So obviously the big news from this past weekend is the loss of Jamaal Charles for the rest of the season. The Chiefs running back suffered a torn ACL in his knee and is done for the season. But now, the presumed handcuff before the beginning of the season, Knile Davis, only saw two carries after Charles went down. It had been reported weeks ago that Charcandrick West had passed him on the depth chart, and it appeared so as he received 12 carries after Charles’ departure. West appears to be the new starting running back in Kansas City and needs to be immediately owned in all leagues. Knile Davis will also get touches, but not nearly as much as West. Davis should be owned in all 12 team leagues and above as anything could happen and both could be in a time share or if one underperformed, the other could excel. Also keep an eye on a running back signing from the Chiefs in the next day or so. They tried out both Ben Tate and Pierre Thomas on Monday and Thomas could be an interesting prospect as his pass catching ability could get him a decent role.

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The continuing saga of the dumpster fire (outside an abortion clinic) known as the NFC South surely has captivated all of us here at Razzball (I’m pretty sure it’s about 78% of the content I’ve been producing the last month), and, what I would expect to be the entire nation. Some men just want to watch the world burn. And we are those men. And our world are the Saints (6-8), Panthers (5-8), Falcons (5-9), and the Buccaneers (2-12). Remember, this division features three teams vying for a playoff spot and four teams vying for a top-10 draft position. That doesn’t even seem mathematically possible. So with that in mind, what’s a better prime-time event than to pair up a team from this division to go against the hapless Bears? With an immensely disappointing year, Marc Trestman, Jay Cutler, and the Bears switch from the cover two to the cover none defensive scheme have all been at the center of blame. And yet, they would have been vying for a home playoff game last night if they were in the NFC South. I’m not sure if that should make them laugh or cry. While the game started out derpy, it soon settled into an ugly and boring one-sided game. Perhaps the perfect teaser for Thursday Night Football, which features the Titans and Jaguars. Which will make me feature Jameson in my mouth. More like whiskey-boarding, amiright folks?

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Can I tell you that due to the title of this post, I get some of the kinkiest followers on Twitter? Let’s just say I didn’t realize the “handcuff market” was so vast and expansive. Because these people are following me and supporting my efforts here, I feel it only necessary to give them a shout out. To all the weird fetish sites that obviously have never read a word of my writing, thanks for the follow and keep up the good work!

Now onto business, lots of handcuffs to discuss due to some evolving situations in Phoenix, Cleveland, Minnesota, and New Orleans…

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It’s the week of Thanksgiving and hopefully your team is thankful for a shot to make the playoffs, if you haven’t already sewn a berth up already.

If you’re on the fringe of making the playoffs, this column should hopefully help you avoid turkeys on the waiver wire and help you find the players that are worth more than a parking spot at the mall on Black Friday. Speaking of Black Friday, can someone send that running back from New England a clock? He had an issue with his phone dying out on him and he wound up getting benched for it.

Running Backs are going to be all the rage this week, so we’ll start with them.

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This week’s waiver wire column is going to explore the returning player. The focus is on the players who are coming back off lengthy layoffs after injuries. Of course, we’ll still try to catch lightning in a bottle too and help your team that way. That said, let’s dive in.

First, let’s talk about Adrian Peterson. He’s not coming back from an injury, but from a suspension… or so we hope. There is going to be some legal wrangling this week over whether or not Peterson can come back to play this season or not, so it will need time to play out. Hopefully a decision gets made this week to give us some clarity. Even if he’s not 100% ready to go, you need to stash him on your roster. If nothing else, ensure that other owners don’t get their hands on him. With his talents and a plush schedule, Peterson could be the ultimate shot-in-the-arm add to any fantasy team. If he doesn’t pan out, you can toss him back and try again. If it does, you have fantasy gold. The thing to keep in mind is there is some internal strife within the Vikings front office about whether or not to bring him back. Minnesota is 4-5 and three games behind 7-2 Detroit for the top spot in the NFC North. Sure, there are other factors at play, but it is worth giving consideration to adding AP. I’ve been picking him up much as in the same way it’s time to get another guy in the same boat.

That other guy is Cleveland wide receiver Josh Gordon. It’s worth checking the wire to see if the dynamic wide receiver is there. He would make awesome trade bait if you can pick him up. Things set up nicely for Gordon with his schedule (HOU, ATL, BUF, IND, CIN, CAR, BAL) and that matchup against Carolina on championship week is inviting. We saw Mark Sanchez abuse the Carolina defense last night and Gordon could go nuts.

Realistically, it would be difficult to see either of them being available on the waiver wire but we mention them anyways. Take a second and scan anyways. Let’s go to reality now.

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I’ve made some changes to the Stats Machine (TSM) this week in hopes to present more accurate data. While this is a weekly post that highlights the previous week’s top performances, TSM also provides a year-to-date report to help you identify valuable players. Until now, this has been based on the players’ total score for the season. The problem with that is that it punishes players that have already had a bye, as they will have had one less game than players that have not. Until all teams have had their bye week, this list will be powered by each players’ average score per game. Got it? Good.

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There are three things that are certain in life: Death, taxes and fantasy football injuries.  Like clockwork, the injury bug struck again this weekend, as running backs seemed to take most of the damage on Sunday.  To get you ready for Week 8 of the NFL and fantasy season, let’s take a look at some of the more severe running back injuries and what they mean from a fantasy perspective.

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Those of you in your 30’s shouldn’t have a hard time remembering George Michael’s Sports Machine. Running from 1984 to about 2007, and airing on Sunday nights, it was a 30-minute television show dedicated to providing the highlights of the past week’s sporting events. I did a quick search on Ancestry.com, and it turns out the Sports Machine and Stats Machine are very distant relatives. I hope George’s estate doesn’t sue me. Now that I have cleared that up, let’s move on.

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In a thrilling day of footballing, there were nine games decided by a touchdown or less, three games decided by a field goal or less, and two overtime victories. It was enough to make some teams (looking directly at you Jim Caldwell and the Lions) wonder why someone like Alex Henery, who single-handedly (or footedly? Is that a word?) lost the game against the Kyle Orton led Bills 17-14, (to what was a 58-yard field goal to Dan Carpenter) still holds a job in the NFL. Missing one field goal is okay. Missing two is unacceptable. Missing three in a game, one of which came with 51 seconds remaining… well… if anything, Henery should be immediately cut just for allowing the above photo to be a thing. Fun fact: If you look up the word “d*ckish” in the dictionary, you’ll find a smug Jim Schwartz smiling right back at you. And while you could easily see getting carried off the field after beating Detroit in the fifth week of the regular season as the most Buffalo thing ever (landing as a tie with eating and drinking too much before sobbing uncontrollably… or is that Cleveland?), apparently asking your team to do this in the preseason, as far back as OTA’s seems, I don’t know, spiteful? Smarmy? Maladjusted? Well, to be fair, with Schwartz, no one would ever see him being that kind of guy… But hey, some good came out of this. Kyle Orton threw for over 300+ yards with a touchdown against the number one ranked defense in the NFL, which is pretty good. And probably the eighth sign that the end of the world is here.

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Dear Running Backs,
What the hell is going on? Seriously guys, not only are you getting injured at an alarming rate, but your off the field antics are ridiculous, and not ridiculous in a Dennis Rodman fun idiot kind of way. Let’s take a minute to reflect. More than likely we the fantasy football collective will be without Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, Jamaal Charles (maybe not), Ryan Matthews, Mark Ingram, Knowshon Moreno, Doug Martin and Jonathan Dwyer for several weeks. Oh okay, yeah, no one cares about Jonathan Dwyer, but you get my point. That’s seven starting running backs and we’re only two weeks into the season. Early in the fantasy baseball season we talked about the closerpocalypse well this is the runningbackalypse. I fully expect another three to be injured and Matt Forte to be found out as the real life Buffalo Bill by the time this blog posts. It’s been that kind of year. As corny dancehall reggae artist Elephant Man would say ju-kno! Well I guess the silver lining is there were plenty of intriguing handcuffs promoted to starter in the last week. Some are temporary, others could be more permanent, and some tried to get in on the runningbackalypse. Either way here are the ones to keep an eye on.

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