AFC Contract Breakdowns

By Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk)

Hello Dynasty Owners. Thank you for taking the time to read, and thank you for supporting Dynasty Owner in general. If you caught my article and video last week, you know that I recapped all of my AFC Contract Breakdown articles. The article was a little longer than usual due to the amount of information that I wanted to fit. Well, today is going to be the same as I’m going to recap all the contract breakdowns I did for NFC teams throughout the year. Let’s go in the same order that we did for the AFC recap. That means we are going to start with the NFC East.

Contract Breakdown Recap

NFC East

I just finished the NFC East articles this past month so they should all be fresh in your mind.  The first team I wrote about was the Dallas Cowboys. In the Cowboys article, I did a breakdown on Michael Gallup. Gallup continues to be undervalued heading into the regular season. With a single year left on his very cheap contract ($880,995), he is a prime player I would target as a Bench wide receiver.

For the Giants article, I compared all four of their top wide receivers. They are Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, Sterling Shephard and Darius Slayton. The main takeaway from this comparison was to show that I value Kenny Golladay as a top wide receiver, even with his expensive contract. No, he will not be the biggest value in Dynasty Owner this year, but he will be a productive starting wide receiver. It’s also worth noting that I ranked Toney last for the 2021 season, but he jumps up to second when we look at a three year window. I don’t expect Toney to make a big impact this year, but I’m hopeful for more production in the 2022 and 2023 seasons.

Jalen Reagor was compared to DeVonta Smith in my Eagles article.  More specifically, I compared their ADPs.  Here are their ADPs from August 15th…

 SalaryADP
DeVonta Smith$5,035,34857.2
Jalen Reagor$3,317,669147.9

That is too big of a gap for a single year difference in contract. Yes, Smith is the shiny new weapon, but Reagor has had an extra season to become comfortable in this offense. Here are their current ADPs…

 SalaryADP
DeVonta Smith$5,035,34857.9
Jalen Reagor$3,317,669148.8

There was really no change at all. Reagor continues to be a value and is being widely disrespected coming into 2021.

Finally, I wrote about the Washington Football Team just two weeks ago. In the Football Team article, I talked about one of my favorite players this season. I have been targeting him in every Dynasty Owner league as well as every redraft and keeper league that I’m involved in. That player is Antonio Gibson. Gibson is projected to have league winning value. League winning value happens when a player is on a cheap contract ($1,233,159) and is projected to be a top tier player (RB12). He is a later drafted running back who could truly finish as the RB1.

NFC North

In the Vikings article, I did a mini breakdown on all four positions, but the one I want to mention is tight end. In the tight end breakdown, I talked about the upside of Irv Smith Jr. I wrote…

“Smith Jr. has two more years on his rookie contract. That deal is worth $1,449,609 per year. He will be the third or fourth receiving option on a low volume passing team, but his age (22) and salary should give you some peace of mind when drafting him. Don’t expect him to catapult to a Top 5 tight end in terms of fantasy points. I do think it’s possible he jumps to become a Top 5 tight end in terms of value though.”

Well, a lot of what I stated is a moot point now as Irv Smith Jr. is going to miss significant time with a knee injury. He will miss the entire 2021 fantasy season. It looks like I will have to push my optimism for him off for another year.

When I wrote about David Montgomery in the Bears article, I pinned him as a high value running back. Here is who I compared him to…

 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)

Monty will receive a great deal of volume this season even if it won’t be as much receiving work as we’d like to see. Regardless, he will be a Top 10 value for running backs barring an injury.

The main takeaway from the Lions article was how efficient D’Andre Swift was last season. After all, Dynasty Owner is about finding efficiency. Swift was the third most efficient running back last season in terms of fantasy points per opportunity. There is no doubt that efficiency almost always decreases as usage increases. Even with a slight decrease in efficiency, Swift will still be a top running back value when you take his salary ($2,134,728) into account.

Robert Tonyan finished as the TE5 last year. This was a very impressive season for him and Green Bay, but in my Packers article, I gave some reason for pause. When I hear “TE5 finish”, I get excited as most people probably do. The problem with this is the massive difference between TE5 and TE2. It’s also disappointing to see the difference between TE5 and TE20. Here is an excerpt from my Packers’ article that breaks it down…

“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 D. 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.”

“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.”

Tonyan is a fine tight end to draft or own, especially if you get him for cheap, but I would not feel confident holding him as my number one tight end throughout the season.

NFC South

In the Falcons article, I broke down Hayden Hurst and Matt Ryan’s contracts. The acquisition of Kyle Pitts throws a lot of uncertainty on Hurst’s situation. Instead of talking about either of them, let me share an interesting statistic with you. I noted that the Falcons’ offense was not the problem with their inability to win games. The Falcons actually outscored the Bears, Rams and Football Team in 2020. All three of them made the playoffs. It was actually the team’s defense and inability to win close games that caused their 4-12 record. The Falcons were involved in ten one score games. They lost eight of those ten games. Take what you will from that statistic.

The Buccaneers article centered around deciding how to handle the running back committee in Tampa Bay. To summarize the breakdown, I would say that both players will obviously hamper the other’s fantasy production.  I wouldn’t want either to be one of my top two running backs, but I would be comfortable with either as my FLEX or Bench running back.

I wrote about Christian McCaffrey (CMC) in my Panthers article. There really isn’t much more I can say about McCaffrey that you haven’t heard already. He is the best fantasy producer in football and his 2019 and 2020 16 game average pace proves that…

 Rush AttRush YdsRecRec YardsTDsFP
2019 Season2871,3871161,00519482.2
2020 Season3141,1949079432481.6

While I don’t think he will reach 480 fantasy points this year, I also didn’t expect him to pace out for that in the past two years. CMC is a running back and wide receiver rolled into one position. Congratulations if you are able to roster him.

In the Saints article, I mainly wrote about the upcoming NFL news as this was written prior to free agency opening or the NFL Draft. With that news behind us, there is no reason to talk about it. Instead, I can mention Emmanuel Sanders who was released by the Saints two weeks after I wrote my initial article. He was added to Buffalo’s wide receiving core as an ancillary piece. Sanders is 34 years old and is the WR3 (at best) for the Bills coming into the start of the season. He’s probably worth a roster spot for $6,000,000, but I don’t see him as much more than a Bench wide receiver.

NFC West

I started this entire Contract Breakdown series by talking about the NFC West. Let’s wrap it up with them now.

In the Cardinals article, Kyler Murray was featured. I put together a list of a few of the top producing quarterbacks and compared them using their 2021 salary and 2022 projected salaries. Here is the list…

Player2021 Salary2022 Projected Salary2021 Proj DD/FP2022 Proj DD/FP
L. Jackson$2,367,912$37,000,000$5,920$92,500
D. Watson$39,000,000$39,000,000$81,590$81,590
D. Lock$1,752,704$1,752,704$7,825$7,825
P. Mahomes$45,000,000$45,000,000$89,286$89,286
J. Allen$5,295,760$43,000,000$10,263$77,519
J. Herbert$6,644,688$6,644,688$15,381$15,381
K. Murray$8,789,661$8,789,661$19,067$19,067

The point of this list was to show how valuable Murray currently is, and how much more valuable he will become over the next year. As I mentioned in last week’s article, I would prefer only Justin Herbert to Kyler Murray.

In the Rams article, I broke down Robert Woods and Jared Goff’s contracts. At the time of the article, Goff was still on the Rams. Regardless of his NFL team, Goff is currently on an awful contract, at least for Dynasty Owner, and it would be very tough for any Owner to compete for a title with his salary on the books.

In the 49ers article, I did a blind comparison of Brandon Aiyuk and D.J. Moore. The end result was me going for D.J. Moore, but it was a lot closer than I thought it would have been. Aiyuk was on a tear last year and should continue that run into 2021 even with George Kittle returning.  Here is the comparison…

 TargetsReceptionsYardsYds/RecTotal Touchdowns
B. Aiyuk1288099612.49
D.J. Moore125701,27218.14

(This is a full 16 game season based on per game averages in 2020)

Finally, we have the Seahawks article, where I compared Tyler Lockett against himself. That’s right, Lockett had a very Jekyll and Hyde type of season.

 ReceptionsYardsTouchdownsFantasy Points
Lockett 1st Half1061,23014325.4
Lockett 2nd Half948786215.8

(This is a full 16 game season based on per game averages in 2020)

Lockett excelled in the first half of the season, and while he was still good in the second half, it was nothing close to the first. I then proposed this question: “What if his first half had the worse stats while the second half had the better stats?” The answer is clear for me. He would be ranked much higher coming into 2021. It makes sense. It’s human nature to put more weight on what we have seen more recently. My point is this though…we know that Lockett can be dominant. We saw it in the first half, and I truly believe that his second half numbers are his absolute floor this season. Continue to roster Lockett confidently. I find myself acquiring him in almost every mock draft and redraft league that I’m in.

Thank you for reading, and look out for my video that pairs with this article. The NFL regular season starts this week. I can’t wait to come to you next week with actual NFL stat analysis.  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

How to: Dynasty Owner Rebuild

By: Jay Pounds (@JayPoundsNFL)

Guest:  Bryce Williams (@BryceNFL)

Ladies and Gentlemen. This will be my last off-season article before the regular season starts back up in just six days with the Dallas Cowboys taking on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football. While the pre-season has been fun, it is time for the real deal players and some real NFL football. I want to take a second and just kind of wrap things up from this off-season before we jump into the last of the pre-season news, as well as today’s article. In the Dynasty Owner off-season, you likely went through a ton of firsts in your fantasy career like cutting big name players you did not want to cut but could not afford to keep, trading good players away just to get something of value in return, and dealing with the restraints of a salary cap. Welcome to the small sample size of what NFL GMs face on a daily basis. The thing that stood out the most to me this off-season was when I tried to move Kenny Golladay (after his new contract) and virtually had to give him away, only getting a 2nd round pick in return. The Golladay move was a real eye opener for me in my first Dynasty Owner off-season and I am sure many of you went through similar situations. Do not worry…. or do because it gets no easier from here. Dynasty Owners who have a great cap situation right now will be faced with tough decisions tomorrow and when they are faced with those decisions, the owners in the best position will reap the rewards.

Now to the news. The NFL has finished up week 3 of the preseason but it was not without a devastating injury. Running back J.K. Dobbins of the Baltimore Ravens has a torn ACL and will be out for the entire 2021 NFL season.  The running back position has been hit hard with injuries this pre-season, especially young running backs with Cam Akers, Travis Etienne, and now Dobbins all out for the 2021 season. Tight end Irv Smith is also set to miss the entire season after a knee injury that led to surgery, which led to the Vikings trading for Chris Herndon. A few notable players were cut this past week: John Brown, Travis Fulgham, Wayne Gallman, Royce Freeman, Phillip Dorsett, and Jordan Howard. Some of these guys will find homes, some will not. The one on the list I am keeping a close eye on is Travis Fulgham. The NFL off-season has been a blast but it’s time for some football!

I have been waiting for this article to release for two weeks now and am extremely excited to share another owner’s rebuilding team with everyone. If you cannot already tell this article will be much different than typical articles of the past. In this article, I will cover all the trades that this team has made, part of the owner’s thought process on the trade, as well as my thoughts on each trade. I will focus more on my thoughts in the article as I let him discuss every move in depth on the video that you can find on our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/c/DynastyOwner). The Dynasty Owner I am talking about is none other than Bryce Williams. Bryce is a first year Dynasty Owner player who decided he wanted to rebuild after a few teams in his league established themselves as clear front runners by making some key trades leading up to the season. Bryce was also placed on auto draft for his first two picks which contributed to him wanting to rebuild before his first Dynasty Owner season even began. 

Bryce is the owner of team Praise Cheesus and from my understanding he is in a league filled with smart people from around the fantasy football industry. I want to highlight how every move Bryce has made up to this point was made with a well thought out plan, which is something you should all do as well when rebuilding. When handling contracts for players, it is greatly beneficial to you to go into things with a set plan/strategy and while the plan may need a few adjustments you should always do your best to stick to the plan. I am sure NFL GMs are presented with unexpected deals from time to time, but I can guarantee that they are thinking and planning many moves ahead with a clear strategy set in place. The last thing I wanted to highlight that Bryce did well is the fact he looked at what other teams situations will likely look like before targeting their draft picks. I know most of you hear from folks around the industry that you cannot predict where a team is going to be in a year when it comes to fantasy football, but in Dynasty Owner, it Is different. A team’s future can be predicted a little easier if you dig into things a little. Enough of the talk, let’s get into the trades Bryce has made with a rebuild in mind. Remember the goal for Bryce here is to be good in a few years, not 2021.

