Fantasy football owners hope that they never have to worry about running back handcuffs. Ideally, your first-round selections of Christian McCaffrey or Dalvin Cook or Saquon Barkley stay healthy all season, but there will always be RB injuries, and in that case, a solid draft strategy is to select the backup to your top running backs. You’ve heard of some of them, like Latavius Murray, Alexander Mattison and Kareem Hunt. Others, like Joshua Kelley and Darrynton Evans, could be new to you (and could be must-have pickups and sleepers later in the year). Regardless, if you’ve invested a lot of your fantasy draft capital into RBs, there’s merit to handcuffing them.
In a season that could also be marred by unexpected absences due to COVID-19, backup running backs could prove more important than ever. Any RB that gets pressed into duty is a waiver-wire priority, so if you have them rostered ahead of time, that can make all the difference between a playoff appearance and the consolation bracket.
This season, we’ve gone two backups deep (and sometimes three) on our handcuff chart, expecting that occasionally there will be more shakeup to depth charts on short notice than there has been in the past. As always, we’ll update this page throughout the season, so it should remain a resource to you from draft day right through your fantasy football championship.
2020 Fantasy RB Handcuffs
|Arizona Cardinals||Kenyan Drake||Chase Edmonds||Eno Benjamin|
|Atlanta Falcons||Todd Gurley||Brian Hill||Ito Smith|
|Baltimore Ravens||M. Ingram/G. Edwards||JK Dobbins||Justice Hill|
|Buffalo Bills||Devin Singletary||Zack Moss||T.J. Yeldon|
|Carolina Panthers1||Mike Davis||Trenton Cannon||TBA|
|Chicago Bears||David Montgomery||Cordarrelle Patterson||Ryan Nall|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Joe Mixon||Giovani Bernard||T. Williams/S. Perine|
|Cleveland Browns2||Kareem Hunt||D’Ernest Johnson||Dontrell Hilliard|
|Dallas Cowboys||Ezekiel Elliott||Tony Pollard||Rico Dowdle|
|Denver Broncos||M. Gordon/P. Lindsay||Royce Freeman||TBA|
|Detroit Lions||Adrian Peterson||D’Andre Swift||Kerryon Johnson|
|Green Bay Packers||Aaron Jones||Jamaal Williams||AJ Dillon|
|Houston Texans||David Johnson||Duke Johnson||Buddy Howell|
|Indianapolis Colts||Jonathan Taylor||Jordan Wilkins||Nyheim Hines|
|Jacksonville Jaguars3||James Robinson||Chris Thompson||Dare Ogunbowale|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Clyde Edwards-Helaire||Le’Veon Bell||Darrel Williams|
|Las Vegas Raiders||Josh Jacobs||Devontae Booker||Jalen Richard|
|Los Angeles Chargers4||Justin Jackson||Joshua Kelley||TBA|
|Los Angeles Rams||Darrell Henderson||Malcolm Brown||Cam Akers|
|Miami Dolphins||Myles Gaskin||Matt Breida||Lynn Bowden|
|Minnesota Vikings5||Alexander Mattison||Mike Boone||TBA|
|New England Patriots6||Damien Harris||R. Burkhead/J. White||J.J. Taylor|
|New Orleans Saints||Alvin Kamara||Latavius Murray||Ty Montgomery|
|New York Giants||Devonta Freeman||Wayne Gallman||Dion Lewis|
|New York Jets||Frank Gore||La’Mical Perine||Ty Johnson|
|Philadelphia Eagles7||Boston Scott||Corey Clement||TBA|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||James Conner||Benny Snell Jr.||Anthony McFarland Jr.|
|San Francisco 49ers8||Jerick McKinnon||Jeff Wilson Jr.||JaMycal Hasty|
|Seattle Seahawks||Chris Carson||Carlos Hyde||Travis Homer|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Ronald Jones II||Leonard Fournette||Ke’Shawn Vaughn|
|Tennessee Titans||Derrick Henry||Jeremy McNichols||TBA|
|Washington Football Team||Antonio Gibson||J.D. McKissic||Peyton Barber|
1 = Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey (ankle) is expected to be out until at least Week 7. He will be the starter when healthy.
2 = Cleveland’s Nick Chubb (knee) is expected to be out until at least Week 10. He will go back to sharing lead-back duties with Kareem Hunt when healthy.
3 = Jacksonville’s Ryquell Armstead (Covid) and Devine Ozigbo (hamstring) are both expected to be out until at least Week 7. When healthy, both could push for the primary backup role.
4 = The Chargers’ Austin Ekeler (hamstring) is out until at least Week 9. When healthy, he’ll return to lead-back duties.
5 = Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook (groin) is out until at least Week 8. When healthy, he’ll return to lead-back duties.
6 = New England’s Sony Michel (quad/COVID) is out until at least Week 7. When healthy, he’ll push for the lead-back role.
7 = Philadelphia’s Miles Sanders (knee) is out until at least Week 8. When healthy, he’ll return to lead-back duties.
8 = San Francisco’s Raheem Mostert (ankle) is out until at least Week 10, and Tevin Coleman (knee) is out until at least Week 7. When healthy, Mostert will start and Coleman will push for the primary backup role.