Worst-Kept Secret: The Broncos Are Cutting Russell Wilson

There’s no doubt about it: the Seahawks won the Russell Wilson trade with the Broncos. If you ONLY count the players involved, we’re talking about the two worst seasons in Wilson’s career, and a 4th round defensive lineman who underwhelmed as a rookie and was suspended for gambling in year two. That was the haul for Denver.

The Seahawks, meanwhile, got something of a mixed bag in return, but still unquestionably the better of the situation.

On the plus side, we got to draft Devon Witherspoon, who looks like a potential star in this league. We also got a starting left tackle in Charles Cross, and a likely starting outside linebacker in Boye Mafe. Mafe had 3 sacks as a rookie, and made the leap to 9 sacks in year two, looking like a very promising pass rusher.

In the middle, we got two very competent seasons out of tight end Noah Fant and we had a somewhat capable backup quarterback in Drew Lock. Both are free agents at the moment, so we’ll see if the team opts to bring either of them back.

On the down side, we got one so-so season out of Shelby Harris before cutting him (this was a season where our run defense was extremely poor), we have sort of a wild card in outside linebacker Derick Hall (who didn’t seem to develop like people had hoped as his rookie season wore on), and we drafted Tyreke Smith in the 5th round in 2022 (who spent his entire rookie seaon injured, and his entire second season on the practice squad before being claimed by the Cardinals in December).

Like I said: a bit of a mixed bag. But, the three “hits” obviously outweigh all the misses down below, and you’re not going to be 100% on moves like this. Frankly, this outcome is probably as good as we could’ve hoped for.

Where the almighty bullet was dodged, however, is avoiding the long-term ramifications of choosing Russell Wilson over Pete Carroll and/or John Schneider.

As always, it’s not totally black and white. Obviously, Pete Carroll isn’t here anymore after two 9-win seasons sans Wilson. BUT, also obviously, the Seahawks don’t have to reckon with a 5-year, $242.6 million contract that is just kicking in THIS YEAR, which boggles the mind. In 2023, Wilson’s Seahawks contract just ran out, which is absurd to think about. A guy who was so highly coveted, couldn’t even make it to Year One of his new deal.

That’s $85 million in dead money, spread out over 2024 and 2025. The Broncos had a brand new regime in 2022, then fired everyone for Sean Payton in 2023. Presumably, Payton will have something of a longer leash to try to turn things around, but it seems like the next two years are going to be a challenge. It’s hard to really try to bottom out and still keep your job, but also that’s probably what’s necessary (trade players for draft picks, go with a super youth movement, then try to bounce back in 2026 in free agency).

Can you imagine what the Seahawks would be doing right now, with that kind of Russell Wilson contract on the books? For starters, I don’t know if we’d be talking about cutting him and eating that kind of dead money. It’s interesting to imagine where this team would be – and what we might’ve accomplished the last two years – with Wilson still in the fold. Considering our shabby draft positioning thanks to the Jamal Adams trade, I have to believe we would’ve been considerably worse the last two years!

Now, the questions are: where will Russell Wilson end up next, and will he be able to resuscitate his career?

There are plenty of dimwits who wonder if the Seahawks might bring him back. He is, after all, poised to earn the veteran minimum (thanks to offsets built into his Broncos deal; any new money paid to him only helps his former team). But, why would the Seahawks put themselves through that? Geno Smith hasn’t been a world-beater the last two years, but he’s still been better than Russell Wilson. And I’m sure that Wilson would prefer to go somewhere with a more-established offensive identity (rather than the Seahawks, who are breaking in a lot of young/first-time NFL coaches).

I would find it extremely curious what the Vikings end up doing, particularly if Kirk Cousins moves on to Atlanta or wherever. The Vikings have two terrific wide receivers who can go get deep balls, and a top-tier offensive line that should be able to accommodate Wilson’s lack of mobility. Paying a guy like Wilson the minimum might help them offset the cost of extending Justin Jefferson for what is sure to be the highest wide receiver contract in NFL history.

Regardless of where Wilson ends up, it’s fascinating to see how the narrative has shifted. In the beginning of his Seahawks tenure, he was just a game manager behind an elite run game and defense. As time went on, and he used his magic to pull our asses out of more and more fires, Wilson was properly rated as among the best quarterbacks in the game. Then, as the Seahawks stagnated later in his tenure here, it was the coaching staff and offensive scheme that was holding him back, until he finally forced his way out. Then, in his first year in Denver, Wilson’s struggles were chocked up to Nathaniel Hackett and his poor performance as the head coach. When even the great Sean Payton couldn’t change Wilson’s fortunes, it was time for everyone to admit that maybe Wilson was cooked, and the Seahawks were never to blame for his inability to get over the hump into a proper MVP conversation.

But, does anyone really have to be to blame?

Wilson’s last truly great year was in 2020. But, even then, you could see the writing on the wall. That Seahawks team ended up winning the NFC West, which was nothing new for Russell Wilson in his time here. But, in the L.O.B. days, Wilson was the perfect complement for an elite defense. In the immediate post-L.O.B. days, Wilson ended up compensating for a lot of holes elsewhere on the roster. But, by 2020, those holes weren’t quite as dramatic. And, Wilson was actually starting to be more of the problem than the solution. He threw 8 of his 13 interceptions in our four regular season losses (13 INTs being the most for him in any one season), and added one more for good measure in our playoff loss at home to the Rams. He mopped the floor with the league through five games, then suffered a massive mid-season lull (costing us 3 of 4) before having the reins pulled back by season’s end. The home playoff defeat should have been his final go in Seattle, but we stuck with him for one more year before pulling the trigger with the Broncos.

This is what happens. Quarterbacks age, and eventually they play themselves out of the league. As it turns out, given Wilson’s limitations, he probably was never destined to play into his 40’s like he’d hoped. I’m not ready to say his time has come to an end in the NFL, because I’d like to see what he’s still capable of with a competent coaching staff who actually WANTS him on their team. I think he’s still accurate enough – and has a strong-enough arm – to bounce back and be a productive mid-tier QB. But, an MVP is out of the question, and I’m guessing so is another Super Bowl appearance.

Other than the Vikings, I wonder what he’d look like in a Browns uniform. Could he also compete for a job with the Giants? And what if the Falcons pass on Cousins? There’s a lot of talent down in ATL, that’s going to make some veteran quarterback’s job pretty easy.

I feel like his worst-case scenario is going to Tennessee or Vegas. The Titans are truly bottom-of-the-barrel talent-wise, and the Raiders seem fairly unstable at the moment (I don’t know if I believe they’re going to commit to their erstwhile interim head coach longterm). After that, it’s probably settling for any number of backup jobs.

As for my personal feelings on the matter, I think I’m coming around again. When he was with Denver, I was all too happy to root against him. I wasn’t thrilled with the way things ended in Seattle, and his personality quirks started to rub me the wrong way. But, now that he’s a free agent, I’m still happy to laugh at the Broncos’ misfortunes, but I’m also starting to feel sorry for Russ. For all his faults, he’s still a good-enough guy, and he did play during our greatest era of Seahawks football. There are still so many wonderful memories with him behind center.

I’m rooting for the Russell Wilson comeback! It won’t be in Seattle, but that’s okay. He can’t hurt us anymore.

