By Steven Van Tassell (@SteveVT33)
My first off-season article for 2023 is similar to last year with my Victory Laps and Walks of Shame recap. That was a look back at predictions and recommendations from 2021 and seeing if they were worthy of a Victory Lap (being proud of something that you have done and inviting others to admire it) or a Walk of Shame (facing the public after an embarrassing moment).
This year, I’m going to first look at just my weekly Starting lineup and Bench recommendations. This is not an exhaustive look at all 136 recommendations from the weekly preview articles (4 Start and 4 Bench for all 17 weeks). Instead, I’ll present the overall results from all 17 weeks of the Dynasty Owner season and then highlight some of the best and worst recommendations.
The reason for doing this is to provide transparency and accountability. That’s important to me. Many people make weekly predictions and recommendations, but not a lot tell you how those worked out every week or for the season. It’s up to you to do your own research and see if it’s worth paying attention to what they write and say.
All stats cited are based on the Standard Dynasty Owner scoring system as outlined in the updated Dynasty Owner Constitution. Standard Dynasty Owner scoring gives you .1 points for every yard rushing or receiving, .1 point for every 2 yards passing, 1 point per reception, 6 points for a rushing, receiving or passing touchdown and 2 points for a successful 2-point conversion (rushing, receiving, or passing). Interceptions or fumbles lost cost you 3 points, while a fumble that is recovered by the player’s team is a loss of only 1 point. Bonus points are available for 100-199 yards rushing (2 points), 200 yards rushing or receiving (6 points), 300-399 yards passing (1 point) and 400 yards passing (4 points). There is also a 3 point bonus for clutch scoring, which is a score that results in a lead change in the final two minutes of the 4th quarter or overtime. Kickoff and punt return touchdowns are worth 6 points for the player and kickoff and punt returns are worth 1 point for every 40 yards.
For the purposes of this article, startup draft ADPs are from 2022 Dynasty Owner drafts and all statistics were current as of the afternoon of January 23rd unless otherwise noted.
Weekly Starter Recommendations
Every week during the Dynasty Owner season, I recommend one player per position (QB, RB, WR, TE) who should be in your Starting lineup. These players are ones who were drafted to be on your Bench or Practice Squad, or who haven’t played well yet during the season. No early round picks with low ADPs or players who have been doing well. After the week is over, I rate my weekly recommendations (Good, Bad or Just Ok).
For the 2022 season, I made 68 Starting lineup recommendations with Lions WR D.J. Chark ($10,000,000) being recommended in Week 4. He ended up not playing and received a N/A rating. Here’s how those recommendations ended up.
|Position||Good Picks||Good Pick %||Bad Picks||Bad Pick %||Just Ok Picks||Just Ok Pick %|
These selections aren’t easy, and my goal is to have more overall Good than Bad recommendations. That didn’t happen in 2022. On the bright side, I did have more Good than Bad recommendations at QB and RB, but finished with more than 70% Bad recommendations at WR and TE. My playoff record was worse with just 2 Good recommendations (17%), 3 Just Ok recommendations (25%) and 7 Bad recommendations (58%).
There were a few great recommendations during the course of the season, such as:
Week 4: Rashaad Penny (RB – SEA) – 1 year/$5,750,000
Background: In case you forgot, Ken Walker ($2,110,395) was not the Week 1 starter in Seattle. It was Rashaad Penny who had tenth round Dynasty Owner startup ADP (118.1) and finished the 2021 season by averaging 23.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game over the last five weeks. He started the 2022 season off slowly with only 141 rushing yards and a total of 17.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in the first three games.
Reasoning: All of Penny’s great games at the end of the 2021 season came against bad rushing defenses. Seattle was facing the Lions who had tied for the 4th worst rushing defense in 2021 and hadn’t seen any improvement at the start of the 2022 season by allowing 142.3 rushing yards per game over the first three games.
What Happened: Penny went over that and ended up with 151 rushing yards and 2 TDs (30.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points). He was the RB4 for the week, but it was his only good week of the season as he got hurt in Week 5, went on Injured Reserve and was replaced by Walker.
Week 5: Taysom Hill (TE – NO) – 4 years/$10,000,000
Background: Hill started the season with a 15.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy point game, but injured his ribs. He missed Week 3 and had only 9.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points combined in Weeks 2 and 4 while being limited to six snaps in Week 2 and a dozen in Week 4.
