Sometimes, you have one of those fantasy lineups in which you can simply slot players into starting roles and don't have to worry about playing any matchups. Other times, you have huge decisions to make at several positions and have to nail your matchups in order to win on a weekly basis.
Regardless, you should always study the schedule closely. That's why, here, I've analyzed four players who I think will explode this week for fantasy owners due to some really friendly opponents.
If you have one of these four players, get ready to rake in the fantasy points.
Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons
Chances are, if you have Matt Ryan on your fantasy team, you are starting him anyway. And you'll be in luck this week, as he very well could top all fantasy passers to start the year.
Ryan and the Falcons will face a New Orleans Saints team that was dreadful against the pass a season ago. The Saints allowed opposing quarterbacks to score 19.1 fantasy points per week, tying for second-worst in touchdowns allowed (31) and second-worst in yards allowed (4,875).
In a game that should end up being a shootout, Ryan could go absolutely crazy against the Saints. Oh, and if you have Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez, just kick back and enjoy all of your fantasy spoils.
Stevan Ridley, RB, New England Patriots
While Tom Brady owners might be licking their lips—which you shouldn't really do, it's rude—with a matchup against the Buffalo Bills this week, it's Ridley who will end up being the most valuable Patriot for fantasy owners this week.
The Bills gave up a whopping 21.3 fantasy points per week to opposing running backs last year, second-worst in the NFL, and allowed opposing running backs to rush for 17 touchdowns (worst in the NFL) and 1,943 rushing yards (fourth-worst).
Meanwhile, Ridley is coming off an excellent season, rushing for 1,263 yards and 12 touchdowns a year ago. Don't be surprised if he exceeds 100 yards rushing and two touchdowns in this one.
Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins
A season ago, the Philadelphia Eagles allowed the most touchdowns to opposing wide receivers (23) and the sixth-most fantasy points per week (23.1). Then, they got rid of starting cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
Believe it or not, the Eagles secondary is even worse than a year ago, a fact that Garcon and starting quarterback Robert Griffin III should take advantage of, early and often.
Garcon appears to be fully healthy heading into the season, and he is a truly dangerous deep threat that should stretch the top of Philly's weak secondary. Remember, this is a player that accumulated 17 receptions, 275 receiving yards and three touchdowns in a three-game December stretch last season. (That's 15.1 fantasy points per game in standard leagues, folks.)
When he's healthy, he's dangerous. Look for a huge start to the new season for the speedy wideout.
Brent Celek, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
Without question, this is my most surprising sleeper of the week, and starting Celek in your fantasy league would admittedly take a leap of faith.
But perhaps I can entice you with some facts.
A season ago, the Redskins gave up the most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends (9.6 per week), the most receptions to tight ends (105), the most receiving yards to tight ends (1,062) and were tied for third in touchdowns allowed (10).
Plus, Chip Kelly's offense favors tight ends, and Celek remains the starter in Philly. Look for Celek to be a top-six tight end this week and seriously surprise some folks.
Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets always play the smart matchups.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!