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.

What’s Going On With D.K. Metcalf?

The simple answer is that he’s got a number of injuries – including maybe some bruised or cracked ribs – that have built up over the early part of the season. Injuries that D.K. has played through, while still performing at a high level. But, after yet another hard-fought game in Cincinnati, the injuries became too much and he had to sit out the Cardinals game. He’ll be back soon – maybe as early as this week – and we’ll all move on with our lives as if it never happened.

But, there’s a lot of weird little ancillary things going on – and some funny timing things – that give me pause. The tinfoil hat is being placed upon my head. Venture with me as we pursue rabbit holes no one ever thought existed!

If we go back to that Bengals game, you’ll recall there was another bad 15-yard type penalty levied against D.K. Unnecessary roughness or some damn thing. That was his team-leading fifth penalty (most of which are of that 15-yard variety). On the Monday following the loss, Pete Carroll put the penalty leaders on the board in front of everyone, which led to the infamous D.K. dismissal of said board with him at the top of the list. He was questionable all week, ultimately held out of the Cardinals game, and that led to Pete defending his receiver out of nowhere. No one was questioning what was going on – most everyone just assumed he sat out because of injury – until Pete’s post-game remarks.

It should also be pointed out that the trade deadline is October 31st, which is now less than a week away.

So, now we have to wonder: is something going on? Is D.K. disgruntled with the organization? Does the organization still believe D.K. is a net positive to this team?

D.K. is under contract through the 2025 season. There is a potential out after the 2024 season, with only $11.5 million in dead money. Are the Seahawks still committed to our #1 receiver? Is this a situation where we’d be willing to sign him to a third contract at some point? Because, if not, then D.K. might not have any more value in a potential trade than he does right now. Depending, of course, on what the market feels about him.

If you want to go one step further, let’s keep in mind that the team used a first round pick on Jaxon Smith-Njigba, something they had never done before in the Pete Carroll/John Schneider era. And, not for nothing, but undrafted free agent Jake Bobo has already shown flashes of being a quality NFL receiver as a rookie. The wide receiver room has never been healthier from a talent perspective. Could we take from this unit in hopes to bolster our team elsewhere?

For the record, I’m not trying to be a hard-liner here, calling for the team to move on from Metcalf. But, I don’t think you can automatically dismiss the idea either. Of course, this comes on the heels of a couple of miserable offensive performances, which makes this thing a little tricky. Given the way we’ve played in these last two games – particularly in the red zone – I don’t know if the Seahawks can afford to give up on D.K. I would say that a starting point in any potential deal would have to include a first round pick, but from what I’ve heard, I don’t know if that’s something another team would be willing to give up.

This is a tough call, because it’s pretty clear that D.K. has been the best receiver on the team this season. He’s been a reliable chain-mover, as well as a prominent deep threat. Removing him from this offense doesn’t make us any more potent, in fact it probably weakens us. D.K. is really the only receiver we have who can still catch passes even when he’s totally covered. With everyone else, we kind of have to rely on them actually getting a step on their defender.

On the flipside, though, how many potential receptions is Geno turning down in an attempt to force it to Metcalf? Between that, the penalties, and the occasional drop, how many drives have stalled that might not have otherwise if he wasn’t on the field? I can’t sit here and tell you D.K. is the be-all end-all of receivers; he has flaws. He’s not Jefferson or Chase or Hill. And if his attitude is becoming a problem – because he feels he’s not getting enough targets, leading him to lash out at opponents, or worse, his teammates/coaches – then I think that net-positive grade starts to slide down to net-neutral, or even net-negative.

I’m not on the team, though, so I can’t really speak to any internal strife. All I know is that this will continue to be a topic of discussion until November 1st.

It’s a bummer, because I like D.K. I like it when we hit on home-grown prospects. I really do want him to be in that upper echelon category of receivers, and carry this team on his back. But, more than anything, I want what’s best for the team. I want our rookie receivers to develop and grow. I want our offense to be humming, and keep up with what our defense has been doing the last few games. Ultimately, I don’t think we can afford to give up on him just yet, but at the same time, if the right price is met, I don’t know if we can afford to pass it by.

Teams don’t need target-hog #1 receivers to succeed in this league. It can make life easier for a quarterback, but it can also make things more difficult in overall roster building. I’ll be very interested to see where this all goes in the coming week. If D.K. sits out this game against the Browns, I’d be on high alert come Monday and Tuesday, because that’s a red flag if I’ve ever seen one.

Nobody Wants To Hear About My Fantasy Team 2023: I Never Had A Chance

Sometimes you go up against the guy who scores the most points in the league. Shit happens. 181.15-142.25.

