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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Training camp is upon us and the NFL beat writers are heating up the twitter sphere with news. This article is an attempt to cut through the noise and figure out what if anything is most important. One vital component that needs to be pointed out is that we should never be relying on beat reporters, or on-lookers to evaluate the actual talent, or what is happening during practice. Writers do just that for a living, write. A few examples of opinions/misconceptions coming into play that were grossly misguided I’ve already seen in week 1:

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With Training Camp about to be in full-swing, it’s a perfect opportunity to take a look at some key players that are entering their final year of a contract, looking to prove themselves to their team or multiple teams if they’re likely to hit free agency.

Contract negotiations and holdouts are as typical to fantasy owners as touchdowns and RBBC’s, so let’s take a look at some names you should keep in the back of your mind as you approach draft day.

Let’s get into it!

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There is no denying just how important how important the running back position is to fantasy football roster construction. Once you get past the first couple of rounds, the position becomes a cesspool of what ifs. If you’re in a 12 team league, current ADP data says that only eight picks in the first two rounds won’t be a running back. It’s more important than ever to make the right pick.

Just like with wide receivers, this is a pre-training camp evaluation so my opinion is subject to change going into August. But, as of now, I’m going to let you know what running backs that I don’t see myself drafting this season. When I’m drafting running back early, I’m targeting volume second only to skill. Dual-threat is also something that I look for too. I mostly play in PPR leagues. A lot of the time, the past performance and current off season moves at offensive line can also sway me.

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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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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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Now that my little Fantasy Football science experiment is over I’m going to change things up a little bit. You wouldn’t believe all the hate mail I got in the past couple of weeks. It seems my ESPN accounts have been locked out and someone even toilet papered my front yard. Enough is enough. Going forward I’m just going to give you my top six picks for the week. The only rule for a pick is that a player cannot be considered a stud to be eligible. Recommending Antonio Brown helps no one.

Before we get started let’s quickly see how I did last week…

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