Free agency is one of my favorite parts of football.  This is probably because my favorite team never seems to be in the playoffs so I guess it gives me a false sense of hope going into the next season.  A couple of needs get fulfilled with players that I haven’t seen play in the Buccaneer’s system and all of a sudden I can argue them into the playoffs in my head.  The Jaguars also always look like they’ve built a dangerous roster in the offseason, and then we remember by week 2 that Blake Bortles is still the quarterback.

Free agency answers a lot of questions for fantasy football as well.  Every year, the beginning of March changes the destiny of at least a few players that might be question marks in keeper leagues. Just because the player takes the biggest check doesn’t mean that they are putting themselves in the best position to put up their best possible individual numbers.  I’m going to do my best to decipher the first week of signings and trades right here.  This was a busier year than last year for the skill positions as far as I remember, so if I forget someone you wanted to read about, forgive me.  Let’s get started with one of the fastest players in football…

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Hello everyone, and welcome to the 14th installment of the Start ‘Em and Sit ‘Em series. I’ll keep it short for you guys everyone, so welcome to the playoffs and let’s get started… With A.J. Green’s departure a few weeks ago due to a hamstring injury, certain players have had to pick up the slack from his lack of production values, and Eifert has done the most absorbing of this production value. His an increasing target share, snap counts, and even red zone efficiency, it’s no wonder why he is producing like the way he is. This week he’ll only have to battled with Brandon LaFell and the two running backs to get the targets and looks he deserves, but he’ll have a great matchup on the way, against a Cleveland Browns team that ranks as the 31st pass defense in the NFL, and 31st in the NFL against TE’s, who give up close to 65 yards and 0.8 TD’s per game. Fire him up with confidence…

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ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 7: Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings rushes during a game against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on September 7, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

By now, most of you guys are already in the playoffs or at least know where you’re sitting in the hunt.  I’m unfortunately eliminated in my main league and am a bit sour while writing this, so please forgive a bit of my saltiness. My handle may have to change to Rob Gronkowski lying in a hospital bed since that’s where he’s been most of the year (I trusted you after staying healthy last year!). If you’re in the same boat as me, better luck next year. Do it the right way next time and join 10 leagues so you’re guaranteed to win one (that’s how statistics work right?). Yup, we’re way beyond the numbers and I’m not even through with the intro. For those who still have a shot at glory, I’ll suck it up for you guys and do my best to help out. Here are some guys that’ll get you to next week, some to stash for when you get there, and some to avoid all together.

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Greetings! What. Just. Happened? Six months ago, I would have literally bet my life against five grand that Donald Trump had zero shot at being the Republican nominee. Two months ago, I would have bet every red cent I have that he could not defeat Hillary Clinton in this epic battle for USA supremacy. It became quite apparent to me how insanely wrong I was about the whole sitch, right about when Trump did Killary like Frank Dukes did Chong Li in Bloodsport. One can only receive so many consecutive roundhouse kicks to the grill piece before they fall to the mat in a bloody and bruised pile of raw hamburger meat and shart-stained drawls. This is honestly the hugest upset in the history of politics, or maybe the biggest upset of any kind. I’m talking about in the history of the world. I am beyond shocked. A few months ago, I would have said I’m appalled, but Hillary is so insanely unlikable that the fact she could have been the first woman to preside over the United States of America wasn’t even an interesting story. Her campaign became desperate, as she posted edited attack ads going at Trump, making her look petty and weak. Not only did Trump win, but the Republicans managed to still maintain control of both the house and the senate! PLEASE RID THIS NATION OF THE DEATH TAX! This money has already been taxed. What right does the government have to it? Again, this money has already been taxed. I don’t even understand how this is a real thing. But, truly, this Trump shizz is beyond nuts, but kudos to him for staying the course and pulling it out. Imagine how incredible it would feel to win the Presidency after countless celebrities and people like Warren Buffett and Mark Cuban blasted him non-stop. I must say, that that’s quite impressive. You simply cannot deny this. Yes, my goodmen, Donald J. Trump got the last laugh here…

I am Tehol Beddict, and this is Disgrace and Delight! Take heed!

