Welp, there goes my supply of NyQuil. As your local (also only) Chargers fan, this essentially is the cherry on top of what could be considered, at best, a tumultuous offseason. Everything from Philip Rivers trade rumors, to keeping Donald Brown (why?), and even continuing reports that the Chargers are probably moving to Los Angeles wasn’t enough. Nope. Now, Antonio Gates has been suspended four games for PED use, because hey, why not?

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So we’ve finally arrived at what many consider the Cadillac of rankings– the running back position. Though, I don’t really get the car association, seeing as how there are several other makes I’d rather own. I’d even consider some KIA’s, but that might be my half-Koreaness (is that a thing?) coming into play. Which might make it raycess. Who knows? What I do know is that KIA stands for Keeping It Awesome, and that’s all that matters. Because you should, in fact, keep it awesome. How the car company has gone so long without using this in their P.R. campaign boggles the mind. Regardless, here we are, ranking the running backs, and the first thing that I think of is a new and innovative marketing strategy for a car manufacturer. Why this is the first thing that came to mind is the more interesting subject, but I have no idea how to tackle it. So this whole thing will have to stand on it’s own. Yeah, I have no clue either. Rankings forward!

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For the last few weeks, Jay has been unveiling his 2015 rankings on the offensive side of the ball, and now it’s time for IDPs to join the party. If you’re new to IDP leagues, or thinking about joining one, I encourage you to read my annual case for using IDPs in fantasy football. Assuming you’ve already taken the leap into the IDP world, you know that positional rankings are not quite one-size-fits-all. Depending on your league’s roster requirements and scoring system, my DL20 could be your DL5, and potentially even your LB50. I try to cover the most “standard” settings with the rankings below, but if you have questions about a particularly customized league, feel free to post in the Comments section. One of the many beauties of IDP leagues is the level with which they can be customized, and I love hearing about the more exotic options out there.

Without further ado, here are the Razzball 2015 Defensive Linemen rankings, as well as a brief take on each of my tiers below:

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With the NFL going to more and more of a passing league, the ability to find a signal caller that can provide you not just serviceable production at your quarterback spot, but the ability to give you quality production is ever so easy to spot and find later in the draft. With the quarterback position being littered with so many quality arms, a popular avenue to go with this position is the (Razzball approved) quarterback by committee (QBBC) approach. This is where you wait until at least the 10th round (heck, even later) of your draft and you grab one-to-three quarterbacks (depending on format) that you will play match-ups with each week.

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It’s wide receiver ranking time folks, and perhaps more than running backs, I find this position the hardest to work with. Not because it has a boner (though I have no idea how to verify this), but because of the sheer amount of names. There is no dearthness here my friends. And the process involves a lot of research and time, I mean, did you know there’s something called a Boykins in the NFL? I thought Boykins was what the Three Stooges did to each other all those years. Also, I was quite surprised that New Orleans did, in fact, have wide receivers on their depth chart. I had just assumed they were going to line-up 10 blockers and have Drew Brees throw to himself. (This is an annointed power given on high to the Breesus, as prophecy states.) Boy was I off. That’s actually going to be Buffalo’s strategy with EJ Manuel. But that’s not all I learned. Yes, you might be surprised by this… completely astounded I tell ya, but I also have some fantasy knowledge to drop. CRAZY, I know. So let’s get fantasy relevant… (That’s what she said. Uh, wait, that doesn’t really work here. I mean, it does, but it’s not really the strongest joke I could have put out there. Not sure why this is still a thing…)

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Every year ESPN has it’s Draft Day Manifesto, which is an entertaining read, but always rubs me the wrong way. Maybe it’s because that article assumes little to no fantasy football experience. It’s 2015, even my grandmother knows the basics of our beautiful game. It also could be the word “Manifesto” which just comes off as un-American to me, and conjures images of Marx and Lenin. So rather than rip off our well-funded competitor, I named my annual “post the same article but update it to reflect the league’s current landscape” column after a song by a different Lennon, albeit one who was still not a resident of the 50 states and may have also been a Communist. Hey, nobody’s perfect! Without further ado, here is my annual case for including IDPs in your fantasy football leagues:

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Well, we did it! That’s right, a Game of Thrones only podcast. Obviously, we won’t be turning into a Game of Thrones website (though, this might actually be a good idea the more I think about it), but with the lack of any relevant football news, Tehol and I figured, why not? Especially with the finale airing this past Sunday, it seemed time. We were joined by Kevin, your IDP specialist and we went over the few episodes we hadn’t talked about yet, and then the big finale. Enjoy it, as we’ll have to wait like 8,000 days until the next season starts, and I’m just talking about football…

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Now we’re getting to the meat and potatoes of the fantasy rankings, perfect for the protein-starch diet which has netted me zero results. While last week’s ranking extravaganza with an opening salvo of kickers and defense was such a memorable experience, in that, it wasn’t, this week, we start getting serious. But not too serious, because we are talking about tight ends, more specifically, our tight ends, which probably needs less pants. Why? Because everything needs less pants. Think about it.

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We’ve already tackled the draft and free agency, but there is one more facet of the IDP offseason that could potentially play the biggest role in altering a player’s value: scheme changes. When a team brings in a new Head Coach or coordinator, it’s a good bet that the new guy will want to imprint his own style on the team he’s inheriting. And while only seven teams changed their Head Coach since the 2014 season, a whopping 12 changed their Defensive Coordinators. Not all of these personnel changes will result in a true scheme change, but they all figure to have an effect on the opportunities presented to IDPs. It may take until training camp and the preseason to get a read on some situations, but there are other teams where we can already sense how things will look in Week One.

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When planning the rankings release schedule, getting rid of the Kickers and DST rankings as fast as possible was a priority for me. They are just soooo the opposite of what you really need to care about, that even implementing a strategy seems like a waste. Trust me, that time and energy is better spent elsewhere. Like Redtube. Or volunteering at your local shelter. Both scholarly pursuits in my honest opinion. Regardless, DEF is still a category, and leaving it off the rankings would seem like a missing tooth. Pittsburgh knows what’s up.

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