Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em for Week 1 (2022)

Welcome back RotoBallers to our Week 2 matchups analysis and Start Em, Sit Em column for fantasy football. Week 1 provided us with many surprises and outstanding performances, all of which we’ll consider as we prepare for Week 2.

For those who are unfamiliar, each week we’ll be analyzing every game from the Sunday slate, helping you optimize your fantasy lineups and take down your opponent. Be sure to check back regularly for any updates on player injuries or other pertinent information.

I will be covering the entire Sunday slate of games plus the Monday Night Football games. There will also be a separate article for the Thursday Night Football game, so be sure to read that as well. Hopefully, you are boasting a 1-0 record right now but if you suffered a loss don’t panic, let’s get a win this week. If you have any additional lineup questions, follow me on Twitter @JoshCon, and feel free to ask away. Let’s dive into the matchups.

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Matchups Analysis – 1:00 ET Games

Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins

Spread: Ravens -3.5
Implied Total: Ravens (24) vs. Dolphins (20.5)
Pace: Ravens (27th) vs. Dolphins (31st)
Ravens Off. DVOA: 69.8% Pass (3rd), -38.5% Rush (26th)
Dolphins Off. DVOA: 12.5% Pass (13th), -9.2% Rush (15th)
Ravens Def. DVOA:
-16.6% Pass (10th), -17.7% Rush (14th)
Dolphins Def. DVOA: -17.5% Pass (7th), -10.1% Rush (17th)

Matchups We Love:

Lamar Jackson (QB, BAL)

Jackson only had 17 rushing yards and still finished as the QB5. He also scored a PFF grade of 76.8, tying him for seventh best with Jalen Hurts. He’s a top-five option against the Dolphins, shutting down the Patriots passing attack should not scare you away from Jackson.

Mark Andrews (TE, BAL)

Andrews finished with a 25.8% target share from seven targets, confirming he will again be the focal point of the passing attack. Although he only finished with five receptions for 52 yards, there is nothing indicating he’s not an elite option.

Dolphins WRs

Tyreek Hill commanded 12 targets, that he turned into eight catches for 94 yards. He also finished 17th in yards per route run, as the clear alpha in the offense. Jaylen Waddle demonstrated his big-play ability by taking a short pass 42 yards for a touchdown, splitting two defenders in the process. Both graded inside the top-20 on PFF and ended the week inside the top-24, which is where they’ll rank against the Ravens this week.

Matchups We Hate:

Ravens RBs

Baltimore was in a positive game script for 57 of the 60 minutes in this game yet their 21 rushing attempts only yielded 63 yards, 17 of which were from Jackson. None of these backs are playable until J.K. Dobbins is back on the field at full health.

Tua Tagovailoa (QB, MIA)

It was a tough day for Tagovalioa, finishing as the QB22 against the Patriots’ defense. Unfortunately, next up is the Ravens’ defense, making him a bench again this week.

Other Matchups:

Rashod Bateman (WR, BAL)

Bateman finished second on the team in targets with five but only had two catches, bailing out his fantasy managers with a 55-yard touchdown. He’s the No. 2 receiver after Andrews but that may not be enough to propel him into the top-24. This figures to be a more competitive contest given the point spread but you shouldn’t force Bateman into your lineup unnecessarily.

Chase Edmonds (RB, MIA)

Edmonds saw a 12.1% target share with four targets that he turned into four receptions for 40 yards. Additionally, he led the team with 12 of their 23 rushing attempts for 25 yards. It was not a massive fantasy output but his involvement creates an opportunity for a big game each week. The Ravens have a talented run defense but Edmonds plays on all downs, earning him a spot in your lineup this week.

Injuries:

Gus Edwards (knee)

 

New York Jets at Cleveland Browns

Spread: Browns -6.5
Implied Total: Jets (16.5) vs. Browns (23)
Pace: Jets (1st) vs. Browns (23rd)
Jets Off. DVOA: -10.5% Pass (26th), -10.6% Rush (16th)
Browns Off. DVOA: 1.8% Pass (19th), 38.3% Rush (4th)
Jets Def. DVOA: 54.4% Pass (30th), 41.9% Rush (4th)
Browns Def. DVOA: -16.9% Pass (8th), 8.0% Rush (23rd)

Matchups We Love:

Browns RBs

Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt both finished as top-15 backs for fantasy, proving the value of this duo. They accounted for 60% of the team’s yardage and both touchdowns. They were also both in the top-10 for elusive rating, proving they belong in your lineup each week.

Matchups We Hate:

Browns WRs

147 passing yards is not enough to support any fantasy-relevant wide receivers, especially when 10-15% of that is going to the running backs. There is no need to start any of these receivers.

David Njoku (TE, CLE)

For the same reasons listed above, Njoku is not a tight end to rely on. There are other streaming candidates with a higher ceiling.

Both QBs

Jacoby Brissett finished as the QB26 while Joe Flacco finished as the QB23, despite throwing the ball 59 times. The Browns will continue to lean on their elite rushing attack, making Brissett an afterthought while the Jets will struggle against a strong Browns defense.

