In fantasy football, there are many terms and acronyms that football fans aren’t always familiar with. One of those terms is handcuff, which is often heard during draft season.
Fantasy football handcuffs are players who sit behind one of your current fantasy football players on their team’s depth chart. For example, if you draft the top running back on the Buffalo Bills, his handcuff is the second-string running back on the Bills.
It has become common to use handcuffs in fantasy football. Handcuffs are valued based on a starter’s health, the team’s offensive situation, and the player’s ability.
Our guide to fantasy football ceilings and snake drafts will help you understand terms like handcuff.
Why Should you Handcuff in Fantasy Football?
You may be wondering why you should roster a handcuff as a backup for one of your fantasy players. Below we will outline the reasons why fantasy managers roster handcuffs.
The Injury Bug
Fantasy managers usually use handcuffs due to injury concerns, especially at the running back position.
Several of the top running backs will go down with injuries every year, and if you don’t have someone to fill their spot, you may be in trouble.
As an insurance policy, you may want to consider investing in the backup of a starting player who is prone to injuries.
In this way, if your first string player goes down, you will still have a starting player.
Even if several players are injured, handcuffing a few players will ensure that you will have a starting player in every position.
An Excellent Offensive Situation
The fantasy manager might also add a handcuff to get a player who plays in a high-powered offense.
It is possible to score points with an elite running back on a terrible offense, but he may struggle if you bring in the backup.
If you have a handcuff in a high-powered offense, you’ll find they’re more likely to succeed if the starter is injured.
If you draft the Chiefs’ starting running back along with a handcuff in the late rounds, you will have the starting running back of the Chiefs offense regardless of injuries.
A handcuff RB can also prove helpful if your starter is injured. If you lose your starter, you will still be in good shape with your handcuff RB.
Barren Waiver Wire
It is also because handcuffs are the most popular waiver wire option for teams in fantasy football.
Except in leagues with deep benches, handcuffed players do not have much value to most managers.
Even in the deepest leagues, handcuffs are often available.
Consider a handcuff rather than a player who will probably never make your starting lineup on a barren waiver wire.
Learn about boom vs bust in fantasy football or what a taco is.
Coaching staffs that apply the next man-up strategy in football understand the importance of handcuffs.