Dynasty League Football


The DLF Mailbag

Welcome to the latest edition of the weekly mailbag.

Send me your questions using the DLF Mailbag Form and I’ll include the best in future articles.  Remember the guidelines to have the best chance at seeing your question get posted:

1.) Dynasty questions only, no start/sit questions

2.) Help me help you by providing sufficient information about your league (e.g. line-up requirements/PPR or non-PPR/etc.), and include your first name and where you’re from.

3.) Your chance of getting your question answered is inversely proportional to the length of the question.

Let’s get to it!

1.)  Looking for a young, upside WR stash.  Who do you like out of Greg Childs, Brian Quick, or Lestar Jean? Bobby in Atlanta

This is a tough one.  You’ve picked players who people have vastly differing opinions on.

Brian Quick:  He’s the most expensive of these players to acquire and I’d be shocked if he is on any waiver wire.  Quick has a ton of support in the dynasty world because of his situation and his raw talent.  I stress the word RAW.  I’m skeptical of Quick and I think people are wrong to expect immediate production from him.  He hasn’t played much against top talent and when he has he struggled.  I expect a rough transition for Quick.  There have been plenty of examples of small school WRs succeeding in the NFL and I hope for the best for Quick.  He’s just not going to be on any of my teams.

Greg Childs:  Unfortunately, this question hit the mailbag on the same day that Childs tore both of his patellar tendons. He’s obviously out of the mix now that his career is hanging by a thread. In case you missed it, we wrote up a post right after it happened.

Lestar Jean:  Call me skeptical.  I’m no draft guru, but I have a hard time getting all amped up about a guy who I’ve never heard of.  I trust Matt Waldman and Scott Wright when I need to go really deep and as far as I know this guy wasn’t anywhere on the radar.  Matt writes the most comprehensive pre-draft guide (close to 1,000 pages) and I can’t find any reference of Jean.  Clearly we need to see the guy in action before we know.  Every year there is some guy we hear about during mini-camp and OTAs who is the next big deal.  Ask me again after I see him in a couple of preseason games.

Note:  For more on Jean, check out Ken Kelly’s article.

2.)  Keeping Foster, Stafford and Stevie Johnson.  I have three picks in round two.  Looking at Redman and two of Maclin/Decker/D. Thomas/Torrey Smith.  Good plan? – Kris in New Zealand

I think it’s a fine plan.  You have pretty nice keepers although I’m concerned about Stevie Johnson as a WR1.  However, he’s what you’d likely get in a redraft league if you took Foster and Stafford in rounds one and two.

You know your league so let your experience guide you.  I’d be very focused on getting Maclin and one of Decker or Thomas.  I like Torrey Smith, but he is a weak WR2 and not a good pairing with Johnson.

I’m not especially interested in Redman in dynasty, but in this format I think he makes a decent low end option at RB2.  Depending on when your draft is happening, I’d keep an eye on Jonathan Dwyer during the preseason.  His career has been a disappointment so far, but he has skills.

3.)  Been offered J.Stew and Harvin for Charles and Decker.  I’m a contender, but weak at WR.  Which side for now and the future?  – Scott in Tucson

My read on your question is that you think the loss of 2012 production from Charles to Stewart is a problem for your team.  Because if you’re concerned about Harvin, you shouldn’t be.  Barring injury, I have him projected as a top ten guy in PPR.  That said, I don’t think his production over Decker will make up for the loss at running back.

If you believe you are a serious contender you are probably wise to pass on this trade.  While anything can happen, the odds are that Charles/Decker is the better 2012 duo.  The other thing is that Charles’ value seems depressed right now (not that this deal is a bad one).  I think there are many owners who need to see him produce before they feel comfortable trading for him.  It’s quite possible that you could end up getting a better deal than this one.

4.) You mentioned in a recent mailbag that you advise against handcuffing.  In my 25 roster spot league it’s common practice.  Can you explain why you don’t like it?  Mike in Austin

That’s correct.  I did say that.  And I’ve written extensively on this topic in the past.  But I’ll give you a quick summary.

