Fantasy Football is a fickle beast. Those first round picks seem to drop like flies, especially in a high stakes league with football fanatics. You may not be playing in a big money league, but you should still hedge your bets and “handcuff” some of your top picks. I speak from experience.
Last year Le’Veon Bell was a unanimous top 3 pick in every fantasy league. Little did we know he would hold out and not play a single down, while his backup James Connor ran for more than 1,400 total yards and 13 TDs. Connor cost NOTHING in the draft last season. This is why handcuffs are so important.
There are some picks that come with injury risk and you should be obliged to overpay for that players handcuff. Here is a list of my top few musts.
- Damien Williams– handcuff Carlos Hyde
- Dalvin Cook– Alexander Mattison
- Phillip Lindsay– Royce Freeman
- Todd Gurley– Darrell Henderson
- Chris Carson – Rashaad Penny
These five are obvious, but the general rule is the higher you take a player, especially a running back, the more importance you should put on taking his backup/ handcuff. Fantasy football is a combination of skill as a player and an opportunity. The five on the list would provide the most opportunity for touches and production if the starter ever went down.
Take Damien Williams for example. Last season Kareem Hunt totaled over 1,400 total yards and 14 TDs in only 11 games. He’s a very good starting running back, but he was drafted in the 3rd round. His talent isn’t close to a game changer like Ezekiel Elliott or Saquon Barkley, but he’s a legit 3 down starter.
After Hunt lost his touches, Spencer Ware got 180 yards and a TD in two games, then Damien Williams went on an absolute tear with