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The best uses for a deck of cards / Playing games worth playing in these times

It is a horrible time for the world, but a good time for games. As it is an expensive and space consuming hobby, I know many of us don’t have access to everything we’d like to play. Over a few years I researched for myself the best uses of a deck of cards – easily portable, easier to get people to the table (oh yes! I play cards!), usually available. It seems like the right time to share the results.
I’ve organized the below into both frame of mind (I want to Think, I want to Pass Time, I want to Laugh) and player count. Player count is focused on who you have – I didn’t put games necessarily where they are best, but rather “if I have four people, what is my best option?”
A brief calibration: I still have my 1995 first edition of Settlers of Catan. I’ve got roughly 80 games in my basement curated from the last 25 years and know the rules to twice that number. My favorite games are Tigris & Euphrates and Race for the Galaxy. This isn’t boasting (certainly not around here) - it is meant to be context so when I say these are games “worth playing” you have a better sense of what that means.
Links to rules. Hope this is helpful.
When you want to think:
For 2:
· Khmer (2 players): Khmer begins as a math and probability game, but quickly evolves into the psychology space and bluffing as you and your opponent learn the game. It gets better with more play, as it has room for different metagames and strategies, and the winner will be the one who remains one step ahead. In essence, you are trying to move cards between your hand and the table such that your total is MORE than your opponent, but LESS than the table – and you are rarely sure what your opponent is holding. The deck requires six 6’s – we use face cards for the 6’s and A-5 for the 1-5.
· Dibs (2-3 players): This is also a psychological game, where you will win by predicting your opponent and staying one step ahead. The core conceit is simple, you each have an identical deck (1-13), you are bidding on another pool of cards (worth face value), and high cards win. The twist comes because you have to use your entire deck of 1-13 to bid, and you can’t win everything. The game is more commonly known as GOPS or Psychological Jiujitsu, but I feel those names are both bad and inaccurate, so we’ve adopted this name instead.
For 3:
· Fight the Landlord (3 players): This is the best 3-player version of the “Big 2” family of games from East Asia. Big 2, or climbing games, are a race to empty your hand before your opponents. There is wide room in choosing what to play when, and how to break up your hand, meaning you will be making both difficult and important decisions throughout each and every round. Highly addictive, and good hand play will nearly always beat out a lucky deal.
The rules get a bit lengthy when it comes to what cards can be led, so you will either want to make a crib sheet or simplify the rules to mirror Tichu (below). The game will play just as well.
· 99) (2-4 players): Another trick-taking game (see note below) on my list. The mechanism for bidding in this game (in a nutshell, removing three cards from your hand) is simple, but introduces asymmetric, hidden information and requires you to make trade-off choices between your desired hand and your desired bid. This adds a bit of crunch to the model without making the game inaccessible to new or more casual players.
For 4:
· Scotch Bridge (Really 4 players, but can stretch to 3-6): Also known as Oh Hell, Pratt & Whitney, La Podrida, and others. This is a trick taking game, and I nearly universally dislike those (see note below), but it wins me over for two reasons. First, you aren't trying to win the most tricks but rather to value exactly the strength of your hand and then hit that bid - which means you are engaged in every single hand. Secondly, the handsize will range from 1 to 13, and each handsize meaningfully changes the feel of the game. 13 is a pure test of trick taking skill, 1 is a Mexican stand-off with your chips on the table, and 7 in the middle is a wild ride of big bets and lady luck.
As noted, this game has numerous variations. Most make little tweaks to the scoring, max handsize, and order of hands. In general, I prefer a positive form of scoring (10 for hitting your bid, 1 for each trick, penalty for how far you missed your bid, etc.) and playing hands from 1 to 13 and back again.
· Tichu (4 players): In my opinion, the best of the Big 2/climbing games. Same as Fight the Landlord, the goal of the game is to be the first to empty your hand, but it requires skillful play in knowing when to play, when to pass, and what to lead. You can never go on autopilot in this game. Tichu is played in 2 vs. 2 partnership and has elegant rules for scoring, both of which make this one of my favorite games of all time.
A note on the game – It is technically designed and published by a Swiss designer. However, if you research it, he played more the role of an editocurator, (quite masterfully) going through regional variants of Big 2, compiling the best, pulling in some scoring rules from other games, and polishing it all into the glistening pearl it is.
A note on the deck - it requires four jokers. You have three options 1) Find two decks with the same backs and mark up the jokers 2) Equally mix two decks so there is an even mix of two card backs, again including and marking up all four jokers, 3) Removing the jokers and using the four 2’s as the jokers, with a crib sheet in the middle of the table mapping the four suits to the jokers. Or you can buy a Tichu deck.
5-6 Players
· Fossil (4-8 player): This is an auction game using a deck of cards. Winning a bid will net you points but losing a bid will constrain your future options - as well as provide key information to your opponents. These decisions are the core drivers – what to set out for auction and when to throw down on someone else’s auction. In the end, the game is a mixture of psychology, strategy, and luck, leaving room both for clever play and for big moments when everyone groans and laughs around the table.
It can play 4-8, but plays best at 5-6. The first game or two generally feels casual and luck driven, but as the game clicks you may start seeing how you can influence the state of the table by choosing what to auction, or how the timing of your bid can win or lose you the hand. Like Khmer, this game grows on you over the first couple of games.
· Napoleon (5-6 Players): This is a Japanese trick-taking (see note below) game. What makes it stand out is the hidden role. Each player bids individually, then the winner (Napoleon) declares a Secretary card. Whoever is holding this card is secretly on Napoleon’s team, unbeknownst to everyone (including Napoleon). This leads to bluffing and deduction during play, with players uncertain about when to win a trick and when to ditch their low cards. It’s an excellent knife twist in the side or what is too often a rote playing-out-of-hands in standard trick taking, and it creates a social environment ripe for discussion and laughter at the end of each hand.
Napoleon is very similar to Briscola Chiamata, but in my opinion plays better as it removes some unnecessary complications from that latter game. It also draws comparisons to Schafkopf/Sheepshead, but again I think this one does it better.
· Skull & Roses (4-8 players): This is a pure bluffing game – think Poker without hands, only you, your opponents, and your wits. If that doesn’t capture it for you, just accept that this is amazing. You all place cards on the table until someone starts bidding, then it’s a gamble for who thinks they can flip the most cards without revealing a skull. The tension comes because, if you win the bid, you have to flip ALL of your own cards - so if you’ve played a skull, you lose. But, if you play all roses, you’re making it easy on your opponents. Choose wisely when you want to bid to win, and when you want to bid to entrap your opponents.
The game is usually played with coasters, but just as easily you can give each player one face card as their Skull and three numbered cards as their Roses. Or mark up any stack of two sided, identical objects in your house – I’ve heard of people playing with sweetener packets at Denny’s.
1) A note on trick-taking:
I don’t like it. Pure trick-taking – think Vanilla Whist – is not devoid of skill, but it IS quickly masterable and rarely surprising. A set of skilled players will play the same hand the same way every time, can guess the outcome before play even begins, and state it with certainty after 2-3 hands have revealed voids or singletons.
Most trick taking games, therefore, overlay something else to add interest. Things like complex bidding (Bridge, Skat) make the games inaccessible to new players, and turn them into objects of study more than play. Things like small hand sizes (Pitch, Euchre) throw the game into heavy luck, and often throw you into the backseat, passively throwing cards on the table until you are dealt a hand worth playing. This is fine to keep your hands busy while you drink, but isn’t what I look for when Gaming (with a capital G).
Nonetheless, I’ve included four trick-takers. My criteria are straightforward:
  1. You have to be able to bid and play whatever hand you get. Games like Spades and Scottish Bridge don’t ask you win as much as you can, but rather to exactly value your hand. Playing a bad hand can be just as engaging and difficult as playing a good hand.
  2. They need a single, straightforward twist to add interest. Napoleon adds a hidden role and uncertain partnerships. 99 asks you to secretly remove cards from the game, manipulating suit length, while trying to deduce what your opponents have removed. Hearts asks you to consider and risk when to win a trick and when to lose. These all give you something to think about throughout the game, sometimes require you to shift tactics midgame, and don’t require a course of study to properly learn (I’m looking at you, Bridge).
I anticipate the comments will contain passionate counter-arguments. So play and make up your own mind. I’ve played a lot and am now offering the best advice I can.
When you want to chat and pass time:
None of these games are chutes and ladders. But they do offer more luck and simpler decisions, for the most part, allowing you to while away hours and spend as much time talking to your opponent as you do thinking about the table.
2 Players
· Cribbage (2-4 players): Cribbage plays out in two acts. You and your opponent(s) lay cards on the table, trying to hit or avoid certain sums, with a few bonuses for creating pairs or runs. Then you look at your hand (and the crib) to make combinations worth points. There’s a bit of a list to remember, for what scores you points, but with that mastered the game settles into an easy rhythm of regular dopamine hits and little pegs on a board. Hitting 15 and hunting for your melds is utterly enjoyable. This is the perfect game to crack open a bottle of something together and seamlessly move back and forth between chat and play.
· Spite & Malice (2-4 players): This game feels like Spit - without the frantic pace, slapped hands, and bent cards. It’s also like multiplayer solitaire, except reverse to how that term is usually used. The rules are built on real solitaire, but you will be very much intertwined with your opponents. Hence the spite, and the resulting malice. I know couples who play this frequently, keeping a running score for the entire year.
3 Players
· Shed / Palace (3-5 players): This game goes by many names, not all of them polite. I was taught it as “Screaming Yoda” and it was over twenty years before I learned that the game was known worldwide by other names.
Anyway, Shed is a race to get rid of all your cards. Instead of a winner, there is one loser (the last one). The rules for playing cards are simple, and sometimes you’ll be forced to pick up 20 cards all at once. But it’s fine, everything’s fine. You’ll get it back.
The game plays out in multiple acts and often swings back and forth, lending it excitement and perpetual hope. Not overly strategic, but engaging and fun from start to end.
4 Players
· Canasta (4 players): The Archetypal Argentinian game. Canasta is an ageless, breezy, push your luck game of set collection and making odd faces at your partner across the table, trying to read their mind without communicating ("May I go out?" "No." "G****n you what a f**** mess why didn't you play your Canasta before.")
It feels a bit like Rummy, as you are drawing and discarding to collect sets of cards with your partner, and trying to out-collect your opponents. However, the team dynamic, the scoring rules, the wild cards, and the end-game make this an entirely different animal.
The game has a frustrating amount of rules – though they are all simple, the sheer number means some time to learn and then time to familiarize/memorize. As is the way with most longstanding, cultural games. Nothing that a crib sheet and a few run-throughs can’t solve.
· Cuarenta (4 players): Now hop over to Ecuador, and this is the national game. The central conceit is much simpler than Canasta – play one card onto the table, trying to capture the cards already on the table by creating matches or runs. But, as with Canasta, there is then a laundry list of footnotes to be memorized with edge cases and scoring.
That said, once digested, the game is simple, breezy, and endlessly entertaining. You’ll do better if you can calculate odds and count cards, but at the same time you can still enjoy yourself (and still win) by just playing your cards and sipping your drink.
· Hearts & Spades (4 players): As mentioned, I’m generally not a fan of trick taking (see note above). I include these because they don’t overinflate themselves. They know they are simple trick-taking games, they add a touch of spice for interest, and just leave it at that. The result in both cases is a pleasant way to pass the time.
For Hearts, the good bit is the shifting winds, trying to decide at each point when you are trying to win and when you are trying to lose. Each hand is a puzzle, how to throw your hearts at other people, how to win those tricks with your high cards at the right time, etc.
For Spades, the central challenge is in correctly valuing your hand, then playing to hit that value. Keep in mind that others may start tanking their own tricks to hit their bid, which makes the ground under your own feet increasingly unstable. Depending on how the cards come out, you may find yourself scrabbling for just one more trick, or suddenly shifting to trying to lose because someone had an unexpected void – it’s that agility that comes from the shifting landscape and the fact that every hand is a chance to play THAT hand that makes Spades a game worth playing.
When you want to Laugh and have fun:
Sometimes you want to laugh more than you want to win. Sometimes you just want to have fun, without taking on any stress. These are those games.
2 Players
· Cabo) (2-4 players): This plays better at 3-4 but is the only one I’ve found for the bucket that does work for 2. At it’s core, it is a bit of memory, luck, and playing the odds – you are swapping facedown cards around the table, but you don’t get to look at all your cards. So you need to figure out what you have, what your opponents have, and choose the moment to strike - when you think you have the lowest hidden total.
Cabo is a relatively modern game, but even so there are a handful of different origin stories and many minor rules variations. Play one set of rules to start and, if you like it, you can check out all the possibilities and stick with your favorite.
3 Players
· Ricochet Poker (3-8 players): It’s a light betting game – can play with quarters or crackers, whatever you like. The game is simple and draws from poker rules. Each round you get one more card and have to decide whether you want to pay to stay in or fold. It’s more accessible than poker, so is easy to “wing it,” but you still get the agony and thrills that come from winning or losing the pot.
· Manipulation Rummy (2-4 players): If you are familiar with Rummikub, this is that game exactly but with two decks of cards (instead of tiles). If you aren’t – this builds on the foundation of Rummy, but all melds are played onto the table. Where it shines is the fact that you can break, reform, and rearrange ALL the cards on the table on your turn, in order to find a place for more cards from your hand. The joy is in hunting for that one opportunity on the table so you can wow everyone when it comes to your turn.
4 Players
· Cockroach Poker (3-6 players): This is properly a game that should be purchased, but in these times you can make a deck using two decks of cards – 8 each of 8 numbers (I recommend A, K, Q, J, 7, 8, 2, 3… it’s a cognitive psychology thing, just humor me). You’ll be passing cards facedown around the table, asserting (truthfully or falsely) what the card is. The game is in correctly guessing when someone is lying or telling the truth, as well as in the politics of not being the last person at the table to receive a card (after everyone else has already seen it). Every time you lose a challenge, the card goes face up in front of you. Collect too many cards, and it’s game over. This one is amazing.
5-6 Players
· Eleusis (4-8 players): I originally learned this as “Delphi,” a streamlined version that is more appropriate for kids. This version has more teeth to it and should delight all ages. One player takes on the role of god (think Zeus) and secretly writes down a law that all cards played must follow. All the other players must then, by trial and error, figure out that law and get rid of their cards. This is harder than it sounds. What makes it work is that Eleusis has a number of scoring rules that put balance into the game – you want the rule to be hard but not too hard, etc.
This game will earn many rounds of play. What is nice is it also has a co-op feel. Yes, you are all trying to be the first to guess and play your cards, but on the other hand you are all in it together trying to decipher the divine law you’ve been given.
submitted by MurphMurp to boardgames [link] [comments]

