Championship Handcuffs

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By: Jordan Vander Ploeg (@ff_jvp)

As the fantasy football bye-pocalypse comes to an end, we now need to prepare for the fantasy football playoffs. I do not usually recommend holding onto handcuffs during the season but as the season is almost over, now is the time to do so. Solidifying the running back position on a team can be the difference between winning and losing a championship title. You never want to see your star running back go down with an injury but you need to be prepared in case it happens. This article will feature five must stash running backs for the remainder of the fantasy season.

#5 RB- Nyheim Hines (Indianapolis Colts- 27% owned)

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The Colts have been red-hot averaging 33.3 pts per game in their last 6 games. The Colts are 9that rushing yards per attempt with 4.7 and 12that rushing yards per game with 117.9 yards. The Colts face the Cowboys and Giants in weeks 15 and 16. They are allowing the 20thand 12thmost fantasy points to running backs. Nyheim Hines has found success in both the rushing and receiving game this season. He has 52 rushing attempts for 238 yards, 1 rushing touchdown (4.6 yards per carry), 42 targets for 34 receptions for 187 yards (5.5 yards per reception) and 2 receiving touchdowns. Hines has the potential to be a successful three-down back if Marlon Mack were to miss time. He is a must-stash in all scoring formats,but has more value in PPR formats.

#4 RB- CJ Anderson (Carolina Panthers- 10% owned)

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Norv Turner (offensive coordinator for the Panthers) loves having a workhorse running back. Christian McCaffrey has seen the fantasy spoils of this coaching style. The Carolina Panthers have the second most rushing yards per game with 138.4 yards per game. Granted, that number is partly inflated by QB- Cam Newton, but they still rush the ball an average of 27.1 times a game. If CMC were to miss time, CJ Anderson would be the man to take his place. CJ Anderson rushed for 1007 yards just last season with the Denver Broncos! The man can get the job done when given the chance. The Carolina Panthers play the Browns in week 14 (fantasy football quarterfinals) and the Falcons in week 16 (fantasy football finals), they have given up the 3rdand 4thmost fantasy points to running backs. Sacrificing one bench spot to ensure you have the Panthers running back is a no-brainer! Do yourself a favor and pick up CJ Anderson.

#3 RB- Giovani Bernard (Cincinnati Bengals- 25% owned)

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Giovani Bernard has been a fantasy stud this season when given the opportunity. During weeks 3 and 4, Bernard had 14.6 pts and 21.6 pts (in standard leagues), which ranked him as the overall RB 11 and RB 9. He is putting up RB 1 numbers when he is the only running back healthy in Cinci. This season he has 34 rushing attempts for 155 yards, 3 rushing touchdowns, 21 targets for 14 receptions for 78 receiving yards. The Bengals will face the Chargers (16th), Raiders (4th), and Browns (3rd) during weeks 14-16. With an already impressive stat line and stellar fantasy playoff matchups, Giovanni Bernard is primed for fantasy success if Joe Mixon is absent.

#2 RB- Spencer Ware (Kansas City Chiefs- 8% owned)

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The Kansas City Chiefs have the 3rdmost total yards per game with 433.4 yards. They average the most points per game in the league with 36.3 pts. Spencer Ware has been an explosive and efficient player this season when seeing the field. He has totaled 276 yards (118 yards rushing and 158 yards receiving) and averages 5.9 yards per rushing attempt and 12.2 yards per reception. Ware has the ability to be a three-down back if Kareem Hunt was to miss time. Spencer Ware is a must-stash by every Kareem Hunt owner and even by teams who do not own Hunt. Ware is on a high-powered offense that has the ability to give players on their team huge touchdown potential every single game.

#1 RB- Malcolm Brown (LA Rams- 5% owned)

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Todd Gurley is debatably the fantasy football MVP of 2018. He is extremely talented and is surrounded by other talented players. The team has the most total yards from scrimmage (4,024 yards). They have 272 rushing attempts for 1299 yards and 12 rushing touchdowns! They average 144.3 rushing yards per game, which is the best in the league. When Todd Gurley has needed a break, Malcolm Brown has been the guy to step onto the field. He has 37 rushing attempts for 189 yards, which amounts to 5.1 yards per carrying (For comparison, Gurley is averaging 4.8 yards per carry). He also has 6 targets for 4 receptions for 42 receiving yards and a touchdown, averaging 10.5 yards per reception. Malcolm Brown has not only rushing capabilities but can also catch the ball. The combination of volume and touchdown potential is the reason why the Rams running back has reached Fantasy Football stardom. Malcolm Brown might not put up Gurley-like numbers but he would be a solid RB 2 with RB 1 upside if something were to happen to the fantasy MVP. He is worth a pick up!

I hope you enjoyed my first article! I wanted to feature running backs that would be available in most leagues. Remember, it always comes down to your circumstance. If you no longer need a bench spot, pick up a handcuff to solidify a team’s running back! Next week’s article will be “Championship Defenses”. For more content follow The Fantasy Football Franchise @F3Pod and me @ff_jvp on Twitter.



Jordan Vander Ploeg
Canadian Husband Fantasy Football