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 5 QB/WR handcuffs to consider for your DraftKings lineups:
10. Drew Brees and Willie Snead
It’s not surprising to see Brees on here but Snead gets the call over Cooks because he’s getting almost as many targets and Snead is $2,900 cheaper.
Over the last three games, Cooks has seen 23 targets and caught 16 passes. Over that same span, Snead has been targeted 19 times and caught 15 balls. Cooks can go off any week but these two receivers are pretty close right now, so why not go with the one who has a much lower salary.
The Eagles are allowing 17.3 receptions, 200.3 yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game to opposing receivers. That ranks Philadelphia in the bottom five at defending receivers.
The Eagles’ defense also gives up 284.8 yards to quarterbacks and with Brees’ shoulder looking healthy last week, he should have no problem exploiting Philadelphia’s suspect secondary.
You can substitute Cooks but with Snead’s minimum salary ($3,000), this handcuff will only cost DFS players a combined $10,200.
9. Alex Smith and Jeremy Maclin
Smith’s inability to throw touchdown passes to his receivers is well documented but outside of that he’s having a solid fantasy season.
Smith is averaging just under 18 fantasy points a week. He had a bad game against the elite Broncos’ defense but Smith has been a 20-point scorer in his other three games.
The Bears’ defense ranks in the bottom 10 of the NFL when it comes to defending quarterbacks. Chicago is allowing only 201.5 yards but 2.5 touchdowns per game to quarterbacks.
One thing Smith does do is throw the ball to Maclin. Maclin has been targeted 40 times on the season and 24 times in the last two games. In those two games, Maclin has scored 59.9 fantasy points.
You might not get a touchdown out of Maclin but these two have been scoring and the matchup is beatable. At a combined salary of $11,500, the price is right too.
8. Marcus Mariota and Kendall Wright
While Rex Ryan talks how much fight his players have, his defense is still struggling on the field.
Last week Eli Manning had little trouble torching the Bills for three scores and 19.1 fantasy points. Buffalo’s defense is allowing 304.5 yards and 2.5 touchdowns per game to opposing quarterbacks.
The Bills’ defense ranks 30th when it comes to defending receivers. Buffalo gives up 17.3 receptions, 193 yards and 1.8 touchdowns per game.
Mariota is averaging 22.3 fantasy points. He’s thrown multiple touchdowns in all three of his starts and Mariota will likely have to throw a lot this week considering Buffalo ranks third against the run.
Wright has scored 23 points in two games and was erased against the Browns. Wright saw 12 targets in the Titans last game. He should once again be Mariota’s favorite receiver on Sunday.
Mariota has been a good fantasy quarterback and he has one of the best matchups of the week. This is also one of the most cost-friendly handcuffs at just a combined salary of $11,400.
7. Peyton Manning and Demaryius Thomas
It looked like Peyton Manning was finally getting on a roll but a tough Vikings’ defense held him to just 10.3 fantasy points last week. Manning is now averaging 15.3 points on the year.
If Manning is going to really unload on a defense, this will be the week. The Raiders give up 318.8 and 2.0 touchdowns per game to opposing quarterbacks through four games.
Even with Manning being inconsistent early in the year, Thomas continues to deliver for fantasy owners. He’s averaging 19.3 fantasy points and has scored at least 18 points in each of his last three games.
Like Manning, Thomas hasn’t had a huge game yet but the Raiders only allow 13.5 receptions and 175.8 yards to receivers. Where they really struggle is defending tight ends.
Manning and Thomas are a solid handcuff but because they’ve been inconsistent and cost a combined $15,100, there’s some better options available.
6. Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen
Allen has been one of the real target monsters this year. Through four games, Allen has been targeted 46 times.
Stevie Johnson hasn’t practice all week with a hamstring injury, so it’s doubtful he’ll play Monday night. Antonio Gates returns from his four-game suspension but even with him back in the mix, expect Allen to be heavily targeted against the Steelers.
Pittsburgh is allowing 14.5 receptions, 159.0 yards and 0.8 touchdowns a game to opposing receivers. Pittsburgh’s secondary has played well in spurts this year but it’s also benefitted from playing teams like the Rams and Ravens.
Rivers is averaging 20.5 fantasy points per game. He’s had two strong games at home and two subpar games on the road. This game is at home.
When Rivers and Allen are hot, they’re really hot. They face a plus matchup this week and at a combined salary of $13,400, this handcuff doesn’t break the bank.
5. Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr.
The 49ers’ defense did a good job of holding down Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb last week. However, overall San Francisco’s defense ranks in the bottom 10 at defending both quarterbacks and receivers.
The 49ers are allowing 12.8 receptions, 205.5 yards and 1.0 touchdowns per game to opposing receivers. San Francisco’s defense also gives up 283.8 yards and 1.5 touchdowns a game to quarterbacks.
Manning has played well over his last three games. During that span he’s thrown for 783 yards, seven touchdowns and just one interception. Manning has scored at least 19 fantasy points in three straight games after his Week 1 stinker against Dallas.
Beckham, Jr. had two strong games in a row before last week’s 8.8-point performance versus Buffalo. He’s still averaging 17.4 points and should rebound against San Francisco this week.
The Eli/OBJ handcuff takes up $15,800 of salary cap but it should produce strong numbers this week.
4. Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald
A lot of the higher ranked handcuffs fizzled last week. Palmer and Fitzgerald didn’t have one of their best games but they came in with a respectable 35.9 combined fantasy points.
Fitzgerald remains Palmer’s top option in the passing game. He’s seen 37 targets through the first four games. Fitzgerald has a strong matchup again this week. The Lions’ defense is giving up 15.8 receptions, 202.8 yards and 0.8 touchdowns per game to opposing receivers.
The Lions aren’t doing much better against quarterbacks. Detroit’s defense is giving up 291.8 yards and 1.5 touchdowns to quarterbacks this year. Palmer averages 23.4 fantasy points, so expect him to take advantage of the leaky Lions’ secondary.
Palmer and Fitzgerald have been consistent and they have another good matchup on Sunday. This handcuff is still cost effective too at a combined salary of $13,400.
3. Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb
Rodgers and Cobb didn’t have their typical big week against the 49ers. Rodgers put up 16.3 fantasy points, while Cobb came in at just 9.4.
Sometimes studs just don’t produce even when the matchup is favorable but the good thing about Rodgers and Cobb is they can put up big numbers even when the matchup isn’t great on paper.
The Rams’ defense is the fourth best in the NFL at defending quarterbacks. St. Louis only allows 259 yards and 0.8 touchdowns per game.
The Rams are almost as tough against receivers where they rank fifth in the NFL. St. Louis’ defense gives up 16.8 receptions, 156 yards and 0.3 touchdowns per game.
It’s a tough matchup but we know Cobb will see targets. He’s been targeted 31 times in the last three games.
Rodgers still averages 25 fantasy points per game, so while the matchup is tough, Rodgers and Cobb shouldn’t be avoided this week.
2. Tom Brady and Julian Edelman
Brady and the Patriots’ offense are on a roll right now. The only thing that slowed them down was the bye week.
Brady is averaging 28.5 fantasy points a week and Edelman comes in at 24. That’s a 52 point handcuff.
The Cowboys’ defense has been pretty good at defending quarterbacks this season. Dallas allows 265.3 yards and 1.3 touchdowns per game. Those are pretty good numbers considering Dallas has faced Eli Manning, Sam Bradford, Matt Ryan and Drew Brees.
However, New England’s offense brings unique challenges because of the presence of Rob Gronkowski. Opposing defenses have to spend so much time trying to stop Gronk that it opens things up for Edelman and others on New England’s offense.
It’s hard to go against Brady with the way he’s playing right now. The Patriots handcuff will cost you a combined $14,800 but it should be well worth it once again this week.
1. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones
The Matt Ryan/Julio Jones handcuff only produced 21.9 points last week. If you play the odds, that’s bad news for the Redskins.
The Falcons jumped out to a big lead over the Texans last Sunday thanks to Devonta Freeman and the defense, so Jones wasn’t needed much. Fantasy owners weren’t happy but it was the rare occasion where game flow made Jones a non-factor. It doesn’t happen often.
Jones is still averaging 29.7 fantasy points per week. The Redskins are a bottom 10 defense at defending receivers after four games. Washington is giving up 11.3 receptions, 154.3 yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game to opposing receivers.
Ryan is averaging 19.3 fantasy points per week but faces a tougher matchup than Jones. The Redskins’ defense has been pretty good against quarterbacks this year only allowing 231.3 yards and 1.8 touchdowns per game.
Ryan and Jones burned a lot of DFS players last week but expect them to bounce back versus Washington. As usual, this duo is one of the most expensive handcuffs at $15,900 because of Jones’ hefty salary.