Rebuilding Owners Should Make These Kinds of Trades (Part 2)

By: Jay Pounds (@JayPoundsNFL)

Is there a more boring time in the NFL than now? When the top news story of the day is about a 2nd year quarterback throwing interceptions in a pair of shorts, you know reporters are out looking for things to write about, regardless of how unimportant they are. With all of that said, I am here to spice things up a bit for you with some real-life Dynasty Owner trades that should help my team go from one of the bottom feeders of my league to a contender for many years to come. It will also give Dynasty Owners an idea of what to expect when trading for your personal teams.

Over the last year, I have been trying to understand the true trade value of players and contracts combined on this platform, and I come up with the same conclusion every time, which is all trades are going to be situational depending on who you are trading with. As you are reading this article pay close attention to trades #7 and #10 both involving pick 1.01 in different ways. I bring these two trades up because of how I handled the same asset with different values, but still got what I wanted out of the deal in the end. Over the years I’ve played fantasy football I’ve found most trades will depend on who you are trading with, but in those leagues, you can use a trade calculator to get a deal done. Here on Dynasty Owner, there are zero trade calculators and virtually nothing to reference trades aside from the knowledge you have and trades that were previously made in your league. In my opinion there are several factors that make Dynasty Owner the most enjoyable fantasy experience I have ever had, but the one that stands out the most is the tremendous differences I have seen in how different owners value different things.

I have mentioned numerous times in earlier articles that chatting with your league mates is the easiest and most efficient way to get a deal done. If you just start chatting and understand how different owners think and value things you will have a much easier time getting deals done. I don’t want to single anyone out but recently on Twitter I saw one of our owners annoyed at a trade offer he received. While I fully understand how that can get under someone’s skin, I truly feel in Dynasty Owner you will get these types of deals more often because of the way different owners value things when you add a price tag to it. When you factor in price, it can make for bad trades especially if one of the owners is up against the cap. I know I have made trades and felt I needed to add more but simply couldn’t because of the cost for the other owner. I personally feel the best way to attack these owners and get a deal done is to break the trade down in a message and show them why you need more to get a deal done, possibly by adding draft picks or swapping out a player that is cheaper with similar production. I have tried this four times thus far in my Dynasty Owner career and have made two deals I’m extremely happy with because of it. A quick example would be an offer of the 1.05 for the 1.01 which is obviously a horrible trade and will always be a No. I would message back explaining why there’s not enough value to accept and what I’d be willing to accept. If you don’t get a message back from the owner you can move on. If you do then you’re in business. I am not going to say who, but I was told a story about a very prominent individual in the fantasy football world who took over a team on Dynasty Owner and one of the first moves this person made was putting Russell Wilson on the trading block for a 1st round pick. Trading on Dynasty Owner will be interesting for quite a while to say the least.

(Before and after teams listed at the bottom)

Trade 7 – (4/17/2021)

Sent – 2021 1.05, 1.06, and 2.05

Received – 2021 1.01 and 3.12

At this point I knew I was going to be in the market for just about everything, but more specifically I knew I had to come away with one quarterback in the 2021 rookie draft. Leading up to the inaugural Dynasty Owner rookie draft, I truly had no idea how the draft was going to play out, which prompted me to make a move for the 1.01. As a rebuilding owner this was a tough trade to make because I hate giving up multiple young assets for one, but I love being able to somewhat control the draft at the same time. When thinking about it I looked at the 1.01 as a safer bet than the 1.05 and 1.06, with Trevor Lawrence being so highly valued among the NFL scouting community. Those types of players tend to work out more often than not. I also took into consideration that I would be able to get close to similar value, if not more back for the 1.01 if I decided I wanted to move it for more assets and ultimately pulled the trigger on making this deal. The other factor here was salary with picks 1.05, and 1.06 likely costing more than just Lawrence would by himself. As I’ve mentioned before young quarterbacks are gold in Dynasty Owner. Overall, I feel I may have overpaid a bit, but I did have a direction I wanted this team to go, and figured Lawrence would fit in well with my young roster. I also knew that my roster would look wildly different come draft day and loved the flexibility this trade offered in terms of the multiple ways I could go in the draft. The opposite owner in this trade was extremely happy with the deal as he probably got a little more overall value than me in this trade. I absolutely love making deals like this one where both owners leave smiling!

Trade 8 – (4/11/21)

Sent – Daniel Jones (2 years, $6,416,014), 2021 2.06

Received – 2021 1.07 and 3.07

I have slowly been learning that the owner that thinks more than a couple moves ahead will benefit greatly in Dynasty Owner. Heading into the offseason I had four starting quarterbacks and only one was someone I would consider borderline Top 10 in Ryan Tannehill. I knew the first day of the offseason all of my quarterbacks except for Sam Darnold would be gone rather quickly. The reason for this was because I knew in the next two years Daniel Jones, Jameis Winston, and Sam Darnold would all either receive big contract extensions or they would end up as a backup somewhere, just look at Mitch Trubisky in Buffalo. With all three of these quarterbacks set for new deals I knew the time to strike was now. As you had seen earlier, I had already dealt Winston to gain some receiver depth and next up was Daniel Jones. The owner had originally messaged about who would be easier to acquire between Darnold and Jones, with me telling him I’d much rather move Jones. I wanted to move Jones first because I am not all that sold on him, and I knew with Kenny Golladay signing with the Giants he would have a bit more value over Darnold. The deal didn’t take long to make as I felt the original offer was very fair. Overall, I’d say both owners left this trade happy, and both got what we wanted. As far as long-term value goes, I am thrilled to gain another asset for a player who will likely be expensive or benched soon. I’ll take four or five years of a rookie deal over a Daniel Jones extension any day of the week.

