The 2023 NFL schedule is here. More importantly for us in best ball land, the fantasy playoffs and Week 17 schedule are here.
As evidenced by my previous NFL Best Ball tournament-winning teams, it’s important to seriously consider the Week 17 schedule when drafting winning best ball teams.
>> READ: Murphy’s Underdog’s Best Ball Mania 2 Team Breakdown
>> READ: Murphy’s DraftKings $2120 for $50K Team Breakdown
>> READ: Murphy’s DraftKings $555 for $250K Team Breakdown
Fantasy Playoff Schedules by Team
|Teams||Week 15||Week 16||Week 17|
|Arizona Cardinals||vs. 49ers||at Bears||at Eagles|
|Atlanta Falcons||at Panthers||vs. Colts||at Bears|
|Baltimore Ravens||at Jaguars||at 49ers||vs. Dolphins|
|Buffalo Bills||vs. Cowboys||at Chargers||vs. Patriots|
|Carolina Panthers||vs. Falcons||vs. Packers||at Jaguars|
|Chicago Bears||at Browns||vs. Cardinals||vs. Falcons|
|Cincinnati Bengals||vs. Vikings||at Steelers||at Chiefs|
|Cleveland Browns||vs. Bears||at Texans||vs. Jets|
|Dallas Cowboys||at Bills||at Dolphins||vs. Lions|
|Denver Broncos||at Lions||vs. Patriots||vs. Chargers|
|Detroit Lions||vs. Broncos||at Vikings||at Cowboys|
|Green Bay Packers||vs. Buccaneers||at Panthers||at Vikings|
|Houston Texans||at Titans||vs. Browns||vs. Titans|
|Indianapolis Colts||vs. Steelers||at Falcons||vs. Raiders|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||vs. Ravens||at Buccaneers||vs. Panthers|
|Kansas City Chiefs||at Patriots||vs. Raiders||vs. Bengals|
|Las Vegas Raiders||vs. Chargers||at Chiefs||at Colts|
|Los Angeles Chargers||at Raiders||vs. Bills||at Broncos|
|Los Angeles Rams||vs. Commanders||vs. Saints||at Giants|
|Miami Dolphins||vs. Jets||vs. Cowboys||at Ravens|
|Minnesota Vikings||at Bengals||vs. Lions||vs. Packers|
|New England Patriots||vs. Chiefs||at Broncos||at Bills|
|New Orleans Saints||at Rams||at Buccaneers||vs. Falcons|
|New York Giants||at Saints||at Eagles||vs. Rams|
|New York Jets||at Dolphins||vs. Commanders||at Browns|
|Philadelphia Eagles||at Seahawks||vs. Giants||vs. Cardinals|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||at Colts||vs. Bengals||at Seahawks|
|San Francisco 49ers||at Cardinals||vs. Ravens||at Commanders|
|Seattle Seahawks||vs. Eagles||at Titans||vs. Steelers|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||at Packers||vs. Jaguars||vs. Saints|
|Tennessee Titans||vs. Texans||at Seahawks||at Texans|
|Washington Commanders||at Rams||at Jets||vs. 49ers|
When drafting for best ball, I recommend having Week 17 top of mind, as it is where most of the money is won and therefore is the most important. I wouldn’t go overboard when game-stacking for Week 17, but use it as a tiebreak when deciding between two similarly priced players. A “game stack” or a “bring back” are two terms we should quickly define.
“Game stack” = QB + Pass Catcher + Week 17 opponent (i.e. Patrick Mahomes + Travis Kelce + Ja’Marr Chase)
“Bring back” = Two opposing Week 17 players (i.e. Kelce + Chase)
Players should build plenty of bring backs into your best ball teams from different games but should avoid game-stacking a singular Week 17 game with all 18-20 roster spots. It’s simply putting too many eggs in one basket and would probably lead to a drafter reaching wildly in regards to ADP.
While a player’s overall fantasy playoffs schedule is important, their Week 17 opponent is paramount. Therefore, best ball drafters should target players such as running backs with Week 17 matchups against teams likely to have bad run defenses. For example, on my Best Ball Mania 2 team, I had 20 percent of Rashaad Penny partially because he got to play a bad Detroit Lions defense in Week 17 (and because he was a former first-round pick).
Best Week 17 Matchups for Game Stacks
These games could have one or both teams score the most points in Week 17.
1. Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs
2. Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens
3. Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys
The first three games could be back-and-forth affairs where each offense is scoring quickly, which will force the other offenses to hopefully score quickly and rack up a bunch of fantasy points. Best ball players should be grabbing game stacks and bring backs from each offense in these three games.
If one team is likely to perform extremely well and their opponent for Week 17 is likely to be exceptionally weak, best ball players should avoid a bring back from the bad team and instead, game stack the better team’s offense.
4. Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles
5. New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills
For the Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills games, these are two elite offenses facing potentially terrible teams. The Cardinals could have the worst defense in the NFL this season, and I’m interested in every Eagles offensive option. Best ball drafters should sprinkle in an occasional Cardinals bring back, but it’s not mandatory.
The Patriots, meanwhile, again could have a disastrous offense led by QB Mac Jones. If the Bills can score quickly, it could force New England to abandon their standard, run-heavy game plan, likely leading to more turnovers and Bills points. Again, consider sprinkling in an occasional Patriot bring back, but it’s not a necessity.
Personally, in the end, I’ll wind up with every single game stacked in some way because the NFL is a wild and chaotic beast. Defenses that are good one season can experience injuries and turn into a fantasy-points-haven for opposing offenses the following season.
So, happy drafting out there.
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