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!

2021 NFL Draft Recap & Early Rookie Rankings

The 2021 NFL Draft has come and gone. On a night where a lot of trades and movement was expected, there was very little. In total, there were 10 picks that traded hands in the first round. As we know, some of the biggest ones occurred prior to draft day: (49ers trade for example). Before I get into a sneak peek of my early rookie rankings, let me give you all a summary of some of the biggest trades of the draft and what it means in terms of salary implications.

The News

As I previously mentioned, the 49ers had (in my opinion) the most impactful trade of the draft. Here is how it shook out…

The San Francisco 49ers traded a 2021 1st (12th overall), a 2022 1st, a 2022 3rd and a 2023 1st for the Dolphins’ 2021 1st (3rd overall). This trade happened weeks ago and there is no breaking news on the trade itself, but the 49ers did what most expected them to do. They converted that 3rd overall pick into Trey Lance. Lance will make a little over $8.5 million per year for four years. This pick made the most sense for the 49ers, and it is one that was quite predictable. Lance is, in my opinion, the most intelligent rookie quarterback in this class. This should allow him to transition into a starting NFL quarterback sooner rather than later. Trey Lance is currently my QB2 in rookie rankings.

Every trade has two sides to it, so let’s see how the other end of the 49ers’ deal shaped up. The Dolphins received the 12th overall pick from the 49ers and used it (among other picks) to move up to the 6th overall. This deal was made with the Eagles, and it ensured that the Dolphins were going to get a rookie wide receiver. The receiver is Jaylen Waddle. Waddle was my rookie WR1 coming into the draft and this landing spot changes nothing. He will be my WR1 when my initial rookie ranks are released. A $6,771,497 salary is a lot of pay for an unproven wide receiver, but he will still be a value at that number.

One of the more shocking trades of Day 1 was the Bears trading up for the NY Giants’ 11th overall pick. They obtained the spot by giving up a 2021 1st (they converted that pick into Kadarius Toney, a pick I like quite a bit), a 2021 5th, a 2022 1st and a 2022 4th. This was a trove of picks to give up to move up nine spots, but once the trade was made, the player they picked made a lot of sense. The Bears drafted Justin Fields at #11 overall. Fields was the fourth quarterback taken in the draft. He looks to immediately move in as a contender for the starting job. Fields will make a little over $4.7 million per year. As always, if this rookie quarterback can start and be at least average, he will retain amazing value for the duration of his contract.

Moving onto the later rounds:

The Broncos traded up from #40 overall to #35 overall in order to draft the future leader of their backfield, Javonte Williams. Williams (North Carolina) is currently my RB2 in the rookie rankings. I have him ranked only behind Najee Harris. Williams will have to compete with Melvin Gordon in the short term, but I see this backfield becoming his in less than two years. It is also worth noting that Williams costs 1 million dollars less than Harris and Travis Etienne per year.

The Green Bay Packers finally selected a pass catcher for Aaron Rodgers (assuming Rodgers is the starting quarterback in GB for the 2021 season).

When is the last time the Packers drafted a wide receiver in the third round or higher? While you may have guessed Davante Adams, the correct answer is Ty Montgomery in 2015. It’s unbelievable that Rodgers has not received a top round wide receiver since then.

At any rate, the Packers traded up a handful of spots to get Amari Rodgers. Rodgers should receive playing time almost immediately, especially if he is able to pick up the offense quickly in training camps and preseason games. Rodgers will cost Dynasty Owners right at $1.225 million for four years. This was one of my favorite draft trades.

These were obviously not all of the draft trades that affected Dynasty Owners, but I wanted to mention these trades as they are the ones that stood out to me.

At this point I’m going to leave you with the Top 5 ranked rookies for quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers. Obviously, these have the player’s salary taken into consideration. Look for my full overall rankings and rookie rankings to be released later this month.

Rank

QB1

QB2

QB3

QB4

QB5

Player

Trevor Lawrence

Trey Lance

Zach Wilson

Mac Jones

Justin Fields

Salary

$9,198,372

$8,526,319

$8,787,670

$3,896,588

$4,717,988

Draft Position

1

3

2

15

11

Rank

RB1

RB2

RB3

RB4

RB5

Player

Najee Harris

Javonte Williams

Travis Etienne

Trey Sermon

Rhamondre Stevenson

Salary

$3,261,861

$2,216,438

$3,224,526

$1,218,233

$1,057,264

Draft Position

24

35

25

88

120

Rank

WR1

WR2

WR3

WR4

WR5

Player

Jaylen Waddle

Ja’Marr Chase

Rashod Bateman

DeVonta Smith

Kadarius Toney

Salary

$6,771,497

$7,547,410

$3,149,853

$5,035,347

$3,429,877

Draft Position

6

5

27

10

20

I want to thank everyone for reading. Next week, I will have a video for you as we get back to Speculation and Breakdown on teams. Take care and be safe.

TheJerk

The 10 Rookies That Will Finish with the Best DD/PT

Is there a better time of year to be a Dynasty Owner player? All in a relatively short span we had free agency in the NFL, free agency in Dynasty Owner, the NFL draft, and our rookie drafts here on Dynasty Owner, which start May 28th. In just a few months we, as owners, have had a ton of new information to process and millions of different player takes to digest. Have no fear the culmination is coming, in just a few weeks we will all be able to sit back and relax a little while we all try to process what comes next for our rosters.


