Roster Roundup – Round Eight: AFC West

Taking A Dive Into The Rosters From Around The League

Author: Chris Wolf

This time of year is typically the time when teams, trainers and agents hype up their players. We know how the world has changed in recent months and the NFL is no different in its approach to returning to “normalcy”. With the news of NFL staff and players testing positive for the Coronavirus, fantasy news is taking a backseat. As a result, fantasy players are missing out on the typical hyperbole surrounding pre-season roster news and notes.

In this series we will look at who’s who on rosters and how that may help in your drafts and early waivers.

Each week we will examine a division’s skill position current roster and predictive depth chart heading into training camp to see how that relates to their fantasy outlook.

Denver Broncos

HC: Vic Fangio

OC: Pat Shurmur

QB: Drew Lock, Jeff Driskel

RB: Melvin Gordon, Phillip Lindsay, Royce Freeman, Andrew Beck

WR: Cortland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, DaeSean Hamilton, Tim Patrick, KJ Hamler, Tyrie Cleveland

TE: Noah Fant, Nick Vannett, Albert Okwuegbunam, Jake Butt

This offense is very young. This defense is very experienced. If the two can come together, the Denver Broncos can make some noise in this division. Drew Lock flashed promise in his inaugural season as the Bronco’s signal-caller and brings excitement to this extremely young group. In his 5 career games, Lock posted 204 ypg in an offense that didn’t appear to be quite ready for him. His yards per attempt are sure to increase from 6.5 a clip and his 1.4 TD to 0.6 INT would extrapolate to 22.4/9.6 over a full season. That was without an improved offensive line and new weapons at RB, WR, and TE. Even though John Elway didn’t exactly give his then rookie a boost of confidence after going 4-1 to end the season, Lock is back as the starter and is in a fantastic position to prove that he was worth Denver’s no.42 overall pick in last year’s draft.

The running back position is deep and returns a good amount of game experience. Melvin Gordon is the new toy in Lock’s toy chest, and he should receive the bulk of the snaps. He is the best receiver in the backfield and after his notorious zero TD rookie season, he has scored at least eight rushing touchdowns over the last 4 years. If you listen to coach speak, Fangio designates both Gordon and Lindsay as equal starters, but reason would tell you the splits would favor the more productive Gordon. Lindsay is no slouch and he has flashed in his first two years in the league. In both years he ran for over 1,000 yards and recorded exactly 35 receptions in both years. The receptions may come down, but the yards don’t necessarily have to. This team wants to run the ball, but it has enough talent in the passing game to keep the defenses honest. It is within the realm of possibility that the team could support two 1,000-yard rushers in Gordon and Lindsay. The odd man out appears to be Royce Freeman. Freeman has seen more stacked boxes in the last two years than anyone else in football. He is a solid talent and a superior pass blocker to Lindsay so he may still have some value on your bench.

The 2020 draft was kind to Lock by granting him two dynamic receivers. Jerry Jeudy “fell” to pick number 15 where the Denver Broncos pounced and selected the best route runner to come out of college in years. Jeudy was running NFL caliber routes in Alabama embarrassing most of the competition along the way. He slots into the starting line up across from 2019 breakout Courtland Sutton. Sutton was near QB proof posting a 72/1112/6-line catching passes from the likes of Brandon Allen, Joe Flacco, and Drew Lock. After grading out as PFF’s #16 wide receiver, Sutton is a safe bet to lead this team once again in most receiving categories with a much-improved supporting cast around him.  DaeSean Hamilton (28rec/297yds/1TD) and Tim Patrick (16rec/218yds/0TD’s) return as rotational players in the group but the other rising rookie is KJ Hamler. Hamler’s second-round selection was overshadowed by Jeudy’s but do not let that dull the fact that he will be an important part of this offense. The Penn State product is a smaller statured player, but he is the definition of dynamic. He is a slippery route runner that can turn a defender around and then run past his teammates. Sutton and Jeudy will be the volume play but Hamler will take the lid off defenses. Noah Fant was a pre-draft darling this fantasy season. He will get the snaps to keep him on the field due to his above-average blocking and route running. He is not the most polished route runner where he takes some time getting out of his breaks, but he can run past 90% of the linebackers on any given Thursday, Sunday, or Monday. His upper-level speed for a TE will make him an intriguing fantasy TE play in 2020. His rookie line mate Albert Okwuegbunam is a sure-handed possession type receiving TE who has been used to get the sure completions instead of big explosive plays. His big frame will be a welcome addition for Lock when he needs to find his chain moving target.

Kansas City Chiefs

HC: Andy Reid

OC: Eric Bienemy

QB: Patrick Mahomes, Chad Henne

RB: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Darrel Williams, Darwin Thompson, Anthony Sherman

WR: Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson, Byron Pringle, Marcus Kemp

TE: Travis Kelce, Nick Keizer, Ricky Seals-Jones, Deon Yelder

The Super Bowl champs return for another run at the title and still have a lot of kept cogs in place. On offense that specifically means all-world QB Patrick Mahomes, the elite TE Travis Kelce, and the self-proclaimed fastest man in the NFL-Tyreek Hill. Sprinkle in one of the best running backs in the 2020 draft and you have the makings of yet another elite Kansas City offense.

Mahomes struck gold in 2020 with his 10yr $450million salary to pave the way for many championship runs to come. Still only 24 years old and only 2 full years of experience under his belt, Mahomes is already in the conversation of greatness. Go back and look at his stats and you will see that he never really had a bad game. Sure, there were “okay” games in there but never a bad one. In his 31 career starts, he has amassed 9412 yards, 76 TD’s to just 19 INT’s. His adjusted completion percentage was good enough for 6th in 2019 and 5th in 2018 among QB’s that started at least 10 games. His overall passing grade (PFF) was 6th in 2019 and 2nd in 2018. To sum it up, 2018 was clearly his better statistical season (he also played 2.5 more games) but his 2019 efficiency rate was higher, and he just happened to lead his team to the championship podium.

The nearly Super Bowl MVP Damien Williams has decided to opt-out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19. In comes 1st round pick, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, the dynamic pass-catching running back out of national champion LSU. CEH garnered first-team All-ACC accolades after rushing for 1,414 yards and 16 TD’s during his breakout junior year. He will not kill you with straight-line speed evidenced by his 4.60 40 yd time, but he may make you miss in space thanks to his fantastic balance and footwork. His backfield mate, Darrel Williams is the better pass-blocking back and the more experienced of the two. He figures to work alongside CEH in the early parts of the season to allow the rookie time to acclimate to the NFL. Last year’s sleeper darling, Darwin Thompson was good enough to be active over LeSean McCoy in the Super Bowl as well as being kept as the third man in this backfield.

The freak himself, Tyreek Hill will enter this season a more rounded NFL receiver. Opposing teams now must defend more than just a straight-line burner, reportedly he spent the offseason with a receiving coach to work on the intricacies of the position. He seemed to adjust during the playoffs and gained steam as the final tournament wore on. The Texans did everything legal in football to Michael Jordan him out of the game plan with him coming away with 3 catches for 41 yards on four targets in the Divisional round. He followed that up next week with a

 7-67-2 TD’s performance against the Titans and then 9-105 in the Super Bowl. He suffered through multiple injuries in 2019 but did not have any off-field issues which was positive for the 26-year-old. He will give you more non-WR1 weeks than live up to his draft capital, but he is an elite weapon that can score as much as two WR’s in any given week.

Sammy Watkins is the number 2 WR and the 27-year-old former 1st rounder has had an interesting career. Entering his 7th season, he has flashed brilliance at times while playing for three different teams, but consistency has always eluded him. Not being “the no.1 guy” has assuredly helped but he works more into a receiving rotation in the WR corps and that may just be what suits him best. Mecole Hardman is the young dynamo speedster that was used as a situational mismatch in his rookie year. Like Hill early in his career, his game is built on speed and not volume. He is a true weapon in the return game as well as downfield evidenced by his 26-538-6 td stat line in 2019. Demarcus Robinson rounds out the top four receivers of this exciting group. Robinson had two solid games filling in for Hill last season and returns to the team on a 1 year $2.3million contract as a coaching staff’s favorite.

The actual number 1 receiving option in this offense is TE Travis Kelce. Out of the top four receivers mentioned, Kelce had 49% of the team’s target share when comparing the five of them. That is high volume for the tight end position. Kelce is a unicorn and his game changing ability has been demonstrated time and again as he always appears to come up big just when the chiefs need him. He is a sure-fire top 2 TE in the league and is not going anywhere with his 4 yr $57 million salary. There isn’t much behind him on the depth chart nor does there have to be for the way this offense operates. If Kelce is viewed as a number one receiver and not a $14 million TE, his Dynasty Owner salary becomes that much more palatable.

Las Vegas Raiders

HC: Jon Gruden

OC: Greg Olson

QB: Derek Carr, Marcus Mariota, Nathan Peterman

RB: Josh Jacobs, Jalen Richard, Devontae Booker, Alec Ingold

WR: Henry Ruggs III, Hunter Renfrow, Bryan Edwards, Nelson Agholor, Zay Jones, Rico Gaffer

TE: Darren Waller, Foster Moreau, Jason Witten, Derek Carrier

Chucky is back and the black and silver have a different look to their passing game this year. Gruden is exceptional at scripting his plays and allowing the offensive momentum to stack series by series. The knock on him is in-game adjustments if something was to go completely awry. He and GM Mike Mayock went out and fortified their back-up QB position with former no.2 overall pick Marcus Mariota (currently on IR) and kept the great Nathan Peterman on the roster who is now serving as the direct back-up to Carr. Carr is not as conservative as he is efficient, especially since Gruden came to town. He is the epitome of a “Steady Eddie” QB that will not lose you many fantasy matchups, but he also won’t win you many either. He rarely misses any games (2 out of 96) he always hovers around 4,000 yards a season and recently right around 20 TD’s. He is a much better real-life QB rather than a fantasy one. Hopefully, you will not be relying on him for any other reason than a bye week.

For many, Josh Jacobs ($2.98m) was the number one back in the NFL draft last year. He did not have a bad year by any stretch, in his 13 games played he totaled 1150 yards and 7 TD’s. The mini let down was his use in the passing games tallying only 20 receptions. The Raiders claimed to want to get him more involved but the consistent addition of pass-catching backs to the roster makes you take pause. He is a clear bet to receive over 275 touches in both the run and pass game and is a locked-in solid starter for your team. His range of outcomes could place him anywhere in the RB5-RB14 range this year. Jalen Richard returns to his same expected role of a breather back that is used in the hurry-up as well and won’t add any stand-alone value as long as Jacobs is upright. Booker is the third back that is also in the third-down-back-mold that totaled 9 rushing yards in 16 games last year. Jacobs offers elite volume for your team and he should eat this year.

The Receiving corps got some upgrades this year and it’s something to be excited about. Ruggs was taken at #12 overall and Gruden’s selection of him would make Al Davis smile from ear to ear. Gruden covets speed at the Z position and Ruggs has speed to burn. He only logged 98 career catches in the crowded Alabama passing attack, but he did a lot with a little. His 4.27 speed will bring even more heat to the desert when Las Vegas opens Allegiant Stadium.  Lining up across from him will be fellow rookie Bryan Edwards ($1.17m) who is quickly becoming “Carr’s guy”. Edwards had a stellar four-year career at South Carolina while logging the third-most receptions in SEC history with 324. He is a sure-handed receiver with nice hands that do not allow the ball to come to his body. He impressed so much with his after the catch ability that he was also utilized in the screen game as well as getting backfield snaps in college.

Renfrow ($708k) had put together a nice rookie season with 49 grabs on 71 targets for 605yds and 4 TD’s. He is an ideal complement to the two rookies who will be starting outside and the three of them will make for an interesting trio to watch develop over the years. At TE, Darren Waller returns and looks to follow up on his 2019 Cinderella season. Waller hung 90 catches on 1145 yards on the season but with just 3 TD’s. He is an athletic freak out of GA Tech that took a few years to come around, but he finally popped in his age 26 season as the team’s number one target in the passing game. Joining him is the one-foot-in-the-broadcasting-booth veteran Jason Witten. Witten missed playing the game so much in 2018, he traded his toupee for a helmet and vacated his position calling games. He was knowingly brought in for his locker room leadership and we should all be spared of watching the once stud TE lumber around the field.

Los Angeles Chargers

HC:  Anthony Lynn

OC: Shane Steichen

QB: Tyrod Taylor, Justin Herbert, Easton Stick

RB: Austin Ekeler, Justin Jackson, Joshua Kelley

WR: Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Jaylen Guyton, KJ Hill, Joe Reed, Jason Moore

TE: Hunter Henry, Virgil Green, Stephen Anderson, Donald Parham

This team was built for defense and it shows on offense. Head Coach Anthony Lynn wants to run the ball in the worst way to set up the intermediate passing attack. They did make some changes on the offensive line, but the issue is these are a lot of “name guys” along the offensive front and their grades do not exactly spell production. Tyrod Taylor is a well-respected player that is a bargain as a QB2-3 at just $5.5million.  Although he is just a 2020 placeholder for Justin Herbert, Taylor offers solid rushing ability and an underrated deep ball touch. Herbert is the future leader of this franchise and it would probably do him best to learn for the entire season ala Mahomes and Alex Smith in 2017. Herbert is a big-armed guy that can also move when needed as evidenced by his 4.68 speed at 6’6” 236lbs. Herbert has elite arm talent but will need to clean up his fumbling issue that plagued him in his four years at Oregon.

This backfield timeshare will be interesting to watch unfold. As a fantasy community we view Austin Ekeler as the clear-cut starter, and he is being drafted as the workhorse back. But those closer to the situation, especially the beat writers are alluding to a much more three headed attack approach as opposed to a bellcow and two backups. Ekeler should absolutely be the more valuable back to have rostered especially for his ability to vacuum up almost any incoming pass. But I would not dismiss Justin Jackson and Joshua Kelley from having a bigger role than what we are sensing. Jackson is one of those do-it-all guys that coaching staffs love and Kelley has been labeled as a “violent runner” by his defensive teammates. All three can play on passing downs but that’s where Ekeler shines. Hovering around 550 yards rushing for each of the last two years, he took a massive leap forward in 2019 going from 53 targets to 108 resulting in 92 catches for 993 yards and 8 TD’s. Those are WR1 numbers that you are getting from a running back.

Keenan Allen ($20m) returns with a chip on his shoulder in that he feels he is not viewed as elite by the public and media. He picked Twitter fights with more than one wide receiver striving to prove his point. Whether he is elite, or not Allen has put together a strong resume especially since returning from back to back injury plagued seasons. He has worn the “injury” tag for the last few years because he had two freak injuries in consecutive years (2015 lacerated kidney, 2016 torn ACL). Since then he has put together 3 straight campaigns averaging 6 touchdowns, 1263 yards, and 101 receptions while playing in every game. Those numbers are solid if not elite. Mike Williams ($4.9m) is the big bodied down field receiver just starting to come into his own. He has been dinged up, often carrying the questionable tag but he is a beast when he’s healthy. He hasn’t quite been a volume receiver as of yet and that doesn’t appear to change in 2020 but hopefully, he can return to his TD scoring ways of 2018 where he cashed in 43 receptions for 10 touchdowns. That success rate was surely due for regression, but it appears the regression gods went a bit too far by only granting him 2 touchdowns on 49 receptions. When going three wide, Allen will find his home in the slot opening the outside for second year player Jalen Guyton. Guyton ($540k) brings another dimension to the receiving trio by offering his 4.37 forty speed on the outside. Guyton was a former 4-star recruit that had two total targets and zero receptions in his rookie year. Joe Reed and KJ Hill are promising young talents with little fantasy value in this run first team.

Hunter Henry ($10.6m) will be playing under the franchise tag for the 2020 season and both sides have shown real interest in continuing their relationship after this year. The 25-year-old Henry is a fine tight end that has seen volume targets that have increased every year, but he has a hard time staying healthy. He has yet to play a complete season, but he claims this year is the best he’s felt so far.  His reception totals have gone from 36 to 45 to 55 in the last few seasons so there’s hope for a 50-60 catch season if the trend were to continue. Behind him is Virgil Green who is a fine #2 TE in real life football but offers zero fantasy appeal.

That wraps up our 8-part Roster Roundup series. We hope you enjoyed it! Now to enjoy some football!

Follow us on Twitter: @Dynasty_Owner

Roster Roundup – Round Seven: NFC West

Taking A Dive Into The Rosters From Around The League

Author: Chris Wolf

This time of year is typically the time when teams, trainers and agents hype up their players. We know how the world has changed in recent months and the NFL is no different in its approach to returning to “normalcy”. With the news of NFL staff and players testing positive for the Coronavirus, fantasy news is taking a backseat. As a result, fantasy players are missing out on the typical hyperbole surrounding pre-season roster news and notes.

In this series we will look at who’s who on rosters and how that may help in your drafts and early waivers.

Each week we will examine a division’s skill position current roster and predictive depth chart heading into training camp to see how that relates to their fantasy outlook.

Arizona Cardinals

HC: Kliff Kingsbury

OC: Kliff Kingsbury

QB: Kyler Murray, Brett Hundley, Chris Streveler

RB: Kenyan Drake, Chase Edmonds, Eno Benjamin

WR: Larry Fitzgerald, DeAndre Hopkins, Christian Kirk, Andy Isabella, KeeSean Johnson, Trent Sherfield

TE: Maxx Williams, Dan Arnold, Darrell Daniels

Coach Kliff Kingsbury returns to what should be a much-improved offense. All eyes were on Arizona to showcase Kingsbury’s spread offense in 2019 but finished with the league’s 23rd ranked offense (per PFF). 2020 looks to be improved with a revamped offensive line that might be a better fit for the wider splits necessary for the quicker pass sets. Kyler Murray is an exciting young play caller that has a solid arm and athletic wheels. The questions about his size have been put to rest but his main drawback was his tendency to hold the ball too long in this quick tempo attack. He was sacked a league best 48 times while being charged with 23 of them as self-induced.  Murray is known to be a smart competitor and will surely progress through his reads much quicker in his sophomore year. His 20/3722/12 was a good indication of his passing chops while he was also called upon to use his sub 4.4 speed on the 65 designed runs called for him. He finished with 93 total rushes for 544 and 4 scores. He has been a very highly targeted pick in Dynasty Owner drafts due to his dual-threat ability and an $8.8 million salary.

