Ahh, it’s that refreshing time of year when the scorching heat is finally dying down, and the weather is turning cold enough to completely forget about the summer. With the middle of the season approaching, the fantasy outlook, like the weather, is rapidly changing.  Sure you may have had one of the best teams in the league when Eric Decker and DeAngelo Williams were still producing, but those days are gone and their positions have been filled. This is true for many of the players you drafted, whether they were once putting up great numbers or not, and it’s about time to adapt to the changes. Get ready to trust in players you never thought you would, in this week’s Beyond the Numbers.

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What’s good amigos? Don’t be startled. The door was unlocked so I let myself in. Calm down. Let’s be friends. Here, let me loosen the zip ties and we’ll start with a proper introduction. I’m Honcho, the bearer of good tidings. I’m here to bless you with only the best passing and rushing match ups of the week. Obviously if you own Le’Veon Bell and Tom Brady you’re playing them. They won’t be mentioned below. Deal with it, bro. So anyway, bring your green hat because we’re going streaking! This is such a bittersweet time of the season. I mean, we’re nearly half way through the regular portion of the fantasy schedule and the air is starting to have a chill to it here in the Midwest. That means a variety of things, but most importantly – football season is in full swing. Is there anything better than throwing on your favorite jersey or sweatshirt and gathering around a roaring Galaxy Note 7 to roast some marshmallows with your closest friends? Yeah, that’s the best. Just you and your closest acquaintances debating who gets to dress up as Ken Bone for this years Halloween party. Sounds hot right? Thought so. You know what else is hot right now? Phoenix. They’re prepping for the return of their beloved quarterback and it will be a glorious reunion. You see, Carson Palmer cleared the concussion protocol earlier this week and he’s ready to wreak havoc on the Jets’ and their porous pass defense. As Donald Trump would so eloquently put it: “The Cardinals are going to win – they’re going to win so big on Monday night.” Most of you might be hesitant to believe this, due to the slow start Palmer has produced thus far. But fear not as the Jets have allowed 302.4 passing yards per game this season, that’s good for second worst in the league. The fact that Darrelle Revis is still very questionable for this contest should have you inflating your Bruce Arians blow-up dolls to the legal limit. New York has surrendered 12 passing scores through their first five games while generating just two interceptions. That’s not ideal. What’s worse, they’re allowing opposing QBs an average of 25.8 fantasy points per game since Week 3 along with 13.4 points given up to tight ends. Both rank as second worst in the NFL. Sounds like a date in the desert Monday night. I’ll pick you up at 8:37 PM EST.

Here’s a look at my favorite passing and rushing match ups for Week 6:

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…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Paired up against the second Presidential debate, it was easy to get distracted away from football to see the immediate fallout off the now infamous Donald Trump video, that amongst other things, had him describing how he likes grabbing women’s bathing suit areas as a mating ritual of some sort. (Let’s approach this anatomically really quick… can you actually “grab” someone by the hoo-ha? I mean, wouldn’t that be like picking up a bowling ball with just your thumb? It doesn’t even make any sense…) While I want to acknowledge that there was a very important moment in history that occurred last night in terms of how much you enjoy the consumption of popcorn while watching an 167-car pileup, I would only say this one thing before I move on: I wish someone had asked a fantasy football question. I mean, with all the bye weeks coming up, it IS topical as f*ck, right? So that being said, I’ll continue where the title of our post teases, which is: was that the most Eli game ever? That might have been. I mean, on one hand, Eli Manning somehow led the Giants to two Super Bowl titles. On the other hand, there’s stuff like this: 18-for-35, 199 yards and 1 TD, and the bi-weekly fumble (as opposed to his bi-weekly interception). This sort of relates to him as a fantasy quarterback too (XBox Segue Achievement Unlocked), in that at the base level, he’s a pretty run-of-the-mill option that ends up giving you 3500+ yards and 30+ touchdowns. There’s value to that, sure, and of course the Razzball community knows our policy with quarterbacks in most formats is to delay in the draft as long as you can (like my lovemaking), and this is usually where we end up: a bit below Ben Roethlisberger and a bit above the Andy Dalton line. But what I think separates the quarterbacks in this group are their weapons. Having probably one of the best receiving trios in the NFL is a fantasy boon is something that certainly keeps his value up, even when there are macabre games like this.

Here’s what else I saw during yesterday’s Week 5 Sunday games… (Maybe this will be the first week the Chargers don’t lose a high profile player to injury. MAYBE.)

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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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The day you got report cards in school was always probably the worst day of the month for most people. Regardless of whether or not you did well, it was always stressful waiting for your judgment to be handed down to you in the form of a single letter. While I’m not going to give players a letter grade for their performance on the year so far, I think it’s about time to check in on what they’re doing for your fantasy team. A fourth of the season is finished and it’s time to start making moves if your team isn’t producing. This week, I’m taking nearly 20 of the year’s most intriguing players and letting you know how they should be viewed for the rest of the season. With some trade targets and waiver wire names to grab for “failing” players, let’s get to it in this week’s edition of Beyond the Numbers.

