Let me begin by thanking all of you for reading this drivel I produce on a weekly basis. Hopefully you’ve found it helpful, informative, and most of all, put my suggestions here to good use.  Throughout the season so many handcuffs have found their way into starting roles and excelled. Some on a one week fill in, but others took the job and ran with it. We salute you graduated handcuffs. Thanks for making the draft meaningless. Just kidding, but seriously who would you rather have right now, Jimmy Graham or Justin Forsett? LeSean McCoy or Jeremy Hill? You don’t need to answer, the right choice is obvious. It just goes to show how increasingly viable the handcuff stash option is. The beginning of next year pundits, peers, and perts will be lined up by the dozen to tell you handcuffs are a waste of roster spot. To them I say this: if you make a costly investment in a running back, does it really hurt to buy an insurance policy? You would on a car, house, or collection of Star Wars commemorative plates. Right? What you don’t own any Star Wars commemorative plates? More of a Star Trek guy eh? What? You don’t own any commemorative plates! What do you eat your hot pockets on?

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There would be no other proper way to begin this rant than by saying the four words that are screaming to be ejected from my mouth. Ef you Jay Cutler! What a bag of dog excrement. I don’t know him personally, and he might be a good dude to slam beers with (doubtful), but as far a quarterbacks are concerned, he can just go away. I’m sick of all the “Jay Cutler is a top quarterback” talk that I’ve heard for the past few seasons. He’s not.

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After a disaster of a suggestion last week in Marion Grice, I’m looking to a couple of familiar names and faces this week. Both Andre Williams and Latavius Murray have been featured here before and will be again today. When it comes to handcuffs you sort of hit a point where there are only so many usable options left. Though I suppose Kerwynn Williams’ breakout does fly in the face of that previous statement. The point is we know the players now, and if you’re digging through handcuffs it’s because you need to use them for playoff match ups. So good luck with that! To wrap this up it’s been a great year, and the constant game of musical chairs amongst the starters at the running back position have kept me mighty busy. Hopefully my advice led you to a few victories this season, good luck in the playoffs!

Note: Don’t forget to come visit me on the new Razzball Fantasy Soccer home everyday of the week. Smokey and I have leagues registering now. If you’re not familiar with the format, NBD, relax, you got us. Smokey and I are giving you the best Fantasy Premier League coverage out there. If you haven’t tried fantasy EPL, you’re missing out. So sign up and use us as your guide.

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When previewing matchups on DraftKings, it gets a little too easy to be lazy. Just roster the guys with the green OPRK, avoid the guys with it in red and maybe kinda/sorta glance at the neutral white guys. BTW, neutral white guys should be the name of the political party in Switzerland. You’re free to use it, Swiss Mrs. out there…but more to the point, I have a little secret for you. Come closer so I can whisper it into your ear. No, closer…EVERYONE CAN BE RUN ON! Sorry, felt the yelling would smack you from complacent analysis. Not like it hurt your ears, you’ve been listening to Rise Against at top volume with your ear buds jammed into your head. PS, don’t do that. Both listen to them and jack the volume up. Both are bad for you. Now where were we…oh yeah, anyone can be run on. When looking at Seattle’s rush defense, you have to allow for caveats. Yes, their numbers suggest running on them isn’t a good thing. They’ve only allowed 3.5 yards per carry on the year, a stat which is 4th best on the year. They’ve also only allowed 1036 rushing yards, good for 5th best. But I have two stat lines for you to debunk this mindset: 29/115/1 and 20/159/2. The first stat line is DeMarco Murray from week 6 in Seattle and the second one is Jamaal Charles from week 11 in KC. The rest of the lead backs Seattle has faced this year? A litany of circumstantial meh. Alfred Morris without RG3 under center in week 5? Trash. Darren McFadden at home in week 9? C’mon, man. Andre Williams in week 10? Dumpster fire. In fact, Seattle gave up 18/85/1 to Tre Mason and 16/79 to Jonathan Stewart this year too but if you asked anyone if Seattle is a stout run defense and they’ll say ‘yes’m’. Well, maybe not ‘yes’m’ unless you talk with a lot of people from the south. But that doesn’t tell you much about why you should start LeSean McCoy, of course so lets get Shady for a minute. First, let’s talk price tag: $6,400. If he’s your RB1 this week, that’s prettay, prettay nice. Secondly, he averages 22 touches a game on the season. That’s nice floor. Thirdly that’s also a fourthly and possibly a fifthly, he’s scored a touchdown and/or had over 100 yards from scrimmage in 6 of his last 7 games and three of his four touchdowns this season have come in the last four games. Don’t be throwing no shade at Shady this week, friends. But enough about that, let’s talk about another that. Here’s my red hot takes on the week 14 DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 team league of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It lets us know that you care!

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To totally honest with you folks, I really didn’t want to watch this game. From time-to-time, this happens. Mainly it’s whenever the Buccaneers, Jaguars, Washington’s Football Team… and the Raiders are involved. And the latter? Well, I don’t really have a choice in the matter. You see, if you hadn’t heard, I’m quite the Chargers fan, and I’m already forced to watch the Raiders twice a year, as if that wasn’t suffering enough. Why would I expose myself to more of this so-called “suffering”? There’s already enough suffering in the world. But I sh*t you not, the Raiders were part of the best Thursday Night Football game this year… And to think, I thought the only highlight last night was going to be seeing Andy Reid waddle around in his full red walrus gear. I just want to say this before we get to the recap… for the entire week, if you live in the immediate Oakland and Alameda County area, my advice to you is to stay indoors and lock your doors. In celebration, Raiders fans will be tipping over cars, burning anything that’s flammable, climbing on anything more than 10 feet high… pretty much duplicating a riot-like atmosphere. I mean, yeah, you’re right, they were going to do that even if they lost, or, you know, here and there during the boring parts of the offseason, or, probably whenever they felt like it, but this is their first win of the year… THIS HAS MEANING!

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Well, that was certainly a Sunday worth remembering. Especially if you’re like me and reset the ole’ memory banks with copious amounts of bourbon throughout the day. You could say these Sunday notes aren’t just for you, but also myself… So here we are, together in this. And together, we saw some interesting things… the Bucs, the 1-8 Bucs (in case you were confused) destroyed Washington. For context, the Falcons destroyed the Bucs. And the Panthers almost beat the Falcons. So according to that, the Panthers would probably beat Washington by 200 points. In fact, with the Raiders only mustering 200 yards of total offense, I’m pretty sure if they faced off against Washington, both teams would find a way to lose. And let’s not forget the Lions having a throwback game to the Matt Millen Era. Peyton Manning thinking it’s the month of January (to be fair, the weather has me convinced of this.) Mark Sanchez returning to form. And then there’s this… the Cardinals are now 9-1. They are now three games ahead of Seattle and San Francisco, and one has to naturally wonder, how is this possible? My answer? Two quick touchdowns and leaning on your defense for three hours… this has been done before many times. So I’m just going to go ahead and write the Cardinals in as a playoff team. In permanent marker. And then prepare myself for the end of the world.

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DeMarco Murray is no longer on pace to break the single season record for rushing yards. He is, however, on pace to finish the season with 1,973 yards on the ground. To do so he will have to maintain his average of 123 yards per game. Dallas’s remaining opponents are NYG, PHI, CHI, PHI, IND and WAS. The only team that isn’t giving up at least 100 rushing yards per game in that list are the Colts who fall just below at 98.1 yards per game. The New York Football Giants are ranked the worst in the league giving up a league high 144.7 yards per game. These remaining teams combined are allowing 696.2 yards per game. That’s an average of 116 yards. I don’t see Murray maintaing the 123 yards per game pace, but I could definitely see him averaging 85. That would close him out for the season with 1743 yards which would be the 2nd most in a season in the last 5 years behind Adrian Peterson who racked up 2097 yards in 2012. His current pace has him at 390 carries for the season. That number concerns me…

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Well, that was interesting. But only if you’re a Packers fan. Ben Roethlisberger? This is Aaron Rodgers, and he just escalated the situation by scoring 6 touchdowns and NOT losing to the Jets. Which seems like an insurmountable escalation right there. If you missed it (you probably should have), the Bears once again confirmed that they are a terrible football team. If they didn’t come out after half-time, already losing 0-42, I probably wouldn’t have noticed. I doubt the Packers would have noticed, that’s for sure. But who doesn’t want to make history? So for the first time in 90 years, the Bears have now given up 50 plus points in consecutive games. And the funniest saddest realist part of all this? Oh yeah, that’s right, this is the Bears coming off a bye. Silly Jets fans, and you thought the 2015 first overall draft pick was yours for the taking…

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I mean, you do have the Arizona Cardinals with the best record in the NFL. The Miami Dolphins suddenly look like they can be competent for certain stretches of time. One of those times including a game against my Chargers. Both the Colts and Eagles (depending on Nick Foles’ status) seem competent enough to being contenders. Even the Steelers have figured a few things out behind Ben Roethlisberger treating the last two games like he met them in a dive bar bathroom. But I think it’s fair to say that the Broncos and Patriots, fulfilling a narrative wet dream on a continual basis, had to have been considered the two best teams. At least until the Patriots destroyed the Broncos yesterday afternoon. While I’m a constant palm-facer when it comes to Peyton Manning’s “cold-weather” narrative, it seems that his “can’t beat the Patriots” narrative may have something to it. Also, there are way too many narratives. Please no more narratives. That being said, despite having their own problems early in the season, the Patriots have seemingly maintained their status as one of the top teams in the NFL, if not the top team. Now that you’ve figured that part out, for the love of god, can you give the ball to Shane Vereen more? Is that too much to ask?

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The Stats Machine and I are still riding our Halloween highs. Pro tip: Don’t get low. Also, TSM would like to point out the following:

Based on average score per game, here are some lesser owned running backs in the top-25 TSM rankings. With an average score of 19.86 Jerick McKinnon is someone that should definitely own.I have him in both of my leagues. He is ranked ahead of the likes of Jamaal Charles (19.61), Eddie Lacy (18.41) and Lamar Miller (18.76). Ronnie Hillman comes in at number 18 with a score of 18.09 and is another guy TSM sees as a potential must own. The way he’s been running the ball and the way Montee “wasn’t running the” Ball makes me think Denver would be crazy to give the job back to Montee Ball-less. Other backs of note include Darren McFadden (17.26), Joique Bell (16.47), Shane Vereen (16.09) and Mark Ingram (15.33).

TSM would like you to keep Anquan Boldin (18.59) in mind when considering trades as a great player to try and get added into a deal. I doubt he’s available in your league, although it looks like he’s owned in only 76% of Yahoo! leagues. Right now he’s ranked ahead of Brandon Marshall (18.11), Roddy White (17.98) and Kelvin Benjamin (16.61). And as usual I’d like to give a shout out to my boy Andrew Hawkins (18.15).

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