The NFL Schedule Release date has come and gone, and now it’s time to go straight to the fantasy football playoff matchups – Weeks 14-17. Whenever we are drafting our best ball or redraft teams, it’s fun to look ahead at the schedule and set up Week 17 stacks or select players that have a favorable fantasy playoff schedule.
Today, I will guide us through the teams and players that have favorable fantasy playoff matchups and those that have bad fantasy matchups so that we can get those Week 17 stacks perfectly positioned. Plus, I have a special section for a team that gets to play the worst rushing defense twice in the playoffs! Let’s start off with teams that have favorable fantasy matchups starting with the Atlanta Falcons!
Atlanta Falcons- TB, @CAR, IND, @CHI
Atlanta now has Bijan Robinson, and in the fantasy playoffs he gets two run defenses that finished No. 25 or worse last year. Additionally, Desmond Ridder gets two matchups against two bottom pass defenses from last season. The Chicago defense might prove to be troublesome playing late in the year with unpredictable weather in the Windy City. We may see poor weather, but the matchups that Robinson has should not scare any drafter away. Ridder can make for a terrific third QB on a Superflex roster, or No. 2 QB for those who decide to wait.
Philadelphia Eagles- @DAL, @SEA, NYG, ARI
PlayerProfiler’s Theo Gremminger does a nice job of summing up why the Philadelphia Eagles have a nice fantasy playoff schedule.
Jalen Hurts and The Philadelphia Eagles Fantasy Playoffs Schedule
New York Giants (Eagles averaged 36 PPG in 3 matchups last season)
Eagles stacks are expensive but that schedule is shaping up to help drafters win $ and titles.
— TheOGfantasyfootball (@TheOGfantasy) May 12, 2023
As you can see, the Eagles get a divisional matchup with the Giants which is sandwiched between nice matchups against Seattle on the road and Arizona at home. This schedule would be great for any team, but the Eagles are well equipped to light up the score board for fantasy managers in the fantasy playoffs.
Cincinnati- IND, MIN, @PIT, @KC
If there was ever a team to target for the best-ball players looking for late season shootouts, look no further than the Cincinnati Bengals! Between Weeks 15 and 17, the Bengals get the opportunity to face off against secondaries ranked No. 18 or worse when it comes to passing yards allowed. The Vikings and Colts struggled against the run, but this schedule is more about Joe Burrow and the Bengals passing attack. You also get exposure to potential shootout games with the Vikings during Week 15 and the Chiefs during Week 17 where the winner of many high stakes best ball tournaments are decided.
Green Bay- @NYG, TB, @CAR, @MIN
It’s the first season without Aaron Rogers. There’s uncertainty with Jordan Love, but one thing is certain: the juicy matchups Christian Watson and the Green Bay Packers get to feast on during the fantasy playoffs! It might seem crazy touting a team that has one home game over the last four weeks, but let’s take a closer look, shall we? Three of the four opposing teams finished in the bottom half in the NFL in total defense, and all three of them (NYG, CAR, MIN) did not make a major free agency signing or draft acquisition that would suggest the defense would significantly improve. I mentioned above about correlating stacks in best ball, and a Justin Jefferson–Christian Watson stack can reward drafters in Week 17!
Miami Dolphins- TEN, NYJ, DAL, @BAL
It’s easy to click on the draft button for Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill. They are a top 5 WR duo in the NFL. But there can be hesitancy when one considers the health of their quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Now add in two brutal matchups against Sauce Gardner and the Jets, followed by Trevon Diggs and the Cowboys. Tennessee is a nice matchup, but that’s Week 14. The Dolphins put up 42 points against the Ravens last season, but the matchups in Weeks 15 and 16 are not great! Also, from a fantasy points per game basis, nobody faces a harder schedule during the fantasy playoffs than the Miami Dolphins.
New York Giants- GB, @NO, @PHI, LAR
The Giants were a surprise to everyone last season. The additions of Darren Waller and Jalin Hyatt should help the offense, but the end of the season schedule is not ideal. All four teams the Giants face finished in the top 12 for fewest fantasy points allowed to the quarterback position last year. Only the Rams might drop off from last season after moving on from Jalen Ramsey as they may be joining the Caleb Williams Sweepstakes. The Saints at home are never an easy matchup, and the last time the Giants played the Eagles, the Giants were only able to score one touchdown and rack up 13 first downs. The L.A. Rams matchup is the best matchup, but you’re enduring three tough matchups to get that one positive matchup.
Tennessee Titans- @MIA, HOU, SEA, @HOU
Derrick Henry gets Houston twice in the fantasy playoffs?! RB1 SZN?! – Not so fast my friend!
Every fantasy football article on scheduling will say Henry will smash the worthless Texans rush defense, so allow me to defend the No. 32 ranked rush defense. Before I go further, I do expect Henry to meet expectations. I do not expect him to replicate his efforts he displayed last season against the Texans, scoring 35 and 18 fantasy points in both of his matchups against Houston. Last year head coach Lovie Smith deployed the antiquated cover two defense, which had seven or fewer defenders in the box and two safeties back in zone coverage. Now the Texans have new head coach DeMeco Ryans from San Francisco, and we can expect a new, fresh defense to come out swinging.
Will it improve against the run? After giving up 170 rush yards per game last season, it can’t get worse. Derrick Henry is still a top eight running back in redraft leagues this season, and I believe he will be great! But I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I expect the Texans run defense to be much improved. The passing defense may take a step back, but we should see a more sensible approach from the new coaching staff. We might see Derrick Henry score closer to 18 fantasy points per game than his earth shattering 35 fantasy point output last season.