Fantasy Football draft season is upon us, and many people are starting their research and rounding up their friends and family to get ready for their 2021 fantasy draft. Gone are the days of going to the newsstand and picking up an outdated Fantasy Football magazine and using those rankings like it was scripture. Projections are very helpful when doing your draft preparation and, lucky for you, we have some great ones here at Razzball with Rudy Gamble’s Pigskinator. But once you have your projections, what do you do come draft day? This article will help you think a bit outside the box and give you an advantage over your friends, family, and coworkers in your upcoming drafts.

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We’ve all heard the jokes. We’ve all seen the ridiculous workout videos.

Is that Jameis Winston bobsledding?

“But Mr. Skorish, 30 Interceptions! Yada Yada I’m a stupid doodoo baby”

Yes, that really is what you sound like. I’m gonna lay down some cold hard truth for you right now.

Are you ready? This may not be a popular opinion, even among my fellow RazzBoys but here it is.

Taysom Hill is not a starting quarterback. 

Take that in. Breathe it in. Is he a great wildcat player? Absolutely.

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Ladies and Gentlemen, it is with deepest pride and greatest pleasure that I welcome you to THE RAZZBOWL!

I will be your humble host for the duration of the tournament. Who am I, you ask? I am the Official Certified Sommelier of Fantasy Football Twitter!

But you can call me Steve.

OK, so there is no official position of “Official Certified Sommelier of Fantasy Football Twitter” but I have been trying to blend my dual passions of fantasy football and wine for many years, like a fine meritage, and I simply decided to stop waiting for the opportunity!

When Donkey Teeth asked me to handle the RazzBowl updates this year, I jumped at the opportunity. What better way to finally bring the worlds of wine and fantasy football together than by hijacking a completely unrelated tournament for my own purposes?!

So here’s how this is going to work: this week and next, I’ll take you through my picks in RazzBowl League 16, and each player will be compared to a wine. Sometimes a grape variety, sometimes a region, and sometimes, even, a specific producer’s specific vintage.

Why, you ask?

Don’t ask. Just enjoy.

By way of a primer, I am selecting from the 8th pick slot. I decided before I began to draft a balanced team as recommended by our very own everywhereblair in his 2021 RazzBowl Guidebook, and more specifically, decided that unless the draft just refused to cooperate, I would target taking a running back in the first round, and a total of three through the first six rounds. Below you’ll find my pick for each round, some manner of rationalization for them, a 2021 projection provided by our own Rudy Gamble, and my pairing, as it were.

Without further ado: rounds 1-10.

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“You wouldn’t have liked me when I was younger.” It’s a phrase I taught myself to say as I made it through my 20s in Midwest America, riding my bike across Ames, IA, where I was a graduate student in History at Iowa State University. I later moved to Japan, meeting Anglophones from around the world as we taught English in stuffy community centers and schools without HVAC systems. I made friends and they came and went as friends do, the transitory social graces of living without living in a specific place. You make friends long enough to sleep on their couch or their floor or hope they don’t steal your stuff while you’re sharing space on the floor of a ferry between Osaka and Takamatsu. I came back to the States and researched and worked at the University of Minnesota, developing the odd bonds that scholars do: that trust of leaving out on a soggy bar table the archival material you spent months searching archives for and tens of thousands of dollars in transportation fees and visas to acquire, hoping your colleague won’t spill a lager over your papers, or heavens forbid, your laptop that you haven’t backed up in a year. But oddly enough, the friends who I trusted the most and talked to the most, were the home league players from my ESPN and Yahoo leagues, tracked down in 2007 in some poorly run message board. We called. We texted. We met up. Some of them helped out in Tout Wars. Some wrote for KFFL. Some stole your money and you didn’t talk to them again. I didn’t care if I got scammed out of $15 at the local restaurant trying some gimmick food that tasted like greased bike wheels, I’d still go back and try the black garlic truffle fries. But if you stole the pot money  — no not that kind of pot; I’m talking about the league pot — hoo, there was a special place in Hades for that guy. 

But along the way — from Minneapolis to Ames to Takamatsu and back to Minneapolis — I learned the most valuable lesson in playing fantasy sports: thinking differently. And, actually, I didn’t have to learn it. What I had to do, actually, was unlearn what society had taught me. Turns out, fantasy sports was all about mindfulness. 

