A trial of a roundup thread of all major transfer news for the past few days. If this works we can do them during the transfer window, as opposed to having numerous different threads from different sources. I need help with sources for the other leagues. Please feel free to drop story sources for the other leagues into the thread and I will add them on the next roundup. Also feel free to add other transfer stories and rumors as comments on this thread.
Jan 8 Transfer News Thread
English Premier League
BREAKING: Paul Scholes has signed for Manchester United
Update: Interested to know what you guys think about filtering out some of the crazy rumors. I am tempted to leave them in since they are a bit of fun and they likely get submitted here anyway. I might just do a single story for each rumor or news item, though, rather than have multiple sources for each story. Will work this out with each roundup thread but feedback appreciated.
Phil Hay is hosting another one of his Q&As with fans of Premier League club Leeds United. Leeds have been promoted to the Premier League as title-winning champions of the Championship and will compete in the 2020-21 Premier League for the first time since 2004. This Q&A will contain excitement and expectations ahead of Leeds' first Premier League campaign for 16 years. Premier League.
Phil spoke with Angus Kinnear earlier as part of a mini press conference. Sassy Angus says the club will sit down with Bielsa next week to sort out his contract and discuss the way forward. Phil says he expects them to find common ground and that those close to Bielsa say he wants to stay. They'll just have to meet the expectations he has as usual. Like the last two years, thinks it'll be another 12-month deal.
Not expecting Leeds to offload many players. Thinks the club should bin off Casilla for all the reasons we're very aware of but otherwise thinks Bielsa will back most of the current players. Phil's looking forward to hearing from the great man after the Derby game to hear his thoughts on how the club will approach the Premier League.
Says Leeds won't be flush with cash from the outset, what with fees due for Costa, Harrison and Meslier. And maybe Augustin. That, along with bonuses to players and transfer fee add-ons which total around £20m and then the general staff all get pay rises too. But Angus has said that Leeds will look to make 4 or 5 signings. Phil says it sounds like Leeds will mainly look at domestic players and he expects us to look closely at some of the top end Championship players as people have talked about them whenever he's asked. That being said Leeds have been looking at Lucas Martinez Quarta at River Plate and San Lorenzo striker Adolfo Gaich who apparently saw a move to CSKA Moscow fall through this week, among other players in Argentina.
Augustin won't be coming back but that doesn't mean Leeds won't have to pay the money to Leipzig anyway. Leipzig are still expecting the £18m and aren't a club you can walk all over. Likely to get very messy.
He was happy to see Bielsa so happy in the celebration videos that have come out. Says he deserved this moment as much as anyone, he's infectious and you can't help but warm to him. Also says that journalistically it's been a pleasure to write about him and that he's educated them all in various ways.
There will have to be upgrades to Elland Road to meet PL standards. The media facilities will be heavily changed and there are the new floodlights too. They also need to adapt the dugouts, the sunken benches don't meet PL requirements. Expansion on the West Stand, while part of the plans, is a longer term thing. Needs Leeds to be established in the PL so won't be happening yet.
Phil afforded him the excess of a fist bump when Emile Smith-Rowe scored. Says it was a surreal moment, these games have been so tough with West Brom and Brentford hanging around but it felt good.
Says his gut feeling is that Ben White won't be back but that 'there is a lot of sport to be played in that one'. Brighton want to keep him obviously but their offers of a new contract haven't been accepted yet and they will have to seriously hike up his wage to match his ability. Leeds obviously very keen to keep him but Liverpool and Man City like him too. As much as White will know he's developed a ton this season Angus made it clear that it won't be easy to do. Says White will cost over £20m, perhaps closer to £30m. Got to realise that he's being talked about as the best young CB around and keep in mind what that means for his price tag.
Phil's been asked a couple of times again about the QSI links. Says that any time he asks about QSI people at Leeds always say it's not happening but that it's odd because Radrizzani and Al-Khelaifi have a good relationship and the rumours don't go away. Says people think it's more likely that the 49ers up their stake in the club but at the same time, would Radz want to dilute his stake having just hit the big time?
Get the fuck in. That's it, just get the fuck in.
Very appreciative of the comments from fans dropping in to thank him for his work over the years. Says it's a great club to cover as a journalist because there's so much going on but that the Bielsa years have been the best by far. Has really enjoyed the freedom to pursue ideas and features at the Athletic.
Leeds will look for a new CB if White doesn't come back and a ST with Augustin unwanted. Also interested in Yasser Larouci, young LB from Liverpool although at this point Leeds haven't yet been willing to meet Liverpool's valuation on him.
Thinks Leeds would be very keen on getting involved in the race for Said Benrahma. Says not to rule that out if Brentford stay down. Leeds haven't yet indicated what they'll do with Casilla but that Emiliano Martinez was mentioned to him before Bernd Leno's injury, as was Angus Gunn (a loan target in Bielsa's first summer before he signed for Southampton).
Phil also confirms that Leeds like Emi Buendia and have watched John Swift at Reading too. No certainty that they'll go in for them though, they've watched a lot of players apparently. Thinks Leeds will go for young, promising players and will also be open to loans again.
Again reiterates that Leeds will take up the options for Meslier and Harrison.
Says it's not at all likely that Milner comes home this summer. Buzzkill.
Most looking forward to scum away, Liverpool away, Bielsa vs Pep and the return of Frank Lampard next season.
Bielsa will give the players a short holiday at the end of the season but then it'll be full-on with a shorter pre-season than usual. Helps that they're coming off training/playing so they won't be as cold as they usually would at the start of pre-season.
New kit will be released soon, basically ready to go now. Photoshoots in the process of being done. If not this coming week then the one after. Will be Adidas, doesn't think it's Qatar Airways on the front. Angus Kinnear said that shirt sponsorship increases tenfold going from Championship to Premier League so Leeds will either renegotiate with 32Red or change sponsors. Suspects they will change sponsors.
Thinks Leeds will stand a chance of staying up next season because they'll go in to the Premier League and attack teams. Key question is whether Bielsa's tactics will work because he sticks with them regardless.
There will be more Athletic coverage with Leeds in the PL and more people involved in analytical and tactical coverage.
Thinks it'll be a challenge for new signings to get up to speed over a shorter pre-season but that it'll help buying players who are match fit as opposed to Augustin waiting weeks to get up to speed having not played at Monaco.
Amazon have been on the scene again. Expecting a season two of Take Us Home but with fewer episodes than season one.
@DigitalWilson has been taking a hammering from the press guys for the pre-match music during these games. Says they're all blaming him for the 'shite' tunes.
The talk Bielsa gave the players after the defeat to Forest was a pivotal moment. Form since then has been better than Brentford's which is really saying something.
Dallas is his POTY but Hernandez has been sensational since the restart. Says there's a long list of candidates to be his favourite of the season. He's enjoyed watching Luke Ayling and he's delighted for Super Duper Liam Cooper because it's been a long journey for him and very difficult at times.
Phil celebrated with a few drinks last night. May have got a little teary too.
Agrees that Leeds have huge commercial potential. £50m turnover, 23,000 season tickets sold and over 100,000 shirts sold in the Championship says it all.
Gaetano Berardi will be offered a new deal but only he knows whether he'll take it but Phil asks the question whether he'll really turn down playing in the PL with Leeds.
Says he wouldn't be surprised if the boys looked a little, ahem, off colour tomorrow but says Bielsa will be back in serious Head Coach mode for the game.
Speaking of which - Bielsa told some at the club that he'd watched 19 hours of footage of Alfie McCalmont during the lockdown.
Thinks it's likely that betting sponsors will be banned as pressure is growing but that ultimately it'll be a government decision.
Thinks Eddie Nketiah will be entitled to a winners medal. The rule is that you have to have been named on 25% of teamsheets to get one, although clubs can then buy more.
In the last day or two, Phil has apparently received more sexual offers than his wife is happy about.
Says he'd guess that of the current team Cooper, Klich, Phillips, Ayling, Harrison all start the first game of next season, injuries permitting. Probably Dallas too and he suspects Bamford as well.
One final thing. He reminded us that we've witnessed history this weekend. It's history none of us will forget, Leeds United will never have another coach like Marcelo Bielsa. Enjoy these moments because we're so blessed to bear witness to them.
Captain Thraxos perused the ship manifest one more time. There was a late entry to join the convoy to Cycria. Cycria was a remote world and had been having a pirate problem with merchant traffic attacked several times over the past two years. As the pirates had got more bold the situation had become untenable and the Galactic Federation had to finally do something about it. Thraxos was the captain of the light cruiser GFN Duhrel and he had been tasked to escort a merchant convoy from Dilolla to Cycria as deterrence to the pirates. He did not relish the assignment to babysit a motley fleet of civilians, but as GalFed captain he went where he was ordered to. The final ship to join the convoy was the IMS Antelope. A Human merchanter that had been berthing here at Dilolla even before Thraxos had arrived. Apparently they had had some difficulty in securing new cargo to take on board and looking at the ship’s specs Thraxos could not blame anyone for not wanting to put their valuables on board this old rustbucket. But Cycria was not exactly a prime destination and apparently someone had been desperate enough to contract the Antelope to ferry their cargo to Cycria at the last minute. IMS Antelope was an Independent Merchant Ship, owned and operated by her captain Robert Nele. Even her designation was thoroughly Human. The Humans had some of the most stringent licensing requirements to own and operate starship class drives which basically put them out of reach of civilian individuals. So, in turn, the independent merchanters had banded together and founded the Independent Merchant Ship company which held the licenses for the starship drives operated by their members with minimal interference from the company itself. Thraxos scoffed, but the Humans were an upstart species. Perhaps it was for the best that not just anyone could get their hands on potentially volatile technology. That showed more responsibility of them than Thraxos had heard based on their reputation. The Antelope herself was almost 60 years old and looking through her log she had mostly been operating within or near Human space. This was as far as she had ever been from home. Still, for all the tarnish on her hull, she had passed her latest spaceworthiness inspection only six months prior. She was one of the weirdest looking ships Thraxos had ever seen. She was basically a lattice spine on which standard cargo containers were mounted like grapes on a vine. Front end had habitation and docking, the back end had its large engine, ending on a flat plate mounted on what looked like pillars. Curious. Thraxos studied her engine specifications. Her main engine was of type Thraxos had never even heard of before, something the Humans called ‘orion’ type nuclear pulse thruster and with her mass, impulse and thrust she would be by far the slowest ship in the convoy, only barely scraping over the acceptable lower limit. Her jump engine likewise was an antiquated Type-I, only barely able to do the jumps required for this route. But she was over the bar so Thraxos had to grudgingly accept her to the convoy. Slightly annoyed, Thraxos sent the engine specifications to his astrogator to have their course and time estimates recomputed to match the Antelope’s slow speed. Then he fired off a message to all ten ships in his convoy to prepare to unberth and meet at the system’s jump point in twelve hours. At the start of next morning’s shift Thraxos entered the bridge to relieve the nightshift watch officer. It would be two hours until their scheduled jump off time, plenty of time to undock and make their way the 50 000 kilometers over to the jump point. Captain Thraxos turned to the operations officer of the previous watch. “Anything interesting going on?” Lieutenant Commander Tarkran shrugged. “Just the Humans, sir. The Antelope cast off six hours ago and has been slowly making their way to the jump point using manoeuvring thrusters only.” Thraxos was taken aback. “What? Why?” Tarkran shrugged again. “No idea, sir, but they’ll be arriving at the jump just before the scheduled time.” Captain Thraxos just shook his head. “Alright, thanks. I have the bridge.” Tarkran nodded and announced, “Captain has the bridge.” Tarkran turned and left as Thraxos sat down on the command chair. Captain Thraxos waited for the other stations to complete their watch handover and then turned to communications. “Lieutenant Coccols, request undocking.” “Aye, sir.” the comm officer responded. Thraxos then turned to the astrogation officer. “Lieutenant Ulan, please prepare a course plan to take us to the jump point after we’ve moved past the station’s safety perimeter and execute once we have undocking permission.” Next Thraxos glanced over his executive officer sitting at the operations station. “While we’re en-route, prepare a convoy placement assignment for each ship according to the exclusion zones of their engines. I want us to be in the middle. Hopefully the pirates will think we’re just another fat merchantman until it’s too late.” Commander Nivek nodded. “Aye sir. I think I can nestle us between GMS Aelat and IXS Naholl. I’ll have to see what we can do with the human ship.” “Very good.” Lieutenant Coccols turned around. “Sir. Undocking clearance granted, we have 1 minute window.” Captain Thraxos nodded. “Lieutenant Ulan, undock and execute.” “Aye, sir.” There was an almost imperceptible shift as the GFN Duhrel unlatched from the station and then pushed itself away from station’s bulk using its manoeuvring thrusters. After thirty seconds they had cleared the station perimeter and they were able to engage their fusion drive. Even at the minimal power that was allowed to be used near stations, it would only take them about 30 minutes to reach their designated staging point. “Ummm… Captain?” Commander Nivek interrupted after a few minutes. “Have you looked at the exclusion chart for the Human ship?” Thraxos furrowed his brow. “No, why?” Commander Nivek hesitated for a moment. “I think you should.” Captain Thraxos called up the schematic of the Human ship on his terminal. It was still one of the ugliest ships he had ever seen, but he wasn’t here to judge a beauty contest. He switched the overlay layers to the engine exclusion zone. “What the fuck?” he exclaimed. For most ships the exclusion zone was a cone behind them a few degrees wide. For IMS Antelope it was a whole half sphere and then some, covering just under 200 degrees of arc and extending all the way to 5000 kilometers, with an advisory zone all the way to 20 000 kilometers. “I think I know why they’re limping out there with their manoeuvring thrusters only.” Commander Nivek posited. “There’s no way they could have fired up that drive anywhere near the station.” After a moment he continued. “I think the only place we can put them is as the last ship in the convoy with nobody behind them.” Captain