Top Dynasty Owner QB-TE Stacks

By Steven Van Tassell

Rookie drafts are finished for most established Dynasty Owner leagues and in the third round for the rest (I’ve got one finished and one still at pick 3.04). It’s also possible that there are some leagues still in the second round if teams in your league are milking the 24-hour clock, but that’s another story entirely. Regardless of your rookie draft status, it’s time to go back and look at how to draft your 2021 start-up Dynasty Owner team.

One of the best ways to start your dynasty is to draft a QB and receiver (WR or TE) from the same NFL team. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, this is called “stacking” and it’s something that a lot of fantasy analysts preach, and fantasy players try to do with their teams. Stacking a top QB with a top WR or top TE is a tried and true strategy, but in Dynasty Owner, stacking isn’t as easy as in your typical redraft or dynasty league. Adding in salaries makes it more difficult to stack players in Dynasty Owner because some stacks are prohibitive expensive and not worth the money. In addition, it’s difficult to keep both players in a stack as their salaries increase.

The benefits of stacking are pretty great. If your QB throws a TD pass to your WR or TE, you get 6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points for the QB and the receiver. You’re doubling your production on just one play! The drawbacks are that if one of those players goes down to injury or is unproductive, you’ve possibly focused a good portion of your starting lineup or salary cap on a pair of players who aren’t producing. Last year’s Chase for the Ring Champion Viktor and his Barbee Kilgore team (League #35395) had a three-player stack from the Kansas City Chiefs with Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. All three players performed tremendously all season and finished as the full season as QB3, WR2 and TE1 for the entire 2020 season. They are projected to be QB1, WR1 and TE1 this season, so it would seem like a great strategy to stack the three of them again in 2021. However, because of salaries increases for Mahomes and Kelce, Viktor can’t afford this stack anymore in 2021. He had to drop Mahomes for free when his new $45 million salary for 2021 kicked in and traded Tyreek Hill away, but kept Kelce and his new $14.3 million salary.

This never would have happened in a “regular” dynasty league, but in Dynasty Owner, it’s what teams need to do to stay under the salary cap and still be competitive. The Mahomes-Hill-Kelce stack was only $31.475 million in 2020, or 28% of the $112 million salary cap. In 2021, those guys will cost you $77.3 million, or over three-fifths of the $127.75 million cap. In order to have Mahomes, Hill and Kelce this year, you’d only have a little over $50 million left for the remaining 22-27 players on your Dynasty Owner roster. In contrast, Viktor still had just over $80 million in salary left last year for the rest of his Chase for the Ring winning team.

Since there are so many players to stack and we need to look back at 2020 and forward to 2021, this article will focus only on QB-TE stacks. In order to be listed as a stack, the duo had to have at least 300.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points with the QB scoring at least 200.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points and the TE scoring at least 100.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in the 13-game Dynasty Owner regular season. This is to ensure that both players are worthy of owning. While it’s possible to stack Buffalo QB Josh Allen with TE Dawson Knox, Knox only scored 36.0 points in the Dynasty Owner regular season. Similarly, Broncos TE Noah Fant didn’t have consistent QB play during the season and QB Drew Lock only had 129.4 points in the Dynasty Owner regular season. Neither one of those stacks are listed as a result.

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.

For the purposes of this article, all 2020 statistics listed are from the Dynasty Owner regular season (Weeks 1 – 13). Projected statistics for 2021 are provided by Rotowire, posted on the Dynasty Owner app and website, and taken from the Mock Draft lobby at Noon on June 15th. Salaries listed are from the 2020 and 2021 Dynasty Owner season respectively.

Top QB-TE Stack of 2020

It should come as no surprise that the top QB-TE stack of 2020 was Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce. The duo combined for a whopping 664.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 13 Dynasty Owner regular season games, an average of 51.1 points per game. They performed at a high level nearly every week with a low of 22.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in Week 7, and a high of 79.7 points in Week 8. Only four times in 13 weeks did they score less than 50.0 points combined.

PlayerPositionTeam2020 Salary2020 Points2020 DD / PT*
Patrick MahomesQBKC$4,106,447423.1$9,706
Travis KelceTEKC$9,368,400241.6$38,776
TOTALS  $13,474,847664.7$20,272

* DD/PT stands for Dynasty Dollars per Point (2020 Salary divided by Points)

Due to their 2020 salaries being pretty low (less than $13.5 million combined), they only cost $20,272 per point. Only one QB-TE duo had a lower DD/PT amount in 2020. We will get to that later in the article.

Basically, the Mahomes-Kelce QB-TE stack was the one to have in Dynasty Owner in 2020 from a points and value standpoint. However, as detailed earlier, this is not likely to be the case on the value side in 2021 as Mahomes’ salary rockets up to $45 million in 2021 and Kelce’s also increases by nearly $5 million up to $14.3 million.

Other Top QB-TE Stacks of 2020

Overall, there were a total of 10 QB-TE stacks that produced at least 300.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points with 200.0 or more points from the QB and 100.0 or more points from the TE. The second ranked QB-TE stack was unlikely to be drafted by many Dynasty Owners, but proved to be very productive. It was the Green Bay duo of Aaron Rodgers and Robert Tonyan.

PlayerPositionTeam2020 Salary2020 Points2020 DD / PT
Aaron RodgersQBGB$33,500,000386.4$86,698
Robert TonyanTEGB$750,000138.7$5,407
TOTALS  $34,250,000525.1$65,226

In terms of points, they finished second with 525.1, or 40.4 per game. That’s 10.7 fewer points per game than Mahomes and Kelce. In addition, they cost over three times as much on a per point basis ($65,226 per point) and 2.5 times as much in salary, basically because of Rodgers’ $33.5 million salary.

The next six QB-TE stacks all had over 400.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points combined, but none provided as much value as Mahomes and Kelce. The closest combination was Justin Herbert and Hunter Henry from the Los Angeles Chargers who scored 427.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (32.8 per game) for only $17.25 million in salary. However, they were still almost twice as expensive on a per point basis.

PlayerPositionTeam2020 Salary2020 Points2020 DD / PT
Justin HerbertQBLAC$6,644,688309.3$21,483
Hunter HenryTELAC$10,607,000117.7$90,119
TOTALS  $17,251,688427.0$40,402

However, if your Dynasty Owner team had both Herbert and Henry in 2020, it’s not a stack anymore as Henry has moved on in free agency to the New England Patriots. The same is true for two other stacks that produced very similar points in 2020 (Matthew Stafford-T.J. Hockenson from Detroit and Ryan Tannehill-Jonnu Smith from Tennessee).

Best QB-TE Value Stack of 2020 (and 2021?)

In terms of value, which is what all Dynasty Owners are striving for because of the salary cap, the Baltimore Ravens pairing of Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews is difficult to beat. They may have only finished with only 382.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 2020 (29.4 points per game), but their cost per point was the lowest at $8,441.

PlayerPositionTeam2020 Salary2020 Points2020 DD / PT
Lamar JacksonQBBAL$2,367,912265.4$8,922
Mark AndrewsTEBAL$863,290117.4$7,353
TOTALS  $3,231,202382.8$8,441

Both players returned value with DD/PT amounts of under $10,000. That’s what happens when the two players make a combined salary of $3.231 million, or less than one-tenth of what Aaron Rodgers costs on his own.

But is it likely to be the best value stack of 2021? If both Jackson and Andrews stay relatively healthy and productive, since the salaries for both of them will be the same in 2021, it seems likely. That won’t be the case in 2022 as both players will be free agents and make significantly more in salary.

Projected Top QB-TE Stacks of 2021

Not surprisingly, the top scoring stack of 2021 is projected to be Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce with 798.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points.

PlayerPositionTeam2021 Salary2021 Projected2021 DD / PT
Patrick MahomesQBKC$45,000,000524.2$85,845
Travis KelceTEKC$14,312,500274.0$52,235
TOTALS  $59,312,500798.2$74,308

However, their new, higher salaries make their value not as great as 2020 as they will cost their Dynasty Owner $74,308 per point in 2021 if they hit their projections. That’s nearly four times as much as 2020.

In terms of projected points scored though, they are difficult to top as no other QB-TE combination is expected to be within 100.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points of Mahomes and Kelce. There are a lot of potential stacks projected to score between 600.0 and 660.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 2021 and a few of them could be much better values than Mahomes-Kelce.

The first one is our top value stack of 2020 in Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews. As noted before, their salaries will be the same in 2021, but their production is projected to increase and thus make them even more valuable in 2021.

PlayerPositionTeam2021 Salary2021 Projected2021 DD / PT
Lamar JacksonQBBAL$2,367,912436.1$5,430
Mark AndrewsTEBAL$863,290222.5$3,880
TOTALS  $3,231,202658.6$4,906

The Ravens QB-TE stack is projected to only cost $4,906 per point in 2021, which is over $3,500 less per point than they did in 2020 when they were the best value stack in Dynasty Owner.

Believe it or not, they aren’t even projected to be the best value in 2021. That honor goes to Jalen Hurts and Dallas Goedert of the Philadelphia Eagles who will make slightly less than $3 million combined and are projected to score almost as many points as Jackson and Andrews.

PlayerPositionTeam2021 Salary2021 Projected2021 DD / PT
Jalen HurtsQBPHI$1,506,292422.5$3,565
Dallas GoedertTEPHI$1,406,068204.9$6,862
TOTALS  $2,912,360627.4$4,642

Hurts and Goedert together are projected to cost their Dynasty Owners only $4,642 per point in 2021. They will be about $300,000 in salary less than Jackson and Andrews and are projected to produce only 31.2 fewer Dynasty Owner fantasy points. While Hurts is locked up with the Eagles through the 2023 season, Goedert can be a free agent in 2022, which possibly makes this a one-year only stack.

For Dynasty Owners looking for a long-term QB-TE stack, the combination to draft might just be Bears QB Justin Fields and TE Cole Kmet.  Both are barely projected to finish in the Top 25 at their respective position in Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 2021 and they will cost twice as much as either Jackson-Andrews or Hurts-Goedert. However, you’ll have them for a few years as Kmet doesn’t hit free agency until 2024 and Fields isn’t a free agent until the 2025 season. Their 2021 projected scoring isn’t that impressive, and their 2021 value is almost $10,000 more than the other two stacks, but they could be a great value as a duo for the next three seasons.

PlayerPositionTeam2021 Salary2021 Projected2021 DD / PT
Justin FieldsQBCHI$4,717,988324.8$14,526
Cole KmetTECHI$1,894,444139.6$13,571
TOTALS  $6,612,432464.4$14,239

They could be the next Mahomes-Kelce, or not pan out, like Broncos QB Drew Lock and TE Noah Fant so far in their careers. Dynasty Owners willing to take a chance will have several years to find out.

Conclusions

As you can see, there are many ways to stack a QB-TE in Dynasty Owner. While the Mahomes-Kelce combination will likely yield you the most points in 2021 as they did in 2020, it comes at a greater cost which could limit the rest of your Dynasty Owner roster. Going for value, such as Jackson-Andrews last year and in 2021, might not score your team as many points, but you’ll have lots of salary cap room for other great players who can contribute. Unfortunately, that stack will only be valuable for 2021 and then could end up costing close to as much as Mahomes and Kelce in 2022 and beyond.

Justin Herbert and Hunter Henry were a good duo in 2020 and provided decent value, but they aren’t on the same team in 2021 due to free agency. That could happen to a projected 2021 value duo like Jalen Hurts and Dallas Goedert (or even Jackson and Andrews) next year. They might break up and be on separate teams, or Goedert might stay but cost his Dynasty Owners a lot more in salary.

Dynasty Owner has great content coming to help you draft your dynasty. We can also provide guidance as you continue to tweak your roster after your rookie or start-up draft is over so you can win your league. My articles and videos to get you ready for your 2021 Dynasty Owner start-up league team will be released now on Wednesdays. Keep an eye out for new articles from the rest of our team of Dynasty Owner writers as well. Matt Morrison – The Jerk (@Dynastyjerk) is doing a deep dive on individual teams that you can check out earlier on in the week now as they will appear on Mondays. Jay Pounds (@jaypoundsnfl) looks at how to rebuild your Dynasty Owner roster and everyone will still get his insights on Fridays. All of the articles and videos will be released at 1 PM (Eastern).

Please read all of their articles and follow all three of us plus Dynasty Owner (@Dynasty_Owner) on Twitter. Hopefully this article is helpful for everyone who has a 2021 start-up draft coming soon, and at least interesting and stirs up some trade thoughts for those of you who have already drafted or have an established team. Thanks, and have a great day!

Steven Van Tassell is the Head of Content for Dynasty Owner

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

Contract Breakdown: Running Back Top 10

Running Back Top 10

By Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk)

The breakdowns continue as the rookie drafts conclude.  Dynasty Owner rookie drafts started more than a week ago, and the majority of them have finished.  The three Dynasty Owner leagues that I am in all finished between June 8 – 10.  One thing you don’t hear me talk about much are rookies and more specifically, rookie breakdowns.  I usually defer those conversations to Jay and Steve, but today I want to briefly touch on an observation that I made while navigating my own rookie drafts.  Full disclosure on my drafts…I didn’t have many picks and that was by design.  I tend to trade my rookie picks (the unknown) for established players (the known).  I have been doing this in my dynasty leagues for years, and this Dynasty Owner year was no exception.  Without boring you all with the details of my exact picks, I wanted to highlight something that I noticed as I took my only rookie pick in my Beta League.  The observation is this…

The fastest running back and wide receiver from the 2021 class are ranked considerably lower this year than in years past.  Let me break it down…

Over the last four years (2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021), here are the fastest running backs and wide receivers for each draft class.

