2020 Rookie Check Up

Author: Chris Wolf (@CKWolf21)

As Dynasty players, we are obsessed with potential. We measure it in college performance, breakout age, workout measurables, draft stock and finally – usage. Let’s take a quick look at where some notable rookies have progressed from draft to training camp(ish) to actual gameday usage. Their stats through two weeks are listed below their names.

Joe Burrow – QB – CIN ($9.05M)

  • 509 Pass Yards
  • 3 TDs
  • 1 INT
  • 65 Rush Yards
  • 1 TD

Burrow has been running for his life behind a seemingly annual disappointment of an offensive line. A lesser rookie QB may have fared much worse with what he’s had to work with, but Burrow is an elite competitor. His pocket presence is miles ahead of where most rookies would be, and he has thus far proven that he has the ability to place the ball into tight windows of coverage.

His 97 attempts through two weeks is absolutely insane but their ground game’s ineptitude has led to Burrow putting the games on his back. He and A.J. Green look like they are worlds apart right now in the chemistry department, but he has shown a solid rapport with Tyler Boyd and his tight ends.

Justin Herbert – QB – LAC ($6.64M)

  • 311 Pass Yards
  • 1 TD
  • 1 INT
  • 18 Rush Yards
  • 1 TD

Herbert did not get into the game week 1 but we were able to get a glimpse of his talent this past Sunday. It was one of the strangest Sunday’s in recent memory so why not throw a rookie QB in against the reigning Super Bowl champs on a moment’s notice? The Chargers “leaned” on their impressive run game, but they did not shy away from calling the promising rookie’s number when they needed him.

His 33 pass attempts resulted in 22 completions, 1 passing score and an ill-advised INT that was thrown across his body. It was a solid debut for the big-armed rookie that hasn’t even taken reps with the first team offense.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire – RB – KC ($2.7M)

  • 176 Rush Yards
  • 1 TD
  • 6 Receptions
  • 32 Yards

CEH put on an absolute show on opening night against the Texans rushing 25 times for 138 yards and one TD. He usage shifted towards the receiving game in week two against the Chargers aggressive front. He saw 8 targets in week 2 compared to just 2 in week one. This was a likely mixture of Darrel Williams exiting the game and Mahomes playing mostly hurry-up in the second half. He will see better days on the ground but probably after next week when they clash with the Ravens.

Jonathan Taylor – RB – IND ($1.96M)

  • 123 Rush Yards
  • 1 TD
  • 8 Receptions
  • 76 Receiving Yards

Taylor was immediately put to test when Marlon Mack went down early in week one. He didn’t find much room to run against an underrated Jacksonville front seven, but he was able to secure all 6 of his targets for 67 yards. Week 2’s performance with 28 touches showed that he is the every down back that he was billed to be. He completely dominated the touches over Nyheim Hines (28-1) and he is locked into the RB1 situation for the rest of the season.

James Robinson – RB – JAX ($763K)

  • 164 Rush Yards
  • 1 TD
  • 4 Receptions
  • 46 Receiving Yards

Of course, we knew that at this point, James Robinson would have more rushing yards than Jonathan Taylor. With back to back games of exactly 16 carries each, Robinson has been given the workhorse role in this new look Jaguars offense. With 35 total touches through two weeks, he provides the usage you are looking for on your Dynasty Owner team to be a competent RB2 or Flex. The only true concern is game script going forward since the Jags figure to be playing catch up quite a bit in 2020.

J.K. Dobbins – RB – BAL ($1.4M)

  • 70 Rush Yards
  • 2 TDs
  • 1 Reception
  • 13 Receiving Yards

This one is a bit maddening. It would be scary if the Ravens unleashed Dobbins but this three headed monster that they have as a backfield rotation will truly limit his potential until he’s needed to take over a game. In week 1 he scored twice on seven touches. In week 2 he ran for 48 yards on only two carries and caught his only target for 13 yards. You can only hope that Baltimore is keeping their prized rookie fresh for the long haul but man, the possibilities in this offense.

Jerry Jeudy – WR- DEN ($3.79M)

  • 8 Receptions
  • 15 Targets
  • 118 Yards
  • 0 TDs

Jeudy has recorded 4 receptions in each of his first two games and has seen a team-high 15 targets. The targets should remain the same with Courtland Sutton now being out for the season. With Jeff Driskel stepping in for Drew Lock (shoulder), Jeudy’s usage did not take a hit. He and Noah Fant are destined to be the go-to recipients when the Broncos have to throw the ball. In this run-first offense, expectations should be tempered for Jeudy, but he is now the unquestioned WR1 on his team.

CeeDee Lamb – WR – DAL ($3.5M)

  • 11 Receptions
  • 15 Targets
  • 165 Yards
  • 0 TDs

Lamb looks like a true #1 receiver on a team that already has two #1 receivers. His physicality and body control are just ridiculous for someone at this stage of their professional career. His 9.7 yards after catch in week two demonstrates just how physical the former Oklahoma Sooner really is. He will maintain his role in the slot and his snaps are sure to keep increasing due to the loss of Blake Jarwin from week 1. You can safely play him as a solid flex option in this high-powered offense.

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Ten Experts (plus Tim and Myself) Draft Their Dynasty, Here’s What Happened

Author: Steven Van Tassell

The Dynasty Owner Experts league draft was a couple of weeks before the return of Monday Night Football, but this past Monday night was just like the MNF of old. It was supposed to start at 9:00 PM (Eastern) and went way too long as the draft didn’t end until almost 1:00 AM.  Tim and I did a live stream of the proceedings that drew lower ratings than a late season Jacksonville-Tennessee game with both teams under .500. Only 211 views on YouTube so far, which is more than the videos that Tim and I have been doing on a regular basis, but less than the Christopher Harris Possum League video. On the positive side, at least two people have commented so far that they watched the entire video. Thanks to Alex Brazan and Timothy Scrom who posted that they watched it all and everyone else who watched at least part of it.

The first Dynasty Owner Experts League has 10 fantasy football experts, plus Dynasty Owner CEO Tim Peffer and me, drafting teams to crown the first Experts League Champion. Eddie and the other guys in my beta league will argue about whether our league is the “real” experts league or not. Since all of the people in this league have ten or more times as many Twitter followers as I do (231 followers and counting as of press time) and likely more fantasy football championship than I can possibly count, I’ll keep calling them the “experts” and pray that I win a game or two. Also don’t expect me to call out bad picks too much or poor lineup decision making for the same reason, they are the experts and I’m just hoping to show that I belong in the same league.

Thanks to everyone for participating and being a part of Dynasty Owner. I proud to have been asked and excited to be a part of it. The chat banter on Monday night was fun and I have a feeling that there were more private text messages between the other experts that I wasn’t included in that were as much fun (or even more) than what occurred in the chat. For the purposes of this article, ADP and Dynasty Owner ownership statistics were current as of August 29th.

Draft Boards

Part 1 – Rounds 1 to 11

It’s probably hard to see each individual choice, but to break it down for those of you who may not have seen a Dynasty Owner live draft board: green is for RBs; red is for QBs; purple is for WRs; and blue is for TEs. Lots of green and purple with sprinkles of red and blue. Players without a picture are rookies and you can see that there were three rookies drafted in the first round, including Clyde Edwards-Helaire surprisingly being chosen with the first overall pick by Jerry Donabedian from Rotowire. A total of 24 rookies were chosen in the first 11 rounds with a rookie taken in every round but Round 3). To demonstrate how QBs are more valued in Dynasty Owner, 9 out of 12 teams had two QBs by this point in the draft with 5 of those teams having their two QBs by the end of the seventh round. Most teams had two RBs by the end of the fourth round with two teams having three by that point. Only one team (Tyler Guenthner from Dynasty Happy Hour) drafted two TEs by this point in the draft and one team (me – Dynasty Owner Steve) had zero TEs.

Part 2 – Rounds 12 to 25

There’s lots of orange in the second half of the draft – that’s for kickers. You’ll see that five teams drafted three kickers, six took two of them and one team only drafted one (Sideline Squib). The first kicker taken was Matt Gay in Round 15 by Dynasty Owner Tim, followed four picks later by Younghoe Koo by Dynasty Owner Steve. Not a lot of patterns to be seen here in the second half of the draft, so let’s look at the individual teams.

I Can Analyze That Team in One Sentence

This sounds like a great idea for a game show, doesn’t it? If you’re old enough to know that it’s not an original idea and that I’m ripping off Name That Tune (“I can name that tune in one note”), congratulations on being old like me. If you don’t get the reference, here’s a very long Wikipedia entry on the show and its various iterations (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Name_That_Tune). If you are asking what does this have to do with football, then you clearly don’t know that Mrs. Frank Gifford (if anyone doesn’t know, Frank Gifford is a NFL Hall of Famer who was also on Monday Night Football for 27 years) was the orchestra vocalist at one time. Now, on to the analysis in draft order:

