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Another week of the NFL season is in the books, and we have a few more developments at the running back position to keep an eye on. There are a few injuries hitting the wire this week, and out in Seattle, a youngster is outplaying some familiar names. Over in Philadelphia, the guy who is supposed to be the lead back barely saw the field…

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Coming into the season, one of the more popular handcuffs was Samaje Perine over in Washington, who was expected to either start the season as the starter or eventually overtake the incumbent Rob Kelley. After Perine was mostly invisible in Week 1, Kelley went down with a rib injury on Sunday, and Perine saw 22 touches (21 carries). If he can produce while Kelley is out, he could retain the lead role when Kelley returns.

Chris Thompson will still be there to catch passes out of the backfield, and he caught two more touchdown passes on Sunday. What is it called when a running back steals touchdowns from the lead back by catching them? It’s not still vulturing, right? We need to call that “seagulling touchdowns” or something. Who’s with me?

Perine and Seattle’s Chris Carson could be two of the more popular waiver wire pickups this week, though they may have already been grabbed in deeper leagues. On Perine’s side, impatient owners may have actually dropped him after his quiet debut in Week 1, while Carson owners or potential owners may have been scared away by the crowded backfield.

The crowded backfield is a pretty real concern, but, in 2017, there are crowded backfields everywhere. Plus, Eddie Lacy was inactive this weekend, so that should tell you all you need to know about how Seattle feels about him. Thomas Rawls is back, but we saw how that went last season, and the Seahawks proved they weren’t ready to just hand him back the job. Plus, here is a chart:

Caveats: this was against the 49ers, C.J. Prosise could steal value in PPR formats, and Rawls could eat into the touches as he gets healthy. Definitely, grab Carson if you have the roster space, but temper expectations until we see some continued success. For now, he is worth a shot as a lottery ticket.

To the charts!

Mike Maher’s Week Three NFL Handcuff Report

American Football Conference
AFC East Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Reserve
Patriots Mike Gillislee Rex Burkhead James White Dion Lewis
Jets Matt Forte Bilal Powell Bilal Powell Elijah McGuire
Dolphins Jay Ajayi Damien Williams Damien Williams Kenyan Drake
Bills LeSean McCoy Mike Tolbert LeSean McCoy Joe Banyard
AFC North Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Reserve
Bengals Jeremy Hill Joe Mixon Giovani Bernard Cedric Peerman
Ravens Javorius Allen Terrance West+ Javorius Allen Kenneeth Dixon
Steelers Le’Veon Bell James Conner Le’Veon Bell Terrell Watson
Browns Isaiah Crowell Duke Johnson Duke Johnson Matt Dayes
AFC South Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Reserve
Texans Lamar Miller Alfred Blue+ Lamar Miller D’Onta Foreman
Jaguars Leonard Fournette Chris Ivory Leonard Fournette T.J. Yeldon
Colts Frank Gore Robert Turbin Marlon Mack Marlon Mack
Titans DeMarco Murray+ Derrick Henry DeMarco Murray David Fluellen
AFC West Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Reserve
Chiefs Kareem Hunt Charcandrick West Kareem Hunt C.J. Spiller
Broncos C.J. Anderson Jamaal Charles Devontae Booker De’Angelo Henderson
Raiders Marshawn Lynch Jalen Richard DeAndre Washington DeAndre Washington
Chargers Melvin Gordon Branden Oliver Melvin Gordon Austin Ekeler

