DraftKings NFL: Best Week 1 Quarterback-Receiver Tandems

The Falcons' combo of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones give opposing defenses nightmares. (Getty)

The Falcons’ combo of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones give opposing defenses nightmares. (Getty)

The fantasy football season kicks off Thursday night when the New England Patriots host the Pittsburgh Steelers.

One strategy being employed by fantasy football players is the pairing of a quarterback and his favorite receiver. If those two continually put up numbers, why not use them both in the same DraftKings lineup and maximize your points? Makes sense.

First, you need to identify a top-notch quarterback. QBs get points in DraftKings the following ways:

Passing TD = +4 points
25 Passing Yards = +1 point (+0.04 point / per yard is awarded)
300+ Yard Passing Game = +3 points
Interception = -1 point

As you can see, yardage is important, especially if you hit the 300-yard benchmark, in which you get an extra 3 points. So you want a passer who’s actually going to pass the ball. No game managers, no QBs from run-heavy teams. And, of course, you want a quarterback who will be playing against a generous defense. That’s very important.

The next step is to identify that particular quarterback’s top target. The one he’s throwing at 10-12 times per game. Or the one he focuses on in the end zone. You don’t want to pair a top QB with his third receiver who may or may not have a big game. Too risky and often times comes up empty.

Wide receivers accumulate points by the following:

10 Receiving Yards = +1 points (+0.1 point per yard is awarded)
Reception = +1 point
Receiving TD = +6 point
100+ Yard Receiving Game = +3 points

So, in review, only use this strategy with heavy-volume passers and established receivers. Your odds of it working out greatly improve and you’ll have a much better shot at cashing in.

Check out our DraftKings posts on the Week 1 quarterback bargains, running back bargains, wide receiver bargains and tight end bargains.

And bookmark our fantasy football rankings 2015 page as I’ll be doing weekly rankings all year for the season-long league players.

Let’s check out the best quarterback-receiver tandems for Week 1:

Aaron Rodgers & Randall Cobb, Packers, at Bears

I love this matchup as Chicago’s secondary is seemingly allergic to wide receivers. Rodgers is the most expensive QB at $8,600 and Cobb is a very reasonable $8,000. With Jordy Nelson out (ACL), expect Cobb to see an uptick in targets, beginning in Week 1. Cobb has been dealing with a shoulder injury, though he should be ready to burn the Bears by Sunday.



Matt Ryan & Julio Jones, Falcons, vs. Eagles

This projects to be one of most productive duos the entire season and should get off to a smashing start in Week 1. Ryan has a very reasonable salary at $7,500, while Jones is the most expensive player the entire week at $9,300. Trust me, you can get these two on your team and still fill out a money-winning lineup around them. Their opponent, the Eagles, play next-to-zero pass defense. Ryan targeted Jones nearly 11 times per game a season ago and it translated to 104 receptions, 1,593 yards and 6 TDs. Looking for a repeat in 2015, but with a few more scores.

Ben Roethlisberger & Antonio Brown, Steelers, at Patriots

Roethlisberger is great value at $7,300 and Brown, after leading the NFL in receiving in practically every category a season ago, is $8,900, which is 4th among receivers. These two were unstoppable in 2014. Unstoppable. These two are cheaper than the Ryan-Jones combo, but will be just as effective, if not more. Brown scored less than 20 fantasy points in only 3 games last year. With RB Le’Veon Bell suspended, expect Big Ben to throw a ton of passes. On the other side of the field will be Tom Brady ($7,700) and Julian Edelman ($6,600) who should do some damage on opening night at a bargain price. If you’re interested in these tandems, sign up with DraftKings through the link right below and enter the $1M Kickoff contest.

Sam Bradford & Jordan Matthews, Eagles, at Falcons

Whoa, where’d these two come from?! Well, this Eagles-Falcons game is going to be somewhat of a high-scoring affair. Tends to happen when you have prolific offenses and horrific defenses. Back to Bradford ($6,900) and Matthews ($7,200). Those prices are exactly what you’re looking for in Week 1. You know what you’re getting with a Chip Kelly offense — run as many plays as possible. Bradford hasn’t played since October 2013, but looked sharp in the preseason and Matthews will be his No. 1 beneficiary. The Falcons have nobody to cover him, especially if he lines up in the slot as he’s been doing often. I’d get all over this Philly combo. Use that extra salary cap savings and build a big-time, money-making team.

Peyton Manning & Emmanuel Sanders, Broncos, vs. Ravens

Normally you’d think Demaryius Thomas would be the receiver to pair with Manning ($8,200). Sure, definitely. But Sanders ($7,900) is $1,200 cheaper and puts up eye-popping numbers as well. The Ravens will likely shadow Thomas with top corner Jimmy Smith, but the Ravens’ pass defense has slipped on the whole. I see Manning looking Sanders’ way at least 10 times, which could lead to excellent stats. Another No. 2 receiver who could pile up the points this week is Golden Tate of Detroit. Playing opposite of defensive attention-grabbing Calvin Johnson, QB Matthew Stafford looks Tate’s way often. He’ll do so again Sunday at San Diego.



Emmanuel Sanders | 2014 Highlights | HDCOMPLETE SEASON ! Broncos Songs: Charles Hamilton – Don't worry (Instrumental) – youtube.com/watch?v=VxBdaHWLUzk Charles Hamilton – Violence (Linda Cole) Instrumental – youtube.com/watch?v=r9oZTvLXQEE youtube.com/watch?v=DGpKI… @Futuremvp_ Made by Jamal Ofori2015-05-09T06:13:45Z

Tony Romo & Dez Bryant, Cowboys, vs. Giants

Romo and Bryant tend to make beautiful music together on a weekly basis and Week 1 should be no different against the Giants’ porous secondary. This has shootout written all over it as neither really boast that dominating run game (well, we don’t really know about the Cowboys since they’re breaking in some new backs). Romo is kind of a steal at $7,300 and Dez’s $8,700 bill won’t exactly kill your salary, either.

Eli Manning & Odell Beckham Jr., Giants, at Cowboys

Pretty take exactly what I stated above, but make Eli’s salary $7,400 and Beckham’s $9,200. Now these two will cost a bit more, but the point totals you receive might cancel them out. But you can fit Eli and OdB on a roster and have plenty of cash remaining to field a money-making squad. You just need to find a bargain or two, and they’re out there.


If you noticed, there are some big-time QBs missing from this list, namely the Saints’ Drew Brees and the Colts’ Andrew Luck. Brees and WR Brandin Cooks could very well become a dominant force. I don’t love the matchup against Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson (though Peterson tends to get torched on occasion). I guess we’ll see.

As for Luck, usually I’d pair him with T.Y. Hilton, though that’s a tough task vs. the Bills. I’m not using them this weekend. There are just better tandems for Week 1. They’ll get there chance down the line.

Editor’s note: Heavy’s partners at DraftKings are gearing up for another football season. Sign up now with DraftKings promo code HEAVY and get a $600 deposit bonus with no season-long commitment.


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