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Alex Schillinger

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Every league’s got one. Someone who can’t figure out why everyone else in the league doesn’t talk to them anymore. Someone who, for 16 weeks out of the year,1 is simply unbearable. The person whose fantasy takes are so stupidly, scorchingly hot that having your knees blown out by Vontaze Burfict seems preferable to listening to them. I repeat: every league’s got one. Which means that if you’re thinking, “That doesn’t sounds like anyone in my league,” then guess what, bro? It’s you. You’re that guy. But don’t fret, we at The Read Option have got you covered. The most insufferable fantasy players come in five varieties and here’s how you can make sure you’re not a single one of them.

5. The “If I Woulda Started” Guy

We get it. There’s nothing worse than losing your matchup by a few points only to find that the guy you drafted in the fourteenth round and promptly forgot about managed to put up 22 points like he was possessed by the fantasy ghost of LaDainian Tomlinson. That’s a tough loss to take but, dude, shut up about it. No one likes a whiny loser. Plus, there’s a reason you didn’t start Cole Beasley over Amari Cooper and it’s because Cooper is way better.2

How to avoid it: Don’t look at your bench and, more importantly, don’t talk about your bench. It can only cause grief. If you find yourself staring down the barrel of a loss, close your computer and forget about your entire team.3

4. The Ridiculous Trade Guy

Enough is enough. I get why you’re proposing ridiculously lopsided trades but seriously, stop. No one is going to trade you a top 10 RB for your second string QB. Sure, there are going to be times when a player is struggling and their owner might be willing to listen to trade offers just to shake things up but make sure that what you’re offering at least approximates equal value. Your preposterously uneven trade offers make you seem like a condescending asshole who thinks your leaguemates are a bunch of dumb yokels who’ve never seen one of them there foosball games before. Keep this shit up and soon enough you’ll find yourself blacklisted so that people won’t even bother opening up your trade offers. Then what, trade master? Then what?

How to avoid it: You can use math and trade analyzers if you really want to aim for fair trades but your best friend here is straight up common sense. Stop overvaluing your players and you might find that people stop hating you. Hell, you might even make a few trades once in a while.

3. The “I’m Undefeated In My Other League” Guy

Oh really? Cool. No one cares. Just because you’re tearing it up in some mythical league no one else is in, doesn’t mean you’ve gained any more cred in this league where, coincidentally, you’re getting your ass beat week in and week out. This is the fantasy sports equivalent of bragging about your hot girlfriend who lives in Canada.

How to avoid it: Stop bringing up your other leagues. We’re starting to think they’re not real, anyway.

2. The “I Won The Whole Thing X Years Ago” Guy

Remember that year you drafted LaDainian Tomlinson, Shaun Alexander and Marvin Harrison? Good for you. No one else does. Nor does anyone care to hear about it. The thing about fantasy is that everyone plays in a couple of leagues4 and that each of those leagues anoints a champion every single year. You’re not special because you won your office league in 2007, Derek.

“Seriously, don’t be that guy. The one up there.” – Shaun Alexander

How to avoid it: The only year that matters in fantasy is the current year. Any past seasons are moot at this point. You wanna brag? Make your team unstoppable this season. Otherwise, just shut up already.

1. The Champion

Let’s be real. No one likes the champion. With their smug disposition, their air of undeserved accomplishment, their…oh God, please just let me win it this year.

Here’s how to avoid it: Don’t. Win the whole damn thing and bask in the glory of every single person in the league hating you for the next several months. The greatest reward in fantasy isn’t prize money or a stupid trophy. No. The greatest reward in fantasy is seeing the utter, crushing defeat on everyone else’s faces once they have to crown you champion. Bask in that shit. At least until next year starts.5

You started LeGarrette Blount at your Flex last week, didn’t you? Then you watched as a dozen guys who weren’t even on rosters scored more points. It was a lot fun. Now that your season has been tanked by a bunch of hack experts – or maybe because your team has been ravaged by the early-season injury bug – you’re scrambling to find someone to throw in at Flex. Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Here are some Week 3 steals still available in most leagues.1

J.J. Nelson, WR, ARI – Owned in 44.9% of leagues

With John Brown doubtful on Monday night, Nelson is your best option in Arizona. He’s had a hell of a start to the season, scoring two TDs in as many games and catching five balls in each. He’s a great PPR option and should continue to see a decent workload this week.

Tarik Cohen, RB, CHI – Owned in 48.4% of leagues

Jordan Howard is struggling to stay healthy so far this season and can been found on the injury report again this week2 which means Cohen will likely see a good amount of action again. So far he’s made the most of this time on the field scoring one receiving TD and averaging 6.5 yards per touch.

Mohamed Sanu, WR, ATL – Owned in 30.2% of leagues

Sanu has been consistent in the first two weeks of the year as he’s been targeted a team-leading 15 times, catching 11 of those balls. He’s yet to find his way into the end zone but Sanu and quarterback Matt Ryan seem to have a good rapport going and should look to keep it up going up against an improved Lions secondary that will likely key in on Julio Jones.3

Jermaine Kearse, WR, NYJ – Owned in 26.6% of leagues

Kearse has spent his NFL career locked in as the third passing option for Seattle, stuck behind guys like Doug Baldwin, Jimmy Graham and an assortment of pass-catching running backs. But he’s finally in the primary receiving role and making the most out of it. Kearse leads his team in targets, receptions, yards and receiving TDs. Admittedly, his team is the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Jets, but Kearse is showing that he can thrive in a first option role.