Kenyan Drake was stranded on the Island of Misfit Toys in the beginning portion of the 2019 season until Miami traded Drake to the Cardinals in late October for a conditional 6th round pick. The 2016 3rd round selection out of Alabama never looked comfortable in either regime in South Beach but seems to be an ideal fit in this wide-open offense where he is able to work in space. Despite him ending camp in a walking boot, Drake has been a reliable player playing 62 out of a possible 64 games. Never having more than 170 NFL carries in a season, the 26-year-old is a solid bet to return top 12ish RB numbers if he continues to be the lead dog. His challenger is Chase Edmonds who is the clear number 2 that might be a number 1 on some NFL teams. Remember back to the first week of October and David Johnson was active/not active and Arizona unleashed Edmonds for 126 yards and 3 touchdowns. Edmonds looked to be on the road to fantasy stardom, but he got dinged up in that game and with two injured running backs, GM Steve Keim was forced to make the trade for Drake. Edmonds is a great depth piece with league winning potential if anything were to cause Drake to miss time. In just his second year, his $728k price tag is very intriguing. Eno Benjamin was a second-round selection in this year’s draft that has carved out a role for himself on special teams allowing him to stay on as the no.3 back to both Drake and Edmonds.

On paper this receiver group looks like fantasy gold. There is the sure-handed new-comer Deandre Hopkins that was acquired in a laughable trade, the legend that is Larry Fitzgerald who enters his 17th season, former 2nd round potential breakout Christian Kirk and the speed demon out of UMASS, Andy Isabella who was also a 2nd round selection. Murray has plenty of weapons to work with and he himself has predicted his top three receivers to all eclipse the 1,000-yard mark this season. Although not probable since no Cardinal receiver broke the 1,000-yard milestone last year, it speaks volumes to the confidence this QB has entering 2020. The TE position is not exactly a prominent position in Kingsbury’s scheme, although it does hold some real-life value. Incumbent starter Maxx Williams appears to have been edged out by new TE Dan Arnold in the media but remains at the top of the depth chart. Arnold is a 6’6” 220lb big receiver that’s listed as a TE who is a sure handed third down and red zone threat for Murray’s Cardinals. Although he might not provide much for fantasy production, he is someone to keep in mind at just $615k.

Los Angeles Rams

HC: Sean McVay

OC: Kevin O’Connell

QB: Jared Goff, John Wolford, Bryce Perkins

RB: Cam Akers, Malcolm Brown, Darrell Henderson, Xavier Jones

WR: Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Josh Reynolds, Van Jefferson, Trishton Jackson, Nsimba Webster

TE: Tyler Higbee, Gerald Everett, Brycen Hopkins, Johnny Mundt

In 2018 wonder boy Sean McVay caught the NFL with its pants down and the team rode it all the way to the Super Bowl. In 2019, NFL defenses caught up to the Ram’s offense and it seemed that the adjustments were very slow to develop for McVay and company. Goff was rewarded for his 2018 play with a 4 year $134 million which added to the odd salary situation this team has found itself in. With a lack of quality depth and the non-investment in the offensive line, a subpar front seven except for Aaron Donald and the odd handling of Todd Gurley, Clay Matthews and Brandon Cooks’ contracts, Los Angeles has yet to find its way out the murkiness that is their salary cap conundrum. 

Goff is not an elite NFL talent, but he is a much better QB than he was given credit for in his “down’ 2019. I’m sure Goff would like to forget his 78-yard performance against San Francisco in week 6, his 173 for zero TD’s against Chicago in week 11 and his week 12 line of 0/212/2 against Baltimore on Monday Night. He took a step backwards in almost every statistical category, but you have to think, how much of that can actually be attributed to his play. The O-Line was one of the most porous in the league, the running game was Jekyll and Hyde all season long and the defense found it difficult to keep points off the opposing team’s scoreboard. 2020’s Rams offseason chatter appears to continue with more two tight end looks as they began to have success with at the end of last season and with a renewed focus on the run game.

Cam Akers enters as the expected leader in backfield touches with Darrell Henderson and veteran Malcom Brown chipping in situationally.  Brown may get the ceremonial “start” in the beginning and if Henderson’s hamstring checks out, he’ll get his touches, but Akers should prove to be the three down talent that is much needed for this team. Akers could not have had a worse offensive line than he did at Florida State and hopefully, the Rams O-Line won’t have him running for his life. Akers is a very talented runner that you must be patient within his rookie campaign. The other backs will get theirs but Akers’ talent as a runner and receiver will prove it hard to keep him off the field.

Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp are the 1 and 1a receiving duo that many are excited to see put up consistent fantasy points this season. Woods is the unquestioned leader and is the more consistent of the two but Kupp’s ceiling is higher at this stage of their careers. The younger Kupp demolished Cincinnati in the London game but then only put together 239 total yards over a six-game pace. This was absolutely maddening for fantasy players that rostered Kupp to only hear McVay site alignment changes and personnel adjustment as the cause. Woods’ $6.8 million cap makes for a solid potential WR1 and Kupp’s $958k salary is extremely appetizing. Behind them on the depth chart are Josh Reynolds and Van Jefferson. Reynolds figures to be the WR3 to start the year and Van Jefferson is a solid dynasty hold for when they move on from either Kupp or Woods in two years. The tight end group has two starters both capable of being TE1’s on most NFL teams. Tyler Higbee ($7.25m) has a year of NFL experience on Gerald Everett but both decided to have their own breakout seasons in 2019. Although Higbee is the one everyone has talked about, it was actually Everett who started to shine first. Everett’s first nine games boasted a stat line of 37/408/2 until a knee injury sapped him of some of his athleticism. Higbee then cut into both his and Kupp’s target share and is now considered a top 8 TE in fantasy. Both should be rostered but at $1.5 million, Everett is a very interesting stash.

San Francisco 49ers

HC: Kyle Shanahan

OC: Kyle Shanahan

QB: Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Mullens, CJ Bethard

RB: Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, Jerick McKinnon, Jeffery Wilson,

Kyle Juszczyk

WR: Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, Kendrick Bourne, Richie James, Dante Pettis, Trent Taylor

TE: George Kittle, Jordan Reed, Charlie Woerner, Ross Dwelley

The Super Bowl silver medalists return most of their key personnel to make another run at the Lombardi Trophy in 2020. Shannan has done a terrific job at optimizing his player’s skills to his scheme and GM John Lynch has helped him by stocking the cupboard with quality talent. Jimmy Garoppolo returns under center and is the unquestioned starter after a brief 48-hour flirtation with Tom Brady. Garoppolo might not go out and put the team on his back and win you games on talent alone but he is a respectable quarterback that won’t cause you to lose many either. Whether he is a product of Shannan’s system or he is actually a good QB in the NFL is debatable, he took the team to the Super Bowl behind an absolutely dominant run game. Shanahan veered from his traditional outside zone scheme and incorporated way more counters and power run elements than ever before. Raheem Mostert shined down the stretch and transitioned his 5-team journeyman career into being a revered name in fantasy circles. The 28-year-old parlayed 137 attempts into 772 yards while tallying 8 scores. Known for his speed and vision, his 3.72 yards after contact was good for a top 16 ranking in the league. Tevin Coleman is the “bigger-bodied” part of this committee that will most absurdly siphon starts from Moestert throughout the season. Coleman is not an especially special talent, but he is a Shannan favorite that knows his system back to front. Jerrick McKinney hasn’t played the game in 3 years but is now expected to be inserted in as a speedy change-of-pace satellite back. Jeff Wilson is a special teamer and occasional touchdown vulture that may break your heart if you roster Mostert or Coleman.

George Kittle is the unquestioned No.1 receiver on this team but San Francisco boasts some quality young talent at the wide receiver position.  Led by the physical Deebo Samuel ($1.8m), this young group offers a lot of potential if they can just stay out of the trainer’s room. Riddled with training camp injuries, the early season picture may not be as bad as once believed. Samuel is looking good in his recovery from his Jones fracture and Richie James looks like he too will be available soon. Reports have come out that Aiyuk was having a fantastic early camp and established a solid rapport with Garoppolo before being temporarily sidelined due to a hamstring strain. His game likens Samuels’ but with a bit deeper threat potential. Together, they should make for a solid complement to Kittle. Kendrick Bourne is in his last year of his contract ($3.26m) and the intriguing Jalen Hurd continues to be a dynasty stash after losing out on two straight seasons.

Kittle comes in at a $15 million salary but it is hard to find a player that is more well-rounded. His overall skill set allows him to be on the field in all situations which is exactly what you crave from your TE position. A breakdown of his total snaps illustrates just how valuable he is to this franchise:

  • Passing Snaps= 498
  • Rushing Snaps= 477
  • Backfield Snaps= 25
  • Inline Snaps= 728
  • Slot Snaps= 131
  • Wideout Snaps= 91

This is a fantasy dream for this position and is well worth the investment. Jordan Reed is the other TE of note that adds a veteran depth piece that can also line up all over the field and create mismatch problems for defenses.

Seattle Seahawks

HC: Pete Carroll

OC: Brian Schottenheimer

QB: Russell Wilson, Geno Smith

RB: Chris Carson, Carlos Hyde, Rashaad Penny, DeeJay Dallas. Travis Homer

WR: Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Philip Dorsett, David Moore, Freddie Swain, Josh Gordon

TE: Will Dissly, Greg Olsen, Luke Wilson, Colby Parkinson

The $35 million per year Russel Wilson enters his age 31 season and might have the best overall receiving talent around him. The annoyingly run first team has the ability to compete with the upper half of the league in the passing game for the first time in years. Wilson’s stud plays come from plays that are outside designed plays where his athleticism allows him to buy time where he’s able to drop dimes in his receiver’s hands. He has a well-balanced receiving corps with a fine mix of down field threats and physical route runners. He is undoubtedly a high end QB1 that has the ability to be the overall QB1 in any given year.

The aforementioned run game is the meat and potatoes of this offensive scheme. The O-Line is not especially dominant, but they do their job well enough by wearing you down by sheer volume of run plays. Chris Carson is the leader in this backfield and will not only make you miss in space, but he will also run you over if given the chance. The former 7th rounder is just 25 years old and has declared himself to be 100% healed from his fractured hip. He projects to be a high volume back and barring injury, could see 250-270 carries as the near workhorse back. If you can handle his fumbles (7, losing 4 in 2019) his $616k salary is a steal for this volume back that would make a fine RB2. Backing him up will be Carlos Hyde that had a bit of a resurgence last year in Houston. Hyde is more than a placeholder for Rashaad Penny to back up Carson, he should certainly be involved in rotating series as Seattle is known to do. Rookie DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer are both solid pass catchers that should see the field in hurry up and passing down situations.

Leading the WR’s are Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf. Lockett was setting fantasy on fire before being limited by an injury. His 82/1057/8 stats don’t demonstrate how boom or bust he was but there were several games where he just didn’t show up. His injury limitations enabled rookie DK Metcalf to show how he can be an Alpha receiver and lead this team as the WR1. At 6’4” 229lbs, the former 2nd rounder has drawn comparisons to Dez Bryant because of his domination at the catch point but his 4.33 40 time puts him in a completely separate class. Metcalf looked like a man amongst boys at times and is a sure-fire starter for your fantasy team. Philip Dorsett is asked to run a simpler route tree then he did in New England which is a positive sign for this speedy deep threat. Dave Moore returns as a sure-handed route runner and Josh Gordon returns to ignite everyone’s memories from his last productive season in 2013.

Will Dissly returns as Wilson’s favorite seem-stretching target 10 months removed from his Achilles tear. Before his injury in November he was producing low end TE1 numbers converting 27 targets to 23 catches for 262 yards and 4 touchdowns. The third-year player will be a co-starter with the newly signed Greg Olsen. Olsen comes into his age 35 season after four years in Chicago and 9 years in Carolina. He will reportedly be a big part of this offense and could offer some sneaky good fantasy weeks. At 35 years old and a $7 million salary, he figures to be widely available if you are in a pinch for a TE. 

We hope that you enjoyed this article. Check back in a few days for the AFC West roundup!

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Breaking Down A Real Dynasty Owner Draft Strategy by Round

Author: Jay Poundsee

Heading into my first dynasty owner draft, I felt nervous even being what most consider a pretty avid Fantasy Football player/nerd depending on who you have the pleasure of speaking too. I can sit and talk football or even better fantasy football all day every day, just ask my fiancée shell surely to agree. I had done plenty of mocks heading up to my first ever draft and felt I was as prepared as I could be heading into a format like this. After all, I have read every article Steve Van Tassel has written as well as listened to every podcast I could find with Steve and Tim. I brought my assistant fantasy manager (my 9-year-old son Bentley) up to speed and we were ready to find out our draft position. After hours of anxiously waiting, we finally get word from the guys at dynasty owner 3rd overall it is.

I was not thrilled with 3rd as I knew I would more than likely face the daunting task of drafting or passing on Patrick Mahomes, whose salary skyrockets to around $45 million next season. The thought of trying to build a team with his salary still gives me nightmares but at the end of the day someone must do it, luckily it was not me as the team before me took him. Though it would be a fascinating challenge to try to build around and win with Mahomes on my roster I was thankful the opportunity did not present itself. In Dynasty Owner it seems the draft can go many ways and it is a format where it is imperative to let the draft come to you. I thought I went in with a plan and that plan was in shreds before I even had the chance to pick.

ROUNDS 1-3

Rounds 1-3 are where you set the tone for your team going forward, meaning if you take Michael Thomas ($19,250,000) or Zeke ($15,000,000) you need to start thinking younger and cheaper moving forward. The first 2 picks went Lamar Jackson and Mahomes leaving me non-other than Christian McCaffery at ($4,000,000) with a new contract looming. The thought of having to budget after taking my first player was one, I was not fond of, but when its CMC you take him and let him carry you to a championship. The rest of round one was a good mix of Quarterbacks and Running backs with no Receivers or tight ends taken. Interestingly, only one team spent over 9 million in the first. We started out round two with a nice mix of younger cheap players, as well as a few expensive veterans. Michael Thomas ($19,250,000) went at 13, followed by Joe Burrow ($9,047,543) and Miles Sanders at ($1,337,544).

The end of the second round I watched Deandre Hopkins ($16,200,000) go the pick just ahead of me. At this point my plan was just draft well enough to be able to compete while McCaffery is in his prime, as well as keep him and resign my rookies next year. Staring me in the face was Joe Mixon ($1,362,544) with only one year left or the love of Tim’s life D.J. Moore ($2,792,829). It was my first tough decision of the draft and being a firm believer in Running backs win championships, I went with Mixon. Joe Mixon worries me as well with this being the final year of his contract, in what is sure to be an improved offense he is a sure bet to get paid. Cincinnati also gets last years, their 2019 first round left tackle, Jonah Williams back, which can only help Mixon produce this season. I took my first quarterback, New York Giants Quarterback Daniel Jones ($6,416,014) in the third round. Jones flashed real potential last season as a rookie on a pretty bad football team, so I was okay with him being my QB1 needing as much flexibility as possible to retain Mixon and CMC next season. 

I knew from all my mock drafts not getting at least one Quarterback on a rookie deal would put me into a cap nightmare moving forward. I would, no doubt, must amnesty one to have any type of flexibility going into next season. At this point I had no clue where to go next with 2 of my 3 most important pieces going into a contract year. I decided to try to just let the draft come to me as best as I could.

Rounds 4-7

I knew my 4th round pick was going to be crucial to how the rest of this draft would play out for me. I watched the 2 players I was hoping would fall to me Deandre Swift ($2,124,728) and Calvin Ridley ($2,725,178) get sniped just picks ahead of me. As it becomes my selection, I look at my screen and laugh as I see another potential top 5 running back staring me in the face, Kareem Hunt at ($3,259,000) and the kicker 1 year left on his contract just like my other guys. I looked over at my son, who I knew would have no idea what I was talking about, I said “Son I think I found an odd strategy that just might work.” He got excited and said, “let’s try it Dad.” I smashed draft on Kareem Hunt and had a somewhat clear plan.

The rest of the draft I was going to spend good money to lock down a few solid wide receivers and target players on 1-year deals with high upside. This will free up cap space for next season and give me options of who to keep and who to let go based on performance and outlook this off season in my running back room. Example, if Pittsburgh lets James Connor walk at the end of the year and signs Hunt, then Hunt becomes a no brainier to keep next season. If he flops this year or stays behind Chubb, I just opened cap space for CMC or Mixon’s new deals. When it came time to pick again, I felt like a kindergartner at snack time I was so excited. Julio Jones at a hefty$22,000,000 fell right into my lap. I had zero issue spending big to pair Julio with the CMC, Mixon, Jones, and Hunt, giving me a great core to compete this year. The 6th was what seemed another no brainer for me with Leonard Fournette ($6,787,711) and 1 year remaining (see a trend?). Taking Fournette at this pick was simple because it gave me potentially 4 stud Running backs this season as well as my pick of the litter with these four going into next season with them all on expiring contracts. As my 7th pick was approaching quickly, I noticed almost all the young cheap signal callers were gone, so I decided to reach and go with Sam Darnold ($7,561,929).

I know Darnold is not an attractive pick here, but he has flashed some positive potential and the Jets played considerably better when Darnold was on the field last season vs. when he was out with mono. Pair that with an upgraded line and receiving core it may lead to a solid year from the Jets QB. At this point I am feeling good with where my team is but knew I would need another wide-out plus some younger depth due to Julio’s age and huge contract (amnesty candidate). Also, if I have learned one sneaky good piece of advice it’s don’t be scared of an aging contract who can help win now like Julio Jones, because the amnesty provision is there when needed.

