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

Pierre ThomasOct 30 07:22p

New Orleans Saints RBs Khiry Robinson (forearm) and Pierre Thomas (shoulder) are both inactive in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers Thursday, Oct. 30.

David HawthorneOct 30 07:12p

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB Austin Johnson, LB David Hawthorne, C Jonathan Goodwin, RB Khiry Robinson, WR Nick Toon, RB Pierre Thomas, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 9.

Amini SilatoluOct 30 07:12p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Amini Silatolu, CB Bene Benwikere, OT Byron Bell, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Philly Brown, FS Thomas DeCoud, OG Trai Turner inactive for Week 9.

Brandon BrownerOct 30 04:32p

New England Patriots DT Alan Branch (non-injury related) and DE Chandler Jones (hip) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Nate Ebner (finger), DL Dominique Easley (knee), OL Cameron [ More ]

Brandon ThompsonOct 30 04:22p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Darqueze Dennard (hamstring), LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring) and OG Kevin Zeitler (calf) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DT Domata Peko (toe) and OT Andre Smith [ More ]

Dwight FreeneyOct 30 04:22p

San Diego Chargers LB Manti Te'o (foot), CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) and S Jahleel Addae (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring) was limited. CB [ More ]

Donald BrownOct 30 04:12p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown (concussion) practiced fully Thursday, Oct. 30.

Terrell SuggsOct 30 04:02p

Baltimore Ravens WR Michael Campanaro (thigh), CB Jimmy Smith (foot) and LB Terrell Suggs (neck) all did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OG Marshal Yanda (knee) [ More ]

Brett KeiselOct 30 03:52p

Pittsburgh Steelers DE Brett Keisel (non-injury), SS Troy Polamalu (non-injury) and SS Ross Ventrone (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Ike Taylor (forearm) and FS [ More ]

Bruce CarterOct 30 03:22p

Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter (finger) suffered a broken ring finger during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, but expects to play in Week 9. He will wear a splint on his finger for protection.

Cullen JenkinsOct 30 03:12p

New York Giants DT Cullen Jenkins (calf) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back, hamstring) and P Steve Weatherford (ankle) were both limited in practice.

Brandon BoykinOct 30 03:12p

Philadelphia Eagles FS Nate Allen (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. TE Brent Celek (back) and WR Brad Smith (groin) were both limited in practice. CB [ More ]

D'Qwell JacksonOct 30 03:12p

Indianapolis Colts LB D'Qwell Jackson (toe), DT Arthur Jones (ankle), LB Erik Walden (quadriceps) and LB Josh McNary (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Vontae [ More ]

Rashad JenningsOct 30 02:42p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) said he is on track in terms of his rehab, but there is no timetable for his return. Jennings said he has [ More ]

Jordan CameronOct 30 02:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Anthony CollinsOct 30 02:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Oniel Cousins is working at left tackle with the first-team offense during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, because OT Anthony Collins (foot) is sitting out practice.

Doug MartinOct 30 02:22p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Jason VerrettOct 30 01:52p

San Diego Chargers CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) is expected to miss two to three weeks with a torn labrum, according to two sources.

DeAngelo WilliamsOct 30 01:52p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (ankle) will start the team's Week 9 game against the New Orleans Saints Thursday, Oct. 30, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 01:42p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) received most of the work with the first-team offense during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, and will start in Week 9 if he [ More ]

Jaylen WatkinsOct 30 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles SS Earl Wolff, FS Chris Maragos and CB Jaylen Watkins could be options to start at safety if FS Nate Allen (hamstring) is not able to play in Week 9.

Giovani BernardOct 30 01:22p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, shoulder) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Tony RomoOct 30 01:02p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) didn't take part in the walk-through Thursday, Oct. 30, and will not practice with the team. However, head coach Jason Garrett remains hopeful [ More ]

Trent RichardsonOct 30 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) is participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Reggie WayneOct 30 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (elbow) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Tony RomoOct 30 12:22p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo's (back) status is making head coach Jason Garrett feel optimistic about his availability for Week 9.

Dallas ThomasOct 30 11:43a

Miami Dolphins OG Dallas Thomas would be the most likely candidate to start at left guard if OG Daryn Colledge (illness) is not able to play in Week 9.

Rashad JenningsOct 30 11:12a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) has been ruled out for Week 9.

Phil BatesOct 30 10:52a

The Cleveland Browns signed free-agent WR Phil Bates (Seahawks) to the practice squad and released CB Marcus Cromartie Thursday, Oct. 30.

Charles SimsOct 30 10:13a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Charles Sims could have 10 or more touches in Week 9, in the opinion of beat writer Greg Auman.

Ryan MathewsOct 30 09:52a

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) is likely to sit out of the Week 9 game and return after the Week 10 bye.

Dennis PittaOct 30 09:52a

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) may never be able to play football again after two surgeries on a fractured and dislocated hip in as many seasons.

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