Every week this article examines the best and toughest matchups for each position in fantasy football.
Best QB Matchups
Kirk Cousins vs Lions: Cousins has a great matchup this week against the Lions, who have allowed the most fantasy PPG to QBs this season (23.13). But the matchup is just one part of why I would recommend using him. He scored 21 fantasy points against the Lions in Week 8 and in the one game without Dalvin Cook this season he went for nearly 24 fantasy points. He feels like a safe bet to top 20 fantasy points in this great matchup.
Tom Brady vs Falcons: Brady faces the Falcons who have allowed the second most fantasy PPG (22.86) and the second most passing yards per game (301.3). Plus, he scored 23 fantasy points against the Falcons in Week 13, and last week he scored just under 30 fantasy points and finished as the QB2. The Bucs are playing for the win, so that only gives more confidence in trusting Brady this week.
Best RB Matchups
Derrick Henry vs Texans: The Texans have allowed the most fantasy PPG (31.63) and the most scrimmage yards per game (186.9) to RBs this season. Oh, and the last time Henry faced the Texans he went off for 40.40 fantasy points on 264 yards and two touchdowns. Another huge game could come this week as the Titans play for their playoff lives.
Alexander Mattison vs Lions: Dalvin Cook will unfortunately be out this week due to personal reasons. That means the other backs will have to step up and I expect Mattison to lead the way in a great matchup against the Lions. Detroit has allowed the second most fantasy PPG (31.4) and the most touchdowns to RBs (26).
Best WR Matchups
Justin Jefferson/Adam Thielen vs Lions: I like Cousins and I like his receivers this week as well. The Lions have allowed the second most fantasy PPG (44.09) and the second most yards per game (204.5) to receivers this season. Plus, both had success in the lone game Cook sat this season. Jefferson exploded for nearly 40 fantasy points while Thielen caught a TD and had 14 fantasy points. Both could have big days in this great matchup. I like the Vikings stack in DFS this week.
Brandin Cooks/Keke Coutee vs Titans: The Titans have allowed the third-most fantasy PPG (43.72) and the fourth-most yards per game (188.7) to receivers. They’ve also allowed the fourth most touchdowns to the position (20). And if you are still not sold, the last time these two teams played, Watson threw for 335 yards and four touchdowns. If the QB has a big game, chances are his receivers will too.
Best TE Matchups
Rob Gronkowski vs Falcons: Gronk flopped in his first matchup against the Falcons two weeks ago, but made up for it last week with two touchdowns and nearly 20 fantasy points. He has a good opportunity to start a hot streak as the Falcons allow 15.97 fantasy PPG to TEs, the second most in the NFL.
Eric Ebron vs Browns: There will be no Ben Roethlisberger this week, but there hasn’t been news of Ebron sitting. For those wondering, just over 18 percent of Mason Rudolph’s pass attempts last year went to tight ends. This week Ebron faces a Browns team that allowed the third most fantasy PPG to TEs this season (15.89).
Toughest QB Matchups
Kyler Murray vs Rams: The Rams have been tough on QBs all season, giving up the fewest fantasy PPG (13.67). They’ve allowed just 16 passing touchdowns but have nearly as many interceptions (13). They held Murray to 16.42 fantasy points earlier this season, when he was playing with a banged-up shoulder. He is now dealing with a lower leg injury, but it doesn’t sound serious. He is a little riskier than normal in this tough matchup, but still start him.
Baker Mayfield vs Steelers: Mayfield scored just 5.26 fantasy points against the Steelers in Week 6. Pittsburgh also allows the second-fewest fantasy PPG to the position (14.03). With so much up in the air for the Browns right now and with this being such a tough matchup, go in another direction this week.
Toughest RB Matchups
Trenton Cannon/Rodney Smith/Myles Hartsfield vs Saints: The Panthers will be without Christian McCaffrey and Mike Davis this week, but if you were thinking of streaming the backups, I wouldn’t. The Saints have allowed the fewest fantasy PPG to RBs this season (18.35). Don’t get too cute this week.
Nick Chubb/Kareem Hunt vs Steelers: The Steelers have allowed the second-fewest fantasy PPG to RBs this season (18.52). Chubb was injured when the Browns played the Steelers earlier this season, but Hunt was held in check. You can still start Chubb in this tough matchup. Hunt is a little more volatile, but his upside in the passing game makes him a worthy RB2 or flex option.
