RSO 2019 Off-Season Schedule

Updated: January 20th 2019

Welcome to the RSO off-season, where things can get even more interesting and exciting than during the season. Congrats to all of our 2018 league champions! Remember, it is never too early to start strategizing for 2019, and to help you better prepare for the upcoming season, please find some important dates and off-season rules/info below:

February 8th, 2019

February 8th, 2019 is the estimated official start of the 2018-19 RSO off-season. Last season, the NFL announced the 2018 salary cap in early March, and we expect them to do so again this year around the same time. The 2019 NFL salary cap is expected to rise to as much as $191 million. Since we will open the site before the NFL announces the 2019 salary cap, we will leave the cap at the 2018 level until the NFL announces the new salary cap for 2019. However, existing leagues will be able to commence the RSO off-season, meaning teams can make off-season trades and cuts. Additionally, new league creation will be available at this time.

April 25th, 2019 to April 27th, 2019 

These are the dates of the actual NFL Draft. Once the NFL Draft is completed, leagues will be able to conduct their RSO Rookie Drafts and Free Agent Auctions. The NFL Draft is set to end on Saturday, April 27th, 2019, and we expect to have all rookie information updated on the site by Monday, April 29th, 2019.

February 8th, 2019 to Three (3) Days Before Your League’s 2019 RSO Rookie Draft 

Different for every league depending on the date set for your 2019 RSO Rookie Draft, this is the “franchise tag designation period”. During this period, team owners must decide whether to place a franchise tag on a player whose contract expired in 2018 (the tagged salary for each player can be found by clicking the “Tag” button on the Team-Contracts tab). At the end of this period, players on expiring contracts will be removed from your Team Roster (unless you franchise tag a player). Additionally, at the conclusion of this period, team owners must have enough salary cap space to fill their respective rosters through the Rookie Draft and Free Agency in order to avoid having players automatically dropped from their rosters to create cap space. A Salary Cap Health Overview feature located on the Team-Overview tab contains all the information team owners need to ensure they have enough salary cap space. Note: no trades will be allowed during the three-day period between the end of the franchise tag designation period and your 2019 Rookie Draft. Trading will resume after the conclusion of your Rookie Draft. Remember, you can now finalize your franchise tag if you desire before the conclusion of the franchise tag designation period by clicking the “finalize franchise tag” button, which will in turn allow you to trade the tagged player if you want before your league’s 2019 Rookie Draft.

Additionally, this is also the period during which you can exercise your 1st round rookie options if applicable. Just like in the NFL, in the off-season of the year before a player on a first round rookie contract expires, teams can have the choice to exercise their rookie option. The value of this option is the average of the top 10 salaries at the position and extends the rookie’s contract for an additional year. You must choose if you want to use this option before three (3) days before your 2019 Rookie Draft OR before you finalize your off-season rosters moves/your franchise tag if you choose to do that instead. For more info, check out this article.

February 8th, 2019 to Three (3) Days Before Your League’s 2019 RSO Free Agent Auction

This period is the official duration of the RSO off-season for each league. The length of the off-season is important because of the rules surrounding off-season vs. in-season cuts. This is best explained by example. Assume you have Kirk Cousins under contract for $15mm in 2019 and $18mm in 2020. If you cut Cousins during the 2018-19 off-season (i.e. up and until 3 days before your Free Agent Auction), you will only owe him $7.5mm in 2019 and then $9mm in 2020. If you wait until the off-season concludes before cutting Cousins, you will owe him his full $15mm in 2019 in addition to the $9mm in 2020. Therefore, it is important to assess your roster and make desired cuts before your off-season concludes three days before your league’s 2019 Free Agent Auction. Additionally, if choose to apply your contract extension to a player you applied the franchise tag to, you must do it before this deadline. For more information on the tag extensions check out this article.

September 5th, 2019

The first game of the NFL’s 100th season will be held in the home of the Super Bowl Champion. It will be here before you know it!

