Four more games left until most fantasy football playoffs begin. How are you looking? Playoff spot locked up or do you need to go on a run down the stretch?

Another quiet week, we avoided major injuries to our starting backs. Today, I’ll touch on a few handcuffs that are worth monitoring heading in to your playoffs.

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Would you believe me if I told you that bye weeks are a positive thing in Fantasy Football? Yes, managing our waiver acquisitions and benches while we fill in for our players on bye can be a headache but there is a silver lining here (I’m on a roll with these movie references).

I have no clue who @pahowdy is but he just got a plug in my weekly handcuff report, good for him. The only thing I would add to this tweet is it applies just as much to season long leagues.

While your opposing owners are desperately trying to cover players on bye, valuable fantasy assets are popping on waivers for us savvy owners to scoop up. Let me know if you’ve heard this one before….one man’s trash in another man’s treasure. Well, this is your opportunity to pick up that trash.

Remember when you, Melvin Gordon and Alex Collins owners, missed out on Austin Ekeler and Javorius Allen because they were the hottest waiver add week 1-2. Well, in a number of my leagues I’ve noticed these early season waiver adds are starting to get dumped as owners scramble to fill in their byes. Comb through your leagues transaction history after each waiver period moving forward to see if you can find any treasure. Your goal is to build for your playoff run and ultimately your championship. Savvy moves like this can push you over the top. The probability of starters getting injured only increases as the season wears on and player usage piles up.

Now on to this weeks’ Bad Boyz report…

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Does anyone else think the season is already going by too quick? Here we are at the top of Week 3 and depending on when your playoffs start we have 10 weeks left of regular season play. Still plenty of hours left for us to spend on our couches curing hangovers or putting a few back at the bar. Week 3 brings us a couple of new handcuffs to pay attention to and some repeat offenders.

I’ll spare you long blurbs about names I already wrote about but will give you quick hits on a couple previously mentioned that are still worth monitoring or rostering.

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The talk of this week at the running back situation has been Wendell Smallwood. If you don’t believe me, take a scroll through the last dozen or so Razzball articles to see the takes and advice. With Darren Sproles somehow breaking his arm and tearing his ACL on the same play, there are touches available in Philadelphia. LeGarrette Blount is still around and actually looked productive on Sunday, and Corey Clement scored his first career touchdown and could rotate into games going forward, but Smallwood is the guy who stands to benefit the most from the Sproles injury. If you don’t believe me, the Eagles offensive coordinator said as much in his press conference on Tuesday. I have the transcript if you want it.

For me, though, there is a more exciting running back to target. Heading into Week 3, we knew two things: 1. There would be a new offensive coordinator. 2. Marvin Lewis has been coaching the Bengals for 15 years without winning a single playoff game. Number 1 is relevant for fantasy owners, while number 2 is simply fascinating.

The position to watch in Week 3 was running back, as it was expected that we could see more Joe Mixon and less Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard. And that is exactly what happened. Mixon looked like the complete running back he was projected to be coming out of college, gaining more than 100 yards from scrimmage on 21 total touches. Expect that trend to continue going forward, as Mixon should only get better and the Bengals should continue to ride him.

I talked up Mixon last week as a great buy-low option prior to the change at offensive coordinator. Hopefully, you either drafted and stashed him or grabbed him on waivers last week because he is less likely to be available this week. But if he is, grab him and go. On the flip side, I would also try to hold onto Jeremy Hill and/or Giovani Bernard if you have the kind of league that provides you with the roster/bench space to do so. It looks like Mixon will be the guy, but we have seen before that one week doesn’t mean everything and that injuries happen all the time. If you have to pick one, I would probably lean Bernard in PPR.

To the charts!

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Well hello my lovelies!  I am so sorry I missed you all last week, but hopefully Matt Bowe took good care of you in my absence.  I know that no one can love you as much as I do, but sometimes a little variety is needed.  I know I left you in capable hands.  With that being said, how did you all fare this past week?  Me?  Well, not so well.  It seems that it took all of three weeks into the season before my Black Widow Curse decided to decimate half of one of my rosters.  It’s okay, I can adapt.  It would be nice to have a man who can actually finish for once though (in more ways than one) to the actual end without having to tap out prematurely.  But, c’est la vie.  I know you are all eager to see what I come back with this week because I know you are all hungry for what I have to offer you, and it is understandable.  I am quite addictive, I know.  It’s a curse in and of itself sometimes, but alas, what’s a girl to do?  Are you ready?  Are your hammies all stretched out and those little blue pills have been downed?  If so, let’s get this party started, shall we?  Ladies and gentlemen, convicts and parolees, I give you, Week 4’s edition of Hit It or Quit It!

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Image result for home dogs

Week 3 was a crazy, crazy week. Thanks Trump! I kidd. Blake Bortles, Case Keenum, and Eli Manning all threw for at least three touchdowns, with Bortles throwing four! The Jets dominated. It gets crazier, though. Eight of the games on Sunday had the road teams as favorites. The Jaguars, Colts, Bears, Jets, Bills, and Redskins all took care of business at home. Bow wow wow yipee yo yipee ya! Home dogs! The Lions should have won and the Chargers…well, just scroll down to the recap of that game and all will become clear.

The 2017-2018 Razzball Commenter Leagues for Basketball are now open. Get more info and join here!

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Another week of the NFL season is in the books, and we have a few more developments at the running back position to keep an eye on. There are a few injuries hitting the wire this week, and out in Seattle, a youngster is outplaying some familiar names. Over in Philadelphia, the guy who is supposed to be the lead back barely saw the field…

Razzball Football’s partner FantasyDraft is starting a new sign-up promotion this week, all new depositing signups receive a free $4 “Everyone Wins” NFL GPP ticket for the upcoming Sunday slate along with offering all players 4% cash back on their initial deposits! 

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Last week my six start selections scored 99 fantasy points. That includes one of whom scored 0 points. Don’t look at me — look at Hunter Henry. That’s on him. How did my ‘sit’ selections do? 51 total points. That included a bold pick of Ezekiel Elliott who the Giants held to an average of 11 fantasy points in 2016. Elliott netted 18 fantasy points. What does it all mean? I’m a great lucky guesser.

If making week 1 picks is difficult because you don’t have any real in-season data from which to make your predictions, week 2 is nigh impossible because you have some fluke games like the Bengals being shutout in week 1 only to lay another turd on Thursday night against the Texans. The same Texans who in week 1 only scored 7 points against the first place Jaguars! What’s a fantasy football prognosticator to do?!

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Does anyone else get the old Sherwin Williams jingle stuck in their head when they see Kerwynn Williams’s name? No? Just me?

Anyway, welcome to the 2017 Handcuff Report. For those who followed this post last season, welcome back. For those who are new, where were you last year? Too good for us? I have researched other available handcuff reports and tell give you my completely unbiased opinion that none of them are half as good as this one. Shame on you, and welcome.

So, first things first: what exactly is a handcuff? For the fantasy football n00bs out there, or perhaps for those who have taken the last few years off, a handcuff is a backup who will likely take over as the starter in the event of an injury, extreme ineffectiveness, off-the-field trouble, or coach’s decision. There are probably other reasons that I am forgetting here, but those are the most common one.

Most NFL teams now run a running back by committee of some sort. While not every team is as unpredictably maddening as the Patriots, most teams share the load in an effort to keep guys fresh and give defenses different looks. With fantasy leagues more competitive than ever, thanks to sites like Razzball offering great advice, it is important to recognize trends and identify value quickly. If you drafted a stud running back early, you might want to grab his handcuff in case of injury. Or if you went zero RB or went really light on RB early, you might want to squat on a couple handcuffs or, especially in PPR leagues, grab a change-of-pace/pass catching back. With the influx of young running backs and each team having two or three options this season, I tended to do the latter in drafts this year. For every Melvin Gordon, I have like two Shane Vereens or Theo Riddicks this year. Speaking of young running backs:

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Welcome to Razzball’s Fantasy Football Preview series, where yours truly will guide you, caress you, perhaps even coddle you through your draft preparations and processes. Mmm, processes. And while none of this may be legal and I’ll end up with multiple restraining orders, rest assured that we’ll all be the better for it. Maybe. We’ll go in depth (that’s what she said) at every position… well, the positions that actually count (I’m looking at you Kickers and DSTs…), going over some analysis, the tiers, and any illuminating observations I might have. Because light bulbs are just the coolest thing. Said everyone from the 1800s. Before you get settled down, please refer to Razzball’s 2017 Fantasy Football Draft Rankings, and specifically for this post, refer to our Running Back Rankings

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