What does Handcuff mean in fantasy football?

A player who backs up in fantasy football

‘Handcuff’ is a term used in the world of fantasy football and it refers to a backup player who’s ready to step in and take over if the starter can’t play. This could be due to injury, poor performance, or even suspension. Most of the time, this player is a running back, as they’re the ones who carry the ball the most and are therefore more prone to injuries.

Because football is so rough, players getting hurt is an unfortunate reality. This is especially true for running backs who are often in the thick of the action. So, in fantasy football, having a ‘handcuff’ or two in your team can be a smart move. This way, you’re covered if your top player is unable to play.

This strategy really shines when the handcuff is part of a team that relies heavily on running the ball. If this is the case, the handcuff will have plenty of opportunities to rack up points. Essentially, a ‘handcuff’ is a safety net, helping you to stay competitive even when your star players are out.

Example for using ‘Handcuff’ in a conversation

Hey, did you watch the game last night?

Yeah, I did! It was crazy.

I know, right? I was so worried when our star running back got injured.

Yeah, but luckily we have a great handcuff for him.

Thank goodness! The backup player really stepped up and carried the team to victory.