As the fantasy football playoffs approach, the focus shifts from a season-long game to a weekly one. After all, what good is knowing about week fifteen if you don’t make it past week fourteen? Each game becomes more important the closer you get to the finals. Here are the quarterbacks with the best matchups weeks fourteen through sixteen, ranked based on fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks per Yahoo! standard scoring. The average rank is based on most fantasy points allowed, so the higher the rank, the better the matchup. Some of these quarterbacks aren’t worth using, but if you get stuck in a bind due to injury, this could certainly help you out.
San Diego (Philip Rivers)
at Carolina, versus Oakland, at Cleveland (average rank 6.67)
As of writing this, the Chargers are the only team in the league that faces all top-ten offenses against the pass this season. The Panthers defense is not what it was in the past, the Raiders are coming on defensively, so their rank is a bit deceptive, but the Browns are just as inept as they seem. If you have Philip Rivers, he will have a field day during your playoffs. You can set him and forget him unless you have a bona fide stud.
Oakland (Derek Carr)
at Kansas City, at San Diego, versus Indianapolis (average rank 8.33)
Just like Rivers, Carr was probably drafted as a back-end QB1/QB2 for you in a platoon. Unless you platooned him with Rivers, it’s time to knock off that situation and roll with Carr. While Kansas City can get a ton of picks, they are also prone to giving up receptions and yards, especially outside of Marcus Peters. The Chargers are the only bad matchup here, allowing just 18 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. It’s going to possibly be the second-to-last game in San Diego, so emotions may be high. It may not be worth it to try to start him there if you have better options. Indianapolis in week sixteen has one good defensive back, which means that the Colts have to pick their poison if it will be Cooper or Crabtree who take them down. Either way, it’s good for Carr.
Denver (Trevor Siemian/Paxton Lynch)
versus New England, at Kansas City, versus Oakland (average rank 8.67)
As soon as we hit the Denver two-headed monster, we start to run the other direction. They have a neutral-to-bad matchup in week fourteen, and positive matchups in week fifteen and sixteen. But do you want to start Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch with your season on the line? Me neither.
Los Angeles (Jared Goff)
versus Atlanta, at Seattle, versus San Francisco (average rank 10.33)
Jared Goff gets the weirdest ranking, because he has two of the top four possible matchups in weeks fourteen and sixteen, and the worst over the last five years or so. Still, like Siemian and Lynch, Goff is left on your waiver wire, no matter how desperate you are.
New York Jets
at San Francisco, versus Dolphins, at New England (average rank 10.67) The Great YOLO Option. Ryan Fitzpatrick, or Bryce Petter, or maybe even Christian Hackenberg, get one of the best playoff matchups possible in the first round of the playoffs, and their weeks fifteen and sixteen matchups are just okay. If you’re in the streaming QB game, and your quarterback gets mysteriously hurt this week, then go with Fitzpatrick. Otherwise, you don’t want to touch him here unless you have a huge deficit you have to try to make up against a powerhouse team (I.e. you’ll lose unless you get anything over 25).
[WRITER’S NOTE: Literally less than an hour after this was published, Fitzpatrick was benched for Bryce Petty. Less than a few hours later, Todd Bowles announced he would start the last four games. Do not start Bryce Petty.]
Honorary Mention: Atlanta Falcons (Matt Ryan)
Matt Ryan represents someone who may be on your fantasy roster, and he has a great schedule in weeks fifteen and sixteen, taking on the 49ers and Panthers, respectively. He takes on the Rams in week fourteen, which isn’t too shabby of a matchup, either. He’s one of the best quarterbacks in fantasy football, so you should be happy if you snapped him up.