Handcuffing Fantasy Wins

September 05, 2012 | Brett Dickinson

As everyone has finished up their drafts, looking forward to the first game of the season when the Giants and Cowboys face off, Wednesday 9/5/12, there is a key strategy that may kill your playoff chances. Many touted experts, like Matthew Berry, will tell you that you must handcuff your starting RB’s with their respective back-ups. But these are the same experts that told us to draft Mike Vick with the first pick or ranked Gronkowski and Graham as only worthy of late round fliers last year. So obviously these experts really know about as much as the rest of us; they just get a nice paycheck for throwing darts.

Toby GerhartPersonally, the idea of handcuffing simply does not make sense. When drafting, reaching for any player is a terrible strategy but reaching for a back-up is just ridiculous. So you are supposed to hold a roster spot for someone you may play for two or three weeks (at most) in an entire season. And it’s not like these players can be a Buy Week fill in either. Why would you take Toby Gerhart because you have Adrian Peterson over players that you know will get a full work load all season (barring injury)? Is Gerhart a better option than Shonn Greene and BenJarvus Green-Ellis?

And with the way most leagues are set up, the Flex player only adds more options for you to replace an injured running back. No one can say that they would rather have Rashad Jennings over a legit #1 Receiver like Stevie Johnson or Reggie Wayne. If you draft Jennings in general, you are likely to be more focused on your Fantasy Basketball team come December.

So even if you did follow this strategy, it is early enough to fix the problem. Players like Gerhart and Jennings value right now (both of which likely to start Week 1) is higher than ever. Move them to some sucker in your league for an upgrade at TE or WR or QB. Don’t waste your time with players you’ll probably end up releasing come Week 7, when you need a fill in for your Buy Week. Or I hope you are good at throwing darts.

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