Trade #1

Other Owner ReceivesPraise Cheesus (Bryce) Receives
DK Metcalf (2 years, $1,146,513)2022 1st
2022 2nd2023 3rd

Out of all the trades Bryce has made this is the trade I dislike the most. My first opinion is that Bryce likely left a future 1st and 2nd round pick on the table in this deal, as well as gave up his own 2022 2nd in the deal. DK Metcalf is going in the early 2nd round of Dynasty Owner drafts with an ADP of 14.6. When really looking at this deal, I feel it would have been good trade had Metcalf been in a contract year, but with him still having two years of a team friendly salary left to work with I would have waited until I received more in return. Bryce does have his reasons for moving Metcalf and trusts that he can hit on his draft picks so I can’t argue the move at the end of the day. If I had to pick a winner in this deal it would have to be the other owner as the 1st round pick Bryce is receiving only goes down in value with the addition of Metcalf. Always remember players on a contract as friendly as Metcalf’s should be almost held hostage as a rebuilding owner simply because any owner in your league can find a way to take on that small of a deal meaning a potential bidding war.

Trade #2

Other OwnerPraise Cheesus
2022 3rdAJ Dillon (3 years, $1,321,458)
RB Javian Hawkins (free agent) 

Do you guys remember me telling you to sell the hype of the off-season when you are in a rebuild? Well, this is exactly what Bryce did here. Javian Hawkins was seen as a lock to make the Falcons roster by most of the community for some reason and Bryce played it perfectly. The other owner in this deal was likely low on Dillon because the Packers signed Aaron Jones to an extension and Bryce was able to turn that frustration into Dillon for a 3rd round pick and a player that has been waived now by two teams. Small deals like this can end up speeding up your rebuild significantly. Bryce also pointed out the fact that Aaron Jones has a cap hit of $19 million in 2023 for Green Bay, meaning he will likely be playing elsewhere in 2023. As you can see a little contract research can go a long way in Dynasty Owner.

Trade #3

Other OwnerPraise Cheesus
Jameis Winston (1 year, $5,500,000)Ryan Fitzpatrick (1 year, $10,000,000)
TJ Hockenson (2 years, $4,955,306)2022 1st
2023 2nd 

Trade number 3 for Bryce is the only other trade I feel where Bryce left significant value on the table. T.J. Hockenson is primed for a big year in Detroit and is being viewed as a Top 5 tight end by many going into 2021. Jameis Winston (not named the starter yet) was a likely starting quarterback for only $5.5 million in Sean Payton’s offense. Earlier in the off-season I was able to trade Jameis Winston and a few throw-ins for Dionte Johnson and with as weak as the tight end position is at the moment, Hockenson is a very valuable asset to a contending owner just as Winston is. In my opinion, a 2023 1st should have been added to get this deal done. Patience would have also led to being able to move Winston for a 1st alone now that he has become the starter for the Saints at such a low salary. Bryce had good reasoning behind this trade and the first will likely be a high selection, but I still feel he could have played a little hardball to get a little more.

Trade #4

Other OwnerPraise Cheesus
2024 1st2023 1st
2024 2nd2023 3rd
2024 3rd 

I won’t spend much time on this trade as it makes perfect sense if you look at the reasoning Bryce has for making it. Bryce wants to be competing around 2024, 2025 and he loves the 2023 draft class and the depth it has to offer. Bryce was able to find a way to move his draft up an entire year for a 2nd round pick, giving him more chances in the 2023 draft class he is targeting so heavily.

Trade #5

Other OwnerPraise Cheesus
J.D. McKissic (1 year, $1,635,000)2023 2nd
2023 3rd 

If you pay close attention to my articles you will absolutely love this trade. I am constantly preaching that you should be moving on from older players, especially ones without prominent roles and get some type of value in return. Bryce was able to execute this perfectly by moving up a round in the 2023 draft for a player that has zero business on a rebuilding roster.

Trade #6

Other OwnerPraise Cheesus
Jared Cook (1 year, $4,500,000)Amari Rodgers (4 years, $1,224,974)
Josh Palmer (4 years, $1,258,365) 
2023 3rd 

While some may look at this trade and think it is a bit much for Amari Rodgers, I will have to politely disagree. On the outside, this trade looks a little lopsided but Bryce essentially paid Josh Palmer and a 3rd for a player he strongly believes in. You may be wondering why I did not include Jared Cook in the last sentence and it is because Jared Cook offers Bryce’s team nothing at this point in his career. When Bryce is competing for championships in 2025, Jared Cook will be retired and chilling on a beach somewhere. Sometimes in a rebuild you just have to throw in a 3rd round pick to get your guy.

Trade #7

Other OwnerPraise Cheesus
Saquon Barkley (1 year, $7,798,688)2023 1st
 2024 1st
 2022 2nd

When Bryce first sent me a list of his trades and I was reading through them, I was a little surprised to find Saquon Barkley traded this late on the list. I personally would have started my rebuild by trading Barkley away but there are plenty of roads that lead to the same destination when it comes to rebuilding. I love this deal for Barkley because as I mentioned in my previous article, Barkley is in a lose-lose situation for rebuilding owners who want to keep him. The reason for this is because if you keep Barkley and he does not perform well, he will lose a significant portion of his trade value. If he comes out and plays well, he will get a big contract extension and you’re stuck with an expensive running back who will be on the back end of his career when it comes time to compete.  I feel this trade is a huge win for Bryce getting two firsts for a running back coming off a tough injury and could end up being a win for the other owner as well depending on how Barkley looks when he returns to the gridiron.

Trade #8

Other OwnerPraise Cheesus
Devonte Booker (2 years, $2,750,000)2023 3rd

A small trade here but a great trade, nonetheless. This trade is very similar to the McKissic trade with Bryce sending a handcuff out for some extra draft capital. The other thing this does is open up another roster spot to add another lottery ticket type player.

Trade #9

Other OwnerPraise Cheesus
Qadree Ollison (2 years, $707,891)2023 1st
2022 2nd 
2024 1st 

Another trade that may look a little off on the outside but once I was told the method behind the madness it makes sense. Bryce gave up another 2nd round draft pick to move up a year in the draft swapping a 2024 1st for a 2023 1st. If you can’t tell Bryce is high on the 2023 draft class. Are you?

Trade #10

Other OwnerPraise Cheesus
Aaron Rodgers (3 years, $33,500,000)Ryan Tannehill (3 years, $29,500,000)
 2023 3rd
 2024 2nd

As little as this trade may look on the surface, it ends up being one of my favorite trades on the list. Bryce was able to move Aaron Rodgers for Ryan Tannehill and draft picks. While it may not seem like much what this does for Bryce is give him a cheaper, younger quarterback for his rebuild. The best part about this trade is that Aaron Rodgers will likely sign a massive new contract this off-season saving Bryce even more money towards the salary cap. If Rodgers were to get Prescott money this move could save Bryce $10.5 million in cap space next year.

Trade #11

Other OwnerPraise Cheesus
Ryan Fitzpatrick (1 year, $10,000,000)Jarvis Landry (2 years, $15,100,000)
Matt Breida (1 year, $1,055,000)Kylin Hill (4 years, $889,766)

Out of all of the trades I think I dislike this one the most. The reason I am not a fan of this trade is because Fitzpatrick is a cheap quarterback who can be moved for at least a 2nd round draft pick to a team in need of a cheap quarterback. I also am not a fan of bringing Jarvis Landry back in this deal as I feel he hurts the rebuilding process much more than helps, and he isn’t cheap by any means. I would have liked to see Bryce get a 1st round pick in return for Fitzpatrick and taking on Jarvis Landry’s contract with him being rostered in only 52% of leagues.

Additions during the process

Keke Coutee (free agent)

Noah Gray (4 years, $948,444)

Juwan Johnson (1 year, $695,000)

Ryan Santoso (1 year, $780,000)

Matt Ammendola (1 year, 660,000)

Tyler Kroft (1 year, $2,000,000)

Tyrod Taylor (1 year, $5,500,000)

2 Trades since interview

Other OwnerPraise Cheesus
Marquez Callaway (2 years, $765,000)Hunter Henry (3 years, $12,5000,000)
2024 2nd2024 1st

I won’t spend much time on these two trades as they were not covered in the video, but I love this trade for Bryce and is another great example of selling hype. Getting a 1st in return for Callaway and eating Henry’s salary is a huge win in my opinion.

Other OwnerPraise Cheesus
Greg Joseph (1 year, $780,000)Cody Parkey (free agent)
 Kylen Granson (4 years, $1,046,592)

A nice little kicker swap which includes Dynasty Owner darling Kylen Granson. The only downfall to this trade is the fact Cody Parkey was cut shortly after the trade was made.

Final Roster (as of 9/2/2021)

QB: Ryan Tannehill, Trey Lance, Jordan Love, Tyrod Taylor

RB: A.J. Dillon, Darrynton Evans, Xavier Jones (IR), Tevin Coleman, Salvon Ahmed, Tony Jones, Kylin Hill

WR: Davante Adams, Jaylen Waddle, Rondale Moore, Terrace Marshall Jr, Amari Rodgers, Tyler Johnson, Allen Lazard, Keke Coutee, Tre’Quan Smith, Rashod Bateman (IR)

TE: Kyle Pitts, Noah Gray, Jordan Akins, Juwan Johnson, Hunter Henry, Tyler Kroft, Kylen Granson

K: Ryan Santoso, Matt Ammendola

Draft Picks

2022:

(3) 1st rounders

2023:

(5) 1st rounders

(1) 2nd rounder

(1) 3rd rounder

2024:

(1) 1st rounders

What I Would do Next

The first thing I would do as the owner of this team is to move on from Davante Adams as quickly as possible. While I love Adams and what he brings to the table, I just do not feel he fits the timeline with this team at 28 years old on top of a massive new contract looming. Adams is the one moveable piece on this roster that will bring back great value while not being on a rookie contract and should be moved before he has a chance to get hurt. I know Bryce is a Packers fan and he likely loves Adams, but the only thing he can do for team Praise Cheesus is win games you don’t want to win.

Bryce has positioned himself to start competing for championships in 2025 and beyond with 5 1st round draft picks in 2023 and I feel Adams will hurt more than help until then and be on the downside of his career come 2025. The only other things I would do is I would look to move Allen Lazard for a draft pick, and I would keep an eye out for potential scenarios to move on from Tannehill if the value is there.  One thing I would like to point out is that Bryce loves the depth of the 2023 draft class and has invested heavily due to that, which goes back to having a plan and sticking to it.

Conclusion

Overall, I love the direction Bryce has his team going despite not agreeing with a trade, or two. Bryce has great young players with massive potential in Kyle Pitts, Trey Lance, Terrace Marshall, Rondale Moore, A.J. Dillon, Jaylen Waddle, Jordan Love, and Amari Rodgers. He noted that he will have 24 players under rookie contract in the year 2023, which gives him plenty of time to pick and choose the players he believes will fit best in his long-term plan. I hope everyone can take a little from this article to use on your own Dynasty Owner rebuild. I try to remind myself constantly that there is no one right way to rebuild a team in Dynasty Owner. My best advice when jumping into a rebuild is have a sound plan and try to execute that plan to the best of your abilities. Oh, and check all of my articles out from this off-season. One major under looked factor through all of this is the relationships Bryce is building while executing trades that position his team for the future and help the other owner compete.

Before I finish up, I would like to give a special shout out to Bryce for taking the time out of his day to sit down and discuss the process of his rebuild with me. If you would like to keep up with how his rebuild is going, please follow Bryce on Twitter (@BryceNFL). If any of you have a team you are rebuilding and would like to possibly have an article on your team, please contact me on Twitter so we can discuss it. I hope you all enjoyed this article as much as I did and as always good luck on your 2021 Chase for the Ring!

Contract Breakdowns: AFC Conference Recap

By Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk)

Hello Dynasty Owners, and welcome to the “final stretch.”  At the time of this article’s release, we will be 10 days away from the start of the 2021 season. The season will begin on Thursday, September 9th in a game that will pair the Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs the Dallas Cowboys. Like most of you reading this article, I can’t wait to get back to real NFL football.

As for today’s article, I’m going to recap some of the more important points I made in previous Contract Breakdown articles. This week I’m going to focus on the AFC and next week will be the NFC’s turn. Let’s start by talking about the AFC East first.

Contract Breakdown Recap

AFC East

In the Jets article, I did a blind player comparison with Corey Davis and Jamison Crowder. The takeaway from the comp was that Davis is an underrated dynasty player because he’s on a new team, is a late breakout player, and joins one of 2020’s worst NFL teams. Despite these issues, I project Davis to finish the season as a WR3. The early pre-season connection between Zach Wilson and Davis also gives me hope. Don’t let the 12.5 million dollar salary scare you away.

I compared Zack Moss to Ronald Jones in my Bills article.

