As the final night of Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season winds to a close, I find myself updating Razzball’s top 60 running back rankings with some unusual sights dancing in front of my eyes. Stephen Gostkowski has missed three kicks and a field goal, Noah Fant looked like the best player on the field in the first half, Corey Davis is shredding the Broncos defense and my dog is licking his butt in the corner of the room as I scream about all of these things. Also on Monday were some unusual running back performances, highlighted by Saquon Barkley’s six-yard game on the ground and a breakout day for Benny Snell of Pittsburgh. Oddly enough, it looked for a little while like we really might see a 50-50 workload split in Denver before Melvin Gordon took over in the fourth quarter. If you’re already losing your mind over realities such as these, it might be a long 16 weeks to follow for you. On the plus side, we’re here to help you navigate the rest of the way with your running backs, as the weekly top 60 picks back up today with some drastic changes including some movement inside the top 10. First, let’s take a quick trip around the league.

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Every year there are a handful of players that can elevate a fantasy team to the championship or sink them to the depths of the standings. All players are unique in their skill sets, team context, and career trajectory but some profiles do line up. 

As we get into draft season, we’re all searching for value. However value alone rarely wins fantasy championships! What is needed is a shooting star who not only outperforms their ADP but gives elite fantasy production even in a vacuum. To put it simply, outliers win titles. So while I frequently don’t plan on unsustainable efficiency when selecting players, I understand that we should pick guys who have a path to explode. 

So who will be this year’s all NEXT team?

Lamar Jacksonyoung quarterback who becomes a weekly star

Joe Burrow – ADP QB18, 166 overall

To be honest, there is no one like Jackson. Not only is his running talent unmatched, there is also no offense that will sell out their scheme to support his game the way the Ravens have. However Burrow will walk into an offense with a good supporting cast and a bad defense. He had the most efficient college season ever and that bodes well for a quick transition to the NFL. Burrow is likely to challenge Baker Mayfield’s rookie touchdown record and can chip in 20 yards on the ground every week which adds up. 

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Let’s cut to the chase: you wanted to level up your fantasy game and you joined a “deep” league with 3WR and 2 FLEX and maybe 14 or even 16 people. About round 12, you’re baffled about who to choose, and it’s not because you’re 6 PBRs deep. Slow down, Captain! You’re in a deep draft. Now, if I could predict the future, I’d be in a much more lucrative job than pro-bono fantasy sports writing. But–and this is a Blair practicing his cocktail-making sized but–we can use depth charts, statistics, and the zodiac to make some strong predictions about wide receivers you should be targeting in late rounds. If I’m fielding a team in a deep league–like 3WR, 2 FLEX–I want, at minimum, 6-7ish WR. I want my 3 starters, and I want legitimate flex players. Then, I want to fill in advantageous bye week matchups. Too much thinking? I agree! Let’s check out some options for end-game wide-receivers that will be useful in your deep league, best ball tournament, or the Scott Fish Bowl. I’m taking the Average Draft Position (ADP) from Fantasy Pros, and comparing it to Rudy’s  2020 fantasy football projections.

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Quarantine Day 28:

My life has been reduced to friends asking me if I’ve seen a T.V. show and me telling them, “No, I haven’t seen that show.” Then they tell me I should see that show and I say, “I’ll add it to the list.” But there is no list and I won’t watch that show. Because I’ll forget since I don’t have a list. What a paradox! But if I somehow remember to watch that show, there better not be any surprise subtitles. If you’re recommending a show that has subtitles, etiquette dictates that you disclose this subtitle stipulation in your recommendation. Don’t be a heathen! People need to mentally prepare for what they’re getting into. Like right now I’m about to share some 2020 dynasty football rankings with you, so I’ll forewarn, there’s reading involved and there’s no audio book available just yet. Hopefully you’ll still stick around for my top 80 wide receivers for 2020 PPR dynasty football:

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Fresh off their record setting Monday Night Showcase, the New Orleans Saints head east to take on the red hot Tennessee Titans. Despite the cloudy narrative surrounding Drew Brees’ production outside of the Mercedes-Benz Dome, Brees is 5-1 in road games this season and scored 27.1 fantasy points in his one full game in an open air stadium (wk 11 @ TB). Drew Brees is a bet on hall-of-fame talent and experience QB1 play in week 16’s tied-for-highest projected point total.

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A quick google search tells me there’s only three predators capable of killing a Jaguar. The first is the anaconda—that big ass snake from the Jon Voight movie. The second is the caiman—these little gator looking guys in Mexico and South America. And the third, of course, is Derrick Henry—which makes sense because he looks a lot like a Predator. In week 13 last year, Henry took 17 carries for 238 yards and 4 touchdowns. I remember that game well because I was required to attend a 2.5 hour holiday lights trolley tour on that Thursday night which, to my surprise, turned out to be much more pleasant than watching Derrick Henry destroy my fantasy hopes and dreams before the week even started. Fast forward around 12 months, if you were playing against The Predator this week then I hope you also had a long Sunday afternoon holiday light trolley tour to attend. Henry rumbled for 159 yards on 19 carries plus another 16 yards on 1 reception and 2 touchdowns—he has 10 touchdowns on the season and is now under protest by PETA for his crimes against Jaguars.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw during yesterday’s late games in fantasy football:

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It’s week 10 of the fantasy football season. After you get done reading this and ask your questions, get all of your housework done because we have 10 hours of great football ahead of us. Well, hopefully. During the early games, the Bears and the Lions will face off in a last ditch effort to keep their seasons alive. The Browns will host Buffalo and try to save face. There are reports that there could be some high winds in that one so keep that in mind when you are setting your DFS and season-long lineups. Patrick Mahomes is back, folks! Patrick Mahomes will make his return against the Tennessee Titans. Our shoot out this week comes in Tampa Bay and a matchup between Jameis Winston and Kyler Murray. There should plenty of fantasy points to go around in that one. 

In the late afternoon, the Panthers face off in Lambeau with Kyle Allen getting another chance to keep the Panthers in the playoff race. The Rams will try and keep themselves in the division race against the surging Pittsburgh Steelers. On Sunday night, Kirk Cousins will try and turn around his historic primetime stench with the Vikings traveling to Dallas to take on the Cowboys. Let’s get to the injuries followed by updated rankings.

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It’s a well known fact: Ezekiel Elliott has an insatiable appetite. The star running back has been begging anyone and everyone to feed him since all the way back to Pop Warner, but the hunger has never subsided. This past September the Cowboys finally broke down and gave Zeke a little grocery money of his own. But the Dallas RB hasn’t been able to locate the Whole Foods Market in his neighborhood and continues to ask for handouts. Fortunately, his best bud Dak Prescott (21/27 for 239 yards, 5 carries for 30 yards and 2 touchdowns) continues to be charitable, feeding Zeke the pigskin 22 times for 111 yards plus another 6 thru the air for 36 more yards and his 6th touchdown as the Cowboys trounced the Eagles on Sunday night. Watch those fingers Dak! Anyway, here’s what else I saw during yesterday’s late games in fantasy football: 

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Your body hurts and your lungs sting with every breath of freezing air. I know that many days you regret this adventure. Like that one time you benched DJ Chark, or when you blew the top waiver priority on Wayne Gallman. It can get bleak on the mountain, I won’t lie about that.

There is excitement in the challenge, however. Even if you’re winless and feel like you’ve lost your way, don’t give up. I am old enough to have seen 0-5 teams advance to a championship. Each week a new puzzle presents itself, and we just need to solve one at a time.

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