Guess who’s back, back again? Rome is back, tell a friend.

You heard it here first, I am back on the active roster for the Razzball Fantasy Football Team. This year’s focus will be targets. Each week I will highlight target share trends to help you dominate lineup decisions and critical waiver claims over the course of the season. Just add this as another tool to your belt, along with all of the other edge-creating tools provided by Razzball.

Today we highlight a few NFL roster changes that impact target opportunities. Keep in mind, not all targets are created equal. Red-zone and end-zone targets are more valuable than a 2-yard target at the 40-yard line. A departing receiver with an aDOT (average depth of target) of 11.2 is leaving behind more valuable targets than a departing WR with a 4.5 aDOT. While a team with a lot of vacated targets provides an opportunity to find value on draft day, a team that made additions to their WR room will dilute opportunities for some of our favorite fantasy receivers from 2020. Let’s dive in and take a look at who’s stock is up after the offseason.

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Razzbowl drafts combine all aspects of fantasy football, including a Bestball format in Weeks 1-9 plus a manager-selected lineup format once the playoffs begin in Week 10. Add in a $10 free agent budget (with no $0 bids) for Weeks 1-10 just for some spice in your life. It’s full PPR but also 6 points per quarterback touchdown. You don’t have to worry about kickers and defense, but all that means is by round 20 the skill position players are looking mighty thin. How can I possible attack a draft like this? The draft strategies in this tournament are as diverse as the league rules, and it’s especially challenging considering the level of competition in each league.

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With RazzBowl drafts winding down, I’m now safe to divulge the rest of of my 2021 fantasy football rankings. Maybe safe isn’t the right word—I now have time to divulge the rest of my rankings because I’m not spending 18 hours a day staring at a draft board like a fantasy crack fiend. Now I’m only spending 14 hours a day drafting Best Ball Mania teams over at Underdog Fantasy  (<<<use our referral link and get a $25 credit with your first deposit). I know, my plugging knows no shame. Anyway, here’s my top 25 wide receivers for 2021 fantasy football: 

Click here to see all 2021 Fantasy Football Rankings.

*Note: These rankings are geared toward half PPR scoring. Projections provided in this season’s rankings are NOT my own, they come from Rudy Gamble’s World Renowned 2021 Fantasy Football Projections. These preseason projections are available free of charge, while Rudy’s in season weekly projection subscription is currently available until August 15th at an early bird discounted price of only $17.99 for the entire season! These are the same weekly projections which have won Rudy Gamble the FantasyPros designation of “Best Bold Ranker” for the years 2017-2019 (and likely 2020!). 

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Over the last three seasons, the difference year to year between team’s production to the running back position is within five points per game roughly eighty percent of the time. In terms of improvement or deterioration to the position, unless drastic changes have been made to either on field or coaching personnel, the vulnerabilities or strengths do seem to carry over in most of the cases.

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You're Getting a Little High There Banner

What’s up Razzballers? Can’t believe I’m already up for two-a-weeks. I can barely type [pant] this [fast]. How do football players do two-a-days? I’m baffled! [squirts Gatorade all over self] I probably shouldn’t have worn my white T-shirt, eh? ENYWHEY. 

Y’all know that I’m pretty big on abandoning the concept of ADP because as our favorite writer Steve Paulo puts it, “ADP is the consensus of 11 people who lost their fantasy football league.” Please, Hammer, don’t hurt ’em! And for the most part, I agree. But, there’s a market in fantasy sports, and the last thing you want to do in a market is to look at a house and say, “Sure, the market’s high right now, but I’m buying that house even if it is on fire and $2 million over asking price.” See, I could be a real estate agent! So, let’s take a look at some players who are going a lot higher in ADP on ESPN compared to RT Sports [my “sharps” pick for an ADP site] to see where amateur fantasy footballers might be getting influenced too much by groupthink or bad process. 

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I’m a Raiders fan so when I used to load up the fantasy draft on Madden I’d channel my inner Al Davis and sort by SPD. Awareness be damned. Give me speed or give me death. When I entered the fantasy football streets, I realized very quickly that wasn’t going to be sufficient. Now we have Matt Harmon’s Reception Perception, breakout ages, and dominator/market share scores. We still have PlayerProfiler to look at the physical measurables but draft capital has gained importance over the years. And for good reason. NFL teams spend a tremendous amount of resources to break down players so the higher draft capital they spend on a player shows their confidence in a player and allows for more opportunities and leeway for said player to develop. Here’s the thing, though. The NFL draft complex is not truly efficient. JaMarcus Russell. As a Raiders fan, [email protected]$^*^%AS;KGDB;[email protected]#$! Vince Young. Trent Richardson. Josh Rosen. Justin Blackmon. Kevin White. Jake Locker. There have been so many first-round busts. On the flip side, Warren Moon, Kurt Warner, James Harrison, Tony Romo, Rod Smith, and Priest Holmes all went undrafted. So, while draft capital is a useful tool, it is not the end all be all. Which brings me to running backs Javian Hawkins of the Atlanta Falcons and Xavier Jones of the Los Angeles Rams. Both were UDFAs and both have NFFC ADPs past the 200s. That said, both have upside and could be viable fantasy pieces this season. 