Reasoning: Even though he was listed as a TE, almost all of his production so far had been running the ball with 116 rushing yards and 2 rushing TDs. Seattle was allowing 154.0 rushing yards per game at that point and allowed Atlanta RB Cordarrelle Patterson ($5,250,000), another hybrid, out of position player, to score 24.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in Week 3. Getting a TD and 10.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points would be good enough to make Hill a Starting TE and seemed likely.
What Happened: Hill was much better than expected with 112 rushing yards and 3 rushing TDs, plus a 22-yard TD pass. He returned three kickoffs for 69 return yards and had a fumble. It was a full day as Hill was the TE1 with 39.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points and even outscored Travis Kelce ($14,312,500) who had 4 TDs that week.
Week 9: Justin Fields (QB – CHI) – 3 years/$4,717,989
Background: Fields had a slow start to the season with just 38.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points combined after four weeks. He was coming off four solid weeks in a row in which he averaged 23.25 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. There were six teams on bye, but Fields was QB19 and well outside of the top 12 QBs.
Reasoning: The rise seemed legitimate as he had 31.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in Week 8 and was averaging 53 rushing yards per game. In Week 9, he was facing a Dolphins defense that had given up 262.1 passing yards per game with 12 passing TDs allowed in the first eight games. Getting over 20.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points seemed likely and with just 26 teams playing, that would be good enough for a weekly top 12 QB finish.
What Happened: Fields did a lot better than that with a career best 51.9 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. He only threw for 123 yards, but had 3 passing TDs and added 178 rushing yards with a 61-yard rushing TD. He didn’t win Dynasty Owner Player of the Week though as Joe Mixon ($12,000,000) had 211 yards of offense and 5 TDs. That award would come in Week 10 when he had 45.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points.
Week 11: Jimmy Garoppolo (QB – SF) – 1 year/$7,000,000
Background: Before getting injured and letting Brock Purdy ($934,252) enter into the picture, Jimmy Garoppolo had been leading the 49ers offense for most of the season. However, he hadn’t scored more than 24.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in a single game yet.
Reasoning: It just seemed like a perfect storm for Jimmy G. He was playing on Monday Night Football where he was 3-1 in his career and going up against the Arizona Cardinals whom he had gotten two of his six career games with more than 30.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points.
What Happened: Garoppolo had his first 4 TD game since 2019 and ended up with 35.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points to finish as QB3 for the week, behind only Patrick Mahomes ($45,000,000) and Joe Burrow ($9,047,534).
Of course, there were more Bad recommendations, including five recommended Starters who ended up with a Blutarsky (0.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points). These were some of the worst ones:
Week 4: Mitchell Trubisky (QB – PIT) – 2 years/$7,100,000
Background: In his first three games as the Steelers’ starting QB, Trubisky scored 47.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points on 569 yards passing and 3 TDs, but only 1 INT. The Steelers were 1-2 but coach Mike Tomlin had said “definitely No” when asked if he was considering a QB change before their Week 4 game against the Jets.
Reasoning: While the Jets finished the season as the third best defense in terms of passing yards allowed, they started the season off badly with 717 passing yards allowed in the first three games. All of those games had been against the other three teams in the AFC North, so it seemed like Trubisky would be able to do well.
What Happened: At halftime, Trubisky had just 84 passing yards and had thrown an interception for just 1.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. That’s what he finished with as rookie first round draft pick Kenny Pickett ($3,516,976) started the second half of the game and the next nine games for the Steelers.
Week 6: Marquez Valdes-Scantling (WR – KC) – 3 years/$10,000,000
Background: Valdes-Scantling had signed with Kansas City as a free agent and been targeted 31 times in the Chiefs’ first five games. He hadn’t scored a TD yet, but had 19 receptions for 258 receiving yards. In Week 5, he had 15.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (6 receptions for 90 receiving yards) and led the team in receiving yards. However, he was still WR51 for the season.
Reasoning: Valdes-Scantling had seemingly turned the corner and stopped being the boom or bust player that he had been in Green Bay for four years. The Chiefs were playing Buffalo and a shoot-out was expected, so a TD seemed possible.
What Happened: The Chiefs only scored 20 points against the Bills, which was their second lowest-scoring game of the season. Valdes-Scantling was only targeted three times and ended up with a Blutarsky, even as Patrick Mahomes threw 40 passes.