First, we have to establish the definition of “handcuff.”  To me, a handcuff is a player who basically has little to no value unless the starter goes down.  Ben Tate isn’t a handcuff, nor is Peyton Hillis.  Both of these guys will have value regardless.  Sure it jumps if the starter goes down, but that’s not the true definition of handcuff.  People want to own Tate regardless of whether they own Foster.

Second, it’s extremely hard in many cases to know who the handcuff really is.  Is the handcuff to Chris Johnson Javon Ringer or Jamie Harper?  It would really stink to burn value in a draft or trade just to find out you have the wrong guy.

Third, generally the back-up is a back-up for a reason.  We’ve had great examples of this in recent years.  Two years ago, Ryan Grant went down week one.  The race was on to acquire Brandon Jackson.  Last year Jamaal Charles goes down, same race to grab Jackie Battle.  In redraft, people burned huge portions of FaaB money getting these guys and for what?  In both cases these guys had to chance to be the true bell cow from early in the season yet produced no fantasy results.  In fact in the Jackson situation, it ended up that James Starks was the better player.

Finally, the big problem is it causes you to artificially overvalue certain players.  And if people in your league know that, it’s even worse.  Let’s say you take Trent Richardson and I own Montario Hardesty.  If you approach me about him, I’m going to make you overpay if I know you are a handcuffer.  Hardesty ought to be on the wire in most leagues but in a league that handcuffs he probably won’t be.  Oh and Hardesty also isn’t the clear cut handcuff because guess who else is there – our old friend Brandon Jackson.

5.) Our league voted to add five roster spots (from 24 to 29).  Rather than make people cut a player in order to make a rookie FA/selection, the commish has decided to let people add until they hit 29.  Seems to benefit the good teams.  I feel we should have our rookie draft under the old roster limit followed by a FA draft to go to 29.  This would cause the good teams to have make choices about their current players in order to draft their rookies.  Shouldn’t this be put to a vote?  Joey in NJ

First off, I think all changes like this ought to be put to a vote.  But I will say it seems short sighted of everyone to vote yes on the change without first discussing how it might be implemented.  I think the commish has good reason to think this was left up to him (or her) after the league approved the change.

As a practical matter, I don’t think this is all that big a deal.  Are there teams in your league that are really so stacked that you want them to cut their last three or four guys?  If people are carrying 24 players now aren’t the rookies likely more valuable than any cuts they might make?  Maybe you get a few good players tossed back in favor of the rookie selections, but it hardly seems worth the fuss.

6.) I drew the 1.01 in our start-up.  If I choose to trade it, what’s the going rate?  Jess in Buffalo

Suffice it to say the sky is the limit.

While nothing in life is guaranteed, I’d bet heavily in all leagues that there will be at least one owner who simply must have Calvin Johnson.  While the rest of us can debate who to take with the 1.01, this guy is laughing at us saying we’re wasting our time.  All you need to do is suggest to a few of your league-mates that you are going to take Calvin if you can’t get enough value for the pick.  Then post on the message board that it’s for sale.

There’s probably a huge gap between what you will get and what I think is “fair value.”  In a recent article on the premium side of the site, I broke down a start-up done by DLF members.  The 1.01 was traded for the 2.04 and 3.09.  That’s something like giving up Julio Jones and Demarco Murray.  That move might be okay in an established league – maybe you’ve build such a strong team that you can afford to “lose” a trade in favor of getting the uber-stud.  But that can’t possibly be the case in a start-up.  I’d never give you that trade, but you’ll get something like it if you work your league a bit.

Editor’s Note:  Tim Stafford can be found @dynastytim on twitter and in the forums as dlf_tims.

