If you're not familiar with the fantasy football term "Double Dagger," allow me to clarify. It's when you start a QB and Receiver from the same team with the intention to earn "double" the points when said QB throws to said Receiver (passing yards, receiving yards, TDs, etc.). Perfect example is Week 1 of last season when Tom Brady threw a screen to Wes Welker for a 99 yard TD. If you had started both these players, that single play was probably worth somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 points because of Brady's passing stats added with Welker's receiving stats. The secret to this strategy is not just starting a QB/Receiver from the same team, but starting an elite tandem on a prolific offense. I'll put it this way…did anyone win a Championship starting Blaine Gabbert and Mike Thomas last season? Probably not…unless Yahoo randomly put you in 6 team Amish league.
In theory this seems like a sure fire get rich quick scheme, but be warned there are some barriers and risks. For one, it can be difficult to draft a Tier 1 QB and Receiver from the same team in a snake draft. Teams are gunning for elite players early and will not respect your desire to get a matching set. If you play in auction leagues someone usually figures out your plan and purposely starts a bidding war to only leave you with the bill. In addition, some managers feel it's unwise to put all your eggs in one basket and instead look to draft rosters that are diverse. If you play in a head-to-head league and one of your Dynamic Duo has a bad day or gets hurt, he could affect the production of the other guy; so, instead of losing one player for the day, now you've lost two. It all comes down to the level of risk you're willing to take and then committing to that decision.
The intent of this article is to help mitigate any concerns that come with drafting double daggers by identifying the best tandems that provide the least amount of risk and most upside for winning next year 'season.
Here are the criteria and data looked at while determining the rankings below:
· Consistency – Finished 2011 in the Top 4 among their position
· Durability – Played a minimum of 15 games last season
· Fantasy Value – Combined for 600+ fantasy points based on a standard scoring format (1 pt. 25 passing yards, 1 pt. 10 rushing/receiving yards, 6 pts. per TD, -2 pts. per INT)
· Protection - Offensive Line ranked among the 2011 Top 10
· Coaching Changes – Who's new?
· FFToolbox 2012 ADP – Average draft position based on current mock drafts
Top 5 "Double Daggers" to target during next year's draft
1.) Tom Brady/Rob Gronkowski – This duo exemplifies the damage a "double dagger" can impose. Owners last year were given a once in a lifetime gift when they drafted Gronk around the 15th/16th round (ADP was 192) and saw him become one of Brady's favorite targets and scoring machines. Rob finished the regular season as the top TE in both yards and TDs which makes perfect sense seeing that Brady passed for a career high 5,235 yards and 39 TDs. Josh McDaniels rejoins New England as the new OC and looks to pick up where he left off in 2007 when Brady threw 50 TDs.
Gronk scored 108 of the Patriots' 513 total points (21.05%)
Brady threw 611 passing attempts and targeted Gronk 124 times (20.29%)
689 combined fantasy points (Brady – 448; Gronk – 241)
2012 Draft Strategy: FFToolbox has Gronk's 2012 ADP at 16.29 and Brady at 16.57, meaning that in order to capitalize on this investment you should look to get or trade for a late round pick (10-12) and grab one guy in the 1st and take the second on the wrap around. If you're in a keeper league and own Gronk then do whatever it takes to get Brady!!!
2.) Matt Stafford/Calvin Johnson – This combination is nasty on all levels. Stafford proved his durability in 2011 by playing in all 16 games and finishing with 41 TDs and over 5000 passing yards. While Matt's performance was stellar, Megatron solidified himself as the BEST WR in football by hauling in 16 TDs (9 in the first 5 weeks) and a league high 1681 receiving yards. Detroit is starting 2012 under the same OC (Linehan) and HC (Schwartz), which means little should change in terms of play calling. Stafford will continue to look for Megatron as his prime option and Megatron will continue to perform like a beast.
