While it is true that you cannot spell ‘elite’ without ‘eli’, we all know that Eli Manning is NOT elite. That was just atrocious to watch on a Thursday night. Pat Shurmur looked like he was going to kill somebody when Eli kept checking down to RB’s. But let’s move away from that atrocity of a game and focus on 4 games with some big fantasy implications this week…

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Fantasy football playoffs in many leagues will begin in 4 weeks — where do you stand? What do you need to make your last playoff push? Trade deadline should be approaching even sooner — time to take stock of of what your team is and isn’t good at — and perhaps even more importantly — what do your league mates need that you have an abundance of? The best owners have been tracking who their future playoff competitors have been suffering through and how they can take advantage.

Four teams on a bye week in week 11: Panthers, Colts, Jets, 49ers. Not a lot of fantasy points lost by those four teams not playing, but three of my favorite punching bags are now not targets for waiver adds. 

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Well, on a day where Jim Nantz called a pregame 9/11 memorial a 9/11 celebration, there really isn’t anywhere to go other than down… Or maybe I’m just talking in the context of the Chargers. And yes, I think I’ve written this before, but as one of the few Chargers fans in the industry (there are dozes of us, dozens!), I actually try really hard not to wax poetic about this team, an anti-bias if you will. (Except for Philip Rivers, he’s a flower.) Though, it could also be because injuries and disappointment have been a yearly routine for the Chargers, so plugging in a fork is probably more preferable than writing about them. Regardless, I only try to focus on them when it is absolutely necessary, because, believe me, I’d rather not write about how they lost yesterday despite having a 24-point lead at the half, nor would I want to mention that the Chiefs had the biggest comeback in franchise history, especially since both of those things would probably put someone like myself on suicide watch… But I do probably need to discuss Keenan Allen‘s non-contact knee injury that occurred before the half, which required a cart and hospital visit. It has now been confirmed to be an ACL tear, and based on my extensive health knowledge and degree in orthopedics (haha, my mother wishes!), I can come to the determination that this is bad. Like, season-ending bad. Also, knees continue to be a weak point in human anatomy. Also possibly groins. And this will not only cause ripple effects in football, but fantasy football as well. I think it’s fair to assume that Allen will be out the rest of the year, and here’s who will be affected positively by it: Travis Benjamin, Tyrell Williams, and Dontrelle Inman. To a lesser extent? Antonio Gates and Danny Woodhead. Here’s who will be affected negatively by it: My liver.

We’ll go over it a bit more along with all the other news and notes from yesterdays games after the jump…

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When previewing matchups on DraftKings, it gets a little too easy to be lazy. Just roster the guys with the green OPRK, avoid the guys with it in red and maybe kinda/sorta glance at the neutral white guys. BTW, neutral white guys should be the name of the political party in Switzerland. You’re free to use it, Swiss Mrs. out there…but more to the point, I have a little secret for you. Come closer so I can whisper it into your ear. No, closer…EVERYONE CAN BE RUN ON! Sorry, felt the yelling would smack you from complacent analysis. Not like it hurt your ears, you’ve been listening to Rise Against at top volume with your ear buds jammed into your head. PS, don’t do that. Both listen to them and jack the volume up. Both are bad for you. Now where were we…oh yeah, anyone can be run on. When looking at Seattle’s rush defense, you have to allow for caveats. Yes, their numbers suggest running on them isn’t a good thing. They’ve only allowed 3.5 yards per carry on the year, a stat which is 4th best on the year. They’ve also only allowed 1036 rushing yards, good for 5th best. But I have two stat lines for you to debunk this mindset: 29/115/1 and 20/159/2. The first stat line is DeMarco Murray from week 6 in Seattle and the second one is Jamaal Charles from week 11 in KC. The rest of the lead backs Seattle has faced this year? A litany of circumstantial meh. Alfred Morris without RG3 under center in week 5? Trash. Darren McFadden at home in week 9? C’mon, man. Andre Williams in week 10? Dumpster fire. In fact, Seattle gave up 18/85/1 to Tre Mason and 16/79 to Jonathan Stewart this year too but if you asked anyone if Seattle is a stout run defense and they’ll say ‘yes’m’. Well, maybe not ‘yes’m’ unless you talk with a lot of people from the south. But that doesn’t tell you much about why you should start LeSean McCoy, of course so lets get Shady for a minute. First, let’s talk price tag: $6,400. If he’s your RB1 this week, that’s prettay, prettay nice. Secondly, he averages 22 touches a game on the season. That’s nice floor. Thirdly that’s also a fourthly and possibly a fifthly, he’s scored a touchdown and/or had over 100 yards from scrimmage in 6 of his last 7 games and three of his four touchdowns this season have come in the last four games. Don’t be throwing no shade at Shady this week, friends. But enough about that, let’s talk about another that. Here’s my red hot takes on the week 14 DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 team league of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It lets us know that you care!

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If you don’t remember from last week, and since most people don’t remember what they had for breakfast I wouldn’t be surprised, we discussed that paying down at QB makes sense unless under extreme circumstances if you are using the rule of 5. If you don’t remember but wish you did, well, here. The concept revolves directly around how much can you reasonably expect from your QB vs a skill position. Now, Drew Brees scored over 32 this last week. At 8.2K, that was probably the best return you could’ve expected and was close to 4x value. But the second best? Eli Manning with over 27 at 5.8K. Sure, you lost 5 points but you gained 2.4K to spend on skill positions. Skill positions that could score you 39.4 points (Odell Beckham) or 36.7 (Demaryius Thomas). It’s that wiggle room you want to create from QB by playing matchups so you can pay up at the skill positions most weeks. Wanna know who gives me that wiggle this week? Alex Smith. Not that kind of wiggle. Gross. Don’t look at his season stats to weigh his $6,200 price tag. Instead, look back on weeks where KC had to throw to keep in the game. I can already tell you you’re not looking in the right place. That’s his 2014 game log. You’ll find nothing there. Go back nearly a full year to week 12 of 2013 and you’ll see a healthy line against the Broncos where he threw for 293 yards, 2 TDs and ran for 46 yards. Sure, doesn’t sound that exciting but it’s roughly 24 points and gives you the chance to pair with…oh, I’m getting ahead of myself so you’ll just have to read on. Here’s my red hot takes for the week 13 DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 team league of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It lets us know that you care!