Trade 9 – (4/15/2021)

Sent – Sam Darnold (1 year, $7,561,929), Allen Lazard (1 year, $675,000), 2021 1.02, 3.06, 3.07, and 3.12 

Received- Tony Pollard (2 years, $796,945), Phillip Lindsay (1 year, $3,250,000), 2021 1.04 and 1.08

Do you remember what I said last week about the Jameis Winston trade? Capitalize on the news! Sam Darnold may very well be a talented kid, but it is not very often, that we see a player fail as miserably as Darnold did and come back and revive their career elsewhere. The one instance I can think to compare the Darnold situation to is Ryan Tannehill in Miami. The kicker for that is Tannehill and Darnold both played under the same coach, Adam Gase, during the worst part of their respective careers. When Darnold initially went to the Panthers, I had every intention of keeping him to see if we had another Tannehill situation on the horizon, but after thinking about it he would just be too expensive next season thus lowering his trade value significantly. Darnold is a very limited runner with the ball and that fact alone really caps his fantasy value, meaning in 2022 he will need to be phenomenal if you want him to return solid value while playing on his fifth year option, which will make him much more expensive than his 2021 salary (1 year, $7,561,929).

All in all, I had to move back 2 spots to the 1.04, picked up an extra 1st round pick in the 1.08, and got two solid young running backs in Tony Pollard and Phillip Lindsay for some much-needed bench depth at the position. The other owner approached me because he needed a quarterback and after a few messages back and forth we had a deal. The only things I would be worried about as the other owner is how much the Panthers will pay Darnold, and will he be able to turn into what we all hoped he’d be when he was drafted third overall by the Jets. I feel both owners left this trade happy with him getting his potential QB of the future for his team and myself getting an extra quality draft pick in a year with a very deep first round. I do want to mention that had this been a somewhat shallow class in terms of position players I may not have made this move, but I was certain there would be great value left at the 1.08.

Trade 10 – (5/07/2021)

Sent – Russell Gage (1 year, $654,049), A.J. Dillon (3 years, $1,321,458), 2021 1.01

Received – D.J. Moore (2 years, $2,792,829), 2021 1.02 and 2.12

In all fantasy football there are trades that just seem harder to make than others for us owners and this happened to be one of those trades. The other owner approached me about the 1.01 and asked who I had planned to take, which was initially Trevor Lawrence or Najee Harris. I looked at the other owner’s team and knew for certain he was after Harris as he had a solid team but needed running back help pretty bad. I responded telling him the two players I was thinking and that I was unsure of a deal. I knew in the back of my head it wasn’t likely I would take Harris at this point, but I couldn’t let him know that and shortly after I ended up swinging a deal to move the 1.01. After some back and forth we finally agreed on the trade above which gave me the rights to D.J. Moore, and I only had to move back to the 1.02 to get him in this deal. In the past, I have mentioned that knowing the other owners teams’ in your league will benefit you greatly, this is exactly what I mean by that. If I hadn’t looked at his team, I would have probably told him, I was leaning toward Lawrence and lost every bit of leverage I had in the deal. As a rebuilding owner sometimes less is more and if you can move back one pick while picking up a talent like Moore you have to do it every time. As far as the future outlook of my team after this trade, it may end up putting me in a bind having A.J. Brown, Dionte Johnson, and D.J. Moore getting new deals at the same time, but I do have players like Brandin Cooks, and Dak Prescott with solid backups if I really needed to clear out space a year or two down the road. The owner I made the deal with seemed to be happy with the deal as well after getting the player/pick he set out to get. The other owner got a bit of an added bonus in the deal a few weeks after with Russell Gage now having a clear path to targets after Julio Jones was moved to Tennessee.

Trade 11 – (6/04/2021)

Sent – 2021 1.02 (Kyle Pitts – 4 years, $8,227,623), O.J. Howard (1 year $6,013,000)

Received – Travis Kelce (5 years, $14,312,500), 2021 3.08

When you are a rebuilding owner you will run into a moment like this and in that moment, you will need to decide to continue rebuilding another year or pulling the trigger and becoming an instant contender. Overall, I feel that this trade sent me from a 3rd or 4th seed in my league to clearly one of the best two teams in the league, especially if we are talking about a few years window. I may still be a year out from winning it all, but if some of my younger guys make a jump, I can easily make a run at my league’s title. The trade I’m talking about is essentially a swap of Kyle Pitts and O.J. Howard, for Travis Kelce. Any rebuilding owner would gladly take Pitts but when I looked at my team, I knew I had about a 2–3-year window to stay as deep as I am and still have a potentially dominant starting lineup, because we have to factor in salary caps. If I would have stayed put and took Pitts, I would have likely had to wait a couple years for him to truly start dominating like we expect with the tight end position being so tough for rookies to learn and at that point I may be cutting a guy or two due to contract extensions or new deals for my players. Dynasty Owner is all about capitalizing when your roster has a good combination of talent and value. Once contract extensions start kicking in for multiple players things can become suspect rather quickly. The future of my team may have been a little brighter with Pitts over Kelce but the next three to four years have now become the time to win. The owner I made the deal with seemed elated to get Pitts and start building towards the future at the tight end position and I’d have to say both owners left this deal more than satisfied.

