What’s the difference between Jon Gruden in September and an overripe California-grown tomato? The tomato doesn’t have to put up with Mark Davis for the next seven years, who, coincidentally (or not?), also looks like an overripe tomato — except Davis does for all 12 months of the year. For Gruden, it’s just about a two-month sweet spot, and who can blame him for wanting to get his bronze on to complete that irresistible visor look? From the TV, he looks like he’s yap-yap-yapping from the first whistle to the last, the same way Pete Carroll is chomping at the bit from the moment he comes out of the tunnel.

Both Carroll and Gruden have attractive fantasy running backs at their disposal as they prepare week after week in the form of Chris Carson and Josh Jacobs. They also appear to be staring at pretty hefty fines from the league office after looking somewhat lax with their mask usage during gameplay on Sunday and Monday. No matter how you spin it, the NFL was hit with a plethora of unfortunate story lines in Week 2, with stars on both sides of the ball doing down with seemingly every ailment underneath the moon. That makes my job entering Week 3 of the season as difficult as it’s going to get (*knock on wood, although Gruden’s mid-section as of late Monday night would suffice*), so let’s fast-forward through the pleasantries and get to the ever-controversial top 60 ROS running back rankings. First, let’s take a quick trip around the league via some player news and updates.

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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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I went to the doctor yesterday to request a procedure. No, not an enlargement, those are apparently on hold until post-pandemic. I was there to see if my doc would inject the Thursday night Texans vs. Chiefs game directly into my veins; I wasn’t sure if ocular consumption would be enough to tide my cravings until Sunday afternoon. You wouldn’t believe how rude the women at the front desk was to me. Here’s a direct quote, “Sir, this is a Wendy’s! Please stop talking to the Dr. Pepper dispenser and put your clothes back on!” Hey, lady, how bout a little compassion for an addict?!

Speaking of compassion, Clyde Edwards-Helaire had none of it for the Texans in the season opener. The hyped up rookie gashed the Houston defense by taking 25 carries for 138 yards and a touchdown. Granted there were times when it seemed the Texans had only 3-men in the box and Clyde didn’t impress at the goal line, but even Edwards-Helaire haters have to admit he looked great otherwise. And the Mahomes led offense will yield plenty of light boxes throughout the season. I ranked CEH #11 overall in my 2020 fantasy football rankings, and looking to the rest of the season, I’d bump him up to #5 or 6 after this impressive week one workload. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy football:

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Two days, football fans! Two days! That means the 2020 NFL Season will be upon us in a smaller span of time than your average game of cricket. Quicker than your seven round NFL Draft. And much faster than it takes Kirk Cousins to get rid of the ball on a typical pass play. Just two days and we’ll have NFL football. Two days until you get to turn months of research and late-night draft parties into something that actually matters as all the projection slowly turns into production. Today, we’ll begin with the former as I reveal my top 60 running backs heading into week one of the 2020 season. As a general baseline, I’ll be using half-PPR scoring for these rankings. Moving forward, I will continuously update these 60 backs on a weekly basis to provide an up-to-date snapshot at the top options at the position moving forward. Before we get into the actual rankings, here are some highlights from the opening list.

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In my opinion, your fantasy football success hinges on the success of your running backs this year. Rudy projects about 50 receivers to have over 90 targets, which is enough WR to fill a standard 12-team league almost 5 men deep (for more on this, read my analysis/therapist book, The Man Inside Me). So, there’s about 50 WR who will score, on average in a PPR league, about 10 points/game or more. Meanwhile, there are 30 such RBs who are projected to score 10 points/per game in PPR scoring, meaning 2.5 RB per team. The lowest ADP of these running backs is Duke Johnson. I’ll tell you why you should take a swing with the Texans’ backup back, who could very well be the player who saves your fantasy playoff run in 2020.

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As I crawled through the desert wearing my backpack filled to the brim with toilet paper and various lotions, dying of sports thirst, a small rain drop landed squarely on my nose. The NFL players narrowly approved a new collective bargaining agreement Saturday night, lengthening the season by one game and expanding the playoffs to 14 teams; the rain drop for which I’d been longing. Then on Monday, the flood gates opened with a downpour of high profile free agent signings, trades and franchise taggings on the first day of legal tampering. 

