Welcome back! The NFL had a hell of a day on Monday…  Zach and I are here to give you our thoughts on Ezekiel Elliott, as well as the Dave Gettleman firing. That’s not all, we talk about Kirk Cousins, David Johnson vs. Le’Veon Bell, along with Mike Glennon’s fantasy potential.

Also, I found out that Zach plays basketball with old dudes and we argue about Christian McCaffery again.

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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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“Alexa, what’s the weather like in Buffalo?” “Look outside moron.”

The great leader has spoken and global warming has been confirmed a hoax. I mean, with this much cold weather, how can the Earth be warming? It’s like, if the ice is melting, just get out the bourbon and more ice and enjoy the free air conditioning, maaaan. And if it is snow (prove it!), that’s fine too. I mean, if we can’t have the Game of Thrones premier until next summer, then lets bring it right to Buffalo, am I right? It just makes so much sense, kinda like how Ian Eagle should do play-by-play for porn. But if it isn’t snow (believe it!), we must accept that it’s either massive amounts of cocaine (settle down Michael Irvin, settle down) or the salt of dried tears from all the Julio Jones and Melvin Gordon owners out there. It’s okay, it’s totally normal to end your Fantasy Season like this. I read that on Facebook, the bastion of legitimate news, so I know it’s true. But don’t worry, if you’re looking for a distraction in a post-fantasy football world, or you need something to do the next four years, keep in mind that anything can be a dildo if you’re brave enough…

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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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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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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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gettyimages-460737450

Hello everyone and welcome to “Please Tell Me When It’s Safe to Go Outside”, Razzball’s new weekly piece where we wonder what the hell is going on, and debate whether or not we should venture into the terrifying outdoors to see what hellscape awaits us. This week, we will discuss fun activities you can do in your home/security bunker, such as knitting, or fashioning ammunition out of various metal objects you may have laying around *answers call from Jay* I’m being told that this will instead be another installment of Deep Impact, and also that things are pretty much the same as they were last week. For now, at least, it is still safe to go outside, but why do that when instead you can distract yourself from the horrifying state of our current political system by playing fantasy football! As we do every week, we’re looking at less than 10% owned players in the Yahoo game to scrounge for starts, and for once I actually held myself to my own threshold. Be proud of me, everyone!

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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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