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Is the phrase, “Back in Black” work here? I’m currently wearing a white t-shirt, but oh well. This is the first of a weekly series I’ll be writing about arguably the most underrated part of anyone’s quest to winning their Fantasy Football league: their bench. You heard me, your Fantasy Football team’s bench players. What happens when you suffer an injury like Dez Bryant, have a suspension like Le'Veon Bell (no, not Tom Brady) or just your starters aren’t cutting it? Your bench plays a pivotal part in helping to make sure you are well prepared for when anything may arise. Often times, the teams and owners that win their leagues at the end of the season are those who pick up the right players and drop the wrong ones. This is what this weekly series will address, figuring out who to add, who to drop, and who to keep. So those of you who still have Josh Gordon on your bench, for example, it may be time to drop him (the first tip is on the house). So kick back, open your eyes wide, and enjoy the ride.
[caption id="attachment_36117" align="aligncenter" width="480"]Both Jared and RG-3 have been taken out. If I were Justin Tuck, I'd be worried... Both Jared and RG-3 have fallen. If I were Justin Tuck, I'd be worried...[/caption] WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Okay. Not really. And so it was, and so it shall be, which was proclaimed long ago when the Washington Football Team traded what would be Janoris Jenkins, Michael Brockers, Zac Stacy, Stedman Bailey, Greg Robinson, and Alec Ogletree for Robert Griffin III, and then a few days later, drafted his eventual successor in Kirk Cousins. Bible-speech aside, I have to say, maybe Mike Shannahan and company might have been better off just waiting, you know, until their sixth pick and drafting Ryan Tannehill. Sure, hindsight has that amazing 20/20 vision, but as I mentioned in yesterday's podcast, this quarterback excursion seemed doomed to fail, even as far back to that aforementioned day when both RG-3 and Kirk Cousins were drafted. Obviously, the situation was exacerbated over time by injuries, stunted development, complete coaching failures, further coaching changes, system changes, ownership dysfunction, etc. etc. And this is a normal Monday for the franchise. So here we are and Kirk Cousins is now your Week 1 Starter in Washington. I would go on to establish some fantasy context, but I'm not sure there is any. Just further proof that Washington has now eclipsed the Raiders at being the Raiders. Truly... these are dark days in the District. In case you guys haven't noticed, Fantasy Basketball is warming up once again, and our RCLs are open! If you'd like to go keep J.B. Gilpin company for a bit, I ain't gonna blame you. Afterall, I'm busy keeping his mom company...
Greetings! Forgive me I'm not up to date on current sporting events, for Twitter, whom I fully depend on for all news and information, locked my account for a solid 24 hours! Any Quarterbacks get hurt? Did the Bills announce a starter? My life is meaningless without Twitter and the Elder Gods are known to punish me from time to time, usually when I'm riding high, basking in the glory of some incredible accomplishment, like the time I demoralized the Hilton sisters in a game of naked Twister. By demoralized, I mean that I gave both of them the profound type of hickory sticking that would make even the great Ray-J smile upon me like a proud father. Matter of fact, he was there filming it. Sorry, I'm rambling again, reminiscing about the heroic years that were my youth. But seriously, I haven't been without Twitter for this long since the last time Sky locked me in his basement. Yes, Sky, I know: It puts the lotion on the skin! Let's talk quarterbacks, shall we? I am Tehol Beddict, and this is, Disgrace/Delight! Take heed!
A long time ago (about a year) in a galaxy (Razzball) far, far way... Guess who's back, back again. The Stats Machine's back, tell a friend. Guess who's back. Guess who's back. Guess who's back. Guess who's back. Unlike most sequels that barely measure up to the original, the first two Godfather movies excluded, the second coming of the Stats Machine looks to build on a successful model, expanding and even deepening an already superb, numbers-driven effort. For those whom are unaware of, or need a refresher on the origin of the Stats Machine (TSM), you can find that here. Take me on in the Razzball Commenter Leagues here!
