Thanks, random $SPY calls person! I owe you a beer.
So here I was, earning maybe 10~15% every two days on SPY spreads, thinking I was making a smart play when I read a random comment that said something to the effect of: I noticed that SPY tends to earn about $10 per month, so I buy a +$10 call for SPY a month out and sell when it hits 1K. I've made 3K the last three weeks. So I tried it out, more cautiously, by buying a +$5 call a month out to be conservative. And I've already gained $300 (%80%) in two days, and switched all my spreads to these. Whoever you are, thank you, and I'll venmo you a pizza if I ever find you :-D EDIT: Just so that people understand something here - not only does this position have a higher margin of profitability for less overall risk than my original positions (already a huge plus), it also means that the SPY downturn that occurred today (ironically right after I wrote this) didn't hurt my investment much at all, whereas my original investments in SPY would been in heavy negatives right now. EDIT 2: I do actually sleep, so if I stop responding, I'll do my best to answer any questions when I next see them :-D For everyone who appreciated this post, happy to help :-D and feel free to DM. I'm also trying to start writing articles for newbie traders since a lot of people seem to be elitist and rude in the trading subs. Edit 3: So to make sure people understand what I meant, when I say +$5 call, I mean a call with a strike price five dollars above what the current price is. When I say +$10 call, I mean a call with a strike price ten dollars above what the current price is. FINAL EDIT : So two things - If I didn't answer a question, please just PM me. I've answered at least two hundred or more between PMs and this thread, and I may have mistakenly thought I answered you and I didn't. If so, my bad, and PM me and I'll answer you as I can (day job notwithstanding). Second thing, if you liked my writing or my answers and want to read more, feel free to hit my Medium blog (https://medium.com/@patrykbg). I'm starting a blog for beginner investors since so many people were rude, dismissive or obnoxious when I was first starting out, and I wanted there to be a spot where that wouldn't happen. New post up just today! Final Edit 2: The Return :: Sorry, one last update, just so that people following don't need to scroll down to find out the status of this play - 1x SPY 9/28 350C - the +$5 play that started it all - +$307overall profit as of 8/28/2020, was +$322 at close yesterday, went down ~2.3% today, 93% overall 3x SPY 9/28 360C - the play that this post recommends - -$12overall profit as of 8/28/2020, was even at close Friday, went down ~2% today, 0% overall. 2x SPY 9/30 370C - bullish test just to see what happens - +$68overall profit as of 8/28/2020, was +$66 at close yesterday, up ~1% today, 66% overall Today was a very strange day - it kept going up and down and up and down all day, and then, right as I thought it was finally going to do what it has historically done every FridayMonday, with 10 minutes to market end, it actually fell drastically. That said, I fully expect tomorrow to rise back up again, with a nice opening bump to erase that weirdness at 3:50~4PM today. We'll see. Good luck to everyone watching!
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.
Due Diligence: Toromont Industries Ltd. - Building Together For An Exciting Future
Hi, This is my first attempt at writing a DD report. I hope it makes sense. Just a few cautionary words:
Grammar (and English in general) is not a skill of mine. There will be a few parts that you might have to decipher, good luck.
I tried not to provide too much commentary and stick to the facts. I know you are spending your valuable time reading this and you probably don't want to listen to some random guy on the internet pontificate.
For those of you who are easily offended/triggered, can't take a joke, or sarcasm isn't your taste, DO NOT click the spoilers.
Lastly, the following is just my findings, by no means is it a representation of all the information out there. It is just the baseline for me to have confidence in becoming an owner of the Company. Do your own due diligence or talk to a financial advisor to find what is best for you and your financial situation. Happy reading!
Over the last 5 years the stock price has more than doubled.
Toromont dominates market share over everything east of Manitoba in Canada.
Customer base is heavily diversified, giving the Company many opportunities to expand into multiple industries.
Dividend has increased for 31 consecutive years. It has been paid for 52 consecutive years
The management team is extremely knowledgeable and have a good track record
Toromont Industries Ltd. (TSE:TIH) provides specialized equipment in Canada and the United States. The Company operates two business segments: The Equipment Group and CIMCO. The Equipment Group supplies specialized mobile equipment and industrial engines for Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT). Customers for this business segment vary from infrastructure contractors, residential and commercial contractors, mining companies, forestry companies, pulp and paper producers, general contractors, utilities, municipalities, marine companies, waste handling companies, and agricultural enterprises. CIMCO offers design, engineering, fabrication, and installation of industrial and recreational refrigeration systems. The Company was founded in 1961 and operates out of Concord, Ontario. As at December 31, 2019, Toromont employed over 6,500 people in more than 150 locations across central/eastern Canada and the upper eastern United States. The primary objective of the Company is to build shareholder value through sustainable and profitable growth, supported by a strong financial foundation.
Description of the 2 Main Business Segments
The Equipment Group includes the following 6 business units:
Toromont CAT:one of the world’s largest Caterpillar dealerships which supplies, rents, and provides product support services for specialized mobile equipment and industrial engines
Battlefield Equipment Rentals:supplies and rents specialized mobile equipment as well as specialty supplies and tools.
Toromont Material Handling:supplies, rents, and provides product support services for material handling lift trucks
AgWest:an agricultural equipment and solutions dealer representing AGCO, CLAAS and other manufacturers’ products
SITECH:provides Trimble Inc (NASDAQ:TRMB technology products and services. Trimble is a SaaS company that provides positioning, modeling, connectivity, and data analytics software which enable customers to improve productivity, quality, safety, and sustainability. Target industries: land survey, construction, agriculture, transportation, telecommunications, asset tracking, mapping, railways, utilities, mobile resource management, and government.)
Toromont Energy:supplies, constructs, and operates high efficiency power plants up to 50 MW, using Caterpillar's leading power generation technologies. Toromont Energy operates plants that supply energy to hospitals, district energy systems, and industrial processes.
Performance in this segment mainly depends on the activity in several industries: road building and other infrastructure-related activities, mining, residential and commercial construction, power generation, aggregates, waste management, steel, forestry, and agriculture.
Revenues are driven by the sale, rental, and servicing of mobile equipment for Caterpillar and other manufacturers to the industries listed above.
In addition, Toromont is the MaK engine dealer for the Eastern seaboard of the United States, from Maine to Virginia.
MaK engine is a marine diesel engine manufactured by Caterpillar
CIMCO is a market leader in the design, engineering, fabrication, installation and after-sale support of refrigeration systems
Performance in this segment is dependent on the activity in several industries: beverage and food processing, cold storage, food distribution, mining, and recreational ice rinks.
CIMCO has manufacturing facilities in Canada and the United States and sells its solutions globally.
CIMCO services the ice rinks of 23 out of 31 NHL teams. So if you are watching a game and the ice is shitty, you know who to blame… the Ice Girls, obviously.
For those of you who live in the GTA and have skated on The Barbara Ann Scott Ice Trail at College Park, the trail was created using CIMCO proprietary CO2 refrigeration technology.
