A History Making Afternoon

Author: Steven Van Tassell

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

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

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

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

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

An Early Run on Running Backs

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

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

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

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

The List of Firsts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Dynasty Owner is Different than a Regular Dynasty League?

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

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

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

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

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

Who Took My Advice?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusions

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

There were a lot of firsts to go along with a lot of surprises. It’s doubtful that anyone would have predicted that 13 RBs would be drafted in a row or that Adam Thielen would go undrafted. For me, I didn’t think I had a chance at drafting my QB from last year (Deshaun Watson) since I had the #2 pick, but when the big run on RBs kept going and going, I was able to get him. Maybe Watson wasn’t part of anyone’s draft strategy but mine. That could be so since it appears most everyone in this league didn’t pay attention to my quality article “advice”. Most of you reading this probably haven’t drafted yet, so you still have time to get yourself into one of the mock drafts going on every 15 minutes. We will have new articles soon from the rest of the Dynasty Owner writing team – Milos Ljubic (@LjubicMilos on Twitter) and Chris Wolf (@ckwolf21 on Twitter) as well as the first of the monthly Dynasty Owner Top 300 coming very soon. All of this great content is available to help you win your Dynasty Owner league and maybe become the winner of the 2020 Chase for the Ring!

Steven Van Tassell is a freelance writer for Dynasty Owner.

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

Who Wants to Draft a Non-Millionaire Player? – Part 1

Author: Steven Van Tassell

In the draft tips article from last week, finding value was the top recommendation. So, the next question is what players are going to give you enough value and help you win your Dynasty Owner league championship in 2020 and beyond. If you’re like Ricky Bobby and just focus on 2020 (“If you’re not first, you’re last”), then there are a lot of players who you can draft this year who have low salaries and will likely produce enough Dynasty Owner fantasy points to help you win now.

If you want to be competitive in both 2020 and beyond, there are still plenty of  players with contracts of under $1 million per year who are signed now for more than just the 2020 season. In fact, there are too many players to include in just one article. We’ll look at QBs, RBs and WRs first, then focus on TEs and kickers in the next article.

At RB, Phillip Lindsay only earns $575,000 and both Aaron Jones and Chris Carson make less than $651,000 per year, but all three of them only have one year left on their rookie deals. Alvin Kamara is a first round pick who also just fits under the $1 million figure with his 2020 salary of $964,443. Chris Godwin ($821,041 salary) was the #3 overall WR in Dynasty Owner in 2019 and a legitimate first round 2020 pick, but he’s only under contract for that salary for one more year. Cooper Kupp and Kenny Golladay are expected to be early round selections as well and also make less than $1 million, but both are only signed for 2020.

We won’t mention any of those players in this article, or players who just miss the $1 million cutoff, such as Bears RB David Montgomery who was picked in the third round of the 2019 draft and has a Dynasty Owner salary of just north of $1 million ($1,003,845 to be exact). Same with two Pittsburgh WRs (Diontae Johnson and James Washington) who should benefit from the return of Ben Roethlisberger both of whom make slightly over $1 million per year.

These non-millionaire guys with multiple years left on their rookie contracts may not be the ones who, by themselves, win you your 2020 Dynasty Owner league championship. To win, you’ll need them to contribute enough to provide some help at the minimum from your Bench or as a Bye Week Starter. Their contribution could also be more subtle as a guy who provides depth, but more importantly, saves your Dynasty Owner team some salary cap room to be able to afford those expensive, impact players who will help you win.

All stats are based on the Standard Dynasty Owner scoring system as outlined in the updated Dynasty Owner Constitution.

Backfield Limitations

If you are looking for one of these non-millionaire guys at either QB or RB, you’ll need to grab him earlier in your Dynasty Owner draft than you might think he’s worthy of being drafted as there are only four of them. Here’s how they rank in order (with salary figures):

