2018 NFL Preview: Players to Watch This Year! (Part 1)

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Written by: Matthew Burroughs and tehben

As the mountains to the west (and the rest of the country) continue to burn brightly weren’t enough of an indicator, we are still sitting in the middle of a stupid hot summer. The good news is that there are probably only about another two months of 100 degree days left of this brutal season. This nut-sweat inducing weather can only make one look forward to the slight chill in the air and the inevitable return of all that pumpkin spice themed everything. The arrival of autumn signals the return of the Greatest American Pastime, known as FOOTBALL.

Few things in this world can compare to the majesty of large groups of gigantic ‘roided out domestic abusers graciously giving each other irreversible CTE play after play. It’s a beautiful sight to behold, as teams from across the country ride or die every Sunday to get a shot at playing the fucking Patriots again in that season’s Super Bowl.

Each new season brings new opportunities, and a hordes of newly drafted players chomping at the bit to get their shot at fame, glory, and permanent brain damage. Tehben.com is your number one source for showing you which players are going to rise to the occasion and have their Madden stats shine brighter than all the rest!

Just a fair warning: this article isn’t going to deal with or touch on the political aspects of football, but just so we’re clear- if you still think kneeling for the anthem is disrespectful to either the military or the country, please put down your cell phone, and go pick up something you might grasp a little better, like a coloring book. Thanks.

(Disclaimer: Please note that tehben.com is not responsible for you doing something incredibly stupid to your fantasy teams.)

Tom Brady, QB Patriots

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Tom Brady is like, really fucking old. He’s so old that if he gets hit just right, the impact will instantly vaporize him into mummy dust. Despite how easily breakable Tom is, he’s still far cooler than you will ever be as he lounges around his own private island paradise drinking bottomless Mai Tais and tapping that supermodel ass all day long. This achievement alone makes us tip our hat to you in envy, Mr. Most Universally Hated Beautiful Guy Ever.

Greatest Ability: Laughing at how pathetic everybody who isn’t Tom Brady is, and finding a unique new way to cheat his way to the Super Bowl every season. Can also occasionally throw touchdowns.

Tom’s Greatest Moment in 2018: Tom Brady will have a spectacular game against the Buffalo Bills, garnering 421 passing yards and 5 touchdowns. After the game, it will be discovered that he secretly spiked the team’s Gatorade with the blood of 1,000 orphans in order to win. After a lengthy court deliberation, he will receive a two-game suspension from the league. Roger Goodell will show (yet again) that he clearly holds witchcraft to a higher level of contempt than he does domestic violence.

Other Notes: In December, Tom Brady will trip over an electrical cord as he runs onto the field, turning him into a pile of dust and bones. It will be a bad day for New England, but a pretty great day for everybody else in the US. The pile of dust will automatically start humping cheerleaders without missing a beat.

Blair “Ol’ Reliable” Walsh, K Cleveland Browns

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If you’ve read anything on tehben.com, we definitely have a raw spot for the guy who is arguably the worst kicker to ever play professional football. Blair Walsh is the one guy you can always be assured to completely choke whenever the fate of the game or whenever the entire season is on the line. Walsh has infamously killed seasons repeatedly for not just the Vikings, but several different teams in the NFL. In response to his awful attempts at kicking last year, the Seahawks have drafted a rookie kicker from the Southwick’s School For The Blind in hopes of scoring more field goals over the course of a season than Walsh ever did.

Greatest Ability: Totally not making field goals, fucking up Vegas odds and your fantasy scores. Walsh is usually like clockwork in this aspect, even though some of his kicks have gotten away from him and accidentally led to three points.

Blair’s Greatest Moment in 2018: The Browns currently don’t have a kicker worth a shit. Zane Gonzalez and Ross Martin will be hurt or cut by Week 5. Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam will check the free agents (on his Franchise Mode of Madden 19) while drinking heavily, and will decide that hiring Blair is a good idea.

Picture it: Week 12, just off the bye week against the Bengals. Walsh will go 5 for 5 on field goals and keep the slim playoff hopes of the Browns alive, his finest hour. Week 13, Walsh misses a game winning kick so badly that the football tears directly through Tyrod Taylor’s ACL and Cleveland finishes the season on an 0-5 run. Better luck next season (for the 60th time), boys!

Other Notes: Blair sucks ass, and is worse than having the cabana boy who is secretly boinking your wife diagnose you with terminal ball cancer.

Johnny Manziel, QB Montreal Alouettes (CFL)

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Somewhere, a football God was asked to design a quarterback with the annoying scrappy talent of Tim Tebow and combine it with the drug abusing powers of Ryan Leaf. Thus, the clouds parted, and Johnny Manziel was born unto this world. Like every rich bastard that’s made his 450th professional level mistake, little Johnny is currently trying to repair his career outside of the country, playing in the Canadian Football League. With any luck, Manziel won’t completely embarrass himself playing 3 down football, and will be ready to sport the face of Vince McMahon’s “doin’ football the white right way” league by 2020. The future looks impeccably bright for our 21st century interpretation of Todd Marinovich.

Greatest Ability: Manziel is possibly the least likable non-murderer in professional sports. Given the size of the talent pool, this little shit has done an amazing job of staying universally hated despite his lack of relevance, and his lack of committing any geniuinely horrific crimes (other than that time he “hypothetically” punched his girlfriend on camera).

Johnny’s Greatest Moment in 2018: Let’s face it, unless Jerry Jones cuts every Cowboys QB for “ethics” violations, no NFL owners are going to be looking to hire this evil twin of Tim Tebow in 2018. However, Manziel’s finest moment this season will be the near constant tongue bathing he’ll receive from the ESPN talking head types whenever he manages to look competent in the CFL. Threw for three more yards than Aaron Rodgers one week? Call it a thrice weekly segment on Around the Horn. Manziel wins the Tim Hortons Maple Dandy Boy Player of the Month for Montreal? Full hour on SportsCenter, “SOMEBODY NEEDS A QUARTERBACK GUYS!” and so on.

Other Notes: If you are working on a Fantasy Drinking Champion, make sure to draft Manziel in the first round. He has proven time and time again to be a more evil version of Ted Kennedy, and his “keg stand” talent attribute is completely maxed out.

It should also be noted that Manziel is also allergic to poutine, and therefore also sucks.

Josh Gordon, WR Cleveland Browns

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Hold on. Josh Gordon is only 27 years old? I could’ve sworn he was in his mid-30s by now. With all the drama and season-long suspensions I feel like we’ve been talking about Gordon for the better part of a couple decades. For all the problems that the Cleveland Browns have, nothing quite illustrates their futility than this much beleaguered wide receiver. Any team worth a shit would’ve cut ties with Gordon years ago, maybe after the 3rd of his 89,784 suspensions. Do the Browns stand by their guy because they believe he’s so constantly violated an unjust/unfair rule?

Fuck no, they just know they can’t do any better.

Greatest Ability: When he actually plays, he makes miracles happen. Using his natural plant energy Gordon is good for a 200 yard game at the drop of a hat, and gives a hilarious false sense of hope to a legion of fans and an organization completely devoid of hope.

Josh’s Greatest Moment in 2018: Week 17: the season is long dead (see: picking up Blair Walsh) and Gordon has finally completed his addiction recovery program. 3rd string and rookie QB Baker Mayfield throws Gordon 6 TDs for 256 yards and the Browns lose a squeaker, 42-36, giving the fans one minuscule drop of hope for Cleveland in 2019. Gordon feels rejuvenated and takes the off season (to relax). Roger Goodell subsequently suspends Gordon for 57 years.

Other Notes: Even while playing an average of three games per season, Josh Gordon is still the greatest receiver Cleveland has had since their return to the NFL. This is better than actually winning, as Cleveland will have 30 for 30 directors interested in their idiotic bullshit for generations to come.

Can the Browns pull off back-to-back “perfect seasons”? 0-32 is entirely possible with a team that continually makes the worst possible decisions at the worst possible times.

I believe.

Josh Allen, QB Buffalo Bills

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Drafted by the Buffalo Bills with the 7th overall pick out of Wyoming, Josh Allen is Buffalo’s all-in bet after disposing of the services of Tyrod Taylor at quarterback. Tyrod, while one of the more efficient QBs in NFL history, was often criticized by the ass eating enthusiasts known as the “Bills Mafia” for being too sloppy with the football. The solution apparently, was to then draft an unvarnished Brett Favrian gun-slinger whose to-date greatest accomplishments have been making the SECOND TEAM All-Mountain West, and winning the MVP for something called the “Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.” It’s good to invest on someone who wins an award, even if the winner from the year before was the Pillsbury Doughboy.

Greatest Ability: He’s tall, handsomely ugly, and as Uncle Rico would say, looks like he can throw a football “clear over that mountain.” Can he though? Who the hell knows, I don’t think they film games in Wyoming. Buffalo must have my ex-girlfriend as a GM consultant. Tall boi = good 2 go.

Josh’s Greatest Moment in 2018: Allen will do the impossible, and throw more interceptions than Nathan Peterman in a single game. We’re calling for 8 INTs in a game by Week 6. He’ll throw 7 interceptions the next game and Sean McDermott will hold a press conference to call it “progress.”

Other Notes: Bills fans famously donated a large amount of money to the charity of Bengals QB Andy Dalton after he helped secure a Bills playoff spot (by beating Baltimore) in the last week of the 2017 season. Josh Allen and his ineptitude will forever be known as the cosmic, karma-driven payment for that. Eat shit, Mafia.

Paxton Lynch, QB Denver Broncos

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Previously regarded as an almost-near-enough-sure-thing in the Mile High City, Paxton Lynch was handed the keys to a team talented enough to guarantee Brock Ostweiler enough money to keep him rolling in hair-gel and pancake makeup for the rest of his natural life. Somehow, Lynch, with his aggressively average playing style has managed to drive down the value of the Broncos to the extent that they’re now the least interesting team in the entire AFC. It takes a special team to be less interesting than the San Diego Some Other Fuckin’ City Chargers. Not to worry though, Denver has rallied the oxygen-starved troops to make it known that Denver is still PAXTON’S TOWN, BABY.

Greatest Ability: Paxton possesses some sort of mind-erasing serum that can be transmitted over television airwaves. I can’t remember a single play that Paxton Lynch has ever participated in. Has he ever actually held a football? I remember more of Luke McCown’s career as a kick-holder in New Orleans than I can recall of this maxi-paxton.

Paxton’s Greatest Moment in 2018: Week 8 Paxton Lynch stretches his arm on the sidelines. Coach gives him the nod…it’s time. With perfect execution, Lynch makes his move. He jukes around linebackers and DBs alike, he leaps forward. With a precision and grace that will be talked about for the next ten winter seasons in Colorado…he hands starter Case Keenum the Gatorade bottle during the 4th quarter timeout and is given a pat on the back for a job well done.

Other Notes: Paxton will make fans wish that things worked out in Denver with the ol’ butt-fumbler Mark Sanchez. But if it’s any consolation, you can go see Sanchez anytime up in deck 4, working tirelessly at the hot dog toppings station and leering at teenage girls.

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Check back with us as the 2018 NFL Season approaches for Part 2 of our Player Preview! In the mean time, follow Matt and Ben on Twitter. Please send them some hot Fantasy Football tips, for the love of God we’re drowning here. 

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