On May 28th, we will all start our rookie drafts and for some owners it’s time to start planning for the future with a few great rebuilding picks. Rookie drafts are where teams are built in all dynasty formats, but especially here on Dynasty Owner where value matters most. I came across an excellent tweet from @Dynasty_Owner today which asked who owners would rather have, DeVonta Smith or Rashod Bateman in rookie drafts. At first my brain told me to click Smith and continue scrolling, but when looking closer I chose Bateman, and I think I would time and time again in a vacuum. I bring this up because this is a fantastic example of what makes Dynasty Owner different from everyone else, because outside of Bateman die hard truthers no one would take Bateman over the Slim Reaper in any format…… Except Dynasty Owner. I also feel there are plenty of situations where I would take Smith over Bateman as well, for instance if I am rebuilding and have ample cap space, I am taking Smith because he is the better talent, but if I am contending, or rebuilding with limited space I would roll with Bateman 9 times out of 10.


I have been writing for Dynasty Owner close to a year now and the way I look at things in this format has changed dramatically. What do I mean by changed dramatically? When I started Dynasty Owner, I knew cheap quarterbacks were a great value, but I was looking in the wrong places. My first draft I took Daniel Jones and Sam Darnold a little later in the draft thinking I could load up elsewhere with all of the space I saved having zero veteran quarterbacks, and boy was I wrong. I have also started to look at contracts much more than who the player is because as fantasy players we are drawn to names but in Dynasty Owner we need to be drawn to valuable contracts. I want to touch back on the Rashod Bateman versus DeVonta Smith argument again to really hammer these two different points home. As a rebuilding owner, you should more than likely take the better talent regardless of price. The reason for this is you should have a bunch of cap space and with a weaker roster you need the best players you can get for the future. If you are a contending owner, you are likely limited in cap space and would take Bateman who should have similar production to Smith over the next season or two. All in all, if you’re contending sometimes you have to make small sacrifices like this to remain flexible longer. The other interesting thing could be the fact Bateman may fetch more in a trade in 2021 because of his low DD/PT (Dynasty Dollars per Point) which brings in a completely different strategy if you’re building a little further out.

The next couple articles I wanted to jump back into the top 10 players theme, because they are a lot of fun and tend to drum up some debate. In this article, we will be talking about the top 5 rookie DD/PT values for the new rookies coming in at the quarterback position and the top 5 DD/PT values for the position players as well. The only factors in these rankings will be how I think these players finish in terms of DD/PT in 2021, and how I think they will help rebuilding owners. Lastly, some of these players on here are ones I would draft and plan to trade around midseason as a rebuilding owner.

The Quarterbacks


Justin Fields – Chicago Bears (4 years, $4,717,988)
At number 1 we have the draft’s most fascinating player, Justin Fields. The Bears wisely traded up to pick number 11 to draft the Ohio State product and I feel he will be playing sooner rather than later. The one thing that could really hurt Fields’ DD/PT in 2021 is the fact the Bears may roll with Andy Dalton for a few weeks, or maybe even longer. If I were on the board with the 1.01, the only QB I would take over Fields is none other than Trevor Lawrence. It seems like just yesterday Fields was the clear cut number 2 guy, who some had neck and neck with Lawrence and somehow between then and now (with no games being played), Fields fell to the 4th best QB based on the evaluators. Fields as a prospect is not perfect, but then again who is? The kid is tough as nails and in my opinion has unfairly had his name drug through the mud during the draft process. I look for Fields to come out with a massive chip on his shoulder and put the critics to rest, but I’m also an Ohio State homer with a little bit of a bias. I do feel the Bears have solid pieces in place for Fields to mature and grow over time, but the fact they cut their starting left tackle and will depend on rookie Tevin Jenkins is a bit worrisome. Fields does have solid rushing upside as well which is a huge benefit for a rookie QB when things break down.

Trevor Lawrence – Jacksonville Jaguars (4 years, $9,198,372)
The number 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft is not number 1 on this list. I am not saying I think Justin Fields will be better than Trevor Lawrence, I just think the way the draft played out Fields has more upside in 2021 because of his contract. The Jaguars have done a great job in making sure Lawrence has enough playmakers on the roster to succeed, especially when they grabbed his college teammate Travis Etienne. I don’t necessarily think Etienne will be a fantasy stud this season, but I do think the familiar face will help put Lawrence at ease. If anyone takes Lawrence over Fields, I will not blame them a bit as I will probably do the same in one of my leagues. The thing I love most about Lawrence is the fact that he has excellent running ability and went to a team that has a coach who loves to run the ball with his quarterback in Urban Meyer. Lawrence is one of the rare cases where he has been the number 1 prospect of this class since he was basically in diapers and has dominated at every level of competition. The one thing that will easily vault Lawrence, or the number 3 player to the top of this list is the fact they will both likely start from day 1, while Fields may not.

Zach Wilson – New York Jets (4 years, $8,787,670)
I wanted to put Trey Lance here in the worst way possible, but I couldn’t because I feel it will be a half season before we see Lance start a game. I am not much of a Zach Wilson fan, but do believe the Jets have made some solid moves to put him in a solid position to do well moving forward. Wilson will get the opportunity to start from day 1 in New York which will help his DD/PT tremendously over someone like Trey Lance, or Mac Jones. Wilson has an absolute cannon for an arm and has great accuracy, but I still have my reservations simply because New York is brutal, especially for a kid from a small college who doesn’t exactly have a track record to show us anything different. As rebuilding owners it’s not a crazy thought to take Lance over Wilson, but if you’re looking for pure value in 2021, Wilson should be a solid choice. If you end up with Wilson and he starts off hot you will likely get a bundle for him in a trade, or you keep him and hope to have a solid QB for the next few years at a massive discount.

Trey Lance – San Francisco 49ers (4 years, $8,526,319)
The biggest unknown of the draft may end up being the most polarizing player in the entire class. Trey Lance has had the most unusual runup to the draft we have ever seen with his team only playing in one game in 2020, which he was pretty bad in. Yet, somehow through all that, Trey Lance still heard his name called 3rd overall in the 2021 NFL draft. If there is one coach, I trust in the NFL to develop a quarterback, it’s Kyle Shanahan. I looked back briefly through Shanahan’s career, and he has made winners out of Matt Schaub, Brian Hoyer, RG3, Matt Ryan, and Jimmy G, taking the last two to Super Bowls. The 49ers are a team built to win right now and I fully expect Lance to be on the field at some point with Shanahan getting the most out of his talent in diverse ways.

