It’s crazy to me that I’ve won two games in a row. It’s even crazier to me that I outscored every single person in the league, one week after setting my previous season-high in points. It’s crazier still that I’m not even in last place anymore, in spite of me having far and away the fewest points in the league (and over 200 fewer points than the actual last place team at the moment).
None of this is supposed to happen! Yet, here I am, 3-7 on the season, 3-2 in my last five games, with four weeks to fuck around and see if I can sneak into the sixth and final playoff spot (currently held by a team that’s only one game – and hundreds of points – better than me).
This is the kind of optimism you can get out of me when things start going my way. It’s taken A LOT of patience so far this season (starting out 0-5, you kinda have no choice BUT to be patient and wear some of these lopsided losses), but I finally feel like the tide is turning.
RoundTine defeated Space Forcin’ 186.90 to 178.21. It’s supremely unlucky for him that he scored the second-most points this past week, and just so happened to run into a juggernaut, but them’s the breaks.
Justin Fields got me another 43.05 points, one week after putting up almost 50. CeeDee Lamb got me an even 38 points. Gabe Davis and Tony Pollard each got me over 20. Everything pretty much went my way, except the kicker and defense I picked up for BYE replacements. Philly’s kicker only got me 3 points, and the Rams D only got me 4. But, everyone else did their jobs, and that’s all I can ask.
We’re getting pretty far into the season, and I’ve been hanging onto this #1 waiver priority for quite some time. I figured it was time to cash it in on a potential stud. So, I put in a claim for Christian Watson, who caught 4 balls on 8 targets for 107 yards against the Cowboys last week. The big thing was that three of those catches went for touchdowns. Also, he’s like 6’5 and was their highest-drafted receiver in ages. I’m fully expecting him to disappoint the rest of the way (just kidding! Two more TDs and 21.1 points last night). But, if there’s even a sliver of a chance for him to blow up in the back-half of this season, I’m willing to try it out.
I also, not for nothing, have a couple BYEs I’m worrying about this week (both Seahawks players), so I’d like to actually fill out a roster in the short term. In the long term, though, I’m not entirely sold on Gabe Davis as a viable fantasy keeper. He seems better suited as roster depth. Watson – if he blows up – could be a top 10 receiver in this league, as long as Aaron Rodgers is there throwing him the ball, anyway.
This week, I go up against Toot Cannons, who has a number of BYE issues of his own. Here’s who I’m rolling out:
Justin Fields (QB) @ Atl
Davis Mills (QB) vs. Was
CeeDee Lamb (WR) @ Min
Gabe Davis (WR) vs. Cle
Brian Robinson (RB) @ Hou
Tony Pollard (RB) @ Min
T.J. Hockenson (TE) vs. Dal
Christian Watson (WR) vs. Ten
Evan McPherson (K) @ Pit
N.Y. Jets (DEF) @ NE
Losing D.K. and Walker this week is a blow, but I don’t mind those guys getting a week off to rest and recover. Mac Jones gets to ride my bench for … the rest of the year? That guy’s a total trainwreck. It really says something when I don’t even think twice about ranking Davis Mills ahead of him. It looks like Stafford returns from injury this week, though I hate him even more now that Cooper Kupp is on IR. Also, at this point, consider me among the loud majority who are calling for Zeke Elliott to take a backseat to Pollard.
Here’s who Toot Cannons might be playing:
QB Cardinals (QB) vs. SF
Baker Mayfield (QB) @ Bal
Justin Jefferson (WR) vs. Dal
Tee Higgins (WR) @ Pit
Saquon Barkley (RB) vs. Det
Najee Harris (RB) vs. Cin
TBD (TE) vs. TBD
Chris Olave (WR) vs. LAR
Harrison Butker (K) @ LAC
San Francisco (DEF) vs. Ari
Rough week to lose your top two tight ends, as both Waller and now Goedert are out. He’s also missing Tua, which is a huge blow. But, there’s a significant amount of talent at the skill positions to make this week challenging as hell for RoundTine.
They’re sucking me in, man! I still can’t say that I’m all the way there yet, even though we’re 5-3 and in first place in the NFC West by a full game. Even though we just beat the 6-win Giants a week after a pretty convincing road victory over the probably playoff-bound Chargers.
But, I’m getting there. At some point, the Seahawks are going to keep winning football games, and I’m going to have no choice but to believe. At least believe in something. Is this a championship-contending team? PROBABLY not. I still think the Bills, Eagles, and Chiefs are the class of the NFL. I would also say that Dallas most likely beats us in any sort of meaningful contest. And, sure, we’ll lose other games to other teams as well. But, when you flip it and ask, “Who could the Seahawks beat on any given Sunday?” The answer is pretty considerable. I think we’re getting to the point where there isn’t a team we couldn’t hypothetically defeat. But, if you had me choose, I think those aforementioned four teams would be my pick 100 out of 100 times.
I also don’t want to take away anything from the Giants – I did have them ranked in the top tier of my power rankings last week – but they’re clearly a flawed team. Why anyone would have a team with Daniel Jones in their top tier is anyone’s guess. But, they also do a lot of things well. They run the ball with the best of ’em. They play defense at a great clip. They block for their quarterback, who can scramble around and make just enough plays to be somewhat effective (as long as he’s not fumbling or otherwise giving the ball away to the other team).
And yet the Giants were really out-classed by the Seahawks in this one. It was a 27-13 victory, but it could’ve been so much more without some uncharacteristic mistakes by Tyler Lockett (who had a critical fumble and a dropped touchdown, before redeeming himself with a TD in the fourth quarter).
Geno Smith wasn’t exactly electric in this one (23 of 34 for 212, 2 TDs, and 0 INTs), but he was also under duress for the entire game. And we never really got our running game going, though Walker did salvage his day with a late 16-yard TD run. But, the defense once again made some real hay!
We had 5 sacks on the day – 2 by Nwosu, who is absolutely the real deal, in all facets of the game – and likely would’ve held the Giants’ offense without a touchdown if it weren’t for the muffed punt by Lockett. Tariq Woolen is already a guy teams are avoiding throwing against (I don’t think he was targeted until the second half in this one), and with the adjustments we’ve made up front (with the D-Line being more aggressive and attacking single gaps as opposed to trying to play two gaps like they were early in the season), we’ve gotten opposing running games under control, while letting the players do what they’re best at. We held Saquon Barkley to 53 yards on 20 carries for crying out loud!
So, that begs the question: can the Seahawks compete in the NFC? Are we really doing this?!
Look, I had legitimate questions about this team winning three games all year. Yet, here we are, having won three in a row, and four of our last five. On the horizon, there are opponents who were quite scary heading into the season, who now look like potential cannon fodder. Could I see us winning in Arizona next week? You mean, our home away from home? Absolutely I could! Could we beat the Bucs in Germany? Yes, very much so, they’ve looked horrible this season. Can we take down the Raiders, Rams, Panthers, Jets, and 49ers at home? Why not? The hardest game looks to be at Kansas City on Christmas Eve, but I remember us playing Patrick Mahomes pretty tough the last time we faced them, so I wouldn’t throw that out either.
The Seahawks can very much compete in this NFC. That doesn’t mean I’m all in. They could also struggle against the Rams like they always do. The 49ers still look like they’re loaded on both sides of the ball. And I don’t think there’s any catching the Eagles this year for the one seed.
So, what I’m really saying is that it’s all still on the table. We could keep winning and get as high as the two seed. Or, we could fall apart again and drop out of the playoffs. But, I’m willing to put my faith in at least a wild card run, with a very good chance at winning the suddenly questionable NFC West.
What can’t be denied is that this is a fun team, and a fun development. When your expectations are nil, and the team you root for comes from out of nowhere to not only compete, but look really good doing it? On top of being a very young team, and watching those young players compete at a high level? It’s great! This is as close to an ideal outcome as you could get.
Starting this week, I’m coming at this season with a new mindset. I’m out of Tank Mode. That was really ripped away from me anyway, so it would be foolish to root for tanking now. I’m also ready to climb down off of the fence. I don’t know if I’ve taken the Seahawks once this year in my pick ’em league, always expecting the other shoe to eventually drop. But, now I have to treat this team like I would any other above-average team. They’re good. They have a lot going for them. They can beat anyone. Now it’s time to invest. It’s time to start rooting for wins, rooting for us to take down the division, rooting for various playoff scenarios.
This is a gift. An unexpected pleasant surprise. So, it’s time to start really relishing in our great fortune. It’s been a rough last few years, with everything in decline and only Russell Wilson there to prop up our hopes. Oddly enough, it turns out, he was also the one holding us back. Now, we’re free from that see-saw, and it’s all good vibes going forward. Everything is gravy. So, let’s fuck around and see what happens!
I still don’t know if I totally comprehend what happened yesterday. Though, I’ll admit, there’s a lot about this team that befuddles me.
My brain is having a hard time wrapping itself around the concept that the Seahawks are good. But also, ARE the Seahawks good? If we’re good, why did we lose at home to the Falcons and at ALL to the Saints? Is this part of the 7-10 process, where they lure us into a false sense of curiosity and wonderment, before bringing the axe down on our necks?
Or, did the Seahawks used to be mediocre, but now we’ve grown? Now, we’ve figured out how to play defense a little bit. Now, as the younger guys have had an opportunity to gain experience, we’re seeing the fruit starting to blossom.
I can’t think of a better litmus test at this point in the season than a road game against the Chargers. I like the Chargers. I think they’re pretty good. Their coaching is a little suspect at times; I think their play-calling on fourth down leaves A LOT to be desired. But, there’s a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, and the Seahawks just made mincemeat of them, 37-23.
I’ll admit, part of the reason why I’m so jazzed is because I had some fantasy football juice in this game, and after a rocky start – losing D.K. after only a single reception severely hurt my chances – my guys blew up. “My guys” being Austin Ekeler (127 total yards, 12 receptions, and 2 total TDs) and Kenneth Walker III (168 rushing yards on 23 carries and 2 TDs) whose game-sealing 74-yard touchdown almost single-handedly swung two of my games on Sunday.
The good thing for the Seahawks is that all the Chargers had was Ekeler. We pretty much held everyone else in check (though Mike Williams got his – 7 for 86 and a TD – before spraining his ankle late in the game). The defense did a lot of good things in this one. 3 sacks, a fumble recovery, and a timely pick by Ryan Neal. Moreover, Woolen and Bryant both looked outstanding, and Darrell Taylor (he of the strip sack/fumble recovery combo) is starting to come around.
The story of the day has to be the offense, though. Walker looks like the stud of all studs. So, you know, I’m just waiting for his ankle to get rolled up on, which seems to be how it goes whenever the Seahawks find a running back they really like.
Then, there’s The Resurrected Geno Smith, who’s somehow also better than he’s ever been in his life? This isn’t like a so-so quarterback being propped up by an elite team around him. This is a legitimately GOOD quarterback leading a young team to a winning record! 20 of 27 for 210 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 INT (off of a deflected ball, that was nevertheless ill-advised, since the receiver was so well covered). He had a couple of dimes to Marquise Goodwin for touchdowns, who got to have his breakout game in a Seahawks uniform (4 for 67 and 2 TDs).
The cool thing is, the Seahawks always had an answer in this one. After we went up 17-0 in the first quarter, the Chargers started clawing back, bringing it to 17-14 with plenty of time left in the second quarter. But, we cooly marched down the field and made it 24-14. More importantly, we didn’t let their 2-minute offense go anywhere in keeping that score where it was at the break.
I somehow didn’t notice, but the Seahawks had a 10+ minute drive in the third quarter to go up 27-14. That really shortened things up, but by no means discouraged further scoring. We gave up a safety after the Chargers downed a punt at the one yard line, but we proceeded to force a 3 & Out off of the free kick, then got another field goal to make it 30-14. Then, another stop by our defense led to the Kenneth Walker burst around the right side; 1 play, 74 yards, game-clinching touchdown. We gave up a meaningless garbage time TD to my boy Ekeler, but then we proceeded to run off the final three and a half minutes to end it in Victory Formation.
The obvious downside to this game is the D.K. Metcalf injury. He had his hands on a ball near the goalline, came down awkwardly, and that was it. Seems to be a knee injury. It immediately took him out for the rest of the game, no questionable tag or anything. So that’s ominous. There will be further testing today, and it sounds like he’s optimistic this won’t be a big deal, but I have concerns!
Namely: Dee Eskridge fucking sucks, and it’s ridiculous that he’s getting as much playing time as he’s getting. He had a stupid penalty, he fumbled a toss by taking his eyes off the ball (though they credited it to Geno, which is asinine), he had zero catches on one target, and he had a meaningless fly-sweep run for 4 yards. This is what he’s here for? The stupid fly-sweep play that never works because it’s the NFL and everyone is fast? He’s brittle as fuck, every hit looks like it’s going to end his season, and I can’t shake the feeling that he’s keeping someone else off the field who is more deserving and who has a higher ceiling. All because we threw away the 2021 draft (where we only selected three guys) and he was our top pick that year.
This team will STRUGGLE if we don’t have Metcalf for the rest of the year. I’m just telling you that right now. Tyler Lockett is and has always been a really good #2, but he’s also getting older, and in spite of avoiding contact at practically every turn (smart, in his case; prolong that career!), he still found himself on the injury report and questionable all week. I love Marquise Goodwin, and as long as he’s healthy, he can be an elite #3. But, he hasn’t been able play a full season since 2017. He WILL get hurt, it’s only a matter of time. It was nice having him in this game, with Metcalf out. But, he could go down as early as next week and it wouldn’t shock me.
That leaves Eskridge (again, sucks) and the rookies at receiver. That makes this team much more predictable and easier to handle if it’s left to the running game and tight ends to do all the heavy lifting. Metcalf is the difference-maker. Metcalf forces defenses to spend untold time and resources in an effort to try and stop him. He takes the best cornerback off of Lockett, who is free to get open among lesser opponents. He opens up the tight ends to feast off of linebackers and linemen. He makes Geno Smith better than he is. Sure, Geno was able to weather the storm against the Chargers, but long term? I’d be very nervous. And I’m not just saying that because I have Metcalf in my dynasty league and don’t want to see him miss any time ever.
Now what we’re looking at is a step up in our litmus tests: a home game against the one-loss Giants. They appear to be the exact photo negative of the Chargers: they’re still good, but it has everything to do with the coaching, and less to do with the talent at quarterback, my apologies to Danny Dimes and whatnot.
If you thought I was befuddled by the Seahawks, HOO BOY do I not understand these Giants!
I would say their schedule has a lot to do with their 6-1 record, but I’m not so sure. Of course, they beat up on the Panthers, Bears, and Jaguars. But, they also defeated the Titans, Packers, and Ravens. I know those teams aren’t as spectacular as we all expected heading into the season, but I still believe they’ll all either be in the playoffs this year, or at least in contention to the bitter end.
They play largely mistake-free football. Dimes doesn’t throw a lot, but he’s running pretty well for a quarterback, and only has 2 picks against 6 TDs. They rely largely on their running game, featuring a rejuvenated Saquon Barkley, who has 726 yards and a 5.1 average per carry. He’s also pacing the team in targets with 30 and is second in receiving yards. He hasn’t played a healthy, full season since his rookie year of 2018, but he’s showing why his talent made him the 2nd overall draft pick.
So, you know, easy peasy, right? Stop Saquon Barkley, win the game! Simple! Why haven’t all these other teams thought of that?
The interesting thing is that their defense isn’t all that amazing. They’re middle of the road against the pass, and legitimately bad against the run. Yet, they allow the 6th fewest points in the league, making good on that Bend Don’t Break promise.
For the Seahawks to win, just know that Barkley is probably going to get his. But, you have to make him work for it. You can’t get gashed for huge plays all day long. You also need to put Danny Dimes into 3rd & medium-to-long situations and force him to beat you with his arm. We know how to play against mobile quarterbacks, so I would hope we can apply that wealth of knowledge to this game.
