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It won't take you long to figure out that I just think differently than other people. Hey there, Stephen Dubner, and that's my Freakonomics friend and co-author Steve Levitt.
I've worked for two decades studying strange phenomena, human behavior and weird circumstances.
But Levitt is now ready to start his own podcast. It's called People I Mostly Admire. Listen, unstitched Apple podcast, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.
Hey, this is Drew, we recorded this week's show on Wednesday morning before the Milwaukee Bucks staged their boycott, the playoff game against the Orlando Magic. That afternoon, the Rockets and the Thunder quickly followed suit. These protests are growing. They come all in the wake of Jacob Blake being shot seven times in the back by police officers in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Blake was shot in front of members of his own family and then protests sprang up after that. And Kenosha police actively aided militiamen in shooting those protesters after the fact.
This is deeply, deeply fucked. And you do not need an emergency podcast siren from us on this.
You don't need us giving you takes on it. You need from us our resources.
So if you want to do anything to help the Blake family, his family has set up a go fund me, let's go fund me dot com slash f justice for Jacob Blake. Their families go fund me. Page is going to help for Jacob's medical bills and also expenses for his own family and the seven kids that he has to that have to be taken care of. Now that Jacob, as of this recording is paralyzed from the waist down are more.
The March on Washington is this week. It's on Friday. Protesters gather at the Lincoln Memorial at seven a.m. on Friday with the official program for the march starting at 11:00 a.m. The market self starts at one p.m. Go from the Lincoln Memorial across the Mall ends at three p.m.. More details go to the National Action Network, which is National Action Network dot net for all the details. It will be live streamed. So if you're not in D.C. proper, of course you can watch it or you can join many of the satellite protests that are going to be planned around that.
I don't have that information on you, on me right now. I, I will happily tweet out as it comes. If you want to donate to the Milwaukee Freedom Fund, you can find their Facebook Facebook page simply by Googling them. They help with bail for protesters and supplies the protesters need. If you want to protest to Kenosha Mayor John and to Ray Meehan, he is it mayor at Kenosha, dawg. Kenosha District Attorney Michael D. Gravely is Michael Gravely G a r vlsi at Dieser Y dot gov.
If you will contact the police department there. Twitter handle is at Kenosha Police quién OSHA police or email Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Milkiness at DGM 398 at Kenosha Police dot com.
Also, I hate I hate it when people were like while you're just gonna vote them out, you know, because this is this is a situation right now that requires action and immediate action and urgency and waiting for a vote that comes until November when the streets are burning is not enough. But that said, please vote. Go to USA. Gov confirm Dasch voter registration to make sure you are registered to vote. If you haven't registered to vote, please do that and vote.
This is too important and it's. That's just it's too important, so please do all that and and then. And all our hearts and, you know, I'm not even I'm not even coherent right now, but. Our best wishes are for Jacob Blake's family and for for peace and for happiness for everybody. Now to the shock. And now we can talk about stupid, and I want to introduce this week's guest, and it's an oldie but goodie.
It's Andy Barens from Youcef. A man who's personally given me a lot of advice, some of which I've taken, how are you doing? I do a high volume of advice.
Let's make no mention about whether it was good advice, bad advice. Let's not worry about percentages. It was just it was a lot of advice over a long period of time.
And I appreciate as just as a fan of content of all types of content.
I'm Andy. You are the first. Oh, sorry. Go ahead. No, no, no.
If I'm anything, I'm a high volume content producer of questionable quality.
Andy, you are the first guest in distraction history. How does it feel? It's a huge honor and spectacular honor. I was going to say it's a really huge honor.
It is the kind of the crowning point in a in a career in fantasy, actually. Yeah. I can't imagine it getting any bigger than this.
How have you been doing during the during the apocalypse? Are you holding up?
Well, I'm hanging in. That's like the most loaded question you can ask somebody right now is, hey, how are you doing? Yes, it is.
It is. I'm just like opted out of giving honest answers on it. I'm like, oh, you know. Yeah. Like, do you really want to hear like about. Yeah. It's an invitation to put your foot in your in your mouth or, you know, eight days without a shadow available to come on podcast.
So like I can't be that bad. That's right. That's right.
So to that end, Andy and I used to do an annual fantasy preview back back at the old site.
And it only seemed right, particularly given the timing that we bring Andy back on for Hater's guide to the twenty 20 NFL fantasy season Hajat Fantasy Football.
Oh, I wasn't sure he was going to sing it, but he sang it. So Andy's with us to help. And also, Andy, I want your I want your opinion on a couple of things.
One is there was a big Washington Post article this week about how excitement for fantasy football. This particular year has faded, and, of course, it's because of the disruption of the sports calendar, the NBA playoffs going on in fucking August and, you know, and people's lives have been ruined. So this there's a lot of I want I'm going to say distraction, but I swear there's no pun intended.
There's been a lot of distractions. People from has your attitude toward fantasy or anticipation for diminished at all? I know it's your your job, but how do you feel about the upcoming fantasy season?
Yeah, it's just really skewed by the fact that it's my job. But I'm also obviously somebody who plays in a ton of fantasy leagues. I have hometown leagues that are having a difficult time coming together. There's obviously there's a number of things happening in the country in the culture that no one should be turning away from. Right. So that's part of it. I'm in I'm in hometown leagues with like high school friends where, like, people have lost jobs and they don't know that they want to play for money in twenty twenty.
That's a thing, too. And then as you say, that sports calendar is a wreck right now, or at least it's not what it normally is in August. I mean, baseball started a month ago and the NBA is in their first week of the playoffs. So this should be late April or May just right in keeping with the sports calendar. This should be May. There's no f ing football on TV. There's no preseason, which I find there's not going to be any you know, the college football season, whatever we get is not going to be legitimate because we don't have a big ten w so who going to care.
