Running backs are critically important to your fantasy football success.
While you might not be able to land a Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliott or Le’Veon Bell, don’t worry, there are plenty of running backs to be had in your draft. In fact, a bunch of backup RBs, or otherwise known as handcuffs, can end up being some of your most consistent point producers.
So without further ado, here are the top 10 running back handcuffs in your draft this year:
Mark Ingram Jr., New Orleans Saints
2017 stats: 230 carries, 1,124 yards, 12 touchdowns — 58 catches, 416 yards, 0 touchdowns
Ingram will serve a four-game suspension to start the season, which undoubtedly will affect his draft stock. But don’t risk missing out on him, as he’s sure to pick up right where he left off upon his return. Considering the damage he and Alvin Kamara did in 2017, one only can imagine how dynamic they will be in the upcoming campaign.
Tevin Coleman, Atlanta Falcons
2017 stats: 156 carries, 628 yards, 5 touchdowns — 27 catches, 299 yards, 3 touchdowns
It’s almost unfair to label Coleman a handcuff. The Falcons do a great job of evenly distributing touches between him and Devonta Freeman, who likely will be off the board fairly early. Look for Coleman to really make a living in the red zone.
C.J. Anderson, Carolina Panthers
2017 stats: 245 carries, 1,007 yards, 3 touchdowns — 28 catches, 224 yards, 1 touchdown
Anderson has found a new home after spending the first five seasons of his career with the Denver Broncos. He should make an immediate impact in Carolina, as Christian McCaffrey is utilized far more as a pass catcher than a conventional rusher. Expect Anderson to get a solid number of carries on a week-to-week basis.
Dion Lewis, Tennessee Titans
2017 stats: 180 carries, 896 yards, 6 touchdowns — 32 catches, 214 yards, 3 touchdowns
Lewis really proved what he’s capable of in the 2017 season, which earned him a nice four-year contract with the Titans. Starter Derrick Henry isn’t much of a pass threat, so Lewis likely will be Marcus Mariota’s primary target out of the backfield. Not to mention, Lewis actually is a strong straight-ahead runner despite his 5-foot-8 stature.
Rex Burkhead, New England Patriots
2017 stats: 64 carries, 264 yards, 5 touchdowns — 30 catches, 254 yards, 3 touchdowns
Burkhead managed to impress in his first season with the Patriots despite battling injuries. While expectations are high for first-round draft pick Sony Michel, you never really know what to expect from a rookie, especially at a skill position. Burkhead is a proven veteran who’s capable of making an impact both on the ground and through the air.
Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks
2017 stats: 49 carries, 208 yards, 0 touchdowns — 7 catches, 59 yards, 1 touchdown
There are question marks galore surrounding the Seahawks’ backfield. Seattle invested a first-round pick in Rashaad Penny, but that shouldn’t have too much of an impact on Carson’s touches. The second-year back has experience in the Seahawks’ system and could end up seeing more action than Penny in the long run.
Corey Clement, Philadelphia Eagles
2017 stats: 74 carries, 321 yards, 4 touchdowns — 10 catches, 123 yards, 2 touchdowns
Clement made his presence felt in Super Bowl LII, including a stellar 22-yard touchdown catch. The 23-year-old is Philadelphia’s most versatile back, and his touches should increase now that LeGarrette Blount has left town.
Isaiah Crowell, New York Jets
2017 stats: 206 carries, 853 yards, 2 touchdowns — 28 catches, 182 yards, 0 touchdowns
Crowell was a steady force during his time with the Cleveland Browns, and there’s no reason to believe that won’t continue with the Jets. Bilal Powell is more of finesse rusher, which means Crowell likely will be New York’s muscle out of the backfield. Look for him to be the go-to man in goalline situations.
Tarik Cohen, Chicago Bears
2017 stats: 87 carries, 370 yards, 2 touchdowns — 53 catches, 353 yards, 1 touchdown
Cohen is a game-changer. The speedster seemingly came out of nowhere in his rookie season with the Bears, serving as a more-than-capable section option to Jordan Howard. Given new head coach Matt Nagy’s offensive savvy, Chicago could be really creative with Cohen in 2018.
Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns
2017 stats (College): 233 carries, 1,345 yards, 15 touchdowns — 4 catches, 30 yards, 0 touchdowns
Chubb might be the most NFL-ready rookie running back after playing all four years at Georgia. The Browns do have a loaded backfield with Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson Jr., but Chubb still should get his touches. Cleveland did invest an early second-round pick in him after all.
Thumbnail photo via Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports Images
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