Are you constantly sliding out of playoff contention in all of your fantasy football leagues? Do you find yourself using the “there’s always next year” mantra, every single year? Do you struggle from embarrassment in the workplace and feel that your wife or girlfriend is not pleased by your performance in the bedroom?

Hello nerds, my name is Big Hank and I hope I will be able to help you with at least a couple of your problems. I’m a self proclaimed fantasy football wizard, bred out of the hard western suburban streets of Chicago. I’m a BIG time Chicago sports homer and I played football in high school (road the bench), so you can trust that I have the insight you need to win.

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Big Hank in 2015 – avid Tinder user

 

Enough about me. Back to football. The 2016 season started last night with an excellent Super Bowl rematch. I threw $5 on Denver right before the flip so I was pleased with the ending. I’m also beginning to dislike Cam Newton more and more (kind of the Steph Curry effect), so all in all it was a good night.

Here’s a clip of Big Cam getting absolutely WALLOPED on their last drive if you missed it: Cam gets popped .

Now let’s get to the CONTENT. Whether you’re in a dynasty, keeper, or redraft league I’m Big Hank and I’m here to offer my opinion on fantasy football.

My advice for week 1: confidently stream Smokin’ Jay Cutty, start Alshon, Langford, Kevin White, Bears D/ST, Robbie Gould (jk), and the immortal Zach Miller. While I wish my hometown Bears were filled with fantasy diamonds, unfortunately for us Chicagoans, this is not the case. Read on for my actual, semi-unbiased take on week 1 of fantasy football.

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Here’s a table of contents for you kids that like to be organized and sh*t:

Hank’s injury notes and just plain old notes

Streaming QBs – Who should I start Hank?!?

Streaming D/ST’s – What’s a D/ST??

Free Agent and Waiver Wire SCOOOOPS


Hank’s injury notes and just plain old notes

Jamaal Charles – Kansas City Chiefs RB

Charles missed practice again on Thursday as his recovery from ACL injury is taking longer than expected. The Walrus himself (Andy Reid) even said that Charles “might be a stretch to play week 1”. Spencer Ware is the guy to target in the Chiefs backfield for week 1.

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Thomas Rawls – Seattle Seahawks RB

He missed Thursday’s practice with flu like symptoms (how soft can you be?). While this isn’t a big deal in itself he is already behind on his recovery from ankle injury and is listed as the Seahawks No. 2 RB behind Christine Michael. Rawls is a shaky start at best for week 1. Michael is the back you want going for your squad this week.

Carlos Hyde – San Fransisco 49ers RB

He had a concussion, but is no longer listed on the Niners injury report. He will be good to go for week 1.

Justin Forsett – Baltimore Ravens RB

Forsett will be the Ravens starting running back for week 1 in a backfield that screams fantasy disaster. While he may get 20+ rushes, I do not like him rest of season. Buck Allen and Javorius West are both solid backups and it seems that John Harbaugh is intending on using a committee approach. Sneaky pick for people in keeper and dynasty leagues is rookie running back Kenneth Dixon. He’s arguably the most talented RB out of the Baltimore mix and should see more time as the season progresses. 

Matt Jones – Washington Redskins RB

He practiced in full on Thursday (has a slight shoulder injury) and should be good to go for his Monday night game against the Steelers.

Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts QB

Handy Andy has been limited in practice with a nagging shoulder injury, but will be all set for week 1. Luck is a high end QB play for week 1 against the Lions and for the ROS.

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Luck is also an excellent actor in Geico commercials.

Chris Ivory – Jacksonville Jaguars RB

Chris has a sore calf and is still listed as questionable for week 1. Unless Chris sacks up and stops whining about his calfs, he will be splitting carries with young stud T.J. Yeldon in week 1 and for the rest of the season. The Jacksonville backfield is not very desirable fantasy wise. I would rather have Yeldon ROS because of his pass catching abilities and big play potential. Ivory will get goal line carries, but probably won’t score much because of his sore calfs :/ .

Rob GRONKowski – New England Patriots TE

Gronk has a sore hammy, but he has been cleared and will be good to go for week 1. Start the Polish Hammer in week 1 and throughout the 2016 season.

Brandon Marshall – New York Jets WR

He has a sore hip but was a full participant in practice on Thursday, so he is good to go.

Jimmy Graham – Seattle Seahawks TE

Jimmy has a bad knee. He ended up practicing Thursday and will play this weekend. Regardless, I’d hold off on starting the former fantasy stud this week. Stash him on your bench in hopes that he can stay healthy and string a few positive weeks together.

J.J. Watt – Houston Texans DE

Uhhh hey J.J… People suffer from bad back injuries every day, do you really think it’s okay to fake one before game 1 of the season? J.J. probably was not faking and will play this week against my Bears. Expect him to absolutely abuse the seemingly never good Bears offensive line.


Streaming QBs – Who should I start Hank?!?

Hopefully none of you will be streaming QBs in week 1, but if that is the case, here are some guys with excellent matchups. I am not going to include QB1’s here (Newton, Rodgers, Luck, Wilson) because they should be started almost every week with confidence. These are the guys that have lower ownership percentages with a favorable matchup.

Derrick Carr’s Raiders @ the Stinky New Orleans Saints

The Saints had the worst defense in 2015 and there is no reason to believe this will change in the current year. Stream any QB against the Saints all season longgg.

Kirk Cousins’ Redskins vs. PITT

The Steelers will put up a lot of points. The Steelers will give up a lot points. This is the perfect storm for Captain Kirk to put on an absolute laser show.

Blake Bortles’ Jaguars (great Wikipedia page) vs. the Piss poor Packers

The Packers, like the Steelers, will put up a lot of points (unfortunately). They will also give up a lot of points (ranked 5th worst passing defense in 2015). The Jags have a lot of intriguing scoring options on offense (Robinson, Hurns, Thomas, Ivory/Yeldon) and will put up boatloads of points this year. They will also likely be playing from behind most games because their defense is comparable to the levees that were meant to hold back the flood waters of Hurricane Katrina. Blake will not disappoint this week and should be owned in all leagues.

Matty Stafford’s Lions @ the Crybaby Colts

Many so called ‘fantasy experts’ seem to be writing off Stafford this year because Calvin Johnson retired. This will not be the case in week 1. The Colts defense ranked near the bottom of the league in almost every category last season. They will stink it up again and with Andy Luck back on the field, will put up a lot of points. This one should be a shootout and Stafford will drop a couple bombs on the Indy secondary. Side note, Stafford’s wife is still really hot: staffords-wife


Streaming D/ST’s – What’s a D/ST??

These picks are pretty simple so I will not go too in depth with each of them. They include the good to solid defenses that are playing mediocre to bad offenses. Here is my list:

Chicago @ Houston – JJ Watt is back. Jay Cutler is still on the Bears so you can expect a turnover or five. Start Houston with confidence.

Miami @ Seattle – Seattle is a no brainer in this matchup. They will likely have a couple sacks, and force a few turnovers as well. Tannehill does not have a favorable matchup in his first week with new head coach, Adam Gase, but I do like him ROS.

Cleveland @ Philly – The Browns stink and the Eagles (fly eagles fly) are a turnover hungry defense. Look for the Gulls to put up some solid points this week.

New England @ Arizona – No big Tom for the first 4 weeks has to have a negative impact on the Pats offense, right (maybe not). Either way, Arizona is a top tier defense and is playing at home. I expect at least 1 or 2 turnovers by Gritty Garoppolo in week 1.

San Diego @ Kansas City – The Chiefs finished the 2015 season on an absolute TEAR. They ended up being one of the highest scoring fantasy defenses last year and I don’t see why this won’t continue this season.

Los Angeles (Rams) @ San Fransisco – Blaine Gabbert and the brutal 49ers offense won’t do much this week against the Rams who boast one of (if not the best) D-Lines in the NFL.


Free Agent and Waiver Wire SCOOOOPS

At this point in the season this section of the blog is not all that relevant because no starters are hurt yet (except Mr. Charles from the Chiefs) and no fringe players have popped off. So, instead of listing players you should add/ monitor I’ll just throw out my two cents on how to properly play the waiver wire.

  1. Make sure you understand your league’s waiver rules. Most leagues will set the initial waiver order as a reverse of the draft order. After you use your waiver claim you go to the end of the list and move up as others use their own waiver claims. Ask your commish or look at the league settings to make sure you know what you’re doing.
  2. Make sure you know exactly when the waiver period ends. In my Yahoo leagues, sometime in the early hours of Tuesday morning (around 3AM) the waiver period ends. At this point all players who were not taken by waiver claims become free agents. Free agents can be added without sacrificing your waiver spot so it is important to know whether or not you need to waste a waiver claim on someone that you could have just added in free agency.
  3.  Do not waste your waiver pick on a streaming QB, D/ST, K, or TE. ONLY use your waiver claim on players that will provide an immediate impact on your fantasy team for more than 1 week.
    1. GOOD: The Steeler’s stud RB Le’Veon Bell tore his MCL in week 8 last season and looks to be out for the rest of the year. You have one of the top waiver slots in your league and decide to claim Bell’s backup DeAngelo Williams off the waivers. You successfully claim Williams off the waivers and he carries your team to a fantasy championship – hooray!
    2. BAD: It’s week 9 of the NFL season and your team is right on the cusp of making the playoffs. You notice that your QB, Russell Wilson, has some tough matchups coming up in the next few weeks against Denver and Carolina. You decide to add a backup QB to start for these weeks. You have a top waiver slot in your league and use your claim on a wild Ryan Fitzpatrick, pushing you to the back of the waiver list. This was an AWFUL move on your part. When looking to add players with favorable matchups you should almost never waste your waiver claim on them. Even if Fitz was added in the waiver period, there are still many other viable options that you could have added in free agency. Use your waiver claims to snag someone after a key injury, not on a wild Ryan Fitzpatrick. NFL: New York Jets-Training Camp
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