Green Bay Packers Contract Breakdown

Hello Dynasty Owners and welcome.  Today I am going to wrap up the NFC North as I talk about the final team from the division, The Green Bay Packers.  My goal was to leave the Packers until the end of the division in order to allow more time for Aaron Rodgers news to become clearer.  Well, as I expected, nothing much has changed in the past three weeks.  If anything, it seems like there is more uncertainty than ever.  So where does the drama stem from?  I suppose no one knows the exact reasons Rodgers is disgruntled with the Packers’ leadership, but I think it’s safe to assume that it revolves around a couple of key issues.

First is the fact that the Packers have not won a Super Bowl since SB XLV (2010 season).  Not only have they not won a Super Bowl in that time period, they haven’t been back to the Super Bowl since 2010 either.  This is clearly disappointing given the talent the team has had over the past decade (including Rodgers).

Second, is the fact that the Packers have not drafted a wide receiver or running back in the first round of the NFL Draft since 2002.  The last player was Javon Walker (WR) in 2002, and he was drafted three years before Rodgers.  That’s right, since Aaron Rodgers has been a Green Bay Packer, they have taken zero running backs or wide receivers in the first round.  In addition, there have only been five wide receivers taken in the second round since Aaron Rodgers was drafted in 2005.  They are Terrence Murphy (2005), Greg Jennings (2006), Jordy Nelson (2008), Randall Cobb (2011) and Davante Adams (2014).  Every other wide receiver that played for the Packers was either a lower pick or was not acquired through the draft.  The Packers are notorious (especially in the last ten years) for not investing in early offensive weapons, especially pass catchers.

Finally, and most importantly, the Packers selected Rodgers’ replacement (Jordan Love) in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.  Now, I’m not going to bad mouth this pick as much as many analysts have, but it did seem odd given the fact that Green Bay was one game away from reaching the Super Bowl the year prior.  It seemed, in my amateur opinion, that the Packers organization was taking what they had for granted a little more than they should have.  Regardless, Love was drafted with the 26th overall pick.  The Packers traded up for Love, and it has been stated that Rodgers was unaware Love was going to be drafted.  There have been rumblings and rumors of other issues within the organization, but these are the main issues that I have noticed.

So, what happens next?  The answer is…only Rodgers knows, and that may be an incorrect statement in itself.  Maybe he hasn’t made up his mind, but I see only two likely outcomes.  First, Rodgers plays, and he plays damn well like he always has.  The second option is that he sits out for a portion or all of the 2021 season.  I see this being less likely as this situation will get ugly and expensive for both parties.  The third option is that he is traded, but I think that has a very low chance of happening.  Packers GM Brian Gutekunst has stated that Rodgers will not be traded.  In the end, I don’t have much for you other than speculation.  Rodgers ($33,500,000) is owned in 71 percent of Dynasty Owner leagues as some people have already cut ties with the 2020 NFL MVP.

Free Agents

There were four notable free agents that the Green Bay Packers had at the end of the 2020 season.  All have signed with their respective teams for the upcoming season and only one of them will not be playing for the Packers.  That player is Jamaal Williams…

Williams joins the rival Detroit Lions.  He leaves behind 119 carries and 31 receptions.  Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillion will look to pick up the extra opportunities.

Allen Lazard was issued a tender by the Green Bay Packers so he will remain with the team for at least one more season.  Lazard was an exclusive-rights free agent which means that he had less than three accrued seasons in the NFL.  Given that fact, he had virtually zero leverage as he is unable to negotiate a contract with another team.  The tender was issued to Lazard, at the league minimum ($675,000), and he had almost no say in the matter.  Lazard will once again be a cheap wide receiver stash with the possibility of becoming the number two wide receiver in Green Bay.

Robert Tonyan was a restricted free agent which means he had a little more leverage than Lazard.  In Tonyan’s case, he was issued a second round tender by the Packers, but he was then also able to go out and negotiate with other teams if he chose to do so.  In the end, Tonyan signed the second round tender and will make $3,384,000 for one year.  Tonyan will be a sneaky pick in startup drafts this year.  His low salary and low ADP make him one of the tight ends I would target later in a draft.

Finally, we have the twelve million dollar man, Aaron Jones.  Jones finished as Dynasty Owner’s RB5 despite missing two games due to injury.  The pay increase that he just received will tank his overall Dynasty Owner value, but I would feel pretty confident if I did end up drafting him.  If you are able to save money elsewhere in the draft, he will be a solid RB1 for the 2021 season.

Contract Breakdown

Similar to last week, today I am only going to break down a single player.  His name is Robert Tonyan.  Tonyan broke out last season as a nearly unknown player.  He came into the 2020 season as the suspected number one tight end for Green Bay, but he was still barely owned in any league, even Dynasty Owner.  It took a couple of weeks for people to start taking notice of Tonyan, but after five touchdowns in the first four games, he couldn’t be ignored anymore.  In the end, he finished as TE5 with 52 receptions, 586 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.  The touchdowns are really what catapulted him above fellow tight ends like Mark Andrews, Noah Fant and Mike Gesicki.  He actually tied Travis Kelce for the most touchdowns by a tight end last season.  That TE5 finish is a little deceiving due to the fact that Tonyan (TE5) produced 138.2 points less than Kelce (TE1).  Tonyan also produced over 100 points less than Darren Waller (TE2).  The point I’m trying to make (and that I’ve made before) is that after the top tier tight ends, point differences between players become more negligible.  Let me give you an example…