Other Matchups:

Jets WRs

Joe Flacco is battling to keep his job, which he only has because Zach Wilson is injured. The Jets will again be in a negative game script, forcing them to throw the ball a ton, which does create sufficient volume to consider starting Elijah Moore, Garrett Wilson, or Corey Davis. The difficulty is that all three are competing for targets. Furthermore, the Browns present a challenging matchup.

Injuries:

Zach Wilson (knee)

 

Washington Commanders at Detroit Lions

Spread: Lions -1.0
Implied Total: Commanders (23.75) vs. Lions (24.75)
Pace: Commanders (17th) vs. Lions (10th)
Commanders Off. DVOA: 33.8% Pass (8th), -22.2% Rush (20th)
Lions Off. DVOA: 7.7% Pass (15th), 38.9% Rush (3rd)
Commanders Def. DVOA: 0.1% Pass (17th), 37.2% Rush (31st)
Lions Def. DVOA: 20.4% Pass (25th), 22.1% Rush (25th)

Matchups We Love:

Commanders WRs

Jahan Dotson had a memorable debut with two touchdown receptions, Curtis Samuel looks healthy and resumed the role he had in 2020 when he was a top-30 receiver, and Terry McLaurin remains the alpha in the offense. All three had a touchdown and received at least four targets. Additionally, Antonio Gibson had eight targets, which is likely to be an outlier for him. It’s unlikely all three receivers can deliver every week but against the Lions, they are all top-36 options this week.

D’Andre Swift (RB, DET)

Swift finished as a top-five option despite ceding two rushing touchdowns to Jamaal Williams. He had the third-highest elusive rating, fourth-most missed tackles forced, and seventh-most broken tackles. He’s a must-start again this week.

Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR, DET)

St. Brown picked up where he left off in 2021, catching eight of his team-leading 12 targets for 64 yards and one touchdown. All indications are he will operate as the top target in this offense, making him a top-20 receiver with upside.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Carson Wentz (QB, WAS)

Wentz surprised many of us by throwing for four touchdown passes on his way to a QB3 finish. He still made some egregious interceptions that nearly cost the Commanders the game but he’ll be a streaming option against the Lions.

Antonio Gibson (RB, WAS)

Gibson had 50% of the team’s carries, finishing with 14 for 58 on the ground but really made an impact in the receiving game, which was a bit unusual. He saw five more targets than J.D. McKissic, trailing only Samuel. The targets will come down this week but he remains a top-30 option against the Lions.

T.J. Hockenson (TE, DET)

Hockenson received seven targets, behind only D.J. Chark and St. Brown, and his 4 for 48 output is tolerable as a tight end. He will remain a focal point of the offense and a top-10 option at the position.

Injuries:

Jameson Williams (knee)

 

Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars

Spread: Colts -3.5
Implied Total: Colts (24.25) vs. Jaguars (20.75)
Pace: Colts (6th) vs. Jaguars (4th)
Colts Off. DVOA: 4.8% Pass (17th), -10.8% Rush (17th)
Jaguars Off. DVOA: 5.9% Pass (16th), 48.4% Rush (2nd)
Colts Def. DVOA: 16.1% Pass (22nd), -37.8% Rush (6th)
Jaguars Def. DVOA: 20.1% Pass (24th), -26.4% Rush (12th)

Matchups We Love:

Jonathan Taylor (RB, IND)

Taylor tore it up on the ground as expected with 31 carries for 161 yards and a touchdown. What was surprising was the seven targets he received. If his involvement in the passing game continues he’ll have a legitimate shot to repeat as the No. 1 overall back in 2022. He’s an every-week starter.

Michael Pittman Jr. (WR, IND)

Pittman Jr. was as advertised and then some against the Texans. In a week chalked full of dominant performances from elite wide receivers, he finished as the WR4. His top-10 PFF grade and 5th place finish in fantasy points over expectation (FPOE) both serve as proof of his talent. He’s a lock again in this matchup.

Christian Kirk (WR, JAC)

Kirk also made a statement this week with his team-high 12 targets, resulting in six catches for 117 yards. A WR19 finish to open the year, backed by the ninth-highest PPF grade and 11th most yards after the catch, make him a top-24 option with upside in against the Colts.

Matchups We Hate:

Trevor Lawrence (QB, JAC)

Lawrence is still figuring things out along with the rest of the Jaguars’ offense. They battled hard and competed against the Commanders but the Colts are a difficult matchup. You can expect him to improve on his QB24 finish but he does not warrant a spot in your lineup.

Other Matchups:

Nyheim Hines (RB, IND)

Hines was less involved than initially projected but still received six targets, all of which he caught for 50 yards, and three carries for four yards. His efficiency and reliability in the passing game will continue to earn him targets, making him a flex option.

Jaguars RBs

James Robinson looked very impressive in his first game since tearing his Achilles. This backfield will continue as a committee where Robinson leads Travis Etienne in the rushing game, while Etienne contributes through the air. Robinson was able to find pay dirt twice, which led to his RB8 overall finish, however, Etienne had three near misses of his own. Both are top-36 options but neither is likely to crack the top 15 in this matchup.

Injuries:

Alec Pierce (concussion)

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints

Spread: Buccaneers -2.5
Implied Total: Buccaneers (23.5) vs. Saints (21)
Pace: Buccaneers (21st) vs. Saints (12th)
Buccaneers Off. DVOA: -1.5% Pass (20th), 12.2% Rush (10th)
Saints Off. DVOA: 11.4% Pass (14th), 56.5% Rush (1st)
Buccaneers Def. DVOA: -53.9% Pass (1st), -11.5% Rush (16th)
Saints Def. DVOA: 19.1% Pass (23rd), 24.2% Rush (27th)

Matchups We Love:

Buccaneers WRs

Mike Evans was thought to be a top-12 option earlier this offseason when the team was expected to be without Chris Godwin. Godwin surprisingly took the field and looked good against the Cowboys, unfortunately, he was injured early in the game and is expected to miss multiple weeks, creating additional targets for Evans, who was the WR16. Julio Jones also looked quite good and seems primed to take over the No. 2 role until Godwin returns, making him a top-36 option with upside.

Leonard Fournette (RB, TB)

Fournette was a touchdown away from a top-five finish, which is likely to occur more often than not. He resumed his workhorse role and excelled in it, averaging six yards per carry, the seventh-most yards after contact, and sixth-most broken tackles. He’s a top-15 weekly option with top-five upside.

Matchups We Hate:

Tom Brady (QB, TB)

Brady struggled behind his banged-up offensive line, resulting in a QB27 finish. With Godwin sidelined for multiple weeks and the Saints’ defense up next, Brady is best left on the bench.

Other Matchups:

Jameis Winston (QB, TB)

Winston was forced to air it out more than anticipated because the Saints fell behind early. This led to 34 attempts, two of which included touchdown passes to Michael Thomas, resulting in a QB6 finish. The Buccaneers are a much more difficult matchup, lowering his ceiling but he remains a potential streamer in this matchup.

Alvin Kamara (RB, NO)

Kamara led the team in rushing attempts and finished fourth in targets with four but lacked big production against the Falcons. He was reportedly dealing with a rib injury, which may have limited his effectiveness. He is on the injury report but is expected to play which adds a level of re-injury risk. The difficult matchup also lowers his ceiling, so he’s a top-24 option with more risk than usual.

Saints WRs

Thomas made his long-awaited return, during which he caught two touchdowns to finish as the WR8, Jarvis Landry led the team in targets on his way to a huge day with seven receptions for 114 yards, joining Thomas in the top-20, and rookie Chris Olave had a modest outing with three grabs for 41 yards. Landry and Thomas could lose targets to Olave and Kamara, and Thomas is not going to find the end zone multiple times each week, so this will be one of the better performances these two have but both remain top-36 options in this matchup.

Injuries:

Chris Godwin (hamstring)

Mike Evans (calf)

Julio Jones (knee)

 

Carolina Panthers at New York Giants

Spread: Giants -2.0
Implied Total: Panthers (20.75) vs. Giants (22.75)
Pace: Panthers (9th) vs. Giants (26th)
Panthers Off. DVOA: -8.4% Pass (24th), -36.5% Rush (25th)
Giants Off. DVOA: -13.8% Pass (27th), 32.4% Rush (7th)
Panthers Def. DVOA: -5.3% Pass (13th), 29.3 Rush (30th)
Giants Def. DVOA: 62.7% Pass (31st), -32.8% Rush (10th)

Matchups We Love:

Christian McCaffrey (RB, CAR)

10 carries and five targets was not the workload we wanted to see for McCaffrey but he still found the end zone and finished as the RB17. Better days are ahead, beginning in this matchup against the Giants.

Saquon Barkley (RB, NYG)

It was only one week but thus far Barkley looks back to his old self. This is not to say a top-five season is on the horizon but he’s probably going to finish closer to that mark than where he was drafted. He’s the lone bright spot in this offense for fantasy.

DJ Moore (WR, CAR)

There were some unusual things that occurred in this game, such as a 75-yard touchdown from Robbie Anderson and the Panthers only taking 53 offensive snaps. Moore was one of only five receivers in the league to play 100% of his team’s offensive snaps and still had six targets, he is in line for a better day against the Giants.

Matchups We Hate:

Giants WRs

What a disaster. Wan’Dale Robinson left with a knee injury, Kenny Golladay played the most snaps yet only received two targets, Sterling Shepard had a 65-yard touchdown on one of his two receptions to inflate an otherwise lackluster performance, and both Richie James and David Sills V played more snaps than Kadarius Toney. None of these players are startable until we see what happens in Week 2.

Both QBs

Credit to Daniel Jones for getting a Week 1 win over the Titans but his QB13 finish and the Giant’s lack of weapons on offense do not inspire hope for a solid fantasy performance, especially against the Carolina defense. Baker Mayfield struggled against the Browns in Week 1 and remains someone to best left on waivers until we see more from him.