Week 6: Eric Saubert (TE – DEN) – 1 year/$1,187,500
Background: Saubert was coming off a game with 8.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (5 receptions for 36 receiving yards) on a career-high 7 targets against the Colts. He had received more snaps than any other Broncos TE for two consecutive weeks, was leading the team’s TEs in targets and receiving yards, and had scored the only TD by a TE.
Reasoning: In addition to being the best TE so far for the Broncos, they were playing the Chargers who had given up 299 receiving yards to TEs but no TDs at that point. The two worst teams against TEs (Arizona and Seattle) were playing each other, but their TEs weren’t eligible to be chosen.
What Happened: It was a Blutarsky for Saubert who played only one snap. Instead, rookie TE Greg Dulcich ($1,314,785) made his season debut and had 12.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (2 receptions, 44 receiving yards, 1 TD).
Week 13: Kyren Williams (RB – LAR) – 4 years/$992,601
Background: Williams missed the first eight games of the season with an ankle injury. By the time he was activated from Injured Reserve, the Rams were struggling at 3-5. By Week 13, they were 3-8, QB Matthew Stafford ($27,000,000) was done for the season, and both Cooper Kupp ($15,750,000) and Allen Robinson ($15,500,000) were out as well.
Reasoning: The Seahawks had given up 303 yards of total offense and 57.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points to Josh Jacobs ($2,983,350) in Week 12. Williams led the Rams’ RBs in snaps in Weeks 11 and 12. Fellow RB Darrell Henderson ($1,053,001) was released before Week 12. With their starting QB and both starting WRs out, running the ball seemed like a good idea against a bad Seattle run defense.
What Happened: The Rams ran the ball 33 times for 171 rushing yards, but Williams only had 3 carries for 9 yards (0.9 Dynasty Owner fantasy points). Instead, Cam Akers ($1,543,258) had 60 rushing yards and 2 TDs for 19.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. Williams only had 15 touches in the Rams’ final five games of the season.
Weekly Bench Recommendations
In addition, I also recommend one player per position (QB, RB, WR, TE) who should be on your Bench, or Practice Squad. These players were drafted to be in your Starting lineup or have played so well during the season that they should be starting. Just like the Starting lineup recommendations, I rate how my weekly recommendations fared (Good, Bad or Just Ok) after the week is over.
For the 2022 season, I also made 68 Bench recommendations. Here’s how those recommendations ended up.
|Position||Good Picks||Good Pick %||Bad Picks||Bad Pick %||Just Ok Picks||Just Ok Pick %|
In previous seasons, the Bench recommendations have usually been better than the Starting lineup recommendations and 2022 was no different. I had more Good than Bad recommendations, but fell short of my goal of 50% Good by just three. By position, I was over 50% Good for both WR and TE and fell just short at QB. The only position with more Bad than Good Bench recommendations was RB.
Consistency was the name of my recommendations game in the Dynasty Owner playoffs as I had two Good, one Bad and one Just Ok recommendation in all three weeks. All three TE Bench recommendations in the Dynasty Owner playoffs were Good.
The following were some of my best Bench recommendations.
Week 1: Aaron Rodgers (QB – GB) – 2 years/$35,000,000
Background: Aaron Rodgers won back-to-back NFL MVP awards in 2020 and 2021. Rodgers was back with the Packers, but WR Davante Adams ($28,000,000) had been traded to the Raiders and the Packers had made no significant off-season free agent WR signings.
Reasoning: In 2021, Rodgers struggled mightily in Week 1 against New Orleans after not playing in the pre-season. It seemed like a bad idea to do it again, while adding on a lack of playing time with a nearly completely new group of WRs. To make matters worse, his top returning receiver, Allen Lazard ($3,986,000), sat out practices on the Wednesday and Thursday before the game.
What Happened: History repeated itself as Rodgers struggled again in the season opener. He had just 195 passing yards, an interception and a lost fumble and scored just 3.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points against their NFC North division rival Minnesota. Not surprisingly, Lazard ended up not playing at all.
Week 2: Dalton Schultz (TE – DAL) – 1 year/$10,931,000
Background: Armed with a transition tag salary of $10.931 million, Schultz was the ninth TE taken on average in Dynasty Owner startup drafts with a mid-seventh round ADP (91.4). Dynasty Owners expected to start him, and he had a good Week 1 performance with 13.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (7 receptions for 62 receiving yards) against Tampa Bay.
Reasoning: Unfortunately for Dallas, QB Dak Prescott ($40,000,000) was injured in the Tampa Bay game and ruled out for a couple of weeks. Schultz’s stats were significantly worse without Prescott at QB since 2020. In Week 8 last season, Cooper Rush ($977,500) started in Prescott’s place and Schultz only scored 3.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points.
What Happened: Rush was the replacement for Prescott again and played fine with 235 passing yards and a TD, but Schultz was only targeted 4 times. He caught two passes for 18 receiving yards, but lost a fumble (0.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points). He also injured his knee late in the game and ended up missing three out of the Cowboys’ next four games.
Week 15 (Playoffs First Round): Pat Freiermuth (TE – PIT) – 3 years/$1,507,045
Background: Freiermuth had a productive season going with 53 receptions for 630 receiving yards and 2 TDs through 13 games. However, Kenny Pickett was injured and out for the Steelers against Carolina. Both Mitchell Trubisky and Mason Rudolph ($5,080,000) were under consideration to start at QB for Pittsburgh.
Reasoning: Even though Freiermuth had scored 12.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (3 receptions, 33 receiving yards, 1 TD) the previous week with Trubisky at QB for most of the game, it seemed like a bad matchup. Carolina had only given up three TDs to TEs at that point in the season and held Seattle TEs to a combined 6.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (3 receptions for 30 receiving yards) in Week 12.
What Happened: Pittsburgh won by running the ball 45 times versus 22 pass attempts by Trubisky. Freiermuth played 38 snaps but had zero targets and ended up with his first career Blutarsky. It was also the only Blutarsky for a Bench recommended player during the 2022 season.
Week 16 (Playoff Semi-Final): DeAndre Hopkins (WR – ARI) – 3 years/$27,250,000
Background: Hopkins was suspended for the first six games of the season, but returned in Week 7 and had eight weeks in a row with double-digit Dynasty Owner fantasy points. Kyler Murray ($8,914,504) was injured part way through that streak but Hopkins was able to sustain his great production even with Colt McCoy ($3,500,000) at QB.
Reasoning: Bad weather was expected for several games, but not the Arizona home game against Tampa Bay game on Christmas Day. McCoy had gotten hurt the week before and third-string QB Trace McSorley ($965,000) came in and played awful (95 passing yards, 8 rushing yards, 2 INT). With Arizona eliminated from playoff contention and a third string QB playing, I was worried about Hopkins.
What Happened: Those worries were justified as Hopkins only scored 1.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (1 reception for 4 yards). Hopkins had opportunities as he was targeted 10 times by McSorley who attempted 45 passes in the Cardinals 19-16 overtime loss to the Buccaneers.
Some Bench recommendations worked out far worse than the ones above and should never have been made. Here are four of my worst Bench recommendations:
Week 4: Derrick Henry (RB – TEN) – 2 years/$12,500,000
Background: It was Week 4 and Henry was RB17 for the season and had yet to rush for 100 yards in a single game. With a 2022 Dynasty Owner start-up draft ADP of 16.1, some of his Dynasty Owners may have been panicking with a Week 4 matchup against division rival Indianapolis looming.
Reasoning: The poor start combined with a decline in yards per carry from 4.3 in 2021 to 3.6 through the first three games and playing Indianapolis was enough for a Bench recommendation. Indianapolis had only allowed 188 rushing yards to RBs through three games with an average of 2.5 yards per carry. They also held Henry to “only” 181 yards on 56 carries (3.2 yards per carry) and zero TDs in two games in 2021.
What Happened: Henry had his first 100 yard rushing game with 114 yards on 22 carries (5.2 yards per carry). He added a TD and 3 receptions for 33 yards for a total of 25.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. This started a three week run in which my recommended Bench RB scored over 20.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points.
Week 6: Tyreek Hill (WR – MIA) – 1 year/$18,000,000
Background: Hill had suffered a foot injury at the end of the Dolphins’ Week 5 game and would be playing with rookie seventh round draft pick Skylar Thompson ($935,554) at QB. Hill didn’t have an injury designation heading into the game versus Minnesota, but had only scored 2 TDs with both coming in Week 2 against Baltimore.
Reasoning: This was right after the concussion issues involving Tua Tagovailoa ($7,568,859) so my trust in the Dolphins’ training and coaching staff was low on Hill’s injury. My exact wording was, “Foot injury plus third string QB equals putting Hill on your Bench.” Thompson was easily the worst QB Hill had ever played with and that was concerning.
