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How to not get ruined with Options - Part 3a of 4 - Simple Strategies
Post 1: Basics: CALL, PUT, exercise, ITM, ATM, OTM Post 2: Basics: Buying and Selling, the Greeks Post 3a: Simple Strategies Post 3b: Advanced Strategies Post 4a: Example of trades (short puts, covered calls, and verticals) Post 4b: Example of trades (calendars and hedges) --- Ok. So I lied. This post was getting way too long, so I had to split in two (3a and 3b) In the previous posts 1 and 2, I explained how to buy and sell options, and how their price is calculated and evolves over time depending on the share price, volatility, and days to expiration. In this post 3a (and the next 3b), I am going to explain in more detail how and when you can use multiple contracts together to create more profitable trades in various market conditions. Just a reminder of the building blocks: You expect that, by expiration, the stock price will … ... go up more than the premium you paid → Buy a call … go down more than the premium you paid → Buy a put ... not go up more than the premium you got paid → Sell a call ... not go down more than the premium you got paid → Sell a put Buying Straight Calls: But why would you buy calls to begin with? Why not just buy the underlying shares? Conversely, why would you buy puts? Why not just short the underlying shares? Let’s take long shares and long calls as an example, but this applies with puts as well. If you were to buy 100 shares of the company ABC currently trading at $20. You would have to spend $2000. Now imagine that the share price goes up to $25, you would now have $2500 worth of shares. Or a 25% profit. If you were convinced that the price would go up, you could instead buy call options ATM or OTM. For example, an ATM call with a strike of $20 might be worth $2 per share, so $200 per contract. You buy 10 contracts for $2000, so the same cost as buying 100 shares. Except that this time, if the share price hits $25 at expiration, each contract is now worth $500, and you now have $5000, for a $3000 gain, or a 150% profit. You could even have bought an OTM call with a strike of $22.50 for a lower premium and an even higher profit. But it is fairly obvious that this method of buying calls is a good way to lose money quickly. When you own shares, the price goes up and down, but as long as the company does not get bankrupt or never recovers, you will always have your shares. Sometimes you just have to be very patient for the shares to come back (buying an index ETF increases your chances there). But by buying $2000 worth of calls, if you are wrong on the direction, the amplitude, or the time, those options become worthless, and it’s a 100% loss, which rarely happens when you buy shares. Now, you could buy only one contract for $200. Except for the premium that you paid, you would have a similar profit curve as buying the shares outright. You have the advantage though that if the stock price dropped to $15, instead of losing $500 by owning the shares, you would only lose the $200 you paid for the premium. However, if you lose these $200 the first month, what about the next month? Are you going to bet $200 again, and again… You can see that buying calls outright is not scalable long term. You need a very strong conviction over a specific period of time. How to buy cheaper shares? Sell Cash Covered Put. Let’s continue on the example above with the company ABC trading at $20. You may think that it is a bit expensive, and you consider that $18 is a more acceptable price for you to own that company. You could sell a put ATM with a $20 strike, for $2. Your break-even point would be $18, i.e. you would start losing money if the share price dropped below $18. But also remember that if you did buy the shares outright, you would have lost more money in case of a price drop, because you did not get a premium to offset that loss. If the price stays above $20, your return for the month will be 11% ($200 / $1800). Note that in this example, we picked the ATM strike of $20, but you could have picked a lower strike for your short put, like an OTM strike of $17.50. Sure, the premium would be lower, maybe $1 per share, but your break-even point would drop from $18 to $16.50 (only 6% return then per month, not too shabby). The option trade will usually be written like this: SELL -1 ABC 100 17 JUL 20 17.5 PUT @ 1.00 This means we sold 1 PUT on ABC, 100 shares per contract, the expiration date is July 17, 2020, and the strike is $17.5, and we sold it for $1 per share (so $100 credit minus fees). With your $20 short put, you will get assigned the shares if the price drops below $20 and you keep it until expiration, however, you will have paid them the equivalent of $18 each (we’ll actually talk more about the assignment later). If your short put expires worthless, you keep the premium, and you may decide to redo the same trade again. The share price may have gone up so much that the new ATM strike does not make you comfortable, and that’s fine as you were not willing to spend more than $18 per share, to begin with, anyway. You will have to wait for some better conditions. This strategy is called a cash covered put. In a taxable account, depending on your broker, you can have it on margin with no cash needed (you will need to have some other positions to provide the buying power). Beware that if you don’t have the cash to cover the shares, it is adding some leverage to your overall position. Make sure you account for all your potential risks at all times. The nice thing about this position is that as long as you are not assigned, you don’t actually need to borrow some money, it won’t cost you anything. In an IRA account, you will need to have the cash available for the assignment (remember in this example, you only need $1800, plus trading fees). Let’s roll! Now one month later, the share price is between $18 and $22, there are few days of expiration left, and you don’t want to be assigned, but you want to continue the same process for next month. You could close the current position, and reopen a new short put, or you could in one single transaction buy back your current short put, and sell another put for next month. Doing one trade instead of two is usually cheaper because you reduce the slippage cost. The closing of the old position and re-opening of a new short position for the next expiration is called rolling the short option (from month to month, but you can also do this with weekly options). The croll can be done a week or even a few days before expiration. Remember to avoid expiration days, and be careful being short an option on ex-dividend dates. When you roll month to month with the same strike, for most cases, you will get some money out of it. However, the farther your strike is from the current share price, the less additional premium you will get (due to the lower extrinsic value on the new option), and it can end up being close to $0. At that point, given the risk incurred, you may prefer to close the trade altogether or just be assigned. During the roll, depending on if the share price moved a bit, you can adjust the roll up or down. For example, you buy back your short put at $18, and you sell a new short put at $17 or $19, or whatever value makes the most sense. Assignment Now, let’s say that the share price finally dropped below $20, and you decided not to roll, or it dropped so much that the roll would not make sense. You ended up getting your shares assigned at a strike price of $18 per share. Note that the assigned share may have a current price much lower than $18 though. If that’s the case, remember that you earned more money than if you bought the shares outright at $20 (at least, you got to keep the $2 premium). And if you rolled multiple times, every premium that you got is additional money in your account. Want to sell at a premium? Sell Covered Calls. You could decide to hold onto the shares that you got at a discount, or you may decide that the stock price is going to go sideways, and you are fine collecting more theta. For example, you could sell a call at a strike of $20, for example for $1 (as it is OTM now given the stock price dropped). SELL -1 ABC 100 17 JUL 20 20 CALL @ 1.00 When close to the expiration time, you can either roll your calls again, the same way that you rolled your puts, as much as you can, or just get assigned if the share price went up. As you get assigned, your shares are called away, and you receive $2000 from the 100 shares at $20 each. Except that you accumulated more money due to all the premiums you got along the way. This sequence of the short put, roll, roll, roll, assignment, the short call, roll, roll, roll, is called the wheel. It is a great strategy to use when the market is trading sideways and volatility is high (like currently). It is a low-risk trade provided that the share you pick is not a risky one (pick a market ETF to start) perfect to get create some income with options. There are two drawbacks though:
If the share dropped too much, you are stuck with it.
You will have to be patient for the share to go back up, but often you can end up with many shares at a loss if the market has been tanking. As a rule of thumb, if I get assigned, I never ever sell a call below my assignment strike minus the premium. In case the market jumps back up, I can get back to my original position, with an additional premium on the way. Market and shares can drop like a stone and bounce back up very quickly (you remember this March and April?), and you really don’t want to lock a loss. Here is a very quick example of something to not do: Assigned at $18, current price is $15, sell a call at $16 for $1, share goes back up to $22. I get assigned at $16. In summary, I bought a share at $18, and sold it at $17 ($16 + $1 premium), I lost $1 between the two assignments. That’s bad.
If the share goes up too fast, you missed some opportunity for gain, potentially big gains.
You will have to find some other companies to do the wheel on. If it softens the blow a bit, your retirement account may be purely long, so you’ll not have totally missed the upside anyway. A short put is a bullish position. A short call is a bearish position. Alternating between the two gives you a strategy looking for a reversion to the mean. Both of these positions are positive theta, and negative vega (see part 2). Now that I explained the advantage of the long calls and puts, and how to use short calls and puts, we can explore a combination of both. Verticals Most option beginners are going to use long calls (or even puts). They are going to gain some money here and there, but for most parts, they will lose money. It is worse if they profited a bit at the beginning, they became confident, bet a bigger amount, and ended up losing a lot. They either buy too much (50% of my account on this call trade that can’t fail), too high of a volatility (got to buy those NKLA calls or puts), or too short / too long of an expiration (I don’t want to lose theta, or I overspent on theta). As we discussed earlier, a straight long call or put is one of the worst positions to be in. You are significantly negative theta and positive vega. But if you take a step back, you will realize that not accounting for the premium, buying a call gives you the upside of stock up to the infinity (and buying a put gives you the upside of the stock going to $0). But in reality, you rarely are betting that the stock will go to infinity (or to $0). You are often just betting that the stock will go up (or down) by X%. Although the stock could go up (or down) by more than X%, you intuitively understand that there is a smaller chance for this to happen. Options are giving you leverage already, you don’t need to target even more gain. More importantly, you probably should not pay for a profit/risk profile that you don’t think is going to happen. Enter verticals. It is a combination of long and short calls (or puts). Say, the company ABC trades at $20, you want to take a bullish position, and the ATM call is $2. You probably would be happy if the stock reaches $25, and you don’t think that it will go much higher than that. You can buy a $20 call for $2, and sell a $25 call for $0.65. You will get the upside from $20 to $25, and you let someone else take the $25 to infinity range (highly improbable). The cost is $1.35 per share ($2.00 - $0.65). BUY +1 VERTICAL ABC 100 17 JUL 20 20/25 CALL @ 1.35 This position is interesting for multiple reasons. First, you still get the most probable range for profitability ($20 to $25). Your cost is $1.35 so 33% cheaper than the long call, and your max profit is $5 - $1.35 = $3.65. So your max gain is 270% of the risked amount, and this is for only a 25% increase in the stock price. This is really good already. You reduced your dependency on theta and vega, because the short side of the vertical is reducing your long side’s. You let someone else pay for it. Another advantage is that it limits your max profit, and it is not a bad thing. Why is it a good thing? Because it is too easy to be greedy and always wanting and hoping for more profit. The share reached $25. What about $30? It reached $30, what about $35? Dang it dropped back to $20, I should have sold everything at the top, now my call expires worthless. But with a vertical, you know the max gain, and you paid a premium for an exact profit/risk profile. As soon as you enter the vertical, you could enter a close order at 90% of the max value (buy at $1.35, sell at $4.50), good till to cancel, and you hope that the trade will eventually be executed. It can only hit 100% profit at expiration, so you have to target a bit less to get out as soon as you can once you have a good enough profit. This way you lock your profit, and you have no risk anymore in case the market drops afterwards. These verticals (also called spreads) can be bullish or bearish and constructed as debit (you pay some money) or credit (you get paid some money). The debit or credit versions are equivalent, the credit version has a bit of a higher chance to get assigned sooner, but as long as you check the extrinsic value, ex-dividend date, and are not too deep ITM you will be fine. I personally prefer getting paid some money, I like having a bigger balance and never have to pay for margin. :) Here are the 4 trades for a $20 share price: CALL BUY 20 ATM / SELL 25 OTM - Bullish spread - Debit CALL BUY 25 OTM / SELL 20 ATM - Bearish spread - Credit PUT BUY 20 ATM / SELL 25 ITM - Bullish spread - Credit PUT BUY 25 ITM / SELL 20 ATM - Bearish spread - Debit Because both bullish trades are equivalent, you will notice that they both have the same profit/risk profile (despite having different debit and credit prices due to the OTM/ITM differences). Same for the bearish trades. Remember that the cost of an ITM option is greater than ATM, which in turn is greater than an OTM. And that relationship is what makes a vertical a credit or a debit. I understand that it can be a lot to take in. Let’s take a step back here. I picked a $20/$25 vertical, but with the share price at $20, I could have a similar $5 spread with $15/$20 (with the same 4 constructs). Or instead of 1 vertical $20/$25, I could have bought 5 verticals $20/$21. This is a $5 range as well, except that it has a higher probability for the share to be above $21. However, it also means that the spread will be more expensive (you’ll have to play with your broker tool to understand this better), and it also increases the trading fees and potentially overall slippage, as you have 5 times more contracts. Or you could even decide to pick OTM $25/$30, which would be even cheaper. In this case, you don’t need the share to reach $30 to get a lot of profit. The contracts will be much cheaper (for example, like $0.40 per share), and if the share price goes up to $25 quickly long before expiration, the vertical could be worth $1.00, and you would have 150% of profit without the share having to reach $30. If you decide to trade these verticals the first few times, look a lot at the numbers before you trade to make sure you are not making a mistake. With a debit vertical, the most you can lose per contract is the premium you paid. With a credit vertical, the most you can lose is the difference between your strikes, minus the premium you received. One last but important note about verticals: If your short side is too deep ITM, you may be assigned. It happens. If you bought some vertical with a high strike value, for example: SELL +20 VERTICAL SPY 100 17 JUL 20 350/351 PUT @ 0.95 Here, not accounting for trading fees and slippage, you paid $0.95 per share for 20 contracts that will be worth $1 per share if SPY is less than $350 by mid-July, which is pretty certain. That’s a 5% return in 4 weeks (in reality, the trading fees are going to reduce most of that). Your actual risk on this trade is $1900 (20 contracts * 100 shares * $0.95) plus trading fees. That’s a small trade, however the underlying instrument you are controlling is much more than that. Let’s see this in more detail: You enter the trade with a $1900 potential max loss, and you get assigned on the short put side (strike of $350) after a few weeks. Someone paid expensive puts and exercised 20 puts with a strike of $350 on their existing SPY shares (2000 of them, 20 contracts * 100 shares). You will suddenly receive 2000 shares on your account, that you paid $350 each. Thus your balance is going to show -$700,000 (you have 2000 shares to balance that). If that happens to you: DON’T PANIC. BREATHE. YOU ARE FINE. You owe $700k to your broker, but you have roughly the same amount in shares anyway. You are STILL protected by your long $351 puts. If the share price goes up by $1, you gain $2000 from the shares, but your long $351 put will lose $2000. Nothing changed. If the share price goes down by $1, you lose $2000 from the shares, but your long $350 put will gain $2000. Nothing changed. Just close your position nicely by selling your shares first, and just after selling your puts. Some brokers can do that in one single trade (put based covered stock). Don’t let the panic set in. Remember that you are hedged. Don’t forget about the slippage, don’t let the market makers take advantage of your panic. Worst case scenario, if you use a quality broker with good customer service, call them, and they will close your position for you, especially if this happens in an IRA. The reason I am insisting so much on this is because of last week’s event. Yes, the RH platform may have shown incorrect numbers for a while, but before you trade options you need to understand the various edge cases. Again if this happens to you, don’t panic, breathe, and please be safe. This concludes my post 3a. We talked about the trade-offs between buying shares, buying calls instead, selling puts to get some premium to buy some shares at a cheaper price, rolling your short puts, getting your puts assigned, selling calls to get some additional money in sideways markets, rolling your short calls, having your calls assigned too. We talked about the wheel, being this whole sequence spanning multiple months. After that, we discussed the concept of verticals, with bullish and bearish spreads that can be either built as a debit or a credit. And if there is one thing you need to learn from this, avoid buying straight calls or puts but use verticals instead, especially if the volatility is very high. And do not ever sell naked calls, again use verticals. The next post will explain more advanced and interesting option strategies. --- Post 1: Basics: CALL, PUT, exercise, ITM, ATM, OTM Post 2: Basics: Buying and Selling, the greeks Post 3a: Simple Strategies Post 3b: Advanced Strategies Post 4a: Example of trades (short puts, covered calls, and verticals) Post 4b: Example of trades (calendars and hedges)
