NFL Week 2 WR/CB Matchups and TE Analysis

Ian Hartitz
Rotoworld

And just like that we're on to Week 2. I'll be breaking down the WR/CB matchups all season long with a focus on figuring out who could be facing shadow coverage as well as the best and worst overall situations. We'll also briefly touch on each team's TE group.

Buccaneers at Panthers

Buccaneers Offense

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Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

Breshad Perriman

74

212

4.3

Donte Jackson

71

178

4.32

Slot

Chris Godwin

73

209

4.42

Javien Elliott

71

176

4.68

Right

Mike Evans

77

231

4.53

James Bradberry

73

211

4.45

Projected shadow matchups: Mike Evans vs. James Bradberry

WR/CB breakdown: Evans and Bradberry have already squared off several times over the last two seasons.

  • Week 8, 2017: 5 receptions-60 yards-0 TD (10 targets)

  • Week 16, 2017: 6-107-0 (8)

  • Week 9, 2018: 1-16-0 (10)

  • Week 13, 2018: 4-48-0 (6)

Bradberry's status as a plus-sized CB has presented problems that the monstrous Evans isn't used to facing. The Buccaneers' No. 1 WR is due for a bounce-back performance after his brutal 2-28-0 effort on just five targets last week, but this isn't a great spot for him to get back on track -- particularly if Evans continues to not look 100% healthy.

If you're ever going to take a shot on Breshad Perriman, it probably shouldn't be in a matchup with a CB just as fast as him.

This leaves us with Chris Godwin, who is in a smash spot against a Panthers Defense that surrendered seven receptions to Cooper Kupp in Week 1 and allowed notable slot WRs such as Adam Humphries (8-82-2), Cole Beasley (7-73-0), Tyler Boyd (6-132-1), Mohamed Sanu (5-81-01), Tyler Lockett (5-107-1) and JuJu Smith-Schuster (3-90-1) to ball out in 2018. Godwin's team-high six targets last week reflect the potential reality that he emerges as the most-involved Bucs WR in 2019. He possesses one of the week's top advantages in terms of the largest differences in 40-yard dash times among projected Week 2 WR/CB matchups.

TE breakdown: O.J. Howard (79% snaps) played well ahead of Cam Brate (44%), but it was the latter TE that caught two touchdowns ... although each was nullified by a penalty. The entire Bucs passing offense looked #bad in their Week 1 implosion, and Howard certainly didn't help matters by fumbling as well as dropping a pass which resulted in an interception. Still, he remains a fantasy TE1 thanks to his status as a locked-in starter that combines freakish athleticism with the ability to stretch defenses down the field in a pass-first offense.

Panthers Offense

Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

D.J. Moore

72

210

4.42

Vernon Hargreaves

70

204

4.5

Slot

Jarius Wright

70

180

4.42

M.J. Stewart

71

200

4.54

Right

Curtis Samuel

71

196

4.31

Carlton Davis

73

206

4.53

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: The Panthers' passing attack underwhelmed in Week 1, although D.J. Moore (7-76-0 on 10 targets) seemed to clearly separate himself as Cam Newton's go-to target ahead of Curtis Samuel (3-32-0 on four targets). We shouldn't read too much into a one-week sample size, but Moore's status as the most-efficient target of Newton's career is tough to ignore.

Also tough to ignore is the lack of overall skill in the Buccaneers' secondary. Vernon Hargreaves deserves credit for jumping a curl and taking it to the house in Week 1 after playing just one game in 2018, but each of M.J. Stewart and Carlton Davis were largely liabilities for most of last season.

  • Yards allowed per cover snap (PFF): Stewart: 2.21 (130/132 qualified CBs), Davis: 1.1 (54th)

  • QB rating on passes into coverage: Stewart: 148.6 (129th), Davis: 113.3 (102nd)

The Panthers' 28.25 implied point total is the fourth-highest mark in Week 2 (per FantasyLabs). This home matchup represents a great opportunity for Newton and company to get back on track, particularly if Samuel can take advantage of his massive speed advantage and prove that the offense's lack of deep-ball success in Week 1 was simply a one-week issue.

TE breakdown: Greg Olsen (back) is questionable after failing to practice on either Monday or Tuesday. Be sure to monitor our Week 2 Injury Dashboard for daily practice participation as well as estimated and official game statuses for every injured player. Talented second-year backup Ian Thomas is firmly in streamer discussion if he ultimately gets the start, as he worked as the PPR TE6 in Weeks 13-17 last season after Olsen was sidelined for good. 

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Cardinals at Ravens

Cardinals Offense

Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

Damiere Byrd

69

180

4.32

Anthony Averett

71

178

4.36

Slot

Larry Fitzgerald

75

225

4.48

Brandon Carr

72

207

4.44

Slot

Christian Kirk

71

201

4.47

Justin Bethel

72

200

4.58

Right

KeeSean Johnson

73

201

4.6

Marlon Humphrey

72

197

4.41

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: That's right, the Cardinals are officially a 4-WR offense. Each of Damiere Byrd (88% snaps in Week 1), Larry Fitzgerald (96%), Christian Kirk (93%) and KeeSean Johnson (76%) should be considered starters.

Note that Michael Crabtree is expected to suit up Sunday after being a healthy scratch in Week 1. He's more likely to take away snaps from Byrd and Johnson than Fitz or Kirk.

They'll face off against a Ravens Defense that isn't expected to have long-time No. 1 CB Jimmy Smith (knee). Still, Marlon Humphrey has emerged as a star in his own right, and it's tough to see Baltimore ever working as anything worse than an above-average secondary as long as FS Earl Thomas is around.

The case for taking a chance on Fitz (13 targets in Week 1) or Kirk (12) comes down to fantasy-friendly opportunity. Both Fitz (No. 5) and Kirk (No. 10) ranked among the league's top-10 WRs in air yards last week (Airyards.com).

TE breakdown: Don't play a TE in a Kliff Kingsbury offense. Not even if there's a fire.

Ravens Offense

Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

Miles Boykin

76

220

4.42

Chris Jones

72

200

4.57

Slot

Willie Snead

71

195

4.62

Tramaine Brock

70

195

4.54

Right

Marquise Brown

69

166

 

Byron Murphy

71

190

4.55

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Year two of the Lamar Jackson era couldn't have possibly gotten off to a better start, as the second-year QB completed 17-of-20 passes (85% completion rate) for 324 yards (16.2 YPA) and five touchdowns. Each of Hollywood Brown (4-147-2), Willie Snead (2-41-1) and Miles Boykin (1-5-1) found the end zone during the Ravens' 59-10 demolition of the Dolphins.

Well, things through the air could feasibly be even easier in Week 2 against the Cardinals' trainwreck of a secondary. Both journeyman Tramaine Brock and second-round rookie Byron Murphy allowed over 80 yards and a score against the Lions in Week 1, while 2018 undrafted free agent Chris Jones has exactly 59 NFL defensive snaps to his name.

I'm inclined to believe Hollywood (14 snaps) and Boykin's (18) mundane snap rates were the result of ridiculously optimal game flow that saw the Ravens build a 42-10 lead at halftime. The latter rookie is an intriguing cost-saving option on DraftKings at just $3,200.

TE breakdown: Mark Andrews has averaged a position-high 11.4 yards per target dating back to Week 1 of 2018. His 8-108-1 line on eight targets last week gives credence to the idea that he could very well be Jackson's No. 1 pass-game target. Andrews is locked in as a TE1 in a prime matchup against the Cardinals' aforementioned brutal secondary that allowed first-round rookie T.J. Hockenson (6-131-1) to go bananas in his NFL debut.

Cowboys at Redskins

Cowboys Offense

Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

Michael Gallup

73

205

4.51

Quinton Dunbar

74

201

4.49

Slot

Randall Cobb

70

192

4.46

Jimmy Moreland

70

179

4.51

Right

Amari Cooper

73

211

4.42

Josh Norman

72

197

4.66

Projected shadow matchups: Amari Cooper vs. Josh Norman

WR/CB breakdown: Norman didn't shadow Cooper in 2018, as was the case when No. 2 CB Quinton Dunbar was healthy. Still, the Redskins broke this tendency in Week 1 by having Norman track Alshon Jeffery for the majority of the afternoon.

Both Cooper (6-106-1) and Michael Gallup (7-158-0) proved to be difficult covers in the Cowboys' Week 1 blowout win over the Giants. Their one-two punch is similar to what the Eagles have in Jeffery and DeSean Jackson, so I'm expecting Norman to travel with Cooper for most of the game (excluding when he lines up in the slot).

Cooper hasn't surpassed 75 yards on the road during his brief time with a star on his helmet. Still, it's tough to deny he's worked as one of the league's best pass catchers since upgrading from Derek Carr to Dak Prescott: Cooper's totals in 12 games with the Cowboys amount to a 96-1,336-10.7 line when extrapolated over 16 matchups.

Per Graham Barfield, the Dallas offense increased their play-action rate (48% in Week 1 vs. 25% in 2018), use of motion (73% vs. 45%) and snaps in 11-personnel (73% and 63%) in their impressive first game with OC Kellen Moore calling the shots. Cooper is locked in as a WR1, Gallup is looking more like a low-end WR2 than boom-or-bust option with each passing day, and even Randall Cobb appears to be healthy as well as capable of making plays in this suddenly explosive offense.

TE breakdown: Both Jason Witten (3-15-1) and Blake Jarwin (3-39-1) managed to score equally wide-open touchdowns last week, but Witten (66%) was clearly the starter ahead of Jarwin (40%). Both players will offer low floors and ceilings alike with this type of usage in an offense that seems more inclined to feed their crop of WRs and All-Pro RB than the TEs.

Redskins Offense

Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

Terry McLaurin

72

208

4.35

Byron Jones

73

199

4.48

Slot

Trey Quinn

71

203

4.55

Anthony Brown

71

192

4.33

Right

Paul Richardson

72

175

4.4

Chidobe Awuzie

72

202

4.43

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: The Redskins built a 17-0 lead over the Eagles in Week 1 before ultimately falling 32-27. Case Keenum surpassed all expectations in his D.C. debut, completing 30-44 passes (68%) for 380 yards (8.6 YPA) with three touchdowns, zero interceptions and perhaps most-surprisingly just one sack.

RB Chris Thompson (7-68-0 on 10 targets) was plenty involved in the passing game, while TE Jordan Reed is tentatively expected to clear the concussion protocol in time for Week 2. Still, neither's presence should do much to dissuade Keenum from continuing to feed third-round rookie WR Terry McLaurin, who absolutely balled out in his NFL debut.

TE breakdown: Vernon Davis sure didn't look like a 35-year-old TE on his ridiculous 48-yard score that featured a hurdle and numerous broken tackles. Still, Reed should seamlessly take back his starting spot if active. He's set up well against a Cowboys Defense that just surrendered a huge day to Giants TE Evan Engram (11-116-1). Dallas was one of just 12 defenses to allow at least seven receptions to the TE position in 2018 (Football Outsiders).

Colts at Titans

Colts Offense

Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

Deon Cain

74

202

4.43

Malcolm Butler

70

187

4.67

Slot

Chester Rogers

72

185

4.56

Logan Ryan

71

191

4.56

Right

T.Y. Hilton

69

183

4.39

Adoree' Jackson

70

186

4.42

Projected shadow matchups: T.Y. Hilton vs. Adoree' Jackson

WR/CB breakdown: The Titans didn't ask Jackson to travel with OBJ in Week 1, but he's made a habit of doing so with Hilton. Overall, the Colts' No. 1 WR has posted 9-155-2 and 2-15-0 lines in two shadow matchups with Jackson since 2017.

Jacoby Brissett and company didn't resemble an incompetent offense last week, but it's a bit alarming that Brissett totaled just 27 pass attempts in a game that the Colts were trailing for over 45 minutes. Andrew Luck finished with 27 or fewer pass attempts in 23-0 and 37-5 victories last season.

Hilton is capable of winning virtually any matchup in the league. The bigger question is if any of Deon Cain, Parris Campbell, Chester Rogers or Zach Pascal can emerge as a viable fantasy football option in this run-first offense that also includes multiple capable receiving RBs and TEs. Those aforementioned receivers are expected to fill Devin Funchess' (collarbone, IR) role with a committee approach.

The only non-Hilton WR that I'm inclined to take a chance with is Cain, who is the stone-cold minimum on DraftKings and demonstrated the ability to make big-time catches in his NFL debut last week. He's set up well with the week's fifth-best matchup in difference of 40-yard dash times for his projected matchup against the ever-burnable Malcolm Butler.

TE breakdown: Eric Ebron has posted snap rates of 45%, 26%, 22%, 38%, 40%, 71% and most-recently 40% with Jack Doyle also active over the past two seasons. Neither Ebron (1-8-0 in Week 1) nor Doyle (1-20-0) offer much of a floor as long as both are a threat to vulture the other.

