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…

Razzball Football’s partner FantasyDraft is starting a new sign-up promotion this week, all new depositing signups receive a free $4 “Everyone Wins” NFL GPP ticket for the upcoming Sunday slate along with offering all players 4% cash back on their initial deposits! 

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Does anyone else get the old Sherwin Williams jingle stuck in their head when they see Kerwynn Williams’s name? No? Just me?

Anyway, welcome to the 2017 Handcuff Report. For those who followed this post last season, welcome back. For those who are new, where were you last year? Too good for us? I have researched other available handcuff reports and tell give you my completely unbiased opinion that none of them are half as good as this one. Shame on you, and welcome.

So, first things first: what exactly is a handcuff? For the fantasy football n00bs out there, or perhaps for those who have taken the last few years off, a handcuff is a backup who will likely take over as the starter in the event of an injury, extreme ineffectiveness, off-the-field trouble, or coach’s decision. There are probably other reasons that I am forgetting here, but those are the most common one.

Most NFL teams now run a running back by committee of some sort. While not every team is as unpredictably maddening as the Patriots, most teams share the load in an effort to keep guys fresh and give defenses different looks. With fantasy leagues more competitive than ever, thanks to sites like Razzball offering great advice, it is important to recognize trends and identify value quickly. If you drafted a stud running back early, you might want to grab his handcuff in case of injury. Or if you went zero RB or went really light on RB early, you might want to squat on a couple handcuffs or, especially in PPR leagues, grab a change-of-pace/pass catching back. With the influx of young running backs and each team having two or three options this season, I tended to do the latter in drafts this year. For every Melvin Gordon, I have like two Shane Vereens or Theo Riddicks this year. Speaking of young running backs:

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Well, that was… something.  Not a really exciting day, right? We waited months and months for three players to go over 100 yards receiving today and only two rushers to go over 100 yards as well.  We had a game in Green Bay where there should have been 800 points scored but neither team could get to 20.

Welcome to my weekly recap of the action we saw on Sunday.  So, I physically can’t watch every play of all 12 or 13 games that go on during the afternoon, but I do watch about 6.5 hours of Redzone every Sunday, so you could say that me and Andrew Siciliano are kind of a thing.  I’ll let you know how I interpret things that I see watching live and what I see in the box score.  I’m not going to bore you with paragraphs upon paragraphs on each game but, I assure you that you will know the trends that you need to know to make decisions for your lineup the next coming week.  Let’s start with the most exciting game from a fantasy stand point…

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We are here today to point out the differences between the Razzball Rankings (which finished Top-3 in 2016) and those that ESPN has released to the masses. Haha, just kidding. You know, it used to be that Matthew Berry, Tristan Cockraft (lovely human being, totally serious. Met him at the LABR party down in Arizona Spring Training, probably one of the nicest guys in the industry along with Eno Sarris), and Eric Karabell submitted their rankings for the Accuracy Challenge that our friends over at FantasyPros host… After both Berry finishing in the lower 80’s back in 2015 and then Karabell finishing in the same area-ish (“ish” because I can’t remember exactly ) last season, they have yet to be seen this season putting their rankings to the test. So while I used to be able to compare our rankings to what the “industry” had made “standard” (parenthesis for sarcasm I suppose), the first thing you’ll notice with our yearly “Rankings Versus” series is that there won’t be any Matthew Berry. Whether that’s ultimately a good or bad thing, I’ll let you decide. Because, hey, I’m just that kind of guy. But don’t worry! Instead, we’ll be taking a look at how our “industry” leading rankings stack against the ECR (Expert Consensus Rankings), and last season’s top “Accuracy Expert” (no sarcasm), Dalton Del Don from Yahoo! (do I have to yell it every time? Geez, that gets old real fast…) Sports, not to be confused with “Yoohoo! Sports”, which I do all the time. Then again, I usually confuse most things with chocolate drinks. Totally normal.

So be sure to check out our 2017 Fantasy Football Rankings, Auction Values, and our very own Cheat Sheet for any context you may need. I’d say that context needs more chocolate drink to be honest…

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The best thing about still being involved in fantasy baseball is that it means I am in the playoffs. While I am in many leagues, there are three which I consider the important leagues. I define “important” to mean there is a reasonable buy-in accompanied with it and an even more reasonable first place prize. Unsurprisingly, if you read my baseball posts, all three of these leagues are points leagues. Currently I am in the World Series in two of them, and the semi-finals of the third. Pulling off a three league win would be pretty sweet, but I’ve still got a long way to go.

