would prefer to own Moore, but this comp hopefully showed how quietly dominant Aiyuk’s season was. While I can’t say that he is as much a value as Justin Jefferson, CeeDee Lamb or maybe even Chase Claypool, he is still a value. These stats are somewhat misleading because George Kittle was missing from the majority of Aiyuk’s dominance.

He shouldn’t be blamed for that though. I predict that the Sophomore leap that Aiyuk makes in 2021 will outweigh the return of Kittle into the lineup. Hold Aiyuk if you own him. If you don’t, I’d be willing to pay a 2021 high 2nd for him.

George Kittle

Speaking of Kittle, he is the second contract we are going to analyze. George Kittle is 27 years old, and he was set to be a free agent this offseason after he finished a 4-year contract worth a little under $700,000 per year. As we all know, Kittle signed a 5 year – $75,000,000 contract with San Francisco in August 2020. This puts him at $15,000,000 per year and makes him the highest paid tight end in the NFL. Breaking down Kittle’s contract is a tough endeavor as he missed exactly half of the 2020 season. Regardless, we have enough data over last year and the 2019 season to do some player comparisons with him. Let’s assume that Kittle played every game over the last two seasons, and let’s assume that he would have been just as productive over his missed games as he was in his games played. This is what his fantasy production would have looked like…

George KittleRecYardsTouchdownsFantasy Points
2019 Full Season Pace971,2036253.1
2020 Full Season Pace961,2684250.2
Swipe for more on mobile.

Okay, so we’ve established that Kittle is amazingly consistent and we know that he ranks as a Top 3 tight end, but how does his fantasy points per game and fantasy points per dynasty dollar rank against his peers. This is how…

 2021 Salary2020 FP (Full Season Pace)2021 Projected DD/FP
George Kittle$15,000,000250.2$59,952
Travis Kelce$14,312,500335.8$42,622
Austin Hooper$10,500,000139.7$75,161
Jimmy Graham$8,000,000163$49,080
Darren Waller$7,450,000282.6$26,362
Swipe for more on mobile.

Darren Waller is clearly the value here as he makes roughly half as much as Kittle and Kelce do. Kittle’s DD/FP are, therefore, not going to reflect his value. When taking into account position scarcity and relatively cheap contracts compared to top tier wide receivers, Kittle (and Kelce) become league winners even above $14,000,000 per year. Yes, he is expensive to own. Yes, you may need to make room on your roster to fit in his new salary. Yes, you need to find a way to make it happen. Kittle, Kelce and Waller are so much more valuable at their position than any other player. Their salaries need to be considered, of course, but Owners need to see that $15,000,000 per year for Kittle is not comparable to $16,050,000 per year for Adam Thielen. The top producing tight end will always be the greater value with a similar sized contract.

Thank you for reading and keep an eye out for my video series that will highlight this article. Please follow us on Twitter @DynastyOwner and subscribe to Dynasty Owner on YouTube. Take care and be safe.

TheJerk

Prospect Preview: DeVonta Smith

Position: WRWeight: 175
College: AlabamaAge: 22
Height: 6′ 1″247 Rating: 4 Stars (0.9717)

By Nate Christian (@NateNFL)

The Rundown:

You most likely already know this name, after all he did become a college football star in 2020, but what does his transition into the NFL look like? Well, depends on who you ask. The film-grinders will tell you the Smith is one of the best receivers in the class and somebody who always impresses. Analytical minds might say that he had a late breakout age (he didn’t produce great numbers until his senior year) or maybe that he’s not worth a high pick because he’s two years older than Ja’Marr Chase. Everyone is right. So, this makes his prospect profile a hard one to comb through. Winning the Heisman did not make Smith a top wide receiver, but his all-around skillset combined with his high-level production are what puts him at the top.

College Production:

It started with a Jaylen Waddle injury and ended with a Heisman. Not to disrespect Smith, who was a top receiver coming into 2020, but Waddle was the receiver everybody wanted to see this year. Once Waddle suffered a (nearly) season-ending ankle injury, Smith stepped up into the WR1 role at Alabama and thrived. One his way to winning the National Championship Smith recorded, 117 receptions for 1,856 yards and 25 total touchdowns. He set the SEC career receiving touchdown record (46), passing Amari Cooper (31) early in the season. Smith’s season (and career) will go down in college football history as one of the best.

Strengths:

  • Crisp Route Running
    • Considered one of the best route runners in the draft coming into the season, Smith improved upon an already incredible ability and spent the majority of the season wide open. His cuts are smooth and he doesn’t seem to lose any momentum out of his breaks. He understands the bigger picture and therefore has great pacing in his routes to setup defenders based on route combinations. They should start calling him Smoothie King because he’s constantly putting defenders in the blender (yeah, I know).
  • Instant Release
    • While Smith is used all over the field, and oftentimes in motion, his ability to line up outside against the other team’s top cornerback is perhaps one of his greatest traits. Within seconds he’s usually past his defender already stacking within 10 yards. When the ball is snapped the defender has to be ready for anything, and with Smith’s wide array of moves and routes he’s almost unstoppable. It doesn’t matter if it’s an outside or inside release, Smith usually wins.
  • Plenty of Athleticism
    • It’s hard to play at the level Smith has for so long without some great athletic ability. His ability to run past the defense and find open grass behind the safeties was nearly unmatched this season, and you can see on the screens and punt returns that he’s a burner and can make people miss. The stop/start ability is there, and defenders struggle to get their hands on and tackle the aptly-named “Slim Reaper”.