Nobody Wants To Hear About My Fantasy Team 2023: Blitzed In The Finals

My Splinter League team – The Annexation Of Puerto Rico – lost to 50 Shades Of Gritty in the finals, 188.56 to 168.37. She had CeeDee Lamb and D.J. Moore going, which is really all you need to know. My team was good, but it was outclassed in this one. Really, she deserved to win; her team showed up and blew the doors off in both playoff games.

Last week was also disappointing because in my third league, I lost in the Consolation Bracket Finals, which may or may not have determined who gets the #1 pick next year. It was another instance where my team was good, but as fate would have it, I was going up against the team who’d have the very best game. 164.14 for Me So Zorny to 142.98 for RUM HAM! Considering my team averaged 95 points per game, I’d say I really did a number on those Consolation Bracket playoffs, but alas, it wasn’t enough.

So, that’s another fantasy season in the books. Regarding my main Dynasty League team, Sloane N Steady is our champion. He beat me in the first round of the playoffs – thanks to my stupid tinkering – so the two dudes who lost to him have me to thank. In following along, if I had NOT tinkered and actually won my first playoff game, I still would have lost the following week. But, there’s a very good chance I would’ve ended up in 3rd place overall, which would’ve been my best finish in this league in the Trophy Era, if I’m not mistaken. I don’t know how to receive this information. My team is good, but I’m also an idiot, I guess is the main takeaway.

Now, we head into the long offseason. At some point, we’ll have a post-season meeting to exchange the trophy and various monies, set a draft date, a keeper date, and have a pre-season meeting to discuss new rules/business. Assuming everything stays relatively the same, I’ve got a dynasty team to plan for.

The way we have it set up, you keep a starting roster, and re-draft your bench. Here’s who I’ve got to choose from:

Quarterbacks

  • Jordan Love
  • Justin Fields

I’m locked into these two, after dragging Bryce Young’s carcass across the entire season. Love ended up as the 6th-highest scoring QB in our league, ahead of Patrick Mahomes no less! By a good margin! Justin Fields ended up 18th, but he also missed all or parts of 5 games with injury. I’m happy with these two guys, but I’m also going to draft another young QB relatively early next year, likely with my 5th overall pick.

Love looks like he’ll be the guy in Green Bay for a good, long while. I’ll be interested in what the Bears end up doing with Fields. They have the #1 pick, and if it were me, I’d be on them to draft Caleb Williams. That being said, you can’t deny Fields has looked light years better as a passer this season, to go along with his elite running abilities. My guess is they keep Fields, trade down, compile a ton of picks, and see if they can make it work. Either way, I’m going to need Fields to stay healthy if I want my team to go anywhere next year.

Running Backs

  • Tony Pollard
  • Kyren Williams
  • Kenneth Walker
  • Zach Charbonnet
  • Ty Chandler

At this point, I’m leaning towards keeping Pollard, Williams, and Walker. But, obviously, a lot can change between now and the time I have to formally declare my keepers. Williams finished as the 5th highest scoring RB, and that’s after missing FOUR games! He’s a lock, for sure. Walker is just special, and feels like another lock for me (I’ll try to re-draft Charbonnet to have that handcuff again next year). My goal is to keep three RBs, since they’re usually so injury-prone. So, that would likely mean Pollard is back (he finished a disappointing 15th among RBs), but I can’t force it. I’ve got some REALLY interesting wide receivers to pick from, and even though they generally are easier to pick up in the draft, I might be better served keeping my FLEX from that pile.

We’ll see how the offseason goes. Ty Chandler is only a possibility if he gets a MASSIVE vote of confidence this offseason, works his tail off, and looks special in pre-season. Otherwise, I don’t know if I can trust the Vikings’ run game. I’ll also be curious to see what the Cowboys do in the draft; it wouldn’t shock me if they took a RB relatively high to compete against Pollard. Either way, this feels like the last time I keep Pollard; hopefully it isn’t the last time I keep a Cowboys RB.

Wide Receivers

  • CeeDee Lamb
  • Rashee Rice
  • Tank Dell
  • Jordan Addison
  • Drake London

Right off the bat, Lamb is a lock. He finished comfortably as the #1 scoring WR in the league. The only other guy on my team to finish in the Top 25 is Rice, who was 21st. I will say, for what it’s worth, that D.K. Metcalf only finished 19th, so it’s not like it was super-dumb of me to not keep him from last year. That being said, Christian Watson … let’s move on.

At the moment, it comes down to Rice and Dell. Assuming Dell comes back with no reported issues, it’s actually an interesting argument. Rice has been coming on in that Chiefs offense, but it’s still unclear whether or not they fully trust him to be the #1 guy behind Kelce. My concern is that his fate is being a solid possession receiver, but he never makes the leap to a true top dog. Either way, he’s got the best QB situation of all my guys. But, Dell is no slouch. He seems special, he got off to a fast start, but clearly there’s an injury concern I have to deal with. Dell is also undersized, but he seems to have incorporated himself into that offense a lot more. I’ll have to monitor both closely.

As for Addison and London, it all depends on who their respective teams bring in at QB. If they have bums throwing to them, then they’re going back on the scrap heap. Addison is at a further disadvantage since Justin Jefferson is also on his team and commanding lots of targets. London is someone I’m rooting for to find a competent thrower, as he really seems like he has an elite skillset. He could be another Mike Evans, if he just had the right guy getting him the ball.

Tight Ends

  • T.J. Hockenson
  • Trey McBride

One of the best moves I made late in the year was to pick up McBride as a free agent. It looks even smarter now that Hockenson has gotten hurt, and may not make it back in time to start the regular season. I have the 3rd and 8th highest scoring tight ends (and Hockenson might’ve been 2nd or 1st if he didn’t get hurt). McBride’s standing is even more impressive when you consider he was playing behind Zach Ertz and was hardly utilized for half the season. I’m leaning towards McBride given his youth and health, but it’s been a wonderful experience having Hockenson around.

Kicker

  • Dustin Hopkins

He finished 5th among kickers. That being said, I’ll almost certainly be looking for a replacement next year. For what it’s worth, Evan McPherson finished 14th, so that just goes to show you what you can do in kicker free agency. It’s always kind of a crapshoot.

Defense

  • N.Y. Jets

Sadly, we finished 10th. I blame injuries, I blame bad luck, and I mostly blame a stinker of an offense that kept giving opponents short fields. Regardless, not quite the juggernaut I was hoping for. We’ll see what shakes out next year, but … yeah I dunno.

It’s too early, but if I had to choose now, my keepers would be: Love, Fields, Williams, Walker, Pollard, Lamb, Rice, McBride, Hopkins, Jets. Thankfully, I have a lot of time left to make my decisions.

Nobody Wants To Hear About My Fantasy Team 2023: Back In The Saddle Again!

It’s been a minute since I’ve been in the playoffs in this league. Considering it’s a 10-team league and 60% of the teams actually make the playoffs? That’s pretty terrible. Last year I finished in 9th place in the regular season, and dead last in the Consolation Bracket. In 2021, I finished in 10th place in the regular season and second-to-last in the Consolation Bracket. In 2020, I snuck into the playoffs as a 6-seed, lost in the first round, and lost again in the 5th place game. In 2019, I was 8th. 2018 was the last time I cracked the top four, and ended up in 4th place.

