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Hello and welcome to the LAST DAY OF JULY! The last day of July means that tomorrow is August, which means that the preseason is almost here, which means that you should start preparing for your fantasy drafts. YAY FANTASY!!! Here are my three steps to fantasy draft preparation:

  1. Create a pre-draft player ranking.
  2. Participate in at least one mock draft.
  3. Say goodbye to your family for the next 4-5 months.

I’m also pleased to announce that there will be at least five pre-draft episodes of my video series KEEPERS that will rank the top players at each position. Stay tuned for those as early as next week. Let’s get to your questions!

Dear “4 year old Twitter Profile Picture,”

Hey! I like my Twitter avatar. The rainbow snakeskin really pops in Tweetdeck.

Football: I run the office league, and it looks like this year we have 16 participants. This is not any type of dynasty or keeper league. It’s pretty much one and done. Some guys have lots of experience playing fantasy football and some are new to the game. I have talked this over with the CEO, who is also playing, and he wants to accommodate everyone that wants to play, so we are at 16 teams. It will likely be a $20 entrance fee, and that’s it.

Can you give me some tips for setting up a 16 team league? Start QB, RB, WR, TE, FLEX, K, DEF and 6 bench? Some other variation? I will have a 1 PPR & 4 pts QB throwing TD.

I’d recommend one more spot, either WR or a second flex. Otherwise every team will be awash in decent wideouts they can’t start.

Relationship: I’m happily married (coming up on 10 years) with 2 children. While sex is not as often as we’d like, our date nights are even fewer and far between. I believe this falls mostly on me, because I never set anything up. Coordinating with friends or babysitters is difficult and can be expensive. I’m usually just happy to stay home, sip bourbon and watch ‘A Haunting’ reruns. There are plenty of decent restaurants and even a few new movies (Guardians of the Galaxy) to go out to, but I am unmotivated to set anything up. Dates used to mean getting kind of drunk, hanging out with lots of friends, and then going home for sex. There was lots of motivation for that, but now things are different. I do get alone time with my wife after the kids go to bed, I don’t care to get drunk anymore, and sex is whenever we are both not too tired to do it. I know making my wife happy is a big reason to go out, but why can’t I be more active in setting this stuff up?
-My Twitter Picture is an Egg

Probably for the same reason that I’m not more active in paying my bills or taking out the trash: it feels like a chore. If you’re happy hanging out with your wife after the kids go out to bed, then you don’t really have the impetus to get dressed up and spend money on things you’re not motivated to do.

So my question for you is: how does your wife feel about date nights? Is she clamoring for more time out of the house? If so, then it shouldn’t be ALL on you to set up a date night — you two should sit down and plan something together. My wife and I have a jar of popsicle sticks with activities written on them (“dinner in Manhattan,” “movie — Matt’s choice,” “go to a museum,” “sex with strangers at swinger’s club,” etc.). We pull one out of the jar early in the week, then plan on doing whatever that thing is during the coming weekend. It keeps things fresh and takes away some of the pressure of making a decision. (We even have the sticks color coded by cost, so we can choose a cheap date if our funds are a little low.) 

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Hello Captain,
Football first, I wrote in some months ago with this question and I just wanted to get a fresher take on it. Choose two of three for keepers; Lacy for a 3rd rounder, Alshon for a 7th, and Orange Julius for a 12th. I had initially thought Alshon and Julius, but with Lacy going 4-6 overall I’m not sure I can pass that up. Additionally, I have the third pick in this year’s draft and it is full point PPR.

They’re all really excellent choices. Alshon provides better value for that 7th-rounder, but WR is a deeper position with more sleepers. Lacy is essentially irreplaceable, so I think he and J. Thomas are the right decision — not that you’re going to have many regrets either way.

Non-football related, I’m in the beginning stages of planning a wedding and my fiancé’s father is generously providing a budget, for that we are very grateful. However, he is drawing a seemingly arbitrary line in the sand about the dress, we are to pay for it. 

Point of information for the affianced: because it’s a French word, fiancé with one “e” is the masculine form; a betrothed woman is a fiancée. Of course, a man CAN have a male fiancé these days, but I’ve yet to see the gay wedding where one groom wears a dress. So, I’m guessing it’s a missing “e,” hence this annoying interjection.

This is fine with me, but when I told my mother she was not pleased. She said if he doesn’t she will, and she will tell him so.