Here is the 2020 TE5 through TE10…

FinishPlayerCurrent SalaryRecYardsTDsFantasy Points
TE5R. Tonyan$3,384,0005258611176.6
TE6M. Andrews$863,290587017168.1
TE7M. Gesicki$1,652,981537036159.3
TE8N. Fant$3,147,680626733149.3
TE9H. Hurst$2,759,007565716149.1
TE10D. Schultz$728,090636154148.5

The first thing I notice is how small of a range these tight ends have for receptions and receiving yards.  The second thing I notice is how small of a range these tight ends have for fantasy points.  As I mentioned earlier, the difference between TE1 and TE5 was 138.2 fantasy points.  The difference between TE5 and TE10 is 28.1 fantasy points.  The reality of this statistic is that it looks worse the further down you travel.  The difference between TE5 and TE20 is only 60.2 points.  Now, I’m not saying that these points aren’t appreciated or valuable because they are.  What I’m saying is that if you can for sure draft the TE5 for the 2021 season, you may not be returning much draft equity value based on how late you can draft the TE20.

At any rate, let’s return to Tonyan.  He is predicted to finish as TE18 in Dynasty Owner for the 2021 season.  If he does produce at this level he will not be able to be relied on as a starting tight end.  I would be more than happy to have him as my bench tight end, but he would have to keep up his 2020 touchdown rate to become a starter on my team.  He should be owned in every DO league (and at his moment he is), but you are going to need a better tight end on your roster if you want to win the tight end position week after week.

This brings me to another overarching theme that I thought about while writing this article.  It is going to be almost impossible for someone to win the Chase for the Ring without one of the top three tight ends at the end of the season.

(If you don’t know what the Chase for the Ring is, check out dynastyowner.com for more info.  Additionally, I am going to be doing a spotlight on Chase for the Ring in my article next week.  Be sure to check out that article and video breakdown for more info.)

Last year, the two players were Kelce and Waller.  Without either of them, I don’t really see a feasible route to The Ring.  In 2021, I see that including three players.  I don’t think anyone can win the ring without Kelce, Waller or Kittle.  There is always a chance that a player like Kyle Pitts or T.J. Hockenson jumps up into that conversation, but unfortunately I think that’s the end of the list.  This is just something to keep in mind as you make trades and/or get into start up drafts.

I want to thank everyone for reading and for watching my video breakdowns on YouTube.  Message me on Twitter (@dynastyjerk) and let me know if you have any questions or concerns.  I would appreciate it if you followed @Dynasty_Owner on Twitter as well as subscribed to Dynasty Owner on YouTube.  Thank you all.  Take care and be safe.

TheJerk

Contract Breakdowns: Detroit Lions

By Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk)

There are only six more teams that remain in my “Team Breakdown” series.  Two more teams from the NFC North and the entire NFC East is all that remains.  These next six articles should lead us right through the pre-season and almost all the way to the start of the 2021 NFL season.  After I finish these six weeks’ worth of breakdowns, I will most likely give a one week recap of some of the most important players we have discussed.  I’ll also include any pre-season news or game breakdown.

Free Agents

For now, here are some of the important Lions players that were free agents after the 2020 season.  They are…

Marvin Jones

Mohamed Sanu

Kenny Golladay

Danny Amendola

Adrian Peterson

Marvin Jones had a very healthy 2020 season for the Lions.  His season included 76 receptions, 978 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns.  Believe it or not, that was good enough to be WR18 in Dynasty Owner.  Jones found himself a new team in the offseason as Detroit failed to re-sign him.  He was added by the Jaguars to the tune of a 2 year – 12.5 million dollar contract (or $6.25 million per year).  Jones is 31, and he joins a somewhat crowded receiving team.  He will compete against D.J. Chark, Laviska Shenault, James Robinson and Travis Etienne for receptions.

Mohamed Sanu signed with the San Francisco 49ers at the end of March.  If you remember, he started the 2020 season with the 49ers but was cut in October.  He spent several weeks on the Lions practice squad before seeing game time towards the end of the season.  There isn’t a whole lot to talk about with Sanu.  Unlike Jones, Sanu has been a somewhat irrelevant fantasy wide receiver over the last two years.  In 2020, he managed less than 20 receptions and only a single touchdown.  I wouldn’t declare that Sanu’s fantasy career is over, but apparently even a 1.14 million dollar contract is too expensive for Dynasty Owners.  He is owned in less than 2.5% of leagues.

Kenny Golladay is clearly the big name on this list.  He signed a 4 year – $72 million contract with the NY Giants shortly after free agency opened up.  At $18 million per year, he is the sixth most expensive wide receiver to own.  ***Trivia Question:  Golladay is tied with two other wide receivers at exactly $18,000,000 per year.  Can you guess the other two receivers?***  I’m not going to talk about Golladay as this isn’t a Giants’ article.  Instead, let’s discuss what Golladay’s vacancy means to the rest of the Lions’ offense.  There is no doubt that the departure leaves a large void in the receiving core.  The top receivers on Detroit’s depth chart are Tyrell Williams ($4,000,000), Breshad Perriman ($2,500,000), Quintez Cephus ($899,822) and T.J. Hockenson ($4,955,306).  No one would call this a great receiving core, and most would call it well below average.  If there is a silver lining, it’s the fact that none of these receivers are terribly expensive.  Of these four, Hockenson should see the most work and should have the most productive fantasy season.  But as I said, feel free to take a chance on any of the other three.  Their cheap salaries and target projections make them speculative additions.

