The Mundies: Rewarding Respect & Fantasy Football
As Michael Scott put it so eloquently in Season 3, Episode 22 of “The Office”:
“R-E-S-P-svee-T, find out what it means to me.”
Of course, this was merely a hilarious rendition of the saying popularized by the late, great, legendary singer/songwriter Aretha Franklin. Franklin released the most famous version of the song “Respect” in 1967 at the age of 24. Credit for the original version of this song goes to Otis Redding in 1965.
However, the original lyrics in Redding’s version were slightly different, speaking more to the typical view of the family structure of that time period, with the man working all day and deserving a little respect when he gets home. What Franklin did was slightly tweak the lyrics to speak more toward the respect deserved by marginalized groups, specifically women and people of color during the Civil Rights Movement. That and adding the twist of spelling out the word “respect” became an iconic decision in American music.
When I decided on the topic of respect for this column, my mind went straight to Franklin’s song (after “The Office” of course). This is not surprising, as it is one of the most well-known songs in existence. But it is also the purpose and message behind Franklin’s version of the song that is important, as well as the question it raises:
Do people deserve respect, or does respect have to be earned?
I saw this exact same question posed on Twitter a few weeks ago. I answered with what I truly believe, deep in my bones, a resounding “Yes!” Every single human deserves respect, at least initially.
Do I think the actions of others can dissolve this deserved respect? Also, a resounding yes. Before the bombardment of “what about this” scenarios, let me quickly present the two different meanings for the word “respect”:
1. A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities or achievements.
2. Due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights or traditions of others.
I hope it is obvious that I am talking about definition No.2. If it’s not? I am talking about definition No.2. Aretha Franklin was talking about definition two. The first definition of respect is something that is earned and maintained through action. The second definition is something that should be freely given on a subconscious level. Generally speaking, it should not be a conscious decision whether or not to show respect to another human, at least initially.
Believe me, I know I am oversimplifying a complicated subject. The reasons for pulling back this respect are up to the individual. There is no manual, and that can lead down the all-too-common path of disagreement morphing into hatred and toxicity, without passing go, without collecting $200.
But there is one reason that simplifies this for me. A reciprocation of that respect. I will initially show respect to almost anyone, and I will continue to do so if that respect is reciprocated, even in disagreement. For example, someone leaning a different political direction should not itself be reason enough to void this deserved “showing of respect.” But if that respect is not returned? Well, according to my logic in this rabbit hole we are now in, they no longer deserve your respect. Deserve.
But ask yourself, what does that look like? I know what it can look like. A back-and-forth that turns toxic in a hurry. We have all seen it. Many of us have been in the thick of it, hurling insults with such volume the original point of the conversation fades into oblivion. Now ask yourself another question. What purpose does this serve? Truly, honestly, what is the point?
It has taken me years, with much trial and error (mostly error), to blindly swim through my own bullshit just to reach the point of asking myself this question. I have no expectations that me asking “what’s the point” will magically and immediately end all toxicity in the world as if Gollum just fell into molten rock clutching his precious ring.
But I am asking the question anyway in hopes that someone, anyone, takes a moment to think on it. If you can come up with a good answer, I’m all ears. But you won’t.
This is another case I want to plead. If someone has entered the arena of “no longer deserving your respect,” you still have a choice to make. There is no law of nature that requires disrespect to be met with disrespect, at least not one that I am aware of (college is kind of hazy).
Take it from me; there are no winners in toxic pissing matches. But also take it from me; I know how easy it is to get lost in toxic pissing matches. Once you’re in that quicksand, it is very difficult to get out. The ego takes control of the plane and locks the door to the cockpit.
I may sound like I am on a high horse. If that is how you perceive my words, I understand. But that is not the case. After a long period of time being perfectly willing to jump from stable ground down into the muck (over straight-up bullshit mind you), it’s not a high horse. I am just staying on that stable ground, inching further and further away from the edge. For what it’s worth, this transition, maturing, whatever you want to call it, has done wonders for my mental health.
I talk freely in these columns. My original outline and plan did not include the previous section on disrespect. People deserve respect until they don’t. Loosely that was the message I intended to elaborate on in this column. But as my brain talked to my fingers and my fingers typed words, a second question barged in unannounced like Kramer in “Seinfeld.” someone no longer deserves my respect, now what?
If you have read any of my columns or follow me on Twitter, you likely know my general stance is that we should all be decent to each other. We should treat others how we would like to be treated. I realized during this column that this part of my value system extends to this second question. For much of my life, the quote morphed into “treat others how you want to be treated, unless they’re being a straight-up jerk, then it’s alright to be a straight-up jerk back.” That revision is now gone for me. Luckily track changes were on, and I selected “reject insertion” (gross).
As a starting point, people deserve respect (definition No. 2). If you disagree with that, in my eyes, you are saying that you don’t deserve respect – either that or you think you are somehow better or more deserving than others. Again, I’m all ears if you can come up with a good explanation as to why that is. But you won’t.
People deserve respect until they don’t. If that respect becomes voided, they also don’t deserve my disrespect, because they no longer deserve any of my time.
And now, the Mundie Awards.
THE R-E-S-P-E-C-T AWARD
I am choosing a blatantly obvious title for this installment’s “Mundie” Award. This will be a joint award for current fantasy football players who I think deserve more respect either as late-round fliers or are good value at their current Average Draft Position (ADP) in Points Per Reception (PPR) redraft leagues.
All stated ADPs are from Sleeper’s Aug. 10 data. Keep in mind, these ADPs will fluctuate as we get closer to the regular season and more preseason games are played. These Sleeper ADPs were calculated prior to the preseason Week 1 action.
R: Rondale Moore (WR, Arizona Cardinals)
Rondale Moore’s current ADP is WR58, 140th overall, putting him in the middle of the 12th round in 12-team leagues. Moore is a player whose ADP could easily rise as the preseason progresses. He is a hyped rookie who we will see more of in the preseason, and generally, people tend to overreact to the preseason.
After months of research for a lot of us, it is understandable the first live football action in months will cause this type of reaction. I try to temper my reaction to the results of a play or a game, instead of trying to glean as much as possible about what a team’s plans are for certain players.
I think the Cardinals will want to get the ball in Moore’s hands early and often. I don’t have a lot of confidence in Christian Kirk or A.J. Green. Arizona also doesn’t have a tight end that will threaten any of the wide receivers’ volume. I believe Moore’s range of outcomes includes him becoming Kyler Murray’s second read after DeAndre Hopkins. Maybe not right away, but he’s a great lottery pick in the double-digit rounds.
E: Ekeler, Austin (RB, Los Angeles Chargers)
Austin Ekeler’s current ADP is RB10, 14th overall at the start of the second round in 12-team leagues. This is about the right value for Ekeler in my opinion. I have him slightly higher in my rankings as the RB8, right after Ezekiel Elliott and Aaron Jones and right before Nick Chubb and Jonathan Taylor.
I am including Ekeler here to show my respect for people drafting on Sleeper, as they are showing Ekeler the proper amount of respect by having him as a top 10 running back. So far in his career on a per-game basis, Ekeler has averaged 7.2 carries, 34.0 rushing yards, 4.7 targets, 3.8 receptions and 37.1 receiving yards with nine career rushing touchdowns and 16 career receiving touchdowns in 56 games.
None of that screams top 10 running back. But if you look at 2019 and 2020, the rushing averages increased to 9.5 carries and 41.8 rushing yards, and Ekeler’s receiving numbers shot up to 6.7 targets, 5.6 receptions and 53.7 receiving yards per game with 10 receiving touchdowns. 2019 and 2020 represent the Chargers utilizing Ekeler’s skill set in the proper. Ekeler has league-winning upside in a high-powered offense, and he deserves the respect he is getting (even a little more according go my rankings).
S: Sony Michel (RB, New England Patriots)
Made you look. I needed an “S.” Don’t draft Sony Michel.
P: Phillip Lindsay (RB, Houston Texans)
Phillip Lindsay’s current ADP is RB48, 163rd overall, putting him in the middle of the 14th round in 12-team leagues.
Lindsay is a running back who will likely rise in ADP. Already in the first preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, Lindsay out-snapped incumbent 2020 starter David Johnson eight-two and out-touched him five carries to one when the first team was in.
This is a very small sample size, but in the preseason, usage can often tell us more than stats and results. I am not too interested in shares of the Texans’ backfield this year, but I have made it known it would be Lindsay if anyone due to the lower cost. David Johnson is currently RB37 going in the ninth round, although his stock has been slowly falling as of late.
The chance that Lindsay will lead this backfield will likely (and should) cause his ADP to rise, but unless it rises significantly (and it shouldn’t), I like him as an end-of-bench back who could be much more relevant than his current value projects.
OK, I cheated on this one for the “E” but I had to get creative because Ezekiel Elliott doesn’t fit in this category, and I really didn’t want to write about Evan Engram. And Elijah Moore would be one too many rookies. And it’s my column.
Chase Edmonds’ current ADP is RB28, 72nd overall, putting him at the end of the sixth round in 12-team leagues. Edmonds vs. James Conner, has been discussed at length during the offseason, so there is not much new analysis I can offer. I have bounced around on this topic, but I’ve landed at thinking Edmonds will be the lead back in this committee.
Yes, Conner is more likely to get the goal-line work, but I don’t think that means Conner will take over in the red zone. Edmonds is a superior receiver out of the backfield and will get more red-zone work than people think, just not on the goal line. He will not be an RB1, but I do think he can be at least a low-end RB2, ahead of his current RB28 ADP. My stance on Edmonds is also tied to who is going around him. I am taking him over the following running backs currently being drafted before him: Myles Gaskin, Mike Davis and James Robinson.
T: Terrace Marshall Jr. (WR, Carolina Panthers)
Terrace Marshall Jr.’s current ADP is WR63, 173rd overall, putting him in the middle of the 15th round in 12-team leagues. Marshall Jr. is a 6-foot-2, 205-pound, extremely talented rookie wide receiver.
He has second-round draft capital, a speed score and burst score in the 85th percentile. Translation: Marshall Jr. is an ideal-sized wide receiver who is fast and athletic, with long arms.
D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson will be on the outside for the Panthers, but the slot role is up for grabs. Marshall Jr. can play inside and outside, increasing the chance of seeing the field as more than just a slot-only receiver. Much like my excitement for D’Wayne Eskridge with the Seahawks, I think Marshall can step into immediate fantasy relevance. Also, there are not many weaker TE groups in the NFL than what the Panthers will trot out there on Sundays.
I also see the potential for Marshall to become an above-average red-zone target. He’s a relatively big-bodied WR, at least compared to the other WR and undersized TE on the team, and he is an ideal late-round flier to put at the end of your bench.
Writing new and different columns for “The Mundies” will be a lot of fun, but I’d love some help. If you have ideas, hit me up, and I’ll include a shout out for any suggestions used.
And as always, find me on Twitter, talking fantasy football, joking around, posting GIFs and lending my support where it’s needed @MunderDifflinFF