Weighing risk versus upside when it comes to drafting a player is one of the most significant ways that value is determined.  The most obvious forms of risk are injury risk and age risk but we could also consider off the field concerns, situation risk (bad team, bad scheme fit), and playing time risk (competition at position) among other types of risk.  This series of posts will aim to shed some light on who the more risky players are and what you should do about it. I'll start the series by focusing on the running back position and attempting to shed some light on how risk changes as the draft proceeds.  I'll demonstrate which range (or tier) of running backs had the most risk as measured by their 2014 year end performances relative to their draft position.  Later posts will focus on age and injury related risks and make some suggestions as to which early round players might be overrated this year due to those concerns. Play fantasy football against me in the Razzball Commenter Leagues here!
In my last post, The Legend of the Bid Button, and the first in this series, I examined and explained my strategy for approaching auction drafts. The key stat that I rely upon is "points per dollar" (PPD). How many fantasy points a player is expected to get me for each auction dollar I spend on him. If you have not read that post, please take ten minutes and do so. For those that have already done so and are back for round two, welcome back. While we have ten minutes to kill as we wait for everyone else to catch up, here is a link to a sub-five minute speed run of Super Mario Brothers. Feel free to watch it twice. I know these guys use tools to help accomplish this, but as someone who played this game back when it first came out, this is still pretty awesome. Ok, now let's get back to our regularly scheduled programming. I'd like to take a look back at last season's PPD heroes and zeros...
What a propaganda piece that Vine of 2014 C.J. Spiller is.  For one thing, it could give the impression the result of the play was a TD.  It wasn't, in fact he scored zero rushing TDs last year.  Instead it was his last snap of 2014.  Yes, that's the play he was injured on.  This sums up why he must be one of the more frustrating running backs to own (I can't say, I've never owned him).  There is new optimism for him because he has left the Bills for the Saints and with that move comes some hope that he will be utilized correctly as a committee back who can make plays in space.  In general the fantasy powers that be are ranking him about right -- he's the 23rd RB in FantasyPros ECR (expert consensus rankings).  I think many folks rank him in the 24-30 range so the bump to 23rd comes from those experts ranking him in the 15-20 range and that's too high for me.  This post will explain why.
Jay's 2015 RankingsTop-200 | Top-200 (PPR) | Top-200 (Half-PPR) | QB | RB | RB (PPR)WR | WR (PPR) | TE | TE (PPR) | K | DST | Rookies | Kevin's 2015 IDP RankingsTop-100 | DL | DB | LB And thus, we now close down the rankings portion of the preseason. (But don't worried, the rankings will be updated every week until the beginning of the season.) It's been a long and enduring process, but one that didn't involve any Ryan Mathews drama, so I proclaim this a resounding success. Unfortunately, the format in which we're used to consuming these rankings as pretty little embeded tables from FantasyPros isn't available to us, as they don't provide the tools to publish our Half-PPR Rankings to any site. We also don't have the Back to the Future hoverboards, so I'm willing to overlook this technological oversight. But just as long as we are consuming, can we at least try to make an edible version of these rankings? With bacon? Bacon rankings bro, think about it... Anyhow, it's a shame we don't get the pretty presentation here, as I prefer the Half-PPR format the most. I just feel the format balances the best of two worlds, much like your mom's shirt. Wow. That was next level right there. Let's just wrap this up and go to the rankings...
thestats The 2014 fantasy football season is over Johnny. It's over!
So now let's take a few moments to talk about the players that The Stats Machine has a hard on for.  I'm not sure I like the way that came out, so I'm going to rephrase it. Let's take a few moments to talk about the players that get The Stats Machine's bits and bytes on information overload. Without further ado-do...
[Jay's Note: The Official 2015 Razzball Fantasy Football Rankings will come out in several months, but Michael has been awesome enough to give you guys a taste of how things stand right now. Way too early? Sure. Way too hot? Yes! Early AND hot folks... just like my love life.] 2014 was an interesting fantasy football year, wasn't it?  It was the year of the rookie receiver, as Odell Beckham, Jr., Kelvin Benjamin, Mike Evans, Sammy Watkins and more took the league by storm.  There were studs being studs, as well as studs being duds.  The zero-running back strategy was implemented, and well, didn't work out that well for most people. 2015 is going to be even more of an interesting year, as draft strategies are sure to change for people.  While it's way too early in the fantasy offseason to rank players, we figured what the heck, we may as well have some fun with it. That being said, I did rank certain players whose futures are unsure (Adrian Peterson, Marshawn Lynch) just because as of now, there is no news about what will happen. Don't worry, that'll change with updated rankings in the upcoming months...