Finally, we have two players that have yet to sign a contract.  Both Danny Amendola and Adrian Peterson were not re-signed by the Lions.  It’s unlikely either will re-sign with Detroit this late into the off-season, but it’s not impossible.  Each player will retain their previous salary on Dynasty Owner until they sign a new contract.  This isn’t a big deal for Peterson owners as his previous contract was $1,050,000 per year.  He is still owned in 11.2 percent of leagues so there is clearly a decent number of people that want to wait and see where/if the former MVP lands.  (By the way, I agree with this strategy).  Amendola on the other hand is too much of a burden to hold onto.  He will cost $5,000,000 (as a placeholder) to keep him until he re-signs.  That is too much, and it just takes up valuable space on your roster.  Amendola is owned in less than 1 percent of Dynasty Owner leagues, and that is an appropriate number until his contract situation becomes clear.

That finishes the past and present free agents.  Today, I’m going to break down a single player.  His name is D’Andre Swift…

Contract Breakdown

For this contract breakdown, I am going to use a stat that I used last season.  This stat appeared in my “Opportunity is (Almost) Everything” articles.  In those articles, I showed some player’s total opportunities (rushes + targets), opportunities per snap, and points per opportunity.  Points per opportunity (Points/Opp) is what I was to discuss with you today.  On November 11th last year, I wrote about how D’Andre Swift was leading all running backs, inside the Top 35, in Points/Opp.  This is an excerpt from that article..

“Who do you think leads the Top 35 running backs in points per opportunity (efficiency rating)?  That player is D’Andre Swift.  He is currently averaging 1.30 fantasy points per opportunity (rushes plus targets).  To put that in context, the number two player in efficiency is Alvin Kamara at 1.28 points/opportunity.  If Swift had the same number of opportunities as Kamara and stayed on the same efficiency pace, he would lead all running backs in fantasy points this year.  Obviously Swift has a small sample size as far as opportunities go, but he shouldn’t be penalized for that.  He has been one of the most efficient players in all of football this year, and it’s time he deserves some praise and hopefully some increased usage.  I was so shocked when I saw him at the top of the list that I simply wrote “SWIFT!!!” in my rough draft.  I will be upgrading him in my rankings, and I look forward to tracking his Points/Opp throughout the season and his career.  – TheJerk, Opportunity is (Almost) Everything, 11/11/20

Essentially, this was a way to further try and sum up a player’s raw value or efficiency.  This statistic takes into account the fact that some players may not see a lot of playing time for various reasons.  It simply shows how many points a player averages for a single opportunity.  Here is how the Top 20 running back point scorers fared in Points/Opp in the 2020 season…

 Fantasy PointsCarriesTargetsPoints/Opp
A. Kamara379.91871071.29
N. Hines203.689761.23
D. Swift188.8114571.10
N. Chubb218.7190181.05
C. Carson186.8141461.00
A. Jones262.9201631.00
J. McKissic188.4851100.97
D. Cook352.8312540.96
J. Taylor261.8232400.96
A. Gibson204.2170440.95
D. Henry368.1378310.90
K. Hunt221.5198510.89
M. Davis205.5165700.87
J. Robinson259.4240600.86
D. Montgomery269.8247680.86
R. Jones192.3192420.82
M. Gordon198.4215440.77
J. Jacobs236.2273450.74
K. Drake193.2239310.72
E. Elliott221.7245710.70

D’Andre comes in at third in this efficiency ranking.  Here is another way I like to describe this statistic.  If every player on this list had the exact same opportunities throughout the year, and produced at the same rate they did in 2020, this list is how they would rank at the end of the season.  Swift was more efficient than Chubb, but he was slightly less efficient than Hines and Kamara.  What’s even more impressive is that all four of these running backs were on cheap salaries in the 2020 season.  I know what some of you are thinking…”Yeah, but it’s expected that as the volume increases, the production tends to decrease.”  I would largely agree with this statement.  Bodies get worn down throughout the year, and more volume means more chance for injury.  Even if injury doesn’t occur, people just get tired.  However, as you can see from the list above, no one in the Top 7 had 300 opportunities.  The only players that had more than 300 were Cook, Montgomery, Jacobs, Elliott and Henry (Henry actually had over 400 opportunities).

Back to my main point though…D’Andre Swift was one of the most efficient running backs in 2020.  This isn’t even taking into account his very cheap salary ($2,134,728).  I predict that Swift’s usage will increase by around 60 percent in the 2021 season.  I don’t expect his efficiency to stay the same (unless he’s the next coming of Alvin Kamara), but I do expect him to remain in the Top 10 running backs in terms of Points/Opp.

***The two other wide receivers that make exactly $18,000,000 per year are Tyreek Hill and Odell Beckham Jr.

Thank you for tuning in and reading.  Message me on Twitter (@dynastyjerk) and let me know if you have any questions or concerns.  I would appreciate it if you followed @Dynasty_Owner on Twitter as well as subscribed to Dynasty Owner on YouTube.  Thank you all.  Take care and be safe.

TheJerk

Contract Breakdown: Chicago Bears

By Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk)

As I started in my previous article, today we are going to continue with the NFC North.  I laid out the division last week, and did a mini breakdown of each team and how they finished last year.  I didn’t include the chart of their finishes though so here it is…

 RecordSeason Outcome
Packers13-3Eliminated, Conference
Bears8-8Eliminated, Wild Card
Vikings7-9Eliminated, Regular Season
Lions5-11Eliminated, Regular Season

The Bears finished second in the division with an 8-8 record.  Their lukewarm success was mainly based on their defensive efficiency.  The Bears ranked in the top half of least total yards and points allowed on defense.  Their quarterback play was shaky at best, and most people would call it below average.  Today, we are going to break down a couple of players from the Bears and use our value rating, Dynasty Dollars per Point (DD/PT), to assist us.