https://preview.redd.it/it6vqxvxzci51.jpg?width=900&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=d5ba4c7f80a1439c4283f4b30e3514629fcf504b Now that we have passed the opt-out deadline and are only about three weeks away from the Chiefs and Texans kicking off the 2020 NFL season, I wanted to put together my pre-season power rankings and put all 32 teams in separate tiers, to give you an idea of where I see them at this point. When putting together this list, I considered the talent on the roster, coaching staff and what will be a more important factor coming into this season than it has been in previous – the continuity as a franchise, since the COVID situation has limited the amount of preparation and ability to build chemistry as a team. That will be especially tough for new head coaches and inexperienced teams. With that being said, this is how I would group them:
Super Bowl contenders:
This group of four represents what I think are the four elite teams in the NFL. They all feature complete rosters, excellent coaching and continuity as a franchise. I think these are the franchises that will most likely square up against each other in the conference championship games on either side of the bracket. 1. Kansas City Chiefs We have heard this many times over the course of the offseason – the reigning Super Bowl champs bring back 20 of 22 starters (actually 19 now) on offense and defense combined. They have the best player in the league, the most dangerous receiving corp, above-average O-line play and a still improving defense, that just added some much-needed speed at the second level, which will allow DC Steve Spagnuolo to even more versatile. So at this point I can not have anybody unseat them. I think Clyde Edwards-Helaire (LSU) will be a star in that offense, they get a couple of guys back that missed their playoff run and there are plenty of young, developing players on that roster. What general manager Brett Veach has done this offseason in terms of securing Patrick Mahomes for the next decade and still opening up cap room to also sign their best defensive player in Chris Jones is amazing to me. My only two concerns for Kansas City at this point are a lack of depth in the secondary and the fact they will have to go on the road when they face the four best teams on their schedule – Baltimore, Buffalo, Tampa Bay and New Orleans, which has me favoring the second team on my list for the number one seed in the AFC and which this year means having one more game in the playoffs on their road to another Super Bowl for Andy Reid’s troops. 2. Baltimore Ravens Right behind the Chiefs, as the biggest competitor for the AFC is Baltimore. They were the best team in the regular season from this past year, but the Titans handed them only their third loss of the season in the Divisional Round at home. While they did lose what to me is a first-ballot Hall of Fame guard in Marshal Yanda, outside of that the Ravens to me have an even better roster. The reigning MVP Lamar Jackson is only entering his third season in the league, the Ravens just added a top prospect in J.K. Dobbins (Ohio State) to a backfield that set a league-record in rushing yards and some of these young receivers will continue to develop. On defense, they addressed the two areas that needed some help, when they brought in Calais Campbell to boost their pass-rush and two top-six linebackers on my board in the draft (Patrick Queen & Malik Harrison). They may not have as many superstar names as some other teams, but without a full offseason to prepare for it, that Greg Roman offense could be even tougher to stop if Marquise Brown becomes a more dependable deep threat (now fully healthy) and I love how multiple Wink Martindale is with his defense, combining the different pressure looks to go along with more versatile pieces up front and one of the elite secondaries in the game. You combine that with a rising young special teams coordinator in Chris Horton and a great motivator and in-game decision-maker in John Harbaugh – I just can’t find a lot of L’s on their schedule. 3. San Francisco 49ers Obviously the Super Bowl hangover will be brought up a lot of times with the loser of that contest, but unlike a lot of these teams coming off the big game – yet similar to the actual winners in the Chiefs – John Lynch did a great job re-tooling for the few losses they did have and didn’t overspend on some of their talented guys. Kyle Shanahan to me is the best offensive play-caller and game-designer in football, with a diverse rushing attack and the type of personnel to match it, while Jimmy G, despite some issues, is coming off his first 16-game season in his career. Defensively, they are losing what I thought was their best player in DeForest Buckner, but they did replace him with a top ten prospect in Javon Kinlaw (South Carolina) and Fred Warner is an emerging superstar. Their Seattle-based scheme under Robert Salah may not be very complex, but the Niners have a ferocious pass-rush, fast-flowing linebackers and a great safety tandem to be very sound in their execution. The Deebo Samuel injury is definitely a concern for me and if he doesn’t get back a few weeks into the season, I might drop San Fran a spot or two, plus I don’t love what they have at that second cornerback spot, but as for now I see the recipe that made me predict them winning the NFC West ahead of 2019 and what allowed them to be up double-digits in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. 4. New Orleans Saints One of the themes this offseason for me has been how loaded this Saints roster is and that they just need to win this year. This is the final season with Drew Brees at the helm, they are already in a horrible place with the cap – before that even goes down in 2021 – and to be honest, a lot of their key contributors are getting pretty old now. While I have seen a significant drop-off in the arm-strength of Brees, other than that I don’t see any offense with this Sean Payton-led offense – the front-five is elite, Alvin Kamara should be back to 100 percent as a dynamic dual-threat back and they finally found a number two receiver in Emmanuel Sanders. When healthy, that defensive line is a dominant unit, I think third-round pick Zack Baun (Wisconsin) gives that linebacker group some versatility and they have a lot of experience in the secondary, including a guy I thought would be a future star on the outside in Marshon Lattimore. Before anything else, they need to take care of divisional-rival Tampa Bay – which is a very tough challenge already – but if they can do that, they are fairly in the hunt for the NFC’s top seed. There’s a lot of pressure on this group because of the cap situation, their all-time great QB having his “Last Dance” and brutal playoff losses in recent years, but they have all it takes to finally break through all the way.
This second tier consists of eight teams that to me have only or two holes on their roster, while their coaching gives them an advantage over the majority of teams in the league and they bring back most of their pieces from a year or at least improved in those areas. I expect all but one of these squads to make the playoffs in 2020, as long as they don’t suffer significant injuries along the way. 5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Number five in the entire league seems pretty high for a team that finished below .500 last season, but this is not just about Tom Brady coming in, but rather the roster Tampa Bay has built around him. To me Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are the top receiver duo in the league, the Bucs arguably have the best tight-end room in the league and the offensive line only got better with superhuman Tristan Wirfs (Iowa) playing one of those spots on the right side. I have talked about this a lot over the offseason, looking at the match between Bruce Arians’ vertical-based passing attack and what Brady is used to, in terms of spreading the field and getting the ball out of his hands quickly. My bet is they go to a bit of hybrid and figure things out. Maybe more importantly, I don’t think people realize what they have put together on defense. Last season the Bucs finished number one against the run, they forced the fifth-most turnovers (28) and tied for sixth with yards per play (5.1) in the league. Todd Bowles is excellent defensive mind, who now enters his second season with as much talent as he has had since his Arizona days. Jameis turned it over 35 times last year (12 more than any other player in the league), while Tom didn’t even crack double-digits once again, and he immediately improves their situational football awareness and overall execution. This is a very dangerous squad. 6. Dallas Cowboys When you talk about some of the most talented rosters in the league, the Dallas Cowboys come to mind right away – especially on the offensive side of the ball. Dak Prescott now has one of the premiere receiver trios with the selection of Ceedee Lamb (Oklahoma) in the draft, still probably a top-five offensive line and Zeke looking to re-establish himself as a top-tier back, after looking a step slow for most of last season. Defensively they are getting back Leighton Vander Esch, whose energy they desperately missed for stretches last season, and they have a very deep rotation at the defensive line (even though nobody knows what we’ll get from a couple of guys that were out of the league), while Mike Nolan will change things up a little more and get his guys into the face of opposing receivers. We have yet to see how much Mike McCarthy will want to have say in the offensive play-calling, but I like that they retained a young and creative OC in Kellen Moore, and as far as in-game control and CEO duties go, I certainly believe McCarthy is an upgrade. There are some questions with the secondary after the loss of Byron Jones and losing Travis Frederick to retirement hurts, but I think those are things that can be overcome. Something that I think should not be overlooked is the signing of former Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein and his special teams coordinator John Fassel, after converting only 75 percent of their field goal attempts last season (6th-lowest in the league) and missing a couple of crucial kicks. 7. Philadelphia Eagles Right behind the Cowboys, I have their division rivals from Philadelphia. I think the Eagles actually have a better quarterback, the best defensive player among the two teams in Fletcher Cox and a more experienced secondary. However, with Brandon Brooks out for the season and maybe the worst group of linebackers in the NFL, I could not put this group ahead of Dallas, even though they have come up victorious against them in the big games recently. Last year Carson Wentz carried a group of skill-position players from the practice squad and a banged-up O-line to a division title. This upcoming season he will go from already wasn’t an overly dynamic receiving crew to a group of track stars, most notably with first-round pick Jalen Reagor (TCU) and a hopefully healthy DeSean Jackson, plus Miles Sanders I think is ready to emerge as a star back for Philly. The defense did lose some long-time stalwarts like Malcolm Jenkins and Nigel Bradham, but I loved the addition of Javon Hargreave in the middle to free up the other guys to attack upfield and with Darius Slay as their new CB1, not only does that move everybody one spot lower on the depth chart, but it also finally makes more sense for Jim Schwartz to be as aggressive with those zero-blitzes, since he has the guys to cover. Those two newcomers also fit perfectly when matching up against Dallas, because of an improvement interior run defense and having a guy who can match up with Amari Cooper, after the other guys got toasted for the most part. 8. Buffalo Bills For the first time in about twenty years, a team not named the Patriots will enter a season as favorites in the AFC East – and it’s actually not that close for me. Buffalo made a switch last season offensively to more 11 personnel and quick-tempo with Brian Daboll moving to the booth. This offseason they finally got the big-armed Josh Allen a dependable deep threat in Stefon Diggs, who averaged 12.0 yards per target last season (second-highest in the league), which – similar to what I just talked about with the corners in Philadelphia – moves everybody else down one spot in the food chain. And I love what they do defensively, with Sean McDermott and Leslie Frazier’s game-plan specific zone pattern coverages, with a versatile secondary to execute those, to go with a deep D-line and two super-rangy linebackers. Even outside the Diggs trade, Buffalo has made some sneaky-good deals since losing that Wildcard game at Houston in such heart-breaking fashion. Whether that is Mario Addison as double-digit sack guy in four straight years, added depth on the O-line or a really solid draft class to complement what they already had. I don’t want to crown them at this point, but to me they are the favorites for the AFC’s number three seed as for right now, since I think the South doesn’t have that clear front-runner to win the majority of their divisional games. 9. Seattle Seahawks I would have probably had the Hawks as the final team of this group or right at the top of the next one a couple of weeks ago, but after acquiring Jamal Adams, I think they have re-established themselves as that second team in the NFC West, since I had them very close with Arizona originally, I did not love what they did in the first two days of the draft (somewhat of a trend with them), they lost their second-best defensive player at that point in Jadeveon Clowney, I’m not sure if they upgraded on the offensive line and we don’t even if know if Quinton Dunbar will be suspended at this point. With that being said, Seattle has finished above .500 every single year with Russell Wilson under center and while I’m not a fan of their conservative approach offensively, where they don’t allow Russ to throw the ball on first downs and push the tempo a little at times, they are one of the most effective rushing teams and they have two lethal weapons to catch those trademark rainbow balls from the Seahawks QB. Defensively there are still some questions about the edge rush and at second corner spot, but Pete Carroll at least has what he wants most in a team at those positions – competition – and you already saw them go to more two-high looks in coverage than we are used to, telling me they utilize Jamal’s versatile skill-set more than what that strong safety mostly does in that system. 10. Green Bay Packers The whole Aaron Rodgers-Jordan Love drama has been looming large over the offseason and that has brought us some interesting discussions, but let’s not allow this to take away from the fact Green Bay just had a first-round bye in the playoffs and made it to the NFC title game. While they were 8-1 in one-score games and should regress more towards the mean in terms of the success rate in those close games, the North is still wide open and they have a few things going for themselves – they have the best quarterback in the division, the best offensive line, the most versatile and effective pass rush and a lot of young talent in the secondary. The first-round selection of a future signal-caller aside, I wasn’t too fond of what they did in the draft. Even though I liked Cincinnati’s Josiah Deguara and can see what they want to do with him as H-back/move guy in this offense, I thought they did not get Aaron Rodgers help in the receiving corp, which has no proven commodity outside of Davante Adams. Their defense got absolutely steamrolled in two games against the eventual conference champion 49ers, but I hope to see Rashan Gary develop in his second season and I think Christian Kirksey was a very under-the-radar signing as a run-stopping linebacker. I think schematically with Matt LaFleur’s offense based on what they did under Sean McVay and Mike Pettine being very creative himself they are one of the better coaching staffs in the NFC, but I would like to see them open up the offense more for Rodgers and break tendencies more often with their coverage calls. 11. Pittsburgh Steelers Another very dangerous squad for me is the Steelers. I have talked many times about how bad the Steelers quarterback situations was last season, as both Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges finished near the bottom in air yards per attempt, percentage of throws beyond the marker and many others. We have only seen Big Ben throw in some short clips on the internet, but if he is just 70-80 percent of what he was in 2018, this team is bound for a playoff berth. There are some question marks with this group of skill-position players, but I expect Juju to bounce back in a major way with a capable QB and being healthy himself, I have already picked Diontae Johnson as a breakout candidate for this season and I like the diversity of this group of backs. Pittsburgh’s defense was already elite last year, finishing top five in both yards and points allowed, tied for first in yards per play (4.7), the most takeaways (38) and sacks (54). If former Raven Chris Wormley can replace Javon Hargreave as a two-down run-stopper at least and rookie Antoine Brooks Jr. (Maryland) can fill a very specific role as their second sub-package linebacker in place of Mark Barron, I think they will one of the scariest units in the NFL once again. So the best all-around defense for my money and an offense who I would say has top ten potential at the very least is a tough match-up. Maybe not quite battling with the Ravens for the North, but the top Wildcard spot for sure. 12. Indianapolis Colts If there is one team in the AFC that could go from finishing sub-.500 to making it all the way to the conference championship game, the Colts would be my pick. I thought Philip Rivers had a really rough 2019 campaign, in which his arm looked rather weak and his decision-making hurt the Chargers on multiple occasions, but he will play behind by far the best offensive line he has ever had and they will run the heck out of the ball. Indy already had a pretty good back in Marlon Mack, but Wisconsin superstar Jonathan Taylor, who they selected in the second round, will be one of the front-runners for Offensive Rookie of the Year if given the chances in combination with what I believe is the best front-five in the entire league, plus their other second-rounder Michael Pittman Jr. (USC) will be that Vincent Jackson/Mike Williams type target for Rivers. More importantly, with the trade for a top 50 player in the league in DeForest Buckner, this entire Colts D immediately takes a step forward, since he is a perfect fit as that 3-technique in their front and help them disrupt plays at a much higher rate, to go with range in zone coverage behind that, including the “Maniac” Darius Leonard chasing people down. I’m a big fan of Frank Reich and the coaching staff he is has put together, in terms of in-game decision-making, offensive gameplans and just the intensity his team plays him.
