With the hustle and bustle of the NFL Draft now in the books, fantasy football talks are starting to heat up — as are drafting strategies.
One fun way to draft is to target a quarterback and a No. 1 wide receiver from the same team. This method is referred to as “double dipping” when your team benefits points-wise from your quarterback connecting with your wide receiver on plays.
This ranking explores the best quarterback and wide receiver duos ranked from No. 10 in my book, to No. 1 overall for the 2019 NFL season.
10. Kirk Cousins and Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings
These two drifted apart towards the end of the 2018 season from a fantasy standpoint. However, Cousins is getting paid way too much money to not take advantage of the gem he has in Thielen.
Despite Thielen’s late-season drop in numbers last year, he still finished No. 7 in wide receiving fantasy points. Thielen was a true workhorse who caught 73.9 percent of his targets while he averaged a career-high 85.8 yards per game.
Meanwhile, Cousins recorded a career-best 30 passing touchdowns, with nine of those being scored by Thielen.
9. Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys
This new relationship will now continue to cultivate for a full season. When in time it will reveal if Cooper lives up to what will be higher draft expectations this year. Last year, a sample sizing of Cooper catching passes from Prescott increased his average yards per game to 80.6. This was up from the meager 46.7 Cooper averaged in Oakland in 2018.
Cooper made some tremendous big plays at times and more of the same should be coming.
Meanwhile, he should continue to help Prescott’s passing game when perhaps the fourth-year quarterback exceeds the 4,000-yard marker for the first time in his career.
8. Tom Brady and Julian Edelman, New England Patriots
Edelman caught 68.5 percent of his 108 targets in 2018. This made him especially valuable in PPR league scoring. Even better is Edelman had a rock star postseason. Throughout three games, he garnered 35 targets which he turned into 388 yards.
The chemistry and fantasy points scored between Edelman and Brady should continue. especially without tight end Rob Gronkowski around. As for Brady, he still makes for a serviceable QB2 in most weeks and will fall to those who wish to stockpile up at other positions in 2019.
7. Ben Roethlisberger and JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers
With unhappy camper and ex-Steeler Antonio Brown out of the way, it is Smith-Schuster’s time to shine. Smith-Schuster is coming from an awesome 2018 fantasy campaign after he averaged 89.1 yards per game and scored seven times.
I would rank this duo higher if it was not for Smith-Schuster now becoming the primary target of opposing defenses in 2019. Plus, we have yet to witness Big Ben playing without the aforementioned Brown as his main target. Perhaps Roethlisberger and Smith-Schuster prove me wrong and knock their owners’ socks off this year.
6. Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns
I got chills as I ranked this duo. First of all, including the Browns on a top 10 list in addition to labeling OBJ as a Brown is all kinds of exciting. Beckham is an elite talent that fans cannot wait to see in action this year. He should remain a top-five fantasy wideout who should also boost Mayfield’s stock in 2019.
Last year — in 14 games — Mayfield held his own and ranked No. 16 among his fellow quarterbacks. Look for him to rise up the ranks even further with a legit WR1 threat at his disposal.
5. Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
Those who passed on Luck as a viable quarterback option upon his return from his injury year of 2017, ate a ton of crow last fall. Luck returned in prime form and finished 2018 as the fifth-highest ranked fantasy quarterback. His 4,593 passing yards and 39 touchdowns from last year will set the scene for Luck to reward again.
Whereas, Hilton returns in 2019 after averaging a career-high 90.7 yards per game. He also produced a career-high catch rate of 63.3 percent. More touchdowns than the six accomplished last year would launch him into WR1 territory in 2019.
4. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
This duo has been in business since 2011. And, Jones has typically been one of the first few receivers to fall off of draft boards. Not much looks to change with his situation after he averaged a league-high 104.8 yards per game in 2018. Jones also improved his touchdowns to eight which is the highest he has scored since 2015.
As for Ryan, the Falcons should remain a pass-heavy offense which will keep this quarterback’s points rolling in. Despite the Falcons struggling at times last year, Ryan passed for nearly 5,000 yards and 35 touchdowns. To keep competitive, Ryan and Jones should keep racking up the fantasy spoils in 2019.
3. Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
Knock on wood that Rodgers hits the field healthy and stays that way all year. If so, he will be fantasy gold. Rodgers is one of the best and mistake-free passers in the league. It has been since 2010 that Rodgers had a season when his interception count hit double digits.
He is fortunately paired up with Adams who was the most consistent fantasy wideout last year on a weekly basis. Adams averaged 8.2 yards per target, which equated to 92.4 yards per game in 2018. There is little to suggest these two players leave their owners high and dry this year.
2. Drew Brees and Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints
Brees is still slinging the ball with the best of them. If you want accuracy, Brees is your man. He completed an amazing 74.4 percent of his passes for a total of 35 touchdowns last year. This came along with only five picks. His passing yards did take a little tumble however. But, perhaps with Mark Ingram no longer around, Brees’ may attempt more passes.
And who better to catch passes from Brees, than Thomas? There is a reason why defenders “can’t guard Mike,” hence his Twitter handle.
Thomas caught a remarkable 85 percent of his targets, which resulted in a league-high 125 receptions in 2018. Fantasy drafters cannot go wrong with pairing up Thomas and Brees in 2019.
1. Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
Watson had a stunning comeback year and passed for 4,165 yards on top of adding 551 in rushing yards. He also combined for 31 touchdowns. His number should continue to remain solid and perhaps even on the rise as he enters his third season.
Helping to make Watson a fantasy stud, is Hopkins. Hopkins’ exudes talent and is a nightmare for opposing defenses to contain. As such, he posted career-bests with 1,572 yards and a 70.6 percent catch rate in 2018. Look for Nuk/Watson duo to continue making your fantasy teams very successful this fall.