League Winners and Playoff Predictions

By: Matt “TheJerk” Morrison (@DynastyJerk)

This is what we’ve all been waiting for.  The time has finally come.  We are officially in the Dynasty Owner Playoffs.  Some of you that are reading this have been eliminated from the playoffs and the Chase for the Ring, but there are also many teams who have grinded their way to a shot at the title.  If you have been eliminated, this article may still help you in the short term and here is why…

Don’t forget that the winner and runner up of the Loser’s Bracket receive a prize.  If you are victorious from the loser’s side of the bracket, you will receive a bonus draft pick that will be at the end of the 1st round of the 2021 rookie draft (Pick #13), and one Amnesty Provision.  The runner up in the Loser’s Bracket receives one Amnesty Provision.  The point is that if you have been eliminated from the overall top prize, don’t give up on the season until you have been eliminated from all prizes.

With the Dynasty Owner postseason starting, that means all trades and Free Agent Auction transactions have halted.  You are no longer able to improve your team through outside sources.  Everything that you do to change your team for the rest of the season will have to be internal.  For this reason, I will no longer be talking about trade targets, free agent finds, or under/over owned players.  All of these topics still matter for Dynasty Owner, but they won’t affect how you play for the remainder of the season.  Think about it this way…

We know that Dynasty Owner is the most realistic fantasy platform ever created.  We marry players to their real-life salaries and through that marriage, we can find value that otherwise doesn’t exist on other fantasy sites.  However, once our rosters are locked and we start the postseason, the salaries tend to matter less.  Now that we are entrenched in the playoffs, the best team is going to win their league.  The team with the best players that score the most points is going to win leagues.  It’s actually a very refreshing feeling (at least for me).  We spend all season trying to figure out value and which player’s salary can be moved or traded, but in the playoffs, all we have to worry about is setting our best lineup regardless of the salaries.  So today I present to you…

TheJerk’s League Winners

The League Winners are an assortment of five players that, in my opinion, are going to win Dynasty Owner’s their championship.  As I stated before, your roster is locked so there is no use in looking to trade for any of these players, but if you happen to find them on your roster, they should be started for the duration of your postseason run.

Justin Herbert (4-Years – $6,644,688/YR)

Herbert makes this list as somewhat of a “chalky” pick.  He is currently ranked QB9 on the season in Dynasty Owner, and he is on pace to smash Baker Mayfield’s rookie record of 27 touchdown passes.  He will also, no doubt, make a run for Andrew Luck’s rookie record of 4,374 passing yards.  (Herbert is on pace for 31 touchdown passes and 4,298 passing yards.)  Whether Justin ultimately takes down these records is still to be seen, but, as I stated, he has been just as impressive for Dynasty Owner managers who took a shot on him in the draft.  It’s not a secret that you are starting Herbert every week despite the matchup, but it is nice to know that he (statistically) has the easiest next three weeks of any quarterback in the league.  Let me break it down…

Herbert finishes his fantasy season by playing Atlanta (Week 14), Las Vegas (Week 15) and Denver (Week 16).  All three of these teams have been generous to opposing game managers throughout the season as they all rank bottom third in the NFL for fantasy points given up to quarterbacks.  Denver and Atlanta have been playing better defense as of late, but they are still able to be exploited by this rising young quarterback.  In addition, the game scripts for all three of these games should be in favor of Herbert.  Aside from last week, the Chargers have been very good at keeping games close.  In ten of their twelve games played, they have won or been within one score.  They do not get blown out very often.  In addition, the Falcons and Raiders have won or lost within one score in nine out out of their twelve games.  The Broncos have either won or lost within one score in eight out of their twelve games.  The point is…these next three games for the Chargers should be competitive, and they should be conducive to fantasy production by Herbert.

This is how confident I am in Herbert for your Championship run.  If you told me that I had to pick a single quarterback to start for the next three weeks, (I couldn’t switch him out with a bench quarterback) these are the only players I’d pick over Herbert…

  • Mahomes
  • Wilson
  • Rodgers

That’s the list.