Sometimes, it just so happens to coincide with your two quarterbacks combining for 16.05 points, in a game where they’re going up against one another (Minnesota @ Chicago) and it was projected to be something of a shootout. To be fair, Cousins and Fields would’ve needed phenomenal games for me to pull this one out. But, to finish with such shitty numbers is really demoralizing for someone who’s spent the better part of half a decade trying to fix his quarterback problem.

I got good-enough points everywhere else to give myself a chance. Everyone except my kicker hit double digits; everyone got close to their projection, or beat them by a pretty good margin (good on the Jets’ defense, Kyren Williams, and Kenneth Walker). But, how can I compete when guys like Tyreek Hill, Raheem Mostert, Jared Goff, and Adam Thielen are absolutely going OFF?

The good news is: enough people around me also lost, and I scored a good number of points to give myself a fighting chance with the standings. I’m still in fifth place (the best of the five 2-4 teams), but I have the third-most points in the league.

The bad news is: Week 7 is upon us. It’s my BYE-armageddon.

No Tony Pollard, no CeeDee Lamb, no Bryce Young, no Evan McPherson, no Jets’ defense. And, thanks to injuries, no Fields or Williams. I’m in BAD shape. I’m going to have to (hopefully temporarily) drop my kicker; thankfully, I can use an IR spot finally, so I won’t have to lose my precious Jets.

There’s six teams on BYE this week. Unfortunately, my opponent isn’t NEARLY as throttled as I am. He loses Nico Collins and Chuba Hubbard; I have to imagine one of those guys was destined to be benched anyway since he’s likely getting Aaron Jones back this week. Also, his team name is Car Talk With Josh Allen, so you can guess who one of his quarterbacks is.

I have penciled this game in as a loss since the draft (which has made losing the last two games all the more agonizing). Here’s my M.A.S.H. unit:

  • Kirk Cousins (QB) vs. SF
  • Jordan Love (QB) @ Den
  • Christian Watson (WR) @ Den
  • Jordan Addison (WR) vs. SF
  • Kenneth Walker (RB) vs. Ari
  • Alexander Mattison (RB) vs. SF
  • T.J. Hockenson (TE) vs. SF
  • Terry McLaurin (WR) @ NYG
  • Brandon McManus (K) @ NO
  • Green Bay (DEF) @ Den

The last thing I wanted to do was load up on Vikings this week, especially with the 49ers coming off of a loss. My intended lineup was to include both Fields and Love for the first time this year, to give my team some semblance of the look it might have in 2024 and potentially beyond. Instead, I have four Vikings in my lineup. Mattison will surely be stuffed all day, Addison and Hockenson will likely cede receptions to whoever’s left on that team that I don’t currently own, and Cousins should be good for 3-4 picks.

On the plus side, give me all your Packers against that Broncos defense; this will hopefully be a rebound day for Love and Watson. Walker has been very steady for me this season, and McLaurin has been up and down.

I had my pick of some pretty good defensive options once Wednesday rolled around and all the waiver claims had gone through. The only defense claimed on waivers was the Rams. The top projected defense this week in free agency was Las Vegas, at Chicago. Believe me, I was tempted! I’m probably going to look back on this decision and really regret what I did. But, I dunno. The Raiders on the road? They’re boom or bust on defense; they’ve boomed the last two weeks, but that was at home. I could see the Bears actually doing something without Fields out there constantly giving the ball to the other team. There was also Washington at the Giants; for as bad as the Giants’ offense is, though, I think the Commanders are worse on defense. If I wanted a home team, I could’ve nabbed Indy who’s hosting Cleveland. But, I opted to go with the Anti-Denver strategy. Green Bay, in general, has put up good points every week; they’re far more reliable in my mind. There’s been no negative weeks (in spite of playing the Lions), there’s three double-digit points weeks, including a couple up around 20. Denver’s offense is always a trainwreck ready to happen, so I’ll take my chances here. Even though I kinda sorta feel bad for Russell Wilson, I still get a giddy little thrill when he stinks up the joint.

Not a ton of great options for kicker. Jason Myers got snapped up in a waiver claim early Wednesday morning. Of available free agent kickers, the Raiders’ guy was projected highest, but I don’t trust them to move the ball well without Jimmy G. I dunno, it’s a lot of the usual suspects; I’m sure I got it wrong. I usually like a kicker who’s on a good offense (we’ll see, but Jacksonville seems okay), going up against a good defense (so they’re not just scoring TDs at will). I feel like the Jags should move the ball on New Orleans, but maybe stall out in the red zone. It’s indoors, which I love. My biggest concern is that it’s a Thursday night game, so watch the Jags get shut out or something.

