I haven’t seen a Carr get sacked like that since I rubbed my nuts all over the hood of my ex’s new boyfriend’s Civic…

For your own notes, I was also considering “Carr Trouble” as the title of today’s recap, but I figured I’d just go full year 2000 (Y2K baby!). Raiders quarterback David Derek Carr left with a back injury suffered late in the third quarter versus the Broncos yesterday and did not return, forcing Jack Del Rio to ask “Is this Carr still covered under the manufacturer warranty?”. Look guys, the automobile puns are endless, so just deal. So now that the E.J. Manuel experience began anew yesterday, I guess this means I can’t read any Raiders hot takes for the next week or so. Granted, 2-2 is not a terrible record when you’ve played three of your first four games on the road, but I doubt the fans will see that. As SON said on this past-week’s pod, their time is now (adding Marshawn Lynch and the top-dollar money thrown at the team’s high-profile offensive line, both Cooper and Crabtree on the roster, etc.) and losing your starting quarterback, even if he is an Alex Smith clone with Joe Flacco eyebrows, is a playoff killer. Del Rio did tell reporters that his back injury did not seem serious, officially labeled as “back spasms” and that Carr’s set to go next week, but a quarterback playing through a back injury? Let’s ask Tony Romo about how he feels about that. Regardless, this is the weirdest week of football I’ve seen in a while (since last week), so let’s get those GIFs, hot takes, and other relevant (more like irrelevant) content into your laps! (Because where else should content go? RAWR.)

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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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Image result for home dogs

Week 3 was a crazy, crazy week. Thanks Trump! I kidd. Blake Bortles, Case Keenum, and Eli Manning all threw for at least three touchdowns, with Bortles throwing four! The Jets dominated. It gets crazier, though. Eight of the games on Sunday had the road teams as favorites. The Jaguars, Colts, Bears, Jets, Bills, and Redskins all took care of business at home. Bow wow wow yipee yo yipee ya! Home dogs! The Lions should have won and the Chargers…well, just scroll down to the recap of that game and all will become clear.

The 2017-2018 Razzball Commenter Leagues for Basketball are now open. Get more info and join here!

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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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I first came to Razzball years ago searching for help with my baseball teams.  It was actually a recommendation Peter King had made via Twitter.  I had just entered a new, incredibly competitive league, and was looking for an edge.  That is when I was introduced to Grey.  For those of you who don’t know, Grey Albright is the alpha and omega, the be-all, end-all of baseball knowledge.  I was introduced to a slogan, SAGNOF.  Again, for the uninitiated, the term means “Saves/Steals ain’t got no face”.  Boiled down, it means you never pay full price for saves and steals, because more often than not a no-name, know-nothing player will come out of nowhere, and do the same at a reduced price.

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Hello everyone! I say with great pleasure that we are launching a brand new show on the Razzball Football podcast feed: Razzblitz! Join myself and the always great Matt Bowe as we start off the first episode of the show! While we don’t quite have the looks of our fearless counterparts, Jay and Tehol (especially Tehol), we quickly dive into the latest news and notes from the football world, covering Ladarius Green’s release, LeGarrette Blount’s addition to the Eagles, and different backfield situations across the NFL. We then quickly go over my updated Top 100 rankings (article out shortly) to round out a pretty solid first episode. Enjoy!

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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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