Welcome to Stat-o-Matic where we will look at some advanced stats around the NFL. As a disclaimer, I am using this space to play around with some numbers and present some interesting findings. But, by no means is this validated or predictive data. I hope that it will lead to meaningful discoveries or it could inspire you to go down your own rabbit hole. We’re going to explore together, crunch some numbers and see what pops out. Stats courtesy of PlayerProfiler.com.

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Welcome to the new off-season series, aptly named ‘Final Fantasy’. In this series, Razzball will be focusing the spotlight on certain players that either exceeded or fell-by-the-wayside of our expectations, and we’ll briefly touch them with our thoughts, legally. Despite rumor (and the series name), we will not be discussing anything +5 to magic missile. Unless there’s actually a NFL player that shoots missiles. And has, like, an amulet to vitality or something like that. Michael Vick’s -98 amulet of dog-caring will be excluded in this particular instance. Regardless, let’s get to the spotlight for today, and that’s Steven Jackson.

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Good tidings everyone and welcome, once again, to this quickly/drunkenly-typed post of one handsome man’s observations of Sunday Night Football, which is tacitly accepted as the premiere time-slot. This series of 17 (likely) posts will be much like last year. Except we’re going to do a little format change, cause that’s how I roll. First section will be the score and a quick summary of the game. Quick, just the way your mother likes it. The second section will be my DRUNKEN BULLET POINTS. All caps, why? BECAUSE THAT’S WHY. Which totally answers your question. And then next, the world famous Razzball player blurb thing-a-ma-jigs. And then a wonderful concluding thought. Because I know you care of such things. So let’s see how this goes with an already indiscriminate amount of bourbon in my system.

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Though most of the rumors had SJax becoming a cheesehead for most of Wednesday, it was the Falcons that landed Steven Jackson on a three year deal Thursday which lead me to relive all the great acts from the dirty south. Somehow despite having Outkast available I went with Ludacris which is…well its ludicrous but it’s happened and now we must move on from it. The writing had been on the wall for most of the 2012 season that the Rams wouldn’t be bringing Steven back so for him to land on the Falcons is a blessing for many in the fantasy world. Firstly, SJax himself gets a major boost as Atlanta was an offensive juggernaut in 2012, finishing in the top 5 in total yards last year and 7th in PPG, leaving a Rams team that finished 23rd and 25th, respectively. Factor in that his predecessor Michael Turner averaged 3.6 yards per carry and still finished as a top 20 fantasy running back in 2012 and the ceiling for Steven Jackson just got a lot higher. Like we’re talking vaulted ceilings and you’ll need an extension for your sticky buddy to clean up all the uh…joy that you’ll release if you get to draft him this year. You see, Turner was burned out last season. In three of his five seasons with the Falcons, Turner had 300 or more carries with one of those seasons being only 11 games after carrying the ball 376 times in 2008. Though it’s not the same kind of concern that goes along with Arian Foster and his 400 touches, 300+ carries is a heavy burden to bear. I mention all these things because even with a terrible burnout year, Turner still scored 11 total touchdowns. That’s 1 more than SJax has scored in the last 2 years combined. I can tell you’re blinking rapidly with surprise and shock at that so I’ll give you a moment to let it settle in. Good, now I’ll tell you that SJax has only scored 10 or more touchdowns twice in his career and the last time it happened was in 2006. Hello, you still there? Crap, someone call a paramedic I think we lost one! When you factor in Jackson’s versatility – Turner only has 70 career receptions compared to Jackson averaging 49 in a 16 game season for his career – the fantasy world will be his for the taking and yours as well if you take him. I might be wrong but I think we get some vintage SJax in 2013.

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As we look back on my projections for the top 20 running backs for 2012 fantasy football, I would like to say I feel I nailed it. Unfortch, unlike that one famous carpenter that was around prior to AD, I’m not good with a hammer and injuries always seem to rattle this position to it’s core when you go to review. There were plenty of surprises, some pleasant and some not so, but the people who drafted players like Maurice Jones-Drew or Ryan Mathews may never play this wonderful and wacky game again. In the end, the top 20 at this position were most likely the least injured players more so than they were the best players at times during the year which is to say, it wasn’t always sexy to own some of these backs. For the meat and potatoes of this conversation, since we don’t have a player rater yet, we’re going to rely on yahoo PPR rankings for our review. So with the groundwork set, let’s take a look back at the top 20 running backs for 2012 fantasy football…

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It feels weird making Montell Owens a suggestion. I mean, he’s been the starter for Jacksonville for the last couple of weeks, there are no signs we see Maurice Jones-Drew at any point for the rest of the season and Rashad Jennings has done nothing to prove he deserves more than a bit role when he fully recovers from his concussion. However, facts are facts. Montell is still owned in only 27% of yahoo leagues and only 11% over at ESPN and I’ve never seen a starting RB I didn’t like. Well, there’s Michael Turner but that’s for an entirely different post. What I see is a flex play in a playoff week where anything goes. The studs that got you to week 16 could be sitting in week 17. I remember the one year I played the championship in week 17 because I accidentally didn’t set it correctly for week 16 before the season started. I won because I picked up the 43 yards, 4 receptions and the touchdown Jerheme Urban brought to the table that week. Don’t know who that is? Good, you shouldn’t. Welcome to what David Bowie no doubt was singing about. Week 17 is all about the guys who don’t start typically but are going to get the snaps to prove they should at least make the team’s practice squad the next year. So with that, let’s take a look at just a few more week 17 heroes for 2012 fantasy football…

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The link between Tom Hanks playing a quiet FedEx delivery man who finds himself stranded on a remote island and ​Russell Wilson​’s rookie season is a bit more apropos (snooty word of the day!) than at first it would appear. In watching the movie, you get to observe Tom Hanks evolve before your eyes. Here’s a man who is a shining example of civilization. His main challenges for a typical day consist of showing up to work on time, doing a proper job and heading home. But what happens when you take this modern man and throw him back into a time that even the boy scouts can’t fully train you for? You get to watch as Hanks’ character is first beaten, matches and then eventually triumphs over a harsh environment. Considering Wilson was nothing more than an afterthought by most coming into regular redraft 1QB leagues, the Wilson we saw game 1 of this season is no longer playing. You know, the guy who was asked to hand it off to ​Marshawn Lynch​ over and over and let his defense do the dirty work. Just manage the game, the clock and the field position. Instead, what we have now is a hardened, smart and confident QB who is ready and willing to take over the offensive reigns in Seattle. Coming into the day, Wilson was the 15th ranked QB in terms of fantasy production according to yahoo and no doubt after today, that number will be a little higher. Though his last two weeks will be challenging with San Francisco and St Louis, they’re both at home, a place where the Seahawks as a team have excelled. We might be looking at a late season surge to be a QB1 on the year. Oh and the other movie connection? Both the movie and this rookie season have been done in near silence. ​Robert Griffin, III​ has been amazing and ​Andrew Luck​ had the Colts in playoff contention coming into Sunday and they were drafted higher. Of course ESPN is going to talk about them every chance they get. But after today’s 92 rushing yards to go with 3 touchdowns with a side of 205 yards through the air and another TD, Russell is leaving his owners Sleepless in Seattle with what the future brings. Now that last one was definitely a pointless and- if I do say so for myself – bad pun. Can’t all be apropos! In other fantasy football news for 2012 fantasy football…

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The semis are here for fantasy football playoffs, and it’s the most interesting week of the year in my opinion.  I don’t know why, but my most memorable stories seem to happen in the semis.  Maybe it’s because I seem to lose in the championship more often than not… There’s the big news that RGIII […]

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