Every week this article will look at the best and toughest matchups for each position in fantasy football. It also will give you five players whose fantasy value is on the rise.
Best QB Matchups
Teddy Bridgewater vs. Falcons: The Falcons have allowed 32.48 fantasy PPG this season, the most in the NFL. That includes 353.8 passing yards per game and a league-high 13 pass TDs allowed this season. The Falcons have allowed a QB to score 28 or more fantasy points in every game but one -- against the Bears, when they pulled Mitchell Trubisky. But if you combine the points scored by Trubisky and Nick Foles in that one, then the Falcons have allowed over 28 fantasy points to QBs in every game this season. Bridgewater is a low-end QB1 this week.
Daniel Jones vs. Cowboys: It's been a rough start for Jones and the Giants and the schedule has done him no favors, up until this point. This is a great opportunity for Jones to get back on track as the Cowboys have allowed the fourth-most fantasy PPG to QBs, at 22.76 per game. Outside of the strong matchup Jones has been adding valuable points with his legs, rushing for over 40 yards in two straight games. He is an upside QB2 and DFS value this week.
Best RB Matchups
Clyde Edwards-Helaire vs. Raiders: The Raiders are allowing a league-high 38.05 fantasy PPG this season and have allowed 28+ fantasy points to a RB three times already this season and 16+ five times in just four games. CEH has seen 16-or-more touches in every game this season and 25 touches already twice this season. That is big-time volume in the best offense in the NFL, in the best matchup for a RB. He is not an RB1 (top 12) this week, he is the RB1 (top-ranked RB).
Todd Gurley vs. Panthers: Carolina has allowed the second-most fantasy PPG to RBs this season at 36.75 per game. That includes eight touchdowns to the position, which ties then with the Raiders for the most in the NFL. That is big for Gurley as he's yet to top 90 scrimmage yards in a game this season but does have four touchdowns already. Look for him to find pay dirt once again this week.
Best WR Matchups
Adam Thielen/Justin Jefferson vs. Seattle: The Seahawks are allowing 65.25 fantasy PPG this season, the most in the NFL. They've allowed five TDs to WRs through four games but the yardage is where you can get them as they are giving up 336.3 receiving yards per game to the position. This is also a game where the Vikings will likely have to put up points to keep up with Russell Wilson and the Seattle offense. Thielen is a WR1 on the season and Jefferson has played like one the last two weeks. You can start both with confidence this week.
Darius Slayton/Golden Tate vs. Cowboys: Much like with Jones above, this could be a get right game for the Giants receivers. On the year Dallas is allowing the third-most fantasy PPG to WRs this season (49.7). That includes 184 yards per game and a league high nine touchdowns allowed through four games. Slayton has shown us his upside, going for over 100 yards and two scores against the Steelers in Week 1. He is a boom-or-bust WR3, but I like his chances of going boom this week. Tate is more of a deeper league option or DFS value.
Other Favorable WR Matchups: Colts WRs vs. CLE, Seahawks WRs vs. MIN, 49ers WRs vs. MIA
Best TE Matchups
Ian Thomas vs Falcons: The Falcons are the best possible matchup right now for tight ends. Atlanta is allowing the most receptions per game (8.3), fantasy PPG (26.65) and have allowed the most touchdowns (7) to tight ends this season. They are also allowing the second-most receiving yards per game (84) to the position. Thomas happens to be coming off his best game of the season seeing five targets and finding the end zone. He has a great opportunity to build off of that game and get a touchdown streak going.
Hunter Henry vs. Saints: Henry has been consistent but yet to really have a big game, scoring over 10 fantasy points in three of four games with none over 15. This week he has a great opportunity to have that blow-up game against a Saints defense that has allowed 24.25 fantasy PPG to TEs this season, the second most in the NFL. Henry's QB Herbert has thrown to tight ends on about 20 percent of his throws this season and that number could increase this week as the Chargers will be without Austin Ekeler and likely Mike Williams.
Fastest Rising Players:
1. Kareem Hunt: With Nick Chubb landing on the IR, Hunt is clearly a player trending up in fantasy right now. The Browns have run the ball on 53.5 percent of their plays this season, the most in the NFL. Hunt has also been handling the passing down duties, seeing 11 of the 15 RB targets so far this season. He is an RB1 and has top five upside with Chubb sidelined.
2.Robert Tonyan: Big Rob Tonyan has five touchdowns in his last three games, including a hat trick in Week 4. But it is not just the touchdowns. His targets, target share, receptions, and fantasy points have increased in each game since Week 2. He has scored double-digit fantasy points in three straight, topping out at 33.8 last week. He is a TE1 moving forward and make sure you don't overlook him because he is on bye this week.
3.Antonio Gibson: I went on Fantasy Live last week and said to sit Gibson and he went out and had his best day of the season ... my bad. But in all seriousness, Gibson did so against the Ravens defense, putting up a season-high 22.8 fantasy points and 128 scrimmage yards. He has scored a TD in three straight games and had a season high three goal-line looks in Week 4. He also had 17 touches, five targets, four catches, all season highs. He is trending up and is looking like an RB2 you can trust.
4.David Montgomery: This one is cheating a little as we have already seen his Week 5 game, but there was a lot to like from Montgomery in that one. He played 81 percent of the snaps in Week 5 and in two games without Tarik Cohen has six and eight targets. Despite putting up just 59 total yards in Week 5 he still had a strong fantasy day, scoring nearly 20 fantasy points due to the seven catches and a touchdown. His weekly floor is so much higher with the added pass game usage. He is a safe RB2 you can trust moving forward.
