By now you’ve heard how the saga of Lynyrd Jagyr’d came to an end in a fiery plane crash. Very sad. But out of the flames a new hope is born. I can now stop feverishly refreshing my Twitter feed for Leonard Fournette news like an addict searching for one last crack rock under the couch. Fournette has signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, agreeing to a one-year 2 million dollar contract with another 1.5 million in possible incentives. That’s not Bitcoin Cash, it’s real money. You can bet your crypto that Fournette will have a serious role in this exciting Tampa offense. 

In Jacksonville Fournette faced a stacked box (8+ defenders loaded in the box) over 30% of the time each of the last three seasons. Derrick Henry is the only other back to garner such defensive attention since Fournette’s rookie season. Leo will now benefit from a balanced offense with a high powered passing game to keep defenses in check while yielding tons more red zone opportunities. And in 2019 Fournette showed off his impressive hands catching 76 passes; if we learned anything from Brady’s two decades in New England it’s 1) he isn’t above “bending” the rules and 2) he targets his running backs more than anyone. 

All this adds up to Fournette shooting back up my 2020 fantasy football rankings, all the way to #27 overall (in PPR). I’ve aggressively projected him for 200 carries, 800 rushing yards, 50 receptions, 350 receiving yards and 8 total touchdowns in 13 games. While I am crazy bullish on Fournette, make no mistake, there’s some risk that I’m over estimating his workload and this ends up more of an even split committee. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy football:

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It’s still blazing hot outside but fall is around the corner and that means it’s fantasy draft time! This is the first iteration of my top 80 wide receivers with all the latest updates to this point. 

I plan on updating this list weekly as news comes in and the season approaches then of course each week in-season.  This list is not league or format specific, but it is based on 2020 projection only. When thinking through tiers and rankings I asked myself simply – “all things considered who would I rather have on my roster?”

Some players have notes highlighting a format they may be more suited for. 

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This year, there is one guy who I will be trying my hardest to roster on every fantasy team that I draft. He is not a guy I need to spend an early pick on, in fact, I have been and think that I will continue to be able to get him way below his value. I have been able to get him in the late rounds in my SFBX draft and both other drafts I have done since. He’s not flashy, he’s not big, he’s not fast, and he’s not a big name. He is a guy who is being drafted after guys like Antonio Brown and Devonta Freeman, who don’t even have jobs in the league! The disrespect is real, and I plan to take full advantage of it – and you should too!

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Good news, the NFL and NFLPA have agreed on COVID-19 amendments to the current CBA! I haven’t sifted thru all of the amendments yet, but I can only assume the NFL’s billion dollar attorney’s have convinced the NFLPA’s million dollar attorney’s that the players should play this season in exchange for oat milk coupons rather than money. On the plus side, this paves the way for a timely start to the NFL season. But what else does it mean for us fantasy fiends? Well, here’s a breakdown of what the new powder puff training camp will look like:

You’ll hear talking heads declaring that this scaled back training camp will drastically reduce preseason injuries. Then you’ll hear others state that poor conditioning will lead to more in season injuries and an overall poor on field product. Both might be right, both might wrong, both might be crazy. Only 8-pound, 6-ounce, newborn infant Jesus knows the answer. The one thing I’m sure of is the incoming tidal wave of NFL corona absences headed our way. Which should make each and every bench spot as valuable as a roll of March 2020 two-ply. I’ll be running for the hills at the first sign of preseason injuries, which is why Deebo Samuel was omitted from my top 40 and top 60 wide receiver rankings. But he did land a spot in my top 80 wide receivers for 2020 PPR fantasy football:

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With the fantasy playoffs just one week away, we hope and pray that none of our stars get hit the injury bug. Yet this is the time, now more than ever to make sure we are fully prepared with handcuffs stashed away, and backup receivers scouted to make sure that if the bad news comes our way… we improvise, adapt and overcome!

It’s Thanksgiving Week, which means we have officially survived the bye weeks as well. What a time to be truly thankful.

Let’s talk about some of the biggest names in the league who landed on the injury report this week.

