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We are onto week 3 of preseason where we see the closest thing to regular season football as we can expect. So hopefully what we take from these games will be the most translatable into our fake football lives. I’ll run down some thoughts from the games and some other news from around the league and possibly eat an Oreo. But while I have you here I’m going to tell you that if you haven’t been checking out the site you are missing out on Pulitzer material! I’ve updated all of the projections (which now have stats again!) and just published the Non-PPR and PPR Cheat Sheets, which are what I’ve been using to draft lately. I’m most likely going to incorporate the tiers and auction values into those as soon as I can.  I need more minions to do my bidding! Call 1-800-Razz-Minions to apply for a Razz Minternship.

And you’ll also be happy to know that we will be switching our server and (keep your fingers crossed) that should help speed up the site. Thanks for all your patience through the dreaded database error screen. I see it in my nightmares (along with Todd Haley and Jamie Dukes). On to the infomercial for the NFL.

Cam Newton: He’s been slowly creeping up my rankings and as long as he is the starter from day 1 I think he is rosterable as a backup QB. Now it’s risky business to do such things, but hear me out. If you watched him Thursday night you saw that he will have trouble winning games. He is not going to sit back in the pocket and pick apart defenses, but he is going to run the ball and run the ball well. He plowed over a dude on his TD run and as long as he’s healthy and having trouble finding his open receivers, he’s running. This is why Michael Vick is such a good fantasy QB. Vick is not a great passer. He has trouble seeing the whole field, but he lets his legs get him out of jams and help his team get first downs and touchdowns. Cam will do that too. To what extent he’ll be able to do that is yet to be seen, but he has the tools to scramble and let his deep receivers get open and a strong enough arm to get them the ball and will always be looking to take off and hurt a team with his running ability.

Tim Hightower: He once again had a good game, rushing 9 times for 56 yards and a touchdown this time around. The O-line is working its magic so far this season and as long as Hightower is the guy he’s going to have plenty of value. I don’t trust him or Shanny for 16 games though. Helu is the better down hill runner which fits the Shanny zone blocking scheme, but he’ll need to win the job while Hightower loses it. I think that will happen eventually, but Hightower is the guy to own now.

Montario Hardesty: He’s back! And didn’t show much. Right now he doesn’t look like much of a threat to Hillis. He’ll have to step his game up to get me worrying.

Ray Rice: He had 13 carries for 72 yards and a TD and 3 receptions for 13 yards. That works. He looked quicker than last season. Not sure why, but maybe he just had more room to roam and larger holes to run through, but he had the look of a man possessed. Someone asked in the comments about grabbing him at #2 in a .5 PPR league and I’m sure not going to fight him on it. I’m still pretty entrenched in the Arian Foster #1 overall camp, but after that I’m willing to listen to all offers.

Lee Evans: He caught a 35 yard TD from Flacco and a couple other receptions for 60 yards total. I still think the majority of the offense will go through Ray Rice and Evans’ value will be contingent on big plays, but Flacco has a cannon for an arm and if they can get on the same page they could make some sweet sweet music together.

Anquan Boldin: The presence of Evans should help Boldin out immensely this season. Having Old Man Mason on the other side last year suffocated Boldin and that whole offense.  If they play their cards right we could see a nice year from Boldin who finished the third preseason game with 5 receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown Charlie Brown.

Lance Moore: This is painful to say, but Moore is out for a few days(ish) with a groin injury, well, more painful for him than me, but I am in mad fantasy love with Moore this season and I think we should all send him a get well yesterday card.

Johnny Knox: The wide receiver saga in Chicago continues with it looking more likely that Johnny Knox has moved back ahead of Roy Williams. The Bears are too dumb for words really. And then add that dumbness to Mike Martz’s insanity and well, you have a dumb insane disaster waiting to happen.  Cutler has a strong like bull arm and will be able to get Knox the ball. I’m back on the Knox Wagon.

Ryan Grant: Word out of camp is that James Starks has looked better than Grant. I still see Grant as being the goal line back which helps him in the high powered Green Bay offense, but I don’t think they will be all that loyal to him if Starks just plainly out plays him.

Peyton Manning: If you watch ESPN (which will make you dumber) you may have heard something about Manning possibly just maybe not playing in week 1. The Colts went ahead and signed Kerry (Gary?) Collins for 4 million bucks which makes the odds go up that Peyton might not be the Colts QB for the first time since 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh took the field for them. I’ve drafted him twice (no, not Harbaugh) in the last couple days because he fell. Yes, I’m worried, but I think it’s a risk worth taking.