More Analysis by Stephen Wendell

RSO 2017 Off-Season Schedule

Updated: July 16th 2017

Welcome to the RSO off-season, where things can get even more interesting and exciting than during the season. Congrats to all of our 2016 league champions! Remember, it is never too early to start strategizing for 2017, and to help you better prepare for the upcoming season, please find some important dates and off-season rules/info below:

February 9th, 2017

February 9th, 2017 is the official start of the 2016-17 RSO off-season. Last season, the NFL announced the 2016 salary cap in late February, and we expect them to do so again this year around the same time. The 2017 NFL salary cap is expected to be anywhere from $160 mm to $165 mm. Since we have opened the site before the NFL has announced the 2017 salary cap, we will leave the cap at the 2016 level until the NFL announces the new salary cap for 2017. However, existing leagues will be able to commence the RSO off-season, meaning teams can make off-season trades and cuts. Additionally, new league creation will be available at this time.

April 27th, 2017 to April 29th, 2017 

These are the dates of the actual NFL Draft. Once the NFL Draft is completed, leagues will be able to conduct their RSO Rookie Drafts and Free Agent Auctions. The NFL Draft is set to end on Saturday, April 29th, 2017, and we expect to have all rookie information updated on the site by Monday, May 1st, 2017.

February 9th, 2017 to Three (3) Days Before Your League’s 2017 RSO Rookie Draft 

Different for every league depending on the date set for your 2017 RSO Rookie Draft, this is the “franchise tag designation period”. During this period, team owners must decide whether to place a franchise tag on a player whose contract expired in 2016 (the tagged salary for each player can be found by clicking the “Tag” button on the Team-Contracts tab). At the end of this period, players on expiring contracts will be removed from your Team Roster (unless you franchise tag a player). Additionally, at the conclusion of this period, team owners must have enough salary cap space to fill their respective rosters through the Rookie Draft and Free Agency in order to avoid having players automatically dropped from their rosters to create cap space. A Salary Cap Health Overview feature located on the Team-Overview tab contains all the information team owners need to ensure they have enough salary cap space. Note: no trades will be allowed during the three-day period between the end of the franchise tag designation period and your 2017 Rookie Draft. Trading will resume after the conclusion of your Rookie Draft. *Lastly, a new feature will be released this off-season which will allow you to finalize your franchise tag if you desire before the conclusion of the franchise tag designation period, which will in turn allow you to trade the tagged player if you want before your league’s 2017 Rookie Draft.

February 9th, 2017 to Three (3) Days Before Your League’s 2017 RSO Free Agent Auction

This period is the official duration of the RSO off-season for each league. The length of the off-season is important because of the rules surrounding off-season vs. in-season cuts. This is best explained by example. Assume you have Tony Romo under contract for $15mm in 2017 and $18mm in 2018. If you cut Romo during the 2016-17 off-season (i.e. up and until 3 days before your Free Agent Auction), you will only owe him $7.5mm in 2017 and then $9mm in 2018. If you wait until the off-season concludes before cutting Romo, you will owe him his full $15mm in 2017 in addition to the $9mm in 2018. Therefore, it is important to assess your roster and make desired cuts before your off-season concludes three days before your league’s 2017 Free Agent Auction.

September 7th, 2017

The first game of the NFL season will be held in Foxborough…it will be here before you know it!

More Analysis by Stephen Wendell

Post-Season Additions

Updated: December 4th 2016

My post-season player addition strategy tends to revolve around buying players who have good chances of landing in a better situation next season whether through increased opportunity or superior supporting casts. These players also typically have small odds of ending up in worse situations which means their value is unlikely to diminish.  While injured players were prime candidates for buys early in the fantasy season, most owners who have stuck with them into the offseason are not looking to sell.  You can certainly start acquiring players prior to the offseason but trade deadlines and playoff considerations come into play.

Josh Doctson/Jamison Crowder, WRs, Washington Redskins

Washington might lose both current receivers Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson to free agency this off-season. This leaves many targets available next season on a high volume, high efficiency passing attack that is currently seventh in pass attempts and fourth in yards per attempt.  Kirk Cousins appears probable to stay in Washington adding stability to the Washington passing game.  You will want a piece of this receiving core on your fantasy team.   Doctson could come at a discount in your league as he lost most of 2016 to ongoing Achilles issues but remember he was a first round NFL pick for a reason.  The former TCU star displayed incredible leaping ability in college and a rare ability to make highlight-reel catches look routine.  Crowder unexpectedly accumulated top-30 receiving numbers in receptions, yards, and touchdowns this season.  He provides lightning-fast quickness and is electric with the ball in his hands.  He provides a buying opportunity in many leagues due to a bias many have against small receivers and his modest draft pedigree.  Take advantage where possible of a player who is a perfect fit for the Washington offense.

