Week 2 Passing Matchups

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

Jump to Rushing Matchups

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


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.


Baltimore Ravens Passing Offense vs Arizona Cardinals Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

By now, the sports world has run out of adjectives to describe the Ravens’ Week 1 onslaught. Lamar Jackson simply erupted against the Dolphins’ weak secondary, posting a perfect passer rating over three-quarters of play. His 324 yards and 5 touchdowns shattered expectations and offered tons of optimism in the growth of his arm skills. Jackson routinely found his retooled receiving corps - particularly prized rookie Marquise Brown - for big plays downfield. The pair showed an impressive sense of timing so early, especially considering Brown missed so much camp time. Brown is exceptionally small, but his speed and short-area burst proved impossible for the Dolphins to contain. Tight end Mark Andrews carried over his playmaking from 2018, winning frequently up the seams; he’s the clear-cut second option here. Rookie Miles Boykin only drew one target in the starting role, but on cue, turned it into an impressive touchdown. They won’t be able to face the Dolphins every week, and Jackson will face far more resistance going forward. But as long as he’s executing confidently off play action, all of his weapons will boast big-game potential.

Predictably, the Cardinals struggled mightily to defend the pass in Week 1 without Patrick Peterson. The Lions looked incapable of making plays through the air in 2018 but opened the year with 385 yards and 3 touchdowns in this matchup. Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay won their share of battles down the field, while slot man Danny Amendola and rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson excelled over the middle. Suspended until Week 7, Peterson will continue to watch helplessly as the team’s shallow secondary seeks its footing. His replacement, Tramaine Brock, was beaten frequently Sunday, as was rookie slot man Byron Murphy. As a whole, though, the unit lacked cohesion and communication across the field. Even without Peterson, better safety play could slow the wide-open, in-strIde completions between zones. The team is counting on D.J. Swearinger, who was excellent in Washington last year, to provide that open-space ability.

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


Buffalo Bills Passing Offense at New York Giants Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Josh Allen struggled for a majority of the first half as he threw two interceptions early, but in the second half, he was in more control of this offense and led the team to a comeback for the win. Allen looked uncomfortable in the first half, often tucking the ball and running instead of staying the pocket and finding an open receiver as he ran the ball eight times in the first half compared to just twice in the second half. The Bills utilized newcomers at the wide receiver position in John Brown who gave the Jets all they could handle as he caught 7 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown and no one on the Jets could keep up with his electric speed. Cole Beasley out of the slot also an offseason acquisition provided a nice check-down option for Allen and this passing attack, while rookie running back Devin Singletary was also able to get involved with five receptions in this game. Expect this to be an offense that is going to have to continue to make adjustments and evolve as defensive coordinators will continue to test Josh Allen’s arm throughout the year by doing different things such as taking John Brown away and having to make him go through a different option.

The Giants secondary showed no signs of improvements in the offseason this past week. After giving up the second-most passing yards last season, they got torched by Dak Prescott in this game as they allowed 405 yards and 4 touchdowns to the Cowboys. The Giants secondary are lucky that the Cowboys took their foot off the gas, as it could have been more as the Cowboys threw the ball just six times in the second half of this game and just twice in the fourth quarter as they ground out a win. The Giants are learning the hard way the problem with Jabrill Peppers being on the field as the Browns have shown the past several seasons as while he is a great run defender is he a liability as a coverage safety and a significant downgrade from Landon Collins last season. The Giants rotated corners through trying to find someone to pair with Janoris Jenkins and were mostly unsuccessful as Grant Haley, Antonio Hamilton, and Deandre Baker all saw time, but all had very similar results in coverage in this one. With Janoris Jenkins no longer being the elite cornerback that we saw early in his career, this is likely to once again be one of the worst secondaries in football this season and should open up a great opportunity for Josh Allen to once again have success through the air.

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


Carolina Panthers Passing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Simply put, Cam Newton did not open 2019 on a strong note. He missed badly on several throws and failed to beat the Rams for anything deep, creating just 239 yards on 38 attempts. He’s healthy, but clearly not yet at his apex after offseason surgery. Luckily, the Panthers have surrounded him with a fantastic collection of young, dynamic talent capable of making his shaky days work. In D.J. Moore, he now throws to a better set of No. 1 WR traits than he ever has. Moore brings speed, size, and physicality to the table - Kelvin Benjamin never boasted more than one of those - and has proven himself a playmaking option. He caught 7 of his 10 targets despite tight coverage from Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters on the outside. And in Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel, there’s a ton of short-area athleticism that wins in the flats and slots. Newton continued to struggle with his downfield touch Sunday, and he’ll lean heavily on the two open-field playmakers, who combined to catch 13 balls for 113 yards in Week 1. Overall, this is an iffy attack to believe in while Newton is struggling so. He’ll need to show better downfield ability before we can expect to see Moore’s and Samuel’s upsides. But in the meantime, it’s comforting to see the game-breakers producing anyway. Moore, McCaffrey, Samuel, and tight end Greg Olsen are all capable of strong play even when the pass game is limited.

The Tampa Bay pass defense has been atrocious for several years running, and the personnel didn’t change up much for 2019. They were fortunate to open the year against a shaky Jimmy Garoppolo, whose erratic play papered over some big issues that remain in this unit. Garoppolo misfired early and often, missing receivers that had beaten the Buccaneers’ subpar cornerback group. Vernon Hargreaves has improved overall, but not enough to transform this group. Had they been working against better outside receivers, they likely would have allowed several splash completions. The 49ers’ top target, tight end George Kittle, won matchup after matchup - he caught 8 of 10 targets that counted, then had 2 touchdowns negated by penalties. All told, there’s little reason to look at this burnable group much differently than in 2018. They’ll have their collective hands full with all of the speed and athleticism the Panthers bring to the table.

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


Dallas Cowboys Passing Offense at Washington Redskins Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Kellen Moore's first game calling the plays for the Dallas Cowboys' offense was one of the most hyper-efficient passing days in recent NFL history. Dak Prescott finished the game completing 25 of 32 passes for 405 yards and 4 touchdowns en route to a perfect 158.3 passer rating. Dallas' aerial attack maximized efficiency by utilizing play-action on 43.8 percent of its pass attempts, the second-highest rate in the NFL. As expected, Amari Cooper opened the season as Dak Prescott's favorite target. Cooper commanded 9 targets, hauling in 6 receptions for 106 yards and 1 touchdown in week one. Michael Gallup also emerged as a beneficiary of Dallas' revamped passing attack, as he caught all 7 of his targets for 158 yards on the day against the New York Giants. Behind the clear top two wide receivers, Randall Cobb slotted in for the recently-departed Cole Beasley. Cobb played almost exclusively from the slot in week one, and that will continue to be his role throughout the season. At tight end, Jason Witten and Blake Jarwin both found the end zone in the season opener. In the trenches, the Cowboys' offensive line proved to be every bit as formidable as expected in week one. Reintroducing All-Pro center Travis Frederick into the fold bolstered a unit that already ranked amongst the league's best. Overall, Dallas' passing attack showed signs of life in week one that far exceeded anything this offense produced in previous years thanks to Kellen Moore's more modern play-calling.

The Washington Redskins got picked apart in week one by Carson Wentz and the Eagles offense. When all was said and done, Wentz finished the game with 313 yards, 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, and he was sacked just 1 time. None of these numbers signal anything resembling a strong performance from Washington's defense. Coming off a season in which the Redskins fielded a firmly-league-average pass defense, this season has the makings of a far different story. Two of the most notable newcomers to Washington's defense, Jon Bostic and Landon Collins, struggled mightily in coverage duties throughout the game in week one. Bostic has long been a liability in coverage, and he is replacing one of the NFL's best coverage linebackers, Zach Brown, in this defense. Landon Collins' poor performance, on the other hand, is startling. Collins was signed as the highest-paid safety in the NFL following a string of strong coverage seasons, but week one of 2019 was an entirely different story. Collins was unable to force an incompletion on any of the six targets he faced in coverage. Washington's pass rush was unable to break through Philadelphia's stout pass protection to disrupt the pocket with consistency in week one, and they will be without Jonathan Allen for the foreseeable future. Allen injured his MCL early in the game, and he will be replaced by a rotation of interior defensive linemen including Tim Settle, Caleb Brantley, and Treyvon Hester. No matter how the snaps get distributed amongst these three, one thing holds true: there will be a significant drop off in production from Allen to his replacement. Washington's pass defense without Fabian Moreau struggled against one of the league's stronger passing attacks in week one, in large part due to their inability to disrupt the pocket. If Moreau is out again, the Redskins will be forced to rely once again on 7th round rookie Jimmy Moreland. If they get Moreau back from an ankle injury, this defense will see an upgrade, but as of now is one that could be in for a long day.

