Green Bay Packers Contract Breakdown

Hello Dynasty Owners and welcome.  Today I am going to wrap up the NFC North as I talk about the final team from the division, The Green Bay Packers.  My goal was to leave the Packers until the end of the division in order to allow more time for Aaron Rodgers news to become clearer.  Well, as I expected, nothing much has changed in the past three weeks.  If anything, it seems like there is more uncertainty than ever.  So where does the drama stem from?  I suppose no one knows the exact reasons Rodgers is disgruntled with the Packers’ leadership, but I think it’s safe to assume that it revolves around a couple of key issues.

First is the fact that the Packers have not won a Super Bowl since SB XLV (2010 season).  Not only have they not won a Super Bowl in that time period, they haven’t been back to the Super Bowl since 2010 either.  This is clearly disappointing given the talent the team has had over the past decade (including Rodgers).

Second, is the fact that the Packers have not drafted a wide receiver or running back in the first round of the NFL Draft since 2002.  The last player was Javon Walker (WR) in 2002, and he was drafted three years before Rodgers.  That’s right, since Aaron Rodgers has been a Green Bay Packer, they have taken zero running backs or wide receivers in the first round.  In addition, there have only been five wide receivers taken in the second round since Aaron Rodgers was drafted in 2005.  They are Terrence Murphy (2005), Greg Jennings (2006), Jordy Nelson (2008), Randall Cobb (2011) and Davante Adams (2014).  Every other wide receiver that played for the Packers was either a lower pick or was not acquired through the draft.  The Packers are notorious (especially in the last ten years) for not investing in early offensive weapons, especially pass catchers.

Finally, and most importantly, the Packers selected Rodgers’ replacement (Jordan Love) in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.  Now, I’m not going to bad mouth this pick as much as many analysts have, but it did seem odd given the fact that Green Bay was one game away from reaching the Super Bowl the year prior.  It seemed, in my amateur opinion, that the Packers organization was taking what they had for granted a little more than they should have.  Regardless, Love was drafted with the 26th overall pick.  The Packers traded up for Love, and it has been stated that Rodgers was unaware Love was going to be drafted.  There have been rumblings and rumors of other issues within the organization, but these are the main issues that I have noticed.

So, what happens next?  The answer is…only Rodgers knows, and that may be an incorrect statement in itself.  Maybe he hasn’t made up his mind, but I see only two likely outcomes.  First, Rodgers plays, and he plays damn well like he always has.  The second option is that he sits out for a portion or all of the 2021 season.  I see this being less likely as this situation will get ugly and expensive for both parties.  The third option is that he is traded, but I think that has a very low chance of happening.  Packers GM Brian Gutekunst has stated that Rodgers will not be traded.  In the end, I don’t have much for you other than speculation.  Rodgers ($33,500,000) is owned in 71 percent of Dynasty Owner leagues as some people have already cut ties with the 2020 NFL MVP.

Free Agents

There were four notable free agents that the Green Bay Packers had at the end of the 2020 season.  All have signed with their respective teams for the upcoming season and only one of them will not be playing for the Packers.  That player is Jamaal Williams…

Williams joins the rival Detroit Lions.  He leaves behind 119 carries and 31 receptions.  Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillion will look to pick up the extra opportunities.

Allen Lazard was issued a tender by the Green Bay Packers so he will remain with the team for at least one more season.  Lazard was an exclusive-rights free agent which means that he had less than three accrued seasons in the NFL.  Given that fact, he had virtually zero leverage as he is unable to negotiate a contract with another team.  The tender was issued to Lazard, at the league minimum ($675,000), and he had almost no say in the matter.  Lazard will once again be a cheap wide receiver stash with the possibility of becoming the number two wide receiver in Green Bay.

Robert Tonyan was a restricted free agent which means he had a little more leverage than Lazard.  In Tonyan’s case, he was issued a second round tender by the Packers, but he was then also able to go out and negotiate with other teams if he chose to do so.  In the end, Tonyan signed the second round tender and will make $3,384,000 for one year.  Tonyan will be a sneaky pick in startup drafts this year.  His low salary and low ADP make him one of the tight ends I would target later in a draft.

Finally, we have the twelve million dollar man, Aaron Jones.  Jones finished as Dynasty Owner’s RB5 despite missing two games due to injury.  The pay increase that he just received will tank his overall Dynasty Owner value, but I would feel pretty confident if I did end up drafting him.  If you are able to save money elsewhere in the draft, he will be a solid RB1 for the 2021 season.

Contract Breakdown

Similar to last week, today I am only going to break down a single player.  His name is Robert Tonyan.  Tonyan broke out last season as a nearly unknown player.  He came into the 2020 season as the suspected number one tight end for Green Bay, but he was still barely owned in any league, even Dynasty Owner.  It took a couple of weeks for people to start taking notice of Tonyan, but after five touchdowns in the first four games, he couldn’t be ignored anymore.  In the end, he finished as TE5 with 52 receptions, 586 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.  The touchdowns are really what catapulted him above fellow tight ends like Mark Andrews, Noah Fant and Mike Gesicki.  He actually tied Travis Kelce for the most touchdowns by a tight end last season.  That TE5 finish is a little deceiving due to the fact that Tonyan (TE5) produced 138.2 points less than Kelce (TE1).  Tonyan also produced over 100 points less than Darren Waller (TE2).  The point I’m trying to make (and that I’ve made before) is that after the top tier tight ends, point differences between players become more negligible.  Let me give you an example…

Here is the 2020 TE5 through TE10…

FinishPlayerCurrent SalaryRecYardsTDsFantasy Points
TE5R. Tonyan$3,384,0005258611176.6
TE6M. Andrews$863,290587017168.1
TE7M. Gesicki$1,652,981537036159.3
TE8N. Fant$3,147,680626733149.3
TE9H. Hurst$2,759,007565716149.1
TE10D. Schultz$728,090636154148.5

The first thing I notice is how small of a range these tight ends have for receptions and receiving yards.  The second thing I notice is how small of a range these tight ends have for fantasy points.  As I mentioned earlier, the difference between TE1 and TE5 was 138.2 fantasy points.  The difference between TE5 and TE10 is 28.1 fantasy points.  The reality of this statistic is that it looks worse the further down you travel.  The difference between TE5 and TE20 is only 60.2 points.  Now, I’m not saying that these points aren’t appreciated or valuable because they are.  What I’m saying is that if you can for sure draft the TE5 for the 2021 season, you may not be returning much draft equity value based on how late you can draft the TE20.

At any rate, let’s return to Tonyan.  He is predicted to finish as TE18 in Dynasty Owner for the 2021 season.  If he does produce at this level he will not be able to be relied on as a starting tight end.  I would be more than happy to have him as my bench tight end, but he would have to keep up his 2020 touchdown rate to become a starter on my team.  He should be owned in every DO league (and at his moment he is), but you are going to need a better tight end on your roster if you want to win the tight end position week after week.

This brings me to another overarching theme that I thought about while writing this article.  It is going to be almost impossible for someone to win the Chase for the Ring without one of the top three tight ends at the end of the season.

(If you don’t know what the Chase for the Ring is, check out for more info.  Additionally, I am going to be doing a spotlight on Chase for the Ring in my article next week.  Be sure to check out that article and video breakdown for more info.)

Last year, the two players were Kelce and Waller.  Without either of them, I don’t really see a feasible route to The Ring.  In 2021, I see that including three players.  I don’t think anyone can win the ring without Kelce, Waller or Kittle.  There is always a chance that a player like Kyle Pitts or T.J. Hockenson jumps up into that conversation, but unfortunately I think that’s the end of the list.  This is just something to keep in mind as you make trades and/or get into start up drafts.

I want to thank everyone for reading and for watching my video breakdowns on YouTube.  Message me on Twitter (@dynastyjerk) and let me know if you have any questions or concerns.  I would appreciate it if you followed @Dynasty_Owner on Twitter as well as subscribed to Dynasty Owner on YouTube.  Thank you all.  Take care and be safe.


Blind Comparisons: New England Patriots

Welcome Dynasty Owners to another Wednesday article. The New England Patriots will be the focus today. It would be an understatement to say the Pats had a bad 2020 season. And it’s not even that it was that terrible of a season. It’s more that NFL fans are so used to seeing New England succeed that their failures get overblown. At any rate, a 7-9 record is not what we are used to seeing out of a Belichick run team. Here are some stats about how rare it is to see this type of season.

The Patriots had won the AFC East for 11 consecutive seasons dating back to 2008
The Patriots had not lost more than six games since 2002.
The Patriots had not finished below .500 in the regular season since 2000.
The Patriots had not finished lower than second in the AFC East since 2000.

All of these stats are true, and all of these streaks were snapped this past season. Would I be disappointed if I were a Pats fan? Sure, I wouldn’t be happy with the season’s result, but I also wouldn’t trade anything that my team had accomplished in the past for an average year. Dynasties aren’t put together in a season, and eventually a two decade long “win now” mentality will catch up with a franchise. There is nothing wrong with that. It happens to every team.

I’m a Cardinals and Blues fan (as most of you know I live in St. Louis). I’ve always said that I would sacrifice an entire decade of success for one dominant, championship winning season. Many cities go multiple decades without a championship in any of the major four sports. If I can get one a decade, then I’m happy. This is probably a radical opinion, but I feel it’s also realistic. I’m not going to recap everything that the Patriots have accomplished over the past 21 years because I think everyone reading this is well aware, but it is worth stating that a rebuild was inevitable. Obviously, Tom Brady’s departure and subsequent title with the Bucs doesn’t sit well with most New England fans, but that’s a discussion for a different article. Today, let’s talk about some comparisons.

Comparison 1

Who would you rather own in Dynasty Owner?

Player A (Alpha):
Damien Harris 2020 stats
8.9 fantasy points/game (142.5 for 16 game season)
156 rush / 38 rec / 955 total yards / 2 TDs
He missed no games in 2020

Player B (Bravo):
23 years old
2021 projected stats
9.1 fantasy points/game (154.7 total)
154 rush / 36 rec / 957 total yards / 2 TDs

So, what are your initial thoughts? My thoughts are that Harris did not have as good a season as Bravo, and that is true. That statement is also a little misleading. Bravo played all 16 games in 2020, but Harris played only 10. Here’s how their 16 game average season would have looked had they both played all 16 games and kept the same production…


D. Harris

Player Bravo







Rushes & Yards









When you look at each player’s average fantasy production per game, Harris outperformed Bravo. It’s also worth noting that Harris’s salary is slightly less than Bravo’s. In my opinion, Harris actually had a very productive 2020 season. Keep in mind, in 2020 he ranked third among all NE running backs in terms of total fantasy points. (He was third behind James White and Rex Burkhead.)

In the end, Bravo is Devin Singletary. Singletary was regularly drafted in the second or third round of 2020 startup drafts. His stock has fallen over the past year, and I’ll be surprised if he goes before the fourth round in most 2021 drafts. I would draft Harris over Devin this year. The slightly lower value of his rookie contract helps as well as the idea that Harris will command more of a lead-back role now that he is expected to come into the new season 100 percent healthy.

Comparison 2

Player C (Charlie):
26 years old
2020 stats
8.7 fantasy points/game (139.7 for 16 game season)
57 rec / 535 total yards / 5 TDs
He missed three games in 2020
2021 projected stats
9.8 fantasy points/game (166.1 total)
65 rec / 661 total yards / 5 TDs

Player D (Delta):
Jonnu Smith

Jonnu Smith had a better season than Charlie. This is almost entirely due to the fact that Jonnu put up eight receiving touchdowns and one rushing touchdown. I’m not trying to take those away. He earned them, but we all know how fluky red zone targets and touchdowns can be. Regardless, Smith scored more points in the 2020 season when compared to Charlie. Jonnu Smith finished as TE 15 on the season while Charlie finished as TE 21. This isn’t a great outcome for either player especially when you take into account their salaries. Here is the full breakdown…


Player Charlie

Jonnu Smith







Rec & Yards









You may be saying, “wow, these are some high prices to pay for average tight ends.” You are absolutely correct. You are paying a premium price for middle-tier tight end production. Not great value at all. Charlie is Austin Hooper. Hooper missed three games last year, but even in the games he played, he was unable to be a startable fantasy asset in about half of those. He had 6.3 points or less in six games last year. So, the question stands. Who would you rather own in Dynasty Owner? I hate to say it, but I’d rather have Hooper, and it comes down to two major factors.

The first is the elephant in the room. Jonnu is now playing for the Patriots who also signed Hunter Henry. What do you suppose is the most optimistic split between these two above-average tight ends? I would say that the best-case scenario is a 75/25 split in favor of either player. If this splits in Jonnu’s favor, then he will be a startable Dynasty Owner tight end. This, however, is a big “if.” I see their tight end committee working more like a 50/50 split. If that is the case, I see no reason how Smith can be confidently taken over Hooper. I realize that neither of these tight ends will see the field as much as Waller, Kittle, or Kelce and that’s exactly why they are low-value players.

The second factor is simply the fact that Jonnu costs 2 million dollars per year more than Hooper. While this may not seem like a lot, it is when we’re talking about similar type production over the next couple of years. I take Hooper in this comparison, but truth be told I hope I can draft a better option than either of these as my TE1.

As always, thank you for reading. Check out my video that pairs with this article. Take care and be safe.


Salary Cap Room for 2021 Rookie Drafts

By Steven Van Tassell

Rookie drafts are new and coming to Dynasty Owner soon! June 4th at Noon is the starting date for all rookie drafts for existing Dynasty Owner leagues. If you’re in a league that played in 2020, whether you played last year or bought the team from another Dynasty Owner or the Orphan store, your rookie draft is coming up and it’s time to start getting prepared. Besides researching rookie prospects, reading all of the articles from our Dynasty Owner writers about rookies and how they performed in college and what teams drafted or signed them, Dynasty Owners also need to know rookie contracts.
Fortunately, all rookie salary information has been taken from Spotrac ( and loaded into Dynasty Owner already. Dynasty Owners don’t need to do anything other than search for rookies in the Free Agent Auction on the mobile app or do a rookie mock draft. When you go to the Mock Draft Lobby, be sure to select “Rookie Mock Draft” before joining a room.
The rookie mock drafts are great, but they aren’t yet allowing you to simulate a rookie draft with your current team. You can draft any rookie, regardless of salary and if he’ll fit under your team’s $127.75 million salary cap for 2021. As you’ve probably read plenty of times before, unlike a “regular” dynasty fantasy football league, Dynasty Owners need to account for salaries. Trevor Lawrence isn’t the automatic first rookie draft pick because the Dynasty Owner with the first pick needs to have enough salary cap room to fit him on their roster.
One great question that came up in 2020 and should be in the back of all Dynasty Owners’ minds now is – “How much salary cap room do I need to have for my rookie draft?” The short answer is: “It depends”. That answer isn’t very helpful so it’s time to dive into rookie salaries and give a (somewhat) better answer to that question for all of our Dynasty Owners.
All salary information listed are based on the salaries available on Dynasty Owner as of May 21st.

Rookie Salaries Are Set in Stone
That’s right. For some of you who haven’t paid attention to salaries much before playing Dynasty Owner, there’s any wiggle room for what the players taken in the NFL draft will get paid from their first contract. That wasn’t always the case. The NFL rookie salary system in effect now that provides set value 4-year contracts for drafted players with a fifth year option for first round draft picks was implemented in the 2011 NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement. Undrafted rookie free agent contracts are 3-year contracts.
The rookie salary scale was created to limit rookie salaries which had reached its high point in 2010 when the St. Louis Rams (remember back when the Rams used to be in St. Louis) drafted Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford with the first pick and gave him a six-year, $78 million contract with $50 million guaranteed. Bradford’s average salary of a little over $13 million made him the 12th highest paid player in the NFL ( before he had even played a snap in the league.
Flash forward to 2021 and players, GMs, the media, Dynasty Owners and everyone else knows the contract value for each draft position even before the players are drafted. Those are the dollar figures on the contracts being signed since the draft ended and the salaries that are loaded into the Dynasty Owner platform.

Minimum Amounts
The true minimum amount is $0. It’s possible for a Dynasty Owner to have no rookie draft picks and not need to have set aside any salary cap room for their rookie draft. All teams start with three rookie draft picks every year and some teams earn a bonus fourth pick at the end of the first round (pick 1.13) for winning the Loser’s Bracket tournament from the previous season. Some teams will trade away draft picks and end up with only one or two, while others will stockpile them and have a lot more (16 rookie picks is the highest that I can remember hearing, but can’t recall what team has that many).
For Dynasty Owners with a team that has only one draft pick, they will need a minimum of $808,333 to draft one of the many undrafted rookie free agents who have signed with NFL teams. If you want someone who was at least drafted by a NFL team, you’ll need a minimum of $889,317 to take Dax Milne (WR – WAS) who was the second to last player drafted in the seventh round. If you want a first round NFL draft pick, then the amount is $3.15 million to acquire the services of Rashod Bateman (WR – BAL) who was chosen with the 27th pick.
If you’ve looked at the rookie mock drafts in Dynasty Owner, you might be saying to yourself “Hey Steve! There’s a couple of guys listed with salaries of less than $808,333. What gives?” That is correct, there are six rookies who had their college eligibility run out in 2019, didn’t get signed by a NFL team in 2020, but then worked out and signed a contract before the NFL draft in late April. Taylor Russolino (K – Free Agent) is also listed at a salary of $695,000 and his situation is even more unique (
The player with the lowest salary ($583,333 for three years) of this group is Micah Simon (WR – CAR). For more information about Simon and his signing, check out this article ( So, yes it is true that you could have only $583,333 in salary cap room and draft Micah Simon with your only rookie draft pick. However, if that’s all the salary cap room you have, then you’re probably better off trading the pick and getting something more for it.
Disregarding these exceptions, it appears that Dynasty Owners with all three of their draft picks will need at least $2.425 million in salary cap room in order to draft three minimum salary undrafted rookie free agents. If the Dynasty Owner team won the 1.13 bonus pick, then they will need $3,233,332. If you have more than four draft picks and want to spend the minimum then do the math ($808,333 * # of picks = minimum salary $). This is regardless of what rounds or picks your Dynasty Owner team has since draft position doesn’t matter.

