Players to Pick Up with the Extra $2 Million in Salary Cap in 2020

Author: Steven Van Tassell

The announcement about the increase of $2 million in the 2020 Dynasty Owner salary cap is great news for Dynasty Owners. In case you miss it, due to players opting out of the 2020 season because of COVID-19, the Dynasty Owner salary cap for 2020 has been increased by $2 million. All Dynasty Owners can draft up to the $110 million salary cap, but then after the draft, everyone gets $2 million in extra cap room. That’s a second chance for everyone who drafted right up to the limit to pick up additional players. They will have to spend some Dynasty Dollars in the Free Agent Auction, but will at least be able to pick up some additional players to add to their rosters, up to the 30 player limit.

It’s time to head over to the Free Agent Auction page on the Dynasty Owner app or on the desktop and see who’s available. You’re not going to go out and get Aaron Rodgers and his $33.5 million contract with that extra salary cap room, but there are plenty of players who Dynasty Owners can pick up for their team for under $2 million who might help you out this season and maybe even beyond. Some especially savvy Dynasty Owners might even be able to add two or three players with their extra $2 million. We’re not talking about sure-fire starters or even guys who will be on your Dynasty Owner Bench at the beginning of the season. Looking closely at the Free Agent Auction, Dynasty Owners can find players who might be worth stashing on their Practice Squad in the hopes that they work their way into the starting lineup via strong performances on the field, or other players getting injured or contracting COVID-19.

For the purposes of this article, ADP and Dynasty Owner ownership statistics were current as of August 17th. All players recommended have salaries of $2 million or less for 2020 and are currently owned in less than 50% of Dynasty Owner leagues.

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 1 point for every 40 yards.

Quarterback Handcuffs, Get Your Quarterback Handcuffs Here!

Did you draft a top QB for your Dynasty Owner team, but not his backup? Now might be the time to grab that handcuff if he’s still available in your league. Here’s a list of handcuff QBs to some top draft Dynasty Owner draft picks who likely can be added with the extra $2 million in salary cap room.

  • For everyone who picked from the #1 spot and drafted Lamar Jackson (or even #2 if he slipped to you), now is your opportunity to get RGIII as the handcuff. His $2 million salary will take up all of your extra cap space. This is only good for those of you in the 53% of leagues in which he’s available. Dynasty Owners without Lamar on their team can also go out and grab RGIII, but this is probably most urgent for Dynasty Owners with Lamar on their team. If he goes down to injury or even tests positive for COVID-19 and has to sit a couple of games, having RGIII might be worth the price.
  • If you had a top 5 pick and enough faith in the offense that Kliff Kingsbury is putting together in Arizona, then you might be a Kyler Murray owner. What happens if Murray gets injured or tests positive for COVID-19 and has to sit out a couple of weeks? Do you have a third quarterback on your roster to take Murray’s spot and be on your Bench for a couple of weeks or do you need another QB? Either way, you could always pick up his backup, Brett Hundley, who signed a one-year, $1,047,500 contract back in March to back up Murray for another year. Hundley only played in three games in 2019, but did play 11 games for the Packers back in 2017 and had 1,836 yards passing with 9 passing TDs along with 270 yards rushing and 2 rushing TDs (no Dynasty Owner fantasy points available for 2017). He’s only owned in 2% of Dynasty Owner leagues so he’s definitely widely available and maybe worth a flyer for Murray owners in particular.
  • Who’s going to be the backup to the $45 million Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City? If Andy Reid is to be believed, then it’s Chad Henne who was 2 for 3 passing for 29 yards as the backup in 2018, but is pretty expensive at $1.625 million per year for two years. Hopefully, you’re not in one of the 7% of leagues that he’s owned in or you’re out of luck. Last year’s backup Matt Moore is still there, available in 98% of Dynasty Owner leagues and he’ll cost a little over half of the extra $2 million with his $1.05 million salary. Finally, you can take XFL sensation Jordan Ta’amu who signed a one-year, $680,000 contract with the team back in March. He’s owned in 10% of leagues – most of the Mahomes’ backups. You could grab two of them (Henne and Ta’amu) if you just have $2 million or go hog wild and get all three for $3.335 million in salary cap room and want to protect your top draft pick that badly and have three spare roster spots.

Don’t Skip Running Backs, There Are Some Available

Running back is a difficult position to find Dynasty Owner value during the draft and even harder afterwards. Surprisingly, there are a few players making less than $2 million who Dynasty Owners could pick up and stash on their roster with that extra salary cap room. Of course, none of them are guaranteed starters or guaranteed to play much, but a few of them have the chance to produce.

  • What if I told you there was a 26 year old player available in 61% of Dynasty Owner leagues who scored 118.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points with over 10.0 points in four games last year? Well, there is, and his name is Peyton Barber. Barber is part of the running back mix in Washington along with Adrian Peterson, Bryce Love and Antonio Gibson. Coach Ron Rivera has warned people not to forget about Barber and many Dynasty Owner have heeded those words as his ownership jumped from 17% to 39% after that comment. He’s still available to most Dynasty Owners, unlike the rest of his competition, and only costs $1.5 million per year for the next two years. He might be the starter on Opening Day. Anything is possible in Washington these days.
  • We looked at handcuffs in our last article and one handcuff to a top 10 RB who is barely owned is Dontrell Hilliard of Cleveland. He’s technically backing up both Nick Chubb (ADP 9.5) and Kareem Hunt (ADP 51.1) and has competition for the #3 spot since he just came off the COVID-19 reserve list, but should probably still be owned in more than 2% of Dynasty Owner leagues since he only costs $750,000 in salary cap space. Other players in similar positions, such as Darwin Thompson, Mike Boone, are owned in over 80% of leagues. Even the three potential backups to Joe Mixon in Cincinnati are in the 40-60% ownership range. If Chubb goes down to injury, it’ll likely be Hunt to the rescue, but if both Chubb and Hunt can’t play, it’ll likely be Hilliard’s job with a new Head Coach in Kevin Stefanski who likes to run the ball. Not bad for a spot on your Practice Squad with some of your extra salary cap.
  • Last year, Wayne Gallman had a game with 26.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points versus Washington when Saquon Barkley was out with injury. Now, he might not be the backup for the Giants, but third in line behind Barkley and Dion Lewis. However, Gallman only carries a salary of $704,912 for one year and is only owned in 24% of Dynasty Owner leagues. He might be worth a flyer and spot on your Practice Squad if you spent a first round pick on Barkley.

Who Wants (Maybe) the Next Wes Welker or Julian Edelman?

There is quite the competition to be the #3 WR in Tampa Bay behind Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Rookie Tyler Johnson is the favorite in the competition among Dynasty Owners since he is owned in 100% of leagues. Scotty Miller is owned in 56%, an increase over late July/early August when his ownership was under 50%.  Both of them cost less than $750,000 in salary for 2020 ($737,355 for Johnson and $661,960 for Miller). However, you have to pay both of them for a couple of more years (3 for Johnson and 2 more for Miller). There’s another option for Dynasty Owners who want to own a guy who might be a favorite Brady target in Justin Watson.

Watson got the opportunity to play in Weeks 14-17 last year and averaged 10.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game in those four games. Not bad for only $690,435 in salary for the next two years. Dynasty Owners can grab Miller along with some other players at that low salary and hope he turns out to be the #3 guy in Tampa since he’s only rostered in 15% of Dynasty Owner leagues. Watson is making an impression with Coach Bruce Arians’ according to a recent article – https://www.cbssports.com/fantasy/football/news/buccaneers-justin-watson-catches-coachs-eye/ – so if he catches Brady’s eye as well, he could be someone to stash on your Practice Squad.

With the word from training camp that 49ers WR Jalen Hurd may have torn an ACL, other WRs could get a look at some additional work in the 49ers offense. There are plenty of them to choose from ranging from new signees J.J. Nelson and Tavon Austin to Trent Taylor returning from an injury that cost him the 2019 season to one player who has experience with the team, is still only 24 years old, and has one year left on a contract that will pay him only $1.6 million in 2020. That WR is Dante Pettis who had only 37.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points just a year after putting up 122.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in his rookie season in 2018. Pettis is currently only owned in 14% of Dynasty Owner leagues, which will probably increase overnight after this article is finished with Hurd owners rushing to the Free Agent Auction to pick up Pettis. If no Dynasty Owner in your league went out and grabbed Pettis yet, stop reading, go out and bid on him.

The Tight End Position Is Tight on Talent to Pick Up

The talent available at TE in the Free Agent Auction that could help your Dynasty Owner team in 2020 and fit under the $2 million in extra salary cap is hard to find. Just like every other position. At just over $3 million per year, Dynasty Owners can pick up either Darren Fells ($3.15 million; 110.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 2019; 14% ownership) or Jacob Hollister ($3.26 million; 96.9 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 2019; 8% ownership). Veteran Jason Witten is available in 98% of Dynasty Owner leagues for $4 million in 2020, but he plays behind Darren Waller in Las Vegas, thus explaining his low ownership. However, there are two TEs who fit the bill for inclusion in this article.

The first one is second year Bengals TE Drew Sample. Sample was selected in the second round of the 2019 draft, but only scored 8.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points before suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 10. Still, the Bengals are bound to improve in 2020 and invested a high pick in Sample so he could be part of their offensive mix this year with new QB Joe Burrow. Last year’s starter Tyler Eifert is now in Jacksonville and that leaves just C.J. Uzomah ahead of Sample on the Bengals TE depth chart. Since he’s only owned in 19% of Dynasty Owner leagues and his 2020 salary is just shy of $1.38 million. He does have has 3 years left on his contract, but Dynasty Owners won’t mind paying it if he plays and produces this year.

Since rookie TEs like Cole Kmet, Adam Trautman, Devin Asiasi were all drafted in the second round or later, all of them are scheduled to make less than $2 million this season. They aren’t available as both Kmet and Asiasi are owned in 100% of leagues, while Trautman is owned in 98% (check your league’s Free Agent Auction if you’re in a league in which Trautman is available, go grab him ASAP). After that, it’s time to start looking at later draft picks who might make an impact. Out of those guys, the one who looks best positioned to help Dynasty Owners in 2020 and beyond might be Brycen Hopkins of the Rams. Hopkins was a fourth round pick and slated to be third on the Rams depth chart behind Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett. The Rams didn’t pass much out of two or more TE formations in the past two seasons (26th in 2019 and last in 2018 according to data available at Sharp Football Stats – https://www.sharpfootballstats.com/personnel-grouping-frequency.html). However, the loss of Brandin Cooks could mean more TE usage by the Rams in 2020 which is Hopkins’ most likely path to playing time since both Higbee and Everett have been remarkably healthy in their careers (Higbee only missed one game in four seasons and Everett has missed just three in three seasons, with all of those missed games coming last year). If you need another TE and want to spend some of your extra salary cap room, Hopkins might be worth the $822,032 in salary for the next four years.

Kicking Away Some Salary Cap Room

If you are like some Dynasty Owners and hate the fact that you need to have a kicker on your roster, maybe you didn’t go out and draft three of them. Now you have $2 million more in salary cap room, but are there any kickers still left in your league’s Free Agent Auction who you can get for that extra salary?

Not really. Most of the kickers available in a majority of Dynasty Owner leagues right now are veterans with multi-year contracts making just north of $4 million in salary in 2020. Dynasty Owners who spent up close to the $110 million salary cap are going to have to clear some space on their roster to fit any of those guys. However, there is one rookie competing for a roster spot who is owned in less than 50% of Dynasty Owner leagues right now – rookie seventh round draft pick Sam Sloman of the Los Angeles Rams. Sloman is owned in 29% of Dynasty Owner leagues, but is competing with fellow 30-year old rookie (but CFL veteran) Lirim Hajrullahu. Feel free to look for Hajrullahu in the Free Agent Auction, but you’re likely not finding him there since he’s rostered in 90% of Dynasty Owner leagues. Sloman carries just a salary of $677,622, but it’s a 4-year deal, so if he doesn’t win the starting job in L.A., then you might have to cut him and pay $677,622 (25% of his total contract) in Dynasty Dollars to get him off your roster.

The only other option might be to pick up a Jets kicker. That’s really bad as the Jets haven’t had a good kicker since Pat Leahy retired back in 1991 and Leahy’s career FG percentage was just 71.4% so he wasn’t really very good – he just happened to kick for them for 18 seasons.

Both Jets kickers are owned in just over 50% of Dynasty Owner leagues with Sam Ficken and his one-year, $675,000 contract owned in 56% while former Cowboys kicker Brett Maher is owned in 51% of Dynasty Owner leagues, but carries a slightly higher salary ($750,000). Neither had a great year in 2019 as Maher missed 10 FGs in 13 games (20 for 30 on FG attempts) while making all 36 PAT attempts for 68.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (5.2 points per game). Ficken was slightly worse as he went 19 of 27 in FG attempts (70.4%), but missed 3 PATs (23 for 26) to score just 67 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 15 games as the Jets kicker in 2019 (4.5 points per game). Neither is a great option, but if you get both, you’re guaranteed to own the Jets kicker. Ain’t that great?

