2020 Winkenbach Preview
By: Perry James
It’s that time of year boys. Draft Day Eve. The order is set. The rankings are finalized. The butterflies are starting to form. The day we look forward to all year is finally here. 12 men will enter a bright conference room at noon tomorrow filled with hopes and aspirations of bringing the Winkenbach trophy home.
For some, it would be another notch in their belt -- just another championship to further validate their spot among the best in the league. For others, it would be a return to past glory. Rekindled success after countless years of failure. And for a select few, it would be their first championship. A chance to once and for all gain the respect of their peers -- and maybe more importantly, have that perennial monkey lifted off their back.
Those narratives make up just a small taste of the endless number of storylines going into the 2020 Winkenbach season. And that is what makes our league so great. That is what separates us from the rest. It’s not our scoring system. Our roster construction. The way we choose draft picks. When it comes down to it, it really has nothing to do with fantasy football at all. Our league is great because of its members. Our history together. The inside jokes. The rivalries. The drama. The brotherhood.
Heading into year 17 together I appreciate this league now more than ever. It has led to renewed friendships and new lifelong friends. It has been an escape from real life drama at times, and an outlet for support and growth at others. It is a community, brought together by fantasy football. But one that sticks together because of so much more. I’ve won. I’ve lost. But most importantly, I’ve had the time of my life with my best friends. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the world.
So with that said, I wanted to do something special this year. I thought about a mock draft, but that seemed a little boring. I thought about a detailed set of power rankings, but we have been there before, and we know how that can go. So I decided to somewhat combine the two -- using the draft order to highlight my predictions for each pick, as well as give an in-depth preview of each owner’s fantasy season.
Look, I know this is lengthy and some of you probably have not read something this long since high school. Maybe some of you have stopped already. Tanner for sure skipped this entire introduction altogether and just jumped to his pick. But I promise it is not as boring as you might fear and there are some good nuggets throughout for everyone. I hope you all enjoy it.
So - as Bo is putting the finishing touches on his taco buffet platter, Tyler slowly stirs his jambalaya, Tanner loads exactly 13, 8 oz cans of ice cold Coors light into his travel cooler, and Buck sends one last trade offer - I hope you sit back, relax, and enjoy the 2020 Winkenbach preview. It’s draft season boys. 1 more day.
1. Darin Farris
The easiest pick of the draft. McCaffery is a lock for 1.01 and has been since the end of last season. He’s essentially two players in one. A RB with nearly 1,400 rushing yards and 16 TDs. And a WR with 116 receptions for 1,000+ yards and 4 TDs. McCaffery is truly a special player and he’s in the perfect situation to feast on defenses again this season. His combination of elite running and receiving ability doesn’t come around often and is the closest thing there is to a cheat code in fantasy football.
Going into this season, there are four fantasy owners that I have my eye on as potential league winners. Darin is one of those four – though for very different reasons than the other three. While I like some other owner’s prospects this year due to increased motivation, my faith in Darin is tied directly to how big of an advantage having the #1 draft pick is in 2020. As detailed above, starting out with Christian McCaffery automatically puts Darin in the pole position in the draft. But beyond that, I believe the value that will be there at both the 2/3 and 4/5 turns could be some of the best in this year’s draft. If Darin can navigate the draft board sharply and get good value picks in the middle rounds, championship number three could very well be on the way.
Unfortunately for Darin, that might be easier said than done. Look, he has the #1 pick right now for a reason. He wasn’t very good last year. And whether the reasons are justifiable or not (they are), he just doesn’t have the time or energy that it requires to compete at the same level that he once did. There is a certain type of person that shows up to a fantasy football draft looking for a printer to print off ESPN’s expert’s rankings. And that type of person probably isn’t winning your fantasy league.
That said, I’ll never count out Darin. He is one of the smartest football minds around and has shown the ability to put together a strong draft with little to no prep time at all. And again, with the #1 pick in tow, he is armed with the biggest pre-draft advantage one can have. Could this be the last, best opportunity for Darin to win another championship?
When asked about his feelings on the upcoming season, for some reason Darin seemed to descend into an Info-Wars-level conspiratory madness. “Fuck Trump”...“Epstein didn’t kill himself”... “please don’t trade with Buck or Perry this year”...“Bush did 9/11”. Has CTE finally caught up with this Petal football legend? Or are these just the ramblings of a beautiful football mind waiting to reclaim his spot atop the Winkenbach throne? Either way, and as always, Darin parted ways on a positive note… “P.S. Good luck this year Bo! Rooting for ya bud.”
