Air Yards have told quite the tale of the wide receivers in 2021. In the top ten list, air yards had some no-doubter homeruns like Justin Jefferson, Stefon Diggs, Cooper Kupp, Tyreek Hill, and Davante Adams. But there were also some swings and misses such as Terry McLaurin, DJ Moore and Courtland Sutton. If you were counting on any of these guys as your WR1/2, your season probably ended two weeks ago. But all is not lost! Store this info in the back of your mind and monitor these situations when quarterbacks start signing. Guys like McLaurin, Moore, and Sutton don’t just get air yards because they are lucky. Targets are earned and if these guys can get some more capable arms delivering the ball, they become the sleepers in your draft. 

Each week, this column dissects air yards for actionable info in the weeks to come, but for this column there will be a focus on championship week. For Week 17, we will do a quick analysis of the list of the 73 wide receivers who finished last week with at least 30 air yards and see if there are any diamonds we can mine from the rough.

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It’s been a ride, folx. Some of you, you’re here because of completionism. You stopped by every other week and ya just gotta finish out the season, even though you’re out of the playoffs now. Others — you’re still fighting for the championship. What can I say — if you show up, I’m here to help. So let’s jump in and see what we can do to help you bring home the trophy. 

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Here we are faithful readers, the fantasy championship round. If you are here looking for a replacement or to block for your opponent because you are playing in the game of games this upcoming week: Congratulations! You have just one step left before you can grab the idol and run like mad from the falling temple. If you have been reading all season, I wanted to take a second to thank you all for making my first season as a fantasy analyst and writer with Razzball a (I think?) success. Special thank you’s to my faithful weekly commenters William Hung, Water Boy, Mike, OldMilwaukeePounders, Miles Proudfoot, JC, Packers2018, toolshed, Ralph, Russowl, Achilles, William Trill Cauley-Stein, and I Am Not A Smart Man. Helping you and all our readers has been a privilege and the absolute joy of my year. Before I hop in Jock Lindsey’s UBF-2 seaplane and ride off into the off season, here are a few recommendations for players you might find worth adding for the final week.

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Welcome to the edition of the Primer…I mean Game Day…I mean, Prime Day! Sure, that won’t infringe any copyrights. Welcome to Razzball Prime Day, brought to you by soft pillows and marshmallows. We’re in one of the weirdest finishes to  a fantasy football season that we’ve ever seen, and I’ve been fantasy footballering since the newspaper days. And, to be entirely honest, this is my first time in my fantasy sports writing career where I honestly don’t know what to write. The number of players being held out of games this week is staggering; last week over 100 personnel missed games and 3 games were rescheduled. So, rather than do my usual primer spiel, I think it’s more productive to keep this post up for a longer time period and offer my question answering services for a longer period of time. 

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We’ve told you this before, and we’ll tell it to you again here: the best projection systems are accurate on the best players about 35-45% of the time, depending on various factors like slate size, injuries, weather, and proximity to unsanitary gas station food sources. When people say that “fantasy football is just luck,” well, they’re wrong. Fantasy football is about educated guesses, really. Just like there was no real reason that GameStop and Doge Coin should have been making people millionaires earlier this year, they nonetheless did make people rich. People are able to make educated guesses about the trends of chaos and say, “The risk of this commodity meets my expectation for value, so I’ll take the risk.” That’s basically what fantasy sports are all about: what player will you draft at what position, and how much value will they bring your team? And as much as we analysts like to say that we are certain about stuff, the truth is that the more uncertain and skeptical the analyst is, the more likely they are to be reliable over the long term. Analysts tell themselves all sorts of narratives in all sorts of ways to prepare for each week of fantasy sports: Rudy Gamble uses snap count data, I tend to consider how likely a player is to end up in a favorable game script, and Donkey Teeth considers how a player looks without their shirt on. And in a week like this — Week 15 of 2021 fantasy football for the SEO record — we find ourselves in a world of massive underdog narratives that make no analytical sense to predict at the beginning of the season. Craig Reynolds — a guy who went undrafted and for three years was unable to crack even the practice squad of teams that didn’t have running backs — put up 112 yards rushing as the Lions triumphed over the Cardinals and gained their second win of the year (not season…year). Aight, this paragraph is getting long. You get the point: the impossible was possible tonight. Tonight. (Now you’re singing it in your head, I bet) Let’s check out the rest of the players that you probably didn’t start unless you were in a 50,000 person DFS contest. 

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Air Yards are the Gordon Ramsey of fantasy receiving stats. They tell us exactly what was right and clearly what was wrong with how a receiver performed in a given week. Often, it’s not easy to hear. But you as a fantasy manager need to pay attention to the under-the-hood numbers from your receivers instead of just blindly trusting the box score results, you donkey. 

Each week, this column will dissect air yards for actionable info in the weeks to come. For Week 15, we will do a quick analysis of the list of the 75 wide receivers who finished last week with at least 30 air yards.

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A decade ago, Michael Burry started posting his investment ideas on Reddit. He believed the housing market was in a bubble and ultimately shorted the housing market for a gain of over a billion dollars. This week, our dear commenter William Hung wondered if Rashaad Penny should be the waiver wire add of the week. Penny, I hear you thinking. Yeah, he’s been around the block, bypassed by Chris Carson, Alex Collins, Mike Davis, and basically every other semi-productive Seahawks RB in the past few years. With the likes of Russell Wilson finding their steam in the late season, it’s opened up the field for players like Penny who pay homage to Dicey, the God of Variance. Dicey is a generous yet vengeful god, one of the old souls from the chaotic beginnings of the universe. This week, Penny accumulated more yards on the ground than he had accumulated in the previous two seasons combined. Should you have started Rashaad Penny? Nah, just like you shouldn’t have ordered the sushi on Monday morning. But sometimes, the supply chain is running unusually smooth, or a team might be so focused on stopping somebody like D.K. Metcalf, that somebody like Penny can step in and earn another year on their contract with a wildly successful performance. Let’s see what else happened on Sunday for Week 14 of fantasy football: 

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It is the final week of the regular season. Did your letter from Hogwarts arrive? Did a painted blue key mysteriously appear on your coffee table? I am trying to ask if you’ve made the playoffs. Well, I hope so and I hope this weekly column has assisted you along the way. With the playoffs just a week away, it is time to make secure decisions for your team. Handcuff those running backs and look past a single week outlook. The playoff semifinals and finals matchups should carry a great deal of weight with your waiver decisions, especially if you’ve already secured a bye.

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Not since Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan switched bodies in Freaky Friday has a reversal been so celebrated. Wait, what’s that? The Friday crowd doesn’t like movie references? Jeesh. Well, hello ready for the weekend people. I am The Joey Wright. Donkey Teeth was gracious enough to fill-in for me at the beginning of the week for my usual Wright on Waivers article. In return, I am here to provide you with your buy-sell players for the week. Hopefully your trade deadline in your league has not passed, but if it has, I am going to include some players I think could have a hot finish to the season who may be found on your waiver wire. When evaluating players to acquire, as you’ll see, I put a great deal of focus on “fantasy points allowed to the position.” It is a statistical category I have found a lot of favor with over the years, and while simple, I hope it can help you as well.

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“Dream on.” — Steven Tyler. “Keep dreamin.” — Freddy Krueger. 

I love dreaming — it’s where my fantasy teams aren’t complete garbaggio due to massive injuries. Right now, there is a team that had an awesome draft by going Jonathan Taylor/Justin Jefferson/Cordarrelle Patterson/Pat Freiermuth/Lenny. OK, maybe your team didn’t draft like that — Pat Freiermuth in the 4th round? How was that possible? But for the rest of us that were drafting sensibly, we’re entering the Nightmare on 13th Week, a spine-tingling time where our teams that are held together by the warriors named Boston Scott and Kendrick Bourne try to make the playoffs. Can we here at Razzball do anything to save your season? Let’s find out after the jump!

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Are we all hydrated from post-turkey shenanigans? Are you ready to run headfirst into your fantasy football Sunday with nothing more than your dual-chambered drinking hat? Make sure you’ve got some Fanta loaded up and cross your fingers that you’ll still be in the playoff race come Week 13. Let’s see if we can’t help you stay alive (commence the disco dancing). 

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SEO titles? Whatever. Prime time football has been anything but exciting this year as the matchup makers somewhere in a private bunker in Norad provided Santa tracking and NFL scheduling. “The Giants are a fun team!” Somebody shouted and everybody agreed, and 11 weeks into the season, NFL fans were treated to a 30-10 drubbing on prime time football. OK, Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski were out there doing their thang (which is basically calling each other on the phone and pretending to be somebody else) but everybody else basically treated it like a scrimmage game. Over on ESPN 2, Peyton and Eli welcomed several puzzling guests on to their show after running out of guests like Russell Wilson, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, and so on. Instead, the fans of Monday Night Football were treated to analysis by former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice while the usual broadcast crew couldn’t pronounce “Chris Godwin” correctly, favoring the moniker “Goodwin” for the Super Bowl-winning, Pro Bowl-making, 5-year veteran of the league. And we wonder why armchair journalists writing on semi-serious fantasy football sites are the ones getting all the love. [sigh] OK, let’s see if we can make sense of anything for your fantasy football teams. 

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