Trade Wins – Not All Handcuffs Are Created Equal

Ryan McKee compares PFF Ratings of starting RBs versus their backups to learn which have more value

| 2 years ago
Roy Helu

Trade Wins – Not All Handcuffs Are Created Equal


HeluThe backup running back might be the most lusted for position in fantasy football. Like a fair maiden awaiting her prince, we believe the backup only needs a few things to go his way to vault into stardom. Every backup brings the promise of riches to the patient and opportunistic owner. With such a high degree of injuries and few true fantasy studs at the position, they hold the promise of future riches and can make their owner look like a genius.

But for every Cinderella, there are many more ugly stepsisters. Backups are backups for a reason: they are often too inexperienced, too raw, too small, too injury-prone, too old, too one-dimensional or just too-blah to be an NFL starter. As fantasy players, we typically know little about their background and have little footage of them in action. So we have to make a call on these players well before we have a reliable amount of data and observation, opening us up to a high degree of risk.

Over the last few weeks there have been a number of changes in running back hierarchies around the league, due to injuries and poor performances. Fantasy owners have circled the free agent waters like sharks, desperate to find some chum as opposed to chumps (puntastic – self five!). But how could you be certain who was worth a pick up and who was worth ignoring? I faced this exact predicament in a number of leagues.

Is Jerrick McKinnon better than Isaiah Crowell? Should I roll the dice with Antone Smith, Storm Johnson or Darrin Reeves? Is Alfred Blue a better handcuff than Carlos Hyde?

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