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[00:00:00]

This is Fantasy Football today from CBS Sports. So that was a spectacular play. It's time to dominate your fantasy league play. Now, here's some combination of Adam, Dave, Jamie, he's the. How much has changed in the past, about four weeks or so since we did our position previews or at least since we started them? Let's find out if you missed those episodes, if you're just tuning in, because your drafts are coming up. We're going to go through a quarterback running back, wide receiver, tight end strategies.

[00:00:36]

The way we're approaching the position, some players that we don't talk about all that much, some late round picks that might help you out of the position and just get you ready. All right. You know, we know you're drafting now, so it's crunch time and we got to get you set. I'm Adam Azer with Ben Gretchen. He's Cummings. Guys, you're going to rest up tonight and get ready for a big draft a thon tomorrow.

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No, we're not, because you scheduled a draft until 10 o'clock tonight, so it's impossible to tell if we're lucky.

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Yeah, it's a podcast. League draft is tonight. I added five hour spots, but that's only for covid. Only for covid I had.

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And more importantly, did you select the correct fab option?

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Which is what? Well, there's two, correct, there's only one wrong that's leaving it like it was. CBS now has a way to have normal fab, except that players can be added first come first serve on Sunday.

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Oh, OK. So I had been doing that manually, as you recall, because I am a very courteous, kind commissioner and it always, always, always creates problems and it's not fair and equitable and does not work out well for everyone.

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So I'm glad that they've created a way to where you don't have to do that to never works for.

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I think it worked pretty well, but I have also glad. So you can do it every night except for except for well. And then gets off on Sunday. Right.

[00:01:55]

The problem with that is what if somebody gets scratched on like Thursday night at five o'clock.

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So I think it should just be fab runs once per week per usual, and then it's first come, first serve for the rest of the week. That's my preference.

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I don't have a problem with that. I don't like first comfort, maybe first come first serve on Thursdays and Sundays. That's a lot of commissioner. If that's a word, but I don't love the free for all free agency, I just I don't think that's fair. So but, well, fair, there will be very many unfair things happening in the next four months, Adam. You know what?

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I don't know if that's true. We're sitting here assuming there could be so much covid there's not as much in baseball.

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I just thought that was going to be every fantasy football season ever. Like, what is fair, I have to do with it.

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Well, anybody else on this podcast with me, I just Adam said it was like, you have to be ready for this show. We got to go quick. And then he just starts this conversation about covid rules and just derails the first five minutes of the ball.

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I don't think I did. I think he said, OK, let's do news& notes. So, yeah, you never you've never had an argument with him.

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If you could, you could pass up that. That's true. And that is that is very true.

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OK. News& notes Derwin James for the Chargers. He's out six to eight months with a knee injury. They were actually one of the lowest scoring disasters in twenty nineteen. They didn't get a lot of turnovers, but they do have a good pass rush. Are they worth drafting for week one at Cincinnati, the Chargers DST?

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Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. OK then week two is Kansas City and I don't know, I don't like what they look like. They could be one of those awesome Doughty's.

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Do they feel more like just a streamer now you drop them as soon as that Bengals game is over.

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Yeah, yeah. You're not going to hold them through a Kansas City game in week two.

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OK, the Eagles, you know, they lost their left tackle. Andre Dillard, apparently Jason Peters, who used to play left tackle as recently as last year. He wants more money if he's going to move back to left tackle. So he's either going to play right guard for Brandon Brooks or he's going to get paid apparently and play left tackle. We'll see what happens there with the Eagles. Alshon Jeffery is likely to miss week one, but he could be back sometime in September.

[00:04:07]

What are our expectations for a healthy or let's say a playing Alshon Jeffery? I mean, I think he probably leads the wide receivers and targets, especially with Jalen Reiger banged up now and expected to miss some time, I mean, this report. Puts them up on about the same timeline, right? We expect to miss the first couple of weeks. It's quite possible acres of two to four weeks and Jeffrey, sometime in September, so, yeah, they could be very similar timelines.

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So so so who do you think is going to be better? I think Jeffrey will probably be the easier bet to take for four more targets and for more production records, the upside play that I would probably prefer in drafts, but yeah, I mean, Jeffrey is going to wind up being a pretty good value if he does come back in September and stay healthy. I mean, it's pretty incredible. Like he's not even getting drafted and most formants.

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Yeah.

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All right. So keep our eyes on Jeffrey on your radar, folks. I bet he is drafted tonight in our 14 team PPR league. Uh, Divino Zebo could get a decent amount of work in week one because Michael Almstead, he missed time earlier in camp due to he was on the covid list, didn't have it. And then, um, he's missed some time, I think, with an unspecified illness recently. So Josh Shipley of Jagwar Report thinks that Ozick could get some work in week one.

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They're facing a pretty tough run defense in the Colts who are who added DeForest Buckner and gave up seventy rushing yards to one running back in their last eight games. So I don't know that you're going to want that.

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I think the interesting part of this report is that they're saying because of or due to Almstead absences and Almstead played ahead of Ozick late last year and as the number two throughout the year, it was what Jacksonville, I think from week five on or so throughout last season. I think they picked them up a little ways into the season. But he was on the roster for most of the year and he only got a couple of touches in week seventeen when Fournette was out.

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But Armstead was mainly the lead back. So Armstead was clearly ahead of him all of last year. And now the expectation sounds to be that when Farmsteads is ready, he might be ahead is at least the way that I'm hearing this. Yeah, Almstead, Nosik.

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But we're the only two guys in this backfield that I'm actually drafting. But the only guy that I might start week one is Chris Thompson in PPR. I think the Colts gave up the most receptions to running backs in all of football last year. And like one of the reasons I'm not drafting Chris Thompson is he's got limited upside. He's not going to run the ball and he's probably going to get hurt like he pretty much always has. But on a week to week basis, if you're telling me is 100 percent going into the game against the defense, that has been targeted that way in a game where they're going to be way behind.

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Yeah, I might I might start Thompson with one.

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You're not drafting Chris Thompson. He's I have not drafted Chris Thompson.

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Well, I got four and it's only been off the team for a day, but. Right. But I drafted. Right. Well, after before that, yeah. I had him on five or six teams before Fournette was cut. Oh, nice work.

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But I think to his point about week one, if you do a zero running back draft and you and you target upside guys like Jake Dobbins in the middle rounds, like I've talked about, Chris Thompson's, another guy that you can plug in week one and get really cheap.

