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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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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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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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