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A sleeper is not a handcuff. Handcuffs are players who, in the event of an injury, can be projected to inherit significant playing time. Sleepers are players that have an assumed role and stand-alone value but an increase in efficiency or volume will cause them to significantly out-perform their ADP. Handcuffs are largely not worth drafting because they require injury “luck” to be useful. However, sleepers are worth a late round selection because they can build momentum as roles are defined throughout the preseason. The goal of smart drafters should be to have this type of player rostered before the buzz escalates.

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That’s my McDonald’s order. I fully expect my guy Vance McDonald to produce as much happiness for my fantasy football season in 2019 as that order does for my stomach. Although I previously touched on my tight end philosophy in my draft strategy article a few weeks ago I’ll repeat it here because I probably wouldn’t click the link either:

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I am enjoying writing up rankings “the Grey way”. I think that it’s helpful to add a little blurb with the player and to put them in tiers. When I’m looking at fantasy baseball information in the early spring, this is the specific format that I like reading for my rankings. I assume that since you are here, you are already a Grey/Razzball fan, so I hope that you feel at home with this format.

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A lot has happened since B_Don and Donkey Teeth were last on the air talking Rookie Wide Receivers Part 1. Zeke Elliot was allegedly a victim of extortion, Melvin Gordon is threatening to hold out, and Richie Incognito was suspended for trying to cut his dead father’s head off. Just another normal week in the NFL! […]

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It is finally time to start rolling out my positional rankings over the next couple of weeks. We really started to kick things up at the beginning of June but nobody is really ready for drafts in June. June is foreplay. June for fantasy football is catching up with your favorite writers and you sit there and read as they babble on about players that they thought about during the Spring. You’re probably thinking, “that’s great and all but what NUMBER is this guy on your rankings sheet?” Oh so you don’t care about Pittsburgh’s offense, you just want to know when to draft J2S2.

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Completed Previews: AFC North – NFC North – NFC East Part I – NFC East Part II – AFC East Part I – AFC East Part I

2019 projections referenced below are based on razzball.com 2019 projections managed and updated by our very own @RudyGamble . ADP, and strength of schedule referenced below are based on fantasypros.com consensus data.

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There are many advanced stats and metrics in which to judge running backs by. But which are the top metrics to help us separate the best from the rest? Or to uncover a diamond in the rough? Well, thanks to the great work over at Football Outsiders, we have three innovative stats to judge RB’s by: DVOA, DYAR and Success Rate. 

DVOA, or Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, represents a player’s value per play, over an average running back in the same game situations. The more positive the DVOA rating, the better the performance. DYAR, or Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement, gives us the value of the performance on plays where the back caught/carried the ball compared to the average replacement level. And finally, Success Rate represents the player’s consistency, measured by successful running plays.

Using data from 2018, let’s take a look at some of the leaders in the NFL in rushing DVOA, DYAR and Success Rate, to help us isolate the backs we should be targeting in drafts. 

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It’s that time of month to check in on when players are being drafted. I gave out some names in June that I thought were some discount buys, but I never got around to talking about the players that were going a little too early for my tastes. Look, everyone has SOME value if their price is cheap enough. If Todd Gurley is sitting there in the 4th round because of concerns about his knee arthritis, somebody is getting a pretty damn good running back after already making three picks.

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Much noise has been made in fantasy circles about the Arizona Cardinals and the potential for a new-look, explosive offense in 2019. Some of the reasons to be excited for what Kliff Kingsbury will bring to the NFL were discussed in part 1 . Despite a lackluster 2018, David Johnson has seen his ADP remain at RB5/6 and Kyler Murray is being taken as a low end QB1 in the 8th round of redraft. A rookie QB has not been drafted that high since Robert Griffin III in 2011. But what about the pass catchers? Despite enthusiasm surrounding the offense in general, the beneficiaries of a supposed top 12 QB are not reaping rewards as it pertains to ADP. This is a gross mistake on the part of preseason drafters. To see this, it is helpful to refer to a chart of WR production in a Kingsbury offense:

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