2. Tyler Tisdale
At pick number 2 it’s Saquon Barkley – and honestly, this pick is just as easy of a decision as the previous selection. As much as I talked up Christian McCaffrey above, the gap between he and Saquon Barkley is a lot smaller than some are making it out to be. For one, Barkley is arguably the better and more complete player overall. People forget that Barkley dealt with a high ankle sprain all of last season and was never fully healthy. Just two seasons ago he caught 90 passes while finishing second in the league in rushing yards. And with Daniel Jones showing a surprising level of skill in his rookie year, coupled with the fact that the Giants have a very underrated trio of wide receivers, the Giants should be a solid offense in 2020.
Tyler – who already seems like a fantastic addition to the league -- enters the 2020 season as a Winkenbach rookie. Something that, as we all know, is no small task and comes with a wide range of potential outcomes. Will he be a Derrick/Jordan? A guy that comes in hot, thanks in part to a strong draft class, and makes a deep playoff run? Will he be a Decker? A guy that claims past success in other leagues, only to be humbled by the talent in the Winkenbach? Or will he end up more like a Jake -- the traditional newbie arc of starting out average and growing into himself in his second year? Only time will tell. And I, for one, am very excited to find out.
Luckily for Tyler though, along with the expectations and potential growing pains of our league comes the excitement of being a part of the Winkenbach. We all know one would be hard-pressed to find a better home league around here than this. And being part of our group seems like something that is not lost on him. “I’m humbled to have been asked to join such a prestigious league held in such high regard” he said when asked about his feelings on the upcoming season. That humbleness could only go so far though… “My goals for this season? Pure domination.” We’ll see, bud. I’m rooting for you.
3. Derrick Coleman
Although in the past Derrick has shown a propensity to shock the room with surprise draft selections in high rounds – I think he plays it safe with this one and selects Ezekial Elliot. Zeke is as rock-solid as they come in fantasy, remaining as arguably the best combination of safety and upside there is at the RB position. The guy is just consistent. Since he entered the league in 2016, Zeke has finished as a top 5 RB on a per game basis in every season. Sure, he might not have the single-game ceiling of guys like Christian McCaffrey or Saquon Barkley -- as he rarely produces those absolute monster games. But the man is a stud and will consistently produce RB1 numbers for you on a weekly basis. Just like the previous two picks before it, this is really the only selection that can be made here.
Has there ever been a more draft-dependent owner in Winkenbach history? Derrick’s comments on the upcoming season were to just “Let me be”. Which is ironic considering he essentially just lets his team be after the draft every year. Since joining the league, Derrick has averaged 12 transactions per season – fewer than 1 per week and by far the lowest in the league. Derrick came in hot his first season, however, nailing draft pick after draft pick on his way to a Cinderella-story first year championship. And while there were already some concerns about his inactivity that season, could you really argue with sticking with a championship caliber team? The results spoke for themselves. Unfortunately for Derrick, the winning stopped there and what followed has been two seasons of very little activity and even less success – culminating in a 1-12 finish last year, the worst record in league history.
2020 is a huge year for Derrick in the Winkenbach. Either he will continue the downward trend and cement himself as a one-year-wonder (proving a lot of people correct along the way), or he will show that he belongs in the league and quiet the questions of whether or not we need a more competitive owner.
4. Adam Green
Pick number 4 is the first spot where things could get really interesting. While most assume (and agree) that Alvin Kamara should go 4th overall, Adam is as unpredictable as they come. Could he go Michael Thomas here? Or a different, surprise RB like Clyde Edwards-Helaire? Potentially a QB even? You never truly know with Adam and honesty nothing at all would surprise me on draft day. That said, Adam is the guy that identified Kamara before anyone else his rookie season. And when you consider the fact that Kamara played the majority of last season not only with a severe ankle sprain, but a torn knee as well (Kamara even went so far as to describe it as playing last season “on one leg”), and STILL finished as a top 10 RB on a per game basis – it gets you excited remembering how elite he can be when fully healthy.
Mr. #rankmelast himself. Adam is an enigma. Coming into 2020 with 2 championships -- tied for 2nd place all-time – and armed with arguably the greatest amount of NFL knowledge in our league, Adam is one of the most feared owners that we have. And for good reason. No one can compete with his depth of knowledge of NFL rosters. No one can compete with his ability to see talent before it manifests itself into success on the field.
