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  • Cats of Fantasy Twitter – Peanut

    Jersey Giveaway


    It’s time to meet our next feline of Fantasy Twitter – Peanut the Greek!


    The Cat

    Peanut is my (Johny the Greek) cat. I got her about eight years ago at the local humane society, and it was a complete and total roll of the dice. Along with @NateCheat, we went to acquire a cat for me and Peanut was one year old and available. She showed zero personality at the meet and greet, but immediately took a liking to me. So I knew there was something there.

    After I got her home, her first actions upon exiting the cat carrier were to eat, drink, and drop a gigantic stinky cat dump. She was home and, with less than ideal control of her lower intestines, she was already resembling her owner.

    An American shorthair, orange with a white belly, Peanut is all personality with occasional genius-level scheming. Sometimes offset by moments of incredible stupidity, much like her owner. Over the years, she’s been able to learn what certain words mean. A simple “pets” or “brushes” always elicits an excited response.

    And when it comes to tuna paste, she doesn’t even have to meow to tell me she wants some. I just know. She enjoys cat TV (sitting in the window watching the birds and squirrels) almost as much as she enjoys napping approximately 18 hours a day. Which is the average length most cats sleep in a 24-hour period.

    Drop It Like It’s Hot

    Like all members of cat society, she has her own quirks and personality traits and engages in what we humans may think is strange or ridiculous behavior from time to time. One of these behaviors, probably my least favorite, is dropping a horrendous cat dookie on the carpet approximately three to five times a year. It’s always completely random and, for my end of the deal, it’s just a fun surprise I randomly come home to.

    Why is that? As an indoor cat, it’s not like she’s eating or is exposed to anything that would make her sick or give her food poisoning. After the second or third time it happened, I decided to look into it further, and the explanations were rather interesting indeed.

    Much like most answers when it comes to cat behavior, there wasn’t just one explanation. So, this ended up being a “choose your own adventure” book of why my cat was crapping on my rug. One explanation was that the fabric and consistency, or perhaps the smell or texture, of the rug, made it more attractive (on occasion) than the litter box. Other explanations include possible environmental stress or marking territory, perhaps a medical issue.

    Finally, Some Answers

    As I went down the list, I found a likely culprit to be a variation of the “stress in the environment” cause. Apparently, if another cat wanders into your cat’s line of sight and challenges its territory, occasionally the frustration from being unable to defend that territory causes them to angry poop. There are some neighborhood cats that will do this to Peanut from time to time, so it was a possibility.

    The final explanation — and the one I found most logical after some deliberation — was counterintuitive. Sometimes, cleaning the litter box too often can lead to this behavior as well. Daily cleaning of the litter box can be a bad thing for your little critter and can challenge or threaten their sense of security in their environment.

    Being creatures that rely on their excellent sense of smell the scent from their “work” sitting in the litter box helps them feel safe, secure, and at home. So, as strange as it sounds, I started to leave her finished product in the litter box for longer periods of time. Since then, the frequency of her dropping heat on my carpet has indeed decreased. The more you know.

    Cat as a Second Language

    The other peculiar trait my cat has is a pretty impressive understanding of what I’m saying to her, and if we’re being honest, this goes both ways. I know exactly what every meow, purr, and grunt means and have for some time now. But, for a cat to understand human language, that can’t be real right? Well, yes, and no.

    While cats lack the cognitive skills to truly understand human language, they absolutely know when you’re talking to them. A cat can “read” our tone and inflection and learn to understand words through repetition over time. As your cat gets to know you better, it can learn to react and respond to human vocalizations and even gestures.

    While your cat may never come on command like a dog would, researchers have found that cats will almost always show some kind of “orienting behavior” when we call them, whether it’s a head tilt, ears orienting towards us or a swish of the tail, they know when their owner is talking to them.

    There have been recent studies that have shown that the importance of communicating with your cat has been traditionally underappreciated, consistent communication with your little critter can help reinforce your bond with them and, in turn, help you to understand their responses to your words. Ask anyone who’s owned a cat for any decent length of time, and most will say the same thing.

    Those “meows” aren’t random, each one has a slightly different tone and inflection, and they all can mean something completely different. By taking the time to learn them we can help communicate with and understand our furry friends better.

