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Prepare for the 2024 Season

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Weeks 15 through 17 — the fantasy playoffs — are the most critical time of the year in most leagues. That’s when championships are won and lost, and that’s when the money is made. This is even more true for tournaments like Best Ball Mania V where Week 17 performance determines who takes home the $1.5 million grand prize.

The problem is it’s very hard to predict who’s going to score the most fantasy points in late December when we’re drafting in the summer. Case in point: Last year when I did this article, I highlighted that the Ravens had the hardest schedule in Weeks 15-17 relative to their schedule during the first 14 weeks of the season. Their average implied team total during the fantasy playoffs was 2.46 points lower than it was in Weeks 1-14, worst in football.

They then scored 33 points in Week 16 at San Francisco before dropping 56 in Week 17 against the Dolphins. Lamar Jackson threw for five touchdowns and recorded a perfect passer rating in that Week 17 contest.

Still, given the emphasis on late-season performance, particularly from the best ball community, attempting to quantify team performance during those weeks can’t be a totally fruitless effort. You don’t want to go overboard pigeonholing Week 17 as the only thing that matters, but it’s helpful to remain cognizant of which teams have favorable schedules during the most important time of the fantasy season, and it can be used as a tiebreaker if needed.

Now, let’s get into breaking down the NFL schedule in Weeks 15-17. First, a bird’s-eye view of each team’s schedule during the fantasy playoffs:

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