Rounds 8-13

I have to say, I have never gone into the 8th round of a fantasy football draft as anxious as I was in my Dynasty Owner draft. I watched Tyler Lockett ($10,250,000), CeeDee Lamb ($3,502,503), and Justin Jefferson $3,280,701 come off the draft board praying it was not the start of a receiver run before my next selection. Luckily, Devante Parker ($7,625,000), who I am extremely high on, was available and I do not think I could have hit draft fast enough. This gave me what I feel is a very solid floor at the two premier positions in Fantasy Football with CMC, Mixon, Julio, and Parker on top of a ton of cap space still available if I really wanted to spice things up. In the following rounds I really wanted to start adding some young talent with promising careers to my roster, so I went with one of my favorite rookies in Michael Pittman Jr. ($2,153,212). I love Pittman’s situation in Indy with him set to take on a big role this year and replace the oft-injured T.Y. Hilton full time as soon as next season. On the clock with the 118th pick, I selected the man with tree trunks for legs, A.J. Dillion ($1,321,458) running back for the Green Bay Packers. While Aaron Rodgers may not be a fan of the pick, I absolutely love Dillion as a prospect, as a pure between the tackles, old school goal line runner and feel he will have long term success in his career. Dillon has the chance to be a successful Ron Dayne.

In most fantasy drafts as well as this one, I almost always find myself waiting until later in the draft to shoot for the typical breakout tight end season we tend to see every year. One of my breakout candidates this year is Dallas Goedert ($1,406,068) with the horrible injury luck of the Eagles, it seems Philly’s tight ends are due for an even bigger year than originally expected. Alshon Jeffery seems to be starting this season on the PUP list and Desean Jackson may want to consider signing on with bubble wrap at this point; he is so fragile. I see Philly running a ton of 12 personal this season with their number 1 wide-out being a rookie in a shortened off season. This spells big things to come for Dallas Goedert and Philly’s tight end room. At pick number 142 sat The Running Back One for 3 weeks of last season (when Kamara went down) none other than Latavius Murray ($3,600,000). I find Murray to be a great upside piece for my roster especially if Alvin Kamara goes down. He is also someone who will always help with the 20% bench scoring feature here on Dynasty Owner with some standalone value. Round 13 came and I had two things on my mind Talent and cap flexibility. Anthony Miller ($1,338,425) was the selection, I have heard reports on how Miller relied heavily on pure talent in college and his rookie season, and that last year was a bit of a wake up call for him on how important attention to detail and putting in work off the field is. Needless to say it sounds like it’s a make it or break it year for Miller and those are pieces I love on my team, especially with only one year remaining giving me the ability to cut ties freely if needed this off season.

Rounds 14-18

Once you get to this point in most drafts, you are simply looking for two things, depth, and upside. The thing is this is not most drafts. There are so many ways your draft can go at this point from needing to find no-name super cheap players to even out your top-heavy cap or having plenty of room and zero worries. I was here thinking I need to find guys on 1 or 2-year deals who can produce now giving me the flexibility I need going forward. With pick number 166 I took a flier on Justin Jackson ($5,700,000). The kid has seemed to flash greatness at times averaging 6.9 yards per carry last season. I followed that up with Sammy Watkins ($9,000,000) for bench scoring, bye weeks, and cap space next season. Watkins happens to play with a quarterback named Mahomes, so I had no issue taking a chance this late on a piece of Andy Reid’s offense. This is where things started to dry up in the draft knowing I could not spend big unless they were on a one-year deal because of the need to keep as many running backs as possible next season.

My plan was to look for a few handcuffs for my players in the next few rounds. I am not typically a fan of my own handcuffs, but with Covid-19 going nowhere I feel it is necessary this season and possibly next. I took Russel Gauge ($654,049) as a potential handcuff for Julio Jones. I know Gauge would not be the direct beneficiary as that goes to Calvin Ridley, but Gauge would become an easy start each week in Dirk Koetter’s pass happy offense with Julio or Ridley going down. Ryquell Armstead was my next selection as Fournette’s handcuff. I felt he was an easy choice here as there seems to be little competition for Armstead as the Jaguars backup. Chris Thompson is there but outside of a few passing situations he does not worry me even having the shower narrative with his old coach Jay Gruden. In the 18th round I selected rookie running back for the Miami Dolphins Malcom Perry ($842,622). Perry is nothing more than a practice squad player that I hope will pan out over his rookie deal in a young talented offense.

Rounds 18-25

I will do my best not to bore you with the bottom rounds as there is not a whole lot of strategy involved, aside from finding players you feel are talented. There are a few curve balls in this format if you have cap space as players like Marvin Jones ($8,000,000), Carson Wentz ($32,000,000) and Matt Ryan ($30,000,000) were never even drafted. Quintez Cephus ($734,822) was the player I took next. I find Cephus extremely intriguing over a singular statement. The statement came from Detroit Lions corner back Jeff Okudah where Okudah was asked who the best receiver he has ever faced, Okudah replied “Quintez Cephus” being a Buckeyes fan that is enough for me to take a flier.  I selected tight end Will Dissly ($777,568) at my next spot. Dissly has had a few disappointing injuries the past 2 seasons but when healthy he has showed promise and Russel Wilson seems to love the guy. He also seems to be superhuman with how quickly he recovers from significant injuries. Famous Jameis Winston was the next pick for me. I love the thought of Winston working with Sean Payton and Drew Brees and potentially taking over. He also had Lasik eye surgery this season which may be the cause of some of the mind-numbing interceptions he has thrown throughout his career.

I wanted to take a kicker earlier than normal in this format because I wanted to make sure I got solid production without having to spend a few million. Greg Joseph ($660,000) was the pick. I am a big fan of the Titans offense going into this season. The Titans were one of the most efficient teams in NFL history on offense last season when Tannehill took over which will hopefully lead to easy freebies for my kicker with him at the helm for the foreseeable future. Jared Cook ($7,500,000) was still on the board at pick number 267 which was extremely surprising to me. With only 1 year left on his contract in a particularly good offense, I figured it was a win win with production and free cap space next year. With my final two selections of my very first Dynasty Owner draft, I took two more kickers. Brett Maher ($750,000) for the New York Jets and Matt Prater ($3,800,000). Prater was a bit more than I planned to spend on a kicker, but he plays for a good offense. I remember reading an article by Steve Van Tassel, who mentioned how important having 3 kickers was in Dynasty Owner. The reason for this is because of the 20 percent bench scoring each week, if you only have 2 kickers you will take 2 big fat ZEROs on your bench for bye weeks.

Summary and Free Agent Pickups

After the draft I was looking over my team, deciding how to spend the rest of my cap space in a responsible manner. I knew anyone I picked up had to be on a one-year deal, so I am not on the hook past this season, after all they were not drafted. Corey Davis ($6,348,672) was available and I needed more potential production at receiver, so I placed a bid and got him. Shortly after the guys from Dynasty Owner announced $2 Million in extra cap space so I placed a bid for Marvin Jones and his 1 year $8,000,000 salary. I knew Jones if healthy would offer me that extra upside and depth I need at wide out. I was surprised that I was able to pick up a player with the upside of Marvin Jones in a potential top 10 offense with the Detroit Lions for the minimum bid of 1,000,000 Dynasty Dollars. My overall draft experience here on dynasty owner was nothing short of phenomenal and addicting. There are so many different strategies to go with and most happen on the fly while drafting which makes it a lot of fun.

The strategy I went with in my draft was too get uber talented players with 1 year left on their deals in return my team only has $53,000,000 in cap space committed next season giving me plenty of freedom to do what I want next off season on top of signing my rookies. Overall, I have to say I am hooked on the in-depth year-round strategy this format takes to succeed and cannot wait for future seasons to see how my team performs, as well as running a few more teams. I hope this article helps you get a sense of what the draft process is like and gives you a somewhat in-depth look at the problems and thought process you will face in your upcoming drafts. One last takeaway from my draft and the research I have done recently for articles is that I have never seen such differences in where players are drafted as well as surprises on a draft-by-draft basis than you will find here at Dynasty Owner.  As always good luck on your Chase for The Ring!

Follow us on Twitter: @Dynasty_Owner

Blind QB and WR Comparisons

Author: Matt “The Jerk” Morrison

Hey y’all. It’s The Jerk here with my inaugural article. Today I’ll discuss some blind player comparisons and how the biased impressions we may have of players should not interfere with the statistics. In the same way, the total points a player has at the end of the season should not interfere with how the player arrived at that number.  (i.e. not all 1000-yard seasons are created equal) Let’s jump into some comps…

Wide Receivers

COMP 1

Who would you rather have between these two WRs?

Player A (Alpha):

  • 30 years old
  • 2019 stats
  • 14.3 points/game for the games played (222.8 for 16 game season)
  • 60 rec / 836 yards / 12 TD (for 16 game season)
  • He missed 8 games in 2019

Player B (Bravo):

  • 27 years old
  • 2019 stats
  • 14.9 points/game (238.4 total)
  • 83 rec / 1,174 yards / 6 TD
  • He played all 16 games in 2019

Alpha and Bravo’s salaries are within 1 million dollars of each other and the length of their contact is the same.

So, skim through that and (based on this limited data) decide which receiver you would prefer to draft…Have your answer?  I’m assuming it’s Bravo. That’s not to say that if you picked Alpha you are wrong, but people (in dynasty especially) tend to draft the younger, less injury prone player. This isn’t even mentioning the fact that Bravo outscored Alpha’s assumed point total if he’d been healthy.  Some may not be able to pass on the possibility of 12 touchdowns and that’s understandable. If you infer from Alpha’s numbers, you can see that he had 6 TD’s in 8 games in 2019. One hell of an 8-game stretch. While his reception total may not be the type of volume you’d like, it appears his efficiency made up for it. 

In the end, I would take Bravo.

  • Younger
  • Better average 16 game season
  • Seemingly healthier (at least last season)

Let me give out a little more info and see if it changes your mind…

Coming into 2020, Alpha is the clear WR1 on his team.  I would argue that his target share will be top 10 among all receivers this year.  His team is a run first offence, which explains some of the lack of volume he received for the half of the year he played.  In 2019, his team chose to pass on only 51.7% of plays.  That ranked 29th.

There’s not much to say about Bravo coming into 2020.  His offensive unit from 2019 has stayed intact (QB, WRs, RBs).  There is debate among analysts on whether he is the WR1 on the team or WR2.  To me, it doesn’t much matter.  Both are very talented receivers and either one could end 2020 with the better stats.  I’d call it a WR1A and WR1B situation with Bravo (fittingly) being the WR1B.  Bravo’s team passed on 59.6% of their plays.  That ranked 18th.

Has your opinion changed?  Maybe the fact that Alpha is primed for a high-volume season has swayed you to pick him?  Maybe the fact that you found out Bravo is going to be fighting for targets against a likely superior receiver has caused you to fade him?  Not me…I’m sticking with Bravo for now.  Let’s throw out some quick stats and see if you can guess the players, if you haven’t already. 

  • If you go back to 2018, Alpha was WR7 overall while Bravo was WR18.
  • For 2020, Alpha is projected to outscore Bravo by 21 points in DO.
  • Alpha makes 16,050,000 for 5 years, while Bravo makes 15,100,00 also for 5 years.
  • Alpha’s Offensive Coordinator in 2019 became Bravo’s Head Coach for 2020.

There’s a lot to unpack here. First, Alpha was far superior in 2018. WR7 doesn’t happen by accident or without elite receiver talent. Alpha is projected to be the more productive WR once again in 2020. As I stated in the opening, their contracts are very similar, but now we know the actual cap hit one or both of these guys will make.  They are each hovering around 15% of the cap. Also, remember what I said earlier about Alpha’s team having the 29th lowest passing percentage among NFL teams in 2019? Well, the Offensive Coordinator of Alphas team is now the head coach of Bravo’s team and it would stand to reason he will bring that low passing volume philosophy with him.

My point of this comp wasn’t necessarily to get you to contradict yourself although that may have happened. I was attempting to show how nuanced certain statistics can be and how no one stat or a group of stats can tell the entire picture. I’m sure many of you know who these two players are by now, but consider this idea…

These players are much closer together than they originally appeared based on the raw stats. Of course, everyone will still favor one player over the other, but it’s hard to argue a large gap in where they should be drafted or even where they will end up at the end of the season. It’s hard to argue until we get the final reveal…

Each player’s Dynasty Owner ADP at the time of writing…

  • Adam Thielen (Alpha):            56.3
  • Jarvis Landry (Bravo):            97.3

The gap of 41.0 between Thielen and Landry is, personally, surprising to see. I chalk it up to a couple of facts. First, Thielen’s target share is sure to take off this year barring another injury.  The departure of Diggs to Buffalo opens up 63 receptions and over 1,100 yards. Obviously, I don’t anticipate all of those targets or receptions to go to Thielen especially after drafting an exciting and talented WR in Justin Jefferson, but he will no doubt shoulder more of the passing volume. I would actually counter that point by bringing up Olabisi Johnson. The second year, seventh round draft pick comes into 2020 poised for a breakout. It would not be surprising to see Bisi start the season opposite Thielen and finish with 60 plus receptions. Second, it’s hard for drafters to justify taking a player like Jarvis in one of the first 8 rounds that is once again assumed to play second fiddle to Odell Beckham Jr. As I said earlier, I predict it to be more of a 1A, 1B situation similar to last year, but I can understand the hesitancy when OBJ carries as much upside as he does. Third, (and I think the more overarching point of this exercise) Jarvis is just an unsexy pick. He is a steady player who doesn’t “pop off” like other high upside players being drafted around him. He is reliable to sit between the 12-16 fantasy points most weeks with a slim chance of “week winning performances.”

For me, these stats show that Thielen and Landry should be drafted much closer than ADP currently has them. Ironically, the spot I think they should be drafted is much closer to Jarvis’ current ADP than Thielen’s. I have Thielen currently at 90 and Landry at 108.  The reason for that is simply their contracts. I prefer many younger (even rookie) receivers over both of them. I don’t see either one of them as a value where they’re currently being drafted, but I see Landry at 97.3 as much less of a reach than Thielen at 56.3. The second blind comp I have today is a little closer ADP wise, but we’ll get to that later.

COMP 2

Player C (Charlie):

  • 27 years old
  • 2019 stats
  • 16.1 points/game for games played (257.6 for 16 game season)
  • 87 rec / 1,127 yards / 8 TD for 16 game season.
  • He (miraculously) only missed one game last year.

Player D (Delta):

  • 25 years old
  • 2019 stats
  • 13.8 points/game for games played (220.7 for 16 game season)
  • 90 rec / 1,046 yards, 5 TD for 16 game season.
  • He did not miss a game in 2019.

Charlie and Delta’s salaries are within half a million dollars of each other. Admittedly, there isn’t much to go on that distinguishes these two players yet…Charlie had a 22.3 target percentage and a 24.0 reception percentage for his team.  Delta had a 25.0 target percentage and a 25.4 reception percentage for his team.

Charlie had 24 red zone targets and 17 red zone receptions.  24 and 17 is second only to Michael Thomas’ 26 and 20, respectively.  Delta had 12 red zone targets and 7 red zone receptions.  As you can probably guess based on final stats, Charlie converted more red zone receptions into touchdowns than Delta, to the tune of 7 (C) to 3 (D).

Charlie’s offensive unit remains intact from 2019.  His QB is hyper-efficient and finished as QB 3 last year.  Charlie is the WR 1 on his team, but alongside him is a second year WR who was flirting with a 1,000-yard season himself in 2019.  Delta is working with a rookie QB who will be the Week 1 starter and a veteran WR who “should” be healthy this year after missing all of last season with multiple injuries.  (I know this just gave away Player D, but this is important info I had to include) there’s no doubt that Delta will bump down to the WR 2 on the team.

Who would you rather have?

If you haven’t guessed yet, I’m talking about two Tyler’s here.  Lockett (C) and Boyd (D). Tyler Lockett is making $10,250,000 for two years.  Tyler Boyd is making $10,750,000 for the next four years. At the time of this writing, Lockett’s ADP is 79.0 and Boyd’s is 76.4.

I’ll give you my opinion…I want Lockett. I concede that Seattle is stingy when it comes to passing and are a run heavy offence, (In fact, Seattle was 27th last year in passing play percentage) but Russell and Lockett have proven to be the one of the most efficient QB/WR duo in the league. I don’t like to listen to coach talk or listen to narratives, (especially when it comes from the most optimistic Head Coach in the league, Pete Carroll) but I believe Pete when he says, “we want him to have more opportunity to be the factor of the game and control the game.” I don’t expect a full #LetRussCook season is coming, but I do believe Russell will have more passing opportunities this year which, in turn, would give more opportunity to Lockett.  Lockett is obviously well trusted in the red zone and the ten-zone. While touchdowns are notoriously unpredictable, it is refreshing to see that Russell trusts Lockett in the end zone, and I don’t expect that volume to vanish. 

This is not to say that I hate Boyd or wouldn’t draft him.  I do like him and would be happy to take him if he fell to a value.  The problem I see is twofold.  First, Joe Burrow coming in may not be as smooth a transition as most predict.  Obviously, the talent is there, and I’m predicting a successful career for Joe, but with this unprecedented pre-season, I see some growing pains.  Second, the “return” of AJ Green gives me pause.  I get it.  I get it.  As soon as AJ is mentioned people immediately start rolling their eyes and tune out.  AJ has played 35 games in the last four seasons.  That’s less than nine games a season.  So, I understand if you want to make the argument, “AJ will get hurt at some point this season, and when he does, Boyd will be catapulted into a top 15 WR.”  It’s an understandable argument, but I personally don’t like to bet on injury.  I factor injury risk into my rankings like most, but I’m not going to use another player’s injury potential to indirectly affect his teammate’s ranking.  Suffice it to say, I believe AJ will play at least 10 games this season.  If he does, Boyd is being drafted slightly too high, and he definitely shouldn’t be taken over Lockett.  If AJ plays all 16 games healthy (I admit it’s a longshot), then Boyd is being drafted way too high.  I have Tee Higgins and Auden Tate also competing for an impactful amount of targets this year.  Again, Cincinnati doesn’t have the most crowded offence in the league, but it is deceptive how many mouths there are to feed.

