For a sixth straight season, Razzball will be interviewing NFL-team blogs and site contributors for some actual in-depth football knowledge to shed some additional light on our fantasy football knowledge. Keep your eye out for an interview for every NFL team for our Team Preview Series through the summer. This installment comes courteous of Brian Malan from the leading Baltimore Ravens blog: Baltimore Beatdown.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Seriously, I shouldn’t have to be writing this lead. This is fantasy football, right? We’re talking about a fake sport where we want to crush our opponents with an amazing game or two from some star players, right? Well Baltimore don’t care, people. This offense has been stuck in neutral all year and – no surprise – so has most of the fantasy worth surrounding the team. Even good matchups haven’t been exploited to the extent they could be. Detroit’s secondary should’ve been torched tonight and they were able to move the ball plenty on jump balls. It was like watching the 2012 season all over again. I like to think of it as the chuck and pray offense. Well, last year a lot of prayers were answered. This year, not so much. Baltimore can move the ball fairly well but haven’t been able to do much of anything with their opportunities once they get close in. And that’s why I have to talk about a kicker. Well, that and the Lions offense was a bit of a bore so that didn’t help. Either way, Justin Tucker has probably helped more than one fantasy team get to their respective Super Bowl this week and I gotta tell ya…I’m not happy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad you got in. Yes you. You know I’d follow you to the ends of the Earth and back. So here’s to you…you. But no, it’s just further proof to me that kickers have entirely too much sway on the outcome of this game we play. Of Justin’s 6 field goals, I’d say 2 of them were legit and the rest was just more Ravens offense failure. I already went over my disgust with the kicker position this summer. I don’t think I can cover it any better. Ok, I probably could’ve but much like Allen Iverson and practice, we talkin’ bout kickers. Not a game, no not a game…kickers. So here’s to you, the team that is strutting its stuff on their way to the big game on the big leg of a kicker who may not even finish top 5 at his position next year if the Ravens can figure out what the end zone looks like. In other fantasy news…ok, ok I know you all wanna know where I went last weekend and why I had JB covering me for the week 15 rundown. Well, I got to go to this little thing called the Playboy Mansion. You know, no biggie. Just me, my Fantasy Baseball compadre Grey Albright, and the handsome SOB I pretended I was all weekend Tehol Beddict. Since there’s no Thursday Night Football, we might see what we can do to give a taste of the event we went to on Friday but I hold no promises as I should probably be sleeping for the next five days just to make up for the evil I did to myself with an open bar. I think even my fingers have a hangover right now…neverthewhoo! Let’s get on with it…Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s been a few weeks where this has been the case but it takes a rankings week like this to be firmly reminded: the TE position seems to always start with so much promise and seemingly ends in pain for about 75% of the league. Remember when Jordan Cameron couldn’t be stopped? Remember when Jordan Reed was gonna make up for when he was? Remember when we thought Gronk would be back week 4 so we picked up Rob Housler cuz it didn’t really matter what your TE did for a few weeks? Fun times…wait no it wasn’t. TE has turned back into a cess pool and we need no firmer a reminder than Jared Cook. Cook is still 14th in total fantasy points in PPR leagues at his position. To put that number in perspective, after his week one explosion for 7/141/2 against the Cardinals he seemed like the stud we’ve all been dreaming of. Now fast forward to week 14 and that game still represents 30% of his total fantasy points production on the year. Woof. And speaking of Jordan Cameron, he’s still 4th among TEs in total fantasy points in the same setting and we all know he’s done nothing since week forever ago at this point. But with all this pain, there is a nice silver lining: you’re in the playoffs if you’re reading this so you made it through the slog and to add to your joys, there’s probably a streamable TE near you for this first week. Wanna know who I’m talking about at this point? Hint: I bolded his name a few sentences ago. Jared gets to face the same team he torched week one in the Cardinals, a team that just gave up a 5/68/2 