My Favorite Seahawks Move So Far This Offseason

This blog post on Field Gulls popped up late last week at just around the same time I had a similar idea for my own blog. Of course, they posted first, so credit where it’s due for getting the job done ahead of me. But, that’s still not going to stop me from voicing my own take!

As I’ve talked about, it’s been a very Seahawky offseason so far. No real big outside free agent splash signings; we kept our own highest-priority free agent, we shuffled off some money in the form of overpaid cap casualties, and we brought in a bevy of bridge guys on short-term, inexpensive deals to fill out the roster around our core. So, when you look at that list of players on the Field Gulls link, it’s not going to knock you out.

On the whole, I would say I like what the Seahawks have done. I can’t say I’m totally in love with it, but then again, I don’t know what I can really expect. We were in pretty bad shape the last few years, both from a salary cap standpoint, as well as an underperforming veterans standpoint. It really says something when the Seahawks have exactly one player from their 2020 draft class on their roster, and that’s only because Darrell Taylor lost a year of eligibility due to coming into the league with an injury (at this point, based on what we’ve seen from him through three seasons, it would be a longshot to see him getting a proper second contract with the Seahawks).

My point is, it’s not like the Seahawks could afford to spend lavishly in free agency. And, with our stupid 9-8 record – and the fact that we traded away a second round pick for Leonard Williams last year (which was only necessary BECAUSE our salary cap situation was so shitty) – it’s not like we have a solid cache of draft picks to fall back on. So again, what did I really expect? We came into this offseason with one hand tied behind our back, we used what cap casualties we could to loosen that binding, but ultimately there’s only so much money to go around, and a lot of roster spots needed to field a team.

If I’m being honest, the Seahawks move that got me the most excited is the hiring of Mike Macdonald. My second-favorite move is hiring Ryan Grubb. My third-favorite is firing Clint Hurtt. But, that doesn’t seem to be in the spirit of the exercise.

My favorite player move, then, has to be Leonard Williams. Simply because he’s the best player we signed, period. He’s either the best or second-best player on our defense, and I’d put him probably in the top five most impactful players on the entire team. Dude is a stud, on a team that’s kind of in short supply of them.

But, I dunno, that signing doesn’t feel like it’s in the spirit of the exercise either. Just as similar favorites – cutting Jamal Adams, not overpaying for Bobby Wagner, and not REALLY overpaying for Damien Lewis – are also not in the spirit. In my mind, the question posed in the title of this post has to do with NEW players. What’s my favorite incoming Seahawks move?

If it feels like slim pickin’s, that’s because it is. Two incoming free agents on 2-year deals, everyone else is on a 1-year deal. The most money – SURPRISE – is going to a safety. I want to say Rayshawn Jenkins – or one of the two middle linebackers – is my favorite move, but to be honest, I don’t know those guys from Adam. I’m sure one or more of them will make a great impact, but right now, they’re all J.A.G.’s to me.

I can’t bring myself to put Sam Howell in this category, even though I like him. I do think he has potential. Sure, he’s most likely in the range of Drew Lock to Baker Mayfield, which isn’t tremendous. I mean, before last season’s resurgence with the Bucs, we were talking about Baker being an injury-prone bust for crying out loud! But, with the right development, and a little luck, maybe Howell turns into something more? Maybe he’s a Rich Gannon or a Jeff Garcia type. Someone who’s better than a Game Manager, but obviously well short of a Hall of Famer. Someone who – on the right team – can lead you to a Super Bowl, but is going to need a lot of help to push you over the edge.

My biggest beef with the Sam Howell deal is that we traded for him to be a backup. I mean, maybe that’s what he deserves to be, after leading the league in interceptions and sacks endured; it’s probably not the worst idea in the world to let him sit and learn a little more. But, if the whole point is to bring in a young player on a cap-friendly contract, you’re not exactly extracting any value from that deal by sitting him for one of the two remaining years before he’s a free agent. I think the odds are long that he comes in and blows everyone away in Training Camp. With a new team and a new offensive coordinator, he’s not going to overtake a dependable – if uninspiring – veteran in Geno Smith. The only way Howell plays extensively is if Geno REALLY shits the bed, or succumbs to injury, which, we’ll see.

