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Fantasy Football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em - Week 2 Matchup Analysis

Justin Herbert - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Welcome back RotoBallers to our Week 2 matchup analysis and Start Em, Sit Em column for fantasy football. Last week featured a combination of blowouts, upsets, injuries, and shootouts. Teams like the Bengals, Bills, and Chiefs, who have high hopes, suffered a loss while teams like the Buccaneers, Jets, and Rams pulled out an unexpected victory. We also now officially have 2023 data, albeit a very small sample size.

For anyone new to the column, each week we'll be analyzing every game from the Sunday slate and the Monday Night Football game, helping you optimize your fantasy lineups and take down your opponent. Check back regularly for any updates on player injuries or other pertinent information. Additionally, you'll notice there are players that are obvious starts included in the "matchups we love" section in the interest of making sure everyone is covered. Furthermore, there will be times when one wide receiver or running back is listed individually but their teammates are included as part of the write-up. I also want to express my gratitude for some of the great resources that help me write this article each week such as RotoBaller's player pages, Pro Football Focus, Rotovitz, FTN Fantasy, Pro Football Reference, NFL Next Gen Stats, DraftKings Sportsbook, and Fantasy Points, along with all of you for reading this article.

There is also a separate article for the Thursday Night Football game each week, so be sure to read that. Hopefully, your team consisted of a player in those high-scoring affairs, such as a certain Miami stack, earning that win last week. Regardless of your final result, it's a new week with a clean slate, so let's go get you a win! If you have any additional lineup questions, follow me on Twitter @JoshCon, and feel free to ask away. Let's dive into the matchups.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!

 

Matchups Analysis - 1:00 ET Games

Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons

Spread: Packers -1.5
Implied Total: Packers (20.5) vs. Falcons (20)
Pace: Packers (24th) vs. Falcons (20th)
Packers Off. DVOA: 77.8% Pass (3rd), -15.4% Rush (16th)
Falcons Off. DVOA: -29.4% Pass (29th), 34.8% Rush (2nd)
Packers Def. DVOA:
15.7% Pass (10th), -22.0% Rush (11th)
Falcons Def. DVOA: -35.3% Pass (4th), -17.1% Rush (18th)

Matchups We Love:

Bijan Robinson (RB, ATL)

For the second straight week, we get to open the article with Robinson. He lived up to the hype in Week 1, dominating snaps early while showcasing his extreme talent as a pass-catcher, one of which he took to the house. The Packers aren't a scary matchup, so he's locked in. The more important discussion point is Tyler Allgeier's usage. Given the disproportionate run-to-pass ratio, there is an opportunity for both backs to produce, especially if Allgeier maintains a role at the goal line. It does appear Cordarrelle Patterson will make his season debut. That could impact Allgeier, but he remains in the flex range.

UPDATE: Patterson is active for Sunday's game as anticipated.

Aaron Jones (RB, GB)

Jones looked every bit as explosive on Sunday as he has for years now. Taking the reigns from Aaron Rodgers, he owned the Bears. He totaled over 100 scrimmage yards and two trips to the end zone, the latter of which resulted in a hamstring injury. The report was he could have returned if the game was closer. It sounds promising, but we'll need to monitor his status. If active, he's a top-15 back. AJ Dillon is an above-average backup, and he'd take over as the starter. But he had a poor showing after Jones left the contest. That said, the volume and projected game script would make him a top-24 option if Jones is out.

UPDATE: Jones is out, opening the door for Dillon.

Packers WRs

Green Bay entered their contest against Chicago without Christian Watson. This forced them to lean on Romeo Doubs, who was also banged up, and Jayden Reed, who is a rookie. Credit to Doubs, who we were told would be on a snap count, for hauling in two touchdowns despite playing only 48% of the offensive snaps. Reed played 53% of the offensive snaps, earning five targets and 48 receiving yards. He also missed part of the game with an injury, but all indications are he's fine. There's a clear void for Watson to fill if he can return to the field, but Doubs will remain a flex option against Atlanta.

UPDATE: Doubs is good to go, while Watson is out, Doubs becomes a top 36 with Reed as a flex option.

Matchups We Hate:

Falcons Passing Attack

The excitement for Allgeier and Robinson is counter-balanced by the concern for the passing attack. I'll be the first to admit I assumed there we be at least a small increase in passing volume. However, that was not the case, at least not after one week. Desmond Ridder threw 18 passes, one of which he caught himself. It left only 17 targets to be distributed among the backfield, which stole nine, and the receiving corps. Mack Hollins and Kyle Pitts were the only non-RBs to receive a target, combining for five receptions and 75 yards. Drake London was left out entirely. We're back to the bench all Falcons not playing the running back position strategy until we see something different.

Other Matchups:

Luke Musgrave (TE, GB)

Musgrave played 75% of the offensive snaps, earned four targets, and trailed only Jones in receiving yards, which is a solid day for a rookie tight end. He also had some missed opportunities that could have led to a bigger performance. We'll need to be patient with his development, but he's a streamer with a decent floor given his involvement in the offense.

Jordan Love (QB, GB)

One of the most impressive performances on Sunday was the command of Love. He did exactly what Matt LaFleur wanted. He took care of the ball, took the early throws, and led his team to victory. His results on that stat sheet weren't bad either, throwing for 245 yards and three touchdowns with 12 yards on the ground as an added bonus. The matchup is great again, keeping him on the radar as a streaming option.

Injuries:

Christian Watson (hamstring)
Aaron Jones (hamstring)
Romeo Doubs (hamstring)

 

Las Vegas Raiders at Buffalo Bills

Spread: Bills -8.5
Implied Total: Raiders (18.75) vs. Bills (27.75)
Pace: Raiders (21st) vs. Bills (25th)
Raiders Off. DVOA: 70.5% Pass (4th), -38.7% Rush (29th)
Bills Off. DVOA: 15.3% Pass (14th), -17.5% Rush (18th)
Raiders Def. DVOA:
26.3% Pass (26th), 7.1% Rush (23rd)
Bills Def. DVOA: -13.5% Pass (11th), -21.3% Rush (14th)

Matchups We Love:

Josh Allen (QB, BUF)

The Jets are clearly Allen's kryptonite, once again forcing multiple turnovers (four) and limiting him to 272 total yards with one touchdown. Allen took responsibility for the loss afterward, blaming himself. Thankfully, he'll get a chance to rebound against the Las Vegas pass defense, which is not even in the same stratosphere as the New York unit. Fire him up with full confidence.

Stefon Diggs (WR, BUF)

Fortunately, Allen's letdown performance did not ruin Diggs's day. It's a little worrisome that the offense is so reliant on him from an NFL perspective but for fantasy purposes, it's fantastic. He came through as the WR5 on the week, which is about where you can project him to finish again in this one.

James Cook (RB, BUF)

Another bright spot for Buffalo was the play of Cook, who handled 12 of the 15 (80%) backfield carries and six of the 10 (60%) targets, earning a massive workload. The stance that Allen doesn't throw to his RBs was also disproved (at least in Week 1), with 25% of his attempts and 25% of his completions going to the backfield. Some of that could be attributed to the pressure he faced. But things seem promising for Cook, who moves into the top 24.

Matchups We Hate:

Raiders Passing Attack

Jimmy Garoppolo managed to do just enough for the Raiders to secure a win. He completed 76.9% of his passes with a 107.9 passer rating. Denver did cause an interception and a fumble that the offense recovered while leaning on Patrick Surtain II to cover Davante Adams. The attention Adams received allowed Jakobi Meyers to steal the show as a short outlet. He led the team in targets (10), receptions (nine), receiving yards (81), and touchdowns (two). Unfortunately, Meyers is in concussion protocol, making him unlikely to suit up. There is no one else to chase if he misses, so it's Adams and then get out.

UPDATE: Meyers will remain in the concussion protocol, causing him to miss Sunday's game.

