Handcuffing strategy is simple: In case one of our top picks goes down, we have his backup stashed so that we don’t get completely crippled.
However, executing this strategy is more difficult. There is no point in drafting handcuffs that won’t produce even if given an opportunity. There is more value in handcuffing backs that are injury prone. With those thoughts in mind, here are five must-handcuffs.
1. Rashad Jennings to Maurice Jones-Drew
MJD’s knee woes have been well documented. What most people don’t know is that Jennings is one of the most talented backups in the league. If you are going to use a first-round pick on Jones-Drew, you’d be insane not to stash Jennings.
2. Michael Bush to Darren McFadden
McFadden has a shaky injury history and we already know that Bush has starting-caliber talent. In fact, Bush is good enough to start on a ton of teams in this league. Must-handcuff situation here.
3. Ricky Williams to Ray Rice
I normally despise running backs in their 30s, but Ricky is an exception. He doesn’t have as much tread on his tires as most and can still run over people. With the Ravens’ run-first attack, Williams would be a nice RB2 if Rice went down.
4. Jason Snelling to Michael Turner
I’ve talked in this space plenty about Turner’s decline. Snelling has performed well in spot duty and is a solid all-around back. His pass-catching ability would give him even more upside than Turner might.
5. Javon Ringer to Chris Johnson
Holdout aside, Johnson is too high of a pick not to protect. Ringer is a solid chain-mover and would be playing in an offense that projects to be much better this season.
* Ronnie Brown to LeSean McCoy
* Toby Gerhart to Adrian Peterson
* Vince Young to Michael Vick
* Jacob Tamme to Dallas Clark