Articles

Contracts & Free Agency

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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2021 Salary Cap Beneficiaries: Tight End Edition

by Aaron Stewart, February 4, 2021

While Irv Smith will not see that many targets in a slow offense that averaged 34.8 (No. 25) Team Pass Plays per Game, his 25.0-percent (No. 6 among qualified tight ends) Red Zone Target Share was higher than all but four of last year’s top 12 tight ends. Kyle Rudolph will vacate 37 (No. 39) targets when he is released. With 70 targets a reasonable expectation in 2021, and provided he continues to stay involved in the red zone, Smith will become the latest late-round, league-winning tight end.

PlayerProfiler followers know that Matt Kelley and the RotoUnderworld team LOVE Adam Trautman. His rookie season did not see him dominate in the box score, but the analytics and advanced stats were promising. He did not record enough stats to qualify for ranking in many of our metrics, but his +6.1-percent Target Premium and +24.6 Production Premium reveal a more efficient option in the passing game for the Saints than the departing Jared Cook.

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2021 Salary Cap Beneficiaries: Wide Receiver Edition

by Aaron Stewart, January 20, 2021

Chris Godwin and/or Antonio Brown leaving the Buccaneers is a guarantee, and it opens a starting spot for a team that averaged 40.5 (No. 10) Team Pass Plays per Game. The next man up would be Scott Miller, who had the year’s quietest 500-yard receiving campaign. Finishing 2020 with averages of 1.90 (No. 34 among qualified wide receivers) Yards Per Route Run and 1.93 (No. 37) Fantasy Points per Target, he’s a great stash candidate entering the 2021 season. 

Not only does Buffalo cutting John Brown make sense financially, it also opens up more opportunity for a younger, better player in Gabriel Davis to contribute more in an offense that averaged 38.9 (No. 13) Team Pass Plays per Game. Chase Claypool is the only rookie wide receiver to score more touchdowns than Gabriel Davis’ seven (No. 19) this season. Not bad for a player overlooked in dynasty rookie drafts because 14 wide receivers were picked before him in the NFL Draft.

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Top-5 Crazy Cut Candidates and Optimal Fantasy Football Destinations

by Josh Kellem, December 19, 2020

Entering his age-31 season next year, Mark Ingram is likely to be a cap casualty with the Ravens on the hook for just $1.33 million of his $6.33 2021 cap hit. That means they save $5 million releasing him, which makes sense with J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards in the tuck. With Todd Gurley’s contract set to expire, the Falcons appear to have an opening. Ingram ran for over 1,000 yards in 2019 and might have enough juice for one last squeeze, being that he’s toted the rock just 63 times in 2020.

The Lions would save $14 million releasing Matthew Stafford. Staring down a rebuild, it’s a coin flip if he returns to the team in 2021. With a better-than-appears roster, Stafford’s worth the dart throw in what’s set to be John Elway’s final year under contract as Broncos General Manager. A healthy Broncos team in 2021 is a dark-horse playoff contender.

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