Right. There's no football going on, so no one's reminded of it. And unless you're in this bubble that I am where you have to pay attention to what beat writers are saying, it's not there's no reason you should be aware of football. So yeah, interest is interest is certainly down, sign ups are down. I feel like I've had a bit of a moment in the last week or so where all of my all of my more casual leagues, hometown friends, things like that, they're all like, oh shit, there's oh, there's football.
And maybe we should decide a draft date and then it's really hard a couple of weeks out. But we're doing our best. Yeah, I'm doing a league with my oldest league is drafting on Friday and at this point it's basically just like everybody kind of texting each other to be like Melvin Gordon is on the Broncos now, like it's just all completely like just upside down.
I never would have thought I would miss preseason football and I don't obviously miss it like there's no excuse for it. But it is just something that puts some football in your mind and begins to ease you into this process. Like even there, like even if it's the sort of thing where, like, it leads me to draft Campbell Tompkins and then I'm like, why did I watch that?
Which is definitely a thing that's happened to be at least once in possibly two times. But it is like, you know, at least it's there. Yeah. I mean, this is just the whole fucking world's upside down. When the NFL offseason was happening, like normal, I remember we were all talking and the the slack, you know, the what would become the defector's like about how grateful we were that there were transactions. But that has all completely exited my mind at this point.
Yeah, I, I'm with you. I you know, I have no use for preseason football, but now that's gone.
I miss having that yard marker in my brain and also just the sort of thing that, you know, I make fun of fantasy brose, but I do the same shit where like like a Mike Anderson will have an 80 yard game and a preseason. I'm like, that guy's a sleeper. Yeah. You watch out, you watch out for that motherfucker. He's going to burn.
So what I wanted to do, Andy, is go through your rankings by position.
And since this is a haters guide, I want you to tell me why each of these players end up disappointing everybody.
So can we do that? That's not a no. I'm hearing that. Oh, hell, yeah. Let's go for it. All right. We're going to start at the very top and tell people why, like Christian McCaffrey is going to disappear.
Yeah, that's exactly that's a that's exactly what we're going to do. That's right. I met Christian McCaffrey this summer and I'm about to betray him by asking you. He is your number one ranked running back. Why is he going to disappoint us?
Yeah, this is this is really hard because there's almost no history of people repeating, particularly like back to back to back years as the number one running back. That just doesn't happen. So he's got he's got a bit of regression coming there. You would just expect also like Carolina in a totally lost season where they had I mean, last year was just hopeless for them. They they went out of their way to get him over four hundred touches, which is highly questionable.
I think, of course, he was chasing history. Right.
He was doing the thousand thousand thing. Right. And that was really fun. But to pile up mileage like that on a player in a season in which your team is just obviously going nowhere is it's problematic. Right. And the year before set the single season reception record for running back like everybody loves Christian McCaffrey is the centerpiece of the offense. If there's ever a season in which I mean every year in the NFL, continuity matters. But this particular year there's been no off season like like coaching staffs are just like me.
Beating each other in person for the first time over the last few weeks, right? Right. Nobody's been able to coach anybody up. No OTAs, nothing like that. This team has a new head coach from Baylor. They have a new Okie from LSU. They have a new quarterback from the Saints. And all those things sound good, but like these guys are all just meeting and they're all just figuring it out on the fly. So if ever a team was going to be behind it and understandably so, it's going to be the Carolina Panthers this year and that's going to have a downstream effect on everybody, McCaffrey included.
We've got some other great talents at the position, right Barclays' right behind him, Zeke Elliotts right behind him. Either of those guys could obviously finish is the number one fantasy running back. So there is a path outside of injury for Christian McCaffrey to at least not justify his sort of universal draft position as number one. Oh, thank goodness.
Let's let's talk about Cequent, because he's number two on your list. And that's number two with a doodoo, because in twenty nineteen he had over 300 less rushing yards and he had five fewer touchdowns.
Why should I trust this asshole in twenty. Twenty.
Yeah, well the thing with Cequent is once he got healthy and once he got over the ankle issue, if you somehow miraculously made it into a fantasy postseason with Sequim Barkley, you probably won because he was, he was utterly unstoppable, fully healthy. Cygwin Barkley in week 15 and 16, he was just like in two games. He was over four hundred scrimmage yards. I think it was five touchdowns. You just couldn't lose if you had hadn't.
It's too late. That's too late. Yeah. You definitely needed to be in like a twelve person league where like six teams are eight teams make the playoffs and you just sort of scratched and clawed your way to a five hundred record and you made it.
Your number three is Zeke Elliott, who I feel, you know, is sort of has become blandly consistent, like you'll get like one hundred and fifty two touchdown game out of him every month or something like that.
But you'll also get like a seventy yard bullshit game out of them because everyone stacks the box against him.
So, yeah, but it's it's good when the worst case scenario for a running back is like seventy five scrimmage yards and he happens to not catch a touchdown but he still catches four passes and Zeke is very much in that club like you can still win a week when he's kind of a dud because his dud weeks are again they're still like double digit fantasy weeks. So like if he finish number one overall wouldn't surprise me at all. He could he's going to win.
He's going to win more rushing titles. He's probably not done there. He's still running behind, if not the best offensive line in the league, like a top five offensive line. And it's just a loaded offense.
No more traffic, Cedric. This year, though, he retired. But but that's maybe not a killer for an offense in which the quarterback almost three, four, five thousand yards, they have weapons all over the field like they're going to they're going to challenge for like thirty points a game I realize I'm supposed to be shitting.
So this is this is the. Yeah, you're failing. You're fucking it up. This is the fun part of all of this, though, because everybody has to be like, you know, it's kind of hard to come up with ways that Zeke Elliott isn't good like this. It's nice that we're pushing ourselves. But like we should be upfront that this is an insanely stupid exercise. The idea of being like, get it. Like I never saw it personally.
It's not that like it's ridiculous.
The one thing they could do is push some more work off on to Tony Pollard, who was really, really good last year. And in terms of running backs, were like those understudies who could really break out, if anything happens to the guy ahead of them. Pollard averaged five yards per carry. They gave him one hundred touches like he's a really good player and he could be ninety five percent of Zeke if anything happens to him.
