Incredibly True Statistics – Quarterbacks

By Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk)

Hello all. Thank you for continuing to read my articles, and thank you for supporting Dynasty Owner. Today I will be starting a new article series. If you followed my content over the past couple of weeks, you know that I wrote about why you shouldn’t overreact to some performances in this young season. The general idea was that one or two weeks is too small of a sample size to gauge a full season. Two weeks is too small to judge players in Dynasty Owner especially. If you play in redraft, then I can understand the willingness to make important decisions based on a couple weeks, but we are trying to build a team for years to come. Please continue to trust your off-season process and your overall plan.

As I said, today I am going to start a new series. This will be divided into four parts, and it will take a look at some of the more unbelievable statistics that have occurred so far this season. While this isn’t going to be a “Blind Player Comparison” theme, it will use some of the writing styles and tools that I use in those articles. These four articles will hopefully give you a new way of looking at some players, and most importantly, be fun to read. Hopefully, you have as much fun reading them as I do writing them. With that being said, here is my brand new series “Incredibly True Statistics.”

Tom Brady

The first player we are going to talk about today is Tom Brady. After three weeks, Brady is the number one quarterback in Dynasty Owner. Not only is he the QB1, but he holds that spot by more than 7.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. Now, I admit that seeing Brady as the top quarterback is not necessarily surprising, but the fact that he had an outstanding game in Week 3 is. Brady went up against one of the top three defenses in the NFL last week as the Bucs played the Rams. The Rams were in control of the matchup from start to finish, but that didn’t stop Brady from posting his third consecutive game with over 37.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. Tom didn’t have a particularly strong game when it came to scoring touchdowns, but he made up for that with total yards. Brady passed for 432 yards and earned Dynasty Owners an additional 4 points for a +400 yard passing game. 

The fact that Brady could have a well above average fantasy week while also going against possibly the best defense in the league solidifies him as a must start quarterback for the rest of the season regardless of the matchup. Coming into Week 3, I had several people asking my opinion on whether they should sit Brady. I received questions like, “Should I start Baker over Brady?” “Should I start Tannehill over Brady?” Someone even asked if they should start Daniel Jones over Brady. I answered that I would start Brady over all of those options, but deep down, I wasn’t as confident as I may have appeared to be. Well, those fears have been put to rest. Brady should be a starting quarterback in Dynasty Owner for the duration of the season.

It’s also worth noting that Brady has scored twice as many points as players like Baker Mayfield, Matt Ryan and Big Ben Roethlisberger. Again, this may not be the most surprising statistic in the world, but it continues to show how valuable he can be even in a dynasty league that takes into account salary and age.

Derek Carr

Carr has very quietly become the QB6 in Dynasty Owner. He is averaging 32.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game on the back of a two touchdown per game average. The passing yards have also shown up this year as he is averaging 401 yards per game. Didn’t think it could get any more incredible? Well, Carr is currently the league leader in passing…by 116 yards. Carr finished as QB14 last season, and he has already totaled more than one-fourth of his passing yards for last season. He is playing at a career best pace, and I hope he can keep it up. I’m not going to declare that Carr will finish the season as a top six quarterback, but Dynasty Owners with Carr on their roster have to be happy with his performance.

Let me drop one final statistic on you…

Of the top six quarterbacks in Dynasty Owner, only one has a cheaper salary than Carr ($25,000,000).  That player is Kyler Murray ($8,914,504).  Depending on the matchup, I think Carr may have graduated from the Bench in most Dynasty Owners’ lineups into their Starting lineup.

Daniel Jones and Sam Darnold

Jones and Darnold came into the 2021 season as “wild cards”, at least in my opinion. They were both struggling quarterbacks on poor teams. They were both coming close to the end of their rookie contracts. They both had been paired with top five running backs that they did not have in the 2020 season.

Well, three games into the 2021 season, they are both playing above expectations. They are currently QB12 (Jones) and QB13 (Darnold). Jones may be a little more of a shock for me just because I was higher on Darnold than most this off-season.

