Week 5 Waiver Wire: 5 Fantasy Football Handcuffs You Must Grab Immediately
We're nearly a quarter of the way finished with the fantasy football season, and as injuries mount and depth charts change, team management becomes what truly separates the men from the boys.
If your team needs a spark, you need to know where to buy low, how to sell high, who to hunt down on the waiver wire and who the viable handcuffs are.
With bye weeks rapidly approaching, it's important to understand who might vulture enough carries to make themselves a viable play while your fantasy stud takes a breather.
Here are five running backs you must target who look to emerge from the bench throughout the second quarter of your fantasy season.
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Stevan Ridley, the rookie from LSU, is on the verge of becoming the No. 1 running back in a crowded Patriots backfield.
Get him now.
Ridley was absolutely electric during the preseason, but he found himself relegated to the bench in Weeks 1 and 2 with only two carries.
After last week's 42-yard performance on six carries against the Bills, Ridley seemed like an intriguing pickup but was still considered hard to trust.
For now, he is technically a handcuff to BenJarvus Green-Ellis, but Ridley's 97-yard rushing performance against the Raiders indicates a true timeshare is in effect in New England.
Ridley will emerge as the primary back.
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It feels like we've been saying that Choice will emerge as a viable fantasy resource for forever, but I think now might be the time to make a move on the fourth-year back from Georgia Tech.
While Felix Jones has played decently well, I don't trust his health over the duration of the season, and Choice represents someone who looks like a more every-down back.
In Week 4 against Detroit, Choice ran well in limited opportunities. His 6.5 per-carry average nearly doubled that of Jones.
We're getting closer to Jones' yearly injury that keeps him out 4-6 weeks, and the handcuff Choice could be yours while the getting is good.
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I like Frank Gore. I really do.
Gore played well while injured in a Week 4 win against the Eagles, but Gore is going to miss time at some point.
He always does.
Hunter has a really nice burst, and he complemented Gore well with 38 yards on nine carries in Week 4.
The 49ers are playing better than we expected, and the only way they continue to compete for the division is to keep Gore healthy down the stretch.
Hunter will have a huge role to play in this, as I expect the 49ers to spell Gore often and rest him for a late-season run.
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Williams is a bit of a tricky play, but a guy you must own if you hang your hopes on Ray Rice every week (as I do).
The Ravens have an excellent defense and are a solid football team that figures to be leading a lot this year.
When leading, expect heavy doses of their ground game to salt away victories, which could consistently have Williams seeing 8-10 touches per game.
The Ravens likely won't want to overwork their go-to guy, Rice, when Williams still exhibits the ability to make plays.
While Williams won't see your starting line up, he represents a viable flex play in 12-team leagues when the weather gets cold and the Ravens run 40-plus times per game.
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Hardesty isn't a guy you're going to ride to fantasy glory, but he's a must-own if Peyton Hillis is your No. 1 running back.
Hardesty adds a nice dimension in PPR leagues, as he recorded five receptions for 49 yards against Tennessee.
It is interesting to add that Hillis only received three more carries than Hardesty in Week 4, so keep an eye to see if Hardesty continues to work himself into a true timeshare with Hillis.
Don't forget the Madden Curse.