There was a conspiracy theory that was being widely floated that the Patriots planned on tanking the 2020 season to put themselves in position to draft Trevor Lawrence in the 2021 draft. As far fetched as it was, I wouldn’t put anything past Bill Belichick. The man isn’t getting any younger and finding success without Tom Brady is clearly at the top of his priority list. 

It was only a matter of time before the Patriots brought in Cam Newton. Apparently this deal has been in the works for a while but Covid provided difficulties with physicals and workouts. But alas, Cam will be an NFL starting quarterback on a very team friendly deal that probably comes with some under the table cigar shop investments from Robert Kraft. The personality fit will be the most interesting part of this whole experiment. Cam Newton has always been a player to show a lot of personality. He’s honest, willing to talk, he loves to smile, he loves to celebrate, and he loves to interact with fans. He’s the exact opposite of Tom Brady during his time with the Patriots outside of a few instagram productions and a very weird Facebook show.

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If you been following along with my preseason player profiles, you have probably noticed that I haven’t written a lot about the upper tier of wide receivers. As I have previously written, my fantasy portfolio will have a lot of diversity because of Covid-19, but the only WR I’ll take any chances on in the first round is Tyreek Hill, assuming Michael Thomas doesn’t fall to the back half of the round. 

With so much depth at the WR position, I’ll be starting most of my 1-QB drafts RB-RB. This isn’t to be confused with my crazy community college nights where I went streaking with a Beef-n-Cheddar and curly fries in hand chanting, “Arby’s! Arby’s!” If you’re wondering, eat your curly fries quickly while in the middle of a display of public nudity. Cops won’t feed them to you when you’re in handcuffs no matter how nicely you ask. 

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The last few years I’ve become obsessed with food truck culture. Tacos, burgers, Neopolitan pizza, fried rice. You name it, there’s a food truck for it. I also might just love food that’s going to kill me or the show The Great Food Truck Race. Actually, Food Network in general is just quality programming. They have all the Guy Fieri one person could ever dream of. And I dream a lot about having frosted tips, outdated sunglasses, flame button up shirts, and excessive pinky and wrist jewelry. 

Quarterbacks are the food trucks of fantasy football. You don’t need to pay a lot of capital to get quality as long as you know where to look.

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The great part of the mid to late rounds of a normal 10-12 team fantasy football draft is how badly you can miss on a few picks and still be fine. How you play the waiver wire is a big contributor to your success so you can afford to take big swings on “your guys”. I don’t think that there was a league last year that I drafted in August that didn’t have Darwin Thompson on it. Another player that I was heavily invested in was Curtis Samuel. Neither one of those players lived up to the expectations that I had for them, but it didn’t matter because I built strong cores and was active on the waiver wire. 

There are too many variables in fantasy football to NOT take shots on high upside guys that could be league winners. And a lot of these players have yet to prove themselves in a 16-game sample size. There’s always going to be the D.J. Chark’s and Terry McLaurin’s that you can find on the wire that literally everyone overlooks. Knowing this, I’m going to be loading up on Darius Slayton in the 9th-10th rounds of fantasy drafts this year. 

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I have been tiptoeing around writing about Allen Robinson as a fantasy target. I really like Allen Robinson, which I will get to, but I have been writing a lot about players in the 25-40 ADP range as targets and I would love to focus on all parts of the draft board. But this year, more than ever, it is important to be diverse on the draft board. Especially if you play in more than one league. Every year you should have backup plans and tier your rankings because it’s assumed that you are going to get sniped at some point in every draft. But also, we need to assume that players that we draft will test positive for Covid-19 at some point in the season, so diversifying and not putting all of your eggs in one basket in every league is ideal. After all, if you play in a lot of leagues, it’s about return on investment. If you miss badly in one league, you can still have fighting chances in others. 

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Devin Singletary may end up being a story of what could have been in 2020. The rumors had been going around for much of the offseason that Buffalo would be seeking another back to compliment Singletary, but I didn’t want to believe it so I pushed my chips in during an April bestball. And by pushing my chips in, I mean, I really pushed my chips in. The type of bestball draft that we were doing was a slow auction, where every player on the board has a clock of 12 hours that gets reset to 10 hours every time that there is a new bid. It goes a lot faster than you think, there is is usually 36 players on the board at a time that you can bid on. 

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I usually spend the introduction writing about some aspect from my life or the player’s connection to my fantasy strategy that I am writing about. But this time I have to give it up to my Razzball companion and friend, Rudy Gamble. Rudy is one of the founders of Razzball and one of the boldest fantasy football rankers in the yearly FantasyPros rankings contest. For a short time a couple of years ago we did a weekly podcast during the season and I was always excited to hop on with him and was fascinated to learn more about his process. 

During the season, Rudy’s projections are behind a paywall, but during the preseason, you can view them for free. He has all of his rankings and depth charts for each team. What I really like about Rudy’s rankings compared to the rankings that you can just google, is that Rudy lists the stat projections for each player. So you can take a look at a lot of stuff that you aren’t getting elsewhere, including targets. I was combing through his projections recently and had to do a double take when he had Terry McLaurin as his WR4? Look, I’m with you, that’s crazy talk. But clearly, you don’t have to pay a WR4 price tag for him so I decided to take a deeper look. 

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In 2019, Razzball as a site fell in love with Darren Waller. It started before he became a player to watch on Hard Knocks in August, but the love only intensified. DonkeyTeeth was one of his biggest proponents in 2019 and he and I probably owned him in every league that we weren’t facing each other in. 

DonkeyTeeth’s love for Darren Waller has carried over into 2020 and we discussed it earlier this week in our football group chat. We even decided to put our money where our mouth is and made a gentleman’s wager. For the price of a Rotowear t-shirt, I took the side of Mark Andrews scoring more fantasy points than Darren Waller in 2020. I’m going to take it a step further. I don’t believe that Darren Waller will live up anywhere near his draft price in 2020. 

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The early part of the middle rounds in fantasy football drafts create a lot of strategy separation in my experience. In some cases you have league mates that are itching to get their starting quarterbacks and tight ends. Other league mates are keeping an eye on their ESPN draft rankings sheets and taking the highest player available trying to grab value. There are fantasy players in the mid rounds that start making bold high upside reaches that might end up being dropped by week 5 when they don’t get the snaps or targets. And then there are those who wisely spend their 6th round pick on Raheem Mostert.

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The news cycle stays pretty slow in the summer, but there are always little tidbits to find here and there. And I’m thankful for at least a little bit of news every now and then. There is a feasible possibility that football is the first major sport to come back, it certainly looks like baseball is having trouble pulling itself together. Then you have to throw in the element of the “Covid signing”. This is when teams make otherwise unnecessary signings for depth in case the team has an outbreak during the season. It’s going to be interesting come training camp! Here is the fantasy relevant news so far in the month of May.

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