3 RB Handcuffs to Target in the Late Rounds of 2024 Fantasy Football Drafts

best RB handcuffs in 2024 fantasy football.
A handcuff or two could swing your 2024 fantasy season.

Securing the right RB handcuffs, or primary backups, in fantasy football can be a game-changer.

As the 2024 fantasy football season approaches, savvy fantasy managers know the importance of targeting key backup running backs in the late rounds of their drafts, especially when deploying the Zero RB Strategy. These handcuffs not only provide insurance for your star players but also have the potential to become fantasy league winners if they step into starting roles due to injuries—which has been a common occurrence over the last few seasons.

This article will highlight three essential running back handcuffs you should consider drafting late in 2024 fantasy football or best ball drafts to maximize your team’s depth and potential.

BRAELON ALLEN 2024 FANTASY OUTLOOK: BREECE HALL’S HANDCUFF

Rookie Braelon Allen is the clear frontrunner over Israel Abanikanda and Isaiah Davis to be the No. 2 running back behind Breece Hall for the 2024 season.

Allen boasted the second-highest career dominator rating (28%) in his draft class, following a stellar three-year career at Wisconsin. He made an immediate impact at age 17 after securing the starting role in 2021, rushing for nearly 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns. Allen concluded his career with nearly 3,500 rushing yards and 35 rushing touchdowns on 597 carries.

After the Jets drafted Allen in the fourth round, he made an immediate impact during the team’s OTAs. During those practices open to the media, Allen stood out, particularly as a pass-catching option.

The Athletic’s Zack Rosenblatt highlighted Allen’s impressive performance, noting his emergence as a legitimate pass-catching threat—something he did not do much of at Wisconsin. Allen’s receptions mostly come on short throws out of the backfield, but in a particular seven-on-seven drill, he caught a deep pass, showcasing his ability to make plays downfield. Although he only caught 49 passes during his Wisconsin career, his pass-catching and pass-protection skills should let him carve out a role.

Allen’s emergence is crucial for fantasy football managers looking for a handcuff to Breece Hall, The Wolf’s RB3 overall. Hall made a remarkable comeback in Week 1 of 2023, just 11 months after an ACL tear, and excelled throughout the season. Despite missing training camp, Hall ranked 6th in PPR points per game, leading the league in targets (95), catches (76), and receiving yards (591).

With Allen’s potential to take on a third-down role and his skills in pass protection, he will be a valuable late-round flier in fantasy redraft and best ball drafts as Hall’s backup.

JEROME FORD 2024 FANTASY OUTLOOK: NICK CHUBB’S HANDCUFF

Jerome Ford stepped up in a big way after Nick Chubb suffered an ACL injury in Week 2. Ford recorded 204 carries for 813 yards on the ground and added another 319 yards through the air, scoring nine total touchdowns and trailing only Christian McCaffrey in receiving scores for running backs. This impressive performance allowed Ford to finish as the RB16 overall in PPR scoring and RB25 in points per game.

“Jerome has done a nice job,” Browns HC Kevin Stefanski said. “He had some really, really, really big moments for our football team [last year]. He made big plays for us when we needed it. We’re excited about that.”

As Chubb returns this year, concerns about the severity of ACL injuries linger, and it’s possible he may not be at full strength. Additionally, there’s always the risk of re-injury. Despite these concerns, the team did not draft any competition, and the only additions in free agency were veteran journeymen Nyheim Hines and D’Onta Foreman. This solidifies Ford’s position as the primary handcuff in the Browns’ backfield.

For fantasy managers, Ford is a must-have handcuff to Nick Chubb. His proven ability to produce in both the running and passing game, combined with Chubb’s potential limitations, makes Ford a valuable asset. Should Chubb struggle to regain his pre-injury form or face another setback, Ford is poised to take on a significant role once again.

BLAKE CORUM 2024 FANTASY OUTLOOK: KYREN WILLIAMS’ HANDCUFF

Blake Corum brings substantial experience to the Rams run game, totaling 649 carries for Michigan over the past three years. During his time as a Wolverine, he rushed for 3,660 yards and 56 touchdowns, proving he can handle a heavy workload if Kyren Williams is sidelined. Corum’s ability to shoulder a significant rushing load makes him a viable fantasy handcuff this season.

Even if Williams remains healthy, the Rams plan to manage his workload to ensure longevity. Remarkably, Williams became the first running back to rank in the top three in rushing despite missing four games. In 2023, he emerged as a league-winner in fantasy football, finishing third in the NFL in rushing yards and tied for seventh in rushing touchdowns. Despite playing just 12 games, Williams rushed for 1,144 yards and 12 touchdowns, logging significant workhorse mileage with 228 carries and 260 total touches.

Rams HC Sean McVay and GM Les Snead emphasized the importance of having multiple quality runners to keep everyone fresh and maintain offensive momentum. Williams has had a relatively extensive injury history for a player with only 21 games under his belt, including a fractured foot as a rookie and an ankle sprain and hip contusion last year. This preseason, he’s already dealing with an undisclosed foot injury, providing Corum an opportunity to learn the offense and potentially step into a significant role.

For fantasy managers, Corum represents a valuable handcuff to Williams, with the potential for substantial contributions if injuries arise.

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