I guess the one thing I have going for me is the fact that my bench is unavailable to me, so I don’t REALLY have to make any decisions (other than the aforementioned rentals I picked up at kicker and defense).

But, I’m really banking on my opponent having an uncharacteristically bad week. Considering he’s 5-1 on the season, he hasn’t had too many of those. Here’s his lineup:

  • Josh Allen (QB) @ NE
  • Brock Purdy (QB) @ Min
  • D.K. Metcalf (WR) vs. Ari
  • DeVonta Smith (WR) vs. Mia
  • Brian Robinson (RB) @ NYG
  • Aaron Jones (RB) @ Den
  • Travis Kelce (TE) vs. LAC
  • Amari Cooper (WR) @ Ind
  • Tyler Bass (K) @ NE
  • New Orleans (DEF) vs. Jax

If it all wasn’t bad enough for me, he’s got the best QB, the best TE, a loaded receiver room, and Jones will probably steal all the points I get out of Love and then some. He’s also got Cleveland’s defense against Indy, if he wants to shuffle two amazing options at that spot.

I’ll be particularly focused on the D.K. Metcalf Revenge Game. He was on my team last year, and I ended up keeping Watson over him. So, I only have myself to blame when D.K. scores two TDs and thoroughly embarrasses me.

The silver lining of this past weekend is that I won my other two matchups pretty handily. I’m going to need them to continue that trend if I want to enjoy this weekend at all, from a fantasy perspective.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nobody Wants To Hear About My Fantasy Team 2023: A 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.

Reasonable Expectations For Jaxon Smith-Njigba

People are very excited about Jaxon Smith-Njigba. I know I am! I like to think I have a sixth sense about wide receivers that the Seahawks draft. I was a HUGE fan of Tyler Lockett, even before he turned pro. I loved the D.K. Metcalf selection, both for value and potential. I remember being pretty high on Golden Tate, and even though he took a while to fully blossom, it was all worth it in the end.

And I’m very firmly in the camp of the Jaxon Smith-Njigba believers.

But, I think people – especially fantasy football people – need to temper expectations a little bit, especially in his rookie season. There’s a reason why the Seahawks are considered to have one of the best wide receiver rooms in the league. That’s because D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett were already one of the best wide receiver duos in the league. Now you add Smith-Njigba to the mix, and this has the potential to be an extremely dynamic passing game.

That being said, there are only so many targets to go around. Even in the most pass-happy offenses, how much production does the third receiver get? Who was the guy in Kansas City after Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce (before Hill’s trade to Miami)? In 2019, it was Sammy Watkins with 90 targets (52 receptions). In 2020, it was Mecole Hardman with 62 targets (41 receptions). In 2021, it was Hardman again with 83 targets (59 receptions). Going around the league, can anyone even name the third receiving option for the Bills? How has Tyler Boyd fared with the Bengals the last couple years? The Rams of late can barely field a SECOND receiving option after Kupp, let alone a third.

Now you have to factor how much the Seahawks like to run the ball. Some people would say they’re run-heavy. Others would say they’re balanced. I would liken the Seahawks to a slow-it-down sort of offense that prefers to limit possessions and bleed opponents with a thousand cuts. Not that I’m the first person to make than distinction, I’m sure.

The point is, third receivers already get overlooked by design. Now you want to put him on the Seahawks?

I don’t see Smith-Njigba as a viable fantasy option in 2023 whatsoever. Maybe take a flier on him late in the draft and bank on an injury to Metcalf or Lockett. If you’re in a dynasty league, I think there’s a little more meat on that bone, but you don’t want to go into this season wanting to depend on production out of him.

I’m guessing Smith-Njigba will have somewhere around 45 receptions for 512 yards and 3 touchdowns. Even in PPR, that’s nothing. That’s less than 7 fantasy points per game. But, for dynasty purposes, Lockett isn’t getting any younger, so I could see those numbers grow considerably in the next 2-3 years.

But, let’s put fantasy football aside now. What does he mean from a team-building perspective? As a Seahawks fan, did we use our draft capital wisely?

I say 100% yes! If Jaxon Smith-Njigba is as talented as he projects to be, the value of a high-quality third receiver is immeasurable. That’s one more elite athlete a defense has to worry about. If the best opposing cornerback is going to clamp down on D.K., you can interchange Lockett and Smith-Njigba in the slot or on the other side and create tons of mismatches. You can line them all up in a bunch formation and wait for the defense to make a coverage mistake. If teams double D.K. and Lockett is covered, then you’re talking about the 4th-best corner trying to keep up with Smith-Njigba.