Conclusions

Training camps have opened now, and we are less than one month out from the 2020 NFL season. It’s time to start filling out your Dynasty Owner roster after the draft with those five extra Practice Squad slots and for this year, the extra $2 million in salary cap room provided due to COVID-19.

There are lots of players available who make less than that $2 million in salary cap room, but only some are widely available and likely to help your Dynasty Owner team in the 2020 season. Hopefully, some of the ones highlighted here are available in your league and you’re able to grab them in the Free Agent Auction to help build your Dynasty.

You could also hang on to that $2 million, but that would have been a pretty short article. Speaking of articles, there are more of them coming from myself and Chris Wolf (@ckwolf21 on Twitter). The podcast series with myself and Dynasty Owner CEO Tim Peffer will continue to be 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. We have over 400 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!

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

Are Dynasty Owners’ Utilizing Handcuffs for Their Star Players?

Author: Steven Van Tassell

Surely everyone is aware of the terminology and know that a handcuff is a backup player who will likely take over for a team’s starter in the event of an injury. In addition to “regular” injuries that happen all of the time to NFL players, Dynasty Owners in 2020 also have to worry about players testing positive for COVID-19 and going on the new Reverse/COVID-19 list. This new list is defined as being for players who have tested positive, or players who are quarantining because they came into close contact with someone who tested positive.

One of my fellow Beta Users (Nick – Quaranteam) suggested that I look at whether Dynasty Owners were valuing handcuffs for their star players enough in 2020 due to COVID-19. The possibility is out there that some star players will contract the contagious disease and have to sit out games at some point this season. It’s not a minimum of three games as previously expected, but more flexible than that as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk explains in the following article: https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2020/07/18/clarifying-the-2020-injured-reserve-covid-19-rules/.

Since 12-team leagues are new to Dynasty Owner for 2020, we don’t have historical data to see whether handcuffs are being utilized more or less this season than last year, but we can still look at what’s going on this year. This analysis of handcuffs is based on a review of 43 Dynasty Owner drafts for the 2020 season. All of the drafts were conducted between June 14th and July 26th. There were 5 drafts by Beta users, 15 For the Love of the Game drafts by players only paying the $29 entry fee, 11 drafts in the $600 prize pool leagues ($50 entry fee per team) and 12 drafts in the $1,200 prize pool leagues ($100 entry fee per team).

For the purposes of this analysis, I’m looking at situations where there is a clear starter (Lamar Jackson, Christian McCaffrey, etc.) and then a backup who will likely only play if their team is winning or losing by a lot or if the starter gets hurt or is placed on the COVID-19 list. I purposely left out players on teams and positions in which the starting position is up for grabs, which is more of a hedging your bet on a certain position. Examples of that include starting QB for the San Diego Los Angeles Chargers as it’s reasonable to think either Justin Herbert or Tyrod Taylor could be the starter in Week 1, the Ravens’ RB situation with Mark Ingram and rookie J.K. Dobbins or the Rams who have a quartet of RBs (Cam Akers, Darrel Henderson, Malcolm Brown and John Kelly) who coach Sean McVay has identified as “NFL-legitimate starting-caliber backs”. There are other examples but that should give everyone an idea of what qualified as a handcuff versus hedging your bets.

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 1 point for every 40 yards.

Handcuffing by Position and League Type

Overall, there were 300 identified handcuff situations over the 43 leagues analyzed, or an average of 6.98 per league. Teams could draft more than one handcuff for their players, and we’ve identified several interesting ones later on in this article. Since we are all in 12-team leagues now, that means only about half of the teams in each league drafted a handcuff for one of their players. There are multiple situations in which a team drafted more than one handcuff, so the average number of teams drafting a handcuff is lower than the number of situations.

By league type, there were more handcuffs per league in the $100 entry fee leagues (8.00 per league) than any other type by a significant margin (6.64 for $50 entry fee leagues, 6.60 for the $29 Love of the Game leagues and a low of 6.40 for the five Beta user leagues). The more cash people have invested in their Dynasty Owner team, the more likely they are to handcuff – very interesting. For newer players, Beta users are free for life and don’t pay anything in return for spending last year and this off-season spotting bugs in mock drafts and on the website and app.

By position, it’s not surprising that more people are drafting a handcuff at the running back position than any other position (141 in total, or 47% of all handcuffs are RBs). There were 104 WR handcuffs, or about one-third (35%). There were 38 handcuff QBs, or 13% of the 300 handcuffs, while only 17 handcuffs (6%) were TEs.

In terms of players, 74 individual star players were handcuffed with a lesser player. Thirty-one WRs were handcuffed, or over two-fifths (42%) of players handcuffed were WRs, followed by 19 RBs (26%), 16 QBs (22%) and a mere 8 TEs (11%). Let’s find out more about who was handcuffed most frequently and wasn’t frequently enough.

Running While Handcuffed

The position in which most fantasy football players utilize handcuffs is usually running backs based on their higher rate of injury and the current preference of many NFL coaches for running back by committee (RBBC). Dynasty Owner is no different in this regard as nearly half of the handcuffs in the early drafts were RB handcuffs with 19 starting RBs being handcuffed by 37 backups. Remember that we are looking only at handcuffs and not situations like those identified earlier where the starting job is “up for grabs”.

So, which RB was handcuffed the most in Dynasty Owner drafts? Was it the RB with the highest salary in Dynasty Owner, Ezekiel Elliott at $15 million in salary cap room, or was it one of the top two RBs drafted in Christian McCaffrey (ADP 2.6) or Saquon Barkley (ADP 3.8)?

The answer is: None of those guys. There was a tie as the most handcuffed RBs were in fact Dalvin Cook of the Vikings and James Conner of the Steelers, both of whom were handcuffed in 15 Dynasty Owner drafts. While both were handcuffed the same number of times, the most common handcuff was picking Conner and his $790,381 one-year contract along with Jaylen Samuels and his equally affordable $679,517 salary for the next two years.

Dalvin Cook and his threatened training camp holdout was big news back in early June when he announced it (Spoiler alert: He didn’t hold out and reported to training camp on time) and likely caused many of his Dynasty Owners to handcuff him with either Alexander Mattison (8 times) or Mike Boone (6 times). There was at least one team (Wasabi) who handcuffed Cook with both of those guys.

There was also one team (The Team) who handcuffed Cook, who they drafted with the #12 overall pick, with fullback C.J. Ham and his 4-year, $12 million salary. Ham was drafted with the first pick in the 20th round by The Team in their For the Love of the Game league. This wasn’t a wise pick for The Team since Mike Boone was still available if they wanted a handcuff. Ham is so lightly regarded by other Dynasty Owners that no other team has Ham on their roster. Probably because he’s a blocking fullback and had just 37.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points last year.

Two players on one-year contracts were also handcuffed nearly as often (14 times each). Kenyan Drake and his $8.483 million contract was handcuffed equally by Chase Edmonds and rookie Eno Benjamin. Joe Mixon was also handcuffed 14 times, but was handcuffed by four separate players (Giovani Bernard – 7 times; Trayveon Williams – 4 times; Rodney Anderson – 2 times; Jacques Patrick – 1 time). The four handcuff players were the most for any single starter. Congratulations!?!

Handcuffing the Top Picks at QB

In contrast, the most obvious handcuff at QB is drafting Robert Griffin III to pair with Lamar Jackson, who many Dynasty Owners have been taking with the #1 pick (ADP 1.3). Dynasty Owners who have chosen Lamar are handcuffing him with RGIII more than any other QB combo with 7 Dynasty Owners having done this. Interestingly, even though there were 15 For the Love of the Game drafts analyzed, none of the Lamar-RGIII handcuffs occurred in one of those leagues. For those Dynasty Owners who have Lamar and $2 million in salary cap room, RGIII is currently available in 50% of Dynasty Owner leagues.

That’s three more handcuffs than the trio of starting QBs who are next most likely to be handcuffs (Patrick Mahomes, Cam Newton and Carson Wentz). Mahomes is has the second best ADP (1.8) with 4 handcuffs (3 times by Chad Henne and 1 time by Jordan Ta’amu). All three of the potential Kansas City backup QBs are highly available for Mahomes’ owners who have salary cap room to protect their investment in the $450 million Super Bowl MVP.  Ta’amu is owned by the highest percentage (11%), followed by Henne at 7% and Matt Moore at only 2% ownership.

Despite not being signed by the Patriots until late June and only being selected at his new salary in the July drafts, Cam Newton was also handcuffed four times by backups in New England. Three Dynasty Owners chose Jarrett Stidham as Newton’s backup, while one chose Brian Hoyer. Even though Coach Bill Belichick has said that Newton won’t be handed the starting job, he’s the starter in New England barring an injury. For Newton’s Dynasty Owners who didn’t handcuff in the draft, but are thinking about it doing it now, sorry to inform you but Stidham and his $788,423 contract isn’t available in any Dynasty Owner leagues right now.

Finally, we have four Dynasty Owners who handcuffed Carson Wentz and his $32 million annual salary with rookie QB and 2nd round draft pick Jalen Hurts. Even though only a few Wentz owners chose Hurts as well, Hurts and his $1.5 million salary is 100% owned, compared to 78% ownership for Wentz. Wentz does have a better ADP (80.7) than Hurts (152.9). Nate Sudfeld, who might end up being the true backup in 2020 if media reports are true, is only owned in 2% of leagues. You’ll need $2 million in salary cap room to go get Sudfeld if you have Wentz but not Hurts, are concerned about Wentz’s injury history and want to ensure you have a stake in the Eagles’ offense this year.

The only other two first round QB draft picks – Kyler Murray (ADP 4.3) and Deshaun Watson (ADP 5.0) – were lightly handcuffed with only one Dynasty Owner handcuffing Murray with his likely backup in Brett Hundley and none of the Dynasty Owners who drafted through July 26th handcuffing Deshaun Watson. The owner who drafted Hundley (The Guns of Hochuli – great team name!) is the only one right now with Hundley on their roster.

Not a Lot of Handcuffing of Tight Ends

At the other end of the handcuff spectrum from RBs and QBs are TEs who are rarely being handcuffed in the early Dynasty Owner drafts. Only 8 starting TEs had their backup drafted by the same Dynasty Owner and it only occurred a total of 17 times, accounting for just 6% of all handcuffs drafted.

The consensus top three Dynasty Owner TEs (George Kittle, Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews) were rarely handcuffed by their Dynasty Owners even though they had clear backups at the time (Ross Dwelley for Kittle, Ricky Seals-Jones for Kelce and Nick Boyle for Andrews). Nobody handcuffed Mark Andrews and only one Dynasty Owner handcuffed Kelce or Kittle. Steveo FC was the only Dynasty Owner to draft both George Kittle and Ross Dwelley, in case Kittle can’t play, even though Dwelley performed pretty well in the two games (22.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points) that Kittle missed in 2019. Dwelley only cost Steveo FC a last round draft pick (#291 overall) and $750,000 in salary cap room. In case Kittle owners are thinking that having Dwelley on the roster is a good idea (even with the recent signing of Jordan Reed by the 49ers), he’s currently available in 96% of Dynasty Owner leagues. Kelce was also only handcuffed in one league by Kilmer’s Coyotes with Ricky Seals-Jones. Seals-Jones doesn’t cost much ($925,000) and is only signed to a one-year deal so Kelce owners in the three-quarters (78%) of Dynasty Owner leagues in which Seals-Jones isn’t owned could go out and grab him if they have cap room.

The most handcuffed starting TE is the eighth TE being drafted, on average, in Dynasty Owner – Evan Engram of the Giants. His backup Kaden Smith is being drafted well over 100 spots later than Engram (ADP of 79 vs. 201.8 for Smith). His cost is minimal as he has 3 years left on his contract at just $680,002 per year and his production was high in place of Engram last year, when he averaged just under 11.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy point per game and had four double-digit point games in just seven contests after Engram got injured last year.

The Single Most Handcuffed WR Is Also the Highest Drafted One

Michael Thomas is being drafted a full round ahead of any other WR with an ADP of 7.6. The next highest drafted WR by ADP right now is Chris Godwin with a current ADP of 20.3. Thomas has the third highest salary of any WR at $19.25 million and some of his Dynasty Owners are backing up their investment in the Ferrari of WRs (373.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 2019). The handcuff of choice for Thomas’ Dynasty Owners, like The Jerk, is Deonte Harris who only had 34.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 2019 – with twice as many coming from returns (23.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points) than rushing and receiving combined (11.5). Six Dynasty Owners have both Michael Thomas and Deonte Harris on their roster, the most of any single WR starter and backup. Since Taysom Hill is listed as a QB, I didn’t consider him as a handcuff for Thomas even though he does play WR fairly frequently.

