Hand­cuff RBs for stretch run

The Citizens' Voice - - National Football League - KEVIN AMERMAN KEVIN AMERMAN writes a weekly col­umn about fan­tasy foot­ball for Times-Sham­rock News­pa­pers. Email him at kamer­man@cit­i­zensvoice.com and fol­low him on Twit­ter @kev­inamer­man for fan­tasy foot­ball news and up­dates.

Lots of Devonta Free­man own­ers prob­a­bly took it on the chin in their fan­tasy foot­ball leagues in Week 10.

The Fal­cons run­ning back was wal­loped in the first quar­ter Sun­day against the Cow­boys and left the game with a con­cus­sion af­ter just two car­ries for three yards.

Sev­eral re­ports say Free­man is likely to re­main out in Week 11, an­other hit for own­ers.

I felt the im­pact in two dif­fer­ent leagues this week. I started Free­man in one league (and got 0.30 points from him) and played against his hand­cuff, Tevin Cole­man, in an­other league. Luck­ily, I es­caped the mess with two wins, but I’m sure many fan­tasy own­ers weren’t as for­tu­nate.

Cole­man ran with his op­por­tu­nity, to­tal­ing 88 yards and a touch­down and scored 15 fan­tasy points.

And he’ll have sim­i­lar suc­cess mov­ing for­ward if Free­man re­mains out.

Any­one who owns Free­man is go­ing to be sorry they don’t own Cole­man as a hand­cuff. I do and I’m ready to pop Cole­man into my start­ing lineup as long as Free­man is out. That’s the beauty of hand­cuff­ing, which I con­stantly preach.

If you haven’t al­ready, it’s now as im­por­tant as ever to hand­cuff your run­ning backs with their back­ups. The fan­tasy play­offs are right around the corner, so it’s time to pre­pare for a deep play­off run by en­sur­ing you can fill your run­ning back slots with qual­ity op­tions.

As I’ve stated be­fore, backup run­ning backs are able to du­pli­cate their starter’s pro­duc­tion bet­ter than any other po­si­tion in fan­tasy foot­ball. You have to view your run­ning back po­si­tions as own­ing a team’s en­tire run­ning game, not just the starter. And es­pe­cially for the stretch run.

Plus, this week, Week 11, is the last time we have to deal with bye weeks, so more bench room will be avail­able from here on out.

Here are the most cru­cial run­ning back hand­cuffs to own:

If Ti­tans run­ning back DeMarco Mur­ray went down with an in­jury, Der­rick Henry would be a cer­ti­fied RB1. The for­mer Heis­man Tro­phy win­ner has topped 10 fan­tasy points three times this sea­son, even with Mur­ray in the fold.

Colts run­ning back Marlon Mack has shown flashes of bril­liance be­hind 34-yearold Frank Gore, scor­ing 11 or more points three times. Gore has been in­cred­i­bly durable in his ca­reer, so he’s likely to stay healthy.

But if the Colts opt to give Mack a longer look to de­cide if he can be the fu­ture starter, Mack could put up big points. The Colts have re­mained loyal to Gore, though, so a bench­ing is un­likely. But if you’re a Gore owner, Mack should be added just in case.

When Raiders run­ning back Mar­shawn Lynch fool­ishly got him­self kicked out of his Week 7 game against the Chiefs for run­ning on the field from the side­line and get­ting in­volved in a scuf­fle, backup DeAn­dre Wash­ing­ton put up solid points. Wash­ing­ton tal­lied 12 points against the Chiefs and 17 points the next week against the Bills while Lynch was sus­pended for the same in­ci­dent.

Now that Lynch is back, Wash­ing­ton has no real value in fan­tasy. But if the 31-year-old Lynch got in­jured or sus­pended again, Wash­ing­ton could pay huge div­i­dends.

An­dre Elling­ton has some stand­alone value as the Car­di­nals’ pass-catch­ing back. His value would sky­rocket if starter Adrian Peter­son went down with an in­jury. Elling­ton has topped 10 fan­tasy points four times this sea­son.

When Jaguars start­ing run­ning back Leonard Four­nette missed Week 7 with an in­jury and Week 9 be­cause of a sus­pen­sion, Chris Ivory put up 9 and 12 points re­spec­tively.

And that fol­lowed an 18-point game in Week 6 with Four­nette in the lineup. Ivory would be an RB2 if Four­nette suf­fered an in­jury.

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