So, if I’m being honest, I think my favorite move is bringing back George Fant!

The Seahawks clearly struggled last year on the O-Line. Abe Lucas apparently has a chronic knee issue that’s always going to limit him in one way or another (if it’s not practice reps, then it’ll be games played), and he’s coming off of some sort of clean-up procedure done this offseason. The hope was to get two more years of competent tackle play from Lucas and Charles Cross, but I don’t know if you can count on that. When you factor in needing to replace all three interior linemen spots, it’s pretty demoralizing knowing that one of your tackle spots is also unreliable.

I think we’re all of the mindset that the Seahawks are going to draft guard with their first pick (probably after they trade down a time or two). My guess is, we won’t stop at just one draft pick; there will be multiple interior linemen drafted. That’s a lot of youth up front – especially when you add last year’s picks of Anthony Bradford and Olu Oluwatimi – so it’s nice to have someone like George Fant on the roster. Someone who can capably slide into either tackle spot in a pinch, as well as someone who can mentor the younger players. Lord knows we’re not getting either quality from Stone Forsythe!

It’s not the sexiest move the Seahawks have ever made, but George Fant is 100% my favorite incoming player on this team.

But, taking the question a little more abstractly, I think my favorite “move” of all is the fact that the Seahawks are eating all of Jamal Adams’ dead money this year, and the fact that we seem to be cleaning house financially, so as to be in a position next year to really make some headway on this rebuild. It’s not a tank job; I’m sure we’re still well-positioned for another 9-8 season in 2024. But, there’s bound to be plenty of money for next year to go out and have some fun. Maybe we’ll get a party boat!

The Seahawks Traded For Sam Howell?!

Huh.

The Seahawks get Sam Howell (2 years left on his rookie deal), a 4th & 6th rounder (102 & 179 respectively); the Commanders get a 3rd & 5th (78 & 152 respectively).

There’s conflicting reports about what kind of value the Washington Football Team received – anywhere from the equivalent of a late 3rd round pick, all the way down to a 7th round pick – but all I see is now the Seahawks have traded away their only second round pick and the higher of their two third round picks. We have all of 7 draft picks this year, 5 of them in the fourth round or later (in a draft, mind you, that is universally panned for its lack of depth on Day 3).

But, okay whatever. We’ll deal with that later. For now, what do we have in Sam Howell?

We have a guy who was a 5th round pick in 2022. A guy who started all 17 games in 2023. A guy who led the league in pass attempts (612), interceptions (21), and times sacked (65). He completed 63.4% of passes, for 3,946 yards, 21 TDs, and 6.4 yards per attempt. Geno Smith was 7.3 yards per attempt, if we’re into comparing numbers.

According to Brady Henderson, Washington was 14th in pass block win rate, so it’s not like we can even blame a shitty O-Line. I will say, though, that we COULD probably blame the shittiness of the team as a whole, with the defense being particularly atrocious in the second half of the season (when they lost 8 in a row); considering he was always forced into throwing them back into games, it’s not a shocker that he’d be a little mistake prone.

But, even that argument doesn’t hold a lot of water, because if a quarterback is truly great, shouldn’t he lift up an inferior team? Sam Howell might be a lot of things, but “great” isn’t one of them. I think he’s fine. On the low end, he’s probably Drew Lock. On the high end, he’s probably a poor man’s Baker Mayfield. That’s a nice little middle-range where Geno Smith also resides, albeit with different skills and different deficiencies.

Geno can be pretty accurate. Geno is mistake-averse. And, I thought he showed some improvement in 2023 in avoiding sacks and getting the ball out of his hands quickly (by offensive design, naturally), but he too tends to hold onto the ball too long, and takes too many back-breaking sacks on third down. The main difference between Geno and Sam is that Sam can actually scramble. He can better extend those third down plays when it’s an obvious passing situation and opposing defenses are gearing up to take his head off.

The main question will be processing. How quickly can Sam Howell process what’s going on? How quickly can he read the defense and find the right receiver (or check to the right play to take advantage of what the other team is giving him)?

This doesn’t change my conviction that the Seahawks need to draft a quarterback. But, I don’t know how they’re going to do that! If they don’t draft one in the first round, if they don’t trade down to acquire more picks, then what is this going to look like?

What this does do, however, is give credence to possibly eating a bunch of Geno’s salary and trading him to a needy team that wants a middle-of-the-road veteran quarterback. Could we sucker a team like the Raiders or Titans into giving us a draft pick or two? What if we sweeten the deal with a D.K. Metcalf?

On its own, I don’t love this move. Sam Howell doesn’t appear to be an obvious upgrade over Geno Smith, and I’m not even sure he’s an upgrade over Drew Lock!

But, I’m told Howell allegedly has a strong arm. And I kinda like how he’s not just a Checkdown Charlie. But, 21 interceptions and 65 sacks is absolutely unforgivable.

Ultimately, my opinion on this move will hinge on whether or not the Seahawks draft a quarterback this year. And, failing that, it’s going to hinge on how quickly we choose to move on from Geno Smith. If we have no rookie, and if we blow through the entire 2024 season with Geno at the helm, I’m going to be extremely upset when we end up with another 9-win campaign.

Not that I necessarily believe Howell would be able to do any better. But, I think it’s fair to say there’s at least a little uncertainty about his ceiling. We know Geno’s ceiling; we’ve lived it the last two years. I want fresh blood!

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.

The Seahawks Are In Need Of A Big Bounce-Back

Boy, that last game took a lot of wind out of a lot of sails, didn’t it?

There aren’t a lot of opportunities for the Seahawks to Get Right. This schedule has been inordinately difficult, especially when it comes to opposing defenses, and it’s only going to get harder from here. The Rams in week 1 were as healthy as they were ever going to be, the Bengals, Browns, and Ravens are all as good as it gets. We’ve still got one more against the Rams, two against the 49ers, the Cowboys, Eagles, and Steelers left to go. There aren’t many soft landings left; the Cards, Titans, and these Commanders this week and that’s about it. For an offense that has really struggled at times to put points on the board – and touchdowns in particular – it’s been very discouraging to say the least.

Geno Smith has a lot riding, financially, on this season. All you have to do is look at his 2022 numbers and know what he has to beat if he wants to see his incentives:

  • 4,282 passing yards, 30 TDs, 69.755% completion percentage, 100.874 passer rating

Through 8 games – ALMOST half a season – let’s see where he’s at:

  • 1,802 yards, 9 TDs, 65.2%, and 86.4

He needs 3,605 yards in 9 games (an average of 400.44 per), 22 TDs (2.44 per), all while drastically increasing his completion percentage and passer rating. Against, again, a whole mess of great defenses.

Uhh, yeah, that’s not gonna happen.

The thing is, I don’t think anyone really thought any of those benchmarks were unreasonable when he signed his deal. I know I, for one, thought he could get there. Maybe not ALL of them, but he’d be in the ballpark enough to warrant future employment. At this point, I’m really not so sure.

He’s also got a whopping 7 INTs, after having 11 all of last year, and that’s while suffering only 18 sacks a year removed from enduring 46. Something isn’t right. If you had told us the defense would take the big leap forward that it’s taken before the season started, I would’ve assumed Geno would be replicating his 2022 campaign, and as a result this team would be kicking ass and taking names.

Now, the good thing is we’re 5-3 and tied for the division lead. We’re still winning games. But, clearly, other than a road victory in Detroit, the wins haven’t been impressive. Beating Washington this Sunday would fit right in in that regard. The Giants, Panthers, and Cardinals are all among the worst teams in the league, and I don’t know if Washington is very far ahead of them.

That isn’t to say this game is a slam dunk. I think, with the Seahawks, you’d be foolish to consider ANY game a slam dunk. Washington can move the ball a little bit. Sam Howell can sling it. They’ve got skill guys. Their defense is trash – and that’s going to be key in this one. If the weather wasn’t looking to be so shitty, I’d go out on a very strong limb and say this game will hit the over. It might anyway! But, a Seahawks victory is far from certain, even though it very much SHOULD be.

