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 and receptions are one point.
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.
Michael Thomas (NO) – After 125 catches in 2018, Michael Thomas hardly needs any advantage when catching the ball. But – he gets one anyway when half his games go against the softest venues. He winds up the fantasy year against the Colts and Titans which isn’t ideal, but the Saints failed to add any new receiver help and Thomas once again is a lock to be a target sponge.
Dante Pettis/Deebo Samuel/George Kittle (SF) – If there is any downside to the 2019 49ers it is that including Marquise Goodwin, they have four viable receiving options on every play. That’s a challenge to breakdown individually but the schedule should help them all. They don’t land in a tough venue until Week 9 while spinning through the Buccaneers, Bengals, Rams, and Panthers on the way there. By midseason, the schedule starts to toughen up but at least the respective roles will be set by then.
Davante Adams (GB) – A much healthier Aaron Rodgers returns for his season and that will help Davante Adams build upon his 111-catch production of 2018. The Packers did not add any notable receivers and once again, Adams will be targeted tremendously thanks to being arguably the only talented receiver on the squad. The schedule doesn’t help though with only home games against the Eagles and Panthers as softer matchups. Finishing up in Minnesota during Week 16 could be a fantasy killer. But Adams could still thrive given his role. More likely – all other receivers for the Packers struggle.
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.
Alshon Jeffery/DeSean Jackson/Zach Ertz (PHI) – Carson Wentz needs to stay healthy and he has a solid set of receivers that was upgraded by the return of DeSean Jackson. But the schedule won’t help Wentz reprise his fine 2017 season. The receivers face only one lighter venue after Week 2 and yet half of the remaining games face the stingier secondaries. In Week 6, they face three straight road games in Minnesota, Dallas, and Buffalo. With so many viable options for targets going against so many tough defenses, all of the receivers will struggle to meet past production.
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 happen in a 12-game stretch starting in Week 4.
Week by week – Receivers with reception points