Just to close up a dangling thread from last week, Einfach A.F. did, in fact, win, so they’re moving on to the regular playoffs. Which means the two picks I receive from them in trade are getting worse and worse.
Since nothing happened with RoundTine last week (I will say that I scored the fewest points of any team in the Consolation Bracket, which is either an ominous sign, or the first shitty waffle everyone throws away before the good ones start popping out), I thought I’d talk about my two other fantasy football teams. In leagues where I made the actual playoffs!
Puppy Monkey Baby is my pride and joy. My Splinter League team finished in first place at 11-4, two games better than my playoff brothers and sisters (who all finished 9-6). I’m pretty loaded here at every spot but quarterback (we, thankfully, have eliminated kickers and a mandatory tight end position, though we allow two flex spots where you could play tight ends if you want).
I’m talking CeeDee Lamb and Amon-Ra St. Brown. I’m talking Christian McCaffrey and Austin Ekeler. I’m talking Travis Kelce, Kenneth Walker, and the Steelers’ surging defense. I’m talking a bench comprised of useful dudes who would be starters on other teams: Chris Olave, Cordarrelle Patterson, Gabe Davis, and Mike Williams. I also took a flier on Jameson Williams (who hasn’t panned out, but oh well, you can’t win ’em all).
It’s dicey with the quarterbacks, though (it’s another 2-QB league). Jared Goff has been fine (sometimes good, sometimes not). Kenny Pickett is my preferred #2, however I also have Andy Dalton. If I’m winning this league, I’m winning in spite of these guys. I need the rest of my team to pick up the slack!
In my third league, RUM HAM! went 6-0 to start the year. I was 7-7 heading into last week. I needed to win, and I needed my brother to knock someone out of my spot in the playoffs. It came to pass, and so here I am, the 4-seed, and the least-likely person to win this league.
Justin Jefferson has been as advertised this season. Nick Chubb has been pretty great, but he’s definitely fallen off in recent weeks. Terry McLaurin has been on a disappointing team with disappointing quarterbacks. I figured Lamar Jackson would lay the league to waste this year, but he’s been relatively mediocre. This is another league where I’ve got Gabe Davis, though in this one I’ve had to use him almost every week, to frustrating results.
I’ve had Kareem Hunt as a handcuff all year, but it hasn’t paid off. I also started the year with both starting Rams running backs, and that was a total disaster. I was able to grab J.K. Dobbins a couple weeks ago, and I’ve got Zack Moss (for the Colts) in there now, but it might be too little too late. I do have Buffalo’s kicker and Philly’s defense, who have both been pretty reliable during their non-BYE weeks (both in week 7), but my guys just don’t score enough touchdowns in general. I rarely ever have big breakout weeks. It could be we just haven’t seen my team play to its fullest potential, but I think I’m VERY lucky to be in this position, and this playoff spot is probably wasted on me.
We’ll see how it goes! Fantasy Football gets exciting this week! Let’s get back to RoundTine and see what I’m working with in the all-important Consolation Bracket:
Justin Fields (QB) vs. Buf
Tyler Huntley (QB) vs. Atl
CeeDee Lamb (WR) vs. Phi
D.K. Metcalf (WR) @ KC
Kenneth Walker (RB) @ KC
Tony Pollard (RB) vs. Phi
T.J. Hockenson (TE) vs. NYG
Christian Watson (WR) @ Mia
Evan McPherson (K) @ NE
N.Y. Jets (DEF) vs. Jax
I’m only playing Huntley if Lamar Jackson is out again this week. Otherwise, I’m stuck with Mac Jones vs. Cincinnati. Mike White – my ultimate choice to be my #2 QB – was killed in a Revenant-style bear attack on the football field a couple weeks ago.
I have two viable bench players, if needed. Ezekiel Elliott is obviously there, if I need him. And Brian Robinson is going up against the 49ers. So, Zeke would be my obvious first choice between the two.
This week, for my Consolation Bracket livelihood, I’m going up against The Lance Petemans, in a matchup of 8 vs. 9. Here’s his team:
Kirk Cousins (QB) vs. NYG
Jared Goff (QB) @ Car
Tyreek Hill (WR) vs. GB
DeAndre Hopkins (WR) vs. TB
James Conner (RB) vs. TB
Tyler Allgeier (RB) @ Bal
Darren Waller (TE) @ Pit
Keenan Allen (WR) @ Ind
Robbie Gould (K) vs. Was
Cleveland (DEF) vs. NO
I traded him Tyreek Hill a few years ago and have rued it ever since. So, expect him to blow up for 40 points. The rest of the guys are capable of big days, but they’re also capable of stinkeroos. So, we’ll see.
I’m not confident. Winning the Consolation Bracket is something I’ve wanted SO desperately for years now; ever since we started trending towards being a dynasty league, with more and more keepers every year. Basically, ever since I realized my team wasn’t good enough to hack it with the big boys, because my keepers (read: quarterbacks) have been trash. The best I’ve finished is second (meaning I had the second overall draft pick) and my reward was the top non-QB rookie position player off the board: Clyde Edward-Helaire.
I need a stud rookie quarterback. I can’t get that guy with the fourth overall pick. I would LOVE it if I landed in the top two. But, for that to happen, I must win this week.
I want it too much! I want it too much, so it’s not going to happen for me. That’s the way this works.
Well, it was a nice idea: Justin Fields had been slowly, but surely, getting better every week he’d been starting for the Bears. But, that offense is broken and they’ve done nothing to help their rookie quarterback succeed. The Bears even managed to be the first team this year to successfully run the ball against the Bucs! You’d think with that advantage, they would’ve mustered something against a depleted secondary. But, based on my eye test, I didn’t see a lot of play-action. Just a lot of plays that were probably designed for an Andy Dalton-led offense (or, given Matt Nagy’s reptuation, probably just a generic offense he’s hoping to shoe-horn into any situation, regardless of who’s under center).
There are two things at play: either Justin Fields just doesn’t have it and is a bust, or the Bears coaches are failing him and will likely be fired at season’s end (if not sooner). Either way, that doesn’t give me a lot of confidence in Fields’ viability as a fantasy quarterback. Certainly, he’s not someone worth hanging onto for next year.
Of course, I’m not going to waive him; I’ll let the season play out and see if there’s a dramatic turnaround. But, I’m assuming we’ll see more of the same conservative, unoriginal play-calling, resulting in the same conservative, mediocre offensive scoring output. That will, ultimately, break Fields as a prospect and we’ll all be wondering which team he’s going to be a backup on in a few years.
Mac Jones, on the other hand, looks pretty good! It’s hard to say if he’s going to be an elite fantasy quarterback; he very well could just be one of the better game managers a la Andy Dalton, Joe Flacco, Carson Wentz (in Indy, so far) and not a Justin Herbert or Joe Burrow or Patrick Mahomes. That doesn’t do me a lot of good, though those types of game managers – in their primes – can be okay as a second quarterback in a 2-QB league. But, you really need a stud to anchor your team week-in and week-out in fantasy, and it’s still up in the air whether or not Jones can be that guy.
His 29.25 points (for my bench) this week against the Jets was a season (and therefore career) high. Prior to this week, he had three games right around 20 points, with three other games significantly under 20 points. It’s fair to say they haven’t taken his training wheels off yet, so the best may still be to come. But, there’s also the chance for – as he gets more freedom – increased turnovers and other mistakes. Also, 29.25 is fine, but a stud will get you 30+ on the regular. Let me know when Mac Jones has multiple 40+ games. Also, 29.25 came against the Jets. I know they hampered him earlier in the season, but their defense is starting to get mighty depleted, and I bet any mediocre QB would’ve done something similar against that flailing team.
Taylor Heinicke (also for my bench) managed to out-score either of the guys I started this week, and he was close to having a 30+ point game. That was on the road, in Green Bay, against some shaky officiating, so color me moderately impressed. I’m not giving up on him just yet, though he might be running out of time, with Fitzpatrick on the mend and set to get his job back when he’s ready.
As expected, Snoopy & Prickly Pete lost to COVID Bubble Boys 171.25 to 111.20. Even if I had fielded a FLEX guy, I would’ve lost. Perhaps if I’d played my best two QBs AND fielded a FLEX guy, I could’ve made it interesting (this would also assume I’d drop Trey Sermon – who had zero stats in the 49ers game this week, as he seemed to be strictly an emergency back for them – and inserted a running back from the scrap heap), but even with COVID Bubble Boys starting Trey Lance at QB (who wasn’t even active), he scored a ton of points that my team wasn’t equipped to cover. You hate to see it.