The worst thing about still being involved in fantasy baseball is that it means my fantasy football research has been severely hindered and delayed. While I refuse to play in a pay league where the draft occurs more than a week before the regular season starts, this still gives me little time to prepare. And perhaps even worse, it reduces that amount of pre-draft advice I can attempt to sling your way. Not that many of you give a sh*t what I have to say, but I do have a handful of readers that have at least some interest in my posts.

Take me on in the Razzball Commenter Leagues for a chance at prizes! Free to join, leagues still open!

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The Draft podcast that was recorded live during our draft can be listened to after the jump, which was again hosted by former ESPN Producer PodVader. Come to think of it, he not only hosts this league year-after-year, but he also special hosts for the actual podcast! Two birds! One stone! You know how the saying goes… (Hint: if you’re a bird, you’re f*cked.) And with this expert draft in the books a season after I took the championship (blind squirrel, nuts, I like your nuts joke, etc.), it’s time to write about said draft in a self-deprecating manner that will captivate all of my first dates (and not so coincidentally, my last dates) to no end. So first, let’s introduce the players… (and if you’d like to check out the team that pulled it off in 2016, you can grab your context here. But grab lightly! Think juggling with jazz hands…)

ESPN’s former Producer PodVader, (Jay Soderberg) from Next Fan Up and BlogTalkRadioDFSR‘s Doug Norrie, Mat Harrison from LeagueSafe (use promo code: RAZZBALL for $10.00 League credit!), “d-Rx®” (yes, that’s his name, no, he’s not a T-Rex with a silent ‘T’, unfortunately) from Pyromaniac, Matt Freedman from FantasyLabs and RotoViz RadioPro Football Weekly‘s Kyle Nabors, Joel Henard from Fantasy Insiders, Chris Schubert from FanRag SportsBrandon Marianne Lee from Her Fantasy FootballDale from Eat-Sleep-FantasyMatt Chatham from Football by Football, Kevin from The Fantasy Football Guys, Todd from The Fantasy Sharks, and Jay from Razzball (hey, that’s me!) And now? The recap!

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Welcome to Razzball’s Fantasy Football Preview series, where yours truly will guide you, caress you, perhaps even coddle you through your draft preparations and processes. Mmm, processes. And while none of this may be legal and I’ll end up with multiple restraining orders, rest assured that we’ll all be the better for it. Maybe. We’ll go in depth (that’s what she said) at every position… well, the positions that actually count (I’m looking at you Kickers and DSTs…), going over some analysis, the tiers, and any illuminating observations I might have. Because light bulbs are just the coolest thing. Said everyone from the 1800s. Before you get settled down, please refer to Razzball’s 2017 Fantasy Football Draft Rankings, and specifically for this post, refer to our Running Back Rankings

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Hello everyone, and welcome to Razzball’s Fantasy Football 2017 Division Previews. On this piece, we’ll take a look at this year’s AFC East. In past offseasons, we’ve seen many versions of the same headline: “Watch Out Patriots, Dolphins/Bills/Jets Are The New Team To Beat”. And while we haven’t seen that storyline yet, this is a division that moved in the right direction as a whole. It’s good to see that just for football in general. There are a lot of fantasy storylines and scenarios to dive into, so let’s get right to it…

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Hello everyone, and welcome to the second post my mini-series on talking about each different position before the start of NFL Training Camps in a month and a half or so from now. Again, something to keep in mind, this is by no means a draft plan, or any sort of in-depth analysis about each position, as those articles will come out later in the summer during the camps themselves, but rather, a series of articles that can get the ball rolling towards the 2017 fantasy season.

I’ll be moving away from the structure of the”Players I Like and Players I Don’t Like”, and move towards an open discussion on my feelings about the position as a whole.

So enough chatter, let’s get right to it!

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playoffs

If you are reading this, congratulations. And I don’t say that just because you are fortunate enough to be reading one of my articles. If you are reading a fantasy football article in Week 14, it is likely because you are in the playoffs and still have a reason to care about your team and your lineup. So, congratulations. I mean it. To those of you who didn’t make the playoffs: see you in hell, candy boys! This is, unfortunately, the last Handcuff Report of the year. It has been a great ride, but we are wrapping things up as the fantasy playoffs begin!

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