While the Thomas-Harris handcuff was the single, most frequently drafted one, Thomas was not the most frequently handcuffed WR in Dynasty Owner drafts. That honor goes to Eagles rookie WR Jalen Reagor who was handcuffed 9 times by three different players (Quez Watkins – 4 times; Greg Ward – 4 times; John Hightower – 1 time), followed closely by Stefon Diggs of the Buffalo Bills. Three backup WRs (Gabriel Davis – 4 times; Duke Williams – 3 times; Isaiah Hodgins – 1 times) were also selected by the Diggs’ Dynasty Owner a total of 8 times, just one fewer time than Reagor. However, if you add in Diggs’ fellow starting WRs in Buffalo (John Brown and Cole Beasley), there were a total of 11 backup WRs selected as handcuffs to starting Buffalo WRs.

Eleven handcuffs for Buffalo WRs was the highest for any team, but there were three WRs being handcuffed. There are a lot of top WR pairing out there for the handcuffing, such as Mike Evans and Chris Godwin in Tampa Bay or A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd in Cincinnati, among others. Interestingly, there was a wide divergence in handcuffing for those two pairs with Green and Boyd being handcuffed twice as frequently as Evans and Godwin (10 times versus 5 times). There was an even split by Dynasty Owners handcuffing Green (and his $17.97 million salary) and Tyler Boyd (who has a $10.75 million salary). The much more expensive WR in Tampa Bay, Mike Evans, was handcuffed four out of the five times that a Dynasty Owner handcuffed one. Just only Dynasty Owner (WKFLD Jags) handcuffed Chris Godwin with Tyler Johnson.

Interesting Handcuffs

After looking at over 500 Dynasty Owner rosters, you see some “interesting” handcuff situations. Here are a few that stood out to me as I was looking at all of those rosters:

  • The Cincinnati Sizzlers drafted five Green Bay WRs, pretty much every WR on the Packers roster, except Davante Adams. That’s right they have Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Equanimeous St. Brown, Reggie Begelton and Jake Kumerow (in draft order). That’s the most players from any one team at a single position. Fortunately for them, they didn’t draft Devin Funchess even though they could have since they drafted in June before he opted out for the 2020 season.
  • Stacking three Bengals on one team was not an isolated phenomenon. Two teams in $100 entry fee leagues (Flex and SBB) drafted the same three Bengals RBs (Joe Mixon, Trayveon Williams and Giovani Bernard). They both even got Williams and Bernard with the same picks (#249 and #273 respectively). Another two teams (Toronto Squad and Young & Dumb) had three Bengals WRs. Toronto Squad drafted A.J. Green, Tee Higgins and Auden Tate, while Young & Dumb went with Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins and John Ross. Young & Dumb loves Bengals since they have those three WRs, two RBs (Mixon and Bernard) and rookie QB Joe Burrow.
  • TFFO figured that he wanted a piece of the New England running game, so they went out and drafted Sony Michel, James White, Damien Harris and J.J. Taylor. Rex Burkhead went undrafted in that league and at the end of the draft, TFFO had a little over $7 million in cap room. To avoid Rex having hurt feelings about this situation, TFFO should spend part on their leftover cap room if they still have it. Might as well go get Lamar Miller while you’re at it.
  • Not to be outdone, Boomer2377 drafted four Eagles WRs. They avoided both DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffrey for good reason and went with Jalen Reagor, Hightower, Ward and Watkins in that order. I’m guessing Boomer2377 is an Eagles fan because they also have both Carson Wentz and Jalen Hurts on their team as well.
  • Only four TEs had their backup drafted by the same team in more than one Dynasty Owner league. In addition to Engram, they were Darren Waller (handcuffed by Foster Moreau), Tyler Higbee (handcuffed by rookie Brycen Hopkins) and Austin Hooper (handcuffed by David Njoku). All these handcuffs were drafted twice.
  • The Clown Punchers took my recommendation of drafting three QBs (https://dynastyowner.com/2020/05/draft-tips-2020/), but possibly didn’t read the part about having them on different teams since they decided to draft three Kansas City QBs (Patrick Mahomes, Chad Henne and Jordan Ta’amu). Hopefully, Mahomes stays healthy and Matt Moore isn’t the backup, or The Clown Punchers will be in trouble.
  • Many Dynasty Owners like a good handcuff, but Pohlcat, a $100 entry fee league Dynasty Owner, really, really likes to handcuff backfield players. Pohlcat drafted Lamar Jackson and RGIII, Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley, Todd Gurley and Ito Smith, plus two potential Giants backups to Saquon Barkley in Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman. No word on why Pohlcat didn’t handcuff any WRs or TEs.
  • Does it count as a handcuff if you draft the backup before the starter?  Asking for Ball Busters who drafted Quintez Cephus of the Lions with the #153 pick then took the starter in Detroit, Marvin Jones, over 100 picks later on with the #256 pick.
  • Finally, the Midwest Tradesman spent only $34 shy of $33 million, or 30% of their salary cap, on Bengals WRs when they drafted Tyler Boyd ($10.75 million), A.J. Green ($17.971 million) and John Ross ($4,278,966).

Conclusions

There are a lot of ways to handcuff your starters in Dynasty Owner, but really no consensus on which one is best or which starters are most worth a handcuff. It’s your Dynasty, handcuff your guys if you want to and with who you want. This analysis covered 43 Dynasty Owner leagues with over 500 teams that had 300 identified handcuffs of 74 different players. That’s a lot of variety, but also indicates that there are a lot of Dynasty Owners who, even in this era of COVID-19, aren’t handcuffing.

In terms of position, running back was the most handcuffed position and by league, Dynasty Owners in $100 leagues were most likely to utilize handcuffs. We had a surprise RB (James Conner) be the most handcuffed player overall, even though he has an ADP of 49.8 and is the 26th RB off the draft board on average. The top QB (Lamar Jackson) and WR (Michael Thomas) were more heavily handcuffed than other players at their position, but in line with other high draft picks like RBs Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley. And if you handcuffed a TE, you are a rare breed indeed as I only identified 17 TE handcuffs in total, or half of leagues has a team with a handcuffed TE.

We are less than a month out from the 2020 NFL season and three are more articles coming from myself and Chris Wolf (@ckwolf21 on Twitter). The podcast series with myself and Dynasty Owner CEO Tim Peffer will continue to be 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. We have over 400 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!

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

A History Making Afternoon

Author: Steven Van Tassell

It was exactly 3:20 PM (EDT) on Sunday, June 14th, 2020 when Belichick’s Hoodies (Sean Fournier) made the historical first pick in Dynasty Owner history by taking Lamar Jackson in the first all 12-team Dynasty Owner leagues. It ended about three hours and fifteen minutes later with the selection of Dante Pettis as the first Dynasty Owner Mr. Irrelevant with the last pick (#300 overall) by Hillbilly Trash Trucks (Matt Montgomery). I was honored to be a part of this historic event which will take its place in history between the first moon walk by Neil Armstrong in 1969 and the creation of toilet paper by Joseph Gayetty in 1857.

In addition to being the first league to draft, Beta League 3 is composed of some pretty heavy hitters from the 2019 Dynasty Owner beta season. The league is highlighted by New York’s Strongest (Eddie Driscoll), who finished the regular season at 14-0 and at the top of the Chase for the Ring leaderboard. For those of you new to Dynasty Owner, Eddie finished off his perfect season with two victories in his league playoffs to become the only player to finish the season undefeated (16-0) and win the Ring.

We also have Yorkshire Roses (Dan Clarke) who went 9-5 in his regular season, but had the most points in his league. Dan proceeded to win his league playoffs, had the most points of any team in the final week and finished in 4th place in the final Chase standings – moving up from 10th place after the semi-finals and 18th place after the regular season.

Overall, the league has eight owners who won 10 or more regular season games, five league Champions from 2019 (all of whom finished in the Top 25 in the final Chase for the Ring standings), and two owners who lost in their league finals (including myself – damn you Teddy MF’in Ruxpin). Everyone played in 2019 and all but one drafted last year. Not a lot of slouches in Beta League 3.

We will be citing mock draft ADP in this article. Please note that all mock draft ADPs listed were current as of Noon (Eastern) on Thursday, June 18, 2020.

An Early Run on Running Backs

How many times have you done a fantasy draft – either redraft or dynasty – and there’s been a pretty long run on one position? For me, it’s probably every draft when this happens where six or seven people in a row grab players at a certain position and the draft board starts lighting up with one color in a long row. Back in the day, it was colored stickers that CBS Sportsline sent the Commissioner of my redraft league. We would have one of the spouses of a league owner putting up stickers on the board like Vanna White turning the letters on Wheel of Fortune. Now, it’s on the Live Draft Board that will appear on your Dynasty Owner league draft page.

Well, this draft had probably the longest run that I’ve even seen at one position and possibly the longest run that any Dynasty Owner league will have in 2020. That’s because we saw 13 running backs taken in a row in the first and second round of this draft. Starting with Saquon Barkley with the 5th pick and ending with Dalvin Cook with the 17th pick, we had an epic early run on running backs. Congratulations to The Jerk (Matt Morrison) for stopping the madness by drafting Michael Thomas with his second round pick. As you can see from the draft board, there was a lot of green (RBs) selected in the first two rounds.

Not only was it 13 RBs in a row, but 15 out of 16 RBs selected by the last eight teams in the draft order. As we would say back in the redraft league, “Vanna’s putting up a lot of green stickers”.

The next longest runs on a single position were two separate runs of five WRs, one at the end of the fifth round and beginning of the sixth round and another near the end of the draft in the 24th round.  There was also a spot in the middle of the 12th round when seven out of nine picks were TEs.

The List of Firsts

Since this was the first 12-team Dynasty Owner draft, there were many firsts. Here’s a list of some of the most “important” ones:

  • First Pick: Lamar Jackson (QB – BAL)
  • First QB Taken – Lamar Jackson (#1 – Belichick’s Hoodies)
  • First RB Taken – Christian McCaffrey (#2 – Vantastics)
  • First WR Taken – Michael Thomas (#18 – The Jerk)
  • First TE Taken – Travis Kelce (#27 – VIP Club Dub)
  • First K Taken – Justin Tucker (#166 – VIP Club Dub)
  • First Comment about Someone Going Too Slow – Belichick’s Hoodies with the comment “Steve OTC” at 3:21:33 after selecting Lamar Jackson and it took a few seconds for my selection of Christian McCaffrey to register. It’s disputable if that was a comment to draft faster, so if not then it came less than four minutes later when Mafia Power 83 (Bruno Carina-Goncalves) posted “Come on Jerk really” at 3:25:29 while waiting for The Jerk to make his first pick. It was later discovered that he was drafting on his phone using the app, thus making him draft slower than everyone else who was on a desktop.
  • First Happy Dynasty Owner about a Player Slipping to His Selection – Eddie typed “God Bless You Yorkshire!!!!” after Yorkshire Roses picked Kyler Murray with the #4 pick, leaving Saquon Barkley available for Eddie to grab with the #5 pick. And for the record, Eddie really did use four exclamation points like a teenage girl chatting with her friend about some cute boy looking at her in algebra class.
  • First Mention of Regret for Picking Someone – After 13 RBs were drafted in a row, Yorkshire Roses typed in the chat “If I’d known every single running back would have been taken, I probably wouldn’t have had Kyler at #4”. For the record, he ended up picking his first RB (Devin Singletary) with the #21 pick.
  • First Compliment – These were few and far between with this group, but Bruno gave props to Eddie after he drafted J.K. Dobbins with the #20 pick in the draft. He also invited him to join him on his “boat”. Since I’m not from the New York area, I’m not sure if that’s code for something.
  • First Snipe – It may not have been first, but the first snipe comment in the chat was at 3:39 by Bruno when he commented about Kraft Yankaroni & Cheats (Patrick Wood) when Patrick selected David Montgomery in the 3rd round with the #30 pick. In case you aren’t seeing the pattern, Bruno was exceptionally chatty during the draft (not a criticism, I was pretty chatty too since I was drafting in the #2 spot and had lots of time between selections).

The Rise and the Fall of a Pair of TEs Playing in Florida

The ADP listed in the mock draft rooms is the live ADP from all of the mock drafts that have been taking place. Since a lot of the guys in this league have been doing a lot of mock drafts and I mean A LOT of mock drafts, it would stand to reason that this first draft would trend closely with the mock draft ADP. That didn’t happen. There were a few players who got drafted earlier than they have been going in the mock drafts and more who went later.

Here are some of the biggest risers in the first 2020 Dynasty Owner draft:

  • Melvin Gordon: On average, Gordon’s been a mid-4th round mock draft selection with an ADP of 43.2, but New York’s Strongest decided that he couldn’t wait and took him with the 5th pick in Round 3 (#29 overall).
  • Ke’Shawn Vaughn: The Tampa Bay rookie RB went two full rounds earlier than his ADP dictated. The Jerk must have really wanted him as he was the #31 overall selection, even though his mock draft ADP was 55.7.
  • Zack Moss: Dirty Hippy Farmer (Andrew Gilkin) must really like Moss. Why else would he take him with the #82 pick in the real draft when his mock draft ADP was 114.4?
  • Mike Gesicki: Gesicki was drafted with the #66 overall selection (5th TE – after Travis Kelce, George Kittle, Mark Andrews and Zach Ertz), but his ADP in mock drafts was 102.4, good for being the 11th TE in mocks. The Jerk must feel strongly about Gesicki getting a lot of throws from rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa as he was the one who made the early move on him.