No roster moves this week, so it’s on to Week 8. Snoopy & Prickly Pete goes up against The Lance Petemans. He’s in 9th place, I’m in 10th place (out of 10 teams); we’re both 2-5. We very well may be looking at a future Consolation Bracket matchup, so it’ll be fun to scout things out now.
Here’s what my lineup is looking like:
Jameis Winston (QB) vs. TB
Mac Jones (QB) @ LAC
D.K. Metcalf (WR) vs. JAX
A.J. Brown (WR) @ IND
Ezekiel Elliott (RB) @ MIN
Khalil Herbert (RB) vs. SF
Noah Fant (TE) vs. WAS
CeeDee Lamb (WR) @ MIN
L.A. Rams (DEF) @ HOU
You know what? I’m not gonna lie to you, I like a lot of my matchups! I like a Jameis Revenge Game at home against the Bucs. I like Mac Jones needing to throw a lot on the road against the high-flying Chargers. I like D.K. against the Jags (where the Seahawks should FINALLY have a get-right game with Geno at the helm). I like A.J. against a depleted Colts secondary. I really like Fant against a suspect Football Team defense. And, the Rams should have no trouble making life miserable for the Texans and their inept offense (though, I’m less than thrilled with the prospect of Tyrod Taylor returning; he’s actually competent).
My bench includes Diontae Johnson, who has to go on the road to play a tough Browns team. I could see that game being very low-scoring, but I could also see Johnson racking up points anyway and making me rue the day I went with D.K. over him. Otherwise, it’s Fields against the 49ers (we’ll see) and Heinicke against the Broncos on the road (far from ideal).
Here’s what The Lance Petemans are running out:
Ryan Tannehill (QB) @ IND
Kirk Cousins (QB) vs. DAL
Tyreek Hill (WR) vs. NYG
Calvin Ridley (WR) vs. CAR
Darrell Henderson (RB) @ HOU
James Conner (RB) vs. GB
Tyler Higbee (TE) @ HOU
Keenan Allen (WR) vs. NE
Matt Gay (K) @ HOU
San Francisco (DEF) @ CHI
He’s got a pretty good team, that’s clearly favored over me this week, and would likely defeat me even if I pick up a kicker. He’s unfortunately got Tyreek Hill going on Monday Night, which means A LOT would have to go right for me and wrong for him on Sunday if I were to – at the last minute – want to pick up the Giants’ kicker on Monday Night. Hill always has the potential to go off for 40+ points in any given game, and the Giants’ defense is God-awful. So, we’ll see, but I’m not holding my breath.
If I do end up dropping anyone, it’ll be Trey Sermon. It’s probably a bad sign that the 49ers have two rookie running backs, and the lower-ranked one is the workhorse in this situation. I’m sure there’s still ample opportunity for Sermon to pick up the offense and be a dynamic player late in the season. But, they have another running back returning from PUP or IR pretty soon, so it’s looking highly doubtful.
Splinter League Round-Up!
No trouble this week for BUCK FUTTER! I had the biggest blowout in the league, 198.44 to 131.26 over I REGRET NOTHING. Huge days from A-Rod and Stafford, huge days from my TB receivers, and a huge day from Kamara on Monday Night all sealed the deal. I REGRET NOTHING mistakenly left in Sterling Shepard even though he was inactive (probably leading him to regret that, at least), but it wouldn’t have mattered. This time I had the third-most points scored in the league, but lady luck was on my side (as I didn’t go up against one of the top two). That brings my record up to 4-3 (third place overall), still with the second-most points scored in the league this season. Now I get the luxury of going up against the last place team, sitting on a ton of injuries. Here’s hoping I don’t massively underperform!
SKEET SKEET MOTHERFUCKERS!!! I am ROCK-HARD right now! All praise to Tua (and Sloane N Steady for waiving him, and the rest of the league for leaving him to me to pick up). My fuckin’ fantasy quarterback troubles are over (well, half over; damn Wentz). I don’t even care that I won! Not really, anyway (okay, I do care); I’m just happy Tua got me 27.9 points and looked good on the road against a frisky Cardinals defense. It’s not even that great of a performance, but it shows we’re scratching the surface of his potential, and THAT is what’s got my loins ablaze at the moment with the intensity of a thousand suns. Fuckin’ Tua, y’all! Let’s get this!
Once again, it helped my chances to have my opponent vastly underperform his projections, but a win is a win and I’ve been on the other side of this PLENTY of times in my storied fantasy football career. That being said, my 168.00 points is nothing to sneeze at! It’s on the higher side of average (and plenty to beat Beasts’ 138.50). It’s actually my second-highest output this season, which is sort of alarming (I don’t see any 200-point games in my future this year), but makes sense if you’ve been following along.
On top of Tua’s remarkable performance, Kirk Cousins was even better with 29! On top of that, my starting receivers – Jerry Jeudy and A.J. Brown – scored 25.5 and 20.1 respectively (Brown did indeed continue his streak of scoring at least one touchdown!). There wasn’t really a dud in the bunch, though my 3-headed running back hydra all scored in the 11-14 range which is just so-so. I didn’t get enough of a boost from the Washington defense to really make them worth picking up in the first place (somehow, the Giants and Daniel Jones managed to NOT turn the ball over for the first time all season, the one week I needed them to of course), but in the end it didn’t matter.
Speaking of Jerry Jeudy, I’m finding him to be a really interesting mid-season find for my roster, not just as a potential keeper, but as a potential Starting Wide Receiver alongside A.J. Brown. As a rookie, Jeudy clearly had the best game of his career this past week, which is giving me pause, as I had intended him to be a one-game plug-and-play. I wouldn’t have even picked him up at all if Brandon Aiyuk wasn’t placed on the COVID list! But, Jeudy has 24 targets in his last two games. Now, the downside is, obviously, Denver’s quarterback situation. It’s not good. But, Drew Lock is CLEARLY better than his backups, and they can somewhat move the ball when he’s in there. I can’t tell if Lock is good yet (as I absolutely refuse to watch Broncos games because they’re so boring), but he might be. And I think Jeudy has the potential to be this year’s A.J. Brown (who, down the stretch LAST year as a rookie, really dominated for a lot of really good fantasy teams). So, I think I’m going to hang onto Jeudy and start him for a while, because his matchups the rest of the way are pretty solid. And, if he kills it, my wide receiver spot is locked cold!
Beasts got a huge boost from the return of Christian McCaffery (37.1), but Russell Wilson obviously had a tough game, and Justin Herbert was the only other player on his team to hit double-digits. Everyone else was under 10.
Before the weekend was finished, I made a roster move, picking up Dallas Goedert, who is healthy and the primary tight end (at the moment) for Carson Wentz and the Eagles. Noah Fant is not so reliable for me; he keeps getting injured (missing some snaps this past week after an early big gainer, never really picking things up from there) and he’s on an offense (again with the Broncos) that can struggle to move the ball. Goedert is a legitimate Top 10 tight end when healthy, on an offense that LOVES to throw to its tight ends (especially in the red zone). As long as Zach Ertz is out, Goedert is a phenomenal pick-up for me.
To make room, I officially had to abandon the Daniel Jones experiment. He went from keeper (and hopeful fantasy franchise quarterback), to on the waiver wire in half a season. What a disgrace! Both for him and for me! But, I mean, you can’t keep banging your head against the wall when something isn’t working. I have Cousins now and he’s a much more reliable third QB. Tua is the future! Dimes was a mistake.
More roster moves needed to be made, as it appeared I had two wide receivers coming off of the IR in Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel. My first drop went to the Washington defense. I had three on my roster last week and that’s about two too many (but I’ll never drop the Rams’ defense, as they’ve got solid matchups coming up this season).
As of press time, I haven’t officially made the other move I need to make, because I still have up until Sunday morning. You never know who’s going to get tagged with a COVID designation for the week, so I don’t want to go dropping anyone before I have to. If I do end up needing to drop someone, it’s going to be Noah Fant. I have no use for two tight ends on my roster and if Goedert ends up getting hurt again, I’ll just pick up someone else. Fant isn’t even a top ten tight end – though he’s been a relatively consistent high-floor/low-ceiling guy – so I don’t mind streaming tight ends the rest of the year if I need to.
My concern is: my kicker is on a BYE this week. Harrison Butker hasn’t been the world-beater I expected (I REALLY regret taking him over Justin Tucker two rounds before the final round, where most people draft their kickers); he’s ranked 14th in our league this season. The Chiefs predominantly score touchdowns because they have an elite offense, which was to be expected, but he hasn’t been hitting as many 50+ yarders as I thought he would, and he’s annoyingly missed the most PATs in football, that have taken points AWAY from his total! But, I don’t want to just fucking lose him for nothing, because I know as soon as I drop him, he’s going to go off for some games in the high teens. So, I’ll be waiting until the last minute to pick up a replacement kicker; the guy I end up dropping to do THAT will be TBD.
This week, I go up against Crazy N8’s Prostates, the guy I improbably defeated in Week 1, as well as the guy who just traded for Drew Brees and Julio Jones. He’s currently 4th in the standings, yet has far-and-away scored the most points. Here’s what Nobody Beats The Wiz is looking at starting:
Tua Tagovailoa (QB) vs. LAC
Carson Wentz (QB) @ NYG
A.J. Brown (WR) vs. IND
Jerry Jeudy (WR) @ LV
Josh Jacobs (RB) vs. DEN
Chase Edmonds (RB) vs. BUF
Dallas Goedert (TE) @ NYG
Brandon Aiyuk (WR) @ NO
TBD (K) vs. TBD
Indianapolis (DEF) @ TEN
Pretty easy choice with the quarterbacks, as Kirk Cousins is playing a stout Bears defense on Monday Night Football. I expect that game to be low scoring, and it wouldn’t shock me to see Cousins turn the ball over a lot. Also a no-brainer for my starting wide receivers, as Brown is a Must Start and Jeudy might be heading that way. It’s a no-brainer for my running backs as well, because Ezekiel Elliott and Clyde Edwards-Helaire are both on BYEs. My FLEX spot is still up in the air, as there’s a rumor that Deebo Samuel might be healthy this week. If he is, he’s my guy over Aiyuk. However, with the 49ers scheduled to have a BYE next week, it wouldn’t surprise me to see them rest Deebo one more week before bringing him back super fresh. As for my defense, I don’t love the matchup, but I can’t play the Rams against my Seahawks, even if Aaron Donald alone will probably get three sacks and they could have a field day if Wilson continues to turn the ball over like he’s been doing.
I’m catching some more good BYE-week luck with Crazy N8’s Prostates, as both Julio Jones and Travis Kelce are out this week. As you’ll see, though, he has replacements more than capable of filling their shoes:
Josh Allen (QB) @ ARI
Drew Brees (QB) vs. SF
Allen Robinson (WR) vs. MIN
Robert Woods (WR) vs. SEA
James Conner (RB) vs. CIN
Aaron Jones (RB) vs. JAX
Eric Ebron (TE) vs. CIN
Keenan Allen (WR) @ MIA
Justin Tucker (K) @ NE
Green Bay (DEF) vs. JAX
He has some of the SICKEST matchups this week. I mean, Robert Woods alone – against our inept Seahawks defense – is just a nightmare. But, all his receivers should do great, his running backs might score three TDs apiece, his quarterbacks will certainly be fine, and I bet Baltimore kicks a lot of field goals against the Patriots on the road. He’s even got an elite defensive matchup (I should know, I picked up the Packers this week in my other league, where I should reiterate I am CRUSHING it).
Nobody Beats The Wiz is going to need to WILDLY outscore projections. This would be, probably, the most perfect time to net my first 200-point week of the season.
At 4-5, I’m in 7th place in the league, JUST on the outside-looking-in at the playoffs. I now have the third-fewest total points, having leapfrogged Korky Butchek for the honor. Now that everyone has played everyone once, we officially have a season that will count in the record books; if COVID officially ruins everything … well, I won’t have my name on the trophy, that’s for damn sure.
That having been said, I don’t expect the season to ever shut down completely. I have four weeks to make up ground. If I get lucky, my final two regular season games could be against my direct competition for the 6th and final spot in the playoffs. I technically have control of my own destiny; if I win out, I will definitely make the post-season. But, come on, let’s not go overboard here.
One week at a time. Let’s go 2-0 against Crazy N8! Wouldn’t that be something?
Oh that’s right, I’ve decided to name my team after the great Seinfeld character!
Anyway, we had our draft last Friday, and of course I opted to go rogue. Look, I don’t know who reads this! I can’t be handing my league-mates possible insights into my fantasy football mind! So, you know, I conveniently left out the part that my top two guys were NOT Mike Evans and Aaron Jones, but rather:
To be fair, I did talk about Sanders last week. In going back and looking at his numbers, I didn’t realize just how many targets he gets in the passing game! Considering I also have his quarterback – Carson Wentz – and they still might not have the best crop of wide receivers in the world, I wouldn’t have thrown that connection out of bed.
But, all along, my true number one was always Clyde Edwards-Helaire (I might just shorten that to CEH even though it looks like an unpleasant search term on Pornhub or something). Remember before when I was bemoaning how there weren’t any great rookie running backs in this class? Remember how I wanted my Saquon Barkley? Well, he might be it! He was looking like a dark horse fantasy candidate before Damien Williams decided to opt out of this season due to COVID, but now that he’s the true #1 on the Chiefs, there’s just no denying him! His potential is through the roof!
Sanders would’ve been the safer pick, because at least he has a year of experience. But, I’ll take upside every time.
Just as I suspected, the guy with the #1 draft pick – COVID Bubble Boys – opted to go quarterback with his first selection: Drew Brees. Definitely a Playing For Now type of guy, and you have to respect that. He’s already got Lamar Jackson, might as well take his shot every chance he gets!
That left me with my pick of the litter, CEH. Sure enough, Miles Sanders went #3. THEN Joe Burrow went off the board! Followed by Aaron Jones, Tom Brady, Mike Evans (to the guy who had him last year, in effect giving him five keepers), Baker Mayfield, Chris Carson, and D.K. Metcalf rounding out the Top Ten.
That D.K. Metcalf pick is an interesting one, because he was CERTAINLY a guy I was targeting (although, I wanted him much later than when he went). That’s what’s hard about being in a fantasy football league with guys who either currently live in the Seattle area or have lived a long time in the Seattle area: the good Seahawks tend to get over-valued. Russell Wilson, for instance, has been on the same fantasy team since his rookie year, kept every single time by the same guy. Chris Carson is certainly an elite running back when he’s healthy, but he’s finished every year of his pro career with an injury, and there’s no reason for that not to continue. Tyler Lockett was kept this year mostly because that guy didn’t have a great fourth option for his keepers. And, while Metcalf certainly looked phenomenal in his rookie season last year, he’s still young and still a member of this offense, that likes to spread the ball around more than just about any other.
Metcalf COULD be the next Julio Jones; he seems to be driven as such. But, in this offense, he’s very touchdown-dependant (and very deep play-dependant). You might see a lot of lines like: 4 catches for 88 yards and 2 TDs. Which, yeah, is 24.8 points in our league, but without those two touchdowns, you’re looking at 12.8 points (which is okay, but nothing to write home about, especially for the first receiver you’ve drafted). In my mind, Metcalf would’ve been an ideal third receiver for a fantasy team, so I was a little disappointed he went off the board before I’d even selected my first.
That brings us to the second round (I won’t go through all of them, I promise); with three RBs on my team, I knew I was going receiver, regardless. Thankfully, some great ones remained! Kenny Golladay ended up going one spot ahead of me, but I was okay with that, because it means I get to enjoy Odell Beckham Jr. for the first time in my fantasy career!
I don’t know how ODB fell to me, but I’ll take him! I mean, I sort of know how he fell to me: he plays for Cleveland. He’s a diva. He could score me 40 points … or he could get so mad, blow up, and retire in the middle of a football game. It’s all on the table! The headache and the constant worry can be a little much, and I get that. If he were my first draft selection, I’d be much more nervous; but, as a second? The pressure is off! I’ve already got the guy I’ll be looking to keep next year. Had I landed ODB back when he was on the Giants, I’d be looking at him with those same eyes, figuring I’d hold onto him for many years to come. But, this way? I see him as a one-year rental. A hired gun to help bring me a championship.
