Buy, Sell, and Hold – AFC North Edition

By: Jay Pounds (@JayPoundsNFL)

The NFL Hall of Fame Game is less than one month away and at last we will have football again. As we start inching closer towards the actual NFL season, I wanted to switch things up a bit and do something geared towards covering all the Dynasty Owner relevant players from a rebuilding standpoint. Each week, I will break down the players of each division down into three separate categories that you hear quite often in the fantasy community, which is buy, sell, and hold. I will also give you a brief explanation on why each player is in the category you will find them in. I did intentionally leave some players off of the list because they are just too far away from helping your roster at this point, so I see them as basically wasting one of your precious roster spots. When buying, selling, or holding players in a rebuild you want to look for certain things such as age, production, contract, contract length, and the overall situation the player is in.

Before we get too far into things let’s talk about what each category is, so you have a better understanding of things. The players in the buy category are almost always going to be young, on a good contract, or rookies. You will also need to factor in things like draft capital, path to playing time, and talent when buying as well. You will want to hold numerous players during your rebuild and usually that is because many players in the league are waiting their turn, or may be in a bad situation, thus hurting their trade value. When is it time to sell in Dynasty Owner? It is a question that I will never have an exact answer to but the way I maneuver around it is to trade them a year or two early if I am just entering a rebuilding situation. It gets to be trickier if the rebuild is not lightning fast. I am sure most of you already know this, but every single rebuild is going to be different, which is why I want to give Dynasty Owners a much broader look into what you should be doing with your players moving forward. I am going to cut the intros for this series of articles short because they may get a little lengthy and I never want to bore any of our great Dynasty Owners. All players listed are in no particular order.

Buy

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Chase Claypool – 3 years, $1,654,156

Mr. Chase Claypool exploded on the scene in 2020 as a rookie and I look for that to continue into 2021. He came into the league as a raw prospect, and I’ve heard that’s because of the lack of football camps in Canada. If this has any truth Claypool may have an unlimited ceiling in the NFL. The concerns for the offense Claypool plays in are big time to most owners, lowering his cost some. The Steelers offensive line is a huge question mark, not to mention the aging quarterback situation.

  • Diontae Johnson – 2 years, $1,070,241

The target monster Dionte Johnson is another buy in the Pittsburgh offense. In 2020, Johnson soaked up 88 receptions for just 924 yards. During his time in the league Johnson has improved each year and I expect more of the same in 2021. Like Chase Claypool, Johnson has similar concerns on the offense he plays with in Pittsburgh, but talent wins out here. If you’re a rebuilding owner and trust the Steelers’ organization, Johnson is a must buy.

  • Najee Harris – 4 years, $3,261,862

I know, I know, I always say if you’re going into a rebuild don’t buy running backs, but I am biased on this one with him being a Steeler. Hey at least I can admit it! In the NFL, running backs are most valuable coming into the league, especially as 1st round pick. The Steelers want to get back to Steeler football and Harris is the perfect guy for the job.

  • Pat Freiermuth – 4 years, $1,507,045

If Kyle Pitts wasn’t a rookie in the NFL draft the same time as Pat Freiermuth, Freiermuth may have went in the late 1st round of fantasy rookie drafts, but the Pitts hype killed any type of Freiermuth hope. Freiermuth is an extremely solid tight end who has the tools to excel in the passing game. I see Freiermuth as a Heath Miller type tight end in the NFL.

Cleveland Browns

  • Donavon Peoples-Jones – 3 years, $870,402

In my opinion, Donavon Peoples-Jones is the prototypical buy candidate for rebuilding owners. What I mean by this is that he flashed big time potential during his rookie season yet instead of his team giving him a larger role and letting Higgins walk, they buried Peoples-Jones. The Browns brought back Hollywood Higgins, as well as drafted the guy we will talk about next.

  • Anthony Schwartz – 4 years, $1,215,755

The Browns selected Schwartz with the 91st pick in the 3rd round of the NFL draft. Schwartz was a 3rd round pick in Dynasty Owner rookie drafts (ADP 30.9) and will likely be very cheap to acquire if you are looking to add him to your roster. I know track speed gets thrown around in the NFL a lot, but Schwartz is a guy with just that.

  • Harrison Bryant – 3 years, $1,016,007

At this point you should be able to get Harrison Bryant for next to nothing. The Browns for some reason have yet to deal David Njoku and it will likely affect any shot that Bryant had at a somewhat relevant fantasy season. If I read it correctly, the Browns have several outs in Hooper’s contract meaning Bryant could be the team’s TE1 after this season.