There were more players who fell significantly than rose significantly. Here are some of the biggest fallers in the first 2020 Dynasty Owner draft:

  • Deshaun Watson: The Texans QB was the first victim of the wild 13 RB run and fell from ADP 7.2 in mock drafts to the #23 selection – a difference of 15.8 positions. The Vantastics, that’s me, were ecstatic to get him with their 2nd pick.
  • Dak Prescott: New York’s Strongest pulled the trigger on drafting Dak with the #77 pick in the seventh round. His mock draft ADP of 47.4 had him taken near the end of the 4th round on average.
  • The G.O.A.T.: His ADP of 94.7 in mock drafts seems high for a dynasty league, but his $25 million salary is lower than a lot of other QBs, so it’s understandable. However, in this first draft, Tom was the first selection of the 15th round by Belichick’s Hoodies, or six full rounds later than his average mock draft position.
  • James White: A favorite of the G.O.A.T. out of the backfield, White got a similar downgrade as Tom in the first Dynasty Owner draft. The Vantastics scooped him up with the #143 pick, three full rounds lower than his 107.1 mock draft ADP.
  • Lynn Bowden: One of the few rookies to fall. Drafted by the Vantastics with the #215 pick, Bowden has a mock draft ADP of 167.3.
  • DeAndre Hopkins: It took twice as long for someone (Mafia Power 83) to draft Hopkins in the real Dynasty Owner draft (#40 overall) than he usually went in mock drafts (ADP 19.4).
  • T.Y. Hilton: Did everyone but Yorkshire Roses forget about T.Y. or did salary cap restraints cause his plunge to the 18th round? Hilton was skipped in plenty of rounds before Dan took him with the #213 pick. His average ADP was almost nine full rounds earlier at 105.3.
  • Darren Waller: Waller was one of the three anti-Gesicki TEs. He was 5th TE taken in mock drafts on average with an ADP of 73.4, but in our draft, he fell sharply and was chosen with the #117 selection, the 12th TE taken overall. Yorkshire Roses was the beneficiary of this drop.
  • Hunter Henry: Henry also dropped pretty significantly – down to the #207 pick by Quaranteam (Nick Larmore) from his ADP of 113.9.
  • Rob Gronkowski: Another former Patriot turned Buccaneer who dropped in the first real Dynasty Owner draft. Gronk was being selected at the end of the 10th round in the average mock draft (ADP 119.6). However, Wannabees  (David Brady) grabbed him with the #233 pick in the 20th round in our draft.

Why Dynasty Owner is Different than a Regular Dynasty League?

For everyone new to Dynasty Owner, you will read and hear a lot about how Dynasty Owner is different than a “regular” dynasty league. At first, you may not believe it, but once you start mock drafting or get in your first live draft, you’ll soon discover that it’s impossible to fit all of the players you want under the $110 million salary cap. In a “regular” dynasty league, you can draft Ezekiel Elliott ($15 million), Julio Jones ($22 million), Travis Kelce ($9.4 million) and Russell Wilson ($35 million) in the first four rounds. Probably not so in Dynasty Owner as the rest of your team will be made up of low-cost players since you’ll only have around $28.6 million left under the salary cap for 21 more selections. Good luck with that!

As a result, players who would normally be high or middle round draft picks in a “regular” dynasty league might even go undrafted in Dynasty Owner. If you don’t believe me, here’s a list of undrafted players the first 12-team Dynasty Owner draft in history. They are ranked here by average ADP from the Fantasy Pros (https://www.fantasypros.com/nfl/rankings/dynasty-overall.php). Their Dynasty Owner salary is listed in parentheses.

  • WR Adam Thielen ($16,050,000) – ADP 67.5
  • WR Brandin Cooks ($16,200,000) – ADP 96.2
  • TE Austin Hooper ($10,500,000) – ADP 102.2
  • WR A.J. Green ($17,971,000) – ADP 104.3
  • QB Matt Ryan ($30,000,000) – ADP 115.4
  • QB Aaron Rodgers ($33,500,000) – ADP 123.6
  • QB Kirk Cousins ($33,000,000) – ADP 145.8
  • WR Julian Edelman ($7,750,000) – ADP 146.2
  • QB Ryan Tannehill ($29,500,000) – ADP152.8
  • WR Sammy Watkins ($9,000,000) – ADP 153.2
  • WR Golden Tate ($9,375,000) – ADP 160.2
  • TE Eric Ebron ($6,000,000) – ADP 186.1
  • RB Chris Thompson ($1,400,000) – ADP 267.1
  • RB Rex Burkhead ($3,250,000) – ADP 293.0
  • K Ka’imi Fairbairn ($4,412,500) – ADP 307.2 (sixth highest among kickers)
  • K Mason Crosby ($4,300,000) – ADP 310.6 (tenth highest among kickers)

Thielen is on average a mid-5th round pick in a 12-team “regular” dynasty league, but nobody had the salary cap room for him in the first 12-team Dynasty Owner draft, while Cooks is a late 8th round/early 9th round pick on average. However, because of their relative high salaries (over $16 million each), they went undrafted. Thielen was picked up in the Free Agent Auction after the draft, but VIP Club Dub (Anthony Huether) had to drop Robby Anderson and his $10 million salary to pick him up and fit him under the salary cap.

Not a terrible team of undrafted players. Ryan, Rodgers and Cousins make up a good trio of QBs and there are some quality starting WRs plus a fine TE in Hooper and a decent backup in Ebron. The only questionable spot is RB with Chris Thompson and Rex Burkhead as the best available. Remember, all of these players are still available in this Dynasty Owner league and will likely be so for most, if not all of the 2020 season even though all of them are easily worthy of a spot on your “regular” dynasty league roster.

Who Took My Advice?

In my 2020 draft tips article (https://dynastyowner.com/2020/05/draft-tips-2020/), two suggestions for Dynasty Owners were to draft three QBs and three kickers so you have a Starter and Bench QB and kicker for bye weeks. With 12-teams per Dynasty Owner league and only 32 starting QBs and kickers, a few teams would be left out and need to pick up a backup QB or kicker who surprisingly makes an NFL roster in training camp. To show you how much people in my own league value my “advice”, only two other teams drafted three kickers as recommended. Thanks to Dirty Hippy Farmer and VIP Club Dub for the vote of confidence!

Not only did three-quarters of the league not follow my draft three kickers advice, two teams – Wannabees and New York’s Strongest – only drafted one kicker. Wannabees only drafted Brandon McManus and has a mere $517,518 left in salary cap room to add another kicker in the Free Agent Auction. Unfortunately for him, the rookie salary minimum for 2020 is $610,000 so he can’t even pick up a second kicker without dropping another player. At least New York’s Strongest has enough cap room ($1,755,208 at the end of the draft) to pick up another kicker, or maybe two.

Three teams will be braving the 2020 Dynasty Owner season with only two QBs right now. Belichick’s Hoodies feels comfortable enough with the #1 overall pick in Lamar Jackson that he took the 42-year old G.O.A.T. Tom Brady as his only backup QB. Quaranteam has Sam Darnold as his starter and rookie Jordan Love as his backup. Fortunately for Nick, he drafted wisely and has almost $28.5 million in salary cap room available right now. That’s not enough to pick up Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan or even Kirk Cousins without dropping another player, but he could fit Derek Carr for $25 million on his roster as presently constructed. Either that, or he’ll have to clear some salary cap space via trade or by dropping a player.

Drafting Philosophy – Everyone’s Got One, Here’s Two of Them

In every 12-team fantasy football draft, regardless of the format, you are likely to have 12 people with 12 different draft strategies. Some are well crafted in advance with hours of thought and time spent pouring over mock draft data. Other strategies come up on the fly after a few rounds or with the selection of a specific player or players. For example, because I drafted Derrick Henry and he might sign a long-term deal before the season starts, I wanted to leave the draft with at least $5 million in salary cap room as a buffer. Henry and the Titans have until July 15th to sign a new long-term deal since he was franchise tagged early in the off-season (https://www.nfl.com/news/titans-gm-contract-talks-with-derrick-henry-have-been-positive). If that happens, I will need room to pay him this season and didn’t want to have to fit his new salary in under the Dynasty Owner salary cap without cutting anyone already on my roster. That wasn’t my plan initially, but when Henry was available in the 3rd round and I decided to take him, I figured that I needed some cap room available in case he gets a new contract.

My team, Vantastics, spent the just barely over $2 million ($2.01 million) on three kickers. Only three teams spent less on kickers than me and all three of them have just two kickers. My kicker spending was also below both teams who only drafted one kicker. My reasoning for this is that there was very little separation between kickers in 2019 Dynasty Owner season and probably will remain as so due to the Dynasty Owner scoring system. As a result, I didn’t want to spend millions on kickers when they appear to be pretty interchangeable and preferred to use the millions that I saved by getting three cheap kickers on other positions. The downside to this strategy is that I had to draft those kickers earlier than most people did. I spent picks in Rounds 15, 17 and 20 on kickers, which was earlier than most owners, including Bruno who drafted his first kicker after I had three of them.

We also had one team (Quaranteam) who “only” spent $81.55 million out of a $110 million salary cap on Draft Day. Some of you might be asking, “Why in the heck did he do that?” Well, I asked Nick and here’s what he had to say in response to my question:

  • At first I was calculating for next year with re-signing my RBs and Kittle as the draft was going on. By round 6, I figured I had the absolute highest salary even though the numbers didn’t show it. Then as the draft went on I was trying to pick players so at the end I can afford Aaron Rodgers. Then realized I didn’t need him and since it’s a 6 team playoff versus a 4, I can wait and go all in if I need to at positions when it’s playoff time. Whether it be WR or QB, I have time to determine that. Or take advantage of anyone else with salary cap issues as the year goes on.

There are other people who appear to have a strategy as well based on their draft. Hillbilly Trash Trucks only has one player (Adrian Peterson) playing on a one-year deal. The Jerk is apparently bullish on the return of Ben Roethlisberger since he drafted five Steelers, but not Big Ben himself. New York’s Strongest appears to like this year’s rookie class as he drafted 11 players from it – the most of any team and three more than anybody else. Yorkshire Roses must have a trip to Vegas planned or some quid bet on them (he’s British and can do that legally). Why else would he draft three Raiders pass catchers in a row (Henry Ruggs, Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow) and four overall when you add in Foster Moreau. Finally, I assuming that Bruno and Sean like WRs. How do I know that? Both drafted 11 of them!

Will any of these strategies pay dividends during the 2020 Dynasty Owner season?  That’s why we play the game, so check back in at the end of the season and see whose strategy was the best.

Conclusions

Being part of Dynasty Owner history on Sunday afternoon was great. We weren’t supposed to be the first newly constructed beta league to draft, but the four scheduled before us got postponed and we lucked into the spot. For me and hopefully others, it was a lot of fun with some good back and forth in the chat. I had my laptop and phone fully charges plus paper and pen ready to manually log all of the picks. Some guys reported using multiple devices and didn’t participate much in the chat. Others are old-school and mentioned using paper and pencil and even magazines. And one other league owner called it “the hardest draft I have ever been in. I was exhausted after it was done.” Hopefully, he got a nap afterwards.

There were a lot of firsts to go along with a lot of surprises. It’s doubtful that anyone would have predicted that 13 RBs would be drafted in a row or that Adam Thielen would go undrafted. For me, I didn’t think I had a chance at drafting my QB from last year (Deshaun Watson) since I had the #2 pick, but when the big run on RBs kept going and going, I was able to get him. Maybe Watson wasn’t part of anyone’s draft strategy but mine. That could be so since it appears most everyone in this league didn’t pay attention to my quality article “advice”. Most of you reading this probably haven’t drafted yet, so you still have time to get yourself into one of the mock drafts going on every 15 minutes. We will have new articles soon from the rest of the Dynasty Owner writing team – Milos Ljubic (@LjubicMilos on Twitter) and Chris Wolf (@ckwolf21 on Twitter) as well as the first of the monthly Dynasty Owner Top 300 coming very soon. 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

Who Wants to Draft a Non-Millionaire Player? – Part 2

Author: Steven Van Tassell

It is time for Part 2 of our series on non-millionaire players who are likely to help you win your 2020 Dynasty Owner League Championship. There were so many WRs that we could have just written an article on them and there are enough TEs to warrant a separate article as well, but let’s throw in a few kickers for good measure.

While the first TE wasn’t drafted until the second round of the 2020 NFL draft (Cole Kmet by the Bears), there were four taken in the third round who might be productive in 2020 as well as the Broncos fourth round pick Albert Okwuegbunam who was taken with the 118th pick. However, none of these players are ranked here, as they all miss the cut. Each one of them will likely make over $1 million in salary (based on the rookie wage scale) with Albert O missing the cut by only $11,011.

We also won’t mention the second best TE in 2019, George Kittle, who earned that spot behind Travis Kelce despite missing two games. Kittle only costs $674,572 against your Dynasty Owner salary cap for 2020, which is a lot of talent for very little salary cap money. However, his deal has just one year left and it’s possible that the 49ers sign him to a new deal in the off-season to keep him off the free agent market. That’s not a guarantee as a few days ago, NFL Network reporter Mike Silver is saying that the 49ers and Kittle’s agent haven’t spoken since February and Kittle wants to be paid like a wide receiver  instead of a tight end (https://www.si.com/nfl/49ers/news/49ers-and-george-kittle-not-close-at-all-to-contract-extension).

We’ll also rank kickers since you need to have a couple of them on your Dynasty Owner roster. The top three kickers (Justin Tucker, Harrison Butker and Wil Lutz) in projected 2020 Dynasty Owner fantasy points are all signed long-term (4 or 5 years) with average salaries north of $4 million per year. None of them will be listed here, but four others will for those of you who don’t want to spend that much on a kicker.

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 1 point for every 40 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.

These Tight Ends Are Like Donuts

Why are tight ends like donuts? Because a good one is so good and wonderful, while a bad one makes the owner of the donut sad. The beauty of the donut is in the eye of the beholder, just ask Homer Simpson.  Also, donuts come in dozens and we’ve identified a dozen tight ends who meet our criteria and are worth taking a longer look at and rank. This list is pretty exhaustive and even includes an undrafted rookie free agent who might end up as the Opening Game starter for his team.

  1. Mark Andrews (BAL – $863,290 thru 2021): Andrews is projected to be the third highest scoring TE in Dynasty Owner this year with 244.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. That’s just 11.9 points less than the projected points for Travis Kelce for $8.5 million less in salary. Think of the players you could draft with an extra $8.5 million! Andrews finished fifth among all TEs in Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 2019 with 205.2 points and he had to share some of the TE load with Hayden Hurst, who was traded to Atlanta in the off-season. Two more full seasons of Andrews at his salary with Lamar Jackson throwing him passes easily makes his the top TE on this list and maybe even a first round Dynasty Owner draft pick this year.
  2. Will Dissly (SEA – $777,658 thru 2021): Despite injuries and the Seahawks’ signing of veteran TE Greg Olsen this off-season, Dissly captures the number two spot on this list. He’s only played 10 games over two NFL seasons due to a torn patellar tendon in his right knee that ended his rookie season in 2018 after just four games. Then he followed that with a torn Achilles injury in Week 6 last year. In those 10 games, Dissly has scored six TDs and recorded 31 receptions for 418 receiving yards. In Dynasty Owner fantasy points, he has scored 108.5 points in just 10 games, or an average of 10.85 per game, which projects to 173.6 points if he could play in all 16 games. That would have made him the seventh overall TE in Dynasty Owner last year. Hopefully, he stays injury free and earns his high ranking on this list for Dynasty Owners who have faith in him.
  3. Ian Thomas (CAR – $801,999 thru 2021): Greg Olsen is gone from Carolina and has moved on to Seattle, leaving Thomas as the top TE for the Panthers. There are plenty of offensive players in Carolina to catch the ball from new QB Teddy Bridgewater – you may have heard of one of them, last name McCaffrey. Even with Kyle Allen and Will Grier at QB for Carolina for almost all of last season, Carolina TEs still produced 69 receptions for 744 yards and 3 TDs – good for 161.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. Thomas should get the bulk of the TE targets and receptions, especially since Carolina just released veteran TE Seth Devalve, and with better QB play from Bridgewater this year, he should either match or exceed the 2019 Carolina TE production.
  4. Jace Sternberger (GB – $966,832 thru 2022): Sternberger is in a similar position as Ian Thomas, so they are more like 3a and 3b. Both are the anointed starter at the TE position despite limited production in 2019 because of the departure of a veteran University of Miami graduate (Jimmy Graham for Green Bay). Limited probably isn’t the right word for Sternberger’s production in 2019 since he had a season long Blutarsky (0.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points all season). He did produce some in the playoffs for the Packers (3 receptions, 15 yards receiving and a receiving TD) so he’s got momentum coming into 2020. Thomas gets the nod ahead of Sternberger based on the fact that he actually has produced at the NFL level and is over $150,000 less expensive. Sternberger probably is in a better situation offensively to contribute and has an extra year on his non-millionaire contract, but that’s not enough to overtake Thomas.
  5. Kaden Smith (NYG – $680,002 thru 2022): As the main TE replacement for an injured Evan Engram in the final six games of the 2019 season, Smith had a good run. In those six games after the Giants’ bye week, Smith had 75.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points, or 12.6 points per game. However, don’t forget that Eli Manning started two of those games and in those games, Smith didn’t do so well. In the four games with Daniel Jones at QB, he had double-digit Dynasty Owner fantasy points and averaged 16.75 points per game. If Giants’ starter Evan Engram gets hurt, the Giants will likely just plug Smith in and keep moving on. Even if Engram is healthy, there should be room for Smith to carve out a role with the Giants and be worth owning at only $680,002 in Dynasty Owner salary.
  6. Thaddeus Moss (WAS – $768,333 thru 2022): How does an undrafted rookie free agent get to be the #6 guy on this list? Three reasons: 1. Opportunity; 2. College Production; and 3. Genetics. Let’s take them in order. First, the Washington TE situation is ripe for Moss to go out and be the starter in Week #1. Their top TE in 2015, 2016 and 2018 was Jordan Reed who was released, their top TE in 2017 was Vernon Davis who retired and their top TE from last year was Jeremy Sprinkle who only managed 55.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points despite playing all 16 games. Secondly, Moss produced for LSU last year with 44 receptions for 494 yards and 4 TDs in his last 10 games, including 9 receptions for 135 yards and 3 TDs in the two College Football Playoff games. Finally, he’s the son of Hall of Fame WR Randy Moss. What’s not to like here?
  7. Christopher Herndon (NYJ – $792,841 thru 2021): Herndon is projected as the #23 TE in Dynasty Owner in 2020, ahead of all the players on this list except Mark Andrews. It pains me to be not as high on a fellow Miami grad like Herndon as others are, but here are my reasons. Injuries – he missed the final two games of his senior season in college with a knee injury, then fractured a rib and pulled a hamstring last year, which limited him to one game played in 2019 (he also missed four games due to a violation of the NFL substance abuse policy). In his place, Jets TE Ryan Griffin played well and was rewarded with a three-year, $10.8 million contract. Even though Griffin is 30 years old, why give him so much money if you are convinced Herndon is your TE of the future? Seems curious. Finally, Adam Gase is a terrible head coach, so we need to downgrade Herndon for that this year.
  8. Dawson Knox (BUF – $880,400 thru 2022): As a rookie last year, Knox was a decent player for your Dynasty Owner practice squad. He had two productive games in which he had a TD and double-digit Dynasty Owner fantasy points, so he could have been a Starter or Bench player those weeks. On the other hand, the Bills added WR Stefon Diggs in the off-season, possibly meaning fewer targets for Knox. He also didn’t convert his targets into receptions last year, catching just 56% of his passes, although that was right in line with the overall Buffalo QB completion percentage of 58.3% and starter Josh Allen’s percentage of 58.8%. Knox is worth drafting late in your Dynasty Owner draft, but don’t count on using him in your lineup unless he proves himself early in the 2020 season.
  9. Jordan Akins (HOU – $831,271 thru 2021): One of three Houston Texans TEs to make this list is Jordan Akins. He’s a third-year, 28-year old who went to college at the University of Central Florida. Akins got the chance to shine in 2019 with the injury to his teammate Jordan Thomas (more on him later) and ended up the season with 89.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. He was consistently steady, but unspectacular all season with one big game (22.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in Week 3 versus the Chargers). He finished with 5.0 or fewer Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 8 out of the 15 games he played in, but that was still good enough to be the #25 ranked TE in Dynasty Owner in 2019. Still, there’s a lot of competition for receptions in Houston so Akins might not perform at his 2019 level in 2020.
  10. Foster Moreau (LV – $752,098 thru 2022): Being the backup to a top 5 TE (Darren Waller) probably isn’t the best place to find a good value, unless you’re a TE playing under Jon Gruden in Oakland (correction, Las Vegas – man is that going to take some getting used to). Even worse for Moreau is that he’s probably now the third string TE with the arrival of former Monday Night Football color commentator Jason Witten. So why does Moreau make this list? It’s all about the touchdowns, baby!  Raiders TEs have scored almost half of the team’s receiving TDs (19 of 41) since Gruden’s return to coaching in 2018 with backup TEs scoring over half (10 of 19) of those TDs. The Raiders also ran 52 pass plays in 2019 with three TEs on the field – the highest in the league according to the nice folks at Sharp Football Stats (https://www.sharpfootballstats.com/personnel-grouping-frequency.html). Dynasty Owners might not get a lot of production from Moreau in 2020 except in those situations barring injury, so he’s extremely doubtful to catch another 5 TDs this year. But be patient and wait for 2021 when Witten will likely be retired (again) and Moreau can get all of the backup TE work in Vegas.
  11. Jordan Thomas (HOU – $644,602 thru 2021): Don’t confuse him with Jordan Akins. This is Jordan Thomas, a third year, soon to be 24-year old who went to college at Mississippi and caught one pass in 2019 for 8 yards after spending most of the season on injured reserve. However, he did have 65.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 2018 with four TDs before his injury plagued 2019 season. Even though Thomas is over $185,000 cheaper and almost four years younger than Akins with the same number of years left on his contract, he’s behind his teammate because of how Akins’ produced in his absence in 2019.
  12. Kahale Warring (HOU – $910,114 thru 2022): The third and final Houston TE on this list is Kahale Warring. The only one missing is the team’s top TE (Darren Fells) who makes $3.15 million per year. Warring was a third-round pick by the Texans in the 2019 draft from San Diego State, so he has one more year left on his contract than the Jordans. However, he didn’t play a down in 2019 which is the main reason he’s last on this list and last on the depth chart among the four Texans TEs. Indications are that the Texans may keep all four TEs on their roster if all of them are healthy since Texans Head Coach Bill O’Brien ran 187 plays last year with at least two TEs on the field (ranked third behind Philadelphia and Minnesota and just ahead of Baltimore and Kansas City). Shout out again to Sharp Football Stats (https://www.sharpfootballstats.com/personnel-grouping-frequency.html) for the data. This will give Warring a chance to prove that he was worth his 2019 draft selection spot and higher salary than either of the Jordans.

The Four Horsemen of the Kicking Game

First, the Four Horsemen were the 1924 Notre Dame backfield under Coach Knute Rockne, then it was the wrestling group consisting of Nature Boy Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard and the Minnesota Wrecking Crew tag team of Ole and Arn Anderson (this is the original group and the only one that matters; no apologies to future “Horsemen” like Steve “Mongo” McMichael – who didn’t deserve the honor). Now, the most recent group are the four kickers who have more than one year left on their contracts for less than $1 million in Dynasty Owner salary. Even though the Four Horsemen travel as a group, let’s rank the four of these kickers individually:

  1. Matt Gay (TB – $711,443 thru 2022): Even though he has the highest salary of the group, although by a small margin, Gay ranks first here for a couple of reasons. First, he projected to score the most points of the group in 2020 (106.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points). Second, he has produced before for his Dynasty Owners as he scored the most Dynasty Owner fantasy points among the four in 2019 (114.0). Third, the Tampa Bay offense is the best of the four teams represented so Gay should have more chances than the others. And finally, his Dynasty Owners will have him on contract for three years, unless he gets a new contract sometime soon.
  2. Austin Seibert (CLE – $695,114 thru 2022): It’s a bit of a drop-off after Gay on this list. Gay is projected to score 106.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points compared to just 93.0 points for Browns kicker Austin Seibert, or nearly a full point less per game. Not a lot, but every point counts in Dynasty Owner! With two new offensive linemen and a new Head Coach Kevin Stefanski replacing the clearly over his head Freddie Kitchens in Cleveland, the Browns offense should be better in 2020. This will give Seibert more extra point chances and likely more FG chances and maybe more than the two chances from 50+ yards that he had last season.
  3. Jason Sanders (MIA – $637,800 thru 2021): Even though Sanders scored more Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 2019 than Austin Seibert (91.1 vs. 88.0 for Seibert), savvy Dynasty Owners recall that Sanders caught a one-yard TD pass in Week 13 versus the Eagles to give him 7.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. Without that TD reception, he would have finished the year behind Seibert with only 84.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. He is also projected to score fewer Dynasty Owner fantasy points than Seibert this year, only 88.0 points. And it’s unlikely that he’ll catch another TD pass this year since his catch last year was the first one by a kicker since 1977. Those factors plus the one year less year left on his contract weigh more heavily than the $57,314 in salary cap savings, so Sanders ranks third.
  4. Greg Joseph (TEN – $660,000 thru 2021): Joseph is fourth simply because he is in no way guaranteed to be the Titans kicker in 2020. The team has already signed undrafted rookie free agent Tucker McCann (who will actually cost you more in Dynasty Owner at $763,333) and rumors are out there that they are interested in bringing a veteran kicker to training camp to compete. Hopefully, you’re not diving this deep for a backup kicker in your Dynasty Owner draft or you might spend $660,000 on Joseph and still need to pick up a kicker in the Free Agent Auction during the season if he’s released.

