2022 NFL season: Week 16 fantasy football matchups

NFL.com breaks down the best — and worst — fantasy matchups ahead of each week of the 2022 NFL fantasy football season.

  • QUARTERBACKS
  • RUNNING BACKS
  • WIDE RECEIVERS
  • TIGHT ENDS

Related Links

  • NFL Fantasy Football 2022: Week 16 Daily Fantasy Sports Picks
  • NFL Fantasy 2022 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 16: Quarterbacks
  • Fantasy Football 2022: Marcas Grant's Week 16 sleepers

Quarterbacks

Best QB matchup of the week

Jones has had a tough fantasy schedule over the last four weeks, playing against the Cowboys, Eagles, and the Commanders twice. But this week he gets a super nice matchup against the Vikings, who have allowed the most passing yards and fifth-most fantasy points per game to QBs since Week 6. The last time that Jones had a nice fantasy matchup was in Week 11 against the Lions, and he put up nearly 25 fantasy points in that game. An additional bonus is that he will be playing in a dome, while many other QBs will be playing in windy, freezing cold weather this weekend.

Other favorable QB matchups

Smith had a disappointing fantasy outing in Week 15 (as most QBs do when they face the 49ers defense) but he should get back on track this week in a much more favorable matchup. The Chiefs have allowed the most passing touchdowns, highest passer rating and fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Smith scored 19+ points in each of his six games prior to Week 15. He should be a safe play this week.

Starting Darnold in the fantasy playoffs sounds like my literal worst nightmare… but unfortunately, he was given the very best fantasy matchup in Week 16. The Lions are allowing a league-high 23.3 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks in 2022. Over the last six weeks, they have allowed Justin Fields, Daniel Jones, Josh Allen and Kirk Cousins to each score 25+ fantasy points against them… and they even let ZACH WILSON score 19.4 points last week. If Wilson can put up a solid fantasy week against this defense, then Darnold could do it too.

Disclaimer: Even though he has the best matchup, I didn’t put Darnold under “Best QB Matchup of the Week” because he is still Sam Darnold… and I don’t want to entice you to play him too much.

Worst QB matchup of the week

Purdy has been a viable fantasy QB through his first two starts, scoring 21.8 points in Week 14 and 16.5 in Week 15. However, he gets a tough matchup against the Commanders, who have allowed just 192 passing yards per game and an average of 14 fantasy points to QBs over their last eight games. The only QB to score more than 17 fantasy points against the Commanders over that span was Jalen Hurts (21.8 points).

Other tough QB matchups

Prescott’s fantasy production has been disappointing as of late, as he’s scored fewer than 17 points in three of his last four games. The Eagles have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks in 2022. They have held opposing starting QBs to 16 or fewer points in 12 of their 14 games. Justin Fields is the only QB to score 20+ points against Philly this season, and he needed 95 rushing yards to do it.

The Bills have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this year and have allowed just one QB to score 20+ points against them. This is not an ideal matchup for Fields in such an important fantasy week, but it really doesn’t matter… you are starting him. His rushing ability makes him a must-play every week, even in hard matchups.

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Running Backs

Best RB matchups of the week

This is an obvious one. The Texans are a terrible run defense, and Henry is a beast. Henry has scored 35+ points in each of his last four games against the Texans. If you roster him, you are thrilled.

With Mark Ingram on IR, Kamara saw a season-high 21 carries in Week 15. The Saints will need to lean on him again this Saturday as the weather in Cleveland is likely not going to be suitable for a heavy passing attack. The Browns are allowing the second-most yards per carry, second-most rushing touchdowns, and third-most fantasy points to RBs this season. Kamara has been disappointing for most of the year, but he should come through for his fantasy managers this week.

Other favorable RB matchups

  • Jerick McKinnon
  • Isiah Pacheco

The Seahawks are allowing the second-most fantasy points to the running back position in 2022. Over the last four weeks, Seattle has allowed Josh Jacobs, Cam Akers, Chuba Hubbard and Christian McCaffrey to each score 19+ points against it. McKinnon has been on fire and needs to be in all starting lineups. Pacheco’s workload on the ground has been consistent and he is a safe play to score around 10 points, with higher upside if he gets into the end zone.

With Jonathan Taylor going down with an injury early in the game, Moss led the Colts’ backfield in snaps, carries, and rush yards in Week 15. Moss’ efficiency was not stellar (81 yards on 24 carries), but the Vikings are a very good run defense. The Vikings have allowed the third-fewest yards per carry (3.8) to RBs this season, while the Chargers have allowed a league-high 5.5 yards per carry. If Moss leads the backfield in carries in this matchup, he should have a solid fantasy performance in Week 16. (Deon Jackson is also a viable option as he looked like the much better RB between the two last week)

Worst RB matchup of the week

Rule #1 in fantasy: Don’t play RBs against the 49ers. The Niners have allowed the fewest yards per carry, scrimmage yards, and fantasy points to the running back position this season. Robinson has been very solid as of late, but he doesn’t have a high enough ceiling to risk playing him in this terrible matchup.

Other tough RB matchups

  • D’Onta Foreman
  • Chuba Hubbard

There has been no consistency in the Panthers’ backfield since Hubbard returned from injury. We never know who will lead the team in snaps and touches in any given week. To make things worse, they get a super difficult matchup this Saturday. The Lions are allowing the fewest fantasy points per game to RBs since Week 8. They have faced Saquon Barkley, Dalvin Cook, Aaron Jones, Travis Etienne, David Montgomery, Devin Singletary and Zonovan Knight during that span… and did not allow even one of them to hit 10 points.