Fringe playoff teams:
This middle tier is made up from all those teams who I expect to be at .500 or above, firmly in contention for a Wildcard spot at least. They can be some areas of concern, but overall they have the roster ready to compete with the big dogs and/or feature above-average coaching. With a couple of these there is a change at quarterback and head coach respectively, but they have enough around those to overcome that. 13. Tennessee Titans This definitely seems a little low for a team that is coming off an AFC Championship game appearance, but people seem to forget the Titans were 8-7 ahead of week 17 and if it wasn’t for the Steelers losing their final three games, this group wouldn’t have even been in position to lock down the six seed. Things were also made a lot easier by their division rival Texans, who sat most of their starters after beating Tennessee two weeks prior. So as impressive as their playoff run was, you have to think of what happened before that and put it into perspective a little. With one more playoff spot in each conference, their chances of making it to the tournament should be at least equally as good, but I believe the Colts are the favorites to win the South and for me the Steelers are the favorites for the fifth seed. With all that being said, there is plenty to like about this team still – they can pound you with the Derrick Henry and the run game, Ryan Tannehill at least gives them the threat of pulling the ball and going deep off play-action, they have some young weapons catching the ball and defensively they are very versatile in how they set up gameplans. I also like the mind-set Mike Vrabel installs in these guys and I was impressed with what OC Arthur Smith did in 2019. If there are two spots that could decide if this group is fighting for a division title or that final playoff berth, it will be their rookie right tackle Isaiah Wilson (Georgia) and recently signed edge rusher Vic Beasley. 14. Cleveland Browns While I don’t see them competing for the AFC North – just because of how loaded the Ravens are – the Browns are pretty clearly the most talented team that is considered to be third in their division. In terms of their group of starting skill-position players at least, they are near the top of the NFL, the O-line to me already just made my top ten ranking with room to move up, if healthy they are at least in the conversation for that with the D-line as well, with a Defensive Player of the Year candidate in Myles Garrett, and I like how they have assembled their secondary. Now, they have some unproven guys at the linebacker level and Cleveland’s potential is largely dependent on which Baker Mayfield we will get. With Kevin Stefanski coming and installing an offense that will be built on the zone run game and bootlegs off that, where his quarterback is put on the move, I could see much more efficient play and more comfort in that system. Something that really jumped out to me on tape was how many times Baker seemed to not be “on the same page” with his receivers, expecting routes to break off differently and unfortunate drops in certain situations. Even though the preparation for the season does look a lot different and QB & WRs haven’t been able to spend too much time together, I expect this to improve and more suitable roles for those pass-catchers overall. And if they are ahead in more games, that pass rush will be a problem. 15. Arizona Cardinals There are certainly still some issues here, but the Cardinals are probably the most exciting young team in all of the NFL. Kyler Murray was a one-man show last season and is due for a big jump, with DeAndre Hopkins being added to a receiving corp that severely lacked dependable weapons, to go with some other youngsters fully healthy, Kenyan Drake looked like a different player once he came over from Miami and the O-line should at least be marginally better. Defensively they transitioned a little up front, with big gap-pluggers on the line and Isaiah Simmons being that ultra-rangy player on the second level, who can run guys down on the edges, if those ball-carriers forced to bounce outside, plus they have maybe the most underappreciated edge rusher over the last four years in Chandler Jones. I don’t think they are very deep in the secondary, but Budda Baker is an absolute baller, Jalen Thompson emerged late last season and I already predicted Byron Murphy would have a breakout second season. With Kliff Kingsbury and Vance Joseph, Arizona has creative play-calling on both sides of the ball and they now have the personnel to execute at the needed level as well. Like I mentioned, I was ready to have the Cardinals at least go toe-to-toe with Seattle for a playoff spot, but the addition of Jamal Adams has shifted the balance again to some degree. And if you just go based off my rankings, two NFC Wildcard spots already go to teams from five to seven. 16. Denver Broncos A team that has been getting a lot of love this offseason is the Broncos. They have pretty much all the pieces that you usually see with those rising squads – a promising second-year quarterback with a lot of weapons surrounding him, a ferocious defensive front and having shown signs late last season. My belief in them has taken a bit of a dump unfortunately since I thought they did well to improve the offensive line, with Garrett Bolles on the left end being the only weak-spot, but now that Ja’Wuan James won’t be available at right tackle for the second straight year (injury last season and now opting out), their duo of OTs is a concern for me. Defensively you have to love what they have in the front seven, with Von Miller and now again Bradley Chubb coming off the edges, Jurrell Casey added to the interior to go with Shelby Harris and Alexander Johnson being an under-the-radar standout at linebacker. I’ve always been a big fan of Justin Simmons, but that second corner spot is still up in the air. I like Vic Fangio and that coaching staff they have put together in Denver, with Pat Shurmur providing a QB-friendly offense, the game’s best O-line coach in Mike Munchak and most of the people that have helped Fangio put out elite defenses at multiple stops before. So the Broncos are still the most dangerous opponent of the Chiefs in the AFC West, but now I’m not sure if they can add some drama over the fourth quarter of the season. 17. Minnesota Vikings At the same time, a team that has been a little overhyped to me this offseason is Minnesota. While I don’t love how the Packers have operated since February, what have the Vikings done to really improve? They traded away the best deep threat in the league last season in Stefon Diggs, stalwarts on the D-line in Everson Griffen and Linval Joseph are now gone, their entire group of corners has combined for less than 1500 career snaps and their offensive coordinator is now in Cleveland. I’m intrigued by the combination of Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson, who could be pretty interchangeable in their roles and I like their 12 and 21 personnel groupings, but they lack depth at the receiver position. And the defense will be relying on several inexperienced pieces to step in. I mean their three starting corners from last year are off the team now. So I don’t really get how most people all of a sudden put them ahead of the Packers. With that being said, I like the offensive scheme and always thought Gary Kubiak was a huge factor in their success on the ground at least. On defense there are certainly question marks – especially in the secondary – but Minnesota could easily have a top five player at their respective position at all three levels, with Danielle Hunter, Eric Kendricks and Anthony Harris, plus they still have some promising young guys like Ifeadi Odenigbo, Mike Hughes and a deep rookie class. Their only true shade nose Michael Pierce opting out hurts though. 18. New England Patriots This offseason must have been a rollercoaster for Patriots fans. First, Tom Brady leaves and everybody goes crazy. Then people start getting onto the Jarrett Stidham hype train and talk about how good the rest of this team still is. Out of nowhere they sign Cam Newton for the veteran minimum basically and they are back in the conversation for the top teams in the AFC all of sudden. And now, they lead the league in players opting out of the season, with key defensive pieces like Dont’a Hightower and Patrick Chung, to go with a couple of role players on offense at least. So now they are right at the bottom of these fringe playoff teams for me, because purely based on the roster, they are not even in the top 20 league-wide, but they still have maybe the greatest defensive mind in NFL history in Bill Belichick and one of the best offensive play-callers right now in Josh McDaniels. Obviously a lot of this will come down to what version of Cam Newton we will get and even if he is and can stay totally healthy. Not only is New England the most adaptable team in terms of how they can adjust to personnel and how flexible they are with their game-plans, but Cam is a great fit in that offense, where he can spread the field and make decisions based on defenses adjusting. The one area that took the biggest bump – outside of quarterback I’m guessing – is the offensive line, because they lost a legendary position coach in Dante Scarnecchia and their probable starter at right tackle in Marcus Cannon. While the Pats do have some young players, who can replace part of the losses, they were already more in plan for the pieces that left before there was any virus outbreak.
This broad group of seven teams represents all those franchises who will be dancing around .500 mark in the win-loss column. A couple of teams have the potential to win nine or ten games, while others could see those numbers on the wrong side of the column as well. There are obvious question marks in certain areas, even though they might feature top-tier players and/or coaches. 19. Houston Texans It’s kind of tough to put a team here that has won its division the last two years, but I think the Texans are pretty clearly number three in the South now. I love Deshaun Watson and I think he has fairly established himself as a top five quarterback in the NFL, but Bill O’Brien just took away an elite wide receiver in DeAndre Hopkins and replaced him with an injury-prone Brandin Cooks to go with another always banged up Will Fuller and a declining Randall Cobb, to go with a David Johnson in the backfield, who was unrecognizable last season. I think the O-line is improving, but outside of Laremy Tunsil maybe, they don’t have anybody other than Deshaun who is clearly above-average in their role. And defensively they finished in the bottom five in yards allowed and tied with Cincinnati (who picked first overall in the draft) for an NFL-high 6.1 yards allowed per play. Hopefully having J.J. Watt back for a full season should help, I like the selection of Ross Blacklock (TCU) on the inside and there are some talented young corners on this roster, who could be better much in 2020. I would not be surprised if they are that .500 team at heart and their quarterback carried them to a couple of wins that they weren’t supposed to get – which we have seen him do many times before – but it’s more likely to me that they are fighting for one of the two bottom Wildcard spots. 20. Atlanta Falcons Very rarely do you have a team that was among the worst over the first half of the season and among the best over the second half. The Falcons started out 2019 with a 1-7 record, but would go on to win six of the final eight games. Their defense was absolutely atrocious early on last season, with no pass-rush impacting the opposing quarterback and several miscues in coverage. With Raheem Morris taking over the defensive play-calling, they showed a lot of improvement already and there are signs that trend will continue. While there are some questions about the back-end and if they can get consistent production from their rush outside the top two guys, I think Dante Fowler is an upgrade over Vic Beasley, I like Marlon Davidson (Auburn) as a guy with inside-out flexibility on sub-packages and Keanu Neal is back healthy, as that Kam Chancellor-type, who can be that extra defender in the box in their system and punish receivers when catching the ball over the middle or in the flats. Offensively I believe this is still a team that can move the ball – they just have to start doing so earlier in games. While the top NFL receiver duo is in their own division with the guys in Tampa Bay, Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley could easily be that next one. They lost a very productive tight-end in Austin Hooper, but I believe Hayden Hurst can replace at least 80 percent of that production, and while we have no idea what we get from Todd Gurley and his knees at this point, last year the Falcons had one of the least effective per-touch backs in Devonta Freeman. Plus, the O-line should take a step forward with former first-round pick Chris Lindstrom returning from injury. 21. Las Vegas Raiders To me the Raiders are still in transition, not only moving to Las Vegas, but also in terms of roster construction and the culture Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock are trying to establish. Outside of Tyrell Williams, that entire group of receivers was overhauled, they have a lot of young pieces on the defensive line and the secondary, plus they will have at least two new starters on the second level of their defense. By far the biggest thing they have going for them is the offensive line and second-year back Josh Jacobs running behind it. When I did my top ten offensive lines in the NFL a couple of weeks ago, I had the Silver & Black at number five, and Jacobs was already a top 100 player in the league for me, with how physical and elusive a runner as he is. I could easily see the Raiders finish near the top in terms of ground production, and I also like the young guys they brought in around that, with Henry Ruggs III (Alabama) keeping the defense honest with his speed, Bryan Edwards (South Carolina) as a physical receiver, who will get hands after the catch, and Lynn Bowden Jr. (Kentucky) as that chess-piece potentially, that you can use in a multitude of way. My bigger question here is if Derek Carr is willing to push the ball down the field. Defensively I like the rotation they have on the interior D-line and the two linebackers they brought in via free agency, most notably Corey Littleton. There are still some questions about how snaps will be split between their corner group, but I’m excited to see a full season of Jonathan Abram hopefully. These guys have some attitude and an energetic head coach. 22. Los Angeles Rams Oh, how far we have come. Just one-and-a-half years ago the Rams were officially 20 spots higher basically, when they lost the Super Bowl to New England. Ahead of last season, I predicted them to miss the playoffs and while they made a bit of a run at it late, that’s what ended up happening. Now I see them as the fourth team in their own division – even though that says more about the competition they face rather than them. I still believe in Sean McVay and his ability to win on paper with play-design and game-planning, but Jared Goff has turned out to be an average quarterback, they don’t have a prime Todd Gurley setting the table anymore and the offensive line had some major issues, for large stretches of last season, especially in the run game. I was very high on Cam Akers, who they selected in the second round out of Florida State, but he will obviously be a rookie with shortened preparation, rather than an Offensive Player of the Year like Gurley was for them. Defensively, they have two elite players in Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey and I like some of the other guys in their roles, but overall the high-end talent beyond the two biggest names isn’t overly impressive. Leonard Floyd might be their top edge rusher and he has always been more of a Robin, they have no proven commodity as stand-up linebacker and I have yet to see if Brandon Staley can actually be an upgrade over Wade Phillips as their defensive coordinator. 23. Detroit Lions While I was going back and forth with putting the Lions third or fourth in the NFC North, I recently said they are among the top two teams that could go from worst to first in their division and I would not be surprised if they were in the hunt for a Wildcard spot in the last couple of weeks of the season. His second year in a system under Darrell Bevell – where he wasn’t just going in shotgun 40 times a game and asked to make magic happen – Matthew Stafford looked like an MVP candidate as long as he was healthy in 2019. That duo of Kerryon Johnson and my top-ranked running back in the draft D’Andre Swift (Georgia) could be one of the most dynamic ones in the league, the receiving corp is highly underrated and I like those rookies competing for the two guard spots. Defensively, they seem to finally look like what Matt Patricia wanted, when he came over from New England, in terms being versatile with their fronts and having guys who can take on receivers in man-coverage. With that being said, there is also a good chance that the Patricia experiment could go to shambles, if some of the veterans get turned off by his style of coaching without having established that winning culture, and this team has simply been dealing with too many injuries to key players. I don’t think there is much of a gap between the Lions and Vikings for example, but Detroit has not shown the stability of some other organizations. 24. Chicago Bears A franchise that I don’t really hear anybody talk about – unless it’s their quarterback competition – is that team from the Windy City. I understand that the Bears aren’t really sexy because they lack those superstars on offense that people will recognize, but I’m higher on some of the guys they do have on that side of the ball and on defense they could be much closer to 2018, when they led the league in points allowed and turnovers forced, rather than being just inside the top in most categories last season. A guy I already predicted to break out for Chicago this upcoming season with a bigger workload is running back David Montgomery, to go with Anthony Miller as a gadget player and developing young pass-catcher and one of the more underappreciated receivers out there in Allen Robinson. Defensively, I thought the biggest issue last season was Akiem Hicks missing double-digit games, as a table-setter with his ability to disrupt plays from the interior, and Leonard Floyd didn’t provide much on the opposite side of Khalil Mack, who they upgrade from with Robert Quinn, who just had his best season since the Rams were still in St. Louis. Now, I don’t love what they have at that second safety spot to complement Eddie Jackson, someone will have to fill that second corner spot – even though I’m a fan of second-round pick Jaylon Johnson (Utah) – and nose tackle Eddie Goldman opting out is a huge loss. If the quarterback position can just complement the rushing attack and the defense plays up to their potential, this group could be competing for second in the North, but Foles or Trubisky could still hold them back. https://preview.redd.it/aep6uj385di51.png?width=1060&format=png&auto=webp&s=07674898e4de7d73699c065907983e69612c56a4 The final tier is in the comments!! If you enjoyed this breakdown, I would really appreciate if you could visit the original piece - https://halilsrealfootballtalk.com/2020/08/18/ranking-all-32-nfl-teams-in-tiers-pre-season/ You can also listen to my analysis on the Youtube channel - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zz7WE0epZw8
2020 Offseason Review Series: The Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks – 2020 Offseason Review Series
I. Basic Information
Seattle Seahawks – 45th Season, Eleventh under Pete Carroll, Ninth under Russell Wilson Division: NFC West 2019 Record: 11-5
Second in NFC West
Won Wild Card Weekend @ Eagles (17-9)
Lost Divisional Round @ Packers (23-28)
Welcome to the 2020 Offseason Review Series for the Seattle Seahawks. I hope you all are safe, healthy, that the scourge that is gripping the country does not affect you in the future. Like everyone, I want us all to maximize our potential to watch the NFL this year, so lets all do our part – wear a mask, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, avoid sick people, and encourage everyone you know to do the same as well. With that said, lets get into this eleven thousand post proper. After two years of rebuilding “turning” the roster since Pete Carroll jettisoned the Legion of Boom after the 2017 campaign collapsed, the Seahawks entered into the 2020 Offseason with a high bar to satisfy. They have one of the top two quarterbacks in the NFL (the most important position in sports) in Russell Wilson, the best MLB in the NFL in Bobby Wagner, both of whom are on track to be immortalized in Canton when they retire. They have two WRs that would soon be ranked in the NFL Top 100 – Tyler Lockett (65) and DK Metcalf (81). They have their head coach and general manager locked up for two more seasons. The pressure is on to make a deep playoff push sooner rather than later – Pete is the oldest head coach in the NFL and Wagner is on the wrong side of 30. The issues that plagued the roster seemed easily identifiable and solvable: (1) find additional players to rush the passer; (2) fix the offensive line (a common refrain for as long as I’ve drafted this post); and (3) increase competition for the right cornerback position. Everything looked on track to solve those issues as well – the Seahawks entered into the offseason with four picks in the first 3 rounds, including two second round picks and SIXTY MILLION in cap space… enough to sign, as Russell Wilson called for at the NFL Pro Bowl, a couple more superstars to put the team over the top. What did the Seahawks do with those picks and that money? That is what we are here to discuss.
III. Coaching Changes
The Seahawks made more changes than usual to the coaching staff than in most of the years that I’ve been writing this column. Most of those changes are localized to the bottom of the coaching roster, as the Seahawks return all six of their Director or higher members of the front office, and all three coordinator positions. Interesting and relevant changes are summarized below:
Addition – Alonzo Highsmith, Personnel Executive. Highsmith, who learned under Ted Thompson with John Schneider, logged 19 seasons with the Green Bay Packers player personnel department. By 2012, Highsmith was a Senior Personnel Executive for the Packers, and spent two years with the Browns from 2018-2019 as the Vice President of Player Personnel. He was let go when the Browns cleaned out Freddie Kitchens and John Dorsey. Highsmith worked with the team as a consultant for the 2020 draft and was hired full-time in June.
Addition – Steve Hutchinson, Football Consultant. The former first-round pick and soon-to-be Hall of Fame inductee also started work with the team in 2020, scouting offensive line talent at the Senior Bowl before being hired on full time to learn the scouting and player personnel ropes.
Addition – Aaron Curry, Defensive Assistant/Linebackers. Aaron Curry was a part-time assistant with the linebacker group last season, but was hired full-time for 2020. His LinkedIn states that he is responsible for quality control.
New Position – Brennan Carroll, Run Game Coordinator. Brennan Davis, son of Pete Carroll, has come a long way since Carroll hired him to serve as assistant offensive line coach back in 2015 with no background in coaching offensive linemen. The use of Run Game and Passing Game Coordinator has not been seen since the days of Bevell and Cable, when both of them split play calling duties. It remains to be seen how much impact Pete’s nepotism in promoting his son will have on the team, but it remains a point of concern, considering under Brennan, the offensive line has been a dumpster fire. Fortunately, when your father is the head coach you can fail upwards quite easily.
New Position – Austin Davis, Quarterbacks Coach. Austin Davis received a promotion from Offensive Assistant because Dave Canales (the previous QB coach) was promoted to Passing Game Coordinator. Austin Davis is still the most recent non-Russell Wilson QB to enter a regular season game (back in 2017!), and now he has to coach Russell Wilson, whom he backed up.
Retirement – Pat Ruel, Assistant Offensive Line Coach. The ten-year Seahawks vet and 47-year offensive line coach finally hung up his whistle, presumably because of COVID-19 related risks right before training camp was set to commence. Ruel is 69 and probably at high-risk for serious complications if he would catch the disease. Ruel was one of Pete’s USC coaches that followed him from college to the pros when he was hired.
IV. Free Agency (Players Lost/Cut)
The loss of Al Woods and Quinton Jefferson will be felt – as both played surprisingly well for the Seahawks even though the line itself, as a collective, was probably close to the worst in the NFL. Over 14 games, Jefferson had 3.5 sacks (second for the team overall), had 10 QB hits, had four tackles for loss, recovered a fumble, and deflected three passes. Al Woods did yeoman’s work for the Seahawks, providing a run-stopping solution on early downs when teams chose not to run at Clowney (for good reason), but still managed to recover two fumbles, rack up 32 tackles, and generate three tables for loss and a QB hit. Both have not been satisfactorily replaced, as discussed later. Taking a step back, one of the things that stands out to me over the many years that I’ve written this post and illustrates how far the Seahawks have fallen in terms of talent is that they used to be so loaded that their castoffs would go on to be starters for other teams. Players like Benson Mayowa, Spencer Ware, Jaye Howard, Robert Turbin all come to mind as players who were drafted and later released by the Seahawks when they were really rolling that went on to have successful careers elsewhere. Looking at the list above, most are not homegrown talent, and out of those that are – Fant, Ifedi, Thompson, and Britt… could we say that it is likely that any of them have a high likelihood of success elsewhere? Maybe Fant, but that is probably wishful thinking at best. The Seahawks are quite threadbare in terms of starting caliber depth players, which is partially due to the disastrous drafting done by Pete and John from 2013-2017. Gone are the days when the Seahawks releases would get swooped up right after release or snapped up on the waiver wire. V. Free Agency (Players Re-signed)
V. Free Agency (Players Re-Signed)
The highlight of the Seahawks re-signings was Jarran Reed. Reed was re-signed before free agency started to a 2 year, $23m contract that included a $10m signing bonus and $14.1m guaranteed (essentially the entire first year). However, after the contract details came out – he essentially signed a one-year deal because if he does not perform, he can be released with no dead cap in 2021. Everyone else was signed to minimum or RFA deals.
VI. Free Agency (New Players Signed or Acquired)
The first signing that Seattle made was to sign Greg Olsen to a one-year, $7 million contract. Olsen, who is now 35, has developed some injury concerns after logging nine straight seasons where he played every game, only playing in 16 games total between the 2017 and 2018 seasons and missing two games in 2019. With a longer than usual offseason with no OTAs, Olsen said that this offseason has been a dream for him, as he was able to give his body extra time to rest and recover. Brandon Shell signed a two-year, $11 million deal with the Seahawks, who signed George Fant to replace him. Shell played RT for the Jets, and had a 63.6 grade by PFF for the 2019 season, as he allowed seven sacks, and committed five penalties. He looks to be a marginal at best upgrade over former-RT Germain Ifedi, who committed thirteen penalties and allowed six sacks. Ifedi’s 2019 PFF grade was 56.2. BJ Finney signed a two-year $5.9 million deal. Finney looks to compete for spots at Center for the team. His main competition will be Joey Hunt, so perhaps he could be penciled in as the starter. He has played at other interior O-line spots as well, so his versatility and experience will be key in an offseason shortened by COVID. Pete Carroll, having exhausted all of the 2013 NFL first round reclamation projects, now turns to the 2015 NFL draft, bringing in known bust Cedric Ogbuehi, who signed a 3.3m one-year deal. Ogbuehi has not played more than 200 snaps in the past two seasons, looks to compete in what could be his last chance to make it in the NFL. Instead of re-signing Clowney or making a splash move to bolster the pass rush, the Seahawks brought back two former Seahawks – Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa in free agency. Bruce Irvin, who turns 33 this season, had career high sacks (8.5) for Carolina. His one-year contract is worth $5.5 million. Mayowa, who just turned 29, had career high sacks for Oakland (7.0). Mayowa’s one-year contract is worth $3 million. Carlos Hyde signed a 1-year, $2.75m contract in May to provide depth just in case Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny cannot start the season. Hyde underwent surgery in February to repair a torn labrum, but should be ready to start the NFL season.
VII. Free Agency Cost Roundup
Coming into Free Agency, the Seahawks had around $60 million in cap space to use as they saw fit. By the end of free agency, they had spent $53.4 million of that on new or returning players:
Jarran Reed $9.35m
Greg Olsen $6.9m
Bruce Irvin $5.9m
B.J. Finney $3.5m
Brandon Shell $3.475m
Quinton Dunbar $3.421m
Jacob Hollister $3.259m
Benson Mayowa $3.018m
Mike Iupati $2.5m
Cedric Obuehi $2.237m
Joey Hunt $2.1m
Branden Jackson $2.1m
David Moore $2.1m
Neiko Thorpe $887,500
Luke Willson $887,500
Phillip Dorsett $887,500
Chance Warmack $887,500
VIII. 2019 Draft + Grades
A. Draft Analysis
After Free Agency, the Seahawks entered into the 2019 NFL Draft with four picks in the first three rounds (three natural picks plus the Chiefs 2nd Round Selection at 64 because of the Frank Clark trade in 2019). With basket of riches that the team had rarely had, expectations were high that the Seahawks would address at least one of their two still-glaring needs in the offseason – offensive and defensive play in the trenches in the first round. At this point, the Seahawks believed they had solved their cornerback issue by trading for Quinton Dunbar, who had not been arrested yet – leaving two clear holes with a few chances to fill them. Let’s look at how desperate the Seahawks needed to be when it came to the trenches. Pro Football Focus ranked the Seahawks at 27th in terms of Offensive Line play following the 2019 regular season. The Seahawks gave up 48 sacks of Russell Wilson, his second highest total in his career, and the seventh straight that he had been sacked 41 times or more. On defense, the Seahawks were tied for second-lowest in terms of sacks in 2019, with only the 5-11 Dolphins having less. According to Pro Football Reference, the Seahawks only generated some form of pressure 19.3% of the time, good for 28th in the NFL and gave up 6.0 yards per play (6,106 yards on defense, total), good for a tie for second worst in the NFL. Yet, what position did they end up drafting with their most significant piece? A non-rush, inside linebacker. This was after they currently pay Bobby Wagner 18m APY (the Seahawks current MLB), retained WILL LB K.J. Wright for another year (costing the team $10,000,000 against the cap), brought in Bruce Irvin to play SAM LB on early downs (locking down all three LB spots for 2020), and drafted a Linebacker (Cody Barton) in the 2019 third round (the previous year!) to serve as the heir apparent to Wright. Where does Brooks see the field? Did we really spend a first rounder to burn a year of cheap club control to serve as a backup? While the Seahawks did make some good draft choices following the LB pick, spending a 1st round selection on a player that won’t immediately see the field in some capacity (with two, maybe three inked in starters ahead of him) is not a decision that should be lauded in any capacity.
