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Oh my God! We’re halfway through the summer, and it actually MAKES SENSE to talk about fantasy football again! I actually did my first mock draft the other day! It was great! We’ll get right to your questions THAT INCLUDE LEGITIMATE FANTASY QUESTIONS in a second, but first:

FAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH CUUUUUUUUUUUUE Kevin Clark. That Lovie Smith longform was a bloated monstrosity that was INCREDIBLY thin on anything of worth. It was three to six times longer than most “must-read” longforms, and to say that people will just hail any longform is to discount readers’ ability to identify quality.

Anyway, I guarantee this mailbag is less than 33,000 words. Let’s go to your questions. 

Dear KSK,
Fantasy: I have been in a 12 team league with co-workers for 6 years. I am the only female in the league. It has been largely the same people all these years. Three of the people in the league have left our company at various points for other jobs but still continue to play with us. Early this year I gave birth to my second child and was fortunate enough to arrange for part-time telecommuting work for an entire year, at the end of which I will return to full time work at the office. A couple weeks ago I went to the office to visit everyone and take care of a few things and while there I mentioned the fantasy league to some of the guys I play with and was met with an awkward silence. I was later told that my spot in the league had been promised to another guy at the office “since you don’t really work here anymore and won’t be here during the season.” 

I was, and continue to be, angry by this. My husband, who does not play FF, thinks I’m overacting and it’s no big deal. But I think this is completely rude and that I am losing my spot in the league because I have a vagina and recently pushed a baby out of it. Who is right? Am I being unreasonable? Or are my coworkers jerks?

You’re right to be pissed. Your co-workers are thoughtless, sexist assholes. I doubt they’re intentionally sexist dicks, but the fact that three men who left the company still have their spots in the league shows just how little concern or respect they have for your position. They’re single, aren’t they?

p.s. WHERE YOUR HUSBAND AT WITH SOME EMOTIONAL SUPPORT?

Sex: My husband and I have been married for six years and have two kids under 3. Our marriage is good, we rarely argue, we’re great friends, we have sex about once a week, and the sex is good (if a bit brief and predictable) and we’re both pretty happy. The problem is that recently I have been having a hard time feeling sexually attracted to my husband. He’s still in great shape, we both take good care of ourselves, still has his hair, still compliments me and all that other stuff. But I’m finding myself fantasizing about other men in bed. I’m wondering if this is a normal part of marriage (a 7 year itch, if you will) or a sign of some larger problem that I’m not initially seeing. 

I hear it’s perfectly normal for women to lose their attraction to men who don’t play fantasy football.

Am I horrible person for thinking about Michael Fassbender or our dog’s Veterinarian to get myself in the mood? Or does everyone do this? Is my husband thinking about Kate Upton (or whoever guys are into these days)? Would he be devastated to know about my thoughts, or would he be happy to know that Michael Fassbender has vastly improved our sex life as of late?
Thanks for your help.

Monogamy can be a slog sometimes. You’re not the first person to think about someone else while having sex with the person you love. Without conducting a formal study or doing even the simplest amount of internet research, I think it’s safe to say that most people in long-term relationships have fantasized about someone else during intercourse.

But that doesn’t mean you need to share your thoughts with your emotionally distant husband who doesn’t even understand fantasy football, like Michael Fassbender almost certainly does. Yes, sex is an imperative part of a loving relationship that helps two people remain emotionally and physically connected, but sometimes we all need a little extra mental imagery to get off. Let that product of your imagination stay there — unless your significant other is friends with Fassy or Kate Upton and seems open to swinging.

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Ser Ufford, Captain of Caves and Dispenser of Advice,

FIRST OF HIS NAME, KING OF THE VANDALS, PROTECTOR OF THE BLOGOSPHERE.

I am in a 12-team auction keeper league. Everyone gets two keepers who do not cost any of the $200 budget. I need to keep two of AJ, Jordy, Stafford, Gio and Orange Julius. I think I am definitely keeping AJ Green but I cant decide who the second should be. RBs get expensive in keeper leagues but I am not confident Gio stays healthy. 

Also Jeremy Hill is a chic pick to snag the goal line duties in Cincy.

Julius is intriguing because there is a big drop off after the top 5 TEs and he will catch 10 TDs. What do you think I should do? This is a longstanding league with my college friends and I want to hoist the secondhand bowling trophy of the champ for the first time.

I think you’re right to keep Green and Thomas. While I think Jordy Nelson will have an excellent year, if you can keep a top-3 tight end free of charge, you should absolutely do it. There will be 15 or 20 receivers who produce numbers in the same ballpark as Nelson; there might only be one tight end with numbers like Julius, assuming Gronk gets hurt again (he will).

Also my girlfriend and I just moved one block away from each other in a major city. Previously we lived 30 min apart for the first 8 months we were dating. Our relationship is great now but will this bite me in the ass when/if we break up?
-Perpetual Sixth Place Finisher

I mean, what relationship DOESN’T bite you in the ass when you break up? You guys have already dated for 8 months, so there’s clearly something there. If anything, the move-super-close-to-each-other is a nice step towards cohabitation without the pressure of living together just yet.

