WHAT'S UP SPECIAL ED?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
We are just SEVEN (7) weeks away from football season. We’ve got your AFC WEST Tarot Card Fantasy Preview coming up - But first - we've got a SPECIAL EDITION of DYM At The Movies!!!!! We’re going LIVE BLOG STYLE with our instant reactions to the world premier of the #1 movie event of the summer...
SPACE JAM 2!!!!!!!!!!!!
SPACE JAM FUCKIN TWO!!!!!! LETS GOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!
We read some terrible reviews of this movie yesterday (38% on rotten tomatoes) but they are dead wrong. SJ2 is a treat!!!!
Some people are gonna say this movie is just a real long commercial for HBO Max, but we still kinda loved it. It was a romp.
Lebron’s version of Toon World is actually more like Imagination Land from South Park. It’s not just looney toons - EVERYBODY is in this movie. There really is a lotta cool shit on this app, if you can find it.
We’re not gonna spoil all the references and cameos here but we got at least 3 Batmans, and look out for our guy Avon Barksdale as young Lebron‘s AAU coach!!!
We’ve seen some very bad movies over the past year (shout out to Tenet). There’s a theory going around that every movie that was made in 2020 was bad. We think this is technically true but there were a few pandemic flicks that were very watchable - Raya & The Last Dragon, Kong vs Godzilla, Tomorrow War, SJ2 - they’re all the ones that stuck to the Hero’s Journey plot template. It’s really not that hard. Even Space Jam fuckin two managed to have the story end where it began, and a kid meet his father in the middle. It really doesn't matter what else happens in between.
AFC WEST FANTASY PREVIEW!!
Once again this week we'll try divine to ourselves a fifth SESB Championship by consulting Miss Cleo's Fantasy Tarot Deck. Last week we started with the local favorites in the NFC East. This week we're breaking down the rest of the teams that Daniel Jones and Kenny Golladay are gonna get their garbage time points against this year- THE AFC WEST!!
AUSTIN EKELER is The Queen of Pentacles
The Pentacles (or coins) represent work and creative energy. The Queen of Pentacles therefore represents maternity or a very personal creation, something that is made by-and-for oneself (she gazes lovingly at the coin) and may be largely unappreciated by others (the land beneath her is baren). This is why many of our pass catching RBs (like Saquon) are represented by female characters in the deck. They carry a heavier load than we know and despite their effectively magical powers they are largely disrespected by coaches and analysts.
That's the situation Ekeler will find himself in this season. He’ll get an opportunity to show his skills, but the Chargers will have no workhorse. A lot of analysts are high on Ekeler. They think that since Justin Jackson and Josh Kelly have already proven themselves incapable, the new coaching staff ought to make Ekeler the true RB1. But they might be unfamiliar with Charger OC Joe Lombardi's work. Fantasy RB's on Lombardi's teams won't get any help from his gameplan, they gotta make their own way.
Lombardi was an offensive assistant for the Saints from 2007-13, Detroit in 2014 and 15, then New Orleans again from 2016-19. In an interview last week he likened Ekeler to other Jedi RB's he's coached like Reggie Bush, Darren Sproles, and Alvin Kamara. And that's not a good thing.
In 14 seasons as an NFL coach, Lombardi's offenses have given 33 different RB's at least 100 touches. That's a 2-RB committee, minimum. EVEN WHEN HE HAD ALVIN KAMARA!!!! Mark Ingram had the most touches ever for a Lombardi "starting RB" in 2017 with 288 touches (not great), and Mark Ingram also had the fewest touches for a Lombardi "starting RB", in 2013 with 85.
What we're saying is: on the one hand Lombardi loves using pass-catching RBs (and passing the ball in general) so Ekeler's got a shot at a useful .5-PPR season, but you can forget about him "taking over" this backfield. Justin Jackson and Josh Kelley are definitely staying involved (shout out to Larry Roundtree).
JUSTIN HERBERT is The Knight of Swords
The four suits in Tarot also represent the four elements of nature:
Swords = Air (Intellect/Communication)
Pentacles = Earth (Creativity/Physicality)
Cups = Water (Emotion)
Wands = Fire (Inspiration/Intuition)
So obviously in our deck:
Swords = QB ("field generals")
Pentacles = RB ("workhorses")
Cups = WR ("divas")
Wands = TE/K/DST ("wildcards")
The Knight of Swords is the warrior of the air. He is aggressive and (perhaps naively) unafraid. He is powerful and extremely confident, so he rides headlong into the storm. We see the trees bending and the clouds swirling but The Knight charges forward.
Justin Herbert exceeded ALL expectations in 2020. Undrafted in Special Ed and unowned until week 6 - he went on to finish 6th in passing yards and 9th in passing TDs, and be named rookie of the year. There's a daunting challenge in store for him this year (learning another new playbook), but DYM is confident he'll power through the storm.
Above we discussed how consistent (and annoying) Joe Lombardi's RB usage has been throughout his career. The upside of all that is Lombardi's QB's performance has been just as predictable and much less annoying. In the pre-Kamara era (aka pre-Drew-Brees-is-washed era) only one Lombardi QB has ranked outside of the top 10 in fantasy (2014 Matt Stafford), and only 2 have attempted less than 600 passes in a season. The average Lomardi QB from 2007-'16 attempted 630.3 passes per season for an average of 4,804.2 yards. ZERO (0) NFL QBs attempted 630 passes OR gained 4,800 yards in 2020, and only 2 non-Lombardi QBs have had 630 attempts in the last 4 years (Drew-Brees-is-washed era).
Now that Lombardi finally has an able-bodied young QB again he's gonna air it the fuck out.
KEENAN ALLEN is The Nine of Cups
The Nine of Cups is the fat cat. He gets the big piece of chicken.
As the slot receiver, he's most obvious benefactor of the new Lombardi offense. In the pre-Kamara era Mark Ingram (2016) was the only Lombardi RB to outgain the team's leading WR. In eight of those ten years the team scrimmage yardage leader was either the slot WR or the TE - Marques Colston (4), Jimmy Graham (2), Lance Moore (1), Golden Tate (1) - all going for over 1,100 yards, and since LA has no TEs of note that usage is ALL goin' Keenan's way..
PATRICK MAHOMES is The Emperor
The Emperor is the father-figure of the Tarot journey. The rams' heads on his throne are the symbol of Aries - the god of war. The mountain range he rules over represents stability, protection, and unyielding power.
Patrick Mahomes is still the safest pick in all of fantasy football. In his 3 seasons Mahomes has never finished lower than 2nd in QBR, all three of his seasons rank in the top 25 all-time. Barring injury he's a LOCK to finish in the top 5 in fantasy points (and even when he got hurt in 2019 he still finished as QB7).
Obviously DYM isn't drafting QBs in the second round but we're not gonna hate if you guys do.
CLYDE EDWARDS-HELAIRE is The Wheel of Fortune
The Wheel of Fortune, as the name implies, represents luck and destiny. It is a reminder that the greatest forces in our lives are largely out of our control.
We actually think CEH is good; but it doesn't matter. Any capable NFL athlete could get over 1000 yards in this offense. CEH is just in the right place at the right time.
He's gonna get a fair amount of receiving work in this fast-paced offense (54 targets/297 yds in 2020 is probably his floor) and he'll have wide open running lanes as defenses struggle to account for Tyreek and Kelce downfield, and for Mahomes' own rushing threat. Now with Le'Veon and Damian Williams both out of town it's all green-lights for CEH in 2021.
TYREEK HILL is The Devil
Like the Emperor and Wheel of Fortune, The Devil is a symbol of irresistible power. But he's also a real fuckin asshole.
Do not draft.
HARRISON BUTKER is The King of Wands
The King of Wands is an honest and trustworthy authority figure.
Harrison Butker is the easiest, safest kicker pick this year.
Most kicker production is dependant on FG attempts, which as we mentioned last week are totally random and arbitrary. We usually look for a team with a decent offense that's not necessarily gonna score a lotta TDs (we only judge kickers by made up subjective metrics).
This year we're looking at teams like the Falcons, Giants, Cowboys or Cardinals - Teams that lack a trustworthy goalline back (Falcons, Cowboys) and/or will face a lotta tough defenses (Cards). That's not Butker. He's just the kicker on a team that's gonna score a TON of points. Their division (Raiders, Chargers, Broncos) all have kinda shitty D's and they also play the NFC East this year. Butker could end up with some 10pt fantasy games with only 1 field goal.
TRAVIS KELCE is The Ace of Pentacles
Kelce, Kittle, and Waller were moved out of the Wands (wildcards) and into Pentacles (creative force) because they are all the primary weapon in their respective offenses, even eclipsing their teams' RBs in fantasy value. They are probably the only TEs worth owning in Special Ed this year.
Not only did we promote Kelce to the Coin suit, we moved him all the way up to ACE! He's simply the best player on the best team in the NFL. He is the sun - the source of all our earthly light an energy. Kelce has over 1,200 receiving yards in each of the last three seasons - 2019 (Mahomes injury year) being the lowest with 1,229 but that still ranked 4th among all NFL pass-catchers. Just rank Kelce right after the #5 WR and draft him the third round, you won't hear any complaints from us (unless you draft two more TEs).
JOSH JACOBS is Justice
Justice represents balance, equity, and fairness. Justice is card #11 and we wouldn't ever rank Jacobs higher than RB11.
Right now Jacobs is the 16th ranked RB on FantasyPros, with an ADP around the 3rd/4th round turn in our 10-team league. That's about right. You can go ahead and draft him at #30 and you'll get exactly what you bargained for.
In his two years in the league Jacobs ranked 14th and 8th in RB fantasy points, and it's hard to imagine him really finishing any higher or lower than that this year. He's a true workhorse on a run-first team so he should get around 300 touches, but he's not really that good and the offense kinda stinks (don't see him averaging over 4.5 yards per touch). So 1,300 yds total is definitely within reach but more than 12 TDs probably isn't.
DARREN WALLER is The Nine of Pentacles
The figure on the Nine of Pentacles is surrounded by a lush bountiful vineyard. Her facial expression is neutral. She has an abundance of comforts but does not show any enthusiasm for it.
A hooded falcon rests at ease on her arm, again pointing to her aristocratic upbringing and complacent ignorance of the world beyond her garden.
As the surprise #2 TE the past two years, Waller is a coveted, but likely over-valued, fantasy asset. Each of the last two years Waller caught at least 90 balls and totaled over 1,100 yards. We think he's got a shot at that this year, which would put him in line with about WR15. But just like Jacobs, there's a low ceiling too, it's hard to imagine him doing much more than the 107 for 1,196 he did last year.