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Fantasy Football | WR-CB matchups to exploit in Week 2

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 14: Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) reacts in the second half of the NFC Divisional Playoff game between the Seattle Seahawks and Atlanta Falcons on January 14, 2017, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA. The Atlanta Falcons won the game 36-20. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire)
(Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire)

When constructing your fantasy football and daily fantasy lineups, your process should include many things. The film, Vegas splits and BvP are all things to examine prior to making any lineup decisions.

But perhaps the most important part of your research each week should be the matchup itself.

With that in mind, below you will find three wide receivers that are in excellent matchups for Week 2 of NFL action.

The lock:

Atlanta Falcons’ Julio Jones versus Green Bay Packers’ Damarious Randall

Jones is the top fantasy wide receiver for Week 2. While he should always be in your season long lineups every week, you will want to be sure to force him into your DFS entries at all cost this weekend. There are a lot of reasons to love him:

  • Jones has averaged 6.9 receptions for 112.8 yards and 0.5 touchdowns at home since 2014.
  • Jones went off for 180 yards and two touchdowns the last time he played the Packers.
  • Finally, the last six times he was held under 70 yards, as he was in Week 1, he had a 100-yard game and/or a touchdown in each of the following contests.

But the biggest reason to love Jones this Sunday is the matchup itself.

According to Pro Football Focus, Jones has run 44 percent of his routes from the left side since 2016. If this rings true again this week, he will spend the majority of his time lined up against the Packers’ Damarious Randall.

The Green Bay corner has lined up on the left side 72 percent of the time. He has allowed 0.48 fantasy points per route run since 2016.

And don’t worry about the other 46 percent of the time that Jones is not on the left side. The Falcons’ pass catcher still is sitting pretty. After one week of the 2017 season, the Packers have the 30th-ranked DVOA against No. 1 wide receivers according to the Football Outsiders. They were ranked 28th against the position last season.

And according to Sharp Football Stats, his success rate at different points on the field aligns almost identical to the spots in which the Packers have struggled since the start of 2016.

The Week 2 matchup against the Packers is an excellent spot for Jones to exploit. Have plenty of exposure to him in DFS with confidence this weekend.

The value:

Arizona Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald vs. Indianapolis Colts’ Nate Hairston

A week after seeing 13 targets in the passing game, the Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald may find himself in an even better spot in Week 2. The ageless Fitzgerald does most of his work for the Cardinals’ offense from the slot. Since the start of the 2016 season, he has lined up in the position 64 percent of the time, according to Pro Football Focus.

Assuming that trend continues this weekend, Fitzgerald will tangle mostly with the Colts’ Nate Hairston. The Indianapolis corner has struggled to be effective in the NFL. Hairston owns a 49.7 overall grade on PFF, which they classify as a poor ranking.

Besides the excellent matchup against the Colts, you also have to take into account that the Cardinals have lost David Johnson for a while. Besides Fitzgerald, the all-purpose running back was the Cardinals’ favorite red-zone target.

According to Sharp Football Stats, with Johnson’s wrist injury, the Cardinals will not have recipients of 28 of their last 89 red zone targets on the field in Week. The one guy they will have, Fitzgerald, has 23 of these targets since the start of the 2016 season.

The contrarian play:

Los Angeles Rams’ Cooper Kupp vs. Washington Redskins’ Kendall Fuller

Kupp burst onto the season last week with a four-reception, 76-yard, one-touchdown showing against the Indianapolis Colts.

The rookie pass catcher shows promise again this week. He will spend most of his time lined up against the Redskins’ Fuller. The Washington corner has allowed 0.35 fantasy points per route run since 2016, according to Pro Football Focus. That is tied for 12th-highest among cornerbacks entering Week 2 of the 2017 season.

Of course, it was just one game but Kupp showed a lot of success on the right side.

That so happens to be the same side that the Redskins have been burned for 45.8 percent of their receiving touchdowns allowed since the start of the 2016 campaign.

Get off the beaten path in fantasy this week. Kupp should be in play.

All three of these pass catchers are in plus matchups for Week 2 and should be of use for your fantasy teams this weekend.

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