We have finally reached Week 1 of the 2018 NFL Season. With a new NFL season comes expectations and curiosity surrounding teams and their respective players. Across the NFL, there are several key matchups in Week 1 that weigh heavy in a team’s potential growth. Week 1 also means a new fantasy season. For fantasy team owners it has become imperative to identify the matchups that can benefit your team as a whole. The WR vs. CB matchup can determine success from week-to-week. Due to the gravity, it is vital to identify matchups your team can exploit. Here, I will give you several key WR vs. CB matchups to look out for Week 1 of this new season.
Matchup of the Week
Odell Beckham Jr (NYG). vs. Jalen Ramsey: (JAX)
Get your popcorn ready, because this matchup with be pure entertainment. Arguably two of the most talented players at their respective positions, this matchup will be a dogfight. Beckham’s speed and elusiveness matched with Ramey’s physical and mental ability to impose his will, will be something NFL fans across the league will enjoy. Coming off an injury to his ankle, Odell Beckham Jr. has a lot to prove to NFL spectators across the world. With a new coaching staff and contract, Beckham will walk into this matchup with a fresh start and a desire to exploit Ramsey and the Jacksonville Jaguars defense. However, Ramsey has stated confidence in his ability to dampen Odell’s success. Ramey has become known as a player to bluntly express his opinion. For the reason, both of these players are so talented and the need for both teams to start off on the right foot, I see the Odell Beckham Jr. vs. Jalen Ramsey matchup the most important WR. Vs. CB matchup of Week 1.
WR vs CB: Advantage WR
Michael Thomas vs. Buccaneers Secondary:
Unfortunately, for the Buccaneers Week 1 has been come with uncertainty. Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston being suspended for the first 4 games giving Ryan Fitzpatrick the opportunity to start has caused a sense of uneasiness for the Buccaneers. The Buccaneers also have one of the toughest first-4 game stretches across the entire league which has added to their wavering. In addition, 4x Pro-Bowler Brent Grimes has been ruled out for the opening match up against the New Orleans Saints. This is a huge blow for the Buccaneers secondary. Brent Grimes has been one of the most consistent pieces of the Tampa Bay defense and without his efforts Week 1 against the Saints the secondary has the potential to be exploited. Even with the rising Vernon Hargreaves, the Buccaneers secondary will struggle against Michael Thomas and the Saints offense because of the absence of Brent Grimes and potential lack of cohesion.
Stefon Diggs (MIN) vs. Richard Sherman (SF):
This matchup will prove the worth of these respective players. Coming off a ruptured achilles tendon there is uncertainty surrounding Richard Sherman. With limited action in both training camp and preseason, it is difficult to gauge if Sherman has returned to old form. Therefore, the Minnesota Vikings will indeed attempt to exploit that uncertainty. I expect the Vikings to attack Sherman heavily Week 1, even though in years past he has proven why he is considered one of the best in the business. Diggs, like Beckham, has also received a new contract adding incentive to perform at a high level. In 2017 Diggs became one of the most important pieces to the Vikings offense and that will not change in 2018 (example: Diggs vs. the Saints secondary). With Sherman coming off a significant injury and the rise of Stefon Diggs, I deem this WR vs. CB matchup one of the best we will see early in the new season.
Antonio Brown vs. Browns Secondary:
Need I say more? This matchup is arguably the league’s best WR vs. arguably the leagues worse secondary? Even though the Cleveland Browns are on the rise, this matchup is one Antonio Browns and the Steelers offense have the advantage. With new Browns General Manager John Dorsey in charge, the Cleveland roster has experienced almost a complete turnover. A newly generated roster can mean that it may take patience for it to maturate. I believe the Browns secondary will experience growing pains throughout the first portion of the season. For the reason that According to Pro Football Reference, Tony Toe-Tap himself has averaged 109 yards per game against the Browns in his career, and I don’t expect for that to slow done in Week 1. Note: There are some serious weather concerns in Cleveland. Please keep that mind and play AB with CAUTION
WR vs CB: Advantage CB
Malcolm Butler vs. Dolphins Wide Receivers:
After coming over from the New England Patriots, the new addition to the Titans secondary will be excited to show off all the tools Belichick failed to utilize in the 2017 Super Bowl against the Eagles. With the compliment of also former Patriot Logan Ryan, the Titan CBs have the potential to stymie the Dolphins WRs. Being likely out for Week 1 with a finger injury, Devante Parker will be unable to bolster the Miami offense. Besides free agent acquisition Danny Amendola, there is speculation as to who will emerge as another passing target. Kenny Stills has been inconsistent at times. Since the Titans have two Pro-Bowl caliber CBs and the Dolphins with no real leader, I give the advantage to Tennessee on this one.
Marcus Peters vs. Raiders Wide Receivers:
It’s safe to say, Marcus Peters is a dog. With some of the best instincts in the league coupled with relentless effort and attitude, I give him the advantage over the Raiders WR’s. Even though the Oakland Raiders have acquired proven star Jordy Nelson, I do expect the Raiders to struggle. Amari Cooper needs redemption after a 2017 campaign full of dropped passes. The Rams also have one of the best defenses in the league on paper. On the other side of Peters happens to be Aqib Talib. That is a one-two punch if I ever seen one. Jon Gruden is the new head man in charge in Oakland. No one truly has an idea of what his offense will look like with Derek Carr under center. This is a reason why there is uncertainty surrounding this team and its offense. For that reason, I give the Rams CB’s the advantage of the Raiders WR’s.