Mac Jones – New England Patriots (4 years, $3,896,588)
The final quarterback on my list is the kid who will go from playing for the greatest college coach of all time to playing for the greatest NFL coach of all time. Does it get any better than that? I feel Jones will do well in New England as he has been coached on the same team first philosophies throughout college. I have also heard he is a very intelligent young man which helps on a Belichick coached team. I don’t see Jones ever finishing in the top 5 of fantasy quarterbacks solely because he has zero rushing upside to his game, and as we have all seen lately a mobile QB has a much easier time producing fantasy numbers. The other reason I have Jones last on the list is the fact I don’t know that he plays much this season with the presence of Cam Newton in Foxboro. If something were to happen to Cam early on, we could see Jones vault up this list. If we have learned anything over the years, it’s nothing is a guarantee and while it’s not likely Jones could very well be the best of the bunch, though I highly doubt it.

The Position Players


Najee Harris – Pittsburgh Steelers (4 years, $3,261,861
At number 1 we have the hands down, clear cut number 1 player in the entire draft – Najee Harris! If this is the first article of mine you have read you will soon learn I love the Steelers and that you can never go wrong drafting one of their players. All jokes aside I think Harris had the best landing spot of any rookie to pair with his very impressive profile. The biggest question mark surrounding Harris is the Steelers offensive line and while it may slow the rookie down some, he is still going to get every carry he can handle. Harris is a very likely candidate to see 250 to 300 plus touches this season with the Steelers wanting to get back to Steeler football, pound the rock and play strong defense. I can see Harris used in the passing game quite a bit as well. As long as Harris stays healthy, I feel he will easily take home the DD/PT award for all rookies here on Dynasty Owner. I know I tell the rebuilding owners to not build around running backs quite often, but in certain situations you take the player who will net the most in a trade during the season.

Ja’Marr Chase – Cincinnati Bengals (4 years, $7,547,410)
In this scenario, Chase will have quite a bit of catching up to do to produce a better DD/PT than Rashod Bateman or DeVonta Smith because of his much larger salary, but I think he is up to the task. The Bengals have Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins on the roster to compete with Chase, but I feel the day Chase steps onto the field it will be easy to see how much better he is than his teammates. I also feel the familiarity between Joe Burrow and Chase will pay huge dividends when it’s time to play meaningful football. The fact I can picture Joe Burrow on crutches trying to talk the Bengals into taking Chase over Penei Sewell tells me everything I need to know about how this season will go for the two former LSU standouts. If Joe Burrow can stay healthy look for Chase to explode as a rookie in 2021.

Rashod Bateman – Baltimore Ravens (4 years, $3,149,853)
In my opinion, Bateman is one of the more fascinating prospects heading into 2021 and had he been drafted elsewhere he would likely be ahead of Chase in this article. Bateman has been a high end prospect for a while now after exploding onto the college scene for the Golden Gophers as a true freshman, but the offense he was drafted into scares me a bit. In Dynasty Owner, DD/PT is all about being able to produce at a high level and if Bateman isn’t seeing a ton of targets, he doesn’t have much of a chance to win this award. I do feel Bateman will be operating as the Ravens top wideout sooner rather than later in 2021 but a lot of what he does rides on Lamar Jackson. If you are someone who believes Lamar has more to show as a passer and the Ravens will open up the passing game some, Bateman could be a steal.

DeVonta Smith – Philadelphia Eagles (4 years, $5,035,347)
At the number 4 spot we have the player who has been dubbed “The Slim Reaper” DeVonta Smith. Smith’s team, the Eagles traded up a few spots in the draft to get him which should mean big time targets are coming his way. In Philly they are pretty void in terms of talented pass catchers making Smith a very welcome addition. Philly currently has Jalen Reagor, Dallas Goedert, and Zach Ertz as known commodities and on top of a thin room, Ertz is likely to be traded. In fantasy opportunity is king and Smith should see as much if not more than any other rookie pass catcher in the 2021 class. My main worry with Smith heading into the future is how well Jalen Hurts will develop at the quarterback position. All in all, I feel Smith will be one of the top values for all rookies this season.

Javonte Williams – Denver Broncos (4 years, $2,216,438)
Even as a Steelers fan, I will still admit Williams was my favorite RB prospect coming out this year. Williams, like Harris is the total package when it comes to a 3 down back. Williams is also tremendous at making would be tacklers miss and getting to the second level. In 2020, Pro Football Focus (PFF) gave Javonte Williams the highest grade ever given to a running back and I look for that to translate well into the NFL. I also feel Williams has the most underrated landing spot of all the rookies, even with Melvin Gordon in Denver. Melvin Gordon should face at least a 4 game suspension in 2021 which does nothing but open up opportunity for a player like Williams. The other great part about this landing spot is he has a clear path to the top of the depth chart in 2022. I have to say it’s great seeing Tarheel football relevant.

Conclusion


If you haven’t already noticed, rookie contracts are what keeps your roster moving and filled with depth. In most rookie drafts you will find value across the board. The hard part is identifying who the best values are for your team. The 2021 class will have plenty of fantastic picks, will you choose correctly
Before we go, I want to remind everyone that start up drafts are about to start taking place and now is a perfect time to get a friend involved in Dynasty Owner. If you are wanting to check out more content, we have 4 articles/videos every week that come out from Steve, Matt, Nate, and myself. If there is anything you would like any of us to specifically cover feel free to get ahold of any of us on Twitter. As always good luck on your 2021 Chase for the Ring!

2021 NFL Contract Extensions and Restructuring

By Steven Van Tassell

In anticipation of the first 2021 Dynasty Owner start-up drafts on May 8th, it’s important that Dynasty Owners are aware of new salary figures for players that will be in effect this year and in future years. There are many ways that players are acquired by NFL teams and sign their contracts, and then there are some that sign contract extensions or restructure them.

As everyone knows, the NFL draft took place a couple of days ago and players will sign 4-year contracts on a salary scale. Those rookie contracts have been loaded in the Dynasty Owner platform from the Spotrac NFL 2021 draft tracker table (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/draft/). Teams have also been signing undrafted free agents to contracts of varying amounts over the next past few days and will continue to do so in the next few days, weeks and months. Those contracts will also be added to the Dynasty Owner platform.

First round draft picks sign contracts with fifth year options that can be picked up or declined by their NFL team. The deadline for picking up or declining those options was May 3rd and this article (https://dynastyowner.com/2021/05/nfl-fifth-year-option-contract-information/) will help Dynasty Owners keep track of those salaries which will take effect for the 2022 Dynasty Owner season.

Free agency started with a rash of big free agent contract signings right after it opened in mid-March and have continued on since then. Matt “The Jerk” Morrison (@dynastyjerk) wrote an article with a lot of the free agency news (https://dynastyowner.com/2021/03/free-agency-opens/) and I also tackled the topic around the same time (https://dynastyowner.com/2021/03/new-contracts-for-the-2021-dynasty-owner-season/). There have been a few additional free agent signings since these articles were written, but a lot of the major ones are covered.

Before a player becomes a free agent, his NFL team will sometimes sign him to a contract extension to avoid having him test the open market. Many of these contract extensions were signed before the start of the 2020 NFL and Dynasty Owner season and the new contract amount is now in effect for the 2021 Dynasty Owner season. Both George Kittle and Travis Kelce signed multi-year extensions way back in August of 2020, but their new salaries of $15 million for Kittle and $14.3 million for Kelce weren’t changed for Dynasty Owners until recently. The double digit per year contract extensions signed by Keenan Allen ($20.025 million), Dalvin Cook ($12.6 million), Derrick Henry ($12.5 million), DeAndre Hopkins ($27.25 million), Cooper Kupp ($15.75 million), Christian McCaffrey ($16 million), Patrick Mahomes ($45 million), Joe Mixon ($12 million), Deshaun Watson ($39 million), and Robert Woods ($16.25 million) all fall into this category.

In addition to all of those new contracts, there have been some additional contract extensions signed more recently. Some will take effect for the 2021 season, while others won’t impact the player’s Dynasty Owner salary in 2021, but will in the future.

Players can also have their contracts restructured. This happens quite frequently, but most of the changes do not affect their Dynasty Owner salary as players are merely converting some salary for the upcoming season into a bonus to help their NFL team with the NFL salary cap. These changes do not affect the overall cost of their contract or the number of years, so the average annual value is unchanged and therefore, their Dynasty Owner salary does not change. This past off-season has seen a who’s who of top players (Brandin Cooks, Jared Goff, Travis Kelce, Cooper Kupp, Patrick Mahomes, Christian McCaffrey, Matt Ryan, Adam Thielen, Michael Thomas and Robert Woods, among others) restructure their contracts in this manner. None of their salaries changed in Dynasty Owner.

However, for a few players, the restructured contract comes after a trade or threat to be released and the new contract replaces the old one and becomes effective for Dynasty Owners. In 2020, Sammy Watkins restructured his contract with Kansas City and reduced his 2020 Dynasty Owner salary from $16 million down to $9 million. Nick Foles was traded from Jacksonville to Chicago and his 4-year, $88 million contract ($22 million per year) was restructured into a 3-year, $24 million contract ($8 million per year). His Dynasty Owners received $14 million in yearly contract savings.

With all of that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most recent extensions signed by players in the Dynasty Owner player pool.

All position ranking data and stats listed are from the 2020 Dynasty Owner season. Updated 2021 salaries are currently posted on the Dynasty Owner platform based on data from Spotrac (www.spotrac.com). 

Contract Extensions

All of the following contract extensions were signed after the end of the 2020 NFL and Dynasty Owner seasons. They range in size and scope from the second largest annual salary in the NFL for a veteran QB to an extra year for the G.O.A.T. to an extension for a player who didn’t even sign a contract for last season until December. In order of total size of the contract, these extensions were given to:

  • Dak Prescott (QB – DAL) – 4 years/$160 million: Dak Prescott signed a four-year, $160 million extension with the Dallas Cowboys through the 2024 season. His $40 million annual salary will be the second largest in Dynasty Owner behind only Patrick Mahomes ($45 million). This new contract removes the franchise tag from Prescott that made his salary $30.144 million in 2020 for his Dynasty Owners. Prescott played very well in 2020 before his season ended due to an ankle injury suffered in Week 5. In just five games, he scored 175.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points for an average of 35.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game.
  • Tyler Lockett (WR – SEA) signs four year extension worth $69 million: Tyler Lockett received a four-year, $69 million extension with the Seattle Seahawks. The extension will keep him in a Seahawks uniform through the 2025 season. The durable third round pick from Kansas State has played his entire six year career with the Seahawks and only missed one game, back in 2016. He will still count for $10.25 million against the Dynasty Owner salary cap in 2021. His annual salary jumps by $7 million to $17.25 million for the 2022 season. Lockett was the #8 ranked WR in Dynasty Owner in 2020 with 270.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 16 games for an average of 16.9 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game.
  • Tom Brady (QB – TB) signs one-year contract extension for 2022 season: After winning his record seventh Super Bowl, Tom Brady signed a one-year contract extension with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The extension will keep him in Tampa Bay for another year through the 2022 season when he will be 45 years old. He will make $25 million in both 2021 and 2022. Brady was the #7 ranked QB in Dynasty Owner in 2020 with 454.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points and started all 16 games for an average of 28.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game.
  • Taylor Heinicke (QB – WAS) – 2 years/$4.75 million: Taylor Heinicke signed a two-year extension with the Washington Football Team for a total of $4.75 million. The extension will keep him in Washington for the next two seasons after he was signed in December to the team’s practice squad. Heinicke ended up starting the team’s Wild Card playoff game against Tampa Bay after playing in their Week 16 game in place of Dwayne Haskins. He scored 15.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in that regular season game.

Contract Restructuring

A less frequent contract happening is when a player has his contract restructured completely and the result is basically a new contract with a new salary amount for their Dynasty Owners. Usually this occurs when a player is traded to another team and he agrees to change his contract to help out the new team. It also can happen when a player wants to stay with his current team and takes less money to do so and avoid being released. The following five players in the Dynasty Owner player pool had their 2021 contracts restructured during the current off-season with the new restructured contract resulting in a savings in 2021 salary cap for their Dynasty Owners.

  • David Johnson (RB – HOU) – 1 year/$5 million: David Johnson agreed to a restructured contract of one year at a salary of $5 million for the 2021 season to stay with the Houston Texans. He will be a free agent in 2022. This restructuring will save his Dynasty Owners $8 million in salary cap space as he was expected to make $13 million in the final year of the 3 year, $39 million contract he signed when he played for the Arizona Cardinals. Johnson was the #22 ranked RB in Dynasty Owner in 2020 with 179.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 12 games played for an average of just under 15.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game.
  • Ben Roethlisberger (QB – PIT) – 1 year/$14 million: Ben Roethlisberger agreed to a new contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers for one season at a salary of $14 million for the 2021 season. He will be a free agent in 2022 at the age of 40, but there is plenty of speculation that this is his final season. This restructuring will save his Dynasty Owners $20 million in salary cap space for 2021 as he was originally scheduled to make $34 million. Roethlisberger was the #13 ranked QB in Dynasty Owner in 2020 with 360.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 15 games played for an average of 24.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game.
  • Taysom Hill (QB – NO) – 1 year/$12.159 million: Taysom Hill re-signed with the New Orleans Saints for one season at a salary of $12.159 million for the 2021 season. He will be a free agent in 2022. Even though the contract was widely reported initially as being a 4-year, $140 million deal, it is not even close to that in reality or for Dynasty Owners. Overall, Hill scored 165.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 16 games for an average of 10.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. In the four games that he started at QB; Hill scored 92.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points for an average of 23.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game.
  • Marcus Mariota (QB – LV) – 1 year/$3.5 million: Marcus Mariota agreed to a restructured contract of one year at a salary of $3.5 million for the 2021 season to stay with the Las Vegas Raiders. He will be a free agent in 2022. He served as Derek Carr’s backup in Las Vegas in 2020 and only played in the Raiders’ Week 15 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. This restructuring will save his Dynasty Owners $5.3 million in salary cap space as he was expected to make $8.8 million. Mariota played well in his one game, scoring 29.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points.
  • Teddy Bridgewater (QB – DEN) – 1 year/$11.499 million: Teddy Bridgewater agreed to a restructured contract of one year at a salary of $11.499 million for the 2021 season with the Denver Broncos. He will be a free agent in 2022. Bridgewater was traded to Denver after spending the 2020 season with the Carolina Panthers. This restructuring will save his Dynasty Owners $9.5 million in salary cap space for 2021 as he was scheduled to make $21 million. It also removes his $21 million salary for 2022. Bridgewater was the #19 ranked QB in Dynasty Owner in 2020 with 294.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 15 games played for an average of 19.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game.

Conclusions

Contract extensions and restructuring existing contracts are two important ways that Dynasty Owner salaries can change for players during the off-season. In the case of contract extensions, they can either take effect for the 2021 season, as in the case of Dak Prescott, or be a true extension that will take effect in the future and not change the player’s 2021 salary as is happening with Tyler Lockett. In contrast, restructured contracts definitely take the place of a player’s current contract and almost always represent a salary decrease that will benefit the player’s NFL team as well as his Dynasty Owners.

Hopefully this article is helpful as you prepare for the upcoming Dynasty Owner season and maybe even your 2021 start-up draft. Keep an eye out for additional new articles and videos from the entire Dynasty Owner writing team. Nate Christian (@NateNFL) will be looking at the recently drafted rookies now that they have a NFL team. Matt Morrison – The Jerk (@Dynastyjerk) is doing a deep dive into contracts by teams. Jay Pounds (@jaypoundsnfl) continues to look at how to rebuild your Dynasty Owner roster. And I’ll help get you ready for your 2021 Dynasty Owner start-up league team.

Please read all of our articles, watch the videos and follow the four of us plus Dynasty Owner (@Dynasty_Owner) on Twitter. 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

League Winners and How They Used the Salary Cap

By Steven Van Tassell (@SteveVT33)

We’ve almost figured out how Dynasty Owners need to put together their rosters on Draft Day to give themselves the best chance possible to win their League. That’s good because with the NFL Draft being held this weekend, mock drafting including rookies will be available soon, followed by real 2021 Dynasty Owner start-up drafts.

To summarize, by analyzing the draft data from all 2020 drafts and particularly League Winner drafts, we’ve learned the following:

  • There’s no “magic formula” associated with your type of league, draft date or draft slot so go ahead and do whatever you want and can afford.
  • Dynasty Owners who drafted players with lower salaries in the first round were more likely to win their League title than those who drafted higher salary players.
  • Alvin Kamara was the “best” first round selection in 2020 Dynasty Owner drafts, followed by Patrick Mahomes.
  • The recommendation to “Draft at Least Three Starting Quarterbacks” is not backed up by the 2020 data and should be discarded for 2021, while the jury is still out on drafting three kickers.
  • Using most of the $110 million salary cap in 2020 was the strategy that more League Winners employed as the average League Winner kept about $8 million in reserve.
  • The contenders for the Chase for the Ring spent more of the $110 million salary cap than regular League Winners when drafting.
  • League Winners spent a lot of their salary cap on Draft Day, but not more or less than the rest of the Dynasty Owners in their respective Leagues.

The next step is to break down how League Winners spent their salary cap on Draft Day by position. I remember someone asking Christopher Harris during a podcast back before last season what was the ideal breakdown of how much to spend by position. He (nor anyone else) had a good answer. Because the structure of Dynasty Owner changed between 2019 and 2020 with the institution of the hard salary cap and the addition of the FLEX position, no one could really have answered that question properly for 2020. However, I always wondered about it and since we have the 2020 draft data available, I decided to go ahead and analyze those data to find out for 2021.

Please keep in mind that we are looking at how to help Dynasty Owners who will be drafting a new team in 2021. These are data only from 2020 Dynasty Owner drafts – it doesn’t account for trades or acquisitions after the Draft. Teams could have changed dramatically (or not much at all) between Draft Day and the end of the season. However, the Draft is the starting point for all Dynasty Owners. Knowing the best way to construct your roster when drafting and having a plan built upon what has worked in the past going into Draft Day will help Dynasty Owners not only draft well, but also maximize their ability to make trades and pick up players off the Free Agent Auction later on in the season.

All salary data listed are from the 2020 Dynasty Owner season which had a $110 million salary cap on Draft Day, but was increased to $112 million for rosters due to COVID-19 considerations.

Overall Salary Cap Usage Summary

In last week’s article (https://dynastyowner.com/2021/04/how-much-of-the-salary-cap-should-i-use-in-the-draft-part-ii/), we determined that the average League Winner spent just over $100 million ($100,419,671) in salaries during their 2020 Dynasty Owner draft. This was less on salaries than the average Dynasty Owner ($101,651,629) by over $1.2 million!

While draft spending by League Winners ranged from a low of just under $69 million($68,897,854) to a high of $109,997,204 (only $2,796 under the salary cap), we found that League Winners were more likely to be in the bottom half of spending in their individual league. In fact, three-fifths (60%) of them were in the bottom half. Clearly, it’s not necessary to outspend the other teams in your league to win.

However, League Winners who finished in the Top 25 in the Chase for the Ring spent more than just a regular League Winner when drafting and were more likely to be one of the bigger spenders in their draft. Half (48%) of the Top 25 in the Chase and three-fifths of the Top 10 were in the top half of spenders in their League, compared with two-fifths (40%) of all League Winners.

So, we have a problem. Everyone wants to win their League, but also contend for the Ring and join Eddie and Viktor as Ring winners. We know to leave some money unspent on Draft Day and that it’s not necessary to spend more than everyone else in your League to win. However, just knowing overall draft spending doesn’t tell us how they spent their salary cap money. That’s the next step, figure out how much you should spend at each position (QB, RB, WR, TE, K) to win your League.

Position to Spend the Most Money On

Quarterbacks are the highest paid players on the football field. Not on every team, but on most of them. The rankings of highest paid players always have a bunch of QBs before you get the first non-QB. Last year in Dynasty Owner, there were 17 QBs at the top of the list of largest contracts before Amari Cooper and his $20 million per year salary appeared. Does that mean Dynasty Owners spent the most on QBs?

Out of the five positions in Dynasty Owner, it is clear which one League Winners spent more on than any other position. And it’s not Quarterback! Believe it or not, it’s not a kicker either. Or even tight end, but that’s at least closer. The position that over two-thirds of 2020 League Winners spent the most on during their draft was: Wide Receiver.

Position% of Leagues% of Top 25% of Top 10
QB26%28%30%
RB4%4%10%
WR69%68%60%

It’s true for the Top 25 in the Chase as well as the Top 10. More of those teams spent more on WRs than any other position.

Salary Cap Usage by Position

Now that we know League Winners spent more on WRs than any other position, we can go on and determine how much did they spend on WRs versus players at the other positions. The breakdown by position is as follows:

Average Salary Cap Spending by Position

On average, nearly two-fifths (37%) of the salary cap for a League Winner was spent on WRs, followed by about one-quarter (23%) on QBs and one-sixth (17%) on RBs. League Winners spent just a little bit more on TEs (10%) than they left unspent (9%). And last, but certainly least, League Winners spent just 4% of the salary cap on kickers.

In dollar figures using the $110 million salary cap, the average amount spent on Draft Day by League Winners in 2020 was:

PositionAmount SpentPercentage Spent
QB$ 25,731,39323.4%
RB$ 18,615,74116.9%
WR$ 40,951,00537.2%
TE$ 10,499,3289.5%
K$ 4,622,2044.2%
Not Used$ 9,580,3298.7%
TOTAL$ 110,000,000100.0%

The average League Winner spent about $41 million on WRs, $25.7 million on QBs, $18.6 million on RBs, $10.5 million on TEs, $4.6 million on kickers and left just under $9.6 million unspent. The average League Winner spent less on QBs than the individual salary for many QBs, including Russell Wilson ($35 million) and 2020 MVP Aaron Rodgers ($33.5 million). The same is true at TE where they spent less than what Hunter Henry ($10.607 million) or Austin Hooper ($10.5 million) made in 2020. Don’t forget about kickers as Justin Tucker ($5 million) cost more than the average League Winner spent on all of their kickers combined ($4.6 million).

