Nobody Wants To Hear About My Fantasy Team 2023: If A Tree Falls In The Woods …

My season ended with a 147.85 to 143.05 victory over You Dropped Your Dildo in the 5 vs. 6 game of the fantasy playoffs. Sounds exciting, right? It’s less thrilling when you realize my opponent couldn’t have given two shits about this game. My hunch is, with the holidays and general fantasy apathy following a first round playoff exit, he didn’t check his team at all. As such, Ja’Marr Chase was left in his starting lineup, even though he was ruled out pretty early in the week. He could’ve easily subbed in Jonathan Taylor from his bench (moving his flex WR into the starting WR spot) for an additional 10.3 points.

So, I was essentially gifted this victory. Feels pretty hollow, but I’ll take it. As my prize, I get to draft 5th instead of 6th next year.

I’m kind of having a tough time grappling with my 147.85 points. Seems low when you consider I actually got good games out of both of my QBs (30.15 for Love, 26.2 for Fields). If I got that every week from those two guys next year, I’d take it in a heartbeat! I even got good games out of my two consistently-great skill guys in Lamb and Kyren Williams (25.2 and 16.4, respectively). But, the Jets only got me 12, Rashee Rice only got me 11.7, and everyone else – including my bench – got under 10. On the one hand, it’s nice to know my decision-making didn’t kill me once again; on the other hand, it sucks knowing that my team totally shit the bed, and if it weren’t for a guy taking the rest of the season off early, I would be drafting one spot worse.

I’ll also take solace in the fact that I would’ve lost this week anyway (had I won last week and advanced in the playoffs), as three of the top four remaining teams outscored me (and the fourth team wouldn’t have played me this week anyway, since he was another wild card team like me). So, blowing it last week was actually a good thing! I wouldn’t have advanced to the finals anyway, so this bought me a couple of extra spots in the draft.

Look, I’m just trying to cling to whatever silver lining I can find.

I should point out, for reference, that I dropped Bryce Young late last week. I was resolute in my decision to not keep him for next year, and as such, I decided holding onto Ty Chandler – in case the Vikings make him their everyday starter next year – was a little slice of upside, giving me yet another option for a potential dynasty RB. Who knows? Maybe this offseason he tears it up in the weight room and dominates the pre-season? It’s always good to have options.

So, of course, what happened this weekend? Bryce Young had the very best game of his professional career! He’ll be a stud in 2024, mark my words.

It’s not all doom and gloom, though. In one of my other leagues, I advanced to the Consolation Bracket Finals, and I hear this league is giving the winner of the Consolation Bracket the first overall draft pick next year. We’ll see, it’s my brother’s friend’s league, so I’m only half-conscious about the actual rules and regulations.

The real good news comes with my Splinter League. Last year, my team Puppy Monkey Baby defeated Vinegar Strokes for the league championship. This year? My team The Annexation Of Puerto Rico is going up against his wife, 50 Shades Of Gritty for the league championship.

I’ve had pretty great teams in this league the last two years. A LOT of luck goes into that, but for whatever reason, I’ve just been locked in during the draft. Neither season has seen me making too many roster changes. Why can’t I transfer this way of fantasy football ownership to my main league?

Anyway, here is my lineup for the championship:

  • Josh Allen (QB) vs. NE
  • Dak Prescott (QB) vs. Det
  • Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR) @ Dal
  • Puka Nacua (WR) @ NYG
  • Rachaad White (RB) vs. NO
  • Bijan Robinson (RB) @ Chi
  • Brandon Aiyuk (FLEX) @ Was
  • Jake Ferguson (FLEX) vs. Det
  • Kansas City (DEF) vs. Cin

It’s really the perfect league: no mandatory tight ends, no kickers, two flex spots, and five bench spots. On my bench, I have Tyler Allgeier (I’ve had both ATL running backs from the jump, which has been a nice little bit of peace of mind, as I so rarely get to enjoy such a pure handcuff situation), Ty Chandler (who didn’t look great last week, and may be looking at more of a timeshare situation with Mattison this weekend), Tee Higgins (who I am reluctant to start against my defense, especially since what are the odds he has three great weeks in a row after such an up-and-down season), Philly’s defense, and Matthew Stafford (who is playing some elite ball of late, but I’m not allowed to play three quarterbacks, and there’s no way I’m benching Josh Allen or Dak Prescott in the fantasy finals).

When I say I’ve been lucky this year, I’m mostly looking at the quarterbacks. I had the #2 overall draft pick in this league; Patrick Mahomes went #1, affording me the “consolation prize” of Allen (in this league, QB points are so high, it generally means that most top tier quarterbacks are gone by the first or second rounds). It’s a big shift from my drafting strategy LAST year, when I was picking near the bottom of the round, and waited until later in the draft to address my QB spots. I banked hard on a couple of bounce-back guys in Dak and Stafford, and both have come through like gangbusters.

I’ve also pretty much only rostered the three running backs I have all year (there was a spell where I had Kareem Hunt, when Atlanta was on BYE). White has been a revelation for me, but he wasn’t so great early in the season. For a few weeks there, I opted to roll with both Falcons RBs and just hoped they’d combine for something close to 20 points.

In this league, you live and die by your WR production. With two flex spots, if you’re not loading up on RBs, then you potentially need up to 4 WRs doing the most damage. I lucked into grabbing Nacua after week 1, but that was counter-balanced by Tee Higgins being largely hurt or underachieving. St. Brown and Aiyuk have been my rocks, but I’ll tell ya, I would be WAY more confident if I still had Tank Dell. Losing him has thrown my second flex spot into flux. I like Ferguson as a steady 10-point threat, and honestly I’m hoping that’s enough. High floor, low ceiling, can’t lose!

50 Shades of Gritty has lingered near the top of the league all year. This is a 4-team playoff, and all four of us were 10-5. I scored the most points, which gave me the 1-seed, and the easy 200.17 to 126.65 victory over my brother, Beer Thirty. I would’ve outscored both teams in the other playoff game, but it would’ve been much closer. Here is Gritty’s team:

  • Geno Smith (QB) vs. Pit
  • Derek Carr (QB) @ NO
  • CeeDee Lamb (WR) vs. Det
  • D.J. Moore (WR) vs. Atl
  • Jahmyr Gibbs (RB) @ Dal
  • D’Andre Swift (RB) vs. Ari
  • James Conner (FLEX) @ Phi
  • Michael Pittman Jr. (FLEX) vs. LV
  • Baltimore (DEF) vs. Mia

She’s got Godwin, JSN, and Addison on her bench, as well as Brian Robinson (up against the 49ers defense) and Tennessee’s defense (@ Hou). I don’t see how anyone could bench the Ravens’ defense given the way they’re playing, but Miami is always formidable.

Lamb scares me, of course. He’s been a true #1 receiver all year, and I have Dak as my quarterback, so they’re likely to match in points. I always refer to this as the wide receiver “taking” my quarterback’s points, since QBs are supposed to outscore all position players. My only hope is Ferguson getting all of Dak’s TD passes.

I don’t love her quarterbacks, but all of her running backs look amazing, and Pittman is an under-the-radar stud. I am very much going to have my hands full in this one.

Nobody Wants To Hear About My Fantasy Team 2023: And Just Like That, He’s Gone

There’s the Glass Half Full reason why I lost in the first round of the playoffs, or the Glass Half Empty That Makes Me Want To Put The Barrel Of A Fucking Gun In My Mouth reason why I lost in the first round of the playoffs. The first reason allows me to pass the buck and curse the football gods; the second reason is all on my own fucking stupidity.