Contract Breakdowns

As much as I would like to talk about Justin Fields in this breakdown, the truth is that I would be basing it on massive speculation.  Not only do we not know when/if he is going to play this season, but then we would have to predict how productive he would be in those games.  Therefore, I’m going to center these two breakdowns around established NFL players that have a large sample size of production.  First, let’s talk about David Montgomery.

If I asked you where Monty finished in DO last season, do you think you’d be able to guess?  I had a guess, and it wasn’t even close.  My guess was RB9.  He actually finished as RB4!  That’s right, he was the fourth most productive running back in 2020.  While he was actually very consistent throughout the entire season, he finished on an absolute tear.  Here are his final six games…

 CarriesReceptionsTotal YardsTDsFantasy Points
Week 12 (GB)115143127.3
Week 13 (DET)174111227.1
Week 14 (HOU)113155126.5
Week 15 (MIN)321162231.2
Week 16 (JAC)232121120.1
Week 17 (GB)229132128.2

That is one incredible ending to a season, and one that I somewhat predicted in my “League Winners and Playoff Predictions” article near the end of last season.  I made a bold prediction that Montgomery would finish the season with…

52 rushes – 285 total yards – 4 touchdowns

He blew those numbers away.  But equally impressive is how much value he provided on a season long basis.  When we talk about DD/PT, we are using a metric to try and define how “valuable” a player is.  It is used to show how efficient a player is when you compare them to their salary.  Montgomery finished behind only one running back in terms of DD/PT for the 2020 season.  His name is James Robinson.  Here is how Montgomery compares to his peers (there aren’t many).

 Salary/YearTotal FPsDD/FP
James Robinson$763,333259.4$2,943
David Montgomery$1,003,845269.8$3,721
Nyheim Hines$796,137203.6$3,910
Myles Gaskin$651,694162.2$4,018
Chase Edmonds$728,090176.8$4,118

(2020 stats)

There are a few things I notice right off the bat.  First, Monty not only had the most fantasy points of anyone in this list, but he also had the highest salary.  You may say, “well yeah, but those numbers are so close together that it is pretty much negligible.”  I wouldn’t disagree with that statement in terms of actual monetary value.  However, when you look at the percentage of these salaries when compared to each other, that is where it gets impressive.  For example…

David Montgomery makes $352,151 more than Myles Gaskin.  This is not a large chunk of money in terms of Dynasty Owner.  (It is 0.28 percent of the salary cap)  What it also means is that Gaskin makes 65% of what Monty does.  In order for Montgomery to have more value than Gaskin, he had to produce 249.8 fantasy points in 2020.  We can see from above that he ended with 269.8.  I do realize that Gaskin missed a big chunk of the season, but he was also very productive in the games that he played in.  The point is that Monty was an extreme value in 2020.  He was close to the most valuable running back overall.  So, the question is…”do I expect it to continue?”

I expect Montgomery to continue to be one of the most valuable running backs in 2021, yes.  What I don’t expect is that he will be as valuable.  One thing I conveniently forgot to mention is that Tarik Cohen played in less than three games last year.  He tore his ACL in Week 3 and did not return for the season.  Cohen will without a doubt take touches away from Montgomery (especially receptions).  This combined with the quarterback uncertainty in Chicago makes me hesitate on placing Montgomery in the top tier of value for the next couple of years.  Would I be happy to draft him in the third round?  Yes, I would, but as you can see from my running back rankings article a few weeks ago (https://dynastyowner.com/2021/06/contract-breakdown-running-back-top-10/), he is not in my Top 10 for value over the next three to four seasons.

The second and final player I want to quickly mention is Allen Robinson.  I talked about him last week as we know that he signed his franchise tag earlier this offseason.  His tag is worth $17,880,000 for a single year.  This makes him the ninth most expensive wide receiver on a yearly basis.  Here is how his peers compare to him…

 Salary/YearTotal FPsDD/FP
Mike Evans$16,500,000248.6$66,372
Robert Woods$16,250,000243$66,872
Allen Robinson$17,880,000262.9$68,011
Brandin Cooks$16,200,000232$69,828
Cooper Kupp$15,750,000207.3$75,977

(2020 stats)

***Full Disclosure:  Some of these players’ contracts have increased since the 2020 season.  Their DD/PT were actually different in the 2020 season as it was happening.  For my example, using these numbers do work though.  We are just using their 2020 stats compared to their current salaries.***

Robinson has a higher salary and more fantasy points in 2020 than any other player on this list.  That being said, they are all in the same ballpark for value.  Who on this list would you rather have?  If it were my pick, it would probably be Robinson.  Not only does he have the highest potential of any year, but he should see the most volume of any player on this list.  Robinson does not have a cheap enough salary to be a Top 10 value wide receiver, but there is no doubt he will be ranked as a Top 20 value wide receiver.