CEO, Scott J. Medhurst has been with the company since 1988. He was appointed President of Toromont CAT in 2004 and he came into his current position as President and CEO in 2012. He is a graduate of Toromont’s Management Trainee Program. CFO, Mike McMillan joined the executive team in March of 2020. His predecessor, Paul Jewer is retiring this year and has been working with McMillan during the transition period. VP and COO, Michael Chuddy has been with Toromont since 1995. On average, leaders have 29 years of business experience and have served at Toromont for 19 years. Seeing long tenures, good stock performance, excellent business planning and execution is usually a sign of strong leadership. In addition, insiders hold more than 3% (~$175 million) of the company’s outstanding shares. Medhurst owns more than 170 thousand shares, Chuddy owns just under 100 thousand shares and the former CEO and current Independent Chairman of Board of Directors, Robert Ogilvie owns more than 2 million shares, making him the 4th largest stockholder. High insider ownership typically signals confidence in a company's prospects. Compare this to Toromont’s main Canadian competitor, Finning, where insiders own less than 0.4% ($12 million) of the company (this number varies depending on where you look, I just took the highest one I found). Recently insiders have been selling stock (Figure 1). I cannot speak to the reasons why insiders are selling but the remaining position owned by the insider is sizable and demonstrates that the executive still has confidence in the company. Some of the reasons insiders sell are: they don't believe in the company’s future, they need money for personal use, they are rebalancing their portfolio, among others. Figure 1: Buy and selling activity of insiders (the data is from MarketBeat, so take that for what it's worth). On a somewhat unrelated but still related note, 50% of Toromont employees are also shareholders.
Toromont has five growth strategies (expand markets, strengthen product support, broaden product offerings, invest in resources, and maintain a strong financial position). I chose to focus on the following two strategies, as they seemed most prevalent.
Toromont serves a wide variety of end markets: mining, road building, power generation, infrastructure, agriculture, and refrigeration. This allows for many opportunities for growth while staying true to their core competency. Further expansion into new markets doesn't require Toromont to build a whole new business model or learn the intricacies of the new industry because their products stays the same. Thus, the main concern is the application/selection of the products for the customer.
Expansion is generally incremental. Each business unit focuses on market share growth and when the right opportunity presents itself, geographic expansion is archived through acquisitions.
Strengthening Product Support
In an industry where price competition is high, product support activities represent opportunities to develop closer relationships with customers and differentiate Toromont’s product and service offering from competitors. After-market support is an integral part of the customer's decision-making process when purchasing equipment.
Product support revenues are more consistent and profitable.
Growth Through Acquisition
Rapid growth in this industry is generally driven through acquisitions. Toromont has gone through multiple acquisitions since the 90’s:
Acquisition of the Battlefield Equipment Rentals in 1996
Toromont grew Battlefield from one location to 82 locations
Acquisition of two privately held agricultural dealerships in Manitoba to form AgWest Equipment Ltd
Acquisition of Hewitt Group of companies in Q3 2017 for a total consideration of $1.0177 billion
$917.7 million cash ($750 million of which was finances through unsecured debt) plus the issuance of 2.25 million Toromont shares (equating to $100 million based on the 10 day average share price)
Acquisition of Hewitt Group of companies This acquisition allowed Toromont to make headway into the Quebec, Western Labrador, and Maritime markets, as Hewitt was the authorized Caterpillar dealer of these regions. Hewitt was also the Caterpillar lift truck dealer of Quebec and most of Ontario and the MaK marine engine dealer for Québec, the Maritimes, and the Eastern seaboard of the United States (from Maine to Virginia). Toromont had total assets of $1.51 billion before the acquisition, the acquisition added $1.024 billion in assets, nearly doubling the balance sheet (look at Figure 2 for more details about the acquisition). Figure 2: (all numbers are in thousands) The final allocation of the purchase price was as of Dec 31, 2018, Note 25 of 2018 Annual Report. $1.024 billion was added to the Toromont’s B/S Large acquisitions like this one can be the downfall of a company. Here are some of the risks highlighted by management at the time of the acquisition:
Potential for liabilities assumed in the acquisition to exceed our estimates or for material undiscovered liabilities in the Hewitt Business
Changes in consumer and business confidence as a result of the change in ownership
Potential for third parties to terminate or alter their agreements or relationships with Toromont as a result of the acquisition
Whether the operations, systems, management, and cultures of Hewitt and Toromont can be integrated in an efficient and effective manner
In 2018, the Company started and successfully completed the integration of the Maritime dealerships acquired through Hewitt under Toromont’s decentralized branch model (bottom up approach). Under a decentralized model, regional leadership make business decisions based on local conditions, rather than taking top down mandates. A bottom up approach is an advantage in businesses like Toromont where the customer mix can vary vastly from region to region. It allows for decision-making that is better aligned with customemarket needs and more attuned to the key performance indicators used to manage the business. In 2019, the integration of the decentralized branch model was implemented in Quebec after its success in Atlantic Canada in 2018. Successful integration of Hewitt into the Toromont family shows the depth of industry and business knowledge possessed by the management team. Being able to maintain inherited customer relationships and ensure low turnover is no easy feat. Many companies have completely botched these kinds of acquisitions. One that comes to mind is Sobeys (the second largest food retailer in Canada) acquiring Safeway for $5.8 billion. Three years later, they wrote off $2.9 billion as a loss because they did not anticipate the differences in consumer habits in Western Canada vs Eastern Canada, among other oversights. The result of the acquisition and Hewitt’s integration with Toromont’s existing business produced a 39% increase in EPS in 2018 and 14% increase in 2019.
Toromont pays a quarterly dividend and has historically targeted a dividend rate that approximates 30 - 40% of trailing earnings from continuing operations. In February 2020 the Board of Directors increased the quarterly dividend by 14.8% to $0.31 per share. This marked the 31st consecutive year of increasing dividends and 52nd consecutive year of making a dividend payment. The five-year dividend-growth rate is 12.09%. Table 1: Information about the last eight dividends
Risks/Threats and Mitigation
Dependency on Caterpillar Inc. It goes without saying that Toromont’s future is heavily dependent on Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT). For those who don't know, Caterpillar is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives. It has a market cap in excess of $68 billion. All purchases made by Toromont must be made from Caterpillar. This agreement has been standing since 1993 and can be terminated by either side with 90 days notice. Given that the vast majority of Toromont’s inventory is Caterpillar products, Caterpillar’s brand strength and market acceptance are essential factors for Toromont’s continued success. I would say that the probability of either of these being damaged to an unrecoverable point are low, but at the beginning of this year, I would have said the probability of the world coming to a complete stop was very low too and look at what happened. Anything is possible. The reason this is a major consideration is because it's a going concern issue. Going conference is an accounting term for a company that has the resources needed to continue operating indefinitely until it provides evidence to the contrary. This term also refers to a company's ability to make enough money to stay afloat or to avoid bankruptcy. If there was irrevocable damage to Caterpillar’s brand, Toromont is no longer a going concern, meaning the company would most likely be going bankrupt or liquidating assets. The whole Company might not go under because the CIMCO, SITECH, and AgWest business units would survive but, essentially ~80% of the business would be liquidated. In addition to the morbid scenario I laid out above, Toromont is also dependent on Caterpillar for timely supply of equipment and parts. There is no assurance that Caterpillar will continue to supply its products in the quantities and time frames required by Toromont’s customers. So if there is supply chain shock, like the one we just saw, there is the chance that Toromont will not have access to sufficient inventory to meet demand. Which in turn would lead to the loss of revenue or even to the permanent loss of customers. Again, both of these threats have low a probability of occurring but either could single handedly cripple Toromont’s business. As of now, Caterpillar continues to dominate a large market share (~38% as per Gurufocus) in the industry against large competitors like John Deere, CNH Industrial, Cummins, and others. Caterpillar's stock has been on a slow decline for a couple years but that is due to reasons beyond the ones that directly concern Toromont’s day-to-day operations. I would say if you don't believe in Caterpillar’s continued market share dominance, investing in Toromont is probably not for you. Shortage of Skilled Workers Shortage of skilled tradesmen represents a pinch point for industry growth. Demographic trends are reducing the number of individuals entering the trades, thus making access to skilled individuals more difficult. Additionally, the company has several remote locations which makes attracting and retaining skilled individuals more difficult. The lack of such workers in Canada has caused Toromont to become more assertive and thoughtful in their recruitment efforts. To combat this threat, Toromont has/is:
