Last year, all my loyal readers wept tears of unfathomable sadness when baseball ended, as that meant the end of the greatest weekly column in the history of the Internet. Thankfully, Razzball has decided this year that they do not want to disappoint everyone out there who make up my loyal fan base, so they have asked me to write a weekly football picks column. Here’s the important stuff – I will be focusing on FanDuel cash picks. That’s not to say that you couldn’t take my advice and use it for other sites, but each DFS site has its own salary structure, so a good play on one site isn’t necessarily a good play on another site. So if you only play somewhere else besides FanDuel, be very careful with these picks as they’re based specifically on the salaries on FanDuel. Further, the bulk of these picks are for cash games. I will make GPP recommendations wherever I feel it’s reasonable to do so, but if you’re only a GPP player, then while this column will still be useful, just know that it’s a cash-first article. Finally, I will be making occasional references to Rudy’s projections, which you should purchase, because they are quite good. That’s not me shamelessly plugging them – that’s me speaking the truth – they’re quite good and quite helpful for anyone who plays NFL DFS. So with that in mind, onto the picks…

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We made it! We finally made it, it’s the heart of draft season and I couldn’t be more ecstatic. If you’re like me, you’ve been consuming every bit of FF content since the NFL Draft, and have participated in countless mock drafts. Shhh…don’t tell my girlfriend how many mock drafts I’ve completed. By now, you’ve tinkered around with different draft strategies and hopefully you landed on one that will lead you to the promise land. Before it’s too late, I want to make sure you are not forgetting a critical component that can set you up for a slam dunk on draft day– the handcuff.

As a new writer for Razzball.com my main focus will be providing you with a weekly RB handcuff report. I look forward to interacting with you all as the season progresses. Let me know if there is a topic or player you would like me to comment on. Today, we will focus on how handcuffs can impact your overall draft day strategy and give you a couple of the top RB handcuffs. Are you ready? Let’s do this!

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It is officially August and the Hall of Fame game is tonight! Football is definitely in the air. Earlier this week I covered what I will be doing in the first round of drafts, now it is time to move onto the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Of course, if anyone that I wrote about in the first installment slips through the cracks like an Urban Meyer cover up, I would take a stab at those names first. I don’t know what’s going on in your draft! I’m not there. All I can do is go off of ADP and my rankings and tell you who I like and don’t like. Let’s run through some names in the teens through the 30’s, shall we?

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This piece of writing is going to hurt my soul and hurl my remaining brain cells right down a metaphorical volcano. Perhaps it’s the thin Colorado air at over 9,000 feet above altitude or the activities that are legal here, but I am starting to see myself drafting Leonard Fournette this season. If you read my preseason stuff or listened to the podcast last season, you know that I faded Fournette and made fun of his YPC and lack of production every week that the yards weren’t there. Every time he was listed as questionable or was ruled out Sunday Morning, I was thankful that it wasn’t my problem. The thing is there were not a lot of owners who were upset by the results when it was all said and done. He also looked like a pretty serviceable work horse in the playoffs. There were things to not like last year when it came to Fournette, but damn it, there is some promise for fantasy owners going into 2018.

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In the golden age of rookie production in the NFL, it’s only right that I give them their own article. We had two rookies finish in the top 10 in the 2017 season and neither of them were Christian McCaffery or Leonard Fournette. Kareem Hunt, who finished #9, made a late push in the 2017 fantasy draft season at the expense of Spencer Ware’s season ending injury. When it was all said and done, Hunt was going in the third and fourth round in a lot of leagues.

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I am back from my football blogging sabbatical and ready for the off season. I have no interest in this crumby Super Bowl, so I’m ready to dive right into the offseason. What better way to start than to review the 2017 season? There could have been stuff that you missed, you never know. Maybe something that you read in this will stick in your brain until your draft season in August. Will you remember which article you read it from? Probably not, It’s January.

I’m surprised you even clicked on this, you must be bored. What you will probably remember from my posts when your drafts roll around in August is my grotesque misunderstanding of English grammar. I’ll probably over use some commas, or not use enough commas. Do they teach 6th grade grammar at the local community college? Better yet, maybe you would prefer that I disperse of fantasy football knowledge through the use of emojis. That would be edgy, and no one has done it yet! (Simpsons did it!) Alright stop. I’m going to go through the quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends to let you know what stuck out to me this season. Today, let’s start with the quarterbacks and running backs.

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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…

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What is more surprising, that Corey Clement scored three touchdowns or that Corey Clement scored three touchdowns and wasn’t even the top scoring running back in Week 9? Yeah, I guess the first one, but the second part is pretty interesting too. Alvin Kamara scored two touchdowns of his own and added six catches and over 150 yards from scrimmage to eek out the top running back spot for the week.

Kamara is finally helping Saints fans forget about Darren Sproles and appears to be the perfect compliment to Mark Ingram in New Orleans. Despite the handcuff label, as I have discussed with a few readers in the past few weeks, Kamara is still valuable in fantasy, especially in PPR formats. The Saints have made it pretty clear since their bye week that they want to get the ball into the talented young running back’s hands and are carving about 15+ touches for him each week. And it is working, so don’t expect them to go away from it anytime soon.

In Philadelphia, Clement scored three touchdowns in a week where many wondered if he would even be active on gameday with the addition of Jay Ajayi. With Zach Ertz a late scratch, all of Philly’s running backs were active, even Wendell Smallwood. However, don’t get used to Clement finding so much success and that many touches going forward. The Eagles are on a bye this week and will have had two more weeks to get Jay Ajayi up to speed. While Clement will probably be active over the forgotten Wendell Smallwood, most of the touches are going to go to Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount. This tweet would say otherwise, but remember this was a blowout in Philly:

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All over the box score and all up in the backfield in Green Bay is the answer, as Aaron Jones has officially taken the job from Ty Montgomery with his solid performances. The offense overall in Green Bay is going to take a hit with the other A-Aron out for what looks like the rest of the season, but they are more likely to want to run the ball, which is good for Jones owners.

Montgomery is still a solid all-around running back and, really, is a solid all-around player in general, as he is a wide receiver who really became a running back out of necessity for the Packers. He didn’t do anything to lose his job other than get hurt and give Jones a chance.

Jones is the better and more explosive running back, and rolling with him as the hot hand is the right decision for now. Montgomery is not going to disappear, though, and he is going to rotate into the backfield and as a wide receiver going forward as the Packers figure out ways to get him involved and use him as a matchup problem for opposing defenses.

For fantasy purposes, Montgomery’s value is probably going to fluctuate on a week-to-week basis depending on the matchups and the gameplan. He is probably going to light it up some weeks and be a non-factor others, so it is going to be hard to rely on him other than as the occasional flex or RB2 when the bye weeks call for it.

Jones, on the other hand, is going to be the more reliable running back and is coming off his best game as a pro last week. Unfortunately, this is a ROS play and not a Week 8 play because the Packers are on a bye this week.

If you are looking for a Week 8 play, may I interest you in a Jalen Richard now that Marshawn Lynch has lost his appeal and will miss this week? (eyes emoji)

Now, to the charts!

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