That concludes another article.  Thank you for tuning in and reading.  Message me on Twitter (@dynastyjerk) and let me know if you have any questions or concerns.  I would appreciate it if you followed @Dynasty_Owner on Twitter as well as subscribed to Dynasty Owner on YouTube.  Thank you all.  Take care and be safe. TheJerk

Wide Receiver Top 10 Rankings: Kansas City Chiefs Breakdown

Kansas City Chiefs’ Breakdown

Hello Owners, and thank you for continuing to read my weekly articles.  I hope all of you are also able to watch my video breakdowns on YouTube or at least listen to them via podcast.  As all of you know, I am very passionate about Dynasty Owner.  I imagine most of you are too if you follow my articles.  I want to thank you all for supporting this platform, and for spreading the news about Dynasty Owner.  With that out of the way, I want to talk about last week’s article a little before I jump into this one.

Since the start of 2021,  I have been centering my articles around each NFL division and, in turn, each NFL team.  Last week was a little different, and I didn’t explain why.  When I decided to go with this ranking theme for the month of June, I expected everything to go pretty smooth.  We have four main positions that need to be ranked, and we have four teams in each division.  I was going to try and put one player from each team in their respective position rankings.  The quarterback rankings started with Justin Herbert.  Herbert is my number one quarterback in Dynasty Owner.  That week worked well.  Running back rankings, however, turned out to be harder than I thought.  I wrongfully assumed that either Josh Jacobs (LV) or Clyde Edwards-Helaire (KC) would be my delegate from the running back position.  (Hell, I had them both ranked as Top 5 running backs last year.)  As I said, that was a wrong assumption.  As soon as I stated each player out, I quickly realized that Jacobs belonged nowhere near the Top 10 and CEH was going to rank no higher than RB14.  I wanted to sneak CEH into the Top 10, and I thought about it, but it wouldn’t have been reflective of my true rankings.  Therefore (as you probably noticed) I did not have a “team theme” for last week.  While working on my wide receiver rankings, I found that we are going to have the same issue.  No matter how hard I tried, there was no way to fit a Raiders or Broncos wide receiver into the Top 10.  Here is my resolution.  Next week I will combine the Raiders and Broncos breakdowns into one article.  The next article will discuss Top 10 tight end rankings and both teams will have a tight end in the Top 10 for my rankings.

Wide Receiver Rankings

A few important facts to note before I release the rankings…

First, all Dynasty Owner leagues are full PPR (Point per Reception).  This means that you will receive one full point for a reception that any of your players completes.  Obviously, running backs and tight ends will receive these valuable points as well.  For the most part though, wide receivers account for the majority of the PPR points that are handed out.  This places a big emphasis on wide receivers especially if you would compare it to a ½ PPR or no PPR league.  So, what does this mean for my rankings?  To be honest, it plays into them, but does not affect the wide receiver to wide receiver rankings much.  What it does affect is my overall rankings, especially how low reception running backs compare to high reception wide receivers.  Think about Derek Henry for example.  There is a reason that he was not ranked in my Top 10 running backs last week, and the reason is not completely his salary.  Henry ranked 45th among all running backs in terms of receptions in 2020.  While that drops him below some of his pass catching peers, it also drops him below some wide receivers that you may not expect.

Second, as I mentioned in my previous article, these rankings are not only reflective of value, but they also reflect where I personally like to spend my salary cap.  I tend to avoid paying for expensive running backs (at least in the early rounds).  This allows me to pay for expensive wide receivers and quarterbacks in the middle rounds.  My rankings will reflect that, and it is the reason that I have twice as many “high contract” wide receivers as I do running backs in the Top 10.

RankPlayer2020 DO Finish2021 DO Proj FinishYears RemainingSalary
WR1Justin Jefferson793$3,280,701
WR2D.K. Metcalf652$1,146,513
WR3Tyreek Hill212$18,000,000
WR4Calvin Ridley542$2,725,178
WR5Davante Adams181$14,500,000
WR6Stefon Diggs333$14,400,000
WR7A.J. Brown1172$1,413,092
WR8Terry McLaurin2062$961,918
WR9CeeDee Lamb22153$3,502,503
WR10DeAndre Hopkins424$27,250,000

Justin Jefferson comes in as my WR1 at this moment.  What is the reason?  He’s on a rookie contract ($3,280,701) for three more years, and he was WR7 in Dynasty Owner last season.  Will he be the highest scoring wide receiver in 2021?  Probably not.  Will he be the highest scoring wide receiver over the next three years?  Probably not.  But he will be a reliably Top 10 wide receiver over those three years, and there are very few receivers who will have a lower DD/FT (Dynasty Dollars per Point).  JJ is top level value in the same way that Jonathan Taylor is top tier value.

DK Metcalf is WR2.  I project that Metcalf will outscore Jefferson over the next three seasons but that the point difference will most likely be negligible.  Given that idea, the extra year JJ has on his rookie contract is far more valuable than any year to year advantage DK has.

