Fantasy Football Tips 2017

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You play fantasy football. I play fantasy football. Everyone in America plays fantasy football. And, now that preseason week 3 is officially #done, it’s prime drafting SZN. If you already had your draft, well, you’re stupid and I hope you drafted Julian Edelman and Cameron Meredith. Never draft before preseason week 3. That’s tip #1.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “There’s 5 million other fantasy football draft advice columns out there, and every single one is more reputable than this one. Why should I read it?” Good question. I’m sure you’ve already consumed an infinite amount of fantasy football material in preparation for your draft. You’ve got your strategy all lined up, you’re feeling good, you can practically taste that trophy, it’s so close. But then you choke and take Justin Tucker 3rd round. It happens to everyone. Everyone except me, that is.

You see, I’m something of a fantasy football savant. I think I’ve been playing legitimately since my freshman year of high school, so about ten years (yikes). In that decade, there are more years where I’ve won more than one league than years where I’ve won zero. There’s no evidence of this, so you’ll have to take my word for it. Tip #2 is that my word is law when it comes to fantasy football. But again, despite establishing my bona fides, why should you care about my advice? After all, why not go to ESPN or NFL.com or Yahoo and have eight different guys tell you that Isaiah Crowell and Ryan Tanehill Jameis Winston are the hot fantasy names this year that you just have to have on your team? And listen, I get it. Those other places are safe. You know what you’ll get from them, and if you follow their instructions to a T, you won’t come in last. Cool. I’d rather swing for the fences. Despite what annoying people who talk trash about week to week fantasy results will tell you, the only skill involved in succeeding in fantasy football is research and making educated guesses. The rest is all luck. So if you go into your draft with the same research and gameplan as everyone else, where’s your edge? You don’t have one anymore. That’s where I come in. Want to win in fantasy? Zig when everyone zags. Think outside the box. Most importantly, follow my leadership. I’ll steer you in the right direction. Tip #3 is that this is the only draft kit you’ll ever need.

Basic Draft Advice

  • Wait as long as possible to take a quarterback. Or don’t. It’s your team.
  • Spot positional deficiencies. Are there only five good running backs in the league? If you draft all of them, everyone’s going to have to come to you to get one.
  • Switch things up and take a kicker in the third to last round. It’ll get everyone else scrambling and now you can pick up that late round sleeper you thought would be gone.
  • Don’t use a player’s name as a pun for your team name. No one thinks it’s funny and everyone hates you.
  • Line it up so every player on your team has their bye week at the same time. If you come out with an empty roster that week, your opponent won’t know what to do and might panic. It’s a mental game, folks.
  • Every defense is the same and the level of week to week variance is astronomical. It literally doesn’t matter who you have.
  • If your league is drafting in-person, stay silent the entire time. Everyone will think you’re sick and underestimate you, or they’ll think you’re up to something and get all their precious sleepers way too early, leaving all the players who will actually be good to you.
  • Even if you know who you’re going to pick, switch up the amount of time it takes to submit your pick. It’ll keep everyone else on their toes and might frustrate some.

Sleepers

  • Tom Brady- Thanks to his patented sleep ware line, no one gets a better, more fulfilling night’s sleep than Tom Brady.
  • Randy Moss- People forget that Randy Moss set the single season record for most touchdown receptions. And now he’s going undrafted in most leagues? Scoop him up late and reap the rewards.
  • Chad Henne- Blake Bortles is going to get benched this season. You’ll thank me when that happens and you have the Henn-meister on your squad.
  • Joe Mixon, Ezekiel Elliot, Josh Gordon, Martavis Bryant, Michael Floyd, Doug Martin- Want to win in fantasy football? Leave your morals at the door. Become the guy with enough courage to take the suspended guys and scumbags.
  • Tyrod Taylor- He gets like, three points per game less than Aaron Rodgers.

