Last week’s question: How are Elliott (and Kamara) owners
My column for Week
3 was a response to the injuries of Christian McCaffrey and
Saquon Barkley, the two most coveted fantasy RBs in 2020 in most
leagues. Many owners of Ezekiel Elliott and Alvin Kamara (the
consensus third and fourth picks at RB) suddenly find themselves
to be frontrunners for their fantasy championships. Few are in
as enviable a position as HS, who ended up with both the Cowboy
and the Saint:
I have both Zeke and Kamara in one league. I did a pre-draft
trade with another owner and drafted both in the first round.
Right now I feel great! I have the top two RBs in the league
and the highest scoring team in the league as well. It's early
though, and I’m known for being the owner that the top
draft picks more than likely get hurt. Mahomes last year is
one example. So I'm feeling great...but very nervous.
Given the rash of injuries we’ve seen in 2020 (especially
involving high-profile RBs), it’s easy to see why HS is
nervous. But if ever a fantasy team seemed destined for a championship,
this sounds like that team. It’s like starting over with
the top 2 draft picks and a crystal ball. Congrats!
Craig did almost as well:
Before I can answer your question about Zeke, I need
to provide some background about our league. [In my keeper league,]
I’ve kept Zeke and Dalvin Cook since their rookie years,
then drafted James Conner in the first round (essentially the
3rd round) this year, so I’m pretty set at RB.
Also, due to Covid, our league switched from being a head-to-head
league to an all-play league for this year only which also impacts
Since we are an all-play league, I’m no longer as worried
about the CMC or Barkley owners as I think they will struggle....
If we were a head-to-head league and there was a chance I’d
face the CMC owner in the playoffs, I’d be very worried.
I am, however, worried about Zeke’s overall prospects because
I don’t trust the Cowboys. Not only are they the most overhyped
team in the NFL each year, but the tendency for Prescott to call
his own number at the goal line has already hurt Zeke’s
numbers. It happened last year, and it looks like it will be a
regular occurrence this year as well. I’d much rather be
the Kamara owner than the Zeke owner this year….and probably
moving forward next year as well.
That “all-play” feature in Craig’s league is
definitely an important wrinkle to consider. Most CMC owners are
probably trying to eke their way into the playoffs in the hope
that their top pick can come through for them at crunch time.
It’s good news for Craig that he won’t have to face
that contingency because of the Covid arrangements in his league,
but that must be a bitter pill for the McCaffrey owner to swallow.
Like me, Bruce had Kamara rated ahead of both Barkley and Zeke,
but his logic is rooted in hatred of the Cowboys
I got the 2nd & 3rd picks in my 2 leagues this season &
chose Kamara in both of them. I might have gone with CMC if
he wasn’t taken, but I hate the Cowboys & didn’t
trust Jason Garrett to use Saquan well (now a moot point, sadly).
So Kamara was a no-brainer for me.
Now that’s a double whammy. He ended up making what currently
looks like the right call (Kamara) because he didn’t want
the running back in Dallas or the running back in New York whose
offensive coordinator used to be the head coach in Dallas. (Bruce’s
contributions to this column go back many years, so I know him
to be an avid fan of the Bills who never forgave the Cowboys for
beating Buffalo in back-to-back Super Bowls in the ‘90s.)
Bruce’s anti-Dallas sentiment notwithstanding, it may well
be that Elliott owners are better off than Kamara owners. There’s
a lot of football left to play in 2020, and Zeke’s durability
has been one of his most impressive characteristics over the years,
as Kevin points out:
I am a Zeke owner who selected him third over Kamara. If there
is one thing that last week reinforced, it’s that the
#1 ability for running backs is availability. Kamara is electric,
but has missed time in two of his first three seasons. Zeke
will be the last one standing.
Kevin isn’t alone in this thinking on this subject, as
Cityside’s comment attests:
I had the 2nd pick and against all the expert’s advice,
I went with Zeke. Not only is he a beast and consistent, but
he’s on a great team. Also, he is the bell cow in Dallas.
Kamara is awesome, but I wasn’t sure if they would scale
back his touches to keep him healthy (since he has had some
injuries before).... I loved Zeke going in and 2 weeks in am
thrilled with my choice, but there’s a long way to go.
Still, I’m looking better than most.
Whereas Kevin appears to have been right to defy consensus by
taking Elliott ahead of Barkley, Erikthebassist is in a league with
owners who defied consensus on Kamara and allowed him to slip to
the end of the first round:
Kamara fell to me with the 10th pick in a 12-team league, so
it was a no brainer, although I certainly can't be disappointed
at this juncture. I'd be 2-0 with the third highest total in
the league if I hadn't faced jones last week. Which, btw, how
is he not part of this discussion?
As the owner of Aaron Jones in the FFToday Staff League, I approve
of Erik’s comment--and I know that my opponent in Week
2 can sympathize with his loss. I streamed Tyrod Taylor that
week (when he had the lung puncture just before game time),
so I put up 0 points at QB, but Jones was so unstoppable that
I still won.
My thanks to everyone who wrote in. I enjoyed all the feedback
I received (even though I didn’t have space to include
This Week’s Question: Are there any commissioners
left out there who manage leagues in which they do not participate?
Over the years, this column has featured many debates about the
veto power that some leagues empower commissioners to exercise
in response to trades that appear to involve collusion, but some
of the most egregious stories that readers have shared with me
have involved collusion on the part of commissioners themselves.
Back in the ‘90s, I argued that even though most commissioners
could be trusted to act in the best interest of their leagues,
the most obvious solution to this problem was to appoint several
league members to a commissioner oversight committee empowered
to veto any dubious trades made by the commissioner.
I immediately heard back from several commissioners who pointed
out that there was no need for a committee to approve their trades
because they never engaged in trading because they did not even
have a team in the leagues they commissioned. They saw themselves
as being more like referees than owners, so there was no possibility
As the decades rolled by, I heard from these disinterested commissioners
less and less. I think the last time I heard from anyone serving
as a commissioner in a league in which he didn’t participate
was several years ago. (My apologies if anyone fitting the bill
has written to me recently; I certainly don’t recall any
correspondence to that effect.)
Does this practice still exist? If you are such a commissioner
(or participate in a league with a commissioner who doesn’t
compete for championships), can you please comment below (or email
me) with details about how and why this approach remains viable
in your league? If you used to have an outsider who served as
commish in your league, please
let me know when and why you abandoned the practice.
Survivor Pool Pick (Courtesy of Matthew Schiff)
Trap Game Public Service Announcement: Stay
away from Jacksonville
Last week, I warned you.... Jacksonville is not a safe favorite.
#3: San Francisco over Philadelphia; 2-1 (BAL, KC, az)
Nick Mullens is not the next coming of Tom Brady after his 4 TD
performance against the lowly Giants, but Philadelphia is in disarray,
and the NFC Champs have more than enough defensive firepower to
win this game on their own. Add in Mullens’ performance,
and they’re toast.
#2: Baltimore over Washington: 2-1 (ind, AZ, TB)
The Ravens are the second best team in football, as attested by
their lackluster performance against the Chiefs (the only NFL
team that seems to have their number) on Monday night. In a battle
on the Washington Beltway, the Washington Football team just can’t
measure up to Lamar Jackson and company. Take the Ravens in this
#1: LA Rams over the NY Giants: 3-0 (KC, GB, IND)
The Rams lost a heartbreaker of a game last week when Josh
Allen salvaged a win by the Bills in the last few minutes
after Jared Goff
fought back from a 28-3 deficit. The Giants are not the Bills.
will not be mistaken for Josh Allen, and as such, you don’t have
to look any further. Goff and company steamroll.
Mike Davis has been writing about
fantasy football since 1999--and playing video games even longer
than that. His latest novel (concerning a gamer who gets trapped
inside Nethack after eating too many shrooms) can
be found here.