  1. Devin Singletary (RB – BUF – $974,500 thru 2022): Now that Frank Gore has moved on to the Jets (why Frank?!? – just retire gracefully instead of as a backup for the Jets), Singletary is the starter in Buffalo for a team that ranked seventh overall in rushing yards in 2019. Sure, the Bills might pass more this year after adding Stefon Diggs or rookie Zack Moss might vulture some yards and TDs. However, unless you think Moss will overtake Singletary sometime this year, Singletary’s the first non-millionaire backfield guy to grab.
  2. Gardner Minshew II (QB – JAX – $677,721 thru 2022): Minshew is the Man in Jacksonville after being the backup last year and taking over when Nick Foles got injured. The Jaguars traded Foles and his $22 million per year contract to Chicago, so Mike Glennon is the backup to Minshew and unlikely to overtake him in training camp. Maybe the Jaguars sign Cam Newton, but if not, Minshew’s the starter and could be a valuable Bench QB or bye week starter. That’s really good for under $700,000.
  3. Tony Pollard (RB – DAL – $796,945 thru 2022): Pollard might be the backup to Ezekiel Elliott, but he’ll get the ball enough to keep on your Bench weekly in the hopes that he has a great game or two when the Cowboys are leading (or losing) by a lot and want to save Elliott. He had three of those games in 2019 in which he averaged 22.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. And if Elliott does get injured, Pollard becomes the starter in Dallas and gets inserted into a lot of Dynasty Owner lineups as either a RB or FLEX. He’s worth a spot on your roster even if you don’t own Elliott.
  4. Jarrett Stidham (QB – NE – $788,423 thru 2022): The G.O.A.T. is gone from New England and Bill Belichick appears committed to Stidham since he didn’t take a QB at all in the 2020 draft. The Patriots come into the 2020 season with Stidham, Brian Hoyer (only $1.05 million in Dynasty Owner salary) and two undrafted rookie free agents fighting for the third string spot. That’s it unless the Patriots suddenly have a change of heart and sign Cam Newton. Here’s hoping Stidham is the Steve Young of the Patriots (a Hall of Fame QB replacing another Hall of Fame QB) and not Hugh Millen, Tommy Hodson, or Marc Wilson (yes, those are the names of actual Patriots starting QBs in the early 1990s before they drafted Drew Bledsoe).

The rest of the non-millionaire QBs are expected to be backups in 2020, barring an injury, so we aren’t going to rank them. However, there are a few additional RBs who are lower-ranked backups or maybe third down, pass catching RBs who might be worth a Practice Squad spot as they are unlikely to contribute as a Starter or Bench player in 2020 unless the starting RB or RBs for their team gets injured. Several of them (Ito Smith in Atlanta, Alexander Mattison in Minnesota to name two) will find their way onto Dynasty Owner rosters as a handcuff to the starter, but they likely have limited value in 2020 barring injuries.

Receivers

There is a lot more value available at WR than QB and RB combined as 20 players meet our qualifications for inclusion on this list and we could have added more if we wanted. Let’s just limit ourselves to analyzing the top 12 of them (and list the other 8 in order) who should help your Dynasty Owner team in 2020 and beyond.

