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
Kirk Cousins vs. Falcons: The Falcons are the best possible matchup for QBs heading into Week 6. On the season, they've allowed 30.14 fantasy PPG, the most in the league and no other team is even allowing 25 per game. They've allowed a QB to top 29 fantasy points three times and in the other two games they allowed 21 fantasy points to Bridgewater and nearly 29 fantasy points to the Bears QBs combined. Cousins is not a must-start despite the strong matchup, but he is a Top 15 QB for me and a streaming option off the waiver wire for those in need of a bye week replacement.
Patrick Mahomes vs. Bills: The Bills were one of the toughest matchups for QBs last year, but this season they are allowing the fifth most fantasy PPG to the position (22.64). In fact, the only QB to not score over 20 fantasy points against them was Sam Darnold in Week 1. Since then the Bills have allowed multiple passing TDs to every QB they've faced and over 300 passing yards to three of the four. That includes allowing Ryan Tannehill to finish as the top scoring QB in Week 4. Mahomes is in a prime spot this week and could put up monster numbers if this becomes more of a shootout.
Best RB Matchups
David Montgomery vs. Panthers: The Panthers have allowed the most fantasy PPG (36.02) and the most touchdowns (9) to RBs so far this season. That is after allowing the both in each of those categories last season. They are simply the best matchup for RBs in the NFL right now. And it could not come at a better time for Montgomery who is seeing his workload increase since the injury to Tarik Cohen. He's averaged seven targets per game in that span, which just raises his weekly floor so much. I also expect the Bears to run him a ton this week so they ask Nick Foles to do less in a tough matchup. He is a must-start option this week and someone to go out there and try and acquire.
Ronald Jones vs. Packers: The Packers are a close second for most fantasy PPG allowed to RBs, giving up 35.8 per game to the position. That includes eight catches per game and over 70 receiving yards to backs. Jones has seen his pass game usage increase, seeing nine and five targets in his last two games. Jones has been putting up consistent RB2 numbers but has the chance to be an RB1 in this strong matchup.
Best WR Matchups
Steelers WRs vs. Browns: The Browns have given up the second most fantasy PPG to WRs at 46.86 per game. Cleveland is giving up over 200 receiving yards per game and have allowed eight touchdowns to the position. The Steelers receivers have a good chance of scoring this week as Ben Roethlisberger has thrown multiple passing TDs in every game this season. Chase Claypool and JuJu Smith-Schuster are the top options here, with both being WR2's in the Week 6 rankings. Diontae Johnson is a high-upside flex option if he suits up.
Cardinals WRs vs. Cowboys: The Cowboys are given up 45.58 fantasy PPG to WRs this season, the third most in the NFL. They've also allowed a league-high nine touchdowns to the position. DeAndre Hopkins is a must start option every week and has the upside to be the top player in fantasy this week. But Christian Kirk is in WR3 or flex range in this great matchup.
Other Favorable WR Matchups: Browns WRs vs. PIT, Patriots WRs vs. DEN, ATL WRs vs. MIN
Best TE Matchups
Irv Smith vs. Falcons: The Falcons have allowed the second most fantasy PPG to TEs this season, at 21.32, including a league-high seven touchdowns. Smith has ran 31 routes and played 69 percent of the snaps, both of which were season highs. He also had five targets and four catches for 64 yards. He is a sneaky option for those in need of a TE this week.
Travis Kelce vs. Bills: The Bills last season allowed the second-fewest fantasy PPG to TEs. This year has been the opposite as the Bills have allowed the third-most fantasy PPG to the position at 20.56. So far this season, the Bills have faced Mike Gesicki, Jonnu Smith and Darren Waller, with all three topping 15 fantasy points and two topping 21 fantasy points. Kelce is always a must start, but this matchup is sneakily very good.
