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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Last week, I had success with Trent Richardson over Bishop Sankey selection, but unfortunately the wide receiver battle was a dud for both sides. That’s just fantasy football and sometimes, you we have to just deal. I could go on and on about what this game means, and how hard we take our losses, but I want to give you something that we should all know and accept: That no matter how much we think we know about a player, it all comes down to what his team does as a unit. Or in the case of the Rams secondary, what they didn’t do on MNF when they went with the “let’s leave them wide open and see if they drop the ball” approach. Just Shameful!

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In what was a pretty subdued game for most of the night, there were plenty of opportunities for the Rams to take advantage of, but they managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory multiple times, with the 49ers capitalizing on those mistakes. While you could probably point to the Gruden curse having a huge effect here (comparing Austin Davis to Drew Brees is nothing short of… questionable, we’ll call it), it was probably a bit much to count on him to drive 90 yards for a game-winning drive. So the pick-six to Dontae Johnson saved everyone the trouble. But, on a lighter note, it was 1999 throwback night to celebrate the “Greatest Show on Turf”. Obviously having Marshall Faulk and Kurt Warner on full display was fantastic timing on a night that saw Zac Stacy run up the middle for a few yards at a time and Austin Davis… not be Kurt Warner. But hey, two dollar hot dogs and three dollar beers seems like a wonderful way to get people to watch the Rams. Because you can’t really do it with just the Rams.

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Those of you in your 30’s shouldn’t have a hard time remembering George Michael’s Sports Machine. Running from 1984 to about 2007, and airing on Sunday nights, it was a 30-minute television show dedicated to providing the highlights of the past week’s sporting events. I did a quick search on Ancestry.com, and it turns out the Sports Machine and Stats Machine are very distant relatives. I hope George’s estate doesn’t sue me. Now that I have cleared that up, let’s move on.

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Fantasy football owners who drafted Calvin Johnson and A.J. Green can’t be too happy right now.  Both receivers were first round picks, and because of injuries, they’ll likely both be sitting out this week.

Johnson, a consensus top-five pick, has done nothing so far to justify his lofty preseason ranking.  Since exploding for 164 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1, the man known as “Megatron” has accumulated just 184 yards in the four games since, and he has zero scores to go with that paltry yardage total as well.  A high-ankle sprain has been the culprit over the last two games and fantasy owners everywhere can only hope he gets the rest he needs in order to get him to full strength.  He isn’t doing the Lions nor fantasy owners any favors by playing gimpy.  Johnson had just three catches for 19 yards while being used as a “decoy” vs. the Jets and Bills, and he clearly aggravated the injury on his lone reception last week.  Johnson “hopes” to play on Sunday vs. the Vikings, but the general sense is that he’ll sit this one out, and could possibly sit out through the Lions’ Week 9 bye.  Being 3-2 affords them some wiggle room.

Green is in a similar situation to Johnson, though he’s been all but ruled out this week.  The fourth-year pro aggravated his toe injury in Bengals’ practice on Wednesday and it looks like he could miss multiple games.  Green hurt the digit in the team’s Week 2 win over the Falcons, but came right back and played vs. the Titans the following week.  Choosing to play him there may come back to haunt the Bengals, because the way it sounded, his toe seems much worse this time around.  Back in Week 2, the team was calling it a “sprained ligament”, but now they’re saying it’s “a little bit more [than turf toe]“.  This is not what you want to hear if you’re the Bengals or own Green in any of your fantasy leagues.  Unlike Johnson, Green has already had his bye, so if he’s going to rest, it’s gonna be during a game week.  Green’s owners will just have to hope to hear some good news in the next few days.

With two big pass catchers on the mend, it puts owners in a real bind, so I’ve decided to do a wide receivers-only edition of “Start ‘em and Sit ‘em”…

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Without targets, there would be no receptions. Being targeted is the first, and most crucial factor, to the success of a pass catcher. If the ball isn’t thrown in your direction, you cannot succeed. I decided to take a look at how targets were being spread around among each team and then how each player was converting those targets. Below are the results and I’ve included a link to the Excel spreadsheet (Download) containing the full report. This exercise will only be “targeting” wide receivers and tight ends.

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We are here today to point out the difference between the Razzball rankings and those that ESPN has released to the masses. The first difference you’ll probably notice is that there is no Mathew Berry in our rankings. Whether that’s a good or bad thing, I’ll let you decide. Because, hey, I’m just that kind of guy. Beyond that, well, ESPN certainly likes the color of red. RED EVERYWHERE. Well, touché, we also like a color. And that color is mustache, which is totally a color. Just ask Razzball founder Grey Albright. Sure, you could say that I’ve added some yellow to the palette, but then you’d be raycess. Now that the main differences have been established, we’ll move on to things that are more fantasy relevant, well, depending on the type of fantasy that is. Hey now. So after you clear your internet history, we’ll be comparing our rankings to that of ESPN’s. Get yer knives ready!

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It’s a material world and I’m a material girl…wait, strike that. What I meant to say was it’s a passing league and I’m a fantasy…hrm, pig? Say it like you’re Ren, you eeedeeot! Yeah, all I’m trying to say here is it’s no surprise with how dramatically the passing side of the league has changed that the wide receivers have become an easier commodity to bank on from week to week and may create a different way to look at things moving forward in terms of how we draft. But of course, that’s not what this post is about. It’s more about finding out what rhymes with league. Seriously, google dat chit. WTF is a ‘Schmeig’? It’s not even on urban dictionary and if anything belongs on the UD, it’s Schmeig…wait, that’s not really what this post is about either. We’re here to look back at this year’s crop of wide receivers and see how the dust settled on their season. So without more ado, let’s review. Here are the Top 20 Wide Receivers from the 2013 Fantasy Football Season…

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I hate to talk ill of you on the last read of the season, I really do. I only dole out tough love when tough love is due but I think this situation is ripe for it. You shouldn’t really care about what I’m typing right now. Ok, ok, ok, I’m alright if you care because your championship is two weeks long. Not perfect but it is reasonable. But really, even in a week 17 in which games actually mattered, the fantasy football season should not be judged by the scoring leader board we got this week. Sure, LeGarrette Blount has slowly worked is way into the cockles of Belichick’s heart over the course of the season. Really let’s face facts, though; Bill’s been looking for a BenJarvus Green-Ellis impersonator since day one. Congrats, Billy boy, looks like you found your man. Blount finished with 189 rushing yards and 2 TDs on the day and 334 all purpose yards to set a Patriots franchise record and the 11th most in NFL history. That’s a pretty wild day and great if you had it on your team…but really? Did you come into 2013 saying ‘I can’t wait to sit Jamaal Charles and start Blount’? Even in a week where there were so many important games on Sunday, it was still an odd fantasy day overall as we’ll cover a bit…and by that I mean drill bit. I’m gonna drive this point home people! But for serious, I’m happy for you and Ima let you finish but week 16 championships are the great of all time…OF ALL TIME! Ok, I’m done lambasting you…for now. Here’s what else I saw from the final week of the season for 2013 Fantasy Football…

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