Recruited 303 technicians to achieve growth targets
Created 208 student apprenticeship programs
Working with 19 vocational institutions in Toronto to teach about best practices and introduce the Company as a future employer to students
As a result of these initiatives and others, Toromont saw their workforce grow by ~8% 2019. Growing the workforce is one of the primary building blocks for future growth. Cyclical Business Cycle Toromont’s business is cyclical due to its customers' businesses being cyclical. This affects factors such as exchange rates, commodity/precious metal pricing, interest rates, and most importantly, inventory management. To mitigate this issue, management has put more focus on increasing revenues from product support activities as they are more profitable than the equipment supply business and less volatile. Environmental Regulations Affecting Customers Toromont’s customers are subject to significant and ever-increasing environmental legislation and regulation. This leads to 2 impacts:
Technical difficulty in meeting environmental requirements in product design -> increased costs
Reduction in business activity of Toromont’s customers in environmentally sensitive areas -> reduced revenues
Threats such as these come with a business of this type. As an investor in Toromont, you can't do much to mitigate these kinds of threats because it's out of your hands. Oil and gas, mining, forestry, and infrastructure projects are major drivers of the Canadian economy, so I think there will always be opportunity for Toromont to make money, regardless of government action. Impact of COVID19 While the company had been declared as an essential service in all jurisdictions that it operates in, Q1 2019 results were lower as a function of COVID19 reducing activity in many sectors that Toromont services. Decline in mining and construction projects lead to a decrease in demand for Toromont products in the latter part of the quarter. Revenues were trending for 5-7% growth for the quarter before the effects of COVID19 were felt. Management cannot provide any guidance on how to evaluate the impact of COVID19 on future financial results. They are focusing on ensuring the continued safety of employees and working with customers and the jurisdiction they operate in to evaluate appropriate activity levels on a daily/weekly basis. Lastly, management is keeping a close eye on how this crisis has led to an increase in A/R delinquencies and financial hardship for customers. The Executive Team and the Board of Directors have taken a voluntary compensation reduction. Wage increase freezes and temporary layoffs have been implanted on a selective basis. Management believes that expanding product offerings and services, strong financial position, and disciplined operating culture positions the Company well for continued growth in the long term. Competition Toromont competes with a large number of international, national, regional, and local suppliers. Although price competition can be strong, there are a number of factors that have enhanced Toromont’s ability to compete:
Range and quality of products and services
Ability to meet sophisticated customer requirements
Distribution capabilities including number and proximity of locations
Financing through CAT Finance
Main Competitor in Canada: Finning International Inc.
Finning International Inc. (TSE:FTT) is the world's largest Caterpillar dealer that sells, rents and provides parts and service for equipment and engines to customers across diverse industries, including mining, construction, petroleum, forestry and a wide range of power systems applications. Finning was founded in 1933 and is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada.
Toromont Industries Ltd
Finning International Inc.
Number of Employees
Trailing P/E Ratio
Places of Operations
Manitoba, Ontario, Québec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland & Labrador, most of Nunavut, and the Northeastern United States
British Columbia, Yukon, Alberta, Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories, a portion of Nunavut, UK, Ireland, Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile
Table 2: A quick comparison between Toromont and Finning. I am sure there are some people looking at this table and thinking Finning looks rather promising based on the metrics shown, especially in comparison to Toromont. Finning’s dividend yield, P/E, and price/book look more attractive. Their top line is 2x. Not to mention it operates worldwide and is the only distributor in the UK, while Toromont only operates in half of Canada.>! Before you go off thinking “I need to use my HELOC to buy some Finning,” as some people on this subreddit are prone to do, ask yourself: do you see any cause for concern in the metrics listed above? !< One glaring question I have is: why is Finning trading at half of Toromont’s market cap given that it operates internationally and has twice the number of employees and revenues of Toromont?
Q1 2020 Financial Results
Figure 3: Q1 2020 Income Statement Overall operating income, net earnings, and EPS all decreased even though Toromont saw an increase in revenue for the quarter compared to Q1 of 2019.
All of these decreases were contributed to COVID19, as the pandemic lead to increases in costs
Historically, Q1 has always been Toromont’s weakest quarter. Q1 accounts for ~20% of yearly earnings and is consistently the least profitable quarter. Toromont’s profit margin generally ranges from 5%-9% progressively increasing into the later half of the year. This is good news for investors with the thesis that the economy will return to "somewhat normal" in the latter half of this year. The majority of the earnings for 2020 are still on the table for Toromont to earn. If current conditions persist, or there is a second wave and lockdown later in the year, we will most likely see a regression in Toromont’s growth to last year’s levels or even lower. Assuming the world does return to “normal,” many of Toromont’s customers (especially in mining and construction) may try to catch up for lost time with increases to their operational activity, leading to an increase in Toromont’s sales for the remainder of the year. Of course this is a major assumption but it’s a possibility. Below is a comparison of the last eight quarters. You can see the clear cyclical nature of their business. Figure 4: Last eight quarters of earnings
Sources of Liquidity
Toromont has access to a $500 million revolving credit facility, maturing in October 2022
On April 17 2020 they secured an additional $250 million as a one year syndicate facility
Cash increased by 22.6 million for the quarter
Cash from operations increased 13% Q1 2020 compared to Q1 2019
The company also drew $100 million from their revolving credit facility
$4 million dollars of stocks were repurchased during Q1 2020
Given their access to $750.0 million dollars of credit and cash on hand equaling $388.2 million, the Company should have sufficient liquidity to operate if COVID19 and its aftermath persist for an extended period of time.
Analysis of Debt Historically, Toromont has had very low debt levels. The spike in late 2017 was due to the acquisition of Hewitt. Management paid off the debt aggressively in 2018. At the end of December 2019 Toromont had $650 million of debt maturing between 2025 and 2027. As a result of COVID19 the company has taken on more debt. This additional access to debt accounts of the slight uptick in historical debt in 2020 (Figure 5). Figure 5: Toromont’s historical debt, equity, and cash The long-term debt to capitalization ratio is a variation of the traditional debt-to-equity ratio. The long-total debt to capitalization ratio is a solvency measure that shows the proportion of debt a company uses to finance its assets, relative to the amount of equity used for the same purpose. A higher ratio means that a company is highly leveraged, which generally carries a higher risk of insolvency with it. The debt-to-equity ratio is at 47% and debt-to-capitalization ratio is 32%, Toromont has $388 million in cash that could be used to pay down debt by nearly 50% and bring the net debt-to-equity to 23% and net debt-to-capitalization to 18%. As mentioned before, management is holding on to cash to insure sufficient liquidity during these times. The implication of these ratios is that Toromont does not take on large amounts of debt to finance growth. Instead the Company leverages shareholders equity to drive growth. For comparison, Finning has a debt-to-equity ratio of ~100% (it differs between WSJ, 99%, and Yahoo Finance, 101%). The nominal amount of their total debt is ~$2.2 billion, which gives them a long-term debt to capitalization ratio 62%. Finning carries $260 million in cash. Figure 6: Toromont’s debt-to-capitalization and debt-to-equity ratios Profitability Ratios Return on equity (also known as return on net assets) measures how effectively management is using a company’s assets to create profits. Toromont’s return on equity is generally around 20%. Go to Figure 6 to look at the ROE for the last 4 years. In comparison, Finning has had a ROE of ~11% for the last three years, about 3% in 2016 and a negative ROE in 2015 (as per Morningstar). Return on capital employed (ROCE) tries to find the return relative to the total capital employed in the business (both debt & equity less short-term liabilities). Toromont’s ROCE (ttm) for March 31 2020 was 22%. This means for every dollar employed in the business 22 cents were earned in EBIT (earnings before interest and tax). Finning had a ROCE of 11% as of December 2019. Liquidity Ratios Working capital is the amount of cash and other current assets a business has available after all its current liabilities are accounted for. In the last ten years, Toromont’s working capital has fluctuated between 1.6 at its lowest (2018) to 2.8 at its highest (2016). At the end of 2019 it was at 1.8. Meaning current liabilities equate to 60% of current assets. Interest coverage ratio is used to determine how easily a company can pay their interest expenses on outstanding debt. Toromont has an interest coverage ratio 15x (as per WSJ). Finning on the other hand is at 4x. At this point I feel like I'm just beating up on Finning. For those of you who made it this far, I have to admit something to you. This whole post is just a facade to ask you a question that has never been asked on this subreddit before: Should I buy BPY.UN? It keeps going down and I'm worried if I buy it, it will keep going down and I'll lose money. I don't want to lose money. Although if you go through my post history, you'll see I've been looking at/buying penny stocks.