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


Kansas City Chiefs Passing Offense at Oakland Raiders Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Kansas City's passing offense did not skip a beat in the week one of the 2019 season. Patrick Mahomes accumulated 378 passing yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions during the team's 40-26 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Tyreek Hill, however, left the opener early due to a shoulder injury that will keep him out of this game. In his place, rookie speedster Mecole Hardman will likely assume the role of the team's primary deep-threat. Hardman, a second-round pick out of Georgia, played a Hill-like role throughout his preseason action. Expecting Hill-like production out of the rookie, however, is ill-advised. Hardman will be a threat every time he steps on the field, but his volume will likely pale in comparison to that of a healthy Tyreek Hill. Elsewhere, Sammy Watkins erupted for 9 catches, 198 yards, and 3 scores in week one without Hill. Watkins is the most-talented active wide receiver on the roster, and the former first-round pick will have ample opportunity to produce as Mahomes' number-one wide receiver. At tight end, Travis Kelce remains one of the NFL's best aerial threats. In week one, Kelce hauled in 3 out of 8 targets for 88 yards, and just missed a touchdown on an overthrown no-look pass from quarterback Patrick Mahomes. In the absence of Tyreek Hill, Kelce's already hefty workload will likely increase. The consolidation of targets within the Chiefs' best pass-catchers may benefit Kelce more than any other player in this offense. Kansas City's offensive line did an incredible job of protecting the quarterback in the season opener, as Patrick Mahomes was not sacked a single time. The bruisers up front are expected to be a strength for Kansas City all season, and they lived up to the hype to open the year. The Chiefs' passing attack is set up to be one of the league's best once again in 2019. While the loss of Tyreek Hill for the near-future will hurt, Kansas City possesses the requisite playmakers elsewhere in the passing game to continue to light up scoreboards.

While the Oakland Raiders held Joe Flacco and the Broncos to just one passing touchdown in week one, it was a miserable night for Oakland's pass defense. The issues start in the secondary, where the Raiders presumably lost Gareon Conley for the near-future to a scary head/neck injury. Rookie Trayvon Mullen filled in for Conley following the injury and was targeted on nearly one-third of his coverage snaps, including Emmanuel Sanders' touchdown. Elsewhere in the secondary, there truly was no bright spot, and the seemingly strong performance is primarily due to Denver's ineptitude in the red zone. Oakland was able to generate timely pressure on Joe Flacco throughout the night, in large part thanks to a shockingly-strong performance from backup defensive end Benson Mayowa. Mayowa pressured Flacco on one-fifth of his pass rushes on the night, a nearly unmatched level of pass-rushing efficiency. Oakland's defensive line is talented but inexperienced. The Raiders have used 5 selections over the last 2 drafts on their defensive line. This investment has yet to bear fruit, and it will likely take some time before it does. Oakland's defense struggled to contain Courtland Sutton and Emmanuel Sanders in week one but was not punished for their mistakes. The Raiders' pass defense will have its ineptitude exposed by more efficient passing offenses, especially those in the upper-echelon of the modern NFL like Kansas City.

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


New England Patriots Passing Offense at Miami Dolphins Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

The Patriots did whatever they wanted last week through the air against the Steelers as they threw for 341 yards and 3 touchdowns in a game in which was out of hand by halftime. Tom Brady at age 42 is showing no signs of slowing down as the team was able to show that even without Rob Gronkowski the team was able to move the ball with a combination of their wide receivers in Phillip Dorsett, Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, and their running backs in James White and Rex Burkhead. One interesting thing to note here is that Sony Michel who all offseason we heard was improving as a pass receiver did not see a target this week. For how efficient the team was last week, they might be even more so going forward as they acquired Antonio Brown from the Raiders and while pending rape charges came out on Tuesday night, keep an eye on if the NFL reacts to those reports. Adding Brown to an already deep receiving group is going to give defensive coordinators headaches throughout the season and is in contention to be a historic wide receiving core with Brown, Gordon, and Edelman.

The Dolphins secondary might have put on one of the worst performances we have seen in quite some time last week against the Ravens as Lamar Jackson completed 85% of his passes for 324 yards and 5 touchdowns. Wide receivers were frequently wide open for a high school quarterback let alone an NFL quarterback, and the Dolphins seemingly had no answer at either safety or corner to slow down the Ravens. With reports coming out of Miami that several players requested trades, it remains to be seen how motivated this group is for this season. There still is talent in this group with Xavien Howard and Minkah Fitzpatrick at corner, but with little to no pass rush, and with the safeties being a mess in Eric Rowe and Bobby McCain. McCain who is moving from slot corner to free safety looked as if he has a ways to go to complete this transition. Expect the Patriots to move the ball just about however they want against this Dolphins team that is lacking in talent and potentially motivation heading into this game.

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


Atlanta Falcons Passing Offense vs Philadelphia Eagles Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Atlanta Falcons struggled mightily in their season opener, as they went to Minnesota and lost 28-12 to the Vikings. Atlanta's passing game failed to mount any momentum throughout the game after they fell behind early and were forced to play catch-up throughout the game. Matt Ryan ultimately finished the game with 304 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions on 46 passing attempts. As expected, Ryan targeted Julio Jones 11 times, but only connected on 6 passes for a meager 31 yards on the day. Second-year receiver Calvin Ridley finished the day as Matt Ryan's second-favorite receiver, catching 4 of his 6 targets for 64 yards and a score. Tight end Austin Hooper stepped up in the season opener and surprisingly commanded 9 targets on the day, converting them into 9 receptions for 71 yards. On the offensive line, Atlanta struggled on the edges. Jake Matthews surprisingly allowed two sacks in the opener, which ties for the most he has ever allowed in a single game. Expect Jake Matthews to improve throughout the season, as he has a long track record as one of the league's best left tackles. Opposite Matthews, Atlanta elected to start Kaleb McGary at right tackle, which did not go well. McGary rotated in and out of the game with Ty Sambriallo in the opener. The duo allowed a combined six pressures on the quarterback, more than any other position on the offensive line. The weapons are there at Matt Ryan's disposal for Atlanta to succeed through the air in 2019, but without improvement in the trenches, Ryan will undoubtedly have his work cut out for him.

Defensively, Philadelphia struggled in week one to defend the pass. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz stuck to his zone-heavy tendencies, and Washington was able to find holes in the zone consistently throughout the first half. While the unit improved in the second half, allowing just seven points on a garbage-time touchdown, the secondary showed signs of weakness all day. Philadelphia had hoped that the return of Ronald Darby and Rodney McLeod, coupled with improvements from Sidney Jones would bolster the back-end of the defense. Unfortunately, in week one, there were not many bright spots to be found in the Eagles' secondary. Philadelphia's saving grace throughout the second-half was the defensive line's ability to apply pressure to Washington's Case Keenum. The typical suspects: Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham, both registered six pressures on the day, and third-year edge-rusher Derek Barnett contributed four of his own. Newly-acquired defensive tackle Malik Jackson, however, went down with an injury late in the game and will be lost for the season. Jackson was expected to be a significant contributor in the trenches and will be replaced by Timmy Jernigan. Jernigan has been a serviceable run defender throughout his career, but applying pressure to opposing quarterbacks has never been his strong suit. The transition from Jackson to Jernigan on the interior will prove to be a significant downgrade to Philadelphia's pass-rush. The Eagles' key to success in defending the pass is to apply pressure to the opposing quarterback. If the defensive line struggles to disrupt the pocket, the back-end of this defense is too porous to contain top-tier passing attacks.

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


Cleveland Browns Passing Offense at New York Jets Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Browns came out looking great on the first drive of the game as they quickly moved the ball down the field for a touchdown. Unfortunately, it was tough sledding for the remainder of the game as penalties, sacks, and forced turnovers late in the game led to a rough start for the Browns who have such high expectations. The offensive line remains the biggest issue in Cleveland as Baker Mayfield was under duress for most of the game and was sacked five times along with the teams 18 penalties. The team as a whole lacked discipline including Mayfield who forced three interceptions in a matter of four drives as he desperately tried to bring the team back. This unit is still incredibly talented and part of the offensive line issues may be resolved with Greg Robinson not being suspended after he was ejected last game.

