The NFL draft is now behind us and there is a lot to digest.  The Bears made the worst trade in the history of the draft and teams were able to find some value later on Thursday night.  I’m going to pick a couple handfuls of the picks throughout the draft and let you know what you can expect from a fantasy football standpoint.

It’s very difficult to gauge rookie production going into a new season but there are players who were drafted to play a big role right away.  Training camp and the preseason obviously will be the biggest deciding factor for every player’s participation in the regular season, but what is the fun in waiting?  We should talk about football now, we should try and make projections all of the time.  Plus, the more that I write, the more opportunities there are for you to tell me that I’m wrong…

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Hello everyone, and welcome to the 14th installment of the Start ‘Em and Sit ‘Em series. I’ll keep it short for you guys everyone, so welcome to the playoffs and let’s get started… With A.J. Green’s departure a few weeks ago due to a hamstring injury, certain players have had to pick up the slack from his lack of production values, and Eifert has done the most absorbing of this production value. His an increasing target share, snap counts, and even red zone efficiency, it’s no wonder why he is producing like the way he is. This week he’ll only have to battled with Brandon LaFell and the two running backs to get the targets and looks he deserves, but he’ll have a great matchup on the way, against a Cleveland Browns team that ranks as the 31st pass defense in the NFL, and 31st in the NFL against TE’s, who give up close to 65 yards and 0.8 TD’s per game. Fire him up with confidence…

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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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Nov 20, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell (19) after a play against the San Francisco 49ers during the third quarter at Levi's Stadium. The New England Patriots defeated the San Francisco 49ers 30-17. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s Deep Impact! This is going to be a short one as I recover from my two Thanksgiving feasts (just one of the many benefits of growing up as a child of divorce). As my arteries course with gravy, allow me to share some players that I’m thankful are available in less than 10% of Yahoo leagues.

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Hello everyone, and welcome to another installment of our Start ‘Em and Sit ‘Em series.

Hopefully all of you had a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday full of great family, friends, food and hockey! Can’t you believe that the Canadiens clawed out another close win against Carolina, and now they are 15-4-2! If only they could start Carey Price every game…. oh, and the Cowboys are 10-1 I guess. I dunno.

We are now one week away from being one week away from the fantasy playoffs, and I hope most of you (hopefully all?) are looking good for some fantasy postseason action, and if you aren’t, hopefully you are close! And if you are at the bottom of your league… well, there is always next year.

I can definitely say that I have greatly enjoyed my time here at Razzball currently over these past two years, and I believe this is a direct result of how awesome some of these writers are here. One of which being my good friend Tehol. Over these past two weeks, Tehol has finished 4th and 2nd out of all of the other experts in the FantasyPros rankings challenge, and I want to give him some mad props for it. If you are feeling good about your team, double-check some of your crucial week-to-week decisions with the Lord himself to get the edge on your competition. You won’t regret it.

Alright, enough jabber. Let’s get to Week 12!

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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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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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