Prospect Preview: Christian Watson

Position: WR

College: North Dakota State

Height: 6’ 4”

Weight: 208lbs

Age: 22

247 Rating: N/A

By: Nate Christian (@NateNFL)

The Rundown:

One of Trey Lance’s ($8,526,319) favorite targets in college, it’s easy to see why they were averaging over 20 yards per connection. Watson is an incredible size/speed combo that if coming out of the SEC or the Big 12, he would likely have been considered one of the top wideouts in this year’s class. Despite playing at the FCS level, his dominance of the lower-level competition combined with one of the best combines of all time have led to him becoming just about everyone’s favorite sleeper in the upcoming NFL Draft.

College Production:

Here’s an interesting part about Watson’s production, not only was it in the FCS level, but North Dakota State steamrolled just about every team they went up against. So therefore, Watson’s numbers overall aren’t that impressive. But he was efficient with every touch he got, pulling in 95 receptions for nearly 2,000 yards over the past three years. When evaluating small school prospects, you want to see them show that they are above everyone else on the field, and Watson did that consistently.

Strengths:

  • High-Pointing- When you combine Watson’s frame and reach with his strong hands and physicality, it makes it hard not to believe that any ball thrown his way could be considered a 50/50 ball. But once again we have to remember he was playing against FCS competition; not to completely disregard it but we need to take into account the defenders at the next level are quite the step up. Watson has a knack for making the most of his length though, and no matter how good the defender is, it’s hard to stop someone at his size when he gets up in the air.
  • Home-run Threat- Watson was used in a variety of ways while at North Dakota State. He tested the defense deep quite often, but the coaches made sure to get him the ball as quickly as possible and gave him many opportunities on sweeps and screens. Watson took advantage of this and created plenty of chunk plays. Many times, he would split the closing defenders and gain extra yards down the sideline before being forced out of bounds. Even if it takes some time for Watson to polish his game at the pro level, he still brings big-play potential on every play that he is on the field.

Weaknesses:

  • FCS Level Competition I’ve mentioned it many times already, and I don’t want to discredit Watson’s achievements as you can only play who is in front of you, but I want to caution anyone who expects Watson to make a Day 1 impact. While it’s always possible, I would expect the transition could take up the majority of his rookie season. This makes him a possible “post-hype buy” midway through the season. Keep that in mind when you see him go early in your rookie drafts.
  • Route Running – Watson has dominated his opponents because he’s bigger, faster, and stronger. He should have been playing on the FBS level, and that much is very clear. At the pro level, he’s still an elite athlete, but the gap will be significantly closer between him and the defenders on the other side of the ball. Watson needs to become a better route runner to succeed at the next level, to get in and out of his breaks cleaner and create more deception with his body. This will likely be the biggest hurdle for him as he makes the transition to the NFL.

Things to Watch:

Watson had a combine for the ages, and he’ll go down as one of the most athletic wideouts to ever grace the field in Indianapolis. Now we wait for the draft, as he’s done everything he could possibly do in this pre-draft process to raise his draft stock. Starting from an exciting week down in Mobile at the Senior Bowl and ending with testing out of the building during the NFL Combine.

Projected Round/Contract:  

There will be some mocks that have Watson at the end of the first round, and while I appreciate the optimism, I think he is simply just a bit too raw of a prospect to go that early. I do think that he is locked into Day 2 draft capital and likely won’t see himself slide much farther than the Top-50 or so picks.

I’d expect him to come off the board around the middle of the second round which could see him sign a 4-year deal worth about $7 million total. This would put Watson’s cap hit around $1.75 million a year, an incredible value if he reaches half of his potential while on his rookie deal.

Team Fits:  

A lot of times with wide receivers, a specific landing spot isn’t as much of a big deal compared to running backs or quarterbacks, but in Watson’s case he needs some time to develop and grow into a role. A team can absolutely get him involved right away in the offense, it would just likely be limited and more so with manufactured touches. A team that fits the bill here would be the New York Jets. Zach Wilson ($8,787,670) has a huge arm, and the team wants to surround him with talent on the offense. Watson could be part of a great young duo with Elijah Moore ($2,235,107) and take some time to develop behind Corey Davis ($12,500,000), who many have forgotten about due to his injuries last year. The tide is turning for the Jets (hopefully), and Watson would fit the new look offense that Robert Saleh is looking to build.

With the recently acquired 50th overall pick, the Kansas City Chiefs seem like almost too perfect of a fit for our fantasy football hope. Sure, they probably need a more polished prospect to step into the Tyreek Hill ($18,000,000) size hole, but Watson would be most intriguing if they want to double-dip early at the position. There is nothing more exciting than seeing a QB with a big arm throwing to a big and fast wideout, and that’s exactly what this pairing could provide us. It might be a pipe dream, but there are already plenty of rumors swirling about.

A Rebuild of My Own

League #80545 – The Writers League

By: Jay Pounds (@jaypoundsnfl)

Dynasty Owners, has your free agency been as crazy as the NFL’s thus far? While I am sure it hasn’t quite lived up to the hype of actual free agency, I do hope all of you are enjoying it, improving your roster, and getting plenty of deals done. If you are like me and have been unable to dig into your team/teams just yet don’t worry, you still have plenty of time, but it may cost you a free agent or two like it did me, cough cough Jamison Crowder ($4,000,000).

Before we get into the article for today, I am going to highlight two moves that have happened thus far and will have a massive impact on all Dynasty Owner leagues. The first move I want to touch on is the massive deal between the Raiders and the Packers who moved on from superstar Davante Adams. The Adams trade will change things quite a bit as many no longer see Adams as a great bet to finish as the WR1 in 2022, and at $28,000,000 per year against the Dynasty Owner salary cap he is no longer a must own in Dynasty Owner, though if you can afford him, he is still a great asset. The main thing that worries me with Adams is the fact I see his red zone production going down significantly. He and Aaron Rodgers had undeniable chemistry when it came time to score, and this trade obviously impacts that. The other move I would like to talk about is Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos which will have an impact on numerous players. All of Jerry Jeudy ($3,798,243), Courtland Sutton ($15,200,000), Tyler Lockett ($17,250,000), D.K. Metcalf ($1,146,513), and Noah Fant ($3,147,680) will be affected by this deal. While the trade is great for both Jeudy and Sutton, I feel the player that it will hurt most is Tyler Lockett who becomes borderline not rosterable after this move.

In today’s article I am going to be breaking down one of my personal rebuilds. If you recall back to some of my rebuild strategy articles, you know how I feel about deciding to rebuild early in the season vs waiting until the offseason. During the season, especially the early part of the season is when you will obtain the most value for the players you are looking to trade. When drafting this specific team, I did not have much care about the future in mind and it shows looking at the original roster, which is listed at the end of this article if you want to see it. Luckily, I was able to swing several trades moving big contracts and have set myself up for what I believe will be future success. This article will be the first part of a two-article series with Part 2 being all about every trade I have made to position this roster for the future.

Building Blocks

  • Trevor Lawrence ($9,198,372)
  • D.J. Moore ($20,628,000)
  • Jerry Jeudy ($3,798,243)
  • Calvin Ridley ($2,725,178)

As most of you know by now, building blocks are the most important part of your rebuild as they are hopefully going to be your foundation for many years to come. If you look at the list above, you will see I have two questionable building blocks in Jerry Jeudy and Trevor Lawrence. I feel both of these players are too talented not to succeed and have no issue building around them. The third player I want to talk about is Calvin Ridley. While some may call him a questionable building block, I think he is one of the better players rebuilding owners should roster. The reasons for this is because he will be out a full season, meaning he will not win you any games, be healthy upon returning, and we have already seen the caliber player he can be when he is on the field. If Ridley can make a successful comeback and Jeudy plays up to his potential, I will be very happy with my wide receiver room in the future. D.J. Moore is the only player on this list I see as a sure thing, but it comes at a price tag of ($20,628,000), which is one of the many reasons why I am so big on rebuilding owners having ample cap space.

Players to Trade

  • Evan Engram ($9,000,000)
  • Logan Thomas ($8,021,667)
  • Robert Woods ($16,250,000)
  • Marvin Jones ($6,250,000)
  • Gus Edwards ($4,500,000)
  • Denzel Mims ($1,358,425)
  • Nick Westbrook Ikhine ($895,000)

The players to trade list is quite long and there is no better feeling for a rebuilding owner. More trades means more assets. While I do have a couple players on this list who may not return any value (Denzel Mims and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine), I do have plenty who will bring back something of value in a trade. The first player I want to touch on is Evan Engram who signed with Jacksonville. In Trevor Lawrence’s rookie season, he threw at his tight ends a ton, regardless of who they were and while it may change this upcoming season, I hope to use the narrative to my advantage. Another intriguing name on this list is Robert Woods, who was just traded to the Titans for a tie dye t-shirt that can’t be returned. Woods has been a fantastic player over the past few seasons and while he is coming off an injury, the trade to the Titans seemingly has his value on the rise. The last player I am going to touch on here is Logan Thomas. Thomas has shown flashes of being a Top 10 tight end but like Robert Woods, Thomas is also coming off of a season ending injury. It may benefit me to wait until Thomas hits the field to trade him but with the cost of tight ends continuously going up, I feel it’s safe to move on from him now.

Players to Hold

  • Ke’Shawn Vaughn ($1,188,999)
  • Gerald Everett ($6,000,000)
  • Curtis Samuel ($11,500,000)
  • D.J. Chark ($10,000,000)
  • Olamide Zaccheaus ($2,433,000)
  • Preston Williams ($1,490,000)
  • Tutu Atwell ($1,477,175)
  • Van Jefferson ($1,402,784)
  • Quintez Cephus ($899,822)

The players to hold list has some interesting names but none I am more excited about than D.J. Chark. While you can certainly get value from Chark now, I recommend waiting to see what he does with the Lions before deciding to make a move. The reason for this is because, if Chark comes back healthy and produces, his value will raise significantly, and he’ll bring back much better assets in a trade. The other name on the list I am holding no matter what is Ke’Shawn Vaughn. As it stands Vaughn is the clear-cut RB2 in Tampa behind Leonard Fournette ($7,000,000), who has been injured in each of the past two seasons. If or when a Fournette injury happens, I will likely strike gold when trading Vaughn. The rest of the players on the list can be moved now if needed, but I feel all of them have a chance to bring back much more value once the season starts, Gerald Everett especially.

Players to Cut

  • DeeJay Dallas ($947,350)
  • Godwin Igwebuike (Free Agent)
  • David Johnson (Free Agent)
  • Phillip Lindsay (Free Agent)
  • Cole Beasley (Free Agent)

As always, we all have players to cut on our roster. Like you have seen in earlier articles, I am not going to spend much time here as players who can be cut will receive minimal value in a trade and means it’s time to move on.

Draft Picks

  • 2022 – 1.03, 1.10, 1.11, 2.4, 2.10, 2.11, 3.03, 3.04, 3.10
  • 2023 – 4x1sts, 3x2nds, 1x3rd
  • 2024 – 2x1sts, 1x2nd, 1x3rd

Finally, we have made it to the last category and one of the more important when it comes to rebuilding and that is your draft capital. Draft capital is, in my opinion, the easiest way to rebuild a roster on Dynasty Owner because of the rookie contract that comes attached to the pick. While draft capital is extremely important, it is also ok to trade some away if you have an abundance of picks. Be sure to tune in next week to see my first trade of the off-season which included a couple of my precious draft picks. The last thing I want to hit on here is to be sure that you clear out enough space to roster all of your draft picks. As you can see above, I have nine draft picks in the upcoming rookie draft that I need to make room for. Yeah I know, I have some work to do before it comes time to draft the rookies.

Summary

If you can’t tell by looking at my roster as constructed, I have a lot of work to do before contending. I mentioned earlier that you will get the best bang for your buck by deciding on a rebuild early in the season and you will see why in next week’s trade article. If you look below, you will see the original roster and how much it has changed in a short period of time. As I always say when it comes time to start a rebuild no player is off-limits. The last thing I want to bring up is building blocks. I know I stress how important building blocks are for your roster but remember every player has a price!

Thank you all for reading! if you enjoyed the article be sure to check back next week for Part 2! As always be sure to check out the work from our other analysts here at Dynasty Owner, Matt, Steve and Nate. Stay safe and good luck on your 2022 Chase for the Ring!

Original Team (in order drafted)

PickPlayerPosition
1Nick ChubbRB
2Clyde Edwards-HelaireRB
3Trevor LawrenceQB
4D.J. MooreWR
5Jerry JeudyWR
6DeAndre HopkinsWR
7Amari CooperWR
8Zack MossRB
9D.J. CharkWR
10Daniel JonesQB
11Logan ThomasTE
12Gus EdwardsRB
13Van JeffersonWR
14Curtis SamuelWR
15Evan EngramTE
16Teddy BridgewaterQB
17David JohnsonRB
18Devontae BookerRB
19Denzel MimsWR
20Greg JosephK
21Quintez CephusWR
22DeeJay DallasRB
23Zane GonzalezK
24Wayne GallmanRB
25Preston WilliamsWR

Don’t Panic and Other New League Year Tips

By Steven Van Tassell (@SteveVT33)

NFL free agency has officially started with a lot of changes, surprises and twists and turns that nobody saw coming. It really started well before the official start as contract extensions, free agent signings, trades and player releases have been on quite the pace for about two weeks now. It began in earnest when the franchise tag deadline was fast approaching. Davante Adams, Chris Godwin and the TE trio of Mike Gesicki, David Njoku and Dalton Schultz were tagged, and the moves and countermoves haven’t let up since. Even when things appear to start cooling down, we have another signing or two, or a trade that dramatically changes things again.

The NFL trading market is something that has really been evolving since Dynasty Owner started. Back in 2020, there were 22 trades from March through the NFL draft with the biggest names getting dealt being all non-QBs (Brandin Cooks, Stefon Diggs, Rob Gronkowski, DeAndre Hopkins, Hayden Hurst and David Johnson). The only two QB trades involved Nick Foles and Kyle Allen. Fast forward to the same time period in 2021 and there were fewer trades (19), but we started to see bigger name QBs on the move (Matthew Stafford for Jared Goff, Carson Wentz to Indianapolis, Sam Darnold to Carolina and Teddy Bridgewater to Denver). So far just 21 days into March, we have seen a baker’s dozen of trades with five involving QBs, including two huge names (Russell Wilson to Denver and Deshaun Watson to Cleveland). In addition, three big salary, big name WRs have been traded (Davante Adams, Amari Cooper and Robert Woods). All of them make at least $16 million per season. There are bound to be more trades as Cleveland needs to kick Baker and Emily Mayfield out of their home. Those Progressive commercials are true, aren’t they? The number of trades might be about the same or go up, but the quality of the players being traded, and the salaries have never been higher.

What does all of this mean for Dynasty Owners who have to navigate this new era of NFL free agency and trading? In this hyper speed frenzy of an off-season player movement market, do Dynasty Owners need to emulate their NFL GM counterparts and make immediate roster decisions, or should they be more patient and wait and see how things evolve? If you saw the title of the article, you might think you know my answer to that question, but read on and see that it’s more nuanced than just a simple Yes or No.

All stats cited 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 statistics, roster percentages and 2021 position ranks were current as of the afternoon of March 21st. All 2022 contract information is currently listed on the Dynasty Owner platform (number of years and salaries) and has been taken from Spotrac (https://www.spotrac.com/).

Weekend Update – Part II

Just like last week, there has been a significant amount of movement (free agent signings, contract extensions, trades and releases) since Friday through just this afternoon (so no Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota or Matt Ryan listed here. Let’s quickly review three major moves and give a quick assessment:

Probably the biggest and most surprising move was Deshaun Watson getting traded from Houston to Cleveland and signing a new 5-year, $230 million contract ($46 million per year) with the Browns.

2021 RankRoster %Age2021 Salary2022 SalarySalary Change
N/A58.9%26$39,000,000$46,000,000+ $7,000,000

Many things were surprising about this move, including but not limited to:

  1. Watson basically dictating to Houston what teams he would consider being traded to and meeting with multiple potential teams. He did have a no-trade clause, but it seemed to me like a high school senior picking a college rather than a professional team trading one of its players.
  2. After meeting with Cleveland, Watson announced on Thursday that the Browns were out of the running as a trade option, before to agreeing to be traded to them the very next day.
  3. Cleveland giving Watson a new contract to replace the $39 million per year (4 year, $156 million) contract that he had signed on September 5th, 2020.  Obviously this had a lot to do with Watson’s change of heart.
  4. Cleveland trading three first round draft picks (one each in 2022, 2023 and 2024) to Houston in return for Watson. I think Tim disagrees, but this price seemed rather high to me.

In terms of a recommendation, I’m all over the place. I was a Hold on Watson for the entire 2021 season, keeping him in my Dynasty Owner beta league with an expectation that he’d end up playing again eventually. However, I didn’t anticipate that he’d get a new contract for $7 million per year more after sitting out an entire season. I waffled on that decision for a day or two, then actually dropped Watson for free and picked up Derek Carr off the Free Agent Auction and acquired D.J. Chark in a trade for a third round pick in the 2022 rookie draft. It’s a savings of $11 million dollars and I’m only attached to Carr and Chark for one year (barring any changes, after all it’s 2022) versus being tied to Watson for five years. Is it the right move? Talk to me after this season and again in a few years.

The Dynasty Owner community seems to be all over the place too based on his roster percentage. His Dynasty Owner roster percentage is 59.5% today, but yesterday it slightly lower, so more Dynasty Owners are picking up Watson than dropping him right now. Clearly some people are onboard with this move and taking on that contract. In two of my leagues, someone picked him up after a Texas grand jury declined to indict him on criminal charges and both have held him even after the trade to the Browns and the $7 million per year salary increase. Last year, Watson was rostered in roughly the 20% to 30% range for most of the season so interest in him has definitely increased, but he still isn’t at 99% or 100% like Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen.

JuJu Smith-Schuster finally made the move out of Pittsburgh and signed a one-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs.

2021 RankRoster %Age2021 Salary2022 SalarySalary Change
WR14999.4%25$8,000,000$3,250,000– $4,750,000

Dynasty Owners with Smith-Schuster on their roster received a salary savings of $4.75 million by keeping him on their team for the 2022 season. What should his Dynasty Owners do?

Current Recommendation: Hold him.

There is no doubt that Dynasty Owners with Smith-Schuster should hold on to him. The contract is small and short, the landing spot is really good, and he has value to your Dynasty Owner team regardless of your expectations for the 2022 season. There is zero reason to drop him for free due to the contract change and in fact, his roster percentage is at 99.4% now.

Finally, the Falcons retained the services of Cordarrelle Patterson for another two seasons.

2021 RankRoster %Age2021 Salary2022 SalarySalary Change
RB898.7%31$3,000,000$5,250,000+ $2,250,000

Patterson signed a 2-year, $10.5 million contract, or $5.25 million per year for Dynasty Owner salary purposes. Dynasty Owners with Patterson on their roster currently will have to pay him $2.25 million more in salary to keep him on their team. What should his Dynasty Owners do?

Current Recommendation: Keep him

At the end of January, Patterson was listed as “Hold for now. Value depends upon who signs him” in my High Salary QBs and RBs article. His market value was estimated at $9.142 million per year, which is almost $3.9 million more per year than he finally re=signed for with the Falcons. Patterson was a keeper in my eyes if he re-signed with the Falcons and Coach Arthur Smith. The fact that he was signed for significantly less than expected solidifies that recommendation and makes it better for his Dynasty Owners. His decline in production at the end of the 2021 season is worrisome, but the price is better than anticipated so Patterson is worth keeping on your Dynasty Owner roster.