I don’t think there’s any way we get this game in a shootout. I think it’s going to be low-ish scoring and close. One way or the other, the winner will be decided by 3 points or less.
How about this for making a guess: if D.K. Metcalf is healthy and plays this week, the Seahawks will win. If he’s out, the Seahawks will lose. Either way, the score will be 20-17.
It’s supposed to be fun, right? Fantasy football is supposed to be a fun, entertaining lark. A way to enhance the already-enjoyable experience of watching actual football every Sunday. But, what is it really? It’s something to obsess about, to stress over, to watch in horror and/or misery as – every week – your team lets you down in one way or another. And even if you’re fortunate enough to prevail, what does that get you? A brief, temporary reprieve from all the negativity? Whatever it is, it’s short-lived, because as early as Sunday night, you’re right back at it, looking at how you want to set your lineup for the next week!
Fantasy football is a waking nightmare from September until January. Why do we put ourselves through this?
Ostensibly, usually we do this with our friends, and it’s nice to have that connection. It’s nice to check in – even if it’s only once or twice a year – to say hello and bust balls and whatnot, during the draft and off-season meeting. But, the rest of the time? You’re actively ruining one another’s existence with the outcome of these games!
Suffice it to say, RoundTine (you know, like the old Seinfeld gag about Ovaltine … the mug is round, the jar is round …) did not have a good week. As expected, I got nothing out of my Cowboys running back (I went with Pollard over Zeke, but neither one was worth a damn). Unexpectedly, though, CeeDee Lamb is a total turd and decidedly NOT a number one receiver in this league. So, that’s great. I’m so happy the fantasy football know-it-alls have been pumping him up for the last two years. These fucking morons get it right MAYBE 50% of the time, and yet they can’t shit without telling you all the “great calls” they made. For every Gabe Davis, there are thousands of CeeDee Lambs, and we should call this kind of punditry what it really is: a total fucking crapshoot.
I was pretty happy with Gabe Davis, that might be the one fantasy football move I’ve made in this league over the last five seasons that actually works out in my favor. But, he couldn’t possibly make up for all the dreadful decisions I’ve made. Mac Jones, for instance, did nothing. T.J. Hockenson did nothing. I got a pretty good game out of Jameis, but he’s hot one week and ice cold the next. I was able to pick up Baltimore’s defense, which was nice to have against a bumbling Jets team, but how many inept offenses will they go up against this year? And how long can I afford to hold two defenses, when I’m dealing with two injured running backs and only one IR spot to take advantage of?
It didn’t help that I was going up against a buzzsaw, who had a 70+ point lead over me heading into Monday night. Nearly 50 from Mahomes, 30 from Davante Adams, 20+ from Miami’s defense and Antonio Gibson. That’s just an impossible gauntlet to try to get through, especially for my team. I need opponents who have uncharacteristically bad weeks. This was someone who outscored his projected points by 12. Final score 171.50 to 129.10.
This week, I face Toot Cannons. Let’s see who I’ve got at my disposal:
Jameis Winston (QB) vs. TB
Mac Jones (QB) @ Pit
CeeDee Lamb (WR) vs. Cin
Diontae Johnson (WR) vs. NE
Javonte Williams (RB) vs. Hou
Ezekiel Elliott (RB) vs. Cin
T.J. Hockenson (TE) vs. Was
Gabe Davis (WR) vs. Ten
Evan McPherson (K) @ Dal
L.A. Rams (DEF) vs. Atl
I didn’t put in any waiver claims this week. No one really jumped out at me. So, for what it’s worth, I’m up to 5th in waiver priority. We’ll see how high I can get, or what that will ultimately net me.
I did make a free agent pick up. Quarterback Davis Mills in exchange for the Baltimore defense. I’m rebuilding, it makes zero sense to hold onto multiple defenses. But, here we go. That brings me to 4 quarterbacks on my roster. I’m in this fucking quagmire for another season.
I opted for James and Mac based on matchups. I don’t love Jones going up against the Steelers on the road, but who are my alternatives? Fields on the road against a great Packers defense? Mills on the road against a great and pissed off Broncos defense? I might still switch out this spot 40 times between now and Sunday, but for now that’s my rationale. Just go with Yahoo’s expected points, who has Jones a fraction ahead of Fields (who are both a good 5 points ahead of Mills).
I opted to bench D.K. because I think the Seahawks are going to have a LONG day offensively against the 49ers on the road. I was pretty happy with Javonte Williams for the Broncos and think he’ll be a Must Start as long as he’s healthy. I went back to Zeke in hopes that the Cowboys go run-heavy without Dak; maybe he’ll get me a TD for my trouble. Not a lot of alternatives on my roster; Kenneth Walker might return this week, but he’ll be decidedly behind Penny for quite some time, methinks.
Here’s Toot Cannons:
Kyler Murray (QB) @ LV
Tua Tagovailoa (QB) @ Bal
Tee Higgins (WR) @ Dal
Justin Jefferson (WR) @ Phi
Najee Harris (RB) vs. NE
Saquon Barkley (RB) vs. Car
Darren Waller (TE) vs. Ari
Mike Williams (WR) @ KC
Harrison Butker (K) vs. LAC
San Francisco (DEF) vs. Sea
He’s got some injury issues already; we’ll see if Higgins or Harris play. Also, his kicker might be out? Will that be worth rostering a second kicker for a week? As always, though, he’s got plenty on his bench to make up for it. Michael Carter for the Jets and Rashod Bateman for the Ravens are both steps down, but should be more than enough to get the job done against my pathetic team.
Toot Cannons is really looking to make a comeback this year, with a rejuvenated Barkley kicking ass and taking names. Jefferson and Murray are both point-hogs. Waller should have a better week against some shaky linebackers on the Cards. Mike Williams looks to ascend to the team’s #1 receiver role with Keenan Allen potentially out this Thursday. Even Tua looks decent with all those weapons around him!
Toot Cannons could defeat RoundTine with one hand tied behind his back. Here we go.
It’s not over, but Snoopy & Prickly Pete avoided a guaranteed last place finish by eking one out over Korky Butchek in the Toilet Bowl, 126.15 to 125.10.
This one looked REALLY solid as I headed into Monday Night Football with over an 80% chance of winning. I was trailing by around 15 points, but Korky had no more guys going, while I had Taylor Heinicke and D.K. Metcalf. Each player by themselves was projected to outscore my deficit. But, there I was, needing 4 points with a quarter left to play. There I was, needing 2.5 points with four minutes left to play. There I was, with a touchdown pass by Heinicke that was overturned with just over two minutes to go! And, there I was, right after that, needing just one catch for two yards out of D.K. Metcalf on the Seahawks’ final drive of the game. To that point, he had zero catches for zero yards on, I believe, just one target (he had zero targets heading into the second half, which is batshit crazy to me).
Thankfully, on that last drive, Metcalf had 1 reception for 13 yards, which was plenty for me to work with, even with Heinicke losing a rushing yard on the kneel down to end the game.
Clearly, with my team’s output, there wasn’t a lot to celebrate this past week. However, Javonte Williams – in my first game with him since the trade – put up 20.1 points, which is VERY encouraging. Even moreso, Mac Jones put up 28.6 to lead the way for my team. The move of the week – that won it for me – was picking up Houston’s defense. They only scored 12 points, but the Rams only scored 1 for my bench; it’s about time a move like that paid dividends.
It’s good too, because Korky’s kicker obnoxiously put up 21 points. Losing because an opposing kicker scores 21 is reason enough to never want kickers in the league; I’ve been fighting that losing battle for years, and I’ll continue to rage against the randomness of kicker scoring.
The victory puts me in a tie with Korky Butchek for last place, with a 3-9 record. However, he’s got a 50-point advantage over me. Which means either I need to keep pace with him record-wise – and outscore him by 50 points in the process – or I need to beat him by a game somewhere in the final two weeks of the regular season.
So, you’re tellin’ me there’s a chance!