Reggie Bush: He’s been given the green light as the starting running back so now he just has to hold up. I don’t think he will. But Daniel Thomas has shown nothing this preseason to make anyone think he has the stuff to be the man. Lex Hilliard may end up being the goal line back! I’m staying away from this whole fishy situation and drafting Brandon Marshall.

From Around The Web

  1. Awesome, great read. I started reading Razzball baseball since March and I meandered over here a month or two ago. Nice to hear refreshing views on fantasy football. Love the interacting with fans on Twitter as well.

  2. Doc

    Doc says:
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    @Zatchj62: Thanks, and thanks for reading!

  3. VinnieVegas says:
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    Me too Doc. Love the work man. I’ve got the fourth pick Sunday in a 12-team non ppr. I have a feeling someone will reach for Rodgers. I can’t decide between Rice or Charles, any thoughts?

  4. ELaw says:
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    Hey Doc,

    Which current ‘backup’ RB has the best upside? I have risky RBs and Im planning to trade one of my sleeper WRs for a 2nd string/high upside RB.

  5. Chuck Norris says:
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    what do you think of mark ingram? i’ve seen him go as high as rd#3 in mocks. i get the appeal, DEF key into brees, leaving ingram with 7 man fronts, but do you think ingram in rd#4-5 as main rb2 is worth it?

  6. schlitzy says:
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    Loving the recaps- keep up the great work! Now for the question – I screwed up my draft- 12 teams. Thought decent RBs would fall to me and got snaked a few times right before I picked. Needless to say I am T-H-I-N at RB. I’m strong everywhere else. For context, this league is VERY QB scoring heavy (last year point totals: Peyton- 482, Rogers- 416, Arian-304, AP-192, Roddy- 201). Starting team is:

    QB- Romo
    RB- Tolbert, Marshawn
    WR- Andre Johnson, Mike Wallace
    TE- Finley

    Bench: RB: Jon Stewart, Spiller, McGahee, Tom Jones, Ridley
    WR- Amendola, Collie, Bess

    Looking at the FA wire, would you swap out any of my bench fodder for any of these RB lottery tickets?

    Ringer, Scott, Kendall Hunter, Jacquizz, Leon Washington, Al Green, Stephens-Howling, Choice

  7. Dan says:
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    Doc,

    I’m drafting 10th in a 10-team non-PPR league. QBs are valuable in our league (6 pts per TD). 4 or 5 QBs have been picked each of the last 5 years before the 30th pick, meaning if I don’t pick a QB with my first or second pick I likely won’t get a top tier QB.

    What are your thoughts on targeting a RB and QB at 10 & 11 and then 2WRs or 1 RB and 1 WR at 30 and 31? My thinking is this may be the best way to fill out my roster from the 10 spot in the draft.

    Thanks.

  8. xrayxtals says:
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    Doc, love the preseason game recaps and daily updates. I can never have enough daily updates!

    Just finished a 0.5 PPR, 12 team draft:

    QB: Big Ben
    RB: Bradshaw, Ingram, Bush, Sproles
    WR: AJ, Fitz, BMarsh, Ocho, Amendola
    TE: Finley, JGraham

    I went with the flow of the draft, and that left me with weak RBs (although I think the rest of the roster covers them), any suggestions to improve the team? Thanks.

  9. RideMeHigh says:
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    Excellent read, I’m a dedicated fan. Keep up the great work!

  10. hideousmutants says:
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    Glad to hear the glowing reviews of Rice. I’ll need him to be big this year.

    Just finished my PPR draft in an extremely casual 10-team league (for which Razzball is almost too much info). One unexpected thing happened–because the league behavior is so irrational, I didn’t see it coming until too late. 12 TEs were taken in the first 8 rounds. Some folks were adding TE depth before they’d even picked up a backup RB. I stuck to my razzball strategy and ended up with an incredibly deep team but Celek at TE. Is it a panic move to try and trade some of that depth for a top tier TE this early? My core team is this:

    Romo
    Ray Rice
    McFadden
    Miles Austin
    Calvin Johnson
    Flex: Manningham/Collie/Shonn Greene/Addai/Amendola

    My hope is Celek (or some other waiver wire TE) won’t need to produce too much with the lineup I’ve got here. But, I could also try to move a starter for Gates/Clark/Witten/Finley. Or, wait until Greene or Manningham goes crazy and then get more for them then?

