There’s a very important place that I want to start today’s fantasy football conversation. Imagine getting fined $100K at work, just like Pete Carroll, Vic Fangio, Jon Gruden, Sean Payton and Kyle Shanahan did this past week. Not by Feds. Not by the IRS. Not by your local county judge. Think about that — just for one second. Fined 100-grand, at work. For me, this would bring up a concerning follow-up meeting: “So, uhh… are you asking me to quit? No? Ok… so the next three years are just pro-bono? Got it. Okay. I’ll be over here pummeling my head into this wall. Forever.” Although I don’t have a vendetta against any of those five head coaches, it’s an absolutely insane concept to even consider. In Green Bay, head coach Matt LaFleur actually has an assistant whose job it is to make sure he’s wearing a mask at all times. That’s literally his job! I don’t know if this is better or worse than Sean McVay’s “Get Back” assistant. I guess better, because this at least helps promote safety. Meanwhile, we’ve got reigning Super Bowl Champion Andy Reid looking one step away from being the next Power Ranger with the face shield he’s donning out there. Can you imagine being the intern that was tasked with finding a face covering that would please Andy Reid? Bet you it took weeks. I’d rather work as Philip Rivers’ governess. It’s just like I always say, if Julie Andrews can do it, so can I!

Shame on me for using the NFL’s current sideline mask fiasco for a lede two weeks in a row, but everything starts to get hazy on these late Monday nights. There’s a lot of movement in the rankings this week and even more question marks with certain running backs going down with injuries for undetermined periods of time, but it’s a job that has to be done nonetheless. Am I a hero in plain man’s cloth? No, I am but a man. Before we get into the rankings, let’s take our weekly trip around the league.

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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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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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It’s NFL Draft Week 2020! I hope you are all planning to celebrate in some kind of awesome way. I will be setting up a draft prediction pool and running a Zoom poker night while the picks come in. This is the closest thing to sports we’ve had since the shutdown and we have to bask in its glow.

While I think it’s valuable to have your favorite prospects in some tiered order pre-draft, there’s no way to ignore that landing spot matters to some extent. In dynasty I think your own talent evaluation should be weighted most, but for redraft leagues landing spot is very important in how we should view a rookie’s year 1 potential. I have laid out my rankings for QB, RB, WR, and TE previously but now will give you my favorite rookie landing spots.

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The 3-5-1 Arizona Cardinals are fresh off extended rest following their near dethroning of the undefeated San Francisco 49ers in week 9 on Thursday Night Football. Kliff Kingsbury if flying the NFL’s 3rd fastest paced offense to the East coast to take on Jameis Winston and the 4th most points per game, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Fantasy fireworks will be on full display in the highest projected point total for week 10. 

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James Conner and Benny Snell were ruled out for week 10, paving the way for Jaylen Samuels to lead this backfield. Surprisingly, it was un-drafted RB Trey Edmunds that led the Steelers on the ground- recording the most carries (12), rushing yards (73), and yards per carry (6.1). At the end of the day, Jaylen Samuels ended up with the better fantasy outing (19.3 PPR points to Edmunds 7.3) and recorded more snaps, 40 for Jaylen to Edmunds 17 snaps (63.5% to 27%). Samuels managed an uninspiring 1.2 yards per carry, but salvaged his outing through the air. Jaylen finished with 13 catches on 13 targets for 73 receiving yards. Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, James Conner is recovering from an AC joint injury and is expected to miss at least 2 weeks. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that 2019 4th-round rookie, Benny Snell is expected to miss at least 2-3 weeks after undergoing a minor surgery on his meniscus. Trey Edmunds is name to consider adding from waivers this week for fantasy owners desperate for running back depth. Pittsburgh’s next matchups, 4 out of 5, are against the Cleveland Browns (2x), Arizona Cardinals, and Cincinnati Bengals. All are plus matchups for the Steelers running game.

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A clash between defenses surrendering the 2nd (TB) and 6th (SEA) most receiving yards per game carries the highest point total for week 9.

Per NFL’s Next Gen Stats, Jameis Winston ranks #1 in average completed air yards and #1 in average intended air yards. Winston and Head Coach Bruce Arians offense likes to push the ball down field. Tied for 3rd in the NFL in completed passes over 40 yards, Jameis gets his shot against a Seahawks defense that ranks tied-for-10th in most completed passes allowed over 20+ yards. Despite his league leading 12 interceptions, Jameis Winston is a viable starter in all formats. Jameis is Rudy’s projected QB6 in week 10.

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Falcons are a protected species in the United States, but over in India they actually have an annual two-week falcon hunt where thousands upon thousands of falcons are massacred each year. It was on a pilgrimage to the Taj Mahal that Will Fuller developed a taste, or rather an addiction, to these beautiful birds of prey. So when the Falcons glided into Houston on Sunday, they never stood a chance against the bloodthirsty Fuller as he went off for 217 yards on 14 catches with his first 3 touchdowns of the season. The Texans wide receiver will now go into hiding for several weeks as the authorities attempt to track him down for his foul treatment of the fowl. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy football:

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Marlon Mack was initially thought to have been ruled out due to an ankle injury during Sunday’s game against Oakland. Colts head coach Frank Reich clarified that Mack was not medically ruled out. Mack was forced on the sideline due to a negative game script. Marlon Mack will be dealing with an injury designation throughout the course of this week again. Forcing fantasy owners to play chicken with their lineups, but Macks injury isn’t expected to keep him out of his week-5 matchup. Nyheim Hines was the preferred back and catch-up game script favorite playing from behind early in the 1st quarter. Hines finished the game with 35 snaps to Macks 18, and Jordan Wilkins 16. Recording 6 receptions on 6 targets, Hines’ role was solidified as the receiving play back. Unfortunately neither of the 3 IND backs turned in a serviceable fantasy outing. Mack hasn’t played a full 16 games since joining the Colts and has surfaced on the injury report for two injuries 4 weeks into the season (calf/ankle). Mack owners need to consider rostering either Jordan Wilkins or Nyheim Hines, as insurance. Jordan Wilkins is averaging an impressive 8.1 yards per carry and will be the early down/goal line back if Mack were to go down for any period of time.

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