Good afternoon my fellow Razzballers! Hopefully you’re slowly recovering from your tryptophan and gravy hangovers, and weren’t trampled in the wee hours of the morning by overzealous Black Friday shoppers. I spent the day watching football and stuffing my face with as much deliciousness as humanly possible. Well, that and writing posts chock full of fantasy goodies for all of my loyal readers here and on the Soccer site (shameless plug!). BTW our RCL’s over on Razzball Soccer kick-off tomorrow so join up now!…..Now back to our regularly scheduled post…. We have five more weeks left in the season and it’s already been a banner year for handcuffs. So much so that I actually thanked the Turkey Gods for making this post so easy to write from week to week. Now if I could only talk those same Gods into opening up some playing time for Devonta Freeman. But one thing at a time Ralph, one thing at a time.
As we always do at this time let’s take a look at a couple of handcuffs rapidly approaching fantasy relevancy.
LeGarrette Blount – From the Gray ashes of the Steel City rises a hero. One who’s as brooding and dark as any anti-hero from a Frank Miller graphic novel, but also as high as any character from Cheech and Chong’s Up In Smoke. It’s everyone’s favorite malcontent LeGarrette Blount! Say hi LeGarrette! *#%@ You!….Okay LeGarrette thanks for your time. Now that my very verbose introduction is over let’s talk Football. We all should have seen his 12 carry, 78 yard, 2 TD game coming a mile away. When players that have a history with Belichick return, they always find a way back into a relevant role. I don’t buy that Jonas Gray‘s “benching” was 100% rooted in his late arrival to practice. The truth is Blount is a better player, and most of you could have found daylight behind the Pats offensive line in week 11’s game vs the Colts. I’d expect to see Blount occupying the big back role in the Pat’s offense for the foreseeable future.
Dan “Boom” Herron – No disrespect to Boom, but how bad is Trent Richardson? He’s literally gone from being a 3rd overall pick to the handcuff (sort of) to a running back drafted in the 6th round of the same draft. Not a good look Trent…Maybe he should try sexing one, maybe two ladies at a time and not three. Got to save some of that energy for game day bro! As for Herron he’s nothing special, as I said last week, but he seems to have Chuck Pagano and Andrew Luck’s trust. As exhibited by his 5 target 12 carry game vs Jacksonville. Richardson had 13 carries and one target in the passing game but was noticeably less effective than Herron. The former Ohio State standout did put the ball on the ground, but seems to have cemented his role in the offense. Not like Indy has a choice…
Latavius Murray – It looks like Murray will in fact be active for the Raiders game against the Rams on Sunday. Not a great matchup as far as the defense goes, but the Raiders back could still be an upside RB2. The man is a physical freak, he’s 6’3, 225 lbs back, that run a 4.38 40 at the combine a couple years ago. So he’s big and fast. Too bad he plays for the Raiders. I’m not sure how to rank him ROS for that reason. Last week’s 4 carry 112 yard performance doesn’t make it any easier either. A 90 yard run is a a beautiful thing, but is also an absolute outlier. Running backs break one maybe two of those their entire careers, so I’m going to watch how he looks getting regular work, before I declare him the next great running back to break out from obscurity. Nevertheless he’s an extremely intriguing prospect, and more than deserves a stash in dynasty and re-draft leagues alike. Hell, I’m starting him in few leagues this week myself.
These guys are fun, fun, fun! Not for everyday use but good to own, and a blast when they’re in the mix. We may wish for a bit more run but have to accept that they’re splitting time and getting the most of their opportunities. Most of these handsome devils could probably be studs if given the chance.
|Team||Starter (carries/targets/rec)||Handcuff(s) (carries/targets/rec)||Depth Backs|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Giovani Bernard (17/3/2)||Jeremy Hill (18/1/1)||Cedric Peerman|
|New England Patriots||LeGarrette Blount (12/0/0), Shane Vereen (8/9/8)||Jonas Gray||Brandon Bolden, James White|
|Detroit Lions||Joique Bell (19/2/1)||Theo Riddick (2/6/3), Reggie Bush (DNP)||George Winn|
|Cleveland Browns||Isaiah Crowell (12/0/0)||Terrance West (14/1/1)|
|San Diego Chargers||Ryan Matthews (12/2/2)||Branden Oliver (6/4/4)||Donald Brown, Ronnie Brown, Shaun Draughn|
|Denver Broncos||Ronnie Hillman (DNP)||C.J. Anderson (27/4/4), Montee Ball (DNP)||Juwan Thompson|
Standard Issue Police
Whether you’re in the back of a squad car or sitting on the corner while the Po-Po search your whip, you’re going nowhere. Do you know why? Because those things are locked on your wrists with a death grip. Much like those cuffs, these running backs are firmly locked into their positions. Not for a lack of ability, but because the starters are firmly entrenched in their roles. These backs could have value on any given week but more than likely you’ll need an injury to make these guys startable.
|Team||Starter (carries/targets/rec)||Handcuff(s) (carries/targets/rec)||Cuffs to the Cuffs|
|New York Giants||Rashad Jennings (19/10/8)||Andre Williams (10/2/1)|
|Carolina Panthers||Jonathan Stewart (Bye)||DeAngelo Williams (Bye)||Chris Ogbonnaya, Fozzy Whitiker|
|Philadelphia Eagles||LeSean McCoy (21/1/1)||Darren Sproles (6/4/3)||Chris Polk|
|Indianapolis Colts||Dan Herron (12/5/5)||Trent Richardson (13/1/0)|
|Houston Texans||Arian Foster (DNP)||Alfred Blue (16/4/3)||Jonathan Grimes|
|San Francisco 49ers||Frank Gore (13/0/0)||Carlos Hyde (7/0/0)|
|Buffalo Bills||Fred Jackson (10/4/3)||Anthony Dixon (12/1/1),||Bryce Brown (6/0/0)|
|New York Jets||Chris Ivory (7/3/3)||Chris Johnson (7/4/3)||Bilal Powell|
|Minnesota Vikings||Jerick McKinnon (15/3/3)||Matt Asiata (0/0/0), Ben Tate|
|St. Louis Rams||Tre Mason (16/2/1)||Benny Cunningham (4/4/2)||Zac Stacy (DOA)|
|Baltimore Ravens||Justin Forsett (22/2/2)||Bernard Pierce (7/1/1)||Lorenzo Taliaferro (0/0/0)|
|Kansas City Cheifs||Jamaal Charles (19/7/4)||Knile Davis (2/0/0)||De’Anthony Thomas, Cyrus Gray|
|New Orleans Saints||Mark Ingram (11/2/2)||Khiry Robinson (DNP), Pierre Thomas (DNP)||Travaris Cadet|
Duct Tape Cuffs
These are of the homemade variety, you’ll use them in a pinch (i.e the starting stud goes down) but they’re always in your drawer (wavier wire) ready to step in and do their job. It may be to the bare minimum degree but they can buy you some time.
|Team||Starter (carries/targets/rec)||Handcuff(s) (carries/targets/rec)||Handcuff to the Handcuff|
|Oakland Raiders||Latavius Murray (4/0/0)||Darren McFadden (12/2/2)||Marcel Reese, Maurice Jones-Drew|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Le’Veon Bell (Bye)||Dri Archer (Bye)|
|Green Bay Packers||Eddie Lacy (25/2/2)||James Starks (1/1/0)||John Kuhn, DuJuan Harris|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Denard Robinson (14/5/4)||Toby Gerhart (4/4/3)||Storm Johnson, Jordan Todman|
|Atlanta Falcons||Steven Jackson (13/3/2)||Davonte Freeman (5/1/0)||Jazquizz Rodgers (3/3/3)|
|Washington Redskins||Alfred Morris (21/1/1)||Roy Helu (0/2/2)||Silas Reed|
|Tennessee Titans||Bishop Sankey (10/3/2)||Shonn Greene (6/0/0)||Dexter McCluster, Leon Washington|
|Dallas Cowboys||DeMarco Murray (24/3/2)||Joseph Randle (0/0/0)||Lance Dunbar (0/1/1)|
|Miami Dolphins||Lamar Miller (12/1/1)||Damien Williams (0/2/1)||Daniel Thomas, LaMichael James|
|Seattle Seahawks||Marshawn Lynch (15/4/3)||Robert Turbin (4/3/2)||Christine Michael|
|Arizona Cardinals||Andre Ellington (1/8/5)||Stepfan Taylor (1/0/0)||Robert Hughes|
|Chicago Bears||Matt Forte (23/6/5)||Ka’Deem Carey (3/0/0)||Senorise Perry|
Thanks for reading and Happy Handcuffing!
Don’t forget to send me all your Running Back Questions on twitter @ralphlifshitzbb.