I realize this is a fortunate problem to have. Do you think this is going to start some serious shit? If you have any advice on how I should proceed I’d love to hear it.
Thanks for your time,
Lacy’s Underalls

While you should absolutely accept your mother’s generous offer, you’ll need to reign in her righteousness. “Hey Mom, we’re so grateful that you’re paying for Joanna’s dress” — I’m calling your fiancée Joanna, there aren’t enough Joannas these days — “but can you not bring it up with her dad? It could create some friction, and want to focus on the celebration of love and the union of two families.” Shit like that. And if your mom’s gonna be pushy about paying for the dress to make a point, well, maybe you and your fiancée should just pay for the dress. Everything else is paid for, you know? It wouldn’t kill you to chip in.

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Dear Captain,
I am a procrastinator, therefore I am not holding my breath to make it to Thursday’s column, much less, have my question answered in time before the season starts.

FANTASY: I’ve only played FF the past two years in my friend’s work league (and absolutely love how much of a time suck it is.) I have no attachment to this particular league, which has been a revolving doorway of players, so after placing 2nd and 1st respectively, I’m ready to move on to a different challenge and league. I only commit to one league a year, and actively play every week regardless of winning or losing, so I’m looking for a league with similar participants. (I am not interested in playing with the fair-weathered “oh-i-drafted-roddy-white-and-doug-martin-and-they-both-screwed-me-over-so-i’m-not-going-to-set-up-my-lineups-for-the-rest-of-the-season-to-look-like-i-am-busy” players.) That league was a standard H2H, with QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, TE, FLEX, D/ST, K. (Oh and the game interface was ESPN – I’m convinced there cannot be anything worse?) Any suggestions as to what league format I should try this year? What setup do you prefer?

Yeah, those are the settings I like for a 12-team league (though I have one league with a third WR and 0.5 PPR that’s pretty great). My preferred fantasy client is Yahoo, though NFL.com is a little easier on the eyes. 

SEX: Hmmm no tricky dramatic sex questions for you today, but when people need to affirm how amazing their significant other/love life is on social media, do you see major red insecurity flags waving or just a happy couple that wants everyone to vomit? I’m happy in my relationship, but just super private, so I cannot relate to this common occurrence I am witnessing.
Sincerely,
Revis and Butthead

I’ve been in a relationship that was all smiles on social media and fights IRL; I’m presently in a relationship that’s all smiles on social media because that’s just how we usually are. I wouldn’t call the mere presence of “happy couple” photos a red flag in and of itself, because those are the only photos ANY couple shares. It’s more a question of HOW MANY of those photos are shared, and what the accompanying text is. Some people are merely needy social media neophytes who want “likes” on the photo of the flowers their boyfriends sent them; others are conniving braggarts or insecure simpletons. There’s a whole range of terrible people on social media, from idiots to sociopaths. 

My advice: think less about social media. 

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Hello Matt,
How are things?

Great! I’m leaving for Barcelona in, like, 10 minutes.

Fantasy first: Josh Gordon is an asshole but I still have Zac Stacy (8th round), Cordarrelle Patterson (10th round), and Jordan Cameron (11th round). I can keep two of the three. Stacy and Cameron, right? I like Patterson a lot, but I could always just draft him relatively late.

I doubt you’ll get Patterson late — he’s consistently ranked in the top 20 fantasy WRs. I’d be okay with you keeping Patterson if you were convinced he was going to have a monstrous breakout season, but because he’s ranked lower at a deeper position than either Stacy or Cameron, I think you’re right to follow your instinct here. 

Sort of sex: I got married in May. Honeymoon pregnancy. This is not such a shock, and we were financially and emotionally ready for the baby. We are butting heads slightly on whether to find out the sex of the baby. I don’t want to find out, because I prefer letting excitement build and having a “Christmas morning” type celebration. She, of course, prefers to find out at twenty weeks, for reasons that involve color schemes and clothing patterns. It’s also not possible for her to keep the information from me if we find out, because I’ll notice all the blue/pink stuff.

What’s my move? I’m leaning toward conceding this one. Seems like an easy test in the “choose your battles” arena.
Thank you,
Rick

I, too, like the idea of learning the sex of your baby when it’s born — there are so few genuine surprises in life, you know? Also, a common complaint I’ve heard from people who DID find out the sex beforehand is that EVERYONE buys pink or blue newborn onesies for you. So you’re stuck with 30 of the same goddamn onesie that your baby can only wear for three months instead of people buying the useful shit on your registry. (My wife and I also happen to prefer neutral tones, which helps in this kind of decision.)

The problem YOU face is that the person with a life gestating inside of her has the leverage in this argument. I’d try to bargain for keeping the sex of Baby #2 a secret in exchange for learning the sex of this one. Don’t hold your breath, though.