The 2018 fantasy points allowed by defenses to wide receivers and tight ends are applied against the 2019 schedule for each offense. This goes even further since it also breaks down the 64 venues that can happen – facing each defense either home or away. Not surprisingly, defensive performances vary significantly depending on if a team is on the road or not.
The average fantasy points allowed by each defense is then sorted highest to lowest to determine the 20 best venues to play (an advantage) and the 20 worst (a disadvantage). The “middle” 24 venues offer neither advantage or disadvantage and are not considered.
20 best venues TO PLAY
20 worst venues TO PLAY
Three different views are given below. Weeks 1 to 16 is the full season strength of schedule for the position. The Dorey Rule is “draft as if the season only lasted the first six weeks”. Those first six games will determine if you get out to a hot start or are trailing by mid-season. Finally, Weeks 14 to 16 cover the traditional fantasy playoffs.
This analysis awards 0.1 points per yard rushing or receiving. Touchdowns are worth six points.
The reality is that schedule strength means the least for receivers since they are more impacted by one-on-one matchups with individual cornerbacks. And tight ends are used in differing ways by differing teams. Take a casual look here but only mildly consider the extremes.
Mike Evans/Chris Godwin/O.J. Howard (TB) – The Buccaneers have a solid core of receivers and they are treated to one of the lightest schedules in the NFL. Half of their games face the softer venues of 2018 and none until Week 13. The tone is set for the season with the first six games including the 49ers, Panthers (twice), Rams, and Saints.
Keelan Cole/Dede Westbrook (JAC) – Yet again the Jaguars have a beneficial schedule for their receivers though previous years didn’t benefit any particular receiver. A change in quarterback could help but a lack of any receiver with a high number of targets limits the advantage of the schedule that only features one tough matchup after Week 2.
Amari Cooper/Michael Gallup (DAL) – The oddity in the Cowboys schedule for all facets of passing is that they have the lightest schedule for the first half of the year. Five of the eight faces softer secondaries of the Redskins, Dolphins, Saints, Packers, Jets, and Eagles. And that reverses for the last half of the year when they end with five of the toughest venues that include the Patriots, Bills, and Bears. Consider selling high at midseason.
Zay Jones/Robert Foster (BUF) – The Bills turned up the passing game at the end of last year and the schedule says the upturn is not over. This is the only team that will only face a tough venue from 2018 just once all year. And that game waits until Week 16 at the Patriots. The season even opens with five of the lightest matchups over the first seven games.
Antonio Brown/Tyrell Williams (OAK) – The Raiders have restocked the offense and brought in prized free agent Antonio Brown. Now it all has to work while facing a tough schedule that ends up with a brutal stretch during fantasy playoffs. Brown and Tyrell Williams have to go against the Titans, Jaguars, and Chargers between Weeks 14 and 16 right when you need them most.
Emmanuel Sanders/Courtland Sutton (DEN) – The quarterback situation may not be settled between Joe Flacco and Drew Lock. The receivers also have to deal with a schedule that features tough venues in half of their games. Starting in Week 11, it gets even worse with matchups against the Vikings, Bills, Chargers, Chiefs, and Lions. Their eight toughest games all come in a 12 game stretch starting in Week 4.
Week by week – Receivers