Fantasy Football Q&A, 8/11: Handcuffs and Quarterbacks
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots throws the ball against the Atlanta Falcons in the first half during Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

We tackle how to handle handcuff players and which quarterbacks to target in our latest Fantasy Football Q&A.

In terms of handcuffs, how should this year be handled? In a lot of mock scenarios, I’ve seen handcuffs going higher than they normally go (C.J. Prosise, Jonathan Stewart, Jamaal Charles) to name a few. – Paul Esden

Whether or not you should handcuff a player really depends on who you have at the position. A player such as Ezekiel Elliott, Devonta Freeman, or Jay Ajayi does not need to be handcuffed. They have all shown enough durability where they can be trusted to be healthy.

Editor’s Note: Elliot was suspended for six games by the NFL shortly after this article published. As a result, you’ll want to target Dallas’ other running backs.

On the other hand, players like Carlos Hyde do need to be handcuffed. Players who routinely struggle to make it through seasons fully healthy, or players like LeSean McCoy with a lot of miles on their legs, should be the ones designated for this position.

Ultimately, I prefer to avoid handcuffs unless I need to. I’d rather get a running back who is a starter or in a time-share role and is playing a decent amount of the time.

My problem with handcuffs is that if the initial player doesn’t get hurt, then the handcuff player doesn’t help you much. This can be an especially big issue if one of your players is on a bye week. If you can have a running back who isn’t a traditional handcuff but sees touches in a time-share on a week in and week out basis, that’s a better option. So don’t bite on handcuffs too early just because other teams are. They aren’t always all they’re cracked up to be.

Despite his age, Tom Brady should be the top scoring QB this season. Last season, he was seventh in scoring—and that was with missing four games. Only Aaron Rodgers scored more fantasy points per game than Brady last season.

However, the Patriots got Brady some new weapons, specifically in wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Cooks gives Brady a legitimate number one receiver, something he hasn’t had in a few years. Julian Edelman is a very good receiver, but he isn’t the threat Cooks is. With Cooks in the mix, Edelman will be able to eat up most teams number two cornerbacks.

If Rob Gronkowski is able to stay healthy, it adds another weapon to the Patriots arsenal. Rodgers is a very talented quarterback, but giving Brady this level of talent around him is just ridiculous. Brady is my favorite to be the top scorer.

Rodgers should finish second. He has a very good receiving group, led by Jordy Nelson. The Packers added Martellus Bennett, who should be another great option for Rodgers.

While the Cooks trade should help Brady, Drew Brees got the short end of the stick. He lost his favorite target and a very good young wide receiver. Although he still has Willie Snead and Michael Thomas, the loss of Cooks will hurt Brees. He’s still an amazing quarterback, and the Saints pass more than most teams, so he should still be a good fantasy quarterback. But it’s possible he falls out of the top five without Cooks.

I'm a student at Binghamton University. I'm a huge fan of the Mets, Rangers, Giants, and Jets, and will be covering them for the site, as well as fantasy hockey, football, and baseball. My twitter is @wmcine