As we open the season, all of our NFL teams have the same goal— to play in Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Arizona on February 1. Our fantasy teams have the same goal— to play in our respective league’s Super Bowl whatever week (usually 16) that it falls on. For some of you, getting there will be difficult if not impossible. Others will find the road to be easy, and cruise through the season. For me, I fall in the latter when it comes to getting to the Super Bowl. That’s mainly because I live about 40 minutes north of University of Phoenix Stadium. Getting to the Super Bowl is easy for me, even if traffic sucks.

That’s what I’m here for. To help you navigate the journey from your starting point to your league’s Super Bowl. We’ll help you avoid the roadblocks of poor play, the detours of bye weeks, and the potholes of injuries. That said, let’s turn the key on the season and start giving some recommendations for players who can be picked up now to help you out in the long term.

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Here we are everyone, the beginning of week one.  Most of us have completed our drafts and are looking forward to Thursday’s game.  There are still those pondering changes and wondering if there are better options out there than their current rosters.  Let’s look to Yahoo Fantasy Football to see who the hot adds and drops are up to this point (September 1st).

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levine_toilolo

Kinda looks like when I eat a baked potato. Needs more chives though.

Levine Toilolo, or, as I often call him, Tin Foil Tofu, which sounds half-edible, is a 6’8″, 260-pound tight end. Which makes me think that his thighs are bigger than my head. While normally that would be enough to convince me to keep track of him in fantasy football this year, I feel like there should be other reasons. Not just food and thigh related, ya know? So let’s go over some superfluous reasons of why he is a sleeper for the upcoming 2014 season.

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2014 Rankings: Top-200 | Top-200 (Half-PPR) |  Top-200 (PPR) | QB | RB | RB (PPR)| WR | WR (PPR) | TE | TE (PPR) | K | DST | IDP Rankings: Top-100 | DL | DB | LB

Now we’re getting to the meat and potatoes of the fantasy rankings, perfect for the protein-starch diet which has netted me zero results. While last week’s ranking extravaganza with an opening salvo of kickers and defense was such a memorable experience, in that, it wasn’t, this week, we start getting serious. But not too serious, because we are talking about tight ends, more specifically, our tight ends, which probably needs less pants. Why? Because everything needs less pants. Think about it.

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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 minus-98 amulet of dog-caring will be excluded in this particular instance. Regardless, let’s get to the spotlight for today, and that’s Matt Ryan.

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What a mess. This position has officially become Highlander because there really can be only one. You know exactly which one, don’t even bother asking. Writing this list is gonna make me hate Tight Ends more than any man should. It wasn’t even a Tale of Two Cities because even at the best of times, it was the worst of times. For all the promise of talent, I’m not certain many lived up to it. Don’t make me even talk about Zach Sudfeld…but I’m already depressing you and we haven’t even started. If there was ever a position to stream moving forward, TE would be the place. Though I haven’t done the numbers, I’d bet there were way more ‘out of nowhere’ top 10 TE finishes in 2013 than at any other skill or QB position. It’s all about matchups save for a few of these guys so my stance of not overspending on TE still stands, but hopefully I get myself roped into the right late rounder in 2014. Ugh, let’s just get this over with. Here’s the Top 20 Tight Ends from the 2013 Fantasy Football season…