Yeah, it's just it's just too much positivity out of you and there's enough positivity out in the rest of the world. I mean, everything so good right now.
So I'm very disappointed that you couldn't that you couldn't bring things down by depressing everybody. You better fucking drop the hammer on Alvin Kamara right now. Yeah. Yeah, that's what this doofus. Yeah. Because I drafted him number one last year and he sucked. So I want to know why I should have any faith in Alvin Kamara again.
You drafted him. No, like if you drafted him, number one. Overall, I feel like that's a little bit on you.
You go to hell, you go directly to hell. I mean, the way the way things go wrong here are pretty obvious, right?
Like Taysom Hill is just it is just a game record for fantasy, like they get into there and fucking Taysom Hill.
Trott's on the field either is a tight end or split out wide or a quarterback and does some shit and takes away three or four Alvin Kamara touchdowns a year. Like even in a great year for Kamara, you're losing scores to fucking taste.
Hell, I hate Taysom Hill, but good on. Let me just I want to get on the record. Have you considered that he's just having fun out there?
I hate his name. His name is stupid. The name is not great. He's good. Tebow. I hate it. It's awful. Yeah.
So he's a problem. Latavius Murray is a problem. Sean Payton just in general getting really cute and creative in goal to go situations is a problem. So like Kamara is just not going to be a twenty to twenty four touchdown. When you think of a better guy who can actually finish is the number one overall fantasy player. We need them to hit like 18, 20 touchdowns and that's just probably not going to be.
Come on, your number five is Derrick Henry, who was the best running back in football at the. End of last season, that seems like it doesn't seem like he would be a prime candidate to actually be the number one back this season, I always playing under a tag, but still, yeah, almost every fantasy format, you get some some sort of scoring for receptions.
Right. It's become the default at ESPN. That's true. And and just like it's not that he can't catch. Right. Like he can. He's made some huge plans, some huge plays last year right off the screen game. Really simple stuff they don't throw to him. Their entire offense is based off of play action to Derrick Henry, basically, like Ryan Tannehill was was superhuman off a play action last year. They just don't throw him. And even if they you know, they could double his receptions this year and he's still really boring as a receiver.
He's still only like thirty catches. So best case scenario, he gets another sixteen touchdowns or something like that. It's going to be a good fantasy season. But if they're not if they're not throwing to you, you have no realistic path to be number one.
That is useful because I did not understand what he was doing there in your rankings just because of the recency bias that my dumb brain has. Like the last image I saw of him was looking like three times the size of a normal person and just like stomping through the Patriots secondary. And I was like, oh, that guy is that's a demigod. Yeah. Yeah. This is, again, the result of the only league I really pay attention to having an insanely idiosyncratic scoring system.
So, like, the reception thing doesn't really matter. Like Sam, Donald was worth more than any running back in our league last year just because of the way the scoring is set up. So it's bizarre.
Then this is on Arthur Smith and Arthur Smith, the offensive coordinator for the Titans, can go hide in a sewer. Yeah. Forever for ruining Derrick Henry's receiving game. Speaking of which, you number six is Dalvin Cook of the Vikings, who was a fantastic receiving threat last year, particularly on screens how where the government wants a new contract. And so he's having a hole in right now. So he's at practice. He wants a new contract.
He could conceivably bail at any time if he's not paid.
Yeah, well, you laid out the worst case scenario for anybody who drafts Dalvin Cook. I mean, I shouldn't I shouldn't need to convince people that something could possibly go wrong for the Vikings to mess things up.
It's not like a huge stretch.
Wow. Never, never happens in taking a bad turn for the Vikings. I don't I don't know exactly whatever he can save somewhere. And terror, the the holding out for a protracted period of time has not worked out spectacularly for running backs over the last couple of years. I don't feel like Le'Veon benefited from it. Melvin Gordon certainly didn't benefit from it. And Dalvin Cook is a guy with somebody sort of breathing down his neck and Alexander Madison, who, like Tony Pollard, could be ninety five percent of what Dalvin Cook is.
He's getting all those first team reps right now, while Delon kind of watches a lot. Right. And, and Madison is a real like it's pretty easy to imagine a scenario where by mid season it's, it's a little bit 60 40 ish and Madison is getting a ton of touches.
The dreaded BBC. I fucking hate it.
Your number seven is the heretofore unknown Clyde Edwards Hillaire. His last name reminds me of ice cream because, of course, Hillaire is very close to the Spanish for ice cream.
So now I want to begin. It's not that close.
It's really not. It's really not that kind of.
Yeah, that's actually a it's actually a horrible, horrible mental connection.
But you haven't met. No, you haven't No.7 him because he's playing in the Chiefs offense. But is there any indication he's worth a shit otherwise?
Yeah, I actually feel like kind of a coward for having him at seven. I feel like as we talk about it right now, I should really that reflects poorly on me. I should probably have like five. Maybe I should have been four. Wow. Like we we obviously nobody missed him at LSU last year. He's a super gifted receiving backcourt. Fifty five passes in just a stupid video game offense for LSU. He's going to be the chiefs featured guy and the chiefs are going to average like thirty five points per game and four hundred and twenty total yards per game.
And they're just going to be an unstoppable Deathstar offense. And you don't even like Damian. Furqan Williams carried fantasy managers to titles two years ago in December, averaging fifteen touches per game. In that offense, like you don't even need to be a full workload guy to be an absolute dominant fantasy for. So Edwards player. I'm just I'm just excited. Chickenshit rank here. I should have him four or five.
Damien Williams thing is so real to me too, because like I he played real hard. He's a Super Bowl champion. There's nothing wrong with Damian Williams. Like I know he's a listener of the podcast, obviously. Damian, we appreciate your support. He has always been like a stand in for me, for just like a guy that you would have on your roster as a running back.
