The Giants finally got off the schneid this past week when they upset the Denver Broncos. More importantly, they started giving the ball to Orleans Darkwa, something a certain Razzball writer has been asking for for what seems like two years now. Paul Perkins, your reign of terrible tip-toeing to the line of scrimmage is over!

Darkwa took 21 carries for 117 yards with a long of 47 yards and added a catch for 13 yards. OD seemed to always produce when given limited touches, and he did the unthinkable when given a full supply of touches: continued to produce! Who would have thought such a thing was possible! Oh, right, everyone who, like me, have been clamoring for Darkwa for two years.

After turning eight carries into 69 yards for a nice little average of 8.625 yards per carry, OD rushed for more than 5.5 yards per carry on nearly three times as many carries. The logical assumption would be the keep feeding him the ball. However, with this year’s New York Giants, who knows what to expect, but a few things are working in OD’s favor.

For starters, the Giants lost roughly 14 wide receivers to injuries over the last two weeks. And in better news for Darkwa, Ben McAdoo handed over play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan. Now, I don’t know a ton about Sullivan, but he does have one very important quality: he isn’t Ben McAdoo. Oh, and he seemed to enjoy employing a more balanced offense that featured a running back who has been having success.

The Broncos had boasted one of the league’s better rushing defenses heading into last week’s game, but they barely slowed Darkwa down for most of the day. Granted, his yards per carry average is boosted by that one long run, but he was still hitting holes fast and running hard and should have earned himself a steady taste of touches at least in the short term. I have been stashing OD in a deep roster dynasty league for two years now, and it looks like I might finally get to play him. Hooray for me.

Now, to the charts!

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Welcome everyone to Week 4 of the NFL Season! What a week, huh? I’m not talking about the NFL season, I’m talking about the wonderful week Rudy and the crew had last week and so far this season! If you haven’t heard the news, our Razzball NFL projections are Top 5 on accuracy so far in 2017 on FantasyPros.com, and Top 3 on boldness!

As I have said since the beginning, if you haven’t subscribed yet to our tools, you are simply wasting money!

Anyway, today is Saturday, and you know what that means! It’s time to get to some Razzball-certified picks and players to help you guys out with those lineups.

Let’s get to it!

Check out Rudy’s exclusive DFS and season-long tools that are sure to help you be profitable this fantasy football season!

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The talk of this week at the running back situation has been Wendell Smallwood. If you don’t believe me, take a scroll through the last dozen or so Razzball articles to see the takes and advice. With Darren Sproles somehow breaking his arm and tearing his ACL on the same play, there are touches available in Philadelphia. LeGarrette Blount is still around and actually looked productive on Sunday, and Corey Clement scored his first career touchdown and could rotate into games going forward, but Smallwood is the guy who stands to benefit the most from the Sproles injury. If you don’t believe me, the Eagles offensive coordinator said as much in his press conference on Tuesday. I have the transcript if you want it.

For me, though, there is a more exciting running back to target. Heading into Week 3, we knew two things: 1. There would be a new offensive coordinator. 2. Marvin Lewis has been coaching the Bengals for 15 years without winning a single playoff game. Number 1 is relevant for fantasy owners, while number 2 is simply fascinating.

The position to watch in Week 3 was running back, as it was expected that we could see more Joe Mixon and less Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard. And that is exactly what happened. Mixon looked like the complete running back he was projected to be coming out of college, gaining more than 100 yards from scrimmage on 21 total touches. Expect that trend to continue going forward, as Mixon should only get better and the Bengals should continue to ride him.

I talked up Mixon last week as a great buy-low option prior to the change at offensive coordinator. Hopefully, you either drafted and stashed him or grabbed him on waivers last week because he is less likely to be available this week. But if he is, grab him and go. On the flip side, I would also try to hold onto Jeremy Hill and/or Giovani Bernard if you have the kind of league that provides you with the roster/bench space to do so. It looks like Mixon will be the guy, but we have seen before that one week doesn’t mean everything and that injuries happen all the time. If you have to pick one, I would probably lean Bernard in PPR.