Mixon has a crazy high ceiling, as we saw in Week 11 when he put up an insane 55 points against the Panthers. However, he has also scored just 12 or fewer points in seven games this season. This is an unfortunate matchup in the fantasy playoffs as the Patriots are allowing the second-fewest fantasy points to running backs in 2022 and have allowed just three rushing touchdowns to the position all season long. They have allowed just one RB to score more than 16 points against them in a game this year.

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Wide Receivers

Best WR matchup of the week

Metcalf has been very consistent in fantasy over the back half of the season, scoring 12+ points in each of his last seven games. He is averaging nearly 10 targets per game since Week 8, and his targets should only increase with the injury to Tyler Lockett. Plus, he gets a fantastic matchup as the Chiefs have allowed the most receiving touchdowns and fourth-most fantasy points to the wide receiver position in 2022. They have allowed five different WRs to put up a 30+ point performance against them this year, including three since Week 10 — Jerry Jeudy, Christian Kirk, and Josh Palmer.

Other favorable WR matchups

  • A.J. Brown
  • Devonta Smith

The Cowboys were a tough defense over the first half of the season, but WRs have been putting up good performances against their secondary as of late. Zay Jones, Christian Kirk, Chris Moore, Amari Rodgers, Alec Pierce and Richie James all put up over 15 points against the Cowboys over the last four weeks. The Eagles will likely pass more with Gardner Minshew under center instead of Jalen Hurts. Minshew is a good enough passer to get the ball into the hands of his best playmakers. 

Moore has scored 18+ points in two of the three games that Sam Darnold has started this season… he also scored 0.6 points in the third game. That is the risk you take when starting a Panthers player… you never know what you are going to get. However, this matchup might be too juicy to ignore. The Lions have allowed the most receiving yards and third-most fantasy points to the wide receiver position in 2022. Moore should be a very good start in Week 16.

Worst WR matchup of the week

Cooper has not hit 10 fantasy points in any game since Deshaun Watson returned from suspension. On top of that, the Saints have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points per game to wide receivers since Week 7. To add even more on top of that, the expected strong wind in Cleveland this weekend is going to make it extra hard to complete downfield passes. All signs point to fading Cooper in Week 16.

Other tough WR matchups

The Commanders have turned into a very good defense over the back half of the season and have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points per game to WRs since Week 5. Aiyuk was a great WR2 in fantasy for a stretch of this season with Jimmy Garoppolo, but his targets have declined drastically with Brock Purdy under center — Aiyuk has had just four total receptions over the last two weeks. He is a risky start in this matchup.

Burks is expected back this week after missing the last two games with a concussion. Unfortunately, Ryan Tannehill is expected to miss time with an ankle injury, and on top of that, the Titans’ passing game gets a tough fantasy matchup this Saturday. The Texans have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to WRs this season and have allowed a league-low five touchdowns to the position all year long. It would have been risky to start Burks in his first game back with Malik Willis starting at QB even in a good matchup… this matchup however makes him an extremely risky start.

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Tight Ends

Best TE matchup of the week

The best tight end in the league (and only good fantasy producer at the position this season) gets one of the best matchups possible in the semi-finals of fantasy playoffs. Really kind of unfair… unless you roster him, of course. The Seahawks have allowed the second-most fantasy points to the tight end position in 2022, and they just allowed George Kittle to go off for 25 points against them in Week 15.

Other favorable TE matchups

Andrews has been killing fantasy managers, scoring just three and six fantasy points in the last two weeks. He hasn’t scored more than 12 points since Week 6! However, he should put up a decent game in Week 16 as he will face the Falcons, who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends in 2022. They have allowed nine different TEs to score 10+ points against them in a game this year — including guys like Will Dissly, Tyler Higbee, John Bates, and Cade Otton.

The Cardinals have allowed the most receptions, receiving yards, touchdowns, and fantasy points to the tight end position in 2022. However, Otton is still just a desperation play as he has scored six or fewer points in seven of his 11 games played this season.

Worst TE matchup of the week

Johnson had a monster game in Week 15 and has had 12+ points in four of his last five games. He is a touchdown scoring machine — he has gotten into the end zone five times over his last five games. Unfortunately, Johnson gets a hard matchup in a bad weather game this weekend. The Browns have allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to tight ends this season and have allowed just two TDs to the position all year long. The Browns held Mark Andrews to just six points (on seven targets) last week. 

Other tough TE matchups

The Bills have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to tight ends in 2022. They have allowed ZERO touchdowns to a TE this entire year. Kmet has scored more than eight points in just one game this season in which he did not score a TD. Plus, the weather forecast for Saturday is not ideal in Chicago — the high for the day is 10 degrees and there are expected high winds.

The Commanders have allowed the fewest receiving yards and fantasy points to tight ends in 2022. T.J. Hockenson and Dallas Goedert are the only two TEs to score more than nine points against the Commanders this season, and only Hockenson (16) scored more than 12 points. Obviously, Kittle is talented enough to overcome bad matchups, but he has scored fewer than seven points in three of his last four games… this could be another low scoring week for him.

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