After that, we’ve got five straight games against VERY tough opponents. So, losing this one is NOT an option. The Seahawks need to be 6-3 heading into that gauntlet, if we have any hope of stealing the division. But, at some point – to do that – we have to start beating good teams. This is another one of those games that won’t show us much if we win, but could tell us everything if we lose.

Nobody Wants To Hear About My Fantasy Team 2023: Draft Results May Vary

I completed three fantasy football drafts in about an 80-hour span; is it possible to feel terrible about every single one of them?

Before we dive into my Dyntasy League 5-round draft, I’ll talk a little bit about my other two teams, as I seem to have stumbled into a couple of different strategies without even trying.

Every draft is different. You never know where you’re going to land in any given draft (assuming it’s randomly selected for you), you never know who’s going to be available (who people reach for, or who people steal from you at the last moment), and so you can go into a draft with one plan, but circumstances force you to go another way.

I try to be adaptable. I’m just looking for as many good players as possible. If it comes down to one of two guys, I’ll simply take the player I want to root for more. And I definitely tend to skew towards younger players, especially at running back and wide receiver.

Yet, I think I have two wildly different teams! To wit, the True League, and my team, RUM HAM:

  • Jalen Hurts (QB)
  • Aaron Rodgers (QB)
  • James Conner (RB)
  • Dalvin Cook (RB)
  • Breece Hall (RB)
  • Elijah Mitchell (RB)
  • Jonathan Taylor (RB)
  • Jahan Dotson (WR)
  • Treylon Burks (WR)
  • Zay Flowers (WR)
  • Jaxon Smith-Njigba (WR)
  • Cooper Kupp (WR)
  • Jameson Williams (WR)
  • Travis Kelce (TE)
  • Kicker TBD
  • New York Jets (DEF)

There’s injury concerns (Conner, Hall, Mitchell, Taylor, Kupp), there’s age concerns (Rodgers, Kelce, Conner again), and then there’s just an endless array of first- and second-year players (Hall, Dotson, Burks, Flowers, JSN, Williams). This is more of a standard scoring league, with half-PPR I believe, but I don’t know if I have enough TD-power to cut the mustard. Will Taylor return to playing football this season? How bad is Kupp’s injury? How many games will I get out of Conner? When will Hall have his inevitable set-back? Will I be able to hold onto Williams through his entire 6-week suspension?

There’s a lot of questions swirling around my team. On the one end of the spectrum of possibilities, I’ll be spending every week scrambling to field a healthy team, constantly worried about and second-guessing injury reports. On the other end, my hurt guys get healthy, and I’m able to field a juggernaut by season’s end that will take me all the way to the championship. High variance, high reward!

Also, I should say, I do like Dotson and Burks more than most. And, really, the Cardinals ONLY have Conner, so he should feast as the only dude on that offense.

Now, here’s my other team, The Annexation Of Puerto Rico, in my beloved Splinter League:

  • Josh Allen (QB)
  • Dak Prescott (QB)
  • Matthew Stafford (QB)
  • Bijan Robinson (RB)
  • Rachaad White (RB)
  • Tyler Allgeier (RB)
  • Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR)
  • Tee Higgins (WR)
  • Christian Kirk (WR)
  • George Pickens (WR)
  • Brandon Aiyuk (WR)
  • Treylon Burks (WR)
  • Jameson Williams (WR)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (DEF)

On the flipside, not a lot of injury issues here, at least out of the gate. But, I also don’t have the glut of running backs to pull from in a pinch. Thankfully, I have the Falcons guys to fall back on, but if White is a bust, I’m kind of screwed.

In the True League, I had the fifth pick in the draft. After the usual suspects went 1-4, I made Kelce my top overall pick. By contrast, in the Splinter League, I had the second pick. Last year, I won it all by having the 10th pick, so this was a VASTLY different experience for me. My Splinter League is even more quarterback-crazy (2 QB league, 1 point per 15 passing yards, 6-point TDs, -4 INTs), and I’m happy to say I got to take Josh Allen for the first time ever. That’s a recipe for him having an uncharacteristically-down year if I’ve ever heard one!

