You read that right! Aside from the typical weekly talk on who to add or drop, we’re also going to talk about some handcuffs that need to be owned!
We’re approaching the final push for fantasy playoffs right now, so it’s time to take things seriously. Roster construction starts to evolve from stashing players with upside to holding handcuffs or players with good playoff schedules. Thinking about future weeks is necessary, but don’t forget about winning this week too. There’s a pretty good balance of these thoughts in the remainder of this article.
Let’s jump right into it and see if we can find some gems to win you the championship! I will be giving you some suggestions of players you should add or drop, with each player’s ownership in ESPN leagues.
Teams on Bye: KC, OAK, PHI, BAL
QB Josh McCown, NYJ (35.9%)
This season’s QB10 and gets to face Tampa’s secondary this week.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, TB (0.6%)
The highly anticipating Fitzpatrick revenge game with the Jets! In all seriousness, he’s at least a competent quarterback. He will be missing Mike Evans this week, but he still holds value this week and beyond.
RB Danny Woodhead, BAL (24.4%)
The valuable PPR running back is now practicing and is eligible to return in week 11.
RB Kenyan Drake, MIA (57.5%)
If you were to own one Dolphins back, I say it’s Drake. He is the more effective runner and has the better matchup this week, since the Panthers are generally good at limiting receiving backs.
WR Robert Woods, LAR (26.3%)
Woods has double-digit fantasy points (in PPR leagues) in five of his last six games. The matchup against the Texans this week is a favorable one.
WR Robby Anderson, NYJ (45.7%)
He has a touchdown in each of the past three games. Like I said above, McCown is a top-ten quarterback this season, and Anderson is a big reason why.
WR Dontrelle Inman, CHI (0.7%)
You want a sneaky play for this week? Here you go. Inman goes from being irrelevant to likely the top pass-catcher on the Bears. He’s under the radar with a matchup against the Packers. If you want add someone before they go off to look like a fantasy genius, this could be the opportunity. That being said, this is a run-heavy offense that doesn’t provide a ton of upside for him most weeks.
WR Josh Gordon, CLE (25.0%)
If you have a deep bench and someone you’re willing to depart with, why not? Gordon eligible to return in week 13, and while he did not look good the last time we saw him, we know the sky is the limit for what he could be.
TE Greg Olsen, CAR (44.0%)
Olsen is eligible to return in week 12, so check to see if someone in your league dropped him. With the departure of Benjamin, Olsen should see even more targets than before.
QB Jameis Winston, TB (85.6%)
The pregame “speech” was enough to drop him. After aggravating his shoulder injury against the Saints, Winston will be out at least a couple weeks. At that point, why would the Bucs bring him back and risk more serious injury? I think he’s done, but even if he comes back, he hasn’t been great.
QB Andy Dalton, CIN (42.4%)
He’s too inconsistent to trust down the stretch.
RB Javorius Allen, BAL (70.2%)
With Woodhead back soon and Collins’ success running the ball, you don’t need to hang onto Allen.
RB Eddie Lacy, SEA (35.8%)
I’m not sure why he’s owned in over a third of leagues, but stop this.
WR Terrelle Pryor Sr., WAS (51.4%)
He’s still owned in over half of leagues. In a game where both Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder were inactive, Pryor had only two catches for 17 yards. He’s not the player the Redskins hoped he would be for them.
WR Willie Snead, NO (40.0%)
While I do think Snead will randomly have a good week coming up, you do not need to sit around and try to predict it. He has one catch this season for a total of 0.1 fantasy points in PPR. Cut him loose.
If you’re thinking playoffs, then you should be thinking handcuffs. If your team is good enough to have likely locked up playoffs by now, then you must have a pretty solid starting squad. You have the studs you are going to start every week, like Le’Veon Bell, so you won’t even think about your bench running back over him. Now let’s ask this question: does the starting running back for the Steelers have more value than your current backup? If Bell goes down hurt, in comes in James Conner to get a hefty workload. He instantly becomes really valuable, so wouldn’t it make sense to own him as insurance for your stud instead of a guy like Ameer Abdullah?
Here’s a list of handcuffs for star fantasy players that I think should be owned by the owners of the star players. Excluding quarterbacks, of course.
Derrick Henry (64.8%) for DeMarco Murray
James Conner (3.9%) for Le’Veon Bell
Tarik Cohen (54.3%) for Jordan Howard
Marlon Mack (36.3%) for Frank Gore
Chris Ivory (46.3%) for Leonard Fournette
D’Onta Foreman (10.3%) for Lamar Miller
Matt Breida (14.5%) for Carlos Hyde
Mohamed Sanu (64.7%) for Julio Jones
Tyrell Williams (36.5%) for Keenan Allen
Vernon Davis (64.6%) for Jordan Reed
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