March 23, 2018


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Cleveland Browns

Money Ball: The Sequel

Hate to start out the offseason with the Cleveland Browns, but they are makin’ moves!
Browns acquired: Tyrod Taylor, Jarvis Landry, Damarious Randall
Browns gave up: 2018 3rd-round pick (No. 65), 2018 4th-round pick, 2019 7th-round pick, DeShone Kizer

Building with experienced quality performers that have something to prove, by selling inconsequential draft picks is exactly what Sashi Brown was building up for. It’s a shame he won’t be around to reap the rewards, but these are quality moves for a win-now mentality.

03/09/18, 09:37 PM CST by Wheeler


Tyrod Taylor

Buffalo Bills

Hue Looks To TyGoat

Browns left tackle Joe Thomas, who's pondering his future, is a fan of Tyrod Taylor and has said so on the ThomaHawk Show podcast.

Tyrod is just one season removed (2016) from being the QB11 in average fantasy ppg, including seven 20+ point weeks and six 15+ point weeks. Given the current talent on the O-line and skill position weapons he could improve on those numbers. He has the potential to be this year’s Alex Smith, definitely heading my late-round (12+) QB picks now.

03/09/18, 09:32 PM CST by Wheeler


Deshone Kizer

Cleveland Browns

Packers Get In On The Fun

The Packers have traded for QB DeShone Kizer from the Browns to Green Bay.

This is the best possible scenario for Kizer, who was thrown into the fire last season. Getting the chance to develop and learn behind the best in the business is the best chance he has for longevity.

03/09/18, 09:30 PM CST by Wheeler


Torrey Smith

Philadelphia Eagles

On The Move Again

The Eagles trade WR Torrey Smith to the Panthers for CB Daryl Worley. Torrey Smith could fill the old Ted Ginn role which makes this fairly interesting. Stagg Party says it’s more of a boost for Cam than Torrey himself.

This is an absolute perfect fit, someone who isn’t going to demand the ball, but can take the top off a defense while McCaffrey, Olsen, and Cam work underneath. Torrey is looking like a great late-round flyer.

03/09/18, 09:28 PM CST by Wheeler


DeMarco Murray

Tennessee Titans

Henry Hype Train Has Clear Track

DeMarco Murray was released by the Titans.
No surprise here, expect Derick Henry to be a lead back with 250+ touches, but they will bring in someone that will play the third-down, pass-catching role out of the backfield. I wouldn’t be surprised if they sign someone like Jerick McKinnon or Rex Burkhead, or even Darren Sproles or Charles Sims. There are also plenty of options in the NFL draft, Henry won’t be a true “Bell Cow.”

03/09/18, 09:17 PM CST by Wheeler


Marquise Goodwin

San Francisco 49ers

The Name Says It All

Marquise Goodwin and the 49ers have agreed to a 3yr extension worth $20.3M & 10M guaranteed.

Shanahan has found his big-play threat at a reasonable price. Goodwin caught 56 balls for 962 yards last season, but only had two TD’s. None of his six longest plays (33+ yards) were from Garoppollo so it leads me to believe they will still be looking for a top of the line WR, even with Garcon coming back from injury.

03/09/18, 09:15 PM CST by Wheeler


Jonathan Stewart

Carolina Panthers

The Search Is On

Former Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart is visiting the Seahawks today, source says. Seattle is looking at all options to get that ground game going.

This would be an interesting landing spot for Stewart, but no RB available in free agency is going to do spit behind this Swiss-cheese O-line.

03/09/18, 09:13 PM CST by Wheeler


New York Giants

Building Blocks

NFL draft insider Tony Pauline says "belief" around the league is free agent OG Andrew Norwell signing with the Giants is "a done deal."
The top guard on the market, Norwell was one of ex-Panthers GM Dave Gettleman's most-prized discoveries as an undrafted free agent. Gettleman now runs the Giants, who have needs all over the line.

I like anything the Giants can do to repair this disheveled O-line. Building a line through free-agency is almost always a better option than through the draft, but I would still like to see them trade back in the draft and grab Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame.

03/09/18, 09:11 PM CST by Wheeler


Dion Lewis

New England Patriots

Pass Catching Backs Set To Dominate

On first downs this year, the Eagles allow a 65% success rate on RB-passes. That ranks 29th in the league. Dion Lewis averaged 6.5 YPA and a 59% success rate, and James White averaged 7.7 YPA and a 58% success rate on first down passes this season.

02/04/18, 10:36 AM CST by Wheeler


James White

New England Patriots

Pass Catching Backs Set To Dominate

On first downs this year, the Eagles allow a 65% success rate on RB-passes. That ranks 29th in the league. Dion Lewis averaged 6.5 YPA and a 59% success rate, and James White averaged 7.7 YPA and a 58% success rate on first down passes this season.

02/04/18, 10:36 AM CST by Wheeler


Philadelphia Eagles

Attack With 11

The Patriots defense is particularly susceptible to runs out of 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WRs), allowing a 61% success rate and 6.0 YPC to offenses when rushing from this formation. The Eagles are one of the most run heavy teams from 11 personnel, recording nearly 60% of their total rushes from 11 formation. The Patriots haven’t faced teams like this often, the teams the Pats faced in the playoffs, Tennessee and Jacksonville were last and 5th lowest respectively rushing from 11 formation. This is a massive advantage for the Eagles if they recognize it and use it.

02/04/18, 10:32 AM CST by Wheeler


Jay Ajayi

Philadelphia Eagles

To The Left, To The Left

New England started the season off with one of the worst rush defenses in the entire league, but things have really shifted over the second half of the year. Prior to their Week 9 bye, the Patriots had allowed a 44.70% Success Rate to opposing running backs, the third-worst in the league. That's dropped to about 38% since, and they've had the fifth-best rush defense by Success Rate since Week 12. New England's especially been good at stopping runs to the left side of the field, which just so happens to be where Jay Ajayi has really made a mark since joining the Eagles in Week 9.
I don’t look for Ajayi to make his mark in this game. I know it’s a lazy narrative, but a Blount revenge game seems to really be in the cards here.

02/04/18, 10:30 AM CST by Wheeler


Zach Ertz

Philadelphia Eagles

Pats Could Hit'em Where It Ertz

Zach Ertz leads the Eagles in targets (39) with Foles under center, drawing at least eight in three of their four full games together. Keyed by FS Devin McCourty and SS Patrick Chung, the Pats allowed the NFL’s tenth-fewest receiving yards to tight ends (720) this season, only four opposing tight ends have reached 50 yards through 18 Patriots games.
If Foles continues to pepper Ertz with targets we could see a big game for Chung or McCourty.

02/04/18, 10:25 AM CST by Wheeler


Nelson Agholor

Philadelphia Eagles

Plenty Of Fluids

The Eagles’ biggest pass-catcher personnel mismatch is Nelson Agholor against Patriots slot corner Eric Rowe. Rowe can struggle with quick change of direction, Agholor’s foremost strength. Agholor runs 87% of his routes in the slot, and New England allowed solid games to Eric Decker (6/85/0) in the Divisional Round, and Allen Hurns (6/80/0) in the AFC title game. Agholor still ranks second behind Ertz in Foles targets (29), but has had a surprisingly quiet playoffs with just 7 targets.
This will have to change if the Eagles plan on moving the ball, but Agholor has been sick with the flu for the past few days. He received intravenous fluids Saturday and will play, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll be 100%.

02/04/18, 10:22 AM CST by Wheeler


Danny Amendola

New England Patriots

Danny Playoffs

The Eagles finished second worst this season in percentage of passing yards allowed coming after the catch. Philadelphia struggled on short and intermediate throws this season, specifically to the middle of the field, where they allowed the third-most yards per passing play in the league. Brady was a top-five player in passer rating on these types of tosses. Amendola's been a monster in this year's playoffs for New England, grabbing hold of 22 targets in just two contests, accounting for over 24% of New England's targets. He should continue to play a role on Super Bowl Sunday.

