At the highest-stakes Texas hold ’em poker table in Iowa, you put your career on the line. Every Friday, a group of graduate students gathered at a professor’s house. This professor, he was short, balding, and a British footballer. If it was your first time at his table, you’d drink wine for free and he’d chip $10 into the pot for you. He’d grab an LP, something you never heard before but was charming, like The Doves or Interpol. A 500-page book sat at the edge of the poker table, and the professor talked about the awards it won and his Cambridge education. He’d invite you back for another game, but next time, you bring the wine and chip in $20 to the pot. By the fifth game, you’re bringing snacks and booze and maybe some of his groceries. The book was always on the table, as were the stories of Cambridge. One night, the soundtrack would be Tom Waits for three hours straight. Who listens to Tom Waits for that long? Of course, he asked you to get the $60 bottle of wine because you’re enjoying your time so much. Seems like the professor is winning more than usual tonight. Around 11PM, you notice there’s some cards missing from the discard pile nearby the professor. You mention it. The professor stands, his hand on his award-winning book, his mood affected by the Pinot Noir you paid for. He looks you in the eye and says, “You’re accusing an award-winning, full professor in your department, from Cambridge, of cheating?” And you realize: it’s the cost of the wine and the buy-in, or your career. You went swimming with the sharks, and you got eaten. You back down. Tom Waits keeps growling in the background. 

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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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Dr. Donkey Teeth and The Boof, aka Ralph Macchio, are back on the YouTube talking fantasy football for your viewing pleasure. After discussing the BIG news of the week—Carlos Hyde signed with the Seahawks—the guys taking a stroll down memory lane, reminiscing about some of their favorite fantasy players from past years including Rob Gronkowski, Randy Moss and Antonio Brown. Later the Karate Kid opens up about his anxiety in regards to trading for running backs in dynasty leagues which leads to an in depth strategic discussion about how to approach the buying and selling of RBs in dynasty. Tune in and subscribe to our YouTube channel now!

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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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Not long ago I threw a bunch of pieces of scrap paper with random letters scribbled on them into my fedora. I then randomly drew fifty letters from the titfer. Next I conducted several ritual sacrifices to the fantasy gods, assembled those fifty illegible letters into twenty-five pairs and selected the first football player who came to mind with matching initials to compile my Top 25 Dynasty Rankings for 2020 Fantasy Football. And that’s the story of how Kerryon Johnson landed at #18 overall, as the readers pointed and mocked.  Of course, I’m kidding about this process. I don’t own a fedora, it used a baseball cap.

A week later I repeated the same exercise to compose my Top 50 Dynasty Rankings for 2020 Fantasy Football which landed Juju Smith-Schuster at #50 overall. And outrage ensued. The angry mob called for Donkey blood. So I quickly handed over my Top 75 and Top 100 Dynasty Rankings for 2020 Fantasy Football. But those only fueled the riots. “Put the rankings into one easy to view list,” they said. “We don’t need your stupid explanations and jokes,” they said. “You’re the ugliest Donkey we’ve ever seen,” they said.

So I withdrew into solitude for a couple weeks, rosterbating and meditating and then rosterbating more until finally I had another 100 arbitrary player names collated into one easy to read list for the bloodthirsty mob’s viewing pleasures. Anyway, here’s my updated top 200 dynasty rankings for 2020 PPR fantasy football leagues:

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Now that I’ve given you my Top 25, Top 50 and Top 75 Dynasty Rankings for 2020 Fantasy Football, I’ll elaborate a little more on my general dynasty football philosophy. If you gathered some of the stale bread crumbs I left in the first three segments, you may have understood my philosophy to be one part L. Ron Hubbard, one part Antonio Brown and two parts Gordon Gekko. As the great Gekko once said, “I hate hockey and I don’t like kids.” Hmmm I think that’s the wrong quote from the Book of Gordon Quotes I got for Kwanzaa. That one may have been Gordon Bombay.

