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 3 QB/WR handcuffs to consider for your DraftKings lineups:
10. Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen
After seeing 17 targets in the opener, Allen saw just four last week against the Bengals.
The good news is Allen will almost certainly see more targets this week. The bad news is he’ll be facing a familiar defense. Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer is the former defensive coordinator of the Bengals and the two teams run a similar scheme.
On the opposite end of the spectrum you have to think Chargers offensive coordinator Norv Turner is going to make adjustments this week to get his No. 1 receiver more looks. Tight end Ladarius Green is dealing with his second concussion in two weeks, so Philip Rivers can’t be successful without Allen being more involved in the offense.
The Vikings are only allowing 225 yards a game to quarterbacks and rank as the second best defense through two games at defending wide receivers. It’s a tough matchup but expect Allen to see much more action on Sunday after the dud he put up last week, leading to more production.
Rivers and Allen cost a combined $13,200 of salary cap space. They’re a solid, cost-effective handcuff this week.
9. Peyton Manning and Demaryius Thomas
It feels like Thomas is having a quiet fantasy season but he’s averaging about 18 points after two games. He hasn’t scored yet but Thomas has 15 catches for 176 yards.
Manning scored 21 points last week after his dud of an opener. These two really woke up in the second half last week against the Chiefs.
The Lions’ defense is allowing 14.5 receptions and 171 yards to opposing receivers. They also allow 278 yards passing per game to opposing quarterbacks.
The Broncos’ issues on offense aren’t gone because of one late drive. Manning still hasn’t put together a complete game yet and Denver’s offensive line is struggling.
Manning heated up against the Chiefs though and Detroit’s defense hasn’t looked good through two games. Peyton and Thomas should be able to make some plays against the Lions’ secondary Monday night.
One negative is Manning’s salary is still very high, so this handcuff will cost you a combined $16,100. That’s a bit of a turnoff with some better options on the board this week.
8. Marcus Mariota and Kendall Wright
Mariota had a bad game in real life but his “bad” fantasy day produced 18.2 points.
Wright had a bad game in both real life and fantasy against the Browns. He caught two passes and put up just 3.7 fantasy points.
Mariota and the Titans’ offense should get back on track this week. Cleveland’s front seven sacked Mariota seven times and the corner tandem of Joe Haden and Tramon Williams were able to lock down Tennessee’s receivers for much of the game.
The Colts’ defense doesn’t present the same challenges. Indianapolis’ secondary is beat up right now. Corners Greg Toler and Darius Butler are out for this game. Jalil Brown will start at one corner and newly signed Eric Patterson will be the primary nickel corner.
Wright should have a lot more success this week. The Titans move him around so he won’t always be matched up against Vontae Davis. The Colts are allowing 11.5 receptions, 165.5 yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game to receivers.
Mariota is averaging 21.6 fantasy points in his first two starts. It’s a good matchup and the Mariota/Wright handcuff only takes up $11,100 of your salary. Expect a nice bounce back week from this tandem.
7. Ryan Tannehill and Jarvis Landry
The perception is Buffalo has a great defense. The only problem is the numbers don’t back that up right now.
Granted, the Bills opened the season against Andrew Luck and Tom Brady but for a supposedly great defense, Rex Ryan’s unit is getting lit up.
Buffalo is giving up 354 yards and 2.5 touchdowns per game to opposing quarterbacks. Again, that’s versus Luck and Brady but 354 yards is way too high for a Ryan defense.
Receivers have had a field day against the Bills as well. Buffalo is allowing 19 receptions, 208 yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game to receivers on 33.5 targets.
As expected, Jarvis Landry has been a target monster so far this year. He’s seen 22 targets in the first two games, hauling in 16 receptions for 163 yards. Landry is averaging 21.7 fantasy points.
Expect the Bills to play better on defense this week but Tannehill and Landry are still an enticing handcuff. At a combined salary of $13,100, they’re an affordable one as well.
6. Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton
The Colts’ offense has struggled in its first two games against the Bills and Jets. However, those are two of the best defenses in the NFL. This week Indianapolis gets back in its division where Andrew Luck and Co. can start making fantasy owners happy again.
The Colts still have issues on their offensive line and Andre Johnson looks well past his prime. The difference is Tennessee’s defense can’t exploit Indianapolis’ weaknesses like the Bills and Jets did.
The Titans’ defense ranks in the Top 10 at defending quarterbacks but they opened the season against Johnny Manziel and Jameis Winston. Those two have a combined four NFL starts between them.
The Titans are only allowing seven receptions per game to receivers but have given up an average of 20 fantasy points to the position. So Tennessee is giving up big plays to receivers. Expect Luck to hit more of those big plays than Tennessee’s first two opponents.