PlayerAgePoints/GameRushYardsTDsSalary
Z. Moss237.81385925$1,153,079
R. Jones2313.72191,1179$1,767,977

(All stats are based on a full 16 game average from the 2020 season)

The main takeaway is that Moss (3 years – $1,153,079) will command a heavier workload in 2021 than he did in 2020. He also has two more years remaining on his current contract than Jones does. Odds are that Ronald Jones will outscore Moss this year, but those extra years of a cheap salary is extremely valuable. At this point in their careers, I would rather own Moss.

For the Patriots article, I compared Damien Harris to Devin Singletary.  I obviously did this prior to the news that Sony Michel was traded. While I don’t see the Michel trade making a large impact on Harris’ production, it will allow him to have more touches. The main takeaway from the comparison is that I would draft Harris over Singletary in Dynasty Owner, and nothing in the off-season has changed my mind. I would feel very confident going into the 2021 season with Harris as my third running back (top Bench running back).

The Dolphins article had a very tough comparison, and it was one that I struggled with as I was writing it. Not really much has changed for either player since publishing that article either. The comparison was Tua Tagovailoa vs Daniel Jones…

PlayerAgePoints/GamePass YardsRush YardsTDsSalary
T. Tagovailoa2317.12,90217422$7,568,859
D. Jones2415.13,36349114$6,416,014

(All stats are based on a full 16 game average from the 2020 season)

In the end, I wanted Tua due to his age, overall upside and the fact that he has a longer salary than Jones. That being said, I do project Jones to outscore Tua in the upcoming season.

AFC North

The AFC North articles started with the Pittsburgh Steelers article where I lamented about James Conner. I was pretty long-winded about how Conner came into fantasy relevance, and my feelings on him, especially in the 2018 season. Much of my breakdown centered around the idea that he would be leaving the Steelers, but I didn’t speculate much on who his new team would be. It turns out that he was signed to a one-year contract a week after the Steelers’ article was published. While I still like Conner as a player, I am concerned that he will not receive enough volume with Arizona to be an RB2. In my opinion, Chase Edmonds will be the lead back for the entire year. This is not to say that Conner will have no dynasty relevance at all.  He should be (and is) rostered in every Dynasty Owner league due to his cheap salary ($1,750,000) and injury upside. I wrote this at the end of the Steelers article in April, and I think it sums up my opinion on Conner very well…

“So, what do we do with him? We wait. I currently own Conner in my BETA league, and I am fine holding him until a new place of employment is discovered.  He will still be on a lower-end running back contract, but Dynasty Owners need to accept the fact that he will not return his 2018 value ever again.”

The main player I touched on for the Ravens article was Gus Edwards. Edwards re-signed with the Ravens after he accepted a second-round tender. That tender comes with a contract of 1 year – $3,384,000. While I don’t see Edwards taking an exceptional amount of work away from J.K. Dobbins, I did say “Expect Edwards to continue to be a thorn in the side of J.K. Dobbins Owners.” (Editor’s note: This article was written prior to the J.K. Dobbins injury.)

When I wrote the Bengals article, I mainly gave a broad overview of some of the key free agents they had coming into the 2021 off-season. These players included A.J. Green, John Ross, Samaje Perine, and Brandon Allen. The majority of the breakdown I talked about Brandon Allen and how you may be able to get some spot starts out of him at the beginning of the season due to Joe Burrow’s continued rehab. Well, after four months has passed, it looks like Burrow is on track to play Week 1 against the Vikings. Still hold onto Allen as an insurance piece, but obviously don’t count on him to make an impact this year.

Here is what I wrote about Rashard Higgins in the Browns article

“Like the majority of free agents this year, Rashard Higgins has been signed already. He re-signs with the Browns for a single-year contract. It is worth $2,377,500.  Higgins found decent success after Odell Beckham Jr. went down with a season-ending injury in Week 6. In the games that Higgins played in, he totaled 7.5 plus fantasy points in all but two games. 7.5 isn’t a fantastic performance, but more often than not, that was his floor. In fact, he had very healthy fantasy performances to the tune of 12.1, 17.0, 21.5, 14.8 and 11.6 fantasy points. Unfortunately for Higgins Owners, OBJ looks to be returning to the Browns in 2021. This will bump Rashard down to the WR 3 on the team and limit the total volume he will receive. He should be rostered in all leagues as he has shown his ability to step in for an injured superstar.”

Really nothing has changed since I wrote this opinion. OBJ and Jarvis Landry look to come into the 2021 season healthy. While I like Higgins as a player, he will be buried behind more talented players on the depth chart.

AFC South

The AFC South was one of my favorite divisions to write about because I added a trade aspect to all four article breakdowns. Trades are a big part of Dynasty Owner, but I feel like sometimes they don’t get enough attention. The added component of salary and contract length make trades very unique in this format.

In the Colts article, I quickly did a contract breakdown on Carson Wentz (4 years – $32,000,000).  Here is the summation of my thoughts…He is in a disaster of a contract (especially value-wise for Dynasty Owners). He is on a new team with a below-average receiving core. He injured his foot late in the offseason, had surgery, and has missed valuable training time with his new team. Before I go on a rant, let me be brief by saying he should probably not be rostered in DO, and I would trade him for just about anyone or any picks if you can find a league mate that wants him.

I wrote this about Anthony Firkser way back in March in my Titans article

Firkser is 26 years old and will be a restricted free agent. He will make more money in 2021, but don’t expect it to be a lot. I’ll put him right around 3 million per year for now.

Trade Advice: With Firkser being available in one-third of Dynasty Owner leagues, I would check the Free Agent Auction first. If he is available and you have an extra spot, then I would pick him up. There’s no doubt he’s worth rostering for now. I can’t advise sending a trade for him. There’s just too much uncertainty with his many possible career paths. Hold if you own, and stay away if you don’t.

Firkser re-signed with the Titans to the tune of 1 year – $3,000,000 eight days after I wrote that article. Another thing that has changed is the fact that he jumped from 66 percent rostered to almost 98 percent at the time of this writing. It looks like those that held onto him are going to have a starting tight end for very cheap. Well done.

There were six total free agents, both Unrestricted Free Agents (UFA) and Exclusive Rights Free Agents (ERFA), that I decided to speculate about in my Jaguars article. Of those six, only a single player re-signed with Jacksonville.  His name is Dare Ogunbowale.  Here is an update for where all six landed…

PlayerPrevious StatusTeam
Keelan ColeUFAJets
Chris ConleyUFATexans
Chris ThompsonUFAFree Agent
Dede WestbrookUFAVikings
Tyler EifertUFAFree Agent
Dare OgunbowaleERFAJaguars

There isn’t a whole lot to talk about here. Dare is the only player remaining, and he will be buried on the depth chart behind James Robinson and Carlos Hyde.

The final team in the AFC South is the Houston Texans. The Texans article happened to coincide with the opening of free agency so I really didn’t have much space to talk about actual Texans. The one who I did mention was Will Fuller. At the time, we knew that Fuller was leaving Houston for Miami, but we didn’t yet know that the Dolphins were going to draft Jaylen Waddle.  Regardless, Fuller will be sidelined for Week 1 due to a six-game performance-enhancing substances (PES) suspension. This suspension spans two seasons. Fuller is currently owned in 84.5 percent of Dynasty Owner leagues, and he looks to have a productive season with a $10,625,011 salary.

AFC West

For the AFC West articles, I incorporated my Top 10 players for each position. The Chargers article was appropriately paired with the Quarterbacks Top 10 because Justin Herbert came in as my number one quarterback. He barely beat out Kyler Murray for the top spot. In the end, the extra year on his contract and the more than two million dollar savings per year is enough to make him the number one quarterback moving forward.

RankPlayer2020 DO Finish2021 DO Proj FinishYears RemainingSalary
QB1Justin Herbert953$6,644,688
QB2Kyler Murray642$8,914,504
QB3Joe Burrow24133$9,047,534

The Chiefs article highlighted the Top 10 running backs moving forward. In my initial write up, I didn’t have any Chiefs’ running backs included on this Top 10. Unfortunately, CEH slips into the Top 10 with Cam Akers’ injury as Akers was listed as RB5 back in June. With that adjustment, this is what my current Top 10 Dynasty Owner running back list looks like…

RankPlayer2020 DO Finish2021 DO Proj FinishYearsSalary
RB1Jonathan Taylor633$1,957,287
RB2Christian McCaffrey5515$16,015,875
RB3Nick Chubb1161$1,845,774
RB4Austin Ekeler2893$6,125,000
RB5Najee HarrisN/A114$3,261,862
RB6J.K. Dobbins24163$1,432,359
RB7Saquon Barkley12271$7,798,688
RB8Dalvin Cook325$12,600,000
RB9D’Andre Swift18203$2,134,728
RB10Clyde Edwards-Helaire21143$2,705,393

(Editor’s note: This article was written prior to the J.K. Dobbins injury.)

For the Broncos and Raiders article breakdown, I combined both teams into the tight end Top 10.  As you could have guessed, both teams have a tight end ranked on this list. Darren Waller still comes in as my TE1 due to his cheapish salary (at least compared to Kelce and Kittle) and his elite production. If I was drafting in a startup, I would take Waller first before any other tight end. To follow this up, I had the Broncos’ primary pass-catching tight end, Noah Fant, as my TE7.  In my opinion, there are very clear tiers between the Top 10 tight ends.  Here are the tier breaks…

RankPlayer2020 DO Finish2021 DO Proj FinishYears RemainingSalary
TE1Darren Waller223$7,450,000
TE2Travis Kelce115$14,312,500
TE3George Kittle1935$15,000,000

This is Tier 1. I could listen to and make an argument for either of these three to be the top ranked tight end.

RankPlayer2020 DO Finish2021 DO Proj FinishYears RemainingSalary
TE4Kyle PittsN/A54$8,227,623
TE5Mark Andrews641$863,290
TE6T.J. Hockenson362$4,955,306

This is Tier 2.

RankPlayer2020 DO Finish2021 DO Proj FinishYears RemainingSalary
TE7Noah Fant882$3,147,680
TE8Irv Smith Jr.22122$1,449,609
TE9Mike Gesicki7111$1,652,981
TE10Dallas Goedert2071$1,406,068

This is Tier 3. These tight ends start to get into the “crapshoot” area. You have already missed out on the elite fantasy players, but there is a chance one or all of these guys could break into the top tier within a few years.

Thank you for reading, and look out for my video that pairs with this article. Next week I will recap my breakdowns from the NFC. 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: Philadelphia Eagles

By Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk)

Good day Dynasty Owners and welcome back to another contract breakdown article. The regular season continues to approach as we are currently 24 days away from regular season football. The road that we have traveled together was a long one. After this article concludes, we will be one team away from having discussed every single team in the NFL. Today we will talk about a few players from the Eagles, next week we will discuss the Washington Football Team. First, let’s talk about some free agents that the Eagles had coming into the 2021 off-season.

Free Agents

In all, there were four Eagles’ free agents that I planned to discuss. Three of these players are returning for at least one more year in Philly, while one has moved on to a division rival. As I’ve mentioned before, there are many more free agents that the Eagles had to make decisions about after the 2020 season. I would be here all day if I were going to write about each and every one of them. Instead, what I do is pick out the most important free agents for us as Dynasty Owners. These four players are the most rosterable in our format and are therefore, more important to discuss. Here are the four players that I felt were notable enough to write about this week…

  • Richard Rodgers
  • Boston Scott
  • Greg Ward
  • Corey Clement

Let’s start from the top with Richard Rodgers. Rodgers was an unrestricted free agent following the 2020 season, but the Eagles elected to bring him back on a single year deal worth a little over one million dollars. The formal deal is 1 year – $1,027,500. The hard truth is that Rodgers will not make much of a fantasy impact in the 2021 season. In fact, he really didn’t make much of an impact in 2020 either. He compiled only 70.5 fantasy points on the whole season, and he averaged only 8.8 fantasy points in the games that he recorded at least one reception. The situation is further complicated by the fact that he is projected to be the TE3 for the team. As we know, Zach Ertz has still not been traded, and it doesn’t appear he will be dealt before the start of the season. Additionally, Dallas Goedert is there and looks to be the number one fantasy points leader for tight ends on the Eagles in 2021. Suffice it to say, the Eagles have a crowded tight end committee, and I see no reasonable path forward for Rodgers to receive a high amount of volume. Obviously, an injury can occur to either of the other two tight ends, and that would make Rodgers a little more of an interesting option. For now, consider him a deep stash and don’t expect a large fantasy output from him at least in the short term.

Boston Scott is a player that I love to watch. Despite posting only 80 rushing attempts and 25 receptions, he ended the 2020 season with 111.5 fantasy points. Not bad for an extremely cheap player with low volume. Scott came into the 2021 off season as an exclusive rights free agent (ERFA). I have mentioned this type of free agent in the past and this is the quick breakdown of what an ERFA means…I wrote this quote about JaMycal Hasty back in January:

“ JaMycal Hasty’s situation is a little more complicated. Hasty is an ERFA. An ERFA is any player that has not accrued three years of service in the NFL and has an expiring contract.  These types of free agents are almost always undrafted rookies. Hasty fits that description, and being an ERFA, he really has no options. The 49ers are able to sign him to a one year tender for slightly more than their original contract. ERFA have no leverage to meet or sign with other teams. Essentially, expect Hasty to be back in SF next year with a very similar contract.”