Key Performance Measures
Below is a chart with key financial measures for the last four years. A few things I want to highlight:
Toromont had large capital expenditure last year (most of it went to increasing inventory) so they have the choice to keep capital expenditure down this year and preserve cash
From the start of 2018 (aka end of 2017) to the end of 2018 Toromont stock was down about 3% while the TSX Composite was down more 12% and S&P was down 7%. This stock has a history of out performance not only on the upside but also on the downside. I'll go into a bit more detail in the next section.
I don't do technical analysis. To those who do, good luck to you because let's be real, you'll need it. This section is just to get an idea of past performance and evaluate the opportunity cost of investing in Toromont compared to a competitor or a board based index fund. I thought it would be easier to look at pictures as opposed to reading a bunch of numbers off a table. For the sake of not creating a picture album of screenshots, I just looked at charts for the last 5 years. If you're interested in looking at different time intervals you can do so on google finance.
Toromont Industries Ltd v. Finning International Inc.
Figure 8: Five year price chart of TIH v. FTT These are the only two Caterpillar distributors on the TSX, making them direct comparisons. If I was looking for exposure to this industry, I would be choosing between these two companies (on the TSX anyways). There isn't really much to evaluate here. It's like they saying: “A picture is a thousand words,” or in this case, it's 128%. If you have time, go look at the graph from August 1996 to now. I can safely say it hasn't been much of a competition. Toromont has outperformed by ~2500% in stock price appreciation alone. If you're a glass half full kind of person, I guess you could look at this disparity as Finning having enormous upside. LOL
Toromont Industries Ltd v. S&P 500 Index
Figure 9: Five year price chart of TIH v. VFV If I'm not buying individual stocks, I’m buying the S&P 500 and to a lesser extent a Nasdaq index fund. This gives me a second look at the opportunity cost of my money. The story is not as bad as the Finning comparison. If you had bought $100 dollars of Toromont stock 5 years ago, it would have turned into $207 today, whereas the same $100 dollars in VFV would have became $157. Just a quick aside, you can see the volatility in Toromont’s stock is much higher compared to the VFV. VFV has a relatively smooth trend upwards while Toromont trends upwards in a jagged path. This is the risk of single stocks, they move up and down more erratically, leading inventors who don't have a grasp of the business or conviction in their pick to panic sell or post countless times on Reddit asking why their stocks keep going down. “I bought the stock last week and it's done 3% already, do you guys think it’s going bankrupt? I thought stonks only go up???”
Toromont Industries Ltd v. S&P/TSX Capped Industrials Index
Figure 10: Five year price chart of TIH v. ^TTIN The S&P/TSX Capped Industrials Index isn't my favourite comparison for Toromont because its constituents cover many industries ranging from waste management (WCN), to railways (CNCP), to Airlines (AC, lol, had to mention it. I miss the days when there were double digits posts about AC. I wonder where those people have gone, because I can tell you where AC stock has gone... absolutely nowhere). Regardless, I used TTIN because I deemed it a better comparison to Toromont than the entire TSX. The story is on par with the other two comparisons. Toromont’s out performance is significant. I just threw this bonus chart in here because when I saw it, I was like BRUHHH (insert John Wall meme)… It's completely unsustainable but that's impressive given the vast differences between the two.
Toromont Industries Ltd v. NASDAQ-100
Figure 11: Five year price chart of TIH v. ZQQ Now, of course, past performance does not dictate future results and all that good stuff, but it really gets you thinking about how the rewards disproportionately favours winners compared to the overall market. People are generally happy getting market returns (i.e. the just buy VGRO people) but being able to pick even a few winners really pays. This reminds me of the Warren Buffet quote: “diversification is protection against ignorance.” The context of the quote is that if you are able to study a few industries in great depth and acquire a wealth of knowledge, you can see returns astronomically higher than those who diversify across the board market. The problem then becomes you put yourself at risk of having all your eggs in one basket. Look at what's happening with Wirecard in Europe right now. This is why the real skill in investing is managing risk.
Analyst Price Targets and Estimates
The prince targets set for by analysts range from $63-$81. The average price target is ~$72, with the majority of targets within the 70-$71 range. Given the current price of $65.66, there is a ~10% upside. These price targets haven't changed much due to COVID19 even though revenues and EPS forecasts have been downgraded for 2020. The consensus estimate on 2020 revenues is $3.36 billion, down from the actual revenues of $3.69 billion in 2019 and the consensus EPS for 2020 is $3.01 down from actual EPS of $3.52 for 2019 and $3.10 for 2018. The fact that revenues and EPS forecasts have been downgraded, yet price targets remain untouched, for the most part, indicates that the effects of COVID19 are expected to be short-lived. Figure 12: Earnings and estimate ranges for Toromont. Note: EPS numbers in this graphic are diluted EPS numbers.
Multiples Assuming P/E ratio stays the same as it has been for the last 12 months (~19x) and EPS goes down to ~$3.00 (as per analyst consensus), the implied price would be $57. Using the last 12 months of revenues, the EV-to-Revenues ratio is at 1.56x. Assuming that ratio stays the same and with revenues estimated to be ~$3.36 billion, enterprise value (EV) comes out to $5.2416 billion. Using Q1 2020 figures for shares outstanding (82.015 million), cash ($388.182 million), and debt ($745.703 million), the implied price for a share is $58.94*. \Note: Enterprise Value is equal to market cap plus total debt minus cash.) Dividend Discount Model The dividend discount model (DDM) is a method of valuing a company's stock price based on the theory that its stock is worth the sum of all of its future dividend payments, discounted back to their present value. The average dividend growth rate is 12% for the last 5 years is 12%. There is no way Toromont can increase the dividend at this pace in the long term, thus, I chose a long term dividend growth rate of 5%. This is the assumed rate in perpetuity. The required rate of return will equal WACC, 6.85% (averaged from 2019 Annual Report). The dividend over the last year is $1.16 (two payments of $0.27 in 2019 and two payments of $0.31 for 2020). The fair value equals $65.84. Figure 13: DDM calculation.
