IDP Fantasy Football Handcuffs For The 2018 Season

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Sometimes having a handcuff for your IDP fantasy football players is optimal, incase they go down with injury.


A IDP fantasy football handcuff caries little value on his own. If the status quo carries on, this player is not startable, he is not even bye week filler. At the moment this player is utterly without fantasy value.

But on any given Sunday, anything can happen. One shoe that grabs the turf a little too well, one blocked teammate rolling into the starter’s legs, and the handcuff is in the game. He is also at that moment a better fantasy play than a replacement level pick-up from the waiver wire.

Whats the point of a handcuff?

I like having a couple handcuffs on my roster, particularly if the late rounds are uninspiring at a position of need. They are the first player that you cut when injuries hit, you find a free agent you want, or your kicker who is leading the league in scoring has a bye week.

However, if none of those events come and your first round pick ends up on IR, having the player that is put into that spot on the field can get you through the year.

Not every high-level player has a handcuff. Those who succeed by their own merits are not replaceable by the next man up in most cases. It is players that are successful because the scheme they are in is designed to funnel tackles to them that have another man behind them, waiting.

An example from last year is Christian Jones. Jones was not a starting linebacker for the Chicago Bears when training camp opened. He was, however, the primary backup for both inside linebacker positions, and the starters in front of him had histories of injury problems and suspensions.

Jones ended the season with 90 tackles in eleven starts. On a per-projectable-start basis, he was an LB3 in my primary IDP league. He was not drafted, and in fact, was not picked up until week eight. Here are the most likely Christian Jones‘ at each IDP position. There are not a lot of these guys worth having around at some positions. Nobody is stashing great pass rushers on their bench, for example.

Defensive line

Linebacker

Defensive Back

The majority of the time, just drafting a better player is the right play. In these few cases you may want to consider picking up the handcuff.


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I have been playing fantasy football since before you could do it online. I have actually lost friendships over commissioner score tabulating fraud. I have a league that would be old enough to vote in the United States of America.