Do you remember the days when teams each had one running back to carry the load from 1st through 3rd down? Lumbering through the pain of worn out cartilage in their knees and treating pain killers like a food group. Now we have a world of 3rd down backs, pass blocking backs, full time, part time, short yardage (that use to be called a fullback) and some baby backs….yeah I’m pointing at you David Wilson. With the first two weeks in the books we can walk away from all this with a little bit of sanity knowing what we all didn’t know, we didn’t know together, and what we did know was laced with lies. For those of you that know me as Jack, I’m here to help break down and navigate the wonderful world of handcuffs. To help guide you, please take the contents of the little baggy I put under your seats, oh wait, that’s a different blog. To help guide you, if you are in a shallow league pay attention to the top, if you are in a 12 team, then give yourself a high five and if you are in a deep league pay attention to the bottom.
FUZZY HANDCUFFS - They’re fun, sexy and when someone breaks them out its good times ahead.
1) BenJarvus Green-Ellis (Giovanni Bernard (+5), Cedric Peerman, Rex Burkhead) the law firm is taking the early hits with Bernard waiting in the wings for a full time second half on the horizon.
2) Reggie Bush (Joique Bell (0), Theo Riddick, Mike LeShoure) Bush gets all the flash but Bell will take all the TD’s inside the 10 and has averaged 5 catches per game.
3) Arian Foster (Ben Tate (+5), no one else worth noting) With Arian continuing on his 3 year slide, Ben is really the most exciting guy here, c’mon Kubiak let’s get crazy and mix it up in Houston
STANDARD POLICE ISSUE CUFFS – Have you ever sat on a curb while your car was searched? Been in the back of a cruiser piss drunk after your team drafts JaMarcus Russell or signs Tim Tebow? Get caught taking a leak behind a gas station on spring break and were worried you would have to register as a sex offender for indecent exposure? Well none of these things have happened to me but my friend has. Like the strength of those cop cuffs, these handcuffs are worth owning or being heavily watched in 10 team and up leagues. This list of backs are in un-sexy splits, have fuzzy potential, or solid fill-ins when the starter is banged up.
4) Eddie Lacy (James Starks (+5), Johnathan Franklin) Starks looked great against a bad defense and with Lacy getting bonked good last week we could see last year’s sleeper rise a year late.
5) CJ Spiller (Fred Jackson (+2), Tashard Choice) Fred is getting a good share and is a deep leaguer.
6) Trent Richardson (Ahmad Bradshaw (-2), Donald Brown) Bradshaw is only here until we know how the new Colts will look like with T Rich. I think the Colts signed Bradshaw to mess with him.
7) Ray Rice (Bernard Pierce (+2), Shaun Draughn) Rice is banged up and old. Pierce might get an audition and could end up as a flex option with regular playing time.
8) Rashard Mendenhall (Andre Ellington (+3) Alfonso Smith, Stepfan Taylor) when the head coach gets all googly-eyed over Ellington it’s a good thing. Oh and Mendenhall is going to get hurt.
9) Bilal Powell (Chris Ivory (0), Alex Green) Sky’s crush and me trying to make the boss look good
10) Knowshon Moreno (Montee Ball (-3), Ronnie Hillman) As a Bronco fan I don’t see Moreno hold the job or be healthy all year and Ball will get his shot if he can hold onto the rock. Stash him!
11) Lamar Miller (Daniel Thomas (0), Mike Gillislee, Marcus Thigpen) the difference in touches between Miller and Thomas is 8. Anyone say split backfield?
12) LeSean McCoy (Bryce Brown (0), Chris Polk) an injury here makes Brown a RB2
13) Darren Sproles (Pierre Thomas (+1), Mark Ingram) to pull a term from the baseball side this is a shituation… Hi Grey! PT Cruiser is solid and Ingram should play in Canada.
14) Alfred Morris (Roy Helu (0), Evan Royster) Helu is on everyone’s radar, but only a Morris injury makes him a starter. Shanahanigans!
15) Marshawn Lynch (Robert Turbin (+1), Christine Michael) in deep leagues I would stash both these guys, Turbin has looked great and Michael is a beast in waiting.
16) Steven Jackson (Jason Snelling (+3), Jaquizz Rodgers) with Jackson down Snelling gets a shot.
17) Matt Forte (Michael Bush (-1), Michael Ford) Bush might vulture some TD’s
18) Chris Johnson (Shonn Greene(0), Jackie Battle) If Johnson goes down Greene becomes a flex
19) Darren McFadden (Marcel Reece (0), Rashad Jennings) If run dmc goes down I think Jennings becomes the rusher and Reece stays as the pass catcher. Neither is great but streamable
20) Frank Gore (Kendall Hunter (+1), LaMichael James)When James returns he probably moves up
Duct Tape – Handcuffs of the homemade variety, you’re in a pinch and need something that may or may not work. In the right instance they can be as secure as Tehol at a Victoria’s Secret model party. In the wrong instance can be as disastrous as Sky and his Chris Ivory sleeper post. These guys are not sexy, cool or in great situations. Some back up studs and some are left in RB hell. If the starter gets hurt you might stash one on your bench but that’s with a hope and a prayer. Deep leaguers might want to pay attention to this, but I think they should ask themselves, “Why do I play in such a large frustrating league?”
21) DeAngelo Williams (Mike Tolbert (0) Kenjon Barner)
22) Daryl Richardson (Isaiah Pead (0), Zac Stacy)
23) Ryan Matthews ( Ronnie Brown (0), Danny Woodhead )
24) Steven Ridley (LaGarrette Blount (0), Brandon Bolden)
25) DeMarco Murray (Lance Dunbar (0), Phillip Tanner, Joseph Randle)
26) Maurice Jones Drew (Justin Forsett (+1) Jordan Todman)
27) Jamaal Charles (Knile Davis (0), Cyrus grey)
28) David Wilson (Da’Rel Scott(0), Brandon Jacobs)
29) Felix Jones (Issac Redman (-2), Le’Veon Bell)
30) Adrian Peterson (Toby Gerhart (0))
31) Doug Martin (Brian Leonard, Mike James)
32) The Browns situation looks awful with the departure of T-Rich. I have no idea what’s going on, you can grab McGahee or Bobby Rainey in the hope one of them does something. Maybe they will throw their fans a bone and trade for Mike Leshoure