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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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Greetings! Tis I, Beddict, the Godfather of sexual mischief and fantasy football knowledge alike, here to continue this storied tradition that we here at Razzball refer to as, Disgrace/Delight. We’re on a word count this week so we better get right to it. I will continue to cover film and television but we had too much football and not enough space this week and for that, I apologize. Okay, let’s get on with it then! Take Heed!

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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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Trent Richardson just experimenting with his new tactic of gaining yardage by getting tackled from behind.

So apparently ESPN had their huge unveiling last night for their new piece of technology that celebrates Chip Kelly’s innovativeoffense by creating a clock that works in reverse of a play clock. So the numbers now count up instead of down. I’m sure money, time, and development went into this, so I should point out that cancer is still a thing. Regardless, the game itself was strangely entertaining for an MNF slot that hasn’t felt relevant this decade. Sure, most of that excitement was produced by Darren Sproles, who is so tiny and fast. And while Foles and the Eagles offense has struggled mightly now in the first half of their first two games, to their credit, they’re now 2-0. And despite an obvious holding call directly leading to a crucial Andrew Luck interception in the 4th quarter, the Colts seemed to waste an actually effective running tandem in Trent Richardson and my chosen one, Ahmad Bradshaw with lousy repetitive play-calling and the mistakable urge to play for field position towards the end of the game. It’s not a death march by any means, but 0-2 is not how I imagined the Colts starting.

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Thank god I don’t do these posts till Saturday, because you wouldn’t have liked my advice had I included Thursday night’s players into my start/sits. Everyone knows that Thursday Night Football is a curse for fantasy players.  Even Peyton Manning has fallen victim to it.  In the final TNF game of the 2013 season, Manning had arguably his worst performance of the year, completing just 65.8 percent of his passes for 289 yards in the Broncos’ embarrassing 27-20 home loss to the Chargers.  Maybe it’s the short week coupled by the night game, or the fact that it’s on national television.  Who knows.  But it doesn’t bode well for good statistics.

I had Ben Roethlisberger and Torrey Smith pretty high up in my Week 2 rankings, but that was just stubborn of me.  You can’t get much worse than the nine fantasy points Big Ben put up, Owen Daniels vulturing Dennis Pitta every step of the way, or the one catch for 10 yards Torrey had — especially after Joe Flacco had said earlier in the day that he expects his top receiver to catch 100 balls this year.

Sunday should offer many more offensive fireworks than Thursday night’s dreadful affair.  There are plenty of matchups to exploit, including the Saints vs. Browns, Patriots vs. Vikings, Chiefs vs. Broncos, Jaguars vs. Washington Football Team, and Cowboys vs. Titans.  But none should be more exciting (and fantasy-team boosting) than the Eagles/Colts game. The high-flying Eagles (pun intended) travel to Indy to take on the 900 horsepower Colts (pun also intended).  You’re always gonna start Andrew Luck, Nick Foles and LeSean McCoy, but their supporting casts deserve a lot of attention this week and are all nearly must starts in most fantasy formats. Fringe fantasy starters like Darren Sproles, Riley Cooper, Ahmad Bradshaw, and Dwayne Allen are near automatic starts this week, and even Colts’ tight end Coby Fleener is worthy of consideration in deeper leagues.  The only guys I’d be hesitant to recommend are Hakeem Nicks and Trent Richardson, who have proven to be too untrustworthy. Not only will this game have a large effect on the outcome of your fantasy matchups, but we get to wait till Monday night to have it all play out.  Now, that, my friends, is what fantasy football is all about!

Please feel free to post your start/sit questions below. Until then, here are the rest of my starts and sits for Week 2…

(All recommendations are based on PPR formatted leagues)

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 uk2ZYmu

An artist’s depiction of yesterday’s Cowboys game.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the first every Sunday of football should always have the Dallas Cowboys doing whatever that was they did yesterday afternoon. In fact, let’s start a petition to have them on Monday AND Thursday night as well. I mean, can we even say that the Cowboys actually did anything in training camp? This looks like the exact same team from last year, and I’ve already started decorating my house for the holidays seeing as how the Cowboys are already in mid-December form. True, as the sharp and always entertaining (in gouging your own eyes out sort of way) commentating duo of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman informed us, if not for all the turnovers, this would have been a close game. I’ve never seen something so beautifully and succinctly useless at the same time. If it weren’t for the Normandy landing and the eastern invasion of Russia, Germany had a pretty good World War II. And while the game was technically close without including large portions of events that happened during the game, I was left with this one burning question– What is it called when you throw to a receiver that had 12 people covering him?

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It’s Sunday, and the clock is about to strike 1:00 pm.  Anticipation is building, and you finally cave, as you remove Stevan Ridley from your FLEX and replace him with Joique Bell.  After all, Ridley has been in the doghouse with Coach Belichick and Bell has a great matchup vs. the Eagles.  We’ve all be there before — at the last minute you completely reverse course from the original starting lineup you had all week long.  Sometimes it pans out, but sometimes you’re left kicking yourself — like when Bell cedes carries to a red-hot Reggie Bush and Ridley sneaks in for a couple of one-yard touchdown dives.

This column is here to help you make those decisions easier.  Each Saturday throughout the NFL season, I will be providing you with a list of some players you should start, as well as some that should take a seat at the end of your bench.  I won’t be telling you to start LeSean McCoy, ‘cuz if you’d ever consider sitting him, well, you’ve got way more things to worry about than fantasy football (like getting your head checked).  Instead, I’ll focus more on the fringe players or the sneaky second- or third-tier guys who aren’t automatic starts or sits each week.

Please, blog, may I have some more?