What. A. Mess. Have mercy on us, 2020. To anyone who owns or has ever owned a pet, or is a parent, you may have experienced a scenario much like the one I am about to lay out. You turn your back for a few minutes, heck, maybe even just a few seconds. Perhaps you had to take the garbage out, or quickly snuck away to take a shower, and left your furry friends unsupervised for a brief moment. Upon your return, you are shocked to find the stuffing of a destroyed pillow strewn about the room, or a box of tissues shredded throughout your home — maybe, for the most unfortunate of souls, even some poopy footprints scattered across the floor. That feeling is what Week 7 felt like, at least to me. We let our guard down for just a second, reclined on the couch to relax and enjoy a pleasant Sunday afternoon of football — and we returned to reality to find an array of crap flung all across our roster and, more importantly of course, the top 60 rest of season running back rankings. Sure, we didn’t see the high-caliber superstars do gown that we saw earlier in the season, but that’s more so because, well, there are only a few healthy ones left unscathed at the position as is.

Let’s run through it. Chris Carson. Kenyan Drake. Devonta Freeman. Phillip Lindsay. Thankfully, one previously injured back, Raheem Mostert, was replaced via a breakout from Jeff Wilson, who finished as Week 7’s RB1 with 31 half-PPR points. Oh, yeah. Right. INJURED. Out several weeks. Then we have the lingering injuries from Week 6 that are accompanied by just as much, if not more, uncertainty than the aforementioned names. Miles Sanders. Joe Mixon. Let’s go a degree deeper. Nick Chubb. Austin Ekeler. All of this, crumpled together one layer after another, has created arguably one of the most clouded RB groups in recent memory. Even the top 24 is incredibly weak, relatively speaking, at the tail end. It’s ugly — and it’s tough to project considering many of these injuries come with timetables of “several weeks.” Or “for a while.” I especially get a kick out of “some time” and wouldn’t be surprised to hear a head coach give a *shrug* followed by “beats me, man, you heard anything?”

In this week’s column, I’ll do my best to make sense of it all. The rest of my colleagues here at Razzball are doing an incredible job attempting to do the same at their own respective positional assignments, so be sure to check out all of our rest of season positional fantasy football rankings. Before I get to mine, let’s take a quick trip around the league.

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For a second week in a row Raheem Mostert dominated offensive snaps for the 49ers running back room, logging 73.7% (wk13) and 59.7% (wk14) snap share. Tevin Coleman ranked 3rd on the team in RB snap share following Matt Breida’s return from injury. Raheem handled 12 touches, over Breida’s 7 and Coleman’s 3. I’m not sure if Coleman is injured or Mostert and Breida are clearly the better option. Regardless, you can’t trust Coleman starting in any format for week 15 and most likely 16.

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You may think putting NFL players names next to a number 1-80 in an excel spreadsheet is easy but LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING!!!

It is.

Getting the right names… in the right order… slightly more difficult.

The toughest component I’ve found to establishing the rest of seasons rankings is deciphering current injury situations and how the reintegration of personnel will affect team’s offenses moving forward. With that in mind, this week I thought it would be more beneficial to detail some situations that are questionable, and some players in the top 30 with significant injury news.

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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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People can’t stop talking about the Arizona Cardinals. I’ve seen people refer to the Cardinals offense as the horizontal raid. I’ve seen people say the success is bubbling. I’ve seen people pointing to the schedule whilst saying, “September is hard, October is easy.” It seems that the expected range of outcomes remains as wide as ever. This variance in opinions has encouraged me to breakdown what I believe is happening and what the future looks like for the Arizona offense to lead off this week’s article.

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To avoid writing in-depth about the Kansas City Chiefs for a 4th week in a row, this week will focus on the 2nd highest projected point total, TB @ LAR.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Detroit Lions carries the highest point total for week 4 at 54.5. Another episode of Oprah Winfrey giving away TDs to everyone in the audience. Kerryon Johnson is a clear start after KC was torched by Mark Ingram, and the release of CJ Anderson. Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins, Kenny Golladay, and Marvin Jones Jr. are all starts this week. TJ Hockensen is a viable TE play, and Mecole Hardman/Demarcus Robinson remain flex plays. If Damien Williams is sidelined again, then Darrel Williams is a RB3/Flex with RB2 upside. Follow KC’s injury/practice reports regarding LeSean McCoy’s health status and Damien’s knee. Darwin Thompson remains only a deeper league bench stash, not worth rostering in most formats until his pathway to usage and opportunity increase.

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Week 1 and 2 Handcuff Reports hit on Raheem Mostert, Jamaal Williams, Chris Thompson and Rex Burkhead, so far this season. Handcuff values can fluctuate on a week-to-week basis and injuries are not the only influencers. Efficiency, usage and fumbling issues are additional indicators that can influence the rise of a ‘handcuff.’ The Week 3 Handcuff Report highlights a number of RB situations that need to be monitored heading into week 4 of the NFL season. Enjoy!

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