Detroit Lions running back Kerryon Johnson sprained his left knee Sunday but doesn’t need surgery and will be week-to-week, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The rookie, who has been one of the Lions’ most dynamic players this season, injured the knee on a run where he started heading right, saw defenders and cut all the way back to the left side of the field before being tackled near the sideline for a 3-yard gain.
Johnson got up, went to the sideline and was immediately looked at by Lions staff, first on the bench and then on the medical table behind the bench before heading to the locker room for further examination.
Johnson entered Sunday’s game with 103 carries for 554 yards and two touchdowns along with 30 catches for 203 yards and a touchdown. Prior to the injury, Johnson had 15 carries for 87 yards and a touchdown along with two catches for 10 yards against the Panthers.
The Panthers signed Anderson to a one-year, $1.75 million deal during the offseason as insurance for McCaffrey, the eighth pick of the 2017 NFL draft.
But since McCaffrey emerged into the scheme of new offensive coordinator Norv Turner, Anderson has been almost obsolete in the game plan. He had only eight carries for 20 yards over the past five games. During the Panthers’ 6-3 start, he rushed 24 times for 104 yards and no touchdowns to go with one catch for 24 yards and a touchdown.
“When we signed C.J. in the spring, he saw a bigger role than he has had, and honestly, at the time so did we,” general manager Marty Hurney said in a team statement. “But Christian McCaffrey has taken so much of the offense and so much of the plays, we just made the decision that this was the best thing for all parties involved.”
Anderson did not ask for his release, a league source told ESPN.
In a corresponding move, the Panthers signed free-agent running back Travaris Cadet to a one-year contract.
Anderson spent his first five NFL seasons with the Broncos, rushing for a career-high 1,007 yards and three touchdowns last season. He was a 2014 Pro Bowl selection and was on the 2015 Denver team that beat Carolina in Super Bowl 50.
Anderson signed with the Panthers after his release from Denver because of the team’s commitment to a power running game.
“The style that Carolina likes to play definitely fits my style and my game,” Anderson said in May. “As far as ground and pound, the ‘Keep Pounding’ slogan Carolina uses fits well. My game is breaking tackles and finding ways to use that and make long plays.”
But with McCaffrey getting 96.35 percent of the snaps to 9.39 percent for Anderson, and Turner going with a running game that depends on McCaffrey, quarterback Cam Newton and wide receivers DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel, the Panthers decided to move on.
McCaffrey leads the team with 579 yards rushing and four touchdowns on 123 carries, and in receiving with 54 catches for 439 yards and four touchdowns.
He is showing the ability to be an every-down back as he did at Stanford, where in 2015 he broke Barry Sanders’ NCAA record with 3,250 all-purpose yards.
“Everybody has seen it,” Hurney said in a statement. “Christian is an all-around back who fits our offense perfectly. He’s a three-down player. He’s on the field all the time, and we feel really good about him.”
The waiving of Anderson means that Cameron Artis-Payne, a fifth-round pick in 2015, likely will move to the active roster on game days. Payne has been active only twice this season and has no carries.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette will make his long-awaited return to the field on Sunday after missing the past five weeks with a right hamstring injury.
The Jaguars (3-5) play the Indianapolis Colts (3-5) at Lucas Oil Stadium and it will be Fournette’s first game action since he aggravated his hamstring during the first half of the Jaguars’ victory over the New York Jets in Week 4. Fournette practiced all week, the first time he’s done so since the Jets game.
“So far, no issues,” Jags coach Doug Marrone said early Friday afternoon. “He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. So, no setbacks.
“Right now, he’s completely healthy … today, at this time, approximately 12:24 [p.m. ET].”
Fournette originally hurt his right hamstring late in the first half of the season opener at the New York Giants and missed the next two games. He returned against the Jets at home in Week 4 and ran 11 times for 30 yards and caught one pass for 5 yards before aggravating the injury.
Fournette, who ran for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns and caught 36 passes for 302 yards and another touchdown as a rookie last season, has just 71 yards rushing and four catches for 19 yards this season.
