We are now at the quarter-mark of the NFL season, believe it or not! We’re now starting to get a better feel for who we should be starting and sitting on a week-to-week basis, and which matchups are actually ones to target, rather than matchups that look good because of a small sample size.

There are some very interesting matchups on deck for Week 5, so let’s talk about some.

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On this edition of the Razzball Fantasy Football Podcast, B_Don and Donkey profile two early season second year breakouts in D.J. Chark and Will Dissly. After reviewing the film on Chark and looking back at their rookie review notes on the young speedster, the guys debate Chark’s fantasy value vs. each of A.J. Brown, Dante Pettis, Jamison Crowder, Nelson Agholor, Dede Westbrook, Terry McLaurin and several others.

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Last night was the yearly tradition of the two teams that nobody wants to see on Thursday night play against one another on Thursday night. The location? One of the premier hard drug abuse cities of the United States! Maybe I’ll just watch the Tulane and Houston game that Pat McAfee is announcing. Wait a minute.. that guy in the headband.. with the mustache. Is that Grey Albright? Now that baseball season is coming to a close it would make sense that Grey would finesse himself onto the Jaguars.

But it’s not Grey. It’s the man who is here to save the NFL. The man who works out in the locker room with nothing but a headband and a jock strap. And the man who’s going to make Nick Foles the two-time highest paid back up in the NFL. It’s Gardner Minshew.

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It is an interesting feeling being on this side of the fantasy football wall. The data domination article had a productive week 2, but the Dede Westbrook “must play” landmine was a tough pill to swallow. It is always the goal to hit 100%, but this is obviously not realistic. Within the constant refinement process hopefully I can avoid such significant misses in the future. WE ARE ON TO WEEK 3.

Last week, we discussed a week 2 approach centered around overreactions. As we move forward in the early half of the season one of my favorite approaches is to compare pre-season beliefs versus the present situation and for any gaps have the opponents up until this point forced those changes in the way the players/team is viewed. Incorporating that difference with an outlook moving forward can often lead us to fantasy championships. This idea will bleed into many of my data points in the next few weeks to great context to how we can use the information.

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The week 2 slate is my favorite of every season. It offers the best chance for sharp minds to jump on bounce backs players and teams. The public often overvalues a single game sample. Using data to attack these angles involves looking back at 2018, evaluating changes to personnel/coaches, and combining those facts with the week 1 data we have available.

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Week 1’s of the NFL season are always interesting. Not only do we have such high expectations for almost each team after a long and tedious offseason, but we’re always surprised at which defenses decide to show up, and which don’t. Which offenses show up, and which don’t. There are a bunch of fantastic advanced metrics and stats to show both offensive and defensive efficiency, yet, after a long offseason full of roster moves, teams are bound to get drastically better or worse on either offense or defense. And over the next few weeks or so, we’ll have a better idea of which defenses we should target, and which to stay away from.

They say never bench your studs, and that’s mostly correct. So let’s talk about who you should bench, and more importantly, who you should start.

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A few years ago, my brother entered a team into a $1 daily fantasy league with around 56,000 people taking part. He entered several other teams into other leagues, some of which required a $20 entry, some $10, and so on.

By Monday night, all but one of his teams were out of the running. But in that $1 league, he wasn’t just in the money. He was in first place. And though he admittedly did his research with all of the lineups, that $1 team was more of a “gut” team, where he just kind of went against the most obvious choices, stacked Russell Wilson (5 TDs) and Doug Baldwin (3 TDs), had a vintage AP performance (158 yards, 2 TDs), got production from role players (29.6 pts from Brandon Marshall, 17 points from CIN DST), and the rest was history. A couple days later, he was $12,000 richer, and he’s been an advocate of going with his gut feeling ever since.

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In leagues where rosters are 30 players deep and waivers are plucked clean, it’s important not to overreact after week 1. This is especially true for players on the back-end of your roster that won’t see much of the field this year. The hyped rookie that you drafted isn’t burning you by sitting in your 27th roster spot. It’s important to temper your expectations on these rookies and not fall victim to week 1.

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Each week I will preview a couple of games that are ripe with fantasy juice for us to squeeze. Highlighting which players have a path to eat, DFS plays, and studs that should be faded.

Bonus content – The 50/50 Club: Seeking streaming options, managing through roster injuries, filling bye weeks, or looking for bargain DFS plays? This year I will select, what I’ve coined as, the 50/50 club. A weekly fantasy roster (QB, RB/RB, WR/WR, TE, DST) comprised of players that have ownership numbers less than 50% across major fantasy platforms. The following week we’ll review how we performed. At the end of the year, we will see how we stack up cumulatively at each position. Can we field a top 12 QB or TE, or top 24 RB/WR over the course of the season?

Please, blog, may I have some more?