At least, that’s what it looked like on my television. Alright, time to watch some football, let’s check out and see who’s playing… DEAR SWEET LORD, WHAT HAVE WE DONE. In between screaming “MY EYES!” and wondering if we’d finally get to watch the ever elusive halftime head coach firing (though, Gus Bradley continues to be an excellent high school football coach), there was an NFL game somewhere in there… I think? Listen, I very well may touch myself, but nothing I’ve ever done in my life makes me think I deserved that game. And granted, it’s Friday, always a plus, but forgive me if this lede spends more time complaining than analyzing. I mean, if the NFL isn’t going to bother with showing professional teams in prime time, I’m not going to bother giving much analytical thought. Well, except for one: Bortles is probably going to be a top-5 quarterback in fantasy this week. Let THAT sink in for a second…Please, blog, may I have some more?
All the season-long projections you could ever want. A kick-ass DFS lineup optimizer and projections for DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo!.
Would it be too much to ask for if this could end in a 3-3 tie? Those are the things you wonder during weekday football, especially on a weekday after that Seahawks and Cardinals game in which I actually got a contact bore. And so, while I didn’t get my wish, last night’s game was full of intrigue, excitement, and none of those things. Don’t get me wrong, the game didn’t turn out as bad as the first quarter had me thinking. I mean, it was still pretty bad, but not historically bad, which Monday Night and Thursday Night Football are potentially capable of. That being said, the game was still over before the half, and I’m sure we’re not the better for it in any way. Add into the fact that Jon Gruden went full tool mode and put forth an interesting observation that with all the injuries this year in the NFL, perhaps the reduction in physical contact practice was to blame…. Yeah, that makes about as much sense as me getting sleepy because I got plenty of rest. Beyond that, well, I’d love to tell you about a football game, but I’m not entirely sure I saw one…Please, blog, may I have some more?
When I saw that Jay Ajayi (28 CAR, 214 YDS, 7.6 AVG, 1 TD, 53 LONG and 1 REC, 2 YDS, 2.0 AVG, 2 LONG, 1 TGTS) broke the 200-yard rushing barrier yesterday, I assumed it was a career-total type of thing… I mean, what kind of timeline have we been transported to where something like this could happen? We went from:s: It’s Arian Foster, it’s Jay Ajayi, it’s I think I’ll take a pass, to whatever we call this. Arian Foster (3 CAR, 5 YDS, 1.7 AVG, 3 LONG and 1 REC, 4 YDS, 4.0 AVG, 4 LONG, 3 TGTS) is probably safe to ignore now (though I might hold if possible, just because the Dolphins are a weird team that does weird things whenever they can). So now, one has to tackle (see what I did there?) the possibility that we’re seeing Devonta Freeman 2.0. True, the Bills probably wouldn’t be able to tackle Rex Ryan standing still if they tried yesterday, and yeah, the Steelers run defense has somehow morphed into the Colts run defense from the 00’s (zeroes or oh’s?… I have no idea), and that shows up in the numbers: Ajayi has broken as many tackles on 54 handoffs over the last two weeks (13) as Ezekiel Elliott has on 148 touches this entire season. But it’s hard to ignore two 200-yard games in a row, even with caveats. Only three other players have done that: O.J. Simpson, Earl Campbell, and Ricky Williams. Granted, you probably want to most be like Cambell here, in terms of the law (Simpson) and career longevity (Williams). Don’t kill people and get high, maaaaan… But how do we really know that this is legitimate? Well, since the majority of us didn’t see Freeman’s 2015, we can certainly see some similar parallels with Ajayi forming. In 2014, Freeman was one of the top running backs in the draft (like Ajayi was in 2015), and as a rookie for the Falcons, he was relegated to third string duty, totaling just 65 rushes and 30 catches the entire year. He was unspectacular, and his potential finally forgotten en masse when Tevin Coleman was drafted. The exact same could be said with Ajayi last year, as Lamar Miller’s presence limited him to just 187 total rushing yards and 11 catches. And then, Kenyan Drake was drafted and Arian Foster was signed. While it’s hard to say if Ajayi can sustain RB1 numbers for an Adam Gase and Clyde Christensen run offense that has never drawn up a sh*tty play that they didn’t love and do over and over again, it’s certainly apparent that when you make the lazy comparison that Jay Ajayi is the next Devonta Freeman, it might actually turn out to be right. And then you find yourself wondering, can Devonta effing Freeman be the next Jay Ajayi?… And then you wonder how the NFC West didn’t win a game yesterday, even though the Seahawks and Cardinals played against each other… and then you wonder why your head hurts so much.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Well, minus the pants, that was probably the most regular looking color rush game (thank the lord!) of the year so far. But yeah, the Bears (DUUUUUH BEARS, if we’re doing the “iconic” pronunciation) has now officially become the NFL’s very own simulation on the cycles of depression. True, with this game being of the usual Thursday Night Football variety (Jaguars versus Titans next week? Were we Nazis in our previous life? Is that why we get that?), we had a really close game at the half… you know, a 3-6 “close game”, buuuuut there were legitimate reasons for that beyond it being just Thursday. I mean, the Bears were down to their third string quarterback behind a patchwork offensive line, their defensive secondary was in tatters, and on the other side, the Packers had Mike McCarthy (who is pretty much Marty Schottenheimer with a ring.) And while it would have been entertaining if the Bears accidentally derped their way into beating their NFC North rivals for the first time this millennium, alas, it was not to be, as vintage Aaron Rodgers decided to finally show up this season, albeit for two quarters. But I guess Chicago wouldn’t have noticed anyways because: Cubs. Connor Barth kicking. Matt Barkley quarterbacking. Ka’Deem Carey at runing back. Kyle Long not playing (this all must have been Cutler’s doing). Signs of the Apocalypse some would say… or what Chicago calls “normal”.