Other Matchups:

Josh Jacobs (RB, LV)

Not much changed for Jacobs in terms of his role. The primary issue was the quality of the defense he played. They limited him to 2.5 yards per carry and held him out of the end zone. He could definitely beat the 71 total yards he finished with, but heading to Orchard Park isn't a spot to expect a top-12 week.

Bills TEs

If you combined the outing from Dawson Knox and Dalton Kincaid, you'd have seven catches for 51 yards, which wouldn't be too bad. Unfortunately, they split those stats, rendering both mostly disappointing. The timeshare was almost 50/50 in terms of snaps (57-54 for Knox) and routes run (39-38). Kincaid is still the better bet, but much like Musgrave, it's going to take some time for him to become a focal point of the offense. That said, he's still in the streamer tier because he's on a potent offense that should put up a lot of points.

Injuries:

Jakobi Meyers (concussion)

 

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals

Spread: Bengals -3.5 
Implied Total: Ravens (21.25) vs. Bengals (24.75)
Pace: Ravens (26th) vs. Bengals (9th)
Ravens Off. DVOA: 6.9% Pass (20th), 15.3% Rush (9th)
Bengals Off. DVOA: -48.8% Pass (31st), -23.4% Rush (25th)
Ravens Def. DVOA:
-20.2% Pass (9th), -39.4% Rush (3rd)
Bengals Def. DVOA: -8.2% Pass (12th), 21.5% Rush (30th)

Matchups We Love:

Lamar Jackson (QB, BAL)

It appears exploiting the Houston run defense is still the way to go. Baltimore pounded the rock 32 times for 110 yards and three scores for an easy win. Further putting a damper on Jackson's value was the absence of Mark Andrews and the improved play of DeMeco Ryans' pass defense, particularly in the second half. The loss of J.K. Dobbins paired with the return of Andrews sets Jackson up for a bounce-back outing against Cincinnati, whose defense underwhelmed against Cleveland.

Mark Andrews (TE, BAL)

Andrews missing Week 1 is a tough blow for fantasy managers. Thankfully, he should be back for Week 2 to save the day. Only six tight ends caught a touchdown in Week 1, and only two cleared 50 yards. If Andrews is active, he's in.

UPDATE: Andrews practiced in full on Friday, indicating he should play. He's listed as questionable.

Matchups We Hate:

Irv Smith Jr. (TE, CIN)

Smith Jr. did all he could, hauling in three receptions for 17 yards. He was tied with Joe Mixon for third in the pecking order in terms of targets, but I'd prefer to stream him when the matchup is better.

Ravens RBs

Sadly for J.K. Dobbins, an Achilles injury could signal the end of his career as a starter. That's not a guarantee, but he's already dealt with multiple knee injuries and he's entering free agency at age 25 next season. It's a tough break for an explosive player that never actualized his potential.

After he exited, Justice Hill took over at the goal line, plummeting forward for two touchdowns. Gus Edwards also handled eight carries. The team has Melvin Gordon III on the practice squad, who they are expected to activate.

John Harbaugh said they're content with their RB room as it is. Could they sign or trade for someone? Definitely. As it stands right now, this is a full-blown committee that's hard to project. This makes both Edwards and Hill a boom-or-bust flex play with Hill as my favorite, especially given the injuries to their offensive line.

Other Matchups:

Joe Burrow (QB, CIN)

The defense was not the only unit to underwhelm against the Browns. Burrow completed just 45.2% of his passes for 82 yards. That's Ridder territory. Taking on Baltimore at home isn't necessarily a better situation, which gives me a little pause about his ceiling. He has to be better than last week, but there are some quarterbacks you drafted behind him that are worth considering this week.

Bengals WRs

As the quarterback goes, so does the receiving corps. Ja'Marr Chase finishing with five receptions for 39 yards on nine targets is brutal. That is until you realize Tee Higgins somehow posted a goose egg even though he had eight targets. That one stings, especially after the volatility we dealt with last season when he barely played a couple of times. All that aside, they both deserve a clean slate this week. I'm not as bullish as I was, but they're both still top-20 wideouts with excellent upside. Tyler Boyd is a bench again.

Joe Mixon (RB, CIN)

Mixon's workload ensures a baseline of production, enabling him to overcome some of the pitfalls the offense could have. Mixon's rushing yards over expected per attempt of 1.52, rushing yards after contact per attempt of 3.2, and elusive rating of 82.2 were all in the top 10 among qualified backs in Week 1. He's in for another difficult day against Baltimore, but he remains a top-15 option because of the workload.

Zay Flowers (WR, BAL)

Without Andrews, everyone wondered who would step up. The betting favorite was Flowers, who crushed expectations with nine receptions for 78 yards on 10 targets (45% target share). He also added two carries for nine yards. He played on 84% of the offensive snaps, and he looks like the real deal. Andrews joining the fold will certainly have an impact, but Flowers is the No. 1 receiver and deserves a spot in the top 36, if not higher.

Injuries:

Mark Andrews (quad)

 

Seattle Seahawks at Detroit Lions

Spread: Lions -5.0
Implied Total: Seahawks (21.25) vs. Lions (26.25)
Pace: Seahawks (5th) vs. Lions (18th)
Seahawks Off. DVOA: 20.1% Pass (13th), -2.6% Rush (11th)
Lions Off. DVOA: 44.1% Pass (5th), 22.4% Rush (5th)
Seahawks Def. DVOA:
80.5% Pass (31st), -11.6% Rush (20th)
Lions Def. DVOA: 30.8% Pass (27th), -21.6% Rush (13th)

Matchups We Love:

Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR, DET)

Picking up right where he left off in 2022, St. Brown was dominant. The offense had a poor showing overall, generating only 368 total yards and 14 points. However, that didn't prevent him from finishing in the top 12. The Seattle defense was embarrassed by the Rams, setting St. Brown up perfectly for another big day. Clearly second in the pecking order was Josh Reynolds, whose targets were deeper, resulting in 20 yards per catch. The backfield and tight end position will continue to eat into the passing volume, but Reynolds is a flex option against the Seahawks.

Lions RBs

Jahmyr Gibbs looked special. He ran like he was shot out of a cannon, slicing through the defense. He also stumbled on what would have been a walk-in touchdown. The final numbers didn't meet expectations in Week 1, but brighter days are coming as he earns more work. David Montgomery handled the majority of the carries but didn't receive a single target. Something to note was they combined for only a 5.7% target share in Week 1, which is bound to increase. As heavy favorites at home, they're both in the top 24 with plenty of upside.

Matchups We Hate:

None

Other Matchups:

Kenneth Walker III (RB, SEA)

We wondered how much of an impact Zach Charbonnet would have on Walker, and after one week it seems minimal. Walker played on 63% of the offensive snaps, accounted for 12 of the 17 RB carries, and saw five of the six RB targets. He was the unquestioned lead back. Unfortunately, the offense as a whole fell apart in the second half, failing to score a single point. It's a little frightening because they lost two of their starting linemen, but it's too early to panic just yet. The matchup isn't great, but his usage keeps him in the top 24.

Seahawks Passing Attack

Geno Smith threw for just 10 yards in the second half. That's unbelievable. Part of that can be attributed to Tyler Lockett exiting with a head injury and part of it was injuries to their offensive line, but they ultimately fell flat on their face. The last time these two met at Ford Field, the score was 48-45 for Seattle. Obviously, that's unlikely to occur again, but the potential for a shootout is there. The over/under is fantastic, creating excitement for the fantasy pieces. Smith, Lockett, and of course, D.K. Metcalf, all deserve a shot at redemption this week. Smith is a strong streamer, Metcalf is a top-15 wideout, and Lockett is in the top 20.

Jared Goff (QB, DET)

Goff didn't light it up in Arrowhead, but few do. He did enough to earn a win for his squad, and he'll have a chance to do the same thing for yours this week. The weapons are thin after St. Brown, but he's a top-12 signal-caller at home with the Seahawks in town.

Sam LaPorta (TE, DET)

The theme of rookie tight ends showcasing their talent continues with LaPorta. Of all three, I think he has the most intrigue this week, and potentially season-long. LaPorta tied Logan Thomas for the eighth-highest snap percentage at the tight end position in Week 1 at 81.7%. Furthermore, his five targets were tied for third and his 39 yards ranked ninth. He'll offer a safe floor with a constantly growing ceiling as he establishes his role, landing him in the top 12 given the matchup.

Injuries:

None

 

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans

Spread: Texans -1.5
Implied Total: Colts (18.75) vs. Texans (20.25)
Pace: Colts (2nd) vs. Texans (4th)
Colts Off. DVOA: 1.4% Pass (21st), -54.7% Rush (32nd)
Texans Off. DVOA: -17.0% Pass (25th), -40.4% Rush (30th)
Colts Def. DVOA:
22.9% Pass (22nd), -9.4% Rush (21st)
Texans Def. DVOA: 1.1% Pass (13th), 10.6% Rush (24th)

Matchups We Love:

Anthony Richardson (QB, IND)

Richardson shined in his NFL debut, leading multiple scoring drives while completing 65% of his passes for 223 yards and a touchdown with one interception. Those are great passing stats for a rookie QB, even though he averaged only six yards per completion. The appeal for fantasy is, of course, his rushing. He delivered there as well with 10 carries for 40 yards and a score. He was also on his way to another if not for a knee injury. After one week, he looks like he belongs. He definitely belongs in your lineup as a top-12 option.

Matchups We Hate:

Texans Passing Attack

C.J. Stroud struggled against Baltimore on the road, which is exactly what we anticipated. The good news was that the targets were concentrated on Nico Collins and Robert Woods, helping us identify the leaders of the receiving corps.

Woods is in the back nine of his career. Outside of full-PPR leagues where you need a floor play, he possesses minimal excitement. However, Collins has been the projected leader of the pack all offseason. If he's going to earn double-digit targets each week, there's a ceiling to be had, at least in terms of yardage. Collins is a top-36 play with everyone else except Woods, who we already discussed, left on your bench.

UPDATE: Stroud popped up on Friday but he's good to go.

Other Matchups:

Colts RBs

The combination of Deon Jackson and Evan Hull was already questionable. Hull, who possessed the unknown upside, suffered a knee injury that will sideline him for multiple weeks. Jackson was outright terrible. He committed two fumbles and turned a whopping 18 touches into a pitiful 28 yards. The team even trotted out Jake Funk in hopes he could contribute. Zack Moss is attempting to return from surgery, and would instantly become the lead back. The matchup is wonderful. If Moss is back, he's a tempting flex option.

UPDATE: Moss is good to go for Sunday, making him an upside flex option as their starter.

Dameon Pierce (RB, HOU)

The coaching staff appeared set to give Pierce a three-down role in the preseason. However, that did not come to fruition against the Ravens. Not only was Devin Singletary involved as a runner (not a receiver like many worried), but Mike Boone ran just two fewer routes than Pierce on 31% of the offensive snaps, leading to four targets and three receptions. Pierce spearheaded the committee with 45% of the offensive snaps and 13 touches. But the workload is a concern, particularly given the ineptitude of their offense. The matchup is terrible, so the three-way split is enough to push Pierce right around RB24.

Michael Pittman Jr. (WR, IND)

Jacksonville scored about five minutes in and never relinquished the lead, forcing 24 completions and 37 attempts from Richardson. It's possible they're trailing again in this one, but it's likely to be a closer contest. Whether the volume is maintained is a fair question.

What we do know is Pittman Jr. was the No. 1 pass-catcher. He earned 11 targets (29.7%), which he turned into eight receptions for 97 yards and a score. Also impressive was the 12.1 yards per reception, indicating a change in his role. If the passing attempts and his depth of target stay the same, he's going to outproduce initial expectations. He's an intriguing top-36 receiver.

Injuries:

Jonathan Taylor (ankle)
Jelani Woods (hamstring)
Evan Hull (knee)
Zack Moss (forearm)

 

Kansas City Chiefs at Jacksonville Jaguars

Spread: Chiefs -3.5
Implied Total: Chiefs (27.25) vs. Jaguars (23.75)
Pace: Chiefs (10th) vs. Jaguars (23rd)
Chiefs Off. DVOA: 37.4% Pass (6th), -21.1% Rush (22nd)
Jaguars Off. DVOA: 29.3% Pass (11th), -4.9% Rush (12th)
Chiefs Def. DVOA:
36.4% Pass (28th), 18.0% Rush (28th)
Jaguars Def. DVOA: -21.0% Pass (8th), -58.6% Rush (1st)

Matchups We Love:

Travis Kelce (TE, KC)

There may not be another non-quarterback in the league whose presence is as important as Kelce's is. He does everything well and without another legitimate receiving threat, the defense has no reason to take their pass-catchers seriously. Even if he's less than 100 percent on Sunday, he's a must-start.

UPDATE: Kelce will make his 2023 season debut as projected.

Patrick Mahomes (QB, KC)

To absolve a starting quarterback of blame in a game they lost is nearly impossible. Yet, Mahomes did just about everything he could to will his lackluster receiving corps to victory. Mahomes finished with the fifth-lowest completion percentage of all qualified signal-callers in Week 1.

Plus, the Chiefs led the NFL in dropped passes, one of which was tipped and returned for a touchdown. So long as Kelce is back, he's right back in the top five against Jacksonville. If Kelce were to miss again, he would move to more of a top-10 play with a lower ceiling.

Isiah Pacheco (RB, KC)

Clyde Edwards-Helaire opened the game as the starter, but it was evident Pacheco is the back they want to feature. Missing a chunk of training camp and preseason likely caused the reduced playing time (48% of the offensive snaps), meaning better days are ahead from that perspective. What was promising was the four targets he earned for a 10% share. If he can add receiving work to his profile, he'll become a lot more attractive for fantasy. It's a good matchup in a game they should win with a high over/under, keeping him in the top 24.

UPDATE: Edwards-Helaire is listed as questionable with an illness. If he misses, Pacheco becomes even more interesting.

Trevor Lawrence (QB, JAX)

Lawrence played pretty well against the Colts, who mustered up an admirable effort, forcing the Jaguars to keep their foot on the gas. As a whole, the team scored four times, two of which were through the air. That'll fluctuate throughout the season, giving Lawrence bigger spike weeks in future outings. One of those is likely to be this week against Kansas City in a potential shootout. Lawrence has a full complement of weapons and is at home, keeping him in the top 10 with a top-five upside.

Calvin Ridley (WR, JAX)

Ridley's training camp highlights carried over to Week 1, where he was the unquestioned alpha. He led the team in every receiving category en route to a WR8 finish. He's in the top 15 against the Chiefs. Where things get interesting is the usage of Zay Jones and Christian Kirk. Jones actually out-snapped Ridley, but Kirk trailed both of them with only 42 (60%) offensive snaps. Furthermore, the team spent a league-high 33% of the time in a 12-personnel formation (two WRs and two TEs). That is concerning for Kirk, who is their slot receiver. It's hard to trust Kirk, making Jones the preferred play as an upside flex option.

Evan Engram (TE, JAX)

Engram slotted in as the third option behind Ridley and Jones, which is good enough to make him a top-12 tight end against KC. While his five catches for 49 yards didn't feel like a fantastic week, he scored the second-most half-PPR fantasy points among tight ends who didn't haul in a touchdown, and the seventh-most overall.

Matchups We Hate:

Chiefs WRs

At home without Kelce was about as good an opportunity as this crew could ask for. However, they collectively blew it. Kadarius Toney couldn't catch a pass, Skyy Moore couldn't earn targets, Marquez Valdes-Scantling led the way with two catches for 48 yards, and Rashee Rice was the only one to find pay dirt. Long-term I think Rice has the most upside. But with Kelce present, they're all players to shy away from.