Fastest Rising Players:
1. Chase Claypool: I mean no surprise here whatsoever. Claypool went out and put up over 42 fantasy points, the most any receiver has scored in a game this season. He finished with 11 targets which is super impressive considering that Smith-Schuster doesn't have more than eight targets in a game this season. With JuJu not seeing the WR1 volume we expected and Johnson banged up, there is a real chance for Claypool to run away with the job here. If you were lucky enough to get him off waivers this week, start him!
2. Travis Fulgham: Fulgham put up nearly 14 fantasy points in Week 4 but we didn't pay much attention to it because he had just three targets. Well that changed greatly in Week 5 as Fulgham saw 13 targets, catching 10 for 152 yards and a TD on his way to over 31 fantasy points.
3. Justin Herbert: Herbert has simply been balling out week after week. Since taking over the starting gig, he has scored 22-plus fantasy points in three of four games and has seven passing TDs in his last two games combined. He is on bye this week but if you have him on your roster, you could just move forward with him as your starter moving forward.
4. Henry Ruggs III : Ruggs showed his explosiveness in his first game back with the Raiders. In a tough matchup against the Chiefs secondary, he put up 118 yards and a touchdown on just two catches (three targets). The volume isn't ideal, but it was his first game back and again, a tough matchup in a game the Raiders were leading throughout. He has some boom-or-bust in him, but he has the upside to be a WR1 every time he steps on the field. Look to grab him this week while he is on bye if you can.
5. Chase Edmonds: Edmonds played a season-high 45 percent of the snaps last week and has been dominating the pass game usage here. He has seen six-plus targets in two straight games, Kenyan Drake has just six targets on the season. Edmonds has also scored 15-plus fantasy points in two straight, while Drake has yet to do so in a game this season. Edmonds has worked his way into flex range, but the possibility of him stealing the job is very real.
Toughest QB Matchups
Joe Burrow vs. Colts: I said last week that the matchup against the Ravens was a big test for Burrow. Well, he failed, scoring less than five fantasy points. He has a tough matchup against the Colts who have allowed the fewest fantasy PPG to QBs at just 10.7. They're also the only team in the league allowing less than 200 passing yards per game this season. With there being good streaming options available off the waiver wire, this is another week to get away from the rookie QB.
Teddy Bridgewater vs. Bears: Bridgewater came through for us in a great matchup last week, but he has the opposite against the Bears this week. Chicago is giving up just 12.13 fantasy PPG to QBs and have allowed a league-low four passing TDs per game. Bridgewater has become a QB to stream when the matchup is right, but it just isn't this week. Stay away.
Toughest RB Matchups
Damien Harris/Rex Burkhead vs. Broncos: The Broncos have given up the fewest fantasy PPG to RBs this season at 16.33. They've only allowed one TD to a back as well. The Patriots backfield is looking once again like a mess with Harris, Burkhead and James White all factoring in. This week I am looking to get away from the three, but if you have to trust one, I will say White, because he can put up fantasy points with a handful of catches, even if the yardage is low.
Darrell Henderson vs. 49ers: The Niners are given up the second-fewest fantasy PPG to RBs (16.94). On the season they are allowing just 62 rushing yards per game to backs. But we did see Gaskin put up over 20 fantasy points against them last week. This is not a week to avoid Henderson, but just be weary that the matchup is tough which lowers Henderson's floor this week.
Toughest WR Matchups
Deebo Samuel/Brandon Aiyuk vs. Rams: The Rams defense is one to fear in fantasy, especially when it comes to WRs. On the season they have allowed the fewest fantasy PPG (26.44), receiving yards per game (133) and are tied for the fewest TDs allowed to receivers (1). After the way the Niners passing game looked like last week, this is a matchup to just completely avoid.
Robby Anderson/D.J. Moore vs. Bears: The Bears have allowed a TD to a WR just once this season and are giving up an average of 158 receiving yards per game. They've given up just 28.82 fantasy PPG to receivers this season, the second fewest in the NFL. Anderson sees such safe volume each week that he can still be started, but Moore is benchable this week, depending on other options. He is in that WR3 or flex range for me.
