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It’s been commonplace around here to poke a bit of fun at Joe Flacco’s expense, and I have to admit, it probably starts with me. Look, I don’t actively root against the eyebrow guy. Granted, I don’t root for him either, seeing as how it’s like rooting for a speed bump. But there is a certain something about him that really fascinates me. And that can essentially be boiled down to the the gift that keeps on giving… and that’s the process for measuring how elite Joe Flacco actually is (not just his eyebrow(s), which are too f*cking elite). Well folks, I think it’s time, once again, to go through this process once more. After a convincing win against a Steelers team that was clearly missing LeVeon Bell and any semblance of a third down defense,  John Harbaugh said this after the game:

“Joe Flacco, what can you say… He’s the best quarterback in football.”

Well, first of all, don’t lead this off by asking “what can you say”. I can say a lot of things, and none of them would be what you said, John. Granted, yes, Flacco has a long history of being part of a lot of successful Ravens teams, including a Super Bowl ring and being the only quarterback in NFL history to win a playoff game in each of his first five seasons. Of course, there’s also the fact that he’s not really that good of a quarterback. But hey, when you’re just elite enough to win, who cares?

I guess I don’t. Then again, I’m now realizing that the Ravens vs. Patriots media extravaganza might be something I could have done without… been there, done that, ya know? Wait. What’s that you say? We’re going to have a Petyon Manning/Andrew Luck narrative to deal with as well?

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Internet nearly broke this week when the Cleveland Browns announced they were going to start rookie Johnny Manziel at quarterback… or so we think. It looks like Brian Hoyer might be sent to the bench to give the Browns a spark, according to published reports. But is he worth it from a fantasy standpoint? We’ll examine that and more as we take a dive into the waiver wire. There are three or four weeks left in your fantasy season, so this is the time to make the solid moves that will get you into the playoffs. So, what about Manziel? Yes, he was a change of pace for the Browns, as he rushed for a touchdown last week, but let’s see why you don’t want him. Tight end Jordan Cameron is questionable for this week after missing his last five games with concussion symptoms. Miles Austin is still hospitalized after taking a hit to his lower back and hurting his kidneys. Andrew Hawkins is the best receiving threat the team has right now that’s healthy. Yes, Josh Gordon is there too, but I would want to see how Manziel works with all of his weapons before seeing how much he impacts fantasy values on Lake Erie. The Browns finish the season with Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Carolina in Week 16 and Baltimore in Week 17. The chances are there for Manziel to throw it a bunch and get the all-important rushing yardage as well with a pair of weak rush defenses during the fantasy playoffs. Dare we say it, Manziel could be a nice play down the stretch if you want a quarterback with a good situation that you can pick up now.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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While it’s a bit too tempting to take time in the lede to discuss what was the “potential Super Bowl match-up” of the year between the Packers and Patriots, or even the discussing the Ravens snatching defeat from the jaws of victory against my Chargers. And heck, you could even throw in the Jaguars beating the Giants, who were in full derp mode, making Tom Coughlin even more salty and vinegary (to be taken at it’s most literal definition), but, in the end, I do find the slow collapse of the Arizona Cardinals team fascinating… While I normally don’t root for Cardinals, (that’s more St’ Louis’ and Busch’s fault. Double entendre alert!), you had to respect the fact that they found themselves 9-1 despite starting Drew Stanton, not Carson Palmer, for a majority of those games. While 9-1 and those two names don’t really make sense when used in the same sentence, a stifling defense and some luck have been two things that lesser teams have had success with (See Broncos, 2011). But ending the regular season against the Chiefs, Rams, Seahawks, and 49ers, there are legitimate scenarios where they could now miss the playoffs, and some, where the Rams could actually sneak in. This is all to say, wow, the NFC South is a dumpster fire in the truest sense of the word. You could ask for reasons why that gives context (they did just lose to the 4-7 Falcons), but I would still say NOOOOPE, I need no reasons.

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Good afternoon my fellow Razzballers! Hopefully you’re slowly recovering from your tryptophan and gravy hangovers, and weren’t trampled in the wee hours of the morning by overzealous Black Friday shoppers. I spent the day watching football and stuffing my face with as much deliciousness as humanly possible. Well, that and writing posts chock full of fantasy goodies for all of my loyal readers here and on the Soccer site (shameless plug!). BTW our RCL’s over on Razzball Soccer kick-off tomorrow so join up now!…..Now back to our regularly scheduled post…. We have five more weeks left in the season and it’s already been a banner year for handcuffs. So much so that I actually thanked the Turkey Gods for making this post so easy to write from week to week. Now if I could only talk those same Gods into opening up some playing time for Devonta Freeman. But one thing at a time Ralph, one thing at a time.

As we always do at this time let’s take a look at a couple of handcuffs rapidly approaching fantasy relevancy.

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It’s the week of Thanksgiving and hopefully your team is thankful for a shot to make the playoffs, if you haven’t already sewn a berth up already.

If you’re on the fringe of making the playoffs, this column should hopefully help you avoid turkeys on the waiver wire and help you find the players that are worth more than a parking spot at the mall on Black Friday. Speaking of Black Friday, can someone send that running back from New England a clock? He had an issue with his phone dying out on him and he wound up getting benched for it.

Running Backs are going to be all the rage this week, so we’ll start with them.

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Last night, Odell Beckham had 10 receptions for 146 yards and two touchdowns. Oh, yeah, he also did this…

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That was the best one-hander since I lost my virginity.

I’d love to write more, but that would probably only take away from what you see before you. So when you’re finished watching this glorious depiction of a football player doing a legendary thing, join me below for the round-up. Don’t worry, it took me about two hours and an ophthalmologist to get me to move on…

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With the fantasy football gods feasting on the blood, bones, and ligaments of running backs almost weekly, how did Ahmad Bradshaw make it this long? Bradshaw is so injury prone, Jordan Reed pities the Colts rusher. It seems like just when you begin to trust Bradshaw, he always gets hurt. Well, at least we had several weeks this season where he was trusted and startable. We should be thankful for that. I wonder at this point if we’ve seen the last of him. He’s 29 and seems to have broken nearly every bone in his body in the past three seasons. Too bad, I always felt he had one of the better skill sets when it came to being an effective rusher and receiver. Ahmad Bradshaw, we here at the Handcuff Report salute you for your many years of service as a handcuff. Stay fuzzy sweet prince…

Note: Don’t forget to come visit me on the new Razzball Fantasy Soccer home everyday of the week. Smokey and I have leagues registering now. If you’re not familiar with the format, NBD, relax, you got us. Smokey and I are giving you the best Fantasy Premier League coverage out there. If you haven’t tried fantasy EPL, you’re missing out. So sign up and use us as your guide.

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If you didn’t know the name Jonas Gray before 8pm Eastern Sunday night, nobody would blame you. If you forget his name when you’re putting in your waiver claims for the week, you’ll never forget it. Gray went off in huge fashion this past week with 199 yards and four rushing touchdowns against the Colts. It took him from fantasy afterthought to fantasy pick-up of the week status, and he certainly is that for us. Gray has managed to supplant Shane Vereen as the top man in the New England backfield and should be getting the majority of the work going forward.

You’ll have to put up with a tough week this week, as Gray and the Patriots take on a stiff Detroit defense. The defense held Arizona running back Andre Ellington to less than 50 rushing yards last week. After Week 12, Gray’s schedule turns much easier with games at Green Bay, at San Diego, Miami, at the Jets, and Buffalo to close out the season. (Keep in mind we put the full 17-game schedule out there when we talk about remaining games, since some leagues go the full distance.) Excluding the Dolphins, you’re looking at four of the top-12 rush defenses in the NFL for Gray. The match-ups are going to be tough, so you could pick him up now, let him go off against Green Bay, and try for a late sell-high deal depending on your league’s trade deadline. (Yes, most deadlines will pass in the near future but it’s still worth mentioning.) These games should be winnable for New England so Gray should get carries to keep the clock and the chains moving. Eventually, he will find the end zone, but don’t expect anything close to his output against Indianapolis.

This is also the final week of byes with Carolina and Pittsburgh sitting out this week. This is key for one reason. It’s time to get rid of the guys on your team who are non-producers and/or have poor match-ups the rest of the way. This is the time of year when you want your decisions on who to start to be incredibly tough since you have to pick from talent, talent or talent.

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As we open the season, all of our NFL teams have the same goal— to play in Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Arizona on February 1. Our fantasy teams have the same goal— to play in our respective league’s Super Bowl whatever week (usually 16) that it falls on. For some of you, getting there will be difficult if not impossible. Others will find the road to be easy, and cruise through the season. For me, I fall in the latter when it comes to getting to the Super Bowl. That’s mainly because I live about 40 minutes north of University of Phoenix Stadium. Getting to the Super Bowl is easy for me, even if traffic sucks.

That’s what I’m here for. To help you navigate the journey from your starting point to your league’s Super Bowl. We’ll help you avoid the roadblocks of poor play, the detours of bye weeks, and the potholes of injuries. That said, let’s turn the key on the season and start giving some recommendations for players who can be picked up now to help you out in the long term.

Please, blog, may I have some more?