The Jets came out and started the game strong last week against the Bills with a shutout in the first half, but the secondary fell apart in the second half as Josh Allen and the Bills led a comeback through the air allowing 254 yards and a touchdown. The Bills took advantage of the Jets by utilizing the speed of John Brown and taking advantage of both Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts who struggled in this game. Johnson looked less than 100% as he was dealing with a hamstring issue for much of camp. The Jets have one of the best safety groups in the NFL in Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye, but they need their corners to step up and if Johnson continues to be less than 100%, it could lead to a long day against Cleveland. The key to this matchup will be the pass rush as if the Browns offensive line can keep Leonard Williams away from Baker Mayfield, this Browns team should be able to have success through the air.

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


Detroit Lions Passing Offense vs Los Angeles Chargers Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Lions offense ran a surprisingly up-tempo attack as Matthew Stafford threw 45 times in five quarters of play, completing 27 of those passes for 385 yards and three touchdowns. This marked the most yard Stafford has passed for since the 2017 season. Stafford had pressure in his face for most of the game as he was actually pressured more than any other quarterback in Week 1. The Lions offensive line really struggled against a pair of solid Cardinals edge rushers last week, and they find no relieve with what should be an even better pair of edge rushers to square off against this Sunday. New slot receiver Danny Amendola finished as the top target with a whopping 13 as he served as a quick option for Stafford to go to in the face of all that pressure. Amendola may not be as open this week, however, as he squares off against one of the top slot cornerbacks in the league in Desmond King. It was tough for Stafford to find his outside receivers in Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones, as they both finished with just four receptions. Golladay was targeted over twice as often as Jones though, with none looks compared to the four to Jones. Who stole the show, however, was rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson. Finishing with 131 yards and a touchdown, Hockenson proved early that he was worth the first-round pick. His combination of size and athleticism created consistent mismatches in coverage as he looks to be an excellent option for Stafford moving forward.

The Chargers secondary held Jacoby Brissett to just 190 yards as they did an excellent job both in coverage and the pass rush. Both Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram may have struggled against the run last week, but they flourished on passing downs with one sack apiece against the Colts. These two should have a clear advantage in their matchups this week against a pair of unreliable Lions tackles, which should again make it difficult for Stafford to find his receivers downfield. Casey Hayward shadowed T.Y. Hilton last week and had a tough time, allowing Hilton to convert on eight of nine targets for 87 yards and two touchdowns. Kenny Golladay is still catching up to the talent and experience of T.Y. Hilton though, so while there is doubt around Hayward from Week 1, he still has the edge in this matchup against Golladay. T.J. Hockenson will have a size advantage in coverage nearly every week, but he has a particularly positive matchup here against safety Adrian Phillips. All in all, however, the Chargers defense should be set up for success as they represent a steep upgrade in talent above what the Lions faced in Arizona last week.

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


Houston Texans Passing Offense vs Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Texans offense looked crisp in their Monday Night Football season opener against the Saints as they fell just short of the victory behind spectacular showings from DeShaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins. Watson was fearless under center as he made a number of impressive passes downfield despite being under constant pressure throughout the game. Watson was sacked six times behind a lower-tier offensive line that may have even underperformed their #20 ranking from Footballguys analyst Matt Bitonti coming into Week 1. New left tackle Laremy Tunsil certainly looked like he needs more time adjusting to his new team. Hopkins was the star of the show for this offense as he racked up 13 targets, hauling in eight of them for 111 yards and two touchdowns. He did drop a few passes early on, but the volume made up for it as no other wide receiver had more than three targets. It was Will Fuller and Kenny Stills getting the start with Keke Coutee sidelined from injury. Fuller made an impressive catch of 54 yards, but that was the extent of his involvement. Stills was a non-factor until catching a game-tying 37-yard touchdown with seconds remaining. If Coutee makes it back on the field this week, Stills will be relegated to WR4 duties. Running back Duke Johnson Jr. made a solid contribution in his debut with the Texans, showing flashes of what may be to come as he should be actively involved in the passing game for this offense.

The Jaguars secondary struggled against the league’s top offense last week as Patrick Mahomes lit them up for 378 passing yards and three touchdowns. Top cornerback Jalen Ramsey had a very rough debut as he was beaten on multiple occasions by Sammy Watkins, including a late touchdown where Watkins simply outplayed Ramsey. A.J. Bouye didn’t look much better as all the Jaguars defensive backs struggled both in coverage and with tackling, often allowing extra yards after the catch. DeAndre Hopkins should see coverage from Ramsey, but Hopkins is one of the most matchup-proof wide receivers in the league. Rookie linebacker Quincy Williams also had a poor debut as he was slow in coverage, allowing Chiefs running back Damien Williams to run open at will. This poor showing bodes well for Duke Johnson, who was heavily involved in the passing game last week. The Jaguars safeties were also not much better as they had poor communication on a number of plays. They did help limit Travis Kelce to just three receptions from eight targets, but they gave up big plays of over 40 yards on two of those three receptions. The pass rush was also lackluster aside from rookie Josh Allen, who did achieve consistent pressure. While the Jaguars can get somewhat of a pass from Week 1 being against the likes of the Chiefs, they should not instill fear in a Texans passing offense with momentum from a solid Week 1 performance.

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


Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Offense at Houston Texans Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Jaguars season got off to a terrible start as their new star quarterback Nick Foles suffered a broken collarbone after throwing his first touchdown pass with his new team. With Foles sidelined until at least Week 11, sixth-round rookie Gardner Minshew will take over under center for the Jaguars. He has very limited NFL experience, but Minshew did look serviceable last week as he completed 22-or-25 attempts for 275 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. Minshew showed great accuracy both downfield and on short throws as he spread the ball around well. Minshew relied heavily on short passes, but he also completed a 64-yard deep ball to D.J. Chark as his primary highlight. The Jaguars signed Josh Dobbs to compete at the quarterback position, but he will slot in as the backup to Minshew for this week. At wide receiver, it was Chris Conley who was the favorite target of Minshew based on the connection they established in training camp. Conley finished with 97 rushing yards, six receptions, and one touchdown. D.J. Chark led the team in receiving though as he hauled in the big 64-yard touchdown bomb on his way to 146 receiving yards. Dede Westbrook would have had an underwhelming start to his season if not for a late-game touchdown as he did not live up to expectations as the Jaguars WR1. Leonard Fournette also amassed a respectable four receptions for 28 yards--solid usage for him out of the backfield.

The Texans passing defense gave up 370 passing yards and two touchdowns while picking off Drew Brees once in last week’s opener. The defensive line failed to apply consistent pressure as both the interior and edges of this line were in poor form--including J.J. Watt, who looked sluggish. Whitney Mercilus was the only sharp player on this line, as he made a few nice plays and was consistently winning his matchup while also making a great play in the end zone to pick off Drew Brees. New safety Tashaun Gipson had a very tough time over the top as he fell victim to big play after big play by the Saints wide receivers. Cornerback Johnathan Joseph was their best defensive back, while slot man Aaron Colvin was the worst. Colvin performed so poorly that he was actually released on Tuesday. None of the three remaining cornerbacks on the roster can be trusted, so until the Texans can sign another cornerback, the slot will be a position to exploit when facing the Texans--news that bodes well for Dede Westbrook to put up solid numbers this week.

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


Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Offense vs Seattle Seahawks Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Steelers’ post-Antonio Brown Era opened struggled Week 1. Ben Roethlisberger completed just 27 of 47 throws, producing 276 yards (many in garbage time) along the way. His line would have been bigger if not for several back-breaking drops by Donte Moncrief, but Roethlisberger certainly underperformed. There’s hope for a quick bounce-back, but they’ll have to establish a downfield game; without Brown, the team lacked that element Sunday. JuJu Smith-Schuster was solid before leaving with a toe injury - he’s expected to be fine for Week 2 - but changes will likely be made further down the line. Most certainly, Moncrief will cede some usage to James Washington, following a night that saw him turn 10 targets into just 7 yards. Washington flashed in limited snaps, and his 45-yard reception helped keep the Steelers (briefly) alive in the third quarter. Even rookie Diontae Johnson, who caught three passes of his own, could work in ahead of Moncrief. The team will probably look to get tight end Vance McDonald involved up the seams, as well. McDonald didn’t draw a target until the game’s final drive, but can present mismatches against linebackers and safeties. Roethlisberger will need that kind of advantage as he transitions into life without Brown.

