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The B1G-MAC Fantasy Football Challenge Week 1

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Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Alright, let's do this thing. In case the Off Tackle Empire crowd didn't catch it, Alex from Hustle Belt and I have decided to do a #TeamHustle vs. #TeamEmpire #B1GMAC Fantasy Challenge. Each week we'll be putting up players from each conference in a QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, K, DEF format with a bonus wild card spot and losing pick of the week. The caveat is that we can only choose a player once every four weeks before repeating his use - minus the wild card spot that is completely open. Oh, and that losing pick of the week is our chance to figure out who in the other conference is losing. That's worth five points. If you want to see the whole points breakdown and explanation of some of the picks go to Hustle Belt here.

Are we good now? Good. Let's get to some of my picks to represent #TeamEmpire and see what Alex thinks about my terrible picks.

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Jesse: You see, this week, I'm trotting out a favorite of the Empire and a guy we missed dearly last year. QB Nate Sudfeld from Indiana will be looking for some redemption after getting injured last year. Now, part of this pick is because Indiana is playing Southern Illinois and I have little doubt that Coach Kevin Wilson will have an offensive gameplan that will score lots of points, but I'm a sucker for a story regardless.

Oh, and Alex, I'm probably going to regret it, but I'm picking a Rutgers player at RB. They may not have a coach, but Paul James is the real deal and I still don't know what a Norfolk State is. Am I crazy? At minimum, can you please stop laughing at the B1G Athletic Department offseason insanity? It's starting to make us feel bad.

Alex: I don't think that's too crazy of a pick for you to get Paul James here. If you're picking him to win the Doak Walker award, then you're nuts. Though, Ezekiel Elliott ended last season with a fantastic final three games on huge stages, so I think he'll torch Virginia Tech. Plus, maybe he'll get more touches than James? Or not. But that's why I'm also going with Buffalo's Anthone Taylor as my other running back. They play against Albany in the first game in the Leipold era. Taylor was no. 7 on our Top 70 countdown and should absolutely go ape s**t on Saturday.


I have a good friend that just moved to Bloomington for grad school! He won't be watching Indiana. He's coming back to Ypsilanti to watch the Eagles instead because he's good people. I'll hope that Sudfeld's performance is a worse watch than my friend's 5-hour commute through the midwest. Seriously, that drive sucks.

I've got Ryan Burbrink as one of my three receivers for #TeamHustle. I know you've already got a solid receiver from East Lansing on your squad, but who else will be catching passes for #TeamEmpire this weekend?

Jesse: First off, find me a five hour commute through the midwest that doesn't make you want to all asleep. It's sort of a thing. Of course, I'll take that over a drive across Kansas. That is mind numbing in some weird ways. But on to the pass catchers... My WR1 this week is Jordan Westerkamp from Nebraska. I have no idea if Nebraska's new offense will be good under Mike Riley, I have no idea if Tommy Armstrong can get the ball to anyone, and I have no idea who else will be catching passes. I do know that with this being PPR and with DPE out, this is Westerkamp's week against a shaky BYU secondary. My other great receiver is Indiana's Simmie Cobbs. I think he's going to be a favorite of Sudfeld, so I have got to keep that QB/WR mojo for the team, right? I mean, it's go big or go home.

So what, we have QB, RB, and WR out of the way, which brings us to TE? Yeah, that sounds right. What will #TeamHustle be throwing out there at the most versatile spot in the offense?

Alex: The thing about tight ends: they're a hard find in this conference. But I'll go with Cody Tuttle, a transfer for Eastern Michigan that will be a huge part of the Eagle offense. If you go to YouTube and search for his highlights at Moorpark College, you'll see why I'm so excited for him to play for my alma matter on Saturdays (and a Thursday!) this season.

Speaking of hard finds: #MACKickers. I'm going with Dylan Mulder because, well, I don't have a good reason. Do you have a better reason for picking the D/ST that you've selected for this week?

Jesse: I don't have a much better reason and I have regrets in light of Rutgers basically getting their entire secondary arrested today, but alas, I made my choice. I'm going with Rutgers against Norfolk State because ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Alright, let's kind of come in for a landing here. Who is your B1G Loser of the week? Choose wisely because you won't get this chance again.

Alex: I guess ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ is appropriate for a reasoning. I've seen people make bigger decisions with much worse reasonings in the past, so picking Rutgers defense isn't the worst thing you could've done [maybe].

I've got Northwestern lined up to take the loss against Stanford. I might as well take a team that could be decent down the road with an early loss to make my life easier down the stretch!

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I'm nervous that Alex has way more strategy than I do... Still, I like my team. Just so you all can see a big picture of our two teams this week, here you go. Come back each week too! This is a real thing! IT'S AWESOME!

Jesse #TeamEmpire Alex #TeamHustle
QB Nate Sudfeld, Indiana Jack Milas, Ball State"]">Jack Milas, Ball State
RB Paul James, Rutgers Terry Swanson, Toledo"]">Terry Swanson, Toledo
RB DJ Knox, Purdue Anthone Taylor, Buffalo
WR Jordan Westerkamp, Neb KeVonn Mabon, Ball State"]">KeVonn Mabon, Ball State
WR Simmie Cobbs, Indiana Alonzo Russell, Toledo"]">Alonzo Russell, Toledo
WR Aaron Burbrudge, MSU Ryan Burbrink, BGSU
TE Nick Vannett, OSU"]">Nick Vannett, OSU Cody Tuttle, EMU
FLEX (Q/R/W/T) Connor Cook, MSU"]">Connor Cook, MSU AJ Ouellette, Ohio
K Jack Mitchell, NW"]">Jack Mitchell, NW Dylan Mulder, EMU
D/ST Rutgers Miami
Loser Akron Zips"]">Akron Zips Northwestern