When you take a running back very early in a snake draft or spend a lot of money on one in an auction draft, you're going to want to take out some insurance to protect that investment. If there is a clear-cut, quality backup for that player then you've got to grab him. That is what we call a handcuff.
But I've been thinking, there are a few situations where the clear-cut starter isn't available for some reason... injury, suspension, or contract dispute. So how do you handle those situations? It's strange, but it's almost a reverse handcuff situation. You devalue the starter and increase the value of the backup.
For example, what do you do with the Minnesota situation this year? They've been softening on their stance that Adrian Peterson is completely healthy and it's looking more and more that he might actually go on the PUP list to start the season. That means at least six weeks on the shelf. Look, Toby Gerhart isn't a very good running back... but if Peterson is out for six weeks? Guaranteed? Well, they'll run Gerhart until his wheels fall off, and you can get him very cheaply in your draft.
What about Chicago? Forte says he'll sign, but what if it drags out like with Vincent Jackson in San Diego? That is a buying opportunity on Michael Bush.
Detroit is murky with a three-headed monster up there, but Mikel LeShoure is suspended for two weeks. That's something at least... Does that increase the value of Jahvid Best? Sure.
Be on the lookout for these kinds of situations and the hidden value that they bring to the table. And remember, when you draft someone like Toby Gerhart don't forget to take his handcuff too.