In what has become a seemingly weekly occurrence the most interesting handcuff in the land happens to be playing in the Thursday Night Game. I think this happens just to spite me. It’s as if the Football Gods force injuries and ineffectiveness on starters the week before they play on the thirstiest of all days. This week’s example of my curse is, of course, former (?) third stringer Brandon Bolden. The man who I had pegged to be taking over the Stevan Ridley “Big Back” role in New England. I figured if Bolden failed, then James White was probably next in line. But of course Bill Belichick did the most Belichickian thing ever and activated Jonas Gray from the practice squad, gave him a few carries, and leaned heavy on Shane Vereen. It looks like Bolden is more valuable to the Pats as a special teamer than a runner, and I have no idea what James White‘s issue is. I was shocked that he was inactive and you have to figure he’s deep in Belichick’s doghouse at this point. It’s really surprising considering how good he looked in pre-season and camp. The only ownable back in this scenario is Vereen.

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Those of you in your 30’s shouldn’t have a hard time remembering George Michael’s Sports Machine. Running from 1984 to about 2007, and airing on Sunday nights, it was a 30-minute television show dedicated to providing the highlights of the past week’s sporting events. I did a quick search on Ancestry.com, and it turns out the Sports Machine and Stats Machine are very distant relatives. I hope George’s estate doesn’t sue me. Now that I have cleared that up, let’s move on.

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I’d like to begin this week’s installment of the handcuff report by apologizing profusely for ignoring Andre Williams last week. I seriously considered mentioning Williams value as a keeper, but ROS considered him nothing more than a deep bench stash or handcuff for Rashad Jennings. I had him buried down in the Duct Tape tier, with the Stepfan Taylor‘s and Ka’Deem Carey‘s of the world. Zoinks! Imagine a world of Stepfan’s and Ka’Deem’s! Oh snap, there is such a place? It’s my Duct Tape Handcuff tier! It exists in my mind, and it’s a shiny silver world where everything can be fixed with a couple inches of the good stuff. Jeez I went off topic real quick, back to Andre Williams. I knew that Rashad Jennings was quickly approaching his highest usage numbers of his career, and I knew that Jennings had some injuries during his time in Jacksonville. I chose to ignore it. Just as I chose to dismiss Williams’ 15 carry, 66 yard, TD breakout against Washington. I thought it was nothing more than some meaningless garbage time magic. After all, Jennings had been getting almost all the usage in the Giants offense. Before the Week 4 blowout, Williams had seen two games of 6 carries, and one game of 8 carries with four looks in the passing game. There was no reason to pay him much mind, and those touting him as a good stash were working off nothing more than a hunch that Rough Shod would break down.

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This past week was brutally tough on running backs. We saw several of them get injured and there are lead backs who will miss multiple weeks from the Denver Broncos and New York Giants. Factor in Kansas City and New Orleans are on bye this week, and it makes for a minefield of running backs to work through. We’ll help you get through it in this week’s column. Here we go.

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Four score and 7 quarters ago…

Considered by many to be the best time traveling movie ever made, Back to the Future is a must see film of the 80’s. Set in Hill Valley, California, Marty McFly accidentally travels back in time (to 1955) using a flux capacitor-powered DeLorean in an attempt to escape a band of angry Libyans. While there… well you know the rest. And if you don’t, shame on you!

Another time traveling masterpiece that gets much less attention, and in many ways is much more excellent, follows the wild adventures of Bill S. Preston, Esquire, and Ted “Theodore” Logan as they travel back in time with the help of Rufus and his magical phone booth to solicit the help of historic personalities such as Napoleon Bonaparte, Abraham Lincoln, Ludwig van Beethoven and So-crates, to help them pass their history class assignment. That’s right, you guessed it. I’m talking about Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. This movie was so excellent, it even had a much less excellent sequel entitled Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey. Believe it or not, I saw this flick in the movie theaters. Shame on me? I was only 14 years old. But even more believe it or not, a third installment to this pseudo legendary saga is currently in the works. So buckle up folks and get ready for another excellent journey!

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Fantasy football ain’t for the faint of heart.  This is real sh*t right here.  Injuries happen.  You can’t avoid them.  I can’t remember the last time I owned a fantasy team, in any sport, that didn’t suffer a huge loss due to injury.  Part of being a successful fantasy football owner is how you handle those injuries.  You can’t sulk and say, “That’s it.  My season’s over.”  No way.  Get on the waiver wire.  Make some trades.  Fight till the end.  No one likes a quitter.  My boy DMX said it best: either put up or shut up!

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As if the injuries weren’t bad enough, now we get to add in bye weeks to the train wreck known as Fantasy Football in 2014. This week, you’re missing Arizona, St. Louis, Seattle, Denver, Cleveland and Cincinnati to pile on with the problems. Let’s dive in and see who can help your team out on a bumpy Week 4.

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“When was that?”

Well, you should remember, as it was only last week where 97% of the all ACL’s in the NFL collectively exploded. I’m no doctor, so I had no idea that modern medicine was able to take an athlete, who was expected to be out 5-8 weeks, to practicing a few days after his injury, and might actually be playing in today’s game. I’m obviously talking about Jamaal Charles, but he’s not the only one who was affected by this dark wizardry insta-heal. In fact, the only player that seems to have been left out from this wonderful era in medicine appears to be Ryan Mathews.

F*ck me, right?

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Rarely do we see a week so overabundant in the injury department.  Millions of fantasy teams were brought to their knees (likely ‘cuz they have no ankles to support them) after the seemingly endless amounts of bones, ligaments and tendons that were demolished in Week 3’s slate of NFL games. Fantasy football owners are going to be racing to the wire this week to replace their fallen and it’s important that you are kept up-to-date with who to grab and who not to grab…

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It’s time to run to the waiver wire and put your claim in for Kansas City running back Knile Davis. Star running back and first-round pick Jamaal Charles left the loss at Denver in the first quarter with an ankle sprain and didn’t return. Davis took the field and had 79 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. He added a pair of catches as well, and looked sharp. Davis could be a starter on some other running-back hungry teams and he should be on your fantasy roster this week. Charles (sprained ankle) looks to be questionable at best for this week against Miami. He’s been diagnosed with the dreaded high ankle sprain, and Davis should capitalize on it. The Dolphins are giving up 101 yards a game on the ground so the opportunity is there for Davis. The week after, it’s a Monday night tilt at New England (122.5 yards per game) for the Chiefs. Week 5 is a brutal matchup at San Francisco. We know how tough they are to run on, hunh Matt Forte? It wouldn’t make sense for the Chiefs to bring back Charles to get pounded into ground chuck before the team’s bye week on Week 6.

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