😠 This Guy Got Another Coaching Gig?

C'mon now...

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I finally found an exception for believing in second chances…

In today's Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by Bright Cellars:

  • The Steelers hire Arthur Smith

  • How Did We Get Here? Niners and Chiefs path to the SB

  • A shocking coaching decision

  • What Now? Super Bowl prep

  • It’s 1/31. Take it away, Peter Overzet…

Remember when we thought things couldn’t get any worse with the Steelers offense than it did with Matt Canada?

Think again:

You know it’s a suspect hire when reporters are pointing to Arthur Smith’s resume with the Titans [checks notes]…three years ago when he had [checks notes again]… Derrick Henry at his disposal.

Look, Smith can clearly design a decent run scheme. He coaxed a 1,000-yard season out of 5th-round pick Tyler Allgeier in 2022—which would be the resume bullet item I’d personally spotlight if I were trying to carry water for Arthur.

But it’s impossible to spin this as a forward-thinking hire (trust me, I’ve tried). How is this not the ultimate retread?

Throughout his career, Smith has shown a propensity for galaxy-brain coaching tendencies, diminishing the roles of his best players, and dialing up comically predictable run-heavy offenses.

Smith is not a talent elevator and does not cater an offense to his personnel. He sticks square pegs in round holes so no one can question that he is the architect of the offense.

I’m sure Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren will be “fine” for fantasy purposes in the same way Bijan Robinson and Allgeier were “fine” in 2023, which is to say they’ll accumulate points in the most maddening way possible.

But when it comes to the passing game? Lord, give me strength. We are going to need some massive discounts to take the plunge in 2024 drafts.

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How did we get here?

It’s been quite the journey to the Super Bowl. Today, Ian dissects how these two teams arrived at the biggest game…

🎢 Highest High and Lowest Low

🏈 Kansas City Chiefs

  • High: Right now

  • Low: Two-game losing streak in Weeks 13-14 vs. Packers and Bills

Obviously, playoff success will always trump any regular season momentum, but the Chiefs are truly peaking right this second on both offense and defense.

While still really good, this was easily the least dominant Chiefs team of the Patrick Mahomes era during the regular season:

Chiefs regular season points differential 2018-2023:

  • 2023: +77 (6th)

  • 2022: +127 (4th)

  • 2021: +116 (5th)

  • 2020: +111 (6th)

  • 2019: +143 (4th)

  • 2018: +144 (2nd)

And yet, the group has found a way to peak at the right time in consecutive TOUGH matchups against the Dolphins, Bills and Ravens.

This is the first stretch since Weeks 2-5 that the offense posted a positive EPA per play in three consecutive games, while only the Josh Allen and Jordan Love experiences have been capable of giving the defense any sort of real problems pretty much all season long.

Don’t get it twisted: This offense is still hardly looking like their typically ELITE self. The Chiefs’ current nine-game stretch with fewer than 30 points marks the first time since 2018 that they have gone more than three games under that mark.

This relative offensive ineptitude hasn’t hurt too much thanks to consistent excellence from the league’s fifth-ranked defense in EPA allowed per play; just realize this version of the Chiefs has made a habit of winning in 12-round WARS as opposed to previous editions that specialized in quick knockouts.

🏈 San Francisco 49ers

  • High: Blowing out the Cowboys on Sunday night football in Week 5

  • Low: Three-game losing streak in Weeks 6-8 without Deebo Samuel and Trent Williams

This isn’t meant to disrespect what Brock Purdy and company have accomplished over the last two weeks. All the credit in the world to the second-year QB for engineering back-to-back comeback wins; his consistent off-script excellence against the Lions in particular deserves all kinds of praise.

Still, this team as a whole – ESPECIALLY the defense – was objectively playing at a different level to start the season.

The offense has performed pretty awesome all season other than during their infamous three-game stretch with just 17 points in Weeks 6 to 8 with both Deebo Samuel and Trent Williams sidelined with injuries.

A similar sentiment was true for the defense until the last two weeks. Jordan Love and Jared Goff have led consecutive plus offensive performances against this much-heralded defense for the first time since Kirk Cousins and Joe Burrow managed to do so in Weeks 7 and 8.

So yeah: Not exactly limping to the finish line, but at their best the 49ers proved capable of absolutely THRIVING on both sides of the football against some truly solid opponents. They’re still doing enough to get by these days – that’s why they’re in the f*cking Super Bowl after all – but it’s fair to say neither the offense nor defense is exactly peaking at the moment.

Watercooler

🏆 Freedman’s Favorites, one last time. The best plays in the Super Bowl.

🤯 A shocking decision in the coaching world. He’s staying put.

✍️ Too early to start drafting? Psh. Early takeaways from Underdog’s newest tournament.

📺 Isiah Pacheco, official workhorse? Key trends to watch ahead of Super Bowl 58.

👕 The Super Bowl unis have been decided. What do we think?

🎙️ What a call by the Voice of the Chiefs. Look at that passion!

💰 Our bet tracker is up over 56 units on the season and guess what? There are already free Super Bowl plays posted.

🥊 The story behind the Justin Tucker incident with the Chiefs. Let him explain.

🏃 A full scorecard of all the 2024 coaching and GM moves. Keep up.

What Now?

The fantasy football season might be over, but we are NOT ready to unplug. Cooterdoodle is here to keep our minds in check by asking the age-old, evergreen question: “What Now?”

❓ What Now: Calm Before The Super Bowl

Our final two teams are icing up and resting their legs, and we should take a page out of their book. It’s time to relax as we embrace the calm before the storm. 

The big game kicks off in 11 days. But if we’re going to be Ready For It, here’s what we need to do…

💌 Send League Invites


It’s time to send out league invites! (No, not that kind.)

Jeez, has it really been over a month since the league last got together? Just because the winner hasn’t stopped gloating, it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t spend our final Sunday of the season together as a group.

Think about it. Between life and work and kids, we may not have an excuse to argue over player rankings face-to-face again until August.

Let’s not take the final game for granted! Call up your league and schedule a Super Bowl watch party. Trust me, they’ll be happy you did.

What Now?

🍔 Dish It

We don’t have a reason for choosing team names anymore, so we’ll have to transfer those puns over to the kitchen. It’s time to serve ridiculously cheesy-themed dishes. Someone fact-check me, but I’m pretty sure it’s a Super Bowl requirement. 

I can dish it. Here’s a few options for the big day:

  • Buffalo shouldbeplaying Wings

  • Spinach Lamartichoke Dip

  • Smoked Briskittle

  • Philly CMCs Steak

  • 7-point favorites layer dip

Just be sure to keep them relevant. No one’s excited about your “BadonkaGronk Burgers” anymore. It’s 2024. 

🏈 Pick Favorites

It is still football season, after all. Plant your flag and pick a team so you’re not flip-flopping at halftime.

Mathematically speaking, you were probably hoping for another team to make it this far. Same here. But we get what we get and we don’t throw a fit. It’s time to pick sides. 

It’s our last big hoorah of the season. The pigskin will soon go into its annual hibernation and we’ll be begging for any kind of football entertainment. 

As for me? I’m more of a positional fan. I’m rooting for all of the tight ends.

Cooterdoodle's Favorite Tweets (Aug 2022)
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