Brian Hill found himself under surveillance on week 4’s handcuff report and now finds himself atop the offender list for week 11. On Saturday, the Atlanta Falcons placed backup RB Ito Smith on injured reserve. Hill found himself thrusted into the #2 spot on the depth chart heading into Sundays matchup against the Saints, but finished the game as the #1 lead dawg in ATL following Devonta Freemans 3rd quarter exit. Hill finished the game with 40 offensive snaps, with Kenjon Barner recording the only other RB snaps (11) outside of Freeman. Freeman’s foot injury will need to be monitored throughout the week. The Falcons offense showed life returning from their bye and getting QB Matt Ryan back from injury, beating the NFC South leading New Orlean Saints 26 – 9. Fantasy owners, desperate for RB depth, need to place a waiver claim for Brian Hill this week. Qadree Ollison will assume #2 duties if Freeman were to miss an extended period of time.

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I know the climb has been brutal for you, as it has for us all. This past Sunday my eyes froze over as I watched many of my teams drop under .500 for the first time. As I write this, I am enduring Jason Witten hand me a loss one excruciating 3 yard catch after another. This section of the season is the darkest grind when the post-draft excitement has long worn off but the playoffs are still far away. Injuries and bye massacres come for us all, but it’s how we respond that defines us.

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Every fantasy season the age old debate resurfaces, to handcuff or not to handcuff. Injuries are guaranteed, knowing who to draft as an insurance policy or to pick up off waivers is a critical component in your journey to fantasy football glory. Luckily for you, I will be here to guide you throughout the season on which handcuffs you should own or which to keep on your watch list. Unfortunately our leagues bench spots are not infinite, some handcuffs need to be drafted and some left on the waivers.

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Hey y’all.  Please note that where fantasy position ranks are cited: they were pulled from www.pro-football-reference.com’s NFL Fantasy Rankings. Also note that these are non-PPR rankings.  This list only includes Un-Restricted Free Agents (UFAs), it does not include Exclusive Rights Free Agents (ERFAs) or Antonio Brown (We can rank Tony once we see if his QB is going to be future HOFer Big Ben or future Gym Teacher Blake Bortles or someone in between, but don’t think either spot or any in between really changes his value much).

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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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Well that was one hell of a ride. My Bills had Houston right where we wanted them. And Nathan Peterman just… just… just did Nathan Peterman things and threw a pick-6. I really shouldn’t have been surprised when it happened. He has to have done that at least 2847 times by now in his 396 day career. Before I go on a long tirade about how bad Josh Allen looked before he got hurt, let’s just take care of this game in its’ entirety.

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What’s going on everyone?! Welcome back to another edition of my “Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em” series, where today I’ll be diving into some very good, and very bad fantasy matchups for Week 6. Can you believe it’s already the 6th week of the NFL season?! Time flies when you’re having fun!

Let’s get to it!

*Note* – My Week 6 Rankings can be found here, and be sure to check out Rudy’s projections for this week here!

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If you saw the arguments this week on twitter, then you know there’s a question. Does defense matter for overall fantasy production? Most of the reason why people say defense doesn’t matter is because the way we measure defense is pretty terrible, and until we can measure true talent defense much better, the appearance of being a good or bad defense is super noisy and the amount of signal there is very very low. And in terms of how to predict the production for fantasy, teams vary what they do (and some teams do this randomly and are bad at it), and you would need to know what their scheme is and what player(s) they plan to exploit, and then the adjustments on the initial game plan come into play. If you have that information, first, please share it with me, and second, you’d probably be able to obliterate DFS (and Vegas, for that matter). But if you have that information, you’re not reading this article right now. So for those of you without it – let’s attack this slate with what we do know – namely, #NeverRun, offenses score points when they throw a lot, and one of the only ways we legitimately do see defenses mattering is in pass rush versus protection – it’s hard to score points when you’re being thrown down to the ground before you can throw a pass. 

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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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