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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That’s a perfect Bernie right there, folks. He hit it once, hesitated, then went to the next level before celebrating with his teammates in the end zone. Ok, wait…are we talking about Le’Veon Bell doing the Bernie or actually running a football? This dude’s more elusive in the backfield, slipping through the line and blowing past the second level than anyone else in the NFL. Sure, you can take the injury he suffered a year and a half ago (he was totally fine once coming back), and the fact that he parties like he’s trying to be in ‘Weekend at Bernie’s,’ into account. Me? Nah…I’ll just take the best player in the fantasy game when he’s running full steam.

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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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At some point, we’re going to get old. Technically, some of us are already there (children of the 80’s unite!). Okay, we’re not that old, but age is probably subjective anyways. And before I give myself an existential crisis, the point I’m trying to make is that Fantasy Sports might be one of those things that don’t have a shelf life. But this season has made me question that conclusion more than usual. I mean, sure, there are things we can do to spice up the experience. Like Craigslist and sex, maybe we’d pay attention more if money is involved, thus, the evolution of money leagues. DFS is, of course, an offshoot. But with NFL’s noticeable ratings drop this year, talk of rearranging when commercials are shown (haha, dream on), the retiring of Thursday Night Football (naw, Jags vs. Titans is always a good idea!) have been some of the things discussed internally. But time is a flat circle, maaaaaaan, so I wouldn’t expect much of anything the NFL does to change. The officiating has been garbage, the penalties for celebrations is an infringement on my right to not eye-roll infinitely. And really, whatever that was on Sunday Night Football last night, which was flexed!… It’s almost as if they aren’t even trying. (Can’t quite tell if I’m talking about the NFL or the Panthers.) The Chargers lost, but I think you already knew that based on this lede, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be mopey. What’s that? Westworld won’t be back on until 2018? Okay. Time to burn this motherf*cker down!

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ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 7: Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings rushes during a game against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on September 7, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

By now, most of you guys are already in the playoffs or at least know where you’re sitting in the hunt.  I’m unfortunately eliminated in my main league and am a bit sour while writing this, so please forgive a bit of my saltiness. My handle may have to change to Rob Gronkowski lying in a hospital bed since that’s where he’s been most of the year (I trusted you after staying healthy last year!). If you’re in the same boat as me, better luck next year. Do it the right way next time and join 10 leagues so you’re guaranteed to win one (that’s how statistics work right?). Yup, we’re way beyond the numbers and I’m not even through with the intro. For those who still have a shot at glory, I’ll suck it up for you guys and do my best to help out. Here are some guys that’ll get you to next week, some to stash for when you get there, and some to avoid all together.

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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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ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Miami Dolphins throws against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 14, 2014 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Welcome back to another action packed, fun-filled edition of By The Numbers. Hopefully you’ve had your fill of everything Thanksgiving, because the list of top-tier rushing and passing match ups this week is a bit thin. The Turkey-Day games definitely took some oomph out of the normal Sunday slate, but I’ll do my best to harvest a few gems to satisfy your fantasy football fetish. I do have to admit though, the Holidays just wear me out. I mean, the pressure of making everyone think you’ve established yourself as a normal, productive adult is a tall task. But trust me when I tell you that I’m incredibly consistent in my ability to disappoint friends and family alike. So I guess you could say this years Thanksgiving was another success?! Anyway, one other item that’s been consistent this year is the atrocious defensive play of the San Francisco 49ers. We’ll pick apart their rushing defense down below, but for the time being I’d like to discuss their 30th ranked pass defense. Yep, you know where I’m going with this… It’s Ryan Tannehill time and we should all rejoice! The 49ers are so bad they’re on my stream-against list every week. They’re giving up 19.8 fantasy points per game, which is good for fifth most in the league and they’ve allowed at least 10 points a each week to opposing QBs since Week 2. Tannehill is set up for a productive afternoon as the 49ers are allowing 252 yards passing per contest and they’ve handed out 23 passing scores (2nd most) against just seven interceptions this year. So, if you’re a fan of the 49ers, this might be a great afternoon to do something fun, like go for a bike ride or get back-out drunk and embarrass your immediate family. Anything to avoid this disaster that’s about to take place in South Florida. Until then, here’s a look at some more of my favorite plays this week:

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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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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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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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