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As August rolls into September, preseason football rolls into the regular season. Throughout the month of August, the hype train of fantasy football is at an all time high, with proclaimed experts giving their opinions on who is this year’s best or worst and who’s a sleeper pick. At the end of the day, fantasy football is chaotic and something we ultimately have no control over. Who would have known for example, that last year Pat Mahomes, who was drafted on average between the 5th and 8th rounds, would have one of the greatest fantasy seasons of all time.  In light of Mahomes historic season, we took a look at the best, offensive fantasy seasons since 2000 by players at their respective positions.

Using the standard format of scoring and standard roster size, here’s the breakdown.

Quarterback – Peyton Manning 2013 Season

Could we have put Mahomes season here from last year, absolutely. Tom Brady in 2007 was also an obvious choice for top QB spot, but it is hard to argue with Peyton Manning’s record setting season in 2013. Peyton threw 55 Passing touchdowns and over 5,400 yards, with just 10 interceptions. He even added a rushing TD that year in very un-Peyton like fashion. It was good for over 420 fantasy points.

Running Back 1 – LaDainian Tomlinson 2006 Season

The best fantasy season hands down for any player pound-for-pound at any position.  LT set both NFL and fantasy football records with over 1,800 rushing yards, over 500 receiving yards, 50+ receptions, an NFL record 28 rushing TD’s and 3 receiving TD’s. The greatest, all time, single season for a running back and it was good for 480 fantasy points.

Running Back 2 – Marshall Faulk 2000 Season

The greatest show on turf, Marshall Faulk, was a dual threat running back who was ahead of his time. His receiving stats were better than over half the league’s wide receivers in 2000! Totaling nearly 1,400 yards rushing, over 800 yards receiving, a whopping 81 receptions and 26 total touchdowns (18 rushing 8 receiving), Faulk’s season racked up 460 fantasy points for owners.

Wide Receiver 1 – Randy Moss 2007 Season

Randy Moss set the NFL record for most TD’s in a single season in 2007 with the help from Quarterback Tom Brady. The number was 23 and it’s a record that will likely stand for a long, long time. He also racked up 1,500 yards in the air with 98 receptions. He accomplished this while often sitting out the end of blowout wins as the Patriots went 16-0 in the regular season. What’s even crazier is he was a mid-round pick for that season, having come off question mark season with the Raiders.

Wide Receiver 2 – Antonio Brown 2015 Season

He may be a head case, but there is no denying Antonio Brown is one of the great wideouts the game has ever seen. 2015 was his best season – he racked up a lofty 136 receptions for over 1,800 yards and 10 receiving touchdowns. This was good for 386 fantasy points, earning him a spot on the all time squad.

Tight End – Rob Gronkowski 2011 Season

Gronk smash! Arguably the greatest tight end of all time and certainly one of the most fun football personalities, Gronk’s 2011 season was the only year in which he started all 16 games. A healthy Gronk is unstoppable and uncontainable and he showcased it through that entire campaign. He wasn’t a top pick, like he became after 2011, so you got great value if you drafted Gronk in 2011. He put up 90 catches, over 1,300 yards and led the entire league in receiving touchdowns with 17. If you had Gronk in 2011, you likely Gronk-smashed your league.

FLEX – Priest Holmes (RB) 2003 Season

A shame his career was cut short due to injuries because Priest Holmes was, before dealing with neck problems, en route to breaking NFL all time records. In 2003 he bested his 2002 season which was thought to be an all time season. He set the record for rushing touchdowns in 2003 (27) only to see it broken by LT in 2006. He also added 74 catches for 690 yards while tallying over 1,400 yards on the ground. The Priest was a beast!

Kicker – David Akers 2011 Season

Kickers are getting booted out of fantasy leagues left and right, but for us, it is still a big part of fantasy football. Who doesn’t love it when a kicker makes or breaks your week (kidding, sort of). At any rate, Eagles Kicker David Akers had the best fantasy season for any kicker in 2011 when he set an NFL record for attempts (52) and makes (44). He also drilled in 7 from over 50 yards which are of course worth more. To all the fantasy owners, good luck in the 2019 season!

Andrew Luck is one of the classiest, most professional guys to have participated in the modern game of football. He has never been a me-first guy, rather he has always been a we-first guy. He was a team guy. When Luck came to the Indianapolis Colts as the number 1 overall pick in 2012, he had massive shoes to fill, Peyton Manning  had been arguably the greatest quarterback in NFL history. Luck sacrificed his body for horribly built teams that didn’t protect him. But he went out and battled nonetheless to become a true leader, a captain, and a perennial all pro.  Andrew Luck gave everything he had to the game of football, the city of Indianapolis and the Colts franchise. Saturday night, in the middle of the Colts third preseason game, it was announced that Andrew Luck was retiring from football. It was a shock to everyone, including his teammates. The somewhat awkward part was that there was a game going on and Luck was on the field in practice clothes – not the usual retirement announcement setting. Still, it was time for Andrew Luck to go. He could no longer physically or mentally do what was required to compete at the highest level in a game that had given so much to him. So, he retired. How did Colts fan’s react that night in Indy? With boo’s. They booed Andrew Luck off the field as he walked from the sideline into the dressing room. The problem here isn’t the roughness of the NFL, the position the Colts are in without Luck or the timing of his announcement. It is the knee jerk mentality of people whose first instinct, all too often, is inherently selfish, self-centered and shallow. Be it Colts fans who booed Luck off the field or Raptors fans who cheered when Kevin Durant went down in the NBA finals, far too many people forget the human element of life when it isn’t their own life in discussion.  There is too much “what have you done for me lately” and too little gratitude and appreciation for the quality of the effort, even for the guy on the other team. Meanwhile, Luck’s teammates and peers have supported his decision whole-heartedly. Ty Hilton admits he still cries a bit everyday when he thinks about it. Coach Frank Reich, who took this job last year mainly for the opportunity to work with Andrew Luck, couldn’t have praised Luck more. The Colts chose not to recoup from Luck any of the $24+ million they could have, letting him keep the whole thing for his service to the franchise and the community. If the people around Luck, who are affected most by his decision, can react so genuinely with love and respect, why can’t the average fan? The NFL will miss Andrew Luck for all of his talent, personality and professionalism on and off the field. Indy fans likely would welcome a mulligan on how to better handle themselves in a moment of adversity, but they won’t need one from Andrew Luck.  He understands them and has probably already forgiven them. We wish Andrew Luck the best in his life after football.  We wish him a life of health, happiness, and fulfillment for the man who is an even better person than he was a quarterback and he was quite the quarterback.

After an offseason shoulder surgery, the last thing Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers needed was a preseason injury to their star quarterback. Unfortunately, that was the case Thursday night as the Panthers squared off against the New England Patriots in what was the third preseason game for both teams. With his team up 10-3 Newton injured his foot after being tackled on a run and had to leave the game.

Newton was clearly in pain on the sideline.  The fans, the team and fantasy owners alike were hoping for the best case scenario regarding the injury. So, they were relieved to hear that the X-rays came back negative. The injury was diagnosed as a foot sprain and further tests revealed nothing major.  Bullet dodged – though sometimes a sprain can have a longer recovery time than a break. With a potential season jeopardizing injury behind them, both Newton and the Panthers are now cautiously optimistic that he will be able to play week 1 of the season.  What we know for sure is he won’t play in the fourth preseason game.  Assuming he can suit up for the first week, it’s hard to imagine there won’t be some rust to shake off after coming off shoulder surgery, a foot injury and a ton of missed practice time.

The Oakland Raiders hosted the Green Bay Packers in Winnipeg Canada on Thursday night in what was the first NFL game played in Canada since the Buffalo Bills faced the Atlanta Falcons in 2013.

The problem on Thursday night was that the field wasn’t suitable for an NFL game. The two teams played in the stadium of the Canadian Football League’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers, which is set up for Canadian football rules. The main difference being that the goalposts are located smack in the middle of the end zone causing the field play at 80 yards instead of 100 yards.  The end zones were marked by orange pylons at each 10 yard line. Very confusing.  To add to the problems, there were holes in the field and there were no kickoffs.  Result: impact starters like Aaron Rodgers, Antonio Brown, DeVante Adams, and Derek Carr did not play.

The NFL did themselves no favors by allowing the game to be played under sub-par conditions.  They have yet to get this preseason thing right. Luckily no one was hurt as a result of the field conditions.

As far as the game went, the Raiders kicked a game winning field goal with 8-seconds left to beat the Packers 22-21. Nate Peterman continued to shine this preseason under Coach Jon Gruden who truly believes in the former laughingstock of the NFL. Peterman finished with 210 yards and two touchdowns. He did have an interception on a two point conversion attempt. Both teams will conclude their preseason next Thursday night, this time, on a regulation NFL field.

