Dynasty Owner Stock Market Report: Who’s Up and Who’s Down?

Author: Steven Van Tassell

With the NFL draft in the rearview mirror and the schedule due to come out late this week, a lot of fantasy football players are looking at what rookies will make an impact next year. Since the focus is on the rookies who were just drafted, a potentially overlooked aspect is what will be the impact of the draft on veteran players. Since this is the first season of Dynasty Owner after an NFL draft, let’s do a “stock market” report where we look at players whose stock is down after the draft and those whose stock is up.

For every rookie who will make an impact during the 2020 Dynasty Owner season, there will be a veteran player who will lose playing time, along with targets, catches or carries. The first part of this article focuses on the players most impacted in a negative fashion by his team’s selections in the 2020 NFL draft.  Because of the sheer number and talent of the rookie WRs chosen in the draft, four out of the five players whose Dynasty Owner stock is down after the draft are WRs.

On the other hand, sometimes the draft improves a player’s stock with his team. It could be because the team didn’t draft any players to compete with him for playing time or their team drafted players who should help him perform better. In the second part of this article, the focus will be on some players whose stock should rise because of what their team did or didn’t do during the draft. In contrast to the stock down list, we have players at every skill position (QB, RB, WR and TE) on the stock list up.

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.

Stock Down for These Players

Amari Cooper (DAL – WR): Jerry Jones got to do the draft alone on his yacht without those pesky scouts, coaches and player personnel people around to influence his selections. Rumor has it that this is what happened in 2014 when Jerry really wanted to draft Johnny Manziel and the Cowboys front office staff convinced him to draft a player at a position they needed (offensive guard Zack Martin who by the way has made it to the Pro Bowl in each of his first six seasons, the fifth offensive lineman to ever do that). Not this year! Despite needs at other positions and having two top WRs in Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup, Jones couldn’t resist taking a WR who slipped down to the 17th pick in CeeDee Lamb.

The selection of Lamb should reduce targets for both Cooper and Gallup, but in Dynasty Owner, it’s Cooper will be negatively impacted to a greater extent since he costs $20 million per season for five more seasons vs. $880,995 for Gallup for the next two years. Sometimes a team can have three productive receivers (see the 2018 Rams through the first five games, before Cooper Kupp got injured, as Kupp, Robert Woods, and Brandin Cooks were all top 25 fantasy WRs), but for what Cooper is making, he needs to be a clear #1 WR. He’s unlikely to earn that salary now with both Gallup and Lamb around.

Tyrell Williams (LV – WR): The Raiders drafted a WR (Henry Ruggs III) in the first round which obviously hurts the value of the rest of the WRs on the team. After that, they went ahead and drafted two more WRs with back-to-back third round selections (Lynn Bowden Jr. and Bryan Edwards). Drafting three players at the same position can only be seen as an indictment of the current guys on the roster who play the same position.

Some people think these picks plus the addition of veteran TE Jason Witten foreshadows a reduction in Darren Waller’s usage, but the player most impacted in Dynasty Owner will be WR Tyrell Williams. Williams is still getting paid Top 20 WR money as he’s scheduled to make over $11 million in 2020. Williams is owned in only 41% of Dynasty Owner leagues right now and those owners are probably wishing they dropped him for free when they had the chance.

Alshon Jeffery (PHI – WR): Another team with poor production and injury problems from its WRs in 2019 were the Philadelphia Eagles. To address this glaring issue, the Eagles went ahead and drafted WR Jalen Reagor in the first round. This selection hurts the fantasy value of all of the Eagles incumbent WRs who were injured or didn’t play well in 2019 (Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside). The player who will be hurt the most though is Alshon Jeffery. That’s because Jeffery’s salary is higher at $13 million than the $9.3 million that Jackson will make and much higher than the $1.236 million due Arcega-Whiteside in 2020. 

A.J. Green (CIN – WR): Despite not playing a down in 2019, some Dynasty Owners still kept Green on their rosters through amnesty and are preparing to pay him nearly $18 million in 2020. Those owners were likely expecting Green to develop a rapport with rookie QB Joe Burrow and a return to 2018 form when he scored 10.0 or more Dynasty Owner fantasy points in all eight games he played before getting injured, averaging 18.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game.

What his Dynasty Owners were not anticipating was that the Bengals would grab a WR (Tee Higgins) with the first pick of the second round. Green’s 2020 salary is over $7 million higher than fellow Bengals WR Tyler Boyd ($17.97 million vs. $10.75 million for Boyd). The Bengals also just signed Boyd to a 4-year, $43 million deal last off-season, so they probably see Boyd and Higgins as their WR duo of the future, not Green.

