Well, that was certainly one of the busier NFL trade deadlines in my lifetime. A number of big names got traded, and for our purposes here the biggest name was Jay Ajayi going from the Miami Dolphins to the Philadelphia Eagles. The initial consensus was that this would boost his value, going from a struggling Miami offense to one of the more productive offenses in the league in Philadelphia. However, I’m not so sure.

While the Dolphins have been hot garbage this season, Ajayi at least had the benefit of being top dog. In Philadelphia, he joins a committee that currently features LeGarrette Blount, Wendell Smallwood, Corey Clement, and Kenjon Barner. The Eagles have announced that Blount is, at least for now, still their starting running back. While Ajayi shouldn’t lose much time to the latter three once he gets assimilated into the offense, he will probably lose some touches to Blount, especially near the goal line.

The Eagles also love to throw the ball pretty often, despite the success they have had running the ball. Don’t expect just because they now have Ajayi that they are going to start running the ball 75% of the time. This is still a West Coast offense that runs the ball for the sake of balance rather than some kind of desire to actually run the ball. They like to pass for the lead and run things down when they can. Between that and Blount still being around, don’t expect Ajayi to get the ball 30 times a game.

He should still be a valuable back going forward, but I would be a little worried about starting him this week. Assuming he is active, the Eagles are probably going to have a package of plays for him and not ask him to do too much. They have a bye week next week and will probably wait until after that to fully unleash him.

On the Miami side of things, Damien Williams and Kenyon Drake are going to compete for touches. My money is on Williams getting first crack, but the Dolphins are probably going to split time and roll with the hot hand until (if?) someone takes the job. With how things have gone in Miami so far this year, I wouldn’t want to rely on either one until we see some kind of production.

Now, to the charts!

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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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Another week of the NFL season is in the books, and we have a few more developments at the running back position to keep an eye on. There are a few injuries hitting the wire this week, and out in Seattle, a youngster is outplaying some familiar names. Over in Philadelphia, the guy who is supposed to be the lead back barely saw the field…

Razzball Football’s partner FantasyDraft is starting a new sign-up promotion this week, all new depositing signups receive a free $4 “Everyone Wins” NFL GPP ticket for the upcoming Sunday slate along with offering all players 4% cash back on their initial deposits! 

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Well the top guys of a week ago did not live up to their hype, did they?  Here are their stats from Week 2:

Javorius Allen – 5 Rec, 35 yards, 66 rush yards, 1 TD.

Kerwynn Williams – 22 rush yards.

Kenny Golladay – 1 Rec, 8 yards.

Tarik Cohen – 8 Rec, 55 yds, 13 rush yards, 1 fumble lost.

Nelson Agholor – 1 Rec, 9 yards, 1 TD.

Williams was quiet this week as the Cardinals looked bad against Indy and Chris Johnson definitely took carries. The whole Cardinals offense still doesn’t look right; let’s hope they get back on track Week 3 but Johnson & Ellington were on the field in overtime and that worries me. On the bright side: Williams is also their return man to add to his value. Don’t cut bait after one week…

Allen looked good on his TD run and is settling in as Woodhead light, which is a hoppy sardines-infused dark chocolate almond butter IPA with less calories. Flacco likes to throw so Allen should remain a flex play, although West is still the bellcow there.

Cohen could have looked better, but Howard was also terrible and the Bears simply got owned, so that Cohen salvaged some fantasy value is good to see. Cohen clearly benefits from being on the field for all the passing the Bears will do. So hold him if you added him last week because better days are coming.

Agholor salvaged some value catching a garbage time TD (though based on that score the Eagles actually had a chance to win (on a Hail Mary), so was it really in garbage time?)

Razzball Football’s partner FantasyDraft is starting a new sign-up promotion this week, all new depositing signups receive a free $4 “Everyone Wins” NFL GPP ticket for the upcoming Sunday slate along with offering all players 4% cash back on their initial deposits! 

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Welcome to another edition of Jay’s (hey, that’s me!) Review of all things Week 2. Except for Monday Night Football, just as bad as Thursday Night Football, but now without Chris Berman. So slightly better. Maybe. Who knows actually? I’m just waiting for when the NFL figures out how to have a game on every night and additionally draw out the NFL Draft for entire offseason. You think it might not happen, but Roger Goodell is already telling Robert Kraft to hold his beer (usually it’s his penis). So yeah, that was basically me saying that MNF is too late for this existential journey, maaaan. And sure, what I just typed may have come off as sassy, but that’s only because MB RSVP’d (so many acronyms, so little time!) probably the best GIF from Week 2 with the Lynch Safety Dance. You probably only understood that reference if you’re a member of AARP, but hey, on the bright side, more acronym dropping. So instead, I have chosen Todd Gurley to shine my light upon with the utmost care and love. Which is what I also refer to as a boner. And behold above, if that GIF doesn’t turn you on, I don’t want to be off. I feel like this could be the new Dyson’s vacuum cleaner slogan. Or the first last line I’ll ever say to a first last date. The possibilities are endless, just like a world with a functioning Todd Gurley. Is he back? (Maybe?) Was he ever gone? (Yeah.) (Vague) Answers to these questions and your usual daily allotment of hot takes, yokes (jokes in egg form, or I guess I could have just corrected the typo instead of typing this long sentence out… wait, am I still typing?), and your Week 2 Top Plays in GIF form are all after the jump!

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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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Hello everyone! I say with great pleasure that we are launching a brand new show on the Razzball Football podcast feed: Razzblitz! Join myself and the always great Matt Bowe as we start off the first episode of the show! While we don’t quite have the looks of our fearless counterparts, Jay and Tehol (especially Tehol), we quickly dive into the latest news and notes from the football world, covering Ladarius Green’s release, LeGarrette Blount’s addition to the Eagles, and different backfield situations across the NFL. We then quickly go over my updated Top 100 rankings (article out shortly) to round out a pretty solid first episode. Enjoy!

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Hello everyone!

The 2017 NFL Draft has been in the books for a while now, and here at Razzball we’ve already provided some great content recapping the draft in MB’s article and the Razzcast episode from Friday, but I wanted to provide a closer look at the draft from the running back perspective. The reason why I am choosing to do this is because they are the only position that is impacted in such a big way. Offensive lines are upgraded, flashy new rookies are drafted, and even important role players are selected each year that garners our attention. Sure, new information will come out between now and the start of the season in September, but it’s important now to analyze the information in front of us to start to gain an edge over the rest of your buddies in your fantasy leagues.

So let’s get to it!

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