Boyd deserves to be drafted, but with his nearly 11-million-dollar salary, the middle of the sixth round is a little too early for my comfort.  In my updated rankings, I have Lockett at WR 30 (81 Overall) and Boyd at WR 36 (93 Overall).  In addition, I would rather take these WR’s that are currently being drafted after Boyd…

  • Keenan Allen: $11,250,00 for 1 year (81.4)
  • Darius Slayton: $688,497 for 3 years (84.1)
  • Dionte Johnson: $1,070,241 for 3 years (88.1)

Slayton and Johnson are obvious picks for me.  The 10-million-dollar cap saving you’re getting with either of these guys far outweighs the increase in points that Boyd will provide.  Allen has a comparable salary, but I see his role being much more defined and unaffected than Boyd’s, even given the probable QB turnover in LA.

Now, let’s jump to some QB comps…

Quarterbacks

COMP 1

In a vacuum, who would you rather draft?

Player A (Alpha):

  • 24 years old
  • 2019 stats
  • 20.7 points/game average (331.2 points for 16 game season)
  • 3,738 yards / 24 TD / 7 INT (for 16 game season)
  • 2020 Projected: 324 points
  • Salary is $677,721 for 3 years

Player B (Bravo):

  • 27 years old
  • 2019 stats
  • 22.6 points/game (361.2 points)
  • 4,039 yards / 27 TD / 7 INT
  • 2020 Projected:  399 points
  • Salary is $32,000,000 for 5 years

Clearly, Bravo is projected to outscore Alpha, and I would agree that is likely to happen this year. The question becomes…is the (projected) 75-point difference enough to justify a more than 31-million-dollar upcharge? I would emphatically say no. 31 million is 27% of your cap. In other words, you would be using 27% of your cap for a 75-point increase.  I know what you’re saying…” But projections aren’t always accurate.” I completely agree.  Let’s say for argument’s sake that we believe Player B will outscore Player A by 120 points.  Would the 31-million-dollar upcharge now be worth it?  Possibly.  Maybe. I don’t think I would pay it, but there are certainly people that would.  At the time of this writing, Gardner Minshew (A) and Carson Wentz (B) are being drafted at 69.5 and 48.8 respectively. On average, Wentz is being drafted 21 spots before Minshew.  Baffling… Obviously, there are many more factors that I’m leaving out involving these two QB’s, but I think I’ve made my point. Young, cheap starting QB’s are few and far between in this game and they should be valued that way. I could make this same argument for Drew Lock, Sam Darnold, and even Dwayne Haskins.  Give me all three of those earlier than Wentz. Please please please, don’t draft Wentz over Minshew. For reference, Steve Van Tassel and I have a consensus ranking of QB 11 for Minshew and QB 18 for Wentz.

COMP 2

Let’s compare a couple hypothetical QB situations next…

Player C (Charlie):

  • 25 years old
  • Previous years stats
  • 30.4 points/game (486.7 points)
  • 4,900 yards / 36 TDs / 10 INT
  • 400 rush yards / 3 rush TDs

Player D (Delta):

  • 31 years old
  • Previous years stats
  • 27.7 points/game (442.4 points)
  • 4,300 yards / 33 TDs / 8 INT
  • 330 rush yards / 3 rush TDs

Who would you rather have? The clear answer is Charlie. He is younger, put up more points last year, and (I didn’t include it) will be projected to score more points this coming year. Would your mind change if Charlie cost (let’s say) 10 million more than Player D?

Maybe? Probably? It makes the decision a lot tougher, no doubt. 

Well this is actually not a hypothetical scenario. This is the decision that Dynasty Owners will be making next year between Patrick Mahomes (C) and Russell Wilson (D) in Dynasty Owner start up drafts. The “previous years stats” are the projected finish for each of them for 2020. Obviously, neither of them will finish with those exact stats, but I think it’s reasonable to believe those are close. 

At any rate, who do you want going into 2021? I, personally, would still take Mahomes and find a way to save the extra 10 million each year, but it’s very close. I could make an argument for Wilson and my main point would be the fact that you are only tied to him for a third of the years you are tied to Mahomes. 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’ current ADP of 2.0 is that high, 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.

I’ll sum it up in this way…Dynasty Owner Tim stated a few weeks ago that there will be a time in this game where Russell Wilson is a value.  I couldn’t agree with him more. That time will start next year when Mahomes gets paid and it will peak in two years when Lamar, Watson and most likely Dak are making more than him. If Russell starts to slide in drafts to a point of value and you’ve been diligent with your cap, don’t be afraid to grab him. You’ll thank yourself in two years.

Thanks everyone for sticking with me. Take care and be safe. Cheers!

Follow us on Twitter: @Dynasty_Owner

Roster Roundup – Round Six: NFC East

Taking A Dive Into The Rosters From Around The League

Author: Chris Wolf

This time of year is typically the time when teams, trainers and agents hype up their players. We know how the world has changed in recent months and the NFL is no different in its approach to returning to “normalcy”. With the news of NFL staff and players testing positive for the Coronavirus, fantasy news is taking a backseat. As a result, fantasy players are missing out on the typical hyperbole surrounding pre-season roster news and notes.

In this series we will look at who’s who on rosters and how that may help in your drafts and early waivers.

Each week we will examine a division’s skill position current roster and predictive depth chart heading into training camp to see how that relates to their fantasy outlook.

Dallas Cowboys

HC: Mike McCarthy

OC: Kellen Moore

QB: Dak Prescott, Andy Dalton, Clayton Thorson, Ben DiNucci

RB: Ezekiel Elliot, Tony Pollard, Rico Dowdle, Darius Anderson

WR: Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, CeeDee Lamb, Devin Smith, Ventell Bryant, Cedrick Wilson, Aaron Parker, Tevin Jones, Noah Brown

TE: Blake Jarwin, Dalton Schultz, Blake Bell, Cole Hikutini, Charlie Taumoepeau, Sean McKeon

Jason Garrett departs after 9 years at the helm and is replaced by former Packers cast-off Mike McCarthy. While taking a year off from coaching, McCarthy spent his time updating his approach to coaching and worked on becoming a “modern football coach”. He intends to keep Kellen Moore as the primary play-caller and adapt to Moore’s system instead of installing his own. Ranking number 1 in 2019 total offense with 6,904 yards it would be silly to fix what ain’t broken.

Dakota Prescott put together an MVP caliber campaign in his 4th year and has been blessed with even better weapons in 2020. Prescott set career bests with 4902 yards and 30 touchdowns as well as improving on completions and passer rating. Prescott faces an extremely passer friendly schedule for the first 8 weeks of the season before Dallas plays Pittsburgh and then Minnesota after the bye week. Prescott should be counted on for QB1 production for most of the season and you can safely wager he will return top 6 QB upside once again. Behind Prescott is former Bengal, Andy Dalton. This signing was extremely smart for both parties and was quite underrated when reported. Dalton has been a QB1 in fantasy with less overall weapons at his disposal and could very well return to fantasy starter status if anything were to happen to Prescott.

Ezekiel Elliot ($15M) is well entrenched in the conversation of elite running backs of the last decade. He seems as if he has been around longer than he has because he’s been so productive since the first moment he stepped on the field. The recently turned 25-year-old is absolutely outstanding in every facet of the game and salary aside, I really couldn’t fault anyone for arguing that he’s a better all-around running back than Saquon Barkley. The depth chart behind Elliot is rather slim except for the electric Tony Pollard. Something is in the water in Memphis because they keep producing lightning quick, slippery backs such as Pollard, Darrell Henderson, and Antonio Gibson.  Pollard ($796K) is one of those guys that can line up all over the field to create a mismatch with the defense. Much has been said from the Dallas coaching staff about Pollard’s usage in 2020 and we can hope that he offers low-end flex play any given week or high-end RB1-2 play if Zeke were to miss any time.

Amari Cooper leads this triumvirate of stud wide receivers that will surely give opposing teams nightmares all season long. Cooper faded down the stretch last season, but he still amassed 79 receptions for 1189 yards and 8 td’s. If you can see past his 5 yr./$100 million salary, then he is a solid WR2 for your fantasy team. He will give you boom weeks, but he will also give you bust weeks, specifically against elite corners that will shadow cover. Unfortunately, he draws one of the few CB’s that will shadow cover in week one in the Ram’s Jalen Ramsey. This type of coverage will open up budding WR2 Michael Gallup. Gallup weighs in at just $880,000 a year and is a fantastic pivot for those that went RB/QB heavy in early rounds of their drafts. He showed WR2 value and even outscored the “great” OBJ in two fewer games played. That brings us to ultra-rookie receiver CeeDee Lamb. The Cowboys absolutely crushed this year’s draft and it all started with the selection of the Oklahoma product in the first round. Lamb dominated with a 62/1,327/14 line in his final collegiate year and many had him as the 1st receiver to be selected in this year’s draft. Along with TE Blake Jarwin and possibly Elliot, Lamb projects to be a huge benefactor of the 190 vacated targets (2nd in NFL) and 1713 vacated air yards (also 2nd in NFL). Speedster Devin Smith rounds out the fourth spot on the depth chart.

Jason Witten has taken his dad running style to Las Vegas which leaves his 83 targets on the table for Blake Jarwin to scoop up. Jarwin’s $5.5 million salary is modest for the production he may post in this high-flying offense and his skill set as a TE will most assuredly keep him off the line and have him tearing down seems and managing the middle of the field for Prescott. There is very little competition for targets behind him with blocking TE’s Dalton Schultz and Blake Bell rounding out the roster.

New York Giants

HC: Joe Judge

OC: Jason Garrett

QB: Daniel Jones, Colt McCoy, Cooper Rush, Alex Tanney

RB: Saquon Barkley, Dion Lewis, Wayne Gallman, Javon Leake, Sandro Platzgummer, Elijhaa Penny

WR: Sterling Shephard, Golden Tate, Darius Slayton, Corey Coleman, David Sills V, Derrick Dillion, Binjimen Victor

TE: Evan Engram, Kaden Smith, Levine Toilolo, Erc Tomlinson, Rysen John

The NY Giants usher in a new era led by HC Joe Judge and OC Jason Garrett and this should be a fun one. Judge has made an immediate impact by making his coaches take laps with the players, taping tennis balls to players hands and removing the red no contact jersey from the former 6th overall pick in the 2109 draft. Enough about the stellar coaching, now on to the players. Daniel Jones had an impressive rookie campaign and the stat line might not actually reflect how well he played. He made plenty of rookie mistakes and reportedly has been focusing on cutting down on the crazy number of turnovers from last season. Jones posted a respectable 24 TD’s to 12 INT’s in his rookie output, but he also had a league-high 18 fumbles, losing 11 of them. Jones also kicked in 21.5 yards per game on the ground adding 2 touchdowns.

“The” offensive centerpiece in New York is Saquon Barkley. The generational runner is hoping to put most of 2019 behind him where he was banged up for part of the year. He is still on his rookie contract ($7.8M) and has little behind him to pose a threat to siphoning snaps. Wayne Gallman filled in during Barkley’s absence last year but did not exactly set the fantasy world on fire. Dion Lewis was brought in, but he should not pose much of a threat to the sure-handed Barkley even in passing downs. Judge claims that the offense will be run similar to Jason Garret’s offense in Dallas. The same (pre-Kellen Moore) offense that ran the ball a ton and preached clock management to keep the ball away from opposing offenses. This bodes well for the run game even though they will be without OT Nate Solder who chose to opt-out due to COVID-19.

The receiving corps was built around efficiency with good route runners that could find space in zones and worked well enough with the young quarterback. Sterling Shephard would be considered the no.1 receiver on this team but since being drafted in round 2 of 2016, he has not eclipsed 66 catches or 872 yards in a season. He apparently has been “embarrassing corners” at Giants camp but he will most likely be the first of many to do so in 2020. Shephard makes for a solid depth piece on your Dynasty Owner team but at a $10.25 million salary, you can find better alternatives that are number 1’s on their teams. Golden Tate has had a fine career while playing for four teams in his 11-year career but at $9.38 million, he is a worse version of Sterling Shephard. Playing in just 11 games in 2019, he produced a line of 49/676/6 and now has to share snaps with an improving Darius Slayton and possibly Corey Coleman. Slayton is predicted to fight for snaps and has reportedly been producing in camp along with Shephard. Slayton is in the second year of his rookie deal and his $688,000 contract is way more appealing than the previously listed receivers. Jones certainly trusted him and looked for him during his part-time starter stint last year filling in at times for Tate and Shephard. Evan Engram is said to be injury-free and feeling as good as he ever has coming into camp. Coming off a Lisfranc injury that derailed his 2019 campaign Engram hopes to bounce back in a big way. SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano predicts a career year for the former first rounder and is claiming for him to go over 1,000 yards “easily”. In his three years in the league, he has never gone over 722 yards in a season while missing an average of 4.6 games a year. If he can stay healthy, Engram is certainly talented enough to cash in on the hype.

Philadelphia Eagles

HC: Doug Pederson

OC: Press Taylor & Jeff Stoutland

QB: Carson Wentz, Jalen Hurts, Nate Sudfeld

RB: Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Corey Clement, Elijah Holyfield, Michael Warren, Adrian Killins

WR: Alshon Jeffery, Desean Jackson, Greg Ward, John Hightower, Jalen Reagor, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Quez Watkins, Marcus Green

TE: Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Noah Togiai, Caleb Wilson

The Eagles are poised to make some noise in the NFC this year….if they can stay healthy. That’s a big “if” and it hasn’t been a great start to the season. Wentz, Sanders, Jeffery, and Reagor have all missed some sort of time so far but the real damage they took was on the offensive line. With season ending injuries to RG Brandon Brooks and LT Andre Dillard the once promising O-Line will need to do some juggling to stay competitive.

Carson Wentz did a fantastic job in 2019 with what he was left with at the receiver position. Everyone outside of the other three NFC East teams was hoping to see the return to near MVP form of 2017. He is talented enough but has been rocked by injuries both to himself and his pass game targets. Wentz draws a hefty paycheck at $32 million annually but he is only 27 years old. His current contract runs through 2025 so if you are on the fence with the older QB’s in the similar price range, consider his contract just began where others are coming to end and seeking a new deal. Behind him is former Heisman runner-up Jalen Hurts. Hurts is a fantastic athlete that just happens to be playing the QB position. Several people have been pressing him into the Taysom Hill role but that may be just a little immature. He has talent and enough arm strength to stick around the league, but he is still quite raw.

The entire off-season was filled with speculation as to who Philadelphia would be bringing in to compete in the backfield. I don’t necessarily believe it is a complete assurance for Miles Sanders but a vote of confidence for Boston Scott. These two backfield mates make a fantastic duo and should both have enough of a workload to allow for plenty of fantasy goodness. Sanders had a solid second half of 2019 once Jordan Howard was out of the way and projects for roughly 20 touches per game. He is an excellent receiver and fantastic outside runner, but he does lack in the quick redirect department. Hopefully, he improves on his decisiveness a bit more in year two, but big things await him if his vision matures. Scott is more than just a satellite back and has true three down ability. He demonstrates power and elusiveness in his 5’6” 200 lb frame. His 8 missed tackles on 27 receptions are just a small sample of how powerfully slippery he is. The $615k salary for Scott is very enticing and should not be overlooked. If Sanders were to go down, Corey Clement figures to pick up his snaps in the run game while possibly expanding Scott’s targets.

On paper there was so much preseason talent and speed in this group it was silly. Fast forward a few months and Desean Jackson may shockingly be the healthiest guy in the group. Marquise Goodwin opted out, Jeffery is still not ready and probably won’t be to begin the season and Reagor injured his shoulder days ago. Ward and Hightower have appeared to step up and Arcega-Whiteside seems to be coming around. There is still a lot to hope for this group, but it just might take a little longer than expected. Reagor is the one that everyone is excited to see and for very good reason. He is fun to watch and is an absolutely electric athlete. His $3.3 million a year makes him a fine reserve in 2020 with fantasy starter potential in 2021.

Ertz is set to make $8.5 million this year and is nearing the time for a contract extension. Time will tell what the price tag would be, but it won’t exactly be Kittle/Kelce money. Ertz has been a fantastic tight end in his seven years with the Eagles and is not looking like he is done yet. Still under 30 years old, he has mirrored Travis Kelce since both came into the league in 2013. Ertz has Kelce beat in targets and receptions, but Kelce has edged him in yards, yards per game, yards after contact and touchdowns. Translation; Ertz is elite, Kelce is on another level. The looming contract extension for Ertz does not bode well for Goedert. It was once assumed that Goedert was to be the heir apparent to Ertz’s Philly legacy, now the 25-year-old might just have to be the very best TE2 in the league.

Washington Football Team

HC: Ron Rivera

OC: Scott Turner

QB: Dwayne Haskins, Alex Smith, Kyle Allen

RB: Adrian Peterson, Antonio Gibson, Bryce Love, Peyton Barber, JD McKissic

WR: Terry McLaurin, Kelvin Harmon, Trey Quinn, Steve Sims Jr, Antonio Gandy-Golden, Dontrelle Inman, Cam Sims, Jordan Veasy, Isaiah Wright, Jester Weah, Tony Brown

TE: Richard Rodgers, Logan Thomas, Jeremy Sprinkle, Marcus Baugh

You want to root for Ron Rivera. You need to root for Ron Rivera. Let’s recap his last few months. Get fired from a job mid-season after 8 years…check. Get hired by a team that was later involved in a very public scandal…check. Get hired by a professional sports team that doesn’t have a name…check. Find out you have cancer just before the season starts…check. Rivera is as hard as they come for coaches and he’ll need every bit of that mettle in 2020. His defense should be solid anchored by five former first round picks along the defensive front. But, it’s his offense that is a bit concerning led by Daniel Snyder favorite, Dwayne Haskins. Haskins is in his second year ($3.6 million) and showed some promise at the end of last year. The Ohio State product managed a stat line of 7 touchdowns to 7 interceptions for 1365 yds at an awful 58.6 completion rate in 9 games. Pretty bad but the good news for Haskins is Alex Smith is not quite ready to jump back under center and Kyle Allen is just plain bad. Haskins does not exactly have a stellar array of weapons outside of rookie star Terry McLaurin and possibly 2020 rookie Antonio Gibson.