Winning your League is first and foremost, but since your ultimate goal is to win the Ring, do you need to spend differently to make the Chase for the Ring leaderboard? We already know that most of the Chase for the Ring contenders spent more on WR than any other position. What about the percentage that they spent, is it different or similar than all League Winners?

When we look at all League Winners compared to those who finished on the Chase for the Ring leaderboard, we don’t see a lot of differences in the percentage of the salary cap spent by position. From an earlier article, we already knew that the Top 25 and Top 10 on the final Chase leaderboard spent more of the salary cap than all League Winners (https://dynastyowner.com/2021/04/how-much-of-the-salary-cap-should-i-use-in-the-draft/).

Now, we can see that they used that additional spending on QBs and TEs, while spending less on RBs and kickers.

Position% Spent by Winners% Spent by Top 25% Spent by Top 10
QB23.4%24.8%25.5%
RB16.9%16.4%14.8%
WR37.2%37.0%38.0%
TE9.5%10.5%10.7%
K4.2%3.4%3.6%
Not Used8.7%8.0%7.3%

The differences aren’t a lot by percentage – just a point or two in most cases, but when you put them in dollar figures, that’s almost $1.6 million more on QBs for the Top 25 and $2.35 million more for the Top 10. Chase for the Ring leaderboard League Winners spent over a $1 million more on TEs than a regular League Winner as well.

Position$ Spent by Winners$ Spent by Top 25$ Spent by Top 10
QB$ 25,731,393$ 27,300,861$ 28,087,673
RB$ 18,615,741$ 18,044,324$ 16,326,575
WR$ 40,951,005$ 40,656,355$ 41,840,164
TE$ 10,499,328$ 11,561,373$ 11,746,967
K$ 4,622,204$ 3,691,732$ 3,977,715
Not Used$ 9,580,329$ 8,745,355$ 8,020,905

Projected 2021 Spending by Position

That’s great to know, but that was then, and 2021 drafts are right around the corner. Let’s project these data for this year and see how much Dynasty Owners should be spending at each position. Based on the $127.75 million salary cap for the 2021 Dynasty Owner season, here’s how much the average League Winner will spend on each position during their draft.

Position2021 Amount to Spend
QB$ 29,883,504
RB$ 21,619,645
WR$ 47,559,009
TE$ 12,193,537
K$ 5,368,060
Not Used$ 11,126,245
TOTAL$ 127,750,000

If you follow these averages, you can’t draft Patrick Mahomes ($45 million), Dak Prescott ($40 million), Russell Wilson ($35 million) or Aaron Rodgers ($33.5 million) as your QB. Don’t take George Kittle ($15 million) or Travis Kelce ($14.3 million) as your TE either. You can afford any RB or WR you want with plenty of room for more of them. You’ll even be able to afford Justin Tucker as your kicker, but you just won’t have enough for a backup.

Conclusion

We’ve figured it all out! Now we know how much of the salary cap you need to spend to win your start-up Dynasty Owner league in 2021. Of course, this assumes that the averages will be the same in 2021 as they were in 2020. There’s going to be more leagues and more new players in 2021, but if these figures hold true for 2021, everyone knows how much to spend. Now, you just have to figure out who to spend it on. Good luck with that!

It’s not just good luck but research and preparation that will help you draft the best team you can on Draft Day. A team that can go out and with some modifications during the season and smart game day decisions on who to Start and who to Bench, can make you a League Champion. Looking back at 2020 is just one piece of the entire process of constructing a 2021 League Winner.

Fortunately, the construction process is going to start happening very soon as we are in the middle of the NFL draft. After that, rookie drafts for everyone who is in a league started in 2020 will commence. There will also be those 2021 start-up drafts beginning soon afterwards as well. The season is getting closer!

Starting next week, we have a new publication schedule for articles and videos. That’s right, videos will be back starting next week to accompany the weekly articles by each of our writers. All of the articles and videos will be released at 1 PM (Eastern). My articles and videos to get you ready for your 2021 Dynasty Owner start-up league team will be released on Saturdays throughout the off-season. Keep an eye out for new articles from the rest of our team of Dynasty Owner writers as well. Nate Christian (@NateNFL) will continue to break down rookies in his Prospect Preview, now available on Tuesdays. Matt Morrison – The Jerk (@Dynastyjerk) is doing a deep dive into contracts by teams that you can check out on Wednesdays. Jay Pounds (@JayPoundsNFL) looks at how to rebuild your Dynasty Owner roster and everyone will get his insights on Fridays.

Please read all of their articles and follow the four of us plus Dynasty Owner (@Dynasty_Owner) on Twitter. Hope you were able to watch the Livestream that Tim and I did for the First Round of the NFL Draft. Thanks, and have a great day!

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

NFL Draft Speculation & Breakdown

By: Matt “TheJerk” Morrison (@DynastyJerk)

Hello Dynasty Owners and welcome to Draft Week.  Hailed as one of the best events for NFL fans, the 2021 NFL Draft is upon us.  As I mentioned in one my previous articles, there are many highlights throughout the year as it pertains to the NFL and the Draft ranks in the top 3 for me.  It would be some combination of Super Bowl, my personal fantasy football drafts, and then the NFL Draft.  I took this question to Dynasty Owner BETA users and the majority seemed to agree with me.  This is how the final poll results shaped up…

Best NFL EventVotesTotal VotesPercentage
Free Agency1340.03
Super Bowl3340.09
NFL Draft8340.24
Personal Fantasy Drafts15340.44
NFL Opening Week4340.12
NFL Playoffs3340.09
Other0340.00

The overwhelming majority of Owners (68%) think that drafts in general are the best part of the NFL.  I agree.  Not only do I agree, I think it makes sense when you really think about it.  Drafts bring a fresh start to the season.  Drafts bring the unofficial start to the new season.  Simply put…they bring hope.  Let’s break down the current NFL Draft structure and go over some of the trades that have already taken place.

