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Stack 'Em - Teams with Favorable Schedules for their Top Players

Playing matchups is certainly a sound strategy for maximizing fantasy football value on a week-to-week basis. You can also turn a pretty profit in Daily Fantasy cash games and tournaments by stacking two or more players on the same team versus weaker opponents.

One thing to remember is that defensive rankings will change quite a bit from pre-season to in-season ranks, as teams may improve or drop off at any given point. Savvy fantasy owners should take a look at who has the more favorable schedules based on a few factors: shootout potential, defensive ranks, and points allowed. For season-long leagues, try to key in on a potential fast start to the season, and a strong finish for playoff weeks (14, 15, and 16). For DFS leagues, stack as many top options as you can afford vs the weaker defenses.

Continue to refer to this list throughout the draft period and during the season for the favorable matchups of when top players will have the best chances to light up the scoreboard and you'll be on your way to victory!

Editor's Note: Get any rest-of-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive DFS Tools, Lineup Optimizer and Premium DFS Research through the Super Bowl. Sign Up Now!


NFL Teams with Favorable Schedules for 2017

Atlanta Falcons: Week 1 at Chi, Week 2 vs GB, Week 3 at Det, Week 7 at NE,
Week 8 at NYJ Week 14 vs NO, Week 16 at NO   

What’s to like: Dome games galore and late shootouts in playoff weeks with the Saints. Opening on the road vs a team in total rebuild mode in Da Bears is appealing. In week 3 they will be in a visitors dome at the Detroit Lions. The Week 7 Super Bowl rematch at New England will likely see many points scored, again. Think back to how poorly both defenses played that fateful February night in Houston.

Who it helps most: QB Matt Ryan, RB Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, WR Julio Jones, TE Austin Hooper

**Atlanta is the team I would target to stack players in weekly DFS games and tournaments this season more than any other team.

New Orleans Saints: Week 2 vs NE, Week 6 vs DET, Week 8 vs CHI,
Week 14 at ATL, Week 15  NYJ, Week 16 vs ATL

What's to like: Fantasy Playoffs anyone? Stack every Saint you can in season long playoff weeks as we could be looking at over 100 points scored during those three. We can also envision a shootout in the dome as they host the Patriots in Week 2. The Detroit and Chicago defensive backfields do not figure to cause many issues for Sean Payton's crew of offensive minds.

Who it helps most: QB Drew Brees, RB Mark Ingram, WR Willie Snead and Michael Thomas, TE Coby Fleener
Indianapolis Colts: Week 1 at LAR, Week 3 vs CLE, Week 5 vs SF
Week 7 vs JAC, Week 13 at JAC, Week 16 at BAL

What’s to like: The NFL's statistically most favorable schedule. Week 3 at home vs The Browns figures to be a cakewalk for Andrew Luck's squad. San Francisco will struggle to contain high-powered offenses with so many new players on defense. Two games vs The Jaguars is surely a good thing, despite the additions on defense for the Jags, we still do not view them as a tougher defense even at home. Week 16 at Baltimore figured to be another easier time for the Colts, and it comes at a very good time, the Fantasy Championship week.

Who it helps most: QB Andrew Luck, RB Frank Gore, WR T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief, TE Jack Doyle


Tennessee Titans: Week 5 at MIA, Week 6 vs IND, Week 7 at CLE,
Week 12 at IND, Week 15 at SF, Week 16 vs LAR

What’s to like: Similar schedule to Indianapolis, a chance to finish strongly in pivotal Weeks 15-16 as they go up against a weak 49ers team, and a Rams team still looking for a new identity on both sides of the ball. More weapons in the receiving corps make Tennessee a team that is much more desirable on draft day.

Who it helps most: QB Marcus Mariota, RB DeMarco Murray, WR Eric Decker and Corey Davis, TE Delanie Walker


Cincinnati Bengals:  Week 4 at CLE, Week 8 vs IND, Week 9 at JAC,
Week 12 vs CLE, Week 14 vs CHI, Week 16 vs DET

What’s to like: Two vs CLE is never a bad thing, and two out of final playoff week games at home vs CHI and DET. Do not be hesitant to break the bank of your DFS salary cap funds on Bengals for those two weeks.

Who it helps most: QB Andy Dalton, RB Joe Mixon, WR A.J. Green, TE Tyler Eifert


New England Patriots: Week 2 at N.O., Week 6 vs NYJ, Week 7 vs ATL, Week 8 vs LAC,
Week 14 at MIA, Week 15 at PIT

What’s to like: There honestly is not a defense in the NFL that can prepare for what N.E. brings offensively. Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniel's championship ways have a good time dismantling some of the better defenses in the league on a regular basis. They get to travel to New Orleans in Week 2 for a points party on Bourbon Street, and to the Meadowlands to face the tanking Jets. The other Jets matchup is a nice DFS play in Week 17, just beware of the Pats sitting any top players during that one. The rematch against ATL could be tougher than anticipated, but the Patriots will be ready.

Who it helps most: QB Tom Brady, WR Julian Edelman and Brandin Cooks, TE Rob Gronkowski


Pittsburgh Steelers: Week 1 at CLE, Week 3 at CHI, Week 5 vs JAC,
Week 8 at DET, Week 10 at IND, Week 15 vs NE

What’s to like: Mike Tomlin and his staff are consistently putting up top offensive numbers each year in recent memory. They have weapons galore, and the experienced gunslinger to get them all involved. The schedule features a favorable start at the Dawg Pound and Bear Trap (new nickname I just invented), road games vs easier defenses in Detroit and Indy, a late home game vs Patriots who may have a playoff BYE locked up and not a whole lot left to play for by that time. Something to keep an eye on late.

Who it helps most: QB Ben Roethlisberger, RB Le’Veon Bell, WR Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant

Overall, when looking to play the matchups to help gain an advantage, some key factors to look at are defensive ranks and yards allowed. Try to keep other factors in mind such as games played within friendlier indoor confines, and games against teams that have new players and coaches with new systems in place. Also be sure to check out fantasy points allowed by team defenses during the season.

Happy Hunting!

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