Is it me or are a lot of guys injured? Normally, I’d have some little cutsie intro to get into the carnage but sheesh, man! I don’t know about you but I’m getting killed out here! I actually sprained my right knee on a fishing boat last weekend and was listed as limited but here I am, dammit.

When I see the players I roster in person someday, I’m gonna tell them: If I can man up and type up a bunch of nonsense about fake football with a ligament injury, well then YOU GOTTA PLAY TOO, YOU BIG BABY!

As you can tell, this has been a tough week. Between my injury, all the injuries on my fantasy teams, and what’s happening to my Raiders… Well, we’ll get into that last part later.

And to add to the prevailing roster chaos we have our first bye week of the year! See you next week Jets, Falcons, 49ers, and Saints!

Let’s segue right into Sunday morning with an Intra-Florida showdown in London.

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So, they think they found the Zodiac Killer huh? I had this case solved in 2007 after seven marathon viewings of David Fincher’s Zodiac. The eighteen-hour film festival of sorts guided me to another cinematic treasure and the true greatest San Francisco based film of all-time, Homeward Bound II: Lost In San Francisco. Every clue to every cipher can be found there. All those exhausted detectives. All those man hours. One viewing of HB: Dos with Sassy, Chance, and Shadow would’ve solved all your problems. You know what else is exhausting? Trying to find the right person on your waiver wire. Lucky for you, I patterned my work ethic this week after Robert Downey Jr. and Jake Gyllenhaal in Zodiac (Seriously the best San Francisco based film or maybe it is Vertigo. Yeah, it’s Vertigo), pounded the coffee to find some of this week’s best options on the waiver wire.

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You could tell the Halloween spirit was in the air in our first Thursday Night Football game in October. We saw the Seattle Seahawks come out in their neon green uniforms, looking like a bunch of aliens to set the tone. Then, right on the opening kickoff, Tutu Atwell took the kick and made it about 10 yards before the ghost of Cortez Kennedy blindsided him causing him to hit the ground and fumble out of bounds with no other players around him. Before the game was over, both quarterbacks had bandages on their hands after having to mummy wrap their respective finger injuries. You knew something spooky was going on when we saw Geno Smith out there with his first real game action since 2017. We are definitely in the Halloween season!

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The innovation machine never stops here at Razzball. Except for that one time when I tried to use it to heat up some leftover pizza. What a disaster that was! In the modern world of pandemics, riots and keto diets, we know it can be hard to find time to listen to 30-60 minute fantasy football shows. Oh, there’s a squirrel! Sorry, what was I talking about? Right, we’ve created a short-form video series for those of us with the attention span of a puppy. On Donkey’s Advocate, I’ll be bringing on many of the top fantasy football industry experts to sell me on one of their favorite 2021 fantasy football draft targets while I play devil’s donkey’s advocate. All of this will take place in a two-minute rapid-fire segment. In this week’s batch I was joined by Jake Ciely, Jake Trowbridge and Dave Richard to discuss Henry Ruggs, Chris Carson & Jakobi Meyers:

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Before you go any further if you haven’t read the previous articles from this series, we recommend you do so. You can find those articles here:

Points Per Rush Attempt Analysis for 2021 Fantasy Football

Point Per Rush Attempt Analysis – Regression Candidates

Fantasy Points Per Reception – Running Back Edition Part 1

 In this article we breakdown Fantasy Points Per Reception or FPPR regression candidates from 2020 at the running back position to help you identify players to potentially fade in 2021.

As a reminder the league average for FPPR over the past 10 seasons is 1.49. For a running back to see a half point less per game they need to catch 40 passes and see a drop in FPPR of .2.