Jimmy Graham (CHI – TE): When the Bears released fellow highly paid TE Troy Burton a few days before the NFL draft, Graham’s stock was looking up as the top TE on the team, even though the Bears have plenty of TEs on their roster. Then the Bears went ahead and drafted another TE in the second round (Cole Kmet). By having his new team use a high pick on another TE, it shows that the Bears probably don’t think Graham will return to his 2011 and 2013 form in 2020 and want to have his replacement ready to go. At $8 million per year for both 2020 and 2021, Graham is the 7th highest paid TE in Dynasty Owner and will need to hold off Kmet and the rest of the Bears TE corps to be valuable enough to be paying that much for two more years.

Stock Up for These Players

Jarret Stidham (NE – QB): Long-time Patriots fans shouldn’t have been surprised that Bill Belichick didn’t spend a draft pick on a QB this year. For years, people have assumed that the Patriots would draft a replacement for Tom Brady in the first round and he never did it. Remember that Jimmy Garoppolo was a late second round pick, Jacoby Brissett was a late third round pick and Stidham was a late fourth round pick. Now that Brady is gone to Tampa Bay, Belichick didn’t suddenly change and draft a QB with the Patriots first round pick. He did what he’s done many times in the past – he traded down for more late round picks. As Belichick might have said “On to Cincinnati”.

The decision to not draft a QB was a vote of confidence in Jarret Stidham as the Patriots starting QB for 2020 and maybe beyond, depending on his performance. Stidham will only cost Dynasty Owners $788,423 per year for the next three seasons and he’s still available in quite a few leagues (37% to be exact). If you’re a Belichick believer and Stidham is available in your league, go ahead and grab him before someone else does.

Matthew Stafford (DET – QB): Another team who many people thought would draft a QB in the first round was the Detroit Lions. In a vote of confidence for incumbent QB Matthew Stafford, they didn’t and roll into the 2020 season with Stafford, career backup Chase Daniel and David Blough, who started the last five games of the 2020 season as a rookie, as their QBs. Lions’ General Manager Bob Quinn also just gave a vote of confidence to Stafford in an by saying “Matthew (Stafford) is our guy” (https://lionswire.usatoday.com/2020/05/03/bob-quinn-is-happy-with-where-the-lions-stand-at-quarterback/.

Not only did they not draft his replacement, the Lions helped out their porous running game, ranked 21st in yards per carry and 22nd in yards per game in 2019, by drafting D’Andre Swift with the third pick of the second round (35th overall selection). Swift was the second RB drafted and should start and help improve the Lions’ running game to take pressure off of Stafford. While Stafford is making $27 million in salary, that’s only the 11th highest in Dynasty Owner. He’s available in 91% of Dynasty Owner leagues right now for anyone who has that kind of room on their roster for one of the favorites for the 2020 Comeback Player of the Year award.

Jordan Howard and Matt Brieda (MIA – RB): Instead of drafting a RB, the Dolphins took their QB of the future in the first round (Tua Tagovailoa) and two offensive linemen (tackle Austin Jackson in the first round and guard Robert Hunt in the second round). The selection of the linemen should help the Dolphins running game with Howard and Brieda being the primary beneficiaries.

In case you want to go grab them in the Free Agent Auction, neither one is available in many Dynasty Owner leagues (Brieda is owned in 98% while Howard is owned in 93.5%). Brieda is cheaper ($3.259 million vs. $4.875 million for Howard) and only has one year left on his deal versus two years for Howard, so his stock might be up a slight bit more than Howard’s. However, both of them and their owners should benefit from how the Dolphins drafted in 2020.

Allen Lazard (GB – WR): In case you weren’t aware, Lazard was the #2 WR in Green Bay in 2019 with 102.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 11 games, an average of 9.3 points per game. He dressed for all 16 games, but only had a catch in 11 of them. The only WR that the Packers signed so far this off-season is Devin Funchess, who was a disappointment in Carolina and injured for almost all year in 2019 with Indianapolis. In a curious move, they also didn’t draft a WR in the 2020 draft at all. That wasn’t the only curious Green Bay draft move this year, but that’s a story for another article.

For Lazard’s Dynasty Owners, this was good news as it means he’s probably locked in as the #2 WR behind Davante Adams for 2020 for only $675,000 in salary. That’s a great bargain and if you are in a league in which Lazard is available in the Free Agent Auction (35% of them), you should probably go grab him ASAP.

