NFL Power Rankings Week 13: Every team's biggest bargain

Donnovan Bennett and Geoff Lowe discuss the Titans taking on the Browns in Week 13 action.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but in the world of the NFL some great deals last all season — and beyond.

As we hit the three-quarter mark of the year and the playoff picture continues to solidify, not every team is going to be happy with where they’re at. But every team has at least one player outperforming his cap it, and those good-news stories are what we’re focusing on in the latest power rankings.

This week, our expert panel includes editors Geoff Lowe and Craig Battle, and staff writer Mike Johnston.

1. Pittsburgh Steelers

2020 record: 11-0
Last week: 1
Biggest bargain: T.J. Watt

Watt is on his way to a third consecutive Pro Bowl selection and he hasn’t yet had a season in which his salary exceeded $3 million. (MJ)

2. Kansas City Chiefs

2020 record: 10-1
Last week: 2
Biggest bargain: Patrick Mahomes

Really, Mahomes might be the answer even for next year’s version of this piece, when his contract extension kicks in and he’ll be making more than $24 million. But the reigning Super Bowl MVP and 2020 MVP candidate is an absolute steal right now at a cap hit of just $5,346,508, which accounts for only 2.42 per cent of KC’s cap. (CB)

3. New Orleans Saints

2020 record: 9-2
Last week: 3
Biggest bargain: David Onyemata

The Saints have plenty of well-paid star players on the roster. University of Manitoba product David Onyemata is lesser known, but has been disruptive on the New Orleans defensive line and he’s doing it for much less than he’s currently worth. (MJ)

4. Buffalo Bills

2020 record: 8-3
Last week: 4
Biggest bargain: Josh Allen

Taking advantage of young, star quarterbacks on their rookie deals is the name of the game in the NFL these days, and the Bills have done it as well as any team. Josh Allen will almost surely get a big contract from Buffalo soon, but with an average salary of just $5.3 million on his rookie deal, Allen is a steal as the Bills hunt for their first division title since 1995. (GL)

5. Green Bay Packers

2020 record: 8-3
Last week: 8
Biggest bargain: Aaron Rodgers

An average annual salary of $33.5 million doesn’t necessarily sound like a bargain, but it is when you’re talking about a future Hall of Famer and perennial MVP candidate like Rodgers. He leads the NFL with a 117.6 passer rating this season. (MJ)

6. Seattle Seahawks

2020 record: 8-3
Last week: 9
Biggest bargain: D.K. Metcalf

According to Spotrac, Metcalf is the 91st highly paid wide receiver in the league, and yet the second-year pro leads all of them with 1,091 yards through 11 games. Not bad spending by the Seahawks. (CB)

7. Tennessee Titans

2020 record: 8-3
Last week: 11
Biggest bargain: A.J. Brown

Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill are earning their respective eight-figure salaries, but in terms of pure value it’s tough to beat the deal A.J. Brown is currently on. Brown is becoming a legit No. 1 target, and this three-headed monster should leave the Titans offence in healthy condition for the next few years at least. (MJ)

8. Indianapolis Colts

2020 record: 7-4
Last week: 5
Biggest bargain: Darius Leonard

The third-year linebacker out of South Carolina State is one of the premier defensive players in the AFC. Leonard is tied for third in combined tackles since winning defensive rookie of the year in 2018. (MJ)

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2020 record: 7-5
Last week: 7
Biggest bargain: Tristan Wirfs

The rookie right tackle is exceeding expectations after being taken with the 13th-overall pick this past spring. He’ll be a key member of the Bucs core in the future. (MJ)

10. Los Angeles Rams

2020 record: 7-4
Last week: 6
Biggest bargain: Cooper Kupp

While his per-game stats are down a bit from last season, Kupp is still a massive fantastic deal at just a $3.3-million cap hit. He’s got 66 catches for 763 yards on the season, leading all Rams receivers. (CB)

11. Cleveland Browns

2020 record: 8-3
Last week: 15
Biggest bargain: Wyatt Teller

Offensive linemen don’t typically get the same type of credit a running back will when a team’s rushing attack is thriving, although Wyatt Teller deserves praise for how the Browns have run the ball this year. They’re not the same without him on the field, and he’s only making six figures. (MJ)

