Four more games left until most fantasy football playoffs begin. How are you looking? Playoff spot locked up or do you need to go on a run down the stretch?
Another quiet week, we avoided major injuries to our starting backs. Today, I’ll touch on a few handcuffs that are worth monitoring heading in to your playoffs.
- Kenjon Barner- Barner has been a nobody since he came on the report a couple of weeks ago. With the emergence of Cordarrelle Patterson, Sony Michel nearing return, and Rex Burkhead spotted at practice it is safe to release Barner- if for some reason he hasn’t been already. I am really writing about Barner to touch on the Patriots backfield. Patterson is available as a RB and WR on most major platforms now. I guess there is some value for the most desperate of situations. I know I am scratching and clawing my way in a couple of leagues. Michel is on track to return this week and Burkhead is projected to make an appearance come playoff time, I recommend looking elsewhere if you can. James White and Michel own this backfield.
- Mike Davis- Chris Carson is trending in the wrong direction this week, missing practice Wednesday and Thursday. If he misses Friday, it will be the Mike Davis show in a run first scheme this weekend. A tougher matchup against the Rams but Seattle stays committed to the run regardless. Carson was able to break off 116 yards against he Rams back in week 5. Davis is a low end RB2/Flex play this week. Rashaad Penny has to show me something first in order to earn a roster spot on my bench but technically he is the handcuff to Davis this weekend.
- Kapri Bibbs- A full participant in practice this week, Adrian Peterson will resume his lead duties in Washington with a juicy matchup against the Bucs. Unfortunately a different story for Chris Thompson, he is already listed as ‘out’ for this week. Cue up Bibbs, he found the end zone last week and will serve as the receiving back this week- filling the Thompson role. A flex fill in and worth a bench stash for RB needy owners in PPR leagues.
- Alfred Morris- Yes, here we are again talking about Alfred Morris in the 2018 fantasy football season. It’s almost as cute as Darren Sproles attempting to return and people trying to make him a thing this week. I’m glad that I don’t have to write anymore about that situation. Raheem Mostert broke his arm and Morris in the only back up in San Fran, for now. From what I gather, the 49ers will activate a back off of their practice squad but have yet to make a move. Morris is the only handcuff worth rostering regardless of who they activate. Look for Jeff Wilson to get called up.
- Alfred Blue- As a Lamar Miller owner, it is frustrating to see Blue out carry Miller 15 to 12 in last weeks matchup after a great performance the week prior. Both backs failed to produce but the nearly even usage is a headache. The Texans have a couple of nice matchups down the stretch against the Browns, Colts, and Jets. Blue is a handcuff worth rostering.
- Devontae Booker- A tough outing for the Broncos backfield last week against a stout Texans front. All reports point to Royce Freeman returning after their bye this week. This will murky the waters even more in Denver. I will keep Booker in cuffs until we see how things shake out with Freeman. I am fading the Broncos backfield down the stretch as we can project a negative game script against their next three opponents- Chargers, Steelers, and Bengals. It is looking like Phillip Lindsay is the only back to own. I rather go with someone like Duke Johnson or even possibly Theo Riddick over either of the backups in Denver.
- Quick Hits- Ito Smith should been owned in all formats. I won’t exhaust you on Ito, we have been talking about him since the beginning of the season. Elijah McGuire is a flex play flyer this weekend as he slides in to the Bilal Powell role. McGuire owned 52% of the snap share last week over Crowell’s 37%. Does Latavius Murray receive the handcuff of the year award for 2018? Do not let him go just because Dalvin Cook is back. I am hearing whispers that Josh Adams is earning more looks in Philadelphia. I’ll touch on this again next week after we see how things shake out on Sunday Night. Jamaal Williams, Nyheim Hines and Ty Montgomery are all backups worth a speculative add if you are desperate for RB depth.
- Duke Johnson Jr- Almost a split snap share last week between Nick Chubb (51%) and Dukie (45%). What is even more intriguing is the 21 percent target share for Duke, leading all receiving options in Cleveland last week. It looks like the new regime has a focus on making him a focal point in the offense. Something Hue Jackson and Todd Haley could not comprehend. 9 catches on 9 targets for 78 yards and two touchdowns last week. We can leave it at that.
- Theo Riddick- It is weird to see the Lions turn in to a fantasy un-friendly offense. Who do we trust here? With Golden Tate on to Philadelphia, Riddick is picking up some of the receiving slack left behind. 8 targets in his first return to action and dead even snap share with Kerryon Johnson last week. Riddick is only worth a spot in PPR leagues, not very exciting but it’s what we are dealing with this week.
Leave your comments and questions below. As always, you can find me on twitter. Good luck this weekend!