It was a defining Saturday for the running back position heading into the first Sunday of the NFL season. There was huge news for three top 10 running backs. Two of those have a big reason to celebrate and another will be staying home on Sunday. Welcome to fantasy football in the year of our Lord Twenty-Twenty. There is never a dull moment. 

*Takes deep breath* Around lunchtime, or if you are like me, third breakfast, the Minnesota Vikings rewarded Dalvin Cook with a five-year $62.5 million extension with $28 million in guarantees. The anxiety of every Dalvin Cook dynasty investor has been relieved and word is that many therapy appointments have opened up across the country due to cancellations.

No more than five minutes after Cook’s extension was announced, Alvin Kamara one-upped the RB market with a 5-year $75 million extension with a $15 million signing bonus. There have been strong signals for the last couple of weeks that this was going to get done, but confirmation that there is nothing to worry about is a great thing to have. 

Miles Sanders is causing some sorrow for his truthers like Donkey Teeth and myself. Miles Sanders didn’t travel with the team to Maryland which leaves the backfield work to Boston Scott and Corey Clement. I moved Boston Scott up to RB26 and Corey Clement up to RB43 after the Sanders news. Maybe less importantly because you are starting him anyway, I moved Carson Wentz up to QB8 from QB11. I have a sense that the Eagles may depend more on the pass as a result. DonkeyTeeth also made adjustments and will be up until kickoff of the first games and you can find his week 1 rankings here. Of course, the great Rudy Gamble is constantly tweaking his projections. You get a free 7-day trial before paying a dime! 

Minimal Home Field Advantage

The only NFL team that is allowing spectators is the Jacksonville Jaguars at a capacity of 25% (17,000-ish). The NFL is allowing artificial crowd noise of 75 decibels. From what I heard on the Bet the Board podcast, many NFL teams were practicing with artificial crowd noise of 85 decibels and it didn’t bother them at all. The only disadvantage that I can think of is travel. 

DFYes

Here are some DraftKings plays that I like by position. Keep in mind that I am only entering my second year of regular DFS participation, but I wasn’t too bad at it last year. HEY! If you don’t like my plays, give Rudy Gamble a try.

QB: Carson Wentz (6,300), Matt Ryan (6,400)

RB: Austin Ekeler (7,000) Josh Jacobs (6,800) Raheem Mostert (5,800) Boston Scott (4,800) Sony Michel (4,800) 

WR: Chris Godwin (7,100), Adam Thielen (6,700), Terry McLaurin ($5,600), Desean Jackson (4,900), Olabisi Johnson (4,100)

TE: Mark Andrews (6,000), Mike Gesicki (4,500)

Def: Colts (3,000) 

Injury Report

Deebo Samuel – Out (Three week IR)

Miles Sanders – Out 

Kenny Golladay – Doubtful

Diontae Johnson – Playing

Courtland Sutton – Questionable – Did not practice Saturday

Mike Evans – Updated from doubtful to questionable

Denzel Mims – Out

Darrell Henderson – Playing

Alshon Jeffrey – Out

N’Keal Harry – Questionable

Mike Williams – Questionable

David Montgomery – Questionable, but will probably play.

DeVante Parker – Playing

Updated Rankings

I’m looking forward to helping you set your lineups in week 1! Leave a comment and I’ll work things out with you in the comment section all that way up to kickoff!

  1. Jeff P says:
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    Pick one:
    Tarik Cohen, Preston Williams, Antonio Gibson, Chris Thompson or Kendrick Bourne? Half-PPR.
    I can literally talk myself into any of those.

    • MB

      MB says:
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      Yeah that’s pretty tough. Gibson. Most upside

      • Jeff P says:
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        The right answer turned out to be ‘none of the above’.

        • MB

          MB says:
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          ‘Anybody but’

  2. William Hung says:
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    Do you not have DEF and K rankings?

    • MB

      MB says:
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      I haven’t the past couple of years, who are you thinking about playing?

      • William Hung says:
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        I’m rolling Eagles and Gostkowski cause I think it’s 2015. I know K and DEF are pretty much a roll of the dice, but they do end up winning/losing H2H matchups

        On a more serious note, which of these 3 rookies are better rolls of the dice for paying off this season:
        1. Bryan Edwards
        2. Brandon Aiyuk
        3. Laviska Shenault

        I’m hearing that Shenault might be playing a hybrid RB/WR role for the Jags this season. The 2 rookies I drafted were Joshua Kelley and JK Dobbins. But I’m thinking of swapping out Kelley for one of the above… I’m not confident that he beat out Justin Jackson for those carries.

