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RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT: Week 2

Welcome back for the Week 2 edition of “Red Light, Green Light”, your matchup guide for all of this weekend’s NFL contests. While the information conveyed below piece is not intended to be solely a start/bench list, it can be used to evaluate those decisions as well.

In each NFL Week 2 game profile below, players mentioned in the green light sections have a great matchup, and can be counted on as rock solid options. Players mentioned in the yellow light sections have just an okay matchup and/or usage concerns, meaning they are passable fantasy options but don’t expect them to set the world on fire. Players in the red light sections have serious matchup/usage concerns, require lowered expectations lowered for the week, and/or should be avoided if possible. Remember, seeing your stud listed in the yellow or red light section isn’t necessarily grounds to bench them, but more of an indication they may not be the guy(s) carrying your team to victory.

Notes: Fantasy points allowed statistics are based off of the Fantasy Sharks default PPR scoring system. Point Spreads and Over/Unders are based off the Fantasy Sharks consensus analysis.

Arizona Cardinals at Baltimore Ravens

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2019 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Cardinals Ravens
Quarterback 4th 28th
Running Back 25th 32nd
Wide Receiver 12th 16th
Tight End 3rd 25th
Defense/Special Teams 12th 30th
Vegas Line: Ravens -13
Vegas Over/Under: 46.5
green-light
  • Lamar Jackson – Finished as the overall QB1 last week thanks in large part to his five touchdown passes against the Dolphins. Arizona is fresh off giving up 385 passing yards and three scores to the Lions.
  • Mark Ingram – Should be ready to rumble as the Ravens figure to lean on the run once the game is in hand.
  • Mark Andrews – Playing the third-fewest snaps out of the Baltimore tight ends last week (32) is a concern, but he still managed to lead the team in targets (8) and routes run (18)
  • Ravens D/ST – The Cardinals’ offensive line has already allowed five sacks on the year. This unit is in a great situation going against a rookie quarterback as nearly two touchdown favorites.
yellow-light
  • Willie Snead – Led the Ravens in snaps played. Better days could be ahead in contests where Jackson isn’t heaving the ball downfield at will.
  • Larry Fitzgerald/Christian Kirk – Each received north of 10 targets last Sunday (13 for Fitz, 12 for Kirk), and will likely receive a healthy serving of targets with the Cardinals spending most of the day playing from behind.
red-light
  • Marquise Brown (hip) – As electric as Brown was against the Dolphins with a 4-147-2 line on just five targets and 12 snaps, limited practice all week gives him a zero catch floor.
  • Kyler Murray – He was borderline horrendous for three quarters in his rookie debut before the Cardinals entered comeback mode in the fourth. The same garbage time production may not be there against a tougher Ravens’ defense.
  • David Johnson – He could spend much of the afternoon running into brick walls.

Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2019 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Cowboys Redskins
Quarterback 20th 10th
Running Back 8th 21st
Wide Receiver 24th 2nd
Tight End 2nd 11th
Defense/Special Teams 32nd 25th
Vegas Line: Cowboys -4.5
Vegas Over/Under: 46.5
green-light
  • Dak Prescott – Looked completely born again while lighting up the Giants for 405 passing yards and four touchdowns in Week 1. Washington has similar issues defending the pass it seems.
  • Michael Gallup – Should benefit from the Washington defense being so focused on teammate Cooper.
yellow-light
  • Amari Cooper – Looks completely un-hindered by the foot injury that kept him out of nearly all of training camp. However, Coop will likely draw CB Josh Norman in coverage who did a reasonable job of locking down last week’s assignment.
  • Ezekiel Elliott – Expected to get more work this week after being eased in last Sunday. Washington did an admirable job of defending the run against the Eagles though.
  • Chris Thompson – Look for him to continue vacuuming up short receptions after snagging 8 last week.
  • Vernon Davis/Jordan Reed – Old man Davis showed us last week he’s still got the athletic gifts as he hurdled an Eagles’ defender en route to a 48-yard touchdown reception. Swap Reed (concussion) in for Davis if the former is able to clear the League protocol and suit up, as the middle of the field is a weakness for Dallas.
red-light
  • Jason Witten – Aside from the touchdown, Witten’s Week 1 receiving line of 3-15 on four targets is about what one would expect from a 37-year old who spent last year out of football.
  • Terry McLaurin – Now that “Scary Terry” has announced himself to the rest of the NFL, expect the Cowboys DBs (who are significantly better than Philadelphia’s) to be dialed in.
  • Adrian Peterson – Steps right into the starting role after being a healthy inactive last week with Derrius Guice (knee) injured. Expect the Cowboys to key into the run and force quarterback Case Keenum to beat them.

Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2019 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Colts Titans
Quarterback 9th 23rd
Running Back 2nd 16th
Wide Receiver 20th 19th
Tight End 17th 12th
Defense/Special Teams 24th 19th
Vegas Line: Titans -3
Vegas Over/Under: 44.5
green-light
  • Titans D/ST – Favored at home, while the matchup’s over/under is reasonably low. The Colts may be tired after travelling to Los Angeles last week, and then all the way back across the country to Nashville.
yellow-light
  • Delanie Walker – Seems to be fully recovered from the broken ankle that caused him to miss nearly all of 2018. The division-rival Colts should do a better job of containing Walker than the Browns did.
  • Derrick Henry – The Colts looked vulnerable on the ground last week, allowing over 100 yards rushing to the Chargers. Tennessee has made good on their vow keep Henry as their offensive focal point.
  • Marlon Mack – The Colts made it clear last week that they intend to ride Mack hard. The Titans have a stout rush defense, though the road grading Indy offensive line should level the playing field.
red-light
  • Jacoby Brissett – The Titans’ pass defense is for real (ranked second in Football Outsiders’ Week 1 pass defense DVOA), as they limited the Browns to 244 yards through the air while also picking off three passes.
  • T.Y. Hilton – Already appears on track too see more volume (9 targets last Sunday) than he did with Jacoby Brissett under center in 2017, though this matchup is tough.
  • Jack Doyle/Eric Ebron – Together, these guys combined for just 2-28-0 on five targets. It’s looking like the Colts offense can only sustain one, maybe two fantasy relevant pass catchers sans Andrew Luck.
  • Deon Cain – Looking like a strong candidate to step in place of the injured Devin Funchess (collarbone), but it’s far from a guarantee.
  • Corey Davis – A bagel on a measly three targets is what Davis gave his fantasy managers in the Titans’ season opener. Performances like that are why many are questioning how much longer Davis will remain the team’s no. 1 wideout.

Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2019 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Seahawks Steelers
Quarterback 13th 8th
Running Back 29th 12th
Wide Receiver 5th 4th
Tight End 7th 31st
Defense/Special Teams 11th 13th
Vegas Line: Steelers -3.5
Vegas Over/Under: 46.5
green-light
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster – Look for some market correction after he was essentially erased by New Englad for most of last Sunday evening (6-78-0). Seattle allowed the second-most receiving yards of Week 1 to the Bengals’ wideouts.
  • Ben Roethlisberger – Home is where the heart is, particularly Big Ben’s. Look for Roethlisberger make up for Week 1’s dud in this matchup against Seattle’s shotty pass defense.
yellow-light
  • James Conner – Seattle ranked 18th out of 32 teams in Football Outsiders’ 2018 rush defense DVOA. Additionally, Conner’s receiving usage last Sunday evening was encouraging (4-44).
  • Donte Moncrief – There’s no sugar coating how terrible he was in Week 1, but 10 targets are 10 targets, and the Seahawks defensive backfield looks like one to attack.
  • Vance McDonald – Like Moncrief, McDonald was a major whiff in the Steelers’ seasons opener. Look for a mild rebound.
  • Russell Wilson – Passing the ball is the key to moving the ball against Pittsburgh, but Wilson’s low passing volume curbs the upside.
  • Tyler Lockett – Pittsburgh’s pass defense was absolutely decimated by New England’s wideouts last Sunday night, though Lockett seeing just two targets in Seattle’s Week 1 victory over Cincinnati is a definite concern.
  • D.K. Metcalf – Looks the Seahawks have found themselves a legitimate pass game weapon, as Metcalf hauled in four of six targets for 89 yards in Week 1.
red-light
  • Chris Carson – Dominated the Seahawks’ backfield in Week 1, garnering 77 percent of the running back snaps, and touching the ball 21 times. That said, Pittsburgh is adept at shutting down opposing ground games.
  • Rashaad Penny – He’s merely a Carson handcuff at this stage.

Buffalo Bills at New York Giants

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Most 2019 Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game
Position Bills Giants
Quarterback 26th 2nd
Running Back 20th 24th
Wide Receiver 23rd 1st
Tight End 28th 5th
Defense/Special Teams 10th 20th
Vegas Line: Bills -2
Vegas Over/Under: 43.5
green-light
  • Josh Allen – Faces a Giants defense that allowed the second-most Week 1 passing yards. Allen does need to cut down on the turnovers (four last week), but they can be mitigated by his propensity to tuck the ball and run.
  • John Brown – Led the Bills with a healthy 13.5 air yards per target as the preseason hype has carried over into the regular season.
  • Bill D/ST – Continue to roll out just about any defense facing Eli Manning.
yellow-light
  • Devin Singletary – The fact he only carried the ball four times (for 70 yards no less) is criminal. Despite comments from coach Sean McDermott that Frank Gore remains the starter, it’s hard to imagine Singletary not seeing significantly more work.
  • Saquon Barkley – Averaged an unholy 10.9 yards-per-rush in Week 1, though the Bills were able to put the clamps down on the Jets last week, holding the NY backfield to just 64 yards on the ground.
  • Evan Engram – The Bills were one of 2018’s best at defending opposing tight ends, though the Giants have precious few other options to throw the ball to.
red-light
  • Sterling Shepard (concussion) – Not a lock to suit up, and would likely have to contend with CB Tre’Davious White. Cody Latimer would be in a similar situation if Shepard can’t go. Update: Latimer (calf) also missed Thursday’s practice, so it’s looking like both are going to be on the wrong side of questionable.

About Will Weiler

An NFL Red Zone addict and all-around data nerd, I've been obsessed with the NFL and stats ever since I started playing the virtual pigskin game in 2005.