Fantasy Football Rankings 2018

Andrew Banks

It’s that time of year again. The time where we as writers insert our favorite season changing cliches like “as the leaves start to change color”, or “as kids start to go back to school”, or “as the hot summer air turns to a crisp fall breeze”. Nonetheless, fantasy football season is vastly approaching. As the first week of preseason games have come and gone, now is the time to really start your evaluation of the players you like. How will Pat Mahomes look at the head of the Chiefs offense? Will Saquon Barkley be the third straight rookie running back to lead the NFL in rushing (the correct answer is yes, you’re welcome). How will the new look Browns improve? Will Seattle ever find a starting running back? These are all questions looking to be answered during the preseason

It’s important to not to put too much stock into preseason, but also take little pieces of development into consideration. Snap count is an important factor in determining which rookies or second year players a team values going into the season. As for the starters keep a close eye on game 3 of the preseason. This is the game that is most like a regular season game. A dress rehearsal if you will. Your bonafide starters will see more action in this one so that is the game you want to study. Without further ado I release unto you my top 50 overall rankings for the upcoming fantasy season (PPR format) Next week, I will release my top 20 quarterbacks as well as sleepers and bust candidates. Enjoy the preseason!

  1. Todd Gurley
  2. Le’Veon Bell
  3. Antonio Brown
  4. David Johnson
  5. Ezekiel Elliot
  6. DeAndre Hopkins
  7. Odell Beckham
  8. Kareem Hunt
  9. Alvin Kamara
  10. Saquon Barkley
  11. Julio Jones
  12. Michael Thomas
  13. Melvin Gordon
  14. Keenan Allen
  15. Davante Adams
  16. Dalvin Cook
  17. A.J. Green
  18. Mike Evans
  19. Doug Baldwin
  20. LeSean McCoy
  21. Rob Gronkowski
  22. TY Hilton
  23. Jordan Howard
  24. Travis Kelce
  25. Allen Robinson
  26. Leonard Fournette
  27. Tyreek Hill
  28. Kenyan Drake
  29. Devonta Freeman
  30. Aaron Rodgers
  31. Adam Thielen
  32. Jerick McKinnon
  33. Lamar Miller
  34. CJ Anderson
  35. Jay Ajayi
  36. Demaryius Thomas
  37. Amari Cooper
  38. Stefon Diggs
  39. Josh Gordon
  40. Larry Fitzgerald
  41. Joe Mixon
  42. Russell Wilson
  43. Brandin Cooks
  44. Devin Funchess
  45. Jarvis Landry
  46. Alshon Jeffery
  47. Deshaun Watson
  48. Golden Tate
  49. Christian McCaffrey
  50. Tom Brady

Saquon Barkley at #10 is going to be someone I would not be scared to draft in the top 5 in my draft. The Giants have not had a 1,000 yard rusher since Ahmad Bradshaw in 2012. Barkley might be better than Ezekiel Elliot. A better receiver than Elliot and better vision than Kareem Hunt, Barkley could be the third straight rookie to lead the league in rushing . This is a weapon unlike Eli Manning has had in the backfield and they intend to use him.. a lot. The Giants offense the last two years have finished 21st or worse in yards and 26th or worse in scoring. 1,000 yards rushing and 400 yards receiving  should be expected with 10-14 total scores. He carried 4 times for 43 yards including a 39-yard burst in his first game as a pro.

Davante Adams at #17 is someone I have on my radar this season. Maybe a little overlooked because he hasn’t had a monster season yet, but this could be the year. He has 22 touchdown catches since 2016—- tops in the league. It’s not all Aaron Rodgers either because half of those came from Brett Hundley. Even though Jimmy Graham might steal some of the short scores, Jordy Nelson is gone. Adams will gobble up targets this season, and belongs in round 2 of your draft. He hauled in both of his targets for 57 yards in his first preseason action.

At #21 I look for TY Hilton to have a bounce back season. Andrew Luck is back. When Luck was healthy in 2016 Hilton had 1,448 receiving  yards and 91 receptions. He also had 155 targets. All indications say Luck is back and healthy this season. He had 1 catch for 8 yards in the Colts first preseason game. There isn’t a lot of weapons on offense for Indy so expect Hilton to approach those 16′ numbers.

Lamar Miller doesn’t get the proper respect he deserves. He’s the lead back in an offense that is led by an emerging star in Deshaun Watson. On Thuraday he showed his burst on a 19-yard run against the Chiefs. D’Onta Foreman is coming off an Achilles tear but could cut into Miller’s work load later in the season. But until then, take advantage of the borderline RB2 numbers. He’s better served as a flex option with a safe floor. Depending on matchup he could slide into a RB2 role. For where Miller will be drafted, he’s a great value. He had 4 carries for 29 yards in his preseason debut.

Joe Mixon didn’t have the rookie season we were all expecting. 3.5 yards per carry is nothing to write home about. Part of it was the play of the offensive line as it was one of the worst units in the league. Not much has changed but Cincinnati did acquire former Bills LT Cordy Glenn and drafted C Billy Price to fix their line issues. Mixon didn’t do much on the ground with only 9 yards on 3 carries, but he did catch a 24-yard touchdown from Andy Dalton. Mixon showed ability as a pass-catcher hauling in 30 of his 34 targets last season. The Bengals offense is sure to bounce back and if the online improves, Mixon is a solid RB2 with RB1 upside.

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NBA Free Agent Grades

In the spirit of back to school season, I gave off-season grades for some of the top free agent signings and re-signings in the Association. I didn’t include everyone. Just the guys that I wanted to talk about because, you know, this is my blog site.

Clint Capela-Houston Rockets: 5 years, $90 million; $18 million per year

*13.9 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game on a league-leading 65.2 percent shooting.

-Rockets lost valuable wing defenders and floor-spacers in Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute, replacing them with James Ennis and Michael Carter-Williams. Signing Capela was priority #1 if they intend on keeping up with the top teams in the West. It still might not be enough to hold off the Warriors, but Capela insures that the Rockets will stay at or near the top of the Western Conference.

A-

Kevin Love-Cleveland Cavaliers: 4 years, $120 million, $30 million a year

*17.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per game while knocking down 41.5 percent of his 5.6 long range attempts per game

-This could make trading him at the trade deadline easier with a long-term contract rather than an expiring one (Clippers did the same with Blake Griffin). $30 mil a year through his 34th birthday is way too high for a player who is very good but not a superstar. Cavs should be in rebuilding mode, but Love is a stabilizing prescence

B-

Carmelo Anthony-Houston Rockets: 1-year $2.5 million

*16.2 points a night on 40.4 percent shooting (both career lows) 35 percent from 3.

He’s a defensive liability now and even worse, Melo still envisions himself as a go-to scorer. The ball seems to get stuck in his hands. Playing with the high-octane Rockets with James Harden and Chris Paul, there’s a 100% chance Melo will not get the same touches he has gotten throughout his career. It’s also possible that he becomes more efficient going from playing with Russ Westbrook to playing with those above mentioned guys. I wouldn’t bank on it though.. see what I did there?

C

Michael Beasley-Los Angeles Lakers: 1-year $3.5 million

*13.2 points and 5.6 rebounds in just 22.3 minutes per game. He even shot 50.7 percent from the floor and 39.5 percent from 3-point range.

*Other additions: Rajon Rondo, Javelle Mcgee, Lance Stephenson

The numbers look good for Beez, the chemistry might be a different story. The Lakers won’t be short on story lines this season that’s for sure. This could either make beautiful music, or crash and burn. I’ll go somewhere in the middle.

C+

Marcus Smart-Boston Celtics: 4 years, $52 million, $13 million per year

*10.2 points per game, 3.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists. Hasn’t shot better than 33.5 percent from 3 in his career, but makes up for it with every other part of his game.

A fireball of energy, the Celtics need his defensive versatility and tenacity. He’s an underrated playmaker and an unsung hero for this squad.

B+

Jabari Parker-Chicago Bulls: 2 years $40 million

*12.6 points, 4.9 boards, 1.9 assists, 48 percent from the field.

