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!

Follow us on Twitter: @Dynasty_Owner

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

Author: Steven Van Tassell

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

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

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

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

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

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

Backfield Limitations

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

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

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

Receivers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusions

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

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

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

Steven Van Tassell is a freelance writer for Dynasty Owner

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner