There’s nothing worse than late-season backfield shuffles. We’re dealing with changes in personnel, injuries, different handcuffs and committee situations heading into Week 14 and it’s enough to make you lose your mind. There’s nothing worse than riding into your playoffs on the back of one guy and then suddenly not having him at the most crucial time of year. Below are some of the situations which require the most attention and below that will be the new edition of the RB Handcuff Grid.

Arizona Cardinals

There is no change in the hierarchy but Chase Edmonds poaching goal-line work is definitely worth pointing out. Johnson still sees the majority of snaps, but this is a situation to watch closely, especially with the fantasy playoffs on the line. What’s worse is that the match-up this week is likely to be a tough one. People expect the Lions run defense to be a bunch of pushovers still but that isn’t even close to being the case. In fact, the Lions have allowed just 81 rushing yards per game over the last three weeks. That’s fifth-fewest in the league. If Johnson gets worn down at all, then Edmonds stands a greater chance at being used near the goal line again.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Leonard Fournette returns this week and will be the No. 1 running back this week. T.J. Yeldon may spell him every so often, but in the three games he played after his hamstring injury healed, he saw no fewer than 21 touches in a game. Yeldon’s role will certainly be minimized while Carlos Hyde will serve as bench depth. If you’re sitting on this backfield and need room for different depth, Hyde can be the guy to go.

Kansas City Chiefs

While everyone is panicking over this supposed three-headed monster, the guy to own is still Spencer Ware with Damien Williams as the primary handcuff and Charcandrick West as the No. 3. Andy Reid does like to rotate in some running backs, but he usually has a clear-cut No. 1 and that should be Ware. He’s the one who was trickled into action a few weeks ago and he just needs the reps with Patrick Mahomes and the first-team offense to get into the groove Reid wants to see. Everything that went down with Kareem Hunt on Friday was extremely sudden and the team didn’t exactly have a ton of time to readjust. You may see Williams and West a little more than you’d like initially, but Ware should have the lead role very shortly, if he doesn’t already by the time we get to Sunday’s game.

Los Angeles Chargers

We’re still waiting on official word regarding Melvin Gordon ’s status for this week’s game against the Bengals. If he’s in, you play him. If not, then the next guy up, particularly in PPR formats, is Austin Ekeler . You can certainly use Justin Jackson , especially in standard leagues, but keep in mind that Ekeler is the guy who handles the work on the passing downs and he’s got the rapport, not just with Philip Rivers , but with the rest of the first-team offense. During Week 13 against the Steelers, Ekeler saw 78-percent of the snaps to just 22-percent for Jackson.

Los Angeles Rams

We’ve got a change in handcuff for Todd Gurley now that we’ve received word Malcolm Brown will miss the remainder of the regular season with a clavicle injury. John Kelly is likely the immediate handcuff now, but you should also keep an eye on Justin Davis who, if something ever happened to Gurley, would likely share in some of the workload. For the sake of roster protection, though, Kelly is the guy you want to pick up.

Pittsburgh Steelers

We don’t want to, but with new information that James Conner is dealing with an ankle sprain (likely of the high-ankle varietal) and will be sidelined, not just for Week 14, but possibly even further, we’ve got to slide him over the injured column and look at the Steelers backfield more closely. Jaylen Samuels is the go-to for everyone right now and he’s definitely the guy you want to own. But don’t rule out Stevan Ridley completely. The veteran back should see some work, particularly on the early-downs, and could factor in for those in standard scoring leagues. But Samuels is the more versatile back and the guy who fits this Steelers system better. Head coach Mike Tomlin says he’ll employ a committee, but it was Samuels who saw the bulk of the work when Conner left the game. Obviously, if you play on Yahoo, the bonus is Samuels qualifying at tight end. If you can start your regular RBs and then throw Samuels into the TE position, you’re going to crush it.  

San Francisco 49ers

This backfield has been a hot mess all year, hasn’t it? Matt Breida has already been ruled out for Week 14 after he reinjured his ankle during Week 13 pre-game warm-ups and failed to see more than five touches during the game. Jeff Wilson is the primary back-up and we watched him post over 130 all-purpose yards as he served as the team’s lead back in the game against the Seahawks. You should see more of the same against the Broncos, but this week, Matthew Dayes is the likely handcuff. Of course, fullback Kyle Juszczyk will probably see a few extra snaps and gimmick plays too.

TeamPrimary RBChange of Pace3rd Down BackHandcuffIR/PUP/Susp.
Arizona CardinalsDavid Johnson   Chase Edmonds  
Atlanta FalconsTevin Coleman   Ito Smith Devonta Freeman
Baltimore RavensGus Edwards Ty Montgomery Javorius Allen Alex Collins Kenneth Dixon
Buffalo BillsLeSean McCoy Marcus Murphy  Chris Ivory Taiwan Jones
Carolina PanthersChristian McCaffrey   Cameron Artis-Payne  
Chicago BearsJordan Howard  Tarik Cohen Benny Cunningham  
Cincinnati BengalsJoe Mixon Giovani Bernard  Giovani Bernard  
Cleveland BrownsNick Chubb  Duke Johnson Duke Johnson  
Dallas CowboysEzekiel Elliott   Rod Smith  
Denver BroncosPhillip Lindsay Devontae Booker  Royce Freeman  
Detroit LionsKerryon Johnson LeGarrette Blount Theo Riddick LeGarrette Blount  
Green Bay PackersAaron Jones   Jamaal Williams  
Houston TexansLamar Miller   Alfred Blue D'Onta Foreman
Indianapolis ColtsMarlon Mack Jordan Wilkins Nyheim Hines Jordan Wilkins  
Jacksonville JaguarsLeonard Fournette Carlos Hyde  T.J. Yeldon  
Kansas City ChiefsSpencer Ware Charcandrick West Damien Williams Damien Williams  
Los Angeles ChargersMelvin Gordon  Austin Ekeler Justin Jackson  
Los Angeles RamsTodd Gurley   John Kelly Malcolm Brown
Miami DolphinsKenyan Drake Frank Gore  Frank Gore  
Minnesota VikingsDalvin Cook   Latavius Murray  
New England PatriotsSony Michel Rex Burkhead James White James White Jeremy Hill
New Orleans SaintsAlvin Kamara Mark Ingram  Mark Ingram  
New York GiantsSaquon Barkley   Wayne Gallman Jonathan Stewart
New York JetsIsaiah Crowell  Elijah McGuire Elijah McGuire Bilal Powell
Oakland RaidersDoug Martin  Jalen Richard DeAndre Washington Marshawn Lynch
Philadelphia EaglesJosh Adams Darren Sproles Wendell Smallwood Corey Clement Jay Ajayi
Pittsburgh SteelersJaylen Samuels Stevan Ridley  Stevan Ridley Le'Veon Bell /James Conner
San Francisco 49ersMatt Breida   Jeff Wilson Jerick McKinnon /Raheem Mostert
Seattle SeahawksChris Carson Rashaad Penny C.J. Prosise Mike Davis J.D. McKissic
Tampa Bay BuccaneersPeyton Barber  Jacquizz Rodgers Ronald Jones II 
Tennessee TitansDion Lewis Derrick Henry  Derrick Henry  
Washington RedskinsAdrian Peterson Kapri Bibbs Chris Thompson Samaje Perine Derrius Guice