New League Year Tips

There are many tips that people are going to offer on what to do with certain players, like “Drop Player A” and “Pickup Player B now that Player C was traded to Team A”. This isn’t what I’m going to discuss here. Instead, these are going to be tips on how to handle the first Dynasty Owner off-season for many Dynasty Owners.

Tip #1 – Don’t Panic

The email that went out to Dynasty Owners on the Saturday before NFL Free Agency started said “Don’t panic” five times. For good reason, because inevitably somebody is going to panic and make a bad decision right at the start of the new Dynasty Owner league year.

For example, when new 2022 contracts and salaries became active on the Dynasty Owner platform on Friday at Noon, many teams started dropping players for free right away. Not a problem if the player is Will Dissly (TE – SEA) who had his new 3-year, $24 million contract ($8 million per year) with Seattle take effect on Friday. In 2021, his salary was only $777,568 when he scored a mere 49.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points and finished the season as TE53. He is only rostered in 24.7% of Dynasty Owner leagues now, so it was unlikely that those remaining Dynasty Owners with Dissly will find a trade partner. Dropping Dissly for free right away to be able to make other roster moves is a wise decision, even if the salary savings are meager because that roster spot can be used in other ways. No reason to wait and hold Dissly to see if a market develops. It likely won’t happen for a backup TE on Seattle. There are dozens of other players out there who I could have used for this example, so hopefully you get the idea.

On the other hand, there was a league in which someone dropped Josh Allen. Not the Jaguars defensive end/linebacker who isn’t in the Dynasty Owner database, but the Bills QB who finished 2021 as the overall #2 player in Dynasty Owner with 503.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. Admittedly, his 6-year, $238.034 million contract ($43,005,667) kicked in on Friday, but dropping QB Josh Allen is a complete panic move when you have 30 days to try and move him if you don’t want him at that salary. If you can’t do it within that time frame, you still can drop him for free.

In that league, at least two teams put in Free Agent Auction bids for Allen. This means that there was a trade market for him. Both bids were over $1 million so both Dynasty Owners who bid anticipated competition from someone else. Why else would they bid more than $1 million Dynasty Dollars? It seems like a complete misread of the situation in this league and pretty much every other Dynasty Owner league out there.

The team also didn’t make any immediate moves to compliment the dropping of Allen, like picking up a couple of players for slightly less than Allen’s 2022 salary to reduce their salary cap. They did release a few additional players at the same time and made some trades over the next couple of days. Could they have made those moves and kept Josh Allen on their roster? Most likely Yes based on my analysis of the roster changes in the league.

Tip #2 – Wait for the Official Contract Signing

This tip is similar to “Don’t Panic” in that it’s advising Dynasty Owners to pump the brakes a little bit, take a moment to reflect and wait until the official contract figures are posted on Spotrac, then updated in Dynasty Owner before deciding what to do with a player. Even if the contract is updated, it can be revised after additional information is reported.

There have been too many initially reported contract figures that have been wrong this off-season already for anyone to take an initial contract report as the gospel truth. Even Spotrac has revised some contract figures originally posted later on. It’s not just the Aaron Rodgers contract, which changed at least three times, that I’m talking about here. Here are some players who had contract news reported, then the report changed before it was published on Spotrac (as well as afterwards) and updated in Dynasty Owner:

  • Aaron Rodgers (QB – GB): The initial reporting of a 4-year, $200 million contract was disputed by many, including Rodgers himself. The contract was briefly revised to a 2-year, $123,844,412 contract extension and finally settled in as a 3-year, $150,815,000 contract extension. The annual salary amount for Dynasty Owners bounced around from $50 million to almost $62 million back to the final amount of $50,271,667.
  • Christian Kirk (WR – JAC): It was a 4-year, $84 million contract for Christian Kirk in Jacksonville at first, but it ended up as a 4-year, $72 million contract. Dynasty Owners saved $3 million in annual salary with the final amount.
  • Michael Gallup (WR – DAL): Gallup’s 5-year, $62.5 million reported contract extension fell by $5 million from a 5-year, $57.5 million contract. That’s $1 million less in salary per season for his Dynasty Owners in the end.
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR – KC): Most recently, JuJu Smith-Schuster’s contract started off as a one-year deal for $10.75 million. It was changed the next day to just a one-year deal for $3.25 million, saving Dynasty Owners with Smith-Schuster $7.5 million for the 2022 Dynasty Owner season.

Right now, Dynasty Owner is doing daily updates of contracts which can mean that an initial report might be revised. In the next few months, these updates will be coming every couple of days or even just once a week. This will give Dynasty Owners even more time to deal with a contract change and might prevent them from overreacting to an initial report that is later corrected. It might not, but you’ll always have enough time to at least wait for the official contract announcement from Spotrac to make a roster move.

Tip #3 – Don’t Drop Players Until You Win the Free Agent Auction Bid

This has probably happened to you or someone in your league. You bid on a player in the Free Agent Auction and get outbid. It sucks that you don’t get the player you wanted, but otherwise, nothing bad happened. If you had a roster spot and salary cap room, you didn’t need to do anything other than make the bid and see if you won it. If you lose, there’s always going to be someone else to try to acquire. As Bill Belichick would say, “On to Cincinnati”.

However, if you don’t have a free roster spot or enough room under the salary cap to fit the player you are bidding on, you have two options. First, you can drop a player (or two, or more) to create the roster and/or salary cap room you need, then make the Free Agent Auction bid. The second option is that you make the Free Agent Auction bid but set it up, so the player or players are only dropped if you win the bid. It’s kind of a way to “act fast”, but also hedge your bets.

This is particularly important in the off-season when you can bid on Free Agents as they become available. Especially in the current period we are in with teams allowed to be over the cap, it’s important to put in these “conditional” Free Agent Auction bids so you don’t lose a player unless you win the bid. As long as your team isn’t going up in salary after the transaction is completed, it’s ok.

Earlier in this article, I mentioned that I dropped Deshaun Watson for free and picked up Derek Carr off the Free Agent Auction. Because Carr is rostered in 88.6% of Dynasty Owner leagues, I was concerned that another team might put in a bid on Carr. Instead of dropping Watson and then bidding on Carr, I did it as a “conditional” bid. If I won the bid for Carr, then Watson would be dropped in a corresponding move. If I lost, I’d keep Watson and continue to have the flexibility to trade or drop him for another player. Finally, doing it this way also has the advantage of helping to conceal your bidding.

Tip #4 – Put Calvin Ridley on Injured Reserve Now

Calvin Ridley has been suspended for the 2022 NFL season. He is officially listed as Out. This designation means that he is eligible, right now, for the Dynasty Owner Injured Reserve. You can park him and his $2,725,178 salary for 2022 there for the entire season. This frees up an extra roster spot for your Dynasty Owner team if you need or want it. It’s an extra roster spot to use on a potential break out player who’s still sitting out there on the Free Agent Auction, or an extra player who you can hold and not drop just yet from your roster. Maybe you can work out a trade for that player now.

Ridley seems to still be a desirable player to have on your Dynasty Owner roster as his roster percentage is 99.4%. Yes, his salary will still count against your $145.74 million salary cap, but it’s less than 2% of the entire cap. Your team can also fill that spot with a rookie. That leads us to the next tip.

Tip #5 – Save Room for Rookies

Just a quick tip that you can’t forget to save room for rookies, or at least have a plan for those rookie draft picks. You’ll need both roster spots and salary cap room to fit in as many rookies as you have draft picks. Unless you plan on trading those draft picks away. I’ll have more on this tip sometime before the rookie drafts start just as I did last year.

If you had a rookie draft last year, you know what’s going to happen, but a refresher isn’t a bad thing. If this is your first rookie draft, check out the article from last year to start getting familiar with what’s going to happen. The salary amounts for draft slot are going to change, for the rookie picks, from last year’s amounts. However, those salaries by draft slot will still be set before the draft.

Based on mock drafts, it looks like there will be fewer position players drafted early in the 2022 NFL draft, so the salary amount you need should be less than last year. Don’t count on it yet though. The full details will be shared in an article either closer to the NFL draft (April 28th to April 30th) or in the month after the NFL draft, but before Dynasty Owner rookie drafts start on May 27th.

Conclusion

It’s been a whirlwind of activity for NFL General Managers and Dynasty Owners since the calendar turned to March. There is always activity ongoing, but it has ramped up over the past three weeks with the NFL combine, followed by franchise tags, early announcements of contract extensions and signings, then a flurry of big name players getting traded and then finally, the official start of NFL free agency. With everything going on, it can be difficult to keep up and potentially overwhelming.

As the article says, “Don’t Panic”. You have plenty of time to make roster moves now and don’t have to do everything at once. In some cases, you might need to act right away, but still do so in the proper way. For a few Dynasty Owners, these tips are unfortunately a couple of days late. Not really, as we have been discussing these tips and topics on the Livestream for a few weeks now and an email highlighting what to expect when the new league year starts was sent out to all Dynasty Owners almost a week before last Friday. Two follow up emails were also sent out to reinforce the message. Hopefully you were paying attention and didn’t panic.

We will cover these tips, analyze recent trades and free agent moves, plus discuss plenty of other things on the weekly Dynasty Owner livestream with myself and Tim Peffer on Wednesday at 4 PM (Eastern). Set the timer on YouTube so you don’t miss it live, or make sure to watch it afterwards. Either way, don’t forget to smash the Like button. You can also listen to it afterwards wherever you get your podcasts.

Please read all of the off-season articles from our Dynasty Owner team as well. On Mondays, I write about players, salaries and contracts to help new and returning Dynasty Owners navigate how to play our unique game. Jay Pounds is writing about everything on rebuilding your Dynasty Owner roster and his articles usually appear on Tuesday. Nate Christian is back for 2022 and will do prospect previews every Thursday. Finally, Friday is Free Agent Friday with articles from Matt Morrison – The Jerk.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

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

Prospect Preview: Chris Olave

Position: WR

College: Ohio State

Height: 6’ 0”

Weight: 187lbs

Age: 21

247 Rating: 0.8875 (3 Stars)

By: Nate Christian (@NateNFL)

The Rundown:

In a somewhat surprising move, Chris Olave decided to return to college football for the 2021 season. A return to Ohio State meant he would be competing with Garrett Wilson, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and many other highly rated recruits. It worked out decently well for Olave, who was viewed as a mid-day two pick last year and now has seen himself sneak into the back end of the first round in many mock drafts. He’s got the talent to make an impact in the NFL, but how high can he climb?

