If you didn’t watch the game last night and just peak at the final score, you would think that there was plenty of fantasy goodness that went on last night. Nothing is more frustrating than needing fantasy points on MNF and the offensive game play being sub-par, especially when the over hits. But also, nothing makes you feel as alive going into Monday night up 5 points with Chris Carson left and your opponent has Jimmy Garappollo and somehow, you pull it off without a sweat to get to 9-1. Rarely is luck on my side, but it seems to be in my big auction league this season.

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I used to put my trusty Coleman tent to work every summer. A group of college friends and I would gather for a long weekend of debauchery and mosquito bites. Eventually, after enough blood loss, we outgrew the authentic camping experience and upgraded to cabin glamping. Also, our old campsite not-so-politely asked us to never come back. Regardless, my Coleman tent hasn’t seen any use in recent years. That is, until yesterday, when Tevin Coleman helped me pitch a tent as he obliterated the Panthers defense with 11 carries for 105 yards, 2 catches for 13 yards and 4 touchdowns! Who do I call if my tent has been erect for over 24 hours? Anyway, here’s what else I saw during yesterday’s late games in fantasy football: 

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There were some hefty bids put on rookie sensation T.J. Hockenson last week, which was promptly followed by some reactionary drops this week.

When it comes to rookies, make your evaluation and believe in it. Be willing to accept changes in their skill set on the field, but we can only do so much to predict usage. Just ask Rudy. Trust the process even though we always need results. This is the rookie oath.

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So can the Chiefs cut child arm-breaker Tyreek Hill now? The irony of seeing Tyreek in a sling on the sidelines should not have been lost on any of us. Though I’m not as all in on DeMarcus Robinson as I was last week on Marquise Brown and Terry McLaughlin. Kelce is still the #1 receiver in KC, and with Mecole Hardman and Sammy Watkins also splitting targets I feel like this is a situation where week to week some WR is going to get big numbers, but it’s near impossible to decide who, and that only gets murkier when Tyreek returns (and if you have an impatient Hill owner in your league who needs help now, see if you can pry Hill from them). Feels like the Rams; must be nice for those two teams, must be nice.

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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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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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It’s no secret, Donkey likes em young. There’s just something about the trusting innocence in those big soft rookie eyes which can’t be matched by an old weathered veteran. And fantasy sports are all about having fun; what’s more fun than drafting the youngster your buddies have never heard of and watching the kid grow into a superstar on your fantasy team as your closest friend cries their self to sleep while clutching the last place penis trophy?

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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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Pre-season is wrapping up soon and most of us have completed our rookie drafts. As we sit around and rosterba—- err, “admiring” what we have built, it’s easy to get carried away by pre-season hype. This is a volatile time of year to swap assets with other teams. We have seen countless rookies flash in pre-season only to bust when facing the 1st string, while others have zero preseason impact and break out all over the place.  Here are a handful of rookies that are worth the hype. 

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