line to Zach Ertz. You’re just gonna have to face the fact that Jared is gonna be a better play this week than most known names and I’ve ranked him accordingly. Don’t worry, you can throw him away like the used condom you accidentally stepped on barefoot this morning. You need to work on your trash can aim, bro…but if you’re sitting there with a bad matchup for your TE who’s not Gronk or Graham, Cook should be a great grab for this week. Outside of that, I also like Martellus more than others do and someone is gonna have to explain to me why the Bengals at home against the Colts isn’t a sweet matchup. Am I the only one who’s noticed how bad the Colts have been? Wins be damned, this is not a good squad and not a huge challenge for opposing defenses right now. Torrey Smith: I toldja I liked him for the playoff stretch and I put my money where my mouth is even though every one tells you that is just not hygienically sound to do. Look a little further down beyond top 10 WRs and you see some surprises. Andre Holmes? What can I say, I’m a believer. Jacoby Jones? What’s good for the Torrey Goose is good for the Dancer. Julian Edelman? They’re not putting Joe Haden on him and if they are…well, then crap that was a really bad call. Mike Glennon and Matt McGloin are hovering up near the top 12 just asking to be let in but I am the fantasy gatekeeper and say YOU SHALL NOT PASS! Still, good plays this week if you’re a Luck owner. Kickers were selectively lined up – naked and blindfolded – in an interrogation room where they were forced at gunpoint to listen to Barry Manilow. Only those who survived made the list. But enough about the kicker inquisition, let’s get this game rolling. Here’s your week 14 rankings for 2013 Fantasy Football…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Well, he ain’t from down in Louisiana close to New Orleans. Then again, he might be. Didn’t read the bio. This is fantasy, not A Football Life. We don’t care if Jacoby Jones is from near Lake Titicaca, we just care that he has an awesome Sunday for us. Or Monday. Or sometimes Thursday. Anyone think we’ll eventually just have football on 7 days a week? I think they’ve expanded college football to pretty much every day but Tuesday and Wednesday at this point. Not that I’m complaining, of course, just wanted to know I’m not the only one seeing this trend. Speaking of trends, sometimes they’re your friend. Well, not the kind you can borrow money from or go to the bar with but a friend nonetheless. The trend I speak of is the Detroit Lions secondary and how it just loves to give up points to secondary receivers for teams. Let’s ignore Green Bay’s passing debacle and look back at a few secondary receivers who’ve benefited from facing the Lions in the last few weeks. Week 12 saw Tiquan Underwood drop a 3/108/2 line on them. Week 11 saw a healthy line of 3/48/1 from Cotchery. Week 9 saw a 2/64/1 line from Terrance Williams of the Cowboys. Ok, with all this good can we stamp him as a must play for week 15? Nah, of course not. But your team needs force you into strange positions sometimes. Hopefully not the lotus blossom…fantasy football isn’t THAT kind of fantasy. But if you need a nice gamble at flex or WR3 for week 15, Jones could be the Jacoby of all trades for you. Hrm, or free agent pickups I guess. But that doesn’t flow off the wordpress tongue quite as well. But enough about tongues, strange positions and Underwood, let’s move along and see who else is a good pick up for week 15 of 2013 Fantasy Football…Please, blog, may I have some more?
I am not gonna lie, I’m doing this the lazy way. I just spent the day watching football, cleaning house, watching more football, taking the dog for a walk, watching more football, drinking, watching, more drinking…well, you get the point. I’m gonna recap that which is recappable and ignore that which is recrappable. And sadly, there was much that could’ve gone in the pie hole today and instead came out another one. But that’s for the reviews and we ain’t there yet, we’re still talking in the opener soooo…um, welcome to your Turkey hangover I guess? I don’t know what else to say. I’m typing this pre-podcast with the crew over at Revelation Sports. Little to their knowledge, they’re getting me three beers in. Ok, I fib, I’m at about five and really I still have an hour to get a couple more in. I pray for all involved that I don’t say something stupid like ‘start all Green Bay Packer wide receivers’. That would really make me look drunk, right? Ok, I’m foreshadowing. Let’s antishadow and get this going. Here’s the three servings of Thanksgiving Night Football for the 2013 Fantasy Football season…Please, blog, may I have some more?