Maximum Amount
There is apparently one Dynasty Owner out there sitting on 16 draft picks in their 2021 rookie draft. Do they even have enough salary cap room to fit that many rookies on their roster? The answer is Yes!
In fact, they have plenty of space to fit 16 draft picks and 9-14 holdover players from their 2020 team. If this team were to draft the top 16 salaried players in the rookie player pool, it would cost them a total of $82.115 million, meaning that they’d have $45.635 million left for the rest of their roster. For that rookie haul, they’d get every first round NFL draft position player pick and the top three position players drafted in the second round. That would work out to 5 QBs, 3 RBs, 7 WRs and 1 TE. So, the maximum any Dynasty Owner needs in salary cap room is $82.115 million. Unless someone has more than 16 draft picks.
Most Dynasty Owner teams aren’t going to have that many rookie draft picks, they are going to have three or four of them. In order to draft the top three picks in the NFL draft – Trevor Lawrence (QB – JAC), Zach Wilson (QB – NYJ) and Trey Lance (QB – SF), a Dynasty Owner would need a little over $26.5 million in salary cap room. If you had four picks due to winning the 1.13 pick or via trade, then your Dynasty Owner team would need $34.74 million to fit those three QBs plus Kyle Pitts (TE – ATL). If you only have one draft pick and are able to draft the number one overall NFL draft pick in Trevor Lawrence, you’ll need $9.2 million since Lawrence’s annual salary is $9,198,372. Here’s a handy chart for the maximum amount you need if you have up to five rookie draft picks.

No. of Picks






Maximum Salary Needed

$9.2 million

$17.986 million

$26.512 million

$34.74 million

$42.445 million

If you have more than five rookie draft picks and want to know the maximum that you can spend, you obviously are obsessed with rookies and probably have already done the calculations yourself.

Stuck in the Middle with You
Most Dynasty Owners don’t need as much as the $82.115 million maximum, but will need more than the absolute $0 minimum or even the $808,333 one undrafted rookie free agent minimum. As Stealers Wheel sang and the movie Reservoir Dogs made into an iconic scene, most of us are stuck in the middle.
For a typical Dynasty Owner with three or four rookie draft picks distributed throughout the three round rookie draft, it’s unlikely that they will be able to draft all three top QBs or even three first round NFL draft picks. It’s more likely that they will get three or four players from the 77 rookie position players taken in the NFL draft – from Trevor Lawrence to Dax Milne – and likely take players from different positions as well. For these Dynasty Owners, the range of salary cap that they will need to have on hand for the rookie draft is between $5.7 million and $26.4 million.
At the $5.7 million amount, a Dynasty Owner would get the cheapest of the five first round QBs drafted – Mac Jones (QB – NE) – as well as Dax Milne as a WR/TE and the lowest drafted RB in Jermar Jefferson (RB – DET). At the upper end, the Dynasty Owner would have four draft picks and get the most expensive QB (Trevor Lawrence), the most expensive RB in Najee Harris (RB – PIT) and the two top receivers drafted – Kyle Pitts and Ja’Marr Chase (WR – CIN).

Rookie Drafts by the Numbers

There’s a lot of rookie draft information to digest and enough numbers to make a Dynasty Owner’s head spin. This probably isn’t going to simplify matters, but here are some additional numbers:

  • There are a total of 161 rookies currently in the Dynasty Owner player pool
  • Out of those 161 rookies, 77 were drafted by a NFL team, 77 signed after the NFL draft as an undrafted rookie free agent and 7 are the exceptions who had their college eligibility run out in 2019 (or before) and didn’t play in the NFL in 2020
  • There will be a total of 37 rookies drafted out of a rookie player pool of 161 players (23%)
  • Lowest rookie salary – Micah Simon (WR – CAR) – $583,333 per year for 3 years
  • Highest rookie salary – Trevor Lawrence (QB – JAC) – $9,198,372 per year for 4 years
  • Most common drafted rookie salary – $902,677 for four years for the four players taken with sixth round compensatory picks – Khalil Herbert (RB – CHI), Sam Ehlinger (QB – IND), Seth Williams (WR – DEN) and Dazz Newsome (WR – CHI)
  • Most common undrafted rookie free agent salary – $808,333 for 3 years for 53 players
  • Highest undrafted rookie free agent salary – $823,333 for 3 years for Deon Jackson (RB – IND)

The short answer “It depends” is actually the correct answer here. Everything depends on your current roster and the number of draft picks your Dynasty Owner team has available. As we’ve seen, a Dynasty Owner with at least one draft pick could need as little as $808,333 to select an undrafted rookie free agent with their one pick or as much as $82.115 million if you’re the Dynasty Owner with 16 draft picks and want all of the highest paid rookies out there.
For most Dynasty Owners with a “normal” number of draft picks, it appears that the range of salary cap room that you should be targeting is between $5.7 million and $26.4 million. You can go lower than that if you don’t want, or can’t draft, any of the top five QBs taken and don’t have to go that high if you don’t have four draft picks and need all of the most expensive rookies at each position.
We’ll keep going on the rookie draft theme for the next two weeks as there’s plenty more to look at to get Dynasty Owners ready for their rookie draft. We can look at rookie ADP from both rookie mock drafts and actual Dynasty Owner start-up drafts, as well as see how much good “rookie” drafts from 2019 and 2020 would have cost their Dynasty Owners. Those two topics should give Dynasty Owners a better sense of what to expect in their rookie drafts.
Regardless of your league, Dynasty Owner has great content coming to help you win your league and a new publication schedule for the weekly articles and videos that will provide the information you need. A few new videos to accompany the weekly articles have been posted and more are coming every week from now on. All of the articles and videos will be released at 1 PM (Eastern). My articles and videos to get you ready for your 2021 Dynasty Owner start-up league team will be released on Saturdays throughout the off-season. Keep an eye out for new articles from the rest of our team of Dynasty Owner writers as well. Nate Christian (@NateNFL) will talk about rookies on Tuesdays. Matt Morrison – The Jerk (@Dynastyjerk) is doing a deep dive on individual teams that you can check out on Wednesdays. Jay Poundsee (@jaypoundsnfl) looks at how to rebuild your Dynasty Owner roster and everyone will get his insights on Fridays.
Please read all of their articles and follow the four of us plus Dynasty Owner (@Dynasty_Owner) on Twitter. Hopefully this article is helpful as you prepare for the first-ever Dynasty Owner rookie drafts. Thanks, and have a great day!

Steven Van Tassell is the Head of Content for Dynasty Owner
Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

15 Players Rebuilding Owners Should Target After Rookie Drafts (PART 1)

By Jay Poundsee (@jaypoundsnfl)

With Dynasty Owner rookie drafts two weeks away its time to start thinking about the players that will go in the third round, or potentially undrafted. I like to call these players lottery tickets or hidden gems. As rebuilding owners, you should try and load up on as many of these players as possible because you shouldn’t be holding onto veterans whose ceiling is severely limited. The lottery tickets you want to target are young players who have possible paths to playing time which almost always tend to be rookies on bad teams. If you look at the Detroit Lions roster for example, you will see the wide receiver depth chart is absolutely wide open, which is something you want to attack after the draft, or in the third, if necessary.
Every year in the NFL we see several players appear out of nowhere and it is hugely beneficial for rebuilding owners to roster those players before the breakout happens. If you go back and look at players that have appeared seemingly out of nowhere you will see that it is typically for a short stretch. When your lottery tickets hit, I highly suggest trading them because of the fact that they do tend to die out rather quickly, and one of the keys to rebuilding is getting the most out of your trades, not the least. I wanted to do this article so that as the rookie drafts approach everyone can be as prepared as possible, especially when it comes to the players most aren’t talking about. Rookie drafts are the easiest way to rebuild a team but can also be one of the most challenging. Rookie picks can be hit or miss from the 1.01 all the way down to the players that go undrafted. A few great examples of this would be in 2020, we had Clyde Edwards-Helaire going as the first rookie drafted (there were no rookie-only Dynasty Owner drafts in 2020), while James Robinson was going undrafted. In 2018, we also saw people in dynasty leagues drafting players like Royce Freeman or Derrius Guice early in the first round of rookie drafts over George Kittle, and D.J. Chark in the third.
What I am trying to insinuate here is that rookies are near crapshoots but can pay huge dividends here on Dynasty Owner. If you sit back and really look at it, you could build an absolute powerhouse by nailing which rookies to draft because of the value their contracts bring. In 2020 if you drafted the correct players, you could have had Justin Jefferson at a salary of $3,280,701 (3 years) scoring 273 points, or you could have had a whopping 15 extra points and DeAndre Hopkins at a salary of $16,200,000 in 2020, but now $27,250,000 (2 years). In Dynasty Owner differences like that can mean the difference between having another two or three elite players on your roster. Having Jefferson over Hopkins would have saved you $12,919,299, or Alvin Kamara ($964,443), Calvin Ridley ($2,725,178), Jonathan Taylor ($1,957,287), CeeDee Lamb ($3,502,503), and still some space left over for free agency. Even with Kamara’s contract going up to $15,000,000 this year, you could still fit all of those players in for Hopkins’ new contract. As you can see when rebuilding in this format it is extremely beneficial to have ample cap space and players with valuable contracts can be key to that.
Over the next 2 weeks I am going to talk about 15 players (8 this week, 7 next week) I feel will go undrafted in the upcoming rookie drafts. I will touch on things like college performance, draft capital, and their path to opportunity. In the coming weeks some of these players are likely to rise or fall and I will touch on this again after the draft. These players will be in no specific order, and I also suggest doing your own research on these guys as well. If you happen to be torn on some of these players, my best advice would be to take who you think could see the field the fastest for their respective teams.

