My method is to ignore drafting handcuffs of elite, stud running backs who get the bulk of carries (i.e. Ray Rice, LeSean McCoy and Maurice Jones-Drew), because I’d rather take the chance of drafting a player with an upside late than by just drafting my first-round pick’s backup. The only way a player like a Bernard Pierce (Ray Rice’s backup) or a Dion Lewis (LeSean McCoy’s backup) would get significant playing time is because of an injury.
Where you should invest in a handcuff is if your No.1 back has a great understudy who can eat into his carries regardless of injury. And if one of your main running back threats is injury prone, than this decision is a no-brainer.
With that being the case, here are some of the must-have handcuffs:
If you draft Michael Forte, make sure you handcuff him to Michael Bush.
If you draft Adrian Peterson, make sure you draft Toby Gerhart.
If you draft Jamaal Charles, make sure you draft Peyton Hillis.
If you draft DeMarco Murray, make sure you draft Felix Jones.
And although it is not as important as the ones listed above, if you draft Arian Foster, it would behoove you to draft Ben Tate, as Tate has proved he can step and produce right away. Plus, Tate gets a lot of carries on his own.