First and foremost, the Draft consists of seven rounds that are spaced out over three days.  Day 1 is dedicated entirely to the first round as it is where the majority of the big names come from.  Day 2 is made up of the second and third round, and Day 3 takes up rounds four through seven.  The first round starts with teams getting 10 minutes on the clock and it is decreased as the rounds progress.  Players and picks are able to be traded during the actual draft (although we have seen several trades process prior to the draft this year).

This year, the Draft starts with Day 1 on Thursday April 29 and will run through Saturday May 1.  One of the greatest takeaways I want you to have from this article is to have a general idea of what each player’s salary will be based on where they were drafted.  We know that higher picks make more money because of the way that NFL salaries are structured for rookies.  These numbers are just estimates, but they should give you a good idea coming into the draft.  I’m not going to run through every single position, but I’ll give you a range of what each player could make.

***Before I start, it’s important to note that the exact value of these contracts will not be known until the NFL releases them.  The NFL uses a rookie wage scale that is not completely public knowledge.  With that, I will do my best to estimate salaries based on previous years and this year’s salary cap.***

Let’s start with Number 1 overall.  We all know that Trevor Lawrence will be the first overall pick to Jacksonville.  With that pick, you can expect TLaw to make right around 8.75 million dollars per year.  I have him currently estimated at $8,787,777.  You will notice that this estimate is a touch lower than what Joe Burrow received last year as the #1 overall pick.  In 2021 the NFL salary cap was reduced by 8%, compared to the 2020 NFL cap.  For this reason, it is assumed that rookies this year will make less.  If you are planning on taking Lawrence in your DO Rookie Draft, be prepared to have at least 9 million dollars in space (and that is just one of your picks).

What if you are eyeing a mid-first round receiver?  What can you expect them to make?  Let’s look at a couple of Alabama receivers for this comparison.  I expect both DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle to be drafted later than the top ten overall.  In the 11-15 pick range, both of these players can be expected to make right around 4 million dollars per year.  This shouldn’t come as a surprise as Henry Ruggs was taken at 12 overall in 2020, and his salary is $4,167,906 per year.  By comparison, let’s say DeVonta Smith gets drafted by the Eagles at 12 overall…I project that he will make $4,052,134.  This isn’t much of a decline from 2020, but it is more skewed with the first ten picks.  In summary, a mid-first round wide receiver will cost you roughly half of what Lawrence will.

Maybe you have an early 2021 first round pick in your DO draft and you’re struggling with how much you’ll have to spend on a running back.  Let me tell you the good news when it comes to running backs.  They usually fall in the NFL Drafts.  This isn’t anything against running backs in general, but teams (as a whole) usually wait on running back.  (Example: CEH was the first running back taken in the 2020 NFL draft.  He was drafted at 32nd overall).  This is of great value for Dynasty Owners because, as I explained earlier, the farther a player falls, the lower their salary.  This is also one of many reasons why I expect most DO rookie drafts to be running back heavy in the first round.  So, let’s say we expect Najee Harris or Travis Etienne to be drafted at the end of the 2021 draft.  What if we think the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to draft a running back in the first round?  (I think it’s likely)  Pittsburgh currently sits at 24th.  I estimate that a running back taken with the 24th overall pick would cost right at $3,000,000 per year ($3,082,758 to be exact).  Another outcome that is likely in my opinion is the idea that Atlanta will draft a running back with their second round pick.  Atlanta at 35th overall would have great value if they drafted Harris or Etienne, if either one falls that far.  A running back at 35th overall would cost an Owner right around 2.5 million dollars per year.  You start to see how some of the earlier drafted running backs are on much more affordable contracts than the quarterbacks and wide receivers.  Here is the full list of my calculated salaries for each of the top 32 picks…

PickEstimated SalaryEst. Salary/YearPickEstimated SalaryEst. Salary/Year
1$35,151,109$8,787,77717$13,623,535$3,405,884
2$33,585,521$8,396,38018$13,264,505$3,316,126
3$32,580,264$8,145,06619$13,049,088$3,262,272
4$31,431,355$7,857,83920$12,977,289$3,244,322
5$29,420,790$7,355,19821$12,905,480$3,226,370
6$25,830,508$6,457,62722$12,761,894$3,190,474
7$22,958,280$5,739,57023$12,618,257$3,154,564
8$20,086,051$5,021,51324$12,331,034$3,082,758
9$19,945,391$4,986,34825$12,187,427$3,046,857
10$19,152,575$4,788,14426$12,043,792$3,010,948
11$17,931,886$4,482,97127$11,900,204$2,975,051
12$16,208,537$4,052,13428$11,828,397$2,957,099
13$15,777,706$3,944,42629$11,252,192$2,813,048
14$15,059,127$3,764,78230$10,947,057$2,736,764
15$14,772,447$3,693,11231$10,691,452$2,672,863
16$13,910,758$3,477,69032$10,526,870$2,631,717

Hopefully these numbers will help you start to get an idea of what you’ll need to save to afford a first round pick.  Again, these numbers are not set in stone. They are only my projections.

Contract Speculation

The Browns had a single free agent that we need to talk about.  The key word is “had”.  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.

That’s it.  That’s all I have for speculation this week.  The excitement of the Draft took up almost all of my attention.  I hope everyone is able to relax and watch one of the greatest three day stretches of the NFL year.  I know I’ll be watching.  I’m sure that I’ll give a mini-draft recap in my article next Wednesday, but I’ll leave the heavy hitting rookie talk to Nate Christian.  As always, be sure to check out all of the Dynasty Owner content that Nate, Steve, Jay and I are putting out.  Please follow us on Twitter @Dynasty_Owner, and subscribe to Dynasty Owner on YouTube.  Happy Draft Day!  Everyone take care and be safe.

TheJerk