        I play in a 12 team .5 PPR league

        • MB

          MB says:
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          Yeah I get the importance of them but to be honest I’d be doing readers a disservice because I don’t deep dive into kickers.

          I really like Bryan Edwards. First round nfl draft skillset that fell because of a combine injury. Big role right away.

          Shenault should be fun but I think Edwards can be a more consistent contributor

          • William Hung says:
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            My Preseason Rosterbation i strong right now – as a refresher, here’s my team:

            QB- Kyler Murray
            WR- Kupp, Godwin
            RB- Barkely, Kerryon Johnson
            TE- Hurst
            FLEX – OBJ
            Bench:
            RB- James White, Dobbins, Kelley, Cohen
            WR- Emmanuel Sanders, Preston Williams

            I was thinking of swapping out both Kelley and Cohen for McKinnon and Bryan Edwards…

            • MB

              MB says:
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              I’d hold onto Kelley and Cohen and see how things shake out today

              • William Hung says:
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                Cool – so in my league – should I be rolling Kerryon or James White – you got them b2b in your half PPR rankings above

                • MB

                  MB says:
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                  My gut says Kerryon

  3. toolshed says:
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    I looked at your rankings. My question was hunt or lamb at flex, .5 por. I like hunt but I hate this matchup I also am drinking the lamb Kool aid and really like the DAL offense. My opponent has prescott if that means anything. Thanks

    • MB

      MB says:
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      I’d keep it simple and go with Hunt. I like Lamb for the season for sure. Yeah Dal O is going to be good but I’d like to see a sample first

  4. Philsfan76 says:
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    Leveon Bell or Aj Green in flex? PPR

    • MB

      MB says:
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      Bell

  5. Nightpandas says:
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    12 team Std league – went all in last year so I had crappy picks this year, my 3 keepers were Lamar/Kamara/Mike Thomas

    Need to fill:
    Rb2
    Wr2
    Flex 1
    Flex 2

    Need to fill these spots with. Dobbins, Gibson, JKelley, CThompson / A Miller, Lazard, Edwards, Reagor

    I’m leaning Gibson, Miller, Dobbins, Thompson

    Thoughts?

    thanks MB

    • MB

      MB says:
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      I’m leaning the exact same way that you are, good luck!

  6. sgamby says:
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    Good Morning! PPR league start Boston Scott or Kareem Hunt? Lockett or Marvin Jones?
    Thanks in advance.

    • MB

      MB says:
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      I’d go Hunt and Lockett

  7. Mike says:
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    I need to replace Miles Sanders. How do you rank AJ Green, AJ Brown, and Melvin Gordon? (0.5 point PPR)

    • MB

      MB says:
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      Gordon, Brown, Green

  8. stevie says:
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    flex spot- Akers, Shepard, or Jared Cook?

    • MB

      MB says:
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      Shepard

  9. Markie says:
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    Full PPR league: Jordan Howard, Kerryon Johnson, or Ronald Jones III?

    • MB

      MB says:
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      RJIII

  10. Hank Dillon says:
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    Odell, Gallup, or Bell? Need to fill 1 WR and 1 Flex spot, .5 PPR

    • MB

      MB says:
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      Feel safest with Gallup and Bell

  11. toolshed says:
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    If you had one extra spot to play with since a player went on IR, would you chase upside or go for something more conservative. Choices are fitz or shenault. .5 ppr. Fitz has to get volume but hopkins is there. Could be good and bad. More attention will be paid to hopkins but he will command targets too. Shenault is kind of wild card. No real #2 the jags. They may also use him all over the place including wildcat. Thanks

    • MB

      MB says:
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      Definitely upside. I’d grab Shenault

  12. William Hung says:
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    Didn’t do a whole lot of research outside of this site for my draft – why is everyone shading Kerryon so hard? I see ESPN has him 30th overall for W1 behind such guys as Tarik Cohen and Marlon Mack. Seems pretty low for a starting RB right?

    • MB

      MB says:
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      They drafted DeAndre Swift and the assumption is that he takes the bulk of the work as the season goes on

      • William Hung says:
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        Dang, I thought I was getting a bargain in R7 for Kerryon

        • The Harrow says:
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          he’s going like 120th or later in many many spots lately. i know because i went him at around 120-125 a LOT lately. wish i didn’t either do it or have to do it by starting him today (he’s a deepish backup in 12’ers for me except one dynasty where i’m RB weak currently but did hoard up the rookie or near rookie upside types)

  13. Matt says:
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    Happy First Sunday to the Season!
    10-team ESPN PPR Standard

    1. Start Kyler Murray/Josh Allen? Not crazy about the fires in CA, and 49ers D is tough.

    2. Le’Veon Bell or Jonathan Taylor? I feel like the Bills are going to air it out and Le’Veon might night get a lot of touches if behind.

