Contrary to most people, Fantasy Football actually reinforces my belief in a higher power. Because in my opinion, the statistical probability that the Bears would be so uniquely irrelevant for such a long amount time is far less likely than a giant vengeful sky man wanting to live with you when you die. And if we are talking in terms of fantasy (something we do from time to time), it doesn’t seem that long ago when Jay Cutler was doing his best impersonation of Jay Cutler, but with a cast of Matt Forte, Martellus Bennett, Brandon Marshall, and Alshon Jeffery. Sure, they were still full of derp, still kinda bordered the line between mediocre and hilarious, but they had an offense. More importantly, they had an offense that you wanted to draft on your team. Now all that’s left is Alshon Jeffery living in Hoyer Country. (If he throws a Hail Mary, what shall they do about their papist neighbors?) So whats wrong with the Bears offense? Is it: A) Hoyer can’t throw the ball, B) Kevin White doesn’t know what a Route Tree is, C) The offensive line can’t block, D) Alshon Jeffery hasn’t cared since they shipped Marshall off to the Jets, or E.) All the above? And sure, lets give some credit to the Cowboys. Ezekiel Elliott had a terrific game on the ground (kudos to Zach for calling it in his Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em post), and Dak Presscott looks pretty legitimate. I mean, let’s be honest, drafting a good quarterback by accident is just about the most Cowboys thing ever. But while I deal with my own feelings as a Chargers fan (alcohol is involved), I have to wonder why the Bears even exist right now, but then I remember that the Cleveland Browns are still a thing and it all makes sense.

Here’s what else I saw in Sunday’s Week 3 games…

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Well, that got ugly fast. And I’m not just talking about this week’s Jaguars – Chargers game. That was an entirely different level of ugly. This week is why so many people have been adopting the zero RB strategy when drafting. They don’t want to risk taking a running back early because of the chance of injury, and they know they will be able to watch the waiver wire and read my handcuff report in order to get a running back or two during the season. If you play fantasy football, there is a good chance one of your running backs got hurt this week. If you drafted Adrian Peterson around the 2nd round or Danny Woodhead or Ameer Abdullah a few rounds later, this was not your week. If you went zero RB or waited a bit too long for running backs like I did in a few of my leagues, this is the week you were waiting for. As far as we know right now, though, Woodhead is the only back to go down who is definitely out for the year. The other two question marks are AP and Abdullah. Neither has a timetable for their return right now. Everyone else should be back in a couple weeks.

Anyway, let’s get to it… 

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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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Well, on a day where Jim Nantz called a pregame 9/11 memorial a 9/11 celebration, there really isn’t anywhere to go other than down… Or maybe I’m just talking in the context of the Chargers. And yes, I think I’ve written this before, but as one of the few Chargers fans in the industry (there are dozes of us, dozens!), I actually try really hard not to wax poetic about this team, an anti-bias if you will. (Except for Philip Rivers, he’s a flower.) Though, it could also be because injuries and disappointment have been a yearly routine for the Chargers, so plugging in a fork is probably more preferable than writing about them. Regardless, I only try to focus on them when it is absolutely necessary, because, believe me, I’d rather not write about how they lost yesterday despite having a 24-point lead at the half, nor would I want to mention that the Chiefs had the biggest comeback in franchise history, especially since both of those things would probably put someone like myself on suicide watch… But I do probably need to discuss Keenan Allen‘s non-contact knee injury that occurred before the half, which required a cart and hospital visit. It has now been confirmed to be an ACL tear, and based on my extensive health knowledge and degree in orthopedics (haha, my mother wishes!), I can come to the determination that this is bad. Like, season-ending bad. Also, knees continue to be a weak point in human anatomy. Also possibly groins. And this will not only cause ripple effects in football, but fantasy football as well. I think it’s fair to assume that Allen will be out the rest of the year, and here’s who will be affected positively by it: Travis Benjamin, Tyrell Williams, and Dontrelle Inman. To a lesser extent? Antonio Gates and Danny Woodhead. Here’s who will be affected negatively by it: My liver.

We’ll go over it a bit more along with all the other news and notes from yesterdays games after the jump…

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Injured Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford, in street clothes, at Lincoln Financial Field late in the game against Tampa Bay November 22, 2015. The Eagles had a very frustrating game losing 45-17. ( CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer )

In what is surprising news for an unsurprising outcome, Sam Bradford finds himself traded yet again, this time to the Vikings. After Teddy Bridgewater went down with 2,398 explosions in his leg, many wondered what direction the Vikings would go. Was it going to be a destination for Mark Sanchez (LOL)? Maybe even Colin Kaepernick? Or as I aptly put it the other day on our weekly Podcast: sticking with the status quo and having A Shaun Hill to Die On? All of these options could have been considered for a franchise (including other ones), that despite suffering a huge setback this year by losing their starting quarterback, still had a lot of pieces to compete in the near future with. And while the type of injury Bridgewater suffered is something that could affect his career outlook, so far the prognosis had been slightly positive. Even with that in mind, the Vikings’ Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer decided to mortgage a major part of their future for the very mediocre, and very injury-prone Sam Bradford. Here’s how the deal looks based off today’s reports:

Eagles send: Vikings send:
Sam Bradford 2017 1st Round Pick
$11,000,0000 (of $18,000,000) in Total Salary 2018 Conditional 4th Round Pick*

*The conditional pick can become a second or third rounder based on the Vikings success, as in, for example, if they reach the NFC Championship Game, it turns into a third, and if they reach the Super Bowl, it becomes a second rounder.

Okay, so, my non-expert opinion is this:

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Compels me to write about him, that is, because he’s ranked too low. Specifically, LeSean McCoy being ranked behind Mark Ingram is something I just don’t get. Nothing against Ingram, I like him. I just like McCoy better. Here’s some last minute draft advice with #analysis, starting with the reasons why McCoy should be ranked higher than Ingram…

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Let me take you back to the 2010 preseason. Fantasy football buzz was building for Houston Texans running back Arian Foster. The buzz started in the offseason because Foster had put together a pretty good (but short) stretch late in 2009. The buzz reached its peak after he carried the ball 18 times for over 100 yards against the Cowboys in the 3rd preseason game. I didn’t care that much about the gaudy yardage total (though it doesn’t hurt!), it was the usage that caught my eye. He looked like a feature back in the making. Despite this he was still a relatively late pick, RB 24, with an ADP (average draft position) of 54 overall. So he was a high priority target of mine that year because presumed feature backs that come cheap are a very rare and a very good thing. And for the chance to acquire a feature back that late in the draft we should be more than willing to accept the slightly greater risk that comes with a player that has “never done it before”.  I mean Arian Foster’s 2010 situation would be kind of like if Ezekiel Elliott was going in the 5th round.  No brainer, right?

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Actually, a few have already happened (and we’ll talk about them a bit after the jump), but, just like the title alludes to, the table is set, the forks and spoons are in their right place, and hopefully there’s food ready and on the way. In terms of the RCL universe (since I’m hungry and if there are any more food metaphors, I’ll eventually end up eating my monitor), the “league” has taken shape and drafts are about to begin. (But that doesn’t mean you still can’t create and join your choice of RCLs!) And, I want to touch on this: when I say “league”, I mean league, not leagues. Because ef pluralization… I mean, what has it ever done for me? Regardless, you have to remember, this is one complete universal league. The Milky Way of Fantasy Football if you will, including Antonio Brown, Saturn, and of course, Uranus. Don’t roll your eyes, you knew it was coming. Regardless, what I’m trying to say is, join any league you like, create as many as you want, and be part… of the universe. Mutha. Effing. Deep.

Now, as promised last paragraph (remember the good old days?), there actually have already been some drafts that have taken place (including a league hosted by yours truly, Lord Tehol, and our very own Stan Son!) and we’ll take a look at some of what happened in these three leagues to give everyone a general idea of what a terrible idea it is to draft early. I swear, half my team will be injured by the end of the preseason…

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I don’t have a lot of injury analysis for you in this one.  Just some quick hits and an amazing Tyler Eifert update.  Tyler Eifert missed last week’s game with a neck injury… Perhaps he was malingering so he could do this instead of playing on Sunday:

Okay, not that the picture was taken on Sunday.  I don’t think it was.  But look, this picture is just.. weird.  A grown man probably shouldn’t be sitting on Santa.  So I hope this had some tie in to an official appearance or some kind of charity benefit.  I wonder if his #NiceList refers to what he’s done for fantasy owners this year?  Jay, maybe you need to get in the holiday spirit and come out with a “Naughty/Nice” list for fantasy football this year.  You know, the list more commonly known as Bust/MVP.  I’m not saying it’s a good idea, I’m just saying it’s an idea.  Anyway…  Tyler Eifert (neck) was “limited” for practice Wednesday after he missed last week’s game. So that makes me think he’ll play this Sunday.  But they’ll probably want to be certain on this one so I wouldn’t be completely surprised if he missed.  But I think he’ll play.

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Rob Gronkowski’s sixteen game, standard scoring, fantasy point pace for 2015 was 214.4.  That’s a hefty number.  That’s a number good enough to keep the “is he, or is he not worth a 1st round draft pick” debate going.  If there exists a knock against Gronk, it is most likely that he can’t stay healthy.  Which is something that I think is technically true, but it also might be unfair.  I think we need to acknowledge that most tight ends are injury prone.  For whatever reasons, they just seem to miss more time than their wide receiver counterparts.  This has been especially true for the most dominant tight ends in fantasy of the past several years: Antonio Gates, Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, and Julius Thomas.  Gronkowski and Thomas have missed the most games, while Gates and Graham have mostly managed to stay on the field, albeit often with lesser production as they struggled with injuries .

So it’s arguably not really Gronk being injury prone, per se, because the top tight ends as a whole get injured a lot.  Other oft injured tight ends include Jordan Reed, Kyle Rudolph, and going back a little further to when he was useful… Owen Daniels.  Going back even further, you have Dallas Clark.  Arguably, Tyler Eifert and Jordan Cameron deserve to be labeled as injury prone.  The only exceptions I can think of are Greg Olsen, Jason Witten and Tony Gonzalez, three truly durable players.

Please, blog, may I have some more?