It is officially August and the Hall of Fame game is tonight! Football is definitely in the air. Earlier this week I covered what I will be doing in the first round of drafts, now it is time to move onto the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Of course, if anyone that I wrote about in the first installment slips through the cracks like an Urban Meyer cover up, I would take a stab at those names first. I don’t know what’s going on in your draft! I’m not there. All I can do is go off of ADP and my rankings and tell you who I like and don’t like. Let’s run through some names in the teens through the 30’s, shall we?

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With Training Camp about to be in full-swing, it’s a perfect opportunity to take a look at some key players that are entering their final year of a contract, looking to prove themselves to their team or multiple teams if they’re likely to hit free agency.

Contract negotiations and holdouts are as typical to fantasy owners as touchdowns and RBBC’s, so let’s take a look at some names you should keep in the back of your mind as you approach draft day.

Let’s get into it!

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If you drafted Jay Ajayi at the end of the first round in 2017, you probably thought that you got the steal of the draft. After week one, you were convinced. It was all down hill from there and if you were lucky, you swindled a hopeful league mate for a useful player. Ajayi was eventually traded to the Philadelphia Eagles and didn’t see double digit carries until the final three games of the season. It’s also tough to find the end zone when Legarrette Blount is the red zone back. 208 rushes and 1 touchdowns just isn’t going to cut it…

Legarrette Blount and his 40 red zone carries have left for Detroit. In fact, Ajayi didn’t see a single carry inside of the 5-yard-line in all of 2017. The Eagles ran 77% of their offense out of the shotgun and that is exactly the offense that Ajayi can be successful in. According to Warren Sharp, when the Eagles were in the lead, Ajayi averaged 8.6 yards per carry from shotgun and when trailing he averaged 4.6 yards per carry. Obviously, with more of a workload these averages are sure to regress. But, with more volume, comes more overall fantasy production.

Check out my pieces on Undraftable QuarterbacksLeonard FournetteDoug BaldwinUndraftable Running Backs, and Undraftable Wide Receivers.

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What’s going on everyone, and welcome back to the second post in a series I will be doing over the next few weeks, where I’ll be taking a look at each position’s “busts” from the year before (comparing their finish in standard leagues to their pre-season ADP data), to help us figure out what went wrong last year, and to see if they can bounce-back in 2018.

Today I’ll be taking a look at four running back busts that finished lower than their preseason ADP data would indicate their finishing position at the end of the year.

There weren’t a lot of “busts” this past year at the position as it was the year of the running backs, with many different value options finishing in the Top 20. However, there were still some disappointments, so let’s go over those guys now.

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I am back from my football blogging sabbatical and ready for the off season. I have no interest in this crumby Super Bowl, so I’m ready to dive right into the offseason. What better way to start than to review the 2017 season? There could have been stuff that you missed, you never know. Maybe something that you read in this will stick in your brain until your draft season in August. Will you remember which article you read it from? Probably not, It’s January.

I’m surprised you even clicked on this, you must be bored. What you will probably remember from my posts when your drafts roll around in August is my grotesque misunderstanding of English grammar. I’ll probably over use some commas, or not use enough commas. Do they teach 6th grade grammar at the local community college? Better yet, maybe you would prefer that I disperse of fantasy football knowledge through the use of emojis. That would be edgy, and no one has done it yet! (Simpsons did it!) Alright stop. I’m going to go through the quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends to let you know what stuck out to me this season. Today, let’s start with the quarterbacks and running backs.

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We are now more than two-thirds and less than three-quarters of the way through the NFL season (#math), which means your league should be right at its trading deadline as you try to shore up those running back slots for a playoff run. Making matters more interesting the last couple weeks were a bunch of injuries that should clear up some playing time for running backs who were either riding the bench or snoozing on the waiver wire. Like Samaje Perine, for example.

I liked Perine coming into the season for a number of reasons. The biggest was that I think Rob Kelley stinks, so I figured Perine would take over that job and keep it at some point. Kelley has been injured off an on for most of the season, and Perine has gotten some chances and not done much with them. But those were week-to-week situations, with Kelley lingering in the background as he got healthy, so you knew that Perine would have to get hot in order to keep the job. And even if he did, Kelley would probably still be there to vulture and eat into the share of touches.

But Kelley is gone now and was placed on injured reserve. Making matters more interesting, Chris Thompson, who was averaging roughly a gazillion fantasy points per game earlier this season by taking swing passes to the house, joined him on injured reserve on Tuesday. That leaves Samaje Perine all by his lonesome with all those touches. His backup, Byron Marshall, was on the Eagles practice squad last week and is nothing more than a third-down running back/wide receiver hybrid and return man.

