Nov 6, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Latavius Murray (28) is stopped short of the end zone by Denver Broncos safety Darian Stewart (26) in the second quarter at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back, everyone. I apologize for missing last week, but I had a bunch of running around to do and was never able to settle down and hammer out the Week 9 Handcuff Report. Let’s just assume that I gave you great advice last week and that you’re back this week for more. Ok? Ok. Good. Great. Now, about those running backs.

The Oakland Raiders have been really fun to watch this year unless you have been trying to predict running back touches all year. While Latavius Murray was frustrating earlier in the year and then got hurt, but one thing he has done all year is find his way into the end zone. And in a week when a ton of people probably benched him because he was going up against the defense of the Denver Broncos, he decided to get into the end zone three times. Hopefully, you rolled the dice or were forced to start him because of bye weeks and injuries, but I know that many of you didn’t start him. I probably wouldn’t have.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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I’m up in the woods, I’m down on my mind
I’m building a sill to slow down the time.

Bon Iver penned the words and performed it first, then Kanye West went and blewed it all up with a dope remix for his ‘Lost in the World’ track a few years ago. Now, when I’m in the woods, I’m not sure that I pull Chris Pine in Into The Woods like you see above (sorry for that?), but I know it’s definitely a place to reset your thoughts and re-aim your efforts.

Nine weeks into the fantasy football season we could all probably take a little trip up in the woods. Whether it’s readying yourself for a playoff push, climbing out of the middle…

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faab-bibbs

I’m writing this during Monday Night Football. You’ll (hopefully) be reading this on voting day. It’s a #big day (believe me). Those of us that play in FAAB leagues are free from the tyranny of “reset to inverse order of standings” waiver claims. Free from the passivity of “continual rolling list” waiver claims. We have freedom of FAAB. Freedom to choose Kapri Bibbs or Peyton Barber or Eli Rogers…

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Look, it was either that or “Lockett the Vote”… The world could end later today, and then who’s going to ever know we watched a Monday Night Football game where stuff actually happened? I mean, there were first downs and touchdowns and remarkable levels of referee derp, it felt as if we watched “football” on a weekday for the very first time. You know, like the Madonna song. And while the broadcast served as a strong example of needing a national day of reflection on banning all political ads, both the Seahawks and Bills stepped up, showing everyone that two competing entities can come together and agree on something. In this case, it was agreeing not to play any defense. But if two teams can do that, maybe there is hope for us all… (so no matter what you believe and where you want us to go, you should #vote!)

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Look people, you try to make a pun out of “Ark”… Regardless, it appears that the top AFC teams coming out of the halfway point in the 2016 season are the usual New England Patriots and the… Oakland Raiders…? I honestly wish I knew why this was happening. I… I think the sun is starting to set on where I live, and I mean that in the most figurative way possible, because, you know, daylight savings time. But this is indeed a strange world we live in. The Oakland Raiders, led by the one Carr brother that’s actually not bad, Amari Cooper, and Latavius “I’ll always be 3/4 of an elite back” Murray, have managed to find themselves in first place in the AFC West with an impressive 5-0 record on the road. Because honestly, the only things that do well in Oakland are bails bondsman, and, you know, gentrification. Progress I guess. But wouldn’t it be great if the Raiders could be added that list? As a totally-not-biased-at-all-trust-me Chargers fan (and I’m throwing up a little in my mouth right now typing this), but it’s a shame that the Raiders have a solid chance to have a pretty great year, and it’s being overshadowed with rumors of the team possibly moving. And we’re talking about a post-Los Angeles not being able to be used as leverage timeline that we’re in, and Mark Davis is still able to do this. Maybe they’ll move to a magical place… called Houston. I don’t think there’s a team there… Listen, my life receives no benefit for suggesting such a radical idea as rooting about a specific aspect for a franchise that, at times, was the black eye (literally too!) of the league, but I did it anyways. A Chargers fan speaking kindly of the Raiders? Truly, the end is nigh.