For now, I’d focus on the convenience of living a block away: sex any time, your own space any time, and no chance of DUI the next morning after going full tilt the night before. If things go south, yes: one of you will have to move. But that’s like saying, “Where will we live after the catastrophic earthquake destroys our house?” For now, just enjoy the sweeping views of the ocean on that fault line. And the sex.

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Hey Captain, how are things up your way?

Things are good. New apartment. A couple mini-vacations imminent. Football season around the bend. Life could be worse.

I’ll get to the football first, since the other question isn’t really pressing. I’m in a 12 team standard league, non-PPR, with 2 keepers at the round they were drafted in for up to 3 years. Snake draft, I’m picking 11th. I’m torn between these three:
-Jamaal Charles for a 1st Round
-Eddie Lacy for a 4th Round
-Alfred Morris for a 14th Round (benefits of long term keepers)

Alfred Morris didn’t have as great of a year last year as he did as a rookie, but in the 14th round is crazy good value. Eddie Lacy had a solid year, and I would expect to be gone before the 4th round. He seems to be the safe play over Morris. Or I could ditch Charles, keep my 1st round pick, and still have two solid running backs in the 4th and 14th round, but letting Charles go is tough. I’m changing my mind weekly on this.

Eddy Lacy will be a top-five pick this year; getting him for a 4th-rounder is a no-brainer. Obviously, then, the sticking point for you is finding the right balance between quality and value. And, of course, you need to read some tea leaves to figure out if Charles can replicate his 2013 season or whether Morris will return to his incredible rookie numbers. 

Last year, Charles was by far the most valuable fantasy running back, outscoring even LeSean McCoy despite playing in one less game. His 20.8 FPPG (per FFtoday) was more than three points better than second-place McCoy (and was staggeringly higher if you played in a PPR league); Morris’s 11.1 ranked 16th among fantasy backs who played 13 or more games — very good for a 14th-round keeper, but nowhere near the impact player Charles was. (In 2012, Morris averaged 15.4 FPPG, while Charles finished with 13.2, largely due to only scoring six total touchdowns.)

So what’s in store for 2014? The Chiefs’ offense shouldn’t change too much, and Charles (assuming he stays healthy) should again be a top fantasy player — though I’d expect his touchdowns to dip from the incredible 19 he scored last year. Morris, on the other hand, should post better numbers in an offense featuring DeSean Jackson and a healthier RG3. I’d guess Charles averages closer to 17 FPPG this year, while Morris improves to 13 or 14.

So is it worth a couple extra points per game — an assumed couple points per game, anyway — to keep Charles? It depends on what you think you’ll get for the 11th overall pick. With each team having two keepers, the 11th pick will net you the equivalent of a late-second or early-third-rounder (I’m guessing some of the keepers will be 5th-round talent kept for a 12th-round pick, but not many of them). So you’d lose the presumptive top overall fantasy pick NOT for a Demaryius Thomas or Jimmy Graham, but for someone more like Jordy Nelson or Andre Ellington. So, assuming your 14th-round pick is a bust — and not, say, a breakout rookie like you got with Alfred Morris two years ago — you’re looking at starting your draft off with Charles and Lacy or Lacy, Morris, and a Jordy Nelson-esque receiver.

Perhaps that sounds like an argument for going with Morris, but you’re counting out three key pieces of logic: (1) the sheer joy of denying someone else the joy of owning Jamaal Charles; (2) the invincible feeling of going into every matchup with Lacy and Charles as your starting backs, and (3) fuck the Redskins. Go with Charles and Lacy.

Now, more of a wedding question. I’m getting married in a year, and we’ll be providing alcohol for the wedding. Beer and wine is easy, but the liquor is tougher. We want to keep it relatively simple on our end, but also don’t want whiny guests complaining they can’t get their favorite drink that consists of 5 different liqueurs. My theory is free alcohol is good alcohol and people should keep their mouths shut, but do you have any advice on liquor options at a wedding?
Cheers,
2 Out Of 3 Ain’t Bad

Provide mid-shelf hooch and talk to your caterer about two “special” wedding drinks they can make by the boatload beforehand (one representative of the groom, one for the bride). Most wedding guests aren’t accomplished and dedicated drunks, and therefore don’t have a thorough grasp of what kind of mixed drink to order. They’re open to persuasion. If there’s a fancy piece of paper on the bar describing a drink that’s exclusive to the wedding, eighty percent of the guests will just ask for one of those.

Quick anecdote: a few years back I tended bar at a catered party at a mansion out in the Hamptons. The hosts had provided a wide selection of liquor, a case of white wine, a case of red, and several beer options. One of the tight-skinned pilates moms came up and asked what kind of white wine I had. I showed her. “That’s it?” she said, sneering. Yeah, I said. I poured her a little to taste. “This tastes like furniture,” she said. “You’re sure there’s nothing else?” No, goddammit, it’s just a fucking fancy house party with a goddamn free case of wine. She acted like I’d destroyed the evening, then finally: “What can you make me that I’d like?” I gave her a heavy pour on a vodka soda with plenty of lemon. She got shitfaced and came back for more.

