Let's paint a picture—It's Sunday, September 11, 2011. You sit down your couch with a bag of chips and a freshly grilled burger to watch the Minnesota Vikings take on the San Diego Chargers. This game is important not because you are a fan of either team, but because your first overall fantasy draft pick, Adrian Peterson, is starring in the game.
Just when you are getting giddy to crush your opponent on the back of a 100-yard, two-touchdown performance by Peterson, he falls to the ground after taking a handoff and is carted off the field with a broken ankle. Out for the season.
You're sweating. What do you do? Well, you SHOULD own Peterson's backup.
Football is an instantaneous game, and it is for this reason that you should "handcuff" all your top fantasy running backs. A player is only good as long as they are healthy, and there is no guarantee that they will stay this way during the season.
Here are the 13 backups for the 13 (mostly) unanimous fantasy running backs in 2011.