The fantasy gods are testing our skills as we enter the semifinal rounds of the fantasy football playoffs. Do not fret, I am here to help you weather any storm.

Besides just providing you with important handcuff news and player updates, I have another nugget for you as our battle for glory nears. Defense Wins Championships!

Most of fantasy football is focused on offense, but do not forget about defense. I am not talking about the roster spot on your fantasy team but defensive strategy to help you win your league. Exhibit-A: I have a championship matchup this weekend and my opponent has Carson Wentz as his only rostered QB. I added every viable starting QB from the waiver wire before he could make a move. Now all available spot-start QBs are on waivers again until after our game this weekend, leaving him to choose between Jeff Driskel and Josh Rosen. Due to roster limits, I had to leave someone out there! Some might have a few choice words for me regarding my cutthroat strategy, but this is the type of tenacity it takes to win a championship. Have you heard of “hack-a-Shaq” in the NBA? It might not be pretty, your fans might not find it thrilling, but we do it for the WINS.

As the number of teams making waiver claims reduces each playoff round, you have a better opportunity to block your opponents. Do you see a weak spot at RB or WR? Is there is a starting caliber player with upside on the waiver wire? See if you can add him on your roster to avoid your competitior-in-need from picking them up. It is important to pay attention to handcuff and injury reports this time of year, even if you do not own the player at risk. Maybe you can block your counterpart from picking up their replacement, if you consume the news before them.

Now, let us get to the Bad Boyz of week 15. Enjoy!

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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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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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That’s right, I am right smack-dab in the middle of a November blizzard. So far, I have shoveled the driveway twice today and it’s probably going to happen a third time. I can’t stress enough how depressing this is considering it was over 50 degrees on Thanksgiving. The terrible thing about being an adult is in the manufacturing industry I don’t think that they have snow days. At least, I have never heard of it. I upgraded my car situation last summer, so that excuse is out the window too. It’s now in the middle of the second quarter of the night game when I am finally getting a chance to start this so I am most likely going to keep it pretty short. 

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Jimmy Graham, Thumb: After the notification went out that Graham broke his thumb in week 11 I think all of his owners threw their phones against the wall. Then a second notification went off saying Graham is going to try and play through it we all picked up our shattered phones confused. It’ll be interesting to see what type of metal claw the Packers medical staff rigs up to make Graham able to play. I hope it looks like Clay Matthews’s club hand with fake tape finger claws. My take: Won’t play. At least for this first week I don’t think he’ll be in the lineup until the Packers rebuild him. They have the technology.

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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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Cheerio everyone! We get our first taste of morning football this season as the Chargers and Titans head across the pond to give us the glorious 9:30AM EST NFL action we’ve all been waiting for. Let’s start with this game and touch a couple others that you should be keeping an eye out for.

Chargers vs Titans (London Game)

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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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