Every time he makes a huge catch on third down, every time he moves the chains, that’s one more feather in the cap of Smith-Njigba being a great draft pick for this team. On top of everything else: the need for depth, injury insurance, and so on.

I think Seahawks fans are going to be elated to have Jaxon Smith-Njigba on their team. But, fantasy football players might not be super thrilled, as is our lot in life.

But that brings up a broader point: how good are the rest of the Seahawks for fantasy purposes?

It still blows my mind that Geno Smith was a value-add to a playoff team in the NFL. It blows my mind even more that he was also a Top 5 fantasy quarterback. Granted, I would say there’s a significant drop-off from the Top 4, but still, that’s impressive.

I guess it depends on where you get them, but if Seahawks players are going to be undervalued, there’s definitely an argument to be made that stacking these guys – Geno Smith, D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Kenneth Walker, and Zach Charbonnet – while keeping Smith-Njigba as a late-round insurance pick, could be a recipe for success. You might not get as many touchdowns from Geno as you’d like, but he’s also going to limit turnovers with the best of ’em. You know where his targets are going. I’m keeping Walker in my dynasty league without hesitation, but I think it might be wise to handcuff him with the rookie just in case. Given how the Seahawks have suffered with running back injuries since Beastmode left town the first time, it’s just a fact of life at this point.

I think I’ve long lived under the impression that the Seahawks’ passing game is to be avoided in fantasy. Oh sure, Russell Wilson was great, but going after his receivers felt like a fool’s errand with the way he spread the ball around. But, these Seahawks go target heavy on the top two guys, which is right where you want it. Give your best players as many opportunities to make plays as possible!

Nobody Wants To Hear About My Fantasy Team 2022: A Peek Into My Other Teams

This season’s previous fantasy football posts:

Just to close up a dangling thread from last week, Einfach A.F. did, in fact, win, so they’re moving on to the regular playoffs. Which means the two picks I receive from them in trade are getting worse and worse.

Since nothing happened with RoundTine last week (I will say that I scored the fewest points of any team in the Consolation Bracket, which is either an ominous sign, or the first shitty waffle everyone throws away before the good ones start popping out), I thought I’d talk about my two other fantasy football teams. In leagues where I made the actual playoffs!

Puppy Monkey Baby is my pride and joy. My Splinter League team finished in first place at 11-4, two games better than my playoff brothers and sisters (who all finished 9-6). I’m pretty loaded here at every spot but quarterback (we, thankfully, have eliminated kickers and a mandatory tight end position, though we allow two flex spots where you could play tight ends if you want).

I’m talking CeeDee Lamb and Amon-Ra St. Brown. I’m talking Christian McCaffrey and Austin Ekeler. I’m talking Travis Kelce, Kenneth Walker, and the Steelers’ surging defense. I’m talking a bench comprised of useful dudes who would be starters on other teams: Chris Olave, Cordarrelle Patterson, Gabe Davis, and Mike Williams. I also took a flier on Jameson Williams (who hasn’t panned out, but oh well, you can’t win ’em all).

It’s dicey with the quarterbacks, though (it’s another 2-QB league). Jared Goff has been fine (sometimes good, sometimes not). Kenny Pickett is my preferred #2, however I also have Andy Dalton. If I’m winning this league, I’m winning in spite of these guys. I need the rest of my team to pick up the slack!

In my third league, RUM HAM! went 6-0 to start the year. I was 7-7 heading into last week. I needed to win, and I needed my brother to knock someone out of my spot in the playoffs. It came to pass, and so here I am, the 4-seed, and the least-likely person to win this league.

Justin Jefferson has been as advertised this season. Nick Chubb has been pretty great, but he’s definitely fallen off in recent weeks. Terry McLaurin has been on a disappointing team with disappointing quarterbacks. I figured Lamar Jackson would lay the league to waste this year, but he’s been relatively mediocre. This is another league where I’ve got Gabe Davis, though in this one I’ve had to use him almost every week, to frustrating results.

I’ve had Kareem Hunt as a handcuff all year, but it hasn’t paid off. I also started the year with both starting Rams running backs, and that was a total disaster. I was able to grab J.K. Dobbins a couple weeks ago, and I’ve got Zack Moss (for the Colts) in there now, but it might be too little too late. I do have Buffalo’s kicker and Philly’s defense, who have both been pretty reliable during their non-BYE weeks (both in week 7), but my guys just don’t score enough touchdowns in general. I rarely ever have big breakout weeks. It could be we just haven’t seen my team play to its fullest potential, but I think I’m VERY lucky to be in this position, and this playoff spot is probably wasted on me.

