It’s early in the season so we don’t have much new information to go on. We have the preseason, but that’s only good for so much.
The best we can do is look at predictive stats from last season. I think Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average is among the best, if not the best out there.
Let’s take a look at the best and worst passing matchups this week.
Passing matchups for Week 2
|New England Patriots (NE – DST)||BUF||St. Louis Rams (STL – DST)||WAS|
|Tennessee Titans (TEN – DST)||CLE||New York Giants (NYG – DST)||ATL|
|Green Bay Packers (GB – DST)||SEA||San Francisco 49ers (SF – DST)||PIT|
|Pittsburgh Steelers (PIT – DST)||SF||Arizona Cardinals (ARI – DST)||CHI|
|Kansas City Chiefs (KC – DST)||DEN||Baltimore Ravens (BAL – DST)||OAK|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers (TB – DST)||NO|
|Cleveland Browns (CLE – DST)||TEN|
|Cincinnati Bengals (CIN – DST)||SD|
|Indianapolis Colts (IND – DST)||NYJ|
|New Orleans Saints (NO – DST)||TB|
While the Saints are at the bottom of the attack list, last week’s performance by Marcus Mariota against the Buccaneers has forced our hand. If you check out our quarterback rankings, you’ll see Drew Brees at the top this week.
It’s also worth noting the Buccaneers were particularly bad against No. 1 receivers. Is that Brandin Cooks or Marques Colston or Brandon Coleman?
We have Nick Foles 19th, but these matchups suggest he should be at least a few spots higher. He’s probably a starting QB this week and someone to consider for lineups in daily fantasy tournaments.
Mariota, on paper, should have a more difficult go of it this week. So should Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger. We probably can’t bench any of those quarterbacks — or their top receivers — in season-long, but I’ll pivot off them in DFS.
I have a gut feeling Joe Flacco puts up a big total today. Last week was an absolute disaster and he gets Oakland this week. I’ll have him in a what-the-heck DFS lineup.
We have Carson Palmer as our No. 3 quarterback this week. The Cardinals’ matchup against the Bears is a big reason why.
I’d like to get excited about Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. in this matchup, but last week has me putting on the brakes. Also, the Falcons were horrible against the pass last season, but they were top-10 most efficient in the NFL against No. 1 wide receivers, according to Football Outsiders.
Rushing matchups for Week 2
|Minnesota Vikings (MIN – DST)||DET||Tampa Bay Buccaneers (TB – DST)||NO|
|Green Bay Packers (GB – DST)||SEA||Tennessee Titans (TEN – DST)||CLE|
|Kansas City Chiefs (KC – DST)||DEN||New York Giants (NYG – DST)||ATL|
|Washington Redskins (WAS – DST)||STL||Cleveland Browns (CLE – DST)||TEN|
|Oakland Raiders (OAK – DST)||BAL||San Diego Chargers (SD – DST)||CIN|
|Chicago Bears (CHI – DST)||ARI|
|Dallas Cowboys (DAL – DST)||PHI|
Remember, typically, good run defenses are way better at stopping the run than bad run defenses are at giving up big runs.
That means it could be a slow day, relatively speaking, for superstar backs Adrian Peterson, Eddie Lacy, and Matt Forte. Jamaal Charles still went for 125 yards Thursday night against our No. 3 bad rushing matchup, so, again I say, it’s all relative. Start them in season-long, but don’t have too much exposure to them in DFS because they’ll probably disappoint relative to their salary.
The matchup situation is a bigger concern for guys like Alfred Morris, who get written out of the game script if the team has to switch to a pass-heavy offense.
Doug Martin and Bishop Sankey both present good values at DFS sites and both have plus-plus matchups.
I wish the Giants, Browns and Chargers didn’t have committees going, but they do. Danny Woodhead is probably the top play out of the groups because of what he did last week in both the rushing and passing games. He’s a top-1o running back for us this week.
Cincinnati, Woodhead’s opponent, was also the fourth-least efficient team in the NFL last season at stopping pass-catching backs.
When you see a poor rushing matchup it usually represents a team on the strugglebus in all facets, which means it could pay off to pair a running back and their D/ST. Here are our D/ST rankings for this week.