With the departure of Darius Guice, Adrian Peterson keeps the role of the early down back and does not have much competition for that role. Entering his 14th season Peterson is not quite the fantasy god that he once was, but he can still get it done as a role player for this team with no name. In 211 touches he put together an 898/5 line while kicking in 17 catches for 142 yards. His $2.5 million salary is palatable since he is 35 years young and is most likely finished in 1-2 seasons. Bryce Love was a former Heisman hopeful that regressed after ankle and ACL injuries derailed his college career. Once considered a lock to be a first-round pick, he fell to the fourth round and is now fighting for a roster spot. Peyton Barber is a plodder without much burst and J.D. McKissic seems to have a secure role as a passing down specialist. That leaves Antonio Gibson for the other roster lock. Gibson ($1.2 million) is already taking first team reps and is possibly in line for more than just a reserve role at running back. He is a big bodied back that can play nearly any offensive specialty position on the field and will provide much needed versatility to a team short on dynamic playmakers.

The receiver depth chart seems to have taken shape this late in camp with McLaurin as the clear no.1, Inman as the no.2 and Sims lining up in the slot with Gandy-Golding holding down the no.4 duties. This quote from Norv Turner (from 247 Sports) says it all about McLaurin; “I mean, he’s a young man I think that had a solid year last year as a rookie, a third-round pick,” Rivera began. “He’s a guy that could be on the verge (of stardom), he really is.” McLaurin is set to be the centerpiece of this offense, but Washington will need to find a supporting cast capable of moving the offense alongside him. With Harmon shelved for 2020 (ACL), 2019 surprise Steven Sims could prove to push for the second most WR targets if he can hold off veteran Dontrelle Inman. Gandy-Golden has been reported to be behind in picking up the playbook and is not currently running with the first team offense. He offers a big bodied target for Haskins and may jump to the head of the line with some real-life reps.

The Washington TE position is one of the weaker ones in the NFL. Jeremy Sprinkle is in the mix to start but it looks like former QB Logan Thomas has the inside track on the gig. Thomas sports a $3 million salary and is not expected to be a high-volume pass catcher in a weak offense. You do the math.

We hope that you enjoyed this article. Check back soon for the NFC West roundup!

Follow us on Twitter: @Dynasty_Owner

Ten Experts (plus Tim and Myself) Draft Their Dynasty, Here’s What Happened

Author: Steven Van Tassell

The Dynasty Owner Experts league draft was a couple of weeks before the return of Monday Night Football, but this past Monday night was just like the MNF of old. It was supposed to start at 9:00 PM (Eastern) and went way too long as the draft didn’t end until almost 1:00 AM.  Tim and I did a live stream of the proceedings that drew lower ratings than a late season Jacksonville-Tennessee game with both teams under .500. Only 211 views on YouTube so far, which is more than the videos that Tim and I have been doing on a regular basis, but less than the Christopher Harris Possum League video. On the positive side, at least two people have commented so far that they watched the entire video. Thanks to Alex Brazan and Timothy Scrom who posted that they watched it all and everyone else who watched at least part of it.

The first Dynasty Owner Experts League has 10 fantasy football experts, plus Dynasty Owner CEO Tim Peffer and me, drafting teams to crown the first Experts League Champion. Eddie and the other guys in my beta league will argue about whether our league is the “real” experts league or not. Since all of the people in this league have ten or more times as many Twitter followers as I do (231 followers and counting as of press time) and likely more fantasy football championship than I can possibly count, I’ll keep calling them the “experts” and pray that I win a game or two. Also don’t expect me to call out bad picks too much or poor lineup decision making for the same reason, they are the experts and I’m just hoping to show that I belong in the same league.

Thanks to everyone for participating and being a part of Dynasty Owner. I proud to have been asked and excited to be a part of it. The chat banter on Monday night was fun and I have a feeling that there were more private text messages between the other experts that I wasn’t included in that were as much fun (or even more) than what occurred in the chat. For the purposes of this article, ADP and Dynasty Owner ownership statistics were current as of August 29th.

Draft Boards

Part 1 – Rounds 1 to 11

It’s probably hard to see each individual choice, but to break it down for those of you who may not have seen a Dynasty Owner live draft board: green is for RBs; red is for QBs; purple is for WRs; and blue is for TEs. Lots of green and purple with sprinkles of red and blue. Players without a picture are rookies and you can see that there were three rookies drafted in the first round, including Clyde Edwards-Helaire surprisingly being chosen with the first overall pick by Jerry Donabedian from Rotowire. A total of 24 rookies were chosen in the first 11 rounds with a rookie taken in every round but Round 3). To demonstrate how QBs are more valued in Dynasty Owner, 9 out of 12 teams had two QBs by this point in the draft with 5 of those teams having their two QBs by the end of the seventh round. Most teams had two RBs by the end of the fourth round with two teams having three by that point. Only one team (Tyler Guenthner from Dynasty Happy Hour) drafted two TEs by this point in the draft and one team (me – Dynasty Owner Steve) had zero TEs.

Part 2 – Rounds 12 to 25

There’s lots of orange in the second half of the draft – that’s for kickers. You’ll see that five teams drafted three kickers, six took two of them and one team only drafted one (Sideline Squib). The first kicker taken was Matt Gay in Round 15 by Dynasty Owner Tim, followed four picks later by Younghoe Koo by Dynasty Owner Steve. Not a lot of patterns to be seen here in the second half of the draft, so let’s look at the individual teams.

I Can Analyze That Team in One Sentence

This sounds like a great idea for a game show, doesn’t it? If you’re old enough to know that it’s not an original idea and that I’m ripping off Name That Tune (“I can name that tune in one note”), congratulations on being old like me. If you don’t get the reference, here’s a very long Wikipedia entry on the show and its various iterations (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Name_That_Tune). If you are asking what does this have to do with football, then you clearly don’t know that Mrs. Frank Gifford (if anyone doesn’t know, Frank Gifford is a NFL Hall of Famer who was also on Monday Night Football for 27 years) was the orchestra vocalist at one time. Now, on to the analysis in draft order:

  1. Jerry Donabedian, aka JerryDeez (Rotowire) – @Jerrydonabedian – I can do this one in three letters, CEH.
  2. Just Joe (Rotowire) – @Rotowire – This team was looking like a bargain team until he spent almost $35 million on Jones, Amari Cooper and Zach Ertz in Rounds 6-8.
  3. Garret Price (Dynasty Nerds) – @DynastyPrice – He had rookie fever and the cure was using a lot of his $110 million salary cap on expensive WRs in Tyreek Hill and Allen Robinson and TEs in Darren Waller and Austin Hooper.
  4. Tim Peffer (Dynasty Owner Tim) – @Dynasty_Owner – Tim took CMC and Deshaun Watson in the first two rounds, that draft strategy looks familiar (see Vantastics, “All Star League”), but it might not be the best idea to copy me.
  5. Andy Hall (Lazer 103.3 in Des Moines) @AndyHallRadio – I really like this team as he made solid selections at the start, then some value and ended with a mix of value and experience.
  6. Michael Ginnitti (Spotrac) – @Spotrac – He has a Cardinals stack of Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins and largely avoided picking top players with one year left on their contract, which probably isn’t surprising.
  7. Steve Serda (610 Sports KC) @StephenSerda – Steve has a lot of RBs and WRs on his roster with 18 of his 25 player roster playing those positions.
  8. Steven Van Tassell (Dynasty Owner Steve) – @SteveVT33 – I was excited but scared to see Patrick Mahomes drop to the #8 pick as this year could be a Ricky Bobby situation (“If you’re not first, you’re last”) followed by rebuilding with Mahomes’ contract weighing down my team.
  9. Kyle Yates (Fantasy Pros) – @KyleYNFL – Kyle went with the stars and scrubs approach by spending a lot of money early and often and then finding lots of value at the end.
  10. Tyler Guenthner (Dynasty Happy Hour) – @DHH_Tyler – Solid team and I’m not just saying that because he personally sniped me five even numbered rounds in a row by taking the guy I wanted two picks in front of me.
  11. Dynasty Rewind @DynastyRewind – Reports are that the four Rewind guys were in a Zoom chat so they can all claim credit for their picks in which they always looked for (and found) value throughout the draft, leaving them spending only $86 million and the title of the team with the most cap room left after the draft.
  12. Sideline Squib – @SidelineSquib – Steve Silvestri (@SteveSilvestri3) and Andrew Leehy (@DoOrDieNasty) love stacking so much they did it twice (one per Squibber) with their back to back picks, first with Broncos (Courtland Sutton and Drew Lock) and then Cowboys (Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb).

My Changing Draft Philosophy

For every 12-team draft, there are 12 draft philosophies. Since it would have taken a long time to talk with everyone about their philosophy for Dynasty Owner and these are extremely busy people, I decided to just share my own personal draft philosophy.

When the draft order was announced, I started to go through my Top 300 list and prepare and add players to my queue. With the #8 pick, I figured that I’d be getting Nick Chubb (#8 in my rankings) or maybe Alvin Kamara (#7 in my rankings) with my first pick. If either Kyler Murray (ADP 4.8) or more likely Deshaun Watson (ADP 6.7) fell into my lap, then I’d grab them, but otherwise I was prepared to go RB-RB with my first two picks based on my draft position. The idea was to get some low salary value players at the beginning of the draft.

That definitely did NOT happen as Patrick Mahomes dropped down to the #8 pick and I blew up my plan completely, but in a good way. Instead of thinking about what expensive veteran QB I was going to draft in the middle rounds or grabbing Josh Allen in the third round, I had gotten the reigning Super Bowl MVP. After that, it was six straight RBs (Kamara, Jacobs, Sanders, Chubb, Elliott, Swift) before two WRs (Godwin and Adams). Suddenly, it’s my pick and I’ve got the opportunity to get the #1 WR in Michael Thomas with my second round pick. I debated internally for a while, but ultimately decided to take Thomas and commit almost $65 million of my 2021 salary cap to two players. While I usually try to be flexible, this team construction was definitely not my usual Dynasty Owner strategy, but I embraced my inner Ricky Bobby and drafted Thomas.

After that, I need to make some value picks and get a RB or two and quickly. Devin Singletary was still around in the third round (pick #32 overall) and snatched up the #18 player in my Top 300 for my first RB, then grabbed my #26 ranked player in Kenny Golladay in the fourth round (pick #41). Both of them have salaries of under $1 million for 2020, so I was sitting at just over $25 million in 2020 salary (but over $65 million for 2021 or more if I try to keep Golladay around).

However, I deviated significantly from my Top 300 in the fifth round by selecting Raheem Mostert instead of several guys who I have rated higher, such as Chris Carson (who I ended up with in the sixth round anyway), Mark Ingram, James White, Todd Gurley, David Johnson, Le’Veon Bell and Tarik Cohen to name a few. My feeling was that I needed a player with a reasonable salary signed for more than one year since I’m likely not going to be able to keep Golladay in 2021. That meant no drafting Johnson and Bell and their double digit million dollar contracts (although I ended up with Johnson as my eighth round selection), no to Carson, White, Gurley and Cohen because they are all on one year deal. I also deemed Mark Ingram’s contract as too high at $5 million for two years. The decision was between Mostert and one of three rookie RBs – Antonio Gibson who may start and two (A.J. Dillon and Ke’Shawn Vaughn) of whom are projected as 2020 backups – so I went with Mostert. It was after my selection that I noticed both of my top two RBs are on bye in Week 11 this year, which is why I drafted Chris Carson in the sixth round. Let’s not go round by round as I’m sure many of you are bored reading this by now. However, I will share one additional strategy that I employed in this draft which was paying attention to the draft of the people drafting around you.  Using the Live Draft board to see how much teams have spent and who they drafted, I was able to notice that @KyleYNFL who was picking right behind me in the odd numbered rounds and right in front of me in the even numbered rounds, spent over $100 million in salaries by the ninth round. As a result, he was going to have to draft sub-$1 million guys in every round afterward. He only had about $9.5 million left in salary for his last 16 players or right around $600,000 per pick. For me, it meant drafting a couple of guys who I wanted a bit earlier than I may have done so normally, such as when I picked Allen Lazard (ADP 137.4) in the eleventh round at pick #128 instead of waiting to see if he lasted until my next pick (#137). Because of his cap situation, I didn’t think Kyle would let Lazard go by twice.

Interesting Expert Observations

From the first pick of Clyde Edwards-Helaire to the last pick of Chris Conley and everywhere in between, there were plenty of interesting things that happened during this first Experts Dynasty Owner draft. Here’s a list of a few of them:

  • Most Surprising Pick(s): Clyde Edwards-Helaire with the #1 pick, followed closely by Johnathan Taylor with the #3 pick by @DynastyPrice from Dynasty Nerds. Christian McCaffrey and Patrick Mahomes lasting to the #4 and #8 overall picks were also a surprise.
  • First Comment that Shows How Dynasty Owner Is Different – After Tim and I drafted our first kickers, someone remarked on the chat “Is there something the Dynasty guys know that we don’t”. This was followed by several kickers getting drafted including two by @DynastyPrice after I took my second kicker. Perhaps he thought I knew something since he, Tyler from Dynasty Happy Hour, and the Dynasty Rewind guys each took three kickers. This is very likely something none of them have ever done before (and likely will never do again).
  • No Big Position Runs – There is usually a run on players at a position at some point in every fantasy draft, but that wasn’t really the case in this one. Maybe experts are less likely than the rest of us to get caught up in a position run, but the longest stretch of players selected at a single position was the 7 WRs chosen in the middle of the fourth round. It started with @KyleYNFL taking D.K. Metcalf and ended with @DynastyPrice grabbing Jalen Reagor before the run ended with Just Joe from Rotowire selecting James Conner. In contrast, if readers recall, the All-Star League had a run of 13 RBs taken in the first and second round.
  • Few Questionable Picks – Having looked at over 500 teams for my Dynasty Owner handcuff article (https://dynastyowner.com/2020/08/utilizing-handcuffs-star-players/), I saw a lot of bad draft picks. Guys who should not be taken at all such as C.J. Ham immediately spring to mind. My pick of Salvon Ahmed in the 22nd round was a bad one since I picked him up Monday night and he was promptly released by San Francisco on Tuesday. Fortunately, the Dolphins picked him up off waivers, but who knows if he’ll make the team or not. Even so, I’m not alone in having Ahmed as he’s owned in 68% of leagues (and dropping) right now. The other pick that could be deemed questionable was the selection of Josh Oliver (TE – JAC) in the 24th round by Sideline Squib. Oliver is out for all of 2020, but still has two years left after this year on his contract at $1.062 million per year. Oliver is only owned in 7% of Dynasty Owner leagues, but the Squib guys could just be planning ahead for 2021 with this pick. Check out the final draft boards posted earlier in this article and send your thoughts on questionable picks to me via Twitter (@SteveVT33) or post them in the YouTube chat.

Conclusions

Being part of the first Dynasty Owner experts draft was great and a true honor. Hopefully seeing how these experts drafted will give you some ideas on how to go about doing your own Dynasty Owner draft if you haven’t drafted yet. If you already drafted, check out the draft board and see if any of the experts drafted a similar team to yours. Is it maybe because you listen to them or was it just by chance?

Hope all of you enjoyed this recap article and the actual draft podcast on YouTube. Speaking of articles, more of them are coming from myself, Chris Wolf (@ckwolf21 on Twitter) and others. The podcast series with myself and Dynasty Owner CEO Tim Peffer continues to be taped and posted on the Dynasty Owner channel on YouTube and other places (iTunes, Spotify, Spreaker) as well. Subscribe to the YouTube channel and make sure to “Like” all of the videos to help promote them. Dynasty Owner is closing in on 500 subscribers on YouTube now and thank you all for watching and listening. All of this great content is available to help you win your Dynasty Owner league and maybe become the winner of the 2020 Chase for the Ring!

Follow us on Twitter: @Dynasty_Owner

The Top Five Players to Draft at Every Position

Author: Jay Poundsee

As we have all learned, Dynasty Owner is a far different fantasy football game than any of us have ever known. In this format, you will find more extraordinary differences in value than any other draft you have ever found yourself in. In my start-up draft, I watched players like Courtland Sutton and his $1,710,480 salary be drafted with the 34th pick. While a player like Julio Jones and his $22,000,000 salary fell to me all the way down at the 51st selection of the draft. Looking at these draft boards without any insight to the situation may be enough to drive the average man insane. The thought of trying to figure out how Mecole Hardman with a salary of $1,248,763 gets sandwiched between Keenan Allen at $11,250,000 and Stefon Diggs and his $14,400,000 salary may just drive you bonkers. Luckily, we at Dynasty Owner have your back and are here to help.

In this article I will be giving the top 5 players at each position I recommend targeting in your upcoming drafts. The requirements will be players with high upside, 2 or more years left on their deal, and under $9.9 (million) per year salary(5th year options will be assumed).

Quarterbacks

Let us start with what I feel is the most important position here in Dynasty Owner, which is the quarterback. The number one QB and most likely number 1 pick in every draft will be Lamar Jackson with 2 years at $2.3(million) left on his deal. He is almost a sure bet to be the best value in all of Dynasty Owner in terms of cost per point.

At number two, I have Kyler Murray, who has 4 years left at $8,789,661 per year. I have Kyler at number 2 because of the potential he showed in 2019 as a rookie on a bad football team. It also helps when you give a young talented kid a wide-out named Deandre Hopkins. Needless to say, the Arizona Cardinals are a must watch on TV this season.

At the 3rd quarterback spot has to be Daniel Jones with 4 years left at $6,416,014. I know the majority will have Josh Allen over Jones, but I feel Jones has more upside after the rookie year he just had. If you take Jones stats and stretch them out over 16 games, he would have broken Baker Mayfield’s rookie touchdown record of 27(paced at 32) along with roughly 350-400 rushing yards and that screams great cost per point at the quarterback position.

As mentioned above, I have Josh Allen at 4 with 2 years left at $5,295760. Allen has improved each year and seems to have a solid floor because of his rushing work near the goal line. When you pair that with a cheap salary it makes him an easy choice here.