Baltimore Ravens

  • Rashod Bateman – 4 years, $3,149,853

Another rookie on the buy list is late 1st round NFL draft pick Rashod Bateman. Bateman landed where everyone expected him to go in the pre-draft process, yet he was a fade after the draft. If I am a rebuilding owner and a player with 1stt round draft capital is seeing hate in the community, I am going to be all over him 9 times out of 10. If Lamar Jackson takes a step forward in the passing game, Bateman will be a steal.

  • J.K. Dobbins – 3 years, $1,432,359

I put J.K. Dobbins on the buy list because Baltimore used him lightly last season and are not likely to overwork him in 2021 either. The Gus Edwards re-signing was very frustrating for many Dobbins owners but at the end of the day, this move could give his career extra longevity. After all, Dobbins is on one of the best rushing offenses in football.

  • Mark Andrews – 1 year, $863,290

I talked about Mark Andrews as a buy for contenders last week and he is one of the rare players I would encourage rebuilding owners to buy as well. Andrews is going to get a new contract next season but as a rebuilding owner you should have plenty of space because you have cap flexibility. As we saw in 2020, the tight end position was a wasteland, so secure a top level one when you can. Andrews is still young and playing on a rookie deal, so he should still have plenty of production left when it’s time for you to compete.

  • Trace McSorley – 2 years, $670,172

Trace McSorley as a buy may be the strangest thing you hear all off-season but hear me out. Lamar Jackson is a rushing quarterback who sees a ton of contact week in and week out, yet he’s stayed very healthy. At some point the injury bug will hit Jackson for an extended stretch and a rebuilding owner with McSorley may as well be holding a gold mine at that point.

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Ja’Marr Chase – 4 years, $7,547,410

Ja’Marr Chase, like Kyle Pitts is another generational talent coming into the NFL, only he’s an actual wide receiver while Pitts is disguised as one. Chase and Joe Burrow will reunite on the football field once again and all they did the last time they played together was shatter every record known to college football. As the Dynasty Nerds always say, “An overpay today will be a underpay tomorrow”.

  • Tee Higgins – 3 years, $2,171,696

In 2020, Tee Higgins had an excellent rookie season with 67 catches, 908 yards, and 6 touchdowns, despite Joe Burrow missing significant time. Although Higgins excelled last season you should be able to get him cheaper than you think with the Bengals drafting Chase this off-season.

  • Chris Evans – 4 years, $913,222

Over the past what seems like 40 years we have seen Giovani Bernard be a productive role player in the Bengals’ backfield. Fast-forward and Bernard is no longer with the organization many thought he would retire from, leaving his spot wide open for whoever wants it the most. The Bengals have come out and said they want Joe Mixon on the field 80% of the time but I just don’t see that happening. The Bengals do have Samaje Perine, but I think talent wins out easily here. Buy Evans before he has a great camp and preseason.

  • Joe Burrow – 3 years, $9,047,534

I will probably say this a million more times, productive rookie quarterbacks are gold in Dynasty Owner. Joe Burrow was having a solid statistical season in 2020 before he went down with a season ending knee injury, which will help lower his value in a trade. If you are going to target Burrow, I highly recommend doing it before he’s back balling out.

Hold

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • James Washington – 1 year, $1,125,336

In his time in the NFL, James Washington has flashed potential of being a low level WR2, but the Steelers rarely miss on the receivers they draft, and it has left Washington on the outside looking in. With only one year remaining on his deal, he is definitely worth holding onto to see how things play out as he will net next to nothing in a trade.

  • Kalen Ballage – 1 year, $920,000

In my own opinion, Kalen Ballage is an absolute sell to the owner with Najee Harris. You may be wondering why he’s not in the sell category if that’s how I view him. While that is fair criticism, I have personally tried to trade Ballage twice and both owners view Snell as the backup to Harris over Ballage. I have seen rumors that Snell Is a cut candidate leaving Ballage as the clear next man up. If you have Ballage sit on him and trade him when his role is more clear.

  • Mason Rudolph – 1 year, $980,472

I completely agree with what Steve Van Tassell said in his article about how Mason Rudolph is worth holding onto in 2021 (https://dynastyowner.com/2021/07/dynasty-owner-qb-tiers/). Rudolph is in an offense he should know inside and out by now and he may even be the better choice at quarterback on the roster by the end of 2021. Big Ben declined immensely at the end of last season, if it happens again and Rudolph can hold off Haskins, he will have solid trade value.

