In fantasy football, players are often so focused on combing through rankings to find sleepers and busts or trying to stockpile as much top talent as possible that they forget something: something that is a very important part of football.
While nobody ever roots for an injury, the fact of the matter is that they do occur. And at no position is there a higher rate of turnover than the running back position. Every year, a big-name player deals with a nagging injury or suffers a major one. And in recent years, we've even seen some top guys (we're looking at you, Le'Veon Bell) hold out for extended periods of time. That could happen again this year with Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon, and it brings up an important subject that often gets ignored in the fantasy realm: handcuffs.
Having running back handcuff, or at least knowing who the top options are, is extremely important. Because when a top-talent or starter at running back goes down, NFL teams often have a next man up philosophy at the position and just make their backup the workhorse. But still, it's important to know just who those backups are going to be.
You don't necessarily have to handcuff your starting running backs. If there are players available in your draft that have more potential than handcuffs, certainly pick them up. But if nothing on the board looks enticing, grabbing a handcuff can be a sound strategy. Because in fantasy football, running backs can go from zero to hero very quickly.
Luckily, we're here to help you out in the running back department and keep you posted on all the top handcuffs to know about. Here's a look at the top handcuff (or in some cases, handcuffs) for all of the projected starters during the 2019 fantasy football season.
|Arizona Cardinals||David Johnson||Chase Edmonds|
|Atlanta Falcons||Devonta Freeman||Ito Smith|
|Baltimore Ravens||Mark Ingram||Justice Hill/Gus Edwards|
|Buffalo Bills||Devin Singletary||Frank Gore|
|Carolina Panthers||Christian McCaffrey||Cameron Artis-Payne|
|Chicago Bears||David Montgomery||Mike Davis/Tarik Cohen|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Joe Mixon||Giovani Bernard|
|Cleveland Browns||Nick Chubb||Kareem Hunt*|
|Dallas Cowboys||Ezekiel Elliott||Tony Pollard/Alfred Morris|
|Denver Broncos||Phillip Lindsay||Royce Freeman|
|Detroit Lions||Kerryon Johnson||C.J. Anderson|
|Green Bay Packers||Aaron Jones||Jamaal Williams|
|Houston Texans||Duke Johnson||Carlos Hyde|
|Indianapolis Colts||Marlon Mack||Nyheim Hines/Jordan Wilkins|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Leonard Fournette||Alfred Blue|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Damien Williams||LeSean McCoy/Darwin Thompson|
|Los Angeles Chargers||Melvin Gordon||Austin Ekeler/Justin Jackson|
|Los Angeles Rams||Todd Gurley||Malcolm Brown/Darrell Henderson|
|Miami Dolphins||Kenyan Drake||Kalen Ballage|
|Minnesota Vikings||Dalvin Cook||Alexander Mattison|
|New England Patriots||Sony Michel||Damien Harris/James White|
|New Orleans Saints||Alvin Kamara||Latavius Murray|
|New York Giants||Saquon Barkley||Wayne Gallman Jr.|
|New York Jets||Le'Veon Bell||Bilal Powell|
|Oakland Raiders||Josh Jacobs||Jalen Richard|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Jordan Howard||Miles Sanders|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||James Conner||Jaylen Samuels/Bennie Snell Jr.|
|San Francisco 49ers||Tevin Coleman||Matt Breida|
|Seattle Seahawks||Chris Carson||Rashaad Penny|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Ronald Jones||Peyton Barber/Dare Ogunbowale|
|Tennessee Titans||Derrick Henry||Dion Lewis|
|Washington Redskins||Derrius Guice||Adrian Peterson/Chris Thompson|
*Hunt is suspended for the first 8 games of the season for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy.
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