Other Matchups:

Travis Etienne Jr. (RB, JAX)

The concern of Tank Bigsby eating into his workload was not a problem in Week 1. Etienne Jr. played the third-most offensive snaps among all tailbacks in Week 1, trailing only Christian McCaffrey and Rhamondre Stevenson. Equally as important, that resulted in the second-most touches with 23, five of which were targets.

It's not as if Bigsby was nonexistent, although he did commit a fumble. He handled seven carries, including a goal-line run for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. However, it won't matter if Etienne is utilized like he was. The Chiefs are expected to get Chris Jones back after he signed a one-year deal, which makes the matchup more difficult. But he's still a top-15 back who could win you your week.

Injuries:

Travis Kelce (knee)

 

Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Spread: Buccaneers -2.5
Implied Total: Bears (19.5) vs. Buccaneers (22)
Pace: Bears (7th) vs. Buccaneers (13th)
Bears Off. DVOA: -8.7% Pass (23rd), -21.1% Rush (23rd)
Buccaneers Off. DVOA: 8.4% Pass (19th), -23.9% Rush (27th)
Bears Def. DVOA:
66.7% Pass (30th), -17.9% Rush (17th)
Buccaneers Def. DVOA: 10.3% Pass (20th), -33.5% Rush (5th)

Matchups We Love:

Rachaad White (RB, TB)

This one shapes up to be a low-scoring struggle. Especially for the Bears, who looked abysmal in Week 1. White didn't exactly blow the doors off the place either, but he took the field on 79% of the offensive snaps and handled 19 touches. White finished last in rushing yards over expected per attempt and elusive rating for all qualified backs. It's possible Sean Tucker, who toted the ball five times and hauled in both of his targets, begins to grow his role as time passes. For now, though, White has a majority role and takes on a porous Chicago run defense, keeping him in the top 24.

Matchups We Hate:

Bears Receiving Corps

The defense wasn't the only unit to lay an egg against Green Bay. The offense also looked poor, which really affected the pass-catchers, especially DJ Moore. Moore was on the field more than anyone, playing 92% of the offensive snaps. Yet, he finished fifth in yards, tied for fourth in receptions, and tied for sixth in targets.

Meanwhile, Darnell Mooney led the way with four receptions for 53 yards on seven targets, followed by Cole Kmet who matched his target total and went five for 44 yards. The Buccaneers did a solid job against Minnesota, whose personnel and offense far exceed the Bears, rendering everyone outside of Kmet a fade this week. Kmet remains a streamer at the tight end position.

Other Matchups:

Justin Fields (QB, CHI)

At the helm of the aforementioned mess was Fields. He not only struggled from an NFL perspective but also finished outside the top 12 in fantasy despite rushing nine times for 59 yards. It's reasonable to question whether he and his teammates can improve, but his upside is a runner keeps him in the top 12.

Khalil Herbert (RB, CHI)

Herbert finished just two spots ahead of White in elusive rating, failing to force a missed tackle or a broken tackle. Fortunately, his involvement as a receiver was there with five targets, three of which he hauled in for 37 yards. Roschon Johnson, who looked more explosive, did factor in late once the game was out of hand. He finished with five carries and seven targets. It'll be something to keep an eye on as even D'Onta Foreman played ahead of Johnson, but that will likely shift in the future. Herbert remains a top-24 back with a decent floor.

Buccaneers Passing Attack

Baker Mayfield went on the road and knocked off the Vikings. It was one of the bigger surprises on Sunday. His unforeseen performance is by no means a reason to start him in single-quarterback leagues. It does provide hope for his pass-catchers, namely Mike Evans. As predicted, Evans got over the top of the defense for a 28-yard score, which was what made him viable.

It's a good bet against the Bears this week, keeping him in flex territory. Chris Godwin was well behind Evans in targets, which is a problem given the way he accumulates fantasy points. He and tight end Cade Otton remain riskier players to start, but worth considering given the matchup.

Injuries:

None

 

Los Angeles Chargers at Tennessee Titans

Spread: Chargers -3.0 
Implied Total: Chargers (24) vs. Titans (21)
Pace: Chargers (8th) vs. Titans (27th)
Chargers Off. DVOA: 29.7% Pass (10th), 57.0% Rush (1st)
Titans Off. DVOA: -39.4% Pass (30th), 18.8% Rush (7th)
Chargers Def. DVOA:
93.4% Pass (32nd), 18.2% Rush (29th)
Titans Def. DVOA: 23.5% Pass (23rd), -44.2% Rush (2nd)

Matchups We Love:

Justin Herbert (QB, LAC)

Their back-and-forth score fest lived up to the hype and crushed the Vegas over/under. The Chargers came out on the wrong end of it, but their offense looked much improved with healthy weapons and new play-caller Kellen Moore. Herbert's 6.9 yards per attempt were 17th, and the team finished 25th in pass rate over expectation. But much of that can be attributed to the excellent game plan Miami had, forcing them to lean on their rushing attack. Things will be a lot easier against the Titans, who are focused on shutting down the run. It was also nice to see Herbert use his legs, rushing the ball five times for 17 yards and a score, which could unlock a higher ceiling.

Chargers WRs

Keenan Allen resumed his No. 1 role, leading the team in every receiving category except touchdowns. Mike Williams's numbers took a hit because he was sidelined briefly with injury concerns. His production wasn't far behind Allen's, even on 12 fewer snaps. They're both back in the top 15.

Matchups We Hate:

Chargers TEs

The Gerald Everett call turned out to be both correct and incorrect. The tight end position succeeded against the Dolphins with five receptions for 43 yards and a touchdown. However, it was Donald Parham Jr. who Herbert found in the end zone. Parham played just 15 fewer snaps, creating an unreliable timeshare.

Titans Passing Attack

Los Angeles got roasted downfield by the elite speed of the Dolphins receivers. That's unlikely to occur from the Tennessee pass-catchers, led by 31-year-old DeAndre Hopkins. There's potential for Treylon Burks or Chigoziem Okonkwo to make a big play, but the offensive line is so bad that it's hard for them to give Ryan Tannehill sufficient time to make those throws. Further evidenced by the three sacks and three interceptions he committed against New Orleans. Given the pass-rushers the Chargers possess to pressure the Texans injured O-line, it's Hopkins as a top-36 volume-based wideout and then move on.

UPDATE: Hopkins is expected to be on the field. The missed practices are a little concerning for his outlook, but he's still a target earned in this offense.

Other Matchups:

Chargers RBs

As we alluded to above, the run game was on full display. They went from 11th in rushing touchdowns, 28th in rushing attempts, and 30th in rushing yards in 2022 to first in all three metrics in Week 1. It meant a great day for both Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley, who were the RB2 and RB9, respectively.

They're not going to finish in the top 10 every week, but it's not uncommon for multiple backs to end the year in the top 24 from the same team. This could be one of them. Further adding intrigue to Kelley is Ekeler's ankle injury that, at the very least, means added security for Kelley's workload. This makes him a great flex play.

UPDATE: Ekeler is officially out. Kelley moves into the top 24 despite the matchup.

Derrick Henry (RB, TEN)

We already discussed the offensive line issues for the Titans, which makes life difficult for Henry. Fortunately, he managed to take a short pass 46 yards to save his day. He still faced eight defenders in the box 53.33% of the time in Week 1, meaning defenses don't respect Tannehill and Co. Hopefully, they can put together a better showing in Week 2. In the meantime, Henry lands in the top 15 range.

Injuries:

Austin Ekeler (ankle)
DeAndre Hopkins (ankle)

 

Matchup Analysis - 4:25 ET Games

New York Giants at Arizona Cardinals

Spread: Giants -4.0
Implied Total: Giants (22) vs. Cardinals (18)
Pace: Giants (22nd) vs. Cardinals (15th)
Giants Off. DVOA: -91.6% Pass (32nd), -15.6% Rush (17th)
Cardinals Off. DVOA: -25.1% Pass (27th), -18.7% Rush (20th)
Giants Def. DVOA:
10.0% Pass (19th), 15.9% Rush (27th)
Cardinals Def. DVOA: 6.7% Pass (16th), -22.7% Rush (10th)

Matchups We Love:

Daniel Jones (QB, NYG)

The Giants were massacred by the Cowboys on Sunday night. It started on their first drive that ended with a blocked field goal for a touchdown and never stopped. The 40-0 beatdown was partially a result of the offensive line, which allowed 31 total pressures. That was the most since Week 14 of the 2021 season, according to PFF. Jones had literally zero chance of succeeding.

