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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Fantasy football playoffs in many leagues will begin in 4 weeks — where do you stand? What do you need to make your last playoff push? Trade deadline should be approaching even sooner — time to take stock of of what your team is and isn’t good at — and perhaps even more importantly — what do your league mates need that you have an abundance of? The best owners have been tracking who their future playoff competitors have been suffering through and how they can take advantage.

Four teams on a bye week in week 11: Panthers, Colts, Jets, 49ers. Not a lot of fantasy points lost by those four teams not playing, but three of my favorite punching bags are now not targets for waiver adds. 

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The talk of this week at the running back situation has been Wendell Smallwood. If you don’t believe me, take a scroll through the last dozen or so Razzball articles to see the takes and advice. With Darren Sproles somehow breaking his arm and tearing his ACL on the same play, there are touches available in Philadelphia. LeGarrette Blount is still around and actually looked productive on Sunday, and Corey Clement scored his first career touchdown and could rotate into games going forward, but Smallwood is the guy who stands to benefit the most from the Sproles injury. If you don’t believe me, the Eagles offensive coordinator said as much in his press conference on Tuesday. I have the transcript if you want it.

For me, though, there is a more exciting running back to target. Heading into Week 3, we knew two things: 1. There would be a new offensive coordinator. 2. Marvin Lewis has been coaching the Bengals for 15 years without winning a single playoff game. Number 1 is relevant for fantasy owners, while number 2 is simply fascinating.

The position to watch in Week 3 was running back, as it was expected that we could see more Joe Mixon and less Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard. And that is exactly what happened. Mixon looked like the complete running back he was projected to be coming out of college, gaining more than 100 yards from scrimmage on 21 total touches. Expect that trend to continue going forward, as Mixon should only get better and the Bengals should continue to ride him.

I talked up Mixon last week as a great buy-low option prior to the change at offensive coordinator. Hopefully, you either drafted and stashed him or grabbed him on waivers last week because he is less likely to be available this week. But if he is, grab him and go. On the flip side, I would also try to hold onto Jeremy Hill and/or Giovani Bernard if you have the kind of league that provides you with the roster/bench space to do so. It looks like Mixon will be the guy, but we have seen before that one week doesn’t mean everything and that injuries happen all the time. If you have to pick one, I would probably lean Bernard in PPR.

To the charts!

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Does anyone else get the old Sherwin Williams jingle stuck in their head when they see Kerwynn Williams’s name? No? Just me?

Anyway, welcome to the 2017 Handcuff Report. For those who followed this post last season, welcome back. For those who are new, where were you last year? Too good for us? I have researched other available handcuff reports and tell give you my completely unbiased opinion that none of them are half as good as this one. Shame on you, and welcome.

So, first things first: what exactly is a handcuff? For the fantasy football n00bs out there, or perhaps for those who have taken the last few years off, a handcuff is a backup who will likely take over as the starter in the event of an injury, extreme ineffectiveness, off-the-field trouble, or coach’s decision. There are probably other reasons that I am forgetting here, but those are the most common one.

Most NFL teams now run a running back by committee of some sort. While not every team is as unpredictably maddening as the Patriots, most teams share the load in an effort to keep guys fresh and give defenses different looks. With fantasy leagues more competitive than ever, thanks to sites like Razzball offering great advice, it is important to recognize trends and identify value quickly. If you drafted a stud running back early, you might want to grab his handcuff in case of injury. Or if you went zero RB or went really light on RB early, you might want to squat on a couple handcuffs or, especially in PPR leagues, grab a change-of-pace/pass catching back. With the influx of young running backs and each team having two or three options this season, I tended to do the latter in drafts this year. For every Melvin Gordon, I have like two Shane Vereens or Theo Riddicks this year. Speaking of young running backs:

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What?! How did I get here? Where are the OF’s, SP’s and 3B’s?! Where are the thoracic outlet surgeries and 10 day DL stints? How are these guys playing through their blisters?!

Well with baseball season winding down, I’ll be moving from my weekly baseball injury article to taking over the weekly fantasy football waiver wire article. I’ll highlight players under-owned in most leagues who could provide you a boost when your starters are injured, facing a tough defense or are playing in a blizzard.

You obviously won’t see anyone over 50% owned in ESPN leagues. Heck, you might not even see guys owned in 40% of leagues. If I’m feeling REALLY saucy you won’t find anyone owned in over 25% of leagues! SCREW IT! I’M ONLY GOING TO LIST GUYS OWNED IN 0% OF LEAGUES! NO WAIT! ONLY CFL PLAYERS!

Anyway, if you’re still looking for a RCL to join may I recommend: Kerry’s RCL League! We’re drafting Wednesday night, September 6th @ 10 PM. Unless someone falls down the stairs while carrying deer meat at 3 AM on Thursday morning — you won’t have to draft anyone who gets injured before their first game even starts! 

It is hard to make waiver recommendations when we’re all just excited to play our big name starters we spent high draft picks on, but here are some guys whose ownership is going to be going up in the first few weeks that you can jump on ahead of your league mates:

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We are here today to point out the differences between the Razzball Rankings (which finished Top-3 in 2016) and those that ESPN has released to the masses. Haha, just kidding. You know, it used to be that Matthew Berry, Tristan Cockraft (lovely human being, totally serious. Met him at the LABR party down in Arizona Spring Training, probably one of the nicest guys in the industry along with Eno Sarris), and Eric Karabell submitted their rankings for the Accuracy Challenge that our friends over at FantasyPros host… After both Berry finishing in the lower 80’s back in 2015 and then Karabell finishing in the same area-ish (“ish” because I can’t remember exactly ) last season, they have yet to be seen this season putting their rankings to the test. So while I used to be able to compare our rankings to what the “industry” had made “standard” (parenthesis for sarcasm I suppose), the first thing you’ll notice with our yearly “Rankings Versus” series is that there won’t be any Matthew Berry. Whether that’s ultimately a good or bad thing, I’ll let you decide. Because, hey, I’m just that kind of guy. But don’t worry! Instead, we’ll be taking a look at how our “industry” leading rankings stack against the ECR (Expert Consensus Rankings), and last season’s top “Accuracy Expert” (no sarcasm), Dalton Del Don from Yahoo! (do I have to yell it every time? Geez, that gets old real fast…) Sports, not to be confused with “Yoohoo! Sports”, which I do all the time. Then again, I usually confuse most things with chocolate drinks. Totally normal.

So be sure to check out our 2017 Fantasy Football Rankings, Auction Values, and our very own Cheat Sheet for any context you may need. I’d say that context needs more chocolate drink to be honest…

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Last night in the NFL Preseason was quite a doozy. After just a few series on offense for the New England Patriots, WR Julian Edelman came up limping and grabbing the back of his knee after a play. Just a few minutes later in the Kansas City game, RB Spencer Ware had to be carted off the field. In New England, the fear is that Edelman has a torn ACL, with a timetable uncertain at this point. In Kansas City, the fears aren’t quite as scary, as the idea is that Spencer Ware has avoided an ACL injury, with only a sprained knee or a PCL injury, with clarity coming in the coming days…

Take me on in the Razzball Commenter Leagues for a chance at prizes! Free to join, leagues still open!

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Hello everyone, and welcome to Razzball’s Fantasy Football 2017 Division Previews. On this piece, we’ll take a look at this year’s AFC East. In past offseasons, we’ve seen many versions of the same headline: “Watch Out Patriots, Dolphins/Bills/Jets Are The New Team To Beat”. And while we haven’t seen that storyline yet, this is a division that moved in the right direction as a whole. It’s good to see that just for football in general. There are a lot of fantasy storylines and scenarios to dive into, so let’s get right to it…

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Hello everyone, and welcome to the 14th installment of the Start ‘Em and Sit ‘Em series. I’ll keep it short for you guys everyone, so welcome to the playoffs and let’s get started… With A.J. Green’s departure a few weeks ago due to a hamstring injury, certain players have had to pick up the slack from his lack of production values, and Eifert has done the most absorbing of this production value. His an increasing target share, snap counts, and even red zone efficiency, it’s no wonder why he is producing like the way he is. This week he’ll only have to battled with Brandon LaFell and the two running backs to get the targets and looks he deserves, but he’ll have a great matchup on the way, against a Cleveland Browns team that ranks as the 31st pass defense in the NFL, and 31st in the NFL against TE’s, who give up close to 65 yards and 0.8 TD’s per game. Fire him up with confidence…

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