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
Taysom Hill vs. Falcons: This would be so much better if it was Jameis Winston starting for the Saints, but even still it is a good matchup for Hill. The Falcons have allowed the most fantasy PPG to QBs this season (26.02). They have given up over 320 passing yards per game this season, but you should not expect passing numbers like that from Hill. The upside here is the rushing numbers he can give you. He is a QB2 with risk, but upside this week.
Caveat: There have been conflicting reports about who will start for the Saints. If it is Winston, he is a Top 10 QB play for me. Hill is a riskier QB2 with upside.
Ben Roethlisberger vs. Jaguars: Big Ben has been playing well, throwing for seven touchdowns in his last two games, finishing as a Top 10 QB in both of those weeks. On the year, he has multiple passing TDs in all but one game so he always comes with a safe floor, but this week is a ceiling week as the Jaguars have allowed 23.02 fantasy PPG, the third-most in the NFL. He has Top 5 upside this week.
Other Favorable QB Matchups: Justin Herbert vs. NYJ, Alex Smith vs. CIN, Lamar Jackson vs. TEN
Best RB Matchups
Mike Davis vs. Lions: This game went from an appealing fantasy to one with a mess with both QBs dealing with injuries and key pieces being up in the air. This makes me think that both teams will rely on the run, especially the Panthers if they are without Teddy Bridgewater. More opportunity couldn’t come at a better time for Davis as the Lions allow the most fantasy PPG to RBs (35.89), including an average of 180 yards per game to RBs.
Damien Harris vs. Texans: The Patriots backfield has been very murky, but this is a week to trust Harris. He played a season high in snaps (55 percent) and had a season-high 22 touches. It could not come at a better time for Harris, as the Texans issue a league-high 167.4 rushing yards per game. Harris may not have the highest ceiling, due to his lack of pass game usage, but his groundwork should make him a safe RB2.
Other Favorable RB Matchups: Colts RBs vs. GB, James Conner vs. JAX, Clyde Edwards-Helaire vs. LV
Best WR Matchups
Michael Thomas vs. Falcons: This was looking a lot better when we expected Winston. I was going to write about Thomas and others, but with it being Hill and me expecting a lot more running, Thomas is the only Saints receiver I’d want to trust. He has not looked like the 2019 version of himself since, well, 2019, but he did have success against Atlanta, averaging 100 yards per game. On the season, the Falcons have allowed the third-most fantasy PPG to WRs (44.76), as well as the second-most receiving yards per game (215.1). I have Thomas as a high-end WR2 due to the QB change, but would still use him in this matchup.
Adam Thielen/Justin Jefferson vs. Cowboys: If we learned anything this past week, it is that you can start these two in just about any matchup. It more so depends on if it is the “Dalvin Cook Show” or not, but what we know is if Kirk Cousins is going to throw, it’s going to one of these two. That bodes well this week against the Cowboys who have allowed 43.38 fantasy PPG to WRs, the fourth-most in the NFL. They have also given up 16 TDs to WRs, tied for the most in the NFL with…the Vikings!
Other Favorable Matchups: Amari Cooper/CeeDee Lamb vs. MIN, Travis Fulgham/Jalen Reagor vs. CLE, Terry McLaurin vs. CIN
Best TE Matchups
Jared Cook vs. Falcons: If this was any other position, I would fully pivot away from Cook given the QB change, but right now 10 fantasy points is enough to finish as a Top 10 tight end. Given that and the matchup, I think you can still start Cook. The Falcons have issued a league-high 18.08 fantasy PPG and eight touchdowns to tight ends. Cook is a low-end TE1 for me this week.
Logan Thomas vs. Bengals: Now this is a tight end to get excited about! Thomas has scored double-digit fantasy points in three of his last four games, enough to finish as a Top 10 tight end in those three weeks. And he has a great chance to build off of it as he faces the Bengals who allow the second-most fantasy PPG (16.27) and receiving yards per game (65) to tight ends. He is a Top 10 tight end for me heading into Week 11.
Other Favorable TE Matchups: Austin Hooper vs. PHI, Hayden Hurst vs. NO, Eric Ebron vs. JAX
Fastest Rising Players:
D’Andre Swift: Swift has been ruled out for Week 11 with a concussion, so make sure to get him out of your starting lineup. But that does not mean he is still not rising in fantasy football! He was announced as the official starter ahead of Week 10 and ended up putting up season highs in snaps (73 percent), touches (22) and yards (149) in a tough matchup against Washington. He also has a very favorable schedule ahead, including the eighth-best fantasy playoff RB schedule. I am bullish on Swift and you should be too.
Kalen Ballage: Chargers coach Anthony Lynn came out this week and said Ballage would be the primary ball carrier. That right there is enough for him to make this list. Since joining the Chargers, he has scored over 15 fantasy points in both games and has a great matchup against the Jets this week. He is the RB to trust in Los Angeles until Austin Ekeler comes back into our lives.