 

2021 FPPR Negative Regression Candidates

Player: Chris Carson

2020 FPPR: 1.92

Career avg. FPPR: 1.75

FPPR Variance: 10%

 

2020 PPG
2021 Projected PPG
14.1 13.6

 

Chris Carson has been as consistent as they come over the past three seasons seeing his PPG range from 14-14.8. However, somewhat of a red flag heading into 2021 was Carson’s big drop in touches. From 2019 to 2020 Carson saw his touches decrease from 21.5 to 14.8. Carson was able to keep up his PPG by seeing a 16% increase in his PPRA and 10% increase FPPR vs. his career norms. Based on what we learned over these past few articles one if not both will drop in 2021.

The next question we need to answer is “what does the floor for Carson look like if he were to return to his career norms without an uptick in touches”. The short answer is 12.4 PPG. That would put him outside the top 25 running backs in PPG last season. Currently Carson’s ADP is RB18 which isn’t a terrible price to pay based on his PPG over the past three seasons. Currently backup RB Rashaad Penny is out again so Carson could be leaned on early. This makes it likely for him to see a bump in touches in 2021.   

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At What Age Should You Fade A Running Back in Fantasy?

 

The previous intro worked so well for the wide receiver age analysis article we decided to use it again. 

Whether it is dynasty or redraft understanding when the cliff typically comes for a fantasy asset is key to staying ahead of the game. What we did was review the last 10 seasons of running back production by age to see when the drop off comes for the position. A couple key nuggets that you need to know before we get started.

  1. The years sampled were 2011-2020 for the running back position only
  2. The analysis benchmark we will be discussing today is 100 touches. Every running back ages 21-37 had to have at least 100 touches to qualify
  3. The points and points per game (PPG) are in half point (.5) points per reception (PPR)
  4. When conducting the analysis, it was important to have a baseline for touches as many players who don’t make it typically only play 3-4 years in their early 20s. That means if you don’t have a touch baseline in the analysis then you’re including a lot of young running backs who don’t pan out. This would prevent us from getting a better idea of how age becomes a factor since we want to identify the running backs who were able to sustain some level of relevance throughout the years

Like we always promise we will give you the high-level data first and you can take it for what it is worth. The first chart will include the running backs (RB) age, the average total fantasy points those running backs had at that age and the average points per game (PPG) those running backs had at that age.  If you want a deeper dive, we have included more information later.

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Last summer NFL teams were dishing out new contracts to running backs like the United States government giving away free money to the indispensable, too-big-to-fail, cruise lines. The year after Zeke hit the Jerrypot with a 7 bajillion dollar contract, Christian McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara and Dalvin Cook each received upwards of 10 Bitcoin. Unfortunately, there were a couple stud backs whose team’s treated them more like the government has treated failing small businesses. Will these hard luck incumbents return or will they be in search of another source of crypto this off season? And if the incumbents are voted out of their backfields, what should we expect from the new regime? I’m glad you ask, here’s the top free agent running backs for 2021 fantasy football:

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Now that the 2020 fantasy football playoffs are upon us, my job overseeing the rest of season top 60 running back rankings here at Razzball are as through as the chances of Carson Wentz inviting Doug Pederson to this week’s Bible study. Last week, I put a bow on that project with one final, playoff edition of the top backs to target for those still in hot pursuit of a fantasy championship. Friends, we’ve come a long, long way from the initial set of rankings I constructed in the preseason edition, when I was young and naïve and my only prior experience with Reddit commenters was through the illegal streaming of countless sporting events. But now, since there are truly only two weeks of fantasy football remaining, my job is done. Instead, for those looking for rankings to use the next couple weeks, look to Donkey Teeth & Co. for further insight. All season long, Razzball’s Donkey Teeth and MB have been providing excellent work as always with their weekly fantasy football rankings. That’s the place to go for any and all remaining decisions. As for me, my final fantasy football post for 2020 will look ahead to 2021. Who is an early favorite for that first overall pick in drafts? Which 2020 rookie backs have put themselves in the conversation for a first round pick? And hey, how about the incoming 2021 rookie class? Any early-round selection potential there? You already know I want me some Najee Harris the same way I wanted to be in bed with Dobbins the Take-it-to-the-House Elf all season long. But first, before you all take your Sunday wizardry robes off,  I’d like to take a few moments to reflect briefly on what we observed in 2020 (in lieu of a trip around the league), and how maybe we can use it as a learning experience to improve as fantasy owners in the years ahead.

