If you were to define the 2016 fantasy football season in one sentence, I challenge you to do better than this: Jay Ajayi has more rushing yards in the last two weeks than Todd Gurley has all season. It has been that bad, and that sentence describes both how surprisingly good Ajayi has been the last two weeks and how disappointing Todd Gurley has been all year. It’s tough to say if those two backs will continue going in different directions, but they are currently following the same paths as their respective offenses. The Rams aren’t giving Gurley any space, while the Dolphins, with their front five finally healthy and playing together, are dropping bodies for Ajayi. Ajayi’s stock has never been higher, now that he is officially the top man in Miami. Which brings us to…

RIP, Arian Foster. We hardly knew ye. OK, Foster is not dead, but he has officially retired after Jay Ajayi dropped his second consecutive ridiculous performance. If we are to believe Foster, he retired because his ambition and his body are no longer on the same page (translation: he feels old, slow, and sore) and not because Ajayi started balling and taking all of his touches. But can we believe Foster? I don’t know. Probably. Maybe. Who cares? It doesn’t matter. He’s gone. Forget about him. Pop some champagne for Ajayi (and for yourself if you grabbed Ajayi and started him either of the last two weeks), pour a little out for Foster, and we’ll call it even.

Melvin Gordon went bananas, as well, scoring three touchdowns on Sunday. He is becoming such a great sell-high candidate that you almost want to hold onto him. He only rushed for 3.1 YPC on the day, but he still received 22 carries and added six catches for 53 years. Translation: Gordon is getting fed. With that meddling Danny Woodhead out of the picture, Gordon is getting a full workload and is delivering for fantasy owners. Personally, I would hang onto Gordon and ride the wave, but he is one of the most popular sells right now. If you do sell on Gordon, make sure you get something in the neighborhood of a WR1 in return.

American Football Conference
AFC EastPrimary BackHandcuffPass-CatcherThird-Stringer
PatriotsLeGarrette BlountBrandon BoldenJames WhiteD.J. Foster
JetsMatt ForteBilal PowellBilal PowellTroymaine Pope
DolphinsJay AjayiKenyan DrakeDamien WilliamsDamien Williams
BillsLeSean McCoy +Mike GillisleeLeSean McCoyReggie Bush
AFC NorthPrimary BackHandcuffPass-CatcherThird-Stringer
BengalsGiovani BernardJeremy Hill +Giovani BernardRex Burkhead
RavensTerrance WestKenneth DixonTerrance WestJavorius Allen
SteelersLe’Veon BellDeAngelo Williams +Le’Veon BellFitzgerald Toussaint
BrownsIsaiah CrowellDuke JohnsonDuke JohnsonGeorge Atkinson
AFC SouthPrimary BackHandcuffPass-CatcherThird-Stringer
TexansLamar Miller +Alfred BlueLamar Miller +Jonathan Grimes +
JaguarsChris IvoryT.J. YeldonT.J. YeldonDenard Robinson
ColtsFrank GoreRobert TurbinFrank GoreJosh Ferguson
TitansDeMarco MurrayDerrick HenryDeMarco MurrayAntonio Andrews
AFC WestPrimary BackHandcuffPass-CatcherThird-Stringer
ChiefsJamaal Charles +Spencer WareJamaal Charles +Charcandrick West
BroncosC.J. AndersonDevontae BookerDevontae BookerKapri Bibbs
RaidersLatavius MurrayDeAndre WashingtonEveryoneJalen Richard
ChargersMelvin GordonKenneth FarrowDexter McClusterDexter McCluster

Baltimore Ravens, why must you be so cruel? Terrance West and the other Ravens combined for just 19 total yards. Yes, you read that right. THEY. COMBINED. FOR. 19. BLEEPING. YARDS. After three solid weeks of production that had us all feeling safe (even heading into a matchup against the New York Jets), West delivered a dud. And by a dud, I mean eight rushes for 10 yards (a sparkling 1.3 YPC). If you want to look on the bright side, the other two running backs gained exactly zero yards on the ground on Sunday. West did leave the game with an ankle injury at one point, but he returned and looks to be fine going forward.

When word came out late last week that Jamaal Charles had some swelling in his knee, I hope you put him on your bench. If you didn’t, his one carry for zero yards probably didn’t do much for you. With Spencer Ware taking the starting running back job and, ahem, running with it, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has said that he is content letting Charles gradually work his way back from knee surgery. With this latest setback and Ware’s success, though, who knows if Charles will ever again be a feature back in Kansas City.

We haven’t mentioned Frank Gore much in this space, but owners who drafted him late as a bench running back are getting a real treat. Granted, this treat is all vanilla, as he has only topped 100 yards once, but he has four touchdowns, is catching passes, and is consistently putting up 10-15 points every week. We will have to see if he can keep this production up for the rest of the year, but right now he is a solid flex or even a RB2 play.

National Football Conference
NFC EastPrimary BackHandcuffPass-CatcherThird-Stringer
GiantsRashad JenningsPaul PerkinsBobby RaineyOrleans Darkwa
EaglesRyan MathewsWendell SmallwoodDarren SprolesKenjon Barner
CowboysEzekiel ElliottAlfred MorrisEzekiel ElliottLance Dunbar +
WashingtonMatt JonesChris ThompsonChris ThompsonRobert Kelley
NFC NorthPrimary BackHandcuffPass-CatcherThird-Stringer
VikingsJerick McKinnon +Matt AsiataJerick McKinnon +Ronnie Hillman
PackersTy MontgomeryJames Starks +James Starks +Knile Davis / Don Jackson +
LionsTheo Riddick +Dwayne Washington +Theo Riddick +Zach Zenner / Justin Forsett
BearsJeremy Langford +Jordan HowardKa’Deem Carey +Ka’Deem Carey +
NFC SouthPrimary BackHandcuffPass-CatcherThird-Stringer
BuccaneersDoug Martin +Jacquizz RodgersJacquizz RodgersPeyton Barber
SaintsMark IngramTim HightowerTravaris CadetTim Hightower
PanthersJonathan StewartCameron Artis-PayneFozzy WhittakerCameron Artis-Payne
FalconsDevonta FreemanTevin Coleman +Tevin Coleman +Terron Ward
NFC WestPrimary BackHandcuffPass-CatcherThird-Stringer
49ersCarlos Hyde +Shaun DraughnShaun DraughnMike Davis
SeahawksChristine MichaelThomas Rawls +C.J. SpillerC.J. Prosise + / Alex Collins
CardinalsDavid JohnsonAndre EllingtonDavid JohnsonStepfan Taylor
RamsTodd GurleyBenny Cunningham +Todd GurleyMalcolm Brown

An interesting player going forward is going to be Ty Montgomery of the Green Back Packers. Not only did he have 10 catches each of the last two weeks, but he just stumbled into being Green Bay’s starting running back this past week due to injuries to Eddie Lacy, James Starks, and youngster Don Jackson. ESPN and CBS have already given Montgomery RB eligibility, while Yahoo and NFL have yet to follow suit. I just checked one of my Yahoo leagues to confirm this, and Yahoo has this statement posted on our league page:

Update: At this time, Ty Montgomery will remain WR eligible only. If and when the Packers list him at RB, Yahoo will update his position.

So, at least for now, Yahoo is being no fun. Still, grab Montgomery if you can and if you are desperate at RB (like I am in half of my leagues). Another candidate here might just be James Starks. Once Starks is healthy, he is going to get some work out of that backfield, so he is an interesting stash candidate as we look ahead.

