First of all, if this fantasy football handcuffs article is relevant to you at this point in the season, then congratulations you’re in the playoffs. This was one of the most difficult seasons I’ve participated in as there were many injuries to big-time players, busts and surprises throughout the league. Five of my teams made the playoffs because I am a Fantasy God, ask my dad, Ed.
Anyway, some people are still unsure about the concept of a handcuff. No, I’m not talking about handcuffing a girl for the winter to ‘Netflix and chill’. I am talking about handcuffing players. Handcuffing is picking up your player’s backup just in case he gets injured. If that player is not available, pick up the best available player which will be listed below.
Fantasy Football playoffs can be a stressful, dark place so I’m here to make it a little less stressful and dark for you. First of all, there’s no need to carry 2 kickers or defenses. Also, before you drop a player, make sure he won’t be a good asset to another team.
This list is only for the positions you need, not necessarily a list of which players to pick up first.
1. Tyrod Taylor (45.9% owned in ESPN, 37% owned in Yahoo)
Double T has thrown 6 touchdown passes in the past 2 games. The next 2 games are against the Redskins and the Eagles. Both teams don’t have the best secondaries and have combined for 50 touchdowns thrown against them.
2. Ryan Fitzpatrick (41.9% owned in ESPN, 44% owned in Yahoo)
Another QB that has thrown 6 touchdown passes in 2 games. Don’t fear the beard, be with the beard. ‘Fitzmagic’ has been outstanding lately and has an easy match up again opposing the Titans.
3. Jameis Winston (35.8% owned in ESPN, 41% owned in Yahoo)
Winston hasn’t been hot the last 2 games but does have an easy game upcoming against the Saints.
1. Shaun Draughn (63.1% owned in ESPN, 55% owned in Yahoo)
He might be taken but pick him up if you can. Draughn is a nice flex player and has RB2 upside this week against the Browns. He’s worth it especially in PPR leagues because he is part of the passing game and gets majority of the carries as well.
2. Ameer Abdullah (46.9% owned in ESPN, 58% owned in Yahoo)
Abdullah doesn’t have the prettiest numbers but does have 75 carries in the last 3 weeks. He’s more trustworthy than Riddick and Bell. Abdullah does have the ‘getaway from the cop speed’ said by Chris Collinsworth in Madden 25. He only has 2 TD’s (1 rushing, 1 receiving) this season but the odds are in his favor with easy match ups the next 4 games. Abdullah is good a good bench player or flex player depending on your other players’ match ups.
3. James White (26.6% owned in ESPN, 29% owned in Yahoo)
You can never trust Belichick with running backs but White is taking over Lewis’ role in the passing game. He had 119 scrimmage yards and 1 TD against the Eagles so he’s another RB that can be valuable to your team as a flex player.
If Cardinals’ David Johnson or Seahawks’ Thomas Rawls are available, pick them up and start them. If you have Johnson, handcuff him with Andre Ellington.
Doug Baldwin (57.6% owned in ESPN, 64% owned in Yahoo)
Where was he all season? He has 5 receiving touchdowns the last 2 games. In the 2 upcoming games, Seattle is playing Baltimore and Cleveland, who both have weak secondaries. This is the player you want to pick up and start on your team at WR. If Baldwin gets hurt, pick up Tyler Lockett or pick him up now so you are ahead of the game.
You might be asking why there’s only 1 WR listed. The answer is that no one else is worthy enough to be on your team. I don’t see any valuable assets to help your team. If you’re in the playoffs, your WRs are hopefully good enough anyway.
TE, D, K
If you need any of these positions, look at the match ups and pick the best ones.
Good luck in the playoffs and don’t forget to pray to the Fantasy God.
Tweet me @CLo__SS if you need any help or have any questions about Fantasy Football!