  1. Darius Slayton (NYG – $688,497 thru 2022): Finished the 2019 Dynasty Owner season as the #36 WR, which would make him a fringe starter in 12-team Dynasty Owner leagues for less than $700,000. Grabbing Slayton early will give you salary cap room to get productive veterans later on in the draft. Slayton had three games with 2 TDs in 2019 and more than 20.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. He might be the Giants #1 WR this year and if so, could be in for a bigger year than projected (216.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points).
  2. Michael Gallup (DAL – $880,995 thru 2021): Despite the presence of rookie first round pick CeeDee Lamb, Gallup is projected to have more Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 2020 than 2019 (238.1 vs. 212.7). He had nine games with 10.0 or more Dynasty Owner fantasy points last season, up from three in 2018, and two more 2019 games that just fell short (9.5 and 9.3 respectively). Gallup takes a hit here down to the #2 slot because of the presence of Lamb and Amari Cooper, but he’s still worthy of a high Dynasty Owner draft pick in 2020.
  3. Terry McLaurin (WAS – $961,918 thru 2022): McLaurin just comes in under the $1 million salary necessary to be included here. He may be the top WR and is projected to be the #15 WR overall in Dynasty Owner, but costs a little bit over $80,000 more than Gallup and nearly $275,000 more than Slayton. Plus, he has the worst QB situation of the top three with second year QB Dwayne Haskins likely under center in Washington, or Kyle Allen if Coach Ron Rivera wants to go with a guy he coached last year in Carolina. McLaurin averaged 12.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game in seven games with Haskins at QB, lower than the 14.8 points per game in seven games with the other Redskins starting QBs (Case Keenum and Colt McCoy).
  4. Preston Williams (MIA – $588,333 thru 2021): Williams averaged 11.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game before a season-ending ACL tear in Week 9 versus the Jets. Did you know he had 24.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in that game and four other games with 10.0+ points in just eight games as an undrafted rookie free agent? He’s projected as the #66 WR in 2020 so he’s a fifth or sixth WR on your Dynasty Owner team, but one who could produce if needed for a couple of weeks based on what he did in half a season in 2019. All that production for just $583,333. Don’t wait too long to draft him or he’ll be gone.
  5. Russell Gage (ATL – $654,049 thru 2021): After the Falcons traded Mohamed Sanu to the Patriots, Gage became a bigger part of the Falcons offense. He averaged 10.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game in the last nine games of the season, flashing his potential for 2020. The Falcons appear to be happy with their WRs as they didn’t draft any, so Gage should be locked in as the #3 WR in Atlanta behind Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. The Falcons did pick up Hayden Hurst to replace Austin Hooper at TE, but there should be plenty of receptions to go around with the passing offense ranked first in completions and third in yards in 2019.
  6. Steven Sims Jr. (WAS – $590,000 thru 2021): If you’ve read any of my off-season articles such as (https://dynastyowner.com/2020/02/available-players-2020/), then you know that I’m a big fan of Steven Sims Jr. It started when I saw him take a reverse 65 yards for a TD against the stout New England defense in Week 5 (a 33-7 New England victory in Washington that I attended. The Patriots defense held the Redskins to 223 yards of total offense). He also averaged 20.8 in the final three games of the 2019 season. Sims would be higher on this list if the Redskins hadn’t drafted both Antonio Gibson and Antonio Gandy-Golden in the 2020 NFL draft to compete with him for targets. Dirt cheap at just $590,000 for two more years.
  7. Hunter Renfrow (LV – $708,987 thru 2022): Another guy who emerged at the end of the 2019 season and would be ranked higher except for the fact that the Raiders took three WRs in the first three rounds of the NFL draft. He had 45.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in Weeks 16 and 17 combined, but also had three other games with 10.0 or more points. Projected as the #45 WR in Dynasty Owner 2020 even after the Raiders drafted Henry Ruggs, Lynn Bowden and Bryan Edwards and will cost you less than each one of them, so he still has some value for Dynasty Owners.
  8. Tre’Quan Smith (NO – $855,131 thru 2021): The Saints passing offense had the second most completions and seventh most yards in 2019 despite having QB Drew Brees miss five complete games and most of a sixth game. Smith didn’t have great overall stats in 2019, but produced five receiving TDs (all from Brees) and almost all of his 74.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points with Brees at QB, so it appears that he has his QB’s trust. He’s listed as a starting WR on the current Saints depth chart along with Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. If Smith can step up and be a reliable #3 WR for the high-powered Saints passing offense, his Dynasty Owners will gladly pay $855,131 for his services in 2020 and 2021.
  9. Scott Miller (TB – $661,960 thru 2022): Miller is one of the three leading candidates for the third receiver spot in Tampa Bay, along with Justin Watson and rookie fifth round draft pick Tyler Johnson. Miller had two double digit Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 2019 and could have had two more but he wasn’t able to play in the final two games of the season. Both Tampa Bay starting WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin were out for the final two games as well, so big performances from Miller were possible in those games if he hadn’t gotten injured.
  10. Justin Watson (TB – $690,435 thru 2021): Watson is really the 9B to Miller’s 9A as Dynasty Owners who are bullish on the Tampa Bay passing game in 2020 with the G.O.A.T. under center might want to own both of these candidates for the #3 WR position in Tampa. Watson had two games with 15.0+ Dynasty Owner fantasy points at the end of the season when Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Scott Miller were all out with injuries. However, he loses out to Miller for the 9 spot here simply because he has one less year on his contract and is almost $30,000 more in salary. That’s not a lot, but every dollar matters in Dynasty Owner.
  11. Olabisi Johnson (MIN – $648,572 thru 2022): No Stefon Diggs in Minnesota means the Vikings passing offense needs to replace a player who had 63 receptions, 1,130 receiving yards and 6 receiving TDs in 2019. They did pick up Tajae Sharpe in free agency and drafted Justin Jefferson in the first round of the 2020 draft and K.J. Osborn in the fifth round (it’s all about the U), so there’s plenty of competition for Johnson to replace Diggs. Johnson isn’t a dart throw, but for under $650,000 a year, he might be worth adding to your Dynasty Owner draft queue as a late round selection.
  12. Jakobi Meyers (NE – $588,333 thru 2021): There’s not a lot of depth at WR in New England after Julian Edelman and N’Keal Harry, so Meyers could be in for a big role in 2020. He scored Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 11 of 16 regular season games in 2019. In addition, Meyers had a great connection with new Patriots QB Jarrett Stidham during the 2019 pre-season with 16 receptions for 216 receiving yards and a touchdown. Hopes are high in New England that this carries over into the 2020 regular season.