The Seattle pass defense has tumbled severely from its Super Bowl heights. With its trio of All-Pros now all gone from the secondary, this unit has become fairly targetable for fantasy purposes. In Week 1, Andy Dalton posted a career day (35 of 51 for 418 yards and 2 touchdowns) with A.J. Green sidelined. The Seahawks had no answer for speedy John Ross, who caught both those touchdowns from long distance. Cornerbacks Tre Flowers and Shaquill Griffin struggled throughout the day, and there was little resistance on quick-hitting throws into the slot. The overmanned secondary would benefit from a strong pass rush, and Sunday was certainly promising in that regard. Jadeveon Clowney had an impactful Seahawks debut, while down lineman Quinton Jefferson broke out with five hits (two sacks) on Dalton. This is a shaky unit, but one capable of mixing in strong performances alongside permissive ones.

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


Seattle Seahawks Passing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

With the Seahawks’ scheme and front line geared toward the run, the passing game is used more as a situational, game-changing tool. Russell Wilson is valued for his athleticism and mobility, but also an effective deep arm that both stretches defenses and creates chunk gains. In Week 1, Wilson completed passes of 44, 42, and 25 yards among his 20 attempts. His biggest obstacle, as usual, is the Seahawks’ weak pass-blocking line, which allowed four sacks on opening day. When Wilson can see the field and set his feet, he throws to a truly dynamic pair of wideouts. Tyler Lockett was surprisingly frozen out for most of the game, drawing just two targets. There should be more usage going forward, but Lockett may be in the process of ceding the No. 1 role to DK Metcalf. The rookie had a phenomenal debut, catching 4 of his 6 targets for 89 yards, accounting for 45% of the team’s yardage. The athletic megastar showed the ability to create separation, as expected, but also to make tough catches in coverage. He’s a fairly raw prospect but clearly boasts the No. 1 receiver traits to make a huge impact anyway.

The Pittsburgh pass defense was caught off-guard and run over by Tom Brady and the Patriots in Week 1 allowing 343 yards. The secondary remains full of question marks in coverage, an issue that will snowball if Joe Haden can’t go Sunday. Haden wasn’t sharp last week but is always the Steelers’ best cover man on the field. Mike Hilton is a solid slot man, but Steven Nelson and Cameron Sutton are shaky on the outside. Josh Gordon and Phillip Dorsett took full advantage in Week 1, and the Seahawks will look to move Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf around into those matchups. Even more crucial to the unit’s outlook is the availability of top pass-rusher T.J. Watt, whose status is unclear. The Steelers will need to pressure Russell Wilson - yet contain him in the pocket - to help paper over their coverage issues.

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


San Francisco 49ers Passing Offense at Cincinnati Bengals Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Jimmy Garoppolo returned to action after a 12-month recovery, and didn’t inspire much confidence in doing so. He followed up a shaky preseason with a thoroughly ineffective opener, posting just 6.1 yards per attempt and a single touchdown. Garoppolo struggled to connect consistently with any of his wideouts; only tight end George Kittle topped 40 yards. To be fair, Garoppolo did have two touchdown passes negated by penalties. He’s clearly still working off rust, but his floor and ceiling both remain mysterious. With no track record to speak of, there is no clear set of expectations. Without question, though, he’ll need his playmakers to step up if he’s to find any 2019 success. The trio of Deebo Samuel, Marquise Goodwin, and Dante Pettis failed to create much separation - and Garoppolo misfired several times that they did. At least Kittle carried over He caught 8 of his 10 targets, and both those negated touchdown throws had gone to him. Garoppolo may still be an unwritten book, but Kittle is clearly gifted enough to spin fantasy gold regardless.

It’s surprising how beatable the Bengals pass defense has been since last season. The team boasts a solid set of starting cornerbacks in William Jackson and Dre Kirkpatrick, after all. And the pass rush, which took down Russell Wilson on 4 of his 24 dropbacks, remains underrated. Still, taken as a whole, this is one football’s least cohesive secondaries, and receivers have little trouble splitting them down the field. Wilson posted a prolific 9.8 yards per attempt in Week 1, hitting on most of his downfield throws with relative ease. Most egregious was Tyler Lockett’s 44-yard touchdown, on which the slot receiver jogged through an unmanned deep secondary and into the end zone. Last year, these Bengals allowed the league’s fourth-most net yards per attempt and third-highest touchdown rate, and this year’s iteration looks no different. Jackson and Kirkpatrick can win matchups on the outside, but the holes elsewhere are easy for offenses to exploit.

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


Chicago Bears Passing Offense at Denver Broncos Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Mitchell Trubisky’s reportedly uninspiring training camp and preseason may have been indicative of the terrible performance he showed in the season opener last week. He completed just 57.7 percent of his pass attempts for 228 yards and one interception while getting sacked five times. Trubisky was quick to try and use his legs instead of going through his progressions, partially because of the constant pressure he was under as his offensive line lost in the trenches. Both Allen Robinson and Tarik Cohen had some success through the air though, as they combined to represent over half the targets from Trubisky. Robinson led the way with 13 targets, converting seven of those for 102 yards as he looked sharp. Tarik Cohen finished with a team-leading eight receptions for 49 yards, serving as a safety valve for the oft-panicked Trubisky. Cohen actually took the majority of snaps from the slot instead of coming out of the backfield, running short intermediate routes to offer a quick option for Trubisky. Mike Davis also chipped in with six receptions from seven targets, even further proving the point that Trubisky struggled to go through his progressions with how often he was relying on his running backs for quick, short targets. Tight end Trey Burton appears to be on track for his season debut after missing Week 1 with a groin injury, but he will need a much-improved performance from Trubisky to make an impact in this one.

The Broncos secondary did a decent job in their season opener, but they were slightly hamstrung by how ineffective the pass rush was. Derek Carr had as much time as he needed as Broncos pass rushers got virtually no pressure on him throughout the night. It also did not help that cornerback Bryce Callahan was sidelined as he continues to battle a foot injury that has plagued him on and off since last season. Callahan will be a big loss for this secondary if unable to suit up against his former team this week, as he otherwise would have been a tough matchup for the likes of Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel on the outside. Kareem Jackson was the best cornerback for this secondary and should present a challenge for Robinson on most snaps. Isaac Yiadom, on the other hand, was a liability for the Broncos and will be a positive matchup for both Robinson and Gabriel as they rotate sides.

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


Cincinnati Bengals Passing Offense vs San Francisco 49ers Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

In his first game under new coach Zac Taylor, Andy Dalton brought encouraging returns. He threw for 418 yards and 2 touchdowns, succeeding against the Seattle defense in several ways. For most of the game, Dalton stuck to short, quick-hitting throws to mitigate the Bengals’ shaky line. He and slot specialist Tyler Boyd carried over their bond from 2018, connecting on 8 of their 11 targets, mostly over the middle. But when he looked at John Ross’ way deep, the results were fantastic. On the day, Ross shattered his career achievements with 7 receptions, 158 yards, and 2 scores. He routinely won with his speed and open-field dynamism as the Bengals surprisingly schemed the ball to him throughout the game. Ross certainly stormed onto the NFL scene Sunday, though that kind of usage may not become a weekly thing. On a day in which he threw 51 passes, Dalton spread the ball to 8 different targets, and Ross did drop a few throws. For the Bengals to have any deep-ball success going forward, they’ll need to keep Dalton upright. Cordy Glenn could return to the left tackle spot this weekend or perhaps shuffle inside to help the run game. In any event, when he does return, he’ll serve as the team’s best all-around blocker by a mile.

The San Francisco pass defense entered 2019 in search of a playmaking identity. And after recording just 2 interceptions through all of 2018 - the lowest total in league history - they capitalized on Jameis Winston’s erratic arm to beat that total on opening day. They even returned two for touchdowns, including the game-sealer with 2:10 to play. The coverage unit looked strong all game, with Richard Sherman and company keeping Mike Evans (28 yards on 5 targets), Chris Godwin (53 on 6), and O.J. Howard (32 on 5) from making much impact. The key factor may have been the retooled pass rush, as new additions Dee Ford and Nick Bosa practically lived in the Tampa Bay backfield. If Week 1 was any indicator, the 49ers are prepared to take a huge step forward from last year’s permissive unit.

