By Gary Davenport
Gary Davenport

Who says you can't go home again?

After a 10-year stint with the Arizona Cardinals that included eight trips to the Pro Bowl, Patrick Peterson joined the Minnesota Vikings in free agency. Now, just two weeks into his stint in the twin cities, the 31-year-old quarterback is headed back to Arizona to face his old teammates.

Peterson's departure from the desert wasn't without acrimony-he ripped general manager Steve Keim for (allegedly) saying he wanted the veteran cover man back and then making no effort to re-sign him.

However, as Ben Goessling wrote for the Twin Cities Star-Tribune, Peterson isn't interested in re-hashing the circumstances of his departure.

"I said what I said a couple months back," Peterson said Thursday. "Now my focus is truly on going out here and trying to get a W and play my best football."

Peterson will probably spend most of the afternoon locked up with Cardinals superstar DeAndre Hopkins, who caught six of eight targets for 83 yards and two scores last week against the Tennessee Titans. Peterson told Goessling that he's well aware he's going to have his hands full.

"D-Hop is one of those receivers that invites the physicality of the DB," Peterson said. "That's kind of how I play my game as well. I want to be physical with the receivers and getting in their head and thinking about me a little bit more. But D-Hop is different. He invites that. So, it's a little bit of a chess match whenever I have my opportunities to go up against him. It should be a fun game."

Were this 2017, Hopkins' fantasy managers might have at least some cause for concern. But it isn't-Peterson just isn't the player he once was, as evidenced by the five touchdowns and 98.2 passer rating against that he allowed last season.

While you're plugging D-Hop into fantasy lineups, here's a look at some of the other major WR vs. CB matchups of Week 2.

Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins (Stefon Diggs vs. Xavien Howard)

This is a matchup we have seen before more than once-Howard and Diggs locked horns twice last season. Howard had a pick in the second meeting, but he also gave up quite a few completions and the Bills blew the Dolphins out. As Barry Jackson reported for the Miami Herald, the 28-year-old hasn't forgotten that game.

I'm definitely not looking back, but it's in my head, though - what they did last year," Howard said. "They've got [Diggs], Emmanuel Sanders, Cole Beasley, Gabriel Davis, Isaiah McKenzie. You've got the quarterback also. [Josh Allen] can extend plays, run the ball, everything. Each year, just seeing [Allen] from his rookie year, he's taken a big jump each year. I feel like he was a top-five quarterback last year. There's a lot of stuff that they do well."

Howard is one of the very best in the league at what he does-he allowed under 52 percent of the passes thrown in his direction last year to be completed and had a passer rating against of less than 50. But in two games against the Dolphins last season, Diggs hauled in 19 catches for 278 yards and a score. That works out to 29.4 PPR fantasy points per game.


Houston Texans at Cleveland Browns (Brandin Cooks vs. Denzel Ward)

One of the bigger surprises of Week 1 was the ease with which the Houston Texans dispatched the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the star of that game offensively for Houston was wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who pulled in five catches for 132 yards. As Mark Lane wrote for Texans Wire, quarterback Tyrod Taylor said that the team will need its No. 1 wideout to continue to play at a high level consistently.

"We're going to need him to continue to keep making those contested catches as the year progresses, and I definitely trust him match-up-wise," said Taylor. "I think he just showed what type of receiver he can be. He's always done that, but I think today just going up and making those contested catches shows that he's just being versatile when it comes to playing the receiver position."

The good news for Cooks' fantasy managers is that his target volume should continue to be high-he's the only pass-catcher on the team who opposing defenses are at all afraid of. The bad news is that will likely mean a lot of attention from Cleveland's top cornerback Sunday, and he'll likely have safety help with some regularity.




Las Vegas Raiders at Pittsburgh Steelers (Casey Hayward vs. Diontae Johnson)

The Steelers got a big win last week in Buffalo, but the team didn't earn many style points doing it. Still, one of Diontae Johnson's five catches went for a touchdown, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger told Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he continues to be impressed by the fourth-year wideout.

"He's a phenomenal football player," Roethlisberger said. "He's a guy that is an incredible talent. … He's one of those guys, you get the ball in his hands and just sit back and watch it. I knew what the call was, told him to be patient - because sometimes he can get impatient with a double-move route. His ball skills are through the roof. The ball got tipped up and he was able to catch it, get two feet in; just awesome."