Davis Mills (4 years / $1,304,382) – Quarterback, Houston Texans
Going into the 2018 season in college football Davis Mills was one of the highest regarded prospects coming out of high school. Unfortunately for Mills, this was not a catalyst for a ton of playing time before being drafted to the NFL as he made just 11 career college starts. In those 11 starts, Mills threw the ball 438 times with 287 of them being completed, adding 18 touchdowns to 8 interceptions as well. Everything I have seen in my research of Mills is that he should have went back to school and he will need time to learn. Judging by his college production, I would have to agree. Mills is the typical old school pocket passer and has excellent arm strength to chuck the ball around the yard, but the lack of experience is a big concern. The path to playing time for Mills does seem to have some potential with Deshaun Watson still in a legal battle, making Tyrod Taylor the only player Mills may have to beat out for a starting job. He also has solid draft capital after being taken with the Texans first pick in the draft. If you’re able to get someone like Mills and he ends up starting you could probably net a first round pick for him from a contending team.

Jermar Jefferson (4 years / $889,581) – Running back, Detroit Lions
Jermar Jefferson was a very solid back for the Oregon State Beavers in college, especially during his freshman season where he had 239 carries for 1,380 yards and 12 touchdowns. In Jefferson’s career he totaled 514 carries for 2,923 yards and 27 touchdowns, with a shortened 2020 season. Jefferson is a big, hard to bring down old school back who has zero issues getting tough yards. The biggest concern for Jefferson heading into the NFL is the fact he does not offer much in terms of high end speed, or pass catching, though sometimes he seems to play faster than his times show. In Detroit, Jefferson has a decent shot at seeing the field with the Lions deciding not to bring back Adrian Peterson or Kerryon Johnson. The Lions did sign Jamaal Williams and still have D’Andre Swift on the roster, but I feel Jefferson can step into the Peterson role from last season with Detroit always seeming to take a running back by committee approach. Another negative for Jefferson is the lack of draft capital after going in the seventh round of the NFL draft.

Josh Palmer (4 years / $1,258,365) – Wide receiver, Los Angeles Chargers
Josh Palmer had one of my favorite landing spot/draft capital combos of the draft. The fact not many are talking about the kid, and he went in the third round of the NFL draft, while being tied to Justin Herbert for the foreseeable future is mind blowing. Palmer did not produce major numbers at Tennessee but has the size and profile to become what the Chargers had hoped Mike Williams would be. The biggest concern with Palmer is his college production, though he never exactly had a decent quarterback. Palmer only had 99 catches for 1,514 yards in 4 years at Tennessee which is worrisome. He will be given every chance to succeed in the NFL and has a decent path to playing time with only Mike Williams in his way. If Palmer happens to build a rapport early on with Herbert, he could be one of the bigger steals in rookie drafts. At worst, Palmer will be a hold until the Chargers finally move on from Williams.

Dez Fitzpatrick (4 years / $1,069,951) – Wide receiver, Tennessee Titans
Dez Fitzpatrick probably has the clearest path to playing time on this list in Tennessee. The Titans recently let Jonnu Smith and Corey Davis walk in free agency, which leaves only A.J. Brown as a proven pass catcher. Fitzpatrick was taken in the 4th round of the draft giving him decent draft capital on a team that is wide open at his position. Fitzpatrick is a big-bodied receiver and is good when it comes to contested catches. In his career at Louisville, Fitzpatrick had 154 catches for 2,589 yards at a whopping 16.8 yards per catch and added 21 touchdowns to boot. It will take him awhile to adjust fully to the NFL, but I think he will be able to get on the field early as a deep ball threat while he develops into a more experienced player. My favorite aspect of Fitzpatrick is his landing spot and the fact he only has to beat out someone like Josh Reynolds to see playing time. I would be willing to bet by draft time you may need to move into the late third round of your rookie draft if you want to guarantee he’s on your roster.

Javion Hawkins (3 years / $810,000) – Running back, Atlanta Falcons
After going undrafted and having zero draft capital Javion Hawkins couldn’t have landed in a better spot. The Falcons have been looking for a running back since Devonta Freeman fell off and seemingly are still looking. In 2020, Atlanta had the likes of Todd Gurley, Ito Smith, and Brian Hill getting the majority of the touches, all of whom are no longer with the organization. The Falcons depth chart after Mike Davis is wide open, and Mike Davis has been nothing but a journeyman his entire career. In college at Louisville, Hawkins posted impressive numbers with 399 carries for 2,355 yards and 16 touchdowns. Hawkins showed the ability to hit a homerun whenever he touches the ball, but also goes down on first contact quite often. The one thing I do not like about Hawkins is the fact he is an undersized back who has showed very little in the pass catching game. Time will tell what Hawkins could be but for now he’s well worth a dart throw after rookie drafts. Hawkins is also another player I could see trending up into the third round of rookie drafts.

Elijah Mitchell (4 years / $915,892) – Running back, San Francisco 49ers
The opposite of Dez Fitzpatrick, Elijah Mitchell may have the toughest path to playing time on this list, but the fact he went to the 49ers means he has a chance. The 49ers took Mitchell in the sixth round of the NFL draft after drafting Trey Sermon a few rounds earlier. Over the years we have seen numerous backs succeed under Kyle Shanahan and there is no reason to think Mitchell can’t be the next one. Mitchell was highly productive in college finishing with 527 carries, 3,267 yards, and 41 touchdowns, while also performing well in the passing game. While Mitchell isn’t the most talented back in this class, he is one of the most well rounded. The biggest concern for Mitchell is the massive amount of work he saw in his college career. In 2020, we saw Raheem Mostert, Jerick McKinnon, Jamycal Hasty, and Jeff Wilson all have productive games for the 49ers, leaving the possibility of Mitchell seeing the field in 2021 a real possibility. Is there anything that would be more Kyle Shanahan than Mitchell ending up the better pro talent over Trey Sermon?

Sage Surratt (3 years / $808,333) – Wide receiver, Detroit Lions
If you can’t tell yet I love targeting late round, big-bodied receivers. Sage Surrat sits at 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs in at 209 pounds. Surrat opted out in 2020 due to Covid-19 but had a great 2019 season finishing with 66 catches, 1,001 yards, and 11 touchdowns. The biggest knock on Surratt heading into his career is his lack of explosiveness and ability to create separation, but he can counter that with great hands and contested catch ability. I know earlier I said Fitzpatrick had the best landing spot on the list, but Surratt is equally up there in terms of landing spot. If Surratt can beat out guys like Quintez Cephus, or Breshad Perriman he could see the field as early as Week 1, which is exactly why I will be rostering Surratt everywhere I can. Though I do like Surratt, I do not recommend trading into the third round of rookie drafts to get him.

Kenny Yeboah (3 years / $815,000) – Tight end, New York Jets
Kenny Yeboah ended up going undrafted in the 2021 NFL draft, but still stands to have a decent shot at making it in the pros. My favorite part about Yeboah (aside from his last name) is the fact he doesn’t have much in front of him on the roster to beat out. The Jets do have Chris Herndon there, but he has zero ties to the new coaching staff and could easily be moved or replaced. Yeboah isn’t the prototypical tight end who will stay in and block often but more along the lines of Noah Fant where he depends more on speed and athleticism to make plays. Yeboah can be moved around the field to create mismatches and should excel when matched up against smaller or slower linebackers. Yeboah’s college career started out at Temple before transferring to Ole Miss, totaling 74 catches, 1,062 yards and 12 touchdowns between the two schools. We all know tight ends take a while to develop and players like Yeboah make for a great stash at the bottom of your roster.

If you are like me and love to have plenty of late round lottery tickets to choose from then be sure to tune in next week when I breakdown my final 7 lottery tickets of the 2021 rookie drafts.
I want to take a second and remind everyone that we will have plenty of new users joining Dynasty Owner over the next few months and to try to help them out as much as possible with things. Dynasty Owner is a ton of fun but can be difficult to navigate at first for new users. If you happen to be a new user and are reading this, feel free to contact anyone on the Dynasty Owner team on Twitter and we will all, be glad to help. Let me know on Twitter if I just ruined any of your sleeper picks with this article. Until the next time good luck on your 2021 Chase for the Ring!

NFL Draft Day 2 Pick Reaction

Day 2 of the NFL Draft is possibly the most exciting of the days for fantasy football players. Usually, a good chunk of the players that we look at year in and year out, are selected during the second and third rounds of the NFL Draft. This year it was a bit more sparse then in the past, but there is still plenty to be excited about! Here are a few I’m looking forward to watching closely.

