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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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hi-res-88e

With a routine throw to first, Kris Bryant effectively ended the 2016 baseball season. By now you know the end result – the Cubs won the World Series. My Grandfather was a life-long fan. He wanted nothing more than to see his “Cubs” win a title. He’s no longer around, so I root them on each game a little harder than I used to. Mainly because I feel like I’m cheering for both of us. After Anthony Rizzo pulled the most baller move ever by slipping the game ball into his back pocket, I felt a sense of relief. Closure might be a better term, I guess.  I’m sure there are thousands of stories like this, but I felt like sharing mine. My Grandfather taught me baseball. He taught me to love the countless shades of green on the field, the ever-changing dimensions that each ball park would introduce and of course the pace of the game. He also taught me that there was “always next year.” This was especially important if you were a Cubs’ fan. Whenever we would tune into WGN for an afternoon game, he would wax poetic on Fergie Jenkins, Ron Santo, Billy Wiliams and Ernie Banks. In fact, it was during one of those afternoon games that he let me try my first sip of beer. I was 14. It was terrible. Later, I found out it was Budweiser. So that explains everything. He also took me to Wrigley Field for the very first time that year. Ironically, that was also our only trip there together. So, when I was able to get back to Wrigley and I was of legal age – I enjoyed an ice-cold Bud. And you know what? It wasn’t that bad…..Actually, it was still terrible. But I faked my way through the entire can and I’m sure my Grandfather approved. So this week I’m saluting a terrible player that actually might not be so terrible in the right spot. You follow? Good. I think Colin Kaepernick could be quite useful in Week 9 match ups. He’s facing the Saints who’ve given up at least 18 fantasy points to every QB this season not named Russell Wilson. Kaepernick’s rushing abilities should serve him well, as he’s ran for at least 66 yards in each of his two starts. Just for window dressing I’ll also add that he’s thrown for at least 14o yards and a score in both starts as well. Not too shabby. So if the Saints’ passing D continues to allow 286 yards per contest, which happens to rank 29th in the NFL, Kaepernick could very well be headed towards a productive Sunday.

Here’s a look at a few more of my favorite passing/running match ups for Week 9:

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world-series

Welcome to the Razzball Streamer series… I am writing this a day later than usual because Game 7 of the World Series had me too stressed yesterday.  I’ve been a Cubs fan since a kid, one of my favorite memories from when I was young was seeing Sammy Sosa hit a game changing home run in the 7th inning against the Diamondbacks while me and my dad cheered from seats down the 3rd baseline at Wrigley Field.  Last year, we went to a couple Cubs games at Miller Park in early August when they were in the heat of the Wild Card race.

Nothing compares to last night.  I wasn’t within a 300 mile radius of Cleveland, but the energy at my house was unreal.  I got to watch it unfold with my wife, my dad, my kid, and a couple of my good friends.  It is still surreal that I cared about baseball in November.  I’m 28 years old and can’t imagine what it was like for fans twice or three times my age to finally see the Cubs win the World Series.  I guess it is just nice to be in the winner’s circle for once.  I’ve never been in a better mood.  So I’ll try and pass you these good vibes with some good streamers for Week 9!

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One of the great mysteries of life is the nickname. It is often said that nicknames are earned and that one cannot give themselves their own nickname. I say: Ef that. If I have big ears, did I “earn” the Dumbo nickname? That’s some bull shiitake mushroom. By the way, I don’t have big ears and I was never called Dumbo. Just an example. Goes to room, locks self in closet and cries. You know how nicknames are established? There are only three ways. 1) The person being nicknamed accepts the nickname. This usually happens because the nickname is freaking dope. 2) The person is a beta. 3) The person is a beast and tells everyone else what they should call him.

Darren Sproles falls into the third category. People used to call him Super Smurf. I’m with Sproles., ef that! You know how much of a boss he is? He says to call him Tank because, when he was born, he weighed 10 pounds. That’s what I’m talking about.

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Period Rank QB RB WR TE K DST
Week 8 46 out of 134 76 13 90 65 73 33
Week 7 5 out of 138 58 2 36 30 22 56
Week 6 92 out of 137 101 60 87 63 18 55
Week 5 9 out of 138 42 32 4 112 56 12
Week 4 5 out of 141 60 15 6 49 4 62
Week 3 22 out of 139 41 18 62 21 7 32
Week 2 96 out of 139 96 116 38 107 13 8
Week 1 66 out of 138 63 73 34 116 32 23
2016 15 out of 128  73  9 12 55 12 18
3-year AVG 23 out of 122 51 29 17 47 17 38

I’d call it an average result for an average day for an average life. It happens, especially in math. And that was a math joke. I believe they call that “rock bottom”. But don’t worry, playoffs are coming up, and those of you remaining have at least one team with a chance to make it there. If so, let’s figure out how to do it…

Here are your Week 9 Rankings!

