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Teammates Strategy - Unlocking Handcuffs

The Teammate Strategy: Unlocking Handcuffs

After a recent June 2021 lottery I was lucky enough to pull the #1 overall pick in my 10 team snake redraft PPR home league that I’ve been a part of since 2008. Since then I’ve of course done an unhealthy amount of mock drafts. While most drafters won’t be picking first many will find themselves near the beginning or end of the turn in a snake format. I prefer these positions as you can better predict who will fall to you in the next round and try to figure out the best values and sometimes pairing up of teammates. While doing mocks I’ve often found myself taking one of the top 4 QBs (usually Kyler or Lamar; whoever falls further) and/or a top 7 TE (usually Pitts, Hockenson or Goedert if I don’t take Waller at the 2/3 turn). While doing this seems to hurt my RB and WR depth initially I’ve been finding drafting some mid and late round teammates back to back to secure my last starting position (RB2 WR3 or Flex) or first few bench spots has really helped me build a roster that I can get behind. Some might consider this as just some old fashioned handcuffing, yet in these situations it’s not so cut and dry that one is more valuable than the other. Each player has an opportunity to have independent value as well as being an injury away from being league winners. Below are some examples of positional stacks I’ve been stacking at the turn that could provide outstanding depth and upside for your roster:

Cardinals Running Backs Chase Edmonds (PPR ADP Pick #70) & James Conner (#88)- A run heavy, high scoring offense that boosted their OLine this offseason. The Cards were 6th in rushing attempts, 7th in rushing yards and 4th in rushing touchdowns (22!) in 2020. Either player could emerge as the bell cow or both could have similar production as the Drake/Edmonds combo last year, which was somewhat frustrating yet very affordable and useful at their current price tags.

49ers Running Backs Raheem Mostert (#71) & Trey Sermon (#103)- This entire team was devastated by injuries on both sides of the ball in 2020, leading to a completely lost season. The overall offense is looking as loaded as ever under Kyle Shanahan, who will certainly get the best out of both of these talented tailbacks. Sermon’s draft position is going to rise significantly throughout the summer and will need to be taken around the range as Mostert, possibly even taken before him. It’s a pair that’s loaded with potential fantasy gold.

Bills Running Backs Zack Moss (#95) & Devin Singletary (#111)- The only backfield going later than the Bills is the always painful Patriots run game. It’s not sexy and it’s fairly low ceiling, however there will be games where both these backs will be fantasy factors. Despite the now pass heavy reputation of Buffalo’s offense they were actually tied for 17th in 2020 rushing attempts. Eventually the team will want to protect Josh Allen from taking so many hits and start using their RBs in the red zone again. That could begin as soon as this year.

Raiders Wide Receivers Henry Ruggs (#137) & John Brown (#177)- While both players may not be very consistent or have a chance to out target the offense’s centerpiece in Darren Waller there are 82 targets (and 8 TDs) up for grabs after Nelson Agholor’s departure. Derek Care showed more aggressive tendencies last year to chuck it deep, which fits both of these speedster’s skill sets. The Vegas defense doesn’t seem to be improved at all and shootouts will really help all involved in this seemingly underwhelming offense.

Jets Wide Receivers Corey Davis (#141) & Jamison Crowder (#176)- The Jets finally did the right thing by canning Adam Gase and starting fresh with a new QB. Zach Wilson is going to struggle in real life but in fantasy he should be slinging the rock and chasing points until this roster becomes more competitive in the coming years. Also keep an eye on rookie Elijah Moore (#178) as a deep sleeper.

Other more expensive combos:

-Jaguars RBs Travis Etienne (#56) & James Robinson (#59)

-Broncos RBs Javonte Williams (#68) & Melvin Gordon (#69)

-The top 3 WRs for the Cowboys, Bucs, Steelers and Bengals all pair well together with a mix of upside and insurance if one player goes down but are currently being drafted starting in the 3rd/4th round

Other depth chart reports to watch:

-Buccaneers RBs

-Chiefs WRs

-Colts WRs

-Dolphins WRs

-Jaguars WRs

-Jets RBs

-Lions WRs

-Patriots Offense

-Ravens WRs

-Texans Offense


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