  1. Jerry Donabedian, aka JerryDeez (Rotowire) – @Jerrydonabedian – I can do this one in three letters, CEH.
  2. Just Joe (Rotowire) – @Rotowire – This team was looking like a bargain team until he spent almost $35 million on Jones, Amari Cooper and Zach Ertz in Rounds 6-8.
  3. Garret Price (Dynasty Nerds) – @DynastyPrice – He had rookie fever and the cure was using a lot of his $110 million salary cap on expensive WRs in Tyreek Hill and Allen Robinson and TEs in Darren Waller and Austin Hooper.
  4. Tim Peffer (Dynasty Owner Tim) – @Dynasty_Owner – Tim took CMC and Deshaun Watson in the first two rounds, that draft strategy looks familiar (see Vantastics, “All Star League”), but it might not be the best idea to copy me.
  5. Andy Hall (Lazer 103.3 in Des Moines) @AndyHallRadio – I really like this team as he made solid selections at the start, then some value and ended with a mix of value and experience.
  6. Michael Ginnitti (Spotrac) – @Spotrac – He has a Cardinals stack of Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins and largely avoided picking top players with one year left on their contract, which probably isn’t surprising.
  7. Steve Serda (610 Sports KC) @StephenSerda – Steve has a lot of RBs and WRs on his roster with 18 of his 25 player roster playing those positions.
  8. Steven Van Tassell (Dynasty Owner Steve) – @SteveVT33 – I was excited but scared to see Patrick Mahomes drop to the #8 pick as this year could be a Ricky Bobby situation (“If you’re not first, you’re last”) followed by rebuilding with Mahomes’ contract weighing down my team.
  9. Kyle Yates (Fantasy Pros) – @KyleYNFL – Kyle went with the stars and scrubs approach by spending a lot of money early and often and then finding lots of value at the end.
  10. Tyler Guenthner (Dynasty Happy Hour) – @DHH_Tyler – Solid team and I’m not just saying that because he personally sniped me five even numbered rounds in a row by taking the guy I wanted two picks in front of me.
  11. Dynasty Rewind @DynastyRewind – Reports are that the four Rewind guys were in a Zoom chat so they can all claim credit for their picks in which they always looked for (and found) value throughout the draft, leaving them spending only $86 million and the title of the team with the most cap room left after the draft.
  12. Sideline Squib – @SidelineSquib – Steve Silvestri (@SteveSilvestri3) and Andrew Leehy (@DoOrDieNasty) love stacking so much they did it twice (one per Squibber) with their back to back picks, first with Broncos (Courtland Sutton and Drew Lock) and then Cowboys (Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb).

My Changing Draft Philosophy

For every 12-team draft, there are 12 draft philosophies. Since it would have taken a long time to talk with everyone about their philosophy for Dynasty Owner and these are extremely busy people, I decided to just share my own personal draft philosophy.

When the draft order was announced, I started to go through my Top 300 list and prepare and add players to my queue. With the #8 pick, I figured that I’d be getting Nick Chubb (#8 in my rankings) or maybe Alvin Kamara (#7 in my rankings) with my first pick. If either Kyler Murray (ADP 4.8) or more likely Deshaun Watson (ADP 6.7) fell into my lap, then I’d grab them, but otherwise I was prepared to go RB-RB with my first two picks based on my draft position. The idea was to get some low salary value players at the beginning of the draft.

That definitely did NOT happen as Patrick Mahomes dropped down to the #8 pick and I blew up my plan completely, but in a good way. Instead of thinking about what expensive veteran QB I was going to draft in the middle rounds or grabbing Josh Allen in the third round, I had gotten the reigning Super Bowl MVP. After that, it was six straight RBs (Kamara, Jacobs, Sanders, Chubb, Elliott, Swift) before two WRs (Godwin and Adams). Suddenly, it’s my pick and I’ve got the opportunity to get the #1 WR in Michael Thomas with my second round pick. I debated internally for a while, but ultimately decided to take Thomas and commit almost $65 million of my 2021 salary cap to two players. While I usually try to be flexible, this team construction was definitely not my usual Dynasty Owner strategy, but I embraced my inner Ricky Bobby and drafted Thomas.

After that, I need to make some value picks and get a RB or two and quickly. Devin Singletary was still around in the third round (pick #32 overall) and snatched up the #18 player in my Top 300 for my first RB, then grabbed my #26 ranked player in Kenny Golladay in the fourth round (pick #41). Both of them have salaries of under $1 million for 2020, so I was sitting at just over $25 million in 2020 salary (but over $65 million for 2021 or more if I try to keep Golladay around).

