2022 Running Back Handcuff Charts and Draft Targets
Handcuffing in fantasy football has fallen in and back out of favor in previous seasons, and there are very valid arguments to be made on both sides of the handcuff debate. Finding that your late-round pick can slide right into a full workload after an injury is a thing of beauty, but oftentimes we’re not even sure if we’re holding the actual handcuff on a specific team. Because of that uncertainty, we can be stuck holding the bag when we’ve wasted a roster spot on a player only to have his teammate take hold of the starting job after the man in front of them suffers an injury.
Nonetheless, it’s important to have a broad understanding of each team’s depth chart —even if you’re not planning on drafting the backup or hopeful handcuff. Knowing who is a likely handcuff in a good situation will give you a leg up when you’re attacking the waiver wire or even when you’re looking for a bargain play in DFS.
Finding fruitful handcuffing situations is especially important if you have spent high draft capital on the running back position; since these running backs have such a high workload, running backs taken in the first five rounds of the draft tend to be the most injury-prone group of players amongst all fantasy positions.
I have separated possible handcuffing situations by three parameters; the first being entirely injury-dependent, followed by situations we should keep an eye on throughout training camp, and finally, back-ups with opportunities for immediate output and/or concerns with that team’s perceived starter. Let’s dig in.
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