From The Top Shelf (Vol. 1)
Fantasy football and marijuana are intrinsically linked. Think about it; there are few things in this world that create as much anxiety as fantasy football. Whether it is the draft, waiver pickups, trades, or setting lineups, your blood pressure will rise exponentially as the season progresses. There is nothing, in my estimation, that cures anxiety (and anything else that ails you) quite like some danky cannabis. Indicas, Sativas, and Hybrids. THC oil pens, crumble wax, and edibles. Whatever is your pleasure.
For fantasy football purposes, the most relatable terms are “Dank” and “Schwag”. For those of you outside the smoking circle, dank refers to a very potent, top-shelf strain of marijuana; one with dark and sticky buds (think Antonio Brown). Schwag is quite the opposite. It refers to some low-grade, bottom shelf bud that is dry, full of seeds and stems, and does not quite get the job done (think DeVante Parker). Dank Buds you should play and schwag buds you should seriously consider benching.
Without further ado, here are your Dank & Schwag Buds for Week 1:
Dank Buds of the Week:
QB: Matthew Stafford: I have a bong that I have owned for almost 7 years. It is about a foot tall, has a decent sized bowl, and always hits very well. That bong is named after Matthew Stafford. Both are always consistent and have earned my confidence that they will always be there. Stafford has not missed a game since 2010 and is extremely reliable, having finished in the top 10 in 6 out of the last 7 years. The Lions are a pass first team with questions surrounding the run game. Golden Tate and Marvin Jones are both lethal and get to start the season at home versus a bottom 3rd defense. The Jets allowed the 3rd most TDs to quarterbacks last season with 28, against only 10 picks.
RB: James White: There is one strain of weed that I am always going back to called Super Elmer’s Glue. James White is Belichick & Brady’s Super Elmer’s Glue. No matter what changes have come to the Patriots backfield over the years, White is the constant. White has earned their trust and seems to be the only healthy running back in the New England backfield. Under normal circumstances, he is no more than a flex option, but against this aggressive Texans defense, White is going to be a PPR beast. But these are not normal circumstances. The patriots are lacking pass-catchers, so while White may not get the carries one would hope, he should more than make up for it in the pass game, at least until Julian Edelman returns.
WR: Cooper Kupp: My love for Cooper Kupp has not been understated. I think he will end up as the #1 pass-catching option on the Rams high powered offense. Kupp is like a THC oil vape pen—small, quick hitting, and always delivering. The Raiders are a dumpster fire right now and I expect Kupp to reap the benefits. The Raiders defense had the fewest interceptions in the league last season and traded away a large portion of their sacks. Kupp was one of the league leaders last season in Red Zone Targets and will have a coming out party on Monday night and the summer reports of Kupp and Jared Goff becoming BFFs will be confirmed.
TE: Austin Seferian-Jenkins:Does not matter how stoned you are because every fantasy football players knows to play your tight ends against the New York Giants. They were historically bad at defending TEs last season and while I expect them to be better, I do not expect a miracle turnaround. ASJ has never been able to stay healthy, but did play the most games of any season in his career last year. He also caught 50 passes for the Jets last season.
I expect him to be a big part of the Jags passing game, especially since they no longer have the Allen Brothers (Robinson & Hurns) and recently lost Marquis Lee for the season. There are a ton of targets available for ASJ. As long as he stays on the field, I think he has a great shot at being a top 10 TE, but the health issues make it hard to consider him more than a matchup play. I consider ASJ to be a Sativa. When he is there, he does a great job, but it is definitely not my preference.
Schwag Buds of the Week:
QB: Jimmy Garoppolo: Don’t get me wrong, as a Niner fan, I love Jimmy G and all he will bring to the franchise, but this week, on the road against a Vikings defense that only allowed 11 receiving touchdowns last year, you have to sit him. Keep in mind that the 49ers running game has some huge question marks after the season-ending ACL tear suffered by Jerick McKinnon. Alfred Morris and Matt Breida are solid, but not spectacular.
The offensive line is average at best and will have its hands full with the Minnesota font seven. Jimmy G is like smoking a dab; it is new and sexy and you know it will do damage, but there is a time and a place for it. Choose wisely or it could go bad quickly.
RB: Devonta Freeman: I have made my dislike of Devonta Freeman abundantly clear—I believe Tevin Coleman is the better running back, but we should not disregard the impact Freeman has had over the years. He has been a RB1/RB2 for the last few years. But looking closer, you will see that his carries and targets have gone down each of the last 3 seasons. Last year in the playoffs, against the very same Eagles defense he faces this week, Freeman ran 10 times for 7 yards.
His best chance of having a productive fantasy week against a top 3 defense is through the air, but TC is the better receiving option out of the backfield. He is most likely your second round pick, so you are going to play him, just taper your expectation. Freeman is like an edible that never really kicks in; the expectations are always high, but the result is a huge disappointment.
WR: Josh Gordon: I am expecting Josh Gordon to have a great season, but it will not start week 1 against Pittsburgh. I am basing this pick solely on uncertainty. He has been away from the team for the whole off-season and Hue Jackson has already named another Cannabis Connoisseur, Antonio Callaway, starter for this week.
He can put up solid numbers even with minimal targets, but this is not the week to take that chance. Steelers secondary isn’t horrible and their pass rush should be much improved. Moreover, there is talk of a hamstring injury, which may limit his usage as well. Gordon is like a finely rolled blunt filled with kush. You know there is a time and a place to use it, but this isn’t the week.
TE: Jordan Reed & Tyler Eifert: There is not a strain of weed on this planet or any other that would cause me to put one of these two players in my starting lineup this week. I do not doubt that these are two of the most talented tight ends in the NFL, but I also recognize that, much like my bong I have named Matthew Stafford, both of these guys are made of glass. Reed has started only 25 games the last 5 seasons; Eifert has started 30 over the same time-frame.
Playing these two comes with added aggravation and an increase in blood pressure. Do not let their potential dictate your starting lineup. They remind me of that friend who claims to have the dankest bud of all time, but when he brings it over, you see its dry, brown, and full of broken stems.