College Production:

A very productive receiver over the past three years, Olave has consistently been good, but never truly great. Averaging 54 receptions, 835 yards, and about 10 touchdowns a year, Olave was a solid weapon for Justin Fields ($4,717,989) and C.J. Stroud, but never topped 1,000 yards or truly took over the Ohio State receiver room. In fact, his senior season he was out matched by both of his counterparts. It certainly is a talented corps that he had to compete with (similar to the Alabama wideouts we’ve seen over the past few years), but many are asking if he has what it takes to become a top option for an NFL offense.

Strengths:

  • Route Running Technician- One of the most refined route runners in the draft, he shows the ability to use his quick burst to catch defenders on their heels. His cuts are great as he is able to sink his hips when breaking down at the stem, or pace himself in the first five yards. He’s a great space finder, and while he’ll do well against man coverage, his ability to find holes in zone coverage could be his calling card in an offense. He also showed the ability in 2021 to play both inside and outside, with a deep understanding of route concepts.
  • Smooth Operator- Before the catch, Olave does well to get off the line and start developing his route. The transition from release to the first couple steps of his route are smooth and help him get an early step on defenders. After the catch, he offers the ability to make people miss on the first tackle and gain extra yardage down the sideline. He’s got great burst in and out of his cuts and enough wiggle to keep defenders on their toes.
  • Soft Hands- Doesn’t have many drops on the tape and has made his fair share of impressive catches all around the field. A good hands catcher who is comfortable with the ball away from his body, he can be a reliable option for any quarterback who needs a quick throw-and-catch.

Weaknesses:

  • Upside?- Olave is viewed as one of the safest prospects in the class, he does everything you need a wideout to do, and honestly does it pretty well. Despite this, he seems to lack a truly elite trait to stand out from the crowd. While this certainly does not mean he is doomed to fail at the next level, it brings caution when teams are trying to select the elite talent at the top of the draft. Olave could be a great WR2 on a team across from a strong X receiver, but if he is left with handling the majority of an offense’s volume, he may struggle to keep up his efficiency.
  • Lack of Physicality- With a slender frame, Olave does not play up to his height and he certainly doesn’t play like a player 10 or 20 pounds heavier. He gets pushed around by bigger defenders and is more sneaky and quick than thick and strong. Not every player can be A.J. Brown ($1,413,092), but you’d like to see him offer a bit more in contested catch situation and prove that he can hold his own once the defenders become even stronger and more athletic.

Things to Watch:

Olave had a great combine, posting a 4.39 40-Yard Dash. The burst shows up in the tape, he does have the ability to pick up yards quickly and can stretch the defense at times, but I think his play speed is a bit slower than his testing numbers. He certainly isn’t slow, but I wouldn’t be so quick to label him as a true down-the-field threat. Overall, the combine showed that he has been training and is putting in the work to maximize his talents. You like to see that in a player like Olave.

Projected Round/Contract:  

The rumors are he could find himself drafted in the back end of the first round next month, but I still have him projected as a second rounder myself. Teams are going to swing for upside in players like George Pickens and Jameson Williams before they “settle” for Olave. I would expect a contract around $2.2 million a year for Olave, similar to Elijah Moore ($2,235,107) who was selected at the 34th overall pick in 2021. But don’t be surprised to see him in the first round, the vast majority of mock drafts have him there at the moment.

Team Fits:  

Going off of what I said earlier, Olave would do well across from a strong X receiver, it helps narrow it down to a couple teams that would be able to use the strengths that Olave brings to the table. One of the easiest fits to hope for is the Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rodgers ($33,500,000) is back and apparently happy, so the front office really needs to bring in some receiver help if they want that to continue. Olave should be available at the 28th pick and would be a solid option in that offense across from Davante Adams ($20,145,000), assuming Adams and the Packers work out a contract.

Another team in a similar situation, pushing for a Super Bowl and needing a crafty WR2, is the Tennessee Titans. With the recent announcement that they will release Julio Jones on June 1st, the depth chart is shallow behind A.J. Brown ($1,413,092) and the team could use a good Z receiver for the ball to go to on a more consistent basis. This is the role that Olave would thrive in, and with a run-first team and a physical receiver across the field from him, he would likely post great efficiency numbers. Olave does some of his best work when given some freedom, and with heavy play action usage, the connection between Olave and Ryan Tannehill ($29,500,000) could lead to taking the pressure off the rest of the offense.

Make sure to follow Nate Christian over on Twitter at @NateNFL and check out all the work he is doing with the Dynasty Rewind (@DynastyRewind).

Get Your Rebuild Ready for Free Agency

By: Jay Pounds (@jaypoundsnfl)

Dynasty Owners it is that time of the week again. I finally have some football news to talk about with a few players having already signed new deals. Of course, we also saw the modern day Brett Favre start his crap by coming out of retirement after announcing it just two months ago. As I am sure all of you have heard, Tom Brady will be back for another season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While I don’t like it, this is excellent news for many fans, it is also great news here on Dynasty Owner as Brady has an affordable $25,000,000 contract. The Brady news will influence many of our Dynasty Owners as Chris Godwin ($19,179,600 contract for 2023) and Mike Evans ($16,500,000) lose zero value and it will also improve the value of any free agents who sign with Tampa. I do have two players I would like all of you rebuilders to keep an eye on and they are Jalen Darden ($1,044,476) and Tyler Johnson ($902,355). I believe one of these two players will secure the WR3 role during the pre-season and both can be had extremely cheap right now.

Let’s move on to the contract I hate for Dynasty Owner and if I am being honest a contract that highlights why Dynasty Owner is so great. One of the bigger moves that was made on Monday was Christian Kirk signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars for a reported $18,000,000 a season. In my opinion this makes Kirk virtually untouchable in Dynasty Owner. If I had to put a number on it, I am guessing Kirk will be owned in roughly 10-20% of leagues, which is way too high unless he puts up numbers we have never seen from him before. In your average dynasty league, Christian Kirk is someone most will target in the middle rounds in hopes he can be a high end WR3, but how many real teams were willing to pay Kirk the price tag he received? The answer is probably around 10% and you will see similar numbers here on our platform. If you are a first-time reader, these are just a few examples of what makes Dynasty Owner so much fun for fantasy football fanatics.

In honor of my favorite time of the Dynasty Owner year – free agency – I wanted to put together a quick guide on what to expect out of the free agency process as a rebuilding user. Dynasty Owner’s off-season is like nothing you have seen before as our users will need to make tough roster decisions based on the player’s actual contract. Dynasty Owner’s free agency closely mimics the decisions the 32 NFL GMs must make, giving you a small taste of what these guys go through and the decisions they are faced with daily. In today’s article I will be covering three things I feel are important for all newer rebuilding Dynasty Owners in the hope of helping you be better prepared for later this week.

Contracts to Target

In Dynasty Owner, there are two things that stand out above all else, a player’s production and the contract that he signs. In the off-season last year, I was shocked by the movement in Dynasty Owner’s free agency and the price some players can be had for. I know these are not the best names to bring up but last off-season I was able to target Keelan Cole ($5,500,000) for a third round pick and saw Kenny Golladay get moved for the same. On top of Golladay being flat out cut in another league because of his $18,000,000 contract paired with the fact he signed with the Giants. As a rebuilding owner you should not be targeting contracts like this, but it is ok to move them for less than you feel they are worth, after all contract price matters a ton. You will see many tempting big name players available and my best advice to you is hold off on these players if they are not extremely young. As of now there is one bigger contract, I feel all rebuilding owners should have interest in and that is Michael Gallup who just signed a 5-year deal at $11,500,000 per season. While the Gallup contract looks like a lot to take on, he will be an absolute steal as soon as this year and should be an incredible value for the life of the deal if he is able to overcome his knee injury from last season.

Now that we have covered contracts you should target, let’s cover those you should not.  The types of contract situations rebuilding owners should avoid are that of Davante Adams ($20,145,000), who is on the franchise tag this season and will be signing a huge new deal come 2023 at an age that doesn’t fit on a rebuilding timeline. Overall, this comes down to finding young players who are getting paid below market value on long-term deals while sending away older expensive players who can help a contender. If you can pull this off, it will help your team become cap flexible, allowing you to take on a bad contract in exchange for extra draft picks.

What to Do with Your Rostered Players

The most obvious answer in this segment is to keep your players but I assure you there are plenty of different routes you can go. The best way to break this down quickly is to refer you back to articles I have previously wrote on how to rebuild some of our users’ teams (The Black and Yellow – League #27451 and Vantastics – League #30326). In these articles, I break each team down into four separate categories which are: Building Blocks, Players to Trade, Players to Cut, and Players to Hold.

If you look back, you should get a great feel of what players fit into each category but be sure you do not use the article on Eli’s Team unless you are contending. As much as I want to believe you will all go look for the old articles, I know it’s a pain so I will give you a brief description of each category before we move on to the next segment.