Lightning struck when then Texans inexplicably handed DeAndre Hopkins and a 2021 4th rounder over to the Cardinals in exchange for David Johnson, a 2nd round draft pick and a 2020 4th rounder. The amount of hand sanitizer included in the deal was not disclosed, but my sources tell me at least three ounces of Purell headed back to Houston. The echo chamber seems to believe this move will have a decidedly negative affect on Nuk’s fantasy value, but I’m rose-colored in my year two outlook for the Kliff Kingsbury/Kyler Murray show. If he’s a mid to late 2nd round fantasy pick this year, I’ll dhop all over him.

Later the thunder rumbled as Stefon Diggs was dealt with a 2020 7th rounder to the Bills in exchange for pick #22, their 2020 5th, 2020 6th and 2021 4th rounder. I’ve seen many folks say this was a terrible deal for the Bills, but if you toss the 26 year old Diggs into this draft class he’d go top 10, right? And he’s signed to a reasonably team friendly deal thru 2023. Change of scenery may be just what Diggs needed. I’ll be buying again in 2020 and bumping Josh Allen up my board as well. Anyway, here’s what else I saw for 2020 fantasy football during this already crazy coronavirus-filled NFL offseason:  

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Bill O’Brien is a man with too many responsibilities for a billion dollar organization. Bill O’Brien comes from the Bill Belichick coaching tree, but he’s not as savvy. Luckily for O’Brien, the dominoes have fell in his favor in regards to appearing in the postseason. The Texans have made the playoffs in 4 out of the last 5 seasons including two wins. 

The Texan’s 2019 playoff appearance can be attributed to a nice home win against a depleted Patriots roster, and a shocker on the road against the Chiefs, but outside of that it seemed like they skated by. If Andrew Luck hadn’t retired, the playoff picture probably would have looked a lot different. Lost in the fact that the Chiefs made a historic comeback in the divisional round against the Texans is the fact that Bill O’Brien and the Texans were embarrassingly unprepared to maintain a lead after already winning at Arrowhead that season. Pat Mahomes very well could end up as the best quarterback of our generation, but the Texans blew it with questionable play calling being at the forefront.

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The 2020 NFL Draft Combine has come and gone. Here’s what we learned: Henry Ruggs isn’t slow, two large trees were killed in the making of A.J. Dillon’s legs, Jonathan Taylor is THE MAN, and eight large deep dish pizzas (Pequods-only) in three days is too much for any one donkey. So now what? First, I’ll probably need to go to the gym to work off these 30 extra combine-pizza-pounds. But you’re here for fantasy football discussion, not updates on Donkey’s rapidly deteriorating physical and mental health. Well, our 2020 Dynasty and Rookie Rankings are now being populated and updated frequently, and B_Don is plowing thru the film on his 2020 NFL Draft Previews. I went over my top 20 and top 40 dynasty running backs last week and made a couple minor post-combine tweaks once the dust settled (insert Jonathan Taylor eggplant emoji). Anyway, here’s my top 60 running backs for 2020 PPR dynasty football:

Disclaimer: If you’re sensitive to ridiculously high rankings of Kerryon Johnson, don’t scroll too far. 

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We all remember the greatest passing tandems in the history of the NFL: Montana to Rice, Manning to Harrison, and AB to his doctor’s face. But make room legends, there’s a new connection in town: Lock to Sutton. It was a solid debut for the Broncos’ 2nd round pick out of Mizzou, as Drew Lock went 18/28 for 134 yards, adding 3 carries for 15 yards and throwing his first two career touchdown passes. But the real story was that both touchdowns were thrown to second year breakout Courtland Sutton who finished the game with 4 catches for 75 yards and now has 6 touchdowns on the season. Could the the 3rd time be the charm for John Elway drafted QBs? Brock Osweiler (2012 2nd rounder) and Paxton Lynch (2016 1st rounder) were worse investments than the Razzball coin I bought off Grey last year. Maybe, just maybe, this Lock/Sutton hook up could be something special for years to come. Anyway, here’s what else I saw during yesterday afternoon’s games for fantasy football:    

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