This week is going to be challenging to set those fantasy lineups. Not only are there six teams on bye, they are some of the more high-powered offenses, meaning a lot of key fantasy players will be missing. There are also a lot of injuries that are impacting both NFL teams lineups and our fantasy ones! You may have to dive deep this week, but this article, along with the Week 7 fantasy rankings will help you navigate the toughest fantasy week of the season!
Best QB matchups
Aaron Rodgers vs. Football Team: Look, I know you do not need to be told to start Aaron Rodgers, but the matchup literally couldn't get any better this week. The Football team has allowed the most fantasy points (26.68), passing yards per game (317.3), and passing touchdowns per game (2.7) to QBs this season. It's been a fall from grace after the way Washington's defense played last year. Since Week 2 every QB to face Washington has topped 22 fantasy points. In fact, Patrick Mahomes had just 22.98 last week, from Week 2 through 5, every QB who faced Washington topped 25 fantasy points with three topping 29. Rodgers should go off this week.
Ryan Tannehill vs. Chiefs: The Chiefs have given up the second-most fantasy PPG to QBs (24.95). Taylor Heinicke was held in check last week, but before that the last four QBs to face them all topped 28 fantasy points. Tannehill has disappointed, only throwing multiple passing TDs in one game this season and scoring fewer than 15 fantasy points four times. I am willing to give him one more chance, partially because of the matchup and partially because the byes are hitting the QB position hard this week.
Other favorable QB matchups: Patrick Mahomes at Titans, Tua Tagovailoa vs. Falcons, Justin Fields at Buccaneers.
Best RB matchups
Damien Harris/Rhamondre Stevenson vs. Jets: The Jets have issued 32.84 fantasy PPG to RBs, the most in the NFL. That includes a league-high 8.2 catches per game and 182.4 yards per game to the position. Not only is this a great matchup for the Pats running backs, but they are coming off strong performances. Last week Harris had 19 touches for 108 yards and a touchdown, while Stevenson had five carries for 23 yards and a score, while adding in three catches for 39 yards. Harris comes in as a borderline RB1 due to injuries and byes, while Stevenson is a flex option.
Darrell Henderson vs. Lions: Detroit is a great matchup every week for running backs. They have issued 31.87 fantasy PPG, the second most in the league. They've also allowed 12 touchdowns to the position this season -- only one other team has allowed 10, everyone else is in single-digits. That is after allowing the most fantasy points and touchdowns to backs last season. Henderson is an RB1 both because of the matchup and the volume he sees each week.
Other favorable RB matchups: Alvin Kamara at Seahawks, Cordarrelle Patterson/Mike Davis at Dolphins, Josh Jacobs vs. Eagles.
Best WR matchups
Tyreek Hill at Titans: The Titans have allowed 50.48 fantasy PPG to receivers this season, nearly four more per game than any other team. Eight receivers have already scored over 19 fantasy points against them -- in just six games. Hill is a must-start in seasonal, but he gets a boost this week and is worth paying up for in daily. If you trust a second WR here, it is Mecole Hardman. He has seen consistent usage and the Chiefs likely use him to take some deep shots. Demarcus Robinson is also an option as a bye week replacement -- he saw six targets last week and caught a touchdown. Sadly, Josh Gordon cannot be trusted in fantasy.
Davante Adams vs. Football Team: The Football team have been a great matchup for both QBs and WRs. They've allowed the second-most fantasy PPG to receivers, at 46.62. That includes 212.5 yards per game and nine touchdowns, both rank in the top three in the NFL. They have already allowed six receivers to top 19 fantasy points against them. It's not looking likely for Marquez Valdes-Scantling to return this week, so if you want to take a shot on another option here, Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb would be the two. Lazard is the preferred play since he had five targets last week, while Cobb was shut out.
Other favorable WR matchups: Calvin Ridley at Dolphins, D.J. Moore/Robby Anderson at Giants, Allen Robinson/Darnell Mooney at Buccaneers.
Best TE matchups
C.J. Uzomah at Ravens: The Ravens have allowed 18.73 fantasy PPG to TEs this season, the second-most in the NFL. That is partially because they have had a very tough schedule against tight ends as they have faced Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, T.J. Hockenson, Noah Fant, and to lesser extents, Jared Cook and Mo Alie-Cox. If you need streaming a tight end off the waiver wire, and many are due to byes and injuries, Uzomah is a deeper name. You are basically hopping for a touchdown, but he does have three in his last three games combined with double-digit fantasy points in two of his last three.
Zach Ertz vs. Texans: Houston has allowed 18.65 fantasy PPG to tight ends, the third-most in the NFL. That includes five touchdowns to the position, tied for the most in the NFL. The Texans already have allowed over nine fantasy points to seven tight ends this season. It's a good matchup, for a good tight end, in a good offense -- but despite all that I would practice patience if possible. I understand many won't have that luxury this week, and Ertz is still ranked as my TE13 this week -- but it's his first game in a new offense that runs more four receiver sets than any team in the league -- doing so on 25 percent of their plays. He is a risk-reward type of play.
