There are some big-name players included in this article both for favorable and tough matchups. If you have a stud with a favorable matchup you feel great, but if you have a big name player that you start weekly with a tough matchup – you still start them in seasonal leagues. Its more of a beware, or a warning for those in daily. It's the fringy options that you get out your lineups when they face a tough opponent.
Best QB matchups
Taylor Heinicke vs. Chiefs: Heinicke has played well for the most part, having topped 20 fantasy points in three of his last four games. In each of those games he has thrown multiple passing TDs. He has also been adding points with his legs as he has rushed for 40 yards or a touchdown in three straight games. But enough about Heinicke, how about his matchup this week? The Chiefs have allowed the most fantasy PPG to QBs this season (28.08). That includes allowing 309 passing yards per game and 10 passing TDs to QBs. The last four QBs to have faced the Chiefs all topped 28 fantasy points -- with three topping 30. Washington will be aggressive this week, meaning Heinicke is very much in play as a streaming option.
Patrick Mahomes at Football Team: The rare instance were the two defenses giving up the most points to a position in the same game. When that position is quarterback, it could lead to lots of points. Mahomes is Mahomes, so I do not need to sell you on him. But I will tell you that Washington has allowed 27.42 fantasy PPG to QBs, the second-most in the NFL. They have allowed 16 passing and rushing TDs combined to QBs, the most in the NFL. This is a great spot for Mahomes to rebound.
Other favorable QB matchups: Davis Mills at Colts, Kyler Murray Browns, Trevor Lawrence vs. Dolphins (in London).
Best RB matchups
Najee Harris vs. Seahawks: Seattle has given up the third-most fantasy PPG to RBs this season (31.14). That includes a league-high 189.4 scrimmage yards per game. Harris is a must-start option every week solely based off the volume he sees, but this matchup could allow him to show off his ceiling.
Other favorable RB matchups: Joe Mixon at Lions, Austin Ekeler at Ravens, Myles Gaskin at Jaguars (in London), Darrell Henderson at Giants
Best WR matchups
Bills WRs at Titans: To start the season I probably would have just mentioned Stefon Diggs but all of the Bills receivers have been fantasy viable this season. I mean, Emmanuel Sanders leads the NFL with seven end zone targets. This week there is plenty of opportunity to go around for multiple receivers to eat. The Titans have allowed the most fantasy PPG (47.36) and yards per game (224.4) and the third-most touchdowns (eight). As for those worried about Diggs, he has double-digit targets in three of five games and is top five in the NFL in air yards, so the opportunity has been there and this is a great week for the production to catch up too. Diggs is still a must start option, while Sanders is a WR3 or flex option. Cole Beasley has been boom-or-bust, but this matchup puts him in flex consideration.
DK Metcalf/Tyler Lockett at Steelers: It's surprising to see the Steelers here as they were the toughest team to receivers last year. But this season they have allowed the third-most fantasy PPG to receivers (45.56). That includes 196 yards per game and nine touchdowns, the latter being the second-most in the league. These two were the top targets of Geno Smith last week. The loss of Russell Wilson definitely dings their value, but Smith was impressive last week, and it's a matchup against a defense that has been struggling. Still start the Seahawks duo.
Other favorable WR matchups: Tyreek Hill at Football Team, Marvin Jones /Laviska Shenault vs. Dolphins (in London), Diontae Johnson/Chase Claypool at Seahawks, Jakobi Meyers at Cowboys.
Best TE matchups
Mark Andrews vs. Chargers: Andrews is fresh off a career game where he went off for 11 catches, 147 yards and two scores, good for nearly 42 fantasy points. He likely won't do that again this week, but another strong game is very much in the range of possibilities. The Chargers have allowed the second-most fantasy PPG to TEs, at 19.32 per game. A tight end has scored 12-or-more fantasy points in every game against the Chargers except for one, when oddly the Cowboys duo failed to do so. Andrews is a must start tight end.
Jared Cook/Donald Parham at Ravens: The Ravens have allowed 19.2 fantasy PPG to TEs, the third-most in the NFL. Part of that is because they have faced Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant. Still, they have struggled covering the middle of the field this season. Cook and Parham are both better left for deeper leagues but they have upside in this matchup. Cook is the top option, Parham is purely a deep sleeper.
Other favorable TE matchups: Mo Alie-Cox vs. Texans, Ricky Seals-Jones vs. Chiefs, Tyler Higbee at Giants.
Toughest QB matchups
Ryan Tannehill vs. Bills: Tannehill has been slow out the gate, failing to top 15 fantasy points in thee of his first five games. He also has one passing TD or less in four of five games, that is after throwing for multiple touchdowns in 20 of 26 games in his first two years with the Titans. The Bills are as tough as they get on QBs as they have allowed a league-low in fantasy PPG (10.83) and the second-fewest passing yards per game (188.2) and passing touchdowns (five). They have eight interceptions in their last three games, including picking Mahomes off twice last week. Only one QB has topped 19 fantasy points against the Bills this season.
