Last year was the debut of the RazzBowl and it was objectively the best thing that happened in 2019. Like any good host, I took it easy on all of our industry guests (and a few lucky fans), bowing out in the first round of the year one playoffs. I’m not saying I threw the contest, but I could have won and instead I let Mike Beers of RotoViz win. Oh, that’s the exact definition of throwing it? Well, now the gloves are coming off in year two—at least until I have to go out to the grocery store. I ran out of disposable gloves week’s ago so now I’m digging into my supply of magnum condoms which I knew would eventually come in handy for something. If you missed out on this year’s RazzBowl, there’s still a couple ways to win your way into next years contest and compete against some of the biggest names in the fantasy industry. One of those ways is our NFFC Qualifier Money Leagues which has only a couple spots remaining, sign up here:
Find all of the RazzBowl Rules and Settings here and a list of all the RazzBowl League Assignments here with links to all 21 league draft boards. I was in League 21, see our full draft board here. Anyway, here’s my draft from the 5 spot in this 12 team PPR industry better ball contest:
QB: Lamar Jackson (3.29)
RB: Miles Sanders (1.05)
RB: David Montgomery (5.53)
WR: Cooper Kupp (4.44)
WR: Christian Kirk (7.77)
WR: Emmanuel Sanders (9.101)
TE: Travis Kelce (2.20)
FLEX: J.K. Dobbins (6.68)
FLEX: Tarik Cohen (8.92)
BENCH: Zack Moss (10.116), Golden Tate (11.125), Austin Hooper (12.140), N’Keal Harry (13.149), Ryan Tannehill (14.164), Antonio Gibson (15, 173), Kirk Cousins (16.188), Joshua Kelley (17.197), Kenny Stills (18.212), Dare Ogunbowale (19.221), Tyrell Williams (20.236)
Normally I’m all for fading QBs in best ball formats, but remember, this is our unique format “better ball” and once the playoffs start in week 10 then each team must begin manually setting lineups. The QB position also garners a bit of a premium on the NFFC platform with 6 point passing touchdowns as well as 1 point for every 20 passing yards. With this passing premium I had my heart set on Mahomes in round three, but was sniped; Lamar Jackson and his elite running back stats were a decent consolation prize.
I have an inkling that quarterback depth may end up a deciding factor during the 2020 pandemic season, if your starting QB comes down with the virus it’ll be helpful to have a couple options to fall back on in deeper leagues where you can’t just scoop them off waivers. My league continued to fade the passers deep into the draft, so when two of my top 20 quarterbacks were still available in rounds 14 and 16, I was happy to scoop up Ryan Tannehill coming off breakout season in Tennessee, as well as steady eddy Kirk Cousins.
One of the many quirks to this fun format is the minimal $10 FAAB which each team has at their disposal with a minimum of $1 bids. These are deep leagues with 240 players being drafted, so shopping for running backs in free agency is still like looking for toilet paper back in April. But last year there were a few wide receiver needles in the haystack like Terry McLaurin, D.J. Chark, Auden Tate and a few others. The top RB add was Raheem Mostert and, uh, Ty Johnson. Yeah it was a wasteland out there, so competitors better leave their drafts content with their backfields.
I reached far for Miles Sanders with pick 5 overall, but I see legitimate #1 overall PPR upside in the Eagles youngster. There’s a chance Doug Pederson channels his mentor Andy Reid and gives the second year stud a taste of bell cow touches; at the very least Sanders boasts a very high floor in the receiving game. Every time I see him fall to the second round I yell at my computer like a crazy person. Which is actually no different than when he doesn’t fall to the second round.
In rounds 5 & 8 I cornered the market on Bears running backs. Sophomore back David Montgomery will bring the thunder while Tarik Cohen brings the matzo. I’m not expecting Monty to reach the RB1 territory where Rudy Gamble has him projected, but I’d be surprised if he finished much outside the top 25 which is a nice floor around pick 60 when RBs are selling like Clorox wipes. With Cohen it’s all about the receptions—he’s caught 53, 71 and 79 in his first three seasons and he has every bit as good of hands as McCaffrey and Ekeler if the Bears feel like leaning in.
J.K. Dobbins is my home run swing and I was thrilled to pair him with LJax in the 6th round. The Ravens’ rookie has league winning upside if Ingram gets banged up. Later I piled on three more rookie backs in Bills bulldozer Zack Moss—his workload compared to Singletary might just surprise people—Antonio Gibson (he’s actually a WR on this platform) who’s suddenly rocketing up draft boards with Derrius Guice cut after doing bad things and Joshua Kelley who I like as the number two behind Austin Ekeler.
Lastly I took a flier on Dare Ogunbowale, there’s a chance Tom Brady turns him into Rex Burkhead, or maybe even James White. I know, unlikely, but it’s possible and he’s a 19th round roulette spin. And where’s my guy Kerryon Johnson you ask? The default rankings in these draft rooms ruined my chances at grasping my Johnson. K.J.’s recent ADP now approaches 120, but he went around 30 picks ahead of that ADP thanks to the RazzBowl game board. Sometimes the Johnson just isn’t meant to be.
You may have gathered from above that I’m fine waiting a bit on WR in formats like the RazzBowl. And even waiting til the 4th round I’m able to land the #6 receiver from my top 10 wide receivers—Cooper Kupp. In the 7th round I scooped up my WR2, Christian Kirk,who I expect to take leaps and bounds in year two with Kyler and Kingsbury plus a bonafide number one across from him in Hopkins. Then in the 9th I came back with Emmanuel Sanders—players don’t usually post career years at age 33, but the Manwich could come close in this Saints offense with Brees and Thomas.
I wrote about why I’m targeting Golden Tate in every draft in my top 40 wide receivers and I reached 20 picks above ADP to snag him at pick 125. Still, I needed some young upside to go with my dinosaurs, so I grabbed the Big Harry. N’Keal Harry disappointed in year one, but he was touted as equal or greater than A.J. Brown and D.K. Metcalf by many draft scouts last year. If Cam Newton is healthy, the ceiling on Harry is sky high.
There’s no doubt I came away on the weaker side at receiver, but with some late shots on Kenny Stills and Tyrell Williams, plus Antonio Gibson (mentioned above), this group might just keep their heads above water.
One thing we talked about with defending RazzBowl Champion Mike Beers when he joined us on the Razzball Fantasy Football Podcast is the value of top tight ends in this format. In a standard best ball you can grab three decent big men and the computer will choose your best scorer each week. But once you hit the RazzBowl playoffs and are forced to set a lineup, it’s a huge advantage to have a stud tight end to plug in and not feel like you’re rolling the dice when it really counts. In a home league you’re able to work the free agent pool and find this year’s Darren Waller or Tyler Higbee, RazzBowl doesn’t afford you that luxury with only $10 FAAB and only nine weeks to prepare for the playoffs.
All that said, I ponied up in the second round for a rock at tight end. Travis Kelce has played every game but one over the past six seasons and he has this guy named Mahomes throwing it his way. Then I came back with Austin Hooper who fell to me a round and a half below ADP. Word is Hooper spent several weeks this summer “training” with Baker Mayfield down at Mayfield’s home in Texas. Hooper can now keg stand with the best in the world.
And that’s a wrap! Let me know what you think of my team in the comments and sign up for the 2021 RazzBowl now!