  • Building Blocks – Building blocks will be the most important category for your team as they will be the foundation for your team moving forward. In most situations your building blocks will stand out as they will be highly productive on rookie contracts. There happens to be an outlier if you are just starting a rebuild and that is trade your running backs who are a year closer to a second contract. Yes, even Jonathan Taylor ($1,957,287). A building block is a player who you are certain will be producing at a high level when it comes time for your team to win. Players like Justin Jefferson ($3,280,701), Kyle Pitts ($8,227,624), and Joe Burrow ($9,047,534) are excellent building blocks to have.
  • Players to Trade – Players to trade seems self-explanatory right? It is but I will break it down a bit further. Players in this category should be running backs who have finished a year in the league, unless you plan on winning within the next year or two. The other types of players you’ll want to include here are players who do not fit your rebuilding timeline. A great example of this would be DeAndre Hopkins who is 29 years old on a $27,250,000 contract. The average rebuild takes three years and that’s what you should plan for.
  • Players to cut – I will not spend much time on this as these players are obvious. A player who does not offer any value in a trade is a player who can be cut.
  • Players to Hold – The players to hold category happens to be my favorite because of the many differing opinions on players. Typically, a player to hold is a player who you believe has future value and has not broken out just yet. The other type of players you will want to hold are players whose trade value may be down. Never trade a slumping player on a discount unless you are sure they are on the way down permanently.

Getting Prepared for the Rookie Draft

The rules of getting prepared for the rookie draft are similar for all teams but there are a few things I try to do if I am rebuilding my team.

  • Identify your Needs – Now is the time to start thinking about the upcoming rookie draft and filling out your roster. After the huge free agency surge, your needs should be obvious, and you can start building a sound plan towards the future.
  • Identify your Targets in the Draft – After the NFL’s free agency, all eyes will be solely focused on the draft and getting to know the incoming rookies. You should be doing the same. The reason you will want to identify your targets beforehand is so that you can make trades, accordingly, meaning if you love the fit of Garrett Wilson and he is projected to go fifth overall, you need to trade back to the third or fourth spot and grab more value. A mistake I see a lot is, I didn’t trade back because the offer wasn’t good enough when they could have picked up a late second round pick to draft the same player. Lots and lots of mock drafts will help this process a ton!
  • Don’t be Afraid to Trade on Draft Day – After you have the two things above handled it is time to start making trades. A lot of these trades will get rejected but don’t feel discouraged, just send it again on Draft Day. The time to take less in a trade is not now as your picks tend to hold the most value when you are on the clock. Rookie fever is real!

Summary

Free agency will be upon us in just a few days and as a rebuilding Dynasty Owner you better be prepared. Each of these categories will be crucial steps in your rebuilding journey and I encourage you to reach out on Twitter (@jaypoundsnfl) if you need any help. As I mentioned earlier be sure to check back to earlier articles of my Rebuilding with our Dynasty Owners series.

Thank you all for reading and be sure to check out content from my fellow analysts, Steve, Matt, and Nate. Stay safe out there and good luck on your 2022 Chase for the Ring!

Free Agent Friday: News & Top Free Agents

By: Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk)

Last week I finished talking about each notable free agent from each division. That wrapped up Phase One one of my off-season article series. Over the next two weeks, I will be transitioning into Phase Two where I talk about each team a little more in depth. This will also be a good time to recap a lot of the free agents who have signed new contracts. Speaking of new contracts and news, let me use the first half of this article to break down some breaking news since last Friday…

The News

Early Tuesday I thought that I had a major news story that I would be able to use to take up the entirety of this section. That news was the fact that Aaron Rodgers will be returning to the Packers for at least the 2022 season. I have heard rumors that a new contract of 4 years – 200 million dollars is being discussed. Of course, this is not a concrete, signed contract, but I think this will likely be close to the final deal. This would make Rodgers the highest paid quarterback in the NFL. It would also make owning him much more difficult in Dynasty Owner. Anyone who dedicates more than a third of their cap to a single player is asking for management troubles at other positions. Let’s wait and see the final contract, but expect a substantial increase if you have Rodgers on your Dynasty Owner roster.

This news was quickly overshadowed by news that Russell Wilson was being traded to the Denver Broncos.

(I should mention that this trade is technically official from Wilson’s end as he passed his physical and approved the trade. Now we just have to wait for the other players involved to pass their physicals, but that shouldn’t be a problem.)

At any rate, here is the trade…

  • Denver gets Russell Wilson and a 2022 4th round pick.
  • Seattle gets Shelby Harris, Drew Lock, Noah Fant, a 2022 1st round pick, 2022 2nd round pick, 2022 5th round pick, 2023 1st round pick and a 2023 2nd round pick.

In my opinion, Wilson immediately becomes a stronger fantasy asset with the Broncos. He has better offensive weapons than his past few years as well as a much easier division to play in (defensively at least). My opinion on Russ hasn’t changed all too much, but I am more optimistic for him.

Now for the bad…I see this as a major downgrade for Tyler Lockett, D.K. Metcalf, and Noah Fant. I don’t think it’s realistic that Drew Lock is the starting quarterback for the Seahawks the entire 2022 season, but the alternatives may actually be worse. It’s likely Seattle will use one of their newly acquired picks to draft a rookie quarterback. 

Noah Fant is a player who takes a massive hit with this trade. Not that I think this will affect Fant’s play on his own, but the lack of clarity from the quarterback position makes his fantasy outlook very dubious. I have a lot more to say about this trade, and I will talk about it much more over the next few months. For right now though, I think this sums up my initial thoughts.

A trio of tight ends were given a franchise tag this week. Mike Gesicki signed his tag on Tuesday. Unless a new deal is reached by July, Gesicki will make $10,931,000 for a single year. The same result happened for Dalton Schultz. Schultz was also given a tight end franchise tag which ends up being the same dollar amount as Gesicki, $10,931,000. David Njoku is the third TE to receive a franchise tag. All three tight ends will play under the same dollar amount in 2022. However, their levels of value and success will likely widely differ. If I had to rank them right now, I’d say Gesicki, Schultz and Njoku.

Other players “slapped” with a franchise tag include Davante Adams and Chris Godwin. Like Gesicki, this tag could very well just be a placeholder until a long term deal can be reached. If a new contract cannot be worked out between either of these players and their team, then each will cost Dynasty Owners more than the previous year. Adams will cost $20,145,000 for one year while Godwin will cost $19,180,000 for one year. The biggest news is that both top-level wide receivers will be returning to their teams in 2022.

Finally, Mike Williams signed a 3 year – $60,000,000 contract. This will equal $20,000,000 per year, and puts him right on track for what I expected him to make. Once again, I think the biggest takeaway from these tags and signings is that we have several big name players who have decided their future prior to Free Agency even opening. Big things are happening, and I expect them to only get bigger as we look ahead a few weeks.

Top Free Agents Remaining

In the second half of this article, I will list the Top 10 free agents who I am watching this off-season. What’s funny is that three of my Top 10 were signed on Tuesday of this week (Adams, Godwin and Williams). Therefore, I will remove those three from the list and start anew.

Top 10PlayerAgeStatus2021 SalaryMarket Value
1James Conner26UFA$1,750,000$6,500,000
2Allen Robinson28UFA$17,880,000$16,000,000
3JuJu Smith-Schuster25UFA$8,000,000$12,000,000
4Melvin Gordon28UFA$8,000,000$6,000,000
5Odell Beckham Jr29UFA$1,250,000$12,000,000
6D.J. Chark25UFA$1,111,807$11,000,000
7Ronald Jones26UFA$1,767,977$4,000,000
8Michael Gallup25UFA$880,995$12,000,000
9Leonard Fournette27UFA$3,250,000$7,000,000
10Robert Tonyan Jr.27UFA$3,384,000$8,000,000

I never thought that I would be writing this article with James Conner as my top watched free agent. Not that I don’t care about where Conner signs (I clearly do), but it surprised me that he is Number One. I suppose that’s what happens when your original top three players all sign contracts right before the franchise tag deadline.

There are plenty of great free agents still left to sign. What we do know is that none of the players on this list will receive a tag of any sort. The time for that has come and gone. The next news we will hear about any of them will likely be shortly after free agency opens. Remember that happens in the middle of next week (March 16th at 4pm ET)

This is one of my favorite football weeks of the year, and I hope you’re ready for a packed article next week. As always, thank you for reading. If there is any player that you want me to spend more time talking about, just message me on Twitter (@dynastyjerk) and let me know. I would appreciate it if you followed @Dynasty_Owner on Twitter as well as subscribed to Dynasty Owner on YouTube. Take care everyone and be safe.

TheJerk

Prospect Preview: George Pickens

Position: WR

College: Georgia

Height: 6’ 3”

Weight: 195lbs

Age: 21

247 Rating: 0.9880 (5 Stars)

By: Nate Christian (@NateNFL)

The Rundown:

Coming off an incredible recovery from a torn ACL, Pickens didn’t have the chance to put up eye-popping numbers this season. Although he didn’t play until the playoffs, when he helped the Georgia Bulldogs win the National Championship, Pickens enters the draft as one of the top wideout prospects. After a very promising start to his college career, don’t let the majority of a year missed to injury distract you from his potential to be a top Dawg in the NFL.

College Production:

As a 5-star recruit, Pickens came into the Georgia program with a ton of natural talent. He fought for a spot in the lineup, and as a true freshman compiled 49 receptions for 727 yards and 8 touchdowns. He continued this success in the following year as his target share went up and he posted 36 receptions, 513 yards, and 6 touchdowns in just 8 games. In the off-season, he tore his ACL but still came back in time for the end of the 2021 season. He only caught 5 passes, but he averaged over 20 yards on those receptions. Now, a fully healthy Pickens is boosting his draft stock and trying to find his way into the first round, where he surely would have been if he had never missed games with the knee injury.

Strengths:

  • AcrobaticIf you have watched highlights of some of the best saves in the English Premier League, you’ll understand how Pickens catches the ball outside of his frame. If it’s anywhere near him, he is giving his all and putting his body at risk to make the catch. Whether it’s stretching out horizontally or out-jumping his defender, Pickens is going to win a lot of 50/50 balls at the next level.
  • Physical MatchupOne of the most physical wideouts in college football the past couple of years, Pickens certainly plays with an attitude. While that attitude has gotten the better of him in the past (see below), often times it gives him the edge to beat his man one on one. Pickens wants the ball, and we’ve seen that he is willing to do almost anything to win at the catch point.