Trade 12 – (6/08/2021)

Sent – Anthony Firkser (1 year, $3,000,000), 2023 3rd

Received – 2023 2nd

About a month back Tim, Steve and I were doing a livestream and Tim asked what I preferred to do with guys I couldn’t keep because of price, my answer was and always will be to try and trade them for anything you can get instead of dropping them for nothing. I have a very solid roster and a very good tight end room with Travis Kelce, Dallas Goedert, and Adam Trautman, which made Anthony Firkser available to move. I love the thought of Firkser being the top tight end in Nashville, but the addition of Julio Jones and the lack of cap space on my roster meant someone had to go before the season started. I knew I wasn’t going to get rid of any of my top tier players for cap space and I also didn’t want to just cut a young player with potential, so I ended up making a lower-level veteran available. I knew Firkser wouldn’t fetch much in a trade, but I also knew he was too good to just release so I started sending out offers to send Firkser away for a 2023 2nd. I chose to make the pick in 2023 rather than 2022 because most owners place a little extra value on the draft picks, they will make the soonest. I ended up getting some interest and turned a player I needed to move on from into a future 2nd round pick, though I did send him my 2023 3rd in return. The future of my team did not change much after the trade, but I do have an extra pick I can use to help get a future deal done. I am guessing the other owner is happy with the deal as well with him getting a solid backup tight end in an up-and-coming offense. At the end of the day, Firkser is a great player to roster as a competing owner, but I needed to have some type of flexibility for free agents heading into the season and tight end was a position I felt comfortable doing just that.

Conclusion

As we inch closer to the start of the 2021 NFL season, I am starting to get extremely antsy and I’m sure most of you are too. With the new season quickly approaching the time to get yourself and some friends into a Dynasty Owner start-up drafts is now. Start-up drafts have already started and will continue running up until close to kickoff for the regular season opener. If you are an owner who is having a lot of fun with Dynasty Owner, I want to challenge you to invite a few of your buddies over to check out the site and do a few mock drafts so they can truly see how much different this platform is, as well as the strategy they will need to consider going forward as well.

Over the next few weeks, I would like to try to set up a startup mock draft day each week on the same day at the same time (example Fridays from 5pm-7pm) to give those who are new to the platform a true learning experience as well as something the rest of us can use to sharpen our skills. If we get enough users for this to really get going it could become a great learning tool for everyone. I truly believe once people start to figure out what this platform is and how it works that we will see floods of new users joining in each off-season. Also, those of you that know people that will enjoy Dynasty Owner but don’t have the time to help them get going please send them to one of us here at Dynasty Owner and we will be more than happy to help. Thank you all for reading and playing Dynasty Owner! Good luck on your 2021 Chase for the Ring!

Original Team (all player contracts listed are current)

Quarterback

  • Daniel Jones (2 years, $6,416,014),
  • Sam Darnold (1 year, $7,561,929)
  • Jameis Winston (1 year, $5,500,000)

Running back

  • Christian McCaffrey (5 years $16,015,875)
  • Joe Mixon (4 years, $12,000,000)
  • Kareem Hunt (2 years, $6,000,000)
  • Leonard Fournette (1 year, $3,250,000)
  • A.J. Dillon (3 years, $1,321,458)
  • Latavius Murray (2 years, $3,600,000)
  • Justin Jackson (1 year, $570,000)
  • Ryquell Armstead (2 years, $716,439)

Wide Receiver

  • Julio Jones (3 years, $22,000,000)
  • DeVante Parker (3 years, $7,625,000),
  • Michael Pittman (3 years, $2,153,212)
  • Anthony Miller (1 year, $1,338,425)
  • Sammy Watkins (1 year, $5,000,000)
  • Russell Gage (1 year, $654,049)
  • Quintez Cephus (3 years, $899,822)
  • Malcom Perry (3 years, $842,622)


Tight End

  • Dallas Goedert (1 year, $1,406,068)
  • Will Dissly (1 year, $777,569)
  • Jared Cook (1 year, $4,500,000)

Kicker

  • Greg Joseph (1 year, $78,000)
  • Brett Maher (free agent)
  • Matt Prater (2 years, $3,250,000)

Current Team

Quarterback

  • Dak Prescott (4 years, $40,000,000)
  • Justin Fields (4 years, $4,717,988)

Running back

  • J.K. Dobbins (3 years, $1,432,359)
  • Antonio Gibson (3 years, $1,233,159)
  • Tony Pollard (2 years, $796,945)
  • Javonte Williams (4 years, $2,216,438)
  • Kalen Ballage (1 year, $920,000)
  • Jaret Patterson (3 years, $808,333)
  • Phillip Lindsay (1 year, $3,250,000)

