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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Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat. The monotony of repetition quickly bores me. For the last ten weeks I have been writing the same post. Different players, same game. Well today I’m saying f-ck it and I’m zigging when I normally zag. They’ve sent in a run play, but I’m calling an audible and throwing the ball down field. If I’m putting my cards on the table, the last four times I’ve done this I’ve thrown three incomplete passes and an interception.

For those that are actually looking for my weekly waiver wire lineup of misfits, I’d hate to disappoint. These guys combined for 177.94 points. I was going to say that they combined for 206.24 points and see if any of you actually bothered to check my math. I’m betting that no one would have caught on.

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C.J. Prosise rushes against the New England Patriots

If you played your cards right, 2016 may have been one of the best seasons ever to roll with a zero RB strategy in your draft. Not only have there been a litany of running back committees utilized across the league, but legitimate RB1s and RB2s have been emerging all year. Take a look at this list: Jordan Howard, Devontae Booker, Spencer Ware, C.J. Prosise, Robert Kelley. Those guys were all either not drafted at all or were taken later in drafts as a handcuff or dice roll option (I actually drafted Booker in one league but dropped him after a few weeks because I need the roster spot. D’oh!).

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Drew Brees. (23.83 fantasy ppg in RCL scoring on Yahoo)
Aaron Rodgers.
Tom Brady.
Matt Ryan.
Ben Roethlisberger.
Andrew Luck.
Cam Newton.
Marcus Mariota.
Colin Kaepernick.
Dak Prescott. (19.78 fppg)

This is the Top 10 ranking of average fantasy points per week from QBs. Solid list, but one of these is not like the other. Sure, you could argue the rookie Prescott shouldn’t be in there, but we’ve seen for 10 weeks now that he’s completely legit. Mariota? Nope, there were a lot of paths that could have ended up with him getting here. But nestled in there at #9 is Mr. Kaepernick himself. And who in their right mind would have ever thought in the everest of evers just two months ago that he’d be here? Buried behind Blaine Gabbert, and 6 feet under the scrutiny/scolding of the national media, Kaepernick was relegated to a borderline cut coming out of camp, and a for sure release after this season ends. Would he ever see the field again as an NFL QB? That was an actual question with a lot of credence in early September. Yet, after 10 weeks, the Kaep is back as a top QB option in fantasy football. Surprised? You shouldn’t be.

But he’s not the only one, just the first. Here are the top targets to, well…target heading into Week 11!

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Chicago Bears wide receiver Cameron Meredith (81) is tackled by Miami Dolphins linebacker Spencer Paysinger (42) during the second half of an NFL preseason football game in Chicago, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

The Bears have been trash this season. Now they have a possible Jordan Howard injury and an Alshon Jeffery suspension which creates a FAAB spending opportunity. I can’t say for certain whether we should pick up Bears running backs Jeremy Langford or Ka’deem Carey because I can’t say whether Howard is injured. My take on whether John Fox is truthful is “Nah, he ain’t ever been”. I’m with Howard on this one and that means the Jeffery suspension is our primary interest. It puts at least two players in the spotlight, Cameron Meredith and Eddie Royal. Marquess Wilson is also interesting if he’s going to play. Time to look at the waiver wire and spend some FAAB.

Please, blog, may I have some more?