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Welcome to another week of fantasy football where everything’s made up, but the points actually matter. Matchups are the name of the game this week, as I’m sure just about everyone is scouring the waiver wire with so much talent on bye. That’d be said, look no further than the Packers who square off against an embarrassing Colts defense. Rodgers is going to toss touchdowns galore in this one, so be ready for quite a few Lambo Leaps. I’m not sure the Colts’ strategy of letting the opposing offenses score as quickly as possible so Andrew Luck can have the ball back is logical, but hey, I’m no defensive coordinator. If it’s too late to snatch up Packers, don’t worry, there’s plenty more juicy matchups to exploit on the docket. And as a bonus because I’m such a good guy, I also have a few secret stashes for those looking to deepen their benches. Let’s get to it!

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ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 15: Todd Gurley #30 of the St. Louis Rams carries the ball in the first quarter against the Chicago Bears at the Edward Jones Dome on November 15, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Welcome to Week 6! This is my favorite time of the fantasy year. We get to reflect on the last five weeks, figure out the missing pieces that are needed to take our fantasy game to take the next step, and act upon those missing pieces. If things have gone bad for you, don’t worry about it, and if things have gone pretty terribly, don’t worry about it as well. Some situations such as those with C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker have fantasy owners asking themselves, “Who do I stash?”, or “Who has the better future in hold”? Questions like these might make or break your fantasy year based off of timing and effective Waiver Wire maneuvering. However, not all running backs are being threatened of workload to an up-and-coming rookie in the fold. Some backs have the job locked up, and are even moving on to an increasingly larger workload based off of numerous factors. So let’s head out to L.A. and get started!

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I need to keep reminding myself to love every moment of football, because whether I want to believe it or not, we’re almost a quarter of the way through the NFL season.

I always like this time of the year. For me, October 1st marks the official start of fall. Yes, yes, I know about the Fall Solstice, or whatever it is called nowadays, and I understand that in most parts of the country it is starting to feel a little chilly, but you have to remember, I live in Tampa! It’s 96 degrees and sunny! Meanwhile, I am forced to eat cinnamon cookies, listen to Charlie Brown songs, and surf through NFLShop.com’s pink selections for BCA month. I can only do this for so long before I go hit some tennis in situations where if I do not drink water, I would not be writing this intro. You know what I mean?

Here we have the first game of the month of October. It’s time to crank up some “Autumn Wind” NFL Films music, and get ourselves in prime positioning to make an impact in our leagues and get to 4-0. Or at least 3-1. For any of you guys that are 0-3 thus far, remember that it is a marathon, not a sprint.

We start this week in a situation like Tampa, in beautiful San Diego, where the only weather is either hot or mildly hot. I think that’s right, but a pretty hasty generalization at that. I’ve never been to San Diego, but I hear good things! *Author’s Note* – I have never once heard anything about San Diego. Oh well.

A bad thing about football are the injuries of the game and its impact on the given team it affects. Good thing for us, regardless of their current record, the Chargers have had a very high-paced and prolific offensive attack despite their injuries to Danny Woodhead and Keenan Allen, thanks in large part to their second-year breakout back.

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Contrary to most people, Fantasy Football actually reinforces my belief in a higher power. Because in my opinion, the statistical probability that the Bears would be so uniquely irrelevant for such a long amount time is far less likely than a giant vengeful sky man wanting to live with you when you die. And if we are talking in terms of fantasy (something we do from time to time), it doesn’t seem that long ago when Jay Cutler was doing his best impersonation of Jay Cutler, but with a cast of Matt Forte, Martellus Bennett, Brandon Marshall, and Alshon Jeffery. Sure, they were still full of derp, still kinda bordered the line between mediocre and hilarious, but they had an offense. More importantly, they had an offense that you wanted to draft on your team. Now all that’s left is Alshon Jeffery living in Hoyer Country. (If he throws a Hail Mary, what shall they do about their papist neighbors?) So whats wrong with the Bears offense? Is it: A) Hoyer can’t throw the ball, B) Kevin White doesn’t know what a Route Tree is, C) The offensive line can’t block, D) Alshon Jeffery hasn’t cared since they shipped Marshall off to the Jets, or E.) All the above? And sure, lets give some credit to the Cowboys. Ezekiel Elliott had a terrific game on the ground (kudos to Zach for calling it in his Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em post), and Dak Presscott looks pretty legitimate. I mean, let’s be honest, drafting a good quarterback by accident is just about the most Cowboys thing ever. But while I deal with my own feelings as a Chargers fan (alcohol is involved), I have to wonder why the Bears even exist right now, but then I remember that the Cleveland Browns are still a thing and it all makes sense.