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


Indianapolis Colts Passing Offense at Tennessee Titans Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Colts passing offense was relatively quiet in Week 1 as they ran a run-heavy game plan focused on feeding Marlon Mack. Jacoby Brissett managed to complete 21-of-27 pass attempts for 190 yards and two touchdowns--a relatively efficient stat line. Brissett took great care of the ball and was poised under pressure. T.Y. Hilton saw a third of the total targets for this passing offense, hauling in eight of nine for 87 yards and two touchdowns. He was clearly the focal point of this passing offense as no other player was targeted more than five times. Wide receiver Devin Funchess suffered a broken collarbone in Week 1, landing himself on Injured Reserve. Funchess was the WR2 in this offense, so his absence will vacate a share of targets that should create an opportunity for rookie Parris Campbell to step up. Brissett targeted his tight ends just five times (two for Jack Doyle, three for Eric Ebron) with Doyle hauling in a 20-yarder. Running back Nyhiem Hines was the recipient of four fruitless dump-offs and screens, serving his normal role as the check-down option. The offensive line held up reasonably well under strong pressure from a pair of talented Chargers edge rushers, giving up just two sacks on the day.

While the Titans defense was certainly aided by sloppy play from the Browns offense in Week 1, they still put up a very strong showing--particularly against the pass. With three interceptions and five sacks, it was a dominant showing by this young group. The veteran Cameron Wake actually shined the brightest though, as he was a force to be reckoned with on the defensive line. Wake was consistently in the Browns backfield as he racked up four hits on the quarterback and 2.5 sacks, one of which was for a safety. The NFL’s top-paid safety Kevin Byard began earning his money quickly as he hauled in an interception while cornerbacks Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan added in with interceptions of their own. Despite this strong showing in Week 1, there will still be matchups to exploit for the Colts--particularly with T.Y. Hilton squaring off against Malcolm Butler. Hilton has the quickness to find separation over the veteran Butler, just as he did in their last matchup when Hilton put up 155 yards and two touchdowns in Week 11 of 2018. The Colts offensive line also represents a much tougher challenge for the Titans front seven as the Colts get the nod in the trenches.

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


Los Angeles Chargers Passing Offense at Detroit Lions Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Phillip Rivers finished with a great stat line in Week 1 with 333 yards and three touchdowns, but he also had a brutal interception while two of his touchdowns came from short passes to Austin Ekeler to help pad the stat line a bit. Rivers was definitely serviceable for this passing offense, but he was not making spectacular plays downfield. Keenan Allen was his top target with 10 looks, hauling in eight of those for 123 yards and a touchdown. Allen looked sharp, especially on his jump ball touchdown reception. Ekeler was the other primary playmaker for this offense as he hauled in six of seven targets for 96 yards and two touchdowns. Ekeler should continue playing a big role in the passing game for Rivers, especially considering the recent news that Hunter Henry will be sidelined with a knee injury for a good chunk of the season. Given the lack of Henry as a safety blanket, Ekeler will likely play an even larger role in providing Rivers with a viable option in the short passing game. WR2 Mike Williams was forced from last week’s game with a knee injury and did not return. He was reportedly feeling fine after the game, but his status is up in the air as he did not practice on Wednesday and head coach Anthony Lynn seems concerned. If Williams did miss this game, in addition to Henry, look for a high volume of targets going to both Ekeler and Allen as well as Travis Benjamin who would likely replace Williams would also see some looks..

The Lions secondary looked great for almost a full game last week until they fell apart in the fourth quarter as the Cardinals rallied back to secure a tie. Both Rashaan Melvin and Darius Slay played great games on the outside and should have advantages in their matchups against Travis Benjamin and Mike Williams (if healthy) this week. Slot cornerback Justin Coleman also played relatively well, but Keenan Allen matches up much more evenly with him and should have the best chance at finding success amongst the Chargers wideouts. The Lions defensive line should win in the trenches this week barring any of the fatigue issues we saw from them late in the last week’s overtime game. Extra pressure on Rivers may lead to more short passes forced to Austin Ekeler. The Lions linebackers struggled to contain David Johnson out of the backfield last week, so Ekeler could be in for close to a repeat performance from Week 1.

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


Los Angeles Rams Passing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Following a disappointing display in Super Bowl 53, head coach Sean McVay got the Rams' offense back on track in the 2019 season opener. Los Angeles posted 30 points on the road against the Carolina Panthers' expectedly-strong defense. One notable difference between the offense that posted a meager 3 points in the Super Bowl and the attack that lit up the scoreboard for 30 points to start 2019 was the reintroduction of Cooper Kupp to the receiving corps. Kupp tore his ACL midway through the 2018 season, which ultimately eroded the passing game's efficiency. Since the start of the 2018 season, quarterback Jared Goff has averaged 9.11 yards-per-attempt in games Cooper Kupp played, as opposed to a pedestrian 7.32 yards-per-attempt in games without Kupp. Los Angeles' week one passing numbers were underwhelming, in large part due to the conservative play-calling after the team opened up a 16-3 lead early in the 3rd quarter. Jared Goff only passed for just 183 yards on mostly-unadventurous attempts. The return of Cooper Kupp also positively impacts other wide receivers in this offense, as both Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks post more impressive numbers when Kupp is active. The tight ends in Los Angeles' offense are capable but unreliable: Tyler Higbee caught a touchdown in the season opener, suitable for half of his total from the entire 2018 season. The Rams' offensive line is in a period of transition, following the departure of two starters from last season. This turnover is cause for concern, as these new starters Brian Allen and Joseph Noteboom are clear weak links in the trenches. Sean McVay's schematic genius will likely overcome the ineptitude up front for the Rams, and overall Los Angeles is expected to have one of the league's strongest passing attacks once again in 2019.

New Orleans outscored Houston in a thrilling 30-28 shootout at home in week one. Deshaun Watson finished the game with 268 passing yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception. This strong stat line is in large part thanks to the mind-boggling talent of DeAndre Hopkins, as well as an ultra-impressive 54-yard reception by Will Fuller. As a whole, New Orleans' pass defense was strong aside from a few chunk plays. One notable strength of the defense was their ability to get pressure on Watson throughout the game. The Saints registered 6 sacks and 11 hits on the quarterback in week one, good enough for 1st and 2nd in the NFL, respectively. Behind the intense pass rush, New Orleans sports a strong group of pass defenders. Marshon Lattimore has established himself as one of the NFL's best cornerbacks over the last season, and week one was no different. At safety, Marcus Williams shined in week one following a sophomore slump in coverage duties. A matchup with Los Angeles offers little reprieve following a tough battle with Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins, but the Saints' performance against the pass in week one does little to indicate they are a team that will struggle to defend the pass in 2019.

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)

It was expected that a healthy Dalvin Cook would lead to a heavier focus on the run for this Vikings offense, but only 10 pass attempts from Kirk Cousins last week was certainly an extreme shift in offensive philosophy from what was displayed last season. Cousins did not even pass for 100 yards as he simply didn’t have to in last week’s game, completing eight of 10 passes for 98 yards and one touchdown to Adam Thielen. While this is far from indicative of what to expect on a weekly basis, it is certainly concerning for what was once a high-volume passing offense that has now seemingly moved heavily to a run-first approach. Adam Thielen led the team in targets, for whatever that is worth, as he hauled in all three of them for 43 yards and a touchdown. Stefon Diggs was also involved with a couple of receptions. These two will continue to serve as the primary options through the air while Dalvin Cook should get a few targets per week, and Kyle Rodolph remains a low-upside red zone threat.