Michael Floyd, WR, Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals might be the most disappointing team in the NFL, particularly on the offensive side where the passing game is a wreck. Poor pass protection and a deteriorating Carson Palmer have rendered most passes, except for short underneath routes to primarily David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald, completely ineffective.  Not one of Arizona’s explosive deep threats including Floyd, John Brown, Jaron Brown, or J.J. Nelson has produced much this year when on the field (they rarely have been on the field due to numerous injuries).  The question becomes: did all of these receivers suddenly become less talented or has Carson Palmer’s performance taken a dive?  Game tape confirms Palmer’s ineffectiveness as the primary cause for the deep receiver’s lack of production.  All of this means Floyd likely moves on from Arizona after the season.  Wide receivers drafted in the first round of the NFL with twelve 100+ yard receiving games on their resume rarely hit free agency.  Floyd has a powerful NFL frame at 6’-3”, 220 lbs and routine dominates at the point of attack.  He drops the ball too often and sometimes loses interested which makes for a maddening inconsistent player.  Many fantasy owners have given up on Floyd due to his inconsistent nature which presents a low cost buying opportunity.  You will not find a player with more demonstrated upside at such a small price than Floyd right now.  He could be an incredible bargain in the right situation next season and his low price entails minimal risk.

Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals

There is not much in the way of running backs I am targeting this offseason with a deep running back rookie class coming in full of players with two and three down potential.  Ellington, however, is one of the few backs I am targeting for 2017.  He profiles as a passing down back at his next stop in the league which separates him from most of the incoming class.  Many in the NFL consider Ellington as one of the better receivers at the running back position with smooth route running, reliable hands, and the ability to line up out wide.  Ellington also has shown big play ability any time he touches the ball with tremendous straight line speed and smooth agility.  His strength in the receiving game will be valued by a lot of teams this offseason.  A landing spot like San Diego would be ideal for Ellington (if the Chargers do not re-sign Danny Woodhead) where he would be limited to 10-15 touches per game with extensive work catching passes out of the backfield.  Some fantasy owners will not see much value in a backup running back as his role in the Arizona offense is essentially zero with the emergence of David Johnson.  There is plenty of upside and value available with Ellington, particularly in deeper leagues, even with limited touches.

Paxton Lynch, QB, Denver Broncos

Lynch is the only rookie quarterback drafted in the first round of last year’s NFL draft who has not assumed control of the starting QB spot on his team. He will soon.  Trevor Siemian has played well for a late round pick and should be a quality backup in the league for years to come.  Siemian shows good command of the offense with good decision making and seemingly never gets rattled.  Many of his mistakes come from a lack of arm strength and accuracy which doom his long-term prospects as an NFL starter.  Despite this, there are some out there who believe Siemian is the answer for Denver.  Lynch, on the other hand, has an abundance of physical gifts which could eventually turn Lynch into a fantasy all-star.  The former Memphis star shows a lot of athleticism for someone so tall (6’-7”) with loads of functional mobility and agility.  He does not have a cannon arm but there is enough strength to make all the requisite throws.  Lynch is more of a buy for 2QB/superflex leagues rather than 1QB leagues.

Hunter Henry, TE, San Diego Chargers

I mentioned Henry in my last post.  Henry was the first tight end taken in last year’s NFL draft and has lived up to the billing.  He displayed great route running and reliable hands when given the opportunity as the starting tight end for San Diego.  I am always willing to invest in skilled receiving tight ends on high efficiency offenses that have shown a propensity of using the position in the red zone.  Antonio Gates, a probable future hall of famer, looks like he is on his last legs and is likely to retire after the season.  Your fellow league mates may have forgotten how well Henry played when Gates missed time early in the season which could present a buying opportunity.


Bio: Bernard Faller has degrees in engineering and economics.  He currently lives in Las Vegas and enjoys athletics, poker, and fantasy football in his free time.  Send your questions and comments (both good and bad) on Twitter @BernardFaller1.

