Part of being a fantasy analyst is that you’re always, at least to some degree, a contrarian. And being a critic and being contrarian are two different things: the former involves the deployment of data to make an argument, and the latter is going up when others go down [wait, what site am I writing for again?]. The most effective moments in fantasy analysis are when criticism and contrarianism connect, and the fantasy analyst makes a predictive move that could help readers win their fantasy leagues. 

Now, I’m not claiming oracle status, but I will claim a short victory lap on Ryan Fitzpatrick, who I warned my readers to stay away from. 

The (Fitz) magic disappeared on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, when rookie signal caller Tua Tagovailoa was named the starter for the Miami Dolphins. 

Therein lies the vex of fantasy analysis: some of the stuff we say seems, well, loco. Fitzpatrick had been putting up pretty good fantasy numbers. But (and it’s a Blair’s been sitting here writing this update for too-long sized but), Fitzpatrick’s peripheral numbers were terrible. Last week, I pointed out that Fitzpatrick was struggling with moving the ball down the field, was throwing too many interceptions, and had an on-target percentage sandwiched in-between Trubisky and Haskins, each of whom had lost their starting job this year. And now, the Fitzmagic has disappeared. 

Aye, I definitely am a bit crazy. But, if I saved you some cash by navigating you away from Fitzpatrick this season, then take a moment to consider an add-free subscription to the site, or, for less than $2/week remaining on the season, get a Roto Deluxe membership to get all of Rudy’s fresh projections updated for Tua Tagovailoa as the starter. 

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The choice for this week’s lede seemed obvious heading into the final game of the Week 6. Fresh off the Chiefs’ signing of Le’Veon Bell to a one-year deal, Clyde Edwards-Helaire erupted for 161 yards on 26 carries, adding another four receptions on four targets for eight yards. Other than the fact that CEH remains allergic to the end zone, it was an outstanding performance, as he cruised to 6.2 yards-per-carry while handling all of his targets with ease. Meanwhile, Bell saw a much different line in the box score: three plane rides, two luxury hotel stays, seven tweets and a new Mahomes. A big boost to the fantasy value? Well, it depends on how you look at it, as they say. All things are relative. It’s certainly a worse landing spot compared to somewhere like Miami or Buffalo where Bell would have a much greater likelihood of handling lead-back duties. However, playing second fiddle to CEH (which we have to assume for now, based on his Week 6 performance) still beats being the feature back for the New York Jets. Hell, being Andy Reid’s butt-scratcher beats being the No.1 running back for Gang Green. Still, I have to mention that it was in fact Darrel Williams (six carries, 16 yards, one rushing TD; one reception, 15 yards) that found pay dirt, running in a 13-yard score in the third quarter.

As of 8:15 ET on Monday night, that was the clear headline for my top 60 rest of season running back rankings. Well, that was until early in the second quarter of the nightcap between the Cowboys and Cardinals, where we saw the second highest paid running back in the NFL, Ezekiel Elliott, cough up his fourth and fifth fumbles of the season — and it’s only Week 6! By the way, that gives Elliott a share of the NFL lead for fumbles alongside Joe Burrow, Derek Carr and Carson Wentz. That’s right, he leads all running backs. Notably, the Cowboys actually showed a willingness to move away from Elliott for much of the second quarter after that, likely out of an attempt to both wake Elliott up and prioritize salvaging the game as it quickly got away from them. Tony Pollard ended up with a season-high seven carries in the first half, which he turned into 26 yards on the ground. In the end, however, it was obviously still Zeke’s backfield in the second half. Zeke finished with 12 carries for 49 yards, but he also caught eight of 11 targets (most on team) for 31 yards. Pollard finished with 10 carries for 31 yards, adding another two catches for nine yards. It’s reasonable to be concerned if you own any fantasy weapons in the Dallas offense after their performance on Monday night. Abysmal just doesn’t seem to be the right word, but it’ll do for now. The remainder of Dallas’ schedule is also pretty tough against running backs, so I’ve downgraded Elliott one spot.

Before we get to the Week 7 rankings, let’s take a quick trip around the league.

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A lot of people think fantasy writers spend our days and nights surrounded by B-list rappers from the 2000s (I see you Chingy!), 16 big-screen TVs playing NFL Red Zone, and Mike Mayock on speed dial (does Twitter have speed dial?). OK, that’s actually how Grey and Donkey Teeth spend their days. But me? I’m a lowly midwestern Vikings fan living in Packers territory running DSL off a bankrupt company. Thanks to the novel piranhavirus that delayed the Titans/Bills game, I’m submitting this article before some of the top quarterbacks have even finished playing. But, I’m not alone in my wishes to be hanging with Luda, have a fiber connection, and a direct line to Dick Butkus (wait, did I say that last part?). Most of the fantasy world is delayed right now due to scoring glitches caused by Tuesday night football. So, let’s huddle up…no, not that close…and take a look at how the quarterbacks are shaping up for the rest of your fantasy football season. 

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It’s that time of the week again! Thursday night football will be played just hours after you read this. It’s week 5, which means the beginning of bye weeks. Bye weeks are another road block to go along with the plethora of injuries and COVID cancellations that are surely on the horizon. There might even be a cancellation this week between Buffalo and Tennessee. But we must trudge on and work with what we have. Hopefully you still have some healthy studs to get you through the tough times. 

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When I first started writing with Razzball, I was fairly convinced it was one of those MLM-schemes. You know, the kind of thing like scented candles, or really expensive vitamin patches, or leggings that don’t improve your yoga whatsoever. Because when I came into Razzball Headquarters for the interview, Donkey Teeth had all of that going on in his office. “Can I offer you a Cran-Razzle-Berry Tonic Water?” he started, his zebra-striped leggings leaving little to the imagination. “It’s fortified with Taurine!” I politely declined, reaching for a chair before DT pulled the splits to stop me. “Can’t let you sit in that before I cleanse it!” he said with a smile. He pulled out some sort of chicken feather duster and chanted as he cleaned the seat. I swore the chant was to the tune of the Super Bowl Shuffle. When the chair was properly cleansed, I took a seat and pulled out a folder that had my rankings inside, ready to do my interview. DT had no desk in his office, just a giant bench that I later found out he stole from the sidelines of Soldier Field before it was demolished. “Let me introduce you to my co-editor, Kerryon,” he said, gesturing to the Fathead of Kerryon Johnson on the wall. I laughed, which really didn’t help things. I handed over my rankings, proud of my #1 choice, Lamar Jackson. DT just laughed, and I asked what he found funny about my rankings. “There’s no hot takes in here!” he said, his zebra-striped legs man-spreading across the Soldier Field bench. “There’s promise, yes, but not a single hot take.” DT said he would bring me on board, as long as I started getting others on board with some bold takes. 

Four weeks later, Justin Herbert appeared in the top 12 of this ranking series. DonkeyTeeth, I hope I made you proud! 

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I’m not saying I heard that B_Don and JB Barry were going to be given a shot to run the Texans after Bill O’Brien was fired, but I’m also not saying I didn’t hear that. Fine I didn’t hear that, but ding dong, BoB is gone. 

While Donkey Teeth is off with a bunch of guys playing with sticks and balls….he’s playing golf, get your mind out of the gutter, Razzball’s own, JB Barry, join the podcast. Together, B_Don and JB Barry break down the injuries, the RB situations, and replacement options for Austin Ekeler, Nick Chubb, and Kenyan Drake. 

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If you are clicking to make last minute lineup decisions and are looking for a start from tonight’s game, you came to the wrong place. I do have a recommended sit for tonight’s game which we will get to a little later. The media is reporting that the next game or two are very important for his employment status. A win at home on Thursday just has to be a must for Gase. There isn’t a better spot for the Jets to get a win left on the schedule. If Gase doesn’t win this one, he might as well pack up his office before he goes home. I understand that a lot of players came to Gase’s defense after their on Sunday, but I know that he can’t be super popular in the locker room. It’ll be interesting to see if the full team rallies around him and puts on an inspired effort. Hear are your start/sits for week 4!

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Just north of Chicago, Fermilab was one of the most important sites in the Manhattan Project, which resulted in the development of the first atomic bombs during World War II. Throughout the Cold War, the particle accelerator at Fermilab crashed protons together at speeds nearing that of light, and scientists investigated their interactions to learn the deepest secrets of the universe. With research budgets under attack, the scientists at Fermilab brought in the top minds from Japan to work with the local businesses — namely the Chicago Bears — to study the deepest secrets of quarterbacks. With some of the nuances of English lost in translation, many of the Japanese scientists said they had unlocked the energy that would bring success to the Bears’ franchise quarterback. The report they drew up was titled, “Big Mitch Power.” 

But there was a group of dissenting scientists who argued that “Big Nick Power” was the secret to the Bears’ success in 2020. They kept pointing to the salary of the Bears’ backup quarterback, Nick Foles, as the proof that the incumbent Trubisky was indeed a “Little Mitch.” Meanwhile, Big Nick Power had the arm and the salary to justify his stature as the Bears starting quarterback going forward. 

Until Week 3, it was unknown whether Bears’ head coach Matt Nagy was concerned about his QB being a “Little Mitch,” but when Trubisky failed to inspire the Bears offense during their matchup against the Falcons, Nagy indeed outed himself as a believer in Big Nick Power. 

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The sun rises once again, as we survey the wilderness of our fantasy win/loss columns. Week 3 was not as brutal for injuries and in fact, some new players emerged simply because they earned it. There was a rookie renaissance as multiple top draft picks showed off. The fantasy landscape could look very different if these budding stars earn season long roles.

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You ever watch that move Napoleon Dynamite? Come on, you’re looking at advanced statistics for your imaginary football team — I KNOW you’ve got that movie on DVD and a “Vote for Pedro” shirt sitting non-ironically in your closet. ENYWHEY, there’s the character of Uncle Rico, who kept taking film of himself throwing a football in an effort to chuck it over a local mountain or grain field or really, just about any object that could be placed in front of him. Now, after the complete decimation that your fantasy football team received in week 2, are you thinking, nay, hoping that some team will sign Uncle Rico so he can bring his swagger and dynamite — see what I did there? — arm to your favorite team? Well, worry not! Blake Bortles has come back! Undrafted free agent Nick Mullens is taking the field! Taysom Hill is making $8 million to be the third best quarterback on the Saints and he’s completed 6 passes in his NFL career. And Kaep is still on the outside. At this point, let’s give Uncle Rico a shot. Heck, Gardner Minshew is 90% Uncle Rico DNA. Fingers crossed no more QBs get hurt in Week 3, otherwise you should be gearing up to start Dwayne Haskins in your next DFS hot taek.  

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