by Chris Foster
If you have been a fan of the Bartering System over the course of the year you know that his article typically features players that owners should look to invest in and dispose of. Since most leagues have trade deadlines that have passed in the last couple of weeks (most of my leagues the deadline passed this week), we are doing a special edition Bartering System on “The Handcuffs that Matter!” If you play in a league that has no trade deadline (You should probably get one), I will still give you a player or to that you can look to invest in or dispose of at the bottom of the Handcuff Article.
** Handcuff Explanation**– A Handcuff is a player whose value is tied to the running back in front of them, meaning if the starter were to go down, the handcuff would be valuable. Yet, on his own, the handcuff holds little to no value at all. The prime example has been Le’Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams in the last two years. Bell is one of the best running backs in the league and when he is healthy DeAngelo Williams has basically no actual value. Yet, when Bell has missed time, Williams has been a very strong RB1. Meaning his value is handcuffed to Bell. It was imperative that as the Bell owner, that you own Williams as well. A handcuff is not someone who has value even when the starter is still healthy and might already be owned. An example of that is Devonte Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Both have value right now, regardless of what the other player does. Obviously, if one of them was injured, then the other becomes more valuable, but they are likely owned by separate owners. Backfields like this are considered more of
A handcuff is not someone who has value even when the starter is still healthy and might already be owned. An example of that is Devonte Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Both have value right now, regardless of what the other player does. Obviously, if one of them was injured, then the other becomes more valuable, but they are likely owned by separate owners. Backfields like this are considered more of a RBBC (Running Back By Committee).
If you are in a redraft league, it is important that as you head to the playoffs, you handcuff your RB1 and maybe even RB2. That way if your starter goes down, you don’t have to panic and you will already own the back-up. Reserve 1 to 2 of your bench spots for handcuffs heading into the playoffs.
Below you will find a list of the handcuffs that matter as you make your playoff run.
Handcuffs that Matter
- David Johnson/ Andre Ellington- If you own David Johnson this is a no brainer, it is time to lock up Ellington in case your workhorse goes down.
- Ezekiel Elliot/Alfred Morris– Elliot has been incredible, but Morris has looked good while resting him and would likely be an RB1 with Elliot out.
- LeSean McCoy/Mike Gillislee- We have already seen this one play out this season, hopefully, if you are the McCoy owner you have already made this move.
- DeMarco Murray/Derrick Henry– There is a chance in your league that you cannot complete this handcuff because Henry is already owned. He hasn’t had any consistent value with Murray in front of him but he has had some big games. Yet, Murray is a top 3 back and if he were to go down, Henry would be top 3!
- LeVeon Bell/DeAngelo Williams- Williams is coming back from injury, but he should be back in the next two weeks. We have seen this scenario before.
- Thomas Rawls/Troymaine Pope– Rawls is back to being the starter again in Seattle and you should feel good about him as an RB1 if he goes down it appears that Troymaine Pope would be the guy to step in.
- Carlos Hyde/DeJaun Harris– Hyde went down earlier this year and Harris looked good in his place.
- Jay Ajayi/Damien Williams– There is a tough schedule down the stretch, and Kenyan Drake would steal some work, but Williams is the back to own.
- Robert Kelley/Matt Jones- Robert Kelley has overtaken Matt Jones who has now been dropped in many leagues. If he was dropped in yours and you own Kelley you need to grab him now. Thompson will steal some work, but if Kelley goes down, it is Jones job again.
- Todd Gurley/Benny Cunningham– Gurley hasn’t been great this season, but if he goes down it will be Benny Cunningham’s job.
- Frank Gore/Josh Ferguson
- Doug Martin/Jacquizz Rodgers
- Spencer Ware/Charcandrick West
- Devontae Booker/Justin Forsett
The No Cuffs
- Mark Ingram/Tim Hightower– Both have flex value with upside on their own
- Devonta Freeman/Tevin Coleman– We have seen both hold value most of the season
- LeGarrette Blount/Dion Lewis/James White– All 3 have value, mostly flex value with the others around, though.
- Terrence West/Kenneth Dixon– Dixon is starting to overtake his backfield mate but both still hold value.
- Isaiah Crowell/Duke Johnson Jr.- Both have struggled of late
- TJ Yeldon/Chris Ivory– Ivory has looked good as of late, but this is clearly a split backfield and both are desperate flex
- Jerrick McKinnon/Matt Asiata- Touchdown vulture Matt Asiate keeps himself relevant.
- Rashad Jennings/Paul Perkins– Jennings could be seen as the lead back here and Perkins his handcuff after the last few weeks, but Perkins is probably owned in your league. If not, handcuff him to Jennings.
- Matt Forte/Bilal Powell– Powell is likely owned in your league, if not, he’s a handcuff to Forte.
- Theo Riddick/Dwayne Washington/Ameer Abdullah- Riddick is really more of a third down and receiving back, but his value isn’t tied to either of the two.
And now for those of you with no trade deadline, here is the Bartering System!
Invest Low: (Players to invest in while their stock is lower)
Jamies Winston (Tampa Bay Bucs): Winston had a very average day on Sunday, but he has 3 great matchups in the next 4 weeks. He could be a league winner in the playoffs.
Theo Riddick (Detroit Lions): I like what Riddick has done most of the season. He has good matchups throughout the playoffs and could be a solid RB2 the rest of the way. I really like him in PPR leagues.
TY Hilton (Indianapolis Colts): Injuries hampered TY on Thursday and was the cause of his low numbers. He is still someone to invest heavy in down the stretch.
Greg Olsen (Carolina Panthers): If you have already made the playoffs and you don’t need Olsen in Week 13 to win and get in, he might be someone to grab now. He plays a tough Seattle team this week, but then his schedule is very lite.
Dispose High: (Players to dispose of while their stock is higher)
Blake Bortles (Jacksonville Jaguars): His passing numbers were actually pretty bad this past week but he managed to salvage his day by passing for 2 TDs and setting a career high in rushing yards.
Mark Ingram (New Orleans Saints): I just don’t want anything to do with the inconsistency of this two-headed monster. If you didn’t take advantage and sell after his last huge game, do it now.
Emmanuel Sanders (Denver Broncos): The inconsistency makes it hard to play Sanders. I do like their schedule down the stretch, but I would hate to rely on him. Sell him after his big outing last week.
As always, please feel free to give us a shout on Twitter @No_HuddleFFB if you have any questions or concerns regarding your lineup or just want to chat about fantasy football. Best of luck this week!