Razzball Football Interview And Expert Advice  
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Razzball Football Interview And Expert Advice

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Razzball Football Razzball Football
June 12, 2010

Chet from Razzball Football recently answered a few of our questions about fantasy rankings, potential sleepers and busts, the Bears and some super secret fantasy advice (does the player have a cool name or not). It is definitely a worthwhile and enjoyable read.

Can you tell us about how you first got interested in fantasy football and running your website (http://football.razzball.com/)?
I have always been a sports geek. I collected football and baseball cards at a manic pace since grade school. I made scrapbooks of my favorite players by cutting out pictures, articles, box scores, etc... Somewhere at my parents' house there are piles of Mark McGwire, Rickey Henderson and Jose Canseco book-like things. On a side note, Jose Canseco has destroyed my childhood.

My first experience with fantasy was when I was in junior high I played a game in my local paper where you picked a team for the week and if you accumulated the most points you won cash. I used my dad's name and won $150 dollars, then they canceled the game because it was "gambling." This was Kansas mind you, so I'm surprised they didn't burn the paper down.

My involvement with Razzball came about from reading Grey Albright's baseball posts. He's hilarious, so I became a regular reader and the football stuff just morphed from there into the juggernaut that it is now!

I love the fact that you really let your personality come through in your articles and Tweets. Your material has a fun edge to it and is not so stuffy, yet contains real useful nuggets of info. Have you been writing about fantasy football for awhile?
I tried my hand at blogging about fantasy in a few different ways, but never as consistently as with Razzball. I got an MFA in poetry so I'm used to writing a lot, but of course fantasy writing isn't exactly poetry, except for the fact that you don't make any money doing it.

I really enjoy writing for the blog and am glad that I can be myself. I hope it comes through that fantasy football is supposed to be fun and that I have fun doing it.

Do you write all of the fantasy football articles on your site, or do you have a team of writers?
I write the majority. I write under the name Doc as in Doc Holliday from Tombstone and I've probably used up all of my Huckleberry quotes, but I still use them. Also Drew White, Mark Geoffriau, and Lawrence Marino are all on the Razzball team and keep me from going insane.

Tell us about your Razzball Commenter Leagues. Is there still room in them for the 2010 season?
For sure. We are starting a fairly low key Dynasty League for commenters right now, but the redraft leagues haven't started yet. We get quite a few people into leagues and then track overall rankings with a super secret formula that I think was developed by that guy that Matt Damon plays in Good Will Hunting. And then the winner gets apples or a coffee mug that says Sonuvabench!

What criteria do you use to create your fantasy rankings?
Well, I'm constantly tweaking them. I have a handy dandy Excel file that helps keep me from losing my mind, which I plug my predictions in and it spits out fantasy points. As the real world NFL news comes in I add and subtract number of carries, receptions, etc... I try to have realistic base projections and then move stuff around until I want to destroy Excel and their evil empire.

I am intrigued by your list of 2010 Fantasy Football Sleepers and Busts, because it does not contain the usual players identified as a possible bust or sleeper. Can you tell us which players you project as potential sleepers or busts for 2010?
We have a few, but we'll probably get more as the position battles shape up. With player information bombarding us constantly I don't think there is such a thing as a sleeper really. How many people were sure Miles Austin and Sidney Rice would go off like they did? Those were actual sleepers, but I didn't see much about them except for a mention here and there to watch them, because they could make an impact, not, draft them because they are going to go ballistic.

A sleeper now is someone like Chris Johnson, who you knew was great, but if you foresaw a year close to the one he had, you made an awesome prediction that helped fantasy players. But of course I still use the term because it's one everyone knows.

I like Jacoby Jones, Ahmad Bradshaw, Jeremy Maclin, Jay Cutler, Matt Leinart, Zach Miller, Michael Bush, and Jerome Harrison to do better than their ADP and DeAngelo Williams, Brandon Jacobs, LDT, Clinton Portis, Darren McFadden, Desean Jackson, CJ Spiller, and Joseph Addai to not live up to their ADP.

What data or information do you use to identify potential sleepers or busts?
I use everything I can get my hands on. Beat reporters, college stats, opportunity, overall team strength, schedule, seeing them play, injury history, and if they have a cool name or not.

The football offseason is always busy for fantasy writers trying to do projections and rankings, but once the season starts you can actually start analyzing players. From a fantasy writer/analyst perspective do you enjoy the offseason or the season more?
I like both, but in season is the best because you get to see results instead of second hand information on possible trades, holdouts, position battles, coach speak, etc... I do love stats, but I think I like the numbers coming in week by week a little more than the projections. And I just love watching football.

Since you have been playing fantasy football for awhile, what have you found to be the most important thing in order to be successful?
Obsession. If you want to win you have to be a bit crazy. Nobody in their right mind would spend as much time as a lot of us do analyzing stats, reading articles, following Twitter, and all of the little things that accumulate into being on top of your league and being a huge dork. The more you know, the easier it is to make quick decisions in a draft or a trade or picking up someone off waivers. To be consistently successful your significant other must begin to hate fantasy football.

I would have to guess based on your location that you are a Bears fan? Is that correct?
I actually grew up in Wichita, KS, which would be Chiefs country, but I'm also not a Chiefs fan. I have my favorite(s), but I actually try to completely separate that from fantasy. I do write for the Bears Blog on NFL.com and follow them very closely. And I'm actually getting to where I like them, which I didn't think I would ever be saying. It kinda burns.

So give us a quick prediction, how will the Bears do this year?
They are in flux. We will hear a lot of positive news come out of camp about the passing game, but they have to compete with the Vikings and the Packers while implementing a new offense. Mike Martz is a fantasy player's dream and he will turn Jay Cutler back into a fantasy stud and at least two of the receivers. Also Forte and Taylor will be helpful in PPR leagues and elsewhere. The real Bears could go 9-7 if they can get Martz's offense down quick enough.

You are always very active on Twitter and posting about the latest news. How do you stay on top of all of the fantasy football information out there?
Twitter is probably my main source. I have a long list of sites I visit, but Twitter is my go to now. This is where obsession comes into play. I follow a group of people on Twitter that will either give me the information I want or link me to that info. If any of your readers are interested in following some fantasy footballers on Twitter they should start here http://tweepml.org/Fantasy-Football-Twitterers/

How can people find out what you are up to and view your latest articles, projections and rankings?
They can read my ravings over at http://football.razzball.com/, follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/Chetrazzball, or check out Bears Blitz http://blogblitz.nfl.com/chicago-bears

Thanks agains for your time Chet.