Thankfully, he turns his attention to Arizona. Their defense did play at a higher level than anticipated against Washington but is nowhere near as good as Dallas. I'm willing to go back to the well here, especially considering he ran for 27 yards on that first drive.

Darren Waller (TE, NYG)

Another bounce-back candidate is Waller, who certainly underwhelmed but only played 54% of the offensive snaps. Odds are that number climbs significantly in Week 2, positioning him as a top-10 tight end against the No. 1 matchup in fantasy points allowed last season.

Saquon Barkley (RB, NYG)

The theme of disappointment continues with Barkley, who still managed 63 yards on 12 touches. He ought to have a smoother time in this one. In spite of the blowout, he still accounted for all but six RB touches. This confirmed his workhorse role and a spot in the top 12.

Matchups We Hate:

Giants WRs

The one group I'm not betting on is the wide receivers. The snap counts would indicate Parris Campbell, Darius Slayton, and Isaiah Hodgins are their starters with rotational roles for Jalin Hyatt and Sterling Shepard, part of which could be his recovery from the injury. I'd prefer not to bet on any of them until we see how a more reflective game plays out. Hyatt might be an interesting stash, though.

UPDATE: Wan'Dale Robinson is trending towards missing again in Week 2. His status does not affect the other options.

Cardinals Passing Attack

The same recommendation stands from last week. The offense didn't score a touchdown and generated just over 200 total yards. Marquise Brown is the most talented receiver, but he's a low-upside flex option. Admittedly, 10 targets for Zach Ertz warrants mentioning his name, but turning those into a measly 21 yards is embarrassing. If you want to chase the six receptions in a full PPR format, feel free.

Other Matchups:

James Conner (RB, ARI)

Conner played 84% of the offensive snaps and handled 19 of the 24 (79%) RB touches, including five targets. His role in the passing game and the possibility of scoring (if they get near the goal line) are enough to keep him in the top 24, particularly this week against New York.

Injuries:

Kyler Murray (knee)
Wan'Dale Robinson (knee)

 

San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams

Spread: 49ers -7.5
Implied Total: 49ers (26) vs. Rams (18.5)
Pace: 49ers (32nd) vs. Rams (29th)
49ers Off. DVOA: 33.3% Pass (7th), 18.2% Rush (8th)
Rams Off. DVOA: 92.5% Pass (2nd), -8.7% Rush (13th)
49ers Def. DVOA:
-26.7% Pass (7th), -25.1% Rush (7th)
Rams Def. DVOA: 16.0% Pass (21st), -3.5% Rush (22nd)

Matchups We Love:

Christian McCaffrey (RB, SF)

Arguing against the consensus No. 1 overall RB is hard to do, but the case for anyone who tried was based on Elijah Mitchell eating into his snap share and workload. After one week, that case isn't looking very good. Mitchell played just 10 offensive snaps with five carries and one target. And that was in a game they led 20-7 at halftime. Even Deebo Samuel only vultured two rushing attempts. McCaffrey is going to reward everyone who believed in him and drafted him instead of a receiver in Round 1.

49ers WRs

It was a memorable day for Brandon Aiyuk, who couldn't be stopped in Pittsburgh. His eight catches for 129 yards and two touchdowns landed him as the WR2, behind only Tyreek Hill who had a monster day. His yards per route run was also second behind Hill while bringing in all eight of his targets. The Robin to his Batman this week was Samuel, who did run four more routes but had a lower depth of target as usual. Both are in play as top-24 wideouts against the Rams, whose defense will face a tough test against their division foes.

Matchups We Hate:

Rams RBs

It's a shame to rain on the parade of Kyren Williams, who shocked the world as the lead back against Seattle. Yes, by the end of the game, Cam Akers had 22 carries. But the snaps were 26-4 in favor of Williams at halftime. Once they established a lead and needed to take the ground-and-pound approach, Akers became more involved. It's going to be tough sledding against a 49ers run defense that allowed just 41 rushing yards on the road last week. Williams is a desperation flex play, but both are best left out of your lineup.

UPDATE: Akers is a surprising inactive by the team, making Williams the starter and an intriguing top-24 back with a full workload.

Rams Passing Attack

Many of us in the fantasy community, myself included, were taking the start Tyler Higbee and bench everyone else approach for this offense. Against the Seahawks, that turned out to be wrong. Matthew Stafford took care of the ball, wasn't sacked at all, and threw for over 300 yards. Tutu Atwell had the best game of his career with eight receptions for 119 yards. And not to be outdone, rookie Puka Nacua did what no one thought possible. He hauled in 10 passes for 119 yards as well on 15 targets.

The one player predicted to succeed, Higbee, finished with three catches for 49 yards. It's very tempting to buy into this passing attack. Long term, I think it's wise to do so. Especially for Nacua, who played on the outside 74% of the time. Against San Francisco, I'd rather wait one more week. However, if you're in need of a start, Higbee is still a streamer and Nacua's volume makes him a flex option.

UPDATE: Nacua was limited in Friday's practice, but he's expected to play.

Other Matchups:

George Kittle (TE, SF)

Tight ends were brutal in Week 1, and Kittle was no exception. The positive is he saw six targets. The negative is he finished with three receptions for 19 yards. There will be ebbs and flows with Kittle, but six targets on an offense that scored 30-plus points is too good to pass up. He also entered with a groin injury, which likely impacted his performance.

Brock Purdy (QB, SF)

Purdy delivered once again, finishing with an on-target percentage of 82.1%, the sixth-most in Week 1. He passed for over 200 yards with two touchdowns, as he typically does. He took three sacks but had no turnovers and resumes his status as a streamer with a better matchup this week.

Injuries:

Cooper Kupp (hamstring)
Puka Nacua (oblique)

 

New York Jets at Dallas Cowboys

Spread: Cowboys -9.5 
Implied Total: Jets (14.5) vs. Cowboys (24)
Pace: Jets (31st) vs. Cowboys (16th)
Jets Off. DVOA: -10.0% Pass (24th), -20.6% Rush (21st)
Cowboys Off. DVOA: 14.4% Pass (17th), 21.3% Rush (6th)
Jets Def. DVOA:
9.3% Pass (17th), -19.0% Rush (16th)
Cowboys Def. DVOA: -89.5% Pass (1st), -29.4% Rush (6th)

Matchups We Love:

Tony Pollard (RB, DAL)

You could make the case there are no matchups to love here because these two defenses may be No. 1 and No. 2 in the league. However, because the Cowboys will dominate this game and establish a lead, I'm leaving Pollard in this section. Pollard finished with six carries inside the five-yard line in 2022. In Week 1, he had three, two of which turned into touchdowns. He's in the running to be the RB1.

Matchups We Hate:

Jets RBs

We move to another supremely talented back, Breece Hall, who opened his season with an amazing 83-yard run. At full health, it would have been a house call. He averaged 13.4 yards per touch, which is ridiculous. Unsurprisingly, Dalvin Cook played 10 more snaps and five more touches, but he's not the biggest concern for Hall.

That, sadly, is the loss of Aaron Rodgers. On one hand, it will encourage the offense to rely more heavily on their rushing attack. On the other, there will be fewer scoring opportunities and sustained drives. Further complicating the situation this week is the matchup against Dallas. Hall can overcome their rush defense, but I'm not confident Zach Wilson can do enough to prevent the defense from lining up to stop the run every play. Hall is a boom-or-bust flex option.

UPDATE: Hall practiced in full on Friday, indicating he should be good to go. His official status is questionable, but everything points to another appearance in Week 2.

