playoffs

If you are reading this, congratulations. And I don’t say that just because you are fortunate enough to be reading one of my articles. If you are reading a fantasy football article in Week 14, it is likely because you are in the playoffs and still have a reason to care about your team and your lineup. So, congratulations. I mean it. To those of you who didn’t make the playoffs: see you in hell, candy boys! This is, unfortunately, the last Handcuff Report of the year. It has been a great ride, but we are wrapping things up as the fantasy playoffs begin!

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At some point, we’re going to get old. Technically, some of us are already there (children of the 80’s unite!). Okay, we’re not that old, but age is probably subjective anyways. And before I give myself an existential crisis, the point I’m trying to make is that Fantasy Sports might be one of those things that don’t have a shelf life. But this season has made me question that conclusion more than usual. I mean, sure, there are things we can do to spice up the experience. Like Craigslist and sex, maybe we’d pay attention more if money is involved, thus, the evolution of money leagues. DFS is, of course, an offshoot. But with NFL’s noticeable ratings drop this year, talk of rearranging when commercials are shown (haha, dream on), the retiring of Thursday Night Football (naw, Jags vs. Titans is always a good idea!) have been some of the things discussed internally. But time is a flat circle, maaaaaaan, so I wouldn’t expect much of anything the NFL does to change. The officiating has been garbage, the penalties for celebrations is an infringement on my right to not eye-roll infinitely. And really, whatever that was on Sunday Night Football last night, which was flexed!… It’s almost as if they aren’t even trying. (Can’t quite tell if I’m talking about the NFL or the Panthers.) The Chargers lost, but I think you already knew that based on this lede, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be mopey. What’s that? Westworld won’t be back on until 2018? Okay. Time to burn this motherf*cker down!

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markingram

It’s Week 13, which means we are heading into the fantasy playoffs soon. I know that because my readership has dwindled the last two weeks, as many fantasy owners have been eliminated from the playoffs and are throwing in the towel. But that’s OKAY. That just means we can be more serious and a bit more intimate now. It’s just me and you, playoff hopefuls.

Heading into this week, Tim Hightower was a name to watch because Mark Ingram was still in the concussion protocol and was questionable to play. If Ingram couldn’t go, Hightower was going to be a high-end flex/RB2 to throw into lineups before they locked on Sunday. But word came out on Sunday morning that Ingram was going to play, so many likely left Hightower on the bench or on the waiver wire.

But something funny happened. It didn’t matter that Ingram played. Ingram and Hightower combined for three touchdowns and almost 300 yards, with Hightower accounting for 51 rushing yards, 54 receiving yards, and one of the touchdowns. Although, Hightower’s final stat line would look a bit different if not for the late 50-yard touchdown pass from wide receiver Willie Snead. If Hightower can keep producing even with a healthy Ingram, he can help out some of the needier fantasy owners come playoff time.

To the report…

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rawls

If you are like me and drafted Thomas Rawls in August but managed to stay patient and hang onto him until now, take a bow. I’ll bow with you. September and October were some dark times, my friends, but here we are. Rawls is the top dog in Seattle, and it looks like it will stay that way for the rest of the season now that Christine Michael got shipped out of town and C.J. Prosise is hurt. We did it, guys.

Prosise ran for a 72-yard touchdown in the first quarter on Sunday, but he left the game in the second quarter. It was pretty much all Rawls for the rest of the game, with a little bit of Troymaine Pope (who also got hurt). The Seahawks getting rid of Christine Michael meant they were ready to roll with Prosise and Rawls as their top guys and that they were confident Rawls would be healthy and effective. Now that Prosise is out of the picture, it’s all Rawls, baby.

Rawls rushed 14 times for 57 yards (4.1 YPC) and added three catches for 31 yards, giving him 88 total yards on the day. Heading into the fantasy playoffs, getting an every down back like Rawls into your lineup could be just what your team needs to get that extra edge (I know my team, where I went zero RB and took Rawls as my RB1 LATE, is sitting pretty now that I have him back). The best part about the Prosise injury* is that it means Rawls will see more action on passing downs. They will find a way to spell him here and there, but Rawls should be an every down back going forward and should catch his fair share of passes.

Things change quickly in the NFL, and it seems like just last week we were excited about the idea of a Prosise-Rawls backfield combination. But this week was about much more than Thomas Rawls and how happy we all are to have him back.

To the report. . .

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Granted, there are many times when the lede’s topic is about the Sunday Night Football game, but sometimes I like to shake things up a bit. If only because there some really annoying things about it, ranging from Cris Collinsworth not taking a vacation in Syria, to the lazy, league approved narratives for everything, all the way to being reminded that NBC’s dramas are still being made. So sometimes, I just need a breather, ya know? And plus, if there’s an opportunity to make fun of the a Jeff Fisher led team, you know I’m going to take it, no questions asked. If you’re new to the site, I’ll give you a brief synopsis of my own personal feelings towards Fisher. You know how the words “winless” and “undefeated” exist? There should be a word for “being two games under .500”, and I think that word should be: JeffFisher. Here, let’s put it in a sentence: “People keep saying that Todd Gurley is regressing to the JeffFisher, but I really just think it’s because the offense is sh*t.” And now we have the first career game from Jared Goff, and it looked about as bad as we were expecting. And I gotta tell you, I lived in Los Angeles for almost five years… this is not the best way to grow a fan base. Not only is Fisher challenging the patience of Rams fans, but also men’s hair fashions. And also my ability to come up with a third thing, but I think you get the point…