    I have been an awesome cat dad for many years now, and I know I am welcomed into cat society by Peanut. Luck? I don’t need luck in this year’s cat league. I make my own luck in fantasy football and will absolutely be in the playoffs.

    Peanut living her best life with not a care in the world.

    The Draft

    Embed from Getty Images

    Who needs DPOY when you’ve got one of these^

    Offense

    Since this is your typical Superflex startup, I took a quarterback immediately. Despite Patrick Mahomes (QB) losing Tyreek Hill (WR) in the offseason, he was still the best option available for my first QB. I took Mahomes and paired him with Justin Fields (QB) for plenty of rushing upside from the two along with Mitch Trubisky (QB) as a backup.

    I don’t think “little hands” will be starting this season any time soon. Pittsburgh will be:

    That fact will likely result in Trubisky treading water all season as their record hovers around .500. While not bad enough to start the rookie, it’s also not good enough to make a real run in the playoffs.

    At running back, I grabbed Najee Harris (RB) for the volume, Rashaad Penny (RB) for the upside, and Alexander Mattison (RB) for the month or so (minimum) of production he’ll give me at some point when the traditional Dalvin Cook (RB) injury occurs. Michael Carter (RB) was taken for depth. An injury to Breece Hall (RB) would result in a massive increase in value, so it was worth a stab towards the end of the draft.

    At wide receiver, I went with Juju Smith Schuster (WR), Robert Woods (WR), and Darnell Mooney (WR) for my starters and will rely on PPR production to float my receiving corps. I managed to acquire Michael Gallup (WR) at a serious discount much later in the draft. He will be an excellent reinforcement roughly a month or so into the season when, God knows, I’ll need him.

    The injury grim reaper never rests. Skyy Moore (WR) and KJ Osborn (WR) round out the group with upside aplenty for both.

    At tight end, I went with George Kittle (TE) and have a backup lined up for my last pick, I hope he can stay healthy this season and that the connection with Trey Lance (QB) is deserving of the hype. My offensive strategy was to make sure I had two solid Superflex quarterbacks with a good backup, plenty of PPR receivers, and depth at running back.

    With tight end premium, I wanted a top five option and with Kittle, I accomplished that mission. The offensive strategy was all about getting good pieces. The league isn’t won in the draft, but it can be lost in it. I’ll stay on top of things like I always do and, through waivers, will keep this team competitive all season long. As is tradition.

    Embed from Getty Images

    Gallup was a steal and will be a huge help once he’s healthy and ready to roll

    IDP

    On the defensive side of things, I made sure to get Aaron Donald (DT) since this league is defensive tackle premium. When it comes to defensive tackle, you either have AD, or you don’t. I have him. That’s a tier break by itself. At defensive end, this league is using true position. So I was able to punt a bit at a position you traditionally have to draft early and often due to scarcity in most formats.

    With that in mind, I waited a while and went with Trey Hendrickson (DE), Khalil Mack (DE) and Charles Harris (DE). Not bad at all for picking this position much later into the draft.

    Linebacker instantly becomes a position of scarcity when using true position, so I knew I had to hit it early and often. I went with CJ Moseley (LB), Devin White (LB), Blake Martinez (LB) and rounded that group out with Christian Kirksey (LB) for depth. Those initial three studs are 100% of snaps guys and that’s what I wanted.

    Kirksey will very likely shatter into a million pieces like he does most seasons, so I’ll keep an eye on waivers and add some warm body options, three down linebackers may be more scarce in true position, but you can still find them in-season if you’re paying attention.

    At corner, I also punted until my last few picks and gave myself three very good streaming options, My strategy will be to play the two of them in the best matchup each week and rotate the odd man out for a different corner in an ideal matchup the following week all season long.

    With Xavien Howard (CB), Byron Murphy (CB) (who has the Chiefs week one, very nice), and Kenny Moore (CB) (who we really don’t need to worry about matchups with), I am beyond happy with my options at corner. Beyond Kenny Moore (CB), I will likely be streaming out the other two as those ideal matchups surface each week.

