After an offseason and preseason that seemed to have lasted forever, the 2019 NFL Season will kickoff in a week between Chicago and Green Bay. Seven days. That’s all we have left before we can sit back, relax, and enjoy some football that actually has meaning.

It’s been a productive summer at Razzball, and while we’ve covered almost every topic in regards to draft strategy and draft prep, it’s time to turn our attention to Week 1 of the NFL season. I’ll be back this year covering who to start, and who to sit for the upcoming weeks, so as a primer to that series, let’s take an early look at Week 1.

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Ah, auction drafts. My favorite. If I had my way we’d kick snake drafts to the curb (or curb stomp them if you just watched America History X or just played Gears of War – you get those supercool, not at all dated references, amirite?).  I re-read my Auction primer from 2017, and there are some good nuggets in there I suggest you go peruse, either now or at your leisure, I’ll leave it up to you…

But let’s say you chose to ignore my advice and not read my Auction Primer. That’s ok (my feelings can take it), so I’m going to pick out the most important lines, and it wouldn’t be a Razzball post if it wasn’t me quoting me. The biggest takeaways that still and always apply are:

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We are less than 3 weeks from the start of the NFL season. Redraft leagues are in full swing and Razzball is here to help you dominate. If you haven’t signed up for the 2019 Razzball Fantasy Football subscription to gain access to our tools and league-winning projections, try us out with our 7-day free trial.

If you missed my article last week, I broke down the difference between a traditional handcuff and a scheme based/premium handcuff. Also, I highlighted a few premium handcuffs that you should consider on draft day. If you missed it, check it out here.. Baby, I’m more than just a handcuff. Today our focus moves towards traditional handcuffs.

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The way that you start your draft is so important. There are land mines in every part of the draft and as analysts (loose term, I prefer good with words and played for a long time or guy who is not allowed within 500 feet of a Dave and Busters), we can only give you an educated guess of where they are. They are buried and we hope that by October we haven’t stepped on any.

I don’t believe in any “avoid” or “zero” position strategies and I also don’t believe in the “best player available” strategy. At that point, you might as well just auto draft. The strategy that I believe in is simple: get the players that fit how you want to build your team. For example: if you believe you can build your receivers around Amari Cooper as your WR1, go ahead and take two strong running backs with your first two picks. If you’re like me, you’re eyeing George Kittle in the third round. So what I’m probably going to do is get James Conner as my RB1 if I land in the back half of the first round and then take Michael Thomas, Odell Beckham Jr., or Mike Evans based on availability in the second round. That way, I have a strong RB1, WR1, and TE to start. Let’s go through the first two rounds in a 12 team PPR draft. If you still play in standard leagues, throat punch your commissioner. Eh, don’t do that, I don’t have bail money for you.

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Every fantasy season the age old debate resurfaces, to handcuff or not to handcuff. Injuries are guaranteed, knowing who to draft as an insurance policy or to pick up off waivers is a critical component in your journey to fantasy football glory. Luckily for you, I will be here to guide you throughout the season on which handcuffs you should own or which to keep on your watch list. Unfortunately our leagues bench spots are not infinite, some handcuffs need to be drafted and some left on the waivers.

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We are entering the final week of my rankings extravaganza! Running back is my favorite position to speculate on and the position that I usually lean on in the first round of drafts. I always find myself wanting to build my fantasy teams around a running back that is going to be one of the league leaders in touches. Running back can get thin pretty early and drafts and the later round guys tend to be speculation picks. So here are the top guys to target. 

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Ladies and Gents, it has arrived. The inaugural season of The RazzBowl invitational is official open. Here is your shot to show us your fantasy prowess, your shot against other fantasy heads and fans of the industry. Can you take down the RazzGang? If you think you have what it takes, read more about it and sign up by clicking here.

Now, back to your regular scheduled programming…

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Completed Previews: AFC North – NFC North – NFC East Part I – NFC East Part II – AFC East Part I – AFC East Part I

2019 projections referenced below are based on razzball.com 2019 projections managed and updated by our very own @RudyGamble . ADP, and strength of schedule referenced below are based on fantasypros.com consensus data.

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There are many advanced stats and metrics in which to judge running backs by. But which are the top metrics to help us separate the best from the rest? Or to uncover a diamond in the rough? Well, thanks to the great work over at Football Outsiders, we have three innovative stats to judge RB’s by: DVOA, DYAR and Success Rate. 

DVOA, or Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, represents a player’s value per play, over an average running back in the same game situations. The more positive the DVOA rating, the better the performance. DYAR, or Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement, gives us the value of the performance on plays where the back caught/carried the ball compared to the average replacement level. And finally, Success Rate represents the player’s consistency, measured by successful running plays.

Using data from 2018, let’s take a look at some of the leaders in the NFL in rushing DVOA, DYAR and Success Rate, to help us isolate the backs we should be targeting in drafts. 

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This is not just a normal Monday morning. Today is the start of the ninth annual Scott Fish Bowl, better known as #sfb9 on twitter. If you aren’t familiar with SFB9, it is a giant contest consisting of 1,500 competitors picked by Scott Fish out of a pool of 12,000 applicants and it contains a very unique scoring system that favors tight ends and quarterbacks. Razzball has quite the presence in this year’s competition with 6 of our writers/projectors receiving spots. So good luck to Rudy Gamble, B-Don, Donkey Teeth, Nic Romero, Rotowan. It would feel weird to wish myself good luck, but yes, I am competing and hoping for excellent results.

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