This is the same situation that Boston Scott was in this off-season. Scott had virtually no leverage after he was offered an ERFA tag. The Eagles offered it and he signed in in the beginning of March. His contract is 1 year – $920,000. This is a great value for a player of Scott’s talent, but I’m worried the opportunity will not be there once again. Complicating matters is the fact that the Eagles signed Kerryon Johnson after he was waived by the Lions last year. I still consider Scott the number two running back on the team due to his tenure, but I wouldn’t doubt if Johnson shows to be the more talented running back quickly. Scott is a clear hold candidate as there isn’t much risk associated with it.

Greg Ward is another player that resigned with the Eagles after being offered an ERFA tag. Like Scott, Ward had almost no leverage and was virtually forced to sign the tag. The good news is that with an ERFA tag comes a cheap contract. This is good news for Dynasty Owners, but obviously not great news for Ward himself. At any rate, Ward’s contract is 1 year – $850,000. As is the case with Scott, hold Ward in the event that he works his way up to the starting wide receiver rotation.

The final player I want to mention is Corey Clement. He is the lone free agent in the article that signed with a new team. Clement finished the 2020 season with nearly zero fantasy impact.  He had only 21.6 fantasy points, and he looks to provide valuable running back depth to the New York Giants. Even with the signing, he will have a tough path to volume. He is currently third in the pecking order for running backs. Saquon Barkley is obviously the top dog, but newly acquired Devontae Booker will most likely start the season as the RB2 for the Giants. Clement’s contract is 1 year – $990,000.

Now that we got all the former free agents out of the way, let’s do a contract breakdown with one of the most undervalued players coming into the 2021 season…Jalen Reagor.

Contract Breakdown

It seems like Jalen Reagor has all but been forgotten this offseason, especially after the 2021 NFL Draft. The addition of DeVonta Smith certainly nuked the optimism for Reagor. The truth is that Reagor had his own issues prior to Smith being drafted. There were five games in the 2020 NFL season that Reagor did not catch a pass. The majority of these goose eggs were due to the fact that he had right thumb surgery early on in the season. Reagor comes into 2021 with three years remaining on his rookie contract worth $3,317,669. Let’s see how he compares to similar valued wide receivers…

 Salary2021 Projected FPs2021 DD/FP
Marquise Brown$2,946,835204.8$14,389
Jerry Jeudy$3,798,243238.7$15,912
Jalen Reagor$3,317,669176.9$18,754
Kadarius Toney$3,429,877159.9$21,504
DeVonta Smith$5,035,348217.9$23,109

With the exception of Hollywood Brown, all five of these players are current rookies or were rookies last year. I did this on purpose to give a comparison of value for similar seasoned players.  Which of these five players would you rather own in Dynasty Owner? For me, I rank them like this…

  1. Jerry Jeudy
  2. DeVonta Smith
  3. Jalen Reagor
  4. Marquise Brown
  5. Kadarius Toney

I think that Jeudy is most poised to make an impact in the 2021 season. His quarterback situation is a little shaky, but with three years remaining on his contract, he will continue to be a large value. As I mentioned earlier, DeVonta Smith is the new kid in town, and that is what has pushed Reagor’s dynasty outlook so far down. Both receivers will be the top targeted wide receivers for the Eagles in 2021, but it’s likely they aren’t the most targeted players on the team.  Dallas Goedert and Miles Sanders could both receive more targets than both receivers.

Here is the biggest discrepancy I have with Smith and Reagor.  At the time of this writing, here are each receivers Dynasty Owner ADP…

 SalaryADP
DeVonta Smith$5,035,34857.2
Jalen Reagor$3,317,669147.9

This is actually not hard for me to understand, but it doesn’t mean I agree with it. Smith does have an additional year remaining on his rookie deal, and he has more draft equity invested in him, but here is a shocking stat…Reagor is actually younger than Smith. This combined with the fact that Reagor is being drafted eight rounds later than Smith in startup drafts makes me heavily favor Jalen when we factor in the draft capital you need to pay for each receiver. 

The bottom line is that Jalen Reagor is being criminally undervalued in his sophomore year, and it’s about time we change that…

Next week I will wrap up this entire Contract Breakdown theme when we talk about the Washington Football Team. After next week, I will do a couple of weeks of recaps of this year’s article as we lead into the start of the NFL regular season. 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

Buy, Sell, Hold: NFC North Stock Watch

By: Jay Pounds (@JayPoundsNFL)

Football is back! At the time this article releases we will have seen NFL action between the greatest team in the league, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the team that wishes they were the Steelers, the Dallas Cowboys. I know it is only a preseason game, but to me, it is a sign that better times are ahead for us as fans. As strange as things were in the NFL last year with zero preseason, it is great to get back to the point where things almost feel normal again. The preseason can be a great tool for rebuilding owners to use because it is the only time when you will see a lot of future NFL starters on the field before they are fully in that starter role. I feel like rebuilding owners should be the busiest owners at this time of the year, taking chances on players who perform well but have veterans blocking their path to the field. The more diamonds in the rough you have on your rebuilding roster, the quicker you will turn things around. The other route you can go is to try and buy players cheap after a bad preseason game or two.

In this article, we will be breaking down the players from the NFC North into three separate categories called Buy, Sell, and Hold through the eyes of a rebuilding owner, and will be no different than the past few articles. If you are not familiar with the past articles allow me to explain. The players placed into the Buy category are usually young talented players that you can build your Dynasty Owner team around, they are also almost always cheap players. The players in the Hold category are players with a questionable outlook, or a player who has too many roadblocks in the way of playing time. I like to place these players in the hold category because trading them will net less value than the talent calls for because of situation. The players in the Sell category are almost always older players who are on bigger deals. The position the player plays will also have a major impact on what category they fall into as well. If you have any players in a different category than I do please feel free to let me know on Twitter (@JayPoundsNFL)

BUY

Packers

  • Jordan Love (3 years, $3,095,863)

Jordan Love was close to making a lot of Dynasty Owners happy this season, but old Aaron Rodgers ruined any chance at that happening. Come 2022, it looks like Love will be the man moving forward in Green Bay. It will be interesting to see if Love can keep the Packers out of quarterback Hell, somewhere they have not been since before Brett Favre. Buy Love now and see what happens next year.

  • A.J. Dillon (3 years, $1,321,458)

I had A.J. Dillon as a massive Buy back when it seemed Aaron Jones would be leaving Green Bay. The thoughts of Dillon in a workhorse role are gone but he is still a player that can be bought. The Packers have used two running backs often in recent memory, and he would have a huge workload if Jones were to go down.

  • Amari Rodgers (4 years, $1,224,974)

I love the talent of Amari Rodgers coming out of Clemson. I recommend buying him now while he is still cheap. I can easily see a scenario where he comes in and beats out Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard becoming the go-to-guy behind Davante Adams in the process. He may also end up the number 1 guy at his position for the Packers come 2022.

  • Robert Tonyan (1 year, $3,384,000)

I know Aaron Rodgers will likely be gone next season, but Robert Tonyan is one of the better young tight ends in the game. I do not think he quite has Travis Kelce or Darren Waller upside, but he can be a Top 7 guy throughout his career.

Vikings

  • Kellen Mond (4 years, $1,305,854)

Captain Kirk’s time with the Vikings may be nearing the end. I am not a huge fan of Kellen Mond, but he will come cheap and be worth a ton if he hits. If you have a roster space or an extra 3rd round pick, Mond is a solid Buy.

  • Kene Nwangwu (4 years, $1,058,200)

Kene Nwangwu had one of the toughest college careers in recent memory. The kid has immense talent but was stuck behind David Montgomery and Breece Hall his entire college career with the Iowa State Cyclones. I do not know the future outlook with the Dalvin Cook extension, but I am buying the talent.

  • Justin Jefferson (3 years, $3,280,701)

Justin Jefferson’s play last year speaks for itself. It will cost a ton to get him but if you manage to get your hands on him, you will have one of the best building blocks in the game.

  • Dede Westbrook (1 year, $769,039)

I bet you have not heard this name in quite a while. Dede Westbrook was a star at Oklahoma and had some rough injury luck in Jacksonville. If the talent is still there, Westbrook could be a steal. The best part is, he is basically free to pick up.

  • Ihmir Smith-Marsette (4 years, $949,740)

I do not think he will be much of a play this season, but that is ok because you are rebuilding. Adam Thielen started to show his age last season and I feel it’s only a matter of time before someone like Ihmir Smith-Marsette is the better choice on the roster.

Lions

  • D’Andre Swift (3 years, $2,134,728)

I feel like there is one of these running backs each week that rebuilding owners are ok to target, even though they are already starting. Swift was lightly used during his rookie season, and I do not expect him to get a huge workload this year either. Swift being used lightly is a great thing for rebuilding owners, meaning he should have plenty of gas in the tank when it comes time for your team to win.

  • Jermar Jefferson (4 years, $889,581)

Players like Jermar Jefferson are complete fliers and you can never have enough of them on your rebuilding roster. The only things I look for in these “lotto ticket” type players are a cheap salary, talent, and a young player with room to grow. Jefferson checks every one of those things.

  • Quintez Cephus (3 years, $899,822)

Cephus is one of my favorite long-shot players this season. He only must beat out a few journeymen to see significant playing time. One thing I love about Cephus is you will know if he is worth keeping on your roster by the end of this season. If you are hopping aboard the Cephus train, now is the time to do it.

  • Javon McKinley (3 years, $813,333)

The next two guys on the list are dart throws on a wide-open roster. If Javon McKinley shows out during the preseason, the Lions will play him over journeymen vets like Breshad Perriman and Tyrell Williams. The Lions are rebuilding just like you, which means a lot of young guys getting chances.

  • Sage Surratt (3 years, $808,333)

As I just said with Javon McKinley, Sage Surratt is a great dart throw for rebuilding owners. Someone will emerge on this roster, you just need the right piece.

  • T.J. Hockenson (2 years, $4,955,306)

I love where T.J. Hockenson is at in his career, especially from a rebuilding standpoint. He is heading into his 3rd year, which is when tight ends start to really grasp things at the NFL level, oh, and he should be the focal point of the Lions passing game this season and next. Before the start of the 2021 NFL season will be the last time you can get Hockenson for cheap.

Bears

  • Justin Fields (4 years, $4,717,989)

My favorite Bear ever, Justin Fields (Craig Krenzel is second). Fields is a former Ohio State Buckeye and had a tremendous college career. Fields has tremendous athleticism and excels throwing the deep ball. Hello Darnell Mooney! Fields should be starting by Week 4 at the absolute latest but personally, I feel he will shine enough in camp and preseason leaving no choice but to start him Week 1. All aboard the Fields hype train!

  • Darnell Mooney (3 years, $894,263)

As I just mentioned, Darnell Mooney will have an excellent deep ball quarterback throwing him the ball at some point this season. The Bears showed great trust in Mooney when they traded away Anthony Miller last week. I see Mooney becoming one of the better number 2 receivers in the NFL in the next couple of years. Buy him now, he will not be cheap long!

  • Dazz Newsome (4 years, $902,677)

With the Bears moving on from Anthony Miller, it opens a slot role in this offense. Newsome was a solid slot option at North Carolina and the Bears are hoping for more of the same. Newsome is what I like to call a high-end lottery ticket, where he is someone who will see the field but does not have a high chance of becoming a fantasy stud.

  • Cole Kmet (3 years, $1,894,444)

Cole Kmet is one of the great up-and-coming tight ends in football. If I am going after Kmet, I would prefer to do it before owners see his upside with Justin Fields under center. I highly recommend going after one of these young tight ends with high upside early in your rebuild.

HOLD

Packers

  • Jace Sternberger (2 years, $966,382)

It’s often funny how things work out in the NFL. Jace Sternberger was drafted much higher than Robert Tonyan (undrafted) and was expected to be a solid tight end in Green Bay. As we all know it did not go as planned for Sternberger. Hold him for now and see if he can finally turn into a productive player.

Vikings

  • Chad Beebe (1 year, $920,000)

I am not a huge fan of Chad Beebe but if you have him on your roster, he is a hold, or cut. At this point in his career if Beebe does not have a strong preseason, he will have zero trade value. I like to move on from players like Beebe for someone like Dazz Newsome. Capitalizing on young upside is a great way to help end a rebuild quickly.

  • Irv Smith (2 years, $1,449,609)

While there are some owners who are high on Irv Smith heading into 2021, I would continue to hold him. At this point Smith will not net much in a trade but has a chance to explode this season in a bigger role. Someone will see a ton of work for the Vikings outside of Jefferson and I am not so sure it’s Adam Thielen the entire season. If Smith starts the year strong, there will be no better time to trade him.

Lions

  • Darren Fells (1 year, $1,212,500)

Players like Darren Fells make me wish I had included a cut list in this series. If you are rebuilding, you have no business rostering someone like Darren Fells. If you must, hold him and hope a massive opportunity presents itself for Fells.

  • Breshad Perriman (1 year, $2,500,000)

I initially had the next two guys as a Sell but after thinking about it I have moved them to a Hold. The Lions have little talent at receiver and if Breshad Perriman proves to be a stable contributor I can see contending owners buying him. Hold Perriman for a month or two and see what happens.

  • Tyrell Williams (1 year, $4,000,000)

Tyrell Williams is no different than Breshad Perriman. If Williams turns out to be a stable presence in this offense, contenders should be all over him. Hold Williams and see if he can regain his old form. Williams and Perriman are both cheap and will be easy to trade if they are producing.

  • Jamaal Williams (2 years, $3,000,000)

The Lions brought Jamaal Williams in and gave him solid money to backup D’Andre Swift. If something were to happen to Swift, or we see somewhat of a committee approach, Williams should net a decent return in a trade as ugly as running back looks right now.

Bears

  • Tarik Cohen (3 years, $5,750,000)

Tarik Cohen is coming off a major injury, but the Bears still rewarded him with a massive deal for a backup running back. Trading Cohen now will not get you much in return when trading him, but if he returns to the Cohen of old, he will net you decent value in return for his services.

  • Damien Williams (1 year, $1,125,000)

I like Damien Williams the player, but I feel him taking the year off will end up hurting his overall outlook. Running backs do not last all that long in the NFL and Williams just missed an entire year of his prime voluntarily. If you have Williams, hold and hope for an injury, so he sees the field.

  • Damiere Byrd (1 year, $1,127,500)

Damiere Byrd was quietly a solid deep threat for the Patriots last season. While Byrd being a great deep threat with Cam Newton and moving to play with a quarterback like Justin Fields would usually mean Buy, he has Darnell Mooney in front of him. As I have said with the last few guys, Byrd will need a massive opportunity if he is going to net any type of trade value.

SELL

Packers

  • Aaron Jones (4 years, $12,000,000)

The part I absolutely hate about this series is telling you guys to sell players like Aaron Jones. Jones is a phenomenal running back who excels at catching the ball. The only issue is he will be on his way out of the league after a few year rebuild. Trade Jones now and let the owner who is ready to win have him while you collect extra draft picks. Imagine blowing your team up at the end of the year in 2017 and you decided to keep Le’Veon Bell (who is going into his second contract) as a building block. Option 2 would have been to trade Bell for, say, the 1.6 and 1.7 picks where you take D.J. Moore, and Nick Chubb. One outcome greatly outweighs the other. I know this was an exaggeration, but you get the point.

  • Aaron Rodgers (3 years, $33,500,000)

The 2020 NFL M.V.P. is on the trading block. While Rodgers contract is starting to become a value, his last year’s performance will be hard to live up to. Rodgers is starting to get older and does not offer much in terms of mobility, which we all know is a huge advantage in fantasy. Trade Rodgers now for whatever you can get in return, for all we know he will walk away after this season.

  • Davante Adams (1 year, $14,500,000)

Guys, this one hurts. I am as big of a Davante Adams guy as you will find but for owners just going into a rebuild the smart move is to move on from Adams. Adams will play out the final year of his deal and he will get rewarded with a contract north of what DeAndre Hopkins is making. I am trading Adams now while his contract is still a value among the top names.

  • Marquez Valdes-Scantling (1 year, $669,388)

I am not particularly high on Marquez Valdes-Scantling and never really have been. He is mainly a product of Aaron Rodgers being his quarterback. I would sell him before Rodgers is not his quarterback and he has no type of trade value.

  • Allen Lazard (1 year, $675,000)

I am in the same boat with Allen Lazard as I am with Marquez Valdez-Scantling, where I just do not honestly believe in the talent. If Lazard were guaranteed to play with Aaron Rodgers a few more years, I would have him on the Buy list, but for now I am selling him while last year’s M.V.P. is still under center.

Vikings

  • Kirk Cousins (2 years, $33,000,000)

Kirk Cousins would be another player I would have on the cut list as I do not feel anyone will give you much in return for him. Cousins is in a good offense with solid weapons but at this stage of his career, his upside is nothing but a middle-of-the-road quarterback who is pricey.

  • Dalvin Cook (5 years, $12,600,000)

As I do with Aaron Jones, I have Dalvin Cook as a Sell. Cook is some analysts’ number 1 player heading into 2021 and I feel rebuilding owners should capitalize on that. While Cook won’t net you as much as he would in regular dynasty leagues because of his contract, he will still bring in a significant haul.

  • Alexander Mattison (2 years, $867,793)

After the contract extension of Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison offers little value to rebuilding owners. I am finding the Cook owner and getting one of his draft picks for Mattison. You could also gamble he will start at some point in 2021 and try to move him then.

  • Adam Thielen (4 years, $16,050,000)

I have mentioned a few times in this article how I feel about Adam Thielen moving forward. I feel if you are rebuilding you need to move on from him now if you are able to.

Lions

  • Jared Goff (4 years, $33,500,000)

Jared Goff is another player I feel should be on the Free Agent Auction, but you may be able to get someone to take on his contract with the rising salary cap. If someone offers even a 3rd round pick for Goff, I will take it and run.

  • David Blough (1 year, $762,500)

While I do not care much for Jared Goff, I do not see Blough having much value as a backup for the Lions. I don’t think he will get you anything in return, but it never hurts to try.

Bears

  • Andy Dalton (1 year, $10,000,000)

As of right now, Andy Dalton is the starter for the Chicago Bears. If you are rebuilding and you have him on your roster you need to trade him before the statement reads, Justin Fields is the starting quarterback for the Chicago Bears.

  • David Montgomery (2 years, $1,003,845)

David Montgomery had a terrific 2020 season. As a rebuilding owner, I am capitalizing on that today instead of tomorrow. I do not expect Montgomery to fall off the face of the earth, but Chicago does have a much deeper backfield this season than last and that worries me enough to move on in a rebuild.

  • Allen Robinson (1 year, $17,880,000)

Allen Robinson has been one of the most consistent top-end receivers in all of football over the past few seasons. He is set to play on the franchise tag this season and will likely sign a massive deal next year. I recommend trading Robinson before thoughts of his new contract are deep in owners’ heads.

  • Jimmy Graham (1 year, $8,000,000)

The glory days have come and gone for Jimmy Graham. I do not know that there is much of a market left for Graham, but I am taking whatever is offered. As I said earlier, Cole Kmet is the future in Chicago.

Conclusion

I have been enjoying this series quite a bit and I hope all of you are enjoying reading along. If we have a difference in opinion, please feel free to let me know. I love the feedback. I want to give everyone a quick reminder of the writer’s league I will be starting here in a few weeks. The league is a $50 buy-in and still has 5 spots available. The only requirement to join the writer’s league is that you create some type of fantasy content. Be sure to check out Steve Van Tassell’s and Matt “The Jerk’s” articles and videos every Monday and Wednesday, as well as the Dynasty Owner livestream every Wednesday at 2 pm EST. I hope everyone enjoyed the first NFL game of the year and as always good luck on your 2021 Chase for the Ring!

Contract Breakdowns: Minnesota Vikings

Hello Dynasty Owners and welcome to a new division.  Over the month of July, I will break down several players from each team in the NFC North.  The NFC North has been no stranger to news this year.  In fact, it’s quite the opposite.  It seems like each of the four teams have taken their turn in the spotlight.  Take, for example, the Chicago Bears.  The Bears off-season started with speculations that Allen Robinson may or may not be signed to a long term extension.  That speculation eventually turned into the idea that he would sign a franchise tag, and that is exactly what he did.  His franchise tag will be worth 17.88 million dollars for a single year.  We could also talk about the Detroit Lions.  The Lions made one of the biggest trades of the off-season when they moved Matthew Stafford for Jared Goff.  Obviously there were other parts to the trade, but for our purposes, Goff and Stafford switched teams.  The Packers are currently dealing with the most covered news of the past couple of months.  Of course, I’m talking about Aaron Rodgers.  I don’t want to speculate on what Rodgers will ultimately decide to do, but it is worth mentioning.  The Minnesota Vikings (the team we are going to highlight today) has had the least amount of off-season drama.  For that reason, I am going to start this division off by talking about them.  Hopefully this allows clarity for the Rodgers situation before I get to the Packers article.  First, let me break down the NFC North before we get into player breakdowns…

As we all know, the Green Bay Packers finished as top dogs in the division in 2020.  They finished with a stellar record of 13-3.  Their only losses came to the Bucs, Vikings and Colts.  Aaron Rodgers’ frustration about the team not drafting an early round weapon may have shown to be justified when the Packers lost to the Buccaneers in the NFC Championship game.  The Chicago Bears squeaked into the playoffs as the seventh seed in the NFC.  They amassed an 8-8 record throughout the regular season only to be beaten by the New Orleans Saints in the Wild Card round.  A lack of running efficiency and second half defense made for an uncompetitive game. The Minnesota Vikings finished at 7-9 and third in the division.  The Detroit Lions round out the NFC North in last place.  They had a 5-11 record, and there weren’t very many bright spots in their season.  Kenny Golladay played in only five games.  (One of which he did not record a reception.)  There is reason for optimism though.  D’Andre Swift provided solid production for a rookie running back especially with the low volume he received.  Swift totaled more than 870 total yards and ten touchdowns.

Contract Breakdown

Today I’m going to talk about one player from each position, break down their contracts and talk about what it means to us as Dynasty Owners.  Up first, let’s talk about Kirk Cousins.

Cousins is the Vikings starting quarterback.  I truly believe that he is an above average quarterback even in today’s NFL.  The problem he faces is two-fold.  First, he attempted the 15th most passes in the NFL in 2020.  The Vikings are a low pass volume offense and Cousins dynasty value suffers because of it.  His completion percentage, passing yards and passing touchdowns all rank top ten for the 2020 season which kind of shows my point that he is an above average NFL quarterback.  However, his efficiency is not enough to make up for his lack of volume.  The second issue I have with Cousins is obviously his salary.  He makes $33,000,000 for the next two years.  This is a top level salary, and this salary could be justified for players like Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and Russell Wilson but not for Cousins.  I’ve said it many times, and I’ve probably said it referring to Kirk.  “There is no value in a top tier salary player that provides middle of the road production.”  Cousins finished as QB10 in DO last season.  Dynasty Owner projects a decline from that spot.  He is projected to be QB16 in 2021, but to be honest, I don’t think it matters much.  Kirk is a player that I don’t want to roster, and almost all of Dynasty Owners are agreeing with me.  He is owned in only 0.81 percent of leagues.

I have done my fair share of talking about Dalvin Cook this year.  Therefore, I’m going to talk about his handcuff.  Alexander Mattison is a seldom talked about fantasy player.  This is mostly due to his lack of production in his first two years, but that fact is also a little misleading.  Mattison has totaled 10 plus carries in only 8 games in his career.  However, in the games that he has 10 plus carries, these are his per game stats…

14.5 carries, 78.6 yards, 0.4 TDs

These stats aren’t elite, but they are solid especially for a backup running back.  It goes without saying, but there is zero chance Mattison will steal the starting role.  However, if Dalvin Cook becomes injured, Mattison will immediately become a Top 10 running back.  He has two years left on his rookie contract worth $867,793.  This makes him even more of a value if you own him.

Adam Thielen had a roller coaster season.  He failed to tally 10.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in six of his fifteen games.  He made up for that stat by posting four games with multiple touchdowns, and he scored in ten of his fifteen games.  It’s no secret that Thielen (age 30) is reaching the declination point of his career.  (There is actually a good chance that he is past it.)  I assume this is the main reason that he is only owned in 92% of Dynasty Owner leagues.  Even with a salary slightly north of 16 million dollars per year, Thielen should be rostered in every league.  I don’t expect another 14 touchdown season, but even with some regression, he looks to be a top 20 overall wide receiver.  I’ve said it numerous times, but I’ll say it again, “I spend my cap on expensive, late wide receivers.”  Thielen is a player that fits the description.  An ADP of 136.0 is too low.

The final player I want to talk about is someone I talked about at length in last week’s article.  I’m not going to talk much more about him, but I just want to mention Irv Smith Jr.  Smith Jr. has two more years on his rookie contract.  That deal is worth $1,449,609 per year.  He will be the third or fourth receiving option on a low volume passing team, but his age (22) and salary should give you some peace of mind when drafting him.  Don’t expect him to catapult to a Top 5 tight end in terms of fantasy points.  I do think it’s possible he jumps to become a Top 5 tight end in terms of value though.