12. Miami Dolphins

2020 record: 7-4
Last week: 13
Biggest bargain: Ryan Fitzpatrick

Another year, another season as the Dolphins’ most valuable contract for Fitz-magic. We had Ryan Fitzpatrick’s $5.5-million salary as Miami’s best deal last season as he led the team to unexpected wins, and he’s not only done that again this season but he also gracefully took a backseat to Tua Tagovailoa before being called upon this past week with Tua injured. (GL)

13. Arizona Cardinals

2020 record: 6-5
Last week: 10
Biggest bargain: Budda Baker

At just a $3,776,820 cap hit, he has been huge for a Cardinals defence missing Chandler Jones, and fans are noticing — he led all safeties in Pro Bowl voting in the latest count. (CB)

14. San Francisco 49ers

2020 record: 5-6
Last week: 16
Biggest bargain: Deebo Samuel

Extrapolated out over 16 games, Samuel’s output in this injury-plagued season would be good for about 86 catches and 1,018 yards — all with incredibly uninspiring QB play. To wit, he has more yards after the catch through five games (348) than he does yards in total (318) because 49ers quarterbacks simply do not get the ball down field. Samuel earns every yard and every penny of his $1,749,399, and then some. (CB)

15. Baltimore Ravens

2020 record: 6-5
Last week: 12
Biggest bargain: Lamar Jackson

That’s an easy one. He’s the defending MVP and he’s making less than a backup QB for the time being despite his unique talents. (MJ)

16. Minnesota Vikings

2020 record: 5-6
Last week: 18
Biggest bargain: Justin Jefferson

Jefferson was the fifth WR taken in the 2020 NFL Draft, yet he has been far and away the best first-year wideout on the field. He already has 918 yards and has caught 72.2 per cent of his 72 targets. Having this kind of talent on a rookie deal is something a team needs to capitalize on. (MJ)

17. New England Patriots

2020 record: 5-6
Last week: 19
Biggest bargain: Damien Harris

Pro Football Focus’s top-graded running back so far this season? Nope, not Dalvin Cook. Derrick Henry? Guess again. That’s right – it’s Patriots sophomore Damien Harris, who has captured the lead-back role in a crowded New England backfield. Despite not suiting up until Week 4, Harris leads the team in rushing by a significant margin and has averaged more than five yards per carry in five of his eight starts this season.

Cam Newton at just $1.75 million is a great bargain, but it’s hard to ignore the impact Harris is having while making an average of less than $910,00 per season. (GL)

18. Las Vegas Raiders

2020 record: 6-5
Last week: 14
Biggest bargain: Josh Jacobs

Though his sprained ankle on the weekend puts his status for Week 13 in jeopardy, Jacobs has put up the fifth-most rushing yards and rushing touchdowns in the league this season on just a $2.7-million cap hit. He’s not even the highest-paid running back on the team. That honour goes to Jalen Richard, who’s making almost $1 million more this year. (CB)

19. Houston Texans

2020 record: 4-7
Last week: 23
Biggest bargain: Deshaun Watson

His cap hit will balloon to more than $40 million in 2022, but Watson is one of the handful of franchise quarterbacks worth pretty much whatever you pay him. (MJ)

20. Atlanta Falcons

2020 record: 4-7
Last week: 24
Biggest bargain: Calvin Ridley

The third-year WR is in the midst of his best NFL season. He has out-produced Julio Jones in 2020 at a fraction of the cost and he’ll have tremendous bang-for-your-buck value next year as well. (MJ)

21. Carolina Panthers

2020 record: 4-8
Last week: 21
Biggest bargain: Taylor Moton

The OT is having a great season and rarely allows opposing pass rushers to pressure his QBs. The Panthers need to do everything in their power to re-sign him. (MJ)

22. Chicago Bears

2020 record: 5-6
Last week: 17
Biggest bargain: Allen Robinson II

He does make a decent chunk of change, but Robinson wants a new contract and deserves a new contract. A top-10 talent at the position who’s unfortunately stuck operating in an incompetent offence. (MJ)

23. Los Angeles Chargers

2020 record: 3-8
Last week: 22
Biggest bargain: Joey Bosa

Kind of tempted to say Justin Herbert here, but he's on the first year of a rookie deal and that feels a little too easy. Meanwhile, at a cap hit of “just” $15 million, Bosa doesn’t even fall in the league’s 50 highest-paid players. Plus, his Week 11 output of three sacks against the Bills was a clear reminder of just how dominant he can be. (CB)

24. Denver Broncos

2020 record: 4-7
Last week: 20
Biggest bargain: Kendall Hinton

Hinton, a wide receiver who was brought in off the practice squad to start at quarterback Sunday when the Broncos’ three legitimate options were all declared ineligible to play, received just $35,882.35 for the game. Sure, he went just one for nine in the loss against the Saints, but that’s still incredible-value QBing in a game Denver had no hope of winning in the first place. (CB)

25. New York Giants

2020 record: 4-7
Last week: 27
Biggest bargain: Wayne Gallman

The first-place Giants are just an OK rushing team, ranking 15th in the league with Daniel Jones as its leader, and Gallman is by no means lighting up the stat sheet. But the man has a nose for the end zone – Gallman has six touchdowns in his last five games – and is coming off a career-high 94 rushing yards against the Bengals. At a cap hit of $930,000, that’s pretty good value. (GL)

26. Washington Football Team

2020 record: 4-7
Last week: 29
Biggest bargain: The defensive line

Washington has collected a bevy of über-talented defensive linemen over the last few drafts, and it’s helped the Football Team rack up 36 sacks this season — second-most in the league. Montez Sweat, Tim Settle, Chase Young and Jonathan Allen have combined for 17.5 of those sacks and make a combined $15 million this season. (GL)

27. Philadelphia Eagles

2020 record: 3-7-1
Last week: 25
Biggest bargain: Jason Kelce

Jason Kelce is the 16th-highest paid centre (based on average salary per year, according to Spotrac) in football at $8.1 million, but is consistently one of the best in the game and by far the best player on an otherwise-woeful Eagles offence. (GL)

28. Dallas Cowboys

2020 record: 3-8
Last week: 26
Biggest bargain: Leighton Vander Esch

This is a tough one because the Cowboys’ best-performing players (there aren’t many) are also their highest-paid — namely DeMarcus Lawrence and Amari Cooper (and notably not Zeke Elliott). Andy Dalton on a $3-million deal should be the pick here, but that hasn’t exactly worked out the way the Cowboys would’ve hoped. So we’ll go with Vander Esch still on his rookie deal. He’s not playing at the elite level he’s flashed in the past, but is probably Dallas’s best defender outside of Lawrence. (GL)

29. Detroit Lions

2020 record: 4-7
Last week: 28
Biggest bargain: D’Andre Swift

Swift looks like a capable three-down starting running back. He was a second-round pick in 2020 and will carry excellent cap value until 2024. Matt Patricia didn’t use him as the team’s full-blown starter in the first half of the season. Perhaps that was one of the many reasons why Patricia was fired this week, as was GM Bob Quinn. (MJ)

30. Cincinnati Bengals

2020 record: 2-8-1
Last week: 30
Biggest bargain: Tee Higgins

The 33rd-overall pick from the 2020 NFL Draft had been averaging 101 yards from scrimmage and one touchdown in the four games prior to Joe Burrow’s season-ending injury. The two rookies had been developing chemistry, and Higgins looks like he’ll be a top-20 WR going forward, which is great for the Bengals considering his salary is in the $2-million range. (MJ)

31. Jacksonville Jaguars

2020 record: 1-10
Last week: 31
Biggest bargain: James Robinson

Jags owner Shad Khan fired general manager Dave Caldwell after the team’s 10th loss in a row. One of Caldwell’s best moves was signing undrafted rookie James Robinson, a true bright spot during a season full of injuries and COVID news. It’s rarely a wise long-term move for a team to pay a running back big dollars, and Robinson — currently third in the NFL in rushing yards — is set to make less than $1 million per year through 2022. (MJ)

32. New York Jets

2020 record: 0-11
Last week: 32
Biggest bargain: Marcus Maye

There’s not much to love about what the 0-11 Jets, or anyone on the team, has done so far this season, but Maye could be the exception. At a cap hit of just over $2 million in 2020, he’s Pro Football Focus’s fourth-highest ranked safety so far this season – 63 spots higher than former teammate Jamal Adams – and is set for a big raise when he hits the free-agent market this coming off-season. (GL)

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