In fantasy football, players are often so focused on combing through rankings to find sleepers and busts or trying to stockpile as much top talent as possible that they forget something: something that is a very important part of football.
While nobody ever roots for an injury, the fact of the matter is that they do occur. And at no position is there a higher rate of turnover than the running back position. Every year, a big-name player deals with a nagging injury or suffers a major one. And in recent years, we've even seen some top guys (we're looking at you, Le'Veon Bell) hold out for extended periods of time. That could happen again this year with Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon, and it brings up an important subject that often gets ignored in the fantasy realm: handcuffs.
Having running back handcuff, or at least knowing who the top options are, is extremely important. Because when a top-talent or starter at running back goes down, NFL teams often have a next man up philosophy at the position and just make their backup the workhorse. But still, it's important to know just who those backups are going to be.
You don't necessarily have to handcuff your starting running backs. If there are players available in your draft that have more potential than handcuffs, certainly pick them up. But if nothing on the board looks enticing, grabbing a handcuff can be a sound strategy. Because in fantasy football, running backs can go from zero to hero very quickly.
Luckily, we're here to help you out in the running back department and keep you posted on all the top handcuffs to know about. Here's a look at the top handcuff (or in some cases, handcuffs) for all of the projected starters during the 2019 fantasy football season.
Justice Hill/Gus Edwards
Frank Gore/Devin Singletary
Mike Davis/Tarik Cohen
Tony Pollard/Alfred Morris
Nyheim Hines/Jordan Wilkins
Kansas City Chiefs
Austin Ekeler/Justin Jackson
Los Angeles Rams
Malcolm Brown/Darrell Henderson
Damien Harris/James White
New Orleans Saints
New York Giants
Wayne Gallman Jr.
New York Jets
Elijah McGuire/Bilal Powell
Doug Martin/Jalen Richard
Jaylen Samuels/Bennie Snell Jr.
San Francisco 49ers
Matt Breida/Jerick McKinnon
Adrian Peterson/Chris Thompson
*Hunt is suspended for the first 8 games of the season for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy.
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Fantasy football 2019: Top running back handcuffs for all 32 teams originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston