It’s starting to feel more like football season, eh? The SEC is back, the Big 12 is playing in conference games, and the Big Ten is now under a month away from football. If that’s not enough for you, the NFL is sizzling through two weeks and we are on to week 3. I have far fewer complaints about the level of play than I thought I would and I am thrilled about it. Do you all remember the first weeks of the officiating strike a few years back? Do you remember how watching football wasn’t nearly as enjoyable as a result? That is sort of what I was expecting, but here we are. The quality of play is fine, our star players are dynamic. The injury bug was bad last week, but if 2020 has taught us anything; if there is a sliver of hope for normalcy, you just have to embrace it. 

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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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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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Danny Kelly of the Ringer, stops by the Razzball Football Podcast to chat with B_Don and Donkey Teeth. We discuss Raheem Mostert’s trade/contract demands, and how the 49ers RB situation could play out moving forward.

Then we move on and take a look at Danny’s #SFBX (Scott Fish Bowl 10) draft, and his general strategy for the event. We ask him about his draft strategy, his slllloooowwww draft, and ask him about the expectations for some of his team members.

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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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You may have heard that Raheem Mostert’s agent logged onto twitter and publicly demanded a trade after failing to reach an agreement for a new contract over the offseason. I’m not going to tell an agent how to do his job because I, myself, am not an agent. But this move was so telegraphed and desperate. But I totally get it and Raheem Mostert is 150% justified to demand more money. Mostert is 28 years old and making special teams money while he outperforms every other back on the team. A running back’s shelf life is the shortest of any position in football so Mostert has to get it while he can. The one thing that he has going for him is that he doesn’t have a ton of mileage. Raheem Mostert has a little over 200 career touches compared to Le’Veon Bell who also is 28-years old but also has over 1,800 career touches. 

Anyways, I think that there is about an 80% chance that Mostert isn’t leaving San Francisco. There isn’t a trade market for running backs. Nobody is going to offer substantial draft capital to pay a running back more for a season that might not even happen. If John Lynch can even get a day 3 draft pick I would be very surprised. I also don’t think Raheem Mostert is in a financial position to stage a hold out and I’m simply basing that on career earnings. That didn’t stop the speculation from the hungry twitter crowd that isn’t being fed the sports content that it is used to. Let’s break down what you should do with the San Francisco backfield in fantasy drafts. There are a few different ways to go about this.

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For the past two days I’ve been intently glued to some form of screen or another, experiencing an arousal not felt since I spied on Kerryon Johnson in the shower. It’s Scott Fish Bowl draft week! As I sit impatiently wondering what could possibly be causing my league mates to take two hours to make one draft pick during Pandemic 2020, I decided to pass the painful minutes by working thru some more 2020 fantasy football rankings. But first, here’s what I like about me! In round one and two of my SFB draft I landed my #2 and #7 running backs from the top 10 running back rankings—Saquon Barkley and Kenyan Drake.  Then, after snatching up Uncle Julio Jones down by the school yard in round three, I came back with my #11 running back from the top 20 running back rankings—Le’Veon Bell. As you can see, I like my RBs like I like my psychedelic drugs: early and often. But there’s also some fun fliers waiting for us in the later rounds—I gave you my top 40 running backs last week, and there’s plenty of upside even outside of that group. Which leads us to the top 60 running backs for 2020 PPR fantasy football:

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The early part of the middle rounds in fantasy football drafts create a lot of strategy separation in my experience. In some cases you have league mates that are itching to get their starting quarterbacks and tight ends. Other league mates are keeping an eye on their ESPN draft rankings sheets and taking the highest player available trying to grab value. There are fantasy players in the mid rounds that start making bold high upside reaches that might end up being dropped by week 5 when they don’t get the snaps or targets. And then there are those who wisely spend their 6th round pick on Raheem Mostert.

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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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B_Don and his Donkey return to chat dynasty rankings once again. This time the fellas dig into Donkey Teeth’s Top 25 Dynasty Rankings and the back end of his Top 100 Dynasty Rankings.

B_Don goes easy on his hairy friend this week, giving a few suggestions to be considered at the tail end including Sterling Shepard, Tevin Coleman and Golden Tate. The rankings of N’Keal Harry, Ronald Jones, Devin Singletary and Sam Darnold are also put under a microscope. And it turns out B_Don is the only person on the planet who doesn’t think Donkey Teeth is 100% insane for ranking Kerryon Johnson #18 overall. Tune in now for all the the dynasty ranking banter and more!
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