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Week 3 was a crazy, crazy week. Thanks Trump! I kidd. Blake Bortles, Case Keenum, and Eli Manning all threw for at least three touchdowns, with Bortles throwing four! The Jets dominated. It gets crazier, though. Eight of the games on Sunday had the road teams as favorites. The Jaguars, Colts, Bears, Jets, Bills, and Redskins all took care of business at home. Bow wow wow yipee yo yipee ya! Home dogs! The Lions should have won and the Chargers…well, just scroll down to the recap of that game and all will become clear.

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Does anyone else get the old Sherwin Williams jingle stuck in their head when they see Kerwynn Williams’s name? No? Just me?

Anyway, welcome to the 2017 Handcuff Report. For those who followed this post last season, welcome back. For those who are new, where were you last year? Too good for us? I have researched other available handcuff reports and tell give you my completely unbiased opinion that none of them are half as good as this one. Shame on you, and welcome.

So, first things first: what exactly is a handcuff? For the fantasy football n00bs out there, or perhaps for those who have taken the last few years off, a handcuff is a backup who will likely take over as the starter in the event of an injury, extreme ineffectiveness, off-the-field trouble, or coach’s decision. There are probably other reasons that I am forgetting here, but those are the most common one.

Most NFL teams now run a running back by committee of some sort. While not every team is as unpredictably maddening as the Patriots, most teams share the load in an effort to keep guys fresh and give defenses different looks. With fantasy leagues more competitive than ever, thanks to sites like Razzball offering great advice, it is important to recognize trends and identify value quickly. If you drafted a stud running back early, you might want to grab his handcuff in case of injury. Or if you went zero RB or went really light on RB early, you might want to squat on a couple handcuffs or, especially in PPR leagues, grab a change-of-pace/pass catching back. With the influx of young running backs and each team having two or three options this season, I tended to do the latter in drafts this year. For every Melvin Gordon, I have like two Shane Vereens or Theo Riddicks this year. Speaking of young running backs:

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Welcome back for another strategy session, where you and I sit down, group our intellect together, and prepare to discuss Fantasy Football ad nauseum… and then promptly get distracted by RedTube. So pretty much every other Tuesday. (Well, for me at least.) We already have a Beginners Guide to Fantasy Football, for those of you who had no idea fantasy football existed… I’m sure there are dozens of you. DOZENS! But now that we have the “101” content coming out on a consistent basis, we arrive at the “Do’s and Don’ts” of a draft. As what should be pretty self explanatory, there are things that you should do and things that you should not do. Crazy stuff! I know. Granted, these are based on my own experiences within the Fantasy Football landscape, so take them for what you will. Which frankly, should be lots. Because it’s free. Free stuff is always good! Unless it’s crayfish in your pants. That’s something that’s free, mysterious, titillating, and scary all at the same time. Much like my lovemaking…

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Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair, Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t fuzzy, was he? I think that’s how that goes. Here’s my version. Jonathan Stewart was a Duck. Jonathan Stewart had no luck. Without a hammy, what was he? He was Fozzy Whittaker’s ticket to a one hundred yard rushing day. Ok, so that wasn’t very good. How about this one. JStew knew what to do. JStew his hammy blew. JStew knew it true, do you? Admittedly that was not much better. I could keep going with the mediocre attempts, but, contrary to popular belief, I have better things to do. Jonathan Stewart went down. Fozzy Whittaker stepped up, and has been named to my weekly “Are you sh!tting me with this lineup” lineup…

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Was it just me, or were running backs pretty disappointing during the first week? It could just be me. My weekend consisted of a bachelor party and watching the games at a bar in New Jersey on Sunday sandwiched between two three-hour flights.  Sure, there were good performances, but overall it left me feeling validated that I targeted wide receivers in the early rounds over running backs whenever possible. Anyway, here we are with the week two handcuff, which I guess is technically the first full handcuff report. If you didn’t already know, I will be writing the handcuff report this year, and it should be available every Wednesday morning. With this being the first week of games, we will have to try and determine which performances we can expect to see repeated and which ones we are less likely to see repeated on a regular basis.

Those of who you took David Johnson early are feeling pretty good right now. Those of you who took Todd Gurley are probably feeling slightly less good. If you grabbed a bunch of talent in the first few rounds and then snatched up C.J. Anderson and Ameer Abdullah, you probably won your matchup this week. But those guys are all RB1s, and we hate them here because we are more worried about the scrubs who can steal some points in the coming weeks.

Okay, here we go…

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Granted, there isn’t a rich history to draw from in terms of “quality football” on Thursdays, but you have to think that this being an actual Sunday Night production, coupled with the fact that we actually haven’t had a real game in what feels like decades, I’m pretty sure I would have been enamored if it was the Vikings playing against the Titans (which we’ll actually receive this Sunday! Wooo?). That being said, the game was actually pretty good on the scale of Graham Gano to those muscles in your arm that benefit the most if you’re throwing a penalty flag. (I mean, there were so many flags this game, it felt more like a United Nations summit, amirite?) Both teams looked sluggish throughout though, which was probably to be expected in the first game of the season. The Broncos and Panthers burned a lot of timeouts too, each for their own derpy reasons. For Denver, they seemingly forgot to count and had multiple downs where 12 men were on the field. For Carolina, five total timeouts from both halves were wasted because of terrible clock management by Newton (though I’m pretty sure Jerry Richardson was only upset with three-fifths of them). In fact, Andy Reid probably uploaded all these timeouts to his PornHUB account. That being said, I have to add that I found myself pretty frustrated with the continued non-calls on what were some brutal hits to Cam Newton. There were at least three blatant roughing the passer calls that were missed (or ignored?), and the last hit, late in the fourth quarter that actually drew a flag (you can see it after the jump), which was a helmet spear of all things, was offset by an intentional grounding. Oh, okay then, that makes sense. But the game was close throughout and quite entertaining, and due to the fact that Trevor Siemian flirted between the lines of profoundly mediocre and downright awful, the Panthers had a chance with seven seconds to win the game with a 44-yard field goal attempt in altitude… so yeah, we know how that turned out. Congrats to your 0-1 undefeated Panthers! Wait a second…

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Hi everyone! Welcome to “Imp Acts Deep”, our new recurring piece breaking down my favorite Tyrion Lannister scenes in Game of Thrones. Let’s throw it back to Season 1 for some of Peter Dinklage’s most serious… *answers call from Jay* I’ve been informed the series is actually called Deep Impact. We’ll be taking a look at options for those of you who play deeper formats, have large benches, or maybe just want to live life on the wild side even in a shallow league. During the season, we’ll scrape the bottom of the barrel for good starts that may be sitting on the wire even in 16-teamers. There they are, perfectly good starts that everyone is just wasting. Don’t you know that there are hungry fantasy football players in China that would LOVE to have these starts you just throw away?

As you’re aware though, we are still in preseason mode, so we’ll start this series by targeting some late round gambles in drafts that can pay big dividends. We’ll be looking specifically at names currently going after pick 180, long after your standard format players have ended their drafts at Hooters, polished off their Bud Lights and gone home disappointed that none of the waitresses seemed to truly appreciate their unwanted advances. This is for serious players only, if you’re not really about that life please stop reading. I’ll wait. Dave, I see that you’re still reading this, please stop… Alright, now that Dave is finally gone, let’s dive in.

Want to take on Razzball writers and contributors in the great game of Fantasy Football? For Prizes? OH MY GOD YES. Where do you sign up? Great question! (Even though you didn’t technically ask. I mean, you might have, but I couldn’t hear you…) You can join here!

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It’s been commonplace around here to poke a bit of fun at Joe Flacco’s expense, and I have to admit, it probably starts with me. Look, I don’t actively root against the eyebrow guy. Granted, I don’t root for him either, seeing as how it’s like rooting for a speed bump. But there is a certain something about him that really fascinates me. And that can essentially be boiled down to the the gift that keeps on giving… and that’s the process for measuring how elite Joe Flacco actually is (not just his eyebrow(s), which are too f*cking elite). Well folks, I think it’s time, once again, to go through this process once more. After a convincing win against a Steelers team that was clearly missing LeVeon Bell and any semblance of a third down defense,  John Harbaugh said this after the game:

“Joe Flacco, what can you say… He’s the best quarterback in football.”

Well, first of all, don’t lead this off by asking “what can you say”. I can say a lot of things, and none of them would be what you said, John. Granted, yes, Flacco has a long history of being part of a lot of successful Ravens teams, including a Super Bowl ring and being the only quarterback in NFL history to win a playoff game in each of his first five seasons. Of course, there’s also the fact that he’s not really that good of a quarterback. But hey, when you’re just elite enough to win, who cares?

I guess I don’t. Then again, I’m now realizing that the Ravens vs. Patriots media extravaganza might be something I could have done without… been there, done that, ya know? Wait. What’s that you say? We’re going to have a Petyon Manning/Andrew Luck narrative to deal with as well?

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If you didn’t notice, or if you didn’t read yesterday’s post, we are now travelling the December part of our football journey. And it’s almost as if a few weeks ago, some misguided couple named their child “Playoff Implications”. And let me tell you guys, when this kid grew up, he joined the military. And yesterday, that child reached the rank of “Major”. And the concept of that wonderful anecdote I just shared was manifested in the most ridiculous way possible… in the NFC South. Surprise! On a day that saw back-to-back shutouts for the Rams, the Jets still Jets’ing, it was no surprise to see the Saints lose and lose soundly at home to just an awful Carolina Panthers team. The Atlanta Falcons, with an unlikely win tonight (against the Packers at home), can build an insurmountable divisional lead and first place with a 6-7 record. AND they could probably do the same by losing! Heck, Carolina could take the division with a 6-9-1 record if they wanted to. ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN AT ANY TIME. If only the division wasn’t comparable to reading dildo reviews…

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We’ve survived the first bye week with six of the better teams in the league on a two week vacation. It led to unusual results and other players taking a turn in the other spotlight. Miami and Oakland are the only teams on bye in Week 5 after they beat up on each other in London, so there aren’t that many players you need to replace this week. Oakland also needs to replace its coach, but that’s another story. But there is one player that needs to go immediately, and his name is Tom Brady.

Brady has been shoddy at best this season, and it’s got to be killing fantasy teams. For the season, he has 791 passing yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions, and has failed to break the 250-yard barrier this season. It hit a low point last night when he was replaced by Jimmy Garoppolo, who was put in during the fourth quarter of the Chiefs’ 41-14 a**-kicking of New England. Brady just doesn’t look right. He still has Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman, but after that, there is little else in the way of receiving talent that he can utilize. His tackles aren’t protecting him well, and the ground game isn’t getting the holes it used to. Brady can still dink and dunk, but without a good deep threat, it looks ugly for the 37-year old signal caller from Michigan. He’s on pace for career lows for a full season and he has a Sunday night game with 3-0 Cincinnati and it’s tough defense in Week 5, before Buffalo and the New York Jets in a five-day span.

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