This week, I go up against Toot Cannons; here’s who I’m looking to go with:
Mac Jones (QB) @ BUF
Taylor Heinicke (QB) @ LV
CeeDee Lamb (WR) @ NO
Diontae Johnson (WR) vs. BAL
Javonte Williams (RB) @ KC
Alexander Mattison (RB) @ DET
Mike Gesicki (TE) vs. NYG
D.K. Metcalf (WR) vs. SF
Ryan Succop (K) @ ATL
L.A. Rams (DEF) vs. JAX
Big news this week, as Dalvin Cook is injured and figures to miss a couple games. Mattison has been riding my bench ever since it looked like Cook might get suspended for domestic violence, and I’ve seen no reason to give up on that because Mattison is easily the most valuable backup running back in football. It’s for weeks like these where you want to have him. Against the Lions, he should feast. I’m benching Ezekiel Elliott this week because there’s been chatter of the Cowboys resting him. Even if he plays, though, the Saints have one of the best rush defenses in football. I could see him being more decoy than actual offensive asset; we’ll see if my gamble pays off. I’m kind of all in on Williams at this point, plus I absolutely HAVE to believe D.K. is in for a big game at some point. My dynasty kind of depends on it.
Toot Cannons has an extremely strong team, as you’ll see below:
Carson Wentz (QB) @ HOU
Kyler Murray (QB) @ CHI
Justin Jefferson (WR) @ DET
Mike Williams (WR) @ CIN
Najee Harris (RB) vs. BAL
Saquon Barkley (RB) @ MIA
Dallas Goedert (TE) @ NYJ
Tee Higgins (WR) vs. LAC
Harrison Butker (K) vs. DEN
San Francisco (DEF) @ SEA
He’s also got Tua, who has looked halfway competent at times! Certainly better than most of the QBs on my roster. And, he’s got Myles Gaskin as insurance off his bench. It’s going to be a tall order; Toot Cannons is 7-5 and has weathered the storm of the Murray injury over the last month. He looks to be in great shape to make a playoff run. Meanwhile, I’m fighting for my life to avoid last place.
In the spirit of Scoreboard Watching, Korky Butchek will be going up against The Lance Petemans this week. Lance is 5-7 and on the outside-looking-in on a playoff spot in seventh place. He has something to play for, so I’m hoping he’s up to the challenge of keeping me alive for Not Last Place.
Splinter League Round-Up!
BUCK FUTTER had an unimpressive victory over Chubby Dumplings to keep my hold on third place. More importantly, we knocked Chubby to a game back in the standings. The first place team also lost, which means I’m now just a game back of the top spot, all with three weeks to go. Next week, I get to play that erstwhile first place team (who fell to second, based on total points scored) for a chance to leapfrog him and try to cement my spot in the 4-team playoffs. I’ll have to do it without Aaron Rodgers, who has really been carrying me this year; thankfully, I was on top of stashing Mattison in all my leagues, so he should provide a boost for three teams I know and care about!
I’m just going to say this right now: I picked the best-possible weekend to get away to Leavenworth, because almost NOTHING went right for me, sports-wise. On top of the Mariners and Huskies bungling things, all three of my fantasy teams collectively shit their respective beds!
Snoopy & Prickly Pete lost to Toot Cannons 157.48 to 129.90. With a score that feeble, you’d expect my team had problems throughout the lineup, but really it was just a matter of having the worst quarterback situation in the league, combined with the Rams’ defense getting boat-raced.
My position players – save CeeDee Lamb, who mystifyingly did nothing in a game where the Cowboys scored 36 points (it happens, I guess) – all did okay! Metcalf had 16.5 points, Zeke got me 20.3, even CEH got me 19.4. Noah Fant had a respectable tight end day with 16.6, and Diontae Johnson busted out with 24.2 (making the waiver claim my highest scorer on the week). I even got 13 points from my kicker! I would take those scores from those guys every week and be happy.
But, Jimmy G was held to 10.25 points (before being pulled with a “calf injury” at halftime), and Justin Fields was held to 7.35. If I’d gone with Jameis and Mac Jones, I could’ve added approximately 21 points to my total, but that still wouldn’t have made up for the -1 I got from the Rams’ defense. I was just destined to lose this game.
Toot Cannons didn’t blow my doors off or anything; he didn’t put up 200+ like you can in this league. But, he had competent quarterbacks, and a huge day from Saquon Barkley, Najee Harris, Justin Jefferson, and Darren Waller. Those are the kinds of young studs I wish I had.
I managed to get Taylor Heinicke in a waiver claim, which I feel like is the last possible moment someone can get this guy. He’s been good-to-great since he’s been in the lineup! Certainly better than any of my quarterbacks I’ve been rolling with. He put up 36.8 against the Falcons for Christ’s sake! I don’t know if he’s a viable long-term option, but for the rest of this year he’s a must-start for me until things take a turn for the worse.
I have lots of other last-minute decisions to make this week, because I’ve got lots of guys who are KINDA injured, but might still play. What I want to do is bench D.K. Metcalf, because Jalen Ramsey always makes him his bitch. But, I don’t know if A.J. Brown is going to for-sure play or not, and with my bench structured the way it is (with all these quarterbacks), it’s not like I’m loaded with alternatives to start at the rest of my spots. Plus, even if Brown plays – it’s a great matchup against a terrible Jags defense – who knows if he’ll just be out there as a decoy, or if he’ll actually be incorporated into the offense? If Brown suits up, I might put him in for Diontae Johnson (who has a tough matchup against the Broncos), but like I said, that’ll be a last-minute decision (that I’m sure I’ll get wrong, no matter what I choose).
I really have a conundrum at the QB spot. Jimmy G may or may not go; I like his chances for a high-scoring game against the Cards, as they will need to throw a lot to stay in it. Justin Fields may or may not go, with Andy Dalton on the mend; but he’s yet to score over 8 fantasy points in our league, so is he worth starting at this point, after doing nothing against the Lions? I’m leaning Jameis against the Washington Football Team, but he keeps getting TDs sniped inside the 10 yard line by the bane of my existence Taysom Hill. Mac Jones looked semi-competent against the Bucs and has a solid matchup against the lowly Texans.
So, I dunno what I’ll do. Here’s how my lineup tentatively shakes out for Week 5:
Taylor Heinicke (QB) vs. NO
Mac Jones (QB) @ HOU
D.K. Metcalf (WR) vs. LAR
Diontae Johnson (WR) vs. DEN
Ezekiel Elliott (RB) vs. NYG
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB) vs. BUF
Noah Fant (TE) @ PIT
CeeDee Lamb (WR) vs. NYG
Justin Tucker (K) vs. IND
L.A. Rams (DEF) @ SEA
Justin Tucker is my favorite person on the planet. I’m hoping for a big bounce-back game out of Lamb. Zeke looks rejuvenated with Dak back in the fold. And, I fully expect the Rams to make Russell Wilson’s life miserable all game long.
My opponent this week is Sloane N Steady. I’m currently in 9th place with a 1-3 record; he is currently in 10th place with a 1-3 record (only two points separate us). It’s a rumble for last place! You hate to see it. Here’s what I have to go against:
Aaron Rodgers (QB) @ CIN
Derek Carr (QB) vs. CHI
Mike Evans (WR) vs. MIA
Michael Pittman Jr. (WR) @ BAL
Nick Chubb (RB) @ LAC
Dalvin Cook (RB) vs. DET
Kyle Pitts (TE) vs. NYJ
Kareem Hunt (RB) @ LAC
TBD (K) vs. TBD
San Francisco (DEF) @ ARI
He’s got good quarterbacks, he’s got elite running backs, so I don’t totally get why he’s doing so poorly this year. His receivers are a little lacking, but it seems like he could fix that in free agency. And, it feels like it’s only a matter of time before Kyle Pitts busts out.
I don’t like my chances, but then again I never do. I think I’ll have sole possession of last place when this week is done, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to climb out of it the rest of the year. I just need to figure something out for the Consolation Bracket and try to finagle my way into a Top 2 pick for next year.
Splinter League Round-Up!
I’m starting to regret adding this segment to my weekly fantasy column, because BUCK FUTTER has lost two games in four weeks now; I was projected to lose only one all season! I don’t know what happened, but my non-QBs totally shit the bed. Chuba Hubbard was a waste of a waiver claim, and Waddle and Godwin did practically nothing. I’ll try to right the ship next week, but it’s like I’m getting everyone’s best efforts every week.
I’ll go through the motions of talking about the Giants this week, and the Jets after that, and the Football Team from Washington D.C. after that, but my heart won’t really be in it, because I have no respect for any of these teams. They’re all inferior, deeply-flawed teams that should lose to the Seahawks. I can’t promise these games will be easy to watch. I can’t tell you the Seahawks won’t make you want to throw your remote control across the room as they sometimes struggle against teams they should easily defeat by double-digits. But, just as the game against the Eagles ultimately proved, the Seahawks are better and they SHOULD prevail.
So. The New York Football Giants. What can you say? They’re 4-7 and somehow tied for first place in the NFC East. They are winners of three in a row (and 4 of their last 6), but those victories are against Washington (twice), Philly, and Cincy (who have a combined 9 wins this season). Of our next three opponents, this is probably the best, but since they have to come all the way out here, I would argue this isn’t the toughest matchup of the three.
The Giants’ strengths lie exclusively on the defensive side of the ball. They’re in the upper half of the league in sacks. They’re in the top 10 in fewest yards given up. They’re fifth in fewest rushing yards given up, but they’re only middle-of-the-pack in passing yards given up. We should be able to throw on them if we want to; if we try to force the issue on the ground, it could be a long, frustrating game. They’re tied for fourth in takeaways, evenly split with nine interceptions and nine fumble recoveries; the fumble number is on the higher side, which shows that they’ve been relatively lucky in that regard to date.
Offensively, the Giants are a fucking disaster. Daniel Jones has proven to be thoroughly inept in his second year in the league, regressing quite a bit after a promising rookie season (I think it’s no coincidence that the Giants just hired Jason Garrett before the season, who was a mediocre head coach and – before that – coordinator for the Cowboys for many years); he’s too prone to turning the ball over (which is how the Giants can be tied for fourth in most takeaways, yet only have a +2 turnover differential), which totally negates his plus-ability to run with the football.
And yet, Jones was injured last week and probably won’t even play. I can’t tell if that’s a good thing or not. Colt McCoy is a career backup (for a reason), but the Seahawks have shown that they can struggle against these guys. They tend to be more careful with the football, and play us tough in low-scoring, hard-fought affairs. The ceiling for the Giants’ offense this Sunday isn’t very high, but the floor isn’t very low (compared to the floor for Jones, which is through the Earth’s fucking crust, with how he can cough up the football).
Besides the new offensive coordinator, the Giants (and Jones) have struggled behind one of the worst offensive lines in the league. I don’t know if they’re super injured or just bad in general, but I suspect probably both. They’ve also suffered a rash of injuries to all of their wide receivers and their superstar running back in Saquon Barkley. So, again, REALLY low ceiling here.
I can’t envision a scenario where the Seahawks lose this one, but the only way it’s close is if we continuously ram our heads against a brick wall trying to get the running game going, and Wilson has one of his infrequent turnover-prone performances. By keeping the game close, I suppose it’s conceivable that the Giants could have the ball late, down only a small handful of points, driving for a go-ahead score. But, it feels like the perfect storm of fuckery would have to happen for this to be our reality. I’m not buying it.
Give me Seahawks 23, Giants 13, which – no joke – is the spread and the total points listed in Vegas (SIGHT UNSEEN, mind you!), so I think we might be on to something here!
In unrelated gambling news, my Vegas trip has been postponed, and I mostly forgot to set up any fake bets last week. I did one 3-team, 10-point teaser: moving Washington to +13 over Dallas (Washington won outright), Atlanta to +13 over the Raiders (they also won outright), and Green Bay to +1.5 over the Bears (they also won outright). My other teaser, a 2-team, 6-point one, was Washington to +9 and New England to +8.5 over the Cardinals (New England won outright). So, not too bad! I also had Denver in that 3-team teaser (in place of Atlanta), but that was prior to all of their quarterbacks being placed on the COVID IR (nevertheless, a loss is a loss when you place the fake bet). Still, 2-1 on the week isn’t bad.
Here’s the bets I’m looking at for this weekend:
SEA to PK over NYG
GB to +1.5 over PHI
AZ to +13 over LAR
SEA to PK over NYG
GB to +1.5 over PHI
HOU to +13.5 over IND
SEA to PK over NYG
GB to +1.5 over PHI
NYJ to +19 over LV
SEA to PK over NYG
GB to +1 over PHI
MIN to PK over JAX
SEA to PK over NYG
GB to +1.5 over PHI
CLE to +16 over TEN
SEA to PK over NYG
GB to +1.5 over PHI
NE to +9 over LAC
Also, here are some college bets, for shits n’ giggles:
Appalachian State -2.5 over UL Lafayette
Ohio State -24 over Michigan State
Oklahoma State & TCU over 51.5 points
Rutgers +11.5 over Penn State
Marshall -23.5 over Rice
Texas A&M -6.5 over Auburn
Notre Dame -33.5 over Syracuse
Buffalo -11.5 over Ohio
Buffalo & Ohio over 58
Indiana +14 over Wisconsin
Iowa St. -6.5 over West Virginia
Washington -11.5 over Stanford
Coastal Carolina +10 over BYU
Also Coastal Carolina on the Money Line at +280
Oregon -9 over Cal
WSU +12.5 over USC
I’d put the most money on App State, Indiana, Buffalo & Ohio over, Washington, and everything Coastal Carolina.
Still I can’t let go! Tua belongs to me! I belong Tua!
This was supposed to be a Get Right game for Tua (against the Jets), but instead he suffered some sort of thumb injury beforehand (!) and didn’t even play. That left me scrambling to get his backup, but thankfully I was on the ball this time. So, it was The Return Of FitzMagic who was … fine. 25.85 points is actually pretty good for me, but obviously when you’re going up against the Jets you’d like to see 30+ out of your quarterback. In the end, it didn’t matter because I was smart enough to sub Kirk Cousins in for Carson Wentz, who ended up getting me 35.25 (compared to Wentz’s 22.95), and Nobody Beats The Wiz ended up defeating Korky Butchek 172.78 to 104.90.
What a drubbing! And, it could’ve been so much worse, but I got cold feet at the last minute with Deebo Samuel. Once Tua was ruled out, I was able to stash him in one of my IR spots, giving me an opportunity to pick up Atlanta’s backup running back – Brian Hill, who was starting in place of the injured Todd Gurley – who I figured would be good for 10 points or so, with upside in the high teens. I was honestly more worried that the Rams’ defense would destroy the 49ers, but boy was I mistaken! Hill only got 5.5, while Deebo racked up 24.3 for my bench (and, to boot, the 49ers actually beat the Rams, to help the Seahawks out!).
But, on top of my QBs killing it, I had a lot of guys running up the score. A.J. Brown, Dallas Goedert, and the Rams’ defense all had over 20 points (with DeVante Parker getting 19.9); that was enough to overcome my three running backs scoring me a combined 13.8.
The victory puts me at 7-5 on the season, and thanks to Sausage Shaped Pest losing, guarantees me a spot in this year’s playoffs! Now, all I have to worry about is playoff seeding.
I was about to get into all the possible scenarios, but they are too varied to count. Suffice it to say I’m currently in 5th place; the highest I can climb is to third place (if I win and the two teams above me – also 7-5 – lose their games). The lowest I can finish is 6th place; I have no tiebreaker advantages because I have the fewest points scored of all the teams in the playoffs. I wish I knew the history of being the playoff team with the fewest points, but I’ve never been in this position! Usually, I’m one of the teams that scores MORE than one (or more) of the playoff teams, but due to bad luck ends up in the Consolation Bracket. So, this is uncharted territory for me; hopefully my team gets hot at the right time!
