I’ve made some changes to the Stats Machine (TSM) this week in hopes to present more accurate data. While this is a weekly post that highlights the previous week’s top performances, TSM also provides a year-to-date report to help you identify valuable players. Until now, this has been based on the players’ total score for the season. The problem with that is that it punishes players that have already had a bye, as they will have had one less game than players that have not. Until all teams have had their bye week, this list will be powered by each players’ average score per game. Got it? Good.

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J.J. Watt has more fantasy points than LeSean McCoy. I just thought I would share that with you fine folks out there. With that being said, I also want to establish that we witnessed the first competitive Thursday Night Football game of the season… in Week 6. And it certainly did not look like that at first. The first quarter was actually written by Franz Kafka. The Colts built a 24-0 lead, and the Texans had run more plays than yards gained. And as the game started getting away from us all, like a small child being held by Adrian Peterson. Or like the freedom once held by Adrian Peterson. Adrian Peterson is an a**hat is what I’m trying to say. What I’m also trying to say is holy f*cking sh*t T.Y Hilton. And despite the Colts going Ivan Drago on the Texans early in the game, they amazingly gritted their way back with an insane display of footballing by J.J. Watt (good lord, I should have drafted Watt as an offensive player), Arian Foster staying injury free, and Andre Johnson actually proving that, in fact, he is alive and well. Yes, it was all in an effort so that Fitzmagic could lose by a closer margin than expected (oh Houston), but seeing as how we have to watch the Patriots win by at least 30 points next Thursday, this competitive game (mostly) was a wonderful reprieve.

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It’s good to be back after my little mini vacation. I went to serve one of my 72 hour blocks at county as part of my plea agreement. Jay was really understanding of my situation, as long as I brought back some pruno. Enjoy! *shudders* It was a well deserved rest and an opportunity to unplug and shake off the fantasy baseball dust. Now I am 100% yours to have at your disposal for all your fantasy needs. Jeez, I sound like a backpage escort.  Except Tight Ends, I can’t figure out the rhyme or reasons going into planning for the week. Look at Larry Donnell last week with his one target and no catches…WTF! Sky shared these nuggets about Donnell with me via Twitter: Falcons sold out to make sure he had very few looks, and added to that: Double cover your guy all game and force it elsewhere. Can’t plan for that. That’s why I hate trying to predict the tight end position. Besides Graham and Thomas, no tight end is a safe bet each and every week. What does this have to do with flex plays? It’s my way of saying I won’t be doing tight ends in the flex battles. Wide receivers and running backs only. Now on to the bye bye bye week ahead.

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We’ve survived the first bye week with six of the better teams in the league on a two week vacation. It led to unusual results and other players taking a turn in the other spotlight. Miami and Oakland are the only teams on bye in Week 5 after they beat up on each other in London, so there aren’t that many players you need to replace this week. Oakland also needs to replace its coach, but that’s another story. But there is one player that needs to go immediately, and his name is Tom Brady.

Brady has been shoddy at best this season, and it’s got to be killing fantasy teams. For the season, he has 791 passing yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions, and has failed to break the 250-yard barrier this season. It hit a low point last night when he was replaced by Jimmy Garoppolo, who was put in during the fourth quarter of the Chiefs’ 41-14 a**-kicking of New England. Brady just doesn’t look right. He still has Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman, but after that, there is little else in the way of receiving talent that he can utilize. His tackles aren’t protecting him well, and the ground game isn’t getting the holes it used to. Brady can still dink and dunk, but without a good deep threat, it looks ugly for the 37-year old signal caller from Michigan. He’s on pace for career lows for a full season and he has a Sunday night game with 3-0 Cincinnati and it’s tough defense in Week 5, before Buffalo and the New York Jets in a five-day span.

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We’re in this together!