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I mean, after Sunday Night Football‘s barn burner, could my heart take Jets vs. Cardinals? Uh, yeah. Apparently there was room to spare. I’m not quite sure what else to say about whatever it is I watched last night, but it involved Patrick Peterson dressing up as a tyrannosaurus rex. So there’s that, I guess. Yeah, sure, it might have been interesting to see if the Jets could pull off an upset against a pretty meh Cardinals team as a reason to delude themselves into thinking their season wasn’t over yet… But then you remember it’s the Jets in prime time and you wonder what you did to deserve this. And that’s not even including the fact that you have to deal with Chris Berman. I’m going to get five more jobs and work really hard. Then I’m going to save my money and invest some of it. Then I’m gonna cut my costs down as much as I can. Then I’ll be rich. And then I’m going to launch a satellite into space that has a high-powered rail gun on it. And then I’m going to shoot it at Chris Berman. Oh, and David Johnson is the man. That is all.Please, blog, may I have some more?
While many of us wondered why we would ever watch a Colts and
Texans Oilers (their momma named ’em the Oilers, so I’m going to call ’em the Oilers) Sunday Night Football game, you have to remember that we all make bad life decisions. I mean, what’s the NLCS anyways? Is that like the LGBT or something? But hey, sometimes the games that you give zero efs about with no one to cheer for turn out great. This was not one of those times, at least not until the fourth quarter where we suddenly found ourselves in overtime (where I immediately said to myself: “sh*t, we’re in overtime”). Since the Texans Oilers aren’t a real team, it probably made a lot of sense there was a fairytale ending (thanks in large part to that amazing catch by Jaelen Strong shown above). On top of that, you might wonder why we’re talking about the Texans Oilers, and I’d like to use it as a fantasy football segue… Week 6 is behind us and at this point, and you should know where you are in the great and very metaphorical fantasy football landscape. Much like how the Texans Oilers, now at 4-2, know that they are a team that is in the hunt for the playoffs, they could use a little bit more help from certain players, and a little bit luck to make their push. I’d like to think that describes a majority of fantasy teams out there right now, minus the whole Brock Osweiler thing. What I’m saying here might even describe fantasy teams that find themselves atop their respective leagues, but unfortunately, probably not the teams that find themselves at the bottom with an 0-6 record. Coming back from such a deficit may not be worth thinking about, so in times like this when you are way behind (something I’m quite familiar with… something we all are), my recommendation is to drink up. I mean, don’t drink too much… motionless and face down is not how I want to see anybody. (There’s a great Bill Cosby joke around here somewhere, but I’ll settle for: I’ll take “Things Darren Sharper has never said” for $1,000 Alex.) But if you’re one of the teams lagging a bit behind, let’s say you are 1-5 or 2-4, and desperate hope combined with dark wizardry are the only vehicles driving your will to play until another fantasy obsession distracts you (granted, Texans Oilers games are technically considered torture porn, if that’s your thing), well, now is the time to do wild stuff. Do some crazy trades, make some risky decisions, just let all your inhibitions go. True, this might be like buying an extra bottle of Centrum Silver to help fight stage four lung cancer, but… you’ve got nothing to lose. And for those of you are in the middle of all this mess? Well then, that’s why Razzball is here. Oh, and if you’re a Colts or Texans Oilers fan, I’d appreciate it if you found some different teams to like…
Two things were on my mind entering last night’s Thursday Night Football game: First, why are the Chargers wearing a new shade of blue? Second, what soul shattering way would the Chargers lose this week? And if there was a third thing, then I probably would have wondered which Chargers player would get the weekly season-ending injury. But let’s just handle the first two here since no one died last night, besides my liver. (Happens all the time.) So, these color rush uniforms… More like color FLUSH, amiright? Seriously, I’m glad the era of bulb televisions are over and done with, otherwise the Broncos jerseys would have burned a hole into the screen. And you mix in that blue from the Chargers, it’s almost as if someone threw crayons in the washer before the game. And then there was the actual game, which offered us your prototypical Chargers performance… middling at times, amazing at times, all of it masquerading as a vehicle to setup yet another heartbreaking loss in the fourth quarter. What would it be this time? A Rivers pick-six? Another bad snap on a field goal? An alien invasion? A fan rushing the field mid-pass during a game-winning TD with three seconds to go nullifying it all? Oddly, none of that happened. Instead, some field goals, some Hunter; Henry!, and a safety along with the Broncos kind of just fading in the fourth quarter from a combination of costly offensive holding penalties and incurring the penalty of Trevor Siemian holding their offense back. WORD PLAY. Call me, ladies.Please, blog, may I have some more?
WHAT. A. GAME. And while those Tampa Bay Buccaneers jerseys will never not be ugly, I want to establish that out of the two statements I just made, only one was leaking sarcasm… and I’ll let you figure out which one. Honestly, at what point should the NFL stop serving endless vodka with a heaping side of cocaine when they’re picking matchups for Monday and Thursday night? In a game that featured what seemed like six hours of tied football when Roberto Aguayo wasn’t missing and making field goals in sequential order (because that’s what you want from a field goal kicker) I don’t think we learned much. I mean, except for the fact that Derek Anderson is the consummate professional. He’d been out of the starting role for how many decades now? And as you can see above, he was instantly back to form. Our national nightmare is over everyone, the epoch of Derek Anderson has begun. Again.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Paired up against the second Presidential debate, it was easy to get distracted away from football to see the immediate fallout off the now infamous Donald Trump video, that amongst other things, had him describing how he likes grabbing women’s bathing suit areas as a mating ritual of some sort. (Let’s approach this anatomically really quick… can you actually “grab” someone by the hoo-ha? I mean, wouldn’t that be like picking up a bowling ball with just your thumb? It doesn’t even make any sense…) While I want to acknowledge that there was a very important moment in history that occurred last night in terms of how much you enjoy the consumption of popcorn while watching an 167-car pileup, I would only say this one thing before I move on: I wish someone had asked a fantasy football question. I mean, with all the bye weeks coming up, it IS topical as f*ck, right? So that being said, I’ll continue where the title of our post teases, which is: was that the most Eli game ever? That might have been. I mean, on one hand, Eli Manning somehow led the Giants to two Super Bowl titles. On the other hand, there’s stuff like this: 18-for-35, 199 yards and 1 TD, and the bi-weekly fumble (as opposed to his bi-weekly interception). This sort of relates to him as a fantasy quarterback too (XBox Segue Achievement Unlocked), in that at the base level, he’s a pretty run-of-the-mill option that ends up giving you 3500+ yards and 30+ touchdowns. There’s value to that, sure, and of course the Razzball community knows our policy with quarterbacks in most formats is to delay in the draft as long as you can (like my lovemaking), and this is usually where we end up: a bit below Ben Roethlisberger and a bit above the Andy Dalton line. But what I think separates the quarterbacks in this group are their weapons. Having probably one of the best receiving trios in the NFL is a fantasy boon is something that certainly keeps his value up, even when there are macabre games like this.
Here’s what else I saw during yesterday’s Week 5 Sunday games… (Maybe this will be the first week the Chargers don’t lose a high profile player to injury. MAYBE.)Please, blog, may I have some more?
I have to say, during yesterday’s “Dress Like an Empty Seat Day” game in San Francisco, it dawned on me that if you were to do it all over again, I’m pretty sure David Johnson would be your number one overall pick. I’D DRAFT HIM AT BIRTH SON. Obviously, that was literal, but even if you take it figuratively, and probably you’d still go Antonio Brown, but who else is there? And to be fair, I think there were probably more question marks with Johnson than that of Todd Gurley entering the season, but what we’ve seen here is a perfect storm of Bruce Arian’s random play-calling, a passing attack that thinks consistency is a dirty word, and an unwillingness by the other team to do something as fundamental to football as tackling. And all of these things were on full display last night, starting with a first quarter that convinced me the game would end in a 0-0 tie. Granted, I think it became a watchable game after three hours of CBS promotions, but even by Thursday Night Football standards, it was pretty terrible. Are you ready to whine and moan about the quality of the game and everything associated with it it but still watch it every week? These are the tough questions folks. That being said, Jeremy Kerley became a thing. So I guess it’s 2012 again.Please, blog, may I have some more?