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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The 2020 NFL Draft Combine has come and gone. Here’s what we learned: Henry Ruggs isn’t slow, two large trees were killed in the making of A.J. Dillon’s legs, Jonathan Taylor is THE MAN, and eight large deep dish pizzas (Pequods-only) in three days is too much for any one donkey. So now what? First, I’ll probably need to go to the gym to work off these 30 extra combine-pizza-pounds. But you’re here for fantasy football discussion, not updates on Donkey’s rapidly deteriorating physical and mental health. Well, our 2020 Dynasty and Rookie Rankings are now being populated and updated frequently, and B_Don is plowing thru the film on his 2020 NFL Draft Previews. I went over my top 20 and top 40 dynasty running backs last week and made a couple minor post-combine tweaks once the dust settled (insert Jonathan Taylor eggplant emoji). Anyway, here’s my top 60 running backs for 2020 PPR dynasty football:

Disclaimer: If you’re sensitive to ridiculously high rankings of Kerryon Johnson, don’t scroll too far. 

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We all remember the greatest passing tandems in the history of the NFL: Montana to Rice, Manning to Harrison, and AB to his doctor’s face. But make room legends, there’s a new connection in town: Lock to Sutton. It was a solid debut for the Broncos’ 2nd round pick out of Mizzou, as Drew Lock went 18/28 for 134 yards, adding 3 carries for 15 yards and throwing his first two career touchdown passes. But the real story was that both touchdowns were thrown to second year breakout Courtland Sutton who finished the game with 4 catches for 75 yards and now has 6 touchdowns on the season. Could the the 3rd time be the charm for John Elway drafted QBs? Brock Osweiler (2012 2nd rounder) and Paxton Lynch (2016 1st rounder) were worse investments than the Razzball coin I bought off Grey last year. Maybe, just maybe, this Lock/Sutton hook up could be something special for years to come. Anyway, here’s what else I saw during yesterday afternoon’s games for fantasy football:    

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James Conner and Benny Snell were ruled out for week 10, paving the way for Jaylen Samuels to lead this backfield. Surprisingly, it was un-drafted RB Trey Edmunds that led the Steelers on the ground- recording the most carries (12), rushing yards (73), and yards per carry (6.1). At the end of the day, Jaylen Samuels ended up with the better fantasy outing (19.3 PPR points to Edmunds 7.3) and recorded more snaps, 40 for Jaylen to Edmunds 17 snaps (63.5% to 27%). Samuels managed an uninspiring 1.2 yards per carry, but salvaged his outing through the air. Jaylen finished with 13 catches on 13 targets for 73 receiving yards. Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, James Conner is recovering from an AC joint injury and is expected to miss at least 2 weeks. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that 2019 4th-round rookie, Benny Snell is expected to miss at least 2-3 weeks after undergoing a minor surgery on his meniscus. Trey Edmunds is name to consider adding from waivers this week for fantasy owners desperate for running back depth. Pittsburgh’s next matchups, 4 out of 5, are against the Cleveland Browns (2x), Arizona Cardinals, and Cincinnati Bengals. All are plus matchups for the Steelers running game.

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A clash between two AFC teams that enter week 8 with highest projected point total, thanks to the reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes sidelined while he recovers from a knee injury.

Per NFL Next Gen Stats, Derek Carr has the 11th highest passer rating and NFL best completion percentage (74.1). On paper, this is an interesting matchup for Carr who is: facing a defense that has allowed the 4th most receiving yards per game, just placed DB Phillip Gaines on IR, are without DB Bradley Roby until after their bye week, have DB Tashaun Gibson questionable, and are 6.5 point road dogs. BUT Carr ranks 9th in fewest pass attempts per game, has the 8th fewest passes over 20 yards, lacks elite receiving weapons outside of his TE and has a head coach who is enamored with running the ball. Carr is best viewed as a 2-QB league starter and desperation spot fill in 1-qb leagues. Rudy projects Carr as QB21 in week 8.

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Kerryon Johnson was ruled out during Sunday’s bout against the Minnesota Vikings with a reported knee injury. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Monday that Kerryon is expected to miss a couple of weeks. Ty Johnson led the backfield in snaps on Sunday and will be this weeks top RB waiver add. JD McKissic, who was slightly more efficient with his touches than Ty, is a speculative add in deeper formats and for RB needy owners in PPR leagues. If Kerryon’s injury is longer than 1-2 weeks, don’t be surprised to see the Lions make an acquisition at the running back position. Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount are names to watch, unless the Lions make a trade with another NFL team. Both Ajayi and Blount have had workouts for other NFL teams in recent weeks. Either would be worth a bench stash if acquired. Kerryon and the Lions running game has underwhelmed this season, tied for the 11th worst in the league in yards per rush attempts (3.8) and 14th worst in yards per game. Unless you own Kerryon or have huge holes at the RB position, I would not waste top waiver priority position OR blow my FAAB money. We know Ty Johnson is expected to take over the #1 spot, but there is too much uncertainty. The Lions could make an acquisition or decide to treat the backfield like a true RBBC with McKissic, until Kerryon returns.

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Opening the week as the highest over/under of the season at 55.5, HOU @ KC now sits as the tied-for-2nd highest point total in 2019 at 55. A clash between offenses that rank #4 (KC) and #9 in points per game. Poorly buried by the NFL in the early slate of games, everyone get their popcorn ready early this Sunday. Both teams rank in the top 10 in total offensive plays ran this season, #3 KC and #8 HOU, and find their way onto this weeks shootout game preview.

Please, blog, may I have some more?