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If you missed my article last week, I broke down the difference between a traditional handcuff and a scheme based/premium handcuff. Also, I highlighted a few premium handcuffs that you should consider on draft day. If you missed it, check it out here.. Baby, I’m more than just a handcuff. Today our focus moves towards traditional handcuffs.

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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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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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It feels just like yesterday that I was writing pre-season articles for you. Now, we are facing the last week(s) of the fantasy football regular season. While we are all getting stuffed on side-dishes (because we all know turkey is just taking up space on our plate), we have crucial decisions to make regarding our rosters. What is your favorite thanksgiving dish?

This week, due to the holiday, I’ll keep it brief and get straight to this weeks culprits. We have a few backfield situations worth monitoring…

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Jimmy Graham, Thumb: After the notification went out that Graham broke his thumb in week 11 I think all of his owners threw their phones against the wall. Then a second notification went off saying Graham is going to try and play through it we all picked up our shattered phones confused. It’ll be interesting to see what type of metal claw the Packers medical staff rigs up to make Graham able to play. I hope it looks like Clay Matthews’s club hand with fake tape finger claws. My take: Won’t play. At least for this first week I don’t think he’ll be in the lineup until the Packers rebuild him. They have the technology.

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Would you believe me if I told you during the preseason that James Conner, Javorius Allen, Austin Ekeler, TJ Yeldon, Nyheim Hines, and Latavius Murray would be top 25 running backs in PPR leagues heading in to week 9? No, and I would love to see an expert that had any ranked that high. The overall state of the running back position in fantasy is one for its own article. Unless you went RB heavy during your draft, we should change our expectations for RB 2’s and flex RBs.

With the amount of teams deploying an RBBC (running back by committee) the value for the backup running back exceeds more than just a ‘handcuff.’ You will hear that rostering your handcuff is not worth it but the names above would say otherwise. Even though some of the players below are not sexy acquisitions don’t let that prevent you from insuring your team for the championship run. Keep this in mind as you question if you should roster a Giovani Bernard or Nyheim Hines. There is value in owning your handcuff even if they are the clear #2.

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Readers, I am a hot little potato this morning. I decided to dabble in a little offshore gambling this past weekend as I sometimes do. You know what? My day was going pretty well. The Panthers covered in a pretty worry-free affair. The Cardinals marched down and scored a game winning touchdown on the final drive. I’m sitting at 2-0 thinking that there is no way that I am getting to 3-0 because I laid 7.5 points and took the Rams. All of a sudden, the Packers fumble the kick off with two minutes to go in the fourth quarter. I have life! The Rams have the ball at the 20 and the best running back in football. The Packers best chance of getting the ball back is letting Gurley walk in the end zone and hope for a missed extra point. 

The first two plays were dumb reverses and now all of a sudden, it is 3rd down with just under a minute to go. The Rams snap it and toss the ball to Todd Gurley with blockers ahead of him. Gurley busts through the first ten yards, the play is looking good. Gurley is outrunning everybody and has a clear path to the end zone that he makes 10 out of 10 times. He stops. Right at the damn 5 or so yard line. My heart sinks. It’s the smartest football play he could’ve made. But C’MON GURLEY! Pad those stats and pad my wallet in the process. Team players aren’t good for fantasy or gambling, folks. I’ll take my fury out on these game review takes. 

Be sure to check out our most popular tool, the trade analyzer. You like to trade? Rudy would love to help! It’s free, comprehensive, and simple to use. 

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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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Absconding in solitude to a Southern Colorado cave for the past two weeks, I pondered the universe, those delicious Totino’s pizza rolls, and of course, the next great buy for your fantasy football team. Entranced in the depths of transcendental meditation that would make The Buddha blush, two syllables appeared in the ether over and over. Tre – Quan, Tre – Quan, Tre – Quan. The universe has spoken and Tre’Quan Smith must be acquired at once. The third round rookie out of Central Florida is a WR4 for now, but top 20 WR numbers for the rest of this season are well within the realm of possibilities with Ted Ginn out for the year. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy football:

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