NFL.com breaks down the best -- and worst -- fantasy matchups ahead of each week of the 2022 NFL fantasy football season.
Best QB matchup of the week
Fields had a disappointing fantasy output in Week 16 against a tough defense (Bills), but he should bounce back in Week 17 with the best QB matchup of the week. The Lions are allowing a league-high 23 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks in 2022. Over the last two weeks, they have even allowed Zach Wilson and Sam Darnold to each score 19+ points against them. Fields had a week-winning performance in Week 10 against the Lions, putting up 39.4 fantasy points. He should be ranked as a top-three QB this week.
Other favorable QB matchups
Goff is back at home, where he averages 2.5 touchdowns and over 21 fantasy points per game this season. Plus, he gets a very nice matchup. Since Week 8, the Bears are allowing the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Over their last four games, they have allowed Mike White, Jalen Hurts and Josh Allen to each score 23+ points. Goff is about to win people fantasy championships.
Rodgers has been atrocious for fantasy this season, especially over the last four weeks as he has scored fewer than 14 points in each game. However, this matchup is too good to ignore. Since Week 8, the Vikings are allowing the most passing yards, passing touchdowns and fifth-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. Everyone not named Taylor Heinicke or Matt Ryan has scored at least 17 points against the Vikings during that span. Rodgers has yet to score more than 20 points in a game this season, so his ceiling isn't the best ... but if you are desperate, he should be a somewhat safe play to at least score 15 points.
Worst QB matchup of the week
If you held onto Watson in hopes that he would save your fantasy season when he returned from his 11-game suspension, you have been thoroughly disappointed. He has averaged a pitiful 11.5 fantasy points per game over his four starts this season. To make things worse, he gets a tough matchup against the Commanders, who have allowed a league-low 195 passing yards per game since Week 5. The only QB to score more than 18 fantasy points against the Commanders over that span was Jalen Hurts (21.8 points).
Other tough QB matchups
Smith exceeded expectations by a ton this season ... but he has fallen back to reality over the last couple of weeks. He has had fewer than 250 passing yards and just one touchdown in each of his last two games. Now, he has to face a very stingy Jets defense. The Jets have allowed the fewest yards per pass attempt and just SIX total passing touchdowns since Week 4. The only QB who has scored more than 18 points against the Jets over that span is Josh Allen.
Burrow is a must-start every week -- 100%. However, his ceiling might be capped in this tough matchup. The Bills have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks in 2022. They have faced many talented QBs this season -- Lamar Jackson, Tua Tagovailoa, Patrick Mahomes, Kirk Cousins, Jared Goff and Justin Fields -- and not one of them scored more than 20 points against Buffalo. In Week 16, the Bills held Fields (who has been on fire) to just 10 points.
Best RB matchups of the week
Etienne has not found the end zone since Week 9, but he has the fourth-most carries in the red zone among RBs this season, behind only Jamaal Williams, Austin Ekeler and Miles Sanders. The touchdowns will come. Plus, the Jaguars are leaning on him more and more as of late --- he has more than 20 touches in each of the last two games. If Etienne gets 20 touches against the Texans, he is going to win folks fantasy championships. The Texans have allowed the most rush yards, touchdowns, and fantasy points to the running back position in 2022.
Other favorable RB matchups
With Desmond Ridder under center, the Falcons have leaned on Allgeier to lead the offense. Allgeier has had a career-high 17 and 18 carries over the past two weeks, and even had five targets in Week 16. The Cardinals have allowed at least one RB to score 17+ points against them in nine of their last 10 games. Just over the last three weeks, they have allowed Pierre Strong, Latavius Murray, Marlon Mack, Leonard Fournette and Rachaad White to all score more than 15 points against them. Allgeier is a strong play in Week 17.
Robinson had three straight games from Weeks 12-15 with 100+ scrimmage yards before running into the 49ers daunting defense in Week 16, who have been dominant against the run all year. Robinson gets the complete opposite matchup in Week 17. The Browns are allowing the third-most yards per carry, rushing touchdowns and fantasy points to RBs this season. Robinson doesn't have a super high ceiling since he isn't involved in the passing game, but he should at least score double-digit points on Sunday.
Worst RB matchup of the week
The 49ers have allowed BY FAR the fewest yards per carry, scrimmage yards, and fantasy points to the running back position this season. Over their last 10 games, no RB has scored more than 13 points against them. Jacobs still needs to be started as he is the RB3 on the season, and he should get a ton of volume with Derek Carr benched ... but I expect his efficiency to be very poor in this matchup.
Other tough RB matchups
Harris has been disappointing in 2022 considering his draft cost -- he has scored more than 15 points in just one game this season. He has looked much better lately, but he gets a tough matchup this Sunday. The Ravens have allowed the third-fewest rushing yards this season. Harris averaged just 2.8 yards per carry against the Ravens in Week 14. He will need to get into the end zone to have a decent fantasy performance in Week 17.
Chubb is averaging just 4.0 yards per carry and 9.4 fantasy points per game since Deshaun Watson returned from suspension (he averaged 5.2 yards/carry & 19 fantasy PPG with Jacoby Brissett). The Commanders have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points per game to RBs since Week 8. This is also a must-win game for the Commanders, while the Browns have nothing to play for. If you made it this far in your fantasy playoffs, you likely don’t have Chubb on your roster. If you do, hopefully he can sneak into the end zone this week.
Best WR matchup of the week
Over their last six games, the Bears have allowed Amon-Ra St. Brown, A.J. Brown, Garrett Wilson and Christian Watson to each score 22+ points against them. St. Brown is an every week obvious start, but Chark should also be in your lineups. Chark has put up over 90 receiving yards in three of his last four games. He is averaging 20 yards per reception over the last four weeks, while no defense has allowed more yards per reception than the Bears since Week 10.
Other favorable WR matchups
Lazard has had very little fantasy success over the last six weeks, but he saw a team-high eleven targets in Week 16. Christian Watson is dealing with a hip injury, and if he is not able to play this week, Lazard should see double-digit targets yet again on Sunday in a fantastic matchup. The Vikings have allowed the most receiving yards and fantasy points to the wide receiver position in 2022. If Watson plays, he would be my preferred Packers WR to start this week.
Jeudy has scored 15+ points in each of his last three games and had a season-high 117 receiving yards in Week 16. On the other hand, the Chiefs have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to the wide receiver position in 2022. Jeudy just put up over 30 points against the Chiefs in Week 14. Russell Wilson and the Broncos offense are so bad ... but Jeudy is doing his thang.
Worst WR matchup of the week
The Jets have allowed the fewest receiving yards, touchdowns and fantasy points to the wide receiver position since Week 4. Metcalf is obviously an incredible talent and will get his share of targets, but Sauce Gardner will make his life difficult on Sunday. Per Next Gen Stats, the Jets are allowing the lowest catch percentage and yards per target on downfield passes (10+ air yards) this season. Metcalf will need a ton of targets in this matchup to make up for his expected inefficiency.
Other tough WR matchups
Jones has had 22+ points in three of his last five games. He also had fewer than four points in those other two games. Last week in a tough matchup, he had just one reception for 14 yards. This week, he gets another tough matchup. The Texans have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this season and have only allowed five TDs to the position all year long. It is hard to sit Jones after his recent monster performances, but he is a risky-start in this matchup.
Cooper has averaged just 9.3 fantasy points per game since Deshaun Watson returned from suspension. The Commanders have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points per game to wide receivers since Week 5 and have allowed just four touchdowns to the position over that span. They have not allowed a WR to score more than 15 points in any of their last six games. Cooper is still a viable starting asset as he is averaging eight targets per game with Watson, but his ceiling is low in this matchup.
Best TE matchup of the week
The Texans are solid at covering wide receivers but are weaker covering the tight end position. Eight TEs have seen five-plus targets in a game against the Texans this season, and six of those eight recorded at least five receptions and 60 yards (the only two that didn't were Foster Moreau and Kylen Granson). Engram has averaged 10 targets per game over the last four weeks. He is a must-start.
Other favorable TE matchups
Kittle has had back-to-back games with 90+ yards and two TDs and has seen at least five targets in all three games that Brock Purdy has started. The Raiders have faced very few opponents that utilize their tight ends as pass catchers this season. Only five TEs have seen five-plus targets in a game against the Raider in 2022 -- Zach Ertz, Travis Kelce, Gerald Everett, Greg Dulcich and Pat Freiermuth. All but Dulcich scored at least 13 points in that game.
Kmet has scored fewer than eight points in four of his last five games and has not found the end zone since Week 10. However, Kmet has had at least five targets in each of the last four games and he should be a viable starting option this Sunday. The Lions are allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to the TEs in 2022. Kmet put up 74 yards and two TDs against the Lions in Week 10.
Worst TE matchup of the week
Waller has had a couple of decent weeks since returning from injury, but he should be avoided in Week 17. Jarrett Stidham will be starting at QB for the Raiders as Derek Carr got benched. The 49ers have the best scoring and total defense in the NFL this season, and they are going to dominate Stidham in his first-ever start. Plus, the 49ers are allowing the fifth-fewest fantasy points to tight ends in 2022. They have allowed just one TE to record more than 35 yards against them over their last 11 games (Travis Kelce ... shocker).
Other tough TE matchups
Goedert returned from IR in Week 16 and was not on a snap count in the slightest -- fantastic news. Unfortunately, he saw just three targets from Gardner Minshew. Even more unfortunate, the Saints are allowing the fewest fantasy points to tight ends this season. No tight end has scored 10+ points against the Saints this year.
Hurst is expected to return from injury in Week 17, but he unfortunately gets a super tough matchup this Monday. The Bills have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to tight ends in 2022. They have allowed ZERO touchdowns to a TE this entire year. Hurst is not a viable starting option this week.