We’ll see how it goes! Fantasy Football gets exciting this week! Let’s get back to RoundTine and see what I’m working with in the all-important Consolation Bracket:

  • Justin Fields (QB) vs. Buf
  • Tyler Huntley (QB) vs. Atl
  • CeeDee Lamb (WR) vs. Phi
  • D.K. Metcalf (WR) @ KC
  • Kenneth Walker (RB) @ KC
  • Tony Pollard (RB) vs. Phi
  • T.J. Hockenson (TE) vs. NYG
  • Christian Watson (WR) @ Mia
  • Evan McPherson (K) @ NE
  • N.Y. Jets (DEF) vs. Jax

I’m only playing Huntley if Lamar Jackson is out again this week. Otherwise, I’m stuck with Mac Jones vs. Cincinnati. Mike White – my ultimate choice to be my #2 QB – was killed in a Revenant-style bear attack on the football field a couple weeks ago.

I have two viable bench players, if needed. Ezekiel Elliott is obviously there, if I need him. And Brian Robinson is going up against the 49ers. So, Zeke would be my obvious first choice between the two.

This week, for my Consolation Bracket livelihood, I’m going up against The Lance Petemans, in a matchup of 8 vs. 9. Here’s his team:

  • Kirk Cousins (QB) vs. NYG
  • Jared Goff (QB) @ Car
  • Tyreek Hill (WR) vs. GB
  • DeAndre Hopkins (WR) vs. TB
  • James Conner (RB) vs. TB
  • Tyler Allgeier (RB) @ Bal
  • Darren Waller (TE) @ Pit
  • Keenan Allen (WR) @ Ind
  • Robbie Gould (K) vs. Was
  • Cleveland (DEF) vs. NO

I traded him Tyreek Hill a few years ago and have rued it ever since. So, expect him to blow up for 40 points. The rest of the guys are capable of big days, but they’re also capable of stinkeroos. So, we’ll see.

I’m not confident. Winning the Consolation Bracket is something I’ve wanted SO desperately for years now; ever since we started trending towards being a dynasty league, with more and more keepers every year. Basically, ever since I realized my team wasn’t good enough to hack it with the big boys, because my keepers (read: quarterbacks) have been trash. The best I’ve finished is second (meaning I had the second overall draft pick) and my reward was the top non-QB rookie position player off the board: Clyde Edward-Helaire.

I need a stud rookie quarterback. I can’t get that guy with the fourth overall pick. I would LOVE it if I landed in the top two. But, for that to happen, I must win this week.

I want it too much! I want it too much, so it’s not going to happen for me. That’s the way this works.

Nobody Wants To Hear About My Fantasy Team 2022: Finally A Victory

It was an upset to end all upsets, in a week full of them across the NFL. RoundTine FINALLY got on the winning train, defeating Sloane N Steady 141.85 to 127.00.

All praise to Bailey Zappe, who already kind of strikes me as a superior option to Mac Jones. Now, I’ve got to worry about holding onto Zappe for as long as I can, just in case Bill Belichick opts to go with the less-heralded quarterback in the future. What has Mac Jones done to earn his job, other than be a first round pick? Based on my team’s fantasy numbers, not a whole helluva lot.

Zappe’s 25 points, combined with the 20 I got from Fields, gave me competent quarterback play for the first time all year. But, I couldn’t have done it without a ridiculous under-performance from my opponent, who had bad weeks from the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Zach Wilson, Mike Evans, and Nick Chubb (one of those guys isn’t like the others). It was such a random freak occurrence that I didn’t need to pick up a replacement tight end at all! Good, because with the need to roster yet another quarterback, I wasn’t going to anyway.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still safely in last place in the league, but my 1-5 record is tied with two other teams. It’s a real Gods N’ Clods kind of season, with three teams tied for first with a 5-1 record.

Here’s who I’ve got going this week:

  • QB Patriots (QB) @ Cle
  • QB Saints (QB) @ Ari
  • CeeDee Lamb (WR) vs. Det
  • D.K. Metcalf (WR) @ LAC
  • Ezekiel Elliott (RB) vs. Det
  • Kenneth Walker (RB) @ LAC
  • T.J. Hockenson (TE) @ Dal
  • Brian Robinson (RB) vs. GB
  • Evan McPherson (K) vs. Atl
  • TBD (DEF) vs. TBD

I’m looking to pick up Andy Dalton if/when Jameis Winston is declared out. That’s going to be a problem, of course, if they don’t declare him out, and just have him as the backup. At which point, I won’t have him to throw in my IR spot, which means I’ll be reduced to starting Justin Fields. Why don’t I just cut Justin Fields and pick up Dalton? Because one of them is a young, highly-rated player out of college last year, and the other is Andy Fucking Dalton. I’m not getting rid of the young guy with upside for a past-his-prime loser. We’re not playing for this week, we’re playing for the Consolation Bracket.