Matt Jones fumbled again for Washington, and Chris Thompson continues to capitalize on the touches he is given whenever Jones enters the doghouse. While Jay Gruden insists that Jones is still his starter, it is clear to everyone that Thompson is having more success right now. Just look at their numbers from Sunday: Jones: 10 rushes, 27 yards (2.7 YPC); Thompson: 12 rushes, 73 yards (6.1 YPC). Oh, and Thompson added seven catches. Thompson was already a flex option in PPR leagues, but he is fighting his way into RB2 territory. We just have to hope Gruden doesn’t keep forcing the ball to Jones.

Carlos Hyde missed Week 7, which we knew was going to happen by around Thursday of last week. Shaun Draughn and Mike Davis were the next two guys up for touches, which we also knew. And then DuJuan Harris happened. Harris received half of the running back touches on the day, with 13 of 26. Draughn rushed only one time for 16 yards (16 YPC for those of you keeping track at home), while Mike Davis rushed seven times for 21 yards (3 YPC), but they both did get into the end zone to somewhat ease the pain for fantasy owners. With the 49ers heading into a bye week, Hyde will likely be back. Hopefully, he stays back, and we never have to discuss those other three running backs this much again.

PlayerTeamStartedTotal SnapsSnap Pct.

Additional Thoughts, Observations, and Injuries…

  • Jeremy Hill posted a ridiculous 168 yards and one touchdown on just nine carries, but he left the game with what is rumored to be a minor injury. It sounds as if he will be fine moving forward, though.
  • The Pittsburgh Steelers were the only team in the NFL this week to have just one running back touch the ball, as Le’Veon Bell received all 31 of the running back touches.
  • Don’t look now, but Jeremy Langford returned to practice and is reportedly on track to return this week against the Vikings. If you have been reading these Handcuff Reports, you know that I am a big Jordan Howard fan, but Langford’s return is scary because it might mean (sigh) a committee backfield is coming to Chicago.
  • It sounds like Seattle Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls is going to run this week and hopes to return for a week 9 matchup against the Buffalo Bills on Monday night (another great primetime game that everyone will watch).
  • Tevin Coleman is reportedly unlikely to play next week for the Atlanta Falcons, meaning Devonta Freeman will not have to share touches for at least a week. Unfortunately, Freeman will be going up against the Packers and one of the best run defenses in the league.



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. Roger klutz says:

    Howdy man!

    .5 ppr I tried to add Rawls as a stash but he was added before me. I did add Knile Davis but not sure if I should hang onto Davis or drop him for either Peyton Barber, Dwayne Washington, Smallwood, zenner, Damien Williams, Robert Kelley, Paul Perkins,

    Dion Lewis & now Rawls are owned in my league. Are there any other RBs you’d recommend stashing/ sneaky pick up?

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:

      @Roger klutz:

      I think Dwayne Washington gets another chance to be the thunder to Riddick’s lightning once he gets healthy, but who knows. There are two concerns I have right now about Knile Davis: 1. James Starks is coming back at some point, possibly in two weeks. And 2. Ty Montgomery is doing just fine out of the backfield for them right now.

      If James Starks isn’t owned or got dropped in your league, he might be a sneaky grab.

      • Roger klutz says:


        Thanks man! I just added Starks . Although week 9 (next week) I just realized will be tough for me DJ, Howard will have byes, my RB1 week 9 will be Gordon but RB2 is up in the air- Charles I’m not sure he is healthy enough to start. Then leads me to Henry who is useless.

        My RBs DJ, Melvin, Howard, Charles, andre Ellington (cuff), Henry, James Starks.

        I tried trading Henry to Murray owner but nothing . If Charles is still iffy by next week I’ll need a RB; week 9 Dwayne Washington gets Minnesota, week 9 Peyton barber gets ATL, if Hyde isn’t ready Mike Davis gets saints, week 9 Smallwood gets Giants

        • mikeMaher

          mikeMaher says:

          @Roger klutz:

          Assuming he is healthy, I still go Dwayne Washington, even against the tough matchup.