This signing comes with obvious risk. Parker has torn his ACL twice in four seasons. He doesn’t play any defense, and is going to a Bulls team that had the third worst defensive rating in the league last season. Not to mention they already have a defensive ghost in their lineup in Zach Lavine (we’ll get to him later). $20 million is a hefty price, but they have a second year option so they can get out of this contract if things go south. Maybe the upside of Parker playing in his hometown will work out, but I’m not optimistic.

D+

Zach Lavine-Chicago Bulls: 4-years $78 million

*16.7 points per game, 3.9 rebounds, 3 assists on 38 percent shooting from the floor and 34 percent from three.

The Bulls are really good at making questionable and irresponsible decisions. The Kings originally were the ones who offered this ridiculous offer (in typical Kings fashion) for Lavine, and leave it to the Bulls to match their stupidity. On the surface, the Bulls are well over paying for the level of production. Let me know if this sounds familiar: Multiple ACL injuries and doesn’t play a lick of defense. Having one wing player that doesn’t play defense in today’s NBA is troubling. Having two is downright detrimental. Stepping down from my soapbox, the potential scoring upside is what could make this deal worth it. He’s averaged 20 points in a season once upon a time and is still only 23. It’s up to Lavine to make the Bulls look less dumb about this contract. The Bulls might have to score 130 points a night just to stay competitive

C-

Isaiah Thomas-Denver Nuggets: 1-year, $2 million

*15.2 points per game, 4.8 assists

Nuggets dumped Kenneth Faired and Darrell Arthur to avoid the luxury tax which makes this deal more than worth it. Hip problems plagued him last year as he continued his free-fall from stardom just a couple years ago. Hard to believe this man averaged 28.2 a game in 2016-2017. He had an awful shooting season (38 percent from the field and 33 percent from three). If he embraces being the 6th man backing up Jamaal Murray, he could provide a nice scoring punch for the Nuggets off the bench. Let’s see if Thomas has anything left in the tank.

B-

Devin Booker-Pheonix Suns 5-years, $158 million, $31.6 million per year

*24.9 points per game, 4.5 rebounds, 4.7 assists on 43 percent shooting from the field and 38 percent from three.

Booker is already a star in this league at just 21…21!! Averaging 24.9 points for a Suns team that has been horrible to watch is an impressive feat. He was this teams only legitimate scoring option and teams still couldn’t stop him. That’s a prerequisite for being a great player. He finally has legit talent around him, so this could really be a breakout year for him and the Suns. Here’s a fun fact: Booker is the third-youngest player behind LeBron and KD to reach 4,000 points. Here’s another fun fact: Last season he had the second highest scoring average by a player 21 or younger behind Michael Jordan himself. No debate here.

A+

Dwight Howard-Washington Wizards:1 year, 5.3 million

*16.6 points, 12.5 boards and 1.6 blocks per game

It looks like a desperate signing on the surface but the Wizards actually upgraded their 5 spot by getting rid of Marcin Gortat. D-Howard is still an effective player at this stage in his career. He defends and rebounds at a high level and has the physique of an Under Armour mannequin. However this is his 5th team in 4 years. I’m thinking that there’s a reason for that. Just ask Kobe Bryant. Hopefully he doesn’t upset the chemistry in the locker room for yet another franchise, but going to the Washington Wizards of all teams could be like throwing a lit match on a gasoline trail.

C+

DeMarcus Cousins-Golden State Warriors: 1 year, $5.3 million

*25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.6 steals per game on 47 percent shooting from the field and 35 percent from three

Let’s be real for a second. Cousins deserves a max deal based off his production last season and his career as a whole. He’s been the most dominant big man in the league for the better part of the last five seasons. If we can be real about his numbers, we have to be real about his injury history as well. He tore his Achilles right before the all-star break last season, and probably won’t return until Febuary 2019 at best. But a one year deal to play for the back-to-back NBA champions!? That is unfair. There’s no guarantee that Cousins can return to his MVP numbers. It was hard enough for Kobe to be the same guy after he ruptured his Achilles, and Cousins is almost 60 lbs heavier. He will have to fit into the culture of the Warriors and sacrifice some of his numbers for the good of the team. If he can prove that he still has some high level basketball left in him, he could earn a max deal with another team after this season. The Warriors don’t need him so this was a luxury signing. It’s a win-win situation.

