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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It’s 7AM Tuesday morning. Blair wakes up. Pours the coffee, adds the half and half. Toast with butter and jam. Three kids shouting about Cinnamon Toast Crunch fill the background. His wife returns home from a shift in the ER. More drunken ATV crashes. The smoke from the west coast fires has arrived in the midwest, the morning sun shining red through the haze.

“It’s time to check the Razzbowl standings!” Blair shouts to his family audience, nobody caring in particular. Phone in one hand, coffee in the other, he opens the NFC app on his phone, looking at the league summary. “First place!” he exclaims. But wait. Razzbowl Satellite Rank: 1. He scrolls up. The Razzbowl Online Rank: 234. A tear forms. “Covid patients for covid reasons last night,” his wife says. Another tear forms. 

Looking for solace, he checks his neighbors in the standings. Ah! Yes, there are some powerful names around me. People from Rotoviz, Rotoballer, people who have big publications. People who are leaders in the industry. Blair thinks back to last year, when he drafted Andrew Luck and then Zay Jones in the 8th round. He was in 6th place in a competitive league at one point! Before, well, falling to 11th place and feeling the sting of defeat. 

Blair scrolls to his roster, eyeing Leonard Fournette. “You can do it, Lenny!” he whispers, hardly noticing the two kids hammering cereal spoons at his shins. 

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Ladies and gentlemen, this isn’t just a trade column. This week mostly won’t be. In the spirit of week 1 overreactions, I want to provide a buy and sell of narratives and performances this week. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Josh Jacobs being on pace for 48 regular season touchdowns. 

Too often, people get caught up in overreacting to week 1 boxscores without seeing the whole picture, but sometimes the reactions end up being valid. August didn’t give us a preseason to work with so the week 1 sample size is what we have to work with. There were things that every analyst was right and wrong about coming out of week 1, including me. But whether you are heading into week 2 1-0 or 0-1, there is still a ton of football to be played. 

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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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Welcome back to another trek to the highest peak. If you followed me last year, you’ll know that I am going to be your guide through this fantasy season. The first checkpoint in 2020 feels like the 50th as we have all already weathered a storm much more dangerous than fantasy football. However, we’re here now and ready to work. 

Take a sip of your morning coffee, brewed extra strong for the journey ahead. Week 1 is behind us and now there is much work to be done. I will group the adds by position and then within the position, rank them in order of preference. You’ll also be able to tell who is more valuable by the free agent acquisition budget (FAAB) suggestion, assuming a $100 budget. The sherpa will only advise players who are rostered in less than 33% of ESPN leagues. DISCLAIMER – at press time Tennessee and Denver had not kicked off yet. 

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When Scott Fish personally reached out to me (that didn’t happen) and begged me to participate in SFBX (also didn’t happen) to raise money for his Fantasy Cares charity, I reluctantly joined to help the kids. If you aren’t familiar with the Scott Fish Bowl, it’s the fantasy football equivalent of Burning Man. With a field of 1,440 participants, most of whom are in the fantasy football industry, some call it the greatest fantasy football competition in the universe. The Razzball camp was lit for this event: B_Don was handing out the experimental drugs, MB was twirling fire sticks, Rudy was waxing poetic about his 2020 fantasy football projections and The Boof was boofing anything and everything he could find to boof. And he found plenty to boof. All the while I sat in the corner whispering sweet dick jokes to my beloved Kerryon Johnson fathead. After making the SFB playoffs last year and then getting demolished in the first round, Kerryon and I were laser focused for this year’s draft. Without further ado, here’s the recap of my 2020 Scott Fish Bowl Draft out of the #2 slot (see the full draft board here):

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Ty Johnson was able to clear concussion protocol and suit up after carrying a questionable tag all week, but it was the Lions practice squad acquisition that led this backfield on Sunday against the Cowboys. Bo Scarbrough found the field for 49% of the Lions offensive snaps, leading both Ty Johnson (29%) and JD McKissic (23%), and looked good while doing it. Bo handled 74% of the Lions running back carries (14), and finished the day with 55 yards, 1TD, and 11.5 fantasy points. If the Lions did not fall behind in the second half, Scarbrough would have padded his stats a little more. The Lions turned to JD McKissic in the passing game, recording 3 receptions on 4 targets, with Bo recording 0 targets while the Lions were playing catch-up. Ty Johnson was an afterthought, taking his 2 carries for a measly 6 yards, making Bo one of the top adds this week. McKissic still offers low-end value in deeper PPR formats, but Ty Johnson can be dropped in most 12-team and small leagues.

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I know the climb has been brutal for you, as it has for us all. This past Sunday my eyes froze over as I watched many of my teams drop under .500 for the first time. As I write this, I am enduring Jason Witten hand me a loss one excruciating 3 yard catch after another. This section of the season is the darkest grind when the post-draft excitement has long worn off but the playoffs are still far away. Injuries and bye massacres come for us all, but it’s how we respond that defines us.

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Mattison made the handcuff report back in the pre-season as a premium handcuff, and needs to be rostered by all Dalvin Cook owners heading down the stretch of the fantasy football regular season. Barely on the field for a quarter of the Vikings offensive snaps (26.4%), Mattison’s athletic ability was still on full display. The Vikings are giving Mattison the ball when he is on the field, touching the ball 78.9% percent of his snaps compared to Dalvins 54.9%. In week 8, Alexander took 13 carries for 61 yards, averaging 4.7 yards per carry, and now averaging 4.9 ypc on the season. If anything were to happen to Cook, Mattison is fully capable of producing in our fantasy lineups in an offense built around the run. The Vikings rank 3rd in the NFL in rushing attempts per game (32.9). Mattison is averaging 10.8 touches per game over the past 4 weeks, if he is able to find the field for more than 26% of the offensive snaps he’ll start to flirt with weekly flex value.

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A clash of the top two NFL quarterbacks in total pass attempts and two offenses that rank in the top 10 of receiving yards per game. We are set for a treat in the early slate this Sunday, when the Los Angeles Rams make the cross country trip to the A-T-L to face the dirty birds- the Atlanta Falcons. Matt Ryan leads the NFL in pass attempts with 258, followed by the visiting team QB Jared Goff with 246. Let the fantasy fireworks commence….

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