Other Tough WR Matchups: Cowboys WRs vs. ARI, Giants WRs vs. WAS, Bills WRs vs. KC
Toughest TE Matchups
Austin Hooper vs. Steelers: The Steelers have been tough on tight ends all season, allowing a league-low 6.08 fantasy PPG to the position this season. They've yet to allow a TD and are giving up just 27 yards per game to the position. Hooper has been trending upwards as of late, but this is a tough week to trust him.
Logan Thomas vs. Giants: Remember earlier in the year when Thomas had all those good TE matchups? He didn't do much with those and this week faces the Giants who have given up the second-fewest fantasy PPG this season (7.78). Stay away from Thomas this week.
More Week 6 Matchup Stats to Know:
ARI: Allowed Top-15 fantasy WR in 2 straight games
ARI has not allowed 55+ rec yds to any TE this season
ATL: Allowed most fantasy PPG to QBs this season (30.14)
ATL: Allowed 300+ pass yds in all 5 games this season
ATL: Allowed 6th-most fantasy PPG to RBs this season (29.3)
ATL: Allowed most rec/gm to RBs this season (8.6)
ATL: Allowed 2nd-most rec YPG to WRs this season (215.0)
ATL: Allowed 3.3 rec TD/gm this season (T-most in NFL)
CAR: Allowed most fantasy PPG to RBs this season (36.02)
CAR: Allowed most scrimmage TD to RBs this season (9)
CHI: Allowed 2nd-fewest fantasy PPG to QBs (12.13)
CHI has not allowed a Top-15 fantasy QB this season
CHI has not allowed Top-20 fantasy WR this season
CHI: Allowed fewest pass TD this season (4)
CLE: Allowed 2nd-most fantasy PPG to WRs this season (46.86)
DAL: Allowed 36.0 PPG this season (most in NFL)
DAL: Allowed 11 pass TD, 1 INT this season
DAL: Allowed 3rd-most fantasy PPG to WRs this season (45.58)
DAL: Allowed Top-12 fantasy WR in 4 straight games
DAL: Allowed 5th-most rush YPG to RBs this season (126.2)
DEN: Allowed Top-8 fantasy QB in 2 straight games
DET: Allowed most rush YPG this season (170.3)
DET: Allowed 4th-most fantasy PPG to RBs this season (32.58)
HOU: Allowed 2 top 10 WRs this season
IND: Allowed 3rd-fewest fantasy PPG to RBs this season (17.92)
IND: Allowed fewest rec YPG this season (193.6)
IND: Allowed 1 Top-20 fantasy WR this season
JAX: Allowed 5th-most rec YPG this season (284.2)
LAR: 52% rush this season (2nd-highest in NFL)
MIA: Allowed 1 rec TD to Slot WRs this season (T-6th fewest in NFL)
MIN: Allowed 6th-most pass YPG this season (283.2)
NE: Allowed 1 Top-20 fantasy RB this season
NE: Allowed 10+ fantasy pts to a TE in 2 straight games
NE: Allowed 7 rec TD to WRs this season (T-4th most in NFL)
NYJ: Allowed 5th-most fantasy PPG to RBs this season (30.9)
NYJ: Allowed 274.0 pass YPG this season (T-10th-most in NFL)
NYG allowing 10.4 fantasy PPG to D/STs this season (most in NFL)
NYG has 9 giveaways this season (T-3rd most in NFL)
NYG: 16.2 PPG this season (2nd-fewest in NFL)
PHI: Allowed 7th-fewest fantasy PPG to RBs this season (22.02)
PHI: Allowed 9th-fewest rush YPG to RBs this season (76.8)
TB: Allowed 1 rec TD to TE in 2 straight games
Make sure to follow Michael F. Florio on Twitter and Instagram, @MichaelFFlorio.