The Top Five Fantasy Football Handcuffs

The top five fantasy football handcuffs

8/30/12 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Handcuffing your running backs is always the most boring thing to do on fantasy draft day. Though it isn't the most exciting thing to do, it is often the smart thing to do. Here are the top five running backs that you should draft if you have the starter for that team. Even if you didn't draft the starter, you could grab any of these guys for their upside in the event of the starter struggling or getting injured.

Aug 10, 2012;  Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Rashad Jennings (23) runs the ball during the first quarter of the preseason game against the New York Giants at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-US PRESSWIRE1. Rashad Jennings (JAX): This is a pretty obvious one. There's no telling when Maurice Jones-Drew is coming back. Reports from the Florida Times Union yesterday suggested that Jones-Drew will miss multiple regular season games. Though MJD should really just cut his losses and report, he seems too proud to admit that he's lost this fight. Jennings boasts an impressive 5.4 career yards per carry, and could be a stud for the first few weeks of the season. If he impresses coaches enough, they may even let him keep a significant role once Jones-Drew returns.

2. Jacquizz Rodgers (ATL): This one seems to be going a bit under the radar. The Falcons have been more than open about the fact that they are transitioning to a pass-first offense that will feature Matt Ryan and their array of aerial weapons. Incumbent starter Michael Turner is essentially useless in the passing game, as his career high in catches is 17. Rodgers, on the other hand, is a very solid option out of the backfield. Head coach Mike Smith has also raved about Rodgers and insists that he is a three down back.

In addition, Michael Turner is entering his age-30 season, and is coming off of seasons with 301 and 337 carries. Everyone knows that 30 is a deadly number for running backs, and Turner now faces high injury possibilities, a possible decrease in burst, and an offense that needs things out of a running back that Turner can't offer. Rodgers could be a great value pick by season's end.

3. Taiwan Jones (OAK): Everyone knows you have to handcuff Darren McFadden, but until the third preseason game, no one knew who to handcuff him with. Both Taiwan Jones (Al Davis' final pure-speed draft pick) and Mike Goodson were in the hunt, with Goodson looking like the favorite. However, in the third preseason game, Jones took ten carries for 50 yards, while Goodson had seven for 18. In a close position battle, the third preseason game could very likely be the deciding factor. McFadden's extensive injury history requires his owners to secure a handcuff, and Jones will likely be the guy to own should McFadden go down.
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