Jeremy Maclin (concussion) missed practice on Wednesday. Occasionally you see a player suffer a concussion on Sunday and return to practice by Wednesday.  At another extreme, you have players that miss several weeks with a concussion, something that seems to happen to players with a concussion history.  To my knowledge, Maclin does not have a history of suffering concussions, but I suspect he’ll miss this week.  I’m thinking it’s a one or two week injury, but with the Chiefs having their bye in week 9 expect him back no later than Week 10.

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Is there still such a thing as an ACL injury after effect?  Adrian Peterson famously rushed for over 2000 yards the year following a December ACL tear.  Jeremy Maclin turned out to be a 2014 draft day bargain after suffering an ACL tear in the 2013 preseason.  Rob Gronkowski also went undervalued in 2014 drafts after coming off an ACL injury.  Now Todd Gurley is meeting or exceeding his expectations.  The fact is that risk is always built into the value of post ACL tear players, but they have a pretty good recent track record.  I literally can’t think of a single player that failed to come back from an ACL tear in the last few years.  Recently the upside has outweighed the draft cost of buying a player coming off an ACL injury.

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When previewing matchups on DraftKings, it gets a little too easy to be lazy. Just roster the guys with the green OPRK, avoid the guys with it in red and maybe kinda/sorta glance at the neutral white guys. BTW, neutral white guys should be the name of the political party in Switzerland. You’re free to use it, Swiss Mrs. out there…but more to the point, I have a little secret for you. Come closer so I can whisper it into your ear. No, closer…EVERYONE CAN BE RUN ON! Sorry, felt the yelling would smack you from complacent analysis. Not like it hurt your ears, you’ve been listening to Rise Against at top volume with your ear buds jammed into your head. PS, don’t do that. Both listen to them and jack the volume up. Both are bad for you. Now where were we…oh yeah, anyone can be run on. When looking at Seattle’s rush defense, you have to allow for caveats. Yes, their numbers suggest running on them isn’t a good thing. They’ve only allowed 3.5 yards per carry on the year, a stat which is 4th best on the year. They’ve also only allowed 1036 rushing yards, good for 5th best. But I have two stat lines for you to debunk this mindset: 29/115/1 and 20/159/2. The first stat line is DeMarco Murray from week 6 in Seattle and the second one is Jamaal Charles from week 11 in KC. The rest of the lead backs Seattle has faced this year? A litany of circumstantial meh. Alfred Morris without RG3 under center in week 5? Trash. Darren McFadden at home in week 9? C’mon, man. Andre Williams in week 10? Dumpster fire. In fact, Seattle gave up 18/85/1 to Tre Mason and 16/79 to Jonathan Stewart this year too but if you asked anyone if Seattle is a stout run defense and they’ll say ‘yes’m’. Well, maybe not ‘yes’m’ unless you talk with a lot of people from the south. But that doesn’t tell you much about why you should start LeSean McCoy, of course so lets get Shady for a minute. First, let’s talk price tag: $6,400. If he’s your RB1 this week, that’s prettay, prettay nice. Secondly, he averages 22 touches a game on the season. That’s nice floor. Thirdly that’s also a fourthly and possibly a fifthly, he’s scored a touchdown and/or had over 100 yards from scrimmage in 6 of his last 7 games and three of his four touchdowns this season have come in the last four games. Don’t be throwing no shade at Shady this week, friends. But enough about that, let’s talk about another that. Here’s my red hot takes on the week 14 DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 team league of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It lets us know that you care!

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The 2014 NFL season looks more and more like a demolition derby of humanity with each passing week. In Week 6, Victor Cruz of the New York Giants was the biggest name to see his season end. He ruptured the patella tendon in his knee on a fourth-down play and that was it. The night didn’t get any easier for the New York Giants as they lost Jerrel Jernigan for the season, which put them down two wide receivers. Losing 27-0 to the Eagles on Sunday night seemed to be secondary. Things worsened for the Giants in one day but is your fantasy team dealing with injuries? Of course it is. If you haven’t had a player get hurt you’re either extremely lucky or it’s a total fluke. Either way, we’ll help you get through this difficult time of the season.

Let’s look back and see the big fantasy-relevant names who got hurt on Week 6…

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“Start ’em and Sit ’em” was on hiatus last week as I made my way to Boston to catch Derek Jeter’s farewell game on Sunday.  Things went well.  Some random dude gave us a free parking pass when we were driving up to Fenway, Jeets got a hit in his last at bat, and I even caught a foul ball.

So did you miss me?  (You’re supposed to say, “yes”).  I’ll just assume you did, and we can all move on.  Fantasy football didn’t stop for me just because I didn’t put out a Week 4 column.  I never got off the saddle — well, maybe once to enjoy a warm bowl of chowdah.  Hopefully you survived that hectic week of byes, and let’s keep on, keepin’ on to Week 5…

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We should all consider Week 4 a success.  We escaped the quarter-season mark with nary a single catastrophic injury.  I’m sure I just jinxed us, but in the NFL, if you can play out an entire week’s worth of games and keep your fantasy roster away from the IR, you, my friends, have won at life itself. Of course, there were a few injuries (Cecil Shorts, Teddy Bridgewater, Niles Paul), but not enough to warrant a rant over.  So this week, we will discuss some previously injured players, who returned to the field or have made notable progress in their recoveries.

