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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is Sloane N Steady’s lineup:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s who Toot Cannons has to offer:

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

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

Nobody Wants To Hear About My Fantasy Team 2023: Down Goes Cousins

Well, I beat Champagne & Sweats 181.45 to 164.25. That brings my record to 4-4. I’m in fifth place, but I have the third-most points scored in the league. That’s the good news, I guess.

The bad news is that Kirk Cousins tore an Achilles, and he’s out for the year. This might do irreparable damage to my fantasy chances this year. I don’t know if I’ll be able to recover. For starters, I have three other Vikings on my team, who all suffer an immediate impact as a result of this injury. Besides that, Cousins has been one of the best fantasy QBs in the league this year! He’s right there with Tua (and would probably be ahead of him had he not gotten hurt during the last game), with only Josh Allen and Jalen Hurts ahead of him (and not by a ton).

So, that’s one of the best quarterbacks – and, indeed, one of the best players overall – lost for the rest of the year. That’s a hit to Addison significantly, a hit to Hockenson moderately, and practically kills Mattison’s value (which was already diminishing as Akers eats into his carries) because the Vikings are sure to be playing from behind the rest of the way.

On top of which, my depth at QB is sus as hell. Jordan Love is Just A Guy, but now he’s thrust into my every-week lineup for the foreseeable future, so I have to pray that he figures it out. Justin Fields can be great when he’s healthy, but who knows when he’ll be able to grip a football again? I already know he’s out this week; it might be two more on top of that, given a 6-week timetable for thumb injuries, then he has his BYE in Week 13. It feels like best case scenario is I have Fields for the final four weeks, but who knows how effective he’ll be after such a layoff? Then, there’s Bryce Young, who immediately becomes my second starter. I had no intention of playing him EVER, or at least until he took a significant step forward in his development. That might not ever happen! Not with how bad the team is around him (especially his O-Line). He’s averaging about 19.48 points per in his last three games, which is probably the best I can hope for. He’s also missed a game with injury and has two other games with fewer than 10 points, which is my nightmare right now.

I tried to make a waiver claim for Will Levis – who had his rookie debut last week, to the tune of 4 TD passes – but sadly not even my #2 waiver priority was enough to get me there. I’ve clung to that waiver priority all season (as a result of where I finished the previous year), but the #1 guy – who also has significant quarterback concerns – was able to leapfrog me. Levis will surely go on to have a Hall of Fame career, and this will be yet another back-breaking setback in a fantasy football career full of them.

Who else is available? Well, shockingly, Mac Jones is still out there. He’s the only legitimate starter I could grab. But, I’ve had him since he was a rookie (sans this season, of course), and he has NOT developed one iota since then. There are a couple of 26+ point performances, but also three games well under 10 (two of those being in the negative). I’m not thrilled, but I had to pick him up just to give myself a little depth for the time being, since my quarterbacks are apparently dropping like flies.

Of course, I dropped him within a couple hours yesterday, when it was announced that the Raiders are absolutely cleaning house. I decided Aidan O’Connell would be a higher-upside sort of guy. Considering he’s a 4th round rookie … probably not going to end up being the next Kirk Cousins (who was, himself, a 4th round draft pick at one point).

What a downer, for an otherwise excellent week. I got 40+ out of CeeDee Lamb, and a combined 40+ from Addison and Hockenson. Everyone but my starting running backs contributed in a legit way! I’m going to need that kind of collective effort A LOT going forward if I want to hang around. Otherwise, it’s the Consolation Bracket for me once again.

This week, I’m facing the other 4-4 team, Korky Butchek. I’m up on him by less than 10 points, so this is quite the Battle For Mediocrity! Here’s my (sigh) lineup:

  • Bryce Young (QB) vs. Ind
  • Jordan Love (QB) vs. LAR
  • CeeDee Lamb (WR) @ Phi
  • Jordan Addison (WR) @ Atl
  • Kenneth Walker (RB) @ Bal
  • Tony Pollard (RB) @ Phi
  • T.J. Hockenson (TE) @ Atl
  • Terry McLaurin (WR) @ NE
  • Dustin Hopkins (K) vs. Ari
  • N.Y. Jets (DEF) vs. LAC

If Young can’t get it going against Indy’s terrible defense, I’ll have much bigger concerns about his abilities going forward. I would also love to see Love get it going against a beat-up Rams defense, the way the Cowboys were able to shred them. Predictably, when I dropped Christian Watson, he was picked up by the guy I was going up against last week (the same guy who’s a Packers fan and had been trying to trade Love away from me). He didn’t start Watson, but it’s only a matter of time before Watson starts blowing up like he did last year.

