May 21, 2018


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Eric Ebron

Detroit Lions

Ebron Could Use Some Luck

Colts signed TE Eric Ebron, formerly of the Lions, to a two-year contract. Coach Frank Reich called Ebron an "elite tight end."

The last time we saw Andrew Luck healthy (2016), the Colts used 2+ TE sets at the 3rd-highest rate in the NFL and had the 6th-highest target share to TEs.

04/01/18, 11:32 AM CDT by Wheeler


Carlos Hyde

San Francisco 49ers

Hyde and Seek

Browns agreed to terms with RB Carlos Hyde, formerly of the 49ers, on a three-year, $15 million contract.

Obtaining Hyde has several trickle-down effects; first it replaces Crowell who signed with the Jets, it probably diminishes Duke Johnson’s value a bit. Hyde is a better all-around back than Crowell was and will certainly take over the goal-line work seeing that he’s got 20+ pounds on Duke. It also reduces the likelihood that Cleveland takes Saquon Barkley with the 4th pick in the draft. They will most likely look to draft a defensive player (Chubb) or trade down again.

04/01/18, 11:28 AM CDT by Wheeler


Jerick McKinnon

Minnesota Vikings

McKinnon Goes West For Gold-Rush

49ers agreed to terms with RB Jerick McKinnon, formerly of the Vikings, on a four-year, $30 million contract.

McKinnon averaged a ho-hum 3.8 yards a carry for the Vikings and scored three rushing touchdowns. By contrast, San Francisco's former lead runner, Carlos Hyde, averaged 3.9 yards an attempt in 2017 and had eight rushing touchdowns.

It appears as though Shanahan is enamored with McKinnon's athletic metrics, but I'm not so sure he was "pounding the table" to get him. This move could push the Niner's to cut Joe Williams.

04/01/18, 11:12 AM CDT by Wheeler


Mike Wallace

Baltimore Ravens

Eagles Keep Improving

Eagles signed WR Mike Wallace to a one-year contract.
Mike Wallace can still move posting a top five max speed among wide receivers last season. He will fill the void left by Torrey Smith as a speed vertical threat.

04/01/18, 11:08 AM CDT by Wheeler


Terrelle Pryor

Washington Redskins

Jets Searching For Weapons

Jets agreed to terms with WR Terrelle Pryor, formerly of Washington and Cleveland.

Second year in a row on a new team doesn’t really help Pryor's cause, but I like the idea of him on the field with Teddy Bridgewater at some point. I would imagine, with some creativity, the Jets could really design some innovative gadget plays.
The Jets receiving corps really looks like a bunch of question marks at this point though, no telling what the week-to-week outcome will be with these guys.
Jermaine Kearse: 65 catches, 810 yards, 5 touchdowns (2017)
Robby Anderson: 63 catches, 941 yards, 7 touchdowns (2017)
Quincy Enunwa: 58 catches, 857 yards, 4 touchdowns (2016)
Terrelle Pryor: 77 catches, 1007 yards, 4 touchdowns (2016)

04/01/18, 11:04 AM CDT by Wheeler


Carlos Henderson

Denver Broncos

Sleeper Watch

Broncos coach Vance Joseph said the team is "counting on" Carlos Henderson making an impact in 2018.

If you are paying attention to Staggs projections there is plenty of opportunity for Henderson to step into a solid number of targets in the slot. Henderson was hindered by injury and awful QB play last year. Being drafted in the 18th round or later in best-ball leagues, Henderson is the late round flyer that should be on your radar.

04/01/18, 11:00 AM CDT by Wheeler


Ben Watson

Baltimore Ravens

Watson Returns To Big Easy

Saints signed TE Ben Watson, formerly of the Ravens, to a one-year contract.

Watson had 74 catches on 110 targets for 825 yards and 6 TD’s when he was with the Saints in 2015. After missing 2016 he had a pretty good year with Baltimore last year despite an anemic offense, with 61 catches on 79 targets for 522 yards and 4 TD’s. He’s not a bad late round flyer TE. He’s basically free right now, but I expect by the time the season starts he’ll be being drafted within the top 20 at the position.