Regardless, they are both playing good “fantasy football.” The fact that both players are on rookie (cheap) contracts makes all the difference in their value. Much of Jones’ ($6,416,014) and Darnold’s ($7,561,929) success hinges on the success of their team’s running game. Saquon Barkley has been eased back into action, but he is starting to receive increased touches. His usage has increased every game this season (11 touches, 15 touches, 22 touches). Likewise, Christian McCaffrey (CMC) came into the season healthy, but a hamstring injury forced him out of the game in Week 3. The expectation is that McCaffrey will miss some, but hopefully not much time. There is no sugar coating it. CMC’s absence hurts the Panthers, and it hurts Darnold. Even with the early success, I would consider both Jones and Darnold bench quarterbacks until I can see a greater sample size.

Taylor Heinicke

The biggest quarterback surprise for me this season is Taylor Heinicke. Heinicke was on my radar all off-season. The main reason for this is the fact that Washington has praised him and stated how much they like him as a prospect. We also witnessed some success last year in Week 16. The injury to Ryan Fitzpatrick was very disappointing, but that injury has provided a priceless opportunity for Heinicke.

Through three games this season, he has posted 223 yards per game, 2 touchdowns per game, 15 rushing yards per game, and 22.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. This is good for QB18. Heinicke ($2,375,000) has the third lowest salary of any quarterback in the Top 20. That combination of above average fantasy production mixed with a low salary makes him a very good Bench quarterback candidate.

Aaron Rodgers

Finally, let’s talk about the bad…

Aaron Rodgers is currently the QB20 on the season. Once again, there is no way to sugar coat this. It’s bad for Rodgers, but there is hope. In his three games this season, he is averaging 21.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. If you remove his Week 1 game entirely, then he is averaging 31.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. Now, I never want to erase statistics. His 0.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy point performance against New Orleans happened. It matters. But at the end of the season this will be considered an extreme outlier of a game.

Yes, Rodgers is barely hanging onto the Top 20 of quarterbacks. Yes, Rodgers is tied with Jared Goff as the fifth most expensive quarterback you can own in Dynasty Owner ($33,500,000). Yes, I am disappointed and surprised by the start to his season too. After all, he finished as QB2 in 2020. Be patient though. Every quarterback this season will have a bad game. Maybe they won’t have 0.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points bad, but there will be poor performances all around. Give Rodgers time before you give up on him. I’d be willing to bet anyone that Rodgers will be a Top 10 quarterback at the end of this season.

That wraps up the first part of my “Incredibly True Statistics” article. As always, thank you for reading and continuing to support Dynasty Owner. Message me on Twitter (@dynastyjerk) and let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I would appreciate it if you followed @Dynasty_Owner on Twitter as well as subscribed to Dynasty Owner on YouTube. Take care everyone and be safe.

TheJerk

2020 Wide Receivers Draft Class – Day One Picks

Author: Milos Ljubic

As I mentioned in the previous article, I will write about this year wide receivers draft class. In today’s article, I talk about day one draft picks, and in the next one, I will cover day the two picks.

The Las Vegas Raiders were the first team that takes WR on this year’s draft. From the 12th position, they selected Henry Ruggs. Ruggs was expected to be among the top three WR in the class, but this was a little surprise. The Raiders had an above-average offense this past season. They were 9th in the passing attack and 13th in the rushing attack. Derek Carr is a solid starter, but Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock didn’t ensure who is their starting QB would be for the future.

Carr will begin this season as a starter, but now the team has a backup option in Marcus Mariota. Josh Jacobs was great as a rookie, and there isn’t any reason not to repeat the good games in the next. TE Darren Waller played on a Pro Bowl level last season and will be the first passing option in next also. Despite the 9th passing attack, the Riders didn’t have any WRs with more than 50 catches and 650 yards. Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow are very good for the 2nd and 3rd WR on the depth chart. In free agency, the Raiders signed Jason Witten and Nelson Agholor, and they will take some amount of snaps. What can we expect from Henry Ruggs? The Raiders are planning Ruggs to play WR no. 1 in this attack and to play a similar role as Tyreek Hill in KC. When we compare Ruggs with the 2014 class, three players from the first-round draft were no. 1 WRs for their teams and Ruggs is to be considered worse than all of them. Ruggs will play for an annual salary of $4,167,907. On day two of the NFL draft day, the Raiders selected one more WR, but about him in the next article.

