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

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

Best Fit for Players in the 2020 Draft

Photo Credit: SKYSPORTS.COM

Author: Chris Wolf

If we can expect anything from this week’s draft, it is to expect the unexpected. This year’s rookie selection event projects to be the most watched draft in NFL history. This historic function is sure to be loaded with plenty of fireworks involving trades for both picks and current players.

We will witness real life NFL GM’s doing their best impression of drafting like us fantasy sports enthusiasts; at home, on a laptop. Our guess is as good as anyone’s as to who will go where. Without visits, medicals, and agents middling in the process…this draft can go in any direction.

Instead of providing you with yet another mock draft, let’s take a look at the best team fits for some skill position players that will be selected this weekend.

***Their projected team salary for 2020 in parenthesis***

Tua Tagovailoa QB – Los Angeles Chargers ($4,832,502)

This could be the best case scenario for Tua. A red-shirt year would be optimal for this high-profile QB for not only medical reasons, but also the lack of preparation due to the pandemic.

CeeDee Lamb WR – Las Vegas Raiders ($3,031,205)

An advanced prospect that is just 21 years old. Incredible hands and an absolute beast after the catch. Known for his competitive fire, he would be a great fit in Jon Gruden’s receiver friendly scheme.

Jerry Jeudy WR – San Francisco 49ers ($2,950,550)

This route technician would be an incredible addition to any team. His landing spot with the Super Bowl runners up would be much needed to line up across from budding star Deebo Samuel and overlooked Jalen Hurd. The Alabama product is also reportedly coveted by Philadelphia as well.

Justin Jefferson WR – Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($2,816,127- $2,480,064)

Jefferson’s selection would be best as a result of Tampa trading down after the top 4 tackles are taken. If there is one thing that Tom Brady always had it was a sure handed slot technician. Although All Pro Chris Godwin ran 518 routes in the slot last year, his 4.42 wheels could be utilized on the outside with the addition of Jefferson.

Jordan Love QB – Miami Dolphins ($2,816,127- $2,480,064)

Miami has acquired an NFL leading 14 picks for the 2020 draft and is primed to reload it’s roster. Jordan Love just may be the 3rd QB selected this weekend and it would be a great fit for the Fins. His ultra competitive attitude and play making ability could just be what Dolphins have needed for a long time.

Henry Ruggs WR – Denver Broncos ($2,762,356)

This just makes too much sense, but he might not last to Denver’s pick at 15. Any team could use the talents of this speed demon. Although he had limited career production as Jerry Jeudy’s running mate at Alabama, Ruggs is a complete receiver. He is a precise route runner with sure hands (only 1 drop in 2019).

Jalen Reagor WR – New Orleans Saints ($2,305,310)

With the door closing on the career of Drew Brees, Jalen Reagor would be a fantastic addition for what could be a playoff bound team. With the ability to play in the backfield and be used as a gadget-type player, Sean Payton could have fun with this one.

Tee Higgins WR – Green Bay Packers ($2,046,218)

The Packers have been searching the last few drafts for someone to occupy the field across from Davante Adams. Tee Higgins just may be their guy. Size, speed, contested-catch ability are the reasons Aaron Rodgers will love this weapon.

Brandon Aiyuk WR – Kansas City Chiefs ($1,967,559)

The world champs may be better suited adding a CB in round 1 but a WR makes sense as well. They are wearing championship rings because they continue to add speed to their WR corps.

Aiyuk is a big play threat with solid hands and excellent after the catch ability. Probably not happening but it’s a nice fit.

Denzel Mims WR – Washington Redskins ($1,565,972)

Mims is raw but is a physical freak. He demonstrates fantastic body control and produced an explosive body of work at Baylor. He would add to the young receiving group of Terry McLaurin, Kelvin Harmon, and Trey Quinn.

Jonathan Taylor RB – Detroit Lions ($1,552,530)

Size, speed, and toughness is what Taylor would bring to the underwhelming running back group led by Kerryon Johnson. Taylor would bring the much needed hammer to Detroit’s rushing attack.

D’Andre Swift RB – Miami Dolphins ($1,514,891)

Possibly the best RB prospect in this class. Explosive, with superb vision and solid receiving ability would make a lot of sense for the rebuilding Dolphins. He and Jordan Howard would make good complimentary pieces in the backfield.

J.K. Dobbins RB – Jacksonville Jaguars ($1,423, 482)

An elite runner with good size and great hands. He would be a perfect fit for Jacksonville after they move on from the limited Leonard Fournette.

Clyde Edwards – Helaire RB- Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($1,297,661)

CEH is an elusive runner with gifted catching ability. He is extremely elusive and could become Tom Brady’s prefered weapon out of the backfield.

Jalen Hurts QB – Atlanta Falcons ($856,257)

Atlanta had a front row seat to the Taysom Hill show. The Falcons also need to add to their dynamic playmakers. They could kill two birds with one stone by selecting the incredibly athletic Hurts in round 3. It would benefit the team to upgrade the backup QB position and benefit Hurts to learn from Matt Ryan.

Zack Moss RB – Pittsburgh Steelers ($850,989)

The Steelers will need to add a dynamic playmaker to this workmanlike backfield in this year’s draft. Pittsburgh’s running back room could have doubled as the trainer’s room in 2019 with all of the nagging injuries. Coincidently, Moss reminds many of Le’veon Bell with his elusiveness and glide ability.

Cole McDonald QB – Buffalo Bills ($784,843)

This one is just fun. McDonald is an absolute clone of Josh Allen. The backup QB position candidates aren’t exactly intimidating with the likes of Matt Barkley and Davis Webb. McDonald is a draftable prospect that should go somewhere in rounds 4-6.

This list does not necessarily encompass team needs or what they will do come draft weekend. It’s simply a compilation of players that would benefit from a team’s scheme. This draft has the sense of “anything can happen” and it will provide some much needed entertainment for all of us.

Salary Cap Room for Draft Picks

Author: Steven Van Tassell

One great question that keeps coming up is – “How much salary cap room do I need to have for draft picks?”  The short answer is: “It depends”. That answer isn’t very helpful so it’s time to dive into some 2020 draft pick research, look back at last year’s draft, and give a (somewhat) better answer to that question for all of our Dynasty Owners.

Unless you traded away all three of your 2020 Dynasty Owner draft picks, you’ll need a minimum of three roster spots and $1.53 million in salary cap room. That will get your Dynasty Owner team three rookies on minimum salary contracts of $510,000 in 2020 to add to your team’s roster. Depending on your situation, your team could need more cap room and roster spots if you traded for a draft pick and less if you traded away a draft pick.

However, say you wanted the top three picks in the NFL draft and skill position players (QB, RB, WR, TE) were selected as the top three players, your Dynasty Owner team would need almost $26.4 million in salary cap room. The 2020 rookie salary for the top pick will be $9.154 million, it’s $8.735 million for the second pick and $8.469 million for the third pick. That’s a total of $26.36 million, or $24.83 million more than the minimum.

Let’s take a look at some realistic scenarios based on current mock draft projections. We’ll use NFL.com as our source for projections of when players will be drafted (http://www.nfl.com/draft/2020/mock-drafts). After that, we’ll check out some “real world” examples from 2019.

2020 NFL Mock Draft Projections

While it is possible for a Dynasty Owner to draft the top three skill position players in their Dynasty Owner rookie draft, based on current projections, you’d be adding three QBs to your roster. Joe Burrow is projected as the #1 pick and either Tau Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert are projected to go as the #5 and #6 picks – depending on which mock draft expert you believe. If you don’t need three QBs, then you’ll likely be spending less than the $26.36 million.

Based on the Spotrac NFL draft tracker (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/draft/round-1/), those three players will probably be paid the following amounts at the listed mock draft selection spot:

  • Joe Burrow (#1 pick) – $9.154 million
  • Tua Tagovailoa (#5 pick) – $7.631 million
  • Justin Herbert (#6 pick) – $6.68 million

In total, that’s $23.465 million if you grabbed the top three skill position players likely to be drafted in the 2020 NFL draft. However, since very few Dynasty Owner teams probably need (or want) three rookie QBs, it seems that $23.5 million in cap room is really the highest possible amount that Dynasty Owners need to have available to draft rookies. More likely, the best that a Dynasty Owner will do is be able to draft the top QB, RB and WR.

Based on the mock drafts, the following players are projected as the top position players taken in the 2020 draft:

  • Joe Burrow (#1 pick) – $9.154 million
  • Ceedee Lamb or Jerry Jeudy (#11 pick) – $4.586 million
  • D’Andre Swift (#26 pick) – $3.025 million

The top QB, RB and WR are likely to cost a Dynasty Owner around $6.7 million less than the three QBs as the total for Burrow, Lamb/Jeudy and Swift is projected at $16.766 million. In reality, that’s the upper range a Dynasty Owner should keep on hand after the amnesty period is over to give himself room to draft three top rookies. So, unless everyone in your Dynasty Owner league is close against the salary cap, someone is likely to have enough room to take one of those top guys, so most Dynasty Owners can get away with less than the nearly $17 million mentioned above.

Examples from 2019 to Emulate for Your 2020 Cap Floor

For Dynasty Owners who like their team, but still have three draft picks and don’t want to restrict themselves to all rookies on minimum contracts, what’s a reasonable floor of salary cap space that you should have on hand?  Since about 10 skill positions are projected (on average) to be drafted in the first round, you could in theory draft a first round NFL draft pick (think WR N’Keal Harry who was the 32nd pick in the 2019 NFL draft), a mid-second or third round pick (one of the several WRs taken in that range in 2019 include A.J. Brown, Mecole Hardman, Parris Campbell, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside or RB Miles Sanders) and a fifth, sixth or seventh round pick (such as Hunter Renfrow, Darius Slayton, Gardner Minshew or Darwin Thompson). The most expensive of these grouping would have cost you only about $4.65 million in 2019, so to be safe, you’d need $5 million of salary cap room in 2020 to get the following players (# draft pick):

  • N’Keal Harry (First Round – #32 pick) – $2.525 million
  • A.J. Brown (Second Round – #51 pick) – $1.413 million
  • Hunter Renfrow (Fifth Round – #149 pick) – $708,987

While that’s three WRs, it’s still not a bad draft haul for less than $5 million. If you took one guy from three different positions, say Minshew at QB (sixth round), Josh Jacobs at RB (first round) and D.K. Metcalf at WR (second round), you would have spent a little bit more ($4.81 million):

  • Josh Jacobs (First Round – #24 pick) – $2.983 million
  • D.K. Metcalf (Second Round – #64 pick) – $1.146 million
  • Gardner Minshew II (Sixth Round – #178 pick) – $677,721

Without running more scenarios, it appears that $5 million is a good amount to have on hand to get a nice haul of rookies. It can be done for less if you need to and are able to mine the draft for some quality late round picks. A good draft last year would have been possible for only $2.533 million and netted a Dynasty Owner the following players:

  • D.K. Metcalf (Second Round – #64 pick) – $1.146 million
  • Hunter Renfrow (Fifth Round – #149 pick) – $708,987
  • Gardner Minshew II (Sixth Round – #178 pick) – $677,721

The 2020 salaries will be slightly higher, and the picks won’t be the exact same selections, but based on these results, it looks possible to have a good 2020 Dynasty Owner draft for around $2.5 to $3 million.

Conclusions

It depends is actually the correct answer here as, everything depends on your roster and draft picks stash. If you need more good players and have cleared enough salary cap room and others in your league are cap strapped, then you could pick up three of the top skill position players taken in the 2020 NFL draft. You’ll possibly need as much as $26.4 million, but more realistically about $16.8 million.

It’s possible to have a great draft for less – just look at 2019 when a savvy Dynasty Owner could have picked three quality players up for as little as $2.533 to $4.81 million. That’s more like $3 million to $5 million in 2020 draft salaries, but it shows any amount can be the “right” amount of salary cap room. Don’t forget about all of the great Dynasty Owner specific podcasts you can listen to and watch. The YouTube Live podcast from last Thursday with special guest Christopher Harris and the one from the previous Friday were really great and highly recommended. We also have message board debates and Twitter posts that you can check out.  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!  After all, what else do you have to do now!

Steven Van Tassell is a freelance writer for Dynasty Owner.

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

Old Faces in New Places (Schitt’s Creek Version)

Author: Stephen Van Tassell

If you’re not familiar with Schitt’s Creek, then I recommend you go to Netflix and start watching as it’s a very funny show. If you’ve seen it, don’t go ruining it for me and others with spoilers in one of the Slack channels because I’m only on season two. Here’s a summary of the show from Wikipedia.

The series follows the trials and tribulations of the formerly wealthy Rose family who are forced to relocate to Schitt’s Creek, a small town they once purchased as a joke. Now living in two adjoining motel rooms, Johnny and Moira Rose—along with their adult children, David and Alexis—must adjust to a life without money and with each other.

So, it’s the opposite of the Jeffersons and means that this article will focus on players who have moved teams during the NFL off-season, but will highlight players who aren’t making as much as they did in 2019. They aren’t living in a motel without any money, but like the Roses, they are going to have to learn how to adjust to life in a new town with less money.

Are all of them suddenly worth having on your Dynasty Owner roster since they will count less against your salary cap than they did last year? Not exactly. Less money doesn’t automatically equal making the league minimum salary and some of the players highlighted still carry pretty hefty contracts of $6 million per year or higher. Just like the Jeffersons article, there are a lot of players who left one team in free agency for less money with another team, so we can’t cover everyone. Let’s look at six guys who will be making less in 2020, but hoping to play well enough to earn a higher paid contract for 2021 and beyond (all except one who signed a two year deal).

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.

U Know These TEs

Let’s start with a pair of TEs from the University of Miami – Jimmy Graham and Greg Olsen. Both are in the later stages of their careers before they move on to other pursuits (Olsen is likely to be a TV football analyst, while Graham is apparently an experienced pilot). Both signed contracts this off-season with a new team, but for less money than they were making in 2019. We’ll start with Jimmy Graham since he is slightly younger (33 vs. 35 for Olsen) and had a slightly bigger salary reduction ($2 million vs. $1.55 million for Olsen).