Glass Half Full: the Cowboys fucking stunk up the joint against the Bills on Sunday. They managed all of one offensive TD, and luckily it did go to CeeDee Lamb. But, regardless, this was not the scoring festival we were all expecting. Lamb and Pollard combined for 26.3 points, both underperforming expectations. One extra reception for 12 yards by either of them – or, really, anyone on my roster – would’ve bridged the gap (which ended up being 142.45 to 140.30).

There’s also a Mickey Mouse addendum to the Glass Half Full rationale. I got a very timely TD reception by Rashee Rice this week, who predictably has come on over the last month. The only problem? It was a shovel pass initiated by my opponent’s running back – who took a direct shotgun snap from the center, even though Patrick Mahomes was RIGHT THERE next to him – Jerick McKinnon, who got credit for the TD pass. Unfuckingbelievable; you can’t make this up.

The Glass Half Empty Reason Why I Want to Die is because, as always, I tinkered when I didn’t need to. I had Ty Chandler locked and loaded into my flex. It was a savvy move to pick him up in the first place, and indeed he crushed it to the tune of 24.7 points this week. The only problem is: I had not-enough confidence in his abilities or the Vikings’ offense’s abilities. When I heard the Commanders were down to one healthy running back – Antonio Gibson – and projected them to be in a shootout of sorts with the Rams, I figured – at the very least – Gibson would be in line for a ton of checkdown receptions, and maybe even scamper one of them into the endzone. Instead, he finished with 8.5 points. The fact that McKinnon was available at all – and I could’ve picked HIM up instead – only adds to my frustration, as he finished with 18.2. Shit man, I could’ve gone with any of my bench guys and won! Addison had 29.1, Walker had 20.2, and McBride also had 20.2; but who saw THAT coming?!

What can you do? Justin Fields finished with 9.3 points. That game ended with an intercepted Hail Mary that was very nearly caught for a miracle touchdown. If the ball falls harmlessly incomplete, I win. If the ball is caught by the Bear who bobbled it, I win walking away. Instead, mine is a fantasy life made for suffering.

Also the Jets’ defense – a unit I’ve touted all season – got me a whopping 3 points. Get a single pick. Limit the Dolphins to a field goal instead of a TD one time, and I win. Conversely, he had the Ravens’ defense. If the Jags could’ve scored seven more fucking points, I would’ve won.

When a game is that close, there are any number of things you can point to. But, in the end, my team stunk up the joint.

So, here I am, saddled with the 5 vs. 6 game. It’s outside of the Consolation Bracket – so I don’t even get the reward of a top overall draft pick – and then my season is over, a week before everyone else. The best I can hope for is winning this one, and “earning” the 5th draft pick next year; worse case scenario is I get the 6th pick.

This leaves me with nothing else but to consider my keepers for next year. One cool thing is that I have the #1 waiver priority. I haven’t made an approved waiver claim all year, when I started with the #2 priority. The only claim I tried to make was for Will Levis, but the #1 priority guy got him.

If I’m going to use it, I have to use it this week. We’re not allowed to make any claims after our season ends, and since this upcoming week is my final week, it’s now or never. And since I was the one who waived Ty Chandler, I can’t pick him up until he passes through and becomes a free agent. That’s too bad, because he could be an interesting one for next season, especially if the Vikings are looking to move on from Mattison.

The only other guy even remotely interesting from a dynasty perspective is Drake London. So, I made my first approved waiver claim on him, dropping Gibson. I’ll tell ya, the odds of me keeping London are incredibly low. I’m fairly committed to keeping three running backs, as long as they’re good, because it’s always so much more difficult to find great RBs. That means I can only keep two receivers, and one of them is already locked into being CeeDee Lamb (barring a devastating offseason injury). Among my options for the other WR spot are Tank Dell, Jordan Addison, Rashee Rice, and now Drake London.

Of the four, only London is a true #1 type of receiver, but unfortunately he might be in the very worst offensive set-up. He’s only keeper-worthy if the Falcons fire their coaching staff and go out and get an amazing quarterback a la Kirk Cousins or something. If they go out and sign Cousins, I’d keep London in a heartbeat! Otherwise, I’ll be looking elsewhere.

Addison might be the most talented of the remaining three, but the Vikings are a huge question mark at the QB position, so it probably won’t be him. Tank Dell is coming off of an injury, but it shouldn’t prevent him from returning by the start of the regular season; he’s in a great offensive scheme, with a terrific QB. Rice is likely to finish the season as the best formal wide receiver on the team with the best living quarterback. He also has a smaller sample size of being great, and seems like more of a possession receiver than a true #1. I think it’ll depend on the moves the Chiefs make this offseason; I’ll be curious to see where they end up going in the draft.

It’s good to have lots of options, though. I’ve got multiple players at every position except defense and kicker that I’d be happy to keep for next year. So, I can sit back, see how things shake out, and still end up with a playoff-calibre team next year. Whether or not it’s a championship team will depend on a number of factors, chief among them LUCK.

And not repeatedly making stupid decisions in the most important moments of the season.

In my final game of the season, I face You Dropped Your Dildo, who had a heartbreaking loss of his own last week, losing by 0.15, with Dak and Ekeler having truly abysmal games. Here’s my lineup:

  • Jordan Love (QB) @ Car
  • Justin Fields (QB) vs. Ari
  • CeeDee Lamb (WR) @ Mia
  • Rashee Rice (WR) vs. LV
  • Tony Pollard (RB) @ Mia
  • Kyren Williams (RB) vs. NO
  • T.J. Hockenson (TE) vs. Det
  • Trey McBride (TE) @ Chi
  • Dustin Hopkins (K) @ Hou
  • N.Y. Jets (DEF) vs. Was

Walker on the road against a tough Tennessee run defense is a no go for me. Addison having back-to-back great weeks with a third string quarterback seems iffy. London, as I mentioned, is unplayable on this particular Falcons team. I don’t love throwing a second tight end in my lineup, nor do I love him going up against a Bears defense that’s coming on. But, McBride is a baller, to the point that I’m seriously considering keeping him over Hockenson next year.

My opponent has these guys going:

  • Dak Prescott (QB) @ Mia
  • Lamar Jackson (QB) @ SF
  • Mike Evans (WR) vs. Jax
  • Jaylen Waddle (WR) vs. Dal
  • Austin Ekeler (RB) vs. Buf
  • Joe Mixon (RB) @ Pit
  • David Njoku (TE) @ Hou
  • Garrett Wilson (WR) vs. Was
  • Jake Elliott (K) vs. NYG
  • Pittsburgh (DEF) vs. Cin

This is a great team, weakened by Ja’Marr Chase likely being sidelined this weekend. Nevertheless, this team is better than mine, so I fully expect to have the 6th draft pick when all is said and done next year.

Nobody Wants To Hear About My Fantasy Team 2023: I Lost A Game I Should Have Won

Consider Week 9 my first game I lost because I lost Cousins.

This was a pillow fight any way you slice it. 137.65 to 113.15. To be fair, no one had a super strong week; scoring was down leaguewide in week 9. It happens. But, I was the worst of the lot. 25 more points would’ve gotten me the win. Let’s explore.

