MDL5 Franchise Bidding Preview

By Gart

The first real action of the MDL5 off-season is upon us.  Each team has been given the opportunity to apply a franchise tag to one impending free agent, and the rest of us schmucks now have to resist the temptation to pay draft picks for the right to sign these fine specimens.  

A quick review of how the franchise process works:  Owners tag an impending free agent that they’d like to keep.  Along with the name of the player they’d like to keep, they also submit what sort of compensation they’re looking for should someone try to steal the player from under their nose.  The catch is that the more compensation the owner seeks, in the form of a higher draft pick, the higher the starting bid will be (and therefore the higher salary he must match, even if there are no other bids) on his player.  The bid tiers for each position and compensation level have been outlined by our ever-vigilant commissioner, and are calculated based on existing salaries at those positions.  Note that the cheapest a player can possibly go for is 20% greater than his 2015 salary.  Once the bidding for each player is complete, the original owner gets the opportunity to match any bids on his player, players are assigned a 1-3 year contract length (at a later date), and we all move on to looking at the rookie draft.

So without further ado, our 2016 MDL5 franchise tags:


Player Position Age Starting Price Compensation 2015 FPPG
Doug Martin RB 27 $152.0 2nd round 14.2
DeAngelo Williams RB 32 $125.0 3rd round 14.8
DeAndre Hopkins WR 23 $243.6 1st round 21.3
Alshon Jeffery WR 26 $252.0 1st round 17.6
Donte Moncrief WR 22 $172.0 2nd round 11.7
Eric Decker WR 29 $172.0 2nd round 17.1
Antonio Gates TE 35 $98.0 1st round 13.7
Gary Barnidge TE 30 $98.0 1st round 15.4
Ben Watson TE 35 $71.0 2nd round 11.8
Gerald McCoy DT 28 $82.8 2nd round 10.4
Jabaal Sheard DE 26 $62.0 1st round 12.1
Rob Ninkovich DE 32 $67.2 1st round 9.1
Jason Pierre-Paul DE 27 $34.0 3rd round 7.2
Alec Ogletree LB 24 $80.4 1st round 17.3
Logan Ryan CB 25 $20.0 3rd round 11.9
Reshad Jones S 28 $62.4 1st round 18.4


Doug Martin – Bouncing back from two awful and injury riddled seasons, the Muscle Hamster returned to his rookie season form in 2015.  $152 is well below market value for an elite running back, and there probably isn’t an owner in the league who wouldn’t be happy with Martin at $152.  A team with a late 2nd round pick could be well served in taking a stab at Martin.  The question then becomes, how high do they have to bid to not have the original owner match?


DeAngelo Williams – Williams was a great story in 2015, and was arguably the fantasy MVP in many leagues after scoring 5 rushing TDs in weeks 14 through 16.  The ultimate lottery ticket in fantasy football, a backup running back that transforms into a top 5 RB if Le’Veon Bell should get hurt again.  His price tag of $125 is fair given Bell’s injury history (missed time in 2 of 3 seasons), and the third round tender won’t be debilitating to a team’s future should they make a play at him.  Expect some action on Williams.  


DeAndre Hopkins and Alshon Jeffery – The two crown jewels of this franchise tag process.  Hopkins is considered a top 4 asset in dynasty fantasy football, and Alshon isn’t too far behind him.  These salaries are both near under market value (Hopkins probably slightly under), and the owners will probably keep them because of how steep the compensation of a first round pick would be.  Why pay a first and market value for Hopkins or Alshon when you can pay market value and no picks for Julio Jones, A.J. Green, or Antonio Brown?  Expect Hopkins and Jeffery to go untouched during the bidding.


Donte Moncrief and Eric Decker – The next tier of WRs available.  At $172, these prices are in line with guys such as John Brown, Jeremy Maclin, Martavis Bryant (R.I.P.) or Davante Adams (lol).   The price tag itself for them is roughly at market value, and whether or not they’re worth the 2nd round pick depends on how owners project their futures.  Moncrief is young and coming off a relatively poor season where his team’s franchise QB was oft-injured.  Decker on the other hand is coming off of a great season, but we don’t even know who his QB will be this season.  If an owner suspects decker can repeat his 2015 performance, or that Moncrief is on his way to stardom then a bid on these players would be understandable.  


Antonio Gates and Gary Barnidge – An ancient HoF bound TE and a 30 year old that came out of nowhere last season are both sitting with $98 first round tenders.  While $98 is a good deal for a start every week TE in this league, I can’t see anybody being willing to give up a first round pick for either of these players.  I don’t expect any action here.  


Ben Watson – Likewise, I can’t see anybody being confident enough that Watson repeats his 2015 numbers to give up a 2nd round pick.  Watson is my pick for least likely player to be bid on.  


Gerald McCoy – The $82.8 opening bid on McCoy would make him the third highest paid DT in MDL5.  After a season where he was only the 10th highest scoring DT in MDL5.  I don’t expect anybody giving up  any sort of draft pick for the rights to sign someone at what appears to be over market value.   


Jabaal Sheard and Rob Ninkovich – At $62 and $67.2 these DEs are simply too expensive to justify giving up a first round pick for the privilege to sign them.  Expect no action.


Jason Pierre-Paul – Pierre-Paul was considered the 2nd best DE in the league last season before blowing his hands apart with fireworks. $34 and a 3rd round pick is probably the most tempting bid to make this season.  If he returns to pre-splodey form a sub $50 contract could be very good value.  Expect to see multiple bids on him, and an owner contemplating a match.


Alec Ogletree – Ogletree was an absolute beast in 2015 season before breaking a fibula in week 4.  However, with a first round tender being placed on him and a very strong crop of LBs hitting free agency in MDL5 this off season I don’t expect anybody to be ready to pony up for who is arguably the best LB to own in dynasty fantasy football not named Luke Kuechly.  


Logan Ryan – A franchise tag on a CB?  What’s next, franchise tagging a punter?  Jokes aside, Logan was the 10th best CB in FPPG last season, and with Malcolm Butler continuing to develop into a legitimate shutdown corner, Logan Ryan should see even more balls thrown his way.  Despite this, it’s a popular opinion that CBs are an easily replaced dime a dozen position in MDL5, and I don’t expect anybody to be willing to give up a 3rd down draft pick for the rights to give Logan Ryan $21.  


Reshad Jones – Jones established himself as the #1 safety in fantasy football last season, amassing 135 tackles and 5 interceptions.  But much like Ogletree, I don’t expect anybody to be willing to give up a first round pick and a close to market value contract to a defensive player, even if they are elite tacklers.  

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