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
Matthew Stafford vs Falcons: The Falcons have given up 29.07 fantasy PPG to QBs this season, the most in the NFL. No other team is allowing 25 fantasy PPG. The best part? It's not inflated by a couple of big performances. The Falcons have allowed at least 20 fantasy points to QBs and multiple passing TDs in every game this season. Three times they've allowed a QB to score over 29 fantasy points. Stafford, who has multiple passing TDs in three of his last four games, is the lucky QB who gets elevated to QB1 territory because of this matchup.
Kyler Murray vs Seahawks: This is going to be such a fun game, especially for those with Murray in fantasy. Seattle is allowing the second-most fantasy PPG to QBs this season (24.28). That includes a league-high 376.6 passing yards per game. Murray has been awesome in fantasy. In fact, he is the only player to score 21 fantasy points in all six games this year, and he's done that despite throwing for over 300 yards just once. Pair his rushing ability with a great passing matchup and the sky is the limit for Kyler this week.
Best RB Matchups
David Johnson vs Packers: The Packers are the best matchup for RBs as they are allowing a league-high 35.04 fantasy PPG to RBs this season. That includes seven catches per game, 164 scrimmage yards and they are tied for the most TDs given up to RBs (9). Outside of Week 1 Johnson has looked more like a safe-floor, RB2-type of play, but this is a week he comes with more upside. He should be started this week.
Ronald Jones vs Raiders: Jones has played very well as of late and deserves credit. He has rushed for over 100 yards in three straight, the longest current streak in the NFL. He's also scored over 15 fantasy points in each of those three games and has been used more in the passing game. He has started to become a strong fantasy option that you can trust. You should continue to ride the hot hand this week against a Raiders team that has allowed the second-most fantasy PPG to RBs this season (33.62). Jones is a top-10 fantasy RB in the Week 7 rankings.
Best WR Matchups
DeAndre Hopkins/Christian Kirk vs Seahawks: Seattle has given up an average of 60 fantasy PPG to WRs this season, the most in the NFL. But to put that in better perspective, no other team is allowing 48 fantasy PPG to the position. Seattle has also allowed 294 receiving yards per game to receivers, the closest team to them is Atlanta who allows 218 per game. This is a dream matchup for the Cardinals receivers. Hopkins is always a must start, but he is my top-ranked WR this week. Kirk has seen his fantasy points increasing in every game this season and with the matchup is a high-upside WR3 play this week.
Tee Higgins/Tyler Boyd/A.J. Green vs Browns: The Browns have allowed 45.3 fantasy PPG to WRs, the third most in the league. They give up an average of 194 yards per game and have allowed nine touchdowns already to receivers this season. It also helps that Joe Burrow's best game of the season came against this Browns secondary. I rank the Bengals WRs Higgins, Boyd, Green this week. Higgins has taken over since Week 3, leading this receiving core in fantasy points and many other statistics. He is a top-20 WR this week, Boyd is more of a WR3 and Green is a high-upside flex option.
Other Favorable WR matchups: Steelers WRs vs TEN, Lions WRs vs ATL, Falcons WRs vs DET
Best TE Matchups
Ian Thomas vs Saints: The Saints have given up the most fantasy PPG to TEs this season (22.34). They are allowing an average of 7 catches and 73 yards per game to the position, to go along with six touchdowns allowed. Thomas is not someone that you just plug into your lineup because he has a good matchup. But with tight end being so depleted and there being four teams on bye, you may be looking at the waiver wire and scratching your head who to pick up. That is where Thomas comes into play as a deeper league streamer.
T.J. Hockenson vs Falcons: The Falcons are a good matchup for most positions it seems. This year they've allowed 20.97 fantasy PPG to tight ends, the second most in the NFL. That includes a league-high seven touchdowns. It bodes well for Hockenson, who has scored a TD in two straight and in three of five games this season. He is becoming a red zone favorite of Stafford and should be started everywhere this week.
Fastest Rising Players:
1. D'Andre Swift: Swift exploded for over 27 fantasy points last week going. But it wasn't just the fantasy points that should have you excited, it's the opportunity. He had a season high 14 carries, 116 yards and two rushing touchdowns. He already has the passing game on lock there as he has 20 targets this season and every other Lions RB is in the single digits. But the increased work could make him a fantasy RB2 with upside. He also has a great matchup against the Falcons, who allow the third most catches per game to RBs (7.7). Look for the rookie to build off his big Week 6.