The time has come for you to consider a Perine implant. In his first game as the dude, Perine put up 126 total yards and a touchdown. More importantly, he got 24 touches (23 carries and one reception) on Sunday, while Thompson seeing five before leaving with a fractured fibula. If you need a running back and can find that kind of volume on the waiver wire or in a trade that shouldn’t be very expensive (don’t overpay, but check in on his price), you have to pull the trigger.

If you have a solid team but are maybe one running back short of a real run, Perine could be your guy. Maybe you’re like me and have been alternating one spot between Bilal Powell, Matt Forte, Marlon Mack, and someone from the Seahawks all year. Perine can be our savior, guys.

Now, to the charts!

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The Eagles were on their bye week, so I took Sunday off from football this week. And by took Sunday off I mean I got up early to set my lineups and monitor the actives and inactives for FantasyPros, went to the movies with my wife around noon, and was back home by 3pm for the afternoon and evening games. That counts as taking the week off from football, right?

Two of the top four scoring running backs this week play for the Saints because it is that kind of year. Another one of them was Dion Lewis, one of the 14 running backs on the Patriots (depending on your scoring settings), who rushed for a touchdown and returned a kick for a touchdown. DeMarco Murray was the fourth guy on the list. Since I mentioned the other three, figured I might as well tell you who the other guy was.

Two other running backs making appearances in the upper tier of scorers in Week 10? Austin Ekeler and Corey Grant? Wut. Yup. Ekeler, who is the running back on the Chargers not named Melvin Gordon, rushed 10 times for 42 yards and added five catches for 77 yards and two touchdowns. Congrats to Ekeler’s mom, who finally cashed in on that FanDuel lineup that featured Austin Ekeler for like $1,800.

According to Google, Corey Grant is 25 years old, has the same birthday as my dog Young Money (different year), played college football at Auburn, and currently plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He also did this on Sunday:

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What is more surprising, that Corey Clement scored three touchdowns or that Corey Clement scored three touchdowns and wasn’t even the top scoring running back in Week 9? Yeah, I guess the first one, but the second part is pretty interesting too. Alvin Kamara scored two touchdowns of his own and added six catches and over 150 yards from scrimmage to eek out the top running back spot for the week.

Kamara is finally helping Saints fans forget about Darren Sproles and appears to be the perfect compliment to Mark Ingram in New Orleans. Despite the handcuff label, as I have discussed with a few readers in the past few weeks, Kamara is still valuable in fantasy, especially in PPR formats. The Saints have made it pretty clear since their bye week that they want to get the ball into the talented young running back’s hands and are carving about 15+ touches for him each week. And it is working, so don’t expect them to go away from it anytime soon.

In Philadelphia, Clement scored three touchdowns in a week where many wondered if he would even be active on gameday with the addition of Jay Ajayi. With Zach Ertz a late scratch, all of Philly’s running backs were active, even Wendell Smallwood. However, don’t get used to Clement finding so much success and that many touches going forward. The Eagles are on a bye this week and will have had two more weeks to get Jay Ajayi up to speed. While Clement will probably be active over the forgotten Wendell Smallwood, most of the touches are going to go to Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount. This tweet would say otherwise, but remember this was a blowout in Philly:

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November 1, 2017 @ 1:30 PM: Me: have Dak Prescott and Deshaun Watson on my team. Decide to shop Prescott to a rival league member who was struggling with Jameis Winston and Philip Rivers as his QBs.

November 1, 2017 @ 1:52 PM: Trade is accepted to send Prescott to other team member.

November 1, 2017 @ 2:04 PM: Text exchange with another league member:

November 2, 2017 @ 4:12 PM: Reports: Watson was limited in practice due to a sore knee. “lol”

November 2, 2017 @ 4:53 PM: Early reports: Watson might have torn his ACL, season possibly over. “lol”

November 2, 2017 @ 5:27 PM: Reports confirmed. Watson has torn his ACL and is done for the season. “lol”

November 3, 2017 @ 3:00 PM: Trade is processed. “lol…”

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What’s going on everyone, and welcome to Week 9! This past few days have been absolutely crazy in the NFL, and have definitely shaken up a few things, so if you want to know how all of these moves could impact your fantasy team, be sure to check out MB’s fantastic article breaking everything down for you.

Let’s get to Week 9!

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