    What do you think?

  11. Doc

    Doc says:
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    @VinnieVegas: Urgh, I want to say my man JC and I might still go with him personally, but it is a toss up and Rice might be the safer pick.

    @ELaw: Kind of depends. A pure backup with an injury prone starter or a committee member that will cost more but could beat out the other committee member and cost more?

    @Chuck Norris: I do. If there were safer RBs with similar upside going in the same area I’d say go with them, but there really aren’t. He’s risky, but I’d take him in the 4th/5th every time.

    @schlitzy: Since you have so many bench RBs I think you are safe to drop Jones for someone with more upside. Bit of a toss up, but while CJ is out I’d have Ringer owned.

    @Dan: Makes sense. You know your league better than me and that knowledge is key here. If you think someone like Romo will be gone by your next go around I could see reaching for one of the top guys.

    @xrayxtals: You’re stacked at WR no doubt. You are thin at RB, but I think you can get away with it.

    @I’d give it some time. In a 10 teamer you are going to have a good chance to pick up a TE that could end up top ten. I like Celek and he could have a bounce back, but even if not I’d wait and see.

  12. Pound Sand says:
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    Felix Jones VS Best…who ya got? who has the better season?

  13. Tom the Niner says:
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    Doc, I am in a 16 team league. I have Jahivd Best as my RB2 and feel like I should get Jerome Harrison to handcuff since this is is most dull Waiver Wire I have seen. My WR are sold (Calvin, Marshall, Mike Thomas). My bench WR are Jacoby Ford and Earl Bennett. Should I trade Jacoby Ford for Harrison? If so, I could grab Harry Douglas, Eddie Royal, Eric Decker, Victor Cruz, or Dezmon Brisco off the wire. Thoughts?

  14. will says:
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    I am in a 10 team keeper league. I get to keep 3 players, who should I keep?

    options:
    Vick, Steven Jackson, Hillis, Stevie Johnson, Fitzgerald

    I am leaning toward Vick, Jackson and Fitzgerald. Any thoughts?

  15. KarlJ. says:
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    10 team non-ppr. We are trying to get a few rounds out of the way before this weekend’s live draft.
    Have the 7th pick. So far Foster, AP, Rice, Vick, Charles and McCoy are gone. Was thinking Mendenhall but now I thinking of gambling and taking Chris Johnson. What are your thoughts Doc?

  16. AdamH says:
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    Hey Doc! Why won’t the 0.5 PPR drafting tiers open?

  17. laura says:
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    which two would u select at the turn in the 4th and 5th rds….manningham, marshall, or welker.

  18. herschel says:
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    @Doc: i have the 4th pick in a 12 team ppr league. assuming i grab charles or rice with my first pick (whoever is available) theres a chance steven jackson may be available with my 2nd pick. am i better off grabbing him or going for the top wr on the board (austin, wayne, jennings)?

  19. Beau says:
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    Hey — anyways have any general draft tips for a 20 team league? Ive never done anything remotely close to this before…thanks!

  20. Doc

    Doc says:
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    @herschel:I feel like they are very close. I’ve been feeling a little better about SJax lately and would lean his way in that group right now.

    @laura: I like all of them, but I’d go Marshall/Welker

    @AdamH: They should be now

    @KarlJ: I really wish I could give a strong answer here, but I can’t. I’d probably lean Mendy right now, but the riskier and move with more upside is CJ.

    @will: Yeah, it’s between Hillis and SJax there. I’d lean SJax as well.

    @Tom the Niner: I wouldn’t trade Ford for him.

    @Pound Sand: Best, but almost a toss up.

  21. Doc

    Doc says:
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    @Beau: I’ve never done a 20 team draft, so no first hand tips. It really comes down to the main goal in all drafts, get the most bang for your buck. I do feel that WR is much deeper than RB overall and you should wait on QB/TE so you aren’t stuck with backup RB/WRs. Nobody is going to draft 2 QBs before you draft your first and I’d be happy with Ryan, Ben, Stafford, Eli as my QB in a 20 teamer. And TE is very deep this season. If the rosters are large I’d be sure to grab backups at WB/TE though. The waiver wire will be thin.