The Titans’ defense has played well so far this season but they’re stepping up in class and the Colts are stepping down. A lot of numbers and rankings will change after this game.
5. Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald
Going back to last season, Palmer has been one of the best quarterbacks in both real life and fantasy.
Over his last eight games, Palmer is averaging 265 yards passing and 2.2 touchdowns per game. This season he’s put up games of 28 and 22 fantasy points. Despite being one of the most productive fantasy quarterbacks, Palmer is still undervalued. This week Palmer has the 11th highest salary among quarterbacks.
John Brown entered the season with all the fantasy love and while he’s an exciting player, Fitzgerald has been Palmer’s top target through the first two games. Fitzgerald is averaging 27.5 fantasy points and has been targeted 17 times.
The 49ers are allowing 12.5 receptions, 228.5 yards and 1.0 touchdown per game to opposing receivers. That ranks in the bottom five of the NFL after two games. San Francisco also allows 300 yards per game through the air to quarterbacks.
Palmer is hot and Fitzgerald is coming off a 40-point fantasy week. A combined salary of $12,400 sounds awfully good for this handcuff.
4. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones
Ryan and Jones have taken the top spot in each of the first two weeks. While they delivered each time, it’s hard to put them there this week just because Dallas’ defense has been so impressive in the first two games.
The Cowboys’ defense is the third-best in the NFL at defending receivers. Dallas allows just 10.5 receptions, 112 yards and 0.5 touchdowns per game. Those numbers are legitimate too because the Cowboys’ defense has faced Odell Beckham, Jr. and Jordan Matthews.
Dallas is even better at defensing quarterbacks. The Cowboys’ defense ranks second in the NFL; allowing only 208 yards and 0.5 touchdowns per game.
Ryan and Jones can offset any defense. The two combine to average 53.8 fantasy points. However, Rod Marinelli’s defense has been productive in the first two games against two excellent receivers. That can’t be overlooked, especially when the handcuff costs $16,100.
3. Tom Brady and Julian Edelman
Brady and Edelman were supposed to be facing a tough Buffalo Bills’ defense last week. Brady finished 38-of-59 for 466 yards and three touchdowns. Edelman caught 11 passes for 97 yards and two scores. It was just another day at the office for these two.
Brady is averaging almost 30 fantasy points after two games. Edelman is averaging just under 28. Yet, you can still get the two for a combined $14,700. That’s not bad when you factor in how productive the duo has been over the first two weeks.
The Jaguars have given up 267 yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game to opposing quarterbacks. They’ve allowed 13 receptions and 178 yards per game to opposing receivers. All of those numbers are going to go up after Sunday, especially the receptions per game given up to receivers.
Brady and Edelman just keep producing. There are more expensive handcuffs and flashier handcuffs but this one continuously gets the job done.
The only worry this week is New England getting a big lead and working on its power running game with LeGarrette Blount. Although, Brady and Edelman will have a big hand in getting the Patriots a lead in that scenario.
2. Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown
The beat kept going for Brown last week against the 49ers. He finished with nine receptions, 195 yards and a touchdown. Brown has now topped 90 yards receiving in 11 of his last 13 games and scored in 8 of his last 11.
The Rams’ defense has been tough on receivers so far this year. St. Louis is allowing 15.5 receptions, 114 yards and 0.5 touchdowns per game to receivers. However, Brown is defense proof. He’s going to get his targets and almost always put up big numbers, regardless of the defense.
More importantly, the Rams have had success defending quarterbacks this year as well. St. Louis is the fifth toughest defense against quarterbacks after two games; giving up just 227 yards and one touchdown per game.
The Rams have faced Russell Wilson and Kirk Cousins so far but will get their toughest test from the Roethlisberger/Brown combination. It’s a challenging matchup and the handcuff costs a combined $16,100 but it’s hard for any defense to stop Big Ben and Brown for four quarters.
1. Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb
After two games, the Chiefs’ defense ranks last in the NFL at defending receivers and 25th at defending quarterbacks. Things aren’t going to get any easier for Kansas City this week.
The Chiefs have given up a league worst 20.5 receptions and 253 yards per game to opposing receivers this year. Cobb is averaging 18.7 fantasy points and should have little trouble reaching that mark again this week.
Rodgers is averaging just under 23 fantasy points. This week he gets to feast on a Kansas City defense that has allowed quarterbacks to throw for 295 yards and 2.5 touchdowns per game. Keep in mind that one of the teams Kansas City played in the first two weeks was the quarterback-challenged Houston Texans.
Eddie Lacy is questionable for Monday night’s game and the matchup is favorable for Rodgers. The Rodgers/Cobb handcuff will cost a combined $15,300 of your total salary cap but the tandem is well worth the price.