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Top Five Running Back Handcuffs

Chester

Taylor

Minnesota

Vikings

ADP 101.2

Taylor

‘s the most-coveted handcuff because of the Vikings’ outstanding offensive line, and he has already demonstrated what he’s capable of if

Adrian Peterson does get hurt. In two starts last season in place of Peterson,

Taylor amassed 241 rushing yards, 50 receiving yards and four touchdowns while averaging over 4.5 yards per carry. If you buy into the theory that ADP cannot make it through a full season without missing time, it makes sense to draft

Chester when you get the chance.

     

  

 

Ray Rice

Baltimore

Ravens

ADP 121.4

He may just be the best rookie running back when all is said and done this season. In fact, there is some speculation that he may even beat out

Willis McGahee straight up for the right to tote the rock for the Ravens. Apparently, he is the alter-ego to Willis, who hasn’t put forth the kind of effort to get in shape and learn the playbook that new head coach John Harbaugh was expecting. Given the team’s aging defense, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the team rally around the guy that helps keep them off the field and fresh.

 

Pierre Thomas

New Orleans

Saints

ADP 146.4

The only guy standing in the way of Thomas getting significant playing time is

Deuce McAllister, who had not one, but two, offseason surgeries on his knees.

He already had his knee drained in training camp and an MRI, although the latter showed nothing wrong. I will be in awe if Deuce makes it through the entire season without missing any games.

In Week 17 last season, Thomas ran for 105 yards and caught 12 passes for 121 yards. He got his shot because both Deuce and Reggie were out, and he took full advantage of it. That’s what I look for in a handcuff.

 

Tim Hightower

Arizona

Cardinals

ADP 166.2

He may not have the opportunity to produce right away as long as Edgerrin stays healthy.  Edge is entering his 10th season and he’s got a lot of miles (8.4 if you count his receiving yardage) on his tires. Tim has surprised the coaching staff with his abilities and he has already moved ahead of the veteran tailbacks to the #2 spot on the RB depth chart. Should James get injured, he will be the starter in a potentially high scoring offense featuring two of the best receivers in the league.

 

Fred Jackson

Buffalo

Bills

ADP 185.9

Marshawn is the MAN in

Buffalo and many people are excited about his prospects this season but he does run hard and take his share of punishment.

Jackson filled in nicely for Lynch when he missed one game last season and also had a 115-yard game against

Miami. For the year,

Jackson averaged over five yards a carry on 58 attempts and caught 22 passes. If Marshawn should miss any time, it doesn’t seem like a stretch to assume the

Buffalo offense wouldn’t suffer much with Fred starting.

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