02/04/18, 10:20 AM CST by Wheeler


Rex Burkhead

New England Patriots

Rex Back

Despite being listed as questionable for Sunday’s AFC Championship game vs. Jaguars, it appears as though Patriots’ RB Rex Burkhead will play.
This will cut into the 13 targets Amendola saw last week.

01/20/18, 10:49 PM CST by Wheeler


Adam Thielen

Minnesota Vikings

Making The Wright Move?

Adam Thielen (back) is questionable for Sunday's NFC Championship game against the Eagles.
He's fully expected to play after limited practices the last two days. He probably won’t be 100 percent so if you’re putting in a line-up you might want to pivot to Diggs or save some money and drop down to Jarius Wright who grabbed three-of-six targets for 56 yards Sunday and has established himself as the number three WR in this offense.

01/20/18, 10:31 PM CST by Wheeler


Leonard Fournette

Jacksonville Jaguars

Ankle In Question Again

Fournette aggravated his ankle in the Divisional Round and was limited early in the week. He was left off the injury report for Sunday's AFC Championship game. Fournette saw a heavy workload last week getting 27 touches in Jacksonville's upset of the Steelers. T.J. Yeldon rushed five times for 20 yards and a touchdown and caught 3-of-3 targets for 57 yards. If you’re looking for a cheaper option I expect we see Yeldon to be used to keep Fournette from aggravating the injury early.

01/20/18, 10:23 PM CST by Wheeler


Tom Brady

New England Patriots

Give Him A Hand

Reports are that Tom Brady threw the ball "incredibly well" during Friday's practice. He is listed as questionable for Sunday's AFC Championship game against Jacksonville, but I don’t think there was any real doubt that he’d play. Keep in mind what D-Rex spoke about on the Pyro Podcast 303 andScott Barrett tweeted about Brady last week:
Weeks 1-10: 21.2 fantasy points per game, 110.9 passer rating
Weeks 11-17: 14.2 fantasy points per game, 87.3 passer rating
The hand injury on top of his achilles injury, as well as going against the Jags #1 rated pass defense could keep the Patriots attack grounded this week. Lewis is the obvious play, but if Burkhead (Q) comes back it could be he or White that steals the show.

01/20/18, 10:22 PM CST by Wheeler


Tom Brady

New England Patriots

Tom Still Terrific?

Tom Brady was first listed on the team's injury report with an Achilles injury heading in to Week 11.
Weeks 1-10: 21.2 fantasy points per game, 110.9 passer rating
Weeks 11-17: 14.2 fantasy points per game, 87.3 passer rating

Fantasy Goo: This should line up for a good week for Brady, Tennessee is 8th in fantasy points allowed to RB’s, but just below average against QB’s. The Patriots are 13 point favorites on Saturday Night, if Brady doesn’t do it at home in prime-time then something is wrong.

01/09/18, 07:30 PM CST by Wheeler


Alvin Kamara

New Orleans Saints

Primary Role Shifting

Saints have run 5 times at/inside opponent's 5-yard line over last 4 weeks (including playoffs):
Alvin Kamara 3 carries, Zach Line 1, Mark Ingram 1. Kamara was in on all 3 Saints run plays at/inside 5 vs. Panthers last week, including Line's 1-yard TD run.

Fantasy Goo: If you’re trying to decide between Kamara and Ingram for the playoff run, Kamara looks to be the much better play.

01/09/18, 07:20 PM CST by Wheeler


Handcuffs for Running Backs - 2013

Handcuffs for Running Backs - 2013

Posted by d-Rx on 07/14/13

by   The Archer


More Articals


houdini handcuffs 2013




I am always amazed each fantasy season when I see owners handcuffing their top running backs with their backups.  To me, that is a mistake, as most of the top backs should not be handcuffed with their backup.  There are of course exceptions to the rule, but for the most part the backup running back is just that for a reason…he can’t be trusted as a starter.  So, I think it is time to reevaluate how to handcuff a player.  


