There are a lot of different ways to handcuff players in fantasy football but in the world of DFS, there’s no method more valuable than pairing a quarterback to his stud receiver. It’s always better to get double the points from two players on the same team having a big game. Here are the Top 10 Week 2 QB/WR handcuffs to consider for your DraftKings lineups:
*10. Carson Palmer and John Brown *
Palmer and Brown are building a strong rapport together. If it weren’t for the presence of Larry Fitzgerald, this tandem might be higher on the list.
For example, last week Brown caught four passes for 46 yards and a score. Three of those receptions came on Arizona’s first drive. Brown did draw two defensive holding penalties and saw seven targets overall. Fitzgerald saw eight targets and caught six passes. The two are 1A and 1B right now.
This week Palmer and Brown take on a Bears’ defense that allowed just 189 yards passing to Aaron Rodgers but they gave up three scores. Green Bay’s receivers caught 13 passes for 148 yards and all three of Rodgers’ touchdowns.
Brown is emerging as Palmer’s favorite weapon. Palmer takes a couple of deep shots a game to Brown and is using him more on short-to-intermediate routes as well. Brown should once again see around 7-8 targets versus the Bears on Sunday. A receiver with his playmaking ability can do a lot with those opportunities.
Because Brown’s salary is only $5,100, this handcuff is the least expensive of any in the Top 10, coming in at $11,800. It’s not a bad 1-2 punch to build your lineups around.
9. Ryan Tannehill and Jarvis Landry
On Paper Tannehill and Landry had one of the best Week 1 matchups versus Washington but they didn’t produce the big numbers some were hoping to get out of them.
Landry finished with 20.7 fantasy points thanks to a 74-yard punt return for a touchdown. He was also heavily targeted by Tannehill. Landry saw a team-high 12 targets and caught eight passes but only finished with 53 yards.
Overall, it was a strong fantasy day for Landry but Tannehill never really got going in Week 1. He threw for just 226 yards and one touchdown. Tannehill will get a chance to redeem himself against Jacksonville Sunday.
The Jaguars’ defense only allowed nine receptions to Carolina receivers in Week 1 but gave up over 18 fantasy points on those receptions. The Panthers spent most of the day running the football because of their issues at the receiver position.
This is a handcuff where a lot of the numbers don’t support the ranking but we’re only going off one week of data. The most important number is targets and we can already see that Landry is going to get a lot of those this season.
Landry continues to be undervalued at a salary of $5,900. Because of his affordable price and Tannehill being outside the Top 10 in QB salary, you can get this handcuff at just $12,900.
Tannehill and Landry are well worth the price. Expect a bounce back week, especially from Tannehill.
8. Eli Manning and Odell Beckham, Jr
It’s shocking that Beckham Jr. only saw eight targets and caught five balls for 44 yards against a suspect Dallas secondary.
Tom Coughlin came out this week and said the offense needs to take more shots down the field. More than none?
You would think a team that had all summer to prepare for a game wouldn’t need to come out in Week 2 and say what it needs to do right. Beckham, Jr. should be more involved in the offense Sunday considering that he’s one of the most explosive players in the NFL.
The Falcons played well defensively against the Eagles in the first half but Philadelphia got its passing game going after halftime. Overall, Atlanta allowed 18 receptions to Eagles’ receivers for 173 yards.
Jordan Matthews caught 10 passes against Atlanta but he did most of his damage out of the slot. However, opportunities are there against the Falcons’ secondary for receivers to make plays. Sam Bradford missed a couple of open receivers for big gains in the first half Monday night.
Manning ($7,100) and Beckham, Jr. ($8,800) are a little pricey to handcuff, especially given Eli’s up-and-down performances the last couple of seasons. That’s why they rank further down the list, even with the favorable matchup.
7. Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb
Rodgers and Cobb are usually one of the top handcuffs but this week they come in outside of the Top 5. The major roadblock this week is Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman is expected to cover Cobb for much of the game.
The Packers move Cobb around and typically Sherman doesn’t cover receivers in the slot. However, this week he’s expected to shadow Cobb all over the field.