Conclusions

Just like at WR, there are plenty of lower paid TEs with multiple seasons left on their rookie contract who could make their way on to Dynasty Owner rosters in 2020. As mentioned in the first part of our series, mixing in some of these non-millionaire players is necessary to be able to afford the talent that can help you win your League Championship this year. And isn’t that what it’s all about.

Even if you have Travis Kelce, grabbing one of the guys on this list will be necessary to offset his $9.37 million salary. Dynasty Owners can’t afford to have two high-priced TEs on their roster unless they are willing to sacrifice at other positions, since everyone has to stay below the $110 million hard salary cap. Having one (or more) of these players will help out with that problem.

There has been plenty of activity in the Dynasty Owner universe over the past two weeks and more to come soon. Beta users have signed up for spots in the new 12-team leagues and live drafts start this coming weekend.

If you missed Part 1 on QBs, RBs and WRs, here’s the link to the article (https://dynastyowner.com/2020/06/draft-a-non-millionaire-player-part-1/). And if you didn’t watch it already, everyone should check out the live mock draft on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6m6ELEZQcQE).

There are also mock drafts going on constantly with some beta users setting up specific times to join that are helping to calculate ADP for the 2020 early drafts. We also had recent articles from the rest of the Dynasty Owner writing team – Milos Ljubic (@LjubicMilos on Twitter) and Chris Wolf (@ckwolf21 on Twitter). 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

2020 Wide Receivers Draft Class – Day Two Picks

Author: Milos Ljubic

As mentioned in the title, this will be an article about wide receivers selected on day two of this year’s draft.

The very first WR selected on day two was Tee Higgins by the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals were the worst team last season by the record. They were a little better by statistics, but that is minor. In this season they will enter with new QB Joe Burrow. RBs, WRs, and TEs will be the same as the previous year. The biggest difference is A.J. Green, who is franchise tagged, and everyone in the organization expects he will remain healthy throughout the season. He missed a season and a half due to injury. Green and Tyler Boyd will be starting duo of WR’s for the Bengals. The last season Boyd had over 1,000 yards caught. Higgins is expected to be 3rd WR on the Bengals depth chart, but he will have strong competitors. Auden Tate, Alex Erickson, and John Ross, all of them having over 500 caught yards last season, and they will try to repeat that success. That won’t be an easy job for a rookie probably. His salary for the next four years will be $2,171,696 per year.

Michael Pittman Jr. was the second player selected on day two of the draft. He was picked up by the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts were an average team last season with a great offensive line. They selected an RB in the second round, so they further improve their RBs’ depth. The worst part of the team was attacking through the air. The Colts signed Philip Rivers to be QB for the next year. The Colts will have over 20 interceptions next year, probably, but they will also have near 4,000 passing yards. How will those yards be distributed? The undrafted Zach Pascal was the most productive Colts’ WR last season. T.Y. Hilton will be WR no.1. There are some concerns about Hilton however. He has eight seasons behind him, and he was having problems with injuries this past season. Parris Campbell, second-rounder from the previous draft, was having problems with injuries almost the whole season. He played less than 20% of the Colts snaps. If everything goes regularly, Pittman is expected to be WR no.2 and to catch over 600 yards. His annual salary will be $2,153,212.

The Jacksonville Jaguars were the third team that selected WR on day two of the draft. From the 42nd position, the Jaguars selected Laviska Shenault. By all projections, Jacksonville will be the worst team in NFL this season. The Jaguars weren’t bad last year. In fact, they were average on offense and below average on defense, but now they are in rebuilding mode. They will have a similar attack, but their defense will be worse than last year, sure. What we can expect from Shenault? The Jaguars traded Nick Foles to the Bears, but there are a lot of doubts in Gardner Minshew as a capable QB who will run one team. The four best WRs will be back, and as I already said, they are solid. Laviska Shenault will be 3rd WR probably, in a team that was projected for tanking. His annual salary will be $1,924,017 for the next four years.

K.J. Hamler was selected from the 46th position by the Denver Broncos. I wrote in a previous article about the Broncos. Hamler will be the third WR in a run-first team, and unlike Shenault, he can’t move nither up nither down on a depth chart. His salary will be $1,784,282 per year.

The Pittsburgh Steelers from the 49th position selected Chase Claypool. The Steelers were one of the best defenses last year, but post-Le’Veon Bell-Antonio Brown Steelers aren’t even close to what they should be on offense. In fact, they were awful last year. The only good part of the offense was O-line. We don’t know what to expect from Big Ben as he missed almost the whole season last year. Their receiving corps isn’t so bad, but it isn’t great either. They have three solid young WRs on the depth chart and all of them are still on rookie deals. That is the main reason why receiving corps were 31st last season and is projected to have two WRs among first 16, and third as a 38th WR on fantasy draft. What can we expect from Chase Claypool? With his big body, he brings strength to the Steelers. Three mentioned WRs are all below 220 pounds. And only JuJu is barely over 6 feet high. If we compare Claypool with the 2014 draft class, we can say that he is very similar to Kelvin Benjamin. He is projected to be the 4th WR on the depth chart, but in these circumstances, he can easily be the best Steelers’ WR next season. His annual salary will be $1,654,156.

Los Angeles Rams selected Van Jefferson from the 57th position. What can we expect from the Rams this season? They had been built in the win-now mode in the previous two seasons. They lost in the Super Bowl a year ago, and they missed playoffs last season, as the 7th team in the conference. Their division is getting stronger now. We can say that they are in some light variant of a rebuild. In this team, Jefferson is projected to be 4th WR on the depth chart, and no-one expects from him, to make big numbers in a season in front of us. His annual salary will be $1,402,784.

Denzel Mims was the last WR selected in the second round of the draft. The New York Jets picked up Mims from the 59th position. The Jets had above-average defense last season, but their offense was in dead-last. From last season’s WR corps, they only kept Jamison Crowder and he is expected to be their best WR. Crowder will take the most number of snaps, from the slot. The outside WRs will be Mims and newcomer Breshad Perriman. Perriman is a former first-rounder, who is on his way to avoid the bust tag. What we can expect from the Jets and Mims? The good thing is that the AFC East will be soft, but the Jets are projected to be the worst team in the division, again. Those facts are actually not so bad for one rookie WR. The Jets invested the first-round pick in a left tackle, and Sam Darnold is probably the best passing QB in the division, as weird as it may sound. They also expect Le’Veon Bell to play a much better this season than last season. They don’t have some reliable TEs on the roster, and that means more targets for Mims. He will play the next four seasons for $1,358,425 per year.

Two wide receivers were selected in the third round of the draft. Bryan Edwards was picked up from the 81st position. We already discussed the situation in the Raiders. Expectations are low for Edwards to be a big impact in his rookie season. His salary will be $1,065,358 per year.

The last WR selected on day three of the draft was Devin Duvernay. The Baltimore Ravens picked up him from the 92nd position. The Ravens are run-first team, with great defense, and they further improved in both of those segments. Besides that, they have a very good TEs group. Duvernay is projected to be the 4th WR on the depth chart with an annual salary will be $1,064,084.

Milos Ljubic is a freelance writer for Dynasty Owner

Follow us on Twitter: @LjubicMilos and @Dynasty_Owner

Assessing Undervalued Players for the 2020 Season

Author: Chris Wolf

Now that the dust has settled after a truly unique draft experience, rookie contracts are beginning to take shape and we now have the initial set of data for projections. Evaluation is a crucial part of fantasy projection and since we will be cheated out of mini-camps (thanks COVID-19), we have to use what information is available to us.

Taking a look at both rookies and “veterans” value predictions for the upcoming season, there are a few points to consider. We now have a player’s college and for some, early NFL production. We have testing scores from the NFL Combine and of course, the “YouTube pro days” for many of the draft prospects. There is a player’s draft position to consider, which is widely overlooked in evaluation. I also think it’s important to see the organization’s take on the players they drafted or recently signed. The initial draft reaction, the coaches’ and GM’s press conferences are fantastic points of intelligence gathering to determine how a player may be utilized and how they envision their role in the organization.

In this article we are focusing on drafting from the vantage point of Value Based Drafting (VBD). In dynasty leagues, we want value at draft cost. In Dynasty Owner we really want value at salary cost as well. Ultimately, we need to make a clear distinction between value and opportunity.

Value can be defined as – “the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something”. Whereas, Opportunity is – “a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something”. We know that opportunity trumps talent in the NFL. How many times have we seen replacement level players come through when the guy in front of them on the depth chart goes down? The newly available touches and/or targets creates an opportunity for the new starter.

Value is where cost and opportunity meet. We want to look at a player’s salary while assessing the opportunity for touches. For example; David Johnson went from a crowded backfield in Arizona to a great opportunity in Houston. Houston has a league leading 254 unaccounted for carries since the RB position was vacated by Carlos Hyde. David Johnson’s ridiculous $39,000,000 contract was sent to Houston soaking up 7.34% of the team’s cap. While Carlos Hyde’s 2019 $2,800,000 contract went from the Chiefs to the Texans. Carlos Hyde was an example of Value where David Johnston provides opportunity.

Keeping in mind; Value = Opportunity + Cost, we will take a look at some undervalued players that may provide good return for you in 2020 and beyond.

The Rookies

As Dynasty Fantasy Football players, we have been waiting for this draft class. It absolutely oozes with talent and there is value to be had if you look for it.

Cam Akers – At just 20 years old with a projected total contract value of $6,173,042; this second round pick is set up to contribute in a big way. The L.A. Rams have the second most vacated carries with the Todd Gurley departure and they may be less of a committee than we would think. With the insane contract of Gurley still eating up $17.25 million of the league leading $21.3 million of RB positional spending, Malcolm Brown and Darrel Henderson make up for $2,097,080 combined. With Akers yet to sign, he clearly carries the most draft equity and projected cap of the three Rams. DraftKings Sportsbook has the Florida State product at +2000 to win Rookie of the Year and with the opportunity given, that might be a good bet.

Devin Asiasi – The Patriots traded the 100th, 139th and 172 pick to go up and snare Asiasi with the 92nd pick this year. The Patriots appeared to value the TE position in the draft by also selecting Dalton Keene just 9 picks later. Keene offers more in the terms of athleticism, Asiasi profiles to be the more productive of the two. There are 124 vacated targets from 2019 to be had and an emphasis on Tight End production is evident with the 2020 draft capital. With a salary of $4,582,820, Asiasi could provide early career return in this new look offense.

Bryan Edwards – Edwards just might lead the Raiders wide receiver group in targets this season. The former Gamecock was a four year starter and brings a much needed workman-like quality with ideal size (6”2” 212 lbs) to this offense. He offers fantastic potential fantasy value as a sure-handed receiver in Gruden’s offense at the estimated total contract price of just $4,692,460. The eternally injured Tyrell Williams has a total contract value of $11,100,000 (by far more than all of the other WR’s combined) and is reportedly not a lock to make the final roster. Edwards has a real chance at 2020 production if he can stave off the uninspiring Zay Jones.

The Veterans

Jamison Crowder – At a $10,000,000 salary Crowder is sure to command the team lead in targets for the Jets. Compare him to other #1 WR’s in the league and he is a PPR bargain. He’s not flashy, but he’ll get the job done. Still just 27 years old; his targets, receptions, yards, and TD’s led the team last year and should repeat in 2020. Yes, they drafted the athletic Denzel Mims and signed Breshad Perriman but Crowder has Darnold’s trust and is sure to return value as a WR2-3.

Jace Sternberger – He is trending to be everyone’s offseason TE darling for good reason. This is another perfect storm where opportunity meets cost. Aaron Rodgers had a tough going trying to find consistency outside of Davante Adams and his WR2-by-committee wasn’t exactly a success. The zombie formerly known as Jimmy Graham is gone and not much is standing in Sternberger’s way of TE targets. At $956,632 salary, Sternberger is a great TE2 with low end TE1 upside.

Jordan Howard – This is not a sexy choice but Howard is vastly undervalued. In fact, Fantasy Pros has him so undervalued that he comes in at #RB48 in their dynasty rankings. At a conservative $4,750,000 cap hit, he is sure to be a valuable depth piece for your dynasty team. The addition of Matt Brieda to this run-first team shouldn’t scare you away from Howard’s projected volume. 225-250 touches is well within the realm of possibility for the 25 year old power back.

