Here is your complete list of week one NFL matchups to take advantage of! Each week I will aim to take a look at each game from Thursday to Monday and see what we can exploit for your fantasy football squads.
Thursday Night Game
Houston Texans vs. Kansas City Chiefs: Travis Kelce vs. Houston Defense
In six career games against Houston, Travis Kelce has averaged 7 catches, 93 yards, and almost a score over his career. It will be opening night of the season, emotions will be high, and Pat Mahomes will be targeting ole faithful all night in Kelce.
Sunday 1:00 P.M. Games
New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills: Bills Defense vs. Jets Offense
This Jets offense is bad, bad like blue cheese on wings bad, bad like Godfather Part 2, bad like…well, you get the picture. Le’Veon Bell last year averaged 84 yards and 0.5 touchdowns last year against Buffalo while Sam Darnold in his career has averaged 181 yards, 1 score, and 1.3 turnovers…yikes.
Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings: Vikings Pass Rush vs. Packers OL
Mike Zimmer will be cracking his knuckles as he unleashes newly acquired Yannick Ngakoue against the always vulnerable Packers offensive line. Ngakoue has an axe to grind against Tony Khan and Jacksonville and I expect him to leave it all out there on Sunday.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington: Chase Young vs. Eagles OL
Chase Young will be Jack Del Rio’s Khalil Mack while he is in our nation’s capital and I expect the same results. The Eagles have had their offensive line issues for sure and with a loaded defensive line, they can’t afford to double team Young as teams did in college. This is one of the week one NFL matchups I am excited for.
Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens: Jarvis Landry vs. Ravens DBs
Since joining the Browns, Jarvis Landry has taken off statistically but especially against the Ravens. He is averaging six catches a game and over 100 yards to top it all off. He has only scored once but pair those numbers with what seems to be a reliable relationship with Baker Mayfield and it makes too much sense to target him week one.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: Colts RB Duo vs. Jacksonville Defense
With a gutted defense I’m not sure how the Jaguars will be able to stop 1,000-yard rusher Marlon Mack and newly drafted star running back Jonathan Taylor who enters the NFL as the next great Wisconsin running back. Both could have over 100 total yards and a score and I would not be the least bit surprised.
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Carolina Panthers: Panther WRs vs. Raiders Young DBs
Damon Arnette is the newest young corner to the Raiders joining Trayvon Mullen who was drafted last year. Together, they will be tested early and often by new offensive coordinator Joe Brady and receivers DJ Moore and Robbie Anderson, both should have good days at the office against the young defensive backs.
Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions: Jimmy Graham vs. Lions LBs
New tight end Jimmy Graham has been looking good in camp videos (misleading, I know) and I think they will be looking to use him to bail out newly announced starter Mitchell Trubisky early and often. High target volume is never a bad thing, especially in the red zone, so look for Graham to steal that attention from Allen Robinson and company.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Atlanta Falcons: Todd Gurley vs. Seahawks Defense
You can take the man out of the NFC West but you can’t take him away from NFC West opponents. Gurley will be best equipped of any player on the Falcons to get the best results against Seattle and in Gurley’s career, he has averaged 97 yards and nearly scores once a game against the ‘Hawks.
Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots: Matt Breida vs. Patriots LBs
Newly signed Matt Breida will be going against the always tough Bill Bellichick defense but this year it is missing some key pieces – mainly linebacking leader Donta Hightower. Breida is a true homerun threat and busting through a linebacker group shouldn’t be an issue at least once this week.
Sunday 4:30 P.M. Games
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Cincinnati Bengals: Chargers Pass Rush vs. Joe Burrow
Joe Burrow drew Tony Romo comps by draft pundits and a big reason why was his pocket awareness and mobility. I have complete faith in Burrow to be a fantastic pro quarterback but despite that elite trait I mentioned, I expect him to have a rough week one with Bosa and Ingram coming off the edge. The Bengals still have a young offensive line and that spells disastrous situations for Burrow all day Sunday. Its a debut many are excited to see of all the week one NFL matchups but Burrow may have to wait for week two to come onto the scene.
Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers: Cardinals OL vs. 49ers DL
Kyler Murray never got to enjoy the presence of both D.J.Humphries and Marcus Gilbert last year at the same time, and even with them missing games last year Kyler thrived. Can we imagine how he will be with them together though?
For the first-round pick Javon Kinlaw and Nick Bosa, it should be interesting to see who gets the upper hand but my money is on Kyler and his line.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints: Rob Gronkowski vs. Demario Davis
This could go either way as we have the greatest tight end of all time coming out of retirement in Rob Gronkowski going against the most criminally underrated linebacker in the league in Demario Davis. I think the connection Tom Brady has with Gronk will be enough of an X-factor that they go to that well time and again, especially with Evans’ health up in the air. Should be one of the more technical week one NFL matchups.
Sunday Night Game
Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Rams: Jared Goff vs. Dallas DBs
The Rams led by Sean McVay and Jared Goff are looking to take advantage of a new and younger Cowboys secondary with Byron Jones leaving for South Beach. Goff seems to be thriving in camp with new rookie Van Jefferson and the usual in Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. I think Goff makes it a long night for the ‘Boys.
Monday Night Games
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Giants: JuJu Smith-Schuster vs. Logan Ryan
Logan Ryan spent all offseason looking for a new home while JuJu Smith-Schuster worked all offseason with Ben Roethlisberger as he looked to bounce back from his career-threatening injury. I expect all of the Steelers receivers to have a good night but the chemistry for Ben and JuJu is already strong and I expect that to be something we see all night.
Tennessee Titans vs. Denver Broncos: Jarrell Casey vs. Titans OL
Jarrell Casey was, well he was pissed when he Titans made the cap cut to Casey. He knows the Titans better than anyone in the Denver locker room and he is the definition of a run stuffer. With Henry coming off the big contract expectations are high but Casey is a big X-factor to monitor come Monday night.