Those who have started off 4-0 or 3-1 have the luxury of not needing to panic right away. No, now is not the time to pull your foot off the gas pedal, but anticipating the playoffs won’t kill you if you are still targeting competent players for the rest of the season. Let’s have a look at some favorable matchups from week’s 14-16, which are the common timeframe for fantasy football playoffs.
Before we start:
Green = Good
Yellow = Average
Red = Bad
No more explanations needed, lets rock!
Matt Ryan and Drew Brees
Ryan – NO TB NO & Brees – ATL NYJ ATL
These two go without saying. When their teams play each other in Week 14 and 16, expect the points to be flying onto the scoreboard. We will give the nod to Ryan for the more favorable schedule however.
IND MIA NE
Wow. It’s not often a player such as Taylor has such a favorable schedule and may be available on waivers near the end of the year. Maybe stash him ahead of time.
BAL NE HOU
Two home games and one includes the Patriots. We know the Steelers trend of home vs. away, so it’s a fairly favorable schedule having 2/3 fantasy playoff games at home. Also, it’s harder to run on the Texans, so maybe they turn to the air early and often.
Isaiah Crowell/Duke Johnson
GB BAL CHI
Depending on who’s corner you are in, the Browns schedule looks appealing from the running back standpoint. Green Bay may be a battle from behind game favoring pass catching (Duke), whereas the other two may be grind it out games (Crowell).
SF JAX PIT
Miller has a very promising schedule, and the nice thing about it is, he is often heavily involved in the intermediate passing game and is never truly game-scripted out. However, you’d be wise to also target his backfield mate D’Onta Foreman who may pop off at any major opportunity that comes about.
BAL NE HOU
We saw what Bell just did to Baltimore. I wouldn’t bet on him getting 39 total touches again, but he has their number (and just about everyone else’s). The Steelers get the Patriots at home, so we don’t have to worry about the road woes happening in this game. A tough tilt against the Texans in Houston isn’t ideal, but it’s still Bell.
Mark Ingram/Alvin Kamara
ATL NYJ ATL
Pass catching backs are having their way with the Falcons early, but are getting beat on the ground just the same. A Falcons sandwich with the Jets in the middle. Beautiful.
NO TB NO
Maybe the New Orleans run defense looks somewhat competent right now, but that team is prone for shootouts. So, much like the last pairing, this is an appealing looking sandwich. Freeman can be used in any aspect, he may end up being the highest scoring player during fantasy playoffs.
NO TB NO
Sensing a trend? Julio’s yardage totals throughout the fantasy playoffs could be downright ridiculous. I’ll say sandwich again just because.
Amari Cooper/Michael Crabtree
KC DAL PHI
There are a lot of “if’s” associated with these two (IF Amari takes off his boxing gloves, IF Crabtree gets healthy & IF Carr comes back at full strength), but these matchups have the makings of high octane offensive games.
CHI MIN DET
Expect the Bengals offense to continue to improve as the season goes along with Mixon opening up the running game to give them more than just Green. These teams have been involved in some low scoring games, but the receiver yardage totals have quietly been quite substantial.
Jordy Nelson/Davante Adams/Randall Cobb
CLE CAR MIN
Having Aaron Rodgers-led receivers in the fantasy playoffs certainly doesn’t hurt. Cleveland and Carolina have suspect cornerbacks, while Minnesota’s defensive strength has been up front. The type of game the Packers play should allow you to put some faith in Rodgers during the playoffs.
Sammy Watkins/Cooper Kupp
PHI SEA TEN
When you see the Seahawks in the middle, it may scare you a little bit. However, with the way Sammy has been playing, and the late round or waiver that you got Kupp with, you may be in a nice position to choose Week 15 as a breather for the Rams receivers. Roll them out against two of the worst secondaries in the league to date.
LAR NYG OAK
It may be obvious that Ertz is a tight end to own, but often times owners won’t trade for a tight end from the running back or wide receiver position. This schedule may sway you if it’s close. The Giants have shown that their biggest defensive weakness is against the tight end, and nothing in this fantasy playoff schedule scares you.
BUF DEN BAL
The Broncos defensive problem is apparent when looking at how tight ends have faired against them (and even in past years). Throw in a final date with the Ravens and Doyle can be seen as a viable tight end option.
WAS KC NYJ
The Redskins have given up the most yardage to tight ends, whereas the Chiefs have given up the third most (after the Giants). Tight end yardage is a more telling trend than tight end fantasy points because it allows us to pinpoint an obvious weakness throughout each game (instead of just random touchdowns). Maybe Henry will buck his own trend of taking a day off every second game (also, don’t fully believe the Jets tight end defense, they’ll inch closer to green soon).
As the year goes on, we will revisit these players and add some more. Just know that it is never too early to start thinking about fantasy playoff schedules.