If you are drafting a player who is an injury risk then you are going to want to grab extra depth at the position.  This is a far better strategy than grabbing the backup to your stud.  If you are not feeling confident in a player then be sure to grab more depth at the position so that you have players who can be give you points without needing an injury to get in the game.  These players that are getting carries have a chance to get more if they play well, so you also have the potential to get another starter out of your depth, and can trade from a point of strength if everything works out well.  


I have gone through 20 of the top candidates for handcuffs and broken them into categories of No Handcuff, Yes Handcuff and Maybe Handcuff.  The 20 running backs are listed below with my reasoning for their handcuff position.  









ADRIAN PETERSON – There is no reason to handcuff Peterson with his backup, and after showing he is back last season, there is good reason to believe he will play all 16 games this season.  Also, if you grab Toby Gerhart then you are wasting a pick, as he will never put up any stats close to AP.  


DOUG MARTIN – Martin is a dynamic young running back and showed he was ready for the league last season.  There is no other running back on the Buccaneers that is worth drafting, and Martin is going to be a top 5 pick in drafts this season.  


TRENT RICHARDSON – Richardson showed his toughness as a rookie, playing with 3 broken ribs for much of the season.  Richardson might be considered an injury risk, but he is going to be a true workload back in Norv Turner’s offense.  Richardson’s backup on the roster is Montario Hardesty, who has had a hard time staying on the field in his career.  This is Richardson’s year.  


JAMAAL CHARLES – Charles is one of those rare backs in the league that always has a few monster runs a season, last season he had a 91 yard touchdown run.  There is not another player like him on the Chiefs, and under Andy Reid Charles is going to be used to the best of his ability.  He is fully recovered from the torn ACL, and, like Adrian Peterson, showed he may be even better than before.  


ALFRED MORRIS – Morris is a throwback runner who reminds me of Kevin Mack, Natrone Means and the ultimate Redskin, John Riggins.  Mike Shanahan realized what he had in Morris and leaned on him last season, and will do so again this season.  Morris is the perfect complement to RG III, and no other back on the roster is near as effective.  


MATT FORTE – Forte was considered a handcuff last season, with Michael Bush arriving to the Bears, but Bush was unspectacular and Forte is in line for an uptick this season.  New head coach Marc Trestman is expected to use Forte as a major factor in the passing game, as well as the running game.  If you draft Bush he is not going to be able to do the same things as Forte in the offense, and while he might get some goal line carries, it is not enough to take him as a handcuff.  


MAURICE JONES DREW – MJD is the main offense for the Jaguars, and coming off an injury and playing for a contract, you can expect that MJD is going to be a bull this season.  MJD has been very durable in his career, before his injury last season, and there is no reason to think that he won’t be durable again this season.  There is no need to handcuff MJD.


STEVEN JACKSON – Jackson has moved to a powerhouse offense in Atlanta, and will be taking over for Michael Turner.  Jackson has the ability to put up similar numbers to Turner when he arrived in Atlanta, although Jackson also catches the ball.  Jaquizz Rodgers is not worth drafting as a handcuff for Jackson.  


MONTEE BALL – Ball, like Steven Jackson, was drafted and is going to a team with a powerhouse offense, but that also contains a future hall-of-fame quarterback.  Ball presents the Denver with a true workhorse who scored 83 touchdowns in college.  Ball will be able to withstand the punishment of the NFL and will be a touchdown threat every time they are inside the 10-yard line.  Ronnie Hillman is not a threat to steal carries, and does not have ability to be a 3 down back if Ball were to miss time.  






DEMARCO MURRAY – Demarco Murray has proven in his short career that he cannot be counted on to play all 16 games.  If you draft Murray as a starting running back then you need to be sure grab some depth at the running back position.  The backup to Murray is going to be rookie Johnathan Randle, who is unproven.  I like Randle in dynasty formats, but I would not trust him as a sole handcuff to Murray, but there is no doubt that you need to handcuff Murray this year.


DARREN MCFADDEN – Ok, so this is the no brainer of no brainers.  You had better handcuff the hell out of Darren McFadden, but don’t handcuff him with any other running back on the Raiders roster.  Expect an injury and you will be better off. 


RYAN MATHEWS – Ok, so McFadden is not alone in the no brainer department, as he rides in a carpool with Mathews.  Mathews is a player that is trying to prove he can be depended on, but if you draft him…handcuff him.  I would be grabbing extra depth at the position, but if Mathews does get injured I expect Danny Woodhead to be even more valuable.  


ARIAN FOSTER – Foster is one of our Bust candidates this season and if you draft him you will be taking him as your #1 running back, so you will need insurance.  Ben Tate could be in line for a big season if Foster goes down and Tate is one of the few true handcuffs that I would draft this season.  I have very little faith in Foster this year.  


LESEAN MCCOY – McCoy is moving from playing in Andy Reid’s offense to playing for new head coach Chip Kelly, who ran the ball 64.1% of the time while coaching at Oregon.  McCoy is expected to see a big workload, if that is the case, but he has never had more than 273 carries in a season.  Last season Bryce Brown showed he could be an effective replacement for McCoy, and is expected to poach some carries this season.  Brown is a perfect handcuff for McCoy, as he has the same skill set and can break the big run.  


DAVID WILSON – Wilson is a player that we expect to make a splash in fantasy in 2013, but that does not mean that you can give him 100% trust.  Wilson only had 71 carries last season, but showed his big play ability on kickoff returns.  That resume demands that you handcuff him with extra depth at the position.


RAY RICE – Rice is an interesting case, as he was a sure fire no handcuff last season, but he showed signs of slowing down toward the end of the season.  Then there is the case of Bernard Pierce, who had 108 carries last season, which is surely to increase this year, since most of those carries came toward the end of the season including 2 double digit carry games in the playoffs.  The Ravens have compared him to Matt Forte as a runner, with the ability to be a weapon in the passing game.  This indicates that if I draft Rice I am going to have to go after Pierce as his handcuff.  






STEVAN RIDLEY – Ridley did a great job last season as the lead back for the Patriots, and with the turmoil going on with the New England offense he is expected to see a bigger workload this season.  I still have faith in Ridley, but the fact that he is not a threat in the passing game, with all of 6 catches last season, it will make me potentially want to grab some depth, especially if Ridley is your #1 back.  If he is your #2 then you may not need to handcuff him.  


CHRIS JOHNSON – Chris Johnson has extra competition in Tennessee this season with the arrival of Shonn Greene, but that does not mean you want to handcuff Johnson with him, as they are both completely different types of running backs.  Johnson is talking big this season with new help on his offensive line, and is saying he is going for 2,000 yards again, which makes me worry a little.  Johnson may have eyes bigger than his stomach and he is traditionally a back who has great weeks, as well as duds.  That being said it will depend on what the make up of your team is to decide if you want to handcuff him, just don’t do it with Shonn Greene.


CJ SPILLER – Spiller is entering the season as the #1 running back for the Bills for the first time in his career.  He has all the talent and ability to be one of the best backs in the game, but the fact is he has never had more than 207 carries in a season.  This fact helps to make Spiller a maybe candidate for a handcuff.  If you believe that he is going to breakdown with a larger workload and a young offense then you handcuff him.  If you feel has not taken the beating of lots of carries over the year and is ready to be a starter for all 16 games, then you don’t handcuff him. 


MARSHAWN LYNCH – Lynch is back that most owners are not going to even think about handcuffing, as he is known as Beast Mode.  That being said, Lynch has also seen a lot carries (600) over the past 2 seasons, and could be a candidate to wear down.  The growth of Russell Wilson should also be a benefit to keeping defenses honest and from stacking the box on Lynch.  I am not as concerned about Lynch, but if I do grab him I will probably handcuff him late with his rookie backup Christine Michael, who could be Lynch’s replacement within 2 years.  



houdini pyro character


By Houdini (email me)