Weaknesses:

  • Frame
    • “The Slim Reaper”. It’s a good nickname, but it also points out one of Smith’s few “weaknesses”. His listed playing weight at Alabama is 175 pounds, that’s a bit concerning for the longevity of his pro career, as players at that size don’t have a great history or production or health. But there’s still time until official weigh-ins. While he’s not expected to come in at 200 pounds at any point, gaining a bit of weight would silence a lot of his critics (right or wrong).
  • Breakout Age
    • Breakout Age (BOA) is a great stat, basically measuring how early a player started showing off elite production at the college level. Naturally the earlier the better. And it checked out, players statistically have a better chance of being a top fantasy receiver the lower their BOA. Smith’s breakout age comes out to 20.8, which isn’t terrible, but at the 42nd percentile it surely isn’t lighting up the board. This doesn’t worry me too much considering the competition within the team for touches at Alabama over the past couple years.
  • Overhyped?
    • The first receiver to win the Heisman since 1991. It’s impressive, but that doesn’t really equate to NFL success. Smith is a great prospect and an even better college football player, but the Heisman technically shouldn’t affect his player profile, but he’s become an icon. We’ve seen plenty of players get overhyped in the media and setup to fail with lofty expectations. I’m hoping we don’t see this with Smith, I’m rooting for the kid, but it is certainly something to take into account when projecting his NFL career.

Things to Watch:

Everyone around the league will be keeping their eyes peeled on the scale when Smith finally weighs in. If he comes out at his college listed weight of 175, some teams may push him down the board, scared of the lack of thickness. But if Smith can weigh in around 185 pounds, may doubts will be alleviated, as this puts him in a whole new level of comparisons. Smith needs to be shooting for 185, that’s the number that Marvin Harrison played at and he worked out okay. Outside of this factor, Smith will likely test well and will go into the NFL draft as likely one the of first receivers to be drafted.

Projected Round/Contract:  

Smith’s contract has a bit of range throughout the beginnings of the first round. While some have marked him as high as three overall (to the Miami Dolphins), he’s been seen as low as 18 overall (again to the Miami Dolphins). So it seems the consensus is that the Dolphins don’t pass on Smith twice. If we project him to be projected somewhere in the middle of that range, then his contract would likely mimic the deal that Henry Ruggs ($4,167,907) signed this past summer. That deal would give him 4-years at a total of around $16,671,626, though a bit higher of a draft position could see this number climb to around $20,000,000 total.

Team Fits:  

Well, I guess the obvious first fit is the Miami Dolphins. Pairing DeVonta Smith with his college quarterback Tua Tagovailoa ($7,568,860) just seems too exciting. We saw this last year with draftniks mocking CeeDee Lamb ($3,502,503) to the Arizona Cardinals to pair backup with Kyler Murray ($8,789,661).  The fit seems good, Smith would bring a different dynamic to the current offense which boasts two big receivers on the outside in Devante Parker ($7,625,000) and Preston Williams ($588,333). Smith has the ability to be used all over the field and would be a great (and familiar) weapon for whichever quarterback starts the 2021 season in Miami.

Another common landing spot for Smith is the Philadelphia Eagles. While they just spent a 1st round pick on receiver Jalen Reagor ($3,317,669) in the 2020 NFL Draft, the group of wideouts in Philly could still use help. At sixth pick it may be a luxury for a team that needs so much help along the offensive line, but whichever quarterback the Eagles decide to champion into the 2021 season, they need more weapons. Reagor ($3,317,669) and Smith would create a great 1-2 punch of young receivers to build around.

Lastly, I’ll have to mention a landing spot that I don’t think has been brought up a single time… the Arizona Cardinals. This team already has their WR1 in DeAndre Hopkins ($27,250,000) but there are some questions after that. Christian Kirk ($1,473,717) has failed to consistently impress and will be entering the last year of his rookie contract. There’s also Larry Fitzgerald ($11,500,000) who is likely mulling over retirement. With Kingsbury relying on a fast attack spread offense, Smith would be an incredible fit with all the motion and screens the Cardinals would be able to implement. The Cardinals don’t necessarily need a wideout in the first round, but if Smith is still around at pick 16, I would expect the front office to think long and hard about the future of their current receiver corp.

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Dynasty Owner Playoff Awards

By: Steven Van Tassell (@SteveVT33)

More awards?!?!? Hooray!

Just like the NFL with Pro Bowl selections, the Associated Press (AP) National Football League Most Valuable Player Award (NFL MVP), NFL Honors, Super Bowl MVP, and now the NVP which stands for Nickelodeon MVP, Dynasty Owner has way too many awards to give out. Unlike the NVP award, none of them will go to Mitch Trubisky though. That’s a promise.

What we’ll do is name the Dynasty Owner Playoff Player of the Year and a runner-up, plus the Playoff Breakout Player of the Year. There will be awards for every position (QB, RB, WR, TE, K) as well. We won’t name Value players, either overall or at each position, since salaries don’t really matter in the playoffs. It’s just all about scoring as many points as possible to win your League Championship.

Performing well in the Dynasty Owner playoffs can help players to maintain their high draft stock or move players up the draft board for the next season. For example, the 2019 Dynasty Owner playoffs saw the solidification of the high draft status of a few players from the regular season, such as Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, Lamar Jackson and Michael Thomas. It also saw the rise of Kenyan Drake. Drake’s 77.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy point playoff performance in the two game 2019 Dynasty Owner playoffs pushed him up to ADP 30.4 in 2020 with a $8.48 million salary after an ADP of 77.0 in 2019 with a salary of only $845,315. Handing out some playoff awards to highlight the best performances of the 2020 Dynasty Owner playoffs can give us a glimpse into the 2021 draft position of some key playoff performers.

