With Training Camp in full-swing, it’s a perfect opportunity to take a look at some key players that are entering their final year of a contract, looking to prove themselves to their team or multiple teams if they’re likely to hit free agency. In recent news, many elite football players have been holding out of training camp in order to get new deals, like Ezekiel Elliott, Melvin Gordon, and up until a recent contract extension, Michael Thomas.

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Completed Previews: AFC North – NFC North – NFC East Part I – NFC East Part II – AFC East Part I – AFC East Part II – NFC South Part I – NFC South Part II

2019 projections referenced below are based on razzball.com 2019 projections managed and updated by our very own @RudyGamble . ADP, and strength of schedule referenced below are based on fantasypros.com consensus data.

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For this week’s article I am going to try something new. Let’s get a conversation going on a topic that’s DFS-related but not particularly substantive (and thus probably won’t be the topic of discussion anywhere else). Is it a good thing that the Rams/Chiefs game won’t be on the main slate? I’m not talking about the general point about the value of having the MNF game on the slate (as they used to do a few years ago), rather, just specifically the Rams/Chiefs game, which has the highest total since 1986 and would have had numerous guys who would have been main cogs of your lineup had the game been on the slate (Gurley, at his slightly lowered price of $10,600, and Tyreek Hill at $7,900 would have been two monster plays, Kelce at $7,800, Woods at $7,500, and Cooks at $7,800 would have been expensive pieces but reasonable plays, Josh Reynolds at $5,000 would have been an interesting punt, and while Patrick Mahomes at $9,500 may have been priced out of viability, Jared Goff at $8,300 would certainly be in the conversation). So, what say you, my loyal readers? Feel free to post as to whether you think it’s a good thing or a bad thing that the Rams/Chiefs game isn’t on the slate (or if you think it’s good for cash games, bad for GPPs, or vice versa, that’s certainly an interesting take too). I’d love to hear everyone’s opinion on this…

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Readers, I am a hot little potato this morning. I decided to dabble in a little offshore gambling this past weekend as I sometimes do. You know what? My day was going pretty well. The Panthers covered in a pretty worry-free affair. The Cardinals marched down and scored a game winning touchdown on the final drive. I’m sitting at 2-0 thinking that there is no way that I am getting to 3-0 because I laid 7.5 points and took the Rams. All of a sudden, the Packers fumble the kick off with two minutes to go in the fourth quarter. I have life! The Rams have the ball at the 20 and the best running back in football. The Packers best chance of getting the ball back is letting Gurley walk in the end zone and hope for a missed extra point. 

The first two plays were dumb reverses and now all of a sudden, it is 3rd down with just under a minute to go. The Rams snap it and toss the ball to Todd Gurley with blockers ahead of him. Gurley busts through the first ten yards, the play is looking good. Gurley is outrunning everybody and has a clear path to the end zone that he makes 10 out of 10 times. He stops. Right at the damn 5 or so yard line. My heart sinks. It’s the smartest football play he could’ve made. But C’MON GURLEY! Pad those stats and pad my wallet in the process. Team players aren’t good for fantasy or gambling, folks. I’ll take my fury out on these game review takes. 

Be sure to check out our most popular tool, the trade analyzer. You like to trade? Rudy would love to help! It’s free, comprehensive, and simple to use. 

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We finally have a decision on Todd Gurley. He’s been an absolute stone cold mortal lock so far this season given that he’s been under $10K for most of the season and was only $10.2K last week – an insanely cheap price given the team he plays for and the role he has on it (namely, that once the Rams get into the red zone, something they do with insane frequency, they just give it to Gurley and let him run it in, and also, they’re the best team in football so they have a big lead late and let Gurley get all the kill-clock yards in the 4th quarter). FanDuel finally jacked his price up to something like $1,000,000,000 (note – it may just be $11,000, as I may be exaggerating for comedic effect). Now it becomes a decision. He’s still an absolute monster. But is he worth it? Ultimately it’ll come down to how comfortable you are with the value that you’ll need to play to roster him. And if you’re unsure on who to play, check out Rudy’s projections here at Razzball!

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Four straight weeks of double-digit fantasy points has David Njoku trending upwards in the top TE pecking order. He was a limited participant on Wednesday which leads me to believe that he’ll be playing (and eating) this weekend. His opponent, the Steelers, have allowed double-digit points to TEs for 5 straight weeks and Njoku will make that 6 despite only catching 3 passes for 13 yards in week 1 against the Steelers. It’s a whole njew Njoku in week 8! My take: Will play, start him.

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Matt Breida, RB, Shoulder: Breida played through this same injury last week and was listed as a limited participant in practice on Wednesday. My take: Will play, start him — he’s good to go. Raheem Mostert? I wouldn’t worry too much about that little guy. I think that was a game dependent outlier performance. Kyle Juszczyk though? I don’t trust anyone with that many consonants in a row. Just seems like witchcraft. 

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Better Luck(y) than good may not apply to the NFL, or at least not for the Colts. The Colts got their star quarterback behind center this season, but has not resulted in much success, as the team is 1-5 with the sole win coming against the Redskins in a game that was brutal to watch. The Colts top WR has been banged up and the injury and time share among the RBs has left much to be desired. While the Colts offense is currently 11th in points scored, much of that has been achieved while playing from behind or in garbage time. For fantasy purposes, it doesn’t matter much when the points are accumulated, but what can you expect from the offense moving forward?

Well, B_Don, riding solo for this podcast, takes a look at the Colts offense and breaks down the player profiles for the Colts offensive weapons not named Andrew Luck or T.Y. Hilton. B_Don profiles the secondary pieces in the offense to see who you can trust rest of season. Chester Rogers, Ryan Grant, Eric Ebron, Jack Doyle, Nyheim Hines, Marlon Mack, and Jordan Wilkins are profiled to give you an idea of what they are from an ability standpoint. B_Don also looks at the offense as a whole to give you fantasy values for these players moving forward.

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We have a London game! It should mean earlier football but instead it is the same time as the other early games but unfortunately the NFL is putting this game at noon as well. We all will have to wait another week to get a bonus 3 and a half hours of football. Speaking of London, apparently the Jaguars becoming London’s official team is closer to becoming a reality according to their ownership. That seems like nothing but a sh*tshow. Jacksonville finally has a competitor to root for and NOW it’s time for this. Khan wants to keep the team based in Jacksonville while playing some or most of their home games at Wembley stadium. Who would want to sign there? That’s taking away a lot of what home field advantage has to offer. Does Blake Bortles really play that much better overseas? But, if we can get more 8:30 games I might not complain that much. 

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