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!

Tight End Top 10 Rankings

Broncos & Raiders’ Breakdown

By Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk)

Today I will be presenting a double dose of team breakdowns.  As I mentioned in my previous article, I had skipped a team breakdown two weeks ago.  In an attempt to make up for that, I will be breaking down a tight end from both the Broncos and Raiders.  We have a lot to talk about today so I’m going to move right into the meat of the article.

Tight End Rankings

I approached the tight end position the same way I approached every other position.  I’m ranking based on Dynasty Owner value and not based on a single year’s projections.  There is little doubt in my mind that this Top 10 list will not reflect the Top 10 point scorers for tight ends at the end of the 2021 season.  Rather, this hopes to give you a good understanding on where to value certain players, especially the high-salary ones.  For example, Travis Kelce would be my number one tight end for 2021 if we were not playing dynasty or had a salary cap to worry about.  With that being said, here are my early tight end rankings…

RankPlayer2020 DO Finish2021 DO Proj FinishYears RemainingSalary
TE1Darren Waller223$7,450,000
TE2Travis Kelce115$14,312,500
TE3George Kittle1935$15,000,000
TE4Kyle PittsN/A54$8,227,623
TE5Mark Andrews641$863,290
TE6T.J. Hockenson362$4,955,306
TE7Noah Fant882$3,147,680
TE8Irv Smith Jr.22122$1,449,609
TE9Mike Gesicki7111$1,652,981
TE10Dallas Goedert2071$1,406,068

Darren Waller is my Dynasty Owner TE1.  As I stated above, I don’t project him to produce the most fantasy points this year, but long term, he is a better value than Kelce or Kittle.  It’s also interesting to note that he is cheaper to own than Kyle Pitts (my TE4).  This is a strange occurrence.  Rarely does an established player make less than a rookie.  This happened in part because Pitts was drafted as the 4th overall pick in the 2021 Draft.  (By the way, this makes him the highest drafted tight end in the history of the NFL).  The other part is the fact that Waller played in only 22 games over his first three NFL seasons.  Waller was a late bloomer and therefore, received a smaller contract than he would qualify for now.  The point is that Waller is in the “sweet spot” of contracts.  Here is what I wrote about contract “sweet spots” back in January.

“Woods is in what I would call “the second contract sweet spot.”  He is old enough to have made it past his first contract, but he was not so productive in that first contract that he demanded top tier wide receiver money.  And much like Devante Parker, he broke out late.”  This was true of Robert Woods and Devante Parker.  It is also true of Darren Waller.  Waller should be making Kittle and Kelce money (right around $15,000,000 per year), but unfortunately for him, the cycle of his contracts worked out so that a top tier contract will have to wait another three years.  (There is always a chance the Raiders sign Waller to a contract extension, but I wouldn’t expect that to happen any time soon).  Suffice to say, if I’m drafting in a DO start up draft, I’m taking Waller as my first tight end if he is available.

Travis Kelce finished 2020 as the TE1, and I expect the same result in 2021.  While I think it is possible that Kittle or Waller takes over as number one, I would put my money on Kelce.  What’s interesting about tight ends is the idea that they have a very defined tier.  The top three tight ends are in a tier above the rest.  Some may argue that Kelce is in a tier of his own.  I don’t think I agree with that (especially when it comes to Dynasty Owner), but Waller, Kelce and Kittle are clearly the top three.  I think that my TE4 has a chance to break into that top tier, but I’m unable to make that claim so early in the offseason.

George Kittle had several speed bumps in his 2020 season.  He suffered a knee injury in Week 1 which caused him to miss two games.  He then missed six games from Week 9 through Week 15 with a broken bone in his foot.  It’s tough to analyze someone’s season when they miss half of it, but I will try anyway.  Kittle finished 2020 with 15.6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game.  There were only two tight ends that produced more…I’m sure you can guess they were Waller and Kelce.  Yes, I know that fantasy points per game may still be a little skewed due to the fact that Kittle was most likely playing through injury and pain during those games.  While that is probably true, I’m sure that’s also true for the majority of NFL players.  If healthy, Kittle is a lock for Top 5 fantasy points for a tight end.  If Waller and Kelce are drafted, I would feel comfortable taking Kittle as the third tight end off the board.

