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Hey guys! I’m glad to be back after a week off in which I took the ACT, but now I cannot wait to jump into Week 8 of the NFL season. Big thanks to the main man MB for taking over this column last week, he absolutely nailed it with some of the selections, most notably Jameis Winston and his dominating performance against the 49ers. But I’m still better-looking.

Anyway, I had to miss last week due to my taking of the ACT test, which reminded me of Fantasy Football. We prepare as long and as hard as we can, even maybe spending money to prep for the test, yet we still do not know what will be on it: so we need to not only be prepared for it, and we need some luck on our side. It helps if we also can pull off at least one lopsided. But I don’t know how that last statement refers to the ACT, but at least we got it out of the way.

This week kinda marks the halfway point of the year. Leave a comment down below of what your record is, and if I and this column, or even Razzball in general has contributed to your success. Or declines. Accentuate the positive.

Of first matchup of Week 8 comes between two styles of football in the AFC. One marked by a solid defensive unit, and on offense, marked by a traditional conservatism offensive attack, and in turned, marked by strength at the HB position. Then we have the Colts…

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ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 15: Todd Gurley #30 of the St. Louis Rams carries the ball in the first quarter against the Chicago Bears at the Edward Jones Dome on November 15, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Welcome to Week 6! This is my favorite time of the fantasy year. We get to reflect on the last five weeks, figure out the missing pieces that are needed to take our fantasy game to take the next step, and act upon those missing pieces. If things have gone bad for you, don’t worry about it, and if things have gone pretty terribly, don’t worry about it as well. Some situations such as those with C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker have fantasy owners asking themselves, “Who do I stash?”, or “Who has the better future in hold”? Questions like these might make or break your fantasy year based off of timing and effective Waiver Wire maneuvering. However, not all running backs are being threatened of workload to an up-and-coming rookie in the fold. Some backs have the job locked up, and are even moving on to an increasingly larger workload based off of numerous factors. So let’s head out to L.A. and get started!

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PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 28: Mike Evans #13 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks on during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 28, 2014 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Fantasy Football sucks. Let’s be real, it’s very, very frustrating.

Things don’t go our way. Remember the Giants-Saints game that was supposed to be a 100-point shootout. Big shoutout to those guys that thought THAT would happen (I thought that would happen).

But as corny as it sounds, Fantasy Football is a marathon, not a sprint. Over the course of 16 weeks, there are 16 Tuesday night’s to win your league at the Waiver Wire. Overspending on Fozzy Whittaker sucks, but it should kill you. There are other weeks to make it up. There are 16 opportunities to make the right call on gameday. Benching C.J. Anderson Week 1 against Carolina won’t and shouldn’t kill your league.

It is best not to get too down when we make a bad decision, and to not get our own biases in the way. Certain players are frustrating to watch on Sunday’s (I’m looking at you Amari Cooper), but like I mentioned five seconds ago, it is a process, and it only takes a few weeks for a certain player to get going and make ourselves pat ourselves on the back for choosing him over the other options.

Through the first four weeks of the NFL season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have certainly been frustrating, as many (including myself) would have thought their record would have certainly been a little bit better than 1-3.

However, this is a week for the Bucs that will define their year, a very important road division game that will put an emphasis on a win if they were to achieve it. And in order for Tampa Bay to win, it will have to go through their wide receiver, Michael Lynn Evans III (SIDE NOTE: What a weird middle name!)

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I need to keep reminding myself to love every moment of football, because whether I want to believe it or not, we’re almost a quarter of the way through the NFL season.

I always like this time of the year. For me, October 1st marks the official start of fall. Yes, yes, I know about the Fall Solstice, or whatever it is called nowadays, and I understand that in most parts of the country it is starting to feel a little chilly, but you have to remember, I live in Tampa! It’s 96 degrees and sunny! Meanwhile, I am forced to eat cinnamon cookies, listen to Charlie Brown songs, and surf through NFLShop.com’s pink selections for BCA month. I can only do this for so long before I go hit some tennis in situations where if I do not drink water, I would not be writing this intro. You know what I mean?