What Happened: Thompson injured his finger early in the game after throwing for 89 yards and no TDs. Enter Teddy Bridgewater ($6,500,000) who threw for 329 yards in a throwback performance against his former team. Hill caught 12 passes for 177 receiving yards (29.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points) and was WR3 for the week.
Week 8: Kyle Pitts (TE – ATL) – 3 years/$8,227,624
Background: Through seven weeks, Kyle Pitts had only one TD and just two games with double-digit Dynasty Owner fantasy points. Despite his high Dynasty Owner ADPs (18.2 in 2022, 31.5 in 2021 and 3.8 in 2021 rookie drafts), he was TE23 for the season and averaging 5 targets, 2.7 receptions and less than 30 receiving yards per game (29.7).
Reasoning: The Falcons were a low volume passing offense. They were passing the ball on just 41.96% of their offensive plays and QB Marcus Mariota ($9,375,000) was averaging only 21.4 passing attempts per game. Continually thinking that coach Arthur Smith was finally going to feed the ball to Pitts seemed like torture for his Dynasty Owners.
What Happened: The Falcons beat Carolina 37-34 in overtime and Pitts had his best game of the season. He finished as TE3 for the week with 19.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (5 receptions, 80 receiving yards, 1 TD) on a season-high 9 targets.
Week 15 (Playoffs First Round): Trevor Lawrence (QB – JAC) – 3 years/$9,198,372
Background: Lawrence was the reigning Dynasty Owner Player of the Week after scoring 44.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in Week 14. He had played well since the Jaguars’ Week 11 bye with an average of 32.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game.
Reasoning: The Jaguars were facing the Cowboys’ pass defense which was giving up only 182.4 passing yards per game (second lowest) and had allowed just 15 passing TDs all season (tied for sixth lowest). While Lawrence had played great recently, all of those games had been against teams in bottom seven in terms of passing yards allowed per game (Baltimore, Detroit and Tennessee).
What Happened: He wasn’t Player of the Week again, but he did have a 37.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy point performance (318 passing yards, 21 rushing yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT, 1 lost fumble). That was still good enough to be QB4 for the week and continue his fine play.
We all have good and bad weeks, regardless of whether we are just a regular Dynasty Owner with only one team, or a writer and analyst with multiple Dynasty Owner teams. These were a few of my best (or worst) recommendations. Mine are on display for every Dynasty Owner to see in my weekly recommendations and you can check all of them out in the Articles section of the Dynasty Owner website.
Out of all of those predictions, I think my favorites were the recommendation to have Justin Fields as a Starter in Week 9 and to Bench Aaron Rodgers in Week 1. Fields had been playing well, but people hadn’t bought in yet, while Rodgers and the Packers clearly didn’t learn from what happened in 2021 and were destined to repeat history. It ended up being a prelude for a disappointing 2022 season for Rodgers.
Recommending Marquez Valdes-Scantling for Dynasty Owner Starting lineups was a true mistake. A small five-game sample should not have outweighed four years of unpredictability and I should know better. Same with the recommendation to Bench Derrick Henry. Not sure what I was thinking that week.
What were your favorite unconventional Starting lineup moves? Or who did you remove from your Starting lineup and ended up making a great call by having him on your Bench? Let me know on Twitter (@SteveVT33) and tell everyone about those great (or not so great) decisions that helped you win (or lose) a match-up.
Even as the NFL playoffs are heading to Conference Championship week, Dynasty Owner is in full off-season mode. It’s time to start renewing your Dynasty Owner teams for the 2023 season. Renewals aren’t due until March 1st, but doing so early gives you full access to your team.
With it being early in the off-season, we have a reduced amount of weekly content. This week, Nate Christian and I have our first off-season articles released. Jay Pounds and Matt Morrison – The Jerk did their 2022 recaps last week and will be back on deck next week with new articles. We’ll alternate at least through the Super Bowl, but ramp up as we get closer to the start of the 2023 Dynasty Owner league year on March 17th.
Jay and I will have a new Dynasty Owner podcast sometime this week to recap the playoffs so far, preview the AFC and NFC Championship games, and maybe take a look at some off-season Dynasty Owner trades. Tim Peffer and I had our 2022 Chase for the Ring Champion Rudy on the Livestream this past Friday to celebrate his Ring winning Dynasty|Trade|School (D|T|S) team. Check it out on the Dynasty Owner YouTube channel if you missed it live. Finally, don’t forget to follow Dynasty Owner on Twitter as well. Thanks for reading and have a great day!
Steven Van Tassell is the Head of Content for Dynasty Owner
Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner