I’d like to begin this week’s installment of the handcuff report by apologizing profusely for ignoring Andre Williams last week. I seriously considered mentioning Williams value as a keeper, but ROS considered him nothing more than a deep bench stash or handcuff for Rashad Jennings. I had him buried down in the Duct Tape tier, with the Stepfan Taylor‘s and Ka’Deem Carey‘s of the world. Zoinks! Imagine a world of Stepfan’s and Ka’Deem’s! Oh snap, there is such a place? It’s my Duct Tape Handcuff tier! It exists in my mind, and it’s a shiny silver world where everything can be fixed with a couple inches of the good stuff. Jeez I went off topic real quick, back to Andre Williams. I knew that Rashad Jennings was quickly approaching his highest usage numbers of his career, and I knew that Jennings had some injuries during his time in Jacksonville. I chose to ignore it. Just as I chose to dismiss Williams’ 15 carry, 66 yard, TD breakout against Washington. I thought it was nothing more than some meaningless garbage time magic. After all, Jennings had been getting almost all the usage in the Giants offense. Before the Week 4 blowout, Williams had seen two games of 6 carries, and one game of 8 carries with four looks in the passing game. There was no reason to pay him much mind, and those touting him as a good stash were working off nothing more than a hunch that Rough Shod would break down.

The worst part of all this, is I knew all about Williams, and really did like him. He stared at Boston College, which is the only college football team I follow. So I’ve watched him play a ton. The Giants 4th round pick rushed for 2,177 yards for the Eagles in 2013 on his way to being one the five finalists for the Heisman Trophy. Well the inevitable Rashad Jennings breakdown that many of you had predicted happened last week. As Jennings left the Giants week 5 game with a sprained MCL. Williams stepped in against the Charmin soft Atlanta Falcons run D and looked solid, scampering for 65 yards and a TD on 20 carries. With Rough Shod on the mend for at least the next two weeks, he should be startable everywhere. Look for Williams to take over all of Jennings usage, which is one of the more significant workloads in the NFL. Let’s just hope that the rookie doesn’t pull a David Wilson and catch a severe case of fumblitis. That’s just about the only thing that could stand in the way of Williams putting up a monster game against a banged up Philadelphia defense. If you used your FAAB or waiver priority this week to pickup Williams, congrats, you got the best of this week’s deep RB wavier wire crop.

I’m switching up a couple of things in this week’s HC report. First, I’ll be ranking all of the committees going forward based off the value of each team’s top handcuff. I’d only ranked committees based on tiers previously, and hadn’t been ranking the committees in each tier from top to bottom. A few people requested it, and I am a people pleaser, my mother says its my greatest weakness. The other change for this week is I’m doing team/committee based blurbs as opposed to our typical player specific blurbs. Things have also evolved to the point that we sort of know the names of the intriguing handcuffs, and many of them have already stepped into starters roles. I hate redundancy, so I’m looking to take different angles each week to keep it relevant and fresh. I hope you enjoy. Either way there’s lots to discuss this week.

San Diego – Well damnnnn Branden Oliver, that’s what we all thought Donald Brown was going to do Week 4 against the Jags. 19 attempts for 114 yards rushing with a touchdown is one thing, when you tack on the 68 receiving yards with a TD, it’s impressive to say the least. Especially when you consider he did it against the Jets stout front 7. Some people have discounted Oliver’s game a bit, but I don’t know where to throw shade. He had some great runs, and was just all around outstanding as a rusher. In the passing game he flashed Sproles like PPR potential. Ummmm yes please! I’m really intrigued, my pants are getting tighter…….Ryan Mathews is more than likely expected back Week 8 or 9, this sets the stage for Oliver to be the man in the San Diego backfield over the next 2-3 weeks. If by some modern miracle Mathews, Oliver, and Donald Brown are all healthy and active for the same game, I could see Oliver being the number two back ahead of Donald Brown. As for the concussed Brown (awesome band name alert!) he looks to be out at least this week having not passed protocol prior to writing this. Healthy or not, I think he’s shown us who he is. Oliver in a tough matchup looked worlds better, than Donald “Doo-Doo” Brown has in his 2+ weeks as the starter. I’d drop Brown now if you still own him. Well unless you like guys that suck. Then keep him…

Denver – The best thing Monte Ball has done for his owners this season is get injured the week that Branden Oliver and Andre Williams emerge. I picked up Ronnie Hillman in a few leagues but that’s mostly because I’m a running back hoarder. I’m really not sure about Hillman, he’s squandered a few opportunities before, but anything is better than what Ball’s been. I’ve come across some dissenting opinions regarding whether C.J Anderson or Juwan Thompson is the handcuff/fall back plan for Hillman. With Anderson inactive last week, and Thompson getting a TD, I’m inclined to back Thompson and for a few reasons. First and foremost the Duke product and UDFA is versatile. Displaying a punishing running style suited for goalline and short yardage work, the rookie also displays soft hands and pass catching ability. The thing that will keep him on the field the most is his excellent pass protection and blocking. Having played some fullback in college Thompson was touted as the best blocker amongst the Broncos backs in camp. If you’ve learned anything from Knowshon Moreno‘s emergence last year, it should be that the best blocker in the Broncos offense will be rewarded with the greatest workload. I don’t know if Thompson will ever be Moreno but he could be a similar type of back. As for C.J. Anderson, the Valley-Jo product oozes potential, but not much more. He could be a good runner at this level but he needs to get on the field.

Carolina – I don’t really think anyone should have anything to do with this soiled diaper of a running game, but if you had to pickup a Panthers running back I’d probably grab Jonathan Stewart. I’m not sure if he’ll play this week, as he looks like a possible game time decision. If J-Stew does play, he’s head and shoulders above the other options Ron Rivera has available. Once Stewart is active he’ll slide into the starting role until DeAngelo Williams returns. Considering Williams was in a hard cast a week ago (a week ago?), I’d assume he probably won’t be playing for at least 3-5 more weeks.

St. Louis – I’ve been under the impression for quite awhile that this backfield was going to be more of a RBBC setup than I (as a Zac Stacy owner) wanted. With Stacy not yet cleared to play, Benny Cunningham might turn out to be a really solid flex play this week. I’m sure many of you have forgotten the buzz coming out of the Rams camp this summer, that Cunningham and Stacy were going to be used in a time share. It hasn’t come to fruition thus far, but Cunningham has been used a fair amount in the passing game, and he did run effectively Sunday in Stacy’s absence. I think he’s worth a wavier wire pickup regardless of whether Stacy is active or not. Don’t ask me about Tre Mason, he’s been stuck in the potholes on my lawn.

Cleveland – I wanted to just update my thoughts on Isaiah Crowell from last week. He looks to be in a hot hand handcuff situation with Terrance West. Ben Tate got the lions share of the carries on Sunday, in route to an 123 yard performance against the Titans. In other words you can go back to ignoring Crowell and West.

 

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.

Team Starter (carries/targets/rec) Handcuff(s) (carries/targets/rec) Depth Backs
Buffalo Bills C.J. Spiller (9/4/3) Fred Jackson (11/9/7) Bryce Brown, Anthony Dixon
Philadelphia Eagles LeSean McCoy (24/4/4) Darren Sproles (7/0/0) Chris Polk
Cincinnati Bengals Giovani Bernard (13/3/2) Jeremy Hill (2/4/3) Cedric Peerman
Indianapolis Colts Trent Richardson (9/5/4) Ahmad Bradshaw (15/5/4) Dan Herron
Detroit Lions Reggie Bush (6/5/2) Joique Bell (Injury) Theo Riddick, George Winn
New England Patriots Stevan Ridley (27/0/0) Shane Vereen (9/3/3) James White, Brandon Bolden
New York Jets Chris Ivory (9/1/0) Chris Johnson (7/1/1) Bilal Powell
New York Giants Rashad Jennings (10/2/2) (injury) Andre Williams (20/2/2) Peyton Hillis
San Diego Chargers Ryan Matthews (injury) Branden Oliver (19/4/4) Donald Brown (9/2/1), Ronnie Brown, Shaun Draughn
Kansas City Cheifs Jamaal Charles (15/4/1) Knile Davis (2/1/0) De’Anthony Thomas, Cyrus Gray, Joe McKnight

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) Depth Backs
New Orleans Saints Mark Ingram (Injury) Khiry Robinson (21/2/1), Pierre Thomas (4/10/8) Travaris Cadet (0/5/3)
Tampa Bay Bucs Doug Martin (14/5/3) Bobby Rainey (6/4/3) Mike James
Tennessee Titans Shonn Greene (11/2/0) Bishop Sankey (8/1/0) Dexter McCluster (1/2/2), Leon Washington
Baltimore Ravens Justin Forsett (6/8/7) Lorenzo Taliaferro (5/0/0) Bernard Pierce (4/0/0)
St. Louis Rams Zac Stacy (11/5/4) Benny Cunningham (7/4/3) Tre Mason
Denver Broncos Montee Ball (6/2/3) (injury) Ronnie Hillman (15/1/0) Juwan Thompson (3/0/0), C.J. Anderson,
Cleveland Browns Ben Tate (22/2/1) Terrance West (7/0/0) Isaiah Crowell (6/0/0)
Houston Texans Arian Foster (23/5/2) Alfred Blue (5/0/0) Jonathan Grimes
Minnesota Vikings Matt Asiata (15/3/0) Jerick McKinnon (7/5/3) Joe Banyard
Pittsburgh Steelers Le’Veon Bell (15/6/5) LeGarrette Blount (8/3/3) Dri Archer
Washington Football Team Alfred Morris (13/1/1) Roy Helu (2/7/5) Silas Reed
San Francisco 49ers Frank Gore (18/1/1) Carlos Hyde (10/1/0)
Atlanta Falcons Steven Jackson (13/6/5) Antone Smith (1/3/3), Davonte Freeman (4/6/5) Jazquizz Rodgers (2/2/1)

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 sometime.

Team Starter (carries/targets/rec) Handcuff(s) (carries/targets/rec) Depth Backs
Carolina Panthers Jonathan Stewart (Injury) DeAngelo Williams(Injury), Darrin Reaves (11/1/1) Chris Ogbonnaya, Fozzy Whitiker
Green Bay Packers Eddie Lacy (13/3/3) James Starks (0/0/0) John Kuhn, DuJuan Harris
Oakland Raiders Darren McFadden (Bye) Maurice Jones-Drew (Bye) Latavius Murray, Marcel Reese, Jamize Olawale
Jacksonville Jaguars Toby Gerhart (4/1/1) Storm Johnson (4/0/0) Denard Robinson (3/2/2), Jordan Todman ,
Dallas Cowboys DeMarco Murray (31/8/6) Joseph Randle (2/0/0) Lance Dunbar (0/0/0)
Miami Dolphins Knowshon Moreno (injury), Lamar Miller (Bye) Daniel Thomas (Bye) Damien Williams, LaMichael James
Seattle Seahawks Marshawn Lynch (17/6/5) Robert Turbin (5/0/0) Christine Michael
Chicago Bears Matt Forte (17/12/12) Ka’Deem Carey (2/0/0) Senorise Perry
Arizona Cardinals Andre Ellington (16/7/4) Stepfan Taylor (1/0/0) Robert Hughes

Thanks for reading and Happy Handcuffing!

 

Don’t forget to send me all your Running Back Questions on twitter @ralphlifshitzbb.

  1. Ron says:
    (link)

    Drop West for Storm?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Ron: For this week sure, if it’s a dynasty I’d hold on West.

  2. Randy says:
    (link)

    Who would you rather have on your roster in a standard league? T-Rich (who I have now)…or Storm Johnson, Derick McKinnon, or Joseph Randle…. My other RBs are Forte, Foster, R Jennings, Tate, and Ingram…so wondering if I should go w/ what we know about T-Rich or go for potential upside? Thanks!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Randy: Keep T-Rich, he may not be what we all hoped, but he’s still very startable.

  3. Scott says:
    (link)

    Um, Miami’s bye was last week.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Scott: Correct, those are last week’s usage numbers.

  4. Nate says:
    (link)

    With Shonn Greene listed as doubtful, do you like Bishop Sankey or DeSean Jackson better as a flex option?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Nate: Nate, my man, I love me some Sankey, and I’m psyched that Whisenhunt can’t jack with my head by using Greene too often and at the wrong times this week. With that said I….DON’T…..TRUST…..WHISENHUNT. I’d still use DeSean this week, Arizona’s D is banged up and in flux at the moment. I do like Sankey but I thought he was going to breakout last week. Like the player hate the coach.

  5. Dom B says:
    (link)

    Hey I heard Lacy and Starks are spliting carries should I trade Lacy away and try to get some else

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Dom B: No keep Lacy, I don’t believe they’ll be splitting carries. Lacy looked awesome last week.

  6. Dom B says:
    (link)

    Who to start at k Steven Hausuaka or Matt Prater

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Dom B: Hausuaka, but really flip a coin

  7. Braun Weasleys says:
    (link)

    In a 16 team standard league.