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Overview

In this article, we are going to breakdown Points Per Rush Attempt or PPRA in fantasy football. First, what is PPRA? PPRA is a metric that shows us how many fantasy points a running back gets per rush attempt. For example, if a running back carries the ball 100 times and generates 60 fantasy points from those rush attempts then his PPRA would be .60. (A running back can generate one fantasy point for every 10 rushing yards and six points for every rushing touchdown).

PPRA Analysis

A question a lot of us might be wondering is, “what is the average PPRA over the past 10 seasons?”. The answer is roughly .58 fantasy points per rush attempt. Now that number might be more notable for rookie running backs as we try to figure out if they could see an increase or decrease in PPRA next season. Don’t worry, we will break that down in a later article. For this analysis we are more focused on the individual players and how they performed vs. their own career PPRA. To do that we had to review the analysis to see if a player had an outlier year in PPRA, did they bounce back to their career norms? A couple things we want you to know before we go any further.

  1. For a player to improve by one fantasy point per game they needed to average 12.5 carriers per game and increase their PPRA by .08. For example, if a running back had closer to 230 carries or 14.4 carries per game then they would only need to increase their PPRA by .07 to raise their PPG by another point.
  2. We identified outliers as anyone who was -10% or more off their career PPRA. For example, if a running back averaged .6 for their career in PPRA anything lower than .54 would be considered an outlier for the analysis.
  3. Not all running backs in the sample qualified in the next year. Meaning they either retired, got injured or didn’t receive meaningful carries/touches the year after having an outlier season.
  4. We will be looking at the positive regression candidates. Or, the outliers in this analysis which had lower than expected PPRA. A similar analysis can be used for regression candidates or players who saw 10% higher PPRA from their career norms.

 

Avg. # of
Outliers Per Year
Avg. # Who Qualified the Following Year
PPRA Increase of
.08 or More
20.9 15.3 10.8
73% 70%

Chart Key

  • # of Outliers Per Year – The average number of running backs per year in the sample that had an outlier season of -10% or more
  • # Who Qualified the Following Year – The number of running backs per season who saw meaningful touches the next year after having an outlier season the year prior
  • PPRA Increase of .08 or More – This is the number of running backs per year who had an outlier season the year prior then saw at least a .08 improvement in PPRA.
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One of the most compelling fantasy football draft strategies that has been rising in popularity in recent years is the Zero RB approach in which players wait until the sixth round or later to draft their first running back. The theory here is that the running back position is highly volatile and subject to more injuries than wide receivers and tight ends. For example, of the top ten running backs drafted last year, only Alvin Kamara, Dalvin Cook, Derrick Henry, Josh Jacobs, and Nick Chubb actually finished inside the top ten at the position (half-PPR scoring) – that’s just a 50% hit rate.

Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, and Joe Mixon suffered notable injuries, Ezekiel Elliott suffered from a weakened offense due to injuries around him, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire was not nearly as involved as a rookie as we expected. Meanwhile, David Montgomery, Jonathan Taylor, and Kareem Hunt were mid-round picks who finished in the top ten, Aaron Jones was the 14th running back off the board, and James Robinson was undrafted in just about every league.

Every season, there are breakthrough running backs who unexpectedly garner significant roles in their respective offenses that place them firmly on the radar in fantasy football. Those are the guys you’re looking to pick up for Zero RB builds. The following are some of my favorite candidates at the running back position for Zero RB who are being drafted in the sixth round or later in fantasy leagues.

However, did you know that you can bet on these players? FanDuel Arizona is coming, and not only will daily fantasy sports be arriving in Arizona, but sports betting as well. If you have a player that you’re high on you can find futures and prop bets with FanDuel Sportsbook. This is a great way to make a profit from your fantasy football knowledge.

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Welcome back for IDP Rankings Round 2! This week we take at the players that keep your favorite quarterbacks up at night: defensive linemen/edge rushers. A strong pass rush is critical for a defense in today’s pass-happy NFL, and a well-timed sack on an important 3rd down can swing the momentum like few plays can.

For the sake of these rankings, defensive tackles, defensive ends, and 3-4 outside linebackers are included together. It is important to know your league’s scoring, however, understand these rankings properly. Many leagues include DT/DE/OLB players as one position (like I’ve done), while some lump outside linebackers with inside linebackers. If you play in one of the latter, a player like TJ Watt may lose some value when competing with top tacklers like Darius Leonard and Roquan Smith for a spot in your lineup. Meanwhile, you may encounter a league which requires you to start defensive tackles as an entirely different position than defensive end, which will make players such as Aaron Donald or DeForest Buckner that much more valuable.

Bottom line is this: knowing the scoring and positional requirements for your leagues is absolutely critical to understanding player values and leaving your IDP drafts with a championship caliber roster. Anyway, enough lallygagging, let’s take closer look at the DL/EDGE players for the 2021 season.

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A question we get a lot as fantasy football analysts is who is this year’s ___? Whether it’s a late-round tight end who broke through as a weekly starter or a running back who gained surprise relevance down the stretch of the season, all fantasy players would love to replicate the previous success that they or their league-mates enjoyed. After all, identifying values and gaps in the market is how we succeed as fantasy football players. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest success stories of the 2020 season and players who could replicate that narrative this season.

Remember that you can use this great fantasy football knowledge on sports betting. You could always check out prop-bets on BetMGM where you can wager on players hitting certain statistical marks in a game or on the season. You can register now on BetMGM and use the BetMGM bonus code to receive a $600 risk-free bet on the house.

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