The Packers secondary looked great in Week 1 as they took advantage of a very poor showing from Mitchell Trubisky. Their cornerbacks all played well, with Jaire Alexander leading the way. Alexander should see a mix of Thielen and Diggs this week, but both Thielen and Diggs in an offense with Kirk Cousins under center will always present much more of a threat than Allen Robinson catching passes from Trubisky. What helps the Packers is the talent they have added at safety. Adrian Amos made an immediate impact in Week 1 and should continue to serve as an impact player over the top for the Packers. Tight end Kyle Rudolph should have limited opportunities this week as he draws tough coverage from safeties Raven Greene and Darnell Savage as well. The Vikings offensive line held up relatively well against the pass rush, but rookie center Garrett Bradbury had a notably difficult time coming off the ball and should struggle against a strong Packers interior defensive line. With all that said, let’s pull back from overreacting to a stellar performance against Mitchell Trubisky. The Packers defense did look great, but the Vikings present an entirely different offensive challenge that will really prove how effective this Packers defense can be.

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


Oakland Raiders Passing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Derek Carr and Oakland's passing attack opened the 2019 season with a shockingly impressive performance during the team's 24-16 victory over the Denver Broncos. Carr finished the night completing 22 of his 26 passing attempts for 259 yards and 1 score. It is also worth noting that Carr pushed the ball downfield far more in week one than he typically did throughout the 2018 season. Offseason acquisition Tyrell Williams proved to be Carr's favorite target through the air, targeting Williams seven times throughout the game, including the highest-leverage situations. Williams tallied 6 receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown in his debut in the silver and black. At tight end, Darren Waller flashed some of the potential that many analysts hoped he would display in an offense devoid of playmakers. Waller caught 7 of his 8 targets for 70 yards in his first start as a member of the Oakland Raiders. Aside from Williams and Waller, however, there is not much to like in this Oakland passing game. The Raiders' offensive line was highly impressive in the season opener. Denver was unable to apply pressure to Derek Carr all night, registering zero hits on the quarterback. Oakland's passing game impressed in the season opener, giving reason to adjust expectations for this unit for the better.

Nick Foles and Garner Minshew combined for 350 passing yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception in week one, but these numbers do not tell the whole story of the matchup. Following an injury to Nick Foles, Minshew ran a dink-and-dunk offense that left receivers to do much of the work after the catch. Minshew's average 5.5 air-yards-per-attempt ranked 2nd-lowest in the entire NFL in week one. While Kansas City's pass rush failed to produce in week one, this unit has the pedigree of a defensive line primed to make an impact throughout the season. Frank Clark was acquired from Seattle following 3 straight 10+ sack seasons. While he only registered one pressure on the quarterback last week, Clark can be counted on to right the ship and get after the quarterback throughout the season. On the interior, Chris Jones is arguably the second-best interior lineman in the NFL. In 2018, Jones recorded 15.5 sacks, good enough for 3rd in the NFL. In week one, Jones pressured Jacksonville quarterbacks three times but failed to convert any into sacks, which won't continue for long. In the secondary, the Chiefs added Tyrann Mathieu over the offseason to strengthen their weak-point on the defense. While Mathieu did not turn in his best performance in week one, another newcomer, Breshaud Breeland, stepped up in coverage. Kansas City's week one defensive statistics are inflated due to an entire fourth-quarter of garbage time, but that could be a trend with their high powered offense. This is a strong unit, and is better than the stats that they will give up, but they will give up a significant amount of garbage time yards this season.

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


Philadelphia Eagles Passing Offense at Atlanta Falcons Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Philadelphia Eagles welcomed back a few much-needed pieces to its passing attack in the 2019 season opener. Carson Wentz returned from a back injury that kept him out the final games of the 2018 season, and an offseason trade brought speedster DeSean Jackson back to Philadelphia. Wentz and Jackson were undoubtedly the most impressive and impactful offensive players in Philadelphia's week one comeback against the Washington Redskins. Carson Wentz pushed the ball downfield and looked like his 2017-self that was vying for the NFL MVP before a knee injury cut his season short. DeSean Jackson provided a deep-threat far more dangerous than anything Wentz has seen to this point in his career, and the combination was lethal in week one. Jackson caught 8 of his team-leading 10 targets on the day, accumulating 154 receiving yards and 2 long touchdowns. Jackson's ability to stretch the field gave Washington fits all day and enabled Alshon Jeffery and Zach Ertz to work efficiently on intermediate routes. While their statistical output will likely regress with Jackson included in the offense, Jeffery and Ertz will continue to be useful targets for Wentz. Additionally, Philadelphia's offensive line did a tremendous job of protecting Carson Wentz throughout the game. Wentz was only hit three times in his 2019 debut, which means trouble for any opposing defense. The cohesion up front coupled with the plethora of weapons for Wentz to distribute the ball to in 2019 make Philadelphia's passing game one of the league's strongest.

Atlanta faced just 10 pass attempts in their week one loss to the Minnesota Vikings. This small sample size gave little insight into what is different on the back-end of the Falcons defense compared to 2018. Atlanta returns 3 of their starters in the secondary from last season, replacing just Robert Alford, who left for Arizona in the offseason. Desmond Trufant and Isaiah Oliver will start at corner in 2019 for Atlanta, and both proved to be serviceable in coverage throughout last season. At safety, Atlanta boasts one of the league's best rotations of coverage safeties. Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal will start for the Falcons with Demontae Kazee available to rotate in as necessary. Allen and Kazee rank amongst the league's strongest safeties against the pass. Keanu Neal is returning from an injury that kept him out of all but one game in the 2018 season, and he will look to return to the form of his exceptional rookie year. Linebacker Deion Jones ranks amongst the league's best athletes at the position. Jones consistently posts some of the league's most-impressive numbers in coverage amongst linebackers. In the trenches, Grady Jarrett established himself as one of the NFL's best interior pass rushers in 2018. As one of the few bright spots in week one, Jarrett continued this upward trend in production against the Vikings. On the exterior, however, Atlanta has struggled to find consistent pass-rushers. Vic Beasley, Jr. and Takkarist McKinley both struggled to apply pressure regularly throughout 2018. As a whole, Atlanta sports a middling pass defense. There are talented coverage players in the secondary, as well as at linebacker. However, Atlanta's inability to apply pressure to the quarterback has held them back.

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


Tennessee Titans Passing Offense vs Indianapolis Colts Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Titans offense put up some relatively flashy numbers in last week’s win against the Browns, but the performance of Marcus Mariota still left much to be desired. Mariota was inaccurate for most of the game, noticeably missing on anything other than wide-open receivers. He amassed 248 passing yards, with 172 of those coming from three passes--one of which was an easy screen to Derrick Henry who took it to the house from 75 yards out. Rookie receiver A.J. Brown was another standout for the Titans, amassing 100 receiving yards in his NFL debut. Brown hauled in a couple of deep balls in this one, displaying the big play ability he was scouted for. Delanie Walker also made a triumphant return to the field last week with his first game with multiple touchdowns since 2015. Walker reminded everyone how dangerous of a red-zone weapon he can be for this offense with both touchdowns coming from within 11-yards of the end zone. Corey Davis, on the other hand, was a massive disappointment as he struggled under tough coverage and finished with zero receptions in Week 1. This week, the Titans will likely force Davis more targets as he sees an easier cornerback matchup. However, he will be tough to trust--especially considering how inconsistent Mariota was with the ball last week.

The Colts secondary allowed Phillip Rivers to average nearly 10 yards per pass attempt on his way to 333 passing yards and three touchdowns in Week 1. This Colts secondary takes a team-based approach rather than individual playmakers, as no single player has proven to have game-changing talent. However, Malik Hooker is certainly making a case after his highlight reel interception in the end zone last week. Slot receiver Adam Humphries should be in a good spot against Kenny Moore based on the success Keenan Allen had from the slot last week. Both Corey Davis and A.J. Brown are also in decent spots, while Delanie Walker should find success if the Colts linebackers play as poorly in coverage as they did in Week 1. The Colts defensive line started strong though, as second-year Kemoko Turay was particularly impressive in limited snaps. He finishing with five pressures from just 18 pass-rush snaps, which also included a sack and a forced fumble. Justin Houston also had an impressive debut with the Colts and will be in a decent spot against backup left tackle Dennis Kelly this week. This Titans offensive line did give up four sacks last week, so with up to two starters still missing, there is an opportunity for Mariota to be under pressure yet again this week.