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10 years ago

In reference to the trade for pick 1.01. I was recently involved in my first dynasty startup draft. I ended up with the first pick out of 12 teams. I traded it away for what i saw as very good value for my team and it also benefited the team i traded with to get the guy he wanted. I traded 1.01 3.01 4.12 7.01 for 1.06 2.07 4.07 7.06. I wanted jimmy graham and saw it as wasted value to take him first overall so i traded to the sixth spot where i was sure he would still be. TE score .15 pt per yard where Wr and Rb score .1 pt per yard receiving. This gives a big advantage to Te. I also wanted to get a top 5 Qb and knew that would not happen without moving up in the second. I ended up with 3 picks in the first 24 and was hoping that my 2.12 pick was still enough to land Julio. Well he went a few picks early so i settled for fitzgerald. So my first 3 in ppr were graham, brees, fitzgerald. I did not have to move out of the first round which would have cost me graham. I was hammered by some on the boards aas they said i did not get good value. I thought it was great value and i also got to move up 5 spots in the fourth. The seventh round in which i moved back did not impact the players i was targeting.

Sensei John Kreese
Reply to  FrozenBeerNuts
10 years ago

I agree with your leaguemates, I don’t believe you got great value there. But, that being said, if you are happy with your team, don’t worry about it.

“While nothing in life is guaranteed, I’d bet heavily in all leagues that there will be at least one owner who simply must have Calvin Johnson. While the rest of us can debate who to take with the 1.01, this guy is laughing at us saying we’re wasting our time.”

Have you been spying on me, Tim?

Michael Orton
10 years ago

I’m “that guy” who wanted Calvin Johnson on my team, but was lucky enough to have 4th pick so I didn’t have to trade to get him. Which is good, because a couple guys in my league know that I have a major fantasy man crush on him.

Talking about value in trades though. I was able to trade my 1st pick in 2013 & 2014 in oder to move up and grab RG3 and Doug Martin. 16 keepers, 22 roster dynasty league startup. I figure those guys were better than what I would have got last year. Any thoughts on that?

Why Not Win Now?
10 years ago

I couldn’t disagree more with the “anti-handcuffing” mentality. First, the defining of who is a handcuff is arbitrary. Of course, if you disqualify every decent backup or 2nd member of an RBBC, then handcuff players stink. But, you shouldn’t look at it that way. A player having value outside of his substitution for the starter in YOUR FANTASY lineup, is exactly the type of handcuff that you need and makes the whole theory viable.

Fantasy football is played week to week, head to head. Not on the offseason value charts of draft boards. Of course there is a delicate balance of how high to draft, or how much to spend on a handcuff player that must be negotiated. But, not all handcuff players are overvalued compared to what they do for your team. Cherry picking a few bad examples of over-hyped tricky situations that blew up in peoples faces is not an accurate way to analyze the theory. Choose handcuffs wisely, of course.

Head to head, week to week, a handcuff only needs to get you by a few weeks per year with decent points. The idea is to keep you alive and sneak out a win here or there that can make the difference in making the playoffs and not. Arguing against handcuffing is almost the same as arguing to pick a lot of players with the same bye week, and then planning on just throw in the towel in that week’s game.

I wish I had time to list a ton of specific examples of “handcuffs” who actually became longtime starters. But it happens. FJAX to Lynch? Preist to LJ? Blount to Cadillac? Dynasty handcuffing is arguably much MORE important than redraft. Why? Because 24 teams RB situation start every week for someone in a 12 team league. That leaves 8 for 12 teams 3rd RB….. not enough to go around. In dynasty it is crucial to lock down the NFL teams RB situation or else risk being left without a RB worth anything being forced into your lineup.

And what about next year? When Cedric Benson, Ryan Grant, ect. suddenly are out of the equation. You would have just found a valuable starter, or trade bait already on your team! You may love the future, combine stats, or the fact that the starter on a team is a FA next year, so you take that hot shot rookie over a steady pro handcuff. But, that rookie, who also may never do anything anyway, will tank your playoff run when your starter goes down!! 🙁 Don’t ignore trade values. Some owners love a “package” deal, handcuff and all, may even require it to close the deal. Or what about a guy in the forums, who acquired AJ Green on the cheap. He gave up his 3rd RB, despite the uncertainty of having AP starting early. Why could he do that deal and get a great WR, because he had TOBY GERHART to tide him over until AP come back! Toby got him AJ when you think about it.

Finally, proof is in the pudding. I set my league’s scoring record and won the
Superbowl with Tolbert and M Bush starting half the time. Kevin Smith pitched in too!

