We’re going to take a look at the 2020 Top 10 NFL Handcuffs and see who you need to draft or trade for in order to ensure you’re injury proof. Some handcuffs can be ignored, but some are must-add players. Here’s what I came up with in order for you to get ahead in your fantasy league. Engage with 1,600+ passionate dynasty players and let the RotoHeat content team know what topics YOU want to hear about by visiting our RotoHeat Facebook page.
2020 Top 10 NFL Handcuffs
3. Honorable Mentions
2. 2020 Top 10 NFL Handcuffs (10-6)
10. Damien Harris
Damien Harris starts out my 2020 Top 10 NFL Handcuffs list at 10. The former Alabama RB isn’t know for his speed, but more as a bruiser RB. The Patriots have already talked about Harris splitting reps with Sony Michel in 2020, which is a great sign for Harris’s fantasy value because most Patriots RBs only hold value for a couple years before fading away into the fantasy abyss. Harris may be on his way to the 2-3 year window of fantasy value, so get him in the late rounds while he’s cheap.
9. Carlos Hyde / Rashaad Penny
Carlos Hyde was the lead back in Houston last year after an offseason injury to Lamar Miller. He rushed for over 1,000 yards and ranked as RB30. The soon to be 30 year old Hyde still has the ability to provide solid touches as Chris Carson’s backup, but his age is definitely a factor at this point. Rashaad Penny, on the other hand, is 24 and a former 1st round pick. In a Week 12 injury to Chris Carson last year, Penny came in to put up 129 rushing yards on 14 attempts and a TD against the Eagles. Even though Penny has never played over 50% of offensive snaps in his 2 years in the NFL, he’s had 3 other games where he scored over double digit fantasy points. His most notable was his 2018 Week 10 performance against the Rams, posting 108 yards on 12 attempts and a TD. Both players here have a lot of ability if Carson gets hurt again, but Penny will look to start the year off on the PUP list. When it’s all said and done, both deserve to make the 2020 Top 10 NFL Handcuffs list.
8. Chase Edmonds
In his rookie season, Chase Edmonds never saw more than 38% of offensive snaps and yet had a 20+ point game against the Packers in Week 13. He scored twice on 5 carries for 53 yards while catching both of his targets for an additional 13 yards. Last season, he played well in Weeks 5 and 6, posting double digits in both. In Week 7, David Johnson was injured, and Edmonds finally got his chance to show how dominant he can be against the Giants. He had a monstrous number, posting 126 yards, scoring 3 TDs on the ground, as well as 2 catches for 24 yards, thus showcasing why he made the 2020 Top 10 NFL Handcuffs list. Now the backup to Kenyan Drake, Edmonds is a great handcuff to have in case Drake goes down, even if it’s just for a couple games.
7. Boston Scott
Boston Scott has high hopes in 2020 as Miles Sanders’ handcuff. With the Eagles not signing Freeman, Hyde, or McCoy, Scott will be the 3rd down back and pass catching back (Miles Sanders will also be involved in the pass game, don’t get me wrong). This is why he makes my 2020 Top 10 NFL Handcuffs list. If Sanders does suffer some type of injury, Scott’s value will shoot up as him and Corey Clement will take the reigns of the Eagles backfield. He could be a guy who gets you around 10 points pretty consistently with potential for more in 2020. The New York Giants were his favorite team to torment this year, rushing for 113 yards and 4 TDs with an added 153 yards on 10 receptions. He made his name heard last year, finishing as RB49 in 8 games played. He only had 1 game where he played more than 50% of the offensive snaps. Sanders managers–make Scott a priority this offseason.
6. Tony Pollard
Tony Pollard is heading into his 2nd year as Zeke’s backup. Though he never saw more than 36% of offensive snaps his rookie year, Pollard had 3 games where he produced around 20 fantasy points in PPR settings. 2 of those games he had over 100 yards on the ground, but the most impressive stat was his 5.3 YPC on the season. Zeke has shown to be extremely durable, missing only 8 games in 4 years, but 6 of those games came in 2017 from a suspension. If that changes, Pollard has the talent to have some serious value in fantasy. If I’m a Zeke manager, I’m targeting Pollard this offseason to ease my mind in case of a rare Zeke injury.
1. 2020 Top 10 NFL Handcuffs (5-1)
5. Tevin Coleman
Tevin Coleman would be in my 2020 Top 10 NFL Handcuffs list no matter what this season, but he broke the top 5 when Raheem Mostert requested a trade. Most of the time handcuffs are useful through injury, but in rare cases, starters can be traded leaving the handcuff as the new starter. This may be where Coleman finds himself. He’s made a living being a career backup, as he was to Devonta Freeman from 2015-18 where he ranked as RB19 in 2016 and RB22 in 2017 as a handcuff. With Freeman’s injury in 2018, Coleman became the starter and finished the season as RB18. Last season he finished as RB39, but rarely saw more than 50% of offensive snaps, though he did have 118 yards of total offense and 4 TDs against the Panthers in Week 8. I’d keep my eye on him this offseason and even heading into the season.
4. Latavius Murray
Latavius Murray was a former starter turned backup, but in 2019, he showed just how valuable he is. Kamara got injured leaving Murray as the Week 7 and 8 starter. He went off for over 30 fantasy points in both games, totaling 221 yards and 3 TDs on the ground with an added 86 yards and a TD on 14 receptions. He was a monster, but the reason I have him at 4 on the 2020 Top 10 NFL Handcuffs list is because as the backup he doesn’t see a ton of touches. Kamara managers, lock this man down because he’ll save your season if Kamara goes down.
3. Alexander Mattison
Alexander Mattison is in a unique situation, just like Coleman, in the fact that Mattison’s value this season may come in the form of a Dalvin Cook holdout. His value isn’t just wrapped up in that though, and he’s ranked 3rd on my list because Cook has a long history of injuries. Mattison is coming off his rookie year where he barely saw the field, but there is a lot of talk of the upside and skill he possesses. When given the opportunity, he’s going to be a guy who could pop off and is seen by some as a future lead back in the NFL. Unfortunately, he had the chance in Weeks 16 and 17, but was sidelined with an injury. For now though, he’s just a handcuff stuck behind Cook, but an important handcuff for Cook managers.
2. Phillip Lindsay
Phillip Lindsay is my runner-up in the 2020 Top 10 NFL Handcuffs list. The former UDFA holds stand-alone value and may even receive a similar amount of touches to Melvin Gordon. As the starter in Denver his first 2 seasons, Lindsay had over 1,000 yards both years finishing as RB13 and RB19, respectfully. If a Gordon injury occurs, Lindsay would immediately go back to being a RB2. The biggest thing that’s held him back in PPR formats is his lack of targets through the air. Lindsay will be a player to watch in 2020 to see how the Broncos utilize the skills he brings to the table.
1. Kareem Hunt
Number one on 2020 Top 10 NFL Handcuffs list is none other than Kareem Hunt, which should be no surprise as he already holds standalone value. Hunt is the clear favorite considering he should be a starting RB in the league if it weren’t for his off-field incident in 2018 leading to his release from the Kansas City Chiefs. His rookie year he was RB4, and his sophomore season he finished as RB12 in only 11 games played. After the Browns signed him and he served his 8 game suspension, Hunt posted 10+ points in 6 of the 8 remaining games. In the case of a Nick Chubb injury, Hunt would automatically become a RB1. Hunt is a STUD and is at his cheapest price right now; it all depends on how the Hunt manager in your league values him, but I would definitely test the trade waters to acquire Hunt.
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