Sherman has traditionally covered one side of the field in the past. In last year’s regular season meeting the Packers stuck Jarrett Boykin over on Sherman’s side and basically pretended he wasn’t in the game. If Sherman covers Cobb all game long it will certainly impact his fantasy value to some extent.
Sherman is a great corner but don’t let his presence scare you off Cobb completely. Cobb is an excellent route-runner and tough to cover for any corner in the slot because of his quickness. Rodgers will still look Cobb’s way even with Sherman on him.
Rodgers did spread the ball around in Week 1. Cobb only saw five targets, although he caught all five and scored. Expect to see more of the same this week and a lot of Eddie Lacy against Seattle. Lacy carried the ball 21 times in the NFC Championship Game.
Rodgers has the highest salary ($8,300) of any quarterback and Cobb comes in as the seventh highest receiver ($7,400). This is a good handcuff but based on matchup and a combined salary of $15,700, there are a few betters ones to choose from this week.
6. Tom Brady and Julian Edelman
One of the most intriguing matchups this week is Brady and the Patriots’ offense versus Rex Ryan and the Bills’ defense.
Ryan has had some success against the Patriots in the past but Brady has come out on top as well. Last year was a good example of their battles.
In Brady’s first meeting against Ryan’s Jets he threw for 261 yards and three touchdowns. In the second meeting, Ryan got the upper hand, holding Brady to 182 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Edelman faced the Jets once last season. He caught four passes for 44 yards on nine targets. Edelman was his typical busy self in the opener. He saw a team-high 12 targets; catching 11 balls for 97 yards.
The Bills’ defense played well against the Colts but it did allow 19 receptions, 203 yards and a touchdown to their receivers. Andrew Luck also threw for 243 yards, two scores and two picks. That’s a case where the Bills’ defense was better in real life than it was in fantasy.
Brady ($7,500) and Edelman ($6,700) are an affordable $14,200 to own as a handcuff and with the Bills focused on stopping Rob Gronkowski, the duo is a strong DFS play this week.
5. Sam Bradford and Jordan Matthews
It took Bradford and the Eagles’ passing game a while to get going in their opener versus the Falcons. Once things started clicking though, it looked like the offense many of us envisioned it would be this season.
Bradford finished with 336 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. The second pick wasn’t his fault. The ball actually bounced off Matthews’ hands late in the game. Bradford finished the game strong after being rusty early on. He was 21-of-25 in the second half.
Take away the drop and Matthews was everything fantasy owners hoped he would be this year. He caught 10 passes for 102 yards and saw a team-high 13 targets. The next closest receiver in targets was Riley Cooper with four. Matthews is clearly Bradford’s top target.
Matthews will have his way once again with a depleted Cowboys’ secondary. Rod Marinelli did a great coaching job once again in holding Beckham, Jr. to just five catches for 44 yards in Week 1.
However, some of the blame has to go to Giants’ offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo. McAdoo has shown to be a questionable play caller in his two NFL seasons. Chip Kelly won’t make the mistake of letting Marinelli dictate the game to him.
The Cowboys held Manning to 193 yards passing and Giants receivers to 10 receptions for 93 yards in Week 1. Those numbers will all go up on Sunday.
Bradford ($6,900) and Matthews ($7,100) are getting more expensive to own but at a combined salary of $14,000, this handcuff still offers a lot of value.
4. Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen
When picking the right quarterback/receiver handcuff each week, an important factor to consider is targets. Allen had a whopping 17 targets in San Diego’s Week 1 win over Detroit.
Allen finished with 15 receptions for 166 yards. Rivers threw for 404 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Some of the numbers had to do with game flow. The Chargers fell behind the Lions 21-3 and had to throw but Allen is clearly Rivers’ No. 1 option.
The Bengals have impressive numbers defending opposing quarterbacks and receivers after one week but that’s a bit misleading. Raiders’ starting quarterback Derek Carr left with an injury in the second quarter, so the Bengals got to feast on backup Matt McGloin.
Cincinnati’s secondary allowed 14 receptions to Oakland’s receivers but the Bengals were protecting a big second half lead. They also gave up 203 yards passing and two scores to the Raiders’ quarterbacks.
This will be an interesting matchup because it’s tough to judge the Bengals pass defense based off their Week 1 win over the Raiders. One thing is for sure though; Rivers is going to look for Allen and get him the ball as often as possible.
The Rivers/Allen duo offers the best bang for your buck of any handcuff in the Top 5. Rivers is just $6,700 and Allen $7,100, so the two can be owned for a combined salary of $13,800. This is a great handcuff to build your lineups around this week.
3. Drew Brees and Brandin Cooks
The Buccaneers’ secondary made Tennessee rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota look like a Hall of Famer in his first start. Now they get to deal with Brees and Cooks on the road.
Tampa Bay gave up so many big plays that the Buccaneers allowed 136 yards and two scores to receivers on just seven receptions. Tampa Bay ranks 30th in the NFL at defending quarterbacks after Mariota ripped the Bucs for 209 yards and four touchdowns in three quarters of work.
Brees and Cooks didn’t explode in Week 1 but they faced a tough Arizona defense. Brees threw for a lot of yards (355) but only one score. The Cardinals bottled up Cooks pretty well, holding him to four catches for just 49 yards on eight targets.
Cooks’ lackluster opener is even more reason to be excited about him this week. Brees was forced to check down a lot against Arizona. Half of Brees’ 30 completions went to running backs. Also, the Saints were held to four field goals, so the offense kept stalling when it had chances to score touchdowns.
Many people were expecting big things from Cooks this year and got burned by his poor Week 1 performance. Brees and Cooks will make up for it this week. With a combined salary of $14,800, this is one of the most cost-friendly handcuffs as well.
2. Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown
Roethlisberger threw for 351 yards, one touchdown and an interception against the Patriots but he was playing from behind for most of the game.
New England did everything it could to stop Brown but he still finished with nine catches for 133 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets. Brown’s score came in the final seconds, much to the delight of fantasy owners.
Brown is always a target monster but he’ll especially eat up targets while Martavis Bryant continues to serve his suspension. Markus Wheaton struggled versus New England as the No. 2 receiver, so Big Ben will focus in on Brown even more this week against San Francisco.
The 49ers’ defense came into the season as an unknown. However, San Francisco held Teddy Bridgewater to 231 yards passing and no touchdowns. The 49ers only allowed 10 receptions and 118 yards to Vikings’ receivers in Week 1.
While San Francisco’s defense was a pleasant surprise in the opener, Brown is pretty much defense proof. Going back to last season, Brown has topped 90 yards receiving in 10 of his last 12 games and scored in seven of his last 10.
The 49ers’ defense played well last week but will be facing a tougher test on Sunday. Start Roethlisberger and Brown with confidence.
1. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones
Ryan and Jones take the top spot for the second straight week. The duo certainly didn’t disappoint in Week 1.
Jones and Ryan ripped the Eagles defense for a combined 56.7 fantasy points last week. Jones caught nine passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns. He was targeted a team-high 11 times.
Jones will be shadowed by Dominque-Rodgers Cromartie on Sunday. DRC is a great corner but no one can cover Julio one-on-one. Malcolm Jenkins tried last week and Patrick Peterson had no luck last season. Jones is dealing with a sore hamstring but he’s expected to start.
The Giants’ pass defense allowed 14 reception and 157 yards to Dallas receivers in Week 1. That number could have been worse had Dez Bryant not left early in the fourth quarter with a broken foot.
After one week, New York ranks 28th in the NFL at defending quarterbacks. The Giants gave up 356 yards and three touchdowns to Tony Romo, although they did pick him off twice.
The Eagles played a lot of man coverage against Jones and he made them pay. The Giants played a lot of man coverage against Dallas. If they use that same strategy on Sunday, Ryan and Jones will have another big day.
This handcuff was well worth the money in Week 1 but it will cost players $16,300 to roll with them again on Sunday. You get what you pay for.