2. Le'Veon Bell: Bell gets to leave Adam Gase and the Jets and now play for Andy Reid and the Chiefs. That is the biggest fantasy football glow up we may see all season. I am still expecting Clyde Edwards-Helaire to be the lead back here, but Bell will have a role. I expect him to see between 8-12 touches each week, with some involvement in the passing game. It can be a valuable fantasy role if he is seeing the goal-line carries for the league's best offense.
3. Mike Williams: Williams exploded for nearly 28 fantasy points on Monday Night in Week 5 and then was on bye last week. But do not overlook that performance as he had eight targets, the most in a game with Justin Herbert. Four of those targets went for 20+ air yards too, showing that they are not afraid of chucking it deep his way. That tends to lead to long completions and touchdowns, which is very good for fantasy. Williams has flashed in the past, but the strong-armed Herbert is the QB to help him live up to his potential.
4. Tua Tagovailoa: First, let's pour one out for my fellow red beard, Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzy was putting up QB1 numbers weekly in fantasy and Tagovailoa has a chance to pick up where the vet left off. Don't forget that Tua put up monstrous numbers before getting injured in college. As a sophomore he threw for nearly 4,000 yards and 43 touchdowns, while rushing for 190 yards and five touchdowns.
5. Keelan Cole: Cole has seen at least five targets in every game, including a season-high nine last week. They've started using him as a downfield threat again, as he has seven targets of 20+ air yards in the last two games after having just two in the first four games. He has a safe floor as he has scored at least eight points in every game, so he won't bottom out, but he has topped 15 points in half his games, including a season high 20.3 last week. He's working his way into the WR3 or flex range.
Toughest QB Matchups
Jared Goff vs Bears: The Bears defense has made life very difficult for QBs this season. They've given up just 11.68 fantasy PPG to QBs, the fewest in the NFL. They've allowed just four passing TDs this season, fewest in the NFL, but have five interceptions. And if you think maybe the yardage makes up for the lack of TDs -- they've allowed less than 240 passing yards per game. Plus, the Rams have ran the ball at the fourth-highest rate in the NFL this season. This is simply a week to bench Goff.
Derek Carr vs Buccaneers: Carr has been a better fantasy option than he has gotten credit for in 2020, scoring over 20 fantasy points in three of his last four games. But with the Bucs on tap, this is not a week to start him. Tampa Bay is issuing just 12.01 fantasy PPG to QBs, the third fewest in the NFL. And that defense only appears to be getting stronger. I mean, they held Aaron Rodgers Rodgers to just 3.8 fantasy points, the fewest in his career in any game he attempted at least 15 passes. If they did that to Rodgers, I'm staying far away from Carr this week.
Toughest RB Matchups
Damien Harris/ James White/ Rex Burkhead vs 49ers: The first bad sign here is that there's three running backs listed for one team. The three are going to be fighting for fantasy points each week. The read on this backfield can change week to week, but for now it looks like White will get the bulk of the targets, Harris will get the bulk of the carries, with Burkhead playing a hybrid role and red zone specialists. This week the trio gets the Niners, who have allowed the fewest fantasy PPG to RBs (16.52). It's a muddied backfield and a tough matchup, so this week it's best to try to get away if you can.
Derrick Henry vs Steelers: The Steelers' run defense is starting to look like it did last year. It's allowed just 16.54 fantasy PPG, just behind the Niners (16.52) for fewest. Henry is a beast and has rushed for two touchdowns in three straight games and has over 100 rushing yards in three of five games. It was also great to see him targeted five times last week. You never sit Henry in season-long leagues, but this is a tough matchup, so avoid paying up for him in DFS.
Toughest WR Matchups
Amari Cooper/CeeDee Lamb/Michael Gallup vs Football Team: The Cowboys face a tough matchup against Washington's secondary that is allowing just 27.37 fantasy PPG to WRs this season. They are issuing just 10 catches for 161 yards per game and a total of three TDs to wideouts this season. This will be Andy Dalton's second start with the Cowboys. On the year, Lamb is his top target with 14 targets, followed by Cooper with 13. Gallup has nine targets from Dalton. This week in a tough matchup I have Cooper and Lamb as low-end WR2 options, with Cooper slightly higher. I do not feel great about their upside, but I think they are safe enough to consider starting. Gallup on the other hand is entirely too boom-or-bust with much more bust than boom right now. Stay away.