Anyway, I guess we’ll see. I should point out that in the True League, I got an A+ grade by Yahoo, second overall in the league. And, in the Splinter League, I also got an A+ grade, first overall. Will that mean anything? We’ll see. I had a high grade last year in Splinter as well, and ended up winning the whole thing. But, there’s a lot that goes into a championship season; you need to get extremely lucky along the way.

In my Dynasty League, my team – Fight The Mattriarchy! – got a D grade, 8th out of 10 teams. Since everyone’s 10 keepers get slotted randomly into the draft rounds 1-10, I don’t know how much of that grade is outside of my control. But, with the way AI has been trending, I think Yahoo is probably able to take a global view of every team’s quality and depth of players and make an honest assessment. I mean, I’ve been kind of bottom-feeding for a while now; maybe my keepers aren’t up to snuff.

I wrote about my dilemma last week, so you can read that HERE. That link will also tell you who my keepers were. Without further ado, let’s talk about my 5-round draft! Or, rather, my 3-round/5-person draft.

As expected, the two rookie running backs went 1 and 2 (Bijan and Jahmyr Gibbs). That left one guy standing between me and the quarterback of my dreams/nightmares. He ended up taking Anthony Richardson, which left me no choice but to take Bryce Young. Here’s hoping that #1 overall NFL draft pedigree accounts for something!

By the time I selected with my second pick in the first round, I sadly missed out on re-acquiring D.K. Metcalf, who went two picks earlier. I also missed out on Joe Mixon, C.J. Stroud, Calvin Ridley, and Daniel Jones. So, I made my pick, and I made it Kirk Cousins.

He was already on my radar as a potential pick at #4, because I’ve got Fields and Love, so why not have a little leeway in case of injuries or ineffectiveness? Now, I get to have both my cake and eating it too! I get my rookie lottery ticket, AND I get the veteran who’s mostly good, but occasionally terrible when you least can afford it. I’m not saying I love having Cousins on my team; I’m just saying he should be better than Young and Love, at least in the early going.

I’M FIELDING A FANTASY TEAM WITH TWO COMPETENT QUARTERBACKS IF IT FUCKING KILLS ME!

The second round went pretty well for me: JSN, Sam Howell, and Isiah Pacheco with the top three. I had pretty much my pick of the rookie receivers, and opted to go with the guy from the Vikings, Jordan Addison. I would’ve taken him even if I didn’t have Cousins, but I love having them both, for obvious Double Touchdown reasons! The rest of the second round went Miles Sanders, James Cook, Dotson, Mac Jones, and Mike Williams before I selected again. I would’ve only wanted Dotson, or MAYBE Cook, out of that group. I’ve had Mac Jones for the last couple seasons, and good riddance!

With my second pick in the second round, I got to FINALLY draft Scary Terry McLaurin! I’ve wanted him since he was a rookie, but he was snagged out from under me. Having him fall to me couldn’t have gone better; I’m very happy with my receiver depth now!

Finally, the third round went like this: Dalton Kincaid, Christian Kirk, and Aiyuk. That left me with Dalvin Cook as my final draft pick of the evening. I don’t love him as a long-term prospect, but early on he should get the bulk of the carries as Hall returns from his injury. Cook is also insurance against Alexander Mattison, in the event a starter’s load doesn’t suit him well. As long as Cook stays healthy, Aaron Rodgers is going to want him in there, and that offense should have enough meat on the bone for all their stars, including Cook for an occasional TD. Who’s to say Cook couldn’t be the Ezekiel Elliott in this offense, vulturing touchdowns left and right?!

For Week 1, I’m starting Fields & Cousins, Lamb & Watson, Walker & Pollard, Hockenson & Cook (though, I may put McLaurin in there as a last-minute replacement, if it looks like he’s fully healthy, because that Arizona defense looks like straight garbage).

We’ll see how it all goes! I’ll be on here every week lamenting my losses and celebrating my victories.

