The Road to the Playoffs
There are 9 weeks behind us now and fantasy playoffs are slowly creeping up in the background. With that being said, over the coming weeks, I’d like to offer some advice on how to get ahead and help push your team to and through the playoffs. It all starts with…
Strength of Schedule
One of the most important things to consider when the season is winding down is the remaining NFL schedule and the effect it has on your team and players that might be available for you to acquire. Specifically, you should try to identify any mismatches, either good or bad, in the coming weeks.
This means paying attention to your bench and the free agency pool for any players that have a favorable schedule. Here are some examples for week 16.
Cowboys vs. Buccaneers
It’s likely that Amari Cooper is owned in your league, and someone probably drafted Michael Gallup, but pay attention to the snap counts of Cole Beasley and Allen Hurns over the coming weeks and see if either of them is primed to be a good flex play.
Falcons vs Panthers
Maybe Devin Funchess or DJ Moore have been hard to predict this season, but week 16 they have a great matchup against an awful Falcons pass defense. In deeper leagues, it could be worth wild to keep an eye on Curtis Samuel and Jarius Wright to see if either emerges as a flex option.
The premise of what we’re talking about here is that guys who may have been underperforming on your roster or guys that may be available in free agency are worth looking at and stashing for that critical game while they remain off the radar.
The most effective way to do this is simply looking look for a team who are poor against any given position you need to consider and track their schedule in the critical weeks.
The trickier consideration you need to look out for are teams that will have an opportunity to rest players. Consider the Rams, Chiefs or Saints. Each of these teams looks poised for a playoff berth after 9 weeks. When week’s 16 and 17 come around, it’s very likely that teams who do not need to win or teams that enter the second half of a game with a strong enough lead will rest their/your stud players.
This can be the hardest thing to predict, and the most costly. One way to get ahead of this problem is to proactively search for the depth players that will benefit from these scenarios. Good examples of these players would be Spencer Ware, Malcolm Brown, Tre’Quan Smith and Mark Ingram.
These players may be owned already in your leagues, but if they’re not, it might be wise to snatch them up sooner than later with some of that FAAB budget.