There may be less than four months until the NFL season starts, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start thinking about fantasy football now. My list won’t include any games from Weeks 14-17.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots – Week 1
It would be hard not to make a list of key matchups without including a Steelers/Patriots game. Two of the best fantasy players in years past will be missing from the Steelers roster, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. For the Patriots, they aren’t the dominant fantasy team they used to be, but will still have some success from Tom Brady, Sony Michel, James White, and Julian Edelman.
2. New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams – Week 2
Are you surprised? This game includes Drew Brees, Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods and more. All these players will be starters on any team. I would bet on this being the best game of the year.
3. Los Angeles Rams at Cleveland Browns – Week 3
Even though I am a Browns fan, it still feels weird to include them on a list of best fantasy matchups. Now, you might be crazy not to draft at least one Brown in the first 15 picks. This will be the Browns’ first chance to prove they are legit on national television and against a top team. One established offense versus one promising offense on paper, for now.
4. Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers – Week 4
The Eagles are known for their defense, but their offense has quietly become one of the best in the league. With the Packers, they are expected to have a great offense every year that Aaron Rodgers is at the helm, but last year, that wasn’t completely true. However, the expectation is that they can improve after making a coaching change. All I know is that Rodgers is still one of the best quarterbacks in the league, especially in fantasy. He also has quite possibly the best fantasy receiver in the league with Davante Adams and an underrated running back with Aaron Jones. With the Eagles, Carson Wentz has a chance to go back to 2017 form if he stays healthy, the running backs are a committee, but they all have a chance for success, and Zach Ertz and Alshon Jeffery are some of the best receivers in the league.
5. Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs – Week 5
Finally, I get to include one of the best offenses from last year with the Chiefs. They may be missing a few pieces, but that shouldn’t affect them from scoring a ton on every team. Patrick Mahomes should take a step back, but still, be one of the top quarterbacks. If Tyreek Hill has no repercussions, he is a fantasy stud and Travis Kelce is the best tight end in the league with Gronk gone. Now that Andrew Luck is back to being himself, they also have one of the best offenses with an improved receiving core, including TY Hilton and Eric Ebron. This matchup wasn’t great in the playoffs, but I expect it to be higher scoring for both teams this season.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns – Week 11
The second Thursday Night Football game on this list, which is interesting since those haven’t always been the best matchups. With this one, we get a rivalry game that hasn’t been as contested in years past but should be this year. Roethlisberger vs. Mayfield, JuJu vs. Odell, Conner vs. Chubb. Who will score more points? It will be the first matchup between the two in the season. I know who I am taking, but we’ll see what happens.
7. Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Chargers – Week 11
Seeing that the Chiefs still have one of the best offenses and the reigning NFL MVP, I had to include them on the list again. We didn’t get a Mexico City game last year, but hopefully, we’ll be able to make up for missing out on it with a high-scoring matchup between these two there. Not only is it another division rivalry game, but it’s also a Monday Night Football game. It’s two of the best offenses in the AFC facing off with a huge impact on their division title chances.
8. New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons – Week 13
Once again, we have a division rivalry game on the list. It’s a matchup of two of the best offenses in the NFC and we get to see it at primetime on Thanksgiving. The Falcons were 0-2 last year against the Saints, including a loss on Thanksgiving, so they’ll want to redeem themselves. We know the Saints are a top offense, but the Falcons played worse than expected last year. They have a new offensive coordinator with Dirk Koetter and return most of their offense with Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman, Julio Jones, and Calvin Ridley. This game has a quiet chance of being a high scoring fantasy matchup.