I hope you all had a nice offseason reading your sleeper lists and day dreaming about finally going #ZeroRB this year. The preseason has come to a close and now we are out in the elements, far from the safety of your Buffalo Wild Wings draft. This is when it gets tough, this is where titles are forged. Championship treks are filled with dead ends and pitfalls, but also heroic decisions and steadfast perseverance. My pledge is to be your Waiver Sherpa this season. I have seen the mountaintop and it is glorious, friends. Tonight we will plan and rest, as the long climb awaits.

Since we are still in preseason, we’ll first discuss some principles that will guide decisions along the way.

Maximize Your Bench

In 10 or 12 team leagues I generally will not roster 2 quarterbacks. According to the Razzball projection machine, QB3 and QB20 are separated by a total of 35 points for the season. That’s a weekly difference of 2.18 fantasy points per game between Jared Goff (3) and Marcus Mariota (20). There is no reason to hold onto a second QB because that roster spot is better used on a player who can become a difference maker through injury or a playing time increase. The only caveat to this rule is 2QB, superflex or very deep leagues where you don’t think a top 20ish QB can be found on waivers.

The value of rostering an extra RB, or to a lesser extent a WR, is so much greater than holding a QB. Breakout RBs or WRs also hold tremendous trade value whereas QBs usually do not. Because of the lack of point discrepancy, most managers in your league will feel like their guy is fine and will not think trading for a QB is a major upgrade.

Tight end is a little different than QB. I can endorse holding 2 cheap TEs early to see how the targets shake out, but be prepared to pick one and move forward within the first few weeks of the season.

I shouldn’t have to say this but please please please do not roster multiple defenses or kickers.

Managing Your FAAB

Whether you’re playing in the #RazzBowl with $10 or FFPC with $1000, one thing that is important to know is whether your league has free pickups after the waiver run. If it does, you can generally be more aggressive when bidding because worst case you can still add someone for $0 if you get desperate. If your league doesn’t have free pickups then I would be more miserly with your FAAB. Plan on having at least $1 a week towards the end of the year.

Generally, early season wire pickups are the most helpful. Don’t be afraid to spend a significant chunk because a guy who can help you for 14 weeks is more valuable than a guy who can help you for 1.

The Chosen One

I recommend always having a designated swing spot on your roster. This should be a player you are most comfortable dropping for fresh face off the wire. Whether it’s a handcuff stash or a rookie you believe in, recognize that a new addition who can help you now is more valuable.

In leagues with free moves, consider dropping a kicker during the week when there are murky injury reports or other uncertainties.

It may sound insignificant, but removing the mental barrier to dropping a guy will help you churn the bottom of your roster when the waivers hit.

Preseason Adds

Now that we’ve established some ground rules, let’s get to the pickups! For week 1 will recommend players who are owned in less than 30% of ESPN leagues who may be worth rostering before the first kickoff. Once the season gets underway, I will present pickups as injury or breakout related but for now these are all just speculative additions.

Generally, I will give a percentage of FAAB I would spend but you have to know your league. Use the number as a relative percentage compared to other options available in a given week. A “PPR+” designation means a player offers more utility in that format.

Quarterback

Jimmy Garoppolo, SF (0-5% FAAB) – I decided to add my favorite week 1 QB sleeper in case you drafted Andrew Luck. Jimmy GQ had a pretty rocky summer but ended with a bang going 14-20 for 188 yards and 1 TD in the third preseason game. Full disclosure: I am not certain Garoppolo is #good but I am certain Tampa Bay pairs a bottom 5 defense with a quality offense. Anyone facing the Bucs should be on your streaming radar and JG is no exception. As additional incentive, San Francisco goes to Cincinnati and comes home to face Pittsburgh, both of which are favorable matchups.

Running Back

Devin Singletary, BUF (15-20%) – The 3rd round rookie is currently barely over the bar for ownership, but a dramatic situation change happened last Saturday. The Bills released LeSean McCoy, a move I prepared for in July, and have praised Singletary for his ability catching passes and protecting the quarterback. The latter is a massive boost to his projected utilization in the offense. He’s an upside RB3/FLEX play at the moment with room for growth. Go get him if you need a back. 

Malcolm Brown, LAR (0-5%) – We simply do not know what the Rams have planned at the running back position. Brown was given the “starter” treatment during the preseason, registering zero carries through 4 weeks. If he comes out and gets 10-15 touches, you’ll want to already have him rather than slap down that FAAB with all the other animals out there.

Dare Ogunbowale, TB (0-5%, PPR+) – This one is really out of left field. A third year journeyman, Ogunbowale does not display any exciting skills other than some pass catching chops. He hauled in 60 balls in 2 years at Wisconsin but since bounced around 3 practice squads in 3 years. However, it seems he’s carved out a real role in the running back starved Tampa Bay offense. The Bucs are going to have one of the league’s worst defenses and will constantly be playing catch up so there is a path to relevancy in PPR leagues. You’d be wise to already own him before week 1. 

Wide Receiver

John Brown, BUF (0-5%) – If you find yourself thin at WR, see what Brown can do for you. A match made in heaven for Josh Allen, he is a deep bomb specialist for the most YOLO QB in the league (apologies to Ryan Fitzpatrick). Brown was 8th in air yards in 2018, and had the highest average depth of target (min 75 targets). This could be a fun one, get it cheap before the highlight tweets go viral. 

Albert Wilson (PPR+), DeVante Parker, Preston Williams, MIA (all 0-5%) – The Dolphins are going to be awful, their defense is going to be worse, and there is a chance this is an 0-16 team. However, they will at least attempt to score points and probably be garbage time kings. Ryan Fitzpatrick has no problem slinging it, albeit often to the other team, but I digress. Following the trade of Kenny Stills, this WR depth chart is wide open to start the year.  I think someone will be valuable from this passing game but I’d be lying if I said I knew who right now.

Miles Boykin, BAL (0-5%) – I find myself intrigued with Boykin at the end of drafts. Sure he was the second receiver selected by his own team, and it should be a run heavy attack, but I’m interested to see what role he is given. First round pick Marquise Brown has been hampered by injuries all preseason and the only other relevant wideout is Willie Snead. On athletic testing alone, Boykin is a Calvin Johnson-esque freak and Raven’s beat writer Jeff Zrebiec projects him to be a week 1 starter. The offense Baltimore unveils could be very exciting and I’m willing to hold Boykin through the weekend. A tantalizing 4-81-1 line would make him a hot commodity. 

Tight End

T. J. Hockenson, DET (0-5%) – Rookie TEs have a notoriously slow learning curve in the NFL, but the 8th overall pick should see plenty of work right away. Given the likely volume, a low end TE1 season does not feel out of the question. If you are nervous about your drafted TE, keep an eye on Hock. 

Darren Waller, OAK (0-5%) – The buzzy converted wide receiver is still there for the taking in 85% of fantasy leagues. After Oakland released Luke Willson, only 4th round rookie Foster Moreau stands behind Waller. While Antonio Brown will command the lion’s share of targets, Waller should inherit some of Jared Cook’s 2018 role which led to a TE5 finish. While a top 5 finish doesn’t seem likely, Waller is one of my personal favorite dart throws after the top 6 TEs. 

Team Defense

Dallas Cowboys (0-5%) – America’s Team opens up at home against the Giants, which should be smooth sailing. Of course Saquon Barkley is incredible, but that shouldn’t stop you from rostering the ‘Boys. Sean Lee is healthy (to start the season at least) and he really makes this defense go. As a bonus, Dallas is a potential 3 week pickup since they travel to Washington before coming home to face Miami. 

Seattle Seahawks (0-5%) – The Seahawks may not be an elite unit anymore, but opening up at home against an AJ Green-less Bengals with a bottom half offensive line is pretty tasty. If Jadeveon Clowney is able to join the team and be active, that’s a major boost to their sack potential. 

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  1. elzo says:
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    Here’s the squad (0.5 PPR)

    Starters:

    Murray, Adams, OBJ, Kerryon, Henry, Michel, DJ Moore, McDonald

    Bench:

    Westbrook, Howard, Thompson (Drafted him the day before Shady signed….), Anderson (handcuff), Harris (handcuff), Hockenson

    Would you drop any bench guys to add Ogunbowale and/or Brown?