Like just he's not especially remarkable and not like your fantasy roster. I mean, like your NFL roster really. Well, who's our third guy in? They're like, oh, we remember Damian, the guy from from before, from spring. And like, he looked great in that. And then so this guy that looks like whatever, but junior Reggie Bush in college, it's just like I am excited to see how good he could be in that offense.
Your number eight is Josh Jacobs, how will Jon Gruden ruin Josh Jacobs this year? Why would he dislike this guy, Jacobs Jacobs last year in terms of every, you know, all the all the analytics sites absolutely loved him. And the the eye test was fantastic, too. Like, he was just an absolute missed tackle. Machine is great. He's really great. He like Derrick Henry, though, and maybe we'll see it this year. Maybe we won't.
Just not catching a lot of passes that that was the issue. Like Jacobs even played through a pretty nasty injury for a chunk of last season. Had a great year. I really like him. But if it doesn't get any better than it was last year, he's not going to catch any balls. And again, that prevents him from sort of finishing inside that top five.
Do you have a rather curious number nine in Miles Sanders of the Eagles, who did not rush for a thousand yards last year and only had three touchdowns?
What what what evidence do you have that he's going to have any progression this year in a fraudulent.
That guy dodged every possible offseason bullet in terms of personnel like device. I guess Devonta Freeman still hasn't signed anywhere. And maybe he could be added by a team. But like Carlos Hyde didn't sign there, perhaps Shady McCoy was never going to sign there. But like he dodged everything. He dodged all competition. Like, I was really good. And he's a gifted he's a gifted receiving back his path to like sixteen hundred scrimmage yards if he just stays healthy, is pretty clean.
There's nobody there's nobody really fighting him for touches. He's just got to stay healthy.
All right. What about Aaron Jones. There's no he's your number ten. There's no Mike McCarthy around this year or last year to under utilize him. Will he be properly utilized by Matt LeFleur?
The biggest problem for him is they drafted AJ Dillon. They drafted his eventual successor. This is a little bit like the Ravens and Mark Ingram, right where they have somebody who was just flawless last year. I mean, right. Jones couldn't stop scoring last year is great. He's probably the second best receiving option on the team behind Devonta Adams. Just a just a weird offseason for this team. Like they they they make it to the NFC title game and then they go ahead and draft the successor to their Hall of Fame quarterback.
Right. So that's a little bit messed up. And that the Dillon addition is really the thing. And it probably doesn't take a chunk out of what Jones did. It probably just eliminates Jamaal Williams. But we know that Jones is in a little bit of a committee. He's great. He's really good.
I don't like a little bit of a committee thing because that becomes a lot of a committee quickly, you know what I mean?
Like, it's just like Dillon probably is one of these guys who just fades away into into nothing because he's like he's like the guy who has all the offseason footage like, oh, here he is jumping out of a pool.
Here he is jumping five, four blocks. And like, those guys never amount to shit.
Let's get to the White House. Before I get to the White House, I do want to ask you one thing I like. Obviously, all the rankings in the preseason do not are not going to hold through the season at the end of the season.
However, isn't this season in particular danger of being completely fucking weird from a statistical standpoint and from a fantasy ranking standpoint?
Yeah, this could be. In fact, if we just if I just go off like what I'm experiencing in baseball leagues right now, like it took about a week and a half for all of me at Yahoo! And I think the other major platforms, we've added a bunch of injury spots right like that. We added a couple of spots in baseball. We're going to end up adding spots available to fantasy owners in in football as well. In baseball, for me, they were all full in like a week and.
Oh, yeah, between two teams being wrecked by covid and all the usual injuries and then maybe some extra injuries that accompanied the weirdest off season ever. Like this is going to be just a shit show of injuries and missed games, unlike almost anything else. Like to the point that you already hear head coaches talking about how we're probably just going to have to isolate a quarterback from the rest of the team, we're probably going to have to split up our position room so that if one person catches the virus, we don't get all of the running backs catch the virus.
I am doubting that's how coaches are going to handle this. I mean, just to look at how badly baseball did it, and it's not like baseball is like an enlightened community of like intellectual titans, but like, oh, boy, I like the idea of turning this over to Jon Gruden and being like, we're going to isolate the virus and we're going to defeat the virus. How do we do it?
By thinking like a virus, you know, like stop.
I hate to sound like have to hear here, but I don't think it's possible to do worse than baseball is done with the virus.
I really don't.
And I say that even though even though half the NFL teams are like fucking fans in just it's just it's just impossible for me to envision the NFL fucking it up this badly. Although now that I've said it. Yeah, it's it's not impossible to envision at all, is it? But I do.
I think it could be a completely strange year in which, like the Panthers win the Super Bowl because it's like, you know, half the teams end up going on the coach's list or something like that.
Wideouts Michael Thomas is your number one word.
Why? I hate him, you got to be killed. Number two, why isn't Hill number one Mr. Fancy Pants get him? It's going to be really hard for this to go badly for Michael Thomas as long as he stays healthy because he's got you know, he's got a quarterback who's the most accurate passer in league history. Michael Thomas himself is coming off the greatest single season in the history of his position in at least some areas right at the receptions record.
The year before that, a perfectly ordinary Michael Thomas year was still one hundred and twenty five catches in fourteen hundred yards. Again, the only thing that might disappoint you about Michael Thomas is the the Sean Payton gets weird at the goal line thing. Right? Michael Thomas probably not going to be a fourteen touchdown guy. Not going to be a sixteen touchdown guy. We'll never we'll never get one of those like Jerry Rice seasons out of him again because of Taysom Hill and Payton and just the wacky stuff that they prefer to do.
But he's an absolute rock solid bet for one hundred and twenty catches.
Your number two is Tyreek Hill. How do I know that he won't break another child's arm and be arrested and not finish out the season? Yeah, you don't.
