With the bye weeks thinning out, there’s not much reason to carry mediocrity on the bench.
The only way fantasy reserves like DeAngelo Williams, Marques Colston and Owen Daniels will make their way into our lineup is if injury strikes. But if injury does strike one of our studs, we can often do better with his backup. That’s where handcuffing comes in.
Running Back scheming
Simply due to the nature of the position, starting running backs are the ones most likely to get injured. There’s no way a Jamaal Charles owner should be going forward without Knile Davis, even if you have to trade for him. The same can be said for James Starks cuffed to Eddie Lacy, Joseph Randle to DeMarco Murray, Chris Polk to LeSean McCoy, Carlos Hyde to Frank Gore – you get the idea. These backups would immediately become top-15 options if given a full workload.
Wide of the Mark
It’s not nearly as necessary to handcuff wideouts , but it makes sense in certain high-upside situations. T.Y. Hilton and Reggie Wayne owners would do well to own Donte Moncrief . A Demaryius Thomas injury would be a disaster, but Cody Latimer could soften the blow. The same could be said for a Davante Adams to Jordy Nelson/Randall Cobb or Harry Douglas to Julio Jones/ Roddy White. It’s happened already with Moncrief , as he went 7-113-1 in the one game Wayne missed.
The Wright Stuff
Rob Gronkowski has put owners on his back and carried them over the last month or so. But given his history (14 regular season games missed since 2012), a backup plan is necessary for the stretch run. Look no further than teammate Tim Wright, who isn’t capable of playing the same beastly in-line role but would get on the field a ton more if Gronk went down. We’ve seen Wright, a former college wideout, have big games when the gameplan calls for it already this season.
Pickups of the Week
C.J. Anderson, RB, Broncos – At least for the short term, Anderson projects as the feature back in a Peyton Manning offense.
Jordan Matthews, WR, Eagles – Mark Sanchez spent all offseason with Matthews on the second team and it shows.
Robert Griffin III, QB, Redskins — If you need a QB streamer this week, RG3 off a bye at home against the Bucs fits the bill.
Fire up these borderline players in Week 11
1. Malcom Floyd vs. OAK – Floyd historically eats against the Raiders, who are both bad and banged up in the secondary. He’ll be fresh out of the bye.
2. Greg Jennings at CHI – The Bears will play better than they did Sunday night, but they are broken on defense. C-Patt has proven he’s not ready to step up for MIN.
3. Bishop Sankey vs. PIT – Locked and loaded as the feature back, it’s time for Sankey to break out against a Steelers defense that will be without Polamalu and Shazier again.
Josh Gordon is about to be freed. We’re just one week away from his reinstatement now, meaning it’s time for stashers to finally be rewarded. The key here is that he’s been allowed to work out at the Browns facility during his suspension, attending meetings and staying in shape. Gordon projects to hit the ground running as a top-10 fantasy wideout right away with Brian Hoyer, who throws an underrated deep ball.