Draft Engine Expert Analysis
When drafting a running back in fantasy football, it's very important to think about what would happen if that back went down with an injury. In some cases, a coach will turn to a committee to replace a star. However, there are also plenty that would give their backup running back all of the opportunities. With that said, here's a look at the five most valuable handcuffs in fantasy football:
Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys: If Ezekiel Elliott were to go down with an injury, Pollard would be a fantasy RB1. That's not a knock on Elliott or anything, but Pollard is very talented in his own right, and Dallas has a great system in place for running backs. If you draft Elliott, you really should prioritize taking Pollard.
Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings: With Dalvin Cook's uncertain contract situation, it's important to make sure you roster Mattison. Last year, Mattison averaged 4.6 yards per carry as a rookie, proving that he's capable of taking on more work. If Cook were to miss any games, Mattison would be a fantasy contributor. Cook also happens to be injury prone.
Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals: Last year, Edmonds rushed for 126 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries in the only game in which he took on a starter's workload. He's a perfect fit for Kliff Kingsbury's offense, and he would thrive if given a chance to rack up touches. If you take Kenyan Drake, you might want to hedge the pick by grabbing Edmonds.
J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens: Of all the running backs on this list, Dobbins has the most stand-alone value. Considering where he was picked in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Ravens would be insane not to get him on the field this season. However, if Mark Ingram suffers an injury, Dobbins would have legit RB1 upside.
Brian Hill, Atlanta Falcons: Hill doesn't possess much upside, but there's always a chance Todd Gurley goes down with something, so it's important to make sure you're keeping an eye on his backup. Gurley is said to already be having some trouble in camp.