For many fantasy football leagues, this is the week that decides whether or not you’re in the playoffs. The good news is that a lot of the top tier talent has fantastic matchups. Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, Matt Forte, and Frank Gore were likely all taken in the first or early second round at the beginning of the season and if you were smart/lucky enough to draft them then, they are sure to guide you to victory this week. There are exceptions to that, of course, but you didn’t draft them quite as early.
Knowshon Moreno only gained 79 yards against Kansas City two weeks ago and this week he faces them again, this time nursing a bone bruise somewhere around his ankle. The injury doesn’t sound serious, but the matchup is. If you’re comfortable with 8 points from your RB2/3 then go ahead and start him, but don’t count on a huge week from the Denver feature back.
Le’Veon Bell is in a very similar position to Moreno. In week 7, he had less than 10 fantasy points against Baltimore’s tough run defense. This week he travels to Baltimore to face them again. He’s clearly the workhorse for the Steelers so he’s difficult to sit, but he’s unlikely for a score in a crucial week for fantasy teams.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Normally a big game from someone comes early in the day and I circle it, pin it on my 100 %recycled cork board and dictate the rest of my post in pieces here and there throughout but I’m not gonna lie: the Broncos vs Pats game I had circled. I just knew the name would come out of this game. I mean, we had all those stars and great storylines. Wes Welker returning to face his former team. Amendola living up to the hype of trying to replace Wes in New England. Peyton Manning doing his best nihilist impersonation. Gisele rushing onto the field and Tonya Harding’ing Welker also came to mind. But instead, out of all the storylines this game brought to life, it was really center stage for a guy who’s been under-appreciated for what he has meant to his team, been called out on twitter and in general gets no respect. I’m of course talking about Knowshon Moreno, the much maligned starting RB for the Broncos whose emergence started last year when Willis went down with an injury and rolled into this year while all the pundits said Montee Ball would be the star in Denver. And yet, through it all Moreno has put up some very solid fantasy numbers on the year. But I’m taking this second to point out a different part that’s just as important; what he means to his team. Moreno ‘gets it’ and Peyton knows it. He trusts him. When Moreno is out there, Manning knows he’s got a guy who knows the play and will be ready to block if the play changes and where he needs to be to make the team successful. Of course, twitter has been cruel to him but it’s also shed some light here and there as well. And despite the massive fantasy day, tallying 224 rushing yards on 37 carries to go with a TD, Moreno left the stadium in a walking boot and on crutches. I’m pointing all of this out to say it’s not just Moreno owners who should be worried about this injury as it could affect the offense as a whole if he misses significant time. You think I’m being melodramatic up in here? Think back on all those fumbles by Peyton on huge sacks. Guess who was in to pass block? Mmm-hmmm. He’s real football important and because of that his fake football persona is relevant. Montee Ball started the collapse for the Broncos in the second half with a fumble and has had pass pro issues. Ronnie Hillman has been in the inactive dog house since his fumble fiasco at the goal line in the Colts loss. CJ Anderson? Odd if they wanted him involved why they haven’t given him many reps since the Hill demotion. All this to say, Broncos thought it was cold Sunday Night. We might be finding out how warm it is when he’s away. I know, I know, I know, I know, I know…in other news from week 12 of the 2013 Fantasy Football season…Please, blog, may I have some more?
I think I’ve finally done it. I’ve done gone and lost my mind up in this. It’s week 12 and I’m telling you that Joe Flacco – yes that Joe Flacco – is a top ten QB this week. Man, I’m going so against the grain. How against the grain are you, Sky? I’m so against the grain right now, my wood shop teacher just retroactively expelled me for a week. *Crickets* Standup routine…yeah, I’m still working on it. But here’s the scenario: as boring as Flacco can be – and is and will forever be – oil and water don’t mix and by that I mean…hold on a minute *grabs flask and fills with water and oil*. See? Ok, science class is out for the day. Back to fantasy football. I don’t know if you noticed last weeks Jets vs Bills game – and unless you’re a huge fan of either, you probably didn’t – but EJ Manuel performed what would be described as a ‘vertical pass’ many a time and found himself to be very successful doing it. The big thing about that? His top receiving threats of Wood and Stevie J weren’t in. He was chucking to Goodwin and Graham who, though decent, are still young and, well, they ain’t the #1 and #2 on that team. So the Jets gave up a combined 155 yards to these two last week and it propelled EJ into the top 12 for QBs in scoring. And so enter the Flacco. Baltimore was successful last year with their running game but also with taking long shots down the field. For as much as I rag on Flacco, he does have a strong arm and he does throw an accurate deep ball. The cool thing about that? Jets gave up at least three passing plays that cleared 30 yards, two of them clearing 40. For all the good the Jets rushing defense has been, their passing defense has been equally bad. So with that in mind, Jacoby Jones gets a bit of a bump for the week and I think Flacco has a strong chance at a 250~275 yard passing day and 2 or 3 TDs. In other points of dissent, Ryan Mathews now has 10 or more points in four of his last 5 for standard scoring and faces a KC defense that for as strong as it is, can be run on. Since KC’s offense isn’t exactly an offensive juggernaut, there’s plenty of time for Mathews to get in his carries and pursue his 4th 100 yard game on the year (3 in his last 5). Oh and no AP in the top 5? Yeah, could come back to bite me but there were so many great matchups this week for above average RBs. It was hard to say any of the guys I put ahead of him don’t have a great chance to outshine him. Just note Andre Brown was my breaking point Even my insanity has its limits. Meanwhile, Kenny Stills with a 40 yard bomb and a TD in your WR3 spot sounds about right to me. Cotchery? Well, Antonio is gonna be Haden his stay in Cleveland and either he or Sanders is gonna have himself a fine day. If Sanders can’t go, Cotchery will probably steal his spot in the WR rankings…and your heart. And in Miami, if He-Man doesn’t score at least a TD with 60 or 70 yards, I will have to protest. Defensively, there’s a pile of interesting ones out there. Riaders? Decent against the run, they’re at home and Ryan Fitzpatrick is the Titans starting QB. Could be an under the radar top 10 play this week. Rams I just couldn’t let linger outside the top 10 after their showing in Indy and coming off a bye while playing at home. Could get an electric crowd and a big scoring day from them. This week I made 28 paper footballs and had my wife kick field goals on the table. Inside each, there was a name of a kicker. If she missed, those kickers didn’t make the top 10 and had to try again. Then we ate hot pockets and went to bed. Still a better love story than Twilight. Wait, what? Ok, that’s a wrap. Good luck to you this week, bad luck to your opponents and game on. Here’s the week 12 rankings for 2013 Fantasy Football…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Well this will be my last ranking post with words on each player. I know you want to cry but hold back the tears, friends, we’ll still be with you all summer to cover any rankings updates that need updating and any Amanda Bynes news that needs ignoring. When we last left off on our rankings with the Top 80 Wide Receivers, I said we were in the ‘Veddy Interesting’ tier and that it stretched into the Top 100. Or else Puck a liar call, that still holds true. Oh and if you’re wondering where that link came from, you can click here where I’ve magically hyperlink typed Rankings or you can use all your finger strength and move up to the menu bar where it says ‘Rankings’ to find all your needs fulfilled. At this point of my rankings clearly I’m talking to deep leaguers or the completely insane (which, admittedly, can be one and the same person) so if you’re doing the regular 10 or 12 team thing with the usual roster set up, feel free to ignore. These remaining ain’t for you unless you enjoy the whimsy of my writing (and who doesn’t!). So without more delay, let’s get to the Top 100 Wide Receivers for 2013 Fantasy Football…Please, blog, may I have some more?