  • Dwayne Haskins – 1 year, $850,000

As we are doing with Mason Rudolph, we’re doing the same with Dwayne Haskins. Haskins is a former first round pick out of Ohio State and has loads of talent that has yet to translate in the NFL. If Haskins learns how to be a real professional in Pittsburgh, he could finally show everyone why the Football Team drafted him with the 15th overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft.

Cleveland Browns

  • Rashard Higgins – 1 year, $2,377,500

I’m not too sure anyone had a more disappointing off season than the two fringe starting receivers in Cleveland. Rashard Higgins, like Donovan Peoples-Jones seemingly got shafted this offseason when the Browns brought him back yet drafted another receiver (Anthony Schwartz) in the 3rd round of the NFL draft. The way the offense looked after OBJ went down, I thought it was a possibility Cleveland would trade him opening up roles for both Higgins and Peoples-Jones. At this point hold Higgins and hope he goes elsewhere next year.

  • David Njoku – 1 year, $6,013,000

The David Njoku experiment is here for another possible year in Cleveland. It seems Njoku has been wanting out of Cleveland since being drafted and I can’t say I disagree with it; with the way he has been used and the number of changes he’s dealt with in the coaching staff and front office. He’s also watched the team that drafted him in the 1st round sign another player at his position to a record setting deal at the time in Austin Hooper. Njoku is worth a hold at least until we see him fail with another franchise.

  • Odell Beckham Jr. – 3 years, $18,000,000

Odell Beckham Jr. is still a phenomenal NFL talent but in my opinion, he is not a phenomenal Dynasty Owner talent. If you are a rebuilding owner and you can find someone to take on OBJ’s contract for anything of value in return I probably would. While it is possible OBJ returns to form and raises his value, so I will say if you still have him at this point then hold him for the rest of the season. If he ends up having another frustrating season you can use an Amnesty Provision on him at any point.

  • Austin Hooper – 3 years, $10,500,000

Austin Hooper underwhelmed significantly in 2020, only producing 46 catches, 435 yards, and 4 touchdowns. That’s certainly not what the Browns were expecting when they signed him. While you may be able to get a little something out of Hooper now, I would prefer going the patient route, waiting to see how he performs. If Hooper starts to perform, I will ship him out to a contender in a heartbeat.

Baltimore Ravens

  • Marquise Brown – 2 years, $2,946,835

Oh, how quickly things change in the NFL. Going into 2020 Marquise “Hollywood” Brown was one of the hotter names to breakout for the year, I don’t think I need to remind you he underwhelmed quite a bit. In 2020 Brown had only 58 catches, 769 yards, but was able to turn it into 8 touchdowns. Brown is in a run heavy offense that just loaded up with pass catchers this off-season and is worth nothing more than a hold at this point. Brown does have the talent and skills to succeed at this level, it just may not happen in Baltimore like originally planned.

  • Justice Hill – 2 years, $815,414

At some point we will either stop hearing the name Justice Hill or he will blow up into something somewhat useful for Dynasty Owners. I know some may see this as an interesting call holding Hill but with the way the Ravens run their offense, we could see Hill on the field this season. It’s no secret the Ravens will be using both Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins often this season, which means if one suffers an injury at some point, Hill will be the next man up. I don’t think Hill will see the amount of carries Edwards or Dobbins would, but we will at least see what he is made of at that point.

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Auden Tate – 1 year, $570,000

Up next we have the Bengals 2020 training camp M.V.P. Auden Tate. Tate had a good amount of hype heading into last season and did absolutely nothing with it. After all the hype surrounding Tate possibly getting in the way of Tee Higgins getting on the field, he had a worse season than fellow teammate Mike Thomas, and I’m not talking about the Saints player. I would hold Tate at this point but wouldn’t blame you at all for dropping him with someone who has more upside.

  • Drew Sample – 2 years, $1,376,574

I remember last season when C.J. Uzomah went down and when he did I for some reason fell in love with Sample picking him up everywhere I could. A year later and I still like Sample as a prospect but don’t have any shares of him now. It seemed Burrow did not target the tight end position much last season and I’m unsure if it’s something that will continue to happen into the future. In 2020, Sample had decent numbers during his first real playing time with 40 catches, 349 yards, and he was able to add a touchdown.