Should I buy into the stock market now or pay down my mortgage? (need math help!)

TL;DR: I have an extra $20k per month that I usually put into a brokerage account, but my dad (a retired accountant) thinks that money will do better in the short term (1-2 years) going towards paying down the principal on my mortgage. Who is right?
I've been a redditor for many years, but given that others know my main account, I plan on using this account on /personalfinance so my friends and family don't have the full details of my financial information.
So when I first got a mortgage last year, I got a great deal using a physician loan program: 2.75%, 15 year, no PMI. Principal was about $400k on the loan after my down payment. Conventional wisdom at that time (this was in the spring) was that I should pay the minimum payments on the loan and not pay any additional towards the principal because my money could do better than 2.75%. Any extra money I made that I didn't need should go towards my brokerage account.
Now, with the market downturn, my father (a retired accountant) has suggested that instead of putting my extra money towards my brokerage account, I should sink it into the house. His thoughts are:
  1. With the market in a decline, betting on the house, which gives me a guaranteed 2.75% "return" is a safer bet than betting on the stock market to be able to give me anywhere close to that. (My 403(b) and SEP are all down about 30% right now, but since I don't need that money for another 30 years, it doesn't really matter--it'll eventually come up in the long run)
  2. If the world is about to come to an end and/or I lose my job, I'll at least not have to worry about a roof over my head.
I know everyone says just to continue to throw money into the stock market, but I haven't found a good calculation as to why that's better than building up some cash reserves, and waiting for a further drop before continuing to invest. I'm not talking about trying to time for the bottom, but just delaying putting money in for a few months. Everyone keeps repeating the worn out sayings "don't try to catch a falling knife" or "time in the market beats timing the market" but no sources are ever cited when people reply with those quotes.
Here is my situation:
Income: Guaranteed a minimum number of hours on a 1099 contract of $26,500 per month. In the event I don't get my minimum number of hours, I still get paid. I've been here about a year now, and we're always offering bonuses or overtime. I don't see this changing anytime soon. My lowest month was $35,000 so let's use that as a conservative measure of my monthly income. I earn this on a 1099. I also have a W-2 part time job for my health insurance, 403(b) match, etc, but that income is negligible (I pick up the minimum number of hours - average of 5 hrs/wk - to keep benefits and that's it--more than half my check goes to taxes and benefits). Assume (conservatively) $35,000 per month of income.
Emergency Fund: Funded fully in a HYSA for 6 months with no lifestyle changes, plus an extra $10k for emergency home repairs. Could probably stretch to over a year if I cut back on eating out, and other discretionary items. (Read: I should be OK even if something bad happens.)
Expenses: Mortgage is $3500 per month, Utilities are $200, Things that go on credit card (rewards card, I pay off in full every month) are $2200 per month. I know, not a conventional budget, but it's easiest for me to categorize it this way and I'm not really looking for help in cutting down spending so I didn't figure groceries vs gas vs discretionary was important for this post. My biggest expense is setting aside money for taxes - I estimate at about 25% for this year, so ~$8750 per month. Total: ~$15,000 per month.
If you're detail oriented, you'll note that I didn't include my SEP contributions in there. They come from my annual bonuses (not included in income) which works out to almost exactly what the max contribution is.
This leaves me $20,000 per month that I put into my brokerage account. I have a small "play money account" where I do some day trading on my days off and try to beat the market (I usually end up doing a lot of work and just breaking even, but it forces me to do research and learn about investing--I'm still very new to this) and the rest goes in a long term account.
So, over the course of 6 months, I could pay off an extra $120k in principal of the house. Should I do it? Or should I throw this money into the market? My dad and I tried to do the math but came up with wildly different answers, but both pointed towards putting money toward the house. Anyone else want to help take a stab at this?
submitted by monkeymedic2020 to personalfinance [link] [comments]

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PTI, DD part II, this thing can be a 50-100 bagger in three to four years

So, this is a continuation/update/addendum to my writeup earlier
I wanted to address some issues with my previous writeup, while also sharing some advances in my thinking (while eagerly awaiting data)
  1. I said the doublet had 8% ppFEV, this was incorrect
    1. The PTI doublet had 6.6% ppFEV (and there are some concerns banks had about how this was calculated)
  2. The triplet is what had 8% ppFEV (also with same concerns banks had on how this was calculated)
As a starting point, I highly recommend you read the following slides that were presented at the Piper Jaffray Health Conference last week. accompanying the previously linked webcast
In addition I wanted to cover some additional topics
  1. Sizing of European market
  2. Parts of the non-European market that are still unmet
  3. Valuation of VRTX currently
  4. Projected PT for PTI
  5. How did this do previously on good data vs bad data
  6. Why did market drop the stock back in March
  7. Near term expectations
  8. Personalized CF solutions

Sizing of European Market

From the presentation, it is estimating there to be about 48k people that have CF. They say 1/5 people does not have access to a treatment option.
In reality, the existing options are not great (VRTX's other drugs all super expensive, doublets, and low efficacy currently, along with low tolerability by patients).
So let's assume we can actually capture all of this population except for the 2k in EU people that have genotypes not able to benefit from typical CFTR modulator treatments (I wish I could explain the science behind this better tbh but there's a group of people for whom this class of drugs doesn't work).
That's 46k people. Trikafta and the other drugs VRTX has are priced from 270k to 311k. If PTI offers their doublet (even at 6.6% ppFEV it's the second best solution except for Trikafta), it can sell for 100k and earn 4.6B in revenues from the Europeans.
Heck, I saw a report from 2013 which claimed there were 10k people in the UK with CF, which means 900M-1B in revenues annually just if they pass in UK, ignoring the rest of the EU.

Note also, the EU desperately wants to avoid caving to VRTX predatory pricing practices. Given this is a very good second alternative, and some people may find they are getting worse effects with Trikafta anyways, this will get rapid adoption in EU. It's just a question how fast it can get fast tracked and how quickly they can complete Phase 3 and file an application for approval.

Other Unmet Needs in non-European Markets

In the US, the best solution that will be available will be Trikafta. However despite this claiming 10% ppFEV, the CEO mentioned that in the clinical data, there are 2/3 of people who are experiencing <10% ppFEV, and 1/3 of people that actually have <5% ppFEV (which is worse than PTI doublet).
There's about 30k people in the US with CF, let's assume 10% of that group is in-eligible due to genetic makeup reasons.
If of that group we say 1/3 of the population isn't having a great experience with Trikafta, and 2/3 may actually experience lower efficacy, then the opportunity size for PTI (assuming the drug is still second best) is anywhere from 9-18k people in the US.
Again, 100k per year, that's 900M-1.8B in revenues long term.

Valuation of VRTX currently

VRTX is currently valued at around 55-57B market cap with around 260M shares outstanding and a 220$ price per share
If you look at their last twelve months revenue it's 3.62B with 2.14B in net income (around 8.24$ EPS)
Analysts expect it to get to 4.4B revenue in 2023, 6.6B revenue in 2025, potentially with faster rump up
In six years people expect it to almost double sales/revenue (which makes sense since the overall CF market is growing from more solutions being available and patients living longer)
From a price to trailing sales POV, that's 56.5B Market Cap / 3.6B TTM sales (about 15-16x multiplier) From earnings POV, 56.5/2.1 = 28x multiplier approximately
If you look at it as a six years out expected Sales, then it's 9-10x multiplier

Projected PT of PTI

So if we look at the above European market and the unmet needs of the US market, in a perfect world with amazing execution, if PTI took all of the European market share it would have 4.6B in revenue in several years time. If PTI took 1/3 of the US market it would have an additional 900M to 1B in revenue
This is all assuming they never beat the results of the VRTX triplet (which they still can achieve even if not in pending Ph2 data, but in subsequent work)
In this case with a 5.5B annual revenue we are looking at them being valued (let's assume this is our six years out expected sales), of 45-55B dollars.
Let's assume they capture 1/4 of the European market by 2022 (let's assume they commercialize by 2021, which is possible given they have orphan drug status, are in fast track effort to get the drug to EU, etc) that's 1B in revenues. Just England alone would unlock this 1B in revenues to be clear
That gives them a 16-17B market cap if we use the trailing sales 15-16x multiplier
Today it's at 220M market cap, we're talking a 50x move in market cap, ie something in the 220$ pps range
If they actually capture all of Europe, this thing can literally be a better version of the VRTX behemoth by offering affordable and higher quality PTI treatment options around the world. If they have better results than VRTX Trikafta then the sky's the limit.
So the conservative case is 1B in revenue and 15-16B in market cap, if they manage to hit anything better than that in terms of execution for EU market or encroach on US market, or the rest of the world outside of the US and EU, then 100 bagger seems fairly doable (ie something in the 300-400$ pps range)
I kind of really want them to avoid selling out to be honest, I think the shareholder gain potential is higher, unless they got bought out for a premium in the 10B+ range imo (what BP wouldn't want to buy a potential multi-billion dollar cash cow, that can theoretically reach double digit billions in revenue long term)

How did this do previously on good vs bad data

October 18, 2018 After Hours they had released Ph1 data that was viewed very positively for what I understand to be at the time some of the best results seen to date (this was prior to Trikafta's ph3 trial results).
The share price had closed under 2$ the day before, opened in the 5$ range, and then closed over 10$, around a 4-5x move on 93M shares of trading volume. A few days later price settled in the 7s before an offering was announced and it settled in the 5s.
When they released ph2 14 day trial data March 25th pre-market, with data that had not been well received by market (covered below), it fell from around the 4$ range to open at 1.89 and fall to close at 1.30 (next few days it bounced around before long term going under 1 dollar, AIUI this was actually below the value of the cash they had in hand)
So the potential is there for huge swings positive or negative and that too something that moves the stock price in huge magnitudes (either drops 50-75% or increases 200-400%)
Today the price is around the same level it was pre-phase 2 14 day trial data, ie something in the 4-5$ range. This bodes well for if we get great data

Why did it drop on the ph2 data
As I understand it there were a number of issues with the way things went down that made the market sell off big time
  1. Trikafta had just released it's numbers previously achieving AIUI a never before seen level of ppFEV improvement (10% on homozygous patients, 13.8% on heterozygous patients)
    1. This set a very high bar for the PTI drug to hit
  2. The trial was focused on assessing dosage risks and concerns vs efficacy
  3. The trial was set up in majorly different ways from VRTX like studies
    1. There were people included in the study due to urgency and difficulty finding people to enroll, that were sicker and hence in worse condition than VRTX studies
    2. 14 day trial (intentional, earlier stage trial) vs VRTX being 28 day/24 week long studies in Ph2/Ph3
    3. The population sizes were smaller
  4. PTI tried to do a sub-group analysis, showing the performance of the doublet and triplet drug on the healthier populations of patients, which made the numbers viewed skeptically and untrusted especially given sample sizes were small already
  5. The numbers even at that point were 6.6% ppFEV and 8% ppFEV for doublet and triplet which were seen as worse than Trikafta even if both were better than all other drugs out there on market by VRTX (barring Trikafta their triplet)
  6. Trikafta had a plateau effect on efficacy after 14 days, so people assumed same for PTI's doublet and triplet. While we see this for the doublet, it's unclear what the final result for triplet will be, if it plateaus same point or not.

Short term performance

This time, there are a few things that can make us feel better about how this will go
  1. The experiment is set up to have a diverse population that is all generally healthy (see slides for details)
  2. The experiment is for 28 days, so we may see improvement if triplet doesn't plateau
  3. They adjusted the dosage finding the better combination of the doublet dosage to improve efficacy of doublet and triplet based on the combination of the drugs that did best in the 14 day trial. They also adjusted the third molecule, which according to folks more familiar with chemistry, may interfere less with the first two molecules who now have higher dosage and more of an effect.
In general I think even if we see slightly better results than the 14 day trial, this will be a great result, as it will be on a longer time frame, larger set of patients, and not be a sub-group analysis, so this should bolster confidence in PTI. The other factors of their doublet being on track to commercialization are just bonus icing on top. If doublet and/or triplet matches or beats Trikafta, again off to the races
Note there is still risk market mis-interprets or doesn't buy into this, but either way long term as outlined above we will see PTI reach a multi-billion dollar market cap as long as they execute well and see similar performance in Ph3. Hence hedge near term accordingly if this goes south, but if you have shares or long dated calls I think we'll all be ok
Remember in addition, there is better tolerability with their doublet than Trikafta's drugs, they only need to be taken once a day vs Trikafta's twice a day treatment, and the delta in price with a potential higher efficacy, this is a no-brainer option for fast adoption and commercialization.

Personalized CF solutions
Generally the news this morning was positive though already covered in the conference call. The fact it's a fully funded by Europe trial is great, as it also helps PTI expand into an area of serving that 2k patient population in Europe/the 3k patient population in the US that even VRTX cannot benefit today. These sorts of personalized treatments are exciting because not only are these people who have no solution, but personalized treatment techniques may mean higher efficacy and better tolerability for the patients.
The fact they collected 300 rectal samples (when just last week the presentation said they had collected 200) and have already tested 65 in lab and found potential benefits that warrant this going to trial, it is a really positive sign. When PTI presents the data for this in January, this can be a nice potential catalyst to keep any big rallies going.

My current position
So about 15k in shares (401k is 10k, brokerage is 5k), 6-7k in July calls, and a speculative bet on December calls and puts that I'm fine losing if the data is opposite what I expect or market reacts poorly.
I'm hedging if we see a near term downturn. The only thing that worries me a bit at the moment is whether we see data by the 19th or not as my December options may expire worthless, but given I have July calls and shares, and may roll portions of my calls forward if we don't see data by Monday next week, I'm willing to take that risk for the sharp upside
This is my analysis, your decision is up to you ultimately, none of this is a blind recommendation from me so please stay within your own personal risk tolerance of guh, but I believe this is a good bet and wanted to share it with my fellow folks.
submitted by cpgupta561 to Biotechplays [link] [comments]

Whole-History Ratings - My Year-Long Journey to Create an MMA Rating System & a Thankyou to r/MMA

Previous Posts & Full Ratings
This isn't really going to be the usual kind of post I make about the rating system, so if you're here to see any specific data or expecting numbers and charts, I'm sorry to disappoint today! This is the story of how the Whole-History ratings came about and why I'm still working on them today. I've also left thanks to those people who left comments that kept me working on this despite all the failure and changes this project has gone through.
EDIT: If you don’t want to read the whole story, just skip to the last section 🙂

Finding a Problem

It's been over a year since I started my journey to find a more effective ranking or rating system for MMA. I don't know the date that I started working on the project, but my first post about it was back on the 4th of September, 2018. This whole project was inspired by seeing a video on youtube that chronicled the entire history of the UFC rankings for some specific divisions. I noticed that there were a lot of times that rankings changed with no reasonable justification that I could see. I'd only been watching MMA for about a year at that point (thanks to Bisping vs GSP) so there was a lot of discovery to be done.
Being curious about how these rankings were generated, I was quite shocked to see that they were generated through a few individuals voting for who should be in which position. Further investigation showed me that even the most popular unofficial rankings on Tapology were generated by community votes. This seemed naturally wrong to me as those rankings could be easily subject to popularity, exposure and general bias or out-of-cage events.

First Steps

Being a football fan, I'm used to having league tables generated seasonally by awarding 3 points for a win and 1 point for a draw, with goal difference being used to distinguish teams with the same number of points. This was my first idea for implementing a ranking system. I decided to award 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and then bonus points based on the round that a fight ended, taking the last 5 fights within 2 years to calculate this.
After putting all of this together, building a dataset and creating the first iteration of my rankings website, I proudly posted them here. Inevitably, these rankings got heavily criticised by the community here, pointing out many issues and flaws with what I'd done, plenty of new arrivals to the UFC who were nowhere near being ranked had just as many points as champions and the deeper the division was, the more outlandish the ratings were.
While this was very disheartening to me, having put a lot of work and time into writing this whole system and spending money on hosting for the website, one comment caught my interest, someone mentioned the Elo system to me, which isn't something I'd heard of before or had any knowledge of. For a while, however, I took the site down and ceased work on the ranking system, believing that there was no way I could do anything approaching a reasonable job at making a ranking system.

Needing a Project

At the early point of 2019, I reached the last year of my degree, I'd been working part-time from home on a degree in Computing and IT for 5 years at that point and for the last module, I would be required to plan and produce a project of my choosing and report on it. Struggling to think of what to do, I remembered my pitiful attempt at a ranking system for MMA from months earlier and since there was still no good system I could find, I decided to restart the project and use that for my degree.
Remembering the Elo system mentioned before, I went and investigated it, writing my own implementation of Elo, in some cases adding various modifiers and constantly trying to tweak it to produce reasonably accurate results. While it worked better than the points system I had made before, it also was horribly flawed. If you believe that Donald Cerrone is the best fighter in the world, you might have agreed with it, but I didn't and so I had to continue my journey.
The next thing I looked into was TrueSkill, which is Microsoft's ranking system used for various online games. It's similar to Elo but instead of simply having a single rating value, it would also track a confidence value as well, the more games you play, the less your rating should move because the system would become more confident that it had the correct value for you and If you lost where you were expected to win, your confidence would decrease. This seemed like a possible improvement.
Digging around online led me to find an old abandoned implementation of TrueSkill that I carefully updated and included in my project. This seemed like it was a lot more accurate to me than the Elo system, however, there were still many major issues with it. The obvious one was that while it was easy for someone to climb the rankings early in their career, once they got a strong certainty, it would take a long time for them to drop once they started losing. I still have this system running on the website and even today Fedor Emelianenko is the number 6 ranked fighter in the world pound-for-pound.
At this point, I was starting to get a bit worried overall, both the systems I had looked at had failed me and I was thinking that perhaps I should try to find something else for my final project or even delay it and try again next year.

Discovering Whole-History

Searching around for anything to try and help me achieve my goals, I stumbled across a whitepaper by Rémi Coulom titled 'Whole-History Rating: A Bayesian Rating System for Players of Time-Varying Strength' which I read through. I understood very little of the mathematics that I was looking at, but what I did understand was that this rating system seemed to propose a solution for all of the issues present in the systems I'd tried before.
With Elo and TrueSkill, you store a value or two to represent the rating of each fighter, then, when a new fight happens, you take the ratings of both fighters and the result and it gives you their new values. It's a linear rating system that goes forward in time and would theoretically get more accurate as more fights happen. This isn't how Whole-History works at all.
With Whole-History ratings, you generate everything in one go, you input the data for every fight that has ever happened and then you iterate over that data, generating ratings for every single fight that happened at the same time. With each iteration, the ratings are smoothed out to form what would be a line graph of that fighters estimated skill over time. If you take a fighter on any given day, their rating is influenced not only by the fights that happened before that day, but also all the fights that happened afterwards as well.
The way I like to describe it is that if you were a boxer and you fought and beat Floyd Mayweather in his debut fight, under other rating systems, you'd gain very few points for that win since Floyd would only have a low, default rating. As time goes on and Floyd wins his next 50 fights, in hindsight, your win against him looks far more impressive than it did at the time, but your rating wouldn't change. In Whole-History, your rating will be increased to reflect that your win indicated that you were more skilled than originally assumed.
The same goes the other way around if you are the first person to defeat an undefeated fighter, normal rating systems will reward you greatly for it, but if they then go on to lose their next 10 fights in a row and everyone realises that actually, time caught up with them and they aren't as good anymore, your rating would be reduced to reflect that.

The Work Begins

Once I discovered this rating system, I set about implementing it. I searched around and found an implementation of this rating system on Github that is being used for an online Go website and over the course of a month or so, carefully ported this library into the language that the rest of my project was using and also implemented the ability to have drawn results, something that the original system didn't do at all.
Armed with my new ranking system, on the 2nd of March this year, I posted the ratings and predictions for UFC 235.
The response was not as bad as before, but still very mixed. I was criticised for Walker being given a very low rating, which was simply a result of only having two of his fights in my data and another commenter said that it 'sounds like a system Robin Black would come up with' which I took to mean that it wasn't very good.
As the results for that event came in, I finally felt like I was onto something. The ratings successfully predicted that Usman would beat Woodley, Askren beating Lawler and that Munhoz would beat Garbrandt among other correct predictions. In fact, it correctly predicted 8 of the 12 fights on the card and I posted the next day with my results and some thoughts on why some fights were predicted wrong and what to do next.
I continued posting predictions for the next few events with varying success and to varying responses. I was asked to stop posting by one person because I was apparently 'losing people money' when they were betting on the rating system, something I never asked or told anyone to do. Some cards had really poor predictions, others had more accurate predictions and the biggest factor seemed to be how many of their fights I had in my data. The next step seemed obvious, to try and compile the most complete set of fight history I possibly could.

Expanding The Data

With the first round of testing complete, I went back to my dataset and completely rewrote my data gathering application. This was the biggest task in the entire project and was the point I came closest to abandoning the entire thing.
I wrote multiple processors that would gather all the new results from multiple different sources and store each of them, which worked just fine. The problem though was finding a way to match up the duplicated data in each set and to, at the same time, work out where data was directly contradicting. There were and still are many places that had one person fighting someone at an event and then the other source had them fighting a completely different opponent at the same event.
There was also the issue of nicknames, some places used nicknames in place of real names while others would just use their actual name. Some other people have the same name as each other but are completely different people. This was a massive undertaking and after months, I still don't believe I've been able to get it working perfectly, but it does work and I'm yet to see the same fighter show up twice in my data. I'll save you all the tedious details of exactly how I did it, but it consisted of many late nights and all of the coffee that Cuba has ever produced.
Finally, I set up the website to actually display the results for everyone to see and browse as they want. There are ratings from amateur fighters with only a single fight in obscure promotions all the way up to the very top of the UFC and all of that data is used to calculate the ratings (which is why the fighter records might seem wrong if you look at the site, they include amateur and exhibition fights in the overall record).