I went back to the WR well in round three. Two top receivers from the 2019 rookie class – Scary Terry McLaurin and A.J. Brown – were both sitting there (among many others, of course). Once again, my choice was made for me by the COVID Bubble Boys, as he nabbed Scary Terry. That was a tough one; I had him last year, and was looking to reinvest! The Washington Football Team is a disaster – and they’re starting with Dwayne Haskins at quarterback, which could be a shitshow – but Scary Terry is a rising star and could help make anyone throwing to him look good! So, I settled for A.J. Brown. Considering I thought he might’ve been a keeper at one point, I think that’s a pretty swell consolation prize. I’m not a believer in Ryan Tannehill, but I’m also willing to be wrong. If he – and the Titans – can recapture that magic from 2019, then A.J. Brown could be even BETTER than a #2 receiver.
A lot of other receivers were taken in that round, but I wanted to get one more just to be safe. So, with my fourth pick, I went with DeVante Parker. It was either him or Robert Woods or Michael Gallup (kinda wish I’d remembered he was out there and grabbed him instead) or Courtland Sutton. Parker has been around for a while, but had a breakout season last year; when he’s on, he’s a bona fide #1 guy. But, I think the risk with him is that he doesn’t totally buy in. That he’s more of a fair-weather football player. Plus, he plays for the Miami Dolphins, and they will likely be breaking in a rookie quarterback at some point this year. Look, I’m not expecting a lot out of Parker; I mostly just took him because Yahoo had him rated so high (and because I REALLY didn’t want to pick LeVeon Bell, who fell REALLY far in this draft because he’s old and on the Jets and it’s pretty apparent the current Jets coaching staff doesn’t like him much). If we look back at where I screwed up my season, I’ll be looking at this pick (and probably wishing I’d gone with Gallup).
With my two quarterbacks, three running backs, and three receivers, I took a couple chances on some guys who might not help me right away; “projects” or “developmental guys” if you will. Cam Akers, rookie running back for the Rams, was my fifth pick. I love a running back from an explosive offense! The Rams sent Todd Gurley packing, so that running back job is wide open. I don’t think Akers will start right away, but he could get the nod as the season wears on. If he proves himself, he could be either a valuable trade chip OR a stud for me in the fantasy playoffs.
Then, with my sixth pick, I grabbed receiver Deebo Samuel. He’s injured at the moment, but has just started practicing, and could come off of whatever injured list he’s on. No one figures he’ll play much in the first couple weeks, but if he heals properly, he could be another boost for me after the season gets going. The downside is, of course, that his injury is to his foot, and foot injuries for receivers are notoriously chronic. Part of me worries that he’ll be dealing with this foot thing all year, which won’t be enough to put him on the IR, but will hamper him JUST enough to be rendered ineffective. I suspect the minute I feel confident in starting him will be the game where he comes out in the first quarter with that foot injury, never to return again.
You’ll notice I have yet to mention selecting a tight end. What can I say? The good ones didn’t stick around, and I always saw a better receiver or running back when it was my turn to pick. Finally, I had to bite the bullet. There were a couple potentially-solid guys left over – Hayden Hurst for the Falcons went in the following round, and Hunter Henry for the Chargers went a round after THAT – but I opted to go with second year player Noah Fant for the Broncos. As a first round pick for Denver last year, CLEARLY Fant is someone they want to feature pretty heavily in their offense. Reports indicate they’re moving him all around pre-snap (from along the O-Line, to in the slot, to out wide like a receiver) and I take that as a VERY positive sign that he has a lot of fantasy upside. I know, Drew Lock is their quarterback, but even mediocre throwers still manage to find a tight end safety valve every now and then. I don’t ask a lot from my tight ends; just get me around ten points per week. Anything more than that is gravy. I have a feeling that I might be eating a lot of gravy this year with Fant in the fold.
With my eighth pick, it was time to buy a lottery ticket. Mecole Hardman, wide receiver with the Chiefs. He’s mostly just a big play wide receiver, but he has the best of the big play quarterbacks throwing to him! He’s also one Tyreek Hill injury away from being this team’s #1 guy (and, with the way Hill plays – always putting his body in harm’s way to make a play – that’s not much of a stretch for me to make).
Confident with the rest of my roster – from a skill position perspective, anyway – I decided to use my ninth pick to take the first kicker off the board: Harrison Butker, also of the Chiefs. Give me as many Chiefs as you got! My man Crazy N8’s Prostates bemoaned the pick – as he had the same idea – and he had to settle for Justin Tucker few picks later.
With two rounds left, I still needed a third quarterback and a defense. Yikes, I know. I was eyeballing a third quarterback as early as that DeVante Parker selection, but none of the leftovers really caught my eye. Down to the nitty gritty, there STILL wasn’t anyone who caught my eye; it came down to Teddy Bridgewater, Dwayne Haskins, Mitch Trubisky, and the guy I ended up going with: Sam Darnold of the Jets. Yeah, I know.
Trubisky was a hard pass, because his career is on the ropes, and I don’t know if he’ll still have the starting job by the time I need him (my starting QBs have BYEs in weeks 9 and 11, so it should be some time before I actually NEED a third guy). Of course, idiot that I am, I didn’t realize until the moment of this writing that Darnold ALSO has a BYE in week 11 (SIGH), but I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. Anyway, I ruled out Bridgewater because I don’t think he’s good, and that team he’s on has no one but an elite running back to throw to. I ruled out Haskins because he sucks and that team sucks. That’s not saying much, because I also think Darnold sucks (and the fantasy league would seem to agree, considering how far he fell) and the Jets suck, but I do believe Darnold has SOME upside. This will be his third year, after recovering from an injury-plagued start to his career. Love or hate his head coach, the guy at least has a reputation as someone who does well with quarterbacks. I don’t plan on starting Darnold unless absolutely necessary. But, if he proves – with improved play – that he’s viable, I may have to work him in (considering I can’t be totally sold on someone like Danny Dimes at this point in his development).
Regretfully, the New England defense went one spot before I picked Darnold; the Patriots were CARRIED by their defense last year, and by all accounts they should be good in 2020 as well (my only concern was not knowing who on their team has opted out of this season for COVID reasons). With my final pick, I went with the highest-rated defense remaining: the Indianapolis Colts. I don’t have a lot of confidence, but I fully expect there to be a good defense for me to grab on waivers at some point.
Yahoo graded me with a B+ which is good for middle-of-the-road in our league (5th in rankings). However, I’m projected for a second place finish in our league at the moment of this writing! I have the league’s youngest team once again, but I’m hoping it actually pays off this time.
More than anything, I’m hoping my team name proves prophetic. Nobody Beats The Wiz? I sure hope so! It couldn’t be any worse than that year I went as Mr. Poopy Butthole …
Really quick, let’s take a look at this week’s matchup. Nobody Beats The Wiz is facing off against the aforementioned Crazy N8’s Prostates. Here’s my lineup:
Wentz (QB) @ Was
Jones (QB) vs. Pit
ODB (WR) @ Bal
Brown (WR) @ Den
Jacobs (RB) @ Car
CEH (RB) vs. Hou
Fant (TE) vs. Ten
Elliott (RB) @ LAR
Butker (K) vs. Hou
Ind (DEF) @ Jax
Predictably, I’m expected to be carried by my running backs. I think Yahoo is under-projecting Wentz against a terrible Washington Football Team, but they might be over-hyping Indianapolis against the Jaguars, who won’t be good, but could still be a little frisky on offense. Crazy N8’s Prostates is projected to win our league this year, and is favored against me this week. Here’s his lineup:
Dak Prescott (QB) @ LAR
Josh Allen (QB) vs. NYJ
Allen Robinson (WR) @ Det
Keenan Allen (WR) @ Cin
James Conner (RB) @ NYG
Aaron Jones (RB) @ Min
Travis Kelce (TE) vs. Hou
Robert Woods (WR) vs. Dal
Justin Tucker (K) vs. Cle
San Francisco (DEF) vs. Ari
I have … a lot of concerns. I could see that Cowboys/Rams game being a shootout. I think Josh Allen is going to RAMPAGE over a terrible Jets defense. His receivers both have juicy matchups against mediocre secondaries. Kelce should thrive against the Texans. And, even the 49ers could come up with lots of turnovers in taking advantage of a Cardinals offense that’s pretty aggressive.