Jonnu Smith (TEN – TE): Delanie Walker is no longer a member of the Tennessee Titans as he was released back in mid-March. This led to speculation that the Titans might grab a TE in the draft. They didn’t so it looks like Jonnu Smith will be the starter. He earned the opportunity to work with Ryan Tannehill again as in the 10 games that Tannehill started in 2019, Smith averaged 8.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game and had 4 games with 10.0 or more points. Over a full 16-game season, this would have made Smith the 11th ranked TE in Dynasty Owner last season. Not bad for just $776,572 in salary for 2020. He is owned in 87% of Dynasty Owner leagues so there are plenty of Dynasty Owners who will benefit from having Smith on their roster this year.

Conclusions

After the NFL draft, there is always a lot of talk about the players drafted and projections on how they are going to do at the next level. Just as important for Dynasty Owners is figuring out how the draft will impact the value of current players already on their rosters. There were plenty of WRs drafted this year, which negatively impacted the value of several veteran WRs, while players at every position had an anticipated increase in value based on who their teams did or didn’t draft.

There is lots of activity coming up in the Dynasty Owner universe as Tim outlined recently. The NFL schedule is also due to be released by the end of the week. There are Dynasty Owner podcasts to view if you haven’t seen them yet. We also have Slack message board debates and commentary on breaking NFL news, a couple of articles by Chris Wolf (follow him on Twitter – @ckwolf21) and one from our newest writer, Milos Ljubic. 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!

Steven Van Tassell is a freelance writer for Dynasty Owner.

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

Late Round Dart Throws for the 2020 NFL Draft

Author: Chris Wolf

With draft season upon us there are more uncertainties than usual. Due to COVID-19, NFL teams are in uncharted territory when it comes to the rookie draft. The NFL mandates that team Owners, General Managers, Head Coaches, and Directors of Scouting must be separate during the draft and are allowed one IT person to be present during the draft. You can view an inside look as to the world we live in ​here​.

A big issue, according to several NFL executives, is the 2nd phase of the draft. The second phase begins when the draft is complete and non-drafted players are able to sign with NFL teams. These undrafted free agents are free to sign with the team of their choice when they come calling.

The problem that teams face is the unusual lack of information when it comes to draft eligible players. Normally, NFL teams are permitted to transport up to 30 draft prospects to their facility for medical exams, interviews, and additional testing during the pre-draft process. Many players and teams were shorted this experience in 2020. Instead, teams must rely on private pro-days without a team representative present. The workouts have been awash with sketchy editing, weird camera angles and it seems everyone runs the 40 in the 4.2’s during the pandemic.

Listed here are five future NFL players with an estimated 2020 cap value. So, let’s take a look at some players that may be late round draft picks or UDFA’s that you might want to keep your eye on during your fantasy draft or free agency period.

QB Jake Luton – Oregon State

Luton is considered to be one of the top 10 QB prospects in this year’s draft class. With three years starting experience at Oregon State, Luton has put together an impressive resume in his tenure with the Beavers. Luton improved every year in passer grading including going for 28 touchdowns to only 3 interceptions in his senior campaign. As a two star recruit coming out of Washington, Luton accepted an offer to play at Idaho. He redshirted there and then transferred to Ventura Community College. During his lone season at Ventura, he posted a 3,551 yd/40 TD line white adding 175 yards and 6 touchdowns on the ground.

Sporting a 6’ 7” and 230lb frame, Luton offers above average pocket presence and escapability. He is absurdly accurate when given a clean pocket and is very proficient in the play action game, whether under center or in shotgun.

Playing in a limited offense for Jonathan Smith at Oregon State, we may not have seen what Luton was capable of. Luton should be a day 3 pick and does not project to be a year one starter but he offers potential in the right system and just might be a good stash on your practice squad.

Estimated 2020 Salary: $650,000-$800,000

WR John Hightower – Boise State

If it were any other year and the 2020 wide receiver class wasn’t so inslanely loaded, we would be talking about John Hightower being drafted in the 2nd round. A deep threat out of Boise State, by way of Hinds Community College in Mississippi, Hightower is a speed demon with above average ball-tracking ability.

His 2019 season saw him catching 51 balls for 943 yards and 8 scores. His impressive 18.5 yards per reception ranked him 5th in the nation (of those with more than 50 receptions) albeit playing against lesser competition in the Mountain West division. Hightower is not a tackle-breaker by any means. In fact, he is more of a catch and get tackled or catch and score type of player.

Evans is a vision runner that would excel with better blocking in a zone themed rushing attack. NFL teams will love the fact that he rarely fumbles and has some receiving chops. In 2019 he was able to carry the load for Appalachian St turning 256 attempts into 1484 yards and 18 touchdowns while adding 198 yds through the air.

What he lacks in elusiveness, he makes up for in vision and big play ability. Evans was able to bust out 28, 20+yd runs ranking him 3rd in the nation. At 5’10” and 203lbs soaking wet, Evans projects as a speed back in a complimentary role at the next level. Because the NFL is finally realizing that you can find quality running backs in the later rounds, expect Evans to go late in the draft or be signed quickly as an UDFA.

Estimated 2020 Salary: $630,000

RB/WR Antonio Gibson – Memphis

With fresh legs and insane explosiveness, Antonio Gibson is going to make some NFL team very happy. Gibson is undoubtedly the most talented yet anomalous selection on this list. His limited use at Memphis was a head scratcher with only 307 career offensive snaps.

He appears to be built in a lab with a solid base and supreme athleticism, his game oozes with quickness, bounce, and crazy tackle breaking ability. With an insanely limited 77 career touches; Gibson broke 16 tackles on 33 rushing attempts and 17 tackles on 38 receptions. That is enough to make any NFL GM drool over the possibilities. He is listed on several draft boards as either a WR or RB but should find work somewhere in between with his new employer.

He does not run the most polished routes and could do a better job of catching the ball away from his body, his incredible athleticism will translate well to catching balls coming out of the backfield or close to the line of scrimmage. The NFL seems to be finally coming around to the usage of athletes like Gibson (RIP Tavon Austin and Corradele Patterson fantasy owners). He should be a round 2-4 selection in the NFL draft and an early to mid round 3 pick in Dynasty Rookie drafts.

Estimated 2020 Salary: $860,000

TE Harrison Bryant – Florida Atlantic University

The list would not be complete without a tight end in what appears to be an underwhelming draft class for the position. Typically, tight ends outside the top three taken don’t get love in the fantasy community but Harrison Bryant is a name you may want to be familiar with. With a 6’5” 240lb frame, Bryant is a solid route runner that brings physicality to his game.

Bryant will not be confused as a good or even competent in-line blocker, his fantasy relevant abilities are why we’re here. In three seasons of work at FAU, he has compiled a resume consisting of 142 receptions on 197 targets for 2,076 yards while hauling in 18 TD’s. While he’s not a seperator like George Kittle or Noah Fant, he is a good seam stretcher that has a knack for finding openings in coverage. He reminds you more of a Cam Brate or Hunter Henry type player that bails out his QB with his smarts.

Smooth enough to create missed tackles and strong enough to gain some yards after the catch, he became a drop monster in 2019 totaling an alarming 8 drops. These drops appear to be fixable since they are mostly concentration drops and not ones that seem to be technique issues. That being said, his toughness with the ball in his hands and his contested catch prowess, he should be the 5th to 8th TE taken somewhere in rounds 5-7 at the end of April.

Although the players on this list may not and probably won’t be much more than year 1 bench stashes, they are still worthy of consideration for dynasty fantasy football purposes. These players are the ones you want to keep in mind if your rookie drafts get into the 3rd, 4th, or 5th rounds when the notable players are scooped up and you’re at a loss. With all of the uncertainty in this year’s pandemic influenced draft, you just might be able to find a gem in the late rounds.

Estimated 2020 Salary: $650,000

Follow us on Twitter: @DynastyOwner

Old Faces in New Places (The Jeffersons Version)

Author: Steven Van Tassell

We’re a moving on up! Moving on up! To the East Side! To a De-Luxe apartment in the sky! This first of two articles on players who have moved teams since free agency started will focus on players who received a salary increase. That’s why the title has the Jeffersons in it (look it up if you don’t get it).

While they all may have gotten a salary increase, some of them will be worth the extra money, some won’t be, and others are in the middle. There are a lot of players who left one team in free agency for more money with another team, so we can’t cover everyone (sorry if you are looking for analysis of Robby Anderson, Tajae Sharpe or Case Keenum). Instead, let’s take a look in depth in this article at a few other players.

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.

I’ll Take Veteran QBs for $25 Million, Alex

This off-season, we had two veteran QBs sign $25 million contracts with new teams – Philip Rivers and the G.O.A.T. (Tom Brady). While Brady is older (43 when the 2020 NFL season starts vs. 38 for Rivers), he was the one who got a two-year deal, while Rivers settled for just one year. That’s just not fair, Rivers has nine kids to support!

Regardless of how many kids they have or age, both Rivers and Brady are tied together this off-season because they are playing for a new team for the first time in the twilight of their careers. Their $25 million contracts, on average, put them into a tie with Drew Brees and Derek Carr for 12th on the list of highest paid QBs (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/quarterback/). Both are making slightly more than in 2019, $2 million for Brady and almost $4.2 million for Rivers. However, which one (if either) is a better fit for your Dynasty Owner team, or should you drop Rivers or Brady if you have them on your roster currently. We’ll break down Brady first, because he’s the G.O.A.T. then Rivers.

Brady finished the 2019 season as the #11 QB in Dynasty Owner (for the second consecutive year) with an average of 21.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. He was fairly consistent as he really only put up one very bad game (4.2 points in Week 4 versus Buffalo) versus four games with 30.0+ Dynasty Owner fantasy points (three in the first five weeks, then one thereafter). He’ll be another year older in 2020, but has better WRs in Tampa Bay (Mike Evans and Chris Godwin) than he did in New England (Julian Edelman), but a worse running game (Ronald Jones in Tampa Bay versus Sony Michel, James White and Rex Burkhead in New England) to help take the load off.

So, the question of the day is – Is Brady going to improve in 2020? Honestly, probably not, but he could stay in the same range as the past two seasons and finish as the #11 QB again, which is fine based on his salary ranking. For the Dynasty Owners who have him on their roster (he’s owned in 89% of Dynasty Owner leagues), hold him unless you really need the salary cap room or have a younger, better QB (or better yet, two) on your roster. Trading is dicey as what are you going to get in dynasty for a 43-year old QB?

Rivers is owned in fewer Dynasty Owner leagues (48%) than Brady and finished the 2019 season as the #18 QB in Dynasty Owner, a decline from #12 in 2018. His weapons in Indianapolis (T.Y. Hilton, Marlon Mack and Jack Doyle plus a rookie/free agent WR) aren’t as good as they were on the Chargers (Keenan Allen, Austin Ekeler and Hunter Henry), so expect that he’s not going to be better in 2020. Maybe having an actual home crowd to play in front of will make him perform better, but don’t count on it. Drop Rivers if you need salary cap room or if a cheaper, younger QB such as Teddy Bridgewater ($21 million contract, owned in 43% of Dynasty Owner leagues) or just a younger QB who costs the same (Derek Carr – owned in 41% of Dynasty Owner leagues) is available.

Are These Receivers Worth Four Million More?

In another coincidence, we have three receivers (two WRs and one TE) who got new contracts with new teams that will pay them $4 million more than they were paid in 2019 (technically, it’s “only” $3.75 million more for Tyler Eifert, but that’s close enough). All of them were not highly owned in Dynasty Owner in 2019 at their old salaries, but are expected to have expanded roles with their new teams, thus justifying the higher salary to their new team. The question for Dynasty Owners is – Are they worth their new 2020 salary or not?  Let’s take a look and see.

  • Former Packers and Cowboys WR Randall Cobb signed a 3-year, $27 million contract ($9 million per year for Dynasty Owner purposes) with the Houston Texans to replace the traded DeAndre Hopkins. At least, that’s the assumption and what the Texans hope happens. He was only owned in 4% of Dynasty Owner leagues at $5 million in 2019 when he was on the Cowboys and finished the season as the #44 WR in Dynasty Owner with 153.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. He did miss one game, so his average was just over 10.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game (10.2). Unless he improves greatly on that performance in 2020, he’s unlikely to be worth $9 million, which puts him right now as the 28th highest paid WR in 2020 (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/wide-receiver/). If you have $9 million in salary cap room and think Cobb will improve in the Houston offense over what he did for Dallas and become someone you can put in your Active lineup as a WR or FLEX on a weekly basis, then he’s almost certainly available in your league and you should go pick him up. I don’t support that move and think you can find better ways to spend that salary cap space.
  • For $1 million less, Dynasty Owners can pick up Breshard Perriman of the New York Jets. Like Cobb, the former first round pick of the Baltimore Ravens is making $4 million more in 2020 than 2019 ($8 million in 2020, up from $4 million in 2019), but he’s three years younger than Cobb (27 at the start of the 2020 NFL season versus 30 for Cobb). Perriman projects as the top outside WR threat for the Jets, which was Robby Anderson last year. Anderson finished #41 WR, but had to play several games without Sam Darnold at QB with mostly Luke Falk in his place (0 TDs in three games and released as soon as Darnold was healthy and back ready to play QB). Perriman had flashes of brilliance at the end of the 2019 season with Tampa Bay and averaged 21.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in the final five games of the season (helping many fantasy players at the end of the season and in the playoffs). He probably can’t sustain the success he had at the end of last season, but I’d take him over Cobb if I needed a WR and had the salary cap room. He’s available in 70% of Dynasty Owner leagues, so take a look if you have roster space and $8 million available.
  • Finally, we have new Jacksonville TE Tyler Eifert. Eifert technically didn’t get a $4 million increase (it was only $3.75 million), but still raised his salary from $4 million in 2019 to $7.75 million in 2020 when he signed his new 2-year, $15.5 million contract. If Eifert is the 2015 version of himself, then he’s well worth this new contract (52 receptions, 615 yards receiving, 13 receiving TDs in 13 games). However, if he’s the Eifert who played only 14 games over the next three seasons from 2016 to 2018, or the 2019 version who played all 16 games but only had 106.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points, then he’s definitely not worth it. Eifert averaged just 6.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game in 2019 and finished as the #19 TE. According to Spotrac, he’s the eighth highest paid TE (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/tight-end/). I just don’t see him as being worth that contract, even with Gardner Minshew II throwing him the ball, so his Dynasty Owner ownership of 20% should go down, not up during this free drop period.