Rounding out my top 5 is the incoming number 1 overall draft pick Mr. Joe Burrow at $9,047,534 and 5 years to go on his deal. I absolutely love Burrow’s potential as well as the sneaky good upside of the Bengals offense and what they have started to build around him in year 1. Burrow just had the best college season ever, while showing the most poise and confidence we have ever witnessed. He is still a rookie so for now he checks in at number 5. This kid has greatness written all over him!

Running Backs

With our next position, we will be talking about the running backs. In these rankings you won’t find any better than Saquon Barkley with 3 years left at $7,798,688. There isn’t much here to say about Barkley. He pretty much speaks for himself at this point, health is the only concern.

At number 2 I have Clyde Edwards-Helaire at $2,705,393 with 5 years left on his deal. I know hes only a rookie but looking back through recent history, first round running backs have always seen 200 plus touches (aside from Rashad Penny). If Joe Blow from the corner store was in this Chiefs backfield getting 200 plus touches at a low salary, I would want him on my roster. Let’s not forget the reports of Mahomes texting CEH during the draft saying “I want you on my team” or Coach Andy Reid’s Brian Westbrook comparison. I think it’s safe to say the chiefs have big time plans for their rookie.

At 3, I have Miles Sanders and his $1,337,544 salary with another 3 years to go in Doug Pederson’s offense. Philly’s running backs coach Deuce Staley has had nothing but high praises this off season about Sanders talent and his upcoming workload, which means big things are coming. Sanders is an immensely talented running back who broke out in the second half last year. I would rank him in the top 5 of all Running backs on pure talent alone.

At 4, I have Josh Jacobs and his $2,983,350 salary with 4 years left on his deal. Jacobs is a true workhorse who could use some work on his receiving, but he seems to have a remarkably high floor and a huge workload ahead of him.

Rounding out the running backs, I have Nick Chubb in 5th. His salary is $1,845,774 and he still has 2 more years left on his contract in Cleveland. The presence of Kareem Hunt is what puts Jacobs ahead of Chubb here.

Wide Receivers

Starting things off at wide receivers, I have one of my personal favorite young fantasy players in all formats and that’s DJ Moore with a potential 3 years left at $2,792,829. I love the upside of Moore and the potential he has shown his first 2 years and let’s face it, he’s yet to have anything but a below average quarterback throwing him the ball. The floor for DJ Moore is extremely high with Teddy Two Gloves in the mix. The next slot was tough for me as I am a diehard Ohio State Buckeye fan and love the upside mixed with production for Terry McLaurin.

With that said, at number 2 I have to go with AJ Brown at $1,413,092 and 3 years left on his deal. I think the upside of the Titans offense is far superior to The Washington Football Team giving AJ Brown a much safer floor and a higher ceiling going forward. In 2019 Brown had just under 19% of the Titans target share which is all but guaranteed to receive a boost in 2020. Somehow, despite all of that he was still able to produce 1,051 yards and 8 touchdowns. Once Ryan Tannehill (who the Titans resigned to a 4 year deal this past off season) took over, Brown exploded onto the fantasy scene.

My third receiver as stated above is Terry McLaurin, who I see as a target monster in Washington. We have all seen with targets comes production in just about all cases. McLaurin has 3 years left at $961,918 which is going to make him an amazing cost per point player in 2020 and years to come.

At number 4 I have DK Metcalf who has 3 years at $1,146,513 left on his deal. In 2019 Metcalf flashed tremendous potential alongside Russel Wilson. Anytime I can get a talent like that catching passes from a quarterback like Wilson sign me up.

At 5 I have my second DJ in DJ Chark JR at $1,111,807 and 2 years left on his current deal. The offense in Jacksonville doesn’t get my wheels spinning but Chark is too good of a cheap young talent to pass on.

Tight Ends

Finally, we have everyone’s favorite position the tight ends. My number 1 tight end here in Dynasty Owner regardless the requirements is none other than Mark Andrews with a salary of just $863,290 and 2 years left. I love the upside of Andrews in the Ravens offense where he played only 44 percent of the team’s offensive plays last year. With the way Andrews has produced thus far he’s almost a lock to be on the field more this season. Look for a big bump up in production for Mr. Andrews in the coming seasons.

In the 2nd spot, I have my breakout tight end in 2020, Dallas Goedert. Goederts salary is $1,406,068 and he has 2 years left on his current deal. I look for Zach Ertz to start showing his age and have a dip in production along with the Eagles receiving situation I look for Goedert to have a big year with a huge bump in targets this season.

At number 3, I have TJ Hockenson at $4,955,306 and 4 years left on his deal. Tight ends tend to take longer than any other position to transition into the NFL and with Hockenson at a cheap salary and potential high production coming over the next few years, he is a no-brainier for me to want on my roster.

Right behind Hockenson at number 4, I have his old Iowa Hawkeye teammate and freak athlete, Noah Fant. The Bronco tight end has as much upside as any young tight end at a salary of $ 3,147,680 and 4 years left in Denver. Which makes him a must have tight end in this format.

Bringing up the rear at number 5, I have Chris Herndon with 2 years left at $792,841. Herndon had a very disappointing year in 2019 with a suspension and 2 separate injuries holding him to just one catch for 7 yards. While 2019 may have been a disappointment, Herndon was excellent his rookie year breaking the rare 500 yard receiving mark for tight ends in their rookie year.

I hope this article helps all of you in your upcoming drafts and remember to always think about your salary next year, who has a new contract coming, and cost per point in this format it’s what will win you championships here in Dynasty Owner.

Follow us on Twitter: @Dynasty_Owner

Roster Roundup – Round Five: AFC East

Taking A Dive Into The Rosters From Around The League

Author: Chris Wolf

This time of year is typically the time when teams, trainers and agents hype up their players. We know how the world has changed in recent months and the NFL is no different in its approach to returning to “normalcy”. With the news of NFL staff and players testing positive for the Coronavirus, fantasy news is taking a backseat. As a result, fantasy players are missing out on the typical hyperbole surrounding pre-season roster news and notes.

In this series we will look at who’s who on rosters and how that may help in your drafts and early waivers.

Each week we will examine a division’s skill position current roster and predictive depth chart heading into training camp to see how that relates to their fantasy outlook.

Buffalo Bills

HC: Sean McDermott

OC: Brian Daboll

QB: Josh Allen, Matt Barkley, Davis Webb, Jake Fromm

RB: Devin Singletary, TJ Yeldon, Zack Moss, Taiwan Jones, Christian Wade, Antonio Williams, Patrick Demarco, Reggie Gilliam

WR: Stefon Diggs, John Brown, Cole Beasley, Gabriel Davis, Isaiah McKenzie, Robert Foster, Andre Roberts, Isaiah Hodgins, Nick Easley

TE:Dawson Knox, Tyler Kroft, Lee Smith, Tommy Sweeney, Jason Croom, Nate Becker

Sean McDermott returns for his fourth season at the helm after leading the team to the playoffs in two of his first three years. There is talent on both sides of the ball, especially on the defense. OC Brian Daboll has generally called a well-balanced game with a definite emphasis on the run. Josh Allen returns under center with more optimism this year than his last two years. He now welcomes more weapons and a better offensive line. Allen is a unique talent utilizing both his cannon of an arm with a steady diet of his capable legs. In his 28 career games played, he has thrown for 30 TD’s to 21 INT’s. He’s not going to throw for a ton of yards, but he will make up for it on the ground. He has amassed 17 rushing scores and at least 510 yards in both of his seasons played. In 2019 Allen had 22 Red Zone rush attempts resulting in 9 TD’s including 5 TD’s within the 5-yard line. Like his popular comparison, that is truly Newton-esque. Allen makes for a fine QB1 or a great QB2 at a very affordable price tag of $5.3 million. Matt Barkley is a career back-up and presently has the no.2 job while the future Matt Barkley is Jake Fromm and he should beat out Davis Webb for the 3rd QB spot.

The RB position returns Devin Singletary and TJ Yeldon from last season’s middling run game. Frank Gore is gone, and his 173 attempts are now up for grabs but are expected to go to pre-draft darling Zack Moss. Singletary ($974,500) showed some promise in his rookie campaign but was often stifled behind a run blocking unit that graded out in the middle of the pack. Not only was he handicapped by a so-so offensive line, inside the 20 the snaps went to Gore and Allen. Gore and Singletary scored just 4 TD’s between them to Allen’s 9. Moss ($1.15 million) figures to come in to add some juice to the position after the departure of Gore. Moss was the all-time leading rusher and scorer at Utah and profiles as a solid runner with power and good hands. Singletary should lead the backfield in touches with Moss right behind him.

The Wide Receiver group got an upgrade this off-season with a big trade for former Viking Stefon Diggs. Diggs ($14.4 million) immediately figures to slot in as the #1 receiver and will be a fine complement to John Brown ($9 million) and Cole Beasley ($7.25 million). Diggs is a dynamic route runner that always seemed like he just needed the chains to come off. He will be hard pressed to find a ton of volume in this offense, but he should dominate the targets. Due to landing spot alone, he figures to post mid to low end WR2 numbers, but he has the makings of a top 12 receiver if this offense was to drastically change. Brown is a burner with fantastic ball tracking ability but is sure to take a hit in almost all categories with Diggs in town. Brown led the team in targets, receptions, yards and tied Beasley for 1st in scoring with 6 TD’s. Capable of lining up all over the field, Diggs arrival might just free Brown up from the opposing team’s top defenders allowing him to do what he does best…make plays in the open field. Beasley was a particularly good addition last year for Allen’s growth and his QB bail-out-ability provided a fantastic security blanket for the young Allen. He was second on the team in targets, receptions, and yards and should continue to occupy the slot much like he did in 2019. As Diggs enters his prime (age 27), Beasley (31) and Brown (30) will most likely be on the downward trajectory of Buffalo’s plans. The Bill’s selected both Gabriel Davis and Isaiah Hodgins in the 2020 draft to begin framing out their future at the position. Davis should settle into the WR4 role on the team, passing the forgotten speedster Robert Foster.

Dawson Knox was a rookie in 2019 and did not have the advantage to sit and learn behind veteran TE’s like the majority of rookie TE’s get to. The former 3rd rounder is highly athletic but is in a very crowded target situation with all those receivers and Singletary competing for grabs. Knox drew 51 targets for 28 catches, 388 yards and 2 touchdowns last year and that might be the range he stays in for 2020. Veteran Tyler Kroft was added to the mix but won’t be on any fantasy radar barring several injuries.

Miami Dolphins

HC: Brian Flores

OC: Chan Gailey

QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tua Tagovailoa, Josh Rosen

RB: Jordan Howard, Matt Breida, Kalen Ballage, Myles Gaskin, Patrick Laird, Chandler Cox

WR: DeVante Parker, Preston Williams, Gary Jennings, Isaiah Ford, Jakeem Grant, Mack Hollins, Matt Cole, Kirk Merritt

TE: Mike Gesicki, Durham Smythe, Adam Shaheen, Chris Myarick

The Dolphins were in the media dubbed “Tank for Tua” mode early in the season before the scrappy overachievers made the mistake of starting the poster boy for gritty- Ryan Fitzpatrick. HC Brian Flores obviously did not like the way the offense was heading (Fitzpatrick was their leading rusher) so he went and sprung the 68-year-old Chan Gailey from Shady Acres retirement home to shake things up. The Fins still wound up getting Tua and he will reportedly compete early for the starting gig even after being just a year removed from a horrible hip dislocation and ankle injury. Tua’s will to win and his insane accuracy will make it hard for the coaching staff to keep him off the field, pandemic or not. His mobility will be in question coming off hip and ankle injuries, but he is such a competitor, he will find a way to adjust his play. It will be fun to see who wins the starting job between these QB’s not named Josh Rosen.

The aforementioned run game was severely laughable in 2019 and can only get better. New additions Jordan Howard and Matt Brieda bring a bit of low-level thunder and lightning to the mix. Neither will win you a championship but offer good plug and play options at affordable salaries (Howard $4.88 million and Brieda at $3.26 million). Howard will be the “starter” but Brieda offers more dynamic upside through the air and ground. Both are upgrades but are far from ideal to rely on other than depth for your team.

DeVante Parker finally had the breakout season that everyone was waiting for in 2019. Ranking an NFL fifth in yards (1,202) and fourth (9) in touchdowns last year, Parker finally lived up to the previous expectations of being a team’s number one receiver. He has above average separation skills with high end body control but is not a burner. Parker wasn’t seeing the lion’s share of the targets until after rookie Preston Williams went down with a torn ACL in week 9. Williams was a pre-draft villain but a preseason hero and had ample success in the first half of the season posting a 32/428/3 line. This was done on 60 targets with many of them coming from Josh Rosen. Williams is a great bench stash at just $588,000 and is expected to be on track to start week 1. As of now the rest of the depth chart is up for grabs. Keep an eye on super athlete UDFA Kirk Merritt if he makes the team. Mike Gesicki figures to have a nice role in the passing game as the big slot and should command relative usage to last year. Entering his third year, he hopes to continue to improve on his 51/570/5 on 89 targets line. He has no competition from tight ends and is the favorite to take over in 3 WR sets now that Allen Hurns and Albert Wilson have chosen to opt out for 2020. Gesicki carries a nice price tag of just $1.6 million this year and next and should make for a fine low end TE1 or high end TE2.

New England Patriots

HC: Bill Belichick

OC: Josh McDaniels

QB: Cam Newton, Jarret Stidham, Brian Hoyer, Brian Lewerke

RB: Sony Michel, James White, Damien Harris, Rex Burkhead, Lamar Miller, JJ Taylor

WR: Julian Edelman, N’Keal Harry, Mohamed Sanu, Damiere Byrd, Jakobi Meyers, Matthew Slater, Quincy Adeboyejo, Gunner Olszewski, Jeff Thomas, Devin Ross, Will Hastings

TE: Devin Asiasi, Dalton Keene, Ryan Izzo, Rashod Berry, Jakob Johnson, Jake Burt

Brady is gone, an NFL high 8 players have decided to opt out due to COVID concerns, the enigmatic Cam Newton comes to town, but Bill Belichick is still in charge. Forget the narrative of can Brady win without Belichick and vice versa. That was so 2020 spring. It’s now into training camp and Mr. Bill has his hands absolutely full. Jarret Stidham was to be the heir apparent after Brady left for free agency. The organization threw a bunch of praise and confidence behind the young signal caller until they were able to get a read on Newton’s health. Now it appears that Newton is the next in line, not Stidham. Newton has been incredible when he is fully healthy. His legs may actually have been more of an asset than his arm at times. Not short on arm strength but at times waning in accuracy, nobody would ever accuse Newton of having Manning-like accuracy (Peyton, not Eli). At a mere $1.75 million, it’s a worthwhile “risk” to roster Newton and hope that he is fully healthy and grasps McDaniel’s offense quickly.

Sony Michel has landed on the PUP and is a serious candidate to not begin the season on the active roster. He has buyer beware written all over him with his lengthy injury history and uncertain usage in 2020. Carrying the ball 247 times with a meager 3.7 YPC and just 2.56 yards after contact, Michel’s injuries slowed him considerably and the fact that he is not at all a receiving threat (19 catches in 2 years) you would be best to look away this year. White on the other hand, has been dynamic. Entering his 7th season after being selected in the 4th round by NE, White is an ideal player to utilize as a first up off the bench RB for your Dynasty Owner squad. At $4 million, he is at a reasonable price for expected production while averaging 13.2 fantasy points the past two years which is ideal for a mid-round fantasy contributor. Rex Burkhead (1 yr./$3 million) is a better real-life football player and will siphon touches from fantasy relevant players such as Damian Harris. Harris is a name to watch to ascend the depth chart especially with Michel’s recovery from surgery. The 2019 3rd rounder from Alabama is in a great position to contribute as the early down back and at a $907,00 price tag, he could be a valuable addition to your team. Late edition Lamar Miller is an indication that Michel is possibly not as far along in his rehab that most believed. Coming off an ACL tear from a year ago, Miller has the three down skill set to once again muddy the waters of a Patriots backfield depth chart.

Julian Edelman is the accomplished veteran of the wide receiver group, but he comes with a big ole’ caution tag. He will be 34 years old and recovering from shoulder surgery going into this season. He has had fantastic fantasy years on his resume, but the 2020 season just might not be one of them. His production absolutely fell off a cliff at the end of last season and will be entering training camp for the first time without Tom Brady since 2009. He was on an incredible pace last year and did see 154 targets, but he took a beating as the only reliable receiver for Brady. At $7.75 million and with his career coming to a close, your draft capital would be wisely spent elsewhere. N’Keal Harry ($2.5 million) hopes to become the true #1 receiver for NE and his 1st round pedigree should be put to the challenge. Harry is a big bodied (6’2”/228lbs) receiver that was targeted heavily in the red zone in his 5 starts last year and projects to fulfill the same role in 2020 due to the lack of competition at the position. His upside is tremendous, and the opportunity is there, if he can take a step forward in his sophomore campaign, he could be a steal in this year’s drafts. Mohamed Sanu is another veteran presence that should start outside opposite Harry with Edelman in the slot. New England traded a 2nd round pick last year to get Brady another weapon in the passing game but it never quite panned out for Sanu. He battled injuries and was cast out to the perimeter after seeing the slot for most of his career. He too is recovering from surgery (ankle) and hopes his time spent playing catch this offseason with Newton will pay dividends this season.

Jakobi Meyers and Damiere Byrd are two names to monitor and both have shown flashes in pre-season play. Meyers was a part time player in 2019 pulling in 26 receptions for 359 scoreless yards. He figures to return to his role as the 4th or 5th receiver if the top 3 are ready to go. The Tight End position is as murky as ever with the probable top two tight ends being rookies Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene now that Matt LaCosse has opted out. Asiasi is the probable starting traditional tight end where Keene will serve in the H-Back role. You won’t be breaking the bank with either of the 3rd round selections at $1.1 million a year and it could be a good time to get in while their stock is low.