For starters, I had Bryce Young in there, pick-sixing his way to 6.75 points. Josh Dobbs – Minnesota’s backup by virtue of just joining the team last week – entered the game early and scored over 30 points. That’s the difference, right there. If we can assume Cousins would’ve scored around 30, it’s a slam dunk case.

But, I would invite you to join me further down my roster. I started Josh Downs. He was banged up heading into the week, but he still seemed like a safer bet than Addison (remember, Jaren Hall was the starter, and presumably would’ve struggled the entire game had he stayed healthy). If Cousins was in there, Addison would’ve also been in there. As it was, Addison scored 10.2 points for my bench; Downs scored 2 points for my roster. If we project those 10.2 points across the board, all Cousins would’ve needed to do was get me less than 25. Seems VERY reasonable.

I’m chalking it up to the loss of Cousins. It didn’t help that Walker did fuck-all, or Pollard continued driving his own personal shit train, or Jordan Love continues to be a total bum. Now, I’m 4-5 and just barely clinging to 6th place. I’m still at least a week away from Justin Fields returning, I’m like two weeks from Kyren Williams coming back, and Bryce Young is looking like the bust of the century.

In roster shake-up news, I dropped Downs for Tank Dell. For starters, how do you not like the name Tank?! I get it, this screams of recency bias. Dell just had a 30-point game; Downs hasn’t been great the last two weeks. But, looking long-term, it seems like Houston really has something in C.J. Stroud (I’ll never forgive myself for totally dismissing him in the draft, taking Young over him, much the same way the Panthers did). I think Stroud and Dell are going to develop an amazing rapport the next few years. If we’re thinking possible keepers, it might boil down to Addison or Dell. Downs is nice too, but knowing Anthony Richardson will be back next year, I find it hard to believe he’s ever going to be an amazing passer. He might be the second coming of Lamar Jackson – which is very high praise – but when has Lamar ever broken big with a wide receiver? Never. I can see Downs being frustrated a lot in future years; meanwhile, Stroud should be bombing it up and down the field for the next decade, and Dell could very well be the primary beneficiary. Either way, this was my last opportunity to pick up Dell before he’s rostered for good. And, I have a gut feeling that Minshew is going to turn back into a pumpkin the more he plays. I could see the Colts really falling apart as the season concludes.

All that being said, spoiler alert, Tank Dell is on my bench this week. Here’s my team:

  • Bryce Young (QB) @ Chi
  • Jordan Love (QB) @ Pit
  • CeeDee Lamb (WR) vs. NYG
  • Terry McLaurin (WR) @ Sea
  • Kenneth Walker (RB) vs. Was
  • Tony Pollard (RB) vs. NYG
  • T.J. Hockenson (TE) vs. NO
  • Alexander Mattison (RB) vs. NO
  • Dustin Hopkins (K) @ Bal
  • N.Y. Jets (DEF) @ LV

I actually don’t hate starting Young this week. Why should I be afraid of the Bears’ defense? I very much DO hate starting Love this week, because I think he’s going to be sacked 9,000 times and throw a couple picks. But, I have no choice, because Fields is out, and Aidan O’Connell is going up against the Jets (where he will be destroyed). I thought O’Connell looked fine last week, but he also didn’t really have to do a lot. I’d like to see him actually get into the endzone before I give him a start. As for Love, I will say that I’ve seen teams move the ball against the Steelers quite a bit; I feel like he can have an okay game if he can figure out how to avoid turnovers. I’m not expecting the moon or the stars here; just give me 18-20 points and let’s see if the rest of my team can pick up the slack.

I like McLaurin’s steadiness over Addison’s boom or bust potential. Until I see Dobbs actually find his receivers (and not just check down to running backs and tight ends), I’m limiting my exposure to receivers in my lineup. Enter Mattison, who had a great week last week, now that he’s playing solo thanks to Cam Akers being lost for the year. As for Scary Terry, I think he could have a monster game against the Seahawks.

CeeDee Lamb has been as elite as advertised; he’s got a tasty matchup this week. So does Pollard; if he’s ever going to figure it the fuck out, it should be against a terrible Giants team. I’m concerned about Walker’s health, but that’s why I rostered Charbonnet. Hopefully Walker makes it back okay, because I think he could be good for a couple of scores in this one.

I’m hoping for lots of Browns field goals, and I’m hoping for a 40-burger from the Jets defense. I hope they just KILL the Raiders!

This week, I play the same guy twice, in two different leagues. In this one, he’s You Dropped Your Dildo and he’s somehow in 8th place in spite of having the 4th-most points scored. His roster is full of killers:

  • Lamar Jackson (QB) vs. Cle
  • Dak Prescott (QB) vs. NYG
  • Ja’Marr Chase (WR) vs. Hou
  • Garrett Wilson (WR) @ LV
  • Austin Ekeler (RB) vs. Det
  • Jonathan Taylor (RB) @ NE
  • Logan Thomas (TE) @ Sea
  • Mike Evans (WR) vs. Ten
  • TBD (K) vs. TBD
  • Pittsburgh (DEF) vs. GB

He’s got Waddle on a BYE and Danny Dimes on IR, but that doesn’t matter a whole helluva lot. There’s a chance Chase sits out, but he’s got Joe Mixon on his bench. It’s a total nightmare playing You Dropped Your Dildo! Hopefully, the Browns can slow down Lamar, and hopefully Dallas hands off for all of their touchdowns, but I’m not holding my breath. The skill guys are all fuckin’ elite, and he’s got the Steelers’ defense to boot! I have no chance.

What’s Going On With D.K. Metcalf?

The simple answer is that he’s got a number of injuries – including maybe some bruised or cracked ribs – that have built up over the early part of the season. Injuries that D.K. has played through, while still performing at a high level. But, after yet another hard-fought game in Cincinnati, the injuries became too much and he had to sit out the Cardinals game. He’ll be back soon – maybe as early as this week – and we’ll all move on with our lives as if it never happened.

But, there’s a lot of weird little ancillary things going on – and some funny timing things – that give me pause. The tinfoil hat is being placed upon my head. Venture with me as we pursue rabbit holes no one ever thought existed!

If we go back to that Bengals game, you’ll recall there was another bad 15-yard type penalty levied against D.K. Unnecessary roughness or some damn thing. That was his team-leading fifth penalty (most of which are of that 15-yard variety). On the Monday following the loss, Pete Carroll put the penalty leaders on the board in front of everyone, which led to the infamous D.K. dismissal of said board with him at the top of the list. He was questionable all week, ultimately held out of the Cardinals game, and that led to Pete defending his receiver out of nowhere. No one was questioning what was going on – most everyone just assumed he sat out because of injury – until Pete’s post-game remarks.

It should also be pointed out that the trade deadline is October 31st, which is now less than a week away.

So, now we have to wonder: is something going on? Is D.K. disgruntled with the organization? Does the organization still believe D.K. is a net positive to this team?

D.K. is under contract through the 2025 season. There is a potential out after the 2024 season, with only $11.5 million in dead money. Are the Seahawks still committed to our #1 receiver? Is this a situation where we’d be willing to sign him to a third contract at some point? Because, if not, then D.K. might not have any more value in a potential trade than he does right now. Depending, of course, on what the market feels about him.