To the charts!

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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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Welcome to another edition of Jay’s (hey, that’s me!) Review of all things Week 2. Except for Monday Night Football, just as bad as Thursday Night Football, but now without Chris Berman. So slightly better. Maybe. Who knows actually? I’m just waiting for when the NFL figures out how to have a game on every night and additionally draw out the NFL Draft for entire offseason. You think it might not happen, but Roger Goodell is already telling Robert Kraft to hold his beer (usually it’s his penis). So yeah, that was basically me saying that MNF is too late for this existential journey, maaaan. And sure, what I just typed may have come off as sassy, but that’s only because MB RSVP’d (so many acronyms, so little time!) probably the best GIF from Week 2 with the Lynch Safety Dance. You probably only understood that reference if you’re a member of AARP, but hey, on the bright side, more acronym dropping. So instead, I have chosen Todd Gurley to shine my light upon with the utmost care and love. Which is what I also refer to as a boner. And behold above, if that GIF doesn’t turn you on, I don’t want to be off. I feel like this could be the new Dyson’s vacuum cleaner slogan. Or the first last line I’ll ever say to a first last date. The possibilities are endless, just like a world with a functioning Todd Gurley. Is he back? (Maybe?) Was he ever gone? (Yeah.) (Vague) Answers to these questions and your usual daily allotment of hot takes, yokes (jokes in egg form, or I guess I could have just corrected the typo instead of typing this long sentence out… wait, am I still typing?), and your Week 2 Top Plays in GIF form are all after the jump!

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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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…Because I Always Welcome Another Thing to Disappoint Me.

Wait, we’re already rebooting Spiderman again? Oh, hey, quick question, anyone know who sponsored the SNF opening? Was it T-Mobile? Sprint maybe? Also, you should know that Von Miller was jumping with butt-flames before it was hip…

Welcome to what I call “Jay’s Review”… since, you know, I’m Jay, and this is my review of Week 1. Spoilier Alert! (That probably should have gone before the last sentence, but f*ck it, we’re doing it live!) For many of you who’ve been wandering around my Razzballs (haha, get it?) for the last four years, you’ve seen the site go through minute but incremental changes. Kinda like the world in general. So DEEP. And so this season, we’re bringing yet another minute and incremental change… If you hadn’t noticed, Matt Bowe led off the day with his take on what happened Sunday… you should check it out. I think it was a love letter to Kenny Golladay, but whatever. Having such an informative asset (potential double entendre alert!) in terms of both Football and Fantasy Football will allow me to spread my wings and fly. Right over to your mother’s house. It’s no secret that I like having a little fun… probably a little too much fun. For those of you who want deep analytics like how I want to watch Deep Impact over and over again (Armageddon is in my top-10, lest we all forget that asteroid movies are my fetish) and some usable fantasy information, Matt’s your guy. If you’d like to have a little fun with what happened Sunday, experience some jokes, watch some great plays in GIF form, create some hot takes, AND still enjoy some “measured” usable fantasy information, welcome to my club! We get spiffy hats. Just kidding. I just get the spiffy hats. TL;DR – Why so serious? See Matt! Want to see me in a spiffy hat? See me!

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The Red Zone Channel is an absolute gift from the heavens.  If you don’t have DirecTV, you might not know that it’s a six-and-a half-hour broadcast on Sundays during the NFL season that switches from broadcast to broadcast of games where a team is in scoring territory.  It’s hosted by the legendary Andrew Siciliano and his abnormally large ears and it’s a dream come true for fantasy players.  There are few things more exciting than owning stock of a running on a certain team and yelling at the TV for the wide receiver on his team that’s sprinting down the field with the ball in his hand to get pushed out at the one or two so your running back can get the six points…

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Also, check out our other sponsor, Fantasy Draft! They are having a 25,000 Freeroll DFS contest this weekend and you should check it out and try and win some cash! Here’s your chance to check out all of the enhancements that Fantasy Draft has made since last season!

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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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