There are quarterbacks I like over Herbert for individual matchups (D. Watson vs Cincinnati in Week 16 for example), but only three that I would take for the remainder of the season.  Despite his last two weeks being two of the worst three weeks of his season, he needs to be started in almost all playoff matchups.  The bold prediction for Herbert is…

Justin Herbert’s Final Three Games:

  • 967 passing yards – 2 INT – 8 passing touchdowns
  • 60 rushing yards – 1 rushing touchdown

Derrick Henry (1-Year – $10,278,000)

Okay, yes, I know that this is an absolute no brainer, but hear me out.  Derrick Henry is going to win a lot of people fantasy championships this year, but he’s also going to do a lot more than that.  Henry is going to be the #1 running back over the next three weeks by a good amount.  Here is where King Henry sits after Week 13…

He is the RB3 on the season for Dynasty Owner.  He trails only Dalvin Cook and Alvin Kamara.  Henry has 286 touches for 1,419 total yards with 12 touchdowns.  He has four multi score games this season, and I expect that number to rise.  First, I’ll give you Henry’s next three matchups, and then I’ll drop a bold prediction about how he’s going to finish the season.  Henry has the “easiest” next three weeks of any player in the NFL.  When I say easiest, I don’t presume to say that what Henry does is easy.  What I’m saying is that the next three teams he’s playing are all in the bottom fourth of fantasy points given up to opposing running backs.  Henry is about to play Jacksonville (Week 14), Detroit (Week 15), and Green Bay (Week 16).  That is as good as it gets.  For reference, here is what each team has given up on the ground over the past three weeks.

  • Jacksonville: 153 rushing yards/game
  • Detroit: 111 rushing yards/game
  • Green Bay:  126 rushing yards/game

There will be many opportunities for long runs for Henry during these playoffs.  The Titans rank fourth in the NFL in rushing percentage per play at 48.39%.  Henry is an absolute smash play for the rest of the season, and here is my bold prediction on his stat line.

Derrick Henry’s Final Three Games:

  • 68 rushes – 399 total yards – 7 touchdowns

That prediction puts him at 27.3 fantasy points per game, and I think it’s very possible.  Start Henry with confidence and pray that you don’t face the owner that has him.

David Montgomery (4-Years – $1,003,845/YR)

Montgomery has had a high floor, low ceiling season up until Week 12 and 13.  Through his first nine games he averaged 12.2 fantasy points per game.  In those nine games, his lowest performance was 4.2 points, and his highest was 21.7.  Every other game he played in he was somewhere between 7.4 and 18.9 fantasy points.  He has been very reliable.  Well, following Chicago’s Week 11 bye, Montgomery has come out and put up back-to-back 27-point performances.  He is peaking at the perfect time if you own him, and his schedule remains easy throughout Week 17.  Montgomery does not have a “Derrick Henry Cake Walk Schedule”, but he is facing a couple of the most favorable matchups possible.  He is slated to face Houston (Week 14), Minnesota (Week 15), and Jacksonville (Week 16).  I’m not going to go through the whole breakdown like I did with Henry, but none of these three matchups should scare Montgomery owners.  Houston and Jacksonville should be extremely comfortable for Montgomery owners.  Minnesota has been better lately, but they are still a bottom half rush defense.  Montgomery’s production isn’t what worries me.  What I’m concerned about is the chance that Chicago gets down early in a least a couple of these games and abandons the rush.  Even with that possibility, Montgomery has pulled in nine receptions over the past two games.  He should without a doubt be started in all leagues.  Bold predictions for Montgomery…

David Montgomery’s Final Three Games:

  • 52 rushes – 285 total yards – 4 touchdowns

Tee Higgins (4-Years – $2,171,696/YR)

Finally, we have made it to a little deeper of a pick.  Higgins is probably not the first player you would think of when considering a league winning wide receiver.  And let me be clear, I’m not claiming that Higgins is going to jump to Hill or Adams’ type production.  He is on a much less powerful offense than those two players, and he has lost his starting quarterback (Joe Burrow) for the season.  The knee injury that Burrow sustained in Week 12 was very unfortunate to not only the Bengals as a whole, but also to Higgins.  The type of quarterback play that Burrow was displaying is unable to be matched by Brandon Allen, but that’s not to say his receivers can’t be valuable.