All stats are 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.

Standard Dynasty Owner scoring for kickers gives you 1 point for every extra point, while a missed extra point will cost you 1 point. It’s 2 points for a field goal of between 0 and 39 yards, 4 points for a field goal between 40 and 49 yards and 5 points for a field goal of 50 yards or longer. A missed field goal of between 0 and 39 yards will cost you 3 points, while a miss of 40 yards or more is a loss of 2 points.

For the purposes of this article, all playoff statistics are from the 2020 Dynasty Owner playoffs (Weeks 14 – 16), while regular season statistics are from Weeks 1 – 13. Salaries listed are from the 2020 Dynasty Owner season as well unless otherwise specified. With the boring caveats out of the way, let’s hand out some more awards!

Dynasty Owner Playoff Player of the Year

The 2020 Dynasty Owner Playoff Player of the Year is: Josh Allen

Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen wins the 2020 Playoff Player of the Year award after scoring 112.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in the playoffs. He started off Week 14 pretty well with a respectable 22.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points, but really earned this award based on his performances in Weeks 15 and 16. Exceeded 40.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in both weeks with 45.2 points in Week 15 and 44.5 points in Week 16. He wasn’t the highest scoring player in either week, but for the 3-game playoffs, he had the most.

Hopefully Dynasty Owners with Allen on their roster were able to survive Week 14 or had a bye so he led their team to a League Championship. After finishing as the #4 overall player in the regular season and at #1 during the playoffs, Allen and his $5.3 million salary is likely bound to be a first-round pick in 2021 Dynasty Owner start-up drafts, after having an ADP of 24.7 in 2020.

Our runner-up is Lamar Jackson who scored a total of 104.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in the playoffs. Jackson had his best game in Week 14 with 43.5 points and went down each week, scoring 34.6 points in Week 15 and 26.1 points in Week 16. After finishing the season with an average of 24.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game and as the 15th highest scoring QB in Dynasty Owner, this improvement in the playoffs boded well for anyone who drafted Jackson early in their 2020 Dynasty Owner draft. They didn’t get the production they were looking for from him in the regular season, but he made up for it in the playoffs. His playoff performance could be a preview of the 2021 season and return Jackson and his $2.37 million salary back to the top of 2021 Dynasty Owner draft boards.

Playoff Breakout Player of the Year

Our Dynasty Owner Playoff Breakout Player of the Year is: Jalen Hurts

The breakout player award goes to the player who exceeded their regular season performance by the most and will likely be a much higher draft pick in 2021 drafts than they were in 2020. Dynasty Owners who drafted Hurts in 2020 didn’t get any regular season production from him, but that changed dramatically in the playoffs. Hurts didn’t get his first start until the final week of the Dynasty Owner regular season and produced only 11.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points.

He doubled that in the first week of the playoffs (Week 14) with 23.9 Dynasty Owner fantasy points, improved to 45.2 points in Week 15 and fell back again in Week 16 with 21.0 points. His ADP of 158.8 in 2020 Dynasty Owner drafts is sure to move up significantly in 2021 startup drafts as he will only cost just over $1.5 million against the salary cap for the next three years.

Playoff Position Players of the Year

Let’s look at every position (QB, RB, WR, TE, K) and award Playoff Position Players of the Year to the players at each position who did the most to help their Dynasty Owners win their League Championship. We will also award runner-up awards and playoff breakout players of the year.

Playoff QB of the Year: Josh Allen (BUF) – 112.4 points

Our Playoff Player of the Year is also our Playoff QB of the Year. Josh Allen averaged 37.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per playoff game, an increase from the 31.4 points per game he averaged in the Dynasty Owner regular season.

Our runner-up for Playoff QB of the Year is also the same player (Lamar Jackson) who was the runner-up for Playoff Player of the Year. Jackson improved on his regular season performance by 10.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game (34.7 in the playoffs, up from 24.1 in the regular season).

Our breakout Playoff QB of the Year is Jalen Hurts. Hurts was the #5 ranked QB in the playoffs with an average of 30.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per playoff game. This was after only starting one game during the Dynasty Owner regular season.

All three of these QBs are bound to be top draft picks in 2021 Dynasty Owner drafts. Each one is still on their rookie salary contracts and will only count $5.3 million (Allen), $2.37 million (Jackson) and $1.5 million (Hurts) against the 2021 Dynasty Owner salary cap.

Playoff RB of the Year: Alvin Kamara (NO) – 99.0 points

The second-best RB in the Dynasty Owner regular season stepped it up in the playoffs when his Owners needed hm the most. In the playoff finals (Week 16), Kamara lit up the scoreboard with 6 TDs and 58.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points to lead many of his Dynasty Owners to their League Championship. For the entire 3-game playoffs, he averaged 33.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game, a full 9.6 points higher than his regular season average of 23.4 points per game. That’s why his Dynasty Owners drafted him and his $964,443 salary when they did (ADP 7.7). He’ll be much more expensive ($15 million) in 2021 so he likely won’t be drafted nearly as high, but he may still be drafted early if he continues to produce like he did throughout 2020.

