2015 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule Rankings: By Team (Part Four)
Welcome to part four of the Strength of Schedule series. We’re going to explore teams 13 through 16. Whether it is an odd scheduling quirk, or familiarity breeds fantasy points – this first half of the rankings features all 16 teams from the same four divisions, which are all on each other’s rotating divisional schedule. On the other end of this, teams 17-32 will all come from the same four divisions too. Moral of the story, if you use this tool, draft AFC South and AFC East, or NFC South and NFC East. They’re going to beat each other up in 14 of their 16 games this year.
With that all being said, here are teams 13 through 16, with 13 being
#13 Rank = Easiest Schedule
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Division: AFC South
Bye Week: 8
SOS by position: QB 14th, RB 8th, WR 7th, TE 29th
Fantasy Playoff Schedule (14-16): vs IND, vs ATL, at NO
Week 17: at HOU
Favorable Matchups (rank): TEN twice (31), NO (28), SD (27), ATL (26), TB (25), IND twice (22)
Unfavorable Matchups (rank): BUF (2), HOU twice (4), NE (7), CAR (8), BAL (9), NYJ (11), MIA (12)
Notable Fantasy Players: RB TJ Yeldon-R, RB Toby Gerhart, TE Julius Thomas
Recap: Playing third-place schedule which is stronger this year (SD, BAL both finished 9-7 in 3rd) and also playing NFC South and AFC East. First team in the rankings to have all of their games against either top 12 or bottom 12 opponents. Playing three games against top five defenses, but one of those games is a Week 17 game against Houston when your league is probably over. If you’re relying on Jaguars’ players to get you through the playoffs, congratulations on doing well in your 28-team league. In all seriousness, Jacksonville is playing three bottom 12 teams Weeks 14 through 16, including two at home and one in a dome.
14. New York Jets
Division: AFC East
Bye Week: 5
SOS by position: QB 17th, RB 7th, WR 21st, TE 15th
Fantasy Playoff Schedule (14-16): vs. TEN, at DAL, vs. NE
Week 17: at BUF
Favorable Matchups (rank): OAK (32), TEN (31), WAS (30), NYG (24), JAX (23), IND (22), DAL (21)
Unfavorable Matchups (rank): BUF twice (2), HOU (3), NE twice (7), MIA twice (12)
Notable Fantasy Players: WR Brandon Marshall, WR Eric Decker, RB Chris Ivory, RB Stevan Ridley
Recap: Playing last-place schedule along with NFC East and AFC South. First team in SOS rankings that plays all bottom three teams (OAK, TEN, WAS). Plays seven of their games against bottom 12 teams, and seven of their games against top 12 teams including all six divisional games. Shaky QB situation and 7th best RB schedule favors Chris Ivory/Stevan Ridley. If QB situation is not settled, Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall can come at a value in what would most likely end up being a dink-and-dunk passing game, great in a PPR format.
15. Houston Texans
Division: AFC South
Bye Week: 9
SOS by position: QB 19th, RB 3rd, WR 18th, TE 22nd
Fantasy Playoff Schedule (14-16): vs. NE, @IND, @TEN
Week 17: vs. JAX
Favorable Matchups (rank): TEN twice (31), NO (28), ATL (26), TB (25), JAX twice (23), IND twice (22)
Unfavorable Matchups (rank): BUF (2), NE (7), CAR (8), NYJ (11), MIA (12)
Notable Fantasy Players: RB Arian Foster, WR DeAndre Hopkins
Recap: Playing second-place divisional schedule along with AFC East and NFC South. Playing nine teams in the bottom 12 in fantasy defense, versus only five teams in the top 12. All six divisional games in bottom 12. First two rounds of fantasy playoff games are in domes. Week 16 at Tennessee will come with random weather, but it could benefit their running game which is already facing the third-easiest schedule during the season. DeAndre Hopkins is the man now in Houston, but who will throw to him?
16. Tennessee Titans
Division: AFC South
Bye Week: 4
SOS by position: QB 16th, RB 5th, WR 10th, TE 32nd
Fantasy Playoff Schedule (14-16): at NYJ, at NE, vs. HOU
Week 17: at IND
Favorable Matchups (rank): OAK (32), NO (28), ATL (26), TB (25), JAX twice (23), IND twice (22)
Unfavorable Matchups (rank): BUF (2), HOU twice (4), NE (7), CAR (8), NYJ (11), MIA (12)
Notable Fantasy Players: QB Marcus Mariota-R, RB Bishop Sankey, WR Dorial Green-Beckham -R, WR Justin Hunter, WR Kendall Wright, TE Delanie Walker
Recap: A stretch of four straight home games in the early part of the season sets up a rough second half, as they will have three of their last four games on the road, and all three playoff weeks against top 12 teams. They are playing the last-place divisional schedule and the NFC South and AFC East. Lots of “notable” fantasy players on this list, but that’s assuming a lot.
Stay tuned for the next part of the SOS series. Next time out, we will flip the coin and look at teams 17-20 as we count down to the hardest schedules of 2015.