Peterson, Stacy, and Martin oh my!!! Why handcuffing your players is critical to fantasy football success

If you are anything like me you look forward to your fantasy draft just as much as opening your presents Christmas morning as a child." target="_blank" style="color:#a7a7a7;text-decoration:none;font-weight:normal !important;border:none;display:inline-block;">View image

With that being said, you might not always keep your eyes on the prize when that day comes.  Last year I drafted Adrian Peterson, Zac Stacy and Doug Martin with my first three picks.  I was on top of the world at the time.  I finished my draft and thought I had a very good chance at winning the league.  I did not account for the unexpected and did not handcuff any of them.  As you might know, none of the three finished the fantasy season as even a RB3.  I screwed up and my terrible record showed that.

If you have paid any attention to the pre-season this year, you have come to realize that no player is invincible.  Weather it is a torn ACL or getting in a locker room fight, your fantasy players are exposed to dangerous situations all of the time.  As a fantasy football manager it is completely out of your control of what happens to the individual players on and off the field but it is your job to make sure that you have a backup plan just in case a bad scenario plays out for your fantasy stud.  It may sounds bad, but you need to expect the worse as a fantasy owner and make sure that you have a backup plan and handcuffing key players is one of the best ways to do so in the business.

Handcuffing is a term often used when you pick up the immediate backup just in the scenario that your player gets injured or is demoted due to underperformance.  Handcuffing is most necessary when dealing with running backs.  The reason that it is not as important as a wide receiver is because most fantasy leagues will have a very high ownership in WR2's and around a moderate ownership in WR3's and these players are typically taken between the sixth and eleventh rounds (depending on the team and QB).  Picking up backups that early will create a lack of quality starters and create your team to be more depth heavy.  Having a deep team is great, but you need to make sure that you fill your starting role before going too deep.  You can typically wait until the twelfth round or so to handcuff your RB1 and RB2 but in rare cases you will need to go a little earlier.  Going a little earlier is typically done when their is a scenario of split carries or the starting running back is older and/or injury prone.

Most people will panic when somebody takes their handcuff before they do and the rest of their draft spirals out of control.  This causes emotion filled, bad draft choices.  When a scenario like this happens, do not panic, but smile because you have planned ahead.  You should have a draft strategy in place at all times and do not have your emotion make you stray from your plan.  This will eliminate the second guessing and the disappointment of not being able to handcuff your players.

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