This week, Nobody Beats The Wiz gets a meaningless matchup against Sausage Shaped Pest. It most likely won’t matter either way if I win or lose, so watch me have my best game of the entire season (right before having my absolute worst game, to bounce me from the playoffs). Here’s my lineup anyway (subject to change, if I get a wild hair up my ass about something on Sunday morning):
Kirk Cousins (QB) vs. JAX
Ryan Fitzpatrick or Tua Tagovailoa (QB) vs. CIN
A.J. Brown (WR) vs. CLE
DeVante Parker (WR) vs. CIN
Ezekiel Elliott (RB) @ BAL
Josh Jacobs (RB) @ NYJ
Dallas Goedert (TE) @ GB
Deebo Samuel (WR) vs. BUF
Harrison Butker (K) vs. DEN
L.A. Rams (DEF) @ ARI
It seems to be a toss-up as to who will start for Miami this week; is Tua’s injury healed? We’ll see! My three receivers all have great matchups this week; my running backs less so (especially if Jacobs’ sprained ankle doesn’t allow him to play; then I’ll have to start CEH against Denver’s stout defense). But, again, I’m not too worried because this game is meaningless. Here’s Sausage Shaped Pest’s roster this week:
Derek Carr (QB) @ NYJ
Kyler Murray (QB) vs. LAR
Michael Thomas (WR) @ ATL
Justin Jefferson (WR) vs. JAX
Gio Bernard (RB) @ MIA
Wayne Gallman (RB) @ SEA
Darren Waller (TE) @ NYJ
Brandin Cooks (WR) vs. IND
Brandon McManus (K) @ KC
Cleveland (DEF) @ TEN
That’s a pretty good team, that’s been decimated by injuries. He should have Joe Mixon and Saquon Barkley as his starting running backs, but both are currently on IR. He’s also got Mike Evans on BYE this week to hamper his flex spot. Nevertheless, there’s a lot of firepower left over. My guess is he’ll pick up a new defense this week, but he also might not care because he’s already been doomed to the Consolation Bracket.
Next week, I’ll have a playoff preview, since I’m guaranteed to be playing in Week 14. The top two seeds – both with 8-4 records at the moment – while they don’t have their BYEs locked in, they’ve at least locked me out (since they have SO MANY more points than I do). Nevertheless, you know what’s crazy? I have the longest active winning streak in the league right now, of four games, with a very good chance to make it five heading into the playoffs. The hottest team wins no awards, and it has no bearing on what happens in the all-important playoffs. But, I feel better than I did two months ago, when it comes to my team! I’ve done everything I can to try to improve my lineup, and now it’s up to the players to lead me to victory or (more likely) submarine me into the briny deep.
Now that I feel somewhat okay about my lot in (fantasy football) life, watch it all blow up in my fucking face. Next week, I’ll take you down Memory Lane, and look at all of my fantasy football finishes in this league, dating back to 2003 (when we joined Yahoo!). Spoiler Alert: there’s A LOT of mediocrity!
What an unbelievable clusterfuck. I mean, there’s really nothing to say at this point, other than Nobody Beats The Wiz scored the fewest amount of points in the league. My quarterbacks were fucking trash, and my last-minute wide receiver replacement – Parris Campbell of the Colts – got injured the first time he touched the football and is now out indefinitely. He really looked like he was going to be an awesome play against an inept Vikings defense (the other receivers on that team ended up having great days, to further twist the knife into my heart), but it doesn’t even matter because if I’d stayed with my original second wide receiver choice Darius Slayton, he only ended up with 6.3 points, which wouldn’t have been enough to put me over the top, as the final score was 136.20 to 123.45.
The loss drops me to 1-1; there are eight teams in our league with the same record (one team is 2-0, and one team is 0-2). Thanks to my low number of total points, that means I’m in 8th place out of 10 teams. So, obviously, not great.
I suppose it could’ve been worse, given all the crazy injuries that took place over the weekend. Saquon Barkley – a keeper in our league, but a top 5 draft pick most everywhere else – is out for the year. Christian McCaffrey – another top 5 guy – is out for a few weeks. God help you if you’re reliant upon the 49ers, as most of their team is hurt! The Broncos lost their quarterback and top receiver, the Chargers’ quarterback is week-to-week, even the Seahawks’ run-down defense is feeling the loss in significant ways.
This is a week to just forget about and move on as quickly as possible. I have nothing positive to say, other than my opponent left Cam Newton’s 38 points on his bench, otherwise I would’ve lost by a significantly wider margin!
I have something of a dilemma on my hands this week. Not with my running backs, who are all great; between those two spots and my FLEX, I’m happy starting all of them every single week. While my receivers are far from ideal, I’m pretty much resigned to playing whoever’s got the best matchup (with ODB getting the lion’s share of the starts until he proves too mediocre to play on a regular basis). But, once again, I’m getting abysmal quarterback play, which is the worst-case scenario for a 2-QB league where points are skewed in their favor.
You strive in fantasy football to take all decision-making out of it, by acquiring players who are Must Starts every week they’re active. The more you introduce decision-making into it, the more you open yourself up to mistakes. You can have all the stats in front of you, making your decision based on the soundest of logic, taking emotion completely out of the equation, and it can still bite you in the ass. I frequently tout Daniel Jones and his four 40-point games last season as the primary reason why I decided to make him one of my keepers, but how many of those games did I have him in my starting lineup last year? I want to say once. One time I was able to take advantage. Every other time, I was scared of the matchup, or not ready to believe in his abilities.
Well, here I am, two weeks into 2020, and I’m scared of EVERY matchup, and I don’t believe in ANY of my quarterbacks! Carson Wentz was supposed to be my safe play, the guy who gets me a steady 20-something points every week. He won’t go off for 40+ very often, but he’s not supposed to be wretched either! Yet, I’m looking at 15-point and 10-point games in back to back weeks; that’s unacceptable. But, it’s not like Daniel Jones is much better. My best quarterback through two weeks is Mitch Trubisky (who I picked up as a free agent last week); he’s a guy NO ONE believes in, yet here we are.
My dilemma is, I allegedly have three good matchups this week. Daniel Jones is hosting a depleted 49ers defense; with all the injuries on that side of the ball – combined with Barkley’s injury for the Giants – I could see Jones throwing the ball with great success. Carson Wentz is projected to score me the most fantasy points this week, as his Eagles host the Bengals. But, Mitch Trubisky might have the juiciest matchup of all, playing in Atlanta against a Falcons defense that’s given up the most points to opposing quarterbacks in all of football. So, who do I sit?
To me, Trubisky is a Must Start this week. Atlanta has proven they can’t stop anyone this season, and Trubisky has shown he’s at least semi-competent. The Bengals allegedly have a terrible secondary, but from what I’ve seen, it’s their run defense that’s truly awful; I could see the Eagles getting an early lead and leaning on their running game the rest of the way in a comfortable, lowish-scoring blowout. With Jones now being The Guy on that Giants offense – combined with the fact that the Giants’ defense is one of the worst, so they’re always going to need to score lots of points to stay in games – I can’t bring myself to sit him. The potential is too great, whereas Wentz doesn’t seem to know what he’s doing this year.
So, with that being said, watch out for a HUGE day by Wentz this week! I’m sitting him, so of course he’s going to put up 40+ points! I fucking hate fantasy football.
All right, with my crybaby tantrum out of the way, let’s take a look at my roster moves for this week. I put in a waiver claim for Dallas rookie wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (dropping the injured Campbell, naturally). As a guy who currently owns way too many compact discs (and whose collection once numbered into the four-digits), that’s a name after my own heart. But, more than that, he looks like the real deal. The Cowboys obviously like him a lot, and it appears he’s taken over the #2 receiver job on that team ahead of Michael Gallup (who many thought would have a breakout year, but hasn’t done much of anything so far). Lamb is immediately going into my lineup as the Cowboys face off against the Seahawks, who have given up a TON of yards and touchdowns to receivers this year (in fact, according to Yahoo!, the Seahawks have given up the most points to fantasy receivers this year). He is, once again, taking the spot of Darius Slayton (who I really like, as again, he’s going up against that depleted 49ers secondary), but it’s a numbers game at this point (also, watch out for Odell Beckham Jr. to have far and away the worst day of the three receivers on my roster this week; just a hunch).
I also went ahead and picked back up the Indianapolis Colts’ defense. They bounced back in a big way against the Vikings last week (scoring 29 points for no one), showing that they’re not horrible like I’d once feared. While Washington has a pretty solid matchup against the Browns this week, Indy is going up against the Jets, who might have the worst offense in all of football. So, this will hopefully be a significant boost to my team this week (and ideally, for weeks to come). I still have Washington’s defense, though, as I plan to mix-and-match for a while; I ended up dropping running back Malcolm Brown, who is, indeed, in a 3-headed hydra at that position for the Rams (and who looked pretty mediocre last week). At this point, I can’t afford to hang onto two backup running backs for the same team, when I’ve already got three quality starters for other teams going every week.
I HOPE … that will be the end of my tinkering. Here is my lineup:
Jones (QB) vs. SF
Trubisky (QB) @ ATL
Beckham (WR) vs. WAS
Lamb (WR) @ SEA
Elliott (RB) @ SEA
Jacobs (RB) @ NE
Fant (TE) vs. TB
Edwards-Helaire @ BAL
Butker (K) @ BAL
Indianapolis (DEF) vs. NYJ
A.J. Brown, receiver for the Titans, looks like he’s going to miss a second consecutive week, which is a shame, because they’re going up against an inept secondary in the Vikings. Corey Davis might be a decent pickup for someone who is streaming receivers, but obviously you want Jonnu Smith, the Titans’ tight end (he should have a monster day; if you haven’t picked him up in your league, now is the time, because he’s elite). I’ve pretty much talked about the rest of my bench and why they’re not playing this week, other than Cam Akers, who has a rib injury and is also still playing behind the other two running backs on that Rams team. He’s still my little stash, though! I’m hoping for a late-season run of good fortune out of him!
This week, Nobody Beats The Wiz is facing off against Korky Butchek. On paper, his team doesn’t seem that strong, but I’m really one to talk. So, without further ado, here is his projected lineup:
Jared Goff (QB) @ BUF
Joe Burrow (QB) @ PHI
DeAndre Hopkins (WR) vs. DET
JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR) vs. HOU
David Montgomery (RB) @ ATL
James Robinson (RB) vs. MIA
Jonnu Smith (TE) @ MIN
D.J. Moore (WR) @ LAC
Matt Prater (K) @ ARI
Kansas City (DEF) @ BAL
He also has Hayden Hurst as his other tight end, but Jonnu was one of Korky Butchek’s waiver claims this week, and I have to believe that’s who he’ll be going with. Otherwise, his team is pretty banged up. Raheem Mostert went down last week; he’s out. Drew Lock went down last week; he’s out. LeVeon Bell went down in week 1; he’s on IR. As for his starters, his quarterbacks are playing some tough defenses on the road. His receivers should all clean house, and his running backs should be fine. If I were him, I’d worry about that Kansas City defense going up against Baltimore; let’s just say I’m glad I picked up Indianapolis this morning, because I’d hate to have to go up against someone with them in their lineup!
I’m a soft favorite so far, but there’s still time for him to pick up another defense to even that out. I’m sure my tinkering (with quarterbacks) and lack of tinkering (with ODB) will kill me, and you’ll be talking to someone who’s 1-2 and spiraling out of control this time next week.
Oh that’s right, I’ve decided to name my team after the great Seinfeld character!
Anyway, we had our draft last Friday, and of course I opted to go rogue. Look, I don’t know who reads this! I can’t be handing my league-mates possible insights into my fantasy football mind! So, you know, I conveniently left out the part that my top two guys were NOT Mike Evans and Aaron Jones, but rather:
To be fair, I did talk about Sanders last week. In going back and looking at his numbers, I didn’t realize just how many targets he gets in the passing game! Considering I also have his quarterback – Carson Wentz – and they still might not have the best crop of wide receivers in the world, I wouldn’t have thrown that connection out of bed.
But, all along, my true number one was always Clyde Edwards-Helaire (I might just shorten that to CEH even though it looks like an unpleasant search term on Pornhub or something). Remember before when I was bemoaning how there weren’t any great rookie running backs in this class? Remember how I wanted my Saquon Barkley? Well, he might be it! He was looking like a dark horse fantasy candidate before Damien Williams decided to opt out of this season due to COVID, but now that he’s the true #1 on the Chiefs, there’s just no denying him! His potential is through the roof!
Sanders would’ve been the safer pick, because at least he has a year of experience. But, I’ll take upside every time.
Just as I suspected, the guy with the #1 draft pick – COVID Bubble Boys – opted to go quarterback with his first selection: Drew Brees. Definitely a Playing For Now type of guy, and you have to respect that. He’s already got Lamar Jackson, might as well take his shot every chance he gets!
That left me with my pick of the litter, CEH. Sure enough, Miles Sanders went #3. THEN Joe Burrow went off the board! Followed by Aaron Jones, Tom Brady, Mike Evans (to the guy who had him last year, in effect giving him five keepers), Baker Mayfield, Chris Carson, and D.K. Metcalf rounding out the Top Ten.
That D.K. Metcalf pick is an interesting one, because he was CERTAINLY a guy I was targeting (although, I wanted him much later than when he went). That’s what’s hard about being in a fantasy football league with guys who either currently live in the Seattle area or have lived a long time in the Seattle area: the good Seahawks tend to get over-valued. Russell Wilson, for instance, has been on the same fantasy team since his rookie year, kept every single time by the same guy. Chris Carson is certainly an elite running back when he’s healthy, but he’s finished every year of his pro career with an injury, and there’s no reason for that not to continue. Tyler Lockett was kept this year mostly because that guy didn’t have a great fourth option for his keepers. And, while Metcalf certainly looked phenomenal in his rookie season last year, he’s still young and still a member of this offense, that likes to spread the ball around more than just about any other.
Metcalf COULD be the next Julio Jones; he seems to be driven as such. But, in this offense, he’s very touchdown-dependant (and very deep play-dependant). You might see a lot of lines like: 4 catches for 88 yards and 2 TDs. Which, yeah, is 24.8 points in our league, but without those two touchdowns, you’re looking at 12.8 points (which is okay, but nothing to write home about, especially for the first receiver you’ve drafted). In my mind, Metcalf would’ve been an ideal third receiver for a fantasy team, so I was a little disappointed he went off the board before I’d even selected my first.
That brings us to the second round (I won’t go through all of them, I promise); with three RBs on my team, I knew I was going receiver, regardless. Thankfully, some great ones remained! Kenny Golladay ended up going one spot ahead of me, but I was okay with that, because it means I get to enjoy Odell Beckham Jr. for the first time in my fantasy career!
I don’t know how ODB fell to me, but I’ll take him! I mean, I sort of know how he fell to me: he plays for Cleveland. He’s a diva. He could score me 40 points … or he could get so mad, blow up, and retire in the middle of a football game. It’s all on the table! The headache and the constant worry can be a little much, and I get that. If he were my first draft selection, I’d be much more nervous; but, as a second? The pressure is off! I’ve already got the guy I’ll be looking to keep next year. Had I landed ODB back when he was on the Giants, I’d be looking at him with those same eyes, figuring I’d hold onto him for many years to come. But, this way? I see him as a one-year rental. A hired gun to help bring me a championship.
I went back to the WR well in round three. Two top receivers from the 2019 rookie class – Scary Terry McLaurin and A.J. Brown – were both sitting there (among many others, of course). Once again, my choice was made for me by the COVID Bubble Boys, as he nabbed Scary Terry. That was a tough one; I had him last year, and was looking to reinvest! The Washington Football Team is a disaster – and they’re starting with Dwayne Haskins at quarterback, which could be a shitshow – but Scary Terry is a rising star and could help make anyone throwing to him look good! So, I settled for A.J. Brown. Considering I thought he might’ve been a keeper at one point, I think that’s a pretty swell consolation prize. I’m not a believer in Ryan Tannehill, but I’m also willing to be wrong. If he – and the Titans – can recapture that magic from 2019, then A.J. Brown could be even BETTER than a #2 receiver.