B. First Round, Pick Number 27: Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech
This will become a broken record by the time you finish reading this post – but for Brooks, I like the player, but hate the cost and the thought process behind it. Brooks is an old school, run stopping, TFL-generating thumper LB. He rarely misses tackles. He had 20 TFLs. The Seahawks were absolutely horrendous at stopping the run last year (full details later in this post). It makes sense. He generates momentum stopping hits and has good burst to chase down the ball carrier. However, he isn’t going to be as great as Logan Wilson or Patrick Queen in dropping into a zone in coverage or picking up a TE or the RB for man coverage. Queen’s hips are more fluid, and Wilson is much more of a ballhawk. Brooks demonstrated some coverage ability in 2018, but expecting him to cover TE monsters like Kittle on the 49ers or Higbee/Everett on the Rams seems like a recipe for getting burned. In a division with modern high-powered offenses under young head coaches, I wonder about the value of the oldest head coach in the NFL drafting an old-school LB when the league is evolving. Brooks will always be compared to Queen especially, as he was drafted right after him by the Ravens.
C. Second Round, Pick Number 48: Darrell Taylor, DE, Tennessee
As much as I did not like the Brooks pick, I love the Darrell Taylor pick. I just hate that the Seahawks had to give up a third rounder to go get him, even though the Seahawks have a pretty good track record when they trade up for a player (Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Jarran Reed, Michael Dickson) Love the player, hate the cost. Taylor is as close to a prototypical LEO that existed in the 2020 NFL draft, which was not full of twitched up DEs outside of Chase Young at the top. He has the burst off the edge that the Seahawks have been missing since Frank Clark was traded. Taylor has all of the potential to develop into an amazing edge rusher, but he is not refined enough to be expected to succeed right away. Indeed, when I watched his film and not his highlights where he was able to obliterate non-NFL level talent (seriously, watch him obliterate Mississippi State’s walk-on LT #79), he was routinely stonewalled by the cream-of-the-crop SEC tackles, like Georgia’s Andrew Thomas and Isaiah Wilson and Alabama’s Jedrick Wills, which does not bode well for the next level. However, if Pete and the rest of the coaching staff can sharpen his physical gifts, he could develop into a monster. He will also need to demonstrate that he can reliably stop the run to be a true three-down lineman for the Seahawks.
D. Third Round, Pick Number 69: Damien Lewis, OG, LSU
I thought the Seahawks got a steal when Damien Lewis was still around in the third, as I had a second-round grade on him. Lewis is a mauler that opened up huge holes in the run game and still provided value in the passing game, especially having to face the five and four-star monsters that most SEC teams have at DT. When LSU were pushing to go undefeated at the end of the year, Lewis was the best guard in college football from Week 11 onwards according to PFF. He didn’t stop there, as Lewis destroyed everyone at the Senior Bowl, winning almost 70% of his 1v1 drills according to PFF. While it will be hard for Lewis to fight his way into a starting role with no rookie mini-camp, no OTAs, and limited padded practices in training camp, I would not be surprised if Lewis was the starter by 2021.
E. Fourth Round, Pick Number 133, Colby Parkinson, TE, Stanford
Colby Parkinson is a physical freak. Dude stands at 6’7”, has a 32.5 inch vertical jump, and has 33” arms – a massive catch radius. He has stated that he plans to play at 260 pounds, adding around eight more pounds onto his frame. While his straight line speed is nothing that jumps off the page at 4.77 seconds in the 40 yard dash, he was a red-zone nightmare. His hands are amazing, as he did not drop a single pass in 2019. 48 targets, 48 catches. He wasn’t much of an in-line blocker, but he was willing and gave effort. His stock was sky high coming into 2019 after catching seven touchdowns, but poor QB play from Stanford lowered his stock considerably, especially as he only managed to catch one TD in 2019. If he had seven touchdowns again in 2019, I think he’s an early third rounder. He looked to be an interesting prospect for the Seahawks but broke a bone in his foot while working out, which required surgery. With the Seahawks tight end room looking crowded, it looks like Parkinson might have to “red-shirt” the year on the PUP list.
F. Fourth Round, Pick Number 144, DeeJay Dallas, RB, Miami
Dallas is a Pete Carroll running back – he runs angry. He wants to get into contact, and push through. Former teammate of Seahawks RB Travis Homer, Dallas will fight Homer for a role as the #3 RB behind Carson and Hyde with Penny starting the year on PUP. Dallas will also compete for special teams, likely on the coverage unit. Dallas was also a converted WR, so has a lot of tread left on his tires and could be a weapon out of the backfield, something that has been lacking for Pete Carroll’s RBs since Marshawn Lynch departed for the first time. Dallas doesn’t have the home run hitting speed that Penny brought to the team, but he has enough to hit a crease and make a big 10-20 yard gain.
G. Fifth Round, Pick Number 148, Alton Robinson, DE, Syracuse
The Seahawks love taking risks on physical gifts. Alton Robinson is a player that has all of the tools (prototypical size, length, power and speed), but had significantly underwhelming tape and a lot of off-the-field concerns. Robinson is a speed rusher that has a ton of juice off the snap and the hips to bend around the corner. If you watch his highlights, he looks like a first or second round pick. His flashes when he turns it on are everything that you want in a speed pass rusher. However, at this point, all he has is the speed rush, as his power moves are nonexistent. Watching his tape further illustrates his inability to re-direct inside as well, where he also looks disinterested (and sometimes outright loafs around) when not called to pass rush – especially if the ball carrier runs away from his side of the line. It must also be brought up that he was arrested and charged with second-degree felony robbery in 2016 (which led to his offer to Texas A&M being pulled) and alleged to have been involved in another similar robbery in 2015. The 2016 charges were later dropped in 2017.
H. Sixth Round, Pick Number 214, Freddie Swain, WR, Florida
Freddie Swain is a slot WR brought in to compete with Dorsett, Ursua, and others. He also looks to factor in as a kick/punt returner with his 4.4 speed. He isn’t the best route runner, but he made up for that with good hands and RAC ability. With the Seahawks spots after Lockett and Metcalf at #1 and #2 wide open for competition, Swain will get chances to carve out a spot for himself if he can quickly demonstrate that he can be reliable for Wilson.
I. Seventh Round, Pick Number 251, Steven Sullivan, TE/WR, LSU
Pete Carroll loves big targets. He’s always kept a big target around at the bottom of the WR depth chart, whether it’s Chris Matthews, Jazz Ferguson, or Tyrone Swoopes… if you’re big, you might have a shot in Seattle to stick around for a bit. While Pete and John already brought in Colby Parkinson, the Seahawks couldn’t resist doubling up and getting Sullivan, who is the definition of grit. His length (35.5 inch arms), explosiveness (36.5” vert, 4.6 40), and hands are intriguing tools. --------
I try to be realistic when it comes to the Offseason Review Series, because it is too easy for any writer to predict a successful campaign with homer goggles and the excitement (and subsequent dopamine hit) from offseason acquisitions. I myself have done so in the past – you only need to read my 13-3 prediction in 2017, a year where the team actually collapsed to 9-7. Thus, even when the Seahawks acquire elite talent, I have to take into account whether or not they can quickly fit into the scheme or if the coaching staff will try to force a square peg into a round hole. Who could have predicted that the Seahawks would try to make Jimmy Graham block when he was an elite pass catcher and red zone threat? It took Pete Carroll three years to figure that out! The Seahawks came into the offseason with two big holes on the roster, but had the potential to make this offseason one to rival 2013 when they put themselves over the top by adding two of the best pass rushers in free agency to add to the one pass rusher they already had. They had the money to be aggressive, but chose to patiently wait for Clowney and let the rest of the market pass them by. They also chose to completely re-build the offensive line in what turned out to be a COVID-shortened offseason, and their timidity in the defensive line market cost them the ability to sign proven, plug-and-play talent like Jack Conklin. Instead, the Seahawks frittered away their $60m nest egg on unproven and reclamation projects. Thus, both sides of the trenches are still gaping holes on the roster, and time will only tell if Russell Wilson can captain this ship and still make magic happen or if those holes in the vessel turn out to be on or below the waterline, and the season sinks. Time will only tell. I'd like to give a shout-out to Seahawks Twitter and the Seahawks Discord for being consistently awful, /NFL_Draft for hosting some of the best draft conversation, PlatypusOfDeath for hosting this thing, and all of you for reading it. Link to Hub.
Fairly Conservative Stock Advice for the non Expert
Buy stocks with earnings and increasing revenues. You can forget that occasionally but it takes time to learn when you can do that. Yahoo finance has all the general info you need to assess a stock in most cases but it'll take a while to learn to navigate for everything. If you can find a stock that is going up nicely (during normal times) in volume more than triple its average inexplicably on NO CURRENT NEWS-that is the best way i have found explosive stocks-Finding one in a hot sector is a big plus. It may take 2-3 weeks or more before they start popping. The reason this works is because it indicates some 'wise guys' know something is coming that isn't out yet. It is best used for small cap to low mid cap generally unknown stocks. Don't use this formula for stocks that have crashed and are now bouncing up. Read these boards and watch all the business channels as often as you can-Listen when Buffet speaks. This is to learn basic market and business principles and not necessarily for specific stock picks. If you hear of an interesting stock, do your own due diligence. A Drip plan on a Utility or Dividend Mutual Fund where you add extra money of the same amount regularly is the surest way to make a nice score over time. Try to get in when the market tanks and/or up your extra contribution at that time. Don't EVER buy stocks under $3-$4. If you have to, make sure you can handle a total loss. If you receive a phone call from a broker you don't know to buy one, don't even think about it-just hang up. Avoid Margin unless you can transfer in covering funds in a day or two Buy thinly traded stocks that you like when they are down on low volume. Never set a GTC order for more than a week or two at most. You can wind up buying a stock for forty that is 25 ten minutes later. Much less likely to happen in a week or two and then you can re-assess your decision. If you have a GTC order, you must read the after market and pre market news so that you can cancel your order if something weird is going on. The exception might be in the crypto market to set some GTC orders at 60% below market and hope for a flash crash. With short term trading, only trade stocks with good fundamentals that you wont mind owning if things don't go your way. Don't buy in the pre market Once you sell a stock at a profit, don't buy back in on a small drop Always have 20% cash in case of a market crash. Adding money incrementally and waiting for a 5% rally are usually good ideas If you get lucky and have a 500% gain or more inside of a year on a stock, take double your investment off the table. Remember "No one ever went broke taking a profit" and You'll never buy at the absolute lows or sell at the highs. When in doubt on taking a profit, sell half! NONE of this info came from a book. I have never read a book on the market but quite a few articles, watched the business channels, talked extensively to active investors and been trading and following the market for decades. Good luck!