Notes

  • Hamstring injuries, in particular, have a tendency to linger for long periods of time. Anyone who has suffered a hamstring injury, has watched a favorite player struggle to come back from one, or has read up on them knows how difficult they are to come back from because of the uncertainty surrounding the recovery. The problem is that your body feels better before you are fully healthy. You might not feel any pain or soreness after only a few days, but if you start running and get up to full speed you will most likely aggravate the area and set yourself back. That is why so many players come back from a hamstring injury only to land right back on the trainer’s table. Will that be the case with Murray? Remains to be seen, but it is not a good sign that he is once again suffering from a hamstring injury after struggling through the same injury in the preseason.
  • I honestly do not understand what the New York Jets are doing, pretty much across the board. The most confusing is probably the running back situation, though. Bilal Powell has proved to be effective for two years now every time he gets a chance, but the Jets seem to go out of their way to not give him touches. Even in a game where they were getting demolished and should have been passing the ball to weapons like Powell. I am not giving up on Powell for this season, but I am benching him until the dang Jets decide to wake up and give my man the rock.
  • Another back I am not giving up on is Joe Mixon. The Bengals are awful right now, and they just fired their offensive coordinator. Teflon Marv remains, but the OC is gone. Maybe that means the running back situation gets shaken up a little bit, and they decide to give it to their stud rookie running back and not the same tired backs who have been there. Jeremy Hill still being considered (kind of) the lead back in Cincinnati is almost as confusing as Marvin Lewis keeping his job for this long, but the Mixon era should be upon us soon. I’m probably not starting Mixon this week unless we start to see something positive about the Bengals offense and Mixon’s role through the rest of the week, but I am stashing him and buying him low everywhere.
National Football Conference
NFC East Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Reserve
Giants Paul Perkins Orleans Darkwa Shane Vereen Wayne Gallman
Eagles LeGarrette Blount? Wendell Smallwood Darren Sproles Corey Clement
Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott Alfred Morris Ezekiel Elliott Darren McFadden
Washington Robert Kelley+ Samaje Perine Chris Thompson Mack Brown
NFC North Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Reserve
Vikings Dalvin Cook Latavius Murray Dalvin Cook Jerick McKinnon
Packers Ty Montgomery Jamaal Williams Ty Montgomery Aaron Jones
Lions Ameer Abdullah Dwayne Washington Theo Riddick Zach Zenner
Bears Jordan Howard+ Tarik Cohen Howard/Cohen Benny Cunningham+
NFC South Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Reserve
Buccaneers Jacquizz Rodgers Charlies Sims Jacquizz Rodgers
Saints Mark Ingram Adrian Peterson Alvin Kamara Alvin Kamara
Panthers Christian McCaffrey Jonathan Stewart Christian McCaffrey Fozzy Whittaker
Falcons Devonta Freeman Tevin Coleman Tevin Coleman Terron Ward
NFC West Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Reserve
49ers Carlos Hyde Matt Breida Carlos Hyde Raheem Mostert
Seahawks Chris Carson Thomas Rawls+ C.J. Prosise Eddie Lacy
Cardinals Kerwynn Williams Andre Ellington Kerwynn Williams Chris Johnson
Rams Todd Gurley Malcolm Brown Todd Gurley Justin Davis

Notes

  • Tarik Cohen did not disappoint for fantasy owners who grabbed him heading into Week 2, even if the Bears did disappoint their fans. While he didn’t have much success on the ground, he did catch eight passes and score a touchdown through the air. Hooray for PPR formats. He also out-snapped and out-touched starter Jordan Howard, though Howard came into the game banged up and sat out most of the second half because the Bears were getting trounced. Is it time to sell high on Cohen and see what you can get? Hmmmm.
  • Paging LeGarrette Blount. Did you disappear with Lawrence Timmons before Sunday’s game? What do Blount and Timmons have in common? Both had zero rushing attempts on Sunday. Blount barely saw the field for only a handful of snaps after there were rumblings all week out of Philadelphia that his role might be reduced and that undrafted rookie Corey Clement could eat into his touches. While Clement did not emerge, Darren Sproles played most of the game instead of Blount. If Sunday is any indication, Blount has fallen out of favor in Philly. Perhaps it was just a gameplan against a tough and fast Kansas City front, but it was certainly not a good sign for his value. Grab Wendell Smallwood everywhere he is available.

Prefer the above charts as a graphic? We’ve got that, too!

 

 

If you want to talk fantasy football or have players you want Mike to feature, hit him up on Twitter at @mikeMaher or post a comment below!

  1. Wing bing says:
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    What do you think of handcuffing Darkwa in a 12 team league after hearing that he may be featured over Perkins?

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Wing bing:

      I don’t really get the appeal of Perkins, so that makes sense to me. I am currently handcuffing him with Darkwa in a deeper dynasty league in hope of him getting a chance.

    • Jah says:
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      @Wing bing:
      Giants O-line is trash. Vereen is the only back to own on NYG, especially in PPR.

      • mikeMaher

        mikeMaher says:
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        @Jah:

        Also true. Vereen is great for PPR, but Darkwa is the handcuff if they ever remember how to run the ball.

