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FANTASY FOOTBALL: Grab your handcuffs and hold on tight – Toronto Sun

Jonathan Taylor of the Indianapolis Colts runs with the ball against Carlos Dunlap of the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 25, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Jonathan Taylor of the Indianapolis Colts runs with the ball against Carlos Dunlap of the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 25, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Justin Casterline /Getty Images

It is only Week 4 but the bumps and bruises have already started adding up for some of the league’s top running backs.

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This week there are a few key players bearing ‘questionable’ tags that need to be watched leading up to game time and their handcuffs need to be rostered, waiting to be plugged in your lineup at need be.

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It has gotten so bad that Colts star Jonathan Taylor missed his first practice since high school on Wednesday, as crazy as that sounds. We’re not worrying about him, though as he returned on Thursday and declared himself “ready to roll.”

On the other hand, we have Christian McCaffrey, who was likely the second pick in your draft behind Taylor. Run CMC missed two days of practice this week with a quad injury and is listed as questionable to play against the Cards. While the team says it is “very hopeful” and McCaffrey “has a chance” to play, it’s hard to be too optimistic given his lengthy injury history.

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In terms of handcuffs, you’re looking at the unenviable duo of D’Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard. Foreman is most likely to lead the way, but there’s always the chance of a split in carries. And considering how poor the Panthers’ offence has been, it might be worth staying away unless you have no better options.

• In Detroit, the Lions are set to turn to Jamaal Williams once again with D’Andre Swift suffering a shoulder injury. Swift has never been too durable, so you can’t say it was unexpected that he would miss a game here and there. Williams was already a viable starting option and ranked RB7 heading into Week 4. He’ll be a must-start until Swift is back and maybe even beyond if the workload keeps up.

• The Lions’ NFC North rival Chicago Bears will also be without their top RB this weekend, too, after David Montgomery was ruled out with an ankle/knee injury. That will thrust Khalil Herbert into the spotlight – and it’s a great spot for the backup. Each time in his career that Herbert has played at least 30 snaps, he has capitalized, rushing for 75, 97, 100, 72 and 157 yards. He’s an easy plug-and-play RB2 against the Giants.

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• Those who have been patiently holding Alexander Mattison, waiting for him to get his chance due to a Dalvin Cook injury, will seemingly have to wait a bit longer. Cook – whose shoulder has been a lingering issue for years – will play wearing a harness which shouldn’t limit him during Sunday’s game against the Saints. That’s doubly good news for managers who like to sleep in, too, since the game takes place in London and has a 9:30 a.m. ET kickoff. Mattison remains a high-level handcuff, but isn’t worth starting this week.

• On the other side of the ball on the other side of the pond, Alvin Kamara is again listed as questionable for the Saints with a rib injury, but is expected to play. If he can’t answer the bell, Mark Ingram II would again get the featured workload, as he did in Week 2.

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As unlikely as it seems, Brian Robinson Jr. could soon make his debut for the Commanders are being shot twice in the leg just before the season began. All reports out of Washington have been positive around the rookie RB and the hopes are that it won’t be long before he returns to full practice.

Robinson had appeared to grab the featured role in the pre-season and certainly has potential to earn it again. If he’s still available in your league, Robinson is worth a stash.


Lamar Jackson’s 82 points over the past two weeks are the most by a QB over a two-week span since 1950. He’ll be in tough to repeat his streak of two straight 40+ point games against a Bills defence that has allowed the fewest points to opposing QBs … Jalen Hurts had the second-lowest rushing total of his career with 20 yards and still had 27.6 points. He has proven this season to be more reliable in throwing the ball than in previous seasons … Leonard Fournette had 100% of the Bucs backfield touches last week against the Packers. Now that’s a workhorse workload … In 10 games against the Rams, George Kittle has averaged 14.1 points per game. That includes a Week 3 game of his rookie season when he scored 1.3. Other than that, he has scored fewer than 13 points just twice.

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Start Tom Brady, QB, TB vs. KC

It has been a rough start to the season, but with his WRs returning a good matchup, Brady should bounce back.

Sit Carson Wentz, QB, WAS at DAL

After getting sacked nine times last week, Wentz should face even more pressure from the Cowboys.

Start Dameon Pierce, RB, HOU vs. LAC

Has been getting better by the week while the Chargers have allowed the fifth-most points to RBs.

Sit Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, KC at TB

His fantasy totals look decent due to some TDs, but has been getting outsnapped by Jerrick McKinnon.

Start Chris Olave, WR, NO vs. MIN

Has stepped into a huge role for the ailing Saints, getting 13 targets in each of the past two games.

Start Tyler Conklin, TE, NYJ at PIT

Believe it or not, Conklin is the TE4 and has the second most receptions and third-most targets at the position.

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Sit Tyler Higbee, TE, LAR at SF

The 49ers have allowed a total of just 3.8 points to opposing starting TEs this season.


The Bears have completed 23 passes through three games. The previous time a team had 23 or fewer completions through Weeks 1-3 was the Bucs in 1978.


Romeo Daubs, WR, GB

After his big game against the Bucs, it looks like the rookie has taken the reins and WR1 for the Packers. Daubs is also fourth among rookies in catches and yards.


Sterling Shepard, WR, NYG

The Giants’ top target suffered a torn ACL on Monday night, ending his season. That’s the second straight season with a major injury for him, after tearing his Achilles in 2021.


Minnesota Vikings DEF

The Vikes have an INT in every game so far and are set up nicely in a matchup against the Saints, who have allowed the most points to opposing DEFs this season.

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