Be sure to check out our Strength of Schedule Tool to find the easy and hard matchups each week or for any week of the season.
Week one is in the books and what a crazy start to the NFL season we had! Carson Palmer couldn’t take advantage of the great matchup he was in, and Matthew Stafford dismantled a very good Arizona defense. Austin Hooper exploded against Chicago, but only saw 2 targets. I’ll be looking for his target share to increase this week and beyond. Let’s go ahead and take a look at what quarterbacks and tight ends have exploitable matchups in week 2.
Eli Manning, New York Giants (vs. Detroit)
He didn’t look good against Dallas and Detroit held Carson Palmer in check, but look for Manning to bounce back against Detroit on Monday night. The Lions grade out as the fifth easiest matchup for quarterbacks and Manning should have Odell Beckham Jr. back at his disposal. I don’t like this matchup as much if Beckham can’t suit up for this game.
Jay Cutler, Miami Dolphins (@ L.A. Chargers)
I mentioned that Cutler had a nice Week 2 matchup with the Chargers, who grade out as the second easiest matchup for quarterbacks. He showed great chemistry with the wide receivers in preseason, so look for that to continue into Week 2. Don’t be scared to throw the gunslinger into your starting lineup.
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (@Denver)
It’s never fun going into the no fly zone in Denver, but someone has to once a week. Denver grades out as the fifth hardest matchup for quarterbacks. If you have one of the guys mentioned above, then you should seriously consider benching Prescott for them. You can run over Denver, so look for this to be an Ezekiel Elliot game.
Jared Cook, Oakland Raiders (vs. New York Jets)
Cook actually looked good in Week 1, posting 5 catches for 56 yards. This week he gets the Jets defense, who grade out as the second easiest schedule for tight ends. Charles Clay scored on them in week one, so don’t be shocked if Cook does the same. The perennial underachiever is an excellent stream this week.
Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills (@Carolina)
I think I have a man-crush on Clay this year. Clay was targeted a whopping 9 times against the Jets, and I think that continues into this week (and possibly all season). Carolina grades out as the fourth easiest matchup for tight ends. Pick him up off the waiver wire if he is there and put him directly into your starting lineup.
Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts (vs. Arizona)
The popular breakout candidate needs to be on your bench, as Doyle faces the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2. Arizona grades out as the fourth hardest matchup for opposing tight ends, so don’t be surprised when Doyle puts up another dud week (poor Indy…when is Andrew Luck coming back!?).
A Look Ahead
Jay Cutler, QB, Miami Dolphins
Cutler gets the New York Jets in Week 3 and then gets the New Orleans Saints at home in Week 4. Those are two money matchups for Cutler. Start him this week and feel free to do so in weeks 3 and 4, too. I feel dirty recommending this, but hey, the stats don’t lie!
Coby Fleener, TE, New Orleans Saints
Fleener gets the Carolina Panthers in Week 3 and then gets the Miami Dolphins in Week 4, who grade out as very easy matchups for tight ends. Get last year’s disappointment ready for a Week 3 and Week 4 stream!
As always, feel free to ask me anything and everything on Twitter. Good luck this week to all of you. Until next time, Sharks!