The last time I was a legitimate contender for this league? You have to go all the way back to 2010, when I came in second. In 2009, I won it all, but 2010 was the first year of the Trophy Era. I do not have my name on that trophy; it’s a sore spot for me. I’ve won other leagues, but not this one. We’ve morphed from just being a league for fun, to being a league for fun and money, to being a keeper league with a trophy, to being a dynasty league. And ever since we introduced keepers, and slowly increased the number of keepers until now – where we’re keeping a full starting lineup, including 1 flex, a kicker, and a defense – I’ve been in Quarterback Hell. It’s been so bad that I’ve essentially been in rebuilding mode since 2019, desperately trying to figure out my two QB spots.

High first round picks galore have been used on the Next Big Thing. It started with Jameis Winston and Carson Wentz. It evolved into Daniel Jones and Tom Brady’s last year in New England (when it looked like he was cooked), in an ill-fated trade that saw me give away Tyreek Hill. Then, there was my big Tua campaign as a rookie, when he looked like he was going to be a noodle-armed nobody. There was Mac Jones and Justin Fields, just PRAYING that one of them would pan out. That’s been the last two seasons, in fact, while I also took a flier on Jordan Love as a late-2022 pick-up.

I kept Love and Fields heading into 2023, and it honestly looked like more of the same ol’ bullshit. Fields was erratic early, got hurt, and it looked like his team once again was letting him fail. Love seemed to get off to a hot start, but was VERY turnover-prone for a while there. I picked up Cousins in the draft to have some competent depth, but we all know how that ended. And, of course, I made Bryce Young my first pick (over C.J. Stroud), who has been languishing on my bench all season.

But, you know what else I did? Through it all, I made some pretty shrewd moves over the last couple years of dynasty play. I locked down CeeDee Lamb and targeted him as a guy worth keeping as a rookie. I handcuffed Ezekiel Elliott with Tony Pollard and haven’t missed a beat with owning the Dallas backfield all this time. I got T.J. Hockenson off waivers, I’ve had the Jets defense the last two years, I’ve managed to keep a quality kicker (Cincy’s guy the last two years, Cleveland’s guy this year). I drafted Kenneth Walker as a rookie (and handcuffed him midseason with Charbonnet). And this year, I set up my bench pretty effectively outside of the QB spot. I grabbed Kyren Williams as a free agent. I drafted Jordan Addison (who was great when Cousins was healthy), I picked up Tank Dell, Trey McBride, and Rashee Rice (all of which look like stars going forward). Frankly, I have so many players I like, it’s a shame I can’t keep some of these bench guys! At the very least, I can prevent other people from keeping them, and therefore afford myself a chance at drafting them next year.

For the last two years, I’ve felt like my team is as complete as can be, outside of the QB spots. Last year, the situation was so dire, I once again found myself near the bottom of the league, with a real stark situation on my hands heading into 2023. But, Fields is healthy again, and is looking MUCH improved as a passer. And Love has taken a significant step forward (this past Monday notwithstanding), after looking like a guy I might have to cut at some point. Hell, I almost traded him away, but the guy who wanted him (a Packers fan) thought I was asking too much in return (a Packer tax, as it were).

I don’t know if I’m a legitimate playoff contender or not. I mean, I’m in the playoffs – and I just leapfrogged my first round opponent for the 4-seed after beating him pretty handily (153.25 to 125.40) in Week 14 – but can I win it all? I do have the third-most points scored in the league, and that’s with three separate 2-game losing streaks, and a significant mid-season lull where I was averaging under 130 points in five out of six weeks (my overall weekly average for the season is over 150, for frame of reference). And, for the first time in I don’t know how many years, I feel like I’ve at least got a handle on this quarterback situation (barring injury) for at least the next month. If not maybe the next year(s) to come.

I’ve long said I don’t need the best of the best. I don’t need Mahomes and Allen. I just need competent guys who can score in the 20’s, and once in a while get me in the 30’s. Who aren’t a regular threat to get me less than 10. I feel like there’s a pretty solid floor with Fields and his rushing ability (again, when healthy), and I feel like the sky might be the limit with Love, as he’s able to develop with a pretty nice set of young receivers.

It’ll be great having the luxury of going out and drafting just a competent veteran backup (a la Cousins or Stafford) next year, instead of trying to scramble to predict who the next rookie stud is going to be. Considering I’m definitely not drafting in the Top 4, and very well might not draft until the Bottom 4, it’s a good thing I’m able to have this level of confidence. Now, it’s just a matter of going out and winning the games that need to be won.

The playoffs start this week. Once again, I’m playing Sloane N Steady in the 4 vs. 5 matchup. Here is my lineup:

  • Jordan Love (QB) vs. TB
  • Justin Fields (QB) @ Cle
  • CeeDee Lamb (WR) @ Buf
  • Rashee Rice (WR) @ NE
  • Tony Pollard (RB) @ Buf
  • Kyren Williams (RB) vs. Was
  • T.J. Hockenson (TE) @ Cin
  • Kenneth Walker (RB) vs. Phi
  • Dustin Hopkins (K) vs. Chi
  • N.Y. Jets (DEF) @ Mia

I don’t have a lot of great options on my bench. Walker is going up against Philly’s defense, which is notoriously stingy against the run. But, Trey McBride is going up against the 49ers (stingy against TEs, and will probably dominate Arizona from start to finish); Addison is dealing with a new starting QB in Nick Mullens; and I can’t be sure if Christian Watson is healthy enough to be worth playing. Walker feels like a safe bet; he looked solid against the 49ers, and seemed to come out of that game without any aggravation to his oblique. Plus, Philly’s defense has looked shaky has hell recently, and this is a Kitchen Sink game for the Seahawks; as much of a must-win as it gets, in their minds, anyway.

I’m VERY intrigued by Addison, especially if Justin Jefferson is out this week, and Nick Mullens is under center. Mullens is at least somewhat competent. What’s giving me pause there is the fact that I don’t know if I want to rely THAT much on Mullens, when I’ve already got his TE in play.

As for Watson, he’s looking like he’ll be a week or two away from full strength, so I dropped him for Ty Chandler, the Vikings’ backup RB. Mattison is looking doubtful to go this week, and my opponent might have a need for an emergency RB in his lineup, so I thought I’d play the waiver game a bit. Besides, I’ve been saying all year that the Vikings have been looking for every excuse to bench Mattison, why couldn’t Chandler be an improvement?

Here is Sloane N Steady’s lineup:

  • Derek Carr (QB) vs. NYG
  • Will Levis (QB) vs. Hou
  • Brandon Aiyuk (WR) @ Ari
  • Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR) vs. Den
  • Isiah Pacheco (RB) @ NE
  • Travis Etienne (RB) vs. Bal
  • Kyle Pitts (TE) @ Car
  • Michael Pittman (WR) vs. Pit
  • Evan McPherson (K) vs. Min
  • Baltimore (DEF) @ Jax

He scored an inordinately low amount of points last week. Pacheco was out early in the week with an injury; Gus Edwards in his place stunk up the joint. Carr returned from injury, but couldn’t put up more than 14 points. Amon-Ra St. Brown had an anomaly of a bad game with 5.10 points. The Ravens’ defense gave up a ton of points to the Rams. And no one individual player scored over 20 points. Can’t win that way!