eBay DD Due Diligence, Coronavirus is about to reboot this stock to what it should have been worth years ago
*Authors note* Attempted to post this in WSB but it kept being rejected by the AUTOMOD because it said the title was too long. IDK what the issue is but I am posting it here if that is okay as I spent a lot of time on it. Apologies it was written in the voice of WSB. This is a great stock to buy as well so I think the people on this sub would appreciate the DD. I don't post here much, for those that don't know me I'm the one who posted a very in depth HUYA DD (Now taken down by the WSB mods I suspect because I made a post earnings update talking about some shenanigans) I sold my Huya 10/16 strikes for 800% profit last week. I will leave my options recommendations in the DD. I know Options are not a big thing here but TBH 1/15/21 $85 strikes are a very conservative investment. I have dysgraphia and dyslexia so my writing style can be brutal but the message should come across. *End Note* eBay could SOON become pound for pound one of the most profitable enterprises outside of gambling and drugs. TLDR Bad Leadership at eBay for YEARS Corona flips the script. Bull Case $180 Bear Case $220 Future Price Target maybe more. We will see how peoples mind changes when we see earnings. BUY 11 – 101 – 1001 Shares Depending on Bankroll (I like shares on this one as I expect the company to pay dividends) X Multiples of 100 for future CC. 7/31 $80C (These look the juiciest RN) (8/21 $90C if made available) 1/15/21 $85C Ebay is an online auction house. Look up your local auction house and spend an evening or day at the Auction. It is fun and will help you understand why previous CEO’s tanked this awesome company with their stupidity. Hammering a Diamond into a square hole. Worked for an auction house 4 years. If you go to a well run local auction you will see diverse people, successful auction houses have a customer makeup like this: 30% Hustlers and People involved with the auctions (Consignees etc) 20% Rich people (Rich people love auctions and I’m not talking about Sotherbys I’m talking about a normal sized city weekly auction there will be lots of rich people there) 40% Normal people that either like the thrill or value seekers. 10% Poor People. This is important when we talk about bad CEO decisions. You have to know your audience. Ebay started out with this dude selling a broken laser printer, Pierre Omidayer. It grew quickly and he brought in professional help. This can be a good thing as founders can get in the way of growth. In 1998 Meg Whitman was hired to be CEO. Her tenure was unimpressive and she was responsible for the first of two massive blunders that decapitated eBay growth. Ebay was growing and the internet was starting to get widespread use. By the early 2000s people started to talk about WEB 2.0 and for some reason certain people thought that WEB 2.0 meant being fancy. Ebay did a massive redesign that was hated by most people. Broadband internet was in it’s infancy and the focus on form over function was frustrating for low bandwidth users as the fanciness was more complicated and took longer to load. Additionally it stunted the pathway that would eventually appear for mobile growth. The remnants of this design linger today. Screen Cap of the AOLfication of eBay late 2003 I believe one of the big problems was rendering the menus in AJAX or something similar, very slow to load in that era Here we can see the failure in line graph form, (These things lag) eBay share price got hammered. One the reasons for the hammering was lackluster earnings, many ebay users attribute this to the redesign failure as it turned off existing and new customers. Link to image as it loos like this sub doesn't allow embeded images Project Ugly-ify and Slow-ify eBay looks to have lopped off growth and momentum for the share price. Meg Whitmans tenure at ebay neutered growth. One could blame Whitman for doing a lot of damage to eBay growth but she will largely be forgotten after you learn about the FLAMING DUMPSTER FIRE OF A CEO that is John Donahoe. In 2008 eBay hired Donahoe to be CEO. This could possibly be the worst hire in the history of all hires. Don’t take my word for it. In 2014 Carl Icahn said eBay was the worst run company he had ever seen. Carl Icahn says eBay is the worst run company he has ever seen Donahoe had series after series of bad decision. He basically went to war with small and medium sellers (eBay’s actual bread and butter customers) and went to great lengths to attract large corporate clients. (The worst type of business for eBay) and run away his most profitable customers. eBay is a market place. Donahoe gave steep discounts in fees in order to attract corporate customers. Companies like Target started to sell on eBays platform. (Most are now gone because within a few short years the internet was mature enough that they could start their own platforms) Link to no longer existing eBay Target Store Fee discounts to corporate customers angered existing sellers. In early 2013 he implemented eBay’s search algorithm (Cassini I believe it was called) Previous to this Algo eBay was just a dumb search engine. With the Algo, eBay could control visibility of items on the site via built in preferences like Best Match. With this Donahoe is about to fire maybe 20% of his most profitable customers and give the Amazon marketplace a flood of new users. This idiot was trying to turn an auction house into the next Amazon. Instead he just put Amazon growth on steroids and shoots himself in the foot. Cassini was used to ban eBay's customers. DROVES OF THEM Donahoe decided that any problems on eBay were caused by sellers and he declared war on the people that were his customers. Enter DSR. Detailed seller ratings was eBay implementation of strict guidelines for their sellers. DSR = 4 categories, each category was rated 1-5 with 5 being good. The system treated 1&2s as a failure. For Example Customer was unhappy with an item they received for whatever reason. If someone rated a part of the transaction a 2 they would get a ding against their DSR. Problem is they treated all categories the same and the thresholds were very stringent. For every 1000 transactions a seller had to have LESS than 10 dings in order to participate with Cassini without a search penalty. If the 10 threshold was crossed (Which is 98.9% or less good rating) they would be penalized in the search standing and go under probation. If they crossed 20/1000 or 97.9% or less positive approval rating they would BAN YOU FROM THE PLATFORM. YOU READ THAT CORRECTLY John DONAHOE in is infinite wisdom decided that sellers with as high as a 97.9% positive transaction rating were disposable. I've NEVER SEEN SOMETHING SO STUPID IN MY LIFE. I kid you not. Donahoe implemented a system where a 98.9% POSITIVE rating has a penalty and 97.9% positive is a ban. (Check the feedback on tons of Amazon marketplace sellers and you will see how ridiculous a threshold this was) What was even more ridiculous was in the beginning all categories were treated the same. For example Books were treated the same way as used women's clothing. Certain categories like womens clothing were DECIMATED by sellers being banned. People who had been on the platform for a decade and had say a 97% positive feedback selling USED WOMENS CLOTHING were banned left and right. It gets worse, remember how at 98.9% they would put you on probation? Some people called this the DEATH SPIRAL as if you were on probation the new “Best Match” system would lower your search standing. So if you were some poor schmuck who had sold 397 used pieces of womens clothing that year and just 4 of them were unhappy with the experience. You’d go on probation with little to no hope of anything other than the ban hammer. I’ve read many period era messageboard posts of long time sellers in probation trying to do EVERYTHING they could to raise their DSR to get out of probation but had zero visibility with the new algo, they were just left to wither on the vine hoping fruitlessly to turn things around. Most of them didn’t know it YET but eventually as people started putting the pieces together there was no chance of them escaping the Death Spiral. Gaggles of people spent MONTHS trying to save their accounts and eventually most of them realized they were screwed, there was nothing they could do about it because of the Algos. These sellers turned on ebay and took others with them. If you notice during this time period AMAZON marketplace took off. Daddy Bezo’s had a flood of experienced online traders who simply shifted their operations to the less popular (at the time) and more expensive platform (at the time). It was either that or close shop. MANY CHOSE TO CLOSE SHOP. The stupidity of all this was the Small and Medium sellers were the real money makers. eBay charges around a 9% fee with a cap of $250 per transaction. Which is more profitable? Target selling 50,000 items or 5,000 small to medium size sellers selling 100 items? The answer is in the nature of marketplaces. Target sells to 5,000 customers and that is the end of the story. Small to medium sized sellers tend to keep the money in the marketplace. User A sells to user B for $100 User B can turn around and take that $100 and buy something he needs for himself or his business from user C, user C can then do the same. Wash, Rinse, Repeat. Target selling $100 is a one way street while Small to Medium users can be a continuous money carousel. Donahoe in his infinite ignorance ran off many of his prime sellers. Ultimately sellers are your customers as they are the one’s who pay the fees. He jump started his competition whom he was stupidly trying to emulate. The important thing to understand about eBay is their product (An Auction) is easily scaleable and cheap to run For example this Rolex costs about the same to service this listing for a rug The Target deal, illustrated with a bathroom rug Chasing these corporate dollars was infinitely stupid.
They gave these corporations steep discounts to use the platform
The internet was maturing and we were just a few years from all these corporations having their own web presence
Robbed dollars and eyeballs from your bread and butter. Auction and Store listings of small to medium sellers.
Robs future revenue from carousel customers who return money to the marketplace and gives it to corporate customers who do not return dollars and are using the dollars they make off you to build the infrastructure to replace you. DING DING DING
This dude declared war on some of his best customers and tried to make eBay an ugly corporate shill and would eventually lead to the invasion of cheap Chinese stuff (eBay is now combating that) We can see the results of his war on customers with this graph. eBay’s growth and revenue was decimated by this idiot and you can see the results once the earnings were reported (Which lagged the implementation of his stupidity) War on customers displayed via line graph Donohoe decapitated ebay right during what would have been it’s prime growth years and funneled those customers to his biggest competitor. eBay can make far more with less because of the nature of it’s bread and butter customers. Many auction enthusiasts are high income types. eBay has better demographics financially than it’s competitors. There is even a fairly large industry of arbitrage where people sell items they source elsewhere (Like amazon) and basically drop ship them off as eBay sells because some stuff sells at a premium on eBay. eBay CAN make more money per transaction compared to similar industries and can capture a significant amount of money to return within the marketplace. Similar to sales tax, that dollar can bounce around within the marketplace and eBay can take it’s 9% cut every time it switches hands. Interesting side rabbit hole that arises during the Donahoe years. Donahoe was obsessed with attacking his own customers. This was commonly followed in an industry blog called AuctionWeb and then eventually named ecommercebytes. Run by the Steiner Couple Here is an article their website published about them getting rid of sellers They reported on all of eBay’s policy changes and basically called them out for being the giant window lickers they were. It ruffled a few feathers within the organization and now 6+ employees of eBay are being charged with crimes like harassment and stalking. Really a crazy story. DONAHOE is to blame for the policies and culture that allowed this to happen. He should go to jail over just what he did to the share price. Crazy eBay Criminal Stalking More Crazy eBay Harassment During all of this foot shooting was when Carl Icahn said that eBay was THE WORST RUN COMPANY HE HAD EVER SEEN One of the problems was the incestuous nature of eBay’s relationship with Paypal and the board members who presided over both. They basically spent a decade doing what was best for the board and not what was best for the Shareholders, employees and customers of eBay. This is now not so much a problem because many of those relationships no longer exist. In the aftermath the other pieces have found increased market value and eBay has been suppressed due to it being stuck with all the burdens of the Donahoe administration and bad perception. eBay should have been worth more as an individual piece and it’s was the one who took the financial hits. PayPal Split in 2015 PayPal has a 113 P/E (I’m not saying this is the best metric to judge a company I’m just using it for illustration) If eBay traded at Paypal P/E it would be worth $660 So what’s the catalyst to the eBay Rocket Ship that is about to take off? CORONA. Corona is shaking up the whole economy and this shake up will jolt eBay to it’s full potential. Alexa 90 days, even better at 140 and this growth is against the normal ebb of seasonal business Over the past 4 months as far as I can tell eBay has increased traffic by as much as 18%+ which is pretty AMAZING for a very mature internet company. Even more amazing when you take into account that this is normally eBays slow period. Traffic is normally on the downturn. YOY I am curious how much busier they have been I'm guessing 45% YOY increase in traffic for the Month of May & June April May June July are eBay’s 4 slowest months and the July 28th earnings will encompass 3 of those 4 months. During the slowest time of year eBay went from the mid 50’s to the lower 40’s for it’s spot in total Internet Traffic. A HUGE shift against the normal tide of business cycles. Traffic for last 90 days. Up much more over entire Corona Period the increase looks more bigly when you view 150 days out I've spent a few hours trawling eBay seller message boards. Within this quarter I have heard of increases in per transactions and a decrease in "Best Offers" which means better margins for sellers and more fees for eBay. I attribute this to Corona disrupting normal supply chains. eBay has been established for many years so boomers when they can’t find something are like "Oh Yeah EBAY." Many sellers report increased sells in business related categories and more aged inventory being sold as parts of the market shift towards online from some of the traditionally Bricks and Mortar industries. eBay has a very successful and well made app. Sellers are seeing increased usage amongst younger buyers/sellers whom are either bored with the lockdowns or looking for side income after losing their jobs. Remember when we mentioned 500 small sellers being worth more than one big corporate client? This will be obtained with an army of people using the app on their cell phones. Corona is going to get the attention of customers they lost over the years as they come back to the platform they remember, millennials and new users when they discover the well made app will come online. I've added the eBay App to my phone it is very good and has very customizable search features. The Bear case for eBay is even more, if Corona turns out to be worse (It’s not) everything online just becomes more valuable. So what is eBay worth? Well it’s a better investment IMO than Paypal eBay valued like Paypal is worth $660 Mercardo Libre is worth more than eBay (This is a Crime) as it is not even a top 1000 worldwide website while eBay is top 50. Plus it doesn’t even turn a profit. If you have any MELI stock sell half of it and buy eBay in addition to whatever you would buy if you didn't own MELI do the same for PayPal as well IMO. If eBay was valued like MELI it would be worth Tesla numbers Mercardo Libre has a 25% bigger market cap than eBay and doesn’t turn a profit. Ebay would be $76 a share just to be on par with MELI and it shouldn’t even be in the same ballpark. Etsy is just outside of the Top 100 for web traffic and has a 181 P/E if eBay was trading like ETSY it would be trading at $1090 a share If eBay was valued like ETSY it would trade for $1090 Channel Advisor is a company that grew out of offering services for eBay and while it works on multiple platforms it’s use was born from eBay and it has a 60 P/E If trading like Channel Advisor it would be worth $363 Corona shifted a lot of users to the eBay marketplace because of busted supply chains. They now have an Okay website and an EXCELLENT APP. This increased use comes during the traditional low tide of eBay traffic and if eBay leans into the coming quarters their revenue is going to skyrocket. Corona was the catalysts to wake everybody up to what eBay could do and what it should be worth. EBAY should be one of the most profitable companies in the US economy with lots of room to improve the bottom line. It has all the pieces. Like Selling off some of the MANY side projects under the eBay umbrella Streamlining Employment Just this month they are integrating their own payment platform which should add 1-2% more to every sell which is a big deal considering that the average fee is around 9%. We are talking about maybe 20% added to revenue with not much changing. BIG MONEY Winning back Small to Medium sellers and improving the per item transaction is eBay's ticket to tendie town. All the new growth they are experiencing is exactly what they need and want. They have a good App that can capitalize on the reboot. eBay has ample room for growth and I suspect the income levels of buyers in the marketplace is higher than competitors like Amazon, Etsy, Overstock, Stitch Fix. eBaY has more people with money paying attention. New CEO seems to be a bright guy. All he has to do is not SHOOT HIMSELF IN THE FOOT like the Donahoe CEO. If successful eBay will be on the moon mission of all moon missions MOST UNDERVALUED TECH COMPANY IN AMERICA. As always my DMs are open and I do mercenary stuff. I have my position and I am currently buying shares with a goal of 303 shares before earnings. I suspect this thing will have VERY little resistance upon takeoff Little Resistance BUY 11 – 101 – 1001 Shares Depending on Bankroll (I like shares on this one, I like the company and I'm expecting dividends) Once this rocket settles it is covered call selling time. (This is why you want multiples of 100 You should be at least a 80/20 Options/ Share split. Got to water the seed Options 7/31 $80C (8/21 $90C if ever made available) 1/15/21 $85C (Also I'd buy higher but they are not currently available, if BEFORE earnings Higher Strikes appear I would go up in strike A LOT. If earnings are up big this is ONLY THE BEGINNING as this is eBays SLOW PERIOD. Earnings for the fall will be CRAZY if Traffic continues to hold and if it has the normal Santa Claus Tax increase 🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀
NA to JP Parity Weapon Progression Guide (Ep3-Ep6)
After looking around trying to help respond to someones reply in a thread I noticed that there weren't that many progression guides for each weapon type so I figured I could make one for most classes. If Sega decides to follow the way that Ep4+ handled their drops then this list should be mostly correct and if Sega decides to throw a wrench in the mix like how they did with Neme/Slave weapons things might become a little different for a few of the classes. When it comes to NA Lightstream weapons will be name changed to Trailblazer weapons, Austere weapons will be name changed to Ophistia weapons, Takts are referred to as Harmonizers, and some of the other weapons might have their names changed. I don't want to change the name of them in the guide so that people looking them up wont be confused when they don't show up when looking for them.
These paths dont include the many many other side grades there are to each weapon but most weapons do have ones that can be better due to playstyle or just in very specific scenarios.