A+

DeAndre Jordan-Dallas Mavericks: 1 year, 24.1 million

*12 points per game, 15.2 rebounds, 0.9 blocks

Just the thought of pairing Jordan with Dennis Smith Jr (he should’ve won the dunk contest but let’s move on) and euro rookie sensation who is not really a rookie, Luka Doncic is tantalizing. Lob City 2.0 could be on the horizon. He’s a real defensive presence which is something the Mavs haven’t had since Tyson Chandler. He averages 10.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks for his career, but he is going to have to do better than the 0.9 blocks per game he averaged last year

B

Chris Paul-Houston Rockets: 4 years, $160 million, $40 per year

*18.6 points per game, 7.9 assists, 5.4 rebounds, 1.7 steals on 46 percent shooting from the field and 38 percent from three.

I still can’t believe he makes $40 million a year, but I get it. Houston wants to stay in the championship hunt for the foreseeable future. Locking up CP3 assures just that. But it’s safe to call him injury prone at this point in his career. Not to mention he’s 33 and will be 37 at the end of the deal. This contract is great for Paul, not so much for Houston.

C+

Paul George-Oklahoma City Thunder: 4 years, $137 million, $34 million per year

*21.9 points per game, 5.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists on 43 percent shooting from the field and 40 percent from three.

I was shocked to see George not sign with LA and stick with Russ and the Thunder. The real winner is OKC. They needed Goerge to re-sign in the worst way. They’re luxury tax bill is sky high but at least they have one of the best one two punches in the league. The fourth year is a player option so George could opt out but even if he stays for 3, OKC will take that over none.

A+

LeBron James-Los Angeles Lakers: 4 years, $154 million, $38.5 million per year

*27.5 points per game, 8.6 rebounds, 9.1 assists on 54.2 present shooting from the field and 37 percent from three

You thought I was going to forget about the king? (Still can’t believe he didn’t win MVP, look at those numbers MY GOD) For LeBron I feel like it is more of a career move than a basketball move. He’s playing with a wide array of characters to say the least. President of basketball operations Magic Johnson wanted to surround James with more play makers and ball handlers to keep some tread off of his tires. It’s a good plan in theory, but I don’t know if Lance Stephenson, Michael Beasley and Rajon Rondo are the right play makers. For a franchise that has been stuck in a rut and ready to be back in the playoff limelight, this is obviously a great signing. This is bigger than basketball. LeBron checks all the boxes you want out of your face of the franchise.

A+

Yeezus Madness

Before I say what I have to say about the great Kanye West, I want everyone reading this to take a moment. I want y’all to realize that Kanye West is my generations Michael Jackson.

Oh ya, I said that; you don’t have to read it twice. What I mean is no other artist other than Michael Jackson has more hits than Kanye West. You don’t have to agree and I don’t really care if you do to be frank.

What 610 Sports radio host Carrington Harrison (@cdotharrison on Twitter) asked us all to do was near impossible. In the spirit of March Madness and brackets, “C-Dot” created a bracket filled with 64 Kanye songs. His discography was spread out into 4 regions: North West, Donda, Chicago and Saint. Each region has songs ranked 1-16.

I wouldn’t trust anyone else but C-Dot when it comes to correctly ranking Kanye’s incredible discography. However!! Since this is my blog, I gotta put my two cents on it. I had a couple beefs as far as matchups and there were some GRUELING decisions to make. Without further ado let’s get it in.

NORTH WEST REGION

You get some heavy hitters right off the bat in this one. Can’t Tell Me Nothing is the 1 seed with Through the Wire, Flashing Lights, Love Lockdown, Famous and So Appalled as contenders. So Appalled as the 8-seed vs Never Let Me Down as the 9-seed was the best matchup of the region. So Appalled is a dope track from Kanye’s self-proclaimed ”masterpiece” My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. When Kanye said

”N****s be writing bullshit like they gotta work, N****s is going through real shit, man, they outta work”

That wrapped up Kanye’s verse beautifully. Not to mention Hov joining in on the fun. Cyhi Tha Prince went stupid on this track too. Such a powerhouse track. Then we have Never Let Me Down ft Jay-Z (This is going to be a trend) off of College Dropout.

”Now n****s can’t make it to ballots to choose leadership, But we can make it to Jacobs and to the dealership, Swear I hear new music and I just don’t be feelin’ it, racism’s still alive they just be concealing it.”

Those four lines could stand up in any era because of how real it is. I love this era of Kanye because he was so ”woke” when all black people wanted to hear was gangsta’ rap. Kanye was trying to put us on game and songs like this makes me miss the old Kanye. For that reason, I had to roll with Never Let Me Down over So Appalled.

Elite 8- Can’t Tell Me Nothing (1) vs. Through The Wire (2)

Can’t Tell Me Nothing

Through The Wire

Through The Wire moves on. The man got in a car accident, literally had his jaw wired shut and still made a hit record weeks later. Let’s move on.

DONDA REGION

This region isn’t as strong as the others but you can still find plenty of star power throughout. All Falls Down is the 1-seed with Monster, Drive Slow, Runaway, and All of The Lights going toe to toe. The best matchup in this one was Runaway (4) vs. Blood On The Leaves (13). Another track from DTF, Runaway has the iconic piano intro that everyone loves. Kanye put everything he had into this record. His distorted solo at the very end is beautiful and ugly all in one. In my opinion, it’s one of his best projects he ever did.

Elite 8- Runaway (4) vs. Get Em High (10)

Watch Runaway video here

Runaway wins in a run away.

CHICAGO REGION

This might be my favorite region of them all. The Chi-Town bracket has Jesus Walks (1) to go with Gold Digger (6), Slow Jamz (3), Power (2), and Stronger (4). The toughest matchup I had to decide was Stronger vs. Black Skinhead. Stronger is no doubt the bigger and more popular song. This was right around the time Kanye firmly planted his foot on the necks of every rappper in the game. Graduation is one of my favorite projects from Ye’ because of how indentifiable his sound had become. It was a culmination of College Dropout and Late Registration. It’s almost like those two albums had a baby and out came Graduation. The transformation from humble kid with a pink polo to global icon was complete. This was also the album that Kanye put up agaisnt 50 Cent’s Curtis back in 2007. I did one of my very first stories for my high school newspaper on how Kanye would destroy 50 Cent in head to head album sales. Of course I was right. Kanye sold 957,000 in his first week while 50 did 691,000.

Even after all that, I still chose Black Skinhead. The reason why: it was way before it’s time. When Yeezus dropped, it seemed as if Ye’ had abandoned us. He was argumentive and confrontational like never before and the sound reflected it. But low key that album ushered in the whole Travis Scott sound that we hear in music all the time now. I just feel like Black Skinhead contributed more to the industry and stands out on its own more. It’s revolutionary in a way.

Elite 8Black Skinhead (13) vs. Slow Jamz (3)

This was a tough one but Slow Jamz takes this one. Easily a top five record out of everything he’s done. It had a fire sample from Luther Vandross, Jamie Foxx and Twista. Two of the hotter names at the time. He showed not only was he coming with bars and drums, but he could make a r&b hit. College Dropout holds sentimental value to me so more times than not I’ll give songs off that album the edge.

Black Skinhead

Slow Jamz

SAINT REGION

We wrap things up in this region with Touch The Sky (1) along with hits like N****s In Paris (2), Heard Em Say (6), Diamonds From Sierra Leone (4), The New Workout Plan (16), and Champion (8). This region was the most heartbreaking. Spaceship (5) vs. Ultralight Beams (12) made me want to quit filling out this bracket altogether.

I will admit that I love Spaceship more than the average Kanye fan. Again this is an example of a song from CD, so it’s hard for me to objectively pick against it. College Dropout quite simply helped me find my blackness. I was 13 when it came out. I lived in Overland Park, Kansas. For those who don’t know, OP back when I was growing up was like the NBA except reverse. The NBA is predominantly black and black culture is present throughout. Overland Park was a heavy dose of white culture. I mean the first pg-13 movie I ever saw was Napoleon Dynamite and I used to think it was hilarious, so that should tell you everything you need to know about how I grew up. When my cousin left her College Dropout cd at my house, I listened to it front to back over and over. I realized I wanted to be more like Kanye and less like Will Ferrell. I started my prep phase with bright colored polos because of Kanye West. So that’s why the songs on this album mean so much more to me. Even though I didn’t fully appreciate what he was saying until I came of age, I got the gist. College Dropout will always connect me with my early childhood and without it, I have no idea who I would be today. But please do not get it twisted. Ultralight Beams is an amazing record. Since this is off Life of Pablo, his most recent work, I wasn’t ready to put that over a record like Spaceship that was so raw and unapologetic. His line referencing his job at the Gap is an all-time great.

”They take me to the back and pat me, askin’ me about some khakis, but let some black people walk in I bet you they show off their token blackie”

To wrap up the verse, he tells us exactly why he deserves the riches he’s received.

”Dude, lock yoself in a room doin’ five beats a day for three summers, that’s a different world like Cree Summers, I deserve to do these numbers. The kid that made that, deserves that Maybach.”

And then he predicts the future

”I got so many records in my basement, I’m just waiting on my spaceship”

Elite 8-Spaceship (5) vs N****s In Paris (2)

I picked Spaceship for the upset in this one but N****s In Paris did not go down easy. NIP was a banger when it came out, but I give the edge to the more conscious Kanye.

Final 4-

Through The Wire (2) VS. Runaway (4)

AND

Slow Jamz (3) VS. Spaceship (5)

The journey for Through The Wire has to end here. Runaway is such a polished masterpiece, that I could not pick against it. 9 minutes of pure art. I also have Slow Jamz beating out Spaceship.

And for the win…

Runaway Takes The Throne!

There you have it! I hope y’all enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you want more Kanye Bracket talk go give my boy CDot a follow on Twitter @cdotharrison and of course follow me @Drizzy_Dru29.

How to Fix NCAA

It’s time for the NCAA to move into the future. It is time for amateur athletes to get a piece of the pie. Athletic directors and higher-ups in the NCAA need to be called out. For too long, the people who are in charge (who are supposed to have the kids best interest in mind) have been stealing money that could benefit these student-athletes immensely. Student-athletes should be able to receive some type of payment for everything that they do.

I’m mainly wagging a disapproving finger at grown men taking advantage of poor kids. But there are examples of athletes from all economic backgrounds who could have and should have gotten more from their collegiate experience than a couple trophies. Take football into consideration. Look at Johnny Manziel. That man single handedly put Texas A&M football on the map. It was not his coach. It was not his athletic director. Nor was it NCAA president Mark Emmert. Manziel made the highlight reels. What do Robert Griffin III, Vince Young, Reggie Bush and Denard Robinson all have in common? They were all featured as cover athletes for EA Sports video games and did not see a dime of that money. Someone who has superior and extraordinary talent should be able to profit off of their own face.

Think of any other profession. Where else do you find these same limits and boundaries? You might say “Well Drew college kids are not professionals”. And you would be right. Kind of. I would argue that there are some athletes who are good enough to be professionals without spending any time in college. Not all student-athletes are made the same. Some are more talented than others. Also, schedules are such that trying to juggle practice and school work is like a full-time job. The demands of a major college season have become greater. I’ll spare you WHY I think the NCAA is corrupt and its roots to institutional racism for another post. I just think we need to make a few changes to the rules. First I’ll let you read what ESPN NCAA basketball analyst Jay Bilas thinks is a solution:

1) The “one and done” rule should be thrown away. While this is strictly an NBA rule, I believe it would positively affect the college game for the better. When the rule was put in place by former NBA commissioner David Stern in the early 2000s, it was because he believed that most high school athletes weren’t ready for the transition to the NBA. For every Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant, there’s a Darius Miles and Kwame Brown. The game has evolved since then. Athletes today are ultra athletic AND big. YouTube sensation and future NBA lottery pick Zion Williamson does not need college. At 6-6 275 lbs, he’s a man right now. A player like him should have the right to jump to the league if he pleases. At the same time, if a high school kid decides to join a university they would need to stay in school a minimum of 2 years. College baseball and football make their student athletes stay a minimum of three years so I believe this is more than fair. The overall star power may not be as obvious, but I believe it will make the college game more pure. Kids who actually want to be in school will have a different kind of motivation than a kid who just wants to impress NBA scouts. It also helps that the NBA has a developed minor league system now which back then they did not.