Derrick Henry is the runner-up for Playoff RB of the year. His Dynasty Owners are likely lamenting that his best playoff game came in the first round of the playoffs (Week 14) when he scored 42.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points, instead of in the finals (Week 16) when he only had 9.8 points. He had 27.0 points in the semi-finals (Week 15) and 79.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points overall in the playoffs. His salary is set to increase from just under $10.3 million to $12.5 million in 2021, which is likely to cause a slight drop in his 2020 ADP of 23.8 in 2021 drafts.

Our breakout Playoff RB of the Year goes to David Montgomery. Montgomery started to turn it on at the end of the Dynasty Owner regular season with consecutive games of over 27.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (27.3 points in Week 12 and 27.1 points in Week 13) and just kept rolling in the playoffs by averaging 25.9 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per playoff game. That was a full 11.0 points higher than his regular season average. While it was a breakout performance for some, anyone who read Matt “The Jerk” Morrison’s predictions article (https://dynastyowner.com/2020/12/league-winners-and-playoff-predictions/) published right before the start of the playoffs were likely not surprised. With a salary of only just over $1 million for 2021, Dynasty Owners drafting their team in 2021 should expect to have to take Montgomery earlier than he was drafted in 2020 (ADP 44.2).

Playoff WR of the Year: Stefon Diggs (BUF) – 96.3 points

If you drafted a Bills stack of Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs in your 2020 Dynasty Owner draft, you’re likely reading this while counting your League Championship winnings. Diggs had three consecutive playoff games with more than 25.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (29.1 points in the first round, 25.7 points in the semi-finals and 41.5 in the finals) to finish the 2020 season as the Playoff WR of the Year. Diggs and his $14.4 million salary were the 37th WR off the board on average in 2020 Dynasty Owner drafts (ADP 102.5). After his 2020 season, Dynasty Owners in 2021 start-up drafts will have to draft him much earlier to secure his services.

The runner-up for Playoff WR of the Year is Davante Adams, who has a salary of only $100,000 more than Diggs at $14.5 million but was drafted significantly higher (ADP 29.0). Adams averaged 26.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game during the regular season and matched that in the playoffs with an average of 26.3 points per game (78.9 Dynasty Owner fantasy points for the 3-game playoffs). With his salary in place for another year, look for Adams to be drafted right around the same spot in 2021 as he was this year.

Our breakout Playoff WR of the Year is Nelson Agholor of the Las Vegas Raiders who upped his average Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game from 11.3 points per game, which ranked him 49th among WR for the season, to 18.8 points per game in the playoffs. He was the 7th best WR in the playoffs, only behind some pretty big names in Stefon Diggs, Davante Adams, Calvin Ridley, Mike Evans, DeAndre Hopkins, and Allen Robinson and just ahead of the top scoring WR for the regular season in Tyreek Hill. Agholor was on a one-year, $1,047,500 veteran minimum salary for 2020 and stands to get paid a lot more in 2021 to either stay in Vegas or go elsewhere. 

Playoff TE of the Year: Travis Kelce (KC) – 73.2 points

First in regular season points and first in the playoff points. That’s what Travis Kelce did in 2020 for his Dynasty Owners. He was also first in TE points back in 2019 as well. This year, he averaged 20.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in the regular season and was even better in the playoffs, averaging 24.4 points per game. He was also consistent with more than 20.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in all three playoff games (27.6 points in Week 14 and 22.8 points in both Week 15 and Week 16).

Kelce did the same thing last year, averaging 15.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in the regular season to lead all TEs and doing even better in the playoffs with an average of 23.3 points. He has never scored less than 20.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in the playoffs as he had 25.2 points in Week 15 and 21.4 points in Week 16 last year when there were only two playoff rounds. His $9.37 million salary increases to $14.3 million in 2021, but Kelce should be one of the first TEs off Dynasty Owner draft boards even at that amount.

Just as he was in the regular season, Darren Waller was the runner-up for Playoff TE of the Year. He also averaged over 20.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (20.2) in the playoffs, an increase of 3.9 points from his season-long average of 16.3 points. Waller is currently expected to be the 8th highest paid TE in 2021 with a salary of $7.45 million. His cost per point for the regular season and playoffs was $29,011 compared to $29,760 for Kelce, so Dynasty Owners might consider drafting Waller before Kelce and use the nearly $7 million in savings at other positions. Regardless, Waller should be drafted earlier in 2021 than he was in 2020 (ADP 77.3).

Our breakout Playoff TE of the Year is Irv Smith Jr. who scored a total of 46.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in the playoffs. That total nearly matched the number of points he scored in the regular season (47.2). Because of his potential and $1.45 million salary, Smith had an ADP of 132.9 in 2020 Dynasty Owner drafts. His salary will remain the same for 2021, but it remains to be seen if Dynasty Owners will look more at his playoff performance and draft him earlier than last year or rely more on how he did in the regular season.

Playoff K of the Year: Cairo Santos (CHI) – 36.0 points

Santos had the most Dynasty Owner fantasy points of any kicker in the playoffs, so he is the Playoff K of the Year. His 12.0 points per game average in the playoffs was almost double his regular season average of 6.5 points per game. He had the single highest scoring playoff game for a kicker in 2020 with 17.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in the playoff semi-finals (Week 15).

The runner-up for Playoff K of the Year is Greg Zuerlein. After a disappointing regular season that saw him average just 6.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game and score in double digits just four times, Zuerlein had three consecutive playoff games in double digits (12.0 points in Week 14, 11.0 points in Week 15 and 10.0 points in Week 16).