I expect bounce-backs galore this week. I think Levis can have a monster game against Houston. I think St. Brown will be force-fed at will. I think Aiyuk will have a Deebo-like game. Pacheco will likely be back and making lives miserable. And I could see the Ravens really smashing the Jags.

It’s going to be tough. I don’t LOVE my matchups. But, my guys are going to have to figure out a way to get the job done. Otherwise, it’s going to be a HUGE failure of a season. It all comes down to this week. What I dread the most. All the marbles riding on one single game. Good grief.

Nobody Wants To Hear About My Fantasy Team 2023: Tanks For The Memories

Week 13 was kind of fucked from an injury perspective. All across the league, very important players went down with a range of maladies. Some are short term, some might not keep them out at all. But, some are season-enders, and some are fantasy season-enders, which is all I really care about.

I had Tank Dell in two leagues. In this one, where I clinched a playoff berth thanks to a 152.95 to 138.85 victory over Toot Cannons, and in my Splinter League, where I was in first place heading into last week, before losing by 24 points and falling into second. There’s a slim chance I drop out of the playoffs entirely in that league over the next two weeks – now that I’m down both Dell and Christian Kirk – the injury bug is decidedly NOT my friend.

Dell’s goose egg in this league very nearly cost me my victory. I somehow also endured a goose egg from Terry McLaurin (who is getting less Scary by the week in that offense), which goes to show how tough of a season Toot Cannons is having. I will say that I got some great games out of Jordan Love, CeeDee Lamb, Tony Pollard, Zach Charbonnet (who was a last-minute addition to my lineup), and Trey McBride. If I had given it the proper thought, given Dell’s injury designation during the week, I would’ve swapped him out for Kyren Williams, but that’s neither here nor there.

After I lost Dell, I picked up Rashee Rice as a free agent (prior to the Chiefs game starting), dropping that Cleveland QB I’m never going to keep in a million years. Rice has seen his targets and points increase the last two weeks, as the Chiefs have to be desperate at this point to promote one of their receivers, if for no other reason than to take some of the pressure off of Travis Kelce. I have Rice in another league and have been waiting around for him to start taking off; hopefully he turns into a League Winner for me down the stretch.

I also – after waiver guys reverted back to free agents – picked Christian Watson back up, dropping Scary Terry. It’s time. He’s currently the 29th ranked WR and that’s bound to go down after this BYE week. I don’t understand why he’s not better, why he’s not more dependable. I don’t understand why Howell isn’t throwing him the ball more – he often gets ignored for most of the game, only to score some garbage time points in the 4th quarter after they’re already losing by a ton – and I don’t understand why he isn’t more of a target in the red zone. 2 TDs is ridiculous for a scoring offense that isn’t THAT bad. More than anything, he’s supposed to have a high floor in PPR leagues, and that’s decidedly not the case. With all the uncertainty around that team – surely to have a new coaching staff next year – McLaurin isn’t someone I’m even remotely thinking about keeping. He’s also got a BYE this week, followed by tough matchups against the Rams, Jets, and 49ers the rest of the way. I was never going to want to start him anyway. Watson, at least, is coming on in a big way (until he suffered that injury late last week). He was my keeper from last year, and if he finishes this season strong, he’ll at least be in the running to be a keeper next year. Still leaning towards Dell at the moment, but you never know. If nothing else, Watson is the highest-upside receiver left on the market for these upcoming playoffs, so I’ll gladly welcome him back into the fold.

This week, I’m going up against Sloane N Steady, who is in 4th place, and looks to be my first round playoff opponent, which means I’ll get the opportunity to face him in back-to-back weeks. 4th place plays 5th place (which I’m in); 3rd place plays 6th place, before the winners move on to play the top two teams on a first round BYE.

As this game is effectively meaningless, I’m not going to sweat the outcome. I’ve got McBride on a BYE. I’ve got Bryce Young (hopefully) forever on my bench the rest of the way. I’ve got both Seahawks running backs on my bench because they’re playing the 49ers. Seems like a bad week to try to bring back Kenneth Walker from an oblique injury; here’s hoping they play it safe.

With that out of the way, I don’t have any real decisions to make. Here’s my Week 14 lineup:

  • Jordan Love (QB) @ NYG
  • Justin Fields (QB) vs. Det
  • CeeDee Lamb (WR) vs. Phi
  • Jordan Addison (WR) @ LV
  • Tony Pollard (RB) vs. Phi
  • Kyren Williams (RB) @ Bal
  • T.J. Hockenson (TE) @ LV
  • Rashee Rice (WR) vs. Buf
  • Dustin Hopkins (K) vs. Jax
  • N.Y. Jets (DEF) vs. Hou

Addison has seen a dramatic downturn in his production with the absence of Kirk Cousins. Now that Justin Jefferson is nearing his return, really the last thing I want to do is start Addison. I will be looking for every opportunity to bench him when the playoffs start next week, up to and including starting two tight ends. At this point, McBride seems like a better all-around option than Addison, but we’ll see who the Vikings end up going with at quarterback. I’ll admit, Nick Mullens sounds intriguing; he’s one of the less-bad backups out there, in the right offense.

That being said, how can you hate the matchup with the Raiders? If Addison has anything left this season, he should show it this week. Can’t say that about the Rams going on the road to play Baltimore. Kyren has loads of value considering how much they use him, but I’m looking forward to whoever the Rams play next week (please don’t be the 49ers). I actually like the Rice matchup this week. That should be a high scoring game, and the Bills should put their focus on Kelce, opening up one-on-one opportunities for Rice. Let’s keep the good times going!

Let’s take a peek at Sloane N Steady, and get to know these players intimately, since I figure to be seeing a lot of them the next two weeks:

  • Aiden O’Connell (QB) vs. Min
  • Will Levis (QB) @ Mia
  • Brandon Aiyuk (WR) vs. Sea
  • Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR) @ Chi
  • Isiah Pacheco (RB) vs. Buf
  • Travis Etienne (RB) @ Cle
  • Kyle Pitts (TE) vs. TB
  • Michael Pittman (WR) @ Cin
  • Evan McPherson (K) vs. Ind
  • Baltimore (DEF) vs. LAR

His bench includes an injured Derek Carr, an injured Kenny Pickett, an injured Anthony Richardson, and an injured Aaron Rodgers. Thankfully, the Rodgers thing is a smokescreen, and he will have no effect on my life over the next two weeks. Pickett also sounds like a longshot to return anytime soon. I’m guessing Carr will be back in his lineup next week come playoff time, but we’ll see.

As far as skill guys, he’s got DeAndre Hopkins and George Pickens. So, not really a lot in reserve.

But, he’s been one of the best teams in our league this season – he was 8-3 before a recent 2-game skid – on the strength of his starting lineup (sans QB). Aiyuk and St. Brown are absolute studs, and Pittman has been on FIRE … pretty much all season. He’s 11th in WR points, but he’s 4th in receptions, and honestly if it wasn’t for him only having 4 TDs, I think he’d easily be in the top five. Pacheco and Etienne are both quietly amazing, and Pitts is as talented as they get (if only the Atlanta offense would scheme itself for him). Tacking on a tremendous, opportunistic Ravens defense, and my old kicker from the last two years, and it’s a real hornet’s nest.