New Bears TE Jimmy Graham moved over to Chicago from Green Bay by signing a two-year, $16 million contract, worth $8 million per year in Dynasty Owner (Graham is the only one here who isn’t playing for a 2021 contract). This is down from the $10 million contract his Dynasty Owners paid in 2019. He slipped from the highest paid TE in the NFL to a tie for sixth place with fellow Bears TE Trey Burton. While his 2020 contract is less than 2019, Dynasty Owners shouldn’t settle for just a savings of $2 million but go for the entire contract and drop Graham while they can for free.

As the top TE in Green Bay, Graham only had 99.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 2019, an average of 6.2 points per game, with just three games of 10.0+ Dynasty Owner fantasy points. He ranked as the #21 TE in Dynasty Owner last year despite playing in all 16 games and not having much significant competition from the other TEs on the Green Bay roster. This is after he was the #11 TE in Dynasty Owner in 2018. Even if he’s the top TE in Chicago, he’s going from the inconsistent Aaron Rodgers to an even worse QB in either Nick Foles or Mitchell Trubisky. Plus, he’s likely sharing the TE role with Trey Burton (unless Burton gets released). Regardless, that’s not worth $8 million in salary for the Dynasty Owners in 24% of leagues in which Graham is owned. Nor is he worth picking up in the rest of the leagues in which he’s available in the Free Agent Auction.

In a previous article this month, I looked at Greg Olsen. For those of you who want the full analysis, check it out at  https://dynastyowner.com/2020/03/amnesty-candidates-part-4/. If you don’t want to read it, here are the highlights:

  • Signed a one year, $7 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks back in mid-February that is valid for the 2020 Dynasty Owner season
  • 2020 salary is $1.55 million less than 2019 salary
  • Was the 13th best TE in Dynasty Owner in 2019 with an average of 8.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game in the 14 games he played
  • Had three explosive games mixed in (25.5, 17.8 and 17.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points), but in half of his 2019 games, he scored 7.0 or fewer Dynasty Owner fantasy points, meaning he was at best a Bench option for half of the season
  • Better QB in 2020 (Russell Wilson) versus Kyle Allen for most of 2019
  • Two other good TEs on Seattle roster in Will Dissly and Jacob Hollister plus competing with WRs Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf for catches

Olsen is rostered in 39% of Dynasty Owner leagues now – higher than 12 days ago when the last article was posted and he was rostered in 37% of Dynasty Owner leagues, so clearly more people disagree with me and have picked him up rather than dropped him. He’s the 12th highest paid TE as of right now according to Spotrac (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/tight-end/) so he’ll need to be a starting Dynasty Owner TE to justify his salary.

Trust me, I don’t like recommending that you drop my fellow University of Miami alumni, but both Graham and Olsen will cost too much in salary to justify being on your Dynasty Owner roster in 2020. Drop them if you need cap room or see if another owner is bullish on them and trade away those contracts.

A is For “Are Either of These Guys Worth $1,047,500?”

Both Geronimo Allison and Nelson Agholor will receive $1,047,500 with their new teams. Allison is in his fifth season, but the first with the Detroit Lions after four relatively unproductive years with the Green Bay Packers, while Agholor starts fresh in Las Vegas with the Raiders after five years in Philadelphia.

Both seem very similar but are also different in many ways, such as the percentage of leagues they are rostered in Dynasty Owner (74% for Allison versus 24% for Agholor). Kind of surprising considering that Allison was slightly more expensive in 2019 ($2.8 million) than Agholor ($2.34 million). Agholor appears to be in a better spot with his new team as he’s likely the third WR for the Raiders, behind Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow, while Allison is stuck at fourth on the Lions depth chart behind Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola.

If Allison can return to his 2018 form when he averaged 12.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (in only 5 games), he might be a bargain for his Owners at his new salary, but that seems unlikely unless multiple injuries hit the Lions WR corps. If you’re a Dynasty Owner with Allison on your roster and really tight on salary cap or roster space, you can safely drop Allison (Full Disclosure: I’m an Allison Dynasty Owner, but have room for him on my roster in terms of salary and roster space, so I’m keeping him, for now).

Agholor on the other hand is probably someone Dynasty Owners should grab now in the Free Agent Auction if they need cheap players with some upside as he possibly could also return punts in Las Vegas next year and get some return yardage points (.25 points for every 10 yards of punt and kickoff returns). Since he’s likely available in your league, put in a bid for Agholor now and hope nobody else in your league is reading this recommendation. Don’t drop the ball on this one, right Philly Hero Man (https://ftw.usatoday.com/2019/09/philly-hero-unlike-agholor)!

Talk About a Salary Reduction

Finally, let’s look at two players who are taking a huge reduction in salary to play for a new team in 2020 – Devin Funchess and Todd Gurley. Gurley is the big name here, so let’s wait on him and analyze Funchess first.

Funchess was an early second round draft pick in 2015 by Carolina who thought the big body WR would be a great target for Cam Newton to throw the ball. Sadly, that never really worked out too well as even in his best year (2017), Funchess had just 63 catches for 840 yards and 8 receiving TDs. That’s 195.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points or 12.2 points per game. We don’t have Dynasty Owner stats to rank him for 2017, but if those were his 2019 stats, he would have ranked as the #29 WR, just behind Emmanuel Sanders and right in front of Marvin Jones. Keep in mind that 2017 was his best year and he would have only been, on average, the third best WR on your team. Basically, that’s a FLEX starter or bye week/injury replacement starting WR. In 2018, Funchess had 124.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points to rank as the #56 WR in Dynasty Owner, which is Practice Squad depth. There are plenty of other WRs you can have who are younger (Funchess will be 26 when the NFL starts in 2020) or get paid less than the $2.5 million for one year that Funchess signed for with Green Bay. According to Spotrac, Funchess is tied for the 61st highest paid WR right now (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/wide-receiver/).

If you think Funchess can return to his level of play in 2017 and be the #2 WR in Green Bay, then go pick him up since he’s only owned in 6.5% of Dynasty Owner leagues. Don’t worry about Green Bay drafting another WR who will vault over him on the depth chart, as they haven’t drafted an offensive skill position player (QB, RB, WR, or TE) in the first round since Aaron Rodgers in 2005. If you don’t have confidence that he’ll be back from the injury that wiped out almost all of his 2019 season or that his “best” days are behind him, go find a younger, cheaper WR or even two WRs in your league’s Free Agent Auction. Even if I wanted Funchess (which I don’t), he’s actually owned in my Dynasty Owner league, so I can’t pick him up.

In a surprise move, the Los Angeles Rams released Todd Gurley two weeks ago and he subsequently signed a one year, $6 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons. In a move that many Dynasty Owners can now appreciate more, the Rams had a challenging salary cap situation and released both Gurley and LB Clay Matthews to help alleviate that problem. The $6 million contract that Gurley signed with Atlanta will make him the 10th highest paid RB in the NFL in 2020 (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/running-back/).

The new contract replaced the 4-year, $57.5 million contract he signed with the Rams back in July of 2018, an average contract amount of $14.375 million that his Dynasty Owners paid for him in 2019. Gurley was the second highest paid RB in 2019, behind only Ezekiel Elliott, but finished the 2019 as the #16 RB in Dynasty Owner. Dynasty Owners were paying top dollar for likely the second best RB on their roster. Even at that salary level, Gurley was still rostered in 98% of Dynasty Owner leagues last season.