Conclusion

Congratulations to all of our winners, runners-up and breakout players for the 2020 Dynasty Owner playoffs. If your favorite player didn’t win an award, then they aren’t going to win one for the 2020 season as we’ve handed them all out now.

Based on the 2020 Dynasty Owner playoffs, expect to see a couple of things in your 2021 start-up drafts. The QBs who stood out in the 2020 playoffs (Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson and Jalen Hurts) are all still playing under their rookie contract and will likely be among the highest picks in your 2021 drafts. Players who did better in the playoffs than they did during the regular season and are still playing under their rookie contracts, such as David Montgomery and Irv Smith, should see a bump in their ADP in 2021 as well. Finally, veterans who are locked in to their 2021 salary already, such as Stefon Diggs and Darren Waller, will likely move up draft boards even more after standout regular season and playoff performances in 2020.

My articles and videos on getting you ready for your 2021 Dynasty Owner start-up league team will be out on Fridays throughout the off-season. Keep an eye out for new articles and videos from the rest of our team of Dynasty Owners writers as well. On Mondays, Nate Christian (@NateNFL) will break down rookies in his Prospect Preview. Matt Morrison – The Jerk (@Dynastyjerk) is back for another year and will do a deep dive into contracts on Wednesdays. Jay Pounds (@jaypoundsnfl) has his articles and videos on how to rebuild your Dynasty Owner roster on Thursdays. Read all of our articles, watch and like all of our videos on YouTube (and all of the other available formats, such as Spotify) and follow the four of us plus Dynasty Owner (@Dynasty_Owner) on Twitter.

Thanks for reading and good luck in your quest to be the 2021 Chase for the Ring winner!

Follow us on Twitter: @Dynasty_Owner

How to Use Salary Cap When Rebuilding

By: Jay Pounds (@JayPoundsNFL

The challenges Dynasty Owner presents on its own are tough enough, now throw a rebuild on top of it and you are left with quite a challenge, catastrophe, mess, or an enjoyable time depending on who you ask. If you go into a rebuild with a negative outlook and are not actively involved in trading and free agency you will not have much of a chance.

Obviously, a rebuild means your team stinks which is not much fun, but if you have a plan and look to the future rebuilding can become quite interesting, especially here on Dynasty Owner. A rebuild in this format is so much different and has many more moving parts from, salary cap, new contracts, future contracts, and who can you afford to keep on your roster each year.

As I have mentioned before I will be talking various aspects of rebuilds and the different challenges rebuilding will present. Today’s article will be geared around what to do with the salary cap when rebuilding which I have found several different strategies that owners can deploy when using the cap to their advantage. If you really sit back and think about it there are many ways you can use players’ salaries to expedite your rebuild and I will do my best to break some of those down in depth some with deals I have made already.  

I want to touch on this offseason briefly before we get into the article. Each of us writers (Nate, The Jerk, Steve, and myself) will be specializing in different areas that will help owners construct their teams or make tough decisions. I will be specializing in rebuilding your team as I have mentioned in previous articles. Rebuilding dynasty teams is something I really enjoy doing and have done quite a bit of in the past, and I am now here to pass that knowledge off to you.

Dynasty Owner will present several different strategies you can use to build your team back up. Throughout this offseason I will do my best to help explain these strategies for owners to use in the coming months. I will also be doing videos with each article that will go a bit more in depth and may answer some questions you have. The reason I mention this again is to encourage all of you to ask questions on the videos/articles on YouTube or Twitter. We are here to help you guys please do not be shy! 

What To Do With a Producing Aging Vet on a Big Deal 

Let us pretend its draft day and you select CMC with your first-round pick, you are excited as anyone is when getting a player of CMC’s caliber on your roster. The next few rounds go by and you select players who are ready to produce now and all but having your mind made up its this season or bust for a championship. You take Mixon in the second knowing your 2 star running backs will have shiny new deals next season and you must draft to win now potentially losing one of the 2 running backs to cap reasons next year.

The 6th round is now here and staring you in the face is Julio Jones and his 4-year $22,000,000 deal, you draft him with hopes of increasing your title shot as he is going early 2nd round in most redraft leagues. Fast forward to midseason with CMC out indefinitely, Mixon hurt, and Julio banged up pretty bad, your team is now in a tailspin with new contracts looming next season for several of your players. While this is a scenario many of us would like to avoid, it will happen to most at some point, when it does it is time for a rebuild because of the salary cap. The cap is not the end all be all by any means but when you have someone as expensive as Julio you just cannot keep him and have much flexibility, he is for contending owners at this point in his career.

The easiest possibility here is amnesty but we will save that reasoning for another day as it gives you nothing in return. The creative choice is look at players near Julio’s salary on the other owner’s rosters and find a player you know they want to move on from, for instance I found A.J. Green at a 1 year $17,971,000 salary who looked horrible and I knew the owner wanted no part of Green on his roster. I then sent him an offer and essentially moved Jones for Green and Jalen Reagor ($3,317,669). What I was able to do here is trade Julio who I drafted to help compete this season for a young receiver I hope produces like he is supposed to in the near future, and of course take on the burden of Greens contract.

Some may be wondering why in the world anyone would take on Green’s contract, but I knew I had no chance at competing this year with so many injuries, and his deal was only for this season so I sat on Green until he could be cut for free at the end of the year (expiring deal). There happen to be multiple ways to move a player with Julio’s salary this just seems to be the most productive in my eyes. Anytime you’re rebuilding and can turn a player who’s close to being done for a highly drafted rookie take it and run. 