Taylor Swift released her much anticipated album Lover on Friday and the Swift faithful are… loving it. This is her 7th album and she’s naturally very enthusiastic about it saying, “There are so many songs that you haven’t heard yet that I’m so excited for you to hear.” She went on to say that “Cornelia Street,” has a special place in her heart and that the song “Soon You’ll Get Better,” which features the Dixie Chicks, was the most difficult song for her to write because it’s about her mother’s battle with cancer. “We, as a family, decided to put this on the album and it’s something I’m so proud of and still I can’t sing it. It’s just hard to emotionally deal with that song.” Check out the official track list for Lover:
  1. I Forgot That You Existed
  2. Cruel Summer
  3. Lover
  4. The Man
  5. The Archer
  6. I Think He Knows
  7. Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince
  8. Paper Rings
  9. Cornelia Street
  10. Death By a Thousand Cuts
  11. London Boy
  12. Soon You’ll Get Better f/Dixie Chicks
  13. False God
  14. You Need to Calm Down
  15. Afterglow
  16. ME! f/ Brendon Urie
  17. It’s Nice to Have a Friend
  18. Daylight

Across social media, especially Twitter, Popeyes’ new fried chicken sandwich has been all the buzz this week. Some have even gone so far to say it is the best chicken sandwich they have ever had. If you like fast food chicken sandwiches and odds are you do, it is also likely you have been consumed by the debate between Popeyes’ new, featured product and the famous Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwich, which has taken on a life of its own.

If you’re brand loyal, it’s hard to truly be objective in the battle. Some feel Popeyes has always been better than Chick-Fil-A. Others feel Popeyes is late to the chicken sandwich game and it’s blasphemy to suggest it could ever defeat Chick-Fil-A in a head-to-head contest.  Popeyes’ fried chicken is a more southern, greasy style chicken while Chick-Fil-A’s sandwich is probably the “healthier” option.

This debate will probably never be settled, but we don’t think Popeyes or Chick-Fil-A care very much. Both have gotten tremendous press the last few days.  It’s been estimated that the social media exposure that Popeyes has gotten thus far is equivalent to nearly $24 million in paid advertising.  And lines have been out the door this week at Popeyes across the nation. Some restaurants have even sold out of chicken sandwiches.

Naturally, food writers of all stripes had to jump in.  The Washington Post’s Maura Judkis, taste tested Popeyes next to Chic-Fil-A and Shack Shack’s Chick’n Shack.  Her expert analysis said, “[Popeys] is the crunchiest, crispiest fast-food chicken sandwich out there. It’s also hefty, with a greater surface area than either of its competitors. The bun is more buttery…the chicken is juicy and the pickles are cut thicker.” And her coup de grace was that “the Cajun fries are a better textural accompaniment than waffle fries, which, despite their fun shape, tend to go flaccid.”

Chris Hemsworth is best known for his role as Marvel’s Thor, God of Thunder and for his incredible physique.  Hemsworth, 36, took to Instagram to show off his workout routine.  The videos are an abbreviated form of his paid fitness app Centrfit, which is called “666 Workout,” not to be mistaken for the devil, although some say the workout is like going through hell.

666 signifies – six repetitions of six sets of six exercises. The video in his Instagram post focused on his back and biceps.  Chris goes through numerous pull exercises; pullups, curls, rows, and deadlifts.

Despite all the traveling he does, he rarely misses a workout, but because of selfie hunters, he rarely trains in a public gym.  Instead he gets it done in his room.

Beyond the workouts, Chris follows disciplined, healthy eating habits. He says he tends to eat fish later in the day over meats as it helps him sleep better. His body digests fish protein better overnight than meat protein. While he doesn’t reveal any tips about growing flawlessly, god-like hair, his Centrfit app has a ton of great high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts and diet suggestions that can help the average Joe get on the path to becoming, if not a God of Thunder, at least a helper.  Check out Hemsworth’s Instagram for footage.

Antonio Brown was a headache for the Pittsburgh Steelers last year, which is why they traded him to the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders below value. The Steelers took a third round and a fifth round pick in the next draft in return for, arguably, the best receiver in the league. When Brown got to the Raiders, they rewarded him with a big time contract extension. Why? Because they’re the Raiders and they’re apparently willing to deal with his baggage. Trouble began immediately.  Brown has stayed out of the Raiders’ training camp for almost all of preseason. He finally showed up amid issues over the NFL’s helmet policy. Brown wants to wear the old model of his helmet in spite of the NFL’s transition to a new, supposedly safer, model. The concussion issue looms large for the league. But like a child who doesn’t get his way, Brown has done this to the Raiders, who have zero control over NFL policies. They now have first hand experience with Brown’s baggage. After strong statements from GM Mike Mayock and Coach John Gruden, Brown made his way back onto the field and is “all in” according to his agent. However, Antonio isn’t done with the helmet thing. He has filed another grievance against the league in an effort to get his old helmet back. An arbitrator is going to hear his case this week. Coach Gruden had good things to say about Brown upon his return. “He’s shown great retention of what we’re doing. He (Brown) hadn’t missed the off season program. He’s been here, and out of here, in meetings. And it’s just good to have him back. He’s in great shape, running hard and running good routes.” While it appears Brown is back for now and ready to focus on football, it is hard to imagine this is the last time Brown’s baggage weighs down the Raiders during the life of his contract.
Somehow, the Josh Gordon saga continues. The New England Patriot’s wide receiver may have an opportunity to play in the NFL this season in spite of a career full of drug-related suspensions and mental health issues. The talented wideout was traded to the Patriots last year in a move that was viewed by many as his last chance in the NFL. The Patriot’s no nonsense approach was thought to be the only environment that could salvage his blemished career. While things were going well last year and he was clicking with future hall of famer Tom Brady on the field, another drug violation got him suspended for the final three games of the 2018 regular season and all of the playoffs – the umpteenth of his career. Returning to training camp over the weekend, fresh off his latest NFL suspension, the Patriots placed Gordon on the non-football injury list. He was seen on the practice field stretching and doing some light conditioning, but he declined all interview requests. Gordon burst onto the scene in 2013, catching 87 passes for a league high 1,646 yards, which put him in the Pro Bowl.  That happened even though he was suspended for the first two games of the season for a substance abuse violation. He was suspended next in 2015, ultimately missing the next two seasons while battling with mental health issues as well as drug problems. Barring a decision by the Patriots to release him, it seems Josh Gordon will have yet another go at life in the NFL this year. The Pats have supported Gordon throughout the process and his teammates are rooting for him to turn things around both on the field, and more importantly, off the field. Gordon could be a fantasy sleeper pick this year should he find his way back on the field. While his problems away from football have been significant, there is no denying his talent when he is suited up on Sundays.
Dallas Cowboys all-pro, running back Ezekiel ‘Zeke’ Elliot has been holding out all pre-season as he petitions for a new contract that will make him the highest paid running back in the league. Zeke has been one of the most productive backs in the NFL since he came into the league in 2016, though he’s had the advantage of playing behind Dallas’s star-studded offensive line. The Cowboys have made the playoffs in two of the last three seasons on the backs of that line, Zeke and quarterback Dak Prescott, who is also looking for a new deal. After the Cowboys second preseason game, owner Jerry Jones joked with the media, “Zeke Who,” in response to rookie running back Tony Pollard’s 42-yard performance, which was capped by a touchdown. The comment was an attempt at comedic relief relating to the tense contract negotiation that has been ongoing for the last month. Jones has no intention of letting Zeke go and views Pollard as a great backup option behind Zeke. Elliot has 2 years left on his rookie deal and is set to make a base salary this upcoming season of $3.9 million. Technically, he can be fined 40K per day for every day of training camp he has missed thus far, but that will go away when a deal is finally done. Reports were released that Zeke was not happy about Jones’s joke, although Jason Witten, who recently returned to the Cowboys after a year in the ESPN booth, denies that Zeke took any offense, saying, “I thought it was a beautiful comment. Like everybody, I hope this gets resolved and Zeke is in there sooner rather than later.”  He added, “No, [the joke] wouldn’t bother me. It didn’t bother Zeke either.  Trust me, there’s nobody who loves Ezekiel Elliott more than Jerry Jones does. I wouldn’t have taken it that way and I’m sure Zeke didn’t either.” There is no doubt signing Zeke to an extension is a priority for the Cowboys who are the wealthiest franchise in the NFL and have no shortage of cash. They also have made it a priority to extend current quarterback Dak Prescott who has progressed over his first three seasons in the NFL since winning offensive rookie-of-the-year over Zeke in 2016. When this will all get done, nobody outside of the Cowboys organization really knows, but one would think it’s inevitable given the level of importance Elliot has for the team. Fantasy owners and Cowboy fans alike have suffered some major headaches throughout August as this situation has unfolded, but we have little doubt Zeke will suit up against the Giants in Arlington, Texas when the Cowboys open their season on September 8th.