There is no doubt that Toromont trades at a large premium. The current P/E is 19x and the CAPE ratio (Shiller P/E) is 26x. The fair value of the Company as per Morningstar research is in the mid $60 range. Based on all valuations I did and analyst price targets, I would start buying in the high $50 range or maybe the very low $60 range, but my belief in the company has to do with long term thematic trends and how the Company operates, rather than today's price. Although I have to admit, the price does look more attractive now than it did in the beginning of June when the stock hit new all time highs. It seems like the only companies hitting new all time highs these days are tech companies, so it's refreshing to find a non-tech company achieving the same feat. Toromont is not going to double next year or the year after that. It is a relatively low margin business, with slow growth and a cyclical business cycle. I like that the Company has strong financials, low debt, and good management. They don't take shortcuts or unwarranted risk. Future growth will mostly be driven through acquisition, but management is cautious with acquisitions and don't overextend themselves. One of the biggest problems Finning has been facing for the last couple years is political and social turmoil in South American countries which is affecting their mining clients and thus affecting revenues/margins. The Q2 earnings are reported on July 22 202. We should have a clearer picture on the prospects of the Company from management. Hopefully we have a better idea of the COVID19 situation by then too. Regardless, I think the company is in a position where its services will always be in demand so short term fluctuations are not something that shake my confidence in this pick.
Limitations and Further Areas of Research
By no means is this an exhaustive due diligence report. This is enough for me to feel confident in the business and its trajectory. Limitations/further areas of the research include:
Looking into the growth of each sector Toromont services and extrapolating that growth to calculate Toromont’s future growth opportunity.
As per IBIS Research the heavy equipment rental market in Canada is ~$8.3 billion. It grew 1.1% yearly for the last 5 years.
The US market is estimated to be $47 billion, with an average growth of 2% for the last 5 years
Sorry but I couldn't get my hands on future projections as each report is $750
More research into competitors
I chose to include Finning only for simplicity’s sake. But there are many other competitors like:
United Rentals (NYSE:URI) provides similar services to Toromont/Finning in 49 U.S. states, 10 Canadian provinces, Puerto Rico and four European countries. The only thing being they aren't distributors for Caterpillar.
Rocky Mountain Dealerships Inc (TSE:RME) sells, leases, and provides product and warranty support for agriculture and industrial equipment in Western Canada
Holt Cat, N C Machinery, Ziegler CAT (none of these companies are publicly traded)
Further analysis can be done on the B/S and accounting treatments.
The effects of automation in the industry
Distributors in the US have started working with industrial automation companies to provide autonomous construction equipment on rent to contractors
Sunstate Equipment Co.'s partnership with Built Robotics
I was not able to do a discounted cash flow, which would be critical to finding the intrinsic value for Toromont and having true confidence in the company and its trajectory.
Further analysis of CIMCO and prospects of future growth
Based of the financials, CIMCO seemed like a small part of the business, which is why I mainly focused on the Caterpillar dealership side
These are not all the limitations or areas of further research, they are just the glaring one that came to mind. >! I know I took a few shots at people in this post. It's all in good jest. If you're offended well.... maybe you should be. I don't know, you have to figure that out on your own or you could make a post on Reddit asking random people on the internet whether you should be offended or not. !< Remember I'm not an expert, I'm just a random guy on the internet.
I am long Toromont. This information is not financial advice. Please do your own research and/or talk to a financial advisor. All data provided is current prior to the market opening on June 29, 2020. Inconsistencies in data can be due to many reasons, the foremost being that data was spruced from multiple different websites.
Hi all! We're thinking of bringing back the Weekly Match-ups to help all who find the island that is top-lane a little easier when playing our boy, Darius. This week it's Sett and I'll try to sum up the match-up as best I can. Introduction Sett is a melee bruiser who has a very strong early game. He deals AD damage from his abilities with the exception of his W being a True Damage nuke. Sett favours duels in the early laning phase and is more than capable of out-trading Darius so watch out. Abilities Passive: Sett's basic attacks alternate between a Left Punch and a Right Punch on-attack. The right Punch gains 50 attack range and has quicker attack speed and damage scaling than his left punch. Healing Passive: Sett regenerates 0.25 / 0.5 / 1 / 2 (based on level) health per second for every 5% of his missing health. The lower his HP the more health he gains per second making him a great at sustaining in the early game fights. Knuckle Down: When activated will give him a speed boost and empower his next 2 attacks to do bonus damage plus a % of the enemies maximum HP. COOLDOWN: 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 / 5. HayMaker: When damaged, Sett stores the damage as Grit which he can turn into true damage against the enemy while also giving him a shield upon activation. The more damage Sett takes, the higher the true damage and shield HP. COOLDOWN: 18 / 16.5 / 15 / 13.5 / 12. FaceBreaker: Sett pulls in enemies at his front and back, dealing physical damage and slowing them by 50% for 0.5 seconds. If FaceBreaker affects at least one enemy on each side, all enemies are stunned for 1 second. COOLDOWN: 16 / 14.5 / 13 / 11.5 / 10. ShowStopper: Sett RKO's an enemy champion like he's a WWE star, carrying them a short distance before slamming them into the ground like the dirty Vayne Main they are. The more maximum HP the enemy has the more damage it does to surrounding targets. COOLDOWN: 120 / 100 / 80. Pro's Sett's wave clear isn't as good as Darius. His abilities are very single target meaning you can easily out push him. Sett also can't roam effectively. Sett is very reliant on cooldowns. His W and E cooldowns are very high. If you manage to bait them out you can easily E him in and punish him. ABUSE those cooldowns fellow Dunkers. Sett has very low mobility, if you're running ghost you can easily kite around him and even run him down if you're ahead. Sett lacks consistent damage, make the fight last as long as possible and avoid his short trades. If you side step his W he loses a lot of his damage. Darius outscales Sett in the late game and if Sett is beaten early his mid should be quite weak compared to Darius. Sett's E is very inconsistent and can be hard to land. If you fight without minions he has no way of stunning you. Sett has no disengage or escapes. Ghost that rat down. Cons Sett is pretty tanky and his passive that gives him more hp regen per missing hp gives him great sustain in lane. Sett's only consistent damage is his Max HP % damage from his Q, with that he will always deal decent damage no matter if he's behind or ahead. Sett has very strong AoE CC. His E stun allows him to easily win short trades against you. Sett W provides very high true damage early on if his grit is stacked, allowing him to win trades by a large margin if he lands it. It also provides a meaty shield for him that can easily soak up Darius's ultimate damage. Sett's early game is very strong and he has good dive potential. If he manages to snowball he will be very strong in the mid game. Sett can reset his auto attacks with his Q very easily which will maximise his damage against you. In team fights Sett can deal massive damage to your team with a well placed ult. Sett has good tower shred. He can easily take your plates with his Q. Tips and Tricks Look to avoid fighting Sett in the early game unless you're confident. Sett is looking for those duels so he can snowball to mid game. Make those fights last as long as possible. Darius will out damage Sett in the long run. Conqueror is the best rune against Sett as it gives you sustain in the long fights. You probably want to start D blade against him as Dorans shield won't do much for you. Bone plating is good for reducing Sett's combo damage. Ninja tabi is a good buy if you're struggling. Wait for Sett to use his W shield before ulting him. He can easily deny your reset in a fight with it. As Sett has no disengage jungle ganks are quite effective. Just watch out that he doesn't 2 v 1 you since he has high burst damage. That should do it for this match-up. Please post your thoughts on the match-up in the comments and tell me what I've missed!