Wide receiver

  • Dionte Johnson (2 years, $1,070,241)
  • A.J. Brown (2 years, $1,413,092)
  • D.J. Moore (2 years, $2,792,829)
  • Brandin Cooks (2 years, $16,200,000)
  • Ja’Marr Chase (4 years, $7,547,410)
  • Michael Pittman (3 years, $2,153,212)
  • Anthony Miller (1 year, $1,338,425)
  • Quintez Cephus (3 years, $899,822)
  • Nico Collins (4 years, $1,217,879)
  • Tutu Atwell (4 years, $1,477,175)
  • Josh Palmer (4 years, $1,258,365)

Tight end

  • Travis Kelce (5 years, $14,312,500)
  • Dallas Goedert (1 year, $1,406,068)
  • Adam Trautman (3 years, $1,124,850)

Kicker

  • Matt Prater (2 years, $3,250,000)
  • Cody Parkey (1 year, $1,212,500)
  • Graham Gano (3 years, $4,666,667)

Old Faces in New Places (Schitt’s Creek Version)

Author: Stephen Van Tassell

If you’re not familiar with Schitt’s Creek, then I recommend you go to Netflix and start watching as it’s a very funny show. If you’ve seen it, don’t go ruining it for me and others with spoilers in one of the Slack channels because I’m only on season two. Here’s a summary of the show from Wikipedia.

The series follows the trials and tribulations of the formerly wealthy Rose family who are forced to relocate to Schitt’s Creek, a small town they once purchased as a joke. Now living in two adjoining motel rooms, Johnny and Moira Rose—along with their adult children, David and Alexis—must adjust to a life without money and with each other.

So, it’s the opposite of the Jeffersons and means that this article will focus on players who have moved teams during the NFL off-season, but will highlight players who aren’t making as much as they did in 2019. They aren’t living in a motel without any money, but like the Roses, they are going to have to learn how to adjust to life in a new town with less money.

Are all of them suddenly worth having on your Dynasty Owner roster since they will count less against your salary cap than they did last year? Not exactly. Less money doesn’t automatically equal making the league minimum salary and some of the players highlighted still carry pretty hefty contracts of $6 million per year or higher. Just like the Jeffersons article, there are a lot of players who left one team in free agency for less money with another team, so we can’t cover everyone. Let’s look at six guys who will be making less in 2020, but hoping to play well enough to earn a higher paid contract for 2021 and beyond (all except one who signed a two year deal).

All stats are based on the Standard Dynasty Owner scoring system as outlined in the updated Dynasty Owner Constitution. Standard Dynasty Owner scoring gives you .1 points for every yard rushing or receiving, .1 point for every 2 yards passing, 1 point per reception, 6 points for a rushing, receiving or passing touchdown and 2 points for a successful 2-point conversion (rushing, receiving, or passing). Interceptions or fumbles lost cost you 3 points, while a fumble that is recovered by the player’s team is a loss of only 1 point. Bonus points are available for 100-199 yards rushing (2 points), 200 yards rushing or receiving (6 points), 300-399 yards passing (1 point) and 400 yards passing (4 points). There is also a 3 point bonus for clutch scoring, which is a score that results in a lead change in the final two minutes of the 4th quarter or overtime. Kickoff and punt return touchdowns are worth 6 points for the player and kickoff and punt returns are worth .25 points for every 10 yards.

U Know These TEs

Let’s start with a pair of TEs from the University of Miami – Jimmy Graham and Greg Olsen. Both are in the later stages of their careers before they move on to other pursuits (Olsen is likely to be a TV football analyst, while Graham is apparently an experienced pilot). Both signed contracts this off-season with a new team, but for less money than they were making in 2019. We’ll start with Jimmy Graham since he is slightly younger (33 vs. 35 for Olsen) and had a slightly bigger salary reduction ($2 million vs. $1.55 million for Olsen).

New Bears TE Jimmy Graham moved over to Chicago from Green Bay by signing a two-year, $16 million contract, worth $8 million per year in Dynasty Owner (Graham is the only one here who isn’t playing for a 2021 contract). This is down from the $10 million contract his Dynasty Owners paid in 2019. He slipped from the highest paid TE in the NFL to a tie for sixth place with fellow Bears TE Trey Burton. While his 2020 contract is less than 2019, Dynasty Owners shouldn’t settle for just a savings of $2 million but go for the entire contract and drop Graham while they can for free.

As the top TE in Green Bay, Graham only had 99.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in 2019, an average of 6.2 points per game, with just three games of 10.0+ Dynasty Owner fantasy points. He ranked as the #21 TE in Dynasty Owner last year despite playing in all 16 games and not having much significant competition from the other TEs on the Green Bay roster. This is after he was the #11 TE in Dynasty Owner in 2018. Even if he’s the top TE in Chicago, he’s going from the inconsistent Aaron Rodgers to an even worse QB in either Nick Foles or Mitchell Trubisky. Plus, he’s likely sharing the TE role with Trey Burton (unless Burton gets released). Regardless, that’s not worth $8 million in salary for the Dynasty Owners in 24% of leagues in which Graham is owned. Nor is he worth picking up in the rest of the leagues in which he’s available in the Free Agent Auction.