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

Rookie Draft Average Draft Position (ADP)

By Steven Van Tassell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Different Ways to Attack the Rookie Draft

By: Jay Pounds (@JayPoundsNFL)

Dynasty Owners it is finally rookie draft time! By the time any of you read this article, you should be a few picks into your draft, possibly further depending on your league mates. Regardless of if you have made it through zero picks of your draft, or the entire first round, this article will still be useful for you. The draft is going to be a slow draft and I know personally I plan to be using quite a bit of my clock when up unless I am 100% sold on one of the players available. When you go into a slow draft one of the best ways to gain some leverage is not rushing through your selection. For instance, if the guy behind you is enamored with someone, making him/her sweat a little may end up beneficial in the long run.

Before we get into the meat of today’s article, I want to touch on the rookie draft just a bit more. Here in Dynasty Owner hitting on players in the rookie draft is the easiest way to stay as flexible as possible. When you have multiple young guys with cheap deals on your roster you will likely have cap room, or you will have stud veterans to show for the lack of cap space. As I have been doing more research on the best ways to rebuild with a salary cap, I have concluded the easiest way to close your team’s championship window is to continuously miss on your rookie draft picks. If you look around the NFL and somewhat try to base your roster in a way the actual NFL GMs do, you will come up with one obvious answer nine times out of ten, which is it is much easier to win with a stud quarterback still on rookie salary. Teams in the NFL have seemed to start struggling soon after they pay a quarterback top dollar. The best example I can give is Joe Flacco when he received a massive record breaking deal from the Ravens, who went downhill immediately after.

In Dynasty Owner, thankfully it is a little easier to maneuver around one high priced signal caller than it seems to be in the NFL. I have also taken notice of teams being ok with handing out big contracts to receivers and the same can apply as well here on Dynasty Owner, as Steve Van Tassell’s article showed us a few weeks back when he broke down the league champions spending per position (https://dynastyowner.com/2021/05/league-winners-salary-cap-usage-versus-average-teams/). To make a long story short if you follow similar patterns of some of the most successful NFL teams, you should end up doing well here on Dynasty Owner, as long as you do not whiff all your rookie picks of course. In the end, I think we should all be grateful we do not have to worry about paying lineman or defensive players.

In this week’s article I want to go over the different ways Dynasty Owners, but more specifically rebuilding owners can handle their rookie drafts. If you have not heard your rookie picks will be at peak value, the moment you are on the clock and is something owners should capitalize on more often. I am going to touch on topics that will help you make the right decisions during your draft like trading down, best player available, drafting because of need, trading up, and why you should or should not be trading your picks for veterans. If we all thought rookie drafts were important in regular dynasty leagues, we’re in for a pretty rude awakening.

Trading Down

In any draft whether it be the MLB, NBA, MLS, NFL, or our Dynasty Owner drafts, trading down is always a choice but may not always be a good option. What exactly do I mean by this you ask? I am a huge fan of trading down in rookie drafts when rebuilding, but it is also very dependent on the situation of the draft. If you look at what the Giants did in the NFL draft trading back from the 11 spot when there were still excellent players on the board who would have filled obvious needs for their team, yet they traded back and selected a luxury over a glaring need. The Giants wound up taking Kadarius Toney (4 years, $3,429,877) over players that could have contributed much bigger roles than a player like Toney will, especially with the depth the Giants have at receiver. I have seen this happen quite a bit in fantasy where owners trade back just a bit too far and wind up with a horrible draft that should have turned out great.

I wanted to supply a real life example for the article and happened to have made a recent trade involving my team moving back one spot in the upcoming draft. Before I break this trade down, I want to give a quick insight into my team which was rebuilding but should be a playoff team this coming season and a powerhouse come 2022. I have made numerous moves with this team which was featured in the Let’s Rebuild a Team Together article and held the number 1 pick until recently. In this draft, I had the 1.1, 1.4, 1.7, and 1.8 but wanted to try to get a bit more out of the 1.1 than just one player. My initial plan was to take Trevor Lawrence (4 years, $9,198,372) with the first pick, as I only have Dak Prescott (4 years, $40,000,000) on my roster at the quarterback position but also was strongly considering the Steeler Najee Harris (4 years, $3,261,861) as well. I did some research and realized the owner with the number 2 pick needed a running back horribly and it just so happened he messaged me shortly after asking who I planned to take 1st overall. I told him it was between Najee Harris, or Lawrence as I could use help at either spot. He responded wanting to find a way to get to number 1 overall and we started working on a deal. In my trade down I ended up sending him this year’s 1.1, Russell Gage (1 year, $654,049), and A.J. Dillon (3 years, $1,321,458) while I received this year’s 1.2, 2.12, and Tim’s best buddy D.J. Moore (2 years, $2,792,829) in return. As I mentioned before your picks are at their highest value when it comes time for you to be on the clock, do not be afraid to use that to your advantage. If you are going to try and trade down in your draft, I highly suggest you take a long look at the teams in between the two picks being swapped so you have a general idea who they will select. I also want to mention if you are in the initial stages of a rebuild, trading down can be a great idea to acquire more talent but can also make you miss out on a true stud at the top. The last thing you want to look at is how deep the talent pool is in the rookie draft, for example this year I would not trade back after pick 2.5 which is where things really get ugly.

Best Player Available or Trading Up

One of the safest ways to draft in any dynasty format is to go ahead and draft the best player available on your draft board. While this is a safe way to play, it can also take you quite a bit longer to come out of your rebuild as you tend to only have your own picks in these scenarios and when rebuilding most owners want more than one good pick each year. While there really is nothing wrong with this approach if you are patient, it can also sometimes hurt you. If you are an owner who is one receiver away from competing and you are on the clock with Ja’Marr Chase (4 years, $7,547,410) already taken while Najee Harris and DeVonta Smith (4 years, $5,035,347) are left to choose from what do you do? In this scenario you can either attempt to trade for Chase or you must take Harris and while yes you can always trade him after the draft, what happens if he gets hurt before you trade him? If you are planning to trade up for a player in the draft, I would only do so if you are toward the end of your rebuild. Anytime you take a player you truly do not need or does not fit on your roster it is definitely a risk but can also pay out huge if the selected player performs well. Rebuilding owners who have plenty of holes to fill on their roster will not have to worry about this anywhere near as much as an owner who is almost done rebuilding. On my newest roster acquired I am in a very weird rebuild where I have three expensive studs in Mahomes (11 years, $45,000,000), Michael Thomas (4 years, $19,250,000), and George Kittle (5 years, $15,000,000) rostered. I have the 1.1 pick in the rookie draft as well as D.J. Moore and should have no issue taking the best player available for my team. The issue here is I am unsure if I want to add my favorite first round player with the 1.1 or try to move back a few spots to pick up an extra first and add two quality players to my roster instead of just one. When I am rebuilding, I try to make sure I have 2-4 draft picks in the first round because it opens a ton of opportunities to move around the draft board and acquire veterans cheap.

Trading Draft Picks for Veterans

Trading draft picks for veterans is always a very risky proposition for rebuilding owners. I almost want to leave this strategy for contenders but in certain situations it can definitely be done when rebuilding your team. In a home league last year (super flex) another guy and myself were the clear front runners so I traded away this year’s 1st and 2nd, next year’s 1st, 2nd and Jared Goff to get Deshaun Watson, Miles Sanders, D.J. Moore, and Tyler Boyd. I bring this trade up because I went from a clear cut top 2 team to unknown in a matter of one offseason. Watson may not touch the field for a season or two (if ever again), and Boyd has huge question marks surrounding him with the addition of Ja’Marr Chase in Cincinnati. I mortgaged my future to go into win now mode and mainly because of the Watson situation, I am now stuck either being a middle of the road team with no picks this year or next, or blowing it up and starting a rebuild. If you are still what you would consider rebuilding, I would try to lean away from trading more than one of your 1st round picks unless you are receiving one in return. You will find there are multiple exceptions to this, but I still recommend treading carefully when trading any more than one high pick away. If you find a player that you really want to trade for my recommendation would be trying to trade one first and a player, you think can help the other owner’s roster right away. If the owner continues to deny a pick and player trade, then you may have to up the ante but always try to get at least a 2nd round pick back in those scenarios. Obviously, rookies have a ton of risk baked in as well but drafting one bad rookie will not hurt as bad as losing three or four over the next two years will.

Drafting by Need

The last thing I want to talk about on handling the draft when rebuilding is flat out drafting by need. I touched on this a little earlier when talking about the Najee Harris or DeVonta Smith situation but what if other owners just are not willing to trade. If you feel that owners in your league just do not like to trade or won’t trade with you for whatever reason you may find yourself in a tough spot. In my opinion drafting by need outside of competing for a championship is a terrible thing to do for future roster building. When any owner drafts specifically based on need, they are usually hurting themselves by taking a player they could have gotten a few spots later, meaning they got the player for terrible value. While I do hate this strategy, I can see ways it makes perfect sense in Dynasty Owner.

If you happen to be an owner who is strapped for cap space for whatever reason you may find yourself needing to draft the best cheap talent available, while I can easily justify that this scenario can be taken too far rather quickly. Let us say you have one 1st round pick and $4 million to spend in the draft while needing some help at receiver. When it comes time for you to pick you have Javonte Williams (4 years, $2,216,438), Jaylen Waddle (4 years, $6,771,498) and Rashod Bateman (4 years, $3,149,853) available, with Waddle being out of the available budget. I am perfectly ok with owners drafting Williams there as a need because of a salary cap space but the second you start drafting Bateman over Williams because you needed a cheap receiver you will have problems in the near future. While we are all still navigating our way through this incredible platform, we can take a combo of what NFL GMs do and what we do in regular dynasty to get through the learning process.

Conclusion

I have come to find that there are many right ways and a lot more wrong ways to build a competitive roster here on Dynasty Owner. The strategies I present you guys are things I have tried and seen success with on my personal teams. I have a few bizarre strategies I am going to try over the next season or two and cannot wait to share the ones that work well with you. If you have any strategies, you would like to have tried, feel free to message me on Twitter. Another quick reminder of the writer’s league I will be starting around the start of pre-season. If you would like to join a highly competitive league in a tough format this is for you. Good luck with the inaugural Dynasty Owner rookie drafts and as always good luck on your 2021 Chase for the Ring!

Full 3 Round Rookie Mock Draft

By Jay Pounds (@JayPoundsNFL)

In Dynasty Owner you will find that the most efficient way to build your roster is having players that perform well on cheap contracts. The best way to find those players on cheap contracts happens to be in your rookie drafts. I wanted to do something completely different from the norm this week to help prepare owners for draft day and I would not have been able to pull it off without fellow Dynasty Owner Tom Ayling (@Flanker546). Please go and give him a follow for his help with this week’s content!

This week we are going to do a full 3-round rookie mock draft to give owners a sense of what to expect come June 4th. When starting the mock, I asked Tom to go into the draft trying to think as a rebuilding owner in a vacuum, while I did the same with my picks. I have a feeling after looking at this draft compared to the ADP on the platform, you will see that many of this year’s Dynasty Owner rookie drafts will turn out vastly different. One of the best parts of Dynasty Owner that I have found is no matter how much you try to understand the way everyone else values players, it always ends up playing out different then you had expected.

I figured since Tom was generous enough to help with this mock draft, I would let him take the 1.01 and that was a mistake as it was the start of Tom sniping many of my favorite rookies! I found myself taking the best talent on the board in many cases with thoughts of trading players later down the road, especially the running backs who I feel can net tremendous value from contenders in trades. I did not ask much behind Tom’s thoughts on his picks, but I will give a brief reasoning on why each player was picked in the first two rounds. I will not say much on the third rounders as I have covered a lot of them over the previous two weeks.

Tom – Odd number picks.

Jay – Even number picks.

Round 1

  1. Trevor Lawrence (4 years, $9,198,372)- Quarterback, Jacksonville Jaguars

Trevor Lawrence was this draft’s clear cut best player and as a rebuilding owner you can never go wrong adding a player like that to your roster. I would tend to think if you are a rebuilding owner you were having issues at the quarterback position. Salary for Lawrence is pricey compared to some of the other rookies, but if he turns out as expected this pick should be a home run.

2. Najee Harris (4 years, $3,261,861)- Running back, Pittsburgh Steelers

I know I preach to avoid running backs early in rebuilds but not all rebuilds are the same, plus Najee Harris is a Steeler. If I am a rebuilding owner, I would consider other players here but ultimately with Lawrence gone, I would go with Harris. The reason I would take Harris here is his cheap salary and the fact you will be able to snag quite a few draft picks in return for trading him to a contender. If you decide not to trade him, you should have a workhorse RB for the foreseeable future.