Other Matchups:

None

Injuries:

Wan’Dale Robinson (knee)

 

New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers

Spread: Patriots -2.5
Implied Total: Patriots (21.5) vs. Steelers (19)
Pace: Patriots (28th) vs. Steelers (2nd)
Patriots Off. DVOA: -9.7% Pass (25th), -3.5% Rush (12th)
Steelers Off. DVOA: -4.6% Pass (21st), -41.9% Rush (27th)
Patriots Def. DVOA: -0.4% Pass (8th), -0.8% Rush (27th)
Steelers Def. DVOA: 6.0% Pass (19th), -16.1% Rush (15th)

Matchups We Love:

Pat Freiermuth (TE, PIT)

Freiermuth finished as the TE8 without a touchdown, thanks to his five catches for 75 yards. He finished with the third-most yards and tied Mark Andrews for the third-most receptions among tight ends, not to mention his ranking fifth with a PFF grade of 74.2. If he can command anywhere near this kind of volume moving forward he will become a top-10 option with top-five upside.

Matchups We Hate:

Patriots WRs

The Patriots’ passing attack was dreadful, struggling to move the ball and make plays. None of the receivers made an impact, although Jakobi Meyers led the team with six targets that turned into four receptions for 55 yards. The Steelers’ defense gave the Bengals problems, which is what you can expect to happen in this matchup.

Other Matchups:

Patriots RBs

The history of three and four back committees in New England once again came true, split between Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson, and Ty Montgomery. Montgomery led the backfield in targets and hauled in the only touchdown scored by the Patriots. Unfortunately, he suffered a knee injury that forced the teams the place him on injured reserve, removing him from the equation. This adds more clarity to the situation, although Pierre Strong Jr. may join the fold this week. Harris and Stevenson will both share carries and targets, limiting either from ranking inside the top 24.

Najee Harris (RB, PIT)

Harris was inefficient with his touches, struggling to find room behind the Steelers’ O-line. He managed to find the end zone on a short reception before exiting the game with a foot injury. He remains on the injury report but is expected to play. The injury, poor offense, and difficult matchup lower both his floor and ceiling making him a riskier play outside the top-20.

Diontae Johnson (WR, PIT)

After Freiermuth, Johnson was the best receiver for the team drawing 12 targets, seven of which he caught for 55 yards. He was dealing with a shoulder injury entering the game, which may have limited his effectiveness. New England has a strong defense, making him the only receiver to start in this matchup.

Injuries:

Najee Harris (foot)

Ty Montgomery (knee)

Pierre Strong Jr. (shoulder)

 

Matchups Analysis – 4:00 ET Games

Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Rams

Spread: Rams -10.0
Implied Total: Falcons (18.5) vs. Rams (28.5)
Pace: Falcons (13th) vs. Rams (7th)
Falcons Off. DVOA: 24.5% Pass (11th), 24.9% Rush (8th)
Rams Off. DVOA: -37.5% Pass (31st), -44.7% Rush (30th)
Falcons Def. DVOA: -0.4% Pass (8th), -0.8% Rush (27th)
Rams Def. DVOA: 2.4% Pass (18th), 42.9% Rush (32nd)

Matchups We Love:

Cooper Kupp (WR, LAR)

Kupp had the third-most targets and most receptions of any player across the NFL against the Bills. He played every offensive snap and remains in the conversation as the No. 1 overall receiver.

Darrell Henderson (RB, LAR)

Henderson’s usage was a shocker, he out-snapped Cam Akers 55-12, ran 39 routes, the most by a running back, while Akers ran none, and out-carried him 13-three. It is possible Akers becomes more involved against the Falcons but Henderson is a top-15 play in this matchup.

Tyler Higbee (TE, LAR)

Higbee commanded 11 targets behind only Kupp, five of which he hauled in for 39 yards. His TE17 finish was underwhelming but his opportunity in this matchup cannot be ignored. He’s a streaming candidate with upside.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Marcus Mariota (QB, ATL)

Mariota was effective on the ground, demonstrating his dual-threat ability with 12 carries for 72 yards and a touchdown. He generated the second-most fantasy points rushing at the position, behind only Hurts. This provides him with a solid baseline of points as a possible starter for this week. The matchup is difficult but so were the Saints and he was able to produce in that game.

Cordarrelle Patterson (RB, ATL)

Damien Williams suffered a rib injury very early in the game and rookie Tyler Allgeier was inactive, opening the door for Patterson to explode for fantasy. He rushed the ball 22 times for 120 yards and a score on the ground, adding three receptions for 16 yards through the air. This will be an outlier performance from Patterson because one or both backs will active each week but it was very impressive. The Rams will be a tough test, making him more of a top-24 option.

Kyle Pitts (TE, ATL)

Pitts had a tough game but he is far too talented to bench, especially when you consider the lack of consistency and talent at the position and within the Falcons offense.

Drake London (WR, ATL)

London was questionable to play leading into the matchup but took the field to make his NFL debut and actually finished with the second-best fantasy performance among the rookie wide receivers behind only Jahan Dotson. His five catches for 74 yards were a positive sign that he belongs on an NFL field and is ready to operate as a top-two target in the offense. The Rams will be a challenging matchup but he ranks inside the top 36 this week.