If this were college football or college basketball rankings, we’d have a section called “Others Receiving Votes”. Here are a few additional names to round out a Top 20 of WRs, who just missed out on making it into our Top 12:

13. Miles Boykin (BAL – $893,732 thru 2022)

14. DeSean Hamilton (DEN – $785,660 thru 2021)

15. Kelvin Harmon (WAS – $661,960 thru 2022)

16. Keke Coutee (HOU – $797,257 thru 2021)

17. KeeSean Johnson (ARI – $682,328 thru 2022)

18. Javon Wims (CHI – $638,978 thru 2021)

19. Damion Ratley (CLE – $663,467 thru 2021)

20. John Ursua (SEA – $650,668 thru 2022)

Conclusions

There are plenty of lower paid, productive WRs with multiple seasons left on their rookie contract, more than QBs and RBs. With 12 team leagues and 30-man rosters, all of these players should find their way into a Dynasty Owner roster this season. Every Dynasty Owner will have to mix in some of these players to be able to afford higher priced talent. The key is getting value out of these non-millionaire players, not just filling out roster space with minimum salary players who aren’t playing and are just occupying space on your Practice Squad.

In a “regular” dynasty league, these young players are important to own, but their importance is amplified in Dynasty Owner because of the $110 million salary cap. You can’t just have Russell Wilson ($35 million), Ezekiel Elliott ($15 million), Julio Jones ($22 million) and Travis Kelce ($9.4 million) on your Dynasty Owner roster and win unless you find some value players to fill out your starting lineup and Bench.

There was plenty of activity in the Dynasty Owner universe last week. If you didn’t watch it already, everyone should check out the YouTube Livestream mock draft from Friday morning (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6m6ELEZQcQE). There are mock drafts going on constantly with some beta users setting up specific times to join and help calculate ADP for the 2020 drafts. We also two new articles recently from Milos Ljubic (@LjubicMilos on Twitter) and one from Chris Wolf (@ckwolf21 on Twitter) on Friday. 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

Assessing Undervalued Players for the 2020 Season

Author: Chris Wolf

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Rookies

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

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

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

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

The Veterans

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

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

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

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

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

The Takeaway

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

Chris Wolf is a freelance writer for Dynasty Owner

Follow us on Twitter: @CKWolf21 and @Dynasty_Owner

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

Author: Steven Van Tassell

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

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

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

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

Stock Down for These Players

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stock Up for These Players

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusions

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

There is lots of activity coming up in the Dynasty Owner universe as Tim outlined recently. The NFL schedule is also due to be released by the end of the week. There are Dynasty Owner podcasts to view if you haven’t seen them yet. We also have Slack message board debates and commentary on breaking NFL news, a couple of articles by Chris Wolf (follow him on Twitter – @ckwolf21) and one from our newest writer, Milos Ljubic. All of this great content is available to help you win your Dynasty Owner league and maybe become the winner of the 2020 Chase for the Ring!

Steven Van Tassell is a freelance writer for Dynasty Owner.

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

The Aftermath of the First Virtual NFL Draft

Author: Chris Wolf

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chris Wolf is a freelance writer for Dynasty Owner.

Follow us on Twitter: @Dynasty_Owner

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.

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

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