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.

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Alternate titles for today’s post included “Trick or Tyreek” in honor of Halloween, “Crowder? I Hardly Know Her” (used below), and “The Triple Lutz“. As you can see I chose neither of them. Once again I seem to have managed to stitch together a starting lineup, using waiver wire material, that would have beaten just about any team in your league or any other. You know the old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”? Well, don’t do that. Unless you’ve actually read the book. The theme of this weeks seems to be players taking advantage of an opportunity given to them because another player was injured.

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ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 15: Todd Gurley #30 of the St. Louis Rams leaps over Antrel Rolle #26 of the Chicago Bears as he carries the ball in the first quarter at the Edward Jones Dome on November 15, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

What’s up Razzballers (or Razzballas if you’re not one for the “Hard R”) and welcome to this week’s edition of Beyond the Numbers! Looks like all of our rosters are getting put the test early on this year, so I hope you’re using your bench wisely. Injuries, combined with some poor play from “elite” players, are proving why depth is so important in fantasy football.  You’ve got no excuse to still be sporting duds on your team; coaches have shown what kind of offenses they want to run this year, and quarterbacks have heavily targeted the guy they want to be involved. I’ll give you guys some good names to target below, but first, let’s start with the guy everyone seems to have questions about.

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Most would have undoubtedly considered the lineup I am about to throw at you to be ridiculous had I recommended it last week for last week’s matchups. I am certain my readership would have plummeted from fifteen to about five. Even though that’s an eighty percent decrease can I still use the word “plummet” considering how small the numbers are with which we are working? There are more than fifteen people in any of the men’s rooms at any given time at an NFL stadium during a game. Are those my followers? Are you sh!tting me? I love it! While most would have quickly clicked “unsubscribe to malamoney’s posts”, when they read the papers on Monday morning and saw the results, I’m not sure if they would have called me lucky, and lucky idiot, or just an idiot. Probably all three, which is technically the second option. Led by Alex Smith and Theo Riddick, the following lineup would have won just about any matchup in its path…

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I have to just come out and say that the title is referencing “a little some’ some'” because the reference is pretty ambiguous. I’ll let someone else take the Shaun of the Dead reference. Why Shaun Shaun? Because it was a big week for two fellas named Shaun and now it’s time to get some. A Shaun named Hill won his start for the Vikings but we only care about him in 2QB leagues and even then I doubt we care because he might lose his starting job this week. Shaun Draughn, of all people, is somehow among the best FAAB acquisitions I could find for 12 team fantasy football leagues. It’s not the sexiest week one for acquisitions because week one didn’t reveal as many surprises as we expected. The good news is maybe we can avoid all “what a crazy Week 1” references. Please? (Aside: Chip Kelly is almost single handedly responsible for the 49ers offense not being a disaster against the Rams). Here’s your players to consider for week 2 FAAB (Free Agent Auction Bidding) waiver claims. All prices for $100 budgets so if your starting budget is not $100, view them as percentages.

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For years I’ve stated the Fantasy Football is 60% luck. And no Andrews. In the past few years that number has dropped to about 50%, but it really doesn’t matter. The point is massive amount of luck goes into fantasy football, because the value of the draft is immensely greater than that of other sports. Go ahead…try winning your league without your 1st round pick. Sure, it’s possible, but you’re also in deep trouble if they go down early (see: Jordy Nelson owners in 2015). There are so many things that are out of your hands, even beyond the draft. Take WR, for instance. The most talented WR may not have much fantasy relevance, because their production is fully tethered to the talent of the QB. There are few other positions anywhere in fantasy sports that are so driven by the production of another person. Baseball? It’s a 1 vs. 1 sport, essentially. Basketball? Even if everyone else is firing up bricks faster than a Habitat for Humanity build, someone can start cooking and shoot 70% for a week and carry your team. Football? I mean, the RB needs a good line, but they can overcome (see: Todd Gurley in 2015). WR? Nope…you need a QB. That is unless you’re Josh Gordon back in 2013. Goodness.

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Good god, what was that?