3. Kyle Pitts (4 years, $8,227,623)- Tight end, Atlanta Falcons

I absolutely love the talent and landing spot of Kyle Pitts, and if I am being honest, I probably would have taken him with my next pick had he not gone here. The only downside I see with Pitts is the typical time it takes tight ends to develop and the salary he will be playing at. All of that said if he is who we think he is, Pitts will be a huge advantage most weeks on your roster for many years to come.

4. Ja’Marr Chase (4 years, $7,547,410)- Wide receiver, Cincinnati Bengals

The year off for Chase worries me a bit but the last time we saw him on a football field he was clearly the best wide receiver….That field also had Justin Jefferson on it. Chase has a pricey salary being drafted so early but he more than has the talent to make his contract a value. The thought of Chase reuniting with Joe Burrow is extremely intriguing and should pay dividends quickly for the rookie. While there is risk with all rookies, I see Chase as a solid long term player.

5. Justin Fields (4 years, $4,717,988)- Quarterback, Chicago Bears

I wanted Justin Fields at pick number 6 in the worst way but without trading in this mock draft I was stuck watching my guy get taken. In my opinion, Fields should be the best value in this entire class and has the athleticism to be a top 12 quarterback as a rookie. Fields fell much further than expected in the draft and it resulted in a massive value for Dynasty Owners who draft him. If he can beat out Dalton quickly, this may be the best pick in the draft.

6. Trey Lance (4 years, $8,526,319)- Quarterback, San Francisco 49ers

At this spot I was really torn between Javonte Williams, Travis Etienne, and Trey Lance. If I were in win now mode, I would have definitely taken one of the backs available but as a rebuilding owner I took the most intriguing prospect in the draft, Trey Lance. I love the fact Lance landed with Kyle Shanahan in the Bay Area. Every time I think of this pairing, I look back to RGIII in Washington. The only negative on Lance is he may sit a year wasting a valuable season of his rookie deal.

7. Jaylen Waddle (4 years, $6,771,498)- Wide receiver, Miami Dolphins

To me the Dolphins selecting Waddle speaks volumes to what Tua Tagovailoa saw at Alabama. Tua played with both Waddle and DeVonta Smith in college and likely had quite a bit of input on which receiver to draft in Miami. If Tua and Waddle find their groove, Waddle should excel out of the gate. I have also noticed a lot of people comparing Waddle to Henry Ruggs (WR – LV) and I would advise those to look again, Waddle is great underneath. My main concern for Waddle is the development of Tua.

8. Javonte Williams (4 years, $2,216,438)- Running back, Denver Broncos

I think Javonte Williams is the perfect rebuilding running back at the 8 spot. Williams should get a decent role in Year 1 giving his body time to adjust some before receiving a massive load in 2022 and beyond. If this scenario plays out like most think it should by this time next year Williams will be an absolute steal with a very low salary. Watch out for a potential Melvin Gordon suspension in 2021 as well. I know a lot of people have Travis Etienne ahead of Williams, but I am a Williams truther with him getting one of Pro Football Focus’ (PFF) highest running back grades ever during the 2020 season, against the same competition Etienne faced in the ACC.

9. Zach Wilson (4 years, $8,787,670)- Quarterback, New York Jets

Zach Wilson is the player whose draft position will likely be vastly different in every league. I don’t think Wilson is a bad pick here at all as he will get every possible chance to succeed in the Big Apple on top of being a Day 1 starter. I think a lot of the bad on Wilson is tied to the organization that drafted him, but we must remember Adam Gase is no longer there. If Wilson is even a middle of the road quarterback this will be a great pick at the back end of the first round. The Jets invested heavily on the offensive side of the ball during this off-season, now we just have to wait and see if it pays off.

10. Travis Etienne (4 years, $3,224,526)- Running back, Jacksonville Jaguars

At the 10 spot I found myself in a difficult spot, especially as a rebuilding owner. I love DeVonta Smith, and I love drafting wide receivers when I am rebuilding but I felt the value of a potential RB1 was too much to pass up. I am worried about James Robinson in Jacksonville, but the amount of work Etienne will see as a receiver to start should offset that worry some. I think eventually talent will win out and it will be Etienne’s backfield to lose in Jacksonville. I also feel Etienne will net more in a potential trade over Smith in the near future.

11. DeVonta Smith (4 years, $5,035,347)- Wide receiver, Philadelphia Eagles

Attention rebuilding owners! If this happens do not trade this pick. Draft DeVonta Smith! At the 11 spot we have an absolute steal in DeVonta Smith. If I were a rebuilding owner picking at number 11 with Smith on the board, I don’t think I would be able to hit draft fast enough. In many other years, Smith would be a lock to go in the top 5-7 picks and here he sits at pick 11. The depth of talent in the 2021 class shows itself with this selection. The Slim Reaper may take a season or two to fully adjust to the NFL as a smaller receiver, but I fully expect him to be an absolute stud for years to come.

12. Rashod Bateman (4 years, $3,149,853)- Wide receiver, Baltimore Ravens

With the final pick of the first round, I took Rashod Bateman. Bateman was injury prone in college but has the talent to be a monster in the NFL as long as he can stay healthy. If Lamar Jackson takes a step forward passing, Bateman could be a huge beneficiary of that. If Bateman is healthy, there is a real chance he could be the top receiver for the Ravens out of the gate and that’s not something I’m ok passing on this late in the first. The question marks are there but Bateman has first round draft capital on a team that needs an alpha receiver.

Round 2

  1. Trey Sermon (4 years, $1,218,233)- Running back, San Francisco 49ers

Is there a player that has had a bigger rise this off-season than Trey Sermon? Sermon went from being a mid-third rounder in a lot of mocks and is now going late first-very early second round in almost all leagues. The Kyle Shanahan effect is real for running backs in the NFL. Sermon doesn’t have a whole lot of talent to beat out in front of him, especially after 2021. The fact that the 49ers traded a lot of picks away for Trey Lance only to trade more away to get Sermon later in the draft says a ton about how they view Sermon. I have zero issue with this pick as I tend to be a believer in players Kyle Shanahan sees as a fit for his system.

2. Michael Carter (4 years, $1,071,842)- Running back, New York Jets

I honestly do not care for this pick, and I happen to be the one that made it. If I could go back and redo this pick, I probably would switch to Mac Jones, or Elijah Moore (though I got him at the 2.04) over a running back. The reason I took Carter here is because he has a chance to take control of the Jets backfield right away. I like Carter as a long term NFL type player, but I do not think he is built to handle a full workload. As a contender, I don’t have an issue with Carter here but as a rebuilding owner I would go in a different direction.

3. Mac Jones (4 years, $3,896,588)- Quarterback, New England Patriots

To get a soon to be starting quarterback at just under $4 million here at the 2.03 is great value. Mac Jones is going to a great organization who will likely keep him out awhile, but that will also benefit him in the long run. The one thing I love about Jones to New England is how accurate he is and how much their system wants to rely on accurate throws and making the right play, two things Jones excels at. If Cam Newton doesn’t return to normal form quickly, we will see a change in New England sooner rather than later with all the money they spent this off season. Outside of San Francisco, Jones couldn’t have landed in a better situation.

4. Elijah Moore (4 years, $2,235,107)- Wide receiver, New York Jets

Elijah Moore was one of my favorite receivers in this class in terms of pure talent. I was not thrilled with the fact he went to New York who already have Denzel Mims, Corey Davis, Keelan Cole, and Jamison Crowder on the roster, leaving little room for Moore. If things play out well Moore could be the number 2 or 3 guy in 2022 with Cole and Crowder on expiring deals. A lot of Moore’s success will likely be tied to rookie quarterback Zach Wilson. Let’s hope Moore’s talent wins out here.

5. Rondale Moore (4 years, $1,731,060)- Wide receiver, Arizona Cardinals

A lot of what I said about the Moore above can be said about Rondale Moore as well. Rondale Moore was drafted to the Arizona Cardinals who have Nuke Hopkins, A.J. Green, Christian Kirk, two pass catching running backs, and potentially Larry Fitzgerald on the roster for 2021. Moore has a much more realistic shot at quality playing time in 2022 when Green and Fitz will likely be gone. Moore is a talented kid who will get his shot eventually.

6. Kadarius Toney (4 years, $3,429,877)- Wide receiver, New York Giants

While I am not a huge fan of Kadarius Toney as a player, at the 2.06 I just couldn’t pass on someone with first round draft capital. Opportunities like this or a potential Mac Jones fall are why rebuilding owners should make cap flexibility a priority. Toney is a risk at nearly $3.5 million in salary, but he also has a chance to pay off big. As a rebuilding owner, that’s something you should be targeting at this point in the draft. I remember saying to Tom this is when things get interesting in the draft and his response was “you mean gross” and he couldn’t have said it better!

7. Terrace Marshall (4 years, $1,432,372)- Wide receiver, Carolina Panthers

Marshall is one of the more interesting players in this rookie class and I have heard many different opinions about him. I love Marshall at this spot because he is similar to Kadarius Toney in the fact he has very high upside with a low floor. If Marshall can find a role as the third option in Carolina it could spell big things for his future. I also love the fact that Marshall is reuniting with Joe Brady who he played for at LSU.

8. Amon-Ra St. Brown (4 years, $1,066,313)- Wide receiver, Detroit Lions

Amon-Ra St. Brown can be put into the same class as Trey Sermon as one of the biggest risers after the NFL draft. The Lions took St. Brown in the fourth round and while typically that wouldn’t be something to write home about the Lions have no one ahead of him on the depth chart. There is a real chance St. Brown is the most talented receiver on the Lions roster already.

9. Amari Rodgers (4 years, $1,224,974)- Wide Receiver, Green Bay Packers

I was very high on Amari Rodgers because of the mix of talent and landing spot. The fact that the other A. Rodgers (Aaron Rodgers) is threatening to never play for the Packers again really worries me, because I feel Aaron Rodgers will hold a grudge and follow through on his word. All that said, I feel Amari Rodgers is talented but will need Jordan Love to develop quickly should their starting quarterback leave town.

10. Chuba Hubbard (4 years, $1,048,294)- Running back, Carolina Panthers

There is only one reason owners are drafting Hubbard and that is to handcuff CMC. Hubbard showed flashes of greatness in college and would have been a much higher draft pick had he declared for the draft early. The decision to come back to school cost Hubbard money and saved Dynasty Owners’ cap space.

11. Nico Collins (4 years, $1,217,879)- Wide receiver, Houston Texans

Nico Collins was drafted to a messy, but great situation. I say messy because of the Deshaun Watson issues, and I say good because there is no one in front of him on the depth chart aside from Brandin Cooks. If Collins has a solid training camp and preseason, you could find yourself with a starter in the back end of the second round.

12. Pat Freiermuth (4 years, $1,507,045)- Tight end, Pittsburgh Steelers

The best pick in the entire second round is the Steeler, Pat Freiermuth! I’m kidding of course. In many past seasons a tight end with the talent of Freiermuth would go much earlier than late second but the presence of Kyle Pitts has pushed back some of the love Freiermuth would typically get. Freiermuth will take a bit to develop but could turn into a Heath Miller type when all is said and done.

Round 3

  1. D’Wayne Eskridge (4 years, $1,488,376)- Wide receiver, Seattle Seahawks

D’Wayne Eskridge should be the third receiver from Day one in Seattle.

2. Kenneth Gainwell (4 years, $953,882)- Running back, Philadelphia Eagles

Kenneth Gainwell is a great pass catching back who kept Antonio Gibson behind him at                           Memphis.

3. Dyami Brown (4 years, $1,236,000)- Wide receiver, Washington Football Team

The addition of Curtis Samuel hurts but Brown could benefit from an upgraded passing attack.

4. Kellen Mond (4 years, $1,305,854)- Quarterback, Minnesota Vikings

The perfect quarterback for a rebuilding roster. Kirk Cousins won’t be around forever.

5. Tutu Atwell (4 years, $1,477,175)- Wide receiver, Los Angeles Rams

Tutu Atwell has great draft capital after being taken in the second round of the NFL draft.

6. Josh Palmer (4 years, $1,258,365)- Wide receiver, Los Angeles Chargers

Josh Palmer starts his career with a young stud quarterback in Justin Herbert.

7. Anthony Schwartz (4 years, $1,215,755)- Wide receiver, Cleveland Browns

Anthony Schwartz is blazing fast and could be the Browns deep threat in Week 1.

8. Javian Hawkins (3 years, $810,000)- Running back, Atlanta Falcons

Javian Hawkins has a great chance to earn playing time in Atlanta.

9. Jarret Patterson (3 years, $808,333)- Running back, Washington Football Team

Jarret Patterson had 409 yards and 8 touchdowns in one game. Enough said!

10. Davis Mills (4 years, $1,304,382)- Quarterback, Houston Texans

With everything going on with Deshaun Watson, Davis Mills could start early on in his career.