I’m trying not to look ahead to next week, but suffice it to say, his matchups aren’t going to matter so much. Those guys are really matchup-proof, and it’s up to MY guys to A) stay healthy, and B) go above and beyond their projections. The fact that I’ll have to do this the rest of the way without Tank Dell is a HUGE blow. I was already on thin ice with this team, and now I’m starting to hear some ominous cracks.

Nobody Wants To Hear About My Fantasy Team 2023: A Perfect Honeymoon

My honeymoon spanned two fantasy football weekends, and between my three teams, I went a perfect 6-0. It was just incredible! I tried to talk my wife into stowing away on the cruise ship for another week, but sadly she wasn’t up for breaking so many laws.

I defeated the first place Beasts in Week 11, 147.75 to 125.65. I got great production out of Jordan Love and Justin Fields, a red hot game out of Tank Dell for my flex, and the combo of Lamb and Pollard came through with flying colors. This compensated for a Kenneth Walker injury and almost nothing from the Jets defense.

Then, in Week 12, I had the most points in the league, defeating Turd Sandwich 192.05 to 176.80. Once again, Jordan Love looked amazing, Pollard and Lamb were awesome, Dell and Hockenson were great, and Kyren Williams returned to obliterate the competition.

The two victories broke the Cousins Curse, and got me back up to 6-6 on the season. That’s good for fifth place in the league (top six go to the playoffs), with a 1-game cushion over the two teams directly below me (as well as around 100 points of tie-breaking cushion as far as total points are concerned). With two weeks left in the regular season, I only have one guy to worry about. He’s right there with me in total points, but he’s two games behind me in record. So, all I need to do is win one more game, have that guy lose one more game, or have one of the 5-7 teams lose once more, or just score no fewer points than the 4-8 team over the next two weeks. My point being: a playoff spot is all but guaranteed, unless the absolute unthinkable happens (unfortunately, none of those three teams play one another).

The highest I can get is fourth place, but I would have to win out and he would have to lose out, so that seems unlikely. The top four teams have already clinched playoff berths though, so there’s four teams fighting for two spots. Interestingly enough, I have the third-most points scored in the league. No one considers me a threat to win it all, which feels appropriate.

With Williams back in the fold, and with Jordan Love playing positively Cousins-esque, I do think I have a fighting chance. But, this is fantasy football, so of course anything can happen.

This week, I’m going up against last place Toot Cannons. I’ve got my Vikings and Bears (Hockenson, Addison, Fields) on a BYE, so if ever there was an opportunity to blow my winning streak, this is it. Here’s my lineup:

  • Jordan Love (QB) vs. KC
  • Bryce Young (QB) @ TB
  • CeeDee Lamb (WR) vs. Sea
  • Terry McLaurin (WR) vs. Mia
  • Tony Pollard (RB) vs. Sea
  • Kyren Williams (RB) vs. Cle
  • Trey McBride (TE) @ Pit
  • Tank Dell (WR) vs. Den
  • Dustin Hopkins (K) @ LAR
  • N.Y. Jets (DEF) vs. Atl

I love what Love has been doing the last couple weeks, but Kansas City poses quite a threat for him. They didn’t play very well against the Raiders last week, but they still have a lot of talent in their secondary, and can make life difficult up front, so I’m not expecting another 30-point performance. The last thing I want to do is start Young, but I have no other options at the position. On the plus side, Carolina just fired their head coach, so maybe there’s a bounce-back opportunity there. Plus, Tampa’s secondary has been a joke for a while now, so if there was ever a chance for Young to bust out, this might be it.

I like any Cowboys player against this Seahawks defense, but then again, it wouldn’t totally shock me if our defense finally got it together. Williams will have a tough go against the Browns. I do like McLaurin against the Dolphins; Washington should have to throw a lot in this game. And the Jets have a pretty juicy matchup against a turnover-prone Falcons team.

My concern at this time has to do with injury designations to Tank Dell and Trey McBride. McBride is a highly-coveted tight end prospect who has done quite well in the absence of Zach Ertz. If he can’t go, I’m screwed, as there are no other decent TE options on the free agent pile. Dell’s injury sounds minor, but he didn’t practice yesterday, and my problem is having an alternative for him. With Addison on BYE, all I have left is Charbonnet (assuming Walker will miss another week with an oblique injury). With Charbonnet going tonight, I would have to commit to him right now, which means I’d either have to bench Dell (who has been one of the hottest receivers in the league over the last few weeks) or maybe Kyren Williams (if we bank on the Browns’ defense being amazing; he’s nevertheless a snap-hog for the Rams when he’s in there). I don’t want to play Charbonnet against the Cowboys, because I kinda think they’re going to dominate the Seahawks.

So, we’ll see what happens. Hopefully Dell returns to practice later today, and I won’t have to worry about it.

Here’s who Toot Cannons has to offer:

  • Kyler Murray (QB) @ Pit
  • Tua Tagovailoa (QB) @ Was
  • Marquise Brown (WR) @ Pit
  • Chris Olave (WR) vs. Det
  • Jerome Ford (RB) @ LAR
  • Jaylen Warren (RB) vs. Ari
  • Jake Ferguson (TE) vs. Sea
  • Najee Harris (RB) vs. Ari
  • Cameron Dicker (K) @ NE
  • San Francisco (DEF) @ Phi

He’s got a number of injuries (including Justin Jefferson) as well as Saquon Barkley on a BYE. He’s also got De’Von Achane, Tee Higgins, Dallas Goedert, and Tyler Boyd to throw in there in place of Najee Harris. Any way you slice it, Toot Cannons is in rough shape. I would love nothing more than to take care of business this week and not have to worry about the regular season finale.

Nobody Wants To Hear About My Fantasy Team 2023: The Cousins Curse Continues

I lost 188.35 to 180.62 to You Dropped Your Dildo. Bryce Young scored 11.05 against the Bears of all teams. You’re telling me I couldn’t have gotten a measly 19 points from Cousins in a game where Josh Dobbs put up 29.8 on the Saints?

Not for nothing, but Jordan Love threw two late interceptions in Green Bay’s loss to the Steelers. Interceptions in our league are -4 points. That’s the difference. That’s technically DOUBLE the difference, because my opponent had the Steelers’ defense, and they get +4 points for INTs! One fewer interception by fucking Love would’ve won me the game!

I hate my fantasy life.

It’s especially galling because there were so many teams I would’ve easily beaten this week with 180. Only two would’ve gotten the better of me, so OF COURSE I have to be playing one of them. That’s just the way it works for me.

CeeDee Lamb had another monster game of almost 40 points. Hockenson had 30+, Walker and Tank Dell had nearly 20 apiece, the Jets got me a respectable 15 (but, alas, couldn’t hold it down against a pretty inept Raiders team), and even my kicker got me 13. I’m solid! At every spot but quarterback. Broken record, playing on repeat, until the end of time.

This week, I’ve got a date with Beasts, who is 9-1 and in first place. I have fallen to 4-6 and am now in seventh place, one spot outside of the playoffs. It’s getting real dark! I can’t believe I’m going to be playing in the Consolation Bracket once again!

Here’s my lineup:

  • Justin Fields (QB) @ Det
  • Jordan Love (QB) vs. LAC
  • CeeDee Lamb (WR) @ Car
  • Terry McLaurin (WR) vs. NYG
  • Kenneth Walker (RB) @ LAR
  • Tony Pollard (RB) @ Car
  • T.J. Hockenson (TE) @ Den
  • Tank Dell (WR) vs. Ari
  • Dustin Hopkins (K) vs. Pit
  • N.Y. Jets (DEF) @ Buf

God bless Tank Dell! I knew last week would be my last chance to pick him up, and he really looks like a stud! Alexander Mattison was a last-minute benching last week, which is a rare moment of prescience for me. He sucks! His team knows it, which is the worst part. Granted, they were going up against the Saints’ defense – generally stout against the run – which is what scared me off in the first place. But, seeing his carries fall to the next man up, and seeing the other moves the team is making to bolster their RB room, it seems unlikely Mattison will ever be That Guy for me. He’s Just A Guy instead, which is someone I can ill-afford to start unless in an emergency.

As such, he’s essentially useless to me, so I ended up dropping him and picking up Trey McBride as a free agent. I don’t have an immediate need for a tight end, however Hockenson does have a BYE coming up in Week 13. Frankly, it’s silly that McBride was still out there to be had by anyone; are there 9 better fantasy tight ends in the league right now? I don’t think so. This is his second year in the league, and he’s already taken over for Zach Ertz (thanks to injury, but he’s also better than Ertz, so there’s that). After starting off as the team’s #2 TE and doing very little the first five weeks, he’s really come on, scoring over 20 in two of the last three weeks. The sky seems to be the limit for him. In an ideal world, I would trade one of my tight ends for a more competent starter (especially at QB), but the trade deadline is this week and I just don’t think there will be time. Really, it might be prudent just to hang onto him, since it seems like Hockenson is a little banged up and is on the injury report every week. You never know when he might go over the edge, or have to otherwise sit out a week. And, you know, if I can hang onto McBride through the end of the season, it gives me an option as far as keepers go heading into next year. That’s one less quality keeper for someone else.

When Kyren returns, I’ll have a legitimate decision to make on Tony Pollard. He ALSO stinks! I can’t explain how invisible he’s been this year, but it’s starting to become absurd. The Cowboys are doing pretty well on offense – and going up against some pretty miserable defenses – but Pollard is nowhere to be found! I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit.

Addison and Dell are the two flexes for me, going forward, depending on who the Commanders are playing. I’ll sit Scary Terry against an elite defense, but otherwise he’s pretty reliable. I just have my doubts about Dobbs as a passer of the football to NFL wide receivers. I’d like to see Addison really blow up one time before I start him again. Also, not for nothing, but Justin Jefferson is coming back soon, and will surely command the lion’s share of the targets again (targets that figure to diminish due to Dobbs’ ineffectiveness as a passer).

Fields returns this week; it’s not a moment too soon. If Young can’t get it going against the crappy Bears, what hope does he have ever? This week, Young is at Dallas, and there’s no way in hell I can start him there; he’s a negative points day waiting to happen! Aidan O’Connell followed up a mediocre start against the Giants with an even more mediocre start against the Jets. Not totally surprising there, but he’s also not giving me a whole helluva lot of confidence. As such, with Deshaun Watson being lost for the year, and Dorian Thompson-Robinson being named his replacement, I decided to cut O’Connell and pick up DTR.

O’Connell has, like, zero upside. He doesn’t run, he doesn’t throw deep, he’s helming an offense that’s run first, run second, run infinity. He’s like a dumpier version of Mac Jones (and now that I say that, watch him turn into the next Tom Brady). At least DTR theoretically has some wheels. If nothing else, he’s more of an unknown than O’Connell, since he has one fewer start. On the plus side, Will Levis has had back-to-back not-good games, so I don’t have to be totally devastated anymore.

I actually like Love’s matchup against the Chargers; if he can’t blow up this week, I don’t know what to tell you. I like Scary Terry against the Giants, I like the Cowboys against the Panthers, I like Hockenson against the Broncos. Give me all the Dell against Arizona, and all the Hopkins against the Steelers’ defense. I’m a little unsure about Walker against the Rams, but that’s no slight against him, rather an acknowledgment of the weird mastery the Rams have over the Seahawks.

Here’s who Beasts has going:

  • Justin Herbert (QB) @ GB
  • Russell Wilson (QB) vs. Min
  • Cooper Kupp (WR) vs. Sea
  • Tyler Lockett (WR) vs. LAR
  • Derrick Henry (RB) @ Jax
  • Josh Jacobs (RB) @ Mia
  • Mark Andrews (TE) vs. Cin
  • Christian McCaffrey (RB) vs. TB
  • Jason Myers (K) @ LAR
  • Detroit (DEF) vs. Chi

Look at all the studs! He’s also got Calvin Ridley if he wants to swap out Lockett. Hard to love Russ the Fantasy Quarterback anymore, but he has been better this season. Also Minnesota’s defense is no great shakes. Herbert is a points monster, and always blows up when he plays against me. Kupp is a stud, Henry and Jacobs are both studs, and CMC is like a god at this point. He’s even got Andrews, probably the best fantasy TE in the game, if that all wasn’t bad enough! To boot, he gets the Lions’ defense to rub it in my face when Fields either sucks or doesn’t end up playing. I’m going to get massacred.

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.

Nobody Wants To Hear About My Fantasy Team 2023: I Lost The Stupidest Game Possible

How annoyed was I that I left Justin Fields on my bench last week (or, the last TWO weeks, for that matter)? Pretty fucking annoyed! Considering I lost 141.3 to 125.9, I definitely could’ve used his 43.8 points. Nevertheless, heading into Monday night’s showdown between the Packers and the meh Raiders, all I needed was 16 points and change from Jordan Love and I would’ve prevailed. That was LESS than his projected points. I just needed AH game from him.

Instead, I got 3 of the dumbest interceptions I’ve ever fucking seen, and he finished with less than 1 point. I don’t even know what he was trying to do with those picks; I’m too blinded with rage to actually remember all of them, but the first one seemed like he was intentionally throwing to the Raiders defender, and I think the other two were thrown into 12-on-1 coverage.

It doesn’t help that I’ve been holding Love hostage from the Packers fan in our league, who has been trying since before the draft to trade me Geno Smith for him. The way I see it, Love has longer-term upside, and if he’s adamant about aligning his fantasy team with his favored NFL team, he’s going to have to pay a premium. That’s all there is to it.

To be fair, this is only Love’s first truly awful game. He’s surpassed his projected points three times by a pretty decent margin, and met his projected points once; that’s not someone I’m looking to just give away. But, I’ve noticed some distressing trends through five weeks. First and foremost: whatever decision I make about Fields (sit vs. start), I’m GOING to get it wrong. I’ve played him in his three very worst weeks, and I’ve sat him when he’s finally resembled the late-season breakout from last year. But, that’s neither here nor there. Regarding Love, he’s a tricky fantasy play. The Packers have a good defense, and seem to be content with slowing down their offense and keeping these games relatively low scoring. It was evident from the jump on Monday night that they were bound and determined to establish their run game, even though Aaron Jones was out. Love has a high of 259 in passing yards, and a high in completions of only 23. It tells me he’s not super accurate (his receivers also looked like they left points on the table with drops), and that he’s touchdown-dependent.

Since I have no intention of keeping Cousins beyond this season, though, so far Love is locked into one of my two quarterback keeper spots heading into the 2024 season. But, a lot can obviously change between now and then.

We had our first decent Bryce Young week (22.75, after a high of only 17.05 prior to that). Fields, as I mentioned, has back-to-back 37+ points scoring weeks, so he’s locked into my lineup for the foreseeable future.

Christian Watson looked better last week – after playing in limited duty in week 4, coming back from injury – though he dropped a tough deep ball in tight coverage that could’ve made everyone’s lives better. The Packers are heading into a BYE week this week, but I won’t be afraid of throwing him into my lineup on an as-needed basis.

The loss drops me to 2-3, and in fifth place in the standings. Still a long way to go, and thankfully the top 6 make the playoffs, so I’m not pushing the panic button quite yet.

This week, I go up against The Lance Petemans, who is 4-1 and in second place overall. He has the most points scored in the league, so this is a frightening proposition. My lineup:

  • Kirk Cousins (QB) @ Chi
  • Justin Fields (QB) vs. Min
  • CeeDee Lamb (WR) @ LAC
  • Jordan Addison (WR) @ Chi
  • Tony Pollard (RB) @ LAC
  • Kyren Williams (RB) vs. Ari
  • T.J. Hockenson (TE) @ Chi
  • Kenneth Walker (RB) @ Cin
  • Evan McPherson (K) vs. Sea
  • N.Y. Jets (DEF) vs. Phi

As I mentioned above, both my Packers are on BYE. Terry McLaurin is never going to be a confident play for me, and might be the next guy I waive, if I have to waive someone for any reason. Mattison is out based on a roster crunch (I have too many healthy RBs at the moment … which shouldn’t be a problem for much longer, now that I’ve jinxed myself). And Bryce Young has an interesting matchup at Miami; I wonder if he’ll get some good garbage-time points this week.

You know what I never particularly look forward to? When the majority of my players are involved in the same game. Both quarterbacks are going head-to-head in this one, which means – for me to win this week – I need the Vikings/Bears game to be high-scoring. Thankfully, neither defense is much to write home about. We’ll see what the Vikings look like with Justin Jefferson on IR. Will Addison ascend to be a true #1? Will Hockenson pick up some of the slack? Or, will Cousins suffer as a result? I kind of dread the answers to these questions.

The Cowboys have a juicy Monday night matchup against the Chargers. I am perennially unlucky when I’m tasked with a Monday night comeback, though, so my only hope seems to be taking a huge Sunday lead and not needing Monday’s points at all. Indeed, all my players seem to have good matchups this week – save the Jets defense, who has to tangle with the Eagles – so with that confidence firmly in place, watch my team royally shit the bed.

Here’s who The Lance Petemans will toss in front of me:

  • Jared Goff (QB) @ TB
  • Matthew Stafford (QB) vs. Ari
  • Tyreek Hill (WR) vs. Car
  • Keenan Allen (WR) vs. Dal
  • Raheem Mostert (RB) vs. Car
  • David Montgomery (RB) @ TB
  • Cole Kmet (TE) vs. Min
  • Adam Thielen (WR) @ Mia
  • Jake Moody (K) @ Cle
  • Dallas (DEF) @ LAC

It’s the week I always dread, when I’m reminded of the dumbest fantasy trade I ever made. Back in Tom Brady’s last year with the Pats, I needed a quarterback, and so I traded Tyreek Hill for him (there may or may not have been other players involved, who I’ve since forgotten about). Brady was cooked, and did nothing for my playoff chances; meanwhile Hill has turned into the most dynamic and important fantasy receiver in the history of football. The gift that keeps on giving. I’ve been in a perpetual rebuild ever since.

Allen is a target hog. Mostert’s value just skyrocketed thanks to the injury to Achane. Montgomery has been taking the lion’s (!) share of snaps and goalline carries. This is just a rock-solid team from top to bottom, with Dallas being the envy of just about everyone. I fully expect them to bounce back in a big way after being embarrassed by the 49ers.

Nobody Wants To Hear About My Fantasy Team 2023: A Pillow Fight For The Ages

If I was unlucky in Week 3, I’d say luck was on my side in Week 4, as Fight The Mattriarchy defeated Toot Cannons 115.85 to 96.65.

Neither team, clearly, blew the doors off of this week. I got a good game out of Kyren Williams, a few okay performances here and there, but I also got a 0 from Jordan Addison, sub-5 games from Hockenson and my kicker, and my quarterbacks got a combined 29.05 (while Justin Fields and Terry McLaurin got 37.25 and 22.6 for my bench). He, on the other hand, had a good game from Justin Jefferson, but also was saddled with very bad weeks from Olave, Higgins, Goedert, the 49ers’ defense, and his quarterbacks totalled even fewer points than mine (while leaving De’Von Achane’s 27 points on his bench).

That props me back up to a 2-2 record, which is good for fifth place a month into the season. Even though I’ve been wildly inconsistent, I’m looking more and more like a playoff team if I can keep my guys healthy.

This upcoming Week 5 is where I start to see some BYEs take effect. It’s by no means devastating (save that for Week 7, when I have to fill my defense, kicker, and two Cowboys), but Kenneth Walker will definitely be missed.

No roster moves this week, unless someone comes down with an ailment and I’m able to add someone to my IR spot, so let’s get right to the lineups.

  • Kirk Cousins (QB) vs. KC
  • Jordan Love (QB) @ LV
  • CeeDee Lamb (WR) @ SF
  • Jordan Addison (WR) vs. KC
  • Tony Pollard (RB) vs. NE
  • Kyren Williams (RB) vs. Phi
  • T.J. Hockenson (TE) vs. KC
  • Terry McLaurin (WR) vs. Chi
  • Evan McPherson (K) @ Ari
  • N.Y. Jets (DEF) @ Den

We’re at the point I was dreading: flip-flopping between Love and Fields.

It’s obnoxious that it took Fields four weeks to finally blow up. It’s also obnoxious that I opted to sit him against that feeble Broncos defense (and against the allegedly less-feeble Guardians defense). What’s encouraging is that Fields did the vast majority of the damage with his arm, throwing for 335 yards and 4 TDs, while rushing for only 25 yards on 4 attempts (vs. the Broncos) and 282 yards and 4 TDs, while rushing for only 57 yards on 11 attempts last night. Grain of salt and all that, but here’s hoping that he’s able to keep that going against superior opponents.

Love, to his credit, looked fine on Thursday night, until a late interception thoroughly ruined my night. I was more taken aback by Cousins having such a terrible game against the Panthers of all teams; but, you’re gonna get at least four of those a year. We managed to withstand it this time, let’s hope it’s a while before it happens again. Let’s also hope Love and Fields eventually entrench themselves as my two starters, so I don’t NEED to use Cousins against better defenses. For now, though, Cousins has to be my #1, and I’ll continue to mix and match with Love and Fields.