One of the things you will notice right away is that almost every weapon will have the Atlas series, Lightstream, Liberate, and Stil weapons as weapons to upgrade to. They are considered the best due to their ability to have S-Class affixes on them, they aren't like the usual affixes because instead of flat damage bonuses they will give various effects that are close to having extra potentials. A few examples are S4:Wand Clobber which gives you the attack speed bonus and hit-stun negation from the lavis cannon, S2:Medicinal Wisdom which causes you to get pp along with hp when you heal with mates, and S4:Vampiric Strike which will allow you to restore up to 30 hp per hit you do. There is a plethora of other ones you can choose from and set on the weapons to make them cover up the weakness of your weapon, double down on what the weapon does well, make you gain even more damage, grab potentials from older weapons, and even more things but you get the point. S-Class affixes will allow you to tailor weapons to your choosing and help create the best playstyle for each weapon type. The S-Class affixes have their own different slots being S1, S2, S3, S4, and S5 and also require the weapon of choice to have the S-Class slot supported on it. The Atlas series (S1-S4 Access), Lightstream (S1-S3 Access), Liberate (S4-S5 Access), and Stil weapons(S1-S3, S5 Access) will all have access to the most important S-Class affixes there is to offer while balancing it with high weapon damage and amazing potentials. Atlas: Atlas weapons are strong due to being the first weapons with S4 access and having a decent potential. The potential is simple and will give you (8/9/10%) more damage and once you make it to the 15* versions those will also add the ability to live one lethal attack with 1 hp and rapidly heal you to full once per quest. Very simple and strong but the big benefits are in having the S1-S4 access in allowing the access to some old potentials and the tailor-made playstyle for you. Lightstream: Lightstream weapons gain most of their strength in being a very strong PP Battery and having high base damage over Atlas in trade for an S4 slot. The potential gives you (8/9/10%) more damage just like Atlas but it makes Dark Blast last for 10 more seconds and also fully restores PP when you use a PA/Tech under 10% PP and gives 3% more damage for 30 seconds and has a 120 second cooldown. Even once you ditch the lightstream weapons for better weapons they will still have their use in being full PP regen in trade for the power of 1 PA/Tech. They still have S1-S3 access like Atlas but miss out on the strong S4s though even without them they are very strong weapons in their own regard. You will want to usually stick with 15* Atlas until you full affix your Lightstream weapon. Liberate: Liberate weapons are massive for a few weapons(Lookingatyousoaringblades) and great upgrades for the others. Their main appeal is in being the first weapons to have access to S5s and on top of that they also have access to S4s. Most S5s are recycles potentials on weapons that were very meta breaking weapons but they are usually locked to one weapon type. The potential will give (10%/15%/20%) more crit chance, give (10%/13%/16%) more damage, and have (10%/12%/15%) pp consumption reduction. The crit part of the potential will usually make up for the loss in crit chance for most classes by not having the S1-S3 slots to cap but for classes that already cap without needing those they end up losing more crit damage, its fine though because the high base damage and the % Damage boost will make up for it. Very good weapons at the start of ep6 but you will want to stick with one of the two ep5 ones until you fully make your liberate. Stil: Finally there is the Stil weapons, these are DPS machines and are the best weapons for almost every weapon type (*angrilystaresatJetBoots*). Boasting usually over 100 attack over the Liberate these monsters drop the S4 slot from liberate and add in S1-S3 slots allowing for more damage than obtainable from Liberates and that's before thinking about the Stil potentials. The Potential gives you 10% bonus damage and will increase at 0.4% per second you don't get hit eventually capping out (14%/15%/16%) but if you get hit you will lose 3% and have to build up again. When the power bonus is maxed you will get 40% damage reduction, restore 20 PP every 10 seconds, 60% increased natural PP recovery, and knockback immunity. These weapons are insane but can tend to under perform if you aren't to comfortable with whatever content you are trying. Either way if you are super comfortable or not these weapons will always be amazing just because of the S5's sheer power and the S1-S3s flexibility. You will be grinding for these a bit and the liberate will beat it out until the Stil is on its final version so don't full cross out your liberates once you get the stepping stones for a Stil.
Sword: Akatsuki potential is very strong due to the weapon giving hunter what it needs at almost every moment. The potential makes the weapon function with a 2 state system, sealed and unsealed, you can switch states by perfect guarding an attack with your weapon action. While sealed the weapon will regenerate (5%/7%/10%) HP every 10 seconds, fill focus while the weapon is out (70 seconds to max), and give you immunity to being knocked back. While unsealed you will deal (10%/11%/12%) more damage, have (10%/15%/20%) pp consumption reduction, and gain a chance to reduce damage taken by 99%. Sealed Form will allow you to start building up your gear during downtime instead of being dead in the water after boss goes out of range for a while. The knockback immunity helps during your PAs that don't have super armor so that you can be a little more aggressive along with the healing making those hits just be shrugged off. Unsealed is where you will spend most of your time, the damage bonus is the biggest thing that will make the weapon, its 5% off of a Neme/Slave when maxed but the base damage will make up for it so it ends up being stronger and the pp consumption effect won't disappear if you were to get hit. The damage reduction is just an extra effect that doesn't make or break the weapon but helps just make it that much better. On JP there is an additional potential that will boost those effects even further but its unknown if we will get it on NA right away. Double Saber: Quelle Scarlette is a very interesting weapon but ends up being one of the best for double saber. The potential will make Double Saber weapon action tornadoes last for 16 seconds longer and will deal (8%/9%/10%) extra damage than the usual version. As it stands in NA we don't have the ring for double sabers but that should change in ep4. The ring is huge for double saber allowing it to activate their weapon action tornadoes by just using any PA other than Chaos Slicer and Hurricane Hurl. With the Quelle Scarlette and the ring (which you will be using if you are using DS ever) makes one of your main damage sources on double saber just that much better due to just making it stronger and removing the downtime of having to use the weapon action to get the tornado off. The time limit increase on it also allows for easier focus generation for more tornadoes. On JP there is an additional potential that will boost the tornado damage by 14% more on top of the other potential making it on par with low end 15*s but at the current time its unknown if we will get it right away on NA. Katana: Kazami-no-tachi is huge for katanas due to the insane focus boosting effects of its potential. The potential will make the katana focus charge 8 times faster than normal, give you an extra (10%/12%/14%) Damage while focus is active, and cut the drain of having focus active down to only 33% of its normal rate. This weapon is insane for katanas because one of your big issues is that when you disconnect from a boss you will drain down to no gear pretty quickly causing you to have to build focus up and counter again to get back to your best damage, but with the Kazami that isn't an issue anymore because that drain rate is just about perfect for most bosses to become vulnerable before you run out of focus and on the off chance you do you will shoot right back up to max in just a few attacks. The damage bonus of it makes the weapon beat out Neme/Slave, even though Neme/Slave have a 3% higher damage multiplier the Kazami will win due to the higher base damage. JP has a second potential on this one also that will boost the damage by 7% more but as with the others there is no guarantee that we will get it on NA right away. Soaring Blades: OH BOY TIME TO TALK ABOUT THE JUPITER TULLUS. These Soaring Blades have the most insane potential Sega have ever put on a weapon. The potential makes you deal (6%/7%/8%) more damage, and fires a piercing lightning blade that scales with melee power (150%/200%/300%) after every PA and two after Kestrel Rampage. The damage potential of the lightning blades on these are INSANE, it makes the weapon beat out most of ep5 weapons and only start to lose out on ep6 weapons BUT the only reason why is because there is an S5 that just copies this potential. Since most of Soaring Blades is about abusing fast PAs in PBF windows you will be firing out those lighting blades at mach 10 with relative ease making you deal more damage in your burst along with also just working with almost every usual rotation you are going to do with soaring blades whether that be the usual PP dump combos, snatch combos, or whatever homebrew combos you pick. The dumber part of these also falls in the second potential on these which is just the other potential but with 12% more damage making it beat out even end game 15*s, but as with the others there is no way to tell if we will get it right away on NA. Assault Rifle: Spread Needle is a rifle that is very bad for Ranger but very good on Gunner. The potential give (8%/9%/10%) extra damage when in close range and adds an extra attack (100%/250%/400%) to the weapon that functions like a shotgun that will restores 6 PP when it connects and have a chance to stun on hit. Due to how Ranger's Sharpshooter skill works the rifle cant get both bonuses at the same time consistently but because Gunner and all of its close range skills naturally work on gunner it meshes very well, not to mention that Gunners will use the basic attack more for possible chaining because it isn't saving weak bullets like Ranger. The extra pp recovery from the rifle is a very nice addition but the stun isn't abused that often due to not wanting to use rifles during mobbing scenarios and most bosses cant actually be stunned with just the stun status. The rifle is a nice addition to a gunners arsenal but not that needed for a ranger. Spread Needle will also be stronger once it gets is second potential which will just copy the first one with an extra 10% damage making it go on par with low end 15*s, just like the others we don't know if NA will get it right away. Twin Machine Guns: Quelle Windea is going to be one of the best TMGs due to just its sheer utility alone. The potential makes it so that when you activate Chain Trigger you will recover 100 PP, Become invincible for 5 seconds, and gain (10%/12%/14%) increased damage for 60 seconds. There is so much going on for gunner here, for starters you can now use Chain Trigger as a panic button to keep yourself from dying, you don't have to worry about running out of pp if you pop it early while waiting for a weak point to be exposed, and finally YOU CAN KEEP THE DAMAGE BUFF UP FOREVER. As a gunner when you pop a 100 chain you will either have a few seconds left on the timer or just immediately have it ready right away depending on how long it took you to pop the chain. 60 seconds is a very long time for a gunner to not use a chain and will only really happen if you ever have a chain time out or if it's on a part that gets broken, but most of these won't really happen to you once you have the fight down enough. Even after this TMG is outclassed it will still have usage in its utility alone by allowing you to switch to it, pop chain, and gain the effects for a few seconds, making it a good investment for later also. Just like the others it also gains a second potential that is just the first but better, the increases for the second are making you gain 50 more pp on activation and 8% more damage also. We also fall right in line with the others on not being sure if we will get the second one right away on NA though but still very good to keep in mind. Rods: Eternal Psycho Drive's usage can be a little iffy to people but in my opinion it will be one of the better rods we will have access to due to how compounds work. The potential will boost the effects of element conversion for matching element (15%/20%/25%) and off element (20%/25%/30%), it will also reduce the pp consumption (1/2/3) of all techs. The element conversion part will just add that flat amount to element conversion making on and off element on par with damage and due to how compounds will take advantage of element conversion you will boost the damage of compounds by a pretty significant margin along with making every element you cast gain element conversions full effects. The part that can hurt though is that compared to a Nemesis Rod techs can possibly cost a little more but the damage bonus will more than make up for it. Like the others it will gain a boosted version of the normal potential that will increase matching element and off element by 15% along with 1 more pp consumption reduction. The second potential will make it keep up with low end 15*s and become a solid choice until your atlas rod. The usual downside ensues though, no idea if we will get the second potential or not right away on NA. Wand: Lavis Cannon is a good wand on Te/Hu due to its potential. The potential on it makes your attacks speed up by 28%, removes all hit stun off of your attacks, and gives you a shockwave on the third hit of your normal attack combo that scales with melee power (600%/700%/900%) and restores 10 pp when it hits. It's one of the strongest due to scaling nature of the third hit which enables a ton more damage than just the higher base damage of slave/nemesis not to mention that the increased attack speed will make you get to the third hit even faster. There is also an eventual second potential that will give the Lavis an extra 5% damage on top of the other potential but it is unknown if we are going to get it right away on NA. Jet Boots: Serpen Plenzer is actually an outlier to the outliers due to it being the best jet boots you can get once we make it on par with JP. The potential follows the Jupiter Tullus in being a weapon that seems to be on track to only be beaten by itself. The potential will give you (6%/7%/8%) extra damage and double the speed of Jetsweep Kick while also increasing the range of it. The main goal of jet boots on JP is to maximize the amount of Jetsweep Kicks you can get during your Rapid Boost phases and this aligns nicely with that speeding up its usual loop by almost double the speed and making Jetsweep almost your longest range PA. It's something that almost no matter how strong future weapons will be it isn't going to beat the pure range/utility/spam that the Serpens will allow and to top it off it comes with S1-S3 slots also making it even more future proof than the Jupiter Tullus were. Takt: Rykros Staff is one of the best Takts that the game has to offer even leading into Ep6 where it is almost matched in power by the Liberate Takt. The potential on the Rykros will auto fire off a single target Megid that scales with tech power (1500%/1700%/2000%) for each PA your pet does during Alter Ego and will auto fulfill pet sympathy during Alter Ego after 5s with no cost. This Takt is insane due to how well it scales with most pets, the only one that can't abuse it to its fullest extent is only Viola due to it's slower nature. It will be the main takt in your arsenal for a long time due to the Jupiter Tullus nature of the potential in that it is just so busted that the only thing that will seem to beat it is just making it again. As like most of the other outliers there is also a second potential that is the same as the first and will increase the Megid damage by 500% and also just like most of the others it's unsure if we will get that one also when it drops on NA.