 Running Back (Time)Wide Receiver (Time)
2018Nyheim Hines (4.38)D.J. Chark (4.34)
2019Justice Hill (4.40)Andy Isabella & Parris Campbell (4.31)
2020Jonathan Taylor (4.39)Henry Ruggs (4.27)
2021Kene Nwangwu (4.32)*Anthony Schwartz (4.27)*

*There was no NFL Combine in 2021 due to COVID.  Most stats are from teams pro days

So, what can we gather from this chart?  The main thing I see is the fact that 2021 is an extreme outlier.  All seven of the fastest running back and wide receivers between 2018 and 2020 would have been overwhelmingly drafted in Dynasty Owner rookie drafts.  Not only that, but most of the seven would have been Top 20 picks for their year as well.  (Hines, Chark, Hill, Campbell, Taylor and Ruggs would have for sure been Top 20).  So, the question remains…why are Nwangwu and Schwartz going undrafted in many leagues, or at the very least, why are they falling to the end of the third round?  The answer is nuanced, but it also makes sense.  The obvious answer for Nwangwu is the fact that he was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings and will have a very tough road to meaningful running back carries.  It’s also concerning that he finished third among Iowa St. running backs in terms of carries and rushing yards in 2020.  The point can be made…”if he wasn’t even close to the best running back on his college team, then why would I waste a valuable pick on him?”  I don’t disagree with that logic, and I didn’t draft him in any league.  However, you have to admit that his speed is intriguing.  Nwangwu is owned in only 18.8% of leagues at the time of this writing.  Like I said, I don’t anticipate he will receive any meaningful running back carries anytime soon, but he is an interesting speculative add especially because Dynasty Owner awards points for return yards. 

Anthony Schwartz on the other hand should be added in most leagues.  He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft.  Schwartz obviously has amazing speed, but he also joins a team in which he will have a hard time receiving any meaningful volume.  At best, he will be the WR3 on the team, and that is being optimistic.  In order for that to happen, he would have to beat out Rashard Higgins and Donovan Peoples-Jones.  There is a good chance however that Schwartz will be used as a gadget type player where he will have plays designed and called specifically for him.  In this way, he is also an interesting add.  I drafted him with the 3.10 in my Beta league, and I was happy to get him there.  He is owned in 61.5 percent of Dynasty Owner leagues.

Regardless of what you think about my breakdown of those two rookies, you have to admit that it is strange.  Strange that the “fastest” running back and wide receiver for their class are being relegated to the end of the draft or not drafted at all.

Well, let’s jump into some early running back rankings.

Running Back Rankings

Before I release these, I want to reiterate something that I preface all of my rankings with.  These are not total point rankings.  They aren’t only rankings for 2021.  They are Dynasty Owner rankings.  I’m attempting to make rankings that are relevant for years to come.  For that reason, my rankings (especially for running backs) may seem off.  I accept that others will have a different opinion than me, and I gladly welcome a discussion on why I’m wrong.  Hell, it seems strange to me that I have Cam Akers over Dalvin Cook.  It also seems strange to me that I don’t have Alvin Kamara in the Top 10.  I understand that may sound far-fetched, but allow me to explain…

RankPlayer2020 DO Finish2021 DO Proj FinishYears RemainingSalary
RB1Jonathan Taylor643$1,957,287
RB2Christian McCaffrey5515$16,015,875
RB3Nick Chubb1151$1,845,774
RB4Austin Ekeler28103$6,125,000
RB5Cam Akers46113$1,543,258
RB6Najee HarrisN/A94$3,261,862
RB7J.K. Dobbins24123$1,432,359
RB8Saquon Barkley12271$7,798,688
RB9Dalvin Cook325$12,600,000
RB10D’Andre Swift18143$2,134,728

Jonathan Taylor comes in as my RB1 at this exact moment in time.  In 2020 he finished as RB6, and he is projected to finish as RB4 in 2021.  His salary is less than two million dollars for the next three years.  Do I need to say more?  He is, far and away, the value of start-up drafts this year and really for the next three years.

For how much value Taylor’s contract provides to Dynasty Owners, CMC provides that with his production.  Yes, he is making over 16 million dollars per year, but if he continues to do what he has done his entire career (including the few games he played in 2020) then he will still be a value at RB2.  If I were in a startup league and I had to pick one running back, it would be Taylor.  If I had to pick a second after Taylor is gone, it would be CMC.

I wrestled with the next two spots.  I have been flipping Chubb and Ekeler back and forth for the past few days.  Ultimately, I decided that the one year that Chubb has left on his rookie deal ($1,845,774) is too valuable to ignore.  Barring injury, I don’t see a world where Nick Chubb is not a Top 10 running back in 2021.  It is actually likely he will be a Top 5 back.  For that reason, I have him ahead of Ekeler.

Cam Akers is a player that I might hear some flack about after this article is posted, and that’s okay.  It’s better than okay.  It’s good.  I want to hear what Dynasty Owners have to say about my rankings, because it starts a discussion and only improves my views.  That being said, Akers is my RB5 right now, and he comes in as the second running back from the 2020 class.  I had a very healthy discussion about Akers in one of my paid leagues (League #27464).  There were some questions about how I could have CMC at RB2, yet not have Kamara in the Top 10 at all.  Most of it probably stems from the unknown.  I don’t know what the Saints’ quarterback situation is right now and that affects Kamara.  If something favorable happens between now and when my final rankings are released, then I will adjust accordingly.  For right now, CMC and Cook are the only two high salary running backs that I feel comfortable having in the Top 10.  This is the question I posed to some of my 27464 league mates…If you could draft a player that gives you 75% the production of Kamara, but he’s one tenth the price, why would you not always draft that player?  That is essentially what you’re doing when you draft Akers over Kamara.  This isn’t even taking into account the fact that Akers is four years younger than Kamara.

Najee Harris is the lone rookie on this list, and I am very excited about his future.  I honestly wanted to put him higher, but the unknown is a scary thing.  I’d like to see him play at least a little before I start considering him a Top 5 DO running back.

Sandwiched in between two 2020 rookie running backs we have two veterans.  Saquon Barkley and Dalvin Cook.  Saquon has a single year left on his rookie contract.  The contract is still a value, and (like everyone) he would rank higher if we knew big money wasn’t on the horizon.  Saquon is most likely going to make more than CMC currently does when he signs a new contract next year.  Of course, he will still be rosterable and 100% owned, but his value will decline rapidly.  Look for his salary to double next year from $7,798,688 to around $16,000,000.

Dalvin Cook will be just fine as well.  I project he will outscore Kamara over the next couple of years so that is the reason he is ranked higher.  It’s also worth noting that Dalvin makes $2.4 million less per year.

Finally, we have J.K. Dobbins and D’Andre Swift.  Dobbins makes roughly $700,000 less than Swift and is projected to outscore Swift over the next few years.  The recent two year – $10 million extension of Gus Edwards is concerning for Dobbins owners, but Dobbins will still receive plenty of touches and opportunities to stay valuable.  I’m not more concerned about Gus Edwards to Dobbins than I am about Jamaal Williams to Swift.  At some point we are splitting hairs as both will have good seasons, and both are projected to have great careers.

I want to wrap this article up by continuing with my value rankings spiel.  What I don’t want to take away from this article is that TheJerk would never draft Kamara over anyone in the Top 10.  I don’t want you to think that because it isn’t the truth.  If you go into your start up draft knowing that you are going to spend heavily on running backs in the early rounds, then by all means do so.  What I am doing is giving you my opinion on where you can create the most value in your picks, and that is reflected in my rankings.  For example:  I would much rather draft a young, cheap running back in the first round and save money for quarterbacks and wide receivers in the later rounds.  Expensive, productive quarterbacks and receivers will be available later in the draft.  That’s when I want to spend my money.

That wraps up this week’s article.  I thank everyone for reading, and I ask that you look out for the YouTube video that pairs with this article.  As always, thank you for reading.  Take care and be safe.

TheJerk

12 Trades That Will Take You from Worst to First (Part 1)

By: Jay Pounds (@JayPoundsNFL)

A couple of months back I did an article titled Let’s Rebuild a Team Together and while I did not get the feedback I was hoping for, I still found a way to make it work. Initially I wanted the article to be something where you guys could have input on trades and things of that nature to help rebuild my team but with the difference of opinions on players it would have been difficult to say the least. The team we are talking about today is one I felt great about coming out of my startup but after Christian McCaffrey, Julio Jones, and Joe Mixon all went down to injury I knew a rebuild was my best option. When rebuilding a team, a lot of variables go into how long that rebuild will take but I found the thing that slows down rebuilding the most is lack of trading. In any rebuild, trading is the quickest way to completely change the outlook of your team. I was fortunate enough to be in what I feel is one of the most active leagues in all of Dynasty Owner and because of this I was able to turn my team around in one season.

Around the middle of October, I started to realize my team was not going to win and I had several players set to get huge extensions the following season and knew it was time to pull the trigger. I sent a single message in the league chat saying that every player on my roster was available for the right price. Shortly after our league had its first trade. Since that day, my league has pulled off exactly 50 trades (from what I can see in news and activity) and counting with numerous draft day trades. Overall, in this league I have pulled off 12 trades all with rebuilding my roster in mind and I will share the finished product with all of you at the end of next week’s article. I am sure some weeks I sound like a broken record when talking about how important trading is when rebuilding but today, I will put my money where my mouth is and show you all just what I mean. I was curious to see how different my original team looked compared to the team I’m rostering now and came to find that I only have five players left (kickers not included) from the team I had originally drafted, all in under one full year. The five players I have remaining are Justin Jackson (1 year, $570,000), Michael Pittman (3 years, $2,153,212). Anthony Miller (1 year, $1,338,425), Quintez Cephus (3 years, $899,822), and Dallas Goedert (1 year, $1,406,068). As you will see, I did not draft young and had to trade good veterans away to get young pieces back.

In this article I will list and breakdown every trade I have made up to this point. The article will have two parts with each article having six trades geared towards rebuilding your team. I will cover things like how and why I made the trade, salary implications for my team (if any), benefits of the trade, and how the trades look close to a year later. I have been wanting to do this article for a while now and decided the time has finally come. I hope you guys enjoy these trades and I hope it helps everyone understand how owners value players a little bit better.

(All trades are listed in the order they were made)

(All player contracts listed are their current contract)

Trade 1 – (10/29/2020)

Sent – Christian McCaffrey (5 years, $16,015,875), Julio Jones (3 years, $22,000,000)

Received- 2021 1st, 2022 1st, Jalen Reagor (3 years, $3,317,669), A.J. Green (1 year, $6,000,000)

The very first trade I made in Dynasty Owner involved the fantasy G.O.A.T. himself, CMC. As I have said repeatedly if you are wanting to rebuild quickly you must be willing to unload your productive veterans. I did not want to move CMC but knowing that he had already signed a massive extension I knew the time had come. Heading into this I wanted to stay as flexible with the cap as possible and as you will see later that decision turned out to be a good one. My main concern at this point was Julio Jones and his massive salary that was going to be tough to trade, so I made it a point to package him with CMC regardless of whether it was going to add more value to the trade or not. The owner I was trading with did not have the space to fit both contracts on their roster and I knew I had to do more to make this deal work. I am sure some look at the trade and are baffled I took on A.J. Green but when you look a little deeper, you will see it makes perfect sense. I had no intentions on winning and would have ample cap space when moving Julio so I took on the worst one-year contract I could find on the other owner’s roster which happened to be Green. The reason I made sure it was a one-year deal is so I could move on from him freely at the end of the year opening close to $20 million in space instantly. Overall, I was upset losing CMC but thrilled to have a ton of cap room coming my way, as well as two 1sts and Jalen Reagor to start building with. The trade helped both owners with him getting win now players for his championship run and myself getting a young player with great draft capital and two 1st round draft picks. Looking back on the deal I would say it is an even trade with him getting CMC and Julio back at full strength while I build to the future.

Trade 2 – (10/29/2020)

Sent – 2021 3rd, Joe Mixon (4 years, $12,000,000)

Received – J.K. Dobbins (3 years, $1,432,359)

The second trade I made was basically a plus one to trade number 1, it was made on the same day with the same owner. Before making either trade I had initiated talks in the league chat and this owner expressed major interest in making his team better for the playoff run. I was also able to find out through chat that he was a huge Bengals fan and wanted more of their players on his roster. Once I had this information, I knew he was the only home for Joe Mixon in this league. I remember after making this trade I was elated to land Dobbins for Mixon as a rebuilding owner.

When sharing the trade with Tim and Steve on the Dynasty Owner podcast the overwhelming reaction in the chat was negative because Dobbins had not found the field all that much at this point. I mention this because when rebuilding you must trade for the future and not right now which is exactly what I did. I knew Mixon was set to get a new deal the following season while Dobbins would remain cheap for the foreseeable future. Fast forward roughly 10 months and I would take Dobbins over Mixon 10 times out of 10 as a rebuilding owner and it only cost me a 3rd round pick. If you are one who reads my articles often you will see that I am doing what I preach the most, which is no running backs on second contracts when you are in a rebuild, especially the beginning of one.

Trade 3 – (10/31/2020)

Sent – Kareem Hunt (2 years, $6,000,000), Leonard Fournette (1 year, $3,250,000), DeVante Parker (3 years, $7,625,000),

Received – 2021 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Antonio Gibson (3 years, $1,233,159). O.J. Howard (1 year, $6,013,000), Andy Isabella (2 years, $1,157,469), Greg Olsen (Retired)

The last in season trade I made was probably my favorite trade because it required quite a few counters and a lot of thinking in terms of keeping the other owner under the salary cap while keeping a deal that made sense. The other owner in this trade contacted me after noticing I was blowing my team up and he needed reinforcements to help with his championship and Chase for the Ring run. If I remember correctly, he was in the Top 20 of the Chase for the Ring at the time of this trade. In the first conversation we had I flat out told him that he could have every player on my roster aside from Dobbins who was my first building block. The initial offer I wanted to send would have put him over the cap by almost $12 million, which meant I needed to get creative. Initially I did not want to take on much salary but when realizing I had no other choice; I quickly went back to the strategy of finding players on a 1-year deal that I could walk away from penalty free after the 2020 season. Unfortunately, the players he had on 1-year deals he was not willing to part with at the price I wanted (aside from Olsen), so I had to settle on O.J. Howard who was on a 2-year deal. I did not mind adding a player like Howard because he is still a young talented tight end and has not looked horrible during his time in the league. Looking back at this trade now most, if not all would say I got the better end of the deal, but the trade also helped the other owner win the League Championship, which can never be considered a loss. Overall, I am extremely happy with this trade as I was able to shed a bunch of salary while picking up three draft picks and an absolute stud in Antonio Gibson.