Here’s what else I saw in Sunday’s Week 3 games…

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In what could have been a wonderful work of satire in today’s title, last night’s Sunday excursion into Minnesota’s new football stadium may have upended years of programming in thinking that Sam Bradford (22/31, 286 YDS, 9.2 AVG, 2 TD, 121.2 RTG and 1 CAR, -3 YDS) isn’t quite the second coming of Joe Montana, but moreso a cross between Mr. Glass from Unbreakable and Jimmy Clausen. Yeah, an M. Night Shyamalan reference, deal with it. One game won’t change my expertly crafted comparisons, but after beating a team that has basically controlled the division for the last decade, and doing it mostly without Adrian Peterson who did essentially nothing until finally resigning to get injured and leave the game, should say something. I mean, Matt Asiata got more in his first carry this game than Peterson has ran the entire year… And so when we are in the second week of the season, saying that the Vikings front office was onto something by mortgaging a part of their future in a desperate attempt to replace Teddy Bridgewater may be a step too far as of now (since if you whisper “Sam Bradford” into a mirror three times, one of his ACLs will explode.), it is an encouraging start. And before you think that Bradford may not be the lede you were looking for, I think the meta conversation here is that forming conclusions and finding confirmation bias from two weeks of football is probably not wise. And that’s something that should probably be discussed. It matters in the general football sense if you’re, say, a Seahawks fan, but it also matters in fantasy football if you’re, say,  a Todd Gurley owner. When is the right time to panic? To make a move? We’ve only seen about 12% of the season thus far, and to make a baseball reference, that’s game 20. Making waiver moves, exploring trades, probing at what you can do is always a good thing, but my advice here (since I’ve seen a lot of inquiries on this) is to hold for the moment. Or, at the very least, do not sell yourself short. Just wait a bit longer before chugging down the bourbon and gaslighting yourself… one more week, maybe two, before you make any major decisions, and I promise you’ll have a clearer picture and still have enough time left to do something about it.

Here’s what else I saw during yesterday’s Week 2 Sunday games…

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Football is back, and better than ever. After an offseason that felt like it lasted forever, we finally get to sit back, relax and enjoy some games that count. It seems like ages ago Cam Newton left his press conference. But here we are. For me, it means benching the wrong player at 12:59 pm. But (hopefully) you will not make any wrong decisions this year en route to that coveted fantasy title. It’s time to forget about 2015, and focus on the year ahead.

Although the mentality of Week 1 of the NFL Season in a fantasy sense means to just start the players that we drafted in order, this might not always be the case with a lot of fantasy teams. Especially for the owners that drafted Jamaal Charles in the 2nd-round. Players like Jameis Winston, Blake Bortles, Jeremy Hill, Adrian Peterson, DeMarco Murray, Mike Evans, and even Jarvis Landry all have either bad or less-than-ideal matchups to kick off the NFL season. I always advocate the strategy of “never bench your studs”, however, if we can definitely upgrade at a position to maximize the upside in our starting lineup, we should go for it. Simply put, Week 1 isn’t a guarantee.

Many teams enter Sunday with high hopes for the 2016 season. But one team in particular is looking to have a season like no other in the past few years. The Oakland Raiders enter the year with great young talent, veteran leadership where it matters the most, and to capitalize on a weakened division with play from their high-powered offense.

And their running back is at the forefront of it all. So let’s get to it…

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