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A wise, ancient pop song proverb once read, ‘Just when I thought our chance had passed, you go and save the best for last’. On the night of what could be the final game played in Candlestick park, a player that has been pretty much a fantasy afterthought all season since his big week 1 finally came through for his owners when they needed him most. Or maybe those owners had finally moved on from him and grabbed Nick Foles or something. Or maybe because of him they’re on the outside looking into this championship season. Whatever the situation is, Colin Kaepernick has been a bit of a fantasy albatross all year. You couldn’t drop him because you had so few guys to drop him for but you sure couldn’t start him with confidence most weeks. Putting Colin in your starting lineup required more than one or two drops of courage from his owners on a weekly basis. He has definitely not been the guy we all thought we were drafting when he was going off the boards around QB6 for the year. To his credit, he hasn’t been playing with his offense at full steam as he was missing Crabs terribly but that’s also a knock on him: there are plenty of good QBs who can get it done without having major key components. So on the one hand, I’m recognizing the deck was stacked a bit against him but on the other I feel it necessary to point out the flaws because they’re pretty glaring. He needs playmakers in order to be effective. You can’t just sub in Andre Caldwell and expect magic from Colin so keep that tucked away for future ideas when drafting this guy. That said, when the cylinders are clicking, it’s hard to not like the end result. Colin finished the night and possibly Candlestick off with a fantasy flourish going 13/21 for 197 yards passing, 51 yards rushing and two total touchdowns with one coming on the ground as he finished week 16 as the 4th highest scoring QB and with a reminder of what he can do when given the right setup. If he won you your league, good on you. If he sunk your battleship before you even got to play this crazy playoff game well, there’s always next year…and Fantasy Baseball! Sorry, couldn’t resist. I’m bi-fantasexual. I used to be tri but I don’t have time for Fantasy Basketball anymore as much as I liked it. I’ve only played Fantasy Hockey once so I have very little reference to it…and yet I keep just adding links pointlessly just to see if I can hyperlink hypnotize you into clicking. Is it working yet? Yeah, didn’t think so. Either way, just trying to spread the word that we aren’t just Fantasy Football around here. And for those who follow Razzball and are worried about missing my beautiful, grainy face, you can catch me on the baseball side in a limited capacity all year and I’ll still be over here churning out Fantasy Football like the Amish make butter. Now I’m feeling like I’m having my OWN personal final Candlestick moment…I told myself I wouldn’t cry! And I wouldn’t have if it weren’t for my damn Uncle. That is some rank gas! Damn the Holidays and not having a guest bedroom! Ok, let’s get this show over with. Here’s what else I saw for Monday Night Football from week 16 of the Fantasy Football season…oops, PS I MIGHT not get those week 17 rankings out to you until Friday. We’ve got some, as they say, babies to shake and hands to kiss…or something. Look, just realize the rankings will come out but maybe it’ll be Friday and maybe it’ll be Thursday. Look, if I can be flexible, so can you. Now on with it…

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Leagues are usually mixed  between your 6-team playoffs starting this week, or if you’re in RCL or in any other 4-team playoff format, this is your week.  The last week of the regular season.  Where points scored tie-breakers make you hate your former self from 2 months in the past.  If only you could send a Terminator to kill that former self before you made that roster move.  Wait, would that kill you now?  I don’t understand time travel!

My playoff/elimination game philosophy is no different than any other week.  You hear all sorts of “don’t get too cute” or “stick with your studs” or “Sarah Connor????”  Dude, the playoffs are no different than any other week.  You want to score more than the other team.  I know you’re reading that and thinking John Madden wrote today’s LSD.  I could go for some turducken though!  But it’s ludicrous the things you see sometimes – play who you think will score the most.  If that means benching T.Y. Hilton for Justin Hunter in a huge gamble (like I’m doing in one league, but I need to get a preposterous amount of points for an unlikely 4 seed), then go for it.  I honestly think Hunter outscores Hilton.   If I’m wrong, I’m wrong.  Hilton has sucked and Hunter will get garbage time – I don’t think I’m getting too cute.  Although you may think so.  I do have devilishly good looks…  Play who you want and if you’re torn LSD is here for ya!

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I hope everyone in Razzball Nation had a nice Thanksgiving!  I decided to buck the trend and roasted up Tehol’s chicken for my centerpiece.  Fingerlickin’ good!

So we’ve already had our three Thanksgiving games, and you’re all set with a round of leftovers for the rest of week 13.  You’ve got gravy all over one hand and turkey grease from the wing all over the other, and you’re just not worrying about looking at you line-up.  No one is on bye right?!  But with all teams now in action, it gives you a lot more line-up decisions.  A lot more “last second decisions.”  Hey, that’s the name of the article!  Yeah, I had nothing else better to run with in my Thanksgiving hangover.  My stomache feels like an ever-expanding mushroom [gravy] cloud of stuffing.  But I’m ready to go for today, ready to help you get into the playoffs, and ready for one last turkey sandwich while my Panthers wipe out da Bucs.

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Yesterday’s games left us with two thoughts. First, how are Le’Veon Bell and Rashad Jennings going to be for next week after suffering head injuries? Secondly, where’s the Pepto? I ate waaaaaay too much and it’s not sitting well. Even the turkey basted with butter every half hour that tasted like heaven.

Both of them looked wobbly at best coming off of the field. Bell’s hit looked harder since his head hit the turf after his helmet came off.

Jennings looked wobblier than Grandma’s Jell-o mold. They both had really good days but be glad they have extra days off before their next game. Look for reports on Wednesday of next week to clarify these two running backs.

Around the rest of the league we go in a short list form. Some us have to work the day after Thanksgiving, you know.

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