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STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: Good/Bad Matchups – Week 1

Week 1 of the 2019-20 NFL season is finally here, Sharks! For you folks who are new here, I like to inform you all about the QB2 and TE2 players who can exploit a good matchup (and those “must-start” players that may let you down in a bad matchup, as well). This week (as is the same for the opening game every year), we will use the data from last season. Let’s go ahead and jump into some quarterbacks and tight ends who have good and bad matchups for week 1.

Quarterbacks

Good Matchups

Josh Allen, Buffalo (at New York Jets)

Allen was one of my favorite late-round quarterbacks in drafts this year, but many folks in the industry seem to still have their doubts. You have to remember that Allen was the overall QB1 (above Patrick Mahomes …) in fantasy from Week 12 on in 2018. Buffalo gets the pleasure of facing the Jets to open the season, and the Jets were the overall easiest matchup for opposing quarterbacks last year. Add in the fact that Buffalo has added John Brown on the outside and Cole Beasley in the slot, and you have yourself some decent weapons in Buffalo to start the year. I’m playing Allen with confidence this week, and you should too.

Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago (vs. Green Bay)

We are going to go straight to the second-easiest matchup for opposing quarterbacks last year, as Trubisky and Chicago face Green Bay on Thursday this week. Trubisky had an up-and-down year, as he showed immense upside some weeks, and looked dreadful in others. I think he comes out hot to start the season, as Chicago looks to make a statement in the NFC North. An improved running game with the tandem of David Montgomery, Tarik Cohen and Mike Davis will only help.

Bad Matchup

Matt Ryan, Atlanta (at Minnesota)

Ryan will have a solid season, but this is a tough matchup out the gate for the stud (yes, I called Matt Ryan a stud …). Minnesota was the toughest matchup for opposing quarterbacks last year, and it gets the benefit of playing at home. Ryan will be just fine the rest of the season, but pump the brakes on expectations this week.

Tight Ends

Good Matchups

Will Dissly, Seattle (vs. Cincinnati)

You all remember Dissly, right? He was the waiver wire darling from the beginning of last season, and he has a good chance to start off on fire yet again in Week 1. Cincinnati was the easiest matchup for opposing tight ends last year, making Dissly a great stream or daily league play this week. Ed Dickson was placed on Injured Reserve last weekend, making Dissly the unquestioned starter. Beyond Tyler Lockett, Russell Wilson needs SOMEONE to step up in the passing game, and Dissly has showed that he could be up to the task.

Jason Witten, Dallas (vs. New York Giants)

The Giants have been notoriously bad against tight ends (easiest matchup for them in 2017, third-easiest last year). So it makes sense to give Witten some thought. As bad as he was in the booth last year, he can still get it done on the field. Dak Prescott has shown in the past that he trusts the veteran, and they could be without Ezekiel Elliott and even possibly Amari Cooper. Dallas will look to exploit the Giants’ biggest weakness, which is where Witten comes in. This play is for you deep-leaguers out there.

Bad Matchup

Austin Hooper, Atlanta (at Minnesota)

Hooper was being selected as a TE1 in drafts this year, and for good reason. He has progressed each year in the league, plays on a great offense, and should be in plenty of shootouts in his division. That being said, Minnesota was the fourth-toughest matchup for opposing tight ends last year. Don’t just drop Hooper if he has a down game in Week 1, though. If you have a safer option for Week 1 (Delanie Walker, anyone?), maybe you should start them.

Best of luck to you all in Week 1. I can’t believe we are here again, as football season is the one time in life I’m happy, time goes by so darn fast. You can utilize the Fantasy Sharks Strength of Schedule tool yourself to find good and bad matchups for any part of the upcoming season (and any other position). As always, don’t hesitate to ask me any and everything regarding fantasy football on Twitter (my Twitter handle can be found below). Until next time, Sharks!

About Ryan Black

Ryan is a fantasy football enthusiast who specializes in redraft and dynasty leagues. He lives in Yorktown, VA with his beautiful wife and three kids. Feel free to ask him any and everything regarding fantasy football on twitter. It's all about winning that fantasy football championship, Sharks!