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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Welcome back to the RazzBlitz Podcast.  Zach and I were joined by Mike (Mayer) Maher and Justin Mason of Friends With Fantasy Benefits (and pretty much everywhere else).  Along with the who I mentioned above, this league features heavy hitters such as Chris Towers (CBS), Tim Heaney (ESPN, RotoWire), Mo Brewington (Eagleswire on USAToday), Andy Singleton (Fantrax), the boys from The Point After Show, among a few other real experts. This league is 16 teams and the roster features: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 flex, 1 D/ST, and 1 kicker. Before the Podcast, check out how the boys at Razzball fared…

Join my RCL League today! Eight spots left!

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Back by popular demand, it’s baaaaaaaaaack. (Thanks to the two of you who were interested.) After writing the “Predicting the Top 10” series the last few years, it was brought to my attention that a few others wrote similar articles in the past. To those that did, I pay homage to you.

This is an update to last year’s piece. I realize that ADP is fluid during the preseason, but unless an injury happens or someone completely balls out in the exhibition games, the top 10 seems to be pretty entrenched. This article is not deep and groundbreaking, but I enjoy taking nostalgic strolls down memory lane. In addition, there could be some nuggets of information that could be useful. It is often said that history repeats itself and we should learn from the past to prepare for the future.

If you want more analytical predictive tools, I highly recommend reading anything at numberFire, Rotoviz, and 4for4. Since I’m doing recommendations, I have to include the Footballguys, as everyone there is a brilliant fantasy football mind and a few took the time to give me feedback and help me out. And of course, last but not least, Rudy has done an amazing job with the tools and team football pages, Jay was the third-best ranker at FantasyPros last season, and Zach, Matt, and the whole crew are pumping out amazing content. With that said, here you go…

Basketball season is warming up. Check out Razzball Basketball, SON’s new home, for all your Fantasy B-ball needs!

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Ever since Jim Harbaugh left for Michigan to chase Ohio State in the Big Ten, the NFC West has been a tale of two teams.  The Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals have traded blows over the past few seasons to represent the West with a home playoff game.  This season is business as usual for the Seahawks.  Seattle continues to reload while getting healthy where they were shorthanded the prior season.  The Cardinals are becoming more of a question mark as Father Time creeps in on offensive weapons that Bruce Arians depends on.

The once left for dead San Francisco 49ers are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel by bringing in John Lynch to be the GM.  Many questioned this tactic until we all witnessed him fleece the Chicago Bears on live television in the most one-sided trade that I can remember.  While we as fantasy team owners know to turn our noses this season, there are a few pieces in place to keep an eye on for the future.  Who knows, maybe there in a 2017 break out star on the 49ers.  We witnessed the magic that Kyle Shanahan can brew up last season with the Falcons.  The Rams changed head coaches but did little else to garner any attention after a disaster-ridden offensive season in 2016.

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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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markingram

It’s Week 13, which means we are heading into the fantasy playoffs soon. I know that because my readership has dwindled the last two weeks, as many fantasy owners have been eliminated from the playoffs and are throwing in the towel. But that’s OKAY. That just means we can be more serious and a bit more intimate now. It’s just me and you, playoff hopefuls.

Heading into this week, Tim Hightower was a name to watch because Mark Ingram was still in the concussion protocol and was questionable to play. If Ingram couldn’t go, Hightower was going to be a high-end flex/RB2 to throw into lineups before they locked on Sunday. But word came out on Sunday morning that Ingram was going to play, so many likely left Hightower on the bench or on the waiver wire.

But something funny happened. It didn’t matter that Ingram played. Ingram and Hightower combined for three touchdowns and almost 300 yards, with Hightower accounting for 51 rushing yards, 54 receiving yards, and one of the touchdowns. Although, Hightower’s final stat line would look a bit different if not for the late 50-yard touchdown pass from wide receiver Willie Snead. If Hightower can keep producing even with a healthy Ingram, he can help out some of the needier fantasy owners come playoff time.

To the report…

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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 09: Wide receiver Victor Cruz #80 of the New York Giants looks on prior to a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium on August 9, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

Well, here we are ladies and gentlemen, convicts and inmates, perverts and peepers, Week 13 of the 2016 Fantasy Football season. This also marks my last article for the year as many of you will be on your own as the season winds down. I hope that you will all be able to manage without my weekly doses of awesomeness until next Fall, but many of you continue to have masturbation shrines to me in your basements, so it’ll be like I never left. How are we doing? Me, I have about three out of five leagues where I still have a shot at taking home the Shiva thanks to the waiver wire, some good old-fashioned voodoo, and a couple of human sacrifices. Let’s just say, Jobu has had more than a few refills this year, but hey, whatever works, right? Now that we are down to the wire, there are some really slim pickin’s on many of the waiver wires and my Black Widow Curse continues to feast on man-flesh, but on the bright side, she is also allowing some people to make it back from oblivion and certain doom, so there is a silver lining, I suppose. Let’s see what magic I can work for you this week and give you that extra fluffing to boldly make that erect march into your 2016 Fantasy League stardom. Without further ado, I give you the last 2016 edition of Hit it or Quit it

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rawls

If you are like me and drafted Thomas Rawls in August but managed to stay patient and hang onto him until now, take a bow. I’ll bow with you. September and October were some dark times, my friends, but here we are. Rawls is the top dog in Seattle, and it looks like it will stay that way for the rest of the season now that Christine Michael got shipped out of town and C.J. Prosise is hurt. We did it, guys.

Prosise ran for a 72-yard touchdown in the first quarter on Sunday, but he left the game in the second quarter. It was pretty much all Rawls for the rest of the game, with a little bit of Troymaine Pope (who also got hurt). The Seahawks getting rid of Christine Michael meant they were ready to roll with Prosise and Rawls as their top guys and that they were confident Rawls would be healthy and effective. Now that Prosise is out of the picture, it’s all Rawls, baby.

Rawls rushed 14 times for 57 yards (4.1 YPC) and added three catches for 31 yards, giving him 88 total yards on the day. Heading into the fantasy playoffs, getting an every down back like Rawls into your lineup could be just what your team needs to get that extra edge (I know my team, where I went zero RB and took Rawls as my RB1 LATE, is sitting pretty now that I have him back). The best part about the Prosise injury* is that it means Rawls will see more action on passing downs. They will find a way to spell him here and there, but Rawls should be an every down back going forward and should catch his fair share of passes.

Things change quickly in the NFL, and it seems like just last week we were excited about the idea of a Prosise-Rawls backfield combination. But this week was about much more than Thomas Rawls and how happy we all are to have him back.

To the report. . .

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If there was any question at all as to who was in command of the Seattle backfield until Thomas Rawls returns, C.J. Prosise answered with a swift and precise Dolemite style backhand. Last Sunday against the Patriots he not only dominated the carries (17 to just 5 for Christine Michael) he was a monster in the red zone, as he toted the rock six times inside the 20-yard line – including five times inside the 10. He’s clearly carved out a relevant role within Pete Carroll’s offense. Now, if you want to poke holes in this theory, be my guest – he averaged less than three yards per carry in the red zone. There, I teed it up for you. Regardless about how you feel about Prosise going forward just remember this: He caught all seven targets he saw in Week 10, totaling 87 yards. In my opinion, what we have here is at worst a PPR factor and at best someone who can propel you to the fantasy playoffs. I’ll take that one hundred percent of the time. This week he’ll square off against the Philadelphia defense and by no means is that an easy assignment. The Eagles rank 12th in the league in rushing yards allowed, giving up 100.6 per game. They’ve only surrendered 4 rushing touchdowns this season, but that’s okay as I’m not wavering from my Prosise recommendation this week. With the release of Christine Michael and Thomas Rawls’ effectiveness still in question, Prosise is in for what should amount to a sizeable workload. And as mentioned above, he should produce serious dividends in the passing game this week. Because as we all know, opportunity usually equals volume for feature backs.

Here’s a look at a few more of my favorite passing and rushing matchups for Week 11:

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