Nobody Wants To Hear About My Fantasy Team 2023: Anthony Richardson vs. Bryce Young vs. ???

Our draft in my dynasty league is this Friday, September 1st, and so much is hinging on what happens in these five rounds. Rookies, players left over from last year; playing for this year while keeping an eye towards the future. It’s a lot to grapple with!

For those unaware of how this league operates, I ask you, why are you reading this? You don’t want to hear about my fantasy team! Nobody wants to hear about anyone’s fantasy team! But, if you’re interested in continuing, here’s the jist: this is a 2-QB PPR league with adjusted scoring to make quarterbacks more important (6-point TDs, 1 point per 20 yards passing, -4 points for INTs). Every team keeps 10 players, one per position, with one regular flex. Here’s the roster I kept:

  • Justin Fields (QB)
  • Jordan Love (QB)
  • CeeDee Lamb (WR)
  • Christian Watson (WR)
  • Tony Pollard (RB)
  • Kenneth Walker (RB)
  • T.J. Hockenson (TE)
  • Alexander Mattison (RB)
  • Evan McPherson (K)
  • N.Y. Jets (DEF)

I had one decision to agonize over, and that was leaving D.K. Metcalf off of my team. For starters, he was a prior trade acquisition of mine, so part of me feels like I gave up a lot to get him, and then threw him away for nothing. Granted, I don’t remember what it cost to bring him to my team, but I remember it being somewhat significant. It more or less came down to Metcalf vs. Watson. I was committed to keeping three running backs, especially when Dalvin Cook was released by the Vikings and Mattison was there to pick up all those extra snaps. Now, Mattison might be mediocre, and he might get hurt or eventually lose his starting job. But, I couldn’t resist keeping a bona fide lead running back in a high-powered offense.

The Watson vs. Metcalf debate might haunt me all season long, though. My rationale for only keeping two receivers is simple: you can always find a quality receiver late in the draft or in free agency during the season. It’s how I got Watson in the first place. I like Watson’s upside as the #1 receiver with relatively little competition from any other Packer; whereas Metcalf has to contend with Lockett and Smith-Njigba and a quarterback who likes to spread the ball around. The obvious downside is the fact that Metcalf is a proven 1,000-yard receiver, who’s going to get the lion’s share of attention in red zone situations (and, not for nothing, but he’s also got big play abilities to score from anywhere on the field). Watson is a second year player, catching balls from a quarterback in his first year as the starter. He could be a total bust! But, the big plays he was making, and his pedigree out of the draft last year, made him intriguing. You don’t win fantasy football leagues on intriguing players, I get that. But, ultimately, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have both Love and Watson on my team. Double touchdowns!

In lesser decision-making news, I decided to keep Love over both Stafford (old, injured last year, on a terrible team) and Mac Jones (might be good for a bounce-back under better offensive coaching, but I’ll have to see it to believe it), going for upside.

As has been the case for the last half-decade, if not longer, Quarterback is my weakest position. In a league where quarterbacks are – again – the most important position. The difference here is that I feel like I finally have someone viable in Justin Fields. If he stays healthy, he’s a strong bet to turn into a Jalen Hurts type. If that’s the case, with the rest of my team looking pretty strong, that means I need to focus on the second quarterback spot.

I’m drafting fourth this year. I also have extra picks in the first two rounds (in a deal made last season), while having given up my picks in the final two rounds. So, every team drafts their bench, essentially. Five rounds for five spots (or, in my case, three rounds for five spots).

I have it on reasonably-good authority that both Bijan Robinson and Jahmyr Gibbs will be selected ahead of me. These could be lies, of course. Competitors gaining an edge by throwing me off the scent. But, I know for a fact that one of the teams has two loaded quarterbacks and has no need to take another rookie. So, even if the other guy goes rogue and both Anthony Richardson and Bryce Young are gone by the time I select, then I have no problem whatsoever grabbing Gibbs and further bolstering my running back stable.

Based on the information I have, and knowing who the #3 pick has at quarterback heading into the draft (Aaron Rodgers and Derek Carr), I am reasonably sure he’s 1,000% taking a quarterback.

