A new NFL season means a lot of statistical uncertainty. As the season unfolds, we will learn which defenses are most vulnerable against No. 1 wide receivers, running backs and tight ends. For now, we are basing things on our preseason projections.
Denver and Seattle still expect to be the best defenses in the league, but that doesn't mean you should always avoid playing skill players against those defenses in fantasy. The Broncos were vulnerable against the run in 2016, ranking 21st in rushing DVOA. The Seahawks were dead last against No. 2 wide receivers, or players often not guarded by Richard Sherman.
This season we will look to identify good bargains, pick out the high-salary players with the best matchups and consider different strategies depending on whether the contest is a 50/50 or large tournament. In addition to adjusting player scoring for the defensive matchup, we put an emphasis on predicting the game script to help with projecting fantasy potential.
(Note: References to defensive rankings are based on Football Outsiders' DVOA metric, explained here).