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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Don’t second guess yourself. I was able to miraculously win a playoff matchup after swapping Jameis Winston out with about 15 seconds until game time. I didn’t really think Christian Kirk was going to have a good week against the stingy Steelers defense, so I swapped him right before that game in favor of the Monday night showdown between the Giants and the Eagles, inserting Sterling Shepard into my lineup in hopes that he’d rekindle the chemistry between him and Eli. And because of these two near-fatal errors, I won my matchup by .3 thanks to a late-change by my opponent to start Kirk Cousins over Matt Ryan. Decisiveness and sticking with your gut is your best friend in fantasy, and the same can apply to daily fantasy.

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In leagues where rosters are 30 players deep and waivers are plucked clean, it’s important not to overreact after week 1. This is especially true for players on the back-end of your roster that won’t see much of the field this year. The hyped rookie that you drafted isn’t burning you by sitting in your 27th roster spot. It’s important to temper your expectations on these rookies and not fall victim to week 1.

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It’s that time of month to check in on when players are being drafted. I gave out some names in June that I thought were some discount buys, but I never got around to talking about the players that were going a little too early for my tastes. Look, everyone has SOME value if their price is cheap enough. If Todd Gurley is sitting there in the 4th round because of concerns about his knee arthritis, somebody is getting a pretty damn good running back after already making three picks.

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What’s going on everyone, and welcome to Week 15, the first week of the fantasy playoffs! If you’re reading and caring about this article, congrats, you’ve made it! But the hard work doesn’t stop here, so let’s talk about this upcoming Sunday and the great games that are on tap!

Let’s get to it!

*Note* – My Week 15 Rankings can be found here, and be sure to check out Rudy’s projections for this week here!

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What’s going on everyone, and welcome to the tenth week of the 2018 NFL season! I hope you guys all had a great Week 9 thanks to some awesome performances from Patrick Mahomes, Jared Goff, Ezekiel Elliott, Philip Lindsay, D.J. Moore, Tre’quan Smith, Travis Kelce, and some guy named Gus Edwards!

Below are my rankings for Week 12, for all scoring systems, so enjoy!

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