Jets Passing Attack

Tragically for fantasy managers who went all-in on Garrett Wilson, we're back to the Wilson-to-Wilson connection, which was a problem in 2022. It doesn't render him unplayable because, as we saw on Monday, he can take poor throws and make magic happen. But it dramatically lowers his ceiling. Particularly against Dallas, whose pass rush is deadly. Like Hall, Wilson is a risky top-36 receiver.

Cowboys Passing Attack

The Cowboys executed the Mike McCarthy plan to perfection. Their defense kept New York off the field, their offense ran the ball effectively, and Dak Prescott attempted only 28 passes. The script for this season is set, it's merely a matter of whether they're able to follow it each week.

Against the Wilson-led Jets, it's all but guaranteed. Prescott moves to the streamer range, who may or may not toss a touchdown. As the quarterback goes, so too do the receiving options. The only player to start is CeeDee Lamb, who still got his with four receptions for 77 yards. Everyone else is best left on the bench.

UPDATE: Cooks is looking like he'll miss Sunday's game. His absence would only further help Lamb.

Other Matchups:

None

Injuries:

Brandin Cooks (knee)

 

Washington Commanders at Denver Broncos

Spread: Broncos -3.5 
Implied Total: Commanders (17.75) vs. Broncos (21.25)
Pace: Commanders (12th) vs. Broncos (30th)
Commanders Off. DVOA: 12.1% Pass (18th), -22.4% Rush (24th)
Broncos Off. DVOA: 33.1% Pass (8th), 10.1% Rush (10th)
Commanders Def. DVOA:
-27.5% Pass (6th), -20.2% Rush (15th)
Broncos Def. DVOA: 60.9% Pass (29th), -38.2% Rush (4th)

Matchups We Love:

None

Matchups We Hate:

Russell Wilson (QB, DEN)

Next up is another matchup featuring two strong defenses, except there isn't a potent offense on either side. The Broncos get the edge from Vegas because they're at home, but that doesn't mean they're a definitively better team. Wilson looked better than last year under Sean Payton.

He took care of the ball with zero turnovers, had the third-highest on-target percentage at 84.4%, and finished with a quarterback rating of 108, which was the fifth-best. Unfortunately, none of that translated to a good day for fantasy because he only averaged 5.2 yards per attempt. Although he found the end zone twice. The matchup is more difficult than last week, keeping him off the radar.

Commanders Passing Attack

The Commanders did not roll through Arizona as anticipated, but they did get the win. Sam Howell really struggled, committing two turnovers while taking six sacks. We did see his rushing upside on a six-yard scramble to the end zone. Against the Denver defense, it could be a long day.

As for the receiver corps, Logan Thomas paced the group with eight targets but that only resulted in four catches for 43 yards. Jahan Dotson and Terry McLaurin both failed to capitalize on the matchup, producing fewer fantasy points than Curtis Samuel despite running the most routes. Samuel taking volume away is a problem because it's unreasonable to expect Howell to support three or four options. Dotson and McLaurin remain the go-to's but fall outside the top 24 in Mile High, especially McLaurin who will face Patrick Surtain II in coverage.

Other Matchups:

Broncos WRs

Without Jerry Jeudy active, Courtland Sutton tied for the most targets (five) with backup tight end Adam Trautman, who replaced the injured Greg Dulcich. Fortunately, Sutton found pay dirt to make his day worthwhile. Additionally, 10 different players caught a pass on Sunday, signaling a wide distribution of targets. That isn't good for fantasy. Unless Jeudy returns, Sutton will remain the favorite for volume, but he's outside the top 24.

UPDATE: Jeudy will make his return to action, and will not be on a snap count. He jumps into the top 30 in his game back. Additionally, Dulcich was ruled out as expected.

Broncos RBs

Much like the Jets, the star RB for Denver is returning from a knee injury. Javonte Williams split the snaps evenly with Samaje Perine but finished with the same number of receptions (four) and five additional carries. Washington is a good run defense, making them both flex options with the preference being Williams still because his role and explosiveness should increase each week.

Brian Robinson Jr. (RB, WAS)

The question of who the starter is now appears abundantly clear. Robinson Jr. played 61% of the offensive snaps, accounted for 19 of the 25 (76%) RB carries, and he had one more target than Antonio Gibson. It's possible that Gibson putting the ball on the ground, which he has a history of doing, was enough for the coaching staff to move off of him. In either case, Robinson, who ran a career-high 17 routes, is clearly the lead back. He's a fringe top-24 back against Denver, who did well to slow down Josh Jacobs in Week 1.

Injuries:

Jerry Jeudy (hamstring)
Greg Dulcich (leg)

 

Matchup Analysis - Sunday Night Football

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots

Spread: Dolphins -3.0
Implied Total: Dolphins (24.75) vs. Patriots (21.75)
Pace: Dolphins (6th) vs. Patriots (3rd)
Dolphins Off. DVOA: 107.7% Pass (1st), 28.1% Rush (3rd)
Patriots Off. DVOA: 25.3% Pass (12th), -18.5% Rush (19th)
Dolphins Def. DVOA:
24.5% Pass (25th), 48.9% Rush (32nd)
Patriots Def. DVOA: 9.4% Pass (18th), -13.2% Rush (19th)

Matchups We Love:

Tua Tagovailoa (QB, MIA)

Tagovailoa lit up the Chargers like a Christmas tree. He led all signal callers in completed air yards per attempt, EPA per dropback, total passing yards, and passing touchdowns. Plus, he finished as the QB1. It's not a complete shock because we saw a lot of this over the first half of last season before the concussions started. The Patriots pose more of a challenge this week, but there's no reason to go away from him given the weapons he possesses.

Dolphins WRs

Tyreek Hill torched the Los Angeles secondary, consistently breaking free for big plays. Obviously, it's only a one-week sample, but his yards per route run of 6.14 is still incredible. He legitimately has a shot to hit 2,000 receiving yards as he promised before the season started.

Second in command is Jaylen Waddle, who represents a No. 1 type of talent in his own right. His final production was lower with four receptions for 78 yards, but it's worth noting that he entered Sunday's contest with an abdomen injury.

The dynamic duo each averaged 19.5 yards per reception, which is excellent. Braxton Berrios could prove to be a capable No. 3, but a combined 17 targets for him, River Cracraft, and tight end Durham Smythe seem like an outlier. I'd bet on the pendulum swinging back toward Waddle this week.

Rhamondre Stevenson (RB, NE)

We didn't figure Stevenson would have a big day against Philly, but his passing game usage was encouraging. Although Ezekiel Elliott finished with seven targets, Stevenson ran twice as many routes and averaged 10.7 yards per reception compared to 2.8 for Elliott.

We didn't really get to see what would happen near the goal line as they only ran the ball one time inside the 10-yard line, but that carry did go to Stevenson. Elliott's numbers were pedestrian (plus he fumbled), making it only a matter of time before the market share shifts more toward Stevenson. For this week against Miami, who got obliterated on the ground, he's a top-24 back while Elliott is a flex play with minimal upside.

Matchups We Hate:

Durham Smythe (TE, MIA)

As noted above, his production may have been a one-hit wonder. I wanted to note him here in case he's someone you are considering starting this week. He's best treated as a stash or a watch list candidate until we see how Week 2 unfolds.

Other Matchups:

Raheem Mostert (RB, MIA)

Mostert produced the type of top-24 back game you'd hoped for, finding the end zone with 50 yards on his 12 touches. He'll occasionally break off a big run, but it's primarily the goal line and receiving roles that we're seeking in this offense. He remains in the top 24 with less upside this week given the matchup and the possibility of De'Von Achane stealing work.

Hunter Henry (TE, NE)

A tight end who showed out in Week 1 that is worth throwing in your lineup is Henry. He vastly out-snapped Mike Gesicki, playing nearly double the snaps. He also ran 18 more routes. Additionally, he has a history of success. He's a strong streamer with a plus matchup.