Here’s what else I saw during yesterday’s Week 9 Sunday games…

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There’s a lot of conjecture on the how and why America’s most popular sport is losing popularity. Some might point to it being an election season, which doesn’t make much sense as I’m sure most people are struggling to put themselves as far away from stated election season as much as possible. I mean, talk about bad timing for cut backs at NASA. Could it be the lack of quality matchups on Monday Night and Thursday Night Football? I guess that could be part of it, seeing as how I’ve seen enough of the Bears, Titans, and Jaguars in prime time to think that it’s a deliberate attempt by the league to test the limits of profitability. There was also a compelling World Series, with a ratings-heavy postseason for baseball. And of course, lastly, there is a structural mechanism here that’s in play, the fact that America is moving away from cable viewership, mostly because we as a nation love cat GIFs. And I sort of agree here, all of these aspects do seem to be well-reasoned arguments of why the sport is in decline. But in all this thought-exercise, you’d have to admit that the biggest factor here is perhaps the quality of the sport is in decline… right? Call me crazy, but I’ve been pointing out every week it seems now that the quality that the NFL is providing is not on par with what I think our expectations are. The outlandish reactions to a black quarterback utilizing his first amendment rights, the continued nepotistic boys club of announcers who are just completely awful at what they do. I mean, has anyone understood north of 25% of the words that even come out of Shannon Sharpe’s mouth? Berman, you’ve been yelling RRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAIDERS! for fifty years man. You got anything else? I mean, the fact that Ray Lewis held a job with ESPN was the biggest gaslighting I’ve seen from that network. And then you add in all the penalties for jumping two inches off the ground, yet Vontaze Burfict is in the league. Are we the viewers starting to notice? Maybe. All I know is, I love football, but hate the NFL at this point, and I can certainly see that maybe I’m not the only one…

On a lighter note, maybe this is why we have fantasy football! Be sure to check out our Start and Sits for today’s games here, along with Rudy’s updated projections for Week 9 by clicking here. And as always, our updated rankings are available after the jump!

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Hey everyone, welcome to the weekend! It’s been a long week (or at least for me), but we are finally here. It’s Saturday. The ‘Bama game will be on soon.

For those that don’t know, I am currently a student, and I’d like to talk about something I’m currently studying. In my Psychology class, we are going over memory processes, which includes mostly recognition and retrieval; fully understanding an event (or series of events) that has just occurred, or remembering an event (or a series). Some of you may already know a little bit about this. Two of the bigger terms we are covering currently is constructive processing and hindsight bias (lightbulb!). Constructive processing refers to the retrieval of memories in which those memories are altered, revised or influenced by newer information. Hindsight bias, on the other hand, is the tendency to falsely believe, through revision of older memories to include newer information, that one could have correctly predicted the outcome of an event. Know the term “Monday Morning Quarterback”? That’s a prime example of hindsight bias.

Fantasy Football is purely based on interpreting data (doesn’t have to be numbers and charts, it could be just injury news, matchups, etc.) and applying this info to our lineups and teams for the week. But sometimes, past events has a great influence over our future moves. Have you ever said to yourself, “Jesus man, why the hell did you not start ____ against the ____?? Stupid!”. Don’t fault yourself, that is a pure example of hindsight bias. We’ll try to eliminate recent events from our thinking, but it’s nearly impossible to do so. This player has been on fire, let’s continue to ride the hot hand. Should we always think this way?

Let me bring this back to the week ahead, by going back to last Sunday night, where the Cowboys mounted a pretty sizable comeback en route to an overtime victory against Philadelphia. Was this shocking, especially the results of Dez after a full comeback from his injury? I say yes. The Eagles had (and still have) arguably a Top-5 pass defense, and against a WR who hadn’t seen the field in a while, all looked good and well for the Eagles to make a strong statement on prime-time TV. But that wasn’t the case, Dak and Dez looked very good together, especially when you consider they hadn’t had a chance to form completely chemistry. So when we consider all the factors, was the result truly surprising? Sure, it was a tough matchup on paper, but Dez has been one of the best offensive weapons in the last couple of years when healthy, with arguably the ROY lead dog at the helm, we should have been all over him. And, we should be on him as a Top-5 wideout rest of season.

