We’ve reached the third installment of my preseason handcuff reports. If you missed them you can check them out here: Baby, I’m more than just a handcuff  +  Why do we Handcuff?

We are in the thick of redraft season and the “dress rehearsal” pre-season games are this week. This means we are only 2 preseason weeks away from regular season football. Can we get a “hell yeah?”

{Editor’s Note: Hell yeah!}

There are already a number of clear handcuff situations that need to be addressed heading into your draft day. Let’s jump right in, starting with the highest priority handcuffs…

ADP numbers in parentheses are from fantasypros.com consensus data, compiled from all of the top fantasy sites. 

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Every fantasy season the age old debate resurfaces, to handcuff or not to handcuff. Injuries are guaranteed, knowing who to draft as an insurance policy or to pick up off waivers is a critical component in your journey to fantasy football glory. Luckily for you, I will be here to guide you throughout the season on which handcuffs you should own or which to keep on your watch list. Unfortunately our leagues bench spots are not infinite, some handcuffs need to be drafted and some left on the waivers.

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Four more games left until most fantasy football playoffs begin. How are you looking? Playoff spot locked up or do you need to go on a run down the stretch?

Another quiet week, we avoided major injuries to our starting backs. Today, I’ll touch on a few handcuffs that are worth monitoring heading in to your playoffs.

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Would you believe me if I told you during the preseason that James Conner, Javorius Allen, Austin Ekeler, TJ Yeldon, Nyheim Hines, and Latavius Murray would be top 25 running backs in PPR leagues heading in to week 9? No, and I would love to see an expert that had any ranked that high. The overall state of the running back position in fantasy is one for its own article. Unless you went RB heavy during your draft, we should change our expectations for RB 2’s and flex RBs.

With the amount of teams deploying an RBBC (running back by committee) the value for the backup running back exceeds more than just a ‘handcuff.’ You will hear that rostering your handcuff is not worth it but the names above would say otherwise. Even though some of the players below are not sexy acquisitions don’t let that prevent you from insuring your team for the championship run. Keep this in mind as you question if you should roster a Giovani Bernard or Nyheim Hines. There is value in owning your handcuff even if they are the clear #2.

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As we mark the halfway point of the NFL season, many fantasy football outlets are performing mid-year reviews. While reflecting on early season analysis can be beneficial, I know you are more concerned about who to start this week for your starter that is on bye and what is going on with the multiple backfield injuries. This is what I am here to give you…

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The heart of bye season is upon us. Packers, Raiders, Seahawks and Steelers are all on bye this week. Chargers, Cowboys, Falcons, and Titans next week. Melvin Gordon owners, next week might be your opportunity to pick up your handcuff– Austin Ekeler. Your league-mates are scrambling to plug in holes and valuable assets are hitting the wire. I’ll keep my soap box brief this week since I wrote about this previously, just keep an eye on your leagues transaction report to see if you can find any loot.

I promised you names and we have plenty to give you for week 7. Enjoy!

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Loyal readers of mine know that usually I have either some sort of nonsensical or comically long introductory paragraph, sometimes relevant (discussing a DFS concept/tactic/strategy that I think would be helpful for you to digest), often times entirely not relevant. However, in this case, I think the right course of action is to get right to the picks, because frankly, there’s a bunch of good cheap choices at RB this week. That’s because a few injuries to starting RBs after salaries were published caused some insanely good values to open up at the low end, and when combined with the same pair of elite RBs from last week in juicy matchups once again, we’re looking at some tough decision making. So let’s get right to it.

On to the picks…

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Remember a few weeks ago when I recounted my tale of  trading Dak Prescott because I had Deshaun Watson only to lose Deshaun Watson for the season? The QB I added was Tyrod Taylor. The Bills have one of the softest fantasy playoff schedules (Week 13: Patriots, Week 14: Colts, Week 15: Dolphins, Week 16: Patriots.) I like Nathan Peterman as a deep option and you’ll find him in my waiver column on Tuesday. And there will definitely be plenty of J. Peterman references. Teasers!

As always, if you’ve got league-specific questions, I’ve got league-specific answers down below…

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