2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Handcuffs

2012-06-01 16:04:36
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
RealTime Fantasy Sports

Ben Tate is a top handcuff

This practice isn't quite as common with more and more teams going with a two-back system at running back but for the elite fantasy games, it remains a good idea to handcuff your star back. This is especially true if your top back plays in a system that is conducive to big fantasy numbers. Again, we don't advocate handcuffing players quite as much as past seasons, though, so don't go wild trying to back up your No. 1 back with their backup late in the draft. Sometimes it is just as beneficial to grab a No. 3 or 4 fantasy back with upside than the backup for a starting back. With that said, here are some guys we would considering handcuffing for the coming year. . . .

Adrian Peterson/Toby Gerhart, RBs, Vikings. Peterson might not even be healthy for the start of the season so this handcuff might be the most important of all. Gerhart will be the starter for the Vikings until Peterson is fully recovered from his ACL surgery. And while Gerhart isn't nearly as explosive as Peterson, he proved last season that he can be productive in a starting role. This is almost a must handcuff for fantasy owners of Peterson.

Arian Foster/Ben Tate, RBs, Texans. If you want both of these guys, you are going to have to act early. Tate produced even when Foster was healthy, nearly having a 1,000-yard season. So Tate has value as a No. 3 or 4 back even with a healthy Foster around. If Foster gets hurt, Tate could be as valuable as any fantasy back in the game.

Ahmad Bradshaw/David Wilson, RBs, Giants. Bradshaw is the full-time starter with Brandon Jacobs out of the picture, but Wilson might even be a more talented back, which could cut into the playing time of Bradshaw a little more this season. Bradshaw will start, though, and get a lot of work. We all know Bradshaw has a history of ankle and foot injuries, which mean Wilson could take over as a starter at any time. If you grab Bradshaw early, it probably is wise to take Wilson later in your draft as insurance.

Tony Romo/Kyle Orton, QBs, Cowboys. Normally, we don't advise in handcuffing quarterbacks but if you are going to do any this year, going with this combo in Dallas isn't a bad idea. Orton has proved in the past he can produce and be a legit No. 1 for fantasy teams. If Romo goes down, Orton can come in and produce well for fantasy teams. You won't see a huge drop off, which means Orton might do better than your typically fantasy backup at quarterback. It might be worth having both these guys on your roster with Romo having a few injury issues in the past.

Jahvid Best/Mikel LeShoure, RBs, Lions. This is a tough situation as both backs are coming off injuries. But if healthy, Best should start for the Lions. LeShoure should be in the mix as well, but if Best gets hurt, the full-time gig heads to LeShoure. It might be tough to get both backs at a decent price, but if you can pull it off somehow, you'll have the Lions running back sewn up.

Steven Jackson/Isaiah Pead, RBs, Rams. Jackson is nearing that magical age of 30 and has a ton of carries under his belt. He battled injury some last season and has been nicked some the last few years. It seems a matter of time before he hits the wall. The Rams used a high draft pick on Pead in hopes of finding their running back of the future. This running back spot isn't the most exciting in football, but you can expect the Rams to run more this year with Jeff Fisher at the helm. So the starting running back in St. Louis could surprise for fantasy teams.

Darren McFadden/Taiwan Jones, RBs, Raiders. McFadden is as good as any back in the game when healthy, but staying healthy has been a huge issue for him. Jones might not be best suited to start because of his size but he should get the bulk of the work if McFadden goes down again. And we saw last season that whoever starts in Oakland at running back has good fantasy value, so having both these guys on your roster is a good idea if you use a first-round pick on McFadden.

Hakeem Nicks/Rueben Randle, WRs, Giants. Just like at quarterback , we normally don't worry about handcuffing a receiver but it might be a good idea in this instance. Nicks is an elite receiver that might not be ready for the start of the season because of a broken foot suffered in offseason workouts. If Nicks misses any time, the rookie, Randle, likely gets a chance to start in his place. The Giants have a prolific offense and Randle is a talented player with a bright future, so he is worth using, especially if he happens to start some games. Even if he doesn't start, he might be worth some spot starts for fantasy teams as a No. 3 receiver.

Chris Johnson/Javon Ringer, RBs, Titans. Johnson had a down year last year but remains an elite fantasy back. When on his game, he has the chance to lead all fantasy backs in scoring. So if you want to get Johnson on your team, you'll have to act early. Ringer, who has played well in Johnson's place in the past, is worth grabbing late as insurance. Ringer would be a solid fill-in for Johnson if he happens to go down.

If you have any questions or comments, please email Jeff Paur at jeff@rtsports.com

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Alameda Ta'amuDec 21 07:42p

The Arizona Cardinals have declared DL Alameda Ta'amu, OG Anthony Steen, WR Brittan Golden, SS Chris D. Clemons, QB Drew Stanton, OG Jonathan Cooper, DL Kareem Martin inactive for Week 16.

Chris MatthewsDec 21 07:32p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared WR Chris Matthews, DL Demarcus Dobbs, WR Kevin Norwood, C Max Unger, OT Russell Okung, TE Tony Moeaki, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 16.

Ahmad DixonDec 21 11:52a

The Minnesota Vikings have declared SS Ahmad Dixon, LB Anthony Barr, OT Carter Bykowski, OG Charlie Johnson, TE Kyle Rudolph, CB Shaun Prater, FB Zach Line inactive for Week 16.

Devier PoseyDec 21 11:52a

The Houston Texans have declared WR DeVier Posey, TE Garrett Graham, LB Jason Ankrah, S Josh Aubrey, LB Mike Mohamed, QB Tom Savage, OG Xavier Su'a-Filo inactive for Week 16.

A.J. KleinDec 21 11:52a

The Carolina Panthers have declared LB A.J. Klein, OG Amini Silatolu, CB Carrington Byndom, OT David Foucault, RB DeAngelo Williams, DL Kyle Love, SS Robert Lester inactive for Week 16.

Charles GodfreyDec 21 11:52a

The Atlanta Falcons have declared CB Charles Godfrey, LB James Anderson, OG Jon Asamoah, CB Ricardo Allen, QB Sean Renfree, DL Stansly Maponga, LB Tyler Starr inactive for Week 16.

Jamarca SanfordDec 21 11:52a

The New Orleans Saints have declared SS Jamarca Sanford, DL Lawrence Virgil, LB Moise Fokou, WR Seantavius Jones, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, OT Terron Armstead, RB Travaris Cadet inactive for Week 16.

Justin BrownDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Clifton GeathersDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Carl BradfordDec 21 11:42a

The Green Bay Packers have declared DL Bruce Gaston, LB Carl Bradford, CB Davon House, C Garth Gerhart, WR Jeff Janis, TE Justin Perillo, QB Scott Tolzien inactive for Week 16.

Chris McCainDec 21 11:42a

The Miami Dolphins have declared LB Chris McCain, OT Dallas Thomas, RB Daniel Thomas, CB Don Jones, WR Matt Hazel, OG Nate Garner, WR Rishard Matthews inactive for Week 16.

Arthur BrownDec 21 11:42a

The Baltimore Ravens have declared LB Arthur Brown, DL Casey Walker, CB Chris Greenwood, C Gino Gradkowski, WR Michael Campanaro, OG Ryan Jensen, DL Terrence Cody inactive for Week 16.

Aaron MurrayDec 21 11:42a

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared QB Aaron Murray, RB Charcandrick West, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, CB Marcus Cooper, DL Nick X. Williams inactive for Week 16.

Gary BarnidgeDec 21 11:42a

The Cleveland Browns have declared OT Andrew McDonald, TE Gary Barnidge, RB Glenn Winston, CB Joe Haden, DB K'Waun Williams, WR Rodney Smith, OT Vinston Painter inactive for Week 16.

Chris ConteDec 21 11:42a

The Chicago Bears have declared FS Chris Conte, QB David Fales, OG Kyle Long, PK Robbie Gould, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott, DL Will Sutton inactive for Week 16.

Dakota DozierDec 21 11:33a

The New York Jets have declared OL Dakota Dozier, SS Jaiquawn Jarrett, QB Matt Simms, FS Rontez Miles, DL T.J. Barnes, WR Walter Powell, OG Wesley Johnson inactive for Week 16.

Alfonzo DennardDec 21 11:33a

The New England Patriots have declared CB Alfonzo Dennard, OG Dan Connolly, RB James White, OT Jordan Devey, WR Julian Edelman, CB Kyle Arrington, RB LeGarrette Blount inactive for Week 16.

Anthony CollinsDec 21 11:32a

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have declared OT Anthony Collins, FB Evan Rodriguez, CB Isaiah Frey, DL Lawrence Sidbury, RB Mike James, WR Robert Herron, WR Solomon Patton inactive for Week 16.

Kelvin BenjaminDec 21 11:22a

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin won't face Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden (shoulder) Sunday, Dec. 21, who is out with a shoulder injury.

Joe HadenDec 21 11:22a

Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden (shoulder) is out Sunday, Dec. 21.

Julio JonesDec 21 11:22a

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is active Sunday, Dec. 21.

Jay CutlerDec 21 10:22a

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler is receiving trade interest from the Tennessee Titans. If the Titans landed him, it would alter the 2015 NFL Draft board dramatically.

T Y HiltonDec 21 10:22a

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is a long shot to play Sunday, Dec. 21. However, he's going to try to suit up.

DeMarco MurrayDec 21 10:12a

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) will play Sunday, Dec. 21, but the team is nervous how well he'll hold up in pass protection. If the team qualifies for [ More ]

Zach ErtzDec 20 07:42p

Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz had 15 catches for 115 yards Saturday, Dec. 20. Both of which are career highs.

Philip RiversDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) is active Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:12p

The San Diego Chargers have declared LB Cordarro Law, DL Damion Square, CB Greg Ducre, WR Keenan Allen, P Mike Scifres, DL Ryan Carrethers, RB Ryan Mathews inactive for Week 16.

Carlos HydeDec 20 07:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20.

Ahmad BrooksDec 20 07:02p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared LB Ahmad Brooks, OG Andrew Tiller, RB Carlos Hyde, OG Joe Looney, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Stevie Johnson, CB Tramaine Brock inactive for Week 16.

DeAndre HopkinsDec 20 06:42p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) will be a game-time decision Sunday, Dec. 21, after not practicing all week.

Julian EdelmanDec 20 06:02p

New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (concussion) has been ruled out for Week 16. Edelman didn't receive final clearance from the concussion protocol to play Sunday, Dec. 21.

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