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2017 Fantasy Football: Week 16 Strength of Schedule | Matchup Rankings

RotoExperts Staff December 21, 2017 12:01AM EDT
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

RankTeamOppFPAD RankTeamOppFPAD
1Los Angeles ChargersNYJ22.017Miami DolphinsKC16.4
2Minnesota VikingsGB21.718Los Angeles RamsTEN15.9
3Arizona CardinalsNYG21.519Houston TexansPIT15.0
4New Orleans SaintsATL20.620Atlanta FalconsNO14.4
5Chicago BearsCLE20.621New York GiantsARI14.3
6Jacksonville JaguarsSAF20.122Cleveland BrownsCHI14.0
7Pittsburgh SteelersHOU19.723Dallas CowboysSEA13.8
8Seattle SeahawksDAL18.924Oakland RaidersPHI13.6
9Detroit LionsCIN18.625Tennessee TitansLAR13.5
10Tampa Bay BuccaneersCAR18.326Denver BroncosWSH13.1
11Philadelphia EaglesOAK18.127Washington RedskinsDEN11.5
12Baltimore RavensIND17.928New York JetsLAC11.0
13Cincinnati BengalsDET17.929Indianapolis ColtsBAL10.0
14Carolina PanthersTB17.630New England PatriotsBUF9.9
15Buffalo BillsNE17.531San Francisco 49ersJAX9.8
16Kansas City ChiefsMIA17.332Green Bay PackersMIN9.3

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

RankTeamOppFPAD RankTeamOppFPAD
1Detroit LionsCIN26.517Indianapolis ColtsBAL18.9
2Carolina PanthersTB24.318Seattle SeahawksDAL18.7
3Cincinnati BengalsDET24.119Dallas CowboysSEA18.2
4Arizona CardinalsNYG23.720Philadelphia EaglesOAK17.9
5Houston TexansPIT23.121New York JetsLAC17.3
6New England PatriotsBUF23.122New Orleans SaintsATL16.0
7Kansas City ChiefsMIA22.623Chicago BearsCLE15.9
8Baltimore RavensIND22.224New York GiantsARI14.0
9Los Angeles ChargersNYJ22.225Tampa Bay BuccaneersCAR13.2
10Tennessee TitansLAR21.926Washington RedskinsDEN12.4
11Denver BroncosWSH21.827Cleveland BrownsCHI12.2
12Minnesota VikingsGB21.228Jacksonville JaguarsSAF12.2
13Miami DolphinsKC20.629Los Angeles RamsTEN12.0
14Atlanta FalconsNO20.630Green Bay PackersMIN11.8
15Buffalo BillsNE19.531Oakland RaidersPHI11.7
16Pittsburgh SteelersHOU19.032San Francisco 49ersJAX11.3

week 16 strength of schedule

Jonathan Stewart could be a championship savior with a touchdown. Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mike McCarn

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

RankTeamOppFPAD RankTeamOppFPAD
1Carolina PanthersTB32.417Los Angeles RamsTEN20.6
2Tampa Bay BuccaneersCAR30.818Miami DolphinsKC19.8
3Dallas CowboysSEA27.919Chicago BearsCLE19.5
4Seattle SeahawksDAL27.420Philadelphia EaglesOAK19.2
5Buffalo BillsNE26.521Cincinnati BengalsDET17.3
6Minnesota VikingsGB26.122Denver BroncosWSH16.0
7Arizona CardinalsNYG25.523Green Bay PackersMIN16.0
8Los Angeles ChargersNYJ24.624San Francisco 49ersJAX15.8
9Baltimore RavensIND23.925Tennessee TitansLAR15.0
10Pittsburgh SteelersHOU23.826Detroit LionsCIN14.9
11Cleveland BrownsCHI23.127Indianapolis ColtsBAL14.6
12New Orleans SaintsATL23.028New York GiantsARI14.5
13Jacksonville JaguarsSAF22.629New England PatriotsBUF14.0
14Atlanta FalconsNO22.530Kansas City ChiefsMIA13.7
15Oakland RaidersPHI21.431Washington RedskinsDEN12.8
16Houston TexansPIT21.132New York JetsLAC12.4

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

RankTeamOppFPAD RankTeamOppFPAD
1Arizona CardinalsNYG13.017Los Angeles ChargersNYJ7.0
2Pittsburgh SteelersHOU12.318Jacksonville JaguarsSAF7.0
3Cincinnati BengalsDET12.019New York JetsLAC6.9
4Los Angeles RamsTEN11.520New England PatriotsBUF6.9
5Kansas City ChiefsMIA11.421Cleveland BrownsCHI6.5
6Chicago BearsCLE11.222Indianapolis ColtsBAL6.4
7Philadelphia EaglesOAK10.623Tampa Bay BuccaneersCAR6.3
8Baltimore RavensIND9.224Houston TexansPIT5.5
9Denver BroncosWSH9.125Oakland RaidersPHI5.3
10Tennessee TitansLAR8.926Carolina PanthersTB4.8
11Minnesota VikingsGB8.627Atlanta FalconsNO4.7
12New Orleans SaintsATL8.228New York GiantsARI4.4
13Detroit LionsCIN7.729San Francisco 49ersJAX4.3
14Seattle SeahawksDAL7.630Buffalo BillsNE4.2
15Washington RedskinsDEN7.031Dallas CowboysSEA4.1
16Miami DolphinsKC7.032Green Bay PackersMIN3.2

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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