Thraxos shook his head in disbelief. “Do they have a completely unshielded reactor back there or something?” “I don’t know, I’ve never seen anything like this, but it must be by design and approved, since they’ve passed their inspections.” Thraxos sighed. “Well, transmit the assigned relative positions to all ships and manoeuvre us into position to wait for them.” The convoy of all ten merchant ships had taken up their positions around the cruiser GFN Duhrel with the IXS Ikol at the front and IMS Antelope at the rear. All the ships slaved their jump engines to the control of GFN Duhrel and in concert they tore a hole in reality that whisked them to another starsystem a dozen light years away. The system the convoy appeared in was uninhabited, a puny red dwarf with only a catalogue number as its name. They would then have to traverse the system to the next jump point that would allow them to jump to the next star in the chain to Cycria. Most of the time in traversing the galaxy was spent moving from jump point to jump point within each starsystem. Some systems were lucky and their jump points were close-by, others had them far apart and it took a long time and a lot of Δv to traverse. The locations of the jump points and where you could jump from them depended on the background arrangement of the dark matter permeating the galaxy which warped the extra dimensions of spacetime. The convoy would have almost a week ahead of them to traverse to the next jump point in this system, and just over two months to reach Cycria. Captain Thraxos looked over the monitors and concluded that everything was in order. “Lieutenant Ulan, plot a course to the next jump point.” The astrogator glanced over. “Already laid in, Captain. Ready to execute on your command.” “Very good Lieutenant.” Thraxos acknowledged with pleasure. “Signal the convoy to get underway and execute.” Ten of the ships in the convoy each fired up their fusion torches of various sorts and the convoy started moving, but then behind the eleventh ship, the IMS Antelope, something exploded with nuclear fury. “CAPTAIN!” Sensor officer Birrai shouted. “The engine of the Antelope just exploded!” “What?” The captain looked up. Just his luck that the Human rustbucket would have a catastrophic engine failure immediately upon firing up that lethal engine of theirs. “Signal all stop!” Just as soon as the fleet had started moving the torches died down as each ship ceased accelerating. Thraxos hit transmit button on his terminal. “This is captain Thraxos of GFN Duhrel to IMS Antelope, do you require assistance?” Thraxos looked at the sensor scan on his screen as he waited for their reply. At least there didn’t seem to be much debris. Hopefully the Humans didn’t have many casualties. A calm, if slightly confused, voice came on the speakers. “This is IMS Antelope. Uh, negative on assistance. Why, what is the problem?” Captain Thraxos looked at his sensor officer, who just spread his arms. Then back to the sensor display, until he finally hit transmit again. “Duhrel to Antelope, did you not just have a catastrophic engine failure?” “Um. Oh!” There was a sudden realization in the voice on the radio. “Negative Duhrel. That was the detonation of our 50 kiloton nuclear propulsion charge.” “50 kiloton propulsion?! YOUR SHIP SHITS OUT NUCLEAR BOMBS!?” Captain Thraxos immediately regretted his lapse in decorum, but the sheer insanity of the idea had caught him completely off guard. “Affirmative Duhrel. Apologies for the confusion. The shaped nuclear charges are used to push against the driveplate at the back of the ship which transfers the momentum imparted to the ship through a staged shock absorber assembly.” After the convoy had gotten over the shock of the Humans’ propulsion system the rest of the voyage to the jump point had passed quietly. Or as quietly as a fleet trailing a stream of nuclear explosions can go. As had the second and third jumps. When the convoy appeared in the fourth system on the route, another nondescript nameless star, things rapidly went south. Before the convoy had a chance to start moving a warhead detonated half a million kilometers away from the jump point. Three pirate cruisers brought up their EM suites and aimed their targeting radars at the merchant convoy. The pirates were well poised about to catch any merchants that chose to try to flee, with each pirate able to cover a large part of the possible trajectories. An ultimatum was transmitted on all the universal emergency channels. “This is captain Qauk’ats of The Blood Raiders. Stand down your ships and prepare to be boarded. Any resistance will be met with lethal force.” Captain Thraxos considered his options. The Federation Fleet Command had not anticipated this heavy pirate presence. The previous raids had been performed by single ships each. His light cruiser might be able to take on two of the pirates, depending on how well they were equipped and trained, but all three would be too much. Especially when they were spread out like this, so he would not be able to concentrate his point defences in any single particular direction. On the other hand he had not yet betrayed that GFN Duhrel was a warship. His ship had been chosen for this because it was roughly the correct size to pass as a medium merchantman. Could he use this to his advantage somehow… “Lieutenant Coccols, signal the convoy to stand by. Comm laser only, let’s not tip our hands yet.” Captain Thraxos prayed that none of the merchanters would panic and start running, he was only one ship, he couldn’t be in two places at once to protect everyone. “Lieutenant Commander Birrai, use passive scanners only. Limit actives to equipment a merchantman could realistically have. Go loud on sensors only if our cover is blown.” Thraxos was stalling for time and he knew it. He needed something to give him an extra edge somehow. Something, anything. Just one way to neutralize one of the pirate cruisers to even the odds. On the screen vectors appeared showing the pirate ships starting to accelerate carefully towards the convoy since the convoy seemed to be capitulating. Whatever he comes up with he would have to come up with quickly. Then the comm officer piped up. “Captain, we have a laser message from IMS Antelope. Captain Nele wants to talk with you.” Thraxos sighed. Great, he didn’t have time to babysit a panicking merchanter right now. “Signal them to just stand by.” Few moments later lieutenant Coccols replied. “He’s being very insistent, sir.” “Fine.” Thraxos grumbled. “Put him on my monitor.” Captain Thraxos waited until on his screen appeared the image of a middle aged human wearing a black collared suit with a white shirt underneath and a tie around his neck. On his head he had a white hat with a black visor. On the hat was a golden patch with a stylized antelope rimmed with golden stylized ropes. “Captain Nele, what do you want?” Thraxos tried to hide the annoyance in his voice, but it still leaked through. “We’re kind of busy right now.” Captain Nele ignored his tone. “Captain Thraxos, I’m sorry to interrupt, but I have a suggestion. Am I correct to assume that three pirate ships are too many for you to handle?” Thraxos hesitated. Nele sighed. “Captain, this is no time for ego. Is it so?” He looked at Thraxos with stern eyes. “Because if it is, then the Antelope can take on one of them.” Thraxos’ eyes widened. “What? No, out of the question!” “Captain, the Antelope’s driveplate is designed to withstand repeated nuclear explosions with minimal ablation. It is tougher than battleship hull. And I bet the pirates don’t know that our ship ‘shits out nuclear bombs’ either as you so eloquently put it.” Nele glared at Thraxos. “I’m not planning to die today after a failed last stand, so one more time: do you need help or not?” Thraxos glanced to the side. As much as he didn’t want to admit it, he did need help. After an agonizingly long moment he turned back to face the other captain. “Yes. You’re right. We can probably take on two, but not all three of them.” Nele nodded. “Alright. So here’s what I have in mind...” The control room of the merchantman was spartan compared to the bridge of a warship. Captain Robert Nele was standing next to the sensocomm station looking at the radar plot. His heart raced and he hoped he wasn’t about to do something completely stupid. He glanced around and he knew that the rest of his crew felt the same. But they had to at least try. He breathed deep once and then exhaled. “Alright Terri, jettison the cargo containers. Arkady, use the azipod thrusters and lets make like bat out of hell.” The engineer, Terri Grove, hit buttons on her console and a series of thumps echoed throughout the ship. “All containers released.” Helm officer Arkady Stachowiak used the translation joystick to pull the ship backwards out from between the containers that were now lazily floating in space. “We’re free.” Then he turned the ship to a new heading and fired the azipod manoeuvring thrusters at full. “Batting out of hell.” The azipod thrusters could be turned to allow the ship to accelerate in almost any direction. They were meant for use near ports for both manoeuvring and mobility where the Antelope couldn’t use her main nuclear pulse engine. Because of this the azipods were unusually powerful for a ship of her size and with the Antelope shed of all her cargo they could give her pretty decent acceleration. Niels Becker glanced up to the captain standing next to him. “Radio from Duhrel.” He pressed a button to put it on the loudspeakers. Captain Thraxos’ voice sounded frantic as he yelled at the Antelope. “Get back here Antelope! Didn’t you hear what they said!” Robert shook himself to get into character. Then he pressed a button on Niels’ station and shouted back in panic. “Fuck that shit! I’m getting the hell out of here! It’s every man for themselves!” He took a second to steady himself again. “Alright Niels, let’s see which pirate takes the bait. Arkady, once we know who is chasing us, turn us so our driveplate is pointed at them. Make a good show of trying to get away, we need to lure them out far enough.” “Will do, Bob.” Arkady acknowledged. “I’ll give them a merry chase.” “Now we just hope they want us disabled and don’t use missiles.” Robert voiced everyone’s concern. “Terri, how are your modifications coming along?” Without even looking up from her console, Terri replied, “I’ve got the launcher patched. I’ve voided pretty much every warranty we have, but I managed to coax it to load four charges at once. With our biggest bombs that’ll give them a two megaton surprise.” Robert nodded. “Very good.” Terri continued, “The bombs turned out to be trickier. I should be able to get their attitude control software overridden, but they also have hardware safeties. I had to send Jonesy to physically bypass them. But that also means he can slap a radio module on them while he’s at it, so we’ll be able to detonate these on command.” Robert grinned. “Excellent. Great work. Let me know when Jonesy is done with the mods.” “Aye. Just one last thing. Once we load up any bombs into the launcher, we won’t be able to unload them any more.” “Alright. Keep the launcher on full manual then and load only on my command for now.” Niels interjected. “Contact-3 is altering course to intercept. I’ve coloured her pink on the radar plot.” Robert glanced over at the helm. “Arkady?” “On it. On our new course they’ll reach weapons range in 52 minutes. By that time we’ll have spent 84% of our manoeuvring propellant.” Terri winced. Robert noticed it. “What’s wrong, Terri?” “Oh, I’m just thinking of our next overhaul. The azipods weren’t meant to be used this hard for this long.” “Good to see you’re still an optimist.” Arkady commented. As Terri glowered at him, he added, “You think we’re gonna live long enough to service them.” Terri laughed and the rest of the command crew chuckled. Their moment of mirth was, however, cut short when Niels announced a message from contact-3. “Antelope, this is captain Mas’ieh of raider Bathed in Blood. Stand down immediately or you will be fired upon. This is your only warning.” After a moment of silence captain Nele said, “let them eat static.” It had been a tense half hour as the Antelope had led the pirate raider away from the rest of the group. Once they were too far away for Bathed in Blood to turn back and help his pirate brethren the GFN Duhrel had broken off the convoy and raced to meet the other two pirates. With all the pieces in motion it was now captain Mas’ieh’s turn to make a choice. He had three choices: continue pressing the Antelope, turn back and attack GFN Duhrel, or turn away and run. If he turned to attack GFN Duhrel, he would arrive to the battle too late to help Red Mayhem and Dread Rising. If the two ships could not beat Duhrel, then he would face Duhrel on his own and it might go any way depending on how much damage Mayhem and Dread had inflicted on her. If on the other hand Mayhem and Dread managed to destroy Duhrel, then he had just let the Antelope escape for no reason. If he decided to run, then his chances depended on whether Mayhem and Dread could destroy or disable Duhrel. Duhrel was faster so she would be able to catch up with Bathed in Blood before he could slip out of the system at the next jump point. But if Mayhem and Dread did manage to destroy Duhrel, his attempt to flee would not be looked upon kindly by the leader of the Raiders. So, no matter what happens his only real option was to press on Antelope. If Mayhem and Dread won against GFN Duhrel, then capturing the Antelope was the most useful thing he could do. If Mayhem and Dread lost to GFN Duhrel, then he was in no better or worse position than if he had turned away from Antelope. He would still have to face Duhrel just the same. He sent a message to captain Qauk’ats aboard the Red Mayhem with his plan of action to continue chasing the Antelope to make sure she couldn’t escape, and the rationale for taking this action. What he didn’t mention was that if Mayhem and Dread lost to Duhrel, but damaged her enough for him to destroy her… well, then he would have just become the new leader of The Blood Raiders. The atmosphere was tense in the control room of the IMS Antelope. Minutes ticked by as the raider Bathed in Blood chased them. Several hundred thousand kilometers away the GFN Duhrel and raiders Red Mayhem and Dread Rising were fast approaching each other. “Nuclear explosion.” Niels announced suddenly. “The raiders have started firing on GFN Duhrel. I think Duhrel’s point defence got that warhead. It was too far to cause any damage.” Robert nodded in silence. They could do nothing more to help, that battle was now up to captain Thraxos. “Two more. This time against contact-2. Their point defence stopped them.” Thraxos and Duhrel had an advantage. They could fire their magazines empty if they had to without consequence. For the pirates, every missile they shot was invaluable, for they couldn’t just pull in to a naval yard to resupply. But there were still two pirate ships and if their magazines were full, then Duhrel would be in serious trouble. “No fire for a few moments. I think they were just probing each other at extreme missile range.” Robert turned to Niels. “How long until Bathed in Blood is in missile range, assuming their range is similar?” Niels looked at the range plot. “Two minutes.” Suddenly there was a radiation alarm. Robert looked at Niels with the look of ‘are you sure’ all over his face. Niels looked at his instruments. “That was ten thousand kilometers away and off to the side. I think it was a warning shot. Negligible radiation dose.” Robert thought for a moment and weighed his options. “We’ll keep going. Hopefully they won’t waste more missiles on us.” The uneasy silence returned as more minutes ticked by. Only occasionally broken as Niels reported events of the battle happening far away. The exchange of fire increased as the combatants got closer. GFN Duhrel was pressing on contact-2, the Dread Rising, and closing the distance as fast as she could. Her point defences were working at near saturation as the two pirates poured missile after missile upon her. But likewise, her missiles pushed the pirate crew aboard the Dread Rising to their limit as well. “HIT!” Niels exclaimed! “Contact-2 has left behind debris.” Everyone cheered. A hit was nice, but it wasn’t the end of the battle. Nowhere near. Warships were compartmentalized to the maximum and even a direct warhead hit only crippled them locally. Soon the flashes of missile warheads were joined by the invisible beams of anti-ship lasers as GFN Duhrel and Dread Rising reached energy weapon range. Both ships took hits to their hull. Warship armour had diamond threads woven into it, which were as close as you could get