The only start/sit decision I had to make was McLaurin vs. Downs. Given the way Scary Terry has been utilized in recent weeks, combined with how often they have to throw the ball, he should be good for solid points. I may change my mind though. Indy throws the ball a lot, but may have a huge lead and decide to run it to death against the Panthers. We’ll see.

Lotta road games. Lotta bad matchups in those road games. I’m going to get crushed. Here’s Korky’s team:

  • Joe Burrow (QB) vs. Buf
  • Baker Mayfield (QB) @ Hou
  • A.J. Brown (WR) vs. Dal
  • Puka Nacua (WR) @ GB
  • Bijan Robinson (RB) vs. Min
  • Breece Hall (RB) vs. LAC
  • Dalton Kincaid (TE) @ Cin
  • D.J. Moore (WR) @ NO
  • Jason Sanders (K) @ KC
  • Kansas City (DEF) vs. Mia

Thankfully, Trevor Lawrence and George Kittle are on BYE for him, otherwise I’d get smashed into oblivion. Baker is obviously a HUGE step down, but nothing about Houston’s defense scares me too bad; I think he gets right this week. His RBs are studly and lethal; I also own them in other leagues where my teams are better, so that’s a bad sign. A.J. Brown is up there for best WR in the game right now; no way that doesn’t continue. Moore is a little iffy, but he’s got other capable backups on his bench if he decides to swap him out. I would be a little worried about KC’s defense against the Dolphins, but this game is in Europe, so anything can happen. They’ve also proven to be a fantastic fantasy defense this season regardless of opponent, so I expect nothing to change there either.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s who Beasts has going for him:

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

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

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

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

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

Predicting The 2023 NFL Season

Guess who’s back! Back again! The NFL prediction post is the one that’s back again. Here are the prior years I’ve done it:

Last year, I was just BRUTALLY awful. Bills over Packers in the Super Bowl, let’s just start there, because believe me, it gets worse. I had Denver and the Colts as division champions. I had the Giants and Seahawks as among the four worst teams in football; I also had the Jags coming in last in their division.

Turn the page! On to the next! Let’s flush 2022 and get back on the winning train. Here are my predictions for the entire NFL:

NFC East

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • New York Giants
  • Washington Commanders

I made this mistake – picking the Cowboys over the Eagles – last year, but I’m running it back because I think Dallas is really good on both sides of the ball. I think Dak has a bounce-back season in him (I’m banking one of my fantasy team’s fortunes on this), and I think they win one more than Philly in a Super Bowl Hangover season. I don’t know if I like the Giants to repeat as wild card teams, and I actually lowkey believe in Washington keeping things close with New York

NFC North

  • Minnesota Vikings
  • Green Bay Packers
  • Detroit Lions
  • Chicago Bears

I think most people are penciling in the Lions as division champs – based on how they finished 2022 – but I’m not buying it. They MIGHT be able to squeak into the playoffs, but we’ll see. I like the Vikings; I think they’re underrated. I don’t think they’ll be as fortunate in close games as they were last year, but even if they regress down to 10 wins or so, I think that’s enough to win the division. My big reach is the Packers overtaking the Lions behind Jordan Love and a solid defense. I think the Bears are – at best – a year away.

NFC South

  • New Orleans Saints
  • Atlanta Falcons
  • Carolina Panthers
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I like the Saints to win this at 9-8; very mediocre. I think the Falcons might get to 7-8 wins at best. I think the Panthers will be better than people expect (many are expecting them to be among the worst teams in football), but they’ll come on too late to make an impact. I think the Bucs will legitimately be among the four worst teams in football.