What To Do With Bad Aging Players on Big Deals 

Some things in Dynasty Owner as well as the NFL are unavoidable, with the most common being older players with big deals who just don’t produce as they used too. In a perfect football world, any Dynasty Owner or NFL Gm would move on from these players before getting to this point, but we all know this isn’t the case. In Dynasty Owner you will find it’s much harder to move on from these players than regular dynasty because of the price to acquire said player.

No owner in their right mind wants a player clogging their salary cap when they aren’t producing well. So why am I even talking about these deals if you can’t move on from them? I am not recommending moving on from them instead that you target these players in your trades when rebuilding, with the main reason being you give the other owners some extra cap flexibility right now. I have found most owners are very concerned with cap space, which makes targeting bad deals to your advantage. The main thing with this strategy is you have to be mindful of is the length of the bad deal, always take deals that go along with your rebuild timeline.

If you are planning a 3 year rebuild then do not take on any bad deals over 2-3 years, preferably 2 (a year before you’re ready to compete). A great example of this would be if you were trying to trade Kareem Hunt (1 year $3,259,000) and a 3rd round pick for Antonio Gibson (4 years $1,226,433) to an owner who is tight on space. The owner says he doesn’t like the deal because it puts him right on the cap line, you then counter with Hunt for Gibson and Greg Olsen (1 year $7,000,000) and no pick (because you are taking on Olsen’s horrible deal).

The Owner accepts. Let’s break down why the owner would give up an extra player while losing the draft pick offered. If the owner takes the first offer, he is stuck cutting Olsen for a fee, or keeping him with minimal roster flexibility the rest of the season, instead he accepts the second offer with Olsen leaving 3-4 million in available space to adjust the rest of the season.

The big question is why the rebuilding owner would willingly take on Olsen’s deal, and the reason is it saves a draft pick for salary space you don’t need this season anyway. As mentioned earlier you can deploy this strategy for players on 2- or 3-year deals, if the length of your rebuild corresponds. The reasoning here is you’re not planning on competing so you don’t need the space right now, it’s also a full proof way to guarantee you will have open cap space in a year or 2. If you don’t look in depth at some of the moves you make you may overlook little things that you can use to your advantage and other owner’s advantage. Look for little things that help both owners win the deal and deals should become more fruitful for you. 

What To Do With Players on New Deals 

In my opinion the toughest part of a rebuild is what to do with your players that get new contracts, which tend to be pricey for players you consider keeping. This part of Dynasty Owner is unavoidable no matter how good, or bad your team is. When rebuilding you must look at these contracts different plain and simple. If you are just starting your rebuild a player like CMC, or Zeke are ones you would not want to keep around, by not keep I do not mean cut these players. Position, age, history, and cost will all come into play for owners in this situation.

When players such as the ones listed above are still producing now but may not be when your team is ready to win its time to move on from them, if you don’t, they will only hurt your draft capital taking longer for you to rebuild. I know it may be tough to see the name Dalvin Cook and trade him as he is a sure-fire star just about every week, but if the rest of your roster isn’t in line with Cook, he will do nothing but win you weeks you should and need to lose.

If you sit back look at things the right way you will understand a Cook for Dobbins trade even up makes plenty of sense. The reasons behind this are Cook has a huge salary, he’s on his second deal (never good for running backs), and he isn’t going to be as productive when your time to win comes.

If you acquire Dobbins, you may initially lose some value up front but in 3 years Dobbins value will more than likely be through the roof while Cook is fading away. What all this means for you as an owner is that you make your team worse right now, which is a good thing and you also should have a guaranteed Rb1 when your team is ready to compete.

Dobbins is also not the only prize in this deal, you as a rebuilding owner just opened much more cap flexibility while pinning the future burden of Cook on another owner, yet you helped him at the same time by improving his team right now. This is just one example of what to do with new deals when rebuilding, which will change drastically depending on the player, and their position. In the near future I will release articles on what to do with new deals by position when rebuilding allowing me to get a deeper look on the situation. 

Conclusion 

As you are starting to see there are many ways to go about rebuilding here on Dynasty Owner. My best Advice to you all in a rebuild is to do your best to make it fun. I understand as fantasy players the goal is to win year in and year out making the losing years less enjoyable.

Dynasty Owner has went a long way to changing my thinking of being bummed out when my team doesn’t perform well and that’s because of how much strategy, and thought process goes into it with managing the cap, projecting rookies, trying to avoid major injuries, and everything else Dynasty Owner has that regular Dynasty doesn’t offer. After realizing the playoffs were out, I started to look at who I wanted moving forward which opened my eyes to how different this rebuild would really be.

I had CMC, Mixon, Hunt, Fournette, J. Cook, M. Jones, and a few others on expiring deals knowing I had no chance at keeping them all, so I started to get creative. Instead of that core moving forward I’m now depending on Dobbins, Gibson, Dillon, Reagor, Pittman, Davis, Cooks, multiple draft picks and 3 QBs, all because I realized none of my original players were in line with a rebuild.  I could have gambled on these players and rode another year out, but I found this route to be much more productive and fun. You have heard me say it many times and will hear it plenty more have fun with your rebuild and good luck on your 2021 Chase for the Ring! 