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
[OC] CASH ME OUTSIDE: Which future free agents have the most to gain or lose if basketball resumes in the Orlando bubble ?
Back in 2016, young Danielle Bregoli appeared in a Dr. Phil segment eloquently titled: "I Want To Give Up My Car-Stealing, Knife-Wielding, Twerking 13-Year-Old Daughter Who Tried To Frame Me For A Crime." She made the most of it, and even gained fame for her instant catchphrase "cash me outside". Usually, that's where a viral moment ends. However, Bregoli (now known as Bhad Bhabie) has actually parlayed that one moment into a legitimate career. She's a rapper signed by Atlantic Records, and her videos have millions and millions of views. We see this happen often in sports and in basketball specifically. The national media and even front offices start paying more attention to high-profile televised games -- the NCAA tournament, the NBA playoffs, etc. If a player can make the most out of their time in the spotlight, then they can parlay that into huge success themselves. College players who have big tournaments shoot up draft boards. NBA players who have good playoff performances can drive up their prices in free agency. We've seen it time and time again, from Austin Croshere, to Jerome James, to Ian Mahinmi. The continuation of the NBA season (barring a Kyrie Irving led rebellion) means that some players are going to get their time in the spotlight again. That's hugely important for players who are about to reach free agency. Now, there are a lot of big name free agents that are going to cash in regardless. Anthony Davis has a player option; I suspect he'll do all right. Similarly, there are veteran players like Danilo Gallinari or Joe Harris who are more "known commodities." We've seen plenty of them, and we understand their skill sets and values. Their prices are somewhat fixed (aside from concerns about a COVID-infected cap.) Alternatively, there are a group of future free agents that have more volatile stock. They have a lot to gain -- but they have a lot to lose. This is their moment. This is their last impression. They're heading into the Orlando bubble to do business, with the hope that teams will cash them outside.
READY FOR THEIR CLOSE-UP
C Jakob Poeltl, San Antonio If you just glanced at the raw stats, you might not understand why anyone would fuss about Jakob Poeltl. He averages 5.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Ho hum. He's only started a grand total of 38 games in his four-year career so far. Yawn. He's a true center who can't shoot threes? Yikes, go back to 1973. Can we move on to free agents who actually matter? Not so fast, my friend. Jakob Poeltl is a lot more interesting than those numbers suggest. He may be a 7-foot true center from Austria, but he's hardly a stereotypical "stiff." He's more nimble than you'd expect, and shows good defensive instincts inside. Overall, he's a smart player with a natural feel for the game. Those skills are born out in the advanced stats, which LOVE Poeltl's impact. Over the course of his career (4-year sample size here), teams with Poeltl on the court have scored 126 points per 100 possessions, and only allowed 107 per 100 possessions. That's the type of difference (+19) that ranks up with the elite in the NBA. Now, we have to take those numbers with a grain of salt. On/off figures rely heavily on your teammates, and Poeltl's had the good fortune of being on some great bench units in Toronto and now San Antonio. Still, you'd have to guess that he's contributing to those units in a major way. Fortunately for teams and for Poeltl, we don't have to "guess" much more. LaMarcus Aldridge (who had been playing 95% of his minutes at center) is out for the season, clearing a huge pathway for Poeltl to play 25-30 minutes a game and prove his worth. Or not. This is exactly the type of volatility we're looking for in this exercise. upside/downside: If the season had ended prematurely, the Spurs could have effectively "hidden" Jakob Poeltl and retained him for a modest price. As a restricted free agent, his value may have been depressed even more. He may have returned on his qualifying offer ($5M) or signed a team-friendly extension in the neighborhood of $6-8M a year. However, if he has a monster bubble-bracket showing, then teams are going to look at him as a potential starter and pay him accordingly. Gone are the days when Ian Mahinmi or Timo Mozgov would get $15M a season, but $10-12M isn't unrealistic. Heck, Mason (the good one) and Miles (the bad one) Plumlee both got more than that. PG Shabazz Napier, Washington Shabazz Napier knows all about shining under the spotlight. He helped UConn pull off an upset NCAA title, and consequently boosted his draft stock. LeBron James even publicly praised him as his "favorite player in the draft." The Miami Heat then acquired Napier (perhaps as a way to keep the King happy?) However, James left in free agency that summer anyway, and the Heat never seemed too invested in Napier after that. He'd be in Orlando the next year, and Portland the following year. Napier's kept bouncing around since then. In fact, he's already been traded SIX times in his young career. In his journey around the league, Napier has been up or down. Sometimes he flashes and makes you think he could be a high-end backup or even a low-end stopgap starter. Other times, he disappears or shoots poorly, and you start using his name as a trade filler contract. This bubble in Orlando may represent Napier's best chance at latching on to a role and a landing a decent contract. At the moment, he's soaking up minutes for the Washington Wizards, who have lost John Wall to an Achilles injury and have lost Isaiah Thomas to awful defense-itis. In their wake, Napier and veteran Ish Smith are platooning at PG, and both trying to show their competence. If Napier can take advantage of these 25-30 minutes he's getting, then he will go a long way to securing his future in the league. upside/downside: If Shabazz Napier can outplay Ish Smith and hold the fort well at PG, then teams may start viewing him, as mentioned, as a high-end backup/low-end starter. That may not sound like any great shakes, but that's a lucrative role. Ish Smith himself makes $6M a year -- D.J. Augustin makes $7M. Those figures would represent a major pay raise for Napier, who's never made as much as $2.5M in any season so far. On the other hand, if he flops and the Wizards fold, then he'll be back to looking at 3rd PG spots and fighting to stay in the league.
BREAKOUT STARS WHO CAN'T AFFORD TO BREAK DOWN
PG Fred VanVleet, Toronto Fred VanVleet had to work hard to convince NBA teams to buy into him. That's bound to happen any time you're an undrafted player who looks like he should be selling pretzels at a game at not playing point guard. But finally, after several years of proving himself, Fred VanVleet put himself in prime position to cash in this summer (or whenever free agency actually happens.) He carried over his great Finals performance to this regular season, averaging 17.6 points and 6.6 assists. He can shoot -- he can defend. Hell, he can even defend across positions despite his limited height thanks to his strength and his basketball IQ. In fact, basketball-reference listed VanVleet at SG for 54% of his minutes this season. Presumably, FVV will be a lead guard going forward, but that versatility only adds to his value. You can make an argument that he offers similar value to a player like Malcolm Brogdon, who got over $20M in salary in Indiana. What's the "volatility" here? Why can't we lock in VanVleet for a fat contract yet? Well, VanVleet needs to finish the job, essentially. We all remember how great he played in the Finals, but we tend to forget how badly he played in the playoffs prior to that. In their seven game war against Philadelphia, VanVleet shot a combined 3-24 from the field (12.9%) and averaged 2.0 points per game. Perhaps he was distracted by issues at home, but he was also rattled by the Sixers' length. He can't have that happen again, or else it'd leave a sour taste in the mouth of the NBA front offices, and scare them from trusting him as a surefire starter going forward. upside/downside: If Fred VanVleet plays well (the same level as he's played throughout the year), then he's looking at a healthy deal. He's 26 right now, so he may land a 4-year deal in excess of $60M ($15M per year). But if he struggles in the playoffs, then that may go down to something like 3 years, $40M ($13M per year) as teams view him as more of a fringe starter instead. C Montrezl Harrell, L.A. Clippers Doc Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers will enter the bubble with genuine and realistic title aspirations. They're loaded from top to bottom, and as deep as any team in the field. That said, they may be too deep for their own good. In some ways, it still feels like two teams fused together like the Man with Two Heads. On one shoulder, there's the "old Clippers" from last year -- the plucky overachievers fueled by the chemistry of Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell. On the other shoulder, the "new Clippers" -- the would-be Super Team featuring two superstars in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Because the Clippers have been coasting through the regular season and load managing their stars, they haven't gotten the chance to lock in rotations and nail down their final form as a cohesive group yet. That's especially apparent in terms of the PF/C spot. Like last year, the team starts young center Ivica Zubac, but then cedes major minutes and a bigger role to Harrell off the bench. However, they've also brought in PF Marcus Morris, fresh off a strong half-season for the Knicks. There are contenders here, but no clear plan. When push comes to shove, is the team going to play a traditional lineup with a PF and a C? And if so, which center will close out games? And if the team needs to adjust and go to a "smallball" approach against a team like Houston, who will that lone big be -- Harrell or Marcus Morris? For Harrell, winning that role will be important as a matter of pride, but also important as a matter of market value. He'll be an unrestricted free agent (as will Marcus Morris). But unlike Morris, Harrell hasn't gotten a huge contract in the NBA yet. This summer was supposed to be his year to cash in. However, if Doc Rivers and the Clippers don't feel like he can hang on D at the end of games, then that will give his stock a big hit. upside/downside: If you're a free agent coming off a championship team, you're bound to get paid (and likely overpaid.) Of course, to benefit from that ring, you'd have to be seen as a key member of that team. As a result, Harrell needs to lock down the closing minutes at center. If that happens, then he's in line for a big contract in the range of $15M per year. However, the nightmare scenario for him would be if he gets played off the court due to his defense; if that happens, then he'll be seen as a niche role player and his contract will likely go down to the $10-12M range.