Tim Stafford
Reply to  Why Not Win Now?
10 years ago

You’re not really arguing for handcuffing. You’re arguing that back-up RBs can be valuable, and that’s 100% true. Sure Ben Tate is valuable and sure if McCoy goes down some RB (Lewis??) will be valuable. I agree.

But you’re ignoring the cost of forcing yourself to go get your handcuffs. If you draft Foster with a plan that you MUST, MUST, MUST have Ben Tate then you MUST overpay for Ben Tate or risk having another team snake him from you. That’s the problem. If you knew you could get the handcuffs for fair value (their ADP or market price in a trade) then I’d agree with you. But if one says they have to have something come hell or highwater – they have to overpay.

Reply to  Why Not Win Now?
10 years ago

I agree with this assessment, but not as much on the rage. 🙂 Bottom line is that a lot of times, the benefit to a RB is the success of a great offensive line and play calling.

RBs go down all the time during the season and always somebody pops up to take on support role. D. Murray was not on a lot of radars as an every down back, but when Felix got the usual injury he made an enormous impact and now valued highly in Dynasty rankings. Even Tanner had value last season for a few games.

It is very hard to have 3 number 1 RB starters on a team while still having starter depth at other positions. I try to get the lead backs on great offensive teams with great o lines and get their backups. Guess what, if Foster AND Tate go down Forrsett will be the hot waiver wire pick up. Why worry later in the season?

Sprinkle a few Quizz Rodgers that have clear roles for point generation and you have your flex rb for those bye weeks. Then you can focus on building roster depth.

If you are having to chase starters via trades during the season because your next back is Dion Lewis but you don’t own McCoy then you are going to over pay anyway. Get the hand cuffs once you know the depth chart is clear and sleep easy each night that you don’t have to worry about the RB position.

Reply to  bbwayne
10 years ago

Demarco Murray. Great example!

Reply to  witdog67
10 years ago

Houston backfield proves all true. When Foster finally came off the practice squad he was behind Slaton and guys like Ryan Moats and Chris Brown. The reason why Tate has more value beyond Fosters handcuff is he was drafted to be The Man in houston until he broke his ankle and gave Foster his record breaking start(230yds,3td) There will always be guys that pop off, but most of the top RBs today started as #2s(SJAX, Charles, McCoy, MJD, Rice)

Jon Lambrecht
10 years ago

Wow. Seems like you got very very very lucky to set your leagues scoring record with the likes of Tolbert, M.Bush, and K.Smith. I’d say that you got lucky. I’d also say that hanhcuffing for the most part is a desperation move and when it works out it is usually very upredictable and almost entirely based on luck. I personally see only a few viable fantasy handcuffs in the NFL right now. T.Garhart, Tate (although he doesn’t have to be a handcuff to be owned), Redman, maybe M.Goodsen or T.Jones. The thing is, these players value is so completely unpredictable and soley based on a guy missing time or getting in trouble. I say, NO THANKS. You can hand cuff all you want and try to win your league scoring title again using back ups… I’d guess it likely will not happen. My roster spots a bit more valuable to me.

Also, guys like Larry Johnson and Lynch were NOT handcuffs. They were elite / highly ranked prospects from the get go just waiting their turn as they were the heir apparent for their position.

Depending on your individual leagues roster limits, I say / aside from a select few rbs, don’t bother trying to guess and handcuff. Just draft good rb depth in the first place and let people approach you when they get desperate.

Reply to  Jon Lambrecht
10 years ago

Luck had nothing to do with it 🙂 I planned ahead and cashed in an insurance policy or 2! Also missed Andre and Miles Austin for a bit. Thanks Brees & Graham!

10 years ago

Rashad Jennings?

10 years ago

There is obviously a lot of ways to skin the fantasy football “cat”. I don’t condone over drafting or over trading for handcuffs. But, as the Boy Scouts say, always be prepared!

To me, if you aren’t starting, your a handcuff. We seem to have a different definition for “handcuffing”, that’s OK.