New York Jets

HC: Adam Gase

OC: Dowell Loggains

QB: Sam Darnold, Joe Flacco, David Fales, James Morgan, Mike White

RB: Le’Veon Bell, Frank Gore, Lamical Perine, Kenneth Dixon, Josh Adams, Trevon Wesco

WR: Breshard Perriman, Jamison Crowder, Denzel Mims, Braxton Berrios, Josh Malone, Vyncint Smith, Jeff Smith, Jehu Chesson, Lawrence Cager, George Campbell

TE: Chris Herndon IV, Ryan Griffin, Daniel Brown, Ross Travis

Sam Darnold enters the pivotal year three for a QB this season. The third year is often the time teams will plan to draft a QB’s replacement before year four or to commit to the QB for a contract extension. Held to 13 games last year due to illness, Darnold improved on nearly every category from his rookie year where he also played 13 games. He did not have a stellar 2019. He averaged one interception and 2.5 sacks per game while throwing 19 TD’s. Darnold has not had the best supporting cast in his two years with the Jets so you really can’t blame him entirely but his draft pedigree (2018 3rd overall) should warrant a more stable outcome. His O-Line is completely different, and he has a new wide receiver in Breshard Perriman to work with after losing Robby Anderson to free agency. His $7.5 million salary is digestible but hopefully he would not be needed to win you any weeks. Joe Flacco was brought in to replace Luke Falk after last year’s stretch of embarrassment when Falk filled in for Darnold when he had Mono.

Adam Gase was not particularly good at hiding his displeasure for the signing of Le’Veon Bell last offseason. This year, Gase has talked him up saying “He’s been working extremely hard and looks good.” Thanks coach, we appreciate the news flash. Gase’s history shows that he prefers a committee backfield which is apparent going back to his Denver, Chicago, and Miami days as the OC and then HC. This backfield may be a bit rough to put a committee together though with Frank Gore, Lamichael Perine and possibly Kenneth Dixon. Bell should once again see most snaps and he possesses the three down talent that is coveted in fantasy football. At a hefty $13 million price tag, he carries the salary of a RB1, but you would be much more comfortable with him as your RB2. Gore may have been brought in for veteran leadership or a specific role, but he should not receive volume work at this point of his career if anything was to happen to Bell. Rookie Lamichael Perine is worth a stash due to his three down ability as well as two fading running backs in front of him on the depth chart. At just $1 million, those are the types of players that you can hold onto and hopefully they pop while at that salary.

Gase likes rolling out three receivers more than most play callers in the NFL. The problem is his starters in these 3WR sets are some of the weakest in the NFL. Crowder is the most talented and was a favorite of Darnolds while operating mainly out of the slot. He is a good route runner and helps his QB by always working back to the ball and finding soft spots in coverage. Perriman showed that he could operate as a WR1 when he filled in for Mike Evans and Chris Godwin missed time last year for the Bucs. But his small sample size as a starter is eclipsed by his disappointing years with Cleveland and Baltimore after being selected 26th overall in 2015. Only time will tell if he will be asked to shoulder the load of a WR1 or is he to be a deep threat compliment opposite Rookie Denzel Mims. Mims is a deep threat himself as well as being an accomplished contested catch receiver. His senior bowl practices turned enough heads to get him on team’s boards, but it was his explosive combine that led him to being drafted in the second round. At $1.35 million, he is one of the rookie receivers that could garner you an early return.

Chris Herndon returns after a forgetful sophomore campaign marred by a suspension and injuries. He figures to be a key piece of this offense with the ability to challenge for top two or three in targets for the Jets. He was a breakout candidate last year after posting 39/205/4 as a rookie in 2018. Now fully healed, he looks to bounce back as a post-hype fantasy player that is a solid TE2 for your team at just $793,000.  Veteran Ryan Griffin filled in for Herndon last year and nobody was brought in to compete for the job making Herndon an intriguing player to watch as he has been flying under the radar in drafts this summer.

That is the AFC East! We hope you enjoyed the read. Check back soon! We will continue with the NFC East next week.

Follow us on Twitter: @CKWolf21 and @Dynasty_Owner

Players to Pick Up with the Extra $2 Million in Salary Cap in 2020

Author: Steven Van Tassell

The announcement about the increase of $2 million in the 2020 Dynasty Owner salary cap is great news for Dynasty Owners. In case you miss it, due to players opting out of the 2020 season because of COVID-19, the Dynasty Owner salary cap for 2020 has been increased by $2 million. All Dynasty Owners can draft up to the $110 million salary cap, but then after the draft, everyone gets $2 million in extra cap room. That’s a second chance for everyone who drafted right up to the limit to pick up additional players. They will have to spend some Dynasty Dollars in the Free Agent Auction, but will at least be able to pick up some additional players to add to their rosters, up to the 30 player limit.

It’s time to head over to the Free Agent Auction page on the Dynasty Owner app or on the desktop and see who’s available. You’re not going to go out and get Aaron Rodgers and his $33.5 million contract with that extra salary cap room, but there are plenty of players who Dynasty Owners can pick up for their team for under $2 million who might help you out this season and maybe even beyond. Some especially savvy Dynasty Owners might even be able to add two or three players with their extra $2 million. We’re not talking about sure-fire starters or even guys who will be on your Dynasty Owner Bench at the beginning of the season. Looking closely at the Free Agent Auction, Dynasty Owners can find players who might be worth stashing on their Practice Squad in the hopes that they work their way into the starting lineup via strong performances on the field, or other players getting injured or contracting COVID-19.

For the purposes of this article, ADP and Dynasty Owner ownership statistics were current as of August 17th. All players recommended have salaries of $2 million or less for 2020 and are currently owned in less than 50% of Dynasty Owner leagues.

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.

Quarterback Handcuffs, Get Your Quarterback Handcuffs Here!

Did you draft a top QB for your Dynasty Owner team, but not his backup? Now might be the time to grab that handcuff if he’s still available in your league. Here’s a list of handcuff QBs to some top draft Dynasty Owner draft picks who likely can be added with the extra $2 million in salary cap room.

  • For everyone who picked from the #1 spot and drafted Lamar Jackson (or even #2 if he slipped to you), now is your opportunity to get RGIII as the handcuff. His $2 million salary will take up all of your extra cap space. This is only good for those of you in the 53% of leagues in which he’s available. Dynasty Owners without Lamar on their team can also go out and grab RGIII, but this is probably most urgent for Dynasty Owners with Lamar on their team. If he goes down to injury or even tests positive for COVID-19 and has to sit a couple of games, having RGIII might be worth the price.
  • If you had a top 5 pick and enough faith in the offense that Kliff Kingsbury is putting together in Arizona, then you might be a Kyler Murray owner. What happens if Murray gets injured or tests positive for COVID-19 and has to sit out a couple of weeks? Do you have a third quarterback on your roster to take Murray’s spot and be on your Bench for a couple of weeks or do you need another QB? Either way, you could always pick up his backup, Brett Hundley, who signed a one-year, $1,047,500 contract back in March to back up Murray for another year. Hundley only played in three games in 2019, but did play 11 games for the Packers back in 2017 and had 1,836 yards passing with 9 passing TDs along with 270 yards rushing and 2 rushing TDs (no Dynasty Owner fantasy points available for 2017). He’s only owned in 2% of Dynasty Owner leagues so he’s definitely widely available and maybe worth a flyer for Murray owners in particular.
  • Who’s going to be the backup to the $45 million Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City? If Andy Reid is to be believed, then it’s Chad Henne who was 2 for 3 passing for 29 yards as the backup in 2018, but is pretty expensive at $1.625 million per year for two years. Hopefully, you’re not in one of the 7% of leagues that he’s owned in or you’re out of luck. Last year’s backup Matt Moore is still there, available in 98% of Dynasty Owner leagues and he’ll cost a little over half of the extra $2 million with his $1.05 million salary. Finally, you can take XFL sensation Jordan Ta’amu who signed a one-year, $680,000 contract with the team back in March. He’s owned in 10% of leagues – most of the Mahomes’ backups. You could grab two of them (Henne and Ta’amu) if you just have $2 million or go hog wild and get all three for $3.335 million in salary cap room and want to protect your top draft pick that badly and have three spare roster spots.

Don’t Skip Running Backs, There Are Some Available

Running back is a difficult position to find Dynasty Owner value during the draft and even harder afterwards. Surprisingly, there are a few players making less than $2 million who Dynasty Owners could pick up and stash on their roster with that extra salary cap room. Of course, none of them are guaranteed starters or guaranteed to play much, but a few of them have the chance to produce.

  • What if I told you there was a 26 year old player available in 61% of Dynasty Owner leagues who scored 118.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points with over 10.0 points in four games last year? Well, there is, and his name is Peyton Barber. Barber is part of the running back mix in Washington along with Adrian Peterson, Bryce Love and Antonio Gibson. Coach Ron Rivera has warned people not to forget about Barber and many Dynasty Owner have heeded those words as his ownership jumped from 17% to 39% after that comment. He’s still available to most Dynasty Owners, unlike the rest of his competition, and only costs $1.5 million per year for the next two years. He might be the starter on Opening Day. Anything is possible in Washington these days.
  • We looked at handcuffs in our last article and one handcuff to a top 10 RB who is barely owned is Dontrell Hilliard of Cleveland. He’s technically backing up both Nick Chubb (ADP 9.5) and Kareem Hunt (ADP 51.1) and has competition for the #3 spot since he just came off the COVID-19 reserve list, but should probably still be owned in more than 2% of Dynasty Owner leagues since he only costs $750,000 in salary cap space. Other players in similar positions, such as Darwin Thompson, Mike Boone, are owned in over 80% of leagues. Even the three potential backups to Joe Mixon in Cincinnati are in the 40-60% ownership range. If Chubb goes down to injury, it’ll likely be Hunt to the rescue, but if both Chubb and Hunt can’t play, it’ll likely be Hilliard’s job with a new Head Coach in Kevin Stefanski who likes to run the ball. Not bad for a spot on your Practice Squad with some of your extra salary cap.
  • Last year, Wayne Gallman had a game with 26.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points versus Washington when Saquon Barkley was out with injury. Now, he might not be the backup for the Giants, but third in line behind Barkley and Dion Lewis. However, Gallman only carries a salary of $704,912 for one year and is only owned in 24% of Dynasty Owner leagues. He might be worth a flyer and spot on your Practice Squad if you spent a first round pick on Barkley.

Who Wants (Maybe) the Next Wes Welker or Julian Edelman?

There is quite the competition to be the #3 WR in Tampa Bay behind Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Rookie Tyler Johnson is the favorite in the competition among Dynasty Owners since he is owned in 100% of leagues. Scotty Miller is owned in 56%, an increase over late July/early August when his ownership was under 50%.  Both of them cost less than $750,000 in salary for 2020 ($737,355 for Johnson and $661,960 for Miller). However, you have to pay both of them for a couple of more years (3 for Johnson and 2 more for Miller). There’s another option for Dynasty Owners who want to own a guy who might be a favorite Brady target in Justin Watson.

Watson got the opportunity to play in Weeks 14-17 last year and averaged 10.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game in those four games. Not bad for only $690,435 in salary for the next two years. Dynasty Owners can grab Miller along with some other players at that low salary and hope he turns out to be the #3 guy in Tampa since he’s only rostered in 15% of Dynasty Owner leagues. Watson is making an impression with Coach Bruce Arians’ according to a recent article – https://www.cbssports.com/fantasy/football/news/buccaneers-justin-watson-catches-coachs-eye/ – so if he catches Brady’s eye as well, he could be someone to stash on your Practice Squad.

With the word from training camp that 49ers WR Jalen Hurd may have torn an ACL, other WRs could get a look at some additional work in the 49ers offense. There are plenty of them to choose from ranging from new signees J.J. Nelson and Tavon Austin to Trent Taylor returning from an injury that cost him the 2019 season to one player who has experience with the team, is still only 24 years old, and has one year left on a contract that will pay him only $1.6 million in 2020. That WR is Dante Pettis who had only 37.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points just a year after putting up 122.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in his rookie season in 2018. Pettis is currently only owned in 14% of Dynasty Owner leagues, which will probably increase overnight after this article is finished with Hurd owners rushing to the Free Agent Auction to pick up Pettis. If no Dynasty Owner in your league went out and grabbed Pettis yet, stop reading, go out and bid on him.

The Tight End Position Is Tight on Talent to Pick Up

The talent available at TE in the Free Agent Auction that could help your Dynasty Owner team in 2020 and fit under the $2 million in extra salary cap is hard to find. Just like every other position. At just over $3 million per year, Dynasty Owners can pick up either Darren Fells ($3.15 million; 110.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 2019; 14% ownership) or Jacob Hollister ($3.26 million; 96.9 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 2019; 8% ownership). Veteran Jason Witten is available in 98% of Dynasty Owner leagues for $4 million in 2020, but he plays behind Darren Waller in Las Vegas, thus explaining his low ownership. However, there are two TEs who fit the bill for inclusion in this article.

The first one is second year Bengals TE Drew Sample. Sample was selected in the second round of the 2019 draft, but only scored 8.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points before suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 10. Still, the Bengals are bound to improve in 2020 and invested a high pick in Sample so he could be part of their offensive mix this year with new QB Joe Burrow. Last year’s starter Tyler Eifert is now in Jacksonville and that leaves just C.J. Uzomah ahead of Sample on the Bengals TE depth chart. Since he’s only owned in 19% of Dynasty Owner leagues and his 2020 salary is just shy of $1.38 million. He does have has 3 years left on his contract, but Dynasty Owners won’t mind paying it if he plays and produces this year.

Since rookie TEs like Cole Kmet, Adam Trautman, Devin Asiasi were all drafted in the second round or later, all of them are scheduled to make less than $2 million this season. They aren’t available as both Kmet and Asiasi are owned in 100% of leagues, while Trautman is owned in 98% (check your league’s Free Agent Auction if you’re in a league in which Trautman is available, go grab him ASAP). After that, it’s time to start looking at later draft picks who might make an impact. Out of those guys, the one who looks best positioned to help Dynasty Owners in 2020 and beyond might be Brycen Hopkins of the Rams. Hopkins was a fourth round pick and slated to be third on the Rams depth chart behind Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett. The Rams didn’t pass much out of two or more TE formations in the past two seasons (26th in 2019 and last in 2018 according to data available at Sharp Football Stats – https://www.sharpfootballstats.com/personnel-grouping-frequency.html). However, the loss of Brandin Cooks could mean more TE usage by the Rams in 2020 which is Hopkins’ most likely path to playing time since both Higbee and Everett have been remarkably healthy in their careers (Higbee only missed one game in four seasons and Everett has missed just three in three seasons, with all of those missed games coming last year). If you need another TE and want to spend some of your extra salary cap room, Hopkins might be worth the $822,032 in salary for the next four years.

Kicking Away Some Salary Cap Room

If you are like some Dynasty Owners and hate the fact that you need to have a kicker on your roster, maybe you didn’t go out and draft three of them. Now you have $2 million more in salary cap room, but are there any kickers still left in your league’s Free Agent Auction who you can get for that extra salary?

Not really. Most of the kickers available in a majority of Dynasty Owner leagues right now are veterans with multi-year contracts making just north of $4 million in salary in 2020. Dynasty Owners who spent up close to the $110 million salary cap are going to have to clear some space on their roster to fit any of those guys. However, there is one rookie competing for a roster spot who is owned in less than 50% of Dynasty Owner leagues right now – rookie seventh round draft pick Sam Sloman of the Los Angeles Rams. Sloman is owned in 29% of Dynasty Owner leagues, but is competing with fellow 30-year old rookie (but CFL veteran) Lirim Hajrullahu. Feel free to look for Hajrullahu in the Free Agent Auction, but you’re likely not finding him there since he’s rostered in 90% of Dynasty Owner leagues. Sloman carries just a salary of $677,622, but it’s a 4-year deal, so if he doesn’t win the starting job in L.A., then you might have to cut him and pay $677,622 (25% of his total contract) in Dynasty Dollars to get him off your roster.

The only other option might be to pick up a Jets kicker. That’s really bad as the Jets haven’t had a good kicker since Pat Leahy retired back in 1991 and Leahy’s career FG percentage was just 71.4% so he wasn’t really very good – he just happened to kick for them for 18 seasons.

Both Jets kickers are owned in just over 50% of Dynasty Owner leagues with Sam Ficken and his one-year, $675,000 contract owned in 56% while former Cowboys kicker Brett Maher is owned in 51% of Dynasty Owner leagues, but carries a slightly higher salary ($750,000). Neither had a great year in 2019 as Maher missed 10 FGs in 13 games (20 for 30 on FG attempts) while making all 36 PAT attempts for 68.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (5.2 points per game). Ficken was slightly worse as he went 19 of 27 in FG attempts (70.4%), but missed 3 PATs (23 for 26) to score just 67 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 15 games as the Jets kicker in 2019 (4.5 points per game). Neither is a great option, but if you get both, you’re guaranteed to own the Jets kicker. Ain’t that great?

Conclusions

Training camps have opened now, and we are less than one month out from the 2020 NFL season. It’s time to start filling out your Dynasty Owner roster after the draft with those five extra Practice Squad slots and for this year, the extra $2 million in salary cap room provided due to COVID-19.

There are lots of players available who make less than that $2 million in salary cap room, but only some are widely available and likely to help your Dynasty Owner team in the 2020 season. Hopefully, some of the ones highlighted here are available in your league and you’re able to grab them in the Free Agent Auction to help build your Dynasty.

You could also hang on to that $2 million, but that would have been a pretty short article. Speaking of articles, there are more of them coming from myself and Chris Wolf (@ckwolf21 on Twitter). The podcast series with myself and Dynasty Owner CEO Tim Peffer will continue to be posted on the Dynasty Owner channel on YouTube and other places (iTunes, Spotify, Spreaker) as well. Subscribe to the YouTube channel and make sure to “Like” all of the videos to help promote them. We have over 400 subscribers on YouTube now and thank you all for watching and listening. All of this great content is available to help you win your Dynasty Owner league and maybe become the winner of the 2020 Chase for the Ring!

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

Are Dynasty Owners’ Utilizing Handcuffs for Their Star Players?

