Welcome to the "Original" Dynasty Rankings Fantasy Football Blog

This blog was born out of a Dynasty Rankings thread originally begun in October, 2006 at the Footballguys.com message boards. The rankings in that thread and the ensuing wall-to-wall discussion of player values and dynasty league strategy took on a life of its own at over 275 pages and 700,000 page views. The result is what you see in the sidebar under "Updated Positional Rankings": a comprehensive ranking of dynasty league fantasy football players by position on a tiered, weighted scale. In the tradition of the original footballguys.com Dynasty Rankings thread, intelligent debate is welcome and encouraged.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Waiver Wired | Week 13: Stretch-Run Handcuffs

My weekly "Waiver Wired" column is up at Rotoworld for Week 13. Summary is below, but click here for the full article. Keep in mind this article is through Rotoworld and is intended for more shallow redraft leagues as opposed to a deeper roster Dynasty league.


Every August at draft time, the hand-wringing "handcuff" rage vaults to the top of the strategy list in most war rooms. Chaining your starter to his backup regardless of potential or situation, however, simply wastes roster spots better spent on players that could breakout during the season. When you have to waste a high draft pick to feel secure about your fantasy backfield, it gets to be an even sketchier proposition.

As those in the Northeast and upper Midwest fully realize, the August draft is long gone and autumn is on the lam by the time the gales of November come calling. Charles Schultz neglected to cover the fantasy football angle at Thanksgiving time, so we're here to do his light work. When John Madden's turducken award begins to make an appearance, it's time to fine-tune that championship caliber roster by trimming the dead weight and protecting yourself against injury. Handcuffs have gone from early autumn roster fodder to mandatory Thanksgiving guests.

In considering late-season insurance policies, it's important to ask several questions: Has the backup shown the potential for fantasy production? Does the starter make the offense go, or does the system make the player? Is there a defined pecking order at the position? If there is no clear-cut backup, is it best to just stay away (sorry Frank Gore and Matt Forte owners)?

Prior hot pickups or highly drafted backs such as Mewelde Moore, Darren McFadden, Chester Taylor, Ricky Williams, Jonathan Stewart, Derrick Ward, and Jerious Norwood aren't likely to be sitting on your waiver wire freely available, so this column will concentrate on players you can add in Week 13. Obvious handcuffs such as Ladell Betts, Tashard Choice, and Fred Jackson are available in most leagues, which means that the majority of fantasy owners are guilty of neglect right now. If your bell-cow RB1 has a clear-cut insurance policy, then the waiver wire pickup is mandatory this week. As we've seen the past two seasons with the valuable stretch-run performances of Ladell Betts and Aaron Stecker, Weeks 15 and 16 thumb their nose at logic. The packrat owner, though, will take the unexpected injuries in stride.

On to the handcuff list. Here is how I rank the Top-15 mandatory handcuffs as owners prep for a championship run. Full writeups of each player are below.

1. Pierre Thomas, RB, Saints
2. Dominic Rhodes, RB, Colts
3. Fred Jackson, RB, Bills
4. Ladell Betts, RB, Redskins
5. Leon Washington, RB, Jets
6. Domenik Hixon, WR, Giants
7. Tashard Choice, RB, Cowboys
8. Darren Sproles, RB, Chargers
9. Matt Leinart, QB, Cardinals
10. Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Giantas
11. Jerome Harrison, RB, Browns
12. Brandon Jackson, RB, Packers
13. Billy Miller, TE, Saints
14. Lorenzo Booker, RB, Eagles
15. Byron Leftwich, QB, Steelers

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