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 passed for just 203 yards and one touchdown in a very tough season opener against the Bears. That Bears defense can make even the best of quarterbacks look silly. Rodgers faced consistent pressure, was hit 11 times with five sacks, and had nine passes defended--a truly difficult day at the office. Rodgers did miss the entire preseason, so he very well may have been shaking off some rust as he flashed at times, but was unimpressive on the whole. Davante Adams was kept in check during the opener but was still the top target for Rodgers. Marquez Valdes-Scantling led the team in receiving on the heels of a 47-yard bomb that made up all but five of his total receiving yards from four receptions. Jimmy Graham also found the end zone and is already halfway to matching his 2018 touchdown total. He still has a size advantage over almost any defensive back and certainly used it to make that touchdown catch last week.

The Vikings secondary did a solid job against the Falcons receiving group as they limited big plays while holding top receiver Julio Jones to just 31 yards as he hauled in only six of 11 targets. Xavier Rhodes can be to blame for that impressive performance that should put a damper on the upside of Davonte Adams this week as he can expect to see a ton of Rhodes on shadow coverage. Slot cornerback Mackenzie Alexander suffered a dislocated elbow in Week 1 and is expected to miss this game, leading to Geronimo Allison squaring off against backup cornerback Jayron Kearse. Kearse is a big, physical defensive back who played well in relief of Alexander last week and matches up size-wise against Allison, so don’t be quick to assume Allison has an advantage here. If coverage from these cornerbacks was not enough, the Vikings also have a couple of the league’s top safeties over the top along with strong pass rush that should content pretty evenly with the Packers offensive line. There are no matchup advantages to be found for the Packers as they face another very difficult test this week.

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


New Orleans Saints Passing Offense at Los Angeles Rams Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

New Orleans kickstarted their 2019 campaign with a thrilling 30-28 home victory over the Houston Texans. Quarterback Drew Brees showed no signs of slowing down in his age-40 NFL season, as he turned in another wildly-efficient 370-yard, multi-touchdown performance. Michael Thomas continued to dominate opposing defensive backs with yet another 10-catch and 100-yard performance to open the season. Following an injury-shortened season, Ted Ginn, Jr. re-emerged as Drew Brees' second-favorite wide receiver in the offense by catching all 7 of his targets for 101 yards against Houston. Second-year receiver Tre'Quan Smith was unable to carve out a significant role in the Saints' offense as many had hoped. Smith tallied just two targets in the opener, and slots in firmly as the third option at wide receiver as the pecking order currently sits. Running back Alvin Kamara proved to be an elite receiving option for the position in week one with 7 catches for 72 yards on 8 targets. Kamara registered the second-most targets on the team in 2018, and he will undoubtedly continue to make an impact there this season. New Orleans' notably strong offensive line stifled the Houston Texans' pass rush in the season opener. A clean pocket is critical to success for any aerial attack, and the New Orleans Saints excel at protecting franchise quarterback Drew Brees. Expect the Saints to continue to give opposing secondaries fits throughout the season in 2019.

The Los Angeles Rams turned in a fantastic defensive performance on the road in week one. The Rams held Cam Newton and the Panthers to just 239 passing yards, 0 touchdowns, and 1 interception on the day. Christian McCaffrey finished the day as Carolina's leading receiver out of the backfield while D.J. Moore led the receivers with 76 receiving yards on 10 targets. The Rams' defense dominated on all three levels, as the defensive linemen, linebackers, and defensive backs each contributed heavily. On the defensive line, Dante Fowler, Jr. turned in one of the most impressive performances of his career with 6 pressures and 2 sacks on Newton to open the season. Aaron Donald, unsurprisingly, dominated on the interior as well with three pressures of his own. At linebacker, both Cory Littleton and Bryce Hager defended the pass exceptionally well, with the former intercepting Cam Newton late in the fourth quarter to help secure the victory. Finally, in the secondary, the addition of All-Pro safety Eric Weddle paid dividends early thanks to an expectedly-strong performance at the back-end of this defense to go along with Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters who looks to rebound from a rough 2018. The Rams' defense is as talented as any at all three levels, and they will surely give offenses fits all season long.

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


New York Jets Passing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Sam Darnold struggled this week which led to coach Adam Gase calling out both Darnold and Robby Anderson for their performances this past week. The Jets did have to make some personnel moves as they lost Quincy Enunwa for the season with a neck injury which led them to trade for Demaryius Thomas who will provide depth behind Robby Anderson and Jamison Crowder. Crowder was one of the bright spots in this offense as he caught 14 passes for the Jets and was targeted 17 times. This passing offense appears to be going through Crowder and Le’Veon Bell who caught six passes with the occasional deep shot to Anderson.

The Browns secondary was great for the entire game this past week except for three plays. The first being a screen pass to Derrick Henry that he took for 75 yards, and then poor tackling on an in route from A.J. Brown who beat Terrance Mitchell stiff-armed him, and then stiff-armed safety Damarious Randall for a 51 yard gain. This is sort of expected from a group that is incredibly young as their two starting cornerbacks are 22 years old in Denzel Ward and 21 years old in Greedy Williams. Williams in his first start drew high praise from the coaching staff after the game and Ward who was a Pro Bowler last season. The vaunted pass rush led by Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon lived up to the hype in this game as they sacked Marcus Mariota four times with Garrett having two of those four sacks. This continues to be a unit that will likely give up big plays from time to time but will be incredibly difficult to move the ball consistently against.

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


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Offense at Carolina Panthers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Bruce Arians’ track record in the passing game is top-notch, and his system maximized some ho-hum quarterbacking in Arizona. But even he may not be up to the task of getting Jameis Winston off the ground. Winston opened the year as erratic as ever, if not more so, throwing three interceptions - two returned for touchdowns - with two more easy ones dropped. It was ironic that it came against a 49ers defense that registered an all-time low two interceptions through all of last season. At this point, Winston simply can’t be trusted to orchestrate a successful offense. He makes too many poor decisions with the ball, and he lacks the instinct and touch to make those low-percentage throws work. Thanks to his scattershot arm, big-play receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin made little impact in Week 1, catching just 5 of their 11 targets for 81 yards. At least Godwin was able to make a nice 28-yard play and find the end zone. It’s worth noting that when they faced this Panthers secondary late last season, Evans put up a nightmare day (1 catch on 10 targets), while Godwin feasted across the field (5 for 101 and a touchdown). Explosive tight end O.J. Howard had a rough opener, with a fumble and a drop that became an interception. Backup Cameron Brate remained a Winston favorite near the goal line - he caught two short touchdowns, both of which were negated by penalties. As always, there’s difference-making potential in this unit, and on sturdy weeks the upside is massive. But Winston’s play is far too volatile to trust at the moment. Week to week, he looks like a stronger bet to implode than to reach his upside.

The Carolina pass defense is an inconsistent group but reached the high end of its capabilities in Week 1. Jared Goff and the Rams’ potent pass game never got off the ground, producing just 4.8 yards per attempt with a single touchdown. Much of the credit belongs to cornerbacks James Bradberry and Donte Jackson, who teamed to lock down the deep-ball game on the outside - the Rams managed only 3 pass plays of 15 yards or more. Brandin Cooks caught only two of his six targets, while Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp combined to produce just 116 yards over their 15 receptions (a 7.7 average). There were also contributions from the defense’s new starters. Free safety Tre Boston brings a stabilizing presence against the pass, while new pass rushers Gerald McCoy and Brian Burns enjoyed strong Panthers debuts. This unit likely won’t play to these heights every week, but Week 1’s trends were encouraging all-around.

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


Arizona Cardinals Passing Offense at Baltimore Ravens Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

In his NFL debut, top pick Kyler Murray posted a true mixed bag. There were definite deficiencies and poor decisions on display, with a handful of big-time plays mixed in that reminded onlookers of Murray’s upside. The bad was indeed bad: Murray often looked lost in the NFL pocket, losing sight of defenders and making head-scratching throws. His lone interception, in particular, was a glaring rookie slip-up. But he settled down late and spearheaded an 18-point rally with his playmaking abilities. Murray eventually looked capable of making big downfield throws, connecting early and often with Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson, among others. His 27-yard touchdown strike to Johnson, who had gained just a half-step on his man at the goal line, was a sight to behold. Fitzgerald remains the team’s steadiest receiver by far, and he opened with a fantastic performance from the slot. Given his bond with Murray, which was on display throughout the second half, his 8-111-1 line doesn’t look farfetched going forward. The team hopes for more contribution from Christian Kirk and rookie KeeSean Johnson, who combined to catch just 9 of their 22 targets for 79 yards. Both drew plenty of Murray’s attention Sunday, and both carry strong No. 2 traits for the NFL level. And everyone would benefit, of course, from elevated play upfront. With right tackle Marcus Gilbert on the shelf, Murray took 5 sacks on opening day. Gilbert is out for Week 2, and coach Kliff Kingsbury may need to shuffle his spot around a bit. Justin Murray looked badly outmatched and may not be a great fit in the Air Raid blocking scheme.

It’s probably not prudent to judge the Baltimore pass defense by its Week 1 performance. Facing the league’s worst passing attack never provides much usable data. Still, it was encouraging to see this unit look every bit as dominant as it did in 2018. The pass rush swarmed Miami’s makeshift line, forcing both their scattershot quarterbacks into awful days through the air. The Dolphins absorbed 14 hits and managed just 5.9 yards per attempt, with only 3 completions going for more than 13. Losing Terrell Suggs, Eric Weddle, and C.J. Mosley is impactful, of course. But new leaders, like Matt Judon and Earl Thomas, already look ready to step in. It is worth noting that cornerback Jimmy Smith will be lost for some time and that second-year replacement Anthony Averett struggled noticeably in his place Sunday. This secondary is loaded elsewhere, so he’ll likely be the point of attack whenever possible for Kyler Murray.

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


Denver Broncos Passing Offense vs Chicago Bears Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Joe Flacco had a disappointing debut as a Bronco, completing just 21-of-31 pass attempts and just one touchdown, which came on the final drive against a prevent defense. Flacco was under some pressure throughout the night as his offensive line had a tough time in pass protection, and he was not the most accurate on a number of throws throughout the night. Wide receiver Cortland Sutton is not complaining after Week 1, however, as he finished as the top receiver with seven receptions from eight targets and 120 yards. Sutton was a favorite target of Flacco and showed some solid chemistry, appearing to be the top option in the passing game for the Broncos. Emmanuel Sanders was not far behind though, as he too finished with a strong stat line of five receptions for 86 yards and the lone touchdown despite being held to just one catch before halftime. Phillip Lindsay was also involved through the air with four receptions for 23 yards as he made some hay on dump-offs. Beyond these three, there appeared to be no other relevant options in this passing offense--especially as tight end Noah Fant seemed to struggle in his NFL debut.

The Bears played a strong game against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers last week, limiting them to just 203 passing yards and a single passing touchdown. Both Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara were sharp in coverage as no single Bears wide receiver had more than four receptions--including Davante Adams who could haul in just half of his targets for 36 yards under this tight coverage. Even Buster Skrine--the newcomer and noted weak link in this cornerback group--had a solid showing as he didn’t allow a reception in limited snaps from the slot. He faces a higher level of talent this week though, as slot receiver Emmanuel Sanders should have the edge in his matchup. The Bears defensive line also showed out well as they racked up seven hits and five sacks on Rodgers. With an offensive line that struggled against a mediocre Raiders defensive front and matchup disadvantages for his outside receivers, Joe Flacco should be in for a long game this Sunday.

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


Miami Dolphins Passing Offense vs New England Patriots Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

The Dolphins are going sticking with Ryan Fitzpatrick after the blowout loss to the Ravens last week. Regardless of who is at quarterback for the Dolphins, their play is unlikely to improve unless the offensive line improves as Fitzpatrick was pressured all day long and had little time to release the ball. The wide receiving group still leaves a lot to be desired as DeVante Parker remains a big-play receiver, but did lead the team in targets this week. After Parker, Mike Gesicki, Albert Wilson and Preston Williams are all possession type players who the team will look to get the ball out quickly.

The Patriots secondary continues to show that it’s 2018 season was not a fluke as it played tremendously holding the Steelers to just 5.9 yards per attempt last week. Stephon Gilmore did a tremendous job locking down JuJu Smith-Schuster and continues to show why he is one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. The Patriots made an under-the-radar move on Saturday before the game giving Jonathan Jones a three-year extension and the slot-corner who beat out J.C. Jackson played tremendously as the Steelers tried to pick on the inexperienced player targeting him nine times, but he only allowed three receptions for 19 yards. If Jones can continue to play this well, this is a secondary that will be almost impossible to throw against as they also have the McCourty twins at cornerback and safety alongside veteran Patrick Chung while bringing in Duron Harmon on passing downs.

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


New York Giants Passing Offense vs Buffalo Bills Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Eli Manning is going to get a lot of hate for his performance, and the team brought in Daniel Jones once the game got out of hand. The reality is that Manning with no Golden Tate and no Odell Beckham did not play that poorly. He completed 68% of his passes with most of the offense running through tight end Evan Engram who had a monster game with 11 receptions for 116 yards. Manning did not turn the ball over, and the offensive line did a decent job in protection with just one sack against one of the best secondaries in football. This is an offense that while they had drives stall out because of penalties or ill-timed incompletions, exceeded most of our expectations.

The Bills secondary continued its dominant performance that we saw last season where it was one of the best secondaries in football allowing just 179 yards per game. The Bills secondary is led by shut-down corner Tre’Davious White and second-year player Levi Wallace who continues his tremendous play from last season. If there is a weakness in this secondary it is slot corner Taron Johnson who struggled last week in defending Jamison Crowder who caught 14 passes. The Bills safeties are also top-notch in Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer. The pass rush for the Bills continues to be a dominant force as they got to Sam Darnold four times last week. All-in-all this is one of the top defenses in football and should give the Giants all they can handle this week.

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


Washington Redskins Passing Offense vs Dallas Cowboys Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

The Washington Redskins the season with one of the league's weakest group of pass-catchers. In week one, Case Keenum posted an impressive final stat line, but his performance as a passer does not quite match up with the yardage numbers. Keenum ultimately finished with 380 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions on the day, but context matters in this situation. Keenum's first touchdown came on an impressive catch-and-run from veteran tight end Vernon Davis, and his final score came on a 75-yard drive in pure garbage time when the Eagles were in full-blown prevent defense. At wide receiver, Terry McLaurin proved to have the requisite combination of speed and route-running ability to be a successful wide receiver in the NFL. McLaurin led all wide receivers with 5 catches on 7 targets for 125 yards and a 69-yard touchdown in the opener. Trey Quinn and Paul Richardson round out Washington's starting group of wide receivers, but neither was impressive by any means. As previously mentioned, Vernon Davis should continue to fill in at tight end while Jordan Reed recovers from a concussion. In week one, Davis proved he still has some gas left in the tank on his previously-mentioned 48-yard touchdown reception, but aside from this single play, Davis offered little support through the air. Washington's third-down running back, Chris Thompson racked up 10 targets as Case Keenum's safety valve in week one. Thompson will continue to see heavy passing-down usage in the absence of Derrius Guice, who will miss at least a few weeks with a knee injury. Lastly, up front, the Redskins' offensive line turned in a slightly below-average performance in week one, which is to be expected given the unit's general lack of talent while Trent Williams holds-out awaiting a move out of Washington D.C. The outlook for Washington's passing attack is bleak given the general scarcity of talent across the board.

The Dallas Cowboys dominated at home against the New York Giants in week one. New York struggled to move the ball on Dallas' deep and balanced defense. Eli Manning tallied 306 passing yards and just 1 touchdown on the day thanks to a pass-heavy game script as the Giants unsuccessfully attempted to mount a comeback. Dallas' defense played a strong and well-rounded game, as expected, in the opener thanks to both the pass rush and coverage units. In the trenches, Joe Jackson and Demarcus Lawrence each had big days off the edge with 3 and 4 pressures, respectively. On the interior, Maliek Collins also contributed 3 pressures himself. The depth of Dallas' defensive line ensured that no matter who rotated in or out of the game, the Cowboys were still able to disrupt the pocket and force Eli Manning to make difficult throws. Dallas' secondary also turned in a stellar performance on the day. Third-year player Jourdan Lewis was the standout of this unit as he allowed only one reception in 27 coverage snaps. In week one, the Cowboys limited Byron Jones to just 23 coverage snaps as he returns from offseason hip surgery. The All-Pro cornerback did not allow a single reception against the Giants in week one, and he is expected to see the field for more snaps against Washington in week two. Dallas fields one of the deepest defenses in the entire NFL, and they are entering week two even stronger than week one. Passing against this team will be challenging all season, but it may be hardest here early in the season when the unit is closest to full-strength.

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