Welcome, welcome! It’s the championship week of the RazzBowl, so I’m sure there’s a couple new bandwagon followers reading this series for the first time. If you’re new here, let me tell you how this works: 15 weeks ago, over two hundred of the best fantasy footballers drafted teams and then ran the gauntlet of best ball, weekly scoring, and cutlines. Now, we are left with ten teams comprised of managers who didn’t draft Leonard Fournette competing for the Razz Bowl trophy, a bunch of merch, Rudy’s Sweet Tools, and the most important thing: internet validation. 

To help everybody get familiar with the championship players, I’m profiling them just like I would a real football player. Let’s get to know the championship tier! 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So with MB’s Zoom retirement party happening tonight, DT asked me to step in and do the write-up for Saturday Night Football. I said to DT, “But, Zoom allows like 50 people to join in on a call!” And DT replied, “Yeah, it’s me, MB, and all 48 members of the Japanese pop idol group AKB48. Sorry, we’re full up!” So, sayonara my dear MB. I hope you have fun playing Apples to Apples with your new crowd. 

In the mean time, I’ve got your fantasy roundup for Saturday games: Buffalo vs. Denver, and Carolina vs. Green Bay. 

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After the third mantra of forgiveness, Donkey Teeth realized that what he was about to do was, in fact, inhuman nature. With his mind on a trophy and his heart filled with envy, he opened the door to his podcasting station. He picked up the iPhone that had Grey on speed dial, and he turned it off. “Won’t be needing that where I’m going,” he thought to himself. With a flick of his wrist he powered on the Razz-pooter, the super-workstation that powered the Razzball media empire. He minimized his windows of rankings, leaving only the 8K background visible: the giant, smiling face of Pat Fitzmaurice. “I’ll avenge you, friend.” Donkey Teeth whispered while he loaded up Twitter. 

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I woke up this morning, ice rain falling on my car. Three different densities of fog developed from my exhaling breath: one the usual, everyday fog representing my life force; a second the worried fog that danced a little more, caused by 2020 itself; the third, the devastated fog of living in the northern midwest that fell straight to the ground, caused by having Kirk Cousins stuck as the Vikings quarterback for the next three years. 

But if I’m wearing my fantasy forecaster hat, I really should be dancing in the ice rain: Kirk Cousins is bringing some teams to fantasy playoff glory. 

That’s the funny thing about fantasy sports compared to real life sports: there are inadequate real-life signal callers who are fantasy gold, and there are great real life quarterbacks who are absolute sleepers in fantasy. The midwest writers for The Athletic point out that Cousins is rigid in following his reads — he doesn’t innovate and he doesn’t deviate from his play call. He’s won less than 10 games against teams with winning records in nearly 80 career starts. He went 0-9 on Monday Night Football before finally grabbing his first career win this year. From a real-life standpoint, Cousins is about as exciting as owning a Toyota Camry: yes, you know he’s ready to go every week, but once you start going, you can’t help but look at every other “car” you could have had. And yes, I did avoid the Derek Carr pun there. 

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It was a dark and stormy morning. Aspiring fantasy writer Jerry Janiga sang the body electric at his typewriter, the words flowing through him. It was his fantasy football manifesto, “Catch Without Kickers.” He pulled out a notepad from his hotel drawer and quickly scrawled notes over its surface. Beneath the Holiday Inn Express branding, he sketched out his ideas for a winning team with Sam Darnold at quarterback. 

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I woke up the other morning with visions of Flacco in my head. I went to the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror. “You’re a Super Bowl winning quarterback with millions in your bank account, not the backup QB on a winless team that’s tanking! Go get ’em tiger!” I put on my Pumas and raced outside, not quite realizing it’s 15 degrees when I stepped out the door. Still, I ran. I ran like Rocky ran, sweat-banded and sweat-shirted. And when I cross the mile threshold, I told myself, “It’s three weeks until the fantasy championships! All your friends will validate you! They’ll say you’re handsome and smart and five years from now they’ll remember that Kirk Cousins brought you the fantasy championships!” I looked around, slightly crazed and slightly lost, and realized I was far from home. But aren’t we all. With Joe Flacco on my mind, I started to retrace my steps, one-by-one. Russell Wilson started strong. James Robinson was a fluke FAAB win that brought me to the playoffs. Derrick Henry surged through the defenses while Ryan Tannehill sliced secondaries. And all the while, Corey Davis grabbed first down after first down. There were so many Titans I couldn’t figure out if I was talking “Attack on” or “Remembering the.” But one thing stuck with me: it was the fantasy friends I made along the way. If I made you a fantasy friend of mine or the site, please show some love by getting an ad-free membership or checking in on the basketball or baseball sides and following the fantasy fun all-year round. 