Weaknesses:

  • Red Flags?In 2019, Pickens got into a fight with a defender from Georgia Tech and was ejected from the game. He was also then suspended for the first half of the following game. There were some rumors of immaturity his freshman year, but since then he’s been pretty clean, and no issues have arisen. While you’ll see some people point to “character concerns” with Pickens, they may not remember being 18 years old, and certainly don’t understand being that young and a superstar on one of the top teams in college football. Basically, I’m not worried about it at this point.
  • Healthy KneeWhile I don’t believe many teams will be worried about his knee and he’ll have plenty of time to be fully healthy by the start of the 2022 season, it will be a small concern going forward. We have seen some players struggle to come back 100% from knee injuries and while we did see some of Pickens at the end of the season, it was certainly not at full health.
  • Above-Average not Elite Route RunnerNot much to elaborate on here, as the title really is simple. Pickens does well to get in and out of his cuts for his size, but he’s doesn’t consistently create separation out of his breaks. Where he wins on his routes consistently is with leverage against his defender, making him a hard matchup in man-to-man situations.

Things to Watch:

After impressing at the combine with a 4.47 40-yard dash, I don’t expect Pickens to re-run the 40 at his pro day. He will likely retest on his vertical and broad jump as those could certainly be improved upon. Either way the numbers he posted are pretty good for a player his size. He did weigh in right under 200 pounds, and while the physicality is obviously there, teams would likely like to see him gain some more muscle on his frame. Something that he could absolutely do now that he is healthy and moving up to the pro level.

Projected Round/Contract:  

There are plenty of people hoping that George Pickens ends up in the back end of the first round, and I certainly think it’s possible, but I’m a bit more conservative with my projection. A couple years ago we saw both Tee Higgins ($2,171,696) and Michael Pittman Jr ($2,153,213) go at the very beginning of the second round, and I think that is one of the sweet spots for Pickens to be selected. This would obviously give him a similar contract to the two players listed above, meaning he’ll be making just over $2 million a year.

Team Fits:  

If I am going off of my early-second round projection (and it’s a good one as the first five teams could all be realistic landing spots), then one of the top teams ready to draft George Pickens would be the Detroit Lions in my eyes. They are going through quite the rebuild and they have a lot of holes to fill, the wideout position being one of the largest. I’m not the biggest Amon-Ra St. Brown ($1,066,313) fan but he could be a great WR2 across from a big physical X-receiver like Pickens. Pickens would give Jared Goff ($33,500,000) a safety blanket to throw to and a field stretcher to help open up the running game. Pickens would also be a great building block for any young quarterback the Lions may choose whether it’s in this year’s draft or in 2023.

If Pickens goes in the first round, a team that could be willing to make the splash with him would be the Miami Dolphins at pick 29. Mike McDaniel may try to replicate the 49ers offensive scheme and Pickens could do great in the Brandon Aiyuk ($3,132,835) role, with Jaylen Waddle ($6,771,498) playing the Deebo Samuel ($1,811,869) role of course. Yeah just think about that for a couple moments and get excited.

Make sure to follow Nate Christian over on Twitter at @NateNFL and check out all the work he is doing with the Dynasty Rewind (@DynastyRewind).

Rebuilding with Our Dynasty Owners

Team – Eli’s Team – League of Legends (League #62043)

Owner – Eli Padilla (@Eli_Pad1224)

By: Jay Pounds (@jaypoundsnfl)

Dynasty Owners, welcome back to another week of rebuilding with yours truly. In this week’s article, we are going to do things quite a bit different than what you have seen in the past. Today, we will be looking at a contending roster and talking about how to push for another chance at a League Championship and hopefully avoid a rebuild. If we are being honest, the top is a tough place to get to and it is almost impossible to stay there long term. The main thing users should do in these situations is look at each rostered player’s window and decide, can I get similar value next off-season vs trading them today? If you can answer yes to this question, that player is a building block for your roster. If you cannot, It is time for a trade. You will still have your normal younger building blocks but the main reason I consider these “older” guys building blocks is because they will help you achieve your goals this season while still returning value in a trade next off-season, when the championship window is starting to close. If Eli plays this perfectly, he will win this season and trade these fading assets to another contender in the league in the off-season and make his team younger in the process. I should also mention the fact there is only a 2-year window for a championship in this league for reasons you will see later in the article.

Building Blocks

  1. Aaron Rodgers ($33,500,000)
  2. Davante Adams (Free Agent)
  3. Terry McLaurin ($961,918)
  4. Cole Kmet ($1,894,444)
  5. Darren Waller ($7,450,000)

As you can see building blocks for someone who is contending look much different from someone who is not. In all honesty, building blocks vary a lot from team to team. The player here that stands out the most is Davante Adams. If I were in Eli’s shoes, I would not move Adams until next off-season barring an offer he cannot refuse. Adams is extremely likely to help push for a title this season while still bringing back solid value in a trade next year. The same can be said for Darren Waller who I believe will be the tight end to have in 2022 in terms of value/production. Waller also has two years remaining on his deal meaning you should easily be able to move him next off-season while he is still seen as a value. As far as McLaurin and Kmet, I believe both will be very solid pros for a long time to come, especially with Kmet tied to Justin Fields. I know I left Rodgers out of this segment. If you are curious of my thoughts continue reading!

Players to Trade Away

  1. Damien Harris ($907,784)
  2. Aaron Jones ($12,000,000)
  3. Devin Duvernay ($1,143,952)
  4. Laviska Shenault ($1,924,017)
  5. Kendrick Bourne ($5,000,000)

I am sure one player stands out to everyone on this list and that player is none other than Aaron Jones. Jones is a phenomenal player and fantasy asset, but the ascension of A.J. Dillon ($1,321,458) has me a bit paranoid. That said, the only way I would move Jones is if it involves a running back in return. Austin Ekeler would be my preferred target. It also would not hurt to package Jones and Laviska Shenault together and see what offers come up. Damien Harris is another running back I would look to trade because of the player behind him, Rhomandre Stevenson ($1,057,264). As I mentioned with Jones I will mention with Harris, make sure you get a running back in return. If you cannot, I would hold both players. The other players on this list should all be used to help put any deals made over the top, though Kendrick Bourne and Shenault could bring back value if you are dealing with the right owner.

Hold these Players

  1. Brandin Cooks ($16,200,000)
  2. Van Jefferson ($1,402,784)
  3. K.J. Osborn ($890,693)
  4. Devontae Booker (Free Agent, cut by Giants)
  5. Darius Slayton ($688,497)
  6. Zay Jones (Free Agent)
  7. Adam Trautman ($1,124,851)
  8. Tommy Tremble ($1,231,608)

The Hold players, or in other terms, the players I have no idea what to do with. Let us start with the easy one, Brandin Cooks. I have Cooks as a Hold simply because of the community’s view on him at the moment. If Davis Mills proves to be a real threat at quarterback at the start of next season, Cooks will become tradable, and Eli will have to decide if Cooks gets traded or kept, to help with the goal of winning a Championship. If Mills comes out and struggles, Cooks could be a potential Amnesty Provision candidate to help clear space for another quarterback or high dollar player. Van Jefferson is another player I may consider trading but for now I would hold and see how the Rams manage this off-season. Zay Jones and Devontae Booker are both in similar situations and where they sign will determine if they are cut or not. The two most intriguing players on this list are Adam Trautman and K.J. Osborn who both have potential to be very solid starters in the near future, with Osborn already having shown flashes. The last two players on the list, Tommy Tremble and Darius Slayton, are both interesting stashes but can be cut if needed.

Players who can Be Cut

  1. Rex Burkhead (Free Agent)
  2. Chester Rogers (Free Agent)
  3. Ross Dwelley (Free Agent)

I will keep this one brief as all are self-explanatory. Eli picked these players up for depth purposes throughout this season and can now be cut for fresh blood.

Questions from Eli Padilla

Q. Should I keep Aaron Rodgers for the majority of the 30-day window to see how things unfold?

  1. After thinking on this a little, the answer is yes you must wait. After looking at the available options in free agency, you have three real choices heading into 2022 and in my opinion only one will allow you to truly compete for a title, which involves keeping Rodgers. Sure, you can trade Rodgers but realistically in that situation you must give up talent or draft capital to get worse at the position. The third option is to outright cut or use the Amnesty Provision on Rodgers which I would not recommend. I think the best route to take here is keep Rodgers regardless of the situation and try to find a solid backup in free agency at some point. The curveball here is Rodgers getting north of $50,000,000 and in that scenario Captain Kirk Cousins ($33,000,000) will have to do.

Q. Should I make a move for Calvin Ridley?

  1. Eli asked me this question on Twitter and at first, I was all for it but after really digging in, I think I would pass. The reason for this is because Eli is wanting to compete for a title this season and Ridley will not only not contribute towards that goal. Ridley will also eat up either draft capital or talent to acquire him via trade. At the end of the day, I believe the move will make the team better in the future, but can Eli spend assets for him and still win? That is the big question. Personally, I would target running back depth over Ridley as receivers are much easier to find when compared to the running back position.

Q. What is a good plan for picks 1.05 and 1.12 in the upcoming rookie draft?

  1. Trade them! I happen to talk to Eli quite a bit and know what his exact intentions with these picks are right now and I am here to try and talk him out of it. Eli is planning to take quarterbacks with at least one of, if not both of these picks and while I completely understand why he wants to go this route; I don’t think he can win a Championship by using both on rookie signal callers.

I feel Eli’s biggest need heading into this off-season will be running back depth and if I were thinking championship, I would use at least one of the picks on a shiny new running back. Take this advice from someone that learned the hard way twice, you cannot win in Dynasty Owner with average quarterback play. If Eli has trouble moving the 1.05 for a player he likes, I would take one of the stud receivers that will be on the board and see what you can do with pick 1.12. I would recommend a running back with the 1.05, but Eli has the benefit of knowing both Breece Hall and Kenneth Walker will likely be gone.