  2. Jay

    Jay says:

    Great stuff man! I have to admit, I almost retired when Ajayi did that.

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:


      Thanks, Jay! Yeah, I don’t really get it. Listening to South Florida radio all offseason, all they wanted to do was replace this guy with any veteran they could find…

  3. Sano Chance in Hell says:

    PPR trade offer:

    Deep at RB (Gordon, Ware, Michael, CJA) and just lost Hunter Henry to concussion.

    Offered CJA for Jimmy Graham, your thoughts?

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:

      @Sano Chance in Hell:

      If you are deep at RB and need a TE, that seems fine. Booker is finally stealing touches in Denver.

  4. So I just did drop Dion Lewis for Booker this week, after hearing negative reports on Lewis last week, but now I’m hearing he will return to practice this week. Then there will be a 21-day window for the Patriots to activate him from reserve/PUP. Also, with James White playing really well as the pass-game back, maybe I did make the right move?

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:


      I think you made the right move

    • Eli Man Penguin Boy says:

      @madden_curser: umm, think of the cj anderson + booker stats for all this year. now think of one of those guys being gone for at LEAST a month, now open yr eyes and see what booker will be now. maybe 80% of those stats per week is what i’d assume (assuming equal opp’s to first 7 weeks, which really isn’t at all fair nor accurate)

  5. Scott says:

    Ok, ive got draughn and davis on bye. Just as soon drop both, but my waiver choices are grim.
    DeAndre Washington and Don Jackson are on waivers until Saturday.
    These guys are free agents:

    What would you do? I can also drop CAP.

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:


      Yeah, that is tough. Ellington, Dunbar, Cadet, Barber, and Hightower are all but worthless unless someone gets hurt.

      I guess try to grab Don Jackson for the next two weeks, and grab Langford. Not a given either play this week, but it sounds like Jackson will be fine.

      No great options here, obviously. If I have three spots, I go Washington, Jackson, and Langford.

  6. Cram It says:

    Would you take Dez for MelGo? Bryant kinda worries me with his perpetual health issues.

    • Cram It says:

      @Cram It: How about a declining Jordy Nelson?

      • mikeMaher

        mikeMaher says:

        @Cram It:

        Dez for MelGo is a typical and fair sell-low for sell-high trade. Personally, I would rather have MelGo over either one of them at this point. The health of both WR worries me, of course, and Dez doesn’t seem to be a WR1 with Dak.

        • Cram It says:

          @mikeMaher: Thanks for the input, sir.

  7. Joe says:

    My team in an NFL.com PPR league is:

    QB: Brady
    RB: Ingram, White, Coleman, Howard
    WR: Julio, Landry, A-Rob, Tate, Moncrief
    TE: Gronk, Graham
    DST: NE, PHI
    K: Lambo

    The following are all free agents (!): Adams, Beasley, LaFell, Enunwa, and Asiata. Also, the Jets defense, which is bad but does face CLE this week.

    I’m thinking it may be time to cut Howard, since he’s struggled recently, and A-Rob, whose inconsistency is maddening. Maybe one of my two DSTs too to have more roster flexibility. Thoughts?

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:


      Firstly, my apologies that you are in a NFL.com league. I am in two of them, and that site is absolute trash.

      Secondly, I don’t think you need the Jets DST. The two you have are fine, and the Eagles are one of the top scoring DSTs all year.

      Thirdly, I would definitely not cut ARob or JHow. You could easily trade either one of those two. If you cut them, I can assure you someone in your league will grab them right away. You have decent depth, so you could even package the two of them for a single upgrade if you put them out there together.