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“All aboard!” Stevens called out, standing at the rear of a semi-truck he had been using to drive the RazzBowl tournament participants across the country for the last twelve weeks. He pulled out a clipboard, took a swig of his blue raspberry slurpee, and read names off a list. Such was the life of the #2 seed in the Razzbowl: always the 1.02, never the 1.01. 

“Jerry Jan–” Stevens started when he was interrupted by a hand shooting up out of the crowd. “HERE!” the voice shouted, its face covered by an Antonio Brown vintage helmet. The figure shoved forward, toward the Razzball trophy that sat un-loved on the asphalt. The figure rushed forward, grasping the trophy’s handle like a lover’s hand. The trophy was cold, its silver-lining frosted frosted from the morning mist in the mountains. “What have they done to you my precious?” the figure whispered through the mouthguard. 

“OK, Jerry, you’re sitting up front with me,” Stevens said. “Everybody else, you’ll be enjoying a free showing of Batman and Robin in the trailer. Now, let’s get the champions in! Next up, Will Weiler…” Stevens trailed off, ignoring the helmet-ed figure heading towards the cab of the semi.

That helmet-ed figure was, of course, not the Razzbowl #1 seed Jerry Janiga. Where Jerry was, nobody could quite tell. In the darkness that followed the hellscape that was Wednesday Afternoon Football in Week 12, the former #1 seed The Joey Wright had “dropped” Jerry from his “roster.” 

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Well, well, well. Week 12. Do I need to introduce what ended up being one of the weirdest weeks in NFL history? From a fantasy perspective, we watched Patrick Mahomes chase the Chiefs’ record for single-game passing yards (held by Elvis Grbac, you Trivial Pursuit maniac), while also watching Denver Broncos practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton make his NFL debut as a QB. One of those situations did not end well. On top of all of that, we’re looking forward to Tuesday Wednesday Night Football. In case you forgot, when Tuesday Night Football that happened earlier in the year wreaked havoc on stats providers who hadn’t prepared for “Y2K,” and some fantasy providers went weeks without accurate scoring. And now we’ve got a WNF, which is also the name of my favorite Korean boy-band. SEW (<- not a boy band). I’m giving you the best information that’s available at the time of writing, and hopefully Week 13 will be a bit easier to navigate. Next week will be the final installment of the rest of season QB rankings, so if you’re hoping to follow me here at Razzball, I’ll ask you to navigate over to the basketball section, where I’ll be doing a weekly player highlight column. 

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Deep in Razzball Headquarters — probably somewhere in Donkey Teeth’s third basement where he keeps his Jay Cutler jersey collection — a phone rang. The ringtone, Carley Rae Jepsen, but not the song you’re thinking of. This phone call broke the rules of decorum, where Donkey Teeth was not to be bothered while attempting to ascend to the status of bodhisattva. The un-becoming would wait.

“Aye,” Donkey Teeth answered, returning to the material plane and answering his Blackberry. 

“We’ve got a problem here, boss.” It was EverywhereBlair, weekly columnist for Razzball and the 18th most-read ranker on Reddit. “Seems Joey’s not coming out of his bubble.” 

“Leave it to me. I’ll be there in a minute,” Donkey Teeth said, leaving his lotus position and ending the call. Naked, he stood in front of his miniature shrine to Rex Grossman, his focal point for meditation. “Blue 42,” he whispered, and disappeared. 

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Who’s ready for Thanksgiving? Thanksgiving means three things: Matt Stafford, the turkey and contentious political commentary. Wait, what’s an Oxford comma again? OK, that was one thing. Hopefully you’ll be safe in your mansions this week. For the rest of us, let’s take a look at the thing keeping us hopeful: the upcoming fantasy playoffs and the quarterbacks that lead our teams through darkness. 

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