In what, dare I say, was a pretty good football game for a majority of the time (let’s just agree to not include a very morose and slug-paced fourth quarter), the Patriots continued their trend of deflating balls, cheating, receiving biased officiating, beating the Colts, which, based on recent history, was really no surprise. However, as I mentioned in last night’s Sunday Night Football Live Thread, this game really had no business being close, and it’s a testament to either Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis offense playing competently or the New England defense not being as good as we thought. In this case, it might have been a little of both (not including fourth downs, as shown above). But eventually, nature was able to drive the score to it’s most natural environment when mistakes from the Colts started to stack, all with a heaping side of LeGarrette Blount to help drive it all home. Which leads me to wonder, when the Colts draft defensive players, do they make sure that they can’t tackle first? Haha, just kidding, the Colts only draft wide receivers. With the win, the Patriots continue, along with the Bengals, Broncos, Packers, and Panthers to be the only unbeaten teams through Week 6. I’d say half of those teams are mediocre and the other half deserve their record. I’ll let you figure out which team gets the 0.5 left over from that equation…

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Let’s just have another article about the waiver wire dandies that are the Kansas City Chiefs running back situation, seems original!  The Google hit limit has been exceeded by fantasy writers who aren’t really breaking anything new to the news story that is the demise of J.C. and the rise of West and Davis.  Be creative man, that’s why Lego kits are more fun when you go rogue and build a space blimp instead of a firetruck as per your purchase.  Instead of pursuing more dirt to throw onto the fantasy run game abyss in K.C., I am going flip it and reverse it and instead pick on their defense this week that takes on the Minnesota Vikings.  Because there is nothing like spitting on the grave of fantasy-dom then kicking their butts on both sides of the ball.  So this week, I am turning my black light away from it’s normal duty of inspecting the geography of hotel rooms and pointing it at Stefon Diggs.  At first glance, and after numerous minutes of research I have come to the conclusion that he is not related to the Damon Wayons character fro the The Last Boy Scout.  I was made aware of this by him being a fake made up character in a movie and Stefon being an actual WR asset for you this week.  Open Pandora’s box and continue down the fantasy worm whole known as my imagination…

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I know, I need a bath now too. Here it is, week 17. The final slate of games and it’s actually a full one; no TNF or MNF or TNF on SN where the ‘S’ is for ‘Saturday’ which they can’t use because that’s for ‘Sunday Night Football’. Yup, 16 games ripe with intrigue and I lead off with talking Colin Kaepernick. I guess my new year’s resolution is to lose readers. WELP. I know it’s hard to get with the idea of this. Honestly, it’s hard to feel comfortable making the call for me too but here I am looking back on why I liked Russell Wilson last week and nothing has changed about the why. Both are QBs who can run and Arizona rarely leaves a spy on the backfield to stop that from happening and don’t look now but Kap has now rushed for over 40 yards in back to back games and rushed at least 7 times. Methinks the O-Co finally figured out that a Colin stuck in the pocket is a Colin wasted. Not like crunk wasted, more like ‘not used correctly’ wasted. It’s been a trying time for his seasonal owners. Trust me, I know, I suffered through him in one in a two QB league. Guess what? I picked up Kyle Orton and he never saw the light of day again for my team. But this is probably a Harbaugh swan song and I think he goes out and lets his guys do what they do and what Colin can do is run as showcased last week when he racked up 7/151/1 on the ground on his way to a 31.7 DK fantasy point night. What was the passing line you ask? Ehhhh…let’s not talk about that. The point is, his rushing game was worth 24.1 alone. I can’t say he’ll replicate but for a GPP go, I’m about to pop a Kap in dat and he has a cheap pairing partner that will also go under the radar…what, I ain’t tellin you now. This is the epic last DK post for fantasy football of the year, I’m gonna make you suffer. So strap in – or strap on, we won’t judge you – as we slide through this final go. So with no further ado, here it is: my final hot take on 2014 fantasy football DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 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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DeMarco Murray is no longer on pace to break the single season record for rushing yards. He is, however, on pace to finish the season with 1,973 yards on the ground. To do so he will have to maintain his average of 123 yards per game. Dallas’s remaining opponents are NYG, PHI, CHI, PHI, IND and WAS. The only team that isn’t giving up at least 100 rushing yards per game in that list are the Colts who fall just below at 98.1 yards per game. The New York Football Giants are ranked the worst in the league giving up a league high 144.7 yards per game. These remaining teams combined are allowing 696.2 yards per game. That’s an average of 116 yards. I don’t see Murray maintaing the 123 yards per game pace, but I could definitely see him averaging 85. That would close him out for the season with 1743 yards which would be the 2nd most in a season in the last 5 years behind Adrian Peterson who racked up 2097 yards in 2012. His current pace has him at 390 carries for the season. That number concerns me…

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