Matthew Stafford (QB, LAR)

Stafford had a night to forget against an impressive Buffalo defense, however, you can expect a better outing against Atlanta. The matchup is much better and the offense will have more time to throw the ball and make plays. Stafford is a top-15 start in this matchup.

Injuries:

Damien Williams (rib)

Van Jefferson (knee)

 

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers

Spread: 49ers -8.5
Implied Total: Seahawks (16.25) vs. 49ers (24.75)
Pace: Seahawks (32nd) vs. 49ers (22nd)
Seahawks Off. DVOA: 21.0% Pass (12th), -31.8% Rush (22nd)
49ers Off. DVOA: -29.8% Pass (29th), -4.9% Rush (13th)
Seahawks Def. DVOA: 40.9% Pass (27th), -42.5% Rush (3rd)
49ers Def. DVOA: -16.6% Pass (9th), -26.7% Rush (11th)

Matchups We Love:

None

Matchups We Hate:

Seahawks WRs

The Seahawks won the game but their offense struggled and they won by spreading the ball around to eight different players. On a positive note, D.K. Metcalf led the team in targets with seven and caught every one of them, unfortunately, that still only resulted in 36 yards. Tyler Lockett finished with three grabs for 28 yards. Neither is a player to force into your lineup until we see more from this offense, especially the 49ers.

Seahawks RBs

Penny actually looked quite good, accounting for 12 of the 19 Seattle carries plus he was the only running back with a target. Much like Metcalf though, his 67 total scrimmage yards left a lot to be desired. Moreover, Seattle spent 55 of the 60 minutes leading in the game, meaning this was the perfect game script for their rushing attack. With Kenneth Walker III rejoining the backfield, none of these backs are players to start this week.

Other Matchups:

49ers WRs

The whole 49ers offense fell flat on a rainy day against the Bears. They could not find their rhythm and failed to score any points in the final 20 minutes of the game. Deebo Samuel had eight carries and eight targets as the focal point but only generated 66 scrimmage yards from those 16 touches. Samuel is still a top-24 receiver this week but Brandon Aiyuk is a risky play because it’s possible both struggle to produce again as receivers.

49ers RBs

Elijah Mitchell exited with a knee injury and did not return. We know now he’ll miss about two months, meaning there will be a new lead back. Jeff Wilson Jr. stepped into that role against the Bears but he’ll still have to contend with Samuel, Lance, and to a lesser extent Tyrion Davis-Price or Jordan Mason. As a heavy favorite at home against the Seahawks, he’s a top-24 option that will likely need a touchdown to make fantasy managers happy.

Trey Lance (QB, SF)

There was a lot that went wrong for Lance against the Bears including his sub-50% completion percentage, his QB28 finish, 24th ranked PFF grade, and inability to find the end zone. That said, the game was in very inclement weather, plus he still rushed the ball 13 times for 54 yards. If he can maintain the rushing production and improve in the passing game, he’ll be just fine for fantasy. The Seahawks managed to slow down the Broncos but they are not a scary matchup for Lance.

Injuries:

George Kittle (groin)

Elijah Mitchell (knee)

 

Cincinnati Bengals at Dallas Cowboys

Spread: Bengals -7.0
Implied Total: Bengals (24.25) vs. Cowboys (17.25)
Pace: Bengals (14th) vs. Cowboys (5th)
Bengals Off. DVOA: -24.3% Pass (28th), -35.9% Rush (24th)
Cowboys Off. DVOA: -50.0% Pass (32nd), -6.1% Rush (14th)
Bengals Def. DVOA: -12.0% Pass (11th), -40.9% Rush (5th)
Cowboys Def. DVOA: -4.8% Pass (14th), 4.3% Rush (22nd)

Matchups We Love:

Joe Mixon (RB, CIN)

Mixon had a ton of volume including nine targets, which was second to only Ja’Maar Chase. He also had 27 carries for 82 to finish as the RB9 and scored the thirteenth-most FPOE. Mixon remains a must-start back in this matchup.

Bengals WRs

Chase backed up his incredible rookie season with a massive performance. He finished as the WR4 with 10 receptions for 129 yards and a touchdown, plus another touchdown that the Bengals did not challenge. He’ll again compete for the No. 1 overall spot this season. Tee Higgins also appeared primed for a big day before exiting with a concussion. This opens a void for Tyler Boyd who had seven targets of his own and has proven he can produce. Both are players to start in this matchup.

Matchups We Hate:

Cowboys RBs

The Dak Prescott injury really hurts the fantasy value of every player on the offense. Ezekiel Elliott actually looked like their best player, averaging 5.2 yards per carry but did not receive enough volume to produce for fantasy. This becomes a concern against the Bengals. Tony Pollard was equally disappointing, leaving both as players to avoid in this matchup.

Other Matchups:

Hayden Hurst (TE, CIN)

The Higgins injury created an opportunity for Hurst as well, who saw eight targets, which he turned into five catches for 46 yards as the TE14. Hurst becomes a solid tight end with volume and red zone opportunities on a great offense.