Thankfully, there’s so many unknowns at this point in the season. Even after the first week, it’s hard to draw any firm conclusions. I just need to ride the wave of anxiety and hope for the best. I think I have a pretty solid team from top to bottom. But, teams are rarely as good on paper as they end up being in real life. Who will be the great disappointers this year? I can hardly wait to find out!
Well, the keepers are set in place, and now I get to look forward to our draft this Friday. There were some minor surprises – and a couple big ones – so without further ado, let’s take a quick glance at how wrong I was about my projected keepers for the rest of the league:
Russell Wilson, Christian McCaffrey, Chris Godwin, Matt Ryan (all correct)
Dak Prescott, Josh Allen, James Conner, Travis Kelce (Odell Beckham Jr., Mark Ingram, and Keenan Allen all available to draft)
Deshaun Watson, George Kittle, Derrick Henry, Cam Newton (Aaron Jones)
Jared Goff, Drew Lock, DeAndre Hopkins, JuJu Smith-Schuster (A.J. Brown and Raheem Mostert)
Kyler Murray, Saquon Barkley, Michael Thomas, Joe Mixon (Mike Evans)
Aaron Rodgers, Nick Chubb, Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen (Amari Cooper)
Patrick Mahomes, Alvin Kamara, Davante Adams, Tyler Lockett (all correct)
Jimmy Garoppolo, Tyreek Hill, Gardner Minshew, Todd Gurley (Matthew Stafford)
Lamar Jackson, Julio Jones, Austin Ekeler, Kenyan Drake (Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold)
I remember being MUCH more successful in predicting my league’s keepers before last season, so I don’t know what that says about me or the state of the NFL right now, but it makes the upcoming draft more interesting!
Until I saw the actual keepers, I wasn’t too thrilled about my prospects as the guy with the #2 overall draft pick. It just seemed like there wouldn’t be anyone really dominating for me to select. BUT, I see two guys among the leftovers who are VERY exciting! Not just for 2020, but for many years to come potentially!
Of this group, Mike Evans and Aaron Jones are both VERY enticing to me. Either one of them could fall to me and I’d be ecstatic with whoever I get. I know I bemoaned Tom Brady’s noodle arm last week, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be interested in the weapons he has to throw to. For starters, Brady isn’t totally inept; he hasn’t fallen completely off the cliff just yet. While Mike Evans has been mostly a deep threat thus far in his career, he still has a ton of value as a red zone target, and should thrive with someone like Brady throwing jump balls his way. If, by the grace of all that is holy, both Evans and Jones were to fall to me, I’d have to go with Evans simply because the drop-off at receiver is so steep among him and the rest of the leftovers.
Odell Beckham Jr. is, of course, one of those leftovers. I can’t say that I agree with exposing him to the rest of the league while keeping someone like Josh Allen, but you know, there’s a reason why I haven’t won a league championship in the fantasy trophy era (2010-Present). I think the Cleveland Browns – and by extension, their players – are pretty underrated in 2020, after being so very OVER-rated heading into 2019, so there could be some good value in guys like ODB and Baker Mayfield. If I picked lower in the first round, I’d be over the moon if someone like ODB fell to me; someone is going to get an absolute steal.
Aaron Jones was one of the best running backs in all of football last year, at least from a fantasy perspective. So, it’s shocking to see him available. But, it’s telling that he is, because the owner who exposed him is also a lifelong Packers fan. If HE’S not keeping Aaron Jones, there must be a reason (he’s also the reigning league champion, but that’s in spite of him auto-drafting last year, as well as never checking his e-mail, so we’re all in agreement that this was a fluke, and if his wife weren’t cc’d on all league e-mails, we’d probably never hear from him again). I have to believe Aaron Jones still has a lot of value, though, so if Mike Evans goes to the guy drafting #1 overall, I’m okay with nabbing Jones, even though I’ve already kept two running backs. There’s still the FLEX spot, and there are only so many bona fide, workhorse running backs in the league, so you really can’t have too many.
That would, of course, necessitate my drafting wide receivers in both the second and third rounds (which might see me needing to reach for some lesser players, but that’s the price you pay, I guess).
As I stated before, I still haven’t done a ton of research heading into the draft, as my objective at this point is still to mostly go by what Yahoo tells me. But, to pique my curiosity, I checked the season projections and found some surprising guys among the leftovers.
Miles Sanders, running back for the Eagles, is rated VERY high. Even higher than Aaron Jones! I can’t remember the last time an Eagles running back was worth more than an in-season free agent pickup (probably Shady McCoy), because they so often are in a time-share with multiple backs. But, he’s been definitively named the starter by the head coach, which is saying a lot but also not saying anything at all. Why would the head coach be motivated to give away such news for free to the rest of the league? Also, there’s no saying he has to stick with that, if Sanders under-produces or gets hurt. Sanders was really good towards the end of last year though, so I think that’s where the hope lies.
Not ODB nor Mike Evans is the highest-ranked wide receiver remaining; that falls to Allen Robinson of the Bears. I don’t totally get that, but ESPN also has him ranked pretty high, so I guess I have to believe it. With Chicago’s quarterback situation being what it is, I don’t have ANY faith in any of their players, but if he somehow falls to the second round, I might have to take him anyway.
Kenny Golladay is also rated above ODB and Evans, and he seems like a safer pick. He has elite talent, and Matthew Stafford is healthy again. It’s looking highly likely that MANY wide receivers are going to fly off the board in the first three rounds of our draft, so I’ll be interested to see who I’m able to grab.
Mark Andrews, Zach Ertz, and Darren Waller are the three tight ends I’m looking at right now. Andrews is probably the only guy worth reaching for (maybe in the second or third round, if he’s still there), but if the draft doesn’t fall the way I want it to, I have no problem waiting until the end of the draft to pick up a tight end. There will be someone on waivers worth claiming in the first week or two of the regular season.
I need to resist the urge to get a third quarterback too early, but there are LOTS of veteran options out there (who I would anticipate get snapped up before I have a chance), including Drew Brees, Brady, Stafford, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, Kirk Cousins, Derek Carr, Ryan Tannehill, and Tyrod Taylor. There’s also Baker Mayfield, who still has a lot of potential to be great, as well as Darnold and Dwayne Haskins (who stunk last year, but is still young enough to turn it around). And then, of course, there are the rookies. The more I think about it, the less inclined I am to want to reach too early for any of them. I also wonder if Joe Burrow won’t be the first overall player taken in the draft, considering the guy picking there and how badly he’s been looking to shore up his QB spots. Having Lamar Jackson and Joe Burrow for the next generation might be too tantalizing to pass up.
I feel these sorts of weekends in my bones. It usually starts with the Huskies losing on Saturday. I wake up as hungover as can be on Sunday, there’s no Seahawks game, and I’m up against a buzzsaw in fantasy. In this case, I’d go on to lose in all four fantasy games I’m involved with, so I avoided watching football entirely (for Family Guy and Brooklyn Nine-Nine reruns in bed).
I kept track of the score on my phone for a while, but at some point it became too sadomasochistic to continue. Beasts, my opponent, started off his week with Russell Wilson going off for 40+ and Chris Carson beating expectations to get nearly 20. Then, he had Christian McCaffrey score almost 50, Matt Ryan in a shootout, Chris Godwin picking up all the slack for the Tampa offense, and for good measure Edelman and Boyd having huge days.
I, on the other hand, benched Josh Jacobs (almost 30) for David Montgomery (10) and Minshew (almost 30) for Dimes (12). Not that it would’ve mattered; Wentz, Hilton, and Waller were all mediocre, and I had absolutely no one in the realm of Beasts’ best guys.
I was crushed 253.66-150.05. I’d be complaining about my bad luck, but someone else in the league dropped 260 on the poor sap who’s still winless on the year. My defeat drops me to 2-3 and 7th in the league. I’m down to just the 6th-most points, but the 2nd-most points against (the last place team has the most points against at 950.65 and I’m at 940.77; the 3rd-most points against is only 793.14, to give you an idea how unlucky we’ve been).
What’s worse is that I’m setting myself up for another loss in week 6. I have a tight end and defense on BYE, with no backups to put in their place. Furthermore, Jacobs, Hilton, and Montgomery are all on BYE as well, which is a huge setback.