Here we have the first game of the month of October. It’s time to crank up some “Autumn Wind” NFL Films music, and get ourselves in prime positioning to make an impact in our leagues and get to 4-0. Or at least 3-1. For any of you guys that are 0-3 thus far, remember that it is a marathon, not a sprint.

We start this week in a situation like Tampa, in beautiful San Diego, where the only weather is either hot or mildly hot. I think that’s right, but a pretty hasty generalization at that. I’ve never been to San Diego, but I hear good things! *Author’s Note* – I have never once heard anything about San Diego. Oh well.

A bad thing about football are the injuries of the game and its impact on the given team it affects. Good thing for us, regardless of their current record, the Chargers have had a very high-paced and prolific offensive attack despite their injuries to Danny Woodhead and Keenan Allen, thanks in large part to their second-year breakout back.

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Well that was a weird week. When Corey Coleman outscores both Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham, and Justin Hardy outscores Julio, you know it’s time to sit back, and ask ourselves, what on Earth went wrong?

I’d like to take this time in the intro to talk about the most important aspect of Fantasy Football: Patience.

Championships aren’t won at the draft, and they are certainly not won during the first two weeks of the NFL season. We have to have patience when deciding who to add, who to cut, and who to trade for or trade away. We have to have patience, and think for the long term. Take Coby Fleener, for instance. Right now, many are cutting him, trading him, and giving up all hope. I am confident, without a single doubt in my mind, that Coby Fleener is a Top-10, maybe even still a Top-5 TE on the year. Remember, this is a guy that looked solid with Dwayne Allen in Indy, really stellar without Allen (due to injury), and someone the Saints paid over the offseason. They did that for a reason. Now, Brees has come out and said that they are slowly building chemistry, and they can’t wait until it blooms. And unfortunately for us, it means rostering him and waiting.

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What a great week of football last Sunday, huh? For me, Sunday turned into a six-hour RedZone session, and truth be told, it was fantastic. A definite 10-out-of-10. I also had a pretty fun time in fantasy last week, behind the great efforts of Brandin Cooks, DeMarco Murray, Eli Manning, Blair Walsh, and the Minnesota Vikings D/ST. But this is a new week, a new set of matchups, and a new sets of games to analyze and pick apart to get the most out of our fantasy matchups.

One of the most intriguing matchups this week comes back to Denver, for the Broncos-Colts game. We have two very efficient (albeit, in their own ways) offenses combining with one very stout defense. Regardless, this game one of the most interesting games on the slate, as we get to see one of my favorite running backs have the possibility field day against a very weak Indianapolis defense.

So let’s get to it!

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Football is back, and better than ever. After an offseason that felt like it lasted forever, we finally get to sit back, relax and enjoy some games that count. It seems like ages ago Cam Newton left his press conference. But here we are. For me, it means benching the wrong player at 12:59 pm. But (hopefully) you will not make any wrong decisions this year en route to that coveted fantasy title. It’s time to forget about 2015, and focus on the year ahead.

Although the mentality of Week 1 of the NFL Season in a fantasy sense means to just start the players that we drafted in order, this might not always be the case with a lot of fantasy teams. Especially for the owners that drafted Jamaal Charles in the 2nd-round. Players like Jameis Winston, Blake Bortles, Jeremy Hill, Adrian Peterson, DeMarco Murray, Mike Evans, and even Jarvis Landry all have either bad or less-than-ideal matchups to kick off the NFL season. I always advocate the strategy of “never bench your studs”, however, if we can definitely upgrade at a position to maximize the upside in our starting lineup, we should go for it. Simply put, Week 1 isn’t a guarantee.

Many teams enter Sunday with high hopes for the 2016 season. But one team in particular is looking to have a season like no other in the past few years. The Oakland Raiders enter the year with great young talent, veteran leadership where it matters the most, and to capitalize on a weakened division with play from their high-powered offense.