If you want to go one step further, let’s keep in mind that the team used a first round pick on Jaxon Smith-Njigba, something they had never done before in the Pete Carroll/John Schneider era. And, not for nothing, but undrafted free agent Jake Bobo has already shown flashes of being a quality NFL receiver as a rookie. The wide receiver room has never been healthier from a talent perspective. Could we take from this unit in hopes to bolster our team elsewhere?

For the record, I’m not trying to be a hard-liner here, calling for the team to move on from Metcalf. But, I don’t think you can automatically dismiss the idea either. Of course, this comes on the heels of a couple of miserable offensive performances, which makes this thing a little tricky. Given the way we’ve played in these last two games – particularly in the red zone – I don’t know if the Seahawks can afford to give up on D.K. I would say that a starting point in any potential deal would have to include a first round pick, but from what I’ve heard, I don’t know if that’s something another team would be willing to give up.

This is a tough call, because it’s pretty clear that D.K. has been the best receiver on the team this season. He’s been a reliable chain-mover, as well as a prominent deep threat. Removing him from this offense doesn’t make us any more potent, in fact it probably weakens us. D.K. is really the only receiver we have who can still catch passes even when he’s totally covered. With everyone else, we kind of have to rely on them actually getting a step on their defender.

On the flipside, though, how many potential receptions is Geno turning down in an attempt to force it to Metcalf? Between that, the penalties, and the occasional drop, how many drives have stalled that might not have otherwise if he wasn’t on the field? I can’t sit here and tell you D.K. is the be-all end-all of receivers; he has flaws. He’s not Jefferson or Chase or Hill. And if his attitude is becoming a problem – because he feels he’s not getting enough targets, leading him to lash out at opponents, or worse, his teammates/coaches – then I think that net-positive grade starts to slide down to net-neutral, or even net-negative.

I’m not on the team, though, so I can’t really speak to any internal strife. All I know is that this will continue to be a topic of discussion until November 1st.

It’s a bummer, because I like D.K. I like it when we hit on home-grown prospects. I really do want him to be in that upper echelon category of receivers, and carry this team on his back. But, more than anything, I want what’s best for the team. I want our rookie receivers to develop and grow. I want our offense to be humming, and keep up with what our defense has been doing the last few games. Ultimately, I don’t think we can afford to give up on him just yet, but at the same time, if the right price is met, I don’t know if we can afford to pass it by.

Teams don’t need target-hog #1 receivers to succeed in this league. It can make life easier for a quarterback, but it can also make things more difficult in overall roster building. I’ll be very interested to see where this all goes in the coming week. If D.K. sits out this game against the Browns, I’d be on high alert come Monday and Tuesday, because that’s a red flag if I’ve ever seen one.

Ain’t No Way The Seahawks Are Beating The Bengals

I can’t remember the last time I was so thoroughly convinced of an impending Seahawks loss. I’m sure it wasn’t THAT long ago, probably as recently as last season, but this isn’t one of those deals where our opponent is so vastly superior – like, for instance, the 49ers – that it’s just a slam dunk defeat.

The Bengals have been one of the most disappointing and mediocre teams in the NFL so far this season. The defense hasn’t been as effective as we’ve seen the last few years, but really the onus falls on the offense. Joe Burrow was injured through most of the pre-season, and even though he’s gutted it out through every regular season game, he hasn’t been particularly good.

One might argue the schedule has been on the tougher side. They lost 24-3 to the Browns in week 1, but the Browns’ defense looks like a top 5 unit in the NFL. They lost 27-24 to the Ravens, but those look like two fairly evenly-matched squads. They managed to beat the Rams, but only 19-16; again, the Rams have looked a lot better than we thought heading into the year. The real shocker was the loss at Tennessee, where once again the Bengals were held to 3 points in a 27-3 blowout. The Titans are crap. Okay, their run defense is probably solid, but that doesn’t explain why the Bengals weren’t able to move the ball through the air.

Last week’s 34-20 victory in Arizona was the first time the Bengals looked like the Bengals. The Cards have been frisky this year, so that makes it even more impressive. But, you know, they’re still a bad team. Was this the first time Burrow’s felt fully healthy (or, as healthy as he’s going to be with a nagging calf injury)?

You could argue that playing in Cincinnati this early is the best possible scenario for the Seahawks, over playing them late, when they usually start to go on a tear towards the playoffs. Given that they’re 2-3, and we’re 3-1 (and have looked better and better every week), one might expect the Seahawks to take care of business in this one. But, I just don’t think we match up very well.

Our run defense is undeniably improved over last year, which is great. We give up among the fewest yards per game in the league, and I think I saw a stat somewhere saying we give up the fewest yards per carry, which is outstanding! But, our passing yards per game are among the highest given up in the league (worse than the Broncos, and pretty close to what the Bears and Chargers are giving up). The Bengals, in spite of having a solid back in Joe Mixon, don’t feature the run. They use it to complement their passing attack, but the offense runs through Burrow, and he’s saying he’s as close to 100% as he’s been all season. That’s scary.

He’s a smart, capable quarterback who doesn’t take a lot of sacks. I don’t know if people watched that Monday night dismantling of the Giants and are now thinking this is the new normal for the Seahawks’ defense, but I don’t expect us to touch Burrow. I feel like this is going to be a lot like the Rams game in week 1, where he is getting the ball out quickly, moving the sticks, and picking us apart in the secondary. Burrow’s biggest problem this year has been his accuracy, which is in the bottom quarter of starting quarterbacks. But, a lot of that has to do with his injury, and now that he’s feeling better, I expect that to be less of an issue. He’s averaged 62.4% completions on the season, but last week against the Cards, he was up to 78.2%. He’s not Daniel Jones, in other words.

That all isn’t to say that I think we’re destined to get blown out of the stadium – like we were against the Rams – because the Seahawks have a number of things going for them that should make this game interesting. For starters, we’re coming off of our BYE week, which is always nice. That means we’re rested, and we’re starting to get healthy again.

Jamal Adams should be back from his concussion, which saves us yet another missed game from him (since you have to think – had we played last Sunday – he wouldn’t have been available, given the way concussion injuries have gone this season). I think Charles Cross and Phil Haynes are practicing again. Tre Brown is back. Riq Woolen and Devon Witherspoon are another week out from their respective injuries. As is JSN, who clearly hasn’t been what we saw in the pre-season, since he injured his hand. And, of course, Geno isn’t as hobbled, after taking that nasty hit out of bounds against the Giants. We’re not as healthy as we’ve ever been, but we’re as healthy as can be expected, and we’ll need every bit of it to hang with Cincy.

You can’t take this game for granted. I would argue this is a different Bengals team than we saw through the first month. Much closer to their expected status as an AFC contender. Solid enough on defense, great-to-elite on offense.

I do think the Seahawks will keep it close. Vegas clearly agrees, as they have the Bengals -2.5. They seem to be in line with what I’m expecting; I imagine there’s a good number of squares out there putting money on the Seahawks. I have to believe the sharps are on the home team.

I think the Seahawks will look a little ragged at times on offense, but will eventually get it going. I think the Bengals, however, will put up 31 points, minimum. I could see it being a 34-31 game where we come out on the losing end. I could also see the Bengals tacking on a late break-away touchdown to make it 41-31. Regardless, I’m not expecting to say very many good things about the defense when we come back here on Monday.

The Seahawks will likely put a lot of focus on Ja’Marr Chase, which might keep him out of the endzone, but he’ll still have good fantasy numbers when it’s all said and done. If the Seahawks let him blow up for 200+ yards and two scores, then I expect this game will get ugly in a hurry. They’ve really got more than enough weapons all over the field though, hence my belief that they won’t have trouble moving the ball on us.

This also just has the feel of One Of Those Games, you know? The Seahawks are riding high, this feels like one of those games we can go on the road and steal, and then BAM, we get smacked in the face.

The last time we started 3-1 or better was in 2020; that year we went 5-0 heading into our BYE before losing at Arizona in overtime. We are 7-6 in weeks after our BYE in the Pete Carroll era, but we’re on a 3-year losing streak where we haven’t looked good AT ALL in those games. We’re also 6-5 in our first AFC road games of the season dating back to 2012, which means nothing, but I find it amusing. There’s lots of these random AFC losses on our ledger; maybe it’s because we don’t face these teams very often. Maybe it’s just dumb luck.

I dunno. I got a bad feeling though. My family and I are going to the Taylor Swift movie concert thing on Sunday at 11am, so I’m probably not going to see very much of this game, unless I can watch it on delay after I get home. I fully expect to leave the theater to news of a Seahawks loss. If I didn’t already lose the Taylor Family Farm dozens of times, I’d put it up to win a boatload, because I think I’m right. As right as I’ve ever been!

Nobody Wants To Hear About My Fantasy Team 2023: A D-Lightful Week 1 Victory

In my dynasty league – which I write about here almost exclusively – I was given a D draft grade, and my Draft Day Projections were for a 5-9 record and a 7th place finish (the top 6 go to the playoffs). In my other two leagues, I was given A+ grades and projected for very successful records. Last week, I won my first dynasty league matchup and scored the second-most points in doing so; in my other two leagues, I lost miserably and am among the bottom-dwellers in points scored. Sure, it’s only one week, but it’s kind of funny how that works out.

For what it’s worth, I’m still projected to finish 7th, but now with a 6-8 record.

I do, to a point, trust in the draft grades. That seems to largely bear out with past results. I remember in particular, in the league I won last year, I was among the top graded teams out of the draft. I also remember regularly getting blasted in my grades in this dynasty league, and finding myself at or near the bottom by season’s end.

I don’t know yet if I have anything special with Fight The Mattriarchy, but I’m cautiously optimistic after what happened in Week 1.

I defeated You Dropped Your Dildo 158.30 to 108.30. My first blush of week 1 as a whole is that scoring was down among fantasy players, unless you were blessed to have the Dallas or Jets’ defense, or if you had Tua or Tyreek Hill. Seems like what scoring there was came from sources not on anyone’s rosters, or flooding their benches. I certainly saw some of that on my team.

I started Fields and Cousins at my QB spots. They did okay; but I had Jordan Love on my bench, and he nearly outscored both of them by himself. Live and learn. I don’t know if Love is the real deal yet – it’s only one week, and the Packers seem to own the Bears no matter who’s under center – but I’m encouraged. He has this in him. He looked good throughout; it wasn’t just bubble screens and receivers breaking umpteen tackles. He found open men, down field, and took advantage.

I was able to pick up Courtland Sutton – with Christian Watson out and in my IR spot – and started him over Terry McLaurin, which was the right move. Unfortunately, Jordan Addison outscored them both and he was on my bench. I think I might need to see him do that on a regular basis before I can trust starting him.

Bryce Young had a rough game. Looks like, if he’s ever going to make it, it’s going to take more than a few weeks for him to get going. My hope is, by season’s end, he’ll start to assert himself. I’ll say this much: Justin Fields looked as bad as ever throwing the ball. D.J. Moore appeared to make zero impact in the passing game, and I REALLY thought he was going to have a big day.

Everyone besides the Jets’ defense did just okay. My opponent had Austin Ekeler to take care of business, but just about everyone else underperformed (Dak, Lamar, Waddle, Chase, and the Dolphins’ defense all sucked). I think I got lucky in that regard; he’s got a solid team that should go far this year.

This week, I’m going up against Beasts. He’s a regular playoff participant, and a multi-year champion. I’ll have my hands full; here’s my lineup:

  • Justin Fields (QB) @ TB
  • Jordan Love (QB) @ Atl
  • CeeDee Lamb (WR) vs. NYJ
  • Terry McLaurin (WR) @ Den
  • Kenneth Walker (RB) @ Det
  • Tony Pollard (RB) vs. NYJ
  • T.J. Hockenson (TE) @ Phi
  • Alexander Mattison (WR) @ Phi
  • Evan McPherson (K) vs. Bal
  • N.Y. Jets (DEF) @ Dal

I’m sitting Cousins because it’s a road game in Philly on Thursday night. I don’t have a lot of experience with Cousins on my fantasy teams – because I usually actively avoid having him – but I know his reputation against great defenses in primetime games. No thanks.

I had to drop Sutton because Christian Watson was questionable all week. For now, I have McLaurin over Addison. Addison was third among receivers in snaps – as is expected, given his rookie status – and while I expect that to grow as the season goes along, I just don’t think the Vikings are going to have a great game and I’m trying to limit my usage of them this week.

I don’t love starting McLaurin because he might be going up against Denver’s #1 cornerback. So, I’m hoping Watson can slide back into my IR slot and I can pick up Sutton again. I like having Sutton because my opponent appears to be starting Russell Wilson this week. If he does throw any TDs, I’d like them to go to Sutton please!

I waived Dalvin Cook because Breece Hall looked amazing on Monday night, and I hate a time share more than life itself. In his place, I picked up Chargers backup RB Joshua Kelley. I was hoping to throw him into my lineup this week, but I don’t know if Ekeler will play or not, and with a Thursday game gobbling up a lot of players on my roster, I didn’t have the flexibility to sit Mattison and wait it out. But, I’m trying to think long term with Kelley. Can Ekeler play in every game like he did last year? Seems unlikely. Also, Ekeler is on the final year of his deal, so if Kelley wins that job next year, I can keep him going forward if he proves to be as effective as he’s been in his limited touches.

Here’s who Beasts has going for him:

  • Justin Herbert (QB) @ Ten
  • Russell Wilson (QB) vs. Was
  • Tyler Lockett (WR) @ Det
  • Calvin Ridley (WR) vs. KC
  • Derrick Henry (RB) vs. LAC
  • Christian McCaffrey (RB) @ LAR
  • Mark Andrews (TE) @ Cin
  • Josh Jacobs (WR) @ Buf
  • Jason Myers (K) @ Det
  • Washington (DEF) @ Den

He’s looking pretty stacked. He’s also got Cooper Kupp in his IR slot, which makes him dangerous down the road.

I’m expecting Ridley will come back down to Earth a little bit, after an explosive return to the NFL in week 1. I’m kind of banking on it, as I have Christian Kirk in another league. I also think Lockett is due for a rebound after a tough game against the Rams. Henry and CMC are both studs, and Jacobs is quietly effective. Mark Andrews returning from injury should be a big boost; if not, Beasts also has Higbee from the Rams, so he’s more than set there.

I don’t have a lot of confidence this week. I’m going to be worried for days if I made the wrong choice benching Cousins. Lamb has a tough matchup against the Jets; the Jets’ defense has a tough matchup against Dallas’ offense. And Fields could very easily give me two clunkers in a row, against that Bucs front seven.

But, you know, that’s fantasy football. Anything can happen. I’m 1-0 after one week, that’s pretty good in my book.

Who Are Some Future Stars On The Seahawks Right Now?

