Week 2 Passing Matchups

by Justin Howe, Devin Knotts, and Keith Roberts, Exclusive to Footballguys.com

Jump to Rushing Matchups

Great Matchups: [NO] [PIT]
Good Matchups: [BUF] [CHI] [HOU] [KC] [LAC] [MIA] [NYJ] [PHI] [WAS]
Neutral Matchups: [BAL] [CAR] [CLE] [DEN] [DET] [JAX] [LAR] [MIN] [SEA] [SF] [TB] [TEN]
Tough Matchups: [ARI] [ATL] [CIN] [DAL] [GB] [NYG]
Bad Matchups: [IND] [NE] [OAK]


PLEASE NOTE: This does NOT replace the Cheatsheet ranking. The Cheatsheet rankings are the final say on where we see a player for that week. The Matchup Breakdowns are simply one more tool in the box when it comes to helping choose your lineup.

Also note, just because a player has a "bad" matchup, it does NOT mean he's not a starter in your league. If Tom Brady is playing the toughest pass defense in the league, that just means he's got a tough matchup that week. He's also your starter unless you're loaded at QB. In the same way, if the worst QB on your roster has a "great" matchup that week, it doesn't necessarily mean he's your starter. It means we think he'll fare better than normal that week.

Bottom line is that the cheatsheets are the final say.


New Orleans Saints Passing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Let’s hope no one plans on questioning 39-year-old Drew Brees much this year. Last season, while Brees’ huge dip in passing volume upset his fantasy players, he remained as efficient as he’s ever been, posting his best yardage and net-yardage per attempt marks in several years. And his Week 1 performance – albeit against a pitiful Buccaneers secondary – was dazzling (37 of 45 for 439 yards and 3 touchdowns). There’s simply been little to no drop-off in his ability, and he throws to enough dynamic talent that matchup is rarely a concern for his outlook. Michael Thomas is officially a target hog as Brees’ top receiver, and rightfully so. His 16-catch, 180-yard eruption against Tampa Bay proved that he’s capable of beating heavy attention, so fantasy leaguers needn’t worry about the question marks on the other side of the field. Ted Ginn remains serviceable as a downfield weapon, but there are more enticing options the team would prefer to see plugged into the lineup. Cameron Meredith was inactive for Week 1 – he struggled all preseason to get caught up with Brees – while explosive rookie Tre’Quan Smith drew just a single target in Week 1. Thomas and Alvin Kamara will continue to pace this group, but there’s real scoring potential everywhere, making this a matchup-proof attack.

The Cleveland pass defense, long a sore spot, showed modest promise in Week 1. That is to say that they’ve prioritized playmaking in the secondary, which resulted in four sacks and five takeaways of Ben Roethlisberger. Shining brightest was the first-round rookie Denzel Ward, who picked off two passes and flashed the ability to contain Antonio Brown. Brown got his numbers, as he usually does, but Ward provided a few impressive plays on the all-world receiver. It was also encouraging to see a dynamic pass rush from the Browns, who struggled to create pressure organically last year. Myles Garrett is arriving fast (two sacks and a pass breakup in Week 1), and there’s 2017 Saints appeal for this aggressive, attacking group. Still, Roethlisberger managed 335 yards relatively easily, and the slot appears to be a mismatch. Briean Boddy-Calhoun was shredded repeatedly by JuJu Smith-Schuster, who racked up 119 yards on 5 receptions.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Ben Roethlisberger, in not-unheard-of fashion, spoiled a great Week 1 performance with ill-timed, head-scratching interceptions. The numbers were good: 23 of 41 for 335 yards. But he also coughed up five turnovers and absorbed four sacks, with two late fumbles effectively dooming opportunities to pull out a win. There was a ton of good from this unit: Antonio Brown caught a 22-yard score (and 9 passes overall), while JuJu Smith-Schuster dominated from the slot. And James Conner proved that, while he’s no LeVeon Bell, there will always be a dynamic pass-catching element present in the backfield. But as long as Roethlisberger abandons defensive allowances and wings ill-advised throws into coverage, he’ll always be at risk for these days. His top two receivers, both explosive and gifted, are always unimpeachable fantasy plays, both with the ability to erupt alone or together any week. But Roethlisberger needs to keep control of this unit to really maximize that. Aside from Brown and Smith-Schuster, there was virtually nothing going on down the field Sunday.

The Kansas City pass defense has been pointed to all offseason as a potential punching bag, and Week 1 only furthered that take. Philip Rivers threw for 424 yards – 4 of his receivers recorded 81 or more – and 4 touchdowns in the opener. And he could’ve even more, if not for a handful of Chargers drops and misfires. Some of that production was flow-related, of course, with Rivers slicing up a prevent defense for much of the second half. But there’s still no reason to assume Kansas City’s patchwork secondary will be a deterrent anytime soon. Rivers had no problem finding his slot, outside, or running backs as there’s little coverage talent on this defense. Without Eric Berry in the lineup, the team has to rely on retreads throughout the secondary, and few are playing in-position. Most of the cornerbacks are situational slot guys at best, yet forced to track big, playmaking wideouts down the field. It makes for an extremely exploitable unit for Ben Roethlisberger and his studly receivers.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Buffalo Bills Passing Offense vs Los Angeles Chargers Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

At least there’s nowhere to go but up. In Week 1, the Bills showed why most of the world considers theirs the shallowest and least threatening in all of football. Second-year man Nathan Peterman flamed out immediately as the starter, somehow managing to create just 24 yards on 18 attempts. (He actually threw more interceptions than yards per attempt, a truly bizarre feat.) He’s almost certainly out, replaced by rookie Josh Allen. There’s promise with Allen – he’s a cannon-armed guy with a downfield mentality and underrated footwork and mechanics. But he’s also exceptionally raw in his transition from Wyoming even with a passable receiving corps, he’d likely struggle with growing pains off the bat. And Allen doesn’t have that, nor anything close, in Buffalo. Default No. 1 wideout Kelvin Benjamin already looks gassed and washed-up, catching just one of his seven targets Sunday. Names like Jeremy Kerley, Zay Jones, and Andre Holmes dot the rest of the landscape, making for what has to be the least dynamic supporting cast in the league. There’s always hope that a brash, strong-armed youngster like Allen can jump-start a passing game with play-action and fearless downfield play that pans out. But there look to be too many obstacles and not nearly enough talent for this passing game to make any kind of noise soon.

