Living in the fantasy world is fun. It is a place where we can fly by swimming, have our cake and eat it, and score touchdowns without being a crash dummy. But it is not all good because sometimes we become so absorbed in that realm that we lose sight of what is right in front of us. Digging into the Minnesota Vikings wide receiver situation, I’ve uncovered such a situation. Justin Jefferson, the first round pick, is being drafted as the 134th overall player and 52nd wide receiver in NFFC drafts from 7/1 to 8/16. Olabisi Johnson, though, is the 169th wide receiver and 564th overall player being selected. Reality is definitely skewed. Here’s why.

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Size. Speed. Strength. That’s how I filter the attributes when I draft in Madden. Or at least when I used to play Madden. What an abomination of a video game franchise. Anyways, the Holy Trinity of S is how many NFL general managers draft as well. But physical attributes are not the end all be all. Look at the nine wide receivers who have run a 4.3 40-yard dash or faster at the NFL Combine:

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When I was a pubescent boy, deciphering the ebbs and flows of the squiggly lines from the scrambled cable channels provided much pleasure. I owe all my creative juices to that endeavor. After my voice cracked and hair appeared in places that never existed before….it was never one hair, then two hairs. One day it was nothing. The next day there was a forest. One of life’s great mysteries. Anyways, figuring out how to get onto all the bases was the next challenge. Then, it was about finding a woman that would actually say yes. Kids. White picket fence. Yadda yadda. Now, it’s about fantasy sports. Wet dreams and tents in the pants are fostered by thinking about men playing with a brown, prolate spehroid-shaped ball. Talk about devolution. It is what it is, though. With all that’s been going on in this Rona-infested world, my one solace has been from the sexual healing of Adam Thielen. Sorry wife and kids. Here’s why:

In 2018, the Vikings rushed 357 times and attempted 606 passes under John DeFilippo, good for 27th and 6th in the league respectively. Mike Zimmer, a defensive-minded coach wasn’t having any of that. As a result, he went with Kevin Stefanski as offensive coordinator the following year and mandated a more run-heavy approach. Mission accomplished, as the Vikings rushed 476 times and attempted only 466 passes, good for 4th and 30th. But Stefanski became the new head coach of the Cleveland Browns in the offseason and Gary Kubiak was promoted.

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Since the Rona entered my life, I’ve had to entertain some thought-provoking questions: If I click one more dollar on a random eBay item, will I get stuck with it? More importantly, what’s the over/under on the anger level of my wife if I get stuck with said random eBay item? Yes, I like to live on the edge. But when I saw the DeLorean up for bid, fear was no mas, as it was eradicated by the trance-like mental state I entered. Ooohhhmmmm. Ooohhhhmmmmmm. Then I was falling, falling, falling from the sky. Remember that dream while asleep in class? And the subsequent stomping of the feet before the hysterical laughs from classmates? Yeah. So I heard the Vrooom Vrooom outside and saw my future self delivering my precious DeLorean. What a glorious day indeed. The first order of business was to thank future Son. Or was it past Son? Maybe it was both? Regardless, thanks Son. Second thing on the itinerary was to punch in DEC 29 2019 and watch Boston Scott score 3 touchdowns against the New York Giants. Why? Because after doing due diligence on him, Great Scott! was the only expression that could be heard echoing through the hallways of Son Manor. Well, only after the “You idiot!”

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Rookie quarterbacks, especially when selected at the top of the NFL draft, are supposed to be the saviors for a franchise. But most struggle in their first year in the league. Or do they? How about for fantasy?

The genesis of this piece started with Joe Burrow and his prospects for the upcoming season, but then it morphed into a deeper dive at rookie quarterbacks in general, so here we are. For full disclosure, I entered this space with a fade Burrow perspective, but after looking at some of the data, I may have come around to him. Here’s what I found:

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My pops wasn’t a man of many words, but when he spoke, he morphed into the Korean E. F. Hutton. Of course, I was a knucklehead for most of my life, so the words didn’t register with me until much later. I’m a stupid, stupid man. Regardless, one phrase that did always stick with me was, “Potential don’t mean [email protected]#!” He wasn’t saying that it was worthless, only that hard work and actual productivity trumped it. I think about that phrase often when it comes to fantasy football, especially when it comes to incoming rookies. We get so hyped, by either the physical gifts or situation, that we prematurely ejaculate all over ourselves. Clyde Edwards-Helaire being drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round could be the next sticky situation with Damien Williams being the value we should be targeting. Let’s dig in and see what we can uncover.

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On June 26th, Razzball’s own, B_Don @RazzBDon, was Twittering with someone about the legitimacy of Gardner Minshew’s rushing ability.

I immediately headed over to PlayerProfiler.com and typed in Peyton Manning. 4.90 40-yard dash time. Whoa. Gardner Minshew? 4.97. Now, Minshew’s college rushing production is skewed because he only attempted 38 rushes for -76 yards in two years at East Carolina, while he rushed 58 times for 119 yards in his one year at Washington State, but the 40-time and comparison to Manning picqued my interest, so I scurried down the rabbit hole to explore. Here’s what I found:

My first query was for seasons in which any quarterback in the history of the league rushed for at least 340 yards. I used that number because Minshew accumulated 344 yards on the ground last season. The results brought 136 instances, but there were players I couldn’t get 40-yard times from, such as Bob Davis from 1944 and Johnny Lujack from 1950. As a result, I decided on using the arbitrary year of 1999 for this piece. Why 1999? Well, 20 years of data is a reasonable sample size and 1999 was the first year when 40 times were timed electronically.

Here’s the list by 40 time:

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I love buying my boy toys. Wait. That didn’t come out right. I love buying my child, who is a boy, items to play with for his enjoyment. The smile on his face, the hug I receive, and the “Thank you, daddy. I love you” are what make it all worth it. But, but, but….the better half of me always smacks some reality into my life. “You bought anoooooooooooother toy? He has too many! What about <insert random toy> he just got? You know he’s going to play with it for a week then dump it into the corner like all the rest, right?” This time will be different, I say. Fast forward to a few weeks and…..Yup. Rinse and repeat. That is why she is the better half. Anyways, as with my caveman ancestors, I evolved and stopped buying so many toys. As a result, my boy started going back to the OGs, the old reliables, the go-tos, and they produced and brought joy into his life. I see the same dynamic play out in the fantasy football landscape. The shiny new toy comes in and takes the league by storm, pushing the reliable veteran to the side. For 2020, D. K. Metcalf is being drafted as the 47th overall player while Tyler Lockett has a 58 ADP in NFFC drafts from 5/1 to 6/21. That’s crazy to me and here’s why:

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As a Raiders fan (F**k the Tuck!), I derived much pleasure from watching the Titans pound the Patriots in the Wild Card game last season. Yes, I’m a hater, but my respect for the organization is robust. 11 straight playoff appearances and three Super Bowls during that span speak for themselves. Anyways, when Tom Brady took his talents to Tampa Bay in the offseason, I giggled like a school girl at first, but then my inner M. Bison surfaced. History has shown that all dynasties end at some point, and the evil empire of the Patriots was about to crumble as well. Hallelujah! Praise be <insert religious entity>. But then I did some digging and what I found was not so pleasant. The Patriots may in fact not be crumbling. It may be reloading for its next iteration, as Bill Belichick went to Jarrett Stidham and adorned the finger with a ring.

Stidham was a five-star recruit at Stephenville High School in Texas. He signed with Baylor and ended up starting three games as a freshman, after the starter suffered a season-ending injury. Unfortunately, Stidham chipped an ankle bone and was shut down for the rest of the season as well. Then, the sexual abuse scandal surfaced at Baylor, and Stidham announced that he would be transferring to Auburn University, where he had a successfull two-year career…..considering the circumstances. 

The numbers look decent…

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