Trade 4 – (3/22/2021)

Sent – Jameis Winston (1 year, $5,500,000), Latavius Murray (2 years, $3,600,000)

Received – Dionte Johnson (2 years, $1,070,241)

Going into my first Dynasty Owner offseason as a rebuilding owner I had one major goal in mind which was to capitalize on news when it breaks. In 2020, when Drew Brees went down the Saints turned to Taysom Hill over the former number 1 overall draft pick, Jameis Winston. The move shocked more than a few people and left most wondering if Winston would move on from the Saints after just one year. Oddly, enough news broke, and Winston re-signed with the Saints and seems to be on track to start for the team in 2021, even after Hill signed a potentially massive contract. The only world this news makes sense in is in the NFL world but after all that is a part of this awesome game we play. When the Winston news started swirling, I knew I would be wanting to move him while the iron was hot, and it worked out when I had an owner contact me to acquire his services shortly after. The owner who contacted me needed a quarterback and a running back while I was a rebuilding owner without a stud receiver on my roster, which is where I always start at when rebuilding. The result of these conversations is the deal you see above. I feel lucky I was able to make this deal because I had four starting quarterbacks on my roster in Daniel Jones, Sam Darnold, Ryan Tannehill, and Ryan Fitzpatrick, two of whom are in better situations now because of free agency. This meant Winston was truly an afterthought on my roster who may not even be starting in 2021 knowing the Saints. When looking back at this trade to see who won I would have to say it is still undetermined, if Winston gets the starting nod and cuts back on his turnovers the other owner will have a solid starting QB in a great offensive system, while I have an exceptionally talented receiver whose QB is getting closer to retirement every day that passes.

Trade 5 – (3/24/2021)

Sent – Corey Davis (3 years, $12,500,000), 2021 1.05 and 3.12, 2022 2nd

Received- 2021 2.06, A.J. Brown (2 years, $1,413,092)

In this trade I did something I told everyone to do when free agency started, send out trade offers for the players you are going to drop. I had zero intentions of keeping Corey Davis at his new salary, so I sent out multiple offers. At this point in my rebuild I was sitting on four 1st round draft picks and knew I was in position to really make some noise if I could continue to find willing trade partners. If I can remember correctly, I sent the owner Davis for his 2nd round pick and after a few back-and-forth counters, we finally agreed on a trade. The owner wanted to move into the 1st round, and I had zero issues letting him for a player like A.J. Brown and I threw in a 2nd round pick without hesitation. When I sit back and think about it, this trade did not have to happen and would not have happened if I did not take a few minutes to send out offers for a player I no longer wanted in Davis. When looking back at what this trade turned into for both owners, I would say right now it looks better for my team but if Davis plays like he did last year, and he can turn the 1.05 into a solid player, the deal may have a different outcome. As you will see later in the article the other owner ended up flipping the 1.05 for a 2022 asset and makes the trade completely undetermined as far as who wins or loses. The only negative for my team about the last two trades mentioned is that Brown and Johnson are due to get new contracts at the same time and may present a problem in the future.

Trade 6 – (3/28/2021)

Sent – 2021 1.12, 2022 1st, 2022 1st

Received – 2021 1.05, 1.06 and 3.06

I found this to be one of the most unexpected trade offers I have received since joining Dynasty Owner. Just four days after trading the 1.05 away for A.J. Brown I was offered a trade to get the 1.05 back as well as the 1.06, but I had to move off three 1st round picks to get a deal done with one being this year at the 1.12 spot. At first, I did not want to take the deal because well, who wants to trade three 1sts for two. When looking at the deal closer I knew it made a ton of sense and had to be done. If you ever hear people talk about knowing your league this is one of the many reasons why. I could have just glanced at the trade which I would have rejected and moved on, but after looking deeper I realized that two of the three 1st round picks were not mine and both original owners had very solid teams that are unlikely to produce a top 5 draft pick. After realizing that I started to think about the only thing holding up the deal which was my 2022 1st round pick. As a rebuilding owner the last thing you want to do is trade your future away, so I made a conscious decision that if I was going to make this trade I needed to try and make a run in 2022. Shortly after, I decided to take the trade and start loading up for a 2022 push and a massive 2023 run at a championship and potentially the Chase for the Ring. It is still too early to tell who won this trade and will come down to whether you prefer two top six rookies or three rookies in the 8-12 range of the 1st round, as well as who hits on their draft picks.

Conclusion

If you cannot tell that I love trading yet just wait until next week when I reveal six more trades I have made with this roster. I wanted to do this article to show anyone who is frustrated with a bad team that it is possible to turn it around in just one season. While I do feel I still have one or two more trades to make before I am ready to call this roster complete, I am incredibly happy where I am at now. I have mentioned this before, but I will again, if you are having issues trading in your league you can either wait until closer to the season when owners tend to trade more often, or you can hit the chat room hard and drum up some old-fashioned trade talks. Be sure to check out Steve and Matt’s articles/videos every week to continue increasing your Dynasty Owner skills and as always good luck on your Chase for the Ring!

Original Team (all player contracts listed are current)

Quarterback

  • Daniel Jones (2 years, $6,416,014)
  • Sam Darnold (1 year, $7,561,929)
  • Jameis Winston (1 year, $5,500,000)

Running back

  • Christian McCaffrey (4 years $16,015,875)
  • Joe Mixon (4 years, $12,000,000)
  • Kareem Hunt (2 years, $6,000,000)
  • Leonard Fournette (1 year, $3,250,000)
  • A.J. Dillon (3 years, $1,321,458)
  • Latavius Murray (2 years, $3,600,000)
  • Justin Jackson (1 year, $570,000)
  • Ryquell Armstead (2 years, $716,439)
  • Malcom Perry (3 years, $842,622)

Wide Receiver

  • Julio Jones (3 years, $22,000,000)
  • DeVante Parker (3 years, $7,625,000),
  • Michael Pittman (3 years, $2,153,212)
  • Anthony Miller (1 year, $1,338,425)
  • Sammy Watkins (1 year, $5,000,000)
  • Russell Gage (1 year, $654,049)
  • Quintez Cephus (3 years, $899,822)

Tight End

  • Dallas Goedert (1 year, $1,406,068)
  • Will Dissly (1 year, $777,568)
  • Jared Cook (1 year, $4,500,000)

Kicker

  • Greg Joseph (1 year, $780,000)
  • Brett Maher (free agent)
  • Matt Prater (2 years, $3,250,000)

Check out next week’s article to see just how far this roster has come!

Real Rookie Draft Analysis

By Steven Van Tassell

It’s been several days since rookie drafts started. Some drafts are in the middle, some are at the end, while others are still in the first round. I’m in one league that’s still in the first round (pick 1.11) and I saw someone else the other day say that their draft was still on the 1.03 pick. Hopefully, that one has picked up the pace, but it just goes to show that some leagues are taking the “slow draft” part at face value.

And we have those league in which the word “slow” wasn’t part of the equation as they are already finished. For a few of those leagues, we have the complete drafts available to review. Thanks to Rotting Husk of Al Davis (League #27444), Hershey’s Squirts (League #28031), Up Country Degens (Leagues #28297 and #35395), @buckdr3 (League #31928) and War Eagles (League #34636) for letting me know that their leagues were finished.

Since we only have six completed drafts, it’s not a great idea to draw big conclusions from just these data, but it’s still fun to look at them and see trends, surprises and interesting picks. As I’ve written dozens of times before, no two drafts are alike and because it’s Dynasty Owner, the salary cap is going to play a role in when someone gets drafted in every league. Because of salary cap restrictions, the “best” players might not be the first players drafted, or then again, they might be. The best part is that we finally know the answer to this question with “real” rookie draft ADP from a few completed drafts and aren’t just speculating anymore.

All ADP and draft pick information listed are based on the results of the six drafts (League #27444, League #28031, League #28297, League #31928, League #34636 and League #35395) completed by the morning of June 8th. Salary information listed are based on the salaries listed on www.spotrac.com and posted on the Dynasty Owner platform.

Stats from Six Complete Drafts

Let’s get started with some numbers. With just six completed drafts to analyze, it’s easy to say that no two drafts are the same, but just how different is surprising when you look at some stats about these drafts.

  • Number of #1 picks: 3 (Najee Harris – 3, Trevor Lawrence – 2 and Kyle Pitts – 1)
  • Number of #37 picks: 6 (D’Wayne Eskridge, Kylin Hill, Hunter Long, Davis Mills, Elijah Mitchell and Tylan Wallace)
  • Number of players drafted: 50
  • Number of players drafted in all four drafts: 28
  • Number of players drafted in only one draft: 9
  • Lowest ADP of player taken in all four drafts: 1.5 – Najee Harris (RB – PIT)
  • Highest ADP of player taken in all four drafts: 31.2 – Evan McPherson (K – CIN)
  • Most number of draft picks for a team: 7 (Country Roads Take Mahomes – League #31928)
  • Number of teams with zero draft picks: 4 (Teflon Hearts – League #27444, bobs – League #28031, Thee Camel Toe Jockey – League #31928 and TheJerk – League #35395)
  • Number of teams spending over $20 million in draft: 3 (Country Roads Take Mahomes – League #31928, Asian Zing – League #34636 and Dynasty Jock – Dave – League #31928)
  • Average team salary spending: $8,837,555
  • Median team salary spending: $7,528,273

Guaranteed First Rounders

With 13 first round picks in six drafts, a total of 78 players in theory could have been drafted in the first round. In reality, it was just over one-fifth of that number as only 17 players were taken with a first round pick. Out of those 17 players, 11 were taken in the first round in all five drafts. All 11 of these players were also in the First Round of the rookie draft ADP article that I did at the end of last week (https://dynastyowner.com/2021/06/rookie-draft-average-draft-position-adp/) in a very similar order.  In fact, the top five players here are the same ones from last week. Just goes to show that the mock rookie draft ADP and start-up draft ADP might indeed be good proxies for the first round of the real rookie drafts.

PlayerPositionTeamSalaryADPHigh PickLow Pick
Najee HarrisRBPIT$3,261,8621.512
Trevor LawrenceQBJAC$9,198,3722.213
Kyle PittsTEATL$8,227,6234.016
Ja’Marr ChaseWRCIN$7,547,4104.536
Travis EtienneRBJAC$3,224,5265.028
Trey LanceQBSF$8,526,3196.548
Justin FieldsQBCHI$4,717,9887.3313
Javonte WilliamsRBDEN$2,216,4387.559
DeVonta SmithWRPHI$5,035,3489.3613
Zach WilsonQBNYJ$8,787,67010.0911
Trey SermonRBSF$1,218,23310.5613

The few random things that stand out to me about these guaranteed first round picks are:

  • Justin Fields almost didn’t make this list. He had the largest fluctuation of the group, going as high as #3 (Garlic Bread Butt Shove – League #27444) and as low as #13 (War Eagles – League #34636). Not sure if getting Fields with his bonus 1.13 pick was why War Eagles tweeted that he was “feeling good!” about his draft, but that’s not a bad guess.
  • Travis Etienne was taken with the #2 pick in two drafts (WANNABEES – League #31928 and Asian Zing – League #34636), but didn’t go higher than the #4 pick in any of the other three leagues. Overall, his ADP landed almost exactly where it was in the mock drafts, but still a fair divergence of opinion on him.
  • The lack of fluctuation in the draft slot for Ja’Marr Chase (high of #3, low of #6) and Zach Wilson (high of #9, low of #11). Until the League #35395 draft was completed, Chase hadn’t even been drafted third so his fluctuation was even less. If your league hasn’t gotten too far in the draft, it appears that you know where you need to be drafting to get those guys.

Possible First Round Picks

The other six players who were taken at least once in the six completed rookie drafts range from the #6 overall NFL draft pick (Jaylen Waddle) to the second pick of the fourth round (Michael Carter).

PlayerPositionTeamSalaryADPHigh PickLow Pick
Jaylen WaddleWRMIA$6,771,49812.71015
Mac JonesQBNE$3,896,58812.71014
Michael CarterRBNYJ$1,071,84213.51116
Terrace MarshallWRCAR$1,432,37215.21218
Rashod BatemanWRBAL$3,149,85317.21024
Rondale MooreWRARI$1,731,06017.51222

The clear surprise is Jaylen Waddle’s appearance on this list. He was only drafted in the first round in half of these rookie drafts (3 out of 6), and was drafted not close to his NFL draft stock as he was never taken before the #10 pick. His ADP from the real drafts is 12.7, a couple of spots lower than his rookie mock draft ADP of 10.3.

We have a new Fan Club President! It’s The Northerners from League #27444 who took Rondale Moore with the #12 pick. He didn’t go before the #16 pick in any of the other five drafts. When I saw the draft order for the league, it was pretty surprising. Then I looked at The Northerners team logo. It’s the Arizona Cardinals logo. And it all made sense.

There’s quite a difference of opinion on when to draft Rashod Bateman. He was taken with the #10 pick by SKOL Vikes in League #35395, but was the last pick of the second round (#24 overall) in League #28297 by Up Country Degens. Up Country Degens also happen to be in League #35395, but didn’t take Bateman with their #5 pick.

Six Players Drafted in All Six Drafts, Just Not First Rounders

All 11 of the players listed below were drafted in all six of the completed rookie drafts, but were never taken in the first round. At the top of the list, we have Elijah Moore. He is a middle second round pick as he’s been taken with the #16 pick four times and the #19 pick once. And at the bottom, we have the only kicker drafted in the NFL draft, Evan McPherson. He’s also the only kicker who was drafted in these six rookie drafts. He’s been drafted in the third round in all six drafts, as high as with the #28 pick and as low as with the #35 pick.

PlayerPositionTeamSalaryADPHigh PickLow Pick
Elijah MooreWRNYJ$2,235,10717.21619
Kenneth GainwellRBPHI$953,88219.21822
Pat FreiermuthTEPIT$1,507,04519.71822
Chuba HubbardRBCAR$1,048,29421.81625
Kadarius ToneyWRNYG$3,429,87722.82027
Amon-Ra St. BrownWRDET$1,066,31323.52127
Kyle TraskQBTB$1,383,83425.02129
Amari RodgersWRGB$1,224,97425.32028
Javian HawkinsRBATL$810,00028.32036
Rhamondre StevensonRBNE$1,057,26430.02133
Evan McPhersonKCIN$955,92831.22835

While Javian Hawkins didn’t get drafted in the NFL draft, he’s getting a lot more love from Dynasty Owners. He’s been taken in all six drafts, including once in the second round (#20 overall pick). There was only one other undrafted rookie free agent taken in a Dynasty Owner rookie draft and he’s only been taken once.

All but one of these 11 players was taken at least once in the second round. Only Evan McPherson wasn’t taken in the second round. On the other hand, four players (Elijah Moore, Kenneth Gainwell, Pat Freiermuth and Chuba Hubbard) didn’t last until the third round in any draft.

While Kadarius Toney was a first round draft pick by the New York Giants, no Dynasty Owner in these six drafts took him in the first round. He was taken in the second round in five drafts and lasted until pick #27 (second pick in the third round) in League #31928 before being taken by The Shana-plan.

Solo Acts

There are nine players who were only drafted once out of six drafts. All of these picks were made with third round selections and nothing higher than the #30 pick. If these picks turn out to be great, all of the following Dynasty Owners can crow that they were ahead of the curve on these guys.

  • Kenny Yeobah (TE – NYJ) – #30 pick by ODBs – League #28031
  • Anthony Schwartz (WR – CLE) – #31 pick by MR.FRANCHI$E.2.U – League #34636
  • Gerrid Doaks (RB – MIA) – #32 pick by Garlic Bread Butt Shove – League #27444
  • Khalil Herbert (RB – CHI) – #32 pick by Taylor Park Boys – League #34636
  • Jaelon Darden (WR – TB) – #32 pick by ENDZONE PREDATORS – League #35395
  • Cornell Powell (WR – KC) – #35 pick by Tyrannical T Baggers – League #28031
  • Larry Rountree (RB – LAC) – #35 pick by Country Roads Take Mahomes – League #31928
  • Elijah Mitchell (RB – SF) – #37 pick by Dynasty Jock – Dave – League #31928
  • Hunter Long (TE – MIA) – #37 pick by Dan’s Dynasty – League #35395

Each of these players is someone who might be available in the Free Agent Auction in your league after the draft is over. They also might be someone who you should make an offer for someone’s late third round rookie draft pick if you want them on your Dynasty Owner roster and don’t want to take a chance that this is the only league they are going to get drafted in.

Conclusions

Since the NFL draft, we’ve been talking rookies, from how much salary cap room you need for them to their actual draft position and everything in between. It’s been a fun time digging into rookies after finding out their team and annual salary, but it’s time to turn our attention back to the entire Dynasty Owner player pool in future articles.

Dynasty Owner has great content coming to help you continue to tweak your roster after your rookie or start-up draft is over so you can win your league. My articles and videos to get you ready for your 2021 Dynasty Owner start-up league team will be released now on Wednesdays. Keep an eye out for new articles from the rest of our team of Dynasty Owner writers as well. Matt Morrison – The Jerk (@Dynastyjerk) is doing a deep dive on individual teams that you can check out earlier on in the week now as they will appear on Mondays. Jay Pounds (@jaypoundsnfl) looks at how to rebuild your Dynasty Owner roster and everyone will still get his insights on Fridays. All of the articles and videos will be released at 1 PM (Eastern).

Please read all of their articles and follow all three of us plus Dynasty Owner (@Dynasty_Owner) on Twitter. Hopefully this article is helpful for everyone who hasn’t finished their Dynasty Owner rookie draft yet, and at least interesting to those of you who are done. Thanks, and have a great day!

Steven Van Tassell is the Head of Content for Dynasty Owner

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

Contract Breakdown: Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Chargers

By Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk)

I hope everyone enjoyed my last article series where I discussed some hybrid blind player comparisons.  As I mentioned, I will continue to sprinkle in some comparisons as the off-season rolls on, but I want to shift gears a little bit.  In the next four articles, I will release some mid off-season rankings for each position.  For each position, I will give my Top 10 Dynasty Owner players and break down some of them.  Hopefully this will start to get everyone’s mind shifted towards the start-up drafts that will be taking place over the next few months.  Without further ado, here we go…

In keeping with my “team theme”, I will be highlighting the AFC West.  More specifically, the Los Angeles Chargers today.  The Chargers finished the 2020 season with a 7-9 record.  Here is a snippet of something I wrote about the Chargers’ 2020 season at the end of the regular season last year.  “Aside from last week, the Chargers have been very good at keeping games close.  In ten of their twelve games played, they have won or been within one score.  They do not get blown out very often.”  I wrote this after Week 13, and it is a true stat.  While the Chargers’ season did not go the way that head coach Anthony Lynn would have liked, they were competitive, and they largely stayed in games.  This semi-success comes on the heels of Justin Herbert’s rookie success.  Herbert also had to operate without his top running back for five games in the middle of the season.  Austin Ekeler injured his hamstring in Week 4 and had to be carted off the field.  The injury resulted in five full games missed, and that obviously did not help the Chargers’ chances at reaching the post-season.  All in all, this is how the AFC West finished…

 RecordSeason Outcome
Chiefs14-2Eliminated, Super Bowl
Raiders8-8Eliminated, Regular Season
Chargers7-9Eliminated, Regular Season
Broncos5-11Eliminated, Regular Season


This is just a reminder for all of you that may have forgotten how the division concluded.  Not many surprises here as the Chiefs once again dominated their division.  Here is a trivia question…When was the last time the Chiefs did not finish first in their division?  I’ll reveal the answer at the end of the article, but for now, let’s talk about some Top 10 quarterbacks.

Quarterback Rankings

I want everyone to keep in mind that these rankings take into account a player’s career as it relates to Dynasty Owner.  Likewise, salary plays a large role in these rankings.  For that reason, my Top 10 players for every list will not be the “best” players for their positions, and they won’t be the players that are going to score the most fantasy points on the season.  What this list is attempting to do is show you the top value players at their positions.  These are efficiency rankings.  They are value rankings.  No one, including me, is going to predict that Joe Burrow will finish the 2021 season with more fantasy points than Patrick Mahomes.  That is just something that will not happen without an injury.  But you better believe that Burrow carries more value than Mahomes, and he will therefore be ranked higher.

RankPlayer2020 DO Finish2021 DO Proj FinishYears RemainingSalary
QB1Justin Herbert953$6,644,688
QB2Kyler Murray642$8,914,504
QB3Joe Burrow24133$9,047,534
QB4Josh Allen221$5,295,760
QB5Trevor LawrenceN/A94$9,198,372
QB6Jalen Hurts36113$1,506,292
QB7Russell Wilson563$35,000,000
QB8Tua Tagovailoa31263$7,568,859
QB9Lamar Jackson1181$2,367,912
QB10Patrick Mahomes3111$45,000,000

It’s no coincidence that I picked the Chargers for my quarterback rankings article.  It makes perfect sense when you see that Justin Herbert comes in as my number one quarterback.  Herbert finished the 2020 season as QB9 despite the fact that he did not play in the first game of the season.  Herbert is projected to finish as QB5 in the 2021 season.  This combined with his cheap salary for a quarterback with three years left…well, that makes him my top quarterback to own in Dynasty Owner.  This actually matches up with the early mock draft stats.  Herbert’s current ADP is 4.1 and that leads all quarterbacks.  Yes, I know it’s early in the mock draft season, but I don’t expect he will get knocked off of that top spot.  Take Herbert with confidence as your number one quarterback.  It may even be worth drafting him number one overall.

Kyler Murray is a close second to Herbert, but I couldn’t get over the fact that Murray has one less year remaining on his rookie contract.  He is also making two million dollars more than Herbert per year.  For these reasons, (and these reasons alone) I have Murray in second.  That being said, I do believe that Murray will outscore Herbert in 2021.

Kyler is at least one tier above Joe Burrow in terms of a fantasy producing quarterback.  For that reason, Burrow ranks lower.  Yes, I know I just made the argument about an additional year on a contract and how valuable that is, but at some point there is a line that needs to be drawn on raw production.  Odds are that Murray will outscore both Burrow and Herbert, but I believe Herbert will have an easier time overcoming that short term value.  At any rate, QB3 is not a bad landing spot at all for a quarterback that we have only seen play 10 NFL games.

Josh Allen is a tough case.  He and Patrick Mahomes were the two players I struggled with ranking the most.  Allen’s issue is not with his current contract.  There is no doubt in my mind that he will be the most valuable quarterback in the 2021 season.  He looks to repeat as a Top 3 fantasy point scorer on a contract worth a little over 5 million dollars.  That my friends is the Holy Grail of Dynasty Owner.  He will win a lot of people’s championships in this upcoming season (barring injury of course).  That being said, his money is coming, and it’s coming in 2022.  Here is what I predict will happen with Allen.  We already know that Buffalo exercised Allen’s fifth year option.  That is a $23 million option and that would roughly be Allen’s cap hit in 2022 if nothing else happens.  I find that unlikely though.  The general consensus is that this 5th year option is just a placeholder for a long term, big money ($40 million +) contract.  I also believe this is true.  With that in mind, there was no way that I could bring myself to rank Allen higher than fourth.  Yes, he should have a great 2021 season.  Hell, he may even finish as the QB1 at the end of the season, but his long term value will take a massive hit when/if he receives a $40 million contract.  His hit will be very similar to the one that Mahomes took this year.

Trevor Lawrence makes the list at QB5 as the only quarterback in the Top 10 that has yet to throw an NFL pass.  I, like many, believe he is the future of the Jaguars organization and a cheap, four year contract will provide immense value.

Jalen Hurts ranks two spots ahead of Tua for a couple of reasons.  First, his contract is one-fifth of Tua’s deal.  Tua would need to provide quite a bit more than Hurts for the two to flip each other.  This leads me to my second point…Hurts was more productive on a per game basis in 2020, and he almost produced more fantasy points than Tua despite being the lead quarterback in four less games.  Hurts belongs above Tua, and the early ADP reflects that.  (Hurts – 44.5, Tua – 60.3)

Sandwiched in between Hurts and Tua is one of my favorite NFL quarterbacks, Russell Wilson.  Russ had a fantastic 2020 season where he finished as QB5.  While he statistically wasn’t the quarterback with the most value, he did lead many Owners to a championship.  I did a blind comparison last year of Russ and Mahomes with some very interesting results.  Let me share an excerpt from that article…

“My point is that next year (after Mahomes is no longer 4.1 million a year to own), he and Wilson should be much closer in ADP, if not back to back.  This means that Mahomes’ ADP of 2 this year is mainly for this year.  Let me ask this a different way…If Mahomes’ contract was 45 million this year, where would you have drafted him?  My honest answer is QB 11 or around 75 overall and right before Wilson.  This is the reason I am so much lower on Mahomes’ than almost everyone I have talked to.  I understand how important this year is.  I understand the “win now” mentality and if you have Mahomes for 4.1 million, you have a great chance to win, but I can’t justify taking a 45 million dollar QB next year first or second overall.  I like Mahomes.  Scratch that.  I love Mahomes, but there is no value (Dynasty Owner wise) to take him in the first half of the first round.”

This was written prior to many Dynasty Owner drafts, and I think it holds up.  I saw and heard of many people drafting Mahomes not only in the first half of the first round, but some were taking him number one overall.  There was just going to be no value in that pick.  And as it turns out, I am ranking Russ ahead of Mahomes this year solely for the $10 million savings.  Mahomes’ 2020 transition into 2021 directly foreshadows Josh Allen’s 2021 transition into 2022.  This is the same scenario.

  • Cheap contract, top tier quarterbacks on the last year of their deals
  • Both projected to make over $40 million in the following year
  • Both are/were being drafted too high in the final year of their contract

Mahomes being at an ADP of 2.0 was way too high.  Likewise, Josh Allen in 2021 being drafted at an ADP of 5.1 is way too high.  I understand the win now mentality, but taking either of these players at those positions is not only hamstringing your organization cap space wise, but it is also using an extremely high draft pick on a player that will have low value the following year.

The final player in the Top 10 is Lamar Jackson.  Jackson has fallen tremendously since 2020, and the reason is two-fold.  First, he only has a single year left on his rookie contract, and he looks to make well over $30 million himself.  Second, is the fact that he had a very disappointing season.  He finished as QB11 in Dynasty Owner.  That is just not acceptable if you drafted him number one overall like I would have.  Don’t get me wrong.  I would love to own Jackson especially for this year, but don’t overpay or overdraft him in 2021.  If you thought his value dropped from 2020 to 2021, just wait until he’s making 15x his salary in 2022.

Well, that is it.  That wraps up the first article of this series.  I thank everyone for sticking with me, and I’ll urge you to look out for the YouTube video that pairs with this article.  As always, thank you for reading.  Take care and be safe.

TheJerk

Rookie Draft Average Draft Position (ADP)

By Steven Van Tassell

It’s official! Rookie drafts are here! Rookie drafts for existing Dynasty Owner leagues started on Friday, June 4th at Noon. It’s a slow draft with a 24-hour clock, so maybe you’re on the clock now or in a couple of days. Lucky Dynasty Owners might even be a few picks in if the Dynasty Owners in your league were ready to go on Friday afternoon or you’re reading this a few days after it was published.
How’s it going so far? Lots of trading and surprise picks, or pretty boring with the expected guys going off the board and nobody trading up for one of the top picks? Have you gotten through a couple of picks or is the first or second team still on the clock? Regardless of how it’s going, it’s great that they are going on.
Just like no two drafts are alike, no two rookie drafts will be the same either, even though they are only three rounds and 37 picks. Because of salary cap restrictions, the “best” players might not be the first players drafted. If the team with the #1 pick in your Dynasty Owner rookie draft only has the low end recommended amount of salary cap room of $5.7 million, then the first six picks in the NFL draft are off-limits to them unless they make a trade or drop a player. We always talk about it, but that’s a huge difference between Dynasty Owner and your “regular” dynasty league. In Dynasty Owner, you might not be able to afford to draft the player you really want. As a result, Dynasty Owners need to really look at their own team and salary cap situation, but also the rosters and salary cap room of the other teams in your league. That’s a huge difference!
How else are you going to know that the teams in front of you can’t afford Trevor Lawrence and you should hold tight with your mid-round pick and see if he falls? Or maybe there’s a team without much cap room but with a high draft pick. Maybe they’ll take an offer to trade down so you can grab that rookie who will fit nicely into your starting lineup. The possibilities are endless in Dynasty Owner and more realistic and exciting because of how Dynasty Owner mirrors the NFL GM experience.
Unfortunately, we haven’t had anything that can truly simulate the salary cap situation for real Dynasty Owners until now. The rookie-only mock drafts didn’t have salary cap restrictions, while the start-up drafts weren’t limited to just rookies so while it’s a decent proxy, it’s not exactly the same. Basically, we are breaking new ground now my fellow Dynasty Owners!
All ADP listed (both rookie-only and start-up draft) are based on the information available on Dynasty Owner just before rookie drafts started on June 4th at Noon. Salary information listed are based on the salaries listed on www.spotrac.com and posted on the Dynasty Owner platform.

First Round
Drafts have started and it’s time to start looking at who Dynasty Owners should expect to be flying off the draft board early on. Depending on how quickly your rookie draft is going, some of these guys may already be gone. Here are the first 13 picks (remember that there are 13 first-round picks because the Loser Bracket tournament winner gets the 1.13 pick), ranked by rookie mock draft ADP.

PlayerPositionTeamSalaryRookie Mock ADPStart-up Draft ADP
Najee HarrisRBPIT$3,261,8621.412.0
Trevor LawrenceQBJAC$9,198,3722.125.8
Kyle PittsTEATL$8,227,6233.532.6
Ja’Marr ChaseWRCIN$7,547,4104.848.7
Travis EtienneRBJAC$3,224,5265.239.2
Justin FieldsQBCHI$4,717,9886.962.5
Javonte WilliamsRBDEN$2,216,4387.053.7
Trey LanceQBSF$8,526,3197.572.4
DeVonta SmithWRPHI$5,035,3489.473.0
Jaylen WaddleWRMIA$6,771,49810.188.4
Zach WilsonQBNYJ$8,787,67010.486.4
Michael CarterRBNYJ$1,071,84211.678.2
Trey SermonRBSF$1,218,23311.788.1

The first thing that I noticed is how the rookie mock draft ADP is tracking pretty closely to the start-up draft ADP. The differences are mostly that RBs are going even higher in start-up drafts than the rookie-only drafts. Travis Etienne is the fourth rookie off the board in start-up drafts, but fifth in rookie-only ones. Javonte Williams is neck and neck with Justin Fields for sixth in rookie-only drafts, but several spots ahead of him in start-up drafts. Finally, Michael Carter moves up to 10th in the start-up drafts while going 12th in the rookie-only drafts.
Based on this data, Dynasty Owners should expect to have 4 QBs, 5 RBs, 3 WRs and 1 TE taken in the average rookie draft first round. All of these players were also first round NFL draft picks, except for three RBs – Javonte Williams (second), Trey Sermon (third) and Michael Carter (fourth).
In addition, while Najee Harris was the first RB taken in the NFL draft, he didn’t get taken until the 24th pick. He has an ADP of 12.0 in start-up drafts so he’s going a lot higher than his NFL draft position in Dynasty Owner. Not surprising since RBs are always drafted early in fantasy football, regardless of format. Remember that Clyde Edwards-Helaire was a first round Dynasty Owner draft pick last year after being the last first round pick (#32 overall).
Finally, it really looks like if you want one of the top six picks in the NFL draft and have the salary cap room to fit him on your Dynasty Owner roster, your team needs to be in the top 10 of the first round. Otherwise, all of those guys are likely to be gone.

Second Round
The second round is the WR round and looks very different than the first round. Eight out of twelve draft picks are WRs with three RBs and Mac Jones as the only QB. There are also no TEs being drafted, on average, in the second round.

PlayerPositionTeamSalaryRookie Mock ADPStart-up Draft ADP
Elijah MooreWRNYJ$2,235,10714.2106.1
Mac JonesQBNE$3,896,58814.7108.9
Rondale MooreWRARI$1,731,06014.996.1
Terrace MarshallWRCAR$1,432,37216.2110.4
Rashod BatemanWRBAL$3,149,85316.2126.4
Kenneth GainwellRBPHI$953,88217.6116.1
Chuba HubbardRBCAR$1,048,29418.4116.3
Kadarius ToneyWRNYG$3,429,87720.4155.8
Amari RodgersWRGB$1,224,97421.4128.8
Amon-Ra St. BrownWRDET$1,066,31322.1124.4
Nico CollinsWRHOU$1,217,87922.5170.6
Javian HawkinsRBATL$810,00023.6217.3

We have our first undrafted rookie free agent with Javian Hawkins jumping into the end of the second round with the 25th pick. In contrast, Kadarius Toney is the 21st rookie drafted in rookie drafts and 23rd in start-up drafts after being the 20th overall pick in the NFL draft.
There is definitely more variation in the order as the draft moves along deeper into the second round and later. Javian Hawkins may be going at the end of the second round in rookie-only mock drafts, but in the start-up drafts, there are many players with better ADPs.
This round features both affordable players (Hawkins, St. Brown, Kenneth Gainwell, Chuba Hubbard) along with first round NFL draft picks who are going to cost you more than $3 million per year (Mac Jones, Rashod Bateman and Toney). It’s exciting because Dynasty Owners can go a lot of different ways here in the middle of the rookie-only draft if they have salary cap room, but the board is still filled with good options for cap strapped teams too.

Third Round
The universe of third round rookie draft picks is larger as there are lots of players being taken late in some rookie-only drafts, but not others. All total, we have 22 players with a rookie-only draft ADP, but only 12 picks in the third round. That’s good news!
Some of these guys will be available in your Free Agent Auction after the rookie draft is over if you have extra space on your roster after the draft is over. It also means that you shouldn’t panic if you don’t have a third round pick as somebody will be there for you in the Free Agent Auction after the rookie draft is done.

PlayerPositionTeamSalaryRookie Mock ADPStart-up Draft ADP
Kyle TraskQBTB$1,383,83423.8187.0
Dyami BrownWRWAS$1,236,00023.9167.4
Tutu AtwellWRLAR$1,477,17526.0212.6
D’Wayne EskridgeWRSEA$1,488,37626.5191.6
Rhamondre StevensonRBNE$1,057,26426.6185.6
Tylan WallaceWRBAL$1,041,34127.3248.3
Kellen MondQBMIN$1,305,85428.0224.4
Pat FreiermuthTEPIT$1,507,04529.5116.9
Josh PalmerWRLAC$1,258,36529.8233.6
Jermar JeffersonRBDET$889,58129.9203.0
Ian BookQBNO$1,038,39630.8234.2
Khalil HerbertRBCHI$902,67730.8211.9
Demetric FeltonRBCLE$910,28531.3231.2
Davis MillsQBHOU$1,304,38331.3210.5
Anthony SchwartzWRCLE$1,215,75531.5255.7
Chris EvansRBCIN$913,22231.8251.7
Dez FitzpatrickWRTEN$1,069,95131.8242.6
Brevin JordanTEHOU$958,04632.3195.5
Evan McPhersonKCIN$955,92832.6236.1
Kylin HillRBGB$889,76633.0242.3
Shi SmithWRCAR$913,10533.8264.4

The third round is fun because it’s not really about salary cap room at this point. Sure, a few teams may be hamstrung and have $1 million or less, but all of the players listed here cost less than $1.51 million in annual salary. At this point, it’s all about figuring out who the “best” player of the bunch of similar-priced options is going to be. For those Dynasty Owners with multiple third round picks, you have two (or more) shots to find players who might help your Dynasty Owner team and maybe even be a cheap building block for years to come.
While the second round had Javian Hawkins, no undrafted rookie free agent appears here in the third round. There may be one or two taken in your Dynasty Owner league, but nobody stands out.
With the clearest path to playing time in 2020 (barring injury), it’s surprising to see Davis Mills being drafted after fellow rookie QBs Kyle Trask, Kellen Mond and Ian Book in the rookie-only drafts. He moves up in the start-up drafts, but is still going almost two full rounds (23.5 spaces) after Kyle Trask who isn’t supplanting the G.O.A.T. in Tampa Bay until the G.O.A.T. is ready to retire.
The final interesting point to note here is that the two TEs listed (Pat Freiermuth and Brevin Jordan) are much more popular in start-up drafts than the rookie-only mock drafts. If you want one of them, you have to decide which ADP is more accurate and whether you might need to draft them in a spot more in line with their start-up or rookie-only draft ADP. If you’re not looking at either one, then you might be able to get something pretty valuable for a late second/early third round pick from another Dynasty Owner who is looking for a low cost TE.

The Best of the Free Agent Auction
In addition to the guys listed above who aren’t going to get drafted, you may find a rookie in the Free Agent Auction after the rookie draft who fills a need on your Dynasty Owner roster for minimal cost. These players don’t have a rookie-only mock draft ADP, but are being taken in most of the start-up drafts that have already taken place. Here are a few of them:
Elijah Mitchell (RB – SF): The 49ers sixth round draft choice is being drafted in almost 90% of start-up drafts with an ADP of 238.1. With the recent injury to Jeffrey Wilson and Kyle Shanahan’s usage of many RBs, he could work his way into playing time in 2021. Beyond 2021, none of the 49ers veteran RBs are signed for 2022 so it could be him and Trey Sermon next year.

Hunter Long (TE – MIA): He was the #81 overall NFL pick and is being taken in about 80% of Dynasty Owner start-up drafts with an ADP of 247.5. There are a lot of WRs and TEs in Miami, but most will cost more than $1.242 million in salary that you’ll have to pay Long.

Tommy Tremble (TE – CAR): Very similar to Hunter Long as he was the #83 overall NFL pick, costs only $1.23 million, is being taken in about 80% of Dynasty Owner start-up drafts and his ADP is 242.3. Might have a clearer path to playing time in Carolina with only Dan Arnold and Ian Thomas ahead of him on the depth chart.

Jaret Patterson (RB – WAS): The undrafted rookie free agent from Buffalo has been taken in 67% of start-up drafts with an ADP of 258.6. Whether he earns playing time with the Football Team is up in the air, but plenty of Dynasty Owners are betting on it.

Larry Rountree (RB – LAC): Another sixth round rookie RB with a salary of under $1 million ($913,940) who is more popular in start-up drafts than in the rookie-only mock drafts. He has been taken in all but one start-up draft so far with an ADP of 232.3 – very similar to Elijah Mitchell.

Jaelon Darden (WR – TB): Darden has been taken in over 60% of start-up drafts with an ADP of 261.7. This is despite the fact that he was drafted by Tampa Bay and the Buccaneers are returning all of their offensive starters and key backups.

There are plenty of other guys who we could review, but we’ve already listed 60+ players. Everyone can just go to Dynasty Owner and do their own research at this point about the other 100+ rookies available to draft. It’s fun and easy to do if you haven’t already done so.

Conclusions
The time has come for Dynasty Owners to start drafting rookies. This is not a drill or a mock, it’s for real! If you haven’t gotten your roster ready and cleared out the dead weight, it’s time to get moving. Your team could be on the clock soon!
All of the debates between who to draft #1, whether your “guy” will be there at your pick, which of the top WRs to take if you have the option for all of them, etc. will end and then it’s time to look forward to training camp position battles and pre-season games.
With both rookie drafts and 2021 start-up drafts ongoing, it’s time for all Dynasty Owners to get working on their teams. Dynasty Owner has great content coming to help you win your league. My articles and videos to get you ready for your 2021 Dynasty Owner start-up league team will be released now on Wednesdays. Keep an eye out for new articles from the rest of our team of Dynasty Owner writers as well. Matt Morrison – The Jerk (@Dynastyjerk) is doing a deep dive on individual teams that you can check out earlier on in the week now as they will appear on Mondays. Jay Pounds (@jaypoundsnfl) looks at how to rebuild your Dynasty Owner roster and everyone will still get his insights on Fridays. All of the articles and videos will be released at 1 PM (Eastern).
Please read all of their articles and follow all three of us plus Dynasty Owner (@Dynasty_Owner) on Twitter. Hopefully this article is helpful as you work through the first-ever Dynasty Owner rookie drafts. Thanks, and have a great day!

Steven Van Tassell is the Head of Content for Dynasty Owner
Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

Blind Comparisons: Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins

The topic for today’s article will be the Miami Dolphins.  The Dolphins barely missed the 2020 NFL playoffs as they were the final team left out in the AFC.  They finished the season with a quiet 10 – 6  record.  What also (not so quietly) occurred is the fact that Ryan Fitzpatrick was benched for Tua Tagovailoa after Week 6 when the Dolphins were 3 – 3.  I’m not going to comment on what the Dolphins should or shouldn’t have done.  Clearly they found success for the rest of the season as they went 7 – 3 after the initial benching.  What I am going to say is that I found it to be a strange move.  More importantly, this seems to be a theme for Fitz, especially over the past few seasons.  I’m not sure what the stigma behind him as a starting NFL quarterback is, but there is clearly something.  Remember back in 2018 when Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston split the season.  More accurately, Fitz started seven games and Winston started nine games.  Neither were impressive as far as a winning percentage goes.  Fitz went 2 – 5 as a starter and Winston went 3 – 6 as a starter.  The fact is that neither of these players were getting the job done in the win column, but they were getting it done for fantasy owners.  That’s really the most frustrating part.  In 2018, Fitz was on pace for roughly 4,700 yards, 34 touchdowns and 24 interceptions.  In fact, if you combine both Fitzpatrick and Winston’s stats for the year, this is what they would look like…

5,358 passing yards, 36 touchdowns and 26 interceptions.  That’s a quality season.  Well, a similar pace started to develop in 2020.  In 2020, Fitz started in seven games and put up 2,091 yards, 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions.  Another above average season was in the making, but unfortunately it was cut short.  So, what is my point in all of this? The point is to highlight the fact that Fitzpatrick is a very capable NFL quarterback.  I mentioned this quote in a previous article and I truly believe it.  “An average quarterback in the NFL is an above average quarterback.”  Maybe this conversation should have been included in the Washington Football Team article, and I probably will talk more about Fitz when the time comes for that article, but this is the first thing I think about when I look back on the Dolphins’ season.  This isn’t meant to take anything away from Tua either.  We saw that he was very good at game management and doing what he needed to do to win games.  But we also saw that Fitzpatrick replaced him late in a couple of games that they were losing because Brian Flores thought Fitz gave them the best chance to come from behind.  (If you can’t tell, that is an opinion that I also share).  He related it to a closer type situation in baseball.  Tua was the starter and Fitz was the closer.  It is however a moot point, because Ryan Fitzpatrick now plays for the Washington Football Team, and he looks to open the season as the starter.  Back in Miami, Tua will receive first shot at the starting job over Jacoby Brissett, and there is no reason to think his job is in jeopardy.

Comparison 1

Who would you rather own in Dynasty Owner?

Player A (Alpha):

            Tua Tagovailoa

Player B (Bravo):

            24 years old

            2020 stats

            15.1 fantasy points/game (241 for 16 game season)

            3,363 passing yards/ 491 rushing yards / 14 TDs / 11 INT

            He missed two games in 2020

What are you thinking?  Clearly these two quarterbacks are similar in age and are most likely similar in NFL experience.  Bravo started the majority of the games for his team in 2020, and the same can be said for 2019.  But the question is…did Tua outperform Bravo in 2020.  The answer to that is “yes”, at least on a per game basis.  I just finished talking about at length, but Tua did not play in the first five games of the Dolphins 2020 season, and he attempted only two passes in Week 6.  At this point, I would probably side with Tua as there seems to be a bit more upside than with Bravo.  Here is how both of their 2020 16 game paced seasons would have finished…

PlayerAgePoints/GamePass YardsRush YardsTDsSalary
T. Tagovailoa2317.12,90217422$7,568,859
Bravo2415.13,36349114$6,416,014

(All stats are based on a full 16 game average)

While Tua had less passing and rushing yards in 2020, he still averaged two more fantasy points per game over Bravo.  This is due to the higher touchdown total and the fact that Tua only had 6 turnovers in 10 games while Bravo had 21 turnovers in 14 games.  In fact, only one quarterback had as many total fumbles as Bravo.  That player is Derek Carr.

Many of you may have guessed who Bravo is by now.  Here’s the summary for him…

  • His team’s starting quarterback
  • Average quarterback with above average rushing ability and speed
  • High risk for turnovers especially fumbles
  • Entering his third year in the league

Bravo is Daniel Jones.  So, who would you like?  This is one that I can see going either direction, and I could make a case for either player.  My assumption is that when I release my initial rankings, Tua will be ranked higher than Jones.  As I already said, this is mainly due to the higher upside and being on a team with more weapons.  Honestly though, it is close.  The extra year that Tua has on a cheap contract is also enticing.  I’ll take Tua for the moment.  What about you?

Comparison 2

Player C (Charlie):

            22 years old

            2020 stats

            7.6 fantasy points/game (121.2 for 16 game season)

            37 rec / 449 yards/ 6 TD

            He missed three games in 2020

Player D (Delta):

            Mike Gesicki

My initial thoughts are that Gesicki had a better season than Charlie and that is absolutely correct.  He played in more games and totaled more fantasy points as a whole than Charlie.  This (like everything) can be deceiving though.  What if I told you that Charlie competed with a veteran tight end for the majority of the 2020 season?  What if I told you that Charlie’s 2020 tight end teammate is no longer with that team, and Charlie will have the majority of the tight end snaps to himself?  Well, that’s great news for Charlie, but will it make the difference in picking him over one of the most athletic tight ends in the NFL in Gesicki?  Maybe, maybe not.  Here is how their full stats look next to each other…

PlayerAgePoints/GameYardsReceptionsTDsSalary
Charlie227.6449376$1,449,609
M. Gesicki2510.6750576$1,652,981

(All stats are based on a full 16 game average)

As I said, Gesicki was clearly superior to Charlie for the 2020 season.  I expect that to change.  Charlie is Irv Smith Jr.  Yes, Smith Jr. is in a low volume passing offence, but so is Gesicki.  Both will come into 2021 as their team’s number one tight end, and both are extremely talented.  If the choice is mine, I’m taking Irv Smith Jr.  He has a slightly lower salary when compared to Gesicki.  He also has one additional year on his rookie contract when compared to Gesicki.  According to Rotowire, Smith Jr.  is projected to have a nearly identical fantasy point total at the end of the 2021 season.  All signs point to Irv Smith Jr. having a breakout year.  In addition, Kyle Rudolph’s departure from Minnesota paves the way for Irv to take over as the workhorse tight end on the team, but that’s a different conversation for a different article.

With this article finished, we have completed another division and look forward to a new one next week.  This also concludes the blind comparison series that I have been doing for the past month.  I will work in some mini comparisons as we move closer to the start of the 2021 NFL season.  My next article series is going to revolve around releasing some of my Top 10 lists.  As always, thank you for reading.  Check out my video that pairs with this article.  Take care and be safe.

TheJerk

Rookie Draft Examples from 2020 and Scenarios for 2021

By Steven Van Tassell

Rookie drafts are new and coming to Dynasty Owner in less than a week! June 4th at Noon is the starting date for all rookie drafts for existing Dynasty Owner leagues. If you’re in a league that played in 2020, whether you played last year or bought the team from another Dynasty Owner or the Orphan store, your rookie draft is coming up soon.
We started Dynasty Owner rookie draft preparation last week by reviewing rookie contracts and how much salary cap room your Dynasty Owner team needs (https://dynastyowner.com/2021/05/salary-cap-room-for-2021-rookie-drafts/). To summarize for those of you who haven’t read the article or seen the video, for most Dynasty Owners with a “normal” number of draft picks, the range of salary cap room that you should be targeting is between $5.7 million and $26.4 million. There are other scenarios and extremes out there, but at least $5.7 million should give your team a good base to draft some rookies. It won’t get you any of the top six picks in the NFL draft (Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, Kyle Pitts, Ja’Marr Chase or Jaylen Waddle), but it should get you three or four solid draft picks. For those of you who want one of those six guys listed above, you’ll need more which is where the $26.4 million figure comes into play.
Regardless of your salary cap situation, it’s time to start getting prepared. Looking forward at projections for 2021 and analyzing how rookies are going to perform will help, but so will looking at how Dynasty Owners could have constructed a rookies-only draft in 2020 before diving into possible 2021 draft scenarios. Let’s do both!
All information listed are based on the salaries available on Dynasty Owner as of May 28th. All 2020 overall ADP listed are based on data from all 2020 Dynasty Owner drafts. Dynasty Owner fantasy points scored are based on the entire 16-game NFL season for 2020.

2020 Rookie “Draft” Examples
While we didn’t have official rookie-only drafts in Dynasty Owner in 2020, we can simulate a rookie draft by looking at 2020 overall draft ADP and ranking rookies based on where they were selected. The first rookie off the board, on average, in 2020 drafts was Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB – KC) who had an ADP of 9.2. He would have likely been the top selection in most rookie-only drafts as the next highest ranked rookie was Jonathan Taylor (RB – IND) who had an ADP of 16.3. After that, it drops down to Joe Burrow (QB – CIN) and J.K. Dobbins (RB – BAL) with ADPs of 26.7 and 27.5 respectively.
All in all, there are hundreds of thousands of potential 2020 rookie “drafts” and likely no two Dynasty Owners would have drafted the same. However, let’s look at some possible three round 2020 “drafts” with one pick per round.

Best Draft – Top Rookie at 3 Positions (Total Salary = $10,688,722)

Player

Justin Jefferson

Justin Herbert

James Robinson

Position

WR

QB

RB

Overall ADP

81.2

101.5

231.1

Salary

$3,280,701

$6,644,688

$763,333

Points

273.2

431.7

259.4

Obviously, the best pick on this list is James Robinson. However, if a rookie draft were held last year in early June, almost nobody would have taken him. Not even if your team name was Nostradamus. However, if your team name was Quaranteed for Greatness, then you did as our Ring runner-up drafted Robinson with the #283 pick in their draft on June 27th. In most of those early drafts, he was selected. That’s how you win the Ring (or almost win it)!
Jefferson had the 11th highest ADP for a rookie (and fourth among WRs after Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, and Jalen Reagor), so he likely would have mostly been a first round rookies-only pick, while Herbert had the 16th highest ADP, so he counts as a second rounder. Both of them plus Robinson finished 2020 as the rookie at their position with the most Dynasty Owner fantasy points. Did anybody else, besides Quaranteed for Greatness who took all three of them, draft rookies this well in 2020?

Best Value – Rookies with Best DD/PT (Total Salaries = $3,650,648)

Player

Antonio Gibson

Chase Claypool

James Robinson

Position

RB

WR

RB

Overall ADP

86.0

156.3

231.1

Salary

$1,233,159

$1,654,156

$763,333

2020 Points

202.4

211.9

259.4

All three of these players had values of less than $8,000 Dynasty Dollars per Point (DD/PT) in 2020. Gibson was the 12th rookie drafted on average, while Claypool was the 26th drafted, so they are the best “first” and “second” round picks. Robinson was by far and away the best value rookie in 2020 with a DD/PT of only $2,943.

Worst #1 = Lowest Scoring Rookies (Total Salary = $8,223,173)

Player

Jalen Reagor

Henry Ruggs

Justin Rohrwasser

Position

WR

WR

K

Overall ADP

74.9

89.7

190.9

Salary

$3,317,669

$4,167,906

$737,598

2020 Points

87.6

88.6

0.0

For me, the worst pick on this list is Justin Rohrwasser (K – Free Agent) as he had the sixth lowest kicker ADP and was drafted very highly for a kicker (ADP 190.9, or at the end of the 16th round on average), didn’t play at all so his Dynasty Owners got no production and they either had to keep him on their roster all season or drop him and pay $737,598 in Dynasty Dollars to do so. At least Reagor and Ruggs scored some points and will have time to develop and maybe be worth their salaries in the future, not so for Rohrwasser. Regardless of who you think is the worst of the bunch, this rookies-only draft would have cost you over $8.2 million in salary cap room last season.

Worst #2 = Lowest Scoring Rookies (Total Salary = $10,581,438)

Player

Jalen Reagor

Henry Ruggs

Jordan Love

Position

WR

WR

QB

Overall ADP

74.9

89.7

174.7

Salary

$3,317,669

$4,167,906

$3,095,863

2020 Points

87.6

88.6

0.0

This “draft” is filled with all 2020 NFL first round draft picks, but in general, Dynasty Owners likely could have drafted them in a three-round rookie draft and regretted it tremendously last year. Jordan Love also had 0.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points and cost almost $3.1 million, but Dynasty Owners who took him in 2020 start-up drafts were unlikely to be thinking that he’d help their teams last year. If you drafted Rohrwasser, that’s clearly what you were thinking, which is why I rank the Rohrwasser draft as #1 and the Love draft as #2. This rookies-only draft would have cost you almost $10.6 million in salary cap room last season, or almost 10% of the overall $110 million draft salary pool.

Five 2021 Dynasty Owner Rookie Draft Scenarios
It’s 2021 now and we have rookie-only drafts for the first time in Dynasty Owner. No more “projecting” where rookies would have gone based on their overall draft selection ADP, we can do it for real in less than a week.
While we have a recommended amount of cap room to have on hand, what exactly can you get for $5.7 million or even less than that amount? Let’s look at some salaries and rookie mock draft ADP and find out. We will try to be realistic here and not say you can draft three players with ADPs of under 10.0 with a first, second and third round pick – that’s unlikely to happen and if it does, then get in touch with me when there’s an opening in your league.
We’re also not going to look at rookie draft scenarios for teams with more than $5.7 million in salary cap room. Let’s face it, if you have more salary cap room than that, your Dynasty Owner team can pretty much draft any available player you want (regardless of salary). It’s just a question of who’s available and which players you like best, not the salary restrictions that will impact many Dynasty Owners.
We’ll use the current rookie mock draft ADP listed on Dynasty Owner (as of the morning of Friday, May 28th) to decide the round a player will likely be drafted.

Early Round Picks, Low Salary Cap Space Available ($5.7 million)
Let’s say you had a bad 2020 season, secured early round draft picks and didn’t trade them away. Your team tried, but didn’t win the 1.13 pick. You still have your three picks though, one per round. However, you’re in a tight salary cap spot and only have the low end of our salary cap range available to you. Who can you likely draft?

Player

Najee Harris

Trey Sermon

Rhamondre Stevenson

Position

RB

RB

RB

Team

PIT

SF

NE

Overall ADP

1.6

12.2

27.1

Salary

$3,261,861

$1,218,233

$1,057,264

Three rounds, three RBs for less than $5.7 million ($5,537,358). If you have the #1 pick or are fortunate that the team with the #1 pick does not take Harris, then you could walk away with these three RBs for the low-end recommended salary amount. While Sermon’s ADP is 12.2, he’s the 13th player off the board so he counts as a second rounder for our purposes here.
There are many players that you could swap out for Stevenson in the third round here. Late second round NFL picks such as Tutu Atwell (WR – LAR) and D’Wayne Eskridge (WR – SEA) are just under $1.5 million in salary each ($1,477,175 for Atwell and $1,488,376 for Eskridge) and have almost identical rookie ADPs (25.9 for Atwell and 26.0 for Eskridge). Either one would keep your rookie salaries under $6 million. If you have just $5.7 million left, then you’ve got your choice of any player available for under $1.22 million in salary after drafting Harris and Sermon.

Mid-Round Picks, Low Salary Cap Space Available ($5.7 million)
Let’s say you did ok, but not great. Either barely missed the playoffs or made it and lost in the first round. No bonus pick for you either, but since you were in the middle of the pack, you didn’t gut your draft capital for a playoff run and still have all three of them, one per round. Same as the first scenario though and you’re in a tight salary cap spot and only have the low end of our salary cap range available to you. You’re not getting Najee Harris for sure as he’ll be gone, but your team still could use at least a RB or two. Who can you likely draft?

Player

Travis Etienne

Chubba Hubbard

Pat Friermuth

Josh Palmer

Position

RB

RB

TE

WR

Team

JAX

CAR

PIT

LAC

Overall ADP

6.5

18.6

29.3

30.3

Salary

$3,224,526,

$1,048,294

$1,507,045

$1,258,365

Two RBs and a receiver (WR/TE) for right around $5.7 million ($5,779,865 for option A and $5,531,185 for option B). Depending upon if your Dynasty Owner team needs a WR or TE more and if you can go over $5.7 million. If you can’t but want Friermuth then substitute Kenneth Gainwell (RB – PHI) and his $953,882 salary for Hubbard. There are plenty of options for the third pick here depending on your needs and cap space. Friermuth is the high end here, while you could as low as any undrafted rookie free agent to pair with Etienne and Hubbard and be under $5.1 million (under $5 million if you draft Gainwell instead of Hubbard).

Mid-Round Picks, Lower Salary Cap Space Available ($4.5 million)
What happens if you’re not an Etienne fan or don’t want Hubbard since you’re not a CMC owner (or for another reason), there are options for you in the mid-round picks and you can do this scenario for less than $4.5 million. What does that draft look like?

Player

Javonte Williams

Amari Rodgers

Position

RB

WR

Team

DEN

GB

Overall ADP

7.3

22.0

Salary

$2,216,438

$1,224,974

Williams and Rodgers plus anybody taken after the middle of the fourth round of the NFL draft can be yours for less than $4.5 million. Either Kene Nwangwu (RB – MIN) and his $1,058,200 salary or Rhamondre Stevenson would take you right up to the $4.5 million your team has available, while an undrafted rookie free agent would keep you around $4.25 million.

Late Round Picks, Low Salary Cap Space Available ($5.7 million)
Congratulations to you if your Dynasty Owner team is in this position because you probably won your league, or got to the finals and lost, and you kept all of your draft picks. Regardless of whether you won or lost in the title game, you made quite a few Dynasty Dollars and even some money if you’re in a cash league. Now, it’s time to continue your dynasty in 2021. Because you’ve got late round picks and not a lot of cap room, all of the early NFL draft picks and the cheaper players who are going early in Dynasty Owner rookie drafts are going to be off the board for your team. Likely no Travis Etienne or Javonte Williams for you as they have already been taken. What your draft plans?

Player

Michael Carter

Kadarius Toney

Position

RB

WR

Team

NYJ

NYG

Overall ADP

12.1

20.9

Salary

$1,071,842

$3,429,877

I’m not recommending a third rounder here, because after spending just over $4.5 million ($4,501,719) on the first two picks, you can have any available player taken in the fourth round or later in the NFL draft or any undrafted rookie free agent and still get under $5.7 million. A rookie free agent making the minimum of $808,333 in salary would even get your rookie draft salaries at just over $5.31 million. At the high end, Dez Fitzpatrick (WR – TEN) who was taken with the fourth pick in the fourth round and will make $1,069,951 would nudge your rookie salaries to $5,571,670.

Any Round Picks, Very Low Salary Cap Space Available ($3.0 million or less)
This could be anyone with some high salary players that they didn’t want to drop or trade for pennies on the dollars. Your team doesn’t have to draft all undrafted rookie free agents, but needs a first round pick with pretty low salary to avoid that fate. If you’re fortunate, then Michael Carter will be there or maybe Trey Sermon, but his salary is a bit higher.

Player

Michael Carter

Trey Sermon

Javian Hawkins

Position

RB

RB

TE

Team

NYJ

SF

ATL

Overall ADP

12.1

12.2

23.2

Salary

$1,071,842

$1,218,233

$810,000

I’m not recommending a third rounder here, because after spending less than $2 million ($1,881,842 for Option A with Carter) on the first two picks, you are in the same position as the previous scenario and can have any available player taken in the fourth round or later in the NFL draft or any undrafted rookie free agent and still get under $3 million. A rookie free agent making the minimum of $808,333 in salary would get your rookie draft salaries at just under $2.7 million, while Dez Fitzpatrick would jump your rookie draft salary pool up to just a bit over $2.95 million.
For those of you who can get Sermon here, you’ve got less than $1 million left since you spent $2,028,233 already. All of the undrafted rookies are still in play as is anybody drafted in the fifth round or later. Sorry, but you can’t have of those WRs/TEs taken in the fourth round and Sermon. Maybe either one of the TEs, such as Luke Farrell (TE – JAC) or Brevin Jordan (TE – HOU), taken at the top of the fifth round in the NFL draft who make just under $1 million here.

Conclusions
As you can see, the scenarios are endless. With 171 rookies in the draft pool now, there are a myriad of combinations of players that you can draft with as little as $3 million in salary cap room. If you have more than that, your options just keep increasing. For $5.7 million, the only restrictions are that you can’t have any of the top six picks in the NFL draft.
As we can see from our 2020 examples, the best rookies of 2020 would have only cost your Dynasty Owner team just under $10.7 million. It’s possible to have had a great “rookie” draft last year for as little as $3.65 million, or draft three first rounders, spend almost $10.6 million and come away with not much production in 2020. That $10.6 million draft could turn out ok in the long run, but right now, those Dynasty Owners spent a lot of salary for few Dynasty Owner fantasy points.
We’ll keep going on the rookie draft theme next week and look at rookie ADP from both rookie mock drafts and actual Dynasty Owner start-up drafts, so you can start thinking about who might be available when you’re on the clock. If some rookie drafts wrap up early or even progress pretty far, a look at real rookie ADP might be in order in two weeks to help Dynasty Owners who have rookie drafts moving much slower.
Regardless of your league, Dynasty Owner has great content coming to help you draft your dynasty and win your league. Some new videos to accompany the weekly articles have been posted and more are coming every week from now on. All of the articles and videos will be released at 1 PM (Eastern). My articles and videos to get you ready for your 2021 Dynasty Owner start-up league team will be released on Saturdays throughout the off-season. Keep an eye out for new articles from the rest of our team of Dynasty Owner writers as well. Matt Morrison – The Jerk (@Dynastyjerk) is doing a deep dive on individual teams that you can check out on Wednesdays. Jay Pounds (@jaypoundsnfl) looks at how to rebuild your Dynasty Owner roster and everyone will get his insights on Fridays.
Please read all of their articles and follow all of us plus Dynasty Owner (@Dynasty_Owner) on Twitter. Hopefully this article is helpful as you prepare for the first-ever Dynasty Owner rookie drafts. Thanks, and have a great day!

Steven Van Tassell is the Head of Content for Dynasty Owner
Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

Salary Cap Room for 2021 Rookie Drafts

By Steven Van Tassell

Rookie drafts are new and coming to Dynasty Owner soon! June 4th at Noon is the starting date for all rookie drafts for existing Dynasty Owner leagues. If you’re in a league that played in 2020, whether you played last year or bought the team from another Dynasty Owner or the Orphan store, your rookie draft is coming up and it’s time to start getting prepared. Besides researching rookie prospects, reading all of the articles from our Dynasty Owner writers about rookies and how they performed in college and what teams drafted or signed them, Dynasty Owners also need to know rookie contracts.
Fortunately, all rookie salary information has been taken from Spotrac (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/draft/) and loaded into Dynasty Owner already. Dynasty Owners don’t need to do anything other than search for rookies in the Free Agent Auction on the mobile app or do a rookie mock draft. When you go to the Mock Draft Lobby, be sure to select “Rookie Mock Draft” before joining a room.
The rookie mock drafts are great, but they aren’t yet allowing you to simulate a rookie draft with your current team. You can draft any rookie, regardless of salary and if he’ll fit under your team’s $127.75 million salary cap for 2021. As you’ve probably read plenty of times before, unlike a “regular” dynasty fantasy football league, Dynasty Owners need to account for salaries. Trevor Lawrence isn’t the automatic first rookie draft pick because the Dynasty Owner with the first pick needs to have enough salary cap room to fit him on their roster.
One great question that came up in 2020 and should be in the back of all Dynasty Owners’ minds now is – “How much salary cap room do I need to have for my rookie draft?” The short answer is: “It depends”. That answer isn’t very helpful so it’s time to dive into rookie salaries and give a (somewhat) better answer to that question for all of our Dynasty Owners.
All salary information listed are based on the salaries available on Dynasty Owner as of May 21st.

Rookie Salaries Are Set in Stone
That’s right. For some of you who haven’t paid attention to salaries much before playing Dynasty Owner, there’s any wiggle room for what the players taken in the NFL draft will get paid from their first contract. That wasn’t always the case. The NFL rookie salary system in effect now that provides set value 4-year contracts for drafted players with a fifth year option for first round draft picks was implemented in the 2011 NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement. Undrafted rookie free agent contracts are 3-year contracts.
The rookie salary scale was created to limit rookie salaries which had reached its high point in 2010 when the St. Louis Rams (remember back when the Rams used to be in St. Louis) drafted Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford with the first pick and gave him a six-year, $78 million contract with $50 million guaranteed. Bradford’s average salary of a little over $13 million made him the 12th highest paid player in the NFL (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/2011/average/) before he had even played a snap in the league.
Flash forward to 2021 and players, GMs, the media, Dynasty Owners and everyone else knows the contract value for each draft position even before the players are drafted. Those are the dollar figures on the contracts being signed since the draft ended and the salaries that are loaded into the Dynasty Owner platform.

Minimum Amounts
The true minimum amount is $0. It’s possible for a Dynasty Owner to have no rookie draft picks and not need to have set aside any salary cap room for their rookie draft. All teams start with three rookie draft picks every year and some teams earn a bonus fourth pick at the end of the first round (pick 1.13) for winning the Loser’s Bracket tournament from the previous season. Some teams will trade away draft picks and end up with only one or two, while others will stockpile them and have a lot more (16 rookie picks is the highest that I can remember hearing, but can’t recall what team has that many).
For Dynasty Owners with a team that has only one draft pick, they will need a minimum of $808,333 to draft one of the many undrafted rookie free agents who have signed with NFL teams. If you want someone who was at least drafted by a NFL team, you’ll need a minimum of $889,317 to take Dax Milne (WR – WAS) who was the second to last player drafted in the seventh round. If you want a first round NFL draft pick, then the amount is $3.15 million to acquire the services of Rashod Bateman (WR – BAL) who was chosen with the 27th pick.
If you’ve looked at the rookie mock drafts in Dynasty Owner, you might be saying to yourself “Hey Steve! There’s a couple of guys listed with salaries of less than $808,333. What gives?” That is correct, there are six rookies who had their college eligibility run out in 2019, didn’t get signed by a NFL team in 2020, but then worked out and signed a contract before the NFL draft in late April. Taylor Russolino (K – Free Agent) is also listed at a salary of $695,000 and his situation is even more unique (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taylor_Russolino).
The player with the lowest salary ($583,333 for three years) of this group is Micah Simon (WR – CAR). For more information about Simon and his signing, check out this article (https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nfl/report-micah-simon-signs-with-carolina-panthers-after-showing-at-byu-s-pro-day/ar-BB1f7YsQ). So, yes it is true that you could have only $583,333 in salary cap room and draft Micah Simon with your only rookie draft pick. However, if that’s all the salary cap room you have, then you’re probably better off trading the pick and getting something more for it.
Disregarding these exceptions, it appears that Dynasty Owners with all three of their draft picks will need at least $2.425 million in salary cap room in order to draft three minimum salary undrafted rookie free agents. If the Dynasty Owner team won the 1.13 bonus pick, then they will need $3,233,332. If you have more than four draft picks and want to spend the minimum then do the math ($808,333 * # of picks = minimum salary $). This is regardless of what rounds or picks your Dynasty Owner team has since draft position doesn’t matter.

Maximum Amount
There is apparently one Dynasty Owner out there sitting on 16 draft picks in their 2021 rookie draft. Do they even have enough salary cap room to fit that many rookies on their roster? The answer is Yes!
In fact, they have plenty of space to fit 16 draft picks and 9-14 holdover players from their 2020 team. If this team were to draft the top 16 salaried players in the rookie player pool, it would cost them a total of $82.115 million, meaning that they’d have $45.635 million left for the rest of their roster. For that rookie haul, they’d get every first round NFL draft position player pick and the top three position players drafted in the second round. That would work out to 5 QBs, 3 RBs, 7 WRs and 1 TE. So, the maximum any Dynasty Owner needs in salary cap room is $82.115 million. Unless someone has more than 16 draft picks.
Most Dynasty Owner teams aren’t going to have that many rookie draft picks, they are going to have three or four of them. In order to draft the top three picks in the NFL draft – Trevor Lawrence (QB – JAC), Zach Wilson (QB – NYJ) and Trey Lance (QB – SF), a Dynasty Owner would need a little over $26.5 million in salary cap room. If you had four picks due to winning the 1.13 pick or via trade, then your Dynasty Owner team would need $34.74 million to fit those three QBs plus Kyle Pitts (TE – ATL). If you only have one draft pick and are able to draft the number one overall NFL draft pick in Trevor Lawrence, you’ll need $9.2 million since Lawrence’s annual salary is $9,198,372. Here’s a handy chart for the maximum amount you need if you have up to five rookie draft picks.

No. of Picks

1

2

3

4

5

Maximum Salary Needed

$9.2 million

$17.986 million

$26.512 million

$34.74 million

$42.445 million

If you have more than five rookie draft picks and want to know the maximum that you can spend, you obviously are obsessed with rookies and probably have already done the calculations yourself.

Stuck in the Middle with You
Most Dynasty Owners don’t need as much as the $82.115 million maximum, but will need more than the absolute $0 minimum or even the $808,333 one undrafted rookie free agent minimum. As Stealers Wheel sang and the movie Reservoir Dogs made into an iconic scene, most of us are stuck in the middle.
For a typical Dynasty Owner with three or four rookie draft picks distributed throughout the three round rookie draft, it’s unlikely that they will be able to draft all three top QBs or even three first round NFL draft picks. It’s more likely that they will get three or four players from the 77 rookie position players taken in the NFL draft – from Trevor Lawrence to Dax Milne – and likely take players from different positions as well. For these Dynasty Owners, the range of salary cap that they will need to have on hand for the rookie draft is between $5.7 million and $26.4 million.
At the $5.7 million amount, a Dynasty Owner would get the cheapest of the five first round QBs drafted – Mac Jones (QB – NE) – as well as Dax Milne as a WR/TE and the lowest drafted RB in Jermar Jefferson (RB – DET). At the upper end, the Dynasty Owner would have four draft picks and get the most expensive QB (Trevor Lawrence), the most expensive RB in Najee Harris (RB – PIT) and the two top receivers drafted – Kyle Pitts and Ja’Marr Chase (WR – CIN).