    • What a BOOF

      What a BOOF says:
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      I’d prefer for have Malcolm Brown over CJA because they’re both handcuffs but the upside with brown is 🔥🔥🔥

      DareO is more useful to get SOMETHING in a pinch than Harris at the moment. But if you don’t need a plug and play floor guy like DareO I think you can wait and see on Harris.

  2. James says:
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    Drop MVS for Ogun or M Brown?

    Drop Andrews for Olsen, if he’s healthy?

    Thanks in advance!

    • What a BOOF

      What a BOOF says:
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      Probably hold MVS to see the flop this weekend unless you feel like you really need RB depth

      Andrews and Olsen similar probably. If I had to say who is more reliable out of the gate I’d side with Olsen

  3. Jeff Aces says:
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    Hey Het-

    Alright, who am i dropping to pick up a kicker, 12 team PPR:

    Cortland Sutton/Justice Hill/Carlos Hyde?

    My Team:

    QB: Winston
    RB: Freeman/Mack/Coleman/Pollard/Hill/Hyde
    WR: Adams/Smith-Shuster/Calvin Ridley/Valdes-Scantling/Sutton
    T: Vance McDonald

    Thanks

    • What a BOOF

      What a BOOF says:
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      Hyde easy imo

    • Nick says:
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      i would say Pollard…

      worthless if Eze-Who comes back
      else Hyde…but he’s a better flyer for now

      • What a BOOF

        What a BOOF says:
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        I’d honestly prefer Pollard even with Zeke back (who apparently is signing today per Twitter) over so very washed Hyde

  4. Nick says:
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    Nice write-up …
    in standard leagues , all or almost-all of those are avalaible!
    in Razzball leagues, they’are almost all gone !!

    Team 1 – 8teams PPR Y!:
    my Bench :
    RB: Justice Hill – Jaylen Samuels
    WR: Keesean Johnson – Boykin – Metcalf
    TE2: Njoku
    QB2 : Wentz
    DEF1-2: I have NO and PHI

    i can get from this list :
    RB: M.Brown – O-Gun-bow-ale
    WR: A.Wilson
    Def2: DAL-JAX-SEA

    any upgrade to make before week1 ?

    Team2 – 12teams razzball:
    my Bench
    sleeper : GUICE
    RB: Darwin Thompson
    WR: Boykin – DeeBoo Samuel
    TE2: Waller
    QB2: GOFF behind baker Mayfield :)

    starting def CLE

    i can get :
    RB: M.Brown – HUNT !!! ? – C.Hyde
    WR: Metcalf – Coutee – A.Wilson – Agholor – Sanu – TQuanSmith…
    many more
    DEF : LAC ! – DAL

    any upgrade to make before week1 ?

    • What a BOOF

      What a BOOF says:
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      Team 1: I don’t think I’d ever keep a QB2 in a 8 team league unless it’s start 2 QB or superflex. So I’d drop a QB for MBrown or Wilson depending on (whether you need RB or WR help) just to see what happens. Thats just how I play… it could be nothing… but Id always rather have value already rostered should everything break right. You’re good on D Philly gonna eat against Wash

      Team 2: I think it’s fine as is, I’m losing interest in Darwin now but might as well see how they use the backs week 1. Waller a fine stash for this week to see what happens. If it’s a RCL you need both QBs to start right?

  5. Nic Romero

    Nic Romero says:
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    how much FAAB should i spend on Brissett?

    i’m going to BWW tomorrow night for another draft….

    • What a BOOF

      What a BOOF says:
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      Love BWW… I guess if you’re desperate for a QB in a 2QB legaue 20% on Brissett? I’m so QB agnostic.

  6. toolshed says:
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    I own brady as a backup. He was picked in the 2nd to last rd of my draft. Would you rather me pick up jalen richard, oganbowle or malcolm brown. Most backup rb are owned. .5 ppr. Richard is backing up a rookie. Henderson was drafted but brown was not. I own ronald jones. Not sure if I want any more shares of the tb running game without knowing who is getting the ball. Thanks

    • What a BOOF

      What a BOOF says:
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      Dare or Brown, Dare offer emergency flex PPR utility but prefer Brown in this scenario imo

      Thing with Brown is he truly could get 0 touches on Sunday. Or he could go 50/50 with Gurley. We just don’t know. But if he goes 50/50 he will be a smash FAAB play going into week 2. If I have room I’d rather already have him if that happens. If he gets nothing, easy cut for the next flavor of the week

  7. Nightpandas says:
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    Need to go grab a def and a kicker….14 team std

    Who would you not drop of the dolphin boys Wilson and Parker or Marquis Brown

    Also you like the bills or jets def?

