Fantasy Mind Games: Preseason Hype

August 19, 2018

I remember the hype about prom when I was a senior in high school. The pressure of making sure you didn't go stag and having friends that were interested in the same girl as I was. Of course, that girl was taken by the most popular kid in school because they were already going out. Duh. So, I had a couple of secondary options just like my buddies. But then I found out that they had some of those same girls on their list of options (high school is so cruel).


I learned that I had to hype up some of my later options to try and make sure I get a better chance of landing a prom date from my top options.


In the end I went stag with my buddies because we were huge dorks and all of those girls were out of our league.


But I'm grown now, and you know who’s in my league and available now? All the late round picks I want.


However, the same problem exists. Where I used to compete with others for prom dates, I now compete with others for those late round sleepers I want. Sitting back hoping that they slide to the value I have them at and hoping that my league mates don't get them.


So, I have to implement a strategy. That same strategy I used in high school. I have to hype up picks I'd choose even later to try and get some of my league mates to reach for them so I get the players I want, when I want them.


What I'm going to do now, is give you a couple of players that have looked good in the Pre-Season so far to hype up to some of your league mates and how to do so without looking like a car salesman.



Marquez Valdes-Scantling WR, Packers

Val had a great week 1 of pre-season (5/101/1). He's 6’4”, has 4.37 speed, and the 3rd WR spot on the Packers is still not set in stone. Geronimo Allison is the favorite at the moment for that spot, but he can be pushed by Val. He's also a great grab if anything were to happen to anyone on the depth chart listed above him.




Antonio Callaway WR, Browns

Mike Mayock of the NFL Network claimed him as a “1st round talent” when he was drafted by the Browns. He had a good 1st week of pre-season (3/87/1), and competition in the WR corps has diminished with Corey Coleman on the Bills. Also, Dez Bryant came and left Cleveland with no contract. In an offense in Cleveland set to explode this year, no one is sure what to expect exactly, but everyone is leaning towards nothing but good things.


James Washington WR, Steelers

Washington is the 3rd WR on this team. There is no question there as far as I'm concerned. With an awesome 2nd week in pre-season (5/114/2), you have juice to squeeze here to try an upsell him to your fellow league mates. I loved JuJu last year, but I was never sold on Martavis Bryant as a solid number 2. JuJu however, is. It won't be easy for Washington to have a year like JuJu, but that's what you have to try and sell here. JuJu benefited from Bryant being in the doghouse last year. The same won't happen for Washington. I like him, but the point here is to hype him up like JuJu to your league mates.



Jonathan Williams RB, Saints

He's been reported the favorite to land the share of touches suspended running back Mark Ingram would've gotten for the early part of the season. He's had a good pre-season with 12 carries, 63 yards, and 1 touchdown in 2 games. If he's to get those shares, he would be a good late pickup in anyone's draft, and a good player to hype up in your league.




Jeremy Hill RB, Patriots

With 2 pre-season games now in the books (17/82/1), Hill looks like he has a leg up on fellow RB Mike Gillislee (23/65/0) for the 4th RB spot in this always confusing backfield of the Patriots. With Burkhead dealing with a minor tear in his knee (should be fine by week one), Hill should continue to see work in the pre-season and show that he can hang on to that spot. I know that being the 4th RB on any team isn't anything to be excited about, but we're talking about the Patriots here. Also, Burkhead played in only 10 games last year and is already dealing with an injury, and so is Sony Michel (1st round pick by the team this year). Hill may be able to gain The Big Boss Bill Belichick’s trust as the goal line back, and for an offense as good as the Patriots offense, that position is worth a late round pick.


These players I'm mentioning are only a few, but there are others:

-Jake Kumerow WR, Packers

-Michael Gallup WR, Cowboys

-Shelton Gibson WR, Eagles

-James Conner RB, Steelers

-Kapri Bibbs RB, Redskins

-Luke Wilson TE, Lions

And plenty more out there.


The thing that these players have in common, is that they are all late round picks, if picked at all.


There are plenty of ways to hype these players up, but you don't want to show that you're desperate to do so. Make things up. Say that you have a one of them in a league and someone else keeps trying to trade for them and gauge where your league mates are at on the player. Say that you keep hearing others speak highly of them and you're wondering what they think.


If you love these players and want no one to know about them, then say nothing.


The point that I’m making is that with every reach that someone else makes in the draft, comes players at a better value for you. These are player going very late in redraft leagues that others may want to eventually reach for. What you need to do is make them think you'll reach for them too, or make them love these players more so they reach instead of you.


Remember, you don't win your league in the draft. But you can lose it. Or influence others to lose theirs.


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