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The B1G-MAC Fantasy Football Challenge: Week 1

Last year we swapped teams from each other's conferences as a weekly series. This, however, seems like it might be even more fun.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome one and all to the first ever B1G-MAC Fantasy Football Challenge! I'll be representing the #MACtion while Jesse Collins straight outta Off Tackle Empire will be taking players from the Big Ten.

Each week we'll select a quarterback, pair of running backs, a trio of receivers, a tight end, a flex, a kicker and a D/ST and go head-to-head with our teams. We will be re-picking our teams each week, but once we pick a player, we have to wait at least four weeks to have that player back on #TeamHustle or #TeamEmpire again. It just made the most sense to us.

Oh! We're also going to pick a team from each other's conference to lose that week. That's something we won't use the same name twice in.


Alex: Jesse, on a scale from Appalachian State to Toledo, how much of an upset would you like to endure to start things off?

Jesse: Come on, can we really call it an upset with the way MACTION works? You should just be happy that we aren't having a punt-off here because that would be oh so very B1G of me. That said, #TeamEmpire is going to be the most strategic group ever assembled. Also, I'm going to have to get to deep cuts by the fourth week.

Anyhow, since we're getting this thing going, let's introduce this weeks' teams. Specifically, why don't you go ahead and start things off by telling us who will be QBing the losi... errr... #TeamHustle.

Alex: For my first week, I'm going to have Jack Milas throw the pigskin around for me. I almost went Joe Licata, but something told me I can use Licata later and VMI seems like a good target. He's got a good group of receivers to work with too. He and KeVonn Mabon could have a good game together, which is why I picked him up as well.

Unfortunately, Kareem Hunt is out for the first couple of weeks, but I think Terry Swanson will take over and have a huge day against Stony Brook in Toledo's home opener. There's a little bit of #MACtion going on with one of your running backs too, right?

Jesse: There's going to be all sorts of #B1GMACtion going on this weekend, so I suppose it was inevitable. At my RB2 slot, I'm picking Purdue's DJ Knox. Now, I know what a lot of people are thinking, "What's a Purdue?" And hey, I get that. The thing is, this is less a pick in favor of Purdue and more an indictment on what I see as a sketchy Marshall defense... hopefully. Funny aside, did you know DJ Knox has more tackles than yards in his career? Because that's a thing.

Speaking of #B1GMACtion, how about I go ahead and start Michigan State's Aaron Burbridge at WR. I think the Spartans are going to be feisty as hell on offense this year and Burbridge is the most steady WR they have back. I think MSU is going to have a heyday with the WMU secondary. But then again, the MAC likes to do very MAC things to B1G teams on occasion. So who do you have at WR this weekend?

Alex: Hopefully the Broncos can limit Burbridge. The Friday night game in Kalamazoo is definitely going to be a must-watch. But aside from Mabon, I'm also going to have Alonzo Russell represent #TeamHustle this weekend. I think he's definitely got the potential to be a First Team All-MAC selection this year after being a Third Team honoree the previous three.

With all these B1G-MAC games IRL, the MAC also has some games that are more favorable to us, like Miami vs. Presbyterian. There's not a whole lot of sex appeal when it comes to their offense, but I think they have a solid defense, which I'll put my Monopoly money on against that Blue Hose offense.

I'd tell you about tight end, but I'd rather share that on your page. Jesse, we want to hear about your tight end. Tell the good people about how firm of a tight end you've selected.

Jesse: Oh man, I'm totally regretting not picking Jake Butt. Everything is meaningless now. But seriously, there's some method to my madness. #TeamEmpire is going with OSU TE Nick Vannett. He catches TDs, and I expect him to be a big part of the OSU attack next Monday against Virginia Tech. Also, I feel like I would be doing a disservice to my team if I didn't try and cash in on that sweet Buckeye fantasy points every week, right? They're gonna score a ton of points this year.

Also, I'm totally cool with the MAC playing a team like Presbyterian. Partly because they are the Blue Hose, which is amazing, and partly because everybody has to get theirs. I totally understand the situation. Funny enough, the B1G is playing up a few tiers this year as well. I promise our entire conference isn't planning on the "feast on G5 teams" angle. One of those teams is Northwestern who host Stanford. I'm not really sure our local nerds can defeat the West Coast nerds, but my fantasy team is hoping for all the kicker points. I'm throwing Jack Mitchell out there and assuming he gets some chances.

So, give me your thoughts on DEF, and let's introduce our wild card spot to everyone. You know, the place where we can keep the same guy all year if we want.

Alex: Yeah, Miami's defense is solid, but I'll miss Quinterception in that secondary. Their front 7 should be good and they still have Heath Harding at cornerback and lol Blue Hose lololololol.

My flex player this week is going to be A.J. Ouellette. Walk-on player who got a scholarship after only two weeks of practices in Athens last year. The guy can absolutely ball out and is basically the best part about Ohio's offense. They've got an experienced offensive line, which should be beneficial to him.

Lastly, we both have a team from each other's conference that will lose for bonus points. Tell me which MAC team will lose this week. Remember: you can only pick this team once all year, so pick wisely!

Jesse: I love walk-on players. I like them even more when they earn their scholarship with attitude. Oh, and I still love Frank. I'm glad he's still doing his thing at Ohio.

I realize that I only get to pick them once, but I'm going with the early points to hopefully up my record and dominate early. I'm taking Akron against Oklahoma. I just don't see any way the Zips take on the Sooners in Norman. I could be wrong, but I just think that it's gonna be ugly. Doesn't help that you'll also be hearing Boomer Sooner all day and want to rip your eardrums out.


Pfft, good luck with that, Jesse!

And good fellows of the Hustle Belt community, we're going to be doing this every week of the season, re-picking these teams and releasing half of our rosters on this blog and the other half of our rosters over on Off Tackle Empire. Let us know what you think of this!

GO #TeamHustle!