NFL: Tennessee Titans-OTA

“Could somebody hold one of my balls?”

Last season, Kendall Wright had 94 receptions for 1,079 yards with 2 touchdowns. Yes, you read that correctly. Just two. That is not Kendall Wright, rather, it’s Kendall Wrong. Bold pun strategy there, I know. Simply magical. Now that I got that out of my system, you should know there are quite a few reasons why Wright is underrated. He’s a 5’10″ receiver, which translates into a smaller target in terms of the red zone, and his yards after the catch potential has been limited. Add in the fact that the Titan’s quarterback position is questionable, on the surface, you have a  guy that only has 6 career touchdowns spanning 26 games with a mediocre supporting cast. Yes, even after telling you all of that, you still need to buy. Why, may you ask? And you probably should, seeing as how I specifically tailored the rest of this post based on that assumption. Then again, I’m basically having a conversation with myself pretending that you are asking me something when the lack of time-travel and telepathy specifically does not allow this…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome to the new off-season series, aptly named ‘Final Fantasy’. In this series, I’ll be focusing the spotlight on certain players that either exceeded or fell-by-the-wayside of our expectations, and I’ll briefly touch them with my thoughts, legally. Despite rumor (and the series name), we will not be discussing anything +5 to magic missile. Unless there’s actually a NFL player that shoots missiles. And has, like, an amulet to vitality or something like that. Michael Vick’s -98 amulet of dog-caring will be excluded in this particular instance. Regardless, let’s get to the spotlight for today, and that’s Ryan Mathews.

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Highs and lows. Yup, that about sums it up. Both the running backs from 2013 and how I view my medicine cabinet in the bathroom. Today I’m typing on trilacridopaprylocine. The current effect is everything I’m typing looks like its in Wing Dings. I’ll keep you up to date on how the rest goes…but let’s get back to the first part of this. It wasn’t just my top 10 that got blown up by injury, ineptitude or both. There were plenty of assets that made their owners go mad given their price this year and I can promise you the result from this year is going to make me take a hard look at how I evaluate RB rankings in 2014. As the NFL slowly moves onto being a passing league moreso than a running league, having a lead back – or at least the original definition of it for fantasy – looks like its becoming a dying breed. Truthfully, there was very little value in drafting an RB high this year when we compare the peaks and the valleys and how much gold came much later in the draft. You’ve heard of the scrub QB theory, we might be well on our way to working one up for RBs in 2014. But of course that’s a topic for another time. For now, instead of looking forward let’s look at our behinds. Here’s the Top 20 Running Backs 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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F#ck if your favorite writer dies, to me that’s my spot. I’ll celebrate his burial and eat at Ihop. Greetings ya’ll! Tis I, Tehol Beddict, Razzball’s resident mankini model and fantasy savant. Just because I get paid to flex my toned glutes, doesn’t in any way mean I can’t guide you to glory on the fantasy football field. It’s understandable that one would think there’s no way I could find the time to analyze each and every player in the NFL due to the fact I spend 6 hours a day doing Bobby Brown pushups and another 4 flexing in the mirror, but it is so. Having spare wenches around to massage my ass with warm milk while I watch game film is a major plus and without those Beddict groupies I’d be useless. We are now in crunch time and there is no time to waste my friends. I can only write about my bronzed buns for so long. Once your erection finally withers away move on to some in depth playa talk. Take heed!

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It’s hard to trust certain guys. No, I’m not talking about the real world here, people. This isn’t a suggestion to the ladies of the world to be careful out there but since we’re on the subject: Hey. Ladies of the world out there. Be careful. No, I’m talking about guys who’ve burned us in the past in the fantasy football world. They’ve failed us at big intervals or came on too late in the season for it to matter. Or maybe they’ve had a bad year or two in the past coupled with health issues. You drew an ‘X’ through their name in red marker, put a yuk sticker on them and wrote ‘DO NOT TOUCH’ when draft day rolled around. But sometimes these guys we write off surprise us. Yes, seemingly out of nowhere, fantasy guys we loved and now love to hate can become studs. It’s not always an overnight process but it feels like it with Ryan Mathews. After his 5th 100 yard rushing game of the year with 29 carries for 127 rushing yards and a touchdown, Mathews is now tied for the NFL lead for 100 yard rushing games on the year with Adrian Peterson and LeSean McCoy. Yes, you read that right. Sure, Shady or maybe even All Day if he’s healthy could possibly reclaim that lead over him this weekend but just reading that shows how much Mathews has improved over an abysmal 2012 campaign that had him looking flat, slow and bewildered even before he broke TWO collarbones last year. He got labelled soft and a bust all at the ripe age of 25. Hard to imagine everything being downhill when you haven’t even had to shave your ear hair yet but that was Mathew’s judgement and I’ll fairly say I joined in with the crowd on this. Though his preseason was strong, I did not see this coming and to be fair, the Bolts didn’t either as they brought in Danny to spell him and were extra cautious in using him early on in the season. But even prior to tonight, Mathews has been one of the better RBs in the league as he’s been the 11th best fantasy RB in standard and the 15th best in PPR scoring over the last 5 weeks. Surprised? Shocked? Appalled? Drunk? Eh, it’s Friday, I’m not surprised if its all four. The point is, he’s been much better than we’ve realized and it’s time to give him his due so here’s to you, Mr. Mathews. May someone find that missing ‘t’ for you some day but until then, good on ya. In other news from Thursday Night Football from week 15…psyche! I haven’t psyched you guys out in a while, I know. Things have been running along smoothly but I’m going to a bit of an ‘event’ this weekend. I’m sure Tehol or J-FOH will probably blather all about it in their posts but until then I can pretend I get to keep it a super awesome secret until next week. Suspense…it’s a killer. Now on with the rest of the Thursday roundup…

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I can’t fight it anymore. I know everyone tells you never to let others influence how you think and feel but it’s so hard to this week. I mean, I recommended the Oakland Raiders last week on defense. How stupid could I be? I’ve got to right the ship. I gotta become one with the other rankers and just give in, right? There’s no hope trying to play outside the box, all outside box playing is futile. I should just jump off the fantasy rankings bridge with everyone else…nah, I’m just joking. But I had you going for a minute, right? I’m one of the best written actors of my generation, or so I’ve been told. You should see me type Hamlet! I’ve been compared to Kenneth Branagh in that regards. In fact, I’m hoping for my first Golden Globe nomination this year once they create a category for me. I’ve already picked out my suit. I wonder if people will be able to tell I borrowed it from my dad…eh, let’s not talk about my eventual rise to fame. It bores me. Better yet, let’s talk about Pierre Thomas and his great matchup against the Rams. To be honest, I’m a bit surprised I’m one of the few this high on him. Do these other ‘perts not know the Rams are ranked near the bottom in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs? That was rhetorical. Of course they know but they’re probably too busy paying attentio to how unproductive he’s been of late. It happens but to be fair, when PT has been given a good matchup he has produced. Sure, he’s not likely to put up 200+ yards any time soon but about 120 total yards and a TD are well within reach for the PT Bruiser this week and I like his chances he grabs those reigns and rides into fantasy glory. In other areas to trumpet on, we’ve got quite a few rankings wrinkles this week. Steven Jackson? Sometimes the matchups make the man and given he’s performed well of late, it’s hard to deny him a top 10 RB finish. Same goes for Ryan Mathews who has sneakily been a top 10 play over the last 4 weeks in PPR leagues but he’s out there singing Black Eyed Peas to us. Folks, where is the love? Besides these guys, further down the road we have Mendenhall getting a mega-bump along with the Ogre and Donald Brown to wrap up my top 20 RBs and I also gave Ellington a nudge. This IS still the same Titans team that can’t stop the run, right? At wide out, I’m finally treating Dez like what he has been: good but not great. And while I’m at it, I gave Hilton and Patterson a little WR2 love bite due to matchups and explosiveabiltiy. No need to google that, it’s totally a word. At TE, I gotta say: it Ertz so good. On the DST front, Tampa Bay…woah. I know, I know, San Fran isn’t the Buffalo Bills. But Tampa Bay isn’t 0-8 Tampa Bay anymore and for very good reasons and are playing at home. Kickers? Just my niece and I playing a game of Hungry Hippos where the marbles have kicker names on them. The ones I got were in, the ones she got were out. But enough about Delta Burke winning me Josh Scobee, let’s get on with it. Here’s the rankings for week 15 of the 2013 Fantasy Football season…

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Normally a big game from someone comes early in the day and I circle it, pin it on my 100 %recycled cork board and dictate the rest of my post in pieces here and there throughout but I’m not gonna lie: the Broncos vs Pats game I had circled. I just knew the name would come out of this game. I mean, we had all those stars and great storylines. Wes Welker returning to face his former team. Amendola living up to the hype of trying to replace Wes in New England. Peyton Manning doing his best nihilist impersonation. Gisele rushing onto the field and Tonya Harding’ing Welker also came to mind. But instead, out of all the storylines this game brought to life, it was really center stage for a guy who’s been under-appreciated for what he has meant to his team, been called out on twitter and in general gets no respect. I’m of course talking about Knowshon Moreno, the much maligned starting RB for the Broncos whose emergence started last year when Willis went down with an injury and rolled into this year while all the pundits said Montee Ball would be the star in Denver. And yet, through it all Moreno has put up some very solid fantasy numbers on the year. But I’m taking this second to point out a different part that’s just as important; what he means to his team. Moreno ‘gets it’ and Peyton knows it. He trusts him. When Moreno is out there, Manning knows he’s got a guy who knows the play and will be ready to block if the play changes and where he needs to be to make the team successful. Of course, twitter has been cruel to him but it’s also shed some light here and there as well. And despite the massive fantasy day, tallying 224 rushing yards on 37 carries to go with a TD, Moreno left the stadium in a walking boot and on crutches. I’m pointing all of this out to say it’s not just Moreno owners who should be worried about this injury as it could affect the offense as a whole if he misses significant time. You think I’m being melodramatic up in here? Think back on all those fumbles by Peyton on huge sacks. Guess who was in to pass block? Mmm-hmmm. He’s real football important and because of that his fake football persona is relevant. Montee Ball started the collapse for the Broncos in the second half with a fumble and has had pass pro issues. Ronnie Hillman has been in the inactive dog house since his fumble fiasco at the goal line in the Colts loss. CJ Anderson? Odd if they wanted him involved why they haven’t given him many reps since the Hill demotion. All this to say, Broncos thought it was cold Sunday Night. We might be finding out how warm it is when he’s away. I know, I know, I know, I know, I know…in other news from week 12 of the 2013 Fantasy Football season…

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I think I’ve finally done it. I’ve done gone and lost my mind up in this. It’s week 12 and I’m telling you that Joe Flacco – yes that Joe Flacco – is a top ten QB this week. Man, I’m going so against the grain. How against the grain are you, Sky? I’m so against the grain right now, my wood shop teacher just retroactively expelled me for a week. *Crickets* Standup routine…yeah, I’m still working on it. But here’s the scenario: as boring as Flacco can be – and is and will forever be – oil and water don’t mix and by that I mean…hold on a minute *grabs flask and fills with water and oil*. See? Ok, science class is out for the day. Back to fantasy football. I don’t know if you noticed last weeks Jets vs Bills game – and unless you’re a huge fan of either, you probably didn’t – but EJ Manuel performed what would be described as a ‘vertical pass’ many a time and found himself to be very successful doing it. The big thing about that? His top receiving threats of Wood and Stevie J weren’t in. He was chucking to Goodwin and Graham who, though decent, are still young and, well, they ain’t the #1 and #2 on that team. So the Jets gave up a combined 155 yards to these two last week and it propelled EJ into the top 12 for QBs in scoring. And so enter the Flacco. Baltimore was successful last year with their running game but also with taking long shots down the field. For as much as I rag on Flacco, he does have a strong arm and he does throw an accurate deep ball. The cool thing about that? Jets gave up at least three passing plays that cleared 30 yards, two of them clearing 40. For all the good the Jets rushing defense has been, their passing defense has been equally bad. So with that in mind, Jacoby Jones gets a bit of a bump for the week and I think Flacco has a strong chance at a 250~275 yard passing day and 2 or 3 TDs. In other points of dissent, Ryan Mathews now has 10 or more points in four of his last 5 for standard scoring and faces a KC defense that for as strong as it is, can be run on. Since KC’s offense isn’t exactly an offensive juggernaut, there’s plenty of time for Mathews to get in his carries and pursue his 4th 100 yard game on the year (3 in his last 5). Oh and no AP in the top 5? Yeah, could come back to bite me but there were so many great matchups this week for above average RBs. It was hard to say any of the guys I put ahead of him don’t have a great chance to outshine him. Just note Andre Brown was my breaking point Even my insanity has its limits. Meanwhile, Kenny Stills with a 40 yard bomb and a TD in your WR3 spot sounds about right to me. Cotchery? Well, Antonio is gonna be Haden his stay in Cleveland and either he or Sanders is gonna have himself a fine day. If Sanders can’t go, Cotchery will probably steal his spot in the WR rankings…and your heart. And in Miami, if He-Man doesn’t score at least a TD with 60 or 70 yards, I will have to protest. Defensively, there’s a pile of interesting ones out there. Riaders? Decent against the run, they’re at home and Ryan Fitzpatrick is the Titans starting QB. Could be an under the radar top 10 play this week. Rams I just couldn’t let linger outside the top 10 after their showing in Indy and coming off a bye while playing at home. Could get an electric crowd and a big scoring day from them. This week I made 28 paper footballs and had my wife kick field goals on the table. Inside each, there was a name of a kicker. If she missed, those kickers didn’t make the top 10 and had to try again. Then we ate hot pockets and went to bed. Still a better love story than Twilight. Wait, what? Ok, that’s a wrap. Good luck to you this week, bad luck to your opponents and game on. Here’s the week 12 rankings for 2013 Fantasy Football…

Please, blog, may I have some more?