    • MB

      MB says:
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      I expect regression for the 49er D. They will play a week 1 game. I feel comfortable with Kyler.

      I definitely Have JT ranked ahead of Bell

  14. Jerry J says:
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    Thoughts on James White? Sony being eased in, Cam without many options to throw to, Dolphins poor covering RBs. Other option is Hunt @Bal.

    • MB

      MB says:
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      You just never know with Bill B. I have Hunt ranked higher so I feel safer there. But White probably has the highest ceiling this week

      • William Hung says:
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        In terms of receivers, who do the Pats have behind Edelman? Between the lack of depth at RB and targets behind Edelman, I think White has to be a pretty decent play today – assuming I’m not missing anyone

        • MB

          MB says:
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          N’Keal Harry, but yeah.

          • William Hung says:
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            Isn’t he hurt?

            • MB

              MB says:
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              I thought I saw he was playing

  15. Kevin says:
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    ‪Thoughts on Steven Sims Jr in PPR leagues? (12 man) Would you drop mecole hardman for him? My league also does 25 return yards per point. ‬

    • MB

      MB says:
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      I wouldn’t drop Hardman for him, no.

    • The Harrow says:
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      hardman like sims also is PR and KR. however HOU’s kicker was the best last year for touchbacks (i.e. distance kicking). it was 74% touchback rate last year from him, so no hardman kick return yards in week 1 and it was the worst kick return matchup in the league if last year’s HOU kicker stats are repeated, or at least bottom 5.

  16. JC says:
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    Current squad listed below in my 12 team, standard scoring league. We play 1 QB, 2RBs, 2WR, 1TE, 1Flex, 1Def, 1 K.

    Dak
    Cook, Taylor, Montgomery
    Julio, AJ Green
    Higbee
    Pats
    Elliott
    Bench: Golladay due to injury this week, Lazard, Gesicki, Slayton, Cohen, Mattison.

    I don’t plan on carrying two tight ends but was unsure on both. Drop one now or hold for this week? If drop, who is my pickup? I am a fan of carrying backup running backs so those options are open too.

    Wire: Fitz, A Miller, Dar Williams, D Robinson. Burkhead, Malcolm Brown, Barber, McKinnon

    • JC says:
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      Add Edwards in here too please

    • MB

      MB says:
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      I would hold off on dropping either even though I’m not a fan of carrying 2. But worth getting a peak at their target shares today. Especially curious with Higbee

      • JC says:
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        Thank you

        You higher on any wire guy over Lazard or Slayton?

        • MB

          MB says:
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          Slayton is my highest

  17. Russowl says:
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    With Miles Sanders being ruled out do you like Boston Scott over Kerryon Johnson this week ? Standard 10 pt bonus @100 rushing or receiving

    Qb -dak
    Wr-Julio
    Wr-obj
    Rb-chubb
    Rb-J Taylor
    Te- Hooper
    W/r -scary terry
    W/r/t -Kerryon
    Bn. D . Parker
    Scott
    Mattison
    E. Sanders
    Kirk
    Swift
    Gibson

    • MB

      MB says:
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      I have Boston like 2 spots higher than Kerryon. Could go either way but I’m leaning Boston Scott

  18. Nik says:
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    In .5 ppr, I’m kinda stuck and between jeudy (took drawing more coverage now) and picking up Boston scott into my flex (or maybe marlon MAck?). Also have Mack, Akers, Dobbins, latavious, Landry (can’t trust right now), aiyuk, kirk.

    Then,
    standard league, Pick one: jeudy, Gallup, mclaurin (little worried about the slay matchup here), or total crapshoot p. Williams, Reagor, aiyuk.

    • MB

      MB says:
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      I’d just play Boston Scott

      I still trust McLaurin

  19. Kevin says:
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    ‪Thoughts on Steven Sims Jr in PPR leagues? Would you drop mecole hardman for him? My league also does 25 return yards per point. ‬

    • MB

      MB says:
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      Double poster!

      • Kevin says:
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        Sorry. I posted but the first one didn’t show up. Won’t happen again. I swear! 😬

        • MB

          MB says:
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          Haha, it better not!