to thermal superconductivity. Each time a laser flashed across a panel, the weave would try to spread out the thermal load to try to keep the plating from vaporizing locally where it was hit and hopefully the plate would be able to radiate the heat load away before another hit. But if any plate was saturated by heat, the entire plate would melt all at once. Niels was able to see thermal spikes on his IR scopes, but his instruments weren’t powerful enough to resolve what effects those hits had. Neither were the instruments of the other merchanters who were relaying their scanner data to the Antelope as well, which let Niels see the Bathed in Blood even though it was in the shadow of their driveplate. Otherwise the plate would have been a blind spot for them, for no sensor could be mounted on it that would be able to withstand the constant bombardment of nuclear fire it was under in normal operation. They could only guess how the battle was going. Both ships were streaming air and metal behind them. Both ships were hurt, but how badly was anyone’s guess. Then their own trouble started. Terri frowned. “I think we’ve just been shot at by Bathed in Blood with their lasers. I’m reading an increased thermal load on the driveplate. Activating cooling system.” Robert swallowed. This was it for them. “Here goes nothing then. Arkady, start jinking with the azipods but make sure the driveplate remains between us. Let’s make it look good and not give them too easy a target.” “I think we just had a near miss. The driveplate heat load spiked again, but much less. I think only the halo of the laser caught us this time.” Robert nodded. “Keep going.” With their overpowered azipods being able to move them laterally in almost any direction the cargoless Antelope was an exceedingly difficult target for the Bathed in Blood to hit compared to a warship. But every jink burned even more of their manoeuvring propellant. They wouldn’t be able to keep this up for too much longer. “Direct hit on our plate.” Terri announced once more. “Vent all our airlocks, let’s make them think they hurt us.” The Antelope shuddered a little as the airlocks blew out a cloud of air around the ship. “Too bad we didn’t think of loading some junk in them before hand.” Niels commented. Robert grinned. “Yeah, but this’ll have to do. Terri, load up a 10 kiloton starter charge into the launcher. Next time they score a direct hit, fire it. Arkady, when it goes boom, put us into a spin. Hopefully they’ll think they’ve hit our engines and disabled us.” “Got it.” Arkady acknowledged. Terri hit some buttons on her console. “Charge loaded. Arkady, when I say ‘stop’ stop thrusting. I don’t want us to drift out of the driveplate’s shadow before the charge goes off.” Arkady nodded. The Bathed in Blood scored a few more near misses and but then the heat on the plate spiked again. A direct hit. “Stop!” Terri shouted, then hit the button to manually fire the drive once. A few moments later there was a brilliant flash visible to the Bathed in Blood and the Antelope felt the surge of acceleration as the shock absorbers pushed their ship with the momentum of the nuclear explosion in front of them. Arkady immediately used the azipods to give their ship a good bit of spin, making it turn end over end. This was the moment when Robert bet them all-in. If the pirate cruiser would fire their laser even one more time, they could hull them straight through. For a merchantman had no armour plating cladding it everywhere like a warship did. The bridge was deathly silent as everyone were holding their breaths. Seconds passed. Then seconds more passed. The recharge time of the pirate’s spinal laser came and went and there was no Earth shattering kaboom. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief and the seconds turned into minutes. The pirates wanted a prize and they thought they had it. Even as the battle lulled here, in the distance, the battle between Duhrel and the pirates raged on. Captain Thraxos had managed to break the Dread Rising in the laser exchange. The pirate cruiser was a wreck, hulled straight through in multiple places with a large hole where her main powerplant used to be. But Duhrel had suffered greatly as well. On one side her hull had been scoured clean of her point defences. A number of missile launchers were disabled or destroyed and several compartments were open to space as well. She was streaming air as she turned towards the remaining pirate. All the while they continued exchanging as much missile fire as they could. But the crew of the Antelope had no time to spectate for long. With them ‘disabled’ and dead in space the raider Bathed in Blood had been able to close the remaining distance much faster and they were getting ready to pull up alongside them. Captain Nele stood at the sensocomm station and watched the plot with officer Becker. He and Niels kept glancing at each other nervously as the distance closed. Getting the final part of their plan correct was critical, for they would only get one chance. Once their element of surprise was lost, they would be sitting ducks to the missiles of the pirate raider. “Terri, load up the launcher with four of the biggest charges we have. Arkady, once Bathed in Blood is within 10 kilometers, stabilize us and aim the driveplate at him. Terri, once we’re stabilized go to rapid fire on the launcher with as many of the 500 kiloton charges as you can.” Robert breathed deep to calm himself. “Detonate the charges when you think is optimal, or if it seems they’ve spotted our ruse. Let’s hope this works.” Terri nodded and worked frantically on her console to execute the instructions. She would have to program the bombs to rotate to face Bathed in Blood instead of their own driveplate. She’d replaced the normal inertial stabilizing software with her own and uploaded it to the bombs, but she still had to compute the difference based on her best guess where the Bathed in Blood would be in relation to them when the bombs would be triggered. The bombs couldn’t do it themselves, since they had no external sensors, only gyros so they knew their own orientation and nothing else. “20 kilometers.” Niels announced. Time seemed to crawl as every person ran on adrenaline. “15 kilometers.” Arkady held the stick, ready to execute. He had already turned the azipods ready to cancel their rotation, but then he would have to turn to face the pirate cruiser. “12 kilometers. 11 kilometers. 10 kilometers.” Arkady waited for a moment more before he pulled on the stick to make sure they would stop as close to the target attitude as possible. The ship heaved as the azipods worked to halt its turn. With the spin nulled, Arkady then rolled the ship so the azipods wouldn’t have to slew to a new direction before he could point the ship towards the pirate. He wanted to shave every second he could. “On target!” Arkady announced. Terri hit the button to execute the program. “Launching.” The whole operation had took only seconds and the pirates were caught completely off guard. The pirate ship took no action as the four little elongated spheres flew toward it from the little hole in the middle of the Antelope’s massive driveplate. A few seconds later another group of spheres flew out and another. The pirate ship finally stopped their approach with their manoeuvring thrusters and started to turn their spinal laser to point at the not-as-disabled-as-they-thought merchantman to finish them off. Terri waited until the last moment possible before the first group of nukes would drift past the pirate and put the ship out of the cone of their shaped charges. Then she pressed the fire button. “Firing!” A dozen 500 kt nukes exploded in unison at point blank range to the pirate cruiser. Six megatons total of nuclear fury. But these weren’t just nukes, they were shaped charges with most of the blast directed forward through a heavy layer of tungsten that was turned into vapour and shot as plasma towards the hapless pirate whose hull did not have the heavy reinforcement the Antilope’s own driveplate did. At point blank range this barrage could have hulled a battleship. Then a few seconds later another 2 megaton barrage exploded. Then another. Bathed in Blood finally finished turning to bring their spinal laser on the merchantman, but it did not stop. It continued to turn, its laser remaining dark. A cloud of air and debris surrounded the hulk of the pirate ship. Then the fourth barrage of bombs hit their main powerplant and Bathed in Blood split in two as the reactor amidships exploded. Sound of debris rang all around the Antelope as the explosion pushed against its driveplate, pushing the ship harmlessly away from the destroyed hulk of the pirate cruiser. “Holy. Fucking. Shit.” Niels mouthed as he looked at his sensor screen. Captain Robert Nele walked over to his chair and collapsed into it as the tension of the adrenaline in his system disappeared. Everyone on the bridge deflated as if they had been balloons from which the air had been let out. “Reload the drive with propulsive charges, get us the fuck out of here.” Robert breathed heavy with relief. Terri fired the last modified charges to clear the launcher. Her hand shook as she hovered over the fire button. She couldn’t bring herself to press it, not any more. The pirate ship was already more than destroyed. She let the nukes drift away past the wreck as she adjusted the loading priority for the launcher and reset it to standard automatic operation. In few seconds the first 10 kt charge aimed at their own plate fired and pushed them away. Terri let the computer take over and soon the Antelope picked up speed at great rate, galloping away from the broken and hulled wreck of the pirate ship like her namesake. Empty of cargo even the lightest charges accelerated her like she was an olympic sprinter. The direction didn’t matter, as long as it was away. They’d already forgotten the battle that had been going on elsewhere. Ten minutes later the numb silence in the control room was broken by a radio call. “GFN Duhrel to IMS Antelope. Captain Nele, what is your status?” As IMS Antelope joined back with the convoy, GFN Duhrel pulled up to alongside her. Or what was left of GFN Duhrel. The battle with the pirates had taken a tremendous toll on the light cruiser. There was nary a square meter on her hull that wasn’t scarred by battle damage. There was a large gash along one side and even a hole clear through her. The other side was scoured clean of her hull mounted weapons and sensors and several compartments were open to space. Over third of her crew were dead. It was a small miracle she was still flying at all. But the pirate fleet had paid even more dearly. All three cruisers floated dead in space as wasted, hulled wrecks. Bathed in Blood lay in twain with her spine broken. Dread Rising was missing an entire quarter of the ship where the powerplant had used to be. And Red Mayhem lay shattered in pieces after multiple missile hits when Duhrel had finally managed to overwhelm her point defences. There were very few survivors from the pirate fleet, and even fewer who had wanted to be a survivor. Only fifteen lifepods had been launched from the hulks, out of their total crew of a hundred and twenty. The rest had perished in the battle, or chosen to perish in the hulks. The survivors’ pods would be picked up in due time to face justice for their actions. Captain Thraxos watched the Human ship on his screen and saluted. The Antelope may have been old and tarnished, she may have looked odd and ugly, but right now captain Thraxos was proud to have her and her crew in his fleet. She was no longer part of the convoy, she was one of its protectors. And it was thanks to her that they had triumphed today against insurmountable odds.
The real reason why great chess/poker players can perform well in FPL
So like the rest, I'm just an average joe, spent a lot of time with playing chess / poker (since I was a kid) and now FPL. I was always searching for new ways to improve my own performance, and finding this sub helped me a lot in certain aspects for sure. For chess or poker learning the basic math behind the game is not difficult, there are tons of books available written by active / retired players I found it very intersting that there is a connection between being able to play these games very well (Magnus Carlsen e.g.) and doing the same for FPL. Besides the obvious (that these players usually smarter than the average and good at making the right conclusions from partial information + they can keep their nerves calm) I believe the real difference is that for them finding the best 15 players using their respective budget is a question of probabiity and not necessarily the actual reality. I also think they are trying to hedge their decisions to reduce risk. Obviously all this is happening on top of the basic methodology what we all need to learn as quickly as possible such as using enablers, creating optimal team structure, preserving chips for making the most of them, etc. Let me add an example to highlight a difference: GW 18: Magnus Carlsen brings in Harry Maguire I'm quite sure when MC brought in Maguire to replace TAA, he ran through some analyzation of the following for TAA and Maguire: - fixture difficulty, number of (H) vs. (A), number of BGWs, number of DGW for the upcoming 4-5 GWs - CS probability for the upcoming 4-5 games (based on xGA, opponents) - Assist and Goal probability for the upcoming games (based on xA, xG) - TAA YC / RC / OG probability, probability of suspsension Based on this he checked the expected points for both players compared to their price and made the transfer. We could go even one step further and say, probably he analyzed the same for all of his 15 players and the potential candidates to bring in and based on the biggest possible benefit he could realize, he made the best switch. Obviously other positions require different assessment as for a Striker their team CS probability does not count, etc. But there is another aspect of this which is even more critical than the basis of transfer decisions: evaluating transfers. After MC brought in Maguire, the defender got 1 and 2 points respectively whilst TAA got 0 (bgw) and 24. Someone who is a kneejerker might have corrected the mistake and have brought TAA back immediately, saying that it was a wrong decision. However, to be a pro I believe you just need to make decisions based on probabilities and just say: I did all I could, TAA's overperformance and Maguire's underperfomance could not be expected. This means switching Maguire to TAA had not been necessarily a wrong decision, as the expected point of the transfer was justifying the move. Now that we know what really happened, the move appears to be a silly one, just like when a pro poker player folds J-J when his opponent just bluffed him out with a 7-2. But we know those cards, he does not so he calculates his odds against a range, just like MC could not foresee the future only extrapolating it and calculate his odds against it. And I'm quite sure he did it and around that time it appeared to be a good decision. Another classic example is from poker when an amateur calls all in with full stack and pocket hand of J-3 and then beats A-A with a lucky board and declares the call to be a good decision. It was not, he just got lucky. If they played the same battle 100 times, amateur would lose 87 times. You can make mistakes like not planning well ahead and thus ending up playing a defender against MCI and suddenly that guy scores a goal and gives you 7 points instead of 1 but that is still a mistake you made, you were just lucky not suffering from it. And it works both ways: even today we could say captaining Vardy WAS the right call against NEW even if eventually we all know what happened. FPL and Poker is very similar as you don't have all of the information. In poker you don't know the opponents' actual cards (except for some strange occasions) so you need to calculate your odds against a range of cards. But at least against actual potential hands you can calculate your odds. In FPL you don't know those probabilities you need to assess them. In chess you need to assess the probability of your opponent's move, and plan ahead so there is a connection to FPL for sure. So I believe the point is, we all need to acquire probabilities to raise our game to a next level. I've seen a lot of CS odds and goal scorers odds here which can help but the fact is, those are always focusing on the upcoming GW. However, as we only have a limited number of free transfers, I believe the real deal is to somehow try to assess these probabilities for 4-5 games ahead and then pick the right 15 players including planning ahead the potential transfers from GW to GW.