Titans Offense

Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

A.J. Brown

72

226

4.49

Rock Ya-Sin

72

192

4.51

Slot

Adam Humphries

71

195

4.58

Kenny Moore

69

185

4.52

Right

Corey Davis

75

209

4.53

Pierre Desir

73

198

4.59

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Second-round WR A.J. Brown (3-100-0) looked a lot like the best receiver on the Titans last week, while Adam Humphries (1-5-0) and Corey Davis (0-0-0) were an afterthought in the offense.

This is a good example of the "problem" that the Titans' run-heavy offense presents: It's going to be tough to predict who offers the most fantasy upside in any given week due to the plethora of options. None of Brown (four targets), Davis (three), Humphries (one) nor No. 4 WR Tajae Sharpe (two) were consistently involved, and team's non-WRs in Dion Lewis (four), Delanie Walker (six) and Derrick Henry (two) actually finished with more combined targets.

The Colts run the most zone coverage in the league, which was exploited by the Chargers with underneath passes to Austin Ekeler and Keenan Allen. Similar strategy would position Lewis and Walker to benefit the most this week, leaving the offense's WRs in need of big plays to produce any semblance of mid-tier, let alone high-end, fantasy production.

TE breakdown: Walker (35-years-old) looked surprisingly spry against the Browns in Week 1, catching 5-of-6 targets for 55 yards and a pair of red-zone scores. His average of 7.5 targets per game since Marcus Mariota was drafted trail only rookie T.J. Hockenson (nine), Zach Ertz (8.2), Travis Kelce (7.8) and Dennis Pitta (7.6) among all TEs. Fire up Walker as a TE1 in Week 2 against a Colts Defense that allowed a league-high 76 receiving yards per game to the position in 2018 (Football Outsiders).

Seahawks at Steelers

Seahawks Offense

Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

D.K. Metcalf

75

228

4.33

Steven Nelson

70

197

4.49

Slot

Tyler Lockett

70

182

4.4

Mike Hilton

69

178

4.6

Right

Jaron Brown

74

205

4.45

Joe Haden

71

193

4.62

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Russell Wilson displayed somewhat alarming target distribution in the Seahawks' Week 1 win over the Bengals on his 20 pass attempts.

Lockett mentioned after the game that the Bengals consistently double teamed him and noted that he hadn't experienced that since college. This could be problematic in future matchups, but not this week against a Steelers Defense that has been boat raced by slot WRs for the better part of the 21st century. Primary inside WRs such as Keenan Allen (14-148-1), Jarvis Landry (8-39-0, 7-106-0), Tyler Boyd (7-62-2), Julian Edelman (7-90-0, 6-83-0), Willie Snead (7-58-0, 6-56-0) and Emmanuel Sanders (7-86-1) have all had their way against Pittsburgh over the past two seasons. Lockett's massive speed advantage over Mike Hilton is the icing on the cake for this plus matchup.

Metcalf will carry a solid weekly ceiling as Wilson's primary field stretcher. He even snagged a tough contested catch in Week 1 in the midst of an off-script extended play.

The problem for the entire passing game is consistency in what looks like the league's most run-heavy offense.

TE breakdown: Will Dissly (knee) is banged up at the moment. The unit has a great matchup against a Steelers Defense that ranked 31st in DVOA against TEs in 2018. Still, I wouldn't expect Nick Vannett to suddenly turn into a world beater if Dissly is ultimately sidelined, as the 2016 third-round pick has cleared 50 receiving yards in just one of 40 career games.

Steelers Offense

Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

Donte Moncrief

74

221

4.4

Tre Flowers

75

202

4.45

Slot

Ryan Switzer

68

181

4.51

Ugo Amadi

69

199

4.51

Right

JuJu Smith-Schuster

73

215

4.54

Shaquill Griffin

72

194

4.38

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: JuJu Smith-Schuster (90% snap rate) and Donte Moncrief (90%) were the Steelers' only full-time WRs in Week 1, as each of Ryan Switzer (69%), James Washington (52%) and Diontae Johnson (36%) were featured more as auxiliary options.

I expect Ben Roethlisberger and the passing offense to get back on track this week against the Seahawks' underwhelming crop of CBs.

Still, Big Ben's mythical home/away splits have taken a turn towards neutral over the past two seasons.

  • 2014: 25.2 fantasy points per game at home vs. 14.8 away

  • 2015: 23.5 vs. 14.5

  • 2016: 25.5 vs. 13.8

  • 2017: 21.3 vs. 15.4

  • 2018: 21.5 vs. 21.7

JuJu is locked in as a WR1 as the undisputed lead target in what looks like one of the league's most pass-heavy offenses. Moncrief was brutal last week (3-7-0 on 10 targets), but received a post-game endorsement from Roethlisberger and is still tentatively locked in as the offense's No. 2 pass-game option. The optimistic case for Washington as a boom-or-bust option comes down to the fantasy-friendly nature of his targets, as only DeAndre Hopkins (216) racked up more air yards than Washington (169) in Week 1.

TE breakdown: The Steelers' season-opening debacle against the Patriots included a pedestrian 2-40-0 line from Vance McDonald that all came on the offense's final drive of the game. The good news is McDonald played 72% of the offense's snaps, which is good for the second-highest mark of his Steelers career. I wouldn't write off McDonald's chances at working as a weekly TE1 just yet.

Bills at Giants

Bills Offense

Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

John Brown

70

179

4.34

Janoris Jenkins

70

193

4.46

Slot

Cole Beasley

68

177

4.54

Grant Haley

69

190

4.44

Right

Zay Jones

74

201

4.45

Deandre Baker

71

193

4.52

Projected shadow matchups: John Brown vs. Janoris Jenkins

WR/CB breakdown: Smokey is in another smash spot against a Giants Defense that allowed Dak Prescott to throw for 405 yards and four touchdowns in Week 1. Further analysis revealed that three of Prescott's scores were to wide open receivers, indicating the Giants' already-underwhelming secondary is also struggling with communication.

Both Brown (10 targets) and Cole Beasley (nine) were significantly more involved than Zay Jones (five) last week. Smokey simply holds the higher ceiling of the group thanks to his status as Josh Allen's primary field-stretcher. There's even reason to believe that Brown could boast a higher floor than we've grown used to seeing in past seasons, as the Bills complemented his typical bombs down the field with several shorter high-percentage targets.

