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.

 

Fuzzy Handcuffs 

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.

TeamStarter (carries/targets/rec)Handcuff(s) (carries/targets/rec)Depth Backs
Cincinnati BengalsGiovani Bernard (17/3/2)Jeremy Hill (18/1/1)Cedric Peerman
New England PatriotsLeGarrette Blount (12/0/0), Shane Vereen (8/9/8)Jonas GrayBrandon Bolden, James White
Detroit LionsJoique Bell (19/2/1)Theo Riddick (2/6/3), Reggie Bush (DNP)George Winn
Cleveland BrownsIsaiah Crowell (12/0/0)Terrance West (14/1/1)
San Diego ChargersRyan Matthews (12/2/2)Branden Oliver (6/4/4)Donald Brown, Ronnie Brown, Shaun Draughn
Denver BroncosRonnie 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.

TeamStarter (carries/targets/rec)Handcuff(s) (carries/targets/rec)Cuffs to the Cuffs
New York GiantsRashad Jennings (19/10/8)Andre Williams (10/2/1)
Carolina PanthersJonathan Stewart (Bye)DeAngelo Williams (Bye)Chris Ogbonnaya, Fozzy Whitiker
Philadelphia EaglesLeSean McCoy (21/1/1)Darren Sproles (6/4/3)Chris Polk
Indianapolis ColtsDan Herron (12/5/5)Trent Richardson (13/1/0)
Houston TexansArian Foster (DNP)Alfred Blue (16/4/3)Jonathan Grimes
San Francisco 49ersFrank Gore (13/0/0)Carlos Hyde (7/0/0)
Buffalo BillsFred Jackson (10/4/3)Anthony Dixon (12/1/1),Bryce Brown (6/0/0)
New York JetsChris Ivory (7/3/3)Chris Johnson (7/4/3)Bilal Powell
Minnesota VikingsJerick McKinnon (15/3/3)Matt Asiata (0/0/0), Ben Tate
St. Louis RamsTre Mason (16/2/1)Benny Cunningham (4/4/2)Zac Stacy (DOA)
Baltimore RavensJustin Forsett (22/2/2)Bernard Pierce (7/1/1)Lorenzo Taliaferro (0/0/0)
Kansas City CheifsJamaal Charles (19/7/4)Knile Davis (2/0/0)De’Anthony Thomas, Cyrus Gray
New Orleans SaintsMark 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.

TeamStarter (carries/targets/rec)Handcuff(s) (carries/targets/rec)Handcuff to the Handcuff
Oakland RaidersLatavius Murray (4/0/0)Darren McFadden (12/2/2)Marcel Reese, Maurice Jones-Drew
Pittsburgh SteelersLe’Veon Bell (Bye)Dri Archer (Bye)
Green Bay PackersEddie Lacy (25/2/2)James Starks (1/1/0)John Kuhn, DuJuan Harris
Jacksonville JaguarsDenard Robinson (14/5/4)Toby Gerhart (4/4/3)Storm Johnson, Jordan Todman
Atlanta FalconsSteven Jackson (13/3/2)Davonte Freeman (5/1/0)Jazquizz Rodgers (3/3/3)
Washington RedskinsAlfred Morris (21/1/1)Roy Helu (0/2/2)Silas Reed
Tennessee TitansBishop Sankey (10/3/2)Shonn Greene (6/0/0)Dexter McCluster, Leon Washington
Dallas CowboysDeMarco Murray (24/3/2)Joseph Randle (0/0/0)Lance Dunbar (0/1/1)
Miami DolphinsLamar Miller (12/1/1)Damien Williams (0/2/1)Daniel Thomas, LaMichael James
Seattle SeahawksMarshawn Lynch (15/4/3)Robert Turbin (4/3/2)Christine Michael
Arizona CardinalsAndre Ellington (1/8/5)Stepfan Taylor (1/0/0)Robert Hughes
Chicago BearsMatt 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.

 

  1. Steve Stevenson says:
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    Hey Ralph, I see you have Hillman listed as the starter still. You think he’s starting over Anderson when he returns? I own Anderson but have a free roster spot and could scoop Hillman back up (dropped him a week ago).

    Also, better DST stash for wk 15–GB @Buf or KC vOak? KC seems like the better option, but they also recently did nothing against Oak and have generally slipped a little in the second half.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Steve Stevenson: not sure with Hillman but I won’t demote a player due to injury. If Hillman comes back and Anderson is the clear cut starter (as he should be), then I’ll move him back into the handcuff spot.

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: As for the D KC vs. Oakland seems safe but the GB matchup has a better upside for big points.

