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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We like short shorts. But on guys with tree trunks for legs who sport a mustache that makes Grey jealous? Yes, me likey. Me likey very much, but only when it comes with fantasy goodness. Who am I kidding? The fantasy goodies are just a bonus because Gardner Minshew is awesome on and off the field. 

If drafting in a league with swag as a category, Minshew is a top ten pick. Unfortunately, we are simpletons and haven’t evolved to that level yet. As it stands, touchdowns, yards, and interceptions are all we have to go on. Last season, Minshew finished as the 20th quarterback in fantasy points scored. He played 14 games. According to FFPC ADP for 2020, Minshew is being selected as the 26th quarterback and 156th overall player. Minshew is a screaming value and should return a handsome profit for those who invest.

Gardner Minshew is 6′ 1″ and 225 pounds. He began his college career at Northwest Mississippi Community College in 2015, leading them to the championship. He then played 17 games over two years for East Carolina, before transferring to Washington State University, where he piloted the team to a school-record 11 wins and led the FBS in pass completions, pass attempts, passing yards per game, and finished with 38 touchdowns. He was awarded the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year, and finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting. 

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I started the Razzball Dynasty Association, a 30-team dynasty basketball league, last season and the experience was orgasmic. The depth of the league was challenging, but what made it a league of extraordinary magnitude were the engaging and passionate owners. Razzball truly is the greatest community of fantasy degenerates out there. With that said, I’m sending out the bat signal again to see if the community wants to indulge in the Razzball Dynasty League, a 32-team football league. Here are some of the particulars:

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Image result for home dogs

Week 3 was a crazy, crazy week. Thanks Trump! I kidd. Blake Bortles, Case Keenum, and Eli Manning all threw for at least three touchdowns, with Bortles throwing four! The Jets dominated. It gets crazier, though. Eight of the games on Sunday had the road teams as favorites. The Jaguars, Colts, Bears, Jets, Bills, and Redskins all took care of business at home. Bow wow wow yipee yo yipee ya! Home dogs! The Lions should have won and the Chargers…well, just scroll down to the recap of that game and all will become clear.

The 2017-2018 Razzball Commenter Leagues for Basketball are now open. Get more info and join here!

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This is Part Deux of Predicting the Top 10 for 2017. For the running back series, click here.

My primary motivation for the running back piece was due to the proliferation of the “Zero RB” drafting strategy. The basic premise of this strategy is that running backs are too risky due to injury and usage (RBBC). Was there a way to mitigate the risk or identify trends from history that could assist with choosing the right running back?

The “Zero RB” strategy advocates drafting wide receivers. “The wide receiver gets more projected points when you adjust projections for risk.” If that’s the case, then ADP for wide receivers should be able to predict the final top 10 at a much higher rate than for running backs, right?

Going back 12 years, though, that just hasn’t been the case. Here’s a look of the percentage of top 10 ADP WRs that finished the season in the top 10, per season.

Take me on in the Razzball Commenter Leagues for a chance at prizes! Free to join, leagues still open!

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