  8. I don’t mean to get off track here, but would like your input on my WR issues Mike. 10 team standard; 2 RB, 2 WR, TE, FLEX (RB/WR,/TE). I’ve got Julio & Cooks, but after that it is DeSean Jackson, Travis Benjamin & Sterling Shepard. Jackson has been a train wreck. He hasn’t topped 55 yds in the last 4 weeks. Benjamin is the guy, but the ball gets spread around a lot & keeps him with a WR2 ceiling. Shepard looked like a steal in the first 3 weeks but his production has come back down and no big plays. Are any of those droppable to take a flyer on Corey Coleman? He could still be a legit third option for me in the coming weeks. Thanks!

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:


      I also have Jackson in a league (and I am a long suffering Eagles fan), so I feel your pain.

      I think the Giants are in a rut right now and will get better, so I wouldn’t give up on Shepard just yet.

      I say if you can trade Jackson for anything useful, go for it. And if you can’t dropping him for Corey Coleman isn’t the worst move. Remember, though, the Browns are on their 200th quarterback. There is no guaranteeing anyone on that team has success or gets regular targets.

  9. Brian says:

    .25 ppr. need a rb and very deep at wr. 12 team keeper. we keep 2 each year, but can’t keep 2 players from the same position. I have fuller, pryor, and davantae adams who can all be kept next year for a 2nd to last rd pick (my starters are julio, DT, and one of those 3 or ty montgomery).

    my rbs are david johnson and then ????? (terrance west, devantae booker, jordan howard). considering dealing either fuller or pryor for gurley or martin. which back would you rather have? martin hurt but has a sweet sched down the stretch and gurley has struggled all year. i’m a little torn though leaning toward the healthy guy. thanks.

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:


      I like Martin over Gurley, but I like both RBs over either of those WRs. If you can make either deal, I say go for it. Even the pathetic Rams, who can’t block for Gurley at all, are starting to throw him the ball to try and get the ball in his hands.

  10. gumball says:

    in a standard 10 team league which can only start to Rb’s and must start 3 WR’s / TE I am very strong at Rb D. Johnson, Elliot Miller ) and weak at # 3 receiver 9after Evans and TY it is Jeffrey M jones and Dejax Question Would you trade Ajayi for Dez? Ajayi for Hopkins ?thanks

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:


      Yes to both.

  11. Josh-NYC says:


    Had a question about a trade.. do you trade Jacquizz Rodgers and Demaryius Thomas for Larry Fitzgerald? I figure Jacquizz Rodgers is only relevant for another week or 2.. and I have Devontae Booker, who I wouldnt want to double up with Demaryius. Let me know.

    0.5 PPR, 12 team league
    QB: Brees
    WR: Cooper, Thomas
    RB: Elliot, Freeman
    TE: Rudolph
    Flex: Ty Montgomery, Devontae Booker
    K: Vinateri
    DEF: Carolina
    Bench: Jacquiz, Floyd, Riddick, Coates, Yeldon, Morris
    IR: Watkins, Corey Coleman


    • Josh-NYC says:


      New development..

      Demaryius Thomas and Riddick for Kelvin Benjamin.. thoughts?
      I just don’t like doubling up on Thomas and Booker.

      • mikeMaher

        mikeMaher says:


        I don’t love either trade, but I like the second one better. You are giving up a better RB but getting a better WR, and you don’t need Riddick with the RBs you have.

  12. Gio says:

    Would u prefer r Kelley over Thompson if Matt jones is out? Ppr, plus a half pt per carry in this lge. Have u ever heard of a 1/2pt per carry lge?? Lol

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:


      They are saying that Kelley might start if Matt Jones is out, but I think I would still go with Thompson. They’ll likely split time, but Thompson will be the pass catcher and should, I think, get more work.

      And no, I have never heard of a league like that, lol.

  13. goodfold2 says:

    arian nation’s statement, whether true or not, actually is the most accurate description of many many many underperforming players and many many many teams both in real life and fantasy would be better served by more players quitting and doing so by realizing that.

    • goodfold2 says:

      @goodfold2: the “true” above refers to whether he foster himself believes it, as it’s pretty obvious it’s objectively true.

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