RB Handcuff not that important

I’ve been working this week on our annual look at the top NFL backups to look at for fantasy football. It’s a whopper, but I gotta say, while there’s a lot of quantity, there’s not much quality. That’s in part because I never include players in something of a committee or in a true committee, and there are more of them these days. Back in the day, though, RB handcuffs were much more prevalent. So what I have found this year in my drafts is that I’m not really looking to back up my studs at the RB position as much.

Here are the few RB handcuffs I will make it a point to acquire.

LaDainian TomlinsonMichael Turner
Clinton PortisLadell Betts
Travis HenryMike Bell

Honestly, that’s about it in terms of the “must have” handcuffs. The committees are a killer, but there are also some other factors that are reducing the value of the RB handcuffs this year. In Philly, I’m still not sure who the handcuff is, Correll Buckhalter or Tony Hunt (for now I’m saying CB and TH for upside). In Indy, I know the Colts like DeDe Dorsey, but they also have this kid named Kenton Keith they like, and they could add another veteran. In Pittsburgh, we’re still not sure if it’s Kevan Barlow or Najeh Davenport, although I will have some insight on that situation when the article is released tomorrow.

There are still a few other viable handcuffs – Sammy Morris, Maurice Morris, Brian Leonard, to name three – but other than the few must-haves, I think I’d rather give myself great depth at the position and protect myself as best as I can as I did in a recent (29 round) draft in which took LaMont Jordan and Dominic Rhodes and DeAngelo Williams and DeShaun Foster.   

Again, I should have the feature done by tomorrow, it’ll be close to 10,000 words.

Category: Fantasy Football


5 Responses

  1. FMEC says:

    hey John,

    curious as to Mike Bell on the list. Do you think he’s worth having on the list due to injury or possible suspension with T.Henry? Or is he actually good enough to do well if something happens to Henry? I was thinking this guy is nothing special and that prompted Shanny to sign a bigger name back. Mike Bell in some ways flopped last year as a starter.

  2. John Hansen says:

    Mainly for Henry’s somewhat shaky past durability-wise, but the possible suspension is an issue. Here’s the writeup:

    3. Mike Bell (Den) – While there was a reason Bell wasn’t drafted last year, and that reason – his lack of quickness and speed – will likely prevent him from ever being a long-term starter, Bell certainly proved to be a very handy addition in Denver. He’ll be the unquestioned backup this year, and the unquestioned starter if Travis Henry gets hurt. Henry has played injured and exhibited a lot of toughness in the past, but he certainly has had his problems staying on the field and has battled toe and ankle injuries the last few years. You also have to realize Henry could be facing a one-year suspension if he slips up one more time in the NFL substance abuse program. Henry will get a heavy workload, and he’s not the biggest back you’ll find, so he could wear down as the season progresses. If he misses time, Bell has shown that, while nothing ultra-special, he can still grind out solid enough yardage and punch the ball into the endzone, so he’s one of the better backup RBs in this year’s class.

  3. Flizzo says:

    I’m trying to find a way to position myself to land LT and Portis (via draft pick trades). I’m a big fan of drafting RB “situations”. Although I’d have to spend a lot to get these guys as well as their backups (in terms of picks traded and the highest “handcuff” picks), I’d be very protected from a potential injury blow up. Michael Turner was one of the main reasons I drafted LT #1 overall last year…but I did have to MAKE SURE that I got him (even though it ultimately didn’t matter!).

    My main league is a very competitive fourteen-team league. I don’t think I’ll be able to pull the necessary trades off, but I’ll be psyched if I can. I wouldn’t be left with much known talent beyond these four guys, but that’s a helluva foundation.

  4. *Legion* says:

    I’m interested in the potential pairing of Kevin Jones & Tatum Bell in PPR leagues.

    Both certainly have upside, both are having their value held down by KJ’s injury (KJ by the injury itself, Bell by the threat that KJ may bounce back and take over).

    Most importantly, I haven’t seen Martz out there doing the Dick Jauron speak, talking up a possible RBBC approach. It’s always a worry but it’s too often believed to be the “automatic” case anytime there’s not one clearly defined, locked-in starter. RBBC has not been Martz’s style. Hell, I remember the Rams spending a 1st round pick on Trung Canidate and then giving the guy less than 100 carries in his 3 years combined on the roster.

    It seems to me that whomever the Lions put on the field will have value in PPR leagues, and isn’t in grave danger of splitting time 50/50. (In non PPR leagues, then I start to worry about Duckett)

  5. gators1996champs says:

    Hey John,

    How soon or what round do you suggest drafting Michael Turner if you draft LT in a 12 team standard scoring no ppc league?

    Thanks -

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