Completed Previews: AFC North – NFC North – NFC East Part I – NFC East Part II – AFC East Part I – AFC East Part II – NFC South Part I – NFC South Part II – AFC South Part I

2019 projections referenced below are based on razzball.com 2019 projections managed and updated by our very own @RudyGamble . ADP, and strength of schedule referenced are based on fantasypros.com consensus data.

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Welcome! Welcome! To an elite club, an exclusive group, of individuals whose fantasy football skills reign supreme over their peers. Now is the time to showcase your prowess and claim your seat on the pigskin throne. Let us put fear in the eyes of our enemies as we encounter our first foe in our championship quest.

Today I cover my take on the multiple running back handcuffs that will see starting duties this weekend. Unfortunately, as we enter the first round of the playoffs, we are down a few heavy hitters, that have carried us to this point. James Conner, Kareem Hunt, Melvin Gordon, and Matt Breida are a few of the studs that will be missed. If you have followed along all season then you have built your bench depth adequately to compete for a championship. Hopefully, some of these players below can come to our rescue.

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It feels just like yesterday that I was writing pre-season articles for you. Now, we are facing the last week(s) of the fantasy football regular season. While we are all getting stuffed on side-dishes (because we all know turkey is just taking up space on our plate), we have crucial decisions to make regarding our rosters. What is your favorite thanksgiving dish?

This week, due to the holiday, I’ll keep it brief and get straight to this weeks culprits. We have a few backfield situations worth monitoring…

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Four more games left until most fantasy football playoffs begin. How are you looking? Playoff spot locked up or do you need to go on a run down the stretch?

Another quiet week, we avoided major injuries to our starting backs. Today, I’ll touch on a few handcuffs that are worth monitoring heading in to your playoffs.

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Would you believe me if I told you during the preseason that James Conner, Javorius Allen, Austin Ekeler, TJ Yeldon, Nyheim Hines, and Latavius Murray would be top 25 running backs in PPR leagues heading in to week 9? No, and I would love to see an expert that had any ranked that high. The overall state of the running back position in fantasy is one for its own article. Unless you went RB heavy during your draft, we should change our expectations for RB 2’s and flex RBs.

With the amount of teams deploying an RBBC (running back by committee) the value for the backup running back exceeds more than just a ‘handcuff.’ You will hear that rostering your handcuff is not worth it but the names above would say otherwise. Even though some of the players below are not sexy acquisitions don’t let that prevent you from insuring your team for the championship run. Keep this in mind as you question if you should roster a Giovani Bernard or Nyheim Hines. There is value in owning your handcuff even if they are the clear #2.

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As we mark the halfway point of the NFL season, many fantasy football outlets are performing mid-year reviews. While reflecting on early season analysis can be beneficial, I know you are more concerned about who to start this week for your starter that is on bye and what is going on with the multiple backfield injuries. This is what I am here to give you…

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The heart of bye season is upon us. Packers, Raiders, Seahawks and Steelers are all on bye this week. Chargers, Cowboys, Falcons, and Titans next week. Melvin Gordon owners, next week might be your opportunity to pick up your handcuff– Austin Ekeler. Your league-mates are scrambling to plug in holes and valuable assets are hitting the wire. I’ll keep my soap box brief this week since I wrote about this previously, just keep an eye on your leagues transaction report to see if you can find any loot.

I promised you names and we have plenty to give you for week 7. Enjoy!

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My weekly goal is not only to inform you on critical RB pickups and injuries but to help equip you to win your league with my weekly strategy soap box. We are nearing the half way point of the fantasy football regular season and I have another nugget for you. 

Stop gloating about your undefeated or one loss team, no one cares and it does not matter. Regular season win/loss records do not mean anything if you are chasing a championship. If your team is great now it does not gaurantee your team to be great come playoffs. Exhibit A: a league-mate of mine last season went 11-2 and did not win the championship. Mid-season, I suggested he should make a trade to help improve his team for the post season. He felt his team was too good and he did not need to make any changes. He exited the playoffs first round and we all got the last laugh. 

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Jameis Winston (@ ATL): Jameis Winston and a guy named Chester in the same article and I’m not making that the headline? I deserve some praise for my maturity. It’s already been reported that Winston will be QB1 in Atlanta in week 6. The Falcons are tied for second-most TD passes allowed and are 10th in passing yards allowed and have allowed 20+ fantasy points to their opposing QBs in 4 straight games now. Jameis is only 12.6% owned and just like with Baker Mayfield — he won’t be that available for long.

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Would you believe me if I told you that bye weeks are a positive thing in Fantasy Football? Yes, managing our waiver acquisitions and benches while we fill in for our players on bye can be a headache but there is a silver lining here (I’m on a roll with these movie references).

I have no clue who @pahowdy is but he just got a plug in my weekly handcuff report, good for him. The only thing I would add to this tweet is it applies just as much to season long leagues.

While your opposing owners are desperately trying to cover players on bye, valuable fantasy assets are popping on waivers for us savvy owners to scoop up. Let me know if you’ve heard this one before….one man’s trash in another man’s treasure. Well, this is your opportunity to pick up that trash.

Remember when you, Melvin Gordon and Alex Collins owners, missed out on Austin Ekeler and Javorius Allen because they were the hottest waiver add week 1-2. Well, in a number of my leagues I’ve noticed these early season waiver adds are starting to get dumped as owners scramble to fill in their byes. Comb through your leagues transaction history after each waiver period moving forward to see if you can find any treasure. Your goal is to build for your playoff run and ultimately your championship. Savvy moves like this can push you over the top. The probability of starters getting injured only increases as the season wears on and player usage piles up.

Now on to this weeks’ Bad Boyz report…

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