There are teams with easy schedules and team with hard schedules. But looking at the numbers, I notice there are a large number of teams whose schedules project to be both easy and hard at different points of the season.
That’s obvious in that every offense will play some games against defenses that are really tough and some against lesser opposition. But hear me out.
I broke the season into three parts – five-game chunks for each team (with Week 17 tossed out, since most fantasy leagues have closed up shop by that time). Then I looked at the average points allowed by opponents (using last year’s stats) in each of those five-game segments.
Seven teams (tagged with dots) ranked both in the top 5 and the bottom 5 in one of their five-game stretches. New Orleans, for example, plays the league’s easiest schedule in Weeks 1-5, but then the hardest schedule in its next five games.
Two other NFC South teams go the other way. Atlanta and Tampa Bay both play bottom-5 schedules in their first five, but then two of the three softest schedules in the middle of the season. Dallas starts with the 3rd-easiest schedule, then plays the 4th-hardest in the second chunk.
It’s not something I would pay too much attention to. Many teams will be dramatically different, so best not to attach too much meaning to schedule. But some like to look over the strength of schedule numbers, and here’s another way to slice them.
Jacksonville (with Blake Bortles at quarterback), Houston and the Jets project to play the easiest schedules overall, while Kansas City, Detroit and Pittsburgh project to have the hardest schedules.
|STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE, POINTS (games 1-15)|