It was assumed all preseason that, even with cornerback Jason Verrett out, the Chargers’ collection of talented secondary pieces would stay elite. That may bear out, but it didn’t in Week 1, as Patrick Mahomes carved them up for 256 yards and 4 touchdowns. It’s too early to react much, though: Casey Heyward remains a shutdown force on the outside, and youngsters Derwin James and Desmond King showcased their playmaking abilities against the Chargers. In fact, Hill was the only Chief to sustain any real success – no other wideout or tight end topped 21 yards. And it can’t be forgotten that the performance came with Joey Bosa stuck to the Chargers sideline. When Bosa is on the field, he’s a tenacious, talented pass-rush threat that hurries and disrupts throws. But Bosa isn’t ready to suit up, so opponents are able to tee off downfield with more time and confidence. Whether the Bills can operate on that NFL-replacement level, though, is wholly up for debate. This looks like a great “breather week” as the Chargers continue to get healthy.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Chicago Bears Passing Offense vs Seattle Seahawks Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Mitchell Trubisky took a step in the right direction last week as he played relatively well in his first outing of the season with a particularly strong first half. While Trubisky finished with only 171 passing yards with no passing touchdowns, he took care of the ball while keeping plays alive with his legs. His offensive line was getting manhandled for most of the game, which had Trubisky moving all over the place in this backfield. Trubisky showed great chemistry with new receiver Allen Robinson, targeting him a team-high seven times as Robinson hauled in four of those for 61 yards to finish as the team’s leading receiver. Trubisky actually spread the ball around quite a bit with five players finishing with four or more targets, but none other than Robinson ended up with notably positive stat lines. Trey Burton had rather lofty expectations coming into the game, and he finished with the second-most targets behind Robinson, but Burton couldn’t do anything after hauling in his first target of the game for 15 yards. Burton was clearly not in sync with Trubisky, making multiple miscues on his routes throughout the evening. Tarik Cohen hauled in three receptions out of the backfield, but Jordan Howard was actually the more impactful pass-catcher out of the backfield as he hauled in five receptions for 25 receiving yards.

The Seahawks cornerbacks were absolutely toasted last week, with both Justin Coleman and Tre Flowers getting obliterated by Emmanuel Sanders from both the slot and outside. With Dontae Johnson placed on injured reserve until at least Week 8, Flowers should continue to start unless he is eventually benched for the continued poor play. While cornerbacks are a clear weakness, the Seahawks safeties really picked up the slack last week to combine for three interceptions. Earl Thomas has the proven pedigree while Bradley McDougald showed improvement in 2017 and certainly has promising prospects coming into the 2018 season on the heels of a multi-pick game. The Bears receivers ran a ton of short routes last week, which should bode well if continued against this Seahawks secondary. Allen Robinson sees the best matchup advantage as he should line up against Tre Flowers on most snaps.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Houston Texans Passing Offense at Tennessee Titans Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Deshaun Watson had a forgettable season debut against the Patriots, completing just 50 percent of his passes for 176 yards, one touchdown, and one interception while taking three sacks. Watson lacked effective protection all day long as his offensive line proved they are in shambles. The situation on the line is made even worse now with the loss of starting right tackle Seantrel Henderson, which will likely downgrade this line to the worst pass-protection unit in the league. Watson was also without one of his primary weapons in Will Fuller, who was inactive due to a lingering hamstring issue. Fuller practiced on a limited basis last week and has a good chance at suiting up this week. Top Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins was targeted 11 times, hauling in eight of them for 78 yards. The poor offensive line looks to have a big impact all around for this offense, as Watson was never given the proper time or pocket to find Hopkins at a decent spot in his routes.

The Titans defense will certainly have a bad taste in their mouth from the 57 points allowed the last time they faced a Deshaun Watson led Texans offense in Week 4 last season. The Titans secondary had a very up and down outing last week against the Dolphins as they allowed a pair of passing touchdowns and 230 passing yards, but also forced a couple of interceptions and one sack. The cornerback performance overall was poor with Adoree Jackson getting routinely outplayed by Dolphins receivers while free agent addition Malcolm Butler was burned for a 75-yard touchdown by Kenny Stills. Butler did haul in an impressive interception in the end zone, but his Titans debut overall could have gone better. Hopkins should draw coverage from Butler on most snaps this week and has the clear advantage in this matchup. The Titans have a couple of strong safeties to help over the top, but after the big plays allowed last week, they will need to show some improvement to warrant any matchup advantages going forward.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Kansas City Chiefs Passing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

It’s clear by now that Patrick Mahomes has plenty of arm for the NFL. He also has an unbreakable downfield mentality, a desire to relentlessly pump the ball downfield to Tyreek Hill. That connection looks set to be one of the more dynamic – and forced – in the league this year. It won’t always be that effective (7 of 8 for 169 yards and 2 touchdowns), especially if Sammy Watkins can’t get his downfield game together. But between Mahomes’ playmaking mindset and Hill’s electrifying speed, that Week 1 line wasn’t necessarily a crazy one. It’ll happen a few more times this season. Once Travis Kelce is up to speed with Mahomes – the pair connected just once on six attempts Sunday – there should be more diversity here, and more openings for everyone on the shorter routes. Anything Watkins can provide as the third option will be gravy. It’s worth noting that Kareem Hunt went without a catch for the first time in his young career. That could be a trend, as Mahomes prefers to take chances down the field than dump off, but Hunt is dynamic enough to create yet another dimension on any given week.

The Watt factory is becoming a wrecking ball for the rest of this league. J.J.’s second-year brother T.J. was the toast of the NFL in Week 1, registering four sacks and blocking the Browns’ final field goal attempt. Like his brother, T.J. is a relentless force off the edge, one who disrupts plenty of throws and will continue to draw more and more blocking attention as his mega-impressive young career rolls on. Still, even with a dynamic pass rush, the Steelers pass defense is not a dominant unit. Cornerbacks Joe Haden and Cameron Sutton were beaten several times by Browns receivers. Both have the tendency to gamble on throws with house money and give up splash plays. Haden allowed Browns slot man Jarvis Landry to thrive in his new role on the outside, while Sutton traded blows with Josh Gordon and ultimately gave up the tying touchdown. Haden may not go this weekend, so the pool could be even shallower against the Chiefs’ explosive playmakers. Despite the ferocious pass rush, this isn’t a group to run away from in fantasy.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Los Angeles Chargers Passing Offense at Buffalo Bills Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Philip Rivers posted wild numbers Sunday, but that shouldn’t be taken at full face value. He ended with 424 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception, producing a pair of 100-yard receivers in the process. But the Chargers trailed early and often, and Rivers, the career-long king of garbage-time stats, padded his numbers for most of the final two quarters. Still, it was a very encouraging performance, and one that reminded us just how stacked with playmakers Rivers is. Keenan Allen remains a terror in the slot, while second-year wideout Mike Williams flashed the ball-hungry, high-pointing ability he showed at Clemson. Having speedy Melvin Gordon to hit out of the backfield makes for a great checkdown and keeps Rivers’ fantasy floor nice and high. Rivers ended Week 1 with 424 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception, and it’s good to know he can excel in a variety of game plans. He probably won’t surpass last week’s marks, but any worries about his age or a diminished desire to go deep downfield should be squarely in bed.

While the Buffalo run defense overachieved in Week 1, the pass unit took a massive step backward. Dynamic and occasionally dominant throughout 2017, the secondary was roasted Sunday by a rejuvenated Joe Flacco and his new receiving corps. All told, through the 2.5 quarters the game was competitive, Buffalo allowed Flacco to complete 25 of 34 throws for 3 touchdowns. It was curious to see the team refuse to start new signee Vontae Davis at cornerback, and replacement Phillip Gaines’ allowing a 29-yard completion on 2nd-and-26 should’ve been a “wake up” moment. Davis should start soon, and while he’s no longer the dominator he was a few years ago, he should present a clear upgrade against good receivers. This is an aggressive, ball-hawking unit across the board, so as long as some degree of a pass rush shows up, there will be better days. Not every quarterback will pick them apart like Flacco did.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Miami Dolphins Passing Offense at New York Jets Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Ryan Tannehill remains generally overmatched as a downfield passer. He flashes as a game manager, an Alex Smith type, though he still makes too many mistakes in traffic to be fully relied upon. In Week 1, he hit on 20 of his 28 throws, keeping drives moving and generating 5 scoring drives. Still, despite his 75-yard touchdown strike to Kenny Stills, Tannehill is not a threatening guy. Apart from that long ball, Tannehill produced just 155 yards on 27 attempts, with only a single completion beyond 13 yards. Some of that is his supporting cast – Danny Amendola, Albert Wilson, and rookie tight end Mike Gesicki don’t make for a very tantalizing crew behind Stills. But in Tannehill, the Dolphins have a career 5.62 adjusted net yards per attempt, and not much reason to project a 75-yard score every week. Most of the time, Tannehill will be checking down near the line of scrimmage, and the ceiling for this group will be limited.

The Jets struggled against the pass throughout 2017, and even in their dominant Week 1 still allowed a handful of splash plays. Prized cornerback addition Trumaine Johnson was beaten for 26- and 25-yard strikes to Kenny Golladay both before prevent defense kicked in. It was at least encouraging to see second-year safety Jamal Adams mixing in and making plays on the ball in coverage. The Jets lack a pass rush, and their cornerback play can be spotty, but they’re also breaking in two talented, highly-drafted safeties. Adams and Marcus Maye bring athleticism and ball skills to a unit in need of both.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


New York Jets Passing Offense vs Miami Dolphins Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

It’s true that they were facing a talent-deprived Lions defense that seemed to have given up in Week 1. But the Jets still deserve plenty of credit for the clinic they put on, and Sam Darnold is to be commended for his debut. The youngest quarterback to start a game in over 50 years, Darnold dinked and dunked his way to a 16-of-21, 2-touchdown opener, showing poise and polish and refusing to commit another mistake after an early pick-six. His weaponry isn’t great, so it makes sense that he’s not pushing things. It wasn’t surprising to see Robby Anderson shake loose for a 41-yard touchdown, but it was bizarre that he wasn’t targeted again. That’s probably a sign of the times, though. The Jets have little interest in pushing Darnold to wing the ball deep downfield; this should remain a sanitized, low-risk attack for the foreseeable future. Quincy Enunwa should remain busy in the slot, running short but physical routes a few yards downfield. The real wild card is Terrelle Pryor, who rose from the preseason ashes to play 24 snaps and catch a few impact balls. He’ll never be predictable, but he could still be the dynamic playmaker he was in Cleveland just two years ago.

There’s promise in the Dolphins pass defense, but it’s still not a strong unit. The team looks to have found a stud in cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick: the rookie was all over the field over 44 snaps in his debut, breaking up key passes and hounding Corey Davis on screens. The other cornerbacks, however, were exposed here and there, as they consistently were in 2017. Xavien Howard, in particular, continues to struggle in coverage. The pass rush looked nonexistent in Week 1, too, failing to record a sack against Marcus Mariota or Blaine Gabbert.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Philadelphia Eagles Passing Offense at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Eagles can’t get Carson Wentz and Alshon Jeffery back soon enough. This passing game struggled mightily in the opener; Nick Foles wove magic in last year’s playoffs but is still a massive downgrade in this offense. The Eagles have to pare down their dynamic playbook quite a bit for Foles as he struggles to throw deep, getting by almost entirely on gadget plays and short throws to Zach Ertz and Nelson Agholor. In Week 1, he managed to complete just 19 of his 34 throws in that ultra-safe check down game, and only one went for more than 10 yards. His presence severely dings Agholor’s outlook – the de facto No. 1 wideout caught 8 balls last week, but for just 33 yards. That’s a severe waste of his downfield ability; he, Mike Wallace, and the entire big-play game plan will be handcuffed while Foles is under center. Zach Ertz’s Week 1 was brutal, featuring several drops, but he remains the engine of this unit for the time being and the Eagles will rely on him to get back to his playmaking abilities.

It appears not much has changed for the Tampa Bay pass defense. After a horrendous 2017 that saw them allow more passing yards than anyone, they opened 2018 by giving Drew Brees virtually everything he wanted (82% completions for 439 yards and 3 touchdowns). Michael Thomas is a fantastic receiver, but it was disheartening to see just how easy his downfield production was. The Buccaneers are still looking for their pass rush, which didn’t show up in Week 1, and remain extremely susceptible over the middle. The team desperately needs back cornerback Brent Grimes, still capable of shutting down strong No. 1 wideouts, to even compete in this area. But Grimes looks on the doubtful side of questionable for Week 2, so coverage should continue to be a huge hole. There’s plenty of talent assembled on this defense – and losing slot man Vernon Hargreaves for the year might be addition by subtraction – but it looks like it’ll be a slow grind to success. This unit remains ideal to target for fantasy purposes.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Washington Redskins Passing Offense vs Indianapolis Colts Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Redskins replacement of Alex Smith for Kirk Cousins appears to be going smoothly as Jay Gruden has designed this offense to play to Alex Smith strengths which is throwing to tight ends and running backs. Of Smith’s 255 yards passing, 181 yards went to either running backs or tight ends on just 51% of the targets that Smith threw. While we are unable to expect Adrian Peterson to continue to have 70 yards receiving each week, expect Chris Thompson and Jordan Reed to continue to be a major focal point of this offense as long as they remain on the field as both have a history of injuries.

The Colts secondary is simply an undertalented unit. A.J. Green had a tremendous game last week going up against Quincy Wilson as he had 92 yards and a touchdown. Wilson who was a second-round pick in 2017 still has not developed as quickly as the Colts would have liked as they expected him to step into a big role this season in his second-year. The Colts also struggled against the running back position as Joe Mixon had a tremendous game last week with 5 receptions for 54 yards on just 7 targets. This could lead to plenty of opportunity for Chris Thompson once again for the Redskins as they look to exploit the underskilled Colts linebackers in rookies Skai Moore, Darius Leonard and second-year fifth-round draft pick Anthony Walker who recovering from a groin injury.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Baltimore Ravens Passing Offense at Cincinnati Bengals Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Perhaps the Ravens drafting Lamar Jackson has inspired Joe Flacco to play for his job, or perhaps he’s simply back to optimal health. For whatever reasons, Flacco posted his best performance in two years last Sunday. Playing with a fire he’s lacked over the past few mediocre, injury-riddled seasons, Flacco methodically buried the Bills with touchdown after touchdown. Every time Buffalo gifted a turnover or a three-and-out, Flacco was in the zone and capitalizing. He was diverse, too, targeting nine different receivers. His 2018 supporting cast looks patchwork and uninspiring, but in Week 1 he looked fully capable of maximizing their talents. All three of his new wideout weapons caught touchdowns, and each caught a pass of 20 yards or more. And Flacco seems to have found a groove with rookie tight end Mark Andrews, who caught 3 balls for 31 yards. This unit isn’t exactly electrifying, but at least in positive game scripts, there’s reason to be optimistic about its pieces.

