There I stood, in line with at least 100 other people. Everyone was clutching what they could get their hands on. I had tarps and a cordless drill. The guy behind me had batteries and a propane stove. The woman in front of me had a cooler and some batteries too. If you live in South Florida, as in Houston, New Orleans, Charleston and many small towns around the gulf and Atlantic seaboard, this is not all that uncommon. Hurricane’s are a paradigm changer. They take you out of your comfort zone and force you to deal with the reality that nature rules.
As a native Miamian (how many of those do you know?) I grew up prepping for hurricanes so I’m a bit of a veteran. I keep a 50 gallon water drum in my garage for emergencies. I have a generator, more batteries than I’ll ever need. I have flashlights and lanterns, radios and battery operated fans. I have a deep charge boat battery to keep our electronics alive during a power outage. I have two propane tanks, a two gas grills. I have two large bags of charcoal and my old Weber grill just in case the propane runs out. I am prepared, there is no doubt about it.
It’s one thing to be prepared, but it’s another to be ready for a hurricane. You’re never quite ready for 100 MPH winds or flooding that comes with a cane. You’re never quite ready for the psychology of making a fight or flight decision when there is a family counting on you to be 100% correct. Stay and get hit by a category 4 storm and it could be catastrophic. at 150 MPH’s winds will take off roofs and can cause immense damage, risking lives at the same time. Getting on the road has it’s own complications though. It normally takes four hours to get from my house to Jacksonville, Florida. In the lead up to Hurricane Irma, it was reportedly taking 12 hours. Fleeing the storm just to get stuck without gas on I-95 is not a great option either.
As the storm track kept moving west I decided to stay. And I was correct…fortunately. We got the outer bands of the storm, cat 1 stuff. It took the power out at 8:40AM last Sunday. But that was it for us and most of our neighbors. No major damage to homes and properties. Our power came back on at 10PM on Monday night. That’s a manageable time to be out of power. The same can’t be said for the people in the Florida Keys. Nor the people of Naples or Tampa. Even Jacksonville had flooding from the St. John’s river.
That’s the other psychology that is hard to face. That feeling of gratefulness you have because you had no severe impact, while those all around you were severely impacted. I deal with that by giving back. I gave to Hurricane Harvey relief and also for Hurricane Irma. For some like me, the storm came and went and despite the impact it did not change my paradigm. For others, the storm indeed brings a paradigm shift in their lives. Many have died, many more don’t have homes. Or won’t be able to go back to their homes for weeks in the case of Harvey. So, help where you can. Even a little bit goes a long way. I hope everyone truly impacted by Harvey and Irma can get back on their feet soon.
Week 1 of the NFL season always changes paradigms. All off-season you hear about breakouts candidates, sleepers, studs and everything from everybody. The truth is that most of fantasy land pundits really don’t have any idea what’s really going to happen. Which makes week 1 of the NFL season so interesting. Did anyone even pick Tarik Cohen in your rookie draft? Did you pick David Johnson #1 in your startup?
Value springs from our collective blind spots. Disadvantage from our hubris. And so it goes for fantasy football…and for life. Paradigm shifts happen fast. So, here we are trying to read the tea leaves for our dynasty squads. You only have so many precious spots on your roster. You don’t want to waste a spot for a rookie that won’t develop or for a veteran that won’t produce. Let’s go through some stash, grab and drop candidates to help you maximize the value of your rosters.
Stash Deshone Kizer
I have to say I was not a fan of Kizer coming out of Notre Dame last year. In my DMX database he is a decile 2 QB and Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes and Mitchell Trubisky all rated better than him. But as I’ve watched him in the preseason he’s grown on me. In the dynasty league I commission my plan was to take Mahomes in the second round but he was snatched up early in the second when I had a late second pick. The only QB left in the late second? You guessed it, Kizer. So I took him and started watching and studying him a bit deeper. His first game against the Steelers does provide some glimpse of the future. As with any rookie, he held the ball too long and took too many sacks. He made some rookie mistakes. But when you watch him for a whole game, there are some bright spots that give you hope for development. He has great pocket presence for a rookie. He stands tall and goes through his progressions, keeping his eyes downfield. He’s not afraid to take shots down the field, he’s not a dink and dunk type of guy. I like those things. When I watch Deshaun Watson, especially this past Thursday against the Bengals, there are things I just don’t like. He’s a one-read guy right now, there is no progressions or standing in the pocket. Kizer is playing better than Watson is right now. Will that last forever? Maybe not, but Kizer is exhibiting the traits you need to be a pocket passer in this league. He’s only 21. If you can get him and stash him, do so.
Other stashes to consider: Jermaine Kearse has quickly established himself as WR1 with the Jets after a late camp trade. While this team certainly sucks, as WR1 he’ll produce well enough to consider WR3 status once in a while during bye week time. Curtis Samuel is still rounding into form after missing most of training camp. He got 12 snaps in week 1 while Damiere Byrd and Russell Shepard got a combined 39. Look for that to flip as the year progresses. Kenny Britt is on the edge in Cleveland and he’s not a dynasty asset anyway. Ricardo Louis is rarely talked about but is a DMX decile 1 WR that could develop into a starting WR soon. He’s currently the Browns WR3. On Defense, Nick Kwiatkoski didn’t play much week one but with Jerrell Freeman’s injury Kwiatkoski is back into the starting lineup.
Grab Tarik Cohen
I wrote all about Cohen in this post that you’ll want to check out too. In it I take a close look at his DMX score and opine that he’s definitely worth a flier as the potential next Darren Sproles. It took just one week for him to establish his reputation as a ppr darling. Cohen is small but athletic and while he won’t produce double-digit scoring every week for you, he’s proven at this point he can play in this league and if Howard is injured at all, he will be the beneficiary. It may be too late, but grab him if you can.
Drop Tavon Austin
It’s time. It’s just time. Austin has incredible skills but has just never developed the route tree and requisite skill to be a WR asset in dynasty leagues. He will stay in the NFL for several more years but with Sammy Watkins now in town and Cooper Kupp showing so well, the writing is on the wall. In one of my leagues I held him in hopes of a new regime would change his outlook. While there is a chance that could still happen, after missing a full training camp and barely being used in week 1, I’m much less optimistic. Unless you’re in an incredibly deep league, I would cut bait now.