To Nadcuff....or not to Nadcuff? That is the question!

Written by Jay Dondon, who goes by @1littleindianjd on Twitter and @1littleindian on the Fantasy Life App

To Nadcuff or not to Nadcuff…that is the question…

Well, you clicked here, so your first question is probably ‘what is a Nadcuff and why is it important to Fantasy Football?’ Well, here in The FLAFFL House we do things a little different in this game. That brings us on a roller-coaster of emotions; you say ‘Handcuff’ we say ‘Nadcuff.’ 

An epidemic of injures hit the 2015 season, with over half of the league losing their lead running backs for multiple games.  This caused us to go to the waiver wires for Tim Hightower and Fozzy Whittaker, in an attempt to salvage our season and avoid being the SACKO. Because, let’s be serious, you didn’t pay your dues to finish last.

Hopefully, I haven’t given you any flashbacks that have brought back the cold sweets as you watched your RB1 go down. I still find myself wiping tears away, as I recall how patiently I waited for Bell to return from suspension, only to see him riding off on a cart after only his 6th game back. Yes that is one example that exaggerates the point but signifies the first reason of nadcuffings importance; injury protection.

I’m not here wishing injury on any RB, just touching on the possibility that in physical games, injuries can happen. And for some RBs, I would want to make sure I have that I immediately have that protection. 

The second factor is something that has changed from a fantasy player’s nightmare, into our sad dark reality, RBBC (Running Back by Committee). As a Giants fan who owned Rashad Jennings, I can tell you that back field was like playing a game of 3 Card Monty. 

As Sal knows, some thought Orleans’ Darkwa was the middle card to win the money. But this was false hope, as his one week was a flash in the pan. This season, it appears that the Ravens may be trying to take this crown. We also get RBBC where we can start; both options are great weekly plays.

Maybe you believe you should drop a handcuff like D-Willy to cover your kicker’s bye week. While I don’t think you have to draft your RB’s ‘cuffs, I think we can all agree that some will have more fantasy relevance than others in 2016. So, I’m going to give you a couple RBs I would draft.

RBs to Cuff:

Bengals’ Backfield
As I touched on in Fool’s Gold, I think our 2015 rushing TD leader J-hill is in for a big year, but that doesn’t mean Giovanni Bernard will just disappear. At this point in draft season, we can get them both in the same round. With Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu no longer in the Bengals offence, no matter which RB goes off the draft board first, this is a Nadcuff that I’m interested in owning.

Charles Sims III
As a Doug Martin believer this pains me to say, he will be relevant. In a 12 team PPR, this is an ideal candidate to return Value at his current ADP of 119 (RB40). In 2015, both of these RBs finished with double digit points averaged during the season. They also played on a Bucs team that we hope to see step forward especially in the passing game.

Isaiah Crowell
I know, I know, the man’s IQ is not even half of his ADP which is 129. While the DJJ hype train left the station long ago, a Crow appeared in the cloud of dust left behind. But we don’t draft based on IQ… at least I don’t. Well, I have tempered expectations for him. We saw some of his abilities when he scampered for 8 TDs in 2014, before he regressed with only 4 in 2015. Look for The Crow to bounce back and get the goal line touches. If you’re lucky enough to end up with him on your roster look for a viable flex option throughout the year. 

Alfred Morris
Alfred (in my best Batman voice) has shown why Dem Boyz went out and signed him before they drafted Zeke. Busting out for 85 yards and a TD in the preseason opener showed, Morris still has miles left on those tires. The part that has me making sure to add him in the late rounds is the 2 passes for 11 yards. Now, it’s not the yardage but more so to see his involvement in the passing game. With Dak starting for the first 6-10 weeks, I can foresee lots of Dez and plenty of RB work split between both Zeke and Alfred.

Now these are only a few of my favourites this love of Nadcuffs is eternal, guys like Tevin Coleman and Jerick McKinnon are others that you may want to get locked up. SO whether you decide to take your own or snipe someone else’s there are more than a few rosterable guys that fit this description. 

Keep an eye on the value of the cuffs, as people overlook them and think they can wait and get them on the waiver wire. Drafting a Nadcuff can help ensure you don’t leave yourself in that position. Whether it’s 10-12-14 or even 16 teamers, there a cuffs around and without them you could sentence yourself to Fantasy Football Jail.