Follow us on Twitter: @Dynasty_Owner

Contract Speculation and Breakdown: Los Angeles Rams

By: Matt “TheJerk” Morrison (@DynastyJerk)

I hope you all read my article last week, and I also hope that you watched the video that paired with it.  If you haven’t, I suggest you go back and read that article first as it details my role as a writer in the offseason.  You can find all the articles that Nate, Jay, Steve and I put out on dynastyowner.com.  In addition, please subscribe to Dynasty Owner on YouTube to get access to the latest mini videos that all four of us make.  I appreciate you supporting Dynasty Owner and all of us as writers.

Today we are going to discuss contracts for a team that is near and dear to my heart.  Let me rephrase that…” they used to be near and dear to my heart.”  Yes, I used to be a Rams fan.  I was born and raised in St. Louis, MO, and I still live here.  I grew up watching Rams’ games with my family, and (as I’m sure you can guess) the pinnacle of my Rams’ fandom came almost 21 years ago.  Super Bowl XXXIV was one of the best nights of my life, at least as an adolescent.  I sat and watched the entire game with family and neighbors, and I celebrated (not really knowing what I was seeing) as Mike Jones tackled Kevin Dyson to seal a St. Louis Super Bowl.  We all went outside to bang pots and pans and then shot off fireworks.  A truly great night.  I casually followed and watched the Rams throughout the Marc Bulger, Sam Bradford and Jeff Fisher years.  What’s interesting is I was surprisingly indifferent when Stan Kroenke packed up and took them to the coast. 

Maybe it was the pitiful seasons the Rams produced leading up to the exodus.  Maybe it was the fact that I had accepted a move was inevitable.  Maybe I just didn’t care anymore.  This is what I do know…it was freeing.  Not that I spent a great deal of time invested in watching the Rams, but I no longer had to care or worry about my team finishing below .500 for the tenth consecutive season.  It was over.  I had no team.  I didn’t fully appreciate it at the time, but it was a blessing.  I no longer felt compelled to adjust my fantasy football drafts based on home team biases.  I stopped blacklisting all Seahawks, 49ers and Cardinals players just because they were rivals in the NFC West.  (Truth be told, there weren’t many Rams players that were rosterable during the end of their St. Louis tenure.)  My point is this…biases of any kind are a nasty habit to fall into, and we adopt them much easier than we think and oftentimes we don’t even realize it.  Throughout this article, I’m going to sprinkle in some biases that surrounded Rams’ players in the 2020 season.  As always, let’s start with some contract speculation…

Contract Speculation

I once again have three free agents that I would like to talk about.  They are Malcolm Brown, Gerald Everett and Josh Reynolds.  These aren’t the only Rams’ players that are set to become free agents in the offseason, but they are the most impactful for Dynasty Owner.

Malcolm Brown

Malcolm Brown is an unrestricted free agent following the 2020 season, and he will be free to sign with whicher team he likes.  In a crowded backfield, Brown finished as RB44 and averaged 7.2 fantasy points per game in the games that he played.  Due to a slow start by Cam Akers, Brown was able to finish the season as the second ranked running back for the Rams in terms of fantasy points.  Here is my honest take on Brown.  I think he needs to be owned in every league.  I don’t anticipate him making much more than his current contract ($1,650,000 per year).  I think his upper limit is $3,000,000 per year, and it depends on what team he signs with in order for me to determine if that’ll be a value.  If he returns to LA, I can’t imagine he would match his 2020 fantasy output.  As I stated earlier, Akers will be the lead back in 2021.  He is the most talented runner, and all that it took was a little time to prove it.  We obviously know that Darrell Henderson is still committed to LA for the next two years.  If the Rams resign Brown, it will be more of an indictment on their commitment to a running back by committee as opposed to a positive outlook for Brown himself.  I expect Brown to move on from LA and if he does, I’d look for him to get picked up by a team that’s looking for an average running back in case their lead back gets injured.  I’d compare Brown to Mike Davis in that way.  He isn’t a particularly special runner, but he can mostly do what is asked of him.  Keep rostering him until his contract situation becomes clearer.

Gerald Everett

Second, we have Gerald Everett.  Everett provided a disappointing season.  He finished as TE24 while his teammate Tyler Higbee found lukewarm success as the TE17.  Everett is about to finish up his rookie contract that is valued at $6,044,469 for 4 years or $1,511,117 per year.  Similar to what I wrote about Christian Kirk in the last article, Everett was a value even with his lackluster season, but he was probably rarely started last season.  He tallied only three games above 10 fantasy points and his highest total was 13.0.  We’ll see if he can part ways with the Rams and make his way to a team with a void at tight end.

Josh Reynolds

Last and most importantly, I want to talk about Josh Reynolds.  Reynolds is one of those players that I believe has an unfair bias against him.  He (probably fairly) was criticized because “there are just too many mouths to feed in LA,” or “Woods, Kupp and Higbee are all more talented than him.”  Both of these statements are probably true, but that doesn’t mean Reynolds is not talented.  He needs a team where he can go and become the true number two wide receiver on that team.  That team will not be the Rams though.  I believe LA will let Reynolds walk, and he will sign with a Green Bay or a Houston type team.  In either one of these scenarios, I believe he would emerge as a reliable receiving option for a top tier quarterback.  The best part (not for him unfortunately) is that his next contract will not be expensive.  I predict he’ll receive something similar to Keelan Cole’s expiring contract (1 year at $3,259,000).  I have Reynolds as a conservative bye at the moment.  Don’t spend a lot to get him, but if you can use him in a package deal as a throw in, I’d be a buyer for sure.