There’s one interesting wrinkle to this debate, and that’s the fact that Kirk Cousins is available as well. Of the quarterbacks not kept by teams from last year, the top holdovers are Cousins, Stafford, Daniel Jones, Sam Howell, and then the likes of Jimmy G, Ryan Tannehill, Baker Mayfield, Mac Jones, and Desmond Ridder. So, the quality is falling FAST. If #3 is looking to play for this year, and wants a safe, pro-ready option to gobble a lot of points, he could very well roll with Cousins and take his chances. If you believe Aaron Rodgers is destined for a bounce-back, on a new team, with a familiar coordinator, and a stable of studs at the skill positions around him, then you could do a lot worse choosing between Carr and Cousins every week based on matchups. I like the rest of #3’s team, so he could definitely make that work and ride it into the playoffs.

My take on this year’s rookies is pretty well set in my mind. For fantasy purposes, I think Anthony Richardson is the clear top dog. I think Bryce Young is the safest bet, even though he’s too short and doesn’t run and has no weapons and a suspect O-Line (for what it’s worth, I think they all have suspect O-Lines). And I think C.J. Stroud is the worst of the three, in the worst situation (even worse weapons, with a first time head coach who might be bad at the job, in an organization that has no idea what it’s doing). I was never taking C.J. Stroud, even if the other two guys were taken ahead of me; he’s off all my draft boards (so, knowing me, maybe bet the farm on Stroud being a Hall of Famer when it’s all said and done).

They all have drawbacks, of course. I think the hype train is a little too inflated for Richardson. He’s getting A LOT of Josh Allen comparisons. But, Josh Allens don’t grow on trees! He’s kind of a unicorn. Most quarterbacks don’t improve their completion percentages that significantly from the college to the pros. With Richardson, obviously he’s projected to be a points hog because he runs so well. And now it appears the Colts won’t have any competition for him, if they ultimately trade Jonathan Taylor (or he holds out). But, the downside is, his value is mitigated if he can’t also throw for touchdowns, or worse, if he throws a lot of interceptions (the -4 for INTs is the great equalizer in our league, and should be standard for all fantasy football leagues). Also, on a personal level, do I really want both Fields and Richardson? Two guys who run a lot, can’t throw, and are one big hit away from sinking my season?

If I were to talk myself into Bryce Young, I’d talk about his leadership, his poise, his intangibles. He’s also very accurate and he’s a winner. There’s a reason why he was the #1 pick in the NFL. Young really bridges the gap for me when it comes to being ready THIS season. Richardson might have more upside, and a higher longterm outlook for fantasy purposes. But, if I want to win THIS year? Young might be the better way to go.

My second pick in the first round isn’t until the very end, at number 10. I highly doubt Cousins will be there for me in this scenario. But, I don’t want to throw all my eggs in the Cousins basket for this year at pick 4, because he’s 35 years old, he’s on the final year of his deal, and I have no idea where he’ll be going forward. Also, it’s never fun to have to rely on Cousins; he takes a dump at the most inopportune times!

Once I have my quarterback locked in at 4, I need to scramble and get a receiver at 10. Because if I wait until the second round, it might be too late. My secret hope is that D.K. Metcalf is still there at 10, but that might be a longshot. How confident am I in Calvin Ridley? Yeesh. That’s either going to work out spectacularly or blow up in my face. I’ve always wanted Scary Terry McLaurin, and he’s out there again for me!

Of the rookie receivers, I dunno. JSN is probably the most talented, but not in a situation to showcase his talents. Do I want to trust a receiver for the Ravens? Or the third receiver on the Chargers? Or the #2 to Justin Jefferson’s #1? I wouldn’t mind terribly seeing who’s left over of those four, and taking that guy in the second round.

Then, it’s just Best Player Available. Don’t have to worry about kickers. I could always look into keeping a second defense, though I like the Jets a lot and they don’t have a BYE until Week 7. We’ll see. A lot riding on this one! I’ve been in rebuild mode for the last 3-4 years; now it’s time to see if I can take that next step.