| October 05, 2018 |
There is much debate in the fantasy football world if drafting and/or rostering your starting running back’s handcuff works. The strategy is simple. You select the player that would back up your starting running back later as insurance if your starting running back is unable to play. It might not work for every starting running back in the league, but in many cases this year it has panned out. The prime example this year is Le’Veon Bell owners who drafted Bell with their first pick look like geniuses when they took James Conner in the 16th round as Bell’s Handcuff. It appears the handcuff concept has worked well this year with Leonard Fournette and TJ Yeldon and also Jerick Mckinnon and Matt Breida but does it always work.
My last two fantasy football seasons have been plagued with an injury of my first round pick leaving me scavenging the waivers each week to avoid coming in last. You might have guessed Adrian Peterson in 2016 then David Johnson in 2017. In 2017 there wasn’t a clearly defined handcuff to back up David Johnson, and in 2016 there was a three-headed backfield in Minnesota after Adrian Peterson went on IR. Last year, others had difficulties figuring out who to roster when Ezekiel Elliott was going on suspension.
There are some inherent difficulties with the handcuff strategy. The apparent challenge is rostering the handcuff player over the course of the season without dropping them. You might miss opportunities to add hot players off waivers because your roster is full. You have more players on bye during the bye weeks. Sometimes it’s impossible to predict the right handcuff and others.
After learning from my past drafts and the difficulties above I changed my draft strategy and went running back heavy the first three rounds of 4 rounds this year. I’m hoping to have enough depth in running backs, if one of my starters goes down I’ll have another starter to replace them. We’ll see how it works out.
In our daily lives, we don’t have a handcuff to rely on. If we can’t work and bring home a paycheck, it’s challenging to have a winning season. There are many options out there to protect your team/family in the cause of an injury or disability.
Click on the link in our navigation bar to schedule time to chat with us about your real life handcuff strategy.