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Le'Veon Bell

Pittsburgh Steelers

Bell Lookin' To Get PAID!


“Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell will report back to team before regular season kicks off, though it remains unclear exactly when.” Bell values himself at about $15mm per year, your move Rooney.

Fantasy Goo: There is no doubt Bell is an elite RB1 when he is active, this hold-out makes me nervous. He might be staying in shape, but there is no way to really simulate game-speed without actually participating with the team. He missed 3 games last year and came in shredding defenses, but that is much different than missing camp completely.


08/18/17, 05:48 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Eddie Lacy

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle's Crowded Backfield


Seattle Seahawks RB Thomas Rawls ankle injury will hold him out of week 2 preseason action on Friday. It’s being called a minor injury and Eddie Lacy is now expected to be the starting tailback for the second preseason game.

Fantasy Goo: When it was first announced that Rawls would get the start I thought nothing of it, teams usually rest their banged-up players week 2 anyway. Week 3 is what we really care about, but if they’re resting Rawls this week that becomes somewhat questionable. We should probably consider this a full blown committee at this point, in which case you can read our “League Winners” article to see who I think is worthy of drafting in this backfield.


08/17/17, 09:24 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Thomas Rawls

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle's Crowded Backfield


Seattle Seahawks RB Thomas Rawls ankle injury will hold him out of week 2 preseason action on Friday. It’s being called a minor injury and Eddie Lacy is now expected to be the starting tailback for the second preseason game.

Fantasy Goo: When it was first announced that Rawls would get the start I thought nothing of it, teams usually rest their banged-up players week 2 anyway. Week 3 is what we really care about, but if they’re resting Rawls this week that becomes somewhat questionable. We should probably consider this a full blown committee at this point, in which case you can read our “League Winners” article to see who I think is worthy of drafting in this backfield.


08/17/17, 09:24 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Andrew Luck

Indianapolis Colts

Indy Needs Some Luck


There has been quite a bit of concern about Andrew Luck’s availability to start the season on the active roster after offseason surgery. Hartbeat points out that, “Colts seem confident in Luck for week 1 as they haven't changed their playbook.” There is a concern about his offensive line though as starting C Ryan Kelly is likely to find himself on the designated IR for return after foot surgery.

Fantasy Goo: Luck put together a 2016 season with a career best 71.2 QBR and a 92.4 PFF grade. If he’s healthy he’s a must start, and his ADP has fallen nearly two rounds since August first. He is now being drafted as the eighth QB off the board. Check out the Draft Kit vol.3 to get the full goo.


08/17/17, 08:57 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Aaron Jones

Green Bay Packers

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08/17/17, 10:10 AM CDT by The Hartbeat

Source: pyromaniac.com


Curtis Samuel

Carolina Panthers

Samuel Back in Pads


Curtis Samuel was back in full pads for today's practice (Wednesday), he has missed almost all of training camp with a hamstring problem that began as a issue in the spring. He's been out for so long that it's hard to see him having a immediate early-season role.

Fantasy Goo: Samuel is the ultimate utility knife if he can get healthy, he can pick up the big plays vacated by Ginn and match anything fellow rookie McCaffrey does in the passing game.


08/16/17, 08:15 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Ty Montgomery

Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Rookie's on Display


“Ty Montgomery’s likely absence from Saturday night’s preseason game at Washington will put an even bigger spotlight on the depth-chart battle involving three of Green Bay’s third-day draft picks. Williams is the front-runner in part because he’s shown the best aptitude for pass protection in the backfield. Jones has displayed a different gear in the open field that he’d love to show off in a game if he gets a crease. Mays is the best example of compact power, at 5-10 and 230 pounds.”

Fantasy Goo:Ty performed very well last year with the 3rd best juke rate of 34% and the best yards per contact per touch of all RBs at 2.8. The issue with Montgomery is Jamaal Williams is in line to take away the short yardage work and it’s unclear what type of volume Ty can handle as he rushed double digits in only 1 game.


08/16/17, 07:58 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: www.packers.com


Jamaal Williams

Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Rookie's on Display


“Ty Montgomery’s likely absence from Saturday night’s preseason game at Washington will put an even bigger spotlight on the depth-chart battle involving three of Green Bay’s third-day draft picks. Williams is the front-runner in part because he’s shown the best aptitude for pass protection in the backfield. Jones has displayed a different gear in the open field that he’d love to show off in a game if he gets a crease. Mays is the best example of compact power, at 5-10 and 230 pounds.”

Fantasy Goo:Ty performed very well last year with the 3rd best juke rate of 34% and the best yards per contact per touch of all RBs at 2.8. The issue with Montgomery is Jamaal Williams is in line to take away the short yardage work and it’s unclear what type of volume Ty can handle as he rushed double digits in only 1 game.


08/16/17, 07:58 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: www.packers.com


Jaron Brown

Arizona Cardinals

Jaron Number Two?


Larry Fitzgerald is the No. 1 wideout. Brown? “He’s No. 2 right now,” Coach Bruce Arians said Tuesday.
“I’ve been here for a while,” Jaron Brown said. “Every camp is different. We obviously have injuries, and that gives me an opportunity. I just try to take advantage.

Fantasy Goo: I could see Jaron shooting up draft boards, and I like him as a last round dart throw, but this just makes that receiving corps all the more crowded. A torn ACL prevented Jaron from possibly breaking-out last year. Yesterday we thought JJ Nelson would emerge, I’m sure we will be re-visiting this regularly.


08/16/17, 04:21 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Cole Beasley

Dallas Cowboys

Beasley Under the Radar


NFL Next Gen Stats have revealed many of their numbers to the public recently. Hartbeat picked this one out on Twitter: Cole Beasley adding another advanced stat that he thrives in, Top 10 in separation among all pass catchers.

Fantasy Goo: Beasley was one of the most efficient weapons in the NFL last year. His Defense-adjusted Yards above Replacement and Defense-adjusted Value over Average ranked as 5th best among WRs. For more on Beasley and others check out the Pyro Pulse podcast episode 6, WR Tiers.


08/15/17, 05:08 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


John Brown

Arizona Cardinals

John Brown’s Health Back in Question


WR John Brown looking like sickle cell IS NOT being managed by the Cardinals. Could be another injury plagued season for Brown. Arians said WR John Brown not practicing full time is a concern (He's been participating in certain drills during practice).

Fantasy Goo: JJ Nelson was the WR11 in PPR scoring weeks 13-17, it appears as though we should be drafting Nelson as one of our late round flyers immediately. If the Brown news continues to be negative we will begin to see Nelson’s stock rise. Jaron Brown and Chad Williams are names we should also keep an eye on, but Arians has complained about their lack of performance publicly.


08/15/17, 04:28 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Maxx Williams

Baltimore Ravens

Maxx Looks Slow, Open Door for Watson


“Tight end Maxx Williams deserves a ton of credit for persevering through a serious knee surgery and getting back onto the field this summer. But in watching him run, it’s still pretty clear that he has a ways to go. He has bulked up and gotten considerably stronger, so it will be interesting to see whether he becomes more of a blocking tight end, assuming he’s on the season-opening roster.”

fantasy Goo: Ben Watson appears to be worth a last round flier. Denis Pitta was the number eight TE overall last year and he only scored 2 TD’s. Watson was the number 6 TE in 2015 with Drew Brees throwing him 6 TD’s.


08/15/17, 03:54 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: www.baltimoresun.com


Ryan Mathews

Philadelphia Eagles

Ryan Matthews Released


After passing his physical earlier today, The Eagles have informed former starting RB Ryan Mathews that he's been released. This move was completely expected, the Eagles save a bunch of money by releasing him now.

Fantasy Goo: Hartbeat would like to see him land in: IND, SF, MIA or CHI (all backup roles). I think the Giants or Ravens should see what he has left in the tank, even if it’s just a few games Matthews is a talented back, he’s just been drenched with injuries. I don’t think the team that picks him up has to pay much for him.


08/15/17, 03:30 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Devonta Freeman

Atlanta Falcons

Freeman in Concussion Protocol


Coach Quinn says Devonta Freeman is in concussion protocol, will be ruled out for Sunday's game. This really means nothing if he’s back by next week, but if this lingers like Jay Ajayi’s concussion, Coleman might actually be worth his draft value in the sixth round.

Fantasy Goo: Despite being only 206 lbs he had the 3rd most RZ carries with 53. Although Coleman is an extremely strong receiver Freeman was still top 5 in catches among RBs on only a 63% snap share.


08/14/17, 04:34 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Leonard Fournette

Jacksonville Jaguars

Fournette Battling Same Issues


Jaguars rookie RB Leonard Fournette suffered a foot injury and HC Doug Marrone said team intends to be "careful with him." Fournette battled a recurring foot/ankle injury throughout his final season at LSU. It was a real problem most of the year.

Fantasy Goo: Fournette was clocked running 22.9 MPH at LSU last season, for reference Tyreek Hill was the NFLs fastest player at 23.2MPH. It appears as though Jacksonville is being cautious, but rookies need to get on the field and learn the nuances of the NFL, especially pass blocking.


08/14/17, 03:31 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Jordan Matthews

Buffalo Bills

Matthews Must Play With Pain


Bills' WR Jordan Mathews has what team is calling "a chip fracture in his sternum" and is week to week.
The good news is that it’s just a pain tolerance issue. The bad news is that it can be pretty painful.

Fantasy Goo: Matthews move to Buffalo had very little effect on his projections, but with lack of practice with his new team he will almost certainly get off to a slow start. Check the Pyro Pulse Podcast (Ep.5) to get the hot, sticky goo on how this affects the value of the other Bills and Eagles skill players.


08/14/17, 03:29 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Marqise Lee

Jacksonville Jaguars

Lee High Ankle Sprain Opens Door for Hurns, Again


Jaguars WR Marqise Lee suffered a high-ankle sprain, source said. He'll push hard to be ready for Week 1, but caution could push it back.

