Stealing Signals 2021 Plans

What to expect over the next month and into the season

It’s August and officially redraft season! If you’ve been waiting on content from this newsletter, believe me, it’s coming. Below I’ll detail how this year will look, including content I have planned for August and into the season.

First things first, a few plugs. While I haven’t written here much lately, I have been churning out plenty of content. I launched a podcast with Shawn Siegele called “Stealing Bananas” about a month ago that is loaded with episodes — we’re doing three shows per week — that are a good place to start if you can’t wait for me to write out all my takes. Here’s the Apple Podcasts link.

A big reason I’ve been behind on content has been a really fun projections series with Mike Leone at Establish the Run. I’m a well-documented projections skeptic, but I still enjoy the process of building out a realistic snapshot of each team’s 2021 season. Of course, it can take an hour or more per team, so I’m also excited we just finished that up last week and I’m done projecting. You can listen to all eight episodes covering each division of this limited-run series over on the Establish the Edge feed.

I’m also still joining Peter Overzet and Pat Kerrane over on Ship Chasing every Wednesday night for live streams as we head toward the season, as I have been for most of the offseason. We’ll be drafting some high stakes teams over the coming month so make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel. Subscribe to all of this stuff, like, rate, leave us a review, that’s all great and much appreciated.

And lastly, I did write a big guest post for the TwoQBs Draft Guide from Sal Stefanile and Greg Smith. You can find that guide here for $11.11, but with promo code BEN you can get 11% off. One cool thing is 10% of all proceeds go to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. My article for them was nearly 6,000 words on structural drafting and draft strategy in two-quarterback and SuperFlex leagues, most of which applies to standard redraft leagues. I’ll definitely be covering draft strategy here on the Stealing Signals newsletter in the next couple of weeks, but that’s a great cause to support with an incredible guide for one of my favorite formats.

Stealing Signals 2021 plans

Alright, the first thing I need to mention for Stealing Signals in 2021 is a slight price increase. Starting this Wednesday, recurring plans will be charged $8/month or $55/year. I’ll get into the why and more importantly what you’ll get for that in just a second, but the first note here is if you haven’t subscribed, you can essentially get an early bird discount today or tomorrow for either the first month (at $5/month) or the year (at $40 annually).

There are a couple main reasons for the increase, and I want to explain them because I always want to be clear here. The first is I’ve heard dozens of times I need to charge more money, with some pretty clearly telling me this newsletter needs to be priced up near the more expensive sites and less financially accessible pieces of content in the industry. I really appreciate the implications of those comments, in terms of what it means for the value of the content I do.

That support has been a huge part of my decision process on my next steps in this industry, and I can’t really describe how the many messages and comments I’ve gotten since I went off on my own have positively impacted me. But thank you for that. I’ve always appreciated feedback from you guys, and where my hope and plan last year was to just see how this thing went, you guys were supportive enough that my new goal is to hopefully make it something I can do as a consistent, long-term avenue for my content. As with everything, it will come down to whether that makes sense in dollars and cents, but my hope is the new prices I chose are a happy medium that don’t price many people out and continue to make this accessible.

Another main reason for the increase is more technical, but there are fees associated with the way payments are processed, and they include a flat rate per transaction. What that means is I lose a bigger cut of smaller transactions. Again, I just want to be up front, and that’s been a big decision point as I’ve planned things out.

Now, if you’re still on the fence about the price increase, allow me to sway you with what’s coming. First of all, because some of my other projects have put me behind, I’m going to cram a ton of content into August. For those of you considering a monthly subscription, you’ll more or less get my version of a Draft Kit for the $8/month number, much less than any Draft Kit you’ll see around the industry. If you subscribe today or tomorrow, you can get it for $5 and then unsubscribe before the season, and that’s all you’ll pay.

Here are the premium features I plan to write before Week 1:

  • Offseason Stealing Signals — Everything you love about Stealing Signals, going team by team and highlighting the Signal and the Noise, just from an offseason research standpoint. One important note here is I’m far less influenced by past trends in the offseason than I am in-season, because so much of my draft philosophy is predicated on recognizing uncertainty and how much changes each season in the NFL. These posts will hit on key data I’m considering, but I do want to keep them focused and consumable because error bars are huge.

  • Rankings — The thing I’ve been asked about the most. To be honest, I don’t have a clear set of redraft rankings yet, and I’m heavily influenced by ADP when I’m drafting. But every year I build out positional tiers that I use for my biggest drafts, and my promise is as soon as I have a set of rankings I trust, I’ll release them to you.

  • Projections — Look, projections suck, but if you want my projections you can have them. It’ll be my goal to couch the results with so many caveats that you don’t even pay attention to them.

  • Reconsidering the RB Dead Zone — With the Dead Zone concept taking off in 2021, which RBs are worth considering in the middle rounds, and how should we be playing things?

  • Structural drafting and draft strategy in 2021 — Either this is paired with the above or its own post, but you know I’m going to hit on strategy.

  • Why Second-Year WRs are the ones to target and which am I in love with this year — You’ve been reading or listening to me long enough to know I love second-year WRs, but it’s important to list out which players I’m buying like crazy and which I’m still open to but maybe not as enthusiastic about.

  • The long view and “situation regression” — A concept I’m very excited about, and also an excuse to tell you to draft D.J. Moore.

  • High-Value Touch predictions — I gotta do something around HVT, but I’m not quite sure what that will look like.

I’m going to try to do all of this over the next month, and then there are about two dozen other ideas floating in my head or half-scribbled in my notes app that might also pop up. Most of it will be paywalled, especially big stuff like rankings, but some will go out to the free subscribers as well so if you don’t want to pony up for the premium subscription, I still got you.

My promise to you is and has always been that if I think it’s actionable, and especially if it’s something that I don’t think is getting enough play somewhere else and might provoke some new thoughts outside the conventional wisdom, I’m going to write it.

And then in-season, you’ll get Stealing Signals delivered to your inbox every Monday and Tuesday, as always. At $8/month, we’re talking $2/week for that comprehensive look back at that week that was, including my biggest Signals and Noise as we recalibrate everything, every week, in this chaotic sport we love.

The premium posts will start this week. I hope you’ll be along for the ride for what should be a fun 2021!