After publishing my first post on Razzball, I wanted to also offer my selection for the most overrated player in upcoming fantasy football drafts as Drew Brees. While Brees has been the model of excellence while quarterbacking the New Orleans Saints by averaging between 21 and 24 standard fantasy points per game since 2012, he is entering his 17th year in the NFL at age 38. For over a decade, Brees has had the pleasure of playing in a division with historically weak defenses while playing 10+ games per year in temperature controlled domes with an offensive mastermind calling the shots and incredibly talented weapons catching his touchdown passes. However, in the past 3 seasons, Brees has lost favorite targets such as Jimmy Graham, Brandin Cooks, and Marques Colston. Down the stretch of 2016, Brees only had a 7-to-7 TD:INT ratio in the final 5 games of the season, which was a main reason that the New Orleans Saints barely missed the playoffs with a 7-9 record. While the addition of Adrian Peterson to team up with Mark Ingram in the running game should take some of the onus off of Brees to carry the team on his back for another season, a stronger commitment to the running game would also limit red-zone touchdown and overall yardage production for the prolific quarterback.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After two straight Superbowl appearances, the NFC South is coming up faster than that lady from The Leftovers and this past season of Fargo.  Yes, I know her name is Carrie Coon, I didn’t have to google it, and she’s become my favorite actress.  Some of you already know that I think that the Leftovers is the best show ever made, but I’m also impressed that Fargo was able to pull off another good season for the third straight year.  Fargo has a built-in setting, but coming up with a different cast, story line, and ending every year and doing it well blows my mind.  To put it in perspective it only took a second season for True Detective to suck at the same format.  Well, I guess it didn’t “suck”, the acting was awesome.  I’m one of the few who bought into Vince Vaughn in his role.  The story was a snoozer, I can’t defend that part.

Before we get into our second division preview, be sure to check out Zach’s preview of the AFC East.  Zach will be covering the AFC while I cover the NFC.  Also, we must rejoice that Jay has returned to give you his rankings and predictions for the 2017 season.  Zach and I are going to try and record a podcast every week to get you ready for the football season.  We plan on having a few surprise guests, but most of it will just be us two talking shop.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Folks, it is already June and we are within double digit days from the regular season.  When you’re in a dynasty league, the season never ends.  I’ve been thinking about the 2017 season for my dynasty team since the day after week 16 ended.  I guess that I’m like Bill Belicheck with four fewer titles.  I may have won the championship, but I was 3 weeks behind everybody else in the fantasy football offseason.  I’m just joking (kind of), that would be a bit obsessive.

Before I get into a few stand out players, I have just a little bit of house keeping.  Zach and I started a podcast called Razzblitz and it’s really easy to find.  If you subscribe to the Razzcast on iTunes or whatever app you download podcasts on, our podcast will be on that thread.  Or, if you just click on the football side of the Razzball blog, our podcast will be up as posts as well.  Zach and I want to provide you with as much fantasy knowledge as possible and keep each episode pretty digestible time-wise while doing so.  We have two up so far this off season with Episode 3 and beyond coming soon…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

At some point, we’re going to get old. Technically, some of us are already there (children of the 80’s unite!). Okay, we’re not that old, but age is probably subjective anyways. And before I give myself an existential crisis, the point I’m trying to make is that Fantasy Sports might be one of those things that don’t have a shelf life. But this season has made me question that conclusion more than usual. I mean, sure, there are things we can do to spice up the experience. Like Craigslist and sex, maybe we’d pay attention more if money is involved, thus, the evolution of money leagues. DFS is, of course, an offshoot. But with NFL’s noticeable ratings drop this year, talk of rearranging when commercials are shown (haha, dream on), the retiring of Thursday Night Football (naw, Jags vs. Titans is always a good idea!) have been some of the things discussed internally. But time is a flat circle, maaaaaaan, so I wouldn’t expect much of anything the NFL does to change. The officiating has been garbage, the penalties for celebrations is an infringement on my right to not eye-roll infinitely. And really, whatever that was on Sunday Night Football last night, which was flexed!… It’s almost as if they aren’t even trying. (Can’t quite tell if I’m talking about the NFL or the Panthers.) The Chargers lost, but I think you already knew that based on this lede, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be mopey. What’s that? Westworld won’t be back on until 2018? Okay. Time to burn this motherf*cker down!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

