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NFL Offensive Line/Defensive Line Rankings & Matchups: Week 15 (Fantasy Football)

NFL Offensive Line/Defensive Line Rankings & Matchups: Week 15 (Fantasy Football)

The fantasy football playoffs are finally here, which means also means all 32 NFL teams will be competing during the upcoming Week 15 slate. Winning games in the NFL is predicated on the matchups between offensive and defensive line units, despite us primarily focusing on offensive skilled players.

Fantasy football is a volume-based game, but if a player isn’t able to earn enough touches due to the pressure or scheme a defensive front is implementing, it’ll be a long day for fantasy managers. We’re here to help you avoid any potential regrets by highlighting the top-ranked units on either side of the line of scrimmage, as well as diving into some of the marquee offensive line vs. defensive line matchups on tap in Week 15. This includes whether or not to fade certain skilled players due to these matchups.

NFL fantasy analyst Matt MacKay is here to offer his latest rankings and analysis on Week 15 offensive line and defensive line units. Using half-PPR scoring as the default format to contextualize skilled player fantasy production, we’ll find out which teams possess a top-five offensive or defensive line, while breaking down the impact it may have on certain fantasy skilled players during the first week of the 2023 fantasy football playoffs.

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Offensive Line Rankings & Matchups

1. Buffalo Bills

2. Dallas Cowboys

3. San Francisco 49ers

4. Philadelphia Eagles

5. Kansas City Chiefs

Key Week 14 Matchups

Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons
Bryce Young’s (QB – Panthers) struggles are well documented but it doesn’t help that he’s playing behind one of the worst offensive lines in the league. The Panthers have allowed a 9.7 percent sack rate, fifth-highest in the league, and now face a stout Atlanta defensive line in Week 15. The Falcons rank top-12 in pressure rate, quarterback knock down, and hurry rate. All Carolina skilled players, including Chuba Hubbard (RB – Panthers), Adam Thielen (WR – Panthers), and Jonathan Mingo (WR – Panthers), get bumped down a notch from their standard output during this NFC South showdown in Week 15.

Chicago Bears vs. Cleveland Browns
Chicago’s offensive line is pretty bad and Justin Fields’ (QB – Bears) mobility and elusiveness is the only reason why they are ranked seventh-worst in sack rate allowed versus top-three. The Bears will hit the road to face Myles Garrett (DE – Browns) and the rest of Cleveland’s elite defensive front in Week 15. The Browns are an aggressive defense that just held Jacksonville under 60 total rushing yards, while forcing four turnovers, so Roschon Johnson (RB – Bears), Fields, and D.J. Moore (WR – Bears) will all see modest production in Week 15. Cole Kmet (TE – Bears) may be the primary benefactor of the Browns’ defensive line, sitting in the middle of the field as a safety valve for Fields when he’s inevitably under duress.

Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets
Miami’s offensive line has been good all season but injuries are beginning to pile up, making it tougher to execute head coach Mike McDaniels’ run-centric West Coast offense. The Dolphins struggled against the Titans’ defensive line, which is not nearly in the same class as the New York Jets’ defensive front. Led by Quinnen Williams (DT – Jets), the Jets generate a ton of pressure and while they are susceptible against the run, Tua Tagovailoa (QB – Dolphins) and the rest of Miami’s high-octane passing attack, featuring Tyreek Hill (WR – Dolphins), may encounter more difficulties hosting the Jets in Week 15. Raheem Mostert (RB – Dolphins) and De’Von Achane (RB – Dolphins) should be bumped up, while Hill and Jaylen Waddle (WR – Dolphins) may wind up with floor performances, although Hill remains a must-start in all fantasy lineups.

Defensive Line Rankings & Matchups

1. Kansas City Chiefs

2. New York Jets

3. Cleveland Browns

4. Philadelphia Eagles

5. San Francisco 49ers

Key Week 14 Matchups

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Indianapolis Colts
The Pittsburgh Steelers’ slide against Arizona and New England, two of the worst teams in the league, makes their road trip to Indianapolis a must-win game, despite being 7-6 and contending for an AFC playoff berth. T.J. Watt (DE – Steelers) remains in the league’s concussion protocol, along with Alex Highsmith (EDGE/LB – Steelers), so a normally stout defensive line could be missing two of its key pieces. The Colts are ranked 11th for fewest sacks allowed (30), tied with Dallas, so Quenton Nelson (G – Colts) may feast against a short-handed, or at least banged up Steelers defensive front. Zack Moss (RB – Colts) benefits the most, handling double-digit touches as the current RB1 while Jonathan Taylor (RB – Colts) is out with an injury.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Buffalo Bills
The most anticipated matchup on the Week 15 slate will feature two MVP candidates competing during the late afternoon window. Buffalo hosts Dallas, one week removed from a controversial 20-17 win over Kansas City on the road. Josh Allen’s (QB – Bills) mobility will test the talent of Micah Parsons (EDGE/LB – Cowboys) and DeMarcus Lawrence (DE – Cowboys) up front, while James Cook’s (RB – Bills) usage has been trending upward, making him an intriguing RB2 in a difficult matchup against the Cowboys’ stout run defense. Dallas did lose Jonathan Hankins (DT – Cowboys) last week, a big interior run-stopper, so Cook and Allen should both benefit as a result. Passing may be tough for Allen in this contest, so investing in the Bills’ rushing attack is where most of the fantasy production will be available against the Cowboys in Week 15.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville’s offensive line has fared pretty well in 2023 but Baltimore’s defensive line is firing on all cylinders, landing a plus-matchup against a banged up Jaguars offensive line unit. Walker Little (OT – Jaguars) is questionable with a hamstring injury, while Cam Robinson (OT – Jaguars) remains out with a knee injury, meaning Trevor Lawrence (QB – Jaguars) could be facing the Ravens without either starting tackle. Factor in Baltimore’s stingy pass defense, plus Roquan Smith’s (LB – Ravens) talent in the middle of the field, and consequently, most Jaguars skilled players get bumped down a notch in Week 15. Baltimore is a tough matchup for fantasy players across the board, so Calvin Ridley (WR – Jaguars), Evan Engram (TE – Jaguars), and Travis Etienne (RB – Jaguars) will have their ceiling capped during the first week of the fantasy football playoffs.

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Matthew MacKay is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Matthew, check out his archive and follow him @Matt_MacKay_.

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