  20. Oppo taco says:
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    Reagor @ WSH or
    J Robinson VS Ind

    0.5 PPR

    Thanks!

    • MB

      MB says:
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      Robinson this week

  21. BA says:
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    PPR Flex – Ronald Jones or Diontae Johnson

    • MB

      MB says:
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      Jones

  22. Red says:
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    0.5 PPR —

    John brown or Jalen Reagor this week.

    TIA.

    • MB

      MB says:
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      Brown

  23. The sportsguy says:
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    Need 2 of 4 in 14 team standard
    Mike Evans
    Sony Michel
    Jalen Reagor
    N’Keal Harry

    • MB

      MB says:
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      I guess Sony and Evans

  24. Marcus says:
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    Viska or Jeudy? Ppr

    • MB

      MB says:
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      Jeudy

  25. malamoney

    malamoney says:
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    Marvin Jones or DeSean Jackson (PPR)?

    • MB

      MB says:
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      Boffum.

      I guess Jones but very difficult

      • malamoney

        malamoney says:
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        Would you start Boston Scott over either of them considering Sanders is out?

        • MB

          MB says:
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          No

  26. hurryhelplease says:
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    Bal D/st vs SF D/ST
    of note: i own baker mayfield and deandre hopkins
    opponent owns kyler murray

    thanks.

    • MB

      MB says:
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      SF, higher chance of turnovers

  27. DB says:
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    John Brown or Antonio Gibson for my flex.
    Thanks

    • MB

      MB says:
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      Gibson

  28. William Hung says:
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    If you told me Odell would have a donut midway through the 2nd quarter, I wouldn’t believe you – not even a target

    • MB

      MB says:
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      He’s so checked out

  29. Russowl says:
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    I own Taylor. Should I drop Mattison or Reagorfor Hines?

    . Standard 10 team 10 point bonus at 100 rushing or receiving yards

    • MB

      MB says:
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      I think they’ll both have independent roles but I’m fine dropping Reagor for him

  30. scoboticus says:
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    James Robinson looked good today. Breida did not. Make the switch? I’m looking for upside, as he’s riding the bench for now.

    • MB

      MB says:
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      Yep, make the switch

  31. William Hung says:
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    Kerryon was a big bust W1 – is he waiver fodder based on the Lions RBBC or we shouldn’t panic drop after W1? The worst part of W1 is quitting on a player too soon.

    Some guy dropped Mattison before Sunday, so I think my waiver has to be on him – but I’m 2nd to last in waiver priority. Some under the radar guys I think I can snag as FA – Logan Thomas, Shenault, Parris Campbell, Keelan Cole, Myles Gaskin

    • MB

      MB says:
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      I think with Peterson being heavily involved it wouldn’t be crazy to let Kerryon go.

      I liked what I saw out of Shenault and Logan Thomas

  32. Nick says:
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    Hey Bud, glad I followed your rankings and went Crowder over Fournette at flex! Just need AJ Brown & Melvin Gordon to put up 15 pts, I think it’s likely, right?

    Onto waivers leading into week 2, I have Brees as my QB but do not have a backup and bye week filler for Saints week 6…nobody really catching my eye on waivers this week so far besides Hines (By the way, how much would you spend of FAAB on Hines in 12 team standard?) so I’m going to grab a backup QB early…would you rather Tannehill (I can pick him up now before waivers for $0) who plays against Houston at home week 6 or Rivers who plays against Cincinnati at home week 6? Only other option would be Lock against Miami but don’t think he is as good a backup as the other 2 in case Brees goes down at any point during season…

    Last question, target MVS as bench depth? If so, how much FAAB? Thanks as always!

  33. Beware the Shit Rope says:
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    12 teamer, waivers reset every week (i’m going to be 10th from points scored and i’ll win). got perriman to drop to improve WR’s. what’s best order out of these (say if holding perriman over any of them is the thing too):
    m-will, gage, shenault, MVS, k.cole

    2. also, here should i drop KJ for a 2nd of that group (or drop KJ before perriman?): i have these for RB (start 2, 1 flex): barkley, AAron, scott (it was claimed he got hurt in that game, but has no DTD tag (and didn’t yesterday either), d-mont, hines (return yardage worth same as scrimmage here, so hines is HUGE), KJ

    have these WR: hardman, sims, r.woods, perriman, parker

    with KJ’s usage this shitty already i might be better off with 6 WR, 5 RB, not the 6 RB, 5 WR i have now, esp with all those useful looking guys being waiverable. it’s start 2 WR or i’d already have 6 WR.

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