NFC West

  • Seattle Seahawks
  • San Francisco 49ers
  • Los Angeles Rams
  • Arizona Cardinals

Fuck it, let’s go! Give me the Seahawks as division champs! Give me the Seahawks as a Top 2 seed! Give me the 49ers settling for the wild card. Give me the Rams being slightly better than expected (6-8 wins). And give me the Cards contending for a top overall draft pick.

AFC East

  • New York Jets
  • Miami Dolphins
  • Buffalo Bills
  • New England Patriots

I had the toughest time with this one, but here’s my rationale. I love the Jets’ defense. I know the popular pick is for the offense to underperform behind Aaron Rodgers, but I think he has enough in the tank to give them one good season; they also shouldn’t need to score a ton to get there. With the talent they have at the skill positions, I think that’ll be more than enough to compensate for a potentially-shaky O-Line. I’m putting my eggs in the basket that Tua will stay healthy and that Miami offense will do some work. I think Buffalo’s defense is shaky as hell, and we’ll see some regression out of an offense that relies too much on Josh Allen. For what it’s worth, I think the Pats’ defense is among the best in football, and they’ll be involved in a lot of low-scoring games where they still manage to win 8-9 games.

AFC North

  • Cincinnati Bengals
  • Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Cleveland Browns
  • Baltimore Ravens

I just think the Bengals are the whole package. I love the Steelers’ defense and think Pickett takes a big step in his development. The Browns have a lot of talent, but I’m not so sure they’ve got enough at the quarterback spot to overtake the top two teams. And, sort of by default, I think the Ravens struggle.

AFC South

  • Tennessee Titans
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Houston Texans
  • Indianapolis Colts

I want one last ride with the Titans: great coaching, good-enough defense, so-so quarterback play, and one final monster year from Derrick Henry. I think the Jags are also right there and will nab one of the wild card spots. Houston and Indy will be among the bottom-feeders in football

AFC West

  • Kansas City Chiefs
  • Los Angeles Chargers
  • Denver Broncos
  • Las Vegas Raiders

I’m not super high on the Chiefs to repeat as champions, but I think they’re the best of an otherwise Just Okay division. The Chargers will probably be among the first ones out of the playoffs. I think Denver will be slightly improved, but I also think Russell Wilson is finished as a premiere quarterback. And I think the Raiders are a mess.

NFC Playoffs

  1. Dallas Cowboys
  2. Seattle Seahawks
  3. Minnesota Vikings
  4. New Orleans Saints
  5. Philadelphia Eagles
  6. San Francisco 49ers
  7. Green Bay Packers

AFC Playoffs

  1. Cincinnati Bengals
  2. New York Jets
  3. Kansas City Chiefs
  4. Tennessee Titans
  5. Miami Dolphins
  6. Jacksonville Jaguars
  7. Pittsburgh Steelers

Wild Card Round

  • Seahawks over Packers
  • 49ers over Vikings
  • Eagles over Saints
  • Jets over Steelers
  • Chiefs over Jaguars
  • Dolphins over Titans

Divisional Round

  • Cowboys over 49ers
  • Seahawks over Eagles
  • Bengals over Dolphins
  • Chiefs over Jets

Championship Round

  • Cowboys over Seahawks
  • Bengals over Chiefs

Super Bowl

  • Bengals over Cowboys

Probably a little too high on the Seahawks. Probably a little too low on the 49ers. Almost certainly too high on the Cowboys. Might be a mistake dismissing the Bills the way I did. We’ll see! I don’t feel great about any of it, other than the Bengals. For whatever reason, I really like Cincy this year (almost certainly the kiss of death!).

Is Geno Smith A Top 10 Quarterback In 2023?

There’s a lot of Top 10 lists being thrown around nowadays when it comes to the NFL. You know, it’s still pre pre-season, most of the important free agents have signed with teams, and there just isn’t much going on. The calm before the storm, if you will.

So, to get everyone all riled up, media outlets create fake outrage (in the absence of legitimate outrage, which will surely be coming, if it isn’t already here – NFL running backs being underpaid and whatnot) to get everyone talking about football. It’s how we keep the NFL on the front of everyone’s mind 24/7/365.

