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”.
This analysis considers both tight ends and wide receivers awarded 0.1 points per received yard and six point touchdowns.
Fins – The Dolphin receivers face no games against a Top 20 toughest defensive venue all season long. Not one. That should at least make the connection between Mike Wallace and Ryan Tannehill more possible than last year though the due still needs to establish some chemistry.
Bears – This is great news for both Alshon Jeffrey and Brandon Marshall in an offense that will look to connect early and often with the pair. The only caveat here and it needs to at least be acknowledged, the Bears get a nice slate of games during fantasy playoffs – all home games against the Cowboys, Saints and Lions – but they will all be outside in what should be wintry Chicago weather.
Lions and Packers – Both teams have great quarterbacks and very nice schedules for the receivers. Figure on Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson doing no worse than 2013 and potentially even better.
A team already searching for the starting quarterback gets the worst schedule for receivers – over half of their games go against Top 20 toughest venues from last year. That’s league-worst and not exactly encouraging about Cecil Shorts returning from injured reserve or Justin Blackmon who may or may not have his suspension lifted.
Browns – Yet another team that is deciding on a new quarterback will face a very bad schedule. 2013 was a break out season for Josh Gordon and the Browns did not add anyone likely to matter much – Nate Burleson is probably the best bet to compete with Greg Little for the #2 role that has done almost nothing anyway. Is this enough to ding Gordon this year? Well. Yes. Bad schedule and an unknown starting quarterback is the perfect recipe for at least a marginal decline.
Ravens – Tough schedule but that’s been true every season for a long time. At least the Ravens added Steve Smith who won’t be as good as he was in his prime in Carolina, but he’s bound to be an upgrade from Marlon Brown and Jacoby Jones.
Week – By – Week