In a previous article this month, I looked at Greg Olsen. For those of you who want the full analysis, check it out at  https://9jn.41d.myftpupload.com/2020/03/amnesty-candidates-part-4/. If you don’t want to read it, here are the highlights:

  • Signed a one year, $7 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks back in mid-February that is valid for the 2020 Dynasty Owner season
  • 2020 salary is $1.55 million less than 2019 salary
  • Was the 13th best TE in Dynasty Owner in 2019 with an average of 8.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game in the 14 games he played
  • Had three explosive games mixed in (25.5, 17.8 and 17.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points), but in half of his 2019 games, he scored 7.0 or fewer Dynasty Owner fantasy points, meaning he was at best a Bench option for half of the season
  • Better QB in 2020 (Russell Wilson) versus Kyle Allen for most of 2019
  • Two other good TEs on Seattle roster in Will Dissly and Jacob Hollister plus competing with WRs Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf for catches

Olsen is rostered in 39% of Dynasty Owner leagues now – higher than 12 days ago when the last article was posted and he was rostered in 37% of Dynasty Owner leagues, so clearly more people disagree with me and have picked him up rather than dropped him. He’s the 12th highest paid TE as of right now according to Spotrac (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/tight-end/) so he’ll need to be a starting Dynasty Owner TE to justify his salary.

Trust me, I don’t like recommending that you drop my fellow University of Miami alumni, but both Graham and Olsen will cost too much in salary to justify being on your Dynasty Owner roster in 2020. Drop them if you need cap room or see if another owner is bullish on them and trade away those contracts.

A is For “Are Either of These Guys Worth $1,047,500?”

Both Geronimo Allison and Nelson Agholor will receive $1,047,500 with their new teams. Allison is in his fifth season, but the first with the Detroit Lions after four relatively unproductive years with the Green Bay Packers, while Agholor starts fresh in Las Vegas with the Raiders after five years in Philadelphia.

Both seem very similar but are also different in many ways, such as the percentage of leagues they are rostered in Dynasty Owner (74% for Allison versus 24% for Agholor). Kind of surprising considering that Allison was slightly more expensive in 2019 ($2.8 million) than Agholor ($2.34 million). Agholor appears to be in a better spot with his new team as he’s likely the third WR for the Raiders, behind Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow, while Allison is stuck at fourth on the Lions depth chart behind Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola.

If Allison can return to his 2018 form when he averaged 12.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (in only 5 games), he might be a bargain for his Owners at his new salary, but that seems unlikely unless multiple injuries hit the Lions WR corps. If you’re a Dynasty Owner with Allison on your roster and really tight on salary cap or roster space, you can safely drop Allison (Full Disclosure: I’m an Allison Dynasty Owner, but have room for him on my roster in terms of salary and roster space, so I’m keeping him, for now).

Agholor on the other hand is probably someone Dynasty Owners should grab now in the Free Agent Auction if they need cheap players with some upside as he possibly could also return punts in Las Vegas next year and get some return yardage points (.25 points for every 10 yards of punt and kickoff returns). Since he’s likely available in your league, put in a bid for Agholor now and hope nobody else in your league is reading this recommendation. Don’t drop the ball on this one, right Philly Hero Man (https://ftw.usatoday.com/2019/09/philly-hero-unlike-agholor)!

Talk About a Salary Reduction

Finally, let’s look at two players who are taking a huge reduction in salary to play for a new team in 2020 – Devin Funchess and Todd Gurley. Gurley is the big name here, so let’s wait on him and analyze Funchess first.

Funchess was an early second round draft pick in 2015 by Carolina who thought the big body WR would be a great target for Cam Newton to throw the ball. Sadly, that never really worked out too well as even in his best year (2017), Funchess had just 63 catches for 840 yards and 8 receiving TDs. That’s 195.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points or 12.2 points per game. We don’t have Dynasty Owner stats to rank him for 2017, but if those were his 2019 stats, he would have ranked as the #29 WR, just behind Emmanuel Sanders and right in front of Marvin Jones. Keep in mind that 2017 was his best year and he would have only been, on average, the third best WR on your team. Basically, that’s a FLEX starter or bye week/injury replacement starting WR. In 2018, Funchess had 124.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points to rank as the #56 WR in Dynasty Owner, which is Practice Squad depth. There are plenty of other WRs you can have who are younger (Funchess will be 26 when the NFL starts in 2020) or get paid less than the $2.5 million for one year that Funchess signed for with Green Bay. According to Spotrac, Funchess is tied for the 61st highest paid WR right now (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/wide-receiver/).

If you think Funchess can return to his level of play in 2017 and be the #2 WR in Green Bay, then go pick him up since he’s only owned in 6.5% of Dynasty Owner leagues. Don’t worry about Green Bay drafting another WR who will vault over him on the depth chart, as they haven’t drafted an offensive skill position player (QB, RB, WR, or TE) in the first round since Aaron Rodgers in 2005. If you don’t have confidence that he’ll be back from the injury that wiped out almost all of his 2019 season or that his “best” days are behind him, go find a younger, cheaper WR or even two WRs in your league’s Free Agent Auction. Even if I wanted Funchess (which I don’t), he’s actually owned in my Dynasty Owner league, so I can’t pick him up.

