Where and When to Handcuff WRs
Earlier in the week (in The Art of the Handcuff), I discussed the different scenarios where fantasy owners may want to draft a backup RB to provide insurance for another RB that was picked early in the draft. The best example is Arian Foster and Ben Tate. Since Foster seems to be the consensus #1 overall pick and Tate is the clear (and obviously talented) backup, it makes a lot of sense to use a 6th or 7th rounder on Tate as insurance to lock up the Texans' stellar running game if something were to happen to Foster.
|Combo||2011 Avg (PPR)||2011 CV||WR1 ADP||WR2 ADP||SOS||SOS - L3|
- Owners drafting near the 2/3 turn (end of 2nd round, beginning of 3rd) could potentially go with Nicks/Cruz, White/Jones or Jennings/Nelson, though Nelson has (surprisingly) been available in the 4th round fairly regularly in recent drafts. One downside with going WR/WR in the 2nd and 3rd rounds is the relative depth at WR this year lends itself to perhaps waiting until the 4th/5th to draft your WR1 & WR2. If you do draft one of these duos near the 2/3 turn, you're likely looking at someone like Michael Turner, Reggie Bush or Shonn Greene as your RB2 in the 4th. I have no problem with a core of LeSean McCoy, Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Michael Turner, but I like Turner more than most.
- Welker/Lloyd is an interesting pair due to the many mouths to feed in New England. They won't have the typical WR1/WR2 co-dependency due to the prominent roles that both Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez play in the Patriots' offense. However, that passing attack is potent, so that would be a good pair to have in the 3rd and 5th.
- Owners picking near the 3/4 turn could target Dez Bryant and Miles Austin. Dez seems more likely to go first, and with Laurent Robinson gone, Bryant and Austin are going to see a large portion of the WR targets in Dallas.
- Mike Wallace is going at a discount due to the holdout, and owners should be wary because this could possibly turn into another Vincent Jackson 2011 situation where he holds out for most of the season only to report late to earn a year of service and become an unrestricted free agent next summer. However, for fantasy owners who can stomach the risk, the Wallace/Brown combo was the second most consistent of the seven duos I studied. Regardless, I like Brown in the 5th, especially in PPR formats.
- Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker make an interesting combo in the 4th/6th, but what happens if Peyton Manning isn't completely healthy?
- I like Jeremy Maclin; DeSean Jackson...not so much. Still, if I take Maclin in the 4th or 5th and D-Jax is still hanging around in the 7th, I might hold my nose and pull the trigger.
- Two middle round combos that I really like are Denarius Moore/Darrius Heyward-Bey and Robert Meachem/Malcom Floyd. These are both situations where we're not really sure who's going to end up being the WR1, and by drafting both, you're pretty much guaranteeing yourself a solid WR2 (and perhaps a solid WR3 as well). Unfortunately, the SOS for the fantasy playoffs for both duos looks to be pretty tough. The Chargers have PIT, CAR and NYJ, while the Raiders have DEN, KC and CAR.