I’ve got Wentz at MIN and Minshew hosting the Saints; I fully expect two mediocre games from them (Dimes is at New England and is unstartable in this Thursday Night matchup). My Big 4 of Kupp, Tyreek Hill (looking on pace to return for the first time since Week 1), Zeke and Bell are all set to start for me, which is nice to finally have back. But, my FLEX is a little iffy with Scary Terry being my choice over Chris Thompson. They’re playing the Dolphins, so if there’s any time to load up on Redskins players, this might be the week, but with their coaching & quarterback shuffling, who the fuck knows? Can Justin Tucker score 30 points somehow?
My opponent – Crazy N8’s Prostates – will be fielding a full team. They’re, of course, better than me even when I’m at full strength, so I really expect to get killed for the second time in a row. He’s got Dak in a juicy matchup against the Jets, with Cousins in a potential shootout against the Eagles. He has Keenan Allen, ODB, and James Conner; with David Johnson, Ingram, and Kelce rounding out the offense. He could also toss Sammy Watkins into his FLEX if he so desires. And, since he actually has roster flexibility, he was able to grab Dallas’ defense off of the scrap heap, who figure to murder the Jets this weekend; it’s certainly risky to bench Sacksonville’s defense, but when you have a chance to field a defense going up against one of the worst teams in the league, you have to do it.
I’ve just gotta weather this storm and hope for better days in the second half of the regular season. There’s still a lot of time to get right, but I’m in desperate need of Carson Wentz to pick his game up. I also need to figure it out when it comes to Minshew vs. Jones; I somehow make the wrong decision every single week, even though I feel like my judgment is sound. Dimes didn’t have a great matchup last week, but Carolina’s defense to date had been murder on opposing quarterbacks. Maybe it just boils down to Minshew being the real deal and Dimes being a flash in the pan? I can’t help but feel I’m about to have the rug pulled out from under me; that I’m going to finally start Minshew and that’s the week he turns back into a pumpkin.
Regardless, if it wasn’t clear before, it’s all but assured I won’t get to enjoy a Top 2 finish to the regular season (and a first round playoff BYE). It’s hard enough to win ANY week in fantasy, but having to win three in a row during the playoffs is damn near impossible. This week, I’m going up against the last person in our league to do it (I think). Maybe I can get some of that magic to rub off on me.
The other hard truth I might have to face as the season progresses is that my team just isn’t very good this year. Maybe I’ve been spending too much time focusing on the future and not enough time on getting better in the short term. It certainly doesn’t help that I made Roethlisberger my first draft pick, that I got unlucky with Hill getting injured in week 1, and that I drafted T.Y. Hilton over Tyler Lockett, among many other disasterous decisions. This year is a learning experience. Of course, I could say that damn near every year, where I continue to remain off of the championship trophy entirely.
Usually, whenever I feel this strongly about an impending Seahawks defeat, one of two things usually happens in the game: either I’m right and the Seahawks lose, or I’m wrong and the Seahawks win. THIS IS THE HARD-HITTING ANALYSIS YOU COME HERE FOR!!!
Sure, every once in a while there’s a tie sprinkled in there, but you get the idea. One of three things.
This early in the season, we really don’t have a lot of knowledge about what the Seahawks are and what they’re going to be. All we REALLY have to go on is the one game, last week, where Andy Dalton of all people came into Seattle and threw for a billion yards. On the flipside, last week the Steelers went into New England and only scored 3 points. But, they’ve still got Ben Roethlisberger (inarguably better than Dalton), they’ve still got JuJu Smith-Schuster (inarguably better than any receiver on the Bengals), and they’ve still got James Conner (who helped the Steelers not miss a beat with Le’Veon Bell leaving town). That’s an offense, again, you have to believe is far and away superior to the Bengals. Plus, they’ll have the added advantage of being at home, so our defense won’t have the noise factor on their side.
If we gave up 418 yards to Dalton last week, with all the noise and everything else, what’s the ceiling for Roethlisberger? I can’t stress this enough, that noise is critical to what we do in our pass rush; without it, I don’t think we’ll touch him. Which is terrible news, because aside from our improved run defense, that’s the only thing we’ve got going for us. Our secondary hasn’t improved at all in the last week (unless you think signing a veteran nickel defender off the scrap heap will suddenly turn this sinking ship around), and you could argue it’s actually gotten worse if Lano Hill starts (I wouldn’t make that argument, because I’d take literally anyone over Tedric Thompson, but if you want to make that argument, I won’t stop you).
I will say this, for the Seahawks: I think our offense will look better. It would pretty much have to, though. It’s hard to look a whole lot worse, so long as you wipe 2017 from your memory. I do NOT think the Seahawks will get blown out, because they rarely do. Then again, I’m also not totally leaving that option off the table. If the Steelers jump out to a big early lead by 14 or 21 points in the first half, we could definitely see more sacks and turnovers in the second half than we’d like. I believe the Steelers have a MUCH better defense than last week would indicate. They’ve got great players at every level.
They’re also not a team we see very often. The Seahawks have lost on the road to an AFC team almost every single year since Pete Carroll has gotten here. Generally, the games are more high scoring than you’d like, and the Seahawks even look semi-competent at times. But, the defense ends up letting us down in these games, and I have no reason to believe that won’t happen again this week.
Look, I hope I’m wrong! But, it’s gonna take 30+ points to go into Pittsburgh and win this thing, and I just don’t think we’re there yet. That’s fine! It’s not the end of the world! Road AFC games are the least important games on our schedule; it’s MUCH more important to come back home next week and take out the Saints. We were always going to lose one of these two games, and I’m officially on record as hoping we lose this week and win the next.
And not just because I have a bunch of Steelers on my various fantasy teams.
That’s right, I lost yet again to Korky Butchek, albeit narrowly, 154.40 to 149.45. I had good games out of my QB’s (Wentz & Winston) as well as Elliott and Woods; but Tyreek Hill did nothing, Greg Olsen got hurt and is out for the rest of the season, and my Chicago defense royally shit the bed. My opponent, meanwhile, got nothing out of his QB’s (Stafford & Goff) and had a paltry game out of Mark Ingram. But, Antonio Brown killed it, the Seahawks defense dominated, and Zach Ertz did just enough to counter-balance my Philly quarterback going on Monday Night to fend me off.
Luckily, the guy I was fighting for that 6th and final playoff spot who had the same record as me also lost. That game was pretty well decided before we even got to the Sunday Night game, so I had that going for me.
So, I’m 5-8. I’m 3rd in total points scored, and 2nd in most points scored against. It is what it is. The bottom line is I got into the playoffs, and it all starts over from here.
If I had won, I would’ve jumped up to the 5th seed, playing the 4-seed in the first round. We’ll see what happens this week, but that’s yet another thing I can bitch about if things don’t go my way. Also, if I’d won, I would’ve knocked Korky Butchek out of the 2-seed (top two seeds get a first round BYE). Instead, I’m the 6th seed, playing the team I would’ve bumped up to #2 had I won. He’s obviously not pleased with me.
That team: Crazy N8’s Prostates. That’s right, a third contest with the team that so far has beaten me twice by a combined 7 points. He’s the team who won my way into the playoffs by beating my closest rival for the 6th seed, so obviously I’m pretty happy with this fella! He’s already lost Alex Smith for the year, and now he’s down Colt McCoy as well. I don’t know who he’ll play as his second QB this week, but he’s got options (albeit, not great ones).
First, here’s my lineup:
QB1 – Jameis Winston vs. NO
QB2 – Derek Carr vs. PIT
WR1 – Tyreek Hill vs. BAL
WR2 – Adam Thielen @ SEA
RB1 – Ezekiel Elliott vs. PHI
RB2 – Chris Carson vs. MIN
TE – Jimmy Graham vs. ATL
FLEX – Robert Woods @ CHI
K – Matt Bryant @ GB
DEF – New York @ WAS
My bench is: Wentz, Peterson, Boyd, Adams, Chicago, Bell (IR).
I put in a claim for the Steelers’ backup running back, but of course I didn’t get it. What’s worse, the ninnies with the highest waiver priority didn’t claim him either. Which means Crazy N8’s Prostates – who suffered the devastating loss of James Conner – now gets to slide his backup right into his lineup and not skip a beat. Great.
I did end up nabbing Jimmy Graham as my tight end. I don’t feel super confident about that – because I’m a Seahawks fan, and I’ve seen what he brings to the table – but at this point I have to go for upside. Jordan Reed with Mark Sanchez throwing to him isn’t exciting. Austin Hooper is, like, Atlanta’s 4th or 5th option offensively. And the rest is downhill from there. All told, Graham should hopefully be okay.