Tier 1 1 Joe Burrow, QB, 6'2/221, CIN (1.01) Depending on roster need and team makeup, I would be fine taking one of the other tier 1 players above Burrow but Burrow is absolutely worth the #1 overall pick in any year. While he lacks elite arm talent, Burrow has incredible accuracy, poise, and mobility to manipulate the pocket. As a prospect, I prefer him to Kyler Murray from last year by a decent amount. CIN isn't the greatest situation from an organizational standpoint but they've assembled a decent amount of talent around him in AJG, Boyd, Higgins, Ross, and Mixon. 2 Clyde Edwards Helaire, RB, 5'7/207, KC (1.32) Small, bowling-ball shaped runner with incredible contact balance, lateral agility, and pass catching ability. Has decent burst but lacks prototypical long speed and size. Pre-draft, CEH was my RB5 but he moves up here with the landing spot and draft capital. Even as my RB5, I was still a big fan of CEH and in KC he doesn't need to have bellcow type size in order to produce at a high level. His game vs Alabama my be the best game from any RB prospect this year. 3 Jonathan Taylor, RB, 5'10/226, IND (2.09) My RB2 pre-draft, Taylor is right there with CEH in the top tier. Taylor is a huge RB that excels in a power rushing attack where he can use his combo of size and burst to explode into the second level. That's exactly what he gets in IND, the perfect landing spot for his skillset. Potential issues with pass catching usage may limit his ceiling a little but the floor is incredibly high. Tier 2 4 D'Andre Swift, RB, 5'8/212, DET (2.03) My pre-draft RB1 and the #2 RB drafted, Swift is a huge value right now in all the rookie drafts I've done. Even when on the field with Chubb and Michel as a freshman, Swift stood out as the best RB of the three. Ridiculous lateral agility to make defenders miss, great burst, fantastic receiver, and solid contact balance. The DET landing spot doesn't worry me as much as it seems to worry others. It's clearly below KC and IND (otherwise he'd be in tier 1) but he's tied to a very good, reasonably young QB and I like the offense as a whole with Golladay, Hockenson, MJ, and a solid OL. Kerryon does worry me, however, and there is some risk that Swift never take over as a bellcow. 5 Cam Akers, RB, 5'10/217, LAR (2.20) My Predraft RB3 in the same tier as Swift and Taylor, Akers has all the tools you look for in a stud RB - size, violence, burst, contact balance, lateral agility, and pass catching. Moreover, he landed in a great landing spot in LA and received very good draft capital. This time last year people were describing the Rams as the best system for RBs in the NFL. Huge upside here for Akers' usage as a bellcow and he has the best opportunity of any of the RBs this year except for CEH. https://gph.is/g/apb5eq6 https://gph.is/g/aKAbBy3 https://gph.is/g/4bB5Yen 6 JK Dobbins, RB, 5'9/209, BAL (2.23) I really liked Dobbins coming out but had him a tier below Swift, Taylor, and Akers. Very solid runner in all areas but lacks an elite, defining trait. I really like the landing spot in BAL long term but there is concern about this year with Ingram plus I don't see the potential for much receiving usage with LJax. Really like the player and I'd be ecstatic to have him but I don't see him as the consensus RB3 as recent trends suggest. 7 Tua Tagliovola, QB, 6/217, MIA (1.05) If you really need a QB I'm fine moving Tua to the top of this tier. Like Burrow, Tua lacks ideal arm talent but wins with his mobility and accuracy. While Tua has a longer track record than Burrow, he never put up a season like Burrow did last year. The injuries scare me and there are some question marks about how well Tua can go through his progressions - at Alabama there were a lot of first read throws. The situation in Miami is ok, I like the OL picks that MIA made but this is still a rebuilding team with a ton of holes. Tier 3 8 Jerry Jeudy, WR, 6'1/193, DEN (1.15) The best separator in the class, Jeudy reminds me of Stefon Diggs. Very pro ready WR with advanced releases off the line and route running. Phenomenal YAC ability with the ball in his hands. Knows how to manipulate his speed to set up defenders. Not a very physical WR and you won't see him making many contested catches. Situation isn't great with Sutton next to him but Lamb is in a similar touch squeeze so I'll take my preferred talent. 9 CeeDee Lamb, WR, 6'1/198, DAL (1.17) The best playmaker in the class. Much better ball skills than Jeudy but lacks the quick twitch and ability to separate. Plus he faced easier competition and didn't have to deal with a lot of press coverage. While he's competing with a locked in WR1 in DAL, Lamb landed in an explosive offense with a young QB. Think he can be very productive as Dak's #2 target. 10 Jalen Reagor, WR, 5'11/206, PHI (1.21) Loved Reagor pre-draft and he received premium draft capital in my favorite landing spot. Reagor immediately stands out when watching him. Extremely twitched up and explosive, Reagor separates as well as defenders struggle keeping up. Provides a deep threat but has also flashed the ability to make tough contested catches and good sideline footwork. PHI was my favorite WR landing spot in the class as I'm a big fan of that offense and Wentz and they have a huge hole at WR. https://gph.is/g/4w8d3Lx https://gph.is/g/4L5bpev https://gph.is/g/ZPm5zPX 11 Justin Herbert, QB, 6'6/235, LAC (1.06) I don't like Herbert as a player but this is the value play in superflex. Herbert has great arm talent and mobility but he had lots of easy reads at Oregon and consistently disappointed. Struggles out of rhythm and a little robotic as a player. Still, the Chargers situation is great and the top 10 draft capital should guarantee him a starting role for a while. Great value in drafts if you can get him at the end of the 1st. Tier 4 12 Brandon Aiyuk, 5'11/205, WR, SF (1.25) One of my favorite players pre-draft. Can win all over the field in a variety of ways - explosion out of breaks, YAC ability, deep speed, or physicality. Has the rare ability to come out of his breaks without losing any explosion. Love the draft capital and the landing spot is ok. I trust Shanahan and that should be a productive offense for a long time. Issues arise given the run first nature of the offense and competition with another great young WR in Deebo. Watch the Oregon game if you want to get excited. https://gph.is/g/Zd75D5D https://gph.is/g/4zqY3DK https://gph.is/g/4AjblvO https://gph.is/g/Z2mbxg7 13 Justin Jefferson, WR, 6'1/202 MIN (1.22) The safest WR after Jeudy and Lamb, Jefferson should be able to step into the slot immediately and produce. If you want to lower your risk then pick Jefferson. He's very quick out of his breaks, creates consistent separation from the slot, very good YAC ability, and flashes contested catch ability. I don't see him playing outside and he's not as dynamic as other WRs in this class. Very good landing spot in MIN with Diggs' departure. Watch the Oklahoma game if you want to get excited. 14 Henry Ruggs, WR, 5'11/188, LVR (1.12) The first WR drafted, Ruggs could be a great value where I have him ranked. Still, I love the WRs above him and I wasn't a big Ruggs fan coming out. Incredible speed and flashes some toughness and decent route running as well. Think he struggles with physicality and didn't separate as much as he should because he's a long strider rather than a compact, twitched up player. I think Gruden is going to feed him a ton of targets and thus could be very productive early on. 15 Laviska Shenault, WR, 6'1/227, JAX (2.10) Absolutely love Shenault. Comp is Sammy Watkins. Great combo of size, physicality, explosivenes and YAC. Needs refinement but it'll be hard to keep his playmaking off the field. Biggest concern is injuries. His 2018 games vs Nebraska and game vs USC this year are great. https://gph.is/g/apbqw33 https://gph.is/g/Z7ge57R https://gph.is/g/46vO5Dd https://gph.is/g/ZrdDloG 16 Tee Higgins, WR, 6'4/216, CIN (2.01) Big WR with huge frame to extend himself for difficult balls. Timed speed was disappointing but had the ability to threaten deep at Clemson. Fantastic hands and advanced footwork. Risky as he struggles with physicality (he'll see a LOT more of that in the NFL) and not a great separator. Love the situation with Burrow and the draft capital. 17 Michael Pittman, WR, 6'4/223, IND (2.02) Decent speed and explosion for his size, some YAC ability, fantastic jump ball catcher, huge frame which he uses to shield defenders. Landing spot in IND is good for the next few years with Rivers but some worries once Rivers leaves. Has a clearly defined role as the X WR and complements Hilton and Campbell very well. 18 Jordan Love, QB, 6'3/224, GB (1.26) Probably the best value in SF leagues of all the rookies. I'm a big Jordan Love fan (especially at his price). Has jaw dropping arm talent and extremely mobile. Unlike Herbert, Love was asked to make extremely difficult plays and delivered. His issues aren't with accuracy but moreso decision making. He'll lock onto his first read at times and make incredibly stupid throws. I'm ok with the landing spot as I trust GB as an organization, however, he'll probably sit for a few years. Huge upside here. https://gph.is/g/aKAgJje https://gph.is/g/Z5YbQ36 https://gph.is/g/4L5bqK0 https://gph.is/g/aQO5gDA 19 AJ Dillon, RB, 6/247, GB (2.30) Like Love, he's another amazing value in drafts this year given the depth and quality of the class. In any other year, a 2nd round RB with his size, athleticism, and production would be a top 5 pick but you can get him in the mid/late 2nd consistently. I didn't love the player coming out, but I recognized that he has the ability to be a big time producer if put in the right type of offense and that's exactly what happened in GB. I think his production this year has been undersold and with Aaron Jones' contract expiring next year, he'll likely take over as the RB1 in 2021. Tier 5 20 Antonio Gibson, RB, 6/228, WSH (3.02) Big upside low floor pick. Gibson is one of the most exciting players to watch in this class with his big play ability, size, and explosion. At Memphis he played mostly slot WR but he was a pretty shitty WR and his upside lies at RB. He has a lot of work to do as he doesn't know what he's doing yet as a RB but the traits are really exciting - contact balance + burst. Could be David Johnson if things hit right. Don't love the landing spot as I'm still very high on Guice plus there is still a question mark regarding how Washington plans to use him. If he's used as a Wgadget guy then I don't have much interest in him. https://gph.is/g/ZOk5mNj https://gph.is/g/EGgbr8M https://gph.is/g/aeA5wDX https://gph.is/g/aXJ53nR https://gph.is/g/aKAb9z9 21 Denzel Mims, WR, 6'3/206, NYJ (2.27) I was never as high as others on Mims and didn't get the round 1 hype. However, his combination of athleticism and ball skills are very exciting and worth betting on here. He's a very boom/bust type of prospect. Landed in a very good spot with a young, good QB in Darnold lacking a #1 WR. 22 Bryan Edwards, WR, 6'3/212, LVR (3.17) Absolutely loved Edwards pre-draft and had him in my top 50 overall players. He's big, physical, explosive, versatile, and has fantastic ball skills. Landing spot is ok - the Raiders have a long term need at X WR but the team drafted Ruggs first so I think Gruden is going to prioritize Ruggs. Could be a few years before Edwards pays off. https://gph.is/g/EJYbRne https://gph.is/g/a99bdlP https://gph.is/g/EGgb9Ml https://gph.is/g/aRW5N7w 23 Zack Moss, RB, 5'9/223, BUF (3.22) Very similar player as David Montgomery. Excellent contact balance, toughness, pass catching ability, plus some wiggle but lacks juice. If there is a crease it takes him too long to hit it. Still, pretty good value to get a David Montgomery level player at 2.12. Landing spot is ok and your feeling about it is dependent on how you feel about Singletary. I love Singletary so I'm not high on the landing spot but its very possible that BUF doesnt see Singletary as a lead back. 24 Ke'Shawn Vaughn, RB, 5'10/214, TB (3.12) Didn't like Vaughn pre-draft and I was very surprised when he went this early. Vaughn is a solid all around RB that should be able to produce if given volume but I don't see any dynamic traits. Very much a replacement level RB. Still, TB has a potential opening at RB and the team spent good draft capital on him. Tier 6 25 KJ Hamler, WR, 5'9/178, DEN (2.12) Could easily have Hamler at the end of tier 5. Immediately stands out on film with his twitchiness and speed, defenders simply cannot hang with him. Don't see a huge difference between him and Hollywood Brown purely as prospects coming out. Effortless separation with his quickness and speed. Could be more valuable in real football than the NFL. Don't like the landing spot for fantasy as he's stuck behind two great, young WRs. 26 Chase Claypool, WR, 6'4/238, PIT (2.17) Freaky player with his combo of size and athleticism. Great draft capital to a team that has consistently developed WRs. Massive player with explosiveness to put CBs on their heels quick. Biggest asset right now is his YAC - should immediately be a weapon on screens and crossers. Flashes ability to box out defenders but is not natural attacking the ball and lacks overall smoothness to his game. Landing spot is odd with JuJu and Diontae already in place, however, if JuJu leaves a lot of opportunity opens up. Watch the Iowa St game to get excited. 