Greg the Leg Moves from LA to Dallas

Finally, we have another kicker, in addition to Mason Crosby who was highlighted in a previous article (https://dynastyowner.com/2020/03/afford-new-home/), who got a new contract worth more than he made in 2019. Greg Zuerlein, aka Greg the Leg, received a three year, $7.5 million contract from the Dallas Cowboys and will no longer be kicking for the Rams. Greg the Leg was with the Rams so long that he played with them when they were still in St. Louis.

His new contract is worth only $250,000 more per year than his old one, but is he really worth $2.5 million in Dynasty Owner salary cap room? Should his Dynasty Owner drop him or keep him (you can’t pick him up because he’s owned in 98% of leagues right now)?

Even though $2.5 million seems like a lot of your $110 million salary cap for a kicker, Zuerlein will only be the 18th highest paid kicker in the NFL in 2020 (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/kicker/). He finished as the #13 kicker in Dynasty Owner in what was a poor season for him. He missed nine FGs in 2019 (1 FG under 40 yards and 8 of 40+ yards), but was perfect in PAT attempts (42 for 42). He missed as many FGs in 2019 as he did in the prior three seasons combined. As a Zuerlein Dynasty Owner, I’m sticking with Greg the Leg and predicting that he bounces back in 2020. I have two other, cheaper kickers as well and recommend everyone try and have the same on their roster.

Conclusions

Not everyone who got a new contract in 2020 is going to be worth the higher salary in Dynasty Owner. Breshard Perriman is one player who Dynasty Owners should look at getting if he’s available in your league, the G.O.A.T. and Greg the Leg are two guys to hold. Dynasty Owners can probably even try to work a trade for Zuerlein as well. In contrast, Randall Cobb, Tyler Eifert and Phillip Rivers can be dropped if you need salary cap room or left in the Free Agent Auction.

There’s more contract news to cover before Dynasty Owners have to pay the drop fee to release a player. A second article about players who switched teams this off-season, but are getting paid less than they did in 2019, is coming tomorrow. And don’t forget about all of the great Dynasty Owner specific podcasts (particularly the Live podcast from Friday – which was a lot of fun), message board debates and Twitter posts.  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!

Steven Van Tassell is a freelance writer for Dynasty Owner.

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

Trading Places

Author: Steven Van Tassell

What a great movie! The 1983 comedy starring Dan Ackroyd and Eddie Murphy with Jamie Lee Curtis plus Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche as the Duke brothers. I love that movie and personally own a Duke & Duke Commodities Brokers T-shirt and went on a tour of Philadelphia that highlighted the Duke brothers bank location.

I could go on and on, but this isn’t a movie review article. It’s a Dynasty Owner fantasy football article about recent trades in the NFL and their Dynasty Owner impact. There have been several trades since the start of NFL free agent signings last Wednesday and even before that as teams could start negotiating with free agents starting last Monday. While many of the players traded have been offensive linemen or on the defensive side of the ball, which doesn’t matter in Dynasty Owner, some players traded might be on your Dynasty Owner roster and others might still be available in your league’s Free Agent Auction.

Trades aren’t going to change the player’s contract details – for the most part, unless they sign a new deal with their new team. However, a trade can impact their usage and productivity and make an underutilized player in 2019 into a superstar in 2020 (David Johnson – your Dynasty Owners are looking at you) or vice versa.

Surprisingly, there are plenty of trades to cover. Does anyone else remember the days when NFL trades were rare and mostly players getting traded for draft picks, not other players? Trades like the “Great Trade Robbery” deal in which Dallas traded Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings for eight draft picks that the Cowboys eventually turned into 5 players (Emmitt Smith, Russell Maryland, Darren Woodson, Kevin Smith and Clayton Holmes) who helped lead them to 3 Super Bowl victories in the 1990s. How shrewd of Jimmie Johnson to pull off that deal? And yes, I’m giving Jerry Jones zero credit – look what he’s done as Owner and General Manger since Jimmie and his players have left – Nothing! Now, it seems like there are trades every off-season and even some during the season, such as the Dolphins trading off several players in the middle of last season, including Kenyan Drake to the Arizona Cardinals.