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It was finally nice to see some great prime time football for once last week! Seahawks versus the  Patriots was an absolutely fitting battle where the Seahawks flipped the script of their Super Bowl XLIX defeat, and Bengals vs. Giants was a tight game until the end. It would’ve been nice to see a bit more flash on Monday Night Football with stars like Odell Beckham Jr., A.J. Green, and Tyler Eifert on the field, but viewers and fantasy owners can’t be too disappointed with how things turned out. Even though we didn’t see much in the way of explosive, flashy plays, wasn’t Beckham’s rendition of Thriller beautiful to watch at least? Last week I wrote about the good ole’ days of football where touchdown celebrations used to make the games better, so the fact that he didn’t get flagged made it all the better. After briefly speaking about the celebration in his post game interview, Beckham got me thinking when he mentioned he was inspired by Conor McGregor’s UFC 205 victory. How ironic is it that Beckham, one of the feeblest minds in the NFL, can be inspired by Conor McGregor, one of our generation’s most prolific trash talkers? I mean, just imagine if Conor was a cornerback slotted to go against Beckham. How many plays do you think it takes for it to escalate to the Josh Norman level of 2015? Two? Three? Either way, I’m sure his fantasy owners don’t care who inspires him as long as he keeps producing. Now it’s time to look at this week, where I take you through all the guys that should be inspiring you to start them.

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If there was any question at all as to who was in command of the Seattle backfield until Thomas Rawls returns, C.J. Prosise answered with a swift and precise Dolemite style backhand. Last Sunday against the Patriots he not only dominated the carries (17 to just 5 for Christine Michael) he was a monster in the red zone, as he toted the rock six times inside the 20-yard line – including five times inside the 10. He’s clearly carved out a relevant role within Pete Carroll’s offense. Now, if you want to poke holes in this theory, be my guest – he averaged less than three yards per carry in the red zone. There, I teed it up for you. Regardless about how you feel about Prosise going forward just remember this: He caught all seven targets he saw in Week 10, totaling 87 yards. In my opinion, what we have here is at worst a PPR factor and at best someone who can propel you to the fantasy playoffs. I’ll take that one hundred percent of the time. This week he’ll square off against the Philadelphia defense and by no means is that an easy assignment. The Eagles rank 12th in the league in rushing yards allowed, giving up 100.6 per game. They’ve only surrendered 4 rushing touchdowns this season, but that’s okay as I’m not wavering from my Prosise recommendation this week. With the release of Christine Michael and Thomas Rawls’ effectiveness still in question, Prosise is in for what should amount to a sizeable workload. And as mentioned above, he should produce serious dividends in the passing game this week. Because as we all know, opportunity usually equals volume for feature backs.

Here’s a look at a few more of my favorite passing and rushing matchups for Week 11:

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C.J. Prosise rushes against the New England Patriots

If you played your cards right, 2016 may have been one of the best seasons ever to roll with a zero RB strategy in your draft. Not only have there been a litany of running back committees utilized across the league, but legitimate RB1s and RB2s have been emerging all year. Take a look at this list: Jordan Howard, Devontae Booker, Spencer Ware, C.J. Prosise, Robert Kelley. Those guys were all either not drafted at all or were taken later in drafts as a handcuff or dice roll option (I actually drafted Booker in one league but dropped him after a few weeks because I need the roster spot. D’oh!).

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red-dead-redemption-2

Greetings! Well, well, well, what has the doctor pulled out of the musty pudenda of FantasyPros, but yet another Lord Beddict top-five finish. I do this not to gloat (NEVER!), but to enlighten you to the fact that this is all not just some game to me. I take the NFL more seriously than I now take the risk of getting and/or giving STD’s, and if you’ve witnessed my unsheathed rapier, then certainly you’d know that it’s first coated in layer of hand sanitizer, then swaddled with saran wrap, fitted in sausage casing, followed by a bubble wrapping and a blue whale magnum, all before crevice entry. But, honestly, I have loved this sport immensely for more years than I care to count, and as my hair greys and my forehead wrinkles, it gives me some (very little) peace of mind knowing that my brobdingnagian love of the sport finally paid some dividend in my life. And to think, I’ve been waking up in cold sweats in the middle of a nightmare where I’m just falling into nothing, screaming at the top of my lungs in terror, asking myself why I’ve wasted so many hours of my life on this meaningless shit. Waking up to text my therapist, begging her to help me find some purpose in this life before being hit by a semi-truck on my five thousand dollar bike or having my penis and scrotum ripped to many, many, large pieces by a great white shark. But it seems all those what I thought were useless hours, I could have spent focusing on my real job, saving relationships or just living a decent life, actually paid off in a major way. What a time to be alive.

I am Tehol Beddict and this is Disgrace/Delight. Take Heed!!!

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Chicago Bears wide receiver Cameron Meredith (81) is tackled by Miami Dolphins linebacker Spencer Paysinger (42) during the second half of an NFL preseason football game in Chicago, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

The Bears have been trash this season. Now they have a possible Jordan Howard injury and an Alshon Jeffery suspension which creates a FAAB spending opportunity. I can’t say for certain whether we should pick up Bears running backs Jeremy Langford or Ka’deem Carey because I can’t say whether Howard is injured. My take on whether John Fox is truthful is “Nah, he ain’t ever been”. I’m with Howard on this one and that means the Jeffery suspension is our primary interest. It puts at least two players in the spotlight, Cameron Meredith and Eddie Royal. Marquess Wilson is also interesting if he’s going to play. Time to look at the waiver wire and spend some FAAB.

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