They’ve been doing this series of Top 10 lists by position group, and save D.K. Metcalf (I think), the Seahawks can’t seem to buy any representation. Hell, even Pete Carroll can’t get a Top 10 nod, being ranked behind the likes of Brian Daboll, Kyle Shanahan, among other coaches who don’t have the resume Pete has. Other than PFF being responsible for that head coach list, I don’t really know where these are coming from. Is it ESPN? NFL.com? Other? I don’t really care.

Other than the head coaching thing, I kind of understand why the Seahawks aren’t among the Top 10 in anything. Outside of D.K., who is our biggest star? I would argue our very best players are so young, they haven’t had a chance to really prove themselves. There’s a variety of rookies from the last couple drafts (including 2023) who I believe will turn into studs, if they aren’t there already. So, you know what? Disrespect them now! Put another chip on their shoulders! I read on Twitter that the Seahawks were iced out of the top 32 in NFL offensive tackles; great! Stupendous! Charles Cross and Abe Lucas see that, and they’re coming for you!

But, if anyone might have a gripe, I think it’s Geno Smith. I think he might be a Top 10 quarterback, and he’s being summarily dismissed once again in the eyes of the know-it-all pundits.

Not all of them. There are always contrarians out there willing to go to bat for Geno. But, it’s weird just the same.

We’re not making a case for All Time Top 10. We’re just talking about the Top 10 quarterbacks heading into 2023. It’s a prediction, based on last year’s production, and what you think is possible for this year.

The usual suspects round out the very top of this list: Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, Justin Herbert. On the next tier down, I think you can make an argument for Lamar Jackson, Kirk Cousins, Tua Tagovailoa, Trevor Lawrence, Jared Goff, Dak Prescott, Matthew Stafford, and even Aaron Rodgers; they all have flaws, but I think they have to be in the conversation just the same.

And I would put Geno Smith squarely in that group in the second tier.

So, we’re locking in the Top 5, in some order: Mahomes, Burrow, Allen, Hurts, Herbert. What about the next five?

Well, I think you have to consider the very real injury risks coming with the likes of Tua, Dak, Lamar, and Stafford. Stafford’s arm is about to fall off, plus the talent around him is depleted. Even if he plays in 2023, I don’t think he’ll be better than Geno. When you take away the Dak injury, he was still wildly inconsistent, and good for at least a mistake a game that might cost ’em. At this point, the bloom is off the rose and I don’t think I would rank him over Geno. Lamar, as a running quarterback, is taking a massive amount of hits over the average pocket passer or scrambler. He isn’t the smartest about avoiding contact, and frankly he’s not the passer that Geno is. Other than Mark Andrews, who is he throwing to? Now that he’s been given the massive contract he was looking for, will he be as motivated? I have a lot of doubts about Lamar, most of all: is he a winner? In the regular season, sure, but I think I’d rather have Geno in a playoff game, all things considered. And, we all know what’s going on with Tua. He’s legit elite in that offense, and could be a Top 5 QB when healthy. But, one more big hit to the head might end his career. No thanks.

Aaron Rodgers is an interesting case here. He definitely wasn’t a Top 10 quarterback in 2022; he was legitimately bad! A lot of that, I’m sure, had to do with the loss of Davante Adams, though it’s concerning because great QBs are supposed to elevate the talent around them. I just think A-Rod was done with Green Bay prior to last season, but they couldn’t move him for a variety of reasons, so they had to eat a sub-par year out of him before sending him on his way. Rodgers has elite receivers in New York. Presumably, the O-Line will be fine, though they might also be terrible (which would worry me). More than anything, I wonder if his heart is in it anymore. He’s getting up there. He’s got a world of interests outside of football. He spent a significant portion of this offseason contemplating whether or not he would play again. And, everyone is already crowning the Jets as the next Super Team, which is always cause for concern. BUT, on the flipside, everyone is already counting Rodgers out. There’s a significant portion of the talking heads out there who are dismissing the Jets for all the reasons I just mentioned. And people are taking every opportunity to clown on Rodgers for his … everything (personality, beliefs, political leanings, etc.). In that respect, part of me wonders if he goes Scorched Earth on the NFL for one more year. I mean, he was just the MVP back-to-back years in 2021 and 2022, so you can’t entirely rule him out.

As for Cousins and Goff, I think there’s enough of a sample for both of them to see where they’re lacking. They play up against the bad teams, but don’t always show up against the good ones. There’s enough mistakes in their game to make them total wild cards on any given week. And, with Trevor Lawrence, last year was really his first with any sort of coaching competence around him. And, in spite of that, Geno still out-performed him in most every major category.

This isn’t to say I think Geno Smith is perfect, or even the best option of all of these Tier 2 guys. He has his own mistake issues. He’ll throw a back-breaking interception, drop a killer fumble, or allow defensive pressure to get the best of him. And he also only has the one season of quality play.

But, Geno was Top 10 in total yards (8th, with 4,282), was 4th in passer rating among quarterbacks who played in at least 13 games, he led the league in completion percentage among qualified passers, he averaged 7.5 yards per attempt (7th in football among QBs who played in at least 13 games), and was one of only 8 quarterbacks who played in all 17 games. He also had the 4th most touchdown passes with 30.

I think in aggregate – based on all of the above – you have to put Geno in the Top 10. That doesn’t mean he’s guaranteed to be there at season’s end. But, knowing what we know now, about him and the rest of the league, when you factor in his ability, the talent and coaching around him, I would put him in the Top 10, and I’m as much of a doubter as anyone.

What If The Seahawks Take A Quarterback With The Fifth Pick?

This question feels like a waste of time. It feels like clickbait nonsense. When you read it from established journalists/pundits – as opposed to yours truly, who’s writing this in his pajamas in the middle of the afternoon while listening to some #FunkyDiscoHouse – it feels like they’re just parroting what unnamed agents/NFL front offices want them to “leak”, for financial/competitive gains.

When I read about the Seahawks showing interest in the quarterback position at the top of the draft, it seems very disingenuous. That’s what we WANT the rest of the league to believe, so the price to trade into our spot goes up. Or, so teams will leapfrog us, in hopes that one of the bigtime defensive line prospects falls to us. And/or to drive Geno Smith’s price down.

99.9% of me believes it’s bullshit that the Seahawks would select a quarterback with the fifth overall draft pick. I can’t say 100%, because nothing is 100% in the game of football. But, I’m saying it without saying it: the Seahawks are NOT drafting a quarterback fifth overall.

I say that as a fan of the Seahawks who has followed this organization VERY closely through the years.

Can you name the highest-drafted quarterback in the Pete Carroll/John Schneider era? You should, because his name is Russell Wilson, and he was famously taken by us in the third round. We’ve taken exactly one other quarterback in the draft since 2010: Alex McGough in 2018, in the 7th round. That’s a 50% success rate, for those keeping track at home.

The Seahawks have largely been unconventional at the spot over the last 12+ years. The inherited Matt Hasselbeck, they traded for Charlie Whitehurst (a huge bust), they took on Tarvaris Jackson because he was familiar with Darrell Bevell’s system, they made a medium-sized splash on Matt Flynn, and they’ve run through a number of starting busts to sit behind Wilson until we got to Geno and Drew Lock last year battling it out. LOTTA crap there, up to and including Hasselbeck’s last year here (when he was over the hill), outside of hitting the lottery on Russell Wilson.

But, at the same time, there haven’t been those huge swings you see out of most other franchises. Do you know who was the last quarterback we drafted in the first two rounds? The much-maligned Rick Mirer at number two overall, back in 1993. In fact, there’s only one other QB the Seahawks have taken in the first two rounds, and that was Dan McGwire at number 16 in 1991 (when Chuck Knox lobbied hard for Brett Favre). That’s a 0% success rate, for those keeping track at home.

Isn’t that interesting, though? When you think about the Seahawks, you don’t think about us being totally bereft of quarterback talent. But, we’ve been unorthodox at getting our guys. Jim Zorn was an undrafted free agent. Dave Krieg was as well. Warren Moon was a free agent, Matt Hasselbeck was a trade acquisition; those are all the big names, that comprise a significant chunk of the Pre-Wilson Seahawks history.