Rookie Drafts by the Numbers

There’s a lot of rookie draft information to digest and enough numbers to make a Dynasty Owner’s head spin. This probably isn’t going to simplify matters, but here are some additional numbers:

  • There are a total of 161 rookies currently in the Dynasty Owner player pool
  • Out of those 161 rookies, 77 were drafted by a NFL team, 77 signed after the NFL draft as an undrafted rookie free agent and 7 are the exceptions who had their college eligibility run out in 2019 (or before) and didn’t play in the NFL in 2020
  • There will be a total of 37 rookies drafted out of a rookie player pool of 161 players (23%)
  • Lowest rookie salary – Micah Simon (WR – CAR) – $583,333 per year for 3 years
  • Highest rookie salary – Trevor Lawrence (QB – JAC) – $9,198,372 per year for 4 years
  • Most common drafted rookie salary – $902,677 for four years for the four players taken with sixth round compensatory picks – Khalil Herbert (RB – CHI), Sam Ehlinger (QB – IND), Seth Williams (WR – DEN) and Dazz Newsome (WR – CHI)
  • Most common undrafted rookie free agent salary – $808,333 for 3 years for 53 players
  • Highest undrafted rookie free agent salary – $823,333 for 3 years for Deon Jackson (RB – IND)

Conclusions
The short answer “It depends” is actually the correct answer here. Everything depends on your current roster and the number of draft picks your Dynasty Owner team has available. As we’ve seen, a Dynasty Owner with at least one draft pick could need as little as $808,333 to select an undrafted rookie free agent with their one pick or as much as $82.115 million if you’re the Dynasty Owner with 16 draft picks and want all of the highest paid rookies out there.
For most Dynasty Owners with a “normal” number of draft picks, it appears that the range of salary cap room that you should be targeting is between $5.7 million and $26.4 million. You can go lower than that if you don’t want, or can’t draft, any of the top five QBs taken and don’t have to go that high if you don’t have four draft picks and need all of the most expensive rookies at each position.
We’ll keep going on the rookie draft theme for the next two weeks as there’s plenty more to look at to get Dynasty Owners ready for their rookie draft. We can look at rookie ADP from both rookie mock drafts and actual Dynasty Owner start-up drafts, as well as see how much good “rookie” drafts from 2019 and 2020 would have cost their Dynasty Owners. Those two topics should give Dynasty Owners a better sense of what to expect in their rookie drafts.
Regardless of your league, Dynasty Owner has great content coming to help you win your league and a new publication schedule for the weekly articles and videos that will provide the information you need. A few new videos to accompany the weekly articles have been posted and more are coming every week from now on. All of the articles and videos will be released at 1 PM (Eastern). My articles and videos to get you ready for your 2021 Dynasty Owner start-up league team will be released on Saturdays throughout the off-season. Keep an eye out for new articles from the rest of our team of Dynasty Owner writers as well. Nate Christian (@NateNFL) will talk about rookies on Tuesdays. Matt Morrison – The Jerk (@Dynastyjerk) is doing a deep dive on individual teams that you can check out on Wednesdays. Jay Poundsee (@jaypoundsnfl) looks at how to rebuild your Dynasty Owner roster and everyone will get his insights on Fridays.
Please read all of their articles and follow the four of us plus Dynasty Owner (@Dynasty_Owner) on Twitter. Hopefully this article is helpful as you prepare for the first-ever Dynasty Owner rookie drafts. Thanks, and have a great day!

Steven Van Tassell is the Head of Content for Dynasty Owner
Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

15 Players Rebuilding Owners Should Target After Rookie Drafts (PART 1)

By Jay Poundsee (@jaypoundsnfl)

With Dynasty Owner rookie drafts two weeks away its time to start thinking about the players that will go in the third round, or potentially undrafted. I like to call these players lottery tickets or hidden gems. As rebuilding owners, you should try and load up on as many of these players as possible because you shouldn’t be holding onto veterans whose ceiling is severely limited. The lottery tickets you want to target are young players who have possible paths to playing time which almost always tend to be rookies on bad teams. If you look at the Detroit Lions roster for example, you will see the wide receiver depth chart is absolutely wide open, which is something you want to attack after the draft, or in the third, if necessary.
Every year in the NFL we see several players appear out of nowhere and it is hugely beneficial for rebuilding owners to roster those players before the breakout happens. If you go back and look at players that have appeared seemingly out of nowhere you will see that it is typically for a short stretch. When your lottery tickets hit, I highly suggest trading them because of the fact that they do tend to die out rather quickly, and one of the keys to rebuilding is getting the most out of your trades, not the least. I wanted to do this article so that as the rookie drafts approach everyone can be as prepared as possible, especially when it comes to the players most aren’t talking about. Rookie drafts are the easiest way to rebuild a team but can also be one of the most challenging. Rookie picks can be hit or miss from the 1.01 all the way down to the players that go undrafted. A few great examples of this would be in 2020, we had Clyde Edwards-Helaire going as the first rookie drafted (there were no rookie-only Dynasty Owner drafts in 2020), while James Robinson was going undrafted. In 2018, we also saw people in dynasty leagues drafting players like Royce Freeman or Derrius Guice early in the first round of rookie drafts over George Kittle, and D.J. Chark in the third.
What I am trying to insinuate here is that rookies are near crapshoots but can pay huge dividends here on Dynasty Owner. If you sit back and really look at it, you could build an absolute powerhouse by nailing which rookies to draft because of the value their contracts bring. In 2020 if you drafted the correct players, you could have had Justin Jefferson at a salary of $3,280,701 (3 years) scoring 273 points, or you could have had a whopping 15 extra points and DeAndre Hopkins at a salary of $16,200,000 in 2020, but now $27,250,000 (2 years). In Dynasty Owner differences like that can mean the difference between having another two or three elite players on your roster. Having Jefferson over Hopkins would have saved you $12,919,299, or Alvin Kamara ($964,443), Calvin Ridley ($2,725,178), Jonathan Taylor ($1,957,287), CeeDee Lamb ($3,502,503), and still some space left over for free agency. Even with Kamara’s contract going up to $15,000,000 this year, you could still fit all of those players in for Hopkins’ new contract. As you can see when rebuilding in this format it is extremely beneficial to have ample cap space and players with valuable contracts can be key to that.
Over the next 2 weeks I am going to talk about 15 players (8 this week, 7 next week) I feel will go undrafted in the upcoming rookie drafts. I will touch on things like college performance, draft capital, and their path to opportunity. In the coming weeks some of these players are likely to rise or fall and I will touch on this again after the draft. These players will be in no specific order, and I also suggest doing your own research on these guys as well. If you happen to be torn on some of these players, my best advice would be to take who you think could see the field the fastest for their respective teams.

Davis Mills (4 years / $1,304,382) – Quarterback, Houston Texans
Going into the 2018 season in college football Davis Mills was one of the highest regarded prospects coming out of high school. Unfortunately for Mills, this was not a catalyst for a ton of playing time before being drafted to the NFL as he made just 11 career college starts. In those 11 starts, Mills threw the ball 438 times with 287 of them being completed, adding 18 touchdowns to 8 interceptions as well. Everything I have seen in my research of Mills is that he should have went back to school and he will need time to learn. Judging by his college production, I would have to agree. Mills is the typical old school pocket passer and has excellent arm strength to chuck the ball around the yard, but the lack of experience is a big concern. The path to playing time for Mills does seem to have some potential with Deshaun Watson still in a legal battle, making Tyrod Taylor the only player Mills may have to beat out for a starting job. He also has solid draft capital after being taken with the Texans first pick in the draft. If you’re able to get someone like Mills and he ends up starting you could probably net a first round pick for him from a contending team.

Jermar Jefferson (4 years / $889,581) – Running back, Detroit Lions
Jermar Jefferson was a very solid back for the Oregon State Beavers in college, especially during his freshman season where he had 239 carries for 1,380 yards and 12 touchdowns. In Jefferson’s career he totaled 514 carries for 2,923 yards and 27 touchdowns, with a shortened 2020 season. Jefferson is a big, hard to bring down old school back who has zero issues getting tough yards. The biggest concern for Jefferson heading into the NFL is the fact he does not offer much in terms of high end speed, or pass catching, though sometimes he seems to play faster than his times show. In Detroit, Jefferson has a decent shot at seeing the field with the Lions deciding not to bring back Adrian Peterson or Kerryon Johnson. The Lions did sign Jamaal Williams and still have D’Andre Swift on the roster, but I feel Jefferson can step into the Peterson role from last season with Detroit always seeming to take a running back by committee approach. Another negative for Jefferson is the lack of draft capital after going in the seventh round of the NFL draft.

Josh Palmer (4 years / $1,258,365) – Wide receiver, Los Angeles Chargers
Josh Palmer had one of my favorite landing spot/draft capital combos of the draft. The fact not many are talking about the kid, and he went in the third round of the NFL draft, while being tied to Justin Herbert for the foreseeable future is mind blowing. Palmer did not produce major numbers at Tennessee but has the size and profile to become what the Chargers had hoped Mike Williams would be. The biggest concern with Palmer is his college production, though he never exactly had a decent quarterback. Palmer only had 99 catches for 1,514 yards in 4 years at Tennessee which is worrisome. He will be given every chance to succeed in the NFL and has a decent path to playing time with only Mike Williams in his way. If Palmer happens to build a rapport early on with Herbert, he could be one of the bigger steals in rookie drafts. At worst, Palmer will be a hold until the Chargers finally move on from Williams.

Dez Fitzpatrick (4 years / $1,069,951) – Wide receiver, Tennessee Titans
Dez Fitzpatrick probably has the clearest path to playing time on this list in Tennessee. The Titans recently let Jonnu Smith and Corey Davis walk in free agency, which leaves only A.J. Brown as a proven pass catcher. Fitzpatrick was taken in the 4th round of the draft giving him decent draft capital on a team that is wide open at his position. Fitzpatrick is a big-bodied receiver and is good when it comes to contested catches. In his career at Louisville, Fitzpatrick had 154 catches for 2,589 yards at a whopping 16.8 yards per catch and added 21 touchdowns to boot. It will take him awhile to adjust fully to the NFL, but I think he will be able to get on the field early as a deep ball threat while he develops into a more experienced player. My favorite aspect of Fitzpatrick is his landing spot and the fact he only has to beat out someone like Josh Reynolds to see playing time. I would be willing to bet by draft time you may need to move into the late third round of your rookie draft if you want to guarantee he’s on your roster.

Javion Hawkins (3 years / $810,000) – Running back, Atlanta Falcons
After going undrafted and having zero draft capital Javion Hawkins couldn’t have landed in a better spot. The Falcons have been looking for a running back since Devonta Freeman fell off and seemingly are still looking. In 2020, Atlanta had the likes of Todd Gurley, Ito Smith, and Brian Hill getting the majority of the touches, all of whom are no longer with the organization. The Falcons depth chart after Mike Davis is wide open, and Mike Davis has been nothing but a journeyman his entire career. In college at Louisville, Hawkins posted impressive numbers with 399 carries for 2,355 yards and 16 touchdowns. Hawkins showed the ability to hit a homerun whenever he touches the ball, but also goes down on first contact quite often. The one thing I do not like about Hawkins is the fact he is an undersized back who has showed very little in the pass catching game. Time will tell what Hawkins could be but for now he’s well worth a dart throw after rookie drafts. Hawkins is also another player I could see trending up into the third round of rookie drafts.

Elijah Mitchell (4 years / $915,892) – Running back, San Francisco 49ers
The opposite of Dez Fitzpatrick, Elijah Mitchell may have the toughest path to playing time on this list, but the fact he went to the 49ers means he has a chance. The 49ers took Mitchell in the sixth round of the NFL draft after drafting Trey Sermon a few rounds earlier. Over the years we have seen numerous backs succeed under Kyle Shanahan and there is no reason to think Mitchell can’t be the next one. Mitchell was highly productive in college finishing with 527 carries, 3,267 yards, and 41 touchdowns, while also performing well in the passing game. While Mitchell isn’t the most talented back in this class, he is one of the most well rounded. The biggest concern for Mitchell is the massive amount of work he saw in his college career. In 2020, we saw Raheem Mostert, Jerick McKinnon, Jamycal Hasty, and Jeff Wilson all have productive games for the 49ers, leaving the possibility of Mitchell seeing the field in 2021 a real possibility. Is there anything that would be more Kyle Shanahan than Mitchell ending up the better pro talent over Trey Sermon?

Sage Surratt (3 years / $808,333) – Wide receiver, Detroit Lions
If you can’t tell yet I love targeting late round, big-bodied receivers. Sage Surrat sits at 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs in at 209 pounds. Surrat opted out in 2020 due to Covid-19 but had a great 2019 season finishing with 66 catches, 1,001 yards, and 11 touchdowns. The biggest knock on Surratt heading into his career is his lack of explosiveness and ability to create separation, but he can counter that with great hands and contested catch ability. I know earlier I said Fitzpatrick had the best landing spot on the list, but Surratt is equally up there in terms of landing spot. If Surratt can beat out guys like Quintez Cephus, or Breshad Perriman he could see the field as early as Week 1, which is exactly why I will be rostering Surratt everywhere I can. Though I do like Surratt, I do not recommend trading into the third round of rookie drafts to get him.

Kenny Yeboah (3 years / $815,000) – Tight end, New York Jets
Kenny Yeboah ended up going undrafted in the 2021 NFL draft, but still stands to have a decent shot at making it in the pros. My favorite part about Yeboah (aside from his last name) is the fact he doesn’t have much in front of him on the roster to beat out. The Jets do have Chris Herndon there, but he has zero ties to the new coaching staff and could easily be moved or replaced. Yeboah isn’t the prototypical tight end who will stay in and block often but more along the lines of Noah Fant where he depends more on speed and athleticism to make plays. Yeboah can be moved around the field to create mismatches and should excel when matched up against smaller or slower linebackers. Yeboah’s college career started out at Temple before transferring to Ole Miss, totaling 74 catches, 1,062 yards and 12 touchdowns between the two schools. We all know tight ends take a while to develop and players like Yeboah make for a great stash at the bottom of your roster.

Conclusion
If you are like me and love to have plenty of late round lottery tickets to choose from then be sure to tune in next week when I breakdown my final 7 lottery tickets of the 2021 rookie drafts.
I want to take a second and remind everyone that we will have plenty of new users joining Dynasty Owner over the next few months and to try to help them out as much as possible with things. Dynasty Owner is a ton of fun but can be difficult to navigate at first for new users. If you happen to be a new user and are reading this, feel free to contact anyone on the Dynasty Owner team on Twitter and we will all, be glad to help. Let me know on Twitter if I just ruined any of your sleeper picks with this article. Until the next time good luck on your 2021 Chase for the Ring!