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Carlos Henderson

Denver Broncos

Carlos Henderson Impresses in Broncos OTA’s

"Carlos is a great route-runner," fellow wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders said during OTAs. "He keeps his arms running through the cuts. I’ve been watching film on him and just seeing how he is. He is a technique guy."

Fantasy Goo: This offense has been missing the short-game middle of the field presence in the passing game from a TE or slot receiver. It’s hard to say how many opportunities are there with the QB situation the way it is and two premier receivers on the outside, but this report sounds like they are looking to create opportunities for him, even if it’s on special teams. His metrics profile compares best to Stealing Sheppard.

07/20/17, 06:35 PM CDT by Wheeler


Chris Johnson

Arizona Cardinals

Cardinals Re-sign RB Chris Johnson to One-year Contract

This is the perfect situation for everyone involved. Johnson obviously knows the offense, the Cardinals have a solid back-up and can bring their rookie along slowly. Ellington has moved to WR and Kerwynn Williams is comfortable with the offense, but certainly not a solid No.2.

Fantasy Goo:
It doesn’t move the needle for anyone’s value, David Johnson is still the number one or two overall pick and there was no “handcuff” on the radar to begin with. In the four games Chris Johnson was active last year he only did more than spell David in one game, when Arizona crushed Tennessee 40-7.

07/20/17, 04:11 PM CDT by Wheeler


Mike Williams

Los Angeles Chargers

Chargers First Round Pick Might Need Surgery

Reports on Mike Williams are mixed on whether he’ll need surgery or not for the herniated disk in his back, either way it seems unlikely that he will have anything to contribute this year. It seems like Schefter and Rapoport are having a little pissing contest as to whether Williams will actually need surgery.

Fantasy Goo: Draft Tyrell Williams as your WR3, he’s going after the 10th round right now, but that won’t happen for much longer. Keep Dontrell Inman on your radar, he could be a late round flyer in PPR leagues, with Allen out last year Inman finished with more PPR points than Ginn, Cobb and DeVante Parker.

07/20/17, 03:24 PM CDT by Wheeler


Gary Barnidge

Cleveland Browns

Jaguars Meet With Barnidge

“Barnidge was released by Cleveland following this year's NFL Draft. The Browns used a first-round pick on Miami tight end David Njoku, who is set to take on Barnidge's playing time. If the Jaguars were to sign Barnidge, it would be a homecoming for the veteran tight end.”

Fantasy Goo: This means nothing, Barnidge will not have a repeat of his 2015 season. Barnidge is a solid blocking TE that had a spectacular year when there were no other options in the offense. The Jaguars aren’t very adept at using the TE either, Julius Thomas did next to nothing in his two years with the team.

07/20/17, 03:21 PM CDT by Wheeler


Jay Ajayi

Miami Dolphins

Run Anywhere Else

When Jay Ajayi runs to either side of Jermon Bushrod the Dolphins starting right guard (7 or 8 holes) he averaged 2.97 yards per rush. When Jay Ajayi ran on plays designed for any other holes he averaged 6.04 yards per.

Fantasy Goo: Bushrod was clearly the weak link in Miami's line finishing the year with a 43 PFF Player grade. Look for Miami to try to replace him with Kraig Urbik or Jesse Davis once training camps roll in.

07/16/17, 06:11 PM CDT by The Hartbeat


D'Onta Foreman

Houston Texans

Texans Rookie Gets Caught with Stoned Friend

Big news of D’Onta Foreman’s arrest came on Sunday (7/16) and because everyone is in front of their computers, the news splashed Twitter into a frenzy. The gun he had was legal, his passenger is taking the fall for the weed.

Fantasy Goo: If he’s clean on the piss test, absolutely nothing happens, maybe a 1-2 game suspension at most. He does take a hit in dynasty if he fails the drug test, buy low.

07/16/17, 02:49 PM CDT by Wheeler


Jarvis Landry

Miami Dolphins

Deadline Set for Miami to Re-Sign Landry

Landry will not negotiate his contract after the season begins. I’m not so sure Landry is in Miami’s future plans. They surely won’t franchise him for $18 million next year and they just gave Kenny Stills a nice contract.

Fantasy Goo:I believe Miami has high hopes for DeVante Parker becoming the wide receiver one they drafted him to be. That may be a tall task with Tannehill running the show, but Parker appears to be far more committed to improving this year.

07/15/17, 08:55 AM CDT by Wheeler


Carlos Hyde

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers Backfield Community

Reports out of SF say that Hyde has to earn the starting job. SF drafted two running backs and signed several free agents in the off-season including Tim Hightower and Kyle Juszczyk. If Hyde stays healthy there’s little doubt he earns the job, but he’s in the last year of his contract so if SF has their expected slow start I expect them to turn to their other options quickly.

Fantasy Goo: There are also reports that Hyde doesn’t fit into the Shanahan system well, he’s a tremendous athlete, but this is the time of year to pay attention to the negative information when we usually see nothing but fluff.

07/15/17, 08:48 AM CDT by Wheeler


Virgil Green

Denver Broncos

Denver Tight End Job Up for Grabs

The team did select tight end Jake Butt in the 2017 NFL draft, but a knee injury suffered in Michigan’s bowl game may keep the talented rookie out of action for this entire season.

Fantasy Goo: Virgil Green is a blocker and AJ Derby is a natural athlete that converted to TE from QB, they believe he can be used in many ways and McCoy’s offense can use a third pass-catcher. Derby isn’t worth drafting, but we may want to keep an eye on him.

07/15/17, 08:42 AM CDT by Wheeler


Demaryius Thomas

Denver Broncos

Denver Receivers Excited for New Offense

“We’ve got this new offense with Mike McCoy. We’re going to be throwing the ball around so my conditioning has to be up and I’ve been working on that.’’
Sanders is working on a healthier lifestyle and getting ready for a high paced offense. Thomas is just happy to get his favorite play back in the rotation (WR screen).

Fantasy Goo: Thomas’ ADP is rising to the second round, while Sanders’ is hanging around in the late fifth. If you miss on Thomas keep an eye on Sanders slipping to you. While we’re not sure who the QB will be, these two should be just fine where they are being drafted.

07/15/17, 08:37 AM CDT by Wheeler


Doug Martin

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

McNichols Working on Pass Catching Skills

Jeremy McNichols has been working with the Bucs wide receivers. He's going basically undrafted, McNichols may be worth a late round flyer if you’re in a FFPC (28 round) draft, but we have to see what happens in camp before we can judge this one.

Fantasy Goo: Doug Martin’s ADP has risen to the point where he’s getting way too expensive. If he’s hanging around in the ninth or tenth he might be worth a shot, but there are probably better options to choose from before that point.

07/15/17, 08:30 AM CDT by Wheeler


Frank Gore

Indianapolis Colts

Opportunities in Colts Backfield

“As long as I’m healthy and my guys up front get me the opportunities, I’m going to be successful,’’ Gore said.
Offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski remains squarely in Gore’s corner, but there figures to be more of a backs-by-committee approach this season. “You can go a lot of different directions in that you can feature more things or different things with different people,’’ he said. “Some of that will be personnel-driven.’’

Fantasy Goo: With no improvements to the O-line, Robert Turbin showing life in camp, and Marlon Mack being drafted, I don’t see how Gore improves on last year’s total. He keeps on ticking like the energizer bunny, but I think that cliff is close. I’ve been high on him every year until now.

07/15/17, 08:25 AM CDT by Wheeler


Eric Ebron

Detroit Lions

Ebron to see more red-zone targets?

Ebron’s ADP has risen 2-3 rounds, depending on your scoring, in the past two months. Everyone seems to think that Ebron will see more red-zone looks this year with Boldin’s 22 RZ targets leaving town. He has a very safe floor so there’s no real downside to drafting him in the eighth round or later.

Fantasy Goo: I’m going to keep an eye on Boldin as well, he hasn’t signed with another team yet, and he’s not finished playing. Detroit is still on the list of places he could end up.

07/15/17, 08:06 AM CDT by Wheeler


Gerald Everett

Los Angeles Rams

Higbee opens door for Everett

“Receiver Mike Thomas on Friday was suspended for the Rams’ first four games of the regular season because of a doping violation, and tight end Tyler Higbee entered into a plea agreement in connection with an incident that left a man hospitalized.”

Fantasy Goo: This could leave the door open for rookie Gerald Everett to get some major playing time right from the start. There will be plenty of hands in the pot for targets and we certainly aren’t looking for an explosive offense from the Rams, but this is something to keep an eye on as camps begin.

07/15/17, 07:52 AM CDT by Wheeler


George Kittle

San Francisco 49ers

Sleeper Alert: Kittle

Jon Lynch and the people in San Francisco have been raving about the performance of George Kittle in pre-season practices.

Fantasy Goo: As of now Kittle would still be behind Vance McDonald in the pecking order, but keep Kittle in the back of your mind as a potential sleeper at TE in 2017. But remember - he still is a rookie TE.

07/11/17, 01:27 PM CDT by The Hartbeat


Christian McCaffrey

Carolina Panthers

Rookie Slow Your Role

"McCaffrey, while not nearly as big and strong as Stewart, could be effective as a ball-carrier in a power scheme – something he showed throughout his career at Stanford. It’ll be interesting to see how the carries are divvied out week to week."

Fantasy Goo: I expect McCaffery to have numbers comparable to the above-average pass-catching backs, maybe a ceiling of 2013 & 2015 Danny Woodhead (or 2011 Jonathan Stewart), he’s being drafted way too early for redraft with a MFL10 ADP of 35 overall/ RB15.

07/07/17, 11:27 AM CDT by The Hartbeat


Jonathan Stewart

Carolina Panthers

Stewart Not Done Yet

"Everyone from head coach Ron Rivera to running backs coach Jim Skipper has insisted that Stewart’s role will not change. And Stewart himself has made it clear he’s not at all concerned. The punishing 240-pound runner will continue to see the bulk of the carries."

Fantasy Goo: Fantasy Goo: With a MFL10 ADP in the 12th round Stewart is a steal right now, although the news is getting out and his ADP has started to rise since this article was released.

07/07/17, 11:23 AM CDT by The Hartbeat


Derek Carr

Oakland Raiders

Get Money, Get Paid

The Raiders have locked up their QB for the future by giving him the richest contract in NFL history. Carr signed the extension for 5 years $125 million.

Fantasy Goo: We all expected Carr to be in Oakland for the foreseeable future, however there has been a history of players having down years right after inking big deals. Be on the look out for any news that implies Carr is getting complacent with his money. Otherwise, Carr is still a low end QB1 with some weekly upside.

06/22/17, 11:44 AM CDT by The Hartbeat


Marquess Wilson

Chicago Bears

Jets Add Another Former Bear WR

After letting Brandon Marshall walk to the other locker room in NJ and releasing Decker, the Jets are starting to fill the void at WR with Marquess Wilson.

Fantasy Goo: Wilson isn't draft worthy as of now, but he has shown flashes in the pan with some big games. Keep him on your radar through the season as he could provide some strong weeks as bye week fill ins.

06/20/17, 01:19 PM CDT by The Hartbeat


Christine Michael

Seattle Seahawks

The Asleepening: Michael to IR

Christine Michael will not be available for the Colts in 2017. He was placed on the IR.

Fantasy Goo: Robert Turbin has been getting hyped, as has their rookie Marlon Mack. With Michael out of the picture we will have a more clear idea on who will end up being the 34 year old running back's handcuff.

06/19/17, 01:46 PM CDT by The Hartbeat


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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