A unit of players who are more talented at catching, utilized when receiving an onside kick. When the hands team is being used, the majority of the receiving team lines up close to where the ball is being kicked from to improve their chances of recovering the onside kick.
In obvious situations where the opposing team will attempt an onside kick, the receiving team will send out the hands team. The hands team is allowed to line up five yards away from where the ball is being kicked from, to create a greater chance of recovery. Generally on kick returns, teams will use bigger players who are more suited to blocking to increase the chance of a big return. The hands team, however, consists of receivers, tight ends and defensive backs. These players are usually better at catching and therefore have a better chance of recovering the onside kick.