MOST INTRIGUING MATCHUPS-WEEK 2
San Francisco 49ers @ Philadelphia Eagles
Week 1 produced some surprising results for both teams, both good and bad. The Eagles came out and just stomped the Falcons en route to a 32-6 victory, showing out on both sides of the ball. The 49ers came out early and led 31-10 at halftime, only to have the game come down to a last drive turnover on downs by the Lions, with the final result being much closer than anyone expected at 41-33 for the 49ers victory. I would say that a lot of the Lions comeback can be attributed to the 49ers letting their foot off the gas and the Lions throwing the ball 57 times in the game, but regardless, it is still slightly concerning. Mix this in with the news that Raheem Mostert will miss the rest of the season with damaged cartilage in his knee and all of a sudden, we have some questions about the 49ers’ backfield. Will it be the star from last Sunday, Elijah Mitchell, fellow rookie Trey Sermon who was a healthy inactive, or JaMycal Hasty? Well, it’s Kyle Shanahan, so we can never really know what to expect. The Eagles looked like a well-oiled machine in their victory Sunday, led by Jalen Hurts who appears to have improved his passing game, or at a minimum took advantage of a porous Falcons defense. This matchup is an early season test game for both teams. For the Eagles, it’s their chance to prove that Week 1 wasn’t a fluke while the 49ers look to show the opposite, in that they can finish a game from start to finish.
Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins
There were quite a few similarities between the two Week 1 performances we saw from these teams. Both struggled offensively, albeit against good defenses (maybe elite in the case of the Steelers), both looked improved defensively and both ended up with results contrary to what was expected based on the betting lines. Starting with the Bills, the offense just ran into a buzzsaw of a Steelers defense, and the game was still ultimately decided by superior special teams play from the Steelers which saw them return a blocked punt for a TD early in the 4th quarter. This is not going to be the results we see every week unless 2020 Josh Allen “Space Jammed” his way into better quarterback play. The defense has improved, so I don’t expect Josh Allen to be throwing quite as much. Unfortunately, that still relies on the run game keeping up this efficiency, which doesn’t seem likely. The main takeaway is to pump the brakes and expect more 2020 Bills to appear going forward. The Dolphins looked like an improved defense as well, forcing four fumbles and recovering two of them, while also limiting the overall production of the Patriots. The offense looked like it was stagnant at times and that’s concerning. Fortunately for them, however, the team gets Will Fuller back from suspension and will officially be at full strength. I don’t see any individual offensive player for the Dolphins having success this week, but that doesn’t mean they can't be fantasy relevant. If I'm watching this game, I'm looking for how much work Myles Gaskin receives and the target breakdown for pass catchers. This game could turn into a sneaky shootout with both teams looking to expand their offensive production from Week 1.
Dallas Cowboys @ Los Angeles Chargers
This is the most fantasy relevant matchup of the week and the one I'm looking forward to the most. Yes, I may be a Chargers fan, but I'm excited to see what these two high powered offenses can produce. The Cowboys look to build on the offensive outburst they showed against the Buccaneers in Week 1, while maybe bringing a little more defense to the table. CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper delivered all that was promised from their hyped up off-seasons while Dak Prescott looked great, showing almost no hesitation from his season-ending injury last year. Ezekiel Elliot didn’t look great, but he also wasn’t asked to do much for the offense outside of providing extra pass protection, which he did well. I expect some bounce back production from him this week that will ease the worry of nervous fantasy managers. The Chargers also looked great in Week 1, despite the low point total put on the board against the Washington Football Team. Outside of his ugly interception and his fumble, which I still don’t understand how it was called a fumble and never really will, Justin Herbert looked great. He only threw one TD, which makes his point total look as if he struggled, but I would go all in on him this week against a banged up and already bad Cowboys defense. This will be the highest scoring game of the week, and I don’t think it’ll be particularly close. If I had players from these teams on my fantasy rosters, I’d be plugging them into my starting lineup and kicking back to watch the points tally up.