May 24, 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


Houdini's Fantasy Football Handcuffs

Houdini's Fantasy Football Handcuffs

Posted by d-Rx on 05/20/12

by   The Archer


More Articals


fantasy football handcuffs - houdini's handcuffs


Top 5 Handcuffs



There is always a lot of talk about handcuffs and the need to have them, so much so that teams will draft backup players and try to tell you how bad you need your stars backup and have to give him a starting player for the insurance.  I don’t believe the insurance is worth that much.  When it comes to these handcuffs most people assume I would be targeting the backup to players like Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice and Arian Foster, but I have a different way of looking at this.  The handcuff is really most important at the RB position and that is where all of my handcuffs are.  The difference for me is that I don’t believe in handcuffing players like Ray Rice and here is why.  Those players are great and put up monster stats and if he goes down the player who replaces him will not be able to produce like Ray Rice does in that offense.  So if I draft that handcuff he is going to be an average player at the position, if he gets a chance to play, versus getting a player that can be a flex player and starter on my team.  I like getting players that score points without needing an injury to get the time on the field.  This leads me to my handcuff strategy.



If you are not lucky enough to be one of the teams that get a stud running back, and since there are not that many there is a good chance of that, then you need to think about handcuffing like I do.  There are many running backs that are in the dreaded RBBC and those are the ones that most warrant the handcuff in my opinion.  When you have 2 backs in an offense that both touch the ball close to the same amount of time or a 60-40 split there is always a chance that the split goes the other way as the season moves on.  Having these handcuffs are more important because they are both good backs, but if one starts to fumble the other is going to see his carries increase in a big way.  If there is an injury there is no question as to who is taking over as the lead back.  That means if you have the handcuff on these guys you will score more points in the dreaded situation than the replacement of a Ray Rice or Adrian Peterson.  Without further ado here is the list.



Ahmad Bradshaw – David Wilson


Bradshaw looks like he could be in for a bigger year this year with Brandon Jacobs heading out of New York.  That is good news for Bradshaw, but the Giants are not sold on Bradshaw as he has had foot injury issues and that is not good for a running back.  Not to mention that in 2010 Bradshaw also put the ball on the carpet 7 times.  It would seem that everything is set for Bradshaw to be the guy, but with the talent on the offense of the Giants if Bradshaw stumbles Wilson will be given a great opportunity to step in.  Wilson was drafted in the first round which is not a round you draft someone in if you don’t expect them to be a starter in this league.  So if you do grab Bradshaw be sure to be looking to grab Wilson.



Matt Forte – Michael Bush


Matt Forte has proven that he is a very good fantasy running back, as he had pretty much been all the offense the Bears have had over the last 4 years.  This year the Bears have given Jay Cutler a lot more weapons in the offense with the addition of Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Michael Bush.  Bush is the real interesting piece in the deal.  Forte is looking for a long term contract and the team has placed the franchise tag on him, which he is not happy about.  He might potentially sit out of training camp, which is never a good thing for a player as that could increase the chance of an injury, usually a hamstring.  Michael Bush showed he can do a good job filling in as he did for Darren McFadden last year.  Forte is going to see a decreased workload and if he does come into camp late and gets injured you will be very happy if you grabbed Bush to back him up. 



DeMarco Murray – Felix Jones


This handcuff would have been the opposite way around last year.  Murray exploded on the scene as a rookie by blowing up in weeks 7-10 rushing for 601 yards.  Murray was hampered by injuries at the beginning and the end of the season, but showed that he has the stuff to be a lead back in the NFL.  Although, due to his history of injuries, even if it is just one year, you have to be concerned that he is not going to be able to last for the full season, which is why Felix Jones should also be on your radar if you draft Murray.  Jones has been the epitome of a disappointment and is now relegated to a backup role.  Jones still wants to get the job back as it was his last year so you know he has the motivation.  If Murray does get nicked up you will want to have Felix Jones to plug in.



Darren McFadden – Mike Goodson


Well Run DMC showed last year that he can flat out dominate when healthy.  The only problem is he is usually not healthy.  Last year the injury bug hit McFadden hard after he was off to a great start and then Michael Bush stepped in and made a name for himself in McFadden’s absence.  Bush has moved on to the Bears and left behind McFadden are Taiwan Jones and Mike Goodson who was acquired from the Panthers.  The reason they brought Goodson over was because the Raiders were not confident with Jones being the guy behind McFadden.  Goodson got virtually no work last year behind DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart which means he has fresh legs.  The last time he really had a chance was in 2010 when he had to step in due to injuries and posted back to back 100 yard rushing games.  Goodson should be targeted if you grab McFadden as he has proven he can be counted on as a good replacement player. 



Fred Jackson – CJ Spiller


This duo may be the pure definition of a handcuff.  Fred Jackson was the man last year until he got injured and then Spiller stepped in week 12 and was quite impressive himself.  Jackson should get the starting job back this season but he is going to get spelled by Spiller more than he was last year.  If either one of these guys goes down the value of the other player is going to skyrocket.  With the emergence of Spiller at the end of last season it is conceivable that fantasy owners are not going to go after Fred Jackson all that high.  If you are able to wait to grab him as you RB2 you may want to spend your next pick on Spiller and then you have the insurance for Jackson as well as a player that should put up some points for you each week. 


FYI: This article will be one of many ancillary write ups we will include in our draft kit this year. d-Rx®, Dawgmaticå and Houdini will each be doing a handcuffs, sleeper, busts and draft strategy pieces (along with our rankings, a target piece, d-Rx's tiers, IDP rankings) and much much more. 


by Houdini


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