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Fantasy Football 2020: Playoff Schedule Analysis for QBs

Fantasy Football 2020: Playoff Schedule Analysis for QBs

Fantasy Football 2020: Playoff Schedule Analysis for QBs

Savvy fantasy owners, knowing that they successfully made it to the playoffs, should look at the schedule. Rather than rely on their team (although, to be fair, if your team has led you this far, don't change it up too much), it may be helpful to see where you can still make improvements.

Especially with a position such as quarterback, fantasy owners may want to stream quarterback from week to week. However, there are some quarterbacks that have great matchups throughout the fantasy playoffs. As expected, there are others that have not-so-great matchups. This analysis is based on six points per touchdown pass with no bonuses.

Best QB Matchups

Green Bay Packers (at DET, vs. CAR, vs. TEN)

Fantasy owners that initially drafted Aaron Rodgers as their QB2 because they may have been concerned about how he would fare this year certainly got more than they bargained for. Rodgers, except for one game against the Buccaneers, has been a top quarterback all season. In the fantasy playoffs, he faces Detroit in Week 14, who allows the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. He gets Carolina in Week 15, which is an average matchup, and then ends the fantasy season against Tennessee (top five in terms of fantasy points allowed to QBs — did you see Baker Mayfield in Week 13?). If you are carrying a second QB, you can drop them and just use Rodgers for the playoffs and feel good about it.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. MIN, at ATL, at DET)

Brady usually has a drop-off in production at the end of the season. Perhaps the warm weather in Florida will help, as well as a favorable schedule. In Week 15, he gets the Falcons, the team that is surrendering the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. After that, it's the Lions, who are sixth in that distinction. As Brady is getting more comfortable with his receivers, their talent and depth should help him put up good numbers during the fantasy playoffs.

Tennessee Titans (at JAC, vs. DET, at GB)

Ryan Tannehill has surprisingly been a good fantasy quarterback from week to week this season. He may be available in your league if you are looking for a quarterback with a good playoff schedule. Tannehill faces the Jaguars in Week 14, who allow the third-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. He follows that with a matchup against the Lions, who allow the sixth-most points to the position. In the fantasy finale, he gets the Packers but that matchup isn't as daunting as it may sound. Tannehill should keep up his solid fantasy streak through the playoffs.

Good QB Matchups

Los Angeles Rams (vs. NE, vs. NYJ, at SEA)

Jared Goff has been good at times and downright atrocious in some games. If fantasy owners have used him this far, they may be happy to know that he has two great matchups in Weeks 15 and 16 of the playoffs. Avoid using him in Week 14 against the Patriots, but he faces the Jets and Seahawks after that. While Goff did struggle against the Seahawks in Week 10 (302 yards, no touchdowns), it is still a good matchup. And by Week 16, the Jets are likely not going to put up much of a fight as the Rams may be battling for a home game in the real playoffs.

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Denver Broncos (at CAR, vs. BUF, at LAC)

Many fantasy owners aren't looking to start Drew Lock in the fantasy playoffs unless it is a two-quarterback league. However, if you happen to lose your starter, Lock may be a decent option to pick up if available, especially for Weeks 15 and 16. He has an average matchup in Week 14, against the Panthers. However, in Week 15, he gets the Bills, who allow the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. In Week 16, the Broncos face Chargers, who allow the seventh-most fantasy points to the position. They just surrendered three total touchdowns (2 rushing) to Cam Newton in a 45-0 blowout loss to the Patriots. Lock has two rushing touchdowns this season — it's possible he gets another in Week 16.

Worst QB Matchups

Arizona Cardinals (at NYG, vs. PHI, vs. SF)

Fantasy owners that have relied on Kyler Murray to get them to the playoffs are likely not going to bench him now. However, it is possible that owners also have another quarterback on their roster that they may want to consider starting. The Cardinals face the Giants and the Eagles in Weeks 14 and 15. And while the NFC East's teams may be struggling overall, these two defenses have been pretty good against quarterbacks, fantasy-wise. New York is giving up the fourth-fewest fantasy points to QBs and Philadelphia checks in at ninth in that respect.

Houston Texans (at CHI, at IND, vs. CIN)

Deshaun Watson has had a tough year, between injuries (David Johnson, for one) or suspensions (Kyle Fuller out rest of the season) to his main weapons, more painful, close losses (like last week against Indianapolis), as well as the firing of his head coach. For Watson, it could be a rough finish as well with games against the Bears, Colts and Bengals on tap for the fantasy playoffs. Chicago is giving up the sixth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season and Indianapolis (third) has been even stingier. This past Sunday against the Colts, Watson threw for 341 yards and had a rushing touchdown but he also turned the ball over twice. In Week 16, he does get a more favorable matchup at home against Cincinnati. But Watson is probably best viewed as a QB2 for the fantasy playoffs.

Minnesota Vikings (at TB, vs. CHI, at NO)

Kirk Cousins has been a solid fantasy streamer this season, but his playoff schedule is tough. The Vikings face the Buccaneers in Week 14, which is a decent matchup. However, after that it's a divisional rematch with the Bears (sixth-fewest fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks) and then a road game against the Saints (fifth-fewest). Cousins did have a good game when he faced Chicago in Week 10, throwing for 292 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. But there are probably better streaming options available for the next few weeks.

Bad QB Matchups

Las Vegas Raiders (vs. IND, vs. LAC, vs. MIA)

In case you were looking for any reason to not play (or pick up) Derek Carr, his playoff schedule should be enough to scare you off. The Raiders face the Colts, the Chargers, and the Dolphins. Indianapolis and Miami are both in the top 10 in terms of stingiest defenses from a fantasy perspective against quarterbacks. Los Angeles isn't in the same class, but Carr didn't exactly light up the Chargers (165 passing yards, 2 TDs, lost fumble) the first time these teams met either. At minimum, Carr should be on the bench in Weeks 14 and 16.

New England Patriots (at LAR, at MIA, vs. BUF)

Cam Newton is banged up and he's just trying to make it through the season at this point. He's done well running the ball, but it's clear he's struggling as a passer. The Patriots face the Rams in Week 14, the defense that has allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Then it's a Dolphins team Newton faced earlier this season against which he put up 155 passing yards but was able to salvage his day somewhat with two rushing touchdowns. In Week 16, it's another divisional rematch against Buffalo. Again, Newton didn't fare that great (174 passing yards, rushing TD) and by this point, the Bills may have their sights on securing the AFC East title. Even though he's had success on the ground, it's risky for fantasy owners to rely on Newton solely as a running QB. It doesn't help him that James White has emerged as a reliable goal-line option, and New England also has Damien Harris and Sony Michel to turn to in the backfield.

— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.