In a surprise move, the Los Angeles Rams released Todd Gurley two weeks ago and he subsequently signed a one year, $6 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons. In a move that many Dynasty Owners can now appreciate more, the Rams had a challenging salary cap situation and released both Gurley and LB Clay Matthews to help alleviate that problem. The $6 million contract that Gurley signed with Atlanta will make him the 10th highest paid RB in the NFL in 2020 (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/running-back/).

The new contract replaced the 4-year, $57.5 million contract he signed with the Rams back in July of 2018, an average contract amount of $14.375 million that his Dynasty Owners paid for him in 2019. Gurley was the second highest paid RB in 2019, behind only Ezekiel Elliott, but finished the 2019 as the #16 RB in Dynasty Owner. Dynasty Owners were paying top dollar for likely the second best RB on their roster. Even at that salary level, Gurley was still rostered in 98% of Dynasty Owner leagues last season.

So, should Dynasty Owners with Gurley on their roster drop him now for free even though they are “saving” over $8 million in salary cap space, put him up for trade or keep him. Earlier this year at his $14.375 million salary, dropping was the recommended option (https://9jn.41d.myftpupload.com/2020/02/amnesty-candidates-part-1/), but now I think you should explore trade options for Gurley first and then if nobody in your league wants to give you anything of value, then you drop Gurley.

Here are the pros and the cons of keeping Gurley on your Dynasty Owner roster:

Pros

  • Motivated by release from Rams
  • Playing closer to where he went to college (Georgia) and high school (Tarboro, North Carolina)
  • Supposedly a better offensive line in Atlanta than Los Angeles, but the Falcons only averaged slightly more yards per carry in 2019 than the Rams (3.76 versus 3.74)

Cons

  • Still has arthritis in his knees
  • Moving from playing on grass to FieldTurf, which won’t help his knees
  • Averaged only 3.84 yards per carry in 2019, down from 4.88 in 2018 and 4.67 in 2017 and had fewest rushing yards in career (857 yards in 2019)
  • Receptions and receiving yards (31 receptions for 207 yards) were lowest since rookie season, with the lowest yards per reception (6.68) of his career

The cons outweigh the pros for me, especially the arthritis in his knee, so I’d make offers to trade Gurley if I could find a Dynasty Owner more bullish on his 2020 prospects, or if no trade offers are acceptable, then drop him and save the $6 million in salary.

Conclusions

Signing a new contract for less money does not necessarily mean that a player is worth their new salary and should be kept on your Dynasty Owner roster or picked up if he is in the Free Agent Auction. Sadly, for the most part, the guys mentioned in this article are still not worth their new salaries in Dynasty Owner and should be dropped or left in the Free Agent Auction for other Owners to bid on.

Now that we have extra time (until April 8th) to drop players with no fee, there’s time to cover some of the players who signed more recently or players we didn’t cover in previous articles or even in this article like Eric Ebron, who got a slightly lower salary recently with Pittsburgh.

Don’t forget about all of the great Dynasty Owner specific podcasts you can watch or listen to. The YouTube Live podcast from Thursday with special guest Christopher Harris and the one from last Friday, which was a lot of fun to participate in, are highly recommended. We also have message board debates and Twitter posts that you can check out.  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

Trading Places

Author: Steven Van Tassell

What a great movie! The 1983 comedy starring Dan Ackroyd and Eddie Murphy with Jamie Lee Curtis plus Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche as the Duke brothers. I love that movie and personally own a Duke & Duke Commodities Brokers T-shirt and went on a tour of Philadelphia that highlighted the Duke brothers bank location.

I could go on and on, but this isn’t a movie review article. It’s a Dynasty Owner fantasy football article about recent trades in the NFL and their Dynasty Owner impact. There have been several trades since the start of NFL free agent signings last Wednesday and even before that as teams could start negotiating with free agents starting last Monday. While many of the players traded have been offensive linemen or on the defensive side of the ball, which doesn’t matter in Dynasty Owner, some players traded might be on your Dynasty Owner roster and others might still be available in your league’s Free Agent Auction.

Trades aren’t going to change the player’s contract details – for the most part, unless they sign a new deal with their new team. However, a trade can impact their usage and productivity and make an underutilized player in 2019 into a superstar in 2020 (David Johnson – your Dynasty Owners are looking at you) or vice versa.

Surprisingly, there are plenty of trades to cover. Does anyone else remember the days when NFL trades were rare and mostly players getting traded for draft picks, not other players? Trades like the “Great Trade Robbery” deal in which Dallas traded Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings for eight draft picks that the Cowboys eventually turned into 5 players (Emmitt Smith, Russell Maryland, Darren Woodson, Kevin Smith and Clayton Holmes) who helped lead them to 3 Super Bowl victories in the 1990s. How shrewd of Jimmie Johnson to pull off that deal? And yes, I’m giving Jerry Jones zero credit – look what he’s done as Owner and General Manger since Jimmie and his players have left – Nothing! Now, it seems like there are trades every off-season and even some during the season, such as the Dolphins trading off several players in the middle of last season, including Kenyan Drake to the Arizona Cardinals.