  • Brandon Allen – 1 year, $1,500,000

Brandon Allen is another quarterback Steve Van Tassell raised great points about in his most recent article about QB tiers. Joe Burrow was injured later in the season in 2020 and while he should be back for Week 1, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Bengals were to play it safe and give him an extra couple of weeks. If that happens and you already have Allen on your roster, you will earn a free draft pick from a quarterback needy team.

  • Samaje Perine – 2 years, $1,650,000

As you read earlier in the article, I have Chris Evans as a buy, which can only mean Perine is a hold or sell. I don’t have Perine listed as a sell at the moment because Chris Evans is a rookie. If we have learned anything in the NFL, it’s that late round picks are very risky. Heck all picks are risky. If the other RBs flame out in Cincinnati, you will have some value in Perine to use for a trade. We have also seen that Mixon has some availability concerns which raises the value of whoever his backup is at the start of the year.

Sell

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • JuJu Smith-Schuster – 1 year, $8,000,00

I mentioned JuJu Smith-Schuster in last week’s article as a player a contending team should buy for cheap. We have come full circle to you the fresh rebuilding owner now selling JuJu for cheap (Ish). Do not sell yourself short, JuJu is still a good talent. I heard reports that JuJu turned down a deal with the Chiefs and Ravens to resign with the Steelers for one year and “reset the market in 2022”. JuJu’s words not mine. Whichever way you spin it, Devin Bush hates this guy!

  • Eric Ebron – 1 year, $6,000,000

By measures of the 2020 tight end landscape, Eric Ebron had a pretty good season with 56 catches for 558 yards, and 5 touchdowns. It could be argued that Ebron could be viewed as a hold at just 28 years old but as hyped as he has been in years past, I think it is safe to say we know what Eric Ebron is by now. If you can find a contending owner who will give you draft capital or promising young talent for a boost at tight end, I would take it.

  • Ben Roethlisberger – 1 year, $14,000,000

As dead as everyone thinks Ben Roethlisberger is, he can fetch draft picks in a trade because of his salary. Big Ben did fade at the end of last season, but has had all off-season to recover and should finally have some type of run game again. If you can find a contending owner in need of a second QB for this year’s championship run, I highly suggest getting a deal done. One year of Big Ben or ten potential years of a player yet to be named.

  • Benny Snell – 2 years, $805,517

As I mentioned earlier Benny Snell has been named as a potential cut candidate. If this turns out to be true, he will lose all value barring some type of miracle signing because of injury. I also mentioned earlier that some owners still view Snell as a handcuff to Harris. If I were you, I would be sending Snell offers out to the Harris’ owner A.S.A.P.!

Cleveland Browns

  • Jarvis Landry – 2 years, $15,100,000

Jarvis Landry like Odell Beckham Jr. Is still a great talent in the NFL. The only difference between the two is that Landry had a solid season in 2020. Some may look at him being under 1,000 yards and not want him but if Baker takes a step forward, Landry will see a boost enabling you to move him at that point. Landry has been one of the most consistent receivers in football for many years. Use that to your advantage in trade talks.

  • Nick Chubb – 1 year, $1,845,774

I know it’s crazy to have Nick Chubb in the sell category. I will admit I feel gross every time I tell you guys to sell players like Chubb, Dalvin Cook, or Derrick Henry, but it really is the smart move going into a rebuild. Chubb is Beast Mode 2.0 and a great running back, but he is heading towards his second contract. As vital as Chubb is to the Browns, they will surely pay him so trade Chubb soon before owners start worrying about his next contract. Besides, what contending owner wouldn’t want to pay up for a season of Nick Chubb?

  • Kareem Hunt – 2 years, $6,000,000

I will keep this one short and sweet because everything I talked about with Nick Chubb applies to Kareem Hunt, aside from the Beast Mode 2.0 part. The one thing I will say is if for some reason the Browns don’t bring Chubb back, you will get a full season of Hunt starting in a great rushing offense for $6,000,000.

  • Baker Mayfield – 1 year, $8,170,745

I know this one will upset some of the Baker Mayfield truthers out there, but it needs to be said. I have Baker on the sell list because he is due to get a new contract this coming off season and I just don’t see him being able to carry a franchise the way someone making $30,000,000 plus a year should. At the moment Mayfield has a top tier offensive line, a stout defense, stud receivers, and a top 3 running game week in and week out and has yet to post eye popping numbers in a season, though he was efficient last year. I’m not saying Baker is Joe Flacco but look how much Flacco’s deal hurt the Ravens at the time. If he’s going to live up to a big contract extension then 3,500 yards just won’t cut it.

Baltimore Ravens

  • Sammy Watkins – 1 year, $5,000,000

I think Sammy Watkins has been a sell for rebuilding owners for the last four years now. I’m not sure what you’ll be able to get for Watkins in a trade, but I know something is better than nothing. At $5,000,000, I wouldn’t blame you for holding Watkins but at this stage of his career I’m taking anything I can get for him.

  • Gus Edwards – 1 year, $3,384,000

In one of the more surprising moves this offseason the Baltimore Ravens brought Gus Edwards back despite the presence of one J.K. Dobbins. As rough as the running back position looks right now, I would think you will get good value in return for Edwards. If the Ravens run the ball less with Lamar Jackson, Dobbins and Edwards could see a boost in work.

  • Lamar Jackson – 1 year, $2,367,912

Again, it feels gross to say sell Lamar Jackson, but he is about to get a massive new contract next season. Unless you have planned for Jackson’s new deal in the $40,000,000 range, you should trade him while you still can get maximum value for him. I can see scenarios where you can hold Lamar and get away with it but be careful, it’s a dangerous game.

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Tyler Boyd – 3 years, $10,750,000

While Tyler Boyd can be argued to be a hold, I would suggest moving him now. If you can find an owner high on Boyd, or an owner who thinks the Bengals will throw the ball 700 times, which is highly possible, then move Boyd to them. At Boyd’s salary and length, I’m just looking to move him before Chase blows up.

  • Joe Mixon – 4 years, $12,000,000

Yes, saying trade Joe Mixon feels gross but nowhere near Nick Chubb gross. Mixon has seen plenty of hype over the years and has had two very good seasons during his career, but he is on his second deal, and he is expensive. You can hold Mixon as well but as thin as running back is I would trade him now to avoid him potentially winning a week for you.

Conclusion

There you have it Dynasty Owners. Every fantasy relevant player in the AFC North, along with what to do with them on your roster. If there is a specific division, you would like to see me cover next week feel free to let me know on Twitter. Please remember to check out the YouTube video as well. As always don’t forget to check out Matt’s articles and videos which release on Mondays and Steve’s articles and videos which release on Wednesdays.  As always good luck on your 2021 Chase for the Ring!

Week 14 Preview – Tough Decisions

By Steven Van Tassell (@SteveVT33)

Start and Bench decisions are always tough to make in fantasy football. You really have no control over what’s going to happen on Sunday (or Thursday, Monday and even Tuesday or Wednesday this year) and the uncertainty about who’s going to play and how much just makes it worse. It’s like NFL coaches don’t understand how important their decisions are to millions of us fantasy football players.

Last year, there was a big outcry in the fantasy community when the Cardinals had David Johnson activated for a Week 7 game versus the Giants but played only three snaps while his backup at the time (Chase Edmonds) ended up with 37.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. It happened again in Week 13 this year with Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Both times, the team’s coach said the active player was available, but only in “an emergency”.  Unfortunately, those announcements were made after the game was played and fantasy managers made the tough and ultimately incorrect decision to start Johnson (or Edwards-Helaire) instead of Edmonds or someone else who could help them win.

Start or Bench decisions are even tougher when you’re in the playoffs or trying to win that extra first round draft pick in the Loser’s Bracket tournament. A loss in Week 7 when David Johnson is a Starter for your Dynasty Owner team but barely plays hurts, but can be overcome. A loss in the first round of the playoffs or draft pick tournament is permanent, you’re out!

This week’s decisions have more weight and also seemed more difficult to make. There are players out with COVID who might be cleared in time to play on Sunday, lots of guys are “limited” in practice on Thursday, but end up playing on Sunday while others don’t. There was a Thursday night game that might have caused you to decide earlier than you would have like to do it. The decision between two similar players is already tough enough, but the added layer of being in a must-win situation just amplifies everything.

Everyone has tough decisions if they have a game this week or are in the Chase for the Ring standings and need to keep scoring points. And we have a Match-up of the Week featuring someone who has publicly agonized with the tough decisions about who to pick up and start for his team at the end of the season. Now, he ended up making the playoffs, so the tough decisions continue. We’ll look at his playoff game, check out the overall projected score and then the Starters and Bench for both teams to see how their current lineups are projected to produce.

All stats are based on the Standard Dynasty Owner scoring system as outlined in the updated Dynasty Owner Constitution. Standard Dynasty Owner scoring gives you .1 points for every yard rushing or receiving, .1 point for every 2 yards passing, 1 point per reception, 6 points for a rushing, receiving or passing touchdown and 2 points for a successful 2-point conversion (rushing, receiving, or passing). Interceptions or fumbles lost cost you 3 points, while a fumble that is recovered by the player’s team is a loss of only 1 point. Bonus points are available for 100-199 yards rushing (2 points), 200 yards rushing or receiving (6 points), 300-399 yards passing (1 point) and 400 yards passing (4 points). There is also a 3 point bonus for clutch scoring, which is a score that results in a lead change in the final two minutes of the 4th quarter or overtime. Kickoff and punt return touchdowns are worth 6 points for the player and kickoff and punt returns are worth 1 point for every 40 yards.

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

For the purposes of this article, ADP and Dynasty Owner ownership statistics were current as of December 11th.

These Guys Should be Starters This Week

First, let’s take a look at how my Week 13 Starter recommendations fared (Good, Bad or Just Ok):

  • QB: Mitchell Trubisky – 16.9 (Bad recommendation)
  • RB: J.K. Dobbins – 13.1 (Just Ok recommendation)
  • WR: Sterling Shepard – 5.2 (Bad recommendation)
  • TE: Mike Gesicki – 23.8 (Good recommendation)

A slightly below average Week 13 with only one Good recommendation and one Just Ok plus two Bad recommendations. Both Trubisky and Shepard were well outside of the top players for Week 13. In the middle was J.K. Dobbins who finished just outside of the Top 20 RBs with his 13.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy point week. The choice of Mike Gesicki at TE was the first Good TE recommendation since back in Week 4. Even though we had more Bad than Good recommendations during the regular season, we still get to make more tough decisions about who should be in your Starting lineup in Week 14:

Taysom Hill (QB – NO):  So far, Taysom Hill has been pretty good as the starting QB for the New Orleans Saints, scoring just under 23.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game in his three starts. His passing hasn’t been off the charts with just 543 passing yards as a starter (181 per game). However, much to the annoyance of Alvin Kamara’s Dynasty Owner, he’s made up for it by averaging 59.3 rushing yards per game and scoring 4 rushing TDs. In Week 14, the Saints get to play the Eagles, who have given up 17 rushing TDs this year (third most in the NFL) and a rushing TD in nine games. It’s highly likely that the Saints have a rushing TD this week and that the ball stays in Hill’s hands for that TD. Lamar Jackson had his best rushing game of the year back in Week 6 against the Eagles with 9 rushes for 108 yards and a rushing TD. Hill could duplicate the 34.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points that Jackson scored that week, making him someone you want in your Starting lineup.

Myles Gaskin (RB – MIA): Cam Akers would have been perfect in this spot as he was the #57 ranked RB in Dynasty Owner before last night’s Rams-Patriots game, but slated to be the lead RB. Akers didn’t disappoint the Dynasty Owners who started him as he got them 23.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. The next best choice is tough, but the nod goes to Myles Gaskin. With the return of Tua Tagovailoa, the return of Gaskin to the Miami lineup may have been overshadowed a little, but his return was important for the Dolphins who have been hit with the injury bug at RB. Gaskin came in last week and returned to form with 13.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points – right on his season long average of 13.8 points per game. Since he’s missed four games, he’s only the overall #33 RB in Dynasty Owner and since his Dynasty Owners didn’t draft him (ADP 258.8) with the intent of starting him in the playoffs, he fits here. He seems like a good play for your Starting lineup in the playoffs because he’s been very consistent – no real highs (season high of 20.1), but no lows either (season low of 9.2). If you forgot to get him in your Starting lineup last week, there’s plenty of time to make the decision to get him in it this week.

