Does anyone play in a league where you can trade FAAB dollars? I don’t know if there’s a website set-up for that, but there must be. I could see there being strategy involved with a trading a 4th wide receiver for $10 or using that extra cash to sweeten a deal. Especially over a long season, and if it was a keeper league to boot trading those extra dollars toward the end of the season could really make a difference. Well, I’m sold, if you’re interested check back in about eight months and I’ll have a league ready to go. Now, on to the show.
So this is Free Agent Auction Bidding, and we started the season with one hundred dollars. Ten weeks in, does anyone have any money left? (I have less than $10 in all my leagues) But let’s say you do, let’s say you missed out on all the guys you wanted up until this week, maybe you’ve added and dropped a couple defenses, but that’s it. In that case, spend spend spend!
If you hadn’t noticed from the alerts that you are getting on your phone that are annoying your wife or girlfriend, the trade deadline is upon us and we had a busy Monday night. We have two trades that have big impacts on three offenses so far. Since the trade deadline isn’t officially over until 4:00 P.M. Est on Tuesday, you may be hearing from me twice.
There are reportedly two teams that are showing interest in Frank Gore. As if that is not a big enough clue that the Colts are tanking for the season, Indianapolis is also reportedly fielding calls for T.Y. Hilton as well. It would be surprising to me, but maybe Martavis Bryant gets moved to a contender who needs some burst in their receiving corps. Earlier today, it was reported that the Eagles are kicking the tires on the possibility of the Detroit Lions trading them the rights to Calvin Johnson. But this morning, we are focusing So, let’s get this started before you make your waiver wire claims this evening.
[BREAKING:Ezekiel Elliott has been denied his Preliminary Injunction, which essentially means his suspension has been upheld. Note that the suspension will begin after a 24 hour period and the NFLPA will certainly appeal. So he can’t play for the next six games. MAYBE. We’ll know more tomorrow. Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden remain must-owns in all formats.]
Adrian Peterson is free! On Tuesday, AP was traded from the New Orleans Saints (who seemingly never wanted him?) to the running back-desperate Arizona Cardinals. He is here to save the day for all fantasy owners who stashed him through the first few weeks or were able to submit a successful waiver claim for him after the trade. Our prayers are answered. All is right in the world. Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice!
Well, kind of. There is no doubt that getting traded from the pass-happy Saints, where Peterson was an odd fit from the second they signed him, to the Cardinal who lost David Johnson in Week 1 and have gotten zilch from the running back position in the weeks since, significantly improves Peterson’s fantasy value. The questions we have to answer now are: just how much has it improved? And what exactly can we expect going forward?
In the last few weeks, AP was not seeing regular touches, and his value was pretty much nonexistent. When he signed with the Saints in the offseason, you could hear a collective “huh?” from football fans and writers everywhere. We gave the Saints the benefit of the doubt and figured they knew what they were doing, but it turned out exactly how we all thought it would. Peterson was an odd fit for a Saints team that likes to pass the ball and likes to operate out of the shotgun, two things that don’t mess with Peterson’s style. Add to that the presence of Mark Ingram and youngster Alvin Kamara, and it is no surprise the team moved on from AP.
With the Cardinals, Peterson should get plenty of opportunities. Chris Johnson has not looked good in a couple years now, and he was a free agent until David Johnson got hurt. With Peterson entering the fold, the Cardinals did not even wait a week or two before cutting CJ. He got cut to make room for AP.
There are, however, a few reasons to roll our Peterson optimism back to “cautious optimism.” For starters, he is moving to a new team with a new playbook in the middle of a season. The complexity of NFL playbooks and schemes is why we don’t see a ton of in-season trading in the NFL. It is very difficult to fully learn everything while also preparing to play every week. To start out, they are going to have to feed him plays in bunches and get him acclimated a little bit more every week. Early playing time/snaps are question marks for Peterson right now.
Next, there is the issue of the Arizona offensive line. They’re bad. They’re really bad. They are particularly bad at run blocking, which is the primary reason the Cardinals have struggled so much on the ground this season. If they can’t open up some room for Peterson, he might have a fairly low ceiling in Arizona.
