Author: Steven Van Tassell
Happy start of the new NFL season and kick off Dynasty Owner Amnesty! That’s right, the 2020 Dynasty Owner amnesty period started yesterday Wednesday, March 18th. That means Dynasty Owners can start removing players on their current roster who aren’t worth the cost of their salary. This can be done free of charge! All Dynasty Owners need to do is have at least 26 players on their roster (25 if bidding on a player when dropping) and keep their rosters at fewer than 30 players (and probably lower so you have room for rookies).
If this is your first Amnesty article, you are late to the party and need to go read the previous three articles – part 1 covering QBs and RBs and parts 2 and 3 covering WRs. There were a lot of overpaid and underproductive WRs so two articles were needed. If no players on your roster have been covered in the three previous articles, congratulations to you! Let’s hope you don’t have a TE or kicker mentioned in this fourth article as well.
All stats are based on the Standard Dynasty Owner scoring system as outlined in the updated Dynasty Owner Constitution. Standard Dynasty Owner scoring gives you .1 points for every yard rushing or receiving, .1 point for every 2 yards passing, 1 point per reception, 6 points for a rushing, receiving or passing touchdown and 2 points for a successful 2-point conversion (rushing, receiving, or passing). Interceptions or fumbles lost cost you 3 points, while a fumble that is recovered by the player’s team is a loss of only 1 point. Bonus points are available for 100-199 yards rushing (2 points), 200 yards rushing or receiving (6 points), 300-399 yards passing (1 point) and 400 yards passing (4 points). There is also a 3 point bonus for clutch scoring, which is a score that results in a lead change in the final two minutes of the 4th quarter or overtime. Kickoff and punt return touchdowns are worth 6 points for the player and kickoff and punt returns are worth .25 points for every 10 yards.
Standard Dynasty Owner scoring for kickers gives you 1 point for every extra point, while a missed extra point will cost you 1 point. It’s 2 points for a field goal of between 0 and 39 yards, 4 points for a field goal between 40 and 49 yards and 5 points for a field goal of 50 yards or longer. A missed field goal of between 0 and 39 yards will cost you 3 points, while a miss of 40 yards or more is a loss of 2 points.
Special in Philly, but Overpaid in Chicago
Trey Burton is most famous for the passing TD he threw to QB Nick Foles in the Eagles’ Super Bowl LII victory. He became a free agent after that game and signed a 4-year, $32 million contract with the Chicago Bears. Under Coach Matt Nagy who had previously been the Chiefs Offensive Coordinator, it was expected that Burton would turn into the next Travis Kelce. In 2018, Burton was good as he had 146.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points and would have finished as the #8 TE overall. Burton only had 14 receptions for 84 yards in 8 games in 2019 (22.4 Dynasty Owner Fantasy Points) and was injured for most of the season. He underwent hip surgery but is expected to be ready for the 2020 season.
However, the question for his Dynasty Owner is, “Do you want him back on your 2020 Dynasty Owner roster at $8 million for two more years?” The quarterback situation in Chicago is murky with Mitchell Trubisky as the incumbent and the Bears are going to sign free agent Jimmy Graham (it’s all about the U).
Even though Graham is older than Burton by a few years and wasn’t super productive in 2019 with just 99.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points over the entire season, just signing him indicates the Bears’ dissatisfaction with Burton. Even if Burton emerges as the starter next year, what role will he play in the Bears’ offense in 2020? He will likely be the fourth or fifth option behind Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller, Tarik Cohen and David Montgomery. If you are one of the Dynasty Owners in 72% of leagues with Burton on your roster, use the free pass given to Dynasty Owners. Unload Burton’s big contract and find a cheaper TE in your Dynasty Owner league Free Agency Auction.
Possible TE Replacements to Target After Releasing Burton
If you need a starting TE after releasing Trey Burton (or another TE), here are some replacements available in over 70 percent of Dynasty Owner leagues:
- Ryan Griffin of the Jets is only owned in 24% of Dynasty Owner leagues right now. Before his season ending injury, he had 98.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 13 games – an average of 7.5 per game. While the average isn’t great, he did have two games with over 20.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points – an indication that he can be a top TE. Griffin’s salary is higher than a lot of other available TEs, but is still a reasonable $3.6 million per year for the next three years, a savings of $4.4 million in 2020 versus sticking with Trey Burton. He will have competition from fellow TE Chris Herndon (who is likely not available in your league since he’s rostered in 89% of Dynasty Owner leagues), but other teams have supported two good TEs, like the Ravens last year. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that both Griffin and Herndon can be productive Dynasty Owner players in 2020, so go grab Griffin if you need a TE.