Michael Gallup (WR – DAL): Out of the five Dallas Cowboys’ starting skill position players (RB Ezekiel Elliott, WR Amari Cooper, WR CeeDee Lamb, WR Michael Gallup and TE Dalton Schultz), Gallup is the only one not to have experienced a drop in production after the injury to starting QB Dak Prescott. Gallup has averaged 7.3 targets per game without Dak after averaging 5.6 targets per game with him. He averaged 11.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in the five games that Dak started, but has gone up slightly to 12.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in the seven games without him. Last week against the Ravens, Andy Dalton targeted him 11 times (more than either Amari Cooper or CeeDee Lamb) and he scored 21.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. As the #44 WR in Dynasty Owner on the season, Gallup is just outside of being a Starter in your Dynasty Owner lineup, but put him in there this week against Cincinnati.

Noah Fant (TE – DEN): After the first two weeks of the season, the idea of Fant not being in the Top 12 TEs seemed ridiculous as he had 19.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in Week 1 versus Tennessee and 17.7 points in Week 2 versus Pittsburgh. Since then, he’s gone without a TD catch and now sits as the #14 TE overall. It hasn’t been all terrible as he has still averaged 7.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game since Week 3. In the 10 games he’s played this season with a real QB, he’s averaging 6.5 targets per game and now gets to face the Carolina defense that is in the bottom five in targets, receptions and receiving yards allowed to TEs. Fant is unlikely to produce a huge number of Dynasty Owner fantasy points, but should get enough to be worth having in your Starting lineup.

These Guys Should Be on the Bench (or Practice Squad) This Week

Next up is reviewing the Week 13 Bench or Practice Squad recommendations to see how those did.

  • QB: Josh Allen – 40.8 (Bad recommendation)
  • RB: Kenyan Drake – 13.8 (Just Ok recommendation)
  • WR: Terry McLaurin – 3.4 (Good recommendation)
  • TE: Hunter Henry – 1.5 (Good recommendation)

Two weeks in a row with two Good recommendations. That’s better than most of the season and better than the Starting lineup recommendations. My Bench recommendations have been the best for WRs and TEs and these are the positions that were spot on this week. Terry McLaurin and Hunter Henry had less than 5.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points combined. Kenyan Drake was trending towards a Good recommendation, but had a 4-yard TD run in the fourth quarter to give him double-digit points and a Just Ok mark. Finally, the choice for QB was terrible for the fourth week in a row. Time to make our first set of playoff Starting lineup recommendations and hope that we keep on track with the WRs and TEs and finally give a good Bench recommendation at QB in Week 14:

Kyler Murray (QB – ARI):  Murray injured his shoulder against Seattle back in Week 11 and has only scored an average of 18.9 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in that game and the two games since the injury. More distressing for his Dynasty Owners is that he’s only had 15 rushing attempts for 61 rushing yards (4.1 yards per carry) in those three games after starting the season averaging 6.9 yards per carry (87 rushing attempts for 604 rushing yards). The Giants defense has only allowed opposing QBs to run for a total of 107 yards all season. Admittedly, outside of Russell Wilson, they haven’t faced any really good running QBs, but Murray hasn’t run much since his injury. The teams are heading in opposite directions with the Giants on a four game winning streak and the Cardinals having lost three in a row. Each of the Giants’ opponents during their winning streak have scored 20 points or less per game. An injured Murray against a defense playing well seems like a bad combination so keep Murray on your Bench this week.

Giovani Bernard (RB – DAL): Bernard and the Bengals face off against the Dallas Cowboys defense that has allowed the second most rushing yards to RBs and had a 100 yard rusher against them in each of the past three weeks. However, Bernard isn’t a traditional between the tackles RB because he gets two-thirds of his fantasy points in the passing game. In that aspect of the game, Dallas is the best, allowing the fewest receptions and receiving yards by RBs (42 receptions for only 240 receiving yards). To top it off, Bernard has faded since the Bengals bye week, scoring just an average of 7.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game after having 24.2 and 22.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in the first two games replacing Joe Mixon as the lead RB for the Bengals. He’s just the #28 ranked RB in Dynasty Owner, but would slot as a RB2 or FLEX after factoring in injures. Don’t do it. Leave Bernard on your Bench this week.

JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR – PIT): There are a lot of pass catchers in the Pittsburgh offense. You’ve got JuJu, Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, Eric Ebron and even James Washington showed up last week with 2 receptions for 80 yards and a receiving TD. Smith-Schuster, Claypool and Johnson are all similarly ranked in Dynasty Owner at #22, #23 and #25 among WRs. However, Smith-Schuster is the one has been relying on volume more than the others recently as he’s scored 32.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in the past three weeks, but needed 19 receptions to do it. His longest reception on the season is just 31 yards and he’s only averaging 8.2 yards per reception for the season and 4.4 yards per reception over the past three weeks. If the volume stops, then so does Smith-Schuster’s fantasy value. That’s concerning so Bench him this week.

