The fantasy football season is about to start for 2015 and some RB handcuffs and sleeper draft options to keep an eye on include DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles in Philly, Darren McFadden, Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar in Dallas with the Cowboys, Le'Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams for the Steelers and Joique Bell with Ameer Abdullah in Detroit.
Fantasy owners often need to keep an eye on backup running backs in the league these days, as most teams use a combination of players to help with wear and tear. There are still workhorses around, including Adrian Peterson, DeMarco Murray (last year, not this year), Jamaal Charles and others, but even those players should have owners seeking handcuffs. Last season Knile Davis had his share of carries in KC and he is one to watch again with Charles.
The other players mentioned also deserve some attention, as the Eagles, Cowboys and Lions all should end up using a stable of backs this season. The NY Giants also have a trio of players they would like to use, including Rashad Jennings, Andre Williams and Shane Vereen. All three players could see significant time and Vereen is a great option for PPR leagues. Jennings was injured for part of last season and that gave Williams a chance to step up as a rookie.
The Eagles situation is one of the best in the NFL and that means it's one of the toughest for fantasy football owners. The team signed Murray in the offseason and also added Mathews to a backfield that already had Sproles in it. There are reports that Kenjon Barner could be a fourth RB option if he continues to play well in the preseason and that would make this a big running back by committee set up. The Cowboys are likely going to do the same with Joe Randle, McFadden, Lance Dunbar and either Gus Johnson or someone like Fred Jackson, who was just released.
Murray comes in after touching the ball nearly 500 times last season for the Cowboys and Kelly has said that the wear and tear on Murray is a concern. The team likely will give Mathews a significant amount of touches as long as he is healthy and Sproles also could get work. Sproles is more of a third down back and he also has been used as a receiver out of the backfield in camp this summer.
Le'Veon Bell is out for two games this season to open things up, so he is even more of a player in need of a handcuff. The option that makes the most sense is DeAngelo Williams, as Dri Archer is young and does not have much experience. The Lions have a stable of backs with Ameer Abdullah, Joique Bell and Theo Riddick, but expect Abdullah and Bell to be the top two RBs. Health will be a factor here with Bell and owners should keep an eye on that heading into the start of the season.