The Strength of Schedule takes the results from all defensive performances last season and then applies the stats allowed against quarterbacks, running backs and receivers to determine who will have the easier schedule. This is determined by taking the best and worst venues for offenses to face and comparing those statistics allowed against the current NFL schedule for each team. Unlike strength of schedules used during the regular season which only considers the 32 defenses, this look back at last year considers the 64 venues that can happen – facing each defense either home or away.
To remove the effects of the really bad or good odd game, defensive performances last year have their best and worst game removed before determining their average fantasy points allowed for each position.
Three different views are given below – Weeks 1 to 6 show what players will face as they start the season. Weeks 1 through 16 are shown for a full season view and weeks 14 to 16 show the most common weeks for fantasy playoffs. Below that is the NFL schedule marked for each team to show when they have good (green) or bad (red) match-ups. Bye weeks are considered a bad matchup since the player is unavailable for your fantasy team that week. This is important especially considering the Dorey Rule – “draft as if the season only lasted the first six weeks”.
Bye weeks are considered bad to help better portray what to expect in the first six weeks for those who will miss a game from a bye.
This analysis considers running backs awarded 0.1 points per rushed or received yard and six point touchdowns and one point per reception.
Tampa Bay – Doug Martin should start again but Charles Simms gets a do-over on his injured rookie season and that will water down what any back does in Tampa Bay. But at least the schedule is the lightest in the NFL so Martin should at least remain fantasy relevant and maybe even make some inroads on a return to his outstanding rookie year.
Alfred Morris – The second season with Jon Gruden isn’t likely to see any uptick in rushing for Morris who had a career low 265 carries last year along with a 4.1 YPC. But at least the Redskins only face a top 20 venue twice all year while facing six of the easiest defenses to beat.
Arian Foster – As usual Foster missed time in 2014 but still managed a 4.8 YPC and was a fantasy gem in most games that he was able to play. The Texans go against bottom 20 defensive venues in half of their games next year and will continue to rely on Foster for so long as he can remain on the field.
Matt Forte – He swings from one of the lightest schedules in 2014 to the toughest in 2015 while learning a new offense. But John Fox will no doubt use Forte plenty and his dual role as a receiver will likely come into play even more this year. Still it is a little troubling to see such a large variation in schedule from last year to this year.
Jeremy Hill – He had a tremendous rookie campaign and while it is cause for concern that his schedule looks so tough, realize that it isn’t all that much worse than last year. His slate of games remains challenging throughout his season so what you get in the first month should be the same throughout.
Le’Veon Bell – He ended the 2014 season on a torrid streak and overall his schedule is only slightly worse than it was last year. Missing his first three games is not going to help. Bell will be an interesting draft pick this year and his schedule dropping down a notch won’t make him any easier to accurately gauge.
Week – By – Week