Ho! Ho! Ho! It’s the holiday season, and it’s time to shake our bellies like bowls full of jelly — or like Booger McFarland trying to get down from his field analyst forklift. Sadly, much of the cheer has passed, and the vast majority of us currently find ourselves broke from the holiday expenditures and measurably fatter than we were one week ago. As you stroll through your local Fantasy Assets ‘R’ Us, you can’t help but notice that the shelves are barren — cleaned out by the festivities of the season. Luckily for you, all you can afford at this point are the misfits, those cast off by the harsh realities of our world. What’s left behind isn’t sexy, but there are some useful scraps scattered about if you look closely enough, which is precisely what you do, being the resourceful scoundrel that you are. 2021 may have been a difficult year, but that doesn’t mean 2022 needs to be. If you play in a dynasty fantasy football league, or are simply looking ahead for 2022 draft intel, it’s never a bad time to begin laying the groundwork for a successful 2022 — which you can kickstart by buying low on rookies who may be discounted heading into their sophomore seasons. What’s done may be done, but as they say, “there’s always tomorrow for dreams to come true.”

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It’s the evening of Thursday, April 28, 2022 — and Mel Kiper Jr. is backstage at Allegiant Stadium looking into the mirror, trying to decide which angle to position his head in an attempt to make his hair look different this year than the 38 NFL Draft shows prior. From the shadows, Mark Davis approaches from behind and proceeds to ask Kiper what he’s doing at his (Davis’) backstage dresser. Kiper turns around, takes in Davis’ visage, and realizes he doesn’t look all that bad after all. The world is relative. And so it goes.

Now, to be fair, Kiper looks like my late grandmother after coming home from a perm followed by a McCafe iced coffee — on a good day. But he’s drastically different from Davis, both in appearance and in his ability to evaluate college football talent. As we all know, a Davis can’t tell a Crabtree from a Heyward-Bey, or a Ruggs from a Lamb, or a Ferrell from an Allen. But Mel can (sort of). And he’ll tell you, the same way I’m going attempt to do so today. The 2021 fantasy football season is winding down, and I already laid out some advice for your postseason push at the onset of December by detailing which players could boom during fantasy playoffs. Since we’re already ahead of the game, let’s make like MKJ and look ahead to the 2022 rookie class in an attempt to assess which players could emerge from college and become fantasy relevant one year from now. I’ll break down “The Cream” and “The Crop” of each fantasy skill position. Hopefully, you already know that the best crops are always grown by wholesome, small-town farmers. Buy local, people.

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‘Tis the holiday season, which means it’s time to spread some love, warmth and cheer. It is also an opportunity for me to share one of my favorite holiday-themed jokes: What do you call 100 bras cut in half? 200 yarmulkes with chin straps! Get’s me every time. Similarly to a bra cut in half, fantasy assets are not always what they seem at first glance. You can’t judge today’s productivity of a particular item based off the usefulness of yesterday. Such is the story of a bra snipped in two, and such is the story of the players I’ll be discussing today. Some have had rather strong fantasy campaigns to date, while others have been quite underwhelming. But as we embark on Week 13, fantasy playoffs are drawing nearer and nearer, and managers need to begin plotting their strategy around which players will provide the most BOOM during that stretch of the season. For some leagues, the trade deadline may be in the rearview, but some owners may still have the ability to add stock in the names below as they eye up a deep playoff run. As I’ve said many times and will reiterate once again, I’m not here to help you build a playoff roster. I’m here to help you construct a championship team and bring home the hardware. Here is a short list of names that could help you do just that.

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! Warning ! Your 2021 fantasy football season is on FINAL NOTICE. Otherwise meaning: your team is swirling down the crapper, spiraling more quickly thank my bank account after a fun-filled day spent at Chuck-E-Cheese, and you’re desperately in need of that one (maybe two?) player to save you from permanent destruction. Now, there’s this scene in New Girl where Nick shows Jess his box of overdue bills, which he hides in the closet — a place where he puts things he doesn’t want to have to deal with. Heading into Week 11, do not let your fantasy roster become a hidden box of overdue bills. Get the box out. Read the writing on the wall (in the letter). Take a stand and do something about it. Target the right players. Don’t waste a waiver claim on the guy who will save you for one week, rather, go big on the one name that could turn your entire season around. In this segment, I’ll detail seven players who hold the potential to flip the switch your 2021 fantasy football season. Many of these names have been discussed in this week’s waiver column, but as I’ll discuss later, not every waiver add has rest-of-season relevance. These players aren’t so much league winners, as they are league savers. 

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When I was a kid, I traded one of my toys to my friend for a Kirby Puckett figurine — which remains the best trade I have pulled off in my life to date. I can’t even remember what I gave up, but I know it was dumb, and I have that Puckett figurine to this very day. So, in a way, you could say I’m a decades-long trade guru, pertaining to life both inside and outside the fantasy football realm. Today, we’ll focus on the latter, and I’ll detail the framework for three-potential season-changing trades you should look into making in your fantasy football league. Notice the word “framework.” While some of the players involved in these deals may be close enough in value to pursue a straight-up deal, it’s fantasy trading 101 to shoot high and then work your way down. Not ever player listed will be a one-for-one match, but evaluate where your potential trade partner has needs, and where you might be able to find common ground. I’ll break down the framework for all of these deals in each blurb, but at the end of the day, we’re looking to steal value at a particular position by moving a player with a higher positional ranking for an asset with a more promising rest-of-season outlook. Alright, let’s go find your Kirby Puckett figurine!

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The last 18 months greeted us with a lot of fundamental change and unexpectedness in our daily lives. One thing that has stayed relatively constant is the complete clusterfart provided by the fantasy tight end position. In 2021, some of you used heavy draft capital to snag Travis Kelce, Darren Waller or George Kittle — maybe even Mark Andrews — in which case, you hit if you got Kelce or Andrews at fair value, but Kittle has been an injury-derailed bust yet again, and while Waller has been a top five-to-six TE, he hasn’t had the booms (outside of Week 1) you’d like to see with that level of investment. With the way this position has played out this year, we can surmise at least 50% of fantasy owners missed at the TE position in 2021. Out of FantasyPros’ top-10 tight ends in terms of draft rankings (ECR) entering the season, FIVE are currently outside of the top-10 fantasy tight ends through Week 6 — four of which are outside the top 14 while three are outside of the top 20 (Kittle, Logan Thomas, Robert Tonyan). Luckily, some owners have already found their saving grace by snagging Dawson Knox or Dalton Schultz (yours truly), but not all have been so lucky, and most of us play in enough leagues where we’re still looking for help with one or more teams. But have no fear, as the answer is near. All you need to do is ask: Please, sir, can I have some Mo’.

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When I last bought a CD, my face was covered in acne and I was rocking an all-maroon sweat suit and some kind of hybrid between a mullet and the infamous pretty boy Bieber-do. The year is unknown, but I strolled into the local pharmacy (this is truly where I bought my blank CDs) and perused the isles for a stack of CD-RWs to burn some Fall Out Boy and Yellowcard onto. Now, as I’m writing this week’s buy/sell column, I can still hear the lyrics, “Dance, dance… We’re falling apart to half time…” echoing in my head. For CeeDee Lamb’s fantasy owners, those lyrics hit at another level this past weekend, as the Cowboys’ star wideout was held without a single catch in the first half of Dallas’ Week 4 game against the Carolina Panthers. Lamb ultimately finished with two catches for just 13 yards, ranking outside of the top-45 fantasy wide receivers for the second-consecutive week. That, my friends, gives us the perfect buy-low window heading into a Week 5 matchup with the Giants. For Lamb, a player who was averaging 12 targets through Week 2 of the campaign and has the luxury of one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL in Dak Prescott at his disposal, it’s nearly impossible to imagine his stock getting any lower at any point this fantasy season. So, yes — in a world where even iPods have become obsolete, I am telling you to go out and buy some CeeDees. As many as you can, and quickly — because there’s no telling how long this product will even be on the shelves. Damn you, corporate America and your painful production delays! We should have never outsourced semiconductors in the first place. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy football:

