C.J. Prosise rushes against the New England Patriots

If you played your cards right, 2016 may have been one of the best seasons ever to roll with a zero RB strategy in your draft. Not only have there been a litany of running back committees utilized across the league, but legitimate RB1s and RB2s have been emerging all year. Take a look at this list: Jordan Howard, Devontae Booker, Spencer Ware, C.J. Prosise, Robert Kelley. Those guys were all either not drafted at all or were taken later in drafts as a handcuff or dice roll option (I actually drafted Booker in one league but dropped him after a few weeks because I need the roster spot. D’oh!).

Look at Jay Ajayi. He was taken in most deeper leagues, but most of us did not ever envision what he is doing right now. Matt Asiata, Jerick McKinnon, Jacquizz Rodgers all provided some waiver wire value, too. You could even include the few weeks we got out of Ty Montgomery on that list if you wanted to. Now, it looks like James Starks may even provide some value, now that he is healthy.

The important one for us right now is C.J. Prosise. Christine Michael has officially fallen out of favor in Seattle, and Prosise has been flourishing. At first glance, his 17 carries for 66 yards is just meh (unless you look at the volume as a positive). But when you look at his total stat line, you’ll see he caught seven passes for another 87 yards. Read: 153 total yards and seven catches. That’s more than 20 points in PPR. That’s gold, Jerry.

It sounds like Thomas Rawls might be back this week, and Seattle beat writer Sheil Kapadia thinks the Seahawks might try to deploy a thunder and lightning attack with Rawls and Prosise, but I think Prosise will still get the majority of the snaps and touches. He’s too valuable to them in the passing game right now for them to put him on the bench very often.

And as I am writing this, Adam Schefter just dropped this bomb on Twitter:

C.J. Prosise and Thomas Rawls owners, join me in a cheers to our good fortune.

And now, to the report…

NOTE: In the tables below, I’ve removed running backs who have been placed on Injured Reserve. If the running back is injured but is not on IR, then he has a + next to his name.

American Football Conference
AFC East Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Third-Stringer
Patriots LeGarrette Blount Brandon Bolden / Dion Lewis James White D.J. Foster
Jets Matt Forte Bilal Powell Bilal Powell C.J. Spiller
Dolphins Jay Ajayi Damien Williams Damien Williams Kenyan Drake
Bills LeSean McCoy + Mike Gillislee LeSean McCoy Reggie Bush
AFC North Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Third-Stringer
Bengals Giovani Bernard Jeremy Hill Giovani Bernard Rex Burkhead
Ravens Terrance West Kenneth Dixon Terrance West Javorius Allen
Steelers Le’Veon Bell DeAngelo Williams + Le’Veon Bell Fitzgerald Toussaint
Browns Isaiah Crowell Duke Johnson Duke Johnson George Atkinson
AFC South Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Third-Stringer
Texans Lamar Miller Alfred Blue Lamar Miller Jonathan Grimes +
Jaguars Chris Ivory T.J. Yeldon T.J. Yeldon Denard Robinson
Colts Frank Gore Robert Turbin Frank Gore Josh Ferguson
Titans DeMarco Murray Derrick Henry DeMarco Murray Antonio Andrews
AFC West Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Third-Stringer
Chiefs Spencer Ware Charcandrick West Charcandrick West Knile Davis
Broncos Devontae Booker Kapri Bibbs Devontae Booker Juwan Thompson
Raiders Latavius Murray DeAndre Washington ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Jalen Richard
Chargers Melvin Gordon Kenneth Farrow Melvin Gordon Andre Williams?

Reports of LeGarrette Blount’s demise once Tom Brady returned from suspension were greatly exaggerated. In fact, Week 4 (the last week of Brady’s suspension) is the only week this season that Blount didn’t score a touchdown. Even though the Patriots lost to the Seahawks on Sunday night, Blount added three more. He now has 12 rushing touchdowns on the season, and the Patriots are still giving him the rock in order to keep their offense balanced. Dion Lewis was activated from the PUP list but was inactive for this week’s game. Even when he is active, look for Blount to still get his.

If the trend continues, look for DeMarco Murray to be awful in 2017. I’m joking (kind of). In 2014, the Cowboys pretty much ran Murray into the ground. In 2015, he was so awful with the Philadelphia Eagles that he was essentially benched toward the end of the year. Was he worn out by what the Cowboys did to him? Or were the Eagles and Chip Kelly’s running game really that bad? It’s definitely the latter, but what if it’s both? The Titans are riding Murray as much as possible, and he was once again on the field for more than 75% of their offensive snaps. He is doing it all for the Titans and for fantasy owners right now, as he even threw for a touchdown this week. He is one of the most reliable RB1s in the league right now, so keep on riding him to the playoffs. As for his workload, that is a problem for next year.

Terrance West is still the main jawn in Baltimore, but for how long? Kenneth Dixon, as we have mentioned the past few weeks, is finally healthy and is starting to play more. More importantly, West was ineffective this week while Dixon had some success and generated more total yards than West on half the touches. West rushed 21 times for 65 yards (3.1 YPC), while Dixon rushed six times for 38 yards (6.3 YPC). Dixon also added five catches for 42 yards, and he was clearly the guy they wanted in the game on passing downs. West had just a single catch for 12 yards. Keep an eye on this backfield going forward, especially in PPR.

National Football Conference
NFC East Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Third-Stringer
Giants Rashad Jennings Paul Perkins Bobby Rainey Orleans Darkwa
Eagles ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Ryan Mathews Darren Sproles Wendell Smallwood
Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott Alfred Morris Ezekiel Elliott Lance Dunbar +
Washington Robert Kelley Matt Jones Chris Thompson Chris Thompson
NFC North Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Third-Stringer
Vikings Jerick McKinnon Matt Asiata Jerick McKinnon Ronnie Hillman
Packers James Starks Ty Montgomery Ty Montgomery Don Jackson +
Lions Theo Riddick Dwayne Washington Theo Riddick Zach Zenner / Justin Forsett
Bears Jordan Howard +? Jeremy Langford Ka’Deem Carey Ka’Deem Carey
NFC South Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Third-Stringer
Buccaneers Doug Martin Peyton Barber Jacquizz Rodgers + Peyton Barber
Saints Mark Ingram Tim Hightower Travaris Cadet Tim Hightower
Panthers Jonathan Stewart Cameron Artis-Payne Fozzy Whittaker Cameron Artis-Payne
Falcons Devonta Freeman Tevin Coleman + Tevin Coleman + Terron Ward
NFC West Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Third-Stringer
49ers Carlos Hyde + DuJuan Harris Shaun Draughn Mike Davis
Seahawks C.J. Prosise Thomas Rawls + C.J. Prosise Alex Collins
Cardinals David Johnson Andre Ellington David Johnson Stepfan Taylor
Rams Todd Gurley Benny Cunningham Todd Gurley Malcolm Brown

Coming into this week, we had finally put a fork in Ryan Mathews. He had a combined nine carries the last two weeks (though he did punch in two red zone touchdowns), hadn’t posted a double-digit performance since Week 5, and Doug Pederson (you sly dog, Doug!) finally admitted that he considered Darren Sproles to be his lead back. Then, Sunday happened. Mathews dropped 19 carries, 109 yards, and two touchdowns while sitting on the bench for most of us. While he only received two carries on the day, Sproles did catch eight passes for 57 yards, so all was not lost. This is messy going forward, but I still like Sproles ROS, especially in PPR.

After weeks of Jacquizz Rodgers, Antone Smith, and Peyton Barber, Doug Martin returned for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this past week. Martin was eased into action and was on a snap count, but he is officially back. He didn’t have much success, with an ugly 2.1 YPC on the day, but he did punch in a touchdown. With Martin back, you can expect him to take over as the bell cow in Tampa. He’s should be in every lineup going forward unless he suffers some kind of health setback. Rodgers is still out and does not look to be close to returning, so Barber is the handcuff for now.

Jordan Howard might be hurt, or he might be fine:

As a fantasy football player and writer and as a Jordan Howard fanboy, I NEED TO KNOW. As of this writing, it isn’t entirely clear. It sounds like he is fine, as Howard himself said. Maybe. Howard only carried the ball twice in the second half and was seen riding the bike near the trainer’s table. Howard admitted to feeling tight but not to suffering an injury, and he did enter the game late, so those are two positives for now.

Player Team Started  Snaps Snap Pct
31-D.Johnson ARI YES 70 89%
38-A.Ellington ARI NO 13 16%
30-S.Taylor ARI NO 0 0%
33-K.Williams ARI NO 0 0%
24-D.Freeman ATL YES 43 86%
28-T.Ward ATL NO 7 14%
33-S.Ridley ATL NO 0 0%
26-T.Coleman ATL NO 0 0%
28-T.West BAL YES 34 41%
30-K.Dixon BAL NO 26 32%
37-J.Allen BAL NO 6 7%
34-L.Taliaferro BAL NO 0 0%
28-J.Stewart CAR YES 53 73%
43-F.Whittaker CAR NO 13 18%
34-C.Artis-Payne CAR NO 0 0%
24-J.Howard CHI YES 29 52%
25-K.Carey CHI NO 8 14%
33-J.Langford CHI NO 19 34%
25-G.Bernard CIN NO 31 53%
32-J.Hill CIN YES 27 47%
33-R.Burkhead CIN NO 0 0%
34-I.Crowell CLE YES 30 60%
29-D.Johnson CLE NO 21 42%
25-G.Atkinson CLE NO 0 0%
21-E.Elliott DAL YES 43 66%
25-L.Dunbar DAL NO 8 12%
46-A.Morris DAL NO 10 15%
34-D.Jackson DAL NO 0 0%
23-D.Booker DEN YES 60 71%
35-K.Bibbs DEN NO 18 21%
40-J.Thompson DEN NO 0 0%
44-J.Starks GB YES 55 71%
34-D.Jackson GB NO 0 0%
28-A.Blue HOU NO 20 32%
33-A.Hunt HOU NO 19 30%
26-L.Miller HOU YES 24 38%
34-T.Ervin HOU NO 4 6%
41-J.Grimes HOU NO 0 0%
24-T.Yeldon JAC YES 41 53%
33-C.Ivory JAC NO 37 47%
16-D.Robinson JAC NO 0 0%
30-C.Grant JAC NO 0 0%
32-S.Ware KC YES 41 64%
35-C.West KC NO 20 31%
34-K.Davis KC NO 0 0%
30-B.Sankey KC NO 0 0%
30-T.Gurley LARM YES 42 61%
23-B.Cunningham LARM NO 26 38%
34-C.Reynolds LARM NO 0 0%
39-M.Brown LARM NO 0 0%
23-J.Ajayi MIA YES 38 75%
26-D.Williams MIA NO 12 24%
32-K.Drake MIA NO 2 4%
21-J.McKinnon MIN YES 32 48%
44-M.Asiata MIN NO 23 34%
33-R.Hillman MIN NO 13 19%
29-L.Blount NE NO 37 55%
28-J.White NE YES 29 43%
38-B.Bolden NE NO 0 0%
27-D.Foster NE NO 0 0%
33-D.Lewis NE NO 0 0%
38-T.Cadet NO NO 10 20%
22-M.Ingram NO YES 22 43%
34-T.Hightower NO NO 14 27%
23-M.Murphy NO NO 0 0%
36-D.Lasco NO NO 0 0%
23-R.Jennings NYG YES 45 60%
28-P.Perkins NYG NO 30 40%
26-O.Darkwa NYG NO 0 0%
43-B.Rainey NYG NO 0 0%
29-B.Powell NYJ NO 32 53%
22-M.Forte NYJ YES 34 57%
26-C.Spiller NYJ NO 8 13%
43-D.Sproles PHI NO 31 39%
28-W.Smallwood PHI NO 19 24%
24-R.Mathews PHI YES 26 33%
34-K.Barner PHI NO 3 4%
26-L.Bell PIT YES 74 100%
45-R.Nix PIT NO 2 3%
33-F.Toussaint PIT NO 2 3%
34-D.Williams PIT NO 0 0%
28-M.Gordon SD YES 70 91%
27-K.Farrow SD NO 5 6%
22-C.Prosise SEA YES 54 77%
32-C.Michael SEA NO 11 16%
36-A.Collins SEA NO 2 3%
34-T.Rawls SEA NO 0 0%
28-C.Hyde SF YES 42 67%
32-D.Harris SF NO 21 33%
24-S.Draughn SF NO 0 0%
22-M.Davis SF NO 0 0%
25-M.James TB NO 23 31%
22-D.Martin TB YES 31 41%
43-P.Barber TB NO 21 28%
32-J.Rodgers TB NO 0 0%
29-D.Murray TEN YES 46 77%
26-A.Andrews TEN NO 0 0%
22-D.Henry TEN NO 19 32%
32-D.Fluellen TEN NO 0 0%
32-R.Kelley WAS YES 42 67%
25-C.Thompson WAS NO 21 33%
34-M.Brown WAS NO 0 0%
31-M.Jones WAS NO 0 0%

Additional Thoughts, Observations, and Injuries. . .

  • Damien Williams was your vulture of the week, scoring twice to help the Miami Dolphins beat the San Diego Chargers, though he didn’t help Miami win as much as Philip Rivers did… (Sorry, Jay).
  • The Seattle Seahawks shocked everyone on Tuesday night by waiving Christine Michael. Everyone could see that he was headed to the bench, but waiving him? Yikes.
  • The return of James Starks was not great news for Ty Montgomery. Montgomery received only five touches. Many are already dropping Montgomery. I’m waiting at least another week, but it doesn’t look good.
  • Not to mention another fantasy site on here, but Rotoworld dropped a hilarious take on Case Keenum on us.
  • This guy has the @HandcuffReport handle on Twitter, and it has nothing to do with fantasy sports. He just seems to retweet the Intel Policy account all the time. Wtf, dude.
  • Matt Jones was a healthy scratch this week, so Robert Kelley and Chris Thompson saw all of the touches. This is a hard fall for Jones, but at least he wasn’t waived?



If you want to talk fantasy football or have players you want Mike to feature, hit him up on Twitter at @mikeMaher or post a comment below!

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Max the axe
Max the axe
5 years ago

Very helpful. Thanks! Keeper forever. Which couple of these guys worth stashing for next year? D Henry Matt Jones Abdullah Bibbs. Or do you think they’re too far gone for now?

5 years ago

Funny, I listen to SXM fantasy sports often & Jeff Mans & co. actually called out the zero RB strategy this year & how it was an epic failure. yes a few guys have climbed the ranks from the waiver wire but week to week consistency is hard to come by…

5 years ago
Reply to  Nick

@Nick: forgot my question, would you go Miami against Goffs first game or Pitt at Cleveland?

5 years ago

Offered J. Nelson and D. Lewis for F. Gore and M. Thomas. Its a PPR after the 3rd rec. Thanks
I have Brees-QB
M. Thomas-WR
F. Gore-Flex