This was bound to happen. This is the least prepared for an NFL season that players have ever been. Limited contact practices, no preseason games. Sadly, this is probably just the beginning of a season that will be filled with injuries. And fines for coaches not wearing their masks! Drama, drama, drama. 

Injury carnage can also create panic trades, even this early in the season. You can imagine how panicked Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, and Courtland Sutton investors are right now. Even if they are able to get their guys on the waiver wire, you better believe that they will be willing to have some conversations about acquiring some carries and volume in the passing game. Let’s get to the buys and sells of the week.

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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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Week 1 is finally here! Are you ready for some football? Thursday night party! And by party I mean small gatherings of less than 6 people. 

B_Don and Donkey Teeth have to talk about the recent Odell Beckham story to lead off the show. Then, we get into the tight end overview. Both of us have Kelce over Kittle and then we talk about DT’s infatuations, Darren Waller and Rob Gronkowski. We give our case for why we are lower on Tyler Higbee than the industry coming off his strong 2019 finish. B_Don then tries to talk DT off Jonnu Smith’s bum a**. 

After the TE discussion, we take a look at some seasonal awards where we both give you our MVPs, draft values, SB predictions, sleepers, busts, breakouts, and ROY. We wrap up the show with a couple of fan questions from @AGrieke and @BensGotTweets as they prepare for week 1. 

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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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By now you’ve heard how the saga of Lynyrd Jagyr’d came to an end in a fiery plane crash. Very sad. But out of the flames a new hope is born. I can now stop feverishly refreshing my Twitter feed for Leonard Fournette news like an addict searching for one last crack rock under the couch. Fournette has signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, agreeing to a one-year 2 million dollar contract with another 1.5 million in possible incentives. That’s not Bitcoin Cash, it’s real money. You can bet your crypto that Fournette will have a serious role in this exciting Tampa offense. 

In Jacksonville Fournette faced a stacked box (8+ defenders loaded in the box) over 30% of the time each of the last three seasons. Derrick Henry is the only other back to garner such defensive attention since Fournette’s rookie season. Leo will now benefit from a balanced offense with a high powered passing game to keep defenses in check while yielding tons more red zone opportunities. And in 2019 Fournette showed off his impressive hands catching 76 passes; if we learned anything from Brady’s two decades in New England it’s 1) he isn’t above “bending” the rules and 2) he targets his running backs more than anyone. 

All this adds up to Fournette shooting back up my 2020 fantasy football rankings, all the way to #27 overall (in PPR). I’ve aggressively projected him for 200 carries, 800 rushing yards, 50 receptions, 350 receiving yards and 8 total touchdowns in 13 games. While I am crazy bullish on Fournette, make no mistake, there’s some risk that I’m over estimating his workload and this ends up more of an even split committee. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy football:

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Donkey Teeth and B_Don start this show by eating some crow on Leonard Fournette, for now…Then, we move on to talk about the potential hold out RBs and what teams may be strapped to sign him against the cap. Then, the guys get into 2020 wide receiver rankings

We start with Chris Godwin who is listed at 3 for DT over less assured receivers in Julio, Tyreek, and DHop. Cooper Kupp comes in at 7 and we take a look at his supposed 2nd half drop off. Then, we move on to the to a couple WR duos in the Dolphins and Seahawks WRs. We wrap up the show with a look at WR2 and WR3 tiers. 

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With just 8 days to go until kickoff, the NFL is packing our lives with all sorts of drama. I’m also binge watching Friday Night Lights for the first time and I’m in the middle of season 3. Every hour of the day is now an emotional roller coaster. 8 days! 8 days! Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose. Unless you’re Leonard Fournette. 

On Monday morning the Jaguars let Leonard Fournette go and created a twitter frenzy over what was quite frankly, a lateral move. I’m sorry guys and gals, I’ve just never been a fan! There isn’t anything that sticks out about his game to me. If you were drafting Leonard, you were drafting a guy who was going to get a lot of volume on a team that probably isn’t going to move the ball a ton. If your team isn’t moving the ball, your 3rd round RB isn’t going to find pay dirt. 

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B_Don and Donkey Teeth are back to discuss DT’s redraft RB rankings, top 10 and top 20. We start at the top with some tier talk among the elite RBs. Then, we get into where DT’s ranks diverge from the consensus with Austin Ekeler, Kenyan Drake, and Miles Sanders. We’re both higher on Leonard Fournette, and DT explains why he’s so high on Le’veon Bell. We wrap up with some Derrick Henry and David Johnson discussion where B_Don tries to talk DT into Henry and out of DJ. 

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Every year there are a handful of players that can elevate a fantasy team to the championship or sink them to the depths of the standings. All players are unique in their skill sets, team context, and career trajectory but some profiles do line up. 

As we get into draft season, we’re all searching for value. However value alone rarely wins fantasy championships! What is needed is a shooting star who not only outperforms their ADP but gives elite fantasy production even in a vacuum. To put it simply, outliers win titles. So while I frequently don’t plan on unsustainable efficiency when selecting players, I understand that we should pick guys who have a path to explode. 

So who will be this year’s all NEXT team?

Lamar Jacksonyoung quarterback who becomes a weekly star

Joe Burrow – ADP QB18, 166 overall

To be honest, there is no one like Jackson. Not only is his running talent unmatched, there is also no offense that will sell out their scheme to support his game the way the Ravens have. However Burrow will walk into an offense with a good supporting cast and a bad defense. He had the most efficient college season ever and that bodes well for a quick transition to the NFL. Burrow is likely to challenge Baker Mayfield’s rookie touchdown record and can chip in 20 yards on the ground every week which adds up. 

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