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oh-henry

Alternate titles for today’s post included “Trick or Tyreek” in honor of Halloween, “Crowder? I Hardly Know Her” (used below), and “The Triple Lutz“. As you can see I chose neither of them. Once again I seem to have managed to stitch together a starting lineup, using waiver wire material, that would have beaten just about any team in your league or any other. You know the old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”? Well, don’t do that. Unless you’ve actually read the book. The theme of this weeks seems to be players taking advantage of an opportunity given to them because another player was injured.

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As the title states (SPOILER ALERT), Rudy Gamble (Stat Guru for Razz) joined me in our latest podcast, and it was a great conversation. Sure, I may be a biased source, but let me introduce you to these totally unbiased people sitting right next to me watching as I type this intro. They have given the thumbs up, and if you can’t trust me, trust them. And if you think I’m making this up, I can unapologetically confirm that I’m probably not. And talking about making things up, I got the opportunity to talk about the 2016 election in a way that won’t piss off anyone (maybe!) by going directly to the numbers. We talk about what it takes to create an aggregate system like the one Nate Silver has made famous at FiveThirtyEight.com, and what we can learn from that system when applying it to fantasy sports. True, we do get lost in the weeds a bit, wondering what it is exactly about Trump that allows for such a… unique and fervored following, but before we get into real trouble of entering an echo chamber, we switch directly into examining Rudy’s tools, and some ways that we can take advantage of projection systems in fantasy football, and furthermore, have a great back and forth on how to go about targeting players who might break out. I wish we didn’t run out of time, but we’ll have Rudy back on soon, so until then, enjoy!

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DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 30: Running back Devontae Booker #23 of the Denver Broncos rushes for a touchdown in the third quarter of the game against the San Diego Chargers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on October 30, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Greetings! Over these past few weeks I’ve often wondered: “Have they missed me since I’ve been gone?” Will my strongest supporters simply move on and attach themselves to any of the other talented Razzball writers, or will they mourn me by drinking and drugging themselves for the remainder of their miserable lives, slowly killing themselves in the memory of the Lord? What I can tell you is that I’ve spent the past couple weeks in the crater of Mt. Vesuvius, smoking mass quantities of peyote and drinking absinthe by the boatload, conversing with the Elder Gods about my future and what has been foreseen. The good news, you ask? My dream of my writing career surpassing my great many thong modeling accomplishments looks like a given, but the bad news, my goodmen, oh hohoho, you mustn’t never find out for only the scurviest of bottom feeders could possibly have the wherewithal to comprehend what I must do. They’ve rarely been wrong in their predictions for my life in the past. I mean, they did predict I would finish second overall in the FantasyPros rankings a few weeks back AND they informed me that some crazy hood rat would come out the woodwork, saying I owe her 500 dollars for blowing out the back of the gal watching her home while she was out of town. This gutter ferret had the gaul to threaten me on Facebook. ME! The Lord! My judgement shall be swift and merciless, and her destiny of bobbing for worm-infested apples, surrounded by diseased swine in the dank dungeon of House Beddict. Just because I put a dime piece in the perfect flex on her cheap ass bed certainly doesn’t mean that I broke and it certainly does not mean the Lord will throw some gold coins at her to shut her hole. Peasantry.

I am Tehol Beddict and this is Disgrace/Delight! Take Heed!

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playercard16_tim-hightower

While everyone is clamoring over Westworld (and for good reason…including our weekly Football Podcast!), a show with a little less fanfare, but just as intriguing of a plot, made its debut last year: The Man in the High Castle. Amazon’s alternate universe time piece won’t get the hype of Westworld, but the premise, the acting and the twists are just as dynamic. Before Season 2 debuts in December, it’s worth the binge.

Binging before December should happen every year. And no, not just through the gluttony of Thanksgiving. The weeks leading up to December are the final week of the fantasy football regular season, and now that we’re officially into November that means we’ve hit the home stretch of making your squad better. Can you recover from 2-6 to make the playoffs? Yep. In 2013 I began 2-6 and then rode Jamaal Charles greatest season to five straight wins for the 7th seed, then three more through the playoffs for the belt. I don’t see Jamaal doing that this year, as he’s visiting the three worst words in sports this week: Dr. James Andrews. But in his stead, There’s a New Chief in Westworld (the other title for this article I almost went with) that you can binge before the playoffs. Or…like last year you can ride a player into December that coincides with a certain Amazon show. From now until early December, it’s more than worth your time to stream The Man in the HighCastletower.

Here are the top targets to, well… target for Week 9!

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faab-morris

FAAB can be tricky. There’s a lot more nuance with FAAB waivers than waiver priority based waiver claims. This time of year it’s much more difficult for me to put price recommendations on these players because it really depends on your situation. There are some running backs this week that will be useful for another 1-2 weeks. Then there are some players that might not be useful until another 2-3 weeks. There are better acquisitions than Alfred Morris this week, but I think he is still under the radar, that’s why I highlighted him in the title and picture.

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