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2020 NFL Schedule Winners & Losers (Fantasy Football)

May 8, 2020

Which players’ fantasy values are most affected by the NFL’s 2020 schedule?

The NFL schedule for the 2020 season was released on Thursday night. Like usual, some teams are slated to have an easier campaign than others, particularly those in difficult divisions. While it’s not wise to put too much stock in the schedule considering how much things change year-to-year, it is smart to take the schedule into account when searching for under or overvalued players and potential league winners in the fantasy playoffs. With that being said, our featured analysts have come together to shine a light on which well-known athletes have had their values most affected by the schedule and who it may be good to own come playoff time.

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Q1. Which notable player has favorable matchups in 2020 and should see a boost in value?

Odell Beckham Jr. (WR – CLE) | Jarvis Landry (WR – CLE) 
“The Cleveland Browns have some favorable fantasy matchups on the horizon in 2020. Beckham and Landry will go up against the Bengals, Redskins, Cowboys, Colts, Texans, Jaguars, Giants, and Jets throughout the course of the 16-game schedule. Each of those specific matchups has question marks at the cornerback position and can be exploited by great talents like OBJ and Landry.”
– Kyle Yates (FantasyPros)

David Montgomery (RB – CHI) 
“Quickly forgotten amidst the rookie class of running backs who will find themselves in committees, Montgomery is still the lead back in Chicago. He touched the ball 267 times in his first NFL season and still has the backfield to himself with just pass-catching back Tarik Cohen to spell him. The Bears now project to face the fourth-friendliest schedule in terms of fantasy points allowed to running backs last year. He may not post monster numbers, but he should be viewed as a solid RB2 and is slightly undervalued.”
– Pierre Camus (RotoBaller)

Davante Adams (WR – GB) 
“If you aren’t able to get Michael Thomas, then you should immediately turn your attention to Adams, who just might be the league’s No. 1 fantasy receiver this year. He doesn’t have a truly horrendous matchup all year. The worst two games of his schedule come against the Bears, a team that he’s done very well against over the last few years, and they lost one of their starting cornerbacks this offseason.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Kyler Murray (QB – ARI) 
“The hype train is rolling on the Cardinals’ offense rolling into year 2 of the Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray era and the 2020 schedule release is only adding fuel to the fire. Sure, playing the 49ers and Seahawks twice is not ideal, but the Rams, on the other hand, are on the decline. What really excites me about Murray’s upside are the divisional games on tap with Panthers and Redskins along with the non-conference tilts versus the four teams from the AFC East.”
– Dan Clasgens (Get Sports Info)

Q2. Who is a player facing a difficult schedule that fantasy owners should be aware of?

Austin Hooper (TE – CLE) 
“I was already skeptical of Hooper as a top-tier fantasy tight end after his move to Cleveland. Even if David Njoku is completely phased out of the offense, which is unlikely, he has to adjust to a new quarterback and a team with a new coaching staff. The fact that the Browns will have the second-toughest schedule versus the tight end just reinforces that his draft price will be too high. Fade him in favor of tight ends like Evan Engram or Tyler Higbee, who have much better schedules.”
– Pierre Camus (RotoBaller)

DeVante Parker (WR – MIA) 
“Parker has a tough road ahead of him in terms of cornerback matchups. He’ll draw the No. 1 corners on defense and that includes guys like Stephon Gilmore, Tre’Davious White, C.J. Henderson, Richard Sherman, Casey Hayward, Jalen Ramsey, Patrick Peterson, etc. While this isn’t enough to make me avoid Parker at all costs in fantasy, it could be used as a tie-breaker between him and another wide receiver in his draft range.”
– Kyle Yates (FantasyPros)

Todd Gurley (RB – ATL) 
“The Falcons are going to be at best the third-best team in the NFC South and have a gauntlet of non-divisional NFC games, including matchups with the Cowboys, Seahawks, Packers, and Vikings. Add in the four games versus AFC West foes and suddenly I’m not feeling as optimistic about Gurley in his new home. He’s not as much of an asset in the passing game as he once was and if Atlanta is trailing in a ton of contests, his carries will be limited.”
– Dan Clasgens (Get Sports Info)

Saquon Barkley (RB – NYG) 
“While I’m a big fan of Barkley and what he brings to the table, his schedule is a nightmare in 2020. He’s going to play against the Bucs, 49ers, Steelers, Ravens, and Eagles (twice). Those are all horrendous matchups, so if you’re playing in an auction league, maybe let someone else spend up on the talented running back.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Q3. For the fantasy playoffs (Weeks 14-16), which notable player jumps out as having a particularly easy schedule?

Lamar Jackson (QB – BAL) 
“Jackson might have a tough time living up to his high draft stock, but fantasy owners that have him under center once the fantasy playoffs roll around begin their postseason with a great advantage. The Ravens’ Week 14-16 slate is full of mouth-watering opponents. Jackson kicks off the playoff push with a Monday night divisional showdown at Cleveland. He threw for three touchdowns in each of his matchups against the Browns last season and should feast once again. The Ravens then finish with a pair of home matchups against the rebuilding Jaguars in Week 15, followed by the Giants in Week 16, who allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks in 2019.”
– Dan Clasgens (Get Sports Info)

Lamar Jackson should be poised to lead you to a fantasy championship again this season with matchups against the Browns, Jaguars, and Giants all in the fantasy playoffs. None of those defenses have the personnel to slow him and the Ravens’ prolific offense down and he should put up some huge numbers for you.”
– Kyle Yates (FantasyPros)

Aaron Rodgers (QB – GB) 
“Rodgers should finally have something to smile about as he sees the Packers’ end-of-year schedule. Green Bay faces divisional foe Detroit in Week 14 and then Carolina in Week 15, two teams that I project to be among the bottom five in total defense in 2020. Their Week 16 opponent, Tennessee, is tougher, but it will take place on Sunday night in December at Lambeau Field. The Titans were actually 24th in pass defense, allowing 4,080 passing yards and 25 touchdowns in 2019, so Rodgers could pull through down the stretch for fantasy owners in a way he failed to do last year.”
– Pierre Camus (RotoBaller)

Patrick Mahomes (QB – KC) 
“As much as it pains me to say a quarterback, Mahomes has what may be the best playoff schedule in the league. He’ll play against the Dolphins in Miami during Week 14, so the weather will be nice. Then he’s going to play inside the dome at New Orleans in what likely projects as a 55-plus point game. And lastly, he’ll finish up at home against a Falcons team that’s been one to pick on for years. Mahomes is going to help win some championships.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Thank you to the experts for giving us their thoughts on their NFL schedule winners and losers. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter and subscribe to our podcast below for advice all year round.

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