The Jaguars won’t have cornerback A.J. Bouye, who was officially ruled out with a calf injury, and reserve cornerback Quenton Meeks (knee). Bouye said on Wednesday that he was not going to play against the Colts. The Jaguars are getting nickelback D.J. Hayden (toe) and cornerback Tyler Patmon (neck) back this week, too, so that will somewhat help the defense overcome the loss of Bouye, who will miss his first game since signing with the Jaguars in March 2017.
ASHBURN, Virginia — Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson, in the midst of a career rejuvenation, had a natural reaction to his offense’s injury news Monday. The Redskins lost three starters, two of whom helped open holes for some of his 600-plus yards in the first half of the season. It could change the direction of not only the Redskins’ season, but determine his success as well.
“Me and my friend Maker’s Mark, we had a long night,” Peterson said.
But Peterson knows whiskey isn’t the answer to what ails the Redskins. More success from him, however, would be the antidote to their problems. And they say his numbers don’t have to change a whole lot just because of injuries to those blocking for him.
When the Redskins play at Tampa Bay on Sunday, they will be missing three of their original starting offensive linemen — left tackle Trent Williams (dislocated thumb), left guard Shawn Lauvao (torn ACL) and right guard Brandon Scherff (torn left pectoral muscle). And a fourth, right tackle Morgan Moses, did not practice because of a knee injury.
There’s a chance the starting five offensive linemen will include two players who weren’t on the roster until Monday.
“You’ve just got to stay positive and keep pressing,” said Peterson, the NFL’s ninth all-time leading rusher. “It’s not the end of the world, and it’s not the end of the season for us. We all have to perform better. That’s the mindset that I have. … There’s something different when you lose three starters to where your mindset shifts to, ‘I just gotta do more than what I was doing before.'”
That’ll be hard to accomplish. Peterson has rushed for 604 yards, fifth best in the NFL, surpassing what many expected from him after he signed with Washington in mid-August. The Redskins are 5-3 and in first place in the NFC East because of Peterson and their defense. They control the ball on offense and have limited offenses — save for New Orleans and Atlanta.
In the Redskins’ five wins, Peterson has rushed for 561 yards and four touchdowns. Only the Rams’ Todd Gurley and the Chiefs’ Kareem Hunt have rushed for more yards in their teams’ wins; both have eight victories.
Peterson also needs more help to continue climbing career lists: He’s 380 yards from passing Eric Dickerson for eighth in rushing and needs two more rushing touchdowns to pass ex-Redskin John Riggins for sixth on the all-time list.
For the Redskins to keep winning, Peterson must remain a vital part — no matter who’s blocking.
“He just goes through his reads like he normally would,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. “It doesn’t matter who’s blocking for him — at guard, center, tackle, tight end, fullback — if we had one — or receiver. He’s just going to go through his progressions and make his cuts and do what he does. It doesn’t matter.”
The Redskins use a lot of different run schemes; Peterson said opponents sometimes express amazement to him after games over the diversity of Washington’s rushing attack. The Redskins use inside and outside zone as well as power gap schemes. They’ll pull the guards; they use jet-sweep action to slow backside pursuit.
They’re hoping that’s one reason Peterson can still succeed.
“A lot of times that helps you because you have the ability to run gap scheme or zone scheme, whatever it may be,” said center Chase Roullier, the only original starter healthy enough to practice Wednesday. “And you can run it based on what the new guys coming in are better at. You can adjust the game plan with that, depending on how that goes. I don’t think there’s going to be any issue plugging those guys in and continuing to win games.”
But Peterson also has discussed how much he has had to learn in this offense, from the style of the run plays to taking handoffs out of pistol or shotgun formation. He has carried a career-high 44 times out of gun formation, averaging 4.16 yards per carry — his best stat out of that look since 2013. Gruden said Peterson’s comfort level on these runs is more about him taking the right path and less about those who are blocking.
“He’s getting more comfortable,” Gruden said. “We still have downhill runs and will get him going on those, too. The big thing with him is being patient with his reads. Obviously we’d rather have Brandon and Trent in there. But [Peterson] is still going to read it out. If reading inside zone, I’m pressing the line and reading one gap at a time … Hopefully he doesn’t have to read a three-technique [defensive lineman] in the backfield.”
The Redskins only had a long walk-through Wednesday, wanting to get through more plays than usual to help the new players acclimate faster. So Peterson couldn’t get any timing down with them, something he said he’ll try to do Thursday and Friday.
