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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Can you guys feel it? Football is back baby! It feels forever ago that the Falcons blew a 28-3 lead, and now, for the first time in 7 months, we now can get back to meaningful football! I can’t wait! I can’t wait to fall asleep on my couch to the soothing voice of Scott Hansen, waking up and getting frustrated that my players are doing absolutely nothing, only to realize that it’s only the 2nd quarter and then falling back asleep to avoid watching Houston vs. Jacksonville.

It’s going to be a fun and hopefully very long season, so let’s jump right into it with my Week 1 rankings!

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Around noon eastern time today, I was enjoying my life. It was another day, and I had a delicious lunch consisting of a [email protected] and a granola bar. Pretty great. Matt Bowe (make sure to wish my man a Happy Birthday!) and I were talking about Joe Flacco’s broken back, and everything was going according to plan. It was going to be a normal Friday.

And then from around 12-12:15, it all went to crap. It was confirmed that Ezekiel Elliot was going to be suspended for 6 games. So I began writing about that. But then, Sammy Watkins got traded to the Los Angeles Rams. Okay, no biggie, just write two seperate pieces about it. But then, Jordan Matthews got traded to Buffalo. So screw it, we’re going to talk about all of these moves now.

I really hope Adam Schefter’s phone didn’t get hacked.

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Greetings and welcome to another NFL season and, more importantly, another Fantasy Football season. And even more importantly, welcome to the 2016 Razzball Handcuff Report! And despite the direction of the current NFL, we will not be tracking the players who get arrested every week or the players who Roger Goodell would like to put in handcuffs (hint: all of them). Instead, we will cover the best and worst handcuff options for fantasy football on a weekly basis… For the 2016 season, I, obviously, will be handling the Handcuff Report, which will be posted every Wednesday. For those of you who read my Frankencatcher articles over on the baseball side of things, this will be pretty similar. Also, to everyone who followed my advice and rolled with J.T. Realmuto this year, you’re welcome. I wish you the best of luck in your league’s playoffs.

So, first things first: what exactly is 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 ones…

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I thoroughly enjoyed Alex Lee’s piece about Ezekiel Elliott a couple of days ago. Personally, I don’t have any issue with Elliott in the top ten, however I agree with Alex, it isn’t an ideal position for him to be in. In order to build the most ideal starting lineup, it’s probably wise for Elliott to be your early second round pick after getting a top-end WR1, which is possible in regards to current ADP. But I’d be remiss not to point out that Alex left out a crucial element about the Cowboys backfield as a whole, so I followed up with him…

“I like Dunbar as a deep sleeper option, especially in PPR. I agree that Elliott won’t have a Murray-like workload, I’d expect them to give some whole series to Morris and have Dunbar as a 3rd-down back out of the gate, with McFadden potentially being sidelined at the beginning of the season. He could take the first few weeks of the season to carve out a nice spot for himself as a Sproles-like weapon. If he does well with it early on, that would make it tough for Garrett to force him into a reduced role when DMC comes back. The problem is that McFadden is arguable a more complete player who is a competent receiver (he caught 40 balls last season), and if Dunbar doesn’t impress early on, the team probably wouldn’t hesitate to give his opportunities to McFadden or Elliott. He’s a risky play, but worth a late round stash to see how he looks coming off his knee injury and what kind of role the team has in store for him. He could pay big dividends, or be someone you drop quickly for the waiver wire darling du jour”.

Well, I guess I don’t have to write the article then. Way to go Alex. However, there are some other things I want to say and build off of, and it involves even more Lance Dunbar. So let’s get to it…

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eelliot

Fellow Razzballers: Before I get into the topic at hand, allow me a brief introduction. My name is Alex Lee, long-time reader/first-time contributor, and I have emerged from the desert of my Fantasy Football writing career a weary traveler, thirsty for the love of the masses. In my college years I wrote football articles for a site called KFFL, which the older amongst you will recognize as an early fantasy resource, the younger will think is a radio station, and the youngest will have no idea what I’m talking about because you’ve never heard of the site or listened to radio. Now, after an eight-year absence, I’m back to relive the glorious days of fantasy sports writing, sleeping on piles of money and being fed grapes by your mothers in exchange for small bits of wisdom. [Answers phone call from Jay] I’m sorry, I’ve been informed that this is unpaid and I will have to feed grapes to myself. Ah, what the hell, I’ll do it anyways! And if you’re in the Philly area, you can catch me doing stand-up comedy at any place foolish enough to let me on stage…