The lesson: there are picky assholes who want a drink, but there are no picky drunks. The bar at your wedding will be fine.

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Captain,
Fantasy question: I’m in a 12 team, 2 keeper league (QB, RB, WR, TE, 3 Flex spots, D, K). I’ve been offered a trade which constitutes me giving up my 2nd round pick and receiving Matt Forte and a 3rd round pick in return. The one player I am keeping already is Jimmy Graham. The other players I have as keeper options (in my mind, since I am dropping Ray Rice after his poor fantasy performance last year) are: Antonio Brown, Larry Fitzgerald and Keenan Allen. Thoughts on the trade or the keeper options?

I’m assuming that if you acquire Forte, he counts as one of your keepers? That’d be too bad, since I love Keenan Allen and think he’ll improve on his rookie season (and Brown’s an excellent keeper, as well).

Still, it’s a solid trade for you. Forte projects as a top-5 RB this year and a probable 1st-round pick. To get him and a third-round pick for your second-rounder may cost you a top wideout, but you’ll be able to get some quality depth with the extra third-rounder. 

As for your keeper prospects at wideout, I give a slight edge to Allen over Brown because I hate the Steelers, and Fitty brings up the rear.

Not a sex question: Just enjoying the last free month I have till I head to grad school at the University of Illinois. Since I’m from the DC area and know nothing about the midwest, if you or any of the Kommentariat have any recommendations about things to do (when I’m not studying) or good bars in the greater Champaign-Urbana area their input would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for the advice,
Art Vandelay

Ahhhh, good ol’ Chambana. My sister and her husband both attended U of I, and Green Street was a happy place for me to visit when I was 19. That was more than a decade and a half ago. I’ll let the commenters take this one.

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Good Day Sir,
Football: I would like a second opinion on my keeper situation. Auction Dynasty league, $200 salary cap at the draft. .5 PPR and you start QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, RB/WR flex, TE, D, K. You can keep up to 5 players, no more than 3 of each type (keepers and restricted free agents). You can only make someone a keeper if you originally drafted them the year before. It costs what you drafted them for + $10 in year 2 and $15 on top of that in year 3. You can restrict any player who finished the year on your roster, which means you have the right to match the winning bid at an auction which takes place right before the draft itself. Restricted players becomes an unrestricted free agent no matter what the following season.

You, sir, have a solid dynasty league. I applaud your settings.

So far I have Alshon kept at $11, Jordy kept at $18, and I’m restricting Zac Stacy who I picked up off waivers. The other players I could exercise rights on are Megatron ($53 last yr), DeSean ($10 last yr), and RGIII ($20 as a year 2 keeper). While I would only restrict Megatron or RGIII, I could keep or restrict DeSean. If I keep DeSean at $20, I’ll have spent $49 to lock up 2 WR and my flex, plus whatever Zac Stacy goes for, I’d expect to have a little over $100 at auction. If I restrict DeSean, I’d likely do the same with Megatron and see how the bidding goes. As for RGIII, I have no idea what to make or expect of him.

It pretty much boils down to this: what is better value? DeSean and a top tier running back (Shady, AP, Charles) or Megatron and a second/third tier RB (Leveon Bell range). 

I might lean towards keeping DeSean at $20 just because I’m cheap, but then you open yourself up to the possibility of a bidding war for a top running back. Of course, you’re looking at a fight to get another running back regardless of who you keep, so maybe you’re better off doing that with MORE money than with less. And, given Megatron’s injury problems last year and the recent explosion of outstanding fantasy receivers — Demaryius, Dez, AJ Green, Alshon & Marshall, Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Jordy Nelson, Vincent Jackson — it seems like a top running back might be the better investment.

Also, if I choose one WR or the other, should I try to keep RGIII at a discount, or go elsewhere? What QB’s are good fliers outside of the top 6 range?

I don’t love RG3 as a fantasy quarterback, and I won’t until I see him play a full healthy season. Philip Rivers, Jay Cutler, and Nick Foles are all wildly underrated despite playing well in high-powered offenses, just because people hate their dumb faces (see also: Tony Romo). Pay a medium price for one of those guys and enjoy the playoffs.

Sex: I just got back into the country after a year abroad volunteering. Before I left, I had a casual thing going. I understand that you can’t just pick up where you left off without some kind of penance. But she was the friend of a friend and we never did the whole hang out sober thing, it was always a text at 2 AM, “hey you up?” How do I get back into a fuckbuddy’s good graces after a year of minimal contact?
-Sultan of Shelbyville

A text will feel random and completely out of the blue, so send her an email (or a Facebook message) — just seeing your name and a subject line will give her brain time to accept and process your reappearance in her life. Write to her — sober, during the day — saying, “Hey, it’s been too long. I’m back in the country and I’d like to see you again sometime. Wanna catch up over a drink?” That way you’re not promising her more than what it was before, but it’s a conscientious effort to reappear in her life in a respectful manner. Not so respectful that you’d buy her dinner, of course, but at least you’re KIND OF treating her like a lady. Baby steps.