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Decisions, Decisions: New Beginnings

by Mike Tulanko

Don’t snicker. This title feels like it should be right next to a “Live, Laugh, Love” sign. But it’s what every fantasy football season is if you do it right – a new beginning.

The football games that count start this Thursday, and soon this column series will be here for you after every round of Thursday-Sunday games. You will find shorter stories and more advice. You will find a me, a guy who loves watching games with his family and sharing triumphs and struggles with them. You will find a parallel to the life we all live outside of our obsession with the grassy rectangle.

We have worked very hard together this offseason, dear reader. We explored cognitive biases, decision theory, and emotional intelligence … amongst other topics. Our relationship began when you shared your regrets and revelations from last year with me, your humble advisor. This journey has only just begun.

Just like the once prolific and now questionable home decor mentioned in the opening paragraph, our tastes must change in fantasy football – lest they become outdated and stale.

Are you a running back-heavy drafter? Learn about some wide receivers until you can’t help but get an arsenal of them on your team. Like to gamble at tight end? Find a way to get one of the top-three options on your team and learn about the dynamic that gives you.

Not much of a trader? Challenge yourself to have the most trade action in the league this yea7. My Twitter Direct Messages (DMs) and mentions are always waiting.

Thank you so much for sojourning the non-points-scoring season with me. Now it’s time to build the armada, to get the ships, to crush your foes and win fantasy glory in 2021! Let’s do it together!

Post Fantasy Football Draft Advice

Jameis Winston (QB, New Orleans Saints) & Marquez Callaway (WR, New Orleans Saints)

You’ve heard of a late-night snack. How about a late – maybe even post – draft stack? People have been drafting stacks for a long time. Premium stacks are hard to get without reaching though. While stacking is not a new concept, a late stack can be a new twist on an old strategy.

Jameis Winston is going close to undrafted in Average Draft Position (ADP) and may even be on waivers or free agency if you have already drafted. He will cost you next to nothing. Why not stack him with preseason-breakout receiver Marquez Callaway?

If you drafted Callaway, it was undoubtedly late. His Points Per Reception (PPR) ADP is currently WR52. If he is still out there in your league post-draft, get him yesterday! While Winston has been notoriously boom-bust in his career, his receivers have always benefitted (see Chris Godwin and Mike Evans). Now paired with Sean Payton, I think we will see those highlight reel games more than the massive interception games. Take a shot. What do you have to lose here?

Sony Michel (RB, Los Angeles Rams) & Zach Ertz (TE, Philadelphia Eagles)

The walking dead have a chance to arise! Darrell Henderson may be the “lead” back for the Los Angeles Rams, but it is sure to be a committee at first. With two RB2-level seasons under his belt in 2018 and 2019, Sony Michel found himself rotting on Bill Belichick’s bench in 2020. We have seen him put up some great performances in the past where there are way too many running backs in the mix. Now that he is part of a duo, I have a feeling we will see him shine again.

Speaking of shining again, Zach Ertz crushed a lot of hopes and dreams last year; yet finds himself positioned to give you a steal at tight end. With a current ADP of 159th overall in PPR, Ertz is one of two trustworthy receivers on the Eagles’ offense. The wide receiver corps is unproven and unreliable. Jalen Hurts has the ultimate safety valve setup. Two solid TEs that have proven their worth in fantasy. Why not get one who is practically free?

Tyler Lockett (WR, Seattle Seahawks) & Antonio Gibson (RB, Washington Football Team)

Upset because boom-bust players always seem to make you sweat your lineups? Find a new love. Tyler Lockett and Antonio Gibson were both borderline top-12 at their positions last year, but yet both scored about half of their points in four games.

While those weeks were indeed glorious, there were other weeks where they were downright average. If you drafted these two and someone in your draft said they got sniped, you have your market. Go trade now for a more stable player (or two) on your roster – especially if they are on a ton of your teams.

Make today a great day! And don’t forget to be awesome (DFTBA)!


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