I’ve got Gabe Davis on a BYE, which isn’t the end of the world. I’m going with Robinson over Doubs, which might be a huge mistake, but I haven’t seen much of anything from Doubs in quite some time. However, I’ve also got the Rams’ defense on a BYE, which may necessitate a move of some kind. If I can’t pick up Dalton, I’ll look to fill that spot with a defense and try to get a full roster of guys going.

I did end up cutting Garrett Wilson to get out of the IR quagmire, so expect him to finally return to kicking ass and taking names. If this fuckface turns into a superstar, I’m going to lose my fucking mind.

I’m going up against another 1-5 team, The Lance Petemans. He’s the once-proud winner of our championship trophy multiple times over, going through a rough patch. Here’s his projected lineup:

  • Jared Goff (QB) @ Dal
  • Ryan Tannehill (QB) vs. Ind
  • Tyreek Hill (WR) vs. Pit
  • DeAndre Hopkins (WR) vs. NO
  • Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB) @ SF
  • James Robinson (RB) vs. NYG
  • Gerald Everett (TE) vs. Sea
  • Keenan Allen (WR) vs. Sea
  • Nick Folk (K) vs. Chi
  • Dallas (DEF) vs. Det

He’s a wee bit injury-ravaged, and while his quarterback problems aren’t nearly as pronounced as mine, he’s still looking for upgrades at both spots. We’ll be seeing each other again most likely in the Consolation Bracket later this year, so I’m sure if my luck holds, I’ll win this week and lose when it matters most. Or, I’ll lose both times! Anything is possible! Any of those two things are possible.

Nobody Wants To Hear About My Fantasy Team 2022: The Dark At The End Of The Tunnel

It was another demoralizing defeat, it’s fine. This time, it wasn’t quite the bloodbath; I only just BARELY scored the fewest points in the league (the team I lost to the previous week – the team who scored the most that week – just edged me out by .05 points this past week). Car Talk With Josh Allen defeated RoundTine 142.95 to 117.25.

I got 2 points from Justin Fields. He’s looking like utter trash from a fantasy perspective. I would hold out hope for Mac Jones (who managed 13.15 points), but he just suffered a severe high ankle sprain. That means more Fields; lucky me!

Gabe Davis didn’t do much of anything for me; looked like he dropped a TD pass in that one. Everyone else did just sort of okay, but when you’re getting that kind of nothing out of your two QB spots, it’s going to be hard to get over the 100-point hump week-in and week-out. Even if I were able to cherry-pick my very best lineup, I still would’ve lost by a marginal amount, so I’m not too devastated. My calls would’ve been proven right had Davis nabbed that touchdown.

No waiver claims this week, but I did pick up Romeo Doubs from the Packers as a free agent. Once again, we’re playing for the future, and so I’m on the rookie receiver trail, hoping to find the next Justin Jefferson. I already picked up Garrett Wilson, now I have Doubs. In his place, I dropped Diontae Johnson, who is perfectly fine, but he’s got Mitch Trubisky throwing to him. That’s not reliable. Eventually, he’ll have a brand new rookie quarterback throwing to him. That’s also not reliable. Plus, there’s a lot of competition for targets in that offense. It all adds up to a nice little pick-up for someone else in the league to get a dependable receiver going forward.

Meanwhile, I get Doubs, who (for now) has Aaron Rodgers throwing to him. I like that a lot more. That seems VERY reliable.

It’s on to next week, against Beasts, one of the best fantasy football owners I know. Here’s who I’ve got:

  • Jameis Winston (QB) vs. Min
  • Justin Fields (QB) @ NYG
  • Gabe Davis (WR) @ Bal
  • D.K. Metcalf (WR) @ Det
  • Javonte Williams (RB) @ LV
  • Ezekiel Elliott (RB) vs. Was
  • T.J. Hockenson (TE) vs. Sea
  • CeeDee Lamb (WR) vs. Was
  • Evan McPherson (K) vs. Mia
  • L.A. Rams (DEF) @ SF

I’m sitting Doubs because I’m always reluctant to immediately start my brand new lottery ticket. I did the same thing with Wilson last week and was proven correct, as he only got 12 points. I’ve still got Wilson on my bench this week, waiting for a matchup that isn’t the Steelers. He still got a great target share last week, but I think I’m also waiting for Joe Flacco to not be his quarterback anymore. Zach Wilson can return anytime he likes, as far as I’m concerned!