Please, blog, may I have some more?


Hunh, that’s weird. A prime time Patriots game not against the Colts or Broncos? No Tom Brady still? Gronk still questionable? A third-string quarterback starting? The first black quarterback to start for the Patriots… ever? ALL THE QUESTION MARKS? Yeah, so this should be an easy loss for them. *Looks at matchup* LOL, nevermind. The Texans travel to Boston, bringing with them a quarterback that we’ve affectionately (I think?) labeled as Brock Lobster (hey, when there’s low-hanging fruit, go for it brah) that continues to prove to everyone what simply shouldn’t be provable, that John Elway might have been right about something. Despite providing an underwhelming first two weeks, Lamar Miller and the emergence of Will Fuller have eased the blow to all Texan fans. All six of you. Meanwhile, as was touched on before, we are basically watching Bill Belichick’s biggest strategic gambit pay off, as he has decided to punt the first three weeks of the season and still win all of those games just to assert dominance over the AFC. This may seem less impressive when they’ve beaten the Dolphins and what was an under-achieving Cardinals, but then you realize that about 88% of their team has been deflating balls or getting shoulders and legs exploded during that time…

Note: Rankings have been released and can be found here!

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Real question, is this the first Sunday Night Football game of the week, or is this the second? True, I believe you could technically call the game a few days ago Thursday Night Football, because, you know, the game was on Thursday. But we didn’t get the “NFL/CBS” production, a combination that I still believe is the end of the world as we know it. Trust me, every time I see Phil Simms open his mouth at Jim Nantz’s bidding, tell me you don’t see visions of a huge asteroid hitting the earth… I sure do. Then again, you could probably consider it a blessing in that situation. Regardless, we got the NBC production crew, and I’m actually trying to recall how they addressed themselves on that day. I’m sure they called it Thursday Night Football, but I don’t really have any recollection. It could be because Cris Collinsworth causes me to go into a medically-induced coma whenever he starts talking about his loving relationship with offensive lineman. WE GET IT CRIS, YOU’RE IN LOVE. KISS ALREADY. But at this point, I think it’s safe to say that I was able to fill enough space in the lede without talking about the actual game, because honestly, there is no Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, and it’s at Arizona. I’m pretty sure I know how this going to go…

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It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s malamoney’s fantasy football rankings. The best thing about rankings and projections is that no one ever calls you out for having absolutely sh!tty projections. It’s not until months later when the season is over that projections can really be evaluated for efficiency, and by that time who really give a flying [fill in the blank]. Not to mention, who’s actually going to take the time to do so.

Here is my process for generating projections. Step one. Develop a random number generator. Step two. Generate hundreds of random numbers. Step three. Publish projections. Okay, so that’s not exactly how I get from point A to point B. Truth be told, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some sources out there that did.

First I calculate my own set of player projections. Next I download between five and ten other sets of projections. Finally I take all of the projections, including my own, and run them through a program I’ve written that averages all of the projections together. I considered dropping the high and the low scores, but that just seemed a little counterintuitive. Besides, it’s not like I’m judging figure skating over here. The biggest pain in the ass is dealing with all the various spellings of the same name. Odell Beckham Jr. versus just Odell Beckham. Steve Smith Sr. versus just Steve Smith. T.Y. Hilton (with the dots) versus Ty Hilton. And how about Le’Veon Bell (with the apostrophe) versus LeVeon Bell. When the dust finally settles and I’ve lined up all the edges, I have my projections.

If you are interested in my positional rankings based on projected points, please take a look at my last post, The Adventure of Bidding. If you are just too damn lazy to click a link, I will summarize…

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Welcome back to this week’s “Depp Impact”, where we analyze famous Johnny Depp cameos and how they affected the films he appeared in. Let’s start with 21 Jump Street, a surprisingly funny romp in which Depp, wearing more prosthetics than an amputee convention, joined Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum… *answers call from Jay* I’ve been informed that this will instead be another Deep Impact, our weekly look at those options deep league players should be targeting. We’re entering the stretch run for drafting, so let’s take another look at some players you should be looking to scoop up in the last rounds before Week 1.

Hey speaking of drafts, there are still some spots left in our RCLs! Get in there quick before it fills up, so you can all compete for second place to yours truly. Now that the shameless plug is out of the way, let’s get to some names. Keeping with last week’s format, we’ll look at guys currently going after pick 180. If you’re only playing 10- or 12-team leagues, these players are at best people you should keep an eye out on. I caught flak in some corners of the internet last week for mentioning Jay Cutler’s name because mouthbreathers struggle with reading comprehension, and didn’t understand that if you’re late in the draft of a deep league, there is at least one glaring flaw causing these guys to be available…

Please, blog, may I have some more?