G’day Razzballers. Welcome to our little site where we talk fake football and whatever else we feel inclined to talk about on any given (Sun)day. If this were Thanksgiving and we were going around the dinner table saying what we are thankful for I’d have to say, along with a short list of people and my cat, that NFL Football is something I truly am grateful for. I was never worried that the season wouldn’t happen, but I sure am happier that we don’t have to talk about that shizztastic lockout anymore! We have football and this season for me is dedicated to celebrating its awesomeness.

What an amazing thing football is. A game in its purest form. A game that takes skill and brains and instinct and a ton of things we use in real life, but out on the field it is this alien being that we watch and are amazed by and want to analyze and somehow be a part of so badly that we play another game in response to it! No, football won’t change the world. Ray Lewis was wrong when he said that we rely on this game and that we need it to occupy our time so we don’t go and murder random people in the street (I think he may have been talking to someone closer to himself), but it is a frackin’ awesome game to watch and study. This game evolves. The players evolve. The coaches and league evolve. Bill Belichick believes in situational football. There is no set game plan. No set skill set you need for a position. No set way of thinking. As soon as it is set, the sooner it will be busted in half and you lose.

The predictable unpredictability is what I love about football and also what I love about fantasy football. I don’t truly know real football. I can admit that. I know fake football enough to get by. But learning and studying real and fake football and how they meld and disperse from each other makes this crazy hybrid game that we love and that will hopefully help stave off dementia for a few more years. So let’s get to it. What did I see in the real (well, sorda real) football games this weekend that will translate into our game? Well, keep on reading lazy!

But before we get to that, if you are waiting for the results of Round 3 of The Next Great Fantasy Football Writer then you’ll have to wait just a little bit longer. Mark will announce the winner this afternoon. Patience attracts more bees than a penny saved.

Felix Jones: Mr. Jones and me are going to have a good time if he can stay healthy. He looked stronger, quicker, better visioned (that’s not a word), and just looks like he has all grownsed up. He had 7 carries for 56 yards and I can honestly say that I’m once again moving him up in the rankings. I just gave him some love in his own post, so it’s not like I wasn’t on the bandwagon, but his upside in that offense is crazy high. Will he get hurt? I don’t know, but he’s looking more and more like a risk worth taking.

Plaxico Burress: Well, Plax is out to prove me wrong. And maybe some other people too since he has no idea who I am. He looked good with 3 receptions for 66 yards and a nice TD grab. I do think Santonio Holmes, Dustin Keller, Derrick Mason and Shonn Greene are going to keep his ceiling from being too high, but he hasn’t lost much and his huge frame makes him a perfect end zone target for Sanchez.

Ladainian Tomlinson: With Shonn Greene out with a skin infection (I won’t ask) L.T. just looked old with a poor 9 rushes for 16 yards. His decline last season doesn’t look like it was just fatigue from a long season. He has lost a step and I have a feeling we’ll start to see Joe McKnight and Bilal Powell cutting into his playing time, which is already relegated to third down duties.

Peyton Manning: There is no real news here, but the Colts owner Jim Irsay tweeted that the team is preparing to be without Peyton week one. Uh duh. Of course they are. He isn’t there. An NFL team prepares for as many scenarios as they can. If they were really worried Curtis Painter would not still be the backup.

Andy Dalton: He and the rest of the Bengals did not look like a NFL caliber offense. Or at least one that could compete with other NFL teams. Are they going to consistently be this bad? Maybe, maybe not, but their baseline right now is piss poor. This leaves players like Jerome Simpson, AJ Green, Jermaine Gresham and Cedric Benson’s baseline all in the same outhouse. The only true winners here are people who stream defenses like myself.

Chris Johnson: I’ve been asked a few times about how worried us fake footballers should be about CJ holding out into the regular season and I can honestly answer that question with a big fat “I don’t know.” I sure wish I did. But I suppose since I do not know that’s an answer in itself. I do think he will play at some point so if he falls to the back end of the first round I would find it hard not to take him, but there are some pretty darn good backs to choose from at the top. Right now I’d choose them instead.