    • What a BOOF

      What a BOOF says:
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      Bills D > Jets D. Jets are an upstart O but Bills d gonna be nasty… Jets secondary is bottom third

      I’d be fine dropping Hollywood Brown as I don’t see a huge role week 1 off all his time missed. Wilson vs. Parker really a coin flip… I guess PPR lean keep Wilson. Standard lean keep Parker.

  8. Adam says:
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    Had my ESPN 10 team standard draft
    My team
    Qb Rodgers
    RB kamara,cook,ekeler,D Williams,L McCoy,
    WR Hilton,Boyd,Pettit,MVS,Allison,Gallup
    TE Kelce
    DST Phil
    K Gould
    Thoughts?
    Who do I play in flex…had Damian but not sure now
    Thanks

    • What a BOOF

      What a BOOF says:
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      Let’s wait and see how news leaks out about the Chiefs plans. Gonna have to be a gut play based on that info. Also MGIII news would change everything too

      If KC sounds like a true 50/50 committee I think I’d go Ekeler. If KC seems to sound like they will ease Shady in then I’d be more comfortable with DW

  9. John says:
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    Are you worried enough about Damien Williams to trade him straight up for Evan Engram in .5 ppr 12 team? My other RBs are Dalvin Cook, Kerryon Johnson, Royce Freeman, Rashad Penny, Kallen Ballage and Darwin Thompson. My only TE is Mark Andrews.

    • What a BOOF

      What a BOOF says:
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      I think Id keep Damien for now, hes still a nice flex play given your top 2 RBs. Im bummed because I was thinking he was a RB1 priced like a RB2… now hes probably a low RB2 … so would u trade like RB20 for Engram straight up? probably not

      If you could get Engram and another piece you like that could blow up that might be interesting, but again put in context of a RB20 as DW

  10. QBallday says:
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    I have a draft tonight in a weird league setup- 2QB, 1 RB, 1 WR, 5 FLEX (just WR/RB/TE), and DST (no K). 10 teams, PPR. Is there any point in changing my strategy for drafting QB in this league vs last year, when I won (so…probably not…but figured I’d ask)? Last year, I took Cousins as the 10th QB off the board with 5.1, and Goff as the 18th QB at 7.18. Goff ended up QB8 and Cousins QB10 and I won the league. It seems like with 20 QBs making up a full third of the top point scorers last season, I should continue to wait on QB, taking one mid-level QB1 (ie 2018 Cousins) and one somewhere-QB2 (ie 2018 Goff).

    I could see trying to take a top level QB1 very early (round 1 or 2, though it’s 1 keeper so I’d guess the top few will be unavailable) and then take a QB2 late, but the ability to strike on a Mahomes-like play where the point differential is worth it seems unlikely. Seems easier to get some talent position players early then take two mid-level, solid QBs.

    • What a BOOF

      What a BOOF says:
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      Youre asking the wrong guy about taking a QB early. I have no shame leaving a 2QB draft with like Roethlisberger and Garoppolo (Ive done it twice)…

      I cant imagine a scenario where I would take a QB before impact RB/WR/TE were off the board. Would have to be a strange draft where I found myself in a spot I just didn’t like anyone and might as well grab a QB. I would never actually plan a draft around that tho.

  11. Chucky says:
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    Yahoo 12 teamer redraft. MThomas and Josh G at WR. Have Sterling Shep, AMiller and Crowder on my bench. 2 Flex and currently using Duke and Eck in that capacity, with Fournette and Carson holding down the RB 1/2. Brieda, Justin Jax sit on my bench. Worthwhile drop of Crowder for Malcolm?

    • What a BOOF

      What a BOOF says:
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      Shep > Crowder > Miller imo… Id have no problem dropping Miller just to see what happens with Brown. I think Miller is at very best the second option in a passing game that probably wants to spread it around. He’s also worth seeing how week 1 plays out. But I don’t think you need Miller given your team context.

      To be fair you don’t NEED RBs, its a solid squad. Really just if you wanna shoot the moon for upside or not.

