Elite QB To WR Combinations That Will Win Your Fantasy League

by Michael Drahota | Posted on Thursday, August 21st, 2014 | 0

One fantasy football strategy that is rarely talked about but nonetheless lethal is drafting an elite quarterback to receiver combination.

The obvious idea is that when your quarterback throws a big pass and/or touchdown to your stud wide receiver, you doubly reap the benefits. You can have several absolutely huge days if the pieces fall into place, so you want to target a team that will be scoring early and often.

It may involve using two of your early rounds picks to lock up the coveted duo, but not always. And of course there’s always the risk that your dynamic dyad doesn’t perform.

However, consistency is what you’re looking for in fantasy, and these top-level players give you the best odds of performing on a week-to-week basis.

Here are the league’s top four quarterback to wide receiver combinations headed into 2014:

Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas

Peyton Manning to Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos:

This one’s a no-brainer pick for the top spot on this list, as Manning connected with Thomas a lofty 92 times for 1,430 yards and 14 scores in 2013.

If you want to score them, you’re probably going to have to spend your first two picks to lock up this insanely efficient scoring tandem (and even then it might not work), leaving you in dire straights at the all-important position of running back.

But it could be worth it.

Manning may be 38 years old, but he’s one of the best to ever play the game coming off the best season an NFL quarterback has ever had. With all the weapons in Denver, they simply won’t be able to double-team a big target like Thomas, making this combo the cream of the crop in 2014.

Thomas could challenge Calvin Johnson for the title of the NFL’s best receiver, while we already know what future legend Manning is capable of. Just be sure to have some running back value lined up for the middle rounds if you are fortunate enough to select both of them.


Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions:

Stafford and “Megatron” could challenge Manning and Thomas for the top spot were it not for a bevy of questions marks heading into this year.

Detroit is under the guidance of new head coach Jim Caldwell, who replaced the ridiculously ineffective Jim Schwartz after a disappointing end to 2013 that saw Stafford rifle interceptions with gasp-worthy decision-making.

The star quarterback has reportedly spent the offseason working on his mechanics in an effort to correct that, but we’ll have to see how that truly translates into game time performance.

The other issue is Johnson’s health. He dealt with knee and finger issues that limited him last year despite his 84 catches for 1,492 yards, and 12 touchdowns, stats that would have him near the top of the league almost every year. But like Stafford, he faltered towards the end, so “Megatron” has to prove that he’s healthy.

With new wide receiver Golden Tate now in the mix to take some of the pressure off of Johnson, this Lions combo is poised for a huge breakout season. If you can draft Johnson early at his loft Average Draft Position (ADP) of 6 in Yahoo standard leagues, you should be able to set yourself up to draft Stafford at 49, giving yourself a chance to select two running backs in between.

Matt Ryan to Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons:

Here’s a duo that could legitimately challenge for the top spot if Ryan can avoid getting sacked too much. The combo was on a record-setting pace before Jones was forced with a season-ending foot injury after the fifth game, effectively ending the Falcons’ chances at playoff contention and Ryan’s fantasy status in one fell swoop.

Jones returned to full contact practice and should be all systems go for week one. He’s a big, fast, and physical target who makes the tough catches in traffic. He also has veteran wideout Roddy White on the other side to draw defenses’ attention away from him. Yes, his injury history is concerning, as is the loss of starting offensive tackle Sam Baker to a torn patellar tendon.

Top-rated rookie Jake Matthews has been switched to tackle and will be forced to learn the NFL on the fly. If he can play up to his hype and protect Ryan’s blind side, expect him to produce an elite season with Jones. The Falcons have a ton of weapons and throw it more than almost any other team in the NFL.

Their defense isn’t exactly stellar either, so they should be in for some shootouts.

Ryan can also be had at a much lower price than Manning and Stafford, currently sitting with an ADP of 56. The same can be said for Jones, who is selected a round lower than top wideouts like Johnson, Thomas, A.J. Green, and Dez Bryant.

Ryan to Jones has the potential to be the best combo in the league, and they can be had for a fraction of the price.


Tony Romo to Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys:

The last duo on this list is slated for a huge season under the tutelage of new Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. Also with a suspect defense, the Cowboys will be slated for some high-scoring affairs in the high-octane NFC East.

It’ll take an early pick to select Bryant, but you can get Romo at a very low ADP of 78. Despite being one of the more consistent fantasy producers over the last several years, Romo still continues to get little respect, most likely for his mistakes late in pivotal games.

But his stats are still good, and Bryant should be slated for an even better season than he had in 2013 when he caught 93 balls for 1,233 yards and 13 touchdowns. This duo might also be the easiest to get, with Bryant being the only truly early pick you have to secure.

Second-year wideout Terrance Williams should also improve on his promising rookie year, taking much of the heat off Bryant. You could also take him if you want to gamble with a Cowboys-centered team, which wouldn’t necessarily be all that bad.

The Cowboys will be throwing a lot, and Romo is one of the league’s most underrated gunslingers. Draft this duo and enjoy the rewards in 2014.

About the Author

Both an avid NFL fan and analyst, I’ve been following professional football since the late 1980s. I’m also an avid fantasy football player with several league victories under my belt. Check out my NFL articles on TSM for the latest NFL news, highlights, predictions, and more.

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