And, I tried to stick to Chicago each and every week as my defense, hoping that maybe they’ll get just enough sacks or something to help me out and get me SOME points. But, I’ve been burned against the better offenses. I put them in against New England and I’m pretty sure that’s why I lost that week. It seems like, if they’re not scoring touchdowns, they’re not doing anything for me; now, it speaks volumes that they’ve scored as many TDs as they have this year, but I just can’t throw them out there against the Rams. I WANTED the Chargers – who host Cincinnati this week – but some guy who didn’t even need them used his high waiver priority on them over that Steelers’ backup running back, so I’m putting the blame (if I lose) squarely on that guy! I don’t love the Giants’ defense, but I hate Washington’s offense, so I’m hoping for a miracle. Any time you stream a defense that’s on the road, you’re just asking for trouble.
As far as matchups go for my guys, these are about as bad as they get. The Cowboys and Saints both have terrific defenses. Meanwhile, the Steelers aren’t great. Considering the tear the Cowboys are on, I’ve got to go with the higher-upside plays over my keeper in Wentz. It’s more likely Winston and Carr will be involved in shootouts; whereas the Eagles/Cowboys game is likely to be a grind-it-out affair.
Things don’t get better for my team from there. Baltimore’s defense is one of the best in the league, the Vikings have to go to Seattle on Monday Night, and I could see the Bears shutting down Robert Woods. I need to hope for crazy miracles up and down my roster or I’m toast.
I’m just a mess of a human being. I went into Monday Night trailing TheGangUnderperforms by a score of 140.75 to 124.75. I was absolutely ROLLING during the morning games on Sunday. At one point, I was projected as a 90% favorite to win the week. Sure, a few of my guys were doing okay, but my heavy hitters were yet to come, and more importantly HIS guys were shitting the bed! Ben Roethlisberger was at negative points until late in that game against the Jags; Mariota ended his day with less than 2 points total. Then, that same shit in the bed started hitting the fan.
Predictably, TheGangUnderperforms picked up a tight end to play in Gronk’s place before Sunday. He ended up picking up Vance McDonald for the Steelers, who MIRACULOUSLY caught a touchdown. Because of course he did. He only did that because he was going up against my team!!! That was double-touchdowns because, obviously, Roethlisberger was the one who threw it. Things went downhill as the Steelers’ fortunes continued to soar. Instead of handing off to James Conner at the goalline, Roethlisberger ran in the winning touchdown just to FUCKING spite me!
Anyway, unpredictably, TheGangUnderperforms snuck Doug Baldwin into his lineup before the Thursday game. He benched Kenny Golladay, which was the good news, but still, Doug had easily his best fantasy game of the season – again – because he was going up against me.
So, there I was, Monday Night. I had Tyreek Hill, Robert Woods, and a 16-point deficit; he had Kareem Hunt and the aforementioned lead. It was the Chiefs at the Rams, easily the most hyped matchup in the history of regular season football. This was a fantasy boon the likes of which we’ve never seen. So many games were on the line! So many high-scoring players were in the middle of the action!
And I couldn’t bring myself to watch one single second of it. Literally the greatest offensive shootout in the history of the NFL – the first time two teams scored over 50 points in the same game – and I was hiding in my room, watching old reruns of The Monkees and Get Smart.
This is what Fantasy Football has brought me to! It’s literally ruining my life! But, in my crazy, fucked-up brain, I needed to NOT watch to win my fantasy game. I went to bed not knowing the result – of either the Rams/Chiefs or TheGangUnderperforms/King Flippy Nips – and I woke up at 4am to immediately hop on my computer to check the results.
Sure, I was disappointed I didn’t see the Best Game Ever, but I won. DAMMIT, I WON! 186.33 to 160.85!
Blessings to Tyreek Hill, who got me over 44 points. Tidings of love and joy to Zeke Elliott who got me over 33. Kudos to Dalton and Chicago for getting over 20. And a bigtime FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU to Carson Wentz, who finished with -3.60, and single-handedly was the reason why I couldn’t bring myself to watch the game on Monday. Had he done what he was supposed to, I would’ve had a comfortable lead heading into Monday, and my night would’ve been more enjoyable for it.
To think, a friend of mine on Saturday said he wasn’t sure if Carson Wentz would eventually turn into Drew Brees or Ryan Tannehill (to which I replied, “Oh, he’s WAY better than Ryan Tannehill!” … yeah, except Tannehill didn’t even play this weekend and would’ve gotten me more points).
Anyway, here I am. 5-6 in the standings. I leapfrogged TheGangUnderperforms to get into 5th place. I am still comfortably 3rd in total points, and still 2nd in total points against. That’s the good news, if you can call it good news.
The bad news is I have 2 games to go, and I need help (in more ways than one). Two of the bottom-feeders won last week in upsets. That puts them both at 4-7. Those two teams – as chance would have it – play one another THIS week, meaning one of them is guaranteed to be 5-7 heading into the final week of the regular season. As you’ll see below, I’m going up against the #1 team (in record, #2 in total points by a large margin over me) and I’ll be projected to lose. Assuming I do lose, that will drop me to 5-7 and in a tie with one of those bottom-dwelling teams. In the final week of the regular season, my opponent is the #2 team (in record, #1 in total points by a large margin over me); I will be projected to lose that game as well. The aforementioned bottom-feeders will have very winnable games that week, so I’m in a real pickle. Without getting too much further into the weeds, I’ll need certain teams to lose a lot the rest of the way …
Or, I’m effectively in if I can just get an upset win in one of the next two weeks.
Yeah, I’m screwed.
Just one minor move this week. I swapped Matt Prater out and brought in Matt Bryant. I don’t love any offensive player going up against the Saints right now – as they’re just STEAMROLLING people left and right – but I think the Falcons will move the ball a little bit. My big concern is that the Saints get up by such a big score that the Falcons will have to go for nothing but touchdowns all game. I could’ve legitimately put a zero in my lineup this week; regardless, going forward I like Bryant and that Falcons offense more than Prater and the Lions right now.
Here’s this week’s lineup:
QB1 – Carson Wentz vs. NYG
QB2 – Jameis Winston vs. SF
WR1 – Adam Thielen vs. GB
WR2 – Tyler Boyd vs. CLE
RB1 – Ezekiel Elliott vs. WAS
RB2 – Adrian Peterson @ DAL
TE – Greg Olsen vs. SEA
FLEX – Chris Carson @ CAR
K – Matt Bryant @ NO
DEF – Chicago @ DET
My bench is: Dalton, Carr, Hill (BYE), Woods (BYE), Brown (BYE), Bell (IR).
I like Andy Dalton at home against Cleveland – and I think it’s highly possible he goes off against them – but I also think the Browns’ defense is a little underrated, and they could force him to look a little mediocre. I think with Winston (first of all, I need to get SOME sort of value out of that Le’Veon Bell trade, even if I’m shoe-horning it in this fashion), the Bucs have nothing to lose, so they’re going to let it rip. I could see that game being super high scoring, because the Bucs’ defense is the worst in football, so as per usual they’re going to be throwing the ball a lot. With Winston, you accept there are going to be turnovers. The hope is that he’ll also rack up the TDs and yards to outweigh all the shittiness. Also, who knows, maybe with his career on the line, he steps up and blows the league away. Bottom line is the upside is higher with Winston over Dalton, while the floor is essentially the same (both of them could throw tons of picks and blow it for me). Beyond that, with the BYEs what they are, my lineup choices are essentially made for me.
My opponent this week is Space Forcin’. You may recall he’s the guy who kept Mahomes, Rivers, and Kamara from last year, so he’s obviously pretty fucking stacked. You may also recall that at full strength, he beat my ass by almost 30 points back in Week 3.
Well, I’ve got some good news and some bad news. The good news is Mahomes is on BYE this week. The bad news is that his team is still really fucking stacked and I pretty much have no chance of winning.
I can only make an educated guess at this point as to who Space Forcin’ will put in his lineup, as everyone apparently likes to wait until the last minute to make a fucking decision:
QB1 – Philip Rivers vs. ARI
QB2 – Joe Flacco vs. OAK
WR1 – Davante Adams @ MIN
WR2 – JuJu Smith-Schuster @ DEN
RB1 – Alvin Kamara vs. ATL
RB2 – Marlon Mack vs. MIA
TE – George Kittle @ TB
FLEX – Aaron Jones @ MIN
K – Wil Lutz vs. ATL
DEF – Philadelphia vs. NYG
His bench is: Mahomes (BYE), C.J. Beathard, Miami, Austin Hooper, Duke Johnson.