Kyle Pitts ranks as my fourth tight end.  I was reluctant to put him at the four spot.  The reluctance comes not from his lack of talent, but at the fact that tight ends typically have the hardest and longest time developing compared to other position players.  As I mentioned above, Pitts is the highest drafted tight end in NFL history, and he will have a fantasy productive career, but I’m a little worried that it may be slow going in the first year.  There are two reasons I placed him at TE4.  First, the tight end landscape is shallow and mediocre (fantasy wise) after the Top 3.  A player with as much potential as Pitts almost requires me to place him in the Top 5.  Second, he will retain his rookie contract for the next four years.  While a little over 8.2 million dollar per year isn’t the cheapest tight end salary, it does look better when you think about the fact that everyone else below him in my rankings will be receiving a contract increase within the next two years.

I really wanted to rank Mark Andrews higher than I did.  I would have ranked him higher had he not come into 2021 with a single year left on his contract.  He is on, by far, the cheapest contract of any Top 10 tight end, but he will look to make at least 10 times that number next year.  I am also discouraged about the low volume he received last year.  He finished 2020 with 58 receptions while missing two games.  It’s sad to say, but I predict every other tight end on this list will have more than 58 receptions.  I would be happy to roster and/or draft Andrews, but just know he is not going to be a 100 reception player.  Chances are he won’t even reach 80 receptions.

T.J. Hockenson finished as the TE3 in DO last year.  That may be tough to believe.  I had to double check that stat for myself, but it is indeed true.  It is worth noting that TE3 (177.3) had over 100 points less than TE2 (282.6) though.  (Remember what I said about the large tier gap between tight ends.)

The second part of my team breakdown today is discussing Noah Fant.  Fant ranks at TE7 for me and a lot of it has to do with his salary.  Would I trust Fant to be my starting tight end this year?  Probably not.  Hopefully if you draft Fant, you draft him as your second tight end.  If you don’t, know that you are still getting a value of a tight end.  Saving on him early may allow you to take a chance on a more risky, expensive tight end later on.  Rob Gronkowski, Tyler Higbee and Hunter Henry all come to mind when I think of late tight ends.  None of these three will lead tight ends or jump anywhere close to the top tier, but they should provide enough production throughout 2021 so that you can piece together an above average tight end squad.  I love Fant as a value, but temper expectations.  Know that you are going to have an uphill battle if you intend on winning your league with him as your number one producer for the position.  Fant should finish as a Top 10 tight end in terms of 2021 fantasy points, but as I showed earlier, the difference between TE2 and TE10 is further than you would like.

Rounding out my rankings are Irv Smith Jr., Mike Gesicki and Dallas Goedert (in that order).  All three of them could be interchanged as you please.  I’m not going to argue with you if you like Goedert over Smith Jr.  I will note that Irv Smith Jr. has one more year on his rookie contract than Gesicki and Goedert which is what makes him more appealing to me.  He is also three years younger.  I’m very interested to see how Smith Jr. produces this year as the number one tight end on his team.  We saw bursts of excellence last year as he had two games with two touchdowns.  Yes, touchdowns are fluky, but the willingness to trust him with the ball in the Red Zone is certainly encouraging.

Before we wrap up, I wanted to drop three names of tight ends that I was unable to rank in my Top 10, but deserve to be mentioned.  These are players that I would not be surprised to see in my Top 10 starting in the 2022 off-season.  All three of them are talented enough to be Top 10 tight ends, but for one reason or another, have not had the opportunity.  The three players are…

  • Blake Jarwin
  • Adam Trautman
  • Cole Kmet

That finishes up my tight end rankings, and it also concludes my rankings theme that I’ve been doing over the past month.  Next month I’m going to get back into more traditional team/player breakdowns.  I’ve had fun with the blind comparisons and rankings, but as we approach the “fourth quarter” of my offseason articles, we will start to settle down and focus more on individual players.  It’s hard to believe we’ve gone through 24 teams already.  Message me on Twitter (@dynastyjerk) and let me know what you agree with or disagree with as far as my rankings go.  I would appreciate it if you followed @Dynasty_Owner on Twitter as well as subscribed to Dynasty Owner on YouTube.  Thank you all.  Take care and be safe. TheJerk

Top Dynasty Owner QB-TE Stacks

By Steven Van Tassell

Rookie drafts are finished for most established Dynasty Owner leagues and in the third round for the rest (I’ve got one finished and one still at pick 3.04). It’s also possible that there are some leagues still in the second round if teams in your league are milking the 24-hour clock, but that’s another story entirely. Regardless of your rookie draft status, it’s time to go back and look at how to draft your 2021 start-up Dynasty Owner team.