Continue reading

2021 NFL Draft Recap & Early Rookie Rankings

The 2021 NFL Draft has come and gone. On a night where a lot of trades and movement was expected, there was very little. In total, there were 10 picks that traded hands in the first round. As we know, some of the biggest ones occurred prior to draft day: (49ers trade for example). Before I get into a sneak peek of my early rookie rankings, let me give you all a summary of some of the biggest trades of the draft and what it means in terms of salary implications.

The News

As I previously mentioned, the 49ers had (in my opinion) the most impactful trade of the draft. Here is how it shook out…

The San Francisco 49ers traded a 2021 1st (12th overall), a 2022 1st, a 2022 3rd and a 2023 1st for the Dolphins’ 2021 1st (3rd overall). This trade happened weeks ago and there is no breaking news on the trade itself, but the 49ers did what most expected them to do. They converted that 3rd overall pick into Trey Lance. Lance will make a little over $8.5 million per year for four years. This pick made the most sense for the 49ers, and it is one that was quite predictable. Lance is, in my opinion, the most intelligent rookie quarterback in this class. This should allow him to transition into a starting NFL quarterback sooner rather than later. Trey Lance is currently my QB2 in rookie rankings.

Every trade has two sides to it, so let’s see how the other end of the 49ers’ deal shaped up. The Dolphins received the 12th overall pick from the 49ers and used it (among other picks) to move up to the 6th overall. This deal was made with the Eagles, and it ensured that the Dolphins were going to get a rookie wide receiver. The receiver is Jaylen Waddle. Waddle was my rookie WR1 coming into the draft and this landing spot changes nothing. He will be my WR1 when my initial rookie ranks are released. A $6,771,497 salary is a lot of pay for an unproven wide receiver, but he will still be a value at that number.

One of the more shocking trades of Day 1 was the Bears trading up for the NY Giants’ 11th overall pick. They obtained the spot by giving up a 2021 1st (they converted that pick into Kadarius Toney, a pick I like quite a bit), a 2021 5th, a 2022 1st and a 2022 4th. This was a trove of picks to give up to move up nine spots, but once the trade was made, the player they picked made a lot of sense. The Bears drafted Justin Fields at #11 overall. Fields was the fourth quarterback taken in the draft. He looks to immediately move in as a contender for the starting job. Fields will make a little over $4.7 million per year. As always, if this rookie quarterback can start and be at least average, he will retain amazing value for the duration of his contract.

Moving onto the later rounds:

The Broncos traded up from #40 overall to #35 overall in order to draft the future leader of their backfield, Javonte Williams. Williams (North Carolina) is currently my RB2 in the rookie rankings. I have him ranked only behind Najee Harris. Williams will have to compete with Melvin Gordon in the short term, but I see this backfield becoming his in less than two years. It is also worth noting that Williams costs 1 million dollars less than Harris and Travis Etienne per year.

The Green Bay Packers finally selected a pass catcher for Aaron Rodgers (assuming Rodgers is the starting quarterback in GB for the 2021 season).

When is the last time the Packers drafted a wide receiver in the third round or higher? While you may have guessed Davante Adams, the correct answer is Ty Montgomery in 2015. It’s unbelievable that Rodgers has not received a top round wide receiver since then.

At any rate, the Packers traded up a handful of spots to get Amari Rodgers. Rodgers should receive playing time almost immediately, especially if he is able to pick up the offense quickly in training camps and preseason games. Rodgers will cost Dynasty Owners right at $1.225 million for four years. This was one of my favorite draft trades.

These were obviously not all of the draft trades that affected Dynasty Owners, but I wanted to mention these trades as they are the ones that stood out to me.

At this point I’m going to leave you with the Top 5 ranked rookies for quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers. Obviously, these have the player’s salary taken into consideration. Look for my full overall rankings and rookie rankings to be released later this month.








Trevor Lawrence

Trey Lance

Zach Wilson

Mac Jones

Justin Fields







Draft Position













Najee Harris

Javonte Williams

Travis Etienne

Trey Sermon

Rhamondre Stevenson







Draft Position













Jaylen Waddle

Ja’Marr Chase

Rashod Bateman

DeVonta Smith

Kadarius Toney







Draft Position






I want to thank everyone for reading. Next week, I will have a video for you as we get back to Speculation and Breakdown on teams. Take care and be safe.


League Winners Salary Cap Usage Versus Average Teams

By Steven Van Tassell

With the first 2021 start-up drafts coming this weekend on May 8th, it’s time to finish up the series on how Dynasty Owners should put together their rosters on Draft Day. In the last article (, we found out several new things to add to our list, such as:

  • It is not necessary to outspend the other teams in your League to win. League Winners were actually more likely to be in the bottom half of spending in their individual league
  • 2020 League Winners spent more on Wide Receivers than any other position
  • How much the average League Winner spent of the $110 million salary cap in 2020 was calculated. Those percentages were used to project how much the average start-up League Winner will spend on each position during their 2021 draft at the new salary cap of $127.75 million. 

Now that we have those data, especially spending by position, we can see how League Winners compare to the “average” team in their League. We know that most of them didn’t outspend the other teams in their League, but what about by individual position? It’s possible that League Winners outspent the other teams on some positions, but not others. 

We aren’t able to compare the position salaries for each individual team per league, but instead added up all draft spending by position then divided by 12 teams to arrive at the “average” team spending.

All salary data listed are from the 2020 Dynasty Owner season which had a $110 million salary cap on Draft Day, but was increased to $112 million for rosters due to COVID-19 considerations. 

Position to Spend the Most Money On

Even though QBs are the highest paid players on the football field, we found that over two-thirds (69%) of League Winners spent the most amount of their Draft Day salary cap on WRs. However, in only two Leagues (For the Love of the Game Leagues #27452 and #31252) did the average spent by all teams in the league on QBs exceed the amount spent on WRs.  What to make of this finding?

This makes sense when you think about the fact that average spending by all teams has to account for 12 teams. Not every team can spend less than $10 million on QBs and have a starting QB or two so they can compete to win. Eventually, somebody is going to have to take the more expensive QBs out there and therefore, increase the average spending by all teams. The same goes for the rest of the positions. 

Narrower Bands of Spending by Position

Another finding was discovered because we analyzed all teams in all leagues is that the spending by position was in narrower ranges when all teams in the league are factored in, not just the league winner. While we had League Winners spending as little as $3.045 million on QBs, $3.5 million on RBs, $16.6 million on WRs, $1.4 million on TEs and just $585,000 on kickers during their draft, that’s not possible when including all 12 teams. At the same time, it’s also not possible for all teams to spend as much as some League Winners did on QBs ($54.5 million), RBs ($44.66 million), WRs ($71.6 million), TEs ($28.4 million) and kickers ($12.14 million). 

As a result, the league average spending fell into a couple of narrow ranges when all 12 teams are included. The average league spending by team on QBs was between $20 million and $40 million, between $15 million to $20 million on RBs, between $30 million to $50 million on WRs, between $5 million to $15 million on TEs and between $3 million to $10 million on kickers.

Since individual League Winners can go much higher or lower than the League average in spending by individual position, we should look at what the average team in a league spent and compare it to what the League Winner spent. Which position or positions had more Draft Day salary cap spent on them by League Winners and which ones had less?

Positional Spending by League Winners Compared to League Average

We already know that League Winners spent a little bit less during their drafts, on average, than all teams did. It is almost $441,000 less overall. However, there are five positions in Dynasty Owner (QB, RB, WR, TE, K) so it’s possible that League Winners spent more at certain positions versus the league average and less at others. The data show that League Winners tended to overspend the average more for WRs, TEs and kickers and underspend on QBs and RBs.







% of Winners Spending More






% of Average Spending More






The numbers aren’t very telling as the widest gap was for RBs and the split is still 59% vs. 41%. There wasn’t a particular position that League Winners targeted for additional spending versus the “average” team in their League.

There was no pattern in terms of how much more League Winners spent at a position. There are League Winners who spent almost 90% less than the “average” team at a position on Draft Day and still won. At the other end of the spectrum, a few League Winners spent more than double what the “average” team in their league spent on RBs, TEs and kickers during their drafts and still had enough to spend on other positions to win. The biggest fluctuations occurred at TE and kicker, but since less in salary was spent overall on both of those positions, having a significantly higher or lower amount spent by one team is more likely than at QB and WR, positions that have much higher salaries and more players drafted that have higher salary players.

Average Salary Cap Usage by Position

While all of the teams in a league are spending similar amounts on players at each position, it’s possible that the “average” team spending could be more or less than what the League Winner spent. There could be positions that League Winners did a better job of drafting and spent less at, while still being crowned the Champion.  After all, they spent less overall on average, so maybe there is a position or two that they exploited more than others.

The breakdown of salary cap usage for the average team in a League by position is as follows:

Average Salary Cap Spending by Position

On average, over one-third (36%) of the salary cap in a league was spent on WRs, followed by a little over one-quarter (26%) on QBs and one-sixth (17%) on RBs. The “average” team in a League spent just a little bit more on TEs (9%) than they left unspent (8%) and spent well under 5% on kickers. 

In dollar figures using the $110 million salary cap, the average amount spent on Draft Day by the average team in each League in 2020 was:







Not Used


Amount Spent

$ 28,655,067

$ 18,634,772

$ 39,621,321

$ 10,257,756

$ 3,691,732



Percentage Spent








Compared to the League Winners, we find dramatic differences in league “average” spending at two positions (QB and K), while almost no difference at all in RB spending. 







Not Used


$ 25,731,393

$ 18,615,741

$ 40,951,005

$ 10,499,328

$ 4,622,204

$ 9,580,329

League Average

$ 28,655,067

$ 18,634,772

$ 39,621,321

$ 10,257,756

$ 3,691,732

$ 9,139,351

$ Difference

$ (2,923,674)

$ (19,031)

$ 1,329,684

$ 241,571

$ 930,472

$ 440,977

% Difference







In pure dollar figures, League Winners spent over $2.9 million less on QBs than the “average” team in their league. It appears that, as assumed and speculated, one of the keys to winning your Dynasty Owner league is drafting an affordable and productive QB to lead your team. QB scoring is at a premium in Dynasty Owner, so it stands to reason that the highest scoring player on your team (QB) has a lower Dynasty Dollars to Points ratio (DD/PT), then your team will be better. 

To illustrate this, we can look at two QBs with similar salaries and ADPs but much different DD/PT costs and see which QB was drafted by more League Winners. The QBs are Josh Allen ($5.3 million in salary; 25.3 ADP) and Daniel Jones ($6.4 million in salary; 44.6 ADP). Allen got his Dynasty Owners far more points overall (516.1 for Allen vs. 210.8 for Jones) and cost almost three times less on a per point basis ($10,261 DD/PT for Allen vs. $30,436 for Jones). That’s why so many more League Winners drafted Josh Allen than Daniel Jones (19% drafted Allen vs. 7% for Jones).


After figuring out that League Winners didn’t necessarily outspent the other teams in their league overall on Draft Day and how much on average they spent at each position to win, the next step was to break down the spending by position in comparison to the other teams in their league. What we found was League Winners spent more than 10% less on QBs than the “average” team in their league. In dollar figures, that was over $2.9 million less. 

Another important finding to help you construct your 2021 Dynasty Owner start-up roster. With all of these findings plus the analysis you get from the Dynasty Owner writing team, everyone in a start-up league should be ready to get drafting their teams. That can happen as soon as this weekend for new leagues. Existing leagues will need to wait until May 28th for rookie drafts to begin.

Regardless of your league, Dynasty Owner has great content coming to help you win your league and a new publication schedule for the weekly articles and videos that will provide the information you need. A few new videos to accompany the weekly articles have been posted and more are coming every week from now on. All of the articles and videos will be released at 1 PM (Eastern). My articles and videos to get you ready for your 2021 Dynasty Owner start-up league team will be released on Saturdays throughout the off-season. Keep an eye out for new articles from the rest of our team of Dynasty Owner writers as well. Nate Christian (@NateNFL) will talk about rookies on Tuesdays. Matt Morrison – The Jerk (@Dynastyjerk) is doing a deep dive into contracts by teams that you can check out on Wednesdays. Jay Pounds (@jaypoundsnfl) looks at how to rebuild your Dynasty Owner roster and everyone will get his insights on Fridays. 

Please read all of their articles and follow the four of us plus Dynasty Owner (@Dynasty_Owner) on Twitter. Hopefully this article is helpful as you prepare for your upcoming Dynasty Owner start-up draft, some of which are happening this weekend (May 8th). Thanks, and have a great day!

Steven Van Tassell is the Head of Content for Dynasty Owner 

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

2021 NFL Contract Extensions and Restructuring

By Steven Van Tassell

In anticipation of the first 2021 Dynasty Owner start-up drafts on May 8th, it’s important that Dynasty Owners are aware of new salary figures for players that will be in effect this year and in future years. There are many ways that players are acquired by NFL teams and sign their contracts, and then there are some that sign contract extensions or restructure them.

As everyone knows, the NFL draft took place a couple of days ago and players will sign 4-year contracts on a salary scale. Those rookie contracts have been loaded in the Dynasty Owner platform from the Spotrac NFL 2021 draft tracker table ( Teams have also been signing undrafted free agents to contracts of varying amounts over the next past few days and will continue to do so in the next few days, weeks and months. Those contracts will also be added to the Dynasty Owner platform.

First round draft picks sign contracts with fifth year options that can be picked up or declined by their NFL team. The deadline for picking up or declining those options was May 3rd and this article ( will help Dynasty Owners keep track of those salaries which will take effect for the 2022 Dynasty Owner season.

Free agency started with a rash of big free agent contract signings right after it opened in mid-March and have continued on since then. Matt “The Jerk” Morrison (@dynastyjerk) wrote an article with a lot of the free agency news ( and I also tackled the topic around the same time ( There have been a few additional free agent signings since these articles were written, but a lot of the major ones are covered.

Before a player becomes a free agent, his NFL team will sometimes sign him to a contract extension to avoid having him test the open market. Many of these contract extensions were signed before the start of the 2020 NFL and Dynasty Owner season and the new contract amount is now in effect for the 2021 Dynasty Owner season. Both George Kittle and Travis Kelce signed multi-year extensions way back in August of 2020, but their new salaries of $15 million for Kittle and $14.3 million for Kelce weren’t changed for Dynasty Owners until recently. The double digit per year contract extensions signed by Keenan Allen ($20.025 million), Dalvin Cook ($12.6 million), Derrick Henry ($12.5 million), DeAndre Hopkins ($27.25 million), Cooper Kupp ($15.75 million), Christian McCaffrey ($16 million), Patrick Mahomes ($45 million), Joe Mixon ($12 million), Deshaun Watson ($39 million), and Robert Woods ($16.25 million) all fall into this category.

In addition to all of those new contracts, there have been some additional contract extensions signed more recently. Some will take effect for the 2021 season, while others won’t impact the player’s Dynasty Owner salary in 2021, but will in the future.

Players can also have their contracts restructured. This happens quite frequently, but most of the changes do not affect their Dynasty Owner salary as players are merely converting some salary for the upcoming season into a bonus to help their NFL team with the NFL salary cap. These changes do not affect the overall cost of their contract or the number of years, so the average annual value is unchanged and therefore, their Dynasty Owner salary does not change. This past off-season has seen a who’s who of top players (Brandin Cooks, Jared Goff, Travis Kelce, Cooper Kupp, Patrick Mahomes, Christian McCaffrey, Matt Ryan, Adam Thielen, Michael Thomas and Robert Woods, among others) restructure their contracts in this manner. None of their salaries changed in Dynasty Owner.

However, for a few players, the restructured contract comes after a trade or threat to be released and the new contract replaces the old one and becomes effective for Dynasty Owners. In 2020, Sammy Watkins restructured his contract with Kansas City and reduced his 2020 Dynasty Owner salary from $16 million down to $9 million. Nick Foles was traded from Jacksonville to Chicago and his 4-year, $88 million contract ($22 million per year) was restructured into a 3-year, $24 million contract ($8 million per year). His Dynasty Owners received $14 million in yearly contract savings.

With all of that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most recent extensions signed by players in the Dynasty Owner player pool.

All position ranking data and stats listed are from the 2020 Dynasty Owner season. Updated 2021 salaries are currently posted on the Dynasty Owner platform based on data from Spotrac ( 

Contract Extensions

All of the following contract extensions were signed after the end of the 2020 NFL and Dynasty Owner seasons. They range in size and scope from the second largest annual salary in the NFL for a veteran QB to an extra year for the G.O.A.T. to an extension for a player who didn’t even sign a contract for last season until December. In order of total size of the contract, these extensions were given to:

  • Dak Prescott (QB – DAL) – 4 years/$160 million: Dak Prescott signed a four-year, $160 million extension with the Dallas Cowboys through the 2024 season. His $40 million annual salary will be the second largest in Dynasty Owner behind only Patrick Mahomes ($45 million). This new contract removes the franchise tag from Prescott that made his salary $30.144 million in 2020 for his Dynasty Owners. Prescott played very well in 2020 before his season ended due to an ankle injury suffered in Week 5. In just five games, he scored 175.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points for an average of 35.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game.
  • Tyler Lockett (WR – SEA) signs four year extension worth $69 million: Tyler Lockett received a four-year, $69 million extension with the Seattle Seahawks. The extension will keep him in a Seahawks uniform through the 2025 season. The durable third round pick from Kansas State has played his entire six year career with the Seahawks and only missed one game, back in 2016. He will still count for $10.25 million against the Dynasty Owner salary cap in 2021. His annual salary jumps by $7 million to $17.25 million for the 2022 season. Lockett was the #8 ranked WR in Dynasty Owner in 2020 with 270.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 16 games for an average of 16.9 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game.
  • Tom Brady (QB – TB) signs one-year contract extension for 2022 season: After winning his record seventh Super Bowl, Tom Brady signed a one-year contract extension with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The extension will keep him in Tampa Bay for another year through the 2022 season when he will be 45 years old. He will make $25 million in both 2021 and 2022. Brady was the #7 ranked QB in Dynasty Owner in 2020 with 454.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points and started all 16 games for an average of 28.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game.
  • Taylor Heinicke (QB – WAS) – 2 years/$4.75 million: Taylor Heinicke signed a two-year extension with the Washington Football Team for a total of $4.75 million. The extension will keep him in Washington for the next two seasons after he was signed in December to the team’s practice squad. Heinicke ended up starting the team’s Wild Card playoff game against Tampa Bay after playing in their Week 16 game in place of Dwayne Haskins. He scored 15.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in that regular season game.