Here is where our “team theme” resumes.  Tyreek Hill is an unbelievably talented wide receiver playing with an unbelievably talented quarterback.  Here are Tyreek’s last three seasons…

 RecTotal YardsTDsFantasy Points/GameTotal Fantasy Points
2018871,6301320.9334
2019841,2841017.1273.9
2020931,4921822.3356.2

(Stats are based on a full 16 game season)

These numbers are very consistent, and any of these years would be on pace of a Top 10 wide receiver.  Yes, there is an elephant in the room, and it’s the fact that Hill costs $18,000,000 per year to own.  That is not a small amount, and it could be too much that you feel scared away from him.  I’m here to tell you not to be.  If you budget correctly for the rest of the draft, there is no reason that you should be worried about drafting Hill.  In one of my paid leagues, I have acquired Patrick Mahomes, Christian McCaffrey, Hill and Darren Waller.  Now, you most likely aren’t going to be able to draft all four of them in a startup league, but the point remains…it is possible to spend early and have enough cap to finish the draft.  Hill is not going to win any efficiency awards this year, but there is a very real (maybe even likely) possibility that he is the WR1 at the end of the 2021 season.  A few more points before we move on…

I haven’t mentioned the receiving bonus or Clutch Scoring that Dynasty Owner employs.  The receiving bonus is awarded as 6 points if a player has at least 200 receiving yards in a single game.  This is no doubt a rare event.  In fact, only three players in 2020 had 200 or more receiving yards in a game.  One is Tyreek Hill with 269 in Week 12 against the Buccaneers.  Can you name the other two?  (Hint: They both had exactly 200 receiving yards and only one is a wide receiver.)  While these six points being awarded is rare, Hill is the most capable player in the NFL to do it.  I’m going to make a bold prediction right now and predict that Hill will have two 200 yard receiving games in the 2021 season. 

The final thing I want to mention is Clutch Scoring.  Along with real salaries and bench scoring, Clutch Scoring is one of the many facets of Dynasty Owner that makes it unique.  Clutch Scoring is awarded as 3 points when any of your players score in the final two minutes of regulation or anytime in overtime as long as that score results in a lead change.  This also applies to tied games.  Obviously, this bonus is nearly impossible to predict, and to be honest, the success of the Chiefs hampers all of their players from receiving it.  However, if the Chiefs do find themselves down and in a two minute offense at the end of the game, Hill is one of the biggest threats to score.  We know he can score and that he can score quick.  Again, these bonuses are not likely to be awarded on a weekly basis, but Hill is one of the most capable receivers to get them.

Calvin Ridley has proven quite a bit in his young career, but he will have to prove it all again.  This time it will be as the Alpha on his team.  There have been numerous tales of secondary wide receivers that were unable to take over as the “lead receiver” after the Alpha left.  I personally believe that Ridley can and will do it.  It also doesn’t hurt that Kyle Pitts comes in as another prime weapon and matchup nightmare for future defenses.  Time will tell how successful Ridley will be as the Alpha, but with two years still on his rookie deal, he will have a lot of room for error.

Davante Adams and Stefon Diggs come in as WR5 and WR6.  Both have nearly identical salaries ($14,500,000 and $14,400,000), and they are both coming off of superb seasons (WR1 and WR3).  I wouldn’t argue with you if you liked Diggs over Adams, but Adams’ dominant season in 2020 (despite missing two games) puts him just ahead of Diggs.

A.J. Brown and Terry McLaurin rank next as rock solid value picks.  The addition of Julio Jones in Tennessee worries me somewhat as he will take volume away from Brown.  However, I believe the Julio addition makes the Titans a better team overall which will allow for longer drives and more scoring potential.

CeeDee Lamb has the most expensive contract of all the “cheap contract” receivers on this list.  Even still, he is poised to have another successful year.  Hopefully in 2021, he will have Dak Prescott for the entire season.  If he does, I’m projecting a Top 15 wide receiver finish for him.

DeAndre Hopkins rounds out these rankings, and I struggled with this pick for quite a while.  He is by far the most expensive wide receiver in the NFL (it’s not close).  However, when I look at his finish last season (WR4) and his projected finish this season (WR2), I can’t help but think that his production necessitates a spot in the list.  I am aware that Hopkins is 29 years old and is reaching the declination point for wide receivers in the NFL.  I contend that even if he only plays for the duration of the rest of his contract (4 years), he will be productive enough to warrant a top receiver ranking.  As I said in the beginning, I will gladly pay for expensive wide receivers if I can successfully draft the cheap running backs.

*The two players (other than T. Hill) that recorded 200 yard receiving games are Tyler Lockett and Darren Waller.

That does it for me this week.  Message me on Twitter (@dynastyjerk) and let me know what you agree with or disagree with as far as my rankings go.  Give me a shout if you just want to talk about fantasy football in general.  Also, I would appreciate it if you followed @Dynasty_Owner on Twitter as well as subscribed to Dynasty Owner on YouTube.  Next week I’ll wrap up this division as I bring a double team breakdown and my tight end Top 10 rankings.  Thank you all.  Take care and be safe.

TheJerk

Contract Breakdown: Running Back Top 10

Running Back Top 10

By Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Running Back Rankings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TheJerk

Contract Breakdown: Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Chargers

By Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk)

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

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

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


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

Quarterback Rankings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TheJerk

Blind Comparisons: Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins

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

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

Comparison 1

Who would you rather own in Dynasty Owner?

Player A (Alpha):

            Tua Tagovailoa

Player B (Bravo):

            24 years old

            2020 stats

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

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

            He missed two games in 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comparison 2

Player C (Charlie):

            22 years old

            2020 stats

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

            37 rec / 449 yards/ 6 TD

            He missed three games in 2020

Player D (Delta):

            Mike Gesicki

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

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

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

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

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

TheJerk

Blind Comparisons: New England Patriots

Welcome Dynasty Owners to another Wednesday article. The New England Patriots will be the focus today. It would be an understatement to say the Pats had a bad 2020 season. And it’s not even that it was that terrible of a season. It’s more that NFL fans are so used to seeing New England succeed that their failures get overblown. At any rate, a 7-9 record is not what we are used to seeing out of a Belichick run team. Here are some stats about how rare it is to see this type of season.

The Patriots had won the AFC East for 11 consecutive seasons dating back to 2008
The Patriots had not lost more than six games since 2002.
The Patriots had not finished below .500 in the regular season since 2000.
The Patriots had not finished lower than second in the AFC East since 2000.

All of these stats are true, and all of these streaks were snapped this past season. Would I be disappointed if I were a Pats fan? Sure, I wouldn’t be happy with the season’s result, but I also wouldn’t trade anything that my team had accomplished in the past for an average year. Dynasties aren’t put together in a season, and eventually a two decade long “win now” mentality will catch up with a franchise. There is nothing wrong with that. It happens to every team.

I’m a Cardinals and Blues fan (as most of you know I live in St. Louis). I’ve always said that I would sacrifice an entire decade of success for one dominant, championship winning season. Many cities go multiple decades without a championship in any of the major four sports. If I can get one a decade, then I’m happy. This is probably a radical opinion, but I feel it’s also realistic. I’m not going to recap everything that the Patriots have accomplished over the past 21 years because I think everyone reading this is well aware, but it is worth stating that a rebuild was inevitable. Obviously, Tom Brady’s departure and subsequent title with the Bucs doesn’t sit well with most New England fans, but that’s a discussion for a different article. Today, let’s talk about some comparisons.

Comparison 1

Who would you rather own in Dynasty Owner?

Player A (Alpha):
Damien Harris 2020 stats
8.9 fantasy points/game (142.5 for 16 game season)
156 rush / 38 rec / 955 total yards / 2 TDs
He missed no games in 2020

Player B (Bravo):
23 years old
2021 projected stats
9.1 fantasy points/game (154.7 total)
154 rush / 36 rec / 957 total yards / 2 TDs

So, what are your initial thoughts? My thoughts are that Harris did not have as good a season as Bravo, and that is true. That statement is also a little misleading. Bravo played all 16 games in 2020, but Harris played only 10. Here’s how their 16 game average season would have looked had they both played all 16 games and kept the same production…

Player

D. Harris

Player Bravo

Age

24

23

Points/Game

9.6

8.9

Rushes & Yards

219/1,188

156/955

TDs

3

2

Salary

$907,784

$974,500

When you look at each player’s average fantasy production per game, Harris outperformed Bravo. It’s also worth noting that Harris’s salary is slightly less than Bravo’s. In my opinion, Harris actually had a very productive 2020 season. Keep in mind, in 2020 he ranked third among all NE running backs in terms of total fantasy points. (He was third behind James White and Rex Burkhead.)

In the end, Bravo is Devin Singletary. Singletary was regularly drafted in the second or third round of 2020 startup drafts. His stock has fallen over the past year, and I’ll be surprised if he goes before the fourth round in most 2021 drafts. I would draft Harris over Devin this year. The slightly lower value of his rookie contract helps as well as the idea that Harris will command more of a lead-back role now that he is expected to come into the new season 100 percent healthy.

Comparison 2

Player C (Charlie):
26 years old
2020 stats
8.7 fantasy points/game (139.7 for 16 game season)
57 rec / 535 total yards / 5 TDs
He missed three games in 2020
2021 projected stats
9.8 fantasy points/game (166.1 total)
65 rec / 661 total yards / 5 TDs

Player D (Delta):
Jonnu Smith

Jonnu Smith had a better season than Charlie. This is almost entirely due to the fact that Jonnu put up eight receiving touchdowns and one rushing touchdown. I’m not trying to take those away. He earned them, but we all know how fluky red zone targets and touchdowns can be. Regardless, Smith scored more points in the 2020 season when compared to Charlie. Jonnu Smith finished as TE 15 on the season while Charlie finished as TE 21. This isn’t a great outcome for either player especially when you take into account their salaries. Here is the full breakdown…

Player

Player Charlie

Jonnu Smith

Age

26

25

Points/Game

8.7

9.3

Rec & Yards

56/535

44/478

TDs

5

10

Salary

$10,500,000

$12,500,000

You may be saying, “wow, these are some high prices to pay for average tight ends.” You are absolutely correct. You are paying a premium price for middle-tier tight end production. Not great value at all. Charlie is Austin Hooper. Hooper missed three games last year, but even in the games he played, he was unable to be a startable fantasy asset in about half of those. He had 6.3 points or less in six games last year. So, the question stands. Who would you rather own in Dynasty Owner? I hate to say it, but I’d rather have Hooper, and it comes down to two major factors.

The first is the elephant in the room. Jonnu is now playing for the Patriots who also signed Hunter Henry. What do you suppose is the most optimistic split between these two above-average tight ends? I would say that the best-case scenario is a 75/25 split in favor of either player. If this splits in Jonnu’s favor, then he will be a startable Dynasty Owner tight end. This, however, is a big “if.” I see their tight end committee working more like a 50/50 split. If that is the case, I see no reason how Smith can be confidently taken over Hooper. I realize that neither of these tight ends will see the field as much as Waller, Kittle, or Kelce and that’s exactly why they are low-value players.

The second factor is simply the fact that Jonnu costs 2 million dollars per year more than Hooper. While this may not seem like a lot, it is when we’re talking about similar type production over the next couple of years. I take Hooper in this comparison, but truth be told I hope I can draft a better option than either of these as my TE1.

As always, thank you for reading. Check out my video that pairs with this article. Take care and be safe.