However, I deviated significantly from my Top 300 in the fifth round by selecting Raheem Mostert instead of several guys who I have rated higher, such as Chris Carson (who I ended up with in the sixth round anyway), Mark Ingram, James White, Todd Gurley, David Johnson, Le’Veon Bell and Tarik Cohen to name a few. My feeling was that I needed a player with a reasonable salary signed for more than one year since I’m likely not going to be able to keep Golladay in 2021. That meant no drafting Johnson and Bell and their double digit million dollar contracts (although I ended up with Johnson as my eighth round selection), no to Carson, White, Gurley and Cohen because they are all on one year deal. I also deemed Mark Ingram’s contract as too high at $5 million for two years. The decision was between Mostert and one of three rookie RBs – Antonio Gibson who may start and two (A.J. Dillon and Ke’Shawn Vaughn) of whom are projected as 2020 backups – so I went with Mostert. It was after my selection that I noticed both of my top two RBs are on bye in Week 11 this year, which is why I drafted Chris Carson in the sixth round. Let’s not go round by round as I’m sure many of you are bored reading this by now. However, I will share one additional strategy that I employed in this draft which was paying attention to the draft of the people drafting around you.  Using the Live Draft board to see how much teams have spent and who they drafted, I was able to notice that @KyleYNFL who was picking right behind me in the odd numbered rounds and right in front of me in the even numbered rounds, spent over $100 million in salaries by the ninth round. As a result, he was going to have to draft sub-$1 million guys in every round afterward. He only had about $9.5 million left in salary for his last 16 players or right around $600,000 per pick. For me, it meant drafting a couple of guys who I wanted a bit earlier than I may have done so normally, such as when I picked Allen Lazard (ADP 137.4) in the eleventh round at pick #128 instead of waiting to see if he lasted until my next pick (#137). Because of his cap situation, I didn’t think Kyle would let Lazard go by twice.

Interesting Expert Observations

From the first pick of Clyde Edwards-Helaire to the last pick of Chris Conley and everywhere in between, there were plenty of interesting things that happened during this first Experts Dynasty Owner draft. Here’s a list of a few of them:

  • Most Surprising Pick(s): Clyde Edwards-Helaire with the #1 pick, followed closely by Johnathan Taylor with the #3 pick by @DynastyPrice from Dynasty Nerds. Christian McCaffrey and Patrick Mahomes lasting to the #4 and #8 overall picks were also a surprise.
  • First Comment that Shows How Dynasty Owner Is Different – After Tim and I drafted our first kickers, someone remarked on the chat “Is there something the Dynasty guys know that we don’t”. This was followed by several kickers getting drafted including two by @DynastyPrice after I took my second kicker. Perhaps he thought I knew something since he, Tyler from Dynasty Happy Hour, and the Dynasty Rewind guys each took three kickers. This is very likely something none of them have ever done before (and likely will never do again).
  • No Big Position Runs – There is usually a run on players at a position at some point in every fantasy draft, but that wasn’t really the case in this one. Maybe experts are less likely than the rest of us to get caught up in a position run, but the longest stretch of players selected at a single position was the 7 WRs chosen in the middle of the fourth round. It started with @KyleYNFL taking D.K. Metcalf and ended with @DynastyPrice grabbing Jalen Reagor before the run ended with Just Joe from Rotowire selecting James Conner. In contrast, if readers recall, the All-Star League had a run of 13 RBs taken in the first and second round.
  • Few Questionable Picks – Having looked at over 500 teams for my Dynasty Owner handcuff article (https://dynastyowner.com/2020/08/utilizing-handcuffs-star-players/), I saw a lot of bad draft picks. Guys who should not be taken at all such as C.J. Ham immediately spring to mind. My pick of Salvon Ahmed in the 22nd round was a bad one since I picked him up Monday night and he was promptly released by San Francisco on Tuesday. Fortunately, the Dolphins picked him up off waivers, but who knows if he’ll make the team or not. Even so, I’m not alone in having Ahmed as he’s owned in 68% of leagues (and dropping) right now. The other pick that could be deemed questionable was the selection of Josh Oliver (TE – JAC) in the 24th round by Sideline Squib. Oliver is out for all of 2020, but still has two years left after this year on his contract at $1.062 million per year. Oliver is only owned in 7% of Dynasty Owner leagues, but the Squib guys could just be planning ahead for 2021 with this pick. Check out the final draft boards posted earlier in this article and send your thoughts on questionable picks to me via Twitter (@SteveVT33) or post them in the YouTube chat.

Conclusions

Being part of the first Dynasty Owner experts draft was great and a true honor. Hopefully seeing how these experts drafted will give you some ideas on how to go about doing your own Dynasty Owner draft if you haven’t drafted yet. If you already drafted, check out the draft board and see if any of the experts drafted a similar team to yours. Is it maybe because you listen to them or was it just by chance?

Hope all of you enjoyed this recap article and the actual draft podcast on YouTube. Speaking of articles, more of them are coming from myself, Chris Wolf (@ckwolf21 on Twitter) and others. The podcast series with myself and Dynasty Owner CEO Tim Peffer continues to be taped and posted on the Dynasty Owner channel on YouTube and other places (iTunes, Spotify, Spreaker) as well. Subscribe to the YouTube channel and make sure to “Like” all of the videos to help promote them. Dynasty Owner is closing in on 500 subscribers on YouTube now and thank you all for watching and listening. All of this great content is available to help you win your Dynasty Owner league and maybe become the winner of the 2020 Chase for the Ring!

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