Summary

As you can see this is an extremely different process than a full-on rebuild and if were being frank, I would rather climb to the top then try and stay there, it is much easier. Eli’s big question this off-season will be between his depth at running back, or the quarterback position. As far as being able to keep this team at the top of his league for years to come, Eli has his work cut out for him because of not only his future quarterback situation but because Bryce Williams (@BryceNFL) owns 9 first round picks in 2023 on top of already rostering Kyle Pitts ($8,227,624), Trey Lance ($8,526,319), Jaylen Waddle ($6,771,498), Rashod Bateman ($3,149,853), and Michael Carter ($1,071,842).

I am sure Eli does not want to hear this but if this were my team, I would go all in this season and blow it up after by trading a bunch of my studs for future capital and hopefully set this team up for a run once his league mate Bryce starts running into contract issues down the road. I can also see a scenario where a 2023 championship is possible, but it would kill most of the value in return for players like Darren Waller, Davante Adams, Aaron Jones, and potentially Terry McLaurin. Overall, I think Eli’s best course of action moving forward is to trade every asset he has away to compete this year and worry about a rebuild after. In a league that has an obvious powerhouse being built sometimes you must take your championship and run!

Thank you all for reading and be sure to check out the work of our other analysts here at Dynasty Owner, Steve, Matt, and Nate! Stay safe and good luck on your 2022 Chase for the Ring!

Free Agent Market Values: Lower Salary TEs

By Steven Van Tassell (@SteveVT33)

It’s the final article in this series about free agent market values, which can mean only one thing. The start of NFL free agent contract signings is coming very soon!

Teams have until tomorrow (Tuesday, March 8th) to place the franchise or transition tag label on their own players. The Kansas City Chiefs did it already with offensive tackle Orlando Brown (1 year, $16.5 million), but other teams may do it soon as well. After that, it’s a couple of days off but starting next Monday (March 14th), player agents can begin negotiations with teams regarding their free agent clients and the signings will begin at 4 PM on Wednesday, March 16th. This is conveniently timed with the Wednesday Dynasty Owner Livestream so clear your calendar for that time.

The 2022 Dynasty Owner season doesn’t start until Friday, March 18th giving Dynasty Owners a day and a half to process free agent moves before those contracts take effect on the Dynasty Owner platform. And with the recent decision to allow more time for Dynasty Owners to decide what to do with free agents who get new contracts, it’ll still be a frenzy of trades, free drops and Free Agent Auction bids, but stretched out over a longer period of time.

As for this article, the title is somewhat misleading. It says “lower”, not “low” on purpose. The five TEs listed all have market values of less than $8 million per season. However, four out of the five TEs have market values that aren’t much lower than the fifth guy in the high salary TE range (C.J. Uzomah at $8.23 million). With 10 TEs with market values, the difference between the fifth TE and the sixth TE was only around $620,000, less than it was for RBs (about $1.48 million) and WRs (about $2.05 million).

Interesting, three of these players were first round draft picks back in 2017 who had their fifth year option picked up for the 2021 season. They are now hitting the open market for the first time in their careers. All three had identical $6.013 million salaries in 2021, but their salaries could be much different in 2022. Two are expected to get small salary increases, but one could have the franchise or transition tag placed and receive a pretty hefty increase, although only for one season. The third TE is expected to have his annual salary trimmed by nearly $3.8 million.

Any 2022 signed contracts mentioned are either listed under Yearly Salary Breakdown or posted in the Contract section on the player’s profile if it hasn’t taken effect yet. Dynasty Owners can start planning for all free agent contracts using the anticipated free agent market values from Spotrac (https://www.spotrac.com/). However, before we can get to reviewing the market values for these five TEs, let’s review how players score Dynasty Owner fantasy points.

All stats cited 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 statistics and 2021 position ranks were current as of the morning of March 7th. Spotrac has market values available for select players at https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/free-agents/.

TEs Who Are Going to Get Paid Between $6 and $8 Million Per Year

There were quite a few TEs in the $6 million to $8 million salary range on Dynasty Owner in 2021. They ranged from a pair of Top 20 TEs near the high end of the range (Darren Waller and Tyler Higbee) to a TE rostered in zero Dynasty Owner leagues who is mostly known as a blocker and only scored 1.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in five games played (Nick Boyle). In between, there are a couple of TEs who ranked just outside of the Top 20 and a couple more high-priced veterans. It’s quite the hodgepodge of players.   

The player with the highest market value in this group is actually someone who’s salary is projected to drop for 2022. It’s Zach Ertz.

Position RankAge2021 SalaryMarket ValueSalary Change
TE531$8,500,000$7,612,050– $887,950

Ertz’s market value is projected at 2 years and $15,224,100, or $7,612,050 per year for Dynasty Owner salary purposes. Dynasty Owners with Ertz on their roster currently should expect to receive a savings of just under $900,000 in salary if they keep him on their team. What should his Dynasty Owners do?

Current Recommendation: Hold if you plan on being a contender. Trade if you’re rebuilding.

Originally, I was going to suggest trading Ertz, but the more I think about it and look at his numbers, the more I move towards holding him. Unless you’re in a rebuild as your team needs younger talent and he’s 31 years old.

Consistency is the name of the game for Ertz. For his career, he’s averaged 4.7 receptions per game for 51 receiving yards. That’s 9.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game, which puts him as a low-end TE1 for your team. In 11 games in Arizona in 2021, he had 56 receptions for 574 yards (5.1 receptions for 52.2 yards per game). In eight games with Kyler Murray at QB for Arizona, Ertz had 41 receptions (5.1 per game), 413 receiving yards (51.6 per game) and 1 TD. Overall, he had 88.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points, or 11.1 points per game with only one TD. Take out the TD and his per game average is 10.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game, which is pretty much his career average.

As I’ve stated before, if I’m paying top dollar for a TE, then I want him in my lineup every week. Ertz is that type of TE and at around $7.6 million per season for only two seasons, he’d be at the low end of the Top 12 TEs in average annual salary. It’s a reasonable amount to pay for him at his age and for the consistent production he can bring to your Dynasty Owner team.

Next on the list is Maxx Williams, the TE who Ertz replaced in Arizona.

Position RankAge2021 SalaryMarket ValueSalary Change
TE5627$3,500,000$6,689,191+ $3,189,191

Williams’ market value is projected at 3 years and $20,067,573, or $6,689,191 per year for Dynasty Owner salary purposes. Dynasty Owners with Williams on their roster currently should expect to have to find $3.19 million more in salary cap to keep him on their team.  What should his Dynasty Owners do?

Current Recommendation: Drop him for free after trying to trade him, but not having any success

At his current $3.5 million salary, Williams is only rostered in 16.35% of Dynasty Owner leagues. The season-ending knee injury he suffered in the fifth game of the 2021 season curtailed a fine year with 16 receptions for 193 receiving yards and a touchdown (41.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points). He had two games with double-digit Dynasty Owner fantasy points, one more than he had in his first two seasons in Arizona (25 games). Similar to C.J. Uzomah, did Williams finally find his groove and can be expected to perform like this in the future?

The short answer is No. The long answer is also No and good luck if you believe that or want to find another Dynasty Owner who does. While he earned his Dynasty Owner salary in those two double-digit point games early in 2021, he wasn’t worth having on your roster at $3.5 million and definitely isn’t at more.

Evan Engram is the third TE in this salary range, but in reality, he’s tied with David Njoku who’s ranked fourth. Unless Njoku get the franchise tag from the Browns, don’t be surprised if both of them sign identical contract after playing on their $6.013 million fifth year options in 2021. We’ll tackle Engram first as he has the slightly higher market value.

Position RankAge2021 SalaryMarket ValueSalary Change
TE2327$6,013,000$6,753,911+ $740,911

Engram’s market value is projected at 4 years and $27,015,644, or $6,753,911 per year for Dynasty Owner salary purposes. Those figures are flat out stunning to me. Dynasty Owners with Engram on their roster currently should expect to have to find only $740,911 more to keep him on their team. What should his Dynasty Owners do?

Current Recommendation: Trade him

Engram hasn’t panned out for the Giants after being a first round draft pick (#23) in the 2017 NFL Draft. The Giants exercised their fifth year option for $6.013 million on Engram for 2021 and he rewarded them arguably his worst season statistically. He averaged a career-worst 8.9 yards per reception, a career-low 408 receiving yards and only 46 receptions, third worst after the 2019 and 2018 seasons in which he had 44 receptions in 8 games (2019) and 45 receptions in 11 games (2018). In contrast, he played in 15 games in 2021 when he scored 101.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (6.8 points per game) with only five games of more than 10.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points.

It’s amazing that he could have his worst year and likely get a larger contract in free agency. Can Engram salvage his first round potential in New York under new coach Brian Daboll, or with another team? It’s possible, but if I was one of the Dynasty Owners with Engram on my roster (he is currently on a roster in 84.28% of Dynasty Owner leagues), I’d be happy to get rid of him in any manner that I could (free drop or trade). With that high of a roster percentage, it’s logical to assume that Engram can be traded, and his Dynasty Owners won’t need to utilize the free drop from the contract change.

If you look quickly, you might think that I copied the same data in the chart below for David Njoku as for Evan Engram. They are that close in almost every measure.

Position RankAge2021 SalaryMarket ValueSalary Change
TE2225$6,013,000$6,733,392+ $720,392

Njoku’s market value is projected at 4 years and $26,933,568, or $6,733,392 per year for Dynasty Owner salary purposes. Dynasty Owners with Njoku on their roster currently should expect to have to find only $720,392 more to keep him on their team.  What should his Dynasty Owners do?

Current Recommendation: Hold him and see what his contract ends up being, especially if he gets the franchise or transition tag

Same as Engram, Njoku hasn’t panned out for the Browns after being a first round draft pick (#29) in the 2017 NFL Draft. However, he is in a much more interesting contract position as there are reports that the Browns may use their franchise or transition tag on Njoku. The franchise tag would give Njoku a contract of likely $10.93 million, while the transition tag would yield a $9.33 million salary. Both are much higher than his projected market value.