In Week 1, the Bengals faced a Colts offense unwilling to give its quarterback too much too soon. Andrew Luck checked down relentlessly, but Cincinnati tackled well enough and prevented anything from going too far – Colts wideouts only produced a single catch of more than 13 yards. Cornerbacks, Williams Jackson and Dre Kirkpatrick did a fine job keeping T.Y. Hilton (46 yards on 11 targets) from ripping the top off the defense. The most encouraging aspect was the tenacious pass rush, which feasted on the Colts’ so-so front more than the stat sheet suggests. Carlos Dunlap showed he’s still an under-the-radar beast with a huge sack that forced a missed field goal, while Geno Atkins’ interior pocket-pushing held its impact.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Carolina Panthers Passing Offense at Atlanta Falcons Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Cam Newton simply couldn’t get the passing game going in Week 1. Downfield targets Devin Funchess and D.J. Moore committed a few mistakes, and tight end Greg Olsen was lost in the first half to a foot injury. Olsen, in a boot and on crutches shortly after the injury, looks done for an extended period. For the time being, it appears the Carolina pass game will revolve around getting the ball to Christian McCaffrey in space – he drew 9 of Newton’s 26 looks Sunday – and occasionally pushing the ball downfield to Funchess and Moore. But this isn’t a particularly creative facet of the Panthers attack when play-action and deep routes aren’t succeeding, it’s typically a rough day. There’s plenty of upside, though, for any matchup. Funchess is a true touchdown-maker (a whopping 17 scores on 120 career catches), and McCaffrey is a threat to score on every touch. Anything Moore contributes – he didn’t draw a target in Week 1 – can push them over the top at any moment. It’s just best to expect cohesion pains with Olsen out. Newton struggled mightily at times without his security blanket last year.

Atlanta’s pass defense performed well in Week 1, limiting the Eagles to just 132 yards through the air. But it wasn’t exactly cause for celebration. With Nick Foles in for Carson Wentz, the shell-shocked Eagles refused to open up the playbook, and all the Falcons had to do was tackle Foles’ constant check-down throws consistently. They’ll face a much stiffer test in Week 2 against Cam Newton and his newfound bevy of weapons, though. And they’ll do it without two key cogs: linebacker Deion Jones, an ascending star as a coverage man, and strong safety Keanu Neal were lost for the year in Week 1. The Falcons will need more of a pass rush to keep things in check – Foles was rarely pressured, and a better quarterback could’ve made them pay dearly. Edge rusher Vic Beasley has been an invisible man since his monstrous 2016 season; if he can’t spearhead a pressuring unit, the coverage will sag and opposing passers will start posting strong lines.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Cleveland Browns Passing Offense at New Orleans Saints Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Tyrod Taylor might still be the quarterback these Browns need. He was generally inefficient in Week 1, completing just 15 of 40 throws at a 4.9-yard average. And his late interception in Week 1 was a backbreaker, a horrendous underthrow that Josh Gordon could’ve scored on. (He had another bad underthrow in overtime that should’ve been picked off, as well.) But Taylor always sought to create big plays downfield, and he’ll almost certainly come through in stronger fashion than the nausea-inducing parade of Cleveland passers before him. Taylor has graded among the league’s leaders on deep-ball efficiency for his whole tenure as an NFL starter, so big plays are coming. He hit on downfield completions of 39 and 38 yards last Sunday, even with deep-ball specialist Gordon playing sparingly. Gordon should see some increase in snaps, as well, and he still looks like a freakish man-to-man dominator down the field. And there are enough proven, talented safety valves (Jarvis Landry, Duke Johnson, David Njoku) in place to provide more balanced performances. Taylor will be a volatile play all year, but always one capable of tilting an entire fantasy week.

The Saints’ retooled 2017 defense took a huge step forward from the disasters of previous years. Cornerback Marshon Lattimore thrived right out of the gate, winning Defensive Rookie of the Year honors and grading among the league’s top cover men. But he was truly humbled by Mike Evans last week, who beat the youngster for several big plays, including a breakaway 50-yard score that left Lattimore grasping at air. Lattimore is a gifted playmaker, and his length and tenacity make him tough to shake in general. But he’s also a gambler and susceptible to big plays – especially against oversized dominators like Evans. If he’s in shape, Josh Gordon should test his mettle thoroughly Sunday. Lattimore’s counterpart, Ken Crawley, is also a talented ballhawk who makes plays on even good throws. But he, too, can be beaten down the field. With a pass rush that remains one-dimensional (Cameron Jordan is that dimension), this will likely be a boom-or-bust unit all year. Quarterbacks willing to throw tricky routes and test tough coverage will continue to find success at times.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Denver Broncos Passing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Case Keenum is out to prove last season was not a fluke as he has found a connection with Emmanuel Sanders that has been much talked about throughout the preseason and showed in Week 1 as Sanders had 10 receptions for 135 yards and a touchdown. This is an offense that looked efficient and while Keenum threw three interceptions appears to be a significant upgrade for this offense that is much needed and has a tremendous cast supporting the quarterback position.

The Raiders secondary allowed the tenth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers in 2017 and allowed the 11th most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers in Week 1 of 2018 as they allowed 176 yards and a touchdown to the Rams wide receivers last week. This is a secondary that while they do not have any elite players, they do not have any significant liabilities either, as Rashaan Melvin and Leon Hall are both veteran presences and while Hall is not as good as T.J. Carrie was in 2017, should be serviceable out of the slot. The wild-card for this defense is Gareon Conley as the former-first-round pick is in a big season as his fellow teammates from Ohio State have all grown into tremendous defensive backs in Marshon Lattimore, Malik Hooker, and it is appearing Denzel Ward. Conley needs to improve quickly as injuries kept him limited in 2017. If Conley can emerge, this could be a tough defense to deal with, but as it stands now this is a defense you should not be afraid of targeting against.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Detroit Lions Passing Offense at San Francisco 49ers Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Matthew Stafford had the most forgettable season debut of his career as he coughed up four interceptions in a rout by the Jets. Stafford was making terrible reads with inaccurate passes for most of that game. It was a miracle that Stafford was not sacked as he was running for his life for most of the night behind very poor offensive line play. He took a couple hits throughout the game, including one early that caused him to hobble for a few plays. Stafford was finally benched in the fourth quarter once the game was out of hand. Golden Tate was the top target for Stafford but hauled in only seven of his 15 targets for 79 yards and a touchdown with a few drops on his resume for the night. Kenny Golladay was right behind Tate in usage with 12 targets as he led the team in receiving yards (114). Golladay saw most of his production early while Tate struggled as he looked in sync with Stafford when the game was actually close. The playing time for Golladay, who entered the season as the clear third option for the Lions, was a big positive as he was on the field for a career-high 65 snaps--more than any other Lions skilled position player. Marvin Jones had a disappointing game despite seeing eight targets and a few deep ball shots.

The 49ers defense had a decent start to the season despite the loss in Minnesota. The defensive line played well with three sacks, 2.5 of which came from tackle DeForest Buckner. Buckner is in a very favorable matchup this week as he should line up opposite left guard Frank Ragnow, who had a really tough time in last week’s game. 49ers rookie linebacker Fred Warner had a spectacular NFL debut last week as he finished tied for the fourth-most tackles of the week with a forced fumble, one pass defended, and one tackle for loss on the quarterback. Warner will be the star of this linebacker group until Reuben Foster returns in Week 3, at which point this could be a very dynamic tandem if Warner can replicate that success. Until Foster returns though, the 49ers will still have a big weakness at linebacker as neither Mark Nzeocha nor Brock Coyle was very effective in pass coverage, with Nzeocha giving up a few big plays to Adam Thielen. The 49ers outside cornerbacks did a decent job in coverage, but slot cornerback K’waun Williams struggled against Adam Thielen who dominated on short routes over the middle of the field. Golden Tate should have a favorable matchup against Williams and the 49ers linebackers on short routes out of the slot this week.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Offense vs New England Patriots Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Blake Bortles no longer looks as erratic and cringeworthy as he did at his lowest NFL point, two years ago. He’s developing into a serviceable starter in the Case Keenum vein, one who can ride play-action off of a strong running game into just enough downfield efficiency. Last year, he continued to trim his sacks and turnovers, posting the best adjusted net yardage per attempt of his career. But in Week 1, he struggled without Leonard Fournette grinding down the Giants defense. In the second half, Bortles struggled mightily to complete passes down the field and move the Jaguars. It doesn’t help, of course, that he’s also without his top wideout, Marqise Lee. The Jaguars stable of receivers is at least explosive, packed with intriguing long-ball options, and Bortles created very little with them in the opener. It looks as though he’ll need a respected run game to keep the pressure – and tight coverages – off of this offense. Keelan Cole should help as he’s developing into a dynamic playmaker, with 12 of his 45 career catches going for 20 yards or more. Alongside Cole is second-year man Dede Westbrook, who has worked his way into a significant role, is an eruptive prospect himself. Simply put, if the ground game shows up Sunday, we can expect several deep-ball opportunities for Bortles to take advantage of them. This is still not a passing game we can just project to success in a vacuum, even in an exploitable matchup.

Week 1 brought an encouraging turn for the much-maligned Patriots pass defense. DeShaun Watson completed just half his throws and found next to nothing down the field, and Houston receivers not named DeAndre Hopkins totaled just 98 yards. Hopkins himself was limited by bracket coverage, catching 8 balls but for 78 mostly-uneventful yards. In this matchup last year, Watson went 22 of 33 for 301 and 2 scores. In fact, the Patriots allowed the first 6 quarterbacks they faced to top 300, then crumbled spectacularly against Nick Foles in the Super Bowl. For 2018, though, things look a bit brighter. Cornerback Stephon Gilmore took a step forward after a season to forget, and Eric Rowe is developing into a quintessential Bill Belichick contributor on the other side. With Trey Flowers looking like a dominant edge rusher, there’s reason to no longer consider this unit one to target in fantasy.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Los Angeles Rams Passing Offense vs Arizona Cardinals Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Rams and Jared Goff got off to a bit of a slow start to start the season as he completed just 54.5% of his passes on 33 attempts. One of the bright spots, however, was new addition Brandin Cooks as he provided the deep threat that the Rams had hoped that Sammy Watkins was going to bring, but didn’t as Cooks had 87 yards on just five receptions and opened up space for the entire offense. An interesting note is that the Rams did not have target Tyler Higbee in this game even though he was on the field for 95% of the teams plays this past week.

The Cardinals secondary heading into the season was expected to be an improved unit as they added Tre Boston and Jamar Taylor. It appears that it is going to take a few weeks for this unit to come together as they struggled against the Redskins in Week 1 allowing 255 yards passing, but Alex Smith was very efficient completing 21 of 30 passes and had open receivers for a lot of this game. The biggest areas that the Cardinals struggled with were against the running backs and tight ends as Adrian Peterson had 70 yards on 2 receptions, Chris Thompson had 63 yards on 6 receptions with a touchdown and Jordan Reed had 48 yards on 4 receptions with a touchdown. The Cardinals did an adequate job shutting down the receivers of the Redskins as they had just 63 yards total. This should provide plenty of opportunity for Todd Gurley to exploit this Cardinals defense if Deone Bucannon and Tre Boston do not improve in coverage.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Minnesota Vikings Passing Offense at Green Bay Packers Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Kirk Cousins had a successful Vikings debut last week, completing just over 55% of his passes for 244 yards, two touchdowns, and no turnovers. He showed great chemistry with most of his top receiving options, most notable Adam Thielen who dominated Cousins’ attention with 12 targets. Thielen ran most routes out of the slot as he was very impressive in the middle of the field to rack up over 100 receiving yards on the day. Stefon Diggs only hauled in three receptions, but he made a couple of early big plays including a 22-yard touchdown reception. Dalvin Cook was heavily involved in the passing game last week as well, garnering the second-most team targets with seven. Cook hauled in six of those targets for 55 receiving yards, finishing as the second most productive receiver behind Thielen. The one letdown from a usage perspective was Kyle Rudolph, who was targeted only twice. Rudolph did what he is most known for though as he served as a solid red-zone option with a touchdown reception from the 11-yard line, but he will need to be more involved to be considered a viable fantasy option on a weekly basis.

The Packers managed to apply consistent pressure on Mitchell Trubisky last week to help limit the Bears to under 175 passing yards and no touchdowns through the air. With three sacks, one coming from the secondary, the Packers defensive front did a solid job against a mediocre Bears offensive line. They face a lower ranked Vikings line this week which should give the advantage to Green Bay here. The Packers cornerbacks were decent, but not particularly spectacular on an individual level. Rookie Jaire Alexander made the most plays impactful plays out of the slot last week while Kevin King underwhelmed on the outside. Adam Thielen looks to draw coverage from Alexander out of the slot while Stefon Diggs should see most snaps against Tramon Williams in a relatively even size matchup in which Diggs has the clear speed advantage.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Seattle Seahawks Passing Offense at Chicago Bears Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Russell Wilson worked his usual magic in Week 1 on his way to nearly 300 passing yards and three touchdowns with a couple interceptions added on to his stat line. Wilson was running for his life most of the afternoon while his receivers struggled in coverage, but he manufactured plays despite the tough defense to help keep the Seahawks in the game. Doug Baldwin was already injured to start the season, but his situation worsened as Baldwin suffered an MCL tear that forced him out of last week’s game. This injury will definitely keep Baldwin sidelined this week as he may take anywhere from two to four weeks to recover. Both Tyler Lockett and Brandon Marshall should benefit from Baldwin’s absence, both finishing with similar stat lines last week as Marshall led the team in targets with six. Lockett was basically a non-factor in this game outside of a deep ball that scored him a 51-yard touchdown. Marshall looks to have developed quick chemistry with Wilson and could have had a huge day if not for one of his touchdowns called back by penalty. Tight end Will Dissly was the unlikely leader of the Seahawks receiving group last week with over 100 yards and a touchdown. Dissly is primarily a blocking tight end though, so this level of production cannot be expected to continue.

The Bears passing defense was highlighted by the spectacular play of Khalil Mack on the defensive line. Mack made his presence felt in a big way, finishing with a sack, forced fumble with the recovery, an interception returned for a touchdown and a big-time pressure on Aaron Rodgers that set up yet another sack. The combination of Mack, Leonard Floyd, and the solid interior tackles makes for a very scary matchup for the weak Seahawks offensive line. From a coverage perspective, the Bears secondary played well for most of the night outside of a few miscues in the second half that ultimately signed their check. There are no clear weaknesses among these cornerbacks as Bryce Callahan should provide solid coverage from the slot while both Prince Amukamara and Kyle Fuller remain competent on the outside.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


San Francisco 49ers Passing Offense vs Detroit Lions Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Jimmy Garoppolo suffered his first loss as a starter last week up against a stout Vikings defense. He completed less than 50% of his passes for 261 yards, one touchdown, and a whopping three interceptions. Poor offensive line plays and consecutive injuries to his starting and backup right guards did not help Garoppolo’s chances at success last week. His receivers also did not help as top option Marquise Goodwin suffered an early injury that sidelined him for the remainder of the game. Goodwin remains day to day with a thigh injury, so keep an eye on his status closer to Sunday as this his absence would be a big blow to this passing offense. Pierre Garcon was routinely waved off the field as he could not get loose from coverage and actually dropped what should have been a touchdown pass. Rookie Dante Pettis was the one bright spot at wide receiver as the rookie hauled in the only receiving touchdown of the game in acrobatic fashion. The top target in the passing game, however, was tight end George Kittle, finishing with nine targets for five receptions and 90 yards. Kittle actually led the league among tight ends in yards after the catch with 66 yards, showing how explosive he can be with the ball in his hands. He could have had a monster fantasy day had Garoppolo not missed a wide-open look to Kittle in the end zone from four yards out.

The Lions suffered a big loss in Week 1, but the 48-point romp cannot all be placed on this defense as the Lions offense really set the tone with five turnovers. The defensive line played relatively well with a couple sacks and constant pressure on the rookie quarterback. The secondary had some highlights as well with cornerback Darius Slay shutting down Robby Anderson for basically the entire game and converted safety Quandre Diggs intercepting the first pass of the game for a touchdown. There were certainly plenty of low moments though as cornerback Nevin Lawson struggled for most of the night while both he and safety Glover Quin were beaten for touchdowns. If Goodwin manages to suit up, he should see a favorable matchup against Lawson while Pierre Garcon looks to have the less favorable matchup against Darius Slay for most snaps.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Offense vs Philadelphia Eagles Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Perhaps it was just the matchup, but the Saints defense looked dreadful in Week 1 allowing the Tampa Bay passing game to have a tremendous game without Jameis Winston. Fourteenth-year veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick looked poised and crisp in New Orleans, completing 75% of his throws for a near-perfect passer rating. He’s a great fit as the Buccaneers’ backup because, like Winston, he’s aggressive down the field and unafraid to seek out splash plays. With the assembly of dynamic talent and physical prowess they throw to, it’s not surprising to see performances like last week’s. Fitzpatrick has now subbed extensively for Winston in 5 games and topped 275 yards in 4 of them, and he projects as the week’s top streaming option. His receivers generally hold their value without Winston, too. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and DeSean Jackson took turns making big plays against the Saints’ talented but gambling cornerbacks. All told, this unit is volatile and could implode as quickly as erupt. The good news is that its components aren’t lagging in value with the backup quarterback filling in for Jameis Winston

The Eagles had little answer for Julio Jones in Week 1, allowing 10 catches for 169 yards. But they’ll take that performance any day of the week. By allowing Matt Ryan to find him at will, the Philadelphia secondary stuck to the rest of the Falcons like glue, and no other wideout caught a pass for more than 10 yards. In fact, all non-Jones wide receivers totaled just 4 receptions for 18 yards – all by Mohamed Sanu – and rookie Calvin Ridley was erased from the game plan. Jones himself was stifled in crucial spots, especially on the final drive, where the Eagles disrupted all 3 of his targets from inside the 10-yard line. This isn’t a perfect unit exampled by Jones having his way with cornerbacks Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills. This is a passing defense that is setup by the pass rush and as long as this pass rush remains dominant, the secondary will be protected. Last Thursday, the dynamic rushers sacked Matt Ryan four times and knocked him around many others. It’s good to see Brandon Graham healthy on the edge, and the rest of the team’s rotation is similarly explosive.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Tennessee Titans Passing Offense vs Houston Texans Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Titans passing offense looks to be in trouble coming into this week due to a slew of injuries impacting some key players. Marcus Mariota was knocked out of the game last week with an apparent arm injury suffered just after the first lightning delay. Mariota took a hit to the arm that sidelined him for just one play, but upon trying to return, he threw two consecutive interceptions on back to back pass attempts before being replaced by Blaine Gabbert for the remainder of the game. Mariota had put together a couple of decent drives prior to the injury, while Blaine Gabbert struggled tremendously in his nearly two quarters of playing time. If Gabbert is forced to suit up as the starter in Week 2, this entire offense receives a very significant downgrade. The truly crushing injury for the Titans was the loss of their top target from the 2017 season, tight end Delanie Walker. Walker suffered a fractured ankle last week, landing him on season-ending injured reserve. Walker’s presence will be truly missed, as he represented 23% (111) of the targets in this Titans passing offense last season. Second-year tight end Jonnu Smith will partially fill this void but looks for a rise in targets to both the wide receivers and Dion Lewis due to Walker’s absence. Corey Davis finished with a career-high 13 targets last week, but he could only haul in less than half of them with six receptions for 62 yards. Davis struggled with tight coverage from the Miami defensive backs, but it was clear he will be a focal point of this Titans passing attack. Dion Lewis looked great through the air last week also as he finished with the second-most targets (8), totaling five receptions for 35 yards. Rishard Matthews should see more action this week as he continues to learn the offense after missing the entire preseason due to injury. The last injury to note for the Titans is left tackle Taylor Lewan, who has been diagnosed with a concussion. If Lewan is unable to suit up, the Titans pass protection will be significantly weakened against a strong Texans pass rush.