Other favorable TE matchups: Anthony Firkser vs. Chiefs, Dallas Goedert at Raiders, Ross Dwelley vs. Colts.
Toughest QB matchups
Geno Smith vs. Saints: Another prime-time game staring Geno Smith! This week he has the tough task of taking on the Saints, who have allowed 13.85 fantasy PPG, the second-fewest in the NFL this season. They have allowed just five passing plus rushing touchdowns to QBs, tied with the Jets for the fewest in the NFL. Smith is purely a deeper option in two QB formats this week.
Davis Mills at Cardinals: Typically, I would have skipped this and wrote about another QB -- but with so many byes and injuries, you may have to dive deep. Especially in two-QB formats. But even so, Mills is purely left for the desperate. The Cardinals are allowing just 15.53 fantasy PPG, the fifth-fewest in the NFL. Mills has one game over 11 fantasy points this year. He is purely for those in a big pinch, primarily in two-QB formats.
Other tough QB matchups: Lamar Jackson vs. Bengals, Mac Jones vs. Jets, Zach Wilson at Patriots.
Toughest RB matchups
Devontae Booker vs. Panthers: Barkley has been absent from practice this week, which means Booker will likely get another start. It comes in a tough matchup against the Panthers who have allowed 14.93 fantasy PPG to RBs this season, the fewest in the NFL. They've given up just two touchdowns to backs this year. Booker remains in play in seasonal leagues as a low end RB2 or flex option due to volume, but it's a beware, especially for daily.
Eli Mitchell/Trey Sermon vs. Colts: Indianapolis has allowed just 17.83 fantasy PPG to RBs this season, the third-fewest in the NFL. That includes allowing just two touchdowns to backs this season. Mitchell is the option to trust here, if any, as he has played the majority of snaps and gotten more touches when both backs are active. Sermon is purely just a deeper option for those in need of a bye week replacement.
Other tough RB matchups: Mark Ingram vs. Cardinals, Alex Collins/Rashaad Penny vs. Saints, Damien Williams/Khalil Herbert at Buccaneers.
Toughest WR matchups
Jakobi Meyers vs. Jets: The Jets are viewed as a beneficial matchup, but that has not been the case when it comes to the passing game. This year they have allowed just 26.4 fantasy PPG to receivers, the second fewest in the NFL. They've allowed just two touchdowns to the position. Meyers remains in play this week as a WR3 or flex option due to byes and just the volume he sees weekly, but the rest of the Patriots receivers can be benched.
Henry Ruggs/Bryan Edwards/Hunter Renfrow vs. Eagles: Philly has been tough against receivers allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy PPG to receivers (29.93). That includes just allowing 129 yards per game to the position. Ruggs has a high ceiling, as he has been getting open downfield all season, and if he connects on a long ball, he will have a day. Renfrow brings a safe floor so he can be used as a bye week replacement. You can get away from Edwards this week.
Other tough WR matchups: Cardinals WRs vs. Texans, Bengals WRs at Ravens, Eagles WRs at Raiders.
Toughest TE matchups
Buccaneers TEs vs. Bears: The Bears have allowed just 8.15 fantasy PPG, the third fewest in the NFL. That includes just 34.8 yards per game and one touchdown. Rob Gronkowski will miss another game, leaving O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate as replacement options. Howard is coming off his best game of the season and is the preferred option of the two, but even he is just a TE2 in this matchup.
Travis Kelce at Titans: The Titans have issued just 7.15 fantasy PPG to TEs this season, the second-fewest in the NFL. They've given up just 23.2 yards per game to tight ends, and two touchdowns all season. Kelce is always in play, but the matchup is tough this week.
Other tough TE matchups: Mo Alie-Cox at 48ers, Mark Andrews vs. Bengals.
Notable Receivers with the Best WR/CB Matchups (per PFF):
- Cooper Kupp
- Davante Adams
- A.J. Brown
- DeAndre Hopkins
- Tyreek Hill
- Antonio Brown
- Mike Evans
- Calvin Ridley
- Terry McLaurin
- Deonte Harris
- DK Metcalf
- Tyler Boyd
- Marquise Brown
- Robert Woods
- Tyler Lockett
- Allen Robinson
- Chris Godwin
- Julio Jones
- Deebo Samuel
- T.Y. Hilton
Notable Receivers with the Toughest WR/CB Matchup (per PFF):
- Amon-Ra St. Brown
- Kalif Raymond
- Zach Pascal
- Darius Slayton
- Nico Collins
- Robbie Anderson
- Elijah Moore
- Henry Ruggs III
- Jalen Reagor
- Rashod Bateman
- Adam Humphries
- Dyami Brown
- Quez Watkins
- Bryan Edwards
- A.J. Green
- DeVonta Smith
- Michael Pittman Jr.
- Brandon Aiyuk
- Jamison Crowder
- Jaylen Waddle