Contract Breakdowns

Robert Woods

Like the last article, today I’m going to be breaking down two contracts.  The first player is one of the hardest to evaluate in Dynasty Owner.  The player is Robert Woods.  When I say that he is one of the hardest to evaluate, I don’t necessarily mean that as a negative, just that he has a very odd salary for a wide receiver mixed with a WR2 production.  Woods is about to be on the final year of a five year contract worth $6,800,000 per year.  That seems very cheap for a player of his production, doesn’t it?  I would say that’s very productive.  Let’s compare him to like salaried wide receivers…

PlayerSalaryYears Remaining2019 FP2020 FP
M. Jones$8,000,0000193.9227.8
E. Sanders$8,000,0001195.7163.8
J. Edelman$7,750,000125656.6
D. Parker$7,625,0003246.2165.3
C. Beasley$7,250,0002184.8209.7
R. Woods$6,800,0001232.9243
B. Perriman$6,500,0000138.199.1
C. Davis$6,348,6720114.1190.4
W. Snead$6,000,000095.493.3
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This is Robert Woods compared to every other “rosterable” wide receiver that makes between 6 and 8 million dollars per year.  What stands out to you?  What stands out to me is that over the past two seasons Woods has been the most productive player on this list by far.  What also stands out to me is the fact that he is one of only five players on this list of nine that still has a contract in place.  (The other four receivers that aren’t going to be free agents are aged 33, 34, 27, and 31) Woods is currently 28 years old.  What I’m trying to say is this…Woods is in what I would call “the second contract sweet spot.”  He is old enough to have made it past his first contract, but he was not so productive in that first contract that he demanded top tier wide receiver money.  And much like Devante Parker, he broke out late.  This is Robert’s first eight seasons in the NFL…

R. WoodsReceptionsRecYardsRecTDs
1st 5 Seasons526463.4
Next 3 Seasons891,0964.7
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These are season averages for the amount of time listed.  Over Woods’ first five seasons, he caught (on average) 47 less passes, 450 less receiving yards and 1.3 less touchdowns compared to his last three seasons.  This isn’t even taking into account his rushing yards that have averaged 142 and 1.3 touchdowns over the past three seasons.  You are paying a 52 / 646 / 3.4 price, but you are receiving 89 / 1,096 / 4.7 value.  In the simplest sense of the word, Woods’ contract is an extreme value.  He’s in the “sweet spot”.

(One other thing I wanted to mention is the fact that there is one more outlier from this list.  Corey Davis is the only receiver with a rookie contract.  This isn’t too surprising as he is the highest drafted rookie wide receiver that is still under his rookie contract.  Davis was drafted 5th overall in the 2017 NFL Draft.  Mike Williams (7th) and John Ross (9th) were also drafted in the Top 10 that year.  I just thought it was interesting and wanted to bring it up.  Davis seemed to hit the “sweet spot” with one year remaining in his rookie deal, which is good news for him, but it will most likely mean a steeper price for Dynasty Owners).

Jared Goff

The second player I want to break down is Jared Goff.  Goff is 26 years old, and he agreed to a four-year contract extension with the LA Rams in late 2019.  This extension totaled four years for $134,000,000 or $33,500,000 per year.  This large of a contract extension was offered, in part, because of the excellent 2018 season Goff produced.  He set career highs in team record (13-3), passing yards (4,688), touchdowns (32), and QBR (101.1).  He also took the Rams to Super Bowl LIII where they lost to the New England Patriots.  Well, the magic that Goff had in 2018 seemed to fade over the next two seasons.  A combined Rams’ record of 18-13 with him as the starter is not the start LA wanted for Goff’s new contract.

At any rate, Goff seems to have underwhelmed for the amount of money invested in him.  The underwhelming stats continue over into fantasy football and Dynasty Owner.  Let’s take a look at Goff’s 2020 season compared to his peers…

PlayerSalaryYears Remaining2020 FPOwnership %
R. Wilson$35,000,000347398.97
B. Roethlisberger$34,000,000136111.34
A. Rodgers$33,500,000351891.75
J. Goff$33,500,000430513.4
K. Cousins$33,000,00024063.09
C. Wentz$32,000,000423441.24
M. Ryan$30,000,000337147.42
R. Tannehill$29,500,000344467.01
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What do we notice about this list?  The first thing that comes to mind is the fact that he ranks second to last in points scored for quarterbacks that make over $29,000,000 per year.  (He really should rank last because Wentz shouldn’t count, but I left him on here to show the comparison.)  Oddly enough, Goff also is tied with Wentz for the longest remaining contract which is not a benefit when we’re talking about 27% of your DO salary cap.  The bottom line is that even at 13.4 percent owned, Goff is rostered in too many leagues.  I would much rather amnesty him and pick-up Roethlisberger or even Cousins.  Both quarterbacks are widely available, and their cap hit over the next three to four years will be significantly less.  The value is just not there for Goff.  As I’ve stated before, it’s not easy for these top contract quarterbacks to return value.  Wilson, Rodgers and even Tannehill did it last season, but it’s hard to predict.  If you end up with a Goff type contract and a Goff type 2020 season, it will be very challenging to compete for a DO Championship, let alone The Ring.  I like Goff as a real-life quarterback.  He’s above average, and he does enough for his team to win more often than not.  He just can’t be trusted in a contract dependent dynasty league.

Thank you for reading and keep an eye out for my video series that will highlight this article.  Please follow us on Twitter @DynastyOwner and subscribe to Dynasty Owner on YouTube.  Take care and be safe.

TheJerk

Follow us on Twitter: @Dynasty_Owner