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Fantasy Handcuff Running Backs That Are A Must Have In 2021

Fantasy Running Backs

(Photo by Kyusung Gong/Associated Press)

Cam Akers
Kyusung Gong/Associated Press

Running Backs You Need To Think About Drafting Late In Fantasy

Every year, a top running back that you are most likely to going take in the first round goes down with an injury. Last year it was Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley. Both are top 5 picks in most fantasy Leagues. By taking these players, it is a huge investment for your fantasy team. As you look for these players to carry you to a fantasy championship. There are guys every year that step up to take the load of the carries when guys get hurt. We have already seen a top running back get hurt during training. Cam Akers, is out for the year with a torn Achilles. His backup Darrell Henderson has skyrocketed up draft boards since the injury. These are my top five running back fantasy handcuffs you should think about drafting. Injuries will come it is a part of football there is no escaping it.

5. Trey Sermon

Trey Sermon
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Trey Sermon is a must-have in the later rounds in your fantasy draft. I expect him to get huge volume in Kyle Shanahan’s offense. Sermon is a perfect fit in the 49er offense with their zone running ground attack. He will split time with Raheem Mostert out of the backfield. By mid-season I suspect Sermon to take over the bulk of the carries. He will take over because he is more talented than Mostert. The Ohio State Standout is a must-have for your fantasy football team. He has tremendous value for where you will draft him and could potentially win you a playoff game.

4. Tony Pollard

Tony Pollard
George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The quick-footed Tony Pollard is a nice change of pace from Ezekiel Elliot. Pollard has burst that Elliot hasn’t shown since his first two years in the league. Elliot has taken a pounding over the years being the bell cow for the Dallas Cowboys. He has not lived up to the largest contract ever for a running back. I am staying away from Elliot this year in fantasy as I don’t believe he is a number one back anymore. I will take Pollard although. Getting him late or even off waivers could be a waiver-wire pickup of the year. Zeke will slow down mid-season as he has been for the last few years. I am not sure how many more hits his body can take. Pollard is young and fresh trying to showcase his skill.

3. Gus Edwards

Gus Edwards
Terrance Williams/Associated Press

Gus Edwards is just a good running back that the Baltimore Ravens have relied on the last few years. He doesn’t try to do too much or make mistakes. With the emergence of J.K Dobbins taking over the majority of the carries. I really like Dobbins this year, I think will be a top 6 fantasy back in the Raven offense. If Dobbins were to get hurt, Edwards is a great option as he will get touches within the offense.

2. AJ Dillion

Green Bay Packers running back AJ Dillon (28) during player warmups before an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Matt Patterson)

The man is known for his tremendous quads, he is about to be much more than that. There is a huge upside for AJ Dillon this year on the Green Bay Packers. With uncertainty surrounding Aaron Rogers and his future with the Packers. Expect the Packers to be run-heavy if their quarterback is second-year man, Jordan Love. Aaron Jones is obviously their stud back, who I think is worth a first-round pick this year. I think there is value in AJ Dillon who you won’t start every week but can keep on ice if anything goes down with Jones. When given the opportunity last year in week 16. Dillon racked up 124 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Tennessee Titans. He made the most out of his opportunity and I suspect a big year from AJ Dillon if given carries.

1. Kenyan Drake

Matt Aguirre/Las Vegas Raiders

The newly acquired running back from the Arizona Cardinals gives the Raiders a nice change of pace out of the backfield. I expect Drake to catch a lot of balls out of the backfield and the slot. In PPR leagues he could potentially be more valuable than Josh Jacobs. Jacobs is a running back I would take in the middle of the second round. He will always get his carries and goal-line touches. Over the last two seasons, Jacobs has had nagging injuries that bothered him later in the season. If this happens again, I expect Drake to flourish in Jon Gruden’s offense. Gruden loves throwing the ball to his backs in the west coast offense. For a guy who you can get later in your draft. Drake is absolutely worth taking a shot for.

Obviously, I don’t wish injury upon any player in the NFL. Football is a physically dominating sport, especially for running backs. They are getting hit more than any other position player in the league. Trying to prepare you for the worst is all I’m doing here. Waiver wire and backups are often the keys to winning a fantasy championship. You want to rely on your stars and have them play every week. In reality, you cannot expect that to happen. Must have the next-man-up mentality on your quest of bragging rights over co-workers and friends.



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