The National Football League has released its 2021 regular-season schedule, so we now know all the matchups we'll be looking at during the fantasy football campaign. More importantly, we know which teams will have the best and worst matchups during the most important time of the year for fantasy managers: The playoffs.
Those playoff weeks are now Weeks 15-17 (it had been Weeks 13-16), as the league has expanded to a 17-game slate. Using the fantasy points allowed data (home/road) from this past season, here are the teams whose players could lead you to a league championship and those whose playoff schedule could cost you a chance at the title.
A backfield committee seems pretty likely in Jacksonville, but James Robinson and Travis Etienne have great matchups in the fantasy playoffs. This duo will face the Texans and Jets, who allowed 24+ fantasy points to running backs last season.
Mike Davis projects to be the starting running back for the Falcons, and matchups against the Lions and Bills in Weeks 16 and 17 could make him a league winner.
James Conner and Chase Edmonds will share the workload in Arizona, and their slate of games in the fantasy postseason includes a matchup against the Lions and Cowboys.
Whether it's Melvin Gordon, Javonte Williams, or both, the Broncos backfield has a nice slate in the fantasy playoffs this season against the Bengals, Raiders, and Chargers.
Miles Sanders has lost value after the additions of Kenneth Gainwell and Kerryon Johnson, and his postseason slate includes two games against the Football Team and their underappreciated front seven. Sanders could be a dud in the stat sheets.
Far be it from me to think Derrick Henry is subject to the matchups in fantasy leagues, but he does face the Steelers (road), 49ers, and Dolphins in postseason action.
Myles Gaskin looks like the favorite to start for the Dolphins this season, but he'll face what should be an improved Jets defense, the Titans, and the Saints in the postseason.
Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake will hurt each other's fantasy value, and postseason matchups against the Browns, Broncos, and Colts draft hurt their stock even further.
- Fabiano: Quarterbacks Strength of Schedule - Fantasy Points Allowed
- Orr: The 15 Best Games to Look Forward to in the 2021 NFL Season
- Pickman: 2021 NFL Schedule - Key Games, Dates for Every Team
- Orr: Six Teams Stiffed by the NFL Schedule
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for your late-breaking fantasy news and the best analysis in the business!