So, should Dynasty Owners with Gurley on their roster drop him now for free even though they are “saving” over $8 million in salary cap space, put him up for trade or keep him. Earlier this year at his $14.375 million salary, dropping was the recommended option (https://dynastyowner.com/2020/02/amnesty-candidates-part-1/), but now I think you should explore trade options for Gurley first and then if nobody in your league wants to give you anything of value, then you drop Gurley.

Here are the pros and the cons of keeping Gurley on your Dynasty Owner roster:

Pros

  • Motivated by release from Rams
  • Playing closer to where he went to college (Georgia) and high school (Tarboro, North Carolina)
  • Supposedly a better offensive line in Atlanta than Los Angeles, but the Falcons only averaged slightly more yards per carry in 2019 than the Rams (3.76 versus 3.74)

Cons

  • Still has arthritis in his knees
  • Moving from playing on grass to FieldTurf, which won’t help his knees
  • Averaged only 3.84 yards per carry in 2019, down from 4.88 in 2018 and 4.67 in 2017 and had fewest rushing yards in career (857 yards in 2019)
  • Receptions and receiving yards (31 receptions for 207 yards) were lowest since rookie season, with the lowest yards per reception (6.68) of his career

The cons outweigh the pros for me, especially the arthritis in his knee, so I’d make offers to trade Gurley if I could find a Dynasty Owner more bullish on his 2020 prospects, or if no trade offers are acceptable, then drop him and save the $6 million in salary.

Conclusions

Signing a new contract for less money does not necessarily mean that a player is worth their new salary and should be kept on your Dynasty Owner roster or picked up if he is in the Free Agent Auction. Sadly, for the most part, the guys mentioned in this article are still not worth their new salaries in Dynasty Owner and should be dropped or left in the Free Agent Auction for other Owners to bid on.

Now that we have extra time (until April 8th) to drop players with no fee, there’s time to cover some of the players who signed more recently or players we didn’t cover in previous articles or even in this article like Eric Ebron, who got a slightly lower salary recently with Pittsburgh.

Don’t forget about all of the great Dynasty Owner specific podcasts you can watch or listen to. The YouTube Live podcast from Thursday with special guest Christopher Harris and the one from last Friday, which was a lot of fun to participate in, are highly recommended. We also have message board debates and Twitter posts that you can check out.  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

Old Faces in New Places (The Jeffersons Version)

Author: Steven Van Tassell

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

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

All stats are based on the Standard Dynasty Owner scoring system as outlined in the updated Dynasty Owner Constitution. Standard Dynasty Owner scoring gives you .1 points for every yard rushing or receiving, .1 point for every 2 yards passing, 1 point per reception, 6 points for a rushing, receiving or passing touchdown and 2 points for a successful 2-point conversion (rushing, receiving, or passing). Interceptions or fumbles lost cost you 3 points, while a fumble that is recovered by the player’s team is a loss of only 1 point. Bonus points are available for 100-199 yards rushing (2 points), 200 yards rushing or receiving (6 points), 300-399 yards passing (1 point) and 400 yards passing (4 points). There is also a 3 point bonus for clutch scoring, which is a score that results in a lead change in the final two minutes of the 4th quarter or overtime. Kickoff and punt return touchdowns are worth 6 points for the player and kickoff and punt returns are worth .25 points for every 10 yards.

Standard Dynasty Owner scoring for kickers gives you 1 point for every extra point, while a missed extra point will cost you 1 point. It’s 2 points for a field goal of between 0 and 39 yards, 4 points for a field goal between 40 and 49 yards and 5 points for a field goal of 50 yards or longer. A missed field goal of between 0 and 39 yards will cost you 3 points, while a miss of 40 yards or more is a loss of 2 points.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are These Receivers Worth Four Million More?

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

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

Greg the Leg Moves from LA to Dallas

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

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

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

Conclusions

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

There’s more contract news to cover before Dynasty Owners have to pay the drop fee to release a player. A second article about players who switched teams this off-season, but are getting paid less than they did in 2019, is coming tomorrow. And don’t forget about all of the great Dynasty Owner specific podcasts (particularly the Live podcast from Friday – which was a lot of fun), message board debates and Twitter posts.  All of this great content is available to help you win your Dynasty Owner league and maybe become the winner of the 2020 Chase for the Ring!

Steven Van Tassell is a freelance writer for Dynasty Owner.

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

Trading Places

Author: Steven Van Tassell

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

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

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

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

All stats are based on the Standard Dynasty Owner scoring system as outlined in the updated Dynasty Owner Constitution. Standard Dynasty Owner scoring gives you .1 points for every yard rushing or receiving, .1 point for every 2 yards passing, 1 point per reception, 6 points for a rushing, receiving or passing touchdown and 2 points for a successful 2-point conversion (rushing, receiving, or passing). Interceptions or fumbles lost cost you 3 points, while a fumble that is recovered by the player’s team is a loss of only 1 point. Bonus points are available for 100-199 yards rushing (2 points), 200 yards rushing or receiving (6 points), 300-399 yards passing (1 point) and 400 yards passing (4 points). There is also a 3 point bonus for clutch scoring, which is a score that results in a lead change in the final two minutes of the 4th quarter or overtime. Kickoff and punt return touchdowns are worth 6 points for the player and kickoff and punt returns are worth .25 points for every 10 yards.

Mega-Trade Analysis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Receivers Getting Traded for Draft Picks

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

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

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

Quarterbacks on the Move

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

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

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

Conclusions

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

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

There’s lots more contract news to cover as we haven’t yet talked about free agents who signed with new teams. That’ll be the focus of the next article to help Dynasty Owners with their decision-making before free drops end at the end of March. Besides these articles, don’t forget about all of the great Dynasty Owner specific podcasts, message board debates and Twitter posts. All of this great content is available to help you win your Dynasty Owner league and maybe become the winner of the 2020 Chase for the Ring!

Steven Van Tassell is a freelance writer for Dynasty Owner.

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

These Guys Can Afford to Buy a New Home, but Don’t Have to Move Far

Author: Steven Van Tassell

There has been a whirlwind of activity since Monday (and even before that) with many big names in the NFL re-signing with their current team, being traded or signing elsewhere in free agency. For “regular” dynasty fantasy football, these moves are important, but they don’t have the same impact as they do in Dynasty Owner. For example, a player who gets a new contract from his current team, like Austin Ekeler or Ryan Tannehill, is good to know, but isn’t likely to dramatically affect his status with your “regular” dynasty team.

However, that’s not the case in Dynasty Owner! Just last year, Ekeler owners got a huge amount of production for only $563,500 in salary, as did Tannehill owners for a mere $2 million. Now, Tannehill got $118 million over four years from the Titans and Ekeler just signed a 4-year, $24.5 million contract with the Chargers. Dynasty Owners need to figure out how to keep Tannehill and Ekeler at those increased salary levels, drop them and get nothing in return or trade them to another Dynasty Owner who has the room to fit them under the $110 million salary cap. So much more strategy than regular fantasy football as you’ve probably heard El Jefe Dynasty Owner Paul say on the podcast.