5.Joshua Kelley: Let's pour one out for my man Ekeler. With the star RB sidelined, Kelley is expected to see the brunt of the work. He played 58 percent of the snaps in Week 4 and has seen double-digit touches in every game this season, showing that he was already a part of the Chargers' weekly game plan. He is now an RB2 or flex option moving forward. Also, keep an eye on Justin Jackson usage in this backfield with Ekeler out.
Toughest QB Matchups
Baker Mayfield vs. Colts: The Colts have allowed just 9.48 fantasy PPG this season to QBs, the fewest in the NFL. The have picked off a league-high seven passes this season as well. While they may not have faced the toughest competition yet, you must view them as a tough matchup for QBs. Despite the Browns playing well, Baker has yet to score 16 fantasy points in a game this season. Stay away.
Matt Ryan vs. Panthers: The Panthers have been a tough matchup for QBs this season and it is largely cause teams have run all over them. But it still hurts the QB for fantasy. On the season they are allowing 15.02 fantasy PPG to QBs, the fourth fewest in the NFL. Ryan has been very up and down this season too, which makes him more volatile. He is still in play this week, especially given his defensive woes that lead to him having to throw more, but he is not the slam dunk he normally is.
Toughest RB Matchups
Myles Gaskin vs. 49ers: The 49ers have allowed the fewest fantasy PPG to RBs this season at just 14.03 per game. They are allowing under 78 scrimmage yards per game to the position and have allowed a RB to score just twice in the opening month. Gaskin has yet to score 15 fantasy points and with his floor being even lower than normal in this one, I would look to go in another direction.
Miles Sanders vs. Steelers: The Steelers are tough on every position, but especially RBs as they have allowed 15.93 fantasy PPG to the position, the second fewest in the league. They are allowing less than 80 scrimmage yards per game and have given up just two TDs to RBs. Sanders is still a player you should start this week but lower the expectations. He is one to avoid in DFS formats.
Other Tough RB Matchups: Patriots RBs vs. DEN, Browns RBs vs. IND, Dalvin Cook vs. SEA
Toughest WR Matchups
Raiders WRs vs Chiefs: The Chiefs defense has been stingy to receivers all year allowing just 27.05 fantasy PPG, the fewest in the NFL. Receivers have averaged just 116.5 yards per game against the Chiefs defense this season. Hunter Renfrow had been playing better, but this is a week to avoid him. I do have some interest in Henry Ruggs III since the Raiders could be trailing and throw a few deep shots his way, but he is purely a boom-or-bust option this week. He is a sneaky add for the future, though.
Rams WRs vs Football Team: Washington's defense has been a tough matchup for offenses this season, especially at the WR position. On the year they have allowed the third fewest fantasy PPG to receivers (28.03). The Rams receivers have been disappointing this season with Cooper Kupp being the WR23 and Robert Woods the WR25 on the season. You likely can't get away from them this week given the byes and games up in the air, but they are more WR3s in this tough matchup.
Other Tough WR Matchups: Jets WRs vs ARI, Washington WRs vs LAR, Falcons WRs vs CAR
Toughest TE Matchups
Austin Hooper vs. Colts: The Colts have allowed just 4.53 fantasy PPG to TEs this season. On the year tight ends have 11 catches for 71 yards and no scores against them. Hooper is coming off his best game of the year, but he scored fewer than six fantasy points in the three prior games. I would look to get him out of my starting lineup this week.
Mike Gesicki vs. 49ers: The Niners have long been tough on tight ends and this year is no different. They are allowing the second fewest fantasy PPG to the position (5.6). On the year tight ends have just 12 catches for 84 yards and no touchdowns. Gesicki has had one blow-up game this season but disappointed the other three weeks. He is someone I am benching in a good number of leagues this week.
More Matchup Stats to Know:
ATL: Allowed 32.48 fantasy PPG to QBs this season (most in NFL)
BAL: Allowed 8th-fewest pass TD this season (6)
BUF: Allowed 20+ fantasy pts to QB in 3 straight games
BUF: Allowed most rec YPG to TEs this season (89.8)
CAR have not allowed a Top-12 fantasy TE this season
CAR: Allowed 229.8 rec YPG this season (5th-fewest in NFL)
CAR allowed 8th-most fantasy pts to Kyler Murray Wk 4 (23.12)
DAL: Allowed 509.5 total YPG this season (most in NFL)
DAL: Allowed 422.5 rec YPG this season (most in NFL)
DAL: Allowed 12 pass TD in last 3 weeks (most in NFL)
DAL allowed 76+ rec yds to 5 WR this season
DAL allowing 8th-most rec YPG to WRs this season (184)
HOU: Allowed 100-yd rusher in 3 of 4 games
HOU: Allowed most rush YPG this season (181.8)
IND allowing 6th-fewest rush YPG to RBs this season (64.5)
NO: Allowed a Top-8 fantasy TE in each game this season
PHI: Allowed 3rd-most fantasy PPG to TEs this season (21.1)
PHI: Allowed a Top 7-fantasy TE in 3 of 4 games this season
PIT allowing 2nd-fewest fantasy PPG to RBs this season (15.93)
SEA: Allowed 408.5 pass YPG this season (most in NFL)
TEN: Allowed a Top-20 fantasy WR in 2 straight games
WAS allowed 5 rec TD to TEs (T-2nd most in NFL)
Make sure to follow Michael F. Florio on Twitter and Instagram, @MichaelFFlorio.