Kendrick Bourne (WR, NE)

Before we get too excited about the Bourne performance, it's important to recognize that Mac Jones dropped back to pass 54 times, the most of any quarterback, which is bound to decrease in Week 2. That said, he's certainly the best bet to lead the receiving corps. Especially if DeVante Parker misses again, ensuring more downfield targets. Regardless of who else is active, he'll be a flex option in what projects to be another negative game script.

UPDATE: Parker is listed as questionable for this one. While he's not some to play, his return could reduce the deep shots for Bourne.

Injuries:

Jeff Wilson Jr. (abdomen)
DeVante Parker (knee)

 

Matchups Analysis - Monday Night Football

New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers

Spread: Saints -3.0 
Implied Total: Saints (21.5) vs. Panthers (18.5)
Pace: Saints (11th) vs. Panthers (14th)
Saints Off. DVOA: 29.8% Pass (9th), -45.3% Rush (31st)
Panthers Off. DVOA: -23.5% Pass (26th), -11.5% Rush (15th)
Saints Def. DVOA:
-40.6% Pass (3rd), 15.8% Rush (26th)
Panthers Def. DVOA: -32.6% Pass (5th), 30.1% Rush (31st)

Matchups We Love:

Saints WRs

Chris Olave was a popular breakout pick entering the season. He immediately resumed his alpha role, racking up 112 yards on eight catches. He also ranked fourth in yards per route run, one spot lower than his teammate Rashid Shaheed, who made his mark with five receptions for 89 yards and a score.

Despite fewer targets than Michael Thomas, Shaheed is the clear-cut No. 2 from a fantasy perspective, given his upside and big-play potential. Derek Carr has revived the Saints' passing attack, making both Thomas and Shaheed relevant as flex options at the very least.

Matchups We Hate:

Panthers Passing Attack

Even as the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft, it's hard for rookie quarterbacks to shine early in their rookie year, especially when the team is bad. The Panthers tried to upgrade the weapons around Bryce Young. But injuries have put a damper on DJ Chark Jr. and Adam Thielen, forcing them to rely on the likes of Terrace Marshall Jr., Laviska Shenault Jr., and rookie Jonathan Mingo, who needs more time. The lone bright spot was tight end Hayden Hurst, who led the team in every receiving category en route to a TE2 finish. He's worth a shot as a streamer, but no one else is viable against the Saints.

UPDATE: Chark got in a limited practice and is listed as questionable for Monday's game.

Saints TEs

Juwan Johnson is a talented player who was out there for 75% of the offensive snaps, but the competition is stiff. Taysom Hill and Foster Moreau combined for 63% of the offensive snaps, but they only ran three routes, so neither is hurting the production of Johnson. Three receptions for 36 yards isn't great from your tight end, but he'll get another shot here on the road in Carolina as a touchdown-dependent streamer.

Other Matchups:

Derek Carr (QB, NO)

As credited above, Carr is a massive upgrade for New Orleans. He frequently finishes in the QB10-QB15 range. That is where he lands this week against the Panthers' defense, whose numbers look deceptively good against the pass having faced Atlanta in Week 1.

Jamaal Williams (RB, NO)

Williams was always going to have a tough time against Tennessee, but not finding the end zone hurts. The matchup is a lot juicier this week, keeping him in the top 24. Kendre Miller could make his season debut, but he's unlikely to factor in enough to hurt Williams in his first game.

UPDATE: Miller got in another limited practice and is listed as questionable for Monday night.

Miles Sanders (RB, CAR)

The bad news for Sanders was Chuba Hubbard made it a committee, rushing the ball nine times for 60 yards while adding two receptions for nine yards. The good news is he still saw 18 carries of his own, totaled nearly 100 scrimmage yards, and received six targets. If anything, it means Hubbard will have flex value in favorable matchups. New Orleans does not fit that description, so it's best to focus only on Sanders, who's in the top 24.

Injuries:

DJ Chark Jr. (hamstring)
Kendre Miller (hamstring)

 

Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers

Spread: Browns -2.5 
Implied Total: Browns (20.75) vs. Steelers (18.25)
Pace: Browns (28th) vs. Steelers (1st)
Browns Off. DVOA: -3.8% Pass (22nd), 26.7% Rush (4th)
Steelers Off. DVOA: -25.9% Pass (28th), -23.7% Rush (26th)
Browns Def. DVOA:
-47.2% Pass (2nd), -24.5% Rush (8th)
Steelers Def. DVOA: 24.3% Pass (24th), 14.1% Rush (25th)

Matchups We Love:

Nick Chubb (RB, CLE)

The post-Kareem Hunt era began at home against Cincinnati. Chubb saw four targets, which he turned into four catches for 21 yards. It made for a nice cherry on top, piling onto his 106 rushing yards. The only thing he didn't do was find pay dirt, and that'll change.

Jerome Ford also had 15 carries on 41% of the offensive snaps but mostly played when the score was out of hand. He's an intriguing backup who could carve out enough work to become impactful as the season progresses and he's integrated into the game plan. Pittsburgh got gashed by the 49ers on the ground, but then again almost everyone does. Nonetheless, Chubb is locked in.

Matchups We Hate:

Deshaun Watson (QB, CLE)

The Watson experiment will require another week before we can really make a conclusion because the weather was a challenge for the quarterbacks. That said, he threw a pick, committed a fumble that the offense recovered, and completed only 55% of his passes at 5.3 yards per attempt. He salvaged his outing on the ground, which is the one area he's been producing pretty consistently. Despite the shellacking the Steelers took in Week 1, their defense is good enough to push Watson into the streaming category.

Najee Harris (RB, PIT)

Harris played only eight more snaps than Jaylen Warren, finishing with the same number of touches. He also ran six more routes than Warren but saw four fewer targets. It's shaping up to be a full-blown timeshare, of which Warren is the more explosive back who also operates as the pass-catcher. Cleveland's defense showed enough against the Bengals to make me terrified to start Harris at this point. It's possible Warren has more scoring upside, but neither are players to force into your lineup.

Steelers Passing Attack

The theme of concern bleeds into the passing attack, led by Kenny Pickett, who did not look like the QB we saw tearing it up in preseason. The opponent was certainly a factor, but the Browns aren't an easy matchup either. Making matters worse for Pickett, Diontae Johnson is out with a hamstring that could sideline him for multiple weeks.

It does open up more opportunities for George Pickens and tight end Pat Freiermuth, who also suffered a chest injury but is in line to suit up. Pickens moves into the top 36 due to volume while Freiermuth jumps into the top 12. You could consider Allen Robinson II in deeper formats or desperate situations, but it's a risky matchup to go digging for options in this receiving corps.

UPDATE: Freiermuth practiced in full on Friday, indicating he'll likely be active on Monday night.

Other Matchups:

Amari Cooper (WR, CLE)

Following suit with Watson, none of the Browns' pass-catchers produced for fantasy. The participation was skewed because Cooper was held out off the field for a period of time. The final order was Donovan Peoples-Jones (89%), Elijah Moore (69%), and Cooper (62%). Moore tied Cooper for the lead in targets, which is a good sign for his potential to emerge as the No. 2 wideout. Cooper is a top-20 receiver with Moore as the preferred flex option this week.

UPDATE: Cooper was injured at practice Saturday and is now questionable for Monday's game. He becomes a lot riskier unless we know he's active before Sunday's contests start.

David Njoku (TE, CLE)

Njoku only earned three targets, which isn't ideal. He also had a touchdown stolen by their backup tight end, Harrison Bryant. It'll be worth watching the distribution of volume this week in better weather. Njoku remains a streamer.