  12. JohnRamboJr says:
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    12team 1pt ppr league. Normal lineup except there’s an extra WR spot. 3WR starting spots and no K

    Trade offer came my way this afternoon…he’s trying to get Damien Williams from me for Pollard(I took Zeke at the 7 spot) and another scrub.

    While I’m sitting good at RB now(Zeke, Williams, D.Freeman, Coleman, Ballage) I’m a little thin at WR, possibly starting 4 each week w/ the flex spot(OBJ, Ridley, Kirk, D.Jackson, J.Washington and D.Hamilton)

    I’m thinking of refusing his offer and countering w/ a Damien Williams for Keenan Allen straight up. Having a tough time hitting submit

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated

    Thanks in advance JRJ

    • What a BOOF

      What a BOOF says:
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      I think Damien for Keenan if you need a WR is a good deal for you. Id send that offer

      Even at the height of Damien’s cost his ADP was roughly around Keenans if I recall. Keenan rock solid WR2 with top 5 upside any given week. Chargers D gonna be hurting without James too leading to more competitive games. I like Keenan… not super sexy but he will be consistent and good.

      Maybe you should wait until Zeke is confirmed signed and good to go tho.

  13. thedug0ut says:
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    Malcolm Brown >Darrell Henderson? Looking to add Brown in a Standard League. Thanks!

    • What a BOOF

      What a BOOF says:
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      Hard to say if one is certainly better. I chose Brown for this because he so low owned.

      Both have unknown roles and Uber upside in that offense

  14. Chris says:
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    You good with dropping someone like Carlos Hyde for Malcom Brown? list of rb’s includes Conner, Ingram, Josh Jacobs, Royce Freeman in a 14 team PPR where waiver adds are tough to come by

    • What a BOOF

      What a BOOF says:
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      Personally I would drop Hyde for Brown. I can’t imagine ever wanting to start Hyde and you have 4 RBs far better than Hyde. At least Brown offers major trade value if he gets like a 50/50 split of the work because they take it easy on Gurley

  15. thegreater says:
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    Thoughts on trotting out the Ravens D against the newly depleted Dolphins? Or just stick with Browns vs Titans?

    • What a BOOF

      What a BOOF says:
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      Can’t go wrong… slight edge to Ravens because generally the Dolphins are a worse team but man that browns pass rush gonna be on fire

  16. Hernandez Hangman says:
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    I was offered Antonio Brown and Fournette for Josh Gordon and Gurleys. Wasn’t considering it until I saw AB moving around good… Any thoughts?

    • What a BOOF

      What a BOOF says:
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      That’s a pretty interesting deal.

      ADP valuation would say the AB/Fournette side wins, although personally Ive been avoiding both of those players this season.

      Objectively I think AB/Fournette is a smart move, but I love Gordon. Like the rest of us, I have no idea what to expect on Gurley and maybe it’s worth it to avoid the headache. I read that many LAR games are 4pm starts so if he’s iffy that’s going to be a nightmare for sit/start

      • Hernandez Hangman says:
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        So you’re confident Fournette will have a good year? Every so called expert has him as a bust and AB is always a coin toss. Sadly I picked Gurley with my 8th pick overall, & there’s a chance for a bounce back season but u can say the same about Fournette. My other WRs are M. Thomas, Kupp, C. Davis. But nonetheless the deal had me intrigued a little

    • MB

      MB says:
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      I’d do it, love me some AB recently

      • What a BOOF

        What a BOOF says:
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        Is this a Raiders site

        • Mordacious Levator says:
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          AB’s a serious idiot if he signed a contract that allows 30 mil to go away from any single suspension, including the kind of crybaby shit he routinely gets himself into, and HAS before in the past with PIT coaches, ben, JJSS on social media etc. the dude is out of his mind, but even those guys should know they can easily do it again, any non idiot wouldn’t sign a contract that allows that.

  17. Mordacious Levator says:
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    DAL goes to WAS week 2 not 3.

    • What a BOOF

      What a BOOF says:
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      “Dallas is a potential 3 week pickup since they travel to Washington before coming home to face Miami”

      I said its a 3 week pickup not a week 3 pickup. Washington before coming home to Miami implies week 2 before week 3.

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