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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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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2019 was not the most spectacular class of rookies to enter the NFL. In fact, multiple times, I’ve said that the running back class is the weakest we’ve seen in the last decade with the possible exception of 2010. As history shows us with rookies, it is not always the first ones drafted that make the biggest impact in fantasy. While Saquon obviously ran away with the 2018 rookie class MVP, the 2nd leading rusher of the group was the undrafted Phillip Lindsay.

When evaluating rookies, every analyst uses some combination of talent and opportunity, and I tend to lean more toward the talent side of those. Situation can change, and while players can improve, I tend to trust my evaluations in their skills.

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It’s no secret, Donkey likes em young. There’s just something about the trusting innocence in those big soft rookie eyes which can’t be matched by an old weathered veteran. And fantasy sports are all about having fun; what’s more fun than drafting the youngster your buddies have never heard of and watching the kid grow into a superstar on your fantasy team as your closest friend cries their self to sleep while clutching the last place penis trophy?

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One of my favorite movie scenes is an obscure moment in Batman (1989) where Grissom is talking to his associate Jack Napier (pre Joker transformation). They are in a deserted office and Grissom, Napier’s boss, is telling him about why he was chosen for an important job. Grissom grips him by the shoulders and hisses “you’re my…numbah one…guuyyy”. It’s both creepy and awesome. I feel like I am telling this to each and every player on a weekly basis as I slide them into my lineup.

Since I am in an all time high 18 fantasy football leagues this year, I have a lot of guys. But only a select few have the honor of being so cherished by me that I have invested heavily. These leagues range from a long running standard redraft to  startup 2 QB superflex PPR devy league and everything in between. Because of this, some draft strategies have been different than others, but overall I clearly have some soft spots for certain players.  If you like reading about other people’s fake football teams, proceed!

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