Week 2 is almost in the books with only a Monday Night Football tilt between the Browns and Jets remaining. A couple of star running backs had scares over the weekend, and few week 1 handcuffs produced. Don’t get caught with your pants down and avoid the risk of a league-mate snagging up a starting backup. Let’s jump right in to this week’s handcuff report.

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The pronounced offseason ‘champs’ lose 43-13, the quarterback that ‘can’t pass’ tosses 5 touchdowns for over 300yds passing, the defending NFC champs win 30-27 without a starting skill player scoring a touchdown, and former 1st round ‘bust’ WR goes for 158 yds and 2 TDs. Can we get an Allelujah? The NFL is back.

Unfortunately, along with all of the excitement that was brought in week 1, plenty of angst was brought upon starting fantasy rosters. Each week, the handcuff report will highlight key running back waiver acquisitions or necessary watch list candidates. Bench spots are fluid and managing who to add each week is critical in any quest to fantasy football glory. Let’s get started with the bad boyz of week 1….

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We are less than 3 weeks from the start of the NFL season. Redraft leagues are in full swing and Razzball is here to help you dominate. If you haven’t signed up for the 2019 Razzball Fantasy Football subscription to gain access to our tools and league-winning projections, try us out with our 7-day free trial.

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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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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Welcome! Welcome! To an elite club, an exclusive group, of individuals whose fantasy football skills reign supreme over their peers. Now is the time to showcase your prowess and claim your seat on the pigskin throne. Let us put fear in the eyes of our enemies as we encounter our first foe in our championship quest.

Today I cover my take on the multiple running back handcuffs that will see starting duties this weekend. Unfortunately, as we enter the first round of the playoffs, we are down a few heavy hitters, that have carried us to this point. James Conner, Kareem Hunt, Melvin Gordon, and Matt Breida are a few of the studs that will be missed. If you have followed along all season then you have built your bench depth adequately to compete for a championship. Hopefully, some of these players below can come to our rescue.

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If you are reading along this week then it means one of two things; A) you are still alive in your fantasy football league or B) you have really enjoyed following my pieces all season long. My brain says option A but my heart wants to believe option B. After a couple of quiet weeks, we have a lot of meat on the bone today. If you have not been following along all season, please pick up your studs handcuff heading in to the playoffs. Exhibit-A: Melvin Gordon. I am angry with the Chargers and how they handled their star RB but let’s have that conversation elsewhere. The main point here is to not get caught with your pants down.

I will jump straight in to the Bad Boyz of week 13, enjoy!

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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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Week 11 is upon us and another heavy bye week for us to manage with 6 teams on bye. Luckily, week-12 is the last of the byes with just two teams off.

Only one new name to talk about this week, but we’ll touch on a couple of repeat offenders that are worth updating. Since it is a light week, I start you with a few nuggets heading in to your playoffs. Let’s win you a championship or at least some money if your league pays more than first place.

All of you fall in to one of the following buckets: playoff spot locked up, fighting/jockeying for a final spot, or no chance at all. If you are fighting to lock up a playoff spot, you need to win now and dominate your weekly matchups. The focus is on finding every extra fantasy point you can grab. Is there a better defensive matchup for you to stream? What about a kicker? Maybe even a better QB matchup if you are juggling middle tier QBs on your roster. I’ve seen players like Marcus Mariota, Carson Wentz, Russel Wilson and somehow Mitchel Trubisky pop on waivers as league-mates manage byes. Dak Prescott has a couple of nice matchups down the stretch. If you have a bench warmer that has not or will not hit your starting lineup this season then you should not hesitate dropping him. If it means getting better for a one week matchup then make the move. This needs to be your mentality as we head down the stretch. Scratching and crawling for every point to lock up your final playoff spot.

If you are lucky enough to have a playoff spot locked up then you need to take advantage of the luxuries that come along with it. Do not fall asleep at the wheel. You have worked your tail off to get to this point.  My nuggets for you– grab your handcuff now and pick up a defense with a juicy week 14, 15, or 16 matchup. If you know you are getting a bye then only focus on the weeks you will be playing. Even if it is just a nice one week matchup. Don’t worry about having a defense that has a sweet matchup this week. Does it really matter if you finish 3 or 4th seed if you know you are going to make it either way?

Here are a couple of defenses that have plus matchups: Steelers vs Oak (WK14,) Texans vs Jets (WK15), Bills vs NYJ & DET (WK14,15), Titans vs NYJ, JAX, NYG, & WSH (WK13-14-15-16). I really like the Titans D heading down the stretch and they are on waivers this week with a matchup against Andrew Luck and the Colts.

If you fall in the last bucket and have no chance, don’t give up. It is your goal to ruin someones playoff hopes. Is anything more demoralizing than finishing last in your fantasy league? Do you have an embarrassing punishment for finishing last? Don’t let that be you.

I will wrap this up and get to your names. As noted before, reviewing your leagues transaction history is crucial. Look ahead to your playoff schedule and defensive matchups. Can you leverage a trade to bolster a weak spot on your roster come playoff time. This is the last week for trades in most leagues. Drop dead weight and pick up your handcuff.

Boom, let’s go! Here are your week 11 Bad Boyz…

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I apologize for not being able to write an Ambulance Chasers last week — I was questionable going into Wednesday when I write this article, but it quickly turned to doubtful as the day went on. I tried going to my big boy job, but had to leave early Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I’m unfortunately and nerdily allergic to cough/cold medicines so every time I get sick it hits really hard and I just have to ride it out.

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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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