Frankly, it's not Hayward that should give fantasy managers the most pause about Johnson's fantasy prospects, although he's an excellent veteran corner. It's not the Las Vegas defense either. It's a quarterback who appears unable to push the ball down the field-Roethlisberger averaged just 5.9 yards per attempt and completed less than 60 percent of his passes in Week 1.




San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles (Deebo Samuel vs. Steven Nelson)

Remember when everyone thought that Brandon Aiyuk was going to be San Francisco's No. 1 wideout and Deebo Samuel was going to an afterthought. Um…oops. Last week against the Lions, Samuel caught nine passes for 189 yards and a score, while Aiyuk wasn't even targeted. Samuel's performance caught plenty of people off guard-but not Javier Vega of SB Nation.

"Deebo heard all the chatter," he said. "'He's an extension of the run game. He's a glorified running back.' No, this is what we talked about, and this is what I've been harping on with Deebo Samuel - he's more than that. He's going to be able to get down the field. His average yards of separation were 3.98, according to Next Gen Stats. The average for the league is 2.87 yards. He literally had a yard more than the average. Yes, a lot of that was schemed open, but a lot of that was his route running, his ability to get off the line of scrimmage, and beat guys to the point he needs to get to in the route tree."

Samuel could have his hands full backing that monster game up Sunday in Philadelphia though. Steven Nelson isn't a household name, but he's a talented veteran cornerback who posted a passer rating against of just 65.8 back in 2019 with the Steelers. Nelson is also versatile, having played both outside and in the slot in his career. He's not a major downgrade for Samuel, but it's a tougher matchup then he had in Week 1.




Los Angeles Rams at Indianapolis Colts (Cooper Kupp vs. Kenny Moore)

There was quite a bit of preseason speculation in the fantasy community this summer over whether Robert Woods or Cooper Kupp was the Rams receiver to roster in2021. Per Chris Vaccaro of The Athletic, om Sunday night against the Bears at least it appeared that Kupp was the guy.

"I love what I saw from this offense and think Stafford is on his way to a huge season," Vaccaro said. "If you're like me and prioritized Cooper Kupp early in drafts, let's hope Week 1 was a sign of things to come. Stafford and Kupp look like they have been playing together for years, like Tom Brady and Julian Edelman used to."

Kupp had an excellent stat line against the Bears-seven catches for 108 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets. But matching those numbers isn't going to be easy Sunday in Indianapolis. Kenny Moore is one of the most underrated slot corners in the league, and last week (per ESPN's Mike Clay) Seattle targeted Moore on just 13 percent of his coverage snaps. This has the potential to be a Robert Woods week.




Tennessee Titans at Seattle Seahawks (Janoris Jenkins vs. Tyler Lockett)

In a Week 1 win over the Indianapolis Colts, Lockett had himself a day-the 28-year-old caught four of five targets for 100 yards and two scores, including a gorgeous over-the-shoulder grab for a 69-yard score. It was a performance that earned Lockett "Secret Superstar" honors from Doug Farrar of Touchdown Wire.

"It's not that people don't know who Lockett is, but it seems as if he's never been given the recognition he deserves for his downfield speed, route preciseness, and value to Russell Wilson," Farrar said. "In 2018, when he targeted Lockett, Wilson had a passer rating of 158.3, the highest possible. Against the Colts on Sunday in a 28-16 win, Lockett showed over and over that he's a perfect foil for new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron's more expansive passing concepts."

While Lockett was torching the Colts, Janoris Jenkins was having a rough go in his first game with the Titans, allowing five completions on five targets for 64 yards with a passer rating against of 118.7. This game shapes up another long one for Tennessee's beleaguered defense.




Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens (Tyreek Hill vs. Marlon Humphrey)

Whether it's the litany of injuries on both sides of the ball that have hit the team on both sides of the ball or the stunning overtime loss in Las Vegas in Week 1, the 2021 season hasn't gotten off to a good start for the Baltimore Ravens. As if that wasn't bad enough, cornerback Marlon Humphrey intentionally dropped what would have been an interception in the game, thinking that the ball had hit the ground.

"I definitely did not know I had the football," Humphrey said, via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. "That'd have been nice, to have an interception, probably the easiest interception ever. So, I guess celebrate a little slower, I guess, would be the thing for that."

Now, Humphrey and a banged-up Ravens secondary have to face Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill and a Chiefs team that had dropped over 30 points on the Ravens the last two times these teams met. In a perfect world, the Ravens would love to keep Humphrey on Hill as much as possible. But Hill spends a ton of time in the slot, and Humphrey isn't going to follow him inside.