The Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants will have plenty of options for your fantasy team in Week 1 — whether you’re playing on a DFS site like Draft Kings or Fan Duel or standard scoring like ESPN or Yahoo Fantasy — but one standout you probably drafted early will be hard pressed to produce many points for you.
ESPN’s Mike Clay thinks Odell Beckham Jr. is going to have one of the toughest matchups of any fantasy wide receiver in Week 1 and that’s because he’ll have to deal primarily with cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye, arguably the best pair of cover corners in the NFL.
Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr. vs. Jaguars’ Jalen Ramsey (shadow)
The big showdown of Week 1 will feature the now-healthy and well-paid Beckham vs. one of the game’s top corners in Ramsey. Ramsey doesn’t shadow exclusively, but chased the likes of Antonio Brown, Kelvin Benjamin, DeAndre Hopkins, T.Y. Hilton, Larry Fitzgerald and A.J. Green last season. That suggests he’ll be in charge of keeping Beckham in check in Week 1.
Even if Beckham dodges Ramsey occasionally, A.J. Bouye (position-best 31.6 QB rating allowed last season) is just about as good as Ramsey and offers just as much of a challenge. Ramsey aligned in the slot 7 percent of the time last season, but when he did move inside, it was usually to shadow an elite wideout. That could again be the case this week if Beckham gets more run inside (as was reported). Beckham needs to be downgraded in what will be one of the toughest matchups of 2018. Meanwhile, Sterling Shepard gets the upgrade against new Jags slot corner D.J. Hayden.
On the flip side, Clay believes Dede Westbrook could be a sneaky good pickup as a flex option, going against Donte Deayon.
Beckham is coming off a season-ending injury that forced him to miss 12 games last season, but before he went out he recorded double-digit fantasy totals in three of his four games. I don’t think Ramsey completely blanks Beckham but the combination of a stellar Jaguars defensive line pressuring beleaguered quarterback Eli Manning and the improvement the Jaguars secondary has made this past offseason should be cause of concern for Beckham owners.