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Welcome to the very last Beyond the Numbers! of the year and also one of the most important. I, and everyone here at Razzball, have put in our best efforts this week to get you closer towards your goal of making the fantasy Super Bowl. Sorry I had to go with another overused Blount pun as the title, but I spent too much time reviewing games to come up with a more clever one. Hell, I’ve been watching so much game tape my NFL Game Pass Replay asked me if I was a robot. To that, I of course sarcastically answered yes and it somehow let me continue watching. I guess my TV is also a robot and vouched for me or something. Let’s just say I definitely did my homework this week. There are way too many scary matchups to not be prepared. That and figuring out the value of injured players’ backups are the most crucial items on the docket. For fantasy owners in just about any situation in the playoffs, I got you covered.

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ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 7: Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings rushes during a game against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on September 7, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

By now, most of you guys are already in the playoffs or at least know where you’re sitting in the hunt.  I’m unfortunately eliminated in my main league and am a bit sour while writing this, so please forgive a bit of my saltiness. My handle may have to change to Rob Gronkowski lying in a hospital bed since that’s where he’s been most of the year (I trusted you after staying healthy last year!). If you’re in the same boat as me, better luck next year. Do it the right way next time and join 10 leagues so you’re guaranteed to win one (that’s how statistics work right?). Yup, we’re way beyond the numbers and I’m not even through with the intro. For those who still have a shot at glory, I’ll suck it up for you guys and do my best to help out. Here are some guys that’ll get you to next week, some to stash for when you get there, and some to avoid all together.

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Happy Black Friday everyone! Hopefully none of you guys got trampled getting all those deals, but come on, a $300 big screen TV is worth just about whatever it takes to get. If you’re like me and would rather not get run over by a shopping cart stampede, Cyber Monday is where it’s at. You can’t beat sitting on your butt and buying random items you don’t need just because they’re cheap. I may be a day late, but as tradition dictates, I like to give thanks to something every year. This year, I want to give my thanks to my man Jon Gruden for being the commentator on Monday Night Football. I mean, can you imagine Chris Collinsworth or Phil Simms getting that privilege? It’s bad enough we all had to sit through Rams v. 49ers this year, can you imagine it with one of them giving the play by play? Sorry, Halloween is long over. I shouldn’t subject anyone to such scary thoughts. Anyway onto the interesting guys of the week. Hope everyone’s still got a shot in their matchups after all the Thanksgiving Day games…

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It was finally nice to see some great prime time football for once last week! Seahawks versus the  Patriots was an absolutely fitting battle where the Seahawks flipped the script of their Super Bowl XLIX defeat, and Bengals vs. Giants was a tight game until the end. It would’ve been nice to see a bit more flash on Monday Night Football with stars like Odell Beckham Jr., A.J. Green, and Tyler Eifert on the field, but viewers and fantasy owners can’t be too disappointed with how things turned out. Even though we didn’t see much in the way of explosive, flashy plays, wasn’t Beckham’s rendition of Thriller beautiful to watch at least? Last week I wrote about the good ole’ days of football where touchdown celebrations used to make the games better, so the fact that he didn’t get flagged made it all the better. After briefly speaking about the celebration in his post game interview, Beckham got me thinking when he mentioned he was inspired by Conor McGregor’s UFC 205 victory. How ironic is it that Beckham, one of the feeblest minds in the NFL, can be inspired by Conor McGregor, one of our generation’s most prolific trash talkers? I mean, just imagine if Conor was a cornerback slotted to go against Beckham. How many plays do you think it takes for it to escalate to the Josh Norman level of 2015? Two? Three? Either way, I’m sure his fantasy owners don’t care who inspires him as long as he keeps producing. Now it’s time to look at this week, where I take you through all the guys that should be inspiring you to start them.

