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An Introduction to The Primer (2019 Fantasy Football)

by Mike Tagliere | @MikeTagliereNFL | Featured Writer
Aug 29, 2019

Saquon Barkley is one of the most coveted players in 2019 fantasy football drafts

It’s that time of the year, my friends. No longer are you getting together with your friends to have barbeques or going out for couples’ dinners while having fun-loving conversations. No, it’s fantasy football season. When you get together with your friends now, it’s pure smack-talk. You’re enemies for the next four months. You want to win that championship this year? It all starts here.

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Similar to last year, I felt it necessary to sit down with you before Week 1 to let you know what you’ll get out of me this season. In short, you’ll get every fantasy football question you could possibly have answered in The Primer. “But Mike, how can you guarantee that? I play in a 14-team league with deep starting rosters!” Let me explain…

When I started writing about fantasy football 10 years ago, I did so in the privacy of my own notebook, where no one else would read it. This was my way of getting out what I needed to in order to talk myself through decisions. As they say, “it’s always better to talk with someone instead of letting it build up inside.” Well, I talked to a notebook. Eventually, I started to share some of that information with friends and family, which led me to starting a website, which led me to doing this on a full-time basis. While that’s a story for a different day, my goals have remained the same to this very day.

Don’t just rank players and tell people who to start… Tell them why. Help them understand the process that goes into it. If you do that, they’ll be able to live with their decisions (well, most sane individuals).

The Primer was born.

25,000-plus words of pure football bliss every single week. By writing about every single player from every game, it takes the emotion out of sit/start decisions, as you’re left looking at each game on an individual basis. Start and sit decisions aren’t always black and white, either, as it really depends on what you want and/or need out of that player for that particular week. There are different strokes for different folks.

This was the way I put it last year: When I started writing about fantasy football, I did it because there was a void in rankings. There was just something that felt empty about them to me. It’s like seeing a picture of a man or woman and deciding whether or not you’d be able to marry them simply based on that picture. It’s impossible. You must get to know them, live with them, and heck, even meet their parents. Don’t take that word-for-word, but you get the point.

Daily fantasy sports (DFS) has also come a long way and it’s no longer “I have just 16 players on my roster to worry about.” Fantasy enthusiasts always want a place to go for as much information as possible, though it’s often split into two different crowds – DFS and season-long. Fortunately, we’ll be hitting on each player from both a season-long standpoint, as well as a DFS standpoint in The Primer.

There are also plenty of others who want information on wide receiver/cornerback matchups throughout the year. All the information needed will be inside The Primer. You’ll know all the matchups, not just those that are the best or the worst. Bottom line, you’ll have every bit of information you’d want in one place.

I’d like to personally thank each and every one of you who took time to read and share The Primer last year. You are the reason it’s back in 2019. If it wasn’t a success, it wouldn’t have been continued this year, but because of your support, here we are. I’d also like to let you know that my bosses came and asked me if I’d like to split up the article where I have others help complete it. As much as some believe I’m killing myself by writing what is essentially half of a novel every week, I brought this on myself. This is the process and what makes the difference. If it was someone else doing a portion of the article, you wouldn’t get the same perspective. So, naturally, I responded, “absolutely not.” The Primer exists because it’s what I wanted to share with you. The Primer will continue to exist because you read it and share it with others. For the many “thank you” messages I got last year, I want you to know I’m just as thankful to continue doing it for you.

The Primer was made to help make you a more knowledgeable football fan, and in turn, a better fantasy player. If there’s one promise that I can make, it’s that you’ll learn something from this article every week. Heck, if you read all 25,000-plus words, you’ll probably learn more than you thought. I know I do.

You can expect The Primer to be available every Thursday by noon EST, at the very latest.


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Mike Tagliere is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeTagliereNFL.

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