CeeDee Lamb (WR, DAL)

Lamb did everything he could to compete and draw targets but the Buccaneers’ defense suffocated him. He led the team in targets and will be the focal point of the offense again but has a lower floor and ceiling with backup Cooper Rush at the helm.

Dalton Schultz (TE, DAL)

Schultz was the lone fantasy bright spot on the day, catching seven balls for 62 yards. Much like with Lamb, the downgrade at quarterback hurts his value but because he’s a talented tight end he remains a top-15 option.

Joe Burrow (QB, CIN)

Five turnovers will usually guarantee you a loss yet the Bengals’ offense was able to generate enough points to set up a game-winning extra point in regulation. Burrow’s statistics of 338 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, and 47 rushing yards on six attempts were quite good, although that was in extended action because of overtime. He will surely take better care of the ball against the Cowboys, whose defense is more vulnerable because their offense will struggle. Burrow is not a must-start but has top-12 upside in this matchup.

Injuries:

Michael Gallup (knee)

Dak Prescott (thumb)

Tee Higgins (concussion)

 

Houston Texans at Denver Broncos

Spread: Broncos -10.0
Implied Total: Texans (18) vs. Broncos (28)
Pace: Texans (11th) vs. Broncos (25th)
Texans Off. DVOA: 27.4% Pass (10th), -32.8% Rush (23rd)
Broncos Off. DVOA: 51.1% Pass (6th), -46.1% Rush (31st)
Texans Def. DVOA: -2.2% Pass (15th), 2.0% Rush (20th)
Broncos Def. DVOA: 11.5% Pass (20th), -35.8% Rush (9th)

Matchups We Love:

Russell Wilson (QB, DEN)

Wilson struggled against his old team, perhaps because of the emotional buildup, or the incompetency of his head coach. In either case, he still produced 340 passing yards and one touchdown, with no turnovers. He’s in a great spot to bounce back against Houston, making him a top-10 play.

Broncos RBs

Javonte Williams finished in a five-way tie for the fifth most targets of all players across each position with 12. Furthermore, he caught 11 of them for 65 yards, solidifying his role in the passing game. Melvin Gordon III out-carried Williams 12-seven but Williams was more explosive, leading the league in yards after the catch. They both should have had a much bigger day as they each fumbled at the goal-line causing an eight-point swing for fantasy. Williams is a top-12 back with Gordon as a flex option in this matchup.

Broncos WRs

Jerry Jeudy showed off his talent with a 67-yard touchdown catch and run, ranking third among all players in yards after the catch. He and Courtland Sutton both had seven targets and both finished inside the top 36. They’ll both be top-24 receivers in this matchup against the Texans.

Brandin Cooks (WR, HOU)

Cooks was his usual consistent self, pacing the team in targets, receptions, and receiving yards with 12, seven, and 82, respectively. The Texans’ offense proved capable of scoring against a tough Colts defense, keeping Cooks inside the top-24 again in this matchup.

Matchups We Hate:

Texans RBs

Rex Burkhead stole the show in Week 1, which is not ideal for fantasy. As expected he was a major contributor in the receiving game with five catches on eight targets. What was surprising was that he also led the team in carries with 14 compared to 11 for Dameon Pierce. Outside of a touchdown, these two will cannibalize each other’s value again this week.

Texans TEs

Don’t chase the 100% touchdown rate O.J. Howard had against the Colts, it’s a mirage. What is worth noting is that Howard stole those red zone attempts from Brevin Jordan, rendering both unplayable.

Davis Mills (QB, HOU)

Mills finished with the 11th best PFF grade, putting up 240/2 against the Titans. Unfortunately, for fantasy, the result was a QB16 finish, which is probably his ceiling this week against Denver. He’ll have better matchups ahead but this is not the game to put him in your lineup.

Other Matchups:

None

Injuries:

None

 

Arizona Cardinals at Las Vegas Raiders

Spread: Raiders -5.5
Implied Total: Cardinals (23) vs. Raiders (28.5)
Pace: Cardinals (3rd) vs. Raiders (16th)
Cardinals Off. DVOA: 4.2% Pass (18th), -43.5% Rush (29th)
Raiders Off. DVOA: -36.5% Pass (30th), -2.8% Rush (11th)
Cardinals Def. DVOA: 66.6% Pass (32nd), 4.0% Rush (21st)
Raiders Def. DVOA: 51.6% Pass (29th), 36.3% Rush (8th)

Matchups We Love:

Davante Adams (WR, LV)

New team, new quarterback, no problem. Adams clearly didn’t mind the change of scenery and Derek Carr remembered how to get him the ball, a lot. Adams had a league-leading 17 targets, which is outrageous. He finished as the WR3 and will have every chance to crack the top five again this week.

Darren Waller (TE, LV)

There was a lot of concern for Waller between his injury in the preseason and Adams hogging targets yet he still managed four catches for 79 yards as the TE9. He will be in a great spot facing Arizona, who gave up a ton of points to Travis Kelce and the Chiefs.

James Conner (RB, ARI)

Despite the beatdown the Cardinals received, Conner led the backfield in carries and targets while adding a score on the ground. He also finished top-20 in yards after contact and fantasy points. Conner continues to be heavily involved, especially with the missing receivers, and will be a great play again in this matchup.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Derek Carr (QB, LV)

Carr had a rough game, grading as the 31st-ranked quarterback in Week 1. He hyper-targeted Adams, tossing a touchdown to him and Brandon Bolden. Carr has an easier matchup against Arizona and will again rank just outside the elite tier.

Zach Ertz (TE, ARI)

Ertz was a late touchdown away from being a no-show, finishing with two receptions for 14 yards and that touchdown. Some of this can be attributed to the calf injury he was battling so he’s still worth considering against the Raiders but he’s more of a streaming candidate than a must-play.

Marquise Brown (WR, ARI)

Brown also saved his day with a late touchdown and had a similar four for 43 and one stat line. The six targets were concerning because DeAndre Hopkins, Rondale Moore, and Antoine Wesley all missed the game. Murray and the coaching staff advocated for more volume after the game, so Brown will have a chance to redeem himself against the Raiders. He’s a top-30 option with upside.

Kyler Murray (QB, ARI)

Arizona was dominated by Kansas City, whose defense looks great again. Murray was able to salvage his fantasy day with a QB8 finish, thanks to some garbage time success that included two second-half touchdowns. He has historically struggled without DeAndre Hopkins, plus the team was missing Moore and Wesley. The Raiders were torched in Week 1 by the Charger’s passing attack so Murray will again rank inside the top 12.

Josh Jacobs (RB, LV)

Jacobs played 60% of the snaps accounting for 10 of the 14 total carries, the issue is he only had one target. Carr only targeted the backfield four times, which equated to a 10.8% target share. He has historically had his best games when the team is leading, which is what the spread suggests will be the case against the Cardinals. He’s still a player to exercise caution with but is a top-30 option given the matchup.

Injuries:

Rondale Moore (hamstring)

 

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers

Spread: Packers -10.0
Implied Total: Bears (15.75) vs. Packers (25.75)
Pace: Bears (15th) vs. Packers (18th)
Bears Off. DVOA: -5.8% Pass (23rd), -20.8% Rush (18th)
Packers Off. DVOA: -4.9% Pass (22nd), 37.7% Rush (5th)
Bears Def. DVOA: -33.1% Pass (4th), -2.1% Rush (19th)
Packers Def. DVOA: 34.1% Pass (26th), 14.1% Rush (24th)

Matchups We Love:

Packers RBs

AJ Dillon ended with more touches (carries + receptions) than Aaron Jones and he found the end zone. Dillon had the fifth-highest PPF grade at the position while Jones had the 10th-highest elusive rating. Both are very talented and will be the engine that makes this offense go. At home with the Bears’ defense up next, you can start both as top-20 options.

Matchups We Hate:

Packers WRs

The passing game struggled and no one player emerged from the pack. Christian Watson dropped what would have been a huge touchdown and Romeo Doubs lead the receiving corps with four catches for 37 yards. Allen Lazard could be in play but in his first game back from injury he’s risky based on how this offense looked in Week 1.

Justin Fields (QB, CHI)

Fields was fortunate to capitalize on broken plays by the 49ers defense in the second half, in an otherwise forgettable performance as the QB20. The Packers are another difficult matchup, keeping him off the radar again this week.

Cole Kmet (TE, CHI)

The weather definitely contributed to the poor outing for Kmet so it’s not full-blown panic mode just yet but he still belongs on your bench this week.

Bears RBs

David Montgomery was the lead back as expected but Khalil Herbert had nine rushing attempts, one of which turned into a touchdown. This led to an RB22 finish, otherwise, both backs would have been very disappointing. The two will prevent one another from being reliable fantasy options, especially in a low-scoring offense. Montgomery is a flex option but not a player to force into your lineup.

Other Matchups:

Darnell Mooney (WR, CHI)

Much like Kmet, Mooney was hampered by the field conditions and forecast. Receiving only three targets is far from helpful but Fields only attempted 17 passes so it’s unfair to make any determinations from that game. He’s not a player to completely avoid but there are likely other options worth starting until we see how he performs against the Packers.

Robert Tonyan (TE, GB)

Tonyan only played 36% of snaps in his first game so seeing five targets that turned into three receptions for 36 yards is encouraging. His snap count will increase this week, making him a solid streaming candidate.

Aaron Rodgers (QB, GB)

Losing Adams and missing Lazard was too much for Rodgers to overcome. Additionally, the Vikings are clearly a contender. With less than five fantasy points, this was about as bad as it could be. The Bears appearing next up on the slate is like Christmas for Rodgers, he absolutely loves playing Chicago. He will undoubtedly have a better day, especially if Lazard is back, he’s still outside the top-12 in this matchup though.