All stats are based on the Standard Dynasty Owner scoring system as outlined in the updated Dynasty Owner Constitution. Standard Dynasty Owner scoring gives you .1 points for every yard rushing or receiving, .1 point for every 2 yards passing, 1 point per reception, 6 points for a rushing, receiving or passing touchdown and 2 points for a successful 2-point conversion (rushing, receiving, or passing). Interceptions or fumbles lost cost you 3 points, while a fumble that is recovered by the player’s team is a loss of only 1 point. Bonus points are available for 100-199 yards rushing (2 points), 200 yards rushing or receiving (6 points), 300-399 yards passing (1 point) and 400 yards passing (4 points). There is also a 3 point bonus for clutch scoring, which is a score that results in a lead change in the final two minutes of the 4th quarter or overtime. Kickoff and punt return touchdowns are worth 6 points for the player and kickoff and punt returns are worth .25 points for every 10 yards.

Mega-Trade Analysis

No, not Kyle Allen to the Redskins or Nick Foles to the Bears. I’ll get to those deals later. I’m talking about the David Johnson-DeAndre Hopkins trade (plus draft picks) between the Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans. The consensus is that the Texans gave up too much (Hopkins and a fourth-round pick in the 2020 NFL draft) to acquire Johnson (plus a 2020 second-round pick and 2021 fourth-round pick) from the Cardinals. Here is a sampling of headlines about how the Texans got fleeced:

Personally, I feel like this trade gets rejected in many traditional dynasty leagues, but what about Dynasty Owner? How will the trade impact Dynasty Owners who have Hopkins (rostered in 100% of Dynasty Owner leagues) or Johnson (rostered in 89% of Dynasty Owner leagues) on their Dynasty Owner rosters (Full disclosure: I’m a David Johnson Dynasty Owner and have seriously considered releasing him).

For Hopkins owners, this appears to be a really good deal. In 2019, he was the #5 WR in Dynasty Owner for the entire season, even though he didn’t play in the season finale. This is after being the #1 Dynasty Owner WR in 2018. Based on current average salaries on Spotrac, Hopkins’ $16.2 million salary is tied for the eighth highest among WRs (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/wide-receiver/).

Hopkins should be able to, at least, maintain the production he had with Deshaun Watson and Bill O’Brien in 2018 and 2019 with Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury in 2020, so his Dynasty Owners definitely should hang on to him. Even better news for his Dynasty Owners is that they can keep him for 3 more years at that price (provided the Cardinals don’t rip up his deal and give him more money). Hopkins will be the clear top WR in Arizona and is an immediate upgrade over their top two WRs from 2019 (Larry Fitzgerald who was the #35 WR in Dynasty Owner and Christian Kirk who was ranked #37), also making QB Kyler Murray a better value in Dynasty Owner as well.

For Johnson owners, the outlook is improved from what was expected in Arizona, but questions remain on if he is worth his Dynasty Owner salary. Johnson will cost his Dynasty Owners $13 million in both 2020 and 2021. After the Rams released Todd Gurley, Johnson became the third highest paid RB in the NFL behind Ezekiel Elliott and Le’Veon Bell (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/running-back/).

Johnson is a replacement for Carlos Hyde as the Texans’ lead RB and Hyde was the #29 ranked RB in Dynasty Owner in 2019. If he performs at the same level as Hyde did, then he’s clearly a candidate to drop while Dynasty Owners can drop for free (until March 31st). If you are a believer in Johnson’s abilities and think he can perform at the same level he did in the first six games of the 2019 season (121.3 Dynasty Owner fantasy points, or 20.2 per game) and do that over the course of the entire 2020 season, then you’re looking at 323.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. That would have been good for the #2 RB in Dynasty Owner in 2019, behind only Christian McCaffrey and just ahead of Aaron Jones who had 322.8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. That level of production is totally worth his $13 million salary.

This is a tough call for Johnson’s Dynasty Owners. I’m holding him for now, but would be open for trade offers if I get any. If you don’t own Johnson in your Dynasty Owner league and think he’ll perform as well as he did in the first six games of 2019, then make an offer to the Johnson owner in your league and see what happens. If you think he’s more like the RB who was stuck behind Kenyan Drake at the end of last year or even just the #9 Dynasty Owner RB like he was in 2018, then dropping Johnson and saving $13 million in salary cap room is the way to go.

Receivers Getting Traded for Draft Picks

The Buffalo Bills made a splashy trade, getting Vikings WR Stefon Diggs (and a seventh round draft pick in 2020) in exchange for a first round 2020 draft pick (#22 selection) plus three additional picks (2020 – fifth and sixth round picks and 2021 – fourth round pick). Diggs was unhappy in Minnesota and his Dynasty Owners hope a change of scenery will return Diggs’ performance back to his 2018 levels. He was the #11 WR in Dynasty Owner in 2018, but fell back to #24 in 2019 after being drafted on average at the end of the fourth round in Dynasty Owner drafts (ADP 39). He did win a Dynasty Owner Player of the Week honor in Week 6 with a 43.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy point performance, but otherwise averaged just 11.5 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game in the rest of the Dynasty Owner regular season. That wasn’t the performance his Dynasty Owners were looking for in a player costing $14.4 million in salary.