Injuries:

Diontae Johnson (hamstring)
Pat Freiermuth (chest)



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Jamie Benn23 hours ago

Scores Big Goal In Series-Clinching Victory
Matt Duchene23 hours ago

Ends Second-Round Series With Overtime Winner
Jake Oettinger23 hours ago

Leads Stars To Western Conference Final
Sergei Bobrovsky23 hours ago

Stellar In Game 6 Win
Anton Lundell23 hours ago

Comes Up Huge In Series-Clinching Win
José Ramírez1 day ago

Jose Ramirez Cracks Go-Ahead Home Run
Jhoan Duran1 day ago

Saddled With First Loss
Emmanuel Clase1 day ago

Shuts Door For 13th Save
Aaron Judge1 day ago

Keeps Rolling With 12th Homer
Gunnar Henderson1 day ago

Homers, Triples Against Seattle
Zack Wheeler1 day ago

Registers Seventh Quality Start
Willson Contreras1 day ago

Gets Cast Removed
T.J. Hockenson1 day ago

Won't Put A Timeline On His Recovery
TOR1 day ago

Maple Leafs Bring In Craig Berube As New Head Coach
Nick Cousins1 day ago

Re-Enters Panthers Lineup Friday
Yakov Trenin1 day ago

Considered Day-To-Day
Tyler Seguin1 day ago

Good To Go Friday
Roope Hintz1 day ago

Remains Out For Game 6
Brad Marchand1 day ago

A Game-Time Call Friday
San Francisco 49ers2 days ago

Dre Greenlaw Ditches Walking Boot
Najee Harris2 days ago

Slims Down With Diet Change
Tua Tagovailoa2 days ago

Mostly Absent From Offseason Workouts
Lerone Murphy2 days ago

Looks To Remain Undefeated
Carlston Harris2 days ago

Set For Co-Main Event
Khaos Williams2 days ago

Faces Carlston Harris In The Co-Main Event Of UFC Vegas 92
Angela Hill2 days ago

A Favorite At UFC Vegas 92
Luana Pinheiro2 days ago

Looks To Get Back In Win Column
Donovan Mitchell2 days ago

Will Meet With Cavaliers "At The Right Time"
Evan Mobley2 days ago

Likely To Get Max Extension
Nikola Jokic2 days ago

Drops 22 Points In Loss
Jaden McDaniels2 days ago

Scores 21 Points In Game 6 Win
Bruce Brown2 days ago

Reportedly On The Trade Block
Anthony Edwards2 days ago

Leads All Scorers In Blowout Win
J.T. Miller2 days ago

Scores Dramatic Game-Winner
Leon Draisaitl2 days ago

Extends Postseason-Opening Point Streak With An Assist
Ilya Mikheyev2 days ago

Dealing With Undisclosed Injury
Sebastian Aho2 days ago

Notches Two Points In Game 6 Loss
Jack Roslovic2 days ago

Ends Dry Spell With Two Helpers
Artemi Panarin2 days ago

Records Two Assists In Series-Clincher
Chris Kreider2 days ago

Joins Special List With Third-Period Hat Trick
Scottie Scheffler2 days ago

Detained By Louisville Police Following Traffic Incident
Brad Marchand2 days ago

Hopes To Return To Action In Game 6
Brett Pesce2 days ago

Remains Out On Thursday
Cleveland Cavaliers2 days ago

Cavaliers Will Evaluate Their Backcourt
Mike Conley2 days ago

Expected To Play In Game 6
Robert Tonyan2 days ago

Signs With Vikings
Vinicius Salvador3 days ago

Moves Up To Bantamweight At UFC Vegas 92
Adrian Yanez3 days ago

Looks To Snap Losing Skid At UFC Vegas 92
Themba Gorimbo3 days ago

A Favorite At UFC Vegas 92
Ramiz Brahimaj3 days ago

Ends Layoff At UFC Vegas 92
Edson Barboza3 days ago

Headlines UFC Vegas 92
Josh Giddey3 days ago

Provides 11 Points In Bench Role
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander3 days ago

Puts Up 30 Points In Game 5 Loss
Dereck Lively3 days ago

II Registers Double-Double Off The Bench
Luka Doncic3 days ago

Leads Mavericks In Game 5 With 30-Point Triple-Double
Derrick White3 days ago

Bounces Back Wednesday Night
Al Horford3 days ago

Stuffs Stat Sheet In Game 5 Win
Pittsburgh Steelers3 days ago

Cameron Heyward Plans To Hold Out As He Seeks Extension
Tee Higgins3 days ago

Growing Frustrated With Bengals
NFL3 days ago

Netflix Christmas Day Games Announced
New York Giants3 days ago

Giants To Be Featured On Hard Knocks
NFL3 days ago

International Games Revealed For 2024 Season
D'Andre Swift3 days ago

Could Be Used Often In Passing Game
Kirk Cousins4 days ago

Jogging, Throwing During OTAs
Sepp Straka4 days ago

In Excellent Form For PGA Championship
Tom Kim4 days ago

Trending In The Right Direction For PGA Championship
PGA4 days ago

Can Tyrell Hatton Put It All Together At PGA Championship?
Jordan Spieth4 days ago

Needs Consistency At PGA Championship
Joaquin Niemann4 days ago

To Continue Playing Well At Valhalla?
Collin Morikawa4 days ago

Rounding Into Form Heading To Valhalla
Scottie Scheffler4 days ago

Returns To Action For PGA Championship
Russell Henley4 days ago

An Interesting Name At PGA Championship
Martavis Bryant4 days ago

To Work Out For Commanders
Jahmyr Gibbs4 days ago

Could Have Bigger Role In 2024
Corey Conners4 days ago

A Real Dark Horse At PGA Championship
PGA4 days ago

Can Sungjae Im Keep The Momentum At Valhalla?
Dean Burmester4 days ago

Comes Back To PGA Championship
Stephan Jaeger4 days ago

Final Round Last Week Is Troubling
Keegan Bradley4 days ago

Still A Longer Shot For Valhalla
Shane Lowry4 days ago

In For Long Week At PGA Championship
PGA4 days ago

Alex Noren Has Been Very Consistent In 2024
Akshay Bhatia4 days ago

Eager To Take On Valhalla
Tony Finau4 days ago

The Tony Finau Roller Coaster To Continue In Louisville
Cincinnati Bengals4 days ago

Trey Hendrickson Committed To The Bengals
Matt Fitzpatrick4 days ago

Looking For Consistency En Route To Valhalla
Kansas City Chiefs4 days ago

Chiefs To Start Title Defense Against Ravens
NFL4 days ago

Jets-49ers To Face Off On Monday Night In Week 1
Wyndham Clark4 days ago

Looks To Right His Rough PGA Championship History
Ludvig Aberg4 days ago

On Track To Play In PGA Championship
Brad Keselowski5 days ago

Snaps Winless Streak With Second Darlington Victory
NASCAR5 days ago

Bubba Wallace Earns Much-Needed Good Finish At Darlington
Denny Hamlin5 days ago

Sees Positives In Below-Average Day At Darlington
Justin Haley5 days ago

Gets Best-Ever Finish For Rick Ware Racing
Kyle Larson5 days ago

Wins Stage, but Crashes Out at Darlington Due to Cut Tire
Todd Gilliland5 days ago

Slow Pit Stops Foil Todd Gilliland at Darlington Despite Impressive Speed
Chris Buescher5 days ago

Taken Out of Win, but Increased Aggression Working for Him
Ryan Blaney5 days ago

Despite Crash, Ryan Blaney Had One of His Best Darlington Runs
Joaquin Buckley6 days ago

Extends Win Streak
Nursulton Ruziboev6 days ago

Suffers Unanimous-Decision Loss
Carlos Ulberg6 days ago

Stuns With 12-Second Knockout
Alonzo Menifield6 days ago

Knocked Out In The First Round At UFC St. Louis
Alex Caceres6 days ago

Drops Decision Matchup
Sean Woodson6 days ago

Extends Win Streak
Michael McDowell6 days ago

Finishes 10th at Darlington Raceway
Chase Briscoe6 days ago

Delivers Value In DFS At Darlington Raceway
RANKINGS
C
1B
2B
3B
SS
OF
SP
RP

RANKINGS

QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF

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