TheJerk

Blind Comparison: New York Jets

By Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk)

Good afternoon Dynasty Owners and welcome to another Wednesday article.  This week marks the halfway point of my article series Contract Speculation and Breakdown.  We have gone through 16 NFL teams since the start of the year, and we will go through the remaining 16 prior to kickoff on Week 1.  As I’ve mentioned before, the speculation portion of my articles has dwindled.  This was expected since there is just not much to speculate about anymore.  Many of the free agents that I have talked about or planned to talk about have signed contracts.  Because of that, I’m going to dedicate these next four weeks to the one thing I enjoy writing about the most…Blind Contract Comparisons.  The first article I ever wrote for Dynasty Owner was a Blind Comparison and it’s still one of my favorites to date.  Before we start on the comparison, here is a little bit of news.

The News

Brian Hill has signed with the Tennessee Titans.  The details of this contract have not been released yet, but he will be a Titan.  Not much dynasty implication for this move.  Hill is owned in less than 25 percent of DO leagues, and the best case scenario is that he is the backup to Derrick Henry.  He may qualify as a speculative hold in case of injury.  However, I would expect a Running Back by Committee (RBBC) if an injury does occur.

Kerryon Johnson was waived by the Lions on May 5.  A very disappointing ending to a disappointing career with Detroit.  The 2018 2nd round pick by the Lions appeared to have all the talent to lock up the running back position for years.  I believed it when he was drafted.  Unfortunately, Johnson was unable to surpass 1,000 yards in any season, and he averaged only 584 all-purpose yards per season.  Don’t drop him quite yet though.  The Eagles have claimed him.  This makes for an interesting add as he has the potential to provide competition to Miles Sanders.

Teddy Bridgewater was traded to Denver.  His contract is 1 year – $11,499,000.  This seems to be a fair contract for Teddy.  He will be coming into the Broncos organization looking to put some pressure on the incumbent quarterback Drew Lock.  I truly believe that competition breeds better players.  In the end, I see Teddy taking the majority of the snaps for Denver in 2021.  If he does, an $11.5 million salary will prove to be a value.

Blind Comparison

For these four weeks of comparison articles, I am going to do something a little different.  In the past, I have given the readers two players to choose from while I released the exact same statistics for each player.  Now, I’m going to give you a name and compare him to a group of stats that correlate with a certain player.  This may be challenging to compare as you’ll not only have to try and deduce who the mystery player is, but you’ll also have to rely on  your memory of what the named player has done over the past couple of seasons.  Let’s get after it…

Comparison

The question is:  Who would you rather own in Dynasty Owner?

Player A (Alpha):

            27 years old

            2020 stats

            14.6 fantasy points/game (232.8 for 16 game season)

            79 rec / 932 yards / 8 TDs (16 game season)

            He missed 4 games in 2020

            Salary is between $8 and $10 million per year

Player B (Bravo):

            Corey Davis

Let’s break it down…The first thing you have to decide is how good Corey Davis was last year.  So, what do you think?  Did Davis outperform Alpha on a per game basis?  The answer is yes.  Here are his stats…

Corey Davis:

            26 years old

            2020 stats

            15.9 fantasy points/game (253.9 for 16 game season)

            87 rec / 1,312 yards / 7 TDs (16 game season)

            He missed 4 games in 2020

            Salary is $12,500,000 per year

Very impressive isn’t it?  I thought so.  Even more impressive is the fact that Davis was 16 yards away from 1,000 receiving despite missing a fourth of the season.  But you may say, “well yeah, but now he’s playing for the Jets.”  That is a fair and solid point (or at least it seems to be).  What are your concerns about Corey Davis this year?  Here are my Top 3…

  1. He’s on a new team.  Specifically, a team that passes at a low volume.
  2. He’s a “late breakout” wide receiver on his second contract and is 26 years old.
  3. He’s playing for the New York Jets.  The team that was somehow able to screw up tanking.

I don’t want to beat up on Davis or the Jets, but all three of these points are valid.  Now let me tell you why I don’t care about any of them when it comes to this comparison.

First, it is true that Davis has found a new home, and it happens to be on the team that was 29th in passing attempts in 2020.  What’s also true is that Davis leaves the Titans who were 30th in passing attempts in 2020.  Yes, the Jets had 14 more pass attempts than the Titans.  They were, no doubt, less valuable attempts because Tannehill is better than Darnold, but the volume was there.

Second, it is true that he’s a late breakout receiver, but so is Alpha.  In fact, Alpha is 19 months older than Davis.

Finally, and most importantly, yes Davis is playing for the hapless Jets, but here is the twist…

so is Alpha.

That’s right, Alpha is Corey Davis’ teammate, Jamison Crowder.  Here is how the final stats compare next to each other.

PlayerAgePoints/GameRecYardsTDsSalary
J. Crowder2714.6799328$9,500,000
C. Davis2615.9871,3127$12,500,000

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

I would be willing to guess that the majority of Owners reading this would have chosen Alpha at the start of this comparison.  I could be wrong, but that’s my initial impression.  You still may like Crowder over Davis, and that’s fine.  A $3,000,000 discount is not negligible.  But if it’s my decision, I’m taking Davis.  I will pay up to get the more talented, younger receiver on the team.  For what it’s worth, the ownership percentage agrees with me.  Crowder is owned in 53 percent of DO leagues while Davis is owned in 80 percent of DO leagues.

As always, thank you for reading.  I’m back this week with a video that pairs with this article.  I would suggest giving this a read and then watching the video for a more personal touch.  Next week, we will analyze a team that has some more offensive weapons to compare than the Jets.  Take care and be safe.

TheJerk