Speaking of the Texans pass rush, they looked relatively solid last week as nose tackle D.J. Reader finished with two sacks while J.J. Watt racked up a few pressures later in the second half. With Watt remaining healthy and Reader looking sharp in his season debut, the Texans pass rush could cause matchup problems if the Titans end up without both starting tackles on Sunday. The Texans secondary did look improved from their 2017 campaign despite allowing Tom Brady to pass for 277 yards and three touchdowns. Free-agent addition Tyrann Mathieu looked solid in coverage holding down the middle of the field while both safeties Kareem Jackson and Justin Reid played well. Cornerback Kevin Johnson had a forgettable game to the literal sense, as he played poorly in coverage and ended up being forced from the game due to a nasty-looking blow to the head. Jackson will likely miss significant time, yielding to free agent addition Kayvon Webster as his replacement. If Rishard Matthews can see more snaps this week, he should be able to exploit that matchup against Webster. Corey Davis also has the height and talent advantage over cornerback Jonathan Joseph on the other side. However, if Blaine Gabbert starts for the Titans, the matchup is immediately downgraded.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Arizona Cardinals Passing Offense at Los Angeles Rams Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Sam Bradford got off to a very slow start as he was in a very tough matchup going up against a Redskins defense that had a tremendous game this past week. Bradford had very little time to throw the ball as the offensive line struggled, forcing him to take short underneath routes or just get rid of the ball to avoid a sack. Larry Fitzgerald was the one bright spot along with David Johnson as Fitzgerald had 10 targets in this game and was the focal point at the receiver position as the only other receiver to catch a pass was Christian Kirk who caught one pass. Other than Fitzgerald, the offense primarily went through the running backs and tight ends as David Johnson and Chase Edmund combined for eight receptions while Ricky Seals-Jones had three short receptions.

The Rams secondary appears like it is going to take a few weeks to come together. On paper, it is one of the best secondaries that we have seen in recent memory with Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib, and Nickell Robey-Coleman at corner and Lamarcus Joyner at safety. The issue that the Rams have as evidenced by their game last week was stopping the tight end position as Jared Cook dominated the Rams and in particular safety John Johnson. The Rams also struggled to stop the receiving running backs as Jalen Richard had nine receptions for 55 yards. The good news for the Rams is that their corners shut down the Raiders wide receivers as expected which could lead to problems for Larry Fitzgerald and the Cardinals receiving group this week. If the Cardinals are going to have any success it will have to be exploiting David Johnson and getting Ricky Seals-Jones involved similar to how the Raiders did last week.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Atlanta Falcons Passing Offense vs Carolina Panthers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Matt Ryan’s opening night was nothing short of a disaster. The 11-year veteran found Julio Jones 10 times for 169 yards, which looks great on its face. But he was a black hole otherwise as when he targeted anyone else, he completed just 11 of 24 for 82 yards and an interception. It’s tempting to chalk it up to Week 1 rust or the Eagles defense, but Ryan frequently finds himself showing these deficiencies. He’s always struggled to find Jones downfield consistently, which too often minimizes the All-Pro receiver in the game plan – and places a heavy burden on ho-hum possession target Mohamed Sanu to produce. And the two have never had a strong red zone connection. Too many deep Falcons drives bog down inside the 10 on Ryan-to-Jones misfires. This passing game sometimes erupts, of course, and better days are ahead. Rookie Calvin Ridley was invisible last Thursday, drawing just two targets, and he’ll provide more dynamism as the year goes on. And the backs remain explosive as receivers, as we saw on Tevin Coleman’s 26-yard grab that set up the Falcons’ first points. But it’s always hard to project big weeks here, thanks in large part to Ryan’s limitations. Even against a shoddy Tampa Bay secondary, fantasy players should be wary of his ability to create big things – even when throwing to Jones.

The Panthers’ pass defense looked great on paper in Week 1. The “on paper” qualifier is a big one, though as those numbers came against a truly awful passing game that severely lacks downfield punch. Still, the defensive performance can’t just be explained away. The Panthers sacked Prescott six times – five by its dominating front line – and refused to allow Prescott any rhythm to attempt a real comeback. The cornerbacks played well, too, choking off Prescott’s second-half attempts to get the ball downfield. All in all, the Cowboys’ four outside receivers combined to catch just 6 passes for 62 yards. Captain Munnerlyn, though, remains a weak spot in the slot. He’s slipped markedly from his days as a serviceable inside man, and Cole Beasley caught 7 of 8 targets there.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Cincinnati Bengals Passing Offense vs Baltimore Ravens Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

When his run game is worthwhile – and his weapons are in the lineup – Andy Dalton is a productive NFL quarterback. In the Week 1 win, Dalton generated 243 yards on 28 attempts and fired a pair of touchdowns. For fantasy purposes, when both A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert are healthy, he’s routinely a top-10 guy under the radar. He’s not an especially dynamic guy, of course, and when one or both his proven weapons are out there’s a notable drop-off. But that’s not the case right now: Eifert is playing, and Green was his usual dominant self in Week 1, turning 8 targets into 6 catches for 92 yards. Green also scorched two Colts defenders for a 38-yard touchdown showing he’s still a truly elite playmaker and touchdown specialist, and he elevates this passing game in untold ways. His connection with Dalton is strong, and even against the Ravens’ stout secondary, there’s a strong chance they’ll keep producing.

It’s probably not worthwhile to parse through the Ravens’ Week 1 performance in pass defense. Facing the utterly shell-shocked Nathan Peterman for the first half, then raw rookie Josh Allen in the second, Baltimore pounced and allowed virtually nothing. Bills passers completed just 11 of 33 passes for 96 yards, throwing a pair of interceptions and taking 6 sacks. This group isn’t bulletproof against better quarterbacking, and big plays happen against them – especially in the slot. But it’s still a difficult matchup across the board. Terrell Suggs remains the star of this unit and he’s still an edge-rushing force who absorbs extra blocking attention but harasses quarterbacks anyway. And the Ravens are thrilled to have built a borderline-dominant duo of man cornerbacks, even with Jimmy Smith out of town. Marlon Humphrey has opened his career fantastically – he allowed just 6 yards on 6 targets in Week 1 – and Brandon Carr is enjoying a career resurgence on the other side.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Dallas Cowboys Passing Offense vs New York Giants Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Dak Prescott dating back to Week 8 of 2017 simply needs to play better and more consistently for this passing offense to emerge back to what it once was. The issue for 2018 is that there is a depletion of talent at the receiving position as the team did not do enough to replace losing Dez Bryant and the departure of Jason Witten. In Week 1, Cole Beasley was the only consistent target for this offense as he was the only Cowboys receiver to have more than five targets and more than 27 yards.

The Giants secondary played tremendously against the Jaguars last week as they were often forced into one-on-one coverage and both Eli Apple and Janoris Jenkins lived up to their talent levels. If Eli Apple can play up to his ability this could be a unit that is one of the best in football, but the issue for Apple has always been inconsistency. The one weak spot for the Giants is slot corner B.W. Webb as the veteran has struggled throughout a lot of his career and he will have one of the more difficult matchups this week going up against Cole Beasley.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Green Bay Packers Passing Offense vs Minnesota Vikings Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Aaron Rodgers overcame the second-largest 4th quarter deficit the Packers have ever faced at Lambeau Field while basically playing on one leg last week as he led his squad to victory. After being carted off with a knee injury, Rodgers returned after halftime with a noticeable hobble as he finished out the game. As of Wednesday, his status for this week’s game is uncertain. Rodgers definitely did not help his case for playing time in Week 2 by pushing the injury in last week’s game, so keep an eye on his status leading into Sunday. Randall Cobb had one heck of a game as he led the team in all receiving categories on his way to 142 yards with a 75-yard touchdown bomb mixed into that stat line. Davante Adams also scored as he finished behind Cobb in targets, but still looked dominant throughout the night. Keep an eye on Geronimo Allison as a third option in this passing offense, as he was peppered with just as many targets as Adams while also making it into the end zone with a nice catch. The one disappointment for this offense was tight end Jimmy Graham, who was only targeted only four times with no red zone looks despite lining up on all but one offensive snap.

New addition Sheldon Richardson was a constant nightmare for Jimmy Garoppolo last week as he was one of the most effective defensive linemen in the league in terms of putting pressure on the quarterback. The Packers have a much stronger offensive line than San Francisco, but their strength lies at the tackle position, which will not help much against the two hyper-talented Vikings defensive tackles. Outside cornerback Trae Waynes was sidelined with a knee injury after a relatively rough outing in Week 1. Waynes is a talented player who normally is better than what he showed last week, and he should see most snaps against Geronimo Allison here, which is not as daunting as the likes of Davante Adams despite Allison’s strong showing last week. Adams should see coverage from Xavier Rhodes, which is never a great matchup. Rhodes helped limit Adams to only 54 receiving yards in their one meeting last season. Harrison Smith was literally everywhere in last week’s outing, including providing excellent coverage and pass-rushing. He will be a matchup problem for all Packers skilled positions, but most notably Jimmy Graham as will see some coverage from Smith.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


New York Giants Passing Offense at Dallas Cowboys Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

It is tough to get a gauge as far as how the passing game will go for the Giants this season largely because they went up against the top unit in the NFL in the Jaguars last week. All things considered, there is optimism for the Giants this season as Eli Manning hung in there and looked better than what he did in 2017. He completed 62% of his passes and did a good job avoiding sacks as he was sacked just twice in this game. Having a player of Odell Beckham’s caliber makes things easy for just about any quarterback as Beckham saw 15 targets in this game while catching 11 of them for 111 yards.

The Cowboys secondary is still largely unproven after week one as the running game had so much success for the Panthers that the Panthers only attempted to throw the ball 26 times last week. The Cowboys unit is very similar to the one of 2017 where they were 11th in yards allowed and were a very solid unit throughout the season as while they do not have an elite corner, they do not have any liabilities either on this team. Chidobe Awuzie, Byron Jones, and slot corner Anthony Brown are all solid above-average corners and while they may struggle with Odell Beckham as most cornerbacks do, expect this unit to not make Eli Manning’s life easy in week one. The one area that could be exploited is that the Cowboys safeties struggled to shut down Christian McCaffrey as he had 5 receptions for 50 yards. This could be an opportunity for Saquon Barkley to have success this week in the passing game which was something we did not see a lot of in Week 1.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Indianapolis Colts Passing Offense at Washington Redskins Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

The Colts welcomed Andrew Luck back after missing all of 2017, and while Luck wasn't dominant in this game, he was incredibly solid completing 73% of his passes and throwing for 319 yards and 2 touchdowns. Getting Anthony Castanzo back should only help Luck with more additional time in the pocket this week assuming Castanzo is ready to go. While the Colts receiving group is not the most talented, Luck has found consistent targets in Ryan Grant, Jack Doyle, and Eric Ebron to go alongside T.Y. Hilton that should make this passing game formidable each wee.

The Redskins secondary continues to prove that it is a very good one led by Josh Norman. The Redskins stifled the Cardinals last week holding them to just 152 yards passing and free agent signee Quinton Dunbar only added to what is already an elite unit. The Redskins were 9th in passing yards allowed last season and look to be an improving unit as between the addition of Dunbar and the cohesion with two returning safeties which is always typically a positive impact to a passing game in Montae Nicholson and D.J. Swearinger. They should also see improvement due to health on the defensive line and Da'ron Payne this should prevent the pressure generated by the defense.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


New England Patriots Passing Offense at Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Tom Brady may be throwing to a depleted group, but he’s still as surgical as they come. Supported by Rob Gronkowski, Chris Hogan, and little else in terms of experience, Brady completed 26 of 39 passes in a small-ball attack in Week 1. Of course, that low-impact approach doesn’t work without a dose of big plays, and Brady still boasts a handful of weapons capable of them. Gronkowski hauled in passes of 21, 28, 19, and 30, serving as the prototypical “down the seams” dynamo he’s always been. And better days are ahead for Hogan, who’s gained 20 yards or more on a whopping 17 of his 73 catches as a Patriot. The rest of the passing game will continue to feature slot men Phillip Dorsett and Cordarrelle Patterson on quick-hitting space routes, as well as James White as a security blanket out of the backfield. But fantasy players will discount their big-play potential at their own peril.

Week 1 was a bit of a mixed bag for 2017’s most dominant and prohibitive pass defense. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey didn’t have his best game as a pro, with Odell Beckham Jr. and company beating him on numerous pick plays over the middle. That’s generally the best way to test this secondary: with quick-hitting, physical routes, and throws that take coverage mostly out of the equation. In Week 1, that opened things up for Eli Manning to test the end zone, and he just barely missed on two touchdowns to Beckham. Of course, we can’t fault a secondary for losing a few battles to Beckham – especially when they kept him from breaking any real splash plays. And it’s important to note that Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard combined to produce just 66 yards on 7 catches. All told, as long as this unstoppable pass rush is healthy and together, throwing consistently against the Jaguars will be arduous. Calais Campbell, Malik Jackson, and Yannick Ngakoue make up arguably the NFL’s most powerful and hard-to-contain pass-rush trio. Vanquishing them is a frightening Step One; finding exploitable openings downfield against Ramsey and A.J. Bouye is an equally tough follow-up. Tom Brady is Tom Brady, but an organic, three- or four-man rush that pushes his pocket can wildly swing his game.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Oakland Raiders Passing Offense at Denver Broncos Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

The Raiders have to go to altitude on a short week after struggling in week one against the Rams. The passing game outside of the running backs and tight ends was almost non-existent as while Derek Carr threw for 303 yards against a good Rams defense, only 63 yards were completed to wide receivers as Jordy Nelson and Amari Cooper were largely taken out of the game against an elite Rams secondary. Jared Cook was the one bright spot in this game as he was dominant with 12 targets 10 receptions and 180 yards in this game. If the Raiders are unable to get consistent production out of their wide receivers particularly in the veteran Jordy Nelson, this could be an opportunity for Cook to have a big season as he we have seen him do this before where he had big games but consistency has always been an issue for the 31-year-old tight end.

The second week doesn't get any easier for the Raiders as they are going up against two of the best secondaries in football on back to back weeks. The Broncos secondary while not as great as it was back in the prime of the "No Fly Zone", it is still a secondary that should be feared even with the departure of Aqib Talib. Chris Harris and Bradley Roby still make up the secondary and Roby has developed into an upper-echelon corner. Last week, the Broncos did give up 298 yards and three touchdowns to Russell Wilson, but a lot of this was on big plays as tight end Will Dissly had two long catches and Tyler Lockett also had a 51-yard reception. Expect the Broncos to fix these plays going forward, but the one thing to keep an eye on is the struggle that they had keeping up with Will Dissly as it could provide an opportunity for Jared Cook this week. Outside of Cook having another big performance, it's very difficult to see the Raiders having significant success in the passing game.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.