“Waiver is needed for all readers. By following this advice you confirm you have read the liability release and understand the risks and responsibilities for what may result.”
Signing the Waiver
By Joshua B, aka Generallyaware
Sometimes you just feel it.
Deep down in your bowels.
Many of us have felt butterflies in our stomach, or, in contrast, a sinking pit of despair at times in life.
But you’ve maybe also felt something when looking at your bench, trying to decide who to start in place of your superstar on a bye.
“No. Not him.
No. He’s hurt.
Not him. (why am I even holding onto him?)
Oohh…wait. That one. Yeah I feel good about him.
Far too often, more often than anyone would freely admit, you’ve felt this about a player. But your brain kicks in, and the doubt sets in, and you start to question yourself.
You see, you can’t figure out why you like this guy. You can’t think of any particular trends or stats that would suggest he’d have a good game. There’s nothing necessarily screaming that he will have a bad game either, but you just have this feeling that he is who you should start.
You just can’t articulate why.
And because you can’t answer the question, you don’t start him.
And you regret it the next day.
Did you know there are more neurons in your gastrointestinal or “enteric nervous system” as there are in your spinal cord? This “Second Brain” uses as many neurotransmitters as the brain in your head, with a direct communication and 95% of the serotonin in our body.
It’s not really helping you process and think through any information, but it certainly hears from your brain and reacts to pleasure and anxiety.
So the next time you have a gut feeling on a guy. Take note. Don’t listen blindly. Gosh no. Make sure it’s not emotional (listen to your gut not your heart), and make sure no clear information contradicts it. But you have to accept that despite the fact you can’t articulate it, or point to exactly why, maybe you know something. You just haven’t told yourself what it is yet.
It’s representative of the debate between the “Analytics” people and the “Film” people. Both agree that data matters. But one is trying to watch the film and articulate it in precise objective language, and the other is watching film and trusting their perception’s conclusions based on their experience. One is maybe losing some data in the translation, but what it’s getting is concretely useful, while the other is maybe picking up on more information, but it can’t all be articulated and conclusions are not quite as easy to arrive at when the data is more nebulous.
Use concrete data to focus the window of possibility, but let your subconscious, and what it tells your gut, guide you when you have nothing else to point at. Some of my best calls have simply been “why not?” calls where reasons for it were in short supply, but absent reasons against, I trusted myself and reaped the rewards.
The Bye weeks are upon us, and the time for Signing the Waiver to actually be useful is here.
Through the first 4 weeks I’ve scored four Successes and three “Hits” who join our VIP section and six of them not reaching at least 10 points PPR. That’s a 3-4-6. I’m only batting .538 and I can do better. Week 4 was rough but let’s not only trust the process, but refine the process.
Jalen Richard, RB Oakland vs Baltimore
Sunday 10/8 @ Oakland at 4:05pm
Gut check time.
I think the Raiders will struggle on offense. Richard will thrive on dump offs and edge runs while Lynch watches from the bench.
I have no specific idea why I think this. I just know it’s not outside the realm of possibility and still fits the data.
- Carr out, Raven defense good vs WRs. Raider offense struggle
- Lynch will get boxed in
- EJ Manuel needs a release valve/dump off.
- Jalen Richard will get lots of snaps and lots of junk points. Only needs to break off a couple big runs or catches.
- Cause my gut said so
Kenny Stills, WR Miami vs Tennessee
Sunday 10/8 @ Miami at 1:00pm
I’m not ashamed to keep picking on a Tennessee defense that is giving up more touchdowns to receivers than any other.
Parker should have a good game as well, but Stills is the deep ball Deep Start.
- It’s the Titans.
- Stills is a deep threat and is healthy
- Stills technically leads Parker and Landry in snaps. (No, really, by 1)
Aldrick Robinson, WR San Francisco vs New York Jets
Sunday 10/8 @ Indianapolis at 1:00pm
Robinson was peppered with targets last week after playing full time when Goodwin left. The Colts are giving up big production to all receivers being covered by cornerbacks not named Vontae Davis. The situation is similar to last week with Patrick Peterson on Garcon, Davis will too. That should leave lots of target for Robinson. I do fear that Trent Taylor will cash in more in usage, but Aldrick is more capable of the big play.
- Colts give up production to all secondary receiving options.
- Scenario same as last week with opportunity for Robinson.
- Goodwin still out for concussion
Last point is important. If Goodwin makes it back, void this pick.
I can’t leave you without one of my famous Tight End picks, can I?
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, New York Jets vs Cleveland
Sunday 10//8 @ Cleveland at 1:00pm
I’m not going to apologize for the rerun. If Tyler Kroft can do it, ASJ can. And if you don’t all get him owned in over 1/3rd of leagues (he’s only 20% on Yahoo) I will use him again next week. The only excuse you have for not picking up ASJ and STARTING him this weekend…is if you played Brate on Thursday.
Narrative (it’s the same!)
- Proven production.
- Defensive vulnerability.
Week 4 Review
Austin Seferian-Jenkins 8.6pts PPR
ASJ looked great in the first half, getting all of his 8.6 points on 4 catches for 46 yards on 4 targets. But he disappeared in the second half and overtime. They didn’t even target him again. I think they will correct that. At least he wasn’t a total bust.
- Opportunity. CORRECT
- Proven production. CORRECT (can’t beat 4 for 4)
- Defensive vulnerability. PUSH (did Jax tighten up in 2nd half?)
- Checkmate. WRONG
Think the process worked here, but football just happened.
Marquise Goodwin 2.8pts PPR
Goodwin exited this game in the 1st quarter after getting 1 catch for 18 yards on 2 targets.
It actually looked promising until his concussion. Aldrick Robinson stepped into his place the rest of the game. Not much more to say here except prayers out for Goodwin’s brain.
Travis Benjamin 4.1pts PPR
Well, the process correctly identified the vulnerability, but we picked the wrong receiver. Tyrell Williams decided he wanted his job back this week and had a big 75yd touchdown. But he had 6 targets to Benjamin’s 2.
- High scoring game. CORRECT Well kind of. 24-26 so it hit 50.
- Vulnerable Eagle defense. CORRECT
- Benjamin is producing as the Charger WR2 WRONG
Houston WR2, Will Fuller V – 19.9pts PPR
I meant to get a tweet out before the game to make sure everyone knew Fuller was a go, but I did tell you to go Fuller if he was active.
And active he was, indeed!
I admit they weren’t quite the deep plays I expected, but his speed actually forced defenders to give him the cushion that allowed the shorter come back passes.
- Tennessee not stopping passing offense, especially big plays. CORRECT
- Watson is opening up the passing offense. CORRECT Like really correct.
- Fuller can make the big play. CORRECT
One’s I Missed
So we knew Cleveland can’t handle the Tight Ends. But I underestimated the unknown name and didn’t even give this matchup more than a passing look.
I’ll Just Leave This Here
- It’s really important to understand that POSITION does not equal ROLE. Lot’s of people decided to start Dwayne Allen when Gronkowski was declared Out on Thursday night. This was a massive mistake. While Allen is the TE2 on the depth chart, that’s irrelevant. First, Allen has been a disappointment in receiving game and has shown zero chemistry with Brady. Second, even when Gronk was out, such as during the Saints Week 2 game, Allen did not step into Gronk’s role. No one can truly replace Gronk, but Hollister has been more of the receiving TE. We have a few weeks of evidence proving this. Also, the Patriots can just take that role out of the game plan entirely if no one can fill it, which is what happened Thursday. ROLE is what matters, not position or depth chart, when replacing injured starters.
- Aaron Jones is a prime example of this. Jamaal Williams was never going to be a high snap count all around back in the mold of Ty Montgomery for the first three weeks. Aaron Jones, however, has the skillset to fill that role. And that fact was evident in Jones’ usage and success in the Week 4 Thursday game when you compare the Packers running with a healthy Williams vs Jones later. Jones slipped into the role much better and the offense became more comfortable again.
- Look for these mismatches in Role/Position to gain an advantage on the waiver after injuries. Remember everyone grabbing Fozzy Whittaker when Stewart was injured in 2016? People looked at the active players and depth chart and thought Cameron Artis-Payne was 3rd in line. Nope. He was the 3rd back, but 2nd in Stewart’s role. People who saw this and grabbed CAP profited.
- Situations that come to mind in 2017:
- Buffalo: Not buying Tolbert in McCoy’s role.
- LAC: Ekeler is Gordon’s replacement more than Oliver.
- Philly: When Alshon Jeffery gets injured look for the unknown Hollins to step up into his role more than Agholor or Smith.
- Indy: With Doyle out, the Colts won’t target the next TE up, they will use Moncrief more in the middle. (Similar to Amendola profiting from Gronk’s absence on Thursday)
- Hunter Henry will finally have his big game. His ownership and trade price have plummeted. Get him now.
- @MikeClayNFL on Twitter for helping me recognize the importance of position vs role in fantasy sit/starts. I’m not being underhanded or passive aggressive. Mike does a lot of great work, but he made a simple false assumption based on position that all of us have made before as well, except he did it very publicly while you get to say “pic or it didn’t happen.”