The Dynasty Aftermath: Mascot Tournament AFC Finals

Ken Kelly

Welcome to DLF’s Dynasty Aftermath. This staple article is our longest running signature piece as we have a little fun after a tough week at the Dynasty League Football office. You’ll find this article will review the week’s happenings in a variety of ways and help set you up for the coming weeks as we spin around the league in the way we know best. Expect it each and every week. I’ve written this column for the past seventeen years and I love it. I enjoy combing through the stats of the week on Monday night, putting together ridiculous lineups, picking MVPs/LVPs and discussing things to worry about.

That’s not all. I also really love sharing observations, little bits of entertainment or some stories with the community of DLF and picking a theme for this column each week. You really never know what you’re going to get. This year, I’m doing a “Five in Five” article each week and that previews this article on Saturdays. Let’s recap the storylines from last week before we get into it.

Steel City Resolve

Pittsburgh fired Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada last week with the hope to jumpstart an offense that has been downright miserable for most of the year. Kenny Pickett hadn’t proven himself to be the long-term answer at quarterback and players like Jaylen Warren and George Pickens looked like they were being underutilized. A game against a wounded Bengals team would have seemed like a good time to unleash some of the talent on this team.

Prediction: Things look much better as Warren out-carries Harris and Pickens get targeted early and often.
Reality: Harris had two more carries than Warren and Pickens had three catches for 58 yards.

Only the Young

The Panthers drafted Bryce Young first overall with the hopes he could be the franchise cornerstone for the next decade, While he’s still just a rookie, the results have been mixed at best thus far. The Panthers are dead last in the NFL at 1-10 and even worse, their first round pick goes to Chicago as a result of the draft day trade for Young. The Panthers lost again and fired their Head Coach this week. Young is on an island with all eyes on him until further notice.

Prediction: Young continues to struggle as the offensive line can’t protect him.
Reality: Y9ung threw for 194 empty yards.

Ridley’s Believe it or Not

The Jaguars finally went back to Calvin Ridley last week with nine targets and he rewarded them (and fantasy managers) with seven catches for 103 yards and two touchdowns, matching his touchdown total for the season the process. The target numbers over the past five weeks had been all over the board as he’s had eight, then four, then 10, then three, then the nine from last week. Ridley has only had eight or more targets in back-to-back weeks once all season. Were we just seeing a player who is dependent on the specific game plan to be successful. Should we believe it or not?

Prediction: Ridley catches five passes on eight targets for 75 yards and another touchdown.
Reality: Ridley catches five passes on six targets for 81 yards and another touchdown. That was close!

Full Tank

As good as Puca Nakua has been, Tank Dell has been pretty spectacular himself. Over the past three weeks, Dell had averaged nearly 26 fantasy points per game, good for a top four ranking amongst receivers. On the year, Dell trailed only De’Von Achane, Jahmyr Gibbs and Nacua in terms of average fantasy points for rookies. Two weeks ago, he posted eight catches for 149 receiving yards and a touchdown, which marked his third straight game with at least one touchdown. With 35 targets over the past three weeks, it’s clear the Texans are making it a priority to get him the football.

Prediction: Dell stays on a heater with six catches for 105 yards and another touchdown.
Reality: Dell stays on a heater with five catches for 50 yards and another touchdown (with a 70-yard pass called back).

The Watched Pot is Boiling

The Broncos hit the lowest of lows when they gave up 70 points to the Miami Dolphins and started the season just 1-5. However, they had won four in a row now and much of that can quietly be attributed to a major bounce-back season from Russell Wilson. After a miserable 2022 campaign that featured just 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, Wilson had 19 touchdowns already with just four interceptions on the season. He may not be putting up vintage yardage numbers but the defense is getting better and Wilson is looking more comfortable each week.

Prediction: Wilson struggles against the Browns with 165 yards passing with one touchdown and one interception.
Reality:Wilson struggled against the Browns with 134 yards passing with one touchdown.

