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Are You Hoarding Running Backs?

Does it make sense to hoard backup running backs? Our Brandon Andrews tells you why it isn't a sound strategy in dynasty.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

If you have as many handcuffs on your fantasy team as B.W. Webb has NFL Jerseys (10), then son I’m afraid you have a condition”

Dynasty Start Up Drafts

Subsequently after doing a few start-up drafts on Sleeper this off-season. I noticed a trend, people hoarding handcuffs. Is that a sound strategy though? I am not talking about people who follow the Zero RB draft method. I mean. when the draft gets into the later rounds, passing up value to draft a handcuff for a starter they didn’t draft. In some cases, it’s understandable if the handcuff has some stand-alone PPR value. However, barring that or the starter is coming off of a serious injury. is there a point to doing that?

In the case of say. Christian McCaffrey, it makes sense to draft his handcuff if you have an available spot due to the sheer volume of work he sees. Now if we are talking about Chris Carson, should anyone be wasting a pick on Travis Homer? He is not even the handcuff, Rashad Penny is. What are we doing here? Even if you are in a league with a very deep bench, a roster spot should be viewed as an asset. Don’t glut your bench with players that have a near-zero chance to help you.


Photo Credit: USA Today Jeffrey Becker

What about an injury? Yes, players will inevitably get hurt. If though, an injury does happen is there any guarantee the handcuff or deeper player seizes the opportunity. It’s possible and you may have a tradeable asset. What though if the injured running backs owner refuses to meet your asking price? At that point, you’re stuck with a player you wasted a draft selection on, or FAAB and now you can’t cut them either.

Rostering a handcuff or two is perfectly acceptable. Let’s not get crazy here, there are some dynasty team’s out there, with four, five, six, or more handcuffs. Let’s put a stop to this people. There are much smarter ways to build a team. Just because you have rostered a handcuff, does not mean you’ll be able to sell them for a king’s ransom. There’s gonna be an injury, but how many gambles make sense? Likely, not more than three.

Final Roster Spots

Don’t throw away the end of your dynasty roster. Honestly, I cannot stress this enough, “Don’t waste roster spots”. There are a lot of players, even in deeper leagues, who could have more potential than the third or fourth running back on an NFL team. If, for example, you have a bunch of running backs but little depth at WR, you’re in trouble. There’s no perfect balance between one position vs another. You just have to weigh what makes the most sense. I try to load up on WR just simply because of the value in a PPR. Depending on the setup of the league that you’re in, that should weigh heavily into the construction of your roster.

Dynasty Leagues

One of my favorite fantasy sayings is, “There’s always something in the garbage”. No matter the league format, there is always something of value sitting on the waiver wire. You just have to do a bit of research to find it. Don’t waste too much of your budget on players that won’t help you win. You want to get to the playoffs, and compete for and win a championship right? A small example of some $1 FAAB finds that I’ve found since 2016:

  • Cameron Meredith, WR (Bears) 2016
  • Keelan Cole, WR (Jaguars) 2017
  • Jaylon Smith, LB (Cowboys) 2018
  • Ryan Tannehill, QB (Titans) 2019

Again, everyone is free to build their roster how they see fit, but be smart about your depth. Don’t waste future draft picks trading for handcuffs hoping to get more back later. Hold those draft picks or use them to build up your team, spend them on players to put you over the top. Almost every year it seems, there is a player who no one expected anything from, and by the season’s end, they are on championship rosters.


When you are in a deep dynasty league, value is always the name of the game. That is one of the ways you can get the best of your league mates, finding those hidden gems before they do. For more helpful articles sign up and join the #NerdHerd. Make sure to follow all of us on Twitter, I can be found at @DoomzoneFF.

Make sure you subscribe to the #NerdHerd, where you get exclusive content, dynasty/rookie/devy rankings, buy/sell tool, and a bonus podcast too. Dynasty Nerds also recently launched the #DynastyGM tool, which is a complete game-changer in the fantasy industry. Click here for a free trial. We truly are your one-stop shop for all your fantasy football needs!

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