Your lungs are burning as you bend over to catch your breath. Snot trickles to your upper lip and the icy wind whips around causing it to freeze almost instantly. We’ve been hiking for 2 weeks but it already feels like an eternity. As the blood rushes to your forehead, you wonder how this seemed like a good idea 6 months ago while surfing the internet in your posh apartment in the city.

Of course, you know it’s too far to turn back, but the end is nowhere in sight. All that can be done is to make the best of the journey and put one foot in front of the other. The crunch of the snow betrays me as I saunter over and remind you “The next checkpoint is getting close where we can add some RBs for the week ahead.” Blinking, you stand up and look over the trail where the ridge meets the sun and feel a glimmer of hope. There’s fight left in you.

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P&E came into the office today for a checkup and I am pleased to report excellent progress with a Week 1 victory!

They got exactly what the doctor ordered, and without a doubt the biggest development was Sammy Watkins. He turned in a historical performance, carrying P&E to an easy victory. Now with Tyreek Hill shelved for a while this team has 2 top 10 WRs to go along with Travis Kelce and Brandin Cooks. What’s more is that Devin Singletary played 70% of Buffalo’s snaps and looks to be one of the first late round RB darts to hit.

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The sun rises over the majestic mountain range, illuminating the frost into countless diamonds. The air is crisp and clean and there is motion all around your tent. The energy is palpable and you take a deep breath, stepping into the cold morning. The warm scent of freshly brewed coffee drifts into your nostrils as I jam a loaded backpack in your gut and tell you you’re the last one up. “Breakfast is over, make sure you wear double socks” I say, strapping a ladder to a sleeping bag.

Don’t worry, this is how week 1 feels for most of us. All the anticipation, planning, and training doesn’t mean a thing once you head out on the trail. Week 1 was full of rookie WRs making a statement despite limited preseason buzz. Conversely, exciting rookie running backs flopped and split time, leaving managers rattled as we look forward to week 2. There was expected carnage, although congrats to the half of you that walked away 1-0.

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The other night I was sitting around, flipping channels when my phone started blowing up with “911” and then “we’ve got a bleeder!” The messages were from a friend of mine who isn’t much of a fantasy footballer but he and his wife (we’ll call them P&E) were wrangled into a couple’s league with some neighborhood friends. It is a 13 team, standard scoring league with a 1/2/2/1/1 starting roster. I watched in horror as the texts continued:

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I hope you all had a nice offseason reading your sleeper lists and day dreaming about finally going #ZeroRB this year. The preseason has come to a close and now we are out in the elements, far from the safety of your Buffalo Wild Wings draft. This is when it gets tough, this is where titles are forged. Championship treks are filled with dead ends and pitfalls, but also heroic decisions and steadfast perseverance. My pledge is to be your Waiver Sherpa this season. I have seen the mountaintop and it is glorious, friends. Tonight we will plan and rest, as the long climb awaits.

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One of my favorite movie scenes is an obscure moment in Batman (1989) where Grissom is talking to his associate Jack Napier (pre Joker transformation). They are in a deserted office and Grissom, Napier’s boss, is telling him about why he was chosen for an important job. Grissom grips him by the shoulders and hisses “you’re my…numbah one…guuyyy”. It’s both creepy and awesome. I feel like I am telling this to each and every player on a weekly basis as I slide them into my lineup.

Since I am in an all time high 18 fantasy football leagues this year, I have a lot of guys. But only a select few have the honor of being so cherished by me that I have invested heavily. These leagues range from a long running standard redraft to  startup 2 QB superflex PPR devy league and everything in between. Because of this, some draft strategies have been different than others, but overall I clearly have some soft spots for certain players.  If you like reading about other people’s fake football teams, proceed!

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ADP Royal Rumble V will feature a trio of WR3s: Robby Anderson, Dede Westbrook and Will Fuller. With an overall ADP separated by 5 picks, choosing from this group is a situation drafters are finding themselves in often. At this point in the draft you should be shooting for full upside, because even if you miss, you’re no worse just streaming and mining the waiver wire.  Now, without further ado, let’s get ready to RUUUUUUUMMMMMBBBBLLLLEEEE!

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Weighted opportunity is a metric that recalibrates the value of touches based on the expected fantasy points for carries (less valuable) and receptions (more valuable). Thanks to player profiler, I was able to see if there was a strong correlation between running back weighted opportunities per game (WO) and fantasy points per game (FP) in 2018. Sure enough, there was a strong correlation with an r2 value of 0.8864.

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A friend and I were recently texting during a mock draft and he kept finding pockets of players with similar ADP and seemingly similar upside. We would go back and forth making points and counterpoints, but in the end it was just a gut call. I realized that may not be the optimal way to make that choice on the fly and ventured to create a “checklist” of sorts to compare similar players alongside each other.

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The tight end (TE) position is an odd one for fantasy purposes. Every year there are a handful of monsters that are true weekly difference makers but after that the position is mostly the same. In 2018, 63.1 fantasy points separated TE4 from TE6 while TE6 and TE41 had about 63.1 points between them. Similarly in 2017, TE1 and TE5 were separated by 48.7 points which was the same margin between TE5 and TE22. So, if you miss out on the top talent, it’s worth waiting for  an extremely cheap option that has the upside of entering the elite group.

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