Oh, and this week he’ll play the Browns.

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Welcome everybody to this week’s edition of Deep Impact! Before jumping into the football let me begin this by saying: Cubs? Cubs. Cubs! You don’t need to be a diehard baseball fan to appreciate how amazing that Game 7 was, even if you take away the history of each franchise. And when you add in breaking the 108-year drought? Man, just thinking about all those 90-year-olds in Chicago-area nursing homes who had the sweetest, most joyous celebratory sex of their lives that night, it makes me want to vomit. But, you know, in a happy and heartwarming way. Anyways, back to the regularly scheduled fantasy football. For those of you who are unfamiliar, this is our weekly dive into the free agent pool scrounging for players less than 10% owned for deep leaguers desperate for Week 9 starts. In keeping with my weekly tradition, I will break my own defined threshold because I am a rebel who cannot be constrained by the rules of society. Unless there are any real consequences for breaking the rules, in which case I tend to just be a good boy and fall in line.

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Welcome to another week of fantasy football where everything’s made up, but the points actually matter. Matchups are the name of the game this week, as I’m sure just about everyone is scouring the waiver wire with so much talent on bye. That’d be said, look no further than the Packers who square off against an embarrassing Colts defense. Rodgers is going to toss touchdowns galore in this one, so be ready for quite a few Lambo Leaps. I’m not sure the Colts’ strategy of letting the opposing offenses score as quickly as possible so Andrew Luck can have the ball back is logical, but hey, I’m no defensive coordinator. If it’s too late to snatch up Packers, don’t worry, there’s plenty more juicy matchups to exploit on the docket. And as a bonus because I’m such a good guy, I also have a few secret stashes for those looking to deepen their benches. Let’s get to it!

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With a routine throw to first, Kris Bryant effectively ended the 2016 baseball season. By now you know the end result – the Cubs won the World Series. My Grandfather was a life-long fan. He wanted nothing more than to see his “Cubs” win a title. He’s no longer around, so I root them on each game a little harder than I used to. Mainly because I feel like I’m cheering for both of us. After Anthony Rizzo pulled the most baller move ever by slipping the game ball into his back pocket, I felt a sense of relief. Closure might be a better term, I guess.  I’m sure there are thousands of stories like this, but I felt like sharing mine. My Grandfather taught me baseball. He taught me to love the countless shades of green on the field, the ever-changing dimensions that each ball park would introduce and of course the pace of the game. He also taught me that there was “always next year.” This was especially important if you were a Cubs’ fan. Whenever we would tune into WGN for an afternoon game, he would wax poetic on Fergie Jenkins, Ron Santo, Billy Wiliams and Ernie Banks. In fact, it was during one of those afternoon games that he let me try my first sip of beer. I was 14. It was terrible. Later, I found out it was Budweiser. So that explains everything. He also took me to Wrigley Field for the very first time that year. Ironically, that was also our only trip there together. So, when I was able to get back to Wrigley and I was of legal age – I enjoyed an ice-cold Bud. And you know what? It wasn’t that bad…..Actually, it was still terrible. But I faked my way through the entire can and I’m sure my Grandfather approved. So this week I’m saluting a terrible player that actually might not be so terrible in the right spot. You follow? Good. I think Colin Kaepernick could be quite useful in Week 9 match ups. He’s facing the Saints who’ve given up at least 18 fantasy points to every QB this season not named Russell Wilson. Kaepernick’s rushing abilities should serve him well, as he’s ran for at least 66 yards in each of his two starts. Just for window dressing I’ll also add that he’s thrown for at least 14o yards and a score in both starts as well. Not too shabby. So if the Saints’ passing D continues to allow 286 yards per contest, which happens to rank 29th in the NFL, Kaepernick could very well be headed towards a productive Sunday.

Here’s a look at a few more of my favorite passing/running match ups for Week 9:

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