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.

Mega-Trade Analysis

No, not Kyle Allen to the Redskins or Nick Foles to the Bears. I’ll get to those deals later. I’m talking about the David Johnson-DeAndre Hopkins trade (plus draft picks) between the Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans. The consensus is that the Texans gave up too much (Hopkins and a fourth-round pick in the 2020 NFL draft) to acquire Johnson (plus a 2020 second-round pick and 2021 fourth-round pick) from the Cardinals. Here is a sampling of headlines about how the Texans got fleeced:

Personally, I feel like this trade gets rejected in many traditional dynasty leagues, but what about Dynasty Owner? How will the trade impact Dynasty Owners who have Hopkins (rostered in 100% of Dynasty Owner leagues) or Johnson (rostered in 89% of Dynasty Owner leagues) on their Dynasty Owner rosters (Full disclosure: I’m a David Johnson Dynasty Owner and have seriously considered releasing him).

For Hopkins owners, this appears to be a really good deal. In 2019, he was the #5 WR in Dynasty Owner for the entire season, even though he didn’t play in the season finale. This is after being the #1 Dynasty Owner WR in 2018. Based on current average salaries on Spotrac, Hopkins’ $16.2 million salary is tied for the eighth highest among WRs (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/wide-receiver/).

Hopkins should be able to, at least, maintain the production he had with Deshaun Watson and Bill O’Brien in 2018 and 2019 with Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury in 2020, so his Dynasty Owners definitely should hang on to him. Even better news for his Dynasty Owners is that they can keep him for 3 more years at that price (provided the Cardinals don’t rip up his deal and give him more money). Hopkins will be the clear top WR in Arizona and is an immediate upgrade over their top two WRs from 2019 (Larry Fitzgerald who was the #35 WR in Dynasty Owner and Christian Kirk who was ranked #37), also making QB Kyler Murray a better value in Dynasty Owner as well.

For Johnson owners, the outlook is improved from what was expected in Arizona, but questions remain on if he is worth his Dynasty Owner salary. Johnson will cost his Dynasty Owners $13 million in both 2020 and 2021. After the Rams released Todd Gurley, Johnson became the third highest paid RB in the NFL behind Ezekiel Elliott and Le’Veon Bell (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/running-back/).

Johnson is a replacement for Carlos Hyde as the Texans’ lead RB and Hyde was the #29 ranked RB in Dynasty Owner in 2019. If he performs at the same level as Hyde did, then he’s clearly a candidate to drop while Dynasty Owners can drop for free (until March 31st). If you are a believer in Johnson’s abilities and think he can perform at the same level he did in the first six games of the 2019 season (121.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points, or 20.2 per game) and do that over the course of the entire 2020 season, then you’re looking at 323.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. That would have been good for the #2 RB in Dynasty Owner in 2019, behind only Christian McCaffrey and just ahead of Aaron Jones who had 322.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. That level of production is totally worth his $13 million salary.

This is a tough call for Johnson’s Dynasty Owners. I’m holding him for now, but would be open for trade offers if I get any. If you don’t own Johnson in your Dynasty Owner league and think he’ll perform as well as he did in the first six games of 2019, then make an offer to the Johnson owner in your league and see what happens. If you think he’s more like the RB who was stuck behind Kenyan Drake at the end of last year or even just the #9 Dynasty Owner RB like he was in 2018, then dropping Johnson and saving $13 million in salary cap room is the way to go.

Receivers Getting Traded for Draft Picks

The Buffalo Bills made a splashy trade, getting Vikings WR Stefon Diggs (and a seventh round draft pick in 2020) in exchange for a first round 2020 draft pick (#22 selection) plus three additional picks (2020 – fifth and sixth round picks and 2021 – fourth round pick). Diggs was unhappy in Minnesota and his Dynasty Owners hope a change of scenery will return Diggs’ performance back to his 2018 levels. He was the #11 WR in Dynasty Owner in 2018, but fell back to #24 in 2019 after being drafted on average at the end of the fourth round in Dynasty Owner drafts (ADP 39). He did win a Dynasty Owner Player of the Week honor in Week 6 with a 43.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy point performance, but otherwise averaged just 11.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game in the rest of the Dynasty Owner regular season. That wasn’t the performance his Dynasty Owners were looking for in a player costing $14.4 million in salary.

Will Diggs be able to improve in Buffalo with QB Josh Allen and his 58.8% completion percentage or will he continue to disappoint? Even though it’s free now until the end of the month, dropping Diggs isn’t really a good option for his Dynasty Owners (and nobody has done it yet as his ownership remains at 100%). He seems likely to compete with John Brown for catches in Buffalo, so I’m not completely sold on him returning to his 2018 performance level. My recommendation is trading him (if possible) to a Dynasty Owner who’s more optimistic about the deal.