Brandon Gibson: He caught a wide open 83 yard TD bomb from Mr. Bradford on Saturday, which is nice for the preseason stats of meaninglessness, but what does it actually mean? Good question Doc. Thanks. Probably not all that much, but what does mean something is that he is the starting #2 receiver.  He has been consistent in practice and unlike other Rams has actually been healthy. If I was drafting an all Rams receiving corp for week one it would be Amendola, Kendricks and Gibson. Does Mike Sims-Walker have the ability to take that job, yes, but he’s going to have to show more than he has. The only safe pick right now is Scrappy Amendola who is going to be a PPR stud.

Damian Williams: The Titans wide receiver has overtaken Justin Gage for the #3 slot. That’s fairly good news because he has much more upside that Gage and if Britt is suspended and good things happen he could really take advantage. Of course all of these things happening aren’t likely, so a flier in deeper leagues is all I’d be comfortable with right now.

CJ Spiller: Reports before the second preseason game were that the starting running back job was Spiller’s to lose. The pressure must have been too much for him to bear because he looked fairly crappy. He ran for 10 yards on 6 carries while Fred Jackson ran for 34 yards on 4 carries. This battle isn’t over, but don’t go buying Spiller stock just yet. He’s a third down back. That’s what he’ll be good at.

Kendall Hunter: Hunter looked impressive while running for 105 yards on 9 carries. He had a 45 yard TD run where he showed breakaway speed and made some nice moves in the open field that didn’t look like your run of the mill joe schmo backup. Frank Gore is the guy, but Hunter is the guy behind the guy and the guy is a little disgruntled and injury prone. Draft the guy behind the guy, but late.

Mark Ingram: There are plenty of running backs on the Saints that will take looks away from Ingram, mainly Pierre Thomas who has looked good this preseason, but Ingram is the no doubt goal line back and if he stays healthy will have 10+ TDs.  He has played in 2 games and had 2 one yard TDs. Plus that, he just looks good out there. He way not get 250+ carries, but 220 is doable and I think he will make those carries count.

Willis McGahee: He absolutely kills my man Knowshon Moreno. He shouldn’t steal from him, but he will. He’s a Gee Deeing thief I say! So McGahee is going to be the TD vulture, but I still like Moreno in PPR leagues and just think he is a better back than McGahee. But Moreno’s ADP is not where I like it. If he falls, grab him.

Ben Tate: So this Tate fella we were drafting before he was injured showed up on Saturday and in a big way. Powerful, fast, good vision, he had it all. Of course Arian Foster did as well as the Texans’ o-line manhandled the Saints, but all in all Tate showed that he is back and someone to keep an eye on. Unless Tate is hurt bending over to pick up a quarter some jerk kid glued to the sidewalk, I think he’s the handcuff. And before you ask, no, I don’t think Tate hurts Foster’s value. He’s too much like Foster and he still doesn’t know how to pick up blitzes.

Jamie Harper: Another preseason star on Saturday was Harper. He went all Chris Johnson on the Rams with over 100 total yards and a TD. The backfield would be looking really crowded right now if CJ was around. Javon Ringer is still the #2 back, but Harper did look good and could have value if the chips fell where they may and injured Ringer and Johnson is some weird chip factory disaster.

Jeremy Maclin: All signs are pointing to him being able to play week 1. He may need a little more time to be in peak form, but don’t be afraid to draft him. He could be had at value with all the bad press he’s gotten.

Beanie Wells: With Ryan Williams done for the season I have moved Beanie up some in the rankings and also The Hyphen, LaRod Stephens-Howling Wolf. I don’t think they get a huge boost because the Cardinals are going to go through some real growing pains, so don’t let Williams’ injury cloud your judgement on the situation too much.

  1. Random Collmenter says:
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    do you update all of your previously posted rankings? i’m in a .5 PPR league and plan on using your .5 PPR rankings… thanks!

  2. Tom the Niner says:
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    Hey, what’s your take on Jahvid Best?

  3. Waldo Iscariot says:
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    Mr. Doc and anyone else willing to chime in:

    I had my first fantasy football draft EVER yesterday. Overall I feel good about the team, but my big concern is the lack of a reliable starting RB coming off the bench. Should I package some of my WR depth for a RB who will have more playing time, or am I ok with Steven Ridley/Delone Carter? Any other suggestions?

    Picked 5th. No idea why I took DeMarco and Toby Gerhart.

    QB: Big Ben (7)
    RB: Ray Rice (1)
    RB: Darren McFadden (2)
    WR: Reggie Wayne (3)
    WR: Stevie Johnson (4)
    WR: Wes Welker (5)
    TE: Vernon Davis (6)
    D/ST: Vikings (16)
    K: Matt Bryant (18)

    BN: Julio Jones (8)
    BN: Jacoby Ford (9)
    BN: Steven Ridley (10)
    BN: Danny Amendola (11)
    BN: Emmanuel Sanders (12)
    BN: Delone Carter (13)
    BN: Kevin Walter (14)
    BN: DeMarco Murray (15)
    BN: Toby Gerhart (17)

    Thank you!

  4. Lubey says:
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    Who is a better value, Ingram or McGahee?? Also where do you feel comfortable drafting Moreno?

  5. 10 team keeper league, .3 PPR, we start QB QB RB RB WR WR WR W/R W/R.

    I’m keeping Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford, Jahvid Best and Marshawn Lynch. I have the 3rd pick (so I have the 1-3 and the 2-8). I’m currently torn between keeping my pick and taking Ray Rice (I think the top 2 are going AP and Rodgers) or trading down for the 1-9 and 2-2. If I did that, I’m almost guaranteed to get 2 of Roddy/Megatron/Andre Johnson/Fitz.

    Any thoughts? It’s tough to tell who will be there at the 2-8, but I also don’t have a third round pick, so I’m not up again until the 4-8 if I don’t trade picks.

  6. abe says:
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    so if foster, charles, peterson, and rice are off the board, who would you take in a non ppr league at #5?

  7. dedalus says:
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    am I nuts or have the projections disappeared?

  8. Doc

    Doc says:
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    @Random Collmenter: I try my darndest! The .5 PPR Tiers are brand spankin’ new fo sho.

    @Tom the Niner: I like him a lot. Hat that he got concussed, but like him and Felix Jones a ton in PPR.

    @Waldo Iscariot: Hmm, PPR or no?

    @Lubey: Ingram by a lot. In PPR I like Moreno as about the 20th RB and non PPR the 25th. Not a ton of upside right now though so I’m only grabbing if he falls some.

    @PureBwa: With that set up getting those top receivers might be the way to go.

    @abe: Most likely Mendy.

  9. Doc

    Doc says:
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    @dedalus: the tool I was using for the projections was causing the site to slow down. Working on it now.

  10. dedalus says:
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    ah, I see. thanks doc.

  11. JamieB says:
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    What are your thoughts of this team I drafted in a 12 team ppr auction draft league?

    QB – Roethlisberger
    RB – Mendenhall, Gore
    WR – V Jackson, Marshall
    TE – Witten
    Flex – Hillis, Best
    BN – F Jones, Bess, Spiller, L Moore, Ford, Little

    I know im pretty deep at RB and shallow at WR, but there were a few bargains I couldn’t pass up.

  12. Wilsonian says:
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    Doc, can you give me your impression of this squad? It’s an 8 Team league, 4 points for passing TD, 6 points for other TDs, 0.5 PPR:

    QB – Rivers
    WR – White
    WR – VJax
    WR – Holmes
    RB – CJnoK (I kept him and couldn’t change it)
    RB – Forte
    TE – Finley
    WR/RB – Ingram
    K – Gostkowski
    D – Baltimore
    IDP – Tulloch
    IDP – Posluzny
    BN – DeAngelo
    BN – Addai
    BN – Mike Thomas
    BN – Lance Moore
    BN – Freeman
    BN – Gronk

    I really don’t like my RBs, especially with CJ being up in the air and with Ingram being a wildcard. What do you think?

  13. beef jerky says:
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    thanks doc,

    i have a question for you. Do you think it’s proper draft strategy to draft a bench rb before u fill up your wr’s in a 3wr league?

  14. amscalone says:
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    we had a draft last night I wasn’t able to fully participate in because of a family situation, but I was able to pick between a couple guys at a time fed to me via text message.

    Its my first year in the league, handed a team that already had peterson, rice, sproles and freeman as its keepers.

    here’s what I wound up with; what do you think? (10 team, standard scoring with some yardage bonuses. need to carry a backup defense)

    starters:
    qb: stafford
    qb: freeman
    rb: rice
    rb: peterson
    rb: fred jackson
    wr: wallace
    wr: marshall
    wr: welker
    te: gonzalez
    te: shiancoe
    w/r: mike thomas
    d: NYG
    k: who cares?

    bench: boldin, nelson, sproles, stewart, helu, choice, henne, fasano, MIN.

    never been in a two qb league – or two te for that matter. Hoping those guys are going to get it done for me.

    thanks.

  15. Doc

    Doc says:
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    @amscalone: Yeah, that’s your weak point for sure. Not a fan of the TEs. Your QBs are scary, but as long as they stay healthy I like them. Any chance for an upside TE like Julius Thomas?

    @beef jerky: I don’t like to unless it’s just insane value.

    @Wilsonian: I like everybody there. Lots of upside too.

    @JamieB: For a 12 team league that’s pretty bad ass.

  16. B.o.B. says:
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    @Doc: Could you please evaluate my team below? Draft was last night and it’s a 10 team non-PPR league with 6 pts for all TDs (round and overall pick obtained in parenthesis), also I had the 9 spot:

    QB – Matt Schaub (4, 32)
    WR – Calvin Johnson (2, 12)
    WR – Stevie Johnson (5, 49)
    WR – Pierre Garcon (8, 72)
    RB – Rashard Mendenhall (1, 9)
    RB – Steven Jackson (3, 29)
    TE – Dallas Clark (6, 52)
    W/R – Felix Jones (7, 69)
    K – Garrett Hartley (16, 152)
    DEF – New England (14, 132)
    BN – Mike Thomas (9, 89)
    BN – A.J. Green (10, 92)
    BN – Ladainian Tomlinson (11, 109)
    BN – Michael Crabtree (12, 112)
    BN – Danny Amendola (13, 129)
    BN – Tashard Choice (15, 149)

    At first I was pretty excited, but the more I look…meh. I feel my bench players are pretty weak, other than Mike Thomas. Took Choice to handcuff my Felix Jones pick and had Crabtree last year so not sure how I fell for him again. I know I took Schaub early but I panicked after 7 QBs flew off the first 3 rounds. What ya think? Any suggestions on possible free agents/sleepers (i.e. hearing lots about McGahee)? Thanks buddy!

  17. Wilsonian says:
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    @Doc: thanks man, I hope it works out, especially being a money league.

    Just drafted a team for a friend of mine who had class tonight. 12 Team, 1 PPR, all TDs 6, bonus point of 1 for pass or reception of 40+ yards and bonus point of 2 for rush of 40+ yards. What do you think? Picked from the 8th spot…

    QB: Vick
    WR: VJax
    WR: Stevie
    WR: Santonio
    RB: DMC
    RB: Felix
    TE: Winslow
    W/R: Sidney
    K: Bironas
    D: Minny

    BN: M. Thomas
    BN: M. Lewis
    BN: M. Bush
    BN: Ridley
    BN: Jacobs
    BN: Freeman

    I accidentally drafted Stevie instead of Bradshaw, so I tried to make up for it with Felix, but I still feel like I left him a little thin at RB. What do you think? Looks pretty strong everywhere else.

  18. Doc

    Doc says:
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    @B.o.B.: I like it for the most part. Love Jones as your flex. Garcon is a little scary as a starter. If McGahee is there I’d drop LT for him.

  19. Doc

    Doc says:
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    @Wilsonian: Yeah, RB is a little thin. I think that’s one reason I like having an RB in the flex. It’s a good way to have a backup RB that doesn’t suck. Easier to find a replacement WR.

  20. Wilsonian says:
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    @Doc: yeah, that’s what I thought, too. Had Bradshaw lined up, went ahead and queued a bunch of other people, when it got to my turn, I clicked draft and had Stevie in the queue on accident. Tried to make up for it. What do you think other than that?

