There’s an old saying in my family: “my son is a loser.” This saying was from my dad, and it got very, very old. But time has proven him wise, and I am a loser. At least, in all of my fantasy football leagues this season. And in my professional and romantic life, but we’ll stick to football here.
As of this writing, only one game has been played between The Buccaneers and The Cowboys, but that’s enough to show me that my season has already shat the bed and I should be playing for draft position from here on out. It’s reactionary, but there are two facts to keep in mind: 1) only 25% of teams that start 0-1 reach the postseason (this is an NFL fact, but I’m assuming it translates directly to fantasy), and 2) players of fantasy football are all reactionary by nature, so all of the following is warranted.
Here, I’ll be focusing on the many players I drafted that played on Thursday and how they’ve already all failed me in my leagues.
So let’s get reactionary. The sky is falling.
Mike Evans, WR3
I picked the above picture because Mike Evans is in the background doing nothing, just like he did on my roster earning me about 4 total points, and overshadowed by someone Brady has better rapport with. I also could have chosen AB, Godwin, and even Fournette since they all got more looks than Evans did (12%).
The level-headed will argue that with so many mouths to feed, Evan’s is going to be boom or bust all season. Well then that immediately makes him not WR1 doesn’t it? For a real WR1, look across the field to Amari Cooper who had a monster day, and will have many more now with Gallup injured, and who just happened to be on two of my opponents’ teams last night.
And yes, Evans had Trevon Diggs covering him well all night, but Evans has been shut down by Jalen Ramsey and Jaire Alexander as well last season, and Diggs isn’t on their level. Seems like a half-decent CB can make Evans a non-issue. Brady likes to get the ball out fast, so if he can’t get open quick, the ball is going to AB who looks like 2018 Antonio Brown all of a sudden.
So basically my WR1 is a WR3, and he’s going to be really matchup dependent all season. I’ll play him for the Falcons since they have no secondary, but then it’s Rams, Patriots, Dolphins with top 10 secondaries. Unless he scores 40+ on the Falcons, he’ll be riding my bench and I’ll be putting in… *checks notes*… Corey Davis?? Ugh, I went too RB heavy.
Speaking of which…
Ezekiel Elliott, RB3
Zeke lost me $75,000 last night. Yep, that was totally me. I was so uber-confident that he would score a TD that I YOLO’d my GameStop earnings into this DraftKings bet, and now I can’t afford the rent in my wife’s boyfriend’s basement. I’m upset about being homeless, but way more upset about the 4 points Zeke got me in all my leagues last night.
Yes, Tampa Bay has one of the best run defenses. Yes, Zach Martin was out due to COVID. But the signs are clear: this year is Dak’s show, he’s going to throw and throw and run and throw, and Zeke will become an afterthought. Even when he gets the ball, he won’t make much out of it. 33 yards on 11 attempts? Pollard had nearly that many yards on 6 touches.
Elliott did not look crisp out there. Remember, in 2020 he looked the best during Dak’s five starts. As far as I can tell, Dak was out there last night. I know that well because one of my opponents had Dak on his team. And another of my opponents had Brady, so it was a nice Ying-Yang thing where I was getting railed from both ends.
2021 isn’t going to be Zeke’s year at all. Sell him quick if you can. I’m trying to sell him right now for Kenyan Drake and a box of Thin Mints.
And it’s so very odd he couldn’t get anything going against…
Tampa Bay DST12
If Vita Vea is so good, how come the DST only got me… *checks notes* 2 points! WTF I shoulda gone with WFT.
Ok, Vea is good. He was instrumental in the 4th quarter during Brady’s comeback. But I don’t care about real wins and losses. Only points on my Sleeper app, and the Tampa Bay DST did nothing for me. Weren’t they supposed to be good? They were good against the Chiefs, right? Were Dak and the Cowboys any scarier than Mahomes and his weapons? Maybe Brady should play defense too?
Something’s off. You don’t give up 451 yards (the 2nd most allowed including last season) unless something is off. They looked weak against dink-n-dunk passing and screens, and then weirdly also weak to a bunch of downfield plays as well. Something got exposed and every other team is going to take advantage of it this season. It’s hard to repeat as champs, and usually it’s because the defense loses a step the next season.
Bowles’ blitz rate was 37%, yet only got pressure on Dak about 9 times (on 22 dropbacks). Dak looked great, but there are even more mobile QBs waiting in the season. This defense needs to shape up.
New strategy, roll out this DST for run-heavy offenses, stream another for passing ones. Let’s see what’s available… *checks notes* Panthers?? Oh no.
Ronald Jones II, RB69
Clown. Drafted him in a deep league. I don’t know why. Sell low for a 10-piece and a small fry. I would have had more points filling that spot with Joe Rogan hopped up on ivermectin. Clown.
As you can see, I drafted all of these busts and now my season is ruined across all my leagues. Week 1 was brutal and I firmly believe all my reactionary hot takes are rock solid predictions of how all of this will shake out in 2021-2022.
It’s ok to be reactionary if you’re right. Now I need to figure out how to brute force the passwords on my opponents Sleeper logins to make lopsided trades to get back into the game.
Happy season everyone. But not you, Mike.