In a perfect world: there would be no need for handcuff and injury reports, starting backs never lose their job, nor get injured. If there ever was a week that emulated this world, we lived it in week 5. Instead of implosions and injuries, week 5 was filled with fantasy explosions. The first couple of weeks have turned into preseason-esque football: poor performances and athletes getting in “game shape” are the new norm to start the NFL season. October is here and the football that was expected has arrived.

The week 5 fantasy gods were kind to us, avoiding any major injuries to starting running backs. Just because there were no injuries or any major handcuff to report on, it does not mean we get to take our foot off the gas. Now is the time for owners to secure their handcuff and prepare for the end of the fantasy season, as owners give up on under performing handcuffs that were over-drafted. Look for players like Rashaad Penny, Ito Smith, Tony Pollard, Malcolm Brown, Alexander Mattison, Latavius Murray, and Jaylen Samuels to be dropped this week. If you own any of their respective starting backs, you want to make sure you secure your insurance policy before it’s too late and before the price increases.

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QB10 in fantasy scoring and QB2 in NFL passing yards through 4 weeks, Matt Ryan visits the Lone Star State in matchup carrying the tied-for-2nd highest point total in week 5. The 13th toughest fantasy defense against quarterbacks, the Houston D/ST unit look a lot tougher on paper than what I believe will be on display this Sunday. Two of Houston’s best defensive outings were against quarterbacks that entered the season as backups on their respective depth chart. Including 6th round rookie QB Gardner Minshew (JAC) in his first NFL start and 2nd year backup Kyle Allen (CAR) getting the 2nd start of his career. In Houston’s two matchups against top 10 NFL quarterbacks Drew Brees and Philip Rivers, the defense surrendered an average of 327.5 passing yards per game, QB12 (Brees) and QB13 (Rivers) fantasy finishes, and 4 total passing touchdowns. After nearly topping 400 yards passing (397) last week, Matt Ryan failed to pass for a TD against TEN. This is a prime bounce back spot for Matt Ryan to find the endzone through the air in a game where ATL are -4.5 underdogs and an implied score that includes 3 TDs for the Falcons. Rudy projects Ryan as the QB8 this weekend. 

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Week 2 is almost in the books with only a Monday Night Football tilt between the Browns and Jets remaining. A couple of star running backs had scares over the weekend, and few week 1 handcuffs produced. Don’t get caught with your pants down and avoid the risk of a league-mate snagging up a starting backup. Let’s jump right in to this week’s handcuff report.

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The week 2 slate is my favorite of every season. It offers the best chance for sharp minds to jump on bounce backs players and teams. The public often overvalues a single game sample. Using data to attack these angles involves looking back at 2018, evaluating changes to personnel/coaches, and combining those facts with the week 1 data we have available.

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The pronounced offseason ‘champs’ lose 43-13, the quarterback that ‘can’t pass’ tosses 5 touchdowns for over 300yds passing, the defending NFC champs win 30-27 without a starting skill player scoring a touchdown, and former 1st round ‘bust’ WR goes for 158 yds and 2 TDs. Can we get an Allelujah? The NFL is back.

Unfortunately, along with all of the excitement that was brought in week 1, plenty of angst was brought upon starting fantasy rosters. Each week, the handcuff report will highlight key running back waiver acquisitions or necessary watch list candidates. Bench spots are fluid and managing who to add each week is critical in any quest to fantasy football glory. Let’s get started with the bad boyz of week 1….

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Each week I will preview a couple of games that are ripe with fantasy juice for us to squeeze. Highlighting which players have a path to eat, DFS plays, and studs that should be faded.

Bonus content – The 50/50 Club: Seeking streaming options, managing through roster injuries, filling bye weeks, or looking for bargain DFS plays? This year I will select, what I’ve coined as, the 50/50 club. A weekly fantasy roster (QB, RB/RB, WR/WR, TE, DST) comprised of players that have ownership numbers less than 50% across major fantasy platforms. The following week we’ll review how we performed. At the end of the year, we will see how we stack up cumulatively at each position. Can we field a top 12 QB or TE, or top 24 RB/WR over the course of the season?

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Today we finish off my NFC East preview with taking a glance at the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins. Part I can be viewed here.

Completed Previews:  AFC NorthNFC North

2019 projections referenced below are based on razzball.com 2019 projections managed and updated by our very own @RudyGamble . ADP, and strength of schedule data referenced below are based on fantasypros.com consensus data.

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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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There were a lot of expectations heading into week 1 of the NFL season and a variety of different results. There was the completely expected: Patriots winning; Aaron Rodgers being da gawd of football. (Yawn.) The slightly unexpected: The Broncos sneaking away with a 27-24 win over the Seahawks; Matt Ryan not returning to his MVP form. (Maybe we all saw that one coming…) And the completely bat-guano, mind-blowing, WTF: Browns/Steelers playing to a 21-21 draw; MVP Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Buccaneers dropping 48 points against the Saints; and the Ravens obliterating the Buffalo Bills 47-3.

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Before I get into this article, let me be clear about one thing:

Terrelle Pryor is an absolute physical freak!  He is a 6-foot 4-inch tall receiver that can run a 4.4 forty yard dash and I was able to witness his dominance first hand in Nashville last season when Pryor snagged 9 receptions for 75 yards and 2 red-zone touchdowns.

Now that I stated the obvious, please allow me to spend the rest of this article arguing that 2017 Fantasy Football drafters should not be buying the Terrelle Pryor hype because he is an unpolished receiver, his new team underwent turnover in the offensive locker room, and most importantly, his draft cost is simply too high.

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

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