Tee Higgins is the WR 28 on the season.  He is averaging just under five receptions and 66 yards per game.  He has also added five touchdowns.  This is a modest stat line for sure, but he has averaged 13.9 fantasy points per game.  This is a very respectable total for a rookie and one that is, frankly, getting overlooked.  Higgins now enters the last three games of the fantasy season with three very tempting matchups.  The Bengals will face Dallas (Week 14), Pittsburgh (Week 15) and Houston (Week 16).  Not only are each of these matchups above average for wide receiver fantasy points (maybe excluding the Steelers), but the game scripts for each game should be equally as good.  My prediction is that Cincinnati finds themselves trailing in all three games, and they may be trailing by quite a bit.  The Bengals are going to have to pass, and they are going to do it a lot.  While I don’t see Higgins as a better receiver than Tyler Boyd (yet), Higgins has kept pace with Boyd’s receptions over the past two weeks.  If you are looking for a rock bottom floor of 10 fantasy points and a ceiling of 25 fantasy points, Higgins is as reliable as you’ll find.  Bold prediction time…

Tee Higgins’ Final Three Games:

  • 17 receptions – 220 total yards – 2 touchdowns

Mike Gesicki (4-Years – $1,652,981/YR)

And now for the final player in our League Winners.  Here is a tight end that I touted all throughout the off season.  I targeted him in every league that I drafted in (including Dynasty Owner), and I was actually able to acquire him in my BETA league draft.  Mike Gesicki is one of the top three most athletic tight ends in the league, but he hasn’t received the volume that fantasy managers would have liked to see.  I don’t think it’s too harsh to say that Gesicki has had a disappointing season so far.  39 receptions through Week 13 is not what Owners expected.  Regardless, he has shown the ability to have league winning games.  In Week 2, Gesicki put up 8-130-1.  In Week 13, he put up 9-88-1.  As I said, Gesicki has shown that he is able to produce dominant fantasy weeks when given the right opportunity, and I think he will be relied on more throughout the next three games.  While none of Gesicki’s remaining matches is particularly favorable for tight end production, I do believe he will have a positive game script in those games.  Miami plays Kansas City (Week 14), New England (Week 15) and Las Vegas (Week 16).  Miami is expected to be losing or, at the very least, keep the game close in all three.  I look for Gesicki to lead the Dolphins in receptions and receiving yards over the fantasy playoffs.  Bold Prediction:

Mike Gesicki’s Final Three Games:

  • 19 receptions – 202 receiving yards – 2 touchdowns

If Mike is able to put up this stat line, he would be averaging 17 fantasy points per game, and would be well above the average tight end production for the season.

Final Thoughts

I want to finish by saying good luck to everyone this week.  Remember, no one has been eliminated from a prize yet.  You may want to give up because you are no longer competing for the Championship, but there is still work to be done.  An extra pick or an Amnesty Provision will go a long way towards rebuilding for next year.  As always, take care and be safe.

-TheJerk

Follow us on Twitter: @Dynasty_Owner

Gimme Five: An Analysis of the Five Beta League Drafts

Author: Steven Van Tassell

For the past couple of weeks, new and returning Dynasty Owners have been drafting their teams for the upcoming 2020 season. We highlighted the results of the first league to draft (Beta League 3) in an earlier article, but that was just one draft. In total, there are 6 beta leagues with 72 of the most passionate returning owners from the 2019 Dynasty Owner season competing to win. Five of those leagues have drafted (all but League 5) and new Dynasty Owners can learn a lot by looking at the results of these beta user drafts.

All five of these beta user leagues drafted in June with the first league (League 3) picking on June 14th and the last of the beta leagues (League 6) drafting back on June 26th. As a result, these Dynasty Owners didn’t have the benefit of more recent information, such as the signing of QB Cam Newton on a 1-year, $1.75 million contract by New England or the Patrick Mahomes 10-year, $450 million mega-extension.

