For contending dynasty teams, it is time to start looking at playoff matchups. While Week 17 is the title week for fantasy football, I like to look at Week 16 more as a high-level team. Most prize structures are built where even getting to the championship game is worth 2-3x the entry fee, where teams losing in Week 16 are relegated to playing for third place, where many get their entry fee back and maybe a little more. The loser of the third-place game may get nothing at all. In short, Week 16 is the high-leverage week of the season. Also, strong teams are angling for the bye week, which excludes Week 15 from their slate of matchups. For other playoff teams, Week 15 is the most important week and a central point of analysis.
For all skill positions, the following categories and weighting were created for the rest of the fantasy season for analysis:
Elite Teams: Highest weighting for Week 16 (semi-finals) as a bye week is likely for these teams. The second-highest is Week 17, then lower weighting for Week 15 and the end of the fantasy regular season.
Playoff Push: Possible bye week, but likely finish somewhere in the Seeds 3-6 range of the playoffs. The highest weighting is for Week 15, next is Week 16, then flatter for the rest of the season's weeks.
Use these sections for each position to guide which applies most to individual team direction and needs.
The Footballguys Adjusted Strength of Schedule tool (SOS) is a must-use feature on the site. I deplore raw SOS tools, merely stating the points allowed by defenses to each position. More context is needed, and Footballguys looks at the adjusted points allowed based on how the positions scored in other games compared to the defense in question.
BEST FOR ELITE TEAMS
Josh Allen is likely on plenty of playoff teams, but Russell Wilson and Ryan Tannehill are underrated secondary options by aSOS. Wilson has the Chargers (the best matchup available) in Week 14 to close the regular season (if needed) but also in fantasy title games. The Titans have no avoid matchups left on their schedule with Houston-Seattle-Houston in the fantasy playoffs.
BEST FOR PLAYOFF PUSH
The Raiders are the new team here with the best matchup on the board in Week 15, the first round of the playoffs. Jimmy Garoppolo (or another option) would be a likely one-week play, as Week 16 against the Chiefs is a stingy matchup. The Chargers are such a target matchup. Denver having two cracks at Los Angeles over the season's final four weeks is a scheduling boon.
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