It’s tough to do much draft prep without running into Strength of Schedule breakdowns. After all, fantasy owners look for any edge possible. A guide of schedule strength can often tip the scales in favor of drafting one player over another.
With this in mind, we have you covered when it comes to all things fantasy football SOS. Here’s a breakdown of the different cuts we offer to help you with your draft decisions:
2012 Strength of Schedule (SOS) Formats
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SOS Summary – View a snapshot of the strength of schedule for every team across the major positions, all in one spot.
SOS Matchup Grid – Isolate specific matchups to see each team’s upcoming games in a simple grid format. We highlight the opponents that are deemed “tough” and “easy”.
SOS Rank Grid – View the opponent ranks by position and week that each team is facing. For instance, you can quickly see that Cincinnati is tasked with going up against the toughest opponent for fantasy QBs in week 1 (@ BAL).
SOS Pts Allowed Grid – If you want even further detail, we break down the fantasy point totals allowed (STD scoring) for each team’s opponents by position. This will give you an idea of what type of production your players may be in line for.
Strength of Schedule (SOS) Notes
Below are some schedule highlights we’ve compiled from looking through the SOS tables linked above:
- If you’re making decisions based off of SOS, few teams collectively have it easier than Tampa Bay. The Bucs have the easiest schedule for fantasy QBs, 2nd easiest schedule for RBs & 9th easiest slate for WRs. Now, that obviously doesn’t mean you should run out and target Josh Freeman as your top QB. It should help Freeman, however, with what many experts expect will be a bounce back season. Also, the combo of a favorable QB/WR schedule could bode well for newly-acquired Vincent Jackson.
- All eyes are on Peyton Manning this season. The phrase “neck fusion surgery” is enough to call into question how much Peyton still has left in the tank. For proof of this, just check out his current Expert Consensus Rank: (QB #10). On top of the injury concerns, Manning also closes out the fantasy season with consecutive difficult matchups (@ BAL and vs. CLE). Both opponents ranked among the 5 lowest in fantasy points allowed to QBs last year. It’s something to keep in mind if you’re considering drafting Manning.
- How about the QB with the easiest schedule down the stretch? That’s none other than Sam Bradford. Bradford gets the worst defense vs. QBs (MIN) at home in week 15 and the 3rd worst defense (TB) in week 16. Of course, if Bradford is really your starter, you may unfortunately see something along the lines of “Consolation Game” written next to your league matchup in those weeks.
- In terms of other QBs that have it “easy” down the stretch, Drew Brees faces ATL (#20), NYG (#26), TB (#30), and DAL (#15) in weeks 13-16. That last game could prove tougher than the numbers show, however, considering that Dallas revamped their secondary in the offseason. Matt Schaub also looks like he’ll go up against a slate that’s not too challenging in weeks 14-16: NE (#30), IND (#24) and MIN (#32).
- No RB has it more difficult to start off the season than Shonn Greene. In the first 5 weeks, he’s pitted against 4 of the 5 toughest fantasy run defenses. The schedule gets easier after that point but the early barrage is enough to give the Jets the 3rd most difficult schedule for fantasy RBs.
- On the flip side, the Chiefs and Jamaal Charles have a very favorable schedule (3rd easiest) for RBs. If Charles can maintain his health, a potential dream scenario exists down the stretch where KC will close out the season facing 6 consecutive teams ranked #20 or worse.
That wraps up our SOS analysis. Be sure to check out the detailed 2012 strength of schedule tables for use as a resource during your draft prep.