High Five

In the first 12-team Dynasty Owner beta user drafts, we saw five players consistently be drafted at the top of the first round. Those players are, in order, Lamar Jackson, Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, Kyler Murray and Patrick Mahomes. Each one of them has an ADP of 4.0 or lower and were drafted in the top five players in every beta user draft, except Kyler Murray who was drafted with the #7 pick in League 1 and Patrick Mahomes who was drafted with the #7 pick in League 2.

The two players not listed above who ended up as the 5th pick in the League 1 and League 2 drafts respectively, were Michael Thomas and Daniel Jones. Jones is an interesting situation and there will be more on him later in the article.

First Round Draft Selections

Out of five beta user leagues, we had a total of 18 different players drafted in the first round. Most of the first round draft picks were RBs (11), with 5 QBs and 2 WRs rounding out the rest of the first round picks. No TEs were drafted in the first round in any 2020 beta user draft. The average salary of these first round picks was just over $5 million ($5,068,669), which was driven up by the double-digit salaries of Ezekiel Elliott ($15 million) and Michael Thomas ($19.25 million) and driven down by the salaries of two players who make less than $1 million (Alvin Kamara at $964,443 and Chris Godwin at $821,041).

In contrast, a quick look at the Dynasty ADP rankings on Fantasy Football Calculator (https://fantasyfootballcalculator.com/adp/dynasty) shows a total of 23 players selected with a first round pick in 471 dynasty league drafts between April 11th and July 9th of this year. Out of those players, less than half (11) were RBs, while nearly as many were WRs (9). Only two QBs (Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes) and one TE (Travis Kelce) were selected in the first round in any of these 471 leagues.

As mentioned earlier, there are more QBs selected with a first round pick in Dynasty Owner than a regular dynasty league because of the unique Dynasty Owner scoring system. The increase in the number of QBs drafted in the first round in Dynasty Owner comes at the expense of WRs, with fewer of them drafted in the first round in Dynasty Owner. While there were the same number of RBs drafted in the first round, there were two drafted in the first round in Dynasty Owner (Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Austin Ekeler) who were not drafted in the first round in any of the 471 regular dynasty leagues. Both Derrick Henry and Leonard Fournette went in the first round of at least one regular dynasty league, but not in any of the five Dynasty Owner beta user leagues.

Fan Club Presidents Meeting

The running joke on dynasty fantasy football Twitter is that if you really like a guy and draft him early, you are President of his Fan Club. Last year, I was the President of the Jimmy Garoppolo Fan Club since I was in four leagues (two redraft, one regular dynasty and Dynasty Owner) and had him in all four. I wasn’t able to draft him in the beta users draft so my reign is over, but think Hillbilly Trash Trucks (Matthew Montgomery) got himself a heck of a starting QB with the last pick in the 13th round.

In the same spirit, I would like to nominate the following Dynasty Owners as President of the Fan Club of the following players. To be nominated, you had to draft a player at least one full round before he was drafted in any other beta user league. You also had to draft him a full round ahead of his ADP. For example, if you took Player A in the first round with the #10 pick and based on the other beta user league drafts, he would have been available with your #34 pick and his ADP was 22.0 or higher, then you’re nominated for President of that guy’s Fan Club. Without further delay, here are a few of the nominees:

  • New Mexico Mountain (League 2) – Daniel Jones
  • The Jerk (League 3) – Ke’Shawn Vaughn
  • Kralj_Smeca (League 2) – Robert Woods
  • Fumbled Dreams (League 4) – Ronald Jones
  • TE Ertz when Eifert (League 6) – Julio Jones
  • Hillbilly Trash Trucks (League 3) – Stefon Diggs
  • CyberFire (League 2) – Carson Wentz

It might have something to do with having Jones as your last name as three of the six guys picked “too early” by one Dynasty Owner are Jones’s (Daniel, Ronald and Julio).

New Mexico Mountain won the Daniel Jones presidency in a landslide as he selected Daniel Jones in the first round with the 5th pick in the League 2 draft when he wasn’t selected until at least the third round in any of the other four beta user drafts.

In the same League, Kralj_Smeca took Robert Woods with the 40th overall pick. That’s a fourth round pick for Woods when he was drafted at the end of the sixth round or in the seventh round in the other beta user drafts. Even with the high pick in League 2, Woods still has an ADP of 66.0.

