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2015 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule Rankings: By Team (Part Five)

Jun 29, 2015
Kyle Rudolph and the Vikings have the fourth-easiest schedule for TEs

Kyle Rudolph and the Vikings have the fourth-easiest schedule for TEs

We get to the second half of the rankings – where these players are still going to have their way with these defenses, but they aren’t exactly always going to be match up proof.  They may actually be taking on teams with winning records, or a pass rush.  A big thing to look at here is the travel schedules gets a little bit harder.  With both Souths playing both Easts – most teams were relatively close in proximity. With the Norths and Wests going at it – this is a lot of travel from time zone to time zone and back and forth around the country. Not exactly an easy task. Take the Baltimore Ravens, the eastern most team during this part of the list, as an example: by playing the NFC and AFC West, they will be a part of six games where either their opponent or themselves will be traveling all the way across the country for a game (road games at DEN, ARI, OAK, SF, with SEA and SD visiting).  Throw that biological clock out the window.

With that all being said, here are teams 17 through 20:

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SOS Rankings

#17 Rank = Easiest Schedule

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17. Detroit Lions

Division: NFC North
Bye Week: 9
SOS by position: QB 12th, RB 16th, WR 17th, TE 24th
Fantasy Playoff Schedule (14-16): at STL, at NO, vs. SF
Week 17: at CHI
Favorable Matchups (rank): OAK (32), CHI twice (29), NO (28),SD (27)
Unfavorable Matchups (rank): SEA (1), STL (3), ARI (5), DEN (6), GB twice (10)
Notable Fantasy Players: QB Matthew Stafford, RB Joique Bell, RB Theo Riddick, WR Calvin Johnson, WR Golden Tate

Recap: Playing second place divisional schedule along with NFC and AFC west.   Best fantasy strength of schedule among NFC North teams. Playing 5 games against bottom 6 teams, but only 1 of them during fantasy playoff weeks. On the other end of that, playing 6 games against top 10 teams including 3 top 5 defenses.   Playing 10 of their games in a dome this year. Regarding west coast travel – traveling to only SEA and SD while hosting SF, OAK, DEN, ARI.

18. Oakland Raiders

Division: AFC West
Bye Week: 6
SOS by position: QB 13th, RB 22nd, WR 19th, TE 17th
Fantasy Playoff Schedule (14-16): at DEN, vs. GB, vs. SD
Week 17: at KC
Favorable Matchups (rank): TEN (31), CHI (29), SD twice (27)
Unfavorable Matchups (rank): DEN twice (6), BAL (9), GB (10), NYJ (11)
Notable Fantasy Players: QB Derek Carr, RB Latavius Murray, WR Amari Cooper-R

Recap: Playing last place divisional schedule and the AFC North and NFC North.   Playing 3 games against bottom 6 defenses and 5 games against top defenses in top 11. Oakland can be full of late round sleepers if they can progress their offense with a second year QB, clearer RB situation, and a star rookie WR.

19. Minnesota Vikings

Division: NFC North
Bye Week: 5

SOS by position: QB 20th, RB 25th, WR 26th, TE 4th
Fantasy Playoff Schedule (14-16): at ARI, vs. CHI, vs. NYG
Week 17: at GB
Favorable Matchups (rank): OAK (32), CHI twice (29), SD (27), ATL (26), NYG (24)
Unfavorable Matchups (rank): SEA (1), STL (3), ARI (5), DEN (6), GB twice (10)
Notable Fantasy Players: QB Teddy Bridgewater, RB Adrian Peterson, WR Mike Wallace, TE Kyle Rudolph

Recap: Playing third place divisional schedule and AFC West and NFC west. Playing 6 games against bottom 10 defenses including two of them during fantasy playoff weeks. To counter that, they are playing 6 games against top 10 defenses including 4 in the top 6. Vikings players no longer will benefit from playing their home schedule indoors so home games late in the season will be affected by weather. Adrian Peterson returning will solidify backfield and will open up passing lanes for 2nd year QB Teddy Bridgewater.

20. Denver Broncos

Division: AFC West
Bye Week: 7
SOS by position: QB 21st, RB 14th, WR 27th, TE 16th
Fantasy Playoff Schedule (14-16): vs. OAK, at PIT, vs. CIN
Week 17: vs. SD
Favorable Matchups (rank): OAK twice (32), CHI (29), SD twice (27), IND (22)
Unfavorable Matchups (rank): NE (7), BAL (9), GB (10)
Notable Fantasy Players: QB Peyton Manning, RB C.J. Anderson, RB Montee Ball, WR Demaryius Thomas, WR Emmanuel Sanders

Recap: As division champion, playing other division champions both AFC and NFC North divisions. Playing six games against bottom 12 defenses and only 3 games against top 10 defenses, none in the top 5. The Broncos offense will be another fantasy gold mine if Peyton Manning is still as accurate and productive at 39 as he has been. While he tapered off at the end of last season, the running game continued to produce. Playing the 6th toughest schedule for wide receivers this season as opposed to the 14th best schedule for running backs. Regardless, there is still a lot to choose from in Denver.

Stay tuned for the next part of the SOS series. Next time out, we will continue to explore and look at teams 21-24 as we count down to the hardest schedules of 2015 along with their scheduling quirks.

Strength of Schedule Index

Michael Vincent is a correspondent at FantasyPros. To read more from Michael, check out his archive and follow him @MVtweetshere.

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