In this article, we’ll look at some of the most recent signings so far in the NFL off-season in which a player re-signed with his current team and their impact on Dynasty Owner. There have been more than enough of these signings to cover. Then, we’ll start to take a look at players who have moved teams. There has been a lot of movement, so we can’t cover everything. However, we’ll take a look at some key moves and the impact on the player and what their Dynasty Owners should do with them.

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.

A Quick Look at Five Players with New Contracts

Some players got a new contract that pays them a lot more money than last year to stay with their team. Not only are they now making more money, but they don’t even need to spend a lot of it hiring a moving company to take all of their stuff to a new city. Maybe they will buy a new home with all of the extra cash and move a few miles to a new house, but it won’t cost as much as going to a completely different city.  In order of total contract size, we have:

  • Ryan Tannehill (QB – TEN) – Tannehill’s new 4-year, $118 million contract with Tennessee makes him the ninth highest paid QB in the NFL according to Spotrac (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/quarterback/). They include Dak Prescott at the $31.5 million franchise tag amount in their calculations. Regardless of his position in the rankings, in Dynasty Owner salary terms, that’s $29.5 million a year for a QB who averaged 28.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game in his 10 starts in 2019. That’s a little over $1 million ($1.036 million to be exact) on an average point per game basis, for the former backup who is owned in 65% of Dynasty Owner leagues. Unless they have better, less expensive players on their roster, Dynasty Owners with Tannehill will probably take the $27.5 million increase and hope he’s as good in 2020 as he was in 2019.  Of course, if you’re cap-strapped, like Super Bowl ticket winner Bruno, you might have to drop or trade Tannehill and find a cheaper QB for your team.
  • Amari Cooper (WR – DAL) – Depending on who you believe, Cooper’s new contract with the Cowboys is either for two years at $40 million with three team option years or five years at $100 million. Either way, it’s $20 million for Dynasty Owner salary cap purposes, or $14.3 million more than he was making in 2019. It makes Cooper, who was #9 WR in Dynasty Owner in 2019, the second highest paid WR in the NFL behind only Julio Jones (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/wide-receiver/). Overall, having Amari Cooper is a good thing, correct? Not exactly. If you examine his stats with Dallas closer, you’ll actually see that having Amari Cooper playing at home is worth his salary, but Amari Cooper on the road is not. In 13 home games with the Cowboys over the past two seasons, Cooper averages 23.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game, while in 12 road games, he averages only 9.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game.
    • At home, Cooper is worth his salary as if he played all 16 games at home last year at his career average as a Cowboy in Dallas, he would be the #1 WR in Dynasty Owner. His owners will pay $20 million for that!
    • If Cooper played all 16 games on the road, he would have been the #46 WR in Dynasty Owner (in 2019, that would have put him just ahead Marquise Brown and Danny Amendola, for reference, Amendola just signed a one year, $5 million contract to stay in Detroit) and sitting on your Bench most weeks. Totally not worth the $20 million contract!
  • Austin Ekeler (RB – LAC) – Ekeler’s new contract puts him barely in the top ten highest paid RBs according to Spotrac, just ahead of Duke Johnson (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/running-back/). It’s worth $24.5 million over 4 years ($6.125 million in Dynasty Owner salary terms), which is a $5.5 million increase over his $563,500 salary in 2019. Ekeler was the #4 RB in Dynasty Owner in 2019, which includes 12 games he played with Melvin Gordon. Even if the Chargers bring in another RB or draft a rookie to share time with Ekeler, he’s probably still going to be worth his new salary. He’s owned in 100% of Dynasty Owner leagues and that shouldn’t change at all, although Owners with a tight salary cap fit might consider trading him. Non-Ekeler Owners with salary cap room should make an offer and see if they can pry him away if the Ekeler Owner in your league is cap strapped.
  • Mason Crosby (K – GB) – Yes, a kicker made this list. Why? Because he re-signed with the Packers for 3 years at a total of $12.9 million, or $4.3 million per year in Dynasty Owner, making him the fourth highest paid kicker based on average salary (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/kicker/). His production though doesn’t live up to his salary as he was just the #11 kicker in Dynasty Owner in 2019 and that was a good year for Crosby as he only missed three kicks all season (2 FGs of over 40+ yards and 1 PAT). However, he only attempted two 50+ yard FGs all season, making one and missing one, and averaged just 6.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game (102.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in total). In 2018, Crosby missed more kicks (9 overall – 7 FGs and 2 PATs), but had 124.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points to rank as the #8 kicker. While the Packers might value Crosby enough to pay him $4.3 million per year, his Dynasty Owners in the 80% of leagues in which he is owned shouldn’t do the same. Drop Crosby for no fee before the end of March and shed his $4.3 million salary from your team.
  • Kenyan Drake (RB – ARI) – The Arizona Cardinals put the transition tag on Drake meaning he is guaranteed at least a one year, $8.48 million contract for the 2020 season. Since they traded David Johnson to the Houston Texans (for DeAndre Hopkins – can you believe that?!?), Drake will likely be the top running back in Arizona. In eight games with Arizona in 2019, Drake averaged 20.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. In contrast, in seven games with the Dolphins, he only averaged 7.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. And Drake was a League Championship winner for many of his Dynasty Owners, with games of 41.6 and 35.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in the 2019 Dynasty Owner playoffs. So, if his Dynasty Owners get the Arizona Drake again in 2020, they have the #2 RB behind only Christian McCaffrey. That’s worth the sixth highest RB contract in the NFL, according to Spotrac (see link to RB average salaries earlier in this article) and makes Drake worth keeping on your Dynasty Owner roster if you can afford the extra $7.64 million in salary.

Conclusions

Now that the new NFL league year has kicked in, free agents are officially signing new contracts. Some of these contract figures have already been posted on Dynasty Owner, while others will be coming starting on Monday, March 23rd. That will give Dynasty Owners a week to get their rosters up to at least 25 players, but not more than 30, and their team salaries under the $110 million salary cap.

On one hand, there are new contracts that Dynasty Owners are going to have to try and find room for on their roster unless they want to drop or trade the likes of Ryan Tannehill, Austin Ekeler or Kenyan Drake. Then, there is the one that might make some Dynasty Owners squeamish like Amari Cooper’s new $20 million contract that’s totally worth it for the home games, but not when Dallas is on the road. Finally, we have a contract that Dynasty Owners need to shed as soon as they can in Mason Crosby.

There’s lots more contract news to cover. An article about players who switched teams this off-season is coming soon to help summarize what’s happened so far in the NFL off-season. And don’t forget about all of the great Dynasty Owner specific podcasts, message board debates and Twitter posts.  All of this great content is available to help you win your Dynasty Owner league and maybe become the winner of the 2020 Chase for the Ring!

Steven Van Tassell is a freelance writer for Dynasty Owner.

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

Dynasty Owner Amnesty Candidates – Part 4

Author: Steven Van Tassell

Happy start of the new NFL season and kick off Dynasty Owner Amnesty! That’s right, the 2020 Dynasty Owner amnesty period started yesterday Wednesday, March 18th. That means Dynasty Owners can start removing players on their current roster who aren’t worth the cost of their salary. This can be done free of charge!  All Dynasty Owners need to do is have at least 26 players on their roster (25 if bidding on a player when dropping) and keep their rosters at fewer than 30 players (and probably lower so you have room for rookies).