- With DeAndre Hopkins on his way out of Houston, somebody is going to have to step up and catch more passes from Deshaun Watson in 2020 for the Texans. Why not one of the two Houston TEs – Darren Fells or Jordan Akins? Fells is older (he turns 34 in April) and more expensive ($3.5 million per year after signing a new 2-year, $7 million deal), but was more productive in 2019 with 110.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points to rank as the #16 TE over the course of the entire 16-game season. However, he was TD dependent as he had 7 TDs. On the other hand, Akins is younger (he turns 28 in April) and cheaper ($831,271 salary for the next two years). He was just the #25 TE in 2019 with 89.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (only 20.3 points less than Fells or 1.3 points per game). Akins had more targets (55 to 48 for Fells), two more catches in 2019 (36 vs. 34 for Fells) and more receiving yards (418 yards vs. 341 for Fells) so it really was the TDs that made Fells more valuable. Both are owned in less than 50% of Dynasty Owner leagues (37% for Fells and 20% for Akins), so either one of them can be a productive replacement for Burton (or another high priced TE). Unless Bill O’Brien goes out and does something wacky like signing Antonio Gates (just kidding, but don’t put it past O’Brien to do something else bizarre).
Other Tight Ends Who Deserve to be Released
There are a few TEs owned in less than 50 percent of Dynasty Owner league who also deserve to be sent packing now if you are a Dynasty Owner who has one of these guys on your roster:
- This one pains me to put here about a fellow alumnus of the University of Miami, but I don’t think Greg Olsen is worth $7 million of Dynasty Owner salary cap room in 2020. Olsen signed a one year, $7 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks back in mid-February that is valid for the 2020 Dynasty Owner season. Despite missing the two games with an injury and playing most of the season with backup QBs in Kyle Allen and Will Grier, Olsen was the 13th best TE in Dynasty Owner in 2019. However, he only averaged 8.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game with three explosive games mixed in (25.5, 17.8 and 17.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points). In half of his 2019 games, he scored 7.0 or fewer Dynasty Owner fantasy points, meaning he was at best a Bench option for half of the season. While he’ll have a much better QB in Russell Wilson throwing him the ball in 2020, he’ll also be competing for playing time with two other quality TEs in Will Dissly and Jacob Hollister and catches with those two plus Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf. That’s a lot of players who want the ball in Seattle and makes Olsen not worth $7 million of your Dynasty Owner salary cap. Olsen is rostered in 37% of Dynasty Owner leagues currently and that percentage should drop now.
- At $9 million per year, Kyle Rudolph is the currently listed on Spotrac (check them out at https://www.spotrac.com/) as the fourth high-paid TE in the NFL, behind Hunter Henry, free agent signee Austin Hooper, and Travis Kelce. Let’s compare Rudolph to Kelce since they have similar salaries. Kelce was the #1 TE in Dynasty Owner last year and earned his nearly $9.4 million salary, scoring 253.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points, or an average of 15.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. Rudolph, on the other hand, was less than half as productive as Kelce. He only scored an average of 7.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game (113.7 for the season) and finished as the #14 TE over the entire season. That’s Bench TE production for Travis Kelce money. Rudolph isn’t highly owned, only owned in 26% of Dynasty Owner league, but if you are among the Dynasty Owners with Rudolph on your roster, use amnesty on him.
- Cameron Brate is the more expensive of the two TEs in Tampa Bay who weren’t thrown the ball much this past season. He was the #24 TE in Dynasty Owner in 2019, but carries an annual salary of $6.8 million for four more years. That’s right – 4 more years! Get rid of him using your amnesty unless you are a Brate Dynasty Owner (all 9% of you) who thinks the G.O.A.T. Tom Brady is going to resurrect Brate’s career in Tampa Bay (assuming Brady signs with the Buccaneers, I’m holding out hope that it doesn’t happen and will continue to do so until pen is put to paper on a contract). Even with Brady at QB, Brate is still probably the fourth option in Bruce Arians’ offense and still is not going to see more targets than Mike Evans, Chris Godwin or even O.J. Howard. Time to get rid of Brate’s contract and grab a cheaper, more productive TE.
Kick These Guys Off Your Roster
There are six kickers definitely worth of releasing immediately due to their high salaries (with multiple years left on their contracts) and lack of productivity in 2019. Four of them are widely owned (more than 70% ownership in Dynasty Owner leagues) and finished outside of the top 10 kickers in 2019, basically making them your Dynasty Owner Bench kicker. Each will make several million dollars in 2020, far too expensive for a Bench player when you only have a $110 million salary cap. Dynasty Owners would be better off grabbing a kicker earning less than $1 million and saving a couple of million dollars in salary cap room that they can better use.
- Jake Elliott of the Philadelphia Eagles is currently owned in 96% of Dynasty Owner leagues and carries a $3.86 million salary for five more years. That salary is currently the 13th highest for a kicker, but Elliott finished the 2019 Dynasty Owner season as the #20 kicker. He only missed six kicks overall in 2019 (4 FGs – all over 40 yards – and 2 PATs), it was just that he didn’t get enough chances and only scored 85.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (5.3 points per game) with only two games over 10 Dynasty Owner fantasy points.
- Robbie Gould was slightly better than Elliott overall as the #19 kicker with 86.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. However, in fairness, he did miss three games with an injury and averaged 6.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. Even if he played all 16 games at that level of production, he would have still only been the #9 kicker in 2019. That’s not good enough for the second highest paid kicker with a $4.75 million salary for three more years. Paying $4.75 million for barely a Top 10 kicker isn’t advised so Dynasty Owners should drop Gould free of charge while they have the opportunity.
- Mason Crosby just got paid by the Green Bay Packers, signing a new 3 year, $12.9 million contract. That makes him the fourth highest paid kicker in the NFL right now. Should Dynasty Owners keep Crosby on their roster with this new contract? The answer is No. The explanation is that while Crosby was the #11 kicker in Dynasty Owner in 2019, he only averaged 6.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game (102.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points for the 16-game NFL season) with only two games of more than over 10 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. Crosby’s ownership should drop significantly from his current level of 80%.
- As the twelfth highest paid kicker in the NFL right now at $3.86 million for three more years, Jason Myers barely makes our list since he was the #14 kicker in Dynasty Owner in 2019. On the positive side, he did have three games with 10.0 or more Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 2019. However, he only had a total of 92.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points all season, an average of just 5.75 points per game. Myers is currently owned in three-quarters (74%) of Dynasty Owner leagues. Check the Free Agent Auction and grab a cheaper kicker if one is available, then drop Myers.
Finally, we have two kickers who are owned in less than 50 percent of Dynasty Owner leagues but should be dropped by their Dynasty Owners as well:
- Because he kicks on the terrible turf at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Chris Boswell has lower fantasy ownership than some other kickers. He didn’t get many scoring chances in 2019, probably due to the Ben Roethlisberger injury. Therefore, he might improve on his standing as the #10 kicker in Dynasty Owner in the upcoming season. He only missed two kicks in 2019 (both FGs over 40 yards) and even with more attempts in 2020, is he going to be as accurate? His contract is $4.2 million for the next three seasons, so if you can find a cheaper kicker with roughly the same production in your league Free Agent Auction, you should drop Boswell and save a few million dollars in salary cap space.
- Even though he didn’t kick at all in 2019, Graham Gano is still owned in 35% of Dynasty Owner leagues at his $4.25 million salary for two more years. That makes him the fifth highest paid kicker in the NFL right now. If you think Gano is going to come back from injury and be a top five Dynasty Owner kicker in 2020, then keep him on your roster. If not, then it’s time to drop Gano and find another Dynasty Owner kicker.
We’ve covered every position now and many of the players who Dynasty Owners might want to use the amnesty provision on. With the announcement by Dynasty Owner Tim of unlimited amnesty for Dynasty Owners through the end of March, there may be additional players to consider since Dynasty Owners are not limited in the number of players they can release free of charge (as long as you have at least 26 players on your Dynasty Owner roster).
At TE, Trey Burton is the top target because of his $8 million salary, which is tied for sixth highest for a TE with new teammate Jimmy Graham, and likely status as the fifth option in the Bears 2020 offense. There are more “high-priced” kickers that Dynasty Owners should drop because they didn’t perform up to the level of their contract in 2019. Dynasty Owners with one of the six kickers listed in this article on their roster could save a couple of million dollars in valuable salary cap room by smartly taking advantage of the free dropping, amnesty provision for the 2020 season.
Now that the new NFL league year has kicked in, it’s time for Free Agents to officially start signing new contracts. There’s lots to cover so don’t forget about all of the great Dynasty Owner specific articles, podcasts, message board debates and Twitter posts to help you start getting ready for the 2020 Dynasty Owner season!
Steven Van Tassell is a freelance writer for Dynasty Owner.