Finishing Up

With the rating system now roughly complete save for some minor tweaks here and there, I wrote and submitted my final report in September this year and I'm due to get the results on Monday next week.
The rating system has an overall predictive accuracy of 66% as I've posted before and with the data, I've been able to produce plenty of what I hope are interesting graphs and posts on this subreddit. I plan to continue doing so for as long as people show interest.
The reason I'm making this post isn't just to share how this all came about, but more to thank everyone who left positive and supportive comments along the way, as well as the people who gave me helpful suggestions and made me think about solutions to the problems I was having. I'm not a confident person and I'm very easily dissuaded by negative feedback, so without those comments, I doubt I'd still be working on it today and I certainly wouldn't be paying £70 a month on hosting to keep the rating site running.
I can't thank everyone who has given me support as there's been plenty of comments and discussions outside of my actual posts, but having gone back through all of the previous posts, I'd like to thank u/throwawaybjj44, u/blownclutch3000, u/WonkDog, u/ALAVG, u/BasiPrime37, u/JapanSage, u/creatorsellor, u/PatriotScum, u/iamkingofkings123, u/SteveXmetal, u/czv3, u/weighinsJoannajizz, u/S18P120, u/xyzxyz94, u/RIZIN_Max, u/cambodiadashcam, u/kneeco28, u/branduNe, u/Junesfoshiz, u/Mckenzieajm, u/DiarrheaMonkey-, u/laydowndead, u/ricosuave3355, u/340g and u/2049509468 as all of you have either given me supportive comments, shown interest in this project or made me think about something I need to do differently and it's because of you that I'm still doing this right now. Also, thank you to MMA because without this place I'd have nowhere to share this project in the first place!
The project isn't over, but the first year is! I hope I can keep on improving the ratings next year and keep your interest as well as maybe improve that 66% accuracy to something even better!
submitted by Kezyma to MMA [link] [comments]

AR D Teambuilding

I play AR for a relatively long time now and usually get to tier 26 or 27 (I currently have 15 golden thrones, not as many as some veterans have but eh).
I often see newer players here struggle to build good defenses, so I thought about writing down some basics what a good AR D team needs. If you find something wrong feel free to correct me. I won’t recommend specific setups or tell you something is horrible (except for corner units) because I want to encourage you to be creative and most of the time something unexpected works best.
The basics
First and foremost you should have a specific plan what you want to do with your team comp. Just jamming 6 good units together usually won’t work very well. Your units need to have synergy with each other, every single unit needs to have a purpose for what you want to achieve. Usually you want to use 4 star units because they are far better mergeable and stats (especially hp) do matter. Next I briefly want to cover the most common offense Strategies and how a good defense teams counters them.
This should be your biggest concern because its still the most common tactic. You want an answer if someone slaps a big beefy unit on a tile in your range. This answer could be something like: a flierball Est that quads the enemy with an armor effective weapon, a legendary alm that sweeps in and gets danced, some crazy special spamming of some really high damage units, savage blows, a seliph that lunges the tank into high damage units, panic smoke etc. There are a lot of possibilities here and you usually want to have one and support this strategy as best as you can. Make sure that none of your threat range is tankable by testing your AI as much as possible. Keep in mind that the attacker might try to smite a tanky unit in to kill one of your units in Player phase. If your team has a lot of mobility and create a lot of chaos they can snipe your enemys support unit and weak backliners, more about that later. A unit you should be wary off is Brave Ike. Everybody has him and his damage reduction makes him difficult to deal with. Strong red units with Aoe specials and/or hardy bearing can counter him. Especially in higher AR tiers people started to use speedy Bikes to counter hardy Bearing units that try to counter him, keep that in mind. Dragon and armor effective weapons are a plus but not mandatory. On the higher tiers (25,26,27) there aren’t many people that use these units anymore.
Hit and Run
A player tries to snipe one of your units, backs off and picks them off one by one. This should be your next concern. People (myself included) love their Pve nukes. This is the reason why boxing your units in is a terrible idea. There are two ways to counter this strategy: A) Make your units unsnipeable, either by having well placed traps, a large threat range or bulky frontline units that will survive Hit and run nukes. B) Extent your range, it doesn’t matter if they sniped a frontline unit if your high damage dealer can catch their nuke or dancer. This is usually done with: wings of mercy, flier formation, ground orders or dancers in general. A combination of those makes that tactic pretty irrelevant, its far easier to make a good team unhitandrunable than untankable. As always testing your own defense helps a lot.
A player tries to get a unit low and let it kill your team before they have a chance to attack themselves. Hardy Bearings is a special seal with an unique effect that negates attack priority. This is your best bet against vantage units, use it on a high damage unit! A good vantage player will try to kill your Hardy Bearing, which means you should make it unsnipeable, support it so it can’t be killed easily or have a second answer. These second answers consist of razzle dazzle healers, firesweep weapons, windsweep etc. Try to keep in mind that your bolt trap can be your biggest enemy (keep it low level, you want the interrupt, the damage it deals is counterproductive). The enemy shouldn’t be able to step on it if your units can’t immediately follow up on them. Special mention to Kronya because she is pretty overhyped. Kronya doesn’t need to be low herself but needs her enemies to be to starts vantage sweeping which means a well placed healing tower makes her unusable against your team.
For every defense team out there, there is probably a Galeforce team somewhere that can beat it but you can make it difficult for them. If you have space on your frontliners b slot/s you might consider using guard. Steady stance 4 is a premium option for your dancers and frontliners to make Galeforce more difficult. Although the most important aspect is probably your unit formation. You want to avoid unit blocks (an enemy unit blocks a ranged unit so your ranged unit can’t attack, can’t move and blocks your other units from moving aswell) this usually happens when your units occupy only a tight space. You don’t want to make the space to open because your team would be weak to hit and run but with testing you should be able to find a good balance.
Next I want to adress some other important aspects of a good defense team
Create chaos
Especially better players will try to calculate how your units move, how much damage their tank takes etc. Try to make these calculations as difficult as possible. Flier formation, Wings of mercy, Ground orders, dancers (especially L!Azura with her 3 move), shoves and other special shenanigans will make it difficult to predict how the AI will move. The faster and the more chaotic a team is the better. AI Manipulation is important here to make sure your team moves the way you want them to.
Defense Mythic heroes
The first one gives you 20less lift reduction, the second one 40less in total. You get +1 less with each merge you have up to possibly only -20 on a full lose. Use them if you have them. They make team building a bit more tedious but it’s definitely worth it because you will lose matches sometimes. Try to implement them as best as possible and make them part of the engine. Far to often I see a poor Duma in the backrow with his base kit and no armor boots. If you manage to get 7 merges over 2 mythic heroes. You will only be able to lose -33 lift which is a big threshold for max defense rewards. You probably shouldn’t use Legendary Heroes if you use def mythics because you can’t bless them and lose more score. (You can use them in their corresponding season but you will need a replacement if it’s not the right season anymore and don’t like the extra score lose, furthermore its ab bit tedious to change.)
You want to use 0-2 dancers in your team. Good dancers have: high hp (63 is the threshold to dodge an unmerged neutral hp Bridal Fjorm) thats why you usually run Hp +5 in the a and s slot. Low attack to not get baited, a dancer will always attack if he can to 5 damage or more and you want them to dance your other units. High attack units like dancing Reinhardt aren’t good design. A movement B skill like WoM or Flier formation if you only run fliers or something like sudden panic. Some supportive special effect on the weapon. L! Azura is probably the best dancers but you can’t use her too well on teams with def mythics. The difference between infantry and flying dancer is that Infantry unit can Infantry Pulse and flying dancers can use flier Movement skills. Weaponless and/or level 1 dancers are also an option to prevent them from passing the damage check to attack.
Does and don’ts
Do read Mias AI guide (Fehs Ai is actually pretty complex but you can get a lot better as a player if you know how your Units and the enemy units move) Do watch your defense replays and improve your team with the information you get. Do use Debuffs and in combat buffs. Don’t box your units in Don’t use visible buffs (Aversa is the most common support unit and you don’t want to get shutdown by panic, you probably can play around it, the AI certainly can not, there are some scenarios where you want visible buffs, for example if you have a rally trap with a blade mage that’s gets danced but 95% of the time its a bad idea) Don’t use immobile units somewhere they can’t reach or have terrible follow up. Don’t use reposition on your units, it might be the best assist in your hands, but the AI can’t use it properly, (as always there might be an occasion where it works wonderfully for you, in that case use it)
Defensive Structures
Here I want to mention all defense structures, discuss them and rank them. I will use 4 tiers. You should always use the bonus structure to get extra stats.
Tier 0 God
Duo’s Indulgence By far the best structure in the game and probably in any game. The fearsome wings will devastate your enemies and you will be in tier 27 the moment you select it and afterwards probably delete your game because you are so satisfied with your life. Jokes aside, this is completely useless. Seriously why does this even exist. I even had to look up the name because I think there isn’t even a single game this was used against me. It might be meta 2025 when trio heroes finally arrive but if you aren’t a time traveler or the biggest whale in history (and face your friend the second biggest whale in history that for some reason only uses duo heroes) this probably isn’t worth considering.
Tier 1 Top
Fortress Not really a structure because you cant not use it but it is really useful that you are able to wall off an extra tile on your map.
Healing Tower A well placed healing tower the most important structure your team has. You want to keep it in a safe location to heal chip from Bolt tower or from Savage blow units.
Gravity Trap This thing interrupts enemies if they try to attack from a space where the real grav trap is. The extra grav effect is nice aswell. In general you want to place your 4 traps so the enemy can’t hit and run or Galeforce your team and can’t safely test them without getting deep into your threat range. I wont mention the two fake traps on the list, just use them like the real ones.
Tier 2 Good
Panic Manor This structure can make tanking fairly difficult if its well placed. The biggest problem is that on higher tiers players use 60+ hp units which this won’t have an effect on.
Tactics Room In some team set ups this can be useful to prevent hit and run or slow the enemy down to stall for some extra turns. The same problem with the panic manor applies here which makes it a bit inconsistent.
Catapult Usually you want to use this, if you use it, one the 3rd or 4rd line. These are the usual bolt tower places on offense but its a gamble if you actually hit it and some teams might not need it to beat your defense team. Also its a fairly high invest because you need to max it if you want to hit the mostly maxed bolt towers.
Dark Shrine & Bright Shrine If you have space, they are a nice addition. Most better players have support unit to „soak“ the debuffs from the tanks, so you won’t always benefit from them. Which one is better depends on your team comp.
Bolt Trap This one is a double edged sword. Don’t upgrade it, it will hurt you more than it helps you because players can set up vantage here and the trap works on your team aswell!!! On the other hand its still a trap that interrupts attacks which makes it fairly useful in preventing setup.
Tier 3 Useless
Schools They aren’t completely useless but the effect is so slim thats not even worth mentioning.
Duo’s Indulgence Complete thrash. I honestly forgot the name of this thing again and had to look it up a second time.
Tier 4 Will benefit the enemy player
Bolt Tower Only use this in the right bonus season and don’t upgrade it. You don’t want to damage the opponents and give them free Vantage, Desperation etc!
Lastly I briefly want to mention the most common def themes and some special tricks. There are a lot of well written guides for this out there so I will keep it short. Just keep in mind that there are a lot of different things that can work and creativity will be rewarded. I added some descriptons from user ArsSol
Infantry pulse
You try to abuse the skill Infantry pulse to precharge your specials.
IP teams typically have high health units run short CD or specials that help with tanking and lower HP run higher CD specials. A way to counter IP teams is to try to disrupt the "IP chain" on turn one if possible by reducing an IP user HP to be lower than someone they are pulsing.
Flier Ball
You stack ward (or goad, but ward is superior imo) fliers and utilize flier formation to catch enemy units offguard
Flier Balls shouldn't run assists like Reposition as it can make it harder to the ball to stay together. Pivot and Swap are better alternatives.
Cav line
You try to limit your enemy’s ability to safely deploy his units by using some ranged cavs.
Cav Lines get most of their momentum on turn 2 as turn 1 is when they start moving towards the opponent one at a time. Making sure the cav units survive/kill the enemy turn one is crucial otherwise it is just units running to their deaths. Razzle Dazzle cav units and hard nukers are common in this strategy.
Armor Ball
Armor Balls take advantage of the ward stacking and their high stats but are extremely weak to chip and poking without a healing tower or healer. Having a flier with Ground Orders (B!Micaiah as an example) makes them significantly harder to deal with. If you are using ranged armor units (like W!Cecilia), giving them Armor March/Boots and Bold fighter can make them near impossible to tank with the right special. The most important thing is that you don´t just see them as stat sticks that survive for seven turns. Be creative and make their follow brutal if someone tries to chip.
Rally Trap
The moment an enemy is in range one of your backliners uses a rally skill (usually res, because visible buffs aren’t something you want to use and res hurts the least) afterward he/she gets danced and might be able to attack a backliner or the tank that previously wasn’t in range. The unit that rallies will try to do it from the point closest to the right corner or in case of a rally up, from a point where most units can benefit from the buff.
Restore Trap
A healer with restore+ will move forward and restore a debuffed or paniced ally, to gain more reach. The best restore traps are where your restorer gets danced and ends up in the same position, they started from if no enemy is in range.
Well that’s everything that comes to my mind atm. I had a lot of fun writing this, feel free to ask or criticize if something is unclear!
submitted by Merit776 to FireEmblemHeroes [link] [comments]

I’m 40 years old, live in Queens, NY, and make $80,000 a year as a Billing Supervisor

Apologies in advance for the wordiness of this. I’m wordy. *shrug* I also don’t really talk about what I do on a day to day basis at work, as I don’t want to get too specific. Billing Supervisor is only one part of my responsibilities, but to use my actual title would identify me almost immediately.
Salary - $80,000. This is my salary only, I am not eligible for a bonus.
Side Income - About $5,000 a year. I proctor standardized tests a few times a year. This number also includes cash back from Ebates/Rakuten (paid out 4x/year), credit card rewards, mileage reimbursements, and cash incentives from work for wellness.
Paycheck Amount (twice a month, after taxes & deductions listed below) - $1,930. This should go up after I move, when I will no longer have to pay NYC income tax (3%). Not sure what the net effect will be on my check yet. Probably small, but always welcome. Income from side hustles isn’t consistent enough to include on an ongoing basis. I treat all of that like bonuses.
401k - $18,500. I contribute 10% of my salary pre-tax, and my company matches 4%. I’m invested in a target date fund (2040, I think?), and am currently 50% vested in the match. I’ll be fully vested in a year and a half. I’m wayyyyy behind on retirement, but making a concerted effort to catch up as best as I can.
Savings - $30k. This is spread between a few accounts, nothing earning much interest right now. I just purchased an apartment right outside NYC, and am doing some renovations, which this money will be spent on. Once I finalize all the costs, I’ll be looking to open a HYSA for the remainder. If there is one. Which there probably will not be. *cries*
Checking Balance - $8k. Much higher than usual due to recent apartment purchase. Lots of money has been moving in and out (mostly out #sadface). I usually keep about $1,000 in here and only use it for bills, I don’t use my debit card for anything anymore.
Equity - $40k. This is an estimate, based on what I put down on my apartment. Once my renovation is done, I’ll ask my broker to informally re-asses the value.
Mortgage - $154,600. This is braaaaaaand spanking new. I won’t make my first payment until November 1.
Student Loan - $3,880. Almost paid off. These make me mad. I’ve been paying them off for years but don’t have a degree to show for it. I do plan to go back when life calms down a little (lol! famous last words), and I’ll probably have to take out more loans but hopefully not too much.
Car Loan - $12kish. My car is 4 years old and in great condition. I bought it 2 years ago, and have a few more years on the loan. No plans to trade it in anytime soon, although I may, if I have any money left after the reno, throw a chunk to this loan and refinance to get the interest down a touch.
Credit Cards - $0. No credit card debt….for now. I currently run all expenses that I can through a rewards card and pay it off in full every month. I am going to try not to incur debt during the reno process, but I find it unlikely that it’ll work out that way.
Monthly Expenses:
Rent - $1,800 for a large one bedroom, I live alone. After the reno, I will move into the apartment I just purchased which is a two bedroom with a terrace. My combined mortgage/maintenance (like HOA) payment will be around $1785, before I add any extra payments (which I do plan on doing). Maintenance will include property taxes, heat & hot water. The last month I will pay rent is October, and the first month I will pay mortgage/maintenance is November.
Utilities (Gas & Electric) - $125, this is what I budget every month. Comes in much lower in the non-summer months, and around that or a little above when I have the ACs in. My landlord pays for heat & hot water. No idea what to expect for gas & electric for the new place, but I am responsible for the same utilities.
Renters Insurance - $13.50. This will be cancelled once I move. I pre-paid my first year of homeowners insurance upfront, and will likely cash flow this for the first few years. It was $352.
Internet - $60.36. This will be $62.48 after I move, for a slightly faster plan. Since I work from home a lot and stream all of my TV, I am interested to see if this is better. Different provider as well, so it won’t be an apples to apples comparison. I’ll actually start paying for internet at the new apartment this month, I wanted to get it set up early, so I can work from there if needed during the renovation.
Gas (Car) - $70 or so. This is what I budget. I try to get gas in NJ whenever possible, as it’s a lot cheaper. When I travel to our Philadelphia office, I am reimbursed for mileage which more than covers the gas. However, I like to include it as a budget line item so I can treat the reimbursement as bonus money.
Hulu - $5.99. I mooch off a friend’s Netflix, and use my mom’s cable log in for everything else via Roku. I manage her account for her and claim this as my admin fee lol. Prime is listed below in annual expenses.
Cell Phone - $95. On a family plan with my mom and grandpa. Account is in mom’s name but I manage this as well. The $95 is for my portion of the bill and my phone payment. My phone will be paid off in December, and I’ll probably get a new one soon thereafter because I like shiny things. Last time I paid a phone off, I dropped the insurance coverage (since if anything happened to the phone I’d just get a new one, and my monthly responsibility was down to like $55. I’d like to see if I can manage to settle for my two year old iPhone for a few months to save that cash but I have impulse control issues when it comes to shopping sometimes, as you’ll see).
Medical, Dental & Vision Insurance - $181.22. Deducted from my paycheck pre-tax, $90.61 a check.
Transit - $130. Deducted from my paycheck pre-tax, I pay $65 per check. I just requested an increase for this to $90 a check (after I move, my commuting costs will go up significantly. I am trying to adjust slowly to the increase, but not sure when it’ll go into effect in my check). After I move, I will increase to $125 a paycheck. My train ticket will be $246, and I will also need to fill a MetroCard, I will do so with cash. How often I’ll have to fill depends on how many days I am in the office (usually 2-3 a week, I work from home 1-2 days and go to our other office often).
401k - $666.66
Hair Color - $50. I have dark hair, and it’s going grey rapidly. The grey rudely sparkles in the sun, so I get my roots done every month. I go to a cosmetology school, and they always do a great job. The service costs me $30, and I tip $20.
iCloud Storage - $2.99. 200GB storage plan. I started running out of room on my phone a few years ago and opted for this plan. Haven’t run out of room since. Not sure if I still need it, as my phone has more memory now, but it’s cheap so it’s fine.
Car Payment - $265.98
Car Insurance - $235.72. This should change a little after I move, hopefully go down. I know it seems like a lot but welcome to NYC. This is actually quite good. It’s half the price of what any other company quotes me. I have a completely clean license, and take the online 5 hour course for the discount on liability every 3 years, so there’s really nothing I can do to lower it significantly except relocate, which isn’t really an option.
Student Loan - $130.95. One of my loans is scheduled to be paid off in a few months, and this will drop to about $80.
Gym Membership - $0, I don’t currently belong to a gym but there’s one near my new apartment that I am going to check out after I move, it’s around $40 a month.
Not monthly, but recurring expenses:
Therapy - $30 is my co-pay for a session, and I usually go every other week. I’ve met my out of pocket max for the year so I don’t have to pay any more co-pays this year.
Prescriptions – About $35 every 3 months for a 90 day supply of 2 different meds. Same note, I don’t have to pay for these for the rest of the year. And yes, I’ll be stocking up towards the end lol.
Freshly meal subscription - $60 for 6 meals when I choose to order. I have an overabundance in my freezer right now, so I won’t be ordering for a while. I usually get this every 6-8 weeks.
Beachbody on Demand - I am on the every 6 months plan, so I pay $59 twice a year. After I move, if I get into a good groove with the new gym I want to try out, I may cancel this. I’m not currently using it, but I don’t mind paying for it to keep the access for now.
Annual Expenses:
Amazon Prime - $119
Car Inspection/Registration - $95. Car registration is $136.50 every other year, and inspection is $27 per year. I tend to just cash flow this instead of putting it aside in advance. My dealer has given me a free inspection for the last 2 years.
I might be forgetting some!
Not budgeted:
Medical – I handle these as they come up. Thankfully I have good insurance, and usually just have to worry about a co-pay. I see a lot of specialists, so that adds up throughout the year. I’ll be opting into the FSA next year to set money aside to cover these.
Non-Retirement Savings – Once I am done with the reno and have a better idea of what my new monthly costs are, I’ll re-jigger my budget to plan for savings.
Charitable Giving – same as above. Everything right now is done on an ad hoc basis.
Day One (Monday):
5:45 am – Up super early. Every other Monday, I go to the Philadelphia office. I drive there, so I can do it on my own schedule (and get reimbursed for mileage!), but to beat traffic, I have to leave at 6am. I make myself a large cup of tea in my travel mug and get dressed (I shower at night so my morning routine is suuuuper abbreviated: take thyroid and allergy meds, get dressed in clothes laid out the night before, pee, brush teeth, eye cream). I remember that I need to reload my Starbucks card, so I pop over to the computer while I am waiting for the tea to cool off a little before lidding it and leaving. I purchase gift cards via Raise, for a small discount. I buy a $50 gift card for $46.42, and earn 46 cents from Ebates which will be added to my account and paid out in November. $46.42
7:35 am – My dummy light comes on when I’m about 12 miles from my exit on the turnpike. Thankfully I make it to my preferred gas station (although I’m pretty sure I coast in on fumes). Hopefully this fill-up will last me til my next trip to Philly. $32
8:15am – I get to the parking lot, park my car (will pay when I leave), and place a mobile order from the Starbucks down the street for a Venti London Fog latte (I don’t drink any coffee, just tea), egg white egg bites, a bottle of water, and a smoked turkey protein box for lunch. I like to get my lunch in the morning so I don’t have to find time to go get something. I don’t usually eat lunch, but because my days in Philly start so early, I’ll starve if I skip it. $20.66 from my pre-loaded Starbucks card (expensed)
9:00am – I check my toll tag account, and decide to load money onto it a little early. I usually load $75 every paycheck, which covers the $52 in round trip tolls for my trips to Philly (reimbursed), and $25 of personal usage. Since I closed on my apartment, I’ve been using the toll tag more (it’s a bridge away, which is $12 round trip). This is just temporary, and I’ll use it a lot less for personal trips after moving. They just raised my automatic replenishment threshold and amount, so I keep a close eye on it and try to refill it manually. $75
11:30 am – After an obscene amount of tea, I run to the Macy’s downstairs to return some dresses. I ordered 3 dresses for my holiday party a few weeks ago. I know it’s freakishly early, but I have trouble finding things that fit me properly, so I want to start looking early. Two of the three didn’t fit, so back they go. The third fits, but don’t know if I’ll go with that one or something else yet. $279.27 gets refunded back to my credit card, and for some reason I also get $4 back in cash. OK. I wander through the dress section to see if anything catches my eye. I find something on clearance that’s meh, but when I try it on, it’s like 3 sizes too big. I didn’t love it, but for $50, worth giving it a shot. It was sequined, so it was itchy and heavy. Kinda glad. When I get back upstairs, I calculate what the remaining balance on my credit card is before what I spent today, and I schedule that amount for payment.
12:30 pm – I get my second contractor quote – this is the guy I clicked with and want to use. I’ll assign him an initial since he will probably feature a lot in my diary this week – R. It’s painful, $23k, but there’s a lot in here that I won’t do. It’s itemized, so I can remove items I don’t want. I email him a few questions, and he responds quickly, letting me know that a $5k line item isn’t truly necessary but he included pricing since I asked him to. I convert his quote into my budget spreadsheet so I can fiddle with the individual components and decide what I want to remove. Nerd. I live and die in Excel lol.
1:30 pm – While my computer is downloading a huge update package, I book my flight ($443.90) and car rental (155.39) for an upcoming long weekend in LA. I use points for one way, and pay for the other way. I upgrade my seats to extra leg room both ways, because #treatyoself (this is probably the last time I’ll travel for a few months). I pre-pay for the car rental, because it saves like $40. I go through Ebates for this and get an email later that I’ll get $4.26 added to my account. $599.29
4:00 pm – I wrap up and head out for the day. When I’m in this office, I usually leave at 5 or so, but I have a light day and want to stop by a few stores on my way home without getting home at 9pm. I pay for parking ($20.76 expensed), and out of the city approximately 7 minutes later. Yay for no traffic yet!
4:30 pm – I hit a few stores before settling into the highway portion of my drive. One of them is Home Depot, and I get 4 copies of one of my new keys. I find out that my top lock can only be copied by a locksmith. My building’s front door key can only be copied by my super, I left him a message earlier in the day asking him to make me 4 copies for when I see him on Friday. $11.09
6:15 pm – I stop at my usual rest area along the route home, pee, and get another London Fog latte and some madeleines ($8.05 expensed). I stop at one last store to look at some appliances and am thoroughly disappointed. I get back on the road, and am home around 8. Round trip tolls for the day are $52.24, expensed. My landlord’s kids are practicing the piano when I come in. *deep cleansing breaths* only 2 months to go. (No hate on the kids, I think it’s great that they play the piano, and are well rounded. It’s just that the sound of anyone practicing an instrument is the worst. I’ve asked my landlord if there’s any way we can soundproof a little better, and he dismissed it. Now he makes jokes about me not liking their playing. Don’t take it personally dude, my favorite musician could be practicing and I’d eventually tell him to go away as well if the sound came through my living room floor while I was trying to decompress from a day at work…)
9:15 pm – After catching up on emails that came in since I left the office a few hours ago, and browsing online for light fixtures (#somuchshopping kill me now), I make a sad but delicious dinner of Lean Pockets and head over to the couch for the season finale of The Hills. I am unreasonably annoyed that this week it started at 9, not 10, and I’ve missed the first 15 minutes. While I watch, I browse through some different shopping sites on my phone, and find one of the too small dresses I returned earlier today at another store in a bigger size. It’s more expensive, of course. I leave the page open to think about it. During the show, I also get the last contractor bid I’m waiting on (even though I’m 99% sure I’m going with R, I want to review all the bids before making the actual decision). IT’S FORTY ONE FUCKING THOUSAND DOLLARS. Not including any materials. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I had a feeling that one was going to come in high but this is ridiculous. I don’t even look at the itemizations, because there’s no way this bid can ever come into line with my budget. I text E, the friend who recommended R, and tell him I’m going with his bid, but ask him to not let R know until I do tomorrow. I stop by the computer after the episode to update this entry and see an email that my expenses from my last Philly trip have been processed and will be in my account on Wednesday. Yay! I take a quick shower, brush my teeth and do my nighttime skincare routine before bed - - St Ives Apricot Scrub, Clinique Mild Liquid Facial Soap, Clinique Exfoliating Lotion 1.0, Khiel's Midnight Recovery Eye Cream, Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair with retinol, Khiel's Midnight Recovery serum mixed into the first of two layers of Clinique DDML. In the winter, I bump it up to 3-4 layers depending on how dry my skin feels. I crash into bed around 11:30, after setting up my travel mug for tomorrow's tea and laying out my clothes.
Daily Total – 763.80 OUCH
Day Two (Tuesday)
8:30 am – I slept like total shit. Woke up around 2am, and then wasn't really able to get back to sleep. You ever had one of those nights where your body is beyond overtired and your mind is racing? Ugh. Alarm goes off at 8:30, and I get up to put the tea kettle on to boil, then lay back down while I wait for it to boil. Once it does boil, I pour the water, get dressed (same basic outfit as usual - our office is very casual. For most of the summer, it's been sleeveless top, jeans and sandals), pee, meds, brush teeth, eye cream. Check email quickly before heading out. I try not to leave before 9:15, as the subways are really crowded before then. My hours are super flexible. As long as I'm the office before I have any meetings, it's all good (and people generally don't put meetings on the calendar before 10). I put in a lot of time at home, as well. I finish making my tea (black tea with Splenda & half and half), grab my lunch bag with the food I prepped for the week the other day, toss my computer into my purse, and head out the door. My commute is either a short bus ride or medium walk to a 25 minute train ride. This will also change after I move. Thankfully the bus is a stop away when I get outside, so I take the bus to the train ($2.75 on my pre-paid card, that is funded using my pre-tax transit account). There's a free transfer to the subway. I make a mental note to refill my card on the way home. I don't do the unlimited MetroCard, I don't take the train often enough for it to be worth it.