  22. Ian says:
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    So I started a league at my office. Looks like we’ll only have 8 teams. Would you recommend we start 2 QBs in a league with only 8?

  23. DSimms says:
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    Doc im picking at the 12th spot of a 12 team non ppr and I have Mcfadden as a late round keeper so who do u like paired with him more if all are available:
    Calvin – Roddy
    One of those two and Gore – Mccoy
    Gore – Mccoy

  24. Doc

    Doc says:
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    @Ian: Yes, very good idea. I’d think about 2 TEs as well and expanding the rosters/bench slots.

  25. Doc

    Doc says:
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    @DSimms:Hmm, tough call. I’d go CJ for sure and then between McCoy and White. Right now I’m going McCoy.

  26. herschel says:
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    @Doc: reports like this re: jc superstar concern you at all?

    Jamaal Charles is reportedly in danger of missing the Chiefs’ third preseason game with “some sort of leg injury.”
    Charles reportedly suffered the injury in Wednesday’s practice. The Kansas City Star has made no mention of it, but we’re guessing independent Chiefs beat writer Bob Gretz wouldn’t have discussed the malady if Charles were practicing. It’s a situation to monitor with just over two weeks left before the season. The Chiefs host the cross-state Rams on Friday night.

  27. Mark says:
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    Hey Doc,

    I have my money league draft in a few hours and I just came up with a somewhat crazy idea. My league is a 0.5 ppr league and we start QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, Flex (RB/WR/TE).

    Would it be insane to use my 3rd and 4th round picks on 2 TEs? Get Finley AND Gates? In my eyes this would accomplish a few things.

    1) It would shrink the available pool of TEs so everyone else’s TE would be that much worse. Basically one less team in the league that has a top tier TE to match my top tier TE.
    2) It would start the run of TEs, leaving good value out there for me in the middle rounds.
    3) Having somewhat like Gates as my flex would be better than other options out there in the 4th round. According to your projections Gates will score 233 points in a PPR league. A RB I might be able to snatch in the 4th round (if I’m incredibly lucky) would be Felix Jones and he is projected by you for 226 points. A WR I might be able to snatch would be somewhat like Stevie Johnson. He’s only projected for 227 points. So Gates at my flex would be better than other options at the same spot I’d be taking Gates.
    4) Possible trade bait later on in the year. Maybe someone is tired of trying to pick the right waiver wire TE each week and offers up their Larry Fitzgerald for my top tier TE.

    Please think about this for a second and blow a hole in my idea so I can go to my draft with a clear head.

    My draft would go something like this:
    1) McCoy
    2) Calvin Johnson/White
    3) Finley
    4) Gates
    5) Beanie Wells/Ingram
    6) Manningham/Harvin
    7) Mike Thomas/S Rice
    8) Stafford

  28. dja says:
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    just had my first auction of the season last night. 14 team league

    team looks like this:
    qb: schaub
    rb: mendenhall
    rb: jahvid best
    wr: reggie wayne
    wr: mike wallace
    te: jermichael
    w/r: sidney rice
    d: dallas
    k: vinatieri

    bn: hardesty
    bn: james starks
    bn: delone carter
    bn: mikel leshoure
    bn: ronnie brown
    bn: steve breaston

    what do you think? spot any weaknesses?

  29. Trick dad says:
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    Which WR has the best chance of a breakout season:
    MSW, b gibson, hester or james jones? Thanks!

  30. Random Collmenter says:
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    28 comments – nice!

    I have the 9th pick in a .5 PPR league. i’m targeting megatron or roddy in the first round (assuming andre will be gone and thinking mcfadden is too much of a risk and i don’t want to pick mendenhall in the 1st). assuming mcfadden is taken in the 2nd, is it too early to go for rodgers or another qb in the 2nd rd?

  31. Chris says:
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    I know you wouldn’t argue with someone taking Rice @ 2 (or 3 in my case) in a .5 PPR

    But who do you prefer as of now…

    CJ2K
    Rice
    Charles

    I’m really torn on this one. Rice is the safest of the group, but probably lowest upside too (by beast mode standards).

  32. Tom the Niner says:
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    Doc, I keep asking you about my 16 team league b/c my bench is so shady. My WR3 is Mike Thomas. My bench WR are Jacoby Ford, Earl Bennett, and Harry Douglas. I want another RB. Would you trade Mike Thomas for Brandon Jacobs?