27 Van Jefferson, WR, 6'1/200, LAR (2.25) I had a 3rd round grade on Jefferson pre-draft so I like the player. Projects as an NFL-ready slot WR with quickness and route running nuance. Got the best of LSU star freshman CB Stingley this past year. Odd landing spot as the Rams already have Kupp in the slot and I can't see either moving outside. Tier 7 28 Darrynton Evans, RB, 5'10/203, TEN (3.29) One of the most explosive players in this class, Evans is a threat to break off a big run at any time. With his lack of physicality and size, I don't see him projecting as a starting RB even if Henry leaves next year. Likely a career committee back. 29 Anthony McFarland, RB, 5'8/208, PIT (4.18) Really fun, explosive player that should get on the field immediately. Like Darrynton Evans, I struggle seeing him taking over a feature back but should have a long term role given his explosivness. 30 Cole Kmet, TE, 6'6/262, CHI (2.11) Not a very flashy or exciting player but projects as a solid starting NFL TE. The draft capital really helps and has a decent floor given his ability as a blocker. Think Kyle Rudolph type of career if he hits. 31 Adam Trautman, TE, 6'5/255, NO (3.41) Big, physical TE that dominated small school competition and can win in traffic and over the middle of the field. Isn't especially fluid out of his breaks and doesn't project as a potential top tier TE. Really like that NO traded so much for him and I trust Sean Payton. 32 Devin Asiasi, TE, 6'3/257, NE (3.27) If any TE in this class develops into a top tier fantasy TE, I wouldn't be surprised if it was Asiasi. Former high recruit that transferred to UCLA and didn't produce until his last season. He's smaller than Kmet and Trautman but he's just as good of a blocker and he's way more fluid than both. Really like the landing spot and draft capital as well. 33 Joshua Kelley, RB, 5'11/212, LAC (4.06) This could be too low as the situation is phenomenal and draft capital is decent but I'm not high on the player. He's solid and can produce if given volume in a good situation (both very possible in LAC) but doesn't have any standout trait and looks like a replacement level player to me. 34 Lamical Perine, RB, 5'11/216, NYJ (4.14) A better version of Joshua Kelley to me but in a worse situation. Very solid all round back that is a very good receiver. Lacks juice or standout qualities but solid overall. If Bell declines, leaves, or gets injured I think Perine could step in and surprise. Some worry about the Frank Gore signing. 35 Devin Duvernay, WR, 5/10/200, BAL (3.28) Slot WR with strong hands and great ability with the ball in his hands but struggles to create separation out of his breaks. Should be great on screens and special teams. 36 Gabe Davis, WR, 6'2/216, BUF (4.22) Big body WR with great physicality and decent speed/explosion for his size. Project player with some upside. 37 Joe Reed, WR, 6/224, LAC (5.05) Really love the player, Reed is a twitched up YAC guy with RB type of size and ability with the ball in his hands. 38 JaMycal Hasty, RB, 5'8/208, SF (UDFA) My favorite 3rd down/satellite back in this entire class, Hasty is lighting quick and explosive with great pass catching ability. If any team can turn a UDFA into a star it's Kyle Shannahan and there is a ton of opportunity in SF. 39 Darnell Mooney, WR, 5'10/176, CHI (5.28) Deep ball threat with good production and CHI has a clear need for that type of deep threat. 40 Mike Warren, RB, PHI, 5'9/226, PHI (UDFA) Not sure that I would actually draft him here but I wanted to get his name on the list. Really fun player to watch, he's like a 95% version of Zack Moss. Great size, awesome power, surprising wiggle and pass catching ability but lacks the requisite explosive qualities. I actually really like the landing spot in PHI as they do not have a bigger back to complement Sanders. NOTICE THAT JALEN HURTS IS NOT ON THIS LIST. He'd probably be around #35 but I have him low enough to where I probably won't every draft him so I didn't include him on the list.
The chapter poll closed with 1775 responses. This month’s poll results were brought to you byu/staraves, Crunchwrap, Luna, Momtaku and Giovata! Thank you to everyone for your support! RATE THE CHAPTER Maybe it was finally getting Eren’s POV, or maybe it was finally seeing the rumbling in nine glorious double page spreads. Either way “Dawn for Humanity” was very well received with close to 70% giving it the highest possible rating, making this the most acclaimed chapter since 123
Good to see some Eren and Historia (finally!!) but the lack of answers is really hurting my heart, cmon yama!!
Tease me more, daddy Isayama
Epic chapter, amazing artwork. And astonishingly, with 5-6-7 chapters left i still don't know where this is going.
Definitely in my top ten best chapters. The ending was gloriously horrifying to read. I feel like this chapter wasn’t that great. It kind of gave way to more speculation without giving many concrete answers. The things that it DID answer felt like stating the obvious.
This chapter most likely is the best i've ever seen. So many answers and sooo many questions left behind.
Death is on its way, ladies and gents. Also the end is almost here. What the fuck is going on? I just want some answers about E V E R Y T H I N G (especially about Eren's psyche).
I really missed Historia, so it was nice to see her.
can the rumbling start a synchronized aquatic dance?
WHAT DOES THE CHAPTER TITLE "DAWN FOR HUMANITY" REFER TO?
I thought of it as some sort of "End of the world" titling.
Dunno; but it doesn't really work if the rest of the world gets rumbled, does it?
Eren wants to kill “animals” to give a new life to “humanity”
A dawn, or a beginning of a new day, has arrived. Whether this new day is a good or a bad one for humanity, we do not yet know.
Dawn for Eldians to be exact. Dusk for Marleyans.
It could refer to a ""dawn"" for the alliance, who intend for neither side of the conflict to be eradicated, as they believe everyone is part of ""humanity"". Despite their deliberation at the beginning of the chapter, the fact that they're finally setting sail to stop Eren is testament that they've not lost their hope in the pursuit of this ideal
Eldians in Paradis Island being free from the wrath of outsiders and being avenged
The Rumbling & Historia's child, humanity's destruction and its rebirth
Continuation of "End's Eve" as this is the dawn of the day where humanity fights for its continued existence
Dawn of the final day - 24 hours remain
WHAT ARE THE FUTURE IMPLICATIONS OF ANNIE DECIDING SHE'S TIRED OF FIGHTING AND NO LONGER WANTS TO STOP EREN? https://preview.redd.it/pnwo2uvfonc51.png?width=570&format=png&auto=webp&s=52218b0e59e41462ddc71283c7349fab305e106b Despite learning that her hometown is doomed, just over half of respondents feel confident Annie will continue to work with the alliance. Among the rest of responses, 27.4% think she will leave to find her father on her own, 16.9% believe this will cause Annie to do something stupid resulting in her death, and lastly 4% of the fandom believe this bad news will trigger her homicidal instincts and put her on team Eren.
Annie saying she didn't want to have to be prepared to fight mikasa, Connie, armin, jean, Reiner and eren again made me feel sad for her ;-;
I just wanna say that it wouldn't make any sense for Isayana to bring Annie back and then write her out so it's obvious she will continue in the alliance lol (but I don't really agree with any of the options offered, I think she will decide by herself to stay)
As one of the nine shifters, she kinda has the responsibility to fight, even if she doesn't want to, and I get completely why she doesn't want to, poor thing. I have a sneaky suspicion that she might choose Porco's way out and we might yet see a new holder of the Female Titan power. :(
WHAT WILL BE THE FATES OF THE ELDIANS IN LIBERIO, SPECIFICALLY THE WARRIORS' FAMILIES View graph When asked about the residents of Liberio and the fate of the Warriors’ families, a combined 58% believe that they are alive for the moment selecting that they were evacuated (39.3%) or else managed to escape (18.4%). Close to 30% aren’t so optimistic, believing Liberio is flattened and they are dead. We also had plenty of write in responses:
They are going to die, but I can see Annie meeting her father and die together in each others arm by the rumbling. It's sad I know, but it would be a fitting end for both of them :(
Either they overcame the Marleyan authorities that tried to surpress, or The Rumbling avoided Liberio entirely. I just doubt they would kill off Mr. Leonhardt offscreen.
They took a ship to the south and we will meet them including Reiner's family and Mr. Leonhart.
Am I supposed to feel sorry for these people? I don't. The Warriors don't deserve happy endings for everything they have done.
I want to have hope ;-;
They're currently fineish because Eren didn't go where Hange was expecting, hence why all their estimations have been off
I just want Annie to see her father again, and for Reiner to get what he wants.
What if the city Eren attacked isn't Liberio? I feel like it's too important to be flattened just like that (thematical resonance + too many side-characters like Eren's own grandfather are there) and we're being misled about the place Eren is attacking.
HOW DID YOU FEEL ABOUT HISTORIA'S STANCE ON THE RUMBLING? View graph Many of us had expectations about Historia going into this chapter. Her initially resistance to the rumbling but seemingly giving in was a surprise to 8.4% who thought she would have been all for it all along and 19.9% who never expected her to agree with it at all. 6.4% of you expected her to do the opposite of what is implied, agreeing at first but changing her mind in the conversation, and 23.3% reported expecting exactly what happened. However, a huge 41.5% of you aren’t taking everything at face value and do not believe Historia does or has ever supported the rumbling. DO YOU BELIEVE EREN IS THE FATHER? https://preview.redd.it/t7dfwm1honc51.png?width=570&format=png&auto=webp&s=ea16623e046a4f1b84570f17129f0999946b4c97 After almost 2 years of the fandom fighting over the identity of Historia’s baby daddy, this chapter has finally definitively proven that… we still know nothing. Nonetheless, the narrowly winning belief (37%) is that Eren is the father, closely followed by those who believe he is not the father (34.4%). Some are unsure what to make of the situation (18.2%), and some of you don’t care enough to speculate (10.4%).
i will bet on my freedom that eren is the father
Historia x Eren ftw!
Eren being the father would be the most meaningful for both the story, as well as for Eren and Historia and their chemistry together if you ask me, though I can accept otherwise.
I have not any positive thoughts about Eren-Historia's flashback. Just pain, I feel pain for her. I don't get the point to destroy her character like that.
I really hope Eren isn’t the father — it just doesn’t seem right.
I don't believe Eren is the father since it will contradict what he said to Zeke: "I'm only left with 4 years"
Sorry shippers, I don't think we'll ever get a straight answer about who's the father. But I kinda prefer it that way, because then we'll each get to decide what we thinks is correct.
If Eren is the father, I think it's possible Historia wanted his baby to keep a part of him with her after the rumbling is over, or perhaps it was an attempt to make him want to come back when he's done or even not commit genocide.
why does everyone keep saying Eren is the Father confirmed? There is literally no evidence to support that, and it actually contradicts Erens statement when Zeke discusses Mikasas feelings towards him.
I want confirmation on the father cause if it's not eren ima be pissed off
I can't stand the mystery surrounding Historia's pregnancy anymore, this is worse than serum bowl.
SO THEN WHAT'S THE REAL DEAL WITH HISTORIA'S PREGNANCY? View graph “What’s the deal with Historia’s pregnancy?” Jerry Seinfeld asks. But we cannot answer – we can only sustain ourselves on memes and ship wars. Despite Eren and Historia’s somewhat uneasy conversation, a solid third of you remain sure that Eren is the father. A little over a fifth of you think she did the dirty with Farmer-kun instead. And another fifth is expecting smoething unforeseen (watermelon baby?). Some of you scream to the sky, sick of all the drama. And a few of you wouldn’t rule out a PATHS baby through… Ymir’s doing! No, not that Ymir. THAT Ymir.
Historia is playing 5d chess I just know it. I just don't know how yet
Why'd Historia act like that if Eren wasn't the father?
Eren has to be the father for the good dev of eren & historia characters
I really hope the pregnancy thing is just a red herring, but it wouldn't be the first-time Isayama appealed to fan-service if not.
If I see more speculation on whether Eren is the father I'm gonna puke. I mean how about focus on the real story? Like how the world is about to be destroyed??
We need more Historia. We literally need her POV for the story to make sense right now. I can't believe that with ""5% of the plot"" left Isayama is *still* pulling this all this time? There *has* to be more.
I always knew Mikasa was the father
WHY DO YOU THINK HISTORIA IS PROPOSING A PREGNANCY? https://preview.redd.it/c2lxh9zkonc51.png?width=570&format=png&auto=webp&s=094e1e1a44c4b2bb98990c6f2fde2fe85ce4409e Despite a majority of respondents believing the pregnancy is authentic, there is no consensus as to why Historia would propose it. The most popular answer when asked was “I don’t know” (32.2%). The remainder of the fandom is split between Historia proposing the pregnancy in support of Eren (23.1%), as part of an alternative plan (21%) or as an act of defiance against Eren (17.6%). Only a small percentage (6.1%) believe she actually wants a child.