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If you’re like me and you’re not into the current political talk, boy have I got a great read for you. I promise the most election-like references I’ll make in the entire post have to do with locker room politics. Instead, let me focus on the cause of what’s wrong with football lately, Roger Goodell. The man in the high castle seems to be too busy counting all the TV revenue money and player fines to worry about how bad ratings are. But don’t we, the public, deserve more from one of the most influential sports in America? I can’t be the only one eating member berries and thinking back to the good ole’ days. Remember when players were free to take cheerleader pom poms for a dance and pull out phones to call and tell their buds they scored? Hell, if Goodell is afraid of “sportsmanship” maybe he ought to implement a more stringent policy on performance enhancing drugs. You know, like the HGH policy that hasn’t caught a single player since the rule’s inception. Hopefully, we can make football great again someday soon and start the fun again. Till then, I guess dancing at home when your sketchy Flex play scores is going to have to do. I’ll do my part and give you a few names to help get you to that victory dance.

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Welcome to another week of fantasy football where everything’s made up, but the points actually matter. Matchups are the name of the game this week, as I’m sure just about everyone is scouring the waiver wire with so much talent on bye. That’d be said, look no further than the Packers who square off against an embarrassing Colts defense. Rodgers is going to toss touchdowns galore in this one, so be ready for quite a few Lambo Leaps. I’m not sure the Colts’ strategy of letting the opposing offenses score as quickly as possible so Andrew Luck can have the ball back is logical, but hey, I’m no defensive coordinator. If it’s too late to snatch up Packers, don’t worry, there’s plenty more juicy matchups to exploit on the docket. And as a bonus because I’m such a good guy, I also have a few secret stashes for those looking to deepen their benches. Let’s get to it!

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With Halloween just around the corner, I had a couple thoughts run through my brain: I’m about to be dedicating quite a few hours to Pokémon GO with everything giving double candy for the next few days, and I wonder what most people think the scariest part of fantasy football is. Without a doubt it’s got to be injuries, as there truly is nothing like having to pick up the pieces when your top running back goes down for the year. Eddie Lacy owners have a slightly more cringe worthy injury on their hands since his ankle most likely just snapped under the pressure of all that weight. Is it too late for Tony Horton to make Lacy put down all the Halloween candy? Unfortunately it is, and with quite a few backs out with injuries and bye weeks, this seems to be a particularly brutal week. Luckily, there are quite a few running backs worth a look that can be had on waivers. Devontae Booker leads the charge in what I like to call “The Week of the Handcuff”… it’s only fitting his team colors include Halloween orange.

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I’d like to dedicate this week’s Beyond the Numbers to Week 6’s fantasy darling: Jay Ajayi. His 204 yard explosion versus Pittsburgh goes against every data point you could have on the guy, and gives a little bit of credit to a “beyond the numbers” mentality. Everyone seems to be flip flopping more than Ajayi’s mascot about whether he or Arian Foster will be the main man (myself included), and hopefully now we’ve found our answer. That joke would’ve probably landed better if Miami’s mascot was a fish, but hey, you got to work with what you got. This week, I’m on the lookout for the next monster performance, so let’s get to it…

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Ahh, it’s that refreshing time of year when the scorching heat is finally dying down, and the weather is turning cold enough to completely forget about the summer. With the middle of the season approaching, the fantasy outlook, like the weather, is rapidly changing.  Sure you may have had one of the best teams in the league when Eric Decker and DeAngelo Williams were still producing, but those days are gone and their positions have been filled. This is true for many of the players you drafted, whether they were once putting up great numbers or not, and it’s about time to adapt to the changes. Get ready to trust in players you never thought you would, in this week’s Beyond the Numbers.

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The day you got report cards in school was always probably the worst day of the month for most people. Regardless of whether or not you did well, it was always stressful waiting for your judgment to be handed down to you in the form of a single letter. While I’m not going to give players a letter grade for their performance on the year so far, I think it’s about time to check in on what they’re doing for your fantasy team. A fourth of the season is finished and it’s time to start making moves if your team isn’t producing. This week, I’m taking nearly 20 of the year’s most intriguing players and letting you know how they should be viewed for the rest of the season. With some trade targets and waiver wire names to grab for “failing” players, let’s get to it in this week’s edition of Beyond the Numbers.

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