Njoku’s stats are nothing to get excited about over his career, but they do show improvement over the past three years from an average of 3.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game in 2019 to 4.0 points per game in 2020 to 6.7 points per game in 2021 with a TE22 finish. He will obviously have to improve to be worth any projected new contract.

Truthfully, I like Njoku more than Engram. Part of it is my Miami Hurricanes’ bias, part is that he is nearly full two years younger than Engram and the rest is that he has been improving whereas Engram has not. A one-year franchise or transition deal with Cleveland would have me lean towards keeping Njoku and seeing what happens. A longer deal with Cleveland or elsewhere also leaves me leaning towards keeping him, but not rejecting a good trade offer.

Our Final TE Who Is Expected to Get Just Over $2 Million per Year

The jump from $6 to $8 million contracts to just over $2 million is pretty abrupt, but that’s all we have to discuss. There are no TEs with a market value between $3 million and $6 million and only one in this over $2 million salary range. There will likely be a few veteran TEs who join the $3 million to $6 million range with newly extended Ian Thomas ($5.5 million per year), T.J. Hockenson ($4,955,306 per year) and Noah Fant ($3,147,680) among others. However, no TE has a Spotrac market value projected in that range.

Instead, we have one final TE with a market value just north of $2 million per year. It’s O.J. Howard, the third first round draft pick from the 2017 NFL Draft who made $6.013 million in 2021.

Position RankAge2021 SalaryMarket ValueSalary Change
TE6627$6,013,000$2,215,824– $3,797,176

Howard’s market value is projected at 1 year and $2,215,824 for Dynasty Owner salary purposes. Dynasty Owners with Howard on their roster currently should expect to receive a savings of almost $3.8 million in salary if they keep him on their team. What should his Dynasty Owners do?

Current Recommendation: Hold him

Howard was the first TE selected in that 2017 NFL draft as he was the #19 pick. He has been the least productive of the three TEs and was only the third best TE in Tampa Bay in 2021. He played in all 17 games in 2021, but only managed to score 33.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (14 receptions, 135 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD). That’s less than 2.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. After Tampa Bay’s Week 9 bye, he had two targets and one reception for 10 yards (2.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points). He hasn’t done much for his Dynasty Owners in prior seasons either with a TE31 finish when he averaged 5.9 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game in 2019 being his best season.

Why the hold then? It’s not outrageous to think that he could put together a decent season and just over $2.2 million isn’t a lot to pay for a 27-year old TE. If you’re contending, this is the type of move that helps your team get better if he plays well. If he doesn’t, trade him to someone who’s rebuilding for a high-salary player who might help you win. If you’re rebuilding and he plays well, you can move him for a draft pick. If he doesn’t play well, then he helps your team by not scoring points and maybe you get a better 2023 draft position. Then you drop him next off-season. Either way, he’s worth a roster spot at $2.2 million, while he wasn’t worth one at his level of production for $6.013 million.

Conclusion

As previewed at the beginning of this article, the lower salary TEs title was a little misleading as four out of the five TEs listed are expected to sign contracts worth over $15 million in total and over $6.7 million per year. That’s considerably higher than the low salary RBs and even higher than all but one of the high salary RBs. The TE market values are similar to a few of the lower salary WRs, such as A.J. Green, Cedrick Wilson, T.Y. Hilton and Braxton Berrios. However, they are a step below the market values for the five high salary free agent TEs.

The recommendations were also more varied here than in other articles. Only one is someone who Dynasty Owners will likely be dropping in droves during the Dynasty Owner off-season, while the rest have value. Whether that value is to their current Dynasty Owner, or to another team is something that we’ll find out soon.

Speaking of soon, the weekly Dynasty Owner livestream with myself and Tim Peffer is coming up soon – Wednesday at 4 PM (Eastern). Set the timer on YouTube so you don’t miss it live, or make sure to watch it afterwards. Either way, don’t forget to smash the Like button. You can also listen to it afterwards wherever you get your podcasts.

Please read all of the off-season articles from our Dynasty Owner team as well. On Mondays, I write about players, salaries and contracts to help new and returning Dynasty Owners navigate how to play our unique game. Jay Pounds is writing about everything on rebuilding your Dynasty Owner roster on Tuesday. Nate Christian is back for 2022 and will do prospect previews every Thursday. Finally, Friday is Free Agent Friday with articles from Matt Morrison – The Jerk.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Steven Van Tassell is the Head of Content for Dynasty Owner

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner

Free Agent Friday: NFC South

By: Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk)

The opening of free agency and the start of the new NFL league year are quickly approaching. To be specific, it is 12 days away. Today, I will present to you the final division in my Free Agent Friday series. Next week, I’ll recap some of the most important free agents who I’ve talked about in the past two months. After free agency opens, I’ll have a (likely) very long article that recaps all of the players who have been signed to that point. I’ll also talk about some of the rumors that surround unsigned players. But for now, let’s finish the divisional component to this series.

NFC South

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

PlayerAgeStatusCurrent SalaryEstimated Value
Chris Godwin26UFA$15,983,000$18,000,000
Rob Gronkowski32UFA$8,000,000$10,000,000
Leonard Fournette27UFA$3,250,000$7,000,000
Ronald Jones24UFA$1,767,977$4,000,000
Giovani Bernard30UFA$1,212,500$2,000,000

There are an abundance of pivotal free agents for the Bucs this year. The retirement of Tom Brady makes all of their situations dubious to say the least. However, there is still plenty of potential for this team, and I don’t think a full rebuild is part of the plan this year. Given that idea, I think that three of these five players will resign with the Bucs.

This may not be a popular opinion, but I actually think Godwin re-signs with Tampa Bay. It will cost them roughly 18 million dollars per year, and it will cost Dynasty Owners close to the same amount no matter where he lands. Godwin has shown he’s able to be a Top 10 wide receiver throughout his career. He finished WR16 in 2021, but he also missed the final three games.

Gronk is unlikely to retire this late into the off-season, but I also don’t think he will play for the Bucs in 2022. Rumors of the Bills being interested is a very intriguing idea. I’m not sure that makes much sense with a top level tight end (Dawson Knox) already on the roster. Regardless, it will cost about 10 million dollars per year to roster Gronk assuming he doesn’t retire.

Leonard Fournette has been one of the biggest surprise players for Dynasty Owners over the past two seasons. Ever since he was waived by the Jaguars, he has seemingly resurrected his career. That being said, I think the Bucs allow him to “walk.”  Fournette is an older running back, but he is likely to receive the biggest contract of his career. The going rate will be roughly $7,000,000 per year.

I see no reason why Ronald Jones and Giovani Bernard shouldn’t both be re-signed by Tampa Bay. They are both well above average, and they will not be expected to accept a high-tier contract. Bernard is probably getting close to the final deal of his career. He has shown to be a reliable pass catching option especially on third down. Whoever the quarterback is for Tampa Bay in 2022, they will likely need a reliable checkdown option. Bernard fits that description.

New Orleans Saints

PlayerAgeStatusCurrent SalaryEstimated Value
Jameis Winston28UFA$5,500,000$8,000,000

Jameis Winston is the sole player for the Saints who I want to talk about today. I don’t think he is the quarterback that can or will take them to the playoffs over the next few years. Winston has always been a solid quarterback option for fantasy players. This is especially true when he played in games against opposing offenses that were above average.  Unfortunately, his fantasy points have not really translated into real world success. Winston’s propensity to turn the ball over has made it a shaky move to start the upcoming season with him as the starter.  Regardless, someone will take a chance on Winston, and it will cost that team between 8 and 10 million dollars per year.

Atlanta Falcons

PlayerAgeStatusCurrent SalaryEstimated Value
Cordarrelle Patterson30UFA$3,000,000$8,000,000
Hayden Hurst28UFA$2,759,007$5,000,000
Russell Gage26UFA$654,049$6,000,000

Cordarrelle Patterson was one of the honorable mentions for my Value of the Year players for the 2021 season. Ultimately, his salary of $3,000,000 was too much to overcome his dominant fantasy year. Well, his 2022 value is not going to get better. Not only will his salary more than double, I find it hard to believe that he will have as many fantasy points as last year. Continue to roster him, but be advised of the contract increase.

Hayden Hurst lost a lot of value as soon as Kyle Pitts was drafted last year. I would consider Hurst one of the better blocking tight ends in the league. For this reason, he will make close to $5,000,000 next season. Don’t expect a big fantasy season from Hurst, and he may even be a player you consider dropping after his contract is made known.

Russell Gage’s salary will 10x this offseason. There are plenty of contending teams that are looking for a WR2 or WR3 like Gage. Expect him to make over $5,000,000 per year, and I anticipate the competition will force him from the Falcons.

Carolina Panthers

PlayerAgeStatusCurrent SalaryEstimated Value
Cam Newton32UFA$6,000,000$4,000,000
Ian Thomas25Signed$5,500,000N/A

I asked myself a few questions while I started to think about Cam Newton.

  • “Will he get a new contract?”
  • “Should he get a new contract?”

The answer to the second question depends on who you ask, but I believe the answer is yes to both. Yes, I know that he had a very poor last couple of seasons, but he would still be one of the best backup quarterbacks in the NFL. I don’t think he could offensively be trusted to lead a team for the entire season, but he could be a fine fill-in quarterback due to injury for a few weeks. I like Cam to make $4,000,000.

Ian Thomas is one of the first new signings of the 2022 off-season. Thomas signed a 3-year contract worth a total of $16,500,000. That is good for $5,500,000 per year. His 2021 salary was only $801,999. I dislike this number from a value standpoint, but I would also have predicted a little more. In the end, this contract won’t be manageable for most Dynasty Owners, and I’m not sure it would be worth rostering him. He totaled less than 40.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in each of his last two seasons.

That wraps up my 8-part divisional series on the notable free agents. I will talk about every one of these free agents at least one more time throughout the off-season. Thank you for reading. Take care and be safe.

TheJerk