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handcuffing backs

Postby A Fleshner Fantasy » Thu Jul 06, 2006 12:44 am

is it really necessary to draft a 3rd down or backup back of a team in which you have the starter, because u probably wont start both anyway?
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Postby vickfan07 » Thu Jul 06, 2006 12:48 am

i think that that is rediculous because that just wastes a roster spot for someone who usually wont start a game and if he does. odds are he wont do good.only a few like larry johnson and ahman green when dorsey levens was starting in green bay when he got hurt
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Postby Vixtor » Thu Jul 06, 2006 2:24 am

In general no it isn't necessary at all. There are a few worth drafting. But, I mean, you shouldn't take Brandon Jacobs just because you have Tiki Barber.
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Postby maddog60 » Thu Jul 06, 2006 5:20 am

You only handcuff a guy in case you think there may be games he doesnt start. For example:

Westbrook hasn't finished a complete season ever, and Moats showed some good moves playing behind a 2nd string o-line basically. If you have Westbrook you want Moats.

C Taylor showed up to camp out of shape and has never had the starting role before. M Moore has done fairly well when given enough carries in Minnesota, so you want that duo.

LT is one of the most reliable RBs in fantasy football. Michael Turner isn't likely to carry the ball even 5 times unless LT goes down, so he's not worth picking up.
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Postby Verdun Barbarians » Thu Jul 06, 2006 6:16 am

I think handcuffs are important in dynasty/keeper leagues.

Yes the durability factor is one to consider. So you don't want guys like Westbrook, Julius Jones, Deshaun Foster, Chris Brown, Corey Dillon or Fred Taylor without handcuffing their backup, because those guys will most certainly miss time. Owners who hancuffed Priest Holmes with Larry Johnson looked pretty good last year!

Another factor to consider in dynasty handcuffing is age. For example, if you draft Warick Dunn, you would be wise to draft Jerious Norwood in a later round because Dunn will turn 31 when the regular season begins and it's not sure how long he will maintain rythm. The same could be said about the situations of Curtis Martin and Corey Dillon.

The third and final category concerns unclear running back situations. Some teams enter the season giving us no clue about who is gonna carry the load. Chicago, Denver (it's about the same every year!), Indiannapolis and New Orleans come to mind.

Among other "cuffable" backs, I would consider Carnell Williams, Ahman Green, Shaun Alexander (Madden Curse :-/ ).

So handcuffs aren't wastes of roster spots. They are somewhat of a safety cushion that could save your season (or dynasty) down the road. But you have to be wise in the choices you make when you draft and not overlook greater and evident value to pick a handcuff too early.

Good luck to all of you!

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Postby thriftyrocker » Thu Jul 06, 2006 6:26 am

Only draft the handcuff if you are sure the player would start for you if he started. For first round guys

Player - Handcuff
LT - Michael Turner
SA - Maurice Morris
LJ - Quentin Griffin
Tiki - Brandon Jacobs
Portis - Ladell Betts
Jordan - Zack Crockett/Justin Fargas
Ronnie - Sammy Morris/Travis Minor
Rudi - Chris Perry
SJax - Tony Fisher
Edge - JJ Arrington/Marcel Shipp
Caddy - Michael Pittman
Westbrook - Ryan Moats
Dom Davis - Antowain Smith/Vernand Morency

Turner, Perry, and Pittman are the worth the pick for handcuffing. They should step right in and give you numbers. Moats probably is worth the pick too, although probably finds himself in a RBBC if Westbrook goes down. The rest I wouldn't bother with in redraft leagues unless your depth is terrible.
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Postby Crippler » Thu Jul 06, 2006 7:27 am

maddog60 wrote:You only handcuff a guy in case you think there may be games he doesnt start. For example:

Westbrook hasn't finished a complete season ever, and Moats showed some good moves playing behind a 2nd string o-line basically. If you have Westbrook you want Moats.

C Taylor showed up to camp out of shape and has never had the starting role before. M Moore has done fairly well when given enough carries in Minnesota, so you want that duo.

LT is one of the most reliable RBs in fantasy football. Michael Turner isn't likely to carry the ball even 5 times unless LT goes down, so he's not worth picking up.


I disagree. If you have a pretty deep league I think you should draft Turner, Holmes, etc. You're using your #1 pick (top 3 overall) to carry you through each week expecting monster numbers from LJ. If he does happen to go down, then do you want your chances of winning the league to be screwed? If you have Holmes (assuming he's the backup by season's start), then you just replaced your #1 overall pick in the draft with someone almost as good. If you didnt handcuff, you have an empty spot on your roster where all your points used to be.

You still have the same amazing KC offensive line and the best runningback in fantasy football a few years back. You have to handcuff in this situation or you take a huge risk on the health of one player. When your entire season may ride on one player's ability to stay healthy, you cant take that risk. You dont handcuff (in LJs case) because you think they will start, you handcuff to save your fantasy life in the odd case that they dont.
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Postby steelerfan513 » Thu Jul 06, 2006 8:42 am

it always depends on the back. with someone like brian westbrook or julius jones, its basically a necessity to pick up ryan moats or marion barber. with someone like clinton portis or LT, you dont really need to take their handcuff unless you feel they are the best player on the board.
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Postby logan » Thu Jul 06, 2006 10:03 am

LJ - Quentin Griffin


not to quibble but if you want the handcuff to larry you likely will want dee brown. he has impressed the coaches at the workouts alot more than Q. Q will be lucky to even make the roster at this point.

as to the original question MD pretty much summed it up. you need to take it on a case to case basis but for some guys who are injury prone in the past it can pay to take the backup if you can get them lae enough. it certainly is not warranted in every situation.
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Postby maddog60 » Thu Jul 06, 2006 4:51 pm

Crippler wrote:I disagree. If you have a pretty deep league I think you should draft Turner, Holmes, etc. You're using your #1 pick (top 3 overall) to carry you through each week expecting monster numbers from LJ. If he does happen to go down, then do you want your chances of winning the league to be screwed? If you have Holmes (assuming he's the backup by season's start), then you just replaced your #1 overall pick in the draft with someone almost as good. If you didnt handcuff, you have an empty spot on your roster where all your points used to be.

You still have the same amazing KC offensive line and the best runningback in fantasy football a few years back. You have to handcuff in this situation or you take a huge risk on the health of one player. When your entire season may ride on one player's ability to stay healthy, you cant take that risk. You dont handcuff (in LJs case) because you think they will start, you handcuff to save your fantasy life in the odd case that they dont.


When its the situation that's making a RB great, yes handcuff them no matter what, but guys like LT, who are doing great based on talent. (His 2003 season proved its all him, not the system) It's a waste to handcuff them. Even if they get injured and the backup comes in, they won't be half as good. McGahee would be another example, though his situation is so terrible its hurting him, but there is no point in handcuffing him, b/c his backups will do much much worse if he goes down.

I wouldn't touch LT's, Alexander's, Jordan's, Jackson's, Edge's, or McGahee's backups unless my only other options are #3 and #4 WRs on NFL teams. People go a little too insane with the handcuffing, grabbing guys who aren't as talented and may never see the field, just to lock up an entire backfield. I'd rather take a better backup to a RB I didn't have, because odds are just as likely that guy gets hurt, and at least then my handcuff RB, even if I dont have the matching pair, is competent when he gets to fill in.
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