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Which backup RB strategy do you think is better?

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Which backup RB strategy do you think is better?

Postby aussieboy » Sat Aug 14, 2004 11:28 pm

My question revolves around what strategy is best used in determining who to draft as your backup Running Backs.

From what I can see you can either draft the handcuffs for your starting RB or you can draft 3rd and 4th tier RB and get your standard 1000 yards.

In my opinion if your starting RB play in high powered offensive systems then its better to get their handcuffs. A few examples:


MARSHALL FAULK--

Arlen Harris 184 yards + 4 TD in two games
Lamar Gordon 181 yards + 1 TD in two games

CLINTON PORTIS--

Quintin Griffin 255 yards in two games

MICHAEL BENNETT--

Onterrio Smith 341 yards + 3TD in two games

Those are the examples I could find from last season. A few others that could probably perform well if given the chance, Priest Holmes' backup, Jamal Lewis' backup, Ahman Greens' backup.

There are a few advantages in picking the handcuffs over guys like Shipp (before he got injured), Suggs/Green, Jones, Staley, Buckhalter etc. Firstly you know theyre gonna be available when your starter gets injured, secondly theyre a good chance to perform well considering the offense theyre in, thirdly you can be almost certain that you can get these handcuffs in the last few rounds of any draft, whereas the some of the 3rd-4th tier RB need to be drafted a lot earlier.

The bad thing is this: When you have a bye, both your starter and your handcuff cant play.

Just some food for thought.
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Postby IRON CHEF » Sat Aug 14, 2004 11:32 pm

Not exactly sure what you are trying to say, but I think a Suggs or Buckhalter back is worth much more than a handcuff. Staley isn't in this tier IMO opinion but that is besides the point.

Why draft a guy who won't produce for more than a few games in all likelihood when you can get much greater caliber players? Take the handcuff later if you are in the right position.
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Postby aussieboy » Sat Aug 14, 2004 11:39 pm

IRON CHEF wrote:Not exactly sure what you are trying to say, but I think a Suggs or Buckhalter back is worth much more than a handcuff. Staley isn't in this tier IMO opinion but that is besides the point.

Why draft a guy who won't produce for more than a few games in all likelihood when you can get much greater caliber players? Take the handcuff later if you are in the right position.


Im never gonna bench my studs no matter who theyre playing. So the only time I will use my backup RB is when my studs are injured. What I was getting at was that in a high powered offense if my stud gets injured then Id rather plug in his backup than a lower tier starting RB, especially consdiering the difference in draft position of the two.

You asked why draft a guy that wont start more than a few games a yr, well thats the reason. The only times they will start is when I want them to start, ie when my stud is injured. Granted this doesnt really work in bye weeks.
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Postby Azrael » Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:24 am

There are only 2 starting RBs that I would actually draft a handcuff for: Stephen Davis and Marshall Faulk...Davis because of his running style and Carolina's heavy running attack and Faulk because he hasn't started 16 games in 4 years (and it's been getting worse), I can safely assume these guys will go down at one point or another during the year and I know that A. DeShaun Foster is really good and B. If Trung Canidate and Arlen Harris can turn out big games in that offense, just about anyone can. So these two backs are necessary to handcuff.

Anyone else, forget about a handcuff and just try to draft some potential producers (Griffin, T. Jones, Suggs, or whoever you have in mind).
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Postby IRON CHEF » Sun Aug 15, 2004 1:21 am

aussieboy wrote:
IRON CHEF wrote:Not exactly sure what you are trying to say, but I think a Suggs or Buckhalter back is worth much more than a handcuff. Staley isn't in this tier IMO opinion but that is besides the point.

Why draft a guy who won't produce for more than a few games in all likelihood when you can get much greater caliber players? Take the handcuff later if you are in the right position.


Im never gonna bench my studs no matter who theyre playing. So the only time I will use my backup RB is when my studs are injured. What I was getting at was that in a high powered offense if my stud gets injured then Id rather plug in his backup than a lower tier starting RB, especially consdiering the difference in draft position of the two.

You asked why draft a guy that wont start more than a few games a yr, well thats the reason. The only times they will start is when I want them to start, ie when my stud is injured. Granted this doesnt really work in bye weeks.


Okay I see what you mean. You would rather play the handcuffs if your guys are out rather than the backs you listed, correct?
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Postby BlitzBoyz » Sun Aug 15, 2004 1:44 am

The only handcuffs worth drafting are backups to fragile backs in highly productive offenses. Thus, Marshall Faulk's backup is worth having, particularly so if you have stuck your neck out and drafted Faulk. Guys with an injury history and a strong backup are what you want.

I wouldn't bother otherwise, because you are taking up a roster space that could otherwise to to a truly productive RB2 or RB3. I'd rather draft Duckett or Duce or someone that's going to get carries on a regular basis than get Ahman Green's backup or some such.

You could steal a march on the Faulk owner by drafting Stephen Jackson, either because you think you can use him after Faulk goes down or as trade bait for the Faulk owner who really needs the security of having his handcuff. I use Faulk as the example because it fits so well, there are others of course.
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Postby Heimholder » Sun Aug 15, 2004 10:58 am

I also would rather draft a serviceable RB3 & 4 over a handcuff, even for the "fragile" backs. To me it's about having a low-maintenance roster with easy decisions on gameday.

I've seen it so many times - your stud RB (let's say Faulk) is questionable with an injury all week, and a gametime decision to play on Sunday. I'd much rather have the option of putting in my RB3 (let's say Curtis Martin) and knowing he will play, rather than worry about who's starting for the Rams all week.

The handcuff thing works if a) the coaching staff is 100% honest about injuries or b) the stud RB is out with a long-term injury. These are both pretty rare circumstances - I'll take a RB3 and the certainty any day.

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Postby KingGhidra » Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:05 pm

One other thing to consider. Just because the team is good at running the ball, doesn't mean the backup is. We all know how good the Chiefs o-line is. Look what Mike Cloud did filling in for Priest in 2002.

16 carries, 19 yards against SDG.
9 carries, 23 yards against OAK.

That's pathetic.

It would depend on the backup. The last few years, Barlow proved that he could play some RB in the NFL. If you had him backup up Hearst, that wasn't a bad thing. However, you had to pay a premium for his "backup" services. Round 6 draft pick. In fact, he was going higher than Hearst was. I'd say Onterrio proved himself in spot duty last year. Say what you want about it only being soft defenses, he at least proved to be a very good backup. Onterrio comes with a much more palatable 10th round pick this season, so if you already have 3 RBs by that point and you have Bennett on the roster, it wouldn't be too bad. Then again, that may be a good spot to take a sleeper kicker.

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backup Rbs

Postby Snatch1414 » Sun Aug 15, 2004 3:12 pm

In my opinion, if your league allows you to carry 5-6 RBs then it is advantageous to mine the later rounds for sleepers. Honestly every year all my backups except maybe one are sleepers because if one pans out then you're sitting on basically an extra high-end draft pick. It works the majority of years I've tried (I think one year in the last 3-4 years it didn't work). Trust me, the Stephen Jacksons, Larry Johnsons, and DeShaun Foster's of the league could very well end up being the key to your season.
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Postby Budman_ffc » Sun Aug 15, 2004 3:29 pm

You need to also think about bye weeks. If your starter and your "handcuff" are on bye, then you could be in some deep trouble that week. I favor having at least 3 backs I know will play and then mybe pickup a "handcuff", like Jackson, or a project guy, like J. Jones, K. Jones, McGahee or Dayne in the later rounds.
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