Last Thursday we received yet another piece to the 2020 fantasy puzzle as the NFL released the team’s schedules. As fantasy players we are always looking for ways to get a leg up on the competition and we always want to have good foresight in fantasy and this includes looking ahead to weeks 14, 15, 16 of the NFL schedule. For many of us those three weeks are important because that is when our fantasy playoffs are taking place. Now, many in the industry will tell you not to look ahead because we have to make it to the playoffs first before we really need to worry about the final three week schedule. However, since you follow along here at theelitefantasy.com, you know you will always be in the mix year in and year out so we are able to look ahead to know what to expect of our star players when we hit those three magical weeks. The way we determined the list below is through a formula we developed where we take in account points allowed a game, sacks, and turnovers last season. We tweaked the numbers slightly based on what the defense added or lost over the off season to come up with what we feel is a pretty accurate prediction of how we see defenses performing in 2020. So what teams have the best and worst fantasy playoff slate? Let’s find out by first looking at the teams who offer us the best playoff schedule.
The Best Fantasy Playoff Schedule
Las Vegas Raiders- the Raiders come out as the team with the best weeks 14-16 in our program. The Raiders play every single game at home during this period which bodes well for them. In week 14 they take on the Colts who ranked 17th in 2019 in points allowed per game with 21.7. You couple this with the turnovers and sacks the Colts come out to be the 15th toughest matchup. In week 15 the Raiders take on a Chargers team that ranks as the 27th toughest matchup based on our model, which surprised us because they are stacked on all levels of that unit. Then in week 16 Vegas will take on a Miami Dolphins team that ranks as our models 4th easiest opponent.
Baltimore Ravens- the Ravens come out a close second behind the Raiders as the next team with the best projected playoff schedule. In week 14 Baltimore will take on a Browns team on the road that ranks as the 19th toughest matchup. In weeks 15 and 16 Baltimore will be at home as they take on the Jaguars, who rank as the 13th easiest matchup, and the Giants, who project to be the easiest matchup.
San Francisco 49ers- the defending NFC Champions come in next in our model with the third best fantasy schedule during the playoffs. In week 14 the team will meet the Washington Redskins who rank middle of the road in our formula at 14th. In week 15 they will take on a Dallas team who rank as the 18th toughest projected matchup. Then in championship week the 49ers will be going against an Arizona team that projects as the 8th easiest matchup.
The teams rounding out our list of teams with good fantasy playoff schedules are:
KC Chiefs – (@Mia, @NO, Atl)
Green Bay Packers- (@DET, Car, Ten)
Tennessee Titans- (@Jax, Det, @GB)
Philadelphia Eagles- (NO, @AZ, @Dal)
Cleveland Browns- (BAL, @NYG, @NYJ)
Houston Texans- (@Chi, @Ind, Cin)
NY Giants- (AZ, CLE, @BAL)
AVG. Fantasy Schedule Leaning Good
LA Chargers – the Chargers top this next tier of fantasy schedules when they open up the fantasy post season taking on the Atlanta Falcons in LA. The falcons are our projected 11th easiest matchup. In week 15 the LA Chargers travel to Vegas to take on the Raiders who projects to be the second easiest matchup. The Chargers close out the fantasy season with a matchup at home against The Broncos who figure to be the 9th easiest matchup.
Indianapolis Colts – The Colts are the next team in this tier of fantasy playoff schedules as they open on the road against the Raiders who as mentioned above figures to be the 2nd easiest matchup. In week 15 they return home to take on the Houston Texans team that allowed 23.4 points per game last season. Then in week 16 they travel to Pittsburgh to meet the projected most brutal matchup possible as they take on the #1 ranked Steelers.
Pittsburgh Steelers – speaking of the Steelers they are next in this tier when it comes to fantasy playoff schedules. The black and yellow open this stretch on the road against the stout Bills defense who project as the 5th toughest matchup. In week 15 Pittsburgh will travel to Cincy to take on a Bengals team that projects as the3rd easiest matchup. Pittsburgh then closes the fantasy playoffs at home taking on the Colts who are projected as the 15th toughest matchup.
The teams rounding out our list of teams with average but leaning towards good fantasy playoff schedules are:
Chicago Bears- (HOUS, @MIN, @JAX)
NY Jets- (@SEA, @LAR, CLE)
Seattle Seahawks- (NYJ, @WAS, LAR)
Cincinnati Bengals- (DAL, PIT, @HOUS)
Tampa Bay Bucs – (MIN, @ATL, @DET)
AVG. Fantasy Schedule Leaning Bad
Denver Broncos- the Denver Broncos retooled on offense and will be challenged when it comes to fantasy playoff schedules. In week 14 they open on the road against a Carolina team who project as the 13th easiest matchup. In week 15 they take on a top ranked Bills unit before heading to LA in week 16 to close out against a Chargers unit.
New England Patriots- the Patriots enter their first fantasy post season without the goat and will be tested as they must play the first two weeks on the road. In week 14 they travel across the country to take on the Rams. In week 15 they travel south to play a Dolphins team that historically has given them trouble in the past. In week 16 they return home to take on the top rated Bills in a divisional clash.
Minnesota Vikings- the Vikings come in next in this tier as they too will play two out of three games on the road. In week 14 they open the fantasy playoffs south as they travel to take on a TB team who figures to be tough this season. In week 15 they return home to take on a division foe in the Bears. In week 16 they hit the road again as the travel to the bayou to take on the Saints in the dome.
The teams rounding out our list of teams with average but leaning towards bad fantasy playoff schedules are:
Atlanta Falcons- (@LAC, TB, @KC)
Jacksonville Jaguars- (TEN, @BAL, CHI)
Carolina Panthers- (DEN, @GB, @WAS)
The Worst Fantasy Playoff Schedule
New Orleans Saints- the Saints may be a high powered offense and it is a good thing that they are because they hold our models worst projected fantasy playoff schedule. In week 14 they travel to a frigid and hostile Lincoln Financial Field to take on the dirty birds. The next two weeks will be home in the dome but will be against top projected defenses in the Chiefs in week 15 and then the Vikings in week 16.
Buffalo Bills- the Bills come in just under the Saints but could very easily hold the toughest matchups in many peoples eye during the fantasy post season. They open at home against the #1 projected Pittsburgh defense in their only home game. In week 15 they travel to Mile High to take on the Broncos. Then in week 16 close out the fantasy post season against the 3rd projected toughest matchup and division rival NE Patriots.
Miami Dolphins- the team from south beach comes in next with the third worst fantasy playoff schedule in our model. The fins open with two games at home against first the Chiefs before welcoming in the Patriots in week 15. Once they finish those home games they will then head out to the Nevada desert to take on the Raiders in their new digs to close out the fantasy playoffs.
The teams rounding out our list of teams with bad fantasy playoff schedules are:
Washington Redskins- (@SF, SEA, CAR)
LA Rams- (NE, NYJ, @SEA)
Arizona Cardinals – (@NYG, PHI, SF)
Detroit Lions – (GB, @TEN, TB)
Dallas Cowboys – (@CIN, SF, CAR)