LAST CHANCE FOR A BIG CONTRACT
SF Jae Crowder, Miami Veteran Jae Crowder is a great addition to any contending team. He's a strong, dogged defender. He can hit threes. In a world that craves 3+D players, he fits the bill to a T. At least, that's his reputation. In reality, Crowder has never reached the heights that he did back in Boston (a familiar trend among former Celtics, it appears.) The most obvious issue is the inconsistent shooting. He had never been seen as a shooter originally, but he worked on that aspect of his game. In 2016-17, Crowder hit on 39.8% of his three-point attempts. The presumption is that he'd finally clicked into another gear, and could only get better from there. He became a valuable trade piece (and ended up going to Cleveland in the Kyrie Irving deal.) More and more, it's starting to look like that one season was an outlier. Crowder's three-point percentage has fallen back down to Earth, registering 32%, 33%, and 32% over the next three seasons. His defense also may have been overrated. At 6'6" with a 6'9" wingspan, he has only average size for a SF and only registered an average impact in terms of advanced stats. He's bounced around lately, from Cleveland to Utah to Memphis and now to Miami. Interestingly enough, Crowder got off to a hot start in Miami, and may have started to resurrect his stock. The Heat had been playing him more as a smallball four (basketball reference listed him at PF for 60% of his minutes), and he looked rejuvenated by that change. He hit on 39.3% of his threes (13 game sample size) and also looked better defensively as well. The question now is... can that continue? Miami will be healthier coming back from the break, and may not envision heavy minutes for Crowder in this playoffs. Are they going to rely on him? Or bury him? TBD. These next few months will be crucial for Crowder's stock as he heads into unrestricted free agency. upside/downside: If Jae Crowder can continue to play well as a smallball PF (and also soak up minutes at SF), then it'd give credence to the idea that he's a legitimate starter. And as a result, he'd be looking at salaries in the $10M+ range. However, there's also a lot of potential downside here. If his shooting stumbles again, it's difficult to imagine smart teams viewing him as anything more than a depth player at this stage (29, turning 30 in July.) He may have trouble matching his current salary of $7.5M. C Derrick Favors, New Orleans We're trying to focus on players with "volatile" stock and some unknown elements to their game. I'm not sure that describes New Orleans big man Derrick Favors right now. After some very high expectations as the # 3 pick, he appears to have settled into a known commodity right now at age 28. He's never going to be an All-Star, but he's developed into a capable starter (9.2 points, 9.9 rebounds this year) who is particularly sturdy on the defensive end. So what's the lingering question here? For Favors, it's more about a matter about whether he's a long-term "fit" with this New Orleans team. After rotating between PF and C in Utah, Favors has been locked in as a true center with the Pelicans, playing 100% of his minutes as a 5. That certainly feels like his best position moving forward. But the question is... do the Pelicans need a center? They just invested the # 8 overall pick in Jaxson Hayes, a naturally springy 7-footer. Moreover, there's still the lingering question about whether Zion Williamson may be best served as a smallball center himself. Between the two, there may not be loads of minutes at the 5 in New Orleans. Realistically, the team could retain Favors on a 1 or 2 year deal and utilize him as a placeholder until Hayes fills out and develops into a viable starter. At the same time, Favors is likely looking for a longer-term deal than that; this may be his last big contract. The Pelicans haven't had their full roster together all season, so they still need to work out their rotations. Will coach Alvin Gentry want to lock Favors in at the 5 (with Zion Williamson at the 4)? If push comes to shove, will Favors be squeezed out? Those decisions may go a long way to determining his free agency future. upside/downside: As mentioned, Derrick Favors' "value" may be more locked into place than his peers on the list. He's likely worth around a 3 year, $40M contract ($13.3M per year.) But for him, the question will be where that money will come from. A lot of the playoff teams that could use him (say Boston, for instance) don't have the cap space to offer those prices. If he wants to get bowled over with money, it'll likely come from a young team with cap room (like an Atlanta or Charlotte). But for them to justify paying big money to a big man, he'll have to keep playing heavy minutes and keep putting up solid numbers.
THE COMPLETE WILD CARD
SG Andre Roberson, Oklahoma City Remember him? There are younger fans out there (the babies and toddlers among us) who may not even recall the extreme strengths of weaknesses of Andre Roberson. It's not an exaggeration to say that, at his peak, Andre Roberson was the best perimeter defender in the NBA. Armed with length (6'11" wingspan), nimble feet, and a tenacious style of play, he could slow down anyone from 1-4. In 2017-18, ESPN's real plus minus metric graded his defensive impact as a +4.3 per 100 possessions, second best in the league behind Rudy Gobert. Alas, Roberson only checked one box on the 3+D prototype. He's a career 25.7% shooter from beyond the arc, and a particularly ugly 46.7% at the free throw line. That free throw percentage even dipped as low as 31.6% in that 2017-18 season. So why do I keep citing the 2017-18 season? Because that's the last time we actually saw Andre Roberson play. He ruptured a patellar tendon, then had setbacks in rehab. All in all, he missed the entire 2018-19 season, and he's missed the entire 2019-20 season so far as well. Allegedly, Roberson is ready to come back now. If that's true, that would be a huge boon to his stock as he approaches unrestricted free agency. If any team is going to pay Roberson, they want to see that he's healthy and that he can keep up his defensive impact. And hey, if his shooting form looks like it's improved, then that'd be a major bonus. The mystery is likely to continue though, because we're not sure if Roberson is healthy, and we're not sure if he'd actually play even if he is healthy. Oklahoma City has found a good rhythm right now, and has had success combining their guards in lineups together. If Shai Gilgeous-Alexander can serviceably guard SGs and SFs, then there's not a huge need for Roberson in the starting lineup. At the same time, the wing depth is still pretty thin, so a healthy Roberson could help on the margins. upside/downside: It's difficult to imagine Billy Donovan throwing Andre Roberson out there for 20+ minutes a night after such a long layoff. Given that, the most likely scenario is that we see faint glimpses of Roberson this season, which forces him to take a modest one-year "prove it" deal in 2020-21 to rehab his stock. However, IF Oklahoma City finds itself struggling to contain a player like James Harden in the playoffs, then you'd figure they'd break the glass in case of emergency and call in Roberson. If Roberson can prove that he's back to his old stopper ways, then he's a valuable piece for a team. He'll never get HUGE money if his shooting continues to suck, but he can be a $8-10M role player. And if he ever learns to shoot at a modest clip (even 33% from three) then his stock will balloon.