Love is an interesting case, because he seems to be touchdown-dependent. The Packers actually have something resembling a competent defense, so they should be involved in much closer games; whereas the Bears are still kind of a disaster, and figure to find themselves in more negative game scripts. For this week, I don’t love the Fields matchup against Washington, nor do I love playing a guy like him on Thursday night. Love has the Raiders this week, followed by a BYE; during that BYE, Fields plays the Vikings, so the next two weeks could be very instructive. Not for nothing, but Love also has a matchup against the Broncos coming out of his BYE, so that’s definitely encouraging (Week 7 is also a game where Cousins has to play the 49ers, so I’ll be more than happy to bench him that week).

As for this week, I have to hope for a Cousins bounce-back. He’s playing the Chiefs, so they should be throwing a lot. I also have to hope for an Addison bounce-back, as he’s too talented to be this ignored.

My Flex spot goes to McLaurin, though I’m not thrilled with it. I’m sitting Mattison because I think the Chiefs have a solid D-Line. I’m sitting Watson because he’s still working his way back from injury, and might be limited. Scary Terry isn’t sexy, and he’s coming off of a very good week (which gives me pause, because what are the odds he has back-to-back solid performances in that offense?), but the Bears are atrocious, and I don’t see any reason why the Commanders should struggle offensively, even on Thursday night.

Bryce Young returned to the fold and struggled against the Vikings, scoring less than 10 points. He had a season high in yards with 204, but that’s obviously not saying much.

I’m going up against Sloane N Steady, who has this to say:

  • Anthony Richardson (QB) vs. Ten
  • Josh Dobbs (QB) vs. Cin
  • Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR) vs. Car
  • Brandon Aiyuk (WR) vs. Dal
  • Travis Etienne (RB) @ Buf
  • Isiah Pacheco (RB) @ Min
  • Kyle Pitts (TE) vs. Hou
  • Michael Pittman (WR) vs. Ten
  • Younghoe Koo (K) vs. Hou
  • Baltimore (DEF) @ Pit

So, he’s 1-3 and in 8th place. That being said, you could argue I’m pretty close to that fate, so I’m not counting my chickens in this one.

Richardson looks like a stud; he’s going to be a handful. Dobbs looks surprisingly competent, and should have a high floor. St. Brown and Aiyuk are two of my favorite non-Seahawks receivers (I have them in another league and they’re phenomenal). Baltimore looks like they’re going up against the Steelers’ backup QB, so that could be a nightmare for me.

You’ll know I’m destined to lose this one if Pitts and Pacheco have breakout games. Pitts has been a disaster in that offense (it’s not his fault), and Pacheco is a guy who can do everything, but isn’t necessarily their top scoring weapon. If he has a couple touchdowns, it’s going to be a LONG day for me.

If I REALLY expect to be a playoff team, this is a game I should win. But, fantasy is a fickle beast, so you never know how it’ll all shake out.

Nobody Wants To Hear About My Fantasy Team 2023: An Unlucky Start To The Season

I am 1-2 to start the season, thanks to losing 205.70 to 175.72 to Turd Sandwich. He, of course, scored the most points in the league, thanks to the Buffalo defense (53), Davante Adams (42.2), and Mahomes (34.4). I mean, what can you do?

I had a pretty good week, all things considered. I made the right choices at quarterback; Cousins and Love had 33.35 and 26.85 respectively. Alexander Mattison was on my bench and would’ve been my second-leading RB at 17.5, but even my ideal lineup would’ve lost.

With my 1-2 record, I still have the second-most points scored in our league, which is super frustrating. But, you just gotta keep plugging away and hope to catch some breaks. If I can keep scoring points like this, I’ll definitely make the playoffs (fast forward to me continuing to score points like this, languishing in 7th place).

Who am I kidding; there’s no way I’m going to continue scoring like this.

This week, I go up against Toot Cannons. I’m projected to lose by a fair amount, but I also don’t feel like Yahoo has figured out how to project a lot of these players (Kenneth Walker is projected to only get 11.82 points, yet he’s 3rd among all RBs through three weeks). My lineup is going to look the same as last week:

  • Kirk Cousins (QB) @ Car
  • Jordan Love (QB) vs. Det
  • CeeDee Lamb (WR) vs. NE
  • Jordan Addison (WR) @ Car
  • Kenneth Walker (RB) @ NYG
  • Tony Pollard (RB) vs. NE
  • T.J. Hockenson (TE) @ Car
  • Kyren Williams (RB) @ Ind
  • Evan McPherson (K) @ Ten
  • N.Y. Jets (DEF) vs. KC

Justin Fields had another shit game, this time against the Chiefs. It’s tempting to throw him in there against Denver’s crappy team, but I loved what I saw out of Love in the second half against the Saints last Sunday. He was on point and looks like he could be a great QB. I’m going to continue sitting Mattison for now, because I don’t know what that run game is going to look like once Cam Akers gets into the mix. I feel like they’re looking for any excuse to make a change – you don’t make a mid-season trade like that, for a guy who has proven he’s very capable, if you’re not looking to give him an extended opportunity – and I still believe in Kyren Williams’ usage rate in that Rams offense. It’ll be tough sledding for the Cowboys against the Patriots, but I just gotta hope Lamb and/or Pollard finds a way to break out at some point.

Christian Watson is looking close to returning, but I still want to see him play in a game before I throw him in. It was great of the Panthers to sit Young against the Seahawks; keep taking it slow with him and let’s ramp him up for the second half of the season. I’m looking for any excuse to ditch Joshua Kelley (who has been worthless as the Chargers’ #1 back, in Ekeler’s absence), but I also have the #2 waiver priority, so I have to save it for something important (and not just throw it away on Miami’s De’Von Achane – who had 50+ points against the Broncos, but otherwise has done nothing in a serious time-share that’s only going to get more muddled once Jeff Wilson returns from IR).

Toot Cannons, of course, has a lot of great players. Here are many of them:

  • Tua Tagovailoa (QB) @ Buf
  • Daniel Jones (QB) vs. Sea
  • Justin Jefferson (WR) @ Car
  • Chris Olave (WR) vs. TB
  • Najee Harris (RB) @ Hou
  • Jerome Ford (RB) vs. Bal
  • Dallas Goedert (TE) vs. Was
  • Tee Higgins (WR) @ Ten
  • Harrison Butker (K) @ NYJ
  • San Francisco (DEF) vs. Ari

He’s also got Saquon Barkley, if he’s ready to return from his injury. I would have to imagine – if it looks good for Barkley – we’ll see Harris on the bench.

It’s bittersweet to see both Tua and Danny Dimes doing so well (at least fantasy-wise), since I’m almost positive I had both of them as rookies and promptly gave up on them when they looked like disasters. Jefferson is sure to gobble a ton of points from Cousins, which will (at best) cancel each other out. Higgins seems to be on an Every Other Week schedule of being good, so this figures to be a good week. And, can ANYONE score against the 49ers? I’m guessing NOT the Cardinals (even though they’ve looked relatively impressive through three weeks).

I can’t say I’m very confident. It would be nice if Buffalo came to play defense, but for some reason I doubt it. They only kick fucking ass when they’re going up against MY fantasy team.