Connect with us
NFL, Fantasy Football

5 toughest remaining schedules for your NFL Fantasy Football rosters

The most planned-for event of the fantasy sports world is finally upon us – the NFL fantasy football slate of postseason games. With that comes the crunchtime moves that need to be conducted perfectly in order to make sure you bring home that trophy.

NFL Weeks 14-16 are the three remaining games in your reason that your postseason will play out in (unless you start later than most leagues / only run a four-team winner’s bracket / use Week 17 to finish your postseason), and these next three games are crucial for your wallets.

The five NFL teams below have the five toughest remaining schedules left, an element that has a lot of say in how and who you play moving forward. Starting from the 28th toughest all the way down to the toughest, take a look at what some tough-to-swallow expectations may look like moving forward.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Remaining Opponents – BUF/CIN/IND/CLE
Strength of Schedule – .594

Starting us off is the now one-loss Pittsburgh Steelers, who decided to put up a disaster of a performance at home against the Washington Football Team, making sure that the 1972 Miami Dolphins can go another year without having to welcome a second fully-undefeated team into their exclusive NFL club.

Currently holding the top spot in the AFC North, the Steelers travel to Buffalo for a very important Week 14 NFL matchup, followed up by a trip to Cincinnati, a home game against the Colts, and ending on the road against the Browns in a heavy-implications matchup as well.

The Bills have been susceptible to the passing game, which can help keep their WR core afloat for fantasy purposes, but the return of James Conner should help disperse some offensive work across the board, taking points away from Big Ben. On the flip side, trying to force-feed Conner in his first week back to the NFL field could make him highly ineffective as well if the front seven for Buffalo locks down, so just be aware of potential low-ceiling performances for Pittsburgh here.

The Bengals defense offers up no real issues for Pittsburgh. Their offense should be on full display in NFL Week 15, and Week 17 against the Browns should be able to produce healthy fantasy numbers as well (if this week pertains to you). But the Colts game is certainly concerning on a few fronts.

While the Colts have been gashed heavily in the rushing game, the Steelers have obviously been a pass-heavy attack all year in the NFL, which may make them hard-pressed to use Big Ben against a tough secondary that will give their WRs fits across the board.

You obviously are not sitting any Steelers options solely based on their matchups, but just be wary of how opposing defenses may begin to scheme them out of NFL games. Plus, starting their D/ST unit the rest of the year seems to be a safe bet every week.

Miami Dolphins

Remaining Opponents – KC/NE/LV/BUF
Strength of Schedule – .688

Myles Gaskin, DeVante Parker, Mike Gesicki, and maybe even Tua Tagovailoa – these are your fantasy-prominent players on the Miami Dolphins. Everyone else (outside of injury) really should not see your lineup this late in the NFL year.

And right away in their NFL Week 14 matchup against the Chiefs, both their offense and defense will be put to the test.

Offensively, Gaskin has returned to his workhorse role that he held before being out with an injury, and he proved last week in his NFL return that he certainly can fall back into it with no pause. None of these four remaining defenses offer up a ton of stoutness that can be listed as something to hold Gaskin back, so firing him up as a mid-range RB2 from here on out is something you can comfortably do.

While Parker is this team’s WR1 option, Gesicki has seemingly benefited the most from the transition to Tua, as the former Alabama southpaw loves to target his lanky Nittany Tiger TE option anywhere on the field. An element that helps boost Parker’s NFL fantasy football value, however, is Parker Williams going to IR, meaning there is one fewer pass-catcher that is vying for targets from Tua.

Tagovailoa should not be counted on as much more than a QB2 at this point, especially this early in his NFL career. In QB2 formats, he seems to hold the most value, but still be wary of him and try not to put too much of a need on a top-16 performance from him on a weekly basis.

New York Jets

Remaining Opponents – SEA/LAR/CLE/NE
Strength of Schedule – .646

The ability to start players from the New York Jets is there, and it is your right and ability to start them in your NFL fantasy football lineups. But, in your best judgment, please do not do that.

The Jets have no solid NFL solution at QB, old man Frank Gore is fighting through a concussion to play (which provides Ty Johnson and Josh Adams with some bench/fringe FLEX value), and Jamison Crowder, Breshad Perriman, and Denzel Mims all could be the top target of the week and earn zero targets the next, making it a big-time crapshoot.

Now, Johnson and Crowder seem to offer up the most value at this point, but value is a loosely-used word for this team. Johnson’s rosterable value only exists if Gore misses time, and Crowder seems to jell with either Sam Darnold or Joe Flacco, meaning that his two-TD performance in NFL Week 13 should be looked at as more of a fluke than a look into the future.

Fade as many Jets NFL players as you can, because if you have to count on them for heavy usage at this point, odds are you are in the consolation bracket.

Detroit Lions

Remaining Opponents – GB/TEN/TB/MIN
Strength of Schedule – .625

The NFL season is a tale of what could have been for the Detroit Lions in 2020, as injuries have helped derail what could have been an upstart season for this team. Playing in an upstart NFC North division would have been an uphill battle for Detroit, but they have still produced some fantasy relevancy with some of their weapons.

Matthew Stafford has produced QB2 numbers in a year that has only been down for him due to his lack of established NFL weapons, Kenny Golladay has been hurt more than he has been out on the field, Adrian Peterson has earned too many touches that should have been given to rookie D’Andre Swift, and T.J. Hockenson has quietly put up top-five TE numbers.

Green Bay’s NFL secondary is the toughest area of that team this week, but whoever plays RB this week (especially Swift and his pass-catching) should earn a ton of value, even with Golladay not suiting up again and having the likes of Marvin Jones, Mohamed Sanu Sr., and Quintez Cephus catching balls from Stafford.

The Titans have a near-ghost secondary that Stafford can hopefully tear apart, which should bode well for Swift, Hockenson, and others, and would be a smash spot for Golladay if he returned. Tampa Bay is good against the run but not against WRs, so again, their depleted WR ranks could see an unlikely resurgence, and the Vikings have a parchment paper-thin NFL secondary that should see Stafford have a field day against.

While Stafford has not had his regular assortment of NFL weapons on hand, the development of Swift and Hockenson, among others, has certainly helped fantasy rosters earn unexpected points.

Buffalo Bills

Remaining Opponents – PIT/DEN/NE/MIA
Strength of Schedule – .604

Josh Allen is an unquestionable QB1 the rest of the season, regardless of which defenses he plays against. The former Wyoming QB has been setting the league ablaze with a newfound sense of accuracy, and his connections with both Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley have certainly been healthy developments this NFL season.

The running attack is what concerns NFL fantasy football rosters the most, as the combo of Zach Moss and Devin Singletary certainly has had its flashes but has mostly been very inconsistent.

In their NFL Week 13 win against the 49ers, Singletary seemed to control carries early on but Moss was given a chance to help dig Buffalo out of their territory, and he proceeded to fumble, giving San Francisco the ball inside the Buffalo 10, essentially ending the night for Moss after that.

Singletary earned essentially all touches for the rest of the game at that point, serving as almost a game-long punishment for Moss fumbling. While Singletary did provide NFL fantasy relevance based solely on his volume, he was able to contribute in a way that helped take the ball out of Allen’s hands, helping increase the QB’s impact when he was not called upon to do too much.

Diggs has been a WR1 option for most of the season and will continue on that path to end the year, and Beasley has quietly produced in a slot role for the Bills, although that may chance when John Brown returns from the IR, which he is eligible to do after the NFL Week 14 contest.

Outside of those two weapons, rookie Gabriel Davis has been coming along all year and profiles simply as a strong dynasty stash and nothing more than that, unless an NFL injury comes up. Dawson Knox is not much of a weapon in this offense at all, so fade all shares you may have in Buffalo tight ends.

Allen and Diggs are your clear-cut first options at their positions, Beasley has etched himself into the WR2 role (watch for Brown’s return), and the RB committee has been a sore spot for NFL fantasy rosters all year and seems more like a game-by-game approach than having one option over the other for sure, although Singletary is the clear-cut safer option at this point.