- Former NFL safety Matt Bowen is a veteran of four teams over seven seasons, and now provides analysis for ESPN Insider.
Every Thursday during the 2022 NFL season, Matt Bowen will break down players’ fantasy football value, through the lens of a former NFL safety. And he’ll mix it up, too. The matchups to play (or avoid), scheme trends, tape study and more.
With two weeks of regular-season tape at our disposal, we’re starting to see offensive trends around the league — scheme, player deployment and matchup-based concepts that create fantasy production. And based off what I’m seeing on the screen, we can identify the players to upgrade, downgrade and monitor heading into the Week 3 slate of games.
Let’s get into it, starting with a wide receiver who is quickly climbing in my rankings because of a new system and improved quarterback play in Jacksonville.
Week 3 upgrades
Christian Kirk, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
It’s not the best matchup for Kirk here versus a Chargers secondary with playmaking traits. But I still have him as my WR16 this week because of the scheme and volume in Doug Pederson’s system. Both of Kirk’s touchdown receptions in Week 2 were scripted to beat man coverage in the low red zone. Pederson will also create second-level matchups for Kirk — from slot alignments — to beat zone defenders in space. There’s also the vertical element. Kirk has caught 12 of 18 targets for 195 yards this season. And his quarterback, Trevor Lawrence, has tightened up his throwing mechanics under the new coaching staff in Jacksonville.
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