The idea of a handcuff is simple. Your prized back goes out for a week or two with an injury, but you foreshadowed this coming and drafted his backup, a worthwhile backup from whom you will get production.
Most teams have more than one back that can have value given the starting role. The value of the backup is not realized until he makes the starting lineup, however. Let’s examine two potential handcuffs and situations to monitor closely.
He could be starting for a number of teams right now. He is an essential handcuff for Peterson owners.
2. Ray Rice (Baltimore) – Rice runs like a crafty veteran as a rookie. Willis McGahee is going to be pressed from day one. McGahee had a good fantasy year last year 1,207 yards on 294 carries, but that translates to a disappointing 4.1 ypc.
Rice gives the Ravens a solid backup in year one who will eventually send McGahee packing.
The fact that McGahee scored in seven straight games from Weeks 6-13 shows consistency to some. I tend to think of it as more of the commitment of the Ravens to rely on the ground game. McGahee broke the 5.0 ypc barrier only twice during the season, Weeks 4 and 7. In Week 4 versus a very poor Brown defense that allowed 129.5 yards rushing yards per game, McGahee scampered for 104 yards on 14 carries (7.4 ypc). I
n Week 7 versus a poor Bills defense giving up 124.6 yards rushing yards per game, he ran for 114 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries (6.0 average). Willis had made claims of being the league’s best back. With the recent retirement of one of the best offensive lineman, Jonathan Ogden, look for McGahee to be fighting an uphill battle.
Situations to keep your eyes on: