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 9 QB/WR handcuffs to consider for your DraftKings lineups:
10. Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb
If there was an award for the most disappointing handcuff, Rodgers and Cobb would probably win it.
Cobb hasn’t topped 10 fantasy points in his last four games. Now he gets the Panthers’ defense and cornerback Josh Norman. The Packers are going to move Cobb around more to try to free him up but it will be a tough task against Norman. He’s playing as well as any cornerback in the NFL right now.
Rodgers had a miserable game against the elite Broncos’ defense last Sunday night. He was under pressure all game and scored just 6.18 fantasy points.
The Panthers rank in the Top 5 at defending both quarterbacks and receivers. There’s really nothing to like about Rodgers and Cobb this week other than sometimes you just trust great players and fade the majority.
Rodgers faced a dominant defense and looked awful last week. He faces another strong defense this week, so logic says expect another bad game but great quarterbacks like Rodgers often times rebound from bad games with big ones.
This handcuff won’t be widely owned. The matchup is tough on paper but Rodgers and Cobb are capable of putting up big numbers on any defense. They’re an intriguing fade option.
9. Peyton Manning and Demaryius Thomas
After the Broncos’ bye week Manning came out and looked good throwing for 340 yards and completing 72.4 percent of his passes. That’s great in real football. However, in fantasy football Peyton didn’t throw any touchdown passes and scored just 15.6 points.
The good news is Manning was throwing the ball well. The bad news is he’s only scored 20 fantasy points in two games this year. Perhaps Manning will build on last week’s performance against a Colts’ defense that can’t really stop anything.
The Colts give up 288.3 yards and 1.8 touchdowns per game to opposing quarterbacks. Indianapolis allows the 14th most fantasy points to quarterbacks but they usually struggle against the better offenses they face.
Manning may not be putting up great fantasy numbers but Thomas is still finding a way to produce. Thomas is averaging just under 20 points per game. In his last two games Thomas has scored 24.1 and 27.8 points, so he’s been hot of late. Now Thomas gets a Colts’ defense that is giving up the 10th most fantasy points to receivers.
Manning has been holding this handcuff back but he did look better last week. At a combined salary of $13,800 the duo is finally starting to come down in price for those who want to take a shot on them.
8. Ryan Tannehill and Jarvis Landry
Tannehill and the Dolphins were rolling. Then they ran into the Patriots.
The Patriots tend to slow down teams that are on a roll. Looking past Miami’s dud last Thursday night, Tannehill and Landry have a strong matchup this week.
The Bills give up the 12th most fantasy points to both quarterbacks and receivers. The only reason Buffalo ranks out of the Top 10 is because the Bills had a bye last week. In reality, Rex Ryan’s defense has been one of the biggest disappointments in the NFL this season.
The Bills’ defense is giving up 261.4 yards and 2.1 touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks, while letting receivers catch 14.6 passes for 167.6 yards and 1.4 touchdowns on 25.9 targets. The matchup is favorable and when the two teams met back in Week 3, Tannehill scored 18 fantasy points with Landry putting up 16.6.
Tannehill and Landry will likely have a low ownership this week. The handcuff is only $12,000 and the matchup isn’t scary. It’s worth a look.
7. Jameis Winston and Mike Evans
If you watched the Saints/Giants game last week, perhaps you saw receivers running wide open through New York’s secondary for four quarters. Now Winston and Evans get to take advantage of that secondary.
The Giants have been awful against quarterbacks this year. New York gives up the fourth most fantasy points and an NFL-worst 322.9 yards per game to quarterbacks. Winston has scored at least 19 fantasy points in his last two games and there’s no reason to think he won’t reach that mark again this week against the Giants’ defense.
Evans is seeing targets but him and Winston just aren’t connecting. Against the Falcons, Evans was targeted nine times but caught only three passes. He should see a heavy workload again this week with Vincent Jackson likely to miss his second straight game.
The Giants allow the 13th most fantasy points to receivers. New York’s defense gives up 14.8 receptions, 184.5 yards and 1.1 touchdowns on 22.5 targets.
Evans disappointed last week but Winston is playing well right now and the matchup is favorable. At just a combined salary of $12,000, this handcuff is a lower-priced option to build your team around.
6. Derek Carr and Amari Cooper
Over his last two games against the Chargers and Jets, Carr is playing as good as any quarterback in the NFL not named Tom Brady. In those two games, Carr completed 47-of-67 passes for 622 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions.
The Chargers and Jets were tough matchups on paper but Carr lit up both defenses. He has another tough matchup this week. The Steelers allow the 19th most fantasy points to quarterbacks.
The Steelers will have their hands full with Cooper. The rookie only scored 9.8 points last week while stuck on Revis Island but he’s averaging 17.3 fantasy points per game. Pittsburgh’s defense gives up the 16th most fantasy points to receivers but has also been susceptible to big plays.
Carr is red hot. The matchup isn’t great but that’s been the story the last two weeks and he’s delivered big numbers. This handcuff only costs $12,200, so it won’t cost a lot to ride the hot hand.
5. Drew Brees and Brandin Cooks
If you start Brees this week, get ready to be disappointed. He won’t have as good a game as he did last Sunday against the Giants.
Brees torched the Giants for 505 yards and tied an NFL record with seven touchdowns in a game. He scored 49.3 fantasy points.
On paper, Brees doesn’t have a great matchup this week. The Titans allow the 20th most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year. Tennessee’s defense is only giving 214.7 yards and 1.7 touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks.
Cooks got off to a slow start this season but he’s come on over the last two games where he’s caught 12 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns on 21 targets. The Titans allow the 17th most fantasy points to receivers. The matchup isn’t great but with Brees playing at an elite level again, Cooks is heating up.
It’s tough to pick a handcuff with Brees because he spreads the ball around so much but he’s made an effort to get Cooks more involved the last two weeks. That should continue versus Tennessee. Don’t be afraid to ride this tandem.
4. Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown
Roethlisberger made his return last week against the Bengals and led Pittsburgh to a touchdown in the opening drive of the game. It was all downhill from there.
Roethlisberger was rusty. He struggled with three interceptions and just 11.5 fantasy points. Big Ben should be much better in his second game back from a knee injury. He has a good matchup and at a salary of $6,600, he’s a good value this week.
The Raiders allow the sixth most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Oakland’s defense gives up 312.6 yards and 1.9 touchdowns per game. Roethlisberger should have a much easier time of things this week versus the Raiders than he did against the Bengals last Sunday.
Brown didn’t have a big game last week because Big Ben was struggling but he did score on that opening drive, allowing him to finish with 16.7 fantasy points. The Raiders have been pretty good against receivers overall but Brandon Marshall just ripped them for nine receptions and 108 yards.
It will be interesting to see the ownership numbers for this handcuff after Roethlisberger’s bad game. The smart money says he rebounds and at $14,700, the price for this handcuff is appealing.
3. Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr.
You know it’s a wild game when Manning throws for 350 yards and six touchdowns and he’s the second best fantasy quarterback on the field.
Manning put up 41 fantasy points last week but got edged out by Brees’ 49.3. However, thanks to Beckham’s 42, the Giants’ duo made up by far the top handcuff of the week.
No one is expecting 83 fantasy points again but Manning and Beckham do have another strong matchup against Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers rank in the bottom five at defending both quarterbacks and receivers. Wait, maybe 83 points is possible.
Tampa Bay allows the third most fantasy points to quarterbacks. The Buccaneers’ defense gives up 261.9 yards and 2.4 touchdowns per game. Manning has scored at least 19 points in four of his last six games. He should easily hit that mark again on Sunday.
The Buccaneers’ defense is going to have a difficult time slowing down Beckham. Tampa Bay gives up the fifth most fantasy points to receivers. The Buccaneers’ defense allows 14 receptions, 185 yards and 1.6 touchdowns per game on 19.6 targets.
Beckham has run hot and cold this year but based on the matchup, he should be hot this week. Manning and Beckham cost a combined $15,700. It’s pricey but the production should be there.
2. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones
After a couple of down games, Ryan and Jones bounced back last week against the Buccaneers with a combined 61.3 fantasy points.
Ryan and Jones should continue to rack up the points this week versus the 49ers’ miserable pass defense. San Francisco has struggled to defend both quarterbacks and receivers this season.
The 49ers give up the 11th most fantasy points to quarterbacks. San Francisco’s defense allows 293.1 yards and 1.6 touchdowns per game to opposing quarterbacks.
The 49ers are even worse when it comes to defending receivers where they allow the fourth most fantasy points. San Francisco has had all kinds of trouble in its secondary this year giving up big plays. The 49ers’ defense allows 12.8 receptions, 195.4 yards and 1.1 touchdowns per game on 20.3 targets.
Ryan has been inconsistent this year but he gets a great matchup to exploit this week. Jones should be able to feast on the reeling 49ers’ secondary. As usual, this handcuff is on the expensive side at $16,400 but the pieces are in place for a big week.
1. Tom Brady and Julian Edelman
Brady and Edelman continue to dominate. Last week the two combined for 60.4 fantasy points against the Dolphins.
Brady has been unstoppable this year. His lowest fantasy output is 25 points. The Redskins aren’t terrible at defending quarterbacks. Washington gives up the 18th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks but does it really matter? Brady is torching every defense he goes up against this season.
The Redskins’ defense has been more giving to opposing wide receivers. Washington allows the seventh most fantasy points to receivers. The Redskins’ defense is giving up 11.1 receptions, 161.9 yards and 1.4 touchdowns per game. Those numbers will go up after Sunday.
Brady and Edelman are averaging a combined 50.8 points a game. The handcuff is the most expensive at $16,700 but that’s because it’s been the most consistent from week-to-week.