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

The Aftermath of the First Virtual NFL Draft

Author: Chris Wolf

The first virtual draft is a wrap. It went over with minimal glitches and I want to say we were pleasantly surprised by the in-home reactions and view into NFL front offices (or basements). We all know that the NFL is a copycat league and it has never been more evident as what we saw this past weekend. Several teams chased the KC all-speed model and a few crafted their drafts after the Ravens and 49’ers run heavy schemes.

On the surface, there were winners and losers on draft weekend. At first glance, the Ravens, Cowboys and Vikings appeared to come away with an impressive rookie haul. Then we have the Green Bay Packers. You have to think that the double schalaking they received from San Francisco last year led them to draft components of a run heavy strategy.

Only time will tell how the rookie projects will assimilate to their new teams but, we can have fun projecting their success in their new landing spots. Speaking only of skilled positions related to our Dynasty Owner leagues, let’s get a bird’s eye view of some of the newest crop of NFL players that may help your team in 2020-2021.

* 2020 ​estimated​ cap charges according to overthecap.com are in parenthesis after their names*

Pick 1.01 Joe Burrow ($6,580,000) CIN ​- Andy Dalton’s recent release carves the path for this Heisman winner to start day 1. Needless to say, he should be an early to mid first round pick for your dynasty team.

Henry Ruggs III, Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb ​- Draft ‘em. All three are 1st round dynasty rookie values.

Pick 1.21 Jalen Reagor ($2,412,850) PHI –​ Great fit for a great offense. He could see immediate playing time if the Eagles move on from either Alshon Jeffery or Desean Jackson.

Pick 1.22 Justin Jefferson ($2,385,965) MIN –​ This NFL ready rookie steps into a great starting opportunity with the Vikings. He’ll most likely be the first rookie wide receiver taken redraft leagues and he’s a sure-fire first round pick in dynasty drafts.

Pick 1.32 Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($1,967,559) KC –​ The top running back selected in the NFL’s best offense. This should be your 1.01 or 1.02 in Rookie Drafts. Don’t overthink this.

Pick 2.1 Tee Higgins ($1,579,410) CIN -​ In a crowded wide receiver room, it would take moving AJ Green for Higgins to attempt to have any 2020 value. This may be a draft and stash pick for you this year.

Pick 2.2 Michael Pittman Jr ($1,565,970) IND -​ The Colt’s pulled off a very impressive draft to plug the holes in their offense. They collectively gushed over Pittman Jr liking him to Vincent Jackson. He should step in as an immediate starter opposite the aging T.Y. Hilton.

Pick 2.3 D’Andre Swift ($1,552,530) DET -​ It’s really hard to trust the Detroit Lions rushing attack but Swift is a rare athlete that may be able to thrive in any environment. They used an early 2nd round pick on him and he should see plenty of touches year 1.

Pick 2.9 Jonathan Taylor ($1,423,480) IND – This is unfair. The best pure runner in the draft is going to the team with the best overall offensive line. He’ll most likely be the 1.02 selection in your rookie draft.

Pick 2.17 Chase Claypool ($1,203,000) PIT – There are many varying opinions on this athletic freak. The one thing we do know is, he can allow JuJu to work back into the slot where he excelled in 2017 and 2018. Take note that Claypool is a big bodied receiver that the Steelers used their first pick on.

Pick 2.20 Cam Akers ($1,122,371) LAR – ESPN’s Todd McShay considers Akers the “most underrated running back in the class”. He’s a complete back with outstanding speed that could benefit from a hopefully improved L.A. Rams Offense. He’s used to running behind bad offensive lines so he should feel right at home here.

Pick 2.23 J.K. Dobbins ($1,041,716) BAL – The Ravens want to dominate the ground game to open their improved passing attack. They went out to draft one of the best in this year’s class to compliment the NFL’s MVP. He has the opportunity to be a dominant player in this offense.

Pick 2.27 Denzel Mims ($987,945) NYJ – Mims has the opportunity for a high volume role in his first year. 100 or more targets is not an unreasonable projection.

Pick 3.12 Ke’Shawn Vaughn ($864,720) TB – 7.9 ypc behind a sub-par offensive line at Vanderbilt. He offers good balance and vision to a stacked offense led by Tom Brady.

Pick 3.17 Bryan Edwards ($853,174) LVR – A much needed weapon for Derek Carr. What he lacks in top-end speed, he makes up for with his instinctive route running. Could compete for heavy targets early.

Pick 3.22 Zack Moss ($838,605) BUF – Already assigned the Frank Gore role by coaches in the Bills offense. This could lead to plenty of goal line work for an up and coming offense. Injuries are a concern for this dynamic back.

Pick 3.29 Darrynton Evans ($829,416) TEN – Evans is a home run threat that should find a niche as a complimentary back in a run-first offense. More of a compliment than a handcuff to Derek Henry.

Pick 4.18 Anthony McFarland ($790,608) PIT – His arrival breathes much needed life into the Steeler’s running back room. He’s a tough runner with good hands that could have an opportunity at some point in year one. 8-10 touches per game is a reasonable assumption.

Pick 4.36 Antonio Gandy-Golden ($733,600) WSH – A long strider with good hands will compete for snaps with sophomore Kelvin Harmon opposite rookie standout Terry McLaurin.

Pick 5.16 Tyler Johnson ($688,600) TB – A great value in round 5 of a loaded WR class. He’s a polished route runner that could push Scotty Miller and Justin Watson for the 3rd WR role in Tampa.

Pick 6.8 Donovan Peoples-Jones ($656,650) CLE – It’s not often that you find a year one contributor in later rounds but Peoples-Jones may surprise people this year. He’s talented enough to push for a role in 3 WR sets in what projects to be a much improved offense.

Other rookies such as Laviska Shenault Jr, Brandon Aiyuk, Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, and KJ Hamler are good players who may find first year value but they are in a bit murkier situations. The goal is to win every year and slot players for future roles behind those with clearer projected outcomes.

The rookies included on this list have the possibility of making an impact on their teams during their rookie campaign and all should be viewed as top 20 players at their respective positions. Draft them with confidence and hopefully a few will contribute to your team sooner than later.

Chris Wolf is a freelance writer for Dynasty Owner.

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