I’m a regular listener to the Brock & Salk show, via podcast. I don’t listen to every single minute; I’m not demented. I’ve got other things I like to listen to, I’ve got work to do and so on. But, I look at the descriptions of each hour and I’ll pick and choose what sounds interesting to me.

Recently, there’s been chatter on the show about the Seahawks, and who their stars are. Some guy had a Top 100 rankings recently and I think D.K. Metcalf was the first Seahawk listed, and he was positioned outside of the Top 50. I think, in total, maybe there were two Seahawks in the Top 100, with a number of Honorable Mentions coming just after. I think that’s probably a fair assessment. If by “star” we’re talking about the very best at their respective position (and not just name recognition), I think D.K. is probably the biggest star, and I also think he probably doesn’t deserve to be in the Top 50.

D.K. Metcalf is very good. But, I don’t think he’s elite. He drops too many balls. He has too many games where you’re getting nothing from him. You don’t see those nothing games from Cooper Kupp or Justin Jefferson or Ja’Marr Chase. Last year, D.K. had five games of 4 receptions or less; three games where he had 2 or less. He had seven games last year with 40 yards or less. An elite receiver should get 40 yards in his sleep. That’s not elite material, I’m sorry. Maybe part of that is usage and/or scheme. Still, he only had one game with under 5 targets. He’s the number one focus on this passing game. But, I don’t think we’ve ever seriously seen him distinguish himself from Tyler Lockett (who I think, for the record, is criminally disrespected; if you play fantasy football – which is the majority of football fans – you think of Tyler Lockett almost immediately when you think about the Seahawks).

They’re both very good, is what I’m getting at. I would say they’re both “stars” in the sense that we’re using here, even if they’re not the most elite of elite receivers. I think D.K. and Tyler are the cutoff. If you’re below in quality or production than those two, you’re not a star.

I wouldn’t say Bobby Wagner is a star, even though he might have the biggest name recognition on the team (or, at the very least, in the Top 3 for most recognizable Seahawks by the football-viewing public at large); he was a star. But, he doesn’t make the cut.

In fact, I wouldn’t say anyone in the front seven makes the cut, but there’s potential for the future. I also wouldn’t say anyone on the offensive line makes the cut, but there’s also potential there for the future.

I would say Geno – based on his performance last year – is right at that D.K./Tyler cutoff, but he’s a big wild card, isn’t he? I don’t know if he elevates this team so much as keeps it afloat.

I think Kenneth Walker is a possible future star, as is Jaxon Smith-Njigba, as are both of our bookend offensive tackles. Ideally, one of the interior linemen we drafted – I’m looking at the center more than the guard – is also a future star in the making. Also, the second round running back we drafted this year could be on that path, but my caveat here is: I don’t believe both running backs will be stars. I think ultimately one will overshadow the other, with the other being a good backup/spot starter.

As for the defense, I think both Nwosu and Taylor are below the cutoff. Of the two, Taylor probably has the higher ceiling, but I don’t believe he’s going to reach that star level. I also think Jordyn Brooks is below that star level, and I don’t think he’ll ever make enough of an impact at his non-premium position to do any damage.

I think Quandre Diggs is JUST below the cutoff, and I’ve lost all faith in Jamal Adams ever being a star again. However, both of our starting cornerbacks could be stars as early as this year. I’d still like to see Tariq Woolen replicate what he was able to do as a rookie, but I’m all in on Witherspoon.

I like the Dre’Mont Jones signing, but I don’t think he’ll ever be a star. I think Jarran Reed is post-stardom. I think if Derick Hall ends up being a star, we talk about this 2023 NFL Draft as one of the greatest of all time in Seahawks history, right up there with 2010-2012; I’m still saying he’s a longshot though.

I guess my point is, there are probably more stars on this Seahawks team than anyone is giving them credit for; some of them just haven’t emerged yet. But, will it be enough to propel us to greatness? Do we NEED a Top 1 of 1 player on this team to be great? We’ll see. I don’t know if the Eagles had that Top 1 of 1 player last year, and they made it to the Super Bowl largely on the strength of their massive depth. Maybe we could do that?

The Seahawks Probably Had A Pretty Good 2023 NFL Draft

Look, I’m not going to sit here and pretend I know a lot about these college guys we selected over the weekend. Or how well they’ll develop or fit into our particular scheme. It’s the great unknown! We’ll just have to wait and see.

  • 1st Round (5th overall) – Devon Witherspoon (CB)
  • 1st Round (20th overall) – Jaxon Smith-Njigba (WR)
  • 2nd Round (37th overall) – Derick Hall (OLB)
  • 2nd Round (52nd overall) – Zach Charbonnet (RB)
  • 4th Round (108th overall) – Anthony Bradford (G)
  • 4th Round (123rd overall) – Cameron Young (DT)
  • 5th Round (151st overall) – Mike Morris (DE)
  • 5th Round (154th overall) – Olu Oluwatimi (C)
  • 6th Round (198th overall) – Jerrick Reed (S/CB)
  • 7th Round (237th overall) – Kenny McIntosh (RB)

My overarching opinion of the first round picks is that we got some good (maybe great) players, but neither one are guys who are in the stratosphere of a Sauce Gardner or a Ja’Marr Chase (players who, from day one, were destined for the Hall of Fame). They were considered “best players available” while also being at positions of need, but not the BIGGEST position of need.

That would be the defensive line. Naturally. As always. Where we left off from there is that we’d wait and see what the rest of the draft gave us before rendering judgment. But, that comes with diminishing returns. The further you get away from the first half of the first round, the less likely it is you’ll find truly impactful players. Of course, there’s always the possibility that you hit on someone on the second or third days. But, for every Tyler Lockett or Tariq Woolen, there are hundreds of Demarcus Christmases.

To try and replenish that BIGGEST position of need, we used our top second round pick on Derick Hall out of Auburn. You love the school, you love the conference, but his body frame harkens to a guy we just took last year – Boye Mafe – and countless guys with that frame before him, who we’ve tried to turn into effective pass rushers. Best case scenario, Hall is another Bruce Irvin type who might get you 8-10 sacks, and be somewhat competent against the run. But, this is the type of guy we get every year. As a rookie, I wouldn’t bet on any more than 3-4 sacks, and even that might be too high. The hope is, he’s part of the rotation, but you don’t need to rely on him being the starter (those jobs should still belong to Nwosu and Darrell Taylor). Let him get his feet wet, gain some experience, pop a few times, and hope he develops into a starter in year 2 or 3.

Unfortunately, we used our other second round pick on another running back. By all accounts, Charbonnet is a fine back. People have him rated as high as the second or third best in this class. I don’t know if that says more about him or the quality of this class. I’m not going to get super bent out of shape about this, but if it were up to me – after already taking a running back in the second round the previous year (and having him turn into Kenneth Walker, superstar), I would’ve waited in this draft. From what I was reading, there were quality running backs throughout the draft. See: the guy we took in the seventh round. While I get that we needed to replenish the running back room (after losing Rashaad Penny and Travis Homer in free agency), we didn’t need to use our second round pick on him.

That being said, Kenneth Walker did get banged up as a rookie. Running backs, in general, are pretty injury prone, with all the hits they take. The Seahawks, in particular, not only utilize the running back position more than most, but also seem to suffer an inordinate amount of injuries (see: Rashaad Penny and Chris Carson in recent years). So, if Charbonnet turns into a high-quality player in this league, it would stand to reason he’ll find himself in the starting lineup sooner rather than later.

That was it for Friday, as the Seahawks ended up trading back with their third round pick (with the Denver Broncos of all teams). We got another fourth rounder in return, but also a 2024 third round pick (meaning: we get to root against the Broncos for another year!). It sounds like we got tremendous value in this deal, so I’m not complaining.

We started beefing up our trenches in the fourth round, taking a guard and a defensive tackle. The guard is interesting, and could very well find himself starting for us as early as 2024 (if not sooner, if we suffer injuries, and he finds himself next up on the depth chart). The DT seems like he’s Just A Guy. Don’t expect any sort of pass rush whatsoever, and just hope he’s competent as a rotational run stuffer/guy who can take on blocks while freeing up our linebackers behind him to make plays.

Then, we continued picking for the trenches by taking a couple of Michigan players in the fifth round. The defensive end also seems like he’s Just A Guy, albeit with a fairly interesting body type for the position (6’5, 295 pounds), who could play along the outside or the interior. Does that make him L.J. Collier? Probably, but at least we didn’t waste a high draft pick on him. The center, however, also seems interesting as a potential starter as early as 2024 (if not sooner, again, due to injury and his standing on the depth chart).

I’m not buying the safety we took in the sixth round will remain at safety. For starters, he’ll need to excel at special teams if he wants to make the roster at all. Secondly, he seems a tad undersized, and they’re already talking about him being a nickel or dime corner. Odds are he doesn’t play much at all on defense this year. Odds are also that he doesn’t ascend in year two to be a starter replacing Jamal Adams. For that, we’ll probably look to next year’s draft (and a lot higher than the sixth round).

I’ll believe it when I see it that the seventh round running back also makes the roster. It sounds like he’s a good pass catcher, and also plays special teams, so crazier things have happened. But, that means you’re going into a season with three running backs having 1 or 0 years of experience, and only DeeJay Dallas (so far) as any sort of veteran (heading into his 4th season). My guess is we never see Kenny McIntosh hit the football field, and he suffers a very serious injury before the regular season. Can’t you picture the name “Kenny McIntosh” as someone we never hear from again? Remember Zac Brooks, who we took in the seventh round in 2016? Doesn’t Kenny McIntosh remind you of Zac Brooks?

While last year’s draft felt vital, and rife with quality players throughout, this year’s draft feels like depth replenishment. We boosted some positions into the elite realm (corner, wide receiver, and probably running back), while helping fill out other spots (offensive line and special teams). But, I’m not getting the sense there are any late-round gems in this draft class. Tariq Woolen has been an interesting player since the moment his name was selected. From that point on, he was a tantalizing prospect who – if he put it all together – could be a monster. And, it turns out, he put it all together extremely quickly!

But, who is getting those kinds of comparisons in this draft class? Unless one of those defensive linemen shows flashes in rookie minicamp, I don’t think there’s going to be a third-day stud in the bunch. Hopefully, in time, one (or both) of the interior offensive linemen pan out into capable starters; that might help us save a shekel or two. But, if we’re going to be wowed by this influx of players, it’s going to come from the very top.

We’ll see, though. I’m not going to say it’s going to take 3-5 years for us to figure out if this weekend was a bust. We should know in year 1 whether or not guys project to be impactful in the NFL. So, I can’t wait to hear about how they develop over the next few months!

The Seahawks Might Have Drafted The Best Cornerback & Wide Receiver In The First Round

It’s funny how my Seahawks fandom led me astray in this draft. Like a lot of people, I had REAL tunnel vision when it came to the first round of this draft, and especially with the #5 pick. I never legitimately believed we’d take a quarterback there, but I left that door open a crack just in case. Really, what I expected was we’d take the best defensive lineman available. Either Will Anderson (if he was still there) or Jalen Carter/Tyree Wilson (whoever the team believed in more). As many expected, the Texans drafted Will Anderson; as literally no one expected, they drafted him AFTER they also took C.J. Stroud (when they traded up with Arizona for the #3 pick). Other than that, the top 4 went chalk: Bryce Young #1 to the Panthers and Anthony Richardson #4 to the Colts. Will Levis is somewhere still sliding harder than a fireman on a greased up fire pole.

What I didn’t do before the draft was put one ounce of effort into studying first round cornerbacks or wide receivers. What’s the point? The Seahawks never take a receiver before the second round, and never take a corner before the third!

There’s two ways to look at this draft for the Seahawks so far: you’re either with us or against us. You’re either a fan of your team taking the Best Player Available, or you’re not. There are normally 32 picks in the first round of an NFL Draft; this year there was 31 because the Dolphins got dinged for tampering and lost their pick. However, that doesn’t mean there are 30+ players with “first round grades” heading into a draft. Usually there’s anywhere from 12-18 or so, true, legitimate blue chippers. This year’s class was deemed to be weak in comparison to recent drafts, so the odds of the Seahawks getting two elite players with first round grades – when their second pick was #20 – seemed pretty remote.

I would call this draft a qualified success, because the Seahawks got two players with true first round grades. But, obviously, the Seahawks didn’t address their greatest need (the defensive front seven), and that might come back to haunt them.

You can’t be a football fan and not have heard some chatter about Devon Witherspoon, cornerback from Illinois (our pick at #5). Really, all I knew heading into the draft was that he was one of the best cornerbacks in this draft, he excelled in press coverage, and he was elite against the run. As soon as I heard that, I thought, “Well, he sounds like an ideal Pete Carroll cornerback; too bad he’ll be gone by the time we take our first corner of this draft!”

He’s 6’0, 180-something pounds. Notably – in the post-round interviews – Pete Carroll compared him to Troy Polamalu, which is incredibly high praise. It’s hard not to be a fan of his style of play, I think he’ll fit in beautifully with what the Seahawks want to do on defense. That being said, he doesn’t strike me as a Sauce Gardner type. He’s not far-and-away the best cornerback in this draft (even though he was picked first, and would probably get the most first place votes). Washington and New England both took cornerbacks at 16 and 17 respectively who are in the conversation (particularly the Oregon guy, who I’d also heard rumblings about pre-draft).

The big question with Witherspoon will be: is he a lockdown corner? Or is he just a good all-around athlete? Is he a Richard Sherman, or a Shawn Springs? Say what you will about Springs, but he was never a lockdown guy; he was fine.

Of note to Seahawks fans in the market for a defensive lineman, Tyree Wilson ended up going #7 to the Raiders and Jalen Carter went #9 to the Eagles (of course). It’s interesting how the defensive end market shook out, because there were a number of quality names still available by the time the draft got to #20. I don’t know if these guys are going to be worth a damn as pros, but names I’d heard about pre-draft included Myles Murphy (28th to the Bengals), Nolan Smith (30th to the Eagles, of course), and Felix Anudike-Uzomah (31st to the Chiefs). There were also a couple of semi-interesting defensive tackles taken after we picked, including Mazi Smith (26th to the Cowboys) and Bryan Bresee (29th to the Saints). We’ll have to keep our eyes on those guys, and just imagine what they might’ve looked like in Seahawks uniforms.

At some point in the run-up to #20, I tweeted out how I thought it would be funny if the Seahawks continued to buck their organizational trends by taking “that amazing tight end” with our other first round pick. Dalton Kincaid was who I was referring to; he ended up getting selected by the Bills at 25. Nevertheless, we did buck trends, but went wide receiver instead.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba is more-or-less the consensus best receiver in this class, at least heading in. But, kinda like our cornerback pick, JSN doesn’t sound like a grand slam, no doubter home run, a la Ja’Marr Chase or Justin Jefferson. Maybe just a half-step down.

He’s 6’1, 196 pounds. He was the very best Ohio State wide receiver in 2021, before a hamstring injury severely limited his 2022 season. He can play anywhere – inside and outside – he has great hands, he gets open. He’s going to be a BIG asset for this team. I’ve heard him being compared to Doug Baldwin, which: sign me up! I wonder if he’s like a blend of both Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf. I love the pick already for what he’s going to mean to this offense on third downs, but I’ll be curious to see what his high-end potential is on big plays downfield. A non-crazy Antonio Brown is the ceiling you’re looking for. I imagine the floor is – as always – Nelson Agholor.

Here’s the thing with these two picks: it doesn’t matter if you’re in the Best Player Available camp or the Draft For Need camp, because cornerback and wide receiver ARE needs for this team.

Sure, Tariq Woolen and Coby Bryant were drafted last year and made names for themselves as rookies. But, we still needed a starter opposite Woolen who isn’t Mike Jackson. I would also argue that Woolen is more of a cover corner, and not necessarily a guy who lowers the boom on opposing players. I cringe every time I see Woolen try to tackle a running back. We needed to throw a wild animal into our secondary. Devon Witherspoon is going to learn so much from the likes of not only Woolen, but Quandre Diggs, Julian Love, and even Jamal Adams (for the half a game he’s healthy for).

And I would argue – in spite of having two 1,000-yard receivers in Metcalf and Lockett – the Seahawks had a bigger need for a third receiver than they did for another corner. Are you as sick and tired of Dee Eskridge as I am? Are you over these 1-year retreads like Marquise Goodwin? Are you looking for a little more than a 6th/7th rounder or an undrafted guy, like Freddie Swain, Dareke Young, or Penny Hart?

Three-receiver sets are the norm nowadays, even with a team that runs as much as the Seahawks do. The fullback is out. You’re either going with a third receiver or a second tight end. So, there’s going to be no shortage of plays for JSN on the field in this offense. He gives us probably the best wide receiver room in football (certainly in the NFC anyway), he’s insurance in case Metcalf or Lockett get banged up, and he’ll help us replenish for when Tyler Lockett one day decides to hang ’em up. Sure, Lockett is signed through 2025, he keeps his body in shape, and he’s careful about not taking brutal hits. But, he’s 31 this year. There’s a potential out in his contract before 2024, so you never know when it’s all going to come to an end for an older player. Waiting until after Lockett is gone to replenish the wide receiver room sounds like a terrible idea. Get a rookie in there now, have him learn from Lockett while he still can, and now you’ve really maximized that pick!

Granted, even though the Seahawks did draft for need, they weren’t the most pressing needs. To that, I say, let’s see what happens over the next couple days. Should be quite interesting.

Nobody Wants To Hear About My Fantasy Team 2022: Screwed By The Pats

I don’t even know what to say. I had him! I had The Lance Petemans in my sights. I had a lead heading into Monday night, I had Mac Jones in my lineup. He had a Patriots receiver who ended up with just over 11 points, and a kicker who got all of 2 points. I just needed a normal fucking game and I would’ve had my second victory in a row. Instead, I got a crap quarter out of Mac Jones before he got benched, netting me negative points out of my second quarterback spot. And I lost 117.74 to 108.85, in a pathetic display by both teams.

It didn’t help that D.K. Metcalf got injured after 1 catch for 12 yards. But, really, other than that quarterback spot, my moves were sound! I got over 28 out of Walker, I got over 17 out of Zeke, I got 10+ out of Brian Robinson and CeeDee Lamb. I even picked up a defense – the Steelers, who got me 3 points at the last minute, when they were my only option left on the free agent scrap heap Sunday afternoon – by dropping the very disappointing Romeo Doubs.

But, who could’ve expected Justin Fields would end up with over 25 points?! On the road, on Monday night, in New England, who is supposed to have this great defense! What in the actual fuck?!

Well, maybe I should’ve seen this coming. Outside of Bears fans, no one is following Fields closer than me; this is his third 20+ point game in a row. If he does it against Dallas next week, I think I’ll have to start him the rest of the way; that defense is ACTUALLY great, and will be the test of all tests for Fields’ fantasy viability.

This week, I’m going up against You Dropped Your Dildo, who won last week in spite of starting Carson Wentz (who was on the IR) and a tight end on BYE, even though he had Dak Prescott on his bench, and could have picked up a tight end simply by putting Wentz in the IR slot on his roster. Something tells me he’s going to look at his lineup THIS week, in time to fill his other QB spot, as well as put Jonathan Taylor back into his lineup for Austin Ekeler (who is on BYE, thank Christ).

Here’s my projected lineup:

  • Davis Mills (QB) vs. Ten
  • QB Patriots (QB) @ NYJ
  • CeeDee Lamb (WR) vs. Chi
  • Gabe Davis (WR) vs. GB
  • Ezekiel Elliott (RB) vs. Chi
  • Kenneth Walker (RB) vs. NYG
  • T.J. Hockenson (TE) vs. Mia
  • Brian Robinson (RB) @ Ind
  • Evan McPherson (K) @ Cle
  • Philadelphia (DEF) vs. Pit

I can’t, in good conscience, start Fields against the Cowboys. He’s going to get picked off like 4 times and their offense will generate all of 3 points. If he manages to get over 20 points again, then I’ll happily eat crow and start him the rest of the way.

D.K. gets to sit on my bench for a while, until he’s healthy again. Pollard is actually projected to outscore Zeke, and for once I think I’m going to buy it. Zeke looks a little banged up this week, and even though he’s still projected to start, I’m not taking any chances when it comes to someone playing hurt. If there’s a healthy option – who’s also more talented and overall better – then I’m going to choose the healthy option.

I picked up the Philly defense, which leaps to the top of my team as far as points-scoring is concerned. Do you know how bad your team has to be for your defense to be the highest scoring entity? Just think about that. I like how a top 5 fantasy defense is going to languish on the very worst team in our league. Anytime I can stick it to the rest of the league, I’m all for it!

I tried to pick up Sam Ehlinger, but he was apparently a priority waiver add for someone else. He’s probably going to stink, but I hate it when I miss out on a potential quarterback solution. No one needs a QB more than me! I should have first crack at all of these losers! So, now I have to root against this guy, while dreading what he might become.

Here’s who I Dropped My Dildo has going this week (I swear he only came up with that name so I’d have to type it out on this blog):

  • Lamar Jackson (QB) @ TB
  • Dak Prescott (QB) vs. Chi
  • Jaylen Waddle (WR) @ Det
  • Ja’Marr Chase (WR) vs. Cle
  • Jonathan Taylor (RB) vs. Was
  • Darrell Henderson (RB) vs. SF
  • Tyler Higbee (TE) vs. SF
  • Terry McLaurin (WR) @ Ind
  • Brett Maher (K) vs. Chi
  • Denver (DEF) @ Jax

You want to see another blowout of epic proportions? Come and watch our matchup this week! I am, of course, projecting who he’s going to start, since he still hasn’t updated anything. But, that’s a massacre. Even if he doesn’t update his roster, I’m probably fucked!