A lot of other receivers were taken in that round, but I wanted to get one more just to be safe. So, with my fourth pick, I went with DeVante Parker. It was either him or Robert Woods or Michael Gallup (kinda wish I’d remembered he was out there and grabbed him instead) or Courtland Sutton. Parker has been around for a while, but had a breakout season last year; when he’s on, he’s a bona fide #1 guy. But, I think the risk with him is that he doesn’t totally buy in. That he’s more of a fair-weather football player. Plus, he plays for the Miami Dolphins, and they will likely be breaking in a rookie quarterback at some point this year. Look, I’m not expecting a lot out of Parker; I mostly just took him because Yahoo had him rated so high (and because I REALLY didn’t want to pick LeVeon Bell, who fell REALLY far in this draft because he’s old and on the Jets and it’s pretty apparent the current Jets coaching staff doesn’t like him much). If we look back at where I screwed up my season, I’ll be looking at this pick (and probably wishing I’d gone with Gallup).
With my two quarterbacks, three running backs, and three receivers, I took a couple chances on some guys who might not help me right away; “projects” or “developmental guys” if you will. Cam Akers, rookie running back for the Rams, was my fifth pick. I love a running back from an explosive offense! The Rams sent Todd Gurley packing, so that running back job is wide open. I don’t think Akers will start right away, but he could get the nod as the season wears on. If he proves himself, he could be either a valuable trade chip OR a stud for me in the fantasy playoffs.
Then, with my sixth pick, I grabbed receiver Deebo Samuel. He’s injured at the moment, but has just started practicing, and could come off of whatever injured list he’s on. No one figures he’ll play much in the first couple weeks, but if he heals properly, he could be another boost for me after the season gets going. The downside is, of course, that his injury is to his foot, and foot injuries for receivers are notoriously chronic. Part of me worries that he’ll be dealing with this foot thing all year, which won’t be enough to put him on the IR, but will hamper him JUST enough to be rendered ineffective. I suspect the minute I feel confident in starting him will be the game where he comes out in the first quarter with that foot injury, never to return again.
You’ll notice I have yet to mention selecting a tight end. What can I say? The good ones didn’t stick around, and I always saw a better receiver or running back when it was my turn to pick. Finally, I had to bite the bullet. There were a couple potentially-solid guys left over – Hayden Hurst for the Falcons went in the following round, and Hunter Henry for the Chargers went a round after THAT – but I opted to go with second year player Noah Fant for the Broncos. As a first round pick for Denver last year, CLEARLY Fant is someone they want to feature pretty heavily in their offense. Reports indicate they’re moving him all around pre-snap (from along the O-Line, to in the slot, to out wide like a receiver) and I take that as a VERY positive sign that he has a lot of fantasy upside. I know, Drew Lock is their quarterback, but even mediocre throwers still manage to find a tight end safety valve every now and then. I don’t ask a lot from my tight ends; just get me around ten points per week. Anything more than that is gravy. I have a feeling that I might be eating a lot of gravy this year with Fant in the fold.
With my eighth pick, it was time to buy a lottery ticket. Mecole Hardman, wide receiver with the Chiefs. He’s mostly just a big play wide receiver, but he has the best of the big play quarterbacks throwing to him! He’s also one Tyreek Hill injury away from being this team’s #1 guy (and, with the way Hill plays – always putting his body in harm’s way to make a play – that’s not much of a stretch for me to make).
Confident with the rest of my roster – from a skill position perspective, anyway – I decided to use my ninth pick to take the first kicker off the board: Harrison Butker, also of the Chiefs. Give me as many Chiefs as you got! My man Crazy N8’s Prostates bemoaned the pick – as he had the same idea – and he had to settle for Justin Tucker few picks later.
With two rounds left, I still needed a third quarterback and a defense. Yikes, I know. I was eyeballing a third quarterback as early as that DeVante Parker selection, but none of the leftovers really caught my eye. Down to the nitty gritty, there STILL wasn’t anyone who caught my eye; it came down to Teddy Bridgewater, Dwayne Haskins, Mitch Trubisky, and the guy I ended up going with: Sam Darnold of the Jets. Yeah, I know.
Trubisky was a hard pass, because his career is on the ropes, and I don’t know if he’ll still have the starting job by the time I need him (my starting QBs have BYEs in weeks 9 and 11, so it should be some time before I actually NEED a third guy). Of course, idiot that I am, I didn’t realize until the moment of this writing that Darnold ALSO has a BYE in week 11 (SIGH), but I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. Anyway, I ruled out Bridgewater because I don’t think he’s good, and that team he’s on has no one but an elite running back to throw to. I ruled out Haskins because he sucks and that team sucks. That’s not saying much, because I also think Darnold sucks (and the fantasy league would seem to agree, considering how far he fell) and the Jets suck, but I do believe Darnold has SOME upside. This will be his third year, after recovering from an injury-plagued start to his career. Love or hate his head coach, the guy at least has a reputation as someone who does well with quarterbacks. I don’t plan on starting Darnold unless absolutely necessary. But, if he proves – with improved play – that he’s viable, I may have to work him in (considering I can’t be totally sold on someone like Danny Dimes at this point in his development).
Regretfully, the New England defense went one spot before I picked Darnold; the Patriots were CARRIED by their defense last year, and by all accounts they should be good in 2020 as well (my only concern was not knowing who on their team has opted out of this season for COVID reasons). With my final pick, I went with the highest-rated defense remaining: the Indianapolis Colts. I don’t have a lot of confidence, but I fully expect there to be a good defense for me to grab on waivers at some point.
Yahoo graded me with a B+ which is good for middle-of-the-road in our league (5th in rankings). However, I’m projected for a second place finish in our league at the moment of this writing! I have the league’s youngest team once again, but I’m hoping it actually pays off this time.
More than anything, I’m hoping my team name proves prophetic. Nobody Beats The Wiz? I sure hope so! It couldn’t be any worse than that year I went as Mr. Poopy Butthole …
Really quick, let’s take a look at this week’s matchup. Nobody Beats The Wiz is facing off against the aforementioned Crazy N8’s Prostates. Here’s my lineup:
Wentz (QB) @ Was
Jones (QB) vs. Pit
ODB (WR) @ Bal
Brown (WR) @ Den
Jacobs (RB) @ Car
CEH (RB) vs. Hou
Fant (TE) vs. Ten
Elliott (RB) @ LAR
Butker (K) vs. Hou
Ind (DEF) @ Jax
Predictably, I’m expected to be carried by my running backs. I think Yahoo is under-projecting Wentz against a terrible Washington Football Team, but they might be over-hyping Indianapolis against the Jaguars, who won’t be good, but could still be a little frisky on offense. Crazy N8’s Prostates is projected to win our league this year, and is favored against me this week. Here’s his lineup:
Dak Prescott (QB) @ LAR
Josh Allen (QB) vs. NYJ
Allen Robinson (WR) @ Det
Keenan Allen (WR) @ Cin
James Conner (RB) @ NYG
Aaron Jones (RB) @ Min
Travis Kelce (TE) vs. Hou
Robert Woods (WR) vs. Dal
Justin Tucker (K) vs. Cle
San Francisco (DEF) vs. Ari
I have … a lot of concerns. I could see that Cowboys/Rams game being a shootout. I think Josh Allen is going to RAMPAGE over a terrible Jets defense. His receivers both have juicy matchups against mediocre secondaries. Kelce should thrive against the Texans. And, even the 49ers could come up with lots of turnovers in taking advantage of a Cardinals offense that’s pretty aggressive.
Thankfully, there’s so many unknowns at this point in the season. Even after the first week, it’s hard to draw any firm conclusions. I just need to ride the wave of anxiety and hope for the best. I think I have a pretty solid team from top to bottom. But, teams are rarely as good on paper as they end up being in real life. Who will be the great disappointers this year? I can hardly wait to find out!