What’s also interesting – especially going from the Holmgren era through the John Schneider era (both with ties to the Green Bay Packers way of doing things) – is that this organization doesn’t even take a lot of draft fliers the way the Packers model themselves after. We get our franchise quarterback, and we throw whatever scrubs we find off the scrap heap behind him. Now, to be fair, what are we talking about? The Packers have made two high-profile draft picks of Aaron Rodgers (when Favre was still playing at a high level) and Jordan Love (when Rodgers was still playing at a high level); it’s not like they’re actually drafting a new quarterback every season.

But, that’s their reputation, and that’s also the reputation that was foisted upon John Schneider. I don’t know if he buys into that or not. Maybe that was an unfair allegation that was levied against him, since he came from Green Bay. But, regardless, it hasn’t been even remotely his practice since coming here. Not even when you consider this team really could’ve used a little more attention paid to the position!

There are those rumors that he was all in on Patrick Mahomes and/or Josh Allen. That if those guys would’ve fallen to us in their respective draft classes, we would’ve taken one of them even though that was smack in Wilson’s prime. Of course, we’ll never know; it’s easy to plant those stories to make yourself look smart. It’s also easy to plant those stories when you want to drive down the price of your own franchise quarterback in times of contract extension. But, it’s a great What If. What if we traded Wilson back in 2017 and acquired a ton of draft picks at that time? What if we used those picks to select (or trade up for) one of Mahomes or Allen? Wouldn’t that be exciting?!

That’s where you get to the 00.1% chance of the Seahawks taking a quarterback at five. Because to do that, they would have to be SO SURE this guy is the next superstar in this league. Which is what makes all the Anthony Richardson hullabaloo at the combine over the weekend all the more intriguing. He blew the collective minds of everyone watching, with his freakish athleticism, with his interviewing skills, and with his leadership traits. He also apparently had a very positive interview with Pete Carroll (who, as we all remember, had that crazy interaction with D.K. Metcalf before we later took him at the end of the second round).

Would I be excited if the Seahawks took a quarterback at five? You’re damn right I would be! Because I love a surprise out of left field. Because I don’t really want to overpay for Geno Smith’s services. And because I would have to 100% buy in on this guy, since the organization is taking such a huge risk. With our philosophy largely undermining the quarterback spot throughout the years, this would be a HUGE step in the other direction.

Naturally, it depends on who we take at five. I’ll say this, there’s no “sure thing” in this draft. Bryce Young is undersized and slight of frame. Also, I don’t know how much I buy Alabama quarterbacks, after the underwhelming showing of both Mac Jones and Tua (Hurts goes pretty far in turning that tide for me, but he also transferred out of there, and had to find a way to succeed without the crutch of being on the best roster college football has to offer). C.J. Stroud has great accuracy, but lacks a willingness to scramble, and if I don’t trust Bama quarterbacks, I REALLY don’t trust Buckeye QBs. He also had the luxury of being on an elite roster of players, and it’s impossible to tell how someone will react to the real world of the NFL, where there’s significantly more parity.

Richardson is naturally on everyone’s minds – and might excite me more than the other two guys, if only for his potential upside – but he has serious accuracy problems. He also didn’t play much at college and might be a little too reliant on his legs for success at the next level. I know it feels nitpicky – one guy runs too much, the other not enough, what is this a 3 Bears situation? – but that’s the nature of the beast with drafting a quarterback, especially in the upper half of the first round. For every Andrew Luck or Peyton Manning, there are dozens of Blake Bortleses. You don’t often get those “sure things”. Most of the time, you get someone with flaws that you hope don’t usher him out of the league as a bust.

But, as I said, if the Seahawks take a quarterback at five, of course I’m going to be excited! What other choice do I have? That being said, if it’s not one of those three guys I just referenced, not only would it be a gargantuan shock, but it would be downright irresponsible. There’s just no one else worthy of that kind of attention.

When Seahawks fans speculate on the team taking a QB, it’s usually in the second or third round; MAYBE with the 20th overall pick (or trade down from 20 and take him later in the first). That feels a little more reasonable. It’s FAR less sexy, but it’s also probably the smarter play. Take a bigger project with less upside and hope to mold him over this season as he rides the pine behind Geno. But, can you imagine how much we’d lose our minds if we were one of those teams to take a quarterback in the top five?! What a thrill!

