QB10 in fantasy scoring and QB2 in NFL passing yards through 4 weeks, Matt Ryan visits the Lone Star State in matchup carrying the tied-for-2nd highest point total in week 5. The 13th toughest fantasy defense against quarterbacks, the Houston D/ST unit look a lot tougher on paper than what I believe will be on display this Sunday. Two of Houston’s best defensive outings were against quarterbacks that entered the season as backups on their respective depth chart. Including 6th round rookie QB Gardner Minshew (JAC) in his first NFL start and 2nd year backup Kyle Allen (CAR) getting the 2nd start of his career. In Houston’s two matchups against top 10 NFL quarterbacks Drew Brees and Philip Rivers, the defense surrendered an average of 327.5 passing yards per game, QB12 (Brees) and QB13 (Rivers) fantasy finishes, and 4 total passing touchdowns. After nearly topping 400 yards passing (397) last week, Matt Ryan failed to pass for a TD against TEN. This is a prime bounce back spot for Matt Ryan to find the endzone through the air in a game where ATL are -4.5 underdogs and an implied score that includes 3 TDs for the Falcons. Rudy projects Ryan as the QB8 this weekend. 

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I thought in this week’s lede I would further detail my general process for breaking down NFL games. There are a million different approaches, but to be successful everyone needs to find a method and refine it constantly. My process for breaking down games starts with taking the entire slate and checking the injury report prior to moving to line of scrimmage. This is where significant edges are found even in today’s game. I check pressure rates, adjusted line yard data, and articles pertaining to the big guys to find if there is a significant advantage terms of pass rush, or the ability to run the football. If there is an advantage at the line of scrimmage positively, we must ensure we are working in a game environment in which the coach that has the advantage will take the edge. Alternatively, if the edge is a negative, is the quarterback/coach intelligent and talented enough to beat it? The final step is to compare the current secondary using success rates, target rates, yards allowed per target, etc. versus the talent and scheme in the passing game. That information is again tied back to if the coach and quarterback are talented enough to take advantage. Essentially, what I provide to you are the most important notes found in breaking down the individual games and looking at players statistics for the entire seasons. Here are those edges for week 4.

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Week 1 and 2 Handcuff Reports hit on Raheem Mostert, Jamaal Williams, Chris Thompson and Rex Burkhead, so far this season. Handcuff values can fluctuate on a week-to-week basis and injuries are not the only influencers. Efficiency, usage and fumbling issues are additional indicators that can influence the rise of a ‘handcuff.’ The Week 3 Handcuff Report highlights a number of RB situations that need to be monitored heading into week 4 of the NFL season. Enjoy!

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The pronounced offseason ‘champs’ lose 43-13, the quarterback that ‘can’t pass’ tosses 5 touchdowns for over 300yds passing, the defending NFC champs win 30-27 without a starting skill player scoring a touchdown, and former 1st round ‘bust’ WR goes for 158 yds and 2 TDs. Can we get an Allelujah? The NFL is back.

Unfortunately, along with all of the excitement that was brought in week 1, plenty of angst was brought upon starting fantasy rosters. Each week, the handcuff report will highlight key running back waiver acquisitions or necessary watch list candidates. Bench spots are fluid and managing who to add each week is critical in any quest to fantasy football glory. Let’s get started with the bad boyz of week 1….

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Completed Previews: AFC North – NFC North – NFC East Part I – NFC East Part II – AFC East Part I – AFC East 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 below are based on fantasypros.com consensus data.

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If you are reading along this week then it means one of two things; A) you are still alive in your fantasy football league or B) you have really enjoyed following my pieces all season long. My brain says option A but my heart wants to believe option B. After a couple of quiet weeks, we have a lot of meat on the bone today. If you have not been following along all season, please pick up your studs handcuff heading in to the playoffs. Exhibit-A: Melvin Gordon. I am angry with the Chargers and how they handled their star RB but let’s have that conversation elsewhere. The main point here is to not get caught with your pants down.

I will jump straight in to the Bad Boyz of week 13, enjoy!

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Have you ever shared custody of a dog with an ex-spouse or girlfriend/boyfriend? Prayfully not, my goodmen, but surely you know some poor sod who takes part in this sad and pathetic lifestyle, someone you look down upon with shame as if they were a lower form of human life. As if they, well, you know, thought sharing a dog with an ex was a solid idea. If you didn’t know someone before, you do now!! ME, Beddict, former Commander and Chief of the Players club, himself, somehow buried in this game like a rotting  casket. How did we (me) get here? There is not enough battery left in my MacBook Air (Lap top in laymen terms), to tell that tale, and thank the Elders for that, but I’ll whack ya with a few deets, just in case you want to get your beak wet…..I don’t even know what that means. 

Anyway, I have five dogs total, two with my ex in Seattle, and three with my last girlfriend in New Orleans. NOLA won’t actually speak to me, either because she despises me, that or she’s being respectful to her strange new emo- King Fiancé. All I know, is that when I stalk her Instagram every night, I NEVER SEE MY BABY JILLIAN!!! I see the other two angels, but little Jillie bean is nowhere in sight…Hmmmm, anyway, I HAD five dogs scattered across the country like dust in the wind, six if you count the dog that was mine that I gave to my Mom 14 years ago. He was so handsome, I say, “WAS,” for he was tragically killed three weeks ago, ON MY BIRTHDAY, ruining my day and in a way, my life. So I suppose we’re back to five, four if Jillian is no longer among the breathing. This led to my first ex sweetly offering to “ALLOW” me to see our two dogs for a week or so, since she felt so awful about Q-ball being run over on my birthday and all. We weren’t on speaking terms so I thought this to be a truly grand gesture of kindness………Alas, life only allows pleasant emotions for short periods of time before ripping them out with rusty machete. One week turned into 10 days, and it also turned out that she was getting married and just had nowhere else to leave the dogs since they’re too old to be left at any kennel. Married to the friend zone king who had stalked her our entire relationship, you know the type. Shit, some of you probably are the type. For me to properly draft the proper amount of ratchetness involved would take the last remaining splinters of my soul, and that, guys/gals, is too much to ask. Even of me. 

What am I going on about? This is a fantasy sports website. But isn’t that why you love (Despise) me? Below are my thoughts on this past week’s NFL games. Take heed!

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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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