  2. Mike says:
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    Just gabbed Carson off waivers.

    I’m thinking about offering brees and Hyde for ajaji. Your thoughts? I have dak as a backup QB and my other RBs are Carson, gore and gurly.

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Mike:

      Seems ok. I don’t love rolling with Dak as a primary QB this season.

  3. Maverick says:
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    SUP?! Great write up!!!
    What are your thoughts on this trade. Keep in mind its a freakin’ 20 team league with IDP’s. I lost DJ and Allen Robinson for picks 1 and 2 so I need to improvise lol!!
    Which side wins:

    1. Cutler/Ertz/Chris Johnson (I have Eli UGH and paid big for Kerwyn Williams after week 2 so handcuffing 1 to the other)
    for
    2. Deshaun Watson/Maclin/Jesse James

    Thanks
    SIGNED: Desperate to complete!!

    • Maverick says:
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      @Maverick: Ok so he’s hedging on this deal.
      Please let me know what you think on that just in case he stays!

      Here’s his new offer:
      Chris Johnson/Cutler for
      Watson/Garcon

      Thanks for your thoughts!

      • mikeMaher

        mikeMaher says:
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        @Maverick:

        Thanks. Ugh, that’s a rough start to the season. You would be getting Johnson/Cutler? I don’t like giving up Garcon there. Helps you at QB and secures the handcuff, but downgrades your WR. Depends on if you have the WR depth.

        • Maverick says:
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          @mikeMaher: Thanks for the reply. I also have Maclin / Davante Adams / Hurns at W. What do you think> Thanks!

          • mikeMaher

            mikeMaher says:
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            @Maverick:

            That isn’t too bad of a corps for such a deep league, I suppose.

  4. William Hung says:
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    In a 14 team league, who is a better speculative add – Smallwood or Rawls? Rawls was just dropped so I’d need to burn a waiver add on him.

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @William Hung:

      I would go Smallwood at this point

  5. Beef Jerky says:
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    Henry or Murray the rest of the season?

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Beef Jerky:

      Ehhh Murray. Still have to say Murray for now, but if his injury lingers and Henry keeps playing well…

  6. Chris says:
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    Thanks Mike!

    Long story weird league you’re not going to be impressed! Who would you start Goff or Dalton? Dalton @ GB Goff at SF. Thanks!

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Chris:

      Gross. I’d still go Dalton. Maybe the change at OC will light a spark.

  7. Chris says:
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    Trade my Crowell and JJ Nelson for mixon fleener and moncrief?

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Chris:

      Only if it is a dynasty league.

  8. Timbo says:
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    Ajayi not practicing is interesting. If he cant go, would Williams be “the guy” or are we looking at a 50/50 split with Drake? News on this RB situation seems hard to find.

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Timbo:

      I think Williams would be more of “the guy” but that it would be more of a split than we see now with Ajayi.

  9. Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey says:
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    i’m telling you, from usage, skill and how good he looked in numerous instances thus far mckinnon is the MIN guy if cook were to get hurt and is already getting more carries now.

      • mikeMaher

        mikeMaher says:
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        @Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey:

        They have shown in the past that they won’t give him a full workload, though. They like him as a compliment.

  10. ctrengove says:
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    The Cohen receiving stats you cited were from Week 1, BTW; not week 2.

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @ctrengove:

      Good catch. I was looking at his Week 2 stats but was mistaken about the TD. He somehow caught 8 passes both weeks.

  11. Brent

    The Fantasy Dick says:
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    I have mack and kerwyn on my bench (i am holding DJ for now)

    Should I drop 1 or both for who:

    Smallwood, darkwa, damian williams, jalen richard, Matt breida…

    Thanks

    • Brent

      The Fantasy Dick says:
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      @The Fantasy Dick: 12 tm, standard. My other 2 backs are Cook and Gore…so I need a lottery ticket

      Carson, perine, thompson, morris, buck Allen are all gone..

      • mikeMaher

        mikeMaher says:
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        @The Fantasy Dick:

        I would probably hold. Definitely keep Mack since you have Gore. I would consider grabbing Smallwood for Kerwyn. Would prefer to see how this week goes first, but by then it might be too late if one has a big game

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