So, on to my random thought of the week. I’ve been doing The Deep Dive Newsletter in partnership with our Sister site, 4for4.com. When I wrote the Monday Night Preview a while back, I said a Buffalo should surely beat a horse when referring to the Broncos and Bills. It got me thinking and that’s typically dangerous. I immediately started to wonder who would win a fight if the NFL mascots were real. We hit the AFC a couple of weeks ago and had our semifinalists. Let’s finish it off!

The AFC final four was set with the Broncos, Dolphins, Titans and Bengals. First up, Broncos vs. Dolphins. I wondered if a dolphin would be afraid of a horse and, as unbelievable as it is, found the following on YouTube:

As you can clearly see, not only are the dolphins unfazed by the stallion in the water [insert Seahorse joke here], it looks as if they are multiplying into attack formation. I tried to ask our resident zookeeper Matt Price who would win but it was past 8:00 PM at night and apparently he lives in a retirement community because it was too late for him to answer. Based on this video footage, I go dolphin. By the way did you know dolphins are around eight feet long and horses nine? That’s pretty close.

The Titans and Bengals are up next. A Titan is actually some kind of Greek God or a Nissan truck, apparently. Most think the Titans are named after the Gods or Giants but did you realize they play at NISSAN stadium? I think it’s secretly the truck. With that, we have a Nissan Titan against a tiger. I’m going to go with the agility of a tiger to outmaneuver the Titan, especially because I had one of those once and the gas mileage was awful.

The final two are set – dolphins against tigers. I just think the end has to be here for the dolphin. Even if they could surround a tiger, I just don’t see it ending well, despite the dolphins having a clear plan and porpoise. Yep. I said it.

WINNER: Bengals

On to week twelve!

Fantasy MVP of the Week

This version of Kyren Williams is the one who is going to help many teams win a dynasty title. Williams had 7.5 more points than the next highest running back, Christian McCaffrey this week and if you haven’t noticed, McCaffrey is pretty good. There are a lot of players who are going to decide this thing but Williams is right in the middle of it.

Fantasy LVP of the Week

George Kittle has had one of the strangest “feast or famine” fantasy seasons I can remember. He’s had four games with more than 20 fantasy points and now five games with six or less, including this week’s debacle where he posted just three catches for 19 yards. His week three performance where he posted 16 fantasy points is the only one in between. It’s actually pretty fascinating when you look at his numbers.

kittlestats

The Unbeatable Lineup of the Week

QB Josh Allen BUF= 339 passing yards, 81 rushing yards, four total touchdowns
RB Kyren Williams LAR =
143 rushing yards, six catches, 61 receiving yards, two touchdowns
RB Christian McCaffrey SF =
114 rushing yards, five catches, 25 receiving yards, two touchdowns
RB Bijan Robinson ATL =
91 rushing yards, three catches, 32 receiving yards, one touchdown
WR Tyreek Hill MIA =
Nine catches, 102 receiving yards, one touchdown
WR Mike Evans TB =
Six catches, 70 receiving yards, two touchdowns
WR DeVonta Smith PHI =
Seven catches, 106 receiving yards, one touchdown
TE Pat Freiermuth PIT =
Nine catches, 120 receiving yards

The Underdog Lineup of the Week

QB Jordan Love GB = 268 passing yards, 39 rushing yards, three total touchdowns
RB Chuba Hubbard CAR = 45 rushing yards, five catches, 47 receiving yards, one touchdown
RB Najee Harris PIT = 99 rushing yards, one touchdown
RB Royce Freeman LAR = 77 rushing yards, one touchdown
WR Rashee Rice KC = Eight catches, 107 receiving yards, one touchdown
WR Nico Collins HOU = Seven catches, 104 receiving yards, one touchdown
WR Gabriel Davis BUF = Six catches, 105 receiving yards, one touchdown
TE Tyler Higbee LAR = Five catches, 29 receiving yards, two touchdowns

The Disappointing Lineup of the Week

QB Bryce Young CAR = 194 passing yards, 23 rushing yards
RB Saquon Barkley NYG = 46 rushing yards, one catch, six receiving yards
RB Khalil Herbert CHI = 24 rushing yards, two catches, 14 receiving yards
RB Jaylen Warren PIT = 49 rushing yards, three catches, 13 receiving yards
WR Adam Thielen CAR = One catch, two receiving yards
WR Jerry Jeudy DEN = Two catches, 11 receiving yards
WR Amari Cooper CLE = Two catches, 16 receiving yards
TE George Kittle SF = Three catches, 19 receiving yards

Gut Checks

I’d be worried if I was riding a horse around dolphins.

I’d be worried if I needed Jonathan Taylor any time soon.

I’d be worried if I thought David Montgomery was going away.

I’d be worried if I was counting on Adam Thielen.

I’d be worried if I was underestimating Mike Evans.

I’d be worried if I thought Zach Charbonnet was going to just step in as an RB1.

I’d be worried if I needed DeAndre Hopkins at the moment because

I’d be worried if I thought Will Levis was a sure thing.

I’d be worried if I didn’t believe in Isiah Pacheco.

I’d be worried if I thought Zack Moss wasn’t a really important player at the moment.

I’d be worried if I was counting on Joshua Dobbs.

I’d be worried if I thought Saquon Barkley was immune to this.

I’d be worried if I thought Tank Dell was a flash in the pan.

I’d be worried if I thought Davante Adams was back.

I’d be worried if I needed DK Metcalf.

I’d be worried if I thought Javonte Williams was a lock for next year.

I’d be worried if I needed Terry McLaurin.

I’d be worried if I was needing consistency from DJ Moore.

I’d be worried if I thought I had the Bears running back situation figured out.

I’d be worried if I was ignoring the run from Jordan Love.

I’d be worried if I missed out on Trey McBride.

I’d be worried if I needed Breece Hall, He can’t withstand this.

I’d be worried if I wasn’t paying attention to Rashee Rice.

I’d be worried if I needed early season Travis Etienne at the moment.

I’d be worried if I wasn’t a little excited about Calvin Ridley.

I’d be worried if I needed George Pickens.

I’d be worried if I wasn’t a little disappointed in Jerome Ford.

The Top Rookie Scoring Averages

1.) CJ Stroud, QB HOU = 24.41
2.) De’Von Achane RB MIA = 21.04
3.) Anthony Richardson, QB IND = 20.36
4.) Jahmyr Gibbs, RB DET = 17.27
5.) Puka Nacua, WR LAR = 16.77
6.) Tank Dell, WR HOU = 16.54
7.) Will Levis, QB TEN = 15.12
8.) Bijan Robinson, RB ATL = 14.76
9.) Tyson Bagent QB CHI = 14.39
10.) Bryce Young, QB CAR = 13.99
11.) Jordan Addison, WR MIN = 13.73
12.) Sam LaPorta, TE DET = 12.99
13. Aidan O’Connell, QB LV = 12.77
14.) Tommy DeVito QB NYG = 12.37
15.) Jayden Reed, WR GB = 12.00

Just missed: Zay Flowers, Josh Downs, Rashee Rice, Jayden Reed. Michael Wilson, Dalton Kincaid, Luke Musgrave, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Jaleel McLaughlin, Marvin Mims

The Rookie Top 10

Always check our latest rankings to see the updates throughout the week. These rankings are simply my own.

1.) Bijan Robinson, RB ATL
Back on top for me after the Falcons finally figured it out.

1.) De’Von Achane, RB MIA
The injury is a concern but he’s been otherworldly.

3.) Jahmyr Gibbs, RB DET
Would like to see Montgomery out of the picture at some point.

4.) Puka Nacua, WR LAR
He’s been a little quiet of late with single-digits in four-of-five.

6.) Tank Dell, WR HOU
Another gem last week and as promised, he’s in the top five for me.

6.)  Jordan Addison, WR MIN
Vikings need a long-term quarterback.

7.) Sam LaPorta, TE DET
Great value pick this year..

8.)  CJ Stroud,QB HOU
Everyone should take him over Richardson with no hesitation now.

9.) Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR SEA
A little quiet again.

10) Jayden Reed, WR GB
I really like what I’m seeing from him.

Anthony Richardson, Josh Downs, Zay Flowers, Josh Downs

See you on Saturday for the “Five in Five!” and next week for the Dynasty Aftermath.

ken kelly
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Alex Li Puma
Alex Li Puma
2 months ago

lol I benched DK Metcalf ouch