  33. Doc

    Doc says:
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    @herschel: Everything concerns me to a degree, but I’m not going to worry too much. They’ve been babying him this preseason.

    @Mark: Hmmm, it’s interesting. Being able to start 2 TEs does turn some things on their head. My main concern is Gates staying healthy all season. That foot is going to be a pain management thing all year. But I do like the plan enough to not say hell no. Usually TEs numbers have a ceiling much lower than their RB/WR brethren, but those two have much higher ceilings than other TEs. If you feel ok about the health risk I wouldn’t say no way.

  34. Doc

    Doc says:
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    @dja: Dang, for a 14 teamer that is insanely good. Unless it is a dynasty you should drop Leshoure since he is out for the year. I’m not too keen on Breaston right now either and could see mining free agency for a better bench player, but overall I can’t see any real problems.

    @Trick dad: I’m leaning the Rams way based on the new offense. MSW would be the biggest upside guy there.

    @Random Collmenter: I’d be fine with Rodgers there, but feel that Brees/Rivers/Brady/Romo are close enough that I’d wait if Rodgers was picked.

    @Chris: I’m still leaning Charles, but it is a pick em for the most part. But JC Superstar is my answer to most questions.

    @Tom the Niner: I’d probably do that. Jacobs has looked darn good in preseason.

  35. herschel says:
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    @Doc: in your ppr top 150, you have best above sjax, but in your ppr cheat sheets, you have sjax ahead of best. just want to confirm, in ppr leagues sjax>best, yes? thanks.

  36. Random Collmenter says:
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    link is broken on your .5 PPR drafting tiers. thanks!

  37. Doc

    Doc says:
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    @herschel: Yes, SJax ahead of Best.

    @Random Collmenter: Should be fixed

  38. Barney says:
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    I have the 6th pick. Already have Vick and Steve Johnson as my keepers. Hate the Steelers so Mendenhall is off my board. If Chris Johnson is there, is that a no brainer? Or should I take the top WR (for me its Calvin, and I have no problem picking him over AJ). Don’t really like MJD, Gore, or Turner. Also, McCoy and McFadden are off the board as keepers. Thoughts?

  39. M.D. says:
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    any chance on those updated tiers coming out before sunday morning? I have my draft .

    Just wanted to know before i went through the updated cheat sheet and made my own tiers.

  40. paulzone says:
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    Here is my team drafted last night. How’d I do, where must I improve? I drafted 9 in a 10 team 0.5 ppr league with 6 pts for passing td’s. We start 2 RBs/3 WRs…

    QB: Vick, Stafford
    RB: Gore, Bradshaw, Greene, Starks, Spiller, Ringer
    WR: Calvin Johnson, Welker, Evans, Sims-Walker
    TE: Dallas Clark
    D: Giants
    K: Henery

  41. Jeff says:
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    Hey Doc, just drafted last night in a 10-team non-ppr draft, 4 pts for passing tds, and it’s the first time i’ve played fantasy football. People were reaching for QBs and grabbing backups early so i got Eli, but i think i got some good position players as a result.

    We play 1 QB, 2 WR, 2 RB, 1 TE, 1 W/T, 1 W/R

    QB – Eli Manning, Kevin Kolb
    WR – Calvin Johnson, Mike Wallace, Santonio Holmes, Sidney Rice, Mike Thomas, Lance Moore
    RB – Jamaal Charles, Peyton Hillis, Mark Ingram, Marshawn Lynch, Fred Jackson
    TE – Dallas Clark
    K – Alex Henery
    D – NYG

    My question is, who will generally be a better producer in a WR/RB spot, a WR or a RB? And who among my backups do you like, Mark Ingram, Mershawn Lynch, Fred Jackson, Sidney Rice, Mike Thomas, or Lance Moore? Also, should I grab more depth at TE, or am I ok with just 1?

  42. Doc

    Doc says:
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    @paulzone: I like your depth quite a bit. I think you are solid all around and your QB situation is perfect. I worry a little about Bradshaw, but he should work in PPR. Looks good.

    @M.D.: Just posted PPR/non-PPR.

    @Barney: I think with your thinking I would go with CJ.

  43. Spliff says:
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    Doc,
    The Razzball iphone app stopped working. Is this due to the server change?

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