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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While the Chargers fan in me wanted this Sunday Night Football game to be a lazy Father’s Day gift (a tie!), the football fan in me just wanted to do a bit of scouting on Tony Romo’s new team next season. But it was hard to do either with the most boring first half of a football game in the history of the NFL, since last Thursday. Though drinking games usually help, instead, to match the theme of this weekend, I went with an eating game. If a first down happened, I ate turkey, and if not, ham. Worked out pretty well, I have to say. And don’t get me wrong, there were some positives last night. Al Michaels’ continued sabbatical is one. (Kinda like February in Palm West, because it’s all about an old man drying out.) There was… okay, so there was one positive. Which really wasn’t a positive at all with Cris Collinsworth trying to speak with Roger Goodell’s balls in his mouth. Just remember, the NFL flexed this game because they honestly thought that it would be more entertaining than the Jets and Patriots. Which would have been futile anyways, unless they happened to flex Westworld instead…

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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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Greetings! Loyal subjects, it brings me great honor to join you for another week where we can discuss the state of your fantasy football team while also throwing out guesses as to whom, between Christian Slater and Nicolas Cage, is packing the bigger papaya. Gotta be Cage, right? Anywhoosers, I had an absolutely stupendous time at the Seahawks game this weekend. Destroying the team that represents perennial losers like Meek Mill and the 76ers created immense joy inside of my once empty soul. However, I did stop at Buffalo Wild Wings on the way to Beddict Manor, as it’s where I met one of the friends of mine I took to the game. The food there is beyond godawful and I have absolutely no idea how this restaurant got so big. You’re telling me that no other company could create a similar sports bar (i.e. just a bunch of TVs), with EDIBLE food and waiters who aren’t high out of their minds? I haven’t been to Hooters in like five years but, oh ho-ho, that succulent meat is calling my name. Did you think I was talking about their chicken wings? That’s a negative, Ghostrider. Anyone been to Twin Peaks? There’s one close by and I’m highly intrigued. Let’s chat later about it.

I am Tehol Beddict and this is Disgrace/Delight! Take Heed!

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Granted, there are many times when the lede’s topic is about the Sunday Night Football game, but sometimes I like to shake things up a bit. If only because there some really annoying things about it, ranging from Cris Collinsworth not taking a vacation in Syria, to the lazy, league approved narratives for everything, all the way to being reminded that NBC’s dramas are still being made. So sometimes, I just need a breather, ya know? And plus, if there’s an opportunity to make fun of the a Jeff Fisher led team, you know I’m going to take it, no questions asked. If you’re new to the site, I’ll give you a brief synopsis of my own personal feelings towards Fisher. You know how the words “winless” and “undefeated” exist? There should be a word for “being two games under .500”, and I think that word should be: JeffFisher. Here, let’s put it in a sentence: “People keep saying that Todd Gurley is regressing to the JeffFisher, but I really just think it’s because the offense is sh*t.” And now we have the first career game from Jared Goff, and it looked about as bad as we were expecting. And I gotta tell you, I lived in Los Angeles for almost five years… this is not the best way to grow a fan base. Not only is Fisher challenging the patience of Rams fans, but also men’s hair fashions. And also my ability to come up with a third thing, but I think you get the point…

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lat-sp-doug-baldwin-20150124-0

It was finally nice to see some great prime time football for once last week! Seahawks versus the  Patriots was an absolutely fitting battle where the Seahawks flipped the script of their Super Bowl XLIX defeat, and Bengals vs. Giants was a tight game until the end. It would’ve been nice to see a bit more flash on Monday Night Football with stars like Odell Beckham Jr., A.J. Green, and Tyler Eifert on the field, but viewers and fantasy owners can’t be too disappointed with how things turned out. Even though we didn’t see much in the way of explosive, flashy plays, wasn’t Beckham’s rendition of Thriller beautiful to watch at least? Last week I wrote about the good ole’ days of football where touchdown celebrations used to make the games better, so the fact that he didn’t get flagged made it all the better. After briefly speaking about the celebration in his post game interview, Beckham got me thinking when he mentioned he was inspired by Conor McGregor’s UFC 205 victory. How ironic is it that Beckham, one of the feeblest minds in the NFL, can be inspired by Conor McGregor, one of our generation’s most prolific trash talkers? I mean, just imagine if Conor was a cornerback slotted to go against Beckham. How many plays do you think it takes for it to escalate to the Josh Norman level of 2015? Two? Three? Either way, I’m sure his fantasy owners don’t care who inspires him as long as he keeps producing. Now it’s time to look at this week, where I take you through all the guys that should be inspiring you to start them.

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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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Nov 6, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Latavius Murray (28) is stopped short of the end zone by Denver Broncos safety Darian Stewart (26) in the second quarter at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back, everyone. I apologize for missing last week, but I had a bunch of running around to do and was never able to settle down and hammer out the Week 9 Handcuff Report. Let’s just assume that I gave you great advice last week and that you’re back this week for more. Ok? Ok. Good. Great. Now, about those running backs.

The Oakland Raiders have been really fun to watch this year unless you have been trying to predict running back touches all year. While Latavius Murray was frustrating earlier in the year and then got hurt, but one thing he has done all year is find his way into the end zone. And in a week when a ton of people probably benched him because he was going up against the defense of the Denver Broncos, he decided to get into the end zone three times. Hopefully, you rolled the dice or were forced to start him because of bye weeks and injuries, but I know that many of you didn’t start him. I probably wouldn’t have.

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