Week 1 is in the books. You’re undoubtedly feeling a major high or a major low. Weeks and weeks of anticipation for one of those outcomes, and now the speculation is over and has come to a crashing halt. Your team has finally given you a glimpse into what they are and what they’re capable of … the starters at least.
If you’re in a competitive league, then on your bench you probably have a few stashes, especially within the RB position. Maybe you took one of the top RBs (Zeke, Cooks) with a lottery ticket handcuffs to lock up the backfield or maybe your handcuff is so valuable that one of the other owners snagged him a round earlier than you had planned on draft day.
Now you have a conundrum. The upside is massive, but the bench spot deserves to be filled with someone that completes the best construction of your fantasy team. What do you do? Below is a list of some interesting handcuffs that most likely got drafted with high hopes of striking gold early on (maybe a week 1 injury due to no preseason), but now are just sitting there taking up space as the first waiver period has come and gone … What to do? What to do?
CRITERIA FOR HANDCUFF: For this analysis, if you are a RB that is currently the backup, but have a clear cut role in the offense, you will NOT be on this list. For example, Latavius Murray, Malcolm Brown and Gio Bernard are not handcuffs for their respective teams.
TONY POLLARD, RB – DALLAS COWBOYS
Pollard is a very talented running back. In fact, if Zeke were to miss time, I do feel he’d be able to be “James Conner-ish” behind that offense line. Will he be Zeke? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean he cannot be your top RB if that situation ever arose. As for whether to HOLD or DROP, it depends on your ownership of Zeke. If you own Zeke, he is a MUST HOLD. If you have him rostered, but don’t own Zeke, you should either look to trade him to the Zeke owner for a depth piece or you can drop him for one of the many popular waiver wire assets available post week 1.
CHASE EDMONDS, RB – ARIZONA CARDINALS
This is the same situation as Pollard, but with a little less MUST own. Edmonds is also a very talented back, and at times last year was stealing goal-line carries from David Johnson. The difference here is that the Arizona Cardinals are not good and their offense line follows suit. Even if I’m the David Johnson owner, if there is a player available now that can help me win week 2, Edmonds is an easy drop. Wins are more important now than the “potential and non-guaranteed” production will be weeks from now.
RYQUELL ARMSTEAD, RB – JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
Armstead has never been touted for his talent. His preseason wasn’t one where he opened a ton of eyes. On top of that, there’s a reason the Jags signed Alfred Blue, who is now on IR unfortunately. The only reason Armstead could be a hold is because Fournette has a horrendous history of staying healthy, so bad that his ADP dropped into the 2nd round when he’s clearly of the RB1 variety when it comes to talent. My take is that if you can afford the space, hold on to him for a few more weeks to see how Fournette holds up, however, if a player becomes available that is too good to pass up, don’t feel bad about dropping Armstead. Also, keep in mind with Foles out that the Jags could officially become a dumpster fire starting next week, which is never a good thing for any offensive position for fantasy purposes.
WAYNE GALLMAN, RB – NEW YORK GIANTS
No. The Giants are beyond terrible and the only reason Saquon is productive is because he’s All-Universe and the best RB in the world. Yes, the Giants offensive line looked much improved, but without Saquon, they’ll be out of games before the end of the 1st Quarter, which isn’t exactly a positive game script for a RB. Also, Paul Perkins would be activated and you’d be looking at possibly the worst backfield (RBBC) in the history western civilization.
ALEXANDER MATTISON, RB – MINNESOTA VIKINGS
Mandatory hold if you are the Cook owner. Similar to Tony Pollard, Mattison is an absolute lotto ticket. And even if you’re not the Cook owner, Mattison has already shown flashes of being an absolute monster. His first stat line was 9 for 49. That’s not amazing, but it sure as hell isn’t terrible. If anything were to happen to Cook, Mattison would be the undisputed Bell Cow. For me, he’s a hold unless you can trade him. I would not put him on the market for the rest of the league to grab unless you’re in an extremely shallow league.
DARWIN THOMPSON – RB – KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
This was a must hold before the McCoy acquisition and I still feel it’s a must hold … for now. He’s too talented to drop on the open market and smart owners will most likely find a reason for him to be rostered. If anything were to happen to either Williams or McCoy, Thompson will see snaps and be given his ability to run to the ball with efficiency. I can easily see him making the best out of those opportunities in a Chiefs offense where the Defense must have its attention spread across the field. For me, I’m holding Darwin a few more weeks.