Welcome back friends! It’s time to get back into the saddle (my cowboy mode is obviously turned on at the moment) and do God’s work. And that begins with our Way-Too-Early rankings for the upcoming season… which is roughly about 28 years away. But there’s actually a good reason we’re doing this exercise (and it’s not health related). The reason is, these aren’t really the 2015 Rankings, at least, not exactly. Since we’re still so close to the ending of last season, you could think of this as sort of a “end-of-the-year rankings” instead. A lot of what we have here, data, impressions, analysis, is all heavily influenced, and rightfully so, by what happened in 2014. But there’s still a lot to be gleaned here. Gleaning folks! So over the next month, we’ll be going into more depth, position-by-position, over these rankings, and on top of that, we’ll be revisiting Razzball’s 2014 rankings, in a sort of retrospective way to add context to everything. Just the way your mother likes it. So then the question remains, how far has Ryan Mathews fallen since six months ago? WRONG QUESTION BRO. The real question is, how much has he risen?

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Everyone.

Well, not really, and the real winners (prize winners) will be revealed after the jump, but I just want to send a shout out to everyone involved, including all the Razzball contributors who hosted a league, to all of you Razzball readers who hosted a league, and, of course, to all of you Razzballers who joined and played in our leagues. The Commentator leagues are a unique feature that I personally love to be involved with. I think it brings the community together, and sure, yeah, while you’re trying to destroy each other with Aaron Rodgers and Jeremy Hill, I’d still like to think we’re doing it out of love and togetherness (is that a word?). And in 2014, we had a record-breaking 40 leagues consisting of 480 fantasy owners. I look forward to building on that number next year (while also improving our content covering these leagues), and look forward to bigger and better prizes as well. In the mean time, let us recognize the 2014 Razzball Commentator League Prize Winners…

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SKg70Wn

Well, this year’s Super Bowl certainly wasn’t last years, that’s for sure. Obvious statement is obvious. Overall, it was actually a better game that I thought the NFL was capable of, but I guess I should have known better. I mean, the NFL is so disturbingly horrid at everything except for the actual game of football, they’d be hard pressed to provide anything less than a spectacle for what is the biggest sporting event in the United States. Not counting last year’s Super Bowl catastrophe of course, but that’s more Peyton’s fault for actually thinking his January’s have changed. And so we had to witness Tom Brady and Bill Belichick win their fourth Super Bowl trophy, which, by proxy, also means we’ll have to deal with a New England fan base that will no doubt rub our noses in their own pretentious self-flagellation for a good amount of time. So pretty much like any other year… Regardless, the Seahawks almost pulled off their second Super Bowl win in a row, a feat in of itself, and were essentially one yard away from doing it. While that may not seem like a consellation prize, I can say that my Chargers were a few more yards away… and some change. Yeah… change. So here’s to another season gone, we hardly knew ye, yadda-yadda-yadda, Joe Flacco is too elite, etc and Andy Reid just called a timeout. Good times friends, good times indeed…

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Super-Bowl-XLIX-Large

The long wait is over friends. Yes, we had plenty of time to talk ad nauseum about deflated balls, and truth be told, I’m quite relieved despite having a bounty of “ball” jokes being lined up so nicely for the last two weeks. I’ve come to realize that I can make d*ck and balls (and fart, if needed) jokes all day long, I don’t need the 24/7 news cycle and Super Bowl click-bait on “deflate-ghazi” to do this. What a revelation! You’d think it was a revelation of some sorts to some people that the amount of collective time spent on balls, deflated or otherwise, really does show how competent the NFL is with issues that no one should really give a sh*t about. If only Ray Rice punched a deflated ball, something could be gleaned from this! Other highlights during this wait included Marshawn Lynch just barely avoiding fines by doing the very least on Media Day, and Richard Sherman contemplating what to do if his child is born later today. Yet barely any mention of Aaron Hernandez’s murder trial. Priorities people. Priorities. But hey, in the end, football is back for what is essentially the biggest sports event of the year, so sit back, enjoy whatever fried foods and alcohol is in front of you, and if we’re lucky, this game will be marginally more entertaining than last year’s. So hopefully past the midway point of the first quarter…

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image

So here we are, continuing our weird no-man’s land period for fantasy football news and analysis. We’re not quite far enough into the off-season to start reviewing what just happened in 2014, and we still have one more week until the Super Bowl, so we find ourselves in this sort of weird zone, like I am with your mom. But as we get closer to Super Bowl Sunday, we might finally reach the end of the “deflate-gate”, or seeing as how ending anything “gate” seems a bit dated, we could even call it “deflate-ghazi” for a modern touch. That being said, we do get some reprieve for the first Sunday without real football this season, and that’s football where no one tries or cares, and everyone misses going to Hawaii, and where Michael Irvin gets to have a team to, I assume, help feed yet another coke binge. Also, it appears that this year, there wasthe added bonus of making it NFL’s own petri dish of experimental football where there were narrower uprights, four two-minute warnings, and no kickoffs whatsoever. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Pro Bowl. These players represent the very best of the league, that is, after you rule out the players who are injured, the players who simply didn’t want to go, and the players who are going to the Super Bowl. So yeah. We have Andy Dalton and John Kuhn. WOOOOOOOO.

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So, after taking a few days to wait for the dust cloud of Championship Sunday to clear, we now have our Super Bowl teams; the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots. And of course it wouldn’t be a Patriots appearance without the inevitable “something-gate” taking place (this time, deflate-gate, which sounds like a sexual maneuver by Gronk), but I doubt this type of thing comes as a surprise. Even if it did, I doubt it was the reason the Colts lost by 98 points and couldn’t tackle. But don’t worry folks, we have two weeks for the media to fill in empty space, and while a Packers/Patriots match-up might have provided a bonanza of narratives, the Packers made sure to try as hard as they possibly could to make sure that it didn’t happen. So here we are. The Seahawks and Patriots is, at least on paper, an intriguing match-up. True, the same could be said of last year’s game, but here’s hoping for a Super Bowl that’s at least entertaining till half-time…

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2014 In-Season Accuracy: 58.10% (31st out of 125 Experts, 60.70% Highest, 50.60% Lowest).

Accuracy Rank Experts Highest Lowest Score +/- Rank +/-
Week 1 61.80% 22 134 66.10% 48.20%
Week 2 54.00% 35 135 61.30% 42.10% -7.80% -13
Week 3 57.40% 88 128 67.10% 44.30% 3.40% -53
Week 4 56.50% 48 128 61.10% 42.80% -0.90% 40
Week 5 56.50% 70 131 69.40% 47.00% 0.00% -22
Week 6 56.30% 27 133 63.10% 41.50% -0.20% 43
Week 7 59.70% 33 132 64.30% 46.50% 3.40% -6
Week 8 56.30% 67 130 64.80% 45.20% -3.40% -34
Week 9 60.30% 23 131 66.00% 46.10% 4.00% 44
Week 10 57.80% 68 130 66.90% 48.40% -2.50% -45
Week 11 52.10% 64 131 67.60% 42.60% -5.70% 4
Week 12 59.10% 29 129 66.20% 42.40% 7.00% 35
Week 13 58.40% 73 130 71.40% 48.40% -0.70% -44
Week 14 56.30% 59 131 63.70% 40.30% -2.10% 14
Week 15 64.10% 24 128 68.20% 53.50% 7.80% 35
Week 16 56.20% 70 122 65.60% 45.30% -7.90% -46
Totals 58.10% 31 125 60.70% 50.60%

And now, your Championship Sunday Rankings and Picks…

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thestats
The 2014 fantasy football season is over Johnny. It’s over!

So now let’s take a few moments to talk about the players that The Stats Machine has a hard on for.  I’m not sure I like the way that came out, so I’m going to rephrase it. Let’s take a few moments to talk about the players that get The Stats Machine’s bits and bytes on information overload. Without further ado-do…

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dezcatch

Welp, what the refs giveth, the refs take away. Something like that. And so it goes for the Cowboys, who saw their season come to end, not with a Romonobyl, but with a whimper. After a “questionable” call in last week’s wild card game against the Lions, which the NFL spent the entire week trying to triage, the brutal karma of it all reared it’s head in the ugliest way possible: The dreaded “Calvin Johnson Rule”. For those of you unfamiliar with this rule, which get’s enforced about two times per decade, here’s the wording:

If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball after he touches the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete.

I guess you could technically rule this the correct call, but I would point out that Bryant’s elbow is down first and the play should end right there. Or just from a simple eye test (you can see a better angle after the jump), this looks like a catch. OR you could conclude that Bryant went to the ground with his feet during the process of the catch, and then proceeded to do a “football play” by diving for the end zone. But what do I know? I will say this… I’m not sure Dallas fans can gripe about bad judgement here… Rick Perry is the elected Governor of Texas after all.

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2014 In-Season Accuracy: 58.10% (31st out of 125 Experts, 60.70% Highest, 50.60% Lowest).

Accuracy Rank Experts Highest Lowest Score +/- Rank +/-
Week 1 61.80% 22 134 66.10% 48.20%
Week 2 54.00% 35 135 61.30% 42.10% -7.80% -13
Week 3 57.40% 88 128 67.10% 44.30% 3.40% -53
Week 4 56.50% 48 128 61.10% 42.80% -0.90% 40
Week 5 56.50% 70 131 69.40% 47.00% 0.00% -22
Week 6 56.30% 27 133 63.10% 41.50% -0.20% 43
Week 7 59.70% 33 132 64.30% 46.50% 3.40% -6
Week 8 56.30% 67 130 64.80% 45.20% -3.40% -34
Week 9 60.30% 23 131 66.00% 46.10% 4.00% 44
Week 10 57.80% 68 130 66.90% 48.40% -2.50% -45
Week 11 52.10% 64 131 67.60% 42.60% -5.70% 4
Week 12 59.10% 29 129 66.20% 42.40% 7.00% 35
Week 13 58.40% 73 130 71.40% 48.40% -0.70% -44
Week 14 56.30% 59 131 63.70% 40.30% -2.10% 14
Week 15 64.10% 24 128 68.20% 53.50% 7.80% 35
Week 16 56.20% 70 122 65.60% 45.30% -7.90% -46
Totals 58.10% 31 125 60.70% 50.60%

And now, your Divisional Weekend Rankings and Picks…

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