I know, I’m asking a lot of you. After capping off the day of football with the Sunday Night Game, it soon dawned upon me how scary it is that this division will, at some point in time, produce, at the very most, one playoff team. It’s a scary thought, especially since it was manifested watching a Saints secondary that I should buy to use as a spaghetti strainer. Anything that allows the Cowboys to have consecutive competent drives is something this world isn’t ready for. And it wasn’t just this one game either. You had the Falcons collapse against a Vikings team that has lost it’s best player in Adrian Peterson, is starting a rookie quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater, and still believes Christian Ponder deserves a roster spot in the NFL. Ugh. And then you have the Jacksonville Jaguars Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who, we don’t need to spend too much time on. Because Bucs are gonna Buc, amiright? And last, but certainly not least, (because, in a stunning turn of events, they are currently occupying first place in this travesty of a division), the Carolina Panthers. Who, apparently, didn’t take Steve Smith’s death threats seriously and proceeded to get maimed in Baltimore. Which is actually pretty common, now that I think of it. And yes, just to state for the record, their secondary collected a game check this week. That is all.

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This week I’ve been tapped to fill in for Seth and write the “Start ‘em and Sit ‘em” column. Those that have read my Stats Machine posts will know that I think projections are for the birds. I am more of a “by the numbers” kind of guy. I rely on statistics to make my points and fantasy sports decisions. I believe that making “gut” decisions is the recipe for failure, but maybe that’s because I’m gutless. Or was it heartless. I forget.

By no means do I profess to be an expert in this realm, so with the help of some number crunching, I have targeted the players that have good match-ups and those that do not and present them to you as my start ‘em, sit ‘em’s of the week…

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I’ve come to a conclusion about my draft strategy for next year. I’m not drafting any starting running backs. Nope! Only handcuffs in the later rounds for me. I won’t be fooled by you starting running backs and your supposed “talent”. Oh no siree, I’m moving on! In all seriousness though, what the hell is going on? The starters that haven’t been hurt, arrested, kidnapped, or shamed into retirement, haven ‘t been good. Anyone watch LeSean McCoy, Eddie Lacy, or Matt Forte lately? How is anyone winning in fantasy?

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Sometimes obvious happens. Other times, cheap happens. Sometimes obvious and cheap happen at the same time and you get a great cash play or GPP play depending on how you build your roster. To put it mildly, Donald Brown is in a great position to succeed on Sunday. The Jags have been completely run over this season *pun not intended but now that I look at it, I’m quite proud of it*. To be fair, the Jags have been destroyed at nearly every position offensively so far as they rank at or near the bottom against opposing QBs, WRs, and TEs on the year as well but I’m gonna focus on the things that make this call mesh for me. You see, for as much as we talk of Philip Rivers, his odd faces, his multitude of children and his bolos, we seem to forget one thing: he ain’t just chucking anymore. Now this isn’t to say he’s not getting his but the Chargers are a clock-managing team. They are forcing their opponent to make due with small chunks of time, putting pressure on opposing offenses to produce with a limited window and they’re doing this by running the ball. San Diego only trails Houston and Cincinnati in rushing attempts on the year with 98 and last week, Brown rushed the ball 31 times. Yes, yes, he only gained 62 yards but I would hang that on the Bills actually being a decent defense more so than the inability of Donald. And now with Danny Woodhead out for the season, the backfield will be his to own until Ryan Mathews grows an extra ‘t’ in his last name. Now I can’t promise he gets the 36 total touches he got last week but I do think he’ll do most of the heavy lifting and that a 35+ touch game is NOT out of the question for Donald as he and the team know when Mathews comes back, he’ll have time to recoup. So come with me as we take the Jags to Brown Town…hey, not THAT Brown Town. It’s in San Diego where Donald plays. What did you think I meant? Gross, let’s move on. Here are my hot takes for week 4 on DraftKings…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 team league of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It lets us know that you care!

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So, if you don’t know what to make of this year so far, join my club. I just started it, but looking at the numbers… yes, it appears the entire Earth is already a member. There are so many fascinating and ridiculous and unfortunate and just plain dumb things happening all around us this year, it’s no wonder that Wes Welker took a Molly. Wait a second… WHAT IF WE’RE ALL ON MOLLY? It’s almost as if Rust Cohle is writing my life at the moment. “Someone once told me, ‘Time is a flat circle.’ Everything we’ve ever done or will do, we’re gonna do over and over and over again.” Alright-alright-alright. I’ll be sure to tell my grand kids about that. In the meantime, I’ll have to seek out some kind of solution as how to grasp the events that this season has wrought upon us all. I hear whiskey is nice this time of the year…

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