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Yeah, no, he definitely should have a role. The Bears are going to name their starting quarterback early next week. DeAndre Swift return to practice Golden Tate day to day with a hamstring injury. Cooper Kupp minor ankle injury. Chris Herndon walked off the field with trainers today.

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I haven't seen an update chest, which he had chest and lung problems last year, so it's scary until we get a clarification and the DeAndre Swift thing. He came back and was limited in practice, right? Yeah, I don't think he was a full go yet. So he's not OK yet.

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Lamar Miller is off the list and he's on the Patriots, in case you have forgotten. What do you make of this? Does he factor in at all or is he just the thorn in everyone's side? So for white. Feels like one of the Patriots veteran moves, it doesn't end up doing anything right at this point. I mean, Michelle beat back. I meant to look up the most rushing touchdowns that a running back has had with Cam Newton, and I totally forgot, but I'd be interested to know that I feel like Jonathan Stewart probably had a decent amount.

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Wasn't there a D'Angelo Williams season that, too?

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Yeah. Yeah, like a double like a double digit touchdown season or something.

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He had 20 TDs one year, but that may have come before him.

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Yeah, I don't know. I'm interested to know. ESPN Giants reporter Jordan Rinnan has written a lot about Snakeman Barkley in the passing game and the article today. I don't know if he wrote the headline or not, but it was something like wiseacre. Barkley could have twenty five hundred total yards. And Jordan Rennard said the passing game is where Barkley could make significant gains. Watching him run routes of practice, the mismatches are obvious. His routes are crisper than ever.

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His explosiveness has returned. Linebackers and safeties have no chance. So we've talked about this with Barkley, where he's been kind of like a sixty catch running back since the second half of his rookie year and down the stretch last year when everyone was healthy. I think it was around fifty five or sixty catches. That was his pace. So do you make anything of this report and do you expect more of a passing game roll than perhaps we anticipated forsaken?

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It doesn't change anything for me because he's the clear number two in all formats for me and I'm not going to put him ahead of McAffrey. I've gotten that question. I think that's silly.

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You've gotten that question. Who would you consider Berkely over McAffrey like in DM's and stuff? And I'm like, no I would not. Christian McCaffrey isn't modern Marshall Faulk like look what he did last year.

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Yeah. No I look Berkely could certainly be better than McAffrey.

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I just don't see how you could take him ahead of him, you know. Right. It seems like sure it could happen but it seems so obvious. Think McAffrey but. All right. Anyway, Jaquet Dobbins, according to John Harbaugh, will have a significant role in the offense.

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What does that mean to you?

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He's I projected him for a significant role. Like I think Gus Edwards had a significant role in the offense last year. So this is encouraging that he was a little bit worried. Like Week one, it would be Ingram and Gus Edwards and Dobbins might just get a handful of touches. It sounds like he's already passed everyone but Ingram Ingram on the depth chart.

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Hopefully, yeah. Last year the Careys went like this for the Ravens. Two hundred and two for Ingram in fifteen games, one seventy six for Lamar Jackson. One hundred and thirty three for Gus Edwards. Fifty eight for Justice Hill.

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Yeah I mean this makes me so excited about Dobbins. Sorry I just want to cut in here because like Edwards got one hundred thirty three carries he just said. So if Dobbins is potentially going to get that that's huge. Right. But we also have to recognize that Mark Ingram is thirty one years old now. I mean, he was very, very good last year. He'll be thirty one in December. Excuse me. Very, very good last year.

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But how, I mean how long's this guy's career going to go and how long is he going to be able I mean there's possibilities. He gets nicked up and banged up this year. And if that happens, we already know that Dobbins has this upside pick, but the standalone roll adds so much to it to, OK, I want to look something up for Dobbins. It's my favorite thing about him. And go ahead. I have looked something up for you.

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Oh, OK.

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If that makes you happy in twenty seventeen, twenty sixteen. Jonathan Stewart had nine rushing touchdowns in the following year. Twenty seventeen. He and Christian McCaffrey and Cameron Artis Payne had nine rushing touchdowns and in twenty eighteen, McCaffrey and Cameron Artis Payne had eight rushing touchdowns. So eight or nine his last three years. And Carolina for the running backs.

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OK, these were the last four games of the season for Jacob and he faced Penn State, Michigan, Wisconsin and Clemson and he rushed for one hundred and fifty seven or more yards in every game. Now granted he had thirty carries or more in three of those games, but Penn State, Michigan, Wisconsin and Clemson, OK, it's not like he was facing some Mac school. Sorry, Mac. One hundred and fifty seven or more yards in every game, four point four six point eight five point to nine point seven yards per carry.

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I love JK Dobbins. I'm really excited for him.

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Um, my head coach, Brian Flores said that to a tongue of our lowest hip will be a factor in choosing a weak one starter. Did this just signify to you even more that Brian Fitzpatrick is going to be the weak one starter? Yeah, yeah. All right, one more note, sorry that you don't have on here, but Michael Sanders was doing some shadow work and I saw somebody speculate that if he was significantly hurt, shadow work, meaning like kind of going through the motions, if he was significantly hurt, that he probably wouldn't be doing that.

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So I thought that was like a little bit of a positive update on him. So we are going to get to the position preview reviews in just a moment. First, we have our tweet of the day comes from Danny Crites, Ben Gracia's perfect league up one quarterback, five wide receivers, three flex must be twenty five or younger and one point for ten yards. He's would you play in that league? I really enjoy different leagues, this kind of highlights something that I thought about when I realized we were doing the position preview updates and it was me and Ben.

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This may not be a fully all of the CBS view of the running back position in the next 15 minutes.

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Maybe I'll try to give them more like every Joe man without the one point or ten yards, which is a little bit extreme. I'll play this for sure. It's got an age rule on your flexner's.

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You can't play running backs that are more than twenty five years old.

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There's nowhere to put them if everyone that's true. They have thirty six players in your starting lineup every week that are under twenty five. That's, that's rough.

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Why not just make it an eight flex league instead of five wide receivers and three flex. You know, I'm in a few of those flex leagues.

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You know how. And what's your typical breakdown? These are a specific scoring system that's designed to make the positions basically equal. And so it's a really and it's best ball, so it's really wild.

[00:14:13]

All right. Well, today's show is sponsored by Boutcher Bucks. So hungry people, listen up. Maybe your plan.