    I have stacked wr’s in demarius, jeffery, allen but I have to pay the price with my running backs this week because of injuries..
    Im starting Asiata at rb1

    Can’t decide who to use as my rb2…

    Mckinnon vs Det(tough matchup, asiata was limited at practice though)
    Storm Johnson vs tenn( sounds like gerhart could miss but storms supposed to get 12+ carries anyways)

    Thanks!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Braun Weasleys: Storm, you don’t want to start both Vikes backs against Detroit’s monster run D.

  8. Birdmann says:
    (link)

    with the amount of action Murray is seeing, stashing Randle makes sense no? He was very usable last year.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Birdmann: Birdmann my brother, it depends. In a league where you own Murray or have a deep bench sure. If neither of those pre-requisites apply I wouldn’t. There’s too many backs in better situations that are just an injury away.

      • J-FOH says:
        (link)

        @Ralph Lifshitz: it’s funny because I think Dunbar is the better back

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
          (link)

          @J-FOH: Randle is the better between the tackles runner, while Dunbar is more of a passing down back. If Murray gets injured I imagine the workload would be split between the two of them.

          • J-FOH says:
            (link)

            @Ralph Lifshitz: dunbar was pounding out last year when he got his shot…cust kayin’

  9. mcBlunty says:
    (link)

    full ppr need 1 lamar miller, andre williams, or matt asiata, thanks

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @mcBlunty: Williams, Miller, Asiata. Miller and Williams are a toss up, but Williams gets the edge.

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
        (link)

        @Ralph Lifshitz: Moreno is Probable, if he plays Williams is a slam dunk. Knowshon was having issues with his brace on Thursday, May just be a comfort thing and he could adjust. If he plays it puts Millers value up in the air

  10. ashtray says:
    (link)

    I just received a trade offer where I would get Reggie Wayne and lose Jame Starks. It seems like a no brainer, right?

    I have Lacy so Starks is a handcuff.

    I also have AJ Green and just lost him due to the toe. That leaves me with Crabtree, Roddy White and Justin Hunter.

    My other RBs are Lacy, Le’Veon Ball, Ingram, Moreno and Pierre Thomas.

    Other WRs on waivers are John Brown, Miles Austin, Harry Douglas, Andre Roberts, Britt, Benjamin, Cotchery, Gabriel and Colston.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @ashtray: This GB time split is posturing and it’s more about snaps than carries IMO. So take Wayne, you have plenty of RB depth and you need another WR.

  11. Dom B says:
    (link)

    Better RB for rest of season Ellington or Lacy

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Dom B: Ellington, but it’s close. He gets really high usage, and in this day and age that’s all that matters.

  12. Clint says:
    (link)

    So, bearing all this handcuff data in mind, would you start Garcon or Moreno for this week in a ppr league at flex?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Clint: The safe bet is probably Garçon, strangely…..ROS it’s Knowshon. I just don’t know what to expect with Knowshon. Will he be active and if so what’s his usage and role.

  13. Ralph Lifshitz

    Ralph Lifshitz says:
    (link)

    For some reason Starks usage numbers in the above sheets is wrong. He got 12 carries and 2 targets and 2 catches.

  14. Dave Head says:
    (link)

    Would you trade Brandon Marshall for Mark Ingram? Other WR are J Nelson, G Tate, E Sanders, M Floyd, B Quick. I have E Lacy, K Moreno, B Tate, and A Bradshaw at RB.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Dave Head: Yes the RB depth is needed and your receivers are sick.

  15. Dommattingly says:
    (link)

    Drop Blount for McKinnon ROS? I’m a Bell owner..

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Dommattingly: McKinnon is going to have that job sooner rather than later IMHO. Go for it!

  16. MAC says:
    (link)

    Was offered Bradshaw for my Montee Ball….should I take it? Thanks!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @MAC: Is it dynasty? If not take Bradshaw. Ball sucked even when healthy. At least Bradshaw is involved.

      • MAC says:
        (link)

        @Ralph Lifshitz: it’s not dynasty. thank you!

  17. drew says:
    (link)

    should i try to send my forsett & Kelvin for Jordy .5 ppr?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @drew: Yeah, talk about selling high. Jordy might have the best week in and week out setup in the league. Do it!

  18. J-FOH says:
    (link)

    I like that you owed your omission. Sign of a responsible and good writer. It looks good, you have taken the torch very well. Now you guys need to show this man more love

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @J-FOH: Respect!

      • goodfold2 says:
        (link)

        @Ralph Lifshitz: J-Foh’s right, same as how cool it is that Jaywrong shows how he compares to other guys each week. mark of real learning, falsification.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
          (link)

          @goodfold2: Thanks much!

  19. Dom B says:
    (link)

    should I do this trade first here is my roster at quarterback I have Aaron Rodgers and at running back I I have Andre Ellington Eddie Lacy Doug Martin and Fred Jackson and at wide receiver I have Kelvin Benjamin Roddy White Michael Crabtree ty Hilton Kendall Wright should I do the trade me sending Doug Martin and he send Steve Smith Jr

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Dom B: On face value, I like getting SSS for Martin but you need to consider bye weeks. Lacy and Jackson are both on bye week 9. If you can get another serviceable plug in for week 9. Then go for it.

  20. Dom B says:
    (link)

    Out these which two do I start at WR Kelvin Benjamin, Micheal Crabtree, Roddy White, Kendall Wright

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Dom B: Benjamin and Crabtree

  21. Dom B says:
    (link)

    Hey do you think this was a good trade i traded ben tate for kelvin benjamin now refer to my roster above

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Dom B: Yeah it was a solid trade, you needed another reciever. Benjamin pairs well with Hilton and Crabtree

  22. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
    (link)

    i didn’t think it was a massive mistake with A.Will, but i did find it weird that you had him tied with guys like taylor/carey/d.robinson/turbin, and a whole tier behind guys like MJD/D.Thomas/CAR RB’s/smoke yr RB Blount. All those guys listed are either stuck with no chance or are so terrible even a chance wouldn’t make them better than A.Will (pre-Roughshod injury, and taking into account Roughshod’s injury past, low carry threshold). Of all those guys listed probably only Turbin would be useful if an injury occured at those teams, whereas A.Will wouldn’t just be kinda useful with injury, and Roughshod certainly was more likely to get injured than most of the guys ahead of those others.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: Yeah I think I discounted his value too much based on Jennings workload and Coughlin’s notorious lack of faith in rookies. This is another stupid reason that went into my ranking but BC has produced zero good RB’s over the years. There lines are always great so I typically discount their backs as pros. The first few weeks the ranking seemed spot on, after the Washington game he should been bumped up.

      • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
        (link)

        @Ralph Lifshitz: sounds like BC’s line masking RB from their true value is like OK’s line when Bradford was there. some RB possible add ?’s for ya.
        , all PPR leagues.
        1. start 2 RB, no flex league with vereen/hill/mathews/ingram/taliaferro/miller, i’m thinking with taliaferro getting moved behind even (eck) pierce this week, one of these may be better ROS stash:
        starks (lacy runs like he’s the Thing going through walls and this may eventually lead to concussion that actually makes him lose time)/randle (even higher risk for injuries for murray, and looked good for once vs SEA for this backup)/greene/white/bolden (i’m seeing that bolden might not get be main guy)/rainey (again). top 4 team here overall.
        2. start 2 RB, no flex. charles/bell (PIT)/a.will/miller/ridley. gotta drop ridley for one of
        rainey/knile (handcuff value)/mcfadden/starks/helu/randle/CAR guys. better choices by far in this league. being safe this one’s probably knile (and i have best team in league here, so maybe reason to stick with safe)
        3. start 2 RB and 1 flex. with stacy/murray/cunningham/ivory/ingram am i better off with randle or cunningham for ROS/handcuff value? for some reason Yahoo projections think Cunningham is worth even more than Stacy, and certainly more than other backups.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
          (link)

          @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: 1. Here’s how I rank those options ROS Starks: Looks like they were serious about the timeshare rbbc approach. Starks has value now.
          Rainey: Because Martin sucks
          White, Bolden – Total toss up. I’ve heard people say that due to the special teams responsibilities of Bolden that he won’t be lead back. I wonder why James White has barely been active then. Greene only has value if the Whis wants him to.
          2.Knile and Dmc
          3.Cunningham, I actually think the Rams like him more than Stacy. Randle will split work with Dunbar if/when Murray goes down.

          • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
            (link)

            @Ralph Lifshitz: any change to any of this with mason’s emergence? due to taking a nap on couch i missed out on requiring mason in 20 team dynasty (i had drafted him, but grabbed michael/taliaferro over him) just a few hours ago.

            • Ralph Lifshitz

              Ralph Lifshitz says:
              (link)

              @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: I wouldn’t be shocked if he cuts into Stacy’s role and eventually takes over. He looked the best of the trio last night. Hell even Tavon Austin was a better runner than Stacy. Good grab in a dynasty. Stacy’s blitz pickup keeps him on the field, but that’s the only thing that keeps him hanging on.

Comments are closed.