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 grayjoy

Perhaps more recently known as Reek, Theon Greyjoy is the heir of Lord Balon Greyjoy of the Iron Islands in the ever popular Game of Thrones saga. At the age of nine, he was left as a hostage by his father with the House of Stark as a condition of surrender. Despite being a hostage, Theon was treated well by they Starks, and he a Robb Stark became best friends. Depicted in the HBO series as an arrogant and narcissistic person on the outside, Theon is actually weak, insecure, and unsure of himself. After turning on Robb Stark when he was sent home to Pyke to seek an alliance with Balon Greyjoy, through a series of events, life for Theon took a drastic turn. He unknowingly attempted to seduce his own sister, was rejected by his birth father, seized Winterfell, was betrayed by his own men, and eventually found himself the tortured prisoner of Roose Bolton’s bastard son, Ramsay Snow, who cut off his manhood (literally), renamed him Reek, and turned him into his own human pet.

But now on to some legitimate Gray joy…

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Robert Selden Duvall has had a role in countless films that have helped me enjoyingly pass the time over the last 30-something years. Most will remember him for his role as Tom Hagen in The Godfather and The Godfather II, but few will know that he actually won the Oscar for Best Actor playing country western singer Mac Sledge in Tender Mercies in 1983. Heck, I’ve never even heard of that movie. When it comes to good old Bobby Duvall, I am more of a Days of Thunder kind of guy. “You can drive through it Cole!” Damn, that’s a great flick. It’s like Top Gun with race cars. But it’s not the movie I’d like to mention today. In 1988, Duvall and Sean Penn teamed up to play cops in the C.R.A.S.H unit that patrols East L.A.. Duvall, as Bob “Uncle Bob” Hudges, a 19-year LAPD veteran, is partnered with rookie Danny “Pacman” McGavin as the two work to keep the peace in East L.A. by trying to keep the street gangs in line. The film tells us the tale of these two police officers and their approach to dealing the Bloods and the Crips.

Colors was an outstanding movie, but it is not the reason this post is entitled “Colors”. That reason would be thanks to Jonas “Gray” and Alfred “Blue”, whose colorful names lead a cast of relatively unknowns, or I should say “unowneds”, to come together as a team that combined for 191.04 points and would have easily beaten any other lineup in Yahoo! half point head-to-head leagues.

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I’ve made some changes to the Stats Machine (TSM) this week in hopes to present more accurate data. While this is a weekly post that highlights the previous week’s top performances, TSM also provides a year-to-date report to help you identify valuable players. Until now, this has been based on the players’ total score for the season. The problem with that is that it punishes players that have already had a bye, as they will have had one less game than players that have not. Until all teams have had their bye week, this list will be powered by each players’ average score per game. Got it? Good.

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After last Sunday’s unexpected, yet sort of expected meltdown against a Patriots team that was seriously broken to that point, one has to wonder if the Bengals will ever be ready for the spotlight. Signing Andy Dalton to a six-year, bajillionty dollar contract extension this past offseason certainly showed us that their front office is all in. Or, at the very least, supports the ingredient ginger. And while you could argue that such a large extension for a quarterback that’s mainly used as a bar for comparing other quarterback’s talent levels (if your quarterback is better than Andy Dalton, you’re in pretty good shape, if he isn’t, you’re screwed), it’s not  like there’s an abundance of elite throwers out there. Plenty of Jason Campbell’s and Kevin Kolb’s though. So there are worse things you could do at the position. The Jets say hello. And paired with one of the best receivers in the NFL in A.J. Green, with Giovani Bernard and a top-5 defense, you could see this Bengels team go really far. Just as long as they don’t have any more games in prime time. Or during Wild Card weekend. Or any playoff game in general. But besides that, I could totally see this team take off. Really.

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Gronk, my savior. My gallant knight in shining armor riding his mighty steed coming to rescue me, his distressed virgin maiden. That’s two weeks in a row now that Gronk has saved me from fantasy extinction, and I owe him my sanity for it. In all of my days, I’ve never witnessed a tight end that seemingly breaks a tackle on every single reception. Sorta like how Kanye West seemingly says something incredibly moronic every time he opens his mouth or puts on a new skirt. It’s quite incredible, really. It’s certainly within the realm of  possibility  that Gronk could have been the greatest tight end in the game’s history, if you erased all the nasty injuries that incredibly chiseled body (pause) has endured. That’s most likely not going to occur now, but as long as he’s even at 75%, he’s a top-3 tight end in football. I’ll take 100 yards and a tub each and every week from my tight end and celebrate with an O’Douls. If captain limp wrist can play like he did this past week, Gronk’s numbers should continue to ascend like Apple stock after they dropped the iPhone 6….Wait… what? Scratch that. Oh, you waited six hours in the rain for one of those? I wouldn’t wait six hours in the street for a FREE iPhone 6, let alone to have the opportunity to pay full price for one. Kudos to those of you with that kind of dedication and tenacity though. I’m thoroughly impressed…

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