If this is your first Amnesty article, you are late to the party and need to go read the previous three articles – part 1 covering QBs and RBs and parts 2 and 3 covering WRs. There were a lot of overpaid and underproductive WRs so two articles were needed. If no players on your roster have been covered in the three previous articles, congratulations to you! Let’s hope you don’t have a TE or kicker mentioned in this fourth article as well.

All stats are based on the Standard Dynasty Owner scoring system as outlined in the updated Dynasty Owner Constitution. Standard Dynasty Owner scoring gives you .1 points for every yard rushing or receiving, .1 point for every 2 yards passing, 1 point per reception, 6 points for a rushing, receiving or passing touchdown and 2 points for a successful 2-point conversion (rushing, receiving, or passing). Interceptions or fumbles lost cost you 3 points, while a fumble that is recovered by the player’s team is a loss of only 1 point. Bonus points are available for 100-199 yards rushing (2 points), 200 yards rushing or receiving (6 points), 300-399 yards passing (1 point) and 400 yards passing (4 points). There is also a 3 point bonus for clutch scoring, which is a score that results in a lead change in the final two minutes of the 4th quarter or overtime. Kickoff and punt return touchdowns are worth 6 points for the player and kickoff and punt returns are worth .25 points for every 10 yards.

Standard Dynasty Owner scoring for kickers gives you 1 point for every extra point, while a missed extra point will cost you 1 point. It’s 2 points for a field goal of between 0 and 39 yards, 4 points for a field goal between 40 and 49 yards and 5 points for a field goal of 50 yards or longer. A missed field goal of between 0 and 39 yards will cost you 3 points, while a miss of 40 yards or more is a loss of 2 points.

Special in Philly, but Overpaid in Chicago

Trey Burton is most famous for the passing TD he threw to QB Nick Foles in the Eagles’ Super Bowl LII victory. He became a free agent after that game and signed a 4-year, $32 million contract with the Chicago Bears. Under Coach Matt Nagy who had previously been the Chiefs Offensive Coordinator, it was expected that Burton would turn into the next Travis Kelce. In 2018, Burton was good as he had 146.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points and would have finished as the #8 TE overall. Burton only had 14 receptions for 84 yards in 8 games in 2019 (22.4 Dynasty Owner Fantasy Points) and was injured for most of the season. He underwent hip surgery but is expected to be ready for the 2020 season.

However, the question for his Dynasty Owner is, “Do you want him back on your 2020 Dynasty Owner roster at $8 million for two more years?” The quarterback situation in Chicago is murky with Mitchell Trubisky as the incumbent and the Bears are going to sign free agent Jimmy Graham (it’s all about the U).

Even though Graham is older than Burton by a few years and wasn’t super productive in 2019 with just 99.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points over the entire season, just signing him indicates the Bears’ dissatisfaction with Burton. Even if Burton emerges as the starter next year, what role will he play in the Bears’ offense in 2020? He will likely be the fourth or fifth option behind Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller, Tarik Cohen and David Montgomery. If you are one of the Dynasty Owners in 72% of leagues with Burton on your roster, use the free pass given to Dynasty Owners. Unload Burton’s big contract and find a cheaper TE in your Dynasty Owner league Free Agency Auction.

Possible TE Replacements to Target After Releasing Burton

If you need a starting TE after releasing Trey Burton (or another TE), here are some replacements available in over 70 percent of Dynasty Owner leagues:

  • Ryan Griffin of the Jets is only owned in 24% of Dynasty Owner leagues right now. Before his season ending injury, he had 98.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 13 games – an average of 7.5 per game. While the average isn’t great, he did have two games with over 20.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points – an indication that he can be a top TE. Griffin’s salary is higher than a lot of other available TEs, but is still a reasonable $3.6 million per year for the next three years, a savings of $4.4 million in 2020 versus sticking with Trey Burton. He will have competition from fellow TE Chris Herndon (who is likely not available in your league since he’s rostered in 89% of Dynasty Owner leagues), but other teams have supported two good TEs, like the Ravens last year. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that both Griffin and Herndon can be productive Dynasty Owner players in 2020, so go grab Griffin if you need a TE.
  • With DeAndre Hopkins on his way out of Houston, somebody is going to have to step up and catch more passes from Deshaun Watson in 2020 for the Texans. Why not one of the two Houston TEs – Darren Fells or Jordan Akins?  Fells is older (he turns 34 in April) and more expensive ($3.5 million per year after signing a new 2-year, $7 million deal), but was more productive in 2019 with 110.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points to rank as the #16 TE over the course of the entire 16-game season. However, he was TD dependent as he had 7 TDs. On the other hand, Akins is younger (he turns 28 in April) and cheaper ($831,271 salary for the next two years). He was just the #25 TE in 2019 with 89.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (only 20.3 points less than Fells or 1.3 points per game). Akins had more targets (55 to 48 for Fells), two more catches in 2019 (36 vs. 34 for Fells) and more receiving yards (418 yards vs. 341 for Fells) so it really was the TDs that made Fells more valuable. Both are owned in less than 50% of Dynasty Owner leagues (37% for Fells and 20% for Akins), so either one of them can be a productive replacement for Burton (or another high priced TE). Unless Bill O’Brien goes out and does something wacky like signing Antonio Gates (just kidding, but don’t put it past O’Brien to do something else bizarre).

Other Tight Ends Who Deserve to be Released

There are a few TEs owned in less than 50 percent of Dynasty Owner league who also deserve to be sent packing now if you are a Dynasty Owner who has one of these guys on your roster:

  • This one pains me to put here about a fellow alumnus of the University of Miami, but I don’t think Greg Olsen is worth $7 million of Dynasty Owner salary cap room in 2020. Olsen signed a one year, $7 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks back in mid-February that is valid for the 2020 Dynasty Owner season. Despite missing the two games with an injury and playing most of the season with backup QBs in Kyle Allen and Will Grier, Olsen was the 13th best TE in Dynasty Owner in 2019. However, he only averaged 8.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game with three explosive games mixed in (25.5, 17.8 and 17.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points). In half of his 2019 games, he scored 7.0 or fewer Dynasty Owner fantasy points, meaning he was at best a Bench option for half of the season. While he’ll have a much better QB in Russell Wilson throwing him the ball in 2020, he’ll also be competing for playing time with two other quality TEs in Will Dissly and Jacob Hollister and catches with those two plus Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf. That’s a lot of players who want the ball in Seattle and makes Olsen not worth $7 million of your Dynasty Owner salary cap. Olsen is rostered in 37% of Dynasty Owner leagues currently and that percentage should drop now.
  • At $9 million per year, Kyle Rudolph is the currently listed on Spotrac (check them out at https://www.spotrac.com/) as the fourth high-paid TE in the NFL, behind Hunter Henry, free agent signee Austin Hooper, and Travis Kelce. Let’s compare Rudolph to Kelce since they have similar salaries. Kelce was the #1 TE in Dynasty Owner last year and earned his nearly $9.4 million salary, scoring 253.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points, or an average of 15.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. Rudolph, on the other hand, was less than half as productive as Kelce. He only scored an average of 7.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game (113.7 for the season) and finished as the #14 TE over the entire season. That’s Bench TE production for Travis Kelce money. Rudolph isn’t highly owned, only owned in 26% of Dynasty Owner league, but if you are among the Dynasty Owners with Rudolph on your roster, use amnesty on him.
  • Cameron Brate is the more expensive of the two TEs in Tampa Bay who weren’t thrown the ball much this past season. He was the #24 TE in Dynasty Owner in 2019, but carries an annual salary of $6.8 million for four more years. That’s right – 4 more years! Get rid of him using your amnesty unless you are a Brate Dynasty Owner (all 9% of you) who thinks the G.O.A.T. Tom Brady is going to resurrect Brate’s career in Tampa Bay (assuming Brady signs with the Buccaneers, I’m holding out hope that it doesn’t happen and will continue to do so until pen is put to paper on a contract). Even with Brady at QB, Brate is still probably the fourth option in Bruce Arians’ offense and still is not going to see more targets than Mike Evans, Chris Godwin or even O.J. Howard. Time to get rid of Brate’s contract and grab a cheaper, more productive TE.