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It’s that highly anticipated, glorious time of year where friends of all shapes and sizes come together, smash their laptops onto one dining room table, spread the chips, salsa and guac aimlessly around, and begin trash-talking and scheming to no end about one singular thing: season 23 of Big Brother. This is a time where fans of MTV’s The Challenge can begin scouting the next rookies that will soon join the Big Brother alliance, while simultaneously putting together their draft boards for their ensuing The Challenge draft pools. Oh, what a special time of year, and while it’s all going on, there are also a select few souls prepping for their upcoming football drafts, which I suppose is something we should mention at one point or another here on the fantasy football side of Razzball. And while I have plenty of tips on how to spot talent on the reality TV show front, I also came equipped today with five mid-to-late fantasy football draft steals for 2021. These are five players whose current ADPs I find particularly perplexing, but am happy about nonetheless, as it means I’ll have a surplus of shares of (most of) these players this upcoming season. So, who are they, and why should you be foaming at the mouth to snag them as a value at their current ADP? Let’s get to it.

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Throughout the ages there have been countless pieces of legendary kitchenware. There was of course that Holy Grail, from which Jesus and his disciples suckled the sweet nectars of enlightenment. Then later there was George II’s silver coffee pot which recently sold for $7 million. And can’t forget Harry Potter’s Goblet of Fire either. Now there’s a new piece of silver-like-material garnering the attention of the world: The RazzBowl. As 189 of the top fantasy analysts in the universe went to battle against 63 of the hungriest fantasy football fans in the multiverse, your benefactor (that’s me, Donkey Teeth) found himself surrounded by wolves and sharks in the early rounds of his RazzBowl draft. Jake Ciely had a crazy look in his eye as he stole Saquon Barkley at pick 8. Rob Waziak took to mental warfare, milking the clock down to fractions of decimals of milliseconds before swiping Diontae Johnson in the 4th round as he lulled the rest of the league into a deep slumber. Joe Bond woke us up by rattling off clever penis inspired league names in an effort to win a free Rotowear t-shirt. All the while I cowered, shaking in the corner, wondering how early I might have to reach for Kerryon Johnson is this league of the undead and unloved. Anyway, here’s the first four rounds of our 2021 RazzBowl draft:

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Indiana Jones measuring the exact amount of sand needed in the sack to swap with the idol in Raiders of the Lost Ark, a Bb, C, Eb, and then bending that F twice on Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On”, or the “In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.…” from The Great Gatsby: a great start cannot be underestimated. Since you are here, no, I am not trying to give you a tenth-grade literature lesson. Yes, I am applying this to fantasy football. However, if you have never read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, you should. It is the second greatest thing a Fitzgerald has done after only Larry Fitzgerald’s 64-yard touchdown reception in Super Bowl XLIII.

A great start out the gate can set the tone for your season. There are few worse things than trying to play catchup on a 1-3 record. One of the factors to take into account when setting any lineup are your player’s matchups. When I am looking at those matchups, I go a little deeper than is it a “good defense” or “bad defense.” Simply you could have a player facing a great defense against the run, but they may give up a bit more to the pass. So I like to take positional matchups into account a little more. Basically, what teams give up the most fantasy points to a single position. Over the next five weeks, I’ll be breaking down players and teams who have exploitable matchups to start the season. I’ll also go into some matchups I’d rather avoid.

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Aaron Rodgers: ticker tease. That’s it, that’s the post! Go home now and tell all your friends about the detailed reports coming out of Razzball. Wait, that’s not enough for you? You need the full D-Monty? Aight, let’s get the scoresheet out and tick off the ways that A-Rog teased us fantasy footballers (<– Grandpa Donk’s word) with his “Davante Double Check.” 

Here’s what I have to say about the Symbiote playing for the Packers: 

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The day you’ve been waiting your entire life for has finally arrived. No, not nudie magazine day. Better. It’s RazzBowl Day!!! That’s right, by the time you’re reading this RazzBowl drafts will have likely kicked off as 63 lucky fans face off against 189 of the world’s top fantasy football analysts in the most exclusive pros vs. joes fantasy competition in the universe. If you missed out on this year’s RazzBowl, don’t fret, all is not lost. Our RazzBowl Qualifier leagues are now filling over at the NFFC. Join a FREE RazzBowl Qualifier League now and win your way into next year’s RazzBowl—be sure to review all RazzBowl Qualifier Rules and Settings. Anyway, here’s my top 20 running backs for 2021 fantasy football:

Click here to see all 2021 Fantasy Football Rankings.

*Note: These rankings are geared toward half PPR leagues. 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 July 31st 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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B_Don and Donkey Teeth go over their RazzBowl draft strategy and the practice best ball league they are drafting with RazzBowl scoring. Find out how each is planning on approaching their drafts, and where they might be taking the first QB and TE. The 2 best ball drafts couldn’t be any different, but there’s more than 1 way to win. Take the draft as it comes to you.

Next up we talk about Donkey Teeth’s Top 10 TE Rankings for 2021 Fantasy Football. The top 3 at TE are pretty set, but is it worth it to spend an early pick on one? After the big 3, there’s another tier of guys that could make the jump, even though the 2 guys may not disagree who belongs in that tier. Then, there’s a big tier 3 and 4 that you can find some draft values and/or stream the position through the season. 

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