Johnson scored 96 of the Lions' 476 total points (20.17%)
Stafford threw 663 passing attempts and targeted Johnson 158 times (23.83%)
688 combined fantasy points (Stafford – 423; Johnson – 265)
2012 Draft Strategy – FFToolbox has Calvin's 2012 ADP at 5.43 and Stafford at 9.00 although I feel that a 1st round pick for Stafford is a stretch and is more realistically worthy of a late 2nd rounder or early 3rd. An ideal strategy to acquire both of these players is to own the 5, 6 or 7 spot in the draft and use your 1st round selection on Johnson and hope Stafford is still around in the mid-2nd (might be too risky to wait until the 3rd).
3.) Aaron Rodgers /Jordy Nelson – What? Not Greg Jennings? Yup…not Greg Jennings! Like a good piece of cheese with a fine glass of wine, the player you want to pair with Rodgers is Nelson. Rodgers ended the season as the #1 Fantasy QB and Nelson as the #2 WR right behind Calvin. Jordy was a solid-gold late pick in last year's draft that was probably grabbed as a sleeper or bye-week fill-in and ended up being a magnificent stud. Green Bay lost Joe Philbin to Miami this offseason, but instead of looking for a replacement outside of Cheese Head Nation they promoted Tom Clements (Rodger's QB Coach since 2006) from within. Turning Rodger's position coach into the leader of the offense can't be a step backwards by any means and I can imagine the same domination that went on last year will repeat itself in 2012.
Nelson scored 90 of the Packers' 560 total points (16.07%)
Rodgers threw 502 passing attempts and targeted Nelson 95 times (18.92%)
703 combined fantasy points (Rodgers – 487; Nelson – 216)
2012 Draft Strategy – FFToolbox has Rodger's 2012 ADP at 3.14 and Nelson at 39.14 making this a great duo to chase because of realistic attainability. Most drafts will see Rodgers disappear off the queue during the first four picks, meaning any team that does draft him can go for a RB in the 2nd and then go for Jordy early in the 3rd. If you win the Rodgers Sweepstakes, you're in a better position to wait out on Jordy than reaching early for Greg Jennings.
4.) Drew Brees /Jimmy Graham – Brees will get a king's ransom this offseason and it is well deserved seeing that he broke Marino's passing record and led the league with 46 passing TDs. He's a model of consistency and is surrounded with offensive weapons that should keep him performing at this level for years to come. Jimmy Graham was his main instrument of destruction last year finishing with 99 receptions, 1310 yards and 11 TDs. The scary part about Graham is that he's going into his 3rd season (breakout year) and it is looking like both Colston and Meachem will be on other teams come September, meaning Jimmy could be an even bigger target for Brees to rely on.
Graham scored 66 of the Saints' 555 total points (11.89%)
Brees threw 657 passing attempts and targeted Graham 149 times (22.68%)
679 combined fantasy points (Brees – 482; Graham – 197)
2012 Draft Strategy – FFToolbox has Brees's 2012 ADP at 8.14 and Graham at 17.29, which is an easy 1-2 punch if you grab Brees in the 1st round and lock in Graham during the 2nd round. Based on their ADPs, these two picks are equidistant from each other and are a great package deal if your pick is in the second half of the 1st round. I will take the #2 QB and #2 TE (arguably Top 5 WR) on one of the most prolific NFL offenses over a Tier 2 RB/WR combo ANYDAY!!
5.) Tom Brady/Wes Welker – Tale as old as time right here. These two have been the Lone Ranger and Tonto since 2007 when Josh McDaniels was the OC and I wouldn't expect any less in 2012. Welker had another superb year leading the league in receptions again (122) and coming in 2nd (behind Calvin Johnson) in receiving yards. You can expect Welker to prove his Super Bowl drop was a fluke by working harder and dominating the field on every play during every game next season.
Welker scored 54 of the Patriots' 513 total points (10.53%)
Brady threw 611 passing attempts and targeted Welker 173 times (28.31%)
662 combined fantasy points (Brady – 448; Welker – 214)
2012 Draft Strategy – FFToolbox has Brady's 2012 ADP at 16.57 and Welker at 29.71. Targeting these two is an easy strategy to execute if you're a manager that always takes a RB or Tier 1 WR in the 1st round. You can stick to your comfort zone and still manage to grab Brady in the 2nd and Welker in the 3rd.