Hey y’all.  Please note that where fantasy position ranks are cited: they were pulled from www.pro-football-reference.com’s NFL Fantasy Rankings. Also note that these are non-PPR rankings.  This list only includes Un-Restricted Free Agents (UFAs), it does not include Exclusive Rights Free Agents (ERFAs) or Antonio Brown (We can rank Tony once we see if his […]

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Welcome! Welcome! To an elite club, an exclusive group, of individuals whose fantasy football skills reign supreme over their peers. Now is the time to showcase your prowess and claim your seat on the pigskin throne. Let us put fear in the eyes of our enemies as we encounter our first foe in our championship quest.

Today I cover my take on the multiple running back handcuffs that will see starting duties this weekend. Unfortunately, as we enter the first round of the playoffs, we are down a few heavy hitters, that have carried us to this point. James Conner, Kareem Hunt, Melvin Gordon, and Matt Breida are a few of the studs that will be missed. If you have followed along all season then you have built your bench depth adequately to compete for a championship. Hopefully, some of these players below can come to our rescue.

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If you are reading along this week then it means one of two things; A) you are still alive in your fantasy football league or B) you have really enjoyed following my pieces all season long. My brain says option A but my heart wants to believe option B. After a couple of quiet weeks, we have a lot of meat on the bone today. If you have not been following along all season, please pick up your studs handcuff heading in to the playoffs. Exhibit-A: Melvin Gordon. I am angry with the Chargers and how they handled their star RB but let’s have that conversation elsewhere. The main point here is to not get caught with your pants down.

I will jump straight in to the Bad Boyz of week 13, enjoy!

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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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Matt Breida, RB, Shoulder: Breida played through this same injury last week and was listed as a limited participant in practice on Wednesday. My take: Will play, start him — he’s good to go. Raheem Mostert? I wouldn’t worry too much about that little guy. I think that was a game dependent outlier performance. Kyle Juszczyk though? I don’t trust anyone with that many consonants in a row. Just seems like witchcraft. 

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If you saw the arguments this week on twitter, then you know there’s a question. Does defense matter for overall fantasy production? Most of the reason why people say defense doesn’t matter is because the way we measure defense is pretty terrible, and until we can measure true talent defense much better, the appearance of being a good or bad defense is super noisy and the amount of signal there is very very low. And in terms of how to predict the production for fantasy, teams vary what they do (and some teams do this randomly and are bad at it), and you would need to know what their scheme is and what player(s) they plan to exploit, and then the adjustments on the initial game plan come into play. If you have that information, first, please share it with me, and second, you’d probably be able to obliterate DFS (and Vegas, for that matter). But if you have that information, you’re not reading this article right now. So for those of you without it – let’s attack this slate with what we do know – namely, #NeverRun, offenses score points when they throw a lot, and one of the only ways we legitimately do see defenses mattering is in pass rush versus protection – it’s hard to score points when you’re being thrown down to the ground before you can throw a pass. 

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