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Fantasy Football Player Notes

Week 1 Rankings

Patrick Mahomes II Note
Patrick Mahomes II photo 1. Patrick Mahomes II KC (vs . HOU)
Lamar Jackson Note
Lamar Jackson photo 2. Lamar Jackson BAL (vs . CLE)
Here's a crazy stat on Jackson that I thought was interesting. He didn't throw for more than 238 yards after Week 3. It just goes to show that he doesn't need to do much through the air to produce elite numbers. He tagged the Browns for 485 yards and six passing touchdowns last year and chipped in another 169 yards on the ground. That's all irrelevant in 2020, though, as the Browns defense is now under Joe Woods. He was the defensive coordinator in Denver for both the 2017 and 2018 seasons, then went to San Francisco for the 2019 season to be the defensive backs coach. We don't have a large sample size to draw from, as his time in Denver was a bit up-and-down, but what most don't understand is that this Browns defense has a lot of talent. One thing that I want to mention about Woods' defense is that his defenses in Denver ranked No. 1 against mobile quarterbacks in 2018 and No. 5 against them in 2019. They allowed fewer than 130 rushing yards to quarterbacks in each season. Still, learning a new offense and defense with virtually no offseason while your opponent has everyone returning is a problem. Jackson is a problem. When we have a quarterback who scored 19.8 or more fantasy points in 14-of-15 games last year, he's an elite every-week starter when on the field. The Browns defense might be improved, but I think it takes some time to develop chemistry. As always, Jackson is in play for both cash and tournaments.
31 weeks ago
Dak Prescott Note
Dak Prescott photo 3. Dak Prescott DAL (at LAR)
He's got weapons galore and while many argue over which one is the most valuable, one thing is for sure... Prescott is the one supporting all of them. The Rams weren't the kindest of matchups to quarterbacks last year, allowing just three of them to finish better than the QB12 on the week, and Prescott was not among them. They played in Week 15 where Prescott threw the ball just 23 times, though he made them count, totaling 212 yards and a touchdown on them. It surely limited his production knowing that Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard combined for 248 rushing yards and three touchdowns in that game, something that's probably unlikely to happen again. And if anything, the Rams defense will likely be worse this year after losing cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman, safety Eric Weddle, and linebacker Cory Littleton. The Cowboys are projected for 27.5 points and both these teams ranked in the top-six for total plays per game. Start him as a QB1 and expect results.
31 weeks ago
Russell Wilson Note
Russell Wilson photo 4. Russell Wilson SEA (at ATL)
If you haven't heard of the hashtag #LetRussCook, you're missing out on the bevy of fantasy enthusiasts who understand what it would be like if Wilson threw the ball 550-plus times. To give you a hint: Wilson has a 6.0 percent career touchdown rate, which is tied with Aaron Rodgers for second-most all-time (minimum 1,000 pass attempts). His 7.87 yards per attempt ranks sixth on that list. Add in his rushing totals and you have yourself what would be an all-time great fantasy quarterback. Does that happen in 2020? The Falcons are a team that allowed eight different quarterbacks to post 8.38 or more yards per attempt against them in 2019, and they'll now be forced to start Isaiah Oliver, rookie A.J. Terrell, and Kendall Sheffield at cornerback. They also lost Adrian Clayborn in free agency, though they added Dante Fowler and Charles Harris to try and offset the loss. Wilson himself threw just 20 passes in their meeting last year, completing 14 of them for 182 yards and two touchdowns while Chris Carson/Rashaad Penny rushed for 145 yards and a touchdown. The final score was 27-20, though it was never that close. Why? Well, Matt Ryan didn't play in that game. It was Matt Schaub who was under center. The Seahawks are projected for roughly 25 points in this game, which seems like it could be low when you consider what happened on just 58 offensive snaps last year. Wilson could explode against this defense if they "let him cook." Given the turnover on the Seahawks defense and potency of the Falcons offense, it's possible he throws the ball 35-plus times here. Start him as a QB1 who offers tremendous upside in the dome. The reason to fade him in cash is due to his playcaller's tendency in positive gamescripts. Brian Schottenheimer has ranked 32nd and 30th in passing rates when his team is ahead. That could crush Wilson's floor, though I do see this game as a competitive one.
31 weeks ago
Deshaun Watson Note
Deshaun Watson photo 5. Deshaun Watson HOU (at KC)
Life without DeAndre Hopkins begins for Watson. We don't know what that looks like, as it's never happened. Watson's QB Rating when targeting Hopkins last year? 107.8. When targeting Will Fuller? 96.7. Both are good, but let's not pretend Hopkins didn't draw some coverage away from Fuller and the rest of the receivers. The Chiefs were surprisingly one of the best pass defenses in the league last year, allowing the 12th-fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, which included just a 3.61 percent touchdown rate, 6.62 yards per attempt, and 60.4 percent completion rate. That's the bad news. What might seem like more bad news is Watson's 280-yard, one-touchdown, two-interception performance against them last year, but there's more to it than the stats. I'm not kidding when I say that Fuller dropped three touchdowns. Watson also played well against them in their playoff loss, totaling 388 yards and two touchdowns, though it did take him 52 attempts to get there. It's hard to gameplan against the Texans right now, as you're unsure what their primary choice of attack will be, though if there's one thing I'll bet on, it's that Watson will run more this year, which raises his weekly floor. In the two games against the Chiefs last year, he rushed for 68 yards and three touchdowns. Start him as your QB1 in what should be a high-scoring game. He's a good tournament option in DFS but play it safe in cash lineups until we see more on how losing Hopkins affects his game.
32 weeks ago
Drew Brees Note
Drew Brees photo 6. Drew Brees NO (vs . TB)
Brees is back for another season and he's got a loaded receiving corps at his disposal. Brees is an enticing start this week in what should be a high-scoring affair against Tom Brady and the Bucs. Points should be going up on the board in this one and Brees should be in your starting lineup.
32 weeks ago
Matt Ryan Note
Matt Ryan photo 7. Matt Ryan ATL (vs . SEA)
There used to be a time where the Seahawks defense would make you back away and think twice about starting a quarterback. Not anymore. There were 10 quarterbacks who finished as top-18 options against the Seahawks last year and with at least 16.1 fantasy points. Ryan missed the game against the Seahawks last year, but Matt Schaub stepped in and threw for 460 yards and one touchdown, finishing as the QB9 that week. The Seahawks defense lost Quinton Jefferson, Al Woods, Jadeveon Clowney, Ezekiel Ansah, and Mychal Kendricks this offseason, all key members of the front seven. They aren't going to generate pressure on a consistent basis with the players they have, which should allow Ryan to put up some numbers with his group of pass catchers. It's worth noting that no quarterback finished with more than 24.7 fantasy points against the Seahawks last year, which is likely due to the fact that none of them threw for more than two touchdowns. That's a fickle stat that can vary, though it's noteworthy that this defense tightened up down in the red zone. They did, however, allow five different running backs to score multiple rushing touchdowns, so maybe that evens out in 2020. In what I'm projecting to be a high-scoring affair, Ryan should be a safe, high-floor QB1.
31 weeks ago
Josh Allen Note
Josh Allen photo 8. Josh Allen BUF (vs . NYJ)
There are some positive changes around Allen this year, as he's got himself a new stud wide receiver in Stefon Diggs, as well as another stable option at running back with rookie Zack Moss. We know regression will hit him on the ground, as he scored nine rushing touchdowns while rushing for 510 yards. By comparison, Lamar Jackson scored seven rushing touchdowns while rushing for 1,206 yards. At the same time, we have room for growth with Allen through the air, as he struggled to complete the deep ball in 2019. The Jets weren't a team that allowed many deep passes to be completed last year, but they've also lost the two centerpieces of their defense, as safety Jamal Adams is now with the Seahawks, and linebacker C.J. Mosley opted out. Their cornerback unit is one of the worst in football, too. So, when you look at Allen's stats against this team last year, they won't even make any sense because it's a different team. Knowing there were just two games Allen totaled less than 15.96 fantasy points last year, there should be no concern starting him here as a high-floor option, especially when you know he averaged 6.7 more fantasy points when the Bills won last year. The only concern for his ceiling is lack of competition on the other side of the ball.
32 weeks ago
Carson Wentz Note
Carson Wentz photo 9. Carson Wentz IND (at JAC)
This is a new Washington team, something Wentz wishes wasn't the case, as they've been a team he's routinely dominated. Over the last three years, he's played them five times, averaging 292.0 passing yards and 15.8 rushing yards, with 14 touchdowns and three interceptions. Those are QB1 numbers. Under Ron Rivera, will those numbers change? Most likely, yes. However, it is their first game with the new scheme, and they've had no actual game experience. Their secondary has a brand-new look, as they've moved on from Josh Norman and Quinton Dunbar, and are moving forward with Ronald Darby, Kendall Fuller, and Fabian Moreau. There's likely to be some miscommunications early on, though their front-seven is nasty, and may not offer Wentz a whole lot of time. Between Matt Ioannidis, DaRon Payne, Jonathan Allen, Chase Young, and Montez Sweat, they're going to bring the pressure. It does help that the Eagles have one of the better offensive lines in football and that there will be no home-field advantage with crowd noise. Referencing stats about Washington last year won't do us any good, but I can give you this about Wentz: He's posted QB1-type numbers in at least 50 percent of his games in each of the last three years. The only other quarterback who can say that is Deshaun Watson. Knowing the variables on Washington's defense, I'll side with Wentz in this battle and say he can be started as a low-end QB1. The issue with relying on a massive performance? He's down his top two receivers (Alshon Jeffery and most likely Jalen Reagor) and has even dealt with an injury of his own during training camp.
31 weeks ago
Kyler Murray Note
Kyler Murray photo 10. Kyler Murray ARI (at SF)
It's hard to fully trust Murray after closing out the season on a low note, as he didn't top 16.36 fantasy points in each of the last five games), but Murray had two of his best games against the 49ers defense. Odd, right? In the two games against them, he completed 41-of-57 passes for 391 yards and four touchdowns, while rushing for 101 yards and a touchdown. And that was before he had DeAndre Hopkins added to his stable of receivers. The 49ers aren't the same team, either. We watched Richard Sherman wear down during the playoffs (32 years old now), and then they traded away interior lineman DeForest Buckner to the Colts. Don't get me wrong, they're still going to be a very good defense, but I don't think they're getting close to the miniscule 5.90 yards per attempt they allowed last year. It sounds crazy, but there were just two quarterbacks all season who averaged more than 7.4 yards per attempt against the 49ers. Where Murray can benefit (and likely will) is on the ground, as the 49ers allowed the third-most rushing yards and the fifth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks on the ground. Knowing they've had a while to gameplan for this game, I'm guessing Kliff Kingsbury will have a few designed runs for the healthy Murray. It's not
31 weeks ago
Ben Roethlisberger Note
Ben Roethlisberger photo 11. Ben Roethlisberger PIT (at NYG)
Cam Newton Note
Cam Newton photo 12. Cam Newton NE (vs . MIA)
There are a lot of question marks surrounding the former NFL MVP. Not only did he have multiple surgeries and is starting over in a new offense, but he's now 31 years old and might lose some of his mobility that made him so valuable in fantasy football. The Dolphins as his first opponent should be interesting, as they're a team with many changes on the defensive side of the ball. Oddly enough, most of those changes include former Patriots. On top of that, Brian Flores is their head coach, who knows Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels all too well. In two games against the Dolphins last year, Tom Brady threw for 485 yards and four touchdowns, so it wasn't like they couldn't gameplan efficiently against Flores' defense. Knowing the Patriots running back situation is questionable at best, they're likely going to lean on Newton a bit more than they'd like in Week 1. The Dolphins did allow a league-high 39 passing touchdowns last year, including at least two passing touchdowns to 14-of-16 quarterbacks, but their secondary has been overhauled and now has legitimate talent. The scheme also limited the rushing totals of quarterbacks, as they allowed just 128 rushing yards to quarterbacks all season long. Almost half of them were to Josh Allen, someone who's often compared to Cam Newton. For what that's worth, Allen crushed this defense for 256 passing yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for 56 yards and a touchdown. Newton has many variables, but he should produce low-end QB1/high-end QB2 numbers. We know there's upside for more, though they're not likely to be a well-oiled machine out of the gate.
31 weeks ago
Tom Brady Note
Tom Brady photo 13. Tom Brady TB (at NO)
It's going to be insanely strange to see Brady trot out onto the field in a different uniform, but he's absolutely set up to succeed here in Tampa. This game should be a high-scoring affair, which means that fantasy points are going to be going up everywhere. The Saints are a very tough matchup, which knocks Brady down just outside QB1 territory in my rankings, but he's still someone worth looking at in 1QB leagues.
32 weeks ago
Jared Goff Note
Jared Goff photo 14. Jared Goff DET (vs . CHI)
If you were to go through Goff's games where he had great success last year, you'd notice a trend. The Cardinals twice (32nd), Falcons (25th), Bengals (27th), and Bucs (23rd) were the teams he had his best games against. Where did the Cowboys rank? 13th. We saw Goff drop back a massive 51 times against them in Week 15 last year where he completed 33 passes for 284 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. This game is likely to be very fast paced, just as that game last year was when the teams combined for a massive 142 plays. It was a common theme, too, as both teams ranked inside the top-six in total plays per game. The Cowboys defense did lose their best cornerback in Byron Jones this offseason, as well as edge rusher Robert Quinn and interior lineman Maliek Collins, but they tried to make up for those losses by adding cornerback Trevon Diggs in the second round, interior lineman Neville Gallimore in the third, and signing Everson Griffin in free agency. They should improve, though it's hard to say they come together as a unit right away with so much turnover. Knowing how many pass attempts Goff had their last meeting when the Cowboys ran all over them should make you feel better about his floor, though the concern is that Goff has only been producing against bottom-12 defenses. Are the Cowboys that? We'll see, but I'd consider Goff a middling QB2 until we know for sure. He does have appeal in tournaments with such high play volume.
31 weeks ago
Aaron Rodgers Note
Aaron Rodgers photo 15. Aaron Rodgers GB (at MIN)
Going into Minnesota to play hasn't been a treat for quarterbacks over the last few years. Over the 16 games played there the last two years, they've allowed 331-of-515 passing (64.2 percent) for 3,335 yards (6.48 YPA), 12 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. Rodgers himself has played there twice and combined for 414 yards, one touchdown, one interception, and 18.22 fantasy points. Again, that's over two full games. Here's the wrinkle, though: The Vikings aren't the same defense, as they lost five starters on that side of the ball, including defensive tackle Linval Joseph and edge rusher Everson Griffin. They also replaced all three of their starters at cornerback, as Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, and Mackensie Alexander are gone. They did recently trade for Yannick Ngakoue, which will help, but this is where the public perception may be able to be used to your advantage in DFS. On top of that, the Vikings will be without top pass-rusher Danielle Hunter, who was placed on IR earlier this week. Not many follow all the additions/subtractions throughout the offseason, but with all the moves on the defensive side of the ball, Rodgers may be able to exploit some miscommunication. This game is taking place in a dome, so weather won't play any role in that, and Rodgers has a 70-15 touchdown to interception ratio indoors with a quarterback rating of more than 106.0. Given Rodgers' struggles against Mike Zimmer's scheme, there are some concerns for season-long leagues, so treat him as a middling QB2 in those formats. He's a sneaky tournament play in DFS, though I wouldn't touch him in cash.
31 weeks ago
Matthew Stafford Note
Matthew Stafford photo 16. Matthew Stafford LAR (vs . DAL)
Stafford's one of the better QBs in the NFL, but this matchup doesn't exactly instill confidence in starting him right out of the gate. This Bears defense is among the league's best and it should give Stafford a hard time in week one. I'd recommend looking elsewhere at the QB position this week if you can.
32 weeks ago
Jimmy Garoppolo Note
Jimmy Garoppolo photo 17. Jimmy Garoppolo SF (vs . ARI)
Jimmy G played extremely well against the Cardinals DST last season, but there's reason to be skeptical about that type of performance repeating in week one. There are serious questions still about who the 49ers will be trotting out at WR this week. The injuries have piled up at WR for this team and it relegates Jimmy G to a starting option only in 2QB leagues. In 1 QB leagues, I'd recommend looking elsewhere.
32 weeks ago
Gardner Minshew II Note
Gardner Minshew II photo 18. Gardner Minshew II JAC (vs . IND)
I've said it all offseason... Minshew has been underrated by the fantasy community. He posted top-18 type numbers in 71.4 percent of his games, which ranked 12th among quarterbacks. While that doesn't highlight a ceiling, it does highlight a floor, especially for those who like to stream the position. Keep in mind that floor was intact while he rushed for 344 yards without a single touchdown. With Jay Gruden as his offensive coordinator, you can all but guarantee him a few rushing touchdowns, especially with Leonard Fournette now gone. Kirk Cousins never rushed for more than 179 yards but scored 13 rushing touchdowns from 2015-2017 under Gruden. He's scored just two of them over the last two years since leaving Gruden. The Colts are a defense Minshew crushed last year, pouring on 295 yards and three touchdowns on 39 attempts. Even going back to Nick Foles in Week 11, he was able to throw for 296 yards and two touchdowns against them, so the Colts defense clearly didn't match up well against the Jaguars skill position players. There were nine quarterbacks who threw for at least 295 yards against them last year. The Colts did add DeForest Buckner to their defensive line, but also lost safety Clayton Geathers and cornerback Pierre Desir in the secondary. In a game that's supposed to be one-sided, we should see Minshew rack up some pass attempts/dropbacks, which does offer fantasy viability. I like him as a solid high-end QB2 this week who can be streamed. There were two quarterbacks who tagged the Colts defense for more than 28 fantasy points over the final four weeks of the season, so he has tournament appeal as well.
32 weeks ago
Tyrod Taylor Note
Tyrod Taylor photo 19. Tyrod Taylor HOU (at KC)
With no preseason games, this was clearly Taylor's team for Week 1. Going against the Bengals should only help him carry that crown into Week 2. Despite facing the second-fewest pass attempts in the league last year, the Bengals allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to the quarterback position. What benefits Taylor more than anything is that they allowed a league-high 489 yards and five touchdowns on the ground to quarterbacks alone. By comparison, the Bucs allowed just 907 yards and eight rushing touchdowns to running backs last year. There were five different occasions where they allowed 46 or more rushing yards, which is another passing touchdown, and then some. There were also eight quarterbacks who threw multiple touchdowns against them. Now, to be fair, the Bengals did make a big acquisition with defensive tackle D.J. Reader, though he's going to be more of a force against running backs going up the middle rather than quarterbacks scrambling. Not only that, but they also added both Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander to their cornerback unit, which should be an upgrade over Dre Kirkpatrick, B.W. Webb, and Darqueze Dennard. This isn't as good of a matchup as it was last year, but Taylor's floor is solid enough to consider him a high-floor QB2 streamer this week who might sneak into the top-12.
31 weeks ago
Derek Carr Note
Derek Carr photo 20. Derek Carr LV (at CAR)
He's got a whole new surrounding cast, though it certainly would've helped if he'd had some time to work with them against real competition. It also would've helped us project them. The Panthers defense was straight-up middle of the pack last year from an efficiency standpoint and the performances against them backed that up. No one finished higher than the QB7, though just two quarterbacks finished worse than QB22. It's a new defense there under Phil Snow, a coordinator with minimal experience in the NFL. He was a linebackers coach with the Lions back in 2006-2008 but has been in college since then. The Panthers defense lost so many players this offseason, it's hard to imagine the starters that'll be out there. Here's the list of starters from 2019 that are gone: LB Luke Kuechly, CB James Bradberry, S Eric Reid, DL Gerald McCoy, DL Dontari Poe, DL Vernon Butler, EDGE Mario Addison, and EDGE Bruce Irvin. That led to the Panthers drafting five defensive players in the first five rounds of the draft. It's going to take some time for the rookies to acclimate to the NFL. I'm expecting the Raiders to ride Josh Jacobs this week, which limits Carr's ceiling, which never really is that high anyway, especially on the road where he's thrown more than two touchdowns just six times during his six-year career. He's a fine floor play for those looking for 15 points but there are likely streamers out there who are just as safe with a higher ceiling.
31 weeks ago
Teddy Bridgewater Note
Teddy Bridgewater photo 21. Teddy Bridgewater CAR (vs . LV)
Many talk about the Panthers falling behind in games this year, leading to many pass attempts. While I won't disagree with that sentiment, the line on this game suggests it'll be closer than most believe. On top of that, the Raiders games averaged just 122.0 plays per game in total, which was the second-lowest number in football and limited overall upside. The did allow a ridiculously high 6.27 percent touchdown rate, as well as 8.28 yards per attempt. Based on passing attempts alone, they allowed 0.57 fantasy points per attempt, which ranked as the second-most to only the Dolphins. But again, there were just five quarterbacks who threw more than 31 pass attempts against them due to the turtle-pace they move at. If Bridgewater can be efficient with his passes, he has a good chance to be a streamer, as 9-of-16 quarterbacks finished as top-12 quarterbacks against the Raiders despite the low volume. Given the new offense, it may be difficult to come out extremely efficient, but Joe Brady's offense should be considered a net-positive overall. Bridgewater should be considered a solid QB2 play this week.
31 weeks ago
Ryan Tannehill Note
Ryan Tannehill photo 22. Ryan Tannehill TEN (at DEN)
Was 2019 a fluke? Was the contract they gave him too much considering the small sample size? We'll find out this season, though Tannehill has a tough matchup on his hands to start the year. The Broncos defensive front is littered with talent, as Tannehill will have Von Miller, Bradley Chubb, Jurrell Casey, and Shelby Harris coming after him. That's scary considering Tannehill was sacked every 10.8 dropbacks last year, which ranked as the third-most often in the league. He also lost his starting right tackle in Jack Conklin. He's going to be under pressure quite a bit in this game. If his line can buy him time, the Broncos cornerback unit is their weak spot. Sure, they acquired A.J. Bouye this offseason, but he's replaced a better Chris Harris Jr. But after Bouye, their top cornerback is likely Bryce Callahan, who didn't play at all last year and has been known as a slot cornerback. If the Broncos can't get pressure on Tannehill, he should carve them up, but in a game with a 41-point over/under, it's expected to be extremely low scoring. Consider him just a middling QB2 for this game. Update: Defensive end Von Miller has suffered a season-ending injury, which will surely make the Broncos defense a bit less threatening. It's still expected to be a low-volume game, so it doesn't change Tannehill's projection that much.
31 weeks ago
Philip Rivers Note
Philip Rivers photo 23. Philip Rivers IND (at JAC)
Have we hit the point with Rivers where he's on the decline in his career? I mean, not everyone is Tom Brady or Drew Brees playing well into their 40s. Rivers will turn 39 in December, so it's possible we've already witnessed the beginning of the end. Now insert an offseason that includes no real game action to build chemistry with the receivers, and you might have a disaster. If there's hope, it's the Jaguars defense. Actually, if you wanted to find one game where Rivers played extremely well last year, he completed 16-of-22 passes for 314 yards and three touchdowns against them in Week 14. They were bad enough then, but the Jaguars lost Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue, and A.J. Bouye this offseason. Sure, they tried addressing the defense in the draft, but relying on rookies to start is never a great thing, especially with no NFL preseason action. Rivers has experience in Frank Reich's offense (2014-2015), so it's not all new to him. You can also hang your hat on the fact that the Jaguars allowed 10 quarterbacks to post at least 15.1 fantasy points against them last year. The Colts are projected for 26.5 points in this game, so there's a shot he delivers more value, but as is the case with most players on new teams, I'm approaching with caution. He should offer a decent floor as a middling QB2, but this is likely to be a run-heavy gameplan.
31 weeks ago
Mitchell Trubisky Note
Mitchell Trubisky photo 24. Mitchell Trubisky BUF (vs . NYJ)
After all was said and done, the Bears will start Trubisky in Week 1. Fortunately for him, he's played some of his best games against this Matt Patricia defense. He's played three games against them under Matt Nagy. The results were 355 yards and three touchdowns (and other one rushing), 173 yards and three touchdowns, and then most recently 338 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. The Lions defense just lost their best player this offseason in Darius Slay. Not just that, but they also lost interior linemen Damon Harrison and A'Shawn Robinson, as well as edge rusher Devon Kennard. To be fair, they did draft cornerback Jeff Okudah at No. 3 overall and edge rusher Julian Okwara in the third round, so they tried to replace the important positions they lost, but we can't expect rookies to walk into the lineup and have the impact those veterans did. There were just four quarterbacks who failed to finish as top-12 quarterbacks against the Lions last year, and two of them were rookies in their first four NFL starts. If you're looking for a last-minute streamer, Trubisky is a solid play here as a mid-to-high-end QB2 with upside. In fact, he's going to be in quite a few tournament lineups of mine.
31 weeks ago
Kirk Cousins Note
Kirk Cousins photo 25. Kirk Cousins MIN (vs . GB)
We watched Cousins have tremendous success against the Packers pre-Matt LaFleur, but what happened in 2019? He played two games against them, completing just 30-of-63 passes (47.6 percent) for 352 yards and two touchdowns. His completion rate against the rest of the league was 72.7 percent, so there was clearly an issue. I don't think losing Stefon Diggs in the offense is going to help much, as his replacement, Justin Jefferson, missed much of training camp on the COVID list. The Packers didn't allow a single quarterback more than 23.2 fantasy points against them last year, and Dak Prescott was the only one who finished better than QB10. The Packers didn't lose anyone of note on their defense this offseason, and they upgraded the starter they did replace (Blake Martinez to Christian Kirksey). If the Vikings are smart, they'll lean heavily on the run-game this week, similar to the way they did last year. Cousins should be considered a low-upside QB2 for this contest and not someone I'd consider for tournaments, either.
31 weeks ago
Joe Burrow Note
Joe Burrow photo 26. Joe Burrow CIN (vs . LAC)
It's not the best way to be brought into the NFL, you know, with a matchup against a defense that's probably top-five in talent. With that, the Chargers will be without superstar safety Derwin James, which is a huge break for the Bengals offense. They'll now move to backup Rayshawn Jenkins, a former fourth-round pick who graded out as the No. 66 safety (of 98 who qualified) in Pro Football Focus' safety rankings in 2019. Still, the Chargers have a heck of a pass rush with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, as well as one of the best cornerback duos in the league between Chris Harris Jr. and Casey Hayward. This is not an easy matchup for a rookie who's walking into his first NFL game action with no preseason. There were just three quarterbacks all of last year who totaled more than 16.5 fantasy points against the Chargers, and all of them had to average at least 9.70 yards per attempt to get there. While I love Burrow and the upside he presents, this is ideally a week you lay off streaming him. I'm still okay with him in 2QB formats because he does have a rushing floor that not many people realize.
31 weeks ago
Daniel Jones Note
Daniel Jones photo 27. Daniel Jones NYG (vs . PIT)
Jones has a loaded and healthy receiving corps, but this matchup is concerning for fantasy purposes. This Steelers DST is one of the league's best and Jones has a tendency to turn the ball over. I'd recommend leaving Jones out of your starting lineup in 1QB leagues.
32 weeks ago
Drew Lock Note
Drew Lock photo 28. Drew Lock DEN (vs . TEN)
The opening line for this game was Broncos by 1.5, but that changed once oddsmakers learned about Jadeveon Clowney signing with the Titans. Suddenly, they have one of the best defensive fronts in football. At the same time, we haven't seen Lock with his new set of weapons, and they're equally as good. He now has Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, Noah Fant, Melvin Gordon, and Phillip Lindsay at his disposal. He also has a new offensive coordinator in Pat Shurmur, who's been better as an offensive coordinator than a head coach. His passing offense hasn't finished outside the top-18 in passing yards since way back in 2012, which bodes well for Lock. With that being said, he's still under Vic Fangio, who may be stuck in the old school mentality where if you're winning, you run the ball. In neutral gamescripts, the Broncos passed the ball just 57 percent of the time last year, which ranked as the ninth-lowest mark. In fact, both teams were low in that category (Titans had the third-lowest mark), so this could be a slow-paced, low-volume game. You likely didn't draft Lock to be your QB1 in season-long leagues, so you don't need to risk it here. If he plays well, that's the best-case scenario, as you might have yourself a starter moving forward.
31 weeks ago
Baker Mayfield Note
Baker Mayfield photo 29. Baker Mayfield CLE (at BAL)
It was a bad season for everyone involved on the Browns last year, and Mayfield was no exception. The crazy part about this matchup, however, is that Mayfield has thrown for 342 or more yards in three of his four career games against the Ravens. He's also thrown seven touchdowns in those four games, so he hasn't been useless like many quarterbacks have against John Harbaugh's defense. As crazy as it may sound, Mayfield had two of the top six quarterback performances the Ravens allowed last year. That's not saying much, as they allowed just one quarterback more than 15.8 fantasy points, but it's still noteworthy. The Ravens defense is loaded with talent, though losing Earl Thomas is going to hurt. The Ravens have gone from Tony Jefferson and Thomas, to now starting DeShon Elliott and Chuck Clark. Their cornerback unit is one of the best in the game, and they held Odell Beckham to just six catches for 64 yards over the two games combined last year. Knowing Jarvis Landry is coming off hip surgery, the top two options that Mayfield has may struggle against these cornerbacks. Under Kevin Stefanski, we should be expecting a run-heavy attack, though that will need to be abandoned if they fall behind, like the line suggests. There are too many unknowns here to start Mayfield with any confidence in this matchup, especially considering the way this team looked last year. If you want to play Mayfield, do it in tournaments, as the over/under is higher than expected.
32 weeks ago
Ryan Fitzpatrick Note
Ryan Fitzpatrick photo 30. Ryan Fitzpatrick WAS (vs . PHI)
It was always going to be Fitzpatrick for Week 1. Going against the Patriots, it made even more sense. The Patriots aren't going to be the same defense they were last year, as they lost interior lineman Danny Shelton, edge rusher Kyle Van Noy, as well as linebackers Jamie Collins and Elandon Roberts to new teams. That's not it, either. They also had linebacker Dont'a Hightower and safety Patrick Chung opt out for the season. With that being said, Fitzpatrick is now behind an offensive line with what might be five new starters. The Dolphins are also in a new offense this year, though Fitzpatrick has experience with Chan Gailey from back in his Bills/Jets days. The Patriots defense was the best in the league last year, allowing just 10.97 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks (no other team allowed less than 12.02), but again, there are so many changes for both teams, you don't want to rely on anything that was done last year. But looking at the last time Fitzpatrick and Gailey played Bill Belichick's defense (2015), Fitzpatrick did throw for 591 yards and five touchdowns in two games. There are safer options to stream this week, though Fitzpatrick might not be as bad as some think given all the losses to the Patriots defense.
31 weeks ago
Dwayne Haskins Note
Dwayne Haskins photo 31. Dwayne Haskins PIT (at NYG)
We got to see Haskins against the Eagles late last season where he had the best game of his young NFL career. He threw for 261 yards, two touchdowns, and then added another 26 yards on the ground. That's all fine and dandy, though the Eagles have overhauled their defense and upgraded their cornerback unit tremendously. Darius Slay and Nickell Robey-Coleman immediately offer veteran stability to a unit that allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to wide receivers last year. The area to be concerned for Haskins is the fact that he's running a brand-new offense with zero game action. The Eagles' opponents averaged just 60.4 plays per game last year, which was the fifth-lowest mark in the league. We aren't going to see much no-huddle from the Washington offense right out of the gate. Sure, there's the element of surprise, but knowing he doesn't have an offensive line to protect him from the Eagles pass-rush, it's wise to leave Haskins out there for someone else to play.
31 weeks ago
Sam Darnold Note
Sam Darnold photo 32. Sam Darnold CAR (vs . LV)
Through two years of Darnold's young career, he's posted 18-plus fantasy points on eight separate occasions. None of them have come against top-tier defenses. Four of those games came in 2019, which were against the Raiders (7th-most points to quarterbacks), Washington (9th-most), Giants (3rd-most), and Cowboys (20th-most). The Bills allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks last year. In fact, there wasn't a single quarterback who finished better than the QB10 against them, so it wasn't a fluke. You can also go back to the 2018 season where they allowed just 7.58 points per game to quarterbacks. Over the last 32 games, they've allowed just 30 passing touchdowns while intercepting 36 passes. That's a big sample size, and they added talent to their defense this offseason. He played against them twice last year and threw 77 passes that netted just 374 yards (4.86 YPA) and two touchdowns. When you also factor in that Darnold will have two new starting wide receivers with no game experience together, he's an easy fade in Week 1.
31 weeks ago
Taysom Hill Note
Taysom Hill photo 33. Taysom Hill NO (vs . TB)
Nick Foles Note
Nick Foles photo 34. Nick Foles CHI (at DET)
Justin Herbert Note
Justin Herbert photo 35. Justin Herbert LAC (at CIN)
Robert Griffin III Note
Robert Griffin III photo 36. Robert Griffin III FA (BYE)
Tua Tagovailoa Note
Tua Tagovailoa photo 37. Tua Tagovailoa MIA (at NE)
Jacoby Brissett Note
Jacoby Brissett photo 38. Jacoby Brissett MIA (at NE)
Matt Schaub Note
Matt Schaub photo 39. Matt Schaub ATL (vs . SEA)
Jameis Winston Note
Jameis Winston photo 40. Jameis Winston NO (vs . TB)
Nick Mullens Note
Nick Mullens photo 41. Nick Mullens FA (BYE)
Mason Rudolph Note
Mason Rudolph photo 42. Mason Rudolph PIT (at NYG)
Phillip Walker Note
Phillip Walker photo 43. Phillip Walker CAR (vs . LV)
Matt Barkley Note
Matt Barkley photo 44. Matt Barkley BUF (vs . NYJ)
Andy Dalton Note
Andy Dalton photo 45. Andy Dalton CHI (at DET)
AJ McCarron Note
AJ McCarron photo 46. AJ McCarron HOU (at KC)
Blaine Gabbert Note
Blaine Gabbert photo 47. Blaine Gabbert TB (at NO)
Brian Hoyer Note
Brian Hoyer photo 48. Brian Hoyer NE (vs . MIA)
Nathan Peterman Note
Nathan Peterman photo 49. Nathan Peterman LV (at CAR)
Geno Smith Note
Geno Smith photo 50. Geno Smith SEA (at ATL)
Chad Henne Note
Chad Henne photo 51. Chad Henne KC (vs . HOU)
Ryan Finley Note
Ryan Finley photo 52. Ryan Finley HOU (at KC)
Nate Sudfeld Note
Nate Sudfeld photo 53. Nate Sudfeld PHI (at WAS)
Sean Mannion Note
Sean Mannion photo 54. Sean Mannion MIN (vs . GB)
Chase Daniel Note
Chase Daniel photo 55. Chase Daniel LAC (at CIN)
Will Grier Note
Will Grier photo 56. Will Grier CAR (vs . LV)
John Wolford Note
John Wolford photo 57. John Wolford LAR (vs . DAL)
Jeff Driskel Note
Jeff Driskel photo 58. Jeff Driskel DEN (vs . TEN)
Kyle Allen Note
Kyle Allen photo 59. Kyle Allen WAS (vs . PHI)
Case Keenum Note
Case Keenum photo 60. Case Keenum CLE (at BAL)
Colt McCoy Note
Colt McCoy photo 61. Colt McCoy FA (BYE)
Trace McSorley Note
Trace McSorley photo 62. Trace McSorley BAL (vs . CLE)
Tim Boyle Note
Tim Boyle photo 63. Tim Boyle DET (vs . CHI)
David Blough Note
David Blough photo 64. David Blough DET (vs . CHI)
Mike Glennon Note
Mike Glennon photo 65. Mike Glennon NYG (vs . PIT)
Jordan Love Note
Jordan Love photo 66. Jordan Love GB (at MIN)
Cooper Rush Note
Cooper Rush photo 67. Cooper Rush DAL (at LAR)
Jake Luton Note
Jake Luton photo 68. Jake Luton JAC (vs . IND)
Josh McCown Note
Josh McCown photo 69. Josh McCown FA (BYE)
Devlin Hodges Note
Devlin Hodges photo 70. Devlin Hodges LAR (vs . DAL)
C.J. Beathard Note
C.J. Beathard photo 71. C.J. Beathard JAC (vs . IND)
Logan Woodside Note
Logan Woodside photo 72. Logan Woodside TEN (at DEN)
Brett Ratliff Note
Brett Ratliff photo 73. Brett Ratliff TEN (at DEN)
Brian Brohm Note
Brian Brohm photo 74. Brian Brohm BUF (vs . NYJ)
Keith Null Note
Keith Null photo 75. Keith Null CAR (vs . LV)
Erik Ainge Note
Erik Ainge photo 76. Erik Ainge NYJ (at BUF)
Hunter Cantwell Note
Hunter Cantwell photo 77. Hunter Cantwell BAL (vs . CLE)
Ben Chappell Note
Ben Chappell photo 78. Ben Chappell WAS (vs . PHI)
Adam Froman Note
Adam Froman photo 79. Adam Froman ATL (vs . SEA)
Tyler Bray Note
Tyler Bray photo 80. Tyler Bray CHI (at DET)
Ryan Griffin Note
Ryan Griffin photo 81. Ryan Griffin TB (at NO)
Brett Smith Note
Brett Smith photo 82. Brett Smith TB (at NO)