Kick These Guys Off Your Roster

There are six kickers definitely worth of releasing immediately due to their high salaries (with multiple years left on their contracts) and lack of productivity in 2019. Four of them are widely owned (more than 70% ownership in Dynasty Owner leagues) and finished outside of the top 10 kickers in 2019, basically making them your Dynasty Owner Bench kicker. Each will make several million dollars in 2020, far too expensive for a Bench player when you only have a $110 million salary cap. Dynasty Owners would be better off grabbing a kicker earning less than $1 million and saving a couple of million dollars in salary cap room that they can better use.

  • Jake Elliott of the Philadelphia Eagles is currently owned in 96% of Dynasty Owner leagues and carries a $3.86 million salary for five more years. That salary is currently the 13th highest for a kicker, but Elliott finished the 2019 Dynasty Owner season as the #20 kicker. He only missed six kicks overall in 2019 (4 FGs – all over 40 yards – and 2 PATs), it was just that he didn’t get enough chances and only scored 85.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (5.3 points per game) with only two games over 10 Dynasty Owner fantasy points.
  • Robbie Gould was slightly better than Elliott overall as the #19 kicker with 86.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. However, in fairness, he did miss three games with an injury and averaged 6.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. Even if he played all 16 games at that level of production, he would have still only been the #9 kicker in 2019. That’s not good enough for the second highest paid kicker with a $4.75 million salary for three more years. Paying $4.75 million for barely a Top 10 kicker isn’t advised so Dynasty Owners should drop Gould free of charge while they have the opportunity.
  • Mason Crosby just got paid by the Green Bay Packers, signing a new 3 year, $12.9 million contract. That makes him the fourth highest paid kicker in the NFL right now. Should Dynasty Owners keep Crosby on their roster with this new contract? The answer is No. The explanation is that while Crosby was the #11 kicker in Dynasty Owner in 2019, he only averaged 6.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game (102.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points for the 16-game NFL season) with only two games of more than over 10 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. Crosby’s ownership should drop significantly from his current level of 80%.
  • As the twelfth highest paid kicker in the NFL right now at $3.86 million for three more years, Jason Myers barely makes our list since he was the #14 kicker in Dynasty Owner in 2019. On the positive side, he did have three games with 10.0 or more Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 2019. However, he only had a total of 92.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points all season, an average of just 5.75 points per game. Myers is currently owned in three-quarters (74%) of Dynasty Owner leagues. Check the Free Agent Auction and grab a cheaper kicker if one is available, then drop Myers.

Finally, we have two kickers who are owned in less than 50 percent of Dynasty Owner leagues but should be dropped by their Dynasty Owners as well:

  • Because he kicks on the terrible turf at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Chris Boswell has lower fantasy ownership than some other kickers. He didn’t get many scoring chances in 2019, probably due to the Ben Roethlisberger injury. Therefore, he might improve on his standing as the #10 kicker in Dynasty Owner in the upcoming season. He only missed two kicks in 2019 (both FGs over 40 yards) and even with more attempts in 2020, is he going to be as accurate? His contract is $4.2 million for the next three seasons, so if you can find a cheaper kicker with roughly the same production in your league Free Agent Auction, you should drop Boswell and save a few million dollars in salary cap space.
  • Even though he didn’t kick at all in 2019, Graham Gano is still owned in 35% of Dynasty Owner leagues at his $4.25 million salary for two more years. That makes him the fifth highest paid kicker in the NFL right now. If you think Gano is going to come back from injury and be a top five Dynasty Owner kicker in 2020, then keep him on your roster. If not, then it’s time to drop Gano and find another Dynasty Owner kicker.

Conclusions

We’ve covered every position now and many of the players who Dynasty Owners might want to use the amnesty provision on. With the announcement by Dynasty Owner Tim of unlimited amnesty for Dynasty Owners through the end of March, there may be additional players to consider since Dynasty Owners are not limited in the number of players they can release free of charge (as long as you have at least 26 players on your Dynasty Owner roster).

At TE, Trey Burton is the top target because of his $8 million salary, which is tied for sixth highest for a TE with new teammate Jimmy Graham, and likely status as the fifth option in the Bears 2020 offense. There are more “high-priced” kickers that Dynasty Owners should drop because they didn’t perform up to the level of their contract in 2019. Dynasty Owners with one of the six kickers listed in this article on their roster could save a couple of million dollars in valuable salary cap room by smartly taking advantage of the free dropping, amnesty provision for the 2020 season.

Now that the new NFL league year has kicked in, it’s time for Free Agents to officially start signing new contracts. There’s lots to cover so don’t forget about all of the great Dynasty Owner specific articles, podcasts, message board debates and Twitter posts to help you start getting ready for the 2020 Dynasty Owner season!

Steven Van Tassell is a freelance writer for Dynasty Owner.

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

Dynasty Owner Amnesty Candidates – Part 2

Author: Steven Van Tassell

The 2020 Dynasty Owner amnesty period is coming soon (official date TBD), so Dynasty Owners better start thinking about what players on their current roster aren’t worth the cost of their salary and should be removed free of charge.

Originally, this was going to be a single amnesty article, then I realized that there were plenty of QBs and RBs who Dynasty Owners could use amnesty on, so I broke it up into two articles. We looked at QBs and RBs in our first amnesty article and now it’s time to look at receivers.

However, there are so many WRs who Dynasty Owners could use an amnesty provision on, that one article on just WRs isn’t going to be sufficient, so now it’ll be two. Similar to the QBs and RBs article, all of the WRs and TEs highlighted are owned in 50 percent or more of Dynasty Owner leagues and should be considered prime candidates for amnesty.

There are a lot of receivers with salaries of $10 million or more who didn’t earn their big paycheck in 2019. Some of those players might be released in the coming days and weeks, but others will stick with their NFL teams through the 2020 season and maybe beyond. Many of them should be dropped by their Dynasty Owners using the amnesty provision. If you made a mistake by drafting one of these guys in 2019, don’t make the same mistake twice and fail to use the amnesty provision on that guy in 2020. Unless of course, you have other, more expensive amnesty candidates, like a high-priced QB or RB with arthritic knees, on your Dynasty Owner roster.