  2. Nick says:
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    Hey Ralph, who should I start in a non-ppr league?

    WR3 options: M Bryant, Sanu or K Allen?
    Flex: Ingram, Mathews or the WRs listed above..

    I also have l murray but based on ur post I don’t think u would go that route…

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Nick: Murray is out this week. I thought after two practices he’d be good to go.

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Bryant and Ingram

  3. Allan says:
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    Ralph building a gpp lineup on draft kings. Which 5000 dollar qb do I go with stanton, hill, or mccoy?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Allan: Hill

  4. goodfold2 says:
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    where are you finding the latavis news, i’m seeing most recent report being that he’s out, he didn’t practice Fri. Most recent news i can find was from yesterday about 22 hours ago though.

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @goodfold2: nevermind, i see just above you’ve seen same things i saw.

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @goodfold2: Yeah truthfully I wrote that Thursday night and was out all day yesterday without access to a computer. Got home and it was already posted.

  5. ThGreatKyle says:
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    So just tryin this for the first time wanna know something I saw your ROS rankings and want to know who to keep for ROS. SO Steven Hauschka or Justin Tucker, It seems like the Hawks kick more field goals then the Ravens what is you opinion thanks! Also ROS larry Donnell or Jordan Cameron

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @ThGreatKyle: With Kickers I stream them from week to week. Unless you have Gostkowski or someone of the like. I always try and find fair weather/dome kickers.

      As for Cameron vs Donnell, you have to go Donell. Does anyone know that Cameron will be back in week 14? If both are playing it’s Cameron without a doubt.

  6. Frank White says:
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    Sup Ralph… Fred Jackson or Mathews?? Donnell or Rivera??

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Frank White: Mathews and Donnell.

    • Frank White says:
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      or Dion Sims for the TE spot?

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Frank White: Sims is risky but I like him over either one. Rivera’s matchup just sucks.

  7. Frank White says:
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    McCown has been doing awesome for me the past 3 weeks and I have Cam on the bench cause he ALWAYS disappoints me even though he did good the past 2 games. He only does that if I bench him.. LOL.. Should I stick with the hot hand McCown vs CIN or would you chance CAM vs MIN??

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Frank White: Funny you should ask, I’m playing Sky in the last week of the Writers league season. We’re both in the playoffs but my chance at a first round bye is up for grabs and I’m rolling McCown over Newton. So there’s your answer.

      • Frank White says:
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        Lol thanks!!! Every time I start Cam he gets me like 9 points. Lol

  8. toby says:
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    Please last minute help in a desperate situation. Boom or Blount as RB2? Help!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @toby: Blount probably too late

  9. Nick says:
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    quick response would be appreciated with a no waivers league…rudolph or reed as backup to witten in a 10-team non-ppr?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Nick: Reed

  10. Dom B says:
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    I have Andre Ellington as my rb 2 and he is down with an injury pending injury if out would you pick up his backup and start him I would have to drop Charles Sims to do so or start Fred Jackson until Ellington comes back. or both drop Sims for Ellington backup and start fax thx

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Dom B: Start Jackson

  11. Nick says:
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    Hey Ralph, thanks again for the advice, I wrecked my opponent 144-68 this week in my $500 pot league…10-3 in this 10-team non-ppr & I face the #3 next week while the #2 plays the #4 (funny how that worked on for last week of regular season). Here is my roster & questions;

    QB-Rodgers
    RB-Murray & R Jennings
    WR-Cobb, Beckham & K Allen
    TE-Witten
    Flex-Ingram
    K-Tucker
    D-ST Louis
    Bench-R Mathews, L Murray, McKinnon, Reed, Sanu, M Bryant

    1) Drop M Bryant for A Williams in case Jennings is hurt next week or role with my other backups if Jennings is out at all?
    2) Other free agents include D Adams, Charles Johnson, H Douglas (don’t think any of those guys are worth a stash for end of season, right?)
    3) Defenses available are Minn, Denver, Cincy, NE..but I definitely can roll out ST Louis against Washington next…then its Arizona for first week of playoffs…hold for now in 10-team or plan ahead?

    • Nick says:
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      @Nick: Or drop McKinnon/Sanu for A Williams? Leaning McKinnon with his really hard matchups the next 3 weeks (Jets/Detroit/Miami)…right?

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Nick: Drop McKinnon for Williams, hold on St. louis.

        • Nick says:
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          @Ralph Lifshitz: Done. Got A Williams as handcuff, dropping McK.

          Now question is, do you role out K Allen next week at WR3 against NE, or go with Sanu/M Bryant? Non-ppr league.

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