Toughest WR Matchups
DeAndre Hopkins/Christian Kirk vs Rams: The Rams issue the fewest fantasy PPG (28.79), yards per game (132.2) and touchdowns (7) to WRs this season. But D-Hop did score 19 fantasy points against the Rams earlier this season and has averaged 69.9 receiving yards in games against Jalen Ramsey. Still start him, but you can sit the rest of the Cardinals offense.
Mike Williams/Jalen Guyton/Tyron Johnson vs Chiefs: The Chiefs have allowed the second-fewest fantasy PPG to WRs this season at 30.58. But the one saving grace here for the Chargers pass catchers is that the Chiefs aren’t playing for anything and can quickly pull starters. Despite the matchup, I think they are in play this week.
Toughest TE Matchups
Austin Hooper vs Steelers: The Steeler have allowed the second-fewest fantasy PPG to TEs this season (8.59). But Hooper has been playing well, scoring over 14 fantasy points in two straight. Last week he had 15 targets for the shorthanded Browns. He is a low-end TE1 despite the matchup.
Jimmy Graham vs Packers: Green Bay has allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy PPG to TEs this season (10.15). That includes just five touchdowns and if Graham isn’t scoring a touchdown, you likely do not want him in your starting lineup.
More Week 17 Matchup Stats to Know
ATL: Allowed 2nd-most fantasy PPG to QB this season (22.9)
ARI: Allowed 6th-most fantasy PPG to RB since Wk 11 (28.5)
BAL: Allowed 5th-most fantasy PPG to WR since Wk 11 (41.8)
BAL: Allowed Top-20 fantasy WR in 4 of last 5 games
CAR: Have not allowed Top-15 fantasy QB in 2 straight games
CAR: Allowed 300+ pass yds once in last 5 games
CHI: Allowed 4th-most fantasy PPG to TE this season (15.41)
CHI: Allowed 10 rec TD to TE this season (T-3rd most in NFL)
CLE: Allowed Top-10 fantasy WR in 2 straight games
CLE: Allowed 18 rec TD to WR this season (T-5th most in NFL)
DET: Allowed Top-3 fantasy QB in 3 straight games
DET: Allowed Top 3 fantasy QB in 4 of last 5 games
DET: Allowed most fantasy PPG to QB since Wk 12 (31.8)
DET: Allowed 2nd-most fantasy PPG to RB this season (31.4)
DET: Allowed most TD to RB this season (26)
GB: Allowed 5th-most fantasy PPG to RB this season (27.1)
HOU: Allowed most fantasy PPG to RB this season (31.63)
HOU: Allowed most scrimmage YPG to RB this season (186.9)
JAX: Allowed 4th-most fantasy PPG to RB this season (28.89)
JAX: Allowed 2nd-most scrimmage YPG to RB this season (162.3)
JAX: Allowed Top-15 fantasy WR in 6 of last 7 games
JAX: Allowed 2+ rec TD in 9 straight games
KC: Allowed Top-12 fantasy QB in 5 of last 7 games
KC: Allowed 2+ pass TD in 7 straight games
LAR: Allowed fewest fantasy PPG to WR this season (28.8)
LAR: Allowed Top-15 fantasy WR twice in last 9 games
LV: Allowed 3rd-most fantasy PPG to RB this season (29.05)
LV: Allowed 2nd-most TD to RB this season (21)
MIA: Allowed fewest TD to RB this season (9)
NYG: Allowed Top-15 fantasy WR in 2 of last 3 games
PIT: Allowed 2nd-fewest fantasy PPG to TE this season (8.59)
PIT: Allowed 2 rec TD to TE this season (T-fewest in NFL)
PIT: Allowed 2nd-fewest rec YPG to TE this season (39.2)
TB: Allowed 2nd-most fantasy PPG to WR since Wk 11 (48.4)
TEN: Allowed 5th-most fantasy PPG to QB this season (20.9)
TEN: Allowed 8th-most fantasy PPG to RB this season (26.11)
TEN: Allowed Top-12 fantasy RB in 8 of last 9 games