Fumbled Dreams loves the Tampa Bay backfield. He drafted Ronald Jones and Ke’Shawn Vaughn back to back with the 48th and 49th picks in the League 4 draft. For Vaughn, that was right on his beta users draft ADP of 49.4, but for Jones, it was way earlier than in any other beta users draft. Jones went at the end of the sixth round (#69), top of the seventh round (#73), middle of the seventh round (#78) and middle of the eighth round (#91) in the other drafts. Even though his next pick wasn’t until the 72nd pick, Fumbled Dreams probably could have waited and gotten Jones at that time.

Fumbled Dreams was lucky that he’s not in League 3 or he would have completely missed out on Ke’Shawn Vaughn since The Jerk took Vaughn with his third round pick (#31 overall). He could have had him a round later in every other beta user league since the next highest spot that Vaughn was selected was with the #46 pick.

TE Ertz when Eifert might want to rename his team to I Love Julio Jones. He drafted Julio with the #45 pick in the 4th round of the League 6 draft, while no one else grabbed Julio before the start of the 7th round (#76). At the other extreme was League 2, as Julio wasn’t drafted until the 10th round (#117) in that league.

Stefon Diggs was drafted by Hillbilly Trash Trucks with the second pick in the 8th round (#85 overall). Matthew Montgomery might not have picked Diggs so early if League 3 hadn’t drafted first since the earliest Diggs was chosen in any other beta user league was with the #115 pick in League 2.

However, the undisputed #1 Fan Club President has to be CyberFire who drafted Carson Wentz and his $32 million salary with his 4th round pick (#47 overall). Wentz went undrafted in League 4 and has an ADP of 118.0 in the four leagues he was selected in. Wentz was drafted in the 10th round (#115), 13th round (#151) and 14th round (#159) in the other three beta leagues.

Salaries

Dynasty Owner is using real NFL contracts as part of the game, unlike any other fantasy football game out there. Just like an NFL General Manager, Dynasty Owners need to build a team using real NFL salaries (average salaries based on the total contract value divided by number of years on the contract) and stay under a hard salary cap ($110 million for the 2020 season). So, how do the five beta league rosters look in comparison to all NFL skill position players in terms of salaries?  The surprising answer is that Dynasty Owner rosters are a little top heavy.

Just over three-fifths (61%) of players drafted in the five beta user leagues have salaries of $1 million or more (Vikings WR Tajae Sharpe and Browns WR JoJo Natson both make exactly $1 million), but less than one-quarter (22%) make $5 million or more and only one in ten (11%) make $10 million or more.

In comparison, an analysis of Spotrac salaries for 914 skill position players (available at https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/offense/) finds that just over one-third (35%) of skill position players (QB, RB, WR, TE, K) make $1 million or more, while one in eight (12%) make $5 million or more and just 5% make $10 million or more.

This is probably not too surprisingly as Spotrac includes all skill position players under contract right now, even if many of them will eventually be waived or placed on the practice squad. Dynasty Owners are likely not picking too many of these low-paid, undrafted rookie free agents who aren’t going to make their NFL team’s roster.

Solitary Men

Raise your hand if you’re a Neil Diamond fan and got the headline reference to his 1966 song Solitary Man. I prefer Sweet Caroline myself, but nobody with the name Caroline is currently on an active NFL roster so I couldn’t use that. Shout out to my friends Scott and Kerri Bernstein who are huge Neil Diamond (and fans of the Neil Diamond cover band Super Diamond as well) for being the people who introduced me to Neil and Surreal Neil.

Not every good NFL player will be on a Dynasty Owner roster in every league. There are many guys out there who were only drafted in one of the five beta leagues that have drafted already and probably won’t be highly owned when new players start drafting as well. Here are some guys drafted in the Top 200 or higher who only were selected in one beta user league out of five.

