2022 Fantasy Football RB Handcuffs Rankings: Which Backups Have Huge Upside?

2022 Fantasy Football RB Handcuffs Rankings: Which Backups Have Huge Upside? article feature image

Pictured: Kareem Hunt (left), Tony Pollard (center) and A.J. Dillon.

Finding fantasy football sleepers isn’t as simple as targeting backups of high-profile RBs.

To find the best values, I created my RB Upside Ratings. I roll out the first version of these rankings before fantasy draft season, but I decided to update them in the middle of the season with bye weeks coming hot and heavy and injuries happening left and right.

These ratings — i.e. the letter grades assigned to each team’s primary backup in the tables below — are based on the following:

1) Each backup’s projected season-long ranking in their present role.

2) Their upside (aka their projected ranking) if their team’s starter were to suffer an injury, otherwise miss time, or be leapfrogged by said backup.

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Undervalued Upside Ratings Methodology

As I mentioned above, these ratings are based on discrepancies that I’ve identified between a backup’s ceiling and their current market value, but here are the exact factors I weighed when projecting their ceilings:

  • The backup’s current role. (You can read my full definitions of each role here.)
  • The role of the projected starter.
  • The health of the projected starter.
  • My projected chance the projected starter maintains his RB1 duties when healthy.
  • My projected chance the backup leapfrogs the starter when both RBs are healthy.

Full RB Upside Rankings

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