Thursday - Apr 18, 2019

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STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: Good/Bad Matchups – Week 1

We made it! Football is here, and I’m sure everyone reading this is beyond excited for the NFL season to begin this Thursday. Now it’s time to start thinking about your starting lineups. Just to recap, each Tuesday I will present the Sharks with some players with good matchups and players with bad matchups. I’ll be focusing on quarterbacks and tight ends, as those are the positions in which you can stream (shout out to all the streamers out there. It adds an extra fun element to this little thing we call fantasy football). You too can look at this great Strength of Schedule data here at Fantasy Sharks that is used for this column. Let’s get to it!

Quarterbacks

Good Matchups

Blake Bortles, Jacksonville (at New York Giants)
Everyone loves to hate on the guy, but he has quietly been a Top 12 QB the past three years. Partner that with the fact that he is facing the Giants in Week 1, and you have yourself a recipe for success. The Giants were the easiest matchup for quarterbacks in 2017. Olivier Vernon is still not practicing, which would make Bortles’ sledding much easier this week. Stream Bortles with confidence.

Marcus Mariota, Tennessee (at Miami)
Mariota was a monumental letdown last year (to say the least) but I like him as a bounce-back candidate this year. The good news for Week 1 is that he gets the pleasure of taking on Miami, who graded out as the second-easiest matchup for quarterbacks. With the addition of Dion Lewis to the backfield, as well as the fact that both Rishard Matthews (revenge game, anyone?) and Delanie Walker look ready to roll, I’d say Mariota has a strong chance at a Top 10 finish this week.

Bad Matchup

Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco (at Minnesota)
The handsome one isn’t looking so appealing this week. Minnesota graded out as the hardest matchup for quarterbacks in 2017, and that defense could be even better this year. I had mentioned all year that I believed he was being overvalued, and this Week 1 matchup is just icing on the cake. I’d strongly urge you all to look elsewhere this week.

Tight Ends

Good Matchups

Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jacksonville (at New York Giants)
Last year, it seemed as if the Giants gave up a touchdown every week to opposing tight ends. Also in this article last year, I recommended Seferian-Jenkins quite often (seems like a match made in heaven, right?). Someone will need to step up for Jacksonville with the loss of Marqise Lee, and I think Seferian-Jenkins will  be that guy. Don’t @ me for loving and offering up this Jacksonville double-stack.

Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati (at Indianapolis)
If I was calling Eifert a streamer two years ago, everyone would have been calling me a cop-out (probably something much worse, but let’s keep it PG here). That being said, here we are, and Eifert is someone who most folks have lost confidence in. You should have confidence in Week 1 though, as Eifert faces the seventh-easiest matchup for tight ends in Indianapolis. I should point out that I also love Andy Dalton this week, and a Dalton/Eifert stack would be quite nice in daily fantasy sports (DFS) leagues for Week 1 … just food for thought.

Bad Matchup

George Kittle, San Francisco (at Minnesota)
Everyone’s favorite tight end breakout for this year should be on your bench in Week 1. Surprise, surprise, as Minnesota was the second-toughest matchup for tight ends in 2017. He is also coming back from a shoulder injury, so we are not too sure if he will be limited in Week 1 or not. You get the gist … George Kittle just isn’t a smart play this week.

A Look Ahead to Week 2 …
For Week 2, I am looking to attack the New York Giants once again, so Dak Prescott will be a great stream here. Blake Jarwin too, but we need to see who steps up for Dallas in Week 1 at the tight end position (Rico Gathers, maybe?). Speaking of paying attention to Week 1, let’s see how Sam Darnold does against Detroit. If he looks competent, he does get a great matchup in Week 2 against Miami. George Kittle should bounce back in Week 2, as Detroit was the second-easiest matchup for tight ends last year.

There it is. The first article of the 2018 season for me. It felt good, I’m not going to lie. Best of luck to you all in Week 1, as nothing is better than starting your season off with a win. 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 keeper leagues. He lives in Yorktown, VA with his beautiful wife, son, and daughter. Feel free to ask him any and everything regarding fantasy football on twitter. It's all about winning that fantasy football championship, Sharks!