Kenyan Drake – Drake is not under the radar but he is surely undervalued. At 26 years old he is in a unique position to offer short term value without the hefty contract commitment. Arizona signed Drake to a one year, $8.483 million contract in March and he has a clear path to elite volume. He is the absolute poster child for “undervalued”. Take a look at his 2019 stats:

Add in 50 receptions for 345 yards and you have the makings of an RB1 at a bargain price.

The Takeaway

While many dynasty owners are focusing on the shiny new rookies this time of year, there is fantastic profit to be found in those that are overlooked or forgotten. Fantasy football is a finicky game that accentuates recent achievements but remains short-sighted and unforgiving for some players. Be different from the masses and take a look at data such as vacated targets/carries that lead to opportunity while weighing salary expenditure.

Chris Wolf is a freelance writer for Dynasty Owner

Follow us on Twitter: @CKWolf21 and @Dynasty_Owner

Dynasty Owner Draft Tips – Updated for 2020

Author: Steven Van Tassell

Now that the reorganization of the 2019 beta leagues into brand new 12-team leagues has been officially announced, everyone who plays Dynasty Owner, both beta users and new players, will now be drafting entirely new teams. As a result, our initial Draft Tips article from 2019 needs to be revised.

For beta users, your second Dynasty Owner Fantasy Football Draft Day is coming sometime in June, while they will start in June and continue into July and August for new players. Regardless of whether you are a beta user or new player, it’s one of the best days of the year – better than Christmas, the Fourth of July, your birthday, or even the start of the football season.

Even though mock drafting with 12-team leagues has been going for a while now using the new Dynasty Owner app – go download it now if you haven’t done so already and start to mock draft – nothing compares to a real draft. Since Dynasty Owner is a new and innovative concept for new players and 12-team leagues are different than last year for the beta users, there are sure to be lots of ideas floating around about how to draft. For this article, we’re going to avoid “regular” fantasy football tips and offer up some ideas to help you on Draft Day that are unique to the Dynasty Owner concept.

With the preamble out of the way, let’s get to the draft tips that are going to help you win your 2020 Dynasty Owner league championship and maybe be the next Chase for the Ring winner.

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.

Value, Value, Value

The old adage about real estate is that the three most important things are Location, Location and Location. The same is true for Dynasty Owner.  For those of you that are new to Dynasty Owner, the three most important things for Dynasty Owners should be Value, Value and Value. Hopefully, experienced Dynasty Owners already knew that and if you didn’t then, everyone wants you to be in their new 12-team league.  

But why is value so important? Let’s examine two top WRs and look at the relevant stats from a “regular” fantasy football perspective. In the 2019 version of this article, the two players analyzed as being close to value to each other were Michael Thomas and Antonio Brown. They were remarkably similar in 2018, but had dramatically different seasons in 2019 to say the least. For this year, we’ll pick two different WRs who had virtually identically 2019 seasons (same number of Dynasty Owner fantasy points, but Godwin missed two games while Jones only missed one).

  • Chris Godwin: 276.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (2019)
  • Julio Jones: 276.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (2019)

No difference there at all. Both players had the exact same number of Dynasty Owner fantasy points last year and finished tied for second best WR behind Michael Thomas. A look at 2019 PPR-league ADP from Fantasy Pros (www.fantasypros.com) shows that Jones was drafted as the third or fourth WR overall, while Godwin was generally selected on average  anywhere between the 15th to 21st WR off the board in PPR drafts (https://www.fantasypros.com/nfl/adp/ppr-wr.php). Therefore, in “regular” fantasy football, Godwin was clearly a better “value” than Jones as Godwin’s owners got the same production from a later draft pick.

In Dynasty Owner, Godwin is even more of a value than Jones because of the difference in salary between the two of them. Godwin’s salary for 2019 and 2020 is only $821,041 while Jones is currently the highest paid WR in the NFL at $22 million per year for 2020 through 2023. Breaking it down based on their 2019 performance, we find that Godwin is projected to cost Dynasty Owners about 27 times more than Jones in 2020.

  • Chris Godwin: 276.1 points, $821,041 salary, $2,974 cost per point
  • Julio Jones: 276.1 points, $22,000,000 salary, $79,681 cost per point

Both are predicted to have similar valuable in 2020 “regular” fantasy football (282.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points for Godwin and 271.9 for Jones), but Godwin is going to be so much more valuable in Dynasty Owner in 2020 than Jones. Godwin is a likely first round draft pick (or possibly early second round), whereas you should be able to pick up Jones a lot later if you think he will remain productive and are willing to be saddled with his salary for the next four years. For 2020, Godwin is a clear better value than Jones in Dynasty Owner.

QB Scoring is Higher Than Most Leagues, but Some QBs Will Benefit More

In looking at the Player Rankings, the high number of points scored by QBs in 2019 and projected for 2020 using the Standard Dynasty Owner scoring system stands out. This pattern was evident before last year’s drafts and remains in effect for 2020. In 2019, a total of only four QBs scored over 400 Dynasty Owner fantasy points using the Standard Dynasty Owner scoring system with an additional two scoring over 370 points:

  1. Lamar Jackson – 515.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points
  2. Dak Prescott – 445.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points
  3. Russell Wilson – 428.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points
  4. Jameis Winston – 403.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points
  5. DeShaun Watson – 398.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points
  6. Patrick Mahomes – 384.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points

The number of RBs, WRs and TEs who scored over 400 points in 2019 under the Standard Dynasty Owner scoring system: One – Carolina RB Christian McCaffrey

The number of RBs, WRs, and TEs projected to score over 400 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 2020 under the Standard Dynasty Owner scoring system: Zero

Why? It’s all about the scoring system. The Standard Dynasty Owner scoring system gives you .1 point for every two yards passing and 6 points for a passing TD. Most other fantasy leagues give you 1 point for every 25 yards (or .04 points per yard) and just 4 points for a passing TD. This creates a lot more points for the QBs in Dynasty Owner than most other fantasy leagues. This is especially true for the traditional pocket QBs than QBs who run a lot.

Let’s take the Super Bowl Champion QB and the sixth ranked QB on this list – Patrick Mahomes – and compare his scoring in Dynasty Owner vs. most other fantasy leagues. Mahomes passed for 4,031 yards and had 26 passing TDs last season. He was 10th in passing yards and tied for 8th in TDs. He also added in a modest 218 yards rushing and 2 rushing TDs plus 5 INTs, 3 fumbles (2 lost), 1 2-pt conversion and some other bonus points.

  • Dynasty Owner: 384.4 points
  • Most Fantasy Leagues: 292.04 points

That’s a difference of 92.36 fantasy points over the course of a season, or 5.8 fantasy points per game. While the scoring will be higher for all QBs, those who throw for a lot of yards and a lot of TDs will benefit more than other QBs, like Deshaun Watson, who also score points with their legs. In 2019, Watson was in 5th overall in Dynasty Owner QB scoring, but just 13th in passing yards with 3,852 yards and his 26 passing TDs were tied with Mahomes for 8th place. However, he had nearly 200 more rushing yards and 5 more rushing TDs than Mahomes (413 rushing yards, 7 rushing TDs). He had just 11 more total points than Mahomes in Dynasty Owner but didn’t get nearly the bump that Mahomes got from the Standard Dynasty Owner scoring system.

  • Dynasty Owner: 398.5 points
  • Most Fantasy Leagues: 331.98 points

Despite having more Dynasty Owner fantasy points than Mahomes, Watson’s scoring bump from the Standard Dynasty Owner scoring system is over twenty-five points less than Mahomes’ at 66.52 Dynasty Owner fantasy points.

Therefore, a more traditional pocket passer is more valuable for your Dynasty Owner roster because of the scoring system. In a game that is all about value, this is important information to know and use on Draft Day.

Draft at Least Three Starting Quarterbacks and Do It Sooner Rather than Later

There are 32 NFL teams and 12 teams in each Dynasty Owner league.  That means that at least four Dynasty Owner teams won’t have three starting QBs on their roster. Do you want to be one of those teams?  The answer should be “No” and so you need to draft three starting QBs and draft those QBs early on in the draft. Dynasty Owner teams need a starting QB and a Bench QB, plus a practice squad QB to put into your lineup for the bye weeks.

Drafting three QBs will cover your team for bye weeks (or an injury). Bench players accumulate points and 20% of your Bench scoring will be added to your final score. Bench points could be the difference in Dynasty Owner between winning and losing. Possibly getting zero points from your Bench QB because you don’t have three NFL starters at the highest scoring position in Dynasty Owner is a recipe for possibly losing a game or two.

Drafting at least three QBs is recommended and possibly having a handcuff (taking the backup to a starter) on the player you plan on using as your starting QB so that you are more likely than not to always have two available QBs on your Dynasty Owner roster.

Dynasty Owners should also probably not wait until the late rounds to get that third starting QB since one-third of the teams in your league aren’t going to have a one on their roster. You may have to grab that third QB sooner than you want to because of your draft position if you are picking at the beginning or end of your draft, since it could be a long time between picks and all of the remaining QBs could be selected in a run while you’re waiting to make a pick. Dynasty Owners will need to have a draft and salary strategy to make sure they get at least three starting QBs without sacrificing their ability to fill out the rest of their roster with quality players.

Draft Three Kickers

You’re probably reading this and saying to yourself – “Are you crazy? First, I need to draft at least three quarterbacks and now you’re saying to draft three kickers?!? I don’t even want two of them, why should I waste three draft picks on kickers?”

That reaction is completely understandable, but the reasoning for this tip is the same as the QB tip – that you need a starter and bench kicker, plus a practice squad kicker for the bye weeks. Do you really want to have your second kicker on bye, but still on your bench and lose by a point or two?

That’s why you should strongly consider getting three kickers to cover for your bye weeks (or an injury). Remember, even your Bench kicker accumulates points and 20% of your Bench scoring will be added to your final score. Automatically committing to zero points from your bench kicker twice just to have a wide receiver or running back who might never play this season could cost you a victory at some point in the 2020 Dynasty Owner season.

Returning Some Value

Another potentially overlooked scoring opportunity in Dynasty Owner comes from kickoff and punt returns. In regular fantasy football, you generally only get points if your kickoff or punt returner scores a touchdown. Not in Dynasty Owner!

We have points for kickoff and punt return yards. It’s .25 points for every 10 yards. Not much, but how many times have you won or lost a fantasy game by a point or two? Probably enough to know that every point counts in fantasy.

A player who doubles as a kickoff or punt returner makes that player more valuable in Dynasty Owner than “regular” fantasy football. To demonstrate my point, let’s take the top return man in the NFL in 2019, Kansas City WR Mecole Hardman, and compare him with another player who put up similar “regular” fantasy football stats in 2019.

In terms of receiving (and rushing) stats in 2019, Hardman had the same number of points in total as Brandin Cooks. Both had a total of 117.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points from rushing and receiving, or an average of 7.3 points per game. That’s would have been good for being the #63 ranked WR in Dynasty Owner last year.

However, when you take Hardman’s return yardage into account as we do in Dynasty Owner, but most “regular” fantasy football leagues don’t, Hardman scored an extra 19.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points over the course of the season. That’s good enough to move him up ten spots from a tie for #63 WR to the #53 WR in Dynasty Owner with 137.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. His average points per game increases to 8.6 per game, or an additional 1.3 points per game.

In a close game, starting Hardman over Cooks and getting those extra 1.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points could be the difference between winning and losing your Dynasty Owner game. Even having Hardman on your Bench and getting an extra .3 points could be the difference between winning and losing. Don’t think we have games that close in Dynasty Owner? See the results of the League 51 Championship game between Ctown Beatdown and Girthquake from last season.

Conclusions

Dynasty Owner is different than “regular” fantasy football and for new users, your draft strategy is going to have to change from what you’re used to doing. Beta users should already be familiar with these differences, but since all of them are in new 12-team leagues with a 2020 redraft, reviewing these tips is a good refresher. No more are you merely looking for the top performer at each position because you might not be able to fit them under the $110 million Dynasty Owner salary cap. You’d have to struggle to find good players to fill out your bench and practice squad. Dynasty Owner is all about value. Finding value with your draft picks will be a key to winning.

Including salaries and a hard $110 million salary cap means, there’s a lot more to think about in Dynasty Owner than a regular fantasy football league. You’ve got a different scoring system than most leagues that is weighted slightly in favor of QBs, particularly those QBs who throw for a lot of yards and touchdowns rather than more mobile QBs who also get you fantasy points with their legs.

Another key to victory in Dynasty Owner are Bench points. The 20% bonus you get for the points scored by players on your Bench is an incentive to have players in reserve who are also high scoring or at the very least, not on bye.

That’s why having three kickers is recommended in Dynasty Owner. You never know if those backup kicker points are going to be the difference between winning and losing. Don’t be the Dynasty Owner who has a backup kicker on bye, getting you zero points and lose your matchup by one or two points.

Also, don’t forget to factor in those return points when drafting. A player who returns punts and kicks is more valuable in Dynasty Owner than a player who doesn’t. You just might squeeze out a victory because of those return yardage points.

There is lots of activity coming up in the Dynasty Owner universe as Tim outlined recently. There was another Live Dynasty Owner podcast last Thursday that everyone can view on YouTube if you haven’t seen it yet. We also a new article by our newest writer, Milos Ljubic (follow him on Twitter – @LjubicMilos) that was published last Friday and a new article about under the radar players coming soon from our other new writer Chris Wolf (@ckwolf21 on Twitter). 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

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

The Aftermath of the First Virtual NFL Draft

Author: Chris Wolf

The first virtual draft is a wrap. It went over with minimal glitches and I want to say we were pleasantly surprised by the in-home reactions and view into NFL front offices (or basements). We all know that the NFL is a copycat league and it has never been more evident as what we saw this past weekend. Several teams chased the KC all-speed model and a few crafted their drafts after the Ravens and 49’ers run heavy schemes.

On the surface, there were winners and losers on draft weekend. At first glance, the Ravens, Cowboys and Vikings appeared to come away with an impressive rookie haul. Then we have the Green Bay Packers. You have to think that the double schalaking they received from San Francisco last year led them to draft components of a run heavy strategy.

Only time will tell how the rookie projects will assimilate to their new teams but, we can have fun projecting their success in their new landing spots. Speaking only of skilled positions related to our Dynasty Owner leagues, let’s get a bird’s eye view of some of the newest crop of NFL players that may help your team in 2020-2021.

* 2020 ​estimated​ cap charges according to overthecap.com are in parenthesis after their names*

Pick 1.01 Joe Burrow ($6,580,000) CIN ​- Andy Dalton’s recent release carves the path for this Heisman winner to start day 1. Needless to say, he should be an early to mid first round pick for your dynasty team.

Henry Ruggs III, Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb ​- Draft ‘em. All three are 1st round dynasty rookie values.

Pick 1.21 Jalen Reagor ($2,412,850) PHI –​ Great fit for a great offense. He could see immediate playing time if the Eagles move on from either Alshon Jeffery or Desean Jackson.

Pick 1.22 Justin Jefferson ($2,385,965) MIN –​ This NFL ready rookie steps into a great starting opportunity with the Vikings. He’ll most likely be the first rookie wide receiver taken redraft leagues and he’s a sure-fire first round pick in dynasty drafts.

Pick 1.32 Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($1,967,559) KC –​ The top running back selected in the NFL’s best offense. This should be your 1.01 or 1.02 in Rookie Drafts. Don’t overthink this.

Pick 2.1 Tee Higgins ($1,579,410) CIN -​ In a crowded wide receiver room, it would take moving AJ Green for Higgins to attempt to have any 2020 value. This may be a draft and stash pick for you this year.

Pick 2.2 Michael Pittman Jr ($1,565,970) IND -​ The Colt’s pulled off a very impressive draft to plug the holes in their offense. They collectively gushed over Pittman Jr liking him to Vincent Jackson. He should step in as an immediate starter opposite the aging T.Y. Hilton.

Pick 2.3 D’Andre Swift ($1,552,530) DET -​ It’s really hard to trust the Detroit Lions rushing attack but Swift is a rare athlete that may be able to thrive in any environment. They used an early 2nd round pick on him and he should see plenty of touches year 1.

Pick 2.9 Jonathan Taylor ($1,423,480) IND – This is unfair. The best pure runner in the draft is going to the team with the best overall offensive line. He’ll most likely be the 1.02 selection in your rookie draft.

Pick 2.17 Chase Claypool ($1,203,000) PIT – There are many varying opinions on this athletic freak. The one thing we do know is, he can allow JuJu to work back into the slot where he excelled in 2017 and 2018. Take note that Claypool is a big bodied receiver that the Steelers used their first pick on.

Pick 2.20 Cam Akers ($1,122,371) LAR – ESPN’s Todd McShay considers Akers the “most underrated running back in the class”. He’s a complete back with outstanding speed that could benefit from a hopefully improved L.A. Rams Offense. He’s used to running behind bad offensive lines so he should feel right at home here.

Pick 2.23 J.K. Dobbins ($1,041,716) BAL – The Ravens want to dominate the ground game to open their improved passing attack. They went out to draft one of the best in this year’s class to compliment the NFL’s MVP. He has the opportunity to be a dominant player in this offense.

Pick 2.27 Denzel Mims ($987,945) NYJ – Mims has the opportunity for a high volume role in his first year. 100 or more targets is not an unreasonable projection.

Pick 3.12 Ke’Shawn Vaughn ($864,720) TB – 7.9 ypc behind a sub-par offensive line at Vanderbilt. He offers good balance and vision to a stacked offense led by Tom Brady.

Pick 3.17 Bryan Edwards ($853,174) LVR – A much needed weapon for Derek Carr. What he lacks in top-end speed, he makes up for with his instinctive route running. Could compete for heavy targets early.

Pick 3.22 Zack Moss ($838,605) BUF – Already assigned the Frank Gore role by coaches in the Bills offense. This could lead to plenty of goal line work for an up and coming offense. Injuries are a concern for this dynamic back.

Pick 3.29 Darrynton Evans ($829,416) TEN – Evans is a home run threat that should find a niche as a complimentary back in a run-first offense. More of a compliment than a handcuff to Derek Henry.

Pick 4.18 Anthony McFarland ($790,608) PIT – His arrival breathes much needed life into the Steeler’s running back room. He’s a tough runner with good hands that could have an opportunity at some point in year one. 8-10 touches per game is a reasonable assumption.

Pick 4.36 Antonio Gandy-Golden ($733,600) WSH – A long strider with good hands will compete for snaps with sophomore Kelvin Harmon opposite rookie standout Terry McLaurin.

Pick 5.16 Tyler Johnson ($688,600) TB – A great value in round 5 of a loaded WR class. He’s a polished route runner that could push Scotty Miller and Justin Watson for the 3rd WR role in Tampa.

Pick 6.8 Donovan Peoples-Jones ($656,650) CLE – It’s not often that you find a year one contributor in later rounds but Peoples-Jones may surprise people this year. He’s talented enough to push for a role in 3 WR sets in what projects to be a much improved offense.

Other rookies such as Laviska Shenault Jr, Brandon Aiyuk, Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, and KJ Hamler are good players who may find first year value but they are in a bit murkier situations. The goal is to win every year and slot players for future roles behind those with clearer projected outcomes.

The rookies included on this list have the possibility of making an impact on their teams during their rookie campaign and all should be viewed as top 20 players at their respective positions. Draft them with confidence and hopefully a few will contribute to your team sooner than later.

Chris Wolf is a freelance writer for Dynasty Owner.

Follow us on Twitter: @Dynasty_Owner

Christian McCaffrey’s New Contract and Implications for Dynasty Owner(s)

Author: Milos Ljubic

Hi everyone, my name is Milos. This is my first article for the Dynasty Owner. I hope that this will be good for a start and that I will continue to write in the future.

As I wrote in the title, the subject of this article will be Christian McCaffrey’s new contract. As we all know, McCaffrey was the best (non-QB) fantasy player in the 2019 season and his new contract will be very interesting for the next few seasons.

McCaffrey signed a 4 years extension worth 64 million dollars. In reality this new 6-year contract is worth 78 million. Let’s explain this. McCaffrey was the first-round pick in the 2017 draft. He was selected from the 8th position. According to the rules, a first-round pick can sign the first extension after the third season. Also, teams have an option for a 5th-year extension for first-round picks. That is the case here. In the 2020 season, McCaffrey is under his rookie deal worth 0.8M, plus 2.7M prorated bonus. (For Dynasty Owners this numbers is 4.3M which is the annual amount of his rookie contract.) And as a rule, the 5th-year option for first-round running back who played one Pro bowl has a value of transition tag of somewhere around 10.4M dollars. Technically, the extension starts from the season 2022. When a player signs an extension like this, it means that he can restructure the last year of a rookie deal, the 5th year and the extension. According to the Overthecap, cap hit for the next five years will be 7,8M; 12.5M; 12.9M; 16.3M; 16.3M respectively and 12.2M in the 2025 season. Guaranteed money on signing is 30.1M dollars, but on the 5th day of the 2021 season, that number will rise to 38.2M. We can be 100% sure this will happen.

How has McCaffrey deserved this contact? McCaffrey is the third player in the NFL history with 1000 running + 1000 receiving season. Before him, the only ones who achieved that were Roger Craig in the 1985 season playing for the 49ers and Marshal Faulk in the 1999 season playing for the Rams. He has set a few all-time NFL records so far. McCaffrey is the first running back with over 2500 as a rusher and 2500 as a receiver in the first three seasons in the NFL. He has the most receptions by a running back in a single season and holds a few others records.

The main questions are how does this affect you in Dynasty Owner and how will it affect your salary cap. If you already have McCaffrey on the roster, you are in a great position. McCaffery’s cap number for the next season is 4.3M. McCaffery was the best (non-QB) fantasy player for the 2019 season. He is projected to be the second-best fantasy player for the 2020 season. Lamar Jackson is projected as the first and Pat Mahomes as third. You will have a whole season to decide what you want to do with his new contract. You can trade him during the season if you receive an offer that will satisfy you. If you decide to keep him through the end of a season, you will have the option to drop him for free. Or you can continue with him and his new contract. The more interesting question is how this affects new players. To find the answer to that question, we need to analyze a few things.

McCaffrey is now the face of the Carolina Panthers franchise. Carolina fired Ron Rivera after 9 years and one appearance in Superbowl. Luke Kuechly retired. Cam Newton and Greg Olsen were fired too. Carolina is in rebuilding mode. They gave a 7-year contract to the new head coach, Matt Rhule. How does the new Carolina team look after the new changes? Teddy Bridgewater is the new QB and that is an upgrade for sure. The OL from the 2019 season was average. OL was changed, only two starters from 2019 season will start next season. Carolina loses both starting guards. Turner was traded for Okung and that move upgraded the tackle position. New guards will come off the bench or from free agency. We can expect that OL will be average and this season. The biggest addition in offense is Roby Anderson from the Jets. With Moore and Samuel, Carolina will have a very good receivers squad. And very young at the same time. These three had almost 200 catches and over 2500 receiving yards. Carolina’s TEs group without Olsen isn’t good, but that won’t be upgraded on a draft. Also, besides McCaffrey, they don’t have a decent 2nd RB. This also won’t be changed. Carolina has too many needs on defense, so we can presume that all draft capital will be invested on that side of the ball.

And what about the division? The NFC South teams, except for Carolina, are in win-now mode. The Saints have a great team, but also have salary cap problems. Drew Brees is 41 years old. Tampa changed the head coach and signed Bruce Arians. They added Tom Brady on a two-year contract. And on Wednesday, they added Rob Gronkowski in a trade with the Patriots. They were solid last year and with this addition, it is expected that they will only get better. The problem with Tampa is Brady’s years. He is 42. Also, we don’t know what we can expect from Gronkowski. When he was healthy, he was the best TE in the league. But that was a few years ago and he didn’t play last year at all. Atlanta is currently an average team, at best. Ryan and Julio are on the wrong side of the 30s. Cap space for the next seasons also isn’t big and Dan Quinn will be under pressure.

Where is McCaffrey compared to the other running backs? McCaffrey is the best dual-threat running back in the NFL for the last 10 years, at least. He is still young. In July he will be 24 years old. When this extension expires, McCaffrey will be only 29 years old. His numbers in the previous two seasons were great. This can be a problem in the future because that means that he is overused. Only 3 RB’s had more carries last season and all three combined had fewer catches than McCaffrey. McCaffrey played almost all snaps for Carolina last season. 99,6% to be precise, according to Spotrac. The second most used RB was Zeke Eliot with 89.3% of snaps. McCaffrey had 407 contacts with the ball. Once again, the second was Eliot with 355 contacts. The good thing about McCaffrey is that he stayed healthy in his career so far.  Marshall Faulk, for example, had over 400 contacts with the ball in his 5th season. And in his 6th year, he had a 1000 + 1000 season. In his 7th season, he was the MVP of the regular season and in the 8th season, he had over 2000 scrimmage yards for the fourth time in a row. If Carolina decides to lower the usage of McCaffrey on some 350 contacts with the ball per season, it’s very possible that he can be productive during the next six years.

What if McCaffrey starts to decline with his production? Carolina can release him after the 3rd year, at the earliest. If they release him after the 2022 season, they would save 7.7M in cap space with 8.6M of dead money. If they decide to release him after the 4th season, cap savings after the 2023 season would be 12M, and dead money, in that case, would be the only 4.3M. On the other side, this can be a reason for the concern of owners if they decide to draft/keep McCaffrey on a new contract. If we suppose that McCaffrey can decline to the level of Gurley’s declined last season, McCaffrey probably won’t be cut. Carolina doesn’t have on a roster 35M+ QB, doesn’t have a top-paid defensive player in the league, and doesn’t have CB who is waiting to become the highest-paid player on his position.

Milos Ljubic is a freelance writer for Dynasty Owner.

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