While finding matchups to exploit is the fun part of daily fantasy football, the not-so-fun part is worrying about matchups you want no part of. Really, it’s not even that hard. DraftKings puts the rankings of the opponent against whatever position right there in front of your face for you to see. Take those with a grain of salt, though, because they aren’t really explained.
One thing you shouldn’t take with a grain of salt (whatever that even means) is the glorious advice we’re giving you here on Breaking Football dot com. Here are 5 DFS matchups to avoid for Week 1 fantasy football success:
Rams offense vs. Seahawks
This one’s as easy as it gets. Seattle was No. 1 in the league in terms of limiting fantasy points to QB and WR last season, and No. 3 in limiting RBs. Nick Foles ($5300) is the new quarterback for the Rams, and he’s, uh, not very good. He found some success in that Chip Kelly offense, but I feel safe assuming he’s not the answer for St. Louis. Combine Foles’ shortcomings with his general lack of surrounding talent (Brian Quick ($4200)? Tavon Austin ($3300)? Kenny Britt ($4800)? and you’ve got an impending disaster slated for Week 1 with the Seahawks coming to town.
Tough to know what to expect from the running game (Todd Gurley ($4800) and Tre Mason ($5000)), either, so avoid all of these fellers.
Colts RBs vs. Bills
“Colts running back” has been a fantasy positional albatross for years, and 2015 isn’t looking much different. Frank Gore ($5400), Dan Herron ($3400) and Vick Ballard ($3000) are the trio that will make-up Indy’s backfield. While Gore’s been a nice, solid player forever, he’s now 32 and playing in a pass-happy offense. Herron and Ballard have hardly seen enough time on an NFL field for us to know what to make of them. This is more about the Bills, though, who rose up to become one of the NFL’s top defenses in 2014. Rex Ryan’s now in the fold, too, so it stands to reason they could be an even more formidable unit this year.
Buffalo ranked No. 5 in the NFL in limiting opposing fantasy RBs last year, while the Colts were a bottom-1o team in terms of rushing. Just say no to Frank Gore in Week 1.
Chargers offense vs. Lions
Sure, the Chargers’ offense is chock-full of fun names. Philip Rivers ($7100) is always solid. Keenan Allen ($7100), Malcom Floyd ($5300) and even Stevie Johnson ($3700) have all been known to go off every now-and-then. Lardarius Green ($3700) seems oozing with upside (especially with Antonio Gates suspended). Melvin Gordon ($5500) could be the next superstar running back in the league. All of these things are true.
Sadly, you should wait on deploying any Chargers until after Week 1. They’ve got the Lions on the schedule for that Sunday afternoon. While it’s kinda hard to separate “Lions” from “LOL” generally, the Lions were actually a really good defense last year! Of course, Ndamukong Suh fled to Miami, which hurts, but they did replace him with Haloti Ngata. This is a talented defense that was near the top in limiting points to QB, RB and WR in fantasy in 2014.
You stay undrafted (this week), San Diego.
Alex Smith and Travis Kelce (Chiefs) vs. Texans
Looking at how Houston’s defense performed in fantasy last season produced some strange results. They were one of the best teams in the league in terms of limiting fantasy output from both quarterbacks and tight ends, though they were the 4th-worst unit in stopping wide receivers. How does this make sense? I have no idea.
Anyway, the Texans draw a matchup with the Chiefs in Week 1, which should be interesting. KC famously finished last season with a grand total of zero touchdowns from any of their receivers in 2014. This meant, of course, that all 18 of Alex Smith’s ($6200) touchdown passes went to either a tight end or a back. Travis Kelce ($4800) and Jamaal Charles ($7900) were tied for the team lead with 5 receiving scores apiece.
Rather than endure another season of hapless receiver play, the Chiefs made a big splash during the offseason by throwing a bunch of money at Jeremy Maclin ($6900), luring him over from the Eagles. If he can stay healthy (pretty big-time IF), he’s already far superior than any of the spares the Chiefs were lining up out wide a year ago.
I do like Kelce quite a lot this season, but I’m gonna have to give him the #fade against a Houston team that didn’t allow much to TEs in 2014.
Running backs in Broncos-Ravens
C.J. Anderson ($7000) and Justin Forsett ($6200) are the headliners in the backfield for these respective teams. While I think both should have fine enough seasons (Anderson in particular, assuming he gets the carries), it’s hard to be overly optimistic about either in the first week of the season.
Anderson could be in for a nice year with the run-happy Gary Kubiak at the helm of the Broncos, but he’s also got a bit of a crowded backfield alongside Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman. I’d be fine deploying him if he weren’t facing a Baltimore team that was tops in the league in stifling opposing fantasy RBs a year ago.
Forsett enjoyed a resurgent 2014 (under Kubiak, no less), but is now 30, which is the magical age when RBs begin to slow down or fall apart altogether. Combine my skepticism regarding Forsett with the fact that Denver, too, was solid in stopping the run (9th in limiting fantasy RBs) and you’ve got yourself a a big bag of “No thanks, Justin Forsett”.