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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The running backs that are drafted in the first four rounds are not always the running backs that are going to win you your league. Hell, if you’re going to win you’re league, it’s a good idea to draft a few options that could own in your flex spot. We’re looking purely at upside today. You can’t call these players handcuffs because they are already a part of the offense. When you’re already a part of the offense, you just have to start outperforming your counterpart to get more work. Well, most of the time. Let’s not pretend that all of these NFL teams are smart. A lot of teams employ a RBBC because of different skill sets or more run heavy offenses. A lot of these teams go with the hot hand approach and Philip Lindsay basically was a hot hand for the whole season. Another example would be Derrick Henry at the end of last season. We are looking for the next Philip Lindsay or the most useful complementary back to gamble on. I want to make it clear that these are gambles. But they are gambles that I am willing to push my own chips in for.

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Once you get past the top 15, it is a mixed bag when it comes to running backs. There is no doubt that there is a lot of talent here and also a lot of opportunity. But, you and I both know that injuries, performance issues, and better performance by teammates will affect a handful of backs in this group. But, I have to do the best that I can to forecast these outcomes with the information that I have on hand.

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Completed Previews: AFC North – NFC North – NFC East Part I – NFC East Part II – AFC East Part I – AFC East Part II – NFC South Part I – NFC South Part II – AFC South Part I

2019 projections referenced below are based on razzball.com 2019 projections managed and updated by our very own @RudyGamble . ADP, and strength of schedule referenced are based on fantasypros.com consensus data.

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There are many advanced stats and metrics in which to judge running backs by. But which are the top metrics to help us separate the best from the rest? Or to uncover a diamond in the rough? Well, thanks to the great work over at Football Outsiders, we have three innovative stats to judge RB’s by: DVOA, DYAR and Success Rate. 

DVOA, or Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, represents a player’s value per play, over an average running back in the same game situations. The more positive the DVOA rating, the better the performance. DYAR, or Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement, gives us the value of the performance on plays where the back caught/carried the ball compared to the average replacement level. And finally, Success Rate represents the player’s consistency, measured by successful running plays.

Using data from 2018, let’s take a look at some of the leaders in the NFL in rushing DVOA, DYAR and Success Rate, to help us isolate the backs we should be targeting in drafts. 

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What’s going on everyone, and welcome to the final week of the fantasy season (for those of you smart enough to not have a Week 17)! If you care about this post, congratulations on making it into the championship! The hard work shouldn’t stop now though, so let’s break down this upcoming week and talk about some players you should put in your lineup, and some you probably shouldn’t.

Let’s get to it!

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The dust has settled from a mostly depressing Fantasy Football Week 15, and the Ditka boys are here with shoulders for you to cry on. If you survived the week 15 chaos, congratulations on your championship berth, we knew you could do it! 

On this week’s show, B_Don and Donkey profile two more relative unknowns: Bills WR Isaiah McKenzie and 49ers RB Jeff Wilson. Find out if these two are worth rostering in 2019. The guys also discuss what to do with Melvin Gordon, Spencer Ware, Damien Williams and Jamaal Williams for the week 16 championship match ups. 

And of course it’s no surprise that week 15 provided plenty of A-holes of the week to choose from, B_Don rattles each of them off, giving them the credit they deserve. The show is rounded out by a lengthy segment of Sausage/Cheesehead/Ditka featuring Chris Carson, Derrick Henry, Calvin Ridley, Mike Williams, along with a few others. The holiday sausage is flowing, join the party! 

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Have you ever shared custody of a dog with an ex-spouse or girlfriend/boyfriend? Prayfully not, my goodmen, but surely you know some poor sod who takes part in this sad and pathetic lifestyle, someone you look down upon with shame as if they were a lower form of human life. As if they, well, you know, thought sharing a dog with an ex was a solid idea. If you didn’t know someone before, you do now!! ME, Beddict, former Commander and Chief of the Players club, himself, somehow buried in this game like a rotting  casket. How did we (me) get here? There is not enough battery left in my MacBook Air (Lap top in laymen terms), to tell that tale, and thank the Elders for that, but I’ll whack ya with a few deets, just in case you want to get your beak wet…..I don’t even know what that means. 

Anyway, I have five dogs total, two with my ex in Seattle, and three with my last girlfriend in New Orleans. NOLA won’t actually speak to me, either because she despises me, that or she’s being respectful to her strange new emo- King Fiancé. All I know, is that when I stalk her Instagram every night, I NEVER SEE MY BABY JILLIAN!!! I see the other two angels, but little Jillie bean is nowhere in sight…Hmmmm, anyway, I HAD five dogs scattered across the country like dust in the wind, six if you count the dog that was mine that I gave to my Mom 14 years ago. He was so handsome, I say, “WAS,” for he was tragically killed three weeks ago, ON MY BIRTHDAY, ruining my day and in a way, my life. So I suppose we’re back to five, four if Jillian is no longer among the breathing. This led to my first ex sweetly offering to “ALLOW” me to see our two dogs for a week or so, since she felt so awful about Q-ball being run over on my birthday and all. We weren’t on speaking terms so I thought this to be a truly grand gesture of kindness………Alas, life only allows pleasant emotions for short periods of time before ripping them out with rusty machete. One week turned into 10 days, and it also turned out that she was getting married and just had nowhere else to leave the dogs since they’re too old to be left at any kennel. Married to the friend zone king who had stalked her our entire relationship, you know the type. Shit, some of you probably are the type. For me to properly draft the proper amount of ratchetness involved would take the last remaining splinters of my soul, and that, guys/gals, is too much to ask. Even of me. 

What am I going on about? This is a fantasy sports website. But isn’t that why you love (Despise) me? Below are my thoughts on this past week’s NFL games. Take heed!

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