It would be nice to have 3 or 4 straight up starters, but that’s actually impossible for everyone, in every league. There aren’t enough to go around. To guarantee you don’t get left with out a chair in the game of musical chairs, handcuff!

With so many teams, start-ups especially, building around TE’s and WR’s, handcuffing is the answer. If you design your team around QB,WR,TE, you will end up with a suspect RB or 2. The injury prone, old, or those with insecure jobs can be had cheap in drafts. That’s good value so why not then handcuff them. You must.

10 years ago

Regarding Question 5.) on raising roster size. I think the Questioner is correct – the draft should be run the same way that it was in the past if the rosters are still at the old limit, and draft pick trades, roster decisions, etc, had been made on the old roster limit.

The better way to do it, I think, would be to run the draft as you did the previous season, and find a way to increase the rosters either prior to the season, via a free agent draft, or simply through free agency during the season. One of my leagues this season is increasing the roster size from 30 to 34. The way we are doing it is increasing the roster size by one each of the first four weeks of the season.


10 years ago

RE: Handcuffing. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, as long as you’re doing it at the right price. My strategy is to acquire handcuffs as pieces of larger trades, such that their relative values are mitigated. Instead of “oh I have to overpay you for Gerhart because I have AP,” it becomes “well, as long as you throw Gerhart in, since I have AP.” Conversely, when I throw someone’s handcuff into a deal, I’ll always use the “I’ll throw so-and-so in, since you have the starter.” It’ll usually make my partner more “comfortable” with the trade, while not really costing me anything.

I do agree with Tim to about not overpaying. Another personal example is in our most recent rookie/FA draft, I had a whopping SIX third round picks. As a Ray Rice owner, I was interested in Bernard Pierce, but didn’t want to take him with one of my first four third rounders, one of whom wound up being Shane Vereen. I wound up trading away the other picks, thinking I’d take Pierce in round 4 if available. The Ridley owner held the last pick in the 3rd round, and tried to “threaten” me by saying he’d take Pierce if I didn’t trade Vereen to him. Told him that if I wanted him that bad, I’d have taken him already…good luck to him wasting a pick on my handcuff. Of course, he took someone else : – )

In summation, I play in deep leagues and like to back up my guys, but only at the right price!

Reply to  Eric Hardter
10 years ago

That’s how it’s done. Nice!

Scott Land
10 years ago

So everyone pretty much agrees that handcuffing is a good idea if the price is right? That was alot of analysis and opinions to get back to the beginning…LOL

10 years ago

I think the idea of handcuffing every RB you own is silly, but I think there’s value in owning good handcuffs — like Tate, Gerhart, etc. Any RB who actually has value as a potential starter down the road needs to be owned. I see Gerhart as the potential lead back in a committee down the road. And since I own AP, I traded TBMW for him, and I don’t regret it at all.

I refuse to pay anything other than bottom of the roster filler for guys like Hardesty, Dion Lewis, etc.

10 years ago

I prefer to handcuff good players, with good backups, on good teams. It’s true that a lot of “handcuffs” come and go, or it’s not even clear if they are handcuffs at all. In those cases just stay away, unless there is plenty of roster room and low cost to acquire.

In yearly redraft leagues, I use the prospect of getting a cheap handcuff in the last round as a tiebreaker sometimes. If the 1 guys handcuff/committee partner is being drafted to high, I’ll take the other 1. EX. MJD & Jennings over AP & Gerhart. Probably a bad example, but you get the point.

10 years ago

Handcuffing all comes down to a few things for me:

1) Bench size – If I only have 10 bench slots, I’m not going to handcuff hardly anyone. If I have 20, I will think about it.

2) Skill of the handcuff – If the backup barely belongs on an NFL roster, why should they be on my fantasy roster? Not all NFL starters should be fantasy starters.

3) System/Offensive ability of the team – Some RBs have more value because of the system they play in. It doesn’t matter who you put behind Drew Brees, you know they will get points. On the flip side, it takes a special talent to be worthy in the Cleveland backfield.

4) Wavier Wire depth – If there are an awful lot of possible replacements out there, no reason to burn a roster spot on insurance.

To give a blanket statement that handcuff is or isn’t a good idea is a bit too shallow of a perspective. It is really a league by league thing and a case by case basis. The only RB that I think you absolutely need to handcuff is McFadden since he has been the least healthy RB in recent memory. Never played more than 13 games in a season. Plus their system and O-line can get points for whoever is back there. More to come on RB healthy and injury rates in a future article.

10 years ago

I believe there is a propensity to over generalize strategy. An illogical attempt is being made to consolidate the ability of human reason and decision making into a package that can be explained in a few sentences or less. To handcuff or not to handcuff is not the question! In my opinion, common sense should prevail in this case and talent and opportunity should be the measurement for player selection. I believe that to simply look at a depth chart to find another roster addition after I selected the initial player based on merit is illogical. It is not my intention to critique any one individual but rather to take an over generalized strategy and to add simple reasoning. I believe this is already done in most of our cases and if you read between the lines of the posts in this thread you can see there is a common understanding to acquire a player only when the talent and value are at a ratio we can accept. The use of any strategy that takes out objective analysis is IMHO a mistake.

gary bajillion
10 years ago

DeMarco Murray is an argument against handcuffing, not for it.

Talented backups on teams with strong offenses/OLs and injury-prone starters should be targeted by everyone in the league, not just the Felix Jones owner. These guys can turn into long term studs. Meanwhile, you missed out on him because you needed to have Ricky Williams as a handcuff to Ray Rice. Bad move, but the “correct” move for the handcuffer.

In dynasty, your roster spots are extremely valuable for hanging on to developing players who just need an opportunity. Sacrificing one for short term starter insurance isn’t a good idea.

It’s totally different in redraft leagues. The end of your bench is not likely to see your starting lineup anyway. It does you no good except maybe to make you feel smart to have your bench loaded with guys that are going to break out in a year or two. The talent differential between late-draft backups is often negligible compared to the insurance value for your team. To counter Tim’s example, sure Brandon Jackson sucked, but if you were the Grant owner, you were still happier to have him than a more talented RB who wasn’t going to leave the bench. Now, at some point that roster spot is still going to be more valuable for waiver pickups than to cling to some scrub, but there are certainly periods of the season where you’d rather have the handcuff than just taking random flyers off waivers, especially in leagues with thin waivers.

10 years ago

First and foremost, what is the most important thing in fantasy football? Making the playoffs. From there, it’s a crapshoot to win the super bowl. In my experience, the win/loss records of teams tend to “clump” together, due to the nature of the game. Statistics. There is always the 2 good teams at 10-4 and the 2 bad teams at 4-10. The other 8 teams are 7-7, logically, or clumped between 8-6 and 6-8. The 2 teams that escape this “pack” or “bunch” to go 9-5 will usually make the playoffs. There is NOT a single game that is not important, throughout the season. Therefore, having a “handcuff” can make all the difference if bye weeks coincide with injuries. You’ve got to compete every week. Now, if you are some dominant talent evaluator, with 4 or 5 RB1’s that you drafted, then by all means, handcuffing serves you little purpose.

Secondly, I believe it crucial to try to lock down a teams running back situation. Why? There aren’t enough teams in the NFL to supply everyone in your league with 3RB’s. Surely we need 3RB’s to make it through a season safely and competitively. The easiest and cheapest way to do it is handcuffing.

Now, back to locking down a teams RB situation. It’s not always possible, or desirable, of course. But when given the chance, do it. The reasons go beyond weekly substitutions. You want to be prepared for when the starting RB get’s injured, but just as important is when he leaves via FA, gets cut, or retires. The “handcuff” gets an automatic promotion in this case. Yes, a team may bring in a new competitor via FA or draft, but your handcuff is still there! He is more valuable than before. If not, just trade him to the guy who has the new starter at a premium.

As far as calling some guys handcuffs and others prospects and others RBBC ……. that’s poppycock. Handcuffing is simply owning 2 RB’s on the same team. What there talent level, ranking, or situation is, is irrelevant.

Felix Jones owners: Who did you draft over Murray?
Benson owners: Do you wish you had Bernard Scott?
Grant owners: Why not Starks? He was cheap. So is Alex Green BTW 😉
Pierre Thomas owners: Was Sproles available for trade when he came to the Saints?
Lynch owner (Buffalo): FJax was a 26 year old nobody, wish you had him now?
Jacobs owner: Bradshaw was there for free, did you handcuff?
Arian Foster owner = you lucky S.O.B. I can’t remember whose job he stole!

These are a few, history is littered with handcuffs becoming valuable starters and assets. Some situations I left off are in the making right now. Lot’s of teams RB’s situation are in flux, and if you need RB’s you may just have better luck betting on a handcuff than drafting ANOTHER rookie in the 2nd or 3rd round.

Reply to  witdog67
10 years ago

That’s one strategy. The other, to use your examples, would be to own whichever one you think is better between Jacobs and Bradshaw and then draft Sproles. Sure, if you picked wrong on the Giants RB it could hurt you, but you could also end up with the lead dog on two different teams instead of the lead and the compliment on one team and being safe from injury. It all comes down to your style. Personally, I would rather have someone that has solid value on their own or based on the failure/injury of a player on someone else’s roster instead of someone on my roster.

Reply to  Jacob Feldman
10 years ago

There are a certain number of “fliers” or deep sleepers on any fantasy roster. Why not let one be the backup to your RB. Whoever it is. Since it is a sleeper anyway, he needs OPPORTUNITY. When do you get a guaranteed opportunity, at the exact time you need need it as an owner? When your starting RB goes down. Handcuff gets in the game right when you needed him, and as in my examples above, he may never leave the lineup.

Look, I don’t think anyone should be holding onto slugs, just in case, but if given the choice, always take your own guy’s backups over another team’s, if all else is equal, or close to it. Starters that play in games are all that really matters, you have to have them. Who’s there to pick up a start when you need it most? Handcuff of course!

Reply to  witdog67
10 years ago

I would much rather have the superior player regardless of if they are a handcuff to one of my running backs or just a random guy. The opportunity for the handcuff to step in for that 1 game a season in place of my top RB isn’t enough to sway me away from taking the best talent. If that handcuff could be a starter due to an aging or declining RB, then that is a whole different thing. Kendall Hunter isn’t a handcuff in a dynasty league.

Reply to  Jacob Feldman
10 years ago

It’s all semantics, because he ain’t a starter. In fantasy and reality (for now).

10 years ago

I’m in a standard league and I’m light at rb but heavy at wr. I’ve been offered Lynch and pick 1.09 in a rookie draft for Sproles, Garcon, and 2.01. Garcon would be my 5th wr. Am I giving up too much to improve at rb?

Reply to  dude
10 years ago

Isn’t Sproles as good as Lynch? Maybe I’m just a bit skeptical of Lynch, unfairly so? You should hold on to the 2.1 at least. I know you don’t need Garcon, and I usually say dump guys that you don’t need to upgrade starters, but is Lynch the right one? Garcon may get hot in DC too.

If you do it…… Don’t forget to HANDCUFF with Turbin 🙂 HaHaHaaaaaa!

Reply to  dude
10 years ago

You wouldn’t be improving your RB situation at all. Even without the PPR points, Sproles still had 1300 yards and 9 TDs not counting his return stats. That’s pretty close to Lynch. Assuming Lynch gets suspended for several games, Sproles will easily out produce him this year. To give up Garcon to do that is just wrong. Not even close.

Reply to  Jacob Feldman
10 years ago

That was my gut instinct too.

10 years ago

Late comment, but here goes.

Handcuffing makes sense… if

1) there is CLARITY on the handcuff.
2) there is UPSIDE in the handcuff.
3) the handcuff is being bought at decent VALUE.

Would also suggest handcuffing becomes more important for a competitive team, then a rebuilding team. Does your competitive team want to go into a Monday night football game without the Buckhalter to your Westbrook? No.

If rebuilding, it makes no sense to slight overpay for your handcuffs. It also makes no sense when there is no clarity, upside or decent value deal to be had.

So it’s not yes or no to handcuffing, but more likely to be “depends”. All IMHO of course.

9 years ago

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