NFL.com breaks down the best — and worst — fantasy matchups ahead of each week of the 2022 NFL fantasy football season.
- RUNNING BACKS
- WIDE RECEIVERS
- TIGHT ENDS
Best QB matchup of the week
Carr is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you are going to get. He had a poor fantasy performance in Week 1 due to throwing three interceptions, but he should have a much better game this weekend. The Cardinals have allowed the most passing touchdowns (35) in the NFL since the start of the 2021 season. Patrick Mahomes destroyed the Cardinals secondary last week, putting up 360 passing yards and five touchdowns (with ease).
Other favorable QB matchups
Stafford killed fantasy managers in Week 1, but the Bills were the toughest defense against fantasy quarterbacks in 2021. He will get a much better matchup in Week 2, as the Falcons have allowed the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks since 2021. Jarvis Landry had a big day in the slot against the Falcons in Week 1; now just imagine the damage that Cooper Kupp can do against this defense.
Lance’s first game of the season was not pretty, however, the playing conditions were less than ideal. Playing in pouring rain is never easy, but the new turf at Soldier Field was not draining properly and there was a ton of standing water on the field. He should have a much better outing in Week 2 versus the Seahawks, who have allowed the second-most passing yards in the NFL since 2021 and allowed Russell Wilson to put up 340 yards in the season opener. Seattle will also be without star safety Jamal Adams for the remainder of the season.
Disclaimer: The weather in San Francisco is starting to look bad for Sunday (rain). Keep an eye on the forecast.
Worst QB matchup of the week
The Dolphins have surprisingly allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to the quarterback position since 2021 and had a dominant defensive performance against the Patriots in Week 1. Jackson had a solid fantasy outing last week against the Jets due to three downfield passing touchdowns, but the offense struggled to do much of anything outside of those three plays. Last season, Jackson faced the Dolphins in Week 10 and scored just 15.4 fantasy points. I would not sit Jackson in fantasy due to his elite playmaking ability. However, you might want to prioritize plugging in higher upside fantasy scorers throughout the rest of your lineup.
Other tough QB matchups
Brady has faced the Saints four times in the regular season since joining the Buccaneers — he has lost all four matchups while throwing seven interceptions and just six touchdowns in those games. Brady has scored under five fantasy points in two of his four matchups against the Saints since 2020. However, this matchup is at New Orleans and Brady has put together two solid fantasy performances versus the Saints in games at the Caesars Superdome … so there is still hope that he will be OK for fantasy this week.
This has more to do with when the Vikings play rather who they are playing. Cousins and prime-time games do not make a nice pairing. Cousins has a 2-9 record on Monday Night Football, which is the worst QB record on MNF in NFL history (minimum 10 starts). Cousins has not hit 20 fantasy points in any of his last 10 prime-time games and has only scored 15+ fantasy points in three of those last 10 games. Things could be different in a new offense with Kevin O’Connell, but he is a risky start this week.
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Best RB matchup of the week
Gibson led the Commanders in rushing yards (58) and receiving yards (72) in Week 1. He had 21 touches in the game, while J.D. McKissic had just six. Gibson gets a juicy matchup this week against the Lions, who allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to the running back position in 2021, then allowed 216 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns to the Eagles last week. Gibson is a must start in this matchup.
Other favorable RB matchups
Cook started his fantasy season with a mediocre fantasy performance, scoring just 13.8 PPR points in Week 1. The good news is that he gets a much friendlier matchup this week. The Eagles have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points and the third-most receptions in the NFL to running backs since 2021. D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams combined for 205 scrimmage yards and three touchdowns against the Eagles last week. Cook will get plenty of volume and should get into the end zone at least once in this matchup.
Williams had a good fantasy day in Week 1, mostly due to his 11 receptions for 65 receiving yards. He also looked great on the ground, averaging over six yards per carry, but he saw just seven rushing attempts all game. The Texans allowed the most rushing yards in the NFL to running backs in 2021 and they allowed Jonathan Taylor to steamroll them for 161 yards and a touchdown on the ground in their season opener. Yes, Melvin Gordon also looked good … yes, Gordon will get plenty of snaps … but Williams is too talented to sit on your bench.
Honorable mentions: Saquon Barkley vs. Panthers, Josh Jacobs vs. Cardinals, Jeff Wilson Jr. vs. Seahawks
Worst RB matchup of the week
The Patriots have allowed just six rushing touchdowns to the running back position since the start of the 2021 season (fewest in the NFL). Harris typically needs to get into the end zone to have a nice fantasy week, as his efficiency has been horrid playing behind a very bad offensive line. On the other hand, the Patriots have allowed the fourth-most receiving yards to RBs since 2021. Unfortunately, Harris only saw two targets last week in Mitch Trubisky’s first start. Add in the fact that Harris is dealing with a tricky foot injury and he is a risky start in fantasy this week.
Other tough RB matchups
The Ravens have allowed the fewest rushing yards in the NFL since 2021 and kept the Jets to just 83 rushing yards in Week 1. Edmonds led the Dolphins backfield in rushing attempts in their season opener, but that equated to just 12 carries for 25 yards (2.1 yards/carry). Edmonds also was targeted just four times with the duo of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle stealing the show. He will need to see a big uptick in touches to be productive in a tough matchup.
In the Seahawks’ season opener, Penny looked just as good as he did at the end of the 2021 season when he won people their fantasy leagues. The issue was that the team only handed the ball off to a running back 13 times in the entire game (Penny had 12 of those carries). This week’s matchup will be a challenge for Penny as the 49ers have allowed a league-low 3.5 yards per carry to running backs since the start of the 2021 season. David Montgomery averaged just 1.5 yards on his 17 rushing attempts last week against the 49ers.