100 Simulacrums Final Report,is it THAT worth ? and general feedback if you are planning to run them.
TL:DR for whoever doesn't want to go through the whole thread HERE. After hitting 99 i figured i wanted to combine something both useful and profitable (xp and currency-wise) to smooth out the process and make it somewhat tolerable compared to juicing up maps. Eventually i picked up Simulacrums as they give a pretty hefty amount of XP,a reasonable profit and,most importantly,they don't require managing outside of dumping the loot into stashes. I initially planned to run a bigger sample but after realizing the whole process was starting to lobotomize me doing some math i figured i'd run 100 in total.
How to get started.
What i mainly did was trying to get bulk Sims for an average price instead of premium and snipe any Sim below 120c; I usually did this while taking a break from the actual gameplay and clearing quad tabs/managing my other trades to minimize downtime (took me around 1 hour and a half to get 100).
Initially i used NeverSink's lootfilter but soon realized it was showing way too much stuff comparing to what i was planning to pick up (as an example sacrifice fragments,low tier incubators,talismans etc.) but decided to go ahead and run the first 50 Sims with it. Results :
Runs were taking around 2 to 3 minutes more compared to the following ones (meaning a potential 5 hours waste in the full run for a very small profit).
Overall strain forced me to take small 5-10 minutes breaks to stretch out a bit every couple runs (which i still suggest doing even if you don't ache or feel pain).
Last but not least the amount of Sac frags and low tier incubators was taking up half of my quads slots. So all in all worthless for the small margin you make on these (both sac frags and low tier incubators).
My personal advice is to get the latest NeverSink's lootfilter version (stricter one) and modify it through filterblade to hide the low tier incubators (i hid cartographeabyssal/decadent/fragmented/primal).
Layering,pricing and trading.
First of all,this most likely won't be the most efficient way to layer,price and trade but it worked out fine for me so if you want to give it a try here's what i did.
During Simulacrums i just looted everything (after fixing the lootfilter) and as soon as i had a full inventory dropped everything into quad tabs.
Whenever i had all the quad tabs full (i suggest having at the very least 2) i would just selectively filter out the stuff i wanted to move into each corresponding tab (like typing ''Ess'' to show all essences, ''Curr'' to show all currency related items etc.).
As for pricing most of it will be bulk selling so you can sell for a premium on fossils/incubators/frags and so on,the only stuff i selectively priced were Sims Jewels (Megalomaniac/Split personality/Voices) Pure Breachstones and the most valuable Div cards,Gems and Clusters.
The way i priced Incubators and bulk items was to price a single one and keep it in a full quad tab of incubators/specific tab,that way all items gets listed for the same price even if they are not in the same tab but in different public tabs.
Keep in mind you should always layer the items whenever emptying your tabs but saving the entirety of trade for later once you are done with your runs to minimize downtime.
Exceptions and off-set setup.
I made some exceptions for apparently worthless stuff that could turn into a good profit like unique jewels that could give 1% mana reserved or corrupted blood and could fit in the meta builds or cobalt es% jewels following the same rule. Another thing i highly suggest doing and you should never skip is leveling gems in your off-set (weapon swap),if you are uncertain what to level here are the rules i usually followed :
You can either keep two 3 socketed weapons,a 6 socketed bow or invest 4.5ex to get Maloney's Mechanism and level 9 gems at once (this is what i suggest if you can afford it).
I checked what gems to level daily by analyzing poe.ninja swings.
I started out with 9 x awakened gems (since you need to swap them out less oftenly) and subsequentially started leveling a mix of hatred and wrath (with no quality,just level them to 20 and try hitting 21 on the corruption),now there's probably something more profitable so always make sure to check out price swings.
Total investment and total profit (finally aye).
First of all,it roughly took me 5 DAYS to run the simulacrums,layeprice the items and sell a solid 90% of the whole loot. The total investment for 100 Sims and off-set gems was 128ex. The total return was 1 Mirror and 131ex (381ex). The total profit was 253ex. This is the Album of the post layering stashes and final return. DISCLAIMER : the profit could have been higher but i decided to sell with a cheaper price to get rid of the bulk stuff faster,you can take it slow and get a bigger profit than i did,some of the cluster cheaper jewels and megalomaniac are also pretty hard to sell so i suggest taking your time trying to price them and see if someone makes an offer.
Final report and overall feedback.
If you are looking to make the best profit juiced up maps are most likely still the way to go as they give an overall better return ratio/hour on AVERAGE. If you want to make a steady profit and don't want to get tangled in managing sextants,rolling maps,prophecies,unique watchstones and trading for all of the above plus delirium orbs i guess Simulacrums might be a good alternative for you since they require close to no preparation at all.
Here are some of the questions i received :
What build did you use to run Simulacrums ?
I ran an Herald EK Ascendant,Yes i know where the door is,Yes i'll show myself out,no but jokes aside i ran simulacrums smoothly previously on Hiero Storm Brand and Trickster ED even tho i have to admit double boss at wave 20 on ED was a bit of a pain but a total walk in the park with Storm Brand Archmage.
Are 100% Delirium maps better than Simulacrums ?
I vaguely explained above the difference,i don't feel as they are better or worse,most likely better for returns but you need to invest more time into managing a random number of things that i usually don't have the patience for.
You just posted a 120ex+ investment but my build is 2ex and i have 40c in the bank,what do you suggest doing for profit ? and please don't say maps !
Maps,no but honestly,if you have such a small budget you should really just be focusing on mapping fast and efficiently,farming sims splinters and selling in bulk,i understand your build might not be the ''best suited one'' to speed farm maps but there are hiero SB builds on an 8ex+ budget that smashes delirium/conquerors/sirus and Simulacrums.
How come the mods lets you post with that extremelybadlyanduncomfortable formatting ?
I have no idea,shoutout to the mods,if they feel like changing the formatting to make it more user friendly i'll carry your bosses in game for free,i read some guides on formatting,read the reddit helper but i am just that bad at it,sorry.
Are Delve/Betrayal/Incursion/Blighted Maps/Beastfarming worth atm ?
Delve is profitable in my personal experience,but you have to reach a decent depth (i'd say 500+ if you really want to start gaining a stable income). Betrayal has always been profitable and i remember recently there's been a guide posted on here which was extremely detailed,same goes for incursion. As for blighted maps you are definetly making a great return comparing to what you are investing but oils prices slowly dropped below the ground and i don't feel like it's the best option to farm them at all unless you got an afk build that can farm them. That's pretty much it,if you reached the end of the thread kudos,i could barely do it as i was writing it,hope the formatting didn't turn out completely terrible. EDIT : Hey guys,didn't really expect so many questions,i just came home and i'm sorta beat but i promise i'll answer a good chunk of questions first thing tomorrow as soon as i wake up,thanks and sorry for the inconvenience.
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