The Commish's Hot Takes for Riff Raff Fantasy Football
With Thursday night’s NFL kickoff just hours away, Riff Raff Football’s own illustrious Commish couldn’t help himself get on the record ahead of the new season with some prognostication. Way back in 2018, we did the same thing and were pretty damn close to nailing most predictions (seriously, someone screenshot Fredo threatening to quit fantasy football). The Riff Raff faithful will be exhilarated by some of the doozies below, including a new and majestic champ and bad times for some very specific owners.
Your Commish takes great pride in his evidence-based, analytical skills, and today’s takes are NO different, so get excited! (For GMRRFFA owners only curious to see comments about their teams, Tito Galen and Fredo, please scroll down to #3 and #4 respectively, and Sausage King, don’t sweat it, you’re in here too).
With that, your Commish unveils his 2019 hot takes, predictions that could go haywire (well, except for the last one) for your enjoyment...
Only Eight Teams Will Make the Playoffs
Starting off, this seems to be fairly obvious, right? Yes, we only have eight teams in the GMRRFFA playoffs, but then why does everyone think they’ll be competitive this season? And I mean everybody does… except Carlos (ed: really, FIL thinks he’ll compete?). With offseason trading and all the fun Riff Raff rules, every GMRRFFA roster is borderline stacked but let’s be very clear: If a roster doesn’t feature top-five talent in multiple spots, owners will have a serious struggle to sneak into the playoffs (my guess is a 6-7 team may make the postseason, but Nyheim Hines and Spencer Ware won’t be the starting running backs this year…).
That said, in our initial power rankings, ELEVEN teams received top five votes, which is wild. Based on FantasyPros top-50 players, all but one squad has three or more top-50 players overall (sorry FIL), and three owners have FIVE top-50 players (Fredo Maisel, Smeet, and Tito Galen) while three owners boast two top-10 players rostered (the reigning champ Sausage King, Mark Hutchinson, and your illustrious Commish).
Ultimately, every squad has pieces, but GMRRFFA followers know what wins championships...
It’s Going to be a Sellers Market
Given everyone is loaded, let’s not anticipate a Smeet-like strategy for owners in 2019, where parts are sold off literally days after a week one loss like the GMRRFFA co-founder and part-owner did wisely last season. After 53 trades in 2018, your Commish doesn’t believe the overall number will shrink, but the big ticket headline-makers from early last season won’t be happening this year, sadly. In fact, the key pieces to sway the GMRRFFA title race will be few and far between; instead, you’ll see a lot of Ito Smith and Tarik Cohen trades in the foreseeable future…
Tito Galen will Make Trades
Speaking of trades - and your Commish must tread lightly as not to sway the market - but 2019 is going to be the season of trades for Tito Galen, kicked off by his mega-preseason deals with Fredo and Mark Hutchinson. Unfortunately for the once-and-future-presumptive champ, he may have no choice but to repeatedly trade again, unloading assets for reasonable keepers as the season unwinds, en route to a disappointing season.
Yes, Tito Galen currently rosters five top-50 players, but they also include question marks like Derrick Henry (seriously, remove Weeks 14-17 in 2018 and you have last year’s 39th-best running back in fantasy football), Joe Mixon, and Adam Theilen (the 25th-best wide receiver in Weeks 9 through 17 last year), along with some other nice assets. Tito Galen is a smart opponent, so your Commish could be wrong and simply trolling the Filipino phenom ahead of the season, or I could be right.
Fredo Misses the Playoffs - Again
The impetus for today’s column! FREDO MAISEL DOESN”T MAKE THE PLAYOFFS!!! Your Commish doesn’t care that ESPN projects him to finish first currently; as noted previously, GMRRFFA features a ton of talented rosters (including Fredo’s), but how safe should one feel with the Le’Veon Bell experiment in New York? How about DJ in Arizona? Fredo’s starters are strong - Watson, Diggs, Kupp, Engram, and Mike Williams - but a few hiccups in the season could be the downfall, especially with the mounting pressure of being the only GMRRFFA squad to never make the postseason.
What’s worse? His first three weeks feature match-ups against Garcia, Mark Hutchinson, and Tito Galen, easily the three smartest (and worst mother f*ckers to trade with) owners in GMRRFFA. What happens if Fredo starts 0-3? Does he panic, or does he hope and pray for an easier backend of the schedule (Weeks 10-13 feature Stabs, FIL, the Commish, and Coop)?
Given his stacks of cash heading into the 2019 season, Fredo’s unfulfilled postseason aspirations remain my favorite subplot of the season.
Makese Will Continue to Hate the Commish
Sorry Makese; for those only familiar with Riff Raff content, you’d think the Commish and Team Motley are rivals. This isn’t the case - in real life, the Commish ranks Makese as a top three favorite GMRRFFA owner (Stabs and Coop are the other two, and the list took exactly four seconds to do), but damn - Makese’s team has more unresolved questions than a snuggle session between Smeet and Mark Hutchinson.
Does Sony Michel becomes a three-down back in New England? Probably not. Does Leonard Fournette stay healthy and happy? Maybe. Is Antonio Brown crazy, and does he still perform as a top-five wide receiver? Your guess is as good as mine. Does Sammy Watkins IRL mirror Makese’s fantasy aspirations (i.e. disappointing underachiever)? Probably. Is Phillip Lindsey a top-15 back this season? (shoulder shrug). The only certainty on Makese’s roster is that Austin Hooper will be a top-15 tight end. That’s it (and I love Hooper).
Fresh Faces Face Off in the Final Four
In 2018, none of the final four in the GMRRFFA semi-finals were there the previous year (The Sausage King, Garcia, FIL. and Carlos). While your Commish is comfortable predicting two or three definitely make the 2019 postseason (Garcia and the SK definitely, FIL probably), only one of those semi-finalists return to the Final Four again this year (The Sausage King). In fact, the alleged royalty probably makes the finals, knocking off either Mark Hutchinson (extending his record to four straight postseason berths!) or Toby Kobach, MD. He needs wide receiver help, but the CMC/Conner duo will keep the Sausage King viable.
A New Champ is in the House
The Sausage King will look to be the first back-to-back champ in Riff Raff Football history, a feat that would make him a legend in Riff Raff lore. The GMRRFFA guest columnist is beloved by some, and his 2019 success could be celebrated by fans from here to the Philippines, but before we book a ticker tape parade through Vienna, there’s one problem...
Let’s be very clear so all seven readers understands what I’m saying: Your Commish is going to win the championship and I sincerely look forward to the day the SK has to actually schedule a time to hand the title belt over to its rightful owner…
In any case, the Saquon/Nuk/MT Big Three is joined by Tyler Boyd, the most underrated top-15 wide receiver in fantasy football not named Thomas (ed: nice work Smeet), as well as Mark Andrews (ed: nice work Unicorn) and pretty much any rookie running back no one was thinking about last month (ed: most people still aren’t thinking about them). In a league where transactions are made solely for the thrill of making a deal, your Commish strategically planned for a coronation of sorts in 2019, confidently adding assets with an eye on the prize: to be celebrated as the founder, owner, and champion of Riff Raff Football.
Knocking off the Donald Trump of GMRRFFA is nothing short of the cherry on top and, given the Sausage King will have fewer 2020 GMRRFFA commitments as a former champion, he’ll have ample opportunity to continue his soul cycling hobby…
Your new champion is in the house.