The Denver Broncos were the second team to draft a WR in the draft. The Broncos defense was average this past season, while the offense was below average, especially their passing offense. That’s the main reason why they took a WR in the first two spots. (Also, in the third round, they added a Center to improve the offensive line). Jerry Jeudy was drafted from position no. 15. He was expected to be one of the first two choices at the WR position, so this wasn’t surprising. The Broncos offense is the youngest in the entire NFL. They don’t have a player older than 27 starting in the lineup. The biggest question for the next season will be the QB. John Elway has a lot of confidence in Drew Lock. He is in his second year and will be a starter without any reliable veteran on the bench. Their offense will be the run first. Three RBs, Phillip Lindsay, newcomer Melvin Gordon, and Royce Freeman, in their careers, they have, 1000, 850, and 500 yards per year, respectively. They will play a lot of snaps with two RBs in the field. WR no. 1, Courtland Sutton, had over 1100 yards last season. Jerry Jeudy is coming as a replacement for Emmanuel Sanders. Before he was traded last season, Sanders was on pace for 850 yards. Expectations are that Jeudy will be near that numbers. Jeudy’s annual salary will be $3,798,244. The second Broncos’ WR choice will be featured in the next article.

CeeDee Lamb was considered as the best WR prospects on this draft. Falling to the 17th position was unexpected, but Jerry Jones has no doubts about a pick in that situation. The Dallas Cowboys had a great attack game through the air last season. Only the Buccaneers were better. Dak Prescott threw for nearly 5,000 yards. Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup, both had 1,000 caught yards. They lost Randall Cobb and Jason Witten in the free agency, and the only big addition is Lamb. Dallas’s playing style won’t be changed despite head coach changes. The biggest question, probably in the entire NFL at this moment, is a situation about Prescott’s new contract. Prescott was tagged, but there are problems with the contract extension. If Prescott plays next season for the Cowboys, this easily can be a WRs trio with 1,000 yards. Lamb’s annual salary will be $3,502,503 for the next four years.

The fourth WR in a draft, from the 21st position, was Jalen Reagor, selected by the Philadelphia Eagles. Reagor wasn’t among the top 5 prospects by all pre-draft predictions. He was in the top 10 usually, but closer to 10 than to 5. Why did the Eagles take him? DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery are the duos of very good WRs but from the wrong side of the ’30s. But they weren’t too healthy last year. They finished the season with WRs from the practice squad. The second TE Dallas Goedert played over 70% of snaps, and personnel with two TEs may be a concern for the number of snaps which will Reagor take. If the Eagles play more with 3 WRs, Jalen Reagor will have a similar role as Brandin Cooks had in the Saints in his rookie career. He is expected to bring the speed in this a bit older offense and will play from the slot usually. The Eagles currently have future cap problems. They are projected to be 50M dollars over the cap for the next season, and Jackson and Jeffery will be the first cap casualties after the season. Reagor’s annual salary is very friendly for the next four years at an annual salary of $3,317,669 with a lot of upside potential.

The Minnesota Vikings didn’t skip on Justin Jefferson, and they picked him right after the Eagles picked up Reagor. The Vikings were an average team last year in terms of statistics on both sides of the ball. They were great at the run game, but they had problems with the O-line and Passing game. They also had problems with the cap, and because of that, they sent the only reliable receiver from last season, Stefon Diggs, to the Buffalo. The first-round pick from this transaction was used to select Jefferson. Jefferson will be the second WR, next to Adam Thielen, who missed the middle part of the last season due to injury. The Vikings are usually playing 12 or 21 personnel, and that is one interesting fact for Dynasty Owner’s.

The San Francisco 49ers selected the last WR on day one of the draft, Brandon Aiyuk. He was drafted from the 25th position. They gave two picks to the Vikings, to move up for 6 positions, one pick in the fourth round, and the second one in the fifth round. The 49ers were great last year. They lost in the Super Bowl, as all we know, but they were the second-best defense in the league, just behind the New England Patriots. Their run game was also second in the league, behind the Baltimore Ravens. The game plan for this year will be the same. They will primarily be a run-oriented team. Besides that, the first option through the air will be George Kittle. The main formation will be with two RBs in the field, and Kyle Juszczyk will be the only fullback who is still a starter in the NFL. Brandon Aiyuk will be WR no. 2 next to Deebo Samuel, and he will have about 500 caught yards by projections.

Milos Ljubic is a freelance writer for Dynasty Owner

Follow us on Twitter: @LjubicMilos and @Dynasty_Owner