Damien Harris: Harris played a season-high 55 percent of the snaps and saw a season-high 22 touches last week. He has also rushed for over 100 yards in half of his games this season. He has a great matchup this week against the Texans, which means his stock should continue to be on the rise. The one caveat is that he does not see pass game work and must battle with Rex Burkhead for goal-line opportunities. But, for now, he is the lone Patriots RB you can start.
Jalen Reagor: Last week, Reagor had a season-high seven targets and his 96 air yards were the most he saw in a game since Week 1. The fantasy production was not there, but the opportunity is increasing and that is what matters when projecting forward. Additionally, the Eagles have the fourth-best fantasy schedule for WRs the rest of the season.
Michael Pittman: Do not forget about the volume Pittman saw last week just cause it happened on Thursday. He saw season highs in routes ran (37), targets (8), red zone targets (3), catches (7) and receiving yards (101). He also promised after to find the end zone soon. The Colts have been searching for someone to step up in the passing game since T.Y. Hilton ain’t it anymore and Pittman could be on the verge of a second-half breakout.
Cynthia Frelund’s favorable flex matchups | Week 11
Toughest QB Matchups
Aaron Rodgers vs. Colts: The Colts have allowed the fewest fantasy PPG (13.56) and the second-fewest passing TDs (11) to QBs this season. They have allowed a Top 15 QB just once all season. It is as tough of a matchup as a QB can get, but Rodgers is also a tough matchup for the Colts defense. I think in season-long leagues you start Rodgers this week, but get away from him in DFS.
Tom Brady vs. Rams: Tough week for the GOAT as he faces a Rams defense that allows the second-fewest fantasy PPG to QBs (14.24) as well as the fewest passing TDs to the position this season (9). They are also issuing only an average of 199.7 passing yards per game. The Rams have just allowed a Top 17 fantasy QB twice all season and shut down Russell Wilson last week. Brady is not a QB1 this week.
Other Tough QB Matchups: Deshaun Watson vs. NE, Philip Rivers vs. GB, Jared Goff vs. TB
Toughest RB Matchups
James Robinson vs. Steelers: The Steelers have allowed the fewest fantasy PPG to RBs this season (17.67). In fact, they have allowed a Top 10 RB just once all season. But Robinson is not your average RB and I would start him as he gets such safe work each week. He has seen at least 16 touches in every game, including at least 25 touches in three straight and has scored double-digit fantasy points in every game. This is a tough matchup for both sides, but that doesn’t mean the defense is guaranteed to win. Start Robinson anyway.
Todd Gurley vs. Saints: Gurley is a TD-dependent RB who is facing a team that does not give a lot of touchdowns. On the season, Gurley has scored 40 percent of his fantasy points off of TDs and has just one game with over 90 yards. He also is getting just 2.4 targets per game. You may not have the depth to sit Gurley, but a single-digit performance is very much in play here.
Other Tough RB matchups: Aaron Jones vs. IND, Kareem Hunt/Nick Chubb vs. PHI, Ronald Jones/Leonard Fournette vs. LAR
Toughest WR Matchups
Chris Godwin/Antonio Brown/Mike Evans vs. Rams: Just like the Rams are tough on QBs, they are tough on receivers too. They have issued just 27.2 fantasy PPG this season, the fewest in the NFL. That includes a league-low 126 yards per game and just four TDs to wideouts this season. Its as tough a matchup as you can get. The Bucs receivers have a ton of talent so they can still win this battle, but I think Godwin is the only one you have to start. Evans and Brown are boom-or-bust WR3 for me and I like AB a little more because he has been more of the downfield threat, and a long pass is usually the best bet of going boom in a matchup like this.
Tee Higgins/Tyler Boyd/A.J. Green vs. Football Team: The WFT has been tough on wideouts this season, giving up just 27.8 fantasy PPG, the second-fewest in the NFL. They have allowed just two Top 20 WRs all season long. With the way Higgins has been playing, I would still use him. He has shown that, even in a bad matchup, he can go off. I think Boyd is a WR3 with a lower floor than normal while Green can be dropped.
Other Tough WR Matchups: Nelson Agholor/Henry Ruggs III vs. KC, A.J. Brown/Corey Davis vs. BAL, Jamison Crowder/ Breshad Perriman vs. LAC
Toughest TE Matchups
Colts TEs vs. Packers: The fact that the Colts use three tight ends is enough to avoid them most weeks, but the matchup does them no favors this week. The Packers are giving up just 7.96 fantasy PPG to tight ends this season, the second-fewest in the NFL. Stay away this week.
Robert Tonyan vs. Colts: Tonyan was fun early in the season but he has sputtered as of late, scoring fewer than seven fantasy points in four of the last five games. I don’t like his chances to get right this week against the Colts who have allowed just 8.0 fantasy PPG to TEs this season, the fourth-fewest in the NFL.
Other Tough TE Matchups: Darren Fells vs. NE, Darren Waller vs. KC, Noah Fant vs. MIA