Week 1 Matchups: Boom and Bust
Fantasy football is played on a weekly basis, and each player's schedule can impact their performances. Here is a look at some players with good matchups and players who appear to have good matchups but really don't.
Boom: Matthew Stafford vs Vikings - Stafford was a fantasy disappointment in 2012, but he should start the 2013 season off on a positive note. Stafford gets the Vikings at home, and while Minnesota is known as a physical team, they are not known to have the strongest secondary. Calvin Johnson should be able to have his way with the Vikings' defensive backs which will aid in padding Stafford's fantasy stats. If you drafted a QB late or have doubts about other QBs on your roster, role with Stafford this week because he has a great matchup at home.
Noteable Booms: Michael Vick @ Washington, Roethlisberger vs Tennessee
Bust: Geno Smith vs Tampa Bay - Most fantasy owners would not even think of starting a Jets QB anytime during the 2013 season, and therefore putting Geno Smith on a bust list seems a little obvious. However, this week the Jets are going against the team that allowed the most passing yards last season, and this could cause some fantasy owners to get a little too frisky. Just remember Revis now plays for Tampa Bay and the Buccaneers will not have the worst passing defense in 2013.
Boom: Ahmad Bradshaw vs Raiders - If only Bradshaw did not miss every preseason snap, then fantasy owners would be very excited to start him in week 1 against the Raiders. Running Backs always seem to have great games when they go up against the Raiders, and the Colts are gearing up for a powerful rushing attack. Pay close attention to this game, and if Bradshaw gets the start, he should have a great start to the season.
Noteable Booms: Shane Vereen @ Buffalo, Lamar Miller @ Cleveland
Bust: Isaac Redman vs Titans - The Steelers' recent history says they don't like to carry strong offensive lines, and they do not have the most explosive running backs suiting up for their game against Tennessee. On paper this looks like a safe match up to play Redman, but there are other RBs in Pittsburgh that should get some playing time and the Titans showed they are going to be a much more physical team this year.
Boom: Brian Hartline @ Browns - The Browns were quite generous to wide receivers last year, well those that were not being covered by Mr. Haden. Mike Wallace will have the honor of going against Joe Haden in this game, and that should lead to increased targets for Hartline.
Noteable Booms: Steve Johnson vs New England, Pierre Garcon vs Philadelphia
Bust: Jets WR vs Tampa Bay - Again this is obvious to most fantasy owners. Just don't get fooled by the fact the Bucs had the worst passing defense last year.
Boom: Brent Celek @ Washington - Celek is an interesting player this year. He was a fantasy stud in the past, but he was a fantasy disappointment after that. This is a new year, and the Eagles need to find a player that can keep the chains moving and fill the void left by Maclin. The opportunity for Celek to be successful is there, and when you notice he starts the season off against the team that gave up the most fantasy points to tight ends last year, Celek makes for a solid play in week 1.
Noteable Booms: Scott Chandler vs New England, Zach Miller @ Carolina
Bust: Antonio Gates vs Houston - On paper this match up makes it look like Gates could get off to a good start in 2013. Last year only 6 teams gave up more fantasy points to tight ends than Houston. But last year the Texans did not have Brian Cushing. Cushing is back, and he should be able to clog up the middle of the field which will limit Gates opportunities. The Texans should pull ahead in this one which will force the Chargers to air it out, but be cautious when starting Gates as the match up numbers are deceptive.
Boom: Tampa Bay @ Jets - The Buccaneers and their restructured secondary get to test out their new skills against a rookie QB. Nuff said.
Bust: Rams vs Cardinals - The Cardinals had the worst offense in the league last year, but they made several upgrades during the offseason. Palmer and Mendenhall are huge upgrades for Arizona and the Rams defense will be tested. Don't get fooled by the numbers showing the Cardinals as a good matchup for defenses, Arizona's offense should be very strong in 2013 and Fitzgerald will have a bounce back year.