Hayden Hurst goes from Baltimore to Atlanta to replace Austin Hooper as the Falcons TE.  He was traded (plus a fourth round draft pick) for a second and a fifth round pick. Speaking of trades, that’s probably what you’ll need to do to acquire Hurst in Dynasty Owner as he’s rostered in 83% of leagues right now. The late first round draft pick in 2018 was stuck behind Mark Andrews in Baltimore, but still managed to catch 30 passes for 349 yards and 2 receiving TDs (76.9 Dynasty Owner fantasy points) and finish the 2019 season as the #34 TE in Dynasty Owner. Now with Atlanta, he has the opportunity to be the top TE and could project as a top 10 Starting TE in 2020. His $2.76 million contract is very reasonable. Make an offer if you don’t own Hurst in Dynasty Owner and want him on your roster, then hope his current Dynasty Owner doesn’t value him as much as he should.

Quarterbacks on the Move

For everyone who was waiting for what to do about Nick Foles and Kyle Allen, this section is for you. Both were traded for roughly the same amount as Foles was shipped from Jacksonville to the Chicago Bears for a compensatory fourth round pick (140th overall selection), while Allen was dealt to Washington from Carolina for a fifth round selection (148th overall). Pretty similar trade return for players with very different salaries in Dynasty Owner.

Nick Foles becomes the favorite to be the starting QB in Chicago, but still has to beat out Mitchell Trubisky for the job. Foles was injured in the first game of the 2019 season and played only two full games after returning from injury (averaging a respectable 20.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in those games). However, he also played awful in his third start back with -4.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points from three turnovers before being replaced by Gardner Minshew II for the rest of the season. His contract is pretty low for a veteran QB at $22 million per year (17th highest right now according to Spotrac, but he’ll be on your Dynasty Owner books for three more years at that figure. Unless Foles voids the contract after the 2020 season, which he can do now after restricting his contract after being traded. If you need to drop a higher priced QB like Aaron Rodgers to make some room, Foles is widely available. He’s only rostered in 9% of Dynasty Owner leagues. Grab him now, if you think he becomes the starter and plays well in Chicago as he could be your Dynasty Owner Bench QB or a flex Starter depending on matchups.

In contrast, former Carolina QB Kyle Allen is rostered in a majority (57%) of Dynasty Owner leagues after playing in 13 games last season. He’s reunited in Washington with Head Coach Ron Rivera, but seems likely to be the backup for the Redskins behind Dwayne Haskins. However, just because he’s the backup doesn’t mean you should drop him in Dynasty Owner. His one-year, very salary cap friendly contract (for either $585,000 or $675,000 depending on the source) means that he’s a great Practice Squad stash for your team in case Haskins gets injured or is ineffective. He was the #29 QB in Dynasty Owner last year, but did have two games of more than 30.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points and three additional games of more than 20.0 points, so he was serviceable as a Starter or Bench QB in select games. Don’t drop Allen just yet if you own him and pick him up if available in your league as your third or fourth QB. With 30 man rosters now, Dynasty Owners should have an available roster spot for his miniscule salary.

Conclusions

Now that the new NFL league year has kicked in, free agents have started signing new contracts, some with new teams and some re-signing with their current team. Plus, trades are being made.  Trades generally aren’t going to change salary figures, but may cause Dynasty Owners to change their outlook on a player with only a week to go to get your Dynasty Owner roster up to at least 25 players, but not more than 30, and your team’s salaries under the $110 million salary cap.

Out of the players traded so far this off-season, DeAndre Hopkins and Hayden Hurst are the most likely to improve on their 2019 performances, but if you don’t own either one, you’ll probably have to give up something of value to get them from their current Dynasty Owner. Hurst is in the Free Agent Auction in a few leagues, but not many, while Hopkins is not. David Johnson is intriguing but a risky hold because of his $13 million salary, while Dynasty Owners should be looking to deal Stefon Diggs if they need the salary cap room. Neither traded QB is a lock to start, but Nick Foles might be the starter in Chicago. Kyle Allen is cheap to own and stash on your Practice Squad if he’s available as a Free Agent in your league.

There’s lots more contract news to cover as we haven’t yet talked about free agents who signed with new teams. That’ll be the focus of the next article to help Dynasty Owners with their decision-making before free drops end at the end of March. Besides these articles, don’t forget about all of the great Dynasty Owner specific podcasts, message board debates and Twitter posts. 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!

Steven Van Tassell is a freelance writer for Dynasty Owner.

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner