The other day I found myself talking with my father, a Colts fan, and the name Marvin Harrison came up in conversation, specifically we were wondering what ever happened with that gun at his car wash, but thats neither here nor there. His name sparked memories of the “triplets” era in Indianapolis. Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison and Edgerrin James electrified fans and haters alike on there way to making the Colts one of the best offences in NFL history. They also made winners out of their fantasy owners along the way.
There have been other cases of triplet combo’s raising hell in the NFL before the Colts. The Dallas Cowboys Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith come to mind right off the bat as perhaps the most famous example, but there are some shaping up nicely in the NFL right now. Here are the current top five quarterback, wide receiver and running back tandems.
*while I realize a team like the Patriots may have a better offence then some of the teams on the list, they have more of a “by committee” approach, these are teams that rely heavily on just these three.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars (QB Blake Bortles, WR Allen Robinson, RB Chris Ivory)
The Jags offseason acquisition of Chris Ivory vaults this group into the top five. Ivory finished fifth in the league in rushing last year with 1070 yards and punched in seven touchdowns. He will be the Jags starting back over T.J. Yeldon, although Yeldon will get his touches. The combination of Ivory’s power running with an up-and-coming passing attack led by Blake Bortles and Allen Robinson helps form one of the more potent offensive trio’s in the NFL.
4. Atlanta Falcons (QB Matt Ryan, WR Julio Jones, RB Devonta Freeman)
While the Falcons overall team is not anything special they are a middle of the pack team capable of putting up major points on any given Sunday. The reason they have this potential is because of the three players listed above. Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Devonta Freeman all finished top 10 in yards at their respective positions. This trio may not have much help from the rest of the team, but that does not mean we can overlook just how productive they all were last year.
3. Green Bay Packers (QB Aaron Rodgers, WR Jordy Nelson, RB Eddie Lacy)
Yes, I know Eddie Lacy had a bad year last year, but it looks like he has put his weight issues behind him and is in great shape for this season. I’m going to chalk up most of the Packers issues as a whole to the Jordy Nelson injury because he is one of the most dangerous weapons in football and without him Rodgers and the “Pack” were not the same. With Nelson back, and Lacy in shape, look for this tripod to be one of the leagues most productive once again.
2. Arizona Cardinals (QB Carson Palmer, WR Larry Fitzgerald, RB David Johnson)
The Cards coming off a very productive year find themselves at numero two. Carson Palmer was his usual self, throwing the ball all over the field, helping long time Cardinal workhorse Larry Fitzgerald turn back the clock to have his most productive season since 2011. New starting running back David Johnson, in just his second year, seems to be impressing everyone down in the desert and, if he is as good as everyone thinks he is, this group could make a case for number one next year.
and finally, the number one “triplet” attack in the NFL is…
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (QB Ben Roethlisberger, WR Antonio Brown, RB Le’Veon Bell)
This one was kind of easy. We are looking at the number one ranked fantasy receiver in Antonio Brown, the number one ranked fantasy running back in Le’Veon Bell (would be number one if he was not suspended) and a potential top-five quarterback in “Big Ben”. This group will not be able to play together until week 4, because of Bell’s suspension, but make no mistake about it, when these three are on the field together the Steelers offence is a very tough unit to stop.
Honourable Mention: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs are not quite here yet but they serve as one of the most promising triplet units for future lists. Last year’s first-overall pick Jameis Winston looks like he will be a solid QB in this league and he should have lots of time to develop chemistry with playmakers like receiver Mike Evans and running back Doug Martin. They are not in the top five yet, but they could be there really soon.