With most fantasy leagues entering their Championship Sunday in week 16, we will only focus on running back situations that warrant start consideration. Starting running backs that will enter this Sunday 100% healthy, their traditional handcuff can be dropped to waivers to make better use of bench spots. Blocking your opponent, from adding a better defense or a starting caliber player at the QB and skill position (WR/TE/RB), is a tactic the most competitive and cut-throat players deploy. If your league plays to week 17, you will want to pay extra attention to the names below. Congratulations to everyone that made it to their championship game or are fighting for 2nd/3rd place prize pools.

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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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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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You see the struggles of the Cleveland Browns. You see the incompetence of Freddie Kitchens. You see the public turning on Baker Mayfield.

I beg of you. Please don’t sell Odell Beckham Jr.

The list of wide receivers in the last 2 years who finished top 10 in targets and top 5 in overall air yards that didn’t finish in the top 10 of fantasy football wide receivers is blank. Beckham is currently tied for 9th in targets per game among wide receivers. He is 5th in overall air yards. He is currently the 22nd rated WR in PPR. It is incredibly unlikely with the usage he is receiving, even factoring in a poor schedule, that OBJ doesn’t end the year as a WR1. Do not bail! In the interest of full disclosure I predicted Beckham as my fantasy MVP in the pre-season so I’m going down with this ship, but I’ve provided a really compelling argument to go along with my bias!

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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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I thought in this week’s lede I would further detail my general process for breaking down NFL games. There are a million different approaches, but to be successful everyone needs to find a method and refine it constantly. My process for breaking down games starts with taking the entire slate and checking the injury report prior to moving to line of scrimmage. This is where significant edges are found even in today’s game. I check pressure rates, adjusted line yard data, and articles pertaining to the big guys to find if there is a significant advantage terms of pass rush, or the ability to run the football. If there is an advantage at the line of scrimmage positively, we must ensure we are working in a game environment in which the coach that has the advantage will take the edge. Alternatively, if the edge is a negative, is the quarterback/coach intelligent and talented enough to beat it? The final step is to compare the current secondary using success rates, target rates, yards allowed per target, etc. versus the talent and scheme in the passing game. That information is again tied back to if the coach and quarterback are talented enough to take advantage. Essentially, what I provide to you are the most important notes found in breaking down the individual games and looking at players statistics for the entire seasons. Here are those edges for week 4.

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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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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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Do you hear it? The banter between Terry Bradshaw and Jimmy Johnson on Fox NFL Sunday, the sound of ESPN alerts notifying last minute active/inactives, and the singing of the Nation Anthem. 7-grueling months have passed since the last meaningful snap of NFL football, and only 3 days separate us from the classic Chris Collinsworth NBC slide-in. Will they hit us with the left or right slide-in this Thursday? 

Over Labor day weekend, NFL teams made critical roster cuts to finalize their 53 man rosters. The NFL did not disappoint with this years’ share of trades, cuts, and acquisitions days before the 2019 kickoff. Let’s take a look at the multiple backfields that were impacted over the weekend…

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