With that out of the way, let’s get into a nice, calm discussion of – what is wrong with you idiots!? As a Cowboys fan, it pains me to say this, but why are you drafting Ezekiel Elliott in the top-10?

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I’ve spent a total of 45-60 minutes trying to come up with a good introduction for this article, trying to talk about everything from Jewish activities on Christmas, to learning about past mistakes in DFS and applying that to the next week, and nothing has stuck. So I’ll mention one thing before I begin the actual article. Apparently Derek Carr is playing against Amari Cooper in a Season-Long Championship Game, and Cooper finished with 2 receptions for 10 yards, with the longest reception being 7 yards.

I’ve about had it with Fantasy Football.

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Well we’re movin on up, to the east side. To a deluxe apartment in the sky. Movin on up to the east side. We finally got a piece of the pie. Fish don’t fry in the kitchen; Beans don’t burn on the grill. Took a whole lotta tryin’ just to get up that hill. Now we’re in the big leagues. Gettin’ our turn at bat. 

The player in this week’s Bear or Bull was stuck in the Pacific Northwest his first three years in the league. Stuck behind an All-Pro, he didn’t get a piece of the pie. Things got worse when he was cut then claimed by the Cleveland Browns, but now he’s moved east and finds himself in a great situation and may get his turn at bat. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Robert Turbin. While doing research on Turbin, I really gained an admiration for him. The Jefferson’s theme song really resonated with me when learning about Turbin’s past and personality. Here’s a brief synopsis:

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It wasn’t that long ago when the Packers were an undefeated 6-0 and were on cruise control right into the playoffs. After losing three straight (and barely hanging onto a victory against my Chargers), the NFC North landscape has changed. Sorta. The Lions are still Lioning their way into their natural habitat of last place, and the Bears are continuing their time honored celebration of profound mediocrity. However, the Vikings (who were, at the beginning of the season, a potential dark-horse candidate) have quietly held onto first place of the division at 7-2. Much of that is due to the emergence of Stefon Diggs and the rejuvenation of Adrian Peterson’s career. I guess he just had to switch things up a bit to succeed. Today, we actually get to see a NFC North divisional match-up that isn’t your-run-of-the-mill of who are the Packers going to beat up now… Much has been said of Packers struggles, especially a missing Jordy Nelson. Who I guess just went on the IR? Or people just realized he was missing? Regardless, it seems as though they are just a one-dimensional offense at the moment, and that dimension is being eaten whole by Eddie Lacy…

Rankings have been updated and can be found here.

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History has been made. If you watched yesterday’s game between the Chiefs and Broncos, you saw Peyton Manning achieve an amazing feat, one that could only be done in a robust and tenured career. That’s right folks. There hasn’t been a quarterback in the modern era that has done what Manning did. And that’s throw for five or less completions with at least four interceptions and less that 40 yards, something that hasn’t occurred since 1977, and he’s only the sixth quarterback to ever hold this prestigious monument to futility. Oh, and he also broke the all-time passing yards record held by Brett Favre. The man is a true record breaker folks. To be fair, Gary Kubiak, post-game, stated his regret in starting Manning due to major foot and rib injuries, leaving me to believe that Gary Kubiak is a pretty bad football coach, but we already knew that. No matter what it was, Manning has had a truly great career, probably the best quarterback in the history of the NFL. But instead of remembering the game for a truly remarkable moment, we’ll be remembering the game for a truly remarkable moment. Peyton Manning was benched in favor of Brock Osweiler… I honestly can’t see how this can get any worse. Oh, what’s that, Tim Tebow is still alive? This is gonna be good

Here’s what else I saw during Week 10’s Sunday games…

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