Articles

Contracts & Free Agency

Transaction Implication: Josh Allen, Quarter of a BILLion Dollar QB

by Aaron Stewart, August 18, 2021

Josh Allen joins Patrick Mahomes and Dak Prescott as QBs making over $40 million per year. Once QBs sign their big post-rookie contracts, the clock starts to tick for their teams. How long will Buffalo’s window for competing remain open? Can they win a Super Bowl before Allen’s cap hit skyrockets? Is his extension a team-friendly contract? How does this affect Lamar Jackson’s extension talks?

The Bills were a top AFC team last season and have improved in three consecutive years. I don’t see that changing in the next three. If it does change, it won’t be because Allen’s contract crippled the team’s salary cap. On the contrary, his extension allows Buffalo to extend their Super Bowl window all the way out to 2024 and keep or add key pieces.

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Transaction Implication: Aaron Rodgers’ Last Dance

by Aaron Stewart, August 9, 2021

Aaron Rodgers is gone after this season. The parallels between the Packers and the Michael Jordan Netflix documentary are obvious and referenced by involved parties. Allow your Salary Cap-tain to navigate you through the waves of contract and salary cap complexities. The first notable detail about Aaron Rodgers’ new contract is the 2023 void year. The next detail to note is Rodgers’ 2022 cap hit. Where is Rodgers going to play in 2022? How does the Rodgers saga affect Adams? Where do Cobb and the rookie WR fit in the 2021 plans?

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Transaction Implication: Julio Jones and Post June 1st Transactions

by Aaron Stewart, May 28, 2021

New Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot and the new front office have left the possibility of a Julio Jones departure by not restructuring his contract and converting unguaranteed money (base salary) into guaranteed money (prorated signing bonus). More guaranteed money means more dead cap on a player’s contract, making it harder to financially move on from them. The Falcons did not make that commitment to Jones.

Teams are allowed to designate up to two players as a post-June 1st cut, and the Eagles have already designated Alshon Jeffery and Malik Jackson. They’re projected to have $4.9 mil in cap space locked up on their top-51 players, eighth-lowest in the NFL. With a lack of cap space and a purge of aging, declining veterans already starting, the team will proceed with cutting Zach Ertz and saving almost $5 million in cap space.

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Transaction Implication: Dynasty Impact of Allen Robinson’s and Chris Godwin’s Franchise Tags

by Aaron Stewart, May 2, 2021

It’s lazy analysis to say that a quarterback upgrade will improve Allen Robinson’s fantasy performance. Only DeAndre Hopkins (310) has more targets over the past two seasons than Robinson’s 304 looks. Numerous opportunity and productivity metrics of Robinson’s are top-10 at his position. Volume is key in fantasy football, and his situation is not as bad as people make it seem. But what if he leaves Chicago next offseason?

Chris Godwin’s calculated market value for 2022 has him signing a contract with an average annual salary of $17.1 million. Mike Evans already took one pay cut to help the Buccaneers keep the team together. Would he be open to taking another pay cut for the team? Or will 2022 be the year where the Buccaneers have to decide who to keep between him and Godwin?

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Transaction Implication: Seattle Seahawks Extend Tyler Lockett

by Aaron Stewart, April 11, 2021

Tyler Lockett’s cap hit will be higher than any receiver that has signed a contract in the past twelve months. Among all NFL players, he will count more on the 2024 salary cap than Aaron Donald, the DPOY in three of the last four seasons, will for the division-rival Los Angeles Rams. Expect the Seahawks to move on from him after 2023 before he enters his age-32 season.

Can Lockett maintain his efficiency with another high-volume passing game role in 2021? His 75.8-percent (No. 9 among qualified wide receivers) Catch Rate, 93.5-percent (No. 9) True Catch Rate and low 3.8-percent (No. 60) Drop Rate didn’t leave fantasy points on the field. Capitalize on his 2020 season that saw high usage, WR1 productivity, and efficiency unusual for players that see the volume that he received.