National Football League, we’ve got a lot of problems with you, and now you’re going to hear about it. In no particular order, when did the NFC North become the new AFC South? With the NFC East being a pretty good division again, does that mean I have to start wearing my 90’s flannel shirts? And should we all get concussions? Afterall, according to you, it’s not just a concussion, it’s a cancussion. Why is it, that amidst your “Salute to Service” Sunday, that you don’t mention that the taxpayers fund all the lavish patriotism we see every Sunday? What is a catch? It’s like the only thing that’s ever stayed a controversy in football since I was a kid. That, and John Elway probably being a secret horse in disguise. In fact, here was the first official NFL rules committee meeting to define what exactly a catch was. But most of all (just in the context of yesterday, because why trap yourself, ya know?), I’m so confused on how the Seahawks actually won. (Note: It’s weird to watch a game where you end up screaming in agony when anything good happens for either team.) Admittedly, I’m not so much confused on how they actually won, that’s pretty straightforward; it was some combination of an overrated New England defense getting exposed, mixed with big nights from Russell Wilson (25/37, 348 YDS, 9.4 AVG, 3 TD, 124.6 RTG and 3 CAR, 6 YDS) and C.J. Prosise (17 CAR, 66 YDS, 3.9 AVG, 10 LONG and 7 REC, 87 YDS, 12.4 AVG, 38 LONG, 7 TGTS). But how the Seahawks could win in such a karmaic (word?) fashion… I mean, talk about sh*tty calls for the last four plays of the game, almost seems familiar. Almost like it’s happened before… And I’m sure the Boston media will have a field day talking about how the “non-call” on Gronk was a crime against humanity, a genocide they’ll say! Well, if he didn’t do such a great job blocking into the endzone on a run play to Blount that should have been the call, they might have had a case. In the mean time, I wouldn’t worry to much about Patriots “nation” forming a protest to go against the result, mainly because they probably think “genocide” has something to do with the Jets…

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?

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…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

My favorite NFL soundbite is of Vince Lombardi yelling out to one of his legendary Packer teams, “What the hell’s going on out here?” I laugh every time because it’s really a statement that can be used in almost any context. Driving in heavy traffic on the freeway through a construction zone and see a bunch of guys standing around: (insert Lombardi.) Trying to catch up on some “light reading” in the bathroom and your kids sound like a freakin’ parade is going through your living room: (insert Lombardi.) But, because it’s from the football universe, I thought it was an appropriate transition into this week’s RCL updates…

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Whether it’s real or fantasy football, we see time and again the difference between winning and losing can come down to just one play. The Denard Robinson stat correction fiasco of last year’s playoffs caused a change in many a fantasy football result. Yet, few are as frustrating as an official’s call affecting player points, like holding on a TD run or offensive pass interference on a big gainer.

That got me thinking, did anyone suffer bitter defeat because of points taken away from Duke Johnson last week, when inexplicably, officials ruled Washington recovered the ball on a fumble that was never actually lost? I’ve yet to see it in the fantasy football universe, but if it happened to any of you out there, comment below. Regardless, like a mysterious recovery, we fumble through the Week 4 update…

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Yesterday we had a little bit of everything, didn’t we? After voluntarily waking up early for a Colts-Jaguars game in London, I wondered: What happened to my life that would make me do such a thing? I mean, you’d think after all we’ve done for the United Kingdom over the years, they’d have the courtesy to be on the same time zone. And we had plenty of expected outcomes like my Chargers once again clutching a loss from the jaws of victory, the Browns being their usually Brownsy selves, a boring Sunday night primetime game, Cam Newton concussing (a word?) himself again, and, of course, DeAndre Hopkins showing us where all hope goes to die. And then something… majestic happened, something rare. (Some say it only happens once a decade…) But we, as a nation, for the first time this season, witnessed the first Patriots loss of the year. And it was to the hapless Bills. What a time to be alive. In fact, both (or one, or none, who knows?) of the Ryans coached a defense that shut out the Patriots for the first time since 2006, and the first time in New England since 1993. Seems good. But as someone once said, you don’t know the sweet unless you’ve tasted sour. The sour? The Rams and Raiders, the current and former Los Angeles football teams, are currently in playoff contention. One team is coached by Jeff Fisher, and the other by Jack Del Rio. Soak that wierd sh*t in for a second…

Please, blog, may I have some more?