And their running back is at the forefront of it all. So let’s get to it…

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Hello everyone! For those of you that are new to my work, I have the privilege this year to be taking over the “Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em” series each Saturday morning for the 2016 NFL Season. I’m very grateful for this opportunity, and I can’t wait to get started! A little bit about myself, I currently live 15 minutes away from Raymond James Stadium in beautiful Tampa, Florida, but I was born in the north end of Boston. I’m a pretty big Pats, Bruins, Sox and Celtics fan. [Jay’s Note: Yikes!] I’ve been playing fantasy football for a good while now, and my greatest memory is making the playoffs in my main league on the final day due to a tiebreaker after starting out the year 1-6. That was pretty freaking cool. This is my second season writing for Razzball after doing a bit of Daily Fantasy work last year, and now I can’t wait for what the 2016 season will bring. What I do know is my goal for this season, which is to be as accurate as I can, giving advice for who to start, who to bench, and maybe even some streaming analysis. Along the way, I’ll answer any questions that are asked, and have a good time while doing so.

So let’s get started with a Primer for the upcoming season…

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I thoroughly enjoyed Alex Lee’s piece about Ezekiel Elliott a couple of days ago. Personally, I don’t have any issue with Elliott in the top ten, however I agree with Alex, it isn’t an ideal position for him to be in. In order to build the most ideal starting lineup, it’s probably wise for Elliott to be your early second round pick after getting a top-end WR1, which is possible in regards to current ADP. But I’d be remiss not to point out that Alex left out a crucial element about the Cowboys backfield as a whole, so I followed up with him…

“I like Dunbar as a deep sleeper option, especially in PPR. I agree that Elliott won’t have a Murray-like workload, I’d expect them to give some whole series to Morris and have Dunbar as a 3rd-down back out of the gate, with McFadden potentially being sidelined at the beginning of the season. He could take the first few weeks of the season to carve out a nice spot for himself as a Sproles-like weapon. If he does well with it early on, that would make it tough for Garrett to force him into a reduced role when DMC comes back. The problem is that McFadden is arguable a more complete player who is a competent receiver (he caught 40 balls last season), and if Dunbar doesn’t impress early on, the team probably wouldn’t hesitate to give his opportunities to McFadden or Elliott. He’s a risky play, but worth a late round stash to see how he looks coming off his knee injury and what kind of role the team has in store for him. He could pay big dividends, or be someone you drop quickly for the waiver wire darling du jour”.

Well, I guess I don’t have to write the article then. Way to go Alex. However, there are some other things I want to say and build off of, and it involves even more Lance Dunbar. So let’s get to it…

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Over the past couple of weeks, we have organized and completed a mock draft for you, the readers, to enjoy and dissect.

I am going to be breaking it down here, in this lovely article.

Our mock draft followed the structure of the RCL’s, in that we were following 0.5 PPR scoring, and in that our rosters were: QB, 2 HB’s, 2 WR’s, TE and a FLEX which is the HB/WR/TE. But instead of drafting a K and D/ST and going the full 15 rounds, we decided to only go 9 rounds.

Yes, we drafted a starting lineup, but we also included 2 bench spots to give you guys an idea of which of us prefers one player over another, in order for you guys to get an idea of which sleepers or breakouts to target in your drafts.

Over the course of nine rounds, I came to find that, once you get into the later rounds, it’s slim pickings for backs and receivers, unlike TE’s and QB’s, where there are plenty of options that we can hang our hats on. That is something that is crucial on draft day. Waiting on QB’s and TE’s until the last possible second, in the hopes of nailing a big sleeper, like last year’s Blake Bortles or Jordan Reed, is not that bad of a plan, and I would certainly not hesitate to go that route.

Our objective is to give you guys an idea for how not only the RCL’s should go, but also your drafts, and how the first rounds should go. Keep in mind this draft board would look a lot different than if we were only drafting with 10 teams, or even 14.

So let’s get started!

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