Author: Steven Van Tassell

Surely everyone is aware of the terminology and know that a handcuff is a backup player who will likely take over for a team’s starter in the event of an injury. In addition to “regular” injuries that happen all of the time to NFL players, Dynasty Owners in 2020 also have to worry about players testing positive for COVID-19 and going on the new Reverse/COVID-19 list. This new list is defined as being for players who have tested positive, or players who are quarantining because they came into close contact with someone who tested positive.

One of my fellow Beta Users (Nick – Quaranteam) suggested that I look at whether Dynasty Owners were valuing handcuffs for their star players enough in 2020 due to COVID-19. The possibility is out there that some star players will contract the contagious disease and have to sit out games at some point this season. It’s not a minimum of three games as previously expected, but more flexible than that as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk explains in the following article: https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2020/07/18/clarifying-the-2020-injured-reserve-covid-19-rules/.

Since 12-team leagues are new to Dynasty Owner for 2020, we don’t have historical data to see whether handcuffs are being utilized more or less this season than last year, but we can still look at what’s going on this year. This analysis of handcuffs is based on a review of 43 Dynasty Owner drafts for the 2020 season. All of the drafts were conducted between June 14th and July 26th. There were 5 drafts by Beta users, 15 For the Love of the Game drafts by players only paying the $29 entry fee, 11 drafts in the $600 prize pool leagues ($50 entry fee per team) and 12 drafts in the $1,200 prize pool leagues ($100 entry fee per team).

For the purposes of this analysis, I’m looking at situations where there is a clear starter (Lamar Jackson, Christian McCaffrey, etc.) and then a backup who will likely only play if their team is winning or losing by a lot or if the starter gets hurt or is placed on the COVID-19 list. I purposely left out players on teams and positions in which the starting position is up for grabs, which is more of a hedging your bet on a certain position. Examples of that include starting QB for the San Diego Los Angeles Chargers as it’s reasonable to think either Justin Herbert or Tyrod Taylor could be the starter in Week 1, the Ravens’ RB situation with Mark Ingram and rookie J.K. Dobbins or the Rams who have a quartet of RBs (Cam Akers, Darrel Henderson, Malcolm Brown and John Kelly) who coach Sean McVay has identified as “NFL-legitimate starting-caliber backs”. There are other examples but that should give everyone an idea of what qualified as a handcuff versus hedging your bets.

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.

Handcuffing by Position and League Type

Overall, there were 300 identified handcuff situations over the 43 leagues analyzed, or an average of 6.98 per league. Teams could draft more than one handcuff for their players, and we’ve identified several interesting ones later on in this article. Since we are all in 12-team leagues now, that means only about half of the teams in each league drafted a handcuff for one of their players. There are multiple situations in which a team drafted more than one handcuff, so the average number of teams drafting a handcuff is lower than the number of situations.

By league type, there were more handcuffs per league in the $100 entry fee leagues (8.00 per league) than any other type by a significant margin (6.64 for $50 entry fee leagues, 6.60 for the $29 Love of the Game leagues and a low of 6.40 for the five Beta user leagues). The more cash people have invested in their Dynasty Owner team, the more likely they are to handcuff – very interesting. For newer players, Beta users are free for life and don’t pay anything in return for spending last year and this off-season spotting bugs in mock drafts and on the website and app.

By position, it’s not surprising that more people are drafting a handcuff at the running back position than any other position (141 in total, or 47% of all handcuffs are RBs). There were 104 WR handcuffs, or about one-third (35%). There were 38 handcuff QBs, or 13% of the 300 handcuffs, while only 17 handcuffs (6%) were TEs.

In terms of players, 74 individual star players were handcuffed with a lesser player. Thirty-one WRs were handcuffed, or over two-fifths (42%) of players handcuffed were WRs, followed by 19 RBs (26%), 16 QBs (22%) and a mere 8 TEs (11%). Let’s find out more about who was handcuffed most frequently and wasn’t frequently enough.

Running While Handcuffed

The position in which most fantasy football players utilize handcuffs is usually running backs based on their higher rate of injury and the current preference of many NFL coaches for running back by committee (RBBC). Dynasty Owner is no different in this regard as nearly half of the handcuffs in the early drafts were RB handcuffs with 19 starting RBs being handcuffed by 37 backups. Remember that we are looking only at handcuffs and not situations like those identified earlier where the starting job is “up for grabs”.

So, which RB was handcuffed the most in Dynasty Owner drafts? Was it the RB with the highest salary in Dynasty Owner, Ezekiel Elliott at $15 million in salary cap room, or was it one of the top two RBs drafted in Christian McCaffrey (ADP 2.6) or Saquon Barkley (ADP 3.8)?

The answer is: None of those guys. There was a tie as the most handcuffed RBs were in fact Dalvin Cook of the Vikings and James Conner of the Steelers, both of whom were handcuffed in 15 Dynasty Owner drafts. While both were handcuffed the same number of times, the most common handcuff was picking Conner and his $790,381 one-year contract along with Jaylen Samuels and his equally affordable $679,517 salary for the next two years.

Dalvin Cook and his threatened training camp holdout was big news back in early June when he announced it (Spoiler alert: He didn’t hold out and reported to training camp on time) and likely caused many of his Dynasty Owners to handcuff him with either Alexander Mattison (8 times) or Mike Boone (6 times). There was at least one team (Wasabi) who handcuffed Cook with both of those guys.

There was also one team (The Team) who handcuffed Cook, who they drafted with the #12 overall pick, with fullback C.J. Ham and his 4-year, $12 million salary. Ham was drafted with the first pick in the 20th round by The Team in their For the Love of the Game league. This wasn’t a wise pick for The Team since Mike Boone was still available if they wanted a handcuff. Ham is so lightly regarded by other Dynasty Owners that no other team has Ham on their roster. Probably because he’s a blocking fullback and had just 37.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points last year.

Two players on one-year contracts were also handcuffed nearly as often (14 times each). Kenyan Drake and his $8.483 million contract was handcuffed equally by Chase Edmonds and rookie Eno Benjamin. Joe Mixon was also handcuffed 14 times, but was handcuffed by four separate players (Giovani Bernard – 7 times; Trayveon Williams – 4 times; Rodney Anderson – 2 times; Jacques Patrick – 1 time). The four handcuff players were the most for any single starter. Congratulations!?!

Handcuffing the Top Picks at QB

In contrast, the most obvious handcuff at QB is drafting Robert Griffin III to pair with Lamar Jackson, who many Dynasty Owners have been taking with the #1 pick (ADP 1.3). Dynasty Owners who have chosen Lamar are handcuffing him with RGIII more than any other QB combo with 7 Dynasty Owners having done this. Interestingly, even though there were 15 For the Love of the Game drafts analyzed, none of the Lamar-RGIII handcuffs occurred in one of those leagues. For those Dynasty Owners who have Lamar and $2 million in salary cap room, RGIII is currently available in 50% of Dynasty Owner leagues.

That’s three more handcuffs than the trio of starting QBs who are next most likely to be handcuffs (Patrick Mahomes, Cam Newton and Carson Wentz). Mahomes is has the second best ADP (1.8) with 4 handcuffs (3 times by Chad Henne and 1 time by Jordan Ta’amu). All three of the potential Kansas City backup QBs are highly available for Mahomes’ owners who have salary cap room to protect their investment in the $450 million Super Bowl MVP.  Ta’amu is owned by the highest percentage (11%), followed by Henne at 7% and Matt Moore at only 2% ownership.

Despite not being signed by the Patriots until late June and only being selected at his new salary in the July drafts, Cam Newton was also handcuffed four times by backups in New England. Three Dynasty Owners chose Jarrett Stidham as Newton’s backup, while one chose Brian Hoyer. Even though Coach Bill Belichick has said that Newton won’t be handed the starting job, he’s the starter in New England barring an injury. For Newton’s Dynasty Owners who didn’t handcuff in the draft, but are thinking about it doing it now, sorry to inform you but Stidham and his $788,423 contract isn’t available in any Dynasty Owner leagues right now.

Finally, we have four Dynasty Owners who handcuffed Carson Wentz and his $32 million annual salary with rookie QB and 2nd round draft pick Jalen Hurts. Even though only a few Wentz owners chose Hurts as well, Hurts and his $1.5 million salary is 100% owned, compared to 78% ownership for Wentz. Wentz does have a better ADP (80.7) than Hurts (152.9). Nate Sudfeld, who might end up being the true backup in 2020 if media reports are true, is only owned in 2% of leagues. You’ll need $2 million in salary cap room to go get Sudfeld if you have Wentz but not Hurts, are concerned about Wentz’s injury history and want to ensure you have a stake in the Eagles’ offense this year.

The only other two first round QB draft picks – Kyler Murray (ADP 4.3) and Deshaun Watson (ADP 5.0) – were lightly handcuffed with only one Dynasty Owner handcuffing Murray with his likely backup in Brett Hundley and none of the Dynasty Owners who drafted through July 26th handcuffing Deshaun Watson. The owner who drafted Hundley (The Guns of Hochuli – great team name!) is the only one right now with Hundley on their roster.

Not a Lot of Handcuffing of Tight Ends

At the other end of the handcuff spectrum from RBs and QBs are TEs who are rarely being handcuffed in the early Dynasty Owner drafts. Only 8 starting TEs had their backup drafted by the same Dynasty Owner and it only occurred a total of 17 times, accounting for just 6% of all handcuffs drafted.

The consensus top three Dynasty Owner TEs (George Kittle, Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews) were rarely handcuffed by their Dynasty Owners even though they had clear backups at the time (Ross Dwelley for Kittle, Ricky Seals-Jones for Kelce and Nick Boyle for Andrews). Nobody handcuffed Mark Andrews and only one Dynasty Owner handcuffed Kelce or Kittle. Steveo FC was the only Dynasty Owner to draft both George Kittle and Ross Dwelley, in case Kittle can’t play, even though Dwelley performed pretty well in the two games (22.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points) that Kittle missed in 2019. Dwelley only cost Steveo FC a last round draft pick (#291 overall) and $750,000 in salary cap room. In case Kittle owners are thinking that having Dwelley on the roster is a good idea (even with the recent signing of Jordan Reed by the 49ers), he’s currently available in 96% of Dynasty Owner leagues. Kelce was also only handcuffed in one league by Kilmer’s Coyotes with Ricky Seals-Jones. Seals-Jones doesn’t cost much ($925,000) and is only signed to a one-year deal so Kelce owners in the three-quarters (78%) of Dynasty Owner leagues in which Seals-Jones isn’t owned could go out and grab him if they have cap room.

The most handcuffed starting TE is the eighth TE being drafted, on average, in Dynasty Owner – Evan Engram of the Giants. His backup Kaden Smith is being drafted well over 100 spots later than Engram (ADP of 79 vs. 201.8 for Smith). His cost is minimal as he has 3 years left on his contract at just $680,002 per year and his production was high in place of Engram last year, when he averaged just under 11.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy point per game and had four double-digit point games in just seven contests after Engram got injured last year.

The Single Most Handcuffed WR Is Also the Highest Drafted One

Michael Thomas is being drafted a full round ahead of any other WR with an ADP of 7.6. The next highest drafted WR by ADP right now is Chris Godwin with a current ADP of 20.3. Thomas has the third highest salary of any WR at $19.25 million and some of his Dynasty Owners are backing up their investment in the Ferrari of WRs (373.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 2019). The handcuff of choice for Thomas’ Dynasty Owners, like The Jerk, is Deonte Harris who only had 34.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 2019 – with twice as many coming from returns (23.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points) than rushing and receiving combined (11.5). Six Dynasty Owners have both Michael Thomas and Deonte Harris on their roster, the most of any single WR starter and backup. Since Taysom Hill is listed as a QB, I didn’t consider him as a handcuff for Thomas even though he does play WR fairly frequently.

While the Thomas-Harris handcuff was the single, most frequently drafted one, Thomas was not the most frequently handcuffed WR in Dynasty Owner drafts. That honor goes to Eagles rookie WR Jalen Reagor who was handcuffed 9 times by three different players (Quez Watkins – 4 times; Greg Ward – 4 times; John Hightower – 1 time), followed closely by Stefon Diggs of the Buffalo Bills. Three backup WRs (Gabriel Davis – 4 times; Duke Williams – 3 times; Isaiah Hodgins – 1 times) were also selected by the Diggs’ Dynasty Owner a total of 8 times, just one fewer time than Reagor. However, if you add in Diggs’ fellow starting WRs in Buffalo (John Brown and Cole Beasley), there were a total of 11 backup WRs selected as handcuffs to starting Buffalo WRs.

Eleven handcuffs for Buffalo WRs was the highest for any team, but there were three WRs being handcuffed. There are a lot of top WR pairing out there for the handcuffing, such as Mike Evans and Chris Godwin in Tampa Bay or A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd in Cincinnati, among others. Interestingly, there was a wide divergence in handcuffing for those two pairs with Green and Boyd being handcuffed twice as frequently as Evans and Godwin (10 times versus 5 times). There was an even split by Dynasty Owners handcuffing Green (and his $17.97 million salary) and Tyler Boyd (who has a $10.75 million salary). The much more expensive WR in Tampa Bay, Mike Evans, was handcuffed four out of the five times that a Dynasty Owner handcuffed one. Just only Dynasty Owner (WKFLD Jags) handcuffed Chris Godwin with Tyler Johnson.

Interesting Handcuffs

After looking at over 500 Dynasty Owner rosters, you see some “interesting” handcuff situations. Here are a few that stood out to me as I was looking at all of those rosters:

  • The Cincinnati Sizzlers drafted five Green Bay WRs, pretty much every WR on the Packers roster, except Davante Adams. That’s right they have Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Equanimeous St. Brown, Reggie Begelton and Jake Kumerow (in draft order). That’s the most players from any one team at a single position. Fortunately for them, they didn’t draft Devin Funchess even though they could have since they drafted in June before he opted out for the 2020 season.
  • Stacking three Bengals on one team was not an isolated phenomenon. Two teams in $100 entry fee leagues (Flex and SBB) drafted the same three Bengals RBs (Joe Mixon, Trayveon Williams and Giovani Bernard). They both even got Williams and Bernard with the same picks (#249 and #273 respectively). Another two teams (Toronto Squad and Young & Dumb) had three Bengals WRs. Toronto Squad drafted A.J. Green, Tee Higgins and Auden Tate, while Young & Dumb went with Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins and John Ross. Young & Dumb loves Bengals since they have those three WRs, two RBs (Mixon and Bernard) and rookie QB Joe Burrow.
  • TFFO figured that he wanted a piece of the New England running game, so they went out and drafted Sony Michel, James White, Damien Harris and J.J. Taylor. Rex Burkhead went undrafted in that league and at the end of the draft, TFFO had a little over $7 million in cap room. To avoid Rex having hurt feelings about this situation, TFFO should spend part on their leftover cap room if they still have it. Might as well go get Lamar Miller while you’re at it.
  • Not to be outdone, Boomer2377 drafted four Eagles WRs. They avoided both DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffrey for good reason and went with Jalen Reagor, Hightower, Ward and Watkins in that order. I’m guessing Boomer2377 is an Eagles fan because they also have both Carson Wentz and Jalen Hurts on their team as well.
  • Only four TEs had their backup drafted by the same team in more than one Dynasty Owner league. In addition to Engram, they were Darren Waller (handcuffed by Foster Moreau), Tyler Higbee (handcuffed by rookie Brycen Hopkins) and Austin Hooper (handcuffed by David Njoku). All these handcuffs were drafted twice.
  • The Clown Punchers took my recommendation of drafting three QBs (https://dynastyowner.com/2020/05/draft-tips-2020/), but possibly didn’t read the part about having them on different teams since they decided to draft three Kansas City QBs (Patrick Mahomes, Chad Henne and Jordan Ta’amu). Hopefully, Mahomes stays healthy and Matt Moore isn’t the backup, or The Clown Punchers will be in trouble.
  • Many Dynasty Owners like a good handcuff, but Pohlcat, a $100 entry fee league Dynasty Owner, really, really likes to handcuff backfield players. Pohlcat drafted Lamar Jackson and RGIII, Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley, Todd Gurley and Ito Smith, plus two potential Giants backups to Saquon Barkley in Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman. No word on why Pohlcat didn’t handcuff any WRs or TEs.
  • Does it count as a handcuff if you draft the backup before the starter?  Asking for Ball Busters who drafted Quintez Cephus of the Lions with the #153 pick then took the starter in Detroit, Marvin Jones, over 100 picks later on with the #256 pick.
  • Finally, the Midwest Tradesman spent only $34 shy of $33 million, or 30% of their salary cap, on Bengals WRs when they drafted Tyler Boyd ($10.75 million), A.J. Green ($17.971 million) and John Ross ($4,278,966).

Conclusions

There are a lot of ways to handcuff your starters in Dynasty Owner, but really no consensus on which one is best or which starters are most worth a handcuff. It’s your Dynasty, handcuff your guys if you want to and with who you want. This analysis covered 43 Dynasty Owner leagues with over 500 teams that had 300 identified handcuffs of 74 different players. That’s a lot of variety, but also indicates that there are a lot of Dynasty Owners who, even in this era of COVID-19, aren’t handcuffing.

In terms of position, running back was the most handcuffed position and by league, Dynasty Owners in $100 leagues were most likely to utilize handcuffs. We had a surprise RB (James Conner) be the most handcuffed player overall, even though he has an ADP of 49.8 and is the 26th RB off the draft board on average. The top QB (Lamar Jackson) and WR (Michael Thomas) were more heavily handcuffed than other players at their position, but in line with other high draft picks like RBs Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley. And if you handcuffed a TE, you are a rare breed indeed as I only identified 17 TE handcuffs in total, or half of leagues has a team with a handcuffed TE.

We are less than a month out from the 2020 NFL season and three are more articles coming from myself and Chris Wolf (@ckwolf21 on Twitter). The podcast series with myself and Dynasty Owner CEO Tim Peffer will continue to be posted on the Dynasty Owner channel on YouTube and other places (iTunes, Spotify, Spreaker) as well. Subscribe to the YouTube channel and make sure to “Like” all of the videos to help promote them. We have over 400 subscribers on YouTube now and thank you all for watching and listening. All of this great content is available to help you win your Dynasty Owner league and maybe become the winner of the 2020 Chase for the Ring!

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