04/01/18, 10:54 AM CDT by Wheeler


Jeff Janis

Green Bay Packers

Janis Truthers Challenged

Browns officially signed former Packers’ WR Jeff Janis.
The combine superstar never amounted to anything in Green Bay, I highly doubt Cleveland is the place for him to finally break-out.

04/01/18, 10:50 AM CDT by Wheeler


Thomas Rawls

Seattle Seahawks

Jets Sign Rawls

Rawls had five RB1 games in 2015, one in 2016, and has been a disappointment since. He’s not worth your time in fantasy, but he could cause enough disruption in the Jets backfield to cut any upside we might have hoped for from Isaiah Crowell.

04/01/18, 10:48 AM CDT by Wheeler


Allen Robinson

Jacksonville Jaguars

Coo coo ca choo Mr. Robinson

Bears signed WR Allen Robinson, formerly of the Jaguars, to a three-year, $42 million contract.

This is a great move for Robinson and Chicago. Nagy’s offense and the young QB, Trubiski, should benefit Robinson at least as much as Bortles did, and Chicago gets the top WR in free agency.
Everyone on the team will be in a new scheme so there will be an adjustment, but as they start to gel we should see a big second half. Robinson’s recovery from a torn ACL doesn’t scare me away from drafting him in the late third/early fourth, his current MFL10 ADP is 43 overall while his Draft app ADP is 59.9. I expect Robinson to be somewhere in the range of 75 receptions, for 1100 yards and 8 TD’s.

03/24/18, 08:25 PM CDT by Wheeler


Sammy Watkins

Los Angeles Rams

KC Building Strong Air Attack

Chiefs signed Sammy Watkins, formerly of the Rams, to a three-year, $48 million contract.

I’m a big Sammy truther so getting him in the 5th or 6th round is a pure power move. His current Draft app ADP of 87.1 is an absolute steal, his MFL10 ADP of 69.5 is still a great value in my opinion. There are quite a few options for high targets in KC so I don’t expect him to see the 128 targets he saw his rookie year, but he should definitely see more than the 70 he saw last year. He’ll have an entire offseason to work with the near-rookie QB, and at age 25 he should have enough burst left to have a 70 catch, 1050 yd, 8TD line. For his career he has 16 receptions on 30 targets for 12 TD’s in the Red Zone, and 9 receptions on 13 targets, for 8 TD’s inside the opponents 10. He should be the exact WR the Chiefs need to get over the hump. As a team the Chiefs were 34/75 for 13 TD’s in the Red-Zone last year and 12/24 for 10 TD inside the 10.

03/24/18, 08:19 PM CDT by Wheeler


Kirk Cousins

Washington Redskins

Vikings Like That

Kirk Cousins plans to sign a three-year, fully-guaranteed contract from the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday. The deal is believed to be for around $86 million, and reports are it will be fully-guaranteed, a landmark for an NFL free agent.

Should be a lateral move for Kirk as far as fantasy, better WR’s, but fewer passes thrown in this offense. A healthy Dalvin Cook should be able to run out the clock if they are up in the second half of games and take the ball out of Cousins hands near the end zone. It should also help the overall efficiency of the offense so all in all it increases his floor, but cuts any garbage-time production we’ve seen with Washington. Kyle Rudolph becomes a big benefactor here, Cousins loves his TE, especially near the end-zone.

03/24/18, 08:16 PM CDT by Wheeler


Case Keenum

Minnesota Vikings

Denver Makes Case

Broncos signed QB Case Keenum, formerly of the Vikings, to a two-year, $36 million contract.

Well, I was hoping for more than a bridge QB for my favorite WR (D. Thomas), but this is a definite upgrade from the three stooges Denver put behind center last year.

03/24/18, 08:13 PM CDT by Wheeler


LeGarrette Blount

Philadelphia Eagles

Detroit Sparks Up Blount

The Lions signed free agent RB LeGarrette Blount to a 1-year deal worth $4.5M. He’s back with Matt Patricia, as the New England ties are strong.

The Lions have needed a true goal-line/power-back for years. I expect Blount to get between 150-200 touches and all the short-yardage carries. Detroit’s offense doesn’t really fit what Blount brings to the table, but I expect Patricia will have some influence over how the offense will operate from here-on-out.

03/24/18, 08:10 PM CDT by Wheeler


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


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)