12:00pm - A coworker needs to vent so we go up to the in house coffee bar - they make killer drinks for $1. Unfortunately, my tea latte is made incorrectly, and it has coffee as the base. Coffee, Earl Grey tea, steamed milk, and sugar free vanilla are not the combo I wanted. Blech. I make a valiant attempt but I just can't do it. I decide to eat late (even by my standards) breakfast. Every week, I make egg scramble kits (bacon, cheese and eggs) - they're an adaptation of those Just Crack an Egg things you can buy in Target but way cheaper. I tend to eat this around 11:30, skip lunch because I'm not hungry, have a late afternoon snack, and then have dinner. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I also talk to R, the contractor and accept his proposal. We talk next steps, and set a meeting for Friday at the apartment to nail down a few last details. $1
3:30 pm - I head to the kitchen to grab my breakfast for tomorrow (taking it home because I am going to work remotely), and come across leftover pizza. I am not hungry, but you bet your ass I eat the pizza. I pack up and leave a little early, deciding to work from home for the rest of the day. Before I get on the train, I stop at a nearby locksmith to copy the other keys I mentioned previously, and I also buy small key rings. $27.65
3:45 pm – On my way into the subway, I load $60 onto my MetroCard from my transit account (not counted since this money is deducted from my paycheck pre-tax. I’ve already “paid” for it.)
4:30 pm - I walk home from the train, and pass my ex's car parked along the way. It's def his, as it's pretty distinctive. Yay. Now I am going to suffer the temptation to text him for the rest of the evening. I stop at the grocery store and buy eggs, milk and craisins. I get home and get back online for a little while. I IM with some coworkers, check some emails, and call it a night. I'll probably go back online later on. I watch the first 15 minutes of The Hills that I missed last night, then collapse on the couch and put on Supernatural, which I finally started binging. $10.77
7:30 pm - After eating a lot of random snacks (I'm hungry but not in the mood for an actual dinner apparently), I wander back over to the computer to do some more work. While online, I order the dress I found last night, as there's only 1 left in that size. I do a lot of ordering online and returning. If this one fits, I'll decide between this and the one I have left at home and return the loser. If not, then I'll re-evaluate if I want to order yet another option. $270.01
8:30 pm – Shower, skincare, bed. I’m so tired I can barely think. Although I did manage to not text the ex. Small victories.
Daily Total - $309.43. Better but still too much!
Day Three (Wednesday)
8:55 am – I am sooo not feeling it today. Since I’m working remotely, I only have to drag myself out of bed, take meds, and put the kettle up, then sit right down at the computer. I have about an hour before my first call, and spend it going through emails that came in overnight, and checking my personal accounts. My expense reimbursement came in as expected, and I send that to my main credit card. I like to chip away at the balance throughout the month, this helps me make sure I can pay it in full every month. Plus most of the items I am being reimbursed for were put on this card. I also review a quote from my cabinet guy – a little higher than originally estimated (but that was a ballpark that was missing a few cabinets plus I added a few upgrades). I send him back a few questions, and update my spreadsheet like the lunatic that I am. I am going to try to make today a no spend day…..we’ll see how that works.
12:00 pm – In between meetings, I make some phone calls and send some emails regarding the reno. I set up appointments for Friday, get denied for multiple extra keys for my building’s front door (don’t get why but I am going to choose my battles. This ain’t one of them. Apparently no one is supposed to have extra keys?! But they’re making an exception to this to give me one extra. Kind of ridiculous but whatever.) I also putter around my apartment, straightening up a little (it’s usually very tidy but has gotten messy lately with paperwork and stuff), in preparation for packing it up. I eat breakfast (egg scramble that was meal prepped over the weekend), and run out to move my car for street cleaning.
3:30 pm – Finish up my last call of the day, and re-organize my to do list. I got a lot of nagging things off my plate today. I like to save these for when I work from home, I can multi task without people trying to talk to me lol. I also drink some water because I remember I am a human and need to hydrate. Been bad about that this week. I get an email confirming that the referral bonus for someone I recommended that was hired will be sent to payroll for processing (her 90 day probation is completed today). I should see it in my 9/30 check. The bonus is $2,000. Assuming I’ll see around $1,200 of that after taxes. This will all go straight to the reno.
5:30 pm – Sign off for the day. I found an ad on Craigslist for a dresser I want for the spare room in my new place. The seller is willing to deliver it (score!). She’s asking $30, but I give her $45, she drove about 20 miles here in rush hour AND helped me get it into my apartment. So much for a no spend day, but this saves me about $250 from buying it new AND I don’t have to assemble it. $45
7:30 pm – I do the dishes, take out the trash, have dinner (Freshly Sicilian Chicken Parm with Broccoli from the freezer), set up my travel mug for tomorrow, lay out my clothing, and settle in for more Supernatural. Hoping to be in bed super early again tonight, but I have plans to chat with my old roommate, M, and we always end up on the phone for 2 hours.
10:15 pm – Off the phone with M. It was great to catch up (we haven’t talked in a few months), but now this girl is TIRED. Shower, skincare, brush teeth, another episode of Supernatural, and bedtime.
Daily Total - $45
Day Four (Thursday)
8:50 am - Alarm goes off and I say no thank you. But I get up anyway. Put the water up, standard morning routine (meds, get dressed, pee, brush teeth). I check my email for a few minutes before heading out, and am in the office by 10:10. First call is at 10:30 today. Gonna try for a no spend day again lol.
12:00 pm – Finally make my breakfast and fill my water bottle. Busy day of meetings, mostly with senior leadership. There are not enough snacks in this office to make it through the day.
6:15 pm – I’ve had enough and pack up to go home. I decide that today is a good day to use my Starbucks Rewards to get a freebie. I mobile order my standard, London Fog latte, and hop on the train. When I get off the train, I’m tempted to take a cab home, but resist so I can try to make it one day without spending any money! There’s a line for the bus, and I decide I could use the walk, so I walk home. It’s misting lightly at the beginning of the walk, and has moved to full on drizzling by the time I get home, so I’m glad to be inside. I don’t have anything on my to do list for the evening, so I’m looking forward to a night of (let’s be real) TV and pajamas. Dinner is the same Freshly meal as last night, I have a bunch of that kind on the freezer and I want to start using them up.
9:30 pm – In bed at 9, but I don’t actually turn off the light until 11:30. Working from home tomorrow, and then have errands to run, so I’ll take a shower then. Brush teeth, eye cream, lights out.
Daily Total - $0 WAHOO!
Day Five (Friday)
6:00 am – I was planning to be up earlier than usual to get online earlier so I could go offline earlier, but I wake up at 6 and can’t sleep anymore, so I decide to get my day started. I have this afternoon off, so I will work until noon. Overnight, I got an email that a payment for the latest standardized test I proctored came in. I log into my bank account and realize that I also got paid (I get paid on 15th & last day, but if that falls on a weekend, it’s the Friday before). I run through my budget spreadsheet, pay what’s due to be paid this check (I don’t pay bills when they’re due, I pay them when I get paid – usually the check prior, it’s all scheduled out at the start of the year when I set up my spreadsheet). I also log into my mom’s cable account to pay that using her saved information.
8:30 am – after 2 cups of tea, I make 2 soft boiled eggs and toast for breakfast. Afterward I do the dishes and hop in the shower. It’s been a quiet morning so far, but I do have a few calls scheduled, and I want to get all of my personal life admin done before them. One of them ends at noon, so I am hoping to sign off immediately afterward and get right out the door. I get an email from the gift card site I buy my Starbucks cards from, that there’s an additional 7% all cards today. Was hoping to make it a no spend day, but I’m tempted….I have until the end of the day to decide. I don’t NEED to reload the card yet so I may skip it. I have to get myself out of the mindset of spending money just because there’s a good deal on something. Literally as I finish typing that sentence, I decide to check Macy’s to see if the 3rd option dress (I loved the smaller size I got, it just didn’t fit) happens to be included in their sale that I just got an email about. Not only is it included, so it’s 30% off, but Ebates is back up to 6% for Macy’s. I order it in the next 2 sizes. What was I saying??? This will bring me to 4 dresses for the party, I will obviously return 3. I’ll get a TBD amount added to my Ebates account in a few days. $242.36
12:00 pm – Last call over, out of office message on, and I head out to the new apartment. I have to stop at my mom’s to pick up some Home Depot items that were delivered there, and then I have appointments with the internet company to install new service, a carpet company I want to get pricing from, and R to finalize our plan. I have a few friends coming by this afternoon to see the place as well.
2:30 pm – I decide to purchase carpet from the company that came today. Not sure if this counts as an expense for this week or not, but I’ll include it for shits and giggles. I am carpeting 902 square feet of space, and the total comes to $3,887.41. This will be financed through them at 9.99% for 48 months. The payment will be $98.34, and I can pre-pay it. So much for not adding any debt for the reno… (although to be real, I knew this was likely. I wanted to finance it so that I can go back and see what I can pay off in full from the savings rather than committing to pay in cash). $3,887.41
4:00 pm – I meet with R to finalize his scope of work and to run some ideas by him. E, the friend who recommended him, also stops by to check the place out. My super comes by to meet R and chat, and gives me the one single extra key I can have. I’ll get billed for this in my maintenance, so nothing out of pocket now, but it’ll be $20.
7:00 pm – My cousin, T, comes over and we order dinner from a nearby bar. I pay. $33.47
8:30 pm – I head home to my real apartment, park my car, and walk up the stairs to see a LOT of packages waiting for me. One is the dress that I ordered on Tuesday (wow that was fast), and there are a few other packages that are apartment related that I ordered last week. Fun! It’s kinda like Christmas every day. There are two curtain rods from Target, and I do not like them AT.ALL. I’ll be returning those. I think they were like $18-$19 each. I go on Amazon and find comparably priced ones, plus I add one on for another room. I had ordered a rod for that room months ago, but I want them to all be consistent. I’ll find someone to give this one to, or I’ll try to return it. $60.02 (I hope I’m done spending money for the day!) I try on the dress quickly, and it might fit, but I can’t reach the back zipper, so it goes into the pile of dresses I need someone to help me with lol. $60.02
11:00 pm – After puttering around, and getting myself prepared for tomorrow (another busy day), I head towards bed. My body is trying to tell me that I’ve been awake too long, and I need to stop ignoring it.
Daily Total – $3,980.90 (I am literally nauseous. Even though I’ve been planning this for a while, and knew the money was going to be spent, spending in it these large chunks is so painful…)
Day Six (Saturday)
7:45 am – What? Whyyyyy…..I naturally wake up at this time but it’s actually ok, since I have a bunch to get done before I head out for the day’s errands and I won’t be staying at my apartment tonight. I’m puppy sitting!!!! Meds, pee, put the kettle up for my first cup of tea. While I’m waiting for the water to boil, I put bacon (that I defrosted the other day) into the oven to bake to meal prep for the upcoming week’s breakfasts.
10:00am – While I’m waiting for my breakfast to cook, I sit down at the computer, and check my work email (because I am a lunatic). I see a few things came in late last night that I’ll have to handle next week, so I add them to my to do list so as not to forget. I also put a few bathroom accessories into my Home Depot cart – a new shower curtain rod, a towel ring for the wall, the faucet, a new toilet paper roller thing for the wall holder, robe hooks for the back of the door, medicine cabinet. I initially intend to order, but get mad when I see that the price of the medicine cabinet has gone up by $75 in the few days since I chose it. I decide to wait until tomorrow night – I am returning a few things to Target that I’ll likely get a gift card for instead of a refund, so I’ll see if any of the things on the list are there. I have breakfast – 2 soft boiled eggs and toast, and do the dishes. I watch a few more episodes of Supernatural before heading out for the day.
12:00 pm – I make a travel mug of tea to take with me (I may have a problem), brush my teeth and load up the car with my laundry (I’ll do it at my mom’s house tomorrow), overnight bag, things I need to return, and a bag with some home décor items I am giving to a friend from elementary school. I’m heading back to the new apartment for an in home appointment with a Best Buy appliances specialist. They come to your house, measure, find out what you want and put together packages for you. It’s free so who am I to turn this down? I won’t buy appliances today, it’s a little too soon, but I want to see what’s what and then I can communicate with the guy as we move further into the process.
4:00 pm – Appliance guy called me at 3:45 to tell me that he had a family emergency and can’t make it today, but he’s very sorry and is going to give me sooooo many discounts. While I was waiting for him, I built out a package online. The level of appliances that I want is very well priced (and well under the budget I had estimated) once they’re bundled, so if he can cut me a deal on top of that, then all is forgiven. I pack up and leave, since that’s the only reason I came here today. I head to a nearby shopping center to do a return. There’s a Starbucks, so I mobile order a Venti London Fog latte, and pay using my pre-loaded card ($5.06).
5:30 pm – I get to my friend J’s house and let myself in the back door using the key she left for me. Her puppy is GORGEOUS but holycrap so much energy. I’m not really a dog person, I like the more laid back chill of cats, but this is fun. For the short period that it will be J I order some dinner – ravioli vodka, mozzarella sticks and tiramisu - $29.52
10:30pm – Puppy and I have been hanging all night but now it’s time for bed. Saturdays are wild, y’all. Change, pee, brush teeth, collapse into J’s guest room.
Daily Total – $29.52
Day Seven (Sunday)
8:00 am – I wake up and get to clean up puppy poop. She’s still new to the housebreaking thing. No matter how often I take her outside, she doesn’t seem to get that that’s where she’s supposed to pee/poop. She’s so cute and just a baby….so it’s hard to get upset with her. J has no tea in her house, nor does she appear to have a tea kettle. This is like CODE RED.
9:30 am – I finish packing my stuff up, put poor puppy back into crate, and head out. On my way, I stop at McDonald’s to get myself some breakfast. And some tea. I also buy my mother some food, and order a meal so I can have a second cup of tea lol. Then I head over to my mom’s house. $14.65
1:00 pm – While my laundry is going, I run out to drop off the décor items at my friend’s, and go to Target. I return the ugly curtain rods from the other day, and some other stuff I had. I then buy ginger beer for my sister, beef stock, half & half, grapes and a tension rod for the shower. The total comes to $39.97 (after some gift cards, and my mom or sister may give me some money towards this….not worried about it either way). I don’t like the tension rod all that much, but I can’t remember how much the fancy brand was. When I get back to my mom’s, I check and see that it’s cheaper *facepalm* so I’ll include it in my Home Depot order and return whichever one I don’t like. $39.97
6:00 pm – Laundry is done, we’ve eaten dinner (cavatelli with Bolognese which is delicious but it’s still a little too warm for it lol), and I head home. I unload the car, go park, chat with one of my neighbors for a few minutes, then head upstairs to get my Sunday evening list accomplished. Laundry gets put away, I find two sets of towels in my linen closet that can go into the donation bag, and I clean my purse out from the weekend debris.
8:30 pm – I place the Home Depot order I started yesterday. Glad I didn’t order then, because the medicine cabinet I chose is too big for the space. I order everything else in the cart, and put another medicine cabinet onto the “to be ordered and picked up at the store by R when he’s ready for it” list. Total comes to $166.54. I make a note to make a template of the different medicine cabinet sizes that I like to bring to the apartment this week for when I meet with R so I can choose one and be freaking done with it. $166.54
9:45 – Time for bed, I’m pooped. Shower, brush teeth, lay out clothes, tomorrow’s breakfast/snacks (some of the grapes I bought earlier) put in a bag, good night!
Daily Total – $221.16
Weekly Totals:
Clothing – $512.37
Food & Drink – $135.83
Gas – $32.00
Home/Renovation – $4,197.71
Transportation – $75.00
Miscellaneous (Target Trip) – $39.97
Grand Total - $5,592.17
Reflections: Holy Jesus. I knew this was going to be a weird week but DAYUM. If I remove the clothing (dresses) and stuff I bought for the renovation out, I’m at $882, which is still high for the week. Another good chunk of that will be reimbursed (I didn’t include the expensed items specifically, but some of it is indirectly covered). I’ll say that food & drink is a little out of the ordinary as well – not the amount, but I didn’t do any significant grocery shopping, which is usually a big part of my food spending for the week. I happened to be able to eat out of my freezer most days that I was home, and I ordered food when I was at the apartment or at my friend’s house! It’ll be very interesting to do a follow-up after the reno is done and I am firmly in the new place!!!!
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2019 r/NFL Top 100 Players (of the 2018 Season) - #40 thru 31

