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With some big names already dinged up, one catastrophically, I thought it would be useful to again talk handcuffs, ie, players with modest to no value now, but who'd see a spike in playing time if the player ahead of them on the depth chart was not available.

 

To be sure, not every player will have a handcuff, some would have their minutes allocated among several players.

 

In any case, for those looking to insure their top pick(s), or maybe just looking for a speculative add, who are the most attractive, and perhaps, underrated duos out there?

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A few that have not been mentioned:

 

Zeller - Howard (If Howard gets hurt, Clifford gets tired of his s**t, or hacking forces him into reduced minutes; team played better with Zeller at the 5 last year anyways)

Dekker - Gallo (We know his injury history plus Dekker is a good player I think who could really provide some value on that team)

Smith - Jackson (Poor play by RJax or injury; SVG seems to really like Ish)

Mitchell - Hood (There will some shots to take if Hood goes down and I think Mitchell is one of the most talents rookies in this class)

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For a handcuff to really have value they need to be able to excel with starters minutes. We can list all the backups, but they should be fantasy relevant and have upside with a bigger role. Also, handcuffing your own is a nice way to eliminate downside risk, but I think there is something to be said for taking a handcuff away from an opponent's early round selection. You add injury downside risk to your competition and capture the upside if an injury occurs. It is a leveraged play that I think could work well in fantasy leagues. You get stronger off of your opponent getting weaker. 

 

Delon Wright-Kyle Lowry....knock on Lowry is his health....Delon has a fantasy friendly game because of his stocks. Upside of a poor man's Oladipo. 

Ulis-Bledsoe....obvious why you stash....probably the best assist upside in a handcuff

Rozier-Kyrie....one of the better steals upsides in a stash, but he has some concerns to his game so he needs to fit your build

Plumlee-Jokic....if you are rolling with Jokic you are relying on his assists. Losing him and backfilling with Plumlee keeps your assists really strong from the center spot

Nogueria-Valanciunas/Poeltl.....random, but in 6 starts w/ 29 min....7/6 with 1.7 blocks and 1.2 steals on 68% from the floor. That is useful, but requires a lot to open up

Skal-Zbo....might be a year or two year, but Skal has a fantasy friendly (inconsistent) game.

DSJ-Yogi...I could use the stats from Yogi locked in to 30+ minutes a night with one more year of development under his belt. A lot has to do with Curry's development and role though.

 

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1 hour ago, mbroo5880i said:

The best handcuffs are those who have some stand alone value but could blow up if the guy in front of them is hurt or traded.

 

this is the answer. 'stand alone value'. I don't just look at players I like, I look at "teams" I like before fant season starts. that is, nba teams that naturally offer top 4 picks, 4-8 picks, and 8-12 picks that serve decent value towards my build 'as is' but also cover each other for rest games, bad matchups, injuries. I did a A Gordon and Vuc 4-5 pick for instance, or even a CP3 early and Eric Gordon late. Handcuffs don't need to be same position guys either, just ones who will get more floor time, shots, rebs, etc when another misses. For instance taking Kyrie makes Horford a great next pick. Certainly either's shot vol would increase a lot if the other went down or even in games they both play but one has got a really good positional defender on them. And they're nice PG, PF/C picks alone. No pick reaching, no useless stashing.

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3 hours ago, rotoJOB said:

this is the answer. 'stand alone value'. I don't just look at players I like, I look at "teams" I like before fant season starts. that is, nba teams that naturally offer top 4 picks, 4-8 picks, and 8-12 picks that serve decent value towards my build 'as is' but also cover each other for rest games, bad matchups, injuries. I did a A Gordon and Vuc 4-5 pick for instance, or even a CP3 early and Eric Gordon late. Handcuffs don't need to be same position guys either, just ones who will get more floor time, shots, rebs, etc when another misses. For instance taking Kyrie makes Horford a great next pick. Certainly either's shot vol would increase a lot if the other went down or even in games they both play but one has got a really good positional defender on them. And they're nice PG, PF/C picks alone. No pick reaching, no useless stashing.

I agree with most of your post, but I always assumed handcuffs meant the end of draft territory where you are utilizing your bench for upside because your format doesn't require you to play your entire roster. Not all formats and team builds are created equal, so there is very useful stashing (the point I disagree with you on). Weekly leagues are great stash opportunities when your starting lineup/build is plug and plays. The upside of a handcuff that hits while on your bench stashed away simultaneously strengthens your team and weakens your opponent because the replacement isn't available to them. Or it limits your injury risk on a player that you handcuffed because you were worried about them. This is so important, especially in leagues where you can't trade. You get to save your FAAB and continue to weaken the wire for your opponents. 

 

You are basically saying draft the best player, and if the injury bug hits their team they increase value. Well, that is brilliant, and quite obvious. Right? You like players because of the systems that they are in and all of that is baked in to your projections. But you are still managing your risk by taking Gordon/Vuc in the 4/5 and taking Harden and Gordon. Those are hedges. You paired players that are correlated strongly....ie, Harden rests Gordon increases usage, net negative to your team is less negative, but it is just the difference between regular Gordon and Gordon sans Harden minus Harden. That isn't good, it is just less bad. 

 

But none of this matters because all of your examples are with players that are active on people's rosters in normal sized leagues. EGordon is an ideal later round target for 3's and he isn't any more a target for Harden owners because he is awesome as a 3/points guy late. Gordon and Vuc are being used by all of their owners because they are early/mid round picks. The question is what do you do with your late round picks for guys that you aren't starting and you are putting on your bench? 

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3 hours ago, My Dinner With Andre said:

So many nagging injuries already!

 

Get those 'Cuffs locked and loaded!

 

Eric Gordon I reckon is a premium CP3 handcuff.

 

Disagree, Gordon benefits from having one of Harden or CP3 dishing it to him throughout the entire game. He gets a lot of good looks because of them, and thus far his numbers reflect that.

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