2017 Fantasy Football: Week 15 and 16 Strength of Schedule
Reminder: Before we get into the Week 15-16 strength of schedule/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 15-16.
Fantasy Football Week 15-16 Matchup Rankings
QB Matchup Rankings
If you own Philip Rivers, it's going to be hard to sit him in either week of the playoffs… and hard to beat your team given the matchups. Drew Brees has a good two games, and Nick Foles has the matchups to at least provide quality numbers in Carson Wentz's absence. Blake Bortles could win people championships… what is it 2015? Cam Newton has been inconsistent at times but should be fine the final two weeks. Case Keenum struggled just a tad last week and may have a few issues this week too, but Week 16 is nice.
Hope you enjoyed DeShone Kizer last week because I wouldn't touch him for Week 15. Jimmy Garoppolo is intriguing and a fun story, but don't go overboard and bench quality starters for him. Tom Brady doesn't appear 100 percent, and neither matchup is a good one… but are you going to bench Brady? Jared Goff doesn't have a great final two weeks for those that made it to the playoffs using him.
Other Week 15 Matchup Boosted QBs: Jameis Winston, Tyrod Taylor(?), Dak Prescott, Derek Carr (ugh)
RB Matchup Rankings
Those fortunate to grab Kenyan Drake off waivers are going to have a potential league winner on their hands. The Patriots backfield has been fun for Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead owners, but James White is back in the mix, Chris Hogan and Rob Gronkowski are back and this week's matchup is quite poor. Kerwynn Williams can find RB2 value if Adrian Peterson doesn’t return. Kareem Hunt bounced back and should finish back where he started.
Lamar Miller dropped off last week and has a tough finish, making him a dicey option even though he's a workhorse (usually). Jamaal Williams has been terrific, just don't expect a RB1 performance to close the season out. Carlos Hyde has a finish nearly as difficult as Miller's and the Browns backfield is already unpredictable before having two tough matchups.
Other Week 15 Matchup Boosted RBs: Mike Davis, Jordan Howard, LeSean McCoy, Latavius Murray, Devonta Freeman, Frank Gore
WR Matchup Rankings
If you survived last week with or without Devin Funchess, congrats, as the final two weeks are as good as it gets. Not far behind is Keenan Allen, as he goes hand-in-hand with Rivers. Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor may still have life with Foles given the matchups. Julio Jones can have another one of his matchup winning performances this week but could finish quiet against Marshon Lattimore. Robert Woods could return for the Rams and muddy the picture on top of heading to Seattle. Speaking of the Seahawks, it doesn't look wise to trust anyone but Doug Baldwin this week, but Week 16 could make Paul Richardson startable.
The Giants season is lost, and it's possible that so is any Fantasy value, even for Sterling Shepard. T.Y. Hilton has three huge games and another good one, but that might be it for him this year. Robby Anderson might have nothing left to give either with Bryce Petty at quarterback and a tough two games. There will be better days for the Redskins next year, but Josh Doctson especially has a tough finish.
Other Week 15 Matchup Boosted WRs: Devante Adams, Jordy Nelson (if Aaron Rodgers returns), Dez Bryant, Michael Crabtree, Marqise Lee, Dede Westbrook, Demaryius Thomas, Michael Thomas
TE Matchup Rankings
Here's hoping Zach Ertz can return for the best tight end schedule in the league. If not, it's obvious that Trey Burton is a great replacement. Ricky Seals-Jones has great chemistry with Blaine Gabbert and a great finish. Ben Watson can provide some deep PPR value, while Jason Witten has a great matchup this week and middle of the road one in Week 16.
Even if Rodgers returns, neither Packers tight end is worth the gamble. Julius Thomas, Stephen Anderson and Austin Hooper all look to be toast. Meanwhile, Greg Olsen is already a huge risk, and while he's gamble-worthy this week, Week 16 would be tough to swallow for your title hopes.
Other Week 15 Matchup Boosted TEs: Adam Shaheen, Jack Doyle, Charles Clay, Josh Hill (if no Coby Fleener), Delanie Walker
Main Image Credit: AP Photo/Bob Leverone
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