One of the best ways to start your dynasty is to draft a QB and receiver (WR or TE) from the same NFL team. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, this is called “stacking” and it’s something that a lot of fantasy analysts preach, and fantasy players try to do with their teams. Stacking a top QB with a top WR or top TE is a tried and true strategy, but in Dynasty Owner, stacking isn’t as easy as in your typical redraft or dynasty league. Adding in salaries makes it more difficult to stack players in Dynasty Owner because some stacks are prohibitive expensive and not worth the money. In addition, it’s difficult to keep both players in a stack as their salaries increase.

The benefits of stacking are pretty great. If your QB throws a TD pass to your WR or TE, you get 6 Dynasty Owner fantasy points for the QB and the receiver. You’re doubling your production on just one play! The drawbacks are that if one of those players goes down to injury or is unproductive, you’ve possibly focused a good portion of your starting lineup or salary cap on a pair of players who aren’t producing. Last year’s Chase for the Ring Champion Viktor and his Barbee Kilgore team (League #35395) had a three-player stack from the Kansas City Chiefs with Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. All three players performed tremendously all season and finished as the full season as QB3, WR2 and TE1 for the entire 2020 season. They are projected to be QB1, WR1 and TE1 this season, so it would seem like a great strategy to stack the three of them again in 2021. However, because of salaries increases for Mahomes and Kelce, Viktor can’t afford this stack anymore in 2021. He had to drop Mahomes for free when his new $45 million salary for 2021 kicked in and traded Tyreek Hill away, but kept Kelce and his new $14.3 million salary.

This never would have happened in a “regular” dynasty league, but in Dynasty Owner, it’s what teams need to do to stay under the salary cap and still be competitive. The Mahomes-Hill-Kelce stack was only $31.475 million in 2020, or 28% of the $112 million salary cap. In 2021, those guys will cost you $77.3 million, or over three-fifths of the $127.75 million cap. In order to have Mahomes, Hill and Kelce this year, you’d only have a little over $50 million left for the remaining 22-27 players on your Dynasty Owner roster. In contrast, Viktor still had just over $80 million in salary left last year for the rest of his Chase for the Ring winning team.

Since there are so many players to stack and we need to look back at 2020 and forward to 2021, this article will focus only on QB-TE stacks. In order to be listed as a stack, the duo had to have at least 300.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points with the QB scoring at least 200.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points and the TE scoring at least 100.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in the 13-game Dynasty Owner regular season. This is to ensure that both players are worthy of owning. While it’s possible to stack Buffalo QB Josh Allen with TE Dawson Knox, Knox only scored 36.0 points in the Dynasty Owner regular season. Similarly, Broncos TE Noah Fant didn’t have consistent QB play during the season and QB Drew Lock only had 129.4 points in the Dynasty Owner regular season. Neither one of those stacks are listed as a result.

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.

For the purposes of this article, all 2020 statistics listed are from the Dynasty Owner regular season (Weeks 1 – 13). Projected statistics for 2021 are provided by Rotowire, posted on the Dynasty Owner app and website, and taken from the Mock Draft lobby at Noon on June 15th. Salaries listed are from the 2020 and 2021 Dynasty Owner season respectively.

Top QB-TE Stack of 2020

It should come as no surprise that the top QB-TE stack of 2020 was Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce. The duo combined for a whopping 664.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 13 Dynasty Owner regular season games, an average of 51.1 points per game. They performed at a high level nearly every week with a low of 22.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in Week 7, and a high of 79.7 points in Week 8. Only four times in 13 weeks did they score less than 50.0 points combined.

PlayerPositionTeam2020 Salary2020 Points2020 DD / PT*
Patrick MahomesQBKC$4,106,447423.1$9,706
Travis KelceTEKC$9,368,400241.6$38,776
TOTALS  $13,474,847664.7$20,272

* DD/PT stands for Dynasty Dollars per Point (2020 Salary divided by Points)

Due to their 2020 salaries being pretty low (less than $13.5 million combined), they only cost $20,272 per point. Only one QB-TE duo had a lower DD/PT amount in 2020. We will get to that later in the article.

Basically, the Mahomes-Kelce QB-TE stack was the one to have in Dynasty Owner in 2020 from a points and value standpoint. However, as detailed earlier, this is not likely to be the case on the value side in 2021 as Mahomes’ salary rockets up to $45 million in 2021 and Kelce’s also increases by nearly $5 million up to $14.3 million.