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A quick google search tells me there’s only three predators capable of killing a Jaguar. The first is the anaconda—that big ass snake from the Jon Voight movie. The second is the caiman—these little gator looking guys in Mexico and South America. And the third, of course, is Derrick Henry—which makes sense because he looks a lot like a Predator. In week 13 last year, Henry took 17 carries for 238 yards and 4 touchdowns. I remember that game well because I was required to attend a 2.5 hour holiday lights trolley tour on that Thursday night which, to my surprise, turned out to be much more pleasant than watching Derrick Henry destroy my fantasy hopes and dreams before the week even started. Fast forward around 12 months, if you were playing against The Predator this week then I hope you also had a long Sunday afternoon holiday light trolley tour to attend. Henry rumbled for 159 yards on 19 carries plus another 16 yards on 1 reception and 2 touchdowns—he has 10 touchdowns on the season and is now under protest by PETA for his crimes against Jaguars.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw during yesterday’s late games in fantasy football:

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I’m starting this on a Friday night, which is the beginning of my 9 day vacation from my day job. I take Thanksgiving week off every year because it only costs 3 vacation days to get 9 days off. Can’t beat that. Anyways, week 12 is upon us so let’s see what we have on the slate.

The Giants will visit Soldier Field to take on the Bears who are just trying to get to .500 to save face. They probably aren’t making the playoffs and they don’t have a 1st round pick this year. The Broncos will face off against the Bills and the Broncos are many people’s upset pick of the week. The Raiders will travel across the country to take on the Jets before facing the Chiefs next week for control of the AFC West. The Seahawks are coming off of their bye and will face a feisty Eagles team that is trying to stay in the NFC playoff hunt. The Cowboys are visiting the Patriots and this will be the matchup that most of America would rather see neither team win. And the night cap is a good one as we see Aaron Rodgers coming home (where he grew up) to take on the 49ers for NFC supremacy. Let’s get to the week 12 injuries before we get to the updated rankings. 

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Have you heard Kyler Murray was not only the #1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft but also the #9 overall pick in the 2018 MLB draft? Of course you’ve heard, you haven’t been living under an Antonio Brown fart for that last five months. Wait, you HAVE been living under an Antonio Brown fart for the last five months?! What was it like under there? How did you survive? Tell me everything! Oh right, Kyler Murray—he’s an incredible athlete on par with the Deshaun Watsons and Lamar Jacksons of the world. Murray flashed his freak athleticism this week against the stout 49ers defense going 24/33 for 150 yards with 2 passing touchdowns while tacking on 8 carries for 67 yards and a rushing touchdown. Kyler Söze now has 14 passing touchdowns and 3 rushing touchdowns on the season as he led the Cardinals in a valiant effort against the first place 49ers,  falling just shy of a huge upset. Anyway, here’s what else I saw during yesterday’s late games in fantasy football:  

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After the NFL Scouting Combine this past year, much was made of D.K. Metcalf’s rippling muscles. My boss was talking up the Ole Miss product’s biceps. My girlfriend was enamored with his bustling chest. Even Momma-Donk called to ask about D.K.’s glutes. But what nobody talked about were his bulging calves. That is until week 9, when the Buccaneers defense was hypnotized by Metcalf’s leg beef.

The entire Seahawks offense took full advantage of this calf-muscle-induced hypnosis with Russell Wilson going 29/43 for 378 yards and 5 touchdowns—he now has 22 passing touchdowns on the season—Tyler Lockett snagged 13 catches for 152 yards and 2 touchdowns—he now has 6 touchdowns on the season—and the sexy calved beast himself, D.K. Metcalf, hauled in 6 catches for 153 yards and his 5th touchdown. The Buccaneer defense will attempt to snap out of the trance before gazing into Kyler Murray’s sparkling eyes next week. Anyway, here’s what else I saw during yesterday’s late games in fantasy football:

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This will be the second installment of Stat-o-Matic where we will look at some advanced stats around the NFL. As a disclaimer, I am using this space to play around with some numbers and present some interesting findings. But, by no means is this validated or predictive data. I hope that it will lead to meaningful discoveries or it could inspire you to go down your own rabbit hole. We’re going to explore together, crunch some numbers and see what pops out.

Please, blog, may I have some more?