Kerryon Johnson was ruled out during Sunday’s bout against the Minnesota Vikings with a reported knee injury. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Monday that Kerryon is expected to miss a couple of weeks. Ty Johnson led the backfield in snaps on Sunday and will be this weeks top RB waiver add. JD McKissic, who was slightly more efficient with his touches than Ty, is a speculative add in deeper formats and for RB needy owners in PPR leagues. If Kerryon’s injury is longer than 1-2 weeks, don’t be surprised to see the Lions make an acquisition at the running back position. Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount are names to watch, unless the Lions make a trade with another NFL team. Both Ajayi and Blount have had workouts for other NFL teams in recent weeks. Either would be worth a bench stash if acquired. Kerryon and the Lions running game has underwhelmed this season, tied for the 11th worst in the league in yards per rush attempts (3.8) and 14th worst in yards per game. Unless you own Kerryon or have huge holes at the RB position, I would not waste top waiver priority position OR blow my FAAB money. We know Ty Johnson is expected to take over the #1 spot, but there is too much uncertainty. The Lions could make an acquisition or decide to treat the backfield like a true RBBC with McKissic, until Kerryon returns.

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As weekly fantasy standings continue to shift up and down; some owners are sitting atop their standings feeling good about a playoff run, some are in the thick of it where every week is one win away from a healthy spot in the standings or one loss away from the bottom, and lastly some owners are fighting to avoid their fantasy punishment. Regardless of position, preparing yourself for future matchups and protecting your assets down the stretch are vital to your chances of a deep playoff run OR avoiding punishment. Nearing the halfway mark of the NFL season, waivers are thin with starting caliber talent but are rich with valuable handcuffs that need to be owned. Let’s take a look at this weeks handcuff report…

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Opening the week as the highest over/under of the season at 55.5, HOU @ KC now sits as the tied-for-2nd highest point total in 2019 at 55. A clash between offenses that rank #4 (KC) and #9 in points per game. Poorly buried by the NFL in the early slate of games, everyone get their popcorn ready early this Sunday. Both teams rank in the top 10 in total offensive plays ran this season, #3 KC and #8 HOU, and find their way onto this weeks shootout game preview.

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In a perfect world: there would be no need for handcuff and injury reports, starting backs never lose their job, nor get injured. If there ever was a week that emulated this world, we lived it in week 5. Instead of implosions and injuries, week 5 was filled with fantasy explosions. The first couple of weeks have turned into preseason-esque football: poor performances and athletes getting in “game shape” are the new norm to start the NFL season. October is here and the football that was expected has arrived.

The week 5 fantasy gods were kind to us, avoiding any major injuries to starting running backs. Just because there were no injuries or any major handcuff to report on, it does not mean we get to take our foot off the gas. Now is the time for owners to secure their handcuff and prepare for the end of the fantasy season, as owners give up on under performing handcuffs that were over-drafted. Look for players like Rashaad Penny, Ito Smith, Tony Pollard, Malcolm Brown, Alexander Mattison, Latavius Murray, and Jaylen Samuels to be dropped this week. If you own any of their respective starting backs, you want to make sure you secure your insurance policy before it’s too late and before the price increases.

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The real question, who do we not start in this AFC playoff preview? BAL @ KC carries the highest line heading into week 3. Both teams making their second appearance in the weekly Shootout vs Blowout preview, and now fans get the pleasure of viewing both teams on the same field. If you like money, please put a couple of cash DFS lineups together with BAL/KC players sprinkled throughout.

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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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This AFC Divisional bout is slated as the highest point total in week 2. Initially opening on Monday morning as the 2nd highest point total. But following Oaklands offensive display on prime-time Monday Night Football against a loaded defensive Denver team, Vegas bumped the line on the KC/OAK matchup to the top dog. Passing up the 2017 NFC championship re-match, NO @ LAR.

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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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A few years ago, my brother entered a team into a $1 daily fantasy league with around 56,000 people taking part. He entered several other teams into other leagues, some of which required a $20 entry, some $10, and so on.

By Monday night, all but one of his teams were out of the running. But in that $1 league, he wasn’t just in the money. He was in first place. And though he admittedly did his research with all of the lineups, that $1 team was more of a “gut” team, where he just kind of went against the most obvious choices, stacked Russell Wilson (5 TDs) and Doug Baldwin (3 TDs), had a vintage AP performance (158 yards, 2 TDs), got production from role players (29.6 pts from Brandon Marshall, 17 points from CIN DST), and the rest was history. A couple days later, he was $12,000 richer, and he’s been an advocate of going with his gut feeling ever since.

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We’ve reached the third installment of my preseason handcuff reports. If you missed them you can check them out here: Baby, I’m more than just a handcuff  +  Why do we Handcuff?

We are in the thick of redraft season and the “dress rehearsal” pre-season games are this week. This means we are only 2 preseason weeks away from regular season football. Can we get a “hell yeah?”

{Editor’s Note: Hell yeah!}

There are already a number of clear handcuff situations that need to be addressed heading into your draft day. Let’s jump right in, starting with the highest priority handcuffs…

ADP numbers in parentheses are from fantasypros.com consensus data, compiled from all of the top fantasy sites. 

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