  • Rams QB Jared Goff – #110 pick in League 3
  • 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo – #156 pick in League 3
  • Raiders QB Derek Carr – #169 pick in League 6
  • Jaguars TE Tyler Eifert – #193 pick in League 4
  • 49ers RB Salvon Ahmed – #191 pick in League 6. Admit it, most of you had to go look to see who he is. Congrats to The Replacements for making this bold selection.
  • Samaje Perine – #182 pick in League 3 and big brother to La’Mical Perine, who was drafted in all five beta leagues, but a few rounds higher than Samaje. Through extensive investigative reporting, I can confirm that this was a mistake by the team who drafted him. (Editor’s note: The team who drafted Samaje admitted he goofed up and said so, no investigative reporting was done for this article).

Both Golden Tate and Brandin Cooks were taken with the 203rd pick of the League 1 and League 4 drafts, respectively, and just missed inclusion in this list.

Random Facts

Finally, here are some random facts about the five beta user league drafts that seem interesting to me.

  • Player with highest ADP drafted in all five drafts – Gus Edwards (ADP 274.2)
  • Kicker with the lowest ADP – Matt Gay (ADP 179.4)
  • First kicker drafted in any beta user league – Greg Zuerlein (#162 pick in League 1 by Young Gunz)
  • Number of kickers with ADP below 200 – 7 (Matt Gay, Younghoe Koo, Greg Zuerlein, Justin Rohrwasser, Harrison Butker, Austin Seibert and Michael Badgley)
  • Total number of players drafted in all five beta user drafts – 366
  • Number of players drafted in all five beta user drafts – 239

Conclusions

What did we learn, if anything, from this analysis of the five beta user leagues?  

The first lesson learned is that no two leagues are the same. No player was drafted in the same draft slot in all five beta leagues. While Lamar Jackson is the top rated player in the initial Dynasty Owner Top 300 and had the lowest ADP in the five beta user drafts, his ADP is still 1.2 – meaning he was drafted first in four leagues and second in the fifth league (League 4). Fumbled Dreams had the first pick in League 4 and took Patrick Mahomes with it. With 72 Dynasty Owners, you’re likely to have 72 opinions on what to do at any single draft slot.

Second, if you want Lamar, CMC, Saquon, Kyler, or Mahomes, you better trade up into the Top 5 if you don’t get one of those top five draft slots since they will all be likely gone by the fifth pick. I saw a new Dynasty Owner on Twitter (@tommysavs) who drafted Kyler Murray with the eighth pick, but that is likely an outlier like League 1 where he was drafted seventh. By the way, congrats to him and his team (WLN Savages) on stealing Murray and “what were you thinking?!?” to the seven owners in his league who let Murray fall down to that pick.

With that said, there’s still some consensus surrounding certain things, like QBs get drafted earlier in Dynasty Owner than your regular year-to-year redraft league and most regular dynasty leagues. If you don’t know why, then look at the Standard Dynasty Owner scoring system information that appears at the beginning of most of my articles. Or you can read the Dynasty Owner Constitution posted in the app or online at https://dynastyowner.com/how-it-works/ under “Read Constitution” to figure out why QBs are drafted earlier.

No surprise here, but almost nobody loves kickers in Dynasty Owner. The first one wasn’t drafted until the 14th round in any of the beta user leagues and many Dynasty Owners leave them to the end of the draft, just like your regular non-Dynasty Owner league.

For some of you, this article was too late, but others reading this haven’t drafted yet. Hopefully, this article helps you prepare for your initial Dynasty Owner season. If you want more preparation, you still have time to get yourself into one of the mock drafts going on every 15 minutes.

We have more articles coming on a regular basis from Chris Wolf (@ckwolf21 on Twitter) and I. The first of the monthly Dynasty Owner Top 300 is also coming very soon. The podcast series with myself and Dynasty Owner CEO Tim Peffer will continue to be posted on the Dynasty Owner channel on YouTube as well to help you get prepared. Subscribe to the YouTube channel and make sure to “Like” all of the videos to help promote them. All of this great content is available to help you win your Dynasty Owner league and maybe become the winner of the 2020 Chase for the Ring!

Steven Van Tassell is a freelance writer for Dynasty Owner.

Follow us on Twitter: @SteveVT33 and @Dynasty_Owner