    If that was gibberish, read my cornerback corner article. It would take too long to explain here properly. Short version: I’ll be producing many points out of that traditionally ignored position.

    Finally, at safety, I ended up with Jordan Poyer (S), Jonathan Abram (S), Kyle Dugger (S), and Jordan Whitehead (S). Not bad at all. Safety is always plentiful and available, and I punted here as well. My draft capital on defense went to securing THE top tier option, Aaron Donald (DT).

    I then immediately moved to secure several three-down linebacker options since they were scarce in the true position format. Corners and safeties can be acquired in season if needed, and defensive end was plentiful using this format.

    Conclusion

    I am quite happy with how it all turned out. Overall my team may not be perfect, and that’s fine, I’ll always pay attention, and I don’t make mistakes. I won’t ever beat myself, you have to beat me. I’ll be in the playoffs with a good title shot unless something crazy happens. This wasn’t even close to my first rodeo. Frankly, a league this complicated is what I consider “normal” these days.

    With the group we’ve assembled here, it’s guaranteed to be incredibly competitive and a fight all the way to the finish. I’m very much looking forward to seeing which cat owner brings home the crown and defends their critter’s honor.


    Thank you for reading this entry in the Cats of Fantasy Twitter article series! There are more to come, as fast as I can get them out. A special thank you to @FF_LeapOfFaith, @NateCheat, and all the members of the Cat League for joining me on this insane undertaking and being part of the journey from the initial idea phase all the way to now. Look at these beautiful results.

    Keep an eye out for the next installment in this series! It will be here as soon as I can write it, and Faith can edit it and send it. Until next time!

    Johny The Greek

    Non-delusional Cowboys Fan. Been playing Fantasy since 2003, IDP since 2004 and watching football for 34 years. Being a firm believer in "you should know if the person you're taking advice from actually knows or wins anything" I'd like to present exhibit A: I have a diamond rating in Yahoo (965) with 26 plus titles in redraft/dynasty across Yahoo, Sleeper, Fantrax and MFL and an additional 50 plus 2nd/3rd place in redraft/dynasty, same platforms. I also play in and have won several all-IDP leagues. I started playing FanDuel with a free entry and have won almost a grand since. I've also won many leagues on the draft app (RIP Draft App, we miss you) and play the maximum number of free college fantasy leagues on Yahoo every year as well with 3 titles and 9 trophies in just two years of playing before Yahoo discontinued those leagues. My profile includes multiple titles in survivor and pick em leagues as well. I was a finalist in the 2021/22 IDP Guys Invitational and the best ball tournament. Also a MFL & Sleeper best ball & eliminator degenerate with many titles there as well. I just started playing All-22 this season and I would bet the mortgage I'll be good at that too. What does all that mean? Nothing except when I do something I tend to overdo it. I have been at this for a long time though so I'll help you with your IDP roster and questions however I can whenever I can. I write a weekly streaming IDP corners article (Johny The Greek's Cornerbacks Corner) and whatever I feel like in the offseason. You can find me @OrangeMan3142 on Twitter. Feel free to reach out for any questions or just to talk some football. Check out my articles on Friday mornings all season long. And new this season and going forward stick around for "Johny The Greek's Free Real Estate" where I interview the best and brightest from FF Twitter, and by that I mean the interesting people who actually help you win and not the useless engagement farmers. Also check out the "Cats of FF Twitter" article series coming out right before the season starts, this article series will talk about each cat and cat owner in the Cats of FF Twitter League that was formed this offseason with deep dives into cat society, behavior and psychology with a sprinkling of fantasy football too I guess. I am not an "analyst" I'm just a crazy person/degenerate who has been doing this a long time, has been pretty good at it and is dialed in because I have to be to not sound like an idiot writing all these articles and doing all these shows. My style is straightforward & conversational, IDP isn't complicated and you're not trying to win an argument on Twitter you're trying to win your league. Come join me weekly in season for Johny the Greek's Cornerbacks Corner, where we look at the fine art that is streaming corners or finding ways to maximize your production from your CB slots each week. I hope you enjoyed the article. Let us praise our Messiah Babu Frik and give worship to Baby Yoda. Jimmy G would make a fine husband. Thanks for reading. -Johny the Greek-

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