More Analysis by Bernard Faller

Cashing Out – Players to Sell

Updated: April 18th 2016

In dynasty and RSO leagues, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of staying active year round in trade talks.  Player values fluctuate more than ever during this time of year.  If you’re willing to stomach some risk, there’s an opportunity for profit.  When discussing trades, I often hear that owners are afraid making a move and having it backfire in the long term.  My strategy is a bit different as I’m unafraid to make an aggressive move if I believe I’m getting more value at the time of the trade.  If you accept that you will lose in some trades but believe you will win out more than 50% of the time, be as aggressive as possible.  Right or wrong, I do not just consider deals made to be potential wins or losses.  I also think this way about trade talks that were close, but never materialized for whatever reason.  For example, trades I’ve declined have potential to be wins or losses as well though my roster has remained intact.

In this off-season edition of Cashing Out, I’ll explain which players I’m actively looking to sell before the 2016 season.  

JordanMatthews

Jordan Matthews finished with 997 yards and 8 TDs in 2015

Jordan Matthews WR PHI – One of the most polarizing players in dynasty leagues, Jordan Matthews has an ADP of 26 in Dynasty League Football’s April 2016 mock drafts.  Personally, I wouldn’t draft him within the first four rounds.  Philadelphia figures to run a more conservative offense under Doug Pederson as Kansas City ranked 24th in passing yards in 2015.  Jeremy Maclin managed to have a very strong first season with the Chiefs, but I see him as a far superior talent to Matthews.  When exploring trades for Matthews, I’d attempt to package a 2016 pick with him to land Sammy Watkins, Dez Bryant, Keenan Allen, Alshon Jeffery, Brandin Cooks, Jarvis Landry, or Kevin White.

Marvin Jones WR DET – After signing a 5 year, $40 million dollar deal with the Detroit Lions, Jones is now viewed as the 1a or 1b option in a Lions offense that will have to find ways to replace Calvin Johnson’s production.  Jones’ inclusion on this list has more to do with a lack of confidence in Matthew Stafford than anything.  Fantasy owners have spent the past few years chasing Stafford’s 2011 season in which he threw for 5,038 yards and 41 TDs to be largely disappointed with Stafford’s fantasy scoring.  According to Pro Football Focus’ end of 2015 quarterback rankings, Stafford ranked as the 23rd best quarterback.  While there’s an opportunity for Jones to absorb many of Johnson’s 150 targets in 2015, I don’t have confidence that he’ll be a top 25 WR on a weekly basis.  I’m looking to sell as I believe there will be quite a few owners in my leagues who like him more than I do.

Jay Ajayi RB MIA – While Miami has not be quiet in their attempts to land a running back this off-season, April may be the perfect time to sell Ajayi.  If I owned Ajayi, I’d email every owner and attempt to sell the fact that he’s currently in line to be the lead back.  After the trade with Philadelphia, Miami may have moved back too far to land Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott at pick 13 in the upcoming NFL Draft.  I’d certainly bring this up in trade talks and sell the fact that at worst he will likely split carries with the drafted running back.  I’m also very worried about his ability to hold up and have a long career as his knees caused him to fall to the 5th round of the NFL Draft.  Even with the uncertainty of the NFL Draft a few weeks away, his value is likely higher today than it may ever be.

Alfred Morris rushed for only 751 yards in 2015, averaging 3.7 yards per carry.

Alfred Morris rushed for only 751 yards in 2015, averaging 3.7 yards per carry.

Alfred Morris RB DAL – We’ve all heard the popular narrative that anyone can succeed running behind the Dallas offensive line.  Left for dead, Darren McFadden may have proved this to be correct in 2015 by revitalizing his fantasy value with 1,089 rushing yards on 4.6 yards per carry.  My concern with Alfred Morris is due to his lack of versatility.  Never an option in the passing game, Morris may only see the field on obvious running downs.  I don’t see him getting more than 10 rushes per game and don’t view his as a top 25 RB option to open the 2016 season.  Lance Dunbar, Darren McFadden, and potentially a RB acquired in the draft make the Dallas backfield crowded enough for me to avoid at this point.

Martavis Bryant WR PIT – Bryant’s inclusion strictly has to do with the structure of RSO leagues.  I’m cautiously buying Bryant in standard dynasty leagues where you keep your entire roster from year to year, but I cannot justify rostering Bryant long-term in RSO.  If his contract is for anything more than league minimum, he’s hurting your roster with his cap hit.  As a fan of his immense talent, I own Martavis Bryant in my RSO league.  In that league, he’s entering the 2nd year of a 3 year deal worth approximately $6 million per season.  Not too long ago I considered him to be a huge asset at that price.  Now, I’d be willing to do anything possible to move him since there’s no guarantee he’s reinstated for the 2017 season.  If the history of Josh Gordon and others suspended players teaches us anything, it’s not to assume reinstatement is automatic.  Not only will I be actively looking to move Bryant for nearly anything, I might be willing to move back a few spots in the draft just to unload that contract.  If I can find a buyer, the increased cap space is worth enough to move back a few spots and run the risk Bryant returns and is successful in 2017.  This strategy may prove to be difficult for me after writing this article, which I’m hoping my leaguemates don’t see.

Stay tuned later this month as I’ll explore players that I’m actively trying to acquire in the off-season addition of Open the Wallet – Players to Buy.


Bio: An avid fan of all things NFL, Dave has been playing fantasy football since 1999.  Though Dave participates in all types of fantasy football including redraft and daily, he prefers keeper and dynasty leagues as talent evaluation and scouting are integral components of each. 

More Analysis by Dave Sanders

RSO Off-Season Schedule

Updated: February 1st 2016

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Welcome to the RSO off-season, where things can get even more interesting and exciting than during the season. Congrats to all of our 2015 league champions! Remember, it is never too early to start strategizing for 2016, and to help you better prepare for the upcoming season, please find some important dates and off-season rules/info below:

January 1st, 2016 to February 14th, 2016 

From now until February 14th, we will be making enhancements and implementing necessary upgrades to our site and mobile app, which will make our platform even better in 2016. If you have any requested enhancements or other suggestions, please don’t hesitate to email us at inquiries@realitysportsonline.com. Your feedback will help us make the site better for you in 2016 and beyond. Additionally, we will be rolling-over existing leagues from the 2015 season to the 2015-16 RSO off-season during this period. While you will be able to access and view your league during this period, lineups will be locked and no transactions will be able to be made.

Week of February 14th, 2016

The week of February 14, 2016 is the expected official start of the 2015-16 RSO off-season. Last season, the NFL announced the 2015 salary cap in late February, and we expect them to do so again this year around the same time. The 2016 NFL salary cap is expected to be anywhere from $150 mm to $153.4 mm. We expect to open the site before the NFL announces the 2016 salary cap, so we will leave the cap at the 2015 level until the NFL announces the new salary cap for 2016. However, once the site is re-open, existing leagues will be able to commence the RSO off-season, meaning teams can make off-season trades and cuts. Additionally, new league creation will be available at this time.

April 28th, 2016 to April 30th, 2016 

These are the dates of the actual NFL Draft. Once the NFL Draft is completed, leagues will be able to conduct their RSO Rookie Drafts and Free Agent Auctions. The NFL Draft is set to end on Saturday, April 30th, 2016, and we expect to have all rookie information updated on the site by Monday, May 2nd, 2016.

February 14th, 2016 to Three (3) Days Before Your League’s 2016 RSO Rookie Draft 

Different for every league depending on the date set for your 2016 RSO Rookie Draft, this is the “franchise tag designation period”. During this period, team owners must decide whether to place a franchise tag on a player whose contract expired in 2015 (the tagged salary for each player can be found by clicking the “Tag” button on the Team-Contracts tab). At the end of this period, players on expiring contracts will be removed from your Team Roster (unless you franchise tag a player). Additionally, at the conclusion of this period, team owners must have enough salary cap space to fill their respective rosters through the Rookie Draft and Free Agency in order to avoid having players automatically dropped from their rosters to create cap space. A Salary Cap Health Overview feature located on the Team-Overview tab contains all the information team owners need to ensure they have enough salary cap space. Note: no trades will be allowed during the three-day period between the end of the franchise tag designation period and your 2016 Rookie Draft. Trading will resume after the conclusion of your Rookie Draft.

February 14th, 2016 to Three (3) Days Before Your League’s 2016 RSO Free Agent Auction

This period is the official duration of the RSO off-season for each league. The length of the off-season is important because of the rules surrounding off-season vs. in-season cuts. This is best explained by example. Assume you have Marshawn Lynch under contract for $15mm in 2016 and $18mm in 2017. If you cut Beast Mode during the 2015-16 off-season (i.e. up and until 3 days before your Free Agent Auction), you will only owe him $7.5mm in 2016 and then $9mm in 2017. If you wait until the off-season concludes before cutting Lynch, you will owe him his full $15mm in 2016 in addition to the $9mm in 2017. Therefore, it is important to assess your roster and make desired cuts before your off-season concludes three days before your league’s 2016 Free Agent Auction.

September 8th, 2016

Likely first NFL game of the 2016 season. It will be here before you know it!

More Analysis by Stephen Wendell

RSO Off-Season Schedule

Updated: January 4th 2016

Welcome to the RSO off-season, where things can get even more interesting and exciting than during the season. Congrats to all of our 2015 league champions! Remember, it is never too early to start strategizing for 2016, and to help you better prepare for the upcoming season, please find some important dates and off-season rules/info below:

January 1st, 2015 to March 1st, 2015

From now until March 1st, we will be making enhancements and implementing necessary upgrades to our site, which will make our platform even better in 2015. If you have not completed our end of the year user survey yet, please take a few minutes to do so. Your feedback will help us make the site better for you in 2015 and beyond. Additionally, we will be rolling-over existing leagues from the 2014 season to the 2014-15 RSO off-season during this period. While you will be able to access and view your league during this period, lineups will be locked and no transactions will be able to be made.

Week of March 1st, 2015

The week of March 1st, 2015 is the expected official start of the 2014-15 RSO off-season. Last season, the NFL announced the 2014 salary cap on February 28th, and we expect them to do so again this year around the same time. The 2015 NFL salary cap is expected to be anywhere from $138.6 mm to $141.8 mm. Once the NFL announces the new salary cap for 2015, we will re-open the site and existing leagues will commence the RSO off-season, meaning teams can make off-season trades and cuts. Additionally, new league creation will be available at this time.

April 30th, 2015 to May 2nd, 2015

These are the dates of the actual NFL Draft. Once the NFL Draft is completed, leagues will be able to conduct their RSO Rookie Drafts and Free Agent Auctions. The NFL Draft is set to end on Saturday, May 2nd, 2015, and we expect to have all rookie information updated on the site by Monday, May 4th, 2014.

March 1st, 2015 to Three (3) Days Before Your League’s 2015 RSO Rookie Draft

Different for every league depending on the date set for your 2015 RSO Rookie Draft, this is the franchise tag designation period. During this period, team owners must decide whether to place a franchise tag on a player whose contract expired in 2014 (the tagged salary for each player can be found by clicking the “Tag” button on the Team-Contracts tab). At the end of this period, players on expiring contracts will be removed from your Team Roster (unless you franchise tag a player). Additionally, at the conclusion of this period, team owners must have enough salary cap space to fill their respective rosters through the Rookie Draft and Free Agency in order to avoid having players automatically dropped from their rosters to create cap space. A Salary Cap Health Overview feature located on the Team-Overview tab contains all the information team owners need to ensure they have enough salary cap space. Note: no trades will be allowed during the three-day period between the end of the franchise tag designation period and your 2015 Rookie Draft. Trading will resume after the conclusion of your Rookie Draft.

March 1st, 2015 to Three (3) Days Before Your League’s 2015 RSO Free Agent Auction

This period is the official duration of the RSO off-season for each league. The length of the off-season is important because of the rules surrounding off-season vs. in-season cuts. This is best explained by example. Assume you have Doug Martin under contract for $10mm in 2015 and $12mm in 2016. If you cut Doug Martin during the 2014-15 off-season, you will only owe him $5mm in 2015 and then $6mm in 2016. If you wait until the off-season concludes before cutting Martin, you will owe him his full $10mm in 2015 in addition to $6mm in 2016. Therefore, it is important to assess your roster and make desired cuts before your off-season concludes three days before your league’s 2015 Free Agent Auction.

September 3rd, 2015

Likely first NFL game of the 2015 season. It will be here before you know it!

More Analysis by Stephen Wendell