Handcuffing a player is a particular strategy that some managers utilize, while others stray from it.
But no matter what type of manager you are, the wealth of information that comes from viewing handcuffs can always add a little extra to your knowledge base.
This year is filled with some interesting handcuffs and a couple that are a little curious, so I tried to gather the 10 best for everyone to take a look at.
There are about 15 in total that are worth mentioning, but these are really the absolute best that have a significant chance of making a fantasy impact.
10. Max Hall – QB – Cardinals
Hall will likely wind up as the primary backup to Derek Anderson in Arizona once the Cardinals shut the door on Matt Leinart this season. Even though most of you didn’t grab Anderson as a QB No. 1, Hall is still viewed as the guy to grab should Anderson fall by the wayside.
Hall has been very impressive in camp, and the coaching staff is very comfortable having a rookie as their No. 2 QB. In time, this kid has a high ceiling for success, which also makes him an interesting choice for Dynasty leaguers.
9. Fred Davis – TE – Redskins
Davis is currently dealing with misdemeanor charges that will put him under the watchful eye of the league, but in terms of his handcuff value, he is as solid as it gets.
Davis has been having a great preseason thus far and has exploded as a significant red zone threat, and with TE Chris Cooley getting more involved in the passing game and the Redskins receivers not showing much, Davis is an excellent candidate for playing time even as a handcuff to Cooley.
8. Mike Bell – RB – Eagles
Bell is a bruising back who can move the piles and move the chains, which is why the Eagles brought him in as their change of pace back and short-yardage back.
But the ground game (minus Bell) hasn’t been all that great this year in preseason.
Bell will get playing time, that’s for sure, but you may not have to wait for an injury for that time to increase if you pick him up.
7. Dedrick Epps – TE – Chargers
We all know who the premier TE in San Diego is right now, but anything can happen in football, and if you have an open spot looking to be filled, Epps could be a great choice for a handcuff.
Philip Rivers always uses his TEs, especially when trying to score, so if anything were to happen to Antonio Gates, Epps would gain immediate value with his 6’3”, 250-pound frame as a target.
I am not 100 percent sold on Shonn Greene, even though he will enter the 2010 season as the starter, and the curious two-year contract that L.T. signed makes me believe the Jets are up to something sneaky.
Either way, L.T. believes he can still be a top-notch back, and in New York his chances are pretty good. If you own Greene, grabbing L.T. would be a wise move.
5. Ricky Williams – RB – Dolphins
He may be 33, but the guy can still run and catch out of the backfield, and despite Ronnie Brown saying he is fully recovered from his Lisfranc fracture, having Williams around as well makes perfect sense.
Keep in mind that Williams wants a contract extension through 2011, and Brown could be shopped at the end of this year if he stays healthy, so Williams will be a man on a mission no matter how often or sporadically he gets the ball, and we all know what that could translate into.
4. Willis McGahee – RB – Ravens
Don’t read too much into the trade talk coming out of Baltimore as of late. I really don’t think it will involve McGahee unless they are offered something incredible.
Because of that, McGahee will be the primary backup, and even change of pace back, to Ray Rice in Baltimore. McGahee can still get the job done and could offer fantasy owners more than they think if something changes in Baltimore.
3. Darren Sproles – RB – Chargers
Mathews will inevitably be the starting back in San Diego, but as it stands right now, a RBBC approach looks to be the way things will start this season.
Sproles is the type of back that gets lost at the line of scrimmage, has blinding speed, and can catch the ball very well out of the backfield, making him a nice handcuff for PPR leaguers.
2. Thomas Jones – RB – Chiefs
All running backs who are not Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, or Maurice Jones-Drew are on a short leash, and that can sometimes bode well for their handcuffs...Thomas Jones is a great example.
He is coming off a career-high year in rushing yards, and although Jamaal Charles has outplayed him in preseason, Jones is still considered the goal-line threat in KC. However, if Charles starts to falter, what better guy to have than Jones?
1. Rashard Jennings – RB – Jaguars
Jennings enters Jacksonville as the primary back to MJD but will hold little initial value...initially.
Let’s remember something—MJD has been dealing with recovery from a knee injury, and there has been a lot of talk surrounding the severity, the healing process, and whatnot, so it is a situation that is gaining curious attention.
If something happens to MJD, you have to bet dollars to donuts Jennings will make the most of his playing time.
If you enjoyed this piece, take a look at my 10 Burning Questions for the 2010 Fantasy Football Season.
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