Hello everyone and welcome to this installment of players for this year’s NFL Top 100.
Today we bring you the players whose average rank placed them from 40 thru 31, with write-ups for each player from some of this year’s rankers.
We say it in every post, every year, and this year it is truer than ever: these rankings are for the 2018 season, so all players are listed with their 2018 team and all performances are based on 2018 performances.
And a reminder, don’t miss out on the Thursday posts this year, as they will contain all of the polls, the rankings for kickers and punters as well as a write up from one of our rankers each week, laying out their strategy for ranking the players in their list.
Now, with all of that out of the way, here are the sixth group of names on the 2019 NFL Top 100 Players (of the 2018 Season).

#40 – Alvin Kamara – RB – New Orleans Saints

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
--- --- --- --- --- 36
Player Profile Card
Written By: Lazy_Street
Alvin Kamara wrapped up his 2nd season in the league with his 2nd Probowl appearance, coincendentally he also finished 2nd in overall TDs. Everyone knew it would be hard to replicate his OROY season where he rushed at an unsustainable 6.1 YPC. Still he managed to top 1500 yards from scrimmage and increase his total TDs from 14 (rushing and receiving and returning) to 18 in 2018. Having arguable the leagues best tackle combination in Ramczyk and Armstead does make his job easier but his balance and anticipation is still tops in the league.
Unfortunately, he was overshadowed by even more spectacular RB play from players like CMC, Barkley, Zeke. and Gurley. Part of this is due to the Saints offense functioning different than those players offenses but also Kamara was much methodical in his yardage this year, only having one run that went for over 20 yards. This was the lowesst amount of "explosive" run plays by far in the leagues top 25 rushing, and I think it demonstrates in a single stat how Kamara was overlooked despite his gaudy TD numbers. That's not to say he was dominant or dangerous, because he absolutely was in 2018, it just happened in a much more measured clip..
With all that being said, I would still rank Kamara within the top 5 in the league and Top 3 out of the backfield as a receiver and has an otherworldly ability to make people miss in space or just straight up absorb contact and still keep his feet and is also absolutely filthy at running routes.
Kamara figures to have another special season in 2019 and he will continue to climb higher on this list and others.

#39 – Dee Ford – EDGE – Kansas City Chiefs

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
--- --- N/R N/R N/R N/R
Player Profile Card
Written By: Tdeath21
Depending on who you ask, Dee Ford either had a break out season in 2018 and is poised to be a superstar or he performed well in a contract year and that’ll be that. Regardless of what you personally believe, he was spectacular this past season. The Chiefs offense often did their part and allowed the Chiefs defense to focus on their pass rush. Ford feasted on this opportunity and elevated himself to that top edge level in 2018.
The most impactful thing a defensive player can do is to cause a turnover. Ford did his part there with 7 forced fumbles, tying him for the league lead. The second most impactful thing you can do is to cause the offense to lose yardage. His 13 sacks tied him for 8th in the NFL. So I think it’s pretty safe to say that Dee Ford was a big time impact player for the 2018 season.
Let’s take a peek at how he did it. Mostly, we can attribute it to his incredible speed and explosiveness. This allowed him to do things like line up inside and blow by the guard with ease. Poor guy had no chance. Nearly all of his sacks, however, were something similar to this one, where he just blows by the tackle on the outside with his speed and finesse. Playing in Arrowhead meant that speed rush around the outside was extremely tough to stop for the opposing tackle. And struggle they did. Those 7 forced fumbles he had were mostly strip sacks such as this one at the expense of Derek Carr. He mastered the art of swiping at the ball as the QB exposed it to make the pass. Of course he was an amazing pass rusher. We know that by the basic stat line. But let’s not overlook the fact that he was more than capable of using his athleticism to shut down the running game as well. Here we see him use his strength to close down the hole the run was designed to go through and force the running back to bounce it outside. He then uses his speed to contain the outside, get over to the sideline, and make the run stop. That's not a play every edge guy in the NFL can make, and Ford made it look fairly easy here.
No question about it. Ford was an incredible player in 2018 and was a top guy at the edge position, one which many consider to be the second most important position in all of football. His incredible explosiveness, speed, and athleticism allowed him to be one of the top playmakers in the NFL this past season. For his efforts, we have placed him at a well deserved 39 here on our list.

#38 – Cameron Jordan – EDGE – New Orleans Saints

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
N/R 70 N/R 67 39 13
Player Profile Card
Written By: Lazy_Street
Cameron Jordan was signed to a much deserved three year extension after another fantastic season. He was dominant throughout the entire season playing the run and pass equall well, Cam is one of the strongest EDGE players in the game right now. He pairs that with great technique and very sharp football mind.
He plays with great awareness, being able to avoid blocks and shed. When that fails he will straight up stonewall someone like he did against Todd Gurly and his TE.
Really I can show you at least 2-3 plays a game where Cam gets doubled and still manages to affect the passer or stop a run. He has been adding more skills to his arsenal, as he has dabbled in standing up off the line and it has been really effective in certain packages
But still one of my favorite aspects of Cam's play is his underrated athleticism. He was able to chase down Lamar Jackson on an option play in what was one of the best defensive games in the league last season.
I think he is slightly underrated checking in a 38 on this list but it's not as egregious as it could be, I hope to see him even higher on the list next year.

#37 – Andrew Luck – Quarterback – Indianapolis Colts

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
N/R N/R 33 N/R 35 N/R
Player Profile Card
Written By: jaysrule24
Rejoice, for He is Risen! After an astonishing 616 days between games, many thought Andrew Luck would never be the same again. And after five weeks, some of those may have felt that they were right. While Luck boasted a career high 66% completion rate, and a respectable 12:5 TD:INT ratio, he also had a paltry 6.09 Y/A, prompting questions of whether his arm strength would ever return. Questions which were amplified in week 3, when backup QB Jacoby Brissett was brought in for the final play, to (over)throw a hail mary in less than ideal weather conditions.
But then, after the ugly Thursday night game in New England in which the Colts failed to dress a full 45 men, and lost more over the course of that game, Luck and the Colts started to turn things around. After one more tough game against the Jets, where the Colts were still getting healthy, Luck entered a stretch of 5 consecutive games with a passer rating over 100. A stretch where he threw for 16 touchdowns to just 3 interceptions and nearly 9 yards per attempt in which the Colts won each game by an average of 16 points.
The Colts' noble neckbearded leader cooled back off a bit over the final five weeks of the season, but still finished the season on a ten game stretch with 23 TDs to just 7 INTs, nearly 8 Y/A, a passer rating of 106.8, while the Colts went 9-1 to roar back from a 1-5 start to make the playoffs and win a game in the wild card round.

