If I could, I would focus on Alvin Kamara in this space every week. Is it just me, or does he look more impressive every week? He never goes down, keeps his balance, and keeps moving forward. Really, really impressive. It seems like the Saints are finally taking note, too:

Anyway, welcome back from Thanksgiving break. I hope you remembered to set your lineups and didn’t end up sitting there eating turkey with that feeling that you forgot to do something, then lost your matchup and knocked yourself out of the playoffs. I know there’s at least one of you out there.

Week 12 was a bit of a handcuff special. Injuries led to Jamaal Williams getting the call in Green Bay, and he delivered with two touchdowns and over 130 total yards. A 54-yard reception and run for a touchdown made his numbers look a lot better than they would have otherwise been, but the points still count. Going forward, on the other hand, I wouldn’t count on getting similar production from Jam-Will (just made that up mid-sentence). 

It is looking like Aaron Jones will be out for at least another week, but Ty Montgomery could be back this week. If Montgomery is back, he is going to be the starting back over Williams. At the very least, he will eat into enough of the touches to render Williams worthless. It probably isn’t safe to start Montgomery this week if you are in a must-win for the playoffs, but if you have to start a Green Bay back (a Green Bay Backer, one might say…), he should be the guy over Williams.

Elsewhere on the handcuff landscape, Tevin Coleman proved once again to be one of the more valuable handcuffs as he played for the injured Devontae Freeman for the second week in a row. He was a top-5 running back this week, piling up nearly 100 rushing yards and punching in two touchdowns for the Falcons. Freeman should be back this week, but the timeshare isn’t very clear. With Coleman’s success and Freeman coming back from a fairly serious concussion, the Falcons could turn to a more 50-50 share as opposed to the previous setup that featured Freeman more prominently. Heck, they could decide to roll with the hot hand and lean 60-40 or more on Coleman. They are, however, going up against a Vikings defense that won’t make things easy on them…


Mike Maher’s Week Thirteen NFL Handcuff 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 Reserve
Patriots Dion Lewis Mike Gillislee James White Rex Burkhead
Jets Matt Forte Bilal Powell Bilal Powell Elijah McGuire
Dolphins Kenyan Drake Damien Williams+ Damien Williams+ Senorise Perry
Bills LeSean McCoy Mike Tolbert+ LeSean McCoy Joe Banyard
AFC North Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Reserve
Bengals Joe Mixon Giovani Bernard Giovani Bernard Brian Hill
Ravens Alex Collins Javorius Allen Danny Woodhead Terrance West
Steelers Le’Veon Bell James Conner Le’Veon Bell Terrell Watson
Browns Isaiah Crowell Duke Johnson+ Duke Johnson+ Matt Dayes
AFC South Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Reserve
Texans Lamar Miller Andre Ellington Lamar Miller Alfred Blue+
Jaguars Leonard Fournette+ Chris Ivory Leonard Fournette T.J. Yeldon
Colts Frank Gore Marlon Mack Marlon Mack Matt Jones
Titans DeMarco Murray Derrick Henry DeMarco Murray David Fluellen
AFC West Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Reserve
Chiefs Kareem Hunt Charcandrick West+ Kareem Hunt Akeem Hunt
Broncos C.J. Anderson Jamaal Charles Devontae Booker De’Angelo Henderson
Raiders Marshawn Lynch Jalen Richard DeAndre Washington DeAndre Washington
Chargers Melvin Gordon Austin Ekeler Melvin Gordon Branden Oliver+


  • Let’s take a quick look at the Bengals:

Presumably motivated by Mortensen’s Tweet (being sarcastic before I get lit up in the comments), Joe Mixon went out and had a career day on Sunday. He rushed for over 100 yards, put up over 160 total yards, and punched in a touchdown. If only he could go up against the Browns every week…

  • Two touchdowns for Rex Burkhead on Sunday because the Patriots hate you and everyone you care about. Dion Lewis rushed for over 100 yards, though, so all was not lost for fantasy owners who gambled with the rushing game in New England.
  • Damien Williams is doubtful this week with a shoulder injury, so it is going to be the Kenyan Drake how in Miami. The matchup is not ideal since the Broncos are pretty good against the run, but that could set up Drake to have a bigger role in the passing game, which is more of his speciality anyway. I am definitely going to be rolling out Drake in some of my DFS lineups this week, and I will have to take a look at my 12 leagues to see if any are deep enough for me to need to start him.


National Football Conference
NFC East Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Reserve
Giants Orleans Darkwa+ Paul Perkins Shane Vereen Wayne Gallman
Eagles LeGarrette Blount Jay Ajayi Corey Clement Wendell Smallwood
Cowboys Alfred Morris Rod Smith Rod Smith Darren McFadden
Washington Samaje Perine Byron Marshall Byron Marshall LeShun Daniels
NFC North Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Reserve
Vikings Jerick McKinnon Latavius Murray Jerick McKinnon Bishop Sankey
Packers Aaron Jones+ Ty Montgomery+ Ty Montgomery+ Jamaal Williams
Lions Ameer Abdullah Dwayne Washington Theo Riddick Zach Zenner
Bears Jordan Howard Tarik Cohen Howard/Cohen Benny Cunningham+
NFC South Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Reserve
Buccaneers Doug Martin Charlies Sims Jacquizz Rodgers Peyton Barber
Saints Mark Ingram Alvin Kamara Alvin Kamara Trey Edmunds
Panthers Christian McCaffrey Jonathan Stewart Christian McCaffrey Fozzy Whittaker
Falcons Devonta Freeman+ Tevin Coleman Tevin Coleman Terron Ward
NFC West Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Reserve
49ers Carlos Hyde Matt Breida Carlos Hyde Raheem Mostert
Seahawks Eddie Lacy Mike Davis+ J.D. McKissic Thomas Rawls
Cardinals Adrian Peterson Kerwynn Williams+ Kerwynn Williams+ D.J. Foster
Rams Todd Gurley Malcolm Brown+ Todd Gurley Justin Davis


  • Doug Martin left last week’s game with a concussion and is questionable for next week’s game. This won’t be a huge loss for fantasy owners, however, as Martin has struggled all season. He hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 6 and doesn’t have a 100-yard rushing game all year. Some kind of combination of Charles Sims, Jacquizz Rodgers, and Peyton Barber will carry the load if he can’t go this week.
  • Samaje Perine rushed for 100 yards on Sunday in his latest attempt at taking the starting job in Washington and running with it. He added three catches for 30 yards. Perine was my main focus last week, so let’s all bask in that warm knowledge.
  • Latavius Murray ruined my Thanksgiving by finding the end zone again. I don’t have anything against him personally, but I do have a bunch of Jerick McKinnon stock. McKinnon has been quiet for the three weeks since the team’s bye week, but he remains a significant part of the timeshare with Murray. Murray’s stock is higher because of his red zone use, while McKinnon gets a boost in PPR.


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!


  1. Alfred E. Naujocks says:

    MORE COFFEE CAKE (drake)

    best rank of these ROS in QB trouble.
    mccown: vs KC, @ DEN, @ NO (so clearly this gets bad quick)
    winston @ GB, vs DET, vs ATL
    garoplolololo @ CHI, @ HOU, vs TEN
    hundley vs TB, @ CLE, @ CAR (best short term schedule)
    gabbert vs LAR, vs TEN, @ WAS

    need generally 2 of these. in one league i’ve been holding bridgewater (probably can’t anymore) and winston in another. need to win this week in both.

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:

      @Alfred E. Naujocks:

      Winston if he plays, then Garopolololololo

  2. Brian says:

    I’d say Booker is the main guy in Denver now…

    • And Now the Jon Lovitz Dancers! says:

      @Brian: my guess is he would too, these are depth charts from the team lists themselves, and i’d bet a bunch of money CJA still is listed as that. similar to how MIA had d.will listed ahead of drake’s coffee cake even though drake was just the guy making the good plays on a near 2-1 basis. i’d guess d.will was a better blocker likely.

      • mikeMaher

        mikeMaher says:

        @And Now the Jon Lovitz Dancers!:

        Changes every week and could change more with Lynch playing. I think with Lynch going that CJA is the veteran they lean on

  3. And Now the Jon Lovitz Dancers! says:

    montgomery or m.davis in a 12 team .2 PPR (pretty much a standard). we have a 6 max RB and WR but deep benches. i have these RB’s: howard/mccoy/lat murray/montgomery/perine/drake. keep 6 per year and i have some really good options already in howard/jeffery/ertz/julio/jordy/mccoy.

  4. Slappy Jack says:

    I don’t think Mike Gillislee has played since week 8?
    certainly isn’t the NE handcuff to own

    • And Now the Jon Lovitz Dancers! says:

      @Slappy Jack: yeah that one way more than the above one commented on needs more than a copy/pasting from a depth chart.

      • mikeMaher

        mikeMaher says:

        @And Now the Jon Lovitz Dancers!:

        Always hard to know what the hoodie is going to do in New England. I would bet that if Dion Lewis went down with an injury, Gillislee would be the guy to emerge. For now, though, it’s Lewis. My money is on Gill as the handcuff though

        • And Now the Jon Lovitz Dancers! says:

          @mikeMaher: wow, fair points, possibly true too, hope we don’t actually see it though. have burkhead or dion in some spots.

Comments are closed.