Best QB and WR Matchups of Week 1 to Target for Fantasy Football
Geno Smith, Brock Purdy, and Derek Carr may be available if you need to stream a QB in Week 1.
Fantasy Quarterback Matchups for Week 1
Patrick Mahomes has the best matchup of any QB in Week 1 of the NFL season. He faces an underwhelming Lions secondary that allowed the second-most yards per attempt last season.
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Although the Lions made some upgrades with the additions of Cameron Sutton, who replaces Jeff Okudah at CB, and C.J. Gardner-Johnson at safety, they are still a below average secondary. Jerry Jacobs, the starting CB on the right side, is a third-year undrafted free agent who graded 55.8 last season.
On top of that, the Chiefs vs Lions game is expected to be a high-scoring affair. Dan Campbell’s Lions don’t give up, so even if the Chiefs are winning, they can’t get comfortable.
Trevor Lawrence also faces a Colts team that lacks talent in its backfield. But you are already starting Mahomes or Lawrence if you have them on your fantasy team.
Amongst the options that might be available on the waiver wire in some leagues are Seahawks QB Geno Smith, 49ers QB Brock Purdy, Saints QB Derek Carr, Broncos QB Russell Wilson, and Packers QB Jordan Love. Love’s Packers have an advantage over the Bears at QB, WR, and offensive line, so he doesn’t face a threat from any facet of the Bears defense. Love could even be a start consideration for teams that drafted Love as their QB2 in standard or QB3 in superflex.
Best Week 1 Streaming Pick: Derek Carr vs Titans
Carr is only rostered in 43% of Yahoo! leagues, but he has a great matchup against the weak Titans defense. The Titans allowed 7.0 yards per pass attempt last season, eighth-most in the league. They added CB Sean Murphy-Bunting, who is an upgrade, having only allowed a 78.2 passer rating with the Buccaneers in free agency. But Saints WRs Chris Olave, a healthy Michael Thomas, and Rashid Shaheed should still have an advantage over the Titans secondary.
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QBs to Sit in Week 1
Sit Kenny Pickett
Kenny Pickett is a fashionable pick for “second-year breakout.” I don’t think he’ll do it. I could see Pickett maybe doing it in a different system—not in Matt Canada’s uninspiring offense. Even if Pickett does end up having his breakout, it won’t start in Week 1 against the 49ers. The 49ers defense is strong all around, although its backfield is its weakest link. CB2 Decommodore Lenoir allowed a 71.6% completion rate when targeted last season in his first year starting. CB1 Charvarius Ward is an above-average cover corner who has allowed just 53.8% of passes his way to be completed. And playmaking safety Talanoa Hufanga is a threat to pick off the football anywhere on the field. Perhaps I underrated the 49ers DBs when I graded them 4.5/10.
The 49ers’ defensive line is still extremely strong even without Nick Bosa. (My 8.5 rating presumes he will miss the game due to his holdout; if he plays, the 49ers are 10/10 at DL.)
Sit Daniel Jones
The addition of Stephon Gilmore as the Cowboys’ CB2 makes the Cowboys’ cornerback group one of the best in the league, and their safeties, Jayron Kearse and Donovan Wilson are not shabby, either. DaRon Bland, who tied for fourth in the league for interceptions with five last year, moves to nickelback, and Trevon Diggs led the league in picks two years ago then improved his overall coverage abilities last year.
Danny Dimes only threw five interceptions last season, but one of them came against Dallas, and he was held to 14 rushing yards on three carries in his second meeting. (He did rush for 79 yards on nine carries in their first matchup.)
Sit Ryan Tannehill
Tannehill has an alpha WR in DeAndre Hopkins to throw to and an emerging TE in Chigoziem Okonkwo, but the Saints defensive backs are amongst the best when Marshon Lattimore is healthy. In the seven games Lattimore played last season, the Saints held opponents under 250 passing yards six times and forced eight turnovers.
Best WR Matchups
Start Mike Evans and Chris Godwin
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