    BTW, some dude drafted Brady 4th overall. Someone took Vinatieri in the 5th. And someone took Green Bay in the 6th.

  21. Doc

    Doc says:
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    @Wilsonian: I think it’s a little too risky overall, but of course that means a lot of upside as well. Probably hinges on Vick more than anything.

  22. herschel says:
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    @Doc: are you still liking best more than f jones in ppr leagues?

  23. Badabing says:
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    Well Doc here are my draft results per your advice. I’m pleased. What do you think. 2QB 3 WR 2RB league.

    Brees
    Romo
    Blount
    Ahmad Bradshaw
    Nicks
    Welker
    Mike thomas
    Filey

    Bench
    Eli
    Marshawn Lynch
    Tolbert
    Buress
    Bess
    Amendola
    Fred Jackson

    Thx again for your column and advice. Good luck this season

  24. The Situation says:
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    @Doc: I’ve got a dilemma that I go back and forth on every other day and need your opinion to put this issue to rest for good. My draft is coming up and I’m deciding between drafting one of the top TE’s (not Gates, because I’m sure he’ll be gone) or a WR from the tier of Harvin / Manningham / Collie / Britt / BMarsh (WR’s I really like this year).

    The league is a 10-team keeper, with .5 PPR. We start 2 RB, 3 WR and 1 FLEX.

    I’m going into the season with:
    -Rodgers
    -CJ2K
    -AD
    -Bradshaw
    -Megatron
    (I know, I know, it must look like I play in a league with 5-year-olds, but I’ve made some savvy moves draft pick trades, etc. over the years including trading for the 1st and 4th overall pick in the draft this year- which will be CJ and Megatron).

    I’ve got my RB’s (and RB Flex) locked up, so I’m looking to fill up my other WR starters and TE.

    Here’s the question: I have the 26th, 30th and 65th picks in the draft. Do I go with option 1 or option 2:

    Option 1: Draft Finley (or Witten, Davis or Clark) at 26 and then draft one of the receivers I covet listed above at 30 and then take my WR3 at 65 (I’d be looking at Mike Thomas, Julio Jones, Pierre Garcon, Lance Moore).

    Option 2: Draft 2 of the WR’s I covet at 26 and 30 from the list above, and then draft a TE at 65 or later (at 65 maybe I go with Jimmy Graham, or I wait and draft a Gronk, KII, or Tony Gonzalez later on – then maybe back him up with a Jared Cook).

    Basically it comes down to something like:
    BMarsh(WR2)/Harvin(WR3)/Graham(TE) vs. Finley(TE)/Harvin(WR2)/Thomas(WR3)

    I really can’t decide on this. Please make the decision for me. Thanks Doc!

  25. MJD Took A Knee says:
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    What the hell Felix is starting to go late r3 now in non-ppr.

  26. Badabing says:
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    I forgot to mention it’s 10team non ppr I had 6th pick

  27. Chris says:
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    Doc, just had my first draft of the year and would love to get some quick thoughts.

    First $$$ Draft of the Year: 10 team, PPR, 6 pt passing TD

    QB – Romo (50)
    RB – McFadden (30)
    RB – Best (51)
    WR – A. Johnson (10)
    WR – White (11)
    WR – Wayne (31)
    TE – Pettigrew (91)
    K – Hartley (150)
    DEF – Atlanta (111)

    Bench:
    RB – F. Jones (70)
    RB – Wells (71)
    WR – Thomas (90)
    QB – Stafford (110)
    RB – Starks (130)
    WR – Amendola (131)
    QB – Young (151)

  28. Doc

    Doc says:
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    @MJD Took A Knee Says: That’s the price of fame.

    @Chris Says: I like it a lot. I am starting to worry a little about Pettigrew. I could see maybe dropping Young for an upside TE backup. Your RBs are a little risky (even though I like them), but Jones and Wells as backups should keep you afloat there. All and all I like it.

    @The Situation Says: If you think you can get Marsh/Harvin/Graham I’m on that side

    @Badabing Says: Can’t go wrong with Brees and Romo and the rest of your team has a good balance of upside and reliability. I really like it.

    @herschel Says: I’m still on the Best side, but it is almost a toss up.

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