Ty Johnson was able to clear concussion protocol and suit up after carrying a questionable tag all week, but it was the Lions practice squad acquisition that led this backfield on Sunday against the Cowboys. Bo Scarbrough found the field for 49% of the Lions offensive snaps, leading both Ty Johnson (29%) and JD McKissic (23%), and looked good while doing it. Bo handled 74% of the Lions running back carries (14), and finished the day with 55 yards, 1TD, and 11.5 fantasy points. If the Lions did not fall behind in the second half, Scarbrough would have padded his stats a little more. The Lions turned to JD McKissic in the passing game, recording 3 receptions on 4 targets, with Bo recording 0 targets while the Lions were playing catch-up. Ty Johnson was an afterthought, taking his 2 carries for a measly 6 yards, making Bo one of the top adds this week. McKissic still offers low-end value in deeper PPR formats, but Ty Johnson can be dropped in most 12-team and small leagues.

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I know the climb has been brutal for you, as it has for us all. This past Sunday my eyes froze over as I watched many of my teams drop under .500 for the first time. As I write this, I am enduring Jason Witten hand me a loss one excruciating 3 yard catch after another. This section of the season is the darkest grind when the post-draft excitement has long worn off but the playoffs are still far away. Injuries and bye massacres come for us all, but it’s how we respond that defines us.

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Mattison made the handcuff report back in the pre-season as a premium handcuff, and needs to be rostered by all Dalvin Cook owners heading down the stretch of the fantasy football regular season. Barely on the field for a quarter of the Vikings offensive snaps (26.4%), Mattison’s athletic ability was still on full display. The Vikings are giving Mattison the ball when he is on the field, touching the ball 78.9% percent of his snaps compared to Dalvins 54.9%. In week 8, Alexander took 13 carries for 61 yards, averaging 4.7 yards per carry, and now averaging 4.9 ypc on the season. If anything were to happen to Cook, Mattison is fully capable of producing in our fantasy lineups in an offense built around the run. The Vikings rank 3rd in the NFL in rushing attempts per game (32.9). Mattison is averaging 10.8 touches per game over the past 4 weeks, if he is able to find the field for more than 26% of the offensive snaps he’ll start to flirt with weekly flex value.

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A clash of the top two NFL quarterbacks in total pass attempts and two offenses that rank in the top 10 of receiving yards per game. We are set for a treat in the early slate this Sunday, when the Los Angeles Rams make the cross country trip to the A-T-L to face the dirty birds- the Atlanta Falcons. Matt Ryan leads the NFL in pass attempts with 258, followed by the visiting team QB Jared Goff with 246. Let the fantasy fireworks commence….

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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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The entire Jets offense was giddy when Sam Darnold strolled into the locker-room Sunday carrying his vintage Coca-Cola bottle. After four weeks of quarantine with the kissing disease, Darnold was ready to play games with his favorite group of guys. First, the young QB locked eyes with Robby Anderson (5 catches for 125 yards and his 1st touchdown) for a juicy 92 yard score. Next he played touch and squeeze with Ryan Griffin (3 catches for 28 yards and his 1st touchdown). Even Le’Veon Bell (14 carries for 50 yards and his 2nd touchdown) snuck into the circle and gave the bottle a twirl. Sammy Big D went 23/32 for 338 yards and 2 touchdowns in his triumphant return as the Jets upset the Cowboys. Anyway, here’s what else I saw during yesterday’s late games in fantasy football:

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Another week, another chance for us to tinker with our lineups and make the right decisions, thanks to the many great contributors and rankers here on the site.

With more and more teams separating themselves on both sides of the ball, we’re also figuring out who will end up being great fantasy picks, and bad fantasy picks by the end of the season. But for now, let’s talk about some players who have some great matchups, and those who don’t.

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Your body hurts and your lungs sting with every breath of freezing air. I know that many days you regret this adventure. Like that one time you benched DJ Chark, or when you blew the top waiver priority on Wayne Gallman. It can get bleak on the mountain, I won’t lie about that.

There is excitement in the challenge, however. Even if you’re winless and feel like you’ve lost your way, don’t give up. I am old enough to have seen 0-5 teams advance to a championship. Each week a new puzzle presents itself, and we just need to solve one at a time.

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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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Chris Godwin could only watch hopelessly last week as Mike Evans gave Jameis Winston some of his family’s secret man meat and then went on to catch 3 touchdowns. After the game, having seen the way to Winston’s heart, Godwin immediately went to work on a wurst recipe of his own. We’ll never know exactly how it went down when Godwin presented his juicy wiener to Jameis in the locker room early Monday morning. What we do know is, Chris Godwin reclaimed his position atop Winston’s best friends list receiving 14 targets against the Rams which he turned into 12 catches for 172 yards and his 3rd and 4th touchdowns. What will Mike Evans (4 catches for 89 yards and his 4th touchdown) put in his quarterbacks’ mouth next week to regain the favor of Jameis Winston (28/41 for 385 yards and 4 touchdowns)? Stay tuned! Anyway, MB covered yesterday’s early games but here’s what else I saw in the late games for fantasy football:

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