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All season long, we’ve been grinding through the top-60 rest of season running backs. There has been a lot of turnover, an excess of movement both in and outside of the top-24, and a heck of a lot of injuries and COVID-19 to navigate around — both in the fantasy realm and the real world. But, alas, we’ve finally made it to Week 14. Hopefully, for many of you, this means the start of a successful playoff run, as Weeks 14-16 is when the vast majority of fantasy playoffs occur. For this very reason, I find myself feeling sentimental as I write this. At times, I led you stray, and at others, I did my job well. Now, as we leave the regular season behind and enter the postseason threshold, I have the opportunity to provide you with one last set of running back rankings as it relates to the 2020 season. In this final installment, I’ll be focusing on the set of matchups each running back faces over the next three weeks, as I’ve replaced the previous “bye” week component in the rankings with a look at each respective player’s “upcoming schedule.” And before you ask, yes — I do have David Montgomery ranked as a top-10 rest of season, fantasy playoff run option for that very reason, among others.

But before we get to the rest of that top 10, let’s take one final, albeit emotional trip around the league together. Feel free to bring a pack of Kleenex or, if you wish, simply deploy your own makeshift snot sleeve. Personally, I haven’t cried this hard since I said goodbye to my foreign exchange student in 10th grade. It was emotional. We played a lot of ping pong together. To fully appreciate this last ROS top-60 segment, I highly recommend playing the song “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack. Blast it from the speakers as you digest the fickle words to follow.

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In a casual conversation with my future mother-in-law this past week, she adamantly described Derrick Henry as “sexy.” Now, I’m no expert on the perceived attractiveness of 6-foot-3, 250-pound behemoth running backs, but I do know one thing: there’s only one. There’s only one Derrick Henry, and as he approaches a fantasy playoff schedule as easy as hiding a piece of Thanksgiving stuffing in Matt Patricia’s beard at the end of No-Shave November, we’re likely to see history repeat itself yet again. Remember, Henry averaged 24.2 half-PPR points in his final five games of 2019, which was only slightly better than the 23.1 points he averaged across the final five games of 2018. Historically, Henry is stretch-run hero — a fantasy playoff superman in a class all his own. Even if Henry hadn’t erupted for 37.5 half-PPR points in Week 12, he would likely enter the Week 13 rankings as the RB1 overall, as an upcoming matchup with the Browns is the only thing that stands between him and a remaining schedule against the Jaguars, Lions, Packers and Texans. No matter how your league is structured, those matchups scream league-winning upside, and there’s no doubt in my mind Henry will again have a high ownership percentage on championship rosters. But, since Henry did pop off in Week 12, let’s unpack it: 27 carries, 178 yards, three rushing touchdowns; two receptions (four targets), seven yards. All three of Henry’s rushing touchdowns came in first half, as he legitimately provided three healthy weeks of fantasy value in a single half. Now I understand the “sexy” part. 

While Henry is up to RB1 this week, there’s a lot of other movement on the top-60 list and, as always, an overwhelming amount of injury updates to digest. So, before we get to the rankings, let’s take a quick trip around the league.

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If you’re familiar with the backstory of Donkey Kong then you know that Mario is the villain of the series. Mario’s an abusive owner in the game and tries to keep Donkey Kong caged up. I always knew there was something off about that Mario dude. On Monday night, Darius Slay was cast in the role of Mario, attempting to lockdown D.K. Metcalf. But the beast could not be contained, going off for 10 catches and 177 yards as he demolished Philly. D.K. didn’t find the end zone, but could easily have finished with three scores if it weren’t for a misfire from Russ, a tackle at the one yard line and a drop. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy football:

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