TE breakdown: The Bills utilized a three-headed committee at TE with starter Tyler Kroft (foot) sidelined. This is a situation to avoid in fantasy leagues of all shapes and sizes.

Giants Offense

Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

Cody Latimer

74

215

4.44

Levi Wallace

72

179

4.63

Slot

Sterling Shepard

70

194

4.48

Taron Johnson

71

192

4.5

Right

Bennie Fowler

73

217

4.52

Tre'Davious White

71

192

4.47

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: The Bills didn't have stud CB Tre'Davious White shadow Robby Anderson in Week 1, so it seems unlikely they'll ask him to travel against the Giants' underwhelming crop of receivers. Note that Sterling Shepard is in the concussion protocol and would likely be replaced by recently-signed WR/preseason stud T.J. Jones.

Even if Shepard is active, he's a thin play against the Bills' beastly secondary. They joined the Colts, Jaguars, and Vikings as the only defenses to allow fewer than 30 DraftKings points per game to the WR position in 2018.

TE breakdown: Evan Engram caught 11-of-14 targets for 116 yards and a short touchdown in the Giants' Week 1 loss to the Cowboys. This week's matchup is considerably tougher against a Bills Defense that allowed a league-low 34 yards per game to the TE position in 2018. Still, it's impossible to call Engram anything other than a high-end TE1 as long as he keeps working as the offense's No. 1 pass-game option: Engram has racked up 131 targets, 82 receptions, 1,002 yards and seven touchdowns in 16 career games without Odell Beckham Jr. since entering the league in 2017.

49ers at Bengals

49ers Offense

Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

Deebo Samuel

71

214

4.48

Dre Kirkpatrick

74

186

4.57

Slot

Richie James

69

185

4.48

B.W. Webb

70

184

4.51

Right

Marquise Goodwin

69

183

4.27

William Jackson

72

189

4.37

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: First, a moment of silence for Dante Pettis truthers and fantasy owners alike.

Okay, let's move on.

The only sure thing in the 49ers' passing game at the moment is George Kittle. The rest of the group was a bit of a mixed bag last week.

Further complicating matters is the potential return of Trent Taylor (foot) and Jalen Hurd (back).

James is set up best in the slot against career-journeyman B.W. Webb, but every WR in this offense is best approached with extreme caution until we have any idea as to who is viewed as the lead option.

TE breakdown: Kittle had not one, but two touchdowns negated due to penalty last week. He looked every bit as explosive after the catch as he did during his record-breaking 2018 campaign. The 49ers' best overall receiver is set up well against the Bengals' slow-moving LBs, although FS Jessie Bates (PFF's No. 13 cover safety in 2018) and SS Shawn Williams (No. 16) deserve credit for helping provide a stable back end to the secondary.

Bengals Offense

Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

Damion Willis

75

204

4.56

Ahkello Witherspoon

75

198

4.45

Slot

Tyler Boyd

73

197

4.58

K'Waun Williams

69

189

4.58

Right

John Ross

71

188

4.22

Richard Sherman

75

195

4.6

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Yes, John Ross (7-158-2) deserves credit for putting together a career-best performance in Week 1 after totaling a 21-210-7 line in 16 games during the 2017-2018 seasons.

Also yes, Ross' performance appeared to be a bit fluky after taking a closer look at his big plays.

  • His first touchdown was heavily aided by busted coverage off a flea flicker.

  • His second touchdown came on a last-second bomb before the half that the safety brutally misplayed despite being in perfect position to intercept the pass.

Ross did drop a few passes that could have helped him produce an even bigger performance, but I wouldn't count on him constantly seeing this level of volume considering Andy Dalton's 51 pass attempts in Week 1 were tied for his third most in a game ever.

Ross has enough speed to threaten Week 1 pick-six brothers Ahkello Witherspoon and Richard Sherman; he holds the week's largest advantage in difference in 40-yard times among all WRs in their projected CB matchups. Still, I heavily lean towards Tyler Boyd working as this pass offense's No. 1 option more weeks than not. Boyd is set up best in the slot against a 49ers defense that finished last season as a bottom-eight unit in fantasy points per game allowed to slot WRs.

TE breakdown: C.J. Uzomah (70% snaps) easily played more than Tyler Eifert (49%), but the disparity between routes was much closer. Overall, Eifert (27 routes) actually worked ahead of Uzomah (26) when it came to actual receiving reps. This situation is still a bit too crowded to expect any meaningful fantasy production from either TE.

Chargers at Lions

Chargers Offense

Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

Mike Williams

76

218

4.59

Justin Coleman

71

185

4.53

Slot

Keenan Allen

74

206

4.71

Darius Slay

72

192

4.36

Right

Travis Benjamin

70

175

4.36

Rashaan Melvin

74

192

4.47

Projected shadow matchups: Keenan Allen vs. Darius Slay

WR/CB breakdown: Mike Williams is dealing with a knee injury and should be considered questionable. Travis Benjamin (48% snaps) hasn't separated himself from Dontrelle Inman (42%) enough to warrant any level of fantasy consideration.

This leaves us with Allen in one of the week's most high-profile potential shadow matchups. The Chargers lined up Allen in the slot (25 snaps) as often as they did on the outside (27) in Week 1, but it might not matter where he goes against Slay, who has emerged as one of very few high-frequency shadow CBs that will chase their opponent inside.

Ultimately, Allen is good enough to win pretty much any matchup thanks to his pristine route-running ability. He should see even more targets than usual due to the passing game's various injuries.

TE breakdown: Hunter Henry suffered a tibia plateau fracture to his left knee and is reportedly expected to miss at least four-to-six weeks. Virgil Green will step in as the starting TE, but he proved to be a non-existent fantasy factor with Henry sidelined in 2018. Williams (if healthy) is the biggest beneficiary of Henry's extended absence.

Lions Offense

Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

Kenny Golladay

76

218

4.5

Brandon Facyson

74

197

4.53

Slot

Danny Amendola

70

186

4.68

Desmond King

70

201

4.65

Right

Marvin Jones

74

200

4.46

Casey Hayward

71

192

4.57

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: The Chargers curiously didn't deploy Casey Hayward in shadow coverage against T.Y. Hilton in Week 1. It'd be surprising to see them utilize that tactic against a Lions' offense with less of a defined pecking order at WR.

The Lions deserve credit for putting up 385 passing yards and 27 points against the Cardinals last week, but let's keep in mind that this performance came with the benefit of an entire overtime period against one of the league's fastest-paced offenses and worst secondaries.

Each of Kenny Golladay (nine targets) and Danny Amendola (13) worked well ahead of Marvin Jones (four). I'd expect this usage to even out a bit in upcoming weeks, although it's tough to get too excited about any of their prospects against a Chargers secondary that features two elite CBs in Desmond King and Hayward.

TE breakdown: T.J. Hockenson caught 6-of-9 targets for 131 yards and a touchdown in his NFL debut on a sterling 73% snap rate, displaying nuanced route-running ability and chemistry with Matt Stafford. The TE position doesn't need to be downgraded against the Chargers as long as Derwin James (foot, IR) remains sidelined, positioning Hockenson as a low-end TE1 on a Lions Offense presently implied to score a middling 22.5 points.

Vikings at Packers

Vikings Offense

Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

Stefon Diggs

72

195

4.46

Kevin King

75

200

4.43

Slot

Chad Beebe

70

178

4.73

Tramon Williams

71

194

4.62

Right

Adam Thielen

75

200

4.54

Jaire Alexander

70

196

4.38

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Most anticipated the Vikings to shift towards a run-first philosophy in 2019, but show me a person that predicted Kirk Cousins would attempt *10* total passes in Week 1 and I'll show you a liar.

Of course, the Vikings never needed to change their game plan during their blowout victory over the Falcons, and the Packers present a more-reasonable spot for the passing game to rack up some volume. Still, this sure looks like an offense that will struggle to produce multiple high-end fantasy WRs as long as Dalvin Cook continues to run through everything in his path.

The Packers' improved pass rush was on full display in Week 1, and their fully-healthy secondary also deserves credit for making life difficult for Mitch Trubisky and company. Fire up Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen in season-long formats, but this road spot is a situation to avoid in DFS due to the below-average matchup and low-projected volume.

TE breakdown: Yes, Kyle Rudolph played 100% of the Vikings' offensive snaps in Week 1. Also yes, his nine routes weren't far removed from what second-round TE Irv Smith Jr. (five routes) saw in his NFL debut. This remains a situation to avoid as long as both TEs are threats to each other's targets.

Packers Offense

Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

Marquez Valdes-Scantling

76

206

4.37

Trae Waynes

72

186

4.31

Slot

Geronimo Allison

75

196

4.67

Jayron Kearse

76

215

4.62

Right

Davante Adams

73

212

4.56

Xavier Rhodes

73

210

4.43

Projected shadow matchups: Davante Adams vs. Xavier Rhodes

WR/CB breakdown: The Packers Offense was shut down in their season-opening win over the Bears with the exception of one deep ball to Marquez Valdes-Scantling and a red-zone touchdown to Jimmy Graham.

A return home will certainly help, but this is still a difficult matchup against an always-tough Minnesota defense. The Vikings have made life difficult for Aaron Rodgers ever since Mike Zimmer was named head coach back in 2014.

  • Week 5, 2014: 156 passing yards-3 TDs-0 interceptions

  • Week 12, 2014: 209-2-0

  • Week 11, 2015: 212-2-0

  • Week 17, 2015: 291-1-1

  • Week 2, 2016: 213-1-1

  • Week 16, 2016: 347-4-0

  • Week 6, 2017: 18-0-0 (Rodgers was injured)

  • Week 2, 2018: 281-1-0

  • Week 12, 2018: 198-1-0

Rodgers is always a few well-thrown deep balls away from a blowup performance, but I'm not expecting too big of a explosion from the Packers Offense this week.

The potential exception is Adams, who has managed to find the end zone in his last four matchups against Rhodes and company.

TE breakdown: Jimmy Graham had all of Twitter sending Undertaker GIFs in Week 1, catching 3-of-6 targets for 30 yards and a score while also drawing a long pass interference penalty on stud Bears LB Roquan Smith. The problem with expecting a repeat performance this week is simple: All-World FS Harrison Smith. While Austin Hooper managed to post a 9-77-0 line against the Vikings in Week 1, and Graham himself caught 8-of-12 targets for 129-scoreless yards in two matchups against Minnesota in 2018, I'm hesitant to fully embrace the rebirth of the 32-year-old TE ahead of this tough matchup.

Jaguars at Texans

Jaguars Offense

Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

Chris Conley

74

213

4.35

Bradley Roby

71

194

4.39

Slot

Dede Westbrook

72

178

4.44

Keion Crossen

69

178

4.38

Right

D.J. Chark

75

199

4.34

Johnathan Joseph

71

193

4.32

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: The Gardner Minshew era is now with Nick Foles (collarbone, IR) sidelined for the foreseeable future. The early returns were nothing short of fantastic in Week 1, as Minshew completed 22-of-25 passes (88%) for 275 yards (11 YPA) and a pair of touchdowns vs. just one interception. He deserves credit for not just dinking-and-dunking his way down the field, as he completed several tough throws to D.J. Chark and Chris Conley that required pin-point accuracy into tight coverage.

Minshew's target distribution was as follows:

Westbrook is set up even better than last week against a Texans Defense that released starting slot CB Aaron Colvin on Tuesday. I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that Colvin's backup won't be a major improvement.

It remains to be seen if the Jaguars will be able to consistently produce at a high level with Minshew under center, but at the very least they seem capable of functioning as an average offense while Foles heals up.

TE breakdown: The Jaguars' two-TE committee shouldn't be relied on for any sort of consistent fantasy production, even in a solid matchup against the Texans' porous secondary.

Texans Offense

Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

DeAndre Hopkins

73

214

4.57

Jalen Ramsey

73

209

4.41

Slot

Kenny Stills

72

194

4.38

D.J. Hayden

71

191

4.45

Right

Will Fuller

72

186

4.32

A.J. Bouye

72

186

4.6

Projected shadow matchups: DeAndre Hopkins vs. Jalen Ramsey

WR/CB breakdown: Oh baby. Anytime Nuk and Ramsey match up, fireworks follow.

Last season Ramsey said that he considered Hopkins the best WR in the NFL, and Nuk responded by stating the Jaguars' lock-down CB is the best defensive back in the game.

Hopkins has "won" their matchups to date, but his production has required a ton of targets.

  • Week 10, 2016: 5 receptions-48 yards-0 TD (13 targets)

  • Week 15, 2016: 8-87-0 (17)

  • Week 1, 2017: 7-55-1 (16)

  • Week 15, 2017: 4-80-1 (13)

  • Week 7, 2018: 3-50-1 (8)

  • Week 17, 2018: 12-147-0 (16)

The Jaguars' expected decision to focus the majority of their defense's attention on Hopkins means Fuller should see plenty of one-on-one coverage against A.J. Bouye. The Jaguars' over-qualified No. 2 CB is far from a pushover, but Fuller is set up well with the week's second-largest 40-yard dash advantage. The fact that Fuller (97% snaps) was a full-time WR while Kenny Stills (42%) and DeAndre Carter (42%) split snaps in Week 1 indicates that the potential return of Keke Coutee (ankle) wouldn't impact Fuller's status as the offense's No. 2 pass-game target.

TE breakdown: Jordan Akins (70% snaps) worked ahead of Darren Fells (51%), although the pair combined for just three targets. Either is capable of scoring a touchdown at some point -- the Texans have averaged 30.6 points in 12 games with each of Watson, Hopkins and Fuller healthy -- but each TE carries a low weekly floor as secondary pass game options.

Patriots at Dolphins

Patriots Offense

Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

Josh Gordon

75

225

4.57

Xavien Howard

72

201

4.58

Slot

Julian Edelman

70

198

4.57

Minkah Fitzpatrick

72

204

4.46

Right

Antonio Brown

70

186

4.56

Eric Rowe

73

205

4.45

Projected shadow matchups: Josh Gordon vs. Xavien Howard *if* Antonio Brown is out

WR/CB breakdown: AB practiced on Wednesday, but it's unclear if he'll be placed on the commissioner's exempt list prior to Sunday.

Assuming Brown plays, the Patriots will trot out the best trio of WRs that the league has seen in quite some time. Volume is a concern, particularly in a matchup where the Patriots are -19 (!!!) favorites, but the talent at Tom Brady's disposal is absolutely ridiculous.

AB and Flash Gordon have the group's best matchups on the outside. They should each see a good amount of former Patriots CB Eric Rowe, who allowed all six targets into his coverage to be caught for 82 yards and a pair of scores against the Ravens in Week 1 (PFF).

The Patriots are implied to score a week-high 33.25 points. The more exposure you can get to this offense, the better.

TE breakdown: The Patriots are expected to utilize a high percentage of 3-WR and 2-RB formations moving forward, particularly while Ben Watson remains suspended and Rob Gronkowski continues to pretend to be retired.

Dolphins Offense

Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

DeVante Parker

75

209

4.45

Stephon Gilmore

72

190

4.4

Slot

Albert Wilson

69

202

4.43

Jonathan Jones

69

186

4.33

Right

Jakeem Grant

66

165

4.42

Jason McCourty

70

193

4.35

Projected shadow matchups: DeVante Parker vs. Stephon Gilmore

WR/CB breakdown: Albert Wilson (calf) didn't practice Wednesday and should be considered questionable for Sunday. Allen Hurns would draw the bulk of the offense's slot reps if Wilson is ultimately sidelined.

DeVante Parker impressed in Week 1 with a 3-75-0 line that included tough contested catches down the field. Still, he's not a fantasy option this week in a likely shadow matchup against arguably the league's premiere CB Stephon Gilmore.

Jakeem Grant (60% snaps in Week 1) and Preston Williams (42%) are each thin plays after rotating reps last week.

I'm inclined to fade this group of receivers as a whole against the Patriots' beastly secondary.

TE breakdown: Full disclosure: I have way too many Mike Gesicki Best Ball shares. With that said, the Dolphins' talented second-year TE played 62% of the offense's snaps in Week 1 and appears to have a real role in this offense ahead of Nick O'Leary and Durham Smythe. Gesicki still shouldn't be considered as a fantasy option at this point, but the needle is finally pointing up for the former Penn State stud.

Chiefs at Raiders

Chiefs Offense

Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

Demarcus Robinson

73

203

4.59

Daryl Worley

73

204

4.64

Slot

Mecole Hardman

70

187

4.33

Lamarcus Joyner

68

184

4.55

Right

Sammy Watkins

73

211

4.43

Trayvon Mullen

73

199

4.46

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: No. 1 Raiders CB Gareon Conley (neck) is tentatively expected to sit out this week after being carried off the field on a stretcher last Monday night, although he did avoid serious injury and was already limited in practice Wednesday.

Tyreek Hill (collarbone) is expected to miss four-to-six weeks of action. Mecole Hardman played 78% of the offense's snaps in Week 1 and figures to take Hill's spot in the starting lineup, but note that speedy WR De'Anthony Thomas was suspended last week and could feasibly steal some of those snaps.

The good news for the Chiefs kingdom is that a healthy version of Sammy Watkins appears to be more than capable of picking up the slack during Hill's absence.

The entire Chiefs Offense is set up to smash against the Raiders' still-mediocre secondary. They struggled to contain both Courtland Sutton (7-120-0) as well as Emmanuel Sanders (5-86-1) in Week 1, indicating that big days could be in store for Patrick Mahomes and company.

The Chiefs and Saints have each scored at least 40 points in six games dating back to Week 1 of last season. No other team has reached that threshold more than twice.

TE breakdown: Travis Kelce had a wide-open touchdown taken away from him in Week 1 because Mahomes decided to get cute and attempt a no-look pass. He posted 12-168-2 and 5-62-0 lines in two matchups against the Raiders last season and is locked in as fantasy's No. 1 overall TE until further notice.

Raiders Offense

Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

Tyrell Williams

75

204

4.48

Charvarius Ward

73

198

4.49

Slot

Hunter Renfrow

70

184

4.59

Kendall Fuller

71

187

 

Right

Ryan Grant

73

191

4.64

Bashaud Breeland

71

197

4.62

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Tyrell Williams emerged as Derek Carr's go-to WR last week, catching 6-of-7 targets for 105 yards and a score. Williams demonstrated both field-stretching speed as well as solid contested-catch ability during this sterling Monday night performance. He's functioned as one of the league's most-efficient receivers for the entirety of his career, as only Rob Gronkowski (10.4), Tyler Lockett (10.2) and Tyreek Hill (10) have averaged more yards per target than Williams (9.9) among all players with at least 100 targets since 2015.

Otherwise, it's tough to get too excited about either Ryan Grant or Hunter Renfrow. The latter slot WR was a dark horse to lead the Raiders in targets during the post-AB era, but Renfrow ultimately played just 28% of the offense's snaps in Week 1.

TE breakdown: Darren Waller played 100% of the offense's snaps last week and commanded a team-high eight targets. His 7-70-0 line reflected the type of upside the 6-foot-6 and 255-pound freak-athlete TE possesses in this offense so long as Derek Carr continues to favor feeding the position. I favor Waller over T.J. Hockenson in fantasy football over the rest of the season due to the former player's potential to lead his team in targets, even though the latter first-round TE is by most accounts a better overall player in real life.

Saints at Rams

Saints Offense

Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

Michael Thomas

75

212

4.57

Marcus Peters

72

197

4.53

Slot

Tre'Quan Smith

74

203

4.49

Nickell Robey-Coleman

67

169

4.53

Right

Ted Ginn

71

180

4.43

Aqib Talib

73

202

4.44

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: The Rams have refrained from asking their CBs to travel with a single receiver when at full strength over the past two seasons.

Michael Thomas is certainly capable of winning any matchup thanks to his limitless volume and status as one of the very best WRs in the league. Still, the Rams managed to hold him to a mundane 4-36-0 line on just seven targets in the 2018 NFC Championship by consistently daring Drew Brees to throw the ball over the top. The Rams largely displayed this same strategy against Cam Newton and the Panthers in Week 1.

Brees hooked up with Ted Ginn for a huge gain when it mattered most last Monday night, but that was also his only attempt of the game that traveled 20 yards or more downfield (PFF). This spot again seems to be setting up better for Alvin Kamara (11-96-0 in the NFC Championship) than any of the Saints WRs.

TE breakdown: Jared Cook played on 64% of the offense's snaps last week, catching 2-of-3 targets for 37 yards. There's a decent chance that Cook functions as a more valuable real-life asset than a consistent fantasy producer. Brees' aforementioned reluctance to take shots downfield isn't great for Cook's fantasy football value, but the TE's ability to stretch defenses down the seam should continue to help open up things underneath for Thomas and Kamara alike.

Rams Offense

Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

Brandin Cooks

70

189

4.33

Marshon Lattimore

72

193

4.36

Slot

Cooper Kupp

74

204

4.62

P.J. Williams

72

194

4.57

Right

Robert Woods

72

201

4.51

Eli Apple

73

199

4.4

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: The Saints declined to shadow in both of their matchups with the Rams last season. Still, coach Sean McVay hasn't made a habit of moving the offense's receivers all over the formation, so we can reasonably expect the above matchups to occur for a large percentage of the game.

Brandin Cooks seems like a prime candidate for a bounce-back performance after catching just 2-of-6 targets for 39-scoreless yards in Week 1 against the Panthers. He's posted 2-37-0, 6-114-1, 7-107-0 and 8-120-0 lines in four career #RevengeGames.

Robert Woods (13 targets in Week 1) and Cooper Kupp (10) continue to offer high weekly floors as Jared Goff's go-to underneath targets. The entire passing offense is a decent bet to get back on track this week considering Goff's history of balling out at home during the McVay era.

  • Goff on the road since 2017 (18 games): 62% CMP, 7.5 YPA, 30 TDs, 13 INTs, 237.9 pass yards per game

  • Goff at home since 2017 (17 games): 64% CMP, 8.3 YPA, 33 TDs, 8 INTs, 302.2 pass yards per game

TE breakdown: Both Tyler Higbee (52% snaps in Week 1) and Gerald Everett (39%) continue to split time in the Rams' 3-WR heavy offense. Neither should be considered as a viable fantasy option.

Bears at Broncos

Bears Offense

Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

Allen Robinson

74

220

4.56

Chris Harris Jr.

69

194

4.48

Slot

Tarik Cohen

66

179

4.42

Kareem Jackson

70

196

4.48

Right

Taylor Gabriel

68

167

4.45

Isaac Yiadom

73

190

4.52

Projected shadow matchups: Allen Robinson vs. Chris Harris Jr.

WR/CB breakdown: The Broncos haven't made a habit of deploying their stud slot CB in shadow coverage over the years, but Harris sure made it sound like that was the plan in Week 1 before Antonio Brown's wild weekend happened.

A-Rob made numerous tough contested catches in Week 1 while also flashing some run-after-the-catch ability that was reminiscent of his breakout 2015 campaign. This combination of skills will be a headache for any CB to deal with in 2019, but he might have to continue to produce efficiently in a low-scoring offense if the Bears-Broncos' week-low game total of 40.5 points is any indication of what to expect Sunday afternoon.

Mitch Trubisky peppered new slot WR Tarik Cohen with targets, as Anthony Miller was rendered to a backup role. Taylor Gabriel possesses some sneaky boom-or-bust upside due to his inclusion in 2-WR sets and status as the offense's field-stretcher WR, but I'll largely be fading this matchup between two of the league's better defenses.

TE breakdown: Trey Burton (groin) remains sidelined and should be considered questionable for Sunday. Backup TE Adam Shaheen (47% snaps and two targets in Week 1) wasn't nearly involved enough last week to warrant streamer consideration if Burton is ultimately ruled out.

Broncos Offense

Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

Courtland Sutton

75

218

4.54

Prince Amukamara

72

206

4.48

Slot

DaeSean Hamilton

73

203

4.57

Buster Skrine

70

186

4.48

Right

Emmanuel Sanders

71

180

4.41

Kyle Fuller

72

190

4.49

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Joe Flacco managed to get all of his new friends involved in his Broncos' debut last Monday night:

Sutton (7-120-0) and Sanders (5-86-1) routinely roasted the Raiders' over-matched secondary, but it's tough to expect a similar outcome in Week 2 against the Bears' league-best defense that was dominant against Aaron Rodgers and company last week.

TE breakdown: Fant (81% snaps in Week 1) offered promising usage for those that believe he could buck the trend of rookie TEs usually not emerging as fantasy-relevant options in year one. Still, this matchup's aforementioned potential for a defensive slugfest doesn't bode well for the first-round pick's chances at putting together a breakout performance.

Eagles at Falcons

Eagles Offense

Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

DeSean Jackson

70

175

4.35

Desmond Trufant

72

190

4.38

Slot

Nelson Agholor

72

198

4.42

Damontae Kazee

70

184

4.54

Right

Alshon Jeffery

75

216

4.53

Isaiah Oliver

72

201

4.5

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: D-Jax balled out to the tune of 8-154-2 in last week's dominant #RevengeGame win over the Redskins. He finished with a team-high 10 targets, while Alshon Jeffery (six) and Zach Ertz (seven) were also plenty involved.

I'm hesitant to expect Jackson to again work as the Eagles' No. 1 pass-game option against a Falcons' defense that has regularly invited offenses to throw underneath passes to RBs, TEs and slot WRs alike. It only takes D-Jax one well-placed throw to rack up fantasy points, but he won't be facing the same set of slow-footed CBs that he feasted on last week.

Both Jeffery and to a lesser extent Nelson Agholor are set up well to work in the intermediate areas of the field against a Falcons Defense that allowed the fifth-most DraftKings points per game to the WR position in 2018.

TE breakdown: Both Ertz (83% snaps in Week 1) and Dallas Goedert (55%) were on the field for more than half of the offense's snaps last week. The Eagles' decision to embrace 2-TE sets presents plenty of problems for defenses to game plan against, particularly with talents like D-Jax and Jeffery on the outside. Ertz was tackled at the one-yard line after a great catch-and-run against the Redskins, preventing him from popping more in the box score. I like him to get back on track and find the end zone in a matchup with the week's third-highest implied game total.

Falcons Offense

Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

Julio Jones

75

220

4.39

Rasul Douglas

74

209

4.59

Slot

Mohamed Sanu

74

211

4.67

Avonte Maddox

69

184

4.39

Right

Calvin Ridley

73

189

4.43

Ronald Darby

71

193

4.38

Projected shadow matchups: None

WR/CB breakdown: Both Julio Jones (6-31-1) and Calvin Ridley (4-64-1) managed to salvage their respective Week 1 afternoons with fourth quarter touchdowns after the game was already decided.

The entire pass offense is set up brilliantly at home this week against an Eagles Defense that allowed Case freaking Keenum to throw for 380 yards and three scores in Week 1.

Jones in particular has made a living off of exploiting the Eagles CBs for nearly his entire career.

  • Week 2, 2011: 2 receptions-29 yards-0 TD (8 targets)

  • Week 8, 2012: 5-123-1 (5)

  • Week 1, 2015: 9-141-2 (11)

  • Week 10, 2016: 8-111-1 (11)

  • Divisional Round, 2017: 9-101-0 (16)

  • Week 1, 2018: 10-169-0 (19)

Also working in Jones' favor is his historical tendency to bounce back in a major way following an underwhelming performance.

TE breakdown: Austin Hooper continues to offer weekly upside thanks to his robust snap rate (79% in Week 1) as well as Matt Ryan's tendency to feed him bunches of targets from time to time. Hooper posted a strong 9-77-0 line in mostly catch-up mode last week against the Vikings, although this week presents another tough matchup against an Eagles secondary led by stud SS Malcolm Jenkins.

Browns at Jets

Browns Offense

Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

Odell Beckham Jr.

71

198

4.43

Trumaine Johnson

74

204

4.61

Slot

Jarvis Landry

71

205

4.65

Brian Poole

70

209

4.55

Right

Rashard Higgins

73

196

4.64

Darryl Roberts

71

187

4.43

Projected shadow matchups: Odell Beckham Jr. vs. Trumaine Johnson

WR/CB breakdown: Jets DC Gregg Williams didn't ask Johnson to shadow John Brown last week, but he regularly had Denzel Ward and others travel with opposing No. 1 WRs with the Browns in 2018.

I'm guessing that Williams won't allow OBJ to feast on Darryl Roberts and Brian Poole all Monday night. Of course, Baker Mayfield's No. 1 WR is more than capable of roasting Johnson ... as long as the Browns' patchwork offensive line can provide some semblance of decent protection. This effort could be made easier if difference-making LB C.J. Mosley (groin) and No. 3 overall pick DT Quinnen Williams (ankle) are ultimately sidelined.

The entire Browns passing game is set up well for a rebound performance. OBJ's largest concern entering this season was volume, as Mayfield didn't target a Browns player more than nine times in a game after Freddie Kitchens took over in Week 9 in 2018. These concerns were put to rest in Week 1, as Beckham (11 targets) was easily featured as the offense's top pass-game option. Kitchens appeared to also dial up several additional shot plays to OBJ, but Mayfield never had time to get the ball off.

Jarvis Landry (4-67-0 in Week 1) and Rashard Higgins (2-46-0) each carry weekly upside in what *should* be one of the league's better passing attacks, particularly in this matchup against the Jets' meh group of CBs.

TE breakdown: David Njoku (92% snap rate in Week 1) caught 4-of-6 targets for 37 yards and a red-zone touchdown against the Titans. Much like Landry and Higgins, Njoku should continue to function as an above-average fantasy option on a weekly basis as long as Mayfield gets back on track. The potential absence of No. 2 TE Demetrius Harris (shoulder) could lead to an even more-featured role for Njoku ahead of this Monday night matchup, although stud SS Jamal Adams is hardly an easy matchup.

Jets Offense

Position

WR

Height

Weight

Speed

CB

Height

Weight

Speed

Left

Robby Anderson

75

190

4.41

Denzel Ward

71

183

4.32

Slot

Jamison Crowder

68

185

4.56

T.J. Carrie

72

206

4.48

Right

Demaryius Thomas

75

224

4.41

Greedy Williams

74

185

4.37

Projected shadow matchups: Robby Anderson vs. Denzel Ward

WR/CB breakdown: Ward goose-egged Corey Davis last week and presents a tough matchup for Anderson considering just how fast the Browns' No. 1 CB is.

Still, we could be talking about just how good Anderson was in Week 1 if Sam Darnold had been a bit more accurate on some of his shots down the field. The absence of Quincy Enunwa (neck, IR) reinforces Anderson's status as the offense's clear-cut No. 1 outside WR.

I realize Demaryius Thomas looked good in the preseason. It was also in Week 4 against a bunch of CBs that are likely selling insurance at this point.

As we discussed last week, Jamison Crowder is the wild card in this group and is plenty capable of eating up a huge portion of the offense's target share. Overall, he caught 14-of-17 targets for 99-scoreless yards in Week 1.

Coach Adam Gase has never shied away from featuring his slot WR.

  • 2013: Wes Welker (8.5 targets per game)

  • 2014: Welker (4.6)

  • 2015: Eddie Royal (5.6)

  • 2016: Jarvis Landry (8.2)

  • 2017: Landry (10.1)

  • 2018: Danny Amendola (5.3)

TE breakdown: Ryan Griffin caught 3-of-4 targets for 10 yards while playing a robust 94% of the offense's snaps. He also had a touchdown negated by penalty. He'll likely work behind at least Crowder, Anderson and Le'Veon Bell in Darnold's pecking order more weeks than not, but this type of on-field usage makes him a sneaky streamer candidate against a Browns Defense that was ripped by Delanie Walker (5-55-2) last week. Note that stud second-year TE Chris Herndon will be eligible to return to the field in Week 6 after his suspension is up.

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