The Inaugural Deekman Times
I live for Tuesdays. My brain has completely reset after being two days removed from the weekend. During the football season, all of the games have been played, stats officially published, and injuries posted. Most importantly, it is the most chaotic day of the fantasy football weekly grind. Expert rankings don’t release until Wednesday, podcasts are purely speculation, and the nerds haven’t finished running last week through their models.
Tuesday is your day. The only day that each and every one of our opinions is as justified as anyone with a blue checkmark. On this day, we are all cowboys shooting from the hip. It is noisy, it is foggy, and it is the day for you to formulate your own thoughts on the teams, players, and coaches that matter to your and your fantasy teams before the deluge begins again. It is a glorious storm and we all must make it our home.
Now, allow me to interrupt those thoughts.
The Times arrives on Tuesdays to help me filter through the personal lightshow that can be loosely classified as a conscious being each week. Then, I dive into rankings and projections and data and the sheer overwhelming weight of the content that this wonderful community generates every week and that I feel obligated to digest, for their sake as well as my own, and then disagree with.
What once began as the newsletter for my most treasured fantasy league is going to evolve, as all living things must do. Please fasten your seatbelts and keep your tweets and hot takes inside the vehicle at all times. The ride starts now but it never ends.
*All statistics and data are compiled by people smarter than me (for now)*
The Sixth Sense
Besides the hard-learned ability to build a coherent sentence, I have one other relevant talent, something that can only be described as a sixth sense. After every job interview, whether it was conducted over the phone or in-person, I’ve known if I was going to proceed to the next step in the process. Every date I’ve been on has generated the same reaction. I can tell who’s attracted to who, in groups or otherwise. I think its some chemical process that occurs in or around my spleen.
Year after year, I typically get the most points from drafted players in all of my fantasy leagues, barring disastrous injuries, which also don’t tend to call my number. Maybe I don’t play enough different leagues. Maybe I don’t deviate from my draft strategy enough and have gotten lucky every single year. Or maybe my gut is significantly more intelligent than the organ that is directing my fingers at the moment. Here’s what he has to say for the first time this season:
Mike Evans will be be the Wide Receiver #1. I could simply say that Bruce Arians takes over the offense that already threw for the most yards and air yards per game last year. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense didn’t improve either.
But I can’t leave it at just that. Last year, Evans completed his fifth straight season with at least 1,000 yards. He joins A.J. Green and Randy Moss as the only players in NFL history to do so in the first five years of their careers.
Also, wide receivers Adam Humphries and Desean Jackson departed the Buccaneers depth chart. That is 174 targets vacated, accounting for 2,646 air yards. Evans finished as WR6 last year. His ADP right now is WR4 and 23rd overall.
Joe Mixon will bust. Unfortunately, there’s nothing Mixon or his tremendous talent can do about it. The Bengals are on track to be very bad. The offensive line has been decimated and it’s only July 23rd. First-round pick Jonah Williams tore his labrum and will miss his rookie campaign recovering from shoulder surgery. Guard Clint Boling who has started 112 games retired earlier this month. The line was ranked 22nd at the end of last season, just lost a key cog, and are now projected at 27th best. Coach Zac Taylor, disciple of Sean McVay, will have to do a lot with a little to make this offense run. Last year, the Bengals recorded the least time of possession per game, as well as ranking 26th in yards per game and 17th in points scored per game. Now, check out the likelihood that Joe Mixon performs as well as his ADP, which is currently RB9 and 12th overall.
The Bears offense is going to shred. I hate Mitchell Trubisky. I don’t really know why. Maybe it was his dismal rookie year. Perhaps it is his rampant inconsistency. It may simply be this tweet on a week I started Trey Burton:
On a third down from the Packers’ three-yard line, this play went for -minus five yards. Bonus points if you spot the open player…. pic.twitter.com/sLrsDmvK04
— dan durkin (@djdurkin) September 11, 2018
But he’s going to have a great year, as will this offense. Trubisky gets a second year with Matt Nagy, who clearly understands how to use the quarterbacks’ skills, particularly his big arm and mobility. Burton too enters a second season with Nagy. Burton is an interesting case study, and I’m very excited to see how it plays out this year. He was dwarfed by Zach Ertz in Philadelphia before leaving in free agency. Nagy paid him good tight end money before he’d coached a snap for the Bears or Burton had been a starter. Talk about having a gut feeling. Taylor Gabriel, Tarik Cohen, Allen Robinson, and the offensive line starters all get another go in this system. Finally, the defense is going to take a step back. Defensive dominance is rarely repeated. Even 75% of the Bears defensive play would be good enough for a playoff team and would give the offense ample more opportunities. I want as much of this offense as I can get, especially in Best Ball.
Ex’s and Oh’s!
In our second segment of today’s Times, we’re going to talk grudges. Across most of my life, I like to think of myself as a forgiving person. But not when it comes to Fantasy Football. I remember waiver wire steals from 2015, trade betrayals from 2016, the accidental trade that stripped me of a tight end last year. Those are minor, those are grudges I hold against my friends and fellow owners. Those are nothing compared to the grudges I hold against the players who’ve torched me. Of course, the grudges I hold against myself are the worst of them all, but we’re not going to learn from those today.
One of those grudges is held firmly against Eric Ebron. Ebron’s 2018 is one of the most touchdown-efficient seasons in pass-catching history. This makes him one of the most glaring cases for regression for 2019. Regression reason number two is that Jack Doyle is back on the field.
In 5 full games together in 2018
Jack Doyle & Eric Ebron
Rz Targets: 6
Snaps: Never Below 76%
Routes per gm: 27.4
Rz Targets: 4
Snaps Never Above 40%
Routes per gm: 11.4 pic.twitter.com/4cfCOHaG4n
— DBro (@DBro_FFB) May 13, 2019
Regression reason number three is that the Indianpolis Colts acquired Devin Funchess on a one-year prove it deal and drafted the highly-touted Paris Campbell. Funchess fits the Ebron red zone mold in an offense that wants to spread the ball around and make fantasy heads’ explode.
My grudge against Ebron began when he decimated me in my most important championship week this past season. It’s deepened greatly now that his ADP is sitting at TE7. Most experts are cautioning against this, for the reasons I’ve listed above, but are still willing to take him at TE10. I don’t think Ebron should be drafted at all, I would scream it from the rooftops if anyone who cares about this stuff ever went outside. Do not draft Ebron. He will burn you and everyone you know. You will join me in holding a grudge against him, and I don’t wish that upon my worst enemy. Make him the Ex you don’t go back to.
I’ve had a lukewarm, consistent grudge against Lamar Miller since he was with Miami, largely because he might be one of the most boring fantasy players of the last decade. When he’s been offered to me in a trade, I’ve scoffed. When his name appears at the top of my draft board, my eyes go right to the next line. But he fell to me in lots of mock drafts the past few weeks, so I dug into body of work. The past few seasons look like this:
- 2014 – 10th in rushing yards, 8 TDs, RB9
- 2015 – 13th in rushing yards, 8 TDs, RB6
- 2016 – 10th in rushing yards, 5 TDs, RB18
- 2017 – 16th in rushing yards, 3 TDs, RB14
- 2018 – 11th in rushing yards, 5 TDs, RB23
- 2019 – ADP of RB29 and 61st overall
Oh! Like my grudge, Miller is lukewarm yet consistent. He finishes as at least an RB2 each season. In seven NFL seasons, he missed only seven games, and only four since 2014. He just needs to score a few more touchdowns, but even if he doesn’t, he is an absolute steal where he’s currently being drafted.
More clever segments will sprout up as we go. Football is back, huzzah!