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Transaction Implication: Corey Davis Signs With Jets

by Aaron Stewart, April 3, 2021

Despite a career-best 13.7 (No. 32 among qualified wide receivers) Fantasy Points per Game average and top-notch efficiency, Davis has failed to break out in his career according to the Breakout Finder. He missed the 200-point PPR mark by less than nine points, and fell short of the 1,000 yard receiving mark by 16 yards. Truly heartbreaking. Will he pull a Devante Parker-like fifth-year breakout? Or will “Corpse” Davis return to the catacombs?

Despite an expected increase in his 92 (No. 42) Targets from 2020, Davis’ efficiency will be tough to replicate without Ryan Tannehill’s 121.1 (No. 2) True Passer Rating. A Breakout Rating below 20.0 shows that banking on him to finally break out in Year 5 is irrational. He’s a JAG receiver and isn’t helping people win games. He’s a perfect throw-in in trades to acquire your target.

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Transaction Implication: Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry Sign With Patriots

by Aaron Stewart, March 26, 2021

In redraft, it’s best to avoid both Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith. However, if managers are playing best ball fantasy football in 2021, then stacking Henry and Smith will be advantageous. The Patriots invested heavily in the tight end duo while opting against signing a Kenny Golladay, Will Fuller, or other top-tier wide receiver option. Expectations are that the passing offense will go through Henry and Smith, with weekly roles determined by the defenses they face.

A mistake that people make in trading for players is that they acquire players on past performances instead of future projections. As a passer, Cam Newton was putrid last season. Thank goodness his Supporting Cast Efficiency will be better in 2021 than the -3.97 (No. 22) mark it received in 2020. He is the perfect quarterback for championship contenders to target in a trade if they have uncertainty at the position.

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Transaction Implication: Aaron Jones Resigns With Packers

by Aaron Stewart, March 24, 2021

Aaron Jones has had back-to-back seasons finishing in the top-10 among qualified running backs in Weighted Opportunities, allowing him to finish as RB4 and RB3 in Fantasy Points per Game in 2020 and 2019, respectively. A.J. Dillon and his 5.9-percent (33rd-percentile) College Target Share is incapable of replacing Jamaal Williams’ role in the passing game. Jones’ 242 (No. 17) Routes Run are destined to increase and will offset any carries lost to Dillon in 2021.

The sell-high window on Dillon did close when Jones resigned, but now the buy-low window on Dillon has opened. Jones, 27 years old in December, is unlikely to play out his contract which goes into his age-30 season, and would see his 2023 cap hit balloon up to $19.25 million. Find the panicked owners in leagues that are impatient and acquire Dillon at a bargain price.

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Transaction Implication: Dak Prescott Signs Extension With The Cowboys

by Aaron Stewart, March 12, 2021

Last season, the Dallas Cowboys placed the franchise tag ($31.41 million) on Dak Prescott for him to prove himself as a franchise quarterback. A horrific broken ankle shortened his season. So why did the team take a perceived risk on a player coming off a catastrophic injury? Despite my slight mathematical error, the Cowboys could not afford the cap hit of a franchise tag on Prescott in 2021.

Want to see the fantasy football impact of a franchise quarterback? Look no further than the team’s top two pass-catchers last season, Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb. In Prescott’s five starts, Cooper finished with four top-24 wide receiver performances, and Lamb finished with three top-24 wide receiver performances. Both played in all 16 games; in 11 games without Prescott, Cooper had four top-24 wide receiver performances and Lamb only had one top-24 wide receiver performance.

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Transaction Implication: Carson Wentz Traded To The Colts

by Aaron Stewart, February 25, 2021

Carson Wentz is a value in dynasty leagues because the perception of him is that he’s damaged goods. Those who have him in dynasty should hold. His value is the lowest it’s been in his career. He has one year in a better situation to turn his NFL career around. If struggles in 2021, it doesn’t change the value that cratered in 2020. But if he puts up a solid campaign in his age-29 season, then he regains significant trade value.

Don’t worry about a drop-off in Miles Sanders’ receiving volume; his 4.33 targets per game were identical in games that Carson Wentz and Jalen Hurts started. After a disappointing 2020 season, he’s set to be a high-volume running back with better rushing opportunities provided by his run-threat quarterback, while still being involved in the passing game.

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