Contract Restructuring

A less frequent contract happening is when a player has his contract restructured completely and the result is basically a new contract with a new salary amount for their Dynasty Owners. Usually this occurs when a player is traded to another team and he agrees to change his contract to help out the new team. It also can happen when a player wants to stay with his current team and takes less money to do so and avoid being released. The following five players in the Dynasty Owner player pool had their 2021 contracts restructured during the current off-season with the new restructured contract resulting in a savings in 2021 salary cap for their Dynasty Owners.

  • David Johnson (RB – HOU) – 1 year/$5 million: David Johnson agreed to a restructured contract of one year at a salary of $5 million for the 2021 season to stay with the Houston Texans. He will be a free agent in 2022. This restructuring will save his Dynasty Owners $8 million in salary cap space as he was expected to make $13 million in the final year of the 3 year, $39 million contract he signed when he played for the Arizona Cardinals. Johnson was the #22 ranked RB in Dynasty Owner in 2020 with 179.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 12 games played for an average of just under 15.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game.
  • Ben Roethlisberger (QB – PIT) – 1 year/$14 million: Ben Roethlisberger agreed to a new contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers for one season at a salary of $14 million for the 2021 season. He will be a free agent in 2022 at the age of 40, but there is plenty of speculation that this is his final season. This restructuring will save his Dynasty Owners $20 million in salary cap space for 2021 as he was originally scheduled to make $34 million. Roethlisberger was the #13 ranked QB in Dynasty Owner in 2020 with 360.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 15 games played for an average of 24.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game.
  • Taysom Hill (QB – NO) – 1 year/$12.159 million: Taysom Hill re-signed with the New Orleans Saints for one season at a salary of $12.159 million for the 2021 season. He will be a free agent in 2022. Even though the contract was widely reported initially as being a 4-year, $140 million deal, it is not even close to that in reality or for Dynasty Owners. Overall, Hill scored 165.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 16 games for an average of 10.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. In the four games that he started at QB; Hill scored 92.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points for an average of 23.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game.
  • Marcus Mariota (QB – LV) – 1 year/$3.5 million: Marcus Mariota agreed to a restructured contract of one year at a salary of $3.5 million for the 2021 season to stay with the Las Vegas Raiders. He will be a free agent in 2022. He served as Derek Carr’s backup in Las Vegas in 2020 and only played in the Raiders’ Week 15 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. This restructuring will save his Dynasty Owners $5.3 million in salary cap space as he was expected to make $8.8 million. Mariota played well in his one game, scoring 29.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points.
  • Teddy Bridgewater (QB – DEN) – 1 year/$11.499 million: Teddy Bridgewater agreed to a restructured contract of one year at a salary of $11.499 million for the 2021 season with the Denver Broncos. He will be a free agent in 2022. Bridgewater was traded to Denver after spending the 2020 season with the Carolina Panthers. This restructuring will save his Dynasty Owners $9.5 million in salary cap space for 2021 as he was scheduled to make $21 million. It also removes his $21 million salary for 2022. Bridgewater was the #19 ranked QB in Dynasty Owner in 2020 with 294.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 15 games played for an average of 19.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game.


Contract extensions and restructuring existing contracts are two important ways that Dynasty Owner salaries can change for players during the off-season. In the case of contract extensions, they can either take effect for the 2021 season, as in the case of Dak Prescott, or be a true extension that will take effect in the future and not change the player’s 2021 salary as is happening with Tyler Lockett. In contrast, restructured contracts definitely take the place of a player’s current contract and almost always represent a salary decrease that will benefit the player’s NFL team as well as his Dynasty Owners.

Hopefully this article is helpful as you prepare for the upcoming Dynasty Owner season and maybe even your 2021 start-up draft. Keep an eye out for additional new articles and videos from the entire Dynasty Owner writing team. Nate Christian (@NateNFL) will be looking at the recently drafted rookies now that they have a NFL team. Matt Morrison – The Jerk (@Dynastyjerk) is doing a deep dive into contracts by teams. Jay Pounds (@jaypoundsnfl) continues to look at how to rebuild your Dynasty Owner roster. And I’ll help get you ready for your 2021 Dynasty Owner start-up league team.

Please read all of our articles, watch the videos and follow the four of us plus Dynasty Owner (@Dynasty_Owner) on Twitter. Thanks, and have a great day!

Steven Van Tassell is the Head of Content for Dynasty Owner

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

Breaking Down A Real Dynasty Owner Draft Strategy by Round

Author: Jay Poundsee

Heading into my first dynasty owner draft, I felt nervous even being what most consider a pretty avid Fantasy Football player/nerd depending on who you have the pleasure of speaking too. I can sit and talk football or even better fantasy football all day every day, just ask my fiancée shell surely to agree. I had done plenty of mocks heading up to my first ever draft and felt I was as prepared as I could be heading into a format like this. After all, I have read every article Steve Van Tassel has written as well as listened to every podcast I could find with Steve and Tim. I brought my assistant fantasy manager (my 9-year-old son Bentley) up to speed and we were ready to find out our draft position. After hours of anxiously waiting, we finally get word from the guys at dynasty owner 3rd overall it is.

I was not thrilled with 3rd as I knew I would more than likely face the daunting task of drafting or passing on Patrick Mahomes, whose salary skyrockets to around $45 million next season. The thought of trying to build a team with his salary still gives me nightmares but at the end of the day someone must do it, luckily it was not me as the team before me took him. Though it would be a fascinating challenge to try to build around and win with Mahomes on my roster I was thankful the opportunity did not present itself. In Dynasty Owner it seems the draft can go many ways and it is a format where it is imperative to let the draft come to you. I thought I went in with a plan and that plan was in shreds before I even had the chance to pick.


Rounds 1-3 are where you set the tone for your team going forward, meaning if you take Michael Thomas ($19,250,000) or Zeke ($15,000,000) you need to start thinking younger and cheaper moving forward. The first 2 picks went Lamar Jackson and Mahomes leaving me non-other than Christian McCaffery at ($4,000,000) with a new contract looming. The thought of having to budget after taking my first player was one, I was not fond of, but when its CMC you take him and let him carry you to a championship. The rest of round one was a good mix of Quarterbacks and Running backs with no Receivers or tight ends taken. Interestingly, only one team spent over 9 million in the first. We started out round two with a nice mix of younger cheap players, as well as a few expensive veterans. Michael Thomas ($19,250,000) went at 13, followed by Joe Burrow ($9,047,543) and Miles Sanders at ($1,337,544).

The end of the second round I watched Deandre Hopkins ($16,200,000) go the pick just ahead of me. At this point my plan was just draft well enough to be able to compete while McCaffery is in his prime, as well as keep him and resign my rookies next year. Staring me in the face was Joe Mixon ($1,362,544) with only one year left or the love of Tim’s life D.J. Moore ($2,792,829). It was my first tough decision of the draft and being a firm believer in Running backs win championships, I went with Mixon. Joe Mixon worries me as well with this being the final year of his contract, in what is sure to be an improved offense he is a sure bet to get paid. Cincinnati also gets last years, their 2019 first round left tackle, Jonah Williams back, which can only help Mixon produce this season. I took my first quarterback, New York Giants Quarterback Daniel Jones ($6,416,014) in the third round. Jones flashed real potential last season as a rookie on a pretty bad football team, so I was okay with him being my QB1 needing as much flexibility as possible to retain Mixon and CMC next season. 

I knew from all my mock drafts not getting at least one Quarterback on a rookie deal would put me into a cap nightmare moving forward. I would, no doubt, must amnesty one to have any type of flexibility going into next season. At this point I had no clue where to go next with 2 of my 3 most important pieces going into a contract year. I decided to try to just let the draft come to me as best as I could.

Rounds 4-7

I knew my 4th round pick was going to be crucial to how the rest of this draft would play out for me. I watched the 2 players I was hoping would fall to me Deandre Swift ($2,124,728) and Calvin Ridley ($2,725,178) get sniped just picks ahead of me. As it becomes my selection, I look at my screen and laugh as I see another potential top 5 running back staring me in the face, Kareem Hunt at ($3,259,000) and the kicker 1 year left on his contract just like my other guys. I looked over at my son, who I knew would have no idea what I was talking about, I said “Son I think I found an odd strategy that just might work.” He got excited and said, “let’s try it Dad.” I smashed draft on Kareem Hunt and had a somewhat clear plan.