Do you want to see a dynasty team that’s LOADED? Take a look at Beasts:

  • Justin Herbert (QB) @ Hou
  • Russell Wilson (QB) @ LV
  • Cooper Kupp (WR) @ SF
  • Courtland Sutton (WR) @ LV
  • Christian McCaffrey (RB) vs. Ari
  • Derrick Henry (RB) @ IND
  • Mark Andrews (TE) vs. Buf
  • Tyler Lockett (RB) @ Det
  • Tyler Bass (K) @ Bal
  • Tampa Bay (DEF) vs. KC

He might have to swap Herbert out due to injury, but otherwise this is a cakewalk. Do you know what it’s like to go into a contest and know – without a shadow of a doubt – that you’re going to lose? It’s like if I walked into a ring with vintage Mike Tyson. Hell, it would be like walking into a ring with TODAY Mike Tyson! What would it take for me to even be competitive? Every single one of my players would have to have the game of his life, and even then I’d get -4.05 from Fields and lose by 20.

I’d be more demoralized if I wasn’t a combined 5-1 in my other two leagues. I can still do this! I can still be a smart fantasy football guy! I just got trapped inside a hell of my own making with this league.

At one point, Tua was my future. I let him go. At one point, I had Tyreek Hill, and I traded him for some magic beans. At one point, I could’ve had Herbert or Dak or Hurts. Hell, I could’ve had Jared Goff this year and instead I opted for a fifth receiver I don’t really need! This quarterback conundrum has been neverending, for the better part of a decade. Even when I thought I had a good one, I managed to get him in the absolute worst year of his career (I’m having flashbacks to Matt Ryan and Philip Rivers at their pre-old guy nadirs). In this league, I can’t do anything right. Even when I think I’ve gotten everything BUT the quarterback position settled, it’s all just kind of mediocre. I’m in another league where I took that strategy, and it’s working splendidly. But, this league? For whatever reason, my non-quarterbacks can’t seem to get much more than 10 points per week, and often get far less.

I think that’s why I’m reluctant to move on from Jones or Fields. If Tua can do what he’s done so far this year, why couldn’t Fields – at some point – develop into the kind of player who can get me 40+ points? He was great in college, like Tua. He’s not necessarily super mobile with his legs, like Tua. He’s starting out his NFL career without much in the way of offensive talent around him, like Tua. Why couldn’t he blossom in Year 3 or Year 4?

There’s no reason why I shouldn’t be patient. It’s not like these guys are going anywhere. I’m guaranteed at least a top 4 pick for next year. Here’s hoping I’ll find someone among the incoming rookie class to hang my hat on.

Nobody Wants To Hear About My Fantasy Team 2021: Down Goes Jameis

Hilariously, after writing about how down I was on Justin Fields last week, his beleaguered head coach, Matt Nagy, was kept home due to a COVID outbreak, and Fields ended up having the greatest fantasy game of his career! For my bench, of course, but weird how that happens. It’s like Nagy’s incompetence might be the one holding him back or something!

Snoopy & Prickly Pete lost to The Lance Petemans 151.95 to 139.48. He almost blew it by leaving Calvin Ridley in his lineup, but unfortunately Jameis Winston blew out his knee on an illegal horsecollar tackle and my team was properly fucked as a result. If he had the kind of game it looked like he was going to have, I think I would’ve overcome the final deficit. As it stands, a zero for Ridley kept me in it enough to pick up the Giants’ kicker on Monday night. But, as I expected, Tyreek Hill went off (he always does when I’m up against him, because I foolishly traded him to The Lance Petemans a few years ago), and the Giants’ kicker was worth all of 5 points to me.

A.J. Brown, D.K. Metcalf, and CeeDee Lamb all had good-to-great games for me. The Rams’ defense was solid, but could’ve been better. Noah Fant was fucking miserable, and is making me re-think my tight end plans as I consider what I’ve got going for next year. I might end up dropping him entirely if I find a better tight end on the market. I asked on Twitter, and a Denver fan responded that Fant hasn’t been all that great (so it’s not just their lack of talent at quarterback). Either way, a Broncos tight end seems to be a dead end in fantasy. Half his games so far have seen him get less than 10 points (PPR); only two games have seen him get 10 targets or more. I don’t know what to do here.

Mac Jones didn’t do much of anything in my starting lineup, but Taylor Heinicke didn’t do much for my bench either. With Jameis out for the year, I’m left scrambling once again to find a replacement quarterback. I made a couple of waiver claims. Taysom Hill – Jameis’ backup – was snagged out from under me, so I got the next best thing available: Jets’ Week 8 phenom Mike White.

