Fantasy Matchups

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Michael F. Florio's Week 2 fantasy matchups

It was so great just to have football back that I'm sure you enjoyed it even if you lost your fantasy matchup. But the honeymoon phase is over and we are not going to be content with just having football back this week. No, we want to go home with a victory in Week 2 and that is exactly what the goal of this article will be each week. It will break down the best and toughest matchups of the week and give you a whole lot of fantasy matchup stats that you should know so you can best set your lineup and continue to pull of wins!

Best Fantasy Matchups of the Week

Quarterback

Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins have allowed 21.57 fantasy PPG to QBs since 2019, which is the second-most in the NFL in that span (the only team that has allowed more is the Cardinals -- but not many are playing Dwayne Haskins in Week 2). The Dolphins have allowed 39 passing touchdowns to QBs in that span and 265 passing yards per game. It also doesn't hurt that Josh Allen has averaged 31.08 fantasy PPG in four career starts against Miami. That is the most any player has averaged against any team in NFL history. Plus, he's scored 21 or more in each of those four games. He is a must start in Week 2.

Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons have allowed 20.84 fantasy PPG to QBs since 2019, the third-most in the NFL in that period. Just last week this Falcons defense let Russell Wilson go off for 31.78 fantasy points, good enough to make him the QB1 in Week 1. Dak Prescott and his stud receivers are in a great spot to pick up where Wilson left off this week.

Other favorable QB matchups: Mitch Trubisky vs. Giants, Aaron Rodgers vs. Lions, Lamar Jackson at Texans, Drew Brees at Raiders

Running Back

Carolina Panthers: The Panthers have allowed 32 fantasy PPG to RBs sine 2019, the most in the NFL. They've also allowed 33 total TDs to RBs in that span, by far the most in the league, as no one else has allowed more than 24. That bodes well for Ronald Jones who led the Bucs RBs in carries (17), targets (3) and snaps (48 percent). Jones is a very strong RB2 with upside this week.

Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars have allowed 31.21 fantasy PPG to RBs since 2019, the second-most in the NFL. That includes 24 touchdowns to RBs and nearly six catches per game in that span. You never bench Derrick Henry, but this week is an especially great matchup. He averaged over 20 fantasy PPG against the Jags in 2019, including going for 159 rushing yards and two TDs in his last game against them.

Other favorable RB matchups: Austin Ekeler vs. Chiefs, Kenyan Drake vs. Football Team, Aaron Jones vs. Lions

Wide Receiver

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs have allowed 42.46 fantasy PPG to WRs since 2019, the most in the NFL. In that span they have allowed nearly 190 yards per game and 22 touchdowns to WRs. They've also struggled guarding slot receivers, allowing the fourth-most fantasy PPG (16.65) and nine touchdowns to slot receivers since 2019. D.J. Moore remains a must-start WR this week and Robby Anderson has a high ceiling.  

Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings have allowed the third-most fantasy PPG to WRs since 2019 (40.66). They also allowed a league-high 79.4 fantasy points to receivers in Week 1. This is a secondary that could be exploited. T.Y. Hilton and Parris Campbell are the two to be interested in this week. Just know that Campbell led Colts receivers in snaps (83 percent) and was their leading receiver.

Other favorable WR matchups: Packers WRs vs. Lions, Bears WRs vs. Giants, Bills WRs at Dolphins.

Tight End

Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals got roasted by tight ends pretty much on a weekly basis in 2019. Since the start of last season, they have allowed 18.66 fantasy PPG, the most in the NFL by a wide margin. No one else has allowed over 16 fantasy PPG to TEs. The Cards have also allowed a league-high 16 touchdowns to tight ends. Logan Thomas played 74 percent of the snaps in Week 1 and was third on Washington with 27 routes ran. The opportunity for him to have a nice fantasy day is there.

Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys have allowed 14.74 fantasy PPG to TEs since the start of the 2019 season. They allow nearly 60 yards per game to the position and allowed 11 touchdowns to tight ends in that span. Hayden Hurst disappointed in Week 1, but do not give up on him yet, as he has a nice matchup this week and came into the year with a lot of fantasy hype.

Other favorable TE matchups: Dan Arnold vs. Football Team, Hunter Henry vs. Chiefs, Evan Engram at Bears

Toughest Fantasy Matchups of the Week

Quarterback

New England Patriots: The Pats have allowed just 10.64 fantasy PPG to QBs since 2019, the lowest in the NFL. If you played fantasy last season, you remember how hard we tried to avoid starting QBs against the Pats. They kept Ryan Fitzpatrick in check last week, allowing just 191 pass yards and no touchdowns and picking him off three times. This week they have a tough challenge in Russell Wilson. I would still start Wilson this week, but I am not expecting him to finish as the top fantasy QB this week like he did in Week 1.

Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens' elite defense is allowing just 11.90 fantasy PPG to QBs since 2019, the second-lowest in the NFL. This is another matchup of stud QB vs. stud defense as the Ravens match up against Deshaun Watson. Watson is still a top-12 QB for me this week, but he comes in at 11. I have concerns given how the Texans looked in Week 1, with Watson just throwing for 253 yards, one touchdown and one interception. It's possible you have an option you like more than Watson this week.

Other tough QB matchups: Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Bills, Drew Lock at Steelers, Matthew Stafford at Packers, Patrick Mahomes at Chargers

Running Back

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs' run defense has been one of the best in the NFL over the last year. They've held RBs to just 17.22 fantasy PPG since 2019, the second lowest in the league. They've also allowed a league-low 57.1 rushing yards per game to RBs in that span. You are not sitting Christian McCaffrey, but he did have two of his worst three fantasy performances in 2019 against this defense. Start him no doubt, but do not be surprised if he doesn't give you a normal CMC day.