You certainly don't. It's just that that is the unfortunately enough. That's one of the paths for Tyreek Hill to mess this all up. But he's perhaps the fastest guy in the NFL and he's tied to the absolute best offense in the NFL and one of the best in NFL history. And so he's another guy who's just got to play fourteen games and it's an easy dozen touchdowns.
You have Davante Adams at number three. Is that too high?
You got guys like DeAndre and Julio Jones behind him. It makes DeVonté so goddamn special.
I feel kind of terrible about it because no part of me reads for the Packers to enjoy any success. But he is he is the only relevant receiver there. Right. And the gap between him and whoever is number two, whether it's Lazard or it's actually it's probably Aaron Jones. Right. No other talent at receiver. He is a very good bet to lead the NFL in targets. If anybody in a 16 game season can get two hundred targets, this year is probably Davante Adams, because why would you throw to anybody else?
Number four is DeAndre Hopkins. Is he going to be better with Cayler throwing him the ball? I mean, he's going from Deshaun to Cuyler, which seems like I mean, I think Kizer will like the world on fire this season. But, you know, Deshaun Watson is John Watson. So isn't there a potential danger of some drop off with DeAndre Hopkins?
Yeah, it's I hate to talk about this without mentioning this was the dumbest fucking trade, but it was so stupid.
One hundred percent people like in your fantasy league vetoing the deal franticly being there, it's not fair because Jeff doesn't pay attention anymore. And that's why I keep saying, yeah, the whole thing just felt like a fantasy deal.
Like O'Brien saw an offer that he thought was, oh, yeah, I've heard of that guy. Cool.
I like you. Let's do this. Yeah, it was absolutely insane. Trade on its face. I can't imagine any other team executive doing it. Appalling trade. That said, and Houston is now one of these messed up teams where everything is new.
And I don't know how this can possibly go well for them. Right. All that said, DeAndre Hopkins is great. He's going to an offense that is going to play fast and is probably going to attempt six hundred passes. And I don't know if he gets to one hundred and fifty targets again, but it's probably still one hundred and thirty hundred and forty. And he is the unrivaled number one. I mean he would be the unrivaled number one on almost any team.
He's great. I don't, I don't really expect much of a drop off. Had he remained in Houston, though, he probably would have been a couple of ticks higher for me.
Julio Jones is your number five and I met with Julio. I'm going to play with Julio where he's been around long enough, where I just don't want to draft him just as he's been around for so long, even though he's still productive.
I mean, he's got he's going on like six years or something of fourteen hundred receiving yards and to the point where we're just bored by it, like we're stuck in here at five or six or whatever. I mean you could make a case for Julio is number one. He's never had that monster touchdown season. I guess that's the one. The one little drawback with him is if he ever gives us a year with like I mean, it seems like it should be in play for Julio Jones at some point being one of the most physically talented receivers in NFL history to score like 16.
Eighteen touchdowns. Yeah, I haven't seen that that big blow up yet. So that's why he gets stuck outside the top three or four. But he's basically a lock for thirteen hundred fourteen hundred yards.
Let's get to the bottom of this list because this is where it gets fun. You have Chris Godwin, number six on the box. He is higher than Mike Evans, who you have at number ten.
Why is Godwin higher than Mike Evans, who is more talented than him coming off an absolutely insane you're going to be probably a slightly higher volume receiver and we have to rank for PPR leagues a little bit that.
Yeah. So you end up going with it. You have to kind of defaulting to the guy that you can really see catching ninety five hundred and five ball, something like that man. The bucks are going to be blocks are going to be weird. They're one of those teams that obviously continuity is an issue. Then with a new quarterback, new tight end, a lot of new fancy stuff, but thankfully for if you're a Bucs fan, Tom Brady appears to have been breaking all covered protocols, practices he can practice.
So it's not it's different for him. If you drink enough water, it's not it's not a risk.
You got bowled at number seven. You put Allan Robinson there, even though his quarterback is either going to be Nick Foles, his penis or whatever remains of Mitchell Robiskie.
And I've already I've already seen all the annoying bullshit preseason reports where it's like Midget's Robiskie is feeling better than ever, looking pretty sharp.
And I just like that is such bullshit tradition unlike any other.
Yeah, there was there was like a day when we saw a lot of those Kopecky reports and the people who were actually attending practices were simultaneously tweeting about how to robiskie like ran out of bounds to take a sack.
I shared one of those in flag just because it was one of the most ungainly. But it was like during like whatever like a goal line drill. Like Mitchell Robiskie ran straight backwards, sat down crying on a bench on the opposing sideline. No one's sure why he did it. Coaches are optimistically duffed it.
Yeah, like you're going to coach that out of a guy. And several seasons into his career, I mean, they they declined to pick up his fifth year option. Like, it's it's kind of silly that we're even talking about Robiskie is a threat. I mean, you can't you can't make the move for Foles and then not play Foles. Well, you're also declining to pick up Mitch's fifth year. Allen Robinson was great.
And someday Allen Robinson is going to like he's he's just really fun to watch in isolation, too, because it's not I don't I don't mean to suggest that he gets away with Shippey, kind of gets away with shit like he. Very few players use leverage as well or as sneakily as Allen Robinson. It's just like it's just a clinic. Every time you watch him, you went bowling.
Number eight, you had Jay Chark of the Jaguars is going to have the legendary guard, your Minshew throwing him the ball. Why do you have Chaak so high?
I'm probably about as high as anyone on Shark, but Shark was the wide receiver, eight or nine going into December last year. He had an ankle injury that that messed him up a little bit in the final weeks he played through. It didn't didn't have big weeks at the end. But he was he was basically tracking as a as a top ten receiver all year plus that like the Jags are going to be kind of sneaky fun because they have a really aesthetically satisfying quarterback if a terrible defense in all likelihood.
So they're just going to be chucking the ball all year and they've got kind of a fearless quarterback. So there's a there's a path with Chaak as well to finish with like one hundred and sixty targets with just an absolute yellow quarterback and the team always playing from behind.