What the hell is the pregnancy for? It doesnt make any sense for Historia to suggest that all of a sudden
What if the "what if I have a child" scene with Historia actually happened EARLIER than the rest of the conversation? It would explain why they switched places, and if Eren really is the father, would explain why he feels he has such a say in Historia's child's future ("even if you agree, I don't" ) , and why when he spoke about the MPs he said "WE have two options: fight or run". It would also give him a motivation to oppose his friends, since they are trying to stop him.
I don't see his conversation with Historia in romantic light. She was scared of him and Eren was trying to manipulate her with her own words about being ""the worst girl on the world"". We still miss some important parts of their conversation, but if she agreed to help him because he reminded her how ""the worst girl"" she was, then I would be very disappointed. I saw her as strong woman and I hope she will not turn to be a mild sheep who isn't brave enough to follow Ymir's wish and ""live her life with pride""
I have no idea for which purpose Historia want to become pregnant, but I'm glad that I was right that she decide it for herself and doesn't get forced at all!
Historia has a trick up her sleeve and I can't wait to see what it is.
ackerman bond means LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!! sweet for all ackerman related shippers
I'm satisfied to see yet another example of people trying to pin eren's BS onto zeke (with the ackerman theories) be proven completely wrong
Mikasa's charachter wouldve been a lot more interesting if her ackerman genes had an effect on her decision making and her trying to overcome them would be a lot more intriguing to see. Instead it turned out to be some lovey dovey pancake bullshit. I mean what would Zeke even know about Mikasa??
I think the fact that the Ackermans can access the Paths without being shifters is going to be super relevant. My pet theory is that Mikasa will be able to cross into the Paths dimension to kill Eren and truly free Ymir Fritz, but let's see how that goes.
HOW ACCURATE WAS ZEKE'S ASSESSMENT OF MIKASA'S FEELINGS TOWARD EREN? https://preview.redd.it/axs6bt2nonc51.png?width=570&format=png&auto=webp&s=2171024877c0601a842c5ab186ed24a0bad8545e One of the few areas of agreement in this chapter was with Zeke’s assessment of Mikasa’s feelings towards Eren. Close to 80% think that Zeke correctly understands that Mikasa’s concern for Eren has little to do with genetics and everything to do with reasons of the heart. However, the majority of people who took the option of writing in their answer cited both as a factor in Mikasa’s bond.
Eren, when your sadistic and bloodthirsty big bro can see how much Mikasa loves you, you probably should take it seriously lol
usually when panels sway to the right, they are true, so I believe this is the case.
Did anybody honestly not already know this? We learned nothing new from this as far as I'm concerned.
Mikasa really cares for Eren but the Ackerman genes amplify her love for him.
Everybody's emotional attachments have some basis in biology. It doesn't make them any less real or meaningful
The ackerman blood does boost her physical abilities but i believe it doesn't affect her mentally (she probably has ptsd and seperation anxiety)
What is between Eren and Mikasa?There is something we still Dont know.I wish for more Mikasa....
As much as Mikasa being ready to snap titans necks in two for Eren is due to her love for him, Eren being willing to go through with a world genocide to prevent Historia's sacrifice definitely results from his love for her.
HOW DID YOU FEEL ABOUT THE PLACEMENT OF FLASHBACKS DURING THIS CHAPTER? View graph The majority of the fandom really enjoyed the inception-like flashbacks, but 1/5th just found it confusing as all hell. A sixth of the fandom is just fed up with Isayama blue-balling us. We’ve been in this relationship 10+ years, Yams, it’s time for you to give it up!
Loved the interwoven flashbacks, and made sense considering a lot of the "unknown" conversations(Eren with Yelena, Floch, Historia....) all tie into each other.
E-H convo should've been shown months ago; now is not the time for flashbacks.
I don't mind it, but i feel Isayama was, to a certain degree, struggling to work all of this information organically into the story, so he was forced to choose this flashback method to get it out there.
The juxtaposition is very purposeful, while I don’t necessarily like what it implies, it is indeed impactful.
People might say this is Isayama being mysterious and showing us everything but revealing nothing as he always does, and yeah and if this was 10 chapters ago I might see that as a positive, but this late into the series it feels like it was just a waste of a chapter.
They were good because they connected with each-other; though I had to reread the chapter several times to distinguish who was talking because it flipped so much.
These kinds of chapters are slightly annoying in the moment, but are more than worth it in the long run.
WHAT IS THE MEANING BEHIND EREN IMPLYING HE "WANTED THIS", REGARDING THE FUTURE OF THE RUMBLING? https://preview.redd.it/h1lvm53oonc51.png?width=570&format=png&auto=webp&s=d73eab2bf361fbe43cec08049dd635bce9fd6ae9 Continuing Eren’s ongoing theme of the question of free will and determinism, this chapter presented us with the possibility that Eren wanted this outcome from the start. The majority of respondents to this question (54.7%) believe that Eren is just convincing himself there was no other possible future after seeing it play out in front of his very eyes, and with 17.1% believing him to be an unreliable narrator. A smaller 12% believe this is confirmation that Eren’s vengeful nature caused this, closely followed by 9.5% of you who just think he is a lunatic.
Eren said from the start he would, "destroy them all." He hated being a slave. I think he *does want this. He wants whatever will guarantee freedom.
Both future can't be changed AND Eren is a fucking lunatic
Even if the future could be changed Eren preferred the full rumbling
He literally had no option from the very beginning , his actions is definitely justified .
it's probably all the attack titan's will, not his.
I've given up trying to understand Eren's logic. It's just too bizarre. I will wait until the story is finished to form any opinion about him.
Eren was bored in his original universe and wanted humanity to have a threat so he made the aot universe via Ymir and became that threat himself.
he doesn’t want to admit he’s surrendered to his destiny. So Isayama’s going to come back to this by having Eren admit to himself he isn’t really free/this isn't what he wants, which will be the culmination of his character arc (what will he do then?…).
Eren kinda forgot about the mothers
THIS BURST OF PANELSSHOWS A VARIETY OF SCENES FROM EREN'S POV, BUT SOME SCENES APPEAR TO BE FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE OR ENTIRELY NEW SCENES. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? View graph Nearly 45% of the people who voted, thought it was a deus ex machina move from Founding Titan by Proxy, which granted Eren a glimpse at all Eldians’ memories. Almost a third think that Eren was actually able to control their memories. 14% of all voters are just “wtf…? I dunno” at all the Pathsnanigans.
I don't know and I don't like it. Hope it isn't another pathsfuckery while all I want in life is KRUEGER'S POV.
Eren's path shit also implies the story has always been bending to that moment too. From the pigs, to even Dina from that Bert shard. If it's ever revealed he orchestrated Carla's death to stimulate Grisha and Eren's hatred, the whole demonisation of RBA gets turned on his head.
I don't like the idea that Eren controlled the Smiling Titan but it's starting to feel more and more likely...
I hope the explanation isn't some magical PATHS stuff where he orchestrated characters (like Dina's) actions or is suddenly an all-seeing almighty being. Grisha was enough pls.
DUDE, THIS MEANS THAT BIRD HAS P A T H S!
FT/Ymir lets Eren see the memories of all Eldians. It will come up again. I don't get some of the angles/perspectives though.
It's possible some of these things haven't happened yet, or that Eren has access to the memories of more shifters somehow. For example, Berthold might be a memory Annie or Reiner have and Eren will receive if he eats one of them while they try to stop him.
I have absolutely no idea what the deal is with the Falco and Bertolt memories but I'm sure they're not inconsistency errors considering the care that went into showing that the Mikasa/Grisha/Levi etc. panels are clearly from Eren's POV.
Excited to see from where Hange without glasses memories from
Eren is the air, the trees, the birbs, everything
Marcel is more like to come back from the dead before I ever understand half the shit inside Eren’s head.
THIS CHAPTER SHOWED US ANOTHER MEMORY OF FEZ-KUN, FINDING HIMSELF IN TROUBLE AGAIN. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE MEANING BEHIND HIS HIDDEN STORY? https://preview.redd.it/mfbpbm8ponc51.png?width=570&format=png&auto=webp&s=0c242b8c217ff5f9eee1cde51e9333bd580cc024 The mystery of the Fez persists once again, with this being the tenth chapter since he was first shown. Though by a small margin, the consensus is that the purpose of his story is to reaffirm Eren’s determination to wipe out the world at 44.8%, with 33.4% of respondents believing he will be a tie to Eren’s compassion and remorse for what he is doing. 17.1% believe it highlights Eren’s inherent hypocrisy for caring for him even though he will die by his actions later. Many write-in options expressed confusion at who this kid is.
Eren believes that suffering and oppression of minorities will never end just by small acts of kindness and simular "passive" acts, like what Levi did, it does not provide a long term solution or prevent Fez-kun'sfrom furder torments, which is why Eren feels like the extreme solution of the rumbling is his only option
Eren gave a mission to Fez-kun
Eren using another kid to get his way without caring about his life. What else is new.
He's the "even someone on the street" part of Kruger's advice to love someone to break the cycle of tragedy.
I think he found himself in trouble again (looks to be bruised on the cheek in 120) and Eren will come to his rescue. However I think Eren will not just save him by beating up or killing the Marleyans, but inspiring the Fez kid to take action and "fight" just like he did with Mikasa. This arc has had a lot of focus on the almost inhumane level of violence Eren showed as a kid when killing those kidnappers, so I can see that being for the purpose of a direct parallel
I think Eren saved Fez-kun of those guys, but then he will kill him later, showing his own hypocrisy (those guys can't do bad to a child but I can).
I expect his shard(s) to contrast the other previously unknown panel from 120: Historia’s shard was revealed to be yet another instance of Eren manipulating a friend by putting his desires above her own, thus robbing her of her free-will. I hope that Fez-kun symbolizes the "beauty in a cruel world"
It show that Eren just have an other plan and not just kill everyone for no reason???? Lest not be that blind :) what esle u want to understund thats an option too? you want isayama to told u?
Eren will save their family and he told Fez to lead his family to a certain location that the rumbling won't reach?
What are all these crappy options? He represents Eren’s journey to changing his viewpoint about everyone being an enemy, as he told Reiner.
The panel of the titan swimming underneath that ship haunts me in my dreams.
HELL YEAH FUCKING SWIMMING TITANS
WHEN THE MILITARY SIGHTS ERENSAURUS AT THE END, RATHER THAN CALLING IT THE FOUNDING TITAN OR EREN JAEGER, THEY RECOGNISE IT AS THE ATTACK TITAN. WHY? https://preview.redd.it/g7vohnksonc51.png?width=570&format=png&auto=webp&s=9d66dcfdebc021479685a347f7f017656440ad5b When he isn’t “Eren Jaeger”, the world likes to call our genocidal boy “the Founding Titan”, but this chapter is an exception. The plurality (40.3%) is that this was just for the purpose of Isayama being able to drop a “Shingeki no Kyojin” in this climactic chapter, though a close second option (34%) is that there is historical information to sight the Attack Titan. 15.2% of you believe the Attack Titan is the Titan Bogeyman for Marleyans, and 10.4% attribute the naming to the fact that it’s attacking them, duh.
I think the Maryleans/World Forces knew it was the Attack Titan bc of the Eldians in Marley (like Annie's dad) warning them ahead of time. I think once they realized The Rumbling was happening, they asked for more deets from the folks who heard Eren's message in the Path's Realm.
I wonder why the rest of the world was only using Mikasa ships instead of various ships lol
IT CAN'T BE STOPPED ANYMORE
NOW THAT WE FINALLY GOT TO SEE EREN'S SPINE-CHILLING (BADUM-TSS) FORM, WHAT DID YOU THINK? https://preview.redd.it/z8madqowonc51.png?width=570&format=png&auto=webp&s=c2ccd9749eb2d2a753069cd02fca7cbfc90bc50e This manga has turned into a horror show, and y’all seem to be loving it, according to over fifty percent. Thirty percent are aghast at the sight before them, and nearly a tenth don’t really know what to think of the Grim Reaper titan. Some of you wanted something more fully formed, but this creepy crawly is freaky enough, isn’t it? Let’s just be glad none of us live in Marley right now.
My jaw dropped when I saw Eren’s titan form. Horrific.
I love Erensaurus a lot. This chapter gave the same level of anxiety that Zeke's attack in Shiganshina gave me. Good
YEAH EREN IS SCARY AS FUCK I LOVE IT MORE FREEDOM MORE FREEDOM MORE FREEDOM
Eren's titan looks a little like the earth devil
Really interested in where it is going especially because Eren's Titan got lips which could be an indicator for it to have the ability to speak
I'm not saying anything about Eren's titan. What even the actual fuck, Yams
WHY IS EREN'S CURRENT TITAN FORM A SKELETON WITH NO FLESH? View graph Eren is looking awfully spooky right now. That’s a good sign, isn’t it? I guess looking like a death metal album cover is better than looking like whatever Rod Reiss was supposed to be. 34.9% figure it’s too big for flesh, or PATHS sand ran out. 34.6% think that the form is incomplete because of the missing titan powers; this is only a third of his potential scariness! 23% think there’s no real reason in-story reason for this, and 7.6% think Eren is still not done forming this devilish beast.
Eren's upper skeleton body thing looks like wings of freedom...
The reason Eren's body was like this, if he was muscular, he would radiate a lot of heat, so the Allience's couldn't reach him. But now, no muscle, no heat. They can reach easily.
When a shifter generates a titan body, they need to have a special task or purpose in mind. Is Eren's titan meant to be a bridge between Paradis Island and the continent?
WHAT IS ISAYAMA TRYING TO SAY WITH THE PUPPET-LIKE MOTIF OF EREN'S TITAN? View graph Many have noticed the puppet-like strings connecting Eren’s torso and head to his stegosaurus spikes, but what does it mean? Him being a slave to himself (38%) just edged out him being a slave to fate (36.7%), with a slim minority (3.3%) believing Ymir could be the true puppeteer. Of course, there are the 21.9% of you who are remaining steadfast in the belief that Eren is NOT a slave, he is FREE.
He is a slave to the future memories and instead of trying to find a different way, he is convincing himself that this is what he wants from the start to compensate for how little freedom he has.
He's trying to justify to himself that he isn't a slave
Eren is a slave to that sweet sweet feeling of self-righteous rage.
Ymir might be acting through Eren.
I think eren has become a vessel for ymir and it's ymirs will that we're hearing.
WHERE IS EREN'S HUMAN BODY MOST LIKELY RESIDING? https://preview.redd.it/5wnnv1nxonc51.png?width=570&format=png&auto=webp&s=7e168bfaa947d6b58b35c892eba514b9b9024050 The results for this are a mixed bag, though it’s most popular (29.1%) that Eren has no human form, and has merged with the Titan on some level, with a close second (28.8%) believing him to be separate from the Titan but not in the conventional sense, operating it from the ocean with the Warhammer power. 27.9% of you believe he is in the standard position of the nape, and 14.2% of you believe the head of the Attack Titan could be his true location.
So, does Eren now only have his head left or was he fully healed thanks to Ymir?
where is Eren (No,not his titan)? There is no nape on that thing, just bone
I NEED TO KNOW HOW EREN IS TRANSPORTING HIMSELF
THE CHAPTER ENDS WITH CHILD EREN'S DETERMINATION TO "DESTROY THEM" OVERLAPPING WITH ADULT EREN COMMANDING THE RUMBLING. WHICH STATEMENT IS THE MOST ACCURATE REGARDING THIS COMPARISON? View graph This curious panelling choice ends the chapter, giving us a peek into Eren's mind – but in true Isayama fashion with ambiguous meaning. 45.6% believe it shows that Eren’s fixed perception of the world, his will and titan powers simple giving him the means to affect it. 26.4% think it’s a reminder of Eren’s tragic tendency to believe that peace cannot exist without the elimination of an opposing force. 16.8% think it demonstrates Eren’s willing or unwilling continuation of the cycle of hatred and revenge. Finally, 9.1% think there’s a hint here that Eren’s childhood self was cursed by his future self's thoughts.
ALL OF THE ABOVE
I hate eren do the same thing as what he had been through
It's Eren's tendency to lose himself to the desire for vengeance, which in the mange is always depicted as leading to a catastrophe in the end.
His childhood trauma comes back to him when he sees a loved one die / about to die and feels the powerlessness of having been unable to do anything because of being weak.
It's a parallel showing his determination to fight back against those who would deny he and his comrades their freedom.
The thoughts are child Eren, simply overlapping with the current situation. It may not be adult Eren’s thoughts.
I just want to say that the history is repeating its self . What we thought it was the past it's actually the future
AngeRage was always the main drive that he used to keep fighting/seeking for freedom
I like the idea that this is showing deep down he is driven by his childlike rage, and as much as he tries to convince himself it's for his friends, he really just wants to revel in violence because he's broken and he thinks wiping everyone out is the only way he will be at peace.
THIS CHAPTER ALSO PRESENTED US WITH TWO ALMOST DICHOTOMIC MOTIVATIONS FOR EREN, BETWEEN LOVE FOR HIS FRIENDS AND HATE FOR THE ENEMY, BUT WHICH DO YOU BELIEVE IS THE STRONGER DRIVING FORCE? https://preview.redd.it/qvlvsk1zonc51.png?width=570&format=png&auto=webp&s=2123803ce07194ba00ab1c58a63451af200d47db The two most powerful and conflicting emotions driving Eren right now have the fanbase somewhat split over what pushes him further. It seems that most are optimistic about Eren’s prime motivation being the wellbeing of his friends at 59.7%. Meanwhile 40.3% believe that Eren’s love for his friends has been eclipsed by the roiling hatred and thirst for vengeance within him. Even at this point in the story, it’s hard to be absolutely certain – safe to say Eren is a real menace when he feels this strongly about anything.
I feel like I finally fully understand Eren's mindset, even though there is probably still more to his POV. He just wants his friends to be happy and live long lives, so he had to push them away especially after Sasha's death.
Eren's memory chain went from remembering his friends smiling, to Sasha's death and Fez-kun being beat up, and eventually to his mother's death and his vow to kill all titans, showing that deep down he knows his motivation to protect his friends is bullshit and that his "enemies" are mostly innocents, but he keeps moving forward due to hatred and revenge.
Eren has never healed his trauma. It was "eating" him slowly and turned him into this he hated the most - a devilish monster.
if Eren ends killing the friends he wanted to protect, he will be a complete disappointment. I really am afraid of SnK's ending.
"I want my friends to live long happy lives" he says after treating them like shit, breaking their spirit, and partially ruining their home island with millions of titans. I hope he doesn't act surprised when they show up to stop him (assuming they can catch up of course).
I don't believe the word "animals" align with Eren's current perspective, nor how he sees his "enemies". [..] He just believes this radical action is the only necessary way to end an unstoppable inter-generational conflict in his lifetime so these problems aren't handed down to future generations anymore.
he's being driven both by hatred and love, but right now his rage is winning and he's using the safety of his friends and Eldia as an excuse to appease his conscience.
I thought eren had a secret plan for the rumbling but after getting his pov this chapter looks like he really is going for it
Somehow, I can't shake off the feeling that we still haven't seen 100% of Eren's plan, there is still some twist waiting. I am not trying to justify Eren's current actions, it's more like ""if there is something that will throw this whole scenario upside down it better come up soon, because right now IT DOESN'T LOOK GOOD"".
I think that this chapter confirms two things: one, the Rumbling is Eren's true plan [...] BUT two, there is "something beyond that hell", which is the "scenery" Eren says he saw in ch. 121. I think it's the endgame after the Rumbling is stopped (no way is it going to be completed), and it's what caused both Grisha and Historia to go along with his plan in the end even though they didn't agree with it and thought it was awful. Eren's "everything is still ahead" and the weird cut in Historia's flashback are too... strange and seem to point to this being a game changer and the final plot point of the series.
If the rumble will succeed, then I've spent 7 chapters seeing characters do nothing to accomplish nothing. I don't wanna feel my time wasted.
This hateful world is needed to be purged and I support Eren for this. And when Rumbling is over that beast piece of sh** must die by Levi's hand.
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THE REPEATED BIRD IMAGERY? https://preview.redd.it/ccu14w61pnc51.png?width=570&format=png&auto=webp&s=ecf061c4d547987b32fc4f758c99345303543127 Birds are a focal point of this chapter, with panels of seagulls and geese. The majority (62.5%) believe the birds simply tie into the theme of, and likely Eren’s motivation of freedom. In a distant second (20.9%) is the answer that it relates to the idea of everyone being connected under the same sky, a fitting motif amidst this chapter’s exploration of the conflict and unity of different groups. 12.7% of you are hopping on board the “Eren is a bird now” train, and 4% of you just really don’t like birds.
The two birds from the Paths panels appear in episode 1 of the anime iirc, not sure about the manga though.
Eren is bird confirmed thank <°^°>
I like the Bird Theory that says he’s transferring his consciousness to a bird. yeah it sounds a bit odd but it’s interesting and I’m willing to accept anything at this point
The birds are secret surveillance cameras
Eren is the Eagle we see in the chapter 91 that Falco says to fly away lmao
THIS CHAPTER HAD SOME AMAZING ART, SHOWCASED IN THE MANY DOUBLE SPREAD. WHICH WAS YOUR FAVORITE? View graph and display The art has definitely taken a step up this month, with nine glorious double spreads. Though the result is split, the results praise the final double spread showcasing the commencing of the rumbling (18.2%). At second (15.7%) was the imposing silhouettes of colossal titans rising from the ocean, and at a very close third (15.5%) was the very next spread of the battleship destruction.. If there’s one thing to take from the winners’ similarity, the rumbling payoff was sweet for all.
Isayama's improvement as an artist it's inspirational.
Those Rumbling pages are so gorgeous they make me wanna say "Kill them all, Eren ! Destroy the fucking world !"
All of those double-page spreads were pretty fantastic but I have to say there's nothing quite like the chill that runs down your spine when you see all those colossals emerging from the smoke and the mist, where you see for the first time how huge and terrible they are (and also when you realise the first line of defense is already down). I had legit goosebumps.
Mappa has their work cut out for themselves
CHAPTER 130 MARKS THE END OF A VOLUME, WHICH HAS BEEN FILLED WITH ALLIANCE-FOCUSED CHAPTERS. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS NOW THAT WE'VE FINALLY RETURNED TO EREN? https://preview.redd.it/3yu7zfv2pnc51.png?width=570&format=png&auto=webp&s=5a520f8ed27d70e611d7c7c75b927d9d3a2ee28c After six consecutive chapters focusing on the alliance with no Eren, the majority of you (57.6%) are relieved to finally move past them, though have enjoyed the recent chapters, with 20.4% being completely over the alliance. 7.4% say they were originally sceptical but the character have grown on them, and 14.6% are open to more chapters just focused on the alliance.
i wanted more on the alliance, not flashbacks smh
it was something enjoyable after a while. Especially 126 made me grimace all over the volume till 130 came up. Not saying I was waiting for Eren but it was so cheesy.
Eren chapters are written worse than Alliance ones
This chapter single handedly made up for the below average, cringe-inducing chapters 126-129 Alliance bullshit. I have faith Isayama will create a very satisfying ending for this series now.
This chapter was legit a great way to end the volume off, it truly feels like its really the beginning of the end
DESCRIBE THIS CHAPTER IN ONE WORD The top 5 write-ins are below, followed by the average chapter score for each description. This months’ average chapter score was 4.59.
Honorable mention: Ragnarok We’d also like to mention that there were a lot of write-ins related to genitals and coitus… seems like y’all were really hyped up by that first fanlation >.> WHAT ARE YOU MOST HOPING TO SEE NEXT CHAPTER? https://preview.redd.it/erobw0s3pnc51.png?width=570&format=png&auto=webp&s=048a14884a9eaf9b878eca17f8a0932e230b6e23 Despite this chapter theoretically giving us everything we had hoped for in a while, the responses show that we still want WAY MORE answers (34.6%), MORE Historia (16.9%) and MORE rumbling action (14.5%). We’d also like to know where on earth Zeke is and if Floch is going to be the little troublemaker that we know and have strong feelings about. Will the boat make it to Odiha? Will Levi do a thing? Stay tuned!
Where the fuck is Zeke
WHERE. IS. LEVI.
i want more eren, historia and zeke. They're interesting. I don't care about the alliance.
"Zekey-dekey-doo, where are you?" ...I'm so done with you guys.
I expect in the next chapter something more around the alliance and maybe (hopefully) Floch's comeback!
Enough of Hisu, she is just a side character.
Want more Rumbling
All I can say is, I'm beyond anxious to see how the series ends, and it's eating me up inside.
Will the Philadelphia Eagles win OVER/UNDER 9.5 games? By University Stats Prof!
The Eagles have been a good model of consistency. Over the past 20 years, they have had just four losing seasons. It wasn’t always pretty, but Philly managed to secure the NFC East title with a 9-7 record last year. They closed out the regular season with a four-game winning streak to edge the Cowboys atop the division. Unfortunately, Carson Wentz exited the wildcard playoff game early and the team couldn’t overcome his absence in a 17-9 home loss to the Seahawks.
2. Offensive Position-by-Position Breakdown
2.1 Quarterbacks (QBs) Carson Wentz needs to be applauded for his 2019 performance. He had to deal with numerous injuries to his receiving corps and yet, he led the team to a playoff spot and he finished with a career-high in passing yards with 4,039. He threw 27 TD passes versus 7 interceptions, while playing all 16 games for the first time since his rookie season in 2016. In the season finale, his top targets were Boston Scott, Dallas Goedert, Josh Perkins, Deontay Burnett and Greg Ward. Outside of Goedert, none is an established starter in the NFL. The Eagles still secured the NFC East title with a 34-17 road win in New York. Philadelphia selected Jalen Hurts late in the second round of this year’s draft. He transferred from Alabama to Oklahoma for his senior year since Tua Tagovailoa was projected to be the starter. Hurst was actually replacing Kyler Murray who had just been taken as the number one overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft by the Cards. Hurts did not disappoint in his lone season with the Sooners. He completed 237-of-340 passes (69.7%) with 3,851 passing yards, along with 32 TD passes and eight interceptions. He also rushed for 1,298 yards with 20 TDs on the ground! His weaknesses are an average accuracy, inconsistent decision-making and a tendency to take off as a runner too often (sometimes when a receiver was open). He is likely to be used as a gadget player by Doug Pederson this year. Nate Sudfeld will compete for the backup job. He missed the entire 2019 season due to a wrist injury he suffered during preseason. He was a sixth-round pick out of Indiana in the 2016 draft. He has attempted just 25 passes in the NFL in four years, so it’s hard to tell what to expect from him. 2.2 Running Backs (RBs) Miles Sanders’ rookie season was a resounding success. He led all rookies with 1,327 yards from scrimmage. He carried a heavier workload as the season went on. During the first eight games, he averaged 8.3 carries per game, as opposed to 14.1 over the last nine contests (including the playoff loss to the Seahawks). Jordan Howard’s injury at midseason contributed to the increased usage of Sanders in the backfield. With Howard gone to Miami, the sky’s the limit for second-round pick out of Penn State. Darren Sproles retired and Jay Ajayi was waived. That leaves the door wide open for third-year man Boston Scott. He flashed big time last year and unquestionably passed my eye test. The 5’6’’ back is very explosive. Scott made a name for himself in Week #17 as he had to step in for Sanders who sprained an ankle in the first quarter against the Giants. Scott went on to rack up 138 total yards and three touchdowns. 2.3 Wide Receivers (WRs) This unit was decimated by injuries last year. DeSean Jackson pretty much played just one game, while Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor missed six and five games, respectively. Despite playing under his age-32 campaign, Jackson showed he still has field-stretching abilities in his lone meeting last year. He was spectacular with 8 catches for 154 yards and a couple of scores. He hasn’t played a full 16-game season very often in his career though. Jeffery is another aging receiver coming off a significant injury. He underwent Lisfranc surgery, which requires a long rehab period. He’s questionable for the start of training camp. Since two outstanding seasons in 2013 and 2014 with the Bears, Jeffery has missed four games per year on average, while showing signs of slowing down on the field as well. His 11.4 yards-per-catch average last year was a career low. To be honest, I feel like Jeffery’s time in the league is coming to an end soon. Lisfranc injuries can be tricky for wide receivers, and full recovery is even more difficult for guys above 30 years of age. Nelson Agholor was a younger WR who could have provided adequate depth, but he signed with the Raiders. The former first-rounder has not lived up to expectations, but he was still a decent pass catcher, albeit his drops were a big issue last year. Maybe a change of scenery will help rejuvenate his career. Philly drafted Jalen Reagor with the #21 pick overall last April. He’s a smallish deep threat who is at his best on straight routes. He was good with contested catches, but will it still be the case in the NFL given his size? That’s a big question mark. Reagor opened a lot of eyes by scoring eight touchdowns as a freshman with TCU after being a high recruit out of high school. He followed up with a great 72-1061-9 receiving line as a sophomore. Reagor’s numbers dropped quite a bit as a junior (43-611-5), but you can attribute that to having a freshman QB at the helm. He’s an electrifying player who can take it to the house every time he touches the ball. The competition for the number three role is also likely to involve Greg Ward and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. These two guys have had completely different paths before making it to the NFL. Ward went undrafted before joining the AAF. He eventually was added to the Eagles’ practice squad, and later on promoted to the 53-man roster until a depleted receiving corps forced him onto the field. Meanwhile, Arcega-Whiteside had more of a “conventional” journey by being drafted in the second-round of the 2019 draft. Such resumes would suggest Arcega-Whiteside would be the superior wideout, but that’s not what we saw on the field. He only caught 10-of-22 targets for a disappointing 45% catch rate. He was rarely targeted down the stretch, despite the numerous injuries at the position. On the other hand, Ward filled in admirably late in the season. Over the final four meetings, including the playoff game, he caught 20-of-25 targets (an 80% catch rate). He clearly deserves a shot as a top reserve for the upcoming season. 2.4 Tight Ends (TEs) The Eagles have a nice duo at the tight end position with Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. Ertz is a true warrior. He hasn’t missed more than two games in each of his first seven season in the league. Last year, he played with two rib fractures one week after lacerating his kidney. Talk about a tough guy. His numbers are also staggering. His lowest figures in terms of receptions and receiving yards over the past five years are 74 and 816. That’s truly remarkable! Please note that he’ll be turning 30 years old during the season. Just like Ertz, Goedert is also a former second-rounder. However, he is four years younger. He caught 58 passes for 607 yards and 5 TDs, all career-highs. He was targeted 4 times per game on average before the team’s bye week versus an average of 7.9 for the remainder of the year. Granted, injuries to other targets probably boosted his numbers, but he still developed nice chemistry with Wentz. 2.5 Offensive Line (OL) The Eagles have a heck of an offensive line. You cannot blame Jason Kelce for anything over the past five years. He hasn’t missed any start, while consistently being one of the top centers in the league. As a matter of fact, he was rated as the #1 center in the NFL according to PFF grades last year. He’s now 32 years old. Left tackle Jason Peters has been just as good as Kelce. He was nominated to nine Pro Bowls in his career and he finished as the number 6 tackle in the league with his 83.4 PFF mark. Unfortunately, the team decided to let the 38-year old hit the free agency market. EDIT: he was re-signed three days ago (this article was written several weeks ago). He is projected to play guard instead of tackle. Peters will be replaced with 2019 first-round pick, Andre Dillard. Is he ready to take on the full-time job? It remains to be seen, but it will be difficult to fill Peters’ shoes. As for Lane Johnson, the right tackle finished as the 3rd-best tackle in the league based on the PFF grading system. He’s been very good throughout his seven-year career; the former #4 overall pick has not disappointed at all! Brandon Brooks also had a huge 2019 season! He ended the year as the top guard in the NFL with a jaw-dropping 92.9 PFF mark. Much like Lane Johnson, Brooks is another player above 30 years old who’s been reliable his entire career. Left guard Isaac Seumalo started all 16 games for the first time of his career. He’s the one that received the lowest grades on this OL, but finishing 17th out of 81 guards is nothing to be ashamed of! The former third-round pick from the 2016 draft is not as talented as his colleagues, but you could do worse than having him as one of your starters. The team lost good depth with the departure of Halapoulivaati Vaitai to Detroit. The 2019 season was clearly his best year; it would have been nice to retain him but he signed a huge contract with the Lions. 2020 VS 2019 OFFENSE When comparing the upcoming 2020 season with last year, there are some positives and some negatives. Let’s discuss the negative stuff first. I do expect a downgrade on the offensive line. They played at an extremely high level last year with four guys finishing among the 6 players at their respective position (based on PFF rankings). That’s unlikely to happen again, especially with three linemen aged 30 years or above. Also, second-year man Andre Dillard has good potential, but it will be difficult to match Jason Peters’ 2019 performance. I do expect a drop-off here. At quarterback and tight end, the situation remains stable. At the running back position, losing Jordan Howard to free agency won’t hurt too much with the emergence of electrifying Boston Scott. Also, Miles Sanders is expected to take a leap in his sophomore season. Finally, how could you not expect better production from the WR group? They were hit by the injury bug a lot last year. Agholor’s departure is a moderate blow; getting DeSean Jackson back is a bonus! Hopefully, speedy rookie Jalen Reagor can provide a spark to an offense that sorely missed game breakers last year. The Eagles offense scored the 12th-highest number of points last year. My final conclusion, based on the arguments above, is that I expect similar production in 2020. Final call (2020 vs 2019): Stable
3. Defensive Position-by-Position Breakdown
3.1 Defensive Linemen (DLs) Fletcher Cox is an animal. Plain and simple. Despite posting his second-lowest sack output of his illustrious eight-year career, he still graded as the 4th-best interior defenders in the NFL based on PFF rankings. On average, he has recorded 6 sacks per year (he only got 3.5 last year) He has also been very durable; he’s missed just three games out 128. He still has good years to come at age 29. Tim Jernigan was a decent starter next to Cox, but he clearly wasn’t needed on the team anymore after the Eagles signed stud DT Javon Hargrave. The former Steeler showed steady improvement in each of his first four years in the NFL. His 83.4 PFF mark last year put him in the 8th spot out of 114 DLs. With Hargrave entering his prime years and Fletcher Cox being a perennial beast, good luck running the ball inside the tackles against the Eagles in 2020. After playing three years in Indy, Hassan Ridgeway had a below-average season in his first year with the Eagles. He’s more of a rotational player, whom you hope won’t be needed as a starter. 3.2 Defensive Ends (DEs) / Edge Rushers (ED) Brandon Graham is 32 years old, but he refuses to slow down. He led the team with 8.5 sacks last year, and he has averaged six sacks over an eight-year period! The guy also finds a way to stay on the field. Can you believe he has missed a single game in eight years! He’s been consistently good and remains a force, both against the run and rushing the passer. Derek Barnett is a former first-rounder coming off a career-high in sacks with 6.5. However, his 2019 PFF grade was the lowest of his three-year stint in the NFL and he finished as the number 83 edge defender out of 107 qualifiers. He’s an “okay” player. Vinny Curry played 38% of the snaps last year, but it does not appear like he will be back with the team. At the time of writing, he was still a free agent. He did pick up five sacks last year, but teams seem reluctant to sign him because he’ll be playing his age-32 campaign. He actually played pretty well when called upon. With Curry gone, the team must hope Josh Sweat will elevate his game. The 2018 fourth-round selection posted his first four sacks of his career last year, but his 62.5 overall PFF mark ranked him as the 76th-best edge defender out of 107 guys. 3.3 Linebackers (LBs) After playing four years in Buffalo and four years in Philly, Nigel Bradham was cut by the Eagles, mainly for cap reasons. He provided average play at the LB position; he was good in coverage, but he was a liability defending the run. The team also lost Kamu Grugier-Hill, who signed with the Dolphins. You could characterize him as a decent player, albeit far from being great. That leaves the team pretty thin at the position. Nathan Gerry is the lone 2019 starter that is still with the team. He ranked as the 34th-best linebacker out of 89 players. He does not offer much upside, though. It would be stunning to see him crack the top 25 someday. Can Duke Riley and/or T.J Edwards crack the starting lineup? Neither seem to be an up-and-coming star. Riley was acquired for peanuts prior to last year and he played 35 snaps. As for Edwards, he was an undrafted rookie out of Wisconsin that did well in limited time last year. He proved to be stout against the run. 3.4 Cornerbacks (CBs) Philly’s back end has been revamped for the upcoming 2020 season. The Eagles signed one of the best slot corners in the league: Nickell Robey-Coleman. He has received consistently good grades from ProFootballFocus over the past four years. At 5’8’’ he is pretty small, but you couldn’t tell from the quality of his game. He’s a nice addition. Philly also acquired Darius “Big Play” Slay, who played the first seven years of his career with the Lions. He had a down year in 2019, but I’m not worried he can rebound in a new environment. He’s been covering opponent’s top receivers for a while in this league, and he’s done a good job at it. He has 19 career interceptions. Ronald Darby’s career has been plagued with injuries recently and he was let go during the offseason. His PFF grade took an enormous drop last year, all the way from a respectable 70.6 in 2018 down to an abysmal 44.8 last year. He signed a one-year deal with the Redskins. Rasul Douglas and Avonte Maddox are still on the team, but neither has proven to be an impactful contributor. Both graded as very below-average corners in 2019. 3.5 Safeties (S) Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod both played the entire 2019 season. They ranked as the 32nd- and 52nd-best out of a bunch of 87 safeties. The organization and Jenkins couldn’t agree on a deal, so the Eagles had to let him go after six very successful seasons. He picked off 11 passes during his six-year stint in Philly. He signed with the Saints, with which he spent the first five seasons of his career. Even though he wasn’t getting any younger, his present will be missed. McLeod’s 2019 PFF grade was the lowest he had obtained over the past five years, but he still did a decent job. Jalen Mills will be one piece of the puzzle in replacing Jenkins. But let’s face the reality: he has been pretty awful throughout his four-year career, except 2017 where he did better. Another option will be newly acquired Will Parks, who is coming over from Denver. However, he’s clearly not a long-term solution either. He’s pretty versatile, but he’s a below-average player. 2020 VS 2019 DEFENSE This unit was upgraded quite a bit during the offseason at two positions, but it also suffered a severe downgrade at a couple others. First, acquiring Javon Hargrave to team up with Fletcher Cox on the interior of the line was big! At CB, getting Darius Slay and Nickell Robey-Coleman will provide much needed help at a position that has caused headaches for years in Philly. Unfortunately, the defense lost its best safety when Malcolm Jenkins signed with the Saints. Also, even though none of them was a true difference maker, losing linebackers Nigel Bradham and Kamu Grugier-Hill creates a hole. Since the team acquired some big time players while losing good/average players, I envision a small improvement. In 2019, the Eagles finished in the middle of the pack in terms of points allowed per game (15th out of 32 teams). I envision Philly finishing around the #10-#13 spot this year. Final call (2020 vs 2019): Small upgrade
4. Regular Season Wins
According to sportsbooks, the Eagles are expected to win 9.5 games this season. Should we bet the “over” or the “under”? Here is the methodology I used in order to answer this vital question:
Use BetOnline.ag’s point spreads on all 256 regular season games.
Convert those point spreads into win probabilities.
Simulate each of the 256 games, according to those win probabilities, via the R statistical software.
Repeat the previous step one million times (you get 1M simulated seasons).
Count the proportion of seasons where the Eagles won more or less than 9.5 games.
Here are the results:
OVER 9.5 WINS
UNDER 9.5 WINS
Tip: Bet UNDER 9.5 wins Return On Investment (ROI): +13.7% Rank: 19th-highest ROI out of 32 teams Minimum odds required to bet (i.e. ROI = 0%): -136 Here are BetOnline’s point spreads for the Eagles’ 16 regular season games:
HOME: +2 vs BAL, -10 vs CIN, -2.5 vs DAL, -4 vs LAR, 0 vs NO, -5 vs NYG, -2 vs SEA, -10.5 vs WAS.
Note: The “Best odds” from the table above were obtained after looking at 13 well-known online sportsbooks on May 18th, 2020. I invite you to take a look at my other 31 NFL team previews! Good information if you are involved in fantasy football and/or if you want to be up-to-date on player movement and teams' strengths and weaknesses (for betting purposes)! Cheers, Professor MJ
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