San Francisco 49ers: The Niners have allowed 17.45 fantasy points to RBs since 2019, the third lowest in the NFL in that span. They've only allowed nine touchdowns to RBs in that span. Stay far, far away from the Jets' backfield this week with Le'Veon Bell out. The Niners are stingy allowing TDs to RBs, and if you start Frank Gore, you are hoping he scores because he's likely not going to give you a high yardage or catch total. 

Other tough RB matchups: Chris Carson vs. Patriots, Melvin Gordon at Steelers, Josh Jacobs vs. Saints, Malcolm Brown at Eagles.

Wide Receiver

Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs have allowed just 26.46 fantasy PPG to WRs sine 2019, the second lowest in the NFL. I know 26 fantasy points may sound like a good fantasy day for a receiver, but that is not to one WR; that is to a team's entire WR group. The Chiefs also held the Texans in check in Week 1 outside of Will Fuller. The Chargers could be trailing in this game, which leads to more passing, but it is still hard to get pumped for this matchup.

Los Angeles Chargers: The Chargers have the task of stopping Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs' passing attack, but they are better at doing so than any team in the NFL. The Chargers have held Mahomes to just 13.12 fantasy PPG, the fewest of his career. Tyreek Hill has topped 100 yards in just one of eight career games against them. You are not benching them this week, but just beware this is a tough matchup.

Other tough WR matchups: Seahawks WRs vs. Patriots, Giants WRs at Bears, Dolphins WRs vs. Bills

Tight End

Buffalo Bills: The Bills have been very difficult against tight ends. They've allowed 9.08 fantasy PPG to TE since 2019, the second-fewest in NFL. Mike Gesicki averaged just 6.95 fantasy PPG against the Bills last year and struggled in a tough matchup against the Pats in Week 1. He may be hard to sit in deeper leagues, but I like waiver-wire pickup Logan Thomas more this week.

San Francisco 49ers: The one Jets player you may feel okay starting this week is Chris Herndon, but he has such a tough matchup. The Niners allowed the third-fewest fantasy PPG to TEs since 2019 (9.13). There could be volume here for Herndon, but it's in a very tough matchup with very limited offensive weapons around him.

Other tough TE matchups: Texans TEs vs. Ravens, Rob Gronkowski vs. Panthers, Packers TEs vs. Lions.

Fantasy Matchup Stats to Know

Here are matchup stats to help you make your Week 2 lineup decisions:

ATL allowed 6th-most fantasy pts to WR Wk 1 (46.4)

ATL allowed 31.78 fantasy pts to R. Wilson Wk 1 (most among QB)

ATL allowed 35.2 fantasy pts to RBs vs SEA Wk 1 (4th-most in NFL)

ARI allowed most rec TD to TE since 2019 (16)

ARI allowed 3rd-fewest fantasy PPG to WR last 4 wks (23.58)

BAL allowed 2nd-fewest fantasy PPG to QB since 2019 (11.9)

BAL allowed 3rd-fewest fantasy PPG to RB last 4 wks (16.67)

BUF allowing 2nd-fewest fantasy PPG to TE since 2019 (9.08)

CAR allowed the highest scoring RB last week (J. Jacobs) and since 2019 are allowing the most fantasy PPG to running backs

CIN allowing 8th-most fantasy PPG to QB since 2019 (19.58)

CLE allowed 27.5 fantasy pts to L. Jackson Wk 1 (4th-most in NFL)

CLE allowed 2nd-most rush TD to QB since 2019 (5)

CLE allowing 3rd-most rush YPG to QB since 2019 (26.9)

DAL allowing 9th-most rec/gm to the slot since 2019 (7.5)

DET allowing 41.01 fantasy PPG to WRs since 2019 (2nd-most in NFL)

GB allowing 26.9 fantasy PPG to RBs since 2019 (9th-most in NFL)

GB allowed 13.81 fantasy PPG to QB since 2019 (5th-fewest in NFL)

GB allowed 2nd-fewest fantasy PPG to TE last 4 wks (4.20)

IND allowing most rec/gm to RB since 2019 (6.6)

IND allowed 6.0 fantasy pts to JAX D/ST Wk 1 (10th-most in NFL)

KC allowing 3rd-most rec/gm to RBs since 2019 (6.2)

KC allowed 4th-fewest fantasy PPG to WR last 4 wks (25.08)

LAC allowed 100-yd rushers 4 times in 2019

MIA allowed 217 rush yds to NE Wk 1 (most in NFL)

MIN allowing 3rd-most fantasy PPG to WR since 2019 (40.66)

MIN allowed most fantasy pts to WR Wk 1 (79.4)

MIN allowed 4 rec TD to WR Wk 1 (most in NFL)

MIN allowing 8th-fewest rec YPG to RBs since 2019 (36.6)

NE allowing 10.64 fantasy PPG to QB since 2019 (fewest in NFL)

NE allowing fewest fantasy PPG to WRs since 2019 (25.43)

NE allowed 4 rec TD to WRs in last 17 games

NYG allowed 4th-most fantasy pts to WRs Wk 1 (52.7) 

NYG allowed 3rd-most fantasy pts to slot WR Wk 1 (28.2) 

PIT allowed 14+ fantasy pts to an RB in 1 of last 18 gms

SEA allowed three 100-yd receivers in Wk 1 (Julio, Ridley, Gage)

SEA allowed 450 pass yds to M. Ryan Wk 1 (most among QB)

TEN allowing 8th-most pass YPG since 2019 (268.9)

WAS allowed 13.0 fantasy pts to Carson Wentz Wk 1

WAS DEF: 8 sacks in Wk 1 (most in NFL)

WAS allowing 28.04 fantasy PPG to RBs since 2019 (4th-most in NFL)

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