Austere: The Austere series is another series that will be introduced in EP5 but it will be considered a side grade due to the nature of its potential. It's potential will give you effects based on what Photon Blasts you use during a quest making it more suited for quests that will last for longer than just 1-2 blasts, The main content for that being the endless quests that will loop till you run out of time. Their biggest saving grace will be that you will be able to farm Austere weapons due to them being created by drops and not requiring the special stones that the Atlas series and Lightstream series will require to be created. Plus Potentials: Austere, Atlas, and majority of the Outlier weapons will gain new plus potentials making them on par with stronger weapons. I chose not to factor those into the gear progression due to how we most likely won't be able to access them until about mid Ep6 and then there will be about 2 easy to obtain weapons that will be stronger in the mean time. When they do drop though, The Atlas weapons will become slightly weaker sidegrades to Stil, it allows Austere to rival usefulness for some classes vs Stil, and the Outliers will usually start pushing up to low end 15* or higher depending on the weapon. This should allow for some people to ignore upgrades until then you are fine with lower damage until the pluses, but if you want to push the strongest you can be the usual list should be the go to. These will be referred to as Redux Potentials when they come out on NA. Yasminkov 4000FJ: The Yasminkov 4000FJ is a 14* launcher that released in Ep5 on the JP servers. The potential will make the launcher fire four rockets as its basic attack that will home in on enemies and deal 33% of a normal shots damage, its main usage is in gaining pp since each rocket will give you pp instead of just one making you usually cap on pp in about 1-2 rockets. The only thing holding this one back from just being the best is because it comes out in Ep5 when there is the easy to obtain and stronger Atlas Weapons. It will always have its use as a pp battery for mobbing though. Exium Bunker: The Exium Bunker is another 14* launcher that also came out in Ep5 on JP. The potential will change the PA Contact Blast making it deal 3 times its normal damage and only cost 1 pp. Once you use a boosted version the attack, you will go back to the normal usage for 60 seconds or you can dodge through an attack to get it back. It's strong but its main issue is that most players aren't going to be that good on spam rolling through attacks to make use of the potential at its fullest. Just like the 4000FJ though it has the issue of coming out in Ep5 and having to try and beat out a Atlas for best in slot status. Gear Experience: The Gear Experience is a 14* Knuckle that came out towards the beginning of Ep5 on JP. The potential will make it so that every time you dodge an attack with the weapon action, you will fire out a meteor fist that will also give you invincibility until the animation ends. The meteor fist will always be the giant version making you avoid any rng needed to get one off. This weapon is actually really strong but only in certain situations, those being any fight that requires excessive dodging, any fight that has DoT pools, or a free field where you can sit in a hazard. This knuckle will out damage most others during this situation but the way the fights in Ep5+ will function there will usually be a dodge phase then a damage phase in which you will dump all of your pp. The Gear Experience will seem like it would be useful on the dodge phases till you realize that most of the bosses are flying some how or have points that will be in the air causing you to just prefer Twin daggers for those times, but on the bosses that do work to the Gear Experiences strengths they will just melt like butter. As with the other Ep5 sidegrades its fighting against the Atlas and lightstream in terms of strength causing them to fall off a bit. Genon: The Genon seires of weapons are a 15* series that was introduced in Ep6 that every class except summoner will have access to in one of their weapon types. Their damage is on the low end of the 15* s and is beaten out by most other choices at that point but their true use falls in their utility from their potential. The potential on them will decrease the pp consumption of PAs/Techs by 45% but you will take a flat 90 damage every time you use one. Looking at them with just that alone makes them seem like very bad weapons because why go for a low damage weapon that will just make you suicidal until you realize that they have S2 and S3 slots on them. Those two slots make this weapon go from very bad to the best pp battery in the game due to the Cursed Radiance S-Class affixes. Cursed radiance will make you gain 15% of your max PP every time you take damage meaning that in 3 PA/Tech usages you will gain 90% of your pp back. The effect is insane and will always be a pocket pp battery that can be used in situations where trading some hp for a full pp bar will be ok and when in combination with a lightstream you will pretty much never have any reason to be at 0 pp. Orbit/Mirage/Nova: These series of weapons (along with the Austere if it has the correct affixes) are the primere PP regen weapons until we get the Genon series in Ep6 and even then will still have their uses. The Orbit series was a 13* series came out in Ep3 on JP while the Mirage and Nova came out in Ep6 being 14* and 15* respectively. The Orbit and Nova share the same two potentials while the Mirage will only have a changed version of their first potentials. The first potential will increase your PP regen by 200% while your weapon is sheathed and halt it while its unseathed but will increase your pp gained per hit by 60%. The second potential will decrease your pp regen by 60% while your weapon is sheathed and increase it by 20% while its unseathed while also increasing your pp gained per hit by 20%. Finally the Mirage potential will increase your PP regen by 250% while your weapon is sheathed and halt it while its unseathed but will increase your pp gained per hit by 50%. The only potential worth worrying over is the first and mirage ones, due to the fact that the weapons will have low damage making them not wanting to be used for fighting compared the other weapons that are available when they come out. The main usage for these weapons will be just swaping to them during downtime or when you are repositioning to regen pp at a higher rate than usual. The Mirage will have an S3 slot and the Nova an S3 and S4 slot to make them even better than orbit so dont worry about them just being fancy reskins. These weapons arent as good as genon at PP regen but will offer a safer albeit slower way to regen pp as needed.
Sorry for not including Gunblades and more sidegrades. I am not familiar at all with Gunblades and the only class that will realistically make use of them isn't out at the time of me writing this. The sidegrades are just that, sidegrades and not the main focus for each weapon type, but I will be adding any notable ones that people mention in the comments. Also sorry for not mentioning anything on the Scion classes. I didn't want to include any of the scion classes in the list as to not confuse people on some of the weapon upgrades due to the nature of scions changing how weapons work. If any of the information is wrong or can be changed somehow feel free to let me know, it's been awhile since I've had to look back at each weapon type so I might have missed one or two weapons that are possibly just as good as some others. EDIT: Added u/Laggoz recommendation on what the Takt Progression is and why Rykros Staff. Along with some general formatting changes and some extra bits. EDIT 2: Added information about the Plus potentials to the Honorable Mentions part EDIT 3: Added some bits about the names of weapons being different from JP. Thanks to u/synthsy for pointing them out for me! EDIT 4: Added the Yasminkov 4000FJ, Exium Bunker, and Gear Experience into the honorable mentions section. EDIT 5: Added the Genons and Orbit/Mirage/Nova series into the honorable mentions section.
Intro: Bought into M1 Plus from a $60/yr Promotion 2 months ago. I had an investment account already, and even one of the first spend accounts. I had declined the offer for M1 Plus at $125/yr. This is a first review of M1 Plus after two months of use and a bit of a dive into the value of its features from a financial and user experience point of view. Value: This is a pretty simple one. Do the math. The interest vs. your other checking account multiplied by the amount of cash you’d be keeping in there for M1 Spend. If you’re borrowing from M1 too, the 1.5% difference (or whatever difference there is between M1 Borrow and your next best offer) multiplied by the amount of money you’d like to borrow. If all these add up to greater than whatever annual fee is offered, go for it. Otherwise, it’d be a very expensive metal card. But if 4 waived ATM fees go a long way to save you money, that should be worth considering too, however, there are tons of cards and products that’ll waive said fees, some even for unlimited transactions and no upfront cost. Just because M1 is offering this benefit as part of a premium package doesn’t mean it’s impossible to find for free somewhere else. XP: It is a great experience. I constantly invest lumps of $500 into my portfolio all the time. It’s quick, easy, and immediately fulfilling. Not that other brokerages don’t do this. But M1 is clearly focused on showing you your long term progress on your investment goals. It uses a money weighted return formula so that you know how much your capital has been making you to easily compare to the return of bank accounts and investments. There’s a reason their product is called “Invest” and not “Trade”, more on that later. But this means it’s primarily suited for this purpose. During the Covid crash, I took to Robinhood to place my Put Options on the S&P because high frequency derivatives trading and M1 basically speak different languages. All this to say, it feels amazing to watch your investments accounts slowly creep up as you continue to dollar cost average into the market, but this has some drawbacks. Pies. While fun and easy to build, mix and match, they are not a very common mechanic to implement on amateur portfolios. Selling stocks can be quite the process on M1, and the platform will try its darnest to discourage you from making any but the most basic adjustments to your portfolio. Its really only suited for the “set it and forget it” mindset, which is not to say you can’t mess around with your money as you please, but it’s just so perfect for investing and watching your money grow with a long time horizon. The plots will show you your progress and encourage you to keep a regular deposit schedule. But try trading into and out of a stock, or a set amount of shares, or even thinking about playing with derivatives and other financial instruments: slim pickings. The numbers make a lot of sense, too. I’ve been investing for about 5 years now, and my latest craze has been leverage. I’ve read about how the optimal leverage ratio for the S&P on average was 2.0 or 100% levered up, and looked up the historical comparisons to corroborate. Shopping around for margin accounts and available capital, it’s tough to beat the 2% rates at the moment. I’ve been slowly levering up during the latest market rally to great effect and the low interest really pumps up those numbers. Having this much cheap capital, not just for leverage, but also for life is worth more than just the time value of money. I would make the point that this is made even more valuable by having all your financial services on the same platform, as you really get to do with your money as you please and move it around to withdraw it to your hearts content. My real issue was with Spend. Not a problem with the product but myself, in trying to justify the annual fee. I weighed how much money it would make sense to keep in Spend as opposed to an online savings account. To keep cash a couple of months ago, it made more sense to opt for ally or marcus as they were offering close to 1.55% on cash. But as their rates have plummeted, getting 1.0% on a CHECKING account has been an absolute godsend in this crazy economy. This account works for just about anything with the notable exception of checks... in a checking account which I suspect is the reason for the “Spend” branding the product was marketed with. When it’s hard to even find 1% on a savings account, a 1% APY on checking is no-worries approach to cash investment. Ultimately, having all of these balances displayed together on the Transfers tab is huge in terms of consumer experience. This, however, should not be a replacement for true “Dashboard” that could show an overview of all your money moves and account balances. Ideas: M1 Trade. Admittedly, I do see how this can be very contrary to the philosophy, product and experience that M1 has worked to create. That being said, thinking that your customer will always prefer to have their money invested into automatically allocated pies is a little short-sighted. Opening a much more DIY Trading product on M1 would of course have them incur tons of costs in handling and verifying transactions of all the individual financial, but many places already offer such services for free, some are even profitable at it. An M1 Trade product would also need integrating the Invest product because regardless of what you’re doing on the platform, you still consider your money your investments and want to see it all together. Pies and individual Buys would have to play nice together, and that does sound like a difficult endeavor. I keep a couple of accounts with different mixtures of my pies for all my purposes. I also handle the investments for a few of my family members, which will become relevant shortly. You can obviously set up as many accounts as you wish and move money into them as you desire, but this can get you into some warmer water. If two of your pies hold most the same securities and you just want to have a different pie for a different account, you’ll have to call up to pause trading so that your pies have a chance to get to know each other and not force you to sell and buy right back into the same assets just to incur the taxes. It’s a bit of a hassle, and I would argue, on purpose. For Pies themselves, I often find myself wanting to make small tweaks to pies but then quickly let it go as removing slices would automatically trigger a massive sell off that incurs taxes. From a conversation with tech support, I gathered that the best way to do this was simply pause trading on your account, and change the pie you want all your money to go into. Editing pies is fine and easy, but completely swapping a pie for another one led me to believe that it would sell put of all my holdings even if the old and new pie had many of those same holdings. If this is me being stupid, good, if it’s a gap in features, I hope M1 lets you simply swap a pie for any other and gives you the option either sell everything, sell only what is 0 in the second pie, or sell nothing and simply continue aiming for the allocation of the new pie without touching your previous investments. Lastly, an iPad app. I’m a big fan of the iPad and the iPad Pro in particular. I’ve found myself using it far more than my laptop which is now strictly reserved for long work sessions (I write and edit for a YouTube Channel) and watching content in groups of people (15” MBP Speakers are the stuff of legend). But for anything else, I subconsciously grab the iPad. It’s annoying to have the website be the best M1 experience on the iPad. I understand that making a compelling iPad investing app is its own mountain to climb, but a lot of the Mobile app’s functionality can be ported over without too much of a hassle. Charles Schwab has an iPad app based 99% on the iPhone app that still performs all the same functions, just on the bigger screen, which is the whole point of the iPad in the first place. While it’s not a top shelf iPad app (there are only a select few) the Schwab app is lovely and I’m begging M1 for anything that doesn’t force me to use my iPad in portrait mode to use a blown up iPhone app. Again, this app doesn’t have to be a world beater, just a decent looking and bigger version of the iPhone app that would go a long way to boost the M1 customer experience. Closing Remarks: Obligatory YMMV disclosure: it’s about the math, I won’t bore you with my own, but I was just over the line when it made sense for me to opt into the $60/yr promo. That being said, M1’s value has been a lot about the experience. The future of finance is free. No brokerage should be making money on transaction commissions or administrative fees, it’s a relic from the before times when you needed people who knew people on wall street to do your trading. At this point its not even worth any perceived convenience. The clever ones reading this will point out that, while true, many brokerages already offer a wide variety of free services. Many of them, even, that M1 doesn’t offer. The true spirit of this review is to express my personal opinion on the value of M1 Plus and how the customer experience is its edge in the ebrokerage market. Rates are competitive, but it is a brand new way to consider finance and its role in your life and society. TL;DR Spend is pretty competitive for a checking account, and as long as you’re not using checks too often, its a no brainer for anyone with close to $10,000 in cash just sitting somewhere. Invest is beautiful, but the free version is exactly as good, more windows means very little with the limited trading you’re allowed to do anyway. Borrow is brilliant, hella flexible and competitive rates. 8/10 Would recommend to a friend.
In order to open a new position, you must have a certain amount of funds in your trading account (your account’s equity must exceed the initial margin level requirement). To view the initial margin requirement for a specific instrument, go to the main screen of the Plus500 trading platform, select the financial instrument and click on the ... Conclusion: Low Trading Fees & Average Non-Trading Fees. Overall, Plus500 isn’t an expensive platform. They have low trading fees and average non-trading fees. Plus500 trading costs are quite low, making them one of the best platforms for frequent traders. Looking at their non-trading fees, Plus500 offers average fees. Europe’s #1 CFD Trading Platform (by number of new traders in 2018). Trade the world’s most popular markets: CFDs on Forex, Cryptocurrencies, Shares, Commodities, Indices, ETFs & Options. In this tutorial we use the Plus500 software as an example. Plus500 is one of the best brokers, especially if you want to actively trade the markets. When you sign up with Plus500 as a new trader, you receive a free demo of $40.000! By using the demo you can experience the possibilities of trading without risk. What is margin trading? On Plus500 you can trade on a margin. This means that you do not have to deposit the full amount of the investment. Using leverage allows you to open larger trades with a smaller amount. This works with a leverage. When you deposit $100, you can invest on Plus500 with a maximum amount of $3000.
Plus500 review 2020 - A must Watch before you trade
Bitcoin Margin Trading auf Plus500 erklärt - Duration: 9:21. Block-Builders 9,550 views. 9:21. 95% Winning Forex Trading Formula - Beat The Market Maker📈 - Duration: 37:53. Understanding forex leverage, margin requirements and sizing trades for successful trading. #investing #stocks #forex #makemoney #makemoneyonline #makemoneyfast #finance 1 Hour+ trading long on plus 500, results on next video! ... margin trading, trade with margin, trade with plus 500 ... plus 500, plus 500 trading, plus 500 review, plus 500 guide, plus 500 cfds, how to trade plus 500, how to use plus 500, review about plus 500, financial education, investing, investing for ... Stock Margin is when you borrow funds from your broker to buy more stock. Margin can amplify your returns, but it can also hurt them if an investment turns a...