Busts

  • Brock Osweiler- He is bad at football. Don’t draft him.
  • Odell Beckham- Sure, he’s had the most prolific start to a career in NFL history, but can he handle the bright lights of New York? I don’t think so. Stay away.
  • Ryan Tannehill- Hard to finally take that next step when he can’t walk anymore. Because he blew out his knee. And won’t play this season. Get it?
  • Russell Wilson- screen-shot-2017-08-28-at-5-29-39-pm-2-640x6011screen-shot-2017-08-28-at-5-29-39-pm-2-640x601screen-shot-2017-08-28-at-5-29-39-pm-2-640x6012
  • Any Jet- If you wind up with someone from the Jets on your roster, you probably did something wrong.

Hot Rookies

  • Leonard Fournette- Word on the street is this guy might have some potential.
  • Austin Carr- One white Patriots receiver out, one white Patriots receiver in.
  • O.J. Howard- Hey, this guy was on Hard Knocks! He must be good!
  • Stacy Coley- He’s a receiver for the Vikings. Just kind of picked a random guy.
  • Kevin White- With Kevin White coming back from injury (again) it’s like the Bears had another first round pick this year!

Punter Ranking Because the True Players Add in Punting Points

  1. Marquette King
  2. Johnny Hekker
  3. Bryan Anger
  4. Bradley Pinnion
  5. Sam Martin

Top Guys to Take Early If You Want an Excuse Ready for Why Your Team Stinks

  • Ben Roethlisberger
  • Darren McFadden
  • Keenan Allen
  • Rob Gronkowski
  • Sammy Watkins

I think that’s all you need. Follow your gut for the rest. Let me know if you followed my instructions and how badly you dominated your league. Actually, whether or not you used this, don’t tell me. Because even though I’m a fantasy savant, I still don’t care about your fantasy team.

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I Would Like to Wish Everyone a Merry Hawaiian Christmas!

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Mele Kalikimaka, everybody! What a beautiful day to celebrate one of the most important days on the calendar. Hawaiian Christmas. What’s that? You’ve never heard of it? That’s a shame. It’s a truly wonderful holiday. A joyous occasion where we, the faithful public, celebrate the birth of the White Kahuna. The one sent from above to dazzle us with pinpoint accuracy and a mastery of the Run and Shoot offense. Today, we celebrate the birth of the greatest college football player of all time, Colt Brennan.

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Now, a short trip down Google Lane will tell you that his true birthday is August 16th. Well, what holiday worth it’s salt takes place in the middle of the week? That’s why Hawaiian Christmas takes place on the closest Friday to August 16th, so you’ll always have a long weekend spent living on Island Time, to go with the quiet midweek vigil you hold for the true date. And if the 16th falls on a Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday? Well, that’s grounds to take the whole week off, friend. Hawaiian Christmas is a time for leisure, merriment, and goodwill towards men. Your boss will understand.

The most important question facing a Hawaiian Christmas neophyte is, of course, how to celebrate. It’s quite simple really. The first step is to put on your finest Hawaiian linens. The more complex the pattern, the more bold the color scheme, the better. I’m partial to tropical flowers, birds of paradise, sea turtles, and perhaps fruit, myself, but Hawaiian Christmas is not a time for criticism. Wear what you will, as long as it’s in the spirit of things. Grab yourself a mai tai or two (more on that later), and settle in on your most relaxing beach chair for the most important part of any Hawaiian Christmas, watching a ton of Colt Brennan highlights. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen first.

You might need to take a cold shower if you get too deep into the rabbit hole, but hopefully you have access to a beach and can take a quick dip in the water. While his highlight videos are undoubtedly mesmerizing, don’t get so engrossed you lose track of time. Hawaiian Christmas dinner takes a while to cook when done right, and you certainly don’t want to lose track of time. While our savior typically feasted on helpless WAC opponents, cannibalism is unfortunately frowned upon during Hawaiian Christmas. So, instead, prepare a traditional Kalua pig. You’ll need a full pig and a pretty big pit and a bunch of hot stones, and you’ll need to learn a difficult and very specific cooking method that you’ll probably never use in any other scenario, but it’s worth it to impress your friends. Gather your family and any neighbors too lazy to cook their own pig and sit around the fire pit telling tales of gridiron glory. Traditionally, this is also where you engage in the ceremonial Hair Bleaching, so you too can look like the Heisman Finalist himself.tumblr_lmkx4zlahb1qapl86o1_500

Most pigs are probably going to be about 260 pounds, so when you add in all the tropical-themed side dishes, you’ll have plenty of leftovers! The White Kahuna isn’t an advocate for moderation.

Speaking of moderation, the most controversial part of the holiday comes at night. Here at the Brian’s Den, we would never dream of condoning drinking and driving. It’s a reckless, dangerous, and foolhardy decision. But, as with all great heroes, Colt Brennan is a flawed man. His DUI arrest is a dark mark on his otherwise spotless record. To walk in his path is to admit your own weaknesses and faults, which is the first step to personal growth. A true celebrator of Hawaiian Christmas knows how to honor the White Kahuna and keep the non believers safe, so find an abandoned patch of beach, woods, field, anywhere where you won’t have any company. Get a golf cart and your closest friends, and just drive around. If you’ve been observing Hawaiian Christmas customs all day, you should be sufficiently impaired. It’s a great time that I officially condemn, but it’s better than driving your actual car. Feel free to engage in golf-cart centric shenanigans into the wee hours of the morning, just make sure to be wearing your Hawaiian Christmas garb, so any passing law enforcement officers will know you’re merely recognizing the significance of the day.

The last part of any good Hawaiian Christmas comes the next morning. All you need to do is fail to make the NFL. Easy enough on paper, but you’d be surprised how many people mess it up. Now, go out there and have the best Hawaiian Christmas you’ve ever had. Mele Kalikimaka, indeed.

Falcons’ New Stadium Will Have a Chick-fil-a, Which Won’t Be Open on Sundays

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source– Sure, most everyone loves Chick-fil-A, but the popular restaurant chain will be closed during a majority of the Falcons’ home games in 2017 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, according to ESPN sports business reporter Darren Rovell.

In fact, the only day the Chick-fil-A inside the stadium will be open, is on December 7, when the Falcons host the Saints on Thursday night.

I cannot possibly overstate how much I love this move. It’s genius. Pure, unadulterated genius by Chick-fil-a. Outside Taco Bell, no fast food company understands human nature and the marketing game quite like Chick-fil-a. The fastest way to get someone to want something is to tell them they can’t have it. Anytime I drive past a Chick-fil-a on Sunday, my cravings for the sweet, succulent chicken sandwiches go through the roof. It’s all I can think about. My desire to spend money at Chick-fil-a consumes me. And I’m only one guy. When the dozens of Falcons fans who’ll pack Mercedes-Benz Stadium walk by the ghostly visage of a closed Chick-fil-a, well, let’s just say I wouldn’t want to be working at an Atlanta area Chick-fil-a come Monday mornings in the fall. Talk about a mob scene. I guarantee this sends business skyrocketing. Chick-fil-a is going to make a killing off this, once again proving that being closed on Sundays is one of the greatest business decisions of all time. They’re the anti-McDonald’s. If you have a way to keep something exclusive, do it. Don’t make breakfast all day because now no one cares about McDonald’s breakfast. Don’t open Chick-fil-a on Sundays because then no one will experience seeing a closed Chick-fil-a. It’s so simple, but it’s why Chick-fil-a is king.

As for the Falcons, the losses just keep on coming. First, they suffer the worst defeat in the history of professional sports. Then, their new stadium doesn’t even work. And now this. Sure, this is great for Chick-fil-a, but it’s horrible for the Falcons. What were they thinking? How can you let yourselves, an NFL team coming off an albeit doomed Super Bowl appearance, get completely dominated by a fast food joint? I’ve never seen anyone get cucked harder than this. I’d love to have been in the room for when this was pitched. Probably some 45-year-old father of four brought this idea to the board like “Hey, guys, I’ve got a great idea! Let’s get a Chick-fil-a in the stadium! It’s what’s hip with the kids these days, I’ve heard. Sure would be great to have young people talking about the Falcons in a positive light. I sure am tired of getting destroyed on the Twitter, how about you fellas?” Great idea, man! Too bad Chick-fil-a is run by geniuses (they’re probably not geniuses they’re just really religious, but accidental genius is still genius) who would never pass up an opportunity to build business and throw their balls on the table like this. I bet the Falcons paid for everything, too. The probably bought the franchising rights, paid for the construction, hired the staff, took care of all the overhead costs, everything. Too bad they forgot Chick-fil-a bends for no man. Unbelievable. This is why it amazes me every time I see people say the Falcons are going to be good this year. Are you kidding? This franchise is completely and utterly broken. The Patriots killed them. The losses keep piling up with no end in sight. The players all snapped and hate each other. The coaches are going to be second guessing everything they do. They’re going to treat closing the retractable roof as a real accomplishment. Their legion of devoted fans disappeared as quickly as it burst onto the scene. They’re getting mercilessly dunked on by Chick-fil-a. It’s over for the Falcons. They might not win a game this season. Honestly I’d be surprised if they did. It’s going to take something monumental to get this franchise back on the right track, and I see that miracle happening anytime soon.

Who’s Ready for Some Hard Knocks?

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As is tradition, the start of NFL training camp brings us another season of Hard Knocks, the first real sign that the NFL season is nigh. The groundbreaking documentary series has changed the way we think about training camp, and, really, the way we think about sports documentaries in general. If you don’t have ultimate access, I’m not watching. If I don’t know what the third string QB’s meal plan is, why should I even care? Still, at this point I love what Hard Knocks represents more than I love the actual show. Much like with All or Nothing, any kind of football is good enough for me at this point, particularly when it means we’re mere weeks away from college and NFL kicking off for real. But the seemingly never-ending streak of getting super boring teams for Hard Knocks probably isn’t going to change with the Bucs this year. Hard Knocks is only as good as the head coach, and Dirk Koetter is…. well, he’s alive. I think. I honestly don’t think I could pick him out of a lineup. That’s a bad sign. Still, I’m going to watch it. You’re going to watch it. Everyone’s going to watch it and wonder why we’re doing so in the process. It’ll be great. As an experienced Hard Knocks viewer, there are certain things that appear time and time again. Time is a flat circle, and nowhere is that more apparent than on Hard Knocks. Here’s a quick primer for everything you’re going to see this season.

You’ll Find Out What Dirk Koetter Looks Like

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This is pretty unique for this season, but the fact remains that, unless you’re one of the dozens of diehard Bucs fans, this will be your official introduction to Dirk Koetter, and, if this picture is any indication, you won’t be in for much. My guess is he either loves to fish or play golf and stays until all hours of the night watching film. A real breath of fresh air in the coaching world.

There Will be a Heated Battle Amongst the Assistant Coaches for the Title of Coolest Coach

Happens every year. Every coach thinks this is his time to shine. Turn up the personality to 11, say the F word ten times a sentence, make a ton of sex analogies that don’t really work, talk about drinking or smoking, have a scene where they’re playing cards together, really anything to seem cool and relatable. Looking at the Bucs’ coaching staff, I’ve got together some prime suspects:

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Not the most promising batch of coaches. A lot of old guys, a lot of guys who look like they haven’t been out of a team facility in 20 years. I’m not positive these are the guys, but they’re some of the youngest looking, and defensive line coaches are always a little wacky. Same goes for the strength and conditioning coach. He looks like he’ll murder you and wear your skin if your squat form is a little off. He could be electric! Just kidding with Mike Smith. He’s the most boring person of all time.

The One Assistant Coach Who Used to be a Head Coach and They Awkwardly Talk About How He Failed In His Last Job

Hey, speaking of Mike Smith!

The Stupid Player Who They Exploit for Some Easy Quotes

One of the best traditions Hard Knocks has is filming a football player who hasn’t read a book that didn’t start with “play” since the first grade talking about something other than football. These guys’ world views are so skewed, anything could come out of their mouths! Tune in tonight to find out what they say! Anyway, there’s only one possibility for the Bucs. Anytime HBO can combine their Idiot screentime with their Starting QB screentime, you have to do it.

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Seeing Jameis Winston say something dumb is pretty much the only reason I’m excited for this season. Jameis was made for Hard Knocks. Everything that comes out of his mouth is liable to start and internet firestorm, and the beauty is that he doesn’t know any better. He’s so innocent (allegedly) and means well, but he can’t get out of his own way. He’s like a puppy without a leash, and he’s going to light up the screen.

The One Player Who Proves Himself to be the Zaniest on the Team

Similar to the war of attrition between the assistant coaches, all the players want that valuable screentime, too, and the best way to get it is to be super crazy and quirky. Is it forced? Almost always. Is it entertaining? Sometimes. But it’ll happen nonetheless. Luckily for us, the Bucs’ roster isn’t filled with J.J. Watts, so the competition might be that fierce (actually, I have absolutely no idea if that’s valid or not. I can name, like, five Bucs players. For all I know, it might be the biggest collection of hams outside a Smithfield store). Jameis, when he’s not obliviously saying something moronic, will undoubtedly try waaaaaaaaaaay too hard. It’ll be cringeworthy. I think Mike Evans has something going on, but who knows. I think it’ll be Gerald McCoy.

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This guy’s so zany. How do I know? Well, he wears oversized glasses all the time! What a wildcard! He’s so quirky and unique! McCoy’s been a great player since he came into the league, but has been relatively anonymous because of where he plays and the fact that he’s eternally tied to Ndamukong Suh since they were drafted in the same year. Look for HBO to try and pump him up as the unknown star who has a crazy personality.

Someone Will Have an Absurd Collection of Cars/Jewelry/Some Other Expensive Thing

Quickest way to kill some time is to show the viewers that no, these guys aren’t just like us. They have millions of dollars and don’t have to go to work for six months at a time. Someone’s possessions will redefine opulence for the millionth straight year.

The Guy Who Gets Cut

Easily the most recognizable and beloved of the Hard Knocks tropes. Notice someone you’ve never heard of soaking up screentime? Maybe we’ve met his wife and young daughter? Learned about his crippling debt or tough upbringing? Well, he’s getting cut. Sorry.

That’s pretty much all there is to Hard Knocks. It’s not a complex show, and this season may be particularly formulaic. But hey, it’s football.

Happy Birthday, Tom Brady

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Just wanted to give a quick shoutout to my guy, little-known quarterback Tom Brady. 40 years ago today, Thomas Edward Patrick Brady, Jr. was born in San Mateo, California, and the world was never the same. August truly is the month for QBs (more on that at a later date). I’ve moved passed the point in my life where I wanted everyone to love him and couldn’t understand how anyone could dislike the greatest NFL player of all time. I get that some people just don’t like him and never will. It’s their loss, really, but I’m #done trying to convince them otherwise. I like being in the exclusive club of Brady Lovers. It makes me feel special. It makes me feel like a winner. I won’t gush about him too much longer, since I’m sure everyone will be feeling Brady Fatigue by the end of the day. I just wanted to quickly celebrate one of the men responsible for at least three of the five greatest moments of my life. As someone who ties their entire sense of self-worth into the success of their football team, Brady has helped me create a somewhat less toxic self-image than what I would have if I were, say, a Jets fan. Of all the imaginary children I’ve had with various celebrities, at least 70% have been named Tom. What I’m trying to say is that Tom Brady is one of the most important people in my life, and the day he retires is going to be horrible.

Why Do People Still Care About O.J. Simpson?

O.J. Simpson Sentenced In Kidnapping, Robbery Trial

I can’t believe what I’m seeing. I really can’t. Here we are, July 20th, 2017, and O.J. Simpson is the top story. What’s the reason? Did he finally die? No, just his parole hearing. His parole hearing is being broadcast on ESPN. No, really, it is.

There’s a parole hearing on ESPN. And it’s not like they’re the only ones covering it, either. It’s on every news station. On every website. Go on Twitter and it’s all anyone can talk about. And I just can’t wrap my mind around it. He’s an NFL legend, sure, but he played in the 70s. He killed his wife and her brother (allegedly) and was the centerpiece of the most fervently covered trial of all time. That was over twenty years ago. When O.J. was put on trial for murder, the Patriots had been to one Super Bowl in their history. Think about that. That’s how long ago O.J. did anything relevant. But he’s still on my TV screen. Every year there’s a new O.J. documentary. Every year someone comes out with a new book claiming to have a new angle on the cultural importance of the trial, but it’s always the same thing. Seemingly every three months we have to talk about O.J. goddamn Simpson and what it all means. This is all going to happen again when he get out in a few months. People still care about O.J. and I just don’t get it. Why? Why the hell does he still matter? Why can’t he just go away?

He’s not the only person to ever kill anybody, you know. Aaron Hernandez killed a billion people and his trial came and went in an instant. Randall Woodfield played in the 70s, but unless you’ve got a very in-depth knowledge on serial killers, you’ve probably never heard the name before. There have been countless CSI/Criminal Minds-type serial killers who never had the media heyday as the Juice, and most of them killed dozens more people than O.J. did. Sure O.J. was more famous and more charismatic and all that, but what he did wasn’t so remarkably heinous or viscous or depraved that it needs to be talked about almost 25 years later. I don’t need Bob Ley and Jeremy Schaap to pop up on Sportcenter every few weeks to talk about O.J. for hours on end. I really don’t. It’s all so boring to me. Make it go away.

I was two years old when O.J. (allegedly) murdered his wife. I’m not sure my dad even knew what the phrase “a glimmer in his father’s eye” even meant when O.J. was in the NFL. I literally have no emotional connection to him whatsoever. I get that the people that were actually alive during O.J. mania still hold on to memories of his playing days, his movies, or the trial. But, please, let it go. Let him fade into oblivion. I can’t take yet another documentary. I shudder at the thought of more mind-numbingly boring discussions about how O.J. is just a mirror for our society at large. New flash everyone, he’s not. He’s just a guy that killed his wife then stole some memorabilia. He’s a piece of shit. Deal with it. This isn’t the 1950s, pro athletes aren’t all straight-laced, All-American role models living the Hulk Hogan “say your prayers, take your vitamins” lifestyle. Grow up. I think part of the reason the trail blew up so much was that all the old sportswriters had to deal with the fact that one of their favorite athletes, a guy they looked up to, turned out to be not that great of a guy. The vast, VAST, majority of pro athletes should not be role models. They don’t care about you, they don’t care about how much your stupid kid loves them, they don’t care about your fantasy team, none of it. All the people who were so shocked at O.J.’s actions grew up in a time where being a pro baseball player pretty much meant you were everyone’s dad. You were supposed to set an example for all the little kids out there so their actual parents didn’t have to do any of the work. It doesn’t work like that. No pro athlete (with the possible exception of True Yankees) wants anything to do with being a role model. The fact that Charles Barkley even needed to make his famous “I am not a role model” commercial really says it all. Just because they make a lot of money and are on TV all the time doesn’t make them a good person. Know when I learned that? When I saw Roger Clemens throw Mike Piazza’s broken bat back at him in a fit of roid rage. When I saw Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson jump into the stands and start taking fans out left and right. When my favorite baseball player ever (hilariously) took an angry, charging old man by his head and threw him to the ground. When Ugueth Urbina attacked five guys with a machete and poured gasoline on them. When a version of me unused to rigorously parsing through rulebooks and legal documents had to deal with the fact that my Patriots had been accused of filming their opponents. When Ray Lewis obstructed justice (wink wink). When Colt Brennan, the God of Quarterbacking and the Chief Idol of the Brian’s Den, was arrested for DUI. The entire Steroid Era. When my then-favorite player Carmelo Anthony sucker punched Mardy Collins in the heat of a brawl and immediately retreated. When Aaron Hernandez was my favorite football player. I learned pretty quickly to separate the on-field player from the off-the-field person, and I’m better off for it. O.J. represents this big loss of innocence (among other things) for the older generation, but he didn’t have to be. Don’t treat athletes like anything but exactly what they are: athletes. They aren’t role models. They aren’t your brother or father. They’re just people, and if you get seriously disappointed or crushed by their actions, you have no one to blame but yourself.