Fantasy Matchups to Exploit for Quarterbacks in Week 1


Heading into Week 1 of the 2019 NFL season it can be tough to get a good feel for how defensive matchups are going to shake out.

We have data from last year, but with personnel and scheme changes abound, it's important to take a closer look at who is and isn't in a good spot this week.

These three quarterbacks find themselves in terrific spots with matchups to exploit in Week 1.

1. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs San Francisco 49ers

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Jameis Winston started only nine games in 2018, but he averaged a strong 19.3 fantasy points in those contests. To open the 2019 season he gets a matchup with a San Francisco 49ers team that allowed 19.4 fantasy points per game to the position in 2018. The Niners roll out much the same secondary as they did last season, when they finished only 27th in Football Outsiders' pass defense DVOA rankings. They allowed the NFL's third-most adjusted yards per pass attempt (AY/A) in 2018, and this matchup positions Winston well to get into a potential shootout in a game with a 51-point over/under on FanDuel Sportsbook.

2. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks vs Cincinnati Bengals

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Another team returning their entire starting secondary that probably shouldn't be, the Cincinnati Bengals also finished bottom-five in AY/A and were one of only four teams to allow 20-plus fantasy points per game to opposing QBs. Russell Wilson may not get the chance to put up a ton of volume this week — the Seahawks were the NFL's most run-heavy team in 2018 — but volume is rarely what bolsters his value. Wilson's fantasy upside in a run-first offense comes from strong efficiency, and a matchup with the Bengals should allow that kind of efficiency in Week 1.

3. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins

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There were six instances of a QB rushing for at least 95 yards in a game in the 2018 regular season. Two of these games came against the Miami Dolphins, while two of the remaining four belonged to Lamar Jackson. You couldn't ask for a much better stylistic matchup than that. It wasn't hard to throw against Miami in 2018 either, and they finished bottom-10 in both pass defense DVOA and AY/A. They also lost their top-three edge rushers from 2018 to free agency, and the additions of cornerback Eric Rowe and defensive tackle Christian Wilkins aren't likely to be enough to make their defense significantly better against the pass in 2019.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.