“Once we get going to another tempo that I can say little things to them I might see or notice that I’d like them to do differently or might work better,” he said. “Right now it’s just getting to know those guys and talking to them so they feel more comfortable. But most importantly just knowing that they’re going out and playing hard and fast is what we really need right now.”
One change could be less pulling action from the linemen. That’s an area where Scherff excelled, and without him it might become a reduced part of the plan. But just running the same plays doesn’t mean Peterson will have the same success. There have been times he has made his blockers look good; there were other times his blockers put him in a position to do well — and once he gets past the first wave, his jump cuts lead to more yards.
When Peterson arrived in August, he bemoaned the situation he found himself in with Arizona last season — running behind a makeshift line. However, the feeling has always been that Washington’s backups were better than the Cardinals’ starters. That theory will be tested.
“It’s always hard to tell [in practice] because it’s not live action,” Peterson said. “You always say the play looked great in practice when you draw it up and when you run through it in practice. But when you’ve got guys coming 100 miles an hour, things change. We have confidence in the guys we had here before we brought in these guys. The new guys have to step up.”
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane publicly committed to keeping running back LeSean McCoy on the roster next season.
Beane told The Buffalo News that McCoy is “definitely” in the team’s plans for next season, the final season of a contract extension McCoy signed upon being traded from the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015. McCoy will count $9 million against the Bills’ salary cap in 2019.
“LeSean is still a very good player in this league,” Beane said. “Our offense is not where we want it, but LeSean is still playing well. He’s a talented player. We like what he brings, to the point we’ll have him back in 2019. He’ll definitely be a part of that.”
McCoy, 30, who is on pace for a career-low 514 yards this season, has averaged a career-low 3.4 yards per carry and has not scored a touchdown since Week 15 of last season. His rushing average ranks 41st this season among NFL running backs with a qualifying amount of carries, and he has gained first downs on 13.3 percent of his rushes, which ranks 47th among qualifying running backs.
After rushing 12 times for 13 yards in a 25-6 loss Monday night to the New England Patriots, McCoy expressed frustration with his performance this season.
“I ain’t expect to have no season like this,” he said. “I’m not really playing well at all. We’re not doing much on offense. … What do I got,  yards? In the [eighth game]? That’s never happened to me. Yeah, it’s different. It’s a different season. I’m 30 years old, playing since when I’ve been in high school. This stuff [has] never happened to me. It is tough.”
However, McCoy believes his skills have not declined.
“I still can play,” he said. “Defenses know I still can play. You see the way they approach me when I’m in the game.”
Sources told ESPN’s Jeff Darlington that several teams reached out to the Bills about McCoy prior to Tuesday’s trade deadline. Buffalo decided not to trade him.
“There was definitely interest out there [in our players],” Beane told The Buffalo News. “I think there’s naturally going to be interest in players on teams that are not doing as well as they hoped. At the end of the day, you have to listen — that’s my job, to listen — but at the same time, we’re trying to win here, not only now, but win in the future. The guys that they were asking about I felt were part of what we’re still going to be doing as we build into 2019.”
The Bills’ 2-6 record is the team’s worst start since 2010. Their 87 points scored is the fewest through eight games in franchise history.
ASHBURN, Va. — At a card show in northern Virginia in August, Adrian Peterson chatted with former Jacksonville Jaguars running back Fred Taylor. Peterson remained unsigned and was a little confused as to why.
“I was telling him, ‘Just be patient, it’ll come. Some good stuff will happen,’” Taylor said.
A few days later, the Washington Redskins called. And a lot of good stuff is happening. In August, there were questions about whether Peterson could still play; now he’s the lead back for a division leader, on pace to rush for more than 1,300 yards. He has 587 rushing yards and four touchdowns in seven games.
If he rushes for 1,000 yards, he’d be the fifth player in history to reach that figure at age 33. A lot of backs are hoping that he does, including the last one to do so — Frank Gore, who topped that total two years ago with Indianapolis.
Taylor rushed for more than 1,000 yards at ages 30 and 31. Tiki Barber rushed for 1,662 yards at age 31 — and then retired. Eric Dickerson didn’t crack 1,000 yards in his 30s, but he’s the one in the Hall of Fame.
All four backs weighed in on Peterson’s renaissance season.