Once upon a time, when the endearing story lines of Duck Dynasty and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo captivated our hearts and people were twerking to the revolutionary sounds of ‘Timber’ and ‘Work Bitch,’ there was a running back ready to take the world by storm. His name was Circle Button. Um, I mean Eddie Lacy.

In his first two years (2013-2014), the 2nd round pick rushed for over 2,300 yards becoming Green Bay’s first 1,000 yard rusher since 2009. Across that frame, he averaged 4.4 ypc, caught 77 balls, and scored 24 TDs. Lacy was dynamic, quick-footed and, well, thin. By 2015, he seemed primed to become one of the league’s top running backs and was being drafted 3rd overall. Lemme say that one again. Eddie Lacy was being drafted 3rd overall.

Then in 2015 Lacy took a hard hit in a Week 2 contest against the Seattle Seahawks and never quite recovered. He missed the 1,000 yard mark for the first time in his career due to a massive drop in carries1 and followed 2015 up with another injury-shortened season in 2016.

Weighed down by injuries, poor performance and, um, weight, Lacy wasn’t re-signed by Green Bay and instead signed a lucrative deal with Seattle. He entered this year’s training camp 30 lbs overweight. Dude was so fat, he was put on an incentive program just to motivate him to lose weight. That’s not a fat joke. He was literally put on an incentive program to lose weight. The motivational tactic seemed to work as Lacy appeared to get his shit together, dropping the excess poundage2 and making the Seahawks’ final roster. Shortly after, rumors started swirling that he was going to be the workhorse of the Seahawks offense, that he “looked great,” that “he’s definitely 100 percent” and of course that “none of these are real quotes, they’re just generic statements that tend to surround Lacy.” Spoiler alert: Lacy hasn’t looked great, hasn’t been a workhorse and may not be at 100%. Shocking, I know.

Eddie Lacy - Dreads
I swear, those dreads add at least 25 lbs.

In the first two weeks of the season, Lacy rode the pine, rushing for only three yards in Week 1 and following that up with an appearance as a healthy scratch for Week 2. To say the least, it’s not looking good for Circle Button. Lacy finds himself on a team with three other legitimate rushing threats in Thomas Rawls, Chris Carson, and C.J. Prosise – all of which can also contribute to the passing game – leaving Lacy on the fringes of the 53 man roster.

Despite the fact that as of writing this, Lacy is owned in 95% of all ESPN fantasy leagues, it sure looks like we’ve already arrived at the end of his season and maybe even his career. Which is really disappointing. But for some nagging injuries, Lacy could have been great. While there’s still hope for Lacy, it’s small…unlike Lacy himself.3 He’s only 27 years old and while his weight struggles have shown that he isn’t exactly Bo Jackson in the weight room, he should be able to get one more chance to prove that he’s got the dedication that it takes to make it in the NFL. Maybe he’ll even be serviceable on a new team next year. Or maybe we’ll be talking, once again, about the wasted promise of Eddie Lacy.

Hey Le’Veon Bell, Julio Jones and every other playmaker out there,

On some random Friday night, you’re going to find yourself sitting around with nothing to do and thinking that maybe it’d be fun to go out with your friends, have a few drinks and, quite possibly, carry a concealed weapon in your jeans. Maybe you’re thinking it’d be great to play a light flag football game with the guys. After all, what’s the worst that could happen?

To say Todd Gurley suffered from a sophomore slump last year is to put it mildly.1 Throughout the whole year, he struggled to get anything going. Despite an increased workload, Gurley finished his second season 221 yards and four touchdowns shy of his rookie totals. He only averaged 3.2 yards per carry, down from 4.8 the year before. So what happened? Was Gurley’s down year the result of terrible offensive line play? Should blame rest on the shoulders of his mediocre head coach? Was it all due to an injury? Did he go all Hollywood on us, selling out his game for the chance to eat horrifying CGI burgers? Yes to all of the above. Especially that last one.

Trying to defend the Chicago Bears this year is gonna be hard. Not only am I a lifelong Detroit Lions fan and therefore required by official mandate to detest and disparage the Bears with an undying, ever-present passion,1 but over the 2017 off-season, Chicago seems to have proactively dismantled their offensive core and rebuilt it with, well, nothing. So far this off-season they’ve:

  • Lost Pro Bowler Alshon Jeffery to free agency.
  • Signed Markus Wheaton as a replacement for Jeffery, a bit of a step backwards given that Wheaton is coming off a serious shoulder injury and was decidedly not a Pro Bowler prior to it.
  • Lost their all-time leader in completions, yards and touchdowns, quarterback Jay Cutler to retirement.
  • Signed noted lousy quarterbacks Mike Glennon and Mark Sanchez to replace Cutler.
  • Traded away four draft picks to move up one spot to nab Mitchell Trubisky at 2nd overall despite it now being clear that Trubisky would have been there at 3rd overall anyway.