Joe Flacco against the Raiders would normally be as juicy of a matchup as you can get on a team this stacked. But, his injury status is looking iffy. I texted Space Forcin’ to try to get a sense of what his plan is. Frankly, the QBs on the free agent scrap heap are nothing to write home about. Tannehill is starting this week, so that rules out Osweiler. Colt McCoy is probably the best bet of the bunch to at least get points, but someone with a higher waiver priority just made a claim on him. He has Beathard now, but that’s probably a hail mary of an option, in the hopes that Nick Mullens goes down with injury or otherwise gets benched. The only guy left in free agency is Taysom Hill, the backup for the Saints who runs a few gadget plays per game.
Could I have dropped Derek Carr this week, now that I’m holding 4 healthy quarterbacks on my roster? I absolutely could have, but why should I help the best team in the league when I don’t have to? He’s got enough. Let me try to get mine.
As it stands, even with just 1 QB starting, he probably has more than enough to beat me. Rivers is more than capable of shredding the Cards, Adams will be a focal point in a must-win game against the Vikings, Kamara might lead the league in non-quarterback points this week in a shootout against the Falcons, and so on and so forth. Meanwhile, without Hill and Woods, the upside for my team takes a significant hit, as I’m forced to start both Chris Carson AND Adrian Peterson. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy!
I mean, last week was just a trainwreck. Beasts beat up on King Flippy Nips 202.40 to 133.30. There was nothing I could do! If you thought Carr’s 9.05 on Thursday night was bad, wait til you get a load of Sam Darnold’s -4.55! Every skill guy except for Greg Olsen underperformed. My Chicago defense was always going to be my best thing going – and that proved true at a whopping 41.00 points – but even they were undercut by my opponent’s defense (Minnesota) and their 35.00. Just unreal.
I’m officially demoralized. I STILL have the 3rd most points scored, but I’m in 5th place with a 4-5 record (I’m up to the 2nd most points scored against). Thankfully, this league allows 6 teams into the playoffs, because my only hope is to sneak in as one of the last ones in, but even that is looking grim.
I have 4 games left in the regular season. 3 of the 4 are against the top 3 teams in the league, record-wise (including the top 2 scoring teams, and the #4 scoring team). The one “push-over” (if you want to call him that) is TheGangUnderperforms, who (with my luck) will probably see a return of Le’Veon Bell by the time I play him. His team is actually really good, and having Bell around will only further cement my demise, as he shares my 4-5 record and is only behind me because of total points.
So, odds are, I’m going to need a TON of help. The biggest help of them all would be just winning some fucking games, but I can’t see that happening any time soon.
One way to get that help is to make some drastic moves. As chance would have it, TheGangUnderperforms – being in my same boat – is equally as desperate to shake things up. So, just ahead of this week’s trade deadline, we did the following:
I traded away:
He traded away:
So, the worst-case scenario in all this is we swapped two useless quarterbacks, two running backs who can’t/won’t stay on the field, and two equally-disappointing wide receivers. But, I figure his rationale is he wants Darnold as a potential keeper (assuming Darnold makes The Leap in year 2), Fournette is a stud when he’s healthy, and Golladay might turn out to be a real boss (particularly with Golden Tate off the team).
My rationale is: I figure Winston will get his job back eventually (and throwing a ton of picks per game or not, he still gets a lot of fantasy points), Tyler Boyd is a solid receiver who is a great fill-in this week and a good FLEX option going forward, and if Le’Veon Bell ever decides to come back, he could be a champion-maker (or, if nothing else, he’s a solid keeper option for 2019).
All the risk is on my end. TheGangUnderperforms really doesn’t have a lot to lose at this point, because holding onto a Le’Veon Bell who doesn’t play this year isn’t going to help his playoff chances. Sam Darnold is and always was potential keeper fodder for a guy desperately looking for a quality quarterback going foreward. And, if Fournette returns to form and keeps from getting injured the rest of the way, could be a real game-changer in the fantasy playoffs.
I haven’t seen a lot of Boyd, but I think Golladay is the more-talented guy, in a more passer-friendly offense, and has a higher upside to be a true #1 (whereas Boyd will always be second fiddle as long as A.J. Green is around, and when he’s not around, then Boyd will be drawing the opposing team’s #1 cornerback). Bell is a better fantasy back than Fournette, but he might not play at all this year (and even if he does, he’ll likely be in some fucked up timeshare). And, the quarterbacks don’t matter because I have Wentz and Dalton; I’m just hanging onto Winston as a potential backup/injury replacement.
If you look at this trade from a perspective of just the 2018 season, it feels like a wash right now, with a lot of variables left to play out. We won’t know the true effect on this season until it’s over. If you look at it from a keeper perspective, then yeah, Le’Veon Bell is the prize pig in this thing; I was never in a million years going to keep Darnold, because I already have a QB I like in Wentz, and I highly doubt he’s going to look even remotely promising between now and the end of the year. But, of course, our league could choose to vote keepers out next year, at which point I did all this for nothing. So, yeah, good talk.
Here’s this week’s lineup:
QB1 – Carson Wentz vs. DAL
QB2 – Andy Dalton vs. NO
WR1 – Tyreek Hill vs. ARI
WR2 – Robert Woods vs. SEA
RB1 – Ezekiel Elliott @ PHI
RB2 – Adrian Peterson @ TB
TE – Greg Olsen @ PIT
FLEX – Tyler Boyd vs. NO
K – Matt Prater @ CHI
DEF – Chicago vs. DET
My bench is: Thielen (BYE), Carr, Bell, Carson, Winston, Devonta Freeman (IR).
I keep telling people how frustrating this year is, and that “I like my team,” but that’s starting to not be so true anymore. I DON’T like this team! It’s underperforming like a mofo! Hence my willingness to do this blockbuster deal. I have bad matchups every week, I’m playing the league’s toughest schedule, everything is fucked and I fucking hate fantasy football.
This week’s huge embarrassing failure will be at the hands of my Week 1 opponent, Crazy N8’s Prostates. You may recall he beat me by less than 3 points because Derek Carr is a fucking piece of shit (but, I’m the guy who’s kept him on my roster all year long, so who’s REALLY the fucking piece of shit in this scenario?). He’s got some decent players on BYE, but what does that mean? Nothing means anything! Here you go:
QB1 – Alex Smith @ TB
QB2 – Josh Rosen @ KC
WR1 – Keenan Allen @ OAK
WR2 – Odell Beckham Jr. @ SF
RB1 – James Conner vs. CAR
RB2 – David Johnson @ KC
TE – Travis Kelce vs. ARI
FLEX – Chris Thompson @ TB Marquez Valdes-Scantling vs. MIA
K – Greg Zuerlein vs. SEA
DEF – Green Bay vs. MIA
His bench is: Cousins (BYE), Courtland Sutton (BYE) Chris Thompson, Latavius Murray (BYE), Dez Bryant, Baltimore (BYE).
I see a lot of direct conflicts again between his guys and mine. If the Redskins keep up or beat the Bucs, then Adrian Peterson will likely do well. If they stink and have to throw to come back, then Alex Smith and Chris Thompson will likely dominate. He has all the great matchups you could ever want: Travis Kelce, who will surely poach all the TDs away from Tyreek Hill; the two Arizona guys going up against Kansas City’s nothing defense; Keenan Allen going up against the Raiders’ nothing defense; and ODB going up against the 49ers’ nothing defense. Zuerlein is going to make a minimum of three 50-yard field goals to spite me (as I’m sure Robert Woods will go scoreless yet again). I wish I was fucking dead.
I’m predicting a comfortable defeat this week. One of my quarterbacks will shit the bed, my skill guys will continue to disappoint, and I’m sure the Lions’ offense will just shred the Bears’ defense (and me without my Golladay to boot!).
THURSDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Crazy N8’s Prostates is trying to make a mockery of my weekly blogging about my fantasy team by making post-Thursday morning roster moves. Courtland Sutton hits the waiver wire, and Green Bay’s new #2 receiver hits the FLEX thanks to a Chris Thompson injury (ruled out this week, which gives me more hope for Adrian Peterson).