Other Top QB-TE Stacks of 2020

Overall, there were a total of 10 QB-TE stacks that produced at least 300.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points with 200.0 or more points from the QB and 100.0 or more points from the TE. The second ranked QB-TE stack was unlikely to be drafted by many Dynasty Owners, but proved to be very productive. It was the Green Bay duo of Aaron Rodgers and Robert Tonyan.

PlayerPositionTeam2020 Salary2020 Points2020 DD / PT
Aaron RodgersQBGB$33,500,000386.4$86,698
Robert TonyanTEGB$750,000138.7$5,407
TOTALS  $34,250,000525.1$65,226

In terms of points, they finished second with 525.1, or 40.4 per game. That’s 10.7 fewer points per game than Mahomes and Kelce. In addition, they cost over three times as much on a per point basis ($65,226 per point) and 2.5 times as much in salary, basically because of Rodgers’ $33.5 million salary.

The next six QB-TE stacks all had over 400.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points combined, but none provided as much value as Mahomes and Kelce. The closest combination was Justin Herbert and Hunter Henry from the Los Angeles Chargers who scored 427.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (32.8 per game) for only $17.25 million in salary. However, they were still almost twice as expensive on a per point basis.

PlayerPositionTeam2020 Salary2020 Points2020 DD / PT
Justin HerbertQBLAC$6,644,688309.3$21,483
Hunter HenryTELAC$10,607,000117.7$90,119
TOTALS  $17,251,688427.0$40,402

However, if your Dynasty Owner team had both Herbert and Henry in 2020, it’s not a stack anymore as Henry has moved on in free agency to the New England Patriots. The same is true for two other stacks that produced very similar points in 2020 (Matthew Stafford-T.J. Hockenson from Detroit and Ryan Tannehill-Jonnu Smith from Tennessee).

Best QB-TE Value Stack of 2020 (and 2021?)

In terms of value, which is what all Dynasty Owners are striving for because of the salary cap, the Baltimore Ravens pairing of Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews is difficult to beat. They may have only finished with only 382.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 2020 (29.4 points per game), but their cost per point was the lowest at $8,441.

PlayerPositionTeam2020 Salary2020 Points2020 DD / PT
Lamar JacksonQBBAL$2,367,912265.4$8,922
Mark AndrewsTEBAL$863,290117.4$7,353
TOTALS  $3,231,202382.8$8,441

Both players returned value with DD/PT amounts of under $10,000. That’s what happens when the two players make a combined salary of $3.231 million, or less than one-tenth of what Aaron Rodgers costs on his own.

But is it likely to be the best value stack of 2021? If both Jackson and Andrews stay relatively healthy and productive, since the salaries for both of them will be the same in 2021, it seems likely. That won’t be the case in 2022 as both players will be free agents and make significantly more in salary.

Projected Top QB-TE Stacks of 2021

Not surprisingly, the top scoring stack of 2021 is projected to be Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce with 798.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points.

PlayerPositionTeam2021 Salary2021 Projected2021 DD / PT
Patrick MahomesQBKC$45,000,000524.2$85,845
Travis KelceTEKC$14,312,500274.0$52,235
TOTALS  $59,312,500798.2$74,308

However, their new, higher salaries make their value not as great as 2020 as they will cost their Dynasty Owner $74,308 per point in 2021 if they hit their projections. That’s nearly four times as much as 2020.

In terms of projected points scored though, they are difficult to top as no other QB-TE combination is expected to be within 100.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points of Mahomes and Kelce. There are a lot of potential stacks projected to score between 600.0 and 660.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 2021 and a few of them could be much better values than Mahomes-Kelce.

The first one is our top value stack of 2020 in Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews. As noted before, their salaries will be the same in 2021, but their production is projected to increase and thus make them even more valuable in 2021.

PlayerPositionTeam2021 Salary2021 Projected2021 DD / PT
Lamar JacksonQBBAL$2,367,912436.1$5,430
Mark AndrewsTEBAL$863,290222.5$3,880
TOTALS  $3,231,202658.6$4,906

The Ravens QB-TE stack is projected to only cost $4,906 per point in 2021, which is over $3,500 less per point than they did in 2020 when they were the best value stack in Dynasty Owner.

Believe it or not, they aren’t even projected to be the best value in 2021. That honor goes to Jalen Hurts and Dallas Goedert of the Philadelphia Eagles who will make slightly less than $3 million combined and are projected to score almost as many points as Jackson and Andrews.

PlayerPositionTeam2021 Salary2021 Projected2021 DD / PT
Jalen HurtsQBPHI$1,506,292422.5$3,565
Dallas GoedertTEPHI$1,406,068204.9$6,862
TOTALS  $2,912,360627.4$4,642

Hurts and Goedert together are projected to cost their Dynasty Owners only $4,642 per point in 2021. They will be about $300,000 in salary less than Jackson and Andrews and are projected to produce only 31.2 fewer Dynasty Owner fantasy points. While Hurts is locked up with the Eagles through the 2023 season, Goedert can be a free agent in 2022, which possibly makes this a one-year only stack.

For Dynasty Owners looking for a long-term QB-TE stack, the combination to draft might just be Bears QB Justin Fields and TE Cole Kmet.  Both are barely projected to finish in the Top 25 at their respective position in Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 2021 and they will cost twice as much as either Jackson-Andrews or Hurts-Goedert. However, you’ll have them for a few years as Kmet doesn’t hit free agency until 2024 and Fields isn’t a free agent until the 2025 season. Their 2021 projected scoring isn’t that impressive, and their 2021 value is almost $10,000 more than the other two stacks, but they could be a great value as a duo for the next three seasons.

PlayerPositionTeam2021 Salary2021 Projected2021 DD / PT
Justin FieldsQBCHI$4,717,988324.8$14,526
Cole KmetTECHI$1,894,444139.6$13,571
TOTALS  $6,612,432464.4$14,239

They could be the next Mahomes-Kelce, or not pan out, like Broncos QB Drew Lock and TE Noah Fant so far in their careers. Dynasty Owners willing to take a chance will have several years to find out.

Conclusions

As you can see, there are many ways to stack a QB-TE in Dynasty Owner. While the Mahomes-Kelce combination will likely yield you the most points in 2021 as they did in 2020, it comes at a greater cost which could limit the rest of your Dynasty Owner roster. Going for value, such as Jackson-Andrews last year and in 2021, might not score your team as many points, but you’ll have lots of salary cap room for other great players who can contribute. Unfortunately, that stack will only be valuable for 2021 and then could end up costing close to as much as Mahomes and Kelce in 2022 and beyond.

Justin Herbert and Hunter Henry were a good duo in 2020 and provided decent value, but they aren’t on the same team in 2021 due to free agency. That could happen to a projected 2021 value duo like Jalen Hurts and Dallas Goedert (or even Jackson and Andrews) next year. They might break up and be on separate teams, or Goedert might stay but cost his Dynasty Owners a lot more in salary.

Dynasty Owner has great content coming to help you draft your dynasty. We can also provide guidance as you continue to tweak your roster after your rookie or start-up draft is over so you can win your league. My articles and videos to get you ready for your 2021 Dynasty Owner start-up league team will be released now on Wednesdays. Keep an eye out for new articles from the rest of our team of Dynasty Owner writers as well. Matt Morrison – The Jerk (@Dynastyjerk) is doing a deep dive on individual teams that you can check out earlier on in the week now as they will appear on Mondays. Jay Pounds (@jaypoundsnfl) looks at how to rebuild your Dynasty Owner roster and everyone will still get his insights on Fridays. All of the articles and videos will be released at 1 PM (Eastern).

Please read all of their articles and follow all three of us plus Dynasty Owner (@Dynasty_Owner) on Twitter. Hopefully this article is helpful for everyone who has a 2021 start-up draft coming soon, and at least interesting and stirs up some trade thoughts for those of you who have already drafted or have an established team. Thanks, and have a great day!

Steven Van Tassell is the Head of Content for Dynasty Owner

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

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

Author: Steven Van Tassell

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

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

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

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

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

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

These Tight Ends Are Like Donuts

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

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

The Four Horsemen of the Kicking Game

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

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

Conclusions

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

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

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

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

There are also mock drafts going on constantly with some beta users setting up specific times to join that are helping to calculate ADP for the 2020 early drafts. We also had recent articles from the rest of the Dynasty Owner writing team – Milos Ljubic (@LjubicMilos on Twitter) and Chris Wolf (@ckwolf21 on Twitter). All of this great content is available to help you win your Dynasty Owner league and maybe become the winner of the 2020 Chase for the Ring!

Steven Van Tassell is a freelance writer for Dynasty Owner

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner