NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 2 Preview: Fantasy football advice, betting tips and matchups to watch

2M7F4XB Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) plays against the Detroit Lions during an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

• An intriguing matchup for Thursday Night Football: Justin Jefferson caught nine of his 12 targets for 150 yards in Week 1 as he continues his reign as the most dominant receiver in the NFL. And with James Bradberry out for TNF, Jefferson should have another double-digit target day.

• A battle in the trenches this Thursday: Lane Johnson is the NFL’s best right tackle, but he’ll have his hands full with Danielle Hunter in Week 2. Hunter recorded two hurries and a sack in Week 1 and finally looks healthy. But if Johnson can neutralize him on Thursday, the Vikings don’t have a lot of other options to create pressure on the defensive line.

• Get ahead of the game: PFF's Best Bets Tool uses PFF data to uncover the biggest edges in the betting market. Click here to see the best bets for this week.

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

WR:CB Matchup Chart

Minnesota Vikings vs. Philadelphia Eagles (-7)

Matchup to watch: Eagles RT Lane Johnson vs. Vikings EDGE Danielle Hunter

Johnson is the NFL’s best right tackle, but he’ll have his hands full with Hunter in Week 2. Hunter recorded two hurries and a sack in Week 1 and finally looks healthy. But if Johnson can neutralize him on Thursday, the Vikings don’t have a lot of other options to create pressure on the defensive line.

Fantasy breakout: WR DeVonta Smith

Smith had a solid performance in Week 1, catching seven passes for 47 yards and a touchdown. But he averaged just 6.7 yards per reception and 1.27 yards per route run. He should have no problem going way over 50 yards in Week 2, as the Vikings have one of the worst cornerback rooms in the league.

Favorite bet: Vikings WR Justin Jefferson over 7.5 receptions (+114)

Jefferson caught nine of his 12 targets for 150 yards in Week 1 as he continues his reign as the most dominant receiver in the NFL. And with James Bradberry out for this matchup, Jefferson should have another double-digit target day. Considering you are getting plus money on the over, betting on Jefferson to more than 7.5 receptions is the sharp bet.

Los Angeles Chargers (-3) vs. Tennessee Titans

Matchup to watch: Titans WR Treylon Burks vs. Chargers CB J.C. Jackson

Jackson was one of the most disappointing performers of Week 1, as he allowed 99 yards and a touchdown in coverage. Plus, his defensive pass interference call before halftime gave the Dolphins a free field goal with no time left. He’ll see a ton of Burks, who was held to just 18 yards against the Saints.

Fantasy breakout: WR DeAndre Hopkins

Hopkins had a solid debut for the Titans, totaling 65 yards on seven catches. But he saw 13 targets against one of the best secondaries in the league. Now, he'll face a defense that allowed 466 yards to the Dolphins. Look for Hopkins to see double-digit targets this week and get into the end zone at least once.

Favorite bet: Under 45 (-110)

The Chargers won't be as bad on defense this week, and the Titans struggle to throw the ball down the field effectively. Expect both teams to run the ball a lot in neutral game scripts and for the points to come at a premium.

PFF's Best Bets Tool uses PFF data to uncover the biggest edges in the betting market. Click here to see the best bets for this game.

Green Bay Packers (-1.5) vs. Atlanta Falcons

Matchup to watch: Packers WR Romeo Doubs vs. Falcons CB A.J. Terrell

Doubs scored two touchdowns last week, but that was against a weak Bears secondary. Now, he'll face A.J. Terrell, who earned a 78.2 PFF grade and gave up just 19 yards in the season opener. Don’t expect Doubs to create many big plays in this game after a strong Week 1 performance.

Fantasy breakout: WR Drake London

London received just one target in Week 1, mostly due to the game script and the effectiveness of the running game. But the Falcons have to get him more involved this week, and he’ll have a significant size advantage against the cornerbacks of the Packers. Look for Arthur Smith to get his top weapon six-plus targets in Week 2.

Favorite bet: Over 40.5 (-110)

Both teams can run the ball efficiently and know how to use their running backs in the passing game, but expect both offenses to open up their passing game some more and take shots down the field. This won’t be the highest-scoring game of the week, but over 40.5 points is a good bet here in Atlanta.

Indianapolis Colts (-1.5) vs. Houston Texans

Matchup to watch: Colts RT Braden Smith vs. Texans EDGE Will Anderson Jr.

Anderson had a strong NFL debut, recording five total pressures across 26 pass-rush snaps. This week, he'll face one of the better right tackles in the NFL in Smith. If the Colts want to succeed in Week 2, they've got to find a way to slow down the No. 3 overall pick from the 2023 NFL Draft.

Fantasy fade: WR Michael Pittman Jr.

Pittman had a strong game in Week 1, totaling 97 yards and a touchdown. But that was against the secondary of the Jaguars, which is weak outside of Tyson Campbell. He'll have a much tougher task in Week 2, as Derek Stingley Jr. and Steven Nelson are one of the better cornerback duos in the league.

Favorite bet: Over 40 (-110)

This is one of the week's lowest totals, and it makes sense as the two teams combined to score 30 points in Week 1. However, expect the rookie quarterbacks to play better in their second start. This won’t be a high-scoring game, but both teams should be able to score 20-plus points.

PFF’s WR/CB Matchup Chart is a fantasy football tool you can use to help set the best lineups. You can toggle between showing the Matchup Advantage column against all projected coverage, or the individual defenders.

Seattle Seahawks vs. Detroit Lions (-5.5)

Matchup to watch: Seahawks WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba vs. Lions S Brian Branch

The Lions will use multiple slot defenders against Smith-Njigba, but expect this to be a heavy rookie-on-rookie matchup in Week 2. Smith-Njigba was pretty quiet in Week 1 but is poised to have a strong game against Branch this week.

Fantasy breakout: D.K. Metcalf

Metcalf was held in check in Week 1, totaling just 47 yards on five targets. However, he'll have a fantastic matchup in Week 2, as the outside cornerbacks for the Lions are banged up. If the Seahawks can protect Geno Smith, Metcalf should have a bounce-back performance against the Lions.

Favorite bet: Over 47 (-110)

This was one of the highest-scoring matchups of the 2022 season, as the two teams combined for 93 points in Week 4. Don’t expect those types of fireworks this year, but both offenses should be able to score 25-plus points in Week 2.

Chicago Bears vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3)

Matchup to watch:  Bears RT Darnell Wright vs. Buccaneers EDGE Joe Tryon-Shoyinka

Wright was fantastic against the Packers, dominating in the run game. He allowed five total pressures but didn't give up a sack or QB hit. He'll have another challenging task ahead of him as Tryon-Shoyinka, who is looking to bounce back from a disappointing performance against the Vikings.

Fantasy breakout: WR Chris Godwin

Godwin was held in check in Week 1 after seeing a ton of Byron Murphy Jr. in coverage, though he’ll have a much better matchup this week against the inexperienced cornerbacks of the Bears. Look for Baker Mayfield to feed Godwin the ball early and often, as he could eclipse double-digit targets in this matchup.

Favorite bet:  Bears +3

The Bears played an awful game against the Packers in Week 1. But there is just no way that Baker Mayfield and the Buccaneers should be a 3-point favorite over anyone despite their win against the Vikings. Take the Bears and the points and expect a much better performance by them in Week 2.

Las Vegas Raiders vs. Buffalo Bills (-9)

Matchup to watch: Raiders WR Davante Adams vs. Bills CB Tre’Davious White

Adams had a better day in Week 1 than the box score suggests, as he drew a key pass interference call in the red zone against Patrick Surtain II. He’ll have another tough task in Week 2, as White is one of the top cornerbacks in the league. If White can slow down Adams, that should allow the Bills to keep the passing game in check of the Raiders.

Fantasy breakout or fade: Breakout TE Dalton Kincaid

Kincaid had a disappointing Week 1 performance, as he totaled just 26 yards. However, he was on the field for 80% of the offensive plays for the Bills. Bigger days are coming for him, and this could be a strong matchup against the weaker linebackers and safeties of the Raiders.

Favorite bet: Under 47 points (-110)

With the status of Jakobi Meyers up in the air after suffering a concussion in Week 1, the Raiders don't have a lot of other options in the passing game. Meanwhile, the Bills are coming off a short week, and the Raiders appear to be much improved on defense this season.

PFF’s fantasy football rankings include ranks from our experts, projections and our strength of schedule metric.

Kansas City Chiefs (-3) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Matchup to watch:  Chiefs TE Travis Kelce vs. Jaguars LB Devin Lloyd

One of the most fascinating matchups of Week 2 will be Kelce against the defense of the Jaguars. Kelce's health will be a major storyline, but the Jaguars have some long, athletic linebackers and safeties that can cover. But as we saw in the postseason last year, that doesn't really matter, as Kelce caught 14 passes. If the Jaguars want any chance of upsetting the Chiefs in Week 2, they must find a way to slow down the Chiefs' top target.

Fantasy breakout or fade: Breakout WR Christian Kirk

Kirk had a very quiet Week 1, catching just one pass for nine yards. But he’ll have a much easier matchup in Week 2 and should see a lot of volume. Calvin Ridley and Kirk are both excellent options this week in what should be a high-scoring contest in Jacksonville.

Favorite bet: Chiefs -3

After their disappointing home loss in Week 1, expect Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes to bounce back, especially since Travis Kelce and Chris Jones are expected to play this week. This will be a close game, but take the Chiefs to win and cover on the road.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5)

Matchup to watch: Bengals RT Jonah Williams vs. Ravens EDGE Jadeveon Clowney

The entire offensive line struggled for the Bengals in Week 1, especially Jonah Williams. In his first career start at right tackle, he allowed three pressures, one QB hit, and one sack on 36 pass-blocking snaps. He’ll be tested again this week against Odafe Oweh and Jadeveon Clowney, who both offer size and athleticism on the edge.

Fantasy breakout: WR Tee Higgins

Higgins did not catch a single pass on eight targets in Week 1, so it’s nearly impossible for him to be worse. This is a strong matchup for him, as the Ravens don't have any viable outside cornerbacks on their roster right now. With Ja'Marr Chase likely to draw double teams from the Ravens, expect this to be a monster bounce-back week for Higgins and the entire offense of the Bengals.

Favorite bet: Ravens +3.5 (-110)

The Ravens have some major issues in their secondary, but they should be able to keep this game close with their offense and special teams unit. And if they do get Marlon Humphrey back for Week 2, it will provide a major jolt to the defense. But even without him, the Ravens are a good bet here as a 3.5-point underdog in an AFC North matchup.

New York Giants (-4.5) vs. Arizona Cardinals

Matchup to watch: Cardinals RT Paris Johnson Jr. vs. Giants EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux

Thibodeaux played 42 snaps in Week 1 but was unable to record a single pressure. He did line up a ton against Cowboys LT Tyron Smith, so maybe he'll have more success against Johnson, who is making the second start of his career. But that certainly isn’t a guarantee, as Johnson did not allow a single pressure on 62 snaps on Sunday.

Fantasy fade: RB James Conner

Conner received 19 touches in Week 1 but could only total 70 yards against the Commanders. He did not get into the end zone, but his fantasy day was saved thanks to five receptions. Don’t expect him to get into the end zone in this game either, as the Giants do have a strong interior defensive line that should stifle the run game of the Cardinals.

Favorite bet: Giants -4.5

The Giants are a much better team than they showed in Week 1 against the Cowboys. Expect their defensive line to take care of business and pressure Joshua Dobbs all game. Despite being a 4.5-point favorite, the Giants are the best bet here on the spread.

PFF's Best Bets Tool uses PFF data to uncover the biggest edges in the betting market. Click here to see the best bets for this game.

San Francisco 49ers (-8.5) vs. Los Angeles Rams

Matchup to watch: 49ers RG Spencer Burford vs. Rams DI Aaron Donald

The right side of the offensive line struggled for the 49ers in Week 1. Burford was the lowest-graded guard coming out of Week 1 after recording a pass-block grade of 11.4. He’ll have another tough task in Week 2 as he’ll take on arguably the best defensive tackle in NFL history. Look for the 49ers to double Donald all game long.

Fantasy breakout: WR Deebo Samuel

Brandon Aiyuk had a massive game in Week 1, catching two touchdowns against the Steelers. But this feels like a Samuel week, as he’s healthy and has historically been an awful matchup for the Rams. In seven career games against the Rams, he’s averaged over 94 yards from scrimmage per game with six total touchdowns. Expect him to have a big performance against the young secondary of the Rams in Week 2.

Favorite bet: 49ers -8

The talent differential in this game is massive, and the only reason this line isn’t in the double-digits is out of respect for Sean McVay and Matthew Stafford. The 49ers should be able to score 30+ points in this game, and it wouldn’t be a shock at all if the Rams came back to earth on offense without Cooper Kupp.

New York Jets vs. Dallas Cowboys (-8.5)

Matchup to watch: Jets RB Breece Hall vs. Cowboys Run Defense

The Dallas Cowboys might have the NFL's best defense but can be exposed in the run game. Hall looked incredible in Week 1, racking up 147 yards on 11 touches. The Jets are expected to increase his workload this week, which could be a problem for the leaky run defense of the Cowboys.

Fantasy fade: WR Garrett Wilson

Wilson had an unbelievable touchdown in Week 1 that salvaged his fantasy day. But don’t expect him to have a big performance in Week 2. Wilson averaged just 48.1 yards per game with Zach Wilson under center last year (10 games), and now he’s facing one of the league’s best secondaries. Better days are coming for Wilson, but he is an easy fade in Week 2.

Favorite bet: Under 40.5 (-110)

As we saw in Week 1, the defense of the Jets will keep them in a ton of games this season. They should be able to run the ball against the Cowboys, keeping this game close. Look for this to be a defensive slugfest, as we could easily see a 17-13 type of game in Dallas in Week 2.

Washington Commanders vs. Denver Broncos (-3.5)

Matchup to watch: Commanders WR Jahan Dotson vs. Broncos CB Damarri Mathis

The Broncos have a significant issue with their No. 2 cornerback spot, as Mathis graded out as the worst cornerback in the NFL last year (27.8). He allowed eight receptions for 95 yards and two touchdowns on nine targets while Patrick Surtain II locked down the other side. That is great news for Dotson, who will likely see Denver’s No. 2 cornerback in Week 2.

Fantasy fade: WR Terry McLaurin

McLaurin will likely see a ton of Surtain in this game, which is bad news for his fantasy value. Surtian allowed just 16 yards on five targets in Week 1 as he mostly followed Davante Adams. McLaurin is still working through turf toe and is clearly not 100% healthy. Consider leaving him on your bench and wait for a better matchup.

Favorite bet: Broncos -3.5

The Broncos still have a fantastic defense and should be able to hold Sam Howell and company under 20 points. As long as Sean Payton can get the offense to play at a functional level, the Broncos should be able to win and cover at home in Week 2.

PFF’s WR/CB Matchup Chart is a fantasy football tool you can use to help set the best lineups. You can toggle between showing the Matchup Advantage column against all projected coverage, or the individual defenders.

Miami Dolphins (-2.5) vs. New England Patriots

Matchup to watch: Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill vs. Patriots CB Jack Jones

Can anyone stop Tyreek Hill? The answer is no. But the Patriots are hoping to contain him after holding him to *only* 149 yards in two games last season. Look for the Patriots to use several different cornerbacks to match up with Hill, including Jones and rookie Christian Gonzalez.

Fantasy breakout or fade: Fade RB Raheem Mostert

Mostert got into the end zone last week, saving his fantasy day. Despite getting the start, Mostert saw just 12 touches and only two targets in the passing game. New England has a strong run defense, and it could be tough sledding again for Mostert in Week 2.

Favorite bet: Under 46.5

The Dolphins have one of the most explosive offenses in the league, but the Patriots are pretty sound on defense. They held the Eagles to just 251 yards on 13 drives. New England will undoubtedly try to control the clock, which could limit the number of possessions (and points) for the Dolphins.

New Orleans Saints (-3.5) vs. Carolina Panthers

Matchup to watch: Saints WR Chris Olave vs. Panthers S Jeremy Chinn

The Panthers love to use Chinn as their nickel cornerback, but they might not be able to get away with that in Week 2. Olave has been playing more snaps in the slot for New Orleans, and he is a matchup nightmare there with his speed and route running. If Chinn can’t handle Olave in the slot, expect either Donte Jackson or C.J. Henderson to slide inside to cover the star receiver of the Saints.

Fantasy breakout: WR Michael Thomas

Thomas had a fine outing in Week 1, catching five passes for 61 yards. He'll face a secondary in Week 2 that lost Jaycee Horn due to an injury. Chris Olave will still get his, but this could be a big week for Thomas.

Favorite bet: Under 46.5 (-110)

Both teams have strong defenses, and early-season divisional games tend to be low-scoring. And with the Panthers struggling to put up points on offense, a 20-14 type of game feels very likely. Take the under here, as points will be hard to come by in this Week 2 primetime matchup.

Cleveland Browns (-2.5) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Matchup to watch: Browns RT Dawand Jones vs. Steelers EDGE T.J. Watt

With All-Pro RT Jack Conklin out for the season due to a knee injury, fourth-round pick Dawand Jones will make the first start of his career. And he’ll be asked to block T.J. Watt, who recorded three sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in Week 1. Jones performed well in the preseason, but this is certainly a much tougher task in his first career start.

Fantasy fade: Fade WR Amari Cooper

Cooper has always struggled on the road, and that's been the same during his career in Cleveland. Last year, he averaged 84.6 yards per game at home and 53.7 yards on the road. Look for the Browns to try to establish the run and limit the number of passes Deshaun Watson has against this fierce pass rush.

Favorite bet: Steelers +2.5

Mike Tomlin is one of the NFL’s best coaches at home in prime time. He also doesn’t lose to the Browns very often. And he is the most successful coach in the league as a home underdog. For all those reasons, expect Pittsburgh to keep this game close and eventually find a way to pull it out at the end.


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