2019 Fantasy RB Handcuffs Chart

No one really likes running back handcuffs, at least not in the fantasy football world. Many owners tell themselves RB handcuffs don’t matter on drafty day, but when your top pick gets hurt on the third play of the season, you’ll wish you had a different draft strategy. At that point, all those rankings and sleeper lists were a giant waste of time because your season just got infinitely more difficult without your starter’s primary backup. If only you had taken two more minutes to look at the Giants depth chart!

There’s no perfect way to handle backing up your starters, and finding the right handcuff(s) isn’t always easy. Some teams have multiple players in constant competition for the backup spot. Others will have a veteran there until they feel a rookie is ready to move up the depth chart. This means that everything in the chart below has some level of projection to it. Teams react differently to injuries, so it doesn’t always follow a straight line.

It’s also important to note that just because a running back gets the second-most snaps doesn’t mean he’s the only handcuff option. Third-down/receiving backs don’t necessarily transition to every-down backs if the starter gets hurt. Think Chris Thompson and Tarik Cohen, who may never be primary RBs despite their pass-catching proficiency. Understanding roles and how certain players fit them is key, both during the draft and once the season starts. 

We’ll be here all year helping you navigate any tricky RB situations. Check back all season long for updates!

2019 fantasy football running back handcuffs

TeamProjected StarterProjected Handcuff
Arizona CardinalsKenyan DrakeD. Johnson/C. Edmonds
Atlanta FalconsDevonta FreemanBrian Hill
Baltimore RavensMark IngramG. Edwards/J. Hill*
Buffalo BillsDevin Singletary*Frank Gore
Carolina PanthersChristian McCaffreyReggie Bonnafon
Chicago BearsDavid Montgomery*T. Cohen/R. Nall*
Cincinnati BengalsJoe MixonGiovani Bernard
Cleveland BrownsNick ChubbKareem Hunt
Dallas CowboysEzekiel ElliottTony Pollard*
Denver BroncosPhillip LindsayRoyce Freeman
Detroit LionsBo ScarbroughT. Johnson*/J. McKissic
Green Bay PackersAaron JonesJamaal Williams
Houston TexansCarlos HydeDuke Johnson
Indianapolis ColtsMarlon MackJ. Wilkins
Jacksonville JaguarsLeonard FournetteRyquell Armstead*
Kansas City Chiefs1L. McCoy/D. Thompson*Spencer Ware
Los Angeles ChargersMelvin GordonAustin Ekeler
Los Angeles RamsTodd GurleyMalcolm Brown
Miami DolphinsPatrick Laird*Myles Gaskin*
Minnesota VikingsDalvin CookAlexander Mattison*
New England PatriotsS. Michel/J. WhiteRex Burkhead
New Orleans SaintsAlvin KamaraLatavius Murray
New York GiantsSaquon BarkleyJavorious Allen
New York Jets2Bilal PowellTy Montgomery
Oakland Raiders5DeAndre WashingtonJalen Richard
Philadelphia Eagles3Miles Sanders*J. Ajayi/B. Scott
Pittsburgh Steelers4Benny Snell Jr.*Jaylen Samuels
San Francisco 49ersR. Mostert/M. BreidaTevin Coleman
Seattle SeahawksChris CarsonRashaad Penny
Tampa Bay BucsP. Barber/R. JonesDare Ogunbowale*
Tennessee TitansDerrick HenryDion Lewis
Washington RedskinsAdrian PetersonC. Thompson/W. Smallwood


1 Starter Damien Williams (ribs) will be out until at least Week 15
2 Starter Le’Veon Bell (illness) will be out until at least Week 15
3 Starter Jordan Howard (shoulder) will be out until at least Week 15
4 Starter James Conner (shoulder) will be out until at least Week 15
5 Starter Josh Jacobs is out until at least Week 15


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