The 2014 NFL season week 1 has arrived as we look at ten matchups that will have direct impact on fantasy outcomes. The first matchup that stands out is Andrew Luck going against two of the NFL’s top sack specialists In Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware. While the matchup isn’t a direct matchup such as a running back verse a linebacker or wide receiver verse a cornerback it is still one that could determine not only the outcome of the game but also a direct impact on fantasy.
The two defensive play makers are coming off a down year combining for only 11 total sacks due mostly to injuries and games missed. In 2012 Miller finished with a career high 18.5 sacks while Ware finished with 19.5 sacks in 2011.
Here are ten matchups in week 1 that will have a direct impact on fantasy outcomes.
Andrew Luck verse Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware: If the Indianapolis Colts offensive line doesn’t protect Luck against two of the NFL’s top defensive players it could be a long day. Fantasy owners are expecting a big season from the Colts quarterback but week 1 might be a difficult week to start him.
A.J. Green verse Jimmy Smith: The Cincinnati Bengals star wide receiver should have the Baltimore Ravens best corner on him for most of the game. We like this matchup as Smith has missed some time this camp after sustaining an injury to his chest.
Antonio Brown verse Joe Haden: Brown was one of the top wide receivers in the NFL last season and fantasy owners expect the same results this season. Look for the Cleveland Browns to put their top cornerback on him for most of the game. This matchup could go either way but should be good information for future matchups.
Roddy White, Julio Jones verse Jairus Byrd: The New Orleans Saints went out this off-season and signed the top safety on the board in Byrd. The Atlanta Falcons should test him early and often with two of the best deep ball wide receivers in the NFL. We like both receivers to have a big game in week 1.
Robert Griffin III verse J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney: Griffin has the althetic ability to be a play maker at the quarterback but has not shown it at times this preseason. This should be a good test for Griffin going against a player of Watt’s caliber. We like the Houston Texans tandem in this matchup.
Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline verse Darrelle Revis: Revis island will make a trip to Miami as the New England Patriots take on the Dolphins. In the past Revis has typically been played to one side of the field giving him matchups against both Wallace and Hartline. Look for the Dolphins to try and get Wallace lined up against one of the other Dolphins cornerbacks.
Frank Gore verse Dallas Cowboy defense: All we have heard this off-season is how bad the Cowboys defense will be. If that’s the case Gore should have a field day as well as the rest of the San Francisco 49ers offense. If the Cowboys defensive line can’t get to him in the backfield a 150-200 yard day could be in his future.
Carolina Panthers Secondary verse Tampa Bay Buccaneers receivers: The Panthers secondary will have a difficult task in week 1 trying to limit the Buccaneers tall wide receiver and tight ends. Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins all have extrodinary height that should produce some points in the red zone.
Geno Smith verse Justin Tuck: The New York Jets quarterback has had many fantasy experts putting him on the fantasy breakout list. Week 1 against the Oakand Raiders should be a good test for him as newly acquired Justin Tuck will look to force the second year quarterback to make mistakes. In the end we don’t expect the outcome to come down to the play of Smith but how well the two teams run the ball.
Eric Decker verse Oakland Raiders secondary: The former Denver Broncos wide receiver received a big contract this off-season to be the Jets number one receiver. This will be his chance to prove critics wrong that he has the talent to put up fantasy stats without Peyton Manning throwing him the ball. We like Decker in week 1 against the Raiders secondary.