The rest of the draft I was going to spend good money to lock down a few solid wide receivers and target players on 1-year deals with high upside. This will free up cap space for next season and give me options of who to keep and who to let go based on performance and outlook this off season in my running back room. Example, if Pittsburgh lets James Connor walk at the end of the year and signs Hunt, then Hunt becomes a no brainier to keep next season. If he flops this year or stays behind Chubb, I just opened cap space for CMC or Mixon’s new deals. When it came time to pick again, I felt like a kindergartner at snack time I was so excited. Julio Jones at a hefty$22,000,000 fell right into my lap. I had zero issue spending big to pair Julio with the CMC, Mixon, Jones, and Hunt, giving me a great core to compete this year. The 6th was what seemed another no brainer for me with Leonard Fournette ($6,787,711) and 1 year remaining (see a trend?). Taking Fournette at this pick was simple because it gave me potentially 4 stud Running backs this season as well as my pick of the litter with these four going into next season with them all on expiring contracts. As my 7th pick was approaching quickly, I noticed almost all the young cheap signal callers were gone, so I decided to reach and go with Sam Darnold ($7,561,929).

I know Darnold is not an attractive pick here, but he has flashed some positive potential and the Jets played considerably better when Darnold was on the field last season vs. when he was out with mono. Pair that with an upgraded line and receiving core it may lead to a solid year from the Jets QB. At this point I am feeling good with where my team is but knew I would need another wide-out plus some younger depth due to Julio’s age and huge contract (amnesty candidate). Also, if I have learned one sneaky good piece of advice it’s don’t be scared of an aging contract who can help win now like Julio Jones, because the amnesty provision is there when needed.

Rounds 8-13

I have to say, I have never gone into the 8th round of a fantasy football draft as anxious as I was in my Dynasty Owner draft. I watched Tyler Lockett ($10,250,000), CeeDee Lamb ($3,502,503), and Justin Jefferson $3,280,701 come off the draft board praying it was not the start of a receiver run before my next selection. Luckily, Devante Parker ($7,625,000), who I am extremely high on, was available and I do not think I could have hit draft fast enough. This gave me what I feel is a very solid floor at the two premier positions in Fantasy Football with CMC, Mixon, Julio, and Parker on top of a ton of cap space still available if I really wanted to spice things up. In the following rounds I really wanted to start adding some young talent with promising careers to my roster, so I went with one of my favorite rookies in Michael Pittman Jr. ($2,153,212). I love Pittman’s situation in Indy with him set to take on a big role this year and replace the oft-injured T.Y. Hilton full time as soon as next season. On the clock with the 118th pick, I selected the man with tree trunks for legs, A.J. Dillion ($1,321,458) running back for the Green Bay Packers. While Aaron Rodgers may not be a fan of the pick, I absolutely love Dillion as a prospect, as a pure between the tackles, old school goal line runner and feel he will have long term success in his career. Dillon has the chance to be a successful Ron Dayne.

In most fantasy drafts as well as this one, I almost always find myself waiting until later in the draft to shoot for the typical breakout tight end season we tend to see every year. One of my breakout candidates this year is Dallas Goedert ($1,406,068) with the horrible injury luck of the Eagles, it seems Philly’s tight ends are due for an even bigger year than originally expected. Alshon Jeffery seems to be starting this season on the PUP list and Desean Jackson may want to consider signing on with bubble wrap at this point; he is so fragile. I see Philly running a ton of 12 personal this season with their number 1 wide-out being a rookie in a shortened off season. This spells big things to come for Dallas Goedert and Philly’s tight end room. At pick number 142 sat The Running Back One for 3 weeks of last season (when Kamara went down) none other than Latavius Murray ($3,600,000). I find Murray to be a great upside piece for my roster especially if Alvin Kamara goes down. He is also someone who will always help with the 20% bench scoring feature here on Dynasty Owner with some standalone value. Round 13 came and I had two things on my mind Talent and cap flexibility. Anthony Miller ($1,338,425) was the selection, I have heard reports on how Miller relied heavily on pure talent in college and his rookie season, and that last year was a bit of a wake up call for him on how important attention to detail and putting in work off the field is. Needless to say it sounds like it’s a make it or break it year for Miller and those are pieces I love on my team, especially with only one year remaining giving me the ability to cut ties freely if needed this off season.

Rounds 14-18

Once you get to this point in most drafts, you are simply looking for two things, depth, and upside. The thing is this is not most drafts. There are so many ways your draft can go at this point from needing to find no-name super cheap players to even out your top-heavy cap or having plenty of room and zero worries. I was here thinking I need to find guys on 1 or 2-year deals who can produce now giving me the flexibility I need going forward. With pick number 166 I took a flier on Justin Jackson ($5,700,000). The kid has seemed to flash greatness at times averaging 6.9 yards per carry last season. I followed that up with Sammy Watkins ($9,000,000) for bench scoring, bye weeks, and cap space next season. Watkins happens to play with a quarterback named Mahomes, so I had no issue taking a chance this late on a piece of Andy Reid’s offense. This is where things started to dry up in the draft knowing I could not spend big unless they were on a one-year deal because of the need to keep as many running backs as possible next season.

My plan was to look for a few handcuffs for my players in the next few rounds. I am not typically a fan of my own handcuffs, but with Covid-19 going nowhere I feel it is necessary this season and possibly next. I took Russel Gauge ($654,049) as a potential handcuff for Julio Jones. I know Gauge would not be the direct beneficiary as that goes to Calvin Ridley, but Gauge would become an easy start each week in Dirk Koetter’s pass happy offense with Julio or Ridley going down. Ryquell Armstead was my next selection as Fournette’s handcuff. I felt he was an easy choice here as there seems to be little competition for Armstead as the Jaguars backup. Chris Thompson is there but outside of a few passing situations he does not worry me even having the shower narrative with his old coach Jay Gruden. In the 18th round I selected rookie running back for the Miami Dolphins Malcom Perry ($842,622). Perry is nothing more than a practice squad player that I hope will pan out over his rookie deal in a young talented offense.

Rounds 18-25

I will do my best not to bore you with the bottom rounds as there is not a whole lot of strategy involved, aside from finding players you feel are talented. There are a few curve balls in this format if you have cap space as players like Marvin Jones ($8,000,000), Carson Wentz ($32,000,000) and Matt Ryan ($30,000,000) were never even drafted. Quintez Cephus ($734,822) was the player I took next. I find Cephus extremely intriguing over a singular statement. The statement came from Detroit Lions corner back Jeff Okudah where Okudah was asked who the best receiver he has ever faced, Okudah replied “Quintez Cephus” being a Buckeyes fan that is enough for me to take a flier.  I selected tight end Will Dissly ($777,568) at my next spot. Dissly has had a few disappointing injuries the past 2 seasons but when healthy he has showed promise and Russel Wilson seems to love the guy. He also seems to be superhuman with how quickly he recovers from significant injuries. Famous Jameis Winston was the next pick for me. I love the thought of Winston working with Sean Payton and Drew Brees and potentially taking over. He also had Lasik eye surgery this season which may be the cause of some of the mind-numbing interceptions he has thrown throughout his career.

I wanted to take a kicker earlier than normal in this format because I wanted to make sure I got solid production without having to spend a few million. Greg Joseph ($660,000) was the pick. I am a big fan of the Titans offense going into this season. The Titans were one of the most efficient teams in NFL history on offense last season when Tannehill took over which will hopefully lead to easy freebies for my kicker with him at the helm for the foreseeable future. Jared Cook ($7,500,000) was still on the board at pick number 267 which was extremely surprising to me. With only 1 year left on his contract in a particularly good offense, I figured it was a win win with production and free cap space next year. With my final two selections of my very first Dynasty Owner draft, I took two more kickers. Brett Maher ($750,000) for the New York Jets and Matt Prater ($3,800,000). Prater was a bit more than I planned to spend on a kicker, but he plays for a good offense. I remember reading an article by Steve Van Tassel, who mentioned how important having 3 kickers was in Dynasty Owner. The reason for this is because of the 20 percent bench scoring each week, if you only have 2 kickers you will take 2 big fat ZEROs on your bench for bye weeks.

Summary and Free Agent Pickups

After the draft I was looking over my team, deciding how to spend the rest of my cap space in a responsible manner. I knew anyone I picked up had to be on a one-year deal, so I am not on the hook past this season, after all they were not drafted. Corey Davis ($6,348,672) was available and I needed more potential production at receiver, so I placed a bid and got him. Shortly after the guys from Dynasty Owner announced $2 Million in extra cap space so I placed a bid for Marvin Jones and his 1 year $8,000,000 salary. I knew Jones if healthy would offer me that extra upside and depth I need at wide out. I was surprised that I was able to pick up a player with the upside of Marvin Jones in a potential top 10 offense with the Detroit Lions for the minimum bid of 1,000,000 Dynasty Dollars. My overall draft experience here on dynasty owner was nothing short of phenomenal and addicting. There are so many different strategies to go with and most happen on the fly while drafting which makes it a lot of fun.

The strategy I went with in my draft was too get uber talented players with 1 year left on their deals in return my team only has $53,000,000 in cap space committed next season giving me plenty of freedom to do what I want next off season on top of signing my rookies. Overall, I have to say I am hooked on the in-depth year-round strategy this format takes to succeed and cannot wait for future seasons to see how my team performs, as well as running a few more teams. I hope this article helps you get a sense of what the draft process is like and gives you a somewhat in-depth look at the problems and thought process you will face in your upcoming drafts. One last takeaway from my draft and the research I have done recently for articles is that I have never seen such differences in where players are drafted as well as surprises on a draft-by-draft basis than you will find here at Dynasty Owner.  As always good luck on your Chase for The Ring!

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