But there is one clear issue with Adam as a fantasy owner. Consistency. Consistency is what truly separates the elite from the very good. When you take a deeper look at his results over the years, this point sticks out. Over the past five seasons Adam’s results have been: 4-9, 4-9, 2-11, Championship, 4-9 – with the championship run being the infamous #rankmelast season. Now, no one would argue that Adam is not capable of putting together a great team and dominating the league during any single season. But it is almost as if Adam needs some sort of extra motivation to truly lock in and win a championship.
And it’s for that reason, that Adam is the 2nd of 4 owners that I have my eye on for the 2021 championship. I can sense the motivation this year. He preaches “Love and Light”, but make no mistake about it, this man is hungry. He reached the top of the mountain two seasons ago and he wants it again this year. And we all know what a motivated Adam brings to the table – watch out.
5. Tanner Lott
Let me start out by saying that if Alvin Kamara is on the board here, that will be the pick. Write it in ink. As much as he might want it to happen though, Tanner knows that is a long shot. I can tell you for a fact that over the past several days there has been serious consideration given to Clyde Edwards-Helaire for this pick. There has been talk of “what if I just fucked everything up?” But when Tanner chose the 5th pick in the draft, he had his eyes set on one man and one man only – Dalvin Cook. And I think that is what ultimately happens on draft day. Cook had a truly remarkable season in 2019, finishing behind only Christian McCaffrey in RB points per game and was 1 of only 3 non-QBs to average over 80 ppg. He is an elite talent playing in one of the most RB-friendly offenses in the NFL. And while there was talk of a potential holdout coming this offseason, all reports suggest that Cook is prepared to play out the 2020 season without any issues.
How serious about this season is Tanner? In his own words, “Championship or retirement”. Now do I actually believe that Tanner will retire if he doesn’t win it all this year? Absolutely not. But considering the fact that Tanner is an owner whose focus and drive I have questioned in years past, I can’t help but love the passion. It goes to show you how motivated he is to win his first championship and bring the Winkenbach trophy down to Ocean Springs
I mentioned earlier that there are four guys I have my eye on this year to win the Winkenbach trophy. My third eye is locked in on Tanner. Tanner gets a lot of shit in fantasy -- from me included. But while we have been making Any Saints WR jokes for years, he has quietly been one of the most consistent owners in the league across that time.
I think, now, this could finally be the year he breaks through. I’ve seen the grind. I’ve seen the hours logged. I’ve seen the late night mock drafts. While you were sitting on your ass, Tanner has been working. While you slept, Tanner was grinding. The two-time runner-up is tired of the disrespect. He’s tired of the jokes. And he’s here for a championship in 2020.
6. Buck Bernard
Ever since Chiefs incumbent starting RB Damian Williams opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19, CEH has become by far the hottest name in the fantasy football community. The 32nd pick in the draft is the perfect fit for Andy Reid’s offense with a blend of shifty between-the-tackles running ability and soft hands out of the backfield. Guys like Kareem Hunt, Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy, and Brian Westbrook have all feasted in Reid’s offense over the years and CEH could be the next one in line. Louis Riddick even went so far to say that Edwards-Helaire “should be the first overall pick in fantasy drafts this season”. Are there some risks and question marks that come along with this pick? Sure. But in Andy Reid’s 21 years as a head coach, he has only used a running-back-by-committee for 2 of those seasons (2019, 2003). He likes to use his #1 RB and use him a lot. Also, the last time Reid featured a rookie RB? Just two years ago when Kareem Hunt led the NFL in rushing. This pick has Buck written all over it.
“Coming up on the 10 year anniversary of my only championship, it’s time to prove the doubters wrong. They say I’m not invested now that I’m a dad. They say that I’m washed up. Well I’ve got two words for you guys: I’m back.”
I think Buck is one of my favorite fantasy owners in the league. He’s never afraid to take risks, often thinks outside the box, and even though he usually leaves every draft with a team that I hate -- he always manages to field a competitive roster throughout the season. He’s a tinkerer to the extreme though, leading the league in transactions virtually every year. Sometimes this works to his advantage – his adept use of the waiver wire frequently leads to breakout bench players for him, and his persistence on finding trade partners often lands him key starters.
But there is a downside to this playstyle with Buck too. And it’s that he lacks restraint. He never knows when to stop. His brain is always working and plotting and sometimes it’s as if he can think too hard. Or get too clever. I’ve never seen someone more willing to trade a star player during a season than Buck. He is just as, if not more, capable of putting together the best team in the league as anyone, but he so frequently tanks a good thing. Maybe being a new father will teach him that sometimes patience is a virtue.
7. Jon Green
Let me put into context how good Michael Thomas was last season. Just go on this journey with me for a second. Yeah, I could tell you that he was the #3 overall player in the Winkenbach last year, and the #2 overall skill-position player after Christian McCaffrey. That’s impressive. But that’s honestly nothing compared to how good Thomas was in comparison to other WRs.
Thomas scored 1365.5 points last season, obviously the #1 WR. Coming in at #2 was Chris Godwin with 1036.5. So that’s a 330 point difference between #1 the #2 WR. To put that amount in context, a 330 point difference after Chris Godwin would be Emmanuel Sanders – the #31 WR in our league last season. The difference between #1 and #2 was equal to the distance between #2 and #31. I mean I knew he was good last year, but damn. He was leaps and bounds above everyone else. And while Jon historically likes to start his team with a RB in round 1, Thomas is just far too good of a value to pass up. At #7, this is the steal of the draft so far.
Jon is the owner that I have been most surprised by throughout the process of writing this preview. He’s part of the OG crew. He has a championship under his belt. And I’ve always considered him a solid owner in our league. But I’ve got to admit, when he dropped the “I’ve finished in the top 3 four of the last five years..” on me I was taken aback. As he continued -- “For me there’s nothing rewarding about celebrating a championship that was over a decade ago. I’m tired of the disrespectful power rankings and the heartbreaking playoff/championship losses” -- I’ve got to be honest I wasn’t even paying attention to the platitudes he was dropping. I was already on the fantasy site trying to verify whether he had really been that successful of late. Long story short, Jon is in fact very good at fantasy football and has finished in the top 3 four of the past five years. The more you know.
When looking forward to the 2020 season, Jon sees himself “being in the mix at the end of the season once again, and hopefully I can get over the hump and bring that trophy home to Pascagoula” Where do I see him? With a target on his back.
8. Perry James
Everyone knows the Tennessee Titans offense revolves around Derrick Henry. Look back at Henry’s 2019 stats and this looks like a rock-solid value pick in the back-half of the 1st round. Henry led the NFL in rushing yards and tied for the lead in rushing touchdowns on his way to finishing as the fantasy RB4 in our league. But it was Henry’s playoff performance that truly showed how dominant of a player he can be. He looked like a man amongst boys ripping off one 200+ yard game after another. And with the Titans bringing back the same offensive line, QB, WRs, and OC -- coupled with the fact that he is only 25 years old and has zero competition for carries in Tennessee -- it makes you question: Who’s stopping him? Henry doesn’t have the ceiling of a guy like McCaffery or Barkley, but there’s not a safer tier-2 RB in the middle of the 1st round. King Henry, meet King James.
I will break the fourth wall here for a second and tell you that I saved writing this section for last. I figured writing about myself should be the easiest part of this whole thing, right? Turns out, it’s quite the opposite. Being objective about myself as a fantasy owner just isn’t something that I’m capable of doing right now. So this is where I get self-reflective for a second. Yeah I could go on and on about the five championships. The highest winning percentage. The money. The good looks. Blah blah. But what I really want to get to is my mindset going into the 2020 season. Because it really couldn’t be any more different from my usual mindset heading into a season.
I don’t care about trying to win this year. Really. I mean, I’m not tanking or anything. I will try to put together a successful team. But winning isn’t everything to me. I have not felt this unprepared going into a draft in a very long time. I’ve honestly used most of the time that I would normally spend preparing for the draft, writing this preview – and I’m okay with that. It’s been fun. And fun is the key word for me this season. I want to have fun. Because to be perfectly honest with you all, I haven’t had much fun playing fantasy football in years. I love it so much that I have put way too much pressure on myself to succeed. I obsessed over it. I put countless hours into preparing for last season – probably more than I ever have – and I won. But it didn’t matter. Because I didn’t enjoy last season at all. And yeah maybe that’s a slap in the face to people that try really hard and have never won. But last season made me realize that winning is absolutely not the most enjoyable part of playing fantasy football with you guys.
So this season I’m focusing on having a good time. I’m avoiding any type of drama. I’m drafting players that I like. Players that I enjoy watching play. I’m not obsessing over my team each week and letting my Sunday night be ruined after a bad performance. I’m getting back to why we started playing fantasy football in the first place – to have fun with our friends. And I know all of this is easy for me to say coming off a championship. It’s easy to play carefree when you have the trophy sitting in your room. And yeah maybe I will be back to win-at-all-costs Perry next season. I don’t know. But I do know I will have more fun this season than I have had in a long time – win or lose.
P.S. You know where to find me if you want to make a trade.
9. Jake Munn
Once we get past pick 8 in this year’s draft, I think it becomes a complete crapshoot. The talent from around pick 9 through the middle of the 2nd round is honestly not all that varied, and I expect each of us to have these players ranked differently. So keep that in mind when you start to see players come off the board that make you think “huh?” The first one could be Miles Sanders -- After CEH, Miles Sanders is probably the player that has risen up draft boards more than anyone else this off-season – and for good reason. The second-year RB has a whole lot going for him right now. Philadelphia’s coaching staff has told anyone that would listen recently that Sanders will not only be the #1 guy in the backfield, but an every-down workhorse back. He is an excellent receiver – probably one of the best at the RB position in the league. And although he didn’t start playing heavy snaps until Week 11 last season, he still managed to finish the year with 50 catches for over 500 yards. Give him a full season, playing for one of the best offenses in the league and behind a great offensive line, and we could be looking at the next elite fantasy star.
I think I’m looking forward to seeing the results of Jake’s draft as much as anyone else’s this year. He knows this is a big year for him. “I can prove to everyone that I am going to be a top performer year in and year out, or I can show that I am an inconsistent and bottom half manager.” Jake has come in hot his first two years in the Winkenbach. Sure, plenty of other owners have had better win/loss records in their first 2 seasons, but it was Jake’s passion and excitement for the game plus his dedication to learning and succeeding that impressed me the most. And all of that work culminated in a championship appearance in just his second season.
He did it in large part thanks to being a great researcher. There wasn’t a fantasy football stone left unturned on the internet for Jake. The FantasyPros subscription was purchased, the subreddit and discord servers were joined, the stats from past seasons were looked over. He even went through my past drafts to try to see how I did it. And it’s 100% fair to rely on those things your first couple years of playing fantasy football. Those are all useful tools that any great fantasy owner uses every single season. I, without a doubt, still do to this day. There’s no shame in it.
But at some point you have to take the training wheels off. You have to be your own man. Make your own rankings. Choose the players that you think are going to break out because YOU believe it and have conviction in it. At some point, research and information-gathering can only go so far – and to win a championship you have to trust yourself over everyone else. This is the next evolution of Jake as a fantasy owner that I am excited and hopeful to see. He says that he is “excited to prove my worth to everyone, including myself” this season. Well hell yeah, Man. Prove it then.
10. Reagan McKinley
If you can’t tell already, I think RBs are going to come off the board fast and often this year. There is a group of probably 8 or 9 RBs that all rank very similar after the initial 7. And like I mentioned before, I really would not be shocked to see these go off the board in any order. For Reagan, I’m going with the 2019 NFL Rookie of the Year, Josh Jacobs. Jacobs was already top 5 in carries per game as a rookie and is one of the most talented backs in the league. The one knock on him last season was that he only caught 20 passes on 27 targets. But he has shown the ability to be an elite pass catcher going back to his Alabama days and has even gone so far as to make it his goal to catch 60 passes this season. While there are still plenty of elite WRs left on the board, I think the run on RBs continues throughout the first round. At least for now.
Some owners in our league are very good. Some are objectively bad. Some are new. Some are searching for their first championship. Some are consistent. Other guys swing for the fences every year and have unpredictable outcomes. Some guys like to trade a lot. Others are inactive. The list goes on and on. What I’m trying to get at is that basically every owner has a theme or a narrative in our league. And then there’s Reagan. I could really only come up with one theme for Reagan. And I need to preface this before I say it. Because it sounds bad. And I’m absolutely only talking about fantasy football here. Nothing more. But when it comes to fantasy football – Reagan is boring. He bores me.
I think for 16 straight years Reagan has drafted a RB in round 1. Followed by a RB in round 2. Round 3 is either a TE or WR, but the vast majority of the time it will be a WR. Rounds 4 and 5 are WRs. 100% of the time. And then two QBs go back to back either in rounds 6 & 7 or 7 & 8. Wash, rinse, and repeat. I love drafting next to Reagan more than anyone else because of this predictability.
But is that necessarily a bad thing? Hell, Reagan has the third best winning percentage in league history. He is consistently one of the better teams in the league and he’s always competitive. He’s a great player, right? But why do we play fantasy football? To get third place? To get second? “Hello. You play. to win. the game.” And Reagan hasn’t won a championship since we were in high school – 12 years ago.
So what am I getting at here? I think Reagan plays it too safe. The phrase “scared money don’t make money” is one that applies perfectly to fantasy football. And there is no money more scared than Reagan’s when it comes to our league. Safety leads to mediocrity. You can trot out a safe, solid lineup that is consistently top-4ish every season for only so long before you have to stop and ask yourself: Why am I not winning championships? As Reagan enters year 17 of the Winkenbach, I’m looking to be surprised for once. I’m looking for evolution.
11. Bo Hust
Although it did happen just last year, a quarterback going in the first round has been a rarity in our league ever since the days of switching to a 1 OP roster. But with the recent, massive success from guys like Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes, quarterbacks are being looked at now more than ever as safe cornerstones to build a fantasy roster around. I have heard more chatter over the past couple of weeks about Mahomes and Jackson in round 1 than I ever expected to, and I think someone pulls the trigger on one of these guys this Saturday. While Lamar Jackson was the #1 QB in fantasy last season, Patrick Mahomes is still without a doubt the best QB in the NFL, if not the best player, and is surrounded by arguably the best supporting cast as well. But more importantly, no player in the NFL better personifies Bo Hust than Mahomes. Just look at that photo. You can virtually hear it screaming “Leg’s goooo!!” at you through your screen.
What is there to say about Bo that has not already been said? For one, he is the fourth and final owner that I am looking at this season as a potential league winner. We all know the story by now. The only OG owner without a championship, Bo is unquestionably the hungriest guy in the league. He will stop at nothing to once and for all bring the Winkenbach trophy home to Mama. I, for one, think this could be the season that it finally happens – I mean, he’s due at this point right?
Bo, as unedited and raw as ever:
“The excitement on draft day takes over my body like ants scurrying to consume a tiny morsel that lies in their path. I do welcome it each year, but it is careless to deny the overwhelming feeling it brings. 13, 14, 15, 16… will this be 17 years of failure? Why? Why has this trophy eluded me for so long? Why have my decisions evolved into almost two decades of crushing despair? Each new year of failure is like another layer, weighing me down, crushing my hope to claim the ultimate prize. That prize that validates that I belong. But I remember: one year, one day, one draft, one pick could make all of the hate go away. It’s time. Let’s go!!!!”
12. Decker Farris
I debated between Drake and Aaron Jones at this spot for a while – and I could see Decker just deciding to go with both here at the 1/2 turn – but it’s Drake that deserves the first-round attention this season. Is there a RB in a better situation in the NFL? In 8 games with the Cardinals last year, Drake averaged 19 touches for over 100 yards per game. This would have made him a top 5 RB for the year had he done that over the course of an entire season. Similar to Ryan Tannehill last year, leaving Miami seemed to free Drake and allowed him to become the player that a lot of people always knew he could be. Playing in an up-tempo offense surrounded by a plethora of weapons doesn’t hurt his case either. This pick has Decker written all over it.
Decker has always been one of the most interesting owners in the league to me – in large part because, statistically, he sucks. Out of the 17 owners that have participated in the Winkenbach since we began tracking wins and losses in 2004, Decker comes in dead last with a .293 winning percentage. But the fascinating part of that is that the results do not seem to track with anything else around Decker and his football knowledge. Decker consistently ranks middle of the pack in transactions every year, so he definitely tries. He came into the league drenched in praise surrounding his success and skill in other leagues. And when talking to him, he seems to be genuinely knowledgeable about both the NFL and fantasy football strategy.
So what gives? Why the disconnect between the perception of Decker and the results? Who knows. Maybe it’s because he drafts 3 straight RBs virtually every year, even though we don’t have a true FLEX spot. Maybe this is just a side league to Decker, and he has other leagues that he cares about more. Maybe it’s because he actually isn’t that knowledgeable of the game and has fooled everyone until this point. Maybe he’s just unlucky. Whatever the reason, I’m looking for a sign of a pulse from Decker this season. It is put up or shut up time. You can only ride off your reputation from other leagues for so long before one has to question – are you actually good? I, for one, still have hope.