11. Jermar Jefferson (4 years, $889,581)- Running back, Detroit Lions

Jermar Jefferson is playing in a wide-open offense, though he is behind the most talented player.

12. Tylan Wallace (4 years, $1,041,341)- Wide receiver, Baltimore Ravens

Tylan Wallace has a ton of talent but was slowed by injuries in college.

Conclusion

I am more excited than ever to be a part of Dynasty Owner. As you can see how owners value a player and his contract is everything in this format. Please feel free to let me know if you guys enjoyed this type of article and which picks you would have made differently as a rebuilding owner.

I want to remind everyone the rookie drafts will be starting on June 4th at 12pm for all returning Dynasty Owner leagues. Be ready to wheel and deal and improve your rosters. Another huge shoutout to Tom Ayling for helping me with this mock draft and adding a little less bias to it. Good luck in your rookie drafts and as always good luck on your Chase for the Ring!

The Top 15 Players Rebuilding Owners Should Target After Rookie Drafts (Part 2)

By Jay Pounds (@JayPoundsNFL)

It is startup season here at Dynasty Owner! Over the course of the rest of the off-season we will have drafts going as often as they fill! If you are an owner who is really enjoying Dynasty Owner and feel others will too, please feel free to invite them over to check out the platform. If you really love Dynasty Owner, you will be the annoying person in all your league chats telling everyone to come check out this awesome platform that makes you feel like a real NFL GM. Of course, I am kidding about the annoying your other league mates’ part… or am I? I am also looking for a potential league or two to join if anyone is interested in the challenge…. Or free money however you want to look at it! I know Dynasty Owner can be confusing at first but if you are having trouble explaining to your friends just how immersive Dynasty Owner really is then please feel free to send them to @Dynasty_Owner on Twitter and we will gladly help them from there.

Today we will be continuing from last week’s article talking about some of the deepest of sleepers you can pick up after your rookie drafts, which start on June 4th. Last week, I talked about some of the more notable players I felt were going to be drafted in the backend of the 3rd round or just after and today we will switch gears towards the players I do not expect to hear called at all during Dynasty Owner rookie drafts. The players I am going to talk about today all have an extremely clear path to playing time with one injury, or flat-out earning time on the field in training camp, or the preseason. I have found in my 10 plus years of dynasty fantasy football that owners who are patient and make calculated moves tend to find much more value on the backend of their roster, whether it be from identifying late round guys, or in free agency. I know you always hear me say things like finds the talent late and hold onto it until they develop, but there is also nothing wrong with drafting or picking someone up and then cutting them a few months later. Sometimes taking a guy whose outcome is going to be predictable regardless of if the player fails or succeeds is a good thing to do. An example of would-be Sage Surratt, (who was mentioned in last week’s article), if Surrat does not start to generate buzz this off-season with as weak as Detroit’s receiving room is you can drop him because this is his big shot. Obviously, Surratt not showing out during the first two months of his career does not mean he’ll never make it, it just means he will likely never be all that fantasy relevant. I love drafting guys like this simply because when they hit, it’s awesome, but if they do not beat out the minimal talent in front of them you can drop them and pick up another player who could offer more value to your roster. Are guys like this likely to hit often? Absolutely not, but regardless of if they do, or do not, roster spots still need to be filled. I also want to give a shout out to the guys behind the Dynasty Owner Twitter account for turning me on to one of the players you will see listed below who I had not looked into much until that point.

These players will be in no particular ranking with the main factors again being draft capital, path to getting on the field, and their college production.

And Then There Were Seven

  1. Jamie Newman (3 years, $808,333) – Quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles

I picked Newman first because he is a good example of a player that you will know quickly if he is a longer-term hold or someone you can let go based on his training camp and preseason. Jamie Newman Is an interesting prospect, who I feel would have been drafted with a solid season at Georgia in 2020. Newman ended up sitting out the 2020 season for the Bulldogs due to COVID-19 concerns after transferring from Wake Forest. I have Newman on this list because I feel if he ends up looking decent in his first training camp, he could push ahead of Super Bowl winning QB Joe Flacco on the depth chart for the Eagles as Flacco has struggled for quite a few years now. The main thing that I see with this situation is that the Eagles will need to change their entire offense with Flacco under center because of his lack of mobility compared to Jalen Hurts. It is not a hidden secret that teams tend to lean towards backups with a similar skill set to their starter. When I watched some of the Newman tape I could find, he did remind me of Jalen Hurts a bit with a hair less athleticism. If you are drafting Newman in hopes he will be posting baller fantasy numbers for your team you may need to look elsewhere, but I do see Newman as a potential backup option for Hurts over the next season or two. The quarterback position is probably the hardest spot to succeed at after going undrafted with only a few notable undrafted guys in the league right now in Case Keenum, Nick Mullins, and Brian Hoyer. One of the things I really like about Newman is the fact that Jalen Hurts is not exactly proven and with a very impatient fan base in Philly we could see a change sooner rather than later if Hurts were to come out of the gate and struggle.

  • Chris Evans (4 years, $913,222) – Running back, Cincinnati Bengals

Chris Evans is one of the more interesting late round rookies of the 2021 off-season, and a player I will have more than a few shares of on my own teams. Evans was highly sought after coming out of high school in Indianapolis ranking as a top 15 back in the country. Evans looked like he was going to live up to the hype during his first collegiate season finishing with 88 carries for 614 yards and 4 touchdowns, which averages out to a whopping 7.0 yards per carry. Evans was looking to build off a solid freshman year and disappointed heavily in 2017 with 135 carries for 685 yards and 6 scores and falling off further in his junior season. Evans followed a disappointing 2018 season up by getting suspended from the team for academic reasons, only to bounce back in 2020 and get drafted by the Bengals in the 6th round. Over the past what seems like 80 seasons, we have seen the Bengals give Giovani Bernard a significant amount of work each season and the fact that Bernard is no longer with the team opens a massive role for someone to step into. Evans will have Samaje Perine, and Trayveon Williams in front of him on the depth chart giving him a realistic shot at being the number 2 back for Week 1. I have not seen Evans drafted inside of the first three rounds in any rookie draft I have done this off-season and feel he could be a steal for a player you can acquire for next to nothing.

  • Javon McKinley (3 years, $813,333) – Wide Receiver, Detroit Lions

By no means am I saying this kid is the next Marvin Jones, but he reminds me a lot of him. McKinley is a big strong kid who can win in deep ball situations but needs to work on his route running. Javon McKinley played his college ball at Notre Dame and finished with a strong senior season with 42 catches (tied for team high) and 717 yards, which led the Fighting Irish. While McKinley has zero draft capital or anything tying him to an NFL roster, he does have a great landing spot and will get plenty of opportunity to succeed. McKinley showed that he is also able to deal with some adversity and bounce back after he was arrested for punching two campus police officers and underage drinking. While I am not sure if his incident a couple of years ago is why he went undrafted, but I do know that it takes commitment and character to bounce back after humiliating yourself in a situation like that. McKinley’s greatest strength is his ability to stretch the field and is how I expect him to potentially carve out an early role in his NFL career. McKinley can be held in the same regard as previously mentioned Sage Surratt where you will know early on if he is someone you want to hold or let go based on if he’s able to find the field in the least talented receiver room in the NFL.

  • Caleb Huntley (3 years, $808,333) – Running Back, Atlanta Falcons

If you have not been able to tell yet my main factor in choosing these late round guys is based on the chance, they might see the field in the near future. As I did with Sage Surratt and Javon McKinley, I will also do with Javian Hawkins and Caleb Huntley by doubling down on two players for the same team at the same position. When teams are signing multiple quality guys like this to the same position it tells me they are looking to fill a big need, and in Atlanta that need is someone to play a secondary role to Mike Davis. Caleb Huntley is a massive running back coming in at 5’10” tall and weighing in at 229 pounds. In Huntley’s college career for Ball State, he was used strangely after exploding during his freshman year and playing more of a reserve role the following season. In Huntley’s junior season, he played well enough to earn co-offensive player of the year for Ball State finishing with 248 carries for 1275 yards and 12 touchdowns. In 2020, things went strange again, and Huntley started in just 3 games after missing 3 games to injury and the final 2 because he chose to opt out and prepare for the NFL draft. The Atlanta backfield is wide open behind Mike Davis, and Huntley will likely come at a slightly cheaper price than Hawkins and may very well be the better talent. If I had to compare Huntley to someone it would be Jerome “The Bus” Bettis.

  • Dazz Newsome (4 years, $902,677) – Wide Receiver, Chicago Bears

I hope this is not my Ohio State love showing through, but I finally feel comfortable with Chicago as a destination for fantasy receivers now that they have Justin Fields. As we all know Chicago has not had a top tier quarterback in a very long time, in fact I would be willing to bet around half of us have never seen top tier Bears QB in our lifetime. That could all be coming to an end rather quickly. Dazz Newsome, I feel is an excellent fit in Chicago especially if reports about them trading Anthony Miller come to fruition. Newsome is going to end up as a slot receiver in the NFL but will need to become more consistent catching the ball if he wants to have any type of longevity in his career. I have also seen that he should have a clear path to become the Bears new return specialist which is always a positive for the deeper players on your roster. I love targeting young players who have a prominent special teams’ role because it makes it much easier for them to make their team’s roster and to see the field. Newsome was drafted in the 6th round after finishing a 4-year career at North Carolina, a team who has put out quite a bit of pro talent in recent years. Newsome had his best college season in 2019 finishing with 72 catches, 1,018 yards, and 10 touchdowns. If anything, Newsome is well worth a pickup because he will be on the field come Week 1 on special teams and will have numerous chances to impress the organization because of that.

  • Tommy Tremble (4 years, $1,231,608) – Tight End, Carolina Panthers

Ahh another year another Sam Darnold tight end prospect being fed to people. Tommy Tremble was selected by the Panthers in the 3rd round after they had just signed Dan Arnold this off-season giving him pretty significant draft capital. In Carolina, Tremble only has two talented guys to beat out in the previously mentioned Dan Arnold, and Ian Thomas. Thomas is an extremely athletic tight end who just seems he will always be a “what could have been type player” and I do not expect Arnold to get in the way much after the 2021 season, 2022 at the latest. Tremble is a massive man at 6’3” tall and weighing in at 241 pounds. He has the body and strength to hold up for years to come. In college at Notre Dame Tremble was an absolute mauler when it comes to blocking with plenty of videos of him putting guys on their backside to be found. He seems to absolutely love doing the dirty work on the field which is something I value in tight end prospects. Tremble is a very gifted athlete at his size and should be able to develop into a solid NFL tight end if he can improve his pass catching skills. At Notre Dame, Tremble did not get a whole lot of opportunity because he was playing behind Cole Kmet and a kid who has been called a super freshman by many in Michael Mayer, which limited his upside as a playmaker. Tremble is exactly the type of overlooked player rebuilding owners should be targeting.

  • Kylen Granson (4 years, $1,046,592) – Tight End, Indianapolis Colts

I want to welcome everyone to the player I had heard hardly anything about until just a few days ago on Dynasty Owner’s Twitter account, Kyle Granson. Granson was selected in the 4th round by the Colts who have little on their roster in terms of future tight ends. Granson played his college ball at Rice, transferring to SMU after his initial coach at Rice was fired. In Granson’s first season with SMU he lit up opposing defenses for 43 catches, 721 yards, and 9 touchdowns for a rate of 16.8 yards per catch at the tight end position. Granson is not the typical tight end I tend to look for as he seems to be a weak blocker, but he lands in a favorable spot with a coaching staff who knows how to utilize their players’ strengths. The Colts also happened to trade for veteran Carson Wentz this off-season, and it’s widely noted that Wentz loves throwing to his tight ends. After the upcoming 2021 season the Colts have only Jack Doyle and Noah Togiai signed to its roster outside of Granson, so the opportunity will be there for him soon. I added Granson to this list mainly because I wanted to show everyone that its ok to admit you are low on a player and change up your rankings because of it, just as @dynasty_owner said in their Tweet. The one thing I need to work on with tight ends is writing them off when I see they are not the best of blockers. The NFL is constantly changing, and we should be too.

Conclusion

Over the next few months, there will be plenty more of these types of players to snatch up, just be sure to have your ear to the ground. The NFL off-season as a Dynasty Owner is going to be about staying ahead of the game in terms of checking in on training camp news. The news you hear over the next few months you will want to take with a grain of salt but also realize some of it is going to be particularly important. If you look back to last off-season at the James Robinson, Leonard Fournette situation you will find that owners who were following training camp news closely had the jump on owners who were not, and that diligence won plenty of people a championship. I hope you guys enjoyed this segment and if you have any prospects, I did not mention that you have hope for, feel free to let me know on Twitter and I will gladly take a deeper dive. As always good luck on your 2021 Chase for the Ring!