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We’re in this together!

I know, I’m asking a lot of you. After capping off the day of football with the Sunday Night Game, it soon dawned upon me how scary it is that this division will, at some point in time, produce, at the very most, one playoff team. It’s a scary thought, especially since it was manifested watching a Saints secondary that I should buy to use as a spaghetti strainer. Anything that allows the Cowboys to have consecutive competent drives is something this world isn’t ready for. And it wasn’t just this one game either. You had the Falcons collapse against a Vikings team that has lost it’s best player in Adrian Peterson, is starting a rookie quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater, and still believes Christian Ponder deserves a roster spot in the NFL. Ugh. And then you have the Jacksonville Jaguars Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who, we don’t need to spend too much time on. Because Bucs are gonna Buc, amiright? And last, but certainly not least, (because, in a stunning turn of events, they are currently occupying first place in this travesty of a division), the Carolina Panthers. Who, apparently, didn’t take Steve Smith’s death threats seriously and proceeded to get maimed in Baltimore. Which is actually pretty common, now that I think of it. And yes, just to state for the record, their secondary collected a game check this week. That is all.

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“When was that?”

Well, you should remember, as it was only last week where 97% of the all ACL’s in the NFL collectively exploded. I’m no doctor, so I had no idea that modern medicine was able to take an athlete, who was expected to be out 5-8 weeks, to practicing a few days after his injury, and might actually be playing in today’s game. I’m obviously talking about Jamaal Charles, but he’s not the only one who was affected by this dark wizardry insta-heal. In fact, the only player that seems to have been left out from this wonderful era in medicine appears to be Ryan Mathews.

F*ck me, right?

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I hope everyone had a great week one. I didn’t. But let’s not dwell on me, because I’m here for you. This week I’m tinkering with the set-up as I seek the best way to go about this. I’m adding in ranks among the fantasy pros and our own honcho Jay’s ranks to give you some perspective. You might be asking yourself: What’s with all this three way talk? Well I needed an eye catcher, and I can’t afford to buy you all a beer, the shipping cost would kill me. What I am doing is a three way battle this week as I pit freshman hype vs. freshman handcuff vs. freshman who dat? Don’t worry, you’re not alone with all this three way talk, probably giving you a flashback of that one time you thought it might happen, only to realize the two girls wanted a ride and you were the safest person to get them home without getting all grabby in the car. Stupid insecure me…wait…I mean my friend with confidence issues named Mack. Yeah, Mack’s crazy insecure.

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Thank god I don’t do these posts till Saturday, because you wouldn’t have liked my advice had I included Thursday night’s players into my start/sits. Everyone knows that Thursday Night Football is a curse for fantasy players.  Even Peyton Manning has fallen victim to it.  In the final TNF game of the 2013 season, Manning had arguably his worst performance of the year, completing just 65.8 percent of his passes for 289 yards in the Broncos’ embarrassing 27-20 home loss to the Chargers.  Maybe it’s the short week coupled by the night game, or the fact that it’s on national television.  Who knows.  But it doesn’t bode well for good statistics.

I had Ben Roethlisberger and Torrey Smith pretty high up in my Week 2 rankings, but that was just stubborn of me.  You can’t get much worse than the nine fantasy points Big Ben put up, Owen Daniels vulturing Dennis Pitta every step of the way, or the one catch for 10 yards Torrey had — especially after Joe Flacco had said earlier in the day that he expects his top receiver to catch 100 balls this year.

Sunday should offer many more offensive fireworks than Thursday night’s dreadful affair.  There are plenty of matchups to exploit, including the Saints vs. Browns, Patriots vs. Vikings, Chiefs vs. Broncos, Jaguars vs. Washington Football Team, and Cowboys vs. Titans.  But none should be more exciting (and fantasy-team boosting) than the Eagles/Colts game. The high-flying Eagles (pun intended) travel to Indy to take on the 900 horsepower Colts (pun also intended).  You’re always gonna start Andrew Luck, Nick Foles and LeSean McCoy, but their supporting casts deserve a lot of attention this week and are all nearly must starts in most fantasy formats. Fringe fantasy starters like Darren Sproles, Riley Cooper, Ahmad Bradshaw, and Dwayne Allen are near automatic starts this week, and even Colts’ tight end Coby Fleener is worthy of consideration in deeper leagues.  The only guys I’d be hesitant to recommend are Hakeem Nicks and Trent Richardson, who have proven to be too untrustworthy. Not only will this game have a large effect on the outcome of your fantasy matchups, but we get to wait till Monday night to have it all play out.  Now, that, my friends, is what fantasy football is all about!

Please feel free to post your start/sit questions below. Until then, here are the rest of my starts and sits for Week 2…

(All recommendations are based on PPR formatted leagues)

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