My fantasy football team is not off to a good start in one of my leagues. After dropping my opener last week, I watched as Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte limped off the field last night in the loss to the Green Bay Packers.
I watched my chances of winning not only that game, but perhaps the next few games, limp away as well.
I was already mad that the Bears went with Michael Bush on the goal line instead of Forte last week against the Indianapolis Colts. Had Forte remained in the game, I would have won, making this potential loss not as hard to handle. But I knew going into this season that Bush was going to be a touchdown vulture to anyone who owned Forte, but I took the risk anyway.
So far, it does not appear as if it will pay off.
Thankfully, I was able to pick up Bush. If Forte is out for an extended amount of time, or even one game, Bush immediately will be inserted into my starting lineup, as he has proven that he is more than capable of being a three down back in the NFL. I would have no problem playing him on a weekly basis, depending on health and other matchups.
But I am not one of those people who uses a roster spot on running back handcuffs. I generally find it to be a waste, and would much rather use that spot for a starter on another team instead of a back up player who will sit on my bench as an insurance policy.
Then again, sometimes it may just be worth it.
The question remains, is it always worth holding onto a top handcuff just in case your running back goes down with an injury? Despite what happened to the Bears and Forte and Bush and my team, I still say the answer is no.
I also have Adrian Peterson. I do not have Toby Gerhart.
I have Benjarvus Green-Ellis. I do not have Bernard Scott.
Holding on to Gerhart or Scott – at least in my opinion – is a waste. Sure, if Peterson or Green-Ellis goes down, then Gerhart or Scott could step in and become a very viable fantasy starter. Then again, shouldn’t you be able to find another back who may be able to help your team now, without waiting for an injury to take place?
Unless you are inept at scouring the waiver wire, then the answer should be yes.
Sure, it is a risk by not handcuffing your top running backs. They get injured more than any other position, but other players are catching up.
If you own Calvin Johnson, should you grab Nate Burleson as well? Or if Larry Fitzgerald is your No. 1 wide receiver, is Andre Roberts a must have? If you own Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham, do you also have to make sure and pick up Chase Daniel and David Thomas?
No. No. No.
You need those roster spots for other players who you can use once the bye weeks begin. It is vital not to waste any space on your roster on back up players on their team.
Yes, not having Bush could have cost me. Someone else could have picked him up and even started him against me in the chances that Forte misses time.
But in the end, I would still say that handcuffing your top running backs with their reserves is not worth it in the long run.