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Two weeks into his eighth season in the NFL, Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr leads the NFL in passing with 817 yards and is positioned as the QB8 in fantasy football. This comes after facing the Baltimore Ravens at home in Week 1 (QB 10, 24.0 fantasy points) and the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road in Week 2 (QB7, 24.18 fantasy points). Although the Week 1 matchup was average, Carr did what he had to do to win despite some inabilities to connect consistently with Darren Waller (19 targets to just 10 receptions). His ability to back up that top-10 positional performance with a big showing in Week 2 on the road is what really warrants this article and what begins to beg the question: can Derek Carr be a consistent fantasy starter capable of finishing inside the top 10 (or better) at the position by season’s end? It’s certainly an uphill battle for a man who puts money in the swear jar every time he lets an F-bomb slip, and apologizes to his teammates when he forgets to tidy up his locker. One thing we can’t debate is that Carr is a flat-out great guy, and for some reason, that seems to make him easier to doubt, year after year. But could this be the season Carr shifts into the left lane and passes QB2 territory by while airing the middle finger out the window, before promptly shifting back into the right lane for a swift exit to fantasy relevance?

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It was a world unknown — and I was using an egregiously overused portmanteau in place of my name: Hobbstradomus. I awoke to tell all what I envisioned: an unimaginable world of fantasy football in which Chris Collinsworth did not exist and yet the legendary John Madden was back in full color yelling BOOM! Every two seconds. Literally. But yet I saw the cards as they were to fall, rolled over to my left, and whispered in my dear fiancé’s ear…

Her reaction was not what I expected. She called me foolish — an idiot in fact — and promptly went back to bed. Although I cannot understand her reaction to a breakthrough as important as mine at 2:49 p.m. that fateful night — I can share my findings with those who do care. And so, I present to you my five bold predictions for the 2021 fantasy football season.

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A late Target is a term describing a retail store open after 10 PM. A deep sleeper is a term you and your cousin Melinda use to describe your fat old uncle Bart. Neither are relevant in the realm of fantasy football, unless you and Melina decide to invite uncle Bart to the home decor section one night but end up staying past close because Bart got lost walking from the bedposts to the nightstands. That’s why any term can have an alternate meaning, such as a player to go after late in a fantasy football draft, or a player literally no one is in on except for a select few enlightened souls. For the most part, we all have preconceived notions regarding the players at the top of fantasy football drafts. Donkey Teeth will continue to target sexy upside with reckless abandon. I’ll continue to have nothing to do with Joe Mixon and receive thundering boos from the Reddit militia. And you, dear readers, will be no different. It’s when we get late into drafts that we start to lose our way and look for high-upside fliers, and far too often I see my peers wasting draft capital as the rounds creep deeper into the double digits. This week, I’ll break down one late target and deep sleeper at running back, wide receiver and tight end — and leave it up to you who to go after and include in your 2021 late-round draft strategy.

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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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Now that the 2020 fantasy football playoffs are upon us, my job overseeing the rest of season top 60 running back rankings here at Razzball are as through as the chances of Carson Wentz inviting Doug Pederson to this week’s Bible study. Last week, I put a bow on that project with one final, playoff edition of the top backs to target for those still in hot pursuit of a fantasy championship. Friends, we’ve come a long, long way from the initial set of rankings I constructed in the preseason edition, when I was young and naïve and my only prior experience with Reddit commenters was through the illegal streaming of countless sporting events. But now, since there are truly only two weeks of fantasy football remaining, my job is done. Instead, for those looking for rankings to use the next couple weeks, look to Donkey Teeth & Co. for further insight. All season long, Razzball’s Donkey Teeth and MB have been providing excellent work as always with their weekly fantasy football rankings. That’s the place to go for any and all remaining decisions. As for me, my final fantasy football post for 2020 will look ahead to 2021. Who is an early favorite for that first overall pick in drafts? Which 2020 rookie backs have put themselves in the conversation for a first round pick? And hey, how about the incoming 2021 rookie class? Any early-round selection potential there? You already know I want me some Najee Harris the same way I wanted to be in bed with Dobbins the Take-it-to-the-House Elf all season long. But first, before you all take your Sunday wizardry robes off,  I’d like to take a few moments to reflect briefly on what we observed in 2020 (in lieu of a trip around the league), and how maybe we can use it as a learning experience to improve as fantasy owners in the years ahead.

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