After bursting on the scene with arguably the greatest debut for a rookie wide receiver in NFL history – 10 catches for 217 yards and two touchdowns against the Detroit Lions – Anquan Boldin spent the next 13 years muscling his way through NFL defenders and into the record books. The sure-handed receiver, who announced his retirement on Sunday, ends his career near the top of both the career receptions and career receiving yardage leaderboards, an unexpectedly historic finish for a player who was thought to be too slow to ever succeed in the NFL.
If you score more points than your opponent, you win. That’s how fantasy football works.1 The simplicity of that binary outcome hasn’t exactly made assembling your fantasy team a simple process – for the love of God, look at all these draft strategy guides – but it has obscured what you’re really trying to do when you build your team. Yes, you want to score a lot of points but not all points are created equally. Because of positional roster restrictions,2 it doesn’t make sense to draft the top point producer available with each of your picks. If you did, you’d end up with a roster filled with 12 quarterbacks and therein lies the problem. Points matter, obviously, but where they come from matters almost as much. The truth about fantasy football is that you’re looking not just for points, but the points that offer the greatest value.
Most draft strategies try to address this complication by creating rules about when to draft which position – someone somewhere is pounding their table and screaming “Two running backs with your first two picks!” right this very moment – but those solutions are imprecise at best and, at worst, broad to the point of being counterproductive. What would actually be helpful is a way to compare the point production of players across various positions on an apples to apples basis. “But there is no such method,” you say. “The positions were separated at the Beginning and never shall they meet!” First off, calm down. And secondly, The Read Option is here to help: introducing PPGAR,3 your new favorite fantasy stat.
Summer is in full swing. It’s the season for barbecues and swimming pools and crazy NBA contracts. I’m guessing you were thinking of that last item when you tweeted this:
We gotta get paid more I'm pretty sure 2014 class will change the market
— King Me (@sammywatkins) July 2, 2017
I get it. NBA players that you’ve never even heard of are pulling down huge new contracts while players who are adequate but unspectacular are getting insanely huge new contracts despite being massive injury risks.1 It’s probably enough to make you wonder if you should’ve played basketball instead of dedicating your life to a game that even its best players are saying will destroy your brain.
America is kind of a dumb place right now. We suck at
akudemicks school and we keep putting people who seem to be terrible at their jobs in charge of our most cherished institutions. Oh and we elected Donald covfefing Trump as our President too. Not a great run. America likes to see itself as a roaring F-150 but the reality is that we’ve become a squealing clown car filled with literal bozos.
So when I saw that some people are predicting that Peyton Manning will become the President of the United States of America some day, I didn’t think, “Wow, that’s pretty stupid because he doesn’t know a goddamn thing about politics.” Instead, I thought, “Yeah, that seems about right.”
The only question that really remains is: what kind of leader will Presidential Peyton be? Let’s take a look.
Under the best of circumstances it would have been hard to be excited about the fantasy prospects of the New York Jets this year. We are not operating under the best of circumstances.
With the news that the Jets are planning to trade or release Eric Decker, the Jets have clearly committed to tanking not only their actual season but also your fantasy season, assuming you’re stupid enough to draft someone from
gangrene Gang Green. Brandon Marshall, the other half of the Jets’ briefly dominant wideout pair, is suiting up for the crosstown rival Giants now, which means that the best receiver left on the roster is – let me make sure I’ve got this right – Quincy Enunwa? Jesus swing dancing Christ.
The offensive line – once a strength of the team – has been decimated by age and ineffectiveness. A unit that once pummeled its opponents is now bereft of all the players that once made it so intimidating. Having released Nick Mangold earlier this year, the dominant core that once included long-time left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson and interior mauler Matt Slauson is well in the rearview. Even worse, the team seems content to head into the season with the three-headed monster of Josh McCown, Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty at quarterback. With quarterbacks like that, the best case scenario for the Jets passing game is that, due to a clerical error, all their games are cancelled.
Adrian, Marshawn & Jamaal,
Before I get ahead of myself, I want to give you guys some much deserved love. Adrian, you had the best combination of size and speed that I’ve ever seen at running back. In 2012, you managed to run for 2,097 yards even though running backs were becoming increasingly irrelevant and despite the fact that every single team you played against stacked the box because your quarterback was as intimidating as a loaf of white bread. And that happened when you were coming off a torn ACL! That’s nuts man. You really were the real life equivalent of a superhero – and you knew it, which made the whole thing that much better.
Marshawn. You were tough. You were silent. You loved you some Skittles. Oh, and there was that time that you literally caused an earthquake. And then a few years later you ran over the entire Arizona Cardinals team in a run so amazing that one of your teammates compared it to, uh, escaping slavery? That’s…powerful stuff. If given the choice between being hit by you or a Mack truck, I’d at least ask how fast the truck was going before I made up my mind, you know?
Dear Everyone in Bill Belichick’s Fantasy Football League,
First off, yes. I understand that you’re going to pretend that you don’t exist. That Bill Belichick – perhaps the greatest coach in NFL history – couldn’t possibly have the time or lack of self worth to play fantasy football. I get that you’re going to say that. And I know that it’s a lie. This is Bill Belichick we’re talking about here. The Hoodie himself! The man is so competitive that he’s probably secretly videotaping the entire Miami Dolphins roster right now as they eat brunch, trying to get an edge for next year based on how Ryan Tannehill likes his eggs.1 So yeah, he’s definitely pummeling a bunch of schmucks in a fantasy league every year.
It’s been a rough year for you. It wasn’t that long ago that you were the next big thing and now, only a few bounced interceptions later, you’re having to brush off questions about being out of a job. That’s not a great career arc and I can’t imagine that it’s a whole lot of fun being the living embodiment of a wasted draft pick. But don’t let it get to you! Like T-Swift said, haters gonna hate,1 so in the face of that kind of adversity why not double down, turn that hate into strength and bet on yourself?2