Hello everyone, and welcome to another post in our draft strategy series where today, we’ll take a look at the wide receiver position for 2017, and how to best attack it in drafts. Again, like the post I wrote about quarterbacks and running backs, this will be more of an open discussion about the position and less about the three players I like, the three I don’t, etc. So let’s get started now about how I think the WR position will be attacked in drafts, and how it should be attacked in drafts.

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Wide receiver is a tough position to draft outside of the top 15.  Within the next 35 players of the preseason top 50, there are 10 guys who are going to outplay their ADP, maybe by a lot. There are also 10 other receivers getting hype, who just don’t live up to it, whether they are a complete bust or just somebody who frustrates you to put into your lineup every week.  I’ve been there, I drafted Kelvin Benjamin and Sammy Watkins on the same team last season.  This league is a two-keeper league and my keepers were ho-hum going into the draft, and I knew that I had to make a splash.  Doug Martin and Brandin Cooks were career hit or miss guys so I went high upside with my first couple of picks…

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Hello everyone, and welcome to the 14th installment of the Start ‘Em and Sit ‘Em series. I’ll keep it short for you guys everyone, so welcome to the playoffs and let’s get started… With A.J. Green’s departure a few weeks ago due to a hamstring injury, certain players have had to pick up the slack from his lack of production values, and Eifert has done the most absorbing of this production value. His an increasing target share, snap counts, and even red zone efficiency, it’s no wonder why he is producing like the way he is. This week he’ll only have to battled with Brandon LaFell and the two running backs to get the targets and looks he deserves, but he’ll have a great matchup on the way, against a Cleveland Browns team that ranks as the 31st pass defense in the NFL, and 31st in the NFL against TE’s, who give up close to 65 yards and 0.8 TD’s per game. Fire him up with confidence…

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Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Ladarius Green (80) warms up before an NFL football game against the New England Patriots in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

For the last fourteen weeks or so I have proven that even a team that looks like absolute hot garbage on paper can prove the old adage true, never judge a book by its cover. That’s easy to say with the benefit of hindsight. It’s not like I’m predicting who these players will be a week in advance. I would, but I can’t seem to find my copy of Gray’s Sports Almanac. Each week I have tried to pick the players for the upcoming week, but if I said it was an easy task, I’d clearly be lying. Many weeks I have gotten a player or two correct, but my low batting average is nothing to write home about. George Brett? Tony Gwynn? Wade Boggs? More like the Mendoza Line for me!

If you are still reading this post that most likely means you have made the playoffs. Congratulations. But you are a long way from hoisting that championship trophy. And if you’ve made the playoffs, it is even more unlikely that you are going to be looking for under owned players that “might” have a good week. At this point you need high floor players.

If you have not made the playoffs and just enjoy reading my banter, rock on!

However, in the spirit of this post I’d still like to present to you last week’s crop of crapshoots…

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ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 7: Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings rushes during a game against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on September 7, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

By now, most of you guys are already in the playoffs or at least know where you’re sitting in the hunt.  I’m unfortunately eliminated in my main league and am a bit sour while writing this, so please forgive a bit of my saltiness. My handle may have to change to Rob Gronkowski lying in a hospital bed since that’s where he’s been most of the year (I trusted you after staying healthy last year!). If you’re in the same boat as me, better luck next year. Do it the right way next time and join 10 leagues so you’re guaranteed to win one (that’s how statistics work right?). Yup, we’re way beyond the numbers and I’m not even through with the intro. For those who still have a shot at glory, I’ll suck it up for you guys and do my best to help out. Here are some guys that’ll get you to next week, some to stash for when you get there, and some to avoid all together.

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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…

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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.

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In what could have been a wonderful work of satire in today’s title, last night’s Sunday excursion into Minnesota’s new football stadium may have upended years of programming in thinking that Sam Bradford (22/31, 286 YDS, 9.2 AVG, 2 TD, 121.2 RTG and 1 CAR, -3 YDS) isn’t quite the second coming of Joe Montana, but moreso a cross between Mr. Glass from Unbreakable and Jimmy Clausen. Yeah, an M. Night Shyamalan reference, deal with it. One game won’t change my expertly crafted comparisons, but after beating a team that has basically controlled the division for the last decade, and doing it mostly without Adrian Peterson who did essentially nothing until finally resigning to get injured and leave the game, should say something. I mean, Matt Asiata got more in his first carry this game than Peterson has ran the entire year… And so when we are in the second week of the season, saying that the Vikings front office was onto something by mortgaging a part of their future in a desperate attempt to replace Teddy Bridgewater may be a step too far as of now (since if you whisper “Sam Bradford” into a mirror three times, one of his ACLs will explode.), it is an encouraging start. And before you think that Bradford may not be the lede you were looking for, I think the meta conversation here is that forming conclusions and finding confirmation bias from two weeks of football is probably not wise. And that’s something that should probably be discussed. It matters in the general football sense if you’re, say, a Seahawks fan, but it also matters in fantasy football if you’re, say,  a Todd Gurley owner. When is the right time to panic? To make a move? We’ve only seen about 12% of the season thus far, and to make a baseball reference, that’s game 20. Making waiver moves, exploring trades, probing at what you can do is always a good thing, but my advice here (since I’ve seen a lot of inquiries on this) is to hold for the moment. Or, at the very least, do not sell yourself short. Just wait a bit longer before chugging down the bourbon and gaslighting yourself… one more week, maybe two, before you make any major decisions, and I promise you’ll have a clearer picture and still have enough time left to do something about it.

Here’s what else I saw during yesterday’s Week 2 Sunday games…

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Welcome to the first edition of Beyond the Numbers! Hope you guys like it here. Feels a little funny writing an article seemingly in direct contradiction to my fellow writer, Mike Honcho’s By the Numbers, but this isn’t really the case. Check it out; the post has good takes on how backfields are shaping up this season and enough numbers to give you that math boner you’ve missed since graduating high school… Plus his avatar is John Reilly so I’m clicking on that bad boy regardless. Here’s the thing with me though, numbers are great, but they never really tell the whole story, and frankly I think they can be a bit overrated. So I’m here to delve a little bit closer, help you make some smart fantasy decisions, and hopefully make a few people uncomfortable with some inappropriate jokes…

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Welcome back everybody to this week’s edition of “Deep Implants”, our recurring series here at Razzball discussing the history of American spies planted overseas during war. This week, we’ll take a look at the exploits of Edward Bancroft, a Massachusetts-born scholar who was a key provider of intelligence from London to Ben Franklin during the Revolutionary War. Before diving into his espionage, let’s start with his studies that showed eels use electricity to capture their prey… *answers call from Jay* I’ve been informed that this is actually another installment of Deep Impact, and also that BANCROFT WAS A DOUBLE AGENT THE WHOLE TIME! NO, BEN FRANKLIN, STOP GIVING THIS MAN INFORMATION!!! As a refresher for those of you who missed the first regular season piece in this series, this is for fantasy football players who like to hang out in the deep end. Metaphorically speaking, of course; I don’t go into the actual deep end as I’m not a strong swimmer and the kids are really judgmental these days. Floaties are for adults too, dammit!

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