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 East Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Third-Stringer
Patriots LeGarrette Blount Brandon Bolden James White D.J. Foster
Jets Matt Forte Bilal Powell Bilal Powell Troymaine Pope
Dolphins Jay Ajayi Kenyan Drake Damien Williams Damien Williams
Bills LeSean McCoy + Mike Gillislee LeSean McCoy Reggie Bush
AFC North Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Third-Stringer
Bengals Giovani Bernard Jeremy Hill + Giovani Bernard Rex Burkhead
Ravens Terrance West Kenneth Dixon Terrance West Javorius Allen
Steelers Le’Veon Bell DeAngelo Williams + Le’Veon Bell Fitzgerald Toussaint
Browns Isaiah Crowell Duke Johnson Duke Johnson George Atkinson
AFC South Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Third-Stringer
Texans Lamar Miller + Alfred Blue Lamar Miller + Jonathan Grimes +
Jaguars Chris Ivory T.J. Yeldon T.J. Yeldon Denard Robinson
Colts Frank Gore Robert Turbin Frank Gore Josh Ferguson
Titans DeMarco Murray Derrick Henry DeMarco Murray Antonio Andrews
AFC West Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Third-Stringer
Chiefs Jamaal Charles + Spencer Ware Jamaal Charles + Charcandrick West
Broncos C.J. Anderson Devontae Booker Devontae Booker Kapri Bibbs
Raiders Latavius Murray DeAndre Washington Everyone Jalen Richard
Chargers Melvin Gordon Kenneth Farrow Dexter McCluster Dexter 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 East Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Third-Stringer
Giants Rashad Jennings Paul Perkins Bobby Rainey Orleans Darkwa
Eagles Ryan Mathews Wendell Smallwood Darren Sproles Kenjon Barner
Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott Alfred Morris Ezekiel Elliott Lance Dunbar +
Washington Matt Jones Chris Thompson Chris Thompson Robert Kelley
NFC North Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Third-Stringer
Vikings Jerick McKinnon + Matt Asiata Jerick McKinnon + Ronnie Hillman
Packers Ty Montgomery James Starks + James Starks + Knile Davis / Don Jackson +
Lions Theo Riddick + Dwayne Washington + Theo Riddick + Zach Zenner / Justin Forsett
Bears Jeremy Langford + Jordan Howard Ka’Deem Carey + Ka’Deem Carey +
NFC South Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Third-Stringer
Buccaneers Doug Martin + Jacquizz Rodgers Jacquizz Rodgers Peyton Barber
Saints Mark Ingram Tim Hightower Travaris Cadet Tim Hightower
Panthers Jonathan Stewart Cameron Artis-Payne Fozzy Whittaker Cameron Artis-Payne
Falcons Devonta Freeman Tevin Coleman + Tevin Coleman + Terron Ward
NFC West Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Third-Stringer
49ers Carlos Hyde + Shaun Draughn Shaun Draughn Mike Davis
Seahawks Christine Michael Thomas Rawls + C.J. Spiller C.J. Prosise + / Alex Collins
Cardinals David Johnson Andre Ellington David Johnson Stepfan Taylor
Rams Todd Gurley Benny Cunningham + Todd Gurley Malcolm 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.

Player Team Started Total Snaps Snap Pct.
31-D.Johnson ARI YES 87 92%
30-S.Taylor ARI NO 20 1%
33-K.Williams ARI NO 14 0%
38-A.Ellington ARI NO 11 12%
24-D.Freeman ATL YES 49 75%
26-T.Coleman ATL NO 14 22%
34-L.Taliaferro BAL NO 32 19%
28-T.West BAL YES 21 36%
37-J.Allen BAL NO 10 0%
30-K.Dixon BAL NO 4 7%
35-M.Gillislee BUF NO 34 37%
22-R.Bush BUF NO 24 32%
25-L.McCoy BUF YES 23 40%
31-J.Williams BUF NO 0 0%
25-K.Carey CHI NO 31 54%
24-J.Howard CHI YES 22 46%
43-J.Bell CHI NO 8 0%
33-J.Langford CHI NO 0 0%
25-G.Bernard CIN NO 33 54%
33-R.Burkhead CIN NO 23 11%
32-J.Hill CIN YES 21 34%
34-I.Crowell CLE YES 38 59%
29-D.Johnson CLE NO 31 47%
25-G.Atkinson CLE NO 17 0%
23-D.Booker DEN NO 35 55%
22-C.Anderson DEN YES 29 45%
35-K.Bibbs DEN NO 20 0%
34-Z.Zenner DET YES 35 60%
30-J.Forsett DET NO 16 30%
36-D.Washington DET NO 0 0%
25-T.Riddick DET NO 0 0%
88-T.Montgomery GB YES 60 69%
30-K.Davis GB NO 8 6%
34-D.Jackson GB NO 6 7%
44-J.Starks GB NO 0 0%
28-A.Blue HOU NO 53 51%
26-L.Miller HOU YES 31 44%
45-J.Prosch HOU NO 29 10%
34-T.Ervin HOU NO 17 6%
41-J.Grimes HOU NO 0 0%
23-F.Gore IND YES 57 83%
33-R.Turbin IND NO 23 16%
28-J.Todman IND NO 18 0%
34-J.Ferguson IND NO 9 3%
24-T.Yeldon JAC YES 38 57%
33-C.Ivory JAC NO 27 40%
16-D.Robinson JAC NO 15 0%
30-C.Grant JAC NO 0 0%
32-S.Ware KC YES 36 69%
35-C.West KC NO 17 27%
25-J.Charles KC NO 2 4%
30-T.Gurley LARM YES 49 62%
23-B.Cunningham LARM NO 36 33%
34-C.Reynolds LARM NO 24 0%
39-M.Brown LARM NO 10 0%
23-J.Ajayi MIA YES 47 64%
26-D.Williams MIA NO 29 8%
32-K.Drake MIA NO 25 3%
29-A.Foster MIA NO 18 25%
44-M.Asiata MIN YES 67 75%
21-J.McKinnon MIN NO 16 21%
33-R.Hillman MIN NO 4 5%
29-L.Blount NE YES 31 54%
28-J.White NE NO 25 44%
38-B.Bolden NE NO 23 5%
27-D.Foster NE NO 0 0%
22-M.Ingram NO YES 38 51%
38-T.Cadet NO NO 37 27%
34-T.Hightower NO NO 15 12%
36-D.Lasco NO NO 0 0%
23-M.Murphy NO NO 0 0%
43-B.Rainey NYG NO 29 21%
23-R.Jennings NYG YES 29 49%
28-P.Perkins NYG NO 24 26%
26-O.Darkwa NYG NO 18 0%
22-M.Forte NYJ YES 57 84%
29-B.Powell NYJ NO 12 13%
26-T.Pope NYJ NO 2 3%
28-L.Murray OAK NO 42 58%
33-D.Washington OAK YES 19 18%
30-J.Richard OAK NO 14 6%
22-T.Jones OAK NO 0 0%
43-D.Sproles PHI NO 32 45%
24-R.Mathews PHI YES 26 45%
28-W.Smallwood PHI NO 15 9%
34-K.Barner PHI NO 12 5%
26-L.Bell PIT YES 72 99%
33-F.Toussaint PIT NO 21 1%
34-D.Williams PIT NO 0 0%
28-M.Gordon SD YES 65 87%
33-D.McCluster SD NO 12 9%
27-K.Farrow SD NO 2 3%
32-C.Michael SEA YES 46 73%
22-C.Prosise SEA NO 19 25%
36-A.Collins SEA NO 1 2%
34-T.Rawls SEA NO 0 0%
28-C.Spiller SEA NO 0 0%
24-S.Draughn SF NO 36 33%
32-D.Harris SF NO 33 37%
22-M.Davis SF YES 32 30%
28-C.Hyde SF NO 0 0%
32-J.Rodgers TB YES 51 68%
43-P.Barber TB NO 28 23%
36-A.Smith TB NO 15 11%
22-D.Martin TB NO 0 0%
29-D.Murray TEN YES 70 96%
26-A.Andrews TEN NO 12 0%
22-D.Henry TEN NO 6 8%
25-C.Thompson WAS NO 48 59%
31-M.Jones WAS YES 22 30%
32-R.Kelley WAS NO 17 14%

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.

Comments are closed.