2) Let NCAA student athletes profit off their likeness. Like Jalen Rose said, there is way too much money changing hands and for the kids not to receive any of it is criminal.  Right now, Devonte’ Graham cannot gain any money from having sponsors or being in commercials. He cannot sign autographs and profit off of that. Devonte Graham is in the running for Player of the Year. He plays for the University of Kansas. Have you seen his hair? You can’t tell me that dude isn’t marketable. It would be in the best interest of the NCAA to allow their best players at these bigger schools to gain some exposure. Not only would the player benefit, but it might be bring more casual fans to the game of college basketball.

The main argument I always hear is that getting to attend college for free is a way of payment. But it is not. Don’t get it twisted. Yes free tuition for four years, if you choose, is an exceptional opportunity. Just ask my credit score. That is a great deal for the average student athlete. By now, we know that not everyone has the same destiny. I imagine Oklahoma point guard Trae Young’s summer will be vastly different than any of his teammates. So why limit his money making opportunity? He’s worked his whole life to be a great basketball player. For some it was their ticket out of poverty. It’s 2018. We need to start treating these kids as people instead of dollar signs. Everyone is getting paid except the people who are putting fans in the seats. There are hundreds of restrictions on the student athlete, but coaches and athletic directors have free reign to make millions of dollars off the backs of the young men they bring to their school.

NCAA president Mark Emmert did take a stand last Friday when he said, they will take “serious consideration” in the Olympic model. That way, student athletes would be able to profit off of endorsement deals. It’s a good start, but it sounds like lip service. It sounds good to the media during this firestorm that the NCAA created due to it’s shady culture. If a kid was able to have endorsement money from a company, it could change the outlook on a kids family. That’s what the NCAA should be about. Changing kids lives. Not stealing from them.

Week 11 Waiver Wire picks

Before I begin the second installment of my waiver wire picks, we have to reflect on last week’s list and respect the accuracy of my calls. I talked up Marqise Lee last week and he did not disappoint. He gave you a beautiful toe dragging TD while adding in five catches for 66 yards. He’s asserted himself as a solid high floor WR2, and will continue to see a big target share as the Jaguars best receiving threat. Blake Bortles… Please don’t mess this up for all of us. Josh Mccown was a bad call for sure. He only got you a measly 2 points in standard scoring. Orleans Darkwa was solid but didn’t score. Charles Clay was a non factor. But hey Curtis Samuel was on his way to a very respectful game with five catches for 45 yards. Then he hurt his ankle and now reports say he’s done for the year. So overall I got you a solid player in Lee and the rest were missess. So let’s try this again.

Quarterback

I can’t believe I’m about to say this but you should pick up Jay Cutler if he’s available. Just hear me out because he’s been solid the last two games. His TD:INT ratio is 5-1 and the Dolphins have shown they can put up points. Cutler gets some pretty weak defenses coming up that shouldn’t scare you. He gets the Patriots twice, the Broncos who might have quit on the season, the Bills who definitely quit on the season (you already know I’m going to cook on them), and our beloved Chiefs. Say what you want about the Broncos defense still being elite but they have given up 92 points the last two games. It looks like they have thrown in the towel knowing Brock Osweiler is their quarterback. Don’t blame them at all honestly. Cutler should still put up numbers and is a high upside streamer heading into the fantasy playoffs.

Running Back

Don’t look now but Austin Ekeler is not waiting on you to notice that he’s a viable fantasy option. He had 119 total yards and seven catches on seven targets for two recieving touchdowns. He’ll never replace Melvin Gordon, but Ekeler has a role in this offense. It’s worth noting that he did have 10 rushes for 44 so he’s also a capable runner. He’s a good flex play right now and if Gordon got injured, Ekeler would be a borderline RB1. This week, he’ll get to take on a Buffalo Bills team that just got blasted by the New Orleans Saints 47-10.

Wide Receiver

If for some reason Corey Davis is still on the waiver wire like he is my league (three man benches ain’t for punks), you need to scoop him up. He’s playing in a Thursday night game so defenses for both teams could be sloppy. Davis would’ve had a TD in week 10, but he lost control of the ball diving for the end zone. He led the team with 10 targets and is beginning to get on the same page with Marcus Mariota. He could still play a factor for your team in the fantasy playoffs if you want a high floor big upside flex option.

The Browns are a sorry ass team with very few weapons on offense. The offense showed some life though last week, and now Corey Coleman is ready to roll in week 11. He was placed on IR after a hand injury in week 1 and is now set to make his return. Before his injury he had five catches for 55 yards and a touchdown. There were articles in the beginning of the season about how QB Deshone Kizer and Coleman were clicking during camp and preseason. Coleman is their best reciever based on talent and the Browns need help in the passing game. He’s a consideration in 12 team or deeper leagues.

Buzzin!

  Kansas City, we finally have a professional basketball team. As reported by KC Star’s Gary Bedore, the new North American Premier Basketball League will host the “KC Buzz” along with seven other teams. The league will consist of KC, Vancover, B.C.; Yakima, WS; Mesquite, NV; Owensboro, KY; Akron, OH; Rochester, NY and Albany, NY. The league will have 32 regular season games expecting to start around Jan. 1, 2018. All eight teams will make the playoffs as well. 

Why the name “The Buzz”? 

  “We were trying a play on words marketing-wise — to make Municipal ‘The Hive’ to see what all the buzz is all about,” said former University of Kansas forward Calvin Thompson, the team’s coach. Thompson played for KU from 1982-86.

  “KC Splash” was also an option for the team name in honor of Kansas City being the city of fountains. Coach Thompson questioned the name saying “What would the mascot be? A waterfall?”

  Obviously the natural question now is who will be on the team? For now we know two things. Former KU players Sherron Collins and Kevin Young will be on the roster. The team is also seeking out former K-state players and Missouri players.

  “This will not be a Jayhawk team just because I am a Jayhawk,” Thompson said. “Guys are everywhere.” He noted there are talented players from Park, Penn Valley, Emporia State and other junior and four-year colleges who figure to attend the Saturday combine.
 The rest of the team will be filled out by an upcoming draft and player combine this Saturday. You can also try out for the “Buzz” this Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kansas City. For more information about the league and the combine visit their Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/napbasketball/

Golden Era

Congratulations to Eric Hosmer and Alex Gordon for cashing in during award season. Hosmer won his 4th gold glove at first base and Alex Gordon won his 5th award in left field. Hosmer also won his first Silver Slugger award, the first Royal to win that award since George Brett in 1988. The Silver Slugger is given to the best hitter at each position in the American League and National League. 


  Hosmer did what most athletes do in contract seasons; he enjoyed a career year. He led all American League firstbasemen in batting average (.318) with 25 homers and 94 RBIs. Let’s be real with ourselves Royals fans, there’s a good chance Hos won’t be back at The K next season. He has won every award a player can win outside of MVP. He’s just entering his prime at 28 years old and the Red Sox and Yankees have needs at first base. 

BREAKING NEWS!!!!!!!

It has come to my attention that there are some people who don’t think Hosmer deserves his gold glove. 


If you’ll allow me to cook for just one moment.. OK I’m ready. Eric Hosmer is 6-4 225 lbs and a huge target for his infielders. What does this mean? Alcides Escobar can attempt circus throws from shallow left field because he knows he can just throw it in Hosmer’s vecinity. Similar to when Calvin Johnson was dominating the NFL. All Matt Stafford had to do was throw it up and Johnson would use his freakish body and haul in the pass. Hosmer makes his infield better. They don’t have to make perfect throws. How many times have you seen Hos, dig balls out of the dirt? (My guess is that the dopes making those tweets have never watched a second of Royals baseball) I’ve seen him stretch out to snag a ball that a smaller player could not reach. His footwork at first base is impeccable. Stats don’t tell you everything. The eye test is everything. Eric Hosmer passes that test  every time. Go get paid bro.