In fantasy football, superstar running backs like Jamaal Charles can kill your season with a season-ending injury.
This is why keeping handcuffs on your bench is so important.
The better running backs are usually the ones receiving the most carries. This workload can lead to a higher rate of injury occurrences.
Now that we are going through the middle of the season, let's take a look at the 10 best handcuffs going into Week 9.
C.J Spiller has been a complete disappointment for fantasy owners, but the Buffalo Bills have not yet given up on him.
He has been used in a unique role. Most of his time on the field has been at the wide receiver position.
His value is limited right now.
However, Fred Jackson's workload has been heavy, and Spiller is an important handcuff to grab in case Jackson goes down.
Rashard Mendenhall has struggled mightily in 2011 and Isaac Redman has taken advantage.
He is not only a nice handcuff for Mendenhall, but he has been accumulating more and more carries in regular situations.
Redman should not be used unless you are desperately praying for a goal-line score.
Yet, Mendenhall owners should make sure he is waiting on the bench.
If you own Cedric Benson, and you have not yet added Bernard Scott, you might have already missed your opportunity.
Scott played well as the starting running back for the Cincinnati Bengals in Benson's absence as he served his lingering one-game suspension.
Scott may continue to play a role in the offense going forward.
Thus, if Scott is still available, whether you own Benson or not, he should be near the top of your waiver requests in Week 9.
Maurice Morris of the Detroit Lions is another player that may be difficult to get your hands on.
With the injury to Jahvid Best, many owners have likely already gotten their hands on Morris in an attempt to fill the gap made by Best.
Yet, if he has not yet been picked up in your league, Week 9 is the time to make your move.
Morris has limited value, but he is the clear top option should Best miss more time.
Jacquizz Rodgers has failed to make a significant impact for the Atlanta Falcons in 2011, but that time could be coming very soon.
The more Michael Turner carried the ball in 2010, the more he slowed down toward the end of the season.
Plus, the wear and tear that Turner has taken in the last few years has to catch up with him sometime.
If it does, Rodgers will prove his worth in this high-powered offense.
Make sure you have him waiting in the wings before Turner goes down and everyone dashes for his services.
Ricky Williams is no longer the relevant fantasy player that he used to be, but he still has a role within the Baltimore Ravens offense.
Ray Rice is the clear cog in this offense.
That responsibility means that he is shouldering quite the load on a weekly basis.
Williams may not have all that much value with his current pace of five or six carries per game.
Still, he is worth a roster spot, especially if you have Rice.
Deji Karim of the Jacksonville Jaguars was one of the most popular handcuffs going into the 2011 NFL season.
After Rashad Jennings went down with injury, Karim moved up the depth chart to become the backup to one of the more vulnerable elite fantasy running backs in the NFL.
Maurice Jones-Drew has been as consistent as anyone, carrying the Jaguars offense through Blaine Gabbert's rookie season.
Nonetheless, Karim is an important handcuff for Jones-Drew owners, especially entering the second half of the season.
In the first two weeks of the 2011 NFL season, Ben Tate showed the rest of the league that the Houston Texans have more than Arian Foster in the running game.
Since then, his role has declined as Foster has once again turned dominant.
This does not diminish his value, however.
If you own Foster, Tate is a necessity.
If you don't, he is still worth a roster spot as a potential stud should Foster go down as the season wears on.
The San Francisco 49ers have found success this season behind Frank Gore, but the star running back is nearing his proven limit, meaning that Kendall Hunter is soon to become a commodity.
Frank Gore's carries over the last five years from 2006 to 2010: 312, 260, 240, 229, 203.
Something tells me the odds are low that he will make it to 200 carries.
Pick up Hunter whether you have Gore or not and thank me later.
Michael Bush had a chance to showcase his skills against the Kansas City Chiefs when Darren McFadden went down with injury.
The word "McFadden" has almost been synonymous with "injured" during his young career despite his rare talent.
Bush has proven to be a viable option in an offense that is sure to rely on the run as Carson Palmer continues to acclimate himself.
He may be difficult to get your hands on, but if possible, snag Bush and forget the injury worries that come with owning McFadden.