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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Friday was day 2 of one of the most exciting skill position drafts that we have had in quite some time. Every running back outside of CEH was still on the board and so were plenty of names from the deepest WR class in recent memory. It can be frustrating because the stuff that we read and watch can vary widely from what NFL GMs see. And that once again reared it’s ugly on Friday night. 

Everybody and their mother (because we told them to) loves Denzel Mims as a pro prospect. Denzel is a man of great athletic tools and a king of contested catches. So what happened that we don’t know about? He might have bombed interviews by choosing to zoom in the nude. He might have been caught at a party in the later stages of March. Who knows. Let’s break down how these day 2 picks affect the fantasy football landscape. I will go in the order that they were selected.

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As I crawled thru the barren-sportsless Corona Desert, desperately clinging to the last few precious ounces of my own bottled urine, a glorious oasis appeared on the horizon. Was it a mirage!? No! It was the the 2020 NFL Draft, and it was very real! And it was very glorious!

I leapt to my feet, slurped down the final drops of my warm pee rations and sprinted towards the only sports I’d seen in weeks—and likely the only sports we’ll see for weeks to come. There at the edge of the NFL Draft Oasis stood none other than Clyde Edwards-Helaire, waiting to welcome Donkey to the party (scroll to the bottom for my thoughts on CEH, I literally buried the lede). Anyway, here’s what else I saw during day one of the 2020 NFL Draft for fantasy football:

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There are finally live sports related things! It was getting exhausting hearing the 90’s basketball debate because of The Last Dance. We can finally get a break from that for at least 3 days. Tonight is the beginning of a NFL draft that we will not soon forget and hopefully it is the only one that we have like this. 

As of earlier this week, it seemed like communication issues were a disaster in a mock draft run through with all of the GMs. One has to wonder how many mistakes are going to be made. Will a GM say something spicy about another GM because he forgot to hit the mute button? I sure as hell hope so. Will a team that wants to execute a trade to move up or down fail to because of communication issues? Absolutely. And it’s going to be so annoying to hear that GM complain for the months ahead about what could have been if they knew how to properly use technology. I’m sure there are a lot of instances like Ron Rivera where the whole family will be getting involved to get these fellas through the draft. 

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Over the past four weeks Tom Brady has been slowly settling into life in Tampa Bay, scouting retirement communities and getting to know his new Buccaneer teammates. On Monday young tight end O.J. Howard ate Brady’s spinach, arugula and GOAT cheese salad out of the team fridge while complaining about the lack of tomatoes. Howard then violated the quarterback’s 6-foot radius of personal space before coughing without covering his mouth. Enough was enough, it was time for Tom to dust off his trusty Gronk signal and shine the big man’s light into the balmy Florida night sky. And Rob Gronkowski wasted no time in answering the call of his old friend. By Tuesday afternoon Gronkman had been traded from the Patriots with a 7th-round pick in exchange for the the Buccaneers 4th-round pick.

Gronk battled injuries from 2016-2018 missing 13 games over his final three seasons prior to his early-retirement. He also looked quite slimmed down during his 2019 public appearances. That said, you can’t help but root for the big boy, and a year of rest and relaxation likely did his overworked body some good. Off the bat, I’ll pencil him in as my #7 tight end behind Kelce, Kittle, Waller, Ertz, Andrews and Hooper. And I’ll give him an initial projection of 50 receptions for 700 yards and 6 touchdowns with lots of upside (and downside) from there. Anyway, here’s what other news I saw around the league for 2020 fantasy football: 

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Bill O’Brien has done it again, my friends! The Houston Texans have traded the 57th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft to the Los Angeles Rams for Brandin Cooks. When Bill O’Brien inevitably gets banished from the NFL for completely gutting the Texans organization of it’s assets, I hope he doesn’t dip his toes into the financial realm. If he does, promise me that you won’t let him manage your portfolio. The economy is hectic enough as it is in these trying times.

Let’s break this down, shall we? The Texans were coming into the draft with 3 picks in the top 57. This draft holds one of the deepest wide receiver classes in recent memory. After trading DeAndre Hopkins, the top receivers on the Houston roster were Kenny Stills and Will Fuller. 

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Times, they are changing, and rapidly. Nobody really knows what tomorrow will bring with the Covid-19 outbreak currently ravaging the globe. That hasn’t stopped NFL free agency. At least we have something in the sports world to day dream about and project. 

The cancellation of the Olympics is the beginning of the realization that Covid-19 could affect the 2020 NFL season. I’m not a science expert and I’m rarely considered a fantasy football expert for that matter, but I do believe that there is a solid possibility that football could fall victim to a postponement. 

I’m not embracing full blown panic that football will be cancelled in it’s entirety for the 2020 season, but if I had a guess, proper precautions will be taken by any means necessary. That’s enough for the subject that nobody can get away from. Fantasy football is our escape after all, so let’s keep try and find a light at the end of the tunnel. There are roster changes happening daily which of course means shake ups in fantasy football value for players across the league.

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As I crawled through the desert wearing my backpack filled to the brim with toilet paper and various lotions, dying of sports thirst, a small rain drop landed squarely on my nose. The NFL players narrowly approved a new collective bargaining agreement Saturday night, lengthening the season by one game and expanding the playoffs to 14 teams; the rain drop for which I’d been longing. Then on Monday, the flood gates opened with a downpour of high profile free agent signings, trades and franchise taggings on the first day of legal tampering. 

Lightning struck when then Texans inexplicably handed DeAndre Hopkins and a 2021 4th rounder over to the Cardinals in exchange for David Johnson, a 2nd round draft pick and a 2020 4th rounder. The amount of hand sanitizer included in the deal was not disclosed, but my sources tell me at least three ounces of Purell headed back to Houston. The echo chamber seems to believe this move will have a decidedly negative affect on Nuk’s fantasy value, but I’m rose-colored in my year two outlook for the Kliff Kingsbury/Kyler Murray show. If he’s a mid to late 2nd round fantasy pick this year, I’ll dhop all over him.

Later the thunder rumbled as Stefon Diggs was dealt with a 2020 7th rounder to the Bills in exchange for pick #22, their 2020 5th, 2020 6th and 2021 4th rounder. I’ve seen many folks say this was a terrible deal for the Bills, but if you toss the 26 year old Diggs into this draft class he’d go top 10, right? And he’s signed to a reasonably team friendly deal thru 2023. Change of scenery may be just what Diggs needed. I’ll be buying again in 2020 and bumping Josh Allen up my board as well. Anyway, here’s what else I saw for 2020 fantasy football during this already crazy coronavirus-filled NFL offseason:  

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Bill O’Brien is a man with too many responsibilities for a billion dollar organization. Bill O’Brien comes from the Bill Belichick coaching tree, but he’s not as savvy. Luckily for O’Brien, the dominoes have fell in his favor in regards to appearing in the postseason. The Texans have made the playoffs in 4 out of the last 5 seasons including two wins. 

The Texan’s 2019 playoff appearance can be attributed to a nice home win against a depleted Patriots roster, and a shocker on the road against the Chiefs, but outside of that it seemed like they skated by. If Andrew Luck hadn’t retired, the playoff picture probably would have looked a lot different. Lost in the fact that the Chiefs made a historic comeback in the divisional round against the Texans is the fact that Bill O’Brien and the Texans were embarrassingly unprepared to maintain a lead after already winning at Arrowhead that season. Pat Mahomes very well could end up as the best quarterback of our generation, but the Texans blew it with questionable play calling being at the forefront.

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