Handcuffs to target in draft

I’m in a hybrid dynasty 12 owner league. I will be carrying over Ekeler, RB, LAC, Akers, RB, LAR, Dobbins, RB, BAL, Penny, RB, SEA, and Etienne, RB, JAC.

Which handcuffs would you target if you could only take up to 2 of them (Spiller LAC, Henderson LAR, Edwards BAL, Walker SEA, and Robinson JAC)

I also have Ekeler, and am tempted to reach for Spiller early in the second round of our rookie draft. But it’s all but certain if Spiller would really handle a huge workload, should Ekeler miss time. It certainly won’t hurt to have him, but he’s not a must-have. I’ll pass on him if Rachaad White is still on the board at 2.01.

Henderson for Akers makes sense, but Henderson won’t be cheap.

Edwards for Dobbins - no. Even Dobbins is not a player I am particularly high on. The problem with Baltimore RBs is that Lamar Jackson soaks up too much of the rushing volume himself. If you want Baltimore’s RB1, get Jackson.

Walker for Penny - yes, yes and yes. Penny has yet to prove that he can stay healthy for more than 5 games in a row. In general, I’m not a fan of betting on injuries, but for Penny, I’d make an exception. Even if Penny misses only 6 games, Walker could be an RB2 this season already. And next year, the backfield could be all his. If you ask me, Penny is a handcuff for Walker, not the other way around.

Robinson for Etienne - good question. It’s difficult to anticipate how the Jacksonville backfield will turn out this year. Personally, I am high on ETN. But he’s an unproven asset and comes off a season-long injury. Robinson has shown that he can handle RB1 duties, but won’t be at 100% himself, and could start the season on PUP. Plus, like Henderson, Robinson won’t be cheap. I lean towards ‘no’, but not with full conviction. If the Jags deploy ETN in a Deebo’esque role, Robinson could have value even without ETN missing time.

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Walker and Spiller. Take the youth. The other guys could be gone in 1 year. Henderson is injury prone. Robinson will be out most of the year. Edwards might be in a deeper committee. Given Baltimore has Mike Davis now as well.


I read ‘hybrid’ as a format that sports fewer keepers than most dynasties, and also drafts rookies + free agents. In such a format, there’s nothing wrong with drafting a few players who have some upside this year, but might lose all value after the season.

I still agree with your assessment. Walker is a must-have. Spiller not necessarily, I’d at least check my options at the time I’d draft him. The rest will probably be to expensive, given the risks you mentioned.

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The hybrid is that we can only carry over so many points of players on your roster, and each year you have a guy, his points go up. After you carry over all your players, you fill out your roster through a draft. From 12 teams, there are usually 66 players carried over before the draft.

This year I am carrying over Higgins, Ekeler, Akers, Dobbins, Etienne, and either Penny or D Schultz.

I have predicted the carry overs and run mock drafts on the site. In order to ensure I get the hand cuff drafted, I would have to spend my 2nd round pick to get walker. My 3rd to get spiller, my 4th for Henderson, and 5th for gus edwards. Keep in mind 66 players are gone before the draft, so the talent drops off fast. I generally carry anywhere from 5 to7 rbs, so I only want to draft one or 2 rbs this year.

I guess injury prone is a factor, but the value of the handcuff is a factor as well. So penny becomes a problem to carry over because I need to give up a precious pick to get walker.


I’d go with Walker and Spiller, mainly due to the injury histories of their attached RB’s.

Walker is especially attractive since the Seahawks will be running more than in previous years. Penny showed some significant upside last season when he was healthy. In the last 5 games last year, in half PPR, Penny scored 26, 5, 19, 31, and 25 points.

As for Spiller, Ekeler needs to cut back his touches. Even if Ekeler ends up getting 60% of the touches, that still leaves Spiller as a decent flex option. And the Chargers don’t really have anyone else to soak up touches from Ekeler.

I see Penny as Walker’s handcuff before mid season. Spiller is the least worst of the rest.

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Easy choice for me. Schultz over Penny.

Interesting format. Makes a traditional ADP approach a bit tricky.

Still, in such a format, I guess it wouldn’t hurt to draft players that may be valuable this season, and can easily be cut after it.

Walker could be a good addition even without keeping Penny.

If you have to chose between keeping Penny or Schultz, I’d lean towards Schultz.

Hypothetical question: What if Penny stays healthy this season?

I’m not saying Walker would never see the field, but would a healthy Penny be dominant enough to be a fantasy factor? An RB1, maybe? Word out of Seattle is it is Penny’s job to lose right now.

Mind you, I’m not saying I have every faith in Penny to stay healthy. (He has as many doctors as Saquon Barkley and CMC.) I do have him in one dynasty league, although I expect to use him as a flex until he gets hurt. But if he starts the season on a tear (like he ended last season), I might have to reconsider his evaluation.

If Penny kept his 2021 volume share across all 17 games in 2022, he’d be a high-end RB2. Penny’s biggest problem is that he hasn’t been used as a pass catcher. Without that pass-catching upside, it will be difficult for him to enter fantasy RB1 territory.

However, that is a bit of an unknown with Walker as well. He is said to be a competent pass catcher, but has never been used as such throughout his college career.

Somebody will have to catch passes out of the backfield, though. Drew Lock will dump the ball off plenty of times.

If Walker can carve out a role in the passing game, he could have some FLEX value even with Penny active all season, at least in PPR. But if Penny indeed stays healthy, Walker will probably be unstartable in 2022.

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Keep in mind, Russell Wilson didn’t use his RB’s much. Even Chris Carson’s best year wasn’t “Ekelarian” (like that word?). Wilson liked to push the ball downfield.

But even with that, I wouldn’t expect Penny to be the 3rd down back. If he gets the first 2 downs, he will get most of the work.

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Absolutely. The Seahawks have no proven pass-catching back because they never needed one. Russell would run himself if he found no open target.

But that is likely to change this season. Lock has neither the mobility nor the deep ball Russell had.

The question is: who will be the main beneficiary of the increased number of dump-off passes? By all accounts, it should be Ken Walker - but the guy caught 19 passes in 3 years of college. That’s what Ekeler catches on 2 consecutive weekends.

I’m not all-in on Walker, but at least the upside is there.

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