As the resident member of Raider Nation here at Razzball, it makes my heart tingle to write this piece. Will it remove the vomit still stuck in my esophagus from Jamarcus Russell? Hells to the no but the squad actually looks like a competent team. It’s only been two games, so I’m far from crowning them but two victories over tough AFC North teams in Baltimore and Pittsburgh on the road brings rays of light into the Son household. Let’s break down what’s happened so far and look at the fantasy implications.

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Before I get started, it’s only Week 1 guys and gals. Aaron Rodgers won’t be held to 133 yards and throw two interceptions every week. The Titans will not be held to 13 points every game. Jameis Winston is not throwing five touchdowns every Sunday. Mark Ingram is not rushing 26 times for 85 yards and a touchdown…ever again? It’s a long season. It will take time for some teams to get into the flow while players and schemes will get figured out. Matchups also play a factor. That said, Week 1 should not be completely dismissed as there is information to be gleaned. 

One performance that stood out to me on Sunday was from Jamaal Williams of the Detroit Lions. He rushed nine times for 54 yards and a touchdown while catching eight of nine targets for 56 yards. 

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As with most rookie tight ends, it took a few years for Zach Ertz to get comfortable in the league but once he got comfortable, he got COMFORTABLE. From 2015 to 2019, he garnered at least 100 targets in each season, caught at least 74 passes, racked up at least 800 yards, and had a yards-per-target of at least 7.5 in all but one season. In 2018, he caught 116 of 153 targets for 1163 yards and eight touchdowns. He finished as the number 11, 8, 3, 3, and 5 fantasy tight end over that span. Then 2020 happened: 36 catches on 72 targets for 335 yards and one touchdown in 11 games. Writing that Ertz me. Do you know what Ertz me even more, though? Before the start of last season, he was being drafted as the number 55 overall player in NFFC drafts. This season? Number 177. Here’s why he’s a value:

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I’ve drafted Tom Brady in plenty of drafts this season, thumbing my nose at the sexy Konami code options. He threw for 4,633 yards and 40 touchdowns last season, and that was with the offense not truly humming until after the Week 13 bye. The weapons are there with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, Rob Gronkowski, and OJ Howard. There’s a familiarity entering Year 2 of the Brady era and the offense has had a full offseason to get more comfortable. I am expecting big things but I never thought about the season being one of epic, historic proportions until recently. I’ve heard more than a few people talking about it so I wanted to dig in to see if it’s something that could happen. 

What more does Brady have to accomplish? He has……

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When I was younger, I was into brand-name frivolity and what amounted to living my life for other people. I was fortunate to have come from a middle-class family and been able to have well-paying jobs. While I did enjoy some five-finger discounts from time to time, most of the time, I’d spend casually since I had the resources. After I matured and met my wife…Or was it the other way around? Anyways, at some point, I did both and have become more frugal and price-conscious over the years. Having two kids accelerates the process for sure. My wife is always looking for deals and is really good from that perspective. Is it because she grew up poor or is it in her Chinese blood? Probably both but it’s rubbed off on me, especially on the fantasy streets. I love getting production at a discount and two players who stood out to me when scrolling through the NFFC ADP data were Jakobi Meyers and Gus Edwards. Let’s break it down.

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Rounds three to six of fantasy drafts are considered the running back dead zone as RB scoring plummets after the second round. Jack Miller of Establish the Run and Rotoviz mapped out the data. I have been leaning more wide receiver and elite tight end at the top of most of my drafts this year but I have dabbled into the dead zone fray. Myles Gaskin. Mike Davis. Trey Sermon. I know, I’m a stupid, stupid man. There has been one player who has been growing on me the more that I think about things, and that player is Darrell Henderson of the Los Angeles Rams. Here’s my thinking why I believe Henderson can rise from the dead zone ashes and potentially vault himself into Top 10 territory.

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Around 10 years ago, there were a series of corny commercials…..

Corny or not, I’m writing about it 10 years later so mission accomplished. Well done, Jared The Galleria of Jewelry. Well done. If you’d like to be a sponsor of my work, have your people get in touch with my people (me) and we can be of the same people. Going to Jared The Galleria of Jewelry allowed one to buy the bling and denounce the life of fling after fling. A happy wife is a happy life after all. For fantasy football, there’s also a Jared who could bring many smiles and happiness, and his name is Jared Cook of the Los Angeles Chargers. Let’s break down why he could be a pleasant surprise for the 2021-22 NFL season.

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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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If you’re reading this, something has gone terribly, terribly wrong. But, but, but….you are reading this, so that means you’re still in contention for the chip/ship (I’m a chip guy but understand the ship stance). It’s Week 13 and it’s the start of fantasy playoffs for most leagues, but there are two teams on bye, so Teddy Bridgewater and Tom Brady owners need another signal caller if they didn’t stash one. There’s also the whole Covid thing going around, which can decimate a depth chart from the drop of one cough. On Sunday, the Giants lost their signal caller, Daniel Jones, to a severe hamstring injury. Enter another backup quarterback into the pool. Can you spray and pray with Colt McCoy or is the chamber empty and best left on the table?

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Oompa Loompa doompadee doo. My buddy and I looked at these silly looking dwarves singing and making candy. Then we looked at each other. Then we looked at the dwarves. Shrugging our shoulders, we went back to stuffing ourselves with the sugary delictables yearning to be eaten. We were in heaven. But then….BAM! BOOM! POW! CRASH! The Loopmas scurried away as the house of heaven came crashing down to earth. After the dust had settled, and we were rudely brought back to reality from our sugar high, it hit us. No more candy. No more heaven. Only pain. That is what happened to Bengals and Joe Burrow fans on Sunday, as he suffered a brutal knee injury, ending his season. Sigh. Now, it’s Ryan Finley time. siiiiiiigggghhhhhh. What can we expect?

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