He's got a cool name too, like his last name. Sounds like Italian for shark to me. Chark Charkaoui. That's how I got Odell at number nine. I don't think it's I think it's a question of whether or not Odell will disappoint everybody, but whether how he'll disappoint everybody.
Yes, it's entirely a question of of when and and in what like in what exact circumstances, whether it's going to be on field or off field. Ticktock.
Half of the player notes about Odell have nothing to do with him playing. Right.
Right. Yeah, that's fun. But like, this is kind of a fun fantasy experience. I've no idea what to expect. His rank is, is almost a dart throw. I give him a lot of credit for playing through injury last season and I by all the injury stories. Right. It was a sports hernia that he played through that that is a more than a minor inconvenience. And sometimes, like sometimes the thing that the NFL values the most, which is just pure availability, like he gave it to them last year, like he played.
But fantasy managers just crush him for it because he had a perfectly ordinary season. Obviously, it was he was squabbling with a with a quarterback who was disappointing throughout the year. I expect Mayfield to be better.
I do not like a normal adult coaching staff.
Now, that's not going to be maybe quite as messed up as it was last season. And then they just have so many playmakers. Kareem Hunt is there. Nick Chubb is obviously great. They've just got a lot of talent on the field. Like there is certainly a path for Odell to have a little bit of a bounce back.
By the way, you didn't have Chubb on your back. Didn't he lead the NFL in rushing a year ago?
Chubb is a Chubb is an interesting conversation because as soon as Kareem Hunt returned to play, all of all of Chubb's receptions went away. He caught he caught eleven balls in the eight games that that Kareem Hunt played and played. And Hunt would have tracked for like seventy, I think seventy four catches on the air. Chubb only scored two touchdowns in the second half after Hunt came back. And I want to I want to pin all of that on Kareem Hunt.
But Kareem Hunt is a problem like Chubb could still run for thirteen hundred yards with a fully healthy Kareem Hunt. But the receptions are going to be a thing.
And you don't mean problem in NBA, Fanis. You mean you mean an actual look, you're not saying Kareem Hunt is a bucket. Yeah.
All right. Well, then let's go to the quarterbacks.
I'm going to go I'm going to speed through it because we we burned a lot of the clock on running backs and wide. What's your top 10, I'm going to list them that's up from the top Mahomes Lamar Jackson than Dak than Russ the Kylah Murray, who you have very high to Shawn Watson, Matty Ice at seven and Wentz number eight and then Allen at number nine. I can't I can't remember which not.
It's all right, Josh out. I was like, it's not Kyle Allen. No. All right.
You have Allen Robinson again. He just got loves. Allen Robinson, you have Josh Allen, Matty Ice and Carson Wentz above Drew Brees, who's number ten.
I am I am sick about the Josh Allen rank because obviously I don't think I good like the one glaring problem, in my view with Buffalo. Like, they have everything. They have a really good defense. They have a good running game. They've drafted well, they now have a pair of great receivers. And Diggs and John Brown, they have they have a quarterback who can't throw you like he couldn't throw in college. He was a bit of a game record in college and seems like a really nice guy, but he doesn't know where the ball is going ever.
But his fantasy rank is entirely dependent on on his rushing ability. He ran for his run for seventeen touchdowns in his two seasons in the NFL. He is going to continue to run. He is a much bigger factor than their running backs when they get in goal to go situations. He's generally good for like forty, fifty, sixty rushing yards per game. And that just like fantasy scoring is a little bit messed up at the quarterback spot. We we don't necessarily prize the right things.
We don't really punish turnovers like we probably should in scoring settings. And so Josh Allen ends up more often than not, is like a top five top six quarterback, but there's no way they can get up and down with Kansas City. You can't get past Kansas City with Josh Allen is your quarterback because he like you're not going to you're never going to have a forty point game with Josh Allen behind center. Like, I think they they need to get through this Josh Allen era.
But that said, I think he can be perfectly fine for fantasy.
Your tight ends, it's always disgustingly top heavy set of players.
So No. One, two, three and four. All fairly predictable. Travis, Kelsey, you have chuffs. Kelsey No one said George Kittle. You have to feel like they're interchangeable. They're Mark Andrews is number three of the Ravens, Zach Ertz number four.
Then we get down to serve. Then there's to me, there's a very firm line of demarcation because this is then you got like that at the beach where you're like my the water is getting really cold and then you realize that you're about to step off a sandbar. That's where Tyler Higbee lands. Yeah. You have Tyler Higbee, number five.
He always sounds like a Disney family sitcom character. You have Hayden Hurst at number six.
Gronk, is it number seven. Do you really think an unretired Gronk can be that productive?
I think is a pretty high floor, tight end. But and you kind of alluded to it once. The top four guys are gone at this spot. I just I just wait ten rounds. Yeah. Yeah. Whatever's left is what I take because there's there's a whole bunch of guys where I can see a path to them like you.
You squeeze yourself into the top ten fantasy tight ends by just scoring six or seven touchdowns. Right. Everybody who ranks five through twelve is going to be really, really close in terms of scoring separation. And they're all going to have about a half dozen touchdowns. And to me, there's there's at least a dozen guys you could squeeze in there. And once again, once I get past Ertz, I can see the case for Higbee because he was dominant in the final five games.
But really, once they get past the top four, I probably end up with someone like Blake Darwin. Again, going back to Dallas, there's like there's like one hundred and sixty vacated targets there between Jason Witten and Randall Cobb. And a whole bunch of those are going to go to KD Lamb and then a whole bunch are going to go to Blake Darwin. Right. He's probably going to finish top five, top six among tight ends in targets, which obviously is a pretty good path to to scoring well in fantasy.
So that's typically who I end up with. And I just don't care about the minefield that that exists afterwards.
I think that's I think that's a fair number. 10 was Jared Cook, by the way, of the Saints, who, since he's on the Saints, could blow up at any time your defenses. I'm not going to kickers because fuck kickers, you're doing this. You have from the top down No.
One to the Niners. That seems fairly obvious. No to the bears. Then you have the bills, Steelers, Chiefs, Pats, Ravens, Saints, Chargers and Rams, all single out two of them. Why do you have the Bears, the number two and why are the pats on here? It all went like eighty percent of the team has already opted out for covid.
Yeah, I had dropped the Pats from I think too, like a month ago down to nine. And some of that is just sort of leap of faith with with Belichick. This is a spot where it just simply doesn't matter at all outside the really outside the Niners, like, I think the night. Oh, I would be I would be shocked if the Niners are not a top five defense, but some of the things that drive scoring for fantasy at the defensive spot are just unpredictable.
Right. It's driven by touchdowns. It's driven by turnovers and game to game. Those are really hard to predict, so the thing with the bears is that they have some ball hawks, they have Khalil Mack. It's easy to imagine them rolling up a ton of sacks, ton of turnover. So you're just kind of you just kind of placing bets on which defenses you think are actually going to score, like literally score for their teams and which ones are going to pile up turnovers.
But it's as a general rule, what you want to do is just look at the weak one matchups and stream defenses all season.
OK, wow. Right.
Well, then you have taken us all the way through the top ten in every category.
And that was very, very kind of you. I would ask you who you have as a sleeper, but then we're just getting annoying. So we're not going to do that, though.
Well, I am going to do can send it to me. You can. Dmytro, before we send you off, Barens, I'm going to ask you I'm going to reveal the guy of the week to you. Are you ready for the guy of the week? You're right. Remember, it might be if you're going to this is deep remembering, it's a tough one. I had to search myself for this one. The guy you have to remember is freshman Jackson.
You remember that guy Briskman Jackson?
He doesn't remember. I like I like what it sounded like when you whispered his name like it was like a cologne commercial, like Calvin Klein.
That's what you hear, is he like escapes in a hot air balloon from a pole.
So Keira Knightley is like, come to Brisbane.
I have a vague memory of Brisbane. It's funny, as soon as you said remember a guy, I was like, it's going to be dancing, Scott. I don't know why. Know that's a good.
That would have been that's a great one. I saw a Scott jersey in a Nely video a little while back and I was like, oh, that's this is like two guys and one. That's great, because I'm getting to remember a saint lunatic and he's got a fucking Jersey Frishman.
Jackson opened one season. Oh, God. Now I have to look for it.
It was early on Brown's. There was early OT's. Brown's. That's correct. 2000 shit. Oh, I can't find it. Wait, I'm going to find it. Leave this in. Yeah, I'll leave this in me doing my homework.
I thought it was 2005. Yes it was 2005 and week one of 2005 they the Browns played the Bengals. They lost 27 to 13. Forssmann Jackson had nine catches for one hundred and twenty eight yards and a touchdown. And everyone was like, holy shit. Frishman Jackson was picked up by like 80 percent of owners next week. Never did a goddamn thing again. Never scored. He's never scored another touchdown that season. And in fact was was out of the NFL after that.
But I always feel terrible.
He's a Chicago guy. He went to western Illinois. He can there can't be very many NFL products. He went to Western Illinois University. That is not Tony Romo University. This is the other direction. All Illinois. Yeah. That no one knows about. Wow. Those Browns teams were really like again, this is a proof of how long I've been wasting time in my life in fantasy. Like, I went back and looked at them because I remember that he was a brown.
I did not remember that he was very good. And those teams were like, I think I kept ruban drones the year there.
He was like their feature back because I was like, he's get a lot of touches you got to think about is Ruben drones. Right. Not going to waste that opportunity. And I, I so that was the guy that was on the teams that Frisian Jackson was on that was good. And then the rest of it was just like Charlie Fry and one of the great anomalous seasons in fantasy.
The the Derek Anderson. Yes. Braylon Edwards. Yeah. The horse ball say seven. Yeah.
That that whole season was great.
They went ten and six and didn't make the playoffs unbelievable. Or seven or something. But yeah. Like Anderson was fantastic and then. Yeah. And then you got to wear a baseball hat on the sidelines and make twenty million dollars for the next ten years or whatever.
But, and the barons you have been a fantastic first guess. Should we do this again next year. Barens Oh hell yeah.
Helyar I miss doing this. This was always my favorite podcast. It's, it's great to be on. Damn right.
It should have been right there. Thank you. Thanks so much for coming. You have been a lovely, lovely distraction joining us.
So we will speak to you again next year if not sooner. All right, sweet. Thanks, guys. Bye. Are you someone who thinks it's OK to drive stoned, like what's the worst can happen, you end up driving below the speed limit, so relaxed. No big deal, right? Wrong. The truth is your reaction times slow down when you're high, you put yourself in danger. But everyone around you, which is a huge buzz kill to stop kidding yourself, it's not OK to drive high no matter how good you think you are at it.
If you've been using weed in any form, do not get behind the wheel, because if you feel you drive different, if you drive high, you get a DUI. There it is, a win for the ages. Tiger Woods is one of our most on spiring sports icons and his story. It comes with many chapters. I am deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behavior, but here it is, the return to glory. And this is all-American.
A new series from Stitcher hosted by me, Jordan Bell. You realize Tiger Woods doesn't know who he is best in the history of golf? No question in my mind. And this season, with the help of journalist Albert Chen, we're asking, what if the story of Tiger Woods that the media has been telling? What if it's been completely wrong?
all-American Tiger is out now listen and stitcher Apple podcasts or your favorite podcast app. We're back, we're back, we've got we're going to one or two phone back questions we're already bumping up against the the clock. And of course, you know, this podcast is live and the nine o'clock news is next.
So we can't we have we have a real heart out here. We can't.
We're going to ask if we joined night court already in progress.
The studio execs yell at us before we do we before I get into the fun back, I do want to give you a drink from the poisoned chalice wrath.
Who do you think would have a better Denis Leary impression, you or me?
I haven't tried it Denis Leary impression in a while, but I'm happy to give it a shot, if you'd like, while you give it a shot.
This is a tweet from Denis Leary. This is the worst take of the week.
The Denis Leary, the guy you remember him, he was like he was like Bill Hicks. But in a car commercial.
Yeah, right. Dear science, once you tackle covid, we're going to need an antique pumpkin fucking spice vaccine.
Oh, that was pretty good. Yeah. It's an advance to Brandon for how many plosives there were in that line. Reading That was how I felt.
Let me let me let me try and see if I do. I burnt their science. Would you tackle covid anti pumpkin fucking spice vecsey. It's fucking us in the wrong place.
Yeah. The challenge is getting through that gag without laughing because it is so good and it is right up to date.
So it's a funny because he was like he did the edgy like MTV shorts like back in the day and then he became like official comedian of like cops.
Yes. And he's one of the I love that type of show biz type. The guys that like play a fireman in a TV show and then like after two seasons, they're like, no, I'm I'm a real fireman. Like, I fight fires and that's what I do now.
All right. And now you have to do the the mash up of the week. Are you ready for that? Oh, we have to. Yeah. I thought we were running out of time. Yeah, let's hear it. I don't care. I'm going to give you the mash up. Are you ready? It's actually. You think it's going to be easy. It's not going be easy because you have to identify the artist.
Right. Ain't no mountain high enough, ain't no valley low. Hey, hey, hey. Like being stoned. Wow. OK, be with you, girl. Like being low. Hey, hey, hey. You like being stoned?
Well, this is these are two good songs to me, you guys. They are good songs. You got Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross obviously beginning on Ain't No Mountain High Enough. And then you've got to cracker. You have Kracker, that's correct. Let me make sure that you have it no, you are incorrect. Oh, wait. Oh, OK. You are right. It was it was a single in 1967 was released with Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.
But then and then three years later, Gay recorded it with Diana Ross.
So you are correct. I'm going to give you a credit.
OK, I appreciate that. I think that. Well, yeah. All respect to Tammi Terrell, also, again, distraction, listener disrespect intended.
I think that that was a fun band. I like that was like a band that I listen to that I think got me into more interesting bands and I was like 12. It's time for a couple of comeback questions.
Here's one from Peter, where nectarines more popular or at the very least as popular as peaches. You have peach pie, peach cobbler, peach snobs, peaches and cream princess, peach, the Peach Pit, no love for nectarines. What happened? Roth's messed up.
I'll tell you, in my household we are a nectarine household. We also, you know, whatever we like peaches to. I don't want to make it seem like it's an actual binary there, but yeah, I, I've never really fully understood it. I like nectarines more because they're more tarta sometimes you get peaches is kind of just too sweet and a nectar you might do.
My dad is sweet.
Don't just so it is. It's what Drew. It's insipid. It's childish.
You know, it's a it's a texture thing for me because like a nectarine has a smooth surface, it's like a peach but has alopecia.
So I like um why would I have the fur if I don't need the fur. Yeah.
I do think a nectarine schnapps is an idea whose time has come though. That's probably. Yeah. I mean to the extent that schnapps is an idea whose time has come at all when I think the only people that drink them are the elderly Scandinavians, to me it's a hard seltzer flavor waiting to be made.
That would be like Luis Paya's Pumbaa would be drinking that tomorrow. There was a there's a nectarine white cloth. Forget it.
Yeah, they just send him experimental claw's and he drinks him in his gaymer chair and then he's like, I didn't like it. Taste too much like beans.
All right. This one's from Chad. What is the worst time for a work meeting?
I recently had to attend a webinar at two p.m. raise my post lunch sleepiness to cold, and I think I would have rather been waterboarded. So you have to account for the covid factor here because Chad did send this during the pandemic. So really, when's the worst time for work meeting?
But really, it's a it's a work zoo meeting and you're not there in person. I do think afternoon meetings in person are the fucking worst, but Zoome calls in the afternoon are not terribly fantastic either.
Yeah, I think it's later in the day stuff for me. Like, I think my wife had one at like five thirty pm on a phone.
Oh. And it's like it's the only time anybody has and whatever. And it's not like you're done working at five thirty pm on a Friday or you want to be but you're not. But that. Yeah. Was brutal to see later in the afternoon.
I think just because I have like somehow managed to keep my like twenty three year old lifestyle and sleep cycle to a certain extent, like well into my early middle age. I don't mind afternoon stuff necessarily, but later in the day just feels like an insult. Like if you're if you want to meet with me at like five p.m. like you should, there should be drinks or something like it just doesn't seem right. That's to me.
A five p.m. meeting is violence to a person. Yeah. I went to a I to go to a back to school Zoome last night at five p.m. and the principal got on and said, well, it's happy hour, so grab a beverage if you want.
Which is which is actually I mean it's kind of appropriate but like a perfectly humor thing to say. Like, listen, if you only get shitfaced during this bad school meeting, I'm not going to stop. Yeah.
Do they. They don't do that at last. I've never been to like a parent teacher night thing. I know they used to have those like there's no there's not like a pony keg right now.
And there's there's there's like the frosted cookies and like fruit no one touches.
Yeah. That's unfortunate that the melon squares but they're somehow weirdly crispy. Yeah. Given what's going on, I'm not going to do a Trump question of the week because it's not amusing because. Fuck him. Yeah.
We're going to we're going to end on that note. Yeah. And we're going to get going if we're going into the the credits.
Brandon Nix is the producer and engineer. These are Rozario is our executive producer and Stitchers chief content officer is Chris Bannon. I have one more thing I have to tell you is that you can listen to ad free episodes of the distraction only on Stitcher Premium for a free month of stitcher premium. You go to such a premium dotcom and use the promo code, distract and don't forget to rate review and subscribe wherever it is that you listen. But if you rate us, please give us ninety eight stars that say it's the best pocket.
We give us one star. I have no use for your little phrase. Why would you look at the true. Come on, help the guy out. All right, we will see you next week. Bye bye bye. And.