Robert Tonyan (TE – GB): Tonyan is in his second stretch of three consecutive games with a TD reception this season and has moved up to be the #4 TE in Dynasty Owner on the season. Back in Week 2, Detroit held Tonyan to 2 receptions for 25 yards, but did allow him to score his first TD of the season. What Detroit didn’t do was stop Aaron Jones and the Green Bay running game as the Packers ran for 259 yards in total with Jones getting 168 yards all by himself. If that happens again and Aaron Rodgers only throws the ball 30 times like he did in Week 2, there won’t be a lot of passes for Tonyan to catch since it seems like every Rodgers’ pass attempt goes to Davante Adams. That doesn’t leave a lot of chances for Tonyan. In fact, he’s only been targeted 36 times in the 9 games he’s played with Adams (4 targets per game). That’s not a lot of opportunities to produce for Tonyan, so be wary about putting him in your Starting lineup and consider having him on your Bench.

Dynasty Owner Matchup of the Week –

Girthquake vs. CLE Piggy Pauls

It’s the Dynasty Owner playoffs and time to start looking at some must-win games for everyone involved. The first playoff Dynasty Owner Matchup of the Week features a team that everyone who listens to the Tuesday podcast should be familiar with, it’s our podcast host and the Voice of Dynasty Owner Seth Kerechanin, Ph.D. and his team CLE Piggy Pauls facing off for the second week in a row against Girthquake. Seth’s road to the playoffs has been rocky, but he made it and his reward is a rematch with the team he defeated just last week by a score of 134.9 to 119.8. The CLE Piggy Pauls are the #4 seed, but were actually outscored over the course of the Dynasty Owner regular season to the tune of nearly 200 points by Girthquake.

Based on the exclusive Dynasty Owner scoring projections for each team’s current lineup, it’s bad news for Girthquake as he’s projected to lose by a score of 120.3-119.7. Let’s check out each team’s Starters and see who’s in there now and if there are any tough decisions that might need to be made over the weekend.

Advantage Girthquake! Girthquake has a 5 point lead from their Starting lineup over Seth’s team. Seth is rolling with his late season pickup QB Taysom Hill this week and has a solid lineup. Girthquake isn’t dominating at any single position, but still has the overall advantage.

The Bench situation is pretty similar, but Girthquake has Christian McCaffrey on his Bench right now, while Seth has Denzel Mims on his Bench. The news that McCaffrey and Mims are out this week should make both of them pull someone off their Practice Squad. That’s not a tough decision, but choosing the right player from the Practice Squad could be. Both teams need to make that decision so they don’t end up costing themselves a playoff victory by taking a zero when they could have someone in there scoring points.

I’m sure this will be a major discussion topic on the Tuesday afternoon live podcast so tune in to find out who wins and advances in the playoffs.

Conclusion

The decisions were tough this week and if you make the correct ones (or had a bye), you get another chance to make those decisions again next week. This week was exceptionally difficult, and things will likely get more difficult as the stakes get higher and higher.

We will feature another playoff Matchup next week so if you want your team to be featured, then just tweet me (@SteveVT33). You might see your Dynasty Owner playoff team highlighted as the Matchup of the Week. Because of the frozen rosters, there’s no need for the usual weekly free agent article from Jay Poundsee (@jaypoundsnfl), but Matt Morrison – The Jerk (@Dynastyjerk) put together an article on League Winners and Playoff Predictions that everyone should go check out. Follow all of us as well as Dynasty Owner (@Dynasty_Owner) on Twitter.

There will also be the weekly Tuesday Live podcast at 3 PM (Eastern) / Noon (Pacific) with Seth and Dynasty Owner CEO Tim Peffer and the weekly podcast series with myself and Tim on Wednesday at 1 PM (Eastern) / 10 AM (Pacific). Both will be streaming live on the Dynasty Owner channel on YouTube. Tune in to learn more about Dynasty Owner, see how our predictions did and help you set your weekly lineup. Subscribe to the YouTube channel and make sure to “Like” all of the videos to help promote them. Dynasty Owner has 571 subscribers on YouTube now and thank you all for watching and listening. All of this great content is available to help you win your weekly matchup, your Dynasty Owner league and maybe become the winner of the 2020 Chase for the Ring!

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