High Value Handcuffs: Support your injury prone workhorse

With more and more offensive coordinators relegating to the dreaded running back by committee(RBBC), it is especially important, now more than ever, to solidify your injury prone workhorse by acquiring their immediate successors, either through the draft, by way of waivers, or via trade. Some guys are going to be more valuable than others, so one must keep this in mind. If the second stringer  you are targeting has a high ADP,  you need to know what round you should go after him. If your bell cow’s back up is a little further down the line, use a late pick, or scoop him up from the free agency pool. If somebody else already had the foresight to grab him, then cross your fingers and prepare that silver tongue ‘cuz it’s probably gonna take some smooth talking to pry their hands off of him! Either way, their are some that I consider more valuable than others, so here’s my list of 2013’s most valuable handcuffs.

v ballardInjury riddled, Ahmad Bradshaw is slated to start the season as the Indianapolis Colts’ number one back. What’s the concern? The Colts number two is a guy that scratched and clawed his way during his rookie season to earn the starting position. The Colts acquisition of Bradshaw has undoubtedly left a big chip on the shoulder of  Vick Ballard, who completed last season with 814 rushing yards, 20th among all running back in the league. He managed to accomplish this feat without the benefit of being the full time starter. I’m not sold on Bradshaw, and when he goes down, expect Ballard to be there waiting to reap the benefit.

DeMarco Murray only managed to break 100 rushing yards one time last season. Combine that with the fact that he seemed to stay on the injury report all year, and you have cause enough for concern right there. Add into that mix, this preseason the Dallas Cowboys have shown the league a heavy dose of Joseph Randle. Don’t think for a moment that Jerry Jones enjoys being embarrassed. If DeMarco shows early signs of disappointment, Randle will get his chance to play.

j. bellReggie Bush is primed and ready to explode with some huge fantasy numbers this season. Detroit’s high octane passing offense is just the type of system that Bush could thrive in. So what’s the problem? The problem is the astroturf that Reggie will have to play on for eight home games this year. We all saw what happened in N’Orleans… could the turf at Ford Field seal Reggie’s fate once again? I don’t have the answer to that question, but I can tell you that through all the battling that went on in the Lions’ backfield last season, I preferred Joique Bell’s ability to Mikel Leshoure’s. Looks like Jim Shwartz is finally on my team with this one, as Bell is now listed as the number two guy on Detroit’s depth chart. He has all the ability that Bush does, and I honestly wondered why they went after Bush with this diamond in the rough already on the roster. Even if Bush stays healthy, there are enough reps in Detroit for Bell to score points.

Everyone is well aware that Arian Foster’s numbers are on the decline over the last several seasons. Though he is always considered as a preseason top 5 fantasy back, there seems to be extra alarm over his health and condition this year. Enter Ben Tate. Tate is a talented back that has done nothing but put up Foster like numbers every time he is inserted into the lineup. One could even venture to say that Tate could be a starter for most other teams in the league. Combine his talent with the concern surrounding Foster’s ability to grind out another season as the Texans’ workhorse, and you are left with what I believe to be, the most logical, and possibly most rewarding, handcuff this season.

forsettFrom two Texan backs to a former third, Justin Forsett is a star waiting to happen. Forsett was a top 50 back(yardage wise) last season, and that was from a third string role. With all the trouble they had running the ball last season, the Jags must be excited to have him backing Maurice Jones-Drew, who is coming off Lisfranc surgery. In 2012, Houston’s back up, Ben Tatej, rushed the ball 65 times for 279 yards. Meanwhile, third stringer Forsett saw 63 touches for 374 yards. Simple mathematics tells us that Forsett averaged 5.9 yards every time he carried the ball. Out of all the other top 50 running backs, only C.J. Spiler(6.0) and Adrian Peterson(6.0) had a higher average. That is some pretty good company. Keep your eyes on Forsett… this guy could be a star.

About Mike Saunders

Just a guy with a good eye for talent and a knack for working the wire. Coach of our youth and sofa scout of the pros. Co-Founder of InsideFF.com.

Posted on September 4, 2013, in Creepers, Portfolio and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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