But getting back to the Gekko philosophy, I tend to look at my dynasty teams like investment portfolios. I tie my capital up in stable assets with upside—both at the draft and in season. This means I tend to fade the running back position. By nature, running backs aren’t stable due to the physical toll their work takes on the body and their greater dependence on offensive schemes, as well as the supporting cast around them.

Of course you won’t be winning your fantasy championship without at least a couple good RBs, so I focus the back end of my portfolio on a handful of growth or even penny stock backs with a chance to skyrocket into Phillip Lindsay or Raheem Mostert types. All of that said, there isn’t one ‘right way’ to invest. So acquire the players you believe in, build around them, and stay flexible in your views. Anyway, here’s my top 100 for 2020 dynasty football PPR leagues:

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QB10 in fantasy scoring and QB2 in NFL passing yards through 4 weeks, Matt Ryan visits the Lone Star State in matchup carrying the tied-for-2nd highest point total in week 5. The 13th toughest fantasy defense against quarterbacks, the Houston D/ST unit look a lot tougher on paper than what I believe will be on display this Sunday. Two of Houston’s best defensive outings were against quarterbacks that entered the season as backups on their respective depth chart. Including 6th round rookie QB Gardner Minshew (JAC) in his first NFL start and 2nd year backup Kyle Allen (CAR) getting the 2nd start of his career. In Houston’s two matchups against top 10 NFL quarterbacks Drew Brees and Philip Rivers, the defense surrendered an average of 327.5 passing yards per game, QB12 (Brees) and QB13 (Rivers) fantasy finishes, and 4 total passing touchdowns. After nearly topping 400 yards passing (397) last week, Matt Ryan failed to pass for a TD against TEN. This is a prime bounce back spot for Matt Ryan to find the endzone through the air in a game where ATL are -4.5 underdogs and an implied score that includes 3 TDs for the Falcons. Rudy projects Ryan as the QB8 this weekend. 

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I’ll be honest… I haven’t paid much attention to rest of season rankings in my fantasy football playing time. So when MB asked me to rank the top 80 flex players the rest of the way it was a new adventure for me. Often times when you do something new it brings an entirely new perspective to the entire process. With that in mind when I finished my list the first thing I did was check to compare to the industry. The differences I found most significant are listed below and I will continue to call those major differences out with an explanation and blurb on a weekly basis. Hopefully you find these rest of season rankings useful and it can stir up some discussion. These rankings are without QBs and based on half PPR setting in a standard 1 QB/2 RB/2-3 WR/1 Flex league. The rankings shouldn’t necessarily be used for a trade value chart, they are a combination of past success and current situation to quantify a future value in my eyes. Use that mindset and apply that value to your team’s current context in terms of league standings and roster construction before making any transactions.

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Hi Lovies! I am so sorry that I had to abandon you all last week, but you know, I am in high demand. How are you holding up? Week 3 was good to Yours Truly, but I am probably facing arrest for assault, considering what I did in some of the matchups I had this week. Hey, there is no shame in being beaten (within an inch of your life, apparently) by a girl. Especially one as fantastical, amazing, and wonderful as me. See why I am in such demand? As if you even needed to wonder. It is understood that my Black Widow Curse continues to gorge herself on man meat this season, but rather than knees and hammies, she is aiming for shoulders, wrists, and ankles. Hey, she knows what she wants. Who am I to stop her? As long as she leaves my people alone…well, Alshon is a given. Call him my sacrificial lamb, if you will. Things you can always count on, the tides ebbing and flowing, the sun rising and setting, death, taxes, and Alshon Jeffrey hurt. (Sigh)…

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We’re approaching the quarter pole of the fantasy regular season and the elements are showing their teeth. Those of you that started 1-2/0-3 are approaching Dead Man’s Pass were a loss can completely throw you into a tailspin. The ice is slick, the days are long and the food is low. If you are thriving on the trail, then now is the time to take some chances and separate yourself. Let’s forage for those scarce nutrients and press on.  

Each week, I will list intriguing players owned in no more than 30% of leagues per ESPN. For a primer on additional roster management and waiver wire principals read this. At the end I will also point out some players that can be safely dropped for a better option.

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