The Seahawks Suck At Hiring Defensive Coordinators

As Sean Desai gets poached by the Eagles to be their defensive coordinator – following one season as our … Associate Head Coach & Defensive Assistant (emphasis on the secondary) – I can’t help but think we’re keeping the wrong guy.

Clint Hurtt has been a punching bag for me ever since he was promoted from Underwhelming Defensive Line Coach to Underwhelming Defensive Coordinator, following the firing of Ken Norton Jr. Why hire some guy to install Vic Fangio’s defensive scheme when you could’ve just hired Vic Fucking Fangio (hired by the Dolphins this year, after taking 2022 off)? It doesn’t seem like we did any sort of DC search whatsoever last year. At the very least, we could’ve made Desai our DC and made Hurtt our Associate Head Coach or whatever.

It’s going to be pretty easy to compare the three guys – Desai, Hurtt, and Fangio – as they all embark on their jobs. Desai has the advantage of coaching for a Super Bowl team that was largely defined by their excellent defense. Fangio is going to a squad with a lot of talent, that figures to bolster that talent (considering they’re pretty well set on offense, assuming they opt to keep Tua) this offseason. Hurtt has one small advantage in that he’s been in the same organization for a number of years, with this being his second year in charge. The experience and familiarity should hopefully do him well.

I would also argue that Hurtt has the easiest job of the three. It’s been lean times for the Seahawks defense in recent years; all he has to do is build it up to be semi-competent and he’ll have done his job. If he exceeds expectations, then he should be on the fast track to head coaching opportunities. Whereas Desai is being given the keys of a defense that’s already great; there’s nowhere to go but down! And Fangio has the misfortune of being in a conference with a lot of elite offensive talent to go up against. He’s also getting up there in age and at some point you have to wonder when he’s going to shuffle off into retirement.

That being said, I have the least faith in Hurtt. It wouldn’t shock me in the slightest if the Seahawks continue to be inept. At which point, I’ll be the one “I Told You So”-ing on this blog until my fingers fall off.

What was the one thing that worked on the 2022 Seahawks defense? Where was the one area that exceeded expectations (while the others flopped miserably)? It was the secondary. Where Desai was firmly in charge. I can only dream of what might’ve been for the rest of the defense. It’s not that I expect the secondary to suddenly take a step back; I’m just lamenting the loss of someone who seems so damned good at his job (in favor of keeping someone who, I guess, gives good interview?).

But, this has been a long string of terrible defensive coordinators, with precious few bright spots.

Ken Norton was a bust. Kris Richard oversaw the dismantling of a once-great unit. Dan Quinn was the lone amazing hire by Pete Carroll in his tenure. Even Gus Bradley, I don’t know if he was good, so much as the organization just so happened to draft and sign a lot of future Hall of Famers. Bradley sure as shit hasn’t done a damn thing in any of his other jobs, as head coach or DC.

This isn’t just a Pete Carroll problem, though. Ray Rhodes was the only good hire of the Mike Holmgren tenure (though the tragic loss of Fritz Shurmur in 1999 – before he could even coach a game for us – was painfully unfortunate). And, none of the guys pre-Holmgren were anything special; even Tom Catlin – the DC under Chuck Knox – was never able to parlay that into anything outside of Seattle (even taking a demotion to linebackers coach once Knox left the organization).

It’s not that the Seahawks have always been terrible on defense outside of the Dan Quinn era; we’ve had plenty of talented players come through the organization since its inception. But, I would argue we’ve largely been underwhelming. Sometimes that’s due to bad luck, or injuries, or randomness. Sometimes it’s due to incompetence at the top, or a lack of skilled defenders. But, it sucks when you see the organization making a mistake in the moment.

I want the Seahawks to be good. I’ll often bend over backwards to talk myself into this team being better than it actually is. But, I can’t do anything with Clint Hurtt. Just like I couldn’t do anything with Ken Norton. We just have to fucking endure it. We have to watch mediocre defense for another 2-4 years before another change will inevitably have to be made. Meanwhile, we’re all going to wish the Seahawks had opted to choose Desai, because even if the Eagles take a slight step back on defense, they’re still going to be leaps and bounds better than the Seahawks for the foreseeable future.

Nobody Wants To Hear About My Fantasy Team 2022: RoundTine Is On A Roll!

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.