Why do you think Peterson has been able to revive his career in Washington?
Fred Taylor: “A lot of the time it’s timing. It’s the systems. It’s the opportunities. … It’s the type of running scheme he’s used to. I know the long run he had the other day, he had two pullers out in front of him. Go back and look at some old runs in the B, C gap and he wants to stretch it and get downhill and put a little fear in that safety’s heart, where the safety won’t run up on him because he punishes those guys. He’s done a lot, showing power, showing quickness, showing speed. He still has that extra gear. I do want to say he deserves everything that’s happening because he put in the work. He’s been extremely patient.”
Eric Dickerson: “When I think of the Washington Redskins, even going back to the days of when we played — I was a Skins fan myself; my cousin [Dexter Manley] played for Washington, and I wanted to play for the Redskins when I left the Colts. But when I’d think of us, the Rams and the Redskins, it was about [power running]. It’s probably an old way of thinking. But I thought it would be a good fit for him in Washington. He and Chris Thompson, a guy that can come out of the backfield. It’s the perfect fit.
“You have to be in the right situation, you really do. I don’t care how old you are or how young you are. If you don’t have the guys up front, it won’t work. The kid with the Giants, [Saquon] Barkley, he’s a great talent. … But he has no help. With Adrian, if he didn’t have guys on the outside or a quarterback or the line, it would be no different. He’d struggle, whether he was 23 or 33. When you’re in your 30s, you make a big deal of it.”
Tiki Barber: “I think part of it is the chip on his shoulder. There’s a determination inside of him that wants to prove everybody wrong. When I watch him, he looks old. I remember Adrian when we played in the Pro Bowl together. He was young and powerful and could run away from anybody. Yet he’s still very effective despite how he looks. That has to come from the inside.”
What impresses you the most about Peterson?
Frank Gore: “How he pulls away from DBs. I’m happy for him. Just hearing all the time about age — just because you turn a certain number, they don’t know how this man lives in the offseason, how he trains, how much he loves the game. That’s the key. Guys like him, myself, Marshawn [Lynch] are true football players. I can tell A.P. is motivated. He’s here to prove [people] wrong, and he’s doing it. They’re winning, and he’s one of the biggest reasons they’re winning, and that’s big.”
Barber: “Durability. The hardest thing, and I remember at the end of my career, is staying healthy week to week as you get older, not recovering as quickly, so being available every week, save for the one game where he gained only 4 yards. He’s been available, and that’s the biggest asset he’s provided to the Redskins. Your body just doesn’t recover as quickly; the damage is cumulative. I always said being a running back is a function of carries, and once you get a certain number, you don’t recover like you used to.”
Do you think Peterson will gain 1,000 yards, and what would it mean?
Gore: “Oh, yeah! He might go to the Pro Bowl. He might get 1,200-plus if he stays healthy. He should be good on 1,000. That’s the goal for a back, especially doing it at our age — that’s really big. Just knowing that there are only a few guys who turned our age and still doing it. If he gets 1,000, I’m definitely going to be happy for him.”
Dickerson: “Oh, yeah, if he stays healthy. Everything comes down to being healthy. That’s what it’s all about, and also having guys in front of you who are just as dedicated to doing your job as you are. He’ll do his part, but you have to do your part, too. When you’re winning, man, it changes your attitude. You’re leading the division. It’s a good situation for him. He hasn’t had this situation in many years.”
Barber: “I do, mainly because [Redskins coach] Jay Gruden understands the value of the run game and how their offense is working. It would be the perfect cap and not a cap really, but the beginning of the cap to an unbelievable Hall of Fame career. It’s the juxtaposition of how we thought of him at the beginning of the career, where everyone just knew he would be the man and would rush for 1,500 yards and ultimately a 2,000-yard season like it was a foregone conclusion. And flip to a few years later, and everyone says he’s done. I was one of those, ‘No way he has anything left in the tank. Too many carries; he’s been beat up and hurt too many times.’ Yet here he is, proving everyone wrong.”
Taylor: “Without a doubt. It’s just another notch on the belt for the most part, and he wants more than that. He can rack up yards anywhere. He wants to prove to people he can help this team win, and he also wants to prove he belongs in the top three statistically of all time. The 1,000 yards, I’m pretty sure that’s not what’s on the top of his list. He’s happy to be playing football.”
Do you see any difference in Peterson?
Dickerson: “I don’t think he’s as fast as he was five years ago. Of course not. All of us lose speed. But he’s faster than most guys, way faster — and half of the running backs in the NFL, he can outrun. People always look at numbers and age. It’s not about the age, it’s about the situation you’re in and the team you play for. If you don’t have the horses up front, it won’t work. … I’ve been that guy. I’ve been there with no guys in front of me and I know how frustrating it is.”
Barber: “He’s catching the ball, or at least being asked to do it more than he has. And it’s interesting because when he first came in, I’d say this kid wants to be Walter Payton — and I meant it in a good way and a bad way. Walter took on challengers for a smaller back. He put his head down and he ran like he was 240 [pounds] even though he wasn’t. I was like, ‘Man, Adrian is not gonna last. He can’t do that.’ This was in 2005, ’06. Athletes are different, so that’s one thing I noticed: He’s not doing that as often, trying to put his head through someone. He’s gotten smart about taking hits.”
How hard is it to do what Peterson is doing?
Taylor: “It’s hard for a guy whose mindset is mid-tier, but AD has played above the stratosphere his entire career. The ACL slowed him down, and then the year off slowed him down. Otherwise, look at what he’s be doing to the record books. It happens. It’s part of the game, but if he had stayed healthy like Walter [Payton], Emmitt [Smith] and Barry [Sanders], he would be pushing the No. 1 spot where Emmitt is. It’s hard because it requires discipline, it requires focus and you’ve got to stay hungry. That part is hard. But he had a routine his whole career where he worked his ass off, so he makes it look easy. Those young guys don’t understand it when you’re an older guy, you don’t just get excited to play the game. You get excited about things like preparation and game-planning and coming up with schemes and protections. That’s what excites older players. That experience takes over when you lose some of that athletic ability. But he’s a natural. He’s superhuman. That’s what he’s been. I love AD and the fact that he’s proving a lot of people wrong and doing what he’s capable of.”
ALAMEDA, Calif. — Doug Martin had been a starting running back in the NFL since entering the league in 2012. He has rushed for more than 1,400 yards twice, gone to two Pro Bowls and been named first-team All-Pro once.
“I’ve been a lead guy … so it was definitely something that was difficult for me,” Martin said Thursday of being a backup, three days after Marshawn Lynch was put on injured reserve because of a groin injury.
“But I’ve got people behind me, in my ear, telling me to keep working hard and keep pushing and your time will come. And, it’s this week. … There’s only one running back on the field, and as a running back, you want to have that rhythm. So this week, I hope we get a little more rhythm.”
Signed to a one-year, $1.475 million free-agent contract with a base salary of $850,000 after six star-crossed seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — he rushed for 1,454 yards as a rookie with 12 total touchdowns, including a 251-yard outburst with four scores against the Raiders, but has played a full 16-game schedule only once since, when he had 1,402 rushing yards with seven TDs in 2015 — Martin has struggled with the backup role to Lynch.
With only three first downs on 31 offensive touches for Oakland this season, Martin has the lowest such percentage of any player in the league with at least 30 touches, according to The Associated Press.
And while he is averaging 3.7 yards per carry on 27 attempts, Martin’s 3.0 average over the past three seasons is the lowest of any back with at least 150 carries in that time.
Not that Raiders coach Jon Gruden is sweating it. At least, not publicly, and not with Lynch out but the Raiders having traded away another offensive weapon in receiver Amari Cooper this week.
“What a great opportunity for Doug Martin,” Gruden said.
“Yeah, we think Doug is the feature back. He’s had [1,400] yards in this league twice. He’s practiced hard. He’s ready to go.”
Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson said Oakland was fortunate to have Martin backing up Lynch and that Martin still possesses the speed he flashed early in his career.
“He’s a real high-energy guy,” Olson said of Martin. “If you ever watch him on the practice field, he’s constantly moving. If it’s the special teams period, he’s over with the quarterbacks running routes or working on protections. He’s just trying to improve his game all the time. He’s a real high-energy guy. I think he’s being a real pro and he’ll wait patiently until his opportunity comes, and it’s here now.
“Marshawn has a package of plays that we feel suit his skills; Doug has a package of plays that suit his skills. … We’re excited to see what he can do.”
And while Olson said Martin still showed the speed he had early in his career, the back has had trouble not going down early. Martin averaged a league-low 0.06 forced missed tackles per touch in 2017, according to Pro Football Focus. This season, he ranks 54th at 0.07.
“I’m 29, pushing 30,” Martin said. “I signed over here for a year so it’s definitely an opportunity to show the rest of the league and the Raiders and all my doubters that I can still play.
“I still have a lot of miles left on these wheels.”
Martin played in a combined 19 games the previous two seasons, averaging 2.9 yards per carry while getting slapped with a four-game suspension at the end of the 2016 season that extended into 2017 for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, reportedly for Adderall.
With the trades of Cooper this week and edge rusher Khalil Mack on Sept. 1, the Raiders’ focus has changed from competing to rebuilding since Martin signed in Oakland. He insists that will not change his focus.
Not even with the Raiders sitting at 1-5.
“Nobody wants to lose and nobody wants to lose multiple games,” Martin said. “Right now, we’re playing for each other, and still playing. It’s not too late. We still have a lot of games left. We have a lot of guys with a lot of pride on this team, and we’re not going to go down without a fight. We’re going to play to the best of our ability.”
Like he did early in his college career at Boise State.
It was there that Martin was actually being used on defense by the Broncos’ coaching staff.
“We had a lot of running backs and a running back ended up tearing his ACL and they asked me to come back over and the rest is history,” Martin said. “I’ve been in this situation before and I’m just glad I have this opportunity.”
Powell, who turns 30 on Saturday, will be a free agent after this season. This means his career with the Jets could be over.
Powell and Isaiah Crowell have split the carries in the Jets’ backfield. Powell has rushed 80 times for 343 yards (4.3 yards per carry average), while Crowell has carried 81 times for 459 yards (5.7 yards per carry average). Crowell, however, is playing with a foot injury.
Powell had 20 yards rushing on Sunday before his neck injury, giving him 3,446 for his Jets career — 10th on the franchise list and just 1 yard behind Adrian Murrell (3,447, 1993-97).
Rookie Trenton Cannon now will split playing time with Crowell, while Elijah McGuire (foot) is eligible to come off of injured reserve in Week 9.
In a corresponding move, the team signed safety Ibraheim Campbell. The Jets had just two healthy safeties on their roster before the signing — Jamal Adams and Terrence Brooks.
He would be eligible to return for the Christmas Eve game against Denver in Week 16.
Lynch suffered the injury during the Raiders’ Week 6 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in London. He was trying to pull his right leg out of the grasp of Seahawks cornerback Shaquill Griffin when linebacker Austin Calitro leveled Lynch, who landed awkwardly and stayed on the Wembley Stadium pitch for a moment before gingerly jogging off the field.
Lynch, 32, has rushed for a team-high 376 yards on 90 carries (4.2-yard average) and three touchdowns in 2018. He also has 15 receptions for 84 yards.
The five-time Pro Bowler’s two-year contract is up after this season; it pays him a fully guaranteed $2.5 million in base salary after he restructured it this offseason, though it carries a salary-cap number of more than $4.45 million for 2018, per ESPN Stats & Information data. Lynch received a $1 million roster bonus on the 11th day of the league year, and he already has accrued $281,250 in roster bonuses ($46,875 per game on the Raiders’ 46-man roster, with a max of $750,000). He would miss out on $468,750 in bonuses if he did not play another game this season; he stood to earn up to $3.75 million in yards and touchdown incentives.
With Lynch out, veteran Doug Martin figures to become the No. 1 back for Oakland (1-5), which returns from its Week 7 bye to host the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
NOTE: These depth charts will be updated throughout the 2018 regular season.
This is a file I’ve done in the past — previously known as the “Tamme Index” — and it’s important to note it does not necessarily reflect a player’s position on his NFL team’s depth chart.
A player listed in the “starter” column is the most valuable running back on his team in terms of fantasy value.
A player listed under “handcuff” should see increased fantasy value if the starter becomes injured or sees his role diminish.
The “value” column reflects the likely upside that player would have in standard leagues if he becomes a starter: RB1 (top 10), RB2 (11-20), bench (worth a speculative add), waivers (not worth adding as a free agent).