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.

Brandin Is Not Cooking with Gas

Cooking with gas is one of my mom’s favorite expressions and she taught it to my son who uses it all the time to describe when someone is doing a good job. He would definitely say that Brandin Cooks was not cooking with gas in 2019. After being drafted as ADP 86 in Dynasty Owner leagues, Cooks finished the season as the 63rd best WR (not player, but WR) in 2019. He did miss two full games with an injury, but didn’t perform up to his salary standing before he got injured either.

He averaged a respectable 13.9 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game for the first quarter of the season (4 games), making him a fringe starting WR. From there on, Cooks only averaged 6.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in his final 10 games (aka, a Practice Squad player). It’s possible that Cooks regains his 2018 form, but even then, he was just the 13th best Dynasty Owner WR – a solid #2 WR for his Dynasty Owners. Cooks is almost universally rostered in Dynasty Owner at 96%, so plenty of Dynasty Owners have this decision to make. Considering that he is currently the sixth highest paid WR and has 4 more years left on his contract at $16.2 million per year, anything else than being the best WR on your Dynasty Owner team is not worth the salary. The Rams could release him and take the salary cap hit, but that’s unlikely, and there’s probably not a trade market for him either. Therefore, he’ll likely stay on the Rams and be the fourth option in the Rams 2020 passing game behind Cooper Kupp, Tyler Higbee and Robert Woods. Fourth option for $16.2 million until 2023 is not what Dynasty Owners need from someone who occupies almost 15% of their $110 million salary cap. Dynasty Owners with Cooks on their roster owe Paul and Tim a big “Thank you” for the amnesty provision and should use it on Cooks.

Week 1 Sensation and Super Bowl Champion to Amnesty Candidate

It’s been quite a few months for Sammy Watkins. He was the second-best player in Dynasty Owner in Week 1, when he had 46.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (9 receptions, 198 yards receiving, 3 receiving TDs), second only to Dallas QB Dak Prescott. Just recently, he won the Super Bowl and contributed 5 catches for 98 yards in the game after having a productive playoff game against the Texans and a monster 7 reception, 114 yards receiving, 1 receiving TD game in the AFC Championship game against the Titans.

However, in between Week 1 and the playoffs, Watkins did next to nothing for his fantasy owners. After the first week, Watkins was not even a starting Dynasty Owner WR as he only scored 73.2 more Dynasty Owner fantasy points in the last 13 games of the Dynasty Owner regular season. He only had more than 10.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points four additional times after his Week 1 performance with no touchdowns and a high game of 13.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points.

Because of his playoff performance, he might not get released by the Chiefs, but have his contract reworked, making him the second “best” WR candidate for Dynasty Owner amnesty. Even if his contract is restructured, he might still be too expensive to keep. If it stays as is, Watkins’ Dynasty Owners will be spending $16 million per year for the next two years for a player who was the #54 ranked WR and isn’t even the top WR on his team.

Or, his performance in the playoffs could be a harbinger of things to come in the regular season and if the Chiefs agree, it’s very possible that they keep him around. This would leave his Dynasty Owners with the decision of whether to use the amnesty provision on him or not. If you are one of the Dynasty Owners in 59% of leagues that Watkins is rostered in, it’s not a hard decision. Use it and find better and cheaper WRs available in the Free Agent Auction.

It’s Finally Time to Give Up on Corey Davis

The long-teased Corey Davis breakout season has never come to pass for the Tennessee Titans or Davis’ fantasy owners. In 2017, he was a rookie and got a pass, then he had a good 2018 season with 183.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points and would have been the #28 ranked WR in Dynasty Owner. That’s a top Bench player, bye week and injury replacement for his Dynasty Owners. He was supposed to have a breakout in his third season, but 2019 was a severe regression in fantasy value for Davis with the emergence of A.J. Brown as the top WR in Tennessee.

In 2019, Davis had two games with 20.0 or more Dynasty Owner fantasy points. He played in 13 more games and failed to score double-digit Dynasty Owner fantasy points in any of them. That’s right – none of them. He ended up as the #65 overall WR in Dynasty Owner in 2019 which puts him barely on Dynasty Owner Practice Squads.

There are plenty of rookie WRs who will earn less than Davis and some other WRs who Dynasty Owner can stash on their Practice Squad for less than his $6.35 million salary. His Dynasty Owners might have to pay that salary in 2021 as well, so be at the forefront of the Drop Corey Davis movement and use the amnesty provision on him.

Possible WR Replacements to Target After Releasing Burton

So, it’s amnesty time and you need another WR after releasing Cooks, Watkins or Davis, here are two quality replacements available in nearly 90 percent of Dynasty Owner leagues:

  • Cole Beasley of the Buffalo Bills is a money-saving option if you release Cooks or Watkins as his salary is $7.25 million for three more years. While that’s a pretty high salary, it’s still close to $9 million less than either Cooks or Watkins. Beasley is only owned in 11% of Dynasty Owner leagues but was the #33 WR overall last year. Beasley was a consistent performer week in and week out for his few Dynasty Owners with double-digit Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 9 out of the 13 weeks he played in the Dynasty Owner regular season – as many as Cooks, Watkins and Davis combined. You read that correctly – combined!
  • Steven Sims Jr. was mentioned a few weeks ago in the article about Widely Available Players to Own (https://dynastyowner.com/2020/02/available-players-2020/). Go read it for the full explanation on why he should be on your Dynasty Owner team instead of Cooks, Watkins or Davis. Here are the Cliffs Notes version if you don’t want to read some quality writing – $590,000 salary for two more years and averaged 20.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game over the last three weeks of the season. His ownership has “skyrocketed” to 13% from 6.5% when the Players to Own article was published. It appears that a couple of Dynasty Owners actually read the article and agreed with me enough to go get him, or simply did the research and figured it out on their own. Either way, come and join the Sims for Dynasty Owner roster movement now!

Conclusions

Just like at QB and RB, there is no shortage of prime WR candidates for Dynasty Owner salary amnesty. In fact, there are so many WRs that there will be another article with more WRs who should be sent packing coming soon. Dynasty Owners with one of the WRs listed in this article on their roster can save several millions of dollars in valuable salary cap room by smartly taking advantage of this provision for the 2020 season.

What happens if you have more than one of them on your Dynasty Owner roster? It’s possible as a team in my Dynasty Owner league has all three! Out of the WRs mentioned, Brandin Cooks would be the first to go if I was that guy (thankfully, I’m not), followed by Sammy Watkins. Both of them have $16 million salaries, aren’t even the best WR on their NFL teams and need to go from your Dynasty Owner team as soon as the amnesty date is announced. So does Corey Davis as he’s been eclipsed by A.J. Brown as the #1 WR in Tennessee and has yet to earn his $6.35 million salary.

Look for Part 3 in the Dynasty Owner amnesty article series with a big-name, surprise WR listed to be posted soon. And don’t forget all of the great Dynasty Owner specific articles, podcasts, message board debates and Twitter posts to help you start getting ready for the 2020 Dynasty Owner season!

Steven Van Tassell is a freelance writer for Dynasty Owner

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner