Welcome to Week 4 of The Worksheet, a fantasy football overview, by Rich Hribar.
While the intro to the Worksheet has always largely been canned since there is so much to actually get through each week, this week deserves a moment for us all to take a step and reflect on the tragic passing of Mike Tagliere from the fantasy community this past weekend after a battle with COVID, something that has impacted all our lives over the past year and a half.
I took the news hard this weekend because there is a lot of overlap to the path Tags and I had in this space. We are both the same age. We both had established careers before making the jump into having the fortunate opportunity of turning a hobby and passion for fantasy football into a full-time job while in our mid-thirties. We both had a spouse that pushed and supported us that it was not silly to pursue talking about a game.
I first met Tags back in the summer of 2015 in Washington D.C. at a FLEX Draft event. He was just entering the space and so thrilled to be a part of the event so he could pick everyone’s brains on how to get his feet into any door possible so he could pursue his dream to produce fantasy content.
I remember talking to him about Andre Williams of the Giants of all people as we were all at the Nationals game with the group. He was locked in on our conversation and not flippant on any level. I was not doing this full-time and we talked about our stations in life — our careers, our families, and of course the pursuit of making it as fantasy analysts.
His wife Tabbie was with him and their devotion for each other was transparent. Mike was genuinely joyful to have just been involved with that event that when he went home, he did a short podcast simply being thankful that he was a part of it and mentioned all of the people he had met and had contact with a personal message on what he took away from each of our conversations with him.
That is who he was. He wore his heart on his sleeve and genuinely cared. That never wavered or could ever be questioned. Not just for the work and his dream, but for being a positive human and impacting lives as a person firsthand.
It cannot be understated how much Tags put into setting and achieving his goals. While he only got to enjoy them for far too short of a time, his overall accomplishment is something we can take a lesson away from and something that will carry weight on multiple lives forever. If you work hard, stay positive, and are a good person to everyone you meet along the journey, you can do anything.
We never had the type of friendship that extended into texts, phone calls, or personal hangouts like some others had with him, but over the years since that first meeting, we met several more times at fantasy events and of course shared time on podcasts. Every time the conversations were as if we did have that type of personal relationship.
You have seen similar stories shared over the past few days such as mine. Everyone’s story and relationship with Tags was somewhat different, but the structure of his connection to those relationships was the same in each touching message others have shared. Mike was just unapologetically himself. A person who was willing to work his ass off to achieve his goals, be a devoted husband and father, and would help anyone he could in any way he could, no matter how small. Those are qualities that are in short supply these days and ones we can all work on.
If you were touched by the impact Mike left in this space, then please consider donating anything you can help his family during this extremely tough period. Mike will be missed in this space, but absolutely never forgotten.
Mike would have absolutely loved the start of this NFL season and we are now fleshing out a real sample on what we have on a team basis and player basis after three weeks are in the books.
The season is still fresh and some big games and opponent influence still carry a lot of weight into overall statistics, but we are getting there. As always, the more information we acquire, the most robust our evidence-based approach can be. We are still two weeks away from any byes, so we have another full week ahead in Week 4.
This article will be updated throughout the week to reflect major news or injury implications. I encourage that you use the game by game tables and data points here in conjunction with the player rankings that will be available every week this season each Wednesday and enjoy the games.
Click the matchups below for the individual game previews.
Week 4 Matchups
JAX at CIN: Thursday, Sep 30 – 8:20pm ET
TEN at NYJ: Sunday, Oct 3 – 1pm ET
KC at PHI: Sunday, Oct 3 – 1pm ET
DET at CHI: Sunday, Oct 3 – 1pm ET
CAR at DAL: Sunday, Oct 3 – 1pm ET
CLE at MIN: Sunday, Oct 3 – 1pm ET (unlocked)
IND at MIA: Sunday, Oct 3 – 1pm ET
WFT at ATL: Sunday, Oct 3 – 1pm ET
NYG at NO: Sunday, Oct 3 – 1pm ET
HOU at BUF: Sunday, Oct 3 – 1pm ET
SEA at SF: Sunday, Oct 3 – 4:05pm ET
ARI at LAR: Sunday, Oct 3 – 4:05pm ET
PIT at GB: Sunday, Oct 3 – 4:25pm ET
BAL at DEN: Sunday, Oct 3 – 4:25pm ET
TB at NE: Sunday, Oct 3 – 8:20pm ET (unlocked)
LVR at LAC: Monday, Oct 4 – 8:15pm ET