MIAMI, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Winning your weekly match-ups on a consistent basis can make you a fantasy football champion.
But a little research can go a long way when it comes to putting up points during the 2016 fantasy football season. Getting off to a fast start can also make or break your season. If you start your season 1-3 or 0-4, it can be very hard to come back and contend.
That is why I have picked a few players for you to look at before you draft. Some of theses targets could be available even after your draft, depending on league size. These players have very friendly schedules through the first four weeks of the 2016 campaign, and most of them don't have high draft prices.
Although NFL defenses can change from year to year, you can forecast what you believe will be a winning lineup early on. Each of the following players have several match-ups this season against defenses who were in the bottom-10 last season in terms of average points given up per week against their respective positions. Feel free to also check out UPI's top 150 fantasy football players and our 2016 Fantasy Football Draft Kit.
PLAYERS TO TARGET
QB | Eli Manning, Derek Carr, Dak Prescott RB | Mark Ingram, Thomas Rawls, Melvin Gordon, Jonathan Stewart, Jeremy Langford, Latavius Murray WR | Antonio Brown, Keenan Allen, DeSean Jackson, Corey Coleman TE | Jordan Reed, Delanie Walker, Antonio Gates, Coby Fleener
Carr and Prescott each begin the year with three of its four first match-ups against defenses who were in the bottom-10 in terms of average fantasy points surrendered to quarterbacks in 2015.
Manning has two of those match-ups in his first four weeks of action. Washington's Kirk Cousins, Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger, Detroit's Matthew Stafford, Baltimore's Joe Flacco, and Houston's Brock Osweiler also have two of those match-ups. Cousins and Flacco actually face two of the worst five defenses against quarterbacks in 2015 to begin their 2016 slates.
New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram, Seattle's Thomas Rawls, San Diego's Melvin Gordon, Carolina's Jonathan Stewart, Chicago's Jeremy Langford, Oakland's Latavius Murray.
Gordon and Ingram are the real prize picks here. Each of these backs begin 2016 with three of its first four match-ups against 2015's bottom 10 defenses against the running back, in terms of average fantasy points allowed.
Rawls, Murray, Stewart, and Langford have two of those match-ups to start the season. Dallas' Ezekiel Elliott and Indianapolis' Frank Gore also have two such match-ups. Rawls has five total match-ups this season against defenses who were in the bottom 5 in terms of fantasy points surrendered to running backs in 2015.
Beyond the obvious pick of Pittsburgh Steelers stud Antonio Brown, San Diego Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen, Washington's DeSean Jackson, and Cleveland's Corey Coleman also deserve long looks. Brown has six total match-ups this season against defenses who were in the top 5 in terms of fantasy points surrendered to wide receivers in 2015. The three other targets can be had later in your draft.
Each of these pass catchers face three defenses to start 2016 that were in the bottom 10 in terms of average fantasy points allowed to the position in 2015. Studs like DeAndre Hopkins, Amari Cooper, Allen Robinson, Sammy Watkins, Jarvis Landry, Dez Bryant, Golden Tate, and Jordan Matthews have two such match-ups in their first four games. Matthews and Jackson have five total match-ups this season against defenses who were in the bottom 5 in terms of fantasy points surrendered to wide receivers in 2015.
Honorable mentions: Cincinnati's Tyler Boyd and New York's Sterling Shepard. Boyd has eight match-ups against defenses who were in the bottom 5 in terms of fantasy points surrendered to wide receivers in 2015. Shepard, a fellow rookie, has seven of those match-ups. These guys are worth a look, especially if you can't lock up No. 1 options Odell Beckham Jr. and A.J. Green.
Antonio Gates deserves a good look at the tight end spot for your fantasy team. He comes at a very low cost and remains one of quarterback Philip Rivers' favorite targets in San Diego. Gates begins 2016 with three of his first four games coming against the worst 10 defenses against fantasy tight ends last season.
Washington's Jordan Reed, New Orleans' Coby Fleener, Tennessee's Delanie Walker, Minnesota's Kyle Rudolph, Baltimore's Crockett Gilmore, and Indianapolis' Dwayne Allen each have two of those match-ups, respectively. Fleener has five total match-ups this season against defenses who were in the bottom 5 in terms of fantasy points surrendered to tight ends in 2015.