Injuries:

Allen Lazard (ankle)

 

Tennessee Titans at Buffalo Bills

Spread: Bills -9.5
Implied Total: Titans (19.25) vs. Bills (28.75)
Pace: Titans (24th) vs. Bills (30th)
Titans Off. DVOA: 77.2% Pass (1st), -43.3% Rush (28th)
Bills Off. DVOA: 64.8% Pass (4th), -47.8% Rush (32nd)
Titans Def. DVOA: -17.8% Pass (6th), 22.3% Rush (26th)
Bills Def. DVOA: 45.1% Pass (2nd), -47.5% Rush (2nd)

Matchups We Love:

Josh Allen (QB, BUF)

It’s rare for the No. 1 quarterback drafted to be worthy of that pick but Allen is the exception to that rule. The positional advantage he offers is rare. He is a must-start each and every week.

Bills WRs

Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis finished as the WR6 and WR 12, respectively. Diggs was fifth in yards per route run and had the eighth-highest PFF grade. He’s a top-five receiver. Davis doesn’t have the same underlying metrics but excels in the red zone, which is harder to quantify statistically, outside of his touchdown rate and raw totals. Both belong in your lineup again in this matchup.

Matchups We Hate:

Bills RBs

Allen led the team in rushing attempts, rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns. That makes it really difficult for the running backs to succeed unless there is one clear option. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Devin Singletary finished with eight carries and two targets while Zack Moss had six carries and six targets. Add in James Cook who took himself out of the game with a fumble on his first carry and this backfield is one to avoid.

Ryan Tannehill (QB, TEN)

Tannehill was fortunate to finish with two passing touchdowns, thanks to Dontrell Hilliard making plays in the receiving game. It’s clear this offense misses A.J. Brown as a true threat in the passing game. To make matters worse, they now face arguably the league’s best defense, removing Tannehill as an option in this matchup.

Titans WRs

The most exciting player in this receiving corps is rookie Treylon Burks, who commanded five targets despite his preseason struggles. After what we saw the Bills’ defense do to the Rams’ offense there is no reason to start any of these players.

Austin Hooper (TE, TEN)

Hooper failed to capitalize on the lack of talent this offense has at the wide receiver position in a plus matchup, so he’s best suited for your bench against Buffalo.

Other Matchups:

Dawson Knox (TE, BUF)

Knox only had two targets and one catch for five yards. He still played 86% of the snaps, he just wasn’t targeted as much as we had hoped. Through one week he seems touchdown-dependent again this year but this is a good offense to bet on for a touchdown, making him a potential streamer.

Derrick Henry (RB, TEN)

Henry still saw 21 carries for 82 yards but did not find the end zone and only received one target. Dontrell Hilliard was the receiving back, who happened to catch two touchdowns. Henry is always one run away from a huge game so he needs to be started but the matchup is a bit frightening.

Injuries:

None

 

Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles

Spread: Eagles -2.0
Implied Total: Vikings (24.25) vs. Eagles (26.25)
Pace: Vikings (20th) vs. Eagles (8th)
Vikings Off. DVOA: 44.0% Pass (7th), 24.5% Rush (9th)
Eagles Off. DVOA: 29.2% Pass (9th), 32.4% Rush (6th)
Vikings Def. DVOA: -10.4% Pass (12th), 28.9% Rush (29th)
Eagles Def. DVOA: -0.4% Pass (16th), 27.2% Rush (28th)

Matchups We Love:

Vikings WRs

Justin Jefferson had a monster game as the top-scoring fantasy player outside of the quarterback position. The Vikings passing game looked more efficient and explosive, which is exciting for him and Adam Thielen. Unfortunately for Thielen, there was nothing left this week. Thielen will have a better game this week, which is why both belong in your lineup.

Jalen Hurts

To finish as the QB7 without a passing touchdown is unreal. Hurts may take the crown from Jackson this season as the rushing leader at the position, living up to all the pre-season hype. The Vikings are certainly a better defense than the Lions but Hurts is still locked in because of his rushing statistics.

Dalvin Cook (RB, MIN)

Cook did everything except score a touchdown. He had 108 scrimmage yards, the fifteen-highest elusive rating, and dominated Mattison in touches. He remains a must-start back.

A.J. Brown (WR, PHI)

Brown joined Adams and Hill as one of the elite faces in new places with a massive performance of his own, commanding thirteen targets as the alpha for this offense. Brown ranks in the top-10 in this matchup.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Eagles RBs

The game of Russian roulette with these backs continues. The Eagles managed to generate four rushing touchdowns so that each of the three backs along with Hurts could score one. Miles Sanders is in fact the lead back as was eluded to initially in the offseason but the three-headed attack, four if you include Hurts, that this offense deploys lowers his ceiling.

Dallas Goedert (TE, PHI)

Goedert went three for 60 on four targets, which is a bit of a letdown after last year’s role but considering the target share Brown had, this was a decent outing. He’s on a great offense as a top-two target at a position where it’s hard to find reliable volume, so he’s a top-10 tight end against the Vikings.

Kirk Cousins (QB, MIN)

Cousins capitalized on the playmaking and route running of Jefferson, who accounted for 66% of his passing yards and both of his passing touchdowns. Cousins ended as the QB10, which is about where he’ll finish most weeks. He’s a top-15 option in this matchup against a middle-of-the-road Eagles defense.

Injuries:

None

 

Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs

Click here to read about the Thursday Night Football matchups between the Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs.

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