[00:14:21]

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[00:15:19]

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[00:15:52]

OK, quarterbacks, here we go, so let's go with Ben, then I'll give you the first word.

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Has anything changed in the last month, three weeks, four weeks, month, whatever, at quarterback? And what is your overall strategy? If somebody think of this is like somebody hasn't been listening. They got a draft tomorrow. They need help with quarterback. What would you tell them? And what has changed, if anything?

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The biggest thing that's changed is Cam Newton is now my QB 13. I was already getting real excited about him before, but Bill Belichick is raving about him. And he's a guy who, every time he's played 16 games, has been a top five quarterback in four point twenty leagues. I think top six and six point four passing leagues, but very good. As recently as twenty eighteen, he was still running pretty well. Even if you look at his last three years, twenty sixteen to twenty eighteen, he averaged over five hundred rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns.

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He provides a huge rushing floor that's still going to be there. I still think Belichick will use him creatively. So he's a big target for me in the later rounds. Strategically, I'm not going to take Mahomes or Jackson where they have to go. The Murray Prescott, Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson Group late in round six, early in round seven is interesting. I think it's a it's an interesting early draft spot versus late draft discussion because they don't usually make it back to the end of round seven at the six seven turn.

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If I have an elite running back, it makes it a little easier to pull the trigger on that quarterback. If I'm in the early part of the draft board, if I'm in the later part, it's pretty hard in the early six to try to pull the trigger on a quarterback because you're already kind of behind the eight ball. You don't have that elite running back in the first round.

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But if you so if you were to take, let's say, Austin Ekeler Nick Chubb or something like that and give yourself to good running backs to top twelve options, are you more likely in round six? Take that. That would be I guess, early around six. But you're not going to get you're not going to get your quarterback in late round seven. If you had that pick early around six, would you take colonially Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, Dak Prescott, one of those four?

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If I did that, I wouldn't take that quarterback there because I'd be too thin at receiver. But also, you're asking if I would do something that, you know, I would pretty much never do so well. All right.

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But if you're not in the running back. But if you were giving it. Because because I think if I started two running backs and then I went wide receiver, wide receiver, wide receiver, I could have three great wide receivers that point. I'd be I'd be thrilled to take one of those four quarterbacks. They're. I wouldn't do that, I would want a fourth receiver by that point, or I would have probably considered a tight end earlier as well.

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OK, um, when would you feel comfortable with Mahomes and Jackson, you probably not going to get them, but if they fell, when would you take them?

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Honestly, I mean, in some of our drafts, they've fallen even late into the third and I don't pull the trigger because it's just so like structurally it's such a problem when there are that many good receivers available. So where I would actually take them is probably the early fourth.

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Give me your thoughts on when the top six should go. I would take Mahomes in the third and I've considered early third, but it's mostly late third for me. I won't take Jackson until the fourth for me. There's not that big a fall off till I get to Prescott because like I said, I think he's kind of in a tier of his own. I would take Dak Prescott in the fifth round. I don't often just because it seems like there's someone else that's fallen or like Ben said, I don't have a running back yet.

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But if Dak Prescott is there in the sixth, I am smashing the draft button and I'm at the end of the six. I'm pretty happy with Wilson or Watson. I'll take Cayler in round seven. The only thing that's really changed for me in the last month is if I missed those guys, I felt perfectly comfortable saying, OK, I'll just wait until around 11:00. I'll take Carson Wentz because somebody is going to take Brady over and somebody's going to take Ryan over him.

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And now I don't feel like I still think Carson Wentz is the top twelve quarterback. I don't feel quite as confident in that strategy. If I miss one of those seven guys, I'm now much more likely to draft two quarterbacks.

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OK, there's never a point, though.

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I think in a one QB league where any of us are panicking at quarterback. Right. OK, if it has to come down to it, I'll take Jared Goff of Ben Roethlisberger or for Heath. I'll take Gardner, Minshew and someone else. You know, we're fine, right?

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Yeah. Yeah. I mean, Joe Baros, another one that I'm getting really excited about, all just positive stuff about him. Newton and Goff both go really late, who are two of my favorite late round guys. Keith mentioned Matt Ryan. I think he goes later than he should. Sometimes it goes they're going to throw a ton. So, yeah, I never panicked. The discussion about whether to take that second tier quarterback I just had is like the only time I'll deviate from waiting because it's so easy to wake you up and go for upside, because chances are if you if you miss on a quarterback, you can probably find a good replacement on waivers.

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And that obviously changes in a two quarterback league. And of course, you have to monitor what your draft is doing. It's possible that your drafts people are going to be really concerned about losing players, the covid, and they might stockpile quarterbacks. But in a normal year, quarterback is always really deep. Take advantage of the waiver wire and go for upside with draft picks.

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Um, he's a four point for passing touchdown league. That's PPR.

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I'm not sure you can't really, like, devalue quarterbacks more, I suppose.

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Right, because they don't make sure I can. Look how I mean, I just they do fall down my board just a little bit more.

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I wouldn't take Patrick Mahomes in the third.

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Oh, no, no. I meant I meant you couldn't think of a format that devalues Corbi. OK, yes. Well, except except for two QB and Super Flex Leagues. Right.

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One QB League, PPR, four point for passing touchdown.

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It's the worst. Yeah. What do you do quarterbacks. I, I'm less likely to draft one early. It's probably the only format where I'm drafting Josh Allen now I'm getting less interested in him and six points for passing touchdown leagues. And then when you get especially it changes things. When you get to that second half of the quarterback starters, I guess you would say I'm much less likely to draft the Brady Brees group that in that range I'm much more likely to draft someone like Daniel Jones or to start the year streaming with Tyrod Taylor.

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That makes a pretty big difference in that portion of the rankings because those guys are real.

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And that's like it makes sense, because part of the reason we're waiting at quarterback is because we're saying the difference between seven and seventeen is almost nothing. And so if you make a massive change to the scoring system, it makes a massive change to the rankings. And guys go from seventeen to seven or seven to seventeen.

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OK, I'm going to ask you some questions about quarterbacks that I don't think we talk enough about. So here we go. Who are you taking? Baker, Mayfield or Jibaro?

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Furrow, who goes a little bit later, I'm not taking Mayfield anywhere. No, it's Burrow and I've not drafted either of them, I don't think. But Burrow was the one I would do if I had too little interested to see what Mayfield can do in weeks.

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Two through four week one is at Baltimore. Week to Cincinnati, week three. Washington week for Dallas. Don't know. They lost their leading sacker from last year. They lost their top cornerback well, one of their top cornerbacks.

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So I say that's the reason I don't take Baker. Mayfield is, like you say, Cincinnati and Washington. And let's just assume it's because those defenses are terrible and they're going to score a bunch of points. What's the overunder for the number of pass attempts for Baker Mayfield? Because Washington and Cincinnati are probably not going to score a lot of points against them. And I guess the Bengals could be a shootout. But the problem for Baker Mayfield as he's playing a good defense, so we don't want to start him against them or they're playing a bad team.

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So he's going to throw twenty five passes.

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OK, how surprised would you be if Derek Carr drew Lock or Philip Rivers had a huge season? Very surprised in the in the sense of car and rivers, like I can see, but I don't I there's a lot of risk there. So he's not somebody that's in my rankings. But, yeah, car doesn't really push the ball down field enough. Rivers doesn't have any mobility.

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Those guys, it's tough for them to have monster years define huge top 10 quarterback.

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Like I could see Derek Carr or Philip Rivers or Drew like finishing 10th this year.

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I saw I saw an amazing Philip Rivers that sorry, I just got to share this. Since he started his career, I believe it was. Yeah, he's had more kids than he's had overall QB one weeks because he doesn't rush at all. He's only had like six overall QB one weeks. He's had eight kids since he came in.

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But that he'll play if he plays sixteen games, he may finish there. It's just you won't be happy about having the top 10 per game.

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I guess what I meant right then, how surprised would you be of Sam Donald Kirk Cousins or Dwayne Haskins had a huge season.

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Pretty, pretty sweet rice Haskins is the one that. He's apparently doing well and can't he looks like he's locked up the number one, the number one job, even though Al Smith and others are there, but we expect them to throw a lot more with Ron Rivera, like probably running a little bit more tempo with this offense. It wouldn't surprise me if they threw a lot more. He's the one guy that I think could have a decent second season for four super flexin two QB leagues.

[00:25:06]

All right. Our draft a thon is tomorrow, Wednesday night. It starts at 6:00 p.m. and it's also your chance, your last chance to bid on a spot in the For the People podcast league. Or you can be a guest on our podcast or have a zoom call with an expert or get a custom designed fantasy logo all available if you go to eBay, Stargate, CBS Fantasy Football. Twenty twenty. Don't worry, I'm going to put a link in the episode description, but please join us tomorrow, 6:00 p.m. Eastern to 8:00 p.m. Eastern on CBS Sports HQ.

[00:25:40]

If you have the CBS Sports app, you can watch right on there. And then 8:00 p.m. to midnight on Twitch Twitch Dotcom for today.

[00:25:49]

Our brand new podcast, Fantasy Football Today in five is out, gets caught up on the news of the day. And just five minutes first thing in the morning, download and subscribe on Spotify, Apple podcast, stitcher, smart speakers. Wherever you listen to podcasts.

[00:26:02]

Heath, I think I should give you running back at least the first words. How have things changed, if at all, in the last few weeks? And what should people know about drafting running backs?

[00:26:12]

Not everything has changed in the last few weeks, but it kind of feels like everything has changed in the last month, at least for me and how I'm viewing the running back position, because I was tweeting about this earlier today. My busts in my running back Prevue a month ago were all rookie running backs.

[00:26:29]

All of them, according to ADP, are being drafted around a half to three rounds later than they were a month ago. And so I I'm not I'm now viewing those guys as man. Those are really viable, mid-range, running, mid round running backs with big upside. I'm far more excited to draft them now. I'm not really down on any of the rookie running backs at ADP other than the fact that I wouldn't take Clyde Edwards, the player in the first round.

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The reason I said you're not going to get a full representation of how CBS or the industry views running backs right now. It was like I was kind of queasy about the whole you don't have to start with the running backs thing a month ago. Now, the more and more that I look at the running backs that are available after round five, after round six, I don't even think it's the right plan to start with the running backs at the beginning of your draft, because unless you're getting one of the top five, I'm not sure you're getting an elite running back.

[00:27:26]

All the guys going at the end of round one I'd rather have in the middle of round two. And so I feel more confident in taking receivers and tight ends early than I did a month ago. And I feel like there's plenty of options available in the middle and into the draft like the dead zone.

[00:27:46]

I believe in, except this year, it includes a huge number of talented young running backs.

[00:27:56]

You mentioned that I've been expanding the dead zone, but you just describe that you've expanded the dead zone into the second round.

[00:28:02]

So what I'm basically saying, like, I don't know that I really like last year would have taken on board with it. I understand like the history of it, there's probably three rounds, four or five, six and seven. There are running backs that I can get excited about in every one of those rounds. Yeah, it's just I think it's the younger ones.

[00:28:22]

It's not the older guys. That's my guess.

[00:28:25]

Well, there's a ton of younger ones as though there are. Yeah. Yeah. Like more than normal I think that.

[00:28:32]

I I can't see a draft or I'm not taking at least one running back with my first two picks, like somebody sent me their team and I believe they had taken carmakers in round five and then Kareem Hunt in round six and then JK Dobbins and round seven.

[00:28:53]

And they'd started with like Michael Thomas, J. Moore, Allen Robinson, Terry McClure.

[00:28:59]

And I just yeah, but the thing is, you don't have to take D.J. Moore in round two, you know?

[00:29:05]

Well, you do if you want to have Allan Robinson and Jeremy Corbyn. But why can't you do Michael Thomas, Nick Chubb, Jim Moore, Terry MacLaurin, Dick Metcalf or DJ Chark? You know, like this is what I was talking about with Jamie on Friday. Last Friday was he and I did a show we did seven tips for your draft.

[00:29:26]

And I said that the rounds, three through five wide receivers are the strength of fantasy drafts this year.

[00:29:33]

And they should dictate somewhat what you do in rounds one and two, which is why I think you get at least one running back, because rounds three through five is the goal zone for wide receivers.

[00:29:43]

So feel great if you go back and listen to the wide receiver preview part. I'm pretty sure that's exactly what I said. They've been through five receivers should dictate your draft strategy. So that's a very astute point that you came to a month later. I honestly do.

[00:29:58]

I think we've I think we've all been saying that since we were doing mock drafts like months and months ago. It's just always felt that way. And I can't I cannot make I mean, I personally cannot make. JK Dobbins carmakers Kareem Hunt centerpiece of my fantasy because I have to have at least one guy that I know I can start week one and is going to get a ton of work.

[00:30:23]

That's that's the way I see it. And quite honestly, that's the way most fantasy managers are seeing it. I'm I want to clarify.

[00:30:30]

I was not saying the state of the running back position is that you should not take any running backs in the first four rounds because they all suck.

[00:30:36]

If they're like you should take those top five running backs. If you're if you think honestly, Clyde Edwards earlier has the same ceiling and floor as those other top five, I think that's foolish. But I could understand putting him right up there in the same group with them. But why does he why can't he be the eighth pick?

[00:30:54]

He doesn't have to have the same ceiling and floor. He doesn't have the same floor as those guys.

[00:30:57]

But why why can't he be like the eighth pick instead of Julio Jones? Why can't Myles Sanders be that guy? Well, all of those guys now have questions, but everybody has glaring like, I don't I don't agree. I don't think Michael Thomas has questions. I don't think DeVonté Adams has questions. I don't know what the questions are about whether Julio Jones is going to produce a top five six twenty twenty one percent target share with Calvin Ridley.

[00:31:24]

Last year never scores 10 touchdowns. But what was he doing in those games? He was good. He wasn't he was like, yeah, but I mean, OK, don't take a jumps.

[00:31:36]

There's still several other times.

[00:31:38]

But why wouldn't I take Myles Sanders or Josh Jacobs or Clyde ever? They're they're just like, I love the Giants.

[00:31:46]

But but I don't know why I wouldn't take those running backs when when three. They're not going to score as many points.

[00:31:52]

Three hundred and twenty touch running backs who could score 12 touchdowns are such valuable currency and fantasy to the point that you made to his point when he listed out the receivers and you pointed you gave a different idea and you said Chubb in the second is not a guy that I want because of the receiving negativity, negativity, but a first or second round running back. You still describe taking four receivers in the first five rounds. And I think you can still your point is valid.

[00:32:20]

The depth that receiver is strong enough that you can still take a running back early and do that. I think another point that he might make and that I would make is that when you don't take a running back early, you can also take a Kelsey or a Kindle in the second round, or you can take an Andrews' in the fourth round, which I like to do, and still take four receivers in the first five rounds. So you do have to pick and choose a little bit.

[00:32:38]

But I agree with you that, yes, you can take one early running back and still get plenty of receiver depth this year. Yeah, but also another thing I want to chime in here, because we're talking about the running backs right now. He's named a bunch of good guys in round six, round seven range. It's deeper still by a lot. There's the Philip Lindsays. There's the carry on Johnson. Zach Moss is really interesting for a week one roll.

[00:33:01]

Antonio Gibson keeps getting a ton of buzz. These are seven, eight, nine. Tarik Cohen, Boston. Scott, I love there are these are seven, eight, nine, ten round guys. Sometimes Joshua Kelly is going in like the 10th or the eleventh guy might have a legitimate weak one roll. Part of that's because of the influx of rookies this year. Part of that's just because there's some uncertainty and a lot of these back fields. But we are really deep at running back this year.

[00:33:24]

In projectable week, one rolls in a way that we've almost never been in the game.

[00:33:27]

Hines calls it like the thirteenth round. The dude's going to catch passes every week from film.

[00:33:32]

James White now has around ten ADP, and I don't think that's going to change that at all.

[00:33:37]

Yeah, no, it's that's good value. But look, I mean, there are a lot of wide receivers I like. I like late too. And I think if you take running backs early, let's say you start with two running backs. OK, let's say you start with Myles Sanders and Kenyon Drake or something like that. You can still get very good wide receivers. You're not you're obviously not going to get an elite top two tight end. You can still get great wide receivers and you can still get all that running back depth later.

[00:34:00]

It's not like you take those two and then all of a sudden you stop drafting running backs. So a big thing is that that strategy can work and that strategy looks better on paper as well. But you have to also recognize that running back is the most fragile position, the most opportunity based position. We just saw a massive shift in the Jacksonville running back values because one Fournette got cut, OK, that it's not going to happen to every running back.

[00:34:23]

It's going to happen. Any running back he was was likely to get well. Might happen with it might happen with Alvin Kamara.

[00:34:30]

Damien Williams opted out and Kleinwort Solera went from a falling late third round pick to the top six. Overall, we've seen like DeAndre Swift got banged up, his value dropped a ton. It's like running back values shift more because of injuries and changes in projected opportunity than any other position. He led this by saying almost everything has changed in the last month and that's what happens every season, the season, everything changes in the season.

[00:34:56]

You don't have to choose sides. You can draft you can draft running backs early and draft running backs late. Dave, like Dave would say, everything that you're saying is right. That's why I want more running backs. And I mean, I kind of agree with that like like load up on running backs. But I at least want to have some steadiness, some reliability at the top of the draft.

[00:35:16]

But but, you know, I'm making this point because I'm making this point because I'm I'm almost like arguing for ADP for what people are actually doing, because I. I feel like I need to put that viewpoint out there. Sure.

[00:35:30]

So so you said you wanted steadiness and reliable reliability at the top of the draft. The way you get that is but not by drafting running backs, right? Well, no, not you got and reliable, like even last year, the year that led us into this draft. Fifteen running backs in the first two rounds business, the first and second round running backs for like a fifty fifty.

[00:35:49]

But let me look that up because I remember OK, you know, but that might have been because of injury, not because of performance.

[00:35:56]

Because of the poison ricin. Yeah, that's that's fine. By the way, Julio Jones in those twelve games for him is 13 weeks. Twelve games. Ninety two. He was on pace for ninety two catches, one thousand three hundred fifty five yards and five touchdowns.

[00:36:10]

So that wasn't great that I think we to go back because people are obviously listening to this and pulling their hair out of Ben and I.

[00:36:18]

And I understand that what when I say everything. Changed over the last month, like did Alvin Kamara practice today? I'm not sure. Still still not showing up since last week and we've got a report that is it's like a hold out. Joe Mixon has migraines and there's reports that might have something to do with the contract. Michael Sanders has a hamstring injury and hasn't practiced for a week and a half. Kenyan Drake is out of his walking boot now, but not fully participating in practice.

[00:36:50]

Like it's not that I just decided I don't want a draft running backs in the first round anymore. It's that besides, for me, Austin Ekeler all the other running backs in PPR that I was going to draft in the first round.

[00:37:03]

Those question marks surfaced before we got to the time of draft season.

[00:37:10]

Yeah, yeah. Before I actually got to the season. But that's what happens at the position in season as well. And that's the point I'm always trying to drive home. And to your point about the the stability in the early rounds being more receiver based, Adam, you make a good point about Julio, but he was still productive. He was underwhelming. But his floor is a lot higher than David Johnson, who I took in first rounds last year.

[00:37:30]

I liked him a lot for anyone who was listening to us last year.

[00:37:32]

He got benched. They traded for someone to replace him and he had no value. Julio Jones still was a starter, just wasn't as good.

[00:37:39]

If I felt if I felt like I couldn't get not good, but great wide receivers in rounds three through five, I would totally agree with you. But the way ADP works now is it's so running back you where we are expecting about fourteen running backs in the first twenty four picks, we're expecting about fourteen running backs to quarterbacks, two tight ends. That leaves six wide receivers going in the first two rounds. So roughly that means rounds three and four are loaded with great wide receivers and guys that could realistically finish top five.

[00:38:14]

And that I think is the strongest case for taking running backs in the first two rounds. You don't have to, but that's just that's the case for it.

[00:38:21]

I know it's a good one to make that clear for that. No, it's a good case. I want to make one last counterpoint, though. I think what happens with people who go that route and then they have a wide receiver injury and and or something goes wrong with the wide receiver because we can't be certain that wide receivers are going to be one hundred percent hit rate. Right. Then they say this didn't work. But part of that's my my whole point is this is why I say draft an extra bench receiver in the high leverage rounds, get strong at receiver.

[00:38:48]

They're still more stable. But you want to make sure that even if you do miss on one receiver, you have a little bit of resiliency there. You've kind of press that advantage at the wide receiver position when you take them early. What you're talking about is basically filling only your starting spots, maybe not even your flex with some good receivers. But then you you lose one of those guys. All of a sudden you're like, man, this didn't even get me strong receivers.

[00:39:09]

And so I'm saying that you can kind of almost take that a little bit further and be deeper at receiver and then still get some of that running back value in round eight, round ten that we were just talking about.

[00:39:19]

You know, I want to look up one of my teams that I've drafted, because to show you the way I'm building a team, because I just don't think it's that different than what you're doing. And I want to get on it. Right.

[00:39:30]

Right. I think the difference is with the approach I'm talking about, my number one wide receiver might be the number one wide receiver in fantasy this year or the top two or three guy. Your number one wide receiver is awesome, but he's probably more of a low end number one. My number two is a top eight or nine wide receiver. Your number two is an excellent number two. That's awesome. And if you play sixteen games will probably be a number one.

[00:39:57]

And number three is still a top twelve wide receiver.

[00:40:00]

But you need to understand, though, that I am not married to taking two running backs in my first two picks. I'm simply I'm kind of married to taking at least one. So let me tell you, this is an IDP's league. Things are a little bit different because defensive players are going. But I think when you just look at the crux of my lineup, like I didn't I took a running back in round one in five. So I went Alvin Kamara, Travis Kelsey, Juju Smith, Schuster, Robert Woods, Ronald Jones.

[00:40:28]

My number three wide receiver is Sterling Shepard. And my flex right now is Cam Acres. But that's probably going to be like. Debo Samuel was I don't know, I'll figure it out, I know. I mean, it could be carmakers if they're Henderson or whatever, but a Matt Ryan is my quarterback. But Matt Ryan, Alvin Kamara, Ronald Jones carmakers. And then my three receivers are Juju, Robert Woods and Sterling Shepherd. My tight end is Travis Kelsey.

[00:40:54]

So I like I said, I'm not married to running back. Running back. I went Kelsey in round two.

[00:40:58]

But the fact that I didn't can win. Yeah, I can certainly win. And I think we would all agree on this type of structure. You know, Kamara was an easy pick. I had five. Kelsey was an easy pick for me in the middle of round two.

[00:41:09]

I would say we can all agree on that. But I would also say that Shepard, as your wide receiver three is giving up a lot of points to the types of teams that the Heath and I are building. And you do have a little bit more risk with both Kamara and Jones in the top five picks. I mean, even though you didn't go running back, running back, there's a lot of scenarios where Jones misses a block and gets benched right away.

[00:41:29]

There's scenarios where Kamara just doesn't start to show up to practice. Right. And those guys lose a lot of value. And now you're relying on Shepherd to really be a breakout receiver. And those are a little harder to come by then. Break out running backs like I mean, he's still good.

[00:41:42]

Well, that's the price of having Kelsey. Otherwise, Shepherd would be a better player. But fair enough. OK, running back and wide receiver, always so closely linked. So I think we covered a lot of wide receiver strategy. But let me ask you these questions real quick about these running backs by mid season, who is the best running back for Buffalo? Oh, I think they're pretty, even Josh, Zack Moss. You got to like he's one of my favorite round seven round Apex.

[00:42:12]

Who's the best running back by mid season for the Rams? Carmakers, who's the Best Buy midseason for the Ravens? Jake Dobbins, I would say, like for fantasy or just fantasy, right? I think Mark Ingram still getting the most touches and scoring the most points in midseason if he's healthy for the Colts.

[00:42:33]

Um, of the Davis for the Lions.

[00:42:41]

Carry on Swift for me for the Dolphins. Howard Brittas, there we go. Now, one agreement that we with the Rams, the Rams carmakers further drives home the point that there are a lot of options.

[00:42:58]

Yes, but all those options could be at a committee to just keep that in mind. Wide receiver, has anything changed in the last month? And what's overall strategy, Ben?

[00:43:08]

Not not a lot. I don't shift receiver rankings a lot because of little things here and there, because targets are earned more than running back opportunity, which is more kind of given out for running backs. The most important stats snaps, frankly, even more than more predictive than touches receivers. Good players draw targets. And so I don't shift my rankings a lot. You don't have to. That's a big reason why they're stable. They don't shift a lot in season.

[00:43:35]

I mean, obviously, guys are playing well or not playing well, but I'm not changing a ton based on the month leading up to the season. And that's kind of the way that the season goes as well. My overall strategy is to hammer them. If you're in a three receiver with a flex league, that's PPR. I want a starting receiver in my flex spot by probably round six. If not, then definitely round seven. And I probably want to bench receiver in my top thirty six receivers or top 40 depending on a couple of guys that are in that range.

[00:44:05]

Shepherd for me is outside of that. I'm trying to make sure I get the Tyler Boyd's and the Michael Gallops of the world as my flex or even my first bench player, usually my first bench players, Christian Kirk, who I really like and goes a little bit later than those guys. But I have him as one of those top thirty six receivers. But I want a lot of depth, a lot of firepower at receiver in those top ranges.

[00:44:25]

There are so many young breakout receivers, so really stock up on those guys.

[00:44:29]

You thing that has changed for me is the draft outlook for the rookie wide receivers. I'm more excited about Henry Rug's more excited about it. I'm more excited about Brian Edwards and I am considerably less excited about Jalen Reagor, Justin Jefferson and I kind of been on a roller coaster of his own. I'm not even sure where I'm at with him right now.

[00:44:55]

But like those, there's been a lot of shuffling in the double digit rounds as far as those bench receivers that you're drafting.

[00:45:03]

And Dalton, every league, I should add of that to my two. I agree with you here.

[00:45:07]

Now, if you have a late pick in round one and a twelve team league, and I could guarantee you guarantee you that with your third and fourth round picks, two of these three players will be on the board. Juju Smith, Schuster, Jay Moore, Calvin Ridley. OK, does that make you more likely to take at least one, if not two running backs with your first two picks?

[00:45:29]

Two questions, too. I think this is something we didn't address with the running backs, and we certainly should have because I've seen been in non PPR drafts and he does behave differently. We all do. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Is it not appropriate? Because all that discussion we just had about running backs was based on PPR.

[00:45:47]

Yeah, you're right. We should have. We should.

[00:45:52]

But if it's PPR and I can start for wide receivers, then it doesn't change anything for me. Yeah, that's the I think the second question, how many receivers are starting because I was thinking I knew his questions. Yeah, that's a big difference. I mean, I'm going to say two wide receivers, two wide receivers in a flex.

[00:46:11]

Like, I want to really hammer this point home. If you're in a nine PPR league or if you're in a league where you can only start two wide receivers and there's no flex, then just just like delete from your mind the things that I said about running back. Yeah, just delete.

[00:46:26]

Delete it. I agree.

[00:46:29]

Right.

[00:46:29]

Right now, it's it makes a huge difference in people's leagues are getting less and less common. But I know there's still like a quarter of leagues or something like that.

[00:46:38]

So but what if it's two wide receivers in a flex? Well, what I was saying so what I was saying was trying to hammer home the get to the first bench spot with good receivers in two wide receivers with the flex.

[00:46:49]

That's only four receivers right in the top six or seven rounds, which leaves you room to probably the top seven rounds, leaves your room to get two running backs in the first two, if you want, or somewhere in those seven rounds, plus even a potentially in a league tight end.

[00:47:03]

And then I do that a lot more in those leagues where you can only start three receivers.

[00:47:08]

OK, so much. Sure. If we answer.

[00:47:11]

All right, fine. So full, full to tips for PPR three receivers and Aflex, the most wide receiver favorable strategy. I guarantee you that in rounds three and four, you can take two of D.J. more Juju Smith, Schuster, Calvin Ridley. What do you do with your first two picks? Who I I if if if I can get Michael Thomas or Davonte Adams there, I'm taking them home. If I can get Tyreek Hill, Julio Jones or Travis Kelce there, I'm taking them.

[00:47:40]

I'm not going running back or running back whatsoever.

[00:47:43]

So you wouldn't you wouldn't at least take one running back and Julio Jones and then those two wide receivers, I'm like these are all starters I'm drafting.

[00:47:51]

Mm hmm. Well it doesn't really matter to me. Oh you're not locking up your flex if you take Kelsey, I guess.

[00:47:58]

Well, or if I'm locking up my flex with Calvin Ridley, I am OK with locking up my flex with the top ten wide receiver. But you just said three receivers. Oh, because if he went wide receiver, wide receiver, wide receiver, wide receiver to start. Yeah, yeah. If I could start with Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, D.J. Moore, Calvin Ridley.

[00:48:17]

And you would do that over Myles Sanders and I'm probably going Myles Sanders, Tyreek Hill and then I'm taking more and AJ Brown and then I'm taking another receiver or I'm considering Kelsey. If like Hill and Thomas and Adams all went, I'm considering Kelsey early in the second and then hammering receiver from three through seven.

[00:48:37]

OK, all right. But I would be OK taking one running back. I wouldn't go to more wide receiver questions for you.

[00:48:44]

Give me just just names, just names, give me like three late round wide receivers are drafting a lot. Schnall Kirk. I have Paris Campbell on every team. He's a good man, Reiger was was on that list for me, but he's hurting. Oh, Michael Hardman. Yeah, Kirk Hardman and Schnatter would be the three clear leads for me. I get them on a lot of teams.

[00:49:08]

Does Preston Williams Kountouris? No, no, no. He counts. OK, yeah. Schnaubelt for sure. Preston Williams and Sterling Shepard. OK, um, some of us love Will Fuller. Does anyone love anyone love Brandin Cooks. I don't think anybody loves Brandin Cooks, but I do think it's a mistake. Like, I, I don't want to be this guy. But there should be people out there doing for Brandin Cooks what other people are doing for Wil Fuller.

[00:49:39]

I don't disagree with that at all. And I love Fuller. And the reason I don't draft cooks is because I draft Fuller on so many teams. Right.

[00:49:46]

But I think I Cook says if if he's just himself again and he doesn't get a concussion this year and we'll follow, it doesn't stay healthy. Like, I'm not even sure that last one has to happen, but I'll just say it as a qualifier then. Cooks is probably a top twelve wide receiver. OK, tight end, has anything changed in the last month? What is their overall strategy, Heath?

[00:50:10]

There's been again, nothing's really changed at the top for me. You've still got the elite Kelsey Kettle. For me, it's then Andrew's on an island and then I just kind of hold my nose while someone else skirts the or Ingram Henry, her group is right there. Like where it's changed for me is with some of the later round guys. I'm not that interested in Gronk anymore. The more they talk up OJ Howard, the more they talk about snap counts for Gronk and the more you look at target share if they're actually going to throw it to the running back some and Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are there.

[00:50:44]

I would rather draft John who I'd rather draft. Blake jawin several rounds later. Chris Herndon had a whole thing and it might be over now because he's got a chest injury. But that like that was a thing that kind of changed. There's those guys at the back end or rotating. But for me, I would still much rather just draft Kelce or Kittel when.

[00:51:06]

I will take Kelsi at the one to turn I will take Kittel in the middle of the second. OK, what about Anderson Earth's. I will take András of the three four turn, Andrews is a great three four Turner fourth round pick and I'm actually not holding my nose on Earth. There's been so many receiver injuries for the Eagles. Again, Ertz is clearly going to lead that team in targets. And he's now a pretty easy value for me when he falls into the fifth like in PPR.

[00:51:35]

It's nice, right?

[00:51:37]

I think CBSA is third round for Ertz and no late fourth for Andrews.

[00:51:41]

So but yeah, if he's there in the fifth, I'm OK with that. OK, and I'm going to give you some questions about players we rarely talk about, and you just sort of got into this, but why do we really talk about Rob Gronkowski and OJ Howard actually be a sleeper?

[00:51:59]

We don't talk about a lot because we don't know anything like we don't know how healthy, as we don't know what his role is going to be, the information we've gotten now has been scary on role. And one thing just on the overall tight end thing I want to chime in with, I said running backs, very opportunity based receiver. We don't change rankings a lot. Titan's a hybrid, like when we hear things about they're going to use this guy in the offense that matters.

[00:52:17]

It's not just snaps because they might keep him in the block if this guy is going to be a part of their passing game. That matters. That happened with Herndon. I think we're getting some positive ideas from about Blake Darwin as well. I'm really excited about T.J. Hokanson and what his role might be in this offense. So it's kind of a hybrid. This isn't just a targets only like you need to know that the guy is going to be involved.

[00:52:38]

Right. So sorry. Sorry to get so off topic, but to your point about Gronk, we're not getting a lot of indications that he's going to be an every down and involved. It's almost like he's gonna play Dallas. Got it. Roll. Can OJ Howard actually be a sleeper? Yeah, yeah, maybe. How likely is a top 12 season from Eric Ebron? More likely than his ADP suggests, I would say, but I'm not really getting him.

[00:53:03]

Yeah, 10 percent chance, 12 percent like I want to go back to the OJ Howard Gronk thing for a minute, because I did want to highlight something I tweeted about earlier, like when Tom Brady had Gronk and Aaron Hernandez for those two years. He also had Danny Woodhead. Danny Woodhead in one of those years had like 30 targets and the other year had 50 targets they just didn't like. That was a philosophical thing with the New England doing something that other teams didn't do.

[00:53:33]

But we do have precedents for Brady having to elite tight ends, targeting them 200 times and not throwing to his running backs, even though he had good pass catching running backs on the team. OK. Of course, that cool story, I know that is cool. I like that, um, John Smith and Thomas Chanu, they're both pretty low for me. I guess I have John a little bit ahead, but there's probably guys behind both of them that I draft ahead.

[00:54:03]

Blake Darwin or Noah Fant. You're wrong, T.J. Hawkinson or Jack Doyle. This is a 13 spot rank difference on my side, unless I have them back to back. I love it.

[00:54:20]

I know it's I know it's not considered forbad.

[00:54:24]

Yes. Yeah. Yeah. Obviously, he's young, right? I would I would probably say I probably take Hokanson. I have Doyel a lot more teams than I do Hawkinson. All right.

[00:54:37]

We're going to finish the show with what everybody's been waiting for, everybody being me and like four other people, team name Tuesday.

[00:54:44]

All right, Jake from State Farm, that apparently is Jake Fromm's Twitter handle.

[00:54:49]

So that's silly. I mean, it's good. It's funny somebody sent that to us. Yeah. And you that was one of the ones that qualify it, even though it's someone else's Twitter account.

[00:55:00]

Look, the reason why I put this in is because I thought I said I think on a Twitter show like, oh, Jake from State Farm, what a great Jake Fromm's. They've got a great team name.

[00:55:09]

And then Shraga was like, that's his Twitter handle. So I was giving a little love to someone who made the same mistake I did. And then Cole McDonald had a farm call McDonald's. How about Gimme Gimme More?

[00:55:24]

I used to play the Britney Spears give me give me more like last year when we would talk about him. I'm going to have a team give me more that. Please don't let such a bitch.

[00:55:35]

You are the worst. These are all terrible, though. Yours are bad, too. These are mine. These are from the listeners single Terry and ready to mingle.

[00:55:44]

Terry had better watch. Yeah, that was slightly better than the other one's head in the Sanders.

[00:55:54]

It that's not clear, though. This one comes I don't know. This is from and he says Dave said my team name two years ago called Cheesy Gordita Crunch was the worst he's ever heard. Well, now I've drafted Clyde Edwards player and Patrick Holmes, and now we get to see if Adam can rap. I was a for a cab and when it came near the license plate, said fresh and had dice in the mirror. If anything, I could say that this cab was rare, but I thought now I forget it.

[00:56:18]

My home state, there were homes to Hilaire. Yeah, that's that's not about Green Acres.

[00:56:26]

That's that's not bad since he's so young.

[00:56:29]

And you know, I was going to say you draft AJ Green and carmakers, OK? I'm still there. It's good, I like it, Judy in the Higbee's Judy and the Higbee's Beauty and the Beast. No, no, you failed Taylor Swift.

[00:56:47]

Yeah, of course.

[00:56:48]

Take Mahomes tonight. What do you think? Take the homes that I see, plus Kiki for Cutie Puffs. That's not bad. No, he doesn't.

[00:56:59]

You don't know he's not relevant anymore. You got to come. That's that was a maybe a good one last year.

[00:57:05]

Hmm. That's all I got from the listeners. I'm going to try to somebody come up with a good Levitsky Schnall name Blim biscuits at all.

[00:57:13]

Remember, somebody come up with a good Lévesque astronaut name.

[00:57:20]

Robert, would you like to draft me? She's not that into you.

[00:57:26]

That's a bad, horrible job.

[00:57:29]

Right off the top about Josh Allen wrench. Uh, OK, let's say that I love the way you ask them with a question mark like Hasta la vista, baby.

[00:57:45]

Oh, excellent, excellent, that's all.

[00:57:48]

I love this baby. I love it. We're he comes with Steve Name Tuesday. And thanks for listening, everybody. Don't forget the draft a thon, 6:00 p.m. until midnight Eastern on HQ for two hours on Twitch for hours. Also, we have Twitch tonight. We have Twitch tonight and Wednesday and Thursday, a big weekend twitch twitch dotcom slash at that today, Ben. And he started by.