Even though the Bengals did good work against the Ravens, I’d still say their defense is somewhat suspect. Well, the Jets are now going up against the Colts, who have proven to be pretty effective on D. Since this is a road game, and a Thursday night game, I’m going to go ahead and hold off on starting White. However, if he balls out in this one, he might be a redneck the real deal.

On the tight end front, Noah Fant got dinged with a COVID IR designation this week. He needs back-to-back negative tests to be able to play this Sunday. I went ahead and picked up Dawson Knox in free agency, who has missed one game so far with a fractured bone in his hand, but otherwise was on a 3-game run of excellent tight end play before the injury. Since he’s on a quality offense in Buffalo, I’m going to keep him regardless of whether or not he can play this week. Ideally, for Week 9 purposes, one of these guys will return for me. But, long-term, I think Knox might be my guy. He’s only in his third year, and if all goes according to plan, he’ll have Josh Allen throwing to him for a good chunk of his career. That beats whatever the hell Fant has to look forward to in the quarterback quagmire that is Denver.

Put it this way: Fant has 5.4 more points than Knox on the season, yet Knox has missed a game to injury AND had his BYE week (Fant doesn’t have his until Week 11). That tells me everything I need to know about their potential both this year and beyond.

This week, I’m going up against Beasts, who is 4-4 and in 4th place. He’s got beat up by the injury bug, with Russell Wilson going on IR for his hand, and Derrick Henry recently being lost for most of the rest of the season. He’s also had Christian McCaffery doing the Will He Play/Won’t He Play game for most of the season. Given the rest of the talent on Beasts, he’s certainly a contender for the league championship. But, he’s going to have to find a way to hang around and somehow crack the top six to make the playoffs.

Luckily for him, he’s got Snoopy & Prickly Pete this week. Here’s my lineup:

  • Mac Jones (QB) @ CAR
  • Justin Fields (QB) @ PIT
  • A.J. Brown (WR) @ LAR
  • CeeDee Lamb (WR) vs. DEN
  • Ezekiel Elliott (RB) vs. DEN
  • Khalil Herbert (RB) @ PIT
  • Dawson Knox (TE) @ JAX
  • Diontae Johnson (WR) vs. CHI
  • Justin Tucker (K) vs. MIN
  • L.A. Rams (DEF) vs. TEN

You know what us fantasy owners of the Rams’ defense loved to see this week? Them trading for Von Miller! Of course, with the way they’re just throwing away draft picks, the long-term viability of the Rams defense seems a little iffy from a dynasty perspective. But, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. Fantasy defenses are a lot like bullpens in baseball, they can be a little volatile from year to year.

I’m dealing with a D.K. Metcalf and Taylor Heinicke BYE situation, so that rules both of them out. I tell you, I’m loving having four quality starting wide receivers, even though I know I can only keep three of them. It’s a nice problem to have; one of the few nice problems about my fantasy team!

Here’s what Beasts figures to run out there:

  • Justin Herbert (QB) @ PHI
  • Teddy Bridgewater (QB) @ DAL
  • Cooper Kupp (WR) vs. TEN
  • Adam Thielen (WR) @ BAL
  • Boston Scott (RB) vs. LAC
  • Chuba Hubbard (RB) vs. NE
  • Mark Andrews (TE) vs. MIN
  • Courtland Sutton (WR) @ DAL
  • Randy Bullock (K) @ LAR
  • Arizona (DEF) @ SF

It’s definitely not an ideal lineup compared to what he was rolling with earlier this year, but I think there’s easily enough there to get the job done. Herbert and Kupp alone are probably good for 60+ points combined. I have Mark Andrews going on my Splinter League team, so it’s going to be weird to root for him to kill it.

I’m guessing I get a 0 from my tight end position, and under 10 from Fields. The rest of my guys have tough opposing matchups or are on the road. I think I’ll be lucky to clear 130 points this week. So, even if Beasts underperforms, he should still have enough firepower to defeat me.

Splinter League Round-Up!

That’s back-to-back wins for BUCK FUTTER, with the week’s biggest blowout over the last place team. The latest impressive victory makes me the league leader in total points this season, which you love to see. I had a bit of a dilemma with both of my Bucs receivers on BYE this week, but I found Cole Beasley in free agency. I hope the anti-vaxxer doesn’t get COVID this week! He and Tee Higgins will be my guys in the WR spots, with the rest of my team being running back-heavy. I was able to drop Deshaun Watson this week, since the trade deadline passed with him still in Houston. That’s okay, I’ll only need Mac Jones to start for two weeks. If he needs to start more than that, something has gone seriously wrong. I have a tough one this week against Vinegar Strokes, who is right on my heels at 4-4. This week will be HUGE for my playoff implications.