After publishing my first post on Razzball, I wanted to also offer my selection for the most overrated player in upcoming fantasy football drafts as Drew Brees. While Brees has been the model of excellence while quarterbacking the New Orleans Saints by averaging between 21 and 24 standard fantasy points per game since 2012, he is entering his 17th year in the NFL at age 38. For over a decade, Brees has had the pleasure of playing in a division with historically weak defenses while playing 10+ games per year in temperature controlled domes with an offensive mastermind calling the shots and incredibly talented weapons catching his touchdown passes. However, in the past 3 seasons, Brees has lost favorite targets such as Jimmy Graham, Brandin Cooks, and Marques Colston. Down the stretch of 2016, Brees only had a 7-to-7 TD:INT ratio in the final 5 games of the season, which was a main reason that the New Orleans Saints barely missed the playoffs with a 7-9 record. While the addition of Adrian Peterson to team up with Mark Ingram in the running game should take some of the onus off of Brees to carry the team on his back for another season, a stronger commitment to the running game would also limit red-zone touchdown and overall yardage production for the prolific quarterback.

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After two straight Superbowl appearances, the NFC South is coming up faster than that lady from The Leftovers and this past season of Fargo.  Yes, I know her name is Carrie Coon, I didn’t have to google it, and she’s become my favorite actress.  Some of you already know that I think that the Leftovers is the best show ever made, but I’m also impressed that Fargo was able to pull off another good season for the third straight year.  Fargo has a built-in setting, but coming up with a different cast, story line, and ending every year and doing it well blows my mind.  To put it in perspective it only took a second season for True Detective to suck at the same format.  Well, I guess it didn’t “suck”, the acting was awesome.  I’m one of the few who bought into Vince Vaughn in his role.  The story was a snoozer, I can’t defend that part.

Before we get into our second division preview, be sure to check out Zach’s preview of the AFC East.  Zach will be covering the AFC while I cover the NFC.  Also, we must rejoice that Jay has returned to give you his rankings and predictions for the 2017 season.  Zach and I are going to try and record a podcast every week to get you ready for the football season.  We plan on having a few surprise guests, but most of it will just be us two talking shop.

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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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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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red-dead-redemption-2

Greetings! Well, well, well, what has the doctor pulled out of the musty pudenda of FantasyPros, but yet another Lord Beddict top-five finish. I do this not to gloat (NEVER!), but to enlighten you to the fact that this is all not just some game to me. I take the NFL more seriously than I now take the risk of getting and/or giving STD’s, and if you’ve witnessed my unsheathed rapier, then certainly you’d know that it’s first coated in layer of hand sanitizer, then swaddled with saran wrap, fitted in sausage casing, followed by a bubble wrapping and a blue whale magnum, all before crevice entry. But, honestly, I have loved this sport immensely for more years than I care to count, and as my hair greys and my forehead wrinkles, it gives me some (very little) peace of mind knowing that my brobdingnagian love of the sport finally paid some dividend in my life. And to think, I’ve been waking up in cold sweats in the middle of a nightmare where I’m just falling into nothing, screaming at the top of my lungs in terror, asking myself why I’ve wasted so many hours of my life on this meaningless shit. Waking up to text my therapist, begging her to help me find some purpose in this life before being hit by a semi-truck on my five thousand dollar bike or having my penis and scrotum ripped to many, many, large pieces by a great white shark. But it seems all those what I thought were useless hours, I could have spent focusing on my real job, saving relationships or just living a decent life, actually paid off in a major way. What a time to be alive.

I am Tehol Beddict and this is Disgrace/Delight. Take Heed!!!

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12-13-2009---Chicago Bears host the Green Bay Packers---Bears quarterback Jay Cutler waits for a challange call regarding a possible Bears TD in the 2nd quarter--Sun-Times photo by Tom Cruze

I absolutely, positively do not want to start Week 10 this way. But, it has to be done. I’m going to suggest Jay Cutler and there’s nothing you can do about it. Sure, it may seem like I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel here, but trust me on this one. Mr. Cavallari has a sweet, sweet match up this week at Tampa Bay and we should all be excited to cash in on this opportunity. The Buccaneers are giving up 20.9 points fantasy points per game (5th most in the league) to opposing quarterbacks and Cutler put up a respectable 14.3 points in his Week 8 return against the Vikings. That’s pretty impressive, especially when you consider that Minnesota has faced four QBs inside the top-12 this season and they haven’t allowed a 20 point day to any of them. In fact they haven’t allowed 20 points to any of the eight QBs they faced this season. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers were torched by Derek Carr (35 points) and Matt Ryan (24.3) in back-to-back weeks. Now, I realize that Cutler isn’t on the Carr/Ryan level, but Tampa Bay is averaging 281 passing yards allowed per week and they’ve handed out 18 passing scores so far this season. Both those numbers rank 27th and 30th in the league respectively. There’s a “better than good” chance that Cutler will have to go to the air early and often to keep up with Jameis Winston and company. So taking a chance on the rocket-arm of the former Santa Claus, Indiana resident might be in your best interest this week.

Here’s a look at a few more of my favorite passing and rushing match ups for Week 10:

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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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Look people, you try to make a pun out of “Ark”… Regardless, it appears that the top AFC teams coming out of the halfway point in the 2016 season are the usual New England Patriots and the… Oakland Raiders…? I honestly wish I knew why this was happening. I… I think the sun is starting to set on where I live, and I mean that in the most figurative way possible, because, you know, daylight savings time. But this is indeed a strange world we live in. The Oakland Raiders, led by the one Carr brother that’s actually not bad, Amari Cooper, and Latavius “I’ll always be 3/4 of an elite back” Murray, have managed to find themselves in first place in the AFC West with an impressive 5-0 record on the road. Because honestly, the only things that do well in Oakland are bails bondsman, and, you know, gentrification. Progress I guess. But wouldn’t it be great if the Raiders could be added that list? As a totally-not-biased-at-all-trust-me Chargers fan (and I’m throwing up a little in my mouth right now typing this), but it’s a shame that the Raiders have a solid chance to have a pretty great year, and it’s being overshadowed with rumors of the team possibly moving. And we’re talking about a post-Los Angeles not being able to be used as leverage timeline that we’re in, and Mark Davis is still able to do this. Maybe they’ll move to a magical place… called Houston. I don’t think there’s a team there… Listen, my life receives no benefit for suggesting such a radical idea as rooting about a specific aspect for a franchise that, at times, was the black eye (literally too!) of the league, but I did it anyways. A Chargers fan speaking kindly of the Raiders? Truly, the end is nigh.

Here’s what else I saw during yesterday’s Week 9 Sunday games…

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