Derek Carr at Broncos: After a hot start Carr has scored 14.44 and 7.24 fantasy points in his last two games. He has thrown for 196 and 206 in those last two after throwing for over 380 in his first three games. Denver has also been stingy, just allowing 13.25 fantasy PPG to QBs, the second-fewest in the NFL. They are giving up just 222.9 passing yards per game and five passing TDs this season. Carr had one good game (20.94) and one bad game (7.16) game against Denver last year, averaging 14.05 fantasy PPG in the two starts. This is a week to get away from him.
Other tough QB matchups: Dak Prescott at Patriots, Aaron Rodgers at Bears, Lamar Jackson at Chargers.
Toughest RB matchups
Dalvin Cook/Alexander Mattison at Panthers: The Panthers were a favorable matchup for running backs last year -- that has been anything but this season. They have allowed the fewest fantasy PPG to the position at 12.66 -- including just 86.6 scrimmage YPG and one TD all year. They did give up 20 fantasy points to Ezekiel Elliott but held Miles Sanders, Alvin Kamara , along with the Jets and Texans backs in check. Cook is always a must start option if he plays, as Mattison would be if he sits. I would not trust Mattison if Cook suits up.
Josh Jacobs at Broncos: The Broncos have allowed the second-fewest fantasy to RBs (12.98) including giving up just 81.8 scrimmage YPG and two TDs all season to half backs. Najee Harris got them for 20 fantasy points, but no one else topped 12 and that includes Saquon Barkley and James Robinson. Jacobs has been a safe floor play, but hasn't showed a high ceiling yet. I expect a similar type of game for him this week.
Other tough RB matchups: Derrick Henry vs. Bills, Chris Carson/Alex Collins at Steelers, Chase Edmonds/James Conner at Browns, Texans RBs at Colts.
Toughest WR matchups
A.J. Brown/Julio Jones vs. Bills: The Bills have been the toughest matchup for receivers so far this season. They have issued a league-low 25.82 fantasy PPG to receivers, which includes just 111.6 yards per game and two TDs. The only receiver to top 15 fantasy points against them? Mecole Hardman. They have held Tyreek Hill, Terry McLaurin, Diontae Johnson, Brandin Cooks, Chase Claypool, JuJu Smith-Schuster, as well as the Dolphins receivers all in check. Now that the Titans receivers appear healthy, you are still likely starting them, but understand this could be a down week for them.
Marquise Brown/Rashod Bateman vs. Chargers: The Chargers are giving up just 26.38 fantasy PPG to receivers, the second fewest in the NFL. That includes just 115.6 yards per game and three scores. Brown has worked his way into start territory, scoring over 19 fantasy points in four of five games -- just one of two receivers to do that this season. If Bateman suits up, it would be his NFL debut. He is more of a stash than a start at this point.
Toughest TE matchups
Austin Hooper/David Njoku vs. Cardinals: The Cardinals have allowed just 5.64 fantasy PPG to tight ends, the fewest in the NFL. They are allowing just 24.4 yards per game and have not allowed a touchdown. Hooper had looked like the TE1 here, but last week did not see a target while Njoku had seven and looked explosive. He is the preferred option this week, but both are purely TE2s. Njoku just brings more upside at this point.
Dawson Knox at Titans: As much as the Titans have struggled against receivers, they have been strong against tight ends. They've allowed just 5.66 fantasy PPG the second-fewest in the NFL. They've only allowed one touchdown to tight ends. Knox has been scoring on a weekly basis and has earned more usage as of late. He remains a must-start option at the tight end position.
Other tough TE matchups: Darren Waller at Broncos, Dalton Schultz at Patriots, T.J. Hockenson vs. Bengals.
Notable receivers with the best WR/CB matchups (per PFF)
- Allen Robinson
- Ja'Marr Chase
- Davante Adams
- Tyler Boyd
- Stefon Diggs
- DJ Moore
- Keenan Allen
- A.J. Brown
- Tee Higgins
- Julio Jones
- Cole Beasley
- Courtland Sutton
- Amari Cooper
- Tyreek Hill
- Antonio Brown
- DK Metcalf
- Cooper Kupp
- Jakobi Meyers
- DeAndre Hopkins
- Darnell Mooney
- A.J. Green
- Parris Campbell
- Kalif Raymond
- Henry Ruggs III
- Jamal Agnew
- Terrace Marshall Jr.
- John Ross
- Christian Kirk
- Van Jefferson
- Kadarius Toney
- Mecole Hardman
- K.J. Osborn
- Amon-Ra St. Brown
- Sammy Watkins
- Hunter Renfrow
- Bryan Edwards
- Laviska Shenault Jr
- Robert Woods
- Odell Beckham Jr
- Robby Anderson