Lastly, the Cardinals are another team that likes to throw the ball. Carson Palmer currently leads the NFL in passing attempts. Part of that is likely because they have struggled to run the ball so much that they have been forced to pass, but they are not going to flip the script and decide to run the ball 60% of the time just because Adrian Peterson has arrived. Peterson is not much of a pass-catching back, so will he get enough touches to be valuable on a weekly basis for fantasy owners?
These are all valid questions that cause concern. Of course, the upside with Peterson is definitely worth taking the chance on him, even if just to stash him for a couple weeks while you see how he looks in that offense. Just don’t get your hopes up too high until we actually see him getting the ball with some space to work with.
After last week’s boring as hell waiver wire we’re back this week with some real options. Not the sexiest of options, mind you, but more (the ol’ quantity over quality). Remember we’re going with $100 FAAB dollars (though most of you probably have much less than that, and I’m working off the loose assumption you have about $50 or so left so adjust accordingly):
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.
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 newdepositing 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!
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:
…Because I Always Welcome Another Thing to Disappoint Me.
Wait, we’re already rebooting Spiderman again? Oh, hey, quick question, anyone know who sponsored the SNF opening? Was it T-Mobile? Sprint maybe? Also, you should know that Von Miller was jumping with butt-flames before it was hip…
Welcome to what I call “Jay’s Review”… since, you know, I’m Jay, and this is my review of Week 1. Spoilier Alert! (That probably should have gone before the last sentence, but f*ck it, we’re doing it live!) For many of you who’ve been wandering around my Razzballs (haha, get it?) for the last four years, you’ve seen the site go through minute but incremental changes. Kinda like the world in general. So DEEP. And so this season, we’re bringing yet another minute and incremental change… If you hadn’t noticed, Matt Bowe led off the day with his take on what happened Sunday… you should check it out. I think it was a love letter to Kenny Golladay, but whatever. Having such an informative asset (potential double entendre alert!) in terms of both Football and Fantasy Football will allow me to spread my wings and fly. Right over to your mother’s house. It’s no secret that I like having a little fun… probably a little too much fun. For those of you who want deep analytics like how I want to watch Deep Impact over and over again (Armageddon is in my top-10, lest we all forget that asteroid movies are my fetish) and some usable fantasy information, Matt’s your guy. If you’d like to have a little fun with what happened Sunday, experience some jokes, watch some great plays in GIF form, create some hot takes, AND still enjoy some “measured” usable fantasy information, welcome to my club! We get spiffy hats. Just kidding. I just get the spiffy hats. TL;DR – Why so serious? See Matt! Want to see me in a spiffy hat? See me!
If we were all born geniuses we wouldn’t be drafting until this weekend for leagues that we pay into. Most of us are terribly impatient fantasy football players and for whatever reason need an extra week or two to stare at rosters that we can’t do anything with while top end wide receivers and running backs tear their ACLs making awkward cuts. Julian Edelman, Spencer Ware, and Cameron Meredith are all players going anywhere from the early to middle rounds that have had their seasons ended before they even started and thousands of people have these players on their rosters because WE MUST DRAFT IN AUGUST BECAUSE AUGUST IS DRAFT MONTH. MY FANTASY BASEBALL TEAM SUCKS AND I NEED A ROSTER TO LOOK FORWARD TO. Yeah, I’m the exact same way. Whether it is due to an injury on the roster, a good preseason, or a player is just being overlooked, here are some players that are worth your picks and also some that aren’t worth your time based on recent changes in August.
Ever since Jim Harbaugh left for Michigan to chase Ohio State in the Big Ten, the NFC West has been a tale of two teams. The Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals have traded blows over the past few seasons to represent the West with a home playoff game. This season is business as usual for the Seahawks. Seattle continues to reload while getting healthy where they were shorthanded the prior season. The Cardinals are becoming more of a question mark as Father Time creeps in on offensive weapons that Bruce Arians depends on.
The once left for dead San Francisco 49ers are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel by bringing in John Lynch to be the GM. Many questioned this tactic until we all witnessed him fleece the Chicago Bears on live television in the most one-sided trade that I can remember. While we as fantasy team owners know to turn our noses this season, there are a few pieces in place to keep an eye on for the future. Who knows, maybe there in a 2017 break out star on the 49ers. We witnessed the magic that Kyle Shanahan can brew up last season with the Falcons. The Rams changed head coaches but did little else to garner any attention after a disaster-ridden offensive season in 2016.