Welcome to week 2 of the 2020 NFL season! Some of the stories that I have heard already from fantasy players have been downright brutal. I have a friend who thought that he had won his league right after the draft after starting with Michael Thomas, Kenny Golladay, and Chris Godwin. And I know he is not the only one. You just never know! The injury bug can kill even the sharpest starts of drafts. I’m looking to turn my own season around after taking Miles Sanders pretty much everywhere that I could. I have a lot of 0-1 starts to redeem. I hate sweating this early. We still have 12 weeks until the fantasy playoffs so there is a lot of time to turn it around. Let’s start with the injury report, follow that up with some DFS plays that I like, and then finish with the rankings that I will be updating all the way until kickoff. 

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Welcome back to another trek to the highest peak. If you followed me last year, you’ll know that I am going to be your guide through this fantasy season. The first checkpoint in 2020 feels like the 50th as we have all already weathered a storm much more dangerous than fantasy football. However, we’re here now and ready to work. 

Take a sip of your morning coffee, brewed extra strong for the journey ahead. Week 1 is behind us and now there is much work to be done. I will group the adds by position and then within the position, rank them in order of preference. You’ll also be able to tell who is more valuable by the free agent acquisition budget (FAAB) suggestion, assuming a $100 budget. The sherpa will only advise players who are rostered in less than 33% of ESPN leagues. DISCLAIMER – at press time Tennessee and Denver had not kicked off yet. 

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The Shadow Coverage Report – Week 1

Team: Minnesota Vikings

Opponent: Green Bay Packers

WR1: Adam Thielen

Shadow Coverage Match-up: Jaire Alexander

Historical Production vs. Shadow Coverage

Adam Thielen vs. Shadow Coverage
Opponent Games Rec Yards TDs PPG
All Other Opponents
23 5.5 69 0.5 12.8
Vs. Shadow Coverage
5 5.8 76.8 0.6 14.2
Vs. Jaire Alexander
1 8 125 1 22.5

Season long Recommendation – Start

After a lost 2019 Adam Thielen looks to bounce back quick vs. division rival Green Bay and tier 2 shadow corner Jaire Alexander. Last season the Packers used Jaire Alexander to shadow Stefon Diggs, but with Diggs now gone Thielen will most likely draw coverage from the Packers top corner. The last time Thielen squared off directly vs. Alexander was in Week 12 of 2018. Thielen got the best of Alexander torching the Packers for 8-125-1. A big key for Thielen is he plays a lot of his snaps in the slot, and even vs. notable shadow corners like Marshon Lattimore he has shown he can win in these match-ups. This is why I got a Thielen that sitting him is a bad idea. Did you see what I did there…no…ok moving on. 

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The NFL COVID opt out deadline passed last week and it was more uneventful than my high school social life. On the offensive side of the ball, we lost a handful of o-linemen and a few dart throw wide receivers, but the only big news was Chiefs running back Damien Williams taking a passing on the 2020 season. This opens the door for first round rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire to take on a much larger workload and jump into the top 10 running backs, which have been updated accordingly. As Rudy Gamble so eloquently put it, the early season CEH overdrafters are sooooo lucky! In other news, Razzball offered me a voucher for a free oil change at Cledus’s Auto Salvage if I opt of out of writing this year. Still thinking the deal over as the deadline approaches, but in the meantime, here’s my top 20 tight ends for 2020 PPR fantasy football:

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Every year there are a handful of players that can elevate a fantasy team to the championship or sink it to the depths of the standings. All players are unique in their skill sets, team context, and career trajectory but some profiles do line up. 

As we get into draft season, we’re all trying to avoid the next big bust. With injuries, it’s often just bad luck but often times we can see a storm brewing around a player. Last year Le’Veon Bell was returing after a season off on a new team with a lackluster coach and a disappointment was almost too easy to spot, but many fell for it anyway. In the name of value, drafters will hold their nose and take players they know they shouldn’t. Sometimes it’s just best to avoid a bad situation.

So who will be this year’s not NEXT team? (ADPs via fantasydata)

Jared Gofftop 10 QB who is demoted to streamer

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Before we dive into the article, I’d like to promote DonkeyTeeth and my YouTube show: Fantasy Football Malpractice! We talk about all things fantasy football, from trade theory to our favorite player we’ve ever rostered. Give it a test run, and then subscribe to the channel for more goodness in the weeks to come! 

What is Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)?

The DFS game is a one week fantasy contest where players create rosters (typically via a salary cap) to score points for one week. Once the week is over, everything is wiped clean and a new slate of choices and salaries are available for the next week. DFS enthusiasts pour their entire week of research into specific edges that only pertain to a single matchup. Draft Kings and FanDuel are the main platforms that have become very popular over the last few years. With this growth, many fantasy sites have created specialized DFS content.

As the daily industry has expanded, more “traditional” sites are adding DFS columns and other content. If you have never made a DFS lineup in your life but play season long fantasy, you should still be using DFS information to cherry pick available players for little to no cost on the wire. 

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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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Quarantine Day 27:

Hey all you cool cats and kittens. Did you see the story about the tiger at the Bronx Zoo that tested positive for coronavirus? Very sad. I blame Carole Baskin. Not just for the infection of this poor feline, but for the entire COVID debacle. Speaking of which, the CDC just released some new guidelines and in order to receive a COVID-19 test in the United States you must now meet at least one of these requirements:

     a) Politician

     b) Professional athlete (Major League Soccer doesn’t count)

     c) Movie star (Porn does count)

     d) Valued tiger at the zoo

And if you check all four boxes the CDC even throws in a free roll of TP. So far only one man has cashed in on that free roll of one-ply: my preferred 2020 presidential candidate, Darren Waller. Anyway, here’s my top 15 dynasty tight ends for 2020 fantasy football:

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This is a little different than the D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett post. Neither Metcalf or Lockett produced the yardage that Godwin or Evans did. Metcalf and Lockett are also not in quarterback limbo going into the new decade. Jameis Winston led the league in passing yards in 2019, but he also threw 30 interceptions and capped off the season with an overtime pick six. That’s not exactly the way garner a lot of confidence from your coach and front office in a contract year. 

Bruce Arians’ January comments didn’t scream that the Bucs want to give Winston the big long term deal that he desires. But honestly, what better choice do the Buccaneers have in free agency? Philip Rivers is pretty much the same quarterback as Winston without the upside. Tom Brady is as old as dirt. Teddy Bridgewater also doesn’t have the ceiling that Winston has. The Buccaneers might as well franchise tag Winston and see what he can do in the 2nd year in Arians’ system. Chances are, that’s what the decision will be, but hey, I’ve seen way dumber decisions be made by franchises. 

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