Allen Robinson vs Rams: The Rams have allowed the second-fewest fantasy PPG to WRs this season (27.93). They are giving up just 132.5 receiving yards per game to WRs, which puts them in a tie with the Panthers for the fewest in the NFL. They've also allowed just three touchdowns. Robinson sees such safe volume, with at least nine targets in every game, that you likely still have to start him in seasonal leagues. But he is a fade in DFS for sure.
Toughest TE Matchups
Hayden Hurst vs Lions: The Lions have not allowed 100 receiving yards to tight ends this season, not just in a game but for the season. They've allowed 96 yards combined. They've also allowed just 6.32 fantasy PPG to TEs, the second fewest in the NFL. Hurst is coming off a nice game, but he has been so up and down and this is looking like a week to fade him.
George Kittle vs Patriots: Look, you never sit Kittle. This is more just like a beware you may not get the usual fantasy production out of him. The Patriots have allowed just 8.2 fantasy PPG to TEs, the fifth fewest in the NFL. Something's got to give in this matchup.
Other Week 7 Matchup Stats to Know:
ATL allowing 3rd-most rec/gm to RBs this season (7.7)
ATL: Allowed Top-12 fantasy QB in 5 of 6 games this season
ATL: Allowed most fantasy PPG to QBs this season (29.07)
ATL: Allowed 2 games of 30+ fantasy pts to QBs (1 of 2 teams in NFL - MIN)
ATL: Allowed 2nd-most rec YPG to WRs this season (217.5)
ATL: Allowed 3.8 offensive TD/gm this season (2nd-most in NFL)
CAR: Allowed 3rd-most fantasy PPG to RBs this season (32.3)
CAR: Allowed Top-3 fantasy RB in 4 of 6 games this season
CAR: Allowed Top-10 fantasy WR in 3 of last 5 games
CIN allowing 4th-most rush YPG to RBs this season (119.3)
CHI allowing 9th-fewest fantasy PPG to RBs this season (21.4)
CLE: Allowed 4th-fewest rush YPG this season (94.0)
DAL: Allowed #1 fantasy WR in 3 of last 5 weeks (C. Ridley, T. Lockett, O. Beckham)
DAL: Allowed a Top-12 fantasy WR in 5 straight weeks
DAL: Allowing 6th-most fantasy PPG to WRs this season (44.16)
DEN: Allowed 3rd-fewest fantasy PPG to RBs this season (17.26)
DEN allowing 20.84 fantasy PPG to QBs this season (9th-most in NFL)
DET: Allowed 7 total TD to RBs this season (T-7th most in NFL)
GB: Allowed 9 total TD to RBs this season (9)
GB: Allowed 2+ total TD to 4 RBs this season (most in NFL)
HOU: Allowed 4th-most pass TD to QBs this season (13)
JAX: Allowed 24+ fantasy pts to QB in 3 of last 5 games
JAX: Allowing 5th-most fantasy PPG to RBs this season (31.3)
JAX: Allowed 24+ fantasy pts to QB in 3 of last 5 games
JAX: Allowed Top-20 WR in 3 straight weeks
LAC: Allowed Top-10 fantasy WR in 2 straight games
LV: Allowed 1 Top-15 fantasy TE this season (Travis Kelce)
LV: Allowed 1 TE with 10+ fantasy pts this season (Travis Kelce)
LV: Allowed 8 total TD to RBs this season (T-4th most in NFL)
LV: Allowed 2+ total TD to 3 RBs this season (T-2nd most in NFL)
NYJ: Allowed 11 pass TD to QBs this season (T-10th most in NFL)
SEA: Allowed most fantasy PPG to WRs this season (60.0)
SEA: Allowed most rec YPG to WRs this season (294.4)
SEA: Allowed 2nd-most fantasy PPG to QBs this season (24.28)
SEA: Allowed most pass YPG to QBs this season (376.6)
SF: Allowed 6 rec TD to WRs in last 5 games
TB: Allowed fewest rush YPG to RBs this season (49.2)
TB: Allowed 10th-fewest fantasy PPG to RBs this season (22.62)
TB: Allowed 20+ fantasy pts to 1 WR this season
TB: Allowed fewest rushing YPG to RBs this season (49.2)
TB: Allowed 10th-fewest fantasy PPG to RBs this season (22.62)
TEN allowing 4th-most fantasy PPG to WRs this season (45.1)
TEN: Allowed 4th-most rec YPG to WRs this season (198.8)
TEN: Allowed Top-20 fantasy WR in 4 of 5 games