2017 Fantasy Football: Week 16 Strength of Schedule | Matchup Rankings
Reminder: Before we get into the Week 16 strength of schedule and matchup rankings – Fantasy Points Adjusted for Defense (FPAD) is a calculation that can be the difference between celebrating a win or cursing a high-scoring option on your bench. I developed it years ago, and it accounts for defensive quality of play by position, adjusts for game situations and strength of offenses and spits out an adjusted Fantasy Points allowed. Using Fantasy Football Points allowed is valuable in itself to help make lineup decisions, but it’s imperfect, as a team facing Tom Brady should give up more points and passing yards than one facing Jay Cutler every week. This isn’t a tool to argue benching Mike Evans for Kenny Stills, but it helps you decide which RB3 is a better play or which WR4 could put up a WR2 type Week 16.
Fantasy Football Week 16 Matchup Rankings
QB Matchup Rankings
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Don't be bitter for your championship, as no one has a better FPAD matchup than Philip Rivers does. And, it's not in Kansas City. Case Keenum won't let the Vikings turn to Teddy Bridgewater, and if you rode him this far, you shouldn’t turn away. Drew Brees has passed less in favor of winning more, but it's a great matchup, as the Falcons let Jameis Winston and Mike Evans rebound. Blake Bortles is going to win titles… or crush dreams cruelly.
Don't even think about Brett Hundley against the Vikings (assuming Aaron Rodgers is done). Jimmy Garoppolo has been fun to watch, but there is no way I'm rolling him out there against the Jaguars. Kirk Cousins is doing everything he can to finish the season respectably, but it's tough to trust that offense given their line issues. Marcus Mariota and Derek Carr have been huge disappointments and likely finish that way.
RB Matchup Rankings
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[caption id="attachment_261833" align="alignright" width="387"] Jonathan Stewart could be a championship savior with a touchdown. Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mike McCarn[/caption]
Jonathan Stewart is a pure touchdown gamble this year, but this week gives him one of his best chances to reward that risk. Joe Mixon returning would put him right back in the RB2 conversation, and if he's out, Giovani Bernard would rank the same. Lamar Miller has been disappointing, but the Steelers defense hasn't been the same in the second half of the season. Can you believe we can "trust" Patriots running backs? I used quotes because you never can fully, but Dion Lewis is a strong option with James White having PPR value. Alex Collins should rebound this week.
Carlos Hyde will be tough to start in any league, as will be Marshawn Lynch. At least Lynch can hope for a touchdown. With the Packers backfield murky after last week, the matchup does no favors and makes Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones big risks. The Bears defense has been overlooked all year and hasn't given up a rushing touchdown in five weeks. The Buccaneers backfield is a mess, and the Giants are turning to Wayne Gallman. I'd avoid both where possible.
WR Matchup Rankings
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Devin Funchess will rebound for those that survived his letdown in Week 15. Mike Evans looks to finish strong after disappearing for most of the season. The Seahawks defense hasn't been able to stop anyone after all of their injuries, and the Cowboys pass defense is just as bad. Both passing games should come up big. Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs are great options with the Packers pass defense ranking as one of the worst all year. The Giants are a mix of poor play and injuries making things worse, which makes Larry Fitzgerald a must-start even with Drew Stanton at quarterback. Mike Wallace is a strong deeper option that many might not think of to help cover the loss of Antonio Brown.
Robby Anderson was a godsend for Fantasy Football this year, but once Josh McCown went down, we knew he'd falter a bit, and this matchup makes him benchable. Look for Josh Doctson next year, as we have yet another week where the matchup is simply too tough. Sterling Shepard might see Patrick Peterson a decent amount, and that risk keeps him in the WR2/3 conversation despite his Week 15 performance. T.Y. Hilton has another tough go and has been mostly terrible on the road. It's extremely tough to trust Marquise Goodwin against the Jaguars despite his play with Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback.
TE Matchup Rankings
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Ricky Seals-Jones had his bubble burst since that two-game blowup, but a matchup with the Giants can get him back in the end zone… if Jermaine Gresham doesn’t return. Jesse James should see a big boost in targets with Brown out and has the second best matchup. Ben Watson has some deeper value, as we can hope for a touchdown with the matchup and Jeremy Maclin sidelined.
Jason Witten has a tough go to close out the Fantasy season and has been rather matchup reliant. Plus, Ezekiel Elliott is back. Charles Clay popped back up last week but hasn't done much since his return from injury and shouldn’t do much against the Patriots. Garrett Celek has a connection with Jimmy Garoppolo, but like Goodwin, this matchup makes it tough to start 49ers players.
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