Fantasy Goo: Lee was the 39th overall pick of the 2014 draft. In 2016 he caught a career-high 63 passes for 851 yards and three touchdowns. He was finally healthy after continuous injuries the last two years. I think many would rank him higher if we could be sure that he has beaten Allen Hurns out for regular targets.


08/14/17, 02:56 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Jordan Reed

Washington Redskins

Reed Has "Special Shoes"


“Redskins tight end Jordan Reed said his new cleats and orthotics have made a difference for his sprained big toe. Reed said, "I'll be out there shortly." He remains on the PUP list.”

Fantasy Goo: Jay Gruden has made it very clear that the offense runs through Jordan Reed, this was never more prominent than when the Redskins let their two best WRs based on production walk this offseason. Reed has obviously red flags when it comes to injuries, he is one dirty hit away from a career ending concussion. When he is healthy, there is no TE that I would rather have, Reed has averaged the most fantasy points per game over the past two seasons and is targeted on a minimum of 15% of his routes.
For more see Hartbeat TE Gold Diggers vol.1


08/13/17, 08:24 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Sterling Shepard

New York Giants

Shepard Back in Practice


“Just 11 days after he was carted off the practice field with an ankle injury fearing the worst, Shepard practiced fully with his teammates on Sunday. There appeared to be very few restrictions on the second-year receiver, who also didn't seem to be favoring his injured ankle at all.”

Fantasy Goo: Shepard finished second among rookie WRs in targets, catches, yards and touchdowns. In general, second year WRs see a jump in fantasy production by 16%, but Sterling is more likely to move in an inverse fashion. With the Giants bringing in Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram, Shepard is the most likely to see a decrease in targets. See Hartbeat, WR Gold Diggers vol.1 for more.


08/13/17, 07:55 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Robby Anderson

New York Jets

Robby With Early Bomb


With Enunwa out for the season the New York Jets will be looking for one of their young receivers to step-up. On their first drive Josh McCown connected with Robby Anderson for a 53 yard gain and finished the drive with a 4-yard TD pass to Charone Peake. Anderson finished the first half with three receptions for 71 yards.

Fantasy Goo: Anderson could be a nice late-round flyer, but this offense doesn’t project for much fire-power. Anderson projects for a 63/830/4 line and Peake is nothing more than a DFS GPP play or possible bye-week flyer.


08/13/17, 08:14 AM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Travis Kelce

Kansas City Chiefs

Kelce to Return Next Week


After the game, Chiefs coach Andy Reid provided an update on a few of those guys, specifically Travis Kelce. “They are close,” Reid noted of those three guys. “(They will) potentially get some work this next week, we’ll just see how it goes. They’ve got a big rehab session (Saturday), so we’ll see.”

Fantasy Goo: Since he fractured his patella in 2013 and missed his entire rookie campaign, Kelce has not missed a game. Kelce led all TEs last season in fantasy points, but he also thrived under advanced metrics, also leading the league in Success Rate on 65% of his plays. – Hartbeat
I five games without Maclin on the field over the past two years Kelce averages 2.76 more PPR points per game even though he did not score a TD in any of them.


08/12/17, 07:56 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Jay Ajayi

Miami Dolphins

Ajayi Still in Concussion Protocol


Running backs coach Danny Barrett believes Kenyan Drake could be an every-down back if Jay Ajayi misses multiple games. He said Drake is “more reliable, more dependable, being where he’s supposed to be – especially in our passing game”

Fantasy Goo: I’m not necessarily buying what they’re selling, but Ajayi out for 10 days so far does concern me. Gase was not happy with Ajayi to start last year and it was a work-ethic issue. A concussion requires medical clearance and cannot be put in the same category, but Gase seems to have the old-school mentality of, “you can’t make the club from the tub.” If Ajayi is out for any amount of time we can expect about a 50/50 split from Drake and Damien Williams, neither is built for work-horse carries.


08/12/17, 06:23 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Kenyan Drake

Miami Dolphins

Ajayi Still in Concussion Protocol


Running backs coach Danny Barrett believes Kenyan Drake could be an every-down back if Jay Ajayi misses multiple games. He said Drake is “more reliable, more dependable, being where he’s supposed to be – especially in our passing game”

Fantasy Goo: I’m not necessarily buying what they’re selling, but Ajayi out for 10 days so far does concern me. Gase was not happy with Ajayi to start last year and it was a work-ethic issue. A concussion requires medical clearance and cannot be put in the same category, but Gase seems to have the old-school mentality of, “you can’t make the club from the tub.” If Ajayi is out for any amount of time we can expect about a 50/50 split from Drake and Damien Williams, neither is built for work-horse carries.


08/12/17, 06:23 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com

Handcuffs for Running Backs - 2013

Handcuffs for Running Backs - 2013

Posted by d-Rx on 07/14/13

by   The Archer


@TheArcher


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houdini handcuffs 2013

 

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.  

 

 

 

 

NO HANDCUFF

 

 

 

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.  

 

 

 

YES HANDCUFF

 

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.  

 

 

 

MAYBE 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.  

 

 

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By Houdini (email me)