Will Diggs be able to improve in Buffalo with QB Josh Allen and his 58.8% completion percentage or will he continue to disappoint? Even though it’s free now until the end of the month, dropping Diggs isn’t really a good option for his Dynasty Owners (and nobody has done it yet as his ownership remains at 100%). He seems likely to compete with John Brown for catches in Buffalo, so I’m not completely sold on him returning to his 2018 performance level. My recommendation is trading him (if possible) to a Dynasty Owner who’s more optimistic about the deal.

Hayden Hurst goes from Baltimore to Atlanta to replace Austin Hooper as the Falcons TE.  He was traded (plus a fourth round draft pick) for a second and a fifth round pick. Speaking of trades, that’s probably what you’ll need to do to acquire Hurst in Dynasty Owner as he’s rostered in 83% of leagues right now. The late first round draft pick in 2018 was stuck behind Mark Andrews in Baltimore, but still managed to catch 30 passes for 349 yards and 2 receiving TDs (76.9 Dynasty Owner fantasy points) and finish the 2019 season as the #34 TE in Dynasty Owner. Now with Atlanta, he has the opportunity to be the top TE and could project as a top 10 Starting TE in 2020. His $2.76 million contract is very reasonable. Make an offer if you don’t own Hurst in Dynasty Owner and want him on your roster, then hope his current Dynasty Owner doesn’t value him as much as he should.

Quarterbacks on the Move

For everyone who was waiting for what to do about Nick Foles and Kyle Allen, this section is for you. Both were traded for roughly the same amount as Foles was shipped from Jacksonville to the Chicago Bears for a compensatory fourth round pick (140th overall selection), while Allen was dealt to Washington from Carolina for a fifth round selection (148th overall). Pretty similar trade return for players with very different salaries in Dynasty Owner.

Nick Foles becomes the favorite to be the starting QB in Chicago, but still has to beat out Mitchell Trubisky for the job. Foles was injured in the first game of the 2019 season and played only two full games after returning from injury (averaging a respectable 20.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points in those games). However, he also played awful in his third start back with -4.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points from three turnovers before being replaced by Gardner Minshew II for the rest of the season. His contract is pretty low for a veteran QB at $22 million per year (17th highest right now according to Spotrac, but he’ll be on your Dynasty Owner books for three more years at that figure. Unless Foles voids the contract after the 2020 season, which he can do now after restricting his contract after being traded. If you need to drop a higher priced QB like Aaron Rodgers to make some room, Foles is widely available. He’s only rostered in 9% of Dynasty Owner leagues. Grab him now, if you think he becomes the starter and plays well in Chicago as he could be your Dynasty Owner Bench QB or a flex Starter depending on matchups.

In contrast, former Carolina QB Kyle Allen is rostered in a majority (57%) of Dynasty Owner leagues after playing in 13 games last season. He’s reunited in Washington with Head Coach Ron Rivera, but seems likely to be the backup for the Redskins behind Dwayne Haskins. However, just because he’s the backup doesn’t mean you should drop him in Dynasty Owner. His one-year, very salary cap friendly contract (for either $585,000 or $675,000 depending on the source) means that he’s a great Practice Squad stash for your team in case Haskins gets injured or is ineffective. He was the #29 QB in Dynasty Owner last year, but did have two games of more than 30.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points and three additional games of more than 20.0 points, so he was serviceable as a Starter or Bench QB in select games. Don’t drop Allen just yet if you own him and pick him up if available in your league as your third or fourth QB. With 30 man rosters now, Dynasty Owners should have an available roster spot for his miniscule salary.

Conclusions

Now that the new NFL league year has kicked in, free agents have started signing new contracts, some with new teams and some re-signing with their current team. Plus, trades are being made.  Trades generally aren’t going to change salary figures, but may cause Dynasty Owners to change their outlook on a player with only a week to go to get your Dynasty Owner roster up to at least 25 players, but not more than 30, and your team’s salaries under the $110 million salary cap.

Out of the players traded so far this off-season, DeAndre Hopkins and Hayden Hurst are the most likely to improve on their 2019 performances, but if you don’t own either one, you’ll probably have to give up something of value to get them from their current Dynasty Owner. Hurst is in the Free Agent Auction in a few leagues, but not many, while Hopkins is not. David Johnson is intriguing but a risky hold because of his $13 million salary, while Dynasty Owners should be looking to deal Stefon Diggs if they need the salary cap room. Neither traded QB is a lock to start, but Nick Foles might be the starter in Chicago. Kyle Allen is cheap to own and stash on your Practice Squad if he’s available as a Free Agent in your league.

There’s lots more contract news to cover as we haven’t yet talked about free agents who signed with new teams. That’ll be the focus of the next article to help Dynasty Owners with their decision-making before free drops end at the end of March. Besides these articles, don’t forget about all of the great Dynasty Owner specific podcasts, message board debates and Twitter posts. 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