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Best WR matchup of the week
The Commanders have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to wide receivers since 2021. In their season opener, they allowed Jaguars WR Christian Kirk to record 117 receiving yards; Kirk entered this game with just four career games with 100+ receiving yards. Per Next Gen Stats, Kirk had a league-high 12 targets out of the slot last week. St. Brown was second in the league with 10 targets when aligned in the slot. St. Brown should have a fantastic fantasy day, especially in PPR leagues.
Other favorable WR matchups
Davis had a nice start to the season while making a couple splash plays in the kickoff game versus the Rams. Davis only saw five targets in the game, but had 88 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown. Davis is a big-play machine and end-zone magnet. He does not need a ton of targets to score fantasy points. Davis gets a great matchup this week as the Titans allowed the second-most receiving yards and fantasy points to the wide receiver position in 2021. Get Davis into your fantasy lineups.
The Jaguars allowed four receiving touchdowns and 51 total fantasy points to the Commanders’ WRs in Week 1. Pittman was the only WR whom Matt Ryan cared to target in their season opener, as he recorded 121 receiving yards and a TD on 13 targets in the game. If Carson Wentz can destroy the Jaguars secondary, I believe Ryan should be able to as well. One thing to note: Pittman (quad) was a DNP at practice on Thursday, so his status is worth tracking.
Honorable mentions: Davante Adams vs. Cardinals, Commander WRs at Lions, A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith vs. Vikings
Worst WR matchup of the week
Cooks led the Texans with seven receptions for 82 receiving yards in Week 1, but did not get into the end zone, as O.J. Howard stole both receiving touchdowns in the game. Cooks has struggled to find the end zone for most of his career, and while he sees plenty of volume, he doesn’t offer a ton of upside, especially in tough matchups. The Broncos allowed the fewest fantasy points in the NFL to WRs in Week 1. DK Metcalf had seven receptions for just 36 yards against the Broncos, Cooks could put up a very similar stat line this week.
Other tough WR matchups
The Cardinals offense was very disappointing in its season opener against the Chiefs. Arizona struggled to do much of anything until garbage time late in the game. Brown saved his fantasy day with a TD in the fourth quarter, but he had just four receptions for 43 yards in the game. This matchup against Las Vegas should be a high-scoring affair, but the Raiders have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points in the NFL to the wide receiver position since the start of the 2021 season. Brown isn’t a must-sit, but it could be another slow fantasy week for him in this matchup.
Cooper was pretty much non-existent in Week 1, recording just three receptions for 17 receiving yards against the Panthers. This week might not be any better going up against the Jets defense. The Jets allowed Lamar Jackson to throw three TDs on Sunday, but all three were on downfield passes; Jackson gained just 4.3 yards/attempt on his other 27 passes in the game. Browns QB Jacoby Brissett averaged just 6.0 yards per attempt on downfield passes in Week 1 (second-lowest among qualified QBs). You probably have better, safer options to start over Cooper this week in fantasy.
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Best TE matchup of the week
The Raiders allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to the tight end position last season. Even Gerald Everett had over 50 receiving yards and a TD last week against the Raiders. Ertz had a disappointing start to his season, recording just two catches for 14 yards against the Chiefs, but he did find the end zone once. He should have a much better outing in an easier matchup with another week to get back to full health.
Other favorable TE matchups
Besides O.J. Howard, Travis Kelce was the only tight end who had a great fantasy day in Week 1. Though he didn’t win you your fantasy week, Schultz was his consistent self, leading the Cowboys in receptions (seven) and gaining 62 yards. It is not ideal that Schultz will be catching passes from Cooper Rush for the next month or so, but he saw seven targets in the last game that Rush started. The Bengals have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points and second-most receiving yards in the NFL to TEs since the start of the 2021 season and allowed Pat Freiermuth to catch five balls for 75 yards in Week 1.
The Lions allowed the third-most receiving yards in the NFL to the tight end position since 2021. Last week, they allowed Dallas Goedert to average 20 yards per reception. In his first game back after tearing his ACL late last season, Thomas saw six targets and had four receptions for 45 yards. You could do much worse in PPR leagues if you are looking for a tight end off waivers to start this week.
Worst TE matchup of the week
Freiermuth started his sophomore season strong with five receptions for 75 yards in Week 1 against the Bengals. Mitch Trubisky seems to trust Freiermuth as he had a career-high 10 targets in the game. However, now he will face the Patriots, who have allowed a league-low 7.0 fantasy points per game to the tight end position since the start of the 2021 season. Over their last 18 games, no tight end scored 13+ fantasy points in a game against the Patriots — only two have scored 10+ fantasy points in a game against them in that span: Dalton Schultz (12.9) and Austin Hooper (12.5).
Other tough TE matchups
The Titans have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points in the NFL to the tight end position since 2021. The only TE to score more than 10 fantasy points in a game vs. the Titans since 2021 is Travis Kelce — he had 13.5 PPR points in Week 7 of last season. Knox had just one reception for five yards last week against the Rams. He will need to get into the end zone to be fantasy relevant this week. Unfortunately, the Titans have allowed only three TDs to tight ends since 2021.
Geno Smith and the new Seahawks offense looked to target the TE position early and often in their season opener against the Broncos. Fant led the tight end group with four targets, but he recorded just 16 receiving yards. In Week 2, the Seahawks will face the 49ers, who have allowed just 8.7 fantasy points per game to the tight end position since the start of last season. The 49ers have allowed a league-low 9.0 yards per reception to TEs in that same span. For a player who rarely finds the end zone, this is a brutal fantasy matchup for Fant.
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