#36 – Mitchell Schwartz – Offensive Tackle – Kansas City Chiefs

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Player Profile Card
Written By: TDeath21
Raise your hand if you’ve heard the following sentence: “The best and most elite tackles will always play the left side so they can protect the QB’s blind side.” If I could see you all, I’d bet that all your hands would be raised. That rule of thumb is not so true anymore, as the top tier pass rushers will often switch around to exploit the weaker tackle. Some will even almost exclusively line up on the offense’s right side. In today’s NFL, the right tackle position is just as important, and Mitchell Schwartz had that position on lock down for the Chiefs in 2018.
Are you a PFF fan? Some are and some aren’t. If you are a fan of them, his pass blocking efficiency was 98.1, good for fourth among qualifying tackles. His run blocking grade was 71.2, good for 8th among qualifying tackles. What about Football Outsiders? Do you like them? According to them, the Chiefs, when running behind the right tackle, gained an average of 5.64 adjusted line yards, FO’s statistic which attempts to separate the offensive line from the running back with regards to yards gained. This was good for 2nd in the league. I’d say it’s pretty safe to say that Schwartz was elite in both phases of the game. How about durability? He didn’t miss a single snap all season. Those ahead of him in PFF’s pass blocking efficiency missed at least one game and some missed a few more. Schwartz provided stability, durability, and elite play in both phases of the game at the right tackle position.
Alright. That’s the stat sheet. Let’s see him in action shall we? I admittedly didn't watch every single snap from him this season on the coach's film. What I did do though is focus on the big match up of the season. Denver. A guy named Von Miller (maybe you’ve heard of him?) went head to head with Mitchell Schwartz for two games, and this was a matchup worth watching every snap from on the coach’s film. I came away even more impressed with Schwartz. I calculated up how many times Miller was chipped by a tight end or a running back and also how many times Schwartz was responsible for a pressure or a sack when going against Miller.
The results? In week 4, 1 pressure. That's it. No sacks. And that's according to PFF’s game grades. It’s honestly one I have to dispute. The only one I found all game that they could have possibly charged Schwartz with was THIS one. The now famous Mahomes left handed throw. What's he supposed to do here? It's an overload blitz and it's one on three. He chooses the inside guy, allowing Miller and one other one to go free. That's Miller's one pressure he had against Schwartz. I guess they charged Schwartz with this one, but I'm not sure how. Like I said, it's the only one all game that I felt PFF could have possibly charged Schwartz with a pressure. Throughout the game, Miller threw everything at him and it didn't work. Bull rush? Check. Outside speed rush? Check. In the second half, Denver just quit trying to get Miller to the QB one on one. They implemented a few stunts to try to free him up. They realized not even Miller was getting there one on one vs Schwartz. How did Schwartz do on those stunts you ask? If you guessed chip Miller, pass off the stunt perfectly, then proceed to be an elite pass blocker, you were right. In the week 8 game, it was more of the same. Schwartz dominating one on one. Miller did, however, get his in this one. A sack. Happens. Especially with Miller. This was also the only pressure of any kind in week 8. Miller made it count.
Oh yeah. About that one on one stuff I've been saying. I've been saying that because in all the snaps of both games Schwartz pass blocked against Miller, he received a chip or a double team from a RB, TE, or OG 3 times. 3. 3 times in I don't know how many snaps between the two games. The Chiefs 100% trusted Schwartz to lock down the best edge rusher in the NFL in two separate games, and he did it in all but one play. Due to his incredible pass blocking displayed throughout the season, his great run blocking, and his insane durability, he lands here on our list at number 36.

#35 – Zack Martin – Offensive Guard – Dallas Cowboys

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
--- --- 59 41 24 17
Player Profile Card
Written By: readonlypdf
Zack Martin was one of the anchors of a strong Dallas Offensive Line. Despite playing 877 Snaps, split about 65/35 Pass/Run, he only allowed 3 Sacks, 4 Hits, and 12 Hurries for a total of 19 pressures allowed across the 14 games he played in. That is solid production from the Guard Position. (All plays in gif form from Twitter) Some great examples include This Play against the Giants, These plays against the Jags, This Play against the Seahawks, and This block on a Swing Pass to Zeke.
These plays are just a sample of how well he played in 2018. He is a big reason why the Cowboys made the playoffs.

#34 – Antonio Brown – Wide Receiver – Pittsburgh Steelers

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
N/R 43 3 3 10 3
Player Profile Card
Written By: Letsgomountaineers5
What more can be said about Antonio Brown that hasn’t already been said in his many iterations on this list? Once again, AB continued to prove why he is the best pound for pound WR to ever play the game. With a propensity for big plays, AB continued producing in the most crucial moments. Never one to shy away from the spotlight, AB added another walk off TD to his resume.
What is it that makes AB so great, despite his average build and speed? Is it his elite footwork and stems off the line of scrimmage? Is it his uncanny ability to change directions without even breaking his stride, all while waiting until the very last possible millisecond to make a play on the ball (fooling his defenders)? Is it his ridiculous footwork, hand eye coordination, and grip strength that allows him to make plays like this (I know it’s from last year but come on!) or this ? Is it his uncoachable knowledge of field positioning, allowing him to almost always find the soft spots when he’s doubled or bracketed, or in this case, triple teamed?
In reality, it’s these traits and many more that make Brown a lock for the Hall of Fame one day, and in the discussion for greatest WR talent of all time (I said discussion, guys…). Even in a “down year” for his standards, it’s why he’s found himself so high up on this list. While his 62% catch rate might not scream “ELITE” consider that of his 164 targets, only 105 were “catchable.” Of those 105, he caught 104. Also consider that he faced a murder’s row of corners by the likes of Ward, Humphrey, Trufant, Ramsey, Bouye, CHJ, Hayward, Gilmore, and Lattimore. Even while facing coverage predominantly by this corners, he still received TRUE double teams 8.5% of the time. That’s assigning two men or more to shadow AB, not just safety help. Hell, Belichick had the best corner in football shadow AB all while doubling him at the highest rate he saw.
Antonio Brown was an incredible player this year, and his very deserving of his ranking. His greatness is outlined even more when comparing him to his Steelers, counterpart, Juju. Juju was incredible, but he benefited heavily from AB being AB. Antonio Brown faced press 30% more of the time than Juju, man coverage in general 70% to Juju’s 55%, played 76% of his snaps outside and on the line (Juju played 44% of his snaps outside and only 40% on the line), and was doubled at one of the highest rates in the league (Juju was doubled 5 times all year). I felt it’s necessary to illustrate just how much attention Brown received, even with one of the 15 best WRs lining up across or inside of him. I will greatly miss his football contributions next season.

#33 – Davante Adams – Wide Receiver – Green Bay Packers

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
--- --- N/R N/R N/R N/R
Player Profile Card
Written By: packmanwiscy
Let’s play a game. Can you name all the Packers pass catchers that played more than ten games in 2018? You’ve read the title, so you already know Davante Adams is here. But who else? Jordy Nelson? Nope, he was in Oakland. Randall Cobb? Geronimo Allison maybe? Wrong again, both were injured all year. Jimmy Graham? Ah yes, the decaying corpse of a 32 year old former All-Pro did technically play all 16 games, congratulations. Times up! Did you get Marquez Valdez-Scantling, Equanimeous St. Brown, J’Mon Moore, Lance Kendricks, Mercedes Lewis, and Robert Tonyan? Maybe you did, maybe you didn’t. But all three wideouts listed were third day rookie draftees, and the three other tight ends caught less than 300 yards of passes combined.
In short, the Packers receiving corps was very talent deprived. Adams was the only guy that caught passes that wasn’t a rookie or a lumbering husk of a tight end. Did that mean that Adams saw a disproportionate amount of passes flying his way? Maybe. But opposing defenses also knew that he was the only real playmaker running routes and game planned accordingly. Still, in 15 games this year, Adams caught 111 balls (T6 in the league) for 1386 yards (7th, T4 if we’re going by YPG) and 13 touchdowns (T2).
The first thing that comes to mind about Adams is his route running. Tae is one of, if not the best route runner in the league, and an absolute master at creating separation. According to PFF, Adams had 1,242 receiving yards with a step or more of separation, which is the most in the league. He’s a master of releasing well off the line and using his footwork to get open.
If you want some examples, there’s plenty. See up top how Adams uses a stutter step to get by Prince Amukamara. Look at this single cut on Darius Slay in the slot to create separation. How about a textbook slant to get open? Here’s a great out route that catches Xavier Rhodes flat footed and creates enough space to dive into the end zone.
If you’ve had enough of Adams cooking divisional rivals, just watch him blow by Tre White on a slant, create enough separation to slip by the Niners D and get out of bounds to set up a game winning field goal, use another stutter step on Marcus Peters for a big gain, then do the same on Tre Flowers, and so on and so forth.
These skills also help him in the RAC game. Just watch how Adams cooks the Bears for a TD here. Tae also has great body control, as demonstrated by his touchdown grab against the Cardinals and another great grab in the same game here
Davante Adams is no doubt a Top 5 wide receiver in the league and is very deserving of his spot on the list. He’s a fantastic all around WR that excels in route running, great after the catch, and fantastic body control when needed. The fact that he can do all this despite the fact that opponents knew all last year he was the only receiver on the Packers that Rodgers had trust in shows how great of a player Tae is. With the Packers getting a new head coach and a new offensive scheme that isn’t as reliant on receivers running their way open, along with the other receivers growing older and better, Tae’s production may drop next year. But let this be a reminder on how talented Adams is.

#32 – Danielle Hunter – EDGE – Minnesota Vikings

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
--- --- --- N/R N/R N/R
Player Profile Card
Written By: uggsandstarbux
Danielle Hunter (pronounced duh-NEEL) was by far the best player on a loaded Vikings front 7 this season. He was everything any team would want in a starting DE. Not only was he an elite pass rusher (4th in sacks with 14.5), he was one of the best defenders against the run (4th among EDGE players in defensive stops with 44). His career high sack numbers now have Hunter holding the franchise record for sacks in a player's first 4 seasons ahead of Hall of Famer Alan Page. He was a versatile player that played the 4th most snaps among DL (1023) and played those snaps from both DE positions as well as on special teams. What's scary is that he was equally as effective in both DE positions. Hunter was 1st among EDGE players in tackles for loss (21) and 3rd among EDGE players in hurries (49). He was also voted to his first Pro Bowl and was a 2nd team All Pro in 2018.
Want to look at more than just numbers? Hunter's film supports his skills as well. (Detroit fans might want to look away). His hand technique has developed quite nicely since being a 3rd round SPARQed out rookie. His hands compliment a great side step that helps him get the edge against elite pass protectors like Jason Peters and Ricky Wagner. But Hunter is more than just one move. He can beat you inside. He can beat you on stunts. He can beat you with his power. He can swim past you like his last name is Phelps. He can even beat you when you double team him, as shown by this GB GB (Green Bay Gang Bang). Heck, most of the time he's just better than you, and there's no need to overthink it.
He's not just a brainless monster either. Hunter's intelligence shows on the field. He doesn't bite on play action and can sniff out the ballcarrier with ease. Just take this excellent read against Taysom Hill. He switches from pass rush to run defense gracefully as well. Look at this play where he manhandles the TE in pass protection and then identifies Stafford with the attempt to escape the pocket.
But among all of that, none is my favorite thing about Hunter. No, my favorite thing about Hunter is his heart. Hunter gives maximum effort on every down and plays through the whistle all the time. Take this play, where he goes from bull rushing the OG against Arizona to turning his momentum around and chasing down David Johnson (who has 4.5 speed) 20 yards downfield. Or maybe this one, where he works through Gronk twice and another Patriots blocker to get outside the numbers and stop James White behind the LOS. Or maybe this play, where he continues to pursue Stafford on the QB scramble, leading to perfect positioning for his 2nd career TD.
Needless to say, Hunter is no longer just an athletic project for Mike Zimmer to tinker with. He's a bona fide, gap protecting, edge rushing, QB hunting monster. And he's only 24. Just wait to see what more he can do.

#31 – Derwin James – Strong Safety – Los Angeles Chargers

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
--- --- --- --- --- ---
Player Profile Card
Written By: milkchococurry
When I first covered the Derwin James acquisition in last season’s offseason review, I likened it to Melvin Ingram falling to the Chargers in the middle of the first round back in the 2012 NFL Draft. Then-GM AJ Smith called Ingram a “bonus pick” since Ingram was the kind of talent that shouldn’t have been available when he was. Derwin James was also a serious talent that fell farther than he should have. Unlike Ingram, though, James made an immediate and significant impact in his rookie season.
As far as the raw stats are concerned, James led the Chargers in total tackles last season (105), netted 3.5 sacks and picked off 3 passes. All of these are solid numbers that earned him a Pro Bowl nod and first-team AP All Pro at safety. But what really solidified his status as a serious up and comer at safety was the way he got those numbers. James became the Swiss Army Knife of the Chargers defense. He used all of his 6’2”, 215 lb frame to get in the way of passes and take down opposing ballcarriers. It didn’t seem to matter if the ballcarrier was bigger, already ahead of James, or even if it was a clear 1v1 matchup, there was a good chance James would be in on and make the play. He was in on seemingly every play, for that matter. James lined up in the box and played coverage, and no matter where he played, he usually played well. Did James have his rookie moments? Absolutely. But if you see the body of work from his rookie season, you couldn’t tell me he wasn’t up there as one of the best players on the Chargers defense.
Entering Season 2 in 2019, Derwin James now has more responsibility to learn and grow as a player and teammate. There are several seasoned vets in the defensive backs group, so James should not be in any rush to become the leader of the group. This doesn’t